Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Question more? You’re a pesky ‘Russophile’, says Soros-backed Belgian NGO

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | August 11, 2018

Once a leader in philosophy and fashion, France has now been reduced to falling for tricks recycled from US con artists by Brussels-based grifters, with a little help from Twitter’s ‘mea culpa’ cash and even Uncle George Soros.

It all began when EU DisinfoLab, a non-governmental organization based in Belgium, published a report on Wednesday about how some 55,000 “hyperactive” twitter accounts spread the news of the Benalla affair, and accused a portion of those accounts of being “Russophiles.”

Within a day, French media were printing headlines screaming about “Russian bots,” prompting the NGO to issue a “clarification” of their findings. Not all of the accounts were “Russophiles,” the outfit said, and the report said nothing about “bots” – but the French public was already outraged.

Politicians Jean-Luc Melenchon of La France Insoumise and Marine Le Pen from the National Rally (NR) –previously known as Le Front National– who both ended up on the NGO’s list, tweeted derisively about the report, with Melenchon calling the outfit “stupid spooks.”

EU DisinfoLab basically used tools –as well as funding– provided by Twitter to compile a list of accounts tweeting about the scandal involving Alexandre Benalla, deputy chief of staff and bodyguard to President Emmanuel Macron. Benalla was fired in July after it emerged he had assaulted a protester at May Day demonstrations while impersonating a police officer, then tried to suppress the video footage of the incident.

Of the accounts thus rounded up, the group identified 27 percent as being part of the “Russian disinformation ecosystem,” described as people retweeting content from RT and Sputnik, or promoting the “Russian narrative.” Examples of the latter were listed as people spreading “false information” like that the Syrian government did not use chemical weapons in Douma (#SyriaHoax) or doubting the official [UK] narrative about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

Having thus characterized the doubters of the official Western media narratives as Russian agents, the group had the cheek to declare this is “not a value judgment, but a quantifiable fact according to methodology.”

What methodology? Well, in part that used by FirstDraft’s CrossCheck project, sponsored by Google partnering with US and French mainstream media outlets, the London School of Economics, and the notorious bloggers at Bellingcat, affiliated with the Atlantic Council, a pro-NATO think tank.

However, the approach of EU DisinfoLab is actually closer to that of Hamilton68 Dashboard, a project of the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), which, in turn, is backed by the German Marshall Fund. This alliance of Democrats and neocons was set up last year to “defend democracy” on Twitter from those evil Russkies. Having started from the assumption that agents of the Kremlin were everywhere, the dashboard proceeded to blame them for every trending hashtag – and the US media swallowed it whole, breathlessly reporting their “discoveries” for months.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has followed ASD since its inception, described it as “the single most successful media fraud & US propaganda campaign” he had seen in years of covering US politics.

This hysteria wave eventually crested in March this year, when even such ardent Russiagate-obsessed publications as BuzzFeed (the outfit that published Christopher Steele’s “salacious and unverified” dossier accusing Trump of being a Russian puppet) declared the reports of Russian bots to be “total bullshit.”

Here is the best part: The funding for EU DisinfoLab’s report was provided by Twitter itself! Back in October 2017, under tremendous pressure from Democrats angry about their defeat in the presidential election, the company “off-ramped” all advertising from RT and Sputnik, then pledged to donate the $1.9 million in (generously) estimated profits to “civil society” projects. Enter EU DisinfoLab, which admitted receiving $125,000 from Twitter in January.

The group also received $25,000 from George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, though that was earmarked for monitoring the March 2018 elections in Italy. True to form, Soros claimed Russia was behind the victory of populist parties over the Eurocrat establishment he favored.

So long as Uncle George and social media giants pay good money, and the media is eager to quote those offering to cater to their confirmation bias, there will be outfits such as Hamilton68 and EU DisinfoLab, all too willing to oblige.

Read more:

French Twitterati furious over ‘Russophiles’ report, launch ‘Russian bots’ flashmob

Atlantic Council: Pro-NATO pressure group uses distortions to fight ‘disinformation’

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Neocons Concoct Threat of “Iranian Hackers” to Justify Preemptive “Counterattack” Against Iran

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — Several reports in both American and Israeli media have recently been circulating the claim that Iran is increasingly likely to respond to draconian U.S.-imposed sanctions by conducting “cyberattacks” against the United States. According to this narrative, “Iranian hackers have laid the groundwork to carry out extensive cyberattacks on U.S. and European infrastructure and on private companies,” prompting the U.S. to consider launching a preemptive “counterattack” in response.

Quoting anonymous U.S. government officials, think tanks and “experts,” these articles assert that the sanctions the U.S. re-imposed on Iran this Tuesday are “likely to push that country to intensify state-sponsored cyber-threat activities,” activities that one expert called “the most consequential, costly and aggressive in the history of the internet, more so than Russia.”

However, upon closer examination, it is clear that these warnings of an imminent Iranian cyberattack are dubious at best — aimed at ending the U.S.’ isolation on the issue through dishonest intelligence, while also justifying a U.S. “preemptive counterattack” on Iran’s infrastructure in a bid to further destabilize the nation, in service to the Trump administration’s overall goal of regime change in Iran.

Chatter by whom?

Most of these articles, in introducing the “threat” posed by Iranian state-sponsored hackers, state that they originated with “cybersecurity and intelligence experts.” However, just sentences later, when these experts are quoted they specifically state that no evidence of such a threat even exists.

For instance, an Associated Press story, which begins with the statement that “the United States is bracing for cyberattacks Iran could launch in retaliation for the re-imposition of sanctions,” quotes Priscilla Moriuchi — director of strategic threat development at Recorded Future, a cyber-threat intelligence company — as saying the following just two sentences later:

While we have no specific threats, we have seen an increase in chatter related to Iranian threat activity over the past several weeks.”

In saying so, Moriuchi essentially admits that there is no threat from Iranian hackers, merely stating that there has been a jump in “chatter” related to Iranian threat activity. Notably, the “chatter” is not attributed, meaning that this increase could be a result of U.S. or Israeli intelligence hyping the possibility of a threat, not necessarily Iranians or their allies threatening a cyberattack.

Considering the source

Furthermore, Moriuchi is hardly unbiased, as her company, Recorded Future, counts among its clients several U.S. weapons manufacturers like Raytheon, and also regularly collaborates with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as technology companies that double as U.S. military contractors, such as Google and Palantir. Notably, Recorded Future was initially funded by both Google and In-Q-Tel, the venture-capitalist arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In addition, this report and others rely on the analysis of equally flawed “experts” to make their case. For instance, NBC cites “Iran expert” Behnam Ben Taleblu, who states that “Iran has a penchant for using such tools against the West.” However, Taleblu is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), the hawkish neo-conservative think tank that has long championed preemptive bombings against Iran.

The FDD is so stacked with notorious neo-conservatives that it has long been called the successor to the now-defunct think tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which was instrumental in promoting the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses. The FDD is also closely associated with National Security Adviser John Bolton, who promised just last year that the Iranian government would be toppled before 2019. However, NBC left out this important context, merely calling the FDD “a conservative think tank in Washington.”

From left to right: Behnam Ben Taleblu, Priscilla Moriuchi, Nomran Roule

Another “expert” quoted in these articles was Norm Roule, who was introduced as “the former Iran manager for the office of the Director of National Intelligence.” Roule, who recently told the press that he believes that Iran “will muster its cyberforces in response” to U.S. sanctions, is a 34-year veteran of the CIA and, more importantly, a senior adviser to the group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).

UANI is a think tank stuffed to the brim with Iran hawks, counting among its current members former Senator Joseph Lieberman; Richard Dearlove, former head of the UK’s MI6; Tamir Pardo,  former general director of Israel’s Mossad; and Jeb Bush. UANI was originally co-founded by Richard Holbrooke, John Bolton and Meir Dagan — another former general director of the Mossad. Thus, given their associations to organizations that have long promoted the destruction of the Iranian state, Roule’s analysis, much like Taleblu’s, can hardly be considered impartial or objective.

Self-isolated U.S. seeks a way out of the trap

The U.S.’ warning of an imminent Iranian cyber-threat in response to the U.S.’ decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal, and its subsequent decision to reimpose harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic, comes at a crucial time, as many key countries, including many important U.S. allies, have declined to follow the U.S.’ lead on isolating Iran and have even rejected it outright.

Indeed, as opposed to isolating Iran, the U.S. has become isolated itself, as E.U. countries have banned companies from complying with U.S. sanctions efforts and other key nations like China have refused to halt Iranian oil imports despite U.S. threats. However, were U.S. warnings of an “Iranian cyber-threat” to convince these countries, particularly Europe, that Iran was indeed on the offensive despite its desperate efforts to keep JCPOA alive, the U.S.’ isolation in terms of its Iran policy could well end.

The Iranian government seems to have caught on to the U.S.’ game but seemed to think that rather than simply being intended to intensify Washington’s isolation campaign, the fear mongering over “Iranian hackers” was aimed at justifying imminent U.S. aggression against Iran.

In a statement given to NBC by Alireza Miryousefi, spokeswoman for Iran’s UN delegation, she stated that “Iran has no intention of engaging in any kind of cyber war with the U.S.,” adding, “from our perspective, it’s more likely the U.S. wants the supposed suspicion of an attack as rationalization for a cyberattack against Iran.” Miryousefi went on to call the U.S. “the most belligerent cyber-attacker of any nation in the world, repeatedly attacking military and civilian targets across the world, including in Iran.”

Indeed, the U.S. famously targeted Iran’s civilian nuclear program with the Stuxnet virus it had jointly developed with Israel. It infected over 200,000 machines and destroyed around 20 percent of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, even the media reports themselves hint that this is the case, stating that while “the U.S. has not yet decided whether it will retaliate in the event of an attack,” it is already preparing new sanctions to impose on the country whether or not an attack occurs and is also building “a case for its more confrontational stance” in a bid to convince its wary allies to join its aggressive Iran policy.

The reports also openly state that a “preemptive attack” against Iran is currently being debated by the Trump administration, but notes that officials are “divided” over the measure. However, given the increasing likelihood that Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who had supported JCPOA, is on the way out of the administration, the growing chorus of Iran war-hawks in the White House could soon make such “divisions” a thing of the past.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

BBC bows to pressure from Israel and changes Gaza headline

Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza City on 9 August 2018 [Mahmoud Khattab/Apaimages]
MEMO | August 10, 2018

The BBC has once again come under sharp criticism over its coverage of violence perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians. Critics called the BBC out over its bias after the broadcaster bowed to pressure from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and changed the headline of a news piece concerning Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

The BBC headline read: “Israeli air strikes ‘kill woman and baby’” for a news piece related to the killing of three Palestinians including a pregnant mother and toddler in Gaza on Wednesday night.

The headline attracted the attention of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who is currently leading a bitter campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over a definition of anti-Semitism that conflates criticism of Israel with racism against Jews.

Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon shot the BBC down and demanded for the headline to be changed “IMMEDIATELY”:

The Board of Deputies joined the act, denouncing the BBC headline as “appalling”. They said that they had lodged a complaint and encouraged others to do the same.

A short while after the complaints the BBC completely changed the headline: “Gaza air strikes ‘kill woman and child’ after rockets hit Israel.”

The dramatic change in headline caught the attention of social media users who were astonished by BBC’s capitulation to the dictates of a foreign state.

British commentator Owen Jones tweeted:

Others pointed to the influence of the Israeli lobby in the UK citing the Al Jazeera documentary “The Lobby,” which exposed how the Israeli embassy was providing covert assistance to supposedly independent groups within the Labour Party, and led a campaign to remove not just Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, but also Crispin Blunt MP, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee for their strong views on Israel. Many of these groups are now at the centre of the anti-Semitism row within the Labour Party.

“Looks like the influence of a foreign power on our political landscape and media never went away,” tweeted a social media user who also shared a video of Israeli embassy staff Shai Masot attempting to organise a takedown of British MPs sympathetic to the Palestinians and possibly hostile to the Israeli state.

Many responded with personal accounts to highlight the extent to which the BBC is bullied into taking a pro-Israel stance. A video clip of a famous study “Bad News from Israel” by the renowned Glasgow University Media Group resurfaced. Its author Greg Philo can be heard saying:

“I spent time with BBC journalists and a senior producer said to me, ‘We wait in fear for the phone call from the Israelis,’” referring to the trepidation felt by BBC editors when publishing negative stories about Israel.

It is unusual for the BBC to publish a story about Israeli aggression using headlines that doesn’t make excuses. On this occasion the fact that the story appeared in BBC World perhaps explains why the headline may not have gone through the rigorous vetting that many suspect stories about Israel are subjected to.

A BBC spokesperson admitted that “although the original headline was not factually incorrect, we updated it to add more context to the story”.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

When humanitarian aid and rhetoric serve the interests of the Israeli oppressors

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | August 9, 2018

There has been yet another instance where the UN has preferred to try to predict the future instead of acknowledging the current deterioration in Gaza with the aim of permanently reversing colonialism. Israel has yet again refused the entry of fuel into the enclave which is needed to power emergency generators and provide some relief for the power cuts suffered by the Palestinian people.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (OCHAoPt) quoted Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick: “The well-being of two million people, half of whom are children, is at stake. It is unacceptable that Palestinians in Gaza are repeatedly deprived of the most basic elements of a dignified life.”

Depletion of basic necessities is edging towards the total absence of such resources. Hospitals are facing closures and patients who rely upon electrical devices are at risk of their treatment being interrupted. Furthermore, OCHAoPt has remarked on the deteriorating funds for emergency fuel, stating that $4.5 million is required “to ensure that a minimum level of essential services can continue to run through the end of the year.”

McGoldrick spoke about the need for “longer-term solutions so we can move past this cycle of repeated or worsening crises, including that Palestinian authorities prioritise provision of fuel for essential services.” Until that happens, he stated, Israel should reverse its restrictions and donors should contribute towards funding emergency fuel.

The difference between UN representatives’ rhetoric and Israel’s calculated oppression makes it impossible to turn towards permanent solutions for Palestinians. International institutions play upon the immediate scenario with the intent of keeping to short-term alleviation each time Israel repeats its violations, or embarks upon a new round. Maintaining this ambiguity has created the dynamics of attempting to repair a sliver of damage while Israel unravels its next step in the colonisation process. In doing so, the correlation between aid and abuse increases to the point of creating a cycle of dependency between both concepts.

Meanwhile, Gaza is forced to manage a situation wherein every decision taken is unlikely to reap any benefit for Palestinians. The illegal blockade on Gaza, which is part of Israel’s colonial strategy, is mentioned towards the end of the OCHAoPt briefing to underscore that it has “raised concerns over collective punishment and human rights violations, alongside an unresolved internal Palestinian political divide.” While the latter is true, it is still only a part of the bigger framework. One must ask why the UN is intent on blurring the lines between Israel and the Palestinian factions. Palestinian Authority collaboration with Israel aside, such merging only serves to eliminate Israeli accountability and cast serious doubts upon the lauding of international law when it serves nothing other than the means through which to determine how far colonial violence can stretch its parameters.

While the UN and Israel are busy perfecting their strategies, Palestinians exist in a realm where remembrance of their plight is tied to a generated, short-term response, as opposed to relating to their humanity. It is not only Israel that has dehumanised Palestinians. In limiting responses to Israel’s violations rather than Palestinian rights, the international community has dehumanised Palestine internationally.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel celebrates 40 years of illegal settlement

MEMO | August 10, 2018

Two thousand Israelis yesterday gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the illegal West Bank settlement of Shiloh, south of Nablus.

The celebration was attended by Israel’s Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel, who is a member of the Religious-Zionist Jewish Home party. According to Arutz Sheva, the head of Israel’s “Binyamin Regional Council”, the group which oversees 42 of Israel’s illegal settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank, also attended. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sent a letter of congratulations to the illegal settlers, claiming historic links between the Bible and the modern-day occupied Palestinian territory.

Uri Ariel has a long history of pro-settlement activity, previously serving as head of Beit El council, an illegal Israeli settlement situated north east of Ramallah. Ariel was also previously secretary general of the Yesha council.

In July it emerged that Uri Ariel had previously approved plans to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar, the Palestinian Bedouin village that has been slated for demolition. The plans, which were made in the late 1970s, proposed a “Jewish corridor” of illegal settlements be built on some 100,000 to 120,000 dunams (25,000 to 30,000 acres) of Palestinian land, including the villages of Hizme, Anata, Al-Azariya and Abu Dis on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Demolishing these villages would make way for expanding two illegal settlements – Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim – situated on the Jerusalem-Jericho road.

Shiloh was one of the first locations targeted for illegal Israeli settlement as early as 1974 by Gush Emunim, the orthodox right-wing settlement movement that rose to prominence in the wake of the 1973 War. Gush Emunim was later succeeded by the Yesha council that Uri Ariel previously affiliated with. During the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s, Shiloh was identified as an example of an area that should be returned to Palestinian control given the high density of Palestinians living in the area.

Illegal settlement in the West Bank has been pursued as a policy by the State of Israel since it occupied the territory in the 1967 Six Day War, along with the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem states that, as of the end of 2015, there were 127 Israeli government-sanctioned settlements in the West Bank (not including occupied East Jerusalem and Hebron). When combined with 100 non-recognised outposts and 15 Israeli neighbourhoods inside the Jerusalem Municipality, these settlements are inhabited by approximately half a million illegal settlers.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales: Ex Porn Peddler Paid by ‘Israel’ to Spread Zionist Propaganda

Empire Strikes Black | August 10, 2018

In the midst of the ongoing ‘Israeli’ government campaign against Jeremy Corbyn,(1) Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has entered the fray launching an inexplicable attack on the Labour leader. His tweet posted on the 9th of August 2018 lambastes Jeremy Corbyn for apparently failing to condemn Hamas rockets.

Wales tweets: 150 rockets fired at Israel by Hamas. @jeremycorbyn silent

To those well-versed on the history of Palestine this statement rightfully seems absurd and somewhat topsy-turvy. How can an occupied, brutalised and imprisoned people be castigated for merely defending themselves? While ‘Israel’ occupies land that does not belong to it – including Gaza which has no semblance of freedom with its borders and airspace locked down by the occupying regime which routinely commits bloody massacres with huge civilian death tolls – it absolutely must distort the facts in order to shape public opinion in its favour. ‘Israel’ committed and commits every day the causal acts of violence of ethnically cleansing Palestine and keeping the natives imprisoned, occupied and disenfranchised. The ‘Israel is acting in self-defence’ trope is then in fact the only form of rhetorical recourse that the Zionists can resort to in order to justify the historical and ongoing crimes against humanity committed every day in Palestine.

Jimmy Wales: Porn-Peddler-cum-Paid-Hasbara-Agent

In a revelation that will no-doubt raise eyebrows amongst Wikipedia users, in 1996 Jimmy Wales co-founded an online Internet portal called Bomis which sold porn and explicit material to users. The following, actually taken from the Wikipedia article for Bomis(2) adds context:

Bomis became successful after focusing on X-rated media. “Bomis Babes” was devoted to erotic images; the “Bomis Babe Report” featured adult pictures. Bomis Premium, available for an additional fee, provided explicit material. “The Babe Engine” helped users find erotic content through a web search engine. The advertising director for Bomis noted that 99 percent of queries on the site were for nude women.

Even the New York Times reports that the creation of Wikipedia was financed by Wales’ earlier porn venture,(3) whereby he would literally hand deliver cheques from Bomis porn revenues in order to keep Wikipedia’s servers running. On a perhaps related but definitely unsurprising note, the same New York Times article also reveals that via his wife, Jimmy Wales is very closely connected to Tony Blair(3) who even attended their wedding.

Though peddling porn may not be illegal, at the very least it sheds light on the true character of this man. What heroic agent of free information exchange makes money from selling pornography?

Wales has close links to ‘Israel’ and was awarded $1 million ‘Israeli’ prize for his services

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales poses in a sleazy Bomis advertisement

In 2015 Jimmy Wales told The Times of Israel (4) that he had visited ‘more than ten times’, suggesting links to the Zionist enclave. He even told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency,(4) “I’m a strong supporter of Israel, so I don’t listen to those critics.” Laughably Wales cites ‘women’s rights’ as one of his reasons(4) for his support of the illegitimate Zionist entity. This is a statement that rings as hollow as a drum considering this man made his money in an industry that degrades women and enslaves vulnerable girls.

Wales’ numerous visits to ‘Israel’ during this time period must be understood in the wider context of Zionist information warfare. In 2010 the UK Guardian reported that Zionist groups were establishing Wikipedia editing courses(5) in order to sway Wikipedia entries in the Zionist regime’s favour. Additionally in 2012 The National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) launched a program(6) to pay Israeli university students $2,000 to spread pro-‘Israel’ propaganda online for 5 hours per week.

Moreover, in the same year (2015) Mr. Wales was awarded $1 million by the ‘Israeli’ Dan David Foundation(7) after being selected by the prize committee for spearheading what they referred to as ‘the information revolution’.

The Electronic Intifada reports that the ‘Israeli’ government itself has been implicated in running the information war against Jeremy Corbyn. As part of this campaign, the ‘Israeli’ government has used its Act.IL software application to issue a mission for social media users to post negative comments against Jeremy Corbyn(1) suggesting he is an ‘anti-Semite’.

Let’s bring things full circle. Not only is Jimmy Wales a man of highly questionable moral character. Wales has close links to the Zionist regime, having visited it numerous times during the very same time period that Zionist groups were running Wikipedia editing courses and the ‘Israeli’ government was literally paying people to spread Zionist propaganda online. Wales’ efforts have culminated in him being awarded $1m by an ‘Israeli’ charitable organisation for his efforts in the ‘information revolution’. And now, interestingly, Mr. Wales is taking part in the very same information warfare campaign against Jeremy Corbyn that the ‘Israeli’ government has itself launched.

What is most alarming here is not merely Wales’ questionable character – having peddled porn and sleaze to make money – but the alarming indications that he could in fact be a de facto paid agent of the Zionist regime.

Notes

(1) ‘Israel running campaign against Jeremy Corbyn’ – The Electronic Intifada, 7 August 2018.
(2) ‘Bomis’ Wikipedia.com entry as of 10 August 2018.
(3) ‘Jimmy Wales Is Not An Internet Billionaire’ – The New York Times, 27 June 2013.
(4) ‘Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales likes Israel but stays neutral’ – The Times of Israel, 19 May 2015.
(5) ‘Wikipedia editing courses launched by Zionist groups’ – The Guardian, 18 August 2010.
(6) ‘Israeli students to get $2,000 to spread state propaganda on Facebook’ – The Electronic Intifada, 4 January 2012.
(7) ‘Wiki founder wins $1m Israeli prize’ – The Times of Israel, 10 February 2015.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Russians are coming… to hit Florida’s midterms, Democratic senator claims

RT | August 10, 2018

Florida election officials say they have “zero information” about a threat of Russian hacking in the midterm election, after Senator Bill Nelson claimed the Ruskies have already penetrated the election systems of some counties.

Nelson, the lone statewide elected Democrat in Republican-dominated Florida, is facing a tough electoral battle against Governor Rick Scott, who is term-limited and wants to take Nelson’s seat in the US Senate come November. This week the incumbent senator added some spycraft thrills to the race by claiming that the Russians were not only an ever-lurking threat to democracy in the US and Florida, but actually have already penetrated the state election infrastructure.

“They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about,” Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times before a campaign event in Tampa. He made a similar claim a day earlier in Tallahassee but declined to elaborate, stating that the information was classified.

Nelson and Florida’s other senator, Marco Rubio, wrote a letter to the 67 county election supervisors, warning about the cyber-threat to the midterms and advising that security be ramped up. Speaking to the newspaper on Wednesday, Nelson said they penned the letter on request of the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which reportedly said that “the Russians are in their records.”

Rubio raised the same issue in late May in a private meeting with around eight to 10 election officials, but in less defined terms, Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer told the newspaper. When asked which counties were targeted, Rubio “looked around the room and said, ‘I don’t believe it’s anybody here,'” Latimer said. Paul Lux, the president of a statewide election supervisors’ group, said Rubio’s warning was so vague that it was of no practical value.

Nelson said Russian hackers may cause chaos on Election Day by erasing people from the voter rolls. “That’s exactly what the Russians want to do. They want to sow chaos in our democratic institutions.” Senator Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services’ subcommittee on cybersecurity, previously urged the Pentagon to act on recommendations on cyber-deterrence.

Commenting on Nelson’s latest remarks, Sarah Revell, the spokesperson for the Florida Department of State, said it “received zero information from Senator Nelson or his staff that support his claims”.

“Additionally, the Department has received no information from the US Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that corroborates Senator Nelson’s statement and we have no evidence to support these claims,” she added.

Revell said that if the senator had any specific information about hacking threats, he should share it with state election officials.

Florida’s counties have been spending federal money on improving the cybersecurity of election infrastructure as well as taking advice from federal law enforcement agencies on how to better address the threat. The state’s reluctance to take the $19 million, which was only done in May, was a point of criticism of the governor’s office.

Pinellas County election officials said after Nelson’s assertion they immediately contacted the FBI, Homeland Security and other state and federal agencies in a futile attempt to find out more about it. “Our office has not seen any indication that we have had any penetration by any bad actions,” office spokesman Dustin Chase said.

A number of other large counties, including Pasco, Seminole, Broward, and Miami-Dade, have issued statements saying they are not aware of any breaches.

Meanwhile, the governor’s office sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee, requesting clarification on the situation.

“Let me be clear, this is a very serious charge made in a public setting without any evidence, details or any prior communication to state or local election officials in Florida,” Secretary of State Ken Detzner wrote.

The claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election is the cornerstone of the current partisan rift in the country, with some Democrats claiming that candidate Donald Trump somehow colluded with the Kremlin to beat Hillary Clinton. Russia denies that any government-mandated interference took place.

There are no official US documents asserting that, if any meddling did in fact take place, it affected in any way the outcome of the vote. As of January 2018, 52 percent of registered Democrats believe that Russian hackers changed the vote tally, a conspiracy theory that is not backed by any evidence.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia | , | Leave a comment