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Dennis Kucinich Hit with Spurious Criticism over Fox News Connection

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | February 1, 2018

A recent poll places Dennis Kucinich, who announced his run for Ohio governor on January 17, in second place among five Democratic primary contenders. When you are doing well in an election, like appears to be the case with Kucinich, you can expect attacks, including attacks based on deception, to start coming at you.

Ed Kilgore, in a Monday New York Magazine article, criticized Kucinich’s work as a Fox News contributor between Kucinich leaving the United States House of Representatives in 2013 and announcing his governor candidacy this month. Kilgore asserts Kucinich’s work with Fox News involved “steady criticism of the Obama administration’s hostility to Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime” and “turned more sinister as Donald Trump began his climb toward the presidency, with the former lefty gadfly often expressing agreement with the mogul’s anti-globalist rhetoric.” Further, Kilgore writes, Kucinich agreed in a Fox News interview in May that President Trump was then under attack from the deep state in the intelligence community.

Here are the facts. Kucinich has long been a supporter of nonintervention overseas. That includes in Syria. Over his 16 years in the House as a Democratic representative from Ohio, Kucinich opposed US “regime change” efforts and wars no matter the political party affiliations of the president and congressional leadership pushing such. Kucinich has also long been an opponent of so-called globalist policies in the form of huge international trade deals.

Kucinich, who served in Congress as a Democrat and is now running for Ohio governor in that party’s primary, has not been a party-line guy who follows leadership orders and blindly joins in whatever attacks are being hurled at people in the opposing political party. If, in his judgement, he sees a Republican is being unfairly attacked, do not be surprised to see Kucinich defend the Republican or at least refrain from joining in the attack.

Indeed, Kucinich’s independence has enabled him to consistently take his stands against foreign intervention and huge trade deals even when his party leadership supported the opposite.

On these issues, as well as others including opposing the USA PATRIOT Act, Kucinich would work with like-minded Republicans in the House. Among them was then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). In fact, Paul was so impressed by his interactions with Kucinich that, when Paul decided to found the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPI) after leaving the House, Paul invited Kucinich to join the institute’s Advisory Board. Kucinich accepted the invitation and spoke at the 2013 event announcing the institute’s formation as well as at RPI’s 2017 annual conference.

In his speech at the 2013 RPI inaugural event, Kucinich said, “I’m shoulder to shoulder with Ron Paul in being concerned about how war enables the state to become more powerful; and, as a result, it deprives our citizens not only of economic vitality, but also of civil liberties.” Continuing, Kucinich expressed that RPI “has so much importance because it will provide a place for people to gather from across the political spectrum so that we can as Americans address our common concerns about freedom, about peace, about prosperity, and, in doing so, help to rescue our country from a trajectory that it’s on right now that can only lead to our destruction.”

Kucinich, in making these comments at the event, is not saying that he has become a libertarian like Paul or that he agrees with Paul on every issue. Instead, Kucinich is saying that he desires to work on a group of important matters with people who agree with him on those matters even if those individuals’ views on other matters differ very much from his. In this case, the common ground is expressed at the RPI website as “advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home.”

Similarly, Kucinich having worked as a contributor at Fox News does not mean he is or ever was in lockstep agreement with, say, Fox News host Sean Hannity. Instead, Kucinich at Fox expressed his own views on matters, just as an opinion columnist with a “left,” “right,” or whatever political orientation does so at a newspaper that generally has a different editorial viewpoint.

In fact, appearing on Fox News or Fox Business, Kucinich could potentially make a bigger impact than he would if he had chosen to work with a media company that is more closely aligned with his political views. At Fox, Kucinich was not preaching to the choir. Instead, he was communicating to an audience a large percentage of whose members were unfamiliar with or antagonistic to his thoughts on many issues.

Indeed, Kucinich alludes to his work with Fox News in a new interview at WOSU radio of Columbus, Ohio as helping contribute to his ability to win the Ohio governor general election for just this reason. “How do you court Republicans? How do you court the small government voters who propelled Trump to victory?” Steve Brown asks Kucinich in the interview. Answers Kucinich in part: “Because for the last five years I’ve had the ability to stand in the same position that I’ve always took on the floor of the House and to communicate with a constituency that most Democrats never get a chance to talk to.”

Suppose Kucinich is right. Suppose he can reach across party lines in the general election, leading to his winning the governorship. That prospect, combined with his apparent strength so far in the Democratic primary, is sure to draw out more criticisms of Kucinich. Expect more criticism, including criticism that, like the criticism of Kucinich for having worked with Fox News, may sound incriminating on a first hearing but is based on no more than misleading innuendo and fallacious guilt by association.

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 4 Comments

A $1 billion proposal will exploit Gaza for the benefit of Israel’s security narrative

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | February 1, 2018

When considering Gaza’s dire humanitarian conditions, it is impossible not to remember what Israeli government adviser Dov Weisglass said in 2006 when the Israeli siege started: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” How much of that callous, initial calculation remains valid today is debatable, as Palestinians in Gaza suffer health issues which are a direct consequence of Israel’s restrictions on the food available for the population, the illegal blockade on the enclave and the disaster wrought by the periodic bombardments of Gaza, the latest major offensive being “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014.

The international community has repeatedly echoed a statement that Gaza will be “unliveable” by 2020. It appears that the deadline might need an extension as Israel will be submitting a $1 billion aid request to the international community because, according to the colonial power, it is Gaza itself that has brought the population to the verge of implosion.

Haaretz has reported comments that attest to Israel’s attempt to deflect its own responsibility and accountability. According to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin: “The entire world must know and understand that the ones preventing reconstruction are Hamas. Israel is the only party in the region that, under any conditions, supplies the residents’ minimal needs so that body and soul can survive.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed Rivlin’s words: “It’s absurd that Israel has to take care of the most basic necessities of life which the Hamas government ignores.” Major General Yoav Mordechai was more forthright in amalgamating the proposed projects to Israel’s security narrative, albeit while misrepresenting legitimate resistance as “terror”. Exonerating Israel of all blame for Gaza’s “failed economy”, he added that investing in the enclave is “an additional element of the IDF’s security doctrine.”

There is nothing new about this Israeli tactic. As part of its colonial expansion, it embarks upon destruction, displacement and deprivation; in compensation, it draws up projects for the international community to fund. Although Israeli officials eliminate culpability and timeframes in their rhetoric, it is obvious that, if there was no colonial presence in Palestine, it is likely that Palestinians would not have experienced the humiliation of aid dependency and having their needs classified according to what Israel decides the international community should focus upon.

Taking their cues from the misguided and erroneously depicted narrative about Gaza, the international community will likely acquiesce to Israel’s latest demand and thus, as a result, fund both colonialism and Israel’s security narrative which is integral to the development which Israel is allegedly envisaging for the territory. Considering that Israel’s focus on Gaza comes after US cuts in financial aid to Palestinians, it should prompt some close scrutiny. It may applaud what officials define as combating the purported bias against Israel, yet the vacuum left by the US withholding aid to Palestinians, although meagre when compared to the accumulation of needs, exposes colonial violence yet further.

The Israeli plan for Gaza’s infrastructure, therefore, is a step towards alienation. Ushering in a new form of dependency upon Palestinians in Gaza is not a step towards economic opportunity. This time there are many opportunities for Israel, which can extend its warped concept of humanitarian aid and development to a population which it has coldly and deliberately terrorised, murdered and maimed over many decades. Approval by the international community, including finance for the proposed projects, will allow Israel to push the limits in collaboration further. In the event that Israel decides to raze Gaza again with another brutal military offensive, the financial hits will be incurred by its international accomplices, following the established pattern of Israel’s demolition of EU-funded structures, only more severely. It is clear that Israel is seeking to inflict similar repercussions on the remaining fragments of Palestinian territory and there is no swifter way to achieve this than by inviting the international community to participate.

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel expels Palestinian girl from West Bank to Gaza without notifying her parents

MEMO | February 1, 2018

Israeli authorities expelled a 14-year-old Palestinian girl from the occupied West Bank to the occupied Gaza Strip without even notifying her parents, it has emerged.

According to Israeli NGO HaMoked, the child, identified only as Ghada, was arrested by Israeli forces on 13 January for being in Jerusalem without a military-issued permit. At the time she was arrested, Ghada was returning home after visiting her aunt in Issawiya, part of occupied East Jerusalem.

Born in Ramallah, Ghada now lives with her family in Al-Ram, in the West Bank. Her father was born in the Gaza Strip, and, when Ghada was born, Israeli authorities listed her address as Gaza (Israel maintains control over a Population Registry for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory).

After being detained, Ghada was taken for interrogation and then a remand hearing. Her parents were not present through any of this process. She was then woken at 5am on 15 January and told she would be released at Qalandiya checkpoint, a few minutes from her hometown.

Instead, Israel Prison Service officers dropped her off, after dark, at Gaza’s Erez Crossing.

According to HaMoked, there are approximately 21,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank but whose addresses are listed as Gaza. Israel “refuses to update their address and considers them ‘illegal aliens’ unless they have a special military permit to live in the West Bank”.

Last year, 27 Palestinians in the West Bank were forcibly expelled to the Gaza Strip, according to official Israeli military data provided to HaMoked.

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February 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Lying, Spying and Hiding

By Andrew Napolitano • Unz Review • February 1, 2018

I have argued for a few weeks now that House Intelligence Committee members have committed misconduct in office by concealing evidence of spying abuses by the National Security Agency and the FBI. They did this by sitting on a four-page memo that summarizes the abuse of raw intelligence data while Congress was debating a massive expansion of FISA.

FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which was written to enable the federal government to spy on foreign agents here and abroad. Using absurd and paranoid logic, the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which only hears the government’s lawyers, has morphed “foreign intelligence surveillance” into undifferentiated bulk surveillance of all Americans.

Undifferentiated bulk surveillance is the governmental acquisition of fiber-optic data stored and transmitted by nearly everyone in America. This includes all telephone conversations, text messages and emails, as well as all medical, legal and financial records.

Ignorant of the hot potato on which the House Intelligence Committee had been sitting, Congress recently passed and President Donald Trump signed a vast expansion of spying authorities — an expansion that authorizes legislatively the domestic spying that judges were authorizing on everyone in the U.S. without individual suspicion of wrongdoing or probable cause of crime; an expansion that passed in the Senate with no votes to spare; an expansion that evades and avoids the Fourth Amendment; an expansion that the president signed into law the day before we all learned of the House Intelligence Committee memo.

The FISA expansion would never have passed the Senate had the House Intelligence Committee memo and the data on which it is based come to light seven days sooner than it did. Why should 22 members of a House committee keep their 500-plus congressional colleagues in the dark about domestic spying abuses while those colleagues were debating the very subject matter of domestic spying and voting to expand the power of those who have abused it?

The answer to this lies in the nature of the intelligence community today and the influence it has on elected officials in the government. By the judicious, personalized and secret revelation of data, both good and bad — here is what we know about your enemies, and here is what we know about you — the NSA shows its might to the legislators who supposedly regulate it. In reality, the NSA regulates them.

This is but one facet of the deep state — the unseen parts of the government that are not authorized by the Constitution and that never change, no matter which party controls the legislative or executive branch. This time, they almost blew it. If just one conscientious senator had changed her or his vote on the FISA expansion — had that senator known of the NSA and FBI abuses of FISA concealed by the House Intelligence Committee — the expansion would have failed.

Nevertheless, the evidence on which the committee members sat is essentially a Republican-written summary of raw intelligence data. Earlier this week, the Democrats on the committee authored their version — based, they say, on the same raw intelligence data as was used in writing the Republican version. But the House Intelligence Committee, made up of 13 Republicans and nine Democrats, voted to release only the Republican-written memo.

Late last week, when it became apparent that the Republican memo would soon be released, the Department of Justice publicly contradicted President Trump by advising the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee in very strong terms that the memo should not be released to the public.

It soon became apparent that, notwithstanding the DOJ admonition, no one in the DOJ had actually seen the memo. So FBI Director Chris Wray made a secret, hurried trip to the House Intelligence Committee’s vault last Sunday afternoon to view the memo. When asked by the folks who showed it to him whether it contains secret or top-secret material, he couldn’t or wouldn’t say. But he apparently saw in the memo the name of the No. 2 person at the FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as one of the abusers of spying authority. That triggered McCabe’s summary departure from the FBI the next day, after a career of 30 years.

The abuse summarized in the Republican memo apparently spans the last year of the Obama administration and the first year of the Trump administration. If it comes through as advertised, it will show the deep state using the government’s powers for petty or political or ideological reasons.

The use of raw intelligence data by the NSA or the FBI for political purposes or to manipulate those in government is as serious a threat to popular government — to personal liberty in a free society — as has ever occurred in America since Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which punished speech critical of the government.

What’s going on here?

The government works for us; we should not tolerate its treating us as children. When raw intelligence data is capable of differing interpretations and is relevant to a public dispute — about, for example, whether the NSA and the FBI are trustworthy, whether FISA should even exist, whether spying on everyone all the time keeps us safe and whether the Constitution even permits this — the raw data should be released to the American public.

Where is the personal courage on the House Intelligence Committee? Where is the patriotism? Where is the fidelity to the Constitution? The government exists by our consent. It derives its powers from us. We have a right to know what it has done in our names, who broke our trust, who knew about it, who looked the other way and why and by whom all this was intentionally hidden until after Congress voted to expand FISA.

Everyone in government takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. How many take it meaningfully and seriously?

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Corrupt Billionaire Who Has Brought About a New Cold War

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 01.02.2018

One has to ask why there is a crisis in US-Russia relations since Washington and Moscow have much more in common than not, to include confronting international terrorism, stabilizing Syria and other parts of the world that are in turmoil, and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In spite of all that, the US and Russia are currently locked in a tit-for-tat unfriendly relationship somewhat reminiscent of the Cold War.

Apart from search for a scapegoat to explain the Hillary Clinton defeat, how did it happen? Israel Shamir, a keen observer of the American-Russian relationship, and celebrated American journalist Robert Parry both think that one man deserves much of the credit for the new Cold War and that man is William Browder, a hedge fund operator who made his fortune in the corrupt 1990s world of Russian commodities trading.

Browder is also symptomatic of why the United States government is so poorly informed about international developments as he is the source of much of the Congressional “expert testimony” contributing to the current impasse. He has somehow emerged as a trusted source in spite of the fact that he has self-interest in cultivating a certain outcome. Also ignored is his renunciation of American citizenship in 1998, reportedly to avoid taxes. He is now a British citizen.

Browder is notoriously the man behind the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which exploited Congressional willingness to demonize Russia and has done so much to poison relations between Washington and Moscow. The Act sanctioned individual Russian officials, which Moscow has rightly seen as unwarranted interference in the operation of its judicial system.

Browder, a media favorite who self-promotes as “Putin’s enemy #1,” portrays himself as a selfless human rights advocate, but is he? He has used his fortune to threaten lawsuits for anyone who challenges his version of events, effectively silencing many critics. He claims that his accountant Sergei Magnitsky was a crusading “lawyer” who discovered a $230 million tax-fraud scheme that involved the Browder business interest Hermitage Capital but was, in fact, engineered by corrupt Russian police officers who arrested Magnitsky and enabled his death in a Russian jail.

Many have been skeptical of the Browder narrative, suspecting that the fraud was in fact concocted by Browder and his accountant Magnitsky. A Russian court recently supported that alternative narrative, ruling in late December that Browder had deliberately bankrupted his company and engaged in tax evasion. He was sentenced to nine years prison in absentia.

William Browder is again in the news recently in connection with testimony related to Russiagate. On December 16th Senator Diane Feinstein of the Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcript of the testimony provided by Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS. According to James Carden, Browder was mentioned 50 times, but the repeated citations apparently did not merit inclusion in media coverage of the story by the New York Times, Washington Post and Politico.

Fusion GPS, which was involved in the research producing the Steele Dossier used to discredit Donald Trump, was also retained to provide investigative services relating to a lawsuit in New York City involving a Russian company called Prevezon. As information provided by Browder was the basis of the lawsuit, his company and business practices while in Russia became part of the investigation. Simmons maintained that Browder proved to be somewhat evasive and his accounts of his activities were inconsistent. He claimed never to visit the United States and not own property or do business there, all of which were untrue, to include his ownership through a shell company of a $10 million house in Aspen Colorado. He repeatedly ran away, literally, from attempts to subpoena him so he would have to testify under oath.

Per Simmons, in Russia, Browder used shell companies locally and also worldwide to avoid taxes and conceal ownership, suggesting that he was likely one of many corrupt businessmen operating in what was a wild west business environment. My question is, “Why was such a man granted credibility and allowed a free run to poison the vitally important US-Russia relationship?” The answer might be follow the money. Israel Shamir reports that Browder was a major contributor to Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, who was the major force behind the Magnitsky Act.

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

US Senators Urge to Prevent Alleged ‘Russian Meddling’ in Mexico’s Election

Sputnik – February 1, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration should take steps to deter alleged Russian interference in the upcoming presidential election in Mexico and other parts of the Western Hemisphere, US Senators Tim Kaine, Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez said in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and USAID Administrator Mark Green.

“We are deeply troubled by recent news articles that Russia is reportedly using sophisticated technology to meddle in Mexico’s upcoming election,” the letter said on Wednesday. “As such, we believe it is critical that USAID continue to play an active role in providing technical assistance, education and training to support countries’ efforts to strengthen electoral systems.”

The lawmakers fear Russia’s alleged actions in the region will cause instability, especially as six contentious presidential elections will take place this year in the Western Hemisphere, including in Brazil and Colombia, the letter said.

Tillerson is set to visit Mexico City on Friday to meet with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chyrstia Freeland for talks on regional issues.

Russian ambassador to Mexico Eduard Malayan earlier this month dismissed rumors about Russia’s “interference” in Mexico’s forthcoming election as “nonsense.”

Russia has faced numerous accusations of meddling in elections since the 2016 US presidential vote in which then-Republican candidate Donald Trump claimed victory against the odds. The US intelligence community alleged that Trump’s campaign team colluded with the Kremlin to bring him victory in the election.

Similar accusations followed France’s presidential election, Spain’s Catalan referendum and the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote.

Russian officials have repeatedly refuted such accusations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the claims groundless. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed that the accusations of Russia meddling in the elections of foreign states were unsubstantiated.

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February 1, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top sports court overturns IOC’s ban on 28 Russian athletes in groundbreaking ruling

RT | February 1, 2018

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has cleared 28 Russian athletes and dropped their life-bans over alleged doping. Their results have been reinstated and the athletes are eligible to compete in the 2018 Winter Games.

“Both CAS panels unanimously found that the evidence put forward by the IOC in relation to this matter did not have the same weight in each individual case,” the statement from the Lausanne-based international body said.

According to the ruling, in 28 cases filed by the Russian athletes the evidence was “insufficient” to establish that “an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes.”

“With respect to these 28 athletes, the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 are reinstated,” it said.

CAS also partially upheld the appeals of other 11 Russian athletes as the evidence collected “was found to be sufficient to establish an individual ADRV.”

The ruling said that these 11 athletes were declared “ineligible” for the upcoming PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, instead of a life ban from all Games.

Among those allowed to participate in the games are Sochi Olympic champion cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin.

Speed-skater Olga Fatkulina, bobsledders Dmitry Trunenkov and Alexey Negodaylo, and skeleton racer Aleksandr Tretiakov – all of whom won gold or silver medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics – were given permission to take part in the Games this year.

The CAS decision proves that Russian athletes who were accused of doping violations are indeed “clean,” Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told journalists. “We are all happy that justice has finally been served,” he said.

On December 5, the IOC Executive Board banned team Russia from the PyeongChang Winter Games due to allegations of state-sponsored doping.

The ruling said that “clean” Russian athletes can only compete under a neutral flag in South Korea.

The decision came after the results of two separate investigations of alleged Russian doping: one regarding individual athletes, the other focusing on alleged institutional violations.

More than 40 Russian athletes, including Sochi Olympic champions, have been slapped with life bans from the IOC and had their Sochi records annulled as punishment for alleged doping violations in Sochi.

The CAS decision doesn’t necessarily mean that these 28 athletes will be invited to the 2018 Games, the IOC said in a statement. “Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation,” the organization added.

According to the Olympic governing body, Russian athletes “can participate in PyeongChang only on invitation by the IOC.”

Russian Olympic Assembly chief Alexander Zhukov called the CAS decision “fair,” adding that these 28 athletes are now able to take part in the 2018 Olympic Games. “From the very start, we’ve insisted that our athletes are not involved in any doping frauds, and now we are happy that the court has restored their name and all rewards were returned to them,” he said.

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia | | Leave a comment