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The Vaccine Debate Has Gone Off the Rails – By Design

By Helen Buyniski | Helen Of Destroy | May 30, 2019

US media and government have united to demonize “anti-vax” parents, demanding censorship, fines and even jail for questioning scientific progress. If they wanted to end the “crisis,” they could – but that would defeat the purpose, which is to keep the people divided, fearing and hating a malignant “enemy within” that threatens their beloved children.

When anti-vax activist Del Bigtree donned a yellow star in a melodramatic show of solidarity with Hasidic Jewish parents being pressured into vaccinating their children under a short-lived emergency law in upstate New York’s Rockland County, many cringed. Sure, public opinion was against anti-vaxxers, but they weren’t being rounded up and sent away to camps, or fenced into ghettos, or forbidden from operating businesses as Jews were in Nazi Germany.

Then the Washington Post took Bigtree’s idea and ran with it in a bizarre, overwrought editorial that slammed anti-vax parents as “pro-plague” and called for them to be arrested, fined, and isolated, placed on registries like sex offenders (their comparison, not mine), and…fenced into ghettos (“force isolation on pockets of populations that might have been exposed to the outbreak”).

This isn’t how you defuse a controversy. No amount of catastrophizing – whether it’s the World Health Organization declaring anti-vaxxers a threat on the level of ebola and HIV, or New York mayor Bill deBlasio sending “disease detectives” to Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods to hunt down unvaccinated kids, or Facebook removing photos of vaccine package inserts posted by parents concerned by the laundry list of side effects – will convince a vaccine skeptic to embrace inoculation. Indeed, these measures guarantee anti-vaxxers will become further entrenched in their beliefs. If vaccines are truly safe and effective, the argument goes, why are the authorities suppressing anything that questions them?

It’s clear from the institutional response to the measles “crisis” that the powers that be are not interested in changing anyone’s mind. It should be a simple matter for doctors to take scared parents aside, listen to their worries, and address them one by one – perhaps even offer to meet them halfway by developing an individualized health program that takes their child’s needs into consideration.

Certainly, pretending there’s no risk to vaccination when the government’s own vaccine court has paid out $4 billion to the parents of vaccine-damaged children over the past 30 years is disingenuous, and only serves to convince skeptics that a cover-up exists. Many “anti-vaxxers” are parents of autistic kids who believe their children were damaged by vaccination; most have done a significant quantity of research on the subject. Treating them like gullible fools is guaranteed to alienate them further.

Nor is the US government’s response to a measles “epidemic” that has infected 880 people since January in a country of 327 million people designed to put anyone at ease. With a vocal segment of the population already alarmed over unprecedented assaults on First Amendment freedoms of speech and of the press, several states have put forward bills to end religious exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws, thus inflaming another vocal segment of the population, this one concerned for the First Amendment freedom of religion. Headlines like the New York Times editorial earlier this month, titled “Infecting people isn’t a religious right,” deftly add insult to injury. If the government’s goal was to create civic unrest, to encourage division in a country already more divided than ever, they couldn’t have done a better job.

And this may indeed be the goal. “Wedge issues” – controversies which divide and inflame a population, despite often having little or no bearing on their day-to-day lives – are a time-honored means of manipulating popular sentiment. Divide and conquer as a political principle dates back to the Roman Empire. As the American Empire crumbles, with poverty and homelessness at record levels (despite the government’s attempts to redefine poverty and hide unemployment) while companies like Amazon and Google break the trillion-dollar mark, even capitalism’s biggest cheerleaders are concerned about the unwashed masses rising up and breaking things.

It’s no coincidence that the vaccine debate is being amplified at the same time Americans are duking it out over abortion, another popular wedge issue. Threaten people’s children, even other people’s hypothetical children, and a strong emotional response is guaranteed. So why, if the end goal is universal vaccination, is the government threatening the parents of unvaccinated children with taking those children away?

If health authorities are serious about converting the anti-vaxxers, they will have to stop thinking in terms of war. This means engaging in civil dialogue, instead of refusing to debate the other side, and listening to parents’ concerns – even treating those concerns as if they come from their own minds and not nefarious Russian influence campaigns – instead of censoring all criticism. It means conducting more safety studies, studies not funded by pharmaceutical companies or other institutions with a vested interest in the products being tested, and publicly admitting that even the Centers for Disease Control acknowledges certain pre-existing conditions can interact with vaccines to produce devastating developmental disabilities. It certainly does not mean treating anti-vaxxers like plague-loving brainwashed zombies.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 3 Comments

Israel-based meeting of Florida cabinet triggers scandal & suit

RT | May 29, 2019

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his cabinet kicked off controversy after conducting an official meeting on Israeli soil, prompting a flurry of criticism from watchdog groups and constituents alike.

DeSantis and his cabinet met Wednesday at the US Embassy in Jerusalem to proclaim support for the Jewish state and sign a bill prohibiting anti-Semitism in Florida’s public schools. DeSantis, who has promised to be the “most pro-Israel governor in America,” called the meeting “historic.”

The Florida First Amendment Foundation, joined by four media outlets, however, say the meeting violated state legislation known as the “Sunshine Law,” which requires government meetings to be open to the public.

“Holding a meeting at this distance in such a facility violates the constitutional and statutory rights of Florida citizens (and the news media) to personally observe the workings of, and for the public to offer comment to, their state’s highest officials,” the organizations wrote in a complaint filed earlier this week.

Though state officials assured the public the meeting would be “ceremonial” in nature, and would be livestreamed on Florida public television, critics argued it did not qualify as an open proceeding.

“There are legitimate concerns regarding the constitutionality of holding a Cabinet meeting that Floridians cannot attend,” First Amendment Foundation president Barbara Petersen said in a statement.

The initial complaint was dismissed by a Florida judge on Tuesday, but the governor’s office, through a spokesperson, said it intended to comply with Florida law and defend against the allegation. The spokesperson declined to comment further on “pending litigation.”

Some of the governor’s constituents chimed in on social media, many unhappy that state resources were used on the trip.

“Pretending to play secretary of state will do nothing for you in the mind of your constituents,” wrote one Floridian. “Get back home and do something for your citizens.”

Another resident said the state did not need “public funds going towards #DeSantisIllegalVacation in a state accused of apartheid,” adding “our resources need to STAY in FL.”

The DeSantis trip isn’t the only recent collision of US and Israeli politics. In late April, after a months-long legal battle, a Texas judge struck down legislation that banned Texas state employees from engaging in boycotts of Israeli products, arguing the measure sought to “manipulate debate through coercion rather than persuasion.”

The bill was one among several introduced this year to combat the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the US, an organized effort to rein in Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 4 Comments

Israel and US disputed intelligence for assassination targets

Lebanese men inspect the damage done to their homes after Israel carried out attacks in Beirut, Lebanon on 22 July 2006 [PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images]

Lebanese men inspect the damage done to their homes following Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006 [PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images]
MEMO | May 30, 2019

Leaked documents published by whistle-blower Edward Snowden have exposed a deep rift between Israeli intelligence officials and their counterparts in the US National Security Agency (NSA) over the sharing of intelligence which the Israelis requested to carry out assassinations during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon.

Details of the rift were laid out in the NSA’s internal newsletter known as SIDtoday under the heading “The Israel-Hizballah [sic] Crisis — Perspectives from an Acting SLO Tel Aviv”. In the document, an American liaison officer, who is tasked with managing relations with counterparts in Israel, recounted a dispute with the Israelis over intelligence that was to be used for “targeted killings”.

The Israeli demand, the US liaison wrote, “centred on requests for time sensitive tasking, threat warning, including tactical ELINT” — electronic intelligence — “and receipt of geolocational information on Hizballah elements.”

“The latter request was particularly problematic,” he continued, adding that he “had several late-night, sometimes tense, discussions with ISNU,” the elite Israeli equivalent of the NSA. The US official rejected the demand, and said that he provided details of “NSA’s legal prohibition on providing information that could be used in targeted killings.”

The acting SLO officer pointed out that, “Even with his full understanding of the US statutes, [ISNU Commander] BG Harari sought assistance from NSA for an exemption to this legal policy. To ISNU, this prohibition was contrary not only to supporting Israel in its fight against Hizballah but overall, to support the US Global War on Terrorism.”

The account, published by The Intercept — which has released four years’ worth of SIDdtoday material in batches — goes on to suggest that the NSA ultimately reached a compromise with the Israelis by working with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and that in the end it was the Israeli team that defined the parameters and methods of what could and could not be shared with them.   

According to The Intercept, the episode recounted by the US liaison officer raises “questions of what intelligence the United States can legally share with a foreign government.” This, it said, is a “notoriously murky” area.

READ ALSO:

Israel assassinates more people than any Western country, concludes new book

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 5 Comments

Okinawa Governor Warns of Civil Unrest if US Doesn’t Give Up Local Marine Base

Sputnik – May 30, 2019

Should the US prolong its military use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, it could see civil unrest in the region, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki recently wrote in a letter to US officials.

“If the US continues to use [MCAS Futenma], it may give rise to anti-base protests against all US military bases in Okinawa, or even an overall anti-US movement like what was seen in the past,” Tamaki noted, recalling the turbulent days of the early 1970s when Japanese demonstrators unified under an anti-American stance.

“If that happens, such movements would have a significant impact on the Japan-US Security Arrangements as well as the Japan-US Alliance including operation of Kadena Air Base and White Beach Naval Facility.”

Tamaki further noted in the letter that US Marine air operations should be removed completely from the island, since the US has the capability to handle any possible threats from China or North Korea with its Air Force and Navy.

Most notably, in December 1970, tensions came to a boil in Okinawa after an intoxicated American driver struck an Okinawan pedestrian, triggering one of the largest anti-US demonstrations. That incident, later known as the Koza Riots, saw thousands of Okinawans protest against the American presence on the island.

According to the Japan Times, local residents pulled American drivers from their cars, beat them and set their vehicles ablaze. More than 80 cars were left burning, and dozens of Americans were hospitalized.

Bruce Lieber, a veteran once assigned to the 20th Military Police Company in Okinawa, told the Times that he had been one of the first individuals on the scene. “It was really frightening. The crowd surrounded us, then they flipped our car and set it on fire,” he recalled.

Despite the years since the Koza Riots, tensions have continued to simmer. Locals have repeatedly called for US officials to close down the Futenma base due to environmental concerns, repeated aerial mishaps and violent incidents perpetrated by US servicemembers.

In 2017, a helicopter window from a CH-53E Super Stallion became detached and landed on the sports field of an elementary school, where dozens of students were playing at the time. Sputnik reported that one student suffered a minor injury as a result.

Over the last several years, US and Japanese officials have drawn up various plans to relocate the service’s base to Henoko Bay in the Okinawan city of Nago. However, the project has been repeatedly postponed due to opposition from local officials and residents who want the base removed from the prefecture.

According to Stars & Stripes, the relocation plan was expected to be completed by 2014. Landfill work for the base was recently resumed in December 2018 — a decision which was made before an island-wide referendum saw 70% of Okinawans vote against the relocation.

Updated estimates for the project suggest the base could be completed sometime between 2025 and 2026, if not later, the military website reported.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | | 2 Comments

Nahida Izzat, The Master of Poetic Resistance

Nahida Izzat interviewed by Gilad Atzmon | May 30, 2019

The outspoken Palestinian poet Nahida Izzat has been an inspiration for a growing number of people. This fact has been a great concern for both Zionists and the so-called ‘anti.’ I have been witnessing the campaign against Nahida for over 10 years. In recent days the desperate attempts to silence Nahida have intensified. I spoke with Nahida about her life and her battle for truth. I urge you to listen to the spectacularly lucid voice of an heroic exiled poet.

Gilad Atzmon: Recently FB has both suspended you at least once a day  and then lifted your suspension a few hours later after reviewing your appeal. It seems that someone is desperate to silence you. What are your feelings about this, and why do you think it’s happening?

Nahida Izzat:  That is true, Gilad. In the past, my account was suspended and my posts/comments deleted. To have my account reinstated, FB asked me to provide documentation (A copy of 2 of these items: Passport, Birth Certificate, Driver’s License, or Bank Account) to prove my identity and that my account is not a fake.

This time around, I have been subjected to harassment on an almost daily basis, receiving notice that a post of mine “goes against FB Community Standards” of “Hate Speech”. I have protested immediately each time and requested a review, a few hours later I receive an apology from FB for their mistake in suspending my account and they have lifted the ban.

Whoever is reporting me recently has been trying desperately to find an excuse to silence me for being one of the most outspoken Palestinian voices in the West, daring to step outside the red line and break the “boundaries” as defined to us by the self-appointed gatekeepers in the Palestinian support movement.

Some years ago, and like yourself, I experienced some real harassment and attempted censorship  by no other than the Jewish anti-Zionist ‘supporters’ in the movement, those to whom I had given my trust after working closely with them for many years. They did this to me because I dared delve into the ‘forbidden’ topics they deemed taboo, and I stepped out of the boundaries they set as they claimed that anything beyond their boundaries was not ‘permissible’ in the discourse of the Palestinian struggle. They used the same accusation they use now of “antisemitism” to stop me from writing and to stop my writing from being published online.

 Some years ago, I identified some of the subjects they deem impermissible, including:

  • The doctrine of Jewish supremacy, (chosenness)  and its role in Palestine Struggle and the ramifications it has had on Palestinian lives and on their destruction;

  •     The global Jewish Zionist network which functions as the international blood line that has enabled the continuous survival of the Jewish state;

  •     The veneration of the holocaust as an article of faith rather than a chapter in history, and the implications of that for the Palestinian struggle for liberation; and

  •     The concealment of False Flag operations perpetrated by Mossad and the intentions and role of both the concealment and the operations themselves in the destruction of much of the Middle East.

All efforts to silence my roaring Palestinian voice have come to naught. In fact, such efforts had the opposite effect. Instead of my having a voice that faintly echoes from a small city in the UK, their attempts to silence me have helped me raise the volume, so that my voice is propelled far and wide.

I see what is happening on FB now as deja vu, once again one or more people are out there desperately trying to smother an authentic, free and untamed Palestinian voice and to incarcerate an independent thinking mind by clutching a straw, building a castle on quicksand or throwing a handkerchief in people’s eyes to stop daylight from breaking through.

GA:  While in the early days it seemed as if it was Zionists and Israeli stooges who were interfering with our intellectual work, now it is established that Anti Zionist Jews are way more active on that front. What is your explanation?

NI: Zionist hawks are not interested in playing in a mind field, they prefer to play with bombs, bullets and minefields. Their interest is in totally eliminating their enemy. By contrast, anti-Zionist ‘doves’ wave the banners of morality and universal values, it isn’t befitting to their moralist role to play with guns, so they focus on the mind field. But their arguments are feeble and cannot stand the heat of truth, the goals of their game evolve into working to spin and conceal truth for as long as possible, hoping that in their end game they can bury truth forever in the dungeon of “hate speech” locking it with the “antisemitism” and “holocaust denial” keys.

What these poor souls fail to see is that truth has an innate irrepressible light that can never be extinguished by their blows.

GA: What should be the role of anti Zionist Jews?

NI: If anti Zionist Jews are to be truthful with Palestinians, with our supporters and with themselves, all their energy, all their sincerity and all their might must turn inside out. They will have to turn over and look within. They should focus on diagnosing the root causes of the problem not, as they have insisted upon, merely describing the symptoms. Looking within is a huge undertaking, it requires a long and agonising journey within the self. I dare to suggest as a first step in this monumental task, that they approach it with honesty and sincerity not the avoidance and concealment we have seen.

The heart of the problem and the root cause of the Palestinian Nakba lies in the demon of ‘chosenness’, i.e ideological Jewish supremacy as manifested in their innumerable texts that separate Jews from ‘gentiles’ and puts them not merely miles apart, over and above the rest of mankind, but places them within a totally different paradigm, with different histories, terminology and perception of the world, themselves, and  the outside world. Without an end to this separation there can never be a true solution in which we achieve a workable, egalitarian, fair and humanistic world with universal values that apply to all.

In order for their self-chosen, self imposed separation to end, they must take a hard and honest look at the core issue, the elephant in the room, that which no one dares to name, ‘chosenness.’

They must examine why they feel the need to conceal this issue.

They need to discover why they ‘freak out’ and behave irrationally at the mention of this word.

They need to ask themselves the difficult questions:

Why do they feel entitled to control the terminology that defines what is good for mankind and why do they believe no one else can?

Why do they feel that their narrative is the one and only possible narrative?

Why do they believe that their own suffering supersedes that of others?

What is it that terrifies them when they feel they have no control in making the rules?

How do they demand that Palestinians be thoughtful of Jewish sensitivities, Jewish security and the Jewish future all while the Palestinians are being maimed, tortured and slaughtered?

Why do they expect Palestinians to consider the welfare, security and future well being of the Jewish ‘Israelis’ who are slaughtering them and bombing their society to smithereens?

What is it that makes them feel entitled to expect Palestinians to give up on their inalienable rights of liberation, land ownership and sovereignty for the sake of the same people who have been robbing and destroying these rights for seven decades?

If they are able to manage a mile or two of honestly exploring these questions then they can move on to scrutinize and dissect the four boundaries that they have set for themselves and others that are listed above.

GA: Three days ago we were shocked to see an abusive and patronising post by the pro Palestinian Israeli activist Abigail Abarbanel. She has accused you of antisemitism and racism for publishing primary sources of Judaic texts. Abarbanel wrote of you that you “can be clumsy”, “bitterness has always been there in Nahida’s poetry,” “she posted blatantly racist comments,” “Nahida does not have good emotional regulation. She can be out of control and expresses incredibly racist views against Jews,” “she seems unable to differentiate between her anger with the state of Israel/Zionism and what it has been doing to her people, and maligning the entire Jewish people for it”, she “expresses racist views against Jews in general, not just share specific examples of Jewish racism.” etc. How does it feel when an Israeli who claims to be a supporter of your cause refers to you as ‘clumsy’ and ‘racist’?

NI: Ok, how it feels!  Even though she has published some nasty stuff about me, I do not feel anger, hostility or hate toward her. I’ve never met her personally, and on a human level I feel sorry for her, for her inability to empathise with others when her sensitivities are rubbed. I feel sorry for her inability to see beyond the bubble of tribalism she has chosen to dwell within. I feel sorry for her belief that she has mastered all there is to morality and humanity; when she goes out of her way to smear a fellow human being for the ‘sin’ of relying upon and quoting Jewish sources to provide evidence of ideological racism and supremacy and for asking her to challenge her own belief in supremacy.

I feel sorry for her for thinking she has healed the wounds of childhood  abuse inflicted upon her by her family members and by her tribe even as they indulged in mass scale abuse of an entire people, although she is incapable of touching the infected core of the problem.

I am sorry to witness her fall as she swims out of her depth and lashes out at a concerned ‘outsider’ who has put a finger where it really hurts in the hope that if a correct diagnosis and attention to a cure is given, healing may occur.

On the collective humanist non-personal level, I experience deep pain from the ugliness of her betrayal of a people she claims to support. I grieve as a witness to her failure, watching as she faced a choice between blind loyalty to a tribe and the truth and made the wrong choice.

GA: Years ago both of us were portrayed as lone voices with marginal followings, nowadays things have turned around. All over Europe people are expressing fatigue with Zionist power over Western politics, culture, media, etc. We are facing a shift in mass consciousness. Does this change translate into hope? 

NI: Absolutely.

As a witness to so many changes in the short time over the past decade, and as an observer of the grave upheaval raging all around, destabilising major political systems, shifting and shoveling global powers, one cannot fail to see the meaning of “everything is in flux!” Change is a law of the universe.

And watching Zionists and anti-Zionists alike, of all shades, colours and persuasions stuck in an ever shrinking narrowing field in the battle of ideas, with no weapons in their hands other than ad hominem attacks and laughable accusations of ‘antisemitism’, I have no doubt that they are slowly but surely losing the battles of the mind and the soul.

As witness to all this, I feel resolve, confidence and resilience from within, filling me with all the hope, energy and fortitude needed to persist. As a person of faith, a believer in the existence of a Supreme Intelligence with Most High Principles, Ultimate Justice and Sublime Love, I feel this energy invigorating me and giving me even more power and the determination to continue roaring with passion for the sake of truth, justice and humanity.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Leaked OPCW report finds Douma chemical attack likely staged

TomoNews | May 29, 2019

A leaked document is casting doubt on the official narrative of the 2018 Douma gas attacks which were later used to justify American, British and French airstrikes on Syria.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 9 Comments

Iran: Regional Peace Rests on Restoration of Palestinians’ Rights

Al-Manar | May 30, 2019

In a statement on the occasion of the International Quds Day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry emphasized that sustainable peace in the region will materialize only with restoration of Palestinians’ rights, which entails repatriation of displaced Palestinians and holding a referendum.

In the statement, released on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry described the issue of Palestine as the Islamic world’s pivotal subject, stressing the need to counter the Zionist regime’s policy of occupation.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran… believes that establishment of sustainable peace and calm in the region would not come true unless with the full restoration of rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation through the return of displaced Palestinians and holding a referendum in Palestine’s occupied territories with the participation of all main inhabitants of that land,” the statement said.

Stressing the need for Muslim unity and solidarity in the face of Israel, it said the usurping Zionist regime’s existence over the past 70 years has brought about nothing but displacement of millions of people, imprisonment and torture of thousands of innocent people, making thousands of Palestinian children orphans, and causing insecurity and instability in the region.

“The litany of the Zionist regime’s crimes and anti-human rights measures throughout the past 7 decades includes organized occupation of Palestine, systematic efforts to fully Judaize al-Quds, destroying the historical and civilizational identity of noble al-Quds, expansion of settler homes in the West Bank, forced relocation of al-Quds’ non-Jewish residents, depriving Palestinians of access to holy sites of al-Quds, illegal confiscation of their estate and demolishing their lands, and finally imposing inhumane redoubled pressures on people of Gaza and denying their access to basic foodstuff and pharmaceutical and medical commodities,” the statement deplored.

The Foreign Ministry called on the Muslim nations to stand against Israel’s divisive plots aimed at consigning the issue of Palestine to oblivion in order to prevent the implementation of the so-called deal of century and defy an upcoming “conference of deception and ruse” in Bahrain.

While the Muslim world is geared up to mark the International Quds Day on coming Friday, Bahrain is going to host a conference in June to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of US President Donald Trump’s Israel-Palestinian peace plan.

The so-called “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop, to be held on June 25-26 in cooperation with Washington, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced they will participate in the conference.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

US Claim of Illegal Russian Nuke Testing Lacks Proof – Arms Control Association

Sputnik – 29.05.2019

The claims by the United States that Russia illegally conducts nuclear testing lack evidence, the Arms Control Association said in a press release.

“But no public evidence has ever been provided to support the claim of illegal Russian testing and Gen. Ashley didn’t provide any Wednesday”, the Arms Control Association said. “Gen. Ashley also claimed that Russia has ‘not affirmed the language of zero-yield.’ But Russia has repeatedly affirmed publicly that they believe the treaty prohibits all nuclear test explosions”.

The association noted, for example, that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov emphasized in a 2017 op-ed that the treaty bans “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, anywhere on Earth, whatever the yield”.

The best way for Washington to enforce adherence to the zero-yield standard would be for President Donald Trump and the US Senate to support ratifying the treaty to help bring it into force, the association added.

Such a move would pave the way for “intrusive, short-notice, on-site inspections to detect and deter any possible cheating”, the release said.

The United States should propose confidence-building visits to test sites as allowed for by the treaty if it indeed has any “credible evidence” of Russia violating the treaty, it added.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organisations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov has commented on the matter saying that Washington is trying to distract attention from its own destructive policy on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by blaming Russia for violating the moratorium on nuclear tests.

The release comes after US Defenсe Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley said that the United States believes Russia may not be adhering to the nuclear testing moratorium outlined in the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Pentagon tells same old story: Russia ‘PROBABLY’ violating nuke treaty… that US never ratified

RT | May 30, 2019

The Pentagon has rolled out new allegations against Russia, suggesting that Moscow might be conducting nuclear tests banned by a treaty which the US never even ratified.

Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr, the head of the Pentagon’s intelligence arm, disclosed during a speech at the right-wing Hudson Institute on Wednesday that the United States believes Russia has “probably” restarted low-yield nuclear tests, in violation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The fear, according to Ashley, is that Russia may be developing tactical nuclear weapons for use on conventional battlefields.

Pressed about the claim in a question-and-answer session afterward, Ashley backed away from his provocative word choice and said only that Russia “has the capability” to conduct a test with a low nuclear yield.

His comments were later clarified by Tim Morrison, a senior director at the National Security Council, who insisted that Moscow has “taken actions” to improve its nuclear arsenal that “run contrary to the scope of its obligations under the treaty.”

The Pentagon’s latest allegations are complimented by an inconvenient reality that neither Ashley nor Morrison were eager to discuss. The United States never ratified the CTBT, and is not bound by international law to follow its provisions. In layman’s terms, this means that Washington is making vague assertions that Russia is violating a treaty of which the US itself is not a ratified signatory. (The United States, the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon, claims that is has not conducted a nuclear test since 1992. So who needs silly treaties?)

The accusation of Russia’s non-compliance with CTBT comes as Washington prepares to exit a different arms control agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, in August. The Trump administration insists that it must leave the 1987 accord because of repeated violations by Russia – an allegation which Moscow has strenuously denied.

Russia has warned that the collapse of the INF could imperil the landmark New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires in 2021. Attacks by US conservatives and political analysts against the treaty have compelled the Russian Embassy in the US to issue a factsheet on Russia’s arms control record.

“We deem it necessary to point out some of their blatant misrepresentations of facts that mislead the audience and create a distorted picture of the actual state of affairs,” the embassy wrote in a Facebook post.

This isn’t the first time Washington has resorted to vague language to accuse adversaries of serious crimes. US National Security Advisor John Bolton recently claimed that Iran was “almost certainly” behind an attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. As usual, Bolton didn’t elaborate.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Washington’s Mighty Warriors: Draft Dodgers and Scoundrels

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 30, 2019

Remember Shakespeare’s line “he jests at scars that never felt a wound?” That epithet could have been written with National Security Advisor John Bolton in mind. Bolton was notoriously a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, like his current boss, not due to any scruples regarding what was occurring, but out of concern for his own sorry ass. He is now credibly believed to be the driving force behind the punishment being meted out to Venezuela and, far more dangerously, of the creeping escalation that is taking place in the Middle East that is seeking to draw Iran into a misstep that would lead to war. Bolton, who has received the “Defender of Israel” award, has long been an outspoken advocate for attacking Iran and now he has the power to do just that.

The psychopaths in the White House have been pretending that the United States “and its allies” are being threatened by Iran, a ridiculous conceit in and of itself as the Persians are hugely outgunned by the local U.S. presence as well as by the weapons in place in the region in the hands of the Saudis and Israelis. Israel is, one might recall, armed to the teeth through the beneficence of the United States and is also the region’s only nuclear armed power by virtue of the theft of U.S. technology and enriched uranium. The Saudis, meanwhile, are about to receive another $8 billion in American made weapons due to the “Iranian threat.” That Trump has arranged the arms sale on his own questionable authority as an “emergency response” seems to bother some in Washington and the media, but no one will ultimately do anything about it as everyone inside the Beltway hates Iran due to the assiduous work of the Israel Lobby.

Trump has already sent bombers to the Persian Gulf region as well as an aircraft carrier and he is now adding 1500 more troops because the Iranian threat is reportedly increasing. The alleged threat itself is based on generic Israeli intelligence about what the Iranians might do if they choose to react to U.S. pressure. The intelligence reportedly suggests that there might be attacks on American diplomatic missions in Iraq, which has led to the evacuation of dependents and unnecessary staff from the posts in Baghdad and Irbil. It is also claimed that the Iranians were mounting anti-ship missiles on small coastal vessels to deploy against American warships.

The Pentagon claims that it has photographic evidence of the anti-ship missile threat, but Gareth Porter has demolished the analysis that has been produced by the White House, noting that the truly dangerous missiles are largely shore based and hidden.

The reality is that the Executive Branch of the federal government is essentially contriving a phony war supportive of no conceivable national interest that is based on lies and might even include a “false flag” operation that will condemn Iran for something it did not do. Some have compared it to the lead-up to Iraq, which is a fair judgment, but one has to suspect that the current situation is much worse as a war with Iran is potentially far more damaging to actual American interests than Saddam Hussein ever was. Iran will fight back and has capable defenses, which means Americans, not Israelis or Saudis, will die. So too will many thousands of innocent Iranian civilians. And there will be new trillions of dollars to add to the already crippling war debt being amassed Washington with absolutely nothing to show in return.

If there is any hope on the horizon it might be coming from a number of media reports that President Donald Trump has expressed considerable irritation with the advice he is getting from Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He reportedly began to see the light when the attempted coup in Venezuela did not develop as planned, resulting in some comments by the president that he had been misled into thinking that the regime change would be “easy.” He has since that time stated that he does not want war with Iran, though his actions would suggest otherwise, and some news reports are suggesting that he is unhappy and at odds with Bolton in particular.

Unfortunately the desktop warriors who are currently calling the shots in Washington have no idea what they might be getting into. The only former soldier among them is Pompeo, who is a West Point graduate. He missed Vietnam and has never been involved in actual combat. He is also is a Christian Zionist who welcomes a major war in the Middle East in hopes that it will bring about the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Neither Pompeo nor Bolton has any real understanding that war means death. If Bolton has his way, many thousands will die and the United States will be reviled by nearly the entire world. President Donald Trump for all his self-proclaimed “genius” status does not appear to understand that reality either. For him, megadeaths and national humiliation might mean little more than the numbers on a balance sheet when one is reckoning up the costs of constructing a building.

This impending tragedy must be stopped. Back in 2003, a hundred thousand Americans gathered at the Washington Mall to protest against the drive to invade Iraq. Nothing like that has developed yet, but the people must rise up to demand that the government cease and desist from doing things in their name that do not help a single American but instead only bring death and destruction. Trump promised to do that when he ran for president. It is past time that he fulfill that promise.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

Pulling a Comey: How Mueller dog-whistled Democrats into impeachment of Trump

Nebojsa Malic | RT | May 29, 2019

Robert Mueller is special counsel no more, but he fired a parting shot during his televised statement that has sent Democrats into a frenzy of calls for impeaching President Donald Trump, whether by accident or by design.

At a remarkable press conference on Wednesday – at which he refused to take questions – Mueller sank the theory that Attorney General William Barr somehow misinterpreted his report, and sent a clear message to House Democrats eager to have him testify about the probe that “the report is my testimony.”

Despite years of work, millions of dollars and near-unlimited powers, Mueller’s special prosecutors found zero evidence of collusion or conspiracy – and absent that underlying crime, no grounds to charge the US president with obstruction of justice, even as they wrote up 240 pages of tortured reasoning as to why they wanted to. Case closed, conspiracies put to bed, lots of people with egg on their face, time for the republic to move on, right?

Wrong!

Did you honestly expect people who have gone all in on a conspiracy theory about Russia somehow “stealing” the election from Hillary Clinton – investing not just the past three years, but their entire political and media capital into it – to give up just because there isn’t a grain of truth in it? Instead, they latched onto Mueller’s carefully weasel-worded declaration:

“If we had confidence the President did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

That was no mere misstep, either. Mueller followed that line up with a passage about how his office did not make a determination whether Trump committed a crime because the standing policy of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) is that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Not their fault, you see, they had no choice.

Except they did, and they had the avenue to make their claim – but chose not to, knowing that Barr would shoot it down, because he disagreed with their interpretation of obstruction laws long before he became AG. But those are details known to lawyers and honest legal analysts, not the propagandists and conspiracy-peddlers who have spent years whipping the American public into a hysteria not seen since the 1950s.

Mueller’s was a weasel statement, worthy of former FBI boss and his personal friend James Comey – who actually admitted to Congress that he hoped to force the appointment of a special counsel by leaking the memos of his meetings with Trump to the press.

It also seems to have been a dog-whistle to Democrats, who have been arguing ever since the Mueller report was published that it totally proved obstruction of justice and gave them the pretext for impeachment. A variety of party luminaries, such as House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-New York), presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), now doubled down on the claim.

What happens next is anybody’s guess: Democrats may hope enough Republicans will break ranks to successfully impeach and convict Trump, though that’s no more likely to succeed than any of the schemes to overturn the 2016 election result so far. Or they might hope that impeachment proceedings will mobilize their voters for 2020. Either way, the opposition party and the media aligned with it are determined to keep flogging the dead horse of Russiagate, hoping it will deliver them victory.

Those who believe Mueller’s mission was to “get Trump” will no doubt be happy with the former special counsel’s last move. But Americans who hoped he would clear the air clogged by endless conspiracy theories have every right to feel disappointed.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

“Spying”: Comey Doth Protest Too Much

By Thomas L. Knapp | Garrison Center | May 29, 2019

“We didn’t ‘spy’ on anyone’s campaign,” writes former FBI director James Comey in a recent Washington Post op-ed.

“We asked a federal judge for permission to surveil” former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, but that’s not “spying.”

Before that (unmentioned in the op-ed), we infiltrated an informant into the campaign to gather information on its operations, but that’s not “spying.”

What a strange allergic reaction from Comey, and others associated with US intelligence and counterintelligence operations, to US Attorney General William Barr’s simple statement before the US Senate: “Spying on a campaign is a big deal … I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated.”

Comey insists that the spying was indeed “adequately predicated,” and that for some reason this makes it not spying.

It was spying.

You know, the same activity for which 98-year-old Patricia Warner, who infiltrated Nazi circles in Spain during World War Two, just received the Congressional Gold Medal.

The same activity for which dozens of CIA assets have received the Intelligence Star medal, and for which 113 of them have their names inscribed on that agency’s “Memorial Wall.”

The same activity on which the US government spends untold billions per year, assuring us that it is not just good and moral and justifiable, but absolutely necessary to the defense of the United States.

Comey’s trying to have it both ways here.

On one hand, he justifies the spying based on claims that “Russia engaged in a massive effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” and that “we learned that one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers knew about the Russian effort seven weeks before we did.”

He defends the cloak-and dagger approach of the FBI’s espionage (“the practice of spying or using spies”) operation on the Trump campaign, saying that “if there was nothing to it, we didn’t want to smear Americans. If there was something to it, we didn’t want to let corrupt Americans know we were onto them. So, we kept it secret.”

On the other hand, he claims it wasn’t “spying” because … well, just because. “Non-fringe” media, he says doesn’t spend much time on this “conspiracy theory” because it’s just so wacky.

Comey’s sophistry doesn’t even rise to the level of Nixon Logic: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” His formulation is “if the FBI did it for a good reason, that means the FBI didn’t do it.”

The important question here is not whether the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. It did. Period.

The important question is why Comey doesn’t want to discuss, or even acknowledge, that fact.

The answer to that question is that discussing and acknowledging the irrefutable fact that the FBI spied on the Trump campaign leads into other discussions he finds even less desirable, such as whether the spying was legal — “adequately predicated” — and whether it was politically motivated (in a word, an attempted “coup”).

Why doesn’t Comey want those discussions? That question pretty much answers itself.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment