Aletho News


Liberal journalists rejoice as controversial British blogger Graham Phillips banned from Twitter

Graham Phillips © Facebook / Graham William Phillips
RT | November 21, 2018

Controversial British blogger Graham Phillips has had his Twitter account permanently suspended, prompting many liberal journalists who have been following his activities to rejoice.

According to Phillips – writing in a Facebook post – his account has been “permanently banned,” adding that Twitter has provided “no examples of the ‘hateful content’ they accuse me of.”

Philips’ often unconventional, always confrontational, practices have led to him being maligned by many of his peers.

After his apparent disappearance from Twitter his detractors were quick to post on the numerous other accusations against him. For example, the UK-based independent journalist and filmmaker Jake Hanrahan, who has worked for the BBC, Bellingcat, and The Guardian, has accused him of looting “a dead Ukraine soldier’s body.”

One such critic who has regularly targeted Phillips is Elliot Higgins, head of Bellingcat, a UK-based investigatory website linked to NATO. Higgins has tweeted his delight at the news.

Higgins had invariably sparred with Phillips over Twitter, namely over NATO’s funding for Bellingcat, a supposedly non-partisan organisation.

Meanwhile, the ‘gonzo’ journalist urged his fans to lobby Twitter’s administrators asking them to unlock the account of “an independent British journalist, telling the truth.” Some of his supporters decried the ban as an attack on freedom of speech, urging Twitter to reverse the decision.

The Russian-speaking blogger came to prominence during the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where he was often accused of bias towards the separatists.

In May 2014, Phillips was detained and interrogated by the Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU. His subsequent expulsion from the country has not stopped Phillips targeting the Ukrainian government and those he perceives as their supporters.

Most recently he got into an altercation with Ukraine’s ambassador to Austria Alexander Shcherba, Phillips filmed as the men exchanged insults.

Despite his controversies the apparent banning of Phillips, reportedly without stated reason, will come as a worry for those who fear Twitter is purging its platform of alternative voices. Twitter has drawn the ire of conservative media in recent months for a series of purges targeting online commentators and political figures such as Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan, among others.

Twitter was contacted for comment but had not yet responded at the time of publication.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Israel army arrests Palestinian MP from West Bank home

MEMO | November 21, 2018

The Israeli army this morning arrested a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from the occupied West Bank city of Al-Bireh, according to local witnesses.

Witnesses told the Anadolu Agency that an Israeli military force raided and searched the home of Palestinian MP Ahmad Attoun before arresting him.

The army, they added, also confiscated computers and mobile phones from Attoun’s residence.

The last time Palestinian legislative elections were held in 2006, Attoun – who represents Hamas – was elected for the city of Jerusalem.

Five years later in 2011, Israeli authorities deported him to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli forces detained nine Palestinians in overnight raids carried out across the West Bank, according to an Israeli army statement.

The individuals were arrested for “suspected involvement in popular terrorist activities”, the statement reads, without elaborating on the nature of said “activities”.

According to Palestinian figures, some 6,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli detention facilities, including scores of women and hundreds of minors.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

UN Report: Enforced Disappearances Widespread in Mexico

teleSUR | November 20, 2018

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) published its report Monday saying that forced disappearance in Mexico is widespread where “impunity and revictimization prevail,” adding that structural obstacles to accessing justice remain.

The report came after the committee’s latest session held from Nov. 5 to Nov. 16 in Geneva.

Enforced disappearance in Mexico is extensive in the country. According to Mexican government data, around 37,000 people are missing. Along with this, issues of clandestine graves, low level of convictions and lack of reliable data were raised by CED.

In 2015 the committee gave Mexico a series of “recommendations” for implementing the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances to which Mexico is a signatory. It reported that the country was lacking when it came to implementing the recommendations.

It also denounced that Mexico has refused to let delegates of CED visit the country since 2013 and has demanded the government allow them in as well as facilitate the delegate’s work with the necessary means to carry out their tasks.

In addition to these demands, the committee also asked the government to recognize the expertise of the committee when dealing with specific disappearance cases in Mexico, which the country has refused to do since 2007.

In 2017 Mexico passed the General Law on Enforced Disappearance which was considered to be a positive by CED. However it “notes with concern the low level of implementation” of the said law.

CED also expressed concern over the definition of disappearance in Mexican law does not comply with the definition of the International convention. For example, it does not classify the crime of enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity.

The committee showed apprehension over the “little participation and consultation of civil society organizations and victims.” It also recommended to reform institutions and give more autonomy to investigating authorities.

Finally, the U.N. Committee said it was concerned about “the role given to military forces for the tasks of public security” which could increase enforced disappearance and generate impunity.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Khashoggi: How US Media Is Losing Its Moral Compass by Feeding Off Conspiracy Theories

By Martin JAY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.11.2018

Trump’s relationship with Erdogan raises new questions about the credibility of US mainstream journalism. Was Khashoggi a victim of a Turkish ‘honey trap’?

The Washington Post continues its banal attack on the regime of Saudi Arabia, following the horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate on October 2. In Turkey too there is much which the western media cannot understand or refuses to probe, as Ankara plays a game of blackmail with Riyadh in a bid to extract a deal from Mohammad bin Salman who is at the centre of its character assassination.

But what are we missing? What is at the heart of this story which isn’t getting picked up by journalists or even TV commentators in the region?

Much has been written about the ‘free license’ that Trump and his son in law, Jared Kushner gave the Saudi prince and that this murder is an inevitable consequence of such blinded dogma towards ones allies. There is some truth in this, but if you are to look at the coverage of, in particular, the US media over Khashoggi, you might be curious to understand why it is so extensive and prolonged. After all, Saudi Arabia has been kidnapping its own dissidents for years and there are many western journalists who are killed or go missing around the world which get minimal coverage. Why such an entrenched campaign for Khashoggi?


Partly this is a guilt complex of the Wapo editors, who I have accused in earlier articles for more or less sending Khashoggi on a suicide mission when they chose to publish his articles in Arabic. This was recently confirmed when Khashoggi’s editor at the Post – Karen Attiah – admitted to The Independent that the traffic which the Arabic articles generated shocked bosses there. I have always argued that this was a final blow for MbS, humiliated now by his adversaries in Riyadh who can read about his failings on a regular basis.

And it’s also about the fact that the Post considered him part of the DC elite. One of their own, which explains why he has become so canonised and his personality enshrined in virtue.

Their trade is treachery

In truth, Khashoggi was no saint. He took the King’s shilling from the Saudi elite all his life and made a good lifestyle for himself. At the end of a thirty year relationship of working for them and learning all of their secrets, he used that privilege as a weapon to destroy MbS. In most cultures around the world, this is called treachery. We should remember that even in London in 1963, when British spy Kim Philby defected to Moscow, many wanted him to hang for selling out to the Russians and being a double agent for all his career. Khashoggi may well have been an amiable character. But he was also a traitor.

We are led to believe that he left Riyadh in 2017 because he feared being detained. But could it be that he was frustrated at not being promoted within the hierarchy?

A select number of journalists and academics, like Dr Nafeez Ahmed, support this theory, in part at least and go further to say that Khashoggi was murdered because he was about to distribute solid evidence of the Saudis using chemical weapons in Yemen. The British academic also underlines Khashoggi’s role for Saudi intelligence and, moreover, how he helped the Saudi royal family support Bin Laden, right up until 9-11.

Yet my own sources close to the Saudi elite tell me that MbS wanted to call him back to Riyadh because Khashoggi was at the centre of a coup in the making, which would have benefitted the former Crown Prince Mohamed bin Nayef, and still operated very much as though he was a Saudi intelligence asset. Not so much a treacherous journalist who didn’t know which side his bread was buttered, but more a double agent who was the gatekeeper of incendiary information. Something had to be done about Khashoggi.

Frustrated journalists are dangerous people. They lose sight of their loyalties and promises they made. And Khashoggi was an odd character struggling with an identity crisis. Is it the same case with Karen Attieh on the Oped desk of the Post which managed him? Did she connect with him as she too feels not taken seriously by her bosses at the Washington Post ?

Conspiracy theory extended? Unfortunately we are led to feral speculation when we are denied the facts, especially deliberately.

Western media has a lot to be ashamed of on both covering up the Khashoggi murder – by going along with the demonization of the kingdom – and in being part of it happening in the first place. How does all of the gory details about Khashoggi’s murder get reported as fact by the Post, when it has no proof from the Turkish police sources who supply them? There is gargantuan hypocrisy at play here as the Post is part of a conspiracy now. It played a role in Khashoggi getting murdered and it is now playing a role in diverting blame away from itself and blithely accusing Saudi Arabia’s leader of the murder with little or no solid evidence. This is sloppy journalism on a whole new scale and shows a dire lack of journalistic credibility and judgment (unless of course the Post is part of a murky campaign of disinformation which has been agreed between Ankara and Washington whose firebrand leaders are now on good terms once again). Is the Post part of a dirty deal which has been struck by Trump and Erdogan to rewrite this story?

Far fetched? Ludicrous? Maybe, but let’s look at the facts. Trump is standing back and letting Erdogan continue with his drip feeding of sensational detailed evidence, in a blackmail game with MbS – but what’s the price Americans pay for that? To place himself at the centre of that charade, Trump has indicated to the Saudis that they need to release women activists from jail (likely to happen soon) and to cancel the Qatar blockade (on the cards, but will take longer). But before that happens, what we are witnessing is Trump looking for a media distraction (sanctions against the Saudi ‘killers’) while he mulls the idea of letting Erdogan have the exiled cleric, Gulen, who the Turkish President accuses of being the architect of the July 2017 attempted coup.

But he has also allowed Erdogan to use the US media as a platform for his own moral tutelage. Yes, astonishingly, the Washington Post – which presents itself as an arbiter of free speech and a protector of journalists and their sanctity, following Khashoggi’s murder – chose to publish Erdogan’s Oped about the affair, giving the Turkish leader the edge in the power game by selling out the lives of all 170 journalists in Turkish prisons, which, presumably, Wapo editors just forgot about on that given day. One can only assume that Karen Attiah managed to hold back the tears for those who are rotting in Turkish prisons for merely writing an Oped which vexed the Turkish leader.

Presumably Erdogan paid the Post to publish the piece – otherwise, if it were gratis, then that would be like Wapo supporting him and his political leadership. But was this the same money that Saudi Arabia is reported to pay to regional media outlets to buy their loyalty? How can a Middle Eastern leader who has imprisoned a record number of journalists and who is now blackmailing the Saudis, get the support from the Washington Post ? Can this really be happening?

Erdogan must be laughing his head off in Turkey as he sees day after day that western media just report as facts, what his officials say about the details of the murder. And laughing even hysterically when all he needs to do is write an article taking the moral high ground – don’t laugh – on the rights of journalists in the region and give it to the Post to publish.

The dark side of Khashoggi murder

Good investigative journalists are cynical about everything which is presented to them. Is, for example, the relationship between Khashoggi and his fiancé entirely what it seemed, or was she directed by Erdogan to ‘honey trap’ the Saudi journalist as part of an elaborate plot to ensnare the Saudi crown prince? Sources from the intelligence community of one middle eastern country (I prefer not to name which one) are at least beginning to wonder about this. And almost certainly so are the Saudis. Yet western journalists who refuse to at least consider that the Khashoggi abduction was bungled (and ended up being a murder) are likely to call this a conspiracy theory. Even if it is, they should at least report on it and mull it. What about all the tools which the hit team brought, they might ask. Could they have been brought to be used to scare Khashoggi into handing over the information that MbS was seeking?

Khashoggi’s fiancé doesn’t seem distraught and the sheer speed in which the couple headed towards the marriage courts is questionable, as is, indeed her own personal relationship with Erdogan, which she even admitted to the BBC. Other questions should be the ‘evidence’ presented by Erdogan, which is looking ropy to say the least, which some journalists are identifying as such.

For the moment, the only certain thing about the Khashoggi affair is how standards of western media have plummeted to an all time low with the Post leading the pack with partisan judgment, check book journalism and an internal guilt trip fuelling their unremarkable reporting, not to mention their abysmal editorial judgment. American media has lost the moral compass and Khashoggi will be remembered for this above all – with many arguing that this, in itself, plays a role in the impunity of those carrying out the rendition and murder. When the Saudis fell into the Turkish trap, they probably believed that Turkey would be the last place in the world to care about one kidnapped journalist. But they could never have imagined how partisan, sloppy and hypocritical western media would be in covering the story. What Khashoggi has taught us is that the day that Americans read newspapers based on the editors’ judgment are well behind us. So why should we read them at all?

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

Russia: US Sanctions over Alleged Oil Supply to Syria Looks Like “Statement of Support for Terrorists”

Sputnik – 21.11.2018

MOSCOW – Regular US anti-Russian sanctions are routine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on 21 November.

“Washington continues to impose sanctions on Russia at an increasing rate. Their recent expansion has become the 11th in the last three and a half months, and is increasingly becoming a routine,” the ministry said.

The ministry noted that the main reasons for the introduction of sanctions lay in the internal political discord in the United States when each of the parties sought to “earn points” by any means.

“Attempts to accuse [some states] of supplying oil to Syria, whose armed forces have been fighting terrorist aggression for eight years, look like a statement of support for terrorists and at the same time a desire to prevent the restoration of a devastated country, many of whose inhabitants are deprived of light and heat. Is that what the US wants?” the statement read.

The ministry stressed that by trying to put pressure on Russia, Washington had repeatedly demonstrated its inability to force Moscow to change its independent line in the international relations.

The statement has been voiced a day after the United States announced the introduction of new sanctions against Syria, Iran and Russia. The reason for the restrictive measures was alleged secret supplies of Iranian oil to Damascus with the “assistance” of the Russian side.

This is the last package of sanctions against Russia that have been introduced by the United States for several years, blaming Moscow for meddling other countries’ elections and poisoning people, with all the accusations denied by Russian officials.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

US Threatens ‘Grave Consequences’ for Those Who Supply Oil to Syria

Sputnik – 21.11.2018

The United States claims that an illegal scheme is in place to support Syrian President Bashar Assad and provide financial assistance to Hezbollah and Hamas.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has promised severe consequences for anyone who is supplying oil to Syria or trying to circumvent US sanctions against Iran.

“Today’s US Treasury’s action targeting the Russia-Iran oil scheme to prop up [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, and finance Hizballah & Hamas, sends a clear message: there are grave consequences for anyone shipping oil to Syria, or trying to evade U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s terrorist activities,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

He added that Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “should decide if spending the Iranian people’s money on the Iranian people is more important than inventing schemes to fund Assad, Hizballah, Hamas, and other terrorists”.

On Tuesday, Washington added six individuals and three organisations to its sanctions list claimed by the Treasury to be involved in oil shipments to the Syrian government, among them the Russian companies Global Vision Group and Promsyryeimport, and the latter company’s first deputy director Andrei Dogayev.

The list also features two Iraqi nationals, a Lebanese, a Syrian and an Iraqi,as well as the Iranian-registered Tadbir Kish Medical and Pharmaceutical Company.

According to the US Treasury Department, the Global Vision Group and Syrian citizen Mohammed Amer Alshviki, who, according to Washington, is the company’s owner, allegedly play a key role in a scheme for petroleum shipments to Syria and financial transfers to the Quds Force special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Shortly before that, US Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey stated that the recently imposed second batch of US sanctions against Iran are aimed at forcing Tehran to reduce its ‘presence’ in Syria.

Russia and Iran are yet to comment on these accusations and sanctions.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

UK to Send Marines, Warship to Ukraine for Sake of ‘Democracy’ – Reports

Sputnik – 21.11.2018

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will reaffirm Britain’s commitment to Ukraine during a visit to Kiev.

The United Kingdom will ramp up its military assistance to Ukraine, deploying additional troops and a Royal Navy ship to defend ‘freedom and democracy,’ Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will announce on Wednesday, The Telegraph wrote.

Ukrainian Special Forces and Marines will be trained by British personnel and HMS Echo, a Royal Navy hydrographic survey ship with a company of 72, will deploy to the region.

“As long as Ukraine faces Russian hostilities, it will find a steadfast partner in the United Kingdom,” Williamson will say.

The announcement will follow through on promises Williamson made during his visit to Ukraine in September.

In his first visit as Defence Secretary to Ukraine in September, Gavin Williamson announced Britain’s decision to extend its military training operation there for another two years, until 2020.

The training, delivered through Operation Orbital, has been expanded in 2018 to include anti-armour, infantry skills, counter-sniping, and mortar planning.

This is in addition to defence skills programmes such as the identification of mines and improvised explosive devices, medical care and logistics that UK personnel have been delivering since early 2015.

British personnel have trained more than 9,500 Ukrainian armed forces personnel since the start of Operation Orbital in 2015.

During a meeting in Kiev with his Ukrainian counterpart Stepan Poltorak in September, Williamson said that London planned to deploy a Royal Navy ship to Ukraine, commit further Royal Marines and introduce a permanent naval attaché to help build Ukraine’s naval capability.

Gavin Williamson also travelled to Marinka in eastern Ukraine to see the effects of the four-year conflict in the Donbass region.

The Defence Secretary later met with President Petro Poroshenko to discuss, among other things, the tense situation in the Sea of Azov and its negative impact on the Ukrainian economy.

Russia and Ukraine are in a row over the inland Sea of Azov that they share, with both sides accusing each other of detaining each other’s’ ships illegally. However, no specific example of delaying or preventing access to a ship by Russia has been cited yet.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov heightened this year after Ukraine detained two Russian ships for port calls in Russia’s Crimea, which Ukraine considers to be its territory.

Russia described the move as ‘maritime terrorism’ and ramped up patrols off the country’s Azov coast, prompting Ukraine to accuse Russia of illegal searches.

The crisis escalated in October, when the Ukrainian parliament passed a draft law authorising Kiev to expand maritime controls by 12 nautical miles off its southern coast, allegedly in an effort to counter smuggling in the Black Sea.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Italy: A Whole US/NATO Strategic Military Base

PandoraTV | November 13, 2018

Manlio Dinucci in this carefully documented Pandora TV production focuses on US-NATO military deployment in Italy and around the World in what might described as “Global NATO”.

Manlio Dinucci, distinguished Italian author, geopolitical analyst and geographer is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization CRG).

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment