Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law

June 11th, 2021

Julian Assange Feature photo

By Chris Hedges

Source

Chris Hedges gave this talk at a rally Thursday night in New York City in support of Julian Assange. John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian’s father and brother, also spoke at the event, which was held at The People’s Forum.

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost A society that prohibits the capacity to speak in truth extinguishes the capacity to live in justice.

This why we are here tonight.  Yes, all of us who know and admire Julian decry his prolonged suffering and the suffering of his family.  Yes, we demand that the many wrongs and injustices that have been visited upon him be ended.  Yes, we honor him up for his courage and his integrity. But the battle for Julian’s liberty has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher.  It is the most important battle for press freedom of our era.  And if we lose this battle, it will be devastating, not only for Julian and his family, but for us.

Tyrannies invert the rule of law.  They turn the law into an instrument of injustice.  They cloak their crimes in a faux legality.  They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality.  Those, such as Julian, who expose that criminality to the public are dangerous, for without the pretext of legitimacy the tyranny loses credibility and has nothing left in its arsenal but fear, coercion and violence.

The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of inverted totalitarianism, a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.

I was in the London courtroom when Julian was being tried by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, an updated version of the Queen of Hearts in Alice-in Wonderland demanding the sentence before pronouncing the verdict. It was judicial farce. There was no legal basis to hold Julian in prison.  There was no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the U.S. Espionage Act. The CIA spied on Julian in the embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Julian and his lawyers as they discussed his defense. This fact alone invalidated the trial. Julian is being held in a high security prison so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the degrading abuse and torture it hopes will lead to his psychological if not physical disintegration.

The U.S. government directed, as Craig Murray so eloquently documented, the London prosecutor James Lewis.  Lewis presented these directives to Baraitser.  Baraitser adopted them as her legal decision.  It was judicial pantomime. Lewis and the judge insisted they were not attempting to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press while they busily set up the legal framework to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press. And that is why the court worked so hard to mask the proceedings from the public, limiting access to the courtroom to a handful of observers and making it hard and at times impossible to access the trial online.  It was a tawdry show trial, not an example of the best of English jurisprudence but the Lubyanka.

Now, I know many of us here tonight would like to think of ourselves as radicals, maybe even revolutionaries.  But what we are demanding on the political spectrum is in fact conservative, it is the restoration of the rule of law.  It is simple and basic. It should not, in a functioning democracy, be incendiary.  But living in truth in a despotic system is the supreme act of defiance.  This truth terrifies those in power.

The architects of imperialism, the masters of war, the corporate-controlled legislative, judicial and executive branches of government and their obsequious courtiers in the media, are illegitimate.  Say this simple truth and you are banished, as many of us have been, to the margins of the media landscape.  Prove this truth, as Julian, Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond and Edward Snowden have by allowing us to peer into the inner workings of power, and you are hunted down and persecuted.

Shortly after WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs in October 2010, which documented numerous US war crimes—including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the Collateral Murder video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians that had approached too closely to U.S. checkpoints—the towering civil rights attorneys Len Weinglass and my good friend Michael Ratner, who I would later accompany to meet Julian in the Ecuadoran Embassy, met with Julian in a studio apartment in Central London.  Julian’s personal bank cards had been blocked. Three encrypted laptops with documents detailing US war crimes had disappeared from his luggage in route to London. Swedish police were fabricating a case against him in a move, Ratner warned, that was about extraditing Julian to the United States.

“WikiLeaks and you personally are facing a battle that is both legal and political,” Weinglass told Assange. “As we learned in the Pentagon Papers case, the US government doesn’t like the truth coming out. And it doesn’t like to be humiliated. No matter if it’s Nixon or Bush or Obama, Republican or Democrat in the White House. The US government will try to stop you from publishing its ugly secrets. And if they have to destroy you and the First Amendment and the rights of publishers with you, they are willing to do it. We believe they are going to come after WikiLeaks and you, Julian, as the publisher.”

“Come after me for what?” asked Julian.

“Espionage,” Weinglass continued. “They’re going to charge Bradley Manning with treason under the Espionage Act of 1917. We don’t think it applies to him because he’s a whistleblower, not a spy. And we don’t think it applies to you either because you are a publisher. But they are going to try to force Manning into implicating you as his collaborator.”

“Come after me for what?

That is the question.

They came after Julian not for his vices, but his virtues.

They came after Julian because he exposed the more than 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians; because he exposed the torture and abuse of some 800 men and boys, aged between 14 and 89, at Guantánamo; because he exposed that Hillary Clinton in 2009 ordered US diplomats to spy on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other U.N. representatives from China, France, Russia, and the UK, spying that included obtaining DNA, iris scans, fingerprints, and personal passwords, part of the long pattern of illegal surveillance that included the eavesdropping on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the weeks before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003; because he exposed that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the CIA orchestrated the June 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya, replacing it with a murderous and corrupt military regime; because he exposed that George W. Bush, Barack Obama and General David Petraeus prosecuted a war in Iraq that under post-Nuremberg laws is defined as a criminal war of aggression, a war crime, that they authorized hundreds of targeted assassinations, including those of U.S. citizens in Yemen, and that they secretly launched missile, bomb, and drone attacks on Yemen, killing scores of civilians; because he exposed that Goldman Sachs paid Hillary Clinton $657,000 to give talks, a sum so large it can only be considered a bribe, and that she privately assured corporate leaders she would do their bidding while promising the public financial regulation and reform; because he exposed the internal campaign to discredit and destroy British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by members of his own party; because he exposed how the hacking tools used by the CIA and the National Security Agency permits the wholesale government surveillance of our televisions, computers, smartphones and anti-virus software, allowing the government to record and store our conversations, images and private text messages, even from encrypted apps.

Julian exposed the truth.  He exposed it over and over and over until there was no question of the endemic illegality, corruption and mendacity that defines the global ruling elite.  And for these truths they came after Julian, as they have come after all who dared rip back the veil on power.  “Red Rosa now has vanished too. …” Bertolt Brecht wrote after the German socialist Rosa Luxemburg was murdered. “She told the poor what life is about, And so the rich have rubbed her out.”

We have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where we, as citizens, are nothing more than commodities to corporate systems of power, ones to be used, fleeced and discarded. To refuse to fight back, to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet from ecocide, to decry the domestic and international crimes of the ruling class, to demand justice, to live in truth, is to bear the mark of Cain. Those in power must feel our wrath, and this means constant acts of mass civil disobedience, it means constant acts of social and political disruption, for this organized power from below is the only power that will save us and the only power that will free Julian.  Politics is a game of fear.  It is our moral and civic duty to make those in power very, very afraid.

The criminal ruling class has all of us locked in its death grip.  It cannot be reformed.  It has abolished the rule of law.  It obscures and falsifies the truth. It seeks the consolidation of its obscene wealth and power. And so, to quote the Queen of Hearts, metaphorically of course, I say, “Off with their heads.”

22 Years Ago: NATO’s Illegal and Criminal Invasion of Yugoslavia

By Nebojsa Malic

Global Research, March 23, 2021

Global Research 26 March 2005

This article by renowned author Nobojsa Malic was first published on March 26, 2005

In the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted nation thought the name of the operation was “Merciful Angel .” In fact, the attack was code-named “Allied Force ” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too much success), there was nothing noble in NATO’s aims. It attacked Yugoslavia for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a quickie in the Oval Office: because it could.

Most of the criticism of the 1999 war has focused on its conduct (targeting practices, effects, “collateral damage”) and consequences. But though the conduct of the war by NATO was atrocious and the consequences have been dire and criminal , none of that changes the fact that by its very nature and from the very beginning, NATO’s attack was a war of aggression: illegal, immoral, and unjust; not “unsuccessful” or “mishandled,” but just plain wrong.

Illegal

There is absolutely no question that the NATO attack in March 1999 was illegal . Article 2, section 4 of the UN Charter clearly says:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Some NATO members tried to offer justification. London claimed the war was “justified” as a means of preventing a “humanitarian catastrophe,” but offered no legal grounds for such a claim. Paris tried to create a tenuous link with UNSC resolutions 1199 and 1203 , which Belgrade was supposedly violating. However, NATO had deliberately bypassed the UN, rendering this argument moot.

Article 53 (Chapter VIII ) of the UN Charter clearly says that:

“The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council.” (emphasis added)

Furthermore, Article 103 (Chapter XVI ) asserts its primacy over any other regional agreement, so NATO’s actions would have been illegal under the UN Charter even if the Alliance had an obligation to act in Kosovo. Even NATO’s own charter – the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 – was violated by the act of war in March 1999:

“Article 1

“The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. […]

“Article 7

“This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.” (emphasis added)

The attack violated other laws and treaties as well: the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 (violating the territorial integrity of a signatory state) and the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (using coercion to compel a state to sign a treaty – i.e., the Rambouillet ultimatum ).

Yugoslavia had not attacked any NATO members, nor indeed threatened the security of any other country in the region; it was itself under an attack by a terrorist , irredentist organization. What NATO did on March 24, 1999 was an act of aggression, a crime against peace .

Illegitimate

Perfectly aware that the bombing was illegal, NATO leaders tried to create justifications for it after the fact. They quickly seized upon a mass exodus of Albanians from Kosovo, describing it as “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide .” But as recent testimonies of Macedonian medical workers who took care of Albanian refugees suggest, the Western press was engaging in crude deceit , staging images of suffering refugees and peddling the most outrageous tall tales as unvarnished truth.

Stories abounded of mass murder, orchestrated expulsions, mass rapes, seizure of identity papers, even crematoria and mine shafts filled with dead bodies. Little or no evidence was offered – and not surprisingly, none found afterwards. The stories were part of a Big Lie , aimed to justify the intervention, concocted by professional propagandists, and delivered by the KLA-coached refugees. The KLA ran every camp in Macedonia and Albania, and there are credible allegations they organized the exodus in many instances. Albanians who did not play along were killed.

Eventually, the “genocide” and other atrocity stories were debunked as propaganda. But they had served their purpose, conjuring a justification for the war at the time. They had allowed NATO and its apologists to claim the war – though “perhaps” illegal – was a moral and legitimate affair. But there should be no doubt, it was neither .

Unjust

Even if one can somehow gloss over the illegal, illegitimate nature of the war and the lies it was based on, would the war still not be justified, if only because it led to the return of refugees? Well, which refugees? Certainly, many Kosovo Albanians – and quite a few from Albania, it appears – came back, only to proceed to cleanse it systematically of everyone else. Jews, Serbs, Roma, Turks, Ashkali, Gorani, no community was safe from KLA terror , not even the Albanians themselves. Those suspected of “collaborating” were brutally murdered, often with entire families.

According to the Catholic doctrine of “just war ,” a war of aggression cannot be just. Even if one somehow fudges the issue, “the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

The evil conjured by NATO’s and KLA’s propaganda machine was indeed grave. But it was not real. In contrast, what took place after the war – i.e., under the NATO/KLA occupation – is amply documented. At the beginning of NATO’s aggression, there were fewer dead, fewer refugees, less destruction, and more order than at any time since the beginning of the occupation. NATO has replaced a fabricated evil with a very real evil of its own.

Monument to Evil

What began six years ago may have been Albright’s War on Clinton’s watch, but both Albright and Clinton have been gone from office for what amounts to a political eternity.

For four years now, the occupation of Kosovo has continued with the blessing – implicit or otherwise – of Emperor Bush II, who launched his own illegal war in Iraq . Kosovo is not a partisan, but an imperial issue; that is why there has been virtually no debate on it since the first missiles were fired.

Albright and KLA leader Hashim Thaci, Rambouillet, 1998

Six years to the day since NATO aircraft began their onslaught, Kosovo is a chauvinistic, desolate hellhole.

Serbian lives, property, culture, and heritage been systematically destroyed , often right before the eyes of NATO “peacekeepers.” Through it all, Imperial officials, Albanian lobbyists, and various presstitutes have been working overtime to paint a canvas that would somehow cover up the true horror of occupation.

Their “liberated” Kosovo represents everything that is wrong about the world we live in.

It stands as a monument to the power of lies, the successful murder of law, and the triumph of might over justice. Such a monument must be torn down, or else the entire world may end up looking like Kosovo sometime down the line. If that’s what the people in “liberal Western democracies” are willing to see happen, then their civilization is well and truly gone

Terrorism is a Western industry to destabilize independent countries and plunder their wealth

Source

See the source image

For decades, Western countries, led by the United States, have been creating an appropriate climate for investment in terrorism and making it a means and pretext for waging wars.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Washington took advantage of the international circumstances that were formed after the attacks to form multiple alliances under the pretext of combating terrorism.

The US-led collation occupied Afghanistan and waged the wars and interventions against Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries in the world.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton published her book “Hard Choices” in 2016. In this book, Clinton admitted that “ the US administration established the terrorist organization ISIS in the region with the aim of destabilizing its countries”.

During his 2016 election campaign, former US President Donald Trump announced to a crowd of his supporters in Florida that former US President Barack Obama was the founder of “ISIS”.

A former employee of the US National Security Agency Edward Snowden, published documents in ‘The Intercept’ in 2014.

The document said that “the Institute of Intelligence and Special Tasks, in cooperation with British intelligence MI6, the Israeli Mossad and the US National Security Agency, paved the way for the emergence of the terrorist “ISIS” organization in the Middle East.”

Many press reports documented that ISIS was formed and its leaderships prepared in Bucca prison in southern Iraq, which was run by the American occupation forces after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Last September, the Gray Zone, an independent news website, revealed how Western intelligence manipulated Arab and international media outlets in order to create misleading media coverage about the situation in Syria and the war against it.

Last year, the British ‘Middle East Eye’ website leaked documents showing the involvement of the West in general and the British government in particular in supporting and financing terrorist organizations in Syria under the name of ‘moderate opposition’.

British writer Mark Curtis, who published these documents, said , that Britain began clandestine operations against Syria in early 2012, that is, since the start of the terrorist war against it.

Britain was closely involved in smuggling weapons shipments to terrorists, training and organizing them in a years-long process in cooperation with the United States and the Saudi regime.

O. al-Mohammad

Related Videos

SDF Wetworkers Engage in Mass Kidnappings of Young Syrian Men

MIRI WOOD  

Bomb detonated in front of Virgin Mary Church - Qamishli - Hasakah Syria

SDF armed terrorists, secessionists, unindicted Nuremberg criminals have engaged in mass abductions of young Syrian men from al Raqqa and al Hasakah governates. Over the recent two days, these savages kidnapped over 200 young men, taking them to concentration camps for purposes of turning them “into killing machines by the CIA and its contractors,” all criminals.

These US armed terrorist secessionists continue to breach all forms of International Law, including vicious attempts to ethnically cleanse indigenous Syrians from their homeland.

The US created killers ambushed mosques — grabbing young men after prayer — in several towns of al Raqqa, to “forcibly recruit” young Syrian men into their depleting ranks between Friday and Sunday.

https://goo.gl/maps/q56yV6fq5L55t61S6

From SANA:

In Hasakah southern countryside, local sources indicated that the militia launched a campaign of raids in the town of Arisha and the village of Twaimin in Hasaka southern countryside, and kidnapped a number of civilians and took them to their camps and positions in the same countryside.

https://goo.gl/maps/SPyQ8oiw85ACiQQc7

“In the framework of its continued crimes which aim to tighten the noose on the locals, QSD (SDF) militia on Saturday kidnapped a number of civilians in separate campaigns of raids that targeted the locals’ homes in al-Yarubiya area and Tal Hamis town in Hasaka, and al-Mahmoudla village in Raqqa western countryside.

There were no reports of the lawless SDF murdering anyone trying to escape or prevent the mass kidnappings, as has happened in the past.

As unindicted war criminal Hillary Clinton (Iraq, Libya, Syria) and Council on Foreign Relations member daughter are prepping to launch a propaganda drama series on ‘female Kurdish militias’ to help Americans cheer more war crimes, we offer a short refresher on the origins of the separatist, murderous, blood-lusting, wetworking SDF.

Upcoming propaganda tv show to keep Americans cheering destruction of other people’s countries.

US Americans have become the best at being hypnotized by mass media propaganda in all forms; the porn freaks among them devour war propaganda, especially involving women. This show will be a pathetic hit.

The Kurdish people are not indigenous to Syria. Many Syrian Kurds are descendants of those who first fled genocide in Turkey, and were graciously taken in by Syria; the martyred Sheikh Saeed Ramadan al Bouti — killed in mosque, during prayer, after having called the FSA terrorists “scum” — was born of Kurdish origins, born in Turkey.

The YPG is/was an armed faction of separatist Kurds in Syria, who believed they had the right to steal a chunk of land in a country that took them in, and protected them from being slaughtered. The YPG was on the US terror list. The Obama regime did not want to remove the YPG from this terror list, and so convinced the rag-tag terror gang to change its name, for remarketing purposes which were to include fake heroism.

The US demanded the separatist armed Kurds change their name.

Obama oversaw the bringing together wetworkers from around the world, to fight ISIS in Syria, which is not in the US, to fight the same ISIS that the US created. This was, and remains, the imperialist cover for the ancient military strategy to divide, and conquer — Syria, not DAESH.

Here is a sampling of phony SDF leaders — and the bogus of the altruistic — foreign NATO wetworkers:

syrian-democratic-forces
Brit operative ‘joined’ the US wetworkers called Syrian Democratic Forces.
“Then we just bombarded the shit out of it [Raqqa].” “I’ve literally done nothing in my life but jack off before I came here.” — American terrorist & human garbage.
No mention of him being armed in a foreign country.
An illegal Swede in Syria: SDF ‘leader.’
Imagine the US being illegally entered and occupied by a foreign military force. Would msm normalize such a criminal aggression?

Obama brought in human garbage from around the world to create the SDF; Trump brought in the military. Both presidents are indictable under Nuremberg statutes for crimes against humanity.

The Trump regime outdid Obama’s war crimes; where Obama dumped scattered riff-raff into Syria, unobtrusively slipped in a couple thousand “special operatives” on that down-low, and named the killers for hire — that is what wetworkers are — Trump set up military bases, bragged about stealing Syria’s oil, and used the stupid separatist Kurds as cannon fodder, to divide, conquer, balkanize Syria.

The giddy goose in the photo, below, is Virginia Gamba. She is the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict — a topic so significant that the UN forced it into an Arria Formula meeting, 29 January, a meeting not addressed by SG Guterres, who merely listened in. Gamba was quite somber for that occasion.

Gamba’s excitement, below, involves the signing of the “so-called June 19 Action Plan” — another attempt by the klansmen who have usurped the United Nations and shredded its noble Charter — to legitimize armed separatists against Syria. Abdi signed a treaty in agreement that the [US created, owned, armed] SDF would halt forcing children to become soldiers — such a stunning breakthrough given that the Geneva Agreement declared ”recruitment” of children under 15 a war crime, decades ago (IHL database, Rule 136. Alas, there is that annoying loophole, that armed terrorist/secessionists against a de jure government are not signatories to statutes on International Law and war crimes.).

un-goosy SDF terrorist commander Mazloum Abdi
Another UN breach of its own charter: Signing an agreement with an agent of the US in Syria. There exists no such place as “Syrian Kurdistan.”

Please pay particular attention to this paragraph from the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (html, here; pdf, here.), October 1970:

The principle concerning the duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter. No State or group of States has the right to intervene directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.

According to United Nations documentation, the meeting between an armed insurrectionist against the de jure government of the Syrian Arab Republic and Gamba et al. — which includes SG Guterres — is in breach of International Law. According to the UN, all breaches of International Law are war crimes.

war crimes
UN leaders who meet with armed insurrectionists are in breach of International Law, and therefore engage in war crimes according to the UN.

Though loopholes appear to be the function of the NATO supremacists that have hijacked the United Nations, utilizing the ancient divide and conquer strategy to crush sovereign nations not affiliated with NATO, the US-created, armed, and protected SDF fulfills the criteria of IHL definition of war crimes.

The SDF engages in war crimes in Syria.

The SDF war crime of kidnapping has been constant, though the past weekend’s numbers are among the highest, and part of this criminal gang’s plot to fulfill the larger war crime of ethnic cleansing of indigenous Arabs from their Syrian homeland. Other kidnappings have included a Baath Party leader from his doctor’s office, another large group of young men from Deir Ezzor and Hasakah villages, early last month, kidnappings in January.

In August 2018, the US-run SDF fake police shut down Christian schools in Qamishli (this was during the time that the State Department started wailing about religious freedom), and shortly thereafter a vehicle was blown up outside the Church of the Virgin Mary. The following month these fake police massacred 13 Syrian security personnel.

syriac - syrians-in-qamishli
qamishli christians syriac church
Liters of blood of the Syrian martyrs in Qamishli, slaughtered by US SDF. [Archive, September 2018]
Imagine American soldiers slaughtered in the US, their bodies dumped & the world writing about “moderate American opposition.”
Kurdish sdf ypg woman fighter

Throughout much of January and February, the US-owned SDF terrorists utilized the war crime of cutting off food to the locals in Hasaka, a siege which was temporarily halted after 20 days of empty bakeries and water deprivation, and protesting Syrian Arabs being shot at. This was a follow-up to the malignant criminals’ rampages of stealing Syrian farmlands last summer, and torching farmlands of wheat they were unable to purloin.

Kurdish SDF separatists with US army - Biden Trump Obama Israel

Al Hol was originally a camp for IDPs, internally displaced persons forced to leave their homes and neighborhoods because of the terrorism of FSA and other al Qaeda moderates fighting to destroy Syria. It has been renamed al Hol Hell, since it was taken over by the SDF terrorists — as usual, under the protection of the now Biden regime criminal troops, American illegals militarily occupying parts of the SAR. The separatist, secessionist war criminal SDF subsequently used it as a dumping ground for some captured members of ISIS, their concubines, and unfortunate offspring, mixing them in with vulnerable refugees.

Al Hol (Hawl) concentration camp for Syrian refugees in Hasakah
Al Hol (Hawl) concentration camp for Syrian refugees in Hasakah

Since November, the western supremacy adored SDF have taken to shooting al Hol inhabitants, in cold blood — shootings that were lamented by the NATO klan at the 25 February anti-Syria UNSC meeting. It is worth of a reminder that the usual suspects spoke of the shootings as though nobody were responsible; they just were magically happening — despite the obvious fact that the SDF is the gang with the weapons. Also please keep in mind that the celeb white savior Khush — the DC-based American illegal who spent time in al Hol, which is in Syria, not in the US — revered the SDF terrorists as “authorities” in her address.

Let us be mindful that as the US (military-industrial-complexcreated al Qaeda, as the US created ISIS, the US has also created the terrorist, war criminal, ethnic cleansing, SDF.

— Miri Wood

Here is another bombshell interview, a defector-official describing the relationship between the terrorist ISIS gang and the terrorist SDF gang:

Kurd SDF Official Defects and Exposes the Group’s Relationship with ISIS

https://syrianews.cc/kurd-sdf-official-defects-and-exposes-the-groups-relationship-with-isis/embed/#?secret=8fXVwOp4QS

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Blinken Talks the Talk, but Will He Walk the Walk?

During his 24 years as a senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and United Press International, Martin Sieff reported from more than 70 nations and covered 12 wars. He has specialized in US and global economic issues.

Martin Sieff

March 8, 2021

Biden has so far made no move whatsoever to rein in the continued bold and potentially very dangerous US military exercises with allies right up to the very borders of Russia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s March 3 speech at the US State Department should be warmly welcomed around the world, especially in Caracas and Tehran: It does indeed mark a highly significant shift in US foreign policy and deserves to be taken at face value: But it does not address fundamental policy conflicts with Russia and China that Biden inherited from his predecessors – and not just Donald Trump. And it is these far bigger, unaddressed issues that may very well yet propel the world into a nightmarish thermonuclear war.

Blinken in his speech made an acknowledgement that his predecessors Mike Pompeo, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton would never have been capable of – and that John Kerry was never allowed to admit.

Blinken openly admitted that there had been US efforts to topple governments by force that Washington was critical of. He further openly acknowledged that some of those efforts had failed and that they had badly discredited the cause of democracy and the United States itself around the world.

“We will incentivize democratic behavior, but we will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or by attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. We tried these tactics in the past. …they haven’t worked. They have given democracy promotion a bad name and they have lost the confidence of the American people. We will do things differently,” Blinken said.

There is every reason to believe that Blinken was sincere in his commitment to forswear efforts at regime change in both Iran and Venezuela.

First, the very day before his important speech, Blinken held a telephone conversation with Venezuelan opposition politician Juan Guaido, whom Trump, Pompeo and then National Security Adviser John Bolton farcically tried to promote as the legitimate president of Venezuela. US allies around the world, especially in Europe and Latin America have been humiliatingly led by the nose to publicly support this absurd contention, akin to incredibility to claiming that Venezuela’s great Angel Falls flow up not down, or that the World is Flat.

No details of what Blinken discussed with Guaido have yet emerged at this time of writing but it is very clear what the secretary of state’s message was: Like so many previous corrupt and vanity-filled dupes eager to grab the coattails of America’s imagined New Rome global imperium, Guaido was told he was going to be thrown under the bus.

This move is clearly demanded by US pragmatic interests. If there is one lesson that Wall Street and its US government servants have followed for the past 150 years since the rise of John D. Rockefeller and J. P Morgan: It is to back Winners and throw Hopeless Losers to the wolves.

Guaido certainly counts as a Hopeless Loser: He has gained no discernible political, popular or military support within Venezuela, despite the continuing suffering caused by the ongoing US economic war launched against Caracas by President Joe Biden’s old boss and close friend Barack Obama in 2014 and then enthusiastically intensified by Trump and Pompeo.

Does that mean the economic war against Venezuela will end? Certainly not. Blinken himself, like his master, President Biden supported it 100 percent during the Obama administration. And the new administration, already the source of Republican wrath for its domestic economic and social policies, will not casually open up a new front where it can be attacked as wimps.

Like brutalized children, liberal Democrats have been terrified of such accusations ever since Senator Joe McCarthy accused them of “losing China ” (China was never theirs to lose) and being soft on communism back in 1950.

Also, ending the economic war on Venezuela would require decisive and original action and Blinken, like Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, has owed his long, slow, steady rise precisely to following the golden rule of liberal Democrats since the days of party presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s: Never take a strong, sustained position on anything , good or bad. Even when you see a policy is leading you off the edge of a cliff, just slow it down a bit and still tumble over the cliff to your political doom. Never dare to actually stop, or reverse any disastrous course of action.

These simple principles determined the endless foreign policy fiascos of Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and even to some degree Bill Clinton.

Clinton was led by the nose, though reluctantly, to bomb Serbia and risk needless confrontation with Russia by his secretary of state Madeleine Albright and her lifelong mentor, Russia-phobic former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Blinken’s foreswearing of any effort at direct regime change therefore appears to be part of a policy that while initially appearing moderate will never lead to anything truly constructive.

Blinken, like Biden and Sullivan, wants to restore US participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran for no better reason than that they all supported it and helped negotiate it in the first place for Obama.

However, the new administration has already made clear it does not dare risk driving Saudi Arabia into China or Russia’s arms. Blinken’s speech may indeed lead to the return of US participation in the JCPOA, something America ‘s European allies and the Iranians would both welcome. But it looks unlikely so far to lead to anything else.

Also, so far, Biden has so far made no move whatsoever to rein in the continued bold and potentially very dangerous US military exercises with allies right up to the very borders of Russia. Yet if these moves had been carried out by the Russian Air Force and Navy off the shores or close to the territories of the United States, they would provoke complete outrage.

Similarly, the US armed forces are plunging ahead, secure in both administration and bipartisan congressional support, to step up military deployments in the Western Pacific openly proclaimed as containing China within the two Island Chains of the great ocean.

Blinken’s speech should indeed be welcomed as a positive first step towards reducing global tensions: But it is far too early to celebrate whether he will continue to walk the walk even while he talks the talk.

War on Syria: Israel and the Kurdish Card

South Front

 01.02.2021 

The conflict in Syria does not seem to be nearing its end despite the diplomatic efforts to find a solution for it. Every participant in the standoff is undertaking actions to pursue their interests, and many of them evidently are in conflict with one another.

Israel and its never-ending fight against the ‘Iranian threat’, as usual, appears to be in the middle of it.

On January 31st, along the separation line of the Golan Heights, a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) post was attacked by unknown gunmen. They came from the Israeli-occupied side, and a loud explosion followed. No casualties were reported, and it is possible that Israel was behind it, since the IDF has done raids such as these in the past, including twice in 2020. According to pro-militant sources, the IDF operation was carried out to deter purported Iranian forces in the area.

Israeli media reported that several months ago that in Damascus itself, an unnamed “Western Intelligence Agency” carried out a raid the headquarters of Iran’s Quds Force Unit 840. While the report remains questionable, at minimum, it can be considered as a direct threat to Tehran and Damascus.

In Northeast Syria, a severe conflict appears to be in the making, as US President Joe Biden seems to want an extremely negative outward scenario in order to reverse the limited involvement approach of Donald Trump.  Soon, MSM may get a new ‘war for democracy’ to cover, so, the population can focus less on what is transpiring inside the US.

The US-supported Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) appear to be the prime candidates to lead the situation towards critical mass. Hillary Clinton, and her daughter Chelsea are already moving with propaganda preparations: a Kurdish soap opera, focused on the lives and struggle of Kurdish women who fought not only against ISIS, but also fought for their liberty and their rights.

The Kurdish “freedom fighters” also fight against Turkey and reject a political settlement with Damascus.

Still, the SDF is now emboldened, it has support from the US, and little else in the region, except the poison hand of “friendship” from Israel. If all hell breaks loose, however, it is dubious whether or not Tel Aviv would come running to help.

This, however, does not stop the Kurdish leadership from employing harsh approaches to suppress local discontent with its anti-Syrian approaches. Just recently in Al-Hasakah, a pro-government protest was democratically put down by live fire and killings by the SDF’s “freedom fighters”.

It is an open secret the SDF-controlled area is in fact run by the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) “shadow government” and the SDF itself is full of PKK members, including the SDF commander in chief himself. This creates conditions for a continuous fight against the Turkish forces, and provides additional motivation for the SDF rejection of a political settlement with the Damascus government.

The Kurdish leaders are happy to receive weapons and funds from the US in exchange for loyalty to the project of the dismantling of the Syrian state.

Emboldened by the supposed support from the US, and the recent large deployments that have been carried out, the SDF and co. have recently become more active in their attempts to hinder the interests of Damascus, Russia and Iran.

The SDF’s mismanagement of the situation is further evidenced by the permanent tensions with Arab locals in the controlled areas and the deep humanitarian problems in SDF-run camps for displaced persons, including those affiliated with ISIS members. There are about 27,000 children in the SDF-run Al-Hol camp, where families of ISIS members and supporters are held. ISIS activity has seen an incredible increase in 2021, and the terrorist group would be more than content with “adopting” these young recruits.

With the new administration in Washington, the wind is blowing towards an incredibly violent scenario. The resumption of the ‘active’ policies to ‘deter’ Russia, Iran and the ‘Assad regime’ by playing the Kurdish card creates conditions for a further destabilization of Syria’s northeast. In some scenarios, the situation could swiftly descend into complete chaos.

To avoid this scenario, Kurdish leadership needs to remember that they are short on allies in the region and adapt a more constructive approach towards a political settlement with Damascus. Otherwise it is “highly likely” that dark clouds are soon to come on the horizon and the SDF card will once again become a small coin in the Big Middle Eastern Game.

The myth of the ‘lesser evil’: Why US progressives back Biden

President Joe Biden took office this month after defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 vote (AFP/file photo)

Joseph Massad

29 January 2021 11:26 UTC 

As beneficiaries of the country’s imperialist system, supposedly progressive Americans have never truly sought radical change

Ever since I arrived in the United States to begin my university education in 1982, I have been baffled by arguments used by white (and some Black and Latino) American progressives, leftists and socialists to justify voting for Democratic presidential and congressional candidates.

Unlike mainstream liberal and conservative Americans, who believe their country is God’s gift to the world, the arguments of progressives often stress that Democrats are the “lesser evil” of the two contending parties.

The Democratic commitment to the rich was made amply clear with the major subsidies given to them by Clinton and Obama

Many agree that, in the words of Gore Vidal: “There is only one party in the United States, the Property party… and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.”

Still, progressives always proceed according to the “lesser evil” theory. If I raised the question of US imperial policy, dubbed “foreign policy” in the US liberal mainstream media, I would be told by the more astute progressives that both parties were “equally imperialist”, and therefore their vote for the Democrats was justified by distinctions in their “domestic” policies.  

Still, because the elected Democratic presidents after Ronald Reagan, namely Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, were as neoliberal as Reagan and proceeded with his agenda of mercilessly dismantling the US welfare state, I remained at a loss as to what magnitude of difference existed between the two parties.

The more class-conscious socialists assured me that they were under no illusions that either party defended the white poor, let alone the downtrodden, impoverished racial minorities of Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans. Indeed, they insisted that both parties defended the rich, with the Democrats also defending the middle class in a limited way, although that commitment had declined measurably since the Clinton years.

So what, I asked, are the essential benefits to middle-class Americans that you are defending as progressives, socialists and leftists? Their sober responses highlighted issues of healthcare, social security and women’s reproductive rights. I replied that all of the above had been weakened by the neoliberal Democrats.

Enriching the rich

Support for women’s right to abortion declined considerably when the Clinton administration declared that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare”. Obama acknowledged the arguments of pro-lifers and called for reducing the demand for abortion, while Joe Biden, until his recent campaign, was a regular supporter of the 1976 Hyde Amendment (he changed his position in 2019), which prohibits federal healthcare programmes from directly funding abortion procedures except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.

As for Social Security, a bipartisan effort began the war on it in a set of 1983 congressional amendments, which Reagan signed into law. Both Clinton and Obama attempted to cut Social Security and government health benefits to Americans during their respective administrations, but were prevented from doing so by the Monica Lewinsky scandal in Clinton’s case, and public opposition in Obama’s.

Many American progressives contend that Democratic neoliberal presidents are a 'lesser evil' (AFP/file photo)
Biden and former President Barack Obama have been described as a ‘lesser evil’ (AFP)

As for health services, attempts to offer universal healthcare to all Americans were obstructed by Clinton and later Obama, who adopted a Republican plan to subsidise private, for-profit health insurance companies, rebranded as “Obamacare”, and who paved the way for the horror that Americans found themselves in with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. The US empire is falling apart. But things can always get worseOscar RickettRead More »

While President Donald Trump also proposed cutting health benefits, which he did not do, anti-Trump propagandists accused him of proposing to cut Social Security, which he never did.

What about the Democratic policies of enriching the rich? Yet again, the party’s commitment to the rich was made amply clear with the major subsidies given to them by Clinton and Obama. The latter subsidised them to the tune of  $350bn in his bailout of the banks at the expense of middle-class homeowners whose houses were foreclosed upon. Obama did not hold Wall Street firms accountable for the economic meltdown, which followed Clinton’s 1999 repeal of New Deal-era banking regulations, but rewarded them instead.

Ideological blindness

So what justifies progressive, leftist and socialist Americans voting for the Democrats as the “lesser evil”? Is it ideological blindness, or attachment to the cosmetic political language of Democratic politicians, whose actions might have been worse than Trump’s, but whose style of delivery tends to be “kinder and gentler”?  

Why did the policies of Clinton, which transformed the criminal justice system in 1994 to expand the mass incarceration of African Americans, not cause a public outcry among liberals? Indeed, it was none other than Biden who helped to write the crime bill – the same Biden who opposed the racial integration of schools in Delaware back in the 1970s. And what about Kamala Harris, the grand incarcerator, who may succeed Biden in the 2024 election, assuming he does not step down due to ill health before then?America Last: Coming to terms with the new world orderRead More »

Why did Obama’s deportation of millions of “illegal” immigrants not garner the kind of popular opposition that Trump’s policy, which is a mere continuation of Obama’s atrocities, has encountered? While the American Civil Liberties Union challenged Obama in the courts, such legal opposition never translated into a public outcry against the “Deporter-in-Chief”.

Why was there no outrage over the fact that it was only in the last few months of Obama’s eight-year term that his Justice Department finally prosecuted one lone white cop for the racist murder of an African American?

In four years, Trump’s Justice Department did not prosecute a single white killer-cop, but this was a continuation of Obama’s practices. Yes, Obama’s Justice Department pursued “pattern of practice” investigations against police departments, which Trump discontinued – but that is hardly a major achievement on Obama’s part.

Hypocrisy and propaganda

And, yes, the so-called “Muslim ban” – yet another of Trump’s racist policies against some Muslim-majority countries – which people forget was based on a list of countries prepared by none other than Obama.

A legitimate feeling of horror was expressed on account of the 13 federal executions of convicted criminals carried out by the Trump administration in recent months, but these were never compared with the thousands of people that Obama killed by checking targets off his weekly drone kill list. Does it not matter to US progressives and leftists that unlike his Democratic predecessors, Trump, while continuing some of the subcontracted wars that Obama started – and presiding over a rise in civilian deaths as a result of US actions – did not launch a single new all-out war on some hapless country?

There is no such thing as American ‘foreign’ policy when US power controls the entire globe, making foreign policy ‘domestic’ policy

Could all these people who voted for Biden (slightly more than half of those who voted) – especially the benighted, white liberal intelligentsia – not know that many of the things they complained about during Trump’s rule were in fact done by their own beloved liberal presidents?

Most of them know, and their campaign against Trump was nothing but hypocrisy for the sake of propaganda, so that the poor and downtrodden would believe that Trump was evil while Obama, Clinton, Biden and Harris were good – or at least, the “lesser evil”.

Complicit in imperial crimes

In my conversations with progressive, leftist and socialist Americans over the decades, I have tried to point out that the US is not just the “leader” of the world, as asserted by liberal and conservative Americans equally committed to US jingoism, but that the US has been since 1991 the primary ruler of the world.

I explain to them that as US citizens, they are the only people on Earth who have the right to vote for a government that rules the entire globe, and that they are thus complicit in American imperial crimes when they decide, based on some illusory domestic agenda of the “lesser evil”, to vote for a government that would launch wars and kill hundreds of thousands of people. I add that there is no such thing as American “foreign” policy when US power controls the entire globe, making foreign policy “domestic” policy. 

Iranians burn a US flag during a rally in Tehran on 12 April 2019 (AFP)
Iranians burn a US flag during a rally in Tehran on 12 April 2019 (AFP)

Like their liberal and conservative “patriotic” and imperialist compatriots, many progressive and socialist Americans are not moved by such arguments. Indeed, they enjoin poor white Americans (“the deplorables” as former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called them), along with downtrodden Black, Latino and Native American communities to join them in celebrating the Biden victory.

Why do they expect these Americans to celebrate with them, let alone the rest of the Third World – where millions have been killed by US firepower and covert operations since 1945, in wars launched by both Democratic and Republican leaders – when they know the US will probably initiate more wars against them? The reason is that these “progressive” and leftist Americans, like their liberal and conservative compatriots, are beneficiaries of the racist, classist and imperialist US system, which has always prevented them from seeking any real radical change.

The most they are willing to do is vote for a leftist imperialist Democrat, such as Bernie Sanders – who, like them, commits to changing very little, yet presumably also represents “the lesser evil”.

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of many books and academic and journalistic articles. His books include Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan, Desiring Arabs, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians, and most recently Islam in Liberalism. His books and articles have been translated to a dozen languages.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

How the Left is being Manipulated into Colluding in its own Character Assassination

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.  He is a frequent contributor to Global Research

By Jonathan Cook

Global Research, January 09, 2021

There was a fascinating online panel discussion on Wednesday night on the Julian Assange case that I recommend everyone watch. The video is at the bottom of the page.  

But from all the outstanding contributions, I want to highlight a very important point made by Yanis Varoufakis that has significance for understanding current events well beyond the Assange case. 

Varoufakis is an academic who was savaged by the western political and media establishments when he served as Greece’s finance minister. Back in 2015 a popular leftwing Greek government was trying to oppose the imposition of severe loan conditions on Greece by European and international financial institutions that risked tipping the Greek economy into deeper bankruptcy and seemed chiefly intended to upend its socialist programme. The government Varoufakis served was effectively crushed into obedience through a campaign of economic intimidation by these institutions.

 Varoufakis describes here the way that leftwing dissidents who challenge or disrupt western establishment narratives – whether it be himself, Assange or Jeremy Corbyn – end up not only being subjected to character assassination, as was always the case, but nowadays find themselves being manipulated into colluding in their own character assassination.

 Here is a short transcript of Varoufakis’ much fuller comments – about 48 minutes in – highlighting his point about co-option:

 “The establishment, the Deep State, call it whatever you want, the oligarchy, they’ve become much, much better at it [character assassination] than they used to be. Because back in the 1960s and 1970s, you know, they would accuse you of being a Communist. They would accuse me of being a Marxist. Well, I am a Marxist. I’m really not going to suffer that much if you accuse me of being a left-winger. I am a left-winger!

 “Now what they do is something far worse. They accuse you of something that really hurts you. Calling somebody like us a racist, a bigot, an antisemite, a rapist. This is what really hurts because if anybody calls me a rapist today, right, even if it’s complete baloney, I feel as a feminist I have the need to give the woman, implied or involved somehow in this accusation, the opportunity to speak against me. Because that is what we left-wingers do.”

Varoufakis’ point is that when Assange was accused of being a rapist, as he was before the US made clear the real case against him – by trying to extradite him from the UK for exposing its war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan – he could not defend himself without alienating a significant constituency of his natural supporters, those on the left who identify as feminists. Which is exactly what happened.

 Similarly, as Varoufakis notes from earlier conversations he had with Assange, the Wikileaks founder was in no position to properly defend himself against accusations that he colluded with Russia and Donald Trump to help Trump win the 2016 US presidential election against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

 At the time, Assange’s supporters were able to point out that the leaked emails were true and that they were in the public interest because they showed deep corruption in the Democratic party establishment. But those arguments were drowned out by a narrative confected by the US media and security establishments that Wikileaks’ publication of the emails was political interference because the emails had supposedly been hacked by Russia to sway the election result.

 Because Assange was absolutely committed to the principle of non-disclosure of sources, he refused to defend himself in public by confirming that the emails had been leaked to him by a Democratic party insider, not the “Russians”. His silence allowed his vilification to go largely unchallenged. Having already been stripped of support from much of the feminist left, particularly in Europe, Assange now lost the support of a sizeable chunk of the left in the US too.

In these cases, the one who stands accused has to defend themselves with one hand tied behind their back. They cannot hit back without further antagonising a substantial section of their supporters, deepening divisions within the left’s ranks. The victim of this kind of character assassination is caught in the equivalent of reputational quicksand. The more they fight, the deeper they sink.

Which is, of course, exactly what happened to the UK’s former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn when he was accused of being a racist. If he or his supporters tried to challenge the claim that the party had become antisemitic overnight under his leadership – even if only by citing statistics that showed the party hadn’t – they were immediately denounced for supposed “antisemitism denial”, posited as the modern equivalent of Holocaust denial.

Notice Ken Loach, who was also on the panel, nodding in agreement as Varoufakis speaks. Because Loach, the noted leftwing, anti-racist film-maker who came to Corbyn’s defence against the confected media campaign smearing him as an antisemite, soon found himself similarly accused.

Jonathan Freedland, a senior columnist at the liberal Guardian, was among those using precisely the tactic described by Varoufakis. He tried to discredit Loach by accusing him of denying Jews the right to define their own experience of antisemitism.   

Freedland sought to manipulate Loach’s anti-racist credentials against him. Either agree with us that Corbyn is an antisemite, and that most of his supporters are too, or you are a hypocrite, disowning your own anti-racist principles – and solely in the case of antisemitism. And that, QED, would prove you too are motivated by antisemitism.

Loach found himself with a terrible binary choice: either he must collude with Freedland and the corporate media in smearing Corbyn, a long-standing political ally, or else he would be forced to collude in his own smearing as an antisemite.

It’s a deeply ugly, deeply illiberal, deeply manipulative, deeply dishonest tactic. But it is also brilliantly effective. Which is why nowadays rightists and centrists use it at every opportunity. The left, given its principles, rarely resorts to this kind of deceit. Which means it can only bring a peashooter to a gun fight.

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_K_Cook/status/131348440736224870

This is the left’s dilemma. It’s why we struggle to win the argument in a corporate media environment that not only denies us a hearing but also promotes the voices of those like Freedland trying to destroy us from the centre and those supposedly on the left like George Monbiot and Owen Jones who are too often destroying us from within.

As Varoufakis also says, the left needs urgently to go on the offensive.

We need to find ways to turn the tables on the war criminals who have been gaslighting us in demanding that Assange, who exposed their crimes, is the one who needs to be locked up.

We need to make clear that it is those who are so ready to smear anti-racists as antisemites – as Corbyn’s successor, Sir Keir Starmer, has done to swaths of Labour party members – who are the real racists.

And we need to unmask as war hawks those who accuse the anti-war left of serving as apologists for dictators when we try to stop western states conducting more illegal, resource-grab wars with such devastating results for local populations.

We must get much more sophisticated in our thinking and our strategies. There is no time to lose.

This essay first appeared on Jonathan Cook’s blog: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/ 

For Years, Journalists Cheered Assange’s Abuse. Now They’ve Paved His Path to a US Gulag

A Pardoning Time of Year

By Philip Giraldi

Source

Will the president do the right thing?
Julian Assange Pardon 89b36

The resistance to the apparent election of Joe Biden as President of the United States is continuing to play out. Current President Donald Trump is continuing to fight against the presumed results of the November national election with his final card appearing to be a vote in Congress when it reconvenes on January 6th to throw out the results due to fraud in certain key states. Many have noted how the registration and electoral processes in the United States, varying as they do from state to state, were and are vulnerable to fraud. That, plus some eyewitness testimony and technical analysis, suggests that possibly systematic fraud did take place but it is far from clear whether it was decisive. This is particularly true of the vote by mail option, which was promoted by leading Democrats and which empowered literally millions of new voters with only limited attempts made to validate whether citizens or even real people were voting.

Vote by mail is now one of several options that are appearing to be weaponized by the cash-rich Democrats in the state of Georgia, where two Senate races will be up for grabs in runoff elections on January 5th. If the Democrats obtain both, they will control the Senate through the Vice President’s role in presiding over the upper chamber where she has the tie breaking vote. That will mean that we the voters can expect some dramatic changes as the Democrats respond to their various constituencies with their well enunciated grievances.

In what may be its last weeks in office, the Trump Administration is also exploiting its executive power to pardon to reverse perceived injustices and to protect remaining allies, to include some family members. Trump is already on track to pardon more individuals than any preceding president with 90 pardons issued as of Christmas Eve and many more expected. One of his initial pardons was a notable example of a miscarriage of justice in the case of presidential national security advisor designate Michael Flynn, who was wrongly accused of collaborating with Russia. If anything, he was actually cooperating with a request that came from Israel, which Congress and the media apparently do not regard as wrongdoing.

Trump’s pardon of his daughter Ivanka’s father-in-law Charles Kushner is particularly controversial, as Kushner was a multimillionaire real estate developer and a leading Democratic Party donor when he was convicted in 2005 to two years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to 18 counts, which included both tax evasion and making illegal campaign contributions. The tale of Charles Kushner is particularly unsavory because he reportedly sought revenge after he learned that his brother-in-law and former business partner was aiding federal authorities. Charles hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law in a New Jersey motel room, making a recording of the encounter using a hidden camera that he then showed to his brother-in-law’s wife, who was, of course, Kushner’s own sister.

Kushner’s prosecution was directed by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who afterwards became a prominent Trump supporter and head of his transition team before being fired in 2016, apparently per orders originating with Jared Kushner. In a 2019 interview Christie explained “Mr. Kushner pled guilty. He admitted the crimes. And so what am I supposed to do as a prosecutor? I mean, if a guy hires a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, and videotapes it, and then sends the videotape to his sister to attempt to intimidate her from testifying before a grand jury, do I really need any more justification than that? I mean, it’s one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted. And I was U.S. attorney in New Jersey, so we had some loathsome and disgusting crime going on there.”

Charles Kushner is also a close friend and supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which might also be relevant to his pardon and I will leave any assessment of the ethics of the Kushner clan up to the reader. Nevertheless, the consequence of Jared’s ability to influence the president could be politically damaging as he reportedly has been responsible for many of the pardons that have already taken place and is now the conduit for new petitioners.

Another highly criticized Trump pardon has involved the four Blackwater mercenaries who massacred 19 Iraqis including 2 children firing from a helicopter into a crowded Nisour Square Baghdad in 2007. The president is reportedly very friendly with Blackwater founder and former president Erik Prince, whose sister Betsy DeVos is Education Secretary and also close to the president. But in any event Trump’s pardon record is different only in terms of magnitude from those of some of his predecessors as there have been some highly questionable pardons in the past, to include Marc Rich under Bill Clinton and Elliot Abrams under George W. Bush.

There remains a long list of possible candidates for Trump to sign off on, to include a possible self-pardon, and more pardons for family members Ivanka, Jared and two of his sons as well as his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Other current and impending pardon recipients have been individuals who were involved in the Trump campaigns, to include Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Pardons are a particularly attractive pre-emptive option currently as a number of leading Democrats have been calling for “truth commissions” and other forms of punishment of Trump supporters and officials.

The process of issuing presidential pardons will undoubtedly continue up until Inauguration Day on January 20th, but sources are uncertain whether Trump will be courageous enough to pardon the two individuals whose freedom would most definitely be sending a powerful message for integrity in government. They are Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Both men’s names have been coming up frequently in the alternative media, together with the development of active lobbying groups that are seeking their freedom.

Assange, a journalist and founder of WikiLeaks, is currently languishing in a British prison, where he has been for twenty-one months, awaiting a decision on whether he will be extradited to the United States or not which will reportedly be decided on January 4th. The Department of Justice has claimed that he violated the Espionage Act of 1917 by receiving classified information from Chelsea Manning. Reportedly, Assange’s mental and physical health have deteriorated sharply as he is being held in solitary confinement with only short periods of exercise and without access to reading or writing material to occupy his time. The British judge appears to be completely unsympathetic to Assange and it is generally believed that she will order his extradition if he does not fortuitously die in prison before that could take place.

Snowden, meanwhile, is living in Russia and has been granted citizenship, a country to which he fled by way of Hong Kong in 2013, after revealing to journalists details of a vast and illegal surveillance program run by the National Security Agency (NSA) against American citizens, something he discovered while he was employed as a NSA contractor. He had attempted to raise his concerns with supervisors but was rebuffed and he eventually became a self-declared whistleblower and fled the country. He has repeatedly offered to return to the United States to face trial, but has also insisted that a fair hearing would be impossible under the current circumstances.

It should be observed that Snowden is absolutely correct to assume that he would be convicted both on grounds of espionage and of compromise of classified information. The federal court in Alexandria, where national security cases are usually tried, always finds for the government even if evidence is questionable or even non-existent. A recent conviction involved ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who was sent to prison for 42 months even though it could not be demonstrated that he had actually done anything. The court concluded that “it had to be him.”

To be sure, revealing classified information is a serious matter, even though many former government employees would agree that much material that is classified does not actually damage national security if it is revealed. Frequently, classification is used to keep the government from being embarrassed or to shut down any revelation that it has acted illegally. Both Assange and Snowden would argue that they had acted appropriately in revealing war crimes, illegal acts and even violations of the Constitution as consequences of the so-called “global war on terror.” Assange, who regards himself as a journalist, published details of the Blackwater massacre of civilians committed by the crew of a helicopter gunship in Iraq and also was involved in the exposure of the Hillary Clinton emails. Snowden, as noted above, claims to be a whistle-blower and has sought protection under relevant laws in the United States, so far to no avail.

The illegal and otherwise unconscionable acts by various elements in the U.S. government that were exposed by Assange and Snowden include war crimes, so they are not trivial. Trump, having already done a “favor” to Blackwater, might be disinclined to pardon someone who exposed its mercenaries’ crimes. But there is nevertheless, as is often the case, an interesting aspect to the story that is worth paying attention to. Trump, as is widely conceded even by some Democrats, was targeted by the Deep State even before he was nominated, an effort to destroy his presidency that persisted for years through the completely contrived mechanism of Russiagate. Given that, it would behoove Trump to strike back in his waning days in office. Both Assange and Snowden exposed illegal activities and cover-ups by the Deep State, almost certainly to include the active participation of some of the very people who have sought to bring the president down. And they both may have more to say. If Donald Trump seriously seeks to strike a blow against his enemies, it would be both fitting and just to pardon both men on that basis alone. Let us hope that President Trump has both the wisdom and fortitude to take that step in his last days in office.

U.S., ISIS ‘brothers in arms,’ Iran says

January 2, 2021 – 20:0

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has accused the U.S. government of supporting the ISIS terrorist group, describing the U.S. and ISIS as “brothers in arms.”

“It’s a well-documented fact, which’s been admitted by Trump, that U.S. has had a crucial role in the rise of terrorism in our region, from AQ to ISIS. Not surprising that the US assassination of General Soleimani was cheered by ISIS: brothers in arms,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a tweet on Saturday.

The foreign ministry also posted a video showing Trump addresses a campaign rally in which he says that former U.S. Secretary of State “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama.” The video also shows that the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani was an “anti-terrorism champion” whose assassination only benefited the ISIS terrorist group.

This week marks the first anniversary of the assassination of the top Iranian general last year. General Soleimani was assassinated in an American drone strike on January 3, 2020, along with his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), near Baghdad’s international airport. The strike was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump, a reckless move that brought Iran and the United States close to an all-out war as General Soleimani was an influential figure in Iran and beyond. In response, Iran showered a U.S. airbase in western Iran with missiles, causing brain injury among dozens of American servicemen.

Earlier on Friday, the Iranian foreign ministry republished an assessment by Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, on the assassination of General Soleimani saying that the U.S. strike against the general was a blatant violation of international law.

According to Callamard, the strike was clearly a strike against the armed forces of another state and it was a use of force against Iraq and a violation of its sovereignty. Callamard noted that the strike also was in violation of the UN charter.

The Iranian foreign ministry also said that the strike was against international law.

“By committing a craven act of terror against Gen Soleimani, the US violated int’l law & the UN Charter in a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty. The US’ lawlessness in full show. Iran won’t rest until bringing those responsible to justice,” tweeted the foreign ministry.

Iran has long warned that it will take revenge against the U.S. for assassinating the commander of the Quds Force. Iran has recently said that some people inside the U.S. may move to avenge the assassination.

“By committing this crime, you [the U.S.] created a job for all freedom-seeking people across the globe. Be sure that it is possible that some people will be found inside your home to respond to your crime,” General Soleimani’s successor Brigadier General Esmaeil Qaani said on Friday. “Those who committed this crime should know that throughout the world there would be a man who will punish the cowards behind this crime.”

Iran also said that it will work to expel the U.S. from the region.

RELATED NEWS

Democracies Don’t Start Wars. But Democrats Do

By Philip Giraldi, Ph.D.
Source: Strategic Culture

It may have been President Bill Clinton who once justified his wrecking of the Balkans by observing that liberal interventionism to bring about regime change is a good thing because “Democracies don’t start wars with other democracies.” Or it might have been George W. Bush talking about Iraq or even Barack Obama justifying his destruction of Libya or his interventions relating to Syria and Ukraine. The principle is the same when the world’s only superpower decides to throw its weight around.

The idea that pluralistic democracies are somehow less inclined to go to war has in fact been around for a couple of hundred years and was first elaborated by Immanuel Kant in an essay entitled “Perpetual Peace” that was published in 1795. Kant may have been engaging in some tongue in cheek as the French relatively liberal republic, the “Directory,” was at that time preparing to invade Italy to spread the revolution. The presumption that “democracies” are somehow more pacific than other forms of government is based on the principle that it is in theory more difficult to convince an entire nation of the desirability of initiating armed conflict compared to what happens in a monarchy where only one man or woman has to be persuaded.

The American Revolution, which preceded Kant, was clearly not fought on the principle that kings are prone to start wars while republics are not, and, indeed, the “republican” United States has nearly always been engaged in what most observers would consider to be wars throughout its history. And a review of the history of the European wars of the past two hundred years suggests that it is also overly simple to suggest that democracies eschew fighting each other. There are, after all, many different kinds of governments, most with constitutions, many of which are quite politically liberal even if they are headed by a monarch or oligarchy. They have found themselves on different sides in the conflicts that have troubled Europe since the time of Napoleon.

And wars are often popular, witness the lines of enthusiastic young men lining up to enlist when the Triple Entente took on the Germans and Austrians to begin the First World War. So, war might be less likely among established democracies, but it should be conceded that the same national interests that drive a dictatorship can equally impact on a more pluralistic form of government, particularly if the media “the territory of lies” is in on the game. One recalls how the Hearst newspaper chain created the false narrative that resulted in the U.S.’s first great overseas imperial venture, the Spanish-American War. More recently, the mainstream media in the United States has supported the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the destabilization of Syria, and the regime change in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya.

So now we Americans have the ultimate liberal democratic regime about to resume power, possibly with a majority in both houses of Congress to back up the presidency. But something is missing in that the campaigning Democrats never talked about a peace dividend, and now that they are returning the airwaves are notable for Senators like Mark Warner asking if the alleged Russian hacking of U.S. computers is an “act of war?” Senator Dick Durbin has no doubts on the issue, having declared it “virtually a declaration of war.” And Joe Biden appears to be on board, considering punishment for Moscow. Are we about to experience Russiagate all over? In fact, belligerency is not unique to Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.  War is in the air, and large majority of the Democratic Party recently voted for the pork-bloated National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), endorsing a policy of U.S. global military dominance for the foreseeable future. If you are an American who would like to see national health insurance, a large majority among Democrats, forget about it!

But more to the point, the Democrats have a worse track record than do the Republicans when it comes to starting unnecessary wars. Donald Trump made the point of denouncing “stupid wars” when he was running for office and has returned to that theme also in the past several weeks, though he did little enough to practice what he preached until it was too late and too little. Clinton notoriously intervened in the Balkans and bombed a pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan and a cluster of tents in Afghanistan to draw attention away from his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His secretary of State Madeleine Albright thought the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. sanctions was “worth it.” Barack Obama tried to destroy Syria, interfered in Ukraine and succeeded in turning Libya into an ungovernable mess while compiling a “kill list” and assassinating U.S. citizens overseas using drones.

If you want to go back farther, Woodrow Wilson involved the U.S. in World War One while Franklin D. Roosevelt connived at America’s entry into the Second World War. FDR’s successor Harry Truman dropped two atomic bombs on civilian targets in Japan, killing as many as 200,000. Japan was preparing to surrender, which was known to the White House and Pentagon, making the first use of nuclear weapons completely unnecessary and one might call it a “war crime.” Truman also got involved in Korea and John F. Kennedy started the intervention in Vietnam, though there are indications that he was planning to withdraw from it when he was killed. The only Democratic president who failed to start one or more wars was the much-denigrated Jimmy Carter.

So, it is Joe Biden’s turn at the wheel. One has to question the philosophy of government that he brings with him as he has never found a war that he didn’t support and several of his cabinet choices are undeniably hardliners on what they refer to as national security. The lobbies are also putting pressure on Biden to do the “right thing,” which for them is to continue an interventionist foreign policy. The Israeli connected Foundation for the Defense Democracies (FDD) has not surprisingly issued a collection of essays that carries the title “Defending Forward: Securing America by Projecting Military Power Abroad.” If one had to bet at this point “defending forward” will be what the Biden Administration is all about. And oh, by the way, as democracies don’t go to war with democracies, it will only be the designated bad guys who will be on the receiving end of America’s military might.Or at least that is how the tale will be told.

After Trump the flood:

After Trump the flood:

December 08, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

Whether there was indeed voter fraud and rigging, and I personally believe there was and at a huge scale, it seems that, by hook or by crook, Joe Biden will become the next President of the United States of America; and we should prepare ourselves for this, regardless of our political points of view and inclinations.

The presence of Biden in the Whitehouse will definitely change course on a number of issues, both domestically within the USA and overseas, but the objective of this article is to shed a bit of light on what is likely to happen to the current pro-Biden camp and the diverse array of supporters who have helped elevate him to this position.

In more ways than one, I have always seen in Syria a microcosm of world politics and conflicts. Long before the enemies of Syria decided to launch their attack in March 2011, the masterminds of the conspiracy put the most unlikely allies together, only united by their hatred of Syria. Back then I called them the ‘Anti-Syrian Cocktail’. Those allies each had their own agenda regarding Syria and had nothing in common other than their desire to remove President Bashar Al-Assad from office. Among the issues they disagreed on was his replacement, how to share the spoils, not to mention the alternative political system to install, Syria’s future position in the region, international alliances, and so forth.

With a whole array of enemies, Trump inadvertently caused a rounding up of a very loosely-united anti-Trump-cocktail; only united by their hatred of him. So, let’s face it and acknowledge it; they will never let him win the November 2020 elections. Though only united by their hatred of Trump, there are too many of them, they are powerful; extremely powerful, and they are very determined to get rid of him by any means possible, legal, illegal, using tactics like bribery, intimidation, threats, thuggery, and they have no one to fear because, collectively they have given each other impunity, covering each other’s backs and producing a culture where criticizing them is taboo. Crucially, the ‘law’ and the media are on their side.

With the exception of the Clintons and Bidens perhaps, the other Democrats have their traditional political opposition to Trump, even when they see and know he is making good decisions. This is the golden rule of political duopoly. But the Clintons and the Bidens have personal dirt on them and even blood on their hands that they want to keep the lid on in order to avoid prosecution and possibly even jail. They are likely to remain united after a Trump loss, but the same cannot be said about other odd couples.

Most of the other November 2020 Biden supporters are destined to be on a collision course, and they will soon enough realize that their differences are much stronger than what united them and that they were taken for fools. None will be disappointed more than the so-called ‘Progressives’.

The definition of the term progressive has morphed quite significantly over the last decade or so. Currently, it seems to include any one who stands up against Trump; and this is the primordial cause of the confusion and reason for future conflict between them. In reality, what defines the term ‘progressive’ in any existing progressive movement can be totally different from that of another movement; and the difference is not necessarily marginal. Being ‘progressive’ in the 21st Century implies the presence of a very specific agenda or slogan that may or may not be compatible with other ‘progressive’ agendas.

Take the Assange supporters for example. The moment they wake up from their deep slumber, they will realize that the man they supported to become President is actually the leader of the political party that has put Assange in jail for exposing his party’s dirt. I hope that Trump pulls the rug from underneath their feet and pardons Assange before the 20th of January 2021. But will this show the Assange supporters who is who? Not necessarily because if they wanted to open up their eyes and see, they would have seen from day one that Assange’s biggest enemy is none but Hillary Clinton and that she is the one responsible for his demise; not Trump.

But the Assange supporters did not play a major role in the elections; at least not directly, and at least not as much as their closest ‘progressives’; the peace activists.

The Democrats and their cohorts have portrayed Trump as a warmonger. When peace activists eventually see that Biden will have to serve his warlord masters and start new wars across the globe, they will have to think again. He is already touting hiring well known hawks in key positions in his forthcoming cabinet and team of advisors, with his Defense Secretary reportedly selected.

When it comes to street power however, none has been more powerful and effective as the combination of BLM and the environmentalists.

BLM activists have just fallen a tad short of blaming Trump for an American five-century long history of racism. But how much do BLM activists really care about Climate Change and specifically about Greta-type environmental vision of how the world should run? Moreover, most environmentalists, if not all of them, are anti-vaxxers. When they see that Biden is the trump card for the vaccine empire, they may wish they didn’t take to the streets to unseat the Trump card they had in the Whitehouse. If there is/was one person standing up against the malevolent “Gates vaccine”, it has to be Trump, and the single-issue anti-vaxxers are against Trump. Try to make sense of this.

This is not to forget and ignore that the Climate Change activists will soon find out, the hard way, that Biden will not come clean on the zero-emission promise; not only because he doesn’t want to, not only because he goes to bed with the petro-dollar lobby, but also because he does not have the alternative technology to replace fossil fuel with.

In and out and in between the BLM and Climate Change activists, what do the Climate Change activists have in common ideologically with BLM and at what stage will they break ranks and decide to go against one another? What will happen after either one of them accuses the other, rightfully I must say, that they have been used as pawns by the ‘Deep State’?

And who said that the BLM has more in common with the LBGTI community and activists than it does with the gun lobby? Sections of the BLM likely also love guns.

And speaking of Greta, for how much longer will she able to keep up the fallacy that her agenda and those of her friends Soros and the World Economic Forum (WEF), and its members that include Monsanto, are actually compatible?

And for the right or wrong reasons, who is to guarantee that the tens of millions of Trump supporters are going to sit and accept that the election win of Biden is legitimate and that they have to swallow it? Will this cause social strife, violence on the streets, even worse perhaps civil war and much more? We don’t know. What we do know is that a controversy about election results should have been dealt with in total transparency in order to put all concerns to rest. But this is not happening, and it is not going to happen because a decision has been made against Trump dictating that he must lose.

But the after-Trump-effect is not necessarily going to affect only America. Right-wing politics, including the extreme version of it, have been on the rise in the world, and especially in Western Europe. And if the Neo-Nazis look threatening because their ideology is based on a very dark chapter in human history, what do we really know is on the agenda of the forces that have combined the very diverse elements of the anti-Trump cocktail in order to serve its objective(s)? What is it really that they want?

Hitler was at least clear about his mission statement. He wanted an Aryan Third Reich to rule the world for a thousand years. The rest of the world did not have to wonder and ponder about his intentions. He sent a very clear message to rest of the world, a message clear enough to unite the West with the Bolsheviks against him.

But today, we have an invisible driving force that has managed to put together an array of the most unlikely partners in order to fight a common cause. Do we not at least ask the question ‘why?’

In the case of Syria, the answer to the ‘why’ question was to topple Assad, albeit without having a plan that went further, at least as a united coalition. It would have been impossible for the plotters and planners to each disclose what they had in mind. In reality, they did not have any plan at all other than replacing him with a void. Fast-forward; the get-rid-of-Trump plan is very similar; get rid of him without having a plan so as to ensure all participants are pleased and appeased, because the plan seems to also be based on replacing Trump with chaos and anarchy.

The irony here is that the anti-Trump-cocktail is not only comprised of his political opponents, mainstream media, social media, but also includes government agencies such as the DOJ, the CIA, the FBI and even some American Republicans.

Briefly put, Trump has been chosen to lose, but after him, the flood is imminent. The current allies who lobbied against him will very shortly come to the realization that they are no longer united, and some will even turn into enemies fighting over the spoils of the win.

In more ways than one, they will harvest the fruit of the seeds they planted, and they will rightfully deserve all consequences. A Biden win is the most befitting ‘punishment’ of the anti-Trump cocktail.

Apart from the hapless American populace, the biggest loser of this all is the international stature of America as the leader of the so-called Democratic Free World. In a fitting blowback for these pernicious actors, Trump would have proven without a shadow of doubt, that the Deep State is so deep and powerful, powerful enough to mobilize its own enemies to serve it. At that point, to quote the rhetoric of the “Great Reset” agenda, but again, as blowback, things will never be the same again for these dangerous characters.

The Covid-19 celebrity humanitarianism – Sean Penn and the Great Reset, funded by Bill Gates and the Clinton Foundation

By Vanessa Beeley

Source

On the 12th November 2020, an article appeared in the Daily Mail about three powerful men sharing a beach holiday: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Hollywood’s Sean Penn and the reclusive Israeli billionaire, Vivi Nevo. The story slipped under the radar, almost unnoticed by a public caught up in the Covid-19 controversy that continues to sweep the planet. However, the connections between these three elite influencers is well worth a closer look, particularly with regards to their combined role in promoting the transnational corporatocracy’s Covid-19 narratives.

In this April 8, 2020 photo, actor and activist Sean Penn, founder of the nonprofit organization Community Organized Relief Effort, speaks during an interview at his home in Malibu, Calif. The Oscar winner’s disaster relief organization called CORE has teamed up with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and the city’s fire department to safely distribute free drive-through COVID-19 test sites for those with qualifying symptoms. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Sean Penn and his altruistic aspirations – valiant, misguided or corrupt?

The Clinton connection

Sean Penn established Community Organised Relief Effort (CORE) in January 2010 in response to the earthquake that devastated the island of Haiti that same year. Formerly called the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation, CORE claims that “our life-saving programs revolve around building healthier and safer neighbourhoods to mitigate the scale of devastation caused by disaster.” 

What CORE fails to mention is that the destabilisation and eradication of Haitian culture, heritage, communities and self-sufficiency began long before the earthquake of 2010. It might have something to do with the funding that CORE receives from USAID, a CIA power expansion agency, and Penn’s close relationship with the Clintons whose foundation has been instrumental in the “rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.”

CORE partners taken from their website

Penn declines to mention that Clinton, Bush and Obama have the blood of Haitians on their hands or that Clinton and Bush were deeply involved in “perpetuating the poverty, backwardness and repression in Haiti” that exacerbated the crisis in January 2010 that Penn responded to. 

According to journalist, Patrick Martin

“Clinton took office in the immediate aftermath of the military coup which ousted Haiti’s first democratically elected president, the populist cleric Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That coup was backed by the administration of Bush’s father, who saw Aristide as an unwanted and potentially dangerous radical.”

The Clinton’s influence on the island of Haiti has been one of unmitigated predation and political piracy – a legacy entirely ignored by Penn, who endorsed Hilary Clinton in the 2016 elections and who visited the imperialism-stricken island with robber baron, Bill Clinton, in 2015. Penn appears to be blissfully ignorant of the scandal surrounding the Clinton response to the 2010 earthquake that left the already scavenged island in tatters. 

The Clintons stepped up to lead the global response to the Haiti earthquake. At President Obama’s request, Clinton and George W. Bush created the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund,” and began “aggressively fundraising around the world to support Haiti”. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) selected Bill Clinton as its co-chair. Hillary Clinton was still Secretary of State and was therefore responsible for funnelling USAID “relief” funding to Haiti. A whopping $ 13.3 billion was pledged by international donors to allegedly rebuild Haiti and to restore dignity to the lives of the forcibly impoverished Haitian people. Unsurprisingly, the IHRC response was mired in controversy and accusations of embezzlement levied against the Clintons who, effectively, held the purse strings of the incoming donations. 

The IHRC collected and estimated $ 9.9 billion in three years but the deplorable misery and poverty that Haitians endure did not improve. It is widely believed that the Clintons cynically robbed and destroyed Haiti for their own gain. Haitian author, journalist, and historian, Dady Chery, expressed the general view thus:

“In 2016, by all estimates, the cost of the US presidential elections doubled or quadrupled to about $5-10 billion. This is the most expensive presidential bid in history, and Hillary Clinton has vastly outspent Donald Trump. Where did the money come from?”

Rather than express outrage at the Clinton potential involvement in defrauding the people of Haiti, Penn continued a campaign of genuflection to the Clintons. In 2015, at a Haiti benefit event, Penn introduced Bill Clinton as a “once-in-a-generation leader with laser focus, immense curiosity, courage and compassion that can be unequivocally measured by sustainable benefits and the improvement of so many lives around the world.” 

During his twenty minute speech, Clinton praised Penn for his work in Haiti and encouraged the star-studded audience to contribute to what is now CORE by stating that “you will never contribute to an organisation that will give you a higher probability of having your good intentions turned into real positive changes in other people’s lives”. The hypocrisy oozed from every honeyed word.

Also present at the fundraising gala was sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape earlier this year. This will connect to the other two men on the beach (i.e. Jack Dorsey and Vivo Nevo) in Part 2.

In 2012, Hillary Clinton’s aides lavished praise on Penn who had just received the 2012 “Peace Summit Award” from former Soviet Union President, Mikhail Gorbachev, for his work in Haiti. A number of media reports pointed out that the email address had been redacted but was listed as “CIA”. 

Whether Penn participated knowingly in the imperialist rape of Haiti or was nothing more than a useful celebrity idiot who served the agenda of the Clinton/Bush vulture policy is a question for serious debate. Penn certainly didn’t slum it when travelling to Haiti. HRO or CORE paid out more than $ 126,000 in first class flights in 2013. This luxury travel was justified by Penn’s celebrity status and “consideration for his safety”. 

Penn’s close relationship with the Clintons also apparently brought him into the nefarious orbit of child-sex provider and elite blackmailer, Jeffrey Epstein. It has been claimed that Penn was on the guest list of an intimate dinner between Epstein’s under-age girl procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell and Bill Clinton in 2014. 

Covid-19 “response” and a potential ulterior motive for CORE Covid-19 tests

Fast forward to 2020, and we find Sean Penn and CORE intimately involved in Covid-19 drive-through testing centres. In September 2020, CORE had conducted more than one million Coronavirus tests, by November, this had increased to 2.5 million. 

The PCR test, DNA harvesting and false positives

The validity of the PCR tests in diagnosing Covid-19 has been the subject of much scientific discussion with a growing number of medical experts and analysts dismissing the PCR test as unreliable and inconclusive due to the high percentage of false positives. It is also claimed that this widespread DNA collection under the pretext of Covid-19 could be a covert genetic information harvest on the pretext of extracting viral DNA from all the genetic material. 

I spoke with a medical expert who will remain anonymous for security reasons and he informed me that the PCR test is “not designed to diagnose disease.” He told me:

“The test identifies a genetic sequence being present in a sample and then copies it, thereby increasing the amount of genetic material. Each test cycle copies and increases the genetic material. A specific amount of GM is required to meet a threshold of detection. The test will keep copying until it is possible to say the virus is “detected”. Therein lies the problem. After “Covid” infection, when the virus has been removed by the immune system, some viral genetic debris can remain for many months. A tiny fragment viral, genetic material debris will be found and multiplied by many, many cycles until the detection threshold is reached. This is a false positive.”

He informed me that most labs are running upwards of 40 cycles. “In at least 4 examples of RT PCR testing in the US, it was found that 90% of the positive tests were actually false.”

He also told me “the real reason they are pushing the testing is control. They want a rapid test to be used every day, multiple times per day to gain entry to school, work, restaurants, entertainment centres etc. It is conditioning.”

The sinister question is whether all this genetic DNA information is passed on to undisclosed entities for “research purposes” without the patient’s knowledge. 

Prior to the Covid-19 “crisis”, patient privacy in the US was protected by federal laws like the Common Rule and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Emergency laws or orders introduced on the back of Covid-19 haveenabled a widespread genome harvesting strategy with little or no accountability for how the DNA information collected is ultimately used. 

The issue of DNA collection is not new. An article by Off-Guardian from 2017 asked why the US Air-force was collecting samples of Caucasian Russian DNA. Predictably, the story was ignored by US/UK state media. At the time, Russian President Putin, speculated that the US was preparing an anti-Russian bioweapon. That theory is no longer so “conspiratorial” with the looming threat of a potential bio terror false flag which will, inevitably,  plunge the world into even greater engineered chaos. 

As part of my research for this article, I sent an email to CORE asking them what they did with the DNA collected from their testing procedures. Until now, no response has been forthcoming. 

CORE now receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO donated $ 10 million to Penn’s initiative. Further sponsors include the Clinton Foundation. The CORE testing site at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles is the largest in the US – “three times the size of any other location in LA” and can test up to 6,000 people per day. Mouth swabs are used in place of the nasal swabs to avoid the need for medical staff to perform the test. 

Penn’s funding from Covid-19 impresario, Bill Gates, is an indicator of the depth of Penn’s involvement in what is the Covid-19 portal to the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset”. Penn is no stranger to the Gates world of “philanthropy”. When Melinda Gates spoke about gender inequality at a 2015 Hollywood Report “women in entertainment” breakfast, it was Penn who introduced her. Penn went on to extol the Gates global immunisation projects. That Penn is wholly supportive of the Covid-19 class war should come as no surprise. 

One cannot help but wonder what happened to Penn. In 2002, Penn placed a $56,000 advertisement in the Washington Postasking President George W. Bush to end a cycle of violence. In 2003, he wrote an impassioned anti-imperialist full-page statement for the New York Times opposing the Bush military interventionism in Iraq. 

Penn wrote:

“We see Bechtel. We see Halliburton. We see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, Perle, Ashcroft, Murdoch, many more. We see no WMDs. We see dead young Americans. We see no WMDs. We see dead Iraqi civilians. We see no WMDs. We see chaos in the Baghdad streets. But no WMDs.”

This could simply be a result of Penn’s fervent support for the Democrats or it could indicate that, once upon a time, Penn had genuine anti-war principles. I will cover Penn’s pro-Democrat-bias and possible connections later in this article.

Today, in 2020, Penn appears to be a fully fledged member of the billionaire and Big Pharma complex that is pushing a high-risk global vaccination roll-out. He has demanded that the “military must be tasked with a full offensive against this virus.” Penn has described the military intervention in Haiti as the US deployment of “the most effective logistical and humanitarian organization the world has ever seen: the US military.” Penn’s own terminology in relation CORE’s Covid-19 response has been littered with military analogy, describing it as a “mission to save lives”, an interesting allusion to “an active shooter scenario” and finally “you become a gun.” That might be a little closer to the truth than Penn intended. 

CORE is backed by USAID, the Clintons, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is not a grass roots volunteer organization, it is an instrument of power. Co-founder of CORE, or J/P HRO as it was in 2010, is a notorious character by the name of Sanela Diana Jenkins ( the J/P stood for Jenkins-Penn). 

Jenkins who is of Bosnian (Bosnia and Herzegovina) origin, has consistently underpinned the narratives that led to the NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia in 1999 including the much disputed Srebenica “genocide.” For a greater understanding of the complexities of this dark period in Yugoslav history, I highly recommend “Media Cleansing, Dirty Reporting,” by Peter Brock. Jenkins raised $ 1 million for the Clinton Foundation in Haiti and together with actor, George Clooney, she raised $ 10 million for the “Not on Our Watch” organisation, which intervened in Darfur on behalf of US imperialist interests. Jenkins actively supported regime change in Libya which resulted in the brutal murder of its President, Muammar Gaddafi, which was famously celebrated by Hillary Clinton, who said : “we came, we saw, he died”. 

Penn – Maverick or CIA tool? 

I mentioned Penn’s support for the Democrats earlier in the article. A deeper delve into Penn’s “journalism” reveals a possible political agenda that is in lock-step with the Democrat policies. On October 23rd 2008, Penn met with President Raul Castro of Cuba, less than two weeks before Barack Obama was elected as the first black US President. During the seven-hour meeting, Castro expressed a desire to meet with Obama who had said that he would reverse some of the draconian policies imposed by the preceding Bush administration during his election campaign. 

The Mexican drug cartels and the US banking cartel cover-up

According to Penn’s biography as it appears in his controversialRolling Stone interview with Mexican drug lord, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, i.e. El Chapo, “Actor, writer and director Sean Penn has written from the front lines in Haiti, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.” El Chapo’s arrest almost immediately after meeting with Penn drew accusations of Penn’s involvement in his detection. However, there is evidence that El Chapo was actually not that hard to find and that the entire capture may have been nothing more than elaborate cover for the real billionaire criminals behind the global drug dealing industry, the US banking cartel

As journalist, Richard Becker, wrote in 2019:

“Joaquin Guzman, also known as “El Chapo,” will likely spend the rest of his life in isolation inside a “supermax” prison in Colorado, after his sentencing on July 17 for drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes. No US bankers will be in the adjoining cells, although without vast assistance from the latter, the Mexico-based drug cartels could never have achieved the size and profitability they have.

Despite the banks reaping huge profits as financiers and accomplices of the cartels, the number of bank executives criminally prosecuted for laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal drug money is exactly zero.”

One could be forgiven for speculating that the Penn scandal provided spectacular cover for the oligarchs behind the scenes of El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel. In March 2010, Wachovia bank agreed “in a settlement to having laundered at least $ 378 billion in drug money from 2004-2007 for Mexican drug cartels.” The case never went to court. 

There is also the additional issue of claims of the discovery of a 50-caliber sniper rifle associated with Obama’s “Operation Fast and Furious” at the hideout of El Chapo. Operation Fast and Furious involved the sale of firearms at retail stores which could then allegedly be tracked to prominent drug cartel figures in Mexico. The operation was an abject failure which resulted in the murder of various individuals with US-supplied weapons, not dissimilar to the Obama “train and equip” programme in Syria, which squandered $ 500 million on weapons and equipment for the non-existent “moderate opposition.” These weapons, they say, inexplicably fell into the hands of the global terror organisation, ISIS. The US National Rifle Association accused Obama and former Attorney General, Eric Holder of hatching the operation as cover to increase gun violence in Mexico and thus justify more restrictive gun-laws in the US. 

At the very least, the timing of Penn’s intervention and the subsequent arrest of El Chapo is interesting. 

Penn always in the “right” place at the right time?

U.S. actor and director Sean Penn (R) holds an Egypt flag as he walks with Egyptian actor Khaled al-Nabawi in Tahrir Square during a protest against the ruling military council, after Friday prayers in Cairo September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Haiti

In 2012, Penn met with US-approved, former Haiti President, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier whose father Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, had been instated as President-for-life in 1957 with US backing. US warships were reportedly stationed “just off the coast of Haiti to oversee a smooth transition of power to Duvalier’s son.” Under the Duvalier dynasty, more than 60,000 Haitians were murdered and tortured by death squads known as the Tonton Macoutes who regularly burned dissenters alive or publicly hung them. “Baby Doc” had been removed from power in 1986 by a popular uprising. After his meeting with “Baby Doc”, Penn recommended “reconciliation” with this neo-colonialist instrument of injustice, despite the fact that Haitian human rights group and civilians wished to see “Baby Doc” prosecuted for “crimes against humanity” and widespread corruption. 

Penn does not specify the date of his 2012 “chance” meeting with “Baby Doc” but perhaps coincidentally, President Bill Clinton met “Baby Doc” in January 2012 in Titanyen, the site of mass graves for the bodies of men, women and children massacred by the Duvalier tyrants over the course of three decades of US-orchestrated and sponsored dictatorship. On the same stage with “Baby Doc” and Clinton was the latest in the line of US-approved puppet leaders, President Michel Martellyalso highly promoted by Penn. 

Egypt 

In 2011, Penn just happened to be in Tahrir Square as the Arab Spring gathered momentum in Egypt. Penn called on military leaders for a “faster transition to democracy”. Penn told the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, that “the world is inspired by the call for freedom by the courageous revolution of Egypt [..] a transition of power from the military to the people.” Effectively, Penn came out in favour of yet another US/UK-orchestrated regime change – one that would ultimately lead to the reduction of Egypt to a poverty-stricken nation dependent upon foreign aid, conveniently for the US  and Israel who alongside the UK, were instrumental in fomenting the uprising as explained by the Journeyman documentary – “The Revolution Business”. 

Iran, Syria and Chavez

In 2009, two American “hitch-hikers”, Josh Fattel and Shane Bauer, were arrested by Iranian border guards after they were accused of entering Iranian territory on the border with Iraqi “Kurdistan” without permission and were jailed for espionage. Penn flew to Venezuela to ask President Hugo Chavez to negotiate their release with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Penn had allegedly been alerted to the plight of Bauer and Fattel by friends in “US intellectual circles.” Penn’s support for Chavez was the subject of much controversy in American media, but that controversy likely provided him with the credibility he needed to be afforded an audience with Syria’s US-media-maligned President Bashar Al Assad in the midst of the US/UK-driven “regime change” war against Syria. The meeting is believed to have taken place during the summer of 2016. 

Perhaps it is yet another coincidence, but one of thePenn-rescued “hitch hikers,” Shane Bauer, went on to become a “journalist” member of the western media “regime change” chorus invested in the criminalization of the Syrian government and its elected President Bashar Al Assad. A “journalist” who, without hesitation, regurgitated the now discredited 2018 Douma “chemical weapon” story despite serious doubts from acclaimed journalist, Robert Fisk, who was one of the first to visit the scene of the alleged attack. Evidence that the attack was, almost certainly, a staged event, produced by the UK FCO-midwived White Helmets and Douma’s dominant armed group, Jaish Al Islam, seemed to escape Bauer’s “in depth” journalism.

Bauer, himself, reported that he had been denied a visa by the Syrian authorities because his “journalism” was not considered objective enough. It is quite possible that the decision could also have been influenced by his history of illegal entry into Iran. True to form, Bauer entered Syria illegally with the help of US-proxies, the Kurdish contra forces, the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces” occupying much of north-east Syria, including the oil fields in order to produce his undercover report which served as thinly veiled PR for the continuation of a ten-year US/UK-led war against Syria. 

Celebrity humanitarianism: PR for neoliberal capitalism and US hegemony

Is Sean Penn a Hollywood “honey trap” for the five eyes intelligence alliance, as he was colourfully described by a Twitter commenter recently? Or is Penn nothing more than a member of the rising celebrity cult-humanitarian complex spearheaded by entertainment stars, billionaires and activist “NGOs” that include Bill Gates, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, Bono and Penn’s ex-wife, Madonna? The line between being an intelligence asset and an “innocent” promoter of US hegemony and neoliberal capitalism is an indistinct one in either case. 

The three men on the beach, Sean Penn, Jack Dorsey and Vivi Nevo. Photo: the Daily Mail

n many instances, the timing of Penn’s “happenstance” meetings with figures key to US foreign policy and military adventurism raises obvious questions. I have not covered all of Penn’s political publicity stunts in this article, only those I consider to be the primary ones. Effectively, Penn’s political involvement has furthered the foreign policy objectives of the US predatory class, which inevitably result in global inequality, food insecurity and devastation for countries in the cross-hairs, the same global insecurity that Penn’s version of celebrity altruism claims to fight against. 

As described in the book, “Celebrity Humanitarianism – the ideology of global charity” by Byllan Kapoor: 

“[..]celebrity humanitarianism, far from being altruistic, is significantly contaminated and ideological: it is most often self-serving, helping to promote institutional aggrandizement and the celebrity ‘brand’; it advances consumerism and corporate capitalism, and rationalizes the very global inequality it seeks to redress; it is fundamentally depoliticizing, despite its pretensions to ‘activism’; and it contributes to a ‘post-democratic’ political landscape, which appears outwardly open and consensual, but is in fact managed by unaccountable elites.”

Penn is a Covid-19 fearmongering fanatic. Aside from demanding that the military be involved in the response, Penn has issued an array of stinging attacks on Twitter against President Trump’s Covid-19 measures, deeming them ineffective and disproportionate to the Penn-perceived magnitude of the threat. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Penn is supportive of the Biden power bid, which will bring in a Covid-19 task force comprised of individuals who have voiced support for eugenics and population control. 

Who persuaded Penn to take to Twitter earlier this year? None other than Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, who will be the main subject of Part 2 of this article, which will cover Dorsey’s role in funding and promoting the Covid-19 Big Pharma programmes and draconian US government population suppression measures. 

The three men on the beach are instrumental in paving the way for the Great Reset and Dorsey should be held responsible for much of the Twitter censorship of dissenting voices during this unprecedented power grab by the powers that be. Celebrities like Penn and influencers like Dorsey enable their expansionism rather than call for their accountability for the damage being inflicted upon the world’s most vulnerable and increasingly disenfranchised human beings under the guise of “relief.” 

Meet the new boss!

Putin Expels the Families

November 19, 2020

Putin Expels the Families

by The Ister for The Saker Blog

The 1990s was a time of immense suffering for the Russian people. As the impending collapse of the USSR became discernable, insiders such as Nikolai Kruchina, Viktor Geraschenko, and Leonid Veselovsky created a planning group to ensure the continued influence of Soviet-era officials by transferring Russian state assets to offshore shell companies and thus stripping the country’s wealth. One such offshore company, FIMACO, was used to pilfer an estimated $50 billion from the nation. Viktor Gerashchenko, the head of the central bank of Russia, sent a memorandum demanding transfers from FIMACO be covered up. It was through this looting that liquid capital was generated and used by future oligarchs to build their fortunes. An early beneficiary of this arrangement was Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who had started his career as a minor Soviet official and whose Yukos oil conglomerate was tied to FIMACO. In return for his help Viktor Gerashchenko was later given a position as the chairman of Yukos by Khodorkovsky.

In 1991 the Soviet Union finally collapsed. That August, state treasurer Nikolai Kruchina, responsible for Russia’s gold reserves, died by falling from his window. He had been a member of the planning group which originated the plot to steal state assets. His successor Georgy Pavlov fell to his death from a window two months later: the oligarchs were cleaning house.

In September, the Russian central bank announced the Kremlin’s gold reserves had inexplicably dropped from the estimated 1000-1500 tons to a mere 240 tons. Two months later, Victor Gerashchenko announced Russia’s gold reserves had actually entirely vanished. While the Russian public was horrified at the revelation, European bankers were less surprised. It was whispered frequently among those circles that Soviet transport planes had been flying to and from Switzerland for months and selling off large amounts of gold. Boris Yeltsin announced his plans to privatize the nation’s assets and the real looting began.

During the privatization period, international capital wasted no time in opportunistically swooping in to take over Russian industries. The Clinton administration sought to redesign the economic policies of the nascent Russian Federation according to the Washington Consensus: privatization, deregulation, austerity, and the opening up of Russia’s companies to purchase by ultra-wealthy Americans. They gave the role of economic planning in Russia to the Harvard Institute for International Development, which sent Harvard economists to meet with Anatoly Chubais, Boris Yeltsin’s head of privatization. The close relationship with Anatoly Chubais allowed a select group of American investors to be on an inside track of financial dealings in the new Russia. One Harvard grad involved in this scheme was Jonathan Hay, convicted inside trader. He became senior advisor to the GKI, Russia’s new state privatization committee.

Certain members of this network, which included Harvard graduates Hay, Jeffrey Sachs, Andrei Shleifer, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, David Lipton, and others, misused funds from USAID that were intended for Russian economic development and rigged deals for privatization to gain control of key Russian industries in backroom negotiations. In one 1995 off market deal, Anatoly Chubais created a closed bidding process for prime national properties in which the only approved bidders were Harvard Management Company and George Soros. This resulted in the acquisition of major stakes in Sidanko Oil, Novolipetsk Steel, and Sviazinvest.

Foreign investors flocked in and the level of greed among this fifth column of new Muscovites was truly astonishing. The 1999 RICO suit Avisma Titano Magnes v. Dart Management is particularly enlightening. RICO allows victims of a racketeering conspiracy to sue conspirators for damages caused by their illegal conduct, and the following defendants were named in the action:

Kenneth Dart; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Jonathan Hay; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Michael Haywood; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Michael Hunter; Dart Management Inc
Francis E. Baker; Andersen Group Inc
William Browder, Hermitage Fund
Barclays Bank, PLC

The complaint document alleges the following: the defendants and a cooperating bank called Bank Menatep, owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had a controlling interest in titanium producer Avisma. They forced Avisma to sell its titanium below market price to offshore companies which they secretly controlled. Next, these offshore companies sold the titanium at a correct price on international markets for profit, which was then funneled back from the offshore companies to the defendants and Bank Menatep. Money that should have been booked as profits for Avisma was siphoned away, and the majority shareholders who were in on the scam benefitted at the expense of minority shareholders, the company, and Russian tax authorities.

Defendant Francis E. Baker described the actions in a private letter as, “An immense Russian bank money laundering scheme, clearly a criminal matter.” According to the complaint, the actions were discovered when defendants attempted to swap Avisma shares for shares of mining company VSMPO and replicate the same scam at VSMPO. Baker and other defendants later excused their actions by claiming the suit was Russian targeting. Sound familiar?

The criminality was not limited to foreign speculators. During the early period of privatization in the 90s a secret society of seven Russian oligarchs entirely controlled Boris Yeltsin’s administration. This group called itself Semibankirschina, named after the Seven Boyars who controlled Russia during the 17th centuryThe secret society included the following oligarchs: Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, Vladimir Gusinsky, Vladimir Potanin, and Alexander Smolensky.

A Russian journalist named Andrey Fadin described their overwhelming power in an article, “they control the access to budget money and basically all investment opportunities inside the country. They own the gigantic information resource of the major TV channels. They form the President’s opinion. Those who didn’t want to walk along them were either strangled or left the circle.” Less than one year after publishing the article Andrey Fadin was killed. Through their front man Anatoly Chubais, Semibankirschina used control of television networks to prop up Boris Yeltsin’s low approval ratings. From the mid-90s to 1999 this clique had total authority over Russian policies and industries, judiciously using violence to enforce its monopoly. In one case Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his underling Leonid Nevzlin carried out the murder of the mayor Vladimir Petukhov, who was pursuing Yukos Oil Company’s evasion of taxes.

In late 1999, Vladimir Putin became president of Russia and the fortunes of these self-appointed rulers rapidly turned for the worse. A new group of Putin insiders such as Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Yakunin, and Sergey Chemezov formed and began supplanting the previous access that the Semibankirschina had to the president. In 2001, a state takeover of media seized the television networks previously owned by oligarchs Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, and Badri Patarkatsishvili, prompting Patarkatsishvili to denounce Russia to the New York Times and flee the country. While exiled in the UK, Patarkatsishvili died suspiciously at the age of 48. The Georgian government has called his death an assassination. Boris Berezovsky also died suspiciously in the UK after having sold his Russian assets and denounced Putin. After his television networks were seized, Vladimir Gusinsky was criminally charged with money laundering and forced to flee the country as well.

The sweep continued as three other allies of the Semibankirschina were killed: Nikolai Glushkov, Alexander Litvinenko, and Boris Nemtsov. Bill Browder was deported in 2005, and later convicted in absentia for fraud. Fraudster Konstantin Ponomarev was also convicted, sentenced to 8 years in prison for crimes relating to his extortion of $1 billion from IKEA. Jamison Firestone, an associate of Ponomarev and Browder, was forced to flee Russia due to his involvement in the Magnitsky case, and his associate Alexander Peripilichny mysteriously died while jogging near London. George Soros was banned from Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Once the richest man in the country, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s fortunes turned for the worse as well. In the early 2000s, Putin pushed through a number of populist reforms for criminal, tax, and land law, which the oligarchs of the 90s had strongly opposed. As the most blatantly criminal member of the original Semibankirschina, Khodorkovsky’s Bank Menatep had been founded with funds stolen as part of the looting of state assets. The bank operated as a hub of money laundering and engaged in countless financial scams, even delaying government funds to Chernobyl victims while using their money to financially speculate. It was Bank Menatep through which American fraudsters had allegedly ripped off Avisma shareholders with the titanium dumping scam.

In 2003, Khodorkovsky was criminally prosecuted by Putin for tax evasion and fraud for which he ended up serving 10 years in prison. His protege Leonid Nevzlin was convicted of ordering multiple contract murders on Khodorkovsky’s behalf, and sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia. Associate Platon Lebedev was also convicted and imprisoned. This wave of prosecution sent a message and gave Putin a strong position, which was used to negotiate a “grand bargain” with the remaining oligarchs: they retained most of their existing assets in return for alignment with Putin’s vertical rule of Russia. The era of financial gangsterism from the 1990s was over.

Stolen Russian gold reserves have now been restored and are at the highest levels in history. Because of the lack of collaboration with other central banks it is certain that Russian gold is present in Moscow’s vaults: there are none of the surreptitious leasing or swap agreements which call into question the claimed size of Western bank holdings. So instead of buying US treasuries or dollars for its reserves, the Bank of Russia can demand physical gold delivery into Moscow vaults. This will continually strain the fraudulent COMEX and London Bullion Market systems with the pressure of physical shipments and threaten the dollar. Unlike China, Russia is in the position to attack the dollar as a net commodity exporter, meaning when its gold purchases bid up the price of metals it is simply increasing the receipts of its own domestic commodity producing companies like Norilsk Nickel and VSMPO-AVISMA.

The economic crisis of 1998 has heavily influenced the Kremlin’s financial policy, and the last twenty years have been spent creating a resilient system. One of Putin’s first agenda items was to pay off all debt to the IMF and holdover loans from the Soviet era. Russia is now positioned to attack the dollar, as the only powerful state not operating on a debt-based system. A decade of economic warfare in the form of sanctions has cut off access to international capital: the result is one of the lowest levels of external debt of any country in the world, with cash reserves large enough to pay off all debt at once. These low debt levels have tangible benefits, primarily that Russia is now able to withstand large economic fluctuations without crumbling as a result of internal defaults. By comparison, the financial system of America would disintegrate if it attempted to sustain the decline in GDP Russia incurred from 2013-2016.

The Bank of Russia actively enforces stringent lending standards in order to prevent the emergence of consumer credit bubbles, and forces banks to hold extra cash on their balance sheets (as a result, most applications for personal credit are declined). So sanctions have actually made the country stronger, as hubris of the McCain class of American politicians has created a competitor state with no stake in the survival of the existing debt-based financial order. Russia’s mission to create resiliency and restore sovereignty foreshadows a tumultuous future, while America bets everything that the world will remain the same. The concerted plot to loot Russia has been foiled.

In December of 1999, Edmond Safra was murdered at his fabulous mansion, the Villa Leopolda in Monaco. The Safras are one of the oldest and most secretive of the banking families, with a fortune dating back to the gold trading caravans of the Ottoman Empire. Coincidentally, Safra means yellow, or gold, in Arabic. It was Edmond Safra who served as Bill Browder’s mentor in Russia, providing him with an initial seed funding of $25 million to start his Hermitage Fund. When Browder needed protection during a business dispute with an oligarch, Safra sent his emissary four armored vehicles and fifteen bodyguards led by a former Mossad agent. While Edmond Safra spent much of his later life defending himself from drug trafficking and money laundering allegations, he was accomplished, nonetheless. He founded his first bank at 23 years old and had dreamed of creating a banking dynasty that would last 10,000 years.

Just after Putin’s takeover as president, Villa Leopolda was broken into. Safra’s nurse, a former Green Beret named Ted Maher, was stabbed by two masked intruders who entered the premises, after which Safra was killed. Under pressure from Monacan authorities, Ted Maher was forced to sign a nonsensical confession in which he claimed that he stabbed himself and admitted to setting the fire in order to attempt to gain his employer’s adoration. He has since recanted this confession, saying that his defense attorneys coerced him into signing and threatened he would never see his family again otherwise. Jean-Christophe Hullin, the chief judge in the case, revealed in 2007 that the guilty conviction was a predetermined outcome which had been planned in a secret meeting with himself, Maher’s attorneys, and the chief prosecutor of Monaco: in short, Ted Maher was a fall guy for the real murderers of Edmond Safra. Now free, he believes Safra was ordered killed by Putin, “in retaliation for a plot orchestrated by Safra and Russian oligarchs to take control of all of Russia’s assets.”

It was during the purge of oligarchs and vulture capitalists that the true power behind Mikhail Khodorkovsky emerged. When it became likely he would be arrested, he arranged to have all his shares from the Yukos Oil Company transferred to the ownership of Jacob Rothschild. The transfer took place in November of 2003, giving Lord Rothschild control of shares estimated by the Sunday Times to be worth $13.5 billion. Putin subsequently liquidated and nationalized Yukos by seizing and selling off its shares to state oil companies at much below market value.

So Putin has declared war on the most powerful people on the planet.

The Ister is a researcher of financial markets and geopolitics. Author of The Ister: Escape America

Susan Rice has blood on her hands: Journalist

Sunday, 15 November 2020 7:25 PM

Video : Former US National Security Advisor Susan Rice speaks at the J Street 2018 National Conference April 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

By Don DeBar

Susan Rice is another one of the recycled Clinton people, and in fact the Democratic Party had her going back even before that.

Her mother has been around. She helped design Pell Grants. She had been with Brookings since ‘92 which is about when Susan graduated into the Clinton administration (in 1993) and went directly to the National Security Council.

She was with Bill Clinton for his administration. Obama had her – first at the UN, and then as his National Security Adviser (I think). She’s about as inside as it gets. She has blood on her hands in Africa, Rwanda.

The people’s understanding of the Rwandan genocide in the United States is exactly upside down. There was a genocide there, but it was the side that the US-backed, not surprisingly, and that was Susan Rice’s project. She was a member of the National Security Council to do international affairs and that was one big act of the Clinton administration – that move to pivot to Africa, around Rwanda.

It was also the enabling of their so-called humanitarian interventions, and in any way that’s her child.

At the United Nations, she helped bring us the destruction of Libya, enabled the situation in Syria to the extent that she could, and tried to sell authority for the US to bomb the hell out of Syria as well.

It’s going to be more war, really.

Let me remind people when Trump took office in January of 2017 the foreign policy that Susan Rice and Barack Obama and the Clintons, and John Kerry had set in motion had us where we were having war games at Russia and China’s borders from the Baltics to the Korean peninsula, on a constant basis, with a number of international incidents – including NATO members shooting down Russian pilots over Syria – any of which could have escalated, and really turning on a dime into a global thermonuclear war.

Trump for all the things he has done does not leave us – if he’s leaving – in that situation. But what they’re doing is installing the very people who created that condition to start from day one to bring us right back to the brink with Russia and China.

I think it’s very scary that Susan Rice is being considered for this. I don’t think it’s a surprise at all. Anyone who knows who Joe Biden is not surprised.

Obama is pushing Susan Rice for secretary of state job: Sources

Obama is pushing Susan Rice for secretary of state job: SourcesBarack Obama is pushing for Joe Biden to nominate Susan Rice for secretary of state, sources say.

Don DeBar is an American journalist and political commentator based in New York. He recorded this article for Press TV website. 


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Trump and his Enemies: Election 2020

Trump and his Enemies: Election 2020
https://thesaker.is/trump-and-his-enemies-election-2020/

November 06, 2020

By Larchmonter445 for the Saker Blog

What we see playing out in front of the whole world is the final battle of Trump and his Enemies. The historic vote, the democratic process of the will of the American People, is a sideshow. Atop that election event, which was the largest and most egalitarian in modern U.S. history, is the existential struggle between Donald J. Trump, interloper and paradigm destroyer, and an array of the most powerful U.S. stakeholders, his avowed enemies.

As the legal combat rolls out to try save Trump’s election results, each state or city that Trump’s lawyers challenge in court is a citadel of Trump enemies, some unique, some sub rosa, most flying their colors as adversaries since he unleashed his candidacy for the Executive Power of the Presidency.

There are three key states that are headlining the legal contests—Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Additionally, North Carolina and Georgia present as conflict zones, too, the former holding for Trump, the latter leeching the lead to Biden. Peeling back the Repubs versus the Dems struggle for victory, we discover the enemies are not political foes. We discover the enemies are power foes. Trump came for their power and took the hilltop, the Oval Office. They have spent billions of dollars to dislodge him, to destroy him, to decimate his assets like the ninja blade missile fired at General Soleimani shredded the Iranian’s body.

Trump’s candidacy for a second term relies on winning in all these states. Examining the legal skirmishes in each case, he has little chance of achieving his needed goals. Meanwhile, his winning vote totals are being diminished by the hour as his enemies use century old “vote” manipulations to assure Biden’s victory.

What this is not is an ideological-political fight, though the campaign was overwhelmed with ideological munitions exploding at every level.

The struggle for dominance now underway is about pure power to command the domestic and foreign assets of the United States Government and to influence the corporate assets and human assets of the nation domestically and globally. Trump wants to focus on domestic economic and technological development and GDP growth while his Enemies want to use all the power they need to maintain global hegemony.

Trump took the Presidency in 2016, and with it, the Republican Party, the Conservative movement, and the Evangelical base. Recently, in this election, he expanded the Black, Gay and Hispanic component of the Republican voting base. This has held the Senate for the Republicans and increased the House seats, as well as gaining ground in State governors and State legislatures, critical in a year of Census that determines Congressional districts for the next decade.

Trump immobilized a potential nemesis, the MIC, with $2.5 Trillion in contracts for new weapons and munitions and R&D to pursue offensive and defensive systems that the Russians and Chinese already possess. That he also poured ice water on the Afghan War and the Syrian War, and is chilling the African secret special forces wars did not rattle the corporate pigs who live off defense budgets. But, he has agitated the officer corps that depends on small-scale conflicts that boost their careers with battle ribbons and commendations and keeps them climbing the ladder to ‘stars’ on their shoulders. Without wars, the future is very limited for officers. The careers of officers are pressurized by the Congressional mandate of “up or out”, which is a culling process of either you get promoted up or you are exited out of the active duty service. The best insurance of constant career advancement is perpetual wars, small and laden with proxies actually doing the fighting and dying. The US officer corps has lived on these regional wars for many decades. Trump threatens them by shutting the Presidential valves that sustain such ventures. Many officers have spoken out against Trump.

A brief tour of what was done early on and during the campaign to stop Trump from winning outright is necessary. This year, after three years of false accusations of being a stooge for Russia, colluding with Putin, the House impeached Trump for a phone call to Zelensky, President of Ukraine, fabricating a deal was proposed, quid pro quo, that would benefit Trump. Immediately disproved with the official transcript of said phone call, the country and Trump were nonetheless put through the agony of the one-party impeachment which was instantly killed in womb (Pelosi’s or Schiff’s, it was never established), but the demon was dead on arrival. It cost Trump prestige and some votes in the middle. Mud sticks and stains in politics. Bullshit does, also, and stinks for quite some time, too.

Then Covid hit the nation. Trump worked assiduously as President to use US influence and domestic resources to get PPEs, ventilators, swabs and tests, and hospitals ready for an onslaught of patients. He used national presidential powers to get corporations to manufacture ventilators. He coaxed the Big Pharma corporations to push out therapeutics and to design a mass manufacturing of vaccines. He broke the inertia in the Homeland Security, CDC and FDA and dissolved red tape and traditional foot-dragging to get emergency approvals of whatever looked promising to mitigate, moderate and stop the virus from harming or killing the infected. He created a national task force that incorporated all branches of the military to solve all logistical issues that arose and might arise as testing, therapeutics and vaccine would roll out in hot spots Dr. Birx determined and then into regions and states the epidemic modelers directed. Trump was far ahead of the curve on everything a President could do.

Most importantly, in the single decision that had to be made, to close the nation’s economy and get tens of millions of businesses to shut down while employees stayed safely at home as the virus swept around the country, he did it when the ‘scientists’ and ‘doctors’ advised him to. It was the death knell of his economic success and tore the foundation from his re-election campaign.

Trump would have been unstoppable in 2020 election if not for the shutdown. It cost millions of Americans their income, their jobs, their businesses and impacted their children who were subject to digital home schooling because all their schools were closed, K-12 and colleges and universities, too. The Covid deaths and fears would not have stopped him.

The collapse of the economy altered the Trump MAGA success. His re-election would have been an historic landslide and wipeout of the Dems, likely winning the House back, also. Certainly, he would have won 40 of the 50 states.

What Covid did was give the Dems a campaign issue that along with the 3+ years of demonization, the impeachment, the investigations, the Infowar, the sabotage and treachery by the Intel agencies and State Dept., all the legal cases against Trump allies by Muller, the prolonged agony of General Flynn made by a Federal DC judge, enabled by the Appeals Court, made the false charge that Trump did not listen to the doctors and scientists stick.

Trump never made a false move, never went against science. He pushed the envelope to get breakthroughs. He was ahead of the curve, and the economy coming back so swiftly and strongly proves he did everything correctly. He saved lives and saved the economy. But it cost him support at the ballot box. He was pilloried by MSM and Dems, and demagogued by the Biden campaign. All false charges. But they stuck.

The one thing that Trump could not do in the fight against Covid was direct and order 50 states to act in concert. The Federal system of states left governors in charge of the fate of their citizens, and many governors, Dems all of them, messed up, acted late, made the wrong decisions. Their failures were heaped on Trump by the Media and the very Dem governors who caused a large percentage of the deaths by the virus.

The facts are the facts. In New York, Governor Cuomo caused thousands of deaths in nursing homes. He did not use thousands of beds provided by Trump in the Javits Center and on the Naval hospital ship, all of which Cuomo had requested. He did not even use a 110-bed tent facility in Central Park provided for him by Samaritan’s Purse. Culpability in New York alone was criminal and accounted for 40% of US deaths by Covid. Trump, however, got covered with the mud from Cuomo’s mess.

The final poison arrow from Covid’s quiver was Trump got infected. He quickly proved his amazing genetic health and recovered, experimenting upon himself with emergency-approved (due to his prior swift actions) therapeutics. The entire ordeal (which also touched his wife, Melania and son, Baron) cost him two weeks of vital campaigning. The ironically named by him, China virus, had come to ruin his re-election as if Zhongnanhai had intended to inflict him with the novel Corona virus. Fate or karma had entered the campaign.

We can uncover his thinly veiled enemies as we look closely at the States ‘counting’ the votes. Perhaps, the verb ‘compiling’ the votes is best used because any freshman observer of what has traditionally and continually occurred where and when needed is not mere vote counting. We see the completion of vote counting of the opponents largest haul (in this case, Trump’s bastions) and then, calculating with simple arithmetic, addition and subtraction, as the long night (always), with delays (always) and the days or weeks needed to ‘find’ the votes needed to overcome his total in order to create victory for Biden. Compiling votes is what we see going on in these key states.

This compiling is an art form, a tradecraft, indeed, a tradecraft used by State Dept. and CIA to win victories for satraps the US wants to win or hold power in other countries’ elections. In parts of the U.S., in Democrat vales and burgs, it is learned with mother’s milk. Professionals handle the task. I have personally seen it in operation in Florida, in New Jersey and in California. When it comes time to “count the votes”, the pros appear. Some know their names. Whether the system of voting is machines, punch cards, ink fill-ins, magical things occur. This is the final step of stealing an election.

Worse awaited Trump as he roared around the nation, rallying his voters by the tens of thousands, some days doing five rallies. Enemies lurked among the 19,000 counties of the United States where the votes of 2020 would be tallied. Some enemies, no doubt, were ideological, political foes. Some were institutional, government employees who feared four years of coming reforms that might likely cost them their jobs. Others were sore losers and turncoat Republicans who lost in 2016. A few were billionaires, oligarchs of high tech, whose demi-god status in the Liberal Cult was defied by the upstart Trump who would never kneel before their billions and influence. A ground swell for breaking up some of the big tech corporations and regulating them seemed primed for his second term.

The oligarchs sent their money to pay for the work needed to stop Trump. They sent billions of dollars mostly for negative advertising and for social media memes picked up by MSM as themes of the day, all rancid attacks against Trump.

Proven social and political science: negative advertising works. It depresses voting turnout and suppresses votes for the target. It eats at the undecided and independents who otherwise would have voted for the target. Billions of dollars of negative ads stopped the Red Wave. Turnout was historic, and the Republicans gained ground, but the landslide Trump needed was stopped.

The oligarchs who control all social media, also leveraged their platform’s influence and impact worth hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, to manipulate discourse, Internet search, government officials’ statements, tweets and re-tweets, advertising and digital content. Namely, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt were allied against Trump. Jeff Bezos, through his Washington Post, contributed the devastating suppression poll of a 17 pt. Biden lead in Wisconsin. Publicized nationally, that was a very powerful negative cast against the Trump campaign in the last days of the campaign. In addition, Bloomberg and George Soros injected hundreds of millions of dollars in the election in the swing states.

Nevada: Harry Reid, former Senate Majority Leader, operates a political machine in the state, openly hostile to Trump. The unionized casino employees, culinary workers union of 60,000, and thousands of illegals who worked construction, landscaping and low level jobs in Reno and Las Vegas, coalesced against Trump. Most all of these two groups are unemployed due to Covid shutdown, with thousands illegally voting, while many worked were paid Biden and Dem campaign volunteers.

Arizona: John McCain’s family, livid at the insults to John by Trump, were openly allied with NeverTrumpers like Jeff Flake and Mitt Romney, most importantly the Bush dynasty operatives all of whom hate Trump for his humiliating defeat of Jeff Bush campaigned against Trump. This hatred of Trump manifested into an irrational undermining of the campaign of Senator Martha McSally. One would think that Martha McSally as a combat A-10 Warthog pilot and group commander with years of active warfare experience would be a natural successor to the McCain Senate seat. However, her career as a combat pilot was a success that dwarfed the disastrous McCain career. So the McCains chose to work against her and Trump, especially when Trump backed her strongly. Arizona also has substantial illegals, useful to work and vote against Trump’s campaign because in a second term, they would likely be deported. Finally, Blue State émigrés from California have populated Maricopa County and voted against Trump as they would have in California. Their vote in Arizona made a difference.

Pennsylvania: The Philly Dem political machine is historic and perpetual. They cheat in local, state and federal elections and have for a century. Additionally, the Hillary Clinton-family machine is alive and well, ever ready to deliver votes when needed in the Commonwealth. Her father was from Scranton, she and her brothers and Bill had a political machine that could deliver to her most of the state except the Philadelphia region. She certainly activated her machine to work against Trump. Watch the grin on Ed Rendell’s face when Pennsylvania is stolen for Biden. He’s always been out front for the Clintons.

Georgia: There is a cadre of Black officials who projected the drumbeat of “Trump is a Racist”, the chanting led by the Atlanta mayor. Countering this propaganda, Trump had the personal endorsement of the greatest athlete Georgia ever produced, Herschel Walker, who has had a 37-year friendship with Trump and campaigned for Trump. Making these officials livid, too, was the relationship Trump had with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece, Dr. Alveda King. She testified endlessly that Trump was no racist. Nonetheless, the massive Black vote was tainted away from Trump, though he made larger than predicted inroads with Blacks in other venues.

North Carolina is now a state heavily influenced by Virginia’s shift to Blue. Sections of the state, where high tech industry abounds, are ideologically liberal and created enough barrier against Trump sweeping the state. Details haven’t emerged about how this state is now subject to delivery to Biden unless Trump’s margin can hold.

However, the elites, oligarchs, status quo stakeholders, criminal officials, the corrupted, deep state operatives, shadow government bureaucrats, influencers, neocons, and a sea of demented activists have waged a war to prevent a second term for Trump.

They sought Power and, apparently, will seize it soon.

###

—Larchmonter445

A Dem Presidency means The Return of the Blob

A Dem Presidency means The Return of the Blob

October 30, 2020

by Pepe Escobar with permission and cross posted with Asia Times

What happens on November 3rd ? It’s like a larger than life replay of the famous Hollywood adage: “No one knows anything.”

The Dem strategy is crystal clear, spawned by the gaming of election scenarios embedded in the Transition Integrity Project and made even more explicit by one of TIP’s co-founders, a law professor at Georgetown University.

Hillary Clinton, bluntly, has already called it: Dems must re-take the White House by any and all means and under any and all circumstances.

And just in case, with a 5,000-word opus, she already positioned herself for a plum job.

As much as Dems have made it very clear they will never accept a Trump victory, the counterpunch was vintage Trump: he told the Proud Boys to “stand back” – as in no violence, for now – but crucially to “stand by”, as in “get ready”.

The stage is set for Kill Bill mayhem on November 3rd and beyond.

Say it ain’t so, Joe

Taking a cue from TIP, let’s game a Dem return to the White House – with the prospect of a President Kamala taking over sooner rather than later. That means, essentially, The Return of the Blob.

President Trump calls it “the swamp”. Former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes – a mediocre hack – at least coined the funkier “Blob”, applied to the incestuous Washington, DC foreign policy gang, think tanks, academia, newspapers (from the Washington Post to the New York Times), and that unofficial Bible, Foreign Affairs magazine.

A Dem presidency, right away, will need to confront the implications of two wars: Cold War 2.0 against China, and the interminable, trillion-dollar GWOT (Global War on Terror), renamed OCO (Overseas Contingency Operations) by the Obama-Biden administration.

Biden became the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1997 and was the chair in 2001-2003 and again in 2007-2009. He paraded as total Iraq War cheerleader – necessary, he maintained, as part of GWOT – and even defended a “soft partition” of Iraq, something that fierce nationalists, Sunni and Shi’ite, from Baghdad to Basra will never forget.

Obama-Biden’s geopolitical accomplishments include a drone war, or Hellfire missile diplomacy, complete with “kill lists”; the failed Afghan surge; the “liberation” of Libya from behind, turning it into a militia wasteland; the proxy war in Syria fought with “moderate rebels”; and once again leading from behind, the Saudi-orchestrated destruction of Yemen.

Tens of millions of Brazilians also will never forget that Obama-Biden legitimized the NSA spying and Hybrid War tactics that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff ,the neutralization of former President Lula, and the evisceration of the Brazilian economy by comprador elites.

Among his former, select interlocutors, Biden counts warmonger former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen – who supervised the destruction of Libya – and John Negroponte, who “organized” the contras in Nicaragua and then “supervised” ISIS/Daesh in Iraq – the crucial element of the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of instrumentalizing jihadis to do the empire’s dirty work.

It’s safe to game that a Biden-Harris administration will oversee a de facto NATO expansion encompassing parts of Latin America, Africa and the Pacific, thus pleasing the Atlanticist Blob.

In contrast, two near-certain redeeming features would be the return of the US to the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, which was Obama-Biden’s only foreign policy achievement, and re-starting nuclear disarmament negotiations with Russia. That would imply containment of Russia, not a new all-out Cold War, even as Biden has recently stressed, on the record, that Russia is the “biggest threat” to the US.

Woke Kamala in da house

Kamala Harris has been groomed to rise to the top from as early as the summer of 2017. Predictably, she is all for Israel – mirroring Nancy Pelosi (“if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid…and I don’t even call it aid…our cooperation with Israel.”

Kamala is a hawk on Russia and North Korea; and she did not co-sponsor legislation to prevent war against Venezuela and, again, North Korea. Call her a quintessential Dem hawk.

Yet Kamala’s positioning is quite clever, reaching two diverse audiences: she totally fits into The Blob but with an added woke gloss (trendy sneakers, the advertised affection for hip hop). And as an extra bonus, she directly connects with the “Never Trumper” gang.

Never Trumper Republicans – operating especially in Think Tankland – totally infiltrated the Dem matrix. They are prime Blob material. The ultimate neo-con Never Trumper has got to be Robert Kagan, husband of Maidan cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland; thus the running joke in many parts of West Asia, for years, about the “Kaganate of Nulandistan”.

Kagan, self-glorified and idolized as a star conservative intellectual, is of course one of the co-founders of the dreaded neo-con Project for the New American Century (PNAC). That subsequently translated into gleeful Iraq War cheerleading. Obama read his books in awe. Kagan forcefully backed Hillary in 2016. Needless to add, neo-cons of the Kagan variety are all rabidly anti-Iran.

On the money front, there’s the Lincoln Project , set up last year by a gang of current and former Republican strategists very close to, among others, Blob stars such as Daddy Bush and Dick Cheney. A handful of billionaires gleefully donated to this major anti-Trump super-PAC, including J. Paul Getty’s heir Gordon Getty, the heir of the Hyatt hotel empire John Pritzker, and Cargill heiress Gwendolyn Sontheim.

Those Three Harpies

The key Blob character in a putative Biden-Harris White House is Tony Blinken, former deputy national security adviser during Obama-Biden and arguably the next National Security Adviser.

That’s geopolitics – with an important addendum: former national security adviser Susan Rice, who was unceremoniously dropped from the Vice-President shortlist to Kamala’s profit, may become the next Secretary of State.

Rice’s possible contender is Senator Chris Murphy, who in a strategy document titled “Rethinking the Battlefield” predictably goes undiluted Obama-Biden: no “rethinking”, really, just rhetoric on fighting ISIS/Daesh and containing Russia and China.

Suave Tony Blinken used to work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 2000s, so no wonder he’s been very close to Biden even before the first Obama-Biden term, when he rose to the top as deputy national security adviser and then, in the second term, as deputy Secretary of State.

Close to Blinken is Jake Sullivan, who under the protective wing of Hillary Clinton replaced Blinken as national security adviser in the second Obama-Biden term. He will have a top place either in the National Security Council or the State Department.

But what about The Three Harpies?

Many of you will remember The Three Harpies, as I coined them before the bombing and destruction of Libya, and again in 2016, when their remixed version’s push for a glorious sequel was rudely interrupted by Trump’s victory. When it comes to Return of the Blob, this is the 5K, 5G, IMAX version.

Of the three original Harpies, two – Hillary and Susan Rice – seem set to snatch a brand new power job. The plot thickens for Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the UN and the author of The Education of an Idealist, where we learn that such “idealist” rips Damascus and Moscow to shreds while totally ignoring the Obama-Biden drone offensive, kill lists, “leading from behind” weaponizing of al-Qaeda in Syria re-baptized as “moderate rebels”, and the relentless Saudi destruction of Yemen.

Samantha seems to be out. There’s a new Harpy in town. Which brings us to the real Queen of the Blob.

The Queen of the Blob

Michele Flournoy may be the epitome of the Return of the Blob: the quintessential, imperial functionary of what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern brilliant christened MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex).

The ideal imperial functionary thrives on discretion: virtually no one knows Flournoy outside of the Blob, so that means the whole planet.

Flournoy is a former senior adviser to the Boston Consulting Group; the co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS); a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center; under secretary of Defense during Obama-Biden; favorite of top Harpy Hillary to be Pentagon chief after 2016; and once again favorite to become Pentagon chief after 2020.

The most delicious item on Flournoy’s CV is that she’s the co-founder of WestExec Advisors with none other than Tony Blinken.

Every Blob insider knows that WestExec happens to be the name of the street alongside the West Wing of the White House. In a Netflix plot, that would be the obvious hint that a short walk of fame straight into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue looms in the horizon for the star protagonists.

Flournoy, more than Blinken, turned WestExec into a certified hit in the Beltway MICIMATT profiting from virtually no P.R. and media blitzes, and talking exclusively to think tanks.

Here’s a crucial glimpse of Flournoy thinking. She clearly states that just a benign American deterrence towards China is a “miscalculation”. And it’s important to keep in mind that Flournoy is in fact the mastermind of the overall, failed Obama-Biden war strategy.

In a nutshell, Biden-Harris would mean The Return of the Blob with a vengeance. Biden-Harris would be Obama-Biden 3.0. Remember those seven wars. Remember the surges. Remember the kill lists. Remember Libya. Remember Syria. Remember “soft coup” Brazil. Remember Maidan. You have all been warned.

The ‘Third Way’ Scam

The ‘Third  Way’ Scam

October 27, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

Historically speaking “left” ‘’right,” and ‘centre” has been the political configuration dating from the French Revolution. In the 1789 French National Assembly, the nobility and high clergy sat to the right of the chair, while the third estate and lower-status clergy sat on the left. The benches in the middle became associated with political moderation.

Over the next century-plus, most European polities allowed for a “centrist” presence. Even the design of the European parliaments where the seating arrangements were horseshoe shaped and still are, except that is for the British parliament where the contending parties sit directly facing each other; initially Tories and Whigs but from the 20th century onwards Labour and Conservative. There were the cross-benches where the minor and generally ineffective parties sat. But Centrism will likely be distressed to learn that the first recorded appearance of the word “centrist,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was an 1872 insult from London’s Daily News correspondent in France, who assailed “that weak-kneed congregation who sit in the middle of the House, and call themselves centrists.’’

In the UK the centre was traditionally moderate, providing a seating space for a small Liberal party, until that is, the late Celtic arrivals of Irish, Welsh and Scottish militant nationalists – Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party who began to make their presence felt.

But it was the European party structures and their Parliamentary expression that led invariably to coalition governments; this was the case even in Nazi Germany where Hitler had to form an alliance with the Zentrum Liberal party to get an absolute majority in the Reichstag. This was quite different from the Anglo-American two party systems where the Government could de facto be elected on a one-party vote.

Nonetheless, centrism had its more forthright defenders. In the US at the dawn of the Cold War, liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger celebrated political moderation as a vigorous “Third Force” in his 1949 book The Vital Centre. Rather than left or right, he wrote, the real conflict was “freedom vs. totalitarianism.” The United States’ goal presidential election — which saw the resounding defeat of George McGovern in 1972 — occasioned a rightward shift in centre-left parties. Smarting from defeat and the Nixon triumph Democratic elites moved to retake control for a new direction for the party. And it was this that set the tone, not merely for the United States but also in Europe. In 1992 the man of the moment William Jefferson Clinton had arrived. But there was much work to be done. The sabotage of the tools that had underpinned the prosperity of the Golden Age of Capitalism (1945-75) also created unprecedented challenges for the political parties of the ‘soft’ left. Infused with what were thought to be new ideas they now began to look for new paths forward less hostile to finance and big business.

‘’We have moved past the sterile debates between those who say that government is the enemy, and those who say that government is the answer, said Clinton who, along with his wife Hilary had studied at Yale school during the 1970s, and Bill had an unfinished stint at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar in the late 60s (1) ‘My fellow Americans we have found a ‘Third Way’

THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE THIRD WAY

The ‘Third Way’ was a rather slippery and nebulous concept. In purely policy terms, however, the Clinton reforms were a mixed bag and differed from the postulates laid down by the former Reagan administration. In his 1992 presidential campaign Clinton promised that, if elected, he would bring about the “end of welfare as we know it.” This catchy election pledge aimed to address middle class concerns about so–called welfare dependency while also arguing that the government had an important role to play in fighting poverty and unemployment. Clinton’s Third Way position, at best, offered a way out of the liberal/conservative impasse on how to effectively reform America’s welfare system. At worst, Clinton’s position undermined the concept of welfare entitlements that the Democratic Party had established in America at an earlier period. In 1996 during the lead up to that year’s presidential election, President Clinton signed into law the most significant federal welfare Act since the 1960s. However, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) that Clinton signed had largely been drafted by congressional Republicans. Then came NAFTA, the bitterly contested policy which still rankles.

But possibly the most politically significant piece of legislation authorised by the Clinton administration was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. This Act had prevented ordinary commercial banks owning excess of certain types of dubious and dangerous financial companies, which had been considered so useful that it had survived until it was repealed in 1999 under Clinton and his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former Goldman Sachs banker.

Of course this was manna from Heaven for the banking and financial fraternity, and it indicated the President’s choice of policies which had little in common with his professed ‘Third Way’ beliefs. In conclusion the failure of Clinton’s Third Way welfare agenda opened the way for more conservative reforms. This experience is illustrative of the pitfalls of Third Way politics with its mix of post–entitlement welfare policies and hard–nosed electoral positioning.

That being said the US economy began to move into high-gear during the 1990s and even managed a budgetary surplus. Alas, however, as with all upturns comes the downturns and the long-run, dot.com blow-out of 1999/2000, the US boom of the roaring 90s turned into a secular decline, and this was followed by even deeper economic crises in 2008 and now in 2020.

It could be argued in terms of cyclical political movements that there exists a rough correspondence between political and economic phases. In political terms this is usually a cyclical period between progress and reaction, movement, and order, conservative or radical, revolution and restoration. The great German social and political theorist, Max Weber, (1864-1920) would have argued that the Clinton restoration being based upon the Reagan/Thatcher ascendency was an example of charismatic authority that was superseded by legal-rational authority. In broad illustrative terms the MaoZedong period in China was followed by Chou En Lai, Trotsky was followed by Stalin, Napoleon by Louis XVIII, Cromwell was followed by the reinstallation of Charles II. As day follows night Revolution is followed by Restoration. But the restoration is never complete, and there can be no turning back to the status quo ante. But the strange thing was that during the second half of the 20th century a reactionary right-wing movement, best illustrated by Reagan and Thatcher was replaced by a milder ‘Third Way’ version of the same theory. The ‘Third-Way’ was beginning to take on rather familiar social and political forms, although its proponents would argue otherwise.

THE THIRD WAY CROSSES THE BIG POND

By 1997 the Clinton ascendancy – the Third-Way – had come to the attention of an ambitious young man who was trying to find an occupational niche for himself in the London milieu. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, who preferred to be called ‘Tony’ (of course) and described himself as a ‘regular kind of guy’ (goes without saying) was the son of a barrister, Blair attended Fettes College in Edinburgh (a school often viewed as ‘‘Scotland’s Eton’’) and Saint John’s College of the University of Oxford, where he combined the study of law with interest in religious ideas and popular music. But he displayed little enthusiasm for politics until he met his future wife, Cherie Booth. He graduated from Oxford in 1975 and was called to the bar* the following year. While specializing in employment and commercial law, he became increasingly involved in Labour Party politics and in 1983 was elected to the House of Commons to the safe Labour parliamentary seat of Sedgefield, a tight-knit former mining district in north-eastern England. His entry into politics coincided with a long political ascendancy of the Conservative Party (from 1979) and Labour’s loss of four consecutive general elections (from 1979 through 1992). He stood as leader of the Labour party and won an overwhelming victory (1997) over a divided, dispirited and out-of-ideas, Conservative party.

Blair was one of those archetypal politicians – unfortunately one of many – who didn’t have a political notion in their heads; and as a complete opportunist he was, as was the case with Clinton, able to latch on to some of the fashionable threadbare and dubious political and economic ideas current at that time. One of those fashionable notions was the ‘Third Way’ in politics.

In fact the ‘Third Way’ was a pretty simple idea.

‘’It was an attempt by the parties of the left to stake out a new middle-ground in politics. Fuddy-duddy socialist ideas were considered distinctly de trop. Globalization as its proponents would argue, was considered inevitable, so countries should embrace it and adapt to it, hitching a ride on the growth of global financial markets, then shaving off globalizations rough edges with progressive social policies and dollops of good old-fashioned redistribution. As Blair and Germany’s Gerhard Schröder summarised it in a joint declaration in 1998, the Third Way stands out not only for social justice but also for economic dynamism and the unleashing of creativity and innovation.

But this third way was always an offshore model, a recipe for countries effectively to turn themselves into tax havens in order to prosper in rough, globalizing seas. The model was, in turn, driven by the competitiveness agenda, the notion or ideology, that states must be ‘open for business’ constantly dangling enticements to large multinationals and banks and to rootless global money – for fear that they will decamp to more hospitable or ‘competitive’ places like Dubai, Singapore or Geneva. (2)

THE IDEOLOGICAL ASSIMILATION OF THE OLD LEFT

But behind the rhetoric of a new golden age which awaited the electorates on both sides of the pond was the familiar sound of disappointment among the loyal supporters and believers who were somewhat sceptical about the new order – with good reason. The newly entrenched and consolidated Third-Way involved strict de-regulation of labour markets and only light-touch regulation – if at all – of financial markets. In the meantime financiers, were still relatively untouched by the pseudo-rhetoric of globalization. The whole dreary neo-classical credo was trotted out namely that that if left alone, financial markets would reward efficient firms and punish inefficient ones which would go out of business. Meanwhile financiers could help with mergers and transfers of ownership of the more efficient. This reasoning also bolstered demand for the privatisation of state enterprises, which was soon embraced with almost as much enthusiasm by social democratic parties as by their right-wing opponents – witness the French socialist government of Lionel Jospin and the renamed ‘New Labour’ government of Tony Blair.

The period of debt-financed growth got into gear in the early 80s during which it was sustained up until the start of the 21st century. That time bore witness not only to economic issues but also to political and ideological questions and concepts; a reactionary milieu established itself where decadence had become de rigueur. The presence of rampant individualism, obsession with self, contempt for failure was contained in Ayn Rand’s view of life. Doyenne of the new age Ms Rand’s rise in popularity coincided with the widest gap between rich and poor in the history of the US. Her books are today actually more popular than when she lived, and attempts are being made by very wealthy parties to sell her ideology as the philosophy of our era.

Ms Rand has been accused of Vulcanism, that is of exhibiting an attitude of pure logic unbalanced by empathy and humanity like the character Spock from Star Trek, who is from planet Vulcan. When people of high intelligence lack human empathy, they can be intellectually arrogant, even narcissistic.

One of the major criticisms of Ayn Rand is that all her heroes are self-centred sociopaths, as she is: they are concerned only with themselves, with their own purpose and ambition, and they are entirely unconcerned with others.

Rand also ignores context in her assessment of reality: the persistence of her logic leads to places where philosophy gets utterly divorced from common sense and reality. Philosophical materialists must contend with the facticity that we are woven into in its entirety, even with those aspects of our facticity that are what she would view as not heroic, like the hunger of the masses.

Okay it can be generally agreed that the idiosyncratic Ms Rand is a little bit over the top, but her generalisations roughly ring true with today’s ailing social and moral societal collapse.

But as Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) once noted:

‘If, in activities that almost completely fill all of our days, we follow no rule save that of our own self-interest, as we understand it, how then can we acquire a taste for altruism, for forgetfulness of self and sacrifice? Thus the lack of any economic discipline cannot fail to produce damaging social effects that spill over beyond the economic sphere, bringing with it a decline in morality.’’(3)

One wonders whether or not Ms Rand actually believes in her virulent anti-social messages, or, what I rather suspect, she is simply out to shock the more gullible by voicing what are in essence simply crackpot outpourings.

That being said she certainly has a following particularly among those well-heeled denizens who seem intoxicated with these rantings.

IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID

Turning to economics the situation goes from bad to worse. This is hardly surprising since the attempt to abolish the trade cycle, a rather eccentric and fashionable notion since the early 1980s, was bound to result in an economic nemesis. It has been argued that:

‘’Whilst all capitalist systems are premised on the monopolisation on the gains of growth by the people who own the assets, under finance led growth these dynamics become more extreme. Rising private debt might conceal this fact during the upswing of the economic cycle, but when the downturn hits it becomes clear that finance-led growth is based upon trickle-up economics, in which the gains of the wealthy come directly at the expense of ordinary people. This is because financialization involves the extraction of economic rents from the production process – income derived from the ownership of existing assets that does not create any new value. (4)

Paper currency is not value, it is a claim on value, a promissory note. Value is produced in the production process, whereas economic rent – rent on land, titles of future ownership claims (stocks, shares, bonds) monopolistic pricing, patents – is produced in the extractive process. It is fictitious capital. The financial economy is essentially parasitic on the productive economy.

When corporations generate ‘growth’ it should be understood that the Central Bank enables this ‘growth’ when it showers the same corporations with QE monies who simply buy-back their own shares/stocks and become richer! In the same manner when large corporations buy other smaller businesses – through mergers and acquisitions M&A, they also become ‘richer’ but in fact no new wealth has been created, what has occurred is a shift of wealth from one sector of the economy to another, this is a zero-sum game where the central bank determines the winners and losers in this rigged fixture: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Another side of this process is the increasing market concentration with the growth of monopolies/oligopolies and the monopoly rents that go with it.

Having painted itself into a corner the economics institutions, both public and private, seem unable to extricate themselves from an ever-tightening process of slow economic and political strangulation.

In summation we may say without reservation that the ‘Third-Way’ was a rather transparent con-trick reminiscent of the second-rate magician in Thomas Mann’s allegorical novel Mario and the Magician. In this particular work the sorcerer, Cipolla, is analogous to the fascist dictators of the era with their fiery speeches and rhetoric designed to hoodwink his political audience into believing that what appears to be real is in fact not real. In our own time this simulacrum is the product of modern advertising techniques designed to mask the reality behind a stream of psychological manipulation and conditioning of the audience. How long this process and phenomenon will last is problematic. Western civilization seems standing at the crossroads without a plan B.

It’s rather like Gerald Celente always says: ‘‘When everything else fails, they take you to war.’’

NOTES

(1) As the 2016 presidential campaign closed in on the finish line, the Washington Post published  an eleven-year-old tape of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s making controversial remarks about women. The inevitable partisan rancour that ensued largely targeted the behaviour Bill Clinton, husband of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, including the repetition of rumours that he had been expelled from Oxford University in 1969 for raping English classmate Eileen Wellstone.

The allegations weren’t new — Republican opposition research strategist Roger Stone had tweeted about them a year earlier:

The backdrop for these rumours was that just prior to his graduation from Georgetown University, Bill Clinton won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at University College, Oxford, for two years and headed off to England for the 1968-69 academic term — but he returned to the United States (under a pall?) before finishing out the full two-year course of study.

There was additionally the Lewinsky affair. Yes, Mr Clinton certainly had a penchant for the ladies.

(2) Nicholas Shaxson – The Finance Curse – Chapter 5 fn 10 – p.97) In the words of Peter Mandelson, Blair’s Svengali and his co-author Roger Liddle in their book – The Blair Revolution – the main aim of the Third Way project was to ‘… overcome Britain’s continued slide into international competitiveness … based upon partnership or private and public sectors and create a more equal and cohesive society.

(3) Emile Durkheim – The Division of Labour in Society – p.xxxiv.

(4) Grace Blakeley – Stolen – p.14.

* ‘Called to the Bar’ This has nothing to do with going for a drink in a licensed establishment! It is a term used by the legal profession signifiying the entrance of the candidate into the legal profession and practising of law thereof.

Why the FBI and CIA Are the Real Threats to “National Security”

‘My name is Nancy Pelosi, and I’m currently holding on’

October 19, 2020

By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decade’s long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country.

On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the US intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to “vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus.

Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the “national security” of the American people?

The CIA’s Long Battle against “Soviet propaganda”

In order to combat the “threat” of Soviet “propaganda” entering the U.S. and seducing Americans, Operation Mockingbird was created as a form of “control” over information dissemination during the period of McCarthyism. Operation Mockingbird was an “alleged” CIA program that was started in the early 1950s in order to control the narrative of the news. Though this role has never been confirmed entirely, in the CIA Family Jewels report compiled in the mid-1970s, it is confirmed that Project Mockingbird did exist as a CIA operation and that it was guilty of wire-tapping journalists in Washington.

At the helm of this project was none other than CIA Director Allen Dulles, an enemy of JFK, who by the early 1950s “allegedly” oversaw the media network and had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. Its function was to have the CIA write reports that would be used by a network of cooperating “credible” reporters. By these “credible” reporters spreading the CIA dictated narrative, it would be parroted by unwitting reporters (mockingbirds) and a successful echo chamber would be created across the world.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), originally named Office of Special Projects but that was thought too conspicuous, was a covert operation wing of the CIA and was created by the United States National Security Council (NSC). For those who are unfamiliar with the origins of the NSC and its close relationship with the CIA, who was born on the same day, refer to my paper on the subject.

According to Deborah Davis’ biography of Katherine Graham (the owner of Washington Post), the OPC created Operation Mockingbird in response to addressing Soviet propaganda and included as part of its CIA contingency respected members from Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and others.

The Family Jewels report was an investigation made by the CIA to investigate…the CIA, spurred in response to the Watergate Scandal and the CIA’s unconstitutional role in the whole affair. The investigation of the CIA would include any other actions that were deemed illegal or inappropriate spanning from the 1950s-mid 1970s.

We are told “most” of the report was declassified on June 25, 2007 (30 years later) hoping that people would have lost interest in the whole brouhaha. Along with the release of the redacted report was included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.” [emphasis added]

The most extensive investigation of the CIA relations with news media was conducted by the Church Committee, a U.S. Senate select committee in 1975 that investigated the abuses committed by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS. The Church Committee report confirmed abundant CIA ties in both foreign and domestic news media.

It is very useful that there exists an official recognition that false news was not only being encouraged by the CIA under the overseeing of the NSC during the Cold War period, but that the CIA was complicit in actually detailing the specific narrative that they wanted disseminated, and often going so far as to write the narrative and have a “credible” reporter’s name stamped on it.

But the question begs, “Did the Cold War ever end?” and if not, why should we believe that the CIA’s involvement in such activities is buried in its past and that it has “reformed” its old ways?

Henry Kissinger’s Purge of American Intelligence: The Deep State is Born

For us to get a better understanding of how we ended up in this situation, that is so stark that Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has recently stated that the intelligence bureaus may need to be overhauled due to withholding evidence from federal inquiries, we need to go back a few decades and review how Henry Kissinger largely set this whole affair into motion.

From the moment Kissinger assumed the post of National Security Advisor to Nixon, he set out to centralize all intelligence estimates, diplomatic initiatives, and covert operations over figuratively and sometimes literal dead bodies of members of the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, State Department and Congress.

According to John Ranelagh in his book The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA:

Very early in the Nixon administration, it became clear that the President wanted Henry Kissinger to run intelligence for him and that the NSC staff in the White House under Kissinger would control the intelligence community. This was the beginning of a shift of power away from the CIA to a new center: the growing NSC staff.”

Kissinger would use the Watergate scandal, where the CIA was caught by Congress directly implicated in treasonous activities, as the impetus needed to form a new CIA, a secret branch away from the scrutiny of Congress.

In 1978, Kissinger would launch the Intelligence Reorganization and Reform Act, which essentially worked to “clean house” of the intelligence community.

In 1982, under the direction of Kissinger, President Reagan would sign NSDD 77 under Cold War duress, which would launch Project Democracy, a sardonic name for a Trojan Horse.

NSDD 77 allowed Project Democracy the reins over “covert action on a broad scale” as well as overt public actions later to be associated with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The directive ordered the CIA to stay out of both the overt and covert part of Project Democracy, thus giving free reign to the Kissingerian “NSC apparatus”.

Almost one year later, the uninformed and naïve Congress passed the NED Act in Oct 1983, and effectively signed off on wrapping duct tape around their heads.

The structure of the NED essentially functions as a private CIA political operations arm of an invisible, secret government beyond accountability and beyond the reach of the law.

Kissinger’s purge of American intelligence would be the last purge of sane patriotic leadership within the intelligence community, left to the hyenas and jackals to run from thenceforth, those who still had a degree of humanity as members of the intelligence community, and had survived the Kissinger purge, were simply kept in the dark about the cloak and dagger operations of the secret government branch.

In a 1991 interview, then NED President David Ignatius arrogantly stated “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA…The biggest difference is that when such activities are done overtly, the flap potential is close to zero. Openness is its own protection”.

The failure of the nation state is not a natural phenomenon but rather is the outcome of a fascist coup; involving a banker’s dictatorshipeconomic looting and permanent warfare (the Cold War never ended) to hinder national industrial growth.

Among the most effective strategies towards this end has been color revolutions, which just so happens to be the NED’s specialty practice and has included, to name a few, the nations of Yugoslavia, Belarus, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, Burma, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, Ukraine and the Hong Kong protests.

Wherever this strategy has unfolded, the target state is told by the international community that it has no right to intervene and is told to stand by as its nation is ransacked by locusts and its government ‘reorganised’.

Secret Intelligence’s Countering of “Anti-American” Propaganda

The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act is a bipartisan bill that was passed into law in December 2016, it was initially called Countering Information Warfare Act. It was included together with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill was brought into effect just weeks before Trump was to enter office….hmmm, foreshadowing much?

Soon after the 2016 U.S. election, the Washington Post led the charge asserting that it was due to Russian propaganda that the U.S. elections turned out the way it did, that is, that Hillary had somehow, inconceivably, lost to Donald Trump and that the American people had been turned against her like a child caught in the middle of a messy divorce case. But there is no need here to set the record straight on Hillary, when Hillary herself has done suffice damage to any illusion of credibility she once had. That ultimately not even Hillary could hide the fact that her closet full of skeletons turned out to be the size of a catacomb.

But we are told that citizens do not know what is best for one’s self. That they cannot be trusted with “sensitive” information and in accordance act in a “responsible” manner, that is, to have a strong enough stomach to do what is “best” for their country.

And therefore, fear not subjects of the land, for the Global Engagement Center (GEC) is here to make those hard decisions for you. Don’t know what to think about a complicated subject? GEC will tell you the right way!

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would allow for the Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, and other Federal agencies in the year 2017 to create the Global Engagement Center (GEC). The GEC’s purpose in life is to fight propaganda from foreign governments and publicize the nature of ongoing foreign propaganda and disinformation operations against the U.S. and other countries.

Let us all take a moment to thank the GEC for such a massive task in the cause for justice all around the world.

The GEC had a very slow start in its first year, however, it has been gaining momentum in the last year under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who seems especially excited over the hiring of Lea Gabrielle as special envoy and coordinator of GEC.

Mike Pompeo was the CIA Director from 2017-2018. On April 15, 2019, Pompeo participated in a discussion at the Texas A&M University where he voluntarily offered the admission that though West Points’ cadet motto is “You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”, his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating “I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”.

This is apparently the man for the job of dealing with matters of “truth” and “justice”.

Lea Gabrielle was approved for her position by Mike Pompeo, what are her “qualifications”? Well, Gabrielle is also CIA trained, and while assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), she “directed and conducted global clandestine strategic intelligence collection operations.” Gabrielle also “deployed in tactical anti-terrorist operations in hostile environments”. After 12 years of active duty service, Lea Gabrielle became a television news journalist, who worked at NBC and FOX News.

The CIA really does not have the best track record for their role in “managing” foreign wars and counter-insurgency activities. In fact, they have been caught rather red handed in fueling such crisis situations. And these are the people who are deciding what information is fit for the American public, and western public in general, and what is not fit for their ears.

When the Matter of “Truth” Becomes a Threat to “National Security”

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the “free” world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time.

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their “intelligence,” that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government’s ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something “credible” to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on “terror,” that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years…over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called “mistaken” intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.


Cynthia Chung writes for Strategic Culture Foundation and is the President and co-founder of the Rising Tide Foundation

The author can be reached at cynthiachung@tutanota.com

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