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New York Times Accidentally Unravels UK Government’s Official Skripal Narrative

By Kit Klarenberg – Sputnik – 17.04.2019

While London almost immediately blamed Moscow for being behind the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK city of Salisbury in March 2018, Russia has strongly rejected its involvement, stressing it’s been denied access both to the investigation into the incident and the Russian nationals affected.

On 16th April, the New York Times published a glowing profile of Gina Haspel, who in May 2018 became the seventh director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The article referred to Haspel — the former head of a CIA ‘black site’ in Thailand at which an indeterminate number of suspected terrorists were viciously tortured — as an “adept tactician” blessed with “good listening, empathy and an ability to connect”, and discussed the difficulties the intelligence chief faced in ensuring “her voice is heard at the White House”, due to the intransigence of President Donald Trump and a White House that allegedly treats national security professionals “with deep skepticism”.

So far, so obsequious — but buried in the hagiography is a fascinating disclosure. In a section titled ‘The keys to talking to Trump? Realism and emotion’, authors Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman document how Haspel “solidified her reputation” as one of the “most skilled briefers” of the President.

Following the 4th March 2018 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK, top national security officials are said to have gathered inside the White House to discuss with Trump how Washington should respond — at the time, Whitehall was preparing to expel dozens of Russian diplomats from the UK, and aggressively pushing various key international allies to follow suit.

Trump was said to have initially dismissed the significance of the poisoning, characterising it as “legitimate spy games, distasteful but within the bounds of espionage”. However, Haspel lobbied the President to expel 60 Russian diplomats from the US — and persuaded Trump to take the “strong option” by showing him the Skripals “were not the only victims of Russia’s attack”.

“Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives. Ms. Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option,” the article states.

Lame Ducks

This small excerpt raises innumerable questions about the ever-mystifying Salisbury incident. Firstly, the images apparently provided to Haspel by the British government have never been published, or even mentioned, by the British media.

Given Whitehall’s determination to blame and diplomatically punish the Russian state for the poisoning before a motive had been established, any perpetrators identified, or other basic facts ascertained — in the face of significant public disapproval, and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn demanding action be informed by evidence — it’s entirely inconceivable that if these pictures existed, they wouldn’t have been provided to major news outlets and prominently publicised. If they were sufficiently impactful to convince a sceptical US President to support Whitehall’s strategy, hesitant British citizens may well have been similarly swayed.

Moreover though, since March 2018 no UK media outlet, government minister/spokesperson, health professional or law enforcement official has ever even claimed a single child was “sickened” after coming into contact with so-called “Novichok” (there have likewise been no reports of any waterfowl having tragically died due to the nerve agent). Again, it’s utterly imaginable that had a child suffered adverse effects from the nerve agent, it wouldn’t have been widely reported.

There could be several explanations for this seeming anomaly. To name just some of the most unsettling:

  • Several children were hospitalised, and several ducks did die, and for reasons unclear the British government didn’t inform the public and prevented the children and their parents from revealing they’d been affected, while secretly communicating the fact to other governments in literally graphic detail.
  • Counterfeit and/or misleading images may have been produced by persons unknown to bolster Britain’s case for concerted international action, and further been relayed to Haspel (if not other overseas officials), conning her and Trump into backing its mass-expulsion policy.

Alternatively of course, perhaps the stirring tale of Haspel converting the reticent President with impactful images is mere gossip, or spin — after all, the article’s authors didn’t discuss the episode with the CIA chief herself, but based their article on interviews “with more than a dozen current and former intelligence officials who have briefed or worked alongside her”.

However, even if the explanation is quite so anodyne, that in turn raises major questions about how and why the individual(s) who relayed the story to Barnes and Goldman came to believe children and ducks had been affected by Novichok.

Shifting Chronicle

The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story.

To name but two significant instances of this strange phenomenon in recent memory, on 19th January it was revealed 16-year-old Abigail McCourt had won a ‘Lifesaver Award’ for giving first-aid to the Skripals after finding them unconscious on a public bench in the centre of Salisbury. Accompanying reports indicated she’d been the first person to notice the collapsed father and daughter, and had quickly alerted her mother Alison — together, they provided potentially life-saving assistance to Sergei and Yulia.

The story was somewhat at odds with the official timeline, as advocated by Whitehall and the Metropolitan Police, which stated an off-duty doctor and nurse had found the Skripals — but moreover, Abigail’s award announcement also revealed her mother wasn’t merely a nurse, but the Chief Nursing Officer for the British Army, with the rank of Colonel.

Similarly, on 3rd March the BBC reported police only “realised the seriousness” of the Salisbury incident after Googling the name Sergei Skripal — while the information wasn’t in fact new (similar claims were made in Panorama documentary Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack — The Inside Story in November the previous year), the article indicated the first police officer on the scene was Sergeant Tracey Holloway.

Again, this small detail had massive ramifications for the British state’s narrative — for previously government and police spokespeople had unanimously claimed Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey had been the first police officer to attend to the Skripals, hailing his courage in rushing to help them without any regard for his own safety. It was also claimed his contact with them on the scene exposed him to the nerve agent, leading to his own hospitalisation — it’s now ‘established’ he was poisoned after visiting Skripal’s home.

Elements of the official narrative also bizarrely and frequently vanish without warning or explanation — a key example being the Skripals giving bread to three local boys to feed to ducks in Salisbury’s Avon Playground at approximately 1:45pm on 4th March. The incident was initially widely reported in the media, with The Daily Mail claiming the children — one of whom apparently ate some of the bread given to them by the Skripals — had been “rushed to hospital for blood tests amid fears they’d been poisoned”, although the children were entirely unharmed, and discharged from hospital having been given “the all-clear”.

“To try to kill Skripal is one thing, but now it seems children may have been caught up in it. It shows whoever did this didn’t care who they killed or maimed,” a spokesperson for Public Health England told the Sunday Mirror.

Strikingly, this episode would soon completely disappear from media coverage of the Salisbury incident, while never appearing in any officially sanctioned narrative — although it’s easy to understand why. According to the Metropolitan Police’s timeline, after leaving the Avon Playground the Skripals went on to the Bishops Mill Pub in Salisbury town centre, before arriving at Zizzi restaurant at around 14:20pm. They left at around 15:35pm, and emergency services received the first report they’d been found unconscious at around 16:15pm.

British authorities determine Sergei and Yulia were poisoned by Novichok spread around their home — in particular the front door handle — at some point before 13:30pm, when Sergei’s car was seen on Devizes Road heading towards the town centre. The pair were apparently so infected by the nerve agent, and the substance so dangerous, Zizzi was forced to close for eight months due to high levels of contamination, and the table the pair dined at had to be destroyed. The Mill pub, which they headed to immediately after their exploits in Avon Playground was likewise subject to extensive decontamination and only declared safe for reopening in August, although it remains shut even today. The bench the Skripals were found lying on was also destroyed.In spite of this, the children given bread by the Skripals and the ducks they fed were completely unharmed by novichok. It was obviously necessary for the pair’s contact with the trio, one boy’s ingestion of the bread, and indeed their en-masse duck-feeding, to be suppressed. Otherwise, the finding that the pair were poisoned at home before travelling into Salisbury is simply unfeasible — and the pair were poisoned elsewhere, at another time and by another means entirely.

It’s puzzling in the extreme this keenly forgotten aspect of the incident allegedly is said to have featured so prominently in Haspel’s case for decisive US action against Russia — and begs the question of who deceived and is deceiving who, how and why.

Own Initiative?

Adding to the intrigue, on the day of its publication the New York Times article caught the attention of Sky News Foreign Affairs Editor Deborah Haynes, who duly shared the piece on Twitter, praising Barnes for his work (Goldman went uncredited) and drawing particular attention to the passage relating to the images of “sickened” children.

However, in a suspicious volte-face, within hours Haynes tweeted that “UK security sources” had told her they were in fact “unaware of children hospitalised because of novichok or wildlife killed” in the Salisbury incident.

Sky News' Deborah Haynes Backtracks

Sky News’ Deborah Haynes Backtracks

For her part, Haynes claims she asked “UK contacts” about the images after reading the article, and their denials prompted her to post an “update”. This may well be the case — she certainly has close connections with security services and the military, as evidenced by her honorary membership of the Pen & Sword Club, a group which “[provides] a link between serving and retired officers and supporters within the Ministry of Defence”, and promotes “media operations as a necessary and valued military skill in the 21st century”. She’s one of very few journalists named in their ‘club members’ section — almost all others have military and/or intelligence backgrounds.

Moreover, it’s somewhat odd Haynes was initially seemingly unaware no children were hospitalised in the Salisbury incident, given she wrote extensively about the topic while Defence Editor of The Times. As my previous reports have documented, much of this output was heavily influenced by the Integrity Initiative, a British military intelligence operation which sought to systematically shape media reporting on, and Whitehall’s response to, the Salisbury incident from day one. Evidently, the British deep state is equally as capable of contacting Haynes directly as she is them — and its operatives would have every reason to want one of their most prominent media advocates to speedily retract and repudiate an extremely inconvenient disclosure such as that contained in the New York Times’ report.

If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

CIA Docs Shows UK, France and West Germany Wanted to Bring “Operation Condor” To Europe

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | April 17, 2019

SANTIAGO, CHILE — A recently declassified CIA document has revealed that members of the intelligence agencies of France, the United Kingdom and West Germany discussed how to establish “an anti-subversive organization similar to [the CIA’s Operation] Condor” in their own countries. Described by the CIA as “a cooperative effort by the intelligence/security services of several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion,” Operation Condor was a campaign of state terrorism originally planned by the CIA that targeted leftists, suspected leftists and their “sympathizers” and resulted in the forced disappearances, torture and brutal murders of an estimated 60,000 people, as well as the political imprisonment of around half a million people. Around half of the estimated murders occurred in Argentina.

The document, released last Friday as part of a release of newly declassified U.S. government documents related to the U.S.-backed military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983, states that:

Representatives of West German, French and British intelligence services had visited the Condor organization secretariat in Buenos Aires during the month of September 1977 in order to discuss methods for establishment of an anti-subversion organization similar to Condor” due to their view that “the terrorist/subversive threat had reached such dangerous levels in Europe.”

The representatives from the three countries then stated that they felt that pooling “their intelligence resources in a cooperative organization such as Condor” would be an important way of combating the “subversive threat.” Notably, England at the time was already involved in an international “intelligence sharing” program known as ECHELON, a program between the “Five Eyes” intelligence pact between the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand that continues in a different form today.

The document, which was written in 1978, came two years after Operation Condor targeted left-wing Latin American exiles living in Europe. Several other documents in the recent release discuss a decision made by Condor member countries in May 1976 to train and send a military unit to “conduct physical attacks” against left-wing Latin American exiles and their supporters in France, in what was codenamed “Teseo.” Several Condor countries, aside from Brazil and Bolivia, were eager to participate and the training of the “Teseo” unit did occur, though the CIA was apparently unaware whether the unit was actually sent to France.

Operation Condor: Made in the West

European interest in bringing home a state-sponsored terror campaign may seem shocking, given Europe’s publicly stated concerns at the time regarding Condor member countries’ mind-boggling human rights abuses and state-sponsored murders. But it will hardly surprise those who have studied Operation Condor, as the operation itself was a Western invention that was imposed on Latin America through a series of military coups, which again were backed by Western governments.

Operation Condor officially began in 1975, though CIA documents in this recent release suggest that the inter-country intelligence-sharing aspect had likely begun a year earlier in 1974. The countries involved — Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia — were all backed and supported by the U.S., which was also incidentally the largest weapons dealer to these government over this same time frame. During the latter portion of Operation Condor, one of the recently declassified documents claims that Israel took over key roles played by the U.S. in Operation Condor, including the “training of local personnel and sales of certain types of advanced military equipment,” despite the many innocent Jews murdered by several of the Condor dictatorships.

Several of the Condor countries had seen their military dictatorships installed with U.S. government involvement, as was the case in Chile and Brazil, with the U.S. government suspected in other coups that preceded Operation Condor by only a few years, such as the 1971 coup in Bolivia and the 1973 coup in Uruguay. After the 1976 coup in Argentina — Argentina’s sixth and final coup of the 20th century — it too joined Operation Condor.

The U.S. provided planning, training, funding and arms for Operation Condor, and European nations also provided a significant number of weapons. France — one of the countries interested in creating a Condor-style program for Europe — was noted in one of the recently declassified documents for its “excellent prospects for sales of jet aircraft and air defense systems” to Condor dictatorships; while West Germany, another country interested in a European Condor, “should be able to market missiles, ground force equipment and submarines.”

U.S. and European intelligence agencies were well aware of what Condor dictatorships were doing with those weapons, as indicated by past and recent document releases that detail horrific descriptions of the torture and murder of those suspected of being left-wing and those suspected of sympathizing with the left, as well as those who opposed the neoliberal economic policies imposed by all of the U.S.-backed Condor dictatorships.

Some of the more infamous tactics used by Condor nations had also been inspired by past European and U.S. war crimes. This includes the “death flights,” where victims were drugged, bound and placed in plastic body bags, and/or had their stomachs cut open before being thrown out of a plane or helicopter over the ocean. This tactic was said to have been inspired by the actions of French armed forces during the Algerian war and, according to the 2003 documentary The Death Squads: The French School, French intelligence had taught these and other methods to Argentine military officials during the dictatorship.

Whitewashing away the full horror of Condor

Notably, much of the recent coverage of Operation Condor and the CIA releases has sought to whitewash the program’s horrific legacy, with The Guardian describing Operation Condor as “a secret programme in which the dictatorships of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador conspired to kidnap and assassinate members of leftwing guerrilla groups in each other’s territories.” This, of course, implies that those targeted were guerilla members and thus combatants.

However, many — and one could convincingly argue the majority — of those killed, tortured and imprisoned were not members of guerilla groups, as there are thousands of documented cases of college students, musicians, writers, journalists, priests and nuns, pregnant women, teachers, indigenous leaders, union members and others who were subject to the extreme prejudice of Operation Condor despite not being combatants in any capacity. The Guardian also dramatically downplayed the program’s death toll, claiming that “the conspiracy led to the deaths of at least 100 people in Argentina,” while the actual figure is around 30,000. The Guardian also failed to mention the intimate role of the U.S. and other Western nations in facilitating and arming the program.

Such poor reporting is offensive to those who lost their lives and to their families, many of which have never stopped looking for their lost loved ones. Many of those families, such as Argentina’s “Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo,” have spent the last several decades looking for the estimated 500 children and babies separated from their disappeared and murdered parents and given to dictatorship-supporting families.

In a clear testament to how the effects of Operation Condor are still felt today, one of those babies — now over 40 years old — was identified on April 9 and is set to be reunited with her father, who survived the dictatorship and has spent the last several decades looking for his lost daughter. The mother was kidnapped while pregnant, allowed to give birth to the baby and killed immediately afterwards.

The very idea that European countries wanted to bring such a horrific terror campaign to their continent to target “subversives” should serve as a cautionary tale to Europeans who trust their government’s professed interest in promoting democracy and human rights, all while exporting terror overseas.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sitting on Syria’s Oil, US Cuts Lifeline From Iran, Plunges Syria Into Fuel Crisis

By Marko Marjanović | Checkpoint Asia | April 17, 2019

Syria produced 325,000-385,000 barrels of oil per day before the war. Now it produces 25,000. Partly because of war damage, and partly because the majority of its oil fields are to the east of the Euphrates and occupied by the US and its Syrian Kurdish proxies. (The Kurds are happy to sell but the US won’t let them.)

It used to consume over 200,000 barrels of oil domestically, but that has gone down to 100,000 or less, with majority of that being shipments from Iran on a credit line that both nations understood was unlikely to ever be paid back in full.

Now the US has succeeded in cutting off that lifeline as well. It is blacklisting tankers which deliver the Iranian fuel and having Egypt block them from ever crossing the Suez.

This has caused a huge fuel crisis in government-controlled Syria with extreme rationing and cars lining up for miles in order to pump their allowed maximum of 20 liters every five days.

In Syria’s case the US really did “steal its oil”. It has forced an oil-producing nation into a fuel crisis. It has seperated Damascus from its oil fields (which BTW are in the ethnically Arab part of the country) and then cut its oil from abroad as well.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

War Versus Peace: Israel Has Decided and So Should We

By Ramzy Baroud |  MEMO | April 17, 2019

So, what have we learned from the Israeli legislative elections on April 9?

A whole lot.

To start with, don’t let such references as the “tight race” between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his main rival, Benny Gantz, fool you.

Yes, Israelis are divided on some issues that are particular to their social and economic makeup. But they are also firmly unified around the issue that should concern us most: the continued subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Indeed, ‘tight race’, or not, Israel has voted to cement Apartheid, support the ongoing annexation of the Occupied West Bank, and carry on with the Gaza siege.

In the aftermath of the elections, Netanyahu emerged even more powerful; his Likud party has won the elections with 36 seats, followed by Gantz’s Kahol Lavan (Blue and White) with 35 seats.

Gantz, the rising star in Israeli politics was branded throughout the campaign as a centrist politician, a designation that tossed a lifeline to the vanquished Israeli ‘left’ – of which not much is left anyway.

This branding helped sustain a short-lived illusion that there is an Israeli alternative to Netanyahu’s extremist right-wing camp.

But there was never any evidence to suggest that Gantz would have been any better as far as ending the Israeli occupation, dismantling the Apartheid regime and parting ways with the country’s predominantly racist discourse.

The opposite is true.

Gantz has repeatedly criticized Netanyahu for supposedly being too soft on Gaza, promising to rain yet more death and destruction on a region that, according to the United Nations, will be unlivable by 2020.

A series of videos, dubbed “Only the Strong Survives”, was issued by the Gantz campaign in the run-up to the elections. In the footage, Gantz was portrayed as the national saviour, who had killed many Palestinians while serving as the army’s chief of staff between 2011 and 2015.

Gantz is particularly proud of being partly responsible for bombing Gaza “back to the stone age.”

It mattered little to Israeli centrists and the remnants of the left that in the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza, dubbed Operation “Protective Edge”, over 2,200 Palestinians were killed and over 11,000 were injured. In that most tragic war, over 500 Palestinian children were killed, and much of Gaza’s already ailing infrastructure was destroyed.

But then again, why vote for Gantz when Netanyahu and his right-wing extremist camp are getting the job done?

Sadly, Netanyahu’s future coalition is likely to be even more extreme than the previous one.

Moreover, thanks to new possible alliances, Netanyahu will most likely free himself of burdensome allies, the likes of former Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

One significant change in the likely makeup of the Israeli right is the absence of such domineering figures, who, aside from Lieberman also include former Education Minister, Naftali Bennett and former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

All the grandstanding from Bennett and Shaked, who had recently established a new party called “The New Right”, didn’t even garner them enough votes to reach the threshold required to win a single seat in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset. They needed 3.25 per cent of the vote but only achieved 3.22 per cent. They are both out.

The defeat of the infamous duo is quite revealing: the symbols of Israel’s extreme right no longer meet the expectations of Israel’s extremist constituencies.

Now the stage is wide open for the ultra-orthodox parties, Shas, which now has eight seats, and United Torah Judaism, with seven seats to help define the new normal in Israel.

The Israeli left – if it was ever deserving of the name – received a final blow; the once prominent Labor Party won merely six seats.

On the other hand, Arab parties that ran in the 2015 elections under the united banner of the “Joint List”, fragmented once more, to collectively achieve only ten seats.

Their loss of three seats, compared to the previous elections, can be partly blamed on factional and personal agendas. But, that is hardly enough to explain the massive drop in Arab voter participation in the elections: 48 per cent compared to 68 per cent in 2015.

This record low participation can only be explained through the racist ‘Nation State Law”, which was passed by the right-wing-dominated Knesset on July 19, 2018. The new Basic Law, declared Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people” everywhere, relegating the rights of the Palestinian people, their history, culture and language, while elevating everything Jewish, making self-determination in the state an exclusive right for Jews only.

This trend is likely to continue, as Israel’s political institutions no longer offer even a symbolic margin for true democracy and fair representation.

But perhaps the most important lesson that we can learn in the aftermath of these elections is that in today’s Israel, military occupation and apartheid have been internalised and normalised as uncontested realities, unworthy of national debate. This, in particular, should summon our immediate attention.

During election campaigns, no major party spoke about peace, let alone provided a comprehensive vision for achieving it. No leading politician called for the dismantling of the illegal Jewish settlements that have been erected on Palestinian land in violation of international law.

More importantly and tellingly, no one spoke of a two-state solution.

As far as Israelis are concerned, the two-state solution is dead. While this is also true for many Palestinians, the Israeli alternative is hardly co-existence in one democratic secular state. The Israeli alternative is Apartheid.

Netanyahu and his future government coalition of like-minded extremists are now armed with an unmistakably popular mandate to fulfil all of their electoral promises, including the annexation of the West Bank.

Moreover, with an emboldened and empowered right-wing coalition, we are also likely to witness a major escalation in violence against Gaza this coming summer.

Considering all of this, we must understand that Israel’s illegal policies in Palestine cannot and will not be challenged from within Israeli society.

Challenging and ending the Israeli occupation and dismantling Apartheid can only happen through internal Palestinian resistance and external pressure that is centred around the strategy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

It is now incumbent on the international community to break this vicious Israeli cycle and support the Palestinian people in their ongoing struggle against Israeli occupation, racism and apartheid.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment

Trump opens Cuba up to property confiscation lawsuits, angering allies & foes alike

RT | April 17, 2019

The Trump administration is set to permit lawsuits against Cuba over property confiscated in the revolution, in a bid to dismantle the ‘troika of tyranny’ resisting Washington’s total dominance in what it sees as its ‘backyard.’

Cubans who fled to the US under Fidel Castro’s government will be able to sue companies using their former property under a 1996 law that went unenforced until President Donald Trump seized on it earlier this year as a potential weapon to pressure Cuba into dropping its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, after the country refused to support US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido when he declared himself president in January.

The Trump administration is expected to announce the measure on Wednesday after last month’s soft rollout, which limited lawsuit targets to about 200 businesses and government agencies already under “enhanced” sanctions due to their links with Cuba’s government. No lawsuits have yet been filed under the new rules, though the State Department says there may be as many as 200,000 potential claims by plaintiffs including multinational corporations – who may be reluctant to file lawsuits that could effectively target their own overseas clients.

Previous presidents have avoided activating the provision because of the torrent of litigation it could unleash against joint ventures run by US allies in partnership with the Cuban government. While the US has maintained its embargo against the Cuban government for over half a century – aside from the short-lived attempt by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama to relax the harsh economic sanctions – many of its allies do business with Cuba. While Trump appears to value punishing Cuba for its alliance with Maduro over making nice with America’s European allies, critics argue that Americans will be affected by the new law as well.

“This decision punishes the Cuban people and American companies – companies who were given permission by the US government to do business and are now having the rug pulled from underneath them,” James Williams, President of anti-embargo group Engage Cuba, told Bloomberg. Existing “carve-outs” in the Helms-Burton provision reportedly protect American companies in some areas, specifically the travel industry and telecoms, though it’s unclear whether those exceptions also cover companies belonging to US allies operating in those sectors.

The US move is a violation of international law, EU ambassador to Cuba Alberto Navarro told a press conference. Canada, France, Spain, the UK, and other countries with large Cuban investments have threatened to sue through the World Trade Organization if the US attempts to interfere in their dealings with a sovereign nation.

Cuba has volunteered to reimburse owners of confiscated properties – if the US first reimburses the Cuban government for the billions of dollars in damages resulting from its 60-year embargo.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Is Julian Assange an Anti Semite as Well as a Publisher?

By Eve Mykytyn | April 16, 2019

One might think that with all that Assange has to contend with, Jews pro or con, might not be a top priority for him. In fact, one might think that the controversy around Assange has to do with government secrecy and the rights of the press. But not so to The Forward, for whom Assange is guilty of a crime apparently worse than conspiracy to commit computer intrusion (I am not expressing an opinion here, that is the allegation) anti Semitism. Assange has been widely portrayed in the media as an anti Semite, see: for example, articles in The Guardian, Slate, Wired and The New York Times. Since Assange has denied that he is an anti Semite, it might be interesting to find the basis for such assertions.

Not surprisingly, The Forward gives breathless coverage to the accusations of anti Semitism without troubling itself to look into the circumstances of each allegation. It’s as if the Forward delights in finding an anti Semite, and a person’s denial of anti Semitism is not even evidence of his own state of mind. In fact, the Forward decries that Assange’s anti Semitism (the title of the article used ‘alleges’ although the article itself quickly drops the hedge) persists “despite the fact that some of his most loyal employees and public defenders are themselves Jewish,” an observation that should give weight to Assange’s claim that he is not an anti Semite.

The Forward’s first charge is that Assange employed “the anti Semitic holocaust denier who goes by the name Israel Shamir.”  Shamir seems to be one of the people whose name is simply followed by the shibboleth ‘anti Semite’ without further explanation. For instance, the Guardian accused Shamir as a holocaust denier and Shamir defended himself in the following paragraph. (quoted in Wiki and giving as a citation this now deleted article.) “As for the accusation of ‘Holocaust denial’, my family lost too many of its sons and daughters for me to deny the facts of Jewish tragedy, but I do deny its religious salvific significance implied in the very term ‘Holocaust’; I do deny its metaphysical uniqueness, I do deny the morbid cult of Holocaust.”

The bold accusations about Shamir and the deletion of his rebuttal calls into question Shamir’s alleged anti Semitism. But whatever Shamir is, does merely employing him transfer his beliefs to Assange? Is anti Semitism, like the measles, contagious?

The next charge is a ‘he said’ ‘he said’ story in which only one side is assumed to be truth telling. The British magazine Private Eye wrote an article (not on line, so comment is based on reports of the article) criticizing Israel Shamir and then Assange for employing him.

Private Eye’s editor, Ian Hislop , then published an article relying on “as much as I could remember” of a phone call Assange allegedly made to Hilsop.  According to Hislop, Assange claimed the Shamir article was “joining in the international conspiracy to smear Wikileaks. The piece was an obvious attempt to deprive him and his organisation of Jewish support and donations.” The alleged comment does not actually even seem anti Semitic.

Hislop continued, “But then Assange said that we [Private Eye] were part of a conspiracy led by the Guardian which included journalist David Leigh, editor Alan Rusbridger and John Kampfner— all of whom “are Jewish.”  Hislop’s proof that Assange is anti Semitic? Rusbridger is apparently not Jewish. But that might tend to make Assange less likely to be anti Semitic since the cabal he accuses is not all Jewish. Further, Assange absolutely denied that the phone call was as Hislop reported it.

In its response, WikiLeaks observed that its organization has “some Jewish staff and enjoys wide spread Jewish support” and has itself been accused of working on behalf of the Mossad and George Soros. Assange said of Hislop’s article:“Hislop has distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase. In particular, ‘Jewish conspiracy’ is completely false, in spirit and in word. … Rather than correct a smear, Mr. Hislop has attempted, … to justify one smear with another in the same direction… he has a reputation for this, and is famed to have received more libel suits in the UK than any other journalist… We treasure our strong Jewish support and staff, just as we treasure the support …. [of] others who share our hope for a just world.”

Wiki’s tweet goes on to explain that the problem stems from Guardian journalist  David Leigh, who used information in violation of an agreement not to utilize Wikileaks signed by The Guardian’s editor in chief. When Leigh was notified that the German paper Der Spiegel was writing a book that would expose his breach, “Leigh attempted to cover his actions, [by smearing wikileaks] first by laundering an distorted version of the events through a friend at Vanity Fair then by writing his own book, which he had published through the Guardian.”

Assange’s next crime? The mysterious triple parentheses. ((())). In July 2016, Wikileaks published a tweet about Jews who put the parentheses around Jewish names.  (This is done on twitter supposedly in response to anti Semites who used the parens. So if parens are so offensive, why do it yourself?  The logic is a bit hard to follow.) “Tribalist symbol for establishment climbers? Most of our critics have 3 (((brackets around their names))) & have black-rim glasses.”  So it is ok for critics to use the parens but not ok for Wikileaks to make the observation that the parens were used. Again, the anti Semitism, if any, is hard to discern.

Assange’s next and related ‘transgression’ comes from an internal Wikileaks message in 2018 in which  Assange referred to a critic,  AP reporter, Raphael Satter, as “a rat. But he’s jewish and engaged with the ((()))) issue.” I guess they find it anti Semitic to privately refer to a  critic as a rat and separately refer to use of an absurd parens to show Jewish identity.

Assange’s last two supposed offenses of anti Semitism are that:1.The WikiLeaks website’s online shop had a t shirt with the words “first they came for Assange” misquoting the famous Niemoller poem about the Nazi Party. The Forward uses this incident to claim that Assange is comparing himself to a holocaust victim, apparently a comparison only allowed to the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of a holocaust victim. And, 2) Assange refused to deny that the 2016 death of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, may have been connected to WikiLeaks’ dump of DNC emails. Police have blamed a botched robbery. The Forward notes that, “Rich was Jewish, and many of the conspiracy theories surrounding his death had anti semitic overtones.” This may be true, but how would Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London possibly know how Rich died? How was it anti Semitic to refuse to speculate?

Haaretz, the ‘liberal’ Israeli outlet uses the accusations of anti Semitism to join their Labour brethren in condemning Corbyn. How? Here’s the Haaretz  headline:  “Why Jeremy Corbyn Loves Julian Assange So Much; The UK Labour leader’s kneejerk support for the Wikileaks founder is entirely predictable, as is Corbyn’s lack of response to the scent of anti-Semitism Assange exudes.”

Jeremy Corbyn called Assange a twenty-first century folk hero for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan  and has opposed extradition. Haaretz expands on this to claim that Corbyn was willing to expose the failures of Western capitalism at all costs, ignoring all other injustices. “Not least, accusations of anti-Jewish racism.”  The comparison is a far fetched conclusion from the evidence. Haaretz (in a line of argument borrowed from Dershowitz) asks why  support Palestinian rights but not comment on healthcare  in Britain or hunger in Venezuela.  Actually, Here is Corbyn  on health and here is Corbyn on Venezuela.

Haaretz acknowledges that Assange attempted to ‘row back’ from anti-Jewish comments, or more properly, comments interpreted as anti Semitic. Haaretz believes that Corbyn embraced Assange  because he was instrumental in publishing files stolen from the CIA that included 2500 files relating to cables sent by the U.S. Embassy in Israel. Among them were the then head of the Supreme Court, Dorit Beinisch’s, writings on the rationale of legal rulings on Palestinian human rights issues. These files seem to contain what many in the public would like to see: that is, what is the legal justification for abrogating Palestinian rights?

Haaretz also points out that Wikileaks exposed a ‘secret’ back-channel to Tehran operated by a Lubavitcher and London activist Rabbi Herschel Gluck which was opened to mediate the release of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas in Gaza. Apparently, after the leak the effort was halted. Lastly, the paper bemoans that Corbyn was part of the British campaign to free Israeli nuclear whistleblower Vanunu from prison in Israel.

Then the paper that just relied solely on his relationship to Israel to criticize Corbyn claims that “It is this one-dimensional approach to politics that has allowed him to share a platform with Islamist reactionaries … to be silent when they mouth anti-Jewish (rather than anti-Israel) comments, … and to believe that Julian Assange is a hero for our time.”

“Needless to say, Corbyn’s positions bear no relation to the very essence of what it means to be a socialist.”

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal To Interview Assange

Consortium News | April 16, 2019

The bug in Mueller’s report to be released Thursday is that he accepts that the Russian government interfered in the election. Trump should challenge that, says VIPS.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: The Fly in the Mueller Ointment

Mr. President:

The song has ended but the melody lingers on. The expected release Thursday of the redacted text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” will nudge the American people a tad closer to the truth on so-called “Russiagate.”

But judging by Attorney General William Barr’s 4-page summary, the Mueller report will leave unscathed the central-but-unproven allegation that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails, gave them to WikiLeaks to publish, and helped you win the election. The thrust will be the same; namely, even if there is a lack of evidence that you colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin, you have him to thank for becoming president. And that melody will linger on for the rest of your presidency, unless you seize the moment.

Mueller has accepted that central-but-unproven allegation as gospel truth, apparently in the lack of any disinterested, independent forensic work. Following the odd example of his erstwhile colleague, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller apparently has relied for forensics on a discredited, DNC-hired firm named CrowdStrike, whose credibility is on a par with “pee-tape dossier” compiler Christopher Steele. Like Steele, CrowdStrike was hired and paid by the DNC (through a cutout).

We brought the lack of independent forensics to the attention of Attorney General William Barr on March 13 in a Memorandum entitled “Mueller’s Forensic-Free Findings”, but received no reply or acknowledgement. In that Memorandum we described the results of our own independent, agenda-free forensic investigation led by two former Technical Directors of the NSA, who avoid squishy “assessments,” preferring to base their findings on fundamental principles of science and the scientific method. Our findings remain unchallenged; they reveal gaping holes in CrowdStrike’s conclusions.

We do not know if Barr shared our March 13 Memorandum with you. As for taking a public position on the forensics issue, we suspect he is being circumspect in choosing his battles carefully, perhaps deferring until later a rigorous examination of the dubious technical work upon which Mueller seems to have relied.

Barr’s Notification to Congress

As you know, the big attention-getter came on March 24 when Attorney General William Barr included in his four-page summary a quote from Mueller’s report: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Understandably, that grabbed headlines — the more so, since most Americans had been convinced earlier by the media that the opposite was true.

There remains, however, a huge fly in the ointment. Barr’s summary makes it clear that Mueller accepts as a given — an evidence-impoverished given — that the Russian government interfered in the election on two tracks:

Track 1 involves what Barr, echoing Mueller, claims “a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA)” did in using social media “to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election.” A careful look at this allegation shows it to be without merit, despite Herculean efforts by the NY Times, for example, to put lipstick on this particular pig. After some rudimentary research, award winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter promptly put that pig out of its misery and brought home the bacon. We do not believe “Track 1” merits further commentary.

Track 2 does need informed commentary, since it is more technical and — to most Americans — arcane. In Barr’s words: “The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election.”

We are eager to see if Mueller’s report contains more persuasive forensic evidence than that which VIPS has already debunked. In Barr’s summary, the only mention of forensics refers to “forensic accountants” — a far cry from the kind of forensic investigators needed to provide convincing proof of “hacking” by the Russian government.

But They Were Indicted!

Circular reasoning is not likely to work for very long, even with a U.S. populace used to being brainwashed by the media. Many Americans had mistakenly assumed that Mueller’s indictment of Russians — whether they be posting on FaceBook or acting like intelligence officers — was proof of guilt. But, as lawyers regularly point out, “one can easily indict a ham sandwich” — easier still these days, if it comes with Russian dressing.

Chances have now increased that the gullible folks who had been assured that Mueller would find collusion between you and Putin may now be a bit more circumspect — skeptical even — regarding the rest of the story-line of the “Russian hack,” and that will be even more likely among those with some technical background. Such specialists will have a field day, IF — and it is a capital “IF” — by some miracle, word of VIPS’ forensic findings gets into the media this time around.

The evidence-impoverished, misleadingly labeled “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 6, 2017 had one saving grace. The authors noted: “The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation — malicious or not — leaves a trail.” Forensic investigators can follow a trail of metadata and other technical properties. VIPS has done that.

A “High-Class Entity?”

If, as we strongly suspect, Mueller is relying for forensics solely on CrowdStrike, the discredited firm hired by the DNC in the spring of 2016, he is acting more in the mold of Inspector Clouseau than the crackerjack investigator he is reputed to be. It simply does not suffice for Mueller’s former colleague James Comey to tell Congress that CrowdStrike is a “high-class entity.” It is nothing of the sort and, in addition to its documented incompetence, it is riddled with conflicts of interest. Comey needs to explain why he kept the FBI away from the DNC computers after they were said to have been “hacked.”

And former National Intelligence Director James Clapper needs to explain his claim last November that “the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done.” What forensic evidence? From CrowdStrike? We at VIPS, in contrast, are finding more and more forensic evidence that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked by the Russians or anyone else — and that “Guccifer 2.0” is an out-and-out fraud. Yes, we can prove that from forensics too.

But the Talking Heads Say …

Again, if Mueller’s incomplete investigation is allowed to assume the status of Holy Writ, most Americans will continue to believe that — whether you colluded the Russians or not — Putin came through for you big time. In short, absent President Putin’s help, you would not be president.

Far too many Americans will still believe this because of the mainstream-media fodder — half-cooked by intelligence leaks — that they have been fed for two and a half years. The media have been playing the central role in the effort of the MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank) complex to stymie any improvement in relations with Russia. We in VIPS have repeatedly demonstrated that the core charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election are built on a house of cards. But, despite our record of accuracy on this issue — not to mention our pre-Iraq-war warnings about the fraudulent intelligence served up by our former colleagues — we have gotten no play in mainstream media.

Most of us have chalked up decades in the intelligence business and many have extensive academic and government experience focusing on Russia. We consider the issue of “Russian interference” of overriding significance not only because that the allegation is mischievously bogus and easily disproven. More important, it has brought tension with nuclear-armed Russia to the kind of dangerous fever pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the Russian provocation was real — authentic, not synthetic.

Sober minds resolved that crisis more than a half-century ago, and we all got to live another day. These days sober minds seem few and far between and a great deal is at stake. On the intelligence/forensics side, we have proved that the evidence adduced to “prove” that the Russians hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails and gave them to WikiLeaks is spurious. For example, we have examined metadata from one key document attributed to Russian hacking and shown that it wassynthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”

Who Left the Bread Crumbs?

So, if it wasn’t the Russians, who left the “Russian” bread-crumb “fingerprints?” We do not know for sure; on this question we cannot draw a conclusion based on the principles of science — at least not yet. We suspect, however, that cyber warriors closer to home were responsible for inserting the “tell-tale signs” necessary to attribute “hacks” to Russia. We tacked on our more speculative views regarding this intriguing issue onto the end of our May 24, 2017 Memorandum to you entitled “Intelligence Veterans Challenge Russia Hack Evidence”

We recall that you were apprised of that Memorandum’s key findings because you ordered then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to talk to William Binney, one of our two former NSA Technical Directors and one of the principal authors of that Memorandum. On October 24, 2017, Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney by explaining the genesis of the odd invitation to CIA Headquarters: “You are here because the president told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you.”

On the chance Pompeo has given you no report on his meeting with Binney, we can tell you that Binney, a plain-spoken, widely respected scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. Pompeo reacted with disbelief, but then talked of following up with the FBI and NSA. We have no sign, though, that he followed through. And there is good reason to believe that Pompeo himself may have been reluctant to follow up with his subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015. CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate.

Obfuscation’

A leak from within the CIA, published on March 31, 2017 by WikiLeaks as part of the so-called “Vault 7” disclosures, exposed a cyber tool called “Marble,” which was used during 2016 for“obfuscation” (CIA’s word). This tool can be used to conduct a forensic attribution double game (aka a false-flag operation); it included test samples in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Russian. Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima, to her credit, immediately penned an informative article on the Marble cyber-tool, under the caching (and accurate) headline “WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.” That was apparently before Nakashima “got the memo.” Mainstream media have otherwise avoided like the plague any mention of Marble.

Mr. President, we do not know if CIA’s Marble, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovation have been with the White House — or with former Director Pompeo — on this touchy issue. Since it is still quite relevant, we will repeat below a paragraph included in our July 2017 Memorandum to you under the sub-heading “Putin and the Technology:”

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today’s technology enables hacking to be “masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin” [of the hack] … And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Hackers may be anywhere,” he said. “There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can’t you imagine such a scenario? … I can.”

As we told Attorney General Barr five weeks ago, we consider Mueller’s findings fundamentally flawed on the forensics side and ipso factoincomplete. We also criticized Mueller for failing to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

Political Enemies & Mainstream Media (Forgive the Redundancy)

You may be unaware that in March 2017 lawyers for Assange and the Justice Department (acting on behalf of the CIA) reportedly were very close to an agreement under which Assange would agree to discuss “technical evidence ruling out certain parties” in the leak of the DNC emails” and agree to redact some classified CIA information, in exchange for limited immunity. According to the investigative reporter John Solomon of The Hill, Sen. Mark Warner, D,VA, Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, learned of the incipient deal and told then-FBI Director Comey, who ordered an abrupt “stand down” and an end to the discussions with Assange.

Why did Comey and Warner put the kibosh on receiving “technical evidence ruling out certain parties [read Russia]? We won’t insult you with the obvious answer. Assange is now in prison, to the delight of so many — including Mrs. Clinton who has said Assange must now “answer for what he has done.”

But is it too late to follow up somehow on Assange’s offer? Might he or his associates be still willing to provide “technical evidence” showing, at least, who wasnotthe culprit?

You, Mr. President, could cause that to happen. You would have to buck strong resistance at every turn, and there all manner of ways that those with vested interests and a lot of practice in sabotage can try to thwart you — with the full cooperation of most media pundits. By now, you know all too well how that works.

But you are the president. And there may be no better time than now to face them down, show the spurious nature of the concocted “evidence” attempting to put you in “Putin’s pocket,” and — not least — lift the cloud that has prevented you from pursuing a more decent relationship with Russia.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

James George Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS)

Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official, (ret.)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)

John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, U.S. Army (ret.)

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)
Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, former Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Peter Van Buren,U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Robert Wing, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (former) (associate VIPS)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

The Official Skripal Story is a Dead Duck

By Craig Murray | April 17, 2019

One of the striking things about the official Skripal story is the way its more wildly improbable aspects have been released to the mainstream media over a long period, so as to manage their impact. So, for example, police acknowledgement that the perfume bottle Charlie Rowley found was sealed and could not have been the container used on the Skripals is comparatively recent, and it took nine months for us to learn that, by a truly wonderful coincidence, the first person to find the Skripals ill on the bench was the Chief Nurse of the British Army.

I covered these points in full in my article on the ten points I do not believe in the official story – an article which nobody has sought to refute, other than to yell “conspiracy theory”, as though that was an argument.

But today we learn from the Guardian (quoting the New York Times) that Donald Trump was only convinced to back the UK government line after being shown photos of dead ducks and hospitalised children by CIA director Gina Haspel.

The problem is that, there were no hospitalised children. No children have been reported as becoming ill following their duck feeding with the Skripals. We have heard from one of the parents that they were shown by the police extremely clear CCTV footage of the duck feeding, which has never been made public. Surely if the child had been hospitalised, the parent would have been mentioned it?

Dr Stephen Davies of Salisbury Hospital’s letter of 16 March 2018 to the Times has been explained away as poorly written or edited, in relation to the cause of the Skripals’ illness. But be that as it may, one thing the doctor’s letter does without any shadow of a doubt, is rule out the possibility of hospitalised children.

There were no hospitalised children.

We also know that the duck feeding was the time that “Boshirov and Petrov” were physically closest to the Skripals. But this is the first time there has ever been any mention of any harm to the ducks. Dead ducks would have been noticed by the public.

Possibly the Guardian and New York Times are inventing utter drivel, as in the Manafort meeting Assange story. That would in itself be worrying. The other possibility is that the security services produced fake photographs of hospitalised children and slaughtered some ducks, in order to convince Donald Trump. If the latter explanation is true, then the entire Skripal saga looks more and more staged.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

The “Yemen Bill” Trump Just Vetoed Never Had Anything to do With Yemen

By Adam Garrie – EurasiaFuture – 2019-04-17

Donald Trump has just vetoed a bill passed by the US Congress which would have ended American financial support for the Saudi led coalition in the Yemen conflict. When the bill was passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate, many were surprised that an otherwise pro-war and pro-interventionist group of politicians would support something that was seemingly anti-war. However, to assume that the majority of votes were motivated by an anti-war sentiment is to deny the very specific circumstances behind the bill’s passage.

In the United States, both main political parties have incredibly strong relations with Saudi Arabia. Yet among the US public, this “special relationship” is far more controversial than the fact that both US parties also have strong ties to Saudi Arabia’s de facto ally Israel. While Israel and Saudi Arabia are both known for pursuing internationally controversial foreign policies, among the US public, Israel is generally viewed in a positive light while Saudi Arabia is not. As such, whenever an opportunity comes along for American politicians to virtue signal against Saudi Arabia without actually changing US foreign policy in a meaningful way, such an opportunity will be acted upon. Trump himself virtue signaled against Saudi Arabia during his 2016 election campaign.

When it became clear that elements of the Saudi “deep state” were responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and when after that it became clear that Donald Trump was not going to do anything to punish Riyadh for the Khashoggi murder, many in the opposition Democratic party sought to take advantage of a public opinion that had soured even further against Riyadh in the aftermath of the infamous murder which took place in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate.

In this sense, the vote to cut funding to the Saudi coalition in Yemen was a largely symbolic measure that most who voted for it knew would be vetoed. Making matters all the more stark, it can be assumed that some of those who voted for the bill even wanted it to be vetoed as the intention was only ever to virtue signal to an American public that had become somewhat upset in the aftermath of the Khashoggi murder. The bill was never actually meant to change Washington’s pro-Riyadh/anti-Tehran position vis-a-vis Yemen.

In this sense, while some are blaming Trump for prolonging the crisis in Yemen because of his veto, the reality is that Trump was handed a bill intended as a virtue signalling provocation rather than a genuine call to end the conflict in Yemen. As such, Trump responded in the way that virtually anyone in his position would have done.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

A tale of two cities – Paris and New York

johnplatinumgoss | April 16, 2019

Paris

Sadly, last night, the impressive spire of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris fell onto the roof of the cathedral. Constructed of wood and covered with lead it burned for some seven hours before the weakest point gave way and the spire came down. I expect many others have drawn mental comparisons between the collapse of this spire and the structure called the “spire” which was demolished along with WTC1 in New York on 11 September 2001.

The collapse of the 19th century spire can be seen on several videos showing what would be expected to happen in accordance with Newtonian physics, the laws of motion and gravity. Newton’s first law (Law of inertia) is obeyed in that an object when acted upon by a force will continue in a linear direction unless acted upon by another force. In this case the force acting upon the spire was gravity (a natural force) which came into play when the point of least resistance gave way allowing the spire to fall. Importantly the spire continued to fall in the same direction until it was acted upon by another force – the cathedral roof – which stopped its further linear momentum.

This second picture shows that the spire continued in the same outward direction in which it started (featured image).

Spire Notre Dame 2

New York

While this article compares spires it is fair also to say that the whole of the North Tower fell without apparently following the laws of  Newtonian physics though a case could be made for the stronger nuclear forces which can compromise atomic structures.

The “spire” which was a core column of WTC1 (North Tower) has been the subject of much speculation. It falls several seconds after other parts of the building have already fallen. It then appears to vanish into its own footprint, that is, straight down through the path of greatest resistance. Whereas the spire on Notre Dame cathedral leaves behind the structure that had been previously supporting it – the equal and opposite forces of Newton’s third law. Watch how it falls in the video below and imagine the stronger support structures beneath it. Where did they go?

As with the spire of the cathedral, which was a much weaker structure, one corner of WTC1, where the initial fire took place was weaker than other parts and the top section started falling, like Notre Dame spire, outwards. Unlike the spire in Paris it did not continue on that path. This photograph shows the original momentum and if a straight line was to be drawn from the corner edge the degree of tilt can be seen.

North tower collapse initiation

That still was taken from the video linked here. To obey Newton’s laws it would have continued in the same path for the simple reason that it is the path of least resistance. There are currently more than 3000 qualified engineers and architects who are seeking to find out what really happened almost 18 years ago. Below some of the pioneers of this movement explain why Newton’s laws of motion were not followed when the twin towers and Building 7 collapsed in almost freefall.

I hope people can see from the way the spire of Notre Dame fell that the twin towers -which were also much stronger below compared to the compromised section at the top – should have followed a similar path.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

Haspel, CIA, Sappy Sentimental Job.

By Andrei Martyanov | Reminiscence of the Future | April 16, 2019

NYT today decided to praise Gina Haspel as “professional”. I don’t know what they teach in CIA anymore, judging by “outstanding” results for the United States, but this piece I found to be hilarious. Follow the text:

London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical. He had initially written off the poisoning as part of legitimate spy games, distasteful but within the bounds of espionage. Some officials said they thought that Mr. Trump, who has frequently criticized “rats” and other turncoats, had some sympathy for the Russian government’s going after someone viewed as a traitor. A former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned last year in Britain in a slipshod attack that also sickened children, killed ducks and required careful cleanup. During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the “strong option” was to expel 60 diplomats. To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack. Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives. Ms. Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.

Now you get it, I hope. Welcome to US “intelligence”, also known for Russiagate and support of terrorists. CIA also is known to have good skills in staging false flag operations such as “Chemical Attacks” by “Assad” in Syria. But I like this little insight in workings of US IC and its head Gina Haspel in handling forensic evidence, sound analysis, impressive record… nah, I am being facetious. Ah, yes–record, killed children, other atrocities. You may always keep yourself informed on how real US democracy and “realism” look like in terms of civilians’ body count, but who counts really, right? The depravity and casuistic nature of this piece of dung “journalism” is stunning, but then again–being sappy sentimental when committing war crimes and pushing world closer to Armageddon is what US intelligence “professionals” like Haspel are known for. Well that, and torture techniques. I am sure Gina cried while waterboarding some unfortunate creep. It is so, well, emotional after all–especially dead ducks.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment