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Linguist Refutes MSNBC Host Maddow’s Defense in ‘Russian Propaganda’ Defamation Suit

Sputnik – December 4, 2019

A Santa Barbara linguist may have just dealt the coup de grace to MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow’s legal defense in a suit brought against her by One America News (OAN) alleging defamation when she claimed the network “really literally is paid Russian propaganda.”

Maddow did not use any typical opinion-markers when she stated that OAN ‘really literally is paid Russian propaganda,’” Amnon Siegel, a lawyer for OAN owner Herring Networks, wrote in response to a motion to throw out the suit made by Maddow’s lawyers in late October.

Siegel retained UC Santa Barbara linguistics professor Stefan Thomas Gries, one of the most widely cited cognitive linguists in the world, as an expert witness for the legal filing, reported the Times of San Diego, which broke the story Monday.Noting that Maddow consistently uses markers such as “I mean” and “I guess,” as well as changes in intonation to distinguish her opinions from facts, Gries said in the filing that “there are virtually no lexical, grammatical, or intonational characteristics” that would lead viewers to conclude her statement was an opinion.

“In a highly-structured and transparent way, Maddow separates informational/factual reporting and opinion in a way that marks it as factual,” he noted. “It is very unlikely that an average or reasonable/ordinary viewer would consider the sentence in question to be a statement of opinion.”

“She is a graduate of Stanford and Oxford Universities and a Rhodes Scholar,” Siegel said of Maddow. Noting that misusing the word “literally” isn’t in the reporter’s repertoire, Siegel pointed out that ”on the show, Maddow regularly uses ‘literally’ in its primary meaning,” providing several supporting examples.According to the Times, Siegel supplied Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definitions of “really” and “literally” as supporting evidence in his filing, alongside nearly three dozen references to state and federal courts citations and statutes.

In the segment in question, which aired on July 22, 2019, the MSNBC host blasted OAN for employing Kristian Brunovich Rouz, a former contributor to Sputnik News and a perennial favorite target for Maddow’s Russiagate crusade. Herring lawyers brought the $10 million suit in September.

Maddow lawyer Theodore J. “Ted” Boutrous Jr. has tried to parry the accusations by claiming his client’s use of the word “literally” was “a quintessential statement ‘of rhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being proved true or false.’”

Herring President Charles Herring also said in a declaration attached to Siegel’s response that the network was unaware of Rouz’s prior employment at Sputnik and that “neither Maddow nor anyone from Comcast Corporation, NBCUniversal Media, LLC, or MNSBC Cable LLC [sic]” had sought out answers from his company or OAN before airing the segment in question.

“Neither OAN nor Herring Networks has ever received money from Russia or the Russian government, and none of OAN’s content is influenced by Russians or the Russian government,” Herring said. “In fact, Herring Networks is exclusively financed by the Herring Family and has never received outside investment.”

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Only 19.7% of Americans agree with US State Dept on Israeli settlements

IRmep Poll: “International law SHOULD APPLY to Israel’s military occupation & colonization of the West Bank, Golan Heights, E. Jerusalem and displacement of their indigenous populations. Do you Disagree or Agree?”

More than 80 percent of Americans seem unwilling to let Israel reinterpret international law to suit its colonialist agenda.
By Grant F. Smith | IRmep Polls

IRmep representative public opinion poll of 2,034 American adults through Google Surveys on November 20-22. Answer order randomly reversed.

Most American adults of voting age don’t appear willing to reject the applicability of international law to Israel’s ongoing colonization of occupied territories in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights.

On Monday, November 18, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reversed a 1978 State Department legal opinion stating that Israeli settlements were “inconsistent with international law.” Citing President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 assessment that the settlements were not “inherently illegal,” Pompeo stated that, “After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate… the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

The Trump administration relocated the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 and recognized the city as the capital of Israel. This most recent announcement is yet another blow to rule of law and international consensus. However, when polled, 53.6 percent of Americans don’t yet appear ready to register any concrete view on the matter. This may be due to the longstanding absence of serious U.S. mass media coverage of historical and legal issues. In other countries, informed and ongoing international legal analysis is the norm. Given that reality, it is surprising that 26.7 percent of Americans believe international law still applies, while only 19.7 percent believe it does not.

In a Nov. 21 letter sent to Pompeo, 107 House Democrats condemned the State Department’s recent decision on settlements.


Grant F. Smith is the director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, DC. For more IRmep polls, visit https://IRmep.org/Polls.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Did #ExxonKnew and When Did They Knew It?

Corbett • 12/03/2019

As #ExxonKnew gains traction with the public, one Corbett Report listener writes in for more info on the subject. Today we explore the Rockefeller-funded beginnings of this push for prosecution, how it has disintegrated in the courts, and how it has succeeded in penetrating the public consciousness in the service of the technocratic agenda.

Watch this video on BitChute / Minds.com / YouTube or Download the mp4

SHOW NOTES:
ExxonKnew.org

Who Wants To Be A Carbon Trillionaire?

New York Attorney General Started RICO Planning Before Any InsideClimate Stories Were Released

SEC Investigators Decide Not To Punish Exxon For Alleged Climate Heresy

Bloomberg Government Ponders Collapse of #ExxonKnew

What They’re Saying About New York’s ExxonMobil Trial

Podcast – Examining Climate Change Litigation (Guest: Christopher Horner)

In Defiance of Judge’s Ruling in Climate Cast, New York Attorney General Refuses to Comply With Discovery Requests

What Did Shell Know and When Did They Know It?

#ExxonKnew Epic Fail: Oil Companies DID NOT build “their rigs to account for sea-level rise”

1988: James Hansen And Tim Wirth Sabotaged The Air Conditioning In Congress

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Israeli Minister of Defense to Impose Sanctions on Palestinian ‘Militants’ Abroad

IMEMC & Agencies – December 3, 2019

Israeli Minister of Defense, Naftali Bennett, on Tuesday, issued a written order imposing international economic sanctions on Palestinian militants abroad, The Palestinian News and Info Agency reported.

Hebrew media outlets broadcast Bennett’s decision, pointing out that this move has never been attempted before.

Bennett issued his first order against Jamil Hersh, a member of the Arab Society for Human Rights in London, members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah party will also be sanctioned.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 4 Comments

‘Trump’s demeaning me!’ Lisa Page’s new victim narrative is just a media-backed PR move ahead of FBI misconduct report

By Michael Rectenwald | RT | December 3, 2019

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page’s interview isn’t about clawing back the dignity Donald Trump’s insults have denied her – it’s damage control before a likely damning DOJ report about the agency’s Russian collusion investigation.

In an interview published late Sunday in the Daily Beast, Page claimed that Trump’s “demeaning fake orgasm” enacted during an October rally in Minneapolis – and not Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s FBI misconduct investigation, to be made public in a week – prompted her to break a two-year silence.

Page tweeted the link to her Daily Beast interview Sunday night with a warning: “I’m done being quiet.” The interview cast Page as another victim of Trump’s “bullying,” which she described as “very intimidating” – the exact same phrase uttered by former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in her testimony during the congressional impeachment hearings.

“It’s like being punched in the gut,” Page said. “My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again. The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening.”

Page’s remarks also echoed Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings: “I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” Page lamented.

The word-for-word refrains are the trademarks of a concerted PR campaign choreographed by the anti-Trump establishment. The tired script features Trump as an unrestrained monster, who in every scene tries to intimidate his opponents, especially women. Trump is a misogynist, who therefore must also be a criminal and a traitor.

Page complained of the toll that Trump’s endless ridicule has taken on her:

“Like, when somebody makes eye contact with me on the Metro, I kind of wince, wondering if it’s because they recognize me, or are they just scanning the train like people do? It’s immediately a question of friend or foe? Or if I’m walking down the street or shopping and there’s somebody wearing Trump gear or a MAGA hat, I’ll walk the other way or try to put some distance between us because I’m not looking for conflict. Really, what I wanted most in this world is my life back.”

As if anyone would dare to wear a MAGA hat anywhere in urban America – other than among thousands of Trump fans attending a rally. As if Page is likely to meet a real “foe” of the permanent bureaucracy in the heart of Washington, DC.

Meanwhile, if Page sought to hide from attention, she sure picked a strange way to do it. News of her interview, in which she complained about getting way too much exposure, was carried by all the major media. It remained at the top of the Google News listings all day on Monday.

The purpose of Page’s timely interview was – as Page herself admitted in the interview – to “control the narrative.”

Page has been at the heart of controversy surrounding the Trump presidency ever since scandalous text messages between her and former FBI head of counterintelligence Peter Strzok exposed the couple’s extramarital affair and their mutual disdain for Trump and support for Hillary Clinton. The emails were reportedly sent to an FBI official by Strzok’s two-timed wife.

In one exchange concerning the presidential race, an apparently alarmed Page texted Strzok and asked if Trump had any chance of becoming president. Strzok answered: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” In another, Strzok alludes to an “insurance policy” against the unlikelihood of a Trump victory. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has claimed the insurance policy was the potential for the FBI to hack into the Trump campaign’s emails.

Page and Strzok worked on the FBI’s initial investigation into ‘Russian meddling’ in the 2016 election. At the same time, Strzok led a botched investigation, on which Page also worked, into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hacked private email server. Page and Strzok later worked together on the Special Counsel Robert Mueller team investigating unsubstantiated Trump ‘collusion’ with Russia. Page resigned and Strzok was fired when their partisan rancor and intimate relationship were revealed.

Will the public swallow this couple of smug plotters in their new role as stoic patriots? The Democratic establishment already has. Expect the furious media spinning to continue when the report is released next week.

Michael Rectenwald is the author of nine books, including the most recent, Google ArchipelagoHe was Professor of Liberal Arts at NYU from 2008 through 2019.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

Say No To The US-Israel Mutual Defense Pact

By Eric Striker | National Justice | December 3, 2019

Last September, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that they were working on a mutual defense pact. Such a treaty, if signed, would officially and permanently mandate an American military intervention if Israel were to ever start a conflict with its neighbors.

The Trump administration is desperate to get this done, but Netanyahu is having trouble selling the idea to his rival Benny Gantz. The Likud party has so far been unable to form a government and Netanyahu is battling corruption charges. As a side note, two major GOP donors, Sheldon Adelson and Larry Ellison, are defense witnesses in Bibi’s case.

The major reason why some sectors of the Israeli state want Netanyahu gone is that they believe his government’s belligerence is responsible for Iran’s stunning rise. Netanyahu has chosen Israel-above-all unilateralism using Zion’s cats-paws in Washington to try and bully Tehran, but have walked all over Chinese and Russian interests in the process.

Two years into the Trump/Israel “maximum pressure” campaign, Iran is not only more powerful than before, it is participating in joint war games with China and Russia. This has angered competing Jewish factions inside Israel, who preferred the Obama method of passively subverting Iran through its countries pro-US/pro-Europe “moderate” liberal reformists. Hassan Rouhani, who they saw as the Persian “Gorbachev,” has now been fully discredited in the eyes of his people thanks to Trump and Netanyahu.

While all segments of Israeli society are having a public debate on the pros and cons of a military pact for their country, here in the US nobody has consulted with the 1.3 million active-duty American servicemen who will die in a world war to expand Israel’s borders.

JINSA’s Plan 

Lindsay Graham has told Jews at private events that he is working on this bill and is confident it will be ratified in the Senate. So far, the only people within US borders participating in this conversation are the Republican Jewish Coalition and JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security of America). The latter fifth column is writing the terms of the treaty.

Last July, JINSA released details of the pact they want Graham to push through, titled “For a Narrow US-Israel Defense Pact,” which can be obtained online (I will not link to downloads on JINSA’s website for security reasons).

The policy paper demands that Israel be granted special access to intelligence collected by the “Five Eyes Alliance” (Australia, UK, New Zealand, Canada and the US), officially turning the entire Anglo-Saxon world into a global Jewish spy network (which is already unofficially true).

Furthermore, it calls on the war clause be triggered if any country “threatens” to use chemical or nuclear weapons against the Jewish state or physically undermines Israel’s economic activities. This is very open-ended.

The most ludicrous part of the Graham/JINSA treaty is section 3.4, where Israel is under no obligation to notify or seek approval from the United States when it decides to engage in a military attack against another party.

In other words, if Israel decides to start a war with Iran (or China, or Russia, or all of them), it doesn’t have to discuss this with its “ally” first. Israel reserves its right to act unilaterally and America must go along for the ride whether we want to or not.

America gets absolutely nothing from joining such an agreement, except the possibility of a catastrophic world war that can be started by unstable psychopaths like Benjamin Netanyahu without warning, whenever they please.

The US has not signed a mutual defense treaty since 1962.

It’s time the 98% start demanding Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham include us in this debate, and prepare to protest as soon as this bill hits the Senate floor.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Regenerating Islamic Terrorism

Usman Khan – Credit: Khabarhub
By David Macilwain – American Herald Tribune – December 2, 2019

On almost every occasion when the Western powers make claims of a terrorist attack or other event whose outcome seems to further their interests, there are inconsistencies or coincidences that suggest malign state interference. The identity documents found in the attacker’s vehicle, or the later revelation the person was already known to police. But for any single incident, it is rarely the case that such “give-aways” prove malign influence or covert action by the state, even though cumulatively the “conspiracy” by these organizations appears beyond dispute, and unsurprising to those of us on this side of the divide.

As has been observed before however, the agencies who appear to be responsible for staging and coordinating such “provocations” or “false flags” have discovered that they can now get away with almost anything – presented appropriately in the mainstream media. The public has been trained to respond to diversionary and emotive material much as Pavlov’s dog, bypassing any intellectual curiosity that would see them ask even basic questions – such as “why would he do that?”

But as they say – you can’t fool all of the people all of the time – and sooner or later there will be enough people who are not fooled to stand up and derail this juggernaut of lies and fabrications that has become the modus operandi of the Imperial Establishment. On the basis of what we have already seen and heard about the latest London Bridge “terrorist attack”, that time should be now, based on a couple of critical pointers; the unnecessary assassination of the knife-wielder, and the timing and location of the attack.

While we might ask of the – now deceased – Usman Khan “why would he do that?”, it seems to be a question many are already asking, as the story of his alleged rehabilitation from would-be terrorist emerges. They might also be asking “how was he able to do that?” – given his electronic monitoring and known attendance at a conference on Prisoner Rehabilitation before his unexpected knife rampage. But such questions are asked every time an attack happens, without satisfactory answers being provided.

The answers – from the chosen experts and from the authorities – are provided, but are never satisfactory; the terrorist was “radicalized”, influenced by an extremist Imam, pledged allegiance to Islamic State, went to fight in Syria. In this bizarre case those questions were asked nine years ago, when Khan was jailed for planning a London terrorist attack; now the question being asked is how he became “re-radicalized”, though without showing any indication of it since his early release a year ago.

But it’s the wrong question, again. Instead it should be asked who gave Usman the idea that running amok with a couple of kitchen knives in a London tourist spot would help the cause of Islamist fundamentalism in the Middle East? Would this not be the very thing that the UK government is looking for to justify its continued illegitimate intervention and occupation of Iraq, just at a critical time when the other dodgy pretexts are falling apart?

Consider for instance how the whole narrative of the “fight against Islamic State” could have been maintained had the series of terrorist attacks in the UK not happened – the Manchester bombing and the Borough Market attacks most recently. It hardly needs pointing out that the perpetrators of those attacks were also well-known to counter-terrorism authorities, and even cooperated with them.

We might even ask, if we were more cynical about the motives and actions of the UK state in its “War on Terror”, why a supporter of “the Islamic State” would be biting the hand that feeds it – with weapons and supportive propaganda – and which has benefited from the use of ISIS as a pretext for invasion and occupation of Syria’s oil and gas fields. As the basis for the whole illegitimate NATO coalition campaign in the Middle East – justified as preventing terrorist attacks in the West – this question is unlikely to be answered! But ask a Syrian soldier this question as he and his comrades face multiple missile attacks and foreign-backed Al Qaeda extremists with real suicide vests and car bombs and you might be told the truth. Just don’t expect much sympathy for your loss from “blowback”.

But back to the two critical points mentioned earlier and our question, now posed to the policeman who shot Usman Khan dead – “why would he do that?” Why, when Khan was already overpowered and disarmed on the ground, was it necessary to shoot him dead? Why was it so necessary that one of the men holding him down had to be pulled off him and out of the way so Khan could be shot? This video, which shows the minutes before Khan was apparently shot dead, is particularly revealing. Once Khan was pinned down by his civilian pursuers there is no drama, but all hell breaks out as soon as police arrive.

This question has been asked, including by those brave men who chased the attacker following his knife attacks in the conference hall. It was answered with the claim that Khan was wearing a – fake – suicide vest, which is worse than unconvincing; if the police thought it was fake – like the ones worn by the Borough Market attackers – then their answer is disingenuous, but they could hardly have thought otherwise; the idea that attendees at a conference on Prisoner Rehabilitation which included convicted murderers and terrorists could bring along suicide vests is preposterous! And we only have the word of one alleged witness and police that Khan actually was wearing such a vest, fake or otherwise, without any visual evidence – such as Khan shouting that he would detonate his vest if police shot at him.

Instead we are forced to conclude that police were determined to shoot Khan and to shoot him dead, not because he was a danger to the public – who had already overcome him – but because he was a danger to them. Dead men tell no tales, and this man clearly had one to tell. Considered on its own and in isolation from the circumstances prevailing in the UK at this time, which to say the least are “extenuating”, this could be thought a case of “rough justice”. It wouldn’t be the first time that police have sought to avoid a lengthy trial where a murderer might escape justice on some technicality.

So if “the police” – who surely knew exactly who they were dealing with long before he ran out onto the bridge – didn’t want the public to hear what Khan had to say, what exactly might that have been? That he had links to Islamic State, despite being closely monitored since his early release from Belmarsh prison a year ago? That he had fooled them into thinking he was reformed? None of this is likely, given that within 48 hours we have already Usman Khan’s whole life story and history of his previous trial and conviction.

What else can we conclude but that Khan was the means to an end which suited the UK establishment and its agencies, and that he was somehow manipulated and set up to perform in this provocation? It’s not as though this hasn’t happened before, and involved the very same organizations and individuals who are now prognosticating about the resurrection of the terrorism threat, along with their obedient media. In another Daily Mail article on the event it says:

“It has been speculated that the attack may have been revenge for the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi”

Speculation presumably by someone who believed the false story about the US bombing of a house in Syria, and didn’t realize Baghdadi was long past his use-by date; like Dr Who, he needed to regenerate, so he needed to die first, and soon!

Once again one has the feeling that events are being “orchestrated” by the Imperial powers to suit the agenda of NATO and the Five Eyes, as well as the political agendas of their governments. It’s a paranoid idea, but the paranoia is no fantasy; what more might we fear from leaders and governments who we now know have conspired through the OPCW to fabricate evidence that has facilitated terrorist attacks in Syria and lethal disinformation around the globe?

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | 2 Comments

New US Ambassadors to Central Asia – the Testament of Growing US Interest

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 03.12.2019

Carrying on the discussion about the role Central Asia plays in Washington’s grand designs and the tactics it employs to ensure its expansion in this region of the world, one cannot omit the criteria it employs to hand-pick ambassadors sent to regional capitals to advance Washington’s agenda.

In this regard, it’s only logical to cite Professor of International Affairs of the Pennsylvania State University, Dennis Jett who stated that:

In every other developed democratic country, the role of ambassador, with only very rare exceptions, is given to career diplomats who have spent decades learning the art of international relations. In the U.S., however, many ambassadors are untrained in diplomacy.

This matter became even more relevant after a series of scandals prompting interest both in the media and the US Congress regarding the role of non-career ambassadors damaging Washington’s ties with various states of the world. It came to a point when US Representative Ami Bera introduced legislation that would require at least 70% of a president’s ambassadorial appointments to come from the ranks of career Foreign Service officers and civil servants.

Returning to the matters of Wahington’s designs in Central Asia, it’s noteworthy that the White House has been appointing people with an extensive military background and first-hand experience in supervising government coups as US ambassadors to Central Asian countries for quite some time now.

Thus, Washington’s special interests in Uzbekistan, previously discussed by the American intelligence company Stratfor, are going to be advanced by its new ambassador to this country, Daniel Rosenblum, who arrived in Tashkent last July. It is noteworthy that Rosenblum holds an MA degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, with the same foundation hosting the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute – the key American think tank tasked with developing a strategy for shaping regional affairs. From 1997-2008, the now US ambassador to Tashkent held a variety of positions, including Deputy Coordinator, Director of the Eurasia Division, and Special Advisor for Economic Programs. That’s when he was tasked with overlooking preparations for a number of color revolutions in Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004) and Kyrgyzstan (2005). Therefore, there is no doubt that Washington has sent the “right man for the job” to Uzbekistan, and judging by his appointment it’s not hard to figure out the precise nature of his job.

The overall increased interest in Central Asia shown by the US and its ongoing preparations for “offensive actions” in this region are clearly indicated by the roster of new US ambassadors that have been sent to the region this year. It is an indicator that we can safely expect a number of “color revolutions” to shake up the region.

Thus, both the new US ambassador to Ashgabat retired colonel Matthew S. Klimow and his wife, Major Edie Gunnels, who arrived to Turkmenistan last June, have extensive military experience. It is unlikely that anyone in this regard may have doubts about the true goals of their role in overlooking a great many of purely military questions that the United States wants resolved in this Central Asian country and the region as a whole.

In March, William H. Moser was sent to Kazakhstan to serve as the new US ambassador. In 2011-2015, he was the US ambassador to Moldova, that is, during the years of an extensive political crisis in this country, which would soon be shaped by the age-old Washington narrative, pushing Nur-Sultan away from Moscow, with emphasis on laying the foundation of American influence through the preparation of “national cadres” loyal to the United States. Without a doubt, the main occupation of the US Embassy under his leadership will be the further expansion of the omnipresent influence of such American NGOs as the Soros Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which are already hard at work implementing the program of “language and cultural Westernization” of Kazakhstan, aimed at closing Russian schools, ousting the Russian language with the subsequent Latinization of the country, and inciting anti-Russian sentiments.

Although, out of all of the Central Asian republics, Tajikistan appears to represent the least amount of interest for Washington, the White House is taking into account the fact that that by controlling the political narrative in Dushanbe and using Tajikistan as a bridgehead, the United States can inflict damage upon both Russia and the PRC, which are described as Washington’s strategic adversaries. Against this background, the arrival of the leading State Department Russian specialist, John Mark Pommersheim, to Dushanbe in the capacity of a US ambassador is very telling. In the 1980s, he worked at the US Information Agency (USIA), and was transferred to Tajikistan after working at the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. It goes without saying that he knows Central Asia well. To date, the United States hasn’t had an opportunity to undermine Russia’s or China’s influence in Tajikistan, put it doesn’t mean that it will not continue trying. Washington could have resorted to hard power, by sending the same militants it controls in Afghanistan to Tajikistan, but so far it has been resorting to soft power. Relatively speaking, Pomersheim is no stranger to the “diplomacy” of reinforcing anti-Chinese and anti-Russian narratives through a network of NGOs.

At the same time, one should not forget that, in addition to actively opposing Russia and its influence in the Central Asian states, Washington’s opposition to China will be the primary goal that all new US ambassadors appointed this year to Central Asia will be tasked to uphold. Indeed, by controlling (or destabilizing) Central Asia, Washington could destroy the whole concept of the One Belt, One Road global initiative, which implies China’s reorientation from relying on sea routes to in-land routes. Moreover, there’s the matter of exports of Central Asian hydrocarbons to China, and the way regional players can influence the Muslim population of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. It’s no secret that the successful destabilization and radicalization of Central Asia through the “assets” that Washington has managed to accumulate in Afghanistan may present a serious challenge to both China and Russia. That is why Washington needed precisely such “right men” to serve as US ambassadors in this region.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

The Pentagon’s Destruction of the Bill of Rights

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | December 3, 2019

It is supremely ironic that Pentagon officials take an oath to support and defend the Constitution because they intentionally destroyed the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution when they set up their “judicial” system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In fact, the very reason the Pentagon established its system in Cuba, rather than the United States, was to circumvent and avoid the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Prior to the 9/11 attacks, whenever someone was charged with terrorism or any other criminal offense, U.S. officials would secure a grand-jury indictment and then prosecute him in a U.S. District Court. The accused in the federal court system is guaranteed certain procedural protections, many of which were carved out during centuries of resistance by British citizens to the tyranny of their own government. Our American ancestors demanded that many of those procedural protections be expressly enshrined in the Bill of Rights so that everyone would know that federal officials would have to abide by them whenever they charged people with federal crimes.

Examples of procedural guarantees include no cruel and unusual punishments, the right to confront adverse witnesses, the right to counsel, the right to due process of law, the right of trial by jury, the right to be presumed innocent, the right to remain silent, the right of speedy trial, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to be free of coerced confessions, and the right to counsel.

After 9/11, the Pentagon established its own “judicial” system at Gitmo to try terrorism cases, as an alternative to the federal judicial system in the United States. Yet, one searches in vain for any authority in the Constitution for the Pentagon to do that. When one reads the Constitution, the intent of the Framers is clear: one judicial system — the federal system — for trying all cases involving the commission of federal offenses.

Contrary to what some people maintain, terrorism is not an act of war. It is a federal criminal offense. That’s why it’s listed in the U.S. Code, which enumerates federal criminal offenses. It’s also why terrorism cases have long been tried in federal district court. It’s also why the Pentagon is prosecuting terrorism defendants in its “judicial” system in Cuba.

The establishment of the Pentagon’s system now enables federal officials the option of sending people who are accused of terrorism into two different systems — one run by the federal courts and the other run by the Pentagon. Thus, if two different people are charged with participating in the same terrorism offense, one can be sent into the federal court system and the other can be sent into the Pentagon’s system.

The choice makes all the difference in the world to people who are accused of terrorism because the two systems are total opposites. The Pentagon’s system has destroyed the procedural guarantees that the federal court system still protects. There is no trial by jury in the Pentagon’s system; trial is by military tribunal. Torture and other cruel and unusual punishments are meted out in the Pentagon’s system, oftentimes before conviction. Confessions can be coerced and are admissible into evidence. Hearsay evidence is admissible, which nullifies the right to confront adverse witnesses. Defendants are presumed guilty and treated accordingly. There is no right of speedy trial; some people have languished in the Pentagon’s system for more than a decade without trial. In the beginning, the Pentagon wasn’t even going to allow its prisoners have lawyers, but the Supreme Court put the quietus to that plan by ordering otherwise. Even then, the Pentagon has secretly monitored communications between attorney and client, a severe violation of the attorney-client privilege that is sacred in the federal court system.

Again, this was all by design. The U.S. military has long been a conservative organization, and conservatives have long poo-pooed the procedural protections in the Bill of Rights as nothing more than ludicrous constitutional “technicalities” intended to let guilty people go free. After 9/11, the Pentagon decided that it was going to show how an ideal “judicial” system would operate, one in which such constitutional “technicalities” could be ignored.

In the process, America ended up adopting a “judicial” system that is very similar to those in totalitarian regimes. After more than 200 years of Bill of Rights protection, the fear generated by the 9/11 attacks enabled the Pentagon to figure how a way to successfully circumvent those protections. In the name of keeping us “safe” from “the terrorists,” the result has been a destruction of critically important parts of the Bill of Rights.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

KONE To Put Facial Recognition And Alexa Listening Devices In Elevators

MassPrivateI | December 3, 2019

The good old days of elevator music being a minor distraction is about change.

VentureBeat reports that “elevators of the future will have virtual windows, voice-activated controls, music-streaming, and more.”

KONE’s DX Class, elevators will give security and the buildings owners, unparalleled access to view what is happening inside their elevators.

“Yesterday’s announcement concerned new elevators designed from the get-go with connectivity built in, allowing building owners to remotely control, activate, and deactivate specific services from a central dashboard. The setup includes a dynamic display, acoustics, and lighting that can be used to tailor the ambiance and interior.”

KONE’s “Monitoring Solutions” page also reveals that security and law enforcement can identify elevator riders in real-time. They even went so far as to trademark their real-time elevator spying program. It’s called KONE E-Link:

“With KONE E-Link you can monitor all your elevators and escalators from a single location. It gives you a real-time overview of equipment status, demand, traffic performance, and availability.”

Not only will security and the buildings owners have access to what is going on inside their elevators in real-time, but residents can also use Alexa to call the elevator while they are in their apartments.

VentureBeat’s story revealed that KONE plans to use Alexa and other companies like Robotise and BlindSquare to track people in the elevator.

Putting microphones inside elevators will transform them into Big Brother listening devices that will spy on you and your family.

As CNN reported earlier this year,

“Amazon reportedly employs thousands of full-time workers and contractors in several countries, including the United States, Costa Rica and Romania, to listen to as many as 1,000 audio clips in shifts that last up to nine hours. The audio clips they listen to were described as mundane and even sometimes possibly criminal, including listening to a potential sexual assault.”

Forbes warned that company’s usage of Alexa Guard is much more intrusive than their normal consumer used Alexa because it requires no wake word, is always listening, and cannot be turned off. (To learn more about Alexa Guard, click here.)

Turning elevators into 24/7 listening devices will make everyone long for the good old days when elevators just played bad music.

Kone plans to put facial recognition in elevators

Credit: Times UK

Tomio Pihkala, KONE’s executive vice president said,

“Computer vision is really one of the big things which we are working on quite a lot, Pihkala added. There are many use cases — facial recognition in the context of accessibility is a really obvious one for us.”

As VentureBeat pointed out, KONE has 450,000 customers worldwide. Their “Press Releases” page documents nearly 15 years of acquisitions and installations that would make even the most cynical person cringe.

Some of KONE’s recent contracts are Chicago’s Union Station Tower, the Garden Office Tower in Boston and the City of Kansas City. They are even in a cruise ship called the Harmony of the Seas.

KONE’s “Traffic History Playback” feature is also a major privacy concern for elevator riders.

“The history playback facility is a unique KONE E-Link feature. The need for playback may arise due to suspected misuse, reported incidents, or complaints by tenants. This feature facilitates reruns and study of elevator and escalator operating events and status changes, as if on a video recorder.”

How long does law enforcement or security store elevator video footage for? And are they recording audio?

For those of you who thought smart city surveillance ended the moment you walked inside a building or went on a cruise ship, guess what it doesn’t.  When elevators are being monetized to listen to our conversations and identify us, we all lose.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

French vote one step closer to anti-Zionism ban

By Ramin Mazaheri – Press TV – December 3, 2019

Paris – France’s media has remained nearly silent ahead of a vote on a resolution which is one step away from criminalizing opposition to Zionism.

If the motion passes, in a vote on December 3rd, it will throw open the door to false accusations of anti-Semitism for anyone openly criticising Israeli crimes, war atrocities and its Apartheid policies.

The resolution purposely tries to confuse “Zionism”, which refers to the imperialist and segregationist political project upon which Israel is based, with “anti-Semitism” which is a bigotry against Jews and Judaism that has nothing to do with Israeli massacres and crimes against Palestinians and non-Jews.

The hypocritical irony is that the law arrives just as France is in the midst of its latest wave of Islamophobia. Last month many top, alleged leftist politicians refused to denounce Islamophobia because they said that doing so could mean they are not allowed to publicly criticise the tenets of Islam. Protesters in Paris asked: where are France’s many self-proclaimed defenders of free speech?

The resolution states that, “Criticizing the existence of a Jewish state is a way to express hate towards the entire Jewish community.” Not only is this logically false, but inaccurate: studies show the majority of Jews in Europe are also anti-Zionist. Such a view also unjustly and dangerously tries to hold all Jews responsible for the crimes committed by Israel.

Many believe that nowhere in the world is right and wrong clearer than in Palestine, and the inability to discuss the imperialist, segregationist and constantly murderous project of Zionism will surely lead to more funerals for innocent Palestinians.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

DHS proposes MANDATORY facial recognition checks for US citizens at airports

RT | December 3, 2019

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing to impose mandatory facial recognition scans on all Americans entering or leaving the United States, moving to close a loophole that allows citizens to opt out.

Proposed in a recent filing, the DHS requested a change to the current rules in order to “provide that all travelers, including US citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure” from the US, citing the need to identify criminals or “suspected terrorists.” While not yet implemented, the rule change is in the “final stages of clearance,” a DHS official told CNN Business.

Under the existing guidelines, US citizens and other lawful permanent residents have the ability to avoid airport biometric scans and identify themselves by another means. While some travelers have found it difficult to opt out given opaque or inconsistent guidelines from airport to airport, the DHS would apparently like to cut down on the confusion by doing away with the exemption altogether.

The new rule was rejected by civil liberties groups and privacy advocates, who said it would only further erode Americans’ privacy and subject them to yet another layer of intrusive government surveillance.

“Time and again, the government told the public and members of Congress that US citizens would not be required to submit to this intrusive surveillance technology as a condition of traveling,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy at the American Civil Liberties Union, adding that the rule raises “profound privacy concerns.”

“Travelers, including US citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel.”

The DHS is currently set to outfit 20 of America’s largest airports with biometric scanners by 2021, despite a flurry of privacy issues and ongoing technical problems. Last year, an internal watchdog report found that the department’s facial recognition tech was not performing up to snuff and “may be unable to meet expectations” by its deadline. The DHS also piqued security concerns last year when it announced it would partner with Amazon for its all-seeing HART system, which will pass highly detailed information on some 250 million people to the tech giant for storage.

Recalling a data breach in June which saw 100,000 license plate and traveler images stolen from a private contractor hired to store information for the DHS, Stanley said the government simply “cannot be trusted” with the invasive technology.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment