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How to Evaluate the Evidence of Contrarians – Scientifically

By Jennifer Marohasy | September 21, 2019

FUNDAMENTAL to the scientific method is the assumption that reality exists independently of our belief systems; that there is such a thing as evidence, and that it matters.

There seems to be general agreement on this point from both the left and right sides of Australian politics.

Indeed, in an article in The Weekend Australian newspaper (page 18) written by Graham Lloyd entitled ‘No place in debate for contrarian hijackers’, Misha Ketchell who is the editor of the influential academic publication The Conversation is quoted claiming to care so much about the evidence that the opinions of ‘sceptics’ must be excluded.

But this begs the question: how do we define scepticism, and on what basis do we discount the opinion of a so-called sceptic?

If their opinions are at complete odds with the evidence: then wouldn’t it be more useful to show this? To use them, and their wrong claims, to explain the truth within the theory of human-caused global warming?

It is claimed that sceptics like myself have an undue and powerful political influence, repeatedly successfully thwarting attempts to implement necessary public policy change.

Indeed, if my arguments are so devoid of evidence, this should be easily proven. Except that the skills scores from my rainfall forecasts, when compared with reality, are far superior to anything forecast by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

There has always been a role in science for models and predictions — that can be objectively tested against reality/the evidence —- so the predictions of sceptics could be juxtaposed against predictions from the consensus.

Another way of finding universal truths is through simple observation. If we have catastrophic sea level rise, for example, then this should be evident when we visit the beach, or somewhere like Sydney Harbour. It should be evident in our coastal landscapes. I explained some of this in a recent talk I gave at the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club that the Institute of Public Affairs had filmed and that is now available on YouTube.

Given science is about real world phenomena, it should not be that difficult for Misha Ketchell to test the evidence repeatedly being put forward by particular individuals, like myself, against what comes to pass in the real world — what is observed.

But instead of relying on such simple tests of the truth — in my rainfall forecasts or in a coastal landscape or at a coral reef — those in authority, and who edit important journals and websites, have decided that I should be banned.

As Graham Lloyd explains on page 18 of today’s Weekend Australian, I’m listed, in, of all places, the journal Nature as a dangerous dissident who must be shunned, and denied, because, it is claimed, that I misrepresent the evidence. That so many of us are actively de-platformed is only just now being acknowledged, and I am grateful that it has today been explained in The Weekend Australian.

The conspiracy against me dates to at least 2008 when Bryant MacFie gifted $350,000 to the University of Queensland (UQ) in a donation facilitated by the Institute of Public Affairs to pay for environmental research scholarships. After I set all of this up, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) intervened and told the Law and Agricultural facilities that if the program was to go ahead it must be without me … because as someone sceptical of global warming I lacked integrity.

I was replaced by Richard Burns, as the team leader. And more recently, in January just this year, after another strategic intervention perhaps involving the Bureau this time, I was removed as team leader from a project with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

The University of Queensland program did go ahead without me back in 2008.

I moved to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. The Blue Mountains is, of course, a great place for bush walking, which is a great way to reconnect with the natural world. It is in nature that we find evidence for the universal truths that exist independently of any and everything Misha Ketchell, and other such Australian opinion leaders, choose to publish — or not.

So, while I have repeatedly tried to escape to nature, it draws me back to science … as a method for transcending the chatter now everywhere in our scientific institutions and their publications.

I have kept showing that David Jones and Blair Trewin at the Bureau of Meteorology keep changing the temperature record, and more recently that the journal Nature publishes incorrect information from David Wachenfeld, the chief scientist at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, as detailed in the article that follows.

Science is a method, science is never settled. We must therefore always be open-minded, tolerant and ready to be proven wrong. But history will eventually show that it is Misha Ketchell who is wrong and that this editor is not using a reasonable, or in any way evidence-based, criteria for deciding what should be published. This is so very wrong and so very harmful to science, democracy and the capacity of other opinion leaders and academics to evaluate the evidence which is so necessary if they are to get to the truth in such matters as climate change.

****************

The following article was published in The Weekend Australian on 7th September 2019.

Coral death knell exaggerated, says rebel quality assurance survey

The death of inshore corals near Bowen had been greatly exaggerated, according to the findings of a rebel quality assurance survey by reef-science outsiders Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy.

The shallow reef flats of Stone Island have played a key role in divisions over the health of the – inshore Great Barrier Reef and the impact of run-off from agriculture.
Dr Ridd was disciplined for attempting to blow the whistle on the widespread use of before and after pictures taken a century apart near Stone Island that suggested coral cover had disappeared.

A follow-up paper by Queensland University reef scientist Tara Clark, co-authored by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief scientist David Wachenfeld, confirmed the coral loss.

Despite winning his unfair dismissal case against JCU and being yesterday awarded more than $1.2m by the Federal Court, Dr Ridd effectively has been dismissed as a crank by other scientists.

An expert scientific panel last month accused him of spreading scientific misinformation like pro- tobacco lobbyists and anti-vaccination campaigners.

But Dr Ridd and Dr Marohasy have spent the past two weeks documenting the corals around Stone Island, which they found were still very much alive. … continue

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Because Greenland really needs more ice

Climate Discussion Nexus | September 25, 2019

“SPECIAL REPORT: As their home melts, Greenlanders confront the fallout of climate change” shrieks NBC in a Sept. 17 email teaser (not available online) that warns that “Greenland is ‘ground zero’ for global warming, a place where the effects of rising temperatures and melting ice could have the most dire consequences. The shorter winters and longer summers have opened new waterways for fishing and tourism — but they’ve also endangered hunting, dogsledding and other traditional ways of life for the island’s 55,000 residents.” Oh really? Then why do long-term temperature records for Greenland show almost no warming in the last 60 years, or the last hundred?

There’s a famous story in Plutarch about Philip of Macedon the Great sending an ultimatum to the Spartans to surrender because “If I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city” to which the Spartans replied simply “If”. And NBC’s casual use of “As” in the phrase “As their home melts,” not even as a premise to be explored but as an assumption to be swallowed untasted, we reply that if their home is not melting, nothing you say about what happens as it does tells us anything except that you are either gullible or zealots.

The NBC story to which the teaser links of course draws on the wisdom of the ancestors about the dramatic unpleasant changes, including one elder who said a thunderstorm was scary because in the good old days “We maybe hear some thunder one time in 30 years.” NBC did not delve into the question of whether in fact Greenland gets a thunderstorm every three decades.

Instead reporter Denise Chow breathlessly recounted being stuck near a glacier when the helicopter didn’t arrive and recalling with relief that fellow scientist David Holland had brought “a shotgun – just in case he needed to fend off polar bears.” Hmmm. Not so much threatened as threatening, are they?

As it happens, the bears stayed away and Chow ended up having a lovely night camping in exotic Arctic scenery before a chopper whisked them away the next day and “I found myself missing the peace, solitude and absolute splendor of Helheim Glacier.” But it was still terrifying because the Helheim glacier is melting rapidly and “Holland’s team is trying to understand what’s driving the staggering ice melt. This summer alone, an estimated 440 billion tons of ice has been lost from Greenland’s ice sheet — and some scientists say it could be more.”

We know what’s driving the main melt. It’s called summer. It happens every year and then the ice sheet grows again in winter. As for the glacier, well, many are retreating, including in Alaska, due to the natural temperature rebound from the Little Ice Age that saw them shrink dramatically before 1900.

Perhaps these journalists are seeing what they expect to see and their editors want them to see not what is actually there. NBC also sent star anchor Lester Holt “to Alaska – where he spent part of his childhood — to get a personal perspective of a climate in crisis. Scientists are warning that rising temperatures are having a significant impact on the state – including melting glaciers – which contributes to rising sea levels and warming oceans.” And Al Roker to Greenland to study… wait for it… “its record melt and heat wave.” Which he duly found, even though the data suggest that the widespread post-Victorian temperature rebound seems largely to have passed Greenland by. As we noted in August, its ice cap is about the same size today it was in 1850, and Greenland as a whole appears to have been cooling gently since the 1920s. Awkward.

Chow also failed for some reason to camp by Greenland’s Jakobshavn glacier that has recently baffled scientists by growing instead of shrinking. Instead she had an excellent adventure and filed the usual story.

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 2 Comments

Girls, Groupies, and Grim Reapers: The Religious Politics of Mass Response

By Maximilian C. Forte | Zero Anthropology | September 29, 2019

Following a week at the UN and ensuing climate change “protests” (state-sanctioned, party-approved, media-praised, university-endorsed, “protests”), in which we were yet again treated to another spectacle of a tearful child lecturing adults, Murad Gazdiev presented the excellent critical analysis of climate change eschatology. We are even called by the media to “confess our climate sins.” Playing a special role in faith-based movements that are meant to keep rational debate, skepticism, and questions at bay, girls have been chosen to occupy the spotlight. Children are representative of all that is pure, innocent, and truthful, and girl children add that extra element of vulnerability and need: the need for urgent rescue. Lighting a candle on the path toward mass hysteria, with the intention of stimulating a mass response, we have had young girls play in similar roles. There have been at least nine since 1990:

(1) The notorious Nayirah al-Ṣaba who lectured at the UN about the infamous and entirely made up “incubator babies” murdered by Iraqi forces in Kuwait in 1990;

Nayirah al-Ṣaba

(2) Severn Cullis-Suzuki, another young girl lecturing at the UN’s Rio Summit on the Environment, in what appears to be the template that has been copied almost to the letter by Greta Thunberg;

Severn Cullis-Suzuki

(3) Malala Yousafzai, who became the figurehead that somehow justified US occupation in Afghanistan and intervention in Pakistan, celebrated by the US State Department;

Malala Yousafzai

(4) Bana Alabed, the Syrian sock puppet of Twitter fame, a darling of imperialists who served as the angel of regime change on the side of foreign terrorists—see Eva Bartlett for more analysis;

Bana Alabed

(5) Now Greta Thunberg, promoted to the world stage declaring that mass extinction is already here, a prophet of doom who will profit certain well positioned investors;

Greta Thunberg

Sharbat Gula

Aisha

And, don’t forget a whole array of other iconic girls featured on TIME and National Geographic magazine covers, such as (6) the famous “Afghan Girl,” Sharbat Gula, whose image was used to champion US support for the Afghan anti-Soviet resistance (an investment with proven blowback value), or more recently (7) Aisha, used as a motif to support continued US occupation of Afghanistan. One girl to oppose occupation of Afghanistan, another girl to promote occupation of Afghanistan.

Neda Agha-Soltan

Not young girls, but rather young women have also been erected to icon status in the Iranian street protests of 2009, and the Libyan war of 2011. In Iran, I refer to (8) Neda Agha-Soltan, whose image was held aloft by anti-government activists. In Libya, we were presented with an iconic woman protester against Gaddafi’s government, (9) Eman al-Obaidi, a woman whose claims have not only been roundly debunked by myself and others, she has since abundantly disgraced herself living in the US, where she landed in jail.

Eman al-Obaidi

At a time when the West is priding itself for its advancements in allegedly fighting sexism, what we see is a return to an antiquated chivalry that gallops to the rescue of these damsels in distress. As a favourite tool of neo-colonialism, US imperialists routinely depicted countries in Latin America as women—women in distress, needing to be “saved” by Uncle Sam. As I have said before, we work with a finite number of cultural materials, and our only “innovations” are in finding new applications and new media for recycling past tropes.

Uncle Sam rescues “Cuba” from the flames of anarchy

It is no surprise that “women and girls” have been a special focus of US foreign policy, particularly from the time of George W. Bush straight to, and including, even Donald Trump. One reason has to do with the relentless puritanical moralism into which American politics have been displaced for over two centuries. Yet in deploying women and girls as props, using them as human shields, what that usually signals is the approach of either an egregious assault on the rights of others, whether individuals or nations, or a politically bankrupt policy that can find no other means of attracting sympathy other than to remind us, “it’s all about the little children”. Children are meant to be pacified, but in such instances they are themselves used as tools of pacification. Inserting a little girl into the middle of a debate, stops the debate. If anyone continues the debate, they are then smeared for “attacking children“.

By now those who are aware of this pattern should be on alert whenever a new incarnation appears, because it is a signal that certain powerful political, economic, and cultural entrepreneurs are trying to provoke an instantaneous mass reaction that might not otherwise be possible with reasoned, calm debate where all of the facts are presented, analyzed and discussed. Typically, this pattern appears when actions are being entertained that might otherwise shock ordinary individuals and make them balk at such drastic measures. Women, and particularly young girls, are meant to stimulate panic, a sense of emergency, requiring urgent and always exceptional action. As the Mayor of Montreal said about the climate march and Thunberg’s appearance, she hopes everyone will remember that day when the time comes to make some “hard decisions”. This is how one goes about creating the psychological basis for a state of siege, and ensuring that the siege mentality is instilled in a manner that makes it seep down to the furthest reaches of the social fabric.

It was Karl Marx who wrote the following about the state of siege as it,

“enmeshes, controls, regulates, superintends and tutors civil society from its most comprehensive manifestations of life down to its most insignificant stirrings, from its most general modes of being to the private existence of individuals; where through the most extraordinary centralization this parasitic body acquires a ubiquity, an omniscience, a capacity for accelerated mobility and an elasticity which finds a counterpart only in the helpless dependence [of the people on the state], in the loose shapelessness of the body politic” (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. New York: International Publishers, 2004, p. 62).

One of the landmark developments of what was announced as the “New World Order” by former US president George H.W. Bush on September 11, 1990, which joined the “globalization” babble, has been this recurrent series of “crises” that have been used to train masses into globalized mass reaction. One was the now laughable Y2K bug, a fraud of epic proportions that few mention any longer just out of sheer embarrassment (or possibly due to the kind of amnesia induced by mass culture); another was the SARS emergency, which resulted in few deaths and ended up amounting to nothing. Then we were supposed to be struck by Ebola at one point, and then a Middle Eastern version of SARS…and in the 1970s all the talk was about African Killer Bees making their way toward the US. Nothing regiments a society like fear, and once fear is unleashed it can be harnessed to any ends.

This is humanitarian abduction on a grand scale.

On the topic of climate change, Larry Kummer at Fabius Maximus has been diligently compiling a series of extremely useful analytical reports that should make any reasonable, intelligent person pause and take note. In particular, among the most recent, I recommend:

Until recently I was quite open to accepting most of the propositions put forth by climate change scientists (I have no time for activists). However, when I started to see that the authorities who marshalled this science were now actually presuming to speak to us through a little girl, that gave me reason for pause. Why are they resorting to such a crass, infantilizing tactic? It strongly suggested that perhaps their arguments were not so iron-clad after all, not as well founded on solid bedrock as some believed, and that even though they control all the media of communication and have effectively “won” the argument by closing off all channels of dissent and institutionalizing echo chambers, they still had to resort to this silly little trick. Now that means there is something really wrong in their camp, something definitely stinks over there. Nobody with a solid argument needs to resort to moral blackmail, character assassination, insults, and threats–that is not what a winning side does. This trope of using a little girl was the final straw, and those who are sincere in their research and advocacy around climate change are being done no favours by her stage-managed activism.

Finally, let me close with another Caribbean anecdote. In Trinidad this past June, I was surprised to find how little the heat was affecting me, especially as I just came out of a winter which stretched late into spring. I marched at a funeral, in a wool suit (it’s all I have), under a blazing sun, and even that was bearable. Yet I am a person who feels hot in winter snow. Something was indeed wrong. What really took me by surprise however was Trinidadians complaining about the heat. These were the same Trinidadians I knew who would sleep with no fan at night, covered by a blanket; who would wear a jacket in the morning because it was “making cold” (cold meaning 22° Celsius); in air conditioned libraries they would wear sweaters, making for a Canadian scene in the tropics. They were the same people who used to mock my incessant sweating. Now I was dry, and they were complaining about the heat, and it was only 29° Celsius, not the usual 32-34° which I associate with Trinidad’s daytime temperatures. What happened? They asserted it was “climate change” that had them feeling hot. What they did not explain is why they had all made a mass transition to air conditioning their homes, places of work, and public transport vehicles–the famous Maxi Taxis of the Eastern Main Road, throbbing with music blaring from their speakers, bouncing hot boxes…were all now firmly sealed, dark and quiet as they sped by carrying their air conditioned passengers. So was it in fact climate change that had them feeling hot, or was it first the cultural change of switching to an air conditioned mode of existence? To me it appears they have been acclimatized to a new artificial climate, while becoming alien to their natural environment. Then I returned to Canada a few weeks ago, flying around Hurricane Dorian–when I mentioned this fact to friends, their reaction to Dorian was “look at all this damn climate change“–referring just to a single hurricane, in a region and during a season when hurricanes are normal. Now just regular climate is becoming climate change, and that is a sign of the work of inculcating mass hysteria and irrationality.

But by all means ignore this—surely somewhere there is a little girl beckoning your attention.

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Malaysian PM: Israel is the origin of modern terrorism

MEMO | September 29, 2019

The creation of Israel by seizing Palestinian land and expelling its 90 per cent Arab population is the root cause of terrorism, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his speech at the UN, reports Malay Mail.

The Malaysian PM stated that since the creation of Israel “… wars have been fought in many countries, many related to the creation of Israel. And now we have terrorism when there was none before, or at least none on the present scale.”

Making his comments at the General Debate of the 74th UN General Assembly in New York, he added: “Military action against acts of terrorism will not succeed. We need to identify the cause and remove it. But the great powers refuse to deal with the root cause.”

The prime minister added that “… Malaysia cannot accept the blatant seizure of Palestine land by Israel for their settlements as well as the occupation of Jerusalem by Israel. The Palestinians cannot even enter the settlements built on their land…”

He went on to add: “Because of the creation of Israel, there is now enmity towards the Muslims and Islam. Muslims are accused of terrorism even if they did nothing. Muslim countries have been destabilised through the campaign for democracy and regime change. Muslims everywhere have been oppressed, expelled from their countries and refused asylum.”

“Thousands have died at sea and in the severe winters. One cannot deny that in the past there were no massive migration. Now the wars and instability due to regime change have forced them to run away from their countries,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also said that the application of the rule of law has been selective.

He said: “Friends may break any law and get away scot-free. Thus, Israel can break all the international laws and norms of the world and it will continue to be supported and defended. The unfriendly countries can do nothing right. There is no justice in the world.”

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 4 Comments

Restored transport links between Ukraine and Crimea would be good, both agree, as Kiev signals new policy

RT | September 29, 2019

Authorities in Ukraine intend to resume regular passenger transportation with Russia’s Crimea, according to the country’s Ministry of Infrastructure. Crimean authorities have welcomed the plans.

In an interview with Ukraine’s Radio Svoboda the country’s Minister of Infrastructure Vladislav Krikliy said that official passenger traffic between Ukraine and Crimea is “undoubtedly” envisaged. Competitions for carrier selection will be held in the nearest future.

“We are constructing entry-exit checkpoints. I think that everything will be finished on time, as ordered by the president [of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky],” Krikliy said. His words follow President Zelensky’s order in July to complete setting up checkpoints at the border with Crimea by December 20 of this year.

Crimean authorities called Kiev’s plans “rational,” as restoration of passenger traffic would benefit Ukrainians and the citizens of the Crimean peninsula equally.

“Rational statements are coming from the power structures of Ukraine, who realize the stupidity of the previous government’s actions in shutting off transport links,” Yefim Fiks, First Deputy Chairman of the State Council of Crimea, said on Sunday. “The ball is in Ukraine’s court” as to whether the Kiev authorities will follow through with the plan, he added.

Fiks pointed out the infrastructure woes that still exist on the Ukrainian side, – like the fact that, after Crimea resumed being part of Russia in 2014, a part of the railway leading to the peninsula was dismantled.

Currently, both Crimeans and Ukrainians who cross the border daily to visit relatives on the other side “are forced to walk some three kilometers with suitcases” Fiks said. He also stated that about one million Ukrainians came to Crimea on vacation this past summer.

“The [restoration of transportation] is beneficial to both peoples, to both states,” he concluded.

Air traffic between the airports of Ukraine and Crimea’s Simferopol was blocked immediately after the referendum in Crimea in March 2014, which saw the peninsula break ties with Kiev and reunite with Russia with a majority of votes. In December of that year, the National Security Council of Ukraine imposed a ban on all regular passenger traffic with Crimea by both air and rail.

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

The Untold Story of the Trump-Ukraine ‘Scandal’: The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | September 26, 2019

The most crucial aspects of the Trump-Ukraine “scandal,” which has led to impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, are not being told, even by Republicans.

Trump was very likely motivated by politics if he indeed withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Kiev launching an investigation into Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, though the transcript of the call released by the White House between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelinsky does not make certain such a quid-pro-quo.

But what’s not being talked about in the mainstream is the context of this story, which shows that, politics aside, Biden should indeed be investigated in both Ukraine and in the United States.

We know from the leaked, early 2014 telephone conversation between Victoria Nuland, then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, that then Vice President Biden played a role in “midwifing” the U.S.-backed overthrow of an elected Ukrainian government soon after that conversation.

That’s the biggest crime in this story that isn’t being told. The illegal overthrow of a sovereign government.

As booty from the coup, the sitting vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, soon got a seat on the board of Ukraine’s biggest gas producer, Burisma Holdings. This can only be seen as a transparently neocolonial maneuver to take over a country and install one’s own people. But Biden’s son wasn’t the only one.

Kerry, post-coup president Petro Poroshenko, Pyatt and Nuland, June 2014. (State Dept.)

A family friend of then Secretary of State John Kerry also joined Burisma’s board. U.S. agricultural giant Monsanto got a Ukrainian contract soon after the overthrow.  And the first, post-coup Ukrainian finance minister was an American citizen, a former State Department official, who was given Ukrainian citizenship the day before she took up the post.

After a Ukrainian prosecutor began looking into possible corruption at Burisma, Biden openly admitted at a conference last year that as vice president he withheld a $1 billion credit line to Ukraine until the government fired the prosecutor. As Biden says himself, it took only six hours for it to happen.

Exactly what Biden boasted of doing is what the Democrats are now accusing Trump of doing, and it isn’t clear if Trump got what he wanted as Biden did.

Threats, Bribes and Blackmail

That leads to another major part of this story not being told: the routine way the U.S. government conducts foreign policy: with bribes, threats and blackmail.

Trump may have withheld military aid to seek a probe into Biden, but it is hypocritically being framed by Democrats as an abuse of power out of the ordinary. But it is very much ordinary.

Examples abound. The threat of withholding foreign aid was wielded against nations on the UN Security Council in 1991 when the U.S. sought authorization for the First Gulf War. Yemen had the temerity to vote against. A member of the U.S. delegation told Yemen’s ambassador: “That’s the most expensive vote you ever cast.” The U.S. then cut $70 million in foreign aid to the Middle East’s poorest nation, and Saudi Arabia repatriated about a million Yemeni workers.

Katharine Gun

The same thing happened before the Second Gulf War in 2003, as revealed by whistleblower Katharine Gun. Gun leaked an NSA memo that showed the U.S. sought help from its British counterpart in signals intelligence to spy on the missions of Security Council members to get “leverage” over them to influence their vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

In 2001 the U.S. threatened the end of military and foreign aid if nations did not conclude bilateral agreements granting immunity to U.S. troops before the International Criminal Court.

More recently, the U.S. used its muscle against Ecuador, including dangling a $10 billion IMF loan, in exchange for the expulsion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its London embassy.

This is how the U.S. conducts “diplomacy.”

As former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali wrote:

“Coming from a developing country, I was trained extensively in international law and diplomacy and mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.”

This fundamental corruption of U.S. foreign policy, which includes overthrowing elected governments, is matched only by the corruption of a political system that exalts partisan political power above all else. Exposing this deep-seated and longstanding corruption should take precedence over scoring partisan scalps, whether Biden’s or Trump’s.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at  joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | | 1 Comment

US Intel Community Quietly Changed Whistleblower Submission Form, Enabling Trump Complaint – Report

Sputnik – September 29, 2019

The US Intelligence Community quietly changed the Disclosure of Urgent Concern form, filled whenever a whistleblower submits a complaint, which enabled the Trump-Zelensky complaint to be filed, The Federalist’s Sean Davis writes.

According to Davis, markings on the submission form indicate the document was revised sometime in August 2019, but no precise date is provided. The Trump complaint, which led to the president’s impeachment inquiry, was dated 12 August 2019. The form itself was only uploaded online 24 September, just days before the complaint was declassified and released to the public.

A previous revision of the form included a lengthy disclaimer under the bolded heading “FIRST-HAND INFORMATION REQUIRED.” It explained that second-hand knowledge of the issue, which includes being told by a direct witness of wrongdoing, or speculation about possible wrongdoing, will not be accepted by the Intelligence Community Inspector General.

This requirement stemmed from a constitutional clause that the accused must always be allowed to question their accusers, Davis explained, and that’s why hearsay is generally not accepted as evidence in US federal and state courts.

The revised document, however, contains no such disclaimer. Instead, it offers a checkbox which allows the would-be whistleblower to admit they are using second-hand knowledge of the matter. According to Davis, the complaint has not one, but dozens of references to unnamed multiple US officials.

“I was not a direct witness to most of the events,” the complainant also said in his letter to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees, respectively.

The complaint also cited publicly available news articles as proof of many of its allegations, according to The Federalist.

“This raises questions about the intelligence community’s behavior regarding the August submission of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump,” Davis writes.

The complaint was declassified and released to the public together with the transcript of the phone call referred to in the document. According to House Democrats, Trump used threats to make Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky probe Joe Biden and his son’s involvement in Ukrainian affairs. A number of US officials, including Republican lawmakers, argue that the transcript does not support this point of view.

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Deception | | 1 Comment