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Who Is James Le Mesurier? – The Former British Army Officer Who Founded The White Helmets

By John Wight | American Herald Tribune | February 6, 2018

Who is James Le Mesurier, the former British army officer and military contractor who founded the White Helmets, the civil defence organisation which operates exclusively in opposition-held parts of Syria? It is a question more and more people are asking as their role and function comes under increasing scrutiny.

Le Mesurier carries about him the inescapable whiff of Britain’s malign legacy and history of dirty wars, waged in Kenya, Aden, Ireland, Iraq, Libya, in other words wherever London’s blood-soaked imperialist foot has tread around the world. A product of Britain’s prestigious Royal Military Academy of officer training at Sandhurst, he served in various UK military/NATO military deployments over the past three decades, specifically Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Lebanon.

In a short bio describing Le Mesurier’s work with the White Helmets, we are informed, “In addition to the White Helmets in Syria, Mayday is active in Mogadishu, developing the city’s emergency services network, and exploring the development of similar community-based resilience initiatives in other fragile and failing states (my emphasis).”

The question of why a given state becomes fragile and failing is of course neither asked nor explored, for doing so would dredge up the subject of imperialism, which for Western ideologues such as Mr Le Mesurier would be akin to a vampire being exposed to daylight.

In a wide ranging 2016 article, former US marine and UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, provides a forensic account of Le Mesurier’s background, including the time he spent in and around the murky world of private military contractors, who exist in the cracks of Western military deployments, able to operate beyond the inconvenient glare of public scrutiny and accountability.

Ritter writes:

“the organizational underpinnings of the White Helmets can be sourced to a March 2013 meeting in Istanbul between a retired British military officer, James Le Mesurier—who had experience in the murky world of private security companies and the shadowy confluence between national security and intelligence operations and international organizations—and representatives of the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Qatari Red Crescent Society. Earlier that month, the SNC was given Syria’s seat in the Arab League at a meeting of the league held in Qatar.”

So here we have a civil defence organisation being established in Syria by an ex-British army officer, a man with a background in the shadowy world of private security, in conjunction with a Syrian opposition group in exile. This civil defence organization, the White Helmets, receives funding from an array of states with a clear agenda of regime change in Syria, evidenced in the material, financial and political support they have given various armed opposition groups involved in the conflict.

In a 2015 speech Le Mesurier provides a précis of the roots of the conflict in Syria, starting with in 2011 a “volunteer uprising against the ruthless dictator, Bashar al-Assad,” before going on the assert that in 2012 the Syrian state turned its weapons on its “own people.”

Glaringly absent from this Manichean narrative is the fact that by 2012 various Salafi-jihadi groups, their ranks filled by thousands of extremists from outwith Syria, were rampaging across the country slaughtering and raping and terrorizing the very “own people” the Syrian army and its allies have been fighting to protect, save and liberate from the clutches of this latter day Khmer Rouge. And lest anyone has forgotten, the Syrian Arab Army is indistinguishable from the Syrian people, considering that its soldiers are drawn from the non-sectarian and multi-religious mosaic that makes up Syrian society.

Returning to Scott Ritter: “In this day of social media, it didn’t take long for photographs and video clips of known White Helmet members, in their distinctive uniform, openly celebrating with Al Nusra fighters in the aftermath of Syrian government defeats, and even carrying weapons, something their status as neutral first responders strictly prohibits.”

From the White Helmets’ own website, the lack of neutrality Ritter asserts is unambiguously expressed with the statement posted on its front page by Raed Saleh, the operational head of the organisation and himself a figure of some controversy. Saleh writes, “the UN Security Council must follow on its demand to stop the barrel bombs, by introducing a ‘no-fly zone’ if necessary.”

The barrel bombs referred to by Saleh, and emphasised by Le Mesurier as emblematic of the brutality of the ‘Assad regime,’ are inarguably indiscriminate and illegal under international law. But if we are judging the merits or demerits of a given side in a given conflict based on the use of indiscriminate weapons alone then regime change in Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh is long overdue.

The brutality of the conflict in Syria is a reflection of the monumental stakes involved in the outcome. The conflict is in itself is a crime, but are we seriously suggesting that Libya is better, safer and more stable seven years on from the toppling and murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi, courtesy of NATO aligning with various Libyan opposition factions, prime among them Islamists, in 2011? And are we seriously arguing that Syria’s fate would not be Libya’s fate in the event of the toppling of Bashar al-Assad? And, too, is anybody able to maintain with a straight face that Bashar al-Assad does not enjoy the solid support of the majority of the Syrian people, who understand that the conflict is not about saving their government but saving their country?

Scott Ritter again:

“the White Helmets function as an effective propaganda arm of the anti-Assad movement…With their training, equipment and logistical sustainment underwritten exclusively by donations from Western governments (primarily the U.S. and U.K.), the White Helmets serve as a virtual echo chamber for American and British politicians and officials.”

Given Le Mesurier’s background, along with the evidence of how the White Helmets operate, it is reasonable to assume that what we have is the cultivation of the very Third Force Washington and London have been extending themselves in trying to locate and sell as the ‘good guys’ since the conflict began, doing so with the objective of enlisting domestic public support for intervention and regime change in Damascus.

Of course, there is always the possibility that Mr Le Mesurier is sincere in his desire to alleviate the undoubted suffering of the Syrian people – though in his case clearly not all the Syrian people, what with White Helmets only functioning and operating in opposition controlled territory, places where neither he nor any Western supporter of the White Helmets would dare set foot, knowing the moment they did they would be abducted, tortured, and brutally murdered.

But if so, if Mr Le Mesurier is sincere, then he is Britain’s answer to Pyle, the idealistic and naïve American interventionist in French-occupied Vietnam created by Graham Greene in his classic novel The Quiet American. To wit:

“He was young and ignorant and silly and he got involved. He had no more of a notion than any of you what the whole affair’s about, and you gave him money and York Harding’s books on the East and said, ‘Go ahead. Win the East for democracy.’ He never saw anything he hadn’t heard in a lecture hall, and his writers and his lecturers made a fool of him.”

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Your guide to top anti-Russia think tanks in US & who funds them

By Bryan MacDonald | RT | February 6, 2018

Countering Russia has become a lucrative industry in Washington. In recent years, the think tank business has exploded. But who funds these organizations, who works for them and what are the real agendas at play?

From the start, let’s be clear, the term ‘think tank’ essentially amounts to a more polite way of saying ‘lobby group.’ Bar a few exceptions, they exist to serve – and promote – the agendas of their funders.

However, particularly in the United States, the field has become increasingly shady and disingenuous, with lobbyists being given faux academic titles like ‘Senior Non-Resident Fellow’ and ‘Junior Adjunct Fellow’ and the like. And this smokescreen usually serves to cloud the real goals of these operations.

Think tanks actually originate from the Europe of the Dark Ages. That’s 9th-century France, to be precise. But the modern American movement is modeled on British organizations from around a millennium later, many of which, such as ‘RUSI (1831)’, still exist today. The concept was possibly brought to America by the Scottish-born Andrew Carnegie. And his ‘Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’ (1910) is still going strong.

Yet, the real boom in the ‘think tank’ industry came with the era of globalization. With a 200-percent rise in numbers since 1970. And in recent years, they’ve become more transnational, with foreign states and individuals sponsoring them in order to gain curry favor in Washington.

One country that largely hasn’t bothered playing this game is Russia. Instead, mostly in the foreign policy and defense sectors, Moscow frequently serves as Enemy Number One for many advocacy groups. Here are some prominent outfits in the think tank racket, which focus on hyping up threats from Russia.

  • The Atlantic Council

Founded: 1961

What is it? Essentially the academic wing of NATO. The Atlantic Council serves to link people useful to the organization’s agenda across Europe and North America. However, in recent years, its recruitment has increasingly focused on employees who directly attack Russia, especially on social media. Presumably, this is to give them a guaranteed income so they can continue their activities, without needing to worry about paying the bills.

What does it do? Promotes the idea of Russia being an existential threat to Europe and the US, in order to justify NATO’s reason for being.

Who are its people? The Atlantic Council’s list of lobbyists (sorry, ‘Fellows’!) reads like a telephone directory of the Russia bashing world. For instance, Dmitri Alperovitch (of Crowdstrike, which conveniently alleges how Russia hacked the Democratic National Congress) is joined by the perennially- wrong Anders Aslund, who has predicted Russia’s impending collapse on a number of occasions and has, obviously, been off the mark. Then there’s Joe Biden’s “Russia hand,” Michael Carpenter and their recent co-authored Foreign Affairs piece suggests he actually knows very little about the country). Meanwhile, Evelyn Farkas, a fanatical Russophobe who served in Barack Obama’s administration has also found a home here. Another interesting Atlantic Council lobbyist is Eliot Higgins, a “geolocation expert” who has made a career out of spinning tales from the Ukraine and Syrian wars but is, naturally, mostly disinterested in covering Iraq and Yemen, where the US and its allies are involved, but Russia has no particular stake. Lastly, we can’t forget CNN’s Michael Weiss, the self-declared “Russia analyst” who, by all accounts, has never been to Russia and can’t speak Russian.

Who pays for it? The Atlantic Council has quite an eclectic bunch of patrons to serve. NATO itself is a big backer, along with military contractors Saab, Lockheed Martin and the Raytheon Company, all of which naturally benefit from increased tensions with Moscow. The UK Foreign Office also splashes the cash and is joined by the Ukrainian World Congress and the US Department of State. Other sugar daddies include the US military (via separate contributions from the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps), Northrop Grumman and Boeing.

  • The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA)

Founded: 2005

What is it? Despite the name, CEPA is based in Washington, not the ‘old continent’, but it does have an outpost in Warsaw. This club specifically focusses on Central and Eastern Europe and promoting the US Army and foreign policy establishment’s agenda there. Or, in its own words, creating a “Central and Eastern Europe with close and enduring ties to the United States.”

 

What does it do? CEPA amounts to a home for media figures who devote their careers to opposing Russia. It whips up tensions, even when they don’t really exist, presumably in order to drum up business for its sponsors, who are heavily drawn from the military industry. For example, it spent last year hyping up the ‘threat’ from Russia’s and Belarus’ joint ‘Zapad’ exercises, even running a sinister-looking countdown clock before the long-planned training commenced.

CEPA grossly overestimated the size of the event, saying it “could be the largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War” and dismissing basically all Moscow’s statements on its actual nature as “disinformation.”

Who are its people? Times of London columnist Edward Lucas has been part of CEPA for years.

The dedicated ‘Cold Warrior’ doesn’t appear to have spent much time in Russia for a long while and still seems to view the country through a prism which is very much rooted in the past. Thus, he’s more-or-less an out-of-touch dinosaur when it comes to Russia expertise. He will soon be joined by Brian Whitmore, who comes on board from RFE/RL and appears to be even more ill-informed than Lucas. His broadcasts for the US state broadcaster led to him being described as the “Lord Haw Haw of Prague,” where has been based for some years. CEPA is a pretty fluid organization and, until recently, Anne Applebaum and Peter Pomerantsev were also on its list of lobbyists. The former is a Polish-American Washington Post columnist who obsessively denigrates Russia and the latter has previously worked with the Atlantic Council’s Michael Weiss, which shows you how small and incestuous the Russia-bashing world is.

Who pays for it? While other think tanks at least try to make their funding look semi-organic, CEPA looks to have zero hang-ups about its role as a mouthpiece for defence contractors. Which is, at least, honest. FireEye, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Bell Helicopters and BAE systems pump funds in and they are joined by the US State Department and the Department of Defence. Another notable paymaster is the National Endowment for Democracy – ‘regime change’ experts who are surely interested in CEPA’s remit to also cover Belarus. The US Mission to NATO and NATO’s own Public Diplomacy Division also provide cash.

  • German Marshall Fund of the United States

Founded: 1972

What is it? Don’t be fooled by the name, the German Marshall Fund (GMF) is a very American body these days with little input from Berlin. It was founded by a donation from Willy Brandt’s Bonn-government to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. Ironically, Brandt is today best remembered as the father of ‘Ostpolitik’, which sought a rapprochement between Germany and Russia.

What does it do? After the fall of the Soviet Union, the GMF transformed into a vehicle promoting US influence in Eastern Europe, with outreaches in Warsaw, Belgrade and Bucharest. However, in the past 12 months, it’s taken a very strange turn. Following the election of US President Donald Trump (ironically a German-American), the lobby group launched the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) project. Its centerpiece is the ‘Hamilton 68 Dashboard’, which seems to classify social media users which reject the US liberal elite’s consensus as “Russian trolls.” The reaction has been highly critical, with even the secretly-funded Russian opposition website Meduza asking “how do you identify ‘pro-Russian amplifiers’ if… themes dovetail with alternative American political views?”

Who are its people? The GMF, especially through its new ASD plaything, has a high-profile bunch of lobbyists. They include Toomas Ilves, an American-raised son of Estonian emigrants who once headed the Estonian desk at erstwhile CIA cut-out Radio Free Europe and eventually became president of Estonia. Also on board is Bill Kristol, known as the ‘architect of the Iraq War’ and former CIA Director Michael Morrell. Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who recently announced he was partially abandoning his Russian scholarship and has “lost interest in maintaining my (sic) ability to speak/write Russian” is another team member.

After serving on Obama’s team, McFaul has re-invented himself as a network TV personality since 2016 with 280,000 Twitter followers, 106,000 of which are fake, according to Twitter audit.

Who pays for it? USAID are big backers, throwing in a seven-figure annual sum. This, of course, raises some questions about US taxpayers essentially funding the Hamilton 68 dashboard, which may be smearing Americans who don’t agree with their government’s policies as Russian agents. The State Department also ponies up capital, as does NATO and Latvia’s Defense Ministry. Other interesting paymasters are George Soros, Airbus and Google. While Boeing and the ubiquitous Raytheon are also involved.

  • Institute for the Study of War

Founded: 2007

What is it? This lobby group could as easily be titled ‘The Institute for the Promotion of War’. Unlike the others, it doesn’t consider Russia its primary target, instead preferring to push for more conflict in the Middle East. However, Moscow’s increased influence in that region has brought the Kremlin into its crosshairs.

What does it do? The IFTSOW agitates for more and more American aggression. It supported the Iraq ‘surge’ and has encouraged more involvement in Afghanistan. IFTSOW also focuses on Syria, Libya and Iran. Just last week, one of its lobbyists, Jennifer Cafarella,  called for the US military to take Damascus, which would bring Washington into direct conflict with Russia and Iran.

Who are its people? Kimberly Kagan is the brains behind this operation. She’s married to Frederick Kagan, who was involved in the neocon ‘Project for the New American Century’ group along with his brother, Robert Kagan. Which makes Kimberly the sister-in-law of Victoria “f**k the EU” Nuland.

Another lobbyist is Ukrainian Natalia Bugayova, who was involved in Kiev’s 2014 EuroMaidan coup. She previously worked for the Kiev Post, a resolutely anti-Russian newspaper which promotes US interests in Ukraine. However, IFTSOW’s most notorious lobbyist was Elizabeth O’Bagy, who emerged as a ‘Syria expert’ in 2013 and called for American political leaders to send heavy weaponry to Syrian insurgent groups. She claimed to have a PhD from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, but this was fictional and once the media twigged to it, she was dismissed by the IFTSOW. Two weeks later, she was rewarded for her deception by falling up to a job with fanatical Russophobe Senator John McCain. O’Bagy has also collaborated with the Atlantic Council’s Michael Weiss, which is further evidence of how tight-knit the world of US neoconservative advocacy really is.

Who pays for it? Predictably, Raytheon has opened its wallet. Meanwhile, other US military contractors like General Dynamics and DynCorp are also involved. L3, which provides services to the US Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and government intelligence agencies is another backer along with Vencore, CACI and Mantech.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The US-ISIS Nexus in Afghanistan Becomes Hot Topic

By Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | Strategic Culture Foundation | 06.02.2018

Tehran has begun highlighting in loud decibel its hitherto-low key voice of disquiet that the United States is transferring the Islamic State* fighters from Syria and Iraq, where they have been defeated, to Afghanistan.

On January 30, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said: “The US goal of transferring the ISIL terrorists to Afghanistan is aimed at creating the justification for its continued deployment in the region and for buttressing the security of the Zionist regime.” Indeed, any statement at the level of the Supreme Leader invariably draws attention as signaling an authoritative policy directive based on careful decision taken in the light of relevant intelligence inputs.

The point is, three days before Khamenei spoke, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had an encounter with ISIS terrorists infiltrating Iran’s western province of Kermanshah from Iraq. By all accounts, it was a major encounter in which three IRGC personnel were killed, including an officer of the rank of major. According to the commander of the IRGC’s ground forces, Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, as many as sixteen ISIS terrorists were captured. Incidents of this nature are happening with increasing frequency along Iran’s borders and Iranian security agencies are busting large caches of explosives and arms smuggled across the border, but this is the first time such a big encounter took place.

Significantly, the senior foreign policy advisor to the parliament speaker, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, who is an influential voice in the Iranian diplomatic circuit, raised the issue of the US’ covert transfer of ISIS fighters to “northern Afghanistan” at a meeting with Jan Kubis, chairman of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq on January 28.

Kubis, a Slovak career diplomat, has previously served as UN special envoy to Tajikistan (during the transitional period following the civil war in the late 1990s), Secretary-General of the OSCE (1999-2005), EU’s special envoy to Central Asia (20015-2006) and, most recently, as UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (2011-2015). Abdollahian couldn’t have chosen better his interlocutor for making such a sensitive demarche. The message would have reached the intended quarters in no time.

Two days after that, Khamenei spoke. Given the above backdrop, it needs to be noted carefully that Iran has since listed the topic of US-ISIS nexus as a bilateral issue between Tehran and Kabul. On February 4, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami made a phone call to his Afghan counterpart Tariq Shah Bahrami and warned that Washington is “implementing plots to transfer the ISIL terrorist group to Afghanistan.” General Hatami spoke on the lines of Khamenei’s remarks, and, importantly, warned against the US’ plans to increase its military deployment to Afghanistan. He underscored that security in Afghanistan is going to be possible only in harmony with the regional states and by pooling their resources to fight terrorism.

Gen. Hatami stopped just short of warning that Tehran may have to act to counter the perceived threat to its national security interests from Afghan soil. It is conceivable that his phone call to Kabul reflected the threat perceptions in Tehran following the interrogation of the 16 ISIS terrorists in the IRGC’s custody.

Iran has reason to feel perturbed that western Afghanistan is also witnessing a political vacuum lately similar to what has been happening in northern Afghanistan in the Amu Darya region during the past several weeks. The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has destabilized the entire northern region bordering Central Asia by his abrupt dismissal of the governor of Balkh province, Atta Mohammad Noor in November. It is improbable that Ghani took such a precipitate step on his own volition. Atta is a powerful figure, popularly known as the ‘King of the North’. Noor, by the way, is also the head of the Jamiat-i-Islami and happens to be an aspirant to contest the presidential election in 2019.

No doubt, the US concurred with Noor’s removal – if not outright sought it. Curiously, the Trump administration has since voiced support for Ghani’s move. The US Vice-President Mike Pence made two phone calls to Ghani in January to express solidarity. On January 24, the White House took an extraordinary step to issue a statement that it “has been closely following the current dispute” and demanding a quick resolution to the Ghani-Noor standoff, virtually forewarning the latter to capitulate. But Noor hit back on February 3, naming the Kabul regime as puppets of the Americans and stoking the fires of Afghan nationalism.

Of course, the prolonged power vacuum in Balkh has created favorable conditions for the ISIS terrorists to establish presence in northern Afghanistan. Similarly, Rashid Dostum, the Uzbek strongman, who has been a bulwark against terrorist groups in the northern provinces, is on enforced exile in Turkey. The US, which controls Afghan air space, twice refused permission to his aircraft to land. (Interestingly, Turkish President Recep Erdogan since had a one-on-one with Dostum in Ankara.)

The heart of the matter is that a situation similar to Balkh is also on cards in the western province of Farah bordering Iran, where the provincial governor Mohammad Aref Shah Jahan abruptly “resigned” from the post ten days ago, citing as reasons “the worsening security situation in Farah” and “interference in my responsibilities from various individuals.” From all appearances, he decided to quit under duress. (In recent months, US made fresh deployments to Farah.)

What becomes an enigma wrapped in mystery is that Jahan, a Pashtun, and Noor (a Tajik) also happen to enjoy reputation as staunch Afghan nationalists. The conclusion becomes unavoidable that for reasons of its own, Washington desires ‘regime change’ in these two crucially important border provinces (Balkh and Farah), which border Central Asia and Iran respectively. Suffice to say, Tehran would wonder, “Who stands to gain?” Of course, it can only be the ISIS.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

UK regime caught ‘censoring’ report that suggests it’s using drones to assassinate people

RT | February 6, 2018

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) attempted to censor a document showing it has assassinated people outside of armed conflict zones using drones, it has been reported. The government is now under pressure to come clean.

The ministry removed a passage from its report on drone use, titled ‘Joint Doctrine,’ which was published in September 2017, according to the Canary. In the report, it acknowledged that critics have raised concerns about the legality of unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft missions and their potential for misuse.

The MoD acknowledged it was targeting people outside of war zones, and said arguments against drones “may also arise from the recent UK practice of targeting suspected terrorists outside of the armed conflict itself, and the meaning and application of a state’s right to self-defence.”

This passage was missing, however, in the updated doctrine that the department uploaded late last year. Scottish National Party (SNP) spokesperson Stewart McDonald wrote to the MoD in December about the issue.

Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster responded by saying that the September document contained “erroneous drafting.” He claimed the report had “misleadingly” noted that MoD policy was to use drone strikes outside of armed conflicts.

The head of human rights organization Reprieve said the government appears to be in “complete chaos” over the issue. Head of Reprieve’s Assassinations team Jen Gibson told the Canary: “We had a long overdue, official document saying the government have a ‘practice’ of killing people outside of armed conflict zones.

“And now we have a minister claiming there is no policy at all and their own document was ‘misleading.’ The public has a right to know the government’s policy on taking lethal strikes in our name,” she said.

Leaks have revealed that drone strikes have an appalling record in terms of accuracy. During one five-month period of a US operation in Afghanistan, for example, nine out of 10 people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 4 Comments

Foreign policy for sale: Greece’s dangerous alliance with Israel

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | February 6, 2018

For a brief historical moment, Alexis Tsipras and his political party, Syriza, ignited hope that Greece could resurrect a long-dormant Leftist tide in Europe.

A new Greece was being born out of the pangs of pain of economic austerity, imposed by the European Union and its overpowering economic institutions – a troika so ruthless, it cared little while the Greek economy collapsed and millions of people experienced the bitterness of poverty, unemployment and despair.

The Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) came to power in January 2015 as a direct outcome of popular discontent with the EU. It was a time where ordinary people took a stance to fend for whatever semblance of sovereignty that was not wrestled away from them by politicians, bankers and powerful bureaucratic institutions.

The result, however, was quite disappointing. Tsipras, now a Prime Minister, transformed his political discourse, and gradually adopted one that that is more consistent with the very neoliberal policies that pushed his country to its knees in the first place.

Syriza sold out, not only politically and ideologically, but in an actual physical sense as well.

In exchange for bailout loans that Greece received from European banks within the period 2010 to 2015 (estimated at $262 billion), the country is being dismembered. Greece’s regional airports are now operated by German companies and the country’s main telecommunication firm has been privatized, with sizable shares of it owned by Deutsche Telekom.

“The only thing missing outside the office of Greece’s privatization agency is a sign that reads: ‘A Nation for Sale’,” wrote Greek political economist, C. J. Polychroniou.

Unsurprisingly, economic subservience is often a prelude to political bondage as well. Not only did Syriza betray the aspirations of the Greek people who voted against austerity and bailouts, it also betrayed the country’s long legacy of maintaining amicable relationships with its neighbours.

Since his arrival at the helm of Greek politics, Tsipras has moved his country further into the Israeli camp, forging unwise regional alliances aimed at exploiting new gas finds in the Mediterranean and participating in multiple Israeli-led military drills.

While Israel sees an opportunity to advance its political agenda in Greece’s economic woes, the Greek government is playing along without fully assessing the possible repercussions of engaging with a country that is regionally viewed as a pariah, while internationally becoming condemned for its military occupation and terrible human rights record.

Israel moved to pull Athens into its own camp in 2010, shortly after the Turkish-Israeli spat over the ‘Mavi Marmara’ attack ensued. Israeli commandos attacked the Turkish Gaza-bound boat, killing nine Turkish nationals and injuring many more.

Although Turkey and Israel have, since then, reached a diplomatic understanding, Tel Aviv has moved forward to create alternative allies among Balkan countries, exploiting historical conflicts between some of these countries and Turkey.

Bilateral agreements were signed, high diplomatic visits exchanged and military exercises conducted in the name of deterring ‘international Jihad’ and fighting terrorism.

Greece and Cyprus received greater Israeli attention since they, on the one hand, were seen as political counterweight to Turkey and, on the other, because of the great economic potential that they offered.

Just one month after the ‘Mavi Marmara’ attack, the then Greek Prime Minister, George Papandrous, visited Israel, followed by an official visit by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to Greece – the first of its kind. That was the start of a love-affair that is growing deeper.

The main motivation behind the closeness in relations is the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields, located in the territorial waters of several countries, including Lebanon. If Israel continues with its plans to extract gas from an energy source located off the coast of Lebanon, it will increase the chances of yet another regional war.

When Tsipras came to power on the shoulders of a populous political movement, Palestinians too hoped that he would be different.

It was not exactly wishful thinking, either. Syriza was openly critical of Israel and had “vowed to cut military ties with Israel upon coming to office,” wrote Patrick Strickland, reporting from Athens. Instead the “ties have, nonetheless, been deepened.”

Indeed, soon after taking power, the ‘radical left’-led Greek government signed a major military agreement with Israel, the ‘status of forces’ accord, followed by yet more military exercises.

All of this was reinforced by a propaganda campaign in Israel hailing the new alliance, coupled with a changing narrative in Greek media regarding Israel and Palestine.

One George N. Tzogopoulos has been particularity buoyant about the Israel-Greek friendship. Writing a series of articles in various media, including the rightwing Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, Tzogopoulos suggests that, unlike the older generation of Greeks who have sided with Palestinians in the past, the young generation is likely to be pro-Israel.

“This process (of converting Greeks to loving Israel) will take time, of course, because it is principally related to school education,” he wrote in Algemeiner. “But the change in coverage of Israel by Greek journalists is a good omen.”

That ‘change of coverage’ was also notable in the recent official visit by Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, and his meeting with Tsipras and other Greek officials.

In the meetings, Rivlin complained of Palestinian obstinacy and refusal to return to the ‘peace process’, thus causing a ‘serious crisis.’

The ‘radical left’ leader said little to challenge Rivlin’s falsehoods.

Greece was not always this way, of course. Who could forget Andreas Papandreou, the late Greek leader who gave the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) diplomatic status in 1981, and stood by Palestinians despite American and Israeli threats?

It is that generation that Tzogopoulos and his likes would like to be gone forever, and replaced by morally-flexible leaders like Tsipras.

However, signing off to join an Israel-led economic and military alliance in an area replete with conflict, is a terribly irresponsible move, even for politically inexperienced and opportunistic politicians.

For Greece to be the “strong arm of imperialism in the region” – as described by the leader of the Socialist Workers Revolutionary Party in Greece – is “completely stupid” as it will, in the long run, bring “catastrophic results for (the) Greek people.”

But Tsipras seems incapable of looking that far ahead.

Read also: 

Greece to join air force drills with Egypt, Israel

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Colin Powell at the U.N., 15 years later

left i on the news | February 6, 2018

15 years ago today, Colin Powell delivered his infamous speech at the U.N., the speech which cemented the support of the U.S. political and media establishments for the invasion of Iraq, under the pretext of “weapons of mass destruction”. This blog came into existence in August, 2003, a few months later, as one of the very first (if not the first) radical left blogs on the internet (there were a few leftish progressive Democrat blogs at the time, that was about it). Here are some of the posts from that time (and later) which talk about Powell’s speech:

Here’s a letter to the editor I wrote, before the blog started, but after Powell’s speech. I had no special knowledge with which to analyze his speech, just the ability to listen, read, and analyze what was being said, rather than simply accept it at face value. That, unfortunately, was more than the editors of the New York Times, Washington Post, and almost all Democrats and Republicans were capable of.

Here’s an article I wrote many years later, when people started asking George Bush and other politicians, “If you knew then what you know now…”. That question was a distraction, an excuse, because, as I show in the article, there was plenty known then (more than I had known when I had written that letter to the editor), way more than enough to say that “WMD” was just an excuse to carry out yet another U.S. war of regime change.

And this article talks about a subject which I was practically the only one to ever write about — the fate of Iraqi General Amer al-Saadi, the Iraqi liaison to the weapons inspectors and the man who spoke the truth to Powell’s lies. “‘I have always told the truth about these old programs,’ Saddam Hussein’s top scientific adviser said in an interview with German TV last April [2003]. ‘The future will show it.'” As I wrote in that article, “History has proven that every word al-Saadi spoke was true, and every accusation made by Colin Powell (‘We know that Iraq has at least seven of these mobile biological agent factories…There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more… Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons.’) was false.” Remarkably, the fate of General al-Saadi, who was imprisoned after the war, remains unknown, while the fate of Colin Powell remains all too well-known.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Nunes Duels the Deep State

By Pat Buchanan •  Unz Review • February 6, 2018

That memo worked up in the Intel Committee of Chairman Devin Nunes may not have sunk the Mueller investigation, but from the sound of the secondary explosions, this torpedo was no dud.

The critical charge:

To persuade a FISA court to issue a warrant to spy on Trump aide Carter Page, the FBI relied on a dossier produced by a Trump-hating British spy, who was using old Kremlin contacts, while being paid to dig up dirt on Donald Trump by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Not only were the Clinton campaign and DNC paying the spy, Christopher Steele, for his dirt-diving, the FBI put Steele on its own payroll, until they caught him lying about leaking to the media.

In their requests for search warrants, the FBI never told the FISA court judge their primary source was a 35-page dossier delivered by Steele that their own Director James Comey described as “salacious and unverified.”

From the Nunes memo, there was, at the highest level of the FBI, a cabal determined to derail Trump and elect Clinton. Heading the cabal was Comey, who made the call to exonerate Hillary of criminal charges for imperiling national security secrets, even before his own FBI investigation was concluded.

Assisting Comey was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, running for a Virginia state senate seat, received a windfall of $467,000 in contributions from Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Last week, McCabe was discharged from the FBI. Seems that in late September 2016, he learned from his New York field office that it was sitting on a trove of emails between Anthony Weiner and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, which potentially contained security secrets.

Not until late October did Comey inform Congress of what deputy McCabe had known a month earlier.

Other FBI plotters were Peter Strzok, chief investigator in both the Clinton email server scandal and Russiagate, and his FBI girlfriend, Lisa Page. Both were ousted from the Mueller investigation when their anti-Trump bias and behavior were exposed last summer.

Filling out the starting five was Bruce Ohr, associate deputy attorney general under Loretta Lynch. In 2016, Ohr’s wife was working for Fusion GPS, the oppo research arm of the Clinton campaign, and Bruce was in direct contact with Steele.

Now virtually all of this went down before Robert Mueller was named special counsel. But the poisoned roots of the Russiagate investigation and the bristling hostility of the investigators to Trump must cast a cloud of suspicion over whatever charges Mueller will bring.

Now another head may be about to fall, that of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

If Mueller has given up trying to prove Trump collusion with the Kremlin and moved on to obstruction of justice charges, Rosenstein moves into the crosshairs.

For the heart of any obstruction scenario is Trump’s firing of James Comey and his boasting about why he did it.

But not only did Rosenstein discuss with Trump the firing of Comey, he went back to Justice to produce the document to justify what the president had decided to do.

How can Rosenstein oversee Mueller’s investigation into the firing of James Comey when he was a witness to and a participant in the firing of James Comey?

The Roman poet Juvenal’s question comes to mind. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchmen?

Consider where we are. Mueller is investigating alleged Trump collusion with Russia, and the White House is all lawyered up.

The House intel committee is investigating Clinton-FBI collusion to defeat Trump and break his presidency. FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz is looking into whether the fix was in to give Hillary a pass in the probe of her email server.

Comey has been fired, his deputy McCabe removed, his chief investigator Strzok ousted by Mueller for bigoted anti-Trump behavior, alongside his FBI paramour, Page. Bruce Ohr has been demoted for colluding with Steele, who was caught lying to the FBI and fired, and for his wife’s role in Fusion GPS, which was being paid to dig up dirt on Trump for Clinton’s campaign.

If Americans are losing confidence in the FBI, whose fault is that? Is there not evidence that a hubristic cadre at the apex of the FBI — Comey, McCabe, Strzok foremost among them — decided the Republic must be saved from Trump and, should Hillary fail, they would step in and move to abort the Trump presidency at birth?

To the deep state, the higher interests of the American people almost always coincide with their own.

Copyright 2018 Creators.com.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nunes Memo Needs More Work

But the FBI has been lying to the public for years

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • February 6, 2018

The House Intelligence Committee Memo on possible FBI and Justice Department malfeasance relating mostly to the investigation of Donald Trump associate Carter Page is in some ways a bewildering document. As a former intelligence officer, the first thing I noticed was that the claim by Democrats on the Committee that the memo’s release amounted to “treason” and would compromise classified information does not hold water. I could identify nothing in the memo that was even plausibly damaging to national security, though it might be argued that writing down anything about the activity and operation of the FISA court is ipso facto a compromise of secrets. It is a view that I would dispute because the memo does not actually expose any ongoing investigations or place in danger law enforcement officials. It is one of those fake security arguments that go something like “It is secret because it is secret.”

The document is generally being referred to as the “Nunes Memo” after the name of the head of the House Intelligence Community, Devin Nunes, who ordered it drafted and who has been promoting its release. Having read the text through a number of times, it would appear to me that, in spite of Republican claims, it is somewhat less than a bombshell. It will need considerable elaboration to allow one to come to any real conclusions regarding whether sometimes sloppy FBI and DOJ procedures were either deliberate or driven by malice. It suggests that the Bureau may have been less than forthcoming in seeking a FISC ruling on Carter Page, who was at the time of the warrant not any longer a low-level associate of the Trump campaign, but there is no real hard evidence that the omission was deliberate and no compelling revelation of motive apart from the evidence that some senior officials and the author of the Steele Dossier did not like Donald Trump.

Even the evidence about the critically important Steele Dossier provided by the memo is somewhat ambiguous, particularly as the document suggests that Steele was a paid and fully controlled “intelligence source” of the Bureau and must have been acting under FBI direction. His meeting with a Legatt Officer in Rome at the insistence of the Bureau also suggests that he was cooperating without authorization from his former employer MI6, which could mean trouble down the road for Steele.

Beyond that there is some confusion. One source, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, said, but has since recanted, that the dossier was essential to the FISC request while another Assistant FBI Director Bill Priestap saying its allegations were in their “infancy” of being corroborated. That would seem to suggest that the Bureau deliberately used an unvetted Steele report of questionable provenance to make a case to surveil an American citizen under FISA, but is that really true? Indeed, it appears that the Democrats will concede that the dossier was used but it was only a “small and insignificant” part of the case. But if that was not so and the Republican allegation is basically correct, it would be devastating as the dossier was, in FBI Director James Comey’s judgment, “salacious.” And we do not know, of course, what the Bureau had developed on Page independently, which is no doubt what its counter-offensive and that of the Democrats will also focus on, a response which, incidentally, could reveal actual secrets relating to intelligence sources and methods.

And then there is FISA itself and its court. It is a peculiar structure intended to protect the civil liberties of suspects suspected of being “foreign agents” by requiring the government to show cause for a surveillance, but it has morphed into a rubber stamp for investigation of anyone and nearly everyone who can plausibly be suspected of nearly anything. It has replaced the civil court standard of “probable cause” to initiate surveillance with nothing more than suspicion. It only hears one side of an argument, that provided by the FBI, and it approves over 99% of requests. The investigations that it authorizes are far more intrusive than in normal civil or criminal cases, to include nearly everything connected with an individual.

So, we are left with a bowl of porridge – the FBI might have, and probably did, frontload its request to the court to favor the action that it wanted to take, but isn’t that normal procedure anyway? Is anyone expecting a police agency charged with finding and arresting bad guys and promoting its people on that basis to be objective? If one looks at the terrorism related convictions since 2001, it is clear that the Bureau will do whatever it takes to get a conviction, up to an including inserting informants who actually instigate the criminal activity, a practice known as entrapment. Even the FISA court is aware of FBI inventiveness. In 2002 it identified 75 false or misleading claims made by Bureau officers and some officials have been blocked from testifying before the court due to their having provided false witness.

FBI procedures and ambiguities aside, this is nevertheless serious business. If it can be determined that the omissions in submissions to the FISC were deliberate and calculated, the astute blogger Publius Tacitus has correctly observed that some senior FBI and DOJ officials who signed off on misleading or fraudulent applications concealing the antecedents of the so-called Steele Dossier to the FISC are now facing possible contempt-of-court charges that would include prison sentences. They include James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rob Rosenstein.

So there is likely considerably more controversy to come, whether or not the Bureau can or cannot provide backstory that credibly challenges the Republican Intelligence Committee memo. But it is also intriguing to consider what is missing from the document. As it is focused on the FBI and DOJ, there is no speculation about the possible role of senior intelligence officials CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Michael Isikoff reported in September 2016 that the two men were involved in obtaining information on Page and it has also been suggested that Brennan sought and obtained raw intelligence from British, Polish, Dutch and Estonian intelligence services, which apparently was then passed on to the Bureau and might have motivated James Comey to proceed with his investigation of the Trump associates. One has to consider that Brennan and Clapper, drawing on intelligence resources and connections, might have helped the FBI build a fabricated case against Trump.

Senator John McCain, a highly vocal critic of Trump, might have also become involved, wittingly or unwittingly, in the project to feed derogatory information on the GOP president-elect and his associates to the FBI. He reportedly obtained a copy of the Steele Dossier in December 2017 and passed it on to Comey, clearly intending that the FBI Director should take some action regarding it.

Indeed, there were many prominent voices raised demanding that something be done about Donald Trump. Eleven months ago, shortly after Trump took office, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, speculated on how he had been “… led to believe that maybe even the Democratic Party, whatever element of it, approached John Brennan at the CIA, maybe even the former president of the United States. And John Brennan, not wanting his fingerprints to be on anything, went to his colleague in London GCHQ, MI-6 and essentially said, ‘Give me anything you’ve got.’ And he got something and he turned it over to the DNC or someone like that. And what he got was GCHQ MI-6s tapes of conversations of the Trump administration perhaps, even the President himself. It’s really kind of strange, at least to me, they let the head of that organization go, fired him about the same [time] this was brewing up. So I’m not one to defend Trump, but in this case he might be right.”

Wilkerson is referring to the highly unusual abrupt resignation of Robert Hannigan, the Director of Britain’s version of the National Security Agency (NSA), referred to by the acronym GCHQ, which took place on January 23rd of last year. The British Official Secrets Act has meant that there was at that time little speculation in the U.K. media about the move, but some observers have wondered if it is somehow connected to possible collaboration with U.S. intelligence officers over Donald Trump. That remains an area of inquiry that has hardly been looked at, perhaps because the thought that the country’s top national security agencies were involved in a something like a grand conspiracy to subvert an election is still something that Congress would prefer not to consider.

One truly very interesting aspect of the Republican memo that has been scarcely commented upon is that even though the mainstream media is continuing to exercise its dangerous obsession with Russia by demanding that the Russiagate inquiry should continue full speed in spite of the concerns raised by the Republicans, there is absolutely nothing in the memo itself that indicates that Moscow tried to recruit any Trump associate as an agent or interfere in the U.S. election. The raison d’etre for the Congressional and Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigations appears to be lacking. Perhaps it is all sound and fury signifying nothing, but Russia might in reality have done little beyond the usual probing and nosing around that intelligence agencies routinely do. If the alleged Russiagate conspiracy is never actually demonstrated, which looks increasingly likely, it would certainly disappoint the many American talking heads and media “experts” who have been making a living off of bashing Moscow 24/7.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Guardian alleges Youtube algorithm bias in favour of Trump & “conspiracy theories”

Guillaume Chaslot “ex-Youtube insider”
OffGuardian | February 5, 2018

On February 1 the Guardian ran two pieces on alleged pro-Trump, pro-conspiracy, anti-government bias in Youtube’s “up next” algorithm.

The first – “Fiction is outperforming reality’: how YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth” – is a profile of “Guillaume Chaslot” a “French computer programmer” and an “ex-YouTube insider” who allegedly “reveals how its recommendation algorithm promotes divisive clips and conspiracy videos.”

“Did they harm Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency?” demands the standfirst, setting the agenda from the off.

To sum up for those who don’t want to plough through the bloated text, the article is a splicing of the author’s (Paul Lewis) own uninteresting personal experiences of the Youtube algorithm taking him “on a journey of its own volition” to “a video of two boys, aged about five or six, punching and kicking one another,” with broad entirely unchecked and uncorroborated claims from Chaslot about what he says the algorithm shows about Youtube bias.

The ‘meat’ of the story, if there is any, is that the public-spirited M. Chaslot was allegedly fired by Google in 2013, and has now – as a maverick outsider – built a program that can monitor Youtube’s secret algorithms used to select recommended content to its viewers.

Using this program Chaslot has allegedly discovered this rampant bias in favour of the usual suspects. In fact Guillaume claims his software has detected YT’s selection algorithm had an 80% bias in favour of Trump over Clinton during the election.

The second Guardian piece from Feb 1, “How an ex-YouTube insider investigated its secret algorithm” (they are really pushing this), pretty much reiterates these claims from a slightly different perspective. In this one two Guardianistas (Paul again and someone called Erin) checked the list of “8,052” videos Guillaume’s software produced as evidence of bias. The pair seem very excited about their ‘research’, but since they have made no effort to examine the program itself or verify its balance or objectivity, their results are more or less worthless. GIGA always applies. Until we know exactly how Chaslot’s code works and until it’s been verified by some other parties, its conclusion remain moot at best.

The idea Youtube has a bias in favour of conspiracy theories seems fairly unlikely and will probably come as a very big surprise to all those whose “conspiracy-theory” accounts have been targeted for demonetization, or suffered “banning.. and de-trending… for posting hateful, fake or inappropriate content that challenges or mocks progressive narratives” since the previous clamp down on free thought by Google. In fact, given all this established fact, at this stage some of you inveterate sceptics and “conspiracy-theorists” out there might even be wondering how reliable M. Chaslot’s software actually is.

There’s no real information about this in either of the articles, beyond unverified claims that the program selects only top recommends on each pass. Chaslot’s website doesn’t seem to shed any light either.

The most potentially useful avenue to explore is to simply do your own searches using Chaslot’s professed method. Do you find the same overwhelming preponderance of conspiracy videos and pro-Trump videos as he and the Guardianistas claim? Let us know your results.

Another helpful thing is a link the Guardian provides to Chaslot’s code on GitHub.

If any of you out there are coders why not check it out while it remains available. See if Chaslot’s results can be duplicated. Is his program telling us a surprising truth, or is it flawed and unrepresentative?

This isn’t a trivial question, because today’s Guardian article on the same subject -“ Senator warns YouTube algorithm may be open to manipulation by ‘bad actors’” – makes it absolutely clear these claims are going to be used as a basis for fresh and probably draconian censorship which may see the end of any place on YouTube for opinions that even mildly question those sanctified “progressive narratives” of militarism, Russia-hate, endless war and global austerity.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Academics Who Serve as Israel’s Useful Idiots

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | February 5, 2018

How is it that highly schooled people, those who have risen to positions of authority and influence within the west’s higher education systems, so often behave as if the bit of their brain governing rational thought has turned to mush whenever the issue of Israel is raised?

Let’s take the case of Richard Carver, a senior lecturer in human rights and governance at Oxford Brookes University. He has just published a letter in the London Review of Books in which he seeks to discredit support for BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – as evidence of what he (like Israel’s supporters) terms “the new anti-semitism”.

In short, he presents the BDS campaign’s positive support for Palestinian rights as if it were intended to be a negative campaign to harm Jews. The illogic of that ought to be obvious to all.

But let’s dig deeper. Here’s Carver in the LRB :

I would be more inclined to respect the bona fides of the BDS movement if it were equally exercised about China, Morocco, Turkey or any other country engaged in long-term illegal occupations – or, for that matter, war in Syria, torture in Egypt or suppression of dissent in Iran. But the Jewish state is judged by a different standard, which is precisely the phenomenon described by the concept of the ‘new anti-Semitism’.

How derisively would we have treated an academic – an expert in human rights, no less – who argued back in the 1980s that those who supported a boycott of apartheid South Africa must have been secretly anti-white or anti-Christian because they did not equally prioritise a boycott of Israel?

Carver can get away with his intellectually risible logic – and get his letter published in the LRB – only because the combination of words “Israel” and “anti-semitism” make otherwise sensible people become gibbering idiots.

In fact, if we apply some proper logic to Carver’s position, we find that even my counter-proposition above is too kind to him.

Apartheid South Africa was, and Israel still is, a product of western political, diplomatic and economic patronage. Grassroots campaigns like boycott movements can make, and have made, a difference to the viability of these European-originated settler colonial regimes. South Africa was, and Israel is, vulnerable to sanctions from western allies.

Much harder to make the same case for western activism against China, Iran and Syria, for example, which are official “enemies” of the west.

After all, grassroots action in the west is designed to discomfit not just Israel, or before it apartheid South Africa, but the western elites who prop up these regimes. Activism in the west was/is targeted chiefly against the complicity of western elites in these colonial offshoots.

None of that is true of China, Syria or Iran. Western governments are only too ready to harm these states – and the civilians in them – if they think they can get away with it. They don’t need our encouragement. Any grassroots activism directed against Syria or Iran is, at best, doomed to be wasted energy and, at worst, likely to be exploited to justify intensifying the west’s hostile manoeuvres against official enemies.

Those are deductions a schoolchild could make. And yet, for some reason, they elude our esteemed professor of human rights.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 5 Comments

What the FBI/FISA Memo Really Tells Us About Our Government

By Ron Paul | February 5, 2018

The release of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s abuse of the FISA process set off a partisan firestorm. The Democrats warned us beforehand that declassifying the memo would be the end the world as we know it. It was reckless to allow Americans to see this classified material, they said. Agents in the field could be harmed, sources and methods would be compromised, they claimed.

Republicans who had seen the memo claimed that it was far worse than Watergate. They said that mass firings would begin immediately after it became public. They said that the criminality of US government agencies exposed by the memo would shock Americans.

Then it was released and the world did not end. FBI agents have thus far not been fired. Seeing “classified” material did not terrify us, but rather it demonstrated clearly that information is kept from us by claiming it is “classified.”

In the end, both sides got it wrong. Here’s what the memo really shows us:

First, the memo demonstrates that there is a “deep state” that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump’s repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion dollar yearly military budget.

Imagine if candidate Trump had kept his campaign promises when he became President. Without the “Russia threat” and without the “China threat” and without the need to dump billions into NATO, we might actually have reaped a “peace dividend” more than a quarter century after the end of the Cold War. That would have starved the war-promoting military-industrial complex and its network of pro-war “think tanks” that populate the Washington Beltway area.

Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims. It is clear that the FISA abuse detailed in the memo was well known to Republicans like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes before the memo was actually released. It was likely also well known by Democrats in the House. But both parties suppressed this evidence of FBI abuse of the FISA process until after the FISA Amendments Act could be re-authorized. They didn’t want Americans to know how corrupt the surveillance system really is and how the US has become far too much like East Germany. That might cause more Americans to call up their Representatives and demand that the FISA mass surveillance amendment be allowed to sunset.

Ironically, Chairman Nunes was the biggest cheerleader for the extension of the FISA Amendments even as he knew how terribly the FISA process had been abused!

Finally, hawks on both sides of the aisle in Congress used “Russia-gate” as an excuse to build animosity toward Russia among average Americans. They knew from the classified information that there was no basis for their claims that the Trump Administration was put into office with Moscow’s assistance, but they played along because it served their real goal of keeping the US on war footing and keeping the gravy train rolling.

But don’t worry: the neocons in both parties will soon find another excuse to keep us terrified and ready to flush away a trillion dollars a year on military spending and continue our arguments and new “Cold War” with Russia.

In the meantime, be skeptical of both parties. With few exceptions they are not protecting liberty but promoting its opposite.

February 6, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment