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‘They made a mess & are fighting fires’: UK academic says Integrity Initiative fatally hurt by leaks

RT | January 8, 2019

Despite being ignored by Western media, leaks from Integrity Initiative have paralyzed the operations of this UK-funded covert influence network, and could lead to its dismantling, says a leading British academic.

“This has made a mess of [Integrity Initiative’s] operations, they are spending most of their time now trying to fire-fight on the coverage this is getting. And they are not doing essentially what they are being paid to do, which is to counter the Russians,” David Miller, Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Bristol School for Policy Studies, told RT.

“The British government is getting bad value for money, if it was ever getting better value.”

As part of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, which studies Western attempts to control media coverage of key international events, Miller has played a crucial role in studying the four tranches of data anonymously uploaded and sourced from the previously little-known group, which has been backed by the UK Foreign Office, NATO and Facebook, to the tune of over £1 million per year.

The documents, whose authenticity has not been denied, contain details of psyops operations against public figures, of the manipulation of media coverage in leading Western outlets, and have also revealed worldwide networks of prominent journalists and academics, secretly engaged to discredit, at every turn, pro-Moscow points of view and political developments.

Despite the refusal by all of those named to either admit their connection or to say that there was nothing untoward in their activities, Miller believes that getting rumbled has made it more difficult for them to push and publish anti-Russian content.

“Most of the people named are trying to pretend that this is not all of great significance, but the revelation of the involvement of the government in manipulating other countries, and the political process in the UK, is extremely damaging for them,” he said, via video link.

For Miller, the “cardinal sin” from a UK perspective was smearing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, as a potential Kremlin ally in Whitehall, which would mean that a state-paid intelligence operation was meddling in domestic politics.

Miller bemoans the absence of coverage of what he calls a “real, genuine scandal” in top English-language news sources, which, he says, are themselves implicated in the fallout. But regardless, such is the scope of Integrity Initiative’s ambition – from indoctrinating schoolchildren to infiltrating Hollywood – that it should lead to a national dialogue about the role intelligence agencies should play in public life.

“Integrity Initiative are beyond the realms of sense. The activities they are engaged in are morally and ethically dubious, and will certainly – as we can see already – backfire on them,” he said.

“This will result hopefully in the ending of this operation, and if we are lucky, a sensible discussion in parliament about controlling the future British covert operations.”

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Beyond Kafka: How Youtube & Facebook Keep Purging Alternative Media

Hassan Nasrallah is persona non grata on Social Networks, where Anti-Zionism is the ultimate thoughtcrime 

By Sayed Hasan | Resistance news, unfiltered. | January 8, 2019

The guillotine’s blade fell again, one year later. On December 2017 already, my 5-years-old Youtube channel Sayed Hasan, mainly translating speeches from Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, was completely removed by Youtube, along with its 10 000 subscribers, +6 millions views and +400 subtitled videos of anti-Zionist & anti-Imperialist content. I then denunced this censorship in detail in my article Kafka 2.0: How Youtube’s Political Censorship is Exercised. And just around New Year’s Eve 2019, the +6000 Subscribed Facebook Page Resistance News Unfiltered, along with all its similar content, got deleted without explanation. The only thing left online is a cache view of the page dating back from this summer, in French.


I had created this Page at the beginning of 2018, since no other place can compete with Youtube and its near-monopoly on video content, in order to reach a broader audience. But it was deleted without explanation by Facebook short of its first anniversary. I can’t even know the precise date of termination. Youtube did at least bother to send emails notifying of the removal of a video or of a whole channel, but Facebook has only internal notifications for posts removals. Here is how it happened. 

I got two warnings from Facebook, dated December 24th and December 25th, 2018:

When I logged in on December 28th and saw these messages, I immediately appealed the decisions through the automated procedure, as shown above, though the specific posts alledgedly violating the Communnity Standards weren’t even accessible, since they had been removed. It means that I didn’t –and still don’t– even know which posts got me these “strikes”. At least, Youtube was specific about the videos alledgedly violating their rules –three speeches of Hassan Nasrallah–, though they didn’t say more than that. I don’t know if the whole Page was finally removed because of a third “strike” –Facebook does not even state how much “strikes” you can get before termination– or because of something else, like constant flagging and reports by cyber-IDF soldiers and Hasbara trolls. But I am positive it has to do with my anti-Zionist content. It is a blatant attempt to take down important speech and silence already marginalized voices, as stated by Vera Eidelman from the ACLU

Of course, one should always protest and complain using the due procedures. After all, Facebook has been known to restore such Pages after the public outcry following their removal without proper reason (TeleSur, VenezuelAnalysis, etc.). I did protest, and I am still expecting an answer from them, without much hope, since earlier appeals as old as September 17th are still awaiting a response almost 4 months later, as shown below (screenshot dated January 4th, 2019).

Appeals are not suspensive. Anyway, without any mention of a motive, corpus delicti and mere notification of removal of my page, not even in Facebook’s internal notifications on my personnal account, we are clearly beyond kafkaesque.

This witch-hunt against the voice of the Resistance Axis online, especially Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah (I am the main translator of his speeches in English and French, voluntary and non-affiliated), is not new. Over and over again most often after Israeli-backed indictment campaigns, in 2012, 2014, 2016 and June 2018, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter closed down all accounts affiliated to the Lebanese and Palestinian Resistance, including Al-Manar TV Channel, banned for good. In 2014 and 2016, Facebook was hunting down Nasrallah’s very picture and temporarily blocking the accounts that featured it, even though they were individuals having no link whatsoever with the organization: not only Hezbollah’s missiles and fighters, but the very voice and picture of its Secretary General are considered as an existential threat for Israel, whose paid trolls keep reporting his videos as terrorist hate-speech to ban mercilessly. The right to information, neutrality or equity is a chimera in the Internet Giants’ turf, where only alternative views, especially videos hostile to Zionism, are subject to censorship and banishment.

On January 8, 2019, Norman Finkelstein commented on the issue:

It is a scandal that the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah are banned on Youtube. Whatever one thinks of his politics, it cannot be doubted that Nasrallah is among the shrewdest and most serious political observers in the world today. Israeli leaders carefully scrutinize Nasrallah’s every word. Why are the rest of us denied this right? One cannot help but wonder whether Nasrallah’s speeches are censored because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of the degenerate, ignorant, blowhard Arab leader. It appears that Western social media aren’t yet ready for an Arab leader of dignified mind and person.

Thankfully, my first article got the attention of Ron Unz, who offered to safeguard my videos in his own website, and I published them back gradually in a new Dailymotion Channel from where they are automatically saved in The Unz Review’s internal storage system. Thus, even if they end up deleted by Dailymotion, they’ll still be accessible in one and same place without need to re-upload them again. I will keep posting my videos on Dailymotion –though it has its own, more subtle way of censorship: age-restricting videos, burying them in the search results… –, and I call on everyone to subscribe to my channel on the Unz Review (RSS feed) and on all those who can to donate to support this work. Whatever happens, the Electronic Intifada to which Hassan Nasrallah called will carry on.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s In The 9/11 Papers?

Corbett Report | January 8, 2019

Jason Bermas of Pulse Change joins us to discuss the recently released “9/11 papers.” What new information is in this release, and does it tell us anything of value about 9/11? Can the documents be verified?

Watch this video on BitChute / DTube / YouTube or Download the mp4

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed

SHOW NOTES
Pulse Change

Fabled Enemies

TCR Live #94 (1/4/18): Dark Overlord Hacks the Deep State

Hackers Threaten To Dump Secret 9/11 Attack Files If Bitcoin Ransom Not Met

What’s Actually In The Dark Overlord Files?

January 8, 2019 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

A Look Back at Clapper’s Jan. 2017 ‘Assessment’ on Russia-gate

By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | January 8, 2019

The banner headline atop page one of The New York Times two years ago today, on January 7, 2017, set the tone for two years of Dick Cheney-like chicanery: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.”

Under a edia drumbeat of anti-Russian hysteria, credulous Americans were led to believe that Donald Trump owed his election victory to the president of Russia, and that Trump, according to the Times, “colluded” in Putin’s “interference … to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton.”

Hard evidence supporting the media and political rhetoric has been as elusive as proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002-2003. This time, though, an alarming increase in the possibility of war with nuclear-armed Russia has ensued — whether by design, hubris, or rank stupidity. The possible consequences for the world are even more dire than 16 years of war and destruction in the Middle East.

If It Walks Like a Canard…

The CIA-friendly New York Times two years ago led the media quacking in a campaign that wobbled like a duck, canard in French.

A glance at the title of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) (which was not endorsed by the whole community) — “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” — would suffice to show that the widely respected and independently-minded State Department intelligence bureau should have been included. State intelligence had demurred on several points made in the Oct. 2002 Estimate on Iraq, and even insisted on including a footnote of dissent. James Clapper, then director of national intelligence who put together the ICA, knew that all too well. So he evidently thought it would be better not to involve troublesome dissenters, or even inform them what was afoot.

Similarly, the Defense Intelligence Agency should have been included, particularly since it has considerable expertise on the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence agency, which has been blamed for Russian hacking of the DNC emails. But DIA, too, has an independent streak and, in fact, is capable of reaching judgments Clapper would reject as anathema. Just one year before Clapper decided to do the rump “Intelligence Community Assessment,” DIA had formally blessed the following heterodox idea in its “December 2015 National Security Strategy”:

“The Kremlin is convinced the United States is laying the groundwork for regime change in Russia, a conviction further reinforced by the events in Ukraine. Moscow views the United States as the critical driver behind the crisis in Ukraine and believes that the overthrow of former Ukrainian President Yanukovych is the latest move in a long-established pattern of U.S.-orchestrated regime change efforts.”

Any further questions as to why the Defense Intelligence Agency was kept away from the ICA drafting table?

Handpicked Analysts

With help from the Times and other mainstream media, Clapper, mostly by his silence, was able to foster the charade that the ICA was actually a bonafide product of the entire intelligence community for as long as he could get away with it. After four months it came time to fess up that the ICA had not been prepared, as Secretary Clinton and the media kept claiming, by “all 17 intelligence agencies.”

In fact, Clapper went one better, proudly asserting — with striking naiveté — that the ICA writers were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He may have thought that this would enhance the ICA’s credibility. It is a no-brainer, however, that when you want handpicked answers, you better handpick the analysts. And so he did.

Why is no one interested in the identities of the handpicked analysts and the hand-pickers? After all, we have the names of the chief analysts/managers responsible for the fraudulent NIE of October 2002 that greased the skids for the war on Iraq. Listed in the NIE itself are the principal analyst Robert D. Walpole and his chief assistants Paul Pillar, Lawrence K. Gershwin and Maj. Gen. John R. Landry.

The Overlooked Disclaimer

Buried in an inside page of the Times‘ Jan. 7, 2017 report was a cautionary paragraph by reporter Scott Shane. It seems he had read the ICA all the way through, and had taken due note of the derriere-protecting caveats included in the strangely cobbled together report. Shane had to wade through nine pages of drivel about “Russia’s Propaganda Efforts” to reach Annex B with its curious disclaimer:

“Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents. … High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.”

Small wonder, then, that Shane noted: “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. This a significant omission.”

Since then, Shane has evidently realized what side his bread is buttered on and has joined the ranks of Russia-gate aficionados. Decades ago, he did some good reporting on such issues, so it was sad to see him decide to blend in with the likes of David Sanger and promote the NYT official Russia-gate narrative. An embarrassing feature, “The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far,” that Shane wrote with NYT colleague Mark Mazzetti in September, is full of gaping holes, picked apart in two pieces by Consortium News.

Shades of WMD

Sanger is one of the intelligence community’s favorite go-to journalists. He was second only to the disgraced Judith Miller in promoting the canard of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S. invasion in March 2003. For example, in a July 29, 2002 article, “U.S. Exploring Baghdad Strike As Iraq Option,” co-written by Sanger and Thom Shanker, the existence of WMD in Iraq was stated as flat fact no fewer than seven times.

The Sanger/Shanker article appeared just a week after then-CIA Director George Tenet confided to his British counterpart that President George W. Bush had decided “to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” At that critical juncture, Clapper was in charge of the analysis of satellite imagery and hid the fact that the number of confirmed WMD sites in Iraq was zero.

Despite that fact and that his “assessment” has never been proven, Clapper continues to receive praise.

During a “briefing” I attended at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington several weeks ago, Clapper displayed master circular reasoning, saying in effect, that the assessment had to be correct because that’s what he and other intelligence directors told President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump.

I got a chance to question him at the event. His disingenuous answers brought a painful flashback to one of the most shameful episodes in the annals of U.S. intelligence analysis.

Ray McGovern: My name is Ray McGovern. Thanks for this book; it’s very interesting [Ray holds up his copy of Clapper’s memoir]. I’m part of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.  I’d like to refer to the Russia problem, but first there’s an analogy that I see here.  You were in charge of imagery analysis before Iraq.

James Clapper: Yes.

RM: You confess [in the book] to having been shocked that no weapons of mass destruction were found.  And then, to your credit, you admit, as you say here [quotes from the book], “the blame is due to intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help [the administration make war on Iraq] that we found what wasn’t really there.”

Now fast forward to two years ago.  Your superiors were hell bent on finding ways to blame Trump’s victory on the Russians.  Do you think that your efforts were guilty of the same sin here?  Do you think that you found a lot of things that weren’t really there?  Because that’s what our conclusion is, especially from the technical end.  There was no hacking of the DNC; it was leaked, and you know that because you talked to NSA.

JC: Well, I have talked with NSA a lot, and I also know what we briefed to then-President Elect Trump on the 6th of January.  And in my mind, uh, I spent a lot of time in the SIGINT [signals intelligence] business, the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done.  There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever.  The Intelligence Community Assessment that we rendered that day, that was asked, tasked to us by President Obama — and uh — in early December, made no call whatsoever on whether, to what extent the Russians influenced the outcome of the election. Uh, the administration, uh, the team then, the President-Elect’s team, wanted to say that — that we said that the Russian interference had no impact whatsoever on the election.  And I attempted, we all did, to try to correct that misapprehension as they were writing a press release before we left the room.

However, as a private citizen, understanding the magnitude of what the Russians did and the number of citizens in our country they reached and the different mechanisms that, by which they reached them, to me it stretches credulity to think they didn’t have a profound impact on election on the outcome of the election.

RM: That’s what the New York Times says.  But let me say this: we have two former Technical Directors from NSA in our movement here, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; we also have forensics, okay?

Now the President himself, your President, President Obama said two days before he left town: The conclusions of the intelligence community — this is ten days after you briefed him — with respect to how WikiLeaks got the DNC emails are “inconclusive” end quote.  Now why would he say that if you had said it was conclusive?

JC: I can’t explain what he said or why.  But I can tell you we’re, we’re pretty sure we know, or knew at the time, how WikiLeaks got those emails.  I’m not going to go into the technical details about why we believe that.

RM: We are too [pretty sure we know]; and it was a leak onto a thumb drive — gotten to Julian Assange — really simple.  If you knew it, and the NSA has that information, you have a duty, you have a duty to confess to that, as well as to [Iraq].

JC: Confess to what?

RM: Confess to the fact that you’ve been distorting the evidence.

JC: I don’t confess to that.

RM: The Intelligence Community Assessment was without evidence.

JC: I do not confess to that. I simply do not agree with your conclusions.

William J. Burns (Carnegie President): Hey, Ray, I appreciate your question.  I didn’t want this to look like Jim Acosta in the White House grabbing microphones away.  Thank you for the questioning though.  Yes ma’am [Burns recognizes the next questioner].

The above exchange can be seen starting at 28:45 in this video.

Not Worth His Salt

Having supervised intelligence analysis, including chairing National Intelligence Estimates, for three-quarters of my 27-year career at CIA, my antennae are fine-tuned for canards. And so, at Carnegie, when Clapper focused on the rump analysis masquerading as an “Intelligence Community Assessment,” the scent of the duck came back strongly.

Intelligence analysts worth their salt give very close scrutiny to sources, their possible agendas, and their records for truthfulness. Clapper flunks on his own record, including his performance before the Iraq war — not to mention his giving sworn testimony to Congress that he had to admit was “clearly erroneous,” when documents released by Edward Snowden proved him a perjurer. At Carnegie, the questioner who followed me brought that up and asked, “How on earth did you keep your job, Sir?”

The next questioner, a former manager of State Department intelligence, posed another salient question: Why, he asked, was State Department intelligence excluded from the “Intelligence Community Assessment”?

Among the dubious reasons Clapper gave was the claim, “We only had a month, and so it wasn’t treated as a full-up National Intelligence Estimate where all 16 members of the intelligence community would pass judgment on it.” Clapper then tried to spread the blame around (“That was a deliberate decision that we made and that I agreed with”), but as director of national intelligence the decision was his.

Given the questioner’s experience in the State Department’s intelligence, he was painfully aware of how quickly a “full-up NIE” can be prepared. He knew all too well that the October 2002 NIE, “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction,” was ginned up in less than a month, when Cheney and Bush wanted to get Congress to vote for war on Iraq. (As head of imagery analysis, Clapper signed off on that meretricious estimate, even though he knew no WMD sites had been confirmed in Iraq.)

It’s in the Russians’ DNA

The criteria Clapper used to handpick his own assistants are not hard to divine. An Air Force general in the mold of Curtis LeMay, Clapper knows all about “the Russians.” And he does not like them, not one bit. During an interview with NBC on May 28, 2017, Clapper referred to “the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique.” And just before I questioned him at Carnegie, he muttered, “It’s in their DNA.”

Even those who may accept Clapper’s bizarre views about Russian genetics still lack credible proof that (as the ICA concludes “with high confidence”) Russia’s main military intelligence unit, the G.R.U., created a “persona” called Guccifer 2.0 to release the emails of the Democratic National Committee. When those disclosures received what was seen as insufficient attention, the G.R.U. “relayed material it acquired from the D.N.C. and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks,” the assessment said.

At Carnegie, Clapper cited “forensics.” But forensics from where? To his embarrassment, then-FBI Director James Comey, for reasons best known to him, chose not to do forensics on the “Russian hack” of the DNC computers, preferring to rely on a computer outfit of tawdry reputation hired by the DNC. Moreover, there is zero indication that the drafters of the ICA had any reliable forensics to work with.

In contrast, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, working with independent forensic investigators, examined metadata from a July 5, 2016 DNC intrusion that was alleged to be a “hack.” However, the metadata showed a transfer speed far exceeding the capacity of the Internet at the time. Actually, all the speed turned out to be precisely what a thumb drive could accommodate, indicating that what was involved was a copy onto an external storage device and not a hack — by Russia or anyone else.

WikiLeaks had obtained the DNC emails earlier. On June 12, 2016 Julian Assange announced he had “emails relating to Hillary Clinton.” NSA appears to lack any evidence that those emails — the embarrassing ones showing that the DNC cards were stacked against Bernie Sanders — were hacked.

Since NSA’s dragnet coverage scoops up everything on the Internet, NSA or its partners can, and do trace all hacks. In the absence of evidence that the DNC was hacked, all available factual evidence indicates that earlier in the spring of 2016, an external storage device like a thumb drive was used in copying the DNC emails given to WikiLeaks.

Additional investigation has proved Guccifer 2.0 to be an out-and-out fabrication — and a faulty basis for indictments.

A Gaping Gap

Clapper and the directors of the CIA, FBI, and NSA briefed President Obama on the ICA on Jan. 5, 2007, the day before they briefed President-elect Trump. At Carnegie, I asked Clapper to explain why President Obama still had serious doubts.  On Jan. 18, 2017, at his final press conference, Obama saw fit to use lawyerly language to cover his own derriere, saying: “The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.”

So we end up with “inconclusive conclusions” on that admittedly crucial point. In other words, U.S. intelligence does not know how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks. In the absence of any evidence from NSA (or from its foreign partners) of an Internet hack of the DNC emails the claim that “the Russians gave the DNC emails to WikiLeaks” rests on thin gruel. After all, these agencies collect everything that goes over the Internet.

Clapper answered: “I cannot explain what he [Obama] said or why. But I can tell you we’re, we’re pretty sure we know, or knew at the time, how WikiLeaks got those emails.”

Really?

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year CIA career he supervised intelligence analysis as Chief of Soviet Foreign Policy Branch, as editor/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief, as a member of the Production Review Staff, and as chair of National Intelligence Estimates. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

What Happened To the Billions Germany Gave Israel?

By Hafsa Kara-Mustapha | American Herald Tribune | January 8, 2019

The Holiday season as December is now referred to, is a time for parties, family gatherings, gift sharing and all the lovely things associated with the end of year festivities.

As the party season bids farewell and the cold weather intensifies it is also a time to reflect on those less fortunate.

In this context, charities work particularly hard to raise funds for the category of people they chose to support. Across social media, which have become major advertising platforms, appeals for funds are now a regular fixture on users’ feeds.

A recent request for donations that was of particular interest was one for money to help elderly Holocaust survivors in their twilight years.

The touching images of frail-looking men and woman are undoubtedly moving and force all those who see them feel much empathy towards a group of vulnerable people who suffered major trauma. Yet as the details of requested donations emerged it became increasingly odd to see these adverts. Of all the vulnerable groups existing today Holocaust survivors are, thanks to reparations paid by Germany, aptly provided for.

Claims Conference

In 1951, just under six years after the end of the Second World War, an organisation was set up called the Claims Conference.

It was tasked with obtaining reparations from Germany in order to compensate Jews for the persecution they suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime. It has to be noted however that Roma, gay, disabled as well as Communist activists who were equally interned in concentration camps, were not offered financial reparations.

Never the less the Claims Conference, set up by a group of Jewish organisations, has been working tirelessly to seek ‘a small measure of justice for Jewish victims’ as stated on its website.

This ‘small measure,’ obtained from Germany, has totalled over $70bn over the past seventy years.

This eye-watering sum that amounts to the state budgets of several countries would have been used to assist Jewish victims following the collapse of Hitler’s rule.

Yet the regular appeals for further donations, from ordinary citizens, implies that Holocaust survivors are still in need of monetary assistance, despite ongoing negotiations with the governments of Germany and Austria to pay further damages to Jewish claimants.

So the question is if Germany –and Austria – have released over $70bn to compensate survivors yet survivors are still in need of assistance, where has the money gone?

In July 2018 the German government agreed to release a further $88m towards care cost for the elderly.

Yet by Christmas adverts appealing for support for the very few survivors left were circulating again.

According to Claims Conference auditing is undertaken by KPMG however the body is regulated by the organisations that form it.

In 2013, a Holocaust survivor called Dora Roth made headlines when she accused the Israeli government of siphoning money destined for victims such as herself.

In April 2016 Haim Katz, Israel’s welfare minister, released a report revealing that more than 20,000 survivors in Israel had never received financial assistance owed to them.

The money, however, was regularly delivered by Germany yet it appears it never reached those it was intended for.

While Germany is only too happy to deliver the funds it is silent on who should be their recipients. According to one former German politician, now working in the financial sector, German politicians cannot stand up to Israel. ‘They know Israel will shout anti-Semitism at the first opportunity and are too terrified with being labelled with that fateful word.’ Asked if German media and politicians are not concerned about where these vast sums of money are ending, he added that issues relevant to compensation and Israel are taboo in his country.

‘Despite the economic downturn, we continue to be milked like cash cows, knowing full well it’s beyond reason to continue to demand such sums, yet there are no brave politicians or journalists willing to ask the questions.’

The Israeli minister who exposed the problem also went on to say that the problem is far worse than it appears as his report only took into account the surviving victims as of 2016 explaining that many more died throughout the years without ever seeing the money Israel claimed on their behalf.

Israel for its part blames the delay in delivering the funds to issues relating to heavy bureaucracy but many find that argument laughable.

Simon, an ex Israeli now living in Paris laughs at this excuse: ‘it didn’t take them 70 years to fleece the Germans but they –Israeli authorities- need 70 years to distribute the money.’

Disillusioned with Israel and its founding ideology Zionism, Simon is scathing towards his former country: ‘To get a permit to destroy a Palestinian home, they took 7 minutes, adding that his rejection of the country was a result of the abuse he received from other Israelis because he was a Holocaust survivor.’

We were viewed with absolute contempt by our ‘fellow countrymen’ (he insists on the brackets). They would tell us we were weak and went to the camps like ‘sheep to the slaughter’.

They would even make sheep noises when I used to walk in the streets when neighbours found out I was a survivor.

Confirming how unimportant Holocaust survivors are in Israeli society, and how oblivious the public is to their plight, Roth’s outburst had little consequences. From a European or American perspective, the fact survivors who have obtained so many reparations –unlike any other group in history- should be left to die in poverty should be major news and yet the money continues to be delivered while the victims continue to die destitute.

Ironically it is their legacy that is used as a justification for the existence of the nation that continues to neglect and despise them.

Who will dare ask the question?

Despite all the evidence of legitimate questions being raised, no one is raising them.

Where is this money ending up? Who is tasked with distributing and why is it failing?

Why should so much of it go through the Israeli government when not all survivors are or have remained in Israel?

Some claim Israel uses it as part of its nationwide budget others still say it is going to fund the military.

It is ironic that money made available to victims of war should now be invested in furthering wars by a country itself often accused of Nazi-like policies and routinely committing war crimes.

The spectre of being labelled an anti-Semite is, of course, a genuine concern no politician or journalist can ignore.

The mere fact of holding to account Israel over the possibility some are extorting funds would be spun as the ‘age-old accusations Jews love money.’

Anti-semitic ‘tropes’ as these bizarre semantic twists are called are casually thrown about wherever Israel or a Zionist person or organisation face questions.

If questions arise about misinformation from an Israeli source then claims of ‘Jews run the media’ will soon surface and bring the subject to a close.

Should claims of embezzlement surround an Israeli or Zionist body then its accusations of ‘Jews love money.’

Even high-profile cases of child abuse involving notable Zionist figures are inevitably spun as ‘Jews are using the blood of goyim children.’

For every Israeli/Zionist crime, there is its accompanying ‘anti-Semitism’ protection policy.

This time, however, victims of Israeli dishonesty are Jewish.

Who will speak up for them?

No one is the simple answer. According to varying reports, most if not all Holocaust victims will have died by 2025.

Israel is therefore just buying time. Meanwhile, now that Germany can no longer be ‘legally’ fleeced, Arab money is the next target for Israel’s appetite for easy ‘guilt money,’ as Simon puts it.

Israel- who expelled Palestinians from their ancestral homeland in 1948 yet refuses to compensate them- is going after Arab states in the hope of obtaining some $250bn in reparations. Though the overwhelming majority of Arab Jews left their Arab nations voluntarily and were never subjected to any treatment remotely equivalent to concentration camps, Israel, knowing it can manipulate international institutions, is launching its latest money-making scheme.

The only question that remains is who will be made to pay up next?

Gamblers are betting on Italy. After all the Roman Empire has a lot to answer for.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 23 Comments

Media Reports on Skripals Life in UK After Incident Are False – Russian Embassy

Sputnik – January 8, 2019

LONDON – The recent report by the UK The Daily Telegraph newspaper on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia’s life in the United Kingdom after the Salisbury murder attempt is yet another unsubstantiated falsification, the press officer of the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Tuesday.

“We are dealing with yet another media leak, unofficial and unverifiable. It provides no new facts on the Salisbury incident, let alone evidence. The circumstances of the incident remain as confusing as ever”, the press officer said, as quoted on the embassy’s official website.

The press officer specified that while the government source told The Daily Telegraph that the authorities knew “everything worth knowing,” in fact the investigation had not revealed any official information on where the Skripals went and what they did on the day of the attack, and the identification of the suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, was based on “no evidence apart from them being filmed several hundred metres away from Mr Skripal’s house.”

“As regards the reports on the Skripals living in the South of England, on their changed appearance, on Yulia having been offered a job requiring Russian language skills, on her contacts with friends, etc., careful reading reveals that these are mere suggestions by people who claim to know the manner of work of British secret services in similar situations. This is speculation not deserving a serious comment,” the press officer went on to say.

He added that the UK government continued denying consular access to the Skripals, concealing their whereabouts, and refusing to coordinate with Russia on the investigation.

“This means that the Russian nationals, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, remain forcibly held by the UK, while true circumstances of the 4 March incident have still not been established. No amount of leaks and ‘expert’ comments can remedy this situation”, the press officer concluded.

The Daily Telegraph reported, citing unnamed sources from the UK government, that the Skripals were supposedly living in the south of the United Kingdom and undergoing medical treatment supervised by a narrow circle of experts. According to the newspaper, the UK authorities had established all the details of the Skripal case.

The Skripals were found slumped on a bench in a park in the UK town of Salisbury on 4 March, 2018, after being exposed to a suspected nerve agent that London called a Novichok type. Later, however, they recovered and left the hospital.The UK authorities accused Russia of being behind the murder attempt, but Moscow has repeatedly rejected the claim as baseless. London has left unanswered scores of Moscow’s diplomatic notes calling for cooperation in the investigation into the matter, claiming that it was Moscow who refused to cooperate.

READ MORE:

Shock Files: What Role Did Integrity Initiative Play in Sergei Skripal Affair?

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

With Golan at Stake, Netanyahu, Bolton Set Trump Straight on US Syria Withdrawal Plan

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | January 7, 2019

The state of Israel seems to share at least some of the responsibility for the latest shift of U.S. Syria policy — as National Security Adviser John Bolton announced on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s call to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria would now be “coordinated” with Israel, after meeting with top Israeli officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s main motivation in preventing a swift U.S. exit from Syria was also made explicit by Netanyahu, who openly stated on Twitter that Israel’s push to obtain sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights – which is internationally recognized as part of Syria – was the driving factor behind Israel’s recent efforts to dramatically slow down Trump’s plan for an “immediate” withdrawal of U.S. troops currently occupying Syrian territory illegally.

As MintPress noted at the time of Trump’s withdrawal announcement, Israel’s influence on Trump’s Middle East policy and Israel’s push towards containing “Iranian influence” in Syria would mean that Trump’s plan to withdraw troops over the alleged defeat of ISIS would likely never materialize if it was opposed by Tel Aviv.

This was apparently and not surprisingly the case as, soon after Trump’s announcement that he planned to bring U.S. troops home from Syria last month, Israel’s government announced that it would dramatically rev up its direct involvement in the Syrian conflict in the U.S.’ absence. That involvement had so far been limited to hundreds of unilateral airstrikes on Syrian government and military targets over the course of the nearly eight-year-long war. Israel’s threat of escalation revealed Israel’s unwillingness to see foreign pressure on Damascus reduced.

Israel’s military — currently headed by Netanyahu, who is also serving as Israel’s defense minister — made good on this promise to increase its military involvement in Syria soon after, using civilian airplanes as cover to launch airstrikes on Syria on Christmas Day.

However, Israel’s reaction to Trump’s announcement appears to have been much more extensive than its decision to increase its airstrikes targeting Syrian territory. After meeting with Netanyahu and the director of Israeli intelligence, Bolton noted on Twitter that the “U.S. drawdown in Syria” would now be “coordinated” with Israel. Also on Sunday, Bolton announced that the U.S. had no timetable for troop withdrawal from Syria and that the troop withdrawal was also conditional.

This is just the latest indication that the state of Israel is acquiring unprecedented influence over U.S. troop deployments in the region, as the commander of U.S. European Command (EURCOM) noted last year that Israeli generals — not American generals — have the power to deploy U.S. troops to Israel to fight on Israel’s behalf. Now, Bolton — after meeting with Israeli officials — has stated that Israel’s government will also wield tremendous influence over whether or not U.S. troops will be leaving Syria.

Spotlight on the Golan Heights

In publicly discussing his meeting with Bolton on Twitter, Netanyahu noted that a key topic of ongoing discussion with Bolton regarding Syria would involve Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights, a plateau bordering Israel, Lebanon and Syria that Israel has occupied since 1967 and later annexed in 1981.

Netanyahu announced that he and Bolton would be traveling together to the area on Monday and added:

The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security. When you’re there you’ll be able to understand perfectly why we’ll never leave the Golan Heights and why it’s important all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over it.”

As MintPress has noted in the past, understanding the significance of the Golan Heights is in many ways key to understanding why the Syrian conflict was engineered by foreign powers in the first place. This is because, with the Golan Heights in mind, Israel hatched a plan in 2006 to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by creating sectarian strife in the country with the hopes that whoever succeeded Assad would be willing to relinquish Syria’s claim to the territory.

Yet, this plan was never designed to be enacted by Israel but instead by the United States. The U.S. eventually adopted the plan and the communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed it was a driving factor in U.S. policy leading up to the genesis of the Syrian conflict. One of her leaked emails, published by WikiLeaks, stated that “the best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

That same email also noted that “a successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States.” It added that “arming the Syrian rebels and using Western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high-payoff approach.”

Unsurprisingly, official recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan was prominent among the regime-change promises touted by Syrian “rebels.” Over the course of the war, rebels have,  in their bid to overthrow Assad, offered to “trade” or sell the Golan Heights to Israel in exchange for military aid or an Israeli-imposed “no-fly zone.”

This also helps explain why Israel was so eager to fund, arm and aid “rebel” groups along the Syria-Israel border, as it offered the justification for the Israeli occupation of a “buffer zone” that, according to Syrian opposition sources and Israeli-American NGOs, was “intended to keep the Syrian army and its Iranian and Lebanese allies as far away from Israel’s border as possible, as well as solidify Israel’s control over the occupied Golan Heights.” However, the success of the Syrian military’s efforts in southern Syria forced Israel to abandon its buffer zone and seek other means to strengthen its claim to the territory.

The Golan: What’s in it for Israel?

Israel created this plan to weaken or overthrow the Syrian state largely because it is eager to cement its claim to the Golan Heights. In order to accomplish that, regime change in Syria is essential, as the international community still refuses to recognize Israel’s seizure and continued occupation of the Golan as legal. This bars Israel from commercially developing the area’s rich resources, which explains Israel’s willingness to go to war over a seemingly small and insignificant tract of land. However, a new Syrian government, one more “friendly” to Israeli interests, could officially relinquish Syria’s claim to the Golan, paving the way for the complete and official annexation of the territory by Israel.

At the time the plan was created, the main motivator for Israel was the Golan’s freshwater reserves, as the Golan is one of three sources of freshwater available to the Israeli state — and is the largest in size and most abundant, as it includes the mountain streams that feed Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) and the headwaters of the Jordan river.

This makes this area even more important to Israel, given that Israel is in its sixth year of a drought so massive that a NASA study called it the worst drought in the region in nearly 900 years. Thus, the water resources of the Golan Heights are essential to Israel’s existence as well as its expansionist ambitions.

Though recent Israeli investment in desalination plants have since reduced its dependence on Golan water resources, the discovery of oil in the Golan in 2015 dramatically strengthened Israel’s resolve to gain complete sovereignty over the occupied territory.

The oil reserve discovered in the Golan Heights is estimated to contain “billions of barrels” of crude oil that could turn Israel – which currently imports the vast majority of its fuel – into a net oil exporter. Yet, because the Golan Heights are internationally recognized as being under occupation and not an official part of Israel, the commercial extraction and export of this vast oil reserve cannot move forward — until this status changes.

As a result, only exploratory wells have been drilled, mostly by a division of Genie Energy Co., a U.S.-based oil company connected to Rupert Murdoch, Jacob Rothschild, Dick Cheney and former CIA Director James Woolsey, among other powerful individuals in the U.S. and the U.K. The involvement of such influential figures in future oil extraction endeavors in the Golan Heights – dependent as they are on Israel acquiring sovereignty over the territory — likely explains why the U.S., as well as the U.K., has been so willing to help initiate and then perpetuate the Syrian conflict, which is soon to enter its eighth year.

Geopolitics First: The America-Israel Mideast axis

While Netanyahu’s statements show that the Golan Heights is a key driver for Israel in its refusal to let the Syrian conflict wind down, it is important to note that Israel and its allies abroad are also interested in the partitioning of Syria in order to keep the country weak and conflict-ridden for the foreseeable future. This call to partition Syria as well as other countries in the region, such as Iraq, dates back to the Yinon Plan that was developed in 1982 and seeks to partition and weaken other regional states through the engineering of sectarianism, in order to allow Israel to emerge as the region’s sole superpower.

This is worth pointing out, given Israel’s recent effort to take control of the U.S. troop pull-out (or lack thereof) from Syria, as the U.S. State Department is also promoting a plan as of this past weekend that would push for the partition of northeastern Syria were U.S. troops to begin to withdraw from Syrian territory.

Thus, the announcement that the troop “withdrawal” will now be coordinated with Israel and that the U.S.’ new policy for northeastern Syria will involve partition shows that another “America First” Trump policy has quickly morphed instead into an “Israel First” plan.

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.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Prof on Skripal Case: Released Docs Pointing at Direction We Need to Investigate

Sputnik – January 8, 2019

On Friday evening the latest tranche of documents from the Integrity Initiative was released, exposing more information about the UK’s operation to combat so-called Russian disinformation. Sputnik has spoken to Professor David Miller, from the University of Bristol and asked him what he made of the latest information.

Sputnik: Why is it there has been no real coverage of the Integrity Initiative in the mainstream media?

Professor David Miller: Well, there’s a good question. Many of the people who would write about these things in the mainstream media appear in the documents themselves. Whether they are formally involved, to use the phrase of Deborah Haynes of Sky, formally of The Times, who says what she has ‘no formal or informal relationship with the Institute for Statecraft’ — well, you know, they are involved in some way or another, they have had contacts with, she has had contacts with, Carol Cadwalladr has had contacts with; people from the BBC have had contacts with the Integrity Initiative, and so they are conflicted. Whether they have had a formal involvement, or their involvement is as the documents suggest, is by the by, they are conflicted and they have failed to distance themselves from this programme of activities.

Sputnik: With regard to the Skripal case are there now serious questions for the government to answer when it comes to that?

Professor David Miller: Well, we’ve seen many more documents on the Skripal case in here and indeed some more on Syria, the alleged chemical attack on Douma. And of course the content of these documents is rather fanciful; there’s a large report about social media and media coverage of the Skripal case which fancifully refers to a whole load of people on twitter as being Kremlin trolls which they’re not. So I mean it’s very interesting to see all that and there are questions which arise about the extent to which the British government has been engaged in managing and manipulating media coverage of the Skripal affair.

The questions go deeper, there is a suggestion that there was a meeting called by the Integrity Initiative which involved Pablo Miller, the MI6 operative who was Sergei Skripal’s handler. And that raises very big questions indeed not least because the meeting is alleged to have been a meeting with the White Helmets — an organisation which has been intensely debated in relation to the Syrian conflict and which has been implicated to some extent at least in the fabrication of chemical weapons attack stories in Syria. So it raises all sorts of questions which the government has not begun to explore or explain and which most media has not begun to explore or explain.

Sputnik: There was a reference there, in the documents which suggested that if an incident is not to occur to provoke a tougher reaction against Russia then we need to be taking a tougher stance; and that in the context of the Skripal poisoning is quite sinister sounding isn’t it?

Professor David Miller: It is quite sinister sounding, if you look at the documents and the discussions of alleged propaganda lines on Skripal, which are no more than people doubting British government’s accounts — which is the first thing one should be doing in these circumstances — there is no acknowledgement in there of any more than the British government’s account — which is obviously correct and everyone else is wrong!

Some of the hints of this document are hints which raise questions about the British government’s role in the Skripal affair and those questions will not go away. It really very badly undermines the official British position that this was something done by the Russians — what was the official version? ‘Of a type produced by Russia’. That kind of propaganda is an indication that there is something not right in the Skripal story and these documents are pointing us in a certain direction when we need much more investigation of what happened in the Skripal case than we previously did.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Trump Against the Pentagon? Possible Shifting of White House Alliances

By Caleb Maupin – New Eastern Outlook – 08.01.2019

The line from James Mattis that seemed to stand out the most was “Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”

Mattis spent the prior paragraphs of his resignation letter describing the threats of terrorism, the importance of US military alliances, and the perceived danger of Russia and China. He then dropped the subtly worded bombshell sentence, indicating that Trump did not share these views which are considered to be the standard perspective of the global situation by US mainstream media.

The Mattis resignation coincided with the announced withdrawal of US troops from Syria and Afghanistan. Mattis is reported to have disagreed with the President’s decision. Shortly after the resignation, Trump visited US troops in Iraq and infuriated the military by signing “Make America Great Again” hats and announcing, falsely, that he had increased the troop’s pay by 10%.

The mainstream of American politics went into overdrive denouncing Trump for “giving a huge gift to Putin” and “abandoning the women” of Afghanistan. US Senator Lindsey Graham said “The only reason they’re not dancing in the aisles in Tehran and ISIS camps is they don’t believe in dancing.” Those who are familiar with contemporary US history should realize that Trump seems to be in an increasingly dangerous position as he has apparently earned the scorn of the Pentagon brass.

The struggle between the elected President as “commander-in-chief” of the US military and its uniformed brass is quite longstanding. Abraham Lincoln famously fired General George McLellan with the historic rebuff “If General McClellan does not want to use the Army, I would like to borrow it for a time.” Truman fired General Douglas Macarthur for threatening to drop atomic bombs on China without Presidential authorization.

The Pentagon and the Presidency

John F. Kennedy’s assassination can be widely interpreted in the context of a rivalry between the intelligence community and the Pentagon. Kennedy refused to send in the US military into Cuba after the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion by exiled anti-Communists. Kennedy refused to escalate the Vietnam War and increasingly argued that the best way to defeat Communism was with a foreign policy of good will and charity.  After Kennedy’s assassination his successor, Lyndon Johnson, did indeed escalate the Vietnam War, and eventually resigned as the war became unpopular.

While Jimmy Carter’s presidency is remembered as an era of Peace, it was also an era in which the intelligence agencies had the upper hand. With the United States public still traumatized by the Vietnam War, Carter presented a liberal, nearly pacifist image. However, Carter called openly himself a student of Zbeignew Brzezinski, the mastermind anti-communist who worked with the CIA to foment protest among the eastern bloc intellegensia and pioneered the use of Wahabbi terrorists as proxy fighters in Afghanistan.

Carter was loved by Langley, but hated in the Pentagon. The US Senate blocked Carter from ratifying the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks 2 agreement of 1979, with retired Generals and military linked voices in the media denouncing him as “soft.” Carter was also accused of having “lost” Iran after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Pentagon loathed Carter’s soft-power approach and seemed almost unanimously behind Ronald Reagan who trounced him in the 1980 election. Reagan raised military spending. According to the Washington Post : “Reagan came along and brought…. an infusion of money. Defense spending hit a peak of $456.5 billion in 1987 (in projected 2005 dollars), compared with $325.1 billion in 1980 and $339.6 million in 1981, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Most of the increase was for procurement and research and development programs. The procurement budget leapt to $147.3 billion from $71.2 billion in 1980.”

Trump: On The Outs With Both Intel & the Generals?

The mutual distrust between Trump and the intelligence agencies has been apparent from early on. The media largely credits intel agencies with the steady stream of leaks to the media. Trump’s speech to the CIA shortly after taking office was described by New Yorker magazine as a “vainglorious affront.”

Trump echoed the Pentagon’s mantra of “Peace Through Strength” on the campaign trail. He raised military spending, and even let the Pentagon utilize the largest non-nuclear explosive device, the infamous MOAB, in Afghanistan. Trump arranged for Saudi Arabia to increase its purchases from US military contractors.

In the old feud between intel agencies and the Pentagon, Trump seemed solidly with the Pentagon. But in December, a series of bizarre tweets criticizing US military spending were apparently foreshadowing the withdrawal of forces from Syria and Afghanistan. With Mattis out, and Trump’s Iraqi holiday visit widely criticized, it now appears Trump is on the outs with the US military.

One particular passage from Mattis resignation letter is striking:

“It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model – gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions – to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.”

This statement is loaded with hypocrisy and projection. Russia and China are rather loose and free societies compared to many US-aligned regimes such as Saudi Arabia or South Korea. Meanwhile, both Russia and China have been working to develop and eradicate poverty in neighboring countries. The Eurasian Economic Union and the One Belt, One Road initiative have involved massive spending by Russia and China to stabilize and raise living standards in nearby countries, not “promote their own interests” at their “expense.”

However, the structure of Mattis’ letter seems to indicate on some level that Trump does not agree with his assessment, and perhaps has another view of Russia and China and their role in the world.

This raises many questions, not just about what kind of conversations are taking place behind closed doors within the White House, but what the future of the current administration will be. After all, the US military and those who manufacture its weapons and tools are an extremely powerful constituency.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

‘Apparent bias’: Alex Salmond wins court battle over sexual harassment probe

RT | January 8, 2019

The Scottish government mishandled the probe of ex-SNP chief Alex Salmond over sexual misconduct allegations, a court has ruled. The officials admitted that the investigation was “procedurally flawed” and apologized.

The decision to launch a probe against former First Minister of Scotland and two-time SNP leader Alex Salmond was “procedurally unfair” and marred with “apparent bias,” Judge Lord Pentland said on Tuesday. The court also ordered the government to pay Salmond’s legal fees.

The investigation against Scotland’s political heavyweight was initiated last year, following allegations of sexual misconduct brought up by two of his former staffers. The alleged incidents supposedly occurred back in 2013 at the first minister’s official residence in Edinburgh.

Alex Salmond denied any wrongdoing, calling the claims “patently ridiculous.” He did, however, choose to temporarily leave the SNP pending the investigation.

The politician also criticized the investigation as “unjust” and complained that he wasn’t allowed to see any evidence and defend himself properly.

During Tuesday’s hearing, government officials admitted that they violated their own guidelines in handling the case. To investigate the accusation made against Salmond, they appointed a person who had prior contacts with the alleged victims. That “failure” rendered the probe “flawed,” Roddy Dunlop, lawyer representing the government, told the court.

Permanent secretary to the Scottish government, Leslie Evans, apologized “to all involved” for the violations that took place during the probe. She argued that there was no proof that the investigating officer was acting biased but admitted that it didn’t matter due to the breach of guidelines.

Evans noted that the government may launch a new investigation into the complaints against Salmond once a separate police probe on the same issue is over.

The former SNP chief welcomed the verdict. The government “unquestionably lacked candor” as the officials repeatedly failed to disclose crucial documents to the court, he said in a statement. The politician added that the evidence seen by the judge revealed an “obvious breach of the principles of fairness and natural justice.”

Alex Salmond served as Scotland’s first minister from 2007 to 2014. He was elected to lead the SNP from 1990 to 2000, and then again from 2004 to 2014. He currently hosts the Alex Salmond Show on RT.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

EU agrees sanctions against Iranian intelligence service over ‘assassination plot’ – Danish FM

RT | January 8, 2019

The European Union has agreed to enact sanctions against the Iranian intelligence service over its alleged “assassination plots on European soil,” the Danish foreign minister has tweeted.

Specific details in relation to potential new European sanctions against Iran are unclear; nor is it known whether they are close to being implemented. Foreign ministers of EU member states had reportedly agreed to consider sanctions in response to the supposed Iranian plot at a meeting in mid-November.

In late October, Danish security forces said they had arrested a man who was allegedly plotting to assassinate the leader of the Danish branch of an Iranian Arab separatist movement. Tehran denied the accusations as “hostile” and said they were in line with the “enemies’ plots” to undermine Iranian-European relations.

The European Commission, while backing Denmark’s accusation and condemning Tehran, has urged member states to not let it impact the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal of 2015. The US, which unilaterally pulled out of the agreement in May 2018, simply praised Denmark for arresting an “Iranian regime assassin.”

US President Donald Trump’s administration has been cracking down on Iran, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and violating international obligations. It has repeatedly warned the EU against maintaining trade with Tehran, but Europe has so far been determined to keep JCPOA alive, and is working on a mechanism to bypass American sanctions.

The target of the alleged plot was a local leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), the Danish Foreign Ministry said at the time. ASMLA, pushing for a separate Arab state within Iran, is classified as a terrorist organization by Tehran.

Tehran has blamed ASMLA for the September 28, 2018 attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, which left 30 people dead and 70 injured. ASMLA denied responsibility, blaming the attack instead on a splinter group within the movement.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment