The 9/11 Mother of All Scams Until Flu/Covid Arrived

September 11, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

All governments lie, notably Western ones.

Nothing they say can be taken at face value. The same goes for their media press agents.

9/11 was the mother of all Big Lies, the mother of all state-sponsored false flags, until flu/covid surpassed its infamy.

Twenty years ago today, I remember where I was and what I was doing when learned that the twin towers came down.

Though not an architect or engineer, something smelled rotten.

While still unaware of what I later learned and wrote voluminously about, I recall telling my brother that they’re drinking champagne in the White House tonight.

I couldn’t understand how steel columns could collapse in free fall like a house of cards in a stiff breeze.

I remember WTC 7’s later in the day collapse at 5:21PM, though unstruck.

I later saw a video clip by the UK owned and controlled BBC, its reporter Jane Standley in New York at the time.

At 4:54PM — 27 minutes before WTC 7’s collapse — she reported what hadn’t yet happened, showing the beeb had advance knowledge of the made-in-the-USA false flag.

Partly funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth), a study titled “A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center” revealed the following:

Scientific evidence showed that “fires could not have caused weakening or displacement of structural members capable of initiating any of the hypothetical local failures alleged to have triggered the total collapse of the (twin towers or WTC 7), nor could any local failures, even if they had occurred, have triggered a sequence of failures that would have resulted in the observed total collapse.”

Jet fuel doesn’t heat high enough to melt or cause rigid steel columns to crumble.

It’s “scientifically impossible.” 

State-sponsored controlled demolitions destroyed both towers and WTC 7.

Their debris was removed and destroyed to prevent a proper forensic analysis, AE911Truth explained.

David Ray Griffin’s exhaustive research, writings and lectures exposed and documented the mother of all Big Lies to that time — including official coverup by the 9/11 whitewash commission.

Virtually everything officially reported and regurgitated by MSM was fake news.

Alleged hijackers weren’t aboard the four fateful flights.

Bin Laden had nothing to do with what happened.

Hospitalized in Pakistan, he died of natural causes in December 2001 — reported by the NYT, the BBC, and other MSM.

Obama did not kill Osama, one of many Big Lies about 9/11, its aftermath, and a figure designated Enemy Number One by hegemon USA.

In September 2001, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said he was admitted to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital on September 10, 2001. 

France’s Le Figaro reported the following:

“Dubai…was the backdrop of a secret meeting between Osama bin Laden and the local CIA agent in July (2001).”

“A partner of the administration of the American Hospital…claims that (bin Laden) stayed (there) between the 4th and 14th of July (and) received visits from many members of his family as well as prominent Saudis and Emiratis.”

“(During the same period), the local CIA agent, known to many in Dubai, was seen taking (the hospital’s) main elevator (to) bin Laden’s room.”

Pakistani intelligence confirmed his December 2001 death. Yet the myth of his responsibility for 9/11 persists. 

The FBI later admitted it had no evidence linking him to the attack.

What happened 20 years ago today was all about inventing a pretext for unparalleled state terrorism that followed, for waging war on humanity at home and abroad — for transforming the US into a totalitarian police state.

The unpatriotic Patriot Act was written months in advance, the same likely true for the Homeland Security Act and what else unfolded in the aftermath of 9/11.

I discussed it in a December 2007 article, titled Police State America.

US planned in advance war OF terrorism, not on it, remains ongoing with no end of it in prospect.

Along with the Patriot Act (Oct. 2001), Bush/Cheney’s November 2001 Military Order Number 1 — a coup d’etat against peace and fundamental freedoms — was prelude for extrajudicial horrors that followed at home and abroad.

So-called Continuity of Government (COG) procedures under an alleged Catastrophic Emergency was and remains all about empowering the ruling US regime to declare martial law without congressional authorization and govern despotically.

It’s how Biden regime hardliners have been operating after seasonal flu was renamed covid.

The worst of what they have in mind is likely ahead — notably after the fake Biden’s Thursday remarks, transforming totalitarian USA into tyrannical rule.

Events, legislation, White House diktats and actions made the US unsafe and unfit to live in.

A Final Comment

James Fetzer founded Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, dedicated to exposing official lies, removing the shroud of deceit, and revealing truths behind 9/11.

On Friday, Fetzer stressed that the alleged 9/11 hijackers and bin ladin “had nothing to do with the atrocities of 9/11,” adding:

“(T)hey were (convenient) patsies, like Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan in relation to JFK and Bobby” — both figures uninvolved with their state-sponsored assassination.

Fetzer quoted Marc Thiessen, stressing that Biden (the real or fake one) “has no business visit(ing) Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., on” Saturday — the 20th anniversary of the mother of all state-sponsored false flags to that time.

The nation I grew up in long ago has been responsible for more harm to more people over a longer duration than any others in world history.

The worst of their diabolical war on humanity likely lies ahead — why the only solution is popular revolution.

Geopolitics, Profit, and Poppies: How the CIA Turned Afghanistan into a Failed Narco-State

June 25th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

CIA Afghanistan Drug trade Feature photo
The war in Afghanistan has looked a lot like the war on drugs in Latin America and previous colonial campaigns in Asia, with a rapid militarization of the area and the empowerment of pliant local elites.

AFGHANISTAN — The COVID-19 pandemic has been a death knell to so many industries in Afghanistan. Charities and aid agencies have even warned that the economic dislocation could spark widespread famine. But one sector is still booming: the illicit opium trade. Last year saw Afghan opium poppy cultivation grow by over a third while counter-narcotics operations dropped off a cliff. The country is said to be the source of over 90% of all the world’s illicit opium, from which heroin and other opioids are made. More land is under cultivation for opium in Afghanistan than is used for coca production across all of Latin America, with the creation of the drug said to directly employ around half a million people.

This is a far cry from the 1970s, when poppy production was minimal, and largely for domestic consumption. But this changed in 1979 when the CIA launched Operation Cyclone, the widespread funding of Afghan Mujahideen militias in an attempt to bleed dry the then-recent Soviet invasion. Over the next decade, the CIA worked closely with its Pakistani counterpart, the ISI, to funnel $2 billion worth of arms and assistance to these groups, including the now infamous Osama Bin Laden and other warlords known for such atrocities as throwing acid in the faces of unveiled women.

“From statements by U.S. Ambassador [to Iran] Richard Helms, there was little heroin production in Central Asia by the mid 1970s,” Professor Alfred McCoy, author of “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade,” told MintPress. But with the start of the CIA secret war, opium production along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border surged and refineries soon dotted the landscape. Trucks loaded with U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons would travel from Pakistan into its neighbor to the west, returning filled to the brim with opium for the new refineries, their deadly product ending up on streets worldwide. With the influx of Afghan opium in the 1980s — Jeffrey St. Clair, co-author of “Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press,” alleges — heroin addiction more than doubled in the United States.

“In order to finance the resistance for a protracted period, the Mujahideen had to come up with a livelihood beyond the weapons that the CIA was providing,” McCoy said, noting that the weapons issued could not feed the fighters’ families, nor reimburse them for lost labor:

So what the resistance fighters did was they turned to opium. Afghanistan had about 100 tons of opium produced every year in the 1970s. By 1989-1990, at the end of that 10-year CIA operation, that minimal amount of opium — 100 tons per annum — had turned into a major amount, 2,000 tons a year, and was already about 75% of the world’s illicit opium trade.”

The CIA achieved its goal of giving the U.S.S.R. its Vietnam, the Soviets failing to quash the Mujahideen rebellion by the time they finally pulled out in 1989. But American money and weapons also turned Afghanistan into a dangerously unstable place full of warring factions that used opium to fund their battles for internal supremacy. By 1999, annual production had risen to 4,600 tons. The Taliban eventually emerged as the dominant force in the country and attempted to gain international legitimacy by stamping out the trade.

In this, they were remarkably successful. A 2000 ban on opium cultivation by the Taliban-led government led to an almost overnight drop to just 185 tons harvested the following year, as frightened farmers chose not to risk attracting their wrath.

The Taliban had hoped that the eradication program would win favor in Washington and entice the United States to provide humanitarian aid. But unfortunately, history had other ideas. On September 11, 2001, the U.S. experienced a massive case of blowback, as Bin Laden’s forces launched attacks on New York and Washington. The U.S. ignored the Taliban’s offer to hand him over to a third party, instead opting to invade the country. Less than a month after the planes hit the World Trade Center, U.S. troops were patrolling the fields of Afghanistan.

The world’s first true narco-state

The effect of the occupation was to expand drug production to unprecedented new proportions, Afghanistan becoming, in Professor McCoy’s estimation, the world’s first true narco-state. McCoy notes that by 2008, opium was responsible for well over half of the country’s gross domestic product. By comparison, even in Colombia’s darkest days, cocaine accounted for only 3% of its GDP.

Today, the United Nations estimates that around 6,300 tons of opium (and rising) is produced yearly, with 224,000 hectares — an area almost the size of Rhode Island — planted with poppy fields.

Afhganistan Opium production graph
Source | Dyfed Loesche | Statista

But even while it was financing a widespread and deadly aerial spraying campaign in Colombia, the United States refused to countenance the same policy in Afghanistan. “We cannot be in a situation where we remove the only source of income of people who live in the second poorest country in the world without being able to provide them with an alternative,” said NATO spokesman James Appathurai.

Not everyone agreed, however, that a passionate commitment to defending the quality of life of the poorest was the actual reason for rejecting the policy. Matthew Hoh, a former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps is one skeptic. Hoh told MintPress that airborne fumigation was not carried out because it would be outside the control of Afghan government officials, who were deeply implicated in the drug trade, owning poppy fields and production plants themselves. “They were afraid that, if they went to aerial eradication, the U.S. pilots would just eradicate willy nilly and a lot of their own poppy fields would be hit.” In 2009, Hoh resigned in protest from his position at the State Department in Zabul Province over the government’s continued occupation of Afghanistan. He told MintPress:

NATO forces were more or less guarding poppy fields and poppy production, under the guise of counterinsurgency. The logic was ‘we don’t want to take away the livelihoods of the people.’ But really, what we were doing at that point was protecting the wealth of our friends in power in Afghanistan. “

According to Hoh, there was widespread disillusionment within the military among service members who had to risk their lives on a day to day basis. “What are we doing here? This is bullshit,” was a common sentiment among the rank and file.

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. James K. Peters stands in an opium poppy field while performing a foot patrol at Sangin, Afghanistan, May 19, 2011. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jeremy C. Harris/Released)
A US Marine stands in a poppy field during a foot patrol at Sangin, Afghanistan. Photo | DVIDS

The heroin trade implicated virtually everyone in power, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali, among the biggest and most notorious drug kingpins in the south of the country, a man widely understood to be in the pay of the CIA.

U.S. attempts to stymie the opium trade, such as the policy of paying domestic militias to destroy poppy fields, often backfired. Locals came up with ways of profiting, such as refraining from planting in one area, collecting large sums of money from occupying forces, and using that cash to plant elsewhere — effectively getting paid both to plant and not to plant. Even worse, local warlords and drug bosses would destroy their rivals’ crops and collect money from the U.S. for doing so, leaving themselves both enriched and in a stronger position than before, having gained NATO forces’ favor.

One notable example of this is local strongman Gul Agha Sherzai, who eradicated his competitors’ crops in Nangarhar Province (while quietly leaving his own in Kandahar Province untouched). But all the U.S. saw was a local politician seemingly committed to stamping out an illegal drug trade. They therefore showered him with money and other privileges. “We literally gave the guy $10 million in cash for rubbing out his competition,” Hoh said. “If you were going to write a movie about this, they’d say ‘This is too far fetched. No one is going to believe this. Nothing is this insane or stupid.’ But that is the way it is.”

McCoy noted that the Taliban was one of the prime beneficiaries of the drug trade, and used it to increase their power and vanquish the U.S.:

That booming opium production, and the U.S. failure to curb it, provided the bulk of the financing for Taliban, who captured a significant but unknown share of the local profits from the drug traffic, which they used to fund guerrilla operations over the past 20 years, becoming a determinative factor in the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan.”

‘The needle and the damage done’

It is not particularly difficult to grow opium. Opium poppies flourish in warm and dry conditions, away from the damp and the wind. Consequently, they have found a fertile home across much of central and western Asia. The plant has flourished in Afghanistan, particularly in southern provinces like Helmand, close to the tripoint where Afghanistan meets Pakistan and Iran. Much of the irrigation system in Helmand was underwritten by USAID, an organization that acts as the CIA’s public-facing front. In full bloom, the poppy fields look spectacular, with beautiful flowers of vibrant pink, red or white. Underneath the flowers, one can find a large seed pod. Farmers harvest these, draining them of a sap which dries into a resin. This is often transported out of the country through the so-called “Southern Route” via Pakistan or Iran. But, as with any pipeline, much of the product is spilled along the way, causing an epidemic of addiction across the region.

The effect on the Afghan population has been nothing short of a disaster. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of adult drug users jumped from 900,000 to 2.4 million, according to the United Nations, which estimates that almost one in three households are directly affected by addiction. While Afghanistan also produces copious amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine, opioids are the drug of choice for most, with around 9% of the adult population (and a growing number of children) addicted to them. Added to this has been a spike in HIV cases, as users share needles, Professor Julien Mercille, author of “Cruel Harvest: U.S. Intervention in the Afghan Drug Trade,” told MintPress.

Only contributing further to the despair has been 20 years of war and U.S. occupation. The number of Afghans living in poverty rose from 9.1 million in 2007 to 19.3 million in 2016. A recent poll conducted by Gallup found that Afghans are the saddest people on Earth, with nearly nine in ten respondents “suffering” and zero percent of the population “thriving,” in their own words. When asked to rate their lives out of a score of ten, Afghans gave an average answer of 2.7, a record low for any country studied. Worse still, when asked to predict the quality of their life in five years, the mean answer was even lower: 2.3.

The effects of the CIA operation to bleed the Soviets dry in Afghanistan have also produced a humanitarian crisis in neighboring Pakistan. As McCoy noted, in the late 1970s, Pakistan had barely any heroin addicts. But by 1985, Pakistani government statistics reported over 1.2 million, turning the two nations into “the global epicenter of the drugs trade” almost overnight.

The problem has only grown since. A 2013 U.N. report estimated that almost 7 million Pakistanis use drugs, with 4.25 million requiring urgent treatment for dependency issues. Nearly 2.5 million of these people were abusing heroin or other opioids. Around 700 people die every day from overdoses. The highest rate of dependency is, unsurprisingly, in provinces on the Afghan border where heroin is manufactured. The same U.N. study notes that 11% of people in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa use illicit substances — primarily heroin.

The drug crisis, of course, is also a medical crisis, with overstretched public hospitals filled with drugs-related maladies. The social stigma of addiction has ripped families apart while the money and power illicit drugs have brought has turned many towns into hotspots of violence.

Iran has a similar number of opioid users, generally estimated at between two and three million. In towns close to the Afghan/Pakistani border, a gram of opium can be bought with loose change — between a quarter and fifty cents. Thus, despite the extremely harsh penalties for drug possession and distribution on the official books, the country has the highest addiction rate in the world

On a micro level, addiction tears apart families and ruins lives. On an international scale, however, the opium boom has placed an entire region under significant strain. Therefore, one consequence of U.S. policy in the Middle East — from supporting jihadists to occupying nations — has been to unleash a worldwide opium addiction that has made a few people fantastically wealthy and destroyed the lives of tens of millions.

Domestic despair

The boom in production has also led to a worldwide disaster. In the past decade, opioid-related deaths increased by 71% globally, according to the United Nations. Much of the product grown by Afghan warlords ends up on Western streets. “I don’t see how it can be a coincidence that you have that explosive growth in poppy production in Afghanistan and then you have the worldwide opioid epidemic,” Hoh stated, a connection that raises the question of whether users in Berlin, Boston, or Brazil should be seen as victims of the war in Afghanistan as much as fallen soldiers are. If so, the numbers would be staggering. Nearly 841,000 Americans have died of a drug overdose since the war in Afghanistan began, including more than 70,000 in 2019 alone. The majority of these have involved opioids.

Officially, the DEA claims that essentially all illicit opioids entering the U.S. are grown in Latin America. Hoh, however, finds this unconvincing. “When you look at their own information and their reports on the illicit opioid production hectarage in Mexico and South America, it is clear that there is not enough production in the Western hemisphere to meet the demand for illicit opiates in the U.S.,” he told MintPress.

A dirty history

The U.S. government has a long history of directly involving itself with the worldwide narcotics trade. In Colombia, it worked with President Alvaro Uribe on a nationwide drug war, even as internal U.S. documents identified Uribe as one of the nation’s most important drug traffickers, an employee of the infamous Medellin Cartel and a “close personal friend” of drugs kingpin Pablo Escobar. Profits from drug-running funded Uribe’s election runs in 2002 and 2006.

General Manuel Noriega was also a key ally of the U.S. For many years, the Panamanian was on the CIA payroll — despite Washington knowing he was involved in drug trafficking since at least 1972. When he became de facto dictator of Panama in 1984, little changed. But the director of the Drug Enforcement Agency initially praised him for his “vigorous anti-drug trafficking policy.” Eventually, however, the U.S. decided to invade the country and capture Noriega, sentencing him to 40 years in federal prison for drug crimes largely committed while he was still in the CIA’s pay.

At the same time as this was going on, investigative journalist Gary Webb exposed how the CIA helped fund its dirty war against Nicaragua’s leftist government through sales of crack cocaine to black neighborhoods across the United States, linking far-right paramilitary armies with U.S. drug kingpins like Rick Ross.

Afghanistan Opium CIA
An Afghan farmer collects raw opium from poppy plants in his field in Chaparhar, Afghanistan. Nisar Ahmad | AP

To this day, the U.S. government continues to support Honduran strongman Juan Orlando Hernandez, despite the president’s well-established connections to the cocaine trade. Earlier this year, a U.S. court sentenced Hernandez’s brother Tony to life in prison for international drug smuggling, while Juan himself was an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. Nevertheless, President Hernandez has proven himself effective at suppressing the anti-imperialist Left inside his country and cementing the U.S.-backed 2009 military coup, one reason he is unlikely to face charges in the near future.

Using the illegal drug trade and the profits from it to fund imperial objectives has been a constant of great empires going back centuries. For instance, in the 1940s and 1950s, the French Empire utilized opium crops in the so-called “Golden Triangle” region of Indochina in order to help beat back a growing Vietnamese independence movement. Going further back, the British used its opium machine to subdue and economically conquer much of China. Britain’s insatiable thirst for Chinese tea was beginning to bankrupt the country, as the Chinese would accept only gold or silver as payment. It therefore used the power of its navy to force China to cede Hong Kong, from which Britain began flooding China with opium it grew in its possessions in South Asia.

The humanitarian impact of the Opium War was staggering. By 1880, the British were inundating China with over 6,500 tons of opium every year — equivalent to many billions of doses, causing massive social and economic dislocation as China struggled to cope with a crippling, empire-wide addiction. Today, many Chinese still refer to the era as “the century of humiliation.” In India and Pakistan, too, the effect was no less dramatic, as colonists forced farmers into planting inedible poppy fields (and, later, tea) rather than subsistence crops, causing waves of huge famines, the frequency of which had never been seen before.

Millions of losers

The story is much more nuanced than some “CIA controls the world’s drugs” conspiracy theories make out. There are no U.S. soldiers loading up Afghan carts with opium. However, many commanders are knowingly enabling warlords who do. “The U.S. military and CIA bear a large responsibility for the opium production boom in Afghanistan,” Professor Mercille said, explaining:

Post-9/11, they basically allied themselves with a lot of Afghan strongmen and warlords who happened to be involved in some way in drug production and trafficking. Those individuals were acting as local allies for the U.S. and NATO, and therefore were largely protected from retribution or arrest for drug trafficking because they were U.S. allies.”

From the ground, the war in Afghanistan has looked a lot like the war on drugs in Latin America and previous colonial campaigns in Asia, with a rapid militarization of the area and the empowerment of pliant local elites, which immediately begin to embezzle the massive profits that quietly disappear into black holes. All the while, millions of people pay the price, suffering inside a militarized death zone and turning to drugs as a coping mechanism. In the story of the opium boom, there are few winners, but there are millions of losers.

The Finders: CIA Ties to Child Sex Cult Obscured as Coverage Goes from Sensationalism to Silence

By Elizabeth Vos

Source

The Finders trail would ultimately lead to allegations of a cult involved in ritual abuse, an international child-trafficking ring, evidence of child abuse confirmed and later denied, and ties with the CIA, which was alleged to have interfered in the case.

WASHINGTON — In February 1987, an anonymous phone tip was called into the Tallahassee police department reporting that six children were dirty, hungry, and acting like animals in the custody of two well-dressed men in a Tallahassee, Florida park. That phone call would kick off the Finders scandal: a series of events and multiple investigations even more bizarre than the initial report.

The trail would ultimately lead to allegations of a cult involved in ritual abuse, an international child-trafficking ring, evidence of child abuse confirmed and later denied, and ties with the CIA, which was alleged to have interfered in the case. No one was ever prosecuted in the wake of the initial 1987 investigation or a 1993 inquiry into the allegations of CIA involvement: official denials were maintained, and authorities stated that no evidence of criminal activity was ever found. However, documents that have emerged over time beg significant questions as to the validity of the official narrative.

In contrast with other historical human trafficking rings covered in the independent press, including those I have previously discussed, the Finders scandal presents as something of a phantom. This is in consequence of the lack of adult victims who have come forward, an absence of hard evidence viewable to the public, and an absence of extensive trials or convictions. Further impeding the willingness of most journalists to cover such a story were claims of ritualistic abuse that were hyped by corporate media at the time of the incident, as well as allegations of a CIA-led coverup that were less widely recognized by the legacy press.

The story is further complicated by the fact that it takes place in three basic stages: the initial 1987 investigation spread across multiple states and law enforcement agencies; a subsequent 1993 inquiry into allegations of a CIA coverup and interference in the 1987 investigation; and the emergence of Customs Service documents detailing new aspects of initial searches of Finders properties which was followed by the publication of hundreds of documents from both investigations to the FBI vault in 2019.

By initially sensationalizing the issue via the framing of the Finders as a satanic cult, the media profited from immediate shock value while permitting this very sensationalism to become the premise for dismissing other aspects of the story and Finders ties to the CIA to remain unexplored.

The 1987 Investigation

On February 4, 1987, two men dressed in suits and ties in the company of six bug-bitten, dirty, hungry children were arrested in Tallahassee, Florida, on charges of child abuse after a concerned citizen called local police. Initially, Tallahassee police were concerned that the children might have been kidnapped and were being trafficked across state lines. The U.S. Customs Service, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the FBI became involved in the attempt to identify the two men based on suspicions of interstate criminal activity including the possibility of child pornography.

The story exploded on a national scale after investigators linked the pair, identified as Douglas Ammerman and Michael Houlihan (also referred to as Michael Holwell), with a Washington D.C.-based group known as the Finders, which authorities publicly referred to as a “cult.” Initially, Tallahassee police reported that at least two of the children showed signs of sexual abuse.

Houlihan and Ammerman first told police that they were transporting the children to a school for brilliant children in Mexico. However, this explanation as to the purpose of the children’s trip would change significantly, with Finders members later stating that the group were on an adventure in Florida. The Finders group was found to have multiple properties in Washington, D.C. and a farm in rural Madison County, Virginia. It also became clear that the Finders were highly skilled with early computer technology, which would become a major aspect of the case as it unfolded.

The Finders

News reports across the country headlined allegations of ritual abuse for approximately six days after the initial arrests, before a tidal shift by both the media and authorities began on February 10. The New York Times reported on that day:

Local police officials announced here today that six children found last week in Florida had apparently not been kidnapped and that there was no evidence to show that the secretive group that has been raising them is a cult involved in child abuse. The statement from the Metropolitan Police Department conflicted with accounts from the police in Tallahassee, Fla., where the children were found, unwashed and hungry, last week. Officials there said this morning that at least two of the children had signs of sexual abuse.

As described by the Times and the Chicago Tribune, the children were placed in police protective custody after threats were received at the shelters where they had originally been housed. Eventually, the mothers of the children were reported to have been Finders members and the children were said to be transported by Houlihan and Ammerman with the full consent of their parents. Hence, suspicions of kidnapping and trafficking rapidly lost credibility, though issues of abuse remained. The original strong allegations of sexual abuse of at least two of the six children were eventually contradicted by Florida authorities.

In March 1987, Houlihan and Ammerman were released with charges dropped for lack of evidence, and all of the children were eventually returned to their mothers. The official and media consensus was that the entire issue was a miscommunication blown out of proportion, and that the Finders were simply a 1960’s-esque “alternative lifestyle community” with unusual education methods.

The 1993 inquiry into an Intelligence Community coverup

U.S. Customs Special Agent Ramon J. Martinez claimed in a memorandum that during his participation in the searches of two of the Finder’s properties in Washington he witnessed evidence of the Finders’ intent to traffick children and other potentially criminal acts. Martinez wrote that he was unable to review the evidence collected at the locations after multiple attempts to do so, and that he was eventually told by a third party at the MPD precinct that the Finders group had come under the protection of the CIA, which had interfered with the investigation by deeming the issue an “internal matter,” and had the case files labeled “Secret,” with no further action to be taken or evidence available for review. Clearly, Martinez’s account detailing what he witnessed presents a strong counter-narrative to the official story.

A man named Skip Clements allegedly communicated the U.S. Customs documents and other records to then-Florida Rep. Tom Lewis (R) and North Carolina Rep. Charlie Rose (D). Stemming in part from their protests, as well as the prospect of CBS’s 48 Hours producing a segment on the Finders story (which never aired), the Department of Justice announced it would investigate allegations of CIA interference in the 1987 investigation in late 1993. The previously mentioned congressmen claimed publicly that the Finders may have benefited from protection of the U.S. government agencies, with U.S.News & World Report writing in December 1993, (as the DOJ investigation was getting underway), that Lewis had asked:

Could our own government have something to do with this Finders organization and [have] turned their backs on these children? That’s what the evidence points to…. I can tell you that we’ve got a lot of people scrambling, and that wouldn’t be happening if there was nothing here.”

The DOJ’s investigation resulted in a verdict of no evidence of CIA interference and no evidence of criminal activity on the part of the Finders, and it represented the official and legal end of the story.

The 2019 publication of FBI Vault documents

Eventually, Customs documents including Ramon Martinez’s memo made their way onto the internet. The exact method by which this occurred remains murky, with the best copy of the documents being hosted by the website of now-deceased Ted Gunderson, who served as an FBI special agent in charge and head of the Los Angeles FBI.

I contacted Martinez in 2017 and confirmed that he authored the document and that it is genuine, but to date, he has otherwise refused to go on record to comment on the matter with me. Martinez has had limited communication with some other independent journalists, including Derrick Broze of the Conscious Resistance, who produced a documentary on the Finders case in 2019. I also described aspects of the Martinez memo and the Finders case as part of a report on alleged intelligence-tied child abuse scandals penned in August 2019 in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s death and renewed public interest in the overall subject matter.

Just months after Epstein’s death, in October 2019, the FBI began releasing hundreds of Finders investigation documents to their Vault. The publication sparked a storm of attention, but virtually no corporate press coverage aside from a piece by Vice, which framed any interest in the subject as a conspiracy theory.

On their face, the contents of the FBI Vault documents appear to contradict the allegations made by former Special Agent Martinez: they include statements from multiple officers involved in the investigation from various agencies to the effect that they experienced no overt interference in their work from the CIA. Yet, when one looks closely, the documents also corroborate significant aspects of Martinez’s allegations and substantiate questions regarding the Finders’ links with intelligence.

There is the admission that Isabelle Pettie, the wife of Finders leader Marion Pettie, worked for the CIA during the Cold-War era (Pettie also admitted that his son worked for the CIA-linked, Iran Contra-era Air America), and that it was her visas to North Korea, North Vietnam, Russia and elsewhere that had been approved by the State Department. Key documents from the MPD investigation are labeled secret, just as Martinez had claimed, which is bizarre on its face if we are to believe that the Finders were simply an odd “alternative living” commune.

These and other corroborating details add credibility to Martinez’s claims regarding having witnessed other documents that indicated international child trafficking, as well as his assertion that he was told that the case had been deemed a “CIA internal matter.”

The FBI’s Vault publication includes records from the preliminary Tallahassee police department investigation, the MPD investigation, heavily redacted records from the U.S. Customs Service, documents from the Washington Metro Field Office (WMFO) of the FBI, and other agencies, as well as the correspondence and documentation of the 1993 inquiry, mostly from the WMFO to FBI Headquarters. The documents are scattered throughout the three published sections in no coherent order, and are interspersed with news reports from the time ranging from the initial arrests and the child custody issue to the 1993 inquiry into CIA connections with and protection of the group.

Bizarrely, a map relating to the McMartin Preschool scandal is also included in the publication for no known reason, since at this time the cases are completely unrelated aside from both having contained allegations of satanic abuse. Regardless of the intent behind the document’s inclusion, it serves to further associate the Finders with the so-called “moral panic” scandals of the era, which I would argue distracts from the issue of intelligence ties to the case.

FBI McMartin Preschool Map

A fresh look

Before moving further into analysis of the available evidence, it’s important to recognize a number of problems we face in understanding the information published in the FBI’s Vault. First, a multitude of large, often critically placed redactions plague the documents, the most important of which are not labeled with privacy exemptions but are instead labeled “S,” presumably meaning that the information is classified as secret.

Another problem involves the fact that information requested by some agencies — especially during the 1993 preliminary inquiry into a CIA coverup — was not provided to the relevant investigating agencies. Then there is the phenomenon of information disappearing outright, including vanishing evidence and instances of records never having been kept, resulting in conflicting accounts of the existence of critical pieces of evidence.

This series will challenge both the sensationalism and the silence of establishment media surrounding the Finders narrative by examining the allegations made by the U.S. Customs documents in view of the FBI’s more recent Vault publications, which shed fresh light on the connections between the Finders and the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

A School for Spooks: The London University Department Churning Out NATO Spies

April 16th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

Alan Macleod uncovers the deep links between the British security state and the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, responsible for training a large number of British, American, and European agents and defense analysts.

LONDON — Last week, MintPress exposed how the supposedly independent investigative collective Bellingcat is, in fact, funded by a CIA cutout organization and filled with former spies and state intelligence operatives. However, one part of the story that has remained untold until now is Bellingcat’s close ties to the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, an institution with deep links to the British security state and one that trains a large number of British, American and European agents and defense analysts.

A school for spooks

A prestigious university located in the heart of London, King’s College has, in its own words, “a number of contracts and agreements with various departments within government, including the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Ministry of Defence.” Some of those contracts are up to 10 years long. The university has so far refused to elaborate on the agreements, telling investigative news outlet Declassified UK that doing so could undermine U.K. security services.

A 2009 study published by the CIA spoke approvingly of how beneficial it can be to “use universities as a means of intelligence training,” noting that, “exposure to an academic environment, such as the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, can add several elements that may be harder to provide within the government system.” The paper, written by two King’s College staffers, is essentially a request to the agency to send more of its recruits there, and boasts about how the department’s staff have “extensive and well-rounded intelligence experience” and how their programs “offer a containing space in which analysts from every part of the community can explore with each other the interplay of ideas about their profession.”

In 2013, former CIA Director Leon Panetta took time out of his schedule as then-secretary of defense to visit the Department of War Studies, where he expressed his profound gratitude to the unit. “I deeply appreciate the work that you do to train and to educate our future national security leaders, many of whom are in this audience,” he said, before adding that it was those young leaders who must ensure that NATO had the creativity, innovation and the commitment to develop and share capabilities in order to meet future security threats, citing the need to expand into tech, surveillance and cyberwarfare.

CIA Kings College
Former CIA head Leon Panetta exits King’s College after giving a speech in 2013. Photo | DVIDS

It was this department that Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins joined in 2018 as visiting research associate, with Bellingcat maintaining a close relationship with it to this day.

After studying their writers’ backgrounds, MintPress can confirm that no fewer than six Bellingcat employees or contributors — including Cameron ColquhounJacob BeedersLincoln PigmanAliaume LeroyChristiaan Triebert and senior investigator Nick Waters — all pursued postgraduate studies within the department, the most popular being the “Conflict, Security and Development” degree overseen by Professor Mats Berdal.

For 13 years, Professor Berdal was employed by the Norwegian Defence University College, Norway’s version of West Point. Berdal is one of a host of King’s College War Studies academics who previously taught there, including one who continues to be an officer in the Norwegian Armed Forces, serving in multiple NATO conflicts in the Middle East.

While many in the West picture Norway as a peaceful, enlightened nation, the country is actually a key driving force within NATO; former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is the organization’s current secretary general. Sending troops and other assistance, it was the U.S.’ partner in attacks on Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya. Norway has among the highest per capita military spending in Europe and is one of the minority of NATO members to exceed the defense spending benchmark of 2% of GDP.

A network of pro-war think tanks

Before joining King’s College, Professor Berdal was Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), one of the world’s most influential think tanks. Also situated in central London, the organization is directly funded by NATO and its member states, as well as by major weapons manufacturers such as Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing and Raytheon. In 2016, the IISS was the subject of a major scandal after it was found to have secretly accepted £25 million — around $34 million — from the government of Bahrain.

Founded in 1958, the IISS provided much of the intellectual basis behind the Cold War scaremongering around Soviet military capacity, thereby pushing NATO members to spend more on arms. On its advisory board are a former NATO secretary general, the former chief of defense intelligence for the Israeli Defense Forces, and, until recently, the CEO of Lockheed Martin. Today, the think tank is a major driver in the increasing hostility towards ChinaRussia and North Korea. A number of other current Department of War Studies academics have held positions at the IISS as well. Indeed, King’s College boasts that one of the “key benefits” of studying there is its “established links” with the IISS.

A second pro-war think tank with which King’s College prides itself on working closely is the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI). RUSI’s funding comes from many of the same sources as the IISS’s. Its senior vice president is retired American General David Petraeus and its chairman is Lord Hague, Britain’s secretary of state from 2010 to 2015.

A host of King’s College academics — including Jack SpenceBenedict WilkinsonBrian Holden-ReidWalter LadwigThomas Maguire and Neil Melvin — have also held positions at RUSI. Perhaps the most notable King’s College-RUSI crossover is Professor Sir David Omand, who was formerly the think tank’s vice president, as well as the head of GCHQ, Britain’s version of the NSA.

Source | RUSI

Bellingcat writer Dan Kaszeta is an associate fellow at the organization. Bellingcat, RUSI and King’s College often cite each other in papers and reports, providing something of a united front on controversial issues of statecraft.

One man who links the IISS and RUSI together is Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, a key member of the Department of War Studies who went on to become King College’s vice principal. A powerful figure in British politics, Freedman contributed to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s 1999 speech in which he established the Blair Doctrine, a maxim that NATO could and should militarily intervene anywhere in the world to stop human rights violations.

A rogues’ gallery

For an institution that prides itself on cultivating independent thought, there exists a remarkable overlap between the staff of the Department of War Studies and the innermost halls of power of the British state. Professor John Gearson, for example, was principal defence policy adviser to the Defense Select Committee at the House of Commons, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Defense, and taught terrorism and asymetric warfare to military officers at the U.K. Defense Academy.

Another professor, Michael Goodman, is a current British Army reservist and formerly the Official Historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee (a body that oversees Britain’s intelligence organizations).

Visiting professors include Paul Rimmer, who was deputy chief of defence intelligence until last year; Lord Robertson, who was secretary general of NATO at the time of the Afghanistan invasion; and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former minister of defense. The longtime cabinet member was the creator of the Rifkind Doctrine — the controversial British policy on nuclear weapons. Rifkind rejected the idea that the country should use atomic missiles only as a last resort after being attacked, insisting that he could also use them simply to “deliver an unmistakable message of Britain’s willingness to defend her vital interests.”

Vera Michlin-Shapir
King’s College visiting fellow Vera Michlin-Shapir moderates a panel in Tel Aviv on the future of post-war Syria. Photo | INSS

It is not just British officials who teach King’s College students, however. Christopher Kolenda, for instance, was commander of an 800-man strong U.S. task force in Afghanistan, where he “pioneered innovative approaches to counterinsurgency” according to his bio at the hawkish think tank the Center for New American Security (CNAS), where he is a senior fellow. CNAS recently released a report calling for more “innovative” use of what it called “coercive economic statecraft,” (i.e., sanctions) and continues to saber rattle against China and Russia.

Between 2009 and 2010, Kolenda was a strategic advisor to COMISAF, the Commander of International Security Assistance Force. In plain English, he provided some of the brains behind the occupation of Afghanistan. Before pursuing a role in academia, he was also a senior advisor to Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy and three 4-star generals. Flournoy was President Joe Biden’s first choice to run the Pentagon.

The department also contains a number of Israeli academics, including Vera Michlin-Shapir, a former official in her country’s National Security Council who worked in the prime minister’s office. Meanwhile Ofer Fridman served as an officer in the IDF between 1999 and 2011, during which time it was carrying out some of its worst war crimes against Palestine and Lebanon. After leaving the IDF, Fridman became an arms dealer, becoming the head of non-lethal weapons at LHB Ltd., which describes itself as “the leading company in Israel for security and defense advanced solutions.” In 2016, King’s College also hosted a lecture by the former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli secret police force.

The department has links to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well, with one senior research fellow, Nawaf Obaid, a former special advisor to the Saudi Ambassador in the U.K. and Ireland and a consultant at the Royal Court in Riyadh.

Weapons spending good, Russia bad.

While the department’s staff are concerning enough, much of King’s College academic output is even more troubling, and appears to be completely in line with that of NATO and weapons contractors. One study named “A benefit, not a burden: The security, economic and strategic value of Britain’s defence industry,” for instance, reads like a press release from Raytheon, extolling how many people the industry employs. The report claimed that remaining one of the world’s top arms manufacturers was crucial in “build[ing] a secure and resilient U.K. and to help shape a stable world.” “Without a vibrant and thriving domestic defence industrial base,” it warned, “there is a risk that the U.K. will jeopardise its freedom to act in an unstable, fast-changing world,” concluding that the government should protect or “ideally expand” its defense spending budget.

report from last August also lobbied the government to invest in making the United Kingdom a “leading nation for space.” “Investment in space surveillance capacity is key to seizing the commercial and diplomatic opportunities offered by space while defending U.K. economic and security interests,” it concludes. Surprisingly, the report insists that it would take only a “modest investment” from the government to turn Great Britain into a leading force in a rapidly expanding market.

King’s College also published a study, titled “The future strategic direction of NATO,” advising that the organization “urgently needs a coherent policy on China” and that it must re-up its commitment to countering Russia. It recommends that the majority of member states increase their military budgets and that they must “share the burden of responsibility on nuclear weapons” by allowing the U.S. to store missiles inside their territories.

Meanwhile, their 2018 report “Weaponizing news: RT, Sputnik and targeted disinformation” analyzes Russian state-backed media outlets and accuses them of carrying out a campaign of “information-psychological warfare” over its coverage of contentious events such as the alleged Skripal poisoning and the wars in Ukraine and Syria. The report claims Russian media is turning news into a weapon by projecting an image of strength and stability while highlighting flaws in Western democracies. While praising the work of Bellingcat and disinfo outlet “Prop or Not,” it concludes by advising that the West must “use technical means to prevent propaganda.”

Thomas Rid King's College
King’s College professor Thomas Rid testifies before a Senate committee on Russian meddling. Photo | CSPAN

These technical solutions, we now know, have largely entailed NATO indirectly taking control of social media. In 2018, Facebook announced that NATO’s cutout organization, the Atlantic Council, was becoming its “eyes and ears,” giving it significant control over curating its news feed, supposedly in an attempt to limit disinformation. Yet many of the most lurid stories around RussiaGate were started by the Council itself, which pumped out report after report accusing virtually every political movement in Europe outside the establishment beltway as being the “Kremlin’s Trojan Horses.”

King’s College staff have also been crucial in propagating the idea of Russian interference in American politics, with Professor Thomas Rid testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the “dark art” of Russian meddling, and condemning WikiLeaks and alternative media journalists as unwitting agents of disinformation. Rid previously described 2016 as the “biggest election hack in U.S. history.”

Earlier this year, Facebook also hired former NATO press officer and Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Ben Nimmo as head of its intelligence team. Meanwhile Reddit appointed former Atlantic Council Deputy Director of Middle Eastern Strategy Jessica Ashooh as its head of policy. And Eliot Higgins, of course, was a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council as well. In recent years, social media giants like Facebook and Google have radically altered their algorithms, demoting content from adversarial nations, but also attacking alternative media that challenge the power of NATO and the national security state.

Today, the Department of War Studies hosted an online seminar with two senior NATO officials who discussed what they saw as Russia and China’s increasingly aggressive actions, as well as new ways in which NATO can secure its control over the internet.

A military-academic-journalistic nexus

What is being described is a network of military, think-tank and media units all working towards furthering the goals of the national security state. Bellingcat regularly holds seminars and courses at King’s College, teaching the next generation of state officials how to use big-data and surveillance tools.

While King’s College provides an academic veneer for the national security state, Bellingcat provides a journalistic one. This cluster of think tanks, academic reports, and newsy investigative articles all cite one another as credible, independent sources when, in reality, they are all part of the same network furthering an agenda. It should be noted that this was an investigation into just one department in one school in one college of the University of London. The links to the highest levels of power were so profound and so manifold that it often seemed harder to find someone in the department who was not linked to military or intelligence communities. Thus, one could be forgiven for mistaking the Department of War Studies for a department of war mongers.

Recruited, Arrested, On Trial: Yemeni Spies Tell of Their Reluctant Work for CIA, MI6

Yemen spies Feature photo

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

The CIA and MI6 have recruited hundreds of Yemenis to work as mercenaries and spies gathering intelligence and coordinates of Yemeni military positions, promising them money and even passports for the dangerous work.

SANA’A, YEMEN — There is little dispute that the United States and the United Kingdom have been major benefactors to the Saudi Kingdom in its six-year-long attempt to use military might to bring Yemen to heel. Both countries have provided billions in hi-tech weapons, intelligence information, and training to what is arguably the Middle East’s most repressive monarchy. But according to the confessions of six men arrested last month amid the ongoing battle over Yemen’s strategic Marib province, Western support for the Saudi-led Coalition goes much farther than conventional military support.

Arrested Yemeni spies speak to MintPress

The CIA and MI6, its British counterpart, have recruited hundreds of Yemenis to work as mercenaries and spies gathering intelligence and coordinates of Yemeni military positions in Marib, al-Mahrah, Sana’a and Sadaa, and providing that information to their handlers, according to confessions given to the Yemeni Security Intelligence Service (YSIS) by at least six Yemeni nationals currently on trial in Sana’a for violating Article 130 of Yemen’s Penal Code.

The six men, who are being held in a detention facility in Sana’a, agreed to speak to MintPress about their experiences. They insist that abject poverty as a result of the ongoing war drove them to participate in the operation, which they said came with the promise of a $300 payout.

According to the men, the operation was carried out primarily at the Ghaydah Airport in eastern al-Mahrah. There, they joined dozens of young Yemenis recruited by the CIA for training by  American and British officers on how to properly identify and describe; the use of cameras, sophisticated software programs and devices used to share coordinates; information gathering; and how to find and identify military leaders and headquarters, workshops, factories, laboratories, warehouses, checkpoints and launching sites for missiles and drones. Even the locations of the personal homes and vehicles of Ansar Allah members and other vocal opponents of the Saudi intervention were sought, according to the men.

A careful recruitment process

Their recruitment process was long and delicate, beginning when the men were approached by Yemeni officers working for the Aden-based National Security Agency. After agreeing to travel to al-Mahrah to learn more, the men were housed in hotels before being brought to special cottages at the Ghaydah Airport where they were interviewed by American and British intelligence officers. Muhammad Har, one of the six charged, told MintPress that he was initially approached by Fayez Muhammad Ismail Al-Muntaser, a former officer of the National Security Agency and commander of the Saudi-led Coalition’s Special Missions Battalion.

“When it was my turn, I entered the [unintelligible] and was surprised that members of the committee were Americans. One was asking the questions, the second was writing data, the third was taking fingerprints, while the fourth black-skinned one was translating,” Ali Mohammed Abdullah al-Jomani, a 34-year-old detainee from Haddah recalled. Al-Jomani, who says he used to earn the equivalent of about $10 per day, was put up in the Taj Al-Arab Hotel for three months during the initiation process. “When we went back to conduct the second interview, we did not find the Americans, but rather British officers. They repeated the previous questions about our ability to use maps, drive cars, and use computers.” This tracks with allegations by the Yemeni Security Intelligence Service that the CIA was recruiting young Yemenis and handing them over to British officers for training and further handling.

According to the men, there were two separate camps at the airport, one American and the other Saudi. “After we were accepted, we were trained on how to describe people, cars, and homes and how to share data and photos through WhatsApp,” recalled Basem Ali Ahmed al-Kharouga, a 29-year-old detainee from Sana’a. “The training included field exercises inside and outside of the airport.” Al-Kharouga had long dreamed of traveling abroad and thought that he had finally found his way to flee the violence when he was promised a foreign passport in exchange for the work.

Few options for young Yemenis

In addition to poverty and unemployment, there are other reasons that Yemen’s youth would risk life and freedom to work with foreign intelligence services, perhaps the most prominent being the blockade levied against the country by the Saudi Coalition since 2015. Before the war, Yemenis would regularly leave the country for business, pleasure and to seek medical care. Now — with seaports and airports, especially the once-bustling Sana’a International Airport, effectively shuttered by the Saudi Coalition — Yemenis are no longer able to flee the violence in their country or travel abroad, leaving many desperate young Yemenis with few options.

Hospitals, schools, office buildings, and infrastructure like water wells and sewage networks have been destroyed in the wake of Saudi bombing campaigns, which are often carried out with U.S. and British targeting information gleaned from their network of recruited spies. Funerals, weddings, homes, and other civilian facilities have been targeted, leading to the death and wounding of thousands of civilians and making American and British intelligence services complicit, at best, in the wanton violence.

“We were sent to Marib, me and another guy who went by the name of ‘Akram Amer,’ on one mission that lasted for four days. We were assigned by [a man named] ‘George’ to spy on the home of Ali Salem al-Huraizy near al-Rawda Park,” Aymen Mujahid Qaid Muhammad Harish, one of the six detainees, told MintPress. Among Harish’s tasks was to monitor sites in the city of Arhab, north of Sana’a, where the Saudi Coalition would later target a home where a funeral was taking place. The double-tap airstrike left a child and nine women dead and, according to Harish, his Western handlers, who were responsible for providing the Saudis with targeting data, are to blame for the attack.

CIA Partners with Google, Amazon and IBM in Latest Big Tech Procurement Drive

By Raul Diego

Source

The vaunted “17 intelligence agencies” that comprise the U.S. intel community will be sharing a network of private-sector cloud computing service providers which includes Microsoft, Google, Oracle, IBM, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of a 15-year contract said to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

AWS currently holds the sole contract to provide cloud computing services to a number of intelligence agencies, including the FBI and the NSA. That contract is set to expire in 2023 and this new award – managed by the CIA – will further weaken Amazon’s once privileged position in the federal money sweepstakes, which had already taken a hard hit when Microsoft was unexpectedly chosen over Bezos’ company for the Department of Defense’s own cloud services contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program.

The Central Intelligence Agency will take full advantage of its access to money without oversight to disburse the government funds at the agency’s discretion. Although speculated to rise into the tens of billions, the CIA has no plans to disclose the real value of the C2E contracts. The Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) procurement program was unveiled in February by the premier U.S. spy agency in a bid to establish a cloud computing service platform for the country’s intelligence agencies separate from JEDI, which remains enmeshed in a protracted legal contest with AWS and is two years behind implementation.

The five tech giants will compete with each other for “task orders” that come in from the multitude of intelligence agencies throughout the country and will span every security clearance level up to and including top secret clearance. The contract calls for the building of infrastructure and all other basic cloud services, as well as professional services and public-facing services.

The more things change…

Many seem surprised by the multi-contractor, ad hoc nature of the C2E awards because it “appears not to settle on a particular cloud provider” and while these dynamics do stray from the relatively recent trend of sole-contract awards and tacit monopolies many corporations have enjoyed through similar public-private partnerships, this particular practice of pitting contractors against each other for services requisitioned by the government is not new.

In fact, such practices are an intrinsic part of the military industrial complex and its historical origins at the height of the British empire. The start of the Glorious Revolution in 1688 marked the beginning of 125 years of constant war for the global superpower of the day and the slow but inexorable rise of an industry of war made up exclusively of freelancers who would make the guns, rifles, and bullets their bloodthirsty Queen required.

As the empire grew, the processes for the production of weapons underwent a dramatic change from artisanal modes to full-fledged factory-style production; all spurred by the biggest army and navy in the world, which was pillaging and extracting resources to fuel the burgeoning enterprise of capitalism.

Workers at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Liverpool, England inspect the finished Sten guns. Photo | Imperial War Musuem

This period also fine-tuned the relationship between the state and independent contractors, with the former establishing laws governing them in order to leverage their overwhelming advantage. Other strategies were also employed to both suppress the price the Crown paid for materiel and to make sure that no single contractor held too big a stake in the supply chain.

In her book “Empire of Guns,” Priya Satia details this entire process and destroys the myth that the Industrial Revolution was the result of a cotton-picking machine when even a cursory look at the history shows that it was guns and a state engaged in perpetual war that laid the foundations of our current economic paradigm.

Now, we stand on the threshold of the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” in a world that has perfected weapons of war to atomic levels. New ‘cyberweapons’ are being forged and it is only fitting that the war industry, led today by the United States, would return to its origins to maintain its own monopoly on human suffering and devastation in the name of profit.

Return to the roots

The public-private partnership has been another significant trend that also mirrors a ubiquitous trend in Victorian England. But, in today’s world, a parallel legal system has grown alongside the state’s war industry and is also now at the disposal of the corporations who wish to dispute any deal, leading to considerable delays in the execution of contracts.

Cases like the JEDI suit affect the military readiness goals of the national security state if it cannot move forward with a particular initiative due to litigation. Another recent case is holding up the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency’s (CISA) efforts to centralize inflow and outflow of data regarding cyber-threats.

In October, the Government Services Agency (GSA), awarded a $13 Million-dollar contract to a company called EnDyna to “create a centralized database that agencies can use to report, discover and take actions against cyber threat information.” A much larger competitor, HackerOne, filed a protest questioning the award on grounds of failure to meet eligibility requirements and the smaller company’s competence to carry out the work.

Technicalities like these can hold up a project in court for years, so it makes perfect sense for the state-run war industry to return to its roots and apply the tried and true principles of divide and conquer against the people making their guns, whether real or virtual. By taking the first few spots on the Big Tech pecking order and putting them in a room to duke it out for a government contract, the war establishment is recognizing the growing power of these firms and is unleashing the CIA to curb it and diminish threats to the supply chain of the twenty-first century’s permanent war economy.

NATO – A Comatose Body Whose ‘Mission’ Seems To Be Little More Than To Preserve And Expand Itself.

NATO –  A  Comatose Body Whose ‘Mission’ Seems To Be Little More Than To  Preserve And Expand Itself.

November 28, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

PART 1.

In 1851, France had the misfortune to fall victim to a coup by the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, who styled himself Napoleon III. Karl Marx had been an enthusiastic supporter of the French 1848 uprising – one among those which had taken place throughout Europe – and viewed the coup as the work of a buffoon who happened to put together an odd coalition of social classes– businesspeople, aristocratic landlords, and a rabble of barely employed street peddlers and other workers with no consciousness of their own class interests. With his wicked wit, Marx saw Napoleon III as a dramatic come-down for France from the European-wide empire of Napoleon I. Marx wrote the famous words:

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He (Hegel) forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

In addition to the self-perpetuating, bloated monstrosity of NATO there should be added the various spook agencies, CIA, MI5, MI6 MOSSAD, BND, 5-EYES, and the rest whose mission is generally unstated and, for many, clouded in secrecy but nonetheless visible enough to those with eyes to see. Their permanent existence as a state within a state and their purported goals concerning ‘national security’ are not necessarily made clear, and, in fact, they might often be the very opposite of what they claim. Also included in the list of non-state actors are the NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which in fact is not an NGO since it receives funding from the US government which makes it a GO. Along with this is the Human Rights Watch (HRW) as well as Soros’s Open Society Foundation, and these are just some of the lavishly underwritten think tanks and secretly funded organizations which have proliferated into the rich soil that sustains them. (Please see Ray McGovern on MICCIMATT) – Military Industrial Congressional Intelligence Media Academic Think Tanks, in this respect. (1) Just how large these sprawling bureaucracies are and how far their influence reaches is almost impossible to ascertain. It could I suppose be compared to a late stage carcinoma on the body politic which is actually killing the host. Given the enormous dimensions of this geo-political super-blob I will restrict myself to a few but telling examples of its activities and their outcomes.

The Trial Run: NATO And The Destruction Of Yugoslavia

In the early 1990s NATO had been taking a particular interest in the events in the independent sovereign state of Yugoslavia. Between June 1991 and April 1992, four republics declared independence, and, egged on by Germany, the local NATO enforcer, Slovenia, and Croatia were the most important. Only Serbia and Montenegro remained federated but the status of ethnic Serbs outside Serbia and Montenegro, and that of ethnic Croats outside Croatia, remained unsolved. This was the beginning of the deconstruction of Yugoslavia – part of a longer-term dismantling which would ultimately also include reducing the USSR/Russia to vassal status or failing that, of outright occupation. This contrived disintegration of Yugoslavia ultimately laid the early basis for the complete fragmentation of the Yugoslav state. The secessionist crisis which had started in 1991 ultimately laid the basis for overt NATO intervention in the Kosovo war in 1999, all of which is well-documented.

In 1999 NATO openly entered the conflict and began a massive blitz against the rump state of Serbia, a country with no aerial defence capability, and which was subjected to a merciless bombardment of the country with thousands of cruise missiles and bombs in what would become the largest military assault in Europe since the Second World War. NATO’s campaign of air and missile strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which consisted of Serbia and Montenegro, lasted 78 days, ending on June 10, 1999. During the campaign, dubbed ‘Operation Noble Anvil’ by NATO, alliance warplanes carried out some 2,300 sorties against 995 facilities, firing nearly 420,000 missiles, bombs and other projectiles with a total mass of about 22,000 metric tonnes. Belgrade was a chief target and the bombs also fell on especial targets such as the Chinese Embassy and the City’s important radio/tv station where a number of Serbian journalists were at work. An accident. Maybe. Apologies? Of course not, these were ‘good bombs’ after all.

This set down the marker for future NATO regime changes. Yugoslavia was followed by both the enlargement of NATO and the conduct of US-NATO wars and military interventions in the Middle East starting with Iraq, along with the fabled Weapons of Mass Destruction. The conduct of US-NATO wars and military interventions in the Middle East which had spread into Iraq, was also to spread to Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iran.

And all of these interventions followed a similar pattern.

The NATO war machine operated by lining up the above states for ‘regime change’. This represented something of a change from the usual pattern as NATO had always regarded itself as being a defensive barrier to Soviet/Russian ‘aggression’. But the Yugoslav operation signalled a 180-degree change of policy. This caused some misgivings within the alliance as the United States had pushed NATO to become an offensive rather than a purely defensive security organization.

‘’The alliance now also pursues military missions in the areas such as the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Middle-East, and North Africa. All of those theatres lie outside, – in some cases far outside – NATO’s original territorial concern. Such military missions are also vastly different from NATO’s original purpose: i.e., the defence of Western Europe from possible aggression by the (then) Soviet Union.’’ (2)

What was of crucial importance to these wars of choice, however, was the role played by the MSM. It was the demonization of Heads of State in the targeted countries – in turn Milosevic, Saddam and Gaddafi found themselves caste as pantomime villains in a rogues gallery of ne’er-do-wells who were subjected and groomed by the MSM for these roles. Granted Saddam and Gaddafi were not Martin Luther King or Gandhi, but they were however the legitimate Heads of State of their own nations. It could be argued that Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy also had blood on their hands, but for some reason, best known to the western MSM and to the political class, this didn’t count.

But Milosevic was a more difficult nut to crack. Not that the NATO defamation brigade didn’t try. The anti-Milosevic crescendo was key element in the myth structure which held that Milosevic incited the Serbs to violence, setting loose the genie of Serb nationalism from the bottle that had contained it under Tito. But neither these remarks by Milosevic nor his June 28, 1989, speech on the six-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo had anything like the characteristics imputed to them. Instead Milosevic used both speeches to appeal to multi-ethnic tolerance, accompanied by a warning against the threat posed to Yugoslavia by nationalism—“hanging like a sword over their heads all the time”

The MSM-concocted crescendo surrounding Milosevic was reaching hysterical heights. In a commentary in 2000, Tim Judah wrote that Milosevic was responsible for wars in “Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo (Wow! Not bad, that’s some going! – FL) four wars since 1991 and [that] the result of these terrible conflicts, which began with the slogan ‘All Serbs in One State,’ is the cruellest irony.” Sometime journalist, sometime spokesperson for the ICTY at The Hague, Florence Hartmann of Le Monde, and The New York Times’s Marlise Simons wrote about the “incendiary nationalism” of the man who “rose and then clung to power by resurrecting old nationalist grudges and inciting dreams of a Greater Serbia … the prime engineer of wars that pitted his fellow Serbs against the Slovenes, the Croats, the Bosnians, the Albanians of Kosovo and ultimately the combined forces of the entire NATO, wrote that “Long before the war began, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and, following his example, Franjo Tudjman in Croatia, had turned their backs on the Yugoslav ideal of an ethnically mixed federal State and set about carving out their own ethnically homogeneous States.’’ Such were the accusations. But then something strange happened:

It was reported on Wednesday 28 February 2007 00.08 GMT that Slobodan Milosevic, who it is alleged had died of a heart attack in 2006, was posthumously exonerated on Monday when the international court of justice ruled that Serbia was not responsible for the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. The former president of Serbia had always argued that neither Yugoslavia nor Serbia had command of the Bosnian Serb army, and this has now been upheld by the world court in The Hague. By implication, Serbia cannot be held responsible for any other war crimes attributed to the Bosnian Serbs.

The allegations against Milosevic over Bosnia and Croatia were cooked up in 2001, two years after an earlier indictment had been issued against him by the separate International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the height of NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia in 1999. Notwithstanding the atrocities on all sides in Kosovo, NATO claims that Serbia was pursuing genocide turned out to be war propaganda, so the ICTY prosecutor decided to bolster a weak case by trying to “get” Milosevic for Bosnia as well. It took two years and 300 witnesses, but the prosecution never managed to produce conclusive evidence against its star defendant, and its central case was conclusively blown out of the water. (3)

All very convincing and indeed incontrovertible to most rational and neutral observers, but water off a duck’s back for the western MSM, who either simply ignored the findings or found new pastures to cultivate. After the Yugoslavian denouement, the western MSM found itself at a loose end. They had to find somethinnegative to write about Russia, since this was their apparent raison d’etre. This consisted of an ongoing barrage of propaganda including 9/11, Iraq and the WMDs, the recruitment, training, and funding of a US foreign legion of Jihadists pursuing war against Syria, Yemen, Iran and Libya, some still live and ongoing (see below).

PART 2

Politics as Theatre – Graham Greene 1904-1991 Our Man In Havana And The Quiet American.

The above were fictional stories of a transparently bungled MI6 stunt in Cuba and similar CIA cack-handed intrigue in Indo-China. Both shed some light on these James Bond wannabees: what and who they are, how the operate, and just how successful their little plots turn out. Talking of MI6 for example the fact that a group of famous British writers, Graham Greene, Arthur Ransome, Somerset Maugham, Compton Mackenzie and Malcolm Muggeridge, and the philosopher A.J. “Freddie” Ayer, all worked for MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. They are among the many exotic characters who agreed to spy for Britain, mainly during wartime, and who appear in a first authorised history of MI6. Generally these were spies during the war against Germany, so they could be forgiven for their adopting this ‘profession’ (sic). More to the point, however, was that the CIA/MI6 was staffed by complete fools, as is instanced in two of Greene’s novels, to wit: Our Man In Havana, which was frankly hilariouscompared to the more disturbing tale, The Quiet American.

Our Man in Havana is a black semi-comedy, set in Havana during the Fulgencio Batista regime. James Wormold, a British vacuum cleaner retailer, is approached by MI6 operative, Hawthorne, who tries to recruit him for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Wormold’s wife had left him and now, he lives with his beautiful 16-year-old daughter, Milly, who is devoutly Catholic, but also materialistic and manipulative. Since Wormold does not make enough money to pay for Milly’s extravagances, he accepts the offer of a side job in espionage. Because he has no information to send to London, Wormold fabricates his reports using information found in newspapers and invents a fictitious network of agents. Some of the names in his network are those of real people (most of whom he has never met), but some are made up. Wormold tells only his friend and World War I veteran, Doctor Hasselbacher, about his spy work, hiding the truth from Milly.

At one point, he decides to make his reports “exciting” by sending to London sketches of what he describes as a ‘secret military installation’ in the mountains, actually vacuum cleaner parts scaled to a large size. In London, nobody except Hawthorne, the only one to know that Wormold sells vacuum cleaners, doubts this report. However, Hawthorne keeps quiet for fear of losing his job. In the light of the new developments, London sends Wormold a secretary, Beatrice Severn, and a radio assistant codenamed “C” with much spy paraphernalia. Wormwold is eventually uncovered as being a complete imposter. To avoid embarrassment and silence him from speaking to the press, MI6 offers Wormold a teaching post at headquarters and recommends him for the Order of the British Empire. (Episode closed. Not quite. Of course it was fiction, but does the Steele Dossier or, Russiagate ring a bell?)

Similarly, in another of Greene’s novels set in the first US involvement in the Indo-China War, The Quiet American, the British journalist Thomas Fowler is befriended by an American Aid worker, Alden Pyle, who it is understood works for a US aid agency. Actually he is not what he seems and was working for the CIA all along, this was eventually teased out by Fowler, with a romantic background which also involved a triangular relationship between Fowler-Pyle and Fowler’s Vietnamese mistress. Pyle was ultimately uncovered and assassinated by a Vietcong agent.

So much for the fiction.

MI6 – Libya – A Fools’ Playground For Wannabee James Bond Devotees.

In a more serious vein, however, where an actual example of MI6 buffoonery came to light occurred with the Jihadist bomb outrage, carried out by the Jihadist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG – see below) in Manchester UK in 2017. Most detail was not published in the MSM except by the superb investigative journalism of Patrick Cockburn writing in The Independent. Cockburn’s report is worth quoting here in full.

‘’The culpability of the British government and its intelligence agencies which enabled suicide bomber LIFG Salman Abedi to blow himself up at a pop concert in Manchester is being masked one year later by the mood of grief and mourning over the death and injury of so many people.

It is heartrending to hear injured children and the relatives of the dead say they do not hate anybody as a result of their terrible experiences and, if they feel anger at all, it is only directed towards the bomber himself. Victims repeatedly say that they did not want the slaughter at the Manchester Arena to be used to create divisions in their city.

The downside of this praiseworthy attitude is that it unintentionally lets off the hook those British authorities whose flawed policies and mistaken actions really did pave the way towards this atrocity. Appeals against divisiveness and emphasis on the courage of survivors have muted attacks on the government, enabling it to accuse those who criticise it of mitigating the sole guilt of Abedi.

This attitude is highly convenient for former Prime Minister David Cameron who decided in 2011 on military intervention against Muammar Gaddafi. His purported aim was humanitarian concern for the people of Benghazi, but – as a devastatingly critical report by the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs said last year – this swiftly turned into “an opportunistic policy of regime change”.

This NATO intervention succeeded and by the end of the year Gaddafi was dead. Real power in Libya passed to Islamist militias, including those with which the Abedi family were already associated. Pictures show Salman’s brothers posing with guns in their hands. Libya was plunged into an endless civil war and Benghazi, whose people including British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy were so keen to save, is today a sea of ruins. Inevitably, ISIS took advantage of the anarchy in Libya to spread its murderous influence.

This is the Libyan reality, which was created by Cameron and Sarkozy, with sceptical support from Barack Obama, the then US president, who famously referred to the Libyan debacle as a “shit show”.

Libya became a place where the Abedi family, returning from their long exile in Manchester, were able to put their militant Islamist beliefs into practice. They absorbed the toxic variant of Islam espoused by the Al-Qaeda clones, taking advantage of their military experience honed in the Iraq war, such as how to construct a bomb studded with pieces of metal designed to tear holes in human flesh. The bomb materials were easily available in countries like Britain.

Salman Abedi was responsible for what he did, but he could not have killed 22 people and maimed another 139 others, half of them children, if the British government had not acted as it did in Libya in 2011. And its responsibility goes well beyond its disastrous policy of joining the Libyan civil war, overthrowing Gaddafi, and replacing him with warring tribes and militias.

Manchester had since the 1990s become a centre for a small but dangerous group of exiled Libyans belonging to anti-Gaddafi groups, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, originally formed by Libyans fighting the communists in Afghanistan. After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, strict measures were taken by MI5 and the police against Libyans thought likely to sympathise with al-Qaeda in Iraq and, later, ISIS. They were subject to counter-terrorism control orders monitoring and restricting their movements and often had their passports confiscated.

But no sooner had Britain joined the war against Gaddafi than these suspected terrorists became useful allies. Their control-orders were lifted, their passports returned, and they were told that the British government had no problem with them going to Libya to fight against Gaddafi. In place of past restrictions, they were allowed to pass to and fro at British airports. Some militants are reported as saying that when they had problems with counter-terrorism police when flying to Libya, the MI5 officers with whom they were in touch were willing to vouch for them and ease their way to the battlefront in Libya, where MI6 was cooperating with Qatar and UAE as financiers of the armed opposition.

This opportunistic alliance between the British security services and Libyan Salafi-jihadis may explain why Salman Abedi, though by now high up on the list of potential terrorists, was able to fly back to Manchester from Libya unimpeded a few days before he blew himself up

There should be far more public and media outrage about the British government’s role in the destruction of Libya, especially its tolerance of dangerous Islamists living in Britain to pursue its foreign policy ends. The damaging facts about what happened are now well established thanks to parliamentary scrutiny and journalistic investigation.

The official justification for British military intervention in Libya is that it was to prevent the massacre of civilians in Benghazi by Gaddafi’s advancing forces. The reason for expecting this would happen was a sanguinary speech by Gaddafi which might mean that he intended to kill them all. David Cameron, along with Liam Fox as defence minister at the time and William Hague as foreign secretary, have wisely stuck with this explanation and, as a defence of their actions, they are probably right to do so. But a report by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee says that the belief that Gaddafi would “massacre the civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence”. It points out that he had retaken other towns from the rebels and not attacked the civilian population.

These facts notwithstanding the British still followed the French lead in military intervention and Sarkozy similarly justified his policy as being in defence of the people of Benghazi. We are a little better informed about the real French motives thanks to a report, revealed through the Freedom of Information Act, made in early 2011 by Sidney Blumenthal, an unofficial advisor to Hillary Clinton, the then US secretary of state, after a meeting he had had with French intelligence officials about Sarkozy’s motives for intervention.

The officials told Blumenthal that Sarkozy’s plans were driven by five main causes, the first being “a desire to gain a greater share of Libyan oil production” and the next being to increase French influence in North Africa. His other aims were to improve his own political standing in France, enable the French military to reassert their position in the world, and prevent Gaddafi supplanting France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.

The intelligence officials make no mention of any concern on the part of Sarkozy for the safety of the Libyan people. Conceivably the British Foreign Policy Team of David Cameron, William Hague, and Liam Fox, had much purer and more altruistic motives than their French counterparts. But it is more likely that the aim was always regime change in the national interest of those foreign powers who brought it about.

It is easy enough to convict Cameron and Sarkozy of hypocrisy, but a more telling accusation is that they betrayed the very national interests that they were seeking to advance. They destroyed Libya as a country, reduced its six million people to misery and played into the hands of men like Salman Abedi.’’ (4)

The whole squalid episode qualified as another MI5/6, CIA, and the French DGSE, operation carried out under the NATO umbrella and gave us the ‘shit show’ as enunciated by Obama. Of course the whole tawdry affair bore the customary NATO imprimatur: An EU-US-NATO led operation. Hardly an R2P operation, more like an R2B (Responsibility to Bomb). Its sticky fingers were as usual all over the joint campaign. It should be understood that NATO is an organization which exists to solve the problems it first created.

NATO – Who’s Next For Membership And/or Regime Change?

In any sane world the above would read as being a purely rhetorical question. Unfortunately, however, we do not live in a sane world. We live in Washington’s post-Westphalian world of an out-of-control Leviathan that has remained seemingly indifferent with Turkey’s seizure of Northern Cyprus, Israel’s acquisition of the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Worst of all has been Saudi Arabia’s atrocity-ridden war of aggression and extermination against Yemen – a policy in which the latter Obama and Trump administrations actively assisted and was carried out with NATO weapons, trainers, and the sustained bombing of civilian targets. (Guernica anyone!?) ‘’In this post-Westphalian world the United States and its allies have violated all those principles contained in the UN prescriptions whenever it seemed expedient to do so. It seems exceedingly difficult to square a rules-based international system with ongoing violations which have taken place in Indo-China and Yugoslavia and Iraq, even if this is carried out under a flag of convenience.’’ (5)

Respecting the Westphalian premise of spheres of influence would require a necessarily reduced application of the US’s military prerogatives; prerogatives which it has continued to exercise since 1945 in order to achieve its foreign policy objectives. It is taken as normal that the US may intervene at any time and place on the planet as it suits. The Monroe Doctrine has apparently become globalized.

But the emerging Eurasian bloc have a rather different perspective on affairs. They maintain an (irritating to western eyes) adherence to the Westphalian principles (1648). From their standpoint this should form a universal basis for peaceful coexistence. The Westphalian principles can be briefly delineated as follows:

  • States existed within their own recognised borders.
  • Each States sovereignty was recognised by the others.
  • Principles of non-interference were agreed.
  • Religious differences between states were tolerated.
  • States might be monarchies or republics.
  • Permanent State interests or raison d’etat was the organizing principle of international relations.
  • War was not eliminated, yet it was mitigated by diplomacy and balance-of-power politics
  • The object of a balance-of-power was to prevent one state from becoming so powerful that it could conquer others and destroy world order.

This was a very different philosophy and global project from the one that NATO, the US neo-cons, MSM, deep-state and spook bureaucracies have in mind. But how to reconcile the irreconcilable? There must be a meeting of minds for diplomacy to set out such matters and set workable limits on the goals of contending parties. But, in Hamlet’s words, ‘Ay, there’s the rub’. At the present time there are no signals from the US war party who are attempting to delegitimize the entire concept of spheres of influence, and, as such, is a non-starter for even reasonably cordial relationships between East and West. However,

‘’What is worse is the apparent US attitude that Russia is not entitled to even a minimum-security zone adjacent to its homeland. Pushing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, after already admitting the Baltic republics, reduces any Russian security buffer to a nullity. Conducting NATO military exercises within mere miles (and at least in one case barely hundreds of yards) of the Russian border highlights such menacing arrogance. A fundamental change in Washington’s approach is essential.’’(6)

Agreed, but it takes two to tango. And it would appear that the US is not going to take to the dance floor any time soon. Instead, for example, the following brainless responses to any minimal peace proposals emanating from the Eurasian bloc are revealing. After the Yugoslavian denouement, the western MSM found itself at a loose end. They had to find something negative to write about Russia. However, instead of reciprocated and reasoned diplomacy on the part of the West and its various agencies we got the following. A piece of journalistic fluff.

The Navalny Episode.

The whole farcical Navalny episode should be an object lesson in just how totally incompetent and amateurish whole western security agencies appear to be. The CIA-MI6-BND mob seems to be on the loose! In a ridiculously burlesque performance the whole fabric of western society was supposed to be apparently undermined by the devious Vlad the compulsive poisoner who strikes yet again. Cue the predictable MSM cacophony from the usual suspects subjecting us to the ‘two-minutes-hate’’ routine. Russia did it! Russia did it! Putin personally took charge of it. NATO should stand together and forestall the challenges of Russian dirty tricks. Blah, blah blah.

The wholly foreseeable reaction of the western establishment, politicians and MSM, was to have an expected mass apoplectic seizure. Something must be done! Yes, and we know precisely what that something is. It is clear as daylight that this stunt is intended to scuttle the Nordstream-2 deal between Germany and the Russian Federation, a deal which was almost finalised and is still awaiting implementation.

The story (fantasy) goes something like this. Suddenly a political nobody – Navalny – was allegedly poisoned by Putin (but of course) using the deadly one tiny drop of Novichok – which reputedly wipes out a whole city. Only as with the Skripals it didn’t work, well, ahem, we’ll just pass on that.

The whole parody – worthy of a Monty Python sketch – has been orchestrated by the western spook agencies governments and MSM whose sole object is to engineer the cancellation of Nordstream-2 which, if it happens, will mean that the Americans will be able to export their very expensive LNG, sending their little armada across the Atlantic. More fool the Germans if they agree to this directive. But this abject surrender was entirely predictable and in keeping with the squirming deference of the euro-vassals to the US’s NATO allies, Germany being one.

Norway being another. One only has to listen to a complete dolt like Jens Stoltenberg – member of the Norwegian Labour party and ex-Prime Minster now Secretary-General of NATO – to realise how monumental the problem is when the said Mr Stoltenberg talks quite enthusiastically about the future entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO.

This is the fire which the ‘West’ is now playing with. The NATO idiocracy is now calling the shots and such a move of incorporating Ukraine and Georgia into NATO would be a virtual declaration of war against Russia. Russia’s response might well be a message from Elvis.

‘’If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve come to the right place.’’

NOTES

(1) McGovern and Bureaucracy – passim.

(2) This observation is usually attributed to Richard Sakwa, author of Frontline Ukraine and Russia Against The World. But I think that it might have been influenced by J.A.Schumpeter who once remarked that in Ancient Egypt ‘‘a class of professional soldiers formed during the war against the Hyskos persisted even when those wars were over – along with those warlike instincts and interests’’. But Schumpeter capped this part of the narrative with a pithy summary of his viewpoint: ‘’Created by wars that required it, the military machine now created the wars it required.’’ J.A.Schumpeter Critical Exposition Chapter 2, p.63. Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers – John Medearis. Also Ted Galen Carpenter – NATO – The Dangerous Dinosaur – passim.

Sure sounds like NATO to me (FL)

(3) John Laughland – Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the corruption of International Justice

(4) Patrick Cockburn – The Independent – passim

(5) Ted Galen Carpenter – NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur – page.9

(6) Ted Galen Carpenter – Ibid, page.144

Russia – Nord Stream 2 vs. Poisoning of Alexei Navalny

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, September 07, 2020

Wednesday, 2 September – all German TV channels – mainstream media were focused unilaterally on the alleged Novichok poisoning of Russian opposition critique, Alexei Navalny. This “breaking-news” poison discovery was made in Germany two weeks after he has been flown from Tomsk in Siberia to Moscow, when he fell ill on the plane and the airliner had to return to Tomsk for an emergency landing.

Navalny was hospitalized in Tomsk, put in an artificial coma and closely observed. His family wanted him immediately to be flown out of Russia to Berlin, Germany, to get western attention and western treatment. So, the story goes. At first the medical staff at Tomsk hospital said that Navalny’s health was not stable enough for a transport of this kind. A few days later they gave the green light for flying him to Germany. Berlin sent a hospital plane – at German taxpayer’s cost – to fly the “poisoned” political patient to Berlin, where during the last 14 days he has been in an artificial coma in Berlin’s University Hospital “Charité”. At least that’s what the government reports.

After 11 days, finally “scientists” – supposedly military toxicologists, have discovered that Navalny was poisoned with military grade nerve gas Novichok.

Military grade! – It reminds vividly of the other bizarre Novichok case – Sergei and Yulia Skripal, father and daughter, who were found on March 12, 2018 on a park bench in Salisbury, Britain, unconscious. The location was about 12 km down the road from the British top-secret P-4 security military lab Porton Down in Wiltshire, one of the few labs in the world that still are capable to produce Novichok. The immediate reaction of Britain and the world was then, like today: Putin did it! Sergei Skripal was a Russian double agent, who was released from Russia more than a decade earlier and lived peacefully in England.

What interest would Mr. Putin have to poison him? However, the UK and Big Brother Washington had all the interest in the world to invent yet another reason to bash and slander Russia and President Putin. The same as today with Alexei Navalny.

Isn’t it strange that the Skripals as well as Navalny survived? And that after having been poisoned with what military experts claim to be the deadliest nerve agent ever? Although nobody has seen the Skripals after they were hospitalized 2 years ago, it seems they are still alive. Were they perhaps given US-British shelter under the guise of the so-called US-witness protection program – a full new identity, hiding in plain view?

The immediate question was then and is today, why would Mr. Putin poison his adversaries? That would be the most unwise thing to do. Everybody knows much too well that Mr. Putin is the world’s foremost perceptive, incisive and diplomatic statesman. Alexei Navalny wasn’t even a serious contender. His popularity was less than 5%. Compare this with Mr. Putin’s close to 80% approval rating by the Russian population. Navalny is known as a rightwing activist and troublemaker. Anybody who suggests such an absurdity, that the Kremlin would poison Navalny, is outright crazy.

If there would have been a plot to get rid of Navalny – why would he be poisoned with the deadliest nerve gas there is – and, as he survives, being allowed to be flown out to the west- literally into the belly of the beast? That would be even more nonsensical.

Yet the mainstream media keep hammering it down without mercy, without even allowing for the slightest doubt – down into the brains of the suspected brainwashed Germans and world populations. But the German population is the least brainwashed of all Europe. In fact, Germans are the most awaken of the globe’s wester populace. It clearly shows when they resist their government’s (and the 193 nations governments’ around the world) covid tyranny with a peaceful Berlin protest of 1 August of 1.3 million people in the streets and a similar one on 29 August.

Nevertheless, Madame Merkel’s reaction was so ferocious on September 2 on TV and with the media, as well as talking to leaders from around the world on how to react to this latest Russian atrocity and how to punish and sanction President Putin, that even conservative politicians and some mainstream journalist started wondering – what’s going on?Navalny Poisoning – The Real Target Is Russian-German Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

It’s a debateless accusation of Russia. There is no shred of evidence and there are no alternatives being considered. The simplest and most immediate question one ought to ask in such circumstances is “cui bono” – who benefits? – But no. The answer to this question would clearly show that President Putin and Russia do not benefit from this alleged poisoning at all. So, who does?

The evolving situation is so absurd that not a single word coming out of the German Government can be believed. It all sounds like a flagrant lie; like an evil act of smearing Russia without a reason, and that exactly at the time when Europe, led by Germany was about to improve relations with Russia. The gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is a vivid testimony for closer relations between Germany, and by association Europe – with Russia – or is it?

One of Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda Minister) famous sayings was, when a lie is repeated enough it becomes the truth.

Peculiarly enough, and without any transit-thought, the German rightwing, the CDU-party in particular, came immediately forward with recommending – no, demanding – an immediate halt of the Nord Stream 2 project – canceling the contract with Russia. The “biggest punishment” for Putin. “It will hurt Russia deep in their already miserable down-trodden economy”, were some comments. Those were angry anti-Russian voices. Another lie. The Russian economy is doing well, very well, as compared to most western economies, despite covid.

What do Russian health and toxicology authorities say, especially those who treated Mr. Navalny in the hospital of Tomsk?

RT reports, according to Alexander Sabaev, the chief toxicologist who cared for him in Siberia, if Alexey Navalny’s condition were caused by a substance from the ‘Novichok’ group, the people accompanying him should also be suffering from the fallout. Instead, Dr. Sabaev believes that Navalny’s condition was caused by an “internal trigger mechanism.” Novichok is an organophosphorus compound, and, due to its high toxicity, it is not possible to poison just one person. He explained, “As a rule, other accompanying people will also be affected.”

Doctors in the Tomsk Emergency Hospital, where activist Navalny lay in a coma for almost two days, found no traces of toxic substances in his kidneys, liver, or lungs, Alexander Sabaev, leading the investigation, concluded that Navalny was not poisoned.

So – why was Dr. Alexander Sabaev not interviewed on German TV – or by the western mainstream media?

Neither were members of other German parties interviewed, for example Die Linke (the Left), or the SPD – the Social Democratic Party. None. None of the medical doctors or “scientists” who were treating Alexei Navalny at Charité, and who allegedly discovered the deadly poison (but not deadly enough) in Navalny’s body, were interviewed.

Nor was the former Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder (Ms. Merkel’s predecessor, 1998-2005) interviewed about his opinion. Schroeder, a member of the SPD, is one of the master minds of Nord Stream 2 and is currently the chairman of the board of Nord Stream AG and of Rosneft. Would he think that Mr. Putin was as foolish as to kill this German-Russia unifying project by poisoning a right-wing activist, a non-adversary?

Of course not.

Therefore, who benefits?

The United States has for years been objecting vividly and voraciously against this pipeline. Trump: “Why should we pay for NATO to defend Germany, when Germany buys gas from Russia and makes herself dependent on Russia?” – He added, “We offer Germany and Europe all the gas and energy they need.” Yes, the US is offering “fracking gas” at much higher cost than the Russian gas. There are countries in Europe whose Constitution would not allow buying fracking gas, due to the environmentally damaging fracking process.

Is it possible that this was another one of those brilliant acts of the CIA or other US intelligence agencies? – Or a combination of CIA and the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (German Federal Intelligence Service) – or an EU-NATO trick? By now it’s no longer a secret that NATO runs Brussels, or at least calls the shots on issues of US interests concerning the European Union or its member states.

Is it possible that Angela Merkel was chosen by the deep-deep state to combat President Putin and Russia? This time by bashing and smearing them with lies – lies as gross as poisoning an opposition activist? To kill the pipeline? What will it be next time?

Today, the first time, official Germany through Mr. Heiko Maas, Foreign Minister, has questioned and threatened the Nord Stream 2 German-Russian joint venture – “if Moscow does not collaborate.” Mr. Haas knows very well, there is nothing to collaborate, as Russia was not involved. It is the same argument, if Moscow does not collaborate (in the case of the Skripals) that was used by Theresa May, then British PM, to punish Russia with further sanctions.

Indeed, all is possible in today’s world, where the Washington empire is faltering by the day and the Powers that Be are desperate that their international fraud base – the US-dollar – may be disappearing. Because, not only are Nord Stream 1 and 2 delivering Russian gas to Germany and Europe, but the gas is traded in euros and rubles and not in US-dollars.

Think about it. Killing (or – so far – poisoning) a Russian opposition leader to demolish the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 project? – This is certainly a crime within the realm and “competence” of the US Government and its western allies.

*

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This article was originally published on New Eastern Outlook.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO); RT; Countercurrents, Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press; The Saker Blog, the and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from Land Destroyer ReportThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2020

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Pentagon claims that US military equipment worth $4.1 million has gone missing in terrorist-held areas in Syria due to internet problems

ST

Monday, 06 April 2020 18:18 A pretext has been fabricated by the US Department of Defense (The Pentagon) to justify how millions of dollars’ worth of US military equipment has gone missing in Syria and that it may have fallen into the hands of jihadist groups. 

The new pretext came after a report by the Department of Defense’s office of the inspector general revealed that “theatre-provided equipment” worth $4.1 million (£3.2m) was not accounted for in an audit conducted as US forces prepare to withdraw from the country.

The report, which was published by the Morning Star website, forced the Pentagon’s officials to admit that “theatre-provided equipment” worth $4.1 million (£3.2m) has gone missing in terrorist-held areas in Syria. 

The US officials blamed “internet connectivity problems” for its inability to “continuously account for 69 pieces” of military hardware, with another 10 items lost through troops failing to follow official guidance. 

The US has fueled jihadist atrocities, with CIA covert operations arming a myriad of Islamist groups associated with Isis and al-Qaeda. 

The flow of weapons and other military equipment into Syria has been described as an “industrial revolution of terrorism.”During mopping-up operations in areas liberated by the Syrian army from terrorist groups, US-supplied weapons have been uncovered. 

This is not the first time that US military equipment has been lost in Syria. In February 2018, a similar audit discovered that $715m in weapons and equipment had not been properly stored or accounted for. 

In fact the reports of the Department of Defense’s office prove the link between Washington and terrorist groups and the continuity of the US support for these groups through leaving military equipment for them. 

Basma Qaddour

How the US Regime ‘Justifies’ the Theft of Syria’s Oil

Image result for How the US Regime ‘Justifies’ the Theft of Syria’s Oil
Eric Zuesse
American writer and investigative historian

October 30, 2019
On October 26th, the New York Times headlined “Keep the Oil’: Trump Revives Charged Slogan for New Syria Troop Mission” and opened by saying that “in recent days, Mr. Trump has settled on Syria’s oil reserves as a new rationale for appearing to reverse course and deploy hundreds of additional troops to the war-ravaged country.” They closed with a statement from Bruce Riedel, retired from the CIA: “‘Let’s say he does do it,’ Mr. Riedel said. ‘Let’s say we establish the precedent that we are in the Middle East to take the oil. The symbolism is really bad.’” The propaganda-value of a ‘news’-report is concentrated in its opening, and especially in what the ‘reporter’ (fulfilling the intentions of his editors) selected to be at the very end (such as Riedel’s statement). However, is what’s wrong with taking Syria’s oil actually the “symbolism,” as Riedel said, or is it instead the theft — the reality (and why did the NYT pretend that it’s the latter)? Nowhere did that NYT article use the word “theft,” or anything like it, but that is the actual issue here — not mere ‘symbolism’.

Trump had been so lambasted by the Democratic Party’s ‘news’-media (such as the NYT) and by all the rest of the neoconservative ‘news’-media (the Republican ones), for his trying to withdraw forces from Obama’s regime-change war against Syria, he’s now switched to trying to ‘justify’ continuation of America’s invasion-occupation of Syria by his promising to steal the oil there — but the ‘news’-media almost never use that term (“theft”), or anything like it, to describe what he is promising to do, because they themselves have been propagandizing the American people to oppose withdrawal from Syria, which would mean ending Obama’s invasion-occupation of Syria. Both the Republican and the Democratic Parties, and their ‘news’-media, have been full-bore “Assad must step-down.” None of America’s ‘news’-media had stated, either, that America’s invasions-occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, have all been disasters (though they all were), and that all of them have been and are defeats for America (though they all were that, on all of America’s leaders’ lies about ‘protecting human rights’, and about ‘bringing democracy’, and about what would have been producing improved lives — instead of producing continued bloodshed — for the residents in the countries that we had invaded and occupied). It’s all lies, nothing but that; and any ‘news’-media which operate this way will find themselves increasingly trapped in their lies, like the politicians themselves are. The only way ‘out’, for any of them (including for Trump, and for both the Republican and the Democratic press) is yet more lies — and all of these lies are cover-ups, by the press and by the politicians. (This is why they’re torturing Julian Assange to death: he has seriously challenged that ongoing deceit, in which they all participate.) Unless the public stop the media from doing it — by cancelling their subscriptions, and otherwise demonetizing the ones who have been doing it — the lies, and deceits, and invasions, and destructive US national expenditures of tens of trillions of dollars (being paid to corporations such as Lockheed Martin, and not only to our soldiers) will continue. This enormous counterproductive expenditure will drain America’s abilities to fund health care, education, etc. It is bringing the US economy down, and not merely bringing America to an ethically lower and lower point. The more that America’s leaders try to continue expanding the American empire, the more that they will both embarrass, and weaken, America. This is real. It is no propaganda, at all. It’s “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

On October 24th, USA Today headlined “Pentagon planning to send tanks, armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields”, and reported that “The Pentagon is preparing to send tanks and armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields, according to a US official – a stunning reversal of President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from the war-torn country after he declared victory over ISIS.” Those oil fields don’t belong to the US, but to Syria’s Government, and their operation is vital to funding Syria’s reconstruction, which the US regime is determined to prevent; but USA Today’s ‘news’-report says nothing about any of that. The US Government is trying to steal Syria’s oil fields — but this USA Today article says nothing about that, either. American troops are invaders of Syria, unlike Russian troops, who are defenders of Syria, and who had been invited into Syria by Syria’s Government (the only government Syria has) in order to help defend Syria’s sovereignty, over Syria’s own land, including its oil wells, against the US-and-allied invasion. All of that vital context is missing from this deceptive report.

That report said “Now, Russian troops, which are in Syria to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and Turkish forces, are operating in the region previously patrolled by US and Kurdish forces.” It’s saying that, whereas the region had been “patrolled” — instead of invaded and now occupied — by US and Kurdish forces, “Russian troops … and Turkish forces … are in Syria to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” though his ‘regime’ is actually the only legitimate Government of Syria. But the US regime claims the right to force Assad to be overthrown.

This report stated that “The deployment of armor is aimed at Russia and Syria, not ISIS, said Nicholas Heras, an expert on Syria with the Center for a New American Security. … ‘Pure and simple,’ he said, ‘the Pentagon is making contingencies for a big fight with Russia for Syria’s oil.’” But Russia isn’t trying to seize Syria’s oil — the US regime is doing that, actually. Russian forces are in Syria only in order to assist Syria to defend its oil, and its land. If the US regime will go into World War III so as to steal Syria’s oil, then the likelihood of Russia’s letting this theft happen is slight: that would be Russia’s capitulation without a fight, and Russia has never given any indication it would do such a thing. (And Russian media DO refer to this as being “theft”; they’re not trying to hide the fact. Russia already is fighting the US regime in Syria. And on October 26th, Russia’s Sputnik News headlined “The Russian military described the US scheme as nothing less than ‘international state banditism’,” and reported that, “According to Russian intelligence, the illegal US-supervised extraction of Syrian oil was being carried out by ‘leading American corporations’ and private military contractors, with US special forces and air power used for protection. Konashenkov said the estimated monthly revenue of this ‘private enterprise’ was over $30 million.”) This is the territory of Syria, which is a Russian ally. The thief here is clearly the US regime, not Syria, and not Russia. It is no one else than the US regime that is aiming to steal Syria’s oil by sending in tanks. Nowhere does the USA Today article even so much as hint that this is the case.

An October 21st Wall Street Journal article reported the US Government’s theft of Syria’s oil, but it was instead headlined with the misleading, more innocuous, and less attention-grabbing “Trump Calls for Defense, Use of Syrian Oil Fields” — nothing about any “theft” — and it opened with the seemingly US-or-Syria defense-related statement (as if US troops were in Syria as defenders, instead of as attackers and thieves) that “President Trump said he is planning to keep a small number of troops in northeast Syria to protect the oil fields there and suggested that an American company might help the Syrian Kurds develop the oil for export.”

However, since when does a thief break into your residence in order to “protect” anything? And since when does such a thief have a right to sell your property, or to determine what people (such as “the Syrian Kurds”) will sell it?

Was that article news, or was it instead propaganda? It certainly misrepresents. What it reports, is reported as if this thieving operation were only being contemplated, and would be new, but the thieving is actually nothing new — it’s an already-existing, and longstanding, coordinated and international operation, by the US regime and its allies, as will here be documented.

America’s mainstream media now (such as in USA Today, WSJ, and NYT) are normalizing this theft. This normalization is being done by their propaganda, which now is for a Republican Government, but formerly was for a Democratic Government. Previously, Democrats had done the same hiding of the regime’s evil, when their Democratic President Barack Obama was the person who was perpetrating it.

This theft — and the normalization of it — are actually bipartisan, and longstanding. When the ‘news’ presents false historical context, it lies; it is propaganda, and that’s what the American nation’s mainstream ‘news’-media now are. They are deceptive garbage, regime-propaganda.

On October 20th, Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham, and Republican Maria Bartiromo of Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures,” discussed the Republican Trump’s plan to steal Syria’s oil, and they both agreed that it might turn out to be an excellent policy. This show was headlined “Sen. Lindsey Graham: I am increasingly optimistic we can have historic solutions in Syria.” It was a remarkably bold defense of the US Government’s — and of its allies’ — thefts from Syria. Already, the US Government had said that it won’t pay even a cent in order to provide restitution for the estimated $388 billion in damages to Syria from the invasion of Syria by the US and by its allies such as Al Qaeda and the Sauds, but this show presented an endorsement by those two Republicans, backing the Republican US President’s plan to steal Syria’s oil, which goes beyond merely supporting zero restitution to the invaded country. No mention was being made, by them, on this ‘news’-medium, that (as will be documented here) those thefts by the US Government, and by its allies, have, in fact, been going on ever since the invasions of Syria by them and their proxies (or “agents” — such as Al Qaeda) had started in 2012. No mention was made by them that this was the policy of Democratic President Barack Obama and that it’s merely being continued further by Trump. To the exact contrary: Trump was being praised by these propagandists for starting this program, and, so, their praise was not just evil; it was actually entirely false.

Right before the interview, Bartiromo had been pretending to be a critical non-partisan journalist instead of the propagandist that she is, and so she stated that “my biggest issue here is the strength of Iran [as if Iran had ever invaded or even threatened to invade the United States, and as if Trump’s anti-Iran policies aren’t sufficiently stringent, or maybe even are vastly too stringent, or maybe even are altogether unjustified]. And I feel like the administration had the Iranians on their heels and ruining the economy through sanctions, through this pressure campaign. And now we give up and leave Syria.” The Senator disagreed with her make-pretend criticism of the Republican President, and he said that, instead,

The big thing for me is the oil fields. President Trump is thinking outside the box. I was so impressed with his thinking about the oil. Not only are we going to deny the oil fields falling into Iranian hands. I believe we’re on the verge of a joint venture between us and the Syrian Democratic Forces, who helped destroy ISIS and keep them destroyed, to modernize the oil fields and make sure they get the revenue, not the Iranians, not Assad. … That’s why what President Trump is proposing in Syria, a joint venture dealing with the southern oil fields in Syria, between our allies, the Kurds and the Arabs who helped us destroy ISIS, is a historic change that could pay dividends for the region. And, quite frankly, we could generate revenue to pay for our commitment in Syria. … I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years, if we play our cards right.

Bartiromo replied “Wow. … You actually do see a way forward after you have spoken with the president on his plan to secure those oil fields.”

This theft is pushed by all of the US mainstream media, and Trump knows that he will need at least some degree of support from them if he is to be able to win re-election. This is the reason why he keeps contradicting himself — trying to appeal to the “No More War” crowd, while still drawing donations from the “military-industrial complex” or owners of America’s ‘defense’ contractors. (There’s a lot of crossover between the controlling owners of those firms and the controlling owners of the ‘news’-media — and of the ‘non-profit’ foundations.) America’s major ‘news’ media have always buried the truth about this long-ongoing theft.

And not only was the theft of Syria’s oil the policy of Democratic US President Barack Obama, but it was participated in by his coalition, which included both EU heads-of-state and Arab heads-of-state, and this policy began in 2011. Here’s how it, in fact, developed:

On 28 November 2012, Syria News headlined “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Machinery in Broad Daylight”and accompanied it by video of the alleged event. (At that time, Qatar and Turkey were allies of the US arming the ‘rebels’ in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government; so, they were part of America’s broader operation, and were also profiting from it.) But that video is no longer active. A subsequent description of that video was posted under the headline “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Excavators – No Translation”. Another posting of the video online has lasted from 6 October 2013 to the present time, under the headline “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Excavators – BiffiSyrien”, where it still can be viewed.

By no later than 12 December 2012, US President Barack Obama made the decision to hire Al Qaeda in Syria (called “Al Nusra”) to train and lead almost all of America’s proxy-forces on the ground in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government. (Kurds were assigned to be America’s lead proxy-forces in far northeastern Syria.) (Obama was so determined to protect Al Qaeda in Syria as to sabotage on 17 September 2016 his own Secretary of State, John Kerry’s, just-signed Syrian ceasefire agreement with Russia, because that agreement allowed not only ISIS, but also Al Qaeda forces, to continue to be bombed in Syria by Russia. Obama was protecting Al Qaeda in Syria.)

On 22 April 2013, the AP headlined “EU lifts Syria oil embargo to bolster rebels” and reported that

The European Union on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria to provide more economic support to the forces fighting to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime. The decision will allow for crude exports from rebel-held territory. … The oil exports could open an important revenue stream for Syria’s opposition. …

While Syria was never one of the world’s major oil exporters, the sector was a pillar of Syria’s economy until the uprising, with the country producing about 380,000 barrels a day and exports — almost exclusively to Europe — bringing in more than $3 billion in 2010. Oil revenues provided around a quarter of the funds for the national budget. Being able to take advantage of the country’s oil resources will help the Syrian uprising “big time,” said Osama Kadi, a senior member of the Syrian opposition.

On 27 April 2013, the New York Times headlined “Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy” and reported that

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of. … The religious agenda of the combatants sets them apart from many civilian activists, protesters and aid workers who had hoped the uprising would create a civil, democratic Syria. … Of most concern to the United States is the Nusra Front, whose leader recently confirmed that the group cooperated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and pledged fealty to Al Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s longtime deputy. Nusra has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings and is the group of choice for the foreign jihadis pouring into Syria.

Another prominent group, Ahrar al-Sham, shares much of Nusra’s extremist ideology but is made up mostly of Syrians…

In the oil-rich provinces of Deir al-Zour and Hasaka, Nusra fighters have seized government oil fields, putting some under the control of tribal militias and running others themselves.

“They are the strongest military force in the area,” said the commander of a rebel brigade in Hasaka reached via Skype. “We can’t deny it.”…

“We all want an Islamic state and we want Shariah to be applied,” said Maawiya Hassan Agha, a rebel activist reached by Skype in the northern village of Sarmeen. He said a country’s laws should flow from its people’s beliefs and compared Syrians calling for Islamic law with the French banning Muslim women from wearing face veils.

On 1 May 2013, TIME bannered “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil” and reported that

Without an embargo, European companies can now legally begin importing barrels of oil directly from rebel groups, which have seized several oil fields in recent months, mostly around the eastern area of Deir Ezzor. That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011, and in theory hasten the downfall of Bashar Assad’s regime, by giving rebels the means to run skeletal local governments and consolidate their control.

On 15 June 2013, Global Research headlined “Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before ‘The Arab Spring’” and Gearóid Ó Colmáin reported that

In an interview with the French TV station LCP, former French minister for Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas said:

“I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria [in other words, in 2009] on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria.

This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate.

Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me.

Dumas attributed it to Israel, not to the US, nor to the Sauds (who actually had always been the CIA’s choice to appoint the leaders of Syria), and he didn’t even so much as mention either of those, except to say that “this will enable it [Israel] to replace the United States as a global hegemon” (which is a crackpot idea). Though his interpretation was ridiculous, his allegation that in 2009 “top British officials … confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria” is a factual matter, which is either true or false. (Back in 2009, there is actual evidence that American’s President Barack Obama was aiming to overthrow Assad. Furthermore, Obama’s team started by no later than 23 June 2011 to plan both the coup in Ukraine which succeeded and the coup in Syria, which failed. And as the great investigative journalist Gareth Porter reported on 5 January 2017, “In August 2011, national security officials began urging Obama to call on Assad to step down,” but at that time “He wasn’t willing to go along with anything except small arms,” until CIA Director David Petraeus — who soon thereafter became a member of the Bilderberg group — persuaded him to go all-out in arming the ‘rebels’. Furthermore, “when Obama was making crucial Syria policy decisions in September 2011,” his advisors assumed that both Russia and Iran would stay out of the matter and just just let the US and the Sauds take-over Syria. Obama respected his advisors. And, then, Porter headlined on 22 June 2017, “How America Armed Terrorists in Syria”. So: this theft-operation was extensively armed by the US regime, and funded by the Sauds.)

In any case, the EU was certainly helping ISIS and other such groups to steal Syria’s oil, so as to help fund their overthrow-Assad operation. So, the participation also of UK was likely, even if not, at that time, proven.

On 14 October 2015, the Financial Times headlined ”Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists” and reported that “Selling crude is Isis’ biggest single source of revenue. … While al-Qaeda, the global terrorist network, depended on donations from wealthy foreign sponsors, Isis has derived its financial strength from its status as monopoly producer of an essential commodity consumed in vast quantities throughout the area it controls.” (In other words, when TIME, on 1 May 2013, bannered “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil” and said “That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011,” the “opposition” being referred to there was actually ISIS, not Al Qaeda. The EU was buying its black-market oil from ISIS.)

On 1 December 2015, another great investigative journalist, Nafeez Ahmed, bannered “Western firms primed to cash in on Syria’s oil and gas ‘frontier’” and he reported:

US, British, French, Israeli and other energy interests could be prime beneficiaries of military operations in Iraq and Syria designed to rollback the power of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) and, potentially, the Bashar al-Assad regime.

A study for a global oil services company backed by the French government and linked to Britain’s Tory-led administration, published during the height of the Arab Spring, hailed the significant “hydrocarbon potential” of Syria’s offshore resources.

The 2011 study was printed in GeoArabia, a petroleum industry journal published by a Bahrain-based consultancy, GulfPetroLink, which is sponsored by some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Total, and BP. GeoArabia’s content has no open subscription system and is exclusively distributed to transnational energy corporations, corporate sponsors and related organisations, as well as some universities.

On 28 August 2018, Abdel Bari Atwan, one of the Middle East’s most respected journalists, headlined “Carrots and Sticks” and reported that

Damascus has been inundated with secret offers in recent weeks as part of a carrot-and-stick policy, two of which are particularly significant.

The first, reported on Tuesday by the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily al-Akhbar and the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency, was conveyed by a senior US military officer accompanied by representatives of various intelligence agencies. They flew to Damascus on a private UAE jet, and were met by the head of the National Security Bureau Gen. Ali Mamlouk, intelligence chief Gen. Deeb Zaitoun, and deputy army chief-of-staff Gen. Muwaffaq Masoud. Their meeting lasted four hours. The Americans reportedly offered to withdraw all US forces from Syria in exchange for Damascus complying with three demands: to pull Iranian forces out of areas of southern Syria adjoining Israel; to guarantee US oil companies a share of Syria’s oil east of the Euphrates; and to hand over all information about terrorist groups and their members in Syria.

The second offer was revealed by Lebanese Hezbollah MP Nawwaf al-Mousawi in a discussion programme on the Lebanese TV channel al-Mayadeen, at which I was also a panellist. He said that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin-Salman sent an envoy to Asad offering to support him remaining president for life and provide generous Saudi support for Syria’s reconstruction in exchange for him severing ties with Iran and Hezbollah.

Both offers were categorically turned down by the Syrian leadership.

The American delegation was told that its troops in Syria were occupying forces which would be treated as such, that Syria could not abandon its strategic allies, and that issues such as US participation in the oil industry and exchanging intelligence could be discussed once political relations were re-established.

On 2 September 2018, the German intelligence analyst who blogs anonymously as “Moon of Alabama” headlined “Syria Sitrep – US To Stay To ‘Create Quagmires’” and he reported:

The claim that the US is there to fight ISIS is a lie. ISIS is still active in two places in Syria. Both are under US control. …

The US is not fighting ISIS in Syria. It is building semi-permanent bases, trains a large proxy force, and controls Syria’s oilfields. Its aim is still regime change, the same aim it had when it launched the war on Syria seven and a half years ago. To achieve that it will continue to sow as much chaos as possible.

As CIA and Pentagon mouthpiece David Ignatius wrote this week:

“[T]he administration has stopped the dithering and indecision of the past 18 months and signaled that the United States has enduring interests in Syria, beyond killing Islamic State terrorists — and that it isn’t planning to withdraw its Special Operations forces from northeastern Syria anytime soon.

‘Right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want,’ says one administration official, explaining the effort to resist an Idlib onslaught. This approach involves reassuring the three key US allies on Syria’s border — Israel, Turkey and Jordan — of continued American involvement.”

But what seems ultimately to endure is: Steal the oil.

On 26 February 2019 the Syrian National News Agency reported that Syria’s Government accused the US Government of having stolen from ISIS so much gold that ISIS had received as payment for oil that ISIS had stolen from Syria, so that the US Federal Reserve was enriched by at least 40 tons of gold. The accusation is that this black-marketed oil produced that gold for the US Government, and purchased “safe passage for the terrorists.”

So: Trump, and Fox News, and US Senators, etc., are planning to continue the operation that Democratic US President Barack Obama, and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the US CIA, and Britain’s MI6, and the rest of the US regime and its allies, were trying to do even before the “Arab Spring” began. As I have previously reported, Obama, even when he came into office in 2009, was aiming to take control of Syria, for it to become ruled by agents of the Saud family, and he started planning the ‘revolution’ in Syria by no later than 23 June 2011.

So: the faker Donald Trump is really just old hat, nothing at all new. He’s just trying to do what Obama was trying to do, but using different tactics to do it.

And, so, what is the ‘justification’ for this theft? It is America’s alliances:

BARTIROMO: Why are we sending troops to Saudi Arabia then?

GRAHAM: Well, because Saudi Arabia is an ally and Iran is an enemy.

And Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism on the planet. …

The official position of the US Government is that Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism and that the Sauds (whom in diplomatic cables and other internal communications the US regime acknowledge to be the biggest financial backer of Al Qaeda) isn’t even a state sponsor of terrorism, at all, but is instead a US ‘ally’.

So: that’s how they ‘justify’ it. They ‘justify’ it by the rest of the gang — the very same gang that the US regime itself leads. Their ‘justification’, of themselves, is empty. It is only propaganda, for fools to believe. Nothing more, than that. On Friday, October 26th, the Washington Post headlined “Trump decided to leave troops in Syria after conversations about oil, officials say”, and — like all of the regime’s stenographic reporting of the regime’s ‘news’ — reported the regime’s more official ‘explanation’, which was: “Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper confirmed on Friday that troops would remain in eastern Syria to prevent the oil fields from being retaken by the Islamic State.” This is just more of the same: it’s just citing ‘ISIS’ as being the ‘enemy’, instead of citing “Syria” as being that. They are asserting that they can steal Syria’s oil so as to prevent ISIS from stealing it. First, ISIS and other US allies stole it; and, then, the US seized ISIS’s gold from those sales; and, now, the US will be stealing Syria’s oil directly.

Similarly, in 2002 and 2003, the US regime, and its stenographic press, kept shifting their ‘explanation’ as to why Iraq had to be immediately invaded. Americans believed it then, and they believe it now. The American public never learn. This is now 17 years later. There has been no change, except in whom the occupant of the White House is. But fortunately, this time, there is Russia that perhaps can say no to this plan. Only time will tell if it will. And, if it does, then will Trump pull his nuclear trigger — an invasion of Russia, WW III, an aggression against the other superpower? I doubt it, but it could happen. To overestimate the greed and the stupidity of the international Deep State is hard to do. These billionaires didn’t get to be billionaires by being intelligent or being good — cunning and ruthless, yes, but that’s very different. After all, the announced highest aspiration of Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, is to send a trillion people out into space, “getting humanity established in the solar system”. Even conquering the world wouldn’t be enough to satisfy some of these individuals.

On 20 August 2018, Russia’s RT News headlined “‘Secret directive’ bans UN agencies from helping rebuild Syria until ‘political transition’ – Lavrov” and reported that Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that the Executive branch of the UN, the UN Secretariat, had issued in October 2017 a “secret directive” (violating two resolutions of the UN General Assembly — the UN’s Legislature), and that this secret directive ordered UN agencies to do nothing to help rebuild Syria unless the US first had approved of a new person to replace Syria’s existing President, and unless that person had already become installed to lead Syria.

According to the anti-Russian Haaretz newspaper in anti-Russian Israel, on 31 August 2018,

One country that is likely going to stay out of the infighting over the reconstruction process is the United States. The Trump administration has no clear policy on the “day after” in Syria, except for one principle: No American money will be spent on it.

The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, made that point clear at a speech she gave on Tuesday in Washington, explaining that Russia and the Assad regime “own” Syria now. “You broke it, you own it,” Haley said at a summit organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies [an organization that zionist Jews had set up in the US]. …

Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, expressed a similar view, writing in the British newspaper The Independent: “Long before any talk of providing reconstruction assistance for Syria, which in any event would require lifting separate targeted sanctions, European governments should call out Russia’s complicity in Syria’s war crimes and vigorously press the Kremlin to end these atrocities and stop underwriting Syria’s repression.”

It was the deployment of the Russian air force three years ago that tilted the scales of the war in favor of Assad, who at that time controlled only a quarter of the country’s territory. Even today, Russia maintains its military presence in Syria to ensure the regime’s upper hand.

This is similar to the policy of imperial Rome toward Carthage — a resisting city-state — in 146 BC, when the Emperor ordered the resisting city-state destroyed at the end of the final, the Third, Punic War, except that, in the present instance, the imperial ruler is (on and off, depending on his whim of the day) quitting his efforts to conquer that land, and is instead (but this being consistent) commanding his agencies never to assist to restore Syria, unless and until it finally will surrender to the empire. In that sense, Syria may be considered to be today’s Carthage. (Another difference is that Syria, unlike Carthage at that time, is no expansionist — or “imperialist” — power.) So: Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Maria Bartiromo, Barack Obama, the US Congress, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, and the other agents and agencies of the US empire, are in an imperial tradition that goes back thousands of years, if not longer.

However, though Syria is an ally of Iran, and of Russia; and so the US regime want regime-change there, Donald Trump might have reached the limit of his regime-change aspirations when on 10 September 2019 he finally fired John Bolton, who (along with his predecessors) had failed against Iran, failed against Venezuela, failed against Russia, and failed against China. Trump’s most intensive regime-change effort has been against Iran (though Fox’s Maria Bartiromo thinks it’s not enough). On 5 July 2018, the excellent investigative journalist Sibel Edmonds headlined at her Newsbud site her 33-minute video “Breaking: Insiders Reveal Secret Deal to Topple Iran Government!” revealing (starting at 19:00) that ever since Trump entered office in 2017, his Administration was planning to execute an operation not only to terminate the Iran deal and re-institute sanctions but to enforce sactions so stringently against any country that would continue trading with Iran, so as to strangle Iran’s economy and thus impose such misery upon the Iranian population so that they would welcome a military coup in order to end their (US-imposed) misery. This operation had a Plan A and a Plan B. In Plan A, Iran’s generals who would participate in the coup would institute an ‘anti-American’ ‘independent’ government which would buy US-made weapons from EU countries and thus not be viewed by Iranians as a US-stooge regime (though becoming a US stooge regime); the sanctions would be lifted, and Iran’s economy would be restored. In Plan B, 3-3.5M Iranians would be killed by the bombing, and all of Iran’s generals would be among them. Plan A would be Iran’s generals ‘standing up for the Iranian people’, a ‘nationalistic’ (instead of capitulationist) coup, to remove the ‘dictatorship’. Plan B would be a much bigger slaughter of Iranians. Edmonds said (27:30) the coup “would take place, I would say, in less than six months.” (29:00) “There is a large, powerful military faction that have said Yes [to Plan A]. … How sure of this am I? 100%.” But she was wrong in this prediction; she hadn’t considered the bigger picture. What’s that? Trump was getting too close to his own re-election campaign. And not enough Iranian generals could be corrupted to become traitors; the coup didn’t occur. Bolton, etc., had been too rosy in their predictions that the threats would be enough and that the patriotism of enough of Iran’s generals could just be bought off. (Perhaps the corrupt Americans had expected Iranians to be as corrupt as they themselves were.) Plan B was thus supposed to become imposed — an outright US invasion of Iran. But what would this invasion have done to Trump’s re-election chances? The Deep State had actually suckered him. That’s why Bolton (part of the Deep State) was fired. And, so, now, Congress and the US media are finally out for Trump’s scalp, because he wouldn’t follow through with the Deep State’s plan. Maybe he’ll do it if he becomes re-elected, but they can’t trust him; they want President Mike Pence. That’s become their new Plan B: impeachment in the House, and forced removal in the Senate. His intensified effort, now, to steal Syria’s oil, isn’t enough to stop that.

The reason why Julian Assange, ever since 12 June 2012, has been under various forms of imprisonment — and now torture — without there having been any conviction for anything, and not even any trial being held in his case, is that the US and its allied regimes need to keep their secrets, and therefore need to eliminate him. To publishers, and to journalists, throughout the US-and-allied world, his case is the ultimate warning of what each one of them could face. This is how the real law actually operates, throughout the empire. Assange is simply the personification of it, for everyone. However, as might logically follow from this situation, the only country in the world where Assange — who is globally viewed more favorably than unfavorably — is widely despised, is the United States, where the handwriting against him is “on the wall,” almost everywhere. America’s ‘news’-media have been uniquely devoted to doing their job. But, of course, authentic news-media perform a different job. And Assange’s case is the most effective possible warning to whatever authentic news-media might still exist within the US empire. To call this empire a ‘democracy’ anywhere, insults that noble term.

CIA Afghan Paramilitaries Prevent Restoration of Peace

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US aggression in Afghanistan continues unabated in its 18th year. Prospects for restoring peace and stability to the war-torn are more illusory than likely.

Talks between Trump regime and Taliban representatives have been ongoing since July last year. 

Claims about concluding them successfully in the near-term are wishful thinking — not as long as CIA-controlled paramilitaries exist in the country.

A new study by Brown University’s Watson Institute (WI) for International and Public Affairs called the “CIA army” of Afghan paramilitary forces a “threat to human rights and an obstacle to peace in Afghanistan.”

It’s involved in the US war OF terrorism, not on it. State terrorism is longstanding US policy, especially post-9/11 when remaining constraints on its imperial rage ended.

CIA controlled paramilitaries in Afghanistan serve US imperial interests. Their existence makes restoration of peace and stability to the country unattainable.

So does keeping US “intelligence assets” in the country on the phony pretext of countering the scourge of terrorism the US created and supports.

Withdrawal of Pentagon forces won’t matter, if occurs, as long as a private CIA army in Afghanistan exists — with likely no intention of leaving.

Established shortly after US aggression on the country was launched, WI said they’ve “committed serious human rights abuses, including numerous extrajudicial killings of

civilians,” adding: 

“CIA sponsorship ensures that their operations are clouded in secrecy. There is virtually no public oversight of their activities or accountability for grave human rights abuses.”

Langley paramilitaries are the modern-day equivalent of CIA-recruited Afghan mujahideen fighters against Soviet occupiers in the 1980s — today’s Taliban, combatting illegal US war and occupation of their country.

They want it back, US invaders out. It’s not likely as long as the CIA’s private army in the country exists.

“Little is publicly known about” it said WI, adding: It’s “an illegal armed group (that) no basis in Afghan law and no formal place in the state security apparatus” authorizes.

“(A)ll we know is that the CIA-sponsored forces are uniformed and well-equipped, sometimes work with American English-speaking men during raids,” and are supported by Pentagon terror-bombing, indiscriminately killing civilians time and again.

Human rights groups and investigative journalists documented their crimes of war and against humanity — “operating with impunity, unconstrained by political or judicial accountability,” WI explained, adding:

“(T)he CIA-sponsored program and activities of its Afghan Army are shielded from public oversight and accountability.” 

“Afghan authorities appear to be uninformed or unwilling to divulge anything about the program’s structure, funding or operations.” 

“UN officials investigating reports of abuses and intentional killings of civilians by (CIA paramilitaries) were unable to obtain any information from Afghan officials.”

The sinister, diabolical, secretive, unaccountable CIA operates extrajudicially at home and abroad. Its existence threatens world peace, stability and security.

Its dirty hands are all over plots against nations on the US target list for regime change — along with involvement in its wars of aggression.

Whatever the outcome of US/Taliban talks, Washington came to Afghanistan to stay, not leave, permanent occupation planned, wanting the country’s resources plundered.

They include barite, chromite, coal, cobalt, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, enormous amounts of highly-valued lithium and other rare earth metals vital for high tech products, natural gas, oil, precious and semi-precious stones, potash, salt, sulfur, talc, zinc, among other minerals.

They represent potentially trillions of dollars of economic value, a treasure Washington has no intention of relinquishing. US policymakers also aim to traverse the country with oil and gas pipelines.

Controlling it is also part of their plan to encircle Russia and China with US military bases, platforms for warmaking.

Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer, used for heroin production. What the Taliban eradicated pre-9/11, the US restored.

It’s a bonanza for money-laundering Western banks. The CIA relies on drugs trafficking as a revenue source. 

Permanent war is official US policy, including war by other means by illegal sanctions and other hostile actions against targeted nations.

Whatever US and Taliban representatives may agree on won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

The history of US talks with other nations shows it can never be trusted.

Jeffrey Epstein RIP: But Many More Questions Remain to be Answered

By Philip Giraldi

Source

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The Jeffrey Epstein saga goes on even though convicted pedophile Epstein himself has been found hanged in his jail cell in Manhattan. One has to wonder how he managed to kill himself, if that is indeed the case, as he was reportedly on suicide watch at the prison and it is to be presumed that he had been stripped of any clothing or accoutrements that would have been usable to that end. So, he is dead but did he do it himself or was he helped? There are many prominent individuals and powerful government agencies that will be very pleased that he is gone as most of his secrets will have gone to the grave with him.

There was certainly a warning that something might happen. Two weeks ago, he was reportedly found unconscious in his jail cell with marks around his neck. It was suggested that he might have tried to kill himself or, alternatively, had been beaten up by another inmate. There was also considerable speculation that some aggrieved part of the Deep State was trying to kill him to silence him.

The subsequent press reports revealed that Epstein had been taken to a hospital, but there has been no follow-up about his condition or status apart from a brief note that he had been returned to the same jail under suicide watch. In any event, the story had pretty much died, which is precisely what a lot of the high rollers and politicians who became involved with Epstein would have liked to see happen. Nevertheless, investigations of the “Affair Epstein” reportedly were continuing at the federal level as well as in New York State and Florida.

The most recent elaboration of the Epstein saga prior to his death came from his former patron Leslie Wexner, the canny Jewish business tycoon who built an Ohio based fashion empire called L Brands from scratch. L Brands, by the way, includes Victoria’s Secret, which features young women strutting around in their underwear. The 81 year old Wexner claimed in a 564 word letter that the wily Epstein “misappropriated vast sums of money” from him. In the letter Wexner admitted to having lost at least $46 million from his family money, but some media accounts are suggesting that the fraud amounted to much more, possibly as much as $500 million. And the alleged theft also extended to property, to include the series of transactions that left Epstein possessing the Upper East Side mansion where he resided and did his filming of celebrities having sex with young girls, estimated to be worth $56 million, as well as the commercial airliner that became the Lolita Express and a yacht.

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*(Leslie Wexner. Credit: American Academy of Achievement/ YouTube)

Now, either sum of purloined money is not exactly pocket change even for multi-billionaire Wexner, even if rag trade magnate was enamored of the massages he was getting at Epstein’s house. It would take an extremely poor businessman to be unaware of losing that kind of money and that much property unless his name were Donald Trump.

Wexler claimed that he began to sever ties with Epstein in 2007, after Florida authorities charged Jeffrey in early 2006 with multiple counts of molestation and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor and was required to register as a sex offender, but he received an astonishingly mild jail sentence of eighteen months with a private cell, unlimited visitors including young women, and daily release so he could be picked up by his driver to go to work in his Palm Beach office, a bit of incomprehensible leniency that is currently being subjected to criminal investigation by the state of Florida. After the sentence was handed down the county sheriff observed that “He was astonished that [Epstein] had to go to prison at all.”

Indeed, the entire Florida side of the Epstein story seems to have disappeared down some memory hole. Epstein was convicted for his involvement with prostitution, but the only remaining issue was the consequences that he faced. That is where other players stepped in, including Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, Palm Beach county state attorney Barry Krischer, and the Miami office U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta.

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*(Barry Krischer (L) Alex Acosta (R)

My belief that Jeffrey Epstein was an intelligence agent is based principally on Acosta’s comments when being cleared by the Trump transition team. He was asked “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” … “Acosta testified that he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had ‘been told’ to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. ‘I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.’”

The questions about Epstein remain even though he is gone, but one fears that the authorities will be disinclined to further investigate a dead man. It appears that no one in the various investigative agencies or the mainstream media has been interested in what Acosta meant, even though it would be simple enough to ask him. Who told him to back off? And how did they explain it? And then there is Epstein’s Austrian passport. Was it fake or real, with a real name and photo substitution or alternation of both picture and name? How did he get it? Austrian passports are highly desirable in intelligence circles because the country is neutral and its holders can travel just about everywhere without a visa.

And there’s more. As a former intelligence officer myself, there is little doubt in my mind that what Epstein did and how he did it was an intelligence operation. There is no other viable explanation for his filming of prominent politicians and celebrities having sex with young girls. And as for the question of whom Epstein might have been working for, the most likely answer is Mossad. The CIA would have had no interest in compiling dossiers on prominent Americans, but American movers and shakers like Bill Clinton, with his 26 trips on the Lolita Express, former Governor Bill Richardson, or former Senator George Mitchell are precisely the types of “agents of influence” that the Mossad would seek to coerce or even blackmail into cooperation.

Other compelling evidence for a Mossad connection came from Epstein’s relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, who reportedly served as his key procurer of young girls. Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died or possibly was assassinated in mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish businessman, very cosmopolitan in profile, like Epstein, a multi-millionaire who was very controversial with what were regarded as ongoing ties to Mossad. After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.”

Israel and high-profile Jewish players also have continued to turn up like bad pennies in the Epstein case, but no one seems to be interested in pursuing that angle. Epstein clearly had contact with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak and Wexner also had close tiesto the Jewish state and its government. Barry Krischer, who may have been the source of the comments to Acosta, has received the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) award. Evidence also suggests that Krischer, cooperating with rabidly pro-Israel Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz, played a key role in the failure to adequately punish Epstein for his conviction for pedophilia.  According to a recent New Yorker story, the police investigators of the Epstein case observed that “the tone and tenor of the discussions of this case with Krischer changed completely” after his meetings with Dershowitz. At that point, the two detectives most involved in the case found themselves under extreme pressure. They were surveilled constantly by private investigators and they even had their household trash snatched and searched. And the resulting plea agreement with Krischer “…was due to the efforts of Dershowitz, who had proceeded to attack and smear the victims.”

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Krischer claims that his office “subpoenaed witnesses took evidence to a Grand Jury, which returned a single felony count indictment against Epstein of soliciting prostitution,” but the reality appears to be that he worked with the defense to get Epstein off. There was plenty of evidence based on more than forty interviews with victims to convict Epstein, but instead of having him arrested, Krischer instead set up the Grand Jury with no mention of underage victims to mitigate the possible consequences. He also did not inform the victims of what he had arranged so they could challenge the verdict and penalty, a violation of Crime Victims Rights Act.

The Palm Beach police who worked the case at the time told The Miami Herald as part of an investigation published in November that they felt pressured by Krischer to downgrade Epstein’s case to a misdemeanor, or to drop it entirely. They said “the fix was in.” Acosta, more recently, did not refer to Krischer by name during an early July news conference, but spoke of the Palm Beach County state’s attorney. He described his own office as stepping in to ensure Epstein faced some form of punishment. “Simply put, the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office was willing to let Epstein walk free. No jail time. Nothing,” Acosta said. “Prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable, and we became involved.”

After thirteen months in country club jail in Palm Beach, Epstein was released. At his mansion in New York City, he subsequent had an artist paint a mural of himself in jail, evidently as an insider joke for those who knew about his time behind bars. End of story? Not exactly, even though Epstein is now dead. But the key questions go unanswered including was he a spy for Israel? And what about the Krischer-Dershowitz connection that kept him from being punished commensurate with his crimes? Did those instructions also come from Israel or from its friends in the U.S. Justice Department? Will the three simultaneous investigations currently taking place even continue and ask the right questions now that the target of the investigation is gone? Given the high stakes in the game, quite likely, there will be a cover-up both of how Epstein lived and how he died. We the public will never know what Epstein was all about.

Regime Change in Iran: Been There, Done That

By Philip Giraldi
Source

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The failed coup attempt in Caracas in early May brings to mind the techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and British intelligence in Iran in 1953 to overthrow the Mohammad Mossadeq government. It is quite astonishing how that regime-change long-ago operation parallels what is currently taking place in Venezuela and also with regards to Iran yet again.

Mossadeq was the democratically elected prime minister of Iran beginning in 1951, serving in a government in which the Shah with limited authority was the head of state presiding over a parliamentary system. Iran was nominally independent at the time, but it was heavily influenced by the neighboring Soviet Union, which retained control over several Iranian provinces after the Second World War ended, and Great Britain, which exploited the country’s oil resources through the mechanism of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), which was owned by the British government. When Mossadeq, frustrated by lack of progress in negotiations with the British over sharing of oil revenues, eventually declared that he would nationalize the AIOC, London and Washington conspired to remove him.

The new National Iranian Oil Company was immediately attacked by the British, who used the Royal Navy to block export of oil from Iran’s Abadan refinery. Ships carrying Iranian oil were stopped and boarded with their shipments confiscated as “stolen property” in light of the British government’s former ownership claim on the AIOC.

By mid-1952, Britain’s blockade of Iranian oil exports had badly hurt the Iranian economy, which eventually led to government bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the American CIA, which was initially ambivalent about what the proper role in the Anglo-Iranian conflict might be, joined British agents in supporting groups inside Iran that were hostile to Mossadeq. In the Majlis parliamentary election in the spring of 1952, Mossadeq faced serious opposition funded by the Anglo-Americans, and the election eventually was suspended. By early 1953, pro-communist and pro-Shah mobs supported and coordinated by the U.S. and Britain roamed the streets, sometimes fighting each other. Fearing a communist takeover and also under pressure from London, which was threatening to withdraw from the Korean War as a quid pro quo, President Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed to carry out a joint coup d’état.

Losing popular support due to a sinking economy, as early as August 1952 a struggling Mossadeq began ruling by emergency powers and started to jail opponents, which only aggravated the crisis. A rigged referendum to dissolve parliament and grant Mossadeq authority to govern by decree passed with 99.9% approval but led to accusations that the prime minister was seeking “total and dictatorial power.” The New York Times reported, “A plebiscite more fantastic and farcical than any ever held under Hitler or Stalin is now being staged in Iran by Premier Mossadeq in an effort to make himself unchallenged dictator of the country.” The move by Mossadeq also led to the first coup attempt, which was organized by the CIA.

On Aug. 15, 1953, Col. Nemathollah Nassiri, the commander of the Shah’s Imperial Guard, delivered to Mossadeq a decree from the Shah dismissing him. Mossadeq, who had been warned of the plot, had Nassiri arrested, and the Shah and his family fled into exile in Italy. The first coup thus ended with a whimper, but it was lessons learned for the second, better organized successful attempt which followed a few days later, Operation Ajax, coordinated by Kermit Roosevelt of the CIA.

Exploiting pro-Shah sentiment in the military, the CIA and the British turned to their stables of recruited army officers while also exploiting agents infiltrated into the communist party Tudeh, which rose to the occasion by launching mass demonstrations, to include looting and arson, which quickly alienated the public and also provided a pretext for Western support of the coup as it could be promoted as “anti-communist.” Efforts were also made to turn influential clerics against Mossadeq. The Iranian people blamed the government for all their woes and rioting soon led to the calling out of the army to restore order. The army did so and then had Mossadeq arrested. He was condemned to death, but his sentence was later commuted to three years in solitary confinement followed by house arrest. He died in 1967.

End of story, but not quite. All the elements currently being used against Venezuela and Iran were there back in 1953 to bring down Mossadeq and also appear in a detailed 2018 Pentagon plandescribing how to bring about a coup in Caracas. Wrecking the countries’ economies through sanctions and exclusion from the global banking network creates a crisis where one need not have existed. Meanwhile, a sustained campaign of vilification by Western political leaders and the media establishes the narrative that the benevolent intention is to block extremism and restore democracy while also eliminating a threat to the United States. And, as a last resort, the threat or actual use of force to stop the export of commodities to further wreck the economy becomes a clearly stated policy option, currently also employing secondary sanctions for anyone who dares to trade with the designated victim. Recently, America’s unilaterally imposed global ban on the export and sale of Iranian oil began. Venezuela’s oil sales are also being blocked and even its electricity grid is being attacked in an attempt to starve the Venezuelan people into rebelling against their government.

But you also have to have spies, secret agents, to get the ball rolling, just as was true in 1953. One assumes that the CIA has been active in recruiting the agents of influence inside Venezuelan political opposition as well as military circles who will bring out increasingly larger mobs as the situation continues to deteriorate. How successful they have been is difficult to determine, but Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido failed the first time around, reportedly because the Venezuelan government was aware of what was happening and the contacts that CIA was relying on to bring out the army were in fact double agents.

The suffering Iranian and Venezuelan people have yet to rise up in revolt. No matter. It took more than one try to bring down Mossadeq, and National Security Advisor John Bolton has recently warned Iran that its government won’t have any more anniversaries to celebrate if it continues with its “threats.” The Trump administration is also reported to be preparing military options for dealing with Venezuela.

Bolton has even warned the Russians, who are assisting Venezuela’s government: “This is our hemisphere. It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering. This is a mistake on their part.”  He is seemingly unaware of the irony, that the Russians might make the same claim about Eurasia and the Iranians regarding the Persian Gulf, where Bolton and his neocon friends in Washington have been the source of nearly continuous conflict.

The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles

What’s Behind Trump’s Syria Announcement?

By Stephen Lendman
Source

He alone likely knows what others can only speculate about. His announced pullout came after senior regime advisers argued against it.

First, it’s important to note that it’s unclear whether the US role in Syria will change following his troop pullout announcement, or if things will stay the same.

There’s no ambiguity about why US forces are in the country. Washington’s aim throughout the war has been and continues to be for regime change, wanting Syria transformed into a vassal state, Iran isolated ahead of a similar scheme to topple its government.

Washington’s objective remains unchanged whether US forces stay, leave, or are deployed to Iraq or elsewhere regionally, what’s most likely.

That’s what imperialism is all about – in all US war theaters, wanting subservient puppet rule installed serving US interests.

Trump is a longtime businessman, real estate executive, TV personality – a geopolitical know-nothing. His knowledge consists of what’s fed him by handlers, along with rubbish Fox News reports, his favorite TV channel.

Did he act on impulse, announcing his Syria troop pullout and partial Afghan one, or did others influence his decision?

My experience in small business for most of my formal working life suggests no one operates in a vacuum. I discussed everything important with colleagues. Decisions were never made hastily.

Wharton professor Wroe Alderson, the father of modern marketing, taught the principle of postponement, along with his Wharton colleague Reavis Cox.

Effective decision-making requires maximum information. The notion of postponement for marketing efficiency isn’t about putting off for later what should be done now. It’s about time needed to collect enough information to make wise decisions, a haste makes waste notion.

Collective thinking works best, greatly aiding decision-making. By his own admission, pulling out of Syria was on Trump’s mind long before his announcement last week. Here’s what he said:

“Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months (ago) when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer.”  

“Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS.” Let them carry the load. It’s “(t)ime to come home & rebuild.”

He went off-the-rails, adding: “Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the US leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us.”

He may genuinely believe US forces are combatting ISIS because that’s what his handlers told him. Hard as it is to believe, he may not know that the US created and supports ISIS, al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and other regional terrorist groups.

The Pentagon and CIA use them as proxy troops. Washington pretends to be combatting the scourge it actively supports.

As president and commander-in-chief of US forces, Trump may be ignorant about what’s essential for him to know.

Analyst Abdel Bari Atwan suggested his move may have followed “a military rule that says: if you are facing defeat and want to cut your losses, the shortest way out is to declare victory and promptly retreat.”

Strategic military thinking isn’t his forte. It’s the domain of many others in his regime. How they’ve advised him can only be speculated about. He’s likely gotten various views on Syria and other geopolitical issues.

AP’s Matt Lee and Susannah George believe Turkey’s Erdogan influenced his decision, saying he acted “hastily without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against the Islamic State” – the US supports, as I’ve explained many times in my articles.

Trump meets regularly with key regime officials, along with congressional leaders. He’s likely alone only when spending private time with family members.

Although he reportedly argued against a change in regime policy on Syria, Mike Pompeo defended his announcement publicly, saying “(i)t no longer makes sense for there to be 2,000 soldiers stationed there.”

Former State Department official Brett Bruen slammed him, saying he “publicly parrots whatever he thinks the president wants him to say, and foreign leaders have a very tough time putting themselves next to a parrot that is trumpeting ‘America First.’ ”

According to AP’s Lee and George, “Pompeo, Mattis and other members of the national security team prepared a list of talking points for Trump to tell Erdogan to back off.”

Trump “ignored the script…sid(ing) with Erdogan…remain(ing) unmoved by those scrambling to convince him to reverse or at least delay the decision.”

“ ‘The talking points were very firm,’ ” said one of the officials, explaining that Trump was advised to clearly oppose a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and suggest the US and Turkey work together to address security concerns.’’

“Everybody said push back and try to offer (Erdogan) something that’s a small win, possibly holding territory on the border, something like that.”

“Trump capitulated by pledging to withdraw…offering no specifics on how it would be done…” Efforts by Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo to dissuade him failed, according to AP’s sources.

“Time to focus on our Country & bring our youth back home where they belong,” Trump tweeted.

Whatever unfolds in the new year, Washington’s imperial agenda remains unchanged – in Syria, Afghanistan, and everywhere else.

10 Most Deadly CIA-backed Coups In Latin America

Rebel Voice

They are the eternal bad guys, at least for most of the planet, and for a very good reason. The CIA have been involved in causing more hardship and war across the planet in the last 70 years than any other single organisation.

But the shady Federal corporation acts at the behest of the Establishment/Surplass of the USA. Extremely rich and powerful people who live in opulent mansions make recommendations and issue instructions to the politicians and apparatchiks of the Federal regime. It is these play-makers who ultimately control the actions of the CIA.

The reasons are power and, of course, profit. The old adage is always, Follow themoney. It will be found that whenever a CIA-led coup is instigated anywhere in the world, there will be the issue of financial gain at the back of it. It may not always be immediately evident, but rest assured…

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CIA’s Latest Greatest Failure

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Government agencies that are skilled at invading nearly everyone’s privacy worldwide are sometimes totally inept at keeping their own internal communications secure. The problem is particularly acute for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which must maintain secure contact with thousands of foreign agents scattered all over the world. By secure contact one means being able to provide specific targeting to the agents and received in return detailed information that responds to what is being sought without any third party being able to intercept or interpret what is being shared.

Communicating is the most vulnerable element in any foreign agent operation, particularly as counter-intelligence services commit major resources to cracking the systems used to link an agent in the field with his case officer or handler, who might be in the same country under diplomatic cover but just as easily might be in another nearby country or halfway around the world.

Various media reports have lately been detailing a catastrophic communications security failure by CIA that took place between 2007 and 2013. In simple terms, what took place was this: the Agency developed a method of covertly communicating with its agents through the internet that involved sites which enabled two way communications that were believed to be both secure and efficient. It presumably operated like social media sites where you have to log in, provide a password and then are able to send and receive messages. It almost certainly had some level of encryption built into it and there may have been several layers of passwords and/or questions that the user had to answer to gain access.

Once developed, the system, which was originally intended only for occasional low-level use, was then deployed to handle nearly all the CIA’s agent communications worldwide, including a number of key countries targeted by Washington, to include Iran and China. Each country had a separate site and the sites themselves were set up under innocuous business or social cover arrangements which presumably would have made them of no interest to prowling counterintelligence services.

What exactly went wrong is not completely clear, but the mechanism was discovered by Iranian counterintelligence, possibly employing information provided by a double agent. The Iranians determined what kind of indicators and components the CIA site had and then went on a Google search to find other similar sites. They then watched their site as well as the others, noting both their activity and their idiosyncrasies, and were presumably were able to penetrate the site directed against them. At some point, they passed what they had learned on to the Chinese and possibly others.

The Chinese expanded on the Iranian work by breaking through the firewall in their country’s site and getting into the entire system. It was possible to identify all the CIA agents in China. More than two dozen were arrested, tortured and killed and a like number were found and executed in Iran, though some were warned by CIA and were able to escape. Agents in other countries were also exfiltrated as a security measure because it was not known to what extent the information on the system had been compromised and shared. The damage is still being assessed, but one thing that is known is that the United States knew little or nothing about what was going on in China and Iran at a critical time when negotiations over nuclear programs and North Korea were taking place.

The internet communications system was used so extensively because it was easy to use. When it eventually crashed, fully 70% of CIA communications with agents were potentially compromised. Ironically, a CIA contractor had, in 2008, warned that the internet system had major flaws that could be exploited. He was fired for his pains.

Secret communications to protect spies are as old as the Greeks and Romans, who used codes and substitution ciphers. The leap into internet communications by the CIA demonstrated that no system is infallible. The CIA got lazy and did not do its homework when setting up communications plans with agents. The reality is that running agents in a hostile foreign country is more an art than a science. You communicate with a spy in a way that fits in with his lifestyle so as not to arouse suspicion. He or she might be able to take phone calls, or receive letters with invisible writing. They might have the privacy to do burst communications from a computer to a satellite. Or they might prefer to use the old-fashioned methods — to include chalk marks signaling dead drops, brush passes and encrypted communications using one-time pads. CIA, which lost many of its skilled spies post 9/11 after it went crazy over electronics, drones and paramilitary operations, will now have to relearn Basic Espionage 101. It will not be easy and will take years to do if it is even possible. Some might argue, perhaps, that the world would be a better and safer place if it is not done at all.

By Philip Giraldi
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