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New analysis suggests Guccifer 2.0 files copied locally, not hacked by Russia

RT | July 12, 2017

Files stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were likely downloaded to a USB drive by someone with physical access to a computer connected to the DNC network, not hacked remotely by Russia, according to a new analysis.

In an interview with Motherboard in June 2016, the hacker who claimed to be Guccifer 2.0 said he used a zero-day exploit to breach the DNC server and steal files he later published under the title “NGP-VAN.”

The leak was quickly attributed to the Russian government. However, a document published Sunday by an individual known as the Forensicator shows how the 7-zip file published by Guccifer 2.0 was transferred at a speed of 23 MB/s, making it “unlikely that this initial data transfer could have been done remotely over the Internet.”

“The initial copying activity was likely done from a computer system that had direct access to the data,” the report from the Forensicator stated. “By ‘direct access’ we mean that the individual who was collecting the data either had physical access to the computer where the data was stored, or the data was copied over a local high speed network (LAN).”

For his analysis, the Forensicator looked at the data from the 7-zip file which showed the .rar files were built on September 1, 2016, while the other files were last modified on July 5, 2016. When the .rar files are unpacked using a program called WinRAR, their timestamps were preserved from the date they were transferred.

The timestamps of those .rar files were relative times, while the times recorded in the 7-zip files are absolute times, recorded in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The Forensicator found that if the .rar files were adjusted to Eastern Time, they “fall into the same range as the last modified times for the directories archived in the .rar files.”

Therefore, the Forensicator concludes that the files were built on a computer system where the Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT) timezone setting was in force, meaning that the system was most likely located on the East Coast of the US.

The Forensicator then generated a list of the files sorted by the date they were last modified and imported the list into an Excel spreadsheet. Analyzing the files by date last modified, he observed that the last modified times were clustered together in a 14-minute time period on July 5, 2016.

The analysis of the metadata also found a majority of the time it took for the files to be copies, 12 minutes and 48 seconds of the 14 minutes and 15 seconds, was allocated to “time gaps” that appear between several top-level files and directories. The Forensicator concluded that this indicated that the files were chosen from a much larger collection of files.

Estimating the transfer speed of the files published by Guccifer, the Forensicator concluded that if the 1.98 GB 7-zip archive published by Guccifer was copied at a rate of 22.6 MB/s, and all the time gaps were attributed to additional file copying, the initial file copy would be 10 times larger, or 19.3 GB.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer: non story and possible sting

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | July 11, 2017

Whilst the story of Donald Trump Junior’s dealings with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya is tangled, the facts show no evidence of any wrongdoing on his part. On the contrary he is the only person who can be shown to have acted straightforwardly and honestly in the whole affair.

A consistent pattern of the Russiagate affair is that the New York Times or the Washington Post “expose” what is presented as some dark and terrible twist to the story of Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.

The rest of the news media and the Democrats in Congress following up by greeting the “revelation” with a mixture of enthusiasm and feigned horror.

The days and weeks pass, it turns out that nothing of importance has been “exposed” and that the “revelation” is not so dark or terrible after all.

At that point it quietly drops out of the news.

This has happened with the telephone conversation between ambassador Kislyak and General Flynn, the meeting between ambassador Kislyak and Geoff Sessions, the meeting between ambassador Kislyak and Jared Kushner (when they supposedly discussed setting up a backchannel), and the conversations between President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey.

The latest “revelation” of the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and lawyer Natalia Veselntiskaya on 9th June 2016 is a further example.

The outline of the story can be reconstructed in detail from the emails that Donald Trump Junior published earlier today.  They show that the meeting was set up at the instigation of a British pop music presenter called Rob Goldstone.

On 3rd June 2016 Goldstone wrote to Donald Trump Junior the following email

Emin [Agalarov, a Russian pop star represented by Goldstone] just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras [a Moscow-based developer who tried to partner with Trump in a hotel project] this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona [presumably Rhona Graff, Trump’s longtime executive assistant], but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

(bold italics added)

Donald Trump Junior replied on the same day as follows

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

(bold italics added)

Several emails followed but the only one of interest is a further email sent to Donald Trump Junior by Rob Goldstone on 7th June 2016.  It reads as follows

Hope all is well. Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday. I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you? I assume it would be at your office.

(bold italics added)

There are a number of oddities about Goldstone’s emails which I will come to shortly. However here it is merely important to note the following:

(1) there is no reference in these emails to hacking whether of the DNC ‘s or of John Podesta’s computers or of computers belonging to anyone else;

(2) Donald Trump Junior is being led to believe that the Russian government is offering to provide the Trump campaign with official documents – which must mean official Russian government documents – detailing Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia.

(3) there is no suggestion that this help would be provided covertly or secretly. On the contrary since what is supposedly being offered are official Russian government documents it would be impossible to deny the source if this information was going to be used.

The meeting with Veselnitskaya duly took place on 9th June 2016. It turned out that she had no information about Hillary Clinton to offer and was not a “Russian government attorney”. Instead she wanted to discuss the Magnitsky Act, upon which a baffled Donald Trump Junior politely showed her the door.

That is the unanimous account of all the participants of the meeting including Donald Trump Junior and Veselnitskaya herself. All agree that the meeting lasted no more than 20 minutes.

There is no evidence that contradicts their account and the absence of any follow-up to the meeting essentially corroborates their account.

It seems that Donald Trump Junior and Veselnitskaya have never met since and have had no further contact with each other.

There is no evidence here of any crime or wrongdoing being committed or – contrary to what many are saying – of any intention to commit one.

What Donald Trump Junior was offered was official documents supposedly provided by the Russian government which would expose Hillary Clinton as a hypocrite in light of her dealings with Russia. At a time when Donald Trump was already being criticised for wanting a rapprochement with Russia it is not surprising that Donald Trump Junior’s interest was piqued.

However this information – whatever it was – would have had to have been made public if it was going to be used, and since it was supposed to take the form of official Russian government documents provided to the Trump campaign by the Russian government that would have meant that the fact that the Russian government was involved and was the source would have had to be disclosed. There was and could have been no intention to keep the fact secret.

That is what Donald Trump Junior obviously anticipated when he agreed to meet Veselnitskaya, and what he must have thought the Russian government intended. The emails cannot be read in any other way.

This is a wholly different scenario from the one suggested in the Russiagate affair. That alleges secret collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government as part of a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign involving an illegal hack of the DNC’s and John Podesta’s computers in order to publish stolen emails which would swing the election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

This by contrast was or was supposed to be a straightforward and above the board offer of information by the Russian government to the Trump campaign that might be useful in the election.

There is nothing wrong or sinister or illegal in Donald Trump Junior being interested in this. There would have been nothing wrong or illegal in Donald Trump Junior receiving from the Russian government official Russian government documents about Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia in this way.

Nor would there have been anything wrong or illegal if Donald Trump Junior or the Trump campaign had made this information public, all the more so as the fact that the Russian government was the source would have had to be disclosed.

Some people of course refuse to see it this way. Take for example these words in the Guardian’s editorial on the story

Mr Trump Jr stressed that the lawyer was not, in fact, a Russian government official. But he met her believing that she was, and having heard that Moscow wished to intervene in a US election. He did not report the approach to the FBI.

(bold italics added)

Why however should Donald Trump Junior have “reported the approach to the FBI”?  Since nothing wrong or illegal was proposed or happened what was there to report?

To repeat, there would have been nothing wrong or illegal about Donald Trump Junior receiving openly from a representative of the Russian government official Russian government documents detailing Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia. Not only would that have been neither wrong nor illegal, had it happened it would arguably have been in the public interest.

We now have come to the strangest aspect of this strange affair.

Veselnitskaya was not a representative of the Russian government. The Russian government claims to have no knowledge of her. She was definitely not a “Russian government attorney” (whatever that means). Not only did she turn up to the meeting empty-handed, with no information or official Russian government documents about Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia, but by her own account she was surprised that Donald Trump Junior expected her to be in possession of such information

“I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that,” Natalia Veselnitskaya said.

When asked how Trump Jr. seemed to have the impression that she had information about the Democratic National Committee, she responded:

“It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information. They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted.”

This is extremely strange, and is wholly at odds with how Rob Goldstone describes her in his emails.

In those emails Veselnitskaya is clearly described as a “Russian government attorney” representing the Russian government. Moreover she is coming to the US from Moscow on behalf of a senior Russian official –  the “Crown Prosecutor of Russia” – who is supposed to have offered information including official Russian government documents detailing Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia in a conversation with the father of one of Goldstone’s clients. This supposedly was done as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.

Clearly someone was misrepresenting who and what Veselnitskaya actually was.

There is no Russian official with the title “Crown Prosecutor of Russia”.  However the fact that Goldstone claims that it was this official – whoever he is – who instigated Veselnitskaya’s mission after making an offer to help the Trump campaign to the father of one of Goldstone’s clients argues against Veselnitskaya being the person who was behind the deception.

Veselnitskaya’s claim that she was baffled that Donald Trump Junior seemed to expect her to have information about Hillary Clinton might therefore be true.

In that case it must have been either the “Crown Prosecutor of Russia” – whoever he is – or the father of Goldstone’s client, or Goldstone’s client, or conceivably Goldstone himself, who was behind the deception.

I am not going to try to guess who was the person behind the deception. The one point I would make is that Goldstone is British and that though Russia has no official with the title “Crown Prosecutor of Russia” the title “crown prosecutor” is used in Britain as the official title of state officials roughly analogous to US District Attorneys.

Possibly someone who knows Goldstone is British and therefore familiar with the title “crown prosecutor” took advantage of the fact to deceive him, though in that case whoever that was must have some knowledge of Britain.

Whatever the truth of this, there is no doubt that a deception took place, and Goldstone’s emails show that the person who was the target of the deception was Donald Trump Junior.

That in turn raises the uncomfortable question of whether what we have here are the traces of a failed sting operation.

I have previously pointed out that the first entry of the Trump Dossier dated 20th June 2016 makes no reference to hacking but instead speaks of the Russians helping Donald Trump by providing his campaign with information from a secret Dossier they hold on Hillary Clinton.

Here we have in Goldstone’s emails proof that in early June 2016 – the same month that the first entry of the Trump Dossier is dated – an offer was indeed made via Donald Trump Junior to the Trump campaign  – but importantly not by the Russian government – to provide the Trump campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia, presumably from a file or a Dossier the Russians hold on her.

The follow up to these emails was a meeting between Donald Trump Junior and a Russian lawyer – Veselnitskaya – who allegedly has some connection to Fusion GPS, the company which paid for the Trump Dossier.

In the event the sting operation – if that is what it was – fell apart when it turned out during the meeting that Veselnitskaya had no information to offer and did not represent the Russian government, and that rather than press her further for ‘information’ about Hillary Clinton or admit either verbally to Veselnitskaya or in an email that the Trump campaign was already in receipt of such information from the Russians, Donald Trump Junior instead showed her the door.

This is of course speculation, though fact based.  As I have said previously, there is no doubt a deception of some sort took place and that Donald Trump Junior was its intended target.

What is not speculation – what is on the contrary incontrovertible fact – is that Donald Trump Junior at no time acted improperly or committed any crime either in the emails he wrote or when he met Veselnitskaya.

That for the moment is the single most important fact about this incident.

There are many unanswered questions about this incident, as indeed there are about the Flynn affair.  Perhaps one day we will have the answers to these questions.

The key point about these unanswered questions is however that they do not concern Donald Trump Junior. It is for others not him to answer them.

On the contrary he is the only person of whom it can be said with confidence that he behaved straightforwardly and honestly throughout this whole strange affair.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

The UK’s Secret Drone War: Legal Basis Uncertain, Civilian Casualties Unknown

Sputnik – July 11, 2017

The use of armed drones by the US in countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen is well known, but not well documented. Internal rules governing the program remain opaque, and details on individual strikes and casualty figures are lacking. However, the UK own drone warfare efforts are almost entirely hidden from the public.

As Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic “Out of the Shadows” report made clear in June, the UK’s approach to drone warfare is opaque at all levels.

Officially, the country has no formal drone program equivalent to that of the US — the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into targeted killing concluded drone strikes are conducted ad hoc, as but one operational tactic at the disposal of UK forces.

​Nonetheless, freedom of information requests indicate that by the end of 2016 over 1,200 airstrikes (both from conventional manned aircraft and drones) were conducted against Daesh targets in Iraq and Syria alone — although the question of whether and where else in the world UK drones have been deployed, and the civilian impact of these strikes, is scant.

Likewise, the legal basis upon which the UK relies for its use of armed drones remains unclear — for instance, does the UK assert the right of self-defense under international law? Such a claim was made after the RAF killed three people, including British citizens Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin, in a drone strike near Raqqa, Syria in August 2015.

The strike took place despite Parliament having explicitly voted against UK involvement in US-led airstrikes in Syria in August 2013. Without the Commons’ knowledge or consent, then-Prime Minister David Cameron authorized the strike, relying on a limited parliamentary convention allowing for immediate military action to be taken in self-defense of British national interests.

Contradictorily however, in his official legal notification to the United Nations Security Council, Cameron claimed the action was instead taken pursuant to the right of collective self-defense of any nation subject to armed attack.

In any event, there is ongoing controversy among international law experts as to the theoretical validity of the doctrine of anticipatory self-defense — the UK has long asserted the existence of such a right, but how such a doctrine properly applies in the circumstances of strikes against Daesh overseas is yet to be adequately explained.

Rights Watch UK has requested disclosure or summary of the relevant legal advice underpinning the August 2015 strike, although the request has been rejected. As of July 2017, it remains under appeal, to be heard before the UK Upper Tribunal before the end of the year.

The doctrine of anticipatory self-defense requires a threat defended against must be an imminent one, although the very phrase “imminent” is an elastic one. Moreover, in a January speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, UK Attorney-General Jeremy Wright called for an renewed approach to imminence, eschewing the traditional assumption of threat proximity (ie a threat near or incoming to a particular area) to a “factor-based” approach, in which proximity is no longer a necessary condition. The Attorney-General even favors action in self-defense when the UK does not know where and when an attack will take place, or the precise nature of an attack.

In addition to the absence of transparency around the UK’s use of drones, the government is also yet to set out the nature and degree of its involvement in facilitating and supporting the use of armed drones by the US — and depending on the nature of this involvement, the country may be liable under international law for US government actions.

There are a number of legal means by which a state may be held internationally responsible for the actions of another it assists.

For instance, Article 16 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts makes clear a state which aids another in the commission of any wrongful act is responsible if the abetting state does “so with knowledge of the circumstances of the internationally wrongful act” — and the act “would be internationally wrongful if committed” by the assisting state.

Articles 40 and 41 provide a narrower rule — where one state is guilty of a serious breach of international law, other states are prohibited from rendering any assistance in maintaining the situation before or after the event. On notice of a serious breach of international law by a state, other states are obliged not to provide further trade in arms or continue intelligence sharing, for example

Further, the United Nations Charter makes clear a state must not allow its own territory to be used as a launching pad for acts of aggression by other states, even if it is not directly involved itself. Such use of territory could include provision of landing rights for drone strikes, or even allowing partner intelligence agencies to operate out of a state’s military installations.

In February, Rights Watch UK was involved in litigation in the English High Court, arguing the UK government was obliged to consider the UK’s potential liability for aiding and assisting breaches of international law by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen through its arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Far from confirming the UK’s international liability was being seriously interrogated, the government argued the question of liability for aiding and assisting Riyadh’s potentially criminal actions were irrelevant.

As drone use proliferates internationally, the need for transparency and oversight also increases. The failure of the US and UK to provide regular, reliable, transparent information on their participation in drone warfare, or explain whether their actions conform with international legal obligations means neither constituent public can have any confidence their government is acting lawfully.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tangier Island

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | July 10, 2017

CBS have a report on rising sea levels at Tangier Island, in Chesapeake Bay here

The video is worth watching. The CBS reporter makes the usual attempts to blame it on “climate change”, but the locals know too much to fall for that old pony.
They know that sea levels have been rising, and land eroding, since 1850.

And they are right. Tide gauges in the area, such Sewell Point, Norfolk, confirm that sea levels have been steadily rising for a long time, long before recent rises in emissions of CO2.

The rate of rise is 4.6mm/yr, nearly three times the global rate. But there is a very good reason for this – the land is sinking.
Chesapeake Bay is the site of an ancient impact crater, caused by a comet or meteor. As a result the land has been subsiding ever since. Estimates by proper scientists suggest it is sinking at a rate of up to 3mm/yr.
For instance this recent study by John Boon et al found (Sewell Pt is SWPT):

In other words, this accounts for two thirds of the sea level rise.

The study also found no acceleration in the rate of sea level rise:

The sea in Chesapeake Bay is doing what it always has, and no amount of windmills and solar panels will have the slightest effect.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Jobs You Can’t Afford to Take

By Geoff Beckman | CounterPunch | July 11, 2017

You know about how Jesus Christ suffered for mankind. You know about Job. But you might not have heard about Tom Thompson, owner of Star Cleaning Systems in Columbus, Ohio.

Thompson is another one of those employers whining to the newspapers about how nobody wants any of the great jobs his company offers.

He is looking to add two or three part-time workers to his 20-member staff.

“Very few people show up for interviews, and if they do, they don’t show up for the job,” Mr. Thompson said. “I’m spending 80 to 90 percent of my time recruiting. I triple-book appointments for interviews, and I’m lucky if I get one person to show up.”

He is offering $9.25 an hour to start, with bonuses and increases for workers who stick around. Running a new company, he said, he cannot afford to pay significantly more.

As Yul Brynner said to Deborah Kerr, “Is a puzzlement.” Well, I’m smart– let’s see if I can’t figure this out.

1) Thompson is looking for multiple part-timers, rather than full-time. Sounds like someone doesn’t want to pay benefits like Obamacare, Workman’s Comp and unemployment.

In Ohio, the threshold for having to provide the things Thompson wants to skip is 28 hours a week. So let’s assume he’s offering– at best– 27 hours every week, and see how good his job is.

27 hours a week times 52 weeks is 1,404 hours per year. At $9.25 an hour, that’s $12,987 AGI.

Be still my beating heart. But it gets worse. Much, much worse, in fact.

2) The job is being a janitor– cleaning offices after hours. So it’s very likely that his workers don’t even get 20 hours. A lot of these places have people working Monday through Friday, three to four hours a night.

Let’s say it’s 17.5 hours a week. That takes us down to 910 hours a year– $8,417.50 a year.

3) Needless to say, these hours mean forget about seeing a spouse who works– or your kids. But, more importantly, the schedule Thompson requires means that employees can’t take any other job.

Retail will want you to work nights– so will entertainment or food service.

More to the point, cleaning services want their people at the first site– in uniform– at 6-7 PM sharp. That requirement means even a day job is problematic. You have to leave work, and drive (through rush hour traffic) to wherever he has you scheduled. You don’t get to eat– and if your other boss needs you to work late (or you get caught in traffic), you’re late.

If so, Thompson is going to throw a hissy fit. On the first page of his five-page job application, responsibility #1 of 14 says:

Excellent attendance is required. To be depended on to arrive at work on-time at the prescribed time each day, knowing full well that tardiness and absences from work will place hardship on fellow team members, the company and disrupt client cleaning schedules.

4) Did I say five-page job application? Why yes, I did. Among other things, it warns you that if you don’t “provide legible, complete and accurate answers to all application and interview questions”, you won’t be hired.

(Question: Why does he require an educational history– including “Major / Subjects studied”– in order to hire a fucking janitor?)

5) The application requires giving consent to do a full background check and a pre-employment drug screen. Since the job sends people into the offices of companies that might have cash– and certainly have valuables– this is necessary for bonding and insurance. But it also tells the applicant the following things:

* Even if we decide to hire you, you won’t start for at least 10 days (that’s how long background screens and drug tests normally take to process).

* You will have to drive to the lab where you’re going to be screened. You might (depending on the background service) have to drive to their office for photographs, fingerprints– and sometimes lie detector tests or DNA screens.

* The five page personal history, employment history and educational history are a complete waste of time. We’re going to get the information from somebody else– and if there are any discrepancies between what you wrote and what it says, we’ll assume you are lying, not that the service screwed up.

6) There’s going to be a lot of driving– all of it unpaid. Responsibility #12 requires you to “be able to use very reliable transportation to report to specified work locations when scheduled or with little notice.”

Translation: He doesn’t have vans to take people to jobs (meaning you just have to figure out a way to get to company HQ). You have to go wherever he schedules you on your own. The company is in Columbus, but you might be working anywhere in Franklin County– or maybe in Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Pickaway or Union County.

You have to cover your car payment, insurance, fuel and repairs out of that $8,417.50 (before taxes) per year. Even the New York Times article admits this is ridiculous; it quotes a VP at Manpower (a temp service that treats people only a tad better than a sweatshop) as saying “You can’t have a car on $10 an hour.”

Thompson is offering $9.25.

7) If the travel isn’t bad enough, Thompson adds two other onerous requirements for people struggling to survive:

* “Must have an active personal phone number at all times.” Meaning, he wants to be able to call you at any time and tell you “Don’t go there– go here.” So that’s $20 a month for cell service.

* “Direct deposit of paycheck is required.” Many unskilled labor services– face it, Mr. Thompson, that’s what this is– pay in cash or check– often on a daily basis. Also, 30% of low-income workers don’t have bank accounts– they can’t afford the fees.

I’m guessing Thompson is just clueless. His employment application is a PDF; he wants applicants– who almost certainly have access to the internet only on their phone (if at all) to download and print it, then either fax, email, or mail it back.

8) But wait, there’s more. Rule #8 says “wear appropriate uniform and personal protective equipment”. He doesn’t say who pays for the clothing– when the employer doesn’t say, it usually means the employee.

Rule #10 says workers have to “Attend and participate in meetings or training as requested by the Team Lead, Supervisor, or President.” You might think this time would be paid. You would be wrong. In 2014, the “Dread Pirate” Robert Court ruled that employers don’t have to pay you for time they require.

Oh, and the job requires using “equipment such as wearing a 12 lbs. backpack vacuum, upright vacuum, floor machines, carpet extractors, or autoscrubber, etc.” and lifting 50 pounds.

Thompson wonders why nobody shows up. I certainly don’t.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Hungary: Paradise for liberals

By István Lovas | OffGuardian | July 11, 2017

Do you wonder what you are going to read in the mainstream press on Hungary tomorrow? I will tell you. The same as yesterday, and the same as in the past almost seven years since Hungary’s right-of-center Fidesz government, led by the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was elected.

You will learn that Mr. Orbán is a populist, an autocratic ruler, a menace to Europe, and a politician not hesitating to use anti-Semitic language in order to win over voters of the far-right Jobbik, and cover up uncomfortable truths about whatever is on the agenda in Hungary on that day.

He, of course, has muzzled the media, made the court system a handmaiden of the ruling elite, abolished checks and balances, while he is suffocating the voice of dissenters, creates inordinate fear, chases away half of the country beyond Hungary’s borders, and the rest of the stuff.

Lately, Hungary has been called the safe haven of the European ultra-right. At the time when Hungary’s authorities have arrested and expelled two such figures, such as Nick Griffin and James Dawson, both of them ultra-right British politicians.

In our “free” media world, it is impossible to request corrections from any western media with regard to outright lies that they publish about Hungary, and those lies will be repeated ad nauseam.

So, if you just want to read yet another of the mainstream media mill churning out the same heap of trash, and want to see how Hungary’s regime reminds you of the “darkest period of history”, turn, please, to the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Guardian, the German, the French, and the Austrian mainstream press. Here, in this article, you will find facts. That you have never heard of. Only if you go to Hungary and look around for yourself.

First, let us glance at how the Hungarian press is “muzzled.”

Have you ever heard of any Western voice complaining about the media situation in Serbia, Hungary’s southern neighbor? No. Well, in that country of 7,4 million people, the opposition has a single national political daily newspaper with a circulation of 2,000. The rest is pro-government stuff.

In a sharp contrast to Hungary where the combined circulation of the two national dailies in opposition to the government is clearly superior to that of the two national pro-government dailies.

Out of the six weeklies that you can see at any newsstand, supermarket, or gas station, only two are pro-government.

One million people watch the news program of RTL Klub, a commercial television station owned by a Luxembourg-based media group. The Hungarian public television, controlled strictly indeed by the government, has a viewership that is one tenth of RTL’s. Other than that, Hungarians can switch, in addition to RTL KLub, to ATV or HirTV if they want to be informed how corrupt and horrible their government is. And where expert after expert try desperately to find a reason why Hungarians still overwhelmingly support their horrible incumbent government, and why Fidesz will win handily in next year’s election.

Self-censorship in the opposition media? Come on, there is no country on the face of the earth where you can say things about the Prime Minister or members of the ruling Fidesz party that can appear in an American paper only as three dots.

On June 10th, the 88th Book Festival Week was officially opened in Budapest with the speech of a Hungarian writer called Pál Závada. He started his speech by declaring that he has to speak in the gag press of a one party, autocratic state.

What do you think, who financed the festive event? None other than the government.

The government sponsors almost of all its enemies and dissenters with a magnanimity that is unimaginable in any other country. And they – both the government and the dissenters – are mum about it.

It is a special Hungarian disease that you can call a political Stockholm syndrome that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.

The head of the court system in Hungary is a lady, called Tünde Handó, who selected a judge to a key position, who is the sworn enemy of the incumbent government, and who sentenced an editor-in-chief of the weekly Demokrata to prison for writing something during the previous, socialist-liberal government that was offensive to that government.

The chief Hungarian public prosecutor is a person who has been described by two well-known Hungarian pro-Fidesz journalists, Zsolt Bayer and Péter Csermely, as a stooge of the “other side”. No wonder that practically not a single leading corrupt socialist politician is in prison, including the most rotten figure of all, former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, who ordered the police force to remove their ID numbers, and shoot rubber bullets at, and kicking almost to death, innocent passers-bye during a public revolt in the fall of 2016.

The anti-Semitism charge leveled regularly against the Orbán government is the biggest fake news of our times.

Take the Maccabiah Games, the international Jewish multi-sport event held quadrennially in Israel. Except in 2019 when it will be staged in Budapest. At the cost of the Hungarian taxpayers.

There is no gesture, including self-destructing ones, the Hungarian government would not be willing to engage in order to show its unconditional loyalty to Israel and the Jewish people. Hungary’s ambassador in Israel, Andor Nagy, told the Jerusalem Post that anti-Semitism was growing in Hungary when, in fact, it was declining. However, he thought that that such talk would please the daily. And he was not recalled.

The Hungarian government is supporting the Hungarian Jewish community with huge amounts of money, restoring synagogues and cemeteries.

And the country, including the culturally vibrant Jewish quarter of the capital, Budapest, is the safest for its inhabitants and visitors in whole of Europe. It is a district where Jews feel completely secure and at ease, not being afraid, just like in any other corner of Hungary, to stroll while showing their religious identity.

Or take MTI, the official Hungarian news agency. It does not have a single correspondent in China, Hungary’s strategic partner, but it has one in Jerusalem.

In spite of all this, the country and its government will be attacked tomorrow with the assistance of Hungarian Jewish organizations that have accustomed to the idea that any charge of anti-Semitism thrown at the government or the Prime Minister, coming from them or their co-religionists abroad, would surely increase their budget.

The government’s masochistic policy is in evidence in every walk of life.

Hungary’s lobby organization in the U.S., the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation, led by Tamás Fellegi, a figure with a shady past in the United States before 1990, supports Hungary’s most acerbic critics in the United States. Most lately, he has provided substantial financial assistance to a foundation set up by Ann Applebaum, Hungary’s fiercest critic in the Washington Post, with an amount of money that would make any Hungarian voter extremely angry if it were told about it.

Any other questions?

István Lovas is a Hungarian print and television journalist who worked for Radio Free Europe and started his journalistic work with articles that appeared in The Wall Street Journal, and Japan Today.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Asma Al-Assad: How Western Media turned “A Rose in the Desert” into “A Cheerleader for Evil”

By Sarah Abed | The Rabbit Hole | July 8, 2017

In early March 2011, right before the carefully calculated and planned imposed war and invasion in Syria, Vogue Magazine published a surprisingly positive article titled: Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert.

“Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” “She is the first lady of Syria”.

The article gave readers an inside view of what life was like for the Assad’s In Syria. It didn’t exaggerate, or misrepresent information and had a seemingly unbiased tone.

“Back in the car, I ask what religion the orphans are. “It’s not relevant,” says Asma al-Assad. “Let me try to explain it to you. That church is a part of my heritage because it’s a Syrian church. The Umayyad Mosque is the third-most-important holy Muslim site, but within the mosque is the tomb of Saint John the Baptist. We all kneel in the mosque in front of the tomb of Saint John the Baptist. That’s how religions live together in Syria—a way that I have never seen anywhere else in the world. We live side by side, and have historically. All the religions and cultures that have passed through these lands—the Armenians, Islam, Christianity, the Umayyads, the Ottomans—make up who I am.”

“Does that include the Jews?” I ask. “And the Jews,” she answers. “There is a very big Jewish quarter in old Damascus.”

Also included in the article is some background information on the first lady. Asma Akhras was born in London in 1975 to a Syrian-born cardiologist and his wife, a diplomat who had served as first secretary at the Syrian embassy. She went to Queen’s College a private school, graduated from King’s College London, and worked for some time at JP Morgan in Manhattan. She was accepted into the prestigious ivy league school Harvard but instead of attending she accepted a marriage proposal from President Bashar in 2000 after secretly dating for some time.

The article detailed some other information as well, but nothing that would strike the knowledgeable reader as pretentious, over the top, or propaganda material. The response however from other publications written by disgruntled journalists was outrageous. They spoke as if they had more knowledge about conditions in Syria than a journalist that actually went to Syria and wrote about the experience.

Soon after the Vogue article was published the war in Syria began, with a staged uprising in Daraa. Another war against Vogue Magazine and this article, in particular, was waged by many publications, in particular, those that had ties or were sympathetic to the illegal state of Israel.

These publications shamed, insulted, belittled and demanded that this story be retracted or changed to fit the demonization campaign that spawned in mainstream media.

A few years prior in 2009 The Huffington Post published a slide show entitled, “Asma Al Assad: Syria’s First Lady And All-Natural Beauty.”

In 2010 the Harvard Arab Alumni Association’s website promoted an event featuring Asma by praising her as an avid supporter of “a robust, independent and self-sustaining civil society.” Asma convened a conference for the Syria Trust for Development about “the emerging role of civil society in development.”

As reported in Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs website, The First Lady “… opened the conference by declaring that the state wanted to open more space for civil society to work, develop and partner with the government in designing and implementing development-oriented policies. We will learn from our mistakes, she said, and a law will be passed soon — after consultations with civil society — to provide non-governmental organizations the safeguards they need to operate effectively. She challenged them, for their part, to rise to the occasion and achieve higher levels of efficacy and professionalism. Her overall theme of partnership reflected a realization that the government alone could not provide all the expertise or services needed to develop the country at the pace that its citizens expect.

Syria hosted a conference of Harvard Arab Alumni with Asma leading the event.

The website was enthusiastic about Mrs. Assad’s role in Syrian national life and the connection between her work and that of her husband’s: ‘‘In her role as Syria’s first lady, Her Excellency Asma al-Assad applies her experience, energy, and influence to her country’s social and cultural development. Her role reflects the significant economic, political and social change that is happening in Syria today. Asma al-Assad’s work supports that of President Bashar al-Assad by fostering the emergence of a robust, independent and self-sustaining civil society.’’

Harvard Arab Alumni met in Damascus, “Under the Patronage of H.E. Mrs. Asma al-Assad, The First Lady of Syria.” “We are honored that Harvard Vice Provost for International Affairs, Prof. Jorge Dominguez, will be joining us in Damascus to deliver the Harvard Guest Address.

In 2010, French Elle voted Asma “the most stylish woman in world politics,” and Paris Match called her “an eastern Diana,” a “ray of light in a country full of shadow zones.”

Even US Politicians appreciated and admired the Assads before this war bloody war was waged on the sovereign nation. Paying them visits and speaking about them in positive and affirmative tones.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stood on Syrian soil in April 2007 and famously declared that “the road to Damascus is a road to peace.” During her visit, Pelosi had an enjoyable shopping tour through Damascus markets.

Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bought the Assad-is-a-reformer narrative, telling CBS News on March 27, 2011: “There is a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.

Senator John Kerry, President Obama’s former informal envoy to Syria. Kerry feverishly pushed to revive diplomatic engagement with the Assad regime. Indeed, he was a frequent guest of Bashar’s; the two men and their wives were known to dine together in Damascus and discuss bilateral relations. He delivered a speech in Washington that heaped praise on Assad for the generosity he personally extended to the former Democratic presidential candidate during his many visits to Damascus.

All seemed well in Syria according to politicians and media alike. Was that all just a front? Were they all lying? Or were they dubbed into believing something that wasn’t true? Maybe they were tricked? Could it be that the Assad’s had put them all under a spell? No, no, no.  They were not handed a memo yet that going forward they would be limited to derogatory terms and hate speech however ridiculous or nonsensical it may be when speaking about the Assad’s. It was a requirement or else they would face ridicule much like what happened to Vogue Magazine after they published their article on the first lady. They needed to quickly recant their support, respect, and admiration in order to fit with the new script. New terminology would replace the old, regime and dictator instead of government and president. Also, going forward all mainstream media outlets are required to mention barrel bombs, chemical weapons, and how the US will protect and save poor Syrians who are being bombed by their “brutal dictator” by well.. bombing them. Wait.. what?

Why this sudden change in March 2011? Simply because mainstream media completely flipped it’s script and started to demonize this “Rose in the Desert” along with her husband President Dr. Bashar Al Assad in an all-out propaganda campaign that fit the US/NATO “regime change” narrative. Asma Al-Assad never was nor is she evil. President Bashar Al Assad is not a ruthless dictator but instead they both are very much loved and respected in THEIR country by their people which is all that should matter. Before this invasion took place in 2011 and over 300,000 foreign mercenaries came in from over 80 countries, Syria was one of the safest countries in the world, and the only secular, nonsectarian and united country in the Middle East. For the first ten years of his presidency there were no major issues, no bombings, beheadings by terrorists, none of that so how is this something that President Bashar brought to the country? That is a huge misconception, one of many that the western media has helped instill in the minds of gullible people who have completely refused to use logic and critical thinking or to even question what they are being told.

The agenda in most mainstream media outlets globally soon became to destroy the first Assad’s image by any means possible, with a proliferation of lies and negative press. The same demonization that was used previously by imperialist nations in pursuit of destabilizing yet another country in the region. The modus operandi was the same, create an over the top propaganda media campaign to win the public’s sympathy and wage a “humanitarian intervention” in order to save the people of a country from their corrupt “dictatorship” run government by ousting the elected president, installing a puppet president approved by the US/NATO, stealing their resources, and establishing a long-term military base on the pretense that they are helping to rebuild the nation they themselves unapologetically destroyed. Much like they did with other countries they were “spreading democracy” in prior such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya etc.

The plethora of articles one will find by doing a simple google search that reek of propaganda and are filled to the rim with bias, sectarian hate speech, and outright lies is profound. For the knowledgeable reader, they are simply infuriating to read.

I have included one such propaganda spewing article below published by The Guardian and some interesting information I found about the author as well.

Asma al-Assad is a cheerleader for evil. Her UK citizenship should be revoked” was written by Nadhim Zahawi.

In this poorly written and utterly pathetic excuse for an article, Zahawi states “The Assad regime has a seemingly infinite capacity for evil, and an inability to be touched by compassion. At the very best he is dangerously deluded about what is happening, and the atrocities he has ordered. But most likely he is a monster.” Even though his article was supposedly about Asma Al-Assad he took whatever invalid and fact-deprived hits that he could at her husband as well.

Interestingly enough Mr. Zahawi a Kurdish Iraqi politician who visited Syria in 2011 and resides in the U.K. also had this to say “Removing Mrs. Assad’s citizenship is not illegal, because she is also a citizen of Syria. The home secretary has the power to do so when she believes it would be “conducive to the public good”. Asma al-Assad should never be welcome in our country again.” On that note, I hope Mr. Zahawi is forbidden to return to Syria as well.

After looking into Mr. Zahawi a little further I found that he is the vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kurdistan Region in Iraq, which receives secretarial support from Gulf Keystone Petroleum International, an oil company of which Zahawi is Chief Strategy Officer. Concerns have been raised about how MPs’ independence might be compromised by such links between APPGs and private companies, and specifically about how Zahawi’s connections with the oil industry affect his role as MP. Zahawi has been co-chair or vice-chair of this APPG since it was established in 2008/9. Also worth noting, in November 2013 Zahawi “apologized unreservedly” after The Sunday Mirror reported that he had claimed £5,822 expenses for electricity for his horse riding school stables and a yard manager’s mobile home.[19] Zahawi said the mistake arose because he received a single bill covering both a meter in the stables and one in his house. He would repay the money though the actual overcharge was £4,000.[20] An article in The Independent also drew attention to the number of legitimate but “trivial” items on Zahawi’s expenses.

In January 2011, Zahawi appeared in the Commons debate discussing the end of the Education Maintenance Allowance scheme wearing a musical tie which proceeded to play during his contribution. The Deputy Speaker advised him to be more selective when choosing ties to avoid a musical accompaniment to debate in the chamber.

An investigation by the Guardian has revealed close links between a Conservative MP and two companies based in a tax haven. Nadhim Zahawi has financial ties to Balshore Investments and Berkford Investments, which operate from a lawyer’s’ office in Gibraltar. He does not declare a connection to either company on the MPs’ register of interests.

The same script in mainstream media is used repeatedly yet people still fall for it. Isn’t it time for the masses to recognize this repetition and bring an end to these bankers wars based on lies? We are all of one race, the human race and we need to end these countries destructive imperialist driven plots. World domination by the elite is not in the best interest of humanity.

The United States has been practicing this destructive behavior in toppling sovereign nations for their own benefit since 1898. New imperial influence of U.S. (1898-1917): New territories gained in Spanish American War: Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines. Up until present day with Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, the Philippines etc. At some point, this bloodshed has to end. Sovereignty has to be preserved. Cultures and customs need to be protected against greedy nations who only have their own best interest at heart. Whether it be neo-colonialism, imperialism, economic imperialism, etc. These ruthless regimes will do whatever it takes to complete their bloody missions.

Antikrieg TV -In 2010, the Syria’s First Lady Asma al-Assad talked to diplomats and intellectuals at the Paris Diplomatic Academy. She spoke without notes, about Syria’s history and how that heritage informs daily life.

“Some often ask me how then can Syria remain stable, moderate and influential in a region that is increasingly being surrounded by extremism, ideologism (sic), sectarianism and all other forms of negative perceptions in our society,” she told the gathering. “The typical answer I get is because of military, political, security reasons. Again, I believe I have a different view.

“It’s the very essence of our culture. It’s what our history teaches us of openness and engagement,” she said. “It’s the sense of identity and pride that we have knowing who we are in the world and knowing what we’ve contributed to the world over thousands of years that give us that sense of stability and that sense of moderation.

“Some of you might think I am talking politics. … Trust me, I have no interest in politics,” she continued. “My interests are elsewhere. But living in the region for as long as I have, I realize that politics affects every facet of our lives.”

Many people who have never heard of Syria before it became front page news after this imposed war was launched by outside forces on it’s land, think they have the right to speak ill about a nation that people like myself are originally from. Their profound arrogance is matched by their ignorance. What they may not realize is that they are indirectly contributing to the bloodshed by spreading this false propaganda. It would be better for them to never speak about Syria than for them to carelessly spread information that is nothing more than dirty gossip that they heard on their T.V. If they truly care, they need to educate themselves by reading and watching alternative media sources and listening to independent journalists, that do not have a vested interest in seeing Syria crumble and fall into the hands of the vultures in the West and their allies.

Sarah Abed can be contacted at

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

The ‘Civilianization’ of Movie Scripts: The Pentagon’s Counter-Subversion Program for Hollywood

By Tom Secker | American Herald Tribune | July 11, 2017

While Hollywood is generally supportive of the government – and of the military in particular – the Pentagon faces a problem.  In order to stand out from the crowd and make their screenplays a bit different to the usual schlock, screenwriters like to include subversive elements and aspects, even in films that are broadly in favour of institutions like the Department of Defense and the CIA. Because the Pentagon wants to support films that promote them as a benevolent force in the world, these subversive elements present a problem for them. One solution is civilianization.

In our new book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood, we document numerous politically-motivated changes made to script by the Pentagon and CIA in exchange for production assistance. We collated this information from a vast range of sources including over 4,000 pages of documents we obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. One recurring theme we found in these changes is the civilianization of characters, action and dialogue that the Pentagon didn’t like.

The Civilianization of Contact

In the 1997 extra-terrestrial epic Contact the National Guard provided vehicles and uniformed extras for a small handful of scenes but in exchange had a considerable influence on the script. In one scene in the White House where the protagonists are deciding what to do with blueprints they have decoded from an alien signal the original script portrays the military as deeply worried that this could be a ‘Trojan Horse’ that would instantly transport an alien army to Earth and take over. Jodie Foster’s character Ellie responded, ‘This is communist paranoia right out of War of the Worlds’.

The Pentagon saw scenes like this as a ‘silly military depiction’ and so they ‘Negotiated civilianization of almost all military parts’. In the revised scene it is the National Security Adviser, not the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who expresses outlandish fears about what this technology might be, and Ellie’s response about paranoia was cut entirely.

In another scene in the pre-civilianized version, the President gives a stirring speech at the UN about the building of this great new technology and this is intercut with a military convoy and Apache helicopters approaching the construction site. The script describes how ‘Encircling the installation is a vast graveyard of discarded aircraft—the detritus of Twentieth Century war-making.’ This is rather obvious symbolism representing how technological efforts are moving from the violence of the 20th century military industry to peaceful 21st century space exploration. In the final version this sequence does not appear, and there is no indication of military involvement in the construction of the wormhole machine. This compromised the creative and philosophical vision behind Contact – of a future where war-making is left behind in favour of learning and discovery.

The Civilianization of Jurassic Park and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

National Security Cinema records numerous other examples of this phenomenon, where instead of outright censoring troublesome scenes the Pentagon distances itself, reducing its presence in these films to a benevolent or benign background entity. For Jurassic Park III the producers approached the Pentagon wanting to film some A-10 gunships for a scene where they battled with flying dinosaurs.

The Pentagon’s chief Hollywood liaison Phil Strub turned down this request because ‘We weren’t about to provide them something that would only generate sympathy for the dinosaurs’. He also requested that they change the identity of the character who discovers the island full of dinosaurs, asking, ‘would you change his character, make him like the president’s science adviser or something like that? Just get him out of the uniform.’ Strub also promoted the idea of the film ending with a ‘nice military rescue’, reducing the military’s role from reckless pioneers and murderers of cute flying dinosaurs, to responsible officials providing emergency/disaster relief.

This technique continues into the most recent films we examined. In 2016’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – a Tina Fey comedy – the military allowed several days filming at Kirtland Air Force Base in exchange for civilianizing one aspect of the script they didn’t like. The version the DOD reviewed, ‘portrayed a US Army transport brake failure, resulting in it hitting a group of Afghani shoppers in Kabul, killing and injuring them. This was changed to an NGO vehicle.’

Independence Day: When Civilianization Fails

Independence Day was not so lucky. When they approached the Pentagon for support making their alien invasion adventure there were numerous aspects of the script that Strub and his colleagues found objectionable. From Will Smith’s Air Force character dating a stripper to the fact that ‘all advances in stopping the aliens are the result of actions by civilians’ which contrasted the ‘anaemic US military response’, the Pentagon was not happy on a number of levels.

They particularly objected to the inclusion of references in the dialogue to Area 51 – the common name for the Groom Lake facility at Edwards Air Force base. Even when the producers civilianized Area 51, making it a non-military facility run by non-military officials, this still didn’t satisfy the Pentagon. As a result, the producers of Independence Day had to use CGI (still a relatively new and very expensive technology at the time) to duplicate the one fighter jet they had to create the scenes of numerous jets in dogfights with alien craft.

However, despite the production being made more difficult and expensive, the Pentagon’s rejection did mean that the producers had more creative freedom. The result was a hugely popular and successful summer blockbuster that is fondly remembered. Had the scenes in Area 51 been removed, or reworked so that they did not involve such an obvious element of UFO folklore, then the film would have been fundamentally different, and less memorable. By contrast, the Pentagon did support the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, which almost everyone who saw it has already forgotten.

The Consequences of Civilianization

At its most fundamental, the Pentagon’s strategy of civilianization of movies is a means of removing subversive moments from the military realm, or of changing them so they aren’t subversive at all. The image of a US Army transport crashing in downtown Kabul and killing innocent people is an effective, provocative symbol representing the abject futility and stupidity of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Changing this to an NGO vehicle dilutes this subversive element to almost nothing, and it becomes more of a plot point than politically-charged symbolism.

Similarly, by removing the scene from Contact where the construction of the wormhole machine rises above the detritus of 20th century war-making, the Pentagon diluted the subversive philosophy of that film.  While Contact remains an intelligent and in places profound movie its critical light was not allowed to shine on the Pentagon – all so that they could use a couple of National Guard helicopters and jeeps and a handful of real life troops as extras.

This is perhaps the more obvious consequence of military involvement in Hollywood – that films are less radical and challenging than they would otherwise be. However, there is another, more significant and perhaps unintended consequence. In movies subject to this process the characteristics of recklessness, incompetence, deceit and so on are civilian traits, not military ones. The result of this is a semi-consistent worldview across a range of fantasy movies that says that the problems of the world are civilian problems, not resulting from the military’s behaviour.

In reality, as the biggest, richest, most violently powerful organisation in the world, the Pentagon, has greater means to inflict the consequences of human vice on people around the world. While Hollywood is rarely known for being realistic, the ‘soft censorship’ of civilianization exacerbates this problem, with considerable political consequences. Hundreds of millions of cinema-goers are being repeatedly told that the reasons bad things happen are because of ordinary citizens, and not institutionalised military power on a massive scale. This makes it seems like in the real world wars are not the forces of murder and destruction they really are, but are rather the background noise to the evils of human nature. As a result, civilianization of movie scripts helps make wars more likely, more popular and therefore easier to maintain for long periods, and thus more prolonged and destructive. What likely began as a means of ensuring better PR for the military through Hollywood adds up to a powerful political phenomenon.

Tom Secker is a private researcher who runs—the world’s premier online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry, and home of the popular ClandesTime podcast. He has used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain unique government documents since 2010, which has been reported on by Russia Today, Salon, Techdirt, The Mirror, The Express and other outlets. His new book is National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment