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“Conspiracies don’t happen… here.”

By Kit | OffGuardian | October 29, 2017

The US alphabet agencies recently released some formerly classified files on JFK. There’s nothing much in them, because well… why would there be? Supposing the CIA were complicit, who’s going to release, 50 years after the event, the evidence of their own coup? We haven’t covered it here, at OffG, because it doesn’t really need any attention. It’s a charity dump, a distraction. It allows Trump to look like he’s combating the Deep State, when in fact he’s firmly on the leash. That the CIA or FBI didn’t suddenly produce proof of their complicity in JFK’s assassination is not evidence of anything.

Jonathan Freedland, writing one of his toxic editorials in The Guardian, begs to differ. The fact that the CIA didn’t release any evidence they did it… is evidence they didn’t do it, according to Freedland. His column, long on mockery and self-righteous smears but short on evidence (as usual), does nothing but demonstrate three things:

1. He is only just barely acquainted with the facts of the JFK case.
2. He has no faculty for basic logical thinking.
3. He is not averse to practicing intellectual dishonesty.

If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention, none of these will come as a surprise.

But this article isn’t about JFK – we’ve written about that before, and will do again. But not today. This article isn’t about Freedland’s aggressively uninformed opinions, his cloying prose or his ill-deserved sense of moral superiority. It’s about the world-view he’s trying to market between banner ads begging for money. It’s about his smug insistence that conspiracy theories just don’t happen.

Or, to be more specific, conspiracy theories don’t happen… here.

Because, despite his deep-held belief that Conspiracy Theories are dangerous, he certainly believes in a lot of them. He thinks the Russian Government poisoned Alexander Litvinenko. He thinks Vladimir Putin had Boris Nemstov shot. He thinks Russian banks have been backing the far-right in Europe and supported Brexit. And he thinks the FSB “hacked” the American presidential election in order to get their Manchurian candidate elected.

Buzz in when you spot the connection.

These are all, by definition, conspiracy theories – but they are also all things done by the other. Conspiracies happen over there. They are done by the bad guys. We don’t do them.

…. except of course, when we do.

Two years ago, the idea that the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel and others had created ISIS as front for a proxy war on Syria was dismissed as a “conspiracy theory”. It has since been proven, many times over, to be completely true. That ISIS are US proxies is not a “conspiracy theory”, but a conspiracy fact.

Five years ago, anybody claiming that the NSA were secretly surveilling most of the world, including the governments of allied countries, would have been dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist and told to don their “tin-foil hat”. Edward Snowden’s revelations on the NSA internet and communications surveillance programme, of course, prove the accusation true. Freedland should remember this one, the story broke in his paper, his colleagues won awards for it, and their computers were destroyed on the orders of GCHQ. Why this constantly escapes the man’s memory is anyone’s guess. Regardless, NSA mass surveillance is not a “conspiracy theory”, but a conspiracy fact.

Fifteen years ago, anybody claiming that wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were being pushed under false pretences, in order to make money for the private sector and encircle Iran… would have been dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist. Now we know that the WMD dossier was “sexed up”. It is not a conspiracy theory, but a conspiracy fact.

Twenty-seven years ago, anybody claiming that “Nayirah” – the Kuwaiti nurse who famously testified that Iraqi soldiers had thrown Kuwaiti babies out of incubators – was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador and had never been a nurse… would have been dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist. This information became public knowledge in 1991, just months after her testimony had been used to stoke public support for the first Iraq war. Nayirah being a fake witness to push war propaganda is not a “conspiracy theory”, but a conspiracy fact.

Thirty-two years ago, anybody claiming that Reagan’s government were trading with Iran in order to fund and arm a proxy army in Nicaragua to overthrow the democratic government of Daniel Ortega… would have been dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist. However, the whole affair came to light in 1986. Iran-Contra is not a “conspiracy theory”, but a conspiracy fact.

Fifty-three years ago, anyone claiming that Gulf of Tonkin incident had been almost entirely fabricated as an excuse to launch a full-scale war against North Vietnam… would have been dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist. There is a mountain of evidence has been compiled since then, that proves the “incident” never really happened. The faking of the Gulf of Tonkin incident is not a “conspiracy theory”, but a conspiracy fact.

These are just six famous, high-profile examples. There are dozens of others. Conspiracies happen. All the time. Freedland’s piece is an attack on this truth, an effort to distort reality by blurring clear definitions. He claims that:

[conspiracy theorists] perennially cast the FBI and the CIA as the key tools of dark, unseen forces.

… without making any reference to decades of state-sanctioned murder, torture and destruction that earned these agencies their well-deserved reputation.

You don’t need to be deluded to think the CIA a tool of “dark forces”, you just need to study the history of Iran. Or Chile. Or Indonesia. Or Afghanistan. Or Honduras. The list of democratic governments overthrown by the US is very long. A lot those plots were considered “conspiracy theories”, until the facts of the case eventually came out.

  • Operation Northwoods was a Pentagon plan to shoot-down an American passenger plane and blame it on Cuba.
  • Operation Paperclip was a CIA plan to smuggle Nazi scientists out of Germany and employ them in covert research for the American government.
  • Operation Mockingbird was a CIA plan to recruit members into of the media into intelligence work, and use them to seed propaganda.

All of these would have, at some point, been dismissed as “conspiracy theory”. They are all, now, accepted historical facts. Freedland mentions none of them. A remarkable act of hypocrisy for a man so adamantly against what he calls the “post truth age”.

Freedland would have us believe that none of these conspiracies, however well documented, actually happened. But there is another kind – the kind that definitely did happen… regardless of the lack evidence.

Now, we turn our eyes to Russia.

Russia, you see, is place where “conspiracy theories” are no longer dangerous. They are always appropriate and universally true. Nothing that happens in Russia is explicable by any means other than “the Kremlin”.

In the media and state-backed push to create a great enemy for our age, there is no crime so petty it cannot be linked to Moscow, no evidence of “Russian interference” so pathetically small it won’t be splashed across the headlines.

On the same pages where Jonathan Freedland espouses the dangers of “conspiracism”, Luke Harding blames the FSB for opening his windows.

Just a few months ago, when a metro station in St Petersburg was bombed, the BBC suggested it was a Putin-backed false-flag within hours. No such assertion was ever made about Las Vegas. Or Westminster. Or Sandy Hook. Or Paris. Or Berlin. Or Orlando.

That the FSB poisoned Litvinenko is treated as an unquestioned fact. That MI5 murdered Princess Diana? Nothing but a laughable absurdity. It is the shallowest, almost childlike propaganda, that beatifies its own side whilst projecting all the ills of the world into the other.

This demonisation of Russia is then segued into demonisation of democracy. The Russians are currently accused of having meddled in every major election for years. The Scottish Independence Referendum, the Brexit vote, the American and French Presidential elections, the general elections in the UK and Germany, and the Dutch referendum on Ukraine. All were subject to phantom “interference”, yet to be substantiated by any real evidence. This groundless accusation is then used as an argument to overturn or ignore the results of democratic votes. Not all of them, you understand, only the ones where the wrong side won. Trump must be “removed” according to Freedland, and we must ignore the Brexit results.

Even Catalonia’s vote for independence, just the latest move in a struggle hundreds of years long, has already been linked to Putin.

Further, Russia is accused of “bankrolling the far-right in Europe”. The evidence for this? Marine Le Pen got a loan from a Russian bank “with links to the Kremlin” (whatever that means)… over ten years ago.

There is FAR more evidence of NATO and EU supporting REAL fascists and extremists – namely Right Sector in Ukraine, and ISIS et al all over the Middle East. But, while the former is an accepted media “fact”, the latter is the subject of nothing but derision.

Even our homegrown problems, through complex absurdities of “conspiracism”, are laid at the Kremlin’s door. In 2015, CNN and others accused Russia of “weaponising the refugee crisis”, as if they had caused it. As if Russia had forced us into the destruction of Libya, and then ordered Merkel to throw open Germany’s borders. Those in Eastern Europe who blamed Germany or the EU, notably Hungary’s President Viktor Orban, were said to be “friends of Putin”. As if the epithet is an argument in and of itself.

Putin and Russia have become Snowball from Orwell’s Animal Farm. An invisible but ever-present creation of the state, responsible for all our ills. And if Putin is Snowball, then Freedland, and all the media-types like him, are Squealer. Oily charlatans who twist language to suit their needs, and the needs of their employers.

If “conspiracy theories are dangerous”, then how dangerous is it to use ridiculous allegations to undermine democracy? If Conspiracy Theories damage society, why clamp-down on honest debate by dismissing all those who disagree as “Putin-bots”? If Conspiracy Theories are so offensive, why use them to vilify Russia, and stoke up public hatred of a nuclear armed superpower?

The author’s real point is quite clear – it’s not all conspiracy theories which are “dangerous”. Only Conspiracy Theories that investigate, undermine, or otherwise question the governments, institutions or agendas of Western countries are “dangerous”.

Our governments do no wrong, are benign and honest. To question that is dangerous. Their governments are malign and dishonest. To question them is a duty.

It is nothing but a long, drawn-out, argument for conformity of opinion and deadness of mind. An attack on independent thought, peppered with abuse.

First he describes “Conspiracy Theorists” as:

harmless potting-shed eccentrics, green-ink cranks whose tightly spaced letters could once safely be filed in the dustbin.

… before adding:

you might have dismissed such talk as the derangement of the bug-eyed, irrelevant fringe,

And then finally playing the anti-Semitism card:

so many conspiracy theorists… end up reaching the terminus of antisemitism. For antisemitism is itself often rooted in conspiracy theory: the belief that the secret hand behind world events, manipulating each and every development, belongs to the Rothschilds or George Soros or, when no euphemism is required, the Jews.

A baseless, childish ad hominem, that makes so little sense it contradicts his own last paragraph, and shows up his quasi-delusional mindset:

On Thursday we learned that 1,500 billionaires have now amassed $6tn of wealth, a level of inequality not seen since the Gilded Age. That’s not come about because of a secret meeting in an underground boardroom, but because of a system that is fatally flawed.

I don’t follow his argument, “don’t talk about conspiracies when we’ve got all these billionaires to worry about” doesn’t make any sense to me. It seems he’s created some new kind of logical fallacy, the argument to inequality, a derivation of “think of the children”. It’s an odd chord for Freedland to strike, and is probably a rather desperate attempt to seem “hip” to the current issues. He certainly never wrote about the perils of inequality before Corbyn-mania swept the country.

Regardless of the source of Freedland’s sudden Bolshevik leanings, he contradicts himself – and in so doing paints a picture of an insane world. He doesn’t acknowledge that two of these billionaires – Soros and the Rothschilds – he has already named as nothing but a “euphemism” for anti-Semitism.

So which is it, Jonathan? Are wealthy people the problem? Or is criticising the super-rich merely a mask for racism? Why is it acceptable to cite “inequality” as a threat to the world, but crazy to blame the main beneficiaries of said inequality?

Freedland wants us to believe we live in a world where a tiny percentage of the population control vast fortunes, but wield no political power. He decries the “flawed system”, but refuses to acknowledge that corruption or conspiracy has played any part in creating it. That is insane at best, and dishonest at worst.

He doesn’t acknowledge the unavoidable truth that super-wealthy people will wield influence over government policy. From arms-sales, to tax loop-holes, to the push to privatise the NHS, to the war in Iraq… there are dozens of examples of political power being used to further the agenda of the rich.

Hyper-wealthy individuals exerting influence over elected officials and using military and intelligence apparatus to further undeclared political agendas, is the very definition of a conspiracy theory. And it happens every single day.

If we are indeed living in the “post-truth age”, then it is not because of Donald Trump. Or Facebook. Or Russia Today.

It is because of dishonest journalism such as you’ll find in the Guardian, or the New York Times, or Buzzfeed. Because Jonathan Freedland, and his ilk, have stopped trying to hold power to account, and instead act as spokespeople for authority. Official heralds, handing down to the proles a pre-approved consensus and an a la carte menu of opinion. Labelling as “dangerous” ANY questioning of a government organisation with a proven track-record of illegal operations, whilst constantly stoking public fear of the mythic “Russian influence”. Conjuring an entirely fictional enemy from smoke and gossip, whilst throwing real crimes against humanity down the memory hole.

Freedland’s article, and all others like it, are an attack on reason itself. Denying our ability, and even our right, to question the motives and actions of the powerful, whilst asserting the moral rectitude of blind obedience. The Guardian is engaging in cultural policing, enforcing the unquestioned morality of the state and the system, at the expense of critical thinking and truth.

The Reichstag Fire was a conspiracy too. The state that rose from its ashes was only able to cover up its crimes thanks to rigid programmes of state-sponsored propaganda…faithfully carried out by a compliant and controlled media.

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | October 29, 2017

The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election — without providing convincing evidence — were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers. Think about that for a minute.

We have long known that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.

And, it has now been disclosed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim that the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposed that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump’s presidency years ago when no one else did.

Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele’s allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama’s intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “hand-picked” the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 “assessment” claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama’s intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.

Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured “scandal” that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political “oppo” serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the “scandal” continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. (Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies.)

‘Cash for Trash’

Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.

Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.

“The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week,” The New York Times reported on Friday night.

So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats’ aim from the start.

Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.

It’s important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government’s decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call “cash for trash” when they were the targets.

Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.

Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.

Dubious Stuff

Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This “oppo” is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele’s memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.

Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.

Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump’s campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence “assessment” by those “hand-picked” analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama’s intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 “assessment.” Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.

Five days later, after the fact of Comey’s briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in full by the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations’ inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier’s publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.

Russian Fingerprints

The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian “fingerprints” in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.

CrowdStrike’s Dmitri Alperovitch

CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike’s conclusion about Russian “fingerprints” resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

CrowdStrike’s credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

“An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election,” VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there’s the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange’s denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.

And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic “hack” would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a “hack,” the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin’s guilt.

Just weeks after last November’s election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or “useful idiots.”

Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West,” put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.

Included on the list of “useful idiots” absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report stated: “Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naïveté about RT’s political agenda, buying into the network’s marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These ‘useful idiots’ remain oblivious to RT’s intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts.”

The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.

Geopolitical Risks

More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia’s vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia’s border.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton’s defeat but to stop Trump — possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage — because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

White Helmets video with fake life-saving procedures deceived UN sec council

Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, from whom we quote the texts posted in this video, made on March 10, 2017, a unique discovery while examining anew a White Helmets movie that have been presented in 2015 at UNSC as argument for ‘No-Fly Fone’ in Syria. The prof observed that the piston in the barrel of the syringe used in a dramatic ‘life-saving’ maneuver on a child, in fact never moved –indicating that no adrenaline was ever injected. He reported the finding to his colleagues, which submitted back to him 11-12 March the statements inserted in this video. This is a new exposure of the White Helmets videos showing fake life-saving procedures that deceived UN Security Council during the White Helmets campaign to facilitate a No-Fly Zone in Syria. Further details in the new published report, “White Helmets Movie: Updated Evidence From Swedish Doctors Confirm Fake ‘Lifesaving’ and Malpractices on Children” at… in

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 3 Comments

Syrian Kurds Refuse to Reveal Number of US Bases, Volume of Supplied US Arms

Sputnik | October 29, 2017

In the wake of the recently-announced liberation of the Syrian city of Raqqa, many analysts have been wondering about the scale of US support to the mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which headed the operation, and the number of military facilities the US has set up in northern Syria. Kurds, however, refused to reveal any details.

Amid ongoing reports that the US continues to arm the Syrian Kurds, even after the announced retaking of Raqqa from Daesh, Nuri Mahmud, an official representative of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the primary component of the US-backed SDF force which conducted the operation, confirmed that the US has been supplying them with arms since the liberation of Kobani in 2015.

Mahmud, however, refused to reveal the scale of the arms provided by the US, only noting that “it is relatively humble  and not enough in comparison with the weaponry it supplied to the Iraqi army for the liberation of Mosul.”

The Kurdish official called their relationship with Washington a “strategic alliance” and confirmed that the US is setting up military bases on territories which the Kurds take under control. According to Nuri Mahmud, these facilities are used for the fight against Daesh. However, he refused to give the exact number of operating US bases.

“We can’t discuss this issue. It is none of our business,” he told Sputnik Turkiye.

Abdulaziz Yunus, the SDF representative in charge of foreign affairs, also confirmed that the US continues supplying arms to SDF, and remains the only power which is supporting Kurds militarily.

The Kurdish official, however, as well as Nuri Mahmud, refused to reveal the amount of weaponry they received.

“The US is supplying us with ammunition based on our demands. Apart from coalition forces, no one else supports us with weaponry. We won’t disclose the exact volume of the provided arms but hope that the deliveries will increase as it will enable us to liberate other regions from terrorists,” he explained.

Abdulaziz Yunus stressed that the interests of SDF coincide with those of the US, and that they will continue their cooperation. Washington had supported the Free Syrian Army, but this didn’t yield any results. That is why, after the liberation of Kobani, the US decided to support them and has been satisfied with this arrangement, he concluded.

October 29, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

In Shocking, Viral Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | October 28, 2017

A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.

And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.” Importantly, “this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims.”

A 2013 London press conference: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. A 2014 Hillary Clinton email confirmed Qatar as a state-sponsor of ISIS during that same time period.

As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.

This process of clarity has been aided – as predicted – by the continued infighting among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) former allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with each side accusing the other of funding Islamic State and al-Qaeda terrorists (ironically, both true). Increasingly, the world watches as more dirty laundry is aired and the GCC implodes after years of nearly all the gulf monarchies funding jihadist movements in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

The top Qatari official is no less than former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013 (also as foreign minister), and is seen below with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this Jan. 2010 photo (as a reminder, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Committee donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2014).

In an interview with Qatari TV Wednesday, bin Jaber al-Thani revealed that his country, alongside Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United States, began shipping weapons to jihadists from the very moment events “first started” (in 2011).

Al-Thani even likened the covert operation to “hunting prey” – the prey being President Assad and his supporters – “prey” which he admits got away (as Assad is still in power; he used a Gulf Arabic dialect word, “al-sayda”, which implies hunting animals or prey for sport). Though Thani denied credible allegations of support for ISIS, the former prime minister’s words implied direct Gulf and US support for al-Qaeda in Syria (al-Nusra Front) from the earliest years of the war, and even said Qatar has “full documents” and records proving that the war was planned to effect regime change.

According to Zero Hedge’s translation, al-Thani said while acknowledging Gulf nations were arming jihadists in Syria with the approval and support of US and Turkey: “I don’t want to go into details but we have full documents about us taking charge [in Syria].” He claimed that both Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (who reigned until his death in 2015) and the United States placed Qatar in a lead role concerning covert operations to execute the proxy war.

The former prime minister’s comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar’s support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar “holding the bag” in terms of the war against Assad. Al-Thani explained that Qatar continued its financing of armed insurgents in Syria while other countries eventually wound down large-scale support, which is why he lashed out at the US and the Saudis, who initially “were with us in the same trench.”

In a previous US television interview which was vastly underreported, al-Thani told Charlie Rose when asked about allegations of Qatar’s support for terrorism that, “in Syria, everybody did mistakes, including your country.” And said that when the war began in Syria, “all of us worked through two operation rooms: one in Jordan and one in Turkey.”

Below is the key section of Wednesday’s interview, translated and subtitled by @Walid970721. Zero Hedge has reviewed and confirmed the translation, however, as the original rush translator has acknowledged, al-Thani doesn’t say “lady” but “prey” [“al-sayda”]- as in both Assad and Syrians were being hunted by the outside countries.

The partial English transcript is as follows:

“When the events first started in Syria I went to Saudi Arabia and met with King Abdullah. I did that on the instructions of his highness the prince, my father. He [Abdullah] said we are behind you. You go ahead with this plan and we will coordinate but you should be in charge. I won’t get into details but we have full documents and anything that was sent [to Syria] would go to Turkey and was in coordination with the US forces and everything was distributed via the Turks and the US forces. And us and everyone else was involved, the military people. There may have been mistakes and support was given to the wrong faction… Maybe there was a relationship with Nusra, its possible but I myself don’t know about this… we were fighting over the prey [“al-sayda”] and now the prey is gone and we are still fighting… and now Bashar is still there. You [US and Saudi Arabia] were with us in the same trench… I have no objection to one changing if he finds that he was wrong, but at least inform your partner… for example leave Bashar [al-Assad] or do this or that, but the situation that has been created now will never allow any progress in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council], or any progress on anything if we continue to openly fight.”

As is now well-known, the CIA was directly involved in leading regime change efforts in Syria with allied gulf partners, as leaked and declassified US intelligence memos confirm. The US government understood in real time that Gulf and West-supplied advanced weaponry was going to al-Qaeda and ISIS, despite official claims of arming so-called “moderate” rebels. For example, a leaked 2014 intelligence memo sent to Hillary Clinton acknowledged Qatari and Saudi support for ISIS.

The email stated in direct and unambiguous language that:

the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

Furthermore, one day before Prime Minister Thani’s interview, The Intercept released a new top-secret NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which show in stunning clarity that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

The newly released NSA document confirms that a 2013 insurgent attack with advanced surface-to-surface rockets upon civilian areas of Damascus, including Damascus International Airport, was directly supplied and commanded by Saudi Arabia with full prior awareness of US intelligence. As the former Qatari prime minister now also confirms, both the Saudis and US government staffed “operations rooms” overseeing such heinous attacks during the time period of the 2013 Damascus airport attack.

No doubt there remains a massive trove of damning documentary evidence which will continue to trickle out in the coming months and years. At the very least, the continuing Qatari-Saudi diplomatic war will bear more fruit as each side builds a case against the other with charges of supporting terrorism. And as we can see from this latest Qatari TV interview, the United States itself will not be spared in this new open season of airing dirty laundry as old allies turn on each other.

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Indigenous Canadian women file lawsuit against authorities over coerced sterilizations

Press TV – October 28, 2017

Two indigenous Canadian women have initiated legal action against authorities over claims that they have been subject to coerced sterilizations, a report says.

The unnamed women, according to a report by the British newspaper The Guardian filed a class-action lawsuit against Canadian health authorities for what the pair described as being coerced into undergoing sterilization upon their delivery at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon in the mid-western province of Saskatchewan, where they originally belong.

The legal challenge, which still requires certification by a judge, was launched against the Saskatchewan government, the Saskatoon Health Region, several individual doctors, and Canada’s attorney general at Saskatoon Court. If certified, the suit would reportedly seek $7 million in damages per woman.

The lawsuit focuses on the idea of proper and informed consent, and whether this was secured before the women underwent a tubal ligation operation.

One of the plaintiffs alleges that she openly refused to have her fallopian tubes tied when hospital staff proposed the procedure after she gave birth to her son in 2001. However, despite her objections, she was wheelchaired to the operating room, still weak from delivery, and the procedure was performed.

The second complainant alleges that a physician suggested tubal ligation as she was taken to the operating theater in a wheelchair for an emergency cesarean section in 2008. She said she had already been given an epidural administration to ease the deep pain she was in.

The issue of coerced sterilizations in the Canadian province came into the spotlight in 2015, when a number of women reported an alleged tubal ligation carried out immediately after childbirth at a hospital.

The present suit was filed after health authorities in Saskatchewan admitted in late July that several women had come forward with similar claims. The Saskatoon Health Region at the time apologized publicly for previous forced sterilizations after a 57-page review was issued on the postpartum tubal ligation policy that was in place from 2005 to 2010.

Alisa Lombard, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, believes that this is not an indigenous issue, but rather a violation of human rights.

Indigenous people make up about four percent of the Canadian population and suffer from higher levels of poverty and violence. Their plight has been the concern of international rights groups as well as the United Nations that have come with numerous disturbing reports in the past.

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Guardians of the Magnitsky Myth

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | October 28, 2017

As Russia-gate becomes the go-to excuse to marginalize and suppress independent and dissident media in the United States, a warning of what the future holds is the blacklisting of a documentary that debunks the so-called Magnitsky case.

Hedge-fund executive William Browder

The emerging outlines of the broader suppression are now apparent in moves by major technology companies – under intense political pressure – to unleash algorithms that will hunt down what major media outlets and mainstream “fact-checkers” (with their own checkered histories of getting facts wrong) deem to be “false” and then stigmatize that information with pop-up “warnings” or simply make finding it difficult for readers using major search engines.

For those who believe in a meaningful democracy, those tactics may be troubling enough, but the Magnitsky case, an opening shot in the New Cold War with Russia, has demonstrated how aggressively the Western powers-that-be behave toward even well-reported investigative projects that unearth inconvenient truth.

Throughout the U.S. and Europe, there has been determined effort to prevent the American and European publics from seeing this detailed documentary that dissects the fraudulent claims at the heart of the Magnitsky story.

The documentary – “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes” – was produced by filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, who is known as a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin but who in this instance found the West’s widely accepted, anti-Russian Magnitsky storyline to be a lie.

However, instead of welcoming Nekrasov’s discoveries as an important part of the debate over the West’s policies toward Russia, the European Parliament pulled the plug on a premiere in Brussels and – except for a one-time showing at the Newseum in Washington – very few Americans have been allowed to see the documentary.

Instead, we’re fed a steady diet of the frothy myth whipped up by hedge-fund investor William Browder and sold to the U.S. and European governments as the basis for sanctioning Russian officials. For years now, Browder has been given a free hand to spin his dog-ate-my-homework explanation about how some of his firms got involved a $230 million tax fraud in Russia.

Browder insists that some “corrupt” Russian police officers stole his companies’ corporate seals and masterminded a convoluted conspiracy. But why anyone would trust a hedge-fund operator who got rich exploiting Russia’s loose business standards is hard to comprehend.

The answer is that Browder has used his money and political influence to scare off and silence anyone who dares point to the glaring contradictions and logical gaps in his elaborate confection.

So, the hedge-fund guy who renounced his U.S. citizenship in favor of a British passport gets the royal treatment whenever he runs to Congress. His narrative just fits so neatly into the demonization of Russia and the frenzy over stopping “Russian propaganda and disinformation” by whatever means necessary.

This summer, Browder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and argued that people involved in arranging the one-time showing of Nekrasov’s documentary should be prosecuted for violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), which carries a five-year prison term.

Meanwhile, the U.S. mainstream media helps reinforce Browder’s dubious tale by smearing anyone who dares question it as a “Moscow stooge” or a “useful idiot.”

Magnitsky and Russia-gate

The Magnitsky controversy now has merged with the Russia-gate affair because Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who traveled to America to challenge Browder’s account, arranged a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign advisers in June 2016 to present this other side of the story.

Though nothing apparently came from that meeting, The New York Times, which always treats Browder’s account as flat fact, led its Saturday editions with a breathless story entitled, “A Kremlin Link to a Memo Taken to Trump Tower,” citing similarities between Veselnitskaya’s memo on the Magnitsky case and an account prepared by “one of Russia’s most powerful officials, the prosecutor general Yuri Y. Chaika.” Cue the spooky music as the Times challenges Veselnitskaya’s honesty.

Yet, the Times article bows to Browder as the ultimate truth-teller, including repetition of his assertion that Sergei Magnitsky was a whistleblowing “tax lawyer,” rather than one of Browder’s accountants implicated in the tax fraud.

While Magnitsky’s profession may seem like a small detail, it gets to the heart of the mainstream media’s acceptance of Browder’s depiction of Magnitsky – as a crusading lawyer who died of medical neglect in a Russian prison – despite overwhelming evidence that Magnitsky was really a clever accountant caught up in the scheme.

The “lawyer” falsehood – so eagerly swallowed by the Times and other mainstream outlets – also bears on Browder’s overall credibility: If he is lying about Magnitsky’s profession, why should anyone believe his other self-serving claims?

As investigative reporter Lucy Komisar noted in a recent article on the case, Browder offered a different description when he testified under oath in a New York court deposition in a related criminal case.

In that adversarial setting, when Browder was asked if Magnitsky had a law degree, Browder said, “I’m not aware that he did.” When asked if Magnitsky had gone to law school, Browder answered: “No.”

Yet, the Times and the rest of the mainstream media accept that Magnitsky was a “lawyer,” all the better to mislead the American public regarding his alleged role as a whistleblower.

The rest of Browder’s story stretches credulity even more as he offers a convoluted explanation of how he wasn’t responsible for bogus claims made by his companies to fraudulently sneak away with $230 million in refunded taxes.

Rather than show any skepticism toward this smarmy hedge-fund operator and his claims of victimhood, the U.S. Congress and mainstream media just take him at his word because, of course, his story fits the ever-present “Russia bad” narrative.

Plus, these influential people have repeated the falsehoods so often and suppressed contrary evidence with such arrogance that they apparently feel that they get to define reality, which – in many ways – is what they want to do in the future by exploiting the Russia-gate hysteria to restore their undisputed role as the “gatekeepers” on “approved” information.

Which is why Americans and Europeans should demand the right to see the Nekrasov documentary and make their own judgments, possibly with Browder given a chance after the show to rebut the overwhelming evidence of his deceptions.

Instead, Browder has used his wealth and connections to make sure that almost no one gets to see the deconstruction of his fable. And The New York Times is okay with that.

[For details on the Nekrasov documentary, see’sA Blacklisted Film and the New Cold War.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Film Review, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment