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The latest climate ‘conspiracy theory’

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | December 15, 2016

Guess who the new climate ‘conspiracy theorists’ are?

When I first saw this published in the WaPo, I thought it was a joke: Why I’m trying to preserve federal climate data before Trump takes office. Excerpts:

Trump is serious about overtly declaring war on science. This isn’t a presidential transition. It’s an Inquisition. It’s a 21st-century book burning. The incoming administration is likely to be willfully hostile toward the scientific process, with far-reaching implications.

One of the most tangible consequences of sharp cutbacks in federal funding for climate science is the potential loss of critical data — whether by neglect or malice — that underlie global efforts to understand our climate system. By all accounts, that’s exactly what Trump and his team want: Ignorance of how human actions are affecting our planet makes it easier to maintain the status quo.

‘Saving’ climate data

WaPo has another article on the topic: Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump. Excerpts:

Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.

In recent weeks, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a growing list of Cabinet members who have questioned the overwhelming scientific consensus around global warming. His transition team at the Department of Energy has asked agency officials for names of employees and contractors who have participated in international climate talks and worked on the scientific basis for Obama administration-era regulations of carbon emissions. One Trump adviser suggested that NASA no longer should conduct climate research and instead should focus on space exploration.

Those moves have stoked fears among the scientific community that Trump could try to alter or dismantle parts of the federal government’s repository of data on everything from rising sea levels to the number of wildfires in the country.

Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, argued that Trump has appointed a “band of climate conspiracy theorists” to run transition efforts at various agencies, along with nominees to lead them who share similar views.

“They have been salivating at the possibility of dismantling federal climate research programs for years. It’s not unreasonable to think they would want to take down the very data that they dispute,” Halpern said in an email. “There is a fine line between being paranoid and being prepared, and scientists are doing their best to be prepared. . . . Scientists are right to preserve data and archive websites before those who want to dismantle federal climate change research programs storm the castle.”

To be clear, neither Trump nor his transition team have said the new administration plans to manipulate or curtail publicly available data. But some scientists aren’t taking any chances.

Breitbart counters with this article: Fake News – Climate Scientists ‘Save’ Data from Donald Trump. Excerpts:

No one has done more damage to “climate data” in the past three decades than the corrupt, politicized activist scientists who are now afraid that they may be neutered or booted out of office by the incoming administration.

One of the many shocking revelations of the 2009 Climategate emails was that in some cases the raw temperature data had been destroyed or lost by the scientists whose job it was to maintain it. Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia admitted that they had not kept “the original raw data” for reasons of “data storage availability”.

That, in turn, prompted a lawsuit by the Competitive Enterprise Institute:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market advocacy group, is arguing that U.S. EPA’s climate policies rely on raw data that have been destroyed and are therefore unreliable. The nonprofit group — a staunch critic of U.S. EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases — petitioned (pdf) the agency last week to reopen the public comment period on its proposed “endangerment finding” because the data set had been lost (E&ENews PM, Oct. 9).

But climate scientists familiar with the data insist that the reports are based on sound science and that the data in question was altered as part of standard operating procedure to ensure consistency across reporting stations.

For the alarmists now to turn around and claim that the Trump administration is unfit to look after data that they’ve already lost and destroyed is, as Tony Heller puts it, an “Orwellian Climate Moment“.

NOAA overwrites their monthly temperature data, and wanted $260,000 to recover data which should have been downloadable online in a matter of seconds.  Fee Notification Letter – 2014-001602


Well, the conspiracy theory about climate data and climate science seems to be growing. At the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, there was a #standupforscience rally. Images and videos are provided by a post at WUWT.

Scott Waldman of ClimateWire has a good overview: Scientists prepare for ‘nightmare scenario’ under Trump (unfortunately behind paywall). Excerpts:

SAN FRANCISCO — Climate scientists are ready for battle.

With President-elect Donald Trump naming skeptics to Cabinet positions and sending mixed messages about his own view of established climate science, the world’s researchers say they fear and dread the next four to eight years. As more than 20,000 earth and climate scientists gathered here for the American Geophysical Union’s first major meeting since the election, they vowed to combat any federal effort to stifle their work.

For a short time Tuesday, dry presentations of research papers were replaced with protests. Scientists, some donning white lab coats, chanted “Out of the lab, into the streets!” and “Resistance, resistance, resistance” in defense of their work.

The pushback from scientists comes amid mixed messages from the incoming Trump administration about climate change.

State and federal officials from the Obama administration buoyed the crowd of anxious researchers by telling them they were not alone.

Of particular concern is one of the weapons that the Trump administration could deploy against them. David Schnare, general counsel of the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, who has represented groups that have sued for access to climate scientists’ unpublished emails and research, is now part of the transition team.

Lawyer Peter Fontaine fought Schnare’s attempts to get Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann’s emails for years through a series of court battles. 

Yawn. Michael Mann again. See Steyn versus Mann: norms of behavior. Standing up for integrity in climate research does not require that you stand up for Michael Mann’s egregious behavior. So . . . losing data — sort of like what happened to the hockey stick data and meta data?

Buzzfeed has a more balanced article: Climate Scientists Split Over How to Survive Trump. Excerpts:

Just a couple of hours earlier, BuzzFeed News had sat down with Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and current president of the AGU. She acknowledged the concerns, but urged calm until it’s clear what the Trump administration is going to do. “A lot of people like me have seen transitions before,” she said.

“I think that immediately anticipating that the federal government will start destroying datasets is an overreaction,” Leinen said. “Remember also that Congress has a lot to say about this.”

Somewhere in the middle, judging from the AGU meeting, are the vast majority of researchers who want to steer clear of politics and simply get on with their work. They went about their business as usual, checking their emails and scurrying from talk to talk — many of the younger scientists carrying cardboard tubes containing posters describing their research.

Later that evening, the top brass of NASA’s Earth sciences division held a packed town hall meeting, delivering a pep talk with the message: “Keep calm, and carry on”…for now, at least. Thomas Zurbuchen, a Swiss-born space scientist who is the space agency’s most senior science official, warned against “amplifying noise,” and urged everyone to “behave like scientists,” and wait for evidence of what the new administration wants to do.

“When the data come, when we have the evidence, when there is a line at which decisions have to be made, there may be fights that have to happen,” he said. And if that time comes, Zurbuchen also warned against infighting between space scientists and Earth scientists over NASA research dollars. “United communities are a lot harder to beat than divided communities,” he said. “Let’s stick together, and stick up for each other.”

An epidemic of activism

Nature has a provocative article: Is Donald Trump pushing more scientists towards political activism? It seems that the answer is ‘yes’.

From a column in Nature from a few months ago: The elephant in the room that we can’t ignore. Excerpts:

The playwright Bertolt Brecht had a good line on expertise. In his plays, doctors, lawyers and other ‘experts’ are generally portrayed in threes. They squabble haplessly among themselves, each manoeuvring into the position that most elevates themselves in the eyes of their aristocratic paymaster.

And that, sadly, is the role to which senior scientific leaders have sometimes reduced themselves. In the main, they have been happy to accept the autocracy of politics and finance, even, like the president of the European Research Council, hanging around at the annual meeting of business leaders at Davos in Switzerland, hoping to pick up crumbs from the rich man’s table.

The problem extends down into the community itself. We like to talk about ‘engaging the public’, but many scientists really just want to talk at them.

And those senior scientists who do engage with the government or public — as scientific advisers, for example — often take up highly political positions without acknowledging that they are doing so. For example, they support free-trade agreements that cede the right of democratic governments to control things such as cigarette advertising or pesticide use without hard, scientific evidence. This is a political position that is pursued with great dedication by global corporations — and that is haplessly bought into by many scientists without a thought for its consequences.

But at the top, there is paralysis: leading scientific organizations do little except chase money and reinforce the ruling nexus of politics and finance .

So, what are the ‘alarmists’ afraid of? This article from the Manhattan Contrarian nails it: The Impending Collapse of the Global Warming Scare.

JC reflections

The definition of ‘conspiracy theory’:

A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy without warrant, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors.

‘Without warrant’ is key here; there is simply no evidence to support the crazy ideas and fears about the Trump administration’s policy about climate science — simply, because he apparently hasn’t even started thinking about it yet, including appointments for the Undersecretary of NOAA, the Administrator of NASA, etc. Zurbechan’s statement is exactly correct: “behave like scientists,” and wait for evidence of what the new administration wants to do.

JC message to the alarmed scientist/advocates:

Get over it, your side lost. Changes of Presidential administrations occur every 4 or 8 years, often with changes in political parties.

Get busy and shore up your scientific arguments; I suspect that argument from consensus won’t sway many minds in the Trump administration.

Overt activism and climate policy advocacy by climate scientists will not help your ’cause’; leave such advocacy to the environmental groups.

Behave like a scientist, and don’t build elaborate conspiracy theories based on conflicting signals from the Trump administration. Stop embarrassing yourselves; wait for the evidence.

Be flexible; if funding priorities change, and you desire federal research funding, work on different problems. The days of needing to sell all research in terms of AGW are arguably over.

Open your minds to different perspectives and interpretations of scientific evidence.

If you are advocating for policies, do some serious homework about the policy process, economics, and unintended consequences of technologies and policies.

Understand that climate policies are not the only, or even primary, driver for energy policy.

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Omar Nazzal and Adib Al-Atrash: Palestinian journalists ordered to further imprisonment without charge or trial

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – December 15, 2016

Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal was ordered to three more months in administrative detention on Monday, 12 December. This marked the third renewal of his administrative detention order since he was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 23 April 2016 as he sought to cross the bridge to Jordan in order to travel to the European Federation of Journalists’ conference in Sarajevo. Nazzal is a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and president of the Democratic Journalists’ Assembly.

At a previous hearing on 22 November, Nazzal’s administrative detention was limited to a one and a half month extension; he was told he would be released on 24 December. Instead, however, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reported that the extension of his detention was for a full three months.

On Wednesday, 15 December, fellow journalist Adib al-Atrash was also ordered to another three months in administrative detention without charge or trial. Arrested in June, this marks the third consecutive time al-Atrash has received an order for three months of imprisonment without charge or trial.

Tens of Palestinian journalists are imprisoned in Israeli jails, several in administrative detention without charge or trial, including Addameer media officer Hasan Safadi whose own detention was just extended for six months. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable by Israeli military order and Palestinians can spend years at a time imprisoned without charge or trial.

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Time is ripe for India-Iran-Russia energy tie-up

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | December 15, 2016

A major development in Russia-Iran relations, which merits close attention in New Delhi, has been that a preliminary agreement has been reached in Tehran two days ago to replace the US dollar with local currencies in the bilateral trade. The symbolism here is important against the backdrop of the recurring speculation that the new US president Donald Trump may tighten sanctions against Iran. A reasonable explanation for the decision to use the local currencies by Moscow and Tehran is that the two sides  are insulating the dynamics of their strategic partnership from being buffeted by US’ unfriendly policies toward Iran.

Put differently, any improvement of ties for Moscow with the US in the coming period will be sequestered from the dynamics of the Russian-Iran partnership, no matter the Trump Administration’s policies toward Iran. Broadly speaking, albeit with some caveats, Beijing also has signaled a similar approach to Sino-Iranian ties.

Clearly, therefore, the revival of a containment strategy against Iran by Washington on the pattern of what the Obama administration managed to put together may never again be possible to resurrect so long as Tehran remains committed to the implementation of the nuclear deal of July last year. New Delhi should draw appropriate conclusions in regard of the future projection of India-Iran economic cooperation. This is one thing.

Secondly, again on Tuesday, Russia and Iran also took a great leap forward in energy cooperation. Several major tie-ups have been announced, signifying that the Russian energy companies are re-entering the Iranian oil sector in a big way ahead of western competitors, following the announcement of new policies by Tehran to encourage foreign collaboration.

An interesting dimension to this, from the Indian perspective, will be that Russia’s Gazprom has shown renewed interest in getting involved in the Iran-India subsea gas pipeline project. Gazprom’s deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev has been quoted as saying that “we (Russia) can develop Iran’s liquefied gas projects, get involved in Iran-India subsea gas pipeline as well as some upstream sectors like exploration, gas production”. Indeed, the National Iranian Gas Export Company has been negotiating to lay a $4.5-billion worth undersea gas pipeline from the Iranian coast via the Oman Sea to Gujarat.

India is a key market for Iran as it plans to increase gas exports from the current level of 10 billion cubic meters per year (bcm/y) to 60-80 bcm/y by 2021. Turkey is at present Iran’s only customer. Iran also has a half-finished liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, which needs a $8-11 billion investment to produce 10.4 million tons per year (14 bcm/y) of LNG. This is apart from building a string of several mini-LNG plants with about 150,000 tons per year of capacity. Gazprom is the most likely foreign partner in this field.

Besides, Gazprom is also interested in developing Iran’s underground gas storage (UGS) facilities, which is important for Iran to realise its plans to emerge as a major gas exporter in the future. Iran plans to increase its gas output from the current 750 mcm/d to 1,250 mcm/d by 2021. Gazprom has very good experience in this sphere, owning 22 UGS facilities at 26 gas storages in Russia itself, apart from having such facilities in Europe.

Another area of interest to India will be that Iran and Russia also inked a $1.6 billion agreement on Tuesday to build a 1,400 megawatt gas-fired power plant in the southern Hormozgan Province close to the giant South Pars gas field, which shares 60 percent of Iran’s gas production. Of course, India’s ONGC Videsh has been negotiating partnership in the development of Farzad-B as field in the South Pars.

Without doubt, Russia’s looming presence in Iran’s energy sector has profound implications for India’s energy security. The prospects are definitely there for India-Iran-Russia collaboration in the oil and gas sector and affiliated activities whereby Russian technology and collaboration become useful for India to tap Iran’s vast energy resources. Given the excellent ties India enjoys with Iran and Russia being a time-tested friend, New Delhi should optimize the window of opportunity here. It is important to note as well that Russia is keen to induct Iran as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Read a Bloomberg dispatch on Russia’s burgeoning Iran ties in the energy sector – Gazprom signs oil deals with Iran as Russians return in force.

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Put Media Scoundrels Out of Business

By Stephen Lendman | December 15, 2106

The simple way is by ignoring them. Stop buying their publications – newspapers, magazines and other material.

Why waste good money on rubbish. Tune out their fake news broadcasts. Why put up with their antics?

If enough people follow this advice, they’ll wither, die and disappear. They feature managed news misinformation deception, not full and accurate coverage of what’s vital to know.

So far, it’s readily available from reliable independent sources, mostly online. Go there exclusively. Walk away forever from rubbish not fit to print or broadcast.

Western media never were reputable and trustworthy. In recent years, they’ve sunk to lower than ever depths – especially coverage of Washington’s geopolitical agenda, its imperial wars of aggression called humanitarian intervention and democracy building, its toppling of independent foreign leaders for pro-Western puppets, and the 2015-16 US presidential campaign, one-sidedly supporting Hillary over Trump, a disgraceful display of partisanship over unbiased reporting.

These events and numerous others display deplorable advocacy and willful deception, legitimate journalism abandoned entirely, “the media” exclusively serving powerful interests at the expense of truth and full disclosure on vital world and national issues.

One of Gerald Celente’s top 10 trends for 2017 is the fourth estate’s death, saying “(t)he daily newspaper dies in 2017. (Polls show) trust rates well below 10 percent.”

US presidential race coverage perhaps lost them all credibility. Their revenues are down, Celente explained. They’re losing money, laying off staff, dying a slow death.

Celente: “The industry is closing in on a decade of dramatic cutbacks in reporting and editing power.”

“According to estimates from The American Society of News Editors and Poynter Institute, those reductions add up to about half of all newsroom jobs being eliminated in less than 10 years.”

Expect more cutbacks, continued abysmal reporting – truth, accuracy, integrity and journalism the way it’s supposed abandoned entirely.

Celente added “when when upstart or existing alternative-news sites begin to make news, the mainstream media, taking their last breaths, will label it ‘fake news.’ “

Truth-telling today is called “fake news” or Russian propaganda. Managed news misinformation masquerades as the real thing in print and through the electronic media.

Why put up with it any longer! Walk away. Make a clean break and feel the refreshing difference – the way ex-smokers feel after licking the habit, never wanting to be hooked again.

Stephen Lendman can be reached at His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 5 Comments

British military specialists arrive in Middle East to train Syrian rebels

RT | December 15, 2016

Their arrival was announced as the UK hosts a conference of defense ministers from countries involved in the coalition fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The 20 trainers – who are likely to be special forces soldiers – will teach so-called ‘moderate’ fighters infantry skills, combat first aid and other battlefield tactics.

The existing deployment is thought to be made up of around 500 soldiers from the 4 Rifles infantry regiment, which is based near the Kurdish-held city of Erbil alongside specialist soldiers from the Royal Engineers and Royal Signals.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has previously stated that anyone receiving UK training would be vetted to ensure that no knowledge was passed on to jihadist groups.

The deployment of UK special forces has come under increasing scrutiny, with critics claiming that it has now become the basic form of UK military operations and as such should be brought under democratic oversight.

The UK is one of the few countries which flatly refuses to comment on covert military activities to either the media or to questions by elected lawmakers in parliament.

Calls for a new war powers act have been backed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, among others, who made his case to the Middle East Eye website in August.

“I’m very concerned about this because [former Prime Minister] David Cameron – I imagine [Prime Minister] Theresa May would say the same – would say parliamentary convention requires a parliamentary mandate to deploy British troops. Except, and they’ve all used the ‘except,’ when special forces are involved,” Corbyn said.

His comments were immediately attacked by former soldier-turned-Tory MP Bob Stewart, who told the Times that the PM must have the opportunity to deploy troops “when they think it’s crucial.”

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

The Iranian Motives of Donald Trump

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 15.12.2016

According to a number of politicians, diplomatic officials, and observers, the foreign policy of the new US President Donald Trump will surely introduce new and unexpected changes in many aspects of global politics. For example, Donald Trump has triumphantly announced that he does not intend to overthrow governments abroad in favour of the USA’s interests. He stated that Washington intends to contribute to stability in the international arena by all means.

“We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments. Our goal is stability and not chaos as we want to rebuild our country.” This opinion is to be welcomed if it is put into effect as it completely differs from the aggressive and offensive line maintained by Nobel Peace Prize winner, former President Barack Obama who is retreating into insignificance.

For example, Donald Trump has underscored that he intends to change the policy in respect of the Middle East and cooperate with any country that combats terrorism, in particular, with the Islamic State. He admits that the USA has spent more than $6 trillion on this region to date and “the Middle East is in a much worse state than ever.” However, the new President has not yet specified particular changes and amendments to be introduced in the foreign policy of his country in this respect. Apparently, his team is still to be formed, nor does he or his team-mates know the details of the upcoming American policy and its changes.

However, there is one country in the Middle East regarding which Donald Trump has not yet decided or just does not know what policy the USA should maintain. He continues to offer the hackneyed phrases of the previous President and is preparing to toughen the American policy. This strongly contradicts with his speeches on so-called changes to the foreign policy. This country is Iran. If we look at his pre-election statements in respect of Tehran, they were predominately negative.

Therefore, the world is actively discussing the possible foreign policy strategies the USA will pursue – in particular, the prospects of the USA’s unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, which Tehran accepted in exchange for a partial lifting of sanctions, and which the newly elected President called “a disaster” for the USA promising to terminate it. As is well known, in his pre-election speeches D. Trump swore to “completely dismantle the global terror network created by Iran” and promised other punishments aimed at Tehran. The Senate has just strongly supported Trump’s position and unanimously adopted the draft bill on prolonging the sanctions against Iran for a further 10 years. Now, the document will be submitted to US President Barack Obama, who will surely sign it before his resignation on January 20.

However, the experts who have worked with D. Trump or who know him well believe that he is unlikely to enact a sudden termination of the Iranian nuclear program deal. Termination is perhaps a too strong and decisive action, and the new President would rather reconsider the deal, submit it to the Congress, and try to demand that Iran agree to the omission of some clauses or change them in favour of the USA, and that it will be further discussed. The fact remains: the new President’s administration is unlikely to adopt the Iranian deal in its current version.

The thing is, the deal with Iran, according to Trump, is not effective enough and does not solve all the problems from the American point of view. The reconsideration of the Iranian nuclear program is still not the priority objective of the foreign policy of the USA and the new administration, which is likely to focus on domestic problems in the nearest future. The Iranian factor is rather weighty in Syria, which will surely be taken into consideration by the new administration. The question is how the Iranian problem fits in with the top-priority tasks of Trump’s foreign policy.

“They are already looking closely at their options — and that very much includes non-nuclear sanctions,” the newspaper reported citing a congressional official. Non-nuclear measures may be the reason for a possible introduction of new sanctions – for example, the program developing ballistic missiles and human rights violations. The President’s team believes their introduction will not violate the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Experts suppose that the introduction of new US sanctions may put pressure on Iran, in particular, in order to force it to make concessions regarding support for armed groups in the Middle East, in particular, in Syria and Yemen. Thus, the new administration may avoid withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran by introducing new sanctions. Meanwhile, the possible introduction of new sanctions against Iran will incur a negative reaction from Washington’s European allies as European analysts note. In other words, in this case, Donald Trump will have to move skilfully like the legendary Ulysses between the international Scylla and Iranian Charybdis. Let us see if he manages to do so, and afterwards, we can make a conclusion on the ability of the powerful Unites States and its new President to conduct foreign policy intelligently. One that is not aimed at the confrontation but at peaceful co-existence of states with various forms of government.

As for the government of Iran, it previously perceived the plans of the new President to reconsider Washington’s foreign policy rather calmly considering it to be the usual propaganda aimed at the strengthening Trump’s position. For example, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made it clear that if the USA prolonged sanctions, it would become a reason for the global community to distrust the USA. According to Tehran, the sanctions will not affect the relations between Iran and the other states that signed the so-called nuclear dossier.

Nevertheless, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani expressed his opinion on this issue once again and threatened the USA with a response if Barack Obama signed the law that prolongs the sanctions against Iran. According to Iran’s President, the USA is violating previously reached agreements which presuppose lifting a number of sanctions against Iran.

On December 4, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned the USA rather seriously about a “firm and decisive reaction” if America continued to threaten the nuclear deal. At the Conference on nuclear security, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran urged the USA to abandon its “unreasonable and provocative” measures.

After that, the subsequent actions demonstrate that the Iranian leadership became concerned with the upcoming changes in the American policy and decided to resort to other measures. Thus, Iran suddenly changed its opinion on Russia’s use of airbases on its territory. Whereas earlier, in August, Russia’s use of airbases would have caused internal political scandal in Iran, now Tehran is almost urging Moscow to use its airfields. This change in mood apparently has global political subtext related to the new President Donald Trump. “If Russia should have such a need and the issue is agreed with the Russian Party, the Russian Aerospace Forces may use the base in Hamadan to conduct its military mission in Syria,” declared the Advisor to the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Sheikholislam. “If the situation in Syria requires it, we are once again ready to provide Russia with the opportunity to conduct its Aerospace Forces’ flights and refuelling at this airfield like last time” (Tehran Times, December 1).

Other combat measures have been prepared inside the country. In particular, the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran has adopted a law to prohibit the import of American consumer goods. It is notable that the Iranian deputies unanimously supported this draft law “taking into consideration the constant hostility (towards Iran) and disregard for US obligations by the US Congress under the multilateral Iranian nuclear program deal.”

It should be noted that Moscow supports the legal position of Iran and opposes the political pressure on Tehran brought about by US sanctions.

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Democratic Party Allies with the CIA

By Renee Parsons | CounterPunch | December 15, 2016

It is nothing short of a massive paradox, bordering on the ridiculous, for the CIA to allege that Russian cyber attacks had influenced the outcome of the recent Presidential election “to favor one candidate over the other” and sought to “undermine confidence in the US electoral system.” Seriously?

For the CIA, of all ‘intel’ sources to make that claim; the least credible, the most culpable of indiscriminate destruction of sovereign nations throughout the world since 1947, some while struggling to become democracies, is directly out of their “How to Initiate Regime Change 101” playbook which has proven so effective in the last sixty years. (See “Legacy of Ashes: History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner) That is sixty years of some of the most unhinged elements in the intelligence gathering world, sixty years of malicious skullduggery as well as unbridled murders and treasonous assassinations including JFK for his efforts to dismantle the Deep State. (See The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government” by David Talbot)

And now the CIA has added a new, politically-motivated Chapter entitled ‘Regime Change at Home” including those democratically-challenged Democrats who refuse to accept responsibility for the election loss they themselves created, are now publicly identified as willing pawns and co-conspirators with the CIA. What a way to rebuild the party!

Last Friday, the ever reliable, CIA-accommodating WaPo, published yet another article totally dependent on anonymous sources and quoting from a ‘secret’ CIA assessment report. One might question what is the point of announcing the existence of a ‘secret’ document when the document itself is withheld from the public – presumably, in CIA lingo, purely for propaganda purposes.

While the WaPo reports that ‘intel agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government” and that ‘those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intel community,” yet the public has not been apprised of any arrest warrants being issued or any requests for extradition. What does that tell you?

According to the Post, “CIA officials told Senators it is now quite clear that electing Donald Trump was Russia’s goal.” Fortunately, there is a bulk of the American public who are no longer taken in by the MSM “fake news” or the myopic Democratic party for that matter when it comes to matters of foreign policy.

Speaking of fake news, with the Propornot list identifying 200 websites that ‘reliably echo Russian propaganda” and Turning Point USA’s Professor Watchlist of 200 “left wing extremist” professors implicit as tools for Mother Russia, will those ‘journalist’ whose names appeared in the Podesta email rsvp list from Wikileaks step up and reveal whether they are also on the CIA payroll. Such disclosure would go a long way toward clarifying where Fake News is originating.

Until the ‘secret assessment’ is made available for public review or the factual, annotated evidence is presented regarding Russian electoral influence and specifically how that “influence” was responsible for HRC’s loss, the CIA should, as my grandfather would say, either “put up or shut up.”

The CIA’s allegations and its lack of substance were so unverifiable that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) which is responsible for the nation’s seventeen intel agencies, has refused to endorse the CIA’s assessment ‘due to a lack of conclusive evidence” that Russia intended to elect Trump with the FBI casting doubts on the CIA’s assertions as ‘fuzzy’ and ‘ambiguous’ despite the CIA’s level of “high confidence” with a “consensus” which is another way of saying the assertion was not unanimous.

The distinction here is that while every country in the industrialized world, including Russia and the United States conduct some level of cyber surveillance, there is no way to distinguish  the ‘legal intent’ of that surveillance. While the FBI, as a law enforcement agency has a legal evidentiary standard to meet for a court of law, the CIA has no such constraint. In light of the FBI’s reluctance, retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nv) has called for FBI Director James Comey to resign.

Challenging the CIA allegations has also come from former intel analyst and former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray who has called CIA claims “bullshit.” “They are absolutely making it up” and putting himself in a potentially hazardous situation, he has said “I know who leaked them. I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack…” An associate of Julian Assange, Murray further added that “I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption.”

But those critiques of the CIA assessment have not convinced the Democratic leadership on the House and Senate Intel Committees, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Cal) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cal) from continuing to assert that “Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election,”  as the Democratic party continues to rally around the CIA in its latest effort to subvert democratic rule.

It is clear where all this is leading… as the December 19th date for the Electoral College vote approaches, the essential point here is the invalidation of an otherwise legal election and the flimsy fomenting of a potential  Constitutional crisis. The collusion between the MSM and the Democratic party has instigated an extraordinary crescendo of panic of those willing to have HRC assume the throne of hegemony, wars and international interventions that have become so second nature to the Democratic party.

Here’s a Bulletin:  There is no Constitutional basis for the popular vote in Amendment XII (adopted 1804) of the Constitution. In other words, those partisans trying to flip the electoral votes because they don’t like the Nov. 8th result have no legal standing. While Jill Stein’s ill-considered recount attempt, perhaps prompted by her inability to poll more than 1% of the national total, cited a possible ‘foreign state’ hacking the election results came weeks after she sat at Vladimir Putin’s dinner table in Moscow. That recount has gleaned no such evidence.

As Talbot reported In Chessboard, soon after the Bay of Pig fiasco, former President Harry Truman confided to his biographer Merle Miller that “I think it was a mistake. If I’d known what was going to happen, I never would have done it.  Eisenhower never paid any attention to it and it got out of hand.  It’s become a government all of its own and all secret…that’s a very dangerous thing in a democratic society.” Prophetic words indeed.  Truman, of course, was the author of what became the Central Intelligence Agency as authorized with adoption of the National Security Act of 1947.

In response to JFK’s assassination, Truman clearly felt the need to clarify why he set up the CIA with  a  December 22nd letter to the Washington Post entitled “Limit CIA Role to Intelligence.”  Here are some of the most important excerpts beginning his letter with:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA.”

“I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source (Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Interior) and to have those reports reach me as President without department “treatment” or interpretations.”

“… most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions—and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.”

For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.”

“I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue—and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.”

“But there are now some searching questions that need to be answered. I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President.”

And then in a June, 1964 letter to the managing editor of Look magazine, Truman reiterated that “The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available  information to the President.  It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities.”

If President-elect Trump is looking for another swamp ridden quagmire of which to drain, the CIA is a good place to start while restoring its original intent.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

Questions for the Electors on Russian Hacking

By Andrew Cockburn | CounterPunch | December 14, 2016

It is being reported that John Podesta, Chairman of the defeated $1.2 billion Clinton presidential campaign, is supporting the call by various officials, including at least forty Electors, that the members of the Electoral College be given a classified intelligence briefing on the alleged Russian hacking before the College votes on December 19.

In the event such a briefing comes to pass, it might be helpful if the Electors had some informed questions to ask the CIA.

1/ The DNC hackers inserted the name of the founder of Russian intelligence, in Russian, in the metadata of the hacked documents.  Why would the G.R.U., Russian military intelligence do that?

2/ If the hackers were indeed part of Russian intelligence, why did they use a free Russian email account, or, in the hack of the state election systems, a Russian-owned server?  Does Russian intelligence normally display such poor tradecraft?

3/ Why would Russian intelligence, for the purposes of hacking the election systems of Arizona and Illinois, book space on a Russian-owned server and then use only English, as documents furnished by Vladimir Fomenko, proprietor of Kings Servers, the company that owned the server in question, clearly indicate?

4/ Numerous reports ascribe the hacks to hacking groups known as APT 28 or “Fancy Bear” and APT 29 or “Cozy Bear.” But these groups had already been accused of  nefarious actions on behalf of Russian intelligence prior to the hacks under discussion.  Why would the Kremlin and its intelligence agencies select well-known groups to conduct a regime-change operation on the most powerful country on earth?

5/ It has been reported in the New York Times, without attribution, that U.S. intelligence has identified specific G.R.U. officials who directed the hacking. Is this true, and if so, please provide details (Witness should be sworn)

6/ The joint statement issued by the DNI and DHS on October 7 2016 confirmed that US intelligence had no evidence of official Russian involvement in the leak of hacked documents to Wikileaks, etc, saying only that the leaks were “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”  Has the US acquired any evidence whatsoever since that time regarding Russian involvement in the leaks?

7/ Since the most effective initiative in tipping the election to Donald Trump was the intervention of FBI Director Comey, are you investigating any possible connections he might have to Russian intelligence and Vladimir Putin?

Andrew Cockburn is the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine.  An Irishman, he has covered national security topics in this country for many years. 

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Unverified Aleppo “On the Spot” Executions

Land Destroyer | December 14, 2016

After a day of claiming up to 82 civilians were “shot on the spot” by Syrian forces battling to retake the northern city of Aleppo from armed terrorists who have occupied it since invading the city in 2012, no evidence or even the source of the claim has surfaced.

According to the BBC, the UN Human Rights office in Geneva received reports of the incident.

Despite Western journalists having been on the ground in Aleppo, along with UN staff, the reports were actually received in Geneva from unnamed sources alleged to be in Aleppo, not acquired – or verified – on the ground by either the Western media or UN staff.

The BBC, in its article, “Aleppo battle: UN says civilians shot on the spot,” would admit (emphasis added):

“Yesterday evening, we received further deeply disturbing reports that numerous bodies were lying on the streets,” Mr Colville added, while admitting it was hard to verify the reports.

It should be noted that the BBC left the accusation on their website for hours before eventually adding that the reports were both unverified, and acquired by “sources,” not by UN staff firsthand in Aleppo.

The purpose of this was to maximize the initial impact of the shocking, easily “re-tweeted” headline without being burdened with providing evidence. Once the headline went “viral,” the BBC eventually filled in the details – which had they been included in the initial report – would have significantly blunted the impact of the headline.

With talk of “fake news” reaching hysterical levels, the BBC in collaboration with the UN itself prove that organizations and institutions of the West have long held a monopoly on generating “fake news” and leveraging it not just to manipulate politics and public perception, but to perpetuate war and the destruction of human life.

Other Lies Exposed 

A day after the Western media’s coverage of Aleppo reached a fevered pitch, and with the fighting effectively over, other lies repeated ad nauseam just a day ago are now surfacing as obvious, malicious fabrications.

CNN in a report titled, “Estimated 100,000 civilians trapped in Aleppo,” admits that the supposed “rebels” only hold, “a few streets, a few blocks, maybe a neighborhood,” admits that it is “very difficult to verify any of these reports,” and repeatedly uses the term “might be” in reference to the supposed 100,000 civilians the Western media and the UN claim are still in “eastern Aleppo.”

Of course, with evacuations underway now, it is clear there were nowhere near 100,000 civilians left in the remaining territory occupied by armed militants, revealing yesterday’s news coverage of just the latest in a long line of politically motivated performances carried out by an otherwise unjournalistic Western media.

Patrick Cockburn in a UK Independent article titled, “This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong,” attempts to offer a conciliatory explanation as to why the Western media’s coverage has been so divergent from reality.

He claims:

It is too dangerous for journalists to operate in rebel-held areas of Aleppo and Mosul. But there is a tremendous hunger for news from the Middle East, so the temptation is for the media give credence to information they get second hand.

He also states:

Unsurprisingly, foreign journalists covering developments in east Aleppo and rebel-held areas of Syria overwhelmingly do so from Lebanon or Turkey. A number of intrepid correspondents who tried to do eyewitness reporting from rebel-held areas swiftly found themselves tipped into the boots of cars or otherwise incarcerated.

Experience shows that foreign reporters are quite right not to trust their lives even to the most moderate of the armed opposition inside Syria. But, strangely enough, the same media organisations continue to put their trust in the veracity of information coming out of areas under the control of these same potential kidnappers and hostage takers. They would probably defend themselves by saying they rely on non-partisan activists, but all the evidence is that these can only operate in east Aleppo under license from the al-Qaeda-type groups.

Cockburn also notes that much of the overt bias and poor reporting coming from across the Western media is politically motivated. When the light of reality began showing through in reports from journalists, experts, and diplomats, leadership in Western capitals intentionally ignored it, fixated only on regime change.

Image: A lady making claims in a Skype call is not evidence. But CNN and others have no qualms reporting their claims as if it were real news. And while CNN defends this practice of repeating unverified claims by “activists” in Syria, they have intentionally ignored pro-government bloggers for years, proving it is an agenda that has skewed their reporting, not a lack of access to the conflict and its participants.

And while the Western media itself has attempted to use its inability to report from on the ground as an excuse for repeating verified lies told to them by their “sources” in Syria, it should be noted that an equal or greater number of pro-government bloggers have been covering the conflict since 2011 as well, only to be intentionally ignored, even attacked by the Western media.

This goes far in explaining why the Western media finds itself eagerly defending militants who by all accounts are dominated by Jabhat Al Nusra, a US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization and repeating their propaganda no matter how absurd.

Those across the West listening to this coverage would be led to believe that the hospital to population ratio in eastern Aleppo was nearly 1:1, that every inhabitant of eastern Aleppo was either a doctor, a woman, or a child, and that the remaining neighborhood amid the battle for the city housed a population larger than the entire city of Idlib, the defacto terrorist capital of Jabhat Al Nusra in Syria.

It is important to expose these lies, because while the city of Aleppo has been fully liberated, Idlib, Al Raqqa, and now once again Palmyra remain battles yet to be fought.

The capacity of the West and its proxies to destroy peace and security for the people of Syria rests in their capacity to continue lying about the nature of Western involvement in Syria in the first place. Undermine this capacity, and undermine their ability to disrupt and destroy the future of Syrians any further.

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

CNN to the BBC: Faking and Bellyaching

By Phil Butler – New Eastern Outlook – 15.12.2016

If the western world cared for Syria as much as CNN and the BBC appear to, heaven would reign here on Earth. Every waking hour of every day the tears of British, American, and European media publishers cascade over us. Those “White Helmets”, the humanitarian saints, the word wielding White House spokespeople immerse us in their humanity. And their humanity is a sinful joke.

For nearly four years now I’ve watched this sardonic drama unfold. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate turns the dogs of war loose. Morals and ideals are upended like dancing bowling pins. Liars blame truthtellers for the chaos we see, and those of us who embrace a moderate stance get labeled as trolls, traitors, fakes or worse. Proven criminals and elitist warmongers roam everywhere, and somehow we’ve evolved to accept it all. Madness is the only word that comes close to describing American policy these days, but the most maddening thing is the hypocrisy and arrogance. BBC! Every time I see the letters under a headline I cringe.

According to CNN, the Syrian Army is executing the families of Free Syrian Army rebels. With western world leaders up in arms over so-called “Fake News”, the Cable News Network is sourcing an “activist” named Mohammad Basbous, and a suspect media network called the Aleppo Media Center. With its Twitter account suspended, its Facebook broadcasting clear jihadist propaganda, this writer wonders at how CNN even considered this source. The YouTube channel features videos from Aleppo with soundtrack elements reminiscent of the film The Last Samurai. Bleeding children filmed like method actors, distraught mothers whaling, the angelic White Helmets workers salvaging what they can, the AMC channel shows the Al Nusra side of things without apology. Embedded within this propaganda though, the reality of a lie is readily seen. Scant days before the Syrian Army takes over a neighborhood, brave captains of the rebel uprising proclaim one small victory after another in the face of demonic attacks by Assad and Russia. If the Syria coverage were seen in a carnival tent it would be more convincing.

Still some believe the battle for Aleppo, Palmyra, and all of Syria is somehow a noble quest for democracy! But who are these CNN and BBC sources really? On the AMC Facebook pages we find four people associated with the account. Yousef Seddik, Zein Al-Rifai, Hasan Kattan, and the aforementioned CNN source Mohammad Basbous. Maybe if we look at them one at a time we can discern how the most prolific media in the west validates them.

Yousef Seddik broadcasts White Helmets heroism via Twitter to his 329 followers. As an expert in social media I can glean much from this account established back in 2013. First follows are often telling of people not so aware of social media, and Seddik creating this account as a function of the AMC network is brutally clear. Among his initial Twitter pals we find none other than Rima Maktabi, who hosted for two years CNN‘s monthly program Inside the Middle East. She works for Saudi TV Al Arabiya. Seddik’s very first “follow” was in fact Zidane Zenglow, another Al Arabiya correspondent. I could go on but what’s more telling than who someone follows in social media, is who “is” following a subject. Saudis quoting the Koran and how paradise is won by the faithful are Seddik’s first admirers, along with Al Arabiya correspondents following back.

Zein Al-Rifai is the freelance photojournalist who works for AMC. He’s the man who films the dying, dead, destruction and riveting propaganda this network spews out. He follows people like the President of France and the US Secretary of State, along with Saudi ministers, the White Helmets, and first follows indicating his social media was always about the war versus Assad. One early Tweep tweets about all the factions coming together as one now that Aleppo has fallen. I could dig deeper, but let’s move on.

Hassan Kattan is from Aleppo according to his social profiles. This rebel sympathizer began his social media efforts by following France 24 and the Saudi TV stations, and Shaam News Network in Damascus. This AMC operative just tweeted “We want freedom, we want to topple Assad” 8 hours ago. Here is the rough translation of a Facebook posting by him from November 24th:

“I swear our hearts tired blessings of God
A lot of pressure and reality hurts.
We lost a lot in this period of our friendly and loved us.
Personally I hate moments of weakness and hate across her.
We still have great confidence that e revolution will win. If we live or we die and that if we meet our God will not be afraid to ask him about what we did with our lives and what we have provided to our cause.!

Finally, if you trace down the network of people behind these CNN and BBC “sources” you always arrive at a dark destination. On the surface of these people and their accounts we find the fake idealism embracing the dead and destroyed in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria. Underneath, down the trail of collaborators and friends we find the AK 47s, the trenches and windows with snipers shooting at the real Syrian Army. There is no mistaking the “jihad” in the jihadist, in the revolutionary. I also find it ironic that Syria expert Vanessa Beeley talking with recently rescued citizens from East Aleppo revealed these White Helmet rescuers as phantoms, ghosts no trapped civilians there ever heard tell of.

Looking at the Twitter feed of an Aleppo named Fares Shehabi I find more credible news from freed Aleppo citizens. But CNN did not interview this Syrian official, unless I miss my guess. Shehabi, one of the most respected business and political figures in Syria, will probably end up being prime minister or president one day, so it’s puzzling nobody but Sputnik is talking with him since Reuters mentioned him in 2012.

On a final note, there is a common thread that runs through these “sources” histories. A man named Wadah Khanfar appears frequently. The President of Al Sharq Forum today was once the Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network. His presence in the social networks and media surrounding the AMC people brings to mind the scandal when WikiLeaks documents revealed Khanfar once unduly influencing Al Jazeera’s news coverage of the War in Iraq at the behest of U.S. embassy officials in Qatar. He subsequently resigned, but his role with elitists at the now notorious International Crisis Group as one of the Board of Trustees, is telling for me.

Khanfar is tweeting about executions to his 2.1 million followers too. Next I will follow the breadcrumbs from Aleppo to Kurdistan and the US interests there, as well as how the Davos elites tie in.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe.

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Media reporting on hacked DNC emails acted as ‘arms of Russian intelligence’ – White House

RT | December 15, 2016

White House press secretary Josh Earnest has accused media outlets which reported on the contents of the hacked DNC emails as being “arms of Russian intelligence,” once again accusing Moscow of being behind the cyberattack.

The statement was made during the White House press briefing on Wednesday, in response to New York Times reporter Gardiner Harris, who, siding with the official White House rhetoric, stated that “from the first days, investigators knew it had Russian ties.”

Harris then asked why it took until October for Washington to announce it believed the hack was carried out by Russia, when the cyberattack was confirmed in April.

“That delay covered most of the presidential election, causing months of coverage of the leaks that were not properly informed by a formal government statement that this was an act of foreign espionage,” he said.

“Wasn’t that a mistake to take so long?” Harris asked.

Earnest had a lengthy response to that question, stating that the US intelligence community wanted to have “high confidence” that the Russians were behind the hack before announcing it, and said it wanted to be “as specific as possible in putting forward that assessment.”

The press secretary went on to agree with a Wednesday New York Times article which stated that “every major publication, including the Times, published multiple stories citing the DNC and Podesta emails posted by WikiLeaks, becoming a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.”

Continuing his response to Harris, Earnest said “… There’s no denying that those materials [emails] were stolen property… there was no denial on the part of the US government that somehow the DNC had not been hacked, so even as news organizations were reporting on this information, they were reporting on information that they knew had been stolen and leaked…”

“… Those are editorial decisions that are made by independent news organizations. But even the excellent report that was included in your newspaper today about this incident makes clear that news organizations in the united states essentially became the arms of Russian intelligence,” Earnest said.

However, author and journalist Chris Hedges, who worked for the New York Times for 15 years, told RT that the White House’s approach is “clearly a form of red-baiting.”

“It is a form of intimidation. It is a way to essentially paint elements of the press, including the mainstream press, as essentially complicit in treasonous activity. It’s quite disturbing,” he said.

Hedges went on to state that publishing such information is simply “part of the game.”

“The question is not whether the information was leaked, the question is whether for instance the Podesta emails are authentic or not. And if they’re authentic, you publish them. That’s how it works…” he said.

Hedges stressed that there is “no conclusive evidence that Russia was behind the leaks, but even if they were, the US government does this all the time…

“… I was given all sorts of information by the US government to tarnish and in some cases totally discredit figures or regimes that they wanted discredited.”

Despite consistent claims by the US government that Russia was behind the hack, not everyone is convinced that is the case. Earlier this week, former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton suggested the hack could have been a false flag operation by the Obama administration.

Russia itself has dismissed the hacking allegations, as well as claims that it aimed to influence the US election, as “nonsense.”

“Does anyone seriously think that Russia can somehow influence the choice of the American people?” Putin asked in October. “Is America some sort of a banana republic?”

In November, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the “whole story is from the field of myth-making.”

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment