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Clinton mega-donor Saban thanks Kushner for collusion on Israel’s behalf

RT | December 3, 2017

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior advisor – and the man who allegedly ordered Gen. Michael Flynn’s “collusion” calls to Russia – has appeared at pro-Israeli donor Haim Saban’s event where he has been thanked for his lobbying on behalf of Israel.

Speaking at the three-day conference, prominent Clinton Foundation donor Saban thanked Kusher for “taking steps to try and get the UN Security Council to not go along with what ended up being an abstention by the US against a 50-year-old tradition.”

The multibillionaire was referring to Flynn’s admission that he had been told to ask Russia to delay a December 2016 UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements. It has since been reported that Flynn was acting on Kushner’s orders, and that Israeli officials had contacted Trump’s team to ask for their help to veto the resolution, Reuters reports.

Kushner allegedly told Flynn to lobby multiple countries on behalf of Israel, which included speaking to then-Russian UN Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

The efforts failed and the UN voted to pass a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements being built on Palestinian land in which the outgoing Obama administration abstained, rather than its usual vetoing.

“To be honest with you, as far as I know there’s nothing illegal there,” Saban said. “But I think that this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort, so thank you very much.”

Saban’s words put allegations of the Trump campaign’s alleged “colluding with the Russians” into perspective.

Although news that Flynn had spoken to Kislyak exploded across the media, claimed to be evidence of alleged Russian meddling in US politics, and prompted Flynn’s resignation last year, his charge sheet reveals the Trump transition team was doing the bidding of an entirely different government.

Newsweek reported Saturday that Kushner also failed to disclose his role as co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation between 2006-15, during which time it funded an illegal Israeli settlement. This could have been seen as a conflict of interest in his appointment as the Trump advisor tasked with bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saban, an Israeli-American businessman and massive donor to the Clintons, funded the three-day Saban Forum event, which included a televised speech from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Saban has said in the past, “I’m a one issue guy, and that issue is Israel.”

He appeared sceptical at Kushner’s team’s ability to solve the Israel-Palestine issue, calling the team “a bunch of Orthodox Jews who have no idea about anything.”

The extent of Saban’s influence in US politics was illuminated in the WikiLeaks release of emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, including one in which he told the campaign to “not allow them to steel [sic] the Jewish vote from us.”

Politico reports he raised over $11 million for the Clinton campaign in 2016, along with his contributions to the Clinton Foundation of between $10-25 million, and the $7 million he put towards a new headquarters for the Democratic National Committee.

During his talk with Kushner, Saban revealed how he met Trump’s son-in-law, explaining Kushner had written him an admiring letter in 2010 after he had read a profile on him in the New Yorker. Saban never read the letter and only learned of it when it was passed on to him during the election. “We became friends and we exchange ideas on an ongoing basis,” Saban said. “He advises me and I advise him.”

Kushner recalled assuring Saban during the election that Trump would be the best person for the Israeli-US relationship. “You should hope that Trump wins if you care about the US-Israel relationship.” he said.

December 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

11 quotes that show how Vladimir Putin sees world

RT | November 23, 2017

Populist, pragmatist, authoritarian, cunning tactician – years after he rose to the top of Russian politics Western observers still wonder about Vladimir Putin’s true motivations. In fact, behind the Kremlin’s decision-making is a set of consistently expressed beliefs.

On the United States

“The USA is a great power. Probably the only superpower in existence today. We accept that and we are ready to work together with them.

What we don’t need is for them to get involved in our affairs, tell us how to live our lives, and prevent Europe from building a relationship with us.”

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 2016

On allegations of Russia’s foreign meddling

“There is constant US propaganda, and direct funding of US NGOs… Is that not interference, which continues year in, year out? Take a globe, spin it, and randomly put your finger on any spot – I can guarantee that there are American interests and meddling there.

What do the Americans want? For everyone to just bow their heads in deference? We have our own opinion and we express it openly. It is not some form of undercover sabotage.”

Direct Line with Vladimir Putin, June 2017

On Europe

“Does it benefit European states to simply service Washington’s foreign and even domestic policy aims? I am not sure. Is this the purpose of serious politics, and is this the role countries take on if they desire to call themselves great powers?”

Russia Calling! Investment Forum, October 2016

On Catalonia’s independence crisis

“At one time, the EU welcomed the collapse of a whole range of states in Europe, not bothering to hide their glee. Why did they need to so thoughtlessly – for the sake of short-term interests and to please ‘Big Brother’ in Washington – unconditionally support the secession of Kosovo, provoking similar processes on the continent and beyond?”

Valdai Discussion Club, October 2017

On NATO

“There is no more Soviet Union, no Eastern Bloc. In my view, NATO needs an external enemy to justify its existence, so there is a constant search for one, and provocations to create adversaries where there are none.

…Today it is an instrument of American foreign policy. There are no partners in it, only vassals.”

Oliver Stone interview, June 2017

On the Middle East

“There has been an attempt to reformat the region, to impose an outside model on it, either through regime change, or outright use of force. Instead of fighting extremism, instead of imitating such a fight, some of our peers want chaos to become a permanent state of affairs.”

Valdai Discussion Club, October 2017

On North Korea

“Of course we condemn North Korea’s nuclear tests and comply with all UN Security Council resolutions without exception.

But to solve this problem you must use dialog, not by trying to corner North Korea with military threats, and not resort to name-calling and public exchanges of insults. Whether you like the regime in Pyongyang or hate it, you have to recognize that DPRK is a sovereign state.”

Valdai Discussion Club, October 2017

On the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine

“What happened in Kiev is an armed and unconstitutional seizure of power – a coup. No one is arguing with that.

The question is – why did it need to be done like that? Viktor Yanukovich had already given up his power, and had no chance of re-election. Why plunge the country into chaos? As a demonstration of power? This was a stupid decision and had the reverse effect. I believe it was these actions that destabilized the situation in the east of the country.”

Media briefing in Novo Ogarevo, March 2014

On the government in Kiev

“The interests of the Russian and the Ukrainian peoples are the same. What isn’t the same is the aims of the Ukrainian government and elites.

… They have only one good left to export for international consumption – Russophobia. And the politics of division between the two countries. Some in the West believe that these two states should never be allies, and so Ukraine has been successful exporting that idea.”

Hamburg G20 Summit, June 2017

On Russia’s political system

“Monarchy was a legacy passed down from the Empire to Soviet times, even though the plaque on the building changed. Only at the beginning of the 1990s, events came to pass which laid the foundation for a new stage of Russian development.

Certainly, you cannot imagine that we can instantaneously get the same government model, the same structures, as in the United States, in Germany, in France. Society, just as every living organism, has to develop stage-by-stage, organically. That’s the normal development process.”

Oliver Stone interview, June 2017

On Russia’s role in the world

“Russia is a country with a thousand-year history and has almost always enjoyed the privilege of a sovereign foreign policy.

We are not going to betray this tradition today. At the same time, we are well aware of how the world has changed and we have a realistic understanding of our own opportunities and potential. We would like to interact with responsible and independent partners with whom we could work together in constructing a fair and democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only for a select few, but for all.”

Munich speech, February 2007

December 3, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | 5 Comments

No, The US Didn’t Abandon The Syrian Kurds

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 02/12/2017

Trump has ostensibly compromised by promising Turkish President Erdogan that he’ll stop arming the Syrian Kurds.

The US and Turkish leaders spoke by phone last Friday, during which time Trump allegedly gave his counterpart his word that he will stop giving arms to the Syrian Kurds. The Turkish side reported that Trump called the previous policy of arming the YPG “nonsense” and promised to end it, while the official White House readout was more ambiguous and said that he “informed President Erdogan of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria”.

The discrepancy between both side’s interpretation of the conversation prompted the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister to state that the US “would be deceiving the whole world” if it went back on its pledge, while the Pentagon reiterated that it is “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners in as much as the military requirements of our defeat-ISIS and stabilization efforts will allow to prevent ISIS from returning.”

In addition, it should be reminded that reports have been circulating that the US might officially acknowledge that up to 2000 of its troops are in Syria, which would be around 4x more than what it previously admitted, and that the Pentagon is moving towards more of an “open-ended” mission in the war-torn country now that Daesh – it’s supposed reason for being there – is defeated. What all of this means is that the US will probably not withdraw from Syria, and there’s a chance that arms shipments to the Kurds might continue.

No matter what Trump may or may not have said to President Erdogan, he’s on record in early April saying that he’s given the US military “total authorization” to do what it wants, so if the Pentagon decides that there’s a need to continue arming the Syrian Kurds, then that’s exactly what the US will likely end up doing. Furthermore, nobody knows the exact terminology that Trump might have used during his phone call, so there’s a chance that he might try to employ a “technical loophole” by selling weapons to the Syrian Kurds instead of “loaning” them like the US is presently doing.

In any case, the unlikelihood of the US military withdrawing from Syria means that the Pentagon could still extend a defense umbrella to its on-the-ground allies, thus staving off a Turkish military intervention and creating the pretext for forming a so-called “air bridge” in the event that the neighboring states attempt to blockade this region like they did to Iraqi Kurdistan. The key difference between the Iraqi Kurds and the Syrian ones is that the former didn’t have 2000 US troops and reportedly 10 American bases on their territory, hence why Washington “betrayed” them.

In addition, Iraq is already an internally partitioned country for the most part due to its “federal” status, while Syria has yet to formally follow in its footsteps, so the indefinitely prolonged US military presence there is designed to advance Washington’s preferred “political solution” by pressuring Damascus, while Trump’s talk about supposedly discontinuing weapons shipments to the Syrian Kurds is meant to give Turkey a “face-saving” excuse for passively accepting what they had previously said would be a clear red line for them.

December 3, 2017 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | Leave a comment

How A Dubious BBC Report Gave Israel The “Green Light” For Last Night’s Attack On Syria

Zero Hedge | December 2, 2107

Syrian state television has confirmed that Israel attacked a military base outside of Damascus overnight on Friday, which Israeli media reports involved both surface-to-surface missiles and airstrikes, while Syria says its air defense systems were engaged and intercepted two missiles. Like other recent strikes inside Syria, the Israeli jets reportedly fired from over Lebanese airspace, in order to avoid both Syrian anti-aircraft missile systems and provoking a Russian response. Though the extent of the damage or casualties is not yet known, Syrian media has confirmed material damage to the base, and other reports indicate mass power outages in some of parts of Damascus occurred immediately after the attack, which SANA says happened at 12:30am local time.

It appears the base is likely the same one featured in a November BBC report which showed satellite images detailing the purported construction and renovation of an “Iranian military base” near El-Kiswah, which lies 14 km (8 miles) south of Damascus. As we’ve noted before, the BBC report was dubiously sourced to “a Western intelligence source” and the story was quickly utilized by Israeli leaders to ratchet up rhetoric in preparing its case before the international community for further attacks on the supposed Iranian targets. Israel has long justified its attacks inside Syria by claiming to be acting against Hezbollah and Iranian facilities and arms depots.

Indeed, BBC itself used ambiguous language in saying the satellite images “seem to show” construction activity at the site referenced by the intelligence source between January and October this year. However, the images don’t actually show much at all related to an Iranian military presence, but merely a series of two dozen large low-rise buildings – likely for housing soldiers and vehicles, which would be expected of any state army or sovereign nation.

Furthermore, the very title of the November piece – “Iran building permanent military base in Syria – claim” – underscores the complete lack of evidence for such a claim, which the BBC notes in the article is “impossible to independently verify.”

Yet in reporting last night’s Israeli strike on Syria, the BBC uncritically referenced its own prior unconfirmed “claim” to paint a picture that Israel is actually taking action against Iran and Hezbollah: “Israel has hit weapons sites before, in a bid to prevent arms being transferred to Syria’s Lebanese ally Hezbollah. Arms convoys in particular have been singled out by the Israeli air force.”

And the BBC followed this with:

Last month the BBC revealed a claim that Iran was building a permanent military base near the town. A series of satellite images showed construction at the location of the alleged base, which was made known to the BBC by a western intelligence source.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously warned that Israel would not allow Iran to establish any military presence in Syria.

So it appears the BBC is playing war propagandist for Israel, instead of including any level of critical inquiry regarding Israel’s unprovoked act of aggression against its neighbor. In short, the BBC spread what it acknowledged to be a mere “claim” based solely on an unnamed “Western intelligence source”. Then Israel used that claim to attack Syria, after which the BBC in circular fashion justified the attack based on its own original dubious “claim”.

Israeli media and politicians are currently using BBC published satellite images as “proof” that Israel attacked an “Iranian base” in Syria last night. Image source: BBC

Meanwhile, just about every major Israeli newspaper in today’s reporting is prominently featuring the prior BBC report as justification for the latest attack on Syria. The Times of Israel provides one such example among many when it says:

The alleged Israeli attack came three weeks after the BBC reported that Iran was building a permanent military base in Syria just south of Damascus. The British broadcaster commissioned a series of satellite pictures that showed widespread construction at the site.

Or see this op-ed in the Jerusalem Post today which references the BBC report as a watershed moment:

The attack raises several questions. Why wait so long to strike the Iranian base? What did “western intelligence sources” hope to accomplish by publishing information on the Iranian base? Why were the Iranians at the site given time to leave by their base becoming so public? The month’s activity appear to be part of a complex game being waged by Iran to entrench itself in Syria and Israel’s attempts to warn the Iranians off. Whatever was taking place at El-Kiswah had plenty of time to be wrapped up and moved if the Iranians were concerned about it being struck. If the reports about Israel’s threats to target sites between 40-60km from the Golan are accurate then it would indicate that the warnings have been manifested.

And nearly every major Israeli media source is also republishing the BBC satellite images as part of their reporting on the overnight strikes.

As we’ve long pointed out, anytime that Israel carries out acts of aggression against Syria, it can just blame Iran or Hezbollah and escape international criticism or condemnation. International media and Western governments have already demonstrated a penchant for towing the Israeli line whenever Iran can be conceivably blamed as a culprit – evidence or no evidence – this as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it official Israeli policy to oppose Iranian presence in Syria.

Yet what key facts do the BBC and others leave out?

On Tuesday Israel’s own Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that there are no Iranian military forces in Syria, but instead merely stuck to acknowledging “Iranian experts and advisers”. In comments to Israel’s Ynet news, Lieberman admitted, “It is true that there are a number of Iranian experts and advisers, but there is no Iranian military force on Syrian land.”

Clearly, Defense Minister Lieberman’s statement flies in the face of claims made by Netanyahu in his speech before the UN General Assembly this year when Netanyahu said, “We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria… And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border.”

In other words, Israel’s top military chief very publicly contradicted both Netanyahu’s and the BBC’s claims of Iranian military bases on Syrian soil, yet the BBC neglected to mention such essential information. Thus, it appears that the mainstream media is preparing us for war… but sadly, this is nothing new.

December 3, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Honduras: Teenage Girl Killed as Army Enforces Curfew

teleSUR | December 2, 2017

Three people – including a teenaged girl – have so far been killed in violent clashes following the disputed Honduran elections, as the armed forces opened fire on unarmed opposition supporters while enforcing a 10-day curfew imposed by the government late Friday.

One man was killed in the port city of La Ceiba on Friday and 19-year-old Kimberly Dayana Fonseca was shot in the head early Saturday in Tegucigalpa as soldiers busted up protesters’ blockades, a spokesman for the national police said, bringing the total death toll to three.

In a brief statement to the press, the head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) David Matamoros announced late Saturday that the scrutiny of more than 1,000 disputed ballots would resume Sunday 9:30am local time.

He also noted that screening more than 5,000 ballots, as requested by the Opposition Alliance, would have taken 12 to 15 days. “We appreciate your presence, but there will be nothing else here today, I reiterate that we will call for tomorrow at 09h30 local time,” the magistrate said.

In response, Opposition Alliance leader Salvador Nasralla accused the TSE of deliberately excluding the towns of Lempira, La Paz and Intebuca after he requested they be reviewed when the turnout was abnormally high (75 percent) compared with the rest of the country (50 percent).

Nasralla insisted it was mathematically impossible that Hernandez could win the election with 30 percent of the votes still uncounted before the electronic system collapsed.

“We want what the Honduran people want,” he told teleSUR in a televised interview. “If the people want, we will run for another election. If they want, I won’t participate if Juan Orlando Hernandez doesn’t either.

“If (electoral authorities) refuse to recount, let’s hold the elections again, but with an international tribunal: that’s our position,” he concluded, describing the situation as “a coup d’etat.”

He also said the leadership of the armed forces had “sold themselves” in shirking their constitutional duties “against a tyrant who forcefully wants to stay in power,” and accused the government of infiltrating opposition protests in order to loot local stores and discredit the movement.

Human rights organizations have denounced the curfew, blaming “excessive force” by state troops. The U.S.-based Action Network has sent an open letter to the U.S: Congress and State Department, expressing “deep concern about reports of fraud and state violence” and calling for the immediate suspension of all U.S. police and military aid to Honduras.

The Venezuelan government firmly condemned on Saturday the “latest attempted blow against democracy from sectors of the Honduran oligarchy. The people’s will and human rights of the people of Honduras must be respected,” said Jorge Arreaza on Twitter.

In a communique, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry also slammed the “repression and the excessive use of force by State security forces,” accusing “the same actors” responsible for the 2009 coup against the constitutional President Manuel Zelaya.

The Honduran Ministry of Justice ordered the suspension of citizens’ constitutional rights shortly before 11pm Friday. On Saturday, the Committee of the Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (Dodafeh) confirmed 11 people have been injured in Tegucigalpa since late Saturday and 41 arrested, six of whom are minors.

The government, controlled by current president and electoral candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez, claims the move is to counter what they call “violent protests” by supporters of presidential candidate and Opposition Alliance leader Nasralla.

The Honduran Roundtable for Human Rights (HRHR) said “excessive force” is being used by Honduran military and state security forces. Nasralla said the suspension of constitutional guarantees is part of a Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) plan to “steal” his “victory,” claiming the electrobal body has committed electoral fraud since polls closed Sunday night.

The HRHR, in a formal statement, said the Armed Forces are creating a “terrorist state” against peaceful protesters, killing at least two people with rubber bullets and injuring dozens. National police forces have “arbitrarily arrested” citizens, intimidated media and thrown tear gas at marchers.

Bolivian President Evo Morales reprimanded the United States and Organization of the American States (OAS) for their alleged complicity: “Nearly a week since the Honduran elections. Why are the U.S. and OAS silently complicit regarding the elections and death of citizens in Honduras? Democracy is in danger in a neighboring country?”

Official election results on the TSE website have remained unchanged since Friday morning, with Hernandez leading by less than one percentage point over Nasralla. Over 94 percent of ballots are counted.

The decree now in effect until Dec. 11 says that people can move about freely only from 6am until 6pm. Outside of that time, they are not allowed to be on highways or in any public space, otherwise they are “putting their lives in danger.” The decree gives the military the right to patrol the streets and detain anyone “violating” the curfew.

December 3, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

The Intercept Withheld NSA Doc That May Have Altered Course Of Syrian War

If this document had been published sooner, it could have dramatically changed the course of the war by exposing the true face of the “moderate rebels” — and potentially saved tens of thousands of lives. That didn’t happen, and no reason has been given by the Intercept for its delay.

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | October 30, 2017

On Tuesday, the Intercept published a hitherto unknown document from the trove of National Security Administration (NSA) documents leaked by Edward Snowden over three years ago. The document was notable as it shed light on the early days of the Syrian conflict and the fact that, for the past six years, so-called “revolutionary” groups aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have largely acted as proxies for foreign governments pushing regime change.

The document explicitly reveals that an attack led by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was intended to mark the anniversary of the 2011 “uprising” that sparked the Syrian conflict, was directed by a Saudi prince. The document proves, in essence, that the armed opposition in Syria – from the earlier years of the conflict – was under the direct command of foreign governments pushing for regime change.

An NSA graphic released by The Intercept outlines Saudi involvement in organizing and supplying Syrian opposition forces for attacks on Syria’s civilian infrastructure.

According to the document, Saudi Prince Salman bin Sultan had ordered the FSA to “light up Damascus” and “flatten” the city’s civilian airport. The Saudis had also “sent 120 tons of explosives/weapons to opposition forces” for the operation. The Saudis, as the document notes, were “very pleased” with the outcome, which claimed at least 60 lives.

The implications of the NSA document are significant. It offers the clearest proof, in the form of official U.S. government documents, detailing the direct relationship between the armed Syrian opposition and foreign governments, and exposing the fact that this relationship existed much earlier than the mainstream narrative on the conflict had previously suggested.

However, the Intercept article regarding the document is unusual for several reasons. First, the report inaccurately claims that the attack launched at the Saudis’ behest did not result in any confirmed casualties. Second, it states that the 2011 uprising in Syria was an organic, “peaceful” movement that led the Syrian government to wage “an open war against their own people” — a narrative that has since been debunked.

Yet, the largest oversight of all is the article’s failure to mention the U.S.’ role in funding the Free Syrian Army, as well as the CIA’s well-documented role in training the FSA and pumping tons of weapons into Syria in order to foment and exacerbate the conflict in its early days. In light of the NSA document’s revelation that the U.S. had been given advance notice of the planned FSA attack – on a civilian target, no less – Washington’s decision to let it proceed clearly suggests that the U.S. was involved in and well aware of the Saudi directives to the FSA. However, the Intercept piece chooses not to mention this crucial context.

Intercept’s three-plus year delay in releasing document

Perhaps even more troubling than the article’s failure to mention the CIA’s well-documented role in backing the Free Syrian Army, now exposed as a proxy force following orders from the Saudi royal family, is the fact that the Intercept had access to this document for nearly three-and-a-half years – deciding to publish only now that the Syrian conflict is effectively over and those pushing for regime change have lost. If this document had been published sooner, it could have dramatically changed the course of the war by exposing the true face of the “moderate rebels” — and potentially saved tens of thousands of lives.

That didn’t happen, however, and no reason has been given by the publication for its notable delay. The Intercept has exclusive publishing rights and an exclusive hold on the content of the Snowden leaks, of which this newly released document is a part. Indeed, the Intercept was founded after the Snowden leaks were made public and its first hires were Glenn Greenwald and Lauren Poitras, the only journalists possessing the full Snowden cache. Those documents now belong to the Intercept’s founder — billionaire eBay founder,  — and his for-profit media company, First Look Media.

Examining Omidyar’s connections to the U.S. political establishment offers a plausible reason for the Intercept’s delay in publishing documents so crucial to understanding the situation in Syria. Omidyar was a frequent guest of the Obama White House from 2009 to 2013, garnering more face-to-face visits with Obama during his two terms than did Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, New York Times owner Arthur Sulzberger and even fellow tech billionaire turned major media owner, Jeff Bezos.

Omidyar also directly co-invested with the U.S. State Department, via USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), in opposition groups that played a key role in overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014 – a U.S.-brokered regime-change operation that shares some notable similarities with the Syrian conflict. His investments with USAID have continued since the Intercept’s founding, helping fund the NGO’s more recent overseas programs aimed at “advancing U.S. national security interests” abroad.

Also worth noting is the fact that PayPal, of which Omidyar is a major owner, has allegedly been implicated in several of the still-withheld NSA documents for its business relationship with the NSA and its role in the agency’s mass spying program. In addition, former Intercept writers have asserted that Omidyar was “shockingly disinterested in the actual journalism” of the paper, suggesting that the Intercept was created explicitly to delay the release of damaging documents from the Snowden cache until deemed acceptable to the U.S. political establishment and others who stood to lose face were the entire cache to have been made public.

Indeed, another interesting coincidence supporting this thesis is the fact that the Intercept published this latest piece only after the U.S. State Department itself began to report more honestly on the nature of these so-called “rebels.” A day before the Intercept’s story on Syrian “rebels” and the Saudis, the U.S. State Department – for the first time – admitted that “moderate” rebels in Syria had previously used chemical weapons, a charge it had categorically denied for years in order to facilitate laying the blame for any and all chemical weapons attacks in Syria on the Syrian government.

In other words, the Intercept released the document, which effectively destroys Washington’s “moderate rebels” narrative with its own internal documents, only after the U.S. government itself began to unravel that very same narrative.

The Intercept did not respond to MintPress News’ request for comment regarding the timing of the document’s release.

 

Founder’s connections shape Intercept’s journalism

Omidyar’s connection to U.S. regime-change efforts abroad may also explain why the Intercept – until now, that is – has consistently given voice to journalists who have echoed the U.S. establishment regarding the Syrian conflict.

For instance, Murtaza Hussain – the author of this latest Intercept piece – has written numerous stories downplaying the terrorist and Wahhabist elements of the Syrian “rebels.” In the last two years, Hussain has written pieces portraying known Al-Qaeda propagandists, such as Bilal Abdul Kareem, and Al-Qaeda-linked organizations, such as the White Helmets, in an overwhelmingly positive light, failing to mention in both cases the significant evidence tying these entities to known terrorist groups. In another piece, published last August, Hussain gave voice to al-Nusra Front leadership in a lengthy interview that largely whitewashed the group’s Wahhabist leanings and links to terrorist acts in Syria.

Last September, on Twitter, Hussain asserted that Saudi Arabia’s funding of armed factions was not necessarily “good” but that “there is little to indicate they contribute to terrorism.” That last statement has been thoroughly debunked for years, but most recently by Hussain’s own piece on the newly released NSA document.

Hussain is by no means the only Intercept writer who has taken such a pro-opposition stance regarding Syria. A recent Intercept piece on Syria, published in September, committed glaring factual errors on basic facts about the war, while also mistranslating a speech given by Assad so as to link him to American white nationalists. In addition, the paper recently hired Maryam Saleh, a journalist who has called Shia Muslims “dogs” and has taken to Twitter in recent months to downplay the role of the U.S. coalition in airstrikes in Syria. She also has ties to the U.S.-financed propaganda group Kafranbel Media Center, which has close relations with the terrorist group Ahrar al-Sham.

For a paper ostensibly dedicated to “fearless, adversarial” journalism, it is strange that the Intercept gives voice to journalists who echo the U.S. position regarding the Syrian war while rarely publishing the work of journalists who have challenged prevailing Western narratives on that war — journalists who, as the Intercept itself recently revealed, have been right all along regarding the myth of the Syrian “moderate rebel.” Yet, given Omidyar’s political connections and the paper’s handling of the Snowden cache, this unfortunate decision is unsurprising.

December 3, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments