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Lee Harvey Oswald and Spenser Rapone

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | June 28, 2018

The U.S. military’s treatment of Army Lt. Spenser Rapone provides additional circumstantial evidence that the official story about accused lone-nut presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is pure bunk.

Rapone is a West Point graduate who was admitted to West Point after serving as an enlisted man in Afghanistan. Recently, the army brass gave him a less-than-honorable discharge. The reason? Rapone believes in communism and opposes U.S. imperialism. He made this clear when he posted on social media a picture of himself at graduation at West Point with a sign on the inside of his hat that said “Communism will win” and another picture of himself wearing a t-shirt under his uniform with a picture of communist Che Guevara.

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio perfectly expressed the mindset of the military establishment: “While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States.”

None of this should surprise anyone. This is precisely how we would expect the U.S. military to react to a U.S. soldier who believes in communism. After all, let’s not forget: the entire 45 years of the Cold War was driven by the U.S. national-security establishment’s antipathy toward communism and communists.

Which brings up Lee Harvey Oswald, the supposed communist that the U.S. establishment continues to claim assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

Who was Oswald? Like Rapone, he was a U.S. soldier, specifically a U.S. Marine. Also, Oswald was supposedly a communist.

Yet, interestingly enough, the military’s treatment of Oswald was totally different from its treatment of Rapone.

Rapone’s ideological evolution to socialism and communism occurred after he had already served in Afghanistan and while he was a student at West Point.

Not so with Oswald. The official story is that he was a communist devotee before he joined the military.

But does that make any sense?

For one thing, why would a communist want to join the Marines, especially soon after the Korean War, during which the U.S. military killed millions of North Korean people, all of whom were considered to be communists? Wouldn’t a genuine communist be angry with the Marines for doing that?

Moreover, since a peace treaty wasn’t signed with North Korea, there was the distinct possibility that the war could again erupt at any time, which necessarily would have involved the United States, given the Pentagon’s insistence on keeping U.S. troops in Korea. Why would a communist join an organization knowing that he could suddenly be called upon to kill his fellow communists?

While he was in the military, Oswald learned fluent Russian and continued studying communist doctrine. His fellow soldiers even came to jokingly calling him “Osvaldovitch.” What are the chances that the U.S. military would permit such a thing to happen within their midst, especially at the height of the Cold War? The military brass and the Marco Rubios of that time would have gone ballistic over a self-avowed communist serving in the Marines.

Oswald asked the Marine Corps to release him early so that, he told them, he could help his ailing mother. The Marine Corps granted the request. But it was lie. Instead, Oswald proceeded to the Soviet Union where he expressed a desire to give up his U.S. citizenship and, even graver, promised to give the Soviets classified information he had acquired while serving in the U.S. military, including his time at Atsugi Air Base in Japan, which housed the CIA’s top-secret spy plane, the U-2.

Oswald later expressed a desire to come home. No problem! U.S. officials paved the way for him, even covering some of his travel expenses. No matter that he had supposedly tried to give up his U.S. citizenship and defect to America’s Cold War “enemy,” the communist Soviet Union. No matter that he was returning with a Red wife. No matter that he had expressed sympathy for America’s foremost Cold War enemy, the communist Soviet Union. No matter that he had lived there for a couple of years. And no matter that he might have given classified information to the Soviets, which theoretically could have enabled them to shoot down U-2 spy pilot Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union.

They didn’t touch Oswald. No Edward Snowden treatment. No John Walker Lindh treatment. No Dalton Trumbo treatment. No Martin Luther King treatment. No McCarthyist treatment. No grand jury indictment. Why, not even a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury. Instead, one of the supposedly most notorious communists in U.S. history saunters across the Cold War stage of history with nary a peep of protest from the U.S. military and the Marco Rubios of that time.

Later, Oswald discovered that the U.S. military had changed his discharge from honorable to dishonorable while he was in the Soviet Union. But why didn’t they do that when “Osvaldovitch” was studying Russian and openly proclaiming himself to be a “communist” while he was serving in the Marine Corps, as they have done with Rapone? Why did they give him an honorable discharge in the first place, even permitting him to leave the military early to supposedly help his mother? When was the last time you saw the U.S. military, especially the Marines, treat any supposed communist with kindness and consideration?

So, what was going on here?

Soon after new President Lyndon Johnson called into existence the Warren Commission to conduct an “investigation” into the Kennedy assassination, the head of the commission, Earl Warren, called a top-secret meeting of the commission. He gravely informed the group that he had received some very disturbing information. The information was that Oswald was actually an informant or asset for U.S. intelligence or the FBI or both.

So, how did the Warren Commission resolve this disturbing information? They simply asked the heads of the FBI and CIA whether it was true. They both denied it, and that was the end of the matter. The possibility that they might have been lying apparently wasn’t given serious consideration. Warren ordered the members of the commission to keep the contents of that meeting permanently secret from the American people. He ordered the court reporter at the meeting to destroy her transcript of the meeting.

But Oswald as U.S. intelligence informant/asset is the only thing that makes sense. When Oswald was young, his favorite television program was I Led Three Lives, which was about a U.S. official who falsely posed as a communist to ferret out communists in American society. It would have made sense that Oswald fantasized about that type of job — a job for a real “patriot.” The fact that he joined the Marines, as his older brother had, would confirm that he viewed himself as a “patriot.” Semper fie!

Where does the CIA recruit from? The Marines are one of the CIA’s primary places for recruitment. That would explain how Oswald learned fluent Russian in the military. They were training him to be an asset and an infiltrator. This would also explain why the military establishment didn’t harass or evict “Osvaldovitch” from active duty, as they have with Rapone. Oswald was being trained to be a communist infiltrator, similar to the assets and informants that the CIA and the FBI were using to infiltrate the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, the U.S. Communist Party, the civil-rights movement, and other suspect organizations.

It would explain why Oswald tried to get his discharge from the military changed back to “honorable” after he returned from the Soviet Union. After all, why would a real communist care about receiving a less-than-honorable discharge from the U.S. military?

And it would explain why Oswald was positioned as the assassin of President Kennedy. After all, what better patsy than one who is a “communist”?

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

CARLA ORTIZ explains Syria to OAN

HANDS OFF SYRIA | June 25, 2018

Bolivian-American movie star Carla Ortiz explains terrorism in Syria (including the White Helmets and its western sponsors) to Pearson Sharp of One American News. 22 June 2018

June 28, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | | Leave a comment

British government involved in torture, report found

MEMO | June 28, 2018

The British government’s involvement in torture and rendition is “beyond doubt” the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) said today. The parliamentary committee, which oversee the work of the intelligence machinery of the UK, revealed the true scale of the UK government’s involvement in torture and rendition since the war on terror was launched by US President George Bush in 2001.

It is one of the most damning indictments ever of UK intelligence. Torture and rendition, according to the ISC, were much more widespread than previously reported. The ISC rejected the intelligence agencies’ defence and said that the cases were not just “isolated incidents”.

A litany of cases of concern was highlighted in two reports by the USC. One report deals with the mistreatment and rendition of detainees between 2001 and 2010, while the other considers current issues.

It said that in 232 cases UK personnel continued to supply questions or intelligence to other services despite knowledge or suspicion of mistreatment. In 198 cases UK personnel received intelligence from liaison services and knew that the detainees had been mistreated or at least should have suspected mistreatment.

Committee chairman, Conservative MP Dominic Grieve said: “In our view the UK tolerated actions, and took others, that we regard as inexcusable.” In three individual cases the MI6 or MI5 even made or offered to make a financial contribution to others to conduct a rendition operation. In 28 cases, the agencies suggested, planned or agreed to rendition operations proposed by others. In a further 22 cases, MI6 or MI5 provided intelligence to enable a rendition operation to take place. In 23 cases they failed to take action to prevent rendition.

Rendering or rendition involves sending a person from one country to another for imprisonment and interrogation, by methods such as torture, which would be illegal in the country doing the rendering. Prisoners were taken to prisons known as black sites scattered around the globe in some of the most brutal regimes to interrogate and torture prisoners. US intelligence agencies used the process of “extraordinary rendition” to send terror suspects for interrogation by security officials in other countries, where they have no legal protection or rights under American law.

“That the US, and others, were mistreating detainees is beyond doubt, as is the fact that the agencies and defence intelligence were aware of this at an early point,” the report says. “The same is true of rendition: there was no attempt to identify the risks involved and formulate the UK’s response. The report said that there was no understanding in HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] of rendition and no clear policy – or even recognition of the need for one.”

Grieve, said that the committee had reluctantly decided to bring the inquiry to a premature end because it had been denied access to key intelligence individuals by the prime minister. “It is difficult to comprehend how those at the top of the office did not recognise the pattern of mistreatment by the US,” he continued. Grieve also said that had the inquiry continued, the committee would have called the then home secretary, David Blunkett, and the previous foreign secretary, Jack Straw, to explain what they understood to be the situation at the time and why a briefing was not requested.

The committee also said that they wanted to interview the MI6 officers involved but the government had “denied [us] access to those individuals.”

Craig Murray, a former British diplomat, who gave “key evidence” to the ISC said in a Facebook post that he is the only senior British civil servant to enter a written protest of the torture policy but was sacked as a result.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Macron Embraces Liberal Authoritarianism by Attempting to Force French Children Into The Military

By Adam Garrie | EurasiaFuture | June 28, 2018

Emmanuel Macron was the first modern French President not to experience compulsory military service as prior to his eighteenth birthday, the French government abolished conscription. However, after benefiting from the fact that France is a country facing no traditional military threats, Macron has now put forward formal proposals which would force all 16 year old French girls and boys to serve in the military.

Macron’s proposals not only defy the pan-European trend of ending compulsory service but they also defy logic. It is well known that especially in the age of high-tech warfare, conscripted armies are simply not as efficient nor as effective as those comprised of volunteers. Countries that maintain compulsory military service are generally those that face major existential threats from traditional armed forces, countries with small populations or nations that simply have not got around to modifying old rules. In any case, many of the countries that still do enforce some kind of compulsory service are reducing the amount of years or months required while also offering a variety of exemptions.

Furthermore, while most countries that still conscript young people only begin the process when one has turned 18 and while furthermore, they generally only ever draft males – Macron has set the bar at the age of 16 and will require both males and females to forcibly join the armed forces if he gets his way.

Macron’s proposals represent a massive step backwards for the French people. France is a country that has enjoyed all the benefits of pan-European peace while its volunteer armed forces continue to inflect suffering upon the developing world along with their other NATO allies. There can be no justification for conscription during a time of unparalleled peace, but Macron has other things in mind.

While liberalism used to connote an idea of relaxed governmental controls on everything from the economy to public morality, today’s liberalism is increasingly embracing an atmosphere of classic authoritarianism which is used to enforce not patriotic nor moral values, but contemporary ultra-liberal ones. In other words, liberalism has pivoted from “do as you will do – no matter the consequences” to “do as we say or else be severely punished for not embracing our particular liberal set of social values”.

Macron’s attempt to militarise society by targeting children is the next logical progression of such a barbaric modus operandi and what is more worrying is that other liberal authoritarians in Europe may follow Macron in throwing away Europe’s peace by turning it into a needlessly more militarised region.

Without a doubt, the biggest problem that contemporary Europe faces is the migration crisis that was itself caused by Angela Merkel forcing a pan-EU open door policy down the throats of ordinary people who never got to have a formal say in the matter. As France has been one of the countries to most readily embrace Merkel’s open door policy, Macron bears his share of responsibility for the present crisis.

Macron has implied that his conscription policy is an attempt to use military service to create social solidarity where at present there is a great deal of discord. However, by militarising the youth, all it will do is propagate an atmosphere of violence that can only be tackled by tough policing when combined with an end to open door policies for economic migrants posing as refugees.

The problems in French society are due to a combination of lax enforcement of current drug laws, poor policing techniques against the proliferation of gangs, terror cells and weapons and an attitude of so-called political correctness which disallows police from following basic lines of logic in cracking down on criminal activities in society.

All Macron’s conscription plans will do is create more anger and violence among ordinary citizens who at the moment simply want professional police to do their job without the constraints they are currently under. Furthermore, Macron’s plan seeks to shift the blame for the migrant crisis onto an invisible foreign threat that a bulked-up, partially conscripted French military will now prepare to fight. This weapon of mass distraction seeks to point the finger at any given “foreign menace” as the cause of the current breakdown in French society when in reality it was France’s and the EU’s own policies which sowed the seeds of the current atmosphere of widespread discontent.

Macron’s liberal authoritarianism will simply punish French children for literally no reason at all, while simultaneously providing himself an excuse to deflect from the blame he has earned by his refusal to wake up to reality regarding Europe’s migrant crisis.

If there was ever a reason for French men and women to take to the streets and protest their government, this certainly is among the most important.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Same As It Ever Was: The GWOT and Colonial History

By Ron Jacobs | CounterPunch | June 28, 2018

Since the events popularly called 9-11, the general public of the western nations have grown used to ever intensifying security measures. These measures affect the way the public travels, attends sporting and musical events, and thinks about those who don’t look like them. Long gone are the days when one could buy an airline ticket with cash at the counter and walk on a flight without showing identification.

In her 2018 book, Deport, Deprive, Extradite: 21st Century State Extremism, Nisha Kapoor examines several cases of Muslims living in Britain accused of lending material support to terrorism. In her examination of these case studies, she exposes the abuses of the British internal security apparatus and its intimate collaboration with the much greater security apparatus of the United States. The processes she reveals describe a Kafkaesque web that is impossible to escape once one is trapped in its threads. Indeed, virtually every case she explores ends with the individual targeted by the surety services taking a plea no matter how flimsy the evidence against them is. It’s as if they are found guilty and sentenced before the trial like those in the Queen of Heart’s courtroom found in Lewis Carrol’s Through the Looking Glass. Indeed, Kapoor quotes from this fiction in her text to make that exact point.

Although many US and British citizens were (and are) appalled at the torture and extraordinary rendition of suspects, in part because of the illegality of the practice, fewer seem opposed to the practice of legal extradition. As Kapoor points out throughout her text, this policy is actually quite similar to extraordinary rendition in how it is actually carried out. Like those who are moved illegally via extraordinary rendition, the suspects extradited (usually to the United States) are hooded, bound and tortured. The fact that their movement is legal only points to the weakness of the law.

Underlying the case studies discussed in the text is Kapoor’s contention that the practices of rendition, extradition and the accompanying torture and abuse of detainees are a continuation of strategies and policies established under colonial administrations in the past.  In other words, they are racist and therefore dismissive of the subject’s humanity and importance except as a target of abuse and imprisonment. Their very existence demands suspicion of crimes against the regime and their rationale of any actions (or thoughts about actions) is not rational but the result of a fanaticism. In the nominally secular world of the western regimes primarily involved in the capture and imprisonment of these suspects it is the religion of Islam which is the cause of their irrationality.

Another important context that is crucial to the text’s understanding of the “war on terror” is Kapoor’s emphasis on the fact that this entire project is a direct extension of liberal governance and philosophy. In her writing, she references John Stuart Mill and other liberal philosophers’ disparaging comments on non-Western civilizations. Furthermore, she draws a clear line from liberalism to authoritarianism, pointing out that as the judicial element in such governments has been weakened, the legislatures have given more and more power to the executive, which has rendered any existing balance of power virtually meaningless. In other words, the pretense that liberal government is somehow different from authoritarianism has been ripped away by the increasingly invasive, harsh and repressive measures undertaken in the name of the war on terror.

Unwritten, but clearly present is this essential fact:  the more time that passes under this regime of what Kapoor justly calls state extremism goes on, the fewer people there will be  who can remember when liberal governments were more liberal than illiberal and human beings were not suspect at birth. Deport, Deprive, Extradite is not merely an examination of human rights abuses of the recent past; it is also a harbinger of a harsher future. One would do well to heed its warning and act against the possibilities it discusses.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Islamophobia | , , | Leave a comment

OPCW Wins New Powers to Undermine Authority of UN Security Council

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 28.06.2018

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the Hague-based enforcement body for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and has been operating since 1997. It has 193 UN states as members. Its mission is to oversee global compliance with the convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons (CW) and requires their destruction. The inspectors have the power to say whether chemical weapons have been used following a fact-finding visit. Until the watchdog’s recent conference, they had not been authorized to identify the group or country suspected of deploying such weapons in any specific incident. The West used pressure to change that.

On June 27, an OPCW special session held in the Hague, the Netherlands, voted to expand the powers of the international chemical weapons watchdog. It was only the fourth conference held by the organization in its 21-year history and the first gathering to address the problem of the non-attribution of responsibility for the use of CW.

A total of 147 countries were accredited to join the session. Forty-six nations did not take part for various reasons. A two-thirds majority, minus any abstentions, was required for the proposal to be approved. The vote was 82-24 — only 106 out of 193 voted, leaving 87 (or 45% of all OPCW members) aside. It passed in accordance with the rules but was far from being very convincing overall! When you add 24 to 87 you get 111 members out of 193 who did not approve the decision. This was no great victory.

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson put forward the proposal in order to give the organization some teeth. The UK government thinks the OPCW must adopt a higher profile, which would include the authority to identify the perpetrators, otherwise it will lose its relevance. The powers of attribution that are to be used initially in Syria will be strengthened and expanded at a later special conference in six months.

The proposal submitted by the UK had the backing of the United States, the European Union, and other nations under their influence. From the very beginning the British initiative was supported by the secretariat of the OPCW. It’s no wonder, as it caters to the interests of bureaucrats. Their clout and salaries will grow. A host of countries, including Russia, opposed the move. Moscow believes that the result of the vote places the organization’s future in doubt.

In a nutshell, the approved proposal will turn that body into a political tool to be used to undermine international security, because it encroaches on the exclusive prerogatives of the UN Security Council. The OPCW was not created to carry out the functions of prosecutor and international police. In Syria, the organization has not done its job efficiently, often failing to gather evidence at the site and using untrustworthy sources of information while preparing its reports. For instance, violations of the core principle of Chain of Custody and many provisions of the CWC took place last year during the investigations of the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack, during which the inspectors did not travel to inspect Syria’s Shayrat air base. The same story was repeated during the 2018 attack in Douma. The investigation was poorly conducted. There were serious disagreements between member states, which prevented that body from reaching definitive conclusions.

The performance of the OPCW has so far not been up to par, so why should its authority be expanded, making it responsible for such a complicated task as assigning blame? The OPCW is not a court. Its inspectors are not trained to be judges. If the OPCW can hand down guilty verdicts, then what do we need international tribunals and other bodies for?

The British proposal did not even offer to reform the organization before assigning it a new mission. No details were provided as to how to ensure transparency and impartiality. If the OPCW is to make final conclusions on guilt, it should have a mechanism to prevent its being politicized and biased. It all goes to show that political motives prevailed when the initiative was put forward. Many nations don’t care much about the Skripal case but they will vote to put the blame on Russia in order to curry favor with the UK and its allies. Many of them see the events in Syria as a far-off problem. They will also vote to please those who hold influence over them. A country can be blamed without hard evidence presented.

Nice words were uttered condemning the use of CW, and highfalutin speeches were given to play on people’s heartstrings, but not all that glitters is gold. Quite often decisions approved by a relative majority are dictated by emotions, not wisdom. Many aspects of the matter had not been clarified, a lot of questions were still unanswered, and some topics that cried out for a thorough discussion had simply been swept under the rug. As a result, a very important international body has been turned into a tool for playing political games instead of doing the job it was initially created for. It may come to conclusions and point its finger at culprits, but will it enjoy a high level of trust? That’s what leaves us with a lot of doubts.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Bellingcat & Atlantic Council join to award exploited Syrian child & American Mass Murderer

MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images
By Eva Bartlett | RT | June 28, 2018

Just when we thought the over-used Bana al-Abed story was in the war propaganda dustbin, the wonder-child theme has again been re-hashed, this time by the Atlantic Council.

The so-called “think tank” recently highlighted the nine-year old at a conference that also included former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright.

Bana, the child presented to the world in late 2016 as tweeting from eastern Aleppo about wanting peace, Russia being bad, Assad being bad, etcetera, became colonial media’s darling, the perfect cover for war propaganda. We are told that Bana al-Abed has written a memoir. She has attended galas, met the Turkish president, and hobnobbed with movie stars and UN officials. Now, the girl has been trotted out on stage to receive an award from the Atlantic Council.

Critical-thinkers aren’t fooled by the Bana story. As I wrote earlier:

Critiques on Amazon reveal that thinking people aren’t buying brand Bana, in spite of her UN appearance and rehearsed speech about children dying from bombs and hunger (which the United Nations retweeted, as all good neutral and credible institutions might).

That her father was a member of a terrorist organization in Aleppo and worked in a Sharia Court has been documented, as has her family’s close proximity to numerous terrorist headquarters in their area of Aleppo alone.

But still, her official story is dragged on, endlessly.

Last April, after the world declared, with zero evidence, that Syria had used a toxic chemical on civilians in Douma, when Syrians testified to the contrary, Western leaders and corporate media labeled giving their testimony as a “masquerade,” “obscene.” They ignored the words of 11-year-old Hassan Diab from Douma. They ignored numerous reports of independent journalists whose reporting from Douma corroborate the testimonies. These people, corporate media tell us, are not to be believed.

Yet, as I wrote earlier, “Corporate media and Western leaders had no issues with the credibility of Bana, who was living surrounded by 25 terrorist cells in her district alone.”

What is the Atlantic Council?

Is the Atlantic Council some benevolent organization handing out awards to do-gooding people?

No. It’s a Washington DC-based think tank, which promulgates lies and propaganda to further imperialist wars and weapons sales, among other things. One of its Syria “experts” is none other than Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins, who recently took to social media to tell people to suck his “big balls,” making him more of a laughing stock than this backgrounder on the man with no qualifications to his title.

Some of the Atlantic Council’s funders include: the US State Department, oil and weapons manufacturing companies, banks, NATO, various nations’ ministries of defence, and the US Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy.

Even just based on funding alone, and ignoring their pro-NATO policy papers, the Atlantic Council clearly exists to further the interests of those involved in weapons manufacturing, wars, and oil.

‘Banging’: Bellingcat’s interview with Bana

In her interview with Bellingcat, Bana seems more natural than in her early 2017 “save, save the children of Syria” interview (her reply to what kind of food she liked). This time, she can answer basic ‘how are you’ questions. Her replies are met with “cool, cool, cool,” and “banging,” by Bellingcat’s Nick Waters.

After the chit-chat, Bana begins what is clearly a scripted soliloquy, staring forward, possibly concentrating on repeating what is likely being transmitted to her ear, speaking about children and war, destroyed schools, and of course not ever mentioning the terrorists who surrounded her home and occupied schools as headquarters, nor that her own father was a terrorist.

It is a transparently unauthentic recitation, with Bana continually pausing mid-sentence, presumably to hear the rest of what she is told to say. After two and a half minutes of this cringeworthy monologue, she breaks into song, singing “We shall overcome.”

When later receiving her Atlantic Council “Freedom Award,” she gives another rehearsed speech, again halting mid-sentence throughout her five minutes of talking.

These theatrical performances, hosted and encouraged by the Atlantic Council and Bellingcat, epitomize the depth that the NATO alliance is willing to stoop to, grasping desperately at legitimacy in their transparent war propaganda.

It was not only a shameful, but an embarrassing, fail for the Atlantic Council. As of two days later, there isn’t a single positive comment on the Youtube video of her interview. To the contrary, comments speak of child abuse, war propaganda, and that the girl is likely being fed her lines by an earpiece.

On the Atlantic Council’s Youtube channel, comments are disabled for Bana’s award speech.

Failed Sherlocks accuse a non-bot of being a troll

The DFRLab is a project of the Atlantic Council, ostensibly to identify those prolific (Russian) bots and trolls out there.

On June 22, Atlantic Council CEO and President Fred Kempe tweeted:

“Checking in at the 360 / OS #DigitalSherlocks! The @DFRLab team is working together with activists and journalists from all around the world to enhance our ability to identify trolls in the web spreading disinformation and fake news that pollute our open societies.”

The second photo in the tweet identifies three Twitter accounts as possible “trolls”: @Malinka1102, @ian56789, and @bowhunter_va.

One of the accused, @Malinka1102, tweeted about her preference for privacy and not being subjected to witch-hunts and harassment.

Having myself been a target of endless harassment and smear campaigns, I can appreciate her concerns, some of which are also included in a book by Phil Butler’s book.

In fact, a new article by Ben Nimmo—who previously targeted @ian56789 as a “Russian bot” (an accusation revealed to be baseless when Ian gave a live Sky News interview, revealing himself to be a concerned British man)—now targets a number of twitter profiles as “trolls”, including yours truly.

So basically, people who challenge the State Department, sorry, Atlantic Council, Human Rights Watch, and all the other arms of the US and UK governments on their war propaganda are not thinking people with consciences, they are just “trolls”. That’s what DFRLab wants you to believe.

Atlantic Council awards its own war propaganda

On awarding Bana al-Abed, the Atlantic Council tweeted about her humanizing the “Syrian civil war.”

Oh, the irony. The exploited child’s Twitter account has called for World War Three, has whitewashed Al-Qaeda and indeed Bana’s own father Ghassan, a terrorist with the Safwa Brigade.

The irony of also awarding Madeleine Albright — known for her lack of remorse over the 500,000 Iraqi children who died as a result of sanctions — was not lost on people.

Every new Bana production mocks the children in Syria who are actually starving — like those in Ghouta when under terrorist rule, those when under terrorist rule in eastern Aleppo, in Madaya, in al-Waer — and who are being maimed or murdered by terrorist bombings.

The Atlantic Council and Bellingcat are guilty of war propaganda. As @ian56789 wrote to me in a message:

“The members of the Atlantic Council and DFRLab should be indicted as accomplices to War Crimes, for providing actual material support to al-Qaeda terrorists, and for Treason (actively supporting official enemies of the US & UK). They should be spending the rest of their lives in jail and fined every penny they’ve got.”

And those abusing and exploiting Bana al-Abed in their ongoing war propaganda should join them.


Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip and Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Russian Envoy Bashes UN Top Political Official’s Report on Iran Nuclear Deal

Sputnik – 28.06.2018

Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia on Wednesday lashed out at the UN under-secretary for political affairs for giving an “unbalanced” assessment of how Iran lived up to its nuclear commitments.

UN’s top political official Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Wednesday the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was “at a crossroads” despite Iran’s “continued adherence” to its nuclear pledges.

“The report is openly imbalanced in nature and resembles more an unfounded series of accusations against Iran rather than an attempt to paint an objective picture of the situation,” Nebenzia said at a briefing.

He said DiCarlo’s approach was all the more incomprehensible since neither of the examples of alleged violations by Tehran was confirmed due to insufficient information.

“The report is a clear evidence of an unqualified compliance of Iran with commitments under the JCPOA which is consistently confirmed not just by IAE but by the UN secretariat as well, which – as the document tells us – has no verified proof of the opposite,” he stressed.

Russia insists, the diplomat added, that the UN should not reference information from open sources or unverified data provided by individual countries, especially when it was not provided to the Security Council.

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, the European Union and the P5+1 group of countries comprising the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany. Under the pact, Tehran agreed to scale down its nuclear program in return for sanctions easing.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

US’ Iran Regime-Change Plan: Hit Economy, Orchestrate Protests, Engage MEK Cult to Chant “Democracy”

By Elliot Gabriel | Mint Press News | June 28, 2018

Iran’s latest wave of protests against the suffering state of the economy and the plunging value of the rial appeared to have come and gone by Wednesday, as crowds dissipated and businesses opened up shop following a two-day strike. While clashes between security forces and protesters during the protests were far from widespread, the very fact that the protests broke out hints at the extreme duress Iran is undergoing thanks to President Donald Trump’s renewed economic war on the country.

Judging by the enthusiastic response to the demonstrations in the U.S., Saudi, and Israeli press, anti-Iranian forces are clearly banking on the possibility that the sanctions that will soon be reimposed in the next several months could dislodge the Islamic Republic, clearing the way for a regime friendly to the West.

Thus we have witnessed anti-Iran publications like the Israeli Jerusalem Post frothing over with excitement over scenes of alleged Iranian citizens chanting “Death to Palestine,” “Let go of Syria – think about us,” and the much-beloved anti-Ayatollah Khamenei mainstay “Death to dictator.”

While videos from Iran depict what could very well be an organic groundswell of social protest against government policies, photos published in papers like the Post show a different story: middle-aged Persian men gripping English-language signs and the flags of the toppled Iranian monarchy, along placards bearing the portrait of an unlikely figure: the mustachioed, mysterious and long-disappeared charismatic cult leader who is considered an outlawed terrorist and traitor to the nation — Massoud Rajavi.

Rajavi was the leader of the group that lies at the center of the anti-Iran alliance’s “regime change” dreams: Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), or the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). A fanatical militant group whose title translates literally to the “The People’s Holy Warriors,” this eccentric left-nationalist, pseudo-religious cult has been led by Massoud’s wife, Maryam Rajavi, since the 1980s.

Formed in 1965, the group’s tortured history has seen it transformed from a movement of communist-influenced, Islamist-tinged anti-imperialists who carried out attacks on U.S. military officers in Iran into an authoritarian de facto mercenary army serving anyone opposed to the Islamic Republic – be it Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Israel, or the United States.

The group wields major PR clout and outsized influence in Western capitals through countless front groups like the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), through which it depicts itself as “a political coalition that represents all of Iran’s religious, ethnic, and political groups proportionately;”  stresses feminist, Islamist, free-speech and pro-free-market values; and is firmly “committed to a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic” in Iran.

The RAND Corporation described the group as “skilled manipulators of public opinion,” but a cursory look at its publications shows a rather ham-fisted and self-celebratory pile of cultish jargon. Throughout the past week, publications like Iran Focus or Iran News Update – the latter of which bills itself as “Insider News & Analysis in Iran” – have pumped out articles boosting NCRI as “the only viable alternative to the Iranian regime” and claiming:

As protests in Iran continue to multiply and intensify, the regime’s claim to power is looking more and more tenuous. If the people were to overthrow their tyrannical government, the only democratic organization in the position to take over governance would be the NCRI … The regime’s reign of terror is at its close.”

The MEK was one of the first groups to be named a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department, but its extreme opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran and generous donations to politicians has led to its eventual delisting. The roster of politicians and influential figures tied to the MEK and its fronts spans much of the U.S. political spectrum, from the far right to the left-of-center.

Trump’s White House is a virtual all-star cast of MEK associates – explaining the administration’s frenzied push to scrap the nuclear deal and push to topple Tehran. Among the top supporters of MEK is White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, whose hatred of Iran’s government verges on the pathological.

A congressional foreign-policy aide who attended an Iranian New Year celebration hosted by an MEK front group told Foreign Policy magazine:

Bolton is positively predisposed to the MEK …  they will have some access to this White House, [to say] the least.”

From revolutionary anti-imperialists to bizarre mercenary cult

The MEK once enjoyed a decently-sized support base within Iran and even played a role in the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew U.S.-loyal Shah Reza Pahlevi and opened up a new period of national independence for the nation. Following the revolution, the group’s political struggles with the faction led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and failure to secure widespread support led it to deploy its Shah-era “armed struggle,” or terrorist tactics, against officials and clergy loyal to Khomeini, claiming the lives of dozens of key figures in the newly-formed government.

The Mojahedin (jihadists), whom the Islamic Revolution’s leader regularly derided as monafeghin (hypocrites) – an allusion to those in the Quran who conspired against the Prophet while feigning loyalty – became the top enemies of the Islamic Republic.

Faced with the full brunt of the Islamic Republic’s retribution, the group fled to Iraq in the 1980s and became a virtual “Iranian Legion” for Saddam Hussein, who equipped the group with heavy armor, uniforms, and artillery so that it could fight alongside Iraqi forces during the Iran-Iraq war. Following the war, the self-styled “national liberation army” launched a series of cross-border raids against Iranian civilian and military targets, sacrificing nearly all of its remaining support among Iranians.

The drop in Iranian support led to a push to replenish MEK ranks by targeting family members, wealthy potential donors, and expatriate Iranians in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. True to their form as a cult, the group promised to connect prospective recruits with a lifeline of assistance as the trade-off for their enlisting in the group.

According to the RAND Corporation:

Many were enticed not with promises of an opportunity to fight the IRI, but rather through promises of paid employment as translators, assistance in processing asylum requests, free visits to family members, public-health volunteer opportunities, and even marriage. All ‘recruits’ were brought into Iraq illegally and then required to hand over their identity documents for ‘safekeeping,’ effectively trapping them at MeK compounds. These findings suggest that many MeK recruits since 1986 were not true volunteers and have been kept at MeK camps in Iraq under duress.”

Watch | Cult of the Chameleon 

Tens of thousands of the group’s members remained under the protection of the Iraqi dictator, even participating in the bloody massacres that followed the Shia Arab and Kurdish uprisings of 1991, until the fall of the Ba’athist regime in 2003 when the U.S.-led coalition bombed the Saddam loyalists’ camps.

Seeing continued use for the MEK for their own anti-Iran efforts, however, the U.S. placed 3,800 members of the group under protective custody at Camp Ashraf, the sprawling city-sized base built for them by Saddam. Those who escaped the group had to undergo cult deprogramming.

Watch | Introducing Camp Ashraf

According to RAND, the group – which claims to uphold women’s equality – ensured that lines were “painted down the middle of hallways separating them into men’s and women’s sides” at the camp, prior to their expulsion by Iraqi forces in 2013. Many were shipped by the U.S. to Albania, the only country willing to accept them.

Yet while a major portion of the group’s membership spent over three decades imprisoned in Ba’athist Iraqi camps near the border with Iran, a significant chunk of the group – such as leader Maryam Rajavi – nestled into the Iranian expatriate communities in Paris, Washington, and other capitals. The group spent decades relentlessly lobbying Western governments and lawmakers to support its attempts to bring “reform” to Iran, and has even furnished intelligence to U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies in hopes to provide a casus belli for hostile policies and even military actions versus Tehran.

The “Iranian Resistance” wags the dog in Washington

In the U.S. capital, the group was enormously successful in its efforts to recruit an auxiliary brigade of highly influential top politicians to its cause. Even the far-right Washington Times, owned at the time by charismatic cult leader Reverend Sun Myung-Moon, issued glossy “special report” inserts hailing the militaristic group as the bringers of “freedom” to Iran. The publication included words of praise from Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the late Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal al-Saud, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), among many, many, others.

A brief list of these MEK supporters in the Republican Party reads like a who’s-who of anti-Iran officials from the neoconservative administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump:

  • In 2000, future Bush administration attorney general and Republican then-Senator John Ashcroft intervened on behalf of MKO military commander Mahnaz Samadi, who has been detained by immigration authorities due to her failure to disclose past terrorist ties — hailing the former anti-Iran combatant as a “highly regarded human-rights activist” and a “powerful voice for democracy.”
  • Former Pennsylvania Governor and first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge praised the National Council of Resistance in Iran as “the single most visible, most credible, and most effective democratic movement with a clear and specific program to bring a democratic Iran to existence,” led by the “steady hand and inspiring leadership” of cult leader Maryam Rajavi.
  • Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami, Florida, who served as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has been a major leader in legislation calling for regime-change measures against Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, and even called for Fidel Castro’s assassination in 2006. In 2003, she came out in defense of MEK as a group that “loves the United States” and is an ally in the “war on terrorism.”
  • Tea Party leader, Bush confidante and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey promoted the MEK while working for lobbying firm DLA Piper. Armey also represented Saeid Ghaemi, an Iranian expatriate in the U.S. who paid almost $910,000 to the lobbying firm “for Armey’s services bringing issues relating to Iran to the attention of Congress, the State Department, the Department of Defense, the White House, the National Security Council and the Department of Treasury.”

Watch | Giuliani Leads MEK “Regime Change” Chant

And then we have the top luminaries from President Donald Trump’s circle, including:

  • Former New York City Mayor and top White House lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who co-signed a letter along with various bipartisan officials urging a newly-inaugurated Trump to “establish a dialogue” with NCRI, and was revealed to have been a paid advocate for the removal of MEK from the State Department terror group list. Giuliani has been an almost annual guest at MEK functions in Paris and a regular anti-Iranian voice on television.  In 2015, Giuliani stood before a crowd of MEK supporters in Paris and shouted:

The ayatollah must go! Gone! Out! No more! I will not support anyone for president of the United States who isn’t clear on that slogan behind me. What does it say? It says regime change!”

  • Trump adviser and GOP elder Newt Gingrich, who ripped on former President Obama for bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia, but was caught on camera bowing to Maryam Rajavi – whom the conservative ultra-patriot sees as an Iranian version of U.S. founding father George Washington.
  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the elite Taiwanese-American wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has received honoraria in the amounts of $50,000 and $17,500 to speak for MEK front groups like the Iranian-American Cultural Association of Missouri and the NCRI. At the same Paris event attended by Giuliani, Chao sat as guest of honor alongside “president-elect” cult leader Rajavi before delivering a feminist-themed speech slamming Iran’s government.

And then, of course, there’s John Bolton, a ravening ultra-hawk with a nearly obsessive hatred of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Speaking to Foreign Policy magazine, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace senior fellow Karim Sadjadpour commented:

I suspect Bolton’s interactions with the MEK were above all motivated by financial interests … The MEK may be a backward cult with little to offer, but they are the enemy of his enemy. And they pay handsomely.”

The same can likely be said about the rest of the elected “representatives”-for-hire in Washington, whose belief in the MEK’s ability to lead a post-IRI Iranian state is no doubt on par with their trust in the late Rev. Moon’s claims to be the one and only messiah.

While the hard-hit Iranian economy is likely to continue reeling, driving more protesters into the streets, one shouldn’t mistake their social demands or financial pain for a desire to subject themselves to a totalitarian cult with hardly a fraction of the support enjoyed by the Shia clergy helming the Islamic Republic — no matter the extent to which Washington and the Saudis attempt to foist the Rajavi group on the Iranian nation.

Yet despite the group’s dearth of political legitimacy, the congressional aide who spoke to FP understands why they remain a mainstay in the U.S. Capitol:

They’re useful as provocation … They’re useful as a signal to the Iranian government that we’re coming to get you.”

Elliott Gabriel is a former staff writer for teleSUR English and a MintPress News contributor based in Quito, Ecuador.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Video | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hungary Accuses EU of ‘Double Standards’ Over Nord Stream 2

Sputnik – June 28, 2018

EU divisions and US sanctions threaten to delay the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring Russian gas to Europe.

The European Union applies double standards to Nord Stream 2, Hungarian Foreign and Foreign Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto told Sputnik.

“We are not part of the project, we can’t resist it. But I can say there are unacceptable double standards,” the minister said. According to him, the former South Stream project, which would increase the diversification of natural gas supplies for Central Europe has been “killed” by the EU.

“And now we don’t see any encouragement on the part of the European Commission. I can’t imagine any excuses or reasons the Commission could bring,” Szijjarto added

In 2014, EU opposition forced Russia to cease work on the South Stream project, which was to run across Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary in favor of a new pipeline to run under the Black Sea to Turkey [Turkish Stream].

Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2, which is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Building permits have already been issued by Germany, Finland and Sweden.

A similar permit by Denmark is still pending, but on Tuesday it was announced that the Danish government wants to delay the implementation of the project. According to Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the idea needs to be discussed on a pan-European level.

Denmark’s decision came after the US State Department said it hoped that the EU would “independently” suspend the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline or “reformat” a Russian-proposed plan to this effect.

Some countries, above all Ukraine, who are afraid of losing revenues from Russian gas transit, are opposed to Nord Stream 2. The project is also facing opposition from the United States who has ambitious plans to export its LNG to Europe.

Russia has repeatedly urged its European partners not to perceive the Nord Stream pipeline as an instrument of influence. According to President Vladimir Putin, Moscow considers the project to be entirely economic.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Ever wonder where the 275 billion taxpayers money went that got poured down the EU carbon trading system hole?

eu democracy

By Tim Channon | Tallbloke’s Talkshop | June 28, 2018

Talkshop readers may remember a damning report by UBS about the billions of public money lost in the ETS carbon trading system. It calculated that if the money had been invested in modernising the European power generation fleet, CO2 could have been cut by 40% (and generate a huge number of high quality jobs). EU emissions rose 1.8% last year.

Despite all the recent turmoil over the UK steel industry and meetings in Brussels today, the reality is that the European Union has actually been subsidising the Chinese steel industry for years, in payments hidden amongst its efforts to combat Climate Change.

Using complex methods of carbon credits and carbon offsets, the EU devised rules on climate change ended up paying Chinese steel manufacturers billions to upgrade their steel mills and other energy intensive industry.

According to the analysis company, European Insights, almost €1.5 billion was paid to over 90 steel plants in China with the purpose of modernising them to consume less energy, and making the plants more efficient. Taken with the downturn in Chinese trade and the need for them to reduce world market prices to sell their product, the output of these mills has flooded onto the European market making steel products artificially cheap and endangering thousands of jobs in the UK. One plant alone, Anshan Iron and Steel, received a payment of €150 million to help pay for the installation of up to date equipment and replace the old inefficient Communist era machinery.

The money came from the EU’s self-claimed flagship Climate Directive, the Emission Trading System, and paid for by power and industrial companies in the EU who are, as part of their industry, emitters of carbon dioxide. This system forces big carbon emitters in Europe to buy carbon offsets, known as Certified Emission Reductions. They can buy these on the “carbon market” but companies in China, for example, who could show they intended to reduce their own levels of carbon emissions, would qualify.

The system then allowed Chinese steel producers to exploit a loophole that allowed their modernisation to be financed by the sale of these credits, as they received upfront payments of billions of Euros.

European installations that involve high energy consumption also can participate in this carbon trading market, but at a much lesser scale. Effectively around 12,000 European installations, including power stations and steel mills, were forced by the EU into subsidising Chinese industrial growth and development in a trade worth up to a total of €45 billion.

The Think Tank, European Insights, said: “These Chinese upgrades have now, sadly, assisted in record levels of Chinese steel production and are contributing to the low steel price that is endangering jobs in the UK. The system of carbon credit trading is highly complex, and we uncovered 91 individual steel mills in China that received funding of this nature. We estimate that the total paid to them was €1.4 billion.”

The EU approach to Climate Change is another example of the unintended consequences associated with policies made at an EU level. The initiative was well-meaning maybe, but failed totally to anticipate the consequences on world trade and impact on EU member states. Most damaging is that EU is also terribly slow to ameliorate the negative effects of its own policies.

The full report by European Insights can no longer be found here:

http://europeaninsights.org/carbon-credits-and-steel/

And you won’t find it on the wayback machine at Archive.org either

https://web.archive.org/web/20180628113838/http://europeaninsights.org?reqp=1&reqr=

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment