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Trump accused of anti-Semitism over claim Soros funds ‘elevator screamers’

RT | October 5, 2018

Critics of US President Donald Trump were quick to accuse him of anti-Semitism over a tweet claiming that women accosting senators over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were paid by liberal billionaire George Soros.

“The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it!” Trump tweeted on Friday. “Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love!”

Outrage ensued, obviously. ThinkProgress, the media arm of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress think tank, immediately accused the president of anti-Semitism. A Slate editor chimed in, calling Trump’s words an “anti-Semitic dog whistle.” And a staff writer for The Atlantic called it a “conspiracy theory that a rich Jewish boogeyman is making women claim to have been raped and assaulted.”

Columnists for the New York Times and the Washington Post were quick to follow, denouncing what they said was an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and adding a splash of guilt by association.

This would come as news to Israel, however. In July 2017, ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Hungary, the Israeli ambassador in Budapest condemned anti-Semitism in relation to a campaign poster depicting Soros negatively. The Israeli Foreign Ministry quickly reacted to clarify the statement, explaining that criticism of Soros was legitimate, because the Hungarian-born billionaire “continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments” and funds organizations “that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.”

Speaking of conspiracy theories, though, an Atlantic Council hunter for Russian witches was quick to accuse “the Russians” – specifically, RT – of being behind the whole Soros story.

RT’s sin, you see, was to cite reporting by US journalists who listened in on conference calls in which groups were coordinating protests against Kavanaugh and handing cash to those arrested, and quote public records showing that Soros’s Open Society Foundation gave generously to these groups.

A common thread in all these reports is the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), which organized some of the protests against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee from day one. It was CPD activists and executives that led the ambush of Senator Jeff Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator, as well as several of his colleagues at the Washington National Airport.

Public records show that Soros’s Open Society Foundation is one of the major donors to CPD, giving $130,000 in 2014 and $1,164,500 in 2015. Soros gave an additional $1.5 million to the group in 2016 and 2017.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 7 Comments

Help Stop Radioactive Waste Dump and Thousands of Dangerous Shipments Across the US

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | October 5, 2018

The private company Waste Control Specialists (WCS) or “Interim Storage Partners” wants to place a high-level radioactive waste dump site (called a “centralized interim storage facility”) in West Texas.

If approved, opening this high-level waste dump would launch nation-wide transports of a total of 40,000 tons of irradiated reactor fuel (misleadingly known as “spent” fuel), to Texas from all over the country. The shipments are to be by rail, highway, and floating barge (even on Lake Michigan!). The planned-for thousands of such transports create risks for nearly everyone in the United States, because the ferociously radioactive material would pass near schools, hospitals, businesses, and farms, would travel on and over lakes, rivers, and waterways, and go through areas where our food is grown and where families live, play and work. Amazingly, no public meetings on the subject are planned in Texas or elsewhere.

Act now to stop this dangerous nuclear waste dump

Environmental and community right-to-know groups are demanding: 1) public meetings in Texas and along transportation routes across the country; 2) a halt to these transport and dumping plans; and 3) uniform publication of application and related materials in Spanish.  You can add your voice to these urgent demands by writing to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the license application by WCS until Oct. 19th.

Tell NRC: Listen to the people! No mass radioactive waste shipments to Texas.

Under WCS’s license application, the 40,000 tons of high-level waste from commercial power reactors could move on railroads, highways and even on waterways using barges for decades. Then, because the Texas site is supposedly “temporary,” after being shipped there the waste would have to be packed-up and transported again, to a “permanent” waste dump site — if one is ever approved. This means that new transportation and repackaging dangers will continue for additional decades.

For this reason, experts like D’Arrigo at NIRS and elsewhere recommend against any “interim” storage sites, and instead suggest storage on or near the reactors, until a permanent waste dump is opened.

The Texas region where WCS wants to store the waste (above-ground, and in the open) is prone to earthquakes, intense storms, extreme temperatures, and flooding. West Texas is not the place to store the most hazardous waste in the world.

Under the guise of “managing” this deadly waste from nuclear power reactors, the centralized temporary storage plan would make the problem worse, changing the country forever by ushering in an era of intensely deadly reactor waste transports everywhere, moving regularly through our major cities and rural communities.

Yet, the United States NRC does not want to fully consider the impacts of repeatedly transporting radioactive waste to or from the supposedly “temporary” site. Please tell the NRC to hold public meetings, to extend the comment and intervention deadlines, and to fully consider all the dangers from high-level waste storage and transport in the WCS Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

You can email: WCS_CISF_EIS@nrc.gov.

A sample letter you could submit is available here.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Nuclear Waste Shipments Expose Populations to Toxic Radiation

Sputnik – 06.10.2018

Pregnant women in the United States could be exposed to ionizing radioactivity from nuclear waste shipped around the nation, a radioactive waste watchdog told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear this week.

Given the number of shipments of nuclear waste traveling around the country, “Pregnant women and the fetus and the womb should not be exposed to any ionizing radioactivity if it can be avoided. This is going to happen. Given these kinds of shipment numbers — many thousands — there’s going to be exposures to pregnant women in this country,” says Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear.

​Nuclear waste is shipped past Americans all the time without many of us knowing it. Even waste passing by on a train is emitting radioactive particulates, and some of those can have negative consequences over time.

“It’s like an X-ray. It will cause harm,” Kamps said. Nurses often ask patients to wear protective aprons while taking X-rays to minimize exposure to the radiation, since X-rays are technically a carcinogen according to the World Health Organization. Medical News Today has reported that approximately 0.4 percent of cancers in the US are triggered by CT scans. (CT scans use X-rays and computer imagery to generate pictures of the body to help doctors with diagnoses.)

Transporting nuclear waste products is a risky business for public health outside the US, too.

“If you have exterior, or external contamination, on the shipment — which has happened hundreds of times in France, 50 times in the US that we know of — those dose rates increase significantly. In France, on average, it was 500 times the permissible [amount of contamination] on one-third of the shipments. In one case it was 3,300 times [the] permissible [amount]. So if that’s one to two chest X-rays per hour, times 3,300 times permissible, that’s 6,600 chest X-rays per hour,” Kamps told Loud & Clear.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Israel’s ”Antisemitism” Cyber Monitoring System

If Americans Knew | October 5, 2018

Naftali Bennett, Israeli Minister of Education & Minister of Diaspora Affairs, announces social media “command center” which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze every single post on Facebook and Twitter, says it currently detects roughly 10,000 ‘antisemitic’ posts a day.

However, because Israel has distorted the meaning of ‘antisemitism’ (see http://bit.ly/2Pbmpcb) many, possibly most, of these posts may concern Israel’s violations of human rights rather than bigotry toward Jews.

More info:

The International Campaign to Criminalize Criticism of Israel (PDF) – https://ifamericaknew.org/download/an…

Video: Israel’s Internet Censorship War – https://youtu.be/Vqhi16iikxk

Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign – http://bit.ly/2DXb5PK

Israel Palestine Timeline – https://israelpalestinetimeline.org

Israel Launches Internet “Command Center” to Monitor Social Media – https://iakn.us/2IFs2gk

[Video compiled from various sources. Hebrew portions removed for brevity.]

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 2 Comments

‘Corbyn would be mad not to get rid of nukes’: SNP would back Labour govt if they dump Trident

RT | October 5, 2018

The SNP has told Jeremy Corbyn it would back a Labour government if support for the Trident nuclear program was dropped, claiming he’d be “mad” not to take the chance to rid Britain of nukes for the first time in its history.

Stewart McDonald, the SNP’s defence spokesman at Westminster, has enticed Corbyn, the Labour leader and lifelong opponent of nuclear weapons, with the prospect of an SNP/Labour pact which would enable him to become Britain’s PM – if his party dumped its policy to renew Trident.

McDonald gave an interview to The House magazine in which he said that the prospect of a Corbyn-led government would present a historic opportunity – one the SNP must grab with both hands. He claims it would be “the first opportunity that would have presented itself in British history, for Britain to get rid of nuclear weapons.”

According to McDonald, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who he says joined CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) before the SNP, would make dumping Trident a key part of any post-election negotiations, insisting Corbyn would be “mad” not to grab the opportunity to both become PM and rid Britain of nuclear weapons.

He said: “I hope that if Jeremy’s in the position to form a government, perhaps with an arrangement with the Scottish National Party, then that [scrapping Trident] should be one of the key planks of any discussion that we have.

“We’d ultimately have an opportunity, the first opportunity that would have presented itself in British history, for Britain to get rid of nuclear weapons. We would be mad, and Jeremy Corbyn would be mad, not to grab that opportunity.”

The issue of Trident has been a thorny one for Labour. Despite it being official party policy to back the renewal of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, a large section of the grassroots membership want Labour to shift its policy to one of unilateral disarmament.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Trump administration about to give Israel $3.8 billion

If Americans Knew | October 5, 2018

Despite the fact that legislation to give Israel $38 billion over the next 10 years is still pending, the Trump administration is about to give Israel the first installment – $3.8 billion – for the 2019 fiscal year, which officially began Oct. 1st.

This amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second.

The decision to start giving Israel this money immediately rather than waiting for the legislation to pass is based on implementing the Obama administration’s 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The money will be deposited in an Israeli account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. This is an interest bearing account, meaning that Israel will get even more money from the U.S. economy.

Because the Obama-Netanyahu MOU is non-binding, Israel partisan are pushing through legislation making it U.S. law. The pending legislation contains additional provisions helping Israel, including a requirement that NASA allow Israel’s space agency to piggy back on its work. It also requires the U.S. to permit Israel to export arms it receives from the U.S., even though this violates U.S. law.

Part of the aid to Israel, $550 million, was included in the Pentagon Defense bill passed in August. The major part of the aid to Israel – $33 billion over the next 10 years – is still in process. It was passed by the Senate and then went to the House of Representatives, where Israel partisans added some provisions that made it even better for Israel, and passed it by voice vote on September 12th.

This version, S.2497, makes the $38 billion a floor rather than a ceiling, as originally required in the MOU, which opens the door to politicians voting even more money to Israel over the coming months and  years, which they quite likely will do.

This new version is now back in the Senate. Once the Senate passes it, the bill will go to President Trump to sign into law.

This is the largest military aid package in U.S. history, yet U.S. media have neglected to tell Americans about the legislation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced: “I thank the American administration and Congress for their commitment to Israel and also for the American financial assistance in the coming decade.”

In response to action alerts by If Americans Knew, thousands of Americans have contacted their Congressional representatives demanding that they vote against the aid to Israel. Israel consistently uses U.S. aid in violation of international law, human rights, and U.S. laws.

While the massive aid to Israel is moving forward, the Trump administration has frozen financial aid to Palestinians for infrastructure development, civil society projects and to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for critical humanitarian assistance. The most recent cut was on Sept. 14, when the administration halted $10 million in funding for programs designed to promote goodwill between young Palestinians and Israelis.

However, the U.S. is maintaining its financial support to the Palestinian Authority to coordinate efforts with Israel to suppress the Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation and oppression.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

S-300s and Other Military Hardware for Syria

The Saker | Unz Review | October 5, 2018

This week Russian officials declared that the delivery of S-300s for Syria was completed and that this first batch included 49 pieces of “military equipment”, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers. Russian officials added that, if needed, this figure could be increased to 8-12 launchers. Defense Minister Shoigu added that “the measures we will take will be devoted to ensure 100 percent safety and security of our men in Syria, and we will do this”. This leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

First, it is still unclear which version of the S-300 was delivered to Syria. Some sources say that this might be the S-300PMU2, others mention the S-300VM while, yet other sources speculate that this might be an S-300V4 or its export version the Antey-2500. I will spare you the technical details (those interested can look at the pretty detailed Wikipedia entry here), but it should be noted that until the specific version of the S-300 becomes known it will be very hard to assess the potential impact of this delivery. The original S-300s are by now maybe not obsolete, but most definitely not the bleeding edge of air defense technologies. (The first S-300s entered service with the Soviet military in the late seventies!). But the newest version of the S-300s are very close in capabilities to the S-400 system and thus rank among the most capable air defense systems ever built. For example, a lot has been made from the fact that the Israelis have had many years to study the S-300s delivered to Greece, but what is often overlooked is that the version delivered to Cyprus and which was later re-deployed to Greece was the (relatively outdated) S-300PMU-1. The probability that the Russians would deliver this version to the Syrians is close to zero. However, when I think of Israeli Defense Minister (and bona fide nutcase) Lieberman declaring that “one thing needs to be clear: If someone shoots at our planes, we will destroy them. It doesn’t matter if it’s an S-300 or an S-700” he probably was told by the Israeli military analysts that the S-300 is not that formidable a weapon and missed the fact that they were referring to the older version and not the kind of kit the Russians would be using nowadays.

What is sure is that just four launchers are not very many, but are enough to protect any one specific part of Syria. They will also increase the overall number of Russian/Syrian air defense missiles thus helping to achieve the officially stated goal of ensuring “the 100 percent safety” of the Russian forces in Syria. However, this is certainly not enough to create a complete no-fly zone over the entire country, at least not against a large scale attack.

Still, the Russians already have S-300s (and even S-400) in Syria and 4 more launchers do provide them with some additional firepower, but not any new capabilities. I think the most likely explanation is that the S-300s delivered to the Syrians will protect a few important strategic Syrian targets (Damascus?) while, at the same time, adding firepower to the (rather small) Russian task force in Syria. As for the statement that an additional 4-8 launchers could be delivered, that is both a sign that the Russians want to keep their options open while, at the same time, creating a deliberate ambiguity about how much firepower they actually possess at any one given moment in time.

Second, I will repeat what I said before: S-300s are not what the Syrians need most. In terms of anti-air missiles, what they need most are higher numbers of Pantsirs-S1/2 mobile medium to short range air defense systems. Not only are the Pantsirs ideal to protect against cruise missile strikes, they can also protect the S-300s, which will become a critical issue if the Israelis decide to try to destroy them (which they threatened to do in the past).

What S-300s primarily add to the Syrian capabilities is not so much the ability to intercept more missiles, but the ability to track and engage AWACS and other battle management and reconnaissance aircraft at very long ranges. In theory, an S-300V4 could make it impossible for the Israelis to put up an AWACS at any useful range. The AWACS would either have to remain too far to be of use, or take the huge risk of being shot down by a high speed and very maneuverable missile (S-300V4 missiles have a flight envelope of 400 km at Mach 7.5 or of 350 km at Mach 9!). If the Israelis conclude that the Syrians now have S-300V4′s, they will have to dramatically decrease their air operations in Syria and will switch to tactical (ground to ground) ballistic missiles and long range artillery systems. More S-300s also improve the overall radar coverage and will close some gaps created by the Syrian mountain ranges.

Third, it remains equally unclear, perhaps deliberately, which electronic warfare systems Russia has deployed (or will deploy) in Syria and in what numbers. Possible candidates include the Zhitel R-330Zh electronic intelligence and jamming system, the Borisoglebsk-2 RB-301B electronic warfare weapon system and the Krasukha-4 jamming system. As for the automated command and control system which might be deployed to Syria, my guess is that the Polyana D4M1 would be a prime candidate. Whatever the actual mix will be in the end, I would argue that this presents a more formidable capability than additional S-300 launchers. Sure, this is apples and oranges, but we have to keep in mind that these electronic warfare systems are extremely powerful force-multipliers which can dramatically increase both the Russian and the Syrian defensive capabilities by jamming GPS signals, datalinks, cellphone signals (used for targeting and intelligence), radars, by creating false targets and even by destroying electronics. Electronic warfare is one field in which the Israelis have always enjoyed a huge superiority over their Arab victims and the fact that this has now changed is an extremely distressing development for them, even if they will never admit it.

As predicted, the Israelis have declared themselves both superior and invulnerable so they will continue their policy of (completely illegal) aggression against Syria. They have several options here: the Israelis might decide to stick to basically symbolic attacks against unprotected targets and declare each time that they have destroyed a huge depot of Hezbollah missiles or a Syrian chemical weapons plant. That would greatly help to bolster Netanyahu’s “patriotic” credentials while keeping the real action at a purely symbolic level. The second option would be to use ballistic missiles and long range artillery and strike some real targets. Finally, the Israelis could try to launch a complex and large air attack on the Syrian air defense systems in an attempt to show that S-300s are no big deal for them. The option of using ballistic missiles is probably the most likely one (and if the Syrians don’t keep their S-300s fairly close to each other (so they can protect each other), the Israelis might also be able to destroy them). That is a rather risky plan since, if successful, it would just result in more air defense system deliveries from Russia. This is something the USA might strenuously object to since every time the Russians deliver military hardware to the Syrians to protect them against the Israelis, they also improve the Syrian capability to defend their country against US/NATO/CENTCOM attacks (the delivery of S-300s to the Syrians is just as much a disaster for the USA as it is for Israel so I imagine that the US commanders are rather angry with the Israelis for creating this situation).

It is important to keep in mind that while the S-300s are certainly formidable air defense systems, they are not a Wunderwaffe which could, by itself, prevent the Israelis from attacking Syria. The latest delivery of military hardware from Russia will definitely mark a sharp increase in the Syrian (and Russian) defense capabilities, but if the Israelis are determined to continue striking Syria, the Russians will have to deliver even more systems.

Speaking of the Israelis, their big delegation which traveled to Moscow apparently only succeeded in further irritating the Russians. I had speculated that they might present some kind of exculpatory evidence but I was wrong: apparently, they had nothing to say besides “Iran is bad” and “Syria is responsible”. This is what caused the Russians to show a record of the radar data of the Russian S-400 in Syria to prove that every words of the Israelis were lies, lies and more lies.

I see that as yet another proof of the absolutely amazing combination of gross incompetence and breathtaking arrogance of the Israelis. The way they conducted their entire attack is already a testimony of their gross lack of professionalism, and they only added insult to injury when they showed up in Moscow and looked the Russians straight in the eyes and lied about everything (even though they must have known that Russians had it all recorded second by second). When Putin spoke of a “chain of tragic circumstances” he was very politely trying to give them an out as long as they apologized and compensated the Russians, but to the Israeli Herrenvolk that would have been totally unacceptable. They did what they always do: they doubled down and accused all their critics of antisemitism. What else is new?

In conclusion I will say that, while I might very well be wrong, I still don’t believe that the Israelis had some sophisticated plan to achieve some still to be determined goal. During the past year the Israelis informed the Russians about their planned airstrikes in Syria via their deconfliction line only in 10% of the cases. For the remaining 90% they did not even bother, in spite of having promised to do so in their agreement with Russia. In sharp contrast, the Russians always informed the Israelis of their operations, as did the Americans towards the Russians. But the Israelis simply think that they don’t have to abide by any kind of norms of behavior. That kind of contempt for agreements (and for non-Jews in general) is typical of the Israeli mindset and it will eventually bring the downfall of the last openly racist regime on the planet.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Lies of our (Financial) Times

By James Petras | Dissident Voice | October 4, 2018

The leading financial publications have misled their political and investor subscribers of emerging crises and military defeats which have precipitated catastrophic political and economic losses.

The most egregious example is the Financial Times (FT) a publication which is widely read by the business and financial elite.

In this essay we will proceed by outlining the larger political context that sets the framework for the transformation of the FT from a relatively objective purveyor of world news into a propagator of wars and failed economic policies.

In part two we will discuss several case studies which illustrate the dramatic shifts from a prudent business publication to a rabid military advocate, from a well-researched analyst of economic policies to an ideologue of the worst speculative investors.

The decay of the quality of its reportage is accompanied by the bastardization of language. Concepts are distorted; meanings are emptied of their cognitive sense; and vitriol covers crimes and misdemeanors.

We will conclude by discussing how and why the ‘respectable’ media have affected real world political and market outcomes for citizens and investors.

Political and Economic Context

The decay of the FT cannot be separated from the global political and economic transformations in which it publishes and circulates. The demise of the Soviet Union, the pillage of Russia’s economy throughout the 1990s and the US declaration of a unipolar world were celebrated by the FT as great success stories for ‘western values’. The US and EU annexation of Eastern Europe, the Balkan and Baltic states led to the deep corruption and decay of journalistic narratives.

The FT willingly embraced every violation of the Gorbachev-Reagan agreements and NATO’s march to the borders of Russia. The militarization of US foreign policy was accompanied by the FT conversion to a military interpreter of what it dubbed the ‘transition to democratization’.

The language of the FT reportage combined democratic rhetoric with an embrace of military practices. This became the hallmark for all future coverage and editorializing. The FT military policies extended from Europe to the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Gulf States.

The FT joined the yellow press in describing military power grabs, including the overthrow of political adversaries, as ‘transitions to democracy’ and the creation of ‘open societies’.

The unanimity of the liberal and right-wing publications in support of western imperialism precluded any understanding of the enormous political and economic costs which ensued.

To protect itself from its most egregious ideological foibles, the FT included ‘insurance clauses’, to cover for catastrophic authoritarian outcomes. For example they advised western political leaders to promote military interventions and, by the way, with ‘democratic transitions’.

When it became evident that US-NATO wars did not lead to happy endings but turned into prolonged insurgencies, or when western clients turned into corrupt tyrants, the FT claimed that this was not what they meant by a ‘democratic transition’ – this was not their version of “free markets and free votes”.

The Financial and Military Times (?)

The militarization of the FT led it to embrace a military definition of political reality. The human and especially the economic costs, the lost markets, investments and resources were subordinated to the military outcomes of ‘wars against terrorism’ and ‘Russian authoritarianism’.

Each and every Financial Times report and editorial promoting western military interventions over the past two decades resulted in large scale, long-term economic losses.

The FT supported the US war against Iraq which led to the ending of important billion-dollar oil deals (oil for food) signed off with President Saddam Hussein. The subsequent US occupation precluded a subsequent revival of the oil industry. The US appointed client regime pillaged the multi-billion dollar reconstruction programs – costing US and EU taxpayers and depriving Iraqis of basic necessities.

Insurgent militias, including ISIS, gained control over half the country and precluded the entry of any new investment.

The US and FT backed western client regimes organized rigged election outcomes and looted the treasury of oil revenues, arousing the wrath of the population lacking electricity, potable water and other necessities.

The FT backed war, occupation and control of Iraq was an unmitigated disaster.

Similar outcomes resulted from the FT support for the invasions of Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

For example the FT propagated the story that the Taliban was providing sanctuary for bin Laden’s planning the terror assault in the US (9/11).

In fact, the Afghan leaders offered to turn over the US suspect, if they were offered evidence. Washington rejected the offer, invaded Kabul and the FT joined the chorus backing the so-called ‘war on terrorism which led to an unending, one trillion-dollar war.

Libya signed off to a disarmament and multi-billion-dollar oil agreement with the US in 2003. In 2011 the US and its western allies bombed Libya, murdered Gaddafi, totally destroyed civil society and undermined the US/EU oil agreements. The FT backed the war but decried the outcome. The FT followed a familiar ploy; promoting military invasions and then, after the fact, criticizing the economic disasters.

The FT led the media charge in favor of the western proxy war against Syria: savaging the legitimate government and praising the mercenary terrorists, which it dubbed ‘rebels’ and ‘militants’ – dubious terms for US and EU financed operatives.

Millions of refugees, resulting from western wars in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq fled to Europe seeking refuge. FT described the imperial holocaust – the ‘dilemmas of Europe’. The FT bemoaned the rise of the anti-immigrant parties but never assumed responsibility for the wars which forced the millions to flee to the west.

The FT columnists prattle about ‘western values’ and criticize the ‘far right’ but abjured any sustained attack of Israel’s daily massacre of Palestinians. Instead readers get a dose of weekly puff pieces concerning Israeli politics with nary a mention of Zionist power over US foreign policy.

FT: Sanctions, Plots and Crises — Russia, China and Iran

The FT like all the prestigious media propaganda sheets have taken a leading role in US conflicts with Russia, China and Iran.

For years the scribes in the FT stable have discovered (or invented) “crises” in China’s economy- always claiming it was on the verge of an economic doomsday. Contrary to the FT, China has been growing at four times the rate of the US; ignoring the critics it built a global infrastructure system instead of the multi-wars backed by the journalist war mongers.

When China innovates, the FT harps on techno theft — ignoring US economic decline.

The FT boasts it writes “without fear and without favor” which translates into serving imperial powers voluntarily.

When the US sanctions China we are told by the FT that Washington is correcting China’s abusive statist policies. Because China does not impose military outposts to match the eight hundred US military bases on five continents, the FT invents what it calls ‘debt colonialism” apparently describing Beijing’s financing large-scale productive infrastructure projects.

The perverse logic of the FT extends to Russia. To cover up for the US financed coup in the Ukraine it converted a separatist movement in Donbass into a Russian land grab. In the same way a free election in Crimea is described as Kremlin annexation.

The FT provides the language of the declining western imperial empires.

Independent, democratic Russia, free of western pillage and electoral meddling is labelled “authoritarian”; social welfare which serves to decrease inequality is denigrated as ‘populism’ —linked to the far right. Without evidence or independent verification, the FT fabricates Putinesque poison plots in England and Bashar Assad poison gas conspiracies in Syria.

Conclusion

The FT has chosen to adopt a military line which has led to a long series of financially disastrous wars. The FT support of sanctions has cost oil companies billions of dollars, euros and pounds. The sanctions, it backed, have broken global networks.

The FT has adopted ideological postures that threaten supply chains between the West, China, Iran and Russia. The FT writes in many tongues but it has failed to inform its financial readers that it bears some responsibility for markets which are under siege.

There is unquestionably a need to overhaul the name and purpose of the FT. One journalist who was close to the editors suggests it should be called the “Military Times” – the voice of a declining empire.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

James Comey and the Unending Bush Torture Scandal

By James Bovard | FFF | October 3, 2018

The vast regime of torture created by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks continues to haunt America. The political class and most of the media have never dealt honestly with the profound constitutional corruption that such practices inflicted. Instead, torture enablers are permitted to pirouette as heroic figures on the flimsiest evidence.

Former FBI chief James Comey is the latest beneficiary of the media’s “no fault” scoring on the torture scandal. In his media interviews for his new memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, Comey is portraying himself as a Boy Scout who sought only to do good things. But his record is far more damning than most Americans realize.

Comey continues to use memos from his earlier government gigs to whitewash all of the abuses he sanctified. “Here I stand; I can do no other,” Comey told George W. Bush in 2004 when Bush pressured Comey, who was then Deputy Attorney General, to approve an unlawful anti-terrorist policy. Comey was quoting a line supposedly uttered by Martin Luther in 1521, when he told Emperor Charles V and an assembly of Church officials that he would not recant his sweeping criticisms of the Catholic Church.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations did excellent reports prior to Comey’s becoming FBI chief that laid out his role in the torture scandal. Such hard facts, however, have long since vanished from the media radar screen. MSNBC host Chris Matthews recently declared, “James Comey made his bones by standing up against torture. He was a made man before Trump came along.” Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria, in a column declaring that Americans should be “deeply grateful” to lawyers such as Comey, declared, “The Bush administration wanted to claim that its ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were lawful. Comey believed they were not…. So Comey pushed back as much as he could.”

Martin Luther risked death to fight against what he considered the scandalous religious practices of his time. Comey, a top Bush administration policymaker, found a safer way to oppose the worldwide secret U.S. torture regime widely considered a heresy against American values: he approved brutal practices and then wrote some memos and emails fretting about the optics.

Losing sleep

Comey became deputy attorney general in late 2003 and “had oversight of the legal justification used to authorize” key Bush programs in the war on terror, as a Bloomberg News analysis noted. At that time, the Bush White House was pushing the Justice Department to again sign off on an array of extreme practices that had begun shortly after the 9/11 attacks. A 2002 Justice Department memo had leaked out that declared that the federal Anti-Torture Act “would be unconstitutional if it impermissibly encroached on the President’s constitutional power to conduct a military campaign.” The same Justice Department policy spurred a secret 2003 Pentagon document on interrogation policies that openly encouraged contempt for the law: “Sometimes the greater good for society will be accomplished by violating the literal language of the criminal law.”

Photos had also leaked from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing the stacking of naked prisoners with bags over their heads, mock electrocution from a wire connected to a man’s penis, guard dogs on the verge of ripping into naked men, and grinning U.S. male and female soldiers celebrating the sordid degradation. Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published extracts in the New Yorker from a March 2004 report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba that catalogued other U.S. interrogation abuses: “Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape … sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.”

The Bush administration responded to the revelations with a torrent of falsehoods, complemented by attacks on the character of critics. Bush declared, “Let me make very clear the position of my government and our country…. The values of this country are such that torture is not a part of our soul and our being.” Bush had the audacity to run for reelection as the anti-torture candidate, boasting that “for decades, Saddam tormented and tortured the people of Iraq. Because we acted, Iraq is free and a sovereign nation.” He was hammering this theme despite a confidential CIA Inspector General report warning that post–9/11 CIA interrogation methods might violate the international Convention Against Torture.

James Comey had the opportunity to condemn the outrageous practices and pledge that the Justice Department would cease providing the color of law to medieval-era abuses. Instead, Comey merely repudiated the controversial 2002 memo. Speaking to the media in a not-for-attribution session on June 22, 2004, he declared that the 2002 memo was “overbroad,” “abstract academic theory,” and “legally unnecessary.” He helped oversee crafting a new memo with different legal footing to justify the same interrogation methods.

Comey twice gave explicit approval for waterboarding, which sought to break detainees with near-drowning. This practice had been recognized as a war crime by the U.S. government since the Spanish-American War. A practice that was notorious when inflicted by the Spanish Inquisition was adopted by the CIA with the Justice Department’s blessing. (When Barack Obama nominated Comey to be FBI chief in 2013, he testified that he had belatedly recognized that waterboarding was actually torture.)

Comey wrote in his memoir that he was losing sleep over concern about Bush-administration torture polices. But losing sleep was not an option for detainees, because Comey approved sleep deprivation as an interrogation technique. Detainees could be forcibly kept awake for 180 hours until they confessed their crimes. How did that work? At Abu Ghraib, one FBI agent reported seeing a detainee “handcuffed to a railing with a nylon sack on his head and a shower curtain draped around him, being slapped by a soldier to keep him awake.” Numerous FBI agents protested the extreme interrogation methods they saw at Guantanamo and elsewhere, but their warnings were ignored.

Comey also approved “wall slamming” — which, as law professor David Cole wrote, meant that detainees could be thrown against a wall up to 30 times. Comey also signed off on the CIA’s using “interrogation” methods such as facial slaps, locking detainees in small boxes for 18 hours, and forced nudity. When the secret Comey memo approving those methods finally became public in 2009, many Americans were aghast — and relieved that the Obama administration had repudiated Bush policies.

When it came to opposing torture, Comey’s version of “Here I stand” had more loopholes than a reverse-mortgage contract. Though Comey in 2005 approved each of 13 controversial extreme interrogation methods, he objected to combining multiple methods on one detainee.

The torture guy

In his memoir, Comey relates that his wife told him, “Don’t be the torture guy!” Comey apparently feels that he satisfied her dictate by writing memos that opposed combining multiple extreme interrogation methods. And since the vast majority of the American media agree with him, he must be right.

Comey’s cheerleaders seem uninterested in the damning evidence that has surfaced since his time as a torture enabler in the Bush administration. In 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee finally released a massive report on the CIA torture regime — including death resulting from hypothermia, rape-like rectal feeding of detainees, compelling detainees to stand long periods on broken legs, and dozens of cases where innocent people were pointlessly brutalized. Psychologists aided the torture regime, offering hints on how to destroy the will and resistance of prisoners. From the start, the program was protected by phalanxes of lying federal officials.

When he first campaigned for president, Barack Obama pledged to vigorously investigate the Bush torture regime for criminal violations. Instead, the Obama administration proffered one excuse after another to suppress the vast majority of the evidence, pardon all U.S. government torturers, and throttle all torture-related lawsuits. The only CIA official to go to prison for the torture scandal was courageous whistleblower John Kiriakou. Kiriakou’s fate illustrates that telling the truth is treated as the most unforgivable atrocity in Washington.

If Comey had resigned in 2004 or 2005 to protest the torture techniques he now claims to abhor, he would deserve some of the praise he is now receiving. Instead, he remained in the Bush administration but wrote an email summarizing his objections, declaring that “it was my job to protect the department and the A.G. [Attorney General] and that I could not agree to this because it was wrong.” A 2009 New York Times analysis noted that Comey and two colleagues “have largely escaped criticism [for approving torture] because they raised questions about interrogation and the law.” In Washington, writing emails is “close enough for government work” to confer sainthood.

When Comey finally exited the Justice Department in August 2005 to become a lavishly paid senior vice president for Lockheed Martin, he proclaimed in a farewell speech that protecting the Justice Department’s “reservoir” of “trust and credibility” requires “vigilance” and “an unerring commitment to truth.” But he had perpetuated policies that shattered the moral credibility of both the Justice Department and the U.S. government. He failed to heed Martin Luther’s admonition, “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.”

Comey is likely to go to his grave without paying any price for his role in perpetuating appalling U.S. government abuses. It is far more important to recognize the profound danger that torture and the exoneration of torturers pose to the United States. “No free government can survive that is not based on the supremacy of the law,” is one of the mottoes chiseled into the façade of Justice Department headquarters. Unfortunately, politicians nowadays can choose which laws they obey and which laws they trample. And Americans are supposed to presume that we still have the rule of law as long as politicians and bureaucrats deny their crimes.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Top Russian senator blasts Norway spy probe against employee

RT | October 5, 2018

The Russian Upper House speaker described the Norwegian spy probe against one of the chamber’s employees as absurd and arbitrary. She speculated that the man is being held so that evidence could be fabricated to back the charges.

Russian Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told reporters that she addressed the issue of Mikhail Bochkarev’s detention in a personal message to the head of the Norwegian Parliament, but only received a polite, formal reply.

She added that Bochkarev has worked in the Russian Upper House for 25 years and was never involved with any special services.

You know, this resembles the theater of the absurd. He was arrested on invented charges and the fact that the court has recently extended his detention gives the impression that someone is now fabricating some non-existing proof in this case.

Matviyenko went on to describe Norway’s behavior in this situation as an attempt to pressure Bochkarev, and hinted that the whole story could be the result of a planned provocation.

She also promised that the Russian side would continue to defend its citizens and said that both the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Upper House would demand Bochkarev’s immediate release. The top Russian senator also insisted that nothing would ever come out of this story, comparing it to a soap bubble.

Mikail Bochkarev, a member of the Russian Upper House staff, was detained in late September in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, where he took part in an event hosted by the European Center for Parliamentary Research and Documentation.

He was accused of “gathering data.” The Norwegian media said the charges against him were based on the fact that he moved through the building where the event was being held, rather than staying in one place. The Norwegian special services saw this behavior as a possible sign of illegal data gathering.

In subsequent press comments, Norwegian PM Erna Solberg emphasized that the probe into the Russian citizen’s alleged wrongdoings is purely criminal in nature and has nothing to do with politics.

Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the charges against Bochkarev were false, speculating that Norway started the case in hopes of blackmailing Russia into swapping its citizen for Norwegian national Frode Berg, who was detained in Moscow in December 2017 and remains in custody to this day. The Russian authorities suspect him of espionage.

Zakharova said, however, that unlike Mikhail Bochkarev, who was arrested while leaving Norway, Frode Berg was caught in the act.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

NATO Coordinates Information War on Russia

Strategic Culture Foundation | 05.10.2018

The US, Britain and other NATO allies upped the ante this week with a coordinated campaign of information war to criminalize Russia. Moscow dismissed the wide-ranging claims as “spy mania”. But the implications amount to a grave assault recklessly escalating international tensions with Russia.

The accusations that the Kremlin is running a global cyberattack operation are tantamount to accusing Russia of “acts of war”. That, in turn, is creating a pretext for NATO powers to carry out “defensive” actions on Moscow, including increased economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia, as well as “counter” cyberattacks on Russian territory.

This is a highly dangerous dynamic that could ultimately lead to military confrontation between nuclear-armed states.

There are notably suspicious signs that the latest accusations against Russia are a coordinated effort to contrive false charges.

First, there is the concerted nature of the claims. British state intelligence initiated the latest phase of information war by claiming that Russian military intelligence, GRU, was conducting cyberattacks on infrastructure and industries in various countries, costing national economies “millions of pounds” in damages.

Then, within hours of the British claims, the United States and Canada, as well as NATO partners Australia and New Zealand followed up with similar highly publicized accusations against Russia. It is significant that those Anglophone countries, known as the “Five Eyes”, have a long history of intelligence collaboration going back to the Cold War years against the Soviet Union.

The Netherlands, another NATO member, added to the “spy mania” by claiming it had expelled four members of Russian state intelligence earlier this year for allegedly trying to hack into the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague.

There then followed predictable condemnations of Russia from the NATO leadership and the European Union. NATO was holding a summit in Brussels this week. It is therefore plausible that the timing of the latest claims of Russian “malign activity” was meant to coordinate with the NATO summit.

More sanctions against Moscow are expected – further intensifying tensions from already existing sanctions. More sinister were NATO warnings that the military alliance would take collective action over what it asserts are Russian cyberattacks.

This is creating a “casus belli” situation whereby the 29 NATO members can invoke a common defense clause for punitive actions against Russia. Given the rampant nature of the claims of “Russian interference” and that certain NATO members are rabidly Russophobic, it is all too easily dangerous for cyber “false flags” to be mounted in order to criminalize Moscow.

Another telltale factor is that the claims made this week by Britain and the other NATO partners are an attempt to integrate all previous claims of Russian “malign activity”.

The alleged cyber hacking by Russia, it is claimed, was intended to disrupt OPCW investigations into the purported poison-assassination plot against Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy living in Britain; the alleged hacking was also claimed to be aimed at disrupting investigations into alleged chemical weapons atrocities committed by the Syrian government and by extension Syria’s ally Russia; the alleged Russian hacking claims were also linked to charges of Olympic athletes doping, as well as “interference in US elections”; and even, it was asserted, Russia trying to sabotage investigations into the downing of the Malaysian civilian airliner over Ukraine in 2014.

Up to now, it seems, all such wildly speculative anti-Russia narratives have failed to gain traction among world public opinion. Simply due to the lack of evidence to support these Western accusations. The Skripal affair has perhaps turned into the biggest farce. British government claims that the Kremlin ordered an assassination have floundered to the point of ridicule.

It is hardly coincidence that Britain and its NATO allies are compelled to shore up the Skripal narrative and other anti-Russian narratives with the ramped up “global cyberattack” claims made this week.

Photographs of alleged Russian intelligence operatives have been published. Potboiler indictments have been filed – again – by US law enforcement agencies. Verdicts have been cast by NATO governments and compliant news media of Russian state culpability, without Moscow being given a fair chance to respond to the “highly likely” claims. Claims and narratives are being accelerated, integrated and railroaded.

It is well-established from the explosive disclosures by Edward Snowden, among other whistleblowers, that the American CIA and its partners have the cyber tools to create false “digital fingerprints” for the purpose of framing up enemies. Moreover, the vast cyber surveillance operations carried out by the US and its “Five Eyes” partners – much of which is illegal – is an ironic counterpoint to accusations being made against Russia.

It is also possible in the murky world of all foreign states conducting espionage and information-gathering that attribution of wrongdoing by Russia can be easily exaggerated and made to look like a campaign of cyberattacks.

There is a lawless climate today in the US and other Western states where mere allegations are cited as “proof”. The legal principle of being innocent until proven guilty has been jettisoned. The debacle in the US over a Supreme Court judge nominee is testament to the erosion of due process and legal standards.

But what is all the more reprehensible and reckless is the intensification of criminalization of Russia – based on flimsy “evidence” or none at all. When such criminalization is then used to “justify” calls for a US-led naval blockade of Russian commercial oil trade the conditions are moving inevitably towards military confrontation. The blame for belligerence lies squarely with the NATO powers.

A further irony is that the “spy mania” demonizing Russia is being made necessary because of the wholly unsubstantiated previous claims of Moscow’s malfeasance and “aggression”. Illusions and lies are being compounded with yet more bombastic, illusory claims.

NATO’s information war against Russia is becoming a self-fulfilling “psy-op”. In the deplorable absence of normal diplomatic conduct and respect for international law, NATO’s information war is out of control. It is pushing relations with Russia to the abyss.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Russophobia | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US Hacking Charges, Sharing Cyberweapons With NATO Inflame Danger of ‘Real War’

Sputnik – 05.10.2018

US, UK and Dutch authorities levied heavy accusations against Russian intelligence officials Thursday, alleging that seven Russians had hacked various agencies, organizations and institutions. The accusations come just one day after the US announced it would share offensive cyberwar technology with NATO allies “if asked.”

“We announce an indictment charging seven Russian military officers with violation of several US criminal laws for malicious cyber activities against the United States and its allies,” US Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers told reporters Thursday. Four of the accused are allegedly GRU agents, Russian military intelligence, who were previously expelled from the Netherlands, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Alleged targets include the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Westinghouse nuclear power company and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the keepers of drug-testing data on Olympic athletes. Demers also claimed the Russians attacked a Swiss lab that was analyzing the toxic substance believed to have been used to poison the Skripals in Salisbury, UK, earlier this year, and of course he also renewed the perennial accusation of Russia having attempted to sway the US 2016 elections.

The LA Times noted the accusations are backed by digital fingerprints and on-the-ground surveillance of alleged Russian spy teams.

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the accusations Thursday by saying the US was on a “dangerous path” and that the Trump administration was “poisoning” the atmosphere of US-Russia relations. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the US was struggling to keep the “old fiction about ‘Russian interference into 2016 US elections'” alive, Sputnik reported.

“We regret to see how the US authorities continue to poison the atmosphere of Russia-US relations with new portions of baseless accusations against Russia, which some other NATO countries rush to repeat on orders from Washington,” Ryabkov said. “The Western public is being intimidated again with ‘Russian hackers,’ this time allegedly involved in ‘breaking into’ computer networks almost all over the world.”

US Defense Secretary James Mattis, at a meeting with NATO allies in Brussels, said Russia would “have to be held to account.”

“Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, people who were doing it, and they have got to pay the piper,” Mattis said. He did not elaborate on the nature of that retaliation or response.

The previous day, Mattis promised US allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) the use of its offensive cyberwarfare technology if they so desired.

“We will formally announce that the United States is prepared to offer NATO its cyber capabilities if asked,” Katie Wheelbarger, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Wheelbarger also said the US offering its cyber capabilities “sends a message primarily aimed at Russia.”

Journalist and author Daniel Lazare told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Thursday that since some of the DOJ’s accusations date several years back, the timing of the twin announcements was probably intended to provide a pretext for going on the cyberwar offensive.

​But that’s dangerous, he noted, because “cyberwar can lead to real war very easily.”

“We’re seeing a dramatic, dramatic heating up in the international temperature, and cyberwar is turning into a really increasingly important part of that escalation. It’s very dangerous,” he said. “The US, especially, is being very aggressive.”

Lazare noted the “supposedly pro-Russian Trump administration” is being very “aggressive at targeting Russia and trying to mobilize NATO against Russia — and they’re probably succeeding.”

Lazare focused primarily on the alleged hacking of medical records of nearly 250 athletes from 30 countries, many of whom had been granted exemptions from Olympic rules regarding therapeutic use of drugs. Russia’s entire Olympic team was barred from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this past February, due to extensive and repeated findings by the International Olympic Committee. However, individual Russian athletes were still allowed to compete, just not under the Russian flag. Russian athletes had previously been individually barred from past Olympic games for infractions of the policy. In addition, the IOC stripped Russia of 41 of its Olympic medals retroactively for failed doping tests.

“Maybe the Russians are trying to dig up ammunition to use to counter American charges that they’re abusing the rules. It’s very hard to say. It’s difficult to say how much substance there is to these indictments. All we can say, though, is the US is really leading the charge; it’s really being aggressive, and the whole situation is very dangerous. And I have zero confidence in the responsibility or the sobriety of the people who are leading this offensive — or their honesty.”

“An indictment that will never come to trial is worth very little,” Lazare said, noting that like most other US and UK indictments of Russian intelligence operatives, none of them will likely ever see the inside of a courtroom.

“The Trump administration has announced a huge cyberwar offensive in which they will be much more aggressive than the Obama or Bush II administrations were, in what they say is countering Russian or Chinese threats but will really mean being proactive, to knock them out before they can attack the US, assuming that’s even what they intended to do.”

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment