Aletho News


Iran’s envoy to UN: Washington is in breach of NPT

Press TV – September 9, 2019

Iran calls the US in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), citing Washington’s refusal to come under a comprehensive nuclear arms control regime and its harboring an intention to resume testing of nuclear weapons.

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-e Ravanchi made the remarks to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.

He cited the latest Nuclear Proliferation Report (NPR), which has found that the United States is disinclined to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The report also outlines how the US “will resume nuclear explosive testing, … including underground nuclear explosive,” the envoy added.

“This policy is in gross violation of its (the US’s) explicit legal obligations under the NPT,” he noted.

“Such irresponsible policies, the latest of which is the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, are detrimental to all international efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and therefore must come to an end,” the ambassador asserted.

The US scrapped the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia last month. Later, the Pentagon announced that it had tested a type of a ground-launched missile that was banned under the deal.

The Iranian official also reminded that Israel, which has the US as its primary and strongest supporter, maintains nuclear weapons that continue to threaten peace and security in the region and beyond.

Copious volumes of evidence have identified the occupying regime as the sole possessor of the non-conventional weapons in the region. Those include The Sunday Times’ historic report of 1986 that first broke the story on tip-off from former Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, and former US president Jimmy Carter’s similarly head-turning revelation that the occupying regime was in possession of hundreds of nuclear warheads.

Takht-e Ravanchi finally remarked, “Total elimination of these inhumane weapons is what we owe to ourselves, to our children, to generations to come and to entire humanity,” adding, “Iran stands ready to play its role in pursuing this noble objective.”

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Scientific Journal Advocating Child-Free Life Sparks Fury in Low-Fertility Finland

Sputnik – 09.09.2019

The 13/2019 edition of the magazine Tieteen Kuvalehti, which addressed climate change and numerous ways of minimising the carbon footprint, has struck a chord in Finland.

After listing more conventional ways of reducing one’s carbon footprint, such as abstaining from consuming meat and minimising air and car travel, Tieteen Kuvalehti concluded that the right (and the single best) thing for a climate-aware person to do is to abstain from having children.

The idea that having babies is bad for the environment, complemented by an exed-out image of a baby on the cover, was ill-received in Finland, where the birth rate is currently at a historic low: according to the United Nations report World Population Prospects 2019, the number of children under age five in 2015 was 300 million, compared with 501 million in 1950.

A Centre Party MP called for the magazine to be “hidden” in shops, libraries and kiosks.

“I believe conveying the message that a baby is a source of emissions is going too far. It gives children and youth the impression that they are a burden, and I find this horrible”, Aittakumpu told national broadcaster Yle.

Christian Democrat MP Päivi Räsänen was also outraged by on the cover.

“The message of the cover image is offensive to babies and families with babies … Children that are well cared for and educated will come up with the solutions to future problems, not be the cause of them. I support a counterattack to propaganda of this nature that says ‘All babies are welcome!’”, Päivi Räsänen said, as quoted by Yle. […]

​Meanwhile, the number of births in Finland fell for the eighth consecutive year in 2018, as the total fertility rate hit a historic low of 1.41 children per women, Statistics Finland indicated. The last time Finland experienced baby blues of comparable proportions was during the great famine that happened about 150 years ago.

However, this is not the first time scientific papers suggest abstaining from having children for the sake of the planet. A 2017 study from Lund University in Sweden, suggested having fewer children, living car-free, avoiding air travel and eating a plant-based diet, claiming that these measures are more efficient in reducing emissions than commonly promoted strategies like comprehensive recycling or relying on energy-efficient household lightbulbs.

Helsinki University world politics professor Teivo Teivainen stressed that the decision to have fewer children includes many ethical considerations. While underscoring Finland’s responsibility, he stressed that the birthrate of the small nation has almost no significance on the global scale.

Tieteen Kuvalehti is the Finnish version of the Danish periodical Illustreret Videnskab, published by the Swedish media house Bonnier Group, which is run by the Bonnier family and operates in more than a dozen countries. It circulation is about 550,000 copies.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 3 Comments

Hamas: Saudi detains one of ‘our senior leaders’

MEMO | September 9, 2019

Hamas on Monday said “one of its senior leaders” and his son have been in Saudi custody since April of this year, reports Anadolu Agency.

In a statement, the group said the Saudi security services arrested Mohammad al-Khoudary, who has been living in Saudi Arabia for three decades and described the arrest as a “reprehensible action”.

The statement mentioned that al-Khoudary was responsible for administering the relations with Saudi Arabia for over the past two decades and he got several leading positions in the movement.

“Hamas kept silent over the past five months of his arrest to allow for mediations efforts but these efforts have yet to bear fruit”, it said.

Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights, a Geneva-based group, also said that the Saudi authorities detain around 60 Palestinians in its jails.

In a statement, the rights group called on Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to order the immediate release of the detainees, especially those who are detained without specific indictments.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

Yemen: Socotra suspends Emirates Airline flights to stop UAE mercenaries

MEMO | September 9, 2019

Amid allegations of UAE-backed foreign mercenaries arriving on the Yemeni island of Socotra, it was reported yesterday that the island’s main airport has temporarily suspended flights from UAE’s Emirates Airline for three days.

According to the Socotra Post, local intelligence suggests the UAE intends to deploy additional mercenaries from the Eritrean port city of Asseb in addition to militia stationed in the southern mainland.

It has been speculated that the UAE hopes to expand its trading routes by occupying the strategically located archipelago where a military base has already been established. The UAE has previously set up similar bases in the Horn of Africa, of which Eritrea is part.

Soqotri residents have held regular demonstrations against a perceived occupation by the Emiratis.

The Socotra Post reported other sources saying that the UAE previously smuggled arms onto the island by using sites used to store humanitarian aid and commercial goods belonging to the UAE branch of the Red Crescent and the Khalifah Foundation.

The Socotra islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Centre protected and recognised by the UN body for their unique flora and fauna.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | Leave a comment

9/11 Whistleblowers: Michael Springmann

Corbett • 09/09/2019

Watch this video on BitChute / DTube / YouTube

That so many of the 9/11 visas were issued from a single office—the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia—may seem like a minor footnote at first glance, but it is not. In fact, the Jeddah Consulate is not just another US Consular Office. It has a history of issuing visas to terrorists at the request of the CIA. Just ask Michael Springmann. This is his story.

To watch the full 9/11 Whistleblowers series, please CLICK HERE.


In the days after September 11th, 2001, while the toxic dust was still settling on Lower Manhattan, details began to emerge about the terrorists who had allegedly hijacked the fateful 9/11 flights. Names and pictures were released to the public and broadcast around the world. Ziad Jarrah. Hani Hanjour. Marwan al Shehhi. Mohammad Atta. Even before the official story had begun to coalesce, the foreign faces and unfamiliar names flashing across the screens seared themselves into the consciousness of a traumatized public and left little doubt: This attack was the work of Muslim terrorists.

But at the same time, information began to come out that created problems for this narrative. Reports of these devout Muslim fundamentalists drinking alcohol and partying in strip clubs. Revelations that two of the suspects had been allowed into the US after being identified as Al Qaeda agents. Confirmation that these same agents lived with an FBI asset while in the US. And even the testimony of a senior military intelligence official that a counter-terror program had been specifically warned not to investigate Mohammad Atta in the lead up to 9/11.

WYATT ANDREWS: According to Congressman Kurt Weldon, it was a secret Pentagon intelligence unit code named Able Danger that knew a year before 9/11 that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was in the United States and connected to Al Qaeda.

CONGRESSMAN KURT WELDON: And as you can see, they identified Mohamed Atta’s cell.

ANDREWS: In the summer of 2000, he says, the Pentagon’s special ops command had identified two terrorist cells inside the US, and knew of the connection between Atta and three other men who became hijackers. When the agents recommended telling the FBI, Weldon says Clinton administration lawyers said “No,” because Atta was in the country legally and could not be targeted by military intelligence.

WELDON: And their recommendation to bring the FBI in, to take that cell out, which was ignored, and they were told you can’t do that.

ANDREWS: So a year before 9/11 they had their picture—they had the picture of Mohamed Atta—


ANDREWS: And they knew roughly where he was?


SOURCE: Able Danger – CBS, CNN News, August 9, 2005

But of the many bizarre pieces of the alleged 9/11 hijacker puzzle, none gets closer to the heart of the mystery than the seemingly innocuous revelation that 14 of the alleged hijackers’ visas to enter the United States had been issued at the same office: the US Consulate in Jeddah. That so many of the visas were issued from a single office may seem like a minor footnote at first glance, but it is not. In fact, the Jeddah Consulate is not just another US Consular Office. It has a history of issuing visas to terrorists at the request of the CIA.

Just ask Michael Springmann.

J. Michael Springmann was a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service who joined the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, serving as an economic/commercial officer in Stuttgart from 1977 to 1980 and as a commercial attache in New Delhi from 1980 to 1982. In 1987, having passed the foreign service exam and gone through an orientation program, Springmann was assigned to the Jeddah consulate in Saudi Arabia.

Whatever he was expecting to find awaiting him in his new office, it’s safe to say that it didn’t take long for Springmann to find that the reality was going to be very different. As he writes in his expose of his time at the Jeddah consulate, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handout That Rocked the World, “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a mysterious and exotic place, but it was nowhere near as exotic and mysterious as the American consulate general on Palestine Road.”

J. MICHAEL SPRINGMANN: Well, when I got to Saudi Arabia I began hearing all kinds of strange things about the problems my predecessor had made for me. I heard this in fact from Walter Cutler, the American ambassador, just before I left. He spent 45 minutes telling me about all the problems that my predecessor Greta Holtz had created, and I thought, “Gee, she’s going to make my career for me!”

And I get to Jeddah and I’m being requested: “It’s your decision of course, Mike, but we have this problem here with this visa and we have an especially good contact and we’d like to have the person get a visa to come to the United States. Can you do it?” And I’d interview them and I’d give them the visa.

And after a while, these people began to be really strange characters that had no ties to either Saudi Arabia or to their own country and I would refuse them. And I would get a rocket from the Consul General Jay Freres, who’s dead now, about “Why didn’t you issue the visa? This guy is a good contact.”

I said, “Well, he couldn’t prove he had any ties either to Saudi Arabia or to his own country that was strong enough to make him return from the United States to Saudi Arabia or to his own country.” There’s no set list of contacts and connections, but it’s things like having a job, having businesses, having property, having family, something that would prevent you from staying in the United States and disappearing into the woodwork.

And it got to the point where it was “Either issue the visa or you’re not going to work for the State Department anymore.” And as time went by I found out that of some 20 Americans there were only three including myself that I knew for a certainty to work for the Department of State. The rest worked for the CIA or the National Security Agency.

Eventually reassigned as a political/economic officer in Stuttgart and, finally, as an economic analyst for the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, it took years for Springmann to fully comprehend the story that he had found himself in the middle of during his time at the Jeddah Consulate. A key piece of that puzzle was provided when Springmann returned to the US and talked to journalist Joseph Trento, who informed him that the Jeddah office was being used by the CIA to ship in Osama Bin Laden’s associates for training in the US.

SPRINGMANN: So I came across Joe Trento, the journalist, in the middle of all of this, and he said, “Well, what you were doing in Saudi Arabia was issuing visas to the Mujahedin who were being recruited for Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.” And then the penny dropped and my eyes were opened and I said “Yeah! That explains why they got so ferocious when I said no to these visas and why they stonewalled me when I tried to find out what was going on.”

I was talking formally to people. I talked formally to the Bureau of Consular Affairs when I was in Washington on the advice of the council for consular affairs in Riyadh. And then I talked to the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs for the House of Representatives. I talked to the the Government Accountability Office, which is a watchdog for Congress on the executive branch and got nowhere. People just didn’t want to talk to me. And I said “Well this is really strange.”

And it bears out exactly what Trento had said that they had an intelligence operation going on. And according to Joe the reason they didn’t tell people in Jeddah about this was they wanted plausible deniability. They wanted to be at arm’s length from what people were saying and saying “Well oh, gee. We didn’t know anything about that. He made a mistake. He didn’t get with the program. He didn’t know what was going on. He was violating the law. Put him in jail. Fine him.” Whatever.

Although the idea seems outlandish from a post-9/11 perspective, at the time it was not particularly surprising. The CIA had worked with Osama Bin Laden and other so-called “Mujahedin,” including many Saudis who had been drawn to Afghanistan to fight America’s arch-enemy, the Soviets, during the Afghan War. There were glowing articles framing Bin Laden as an “Anti-Soviet Warrior” who was “On the Road to Peace” in mainstream publications well into the 1990s. And in the weeks after 9/11 it was even reported in the pages of Newsweek that in the late 1980s—precisely at the time that Springmann was stationed at the Jeddah consulate—”the veterans of the [Mujahedin’s] holy war against the Soviets began arriving in the United States—many with passports arranged by the CIA.”

One infamous example of an intelligence agency helping a known terrorist to enter the United States in this period came in the case of Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the “Blind Sheik.” In December 1990 it was revealed that the Blind Sheik had “slipped into the United States” despite being on a State Department terrorist watchlist. At the time, the State Department insisted “[t]hey made a mistake” by issuing him a tourist visa from the United States Embassy in Khartoum. But three years later, the truth finally came out. As The New York Times reported in 1993 after a State Department inspector general investigation: “Central Intelligence Agency officers reviewed all seven applications made by Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman to enter the United States between 1986 and 1990 and only once turned him down because of his connections to terrorism.”

In this context, the revelation that Springmann was being directed by the CIA to let Mujahedin into the US for training was not unthinkable or outlandish conspiracy conjecture. On the contrary, it was practically expected.

As Springmann himself admits, if he had simply been informed at the time that the CIA was helping to facilitate such an operation in support of their foreign policy goals against the Soviet Union, he probably would have went along with it.

SPRINGMANN: And you know it goes back to Trento saying “Well, they wanted somebody—some schlub is his word—to be there and take the heat if something went wrong. And at the time I was dumb enough that if they’d explained it to me, “Yes, we’re recruiting the Mujahedin” I would have said “Well, yeah, OK, this is an important foreign policy goal. I hate those godless communist bastards! So yeah, I’ll go with this.” But they never did.

And it would have saved a lot of effort on my part and saved a lot of embarrassment on their part, because I’ve been writing and talking about this for the last 25 years.

Springmann’s attitude is reflective of much of the American public’s perception of Muslim terrorists in the late 1980s. As tools of US foreign policy—convenient pawns to be wielded on the global chessboard against America’s enemies—they were not regarded as enemies themselves, but embraced as “freedom fighters” and “anti-Communist warriors.”

KENNETH BRANAGH: US National Security Adviser Brzezinski flew to Pakistan to set about rallying resistance. He wanted to arm the Mujahedin without revealing America’s role. On the Afghan border near the Khyber Pass, he urged the Soldiers of God to redouble their efforts.

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: We know of their deep belief in God, and we are confident that their struggle will succeed. That land over there is yours. You will go back to it one day, because your fight will prevail and you’ll have your homes and your mosques back again, because your cause is right and God is on your side.

SOURCE: Soldiers of God

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: The goal of the United States remains a genuinely independent Afghanistan, free from external interference, an Afghanistan whose people choose the type of government they wish, an Afghanistan to which the four million refugees from Soviet aggression may return in safety and, yes, in honor.

On behalf of the American people, I salute Chairman Khalis, his delegation, and the people of Afghanistan themselves. You are a nation of heroes. God bless you.

SOURCE: Remarks Following a Meeting With Afghan Resistance Leaders and Members of Congress

But that was before “the day that changed everything.”

After the FBI released their list of suspected 9/11 hijackers, it didn’t take long for questions to emerge about these men, their background, and their travels. What paper trail and travel documents had been left in their wake? How did they obtain their visas to enter the US? Where did they obtain them? When? Which consular officers were in charge of issuing the visas, and were there any irregularities in the process?

It took years for these questions to be answered, but when they were the results were scarcely believable. Not only had 14 of the alleged hijackers’ visas been obtained from the same Jeddah consulate that the CIA had used to funnel terrorists to the US during Springmann’s tenure, but 12 of those visas were issued by a single consular officer: Shayna Steinger.

A Columbia University graduate with no apparent foreign service background, Steinger was appointed as a consular officer in 1999 and arrived in Jeddah for her first foreign service assignment on July 1, 2000. From that point on, she proceeded to issue the visas to more than half of the alleged hijackers, many of them based on incomplete applications and fraudulent documents.

Saeed al Ghamdi received two visas, one in September, 2000, and the other in June, 2001. His second application was incomplete, lied about his earlier visa and was linked to a different passport with fraudulent features. Both visa requests were approved by Shayna Steinger.

Hani Hanjour received a visa from Steinger in September, 2000, just two weeks after she rejected his first application. In subsequent investigations, she gave conflicting accounts of why she denied Hanjour’s visa the first time and why she issued it the second time.

Despite numerous errors on their applications which normally would have gotten them rejected, on October 24, 2000, Steinger issued visas to both Waleed and Wail Alshehri.

And, later that week, despite an incomplete application and suspicious indicators in his passport, Steinger issued a visa to Ahmed Alnami.

From the time of her arrival at Jeddah until just weeks before the attacks, the pattern continued: Men with incomplete, error-ridden applications and fraudulent or suspicious documents had their visas rubber stamped by Steinger and, in September, their names and faces ended up on the FBI’s hijack suspect list.

In researching his book, Springmann tracked down and confronted Steinger about her time at Jeddah and her role in issuing these visas.

SPRINGMANN: So in the course of doing more research I ran across Jon Gold who was a 9/11 researcher and an activist, and he came up with Shayna Steinger’s name. She was my successor several times removed who was in Jeddah and who would issued visas to 11 of the 15 Saudis who got the visas in Saudi Arabia to go fly airplanes into American buildings. I said “Wait a minute. What is this?”

And she went on—She was hired out of Columbia University with no real background in foreign affairs that I could see at a very high “GS” or foreign service level of about an FSO-4 which is maybe a GS-13 I can guess in the civil service. And she went on for a full 20 years with the State Department and retired, if she in fact worked for State. And after a bit I came across or actually a journalist came across me and said, “Look I found Shayna Steinger out in Iowa. Do you want to talk to her about your experience and her experience and compare them?”

So I did. I called her up. I found her phone number and she was living with her mother. And we had a bit of a fight to get her to talk to me, and I said, “Look, you either talk to me or I’ll write an article about it.” So she finally broke down and we talked, but only in general terms, saying, “Well, yes, I did the right thing. I did what I was told. They did an investigation. They cleared me.”

And I said “Well, what was the story? You know, my understanding was they were recruiting terrorists for the Mujahedin to come to the US for training at US military facilities, generally on the East Coast. And they even had recruiting offices in the United States, including one in Washington, DC, but I could never find any background exactly where they were located.”

And she said, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I just did what I was told.” And it was kind of like talking to my cats sometimes. They were there and they knew you were talking to them but they didn’t give you any real good answers. So the book went out. It’s never been challenged by the government, but it’s gotten me interviewed such as with you and with a lot of September 11th people.

Like so many of the 9/11 whistleblowers, Springmann paid a heavy price for his desire to tell the truth. His refusal to bow to the CIA and issue visas to unqualified applicants during his time at Jeddah, his refusal to stop asking questions about the operation he had been involved in after he was transferred elsewhere, and his refusal to stop speaking about the visas for Al Qaeda long after he left the State Department have had drastic repercussions on his career and his personal life.

SPRINGMANN: Once I was out of state I found I couldn’t get a job anywhere. I mean I spoke several languages to a greater or lesser extent, I had experience working on three continents, I knew how to manage offices. I couldn’t get a job and I got the impression after a bit that I was being blacklisted.

So I hired one of these resume checking services over in California and asked them to ask around so they they called up Day Mount and pretended to be someone hiring me and wanted to know how I was as an employee in Jeddah, and what he thought of me and could he think of anything that special that I had done. And he said, “Well, I can’t think of anything anything really right off the bat,” and he came up with these weasel worded responses to their questions, which gave the impression that, no, you shouldn’t hire this guy. But he didn’t come out and say that, but it was by implication very very clear that Mike Springmann is not to be touched.

So then I went to law school and worked at getting a job after law school. I started asking around when I was in law school. I interned in various organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union. I talked to various national security organizations and found out that I couldn’t get a job again to save my soul.

[. . .]

I tried writing I tried everything I could think of. And while collecting unemployment I was told to issue them reports on how many people I talk to during the week, and I would send page after page after page in of companies I applied to that I had hoped would fit my talents and abilities but got nowhere.

So I figured, you know, the government is still in there, pitching, trying to keep me out of any kind of a gainful employment because that’s how you get rid of people permanently. They don’t have any money, they can take your house, you have no money to do anything except put food on the table, which you can. So it was a very nasty few years.

And for all of this sacrifice, we are still no closer to learning the truth about the Jeddah consulate and the CIA operations there then we were two decades ago. That 14 of the 19 alleged hijackers received their visas from the same office—12 from the same consular officer—is just the start of a deep and largely unexplored rabbit hole that brings not just the travel patterns or the intelligence connections but the very identity of those suspects into question.

Biographical details and pictures of two separate Ziad Jarrahs have been released to the public, and in fact multiple photographs of a number of the alleged hijackers appear to be pictures of entirely different people. A Waleed al-Shehri appeared alive and well in Morocco after 9/11 to protest the use of his name and photograph in stories about the supposed hijackers, and he was joined by an Abdulrahman al-Omari in Jeddah, who the FBI were forced to apologize to for falsely naming as a suspect. Newsweek reported that five of the alleged hijackers received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s. Amidst the confusion, FBI Director Robert Mueller was forced to admit that the Bureau was “not certain” as to the identity of several of the men on their suspect list.

These issues remain untouched and largely forgotten by a public that, through a process of suggestion and association, have come to believe largely without question that the 19 faces in the iconic “hijacker line up” are the perpetrators of 9/11. It is only through the story of people like Mike Springmann that we can begin removing those layers of lies and obfuscations from the story of 9/11, and come to a better understanding of the truth.

And, in the end, that idea—that we can get closer to the truth, that wrongs can be righted and lies exposed—is the idea that motivates whistleblowers like Mike Springmann. Whistleblowers who have come forward at great personal expense to shine light on these long-buried and inconvenient truths.

SPRINGMANN: I think, you know, I have to look at what I did and look at myself, and as the story goes look at your face in the mirror every morning. But I’ve been reading some emails sent to me by a good lawyer contact, lobbyist and attorney, on stoicism. And there have been things from Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and other folks. And one of the things that I saw was their comment that—memento mori—that you expect to die and you don’t fear death. You don’t look forward to death, but at the end of the day you think “what have I done this day, the last day that might be the rest of my life? I may not wake up tomorrow morning. Have I balanced the accounts? Have I done something of substance? Have I tried to rectify a wrong and have I tried to do something good to balance out the evil in the world?”

[. . .]

So that’s one of the reasons why I keep doing this. I figure if I’ve got nothing else to do for the rest of my life I’ve got to square the balance, and, regrettably, I’ve got to say educate the ignorant if I can.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

We refuse to be a ‘normal country’ if it means US-style bombings & invasions, Moscow tells Pentagon

RT | September 9, 2019

It’s better not to be a “more normal country” if that means being as prone to invasions and coups as the United States, top Russian ministers have said, firing back at bizarre remarks by a new Pentagon chief.

It would be “great” if the West “could get Russia to behave like a more normal country,” Mark Esper, the newly appointed defense secretary, was reported to have claimed while visiting Paris this week.

That remark did not go down well with Moscow, however.

“If he said so, he called upon us to act as a normal country [as such] and not like the United States,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press briefing in the Russian capital, where he and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu had a face-to-face meeting with French counterparts.

“Otherwise, we should have been acting like the US, bombing Iraq and Libya in blatant violation of international law… We should have supported coups, violent and anti-constitutional, like the US and its closest allies did in February 2014 [in Ukraine].”

What’s more, if Russia followed Washington’s instructions, then “we would have spent millions on intervening in the affairs of other countries as Congress has done by authorizing $20 million for supporting democracy in Russia,” Lavrov stated.

On his part, Shoigu also said that normalcy has a different meaning for Moscow then.

“We will probably remain [an] abnormal [country].”

Meanwhile, the visiting French officials advocated coming to terms with Russia.

“The time has come, the time is right, to work towards reducing distrust,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Defense Minister Florence Parly added that “it is important to talk to each other, to avoid misunderstanding and friction.”
Also on ‘Russia will never be our friend, we’ll slap them when needed’ – US envoy to UN

The meeting comes weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in late August at Bregancon, in an attempt to defuse tension and break the ice in Russia-West relations.

On that occasion, Macron vowed to create a “new architecture of security and confidence” between the EU and Russia. He pointed out that Moscow’s contribution is “essential” in helping to solve the crises in and around Iran, Ukraine, and Syria, and to work on nuclear non-proliferation.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments

Yemen: Another Shameful US Defeat Looms

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 9, 2019

An official confirmation by the Trump administration of it holding discreet talks with Yemen’s Houthi rebels indicates a realization in Washington that its military intervention in the Arab country is an unsalvageable disaster requiring exit.

There are also reports of the Trump administration urging the Saudi rulers to engage with the Houthis, also known as Ansarullah, in order to patch up some kind of peace settlement to the more than four-year war. In short, the Americans want out of this quagmire.

Quite a turnaround. The US-backed Saudi coalition has up to now justified its aggression against the poorest country in the Arab region with claims that the rebels are Iranian proxies. Now, it seems, Washington deems the Houthi “terrorists” worthy of negotiations.

This follows a similar pattern in many other US foreign wars. First, the aggression is “justified” by moralistic claims of fighting “communists” or “terrorists” as in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Only for Washington, after much needless slaughter and destruction, to reach out to former villains for “talks” in order to extricate the Americans from their own self-made disaster.

Talks with the Houthis were confirmed last week by US Assistant Secretary of Near East Affairs David Schenker during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

“We are narrowly focused on trying to end the war in Yemen,” said Schenker. “We are also having talks to the extent possible with the Houthis to try and find a mutually accepted negotiated solution to the conflict.”

In response, a senior Houthi official Hamid Assem was quoted as saying: “That the United States says they are talking to us is a great victory for us and proves that we are right.” However, he declined to confirm or deny if negotiations were being held.

You have to almost admire the effrontery of the American government. Notice how the US diplomat says “we are focused on ending the war” and “a mutually acceptable solution”.

As if Washington is some kind of honest broker trying to bring peace to a country stricken by mysterious violence.

The war was launched by the US-backed Saudi coalition, including the United Arab Emirates, in March 2015, without any provocation from Yemen. The precipitating factor was that the Houthis, a mainly Shia rebel group aligned with Iran, had kicked out a corrupt Saudi-backed dictator at the end of 2014. When he tucked tail and fled to exile in Saudi capital Riyadh, that’s when the Saudis launched their aerial bombing campaign on Yemen.

The slaughter in Yemen over the past four years has been nothing short of a calamity for the population of nearly 28 million people. The UN estimates that nearly 80 per cent of the nation is teetering on hunger and disease.

A UN report published last week explicitly held the US, Britain and France liable for complicity in massive war crimes from their unstinting supply of warplanes, munitions and logistics to the Saudi and Emirati warplanes that have indiscriminately bombed civilians and public infrastructure. The UN report also blamed the Houthis for committing atrocities. That may be so, but the preponderance of deaths and destruction in Yemen is due to American, British and French military support to the Saudi-led coalition. Up to 100,ooo civilians may have been killed from the Western-backed blitzkrieg, while the Western media keep quoting a figure of “10,000”, which magically never seems to increase over the past four years.

Several factors are pressing the Trump administration to wind down the Yemen war.

The infernal humanitarian conditions and complicity in war crimes can no longer be concealed by Washington’s mendacity about allegedly combating “Iran subversion” in Yemen. The southern Arabian Peninsula country is an unmitigated PR disaster for official American pretensions of being a world leader in democratic and law-abiding virtue.

When the American Congress is united in calling for a ban on US arms to Saudi Arabia because of the atrocities in Yemen, then we should know that the PR war has been lost. President Trump over-ruled Congress earlier this year to continue arming the Saudis in Yemen. But even Trump must at last be realizing his government’s culpability for aiding and abetting genocide is no longer excusable, even for the most credulous consumers of American propaganda.

After four years of relentless air strikes, which have become financially ruinous for the Saudi monarchy and its precocious Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who conceived the war, the Houthis still remain in control of the capital Sanaa and large swathes of the country. Barbaric bombardment and siege-starvation imposed on Yemen has not dislodged the rebels.

Not only that but the Houthis have begun to take the war into the heart of Saudi Arabia. Over the past year, the rebels have mounted increasingly sophisticated long-range drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi military bases and the capital Riyadh. From where the Houthis are receiving their more lethal weaponry is not clear. Maybe from Lebanon’s Hezbollah or from Iran. In any case, such supply if confirmed could be argued as legitimate support for a country facing aggression.

No doubt the Houthis striking deep into Saudi territory has given the pampered monarchs in Riyadh serious pause for thought.

When the UAE – the other main coalition partner – announced a month ago that it was scaling back its involvement in Yemen that must have rattled Washington and Riyadh that the war was indeed futile.

The defeat is further complicated by the open conflict which has broken out over recent weeks between rival militants sponsored by the Saudis and Emiratis in the southern port city of Aden. There are reports of UAE warplanes attacking Saudi-backed militants and of Saudi force build-up. A war of words has erupted between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. There is strong possibility that the rival factions could blow up into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, supposed coalition allies.

Washington has doubtless taken note of the unstoppable disaster in Yemen and how its position is indefensible and infeasible.

Like so many other obscene American wars down through the decades, Washington is facing yet another ignominious defeat in Yemen. When the US starts to talk about “ending the war” with a spin about concern for “mutual peace”, then you know the sordid game is finally up.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

9/11 After 18 Years “Hard Evidence Cannot Prevail over a Transparent Official Lie”

By Paul Craig Roberts • September 9, 2019

I would appreciate hearing from readers whether they have come across a report in the print, TV, or NPR media of the highly professional four-year investigation of WTC Building 7’s demise. The international team of civil engineers concluded that the official story of Building 7’s destruction is entirely false. I reported their findings here.

I suspect that the expert report is already in the Memory Hole. Popular Mechanics, Wikipedia and CNN cannot label a distinguished team of experts “conspiracy theorists.” Therefore the presstitutes and assorted cover-up artists for the 9/11 false flag attack on the United States will simply act as if no such report exists. The vast majority of people in the world will never hear about the report. I doubt that the real perpetrators of 9/11 will even bother to hire their own team to “refute” the report as that would bring the report into the news, the last place the perpetrators want it to be.

The 9/11 Commission report was not an investigation and ignored all forensic evidence. The NIST simulation of Building 7’s collapse was rigged to get the desired result. The only real investigations have been done by private scientists, engineers, and architects. They have found clear evidence of the use of nano-thermite in the destruction of the twin towers. More than 100 First Responders have testified that they experienced a large number of explosions inside the towers, including a massive explosion in the sub-basement prior to the time the airliners are said to have hit the tower. Numerous military and civilian pilots have said that the flight maneuvers involved in the WTC and Pentagon attacks are beyond their skills and most certainly beyond the skills of the alleged hijackers. Wreckage of the airliners is surprisingly missing from impact sites. And so on and so on. That Building 7 was a controlled demolition is no longer disputable.

On the basis of the known evidence, knowledgeable and informed people have concluded that 9/11 was an inside job organized by Vice President Dick Cheney, his stable of neoconservatives, and Israel for the purpose of reconstructing the Middle East in Israel’s interest and enriching the US military/security complex in the process.

Most people are unaware of Robert Mueller’s role as FBI Director in protecting the official 9/11 story from the evidence. Paul Sperry reports in the New York Post the many actions Mueller took as FBI director to hide the facts from Congress and the public.

Patrick Pasin, a French author, provides additional evidence of Mueller’s misuse of his office to protect an official lie. An English language translation of Pasin’s book, The FBI Accomplice of 9/11, has been published by Talma Studios in Dublin, Ireland.

Pasin’s book consists of his organization of the known evidence, which has been suppressed in order to perpetrate a false story of 9/11, into a compelling account of how a false flag attack was protected from exposure. He details the plan “through which the FBI tried to prove the government conspiracy narrative—no matter the cost.” Keep in mind that Mueller is the one that the Deep State set on President Trump. Dirty business is Mueller’s business.

Pasin collects the evidence and weaves it into a compelling story. It is all there. The insider trading in advance of the airliner hijackings, the impossibility of cell phone calls from airliners in 2001, the anthrax letters sent to senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy which paved the way for the PATRIOT Act, the effort to blame American military scientists for the letters once it emerged that the anthrax was unique to a US military lab, the total implausibility of finding an undamaged passport in the rubble of the twin towers where fires allegedly were so hot that they melted steel.

It is extraordinary that anyone could have believed a word of this. Try to image such intense heat as to melt steel but not enough to burn a passport!

Pasin’s book is easy to read. He just lays it out, revealing falsification after falsification, lie after lie. The obviously false story is fed to the world, and the experts who expose it as false are called “conspiracy theorists” by people too stupid and uninformed to carry their books.

This is America in the 21st century, and apparently the rest of the world’s population is not any brighter.

In 3 days it will be the 18th anniversary of 9/11. What have we learned in these 18 years? We have learned that thousands of experts with hard evidence cannot prevail over a transparent official lie.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 4 Comments

Denmark announces increased military contributions and NATO support in Syria and beyond

By Sarah Abed | September 9, 2019

Denmark is recognized as one of the most socially and economically developed countries in the world, which enjoys a high standard of living as well as high metrics in national performance, protection of civil liberties, and the lowest perceived level of corruption in the world, has announced that it will be boosting military contributions to missions around the world, including joining the United States in its illegal and unauthorized deployment in northeastern Syria.

The sovereign and proud nation of Syria has neither invited nor does it accept any foreign invaders on its land and has repeatedly demanded that all foreign forces leave on their own before they are forced out. Syria is highly committed to liberating every inch of its land from terrorist control whether that be domestic or foreign, and protecting its territorial integrity.

On Friday, U.S. Department of Defense Chief Pentagon Spokesperson, Jonathan R. Hoffman provided the following statement on Denmark’s deployment to Syria:

“The United States welcomes the announcement by the Danish Government to make a military deployment to Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and to continue to share the burden and responsibilities of this important mission. As a founding member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, this deployment demonstrates Denmark’s continued commitment to working with our partners, to include the SDF, to ensure ISIS cannot re-emerge. Our Danish partners will work with the residual U.S. military force in northeast Syria to support stability and security. We look forward to working with our Danish ally to continue our shared mission of achieving ISIS’s enduring defeat-in Syria and wherever else the group may operate.”

The Nordic nation, along with its NATO allies; the United States, France, Britain, Turkey etc.  do not have authorization by the Syrian government nor the UN Security Council to even be in Syria, let alone carry out any military operations.

With the exception of Turkey, these foreign troops are seen as illegal invaders supporting a Kurdish-led separatist movement in northeastern Syria which is closely aligned with and supported by Israel and has even employed Daesh-like tactics during the war. The so called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is simply a rebranding by the US of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian offshoot of the Turkish based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and other NATO members, and has been in conflict with the Turkish government since 1984.

The US-led coalition has killed at least 1,319 civilians during its unauthorized operations in Syria and Iraq since 2014, by its own admission, although the actual number is most likely higher.

On Friday, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod stated that Denmark must lift its share of the burden as a member of NATO. Danish Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen said that she was proud that the country will be contributing to peace and stability in one of the world’s hotspots.

Ironically, Syria would not have become a “hotspot” if the US and their allies didn’t support terrorist factions and weren’t committed to “regime-change” for the past eight years.

In addition to sending support to the “Global Coalition against Islamic State” in northeast Syria, the Danish military will also be sending support to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, France’s mission in the Sahel, and a U.S. aircraft carrier group in the north Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, as well as increasing its contributions to NATO and as if that wasn’t enough there’s also talks of a possible deployment to an international maritime effort in the Strait of Hormuz. In response to calls from the U.K. and France for a “European-led maritime mission” in the Persian Gulf region which would probably be in addition to an increased U.S. presence.

“When we make new military contributions in the Sahel region and in Syria to the fight against ISIL, it is about more than immediate firefighting,” Danish Foreign Minister Kofod said Friday. Kofod also said, “We are working across several fronts to create security, stability, and – in the long term – a positive development in the immediate neighborhoods of Europe.”

The aforementioned “military contributions” including sending a “helicopter contribution of up to 70 people and one-to-two staff officers” to France’s Operation Barkhane in sub-Saharan Africa’s Sahel region, for the first time. As well as, sending a medical team consisting of fourteen members including doctors, nurses, therapists, and support staff to provide trauma care at a coalition base in northeastern Syria.

Denmark will also be sending a C-130J transport aircraft along with approximately 65 personnel as well as a staff contribution of up to 10 to MINUSMA, the United Nations stabilization mission in Mali.

Also, to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense profile Denmark will be sending around 700 personnel to NATO missions, including a combat battalion, a “larger warship” and four fighter aircraft.

A frigate will be sent by Denmark to accompany a U.S. Navy carrier group for three months on an upcoming deployment in the Mediterranean and North America as well. It appears that building a closer and stronger cooperation with the U.S. is a priority for Denmark, maybe even more so than their supposed mission to strengthen maritime security.

Last December, U.S. President Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, stating we had won against ISIS and called on other nations to step in. His plans were derailed and currently there exists a fair amount of British and French troops in addition to U.S. Special Operations Forces who have trained and advised the SDF in the northeastern region. France and the U.K have stated during the past few months, that they will increase their presence.

Some are questioning whether Denmark’s surprise announcement to deploy troops to Syria is an attempt to make amends with President Donald Trump. After refusing to sell him Greenland, Trump canceled his trip to Denmark.

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and analyst.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘The New Normal’: Trump’s ‘China Bind’ Can Be Iran’s Opportunity

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 9, 2019

There is consensus among the Washington foreign policy élite that all factions in Iran understand that – ultimately – a deal with Washington on the nuclear issue must ensue. It somehow is inevitable. They view Iran simply as ‘playing out the clock’, until the advent of a new Administration makes a ‘deal’ possible again. And then Iran surely will be back at the table, they affirm.

Maybe. But maybe that is entirely wrong. Maybe the Iranian leadership no longer believes in ‘deals’ with Washington. Maybe they simply have had enough of western regime change antics (from the 1953 coup to the Iraq war waged on Iran at the western behest, to the present attempt at Iran’s economic strangulation). They are quitting that failed paradigm for something new, something different.

The pages to that chapter have been shut. This does not imply some rabid anti-Americanism, but simply the experience that that path is pointless. If there is a ‘clock being played out’, it is that of the tic-toc of western political and economic hegemony in the Middle East is running down, and not the ‘clock’ of US domestic politics. The old adage that the ‘sea is always the sea’ holds true for US foreign policy. And Iran repeating the same old routines, whilst expecting different outcomes is, of course, one definition of madness. A new US Administration will inherit the same genes as the last.

And in any case, the US is institutionally incapable of making a substantive deal with Iran. A US President – any President – cannot lift Congressional sanctions on Iran. The American multitudinous sanctions on Iran have become a decades’ long knot of interpenetrating legislation: a vast rhizome of tangled, root-legislation that not even Alexander the Great might disentangle: that is why the JCPOA was constructed around a core of US Presidential ‘waivers’ needing to be renewed each six months. Whatever might be agreed in the future, the sanctions – ‘waived’ or not – are, as it were, ‘forever’.

If recent history has taught the Iranians anything, it is that such flimsy ‘process’ in the hands of a mercurial US President can simply be blown away like old dead leaves. Yes, the US has a systemic problem: US sanctions are a one-way valve: so easy to flow out, but once poured forth, there is no return inlet (beyond uncertain waivers issued at the pleasure of an incumbent President).

But more than just a long chapter reaching its inevitable end, Iran is seeing another path opening out. Trump is in a ‘China bind’: a trade deal with China now looks “tough to improbable”, according to White House officials, in the context of the fast deteriorating environment of security tensions between Washington and Beijing. Defense One spells it out:

“It came without a breaking news alert or presidential tweet, but the technological competition with China entered a new phase last month. Several developments quietly heralded this shift: Cross-border investments between the United States and China plunged to their lowest levels since 2014, with the tech sector suffering the most precipitous drop. US chip giants Intel and AMD abruptly ended or declined to extend important partnerships with Chinese entities. The Department of Commerce halved the number of licenses that let US companies assign Chinese nationals to sensitive technology and engineering projects.

“[So] decoupling is already in motion. Like the shift of tectonic plates, the move towards a new tech alignment with China increases the potential for sudden, destabilizing convulsions in the global economy and supply chains. To defend America’s technology leadership, policymakers must upgrade their toolkit to ensure that US technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks.

“The key driver of this shift has not been the President’s tariffs, but a changing consensus among rank-and-file policymakers about what constitutes national security. This expansive new conception of national security is sensitive to a broad array of potential threats, including to the economic livelihood of the United States, the integrity of its citizens personal data, and the country’s technological advantage”.

Trump’s China ‘bind’ is this: A trade deal with China has long been viewed by the White House as a major tool for ‘goosing’ the US stock market upwards, during the crucial pre-election period. But as that is now said to be “tough to improbable” – and as US national security consensus metamorphoses, the consequent de-coupling, combined with tariffs, is beginning to bite. The effects are eating away at President Trump’s prime political asset: the public confidence in his handling of the economy: A Quinnipiac University survey last week found for the first time in Trump’s presidency, more voters now say the economy is getting worse rather than better, by a 37-31 percent margin – and by 41-37 percent, voters say the president’s policies are hurting the economy.

This is hugely significant. If Trump is experiencing a crisis of public confidence in respect to his assertive policies towards China, the last thing that he needs in the run-up to an election is an oil crisis, on top of a tariff/tech war crisis with China. A wrong move with Iran, and global oil supplies easily can go awry. Markets would not be happy. (So Trump’s China ‘bind’ can also be Iran’s opportunity …).

No wonder Pompeo acted with such alacrity to put a tourniquet on the brewing ‘war’ in the Middle East, sparked by Israel’s simultaneous air attacks last month in Iraq, inside Beirut, and in Syria (killing two Hizbullah soldiers). It is pretty clear that Washington did not want this ‘war’, at least not now. America, as Defense One noted, is becoming acutely sensitive to any risks to the global financial system from “sudden, destabilizing convulsions in the global economy”.

The recent Israeli military operations coincided with Iranian FM Zarif’s sudden summons to Biarritz (during the G7), exacerbating fears within the Israeli Security Cabinet that Trump might meet with President Rouhani in NY at the UN General Assembly – thus threatening Netanyahu’s anti-Iran, political ‘identity’. The fear was that Trump could begin a ‘bromance’ with the Iranian President (on the Kim Jong Un lines). And hence the Israeli provocations intended to stir some Iranian (over)-reaction (which never came). Subsequently it became clear to Israel that Iran’s leadership had absolutely no intention to meet with Trump – and the whole episode subsided.

Trump’s Iran ‘bind’ therefore is somehow similar to his China ‘bind’: With China, he initially wanted an easy trade achievement, but it has proved to be ‘anything but’. With Iran, Trump wanted a razzmatazz meeting with Rohani – even if that did not lead to a new ‘deal’ (much as the Trump – Kim Jung Un TV spectaculars that caught the American imagination so vividly, he may have hoped for a similar response to a Rohani handshake, or he may have even aspired to an Oval Office spectacular).

Trump simply cannot understand why the Iranians won’t do this, and he is peeved by the snub. Iran is unfathomable to Team Trump.

Well, maybe the Iranians just don’t want to do it. Firstly, they don’t need to: the Iranian Rial has been recovering steadily over the last four months and manufacturing output has steadied. China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) detailing the country’s oil imports data shows that China has not cut its Iranian supply after the US waiver program ended on 2 May, but rather, it has steadily increased Iranian crude imports since the official end of the waiver extension, up from May and June levels. The new GAC data shows China imported over 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Iran in July, which is up 4.7% from the month before.

And a new path is opening in front of Iran. After Biarritz, Zarif flew directly to Beijing where he discussed a huge, multi-hundred billion (according to one report), twenty-five-year oil and gas investment, (and a separate) ‘Road and Belt’ transport plan. Though the details are not disclosed, it is plain that China – unlike America – sees Iran as a key future strategic partner, and China seems perfectly able to fathom out the Iranians, too.

But here is the really substantive US shift taking place. It is that which is termed “a new normal” now taking a hold in Washington:

“To defend America’s technology leadership, policymakers [are] upgrading their toolkit to ensure that US technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks … Unlike the President’s trade war, support for this new, expansive definition of national security and technology is largely bipartisan, and likely here to stay.

… with many of the president’s top advisers viewing China first and foremost as a national security threat, rather than as an economic partner – it’s poised to affect huge parts of American life, from the cost of many consumer goods … to the nature of this country’s relationship with the government of Taiwan.

“Trump himself still views China primarily through an economic prism. But the angrier he gets with Beijing, the more receptive he is to his advisers’ hawkish stances toward China that go well beyond trade.”

“The angrier he gets with Beijing” … Well, here is the key point: Washington seems to have lost the ability to summon the resources to try to fathom either China, or the Iranian ‘closed book’, let alone a ‘Byzantine’ Russia. It is a colossal attenuation of consciousness in Washington; a loss of conscious ‘vitality’ to the grip of some ‘irrefutable logic’ that allows no empathy, no outreach, to ‘otherness’. Washington (and some European élites) have retreated into their ‘niche’ consciousness, their mental enclave, gated and protected, from having to understand – or engage – with wider human experience.

To compensate for these lacunae, Washington looks rather, to an engineering and technological solution: If we cannot summon empathy, or understand Xi or the Iranian Supreme Leader, we can muster artificial intelligence to substitute – a ‘toolkit’ in which the US intends to be global leader.

This type of solution – from the US perspective – maybe works for China, but not so much for Iran; and Trump is not keen on a full war with Iran in the lead up to elections. Is this why Trump seems to be losing interest in the Middle East? He doesn’t understand it; he hasn’t the interest or the means to fathom it; and he doesn’t want to bomb it. And the China ‘bind’ is going to be all absorbing for him, for the meantime.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Revisiting Stuxnet: The Israeli-American Computer Virus That Started Cyber-Warfare

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | September 8, 2019

New evidence has surfaced to demonstrate how both American and Israeli intelligence services, aided by European partners, have long been targeting Iran in spite of clear evidence that it constituted no threat. The story involves the Stuxnet virus or “worm,” which was first employed in 2007 and eventually identified and exposed by cybersecurity experts in 2010. It constituted one of the first effective uses of a cyber-weapon, carried out in secret by two countries against a third country with which the two were not at war.

Stuxnet was one of a series of viruses developed by Israel and the United States shortly after the turn of the century to target and disrupt specific operating systems in computers by accessing what are referred to as the programmable logic controllers, which operate and manage machinery, to include the centrifuges that are employed in separating and enriching nuclear material. The systems are accessed through Microsoft Windows operating systems and networks, which in turn provide access to the Siemens software that was in use at the Iranian nuclear research facility at Natanz. The centrifuges themselves could be ordered by the virus to speed up and spin wildly, causing them in many cases to tear themselves apart.

The insertion of Stuxnet in the Iranian computers in 2007 by means of a thumb drive reportedly ruined twenty percent of Iran’s existing centrifuges, more than 1,000 machines, but it also spread and infected several hundred thousand computers using Microsoft and Siemens software and eventually wound up in large numbers of machines outside Iran. Though the Stuxnet virus had been designed with safeguards to prevent its spread, it did eventually infect other computers and propagate worldwide. Its use by its developers was regarded as particularly reckless after it was discovered and identified.

Ironically, two comprehensive studies by the American Government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted in 2007 and 2012 determined that no Iranian nuclear weapons program existed and that Iran had never taken any serious steps to initiate such research. Israel was also aware that there was no program but it was active in planting fabricated information suggesting that a secret facility existed that was engaged in weapon development. It has frequently been observed that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been warning for twenty years that Iran is “six months away” from having an atomic bomb.

Nevertheless, even though the Iranian nuclear threat was known to be a fantasy by 2007 at the latest, the Israeli government, sometimes working in collusion with American intelligence agencies, took steps to interfere with Iran’s existing and completely legal and open to inspection civilian atomic energy program. A multifaceted plan was developed and executed that included using surrogates to identify then kill Iranian scientists and technicians while also developing and introducing viruses into the country’s computer systems. This was in spite of the fact that Iran was fully compliant with international norms on nuclear research and had its facilities regularly inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran was also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Israel, possessing its own nuclear arsenal consisting of as many as 200 weapons, had refused to sign.

All of the background to Stuxnet has been known for some time, but one mystery remained: how did the virus get introduced into the Natanz computers as the research center was “quarantined” and not connected to the internet so that it could not be attacked from outside? That question has now been answered.

The Dutch external intelligence service AIVD had been approached by the U.S. and Israel in 2004 to provide help in locating a suitable Iranian to be groomed for the project. At that time, Holland had a large expat Iranian community and it was a relatively easy country for Iranian travelers to enter. Eventually, an Iranian engineer was identified, recruited and trained to plant the Stuxnet virus at the Natanz Iranian nuclear research site in 2007, with the objective of sabotaging the uranium enrichment centrifuges in what was to be the first-ever major use of a cyber-weapon.

The actual insertion of the thumb drive was part of a broader operation which began with a thorough debriefing of the engineer, who had previously been a contractor at Natanz, regarding the location of the centrifuges and other hardware within the facility, making it possible to write code that could target the centrifuges and their control systems specifically.

The Israeli-American-Dutch agent/mole, who was responding to an offer of considerable money and resettlement in the West, set up a computer systems maintenance and repair company in Iran that eventually was able to obtain contract work at Natanz. The agent made several visits to the facility to fine-tune his approach to installing the virus prior to actually doing so.

According to the media report, the operation was called the “Olympic Games” after the five-ring Olympian symbol because it wound up including the intelligence agencies of five countries after Germany and France joined in on the effort. It should be noted that Holland, Germany and France all had nominally friendly relations with Iran at the time. Then U.S. President George W. Bush personally approved the attack after his concerns that the virus might escape from Iran and cause a major international crisis were addressed by technical experts.

There were several arrests and executions at Natanz after the virus was discovered and it is not known if the Dutch mole ever collected on his money and the promised resettlement. More recently, Iran entered into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the U.S., the United Nations, Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia in 2015. President Donald Trump withdrew from the arrangement last year for reasons best described a fatuous and, as of now, JCPOA is still in place but under considerable strain from all sides.

One might argue that the continuing Iran nuclear crisis all started with the reckless deployment of Stuxnet, which was based on a flawed assessment, did not have to be done, and was executed for all the wrong reasons, primarily consisting of pressure from Israel on Washington to “do something.” It also demonstrated that cyber-warfare was for real and could do great damage to infrastructure, a genie that has been let out of the bottle and has made the world a much less safe place. It has, in fact, become a global problem that continues to vex politicians and national security experts worldwide.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment