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The world ‘knows’ bin Laden did 9/11 — so why isn’t there any evidence?

By Geoffrey O’Neill | Truth and Shadows | July 14, 2018

He is arguably the most notorious person in the 21st century.

The world takes for granted that Osama bin Laden was the architect of the “terror attacks” of Sept. 11, 2001. But why was this man singled out for this horrific crime? How did we learn of his alleged guilt? And what is the evidence used to support his guilt?

These questions are critical because the allegation against bin Laden led, less than a month later (on Oct. 7, 2001), to the launching of the Global War on Terror with the invasion of Afghanistan. The mission, called Operation Enduring Freedom and ordered by President George W. Bush, and was supposedly intended to capture or kill bin Laden.

This is what we know about the claims of evidence against bin Laden:

Just hours after the World Trade Center towers were destroyed, a man by the name of L. Paul Bremer appeared on an NBC affiliate in Washington D.C. Less than a minute into the interview with host Jim Vance, Bremer mentioned bin Laden as potentially being the mastermind of the event. It appears that the bin Laden myth was created at this point, and it soon went viral.

Who is L. Paul Bremer, and what was he doing in Washington at the time?

Bremer, like Bush, is a graduate of Yale and, like Bush, is also a member of the notorious Skull and Bones fraternity. After leaving government in 1989, he became managing director of Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm owned by Henry Kissinger. (It’s worth noting that Kissinger was the original choice to head the 9/11 Commission.)

In May 2003, following the introduction of “shock and awe” in Iraq, Bremer was named director of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Without question, he was a Republican insider. He was supposed to be on his way to New York City, to his office in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept., 11 but his plane was diverted due to the events of that morning.

In addition to speculating in the interview about bin Laden’s complicity, Bremer said that “terrorists declared war on the United States, and we declared war on the terrorists.” What was this supposed to mean? Would it follow that the United States would have carte blanche to invade any country anywhere if a terrorist or terrorists were thought to be living there? Would that include Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, or France?

Bremer also said, “We can’t throw away democratic freedoms and civil liberties that are the heart of our society.”

But those liberties were not thrown away; they were taken away by Bremer’s colleagues in the Bush administration. This happened through the passage of the Patriot Act, the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, the spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, the prosecution of whistleblowers, and the stifling our 1st and 5th Amendment rights. The list is long.

Bremer continued: “There will be consequences. In fact, I hope the most severe military consequences we can come up with.”

In this he was prescient. Using the justification of 9/11, the United States invasion of Afghanistan was followed by the invasion and destruction of Iraq, the bombing of Libya into the Stone Age, the arming and aiding of Saudi Arabia in their mission to destroy Yemen, and the instigation and perpetuation of the Syrian horror. Add in drone wars and proxy wars in God-knows-how-many countries, and Bremer must have swelled with pride over the level of carnage.

Bush names bin Laden

On the evening of Sept. 11, President Bush addressed the nation from the Oval Office of the White House and said this: “Today was the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century. We think it’s Osama bin Laden.” For the second time on that day we hear the name bin Laden from a national bully pulpit.

Without a shred of evidence to support their claim, two high-profile government officials, speaking to Americans, put bin Laden in the crosshairs. He instantly became America’s public enemy number one, guilty by government decree.

The accusation was further reinforced by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who appeared on the BBC the morning of 9/11 (even before the buildings came down) and pointed to bin Laden and al-Qaeda as likely being behind the event. He called for the U.S. to launch an “operational, concrete war on terror.”

Before the dust had settled from the destruction of the towers, Bremer and Bush, along with Barak and the worldwide media, implicated bin Laden without offering any evidence. A little more than a week later, on Sunday, Sept. 23, Colin Powell made it official. With host Tim Russert on Meet the Press, Powell named bin Laden the architect of 9/11.

Russert asked Powell for evidence, and he responded: “We are hard at work bringing all of the information together, intelligence information, law enforcement information. And I think, in the near future, we will be able to put out a white paper, a document that will be able to describe quite clearly the evidence we have linking him [bin Laden] to this attack.” He told Russert he would make it available to him once it was completed.

Fleischer slams the door

The day after Powell’s promise, the New York Times devoted a front page article to the evidence that it believed was forthcoming, citing statements by government officials that “the evidence reaches from the southern tip of Manhattan to the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan.”

But the same afternoon, Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer met with the media and said Powell’s statement of a white paper had been “misinterpreted.” There was no plan to release the information. “It is classified.”

A reporter had the audacity to ask, “Is there any plan to present to the public evidence so the average citizen, not just Americans but people all over the world, can understand the case against bin Laden”?

Fleischer’s response was predictably condescending: “In a democracy it is always important to provide the maximum amount of information possible. But I think American people understand that there are going to be times when that information cannot immediately be forthcoming.”

On one issue, Fleischer spoke truthfully: the white paper was not immediately forthcoming. In fact, it has never been produced. No white paper exists in the public domain containing forensic evidence linking Osama bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks.

The arrogance, hypocrisy, and disregard for human life of this man and the entire Bush administration cannot be overstated. American troops were about to be sent to war. Many would die or be seriously injured for life. Afghan civilians, considered collateral damage, would be killed in large numbers as always happens in war. Yet no soldier, American citizen, or Afghan citizen was allowed to see the evidence cited to justify why the United States was about to invade one of the poorest countries in the world.

It gets worse.

The NATO alliance was formed following WWll, ostensibly to protect East European countries from naked aggression by the Soviet Union. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that an attack against any member nation is an attack against all member nations, was invoked for the first time on Sept. 11, 2001. And it wasn’t a small NATO country that needed help; it was the United States of America, the most powerful country in the world.

On Sept. 12, 2001, NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson summoned the North Atlantic Council to meet in Brussels. All 19 members agreed that the attack on the U.S. was an attack from abroad. All Robertson needed to invoke Article 5 was the responsible party with evidence to wage war on the perpetrators. He soon got what he needed, or so he thought.

U.S. State Department representative Frank Taylor met in secret with all NATO representatives on Oct. 2, 2001 and provided documents that supposedly contained “clear and compelling” evidence of bin Laden’s guilt to the Secretary General. After the meeting, Robertson met with the press and predictably said the evidence provided by Taylor was classified. In all, 29 countries joined the U.S. in the invasion of Afghanistan, including Britain, France, and Canada. They joined in the invasion of this tiny impoverished country based on “evidence” that the public could not see.

It gets even worse.

A revelation from the FBI

On June 5, 2006, investigative reporter Ed Haas from the Muckraker Report noticed from bin Laden’s Most Wanted Page on the FBI’s website that he was wanted for several crimes but not for 9/11. He eventually spoke with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity of the FBI and the exchange went like this:

Haas: “Why is there no mention of 9/11 on Osama bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page?”

Tomb: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden’s web page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”

Haas: “How is this possible”?

Tomb: “The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered it is turned over to the Department of Justice who then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a grand jury. In the case of bin Laden he has not been formally indicted and charged because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”

So how does this work? Bremer, hours after the towers were destroyed, blamed bin Laden. Bush, later that day, blamed bin Laden. Powell days later on national television claimed to have solid evidence of bin Laden’s guilt. Taylor supposedly turned over “clear and compelling evidence” of bin Laden’s guilt to the head of the NATO Alliance a few weeks after 9/11. Yet, the chief law enforcement agency in the United States, the FBI, admitted years later that they have “no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”

It should also be mentioned that a “confession video” by bin Laden was found in Afghanistan in December 2001, which was immediately used to bolster the claim of bin Laden’s guilt. The video was soon debunked by a leading expert on bin Laden, professor Bruce Lawrence of Duke University, who called the tape “bogus.”

This also begs the question as to why, if authentic, the tape was not used on bin Laden’s Most Wanted Page in the FBI file. One also has to wonder why this evidence, unlike all the other evidence the Bush administration claimed to have in its possession, was widely disseminated to the public while the rest remained classified.

And it gets worse yet!

Bush refuses to show proof

The evidence presented to NATO by Frank Taylor was in document form and immediately classified by U.S. and NATO authorities.

Before the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan, the country’s Taliban government offered to extradite bin Laden pending receipt of evidence of his guilt. But Bush refused the offer.

Could Bush have avoided the Global War on Terror by turning over the “clear and compelling” evidence in the Frank Taylor documents? The simple answer is no. There was no evidence to turn over.

The State Department documents were declassified in 2008 with little fanfare. Dr. Niels Harrit, a former professor of chemistry at the University of Copenhagen—now a researcher and writer active in the 9/11 Truth Movement—found them, and in an article on the Global Research website exposed them for public scrutiny.

According to Harrit’s assessment, “There is absolutely no forensic evidence that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated from Afghanistan.” He goes on: “Only a small part of the introductory text deals with 9/11. The main body of the text deals with the alleged actions of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the nineties.”

There isn’t now, nor was there ever, any evidence to connect Osama bin Laden to 9/11!

An addendum to the story, and certainly red meat for conspiracy theorists, seems to make the government’s case against bin Laden even more contrived. In a segment on NBC Nightly News with Dan Rather on Jan. 28, 2002, foreign correspondent Barry Peterson, standing in front of a military hospital in Pakistan, reported that bin Laden was getting a dialysis treatment on Sept. 10, 2001, a day prior to 9/11. According to Peterson, “He [bin Laden] arrived at the hospital in Rawalpindi under heavy security provided by the Pakistan secret service (ISI).”

If the report is accurate, it would be reasonable to wonder how an NBC News crew tracked down bin Laden while George Bush with 19 intelligence agencies at his disposal, never had a clue about his whereabouts.

We might also ask why Pakistan, an ally of the United States, didn’t turn bin Laden over to U.S. authorities after escorting him to one of his hospital visits. And we might wonder how bin Laden commuted from the mountains in Tora Bora to a hospital and back three times a week for kidney dialysis treatments.

And, years later, we might wonder why there is not a shred of evidence that supports the claim that bin Laden was killed in a Navy Seals raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, as was reported and heralded by the Obama administration.

Public enemy number one

In a press conference at the White House on Sept. 13, 2001, President Bush said, “The most important thing for us is to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority, and we won’t rest until we find him.” It is important to note that by that date the government had still not declared publicly that there was evidence against bin Laden. He was guilty by decree only.

On March 13, 2002, less than seven months after the beginning of the Global War on Terror, justified by 9/11 and the accusations against bin Laden, Bush said this: “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It is not our priority.”

Then, in a speech delivered to a group of military officers on Sept. 5, 2006, Bush compared bin Laden to Lenin and Hitler. He said: “The world had ignored the writings of Lenin and Hitler and paid a terrible price. Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them.

Imagine if Winston Churchill had said that, “I really don’t care, it’s not that important, he is not our priority” when speaking about Hitler during the Battle of Britain? The absurd comparison to Hitler and the disparity, going back and forth from monster to afterthought and back to monster when speaking about bin Laden, in my view, speaks volumes.

Most citizens of the United States are decent and law abiding. Most pay their taxes willingly in a timely fashion. Most try to raise their families and teach them the difference between right and wrong. Most Americans are patriotic. Most would never harm anyone unless provoked. Most have integrity, decency, and values. Many have worn the uniform and taken an oath to serve and protect. So is it inappropriate to ask why our government and the press treat all of us like children? The bin Laden story is a testament to this along with the entire Global War on Terror, a complete fraud that has caused so much devastation to our reputation in the world and to the lives of millions in the Middle East and elsewhere.

If there is no clear, compelling evidence against the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, would it be fair to say that the Global War on Terror in its entirety, including the invasions, the bombings, the drone strikes, the millions killed, the tens of millions of refugees, all of the families destroyed, all of the despair and loss of hope the United States has brought to bear in so many parts of the world, is a fraud?

One would think.

Geoffrey O’Neill is a former Marine officer, Vietnam veteran, former business owner, and unexceptional American citizen who believes in the right of all people to live in peace and with dignity with their families. Geoffrey can be reached at goneill460@gmail.com

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli Police Ban Academic Conference In Jerusalem

IMEMC News – July 14, 2018

Dozens of Israeli police officers prevented Palestinian academics, intellectuals and religious leaders from holding a conference Saturday at a Palestinian college in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli officers also issued an order shutting the educational facility down.

The officers, accompanied by security officials, surrounded the Arts Campus (Hind al-Husseini Campus) of Al-Quds University, in Sheikh Jarrah, and prevented the Palestinians from holding the two-day planned Fourth Academic Conference on Islamic Waqf (Endowment) in occupied Jerusalem.

The WAFA Palestinian News Agency said the conference was organized by Waqf and Heritage Reservation Society and the Islamic Supreme Committee, in Jerusalem, and was funded by the Jerusalem Waqfiya Fund headed by Palestinian businessman and philanthropist Munib al-Masri.

WAFA added that the police detained al-Masri, and took him to an interrogation facility, in occupied Jerusalem.

The attack is the latest in a series of Israeli violations targeting conferences, meetings and various social, religious and political activities in the occupied city, as part of its attempt to solidify its full control over all aspects of life in Jerusalem.

Following the attack against the education facility, the Palestinian Education Ministry issued a statement strongly condemning the Israeli violation, and its constant attempt to disrupt the cultural and educational process in occupied Jerusalem.

The Health Ministry also denounced the illegal Israeli order shutting the campus down until further notice.

It said the invasion is part of Israel’s ongoing crimes and violations against the Palestinian people, including their educational facilities.

The Ministry added that Israel is encouraged by the deadly silence of the international community, and the unconditional support it receives from the United States.

“We have seen how Israel demolished a school in Yatta, near Hebron, how the soldiers surrounded al-Khan al-Ahmar, near Jerusalem, including its school,” the Ministry said, “Israeli is imposing severe restrictions on teachers and students, which is in serious violation of International Law.”

It called on all local, regional and international media and human rights organizations to expose the Israeli violations, and act on protecting the Palestinians and their basic rights to live in peace, without the constant harassment, violations and ongoing threat of violence by the occupation, endangering the children and the entire educational process.”

Under international law, East Jerusalem, which fell under Israeli occupation along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, is an occupied Palestinian city, the capital of the future independent Palestinian State.

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 3 Comments

Neocons Panic As Trump-Putin Meeting Could Mark Close Of Syrian Proxy War

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | July 13, 2018

When multiple op-ed pieces appear in the pages of the New York TimesWashington Post, and the CFR-owned Foreign Affairs authored by neocons simultaneously pleading with Trump Don’t Get Out of Syria(!) all within the same week, this is typically an indicator that the president is about to do something good.

Trump is set to meet with Putin one-on-one this coming Monday in Helsinki after a contentious NATO summit and a sufficiently awkward visit with Theresa May, and mainstream pundits’ heads are exploding.

The Post’s Josh Rogin warns, Trump and Putin may be about to make a terrible deal on Syria, and Susan Rice suddenly emerges from obscurity and irrelevance to say in the Times that Trump Must Not Capitulate to Putin while urging the administration not to “prematurely withdraw United States forces [from Syria], thus ceding total victory to Russia, Mr. Assad and Iran.” From North Korea to Afghanistan to Syria to Ukraine, Rice advises the typical regime change script of “harsh additional sanctions” anywhere the dictates of Washington are not strictly adhered to.

Similarly, Eli Lake links together the main regime change wars begun under Obama while lamenting their potential winding down as a result of Putin and Trump meeting as indicative of living in “some alternate universe.” “The price of Russian cooperation in Syria cannot be U.S. capitulation on Crimea,” Lake writes, and further calls such a possibility “the most dangerous possible outcome.”

The Kagan-led neocon think tank ISW, meanwhile, is outraged(!) the administration appears to lack “the will to use” America’s military might to counter Assad, Iran, and Russia, saying “the United States should invest now in building leverage for future decisive action.”

And then there’s Senator Lindsey Graham’s meltdown on Twitter this week in reaction to both the Syrian Army victoriously raising the national flag over Daraa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling President Vladimir Putin during a summit that Israel has no problem with Assad staying, so long as Israel can preserve “freedom of action” if attacked.

In a significant change of posture toward Damascus, Netanyahu told reporters in Moscow, “We haven’t had a problem with the Assad regime, for 40 years not a single bullet was fired on the Golan Heights.”

This was enough to send Graham’s head spinning: “Radical Sunni groups will say – correctly – that Assad is a proxy of Iran and the Ayatollah. It means the Syrian war never ends and ISIS comes back,” he said in a strange twist of logic that gives credence to the arguments of terror groups.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper featured Sen. Graham’s reaction:

‘Without Assad’s blessing, the flags of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would not be on Israel’s front door,’ Graham tweets in response to Netanyahu claiming Israel has no problem with Assad.

As Trump readies for Putin summit, saying “He’s not my enemy,” interventionistas are raging:

In the past months there’s been widespread reporting on a “secret” deal brokered between Russia, Israel, and Syria, which reportedly involves the Syrian Army agreeing to keep Iranian forces away from the ongoing successful campaign along the Israeli and Jordanian borders, especially the contested Golan Heights.

Netanyahu now says, fresh off his Moscow visit, that Putin agreed to restrain Iran in Syria, but that ultimately Assad will take back all of Syria.

The New York Times reports this hugely significant acknowledgement and surprising change of tune from the Israeli PM:

Israel, he said, did not object to President Bashar al-Assad’s regaining control over all of Syria, a vital Russian objective, and Russia had pushed Iranian and allied Shiite forces “tens of kilometers” away from the Israeli border.

The NYT continues:

But a commitment to keep Iranian forces tens of kilometers from Israel was a far cry from ejecting them completely from Syria, which Mr. Netanyahu has been lobbying Mr. Putin to do. And even that commitment was not confirmed by Russian officials.

… So a willingness to accept Mr. Assad’s resumption of control over all of Syria is no small concession, said Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence who now heads the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

“Nobody can these days destabilize the Assad regime,” he said. “The only one who can do it is Israel. And the Russians know that very well. So to get a commitment from Israel not to destabilize Syria is something that Russia will value very much.”

The neocon pundits’ last hope for military intervention in Syria has remained Netanyahu, and to see him fold must feel like a swift unexpected punch in the stomach, but more crucially the Syrian diplomatic cards have fallen in place just days before Monday’s Trump-Putin meeting.

President Assad has long vowed to liberate “every inch” of sovereign Syrian territory, something which but two years ago appeared impossible, yet which now looks increasingly inevitable. Should the Trump-Putin summit result in a green light that ensures Moscow and Damascus remain in the driver’s seat and set the terms for Syria’s stabilization, we could be witnessing the final diplomatic chapter in this dark seven-year long proxy war.

However, Trump continues to be urged from various corners of the beltway foreign policy establishment to salvage and preserve what he can of the open-ended US troop presence in eastern Syria: the US must “preserve its interests in the conflict, namely… constraining Iranian influence in the country” as one Foreign Policy essay argues.

For months now, Trump has talked of US military withdrawal from the country — which the Pentagon in public statements has put at over some 2,000 troops — a proposal which hawks within his administration have pushed back against every time.

And then there’s the clearly observable pattern that seems to repeat whenever the administration announces it is poised to pull out of Syria. Indeed it seems to occur every time the Syrian Army is on a trajectory of overwhelming victory: an ill-timed and strategically nonsensical mass chemical attack on civilians supposedly ordered by Assad — inevitably giving the West an open door for military intervention, new rounds of crippling sanctions, and yet more international media condemnation heaped on Damascus.

Precisely this scenario occurred just days after President Trump declared in the last week of March of this year that he wanted a complete US military pullout from Syria. What then immediately followed was the April 7 “chemical attack” provocation in Douma  just the thing that brought Trump’s planned pullout to a grinding halt, instead resulting tomahawk missiles unleashed on Damascus.

Should Trump and Putin ultimately come to a lasting settlement on the Syria issue which results in US troop withdrawal from Syria, will the international proxy war come to a close?

Or will we witness yet another last minute “mass casualty event” or other other provocation that pulls the US, Israel, and Russia into yet deeper direct military confrontation?

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dr. Mohammad Marandi: Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE Have Been Cooperating Closely for Many Decades Now

American Herald Tribune | July 13, 2018

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is the immediate impact on the Iranian people of the Trump administration’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal?

Dr. Mohammad Marandi: Obviously, it is going to have a short term negative impact. People are concerned about the effect it will have on the economy and Iranian currency has dropped significantly. However, I believe that in the midterm the economy will stabilize, and as Iran reorientates its economy, trading partners and strategic partnerships things will stabilize. In the long term, I think Iran will probably even benefit because the US will no longer have any leverage that it can use against the country and its people.

Are not the economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration intended to provoke disturbances within the Iranian population in order to change the power in Iran?

Without a doubt. Actually, just recently in a speech in France to the MEK terrorist organization, a cult group which has killed 17 thousand Iranians through assassinations and bomb attacks and has also fought for Saddam Hussein, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and close friend, admitted that the disturbances in Iran are not spontaneous and that they are carried out by their people. That does not mean there are no ordinary people who protest here and there, but the foreign role is obvious and we can see it through the western, Israeli, and Saudi, funded Persian media outlets like BBC Persian and VOA among others that attempt to create tensions and fear among Iranians.

Do you think there is a special program to assassinate Iranian scientists as was the case with Iraqi scientists where some sources have spoken of the existence of a special CIA unit responsible for assassinating scientists?

I have no idea about that, but we do know that Mohammad bin Salman has said in public that he wants to take the war into Iran and after that we saw the terrorist attacks on Tehran and an increased number of attacks alongside the Pakistani-Iranian border as well as the border between Iran and Iraq Kurdistan.

What is the exact role of the Zionist entity of Israel and its services in the assassination of Iranian scientists?

Israeli intelligence and the MEK terrorist organization worked together in this regard. In addition, Western intelligence agencies have in the past passed on IAEA information on Iranian scientists to the Israelis thus helping them carry out a number of murders.

What do you think of the alliance between the Saudis and the Israelis? In your opinion, is it tactical or strategic?

The alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE among others is not new at all. They have been cooperating closely for many decades now, but these Arab regimes have always been afraid to make this alliance public. However, Trump is putting a lot of pressure on these regimes to come out of the closet, especially because he wants to impose his so called deal of the century on the Palestinian people in order to destroy the Palestinian nation.

In your opinion, can Europe play a role in maintaining the nuclear agreement?

It’s possible. However, I am skeptical about the EU’s intentions and I am even more skeptical about their ability to grow a backbone in face of persistent American violations of their sovereignty and threats against their businesses and citizens.

In your opinion, why is it that Israel that massacres the Palestinian people has never been subjected to sanctions?

I think it is widely known that the Israeli regime is allowed to implement apartheid policies, carry out ethnic cleansing and colonization, the bombing of neighboring countries, the killing of civilians, the arrest children, and the confiscation of land.Western countries will give them blanket support no matter what the regime does.

What is your analysis of the situation in Syria? Can we say that Daesh is defeated definitively or is it moving towards reorganization?

The extremist groups including Daesh that were supported by western intelligence services and regional client regimes have been severely weakened and the Syrian Arab army and government have gained the upper hand. But the war is not over, al-Qaeda and other extremist groups continue to get foreign support and Western countries and media outlets have been trying to give cover to these extremist groups by calling them “moderates” and “rebels”, whereas in reality their ideologies are very similar to ISIS.

What do you think of the position of Morocco that has just cut off its relations with Iran by accusing Hezbollah of having armed the Polisario Front? Don’t you think that this maneuver bears the signature of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans?

I think it is quite clear especially taking into account the timing of the accusations that the Saudis and probably countries like the US and the UAE are behind this. But I do not have any specific information.

Why do you think Westerners are silent, both the media and the political institutions, in the face of the carnage that Saudi Arabia is committing in Yemen?

It is because of Saudi oil wealth, and because the destruction of Yemen is in the interest of the Saudi and Israeli regimes. Therefore, Western governments and western media outlets will not do anything meaningful to prevent the massacres or starvation. This is just one example of many. They did the same thing in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Afghanistan.

Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen

Who is Dr. Mohammad Marandi?

Born in 1966 in Richmond, Virginia, Mohammad Marandi is the son of Professor Alireza Marandi, a former Iranian Minister of Health and a former member of the Iranian Parliament. Mohammad Marandi lived until he was 13 in the United States before joining Iran. He is a political analyst and expert on American studies and postcolonial literature. Dr. Marandi is a graduate of the University of Tehran and the University of Birmingham where he received a PhD in English Literature. He teaches English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran where he is head of the graduate program in North American Studies.

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Five Things That Would Make The CIA/CNN Russia Narrative More Believable

By Caitlin Johnstone | Medium | July 14, 2018

As we just discussed, some major news stories have recently dropped about what a horrible horrifying menace the Russian Federation is to the world, and as always I have nothing to offer the breathless pundits on CNN and MSNBC but my completely unsatisfied skepticism. My skepticism of the official Russia narrative remains so completely unsatisfied that if mainstream media were my husband I would already be cheating on it with my yoga instructor.

I do not believe the establishment Russia narrative. I do not believe that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 election. I do not believe the Russian government did any election rigging for Trump to collude with. This is not because I believe Vladimir Putin is some kind of blueberry-picking girl scout, and it certainly isn’t because I think the Russian government is unwilling or incapable of meddling in the affairs of other nations to some extent when it suits them. It is simply because I am aware that the US intelligence community lies constantly as a matter of policy, and because I understand how the burden of proof works.

At this time, I see no reason to espouse any belief system which embraces as true the assertion that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections in any meaningful way, or that it presents a unique and urgent threat to the world which must be aggressively dealt with. But all the establishment mouthpieces tell me that I must necessarily embrace these assertions as known, irrefutable fact. Here are five things that would have to change in order for that to happen:

1. Proof of a hacking conspiracy to elect Trump.

The first step to getting a heretic like myself aboard the Russia hysteria train would be the existence of publicly available evidence of the claims made about election meddling in 2016, which rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world. So far, that burden of proof for Russian hacking allegations has not come anywhere remotely close to being met.

How much proof would I need to lend my voice to the escalation of tensions between two nuclear superpowers? Mountains. I personally would settle for nothing less than hard proof which can be independently verified by trusted experts like the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Is that a big ask? Yes. Yes it is. That’s what happens when government institutions completely discredit themselves as they did with the false narratives advanced in the manufacturing of support for the Iraq invasion. You don’t get to butcher a million Iraqis in a war based on lies, turn around a few years later and say “We need new cold war escalations with a nuclear superpower but we can’t prove it because the evidence is secret.” That’s not a thing. Copious amounts of hard, verifiable proof or GTFO. So far we have no evidence besides the confident-sounding assertions of government insiders and their mass media mouthpieces, which is the same as no evidence.

2. Proof that election meddling actually influenced the election in a meaningful way.

Even if Russian hackers did exfiltrate Democratic party emails and give them to WikiLeaks, if it didn’t affect the election, who cares? That’s a single-day, second-page story at best, meriting nothing beyond a “Hmm, interesting, turns out Russia tried and failed to influence the US election,” followed by a shrug and moving on to something that actually matters.

After it has been thoroughly proven that Russia meddled in the elections in a meaningful way, it must then be established that that meddling had an actual impact on the election results.

3. Some reason to believe Russian election meddling was unwarranted and unacceptable.

The US government, by a very wide margin, interferes in the elections of other countries far, far more than any other government on earth does. The US government’s own data shows that it has deliberately meddled in the elections of 81 foreign governments between 1946 and 2000, including Russia in the nineties. This is public knowledge. A former CIA Director cracked jokes about it on Fox News earlier this year.

If I’m going to abandon my skepticism and accept the Gospel According to Maddow, after meaningful, concrete election interference has been clearly established I’m going to need a very convincing reason to believe that it is somehow wrong or improper for a government to attempt to respond in kind to the undisputed single worst offender of this exact offense. It makes no sense for the United States to actively create an environment in which election interference is something that governments do to one another, and then cry like a spanked child when its election is interfered with by one of the very governments whose elections the US recently meddled in.

This is nonsense. America being far and away the worst election meddler on the planet makes it a fair target for election meddling by not just Russia, but every country in the world. It is very obviously moral and acceptable for any government on earth to interfere in America’s elections as long as it remains the world’s worst offender in that area. In order for Russia to be in the wrong if it interfered in America’s elections, some very convincing argument I’ve not yet heard will have to be made to support that case.

4. Proof that the election meddling went beyond simply giving Americans access to information about their government.

If all the Russians did was simply show Americans emails of Democratic Party officials talking to one another and circulate some MSM articles as claimed in the ridiculous Russian troll farm allegations, that’s nothing to get upset about. If anything, Americans should be upset that they had to hear about Democratic Party corruption through the grapevine instead of having light shed on it by the American officials whose job it is to do so. Complaints about election meddling is only valid if that election meddling isn’t comprised of truth and facts.

5. A valid reason to believe escalated tensions between two nuclear superpowers are worthwhile.

After it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia did indeed meddle in the US elections in a meaningful way, and after it has then been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia actually influenced election results in a significant way, and after the case has been clearly made that it was bad and wrong for Russia to do this instead of fair and reasonable, and after it has been clearly proven that the election meddling went beyond simply telling Americans the truth about their government, the question then becomes what, if anything, should be done about it?

If you look at the actions that this administration has taken over the last year and a half, the answer to that question appears to be harsh sanctions, NATO expansionism, selling arms to Ukraine, throwing out diplomats, increasing military presence along Russia’s border, a Nuclear Posture Review which is much more aggressive toward Russia, repeatedly bombing Syria, and just generally creating more and more opportunities for something to go catastrophically wrong with one of the two nations’ aging, outdated nuclear arsenals, setting off a chain of events from which there is no turning back and no surviving.

And the pundits and politicians keep pushing for more and more escalations, at this very moment braying with one voice that Trump must aggressively confront Putin about Mueller’s indictments or withdraw from the peace talks. But is it worth it? Is it worth risking the life of every terrestrial organism to, what? What specifically would be gained that makes increasing the risk of nuclear catastrophe worthwhile? Making sure nobody interferes in America’s fake elections? I’d need to see a very clear and specific case made, with a ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ list and “THE POTENTIAL DEATH OF LITERALLY EVERYTHING” written in big red letters at the top of the ‘cons’ column.

Rallying the world to cut off Russia from the world stage and cripple its economy has been been a goal of the US power establishment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, so there’s no reason to believe that even the people who are making the claims against Russia actually believe them. The goal is crippling Russia to handicap China, and ultimately to shore up global hegemony for the US-centralized empire by preventing the rise of any rival superpowers. The sociopathic alliance of plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies who control that empire are willing to threaten nuclear confrontation in order to ensure their continued dominance. All of their actions against Russia since 2016 have had everything to do with establishing long-term planetary dominance and nothing whatsoever to do with election meddling.

Those five things would need to happen before I’d be willing to jump aboard the “Russia! Russia!” train. Until then I’ll just keep pointing to the total lack of evidence and how very, very far the CIA/CNN Russia narrative is from credibility.

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

Evidence Will Probably Never Be Produced in Indictments of ‘Russian Agents’

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | July 14, 2018

Charges against 12 Russian intelligence agents for allegedly hacking emails from the Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential election were announced by the U.S. Justice Department on Friday at the very moment President Donald Trump was meeting Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and just days before a summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

A central claim of Russia-gate has been that the Russian government with help from the Trump campaign stole emails from the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign and then gave those emails to WikiLeaks for publication to damage Clinton’s quest for the White House.

Until Friday however, the investigation into the allegations had produced no formal indictment of Russian government interference in the election. Like previous U.S. government accusations against Russia for alleged election meddling, the indictment makes assertions without providing evidence. Under U.S. law, indictments are not considered evidence. And it is highly unlikely that the government will ever have to produce any evidence in court.

Friday’s indictments do not include any charges against Trump campaign members for allegedly colluding with the Russian government to carry out the hacks. That has been at the core of allegations swirling in U.S. media for two years. If the alleged co-conspirators “known” to the DOJ were on the Trump team, the indictments do not say. There is only a hint that “unknown” persons might be.

In announcing the indictments at a press conference Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said: “The conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet. There’s no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.”

The indictment alleges that Russian agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, communicated on Aug. 15, 2016 with “a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of the Trump campaign, mostly like advisor Roger Stone, who has spoken about communicating with Guccifer 2.0. The indictment says Guccifer offered to “help u anyhow,” apparently indicating that Stone did want Guccifer 2.0’s help.

Clinging to ‘Collusion’

The lack of evidence that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia has never stopped Democrats and their media outlets from believing unnamed U.S. intelligence sources for two years about such collusion. “Collusion” is the title of a best-selling book about the supposed Trump-Russia conspiracy to steal the election, but such a charge is not to be found.

The indictment excluding collusion also undermines the so-called Steele dossier, a work of opposition research paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign masquerading as an intelligence document because it was compiled by a former MI6 agent. The memos falsely claimed, it turns out, that Trump’s people started colluding with Russia years before he became a candidate.

But even after Friday’s indictments failed to charge anyone from Trump’s team, the Democratic media continued to insist there was collusion. A New York Times story, headlined, “Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Clinton. Were They Listening?,” said Russia may have absurdly responded to Trump’s call at 10:30 a.m. on July 27, 2016 to hack Clinton’s private email server because it was “on or about” that day that Russia allegedly first made an attempt to hack Clinton’s personal emails, according to the indictment, which makes no connection between the two events.

If Russia is indeed guilty of remotely hacking the emails it would have had no evident need of assistance from anyone on the Trump team, let alone a public call from Trump on national TV to commence the operation.

Instead of Trump operatives, the indictments name 12 Russians, allegedly agents from the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency. The agents “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury (collectively the ‘Conspirators’), to gain unauthorized access (to ‘hack’) into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, steal documents from those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” the 29-page indictment says.

“Starting in at least March 2016, the Conspirators used a variety of means to hack the email accounts of volunteers and employees of the U.S. presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton (the ‘Clinton Campaign’), including the email account of the Clinton Campaign’s chairman,” the indictment says.

Obvious Timing

The timing of the announcement was clearly intended to embarrass Trump as he was meeting the Queen and to undermine his upcoming meeting with Putin on July 16. The indictments may also have been meant to embarrass Russia two days before the World Cup final to be held in Moscow.

Pressure was immediately brought on Trump to cancel the summit in light of the indictments, which may have been the main aim in the timing of their announcement. “Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy,” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement less than an hour after the indictments were announced. “President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections,” Schumer said.

With no apparent irony, The New York Times reported, “The timing of the indictment … added a jolt of tension to the already freighted atmosphere surrounding Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Putin. It is all but certain to feed into the conspiratorial views held by the president and some of his allies that Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors are determined to undermine Mr. Trump’s designs for a rapprochement with Russia.”

Russia Denies

The Russian government on Friday strongly denied the charges. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called the indictments “a shameful farce” that was not backed up by any evidence. “Obviously, the goal of this ‘mud-slinging’ is to spoil the atmosphere before the Russian-American summit,” the statement said.

The Ministry added that the 12 named Russians were not agents of the GRU.

“When you dig into this indictment … there are huge problems, starting with how in the world did they identify 12 Russian intelligence officers with the GRU,” said former CIA analyst Larry Johnson in an interview with Consortium News. Johnson pointed out that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency was not allowed to take part in the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment on alleged interference by the GRU. Only hand-picked analysts from the FBI, the NSA and the CIA were involved.

“The experts in the intelligence community on the GRU … is the Defense Intelligence Agency and they were not allowed to clear on that document,” Johnson said.

“When you look at the level of detail about what [the indictment is] claiming, there is no other public source of information on this ,and it was not obtained through U.S. law enforcement submitting warrants and getting affidavits to conduct research in Russia, so it’s clearly intelligence information from the NSA, most likely,” Johnson said.

CrowdStrike’s Role

The indictment makes clear the evidence of an alleged hack of the DNC and DCCC computers did not come from the FBI, which was never given access to the computers by the DNC, but instead from the private firm CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC. It is referred to as Company 1 in the indictment.

“Despite the Conspirators’ efforts to hide their activity, beginning in or around May 2016, both the DCCC and DNC became aware that they had been hacked and hired a security company (“Company 1”) to identify the extent of the intrusions,” the indictment says.

The indictment doesn’t mention it, but within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian “fingerprints” in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia in the hack.

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

One of CrowdStrike’s founders has ties to the anti-Russian Atlantic Council raising questions of political bias. And the software it used to determine Russia’s alleged involvement in the DNC hack, was later proved to be faulty in a high-profile case in Ukraine, reported by the Voice of America.

The indictment then is based at least partially on evidence produced by an interested private company, rather than the FBI.

Evidence Likely Never to be Seen

Other apparent sources for information in the indictment are intelligence agencies, which normally create hurdles in a criminal prosecution.

“In this indictment there is detail after detail whose only source could be intelligence, yet you don’t use intelligence in documents like this because if these defendants decide to challenge this in court, it opens the U.S. to having to expose sources and methods,” Johnson said.

If the U.S. invoked the states secret privilege so that classified evidence could not be revealed in court a conviction before a civilian jury would be jeopardized.

Such a trial is extremely unlikely however. That makes the indictment essentially a political and not a legal document because it is almost inconceivable that the U.S. government will have to present any evidence in court to back up its charges. This is simply because of the extreme unlikelihood that arrests of Russians living in Russia will ever be made.

In this way it is similar to the indictment earlier this year of the Internet Research Agency of St. Petersburg, Russia, a private click bait company that was alleged to have interfered in the 2016 election by buying social media ads and staging political rallies for both Clinton and Trump. It seemed that no evidence would ever have to back up the indictment because there would never be arrests in the case.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller was stunned when lawyers for the internet company showed up in Washington demanding discovery in the case. That caused Mueller to scramble and demand a delay in the first hearing, which was rejected by a federal judge. Mueller is now battling to keep so-called sensitive material out of court.

In both the IRA case and Friday’s indictments, the extremely remote possibility of convictions were not what Mueller was apparently after, but rather the public perception of Russia’s guilt resulting from fevered media coverage of what are after all only accusations, presented as though it is established fact. Once that impression is settled into the public consciousness, Mueller’s mission would appear to be accomplished.

For instance, the Times routinely dispenses with the adjective “alleged” and reports the matter as though it is already established fact. It called Friday’s indictments, which are only unproven charges, as “the most detailed accusation by the American government to date of the [not alleged] Russian government’s interference in the 2016 election, and it includes a litany of [not alleged] brazen Russian subterfuge operations meant to foment chaos in the months before Election Day.”

GRU Named as WikiLeak’s Source

The indictment claims that GRU agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, (who says he is a Romanian hacker) stole the Democratic documents and later emailed them to WikiLeaks, named as “Organization 1.” No charges were brought against WikiLeaks on Friday.

“After failed attempts to transfer the stolen documents starting in late June 2016, on or about July 14, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent Organization 1 an email with an attachment titled ‘wk dnc linkl.txt.gpg,’” the indictment says. “The Conspirators explained to Organization 1 that the encrypted file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents. On or about July 18, 2016, Organization 1 confirmed it had ‘the 1Gb or so archive’ and would make a release of the stolen documents ‘this week.’”

WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange, who is in exile in the Ecuador embassy in London, has long denied that he got the emails from any government. Instead Assange has suggested that his source was a disgruntled Democratic Party worker, Seth Rich, whose murder on the streets of Washington in July 2016 has never been solved.

On Friday, WikiLeaks did not repeat the denial that a government was its source. Instead it tweeted: “Interesting timing choice by DoJ today (right before Trump-Putin meet), announcing indictments against 12 alleged Russian intelligence officers for allegedly releasing info through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.”

Assange has had all communication with the outside world shut off by the Ecuadorian government two months ago.

Since the indictments were announced, WikiLeaks has not addressed the charge that GRU agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, were its source. WikiLeaks’ policy is to refuse to disclose any information about its sources. WikiLeaks’ denial that the Russian government gave them the emails could be based on its belief that Guccifer 2.0 was who he said he was, and not what the U.S. indictments allege.

Those indictments claim that the Russian military intelligence agents adopted the personas of both Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks to publish the Democratic Party documents online, before the Russian agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, allegedly supplied WikiLeaks.

The emails, which the indictment does not say are untrue, damaged the Clinton campaign. They revealed, for instance, that the campaign and the Democratic Party worked to deny the nomination to Clinton’s Democratic Party primary challenger Bernie Sanders.

The indictments also say that the Russian agents purchased the use of a computer server in Arizona, using bitcoin to hide their financial transactions. The Arizona server was used to receive the hacked emails from the servers of the Democratic Party and the chairman of Clinton’s campaign, the indictment alleges. If true it would mean the transfer of the emails within the United States, rather than overseas, presumably to Russia.

Some members of the Veterans’ Intelligence Professionals for Sanity argue that metadata evidence points to a local download from the Democratic computers, in other words a leak, rather than a hack. They write the NSA would have evidence of a hack and, unlike this indictment, could make the evidence public: “Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods.”

That argument was either ignored or dismissed by Mueller’s team.

The Geopolitical Context

It is not only allies of Trump, as the Times thinks, who believe the timing of the indictments, indeed the entire Russia-gate scandal, is intended to prevent Trump from pursuing detente with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump said of the indictments that, “I think that really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia. I think that we would have a chance to have a very good relationship with Russia and a very good chance — a very good relationship with President Putin.”

There certainly appear to be powerful forces in the U.S. that want to stop that.

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

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

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

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate appears to have been used not only to explain away Clinton’s defeat but to stop Trump — possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage — because he talks about cooperation with Russia.


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment