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End of Russiagate? DOJ drops case against Trump adviser Flynn that started ‘witch hunt’

RT | May 7, 2020

Charges against US President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, have been dropped due to new evidence showing they were baseless. Flynn was the first to be targeted in the ‘Russiagate’ probe.

The FBI’s interview of Flynn in January 2017 was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation” into the former head of military intelligence, and conducted “without any legitimate investigative basis,” the US Department of Justice said in a court filing on Thursday.

Attorney Jeffrey Jensen, who was charged by Attorney General William Barr to review the case, recommended this course of action in a document last week, the AP reported – presumably after Flynn’s attorneys made public FBI documents that unequivocally showed that the general had been targeted for entrapment by a group of Bureau officials who had privately discussed an “insurance policy” in case of a Trump victory.

Asked about the news on Thursday afternoon, Trump called Flynn “an innocent man.”

He also called the Obama administration holdovers in the FBI and the Justice Department who orchestrated Flynn’s prosecution, “human scum” and their conduct “treason.”

“What they’ve done is a disgrace, and I hope a big price is going to be paid,” the president added.

It was disgraced agent Peter Strzok who intervened to keep Flynn’s case open, and who later interviewed Flynn and apparently heavily edited the notes from that interview, with the help of Bureau lawyer – and his extramarital partner – Lisa Page. The interview was ordered by then-FBI Director Jim Comey, by his own admission.

The news of the charges being dropped comes just hours after the DOJ notified US District Judge Emmet Sullivan that prosecutor Brandon Van Grack was withdrawing from the Flynn case – as well as others linked to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations that Trump’s campaign had “colluded” with Russia in the 2016 election.

More documents showed that Van Grack, Mueller’s handpicked prosecutor, apparently coerced Flynn into pleading guilty by threatening to indict his son, then allegedly conspired with Flynn’s attorneys to keep that secret. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the content of his conversations with Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the transition period between the election and Trump’s inauguration.

The former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was the first feather in the cap of the ‘resistance’ to the Trump administration. Flynn was forced to resign less than a month into the job, after the Washington Post accused him of lying about his conversations with Kislyak, apparently based on FBI leaks. His prosecution has long been held up as proof there was something rotten within the Trump campaign, and the fact he pleaded guilty has been repeatedly used in political and media attacks on the administration, and even the impeachment hearings.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 3 Comments

Cold air rises—what that means for Earth’s climate

Tallbloke’s Talkshop | May 6, 2020

Are these researchers proposing a kind of reverse greenhouse effect in the tropics?

Conventional knowledge has it that warm air rises while cold air sinks, says Phys.org.

But a study from the University of California, Davis, found that in the tropical atmosphere, cold air rises due to an overlooked effect—the lightness of water vapor.

This effect helps to stabilize tropical climates and buffer some of the impacts of a warming climate.

The study, published today in the journal Science Advances, is among the first to show the profound implications water vapor buoyancy has on Earth’s climate and energy balance.

“It’s well-known that water vapor is an important greenhouse gas that warms the planet,” said senior author Da Yang, an assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at UC Davis and a joint faculty scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“But on the other hand, water vapor has a buoyancy effect which helps release the heat of the atmosphere to space and reduce the degree of warming. Without this lightness of water vapor, the climate warming would be even worse.”

Humid air is lighter than dry air under the same temperature and pressure conditions. This is called the vapor buoyancy effect. This study discovered this effect allows cold, humid air to rise, forming clouds and thunderstorms in Earth’s tropics.

Meanwhile, warm, dry air sinks in clear skies. Earth’s atmosphere then emits more energy to space than it otherwise would without vapor buoyancy.

The study found that the lightness of water vapor increases Earth’s thermal emission by about 1-3 watts per square meter over the tropics. That value compares with the amount of energy captured by doubling carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The authors’ calculations further suggest that the radiative effects of vapor buoyancy increase exponentially with climate warming.

Full article here.


Update – new research article published:

The lightness of water vapor helps to stabilize tropical climate
Seth D. Seidel and Da Yang
Science Advances 06 May 2020

Quote from the article:

Here, we offer a different explanation of the tropics’ climate stability by way of a robust clear-sky feedback. The magnitude of this feedback may be estimated with greater certainty than for feedbacks depending on changes in clouds and circulation.
. . .
This paper will show that the lightness of water vapor has a profound impact on Earth’s energy balance and climate stability.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

New Bombshell Documents Raise the Question Why Obama Feared Michael Flynn So Much

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 07.05.2020

As a result of AG William Barr’s decision to review Michael Flynn’s case new bombshell documents were unearthed and unsealed on 29 April shedding light on a potential FBI plot against the general. The exposure has triggered new questions about the anti-Trump “spygate” effort by FBI and DOJ officials, says Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel.

The newly unveiled written notes openly ask whether the bureau’s goal was “to get” General Michael Flynn “to lie”, so that the FBI could “prosecute him or get him fired”. The files also indicate that the FBI’s operation Crossfire Razor targeting Flynn had found nothing implicating the general in the “collusion” with Russia and would have been closed if then-FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok not intervened to keep the case open.

​On 24 January 2017, Strzok and FBI Special Agent Joe Pietka conducted an interview with Flynn, who at that time was Trump’s national security adviser, about his December phone talks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The interview played out ugly as in February 2017 Flynn resigned while several months later he pleaded guilty to making “false statements” to FBI agents over his conversation with the ambassador.

Seeking Truth & Connecting the Dots

Having taken the job of Flynn’s defence lawyer in 2019, Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor, pushed for the revision of the case despite DOJ prosecutors considering the general’s sentencing a done deal. The lawyer argued more dots needed to be connected and requested all the material that could potentially vindicate her client.

Powell argued that the prosecutors intentionally hid the exculpatory information stressing that the purported egregious misconduct by the government would justify the dismissal of Flynn’s case by the court. For their part, Justice Department attorneys have repeatedly rebutted Powell’s requests as “irrelevant” and even dubbed the defence’s supposition that Flynn was targeted by the FBI as part of a broader plot against Trump a “conspiracy theory”.

Nevertheless, Flynn’s legal team managed to expose a set of inconsistencies in the bureau’s handling of the case including edits in the general’s FD-302s – forms used by FBI personnel to report or summarise the interviews that they conduct. The newly discovered documents apparently indicate that the bureau intentionally set a perjury trap for Flynn.

​Following the disclosure the general’s defence ramped up calls to throw the case out.

​”More concerning than the perjury trap is that the FBI launched an investigation into a person – Michael Flynn – rather than a crime, under President Obama’s watch, and that this evidently unlawful investigation continues to this day”, opines Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel.

He recollects that former President Barack Obama warned Trump against hiring Mike Flynn as his national security adviser.

“Why does Barack Obama fear Michael Flynn so much? Why do so many people still in the Trump administration obstruct the process of terminating the Flynn prosecution? Let us hope US Attorney John Durham asks and answers these questions”, the analyst notes referring to the special investigator appointed by AG William Barr to look into the origins of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane targeting Donald Trump’s aides over their alleged ties with Russian officials.

A year ago Barr clearly articulated his concern that the US intelligence community spied on the Trump campaign during the previous election cycle adding that “spying on a political campaign is a big deal”. The newly released documents appear to back Barr’s concerns, according to the analyst.

“I suspect Barr’s focus has much to do with these and looming revelations”, Ortel presumes. “But I question why Barr and the president have not yet replaced FBI Director Christopher Wray and all who had anything to do with the Flynn prosecution and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. The FBI has a stunning array of resources that should be trained on investigating crimes, rather than instigating potential crimes to exact political retribution”.

Trump ‘Should Consider Full Pardon’ of All Deep State Victims

One might hope that FBI agents involved in the alleged framing of General Flynn as well as their backers will be held responsible, according to Ortel.

“Across the political spectrum, most thoughtful people must demand full disclosure of the extent to which FBI and other ‘public servants’ crossed a key line to become political hit men and women”, he highlights. “The FBI is supposed to investigate objectively and apolitically, while the Department of Justice is supposed to uphold the law, neutrally”.

According to him, “under Robert Mueller, James Comey, and Christopher Wray at the FBI, and under Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch and Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department, corrupt political motives seem to have overwhelmed obligations to support and defend the US Constitution”.

In the aftermath of the recent disclosure Donald Trump suggested that the newly unveiled documents “essentially exonerated” Michael Flynn.

“They tormented him – dirty cops tormented Gen. Flynn”, Trump told reporters on 30 April. “If you look at those notes from yesterday, that was total exoneration”.

The president earlier signalled that he was “strongly considering pardoning” former national security adviser Michael Flynn. One might wonder whether it’s time for the president to pick up this option. According to Ortel, Trump “should consider full pardons for all targets of any Mueller instigated prosecutions as these seem to have started in the absence of solid predicates of criminal activity”.

As for Flynn, the analyst hopes that Barr “would direct prosecuting attorneys to cease their efforts, while referring any evidence of criminal behaviour by prosecutors in the Flynn case to new teams of prosecutors who then should seek indictments”. He believes that such a path might be deemed a form of exoneration.

“General Flynn and many others have suffered too much for too long”, Ortel says. “President Trump and Attorney General Barr must unequivocally prove that government employees will suffer grievous punishment when they subvert the rule of law to serve corrupt political masters”.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | 2 Comments

Facebook’s International Free Speech Oversight Board Is a Neo-Liberal Echo Chamber

By Eric Striker – National Justice – May 6, 2020

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has recently established a content moderation oversight board featuring academics from all around the world. Its goal is to respond to growing criticism of Facebook’s attacks on free expression and political dissent by allowing an appeals process these experts will weigh in on.

On paper, the board claims to be a free speech check against draconian “community standards.” In practice, it is another neo-liberal amen corner that will try to grant legitimacy to social media censorship and demand it go further.

The board includes scholars and NGO workers from every continent. Nations as diverse as Brazil, Senegal, Yemen, and Israel are represented, yet notably, there isn’t a single Russian, Chinese, Venezuelan or Iranian voice on the panel.

Wisegrad group nations, where Facebook also plays a controversial role, have no representation with the exception of George Soros funded anti-Orban activist András Sajó. While Sajó is listed as a Hungarian representative, he is an agent of Wall Street and Brussels interests in Eastern Europe, including as a founder of Central European University, a product of the Open Society Foundation otherwise known as “Soros U.”

The lack of representation for countries that have billions of people disproportionately subjected to Facebook’s censorship makes the whole project an illegitimate fraud. During last year’s Hong Kong protests, Facebook embarked on a massive purge of Chinese journalists who contradicted the Pentagon’s official narrative.

Venezuelan news network Telesur was banned in 2018 as the CIA began preparations to overthrow Nicolas Maduro and put Juan Guiado in power.

Facebook subsidiary Instagram deleted posts and banned accounts belonging to Iranians mourning the death of national hero Qassem Soleimani after he was assassinated by the US government.

Russians who are critical of the Ukrainian government or express support for Russian efforts in Syria are arbitrarily declared state-sponsored “misinformation” by Facebook and shut down on sight.

As for the United States, domestic critics of the American system — ranging from conservatives, to anti-war leftists, to ethno-nationalists — are also completely excluded from Facebook’s new “free speech” watchdog. Individuals and entire nations who are targeted by Zuckerberg for their political beliefs or questioning the positions of American oligarchy aren’t given even one advocate on the superficially diverse, ideologically unified oversight board’s panel.

Facebook may not be bound by any laws to respect the free flow of ideas, but they do not have the right to falsely brand themselves as a platform that encourages and respects this concept.

Their newly minted “oversight board” is a futile attempt to change the American public and much of the world’s accurate perception: Facebook is a bloated, over-the-hill monopoly that serves as a propaganda tool of international Jewry and the US government.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

Anti-Iranian Boomerang Policies: How America Celebrated the Pandemic and Incited the Oil Crisis, and Got Stuck by Both

By Ivan KESIĆ | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 7, 2020

Two months after the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Iran, we are seeing signs of a significant improvement for the total situation. The number of daily deaths has dropped below one hundred for a week in a row, the number of new COVID-19 cases has been on a continuous decline for more than three weeks, the restrictions are gradually being lifted and the streets are again vibrant. Iran’s success in combating the pandemic is the result of mobilizing all available governmental organizations and relying on its own know-how and industrial production. Alone and under the harshest sanctions seen in history, Iran has proven to be extremely effective, compared to the leading Western countries. In the face of global disasters and the vulnerability of civilians, it is traditionally common for nations to help one another, but recently we see something quite different from the U.S. regime.

The largest mass-produced face masks factory in Southwest Asia was put into operation in Eshtehard Industrial Town of Alborz province, west of Tehran. The head of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, Mohammad Mokhber said the factory will produce every day four million masks equipped with a nano filter, which guarantees a high level of protection.

Accusations, lies, more sanctions, and warmongering

The outbreak of the pandemic in Iran and China, two largest rival countries in Asia, had come as a refreshing for American politicians. In the Chinese case, they hoped for their economic slowdown and the deterioration of their international reputation, thus opening space for expanding and strengthening America’s international policies and position. In the case of Iran, expectations were much higher. Before coronavirus fully took hold in the U.S., the Trump administration appeared to be viewing the outbreak as an opportunity to gain advantage by amplifying its maximum pressure strategy, the view that by squeezing Iran’s economy crippling sanctions will force Tehran to choose between its own economic viability and geopolitical independence.

When Iran asked for international medical assistance, lifting sanctions and a loan from the IMF, the Trump administration saw it as a confirmation of the success of their policies. Instead of showing signs of goodwill for Iranian demands, the proudly compassionate United States responded by announcing a new round of economic sanctions aimed at closing loopholes that might allow Iran to export its products and leave it in scarcity of money then desperately needed for respirators, face masks, and other medical equipment. Formerly called blockade or embargo, now rebranded as “economic sanctions,” embody the beloved fantasy that coercive pressure alone can make countries submit to America’s will.

The U.S. Treasury says its sanctions do not prohibit humanitarian contributions that ease coronavirus pressure on Iran, a claim the Iran’s Foreign Ministry has called deception. Even though the U.S. claims that its sanctions don’t prevent the sale of medicine and medical devices, the secondary sanctions on financial institutions and businesses have prevented Iran from buying necessary items like ventilators that could save the lives of coronavirus patients. The problems do not stop there, for example the Iranian government released an official coronavirus app for Iranians, but Google pulled it from its app store due to U.S. sanctions. Basically, the U.S. government has taken the same approach as during the last year’s floods in Iran, when they prevented international aid.

In addition to preventing international aid to Iran, we have also seen crocodile tears and false mercy from Trump and his administration, allegedly offering their own coronavirus aid “if Iranians ask for it.” Only someone extremely naive can believe in the sincerity of this offer, considering that they have prevented the aid of other countries, and even stolen medical equipment from Italy, France, Germany and Canada. There is no trace of U.S. aid collection for Iran, which, after all, could have been sent quietly. For example, even though they were in a more difficult situation at the end of March, the Iranians collected medical aid for the American people and sent it through the Swiss Embassy, without media noise. The truth is that Trump had no intention of sending any aid, in fact he just wanted to hear Iranian begging and then use it for propaganda purposes. Of course, Iranians did not bite it and rejected the offer. Still, the fake aid offer and Iran’s refusal were later reported in many Western media as key evidence of U.S. benevolence and Iranian cruelty.

After putting Iran in an unpleasant situation, U.S. politicians began pouring bizarre accusations against the Iranian authorities. Mike Pompeo, Brian Hook and Morgan Ortagus accused Iran of “lying” about the coronavirus outbreak and “stealing” funds intended for the fight against pandemic. “It’s not the sanctions, it’s the regime,” Ortagus claimed. Aggressive elements within the U.S. government have even begun calling for war on Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, thinking that Iran is in too difficult a crisis to respond adequately.

The alleged Iranian incompetence required some kind of evidence, so the new U.S. disinformation campaign was launched. Anti-Iranian propaganda has mostly focused on exaggerating the numbers of infected and dead, despite the fact that the World Health Organization confirms Iranian reports as credible. The Washington Post has turned to publishing fake news, claiming that Iran has dug mass “burial pits” in Qom for victims of the disease. Netanyahu went even further, sharing a video clip from a 2007 TV mini-series, as the evidence of Iranian trying to hide the true number of fatalities.

Numerous Western media have kept up with similar nonsense and hateful claims. One of the finest examples is the op-ed piece by Graeme Wood for The Atlantic. “Iran cannot handle the coronavirus,” he claims in the title, further representing Iran as the Orientalist dystopia. The city of Qom, with over 1.2 million inhabitants, for Wood is “a small city” with “cramped hotels, communal toilets, junk food and unhygienic scenes,” a sort of “Shiite Disneyland,” assuring his audience “that comparison might be the best way for Americans to understand the gravity of this outbreak.” Then he jumps to the ideological patriotism, claiming China’s authoritarianism has the advantages in dealing with a disaster like this, while Iran’s authoritarianism has none. He claims that Iran has no intention of closing the holy shrines, despite the fact that they were closed shortly after.

Wood also shows video of Iraj Harirchi, a top Iranian health official who has contracted the coronavirus, describing it as “incredible” and “comic,” calls Iranian officials “notoriously cruel,” and the country as the place where “incompetence and evil become indistinguishable.” This op-ed perfectly summarizes the distorted vision given by everyone from the American leadership to the authors of racist cartoons on social networks: Iran is bad, dirty, everything opposite to the U.S., and it will fall. After all, deadly disasters occur only in far off Oriental despotates, never in famed liberal democracies. Except Italy. And except for the post-March 2020 period.

Coronavirus knocks at the U.S. door

In mid-March, the coronavirus knocked heavily on the U.S. door and from the wealthiest country in the world, whose president boasts with the best institutions and whose government enjoys giving lessons to other countries, it was expected that pandemic would be a piece of cake. But what do we see, and what’s the difference between the U.S. and Iran? Inside Iran, we don’t see massive dissatisfaction or protests over the Khamenei’s and Rouhani’s crisis management, but according to a Gallup Poll conducted on 14 April, Trump’s approval rating is down significantly, now standing at 43%. We also see thousands of protesters in many U.S. states, with truly inspiring slogans demanding freedom and liberation. We don’t see chaos in Iranian hospitals either, but we do see large-scale theft of equipment in U.S. hospitals, as well as U.S. nurses refusing to work due to lack of protective equipment. While the story of Qom’s mass burial pits is refuted to the last detail, it remains for Americans to explain burials of unclaimed bodies on Hart Island and in New York city parks.

The New York City itself today looks like Chernobyl or a “never-in-liberal-democracy” thing, a sort of Orientalist dystopia from Hollywood movies or unhygienic Disneyland from The Atlantic’s agitprop-eds. With junk food, or no food on the shelves at all. We don’t see hungry Iranians begging the Trump administration for help, but we see such moans on the multi-billion-dollar U.S. aircraft carriers. We don’t see any regime change in Tehran, but we do see dismissal of the U.S. aircraft carrier’s captain, only because he dared to seek help for his infected sailors. There’s no trace of the alleged Iranian government’s “lying” or “theft,” but there is overwhelming evidence of U.S. piracy of protective masks around the world. This evidence comes from the governments of Italy, Germany, France and Canada. If U.S. authorities cooperated with Iranian experts at the outbreak of the pandemic, they would surely have had fewer casualties at home. But they did not want to cooperate, as with Chinese experts, they just looked like scavengers. Now, Trump is blaming the WHO, which has replaced Iran as a bogeyman.

We also don’t see the collapse of the Iranian economy, although by 18 April around 600,000 people had registered as unemployed. By comparison, over 22 million Americans had lost their jobs by the same date, proportionally ten times more. Moreover, we don’t see the collapse of the Iranian oil industry, nor their tankers floating hopelessly alone on the sea. During the pandemic, Iran has launched 25 new electricity projects in five provinces worth nearly half a billion dollars, successfully installed a giant oil drilling platform at Salman oilfield, as well as a gas drilling rig in the Persian Gulf. All domestically produced, and all for the domestic market. In contrast, we are witnessing a historic oil crisis in the West, the collapse of the North American shale industry, and a crowd of full oil tankers parked off the U.S. coast with nowhere to unload. In other words, in their backyard they are looking at a scenario they intended for Iran two years ago, or one that they had hoped for when a pandemic broke out in that country. Yet Iran has proven to be much more resilient and effective.

Everything seen before

Despite all the obstacles and wet dreams of its enemies, Iran has not fallen, and it will not fall. Its initial perceived weakness subsequently proved to be false. Iran did not ask for aid and the IMF loan because it could not cope alone with the crisis, but to accelerate the fight against the pandemic. Negative responses to Iran’s demands and attempts to block other countries from sending aid are a wake-up call for the last naives who think the U.S. government has compassion for anyone’s civilian population. Or even their own. The mask thefts from their own allies also prove that the U.S. government will treat everyone the same way as Iran. As a nation with a strong sense of identity and group responsibility, Iran has proven to be extremely enduring in similar historical situations. In the 1980s, Iran withstood the aggression of the fourth largest army, backed by America and all the world powers, and a decade later it rebuilt the country despite being more isolated and weaker than today.

Even deadly disasters, accompanied by aid refusals and military aggression, are not unseen in Iranian history. Going back a century, Iran has been hit by an epidemic and mass famine that has claimed two million lives, or 20% of the total population. In 1918 the Iranian government asked the U.S. for a multi-million-dollar loan to be used solely for famine relief, but Washington refused. Furthermore, the British recognized the perfect circumstance to temporarily occupy the western parts of Iran and impose a humiliating agreement that was terminated by the Iranian parliament in June 1921. This is also a lesson for those who think that Anglo-American vulturous policy towards Iran began in 1979 or 1953. Going back a century or two more, in 1820 and 1721 northwestern Iran was hit by catastrophic earthquakes, and the city of Tabriz recorded tens of thousands dead. Just a few months after both events, the Ottomans invaded Iran, but were repulsed soon after both times. Today we are witnessing the centennial repetition of history, with new fools repeating old mistakes and expecting different results.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

OPCW head FALSELY described Syria whistleblower inspectors to discredit them, new documents show

RT | May 6, 2020

New documents leaked from the global chemical watchdog show that two inspectors blowing the whistle about the 2018 Douma incident in Syria were right, and the director seeking to discredit them was wrong.

Two inspectors with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have challenged the organization’s final report on the April 2018 incident, which they say was altered to dismiss their findings and validate after the fact the US, UK and French missile strikes against the government in Damascus.

OPCW Director General Fernando Arias responded earlier this year by describing them as “rogue” inspectors who weren’t even members of the mission. Documents obtained by investigative journalist Aaron Mate at Greyzone, however, show that Arias’ statements were false or misleading.

Arias claimed that South African inspector Ian Henderson was “not a member” of the fact-finding mission (FFM) dispatched to Douma, and that he had played a “minor supporting role.” However, the documents from April 2018 obtained by the Grayzone show that OPCW directors were “happy” to have Henderson lead the visits to the most important locations in Douma: the hospital and the sites of alleged chlorine cylinder impact, for instance.

Another document, described as a sensitive security-planning memorandum known as CONOPS, lists Henderson as part of the FFM under the section “Mission Personnel.”

Last, but not least, the “F038” memorandum to the Syrian government lists Henderson as “part of the team conducting the technical secretariat visits,” notifying Damascus of his role. Henderson has previously explained publicly that he was on a mission in Nepal, and was assigned to Douma immediately upon his return.

Moreover, another OPCW document shows that Henderson took over the OPCW Damascus command post on May 3, 2018 – two days after returning from Douma. This goes directly against Arias’ version of events, according to which Henderson was already in Damascus, happened to play a minor role in the Douma mission, and then went “rogue” to sabotage the organization for reasons unknown.

Henderson and another whistleblower inspector – who remains anonymous – have said for months that they had not gone rogue, but were sidelined by OPCW because they produced evidence suggesting the Douma incident had been staged by the Army of Islam militants who controlled the area at the time. The final OPCW report, they contend, was doctored to retroactively justify the US, UK and French missile strikes and enable them to blame Damascus.

The OPCW responded to their revelations by painting them as disgruntled employees who breached confidentiality and lacked expertise and access to all the evidence. Their own documents now clearly show those statements to be false.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

Greece’s Renewed Relations with Syria Further Isolates Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean

By Paul Antonopoulos | May 7, 2020

On Tuesday, the Greek Foreign Ministry finally announced a restoration of relations between Greece and Syria and assigned former ambassador to Syria and Russia, Tasia Athanassiou, as a Special Envoy of Greece’s Foreign Ministry for Syria. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias confirmed this from his Twitter. The appointment of Athanassiou is extremely strategic as she was Greece’s ambassador to Damascus from 2009 to 2012, meaning she is already familiar with Syria and their authorities.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said that contacts will be made for the “international aspects of Syria and related humanitarian action, as well as coordination of actions in view of the ongoing efforts to rebuild Syria.”

Although the Foreign Ministry claims that the suspension of diplomatic relations “was dictated by the security conditions,” we know it was ordered by former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in December 2012 under orders from NATO and the European Union who were, and in some instances, still are backing jihadists against the secular government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Greece became a country ruled by European banker, EU, and NATO puppets from 2010 onwards when on May 2 of that year, the so-called socialist government of George Papandreou signed the first of three bailout packages with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. This caused a 25% contraction of the Greek economy, an unemployment rate of 27% and skyrocketed poverty. Any semblance of Greek independence in domestic and foreign policy was lost.

However, moving to 2020, the economic and geopolitical situation in Greece and its surrounding region has drastically changed. Diplomatic sources quoted by Kathemirini, one of Greece’s oldest and most respected newspaper, said that the decision to appoint a Special Envoy for Syria is part of Greece’s steady activity in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider region. According to the sources, Greece’s increased desire in contributing to efforts in resolving the Syrian crisis was stated by Dendias in his meetings with the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Otto Pedersen.

Therefore, a major reason for the reopening of relations with Syria is to further tilt the balance of power in the East Mediterranean in Greece’s favor against Turkey, especially at a time when Ankara does not have a single ally in the region, with the exception of the besieged Muslim Brotherhood government in Libya that is nearly collapsed because of the Libyan National Army’s assault.

The reopening of relations between Athens and Damascus comes at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is making a strong push for a “Blue Homeland” that aims to annex Greece’s Eastern Aegean islands and maritime space. Turkey for nine years attempted to oust Assad from power through various means, including an unsuccessful invasion attempt of Idlib province earlier this year, as well as its continued support for terrorist organisations. In addition, Erdoğan is propping up the Muslim Brotherhood government in Libya by importing jihadists from Syria to the North African country.

Although Erdoğan has failed in all of these endeavours, Turkey still remains a major threat, even at a time when it is facing economic catastrophe with the Turkish lira at a near record low to the U.S. dollar and Turkey’s three largest banks, Garanti, Akbank and İşbank, on the verge of bankruptcy. Even with this looming economic disaster, Turkey still manages to find the funds to violate Greek airspace on a daily basis, send weapons to Libya and fund terrorist organizations in Syria.

As the Eastern Mediterranean becomes a potential major warzone because of Turkey’s aggression, Greece is now renewing relations with old friends. Hafez al-Assad, previous president of Syria and father to Bashar al-Assad, pledged that if Turkey was ever to go to war with Greece, Syria would automatically open a new front in southern Turkey in support of Greece.

Athens however is not completely independent from NATO and the EU. This suggests that although renewing relations with Syria is absolutely critical in protecting its sovereignty, perhaps Greece has gotten approval from the EU and/or NATO to do this.  Greece is perhaps the most important of the very few European countries that have maintained or reopened relations with Syria because of its history of friendly relations, as well as thousands of years of religious, cultural, financial and ethnic ties.

It can be suggested that as the war in Syria begins to end, continued only by Turkey’s refusal to stop backing terrorist organizations in Idlib, the EU wants to try and take advantage of lucrative reconstruction contracts that will be on offer and investment opportunities. It is unlikely that European companies will win reconstruction contracts, but the reality is that Assad has survived the near 10-year efforts to have him removed, and is not going anywhere. Greece could be used as an outlet for the EU to open dialogue and relations with Damascus again.

This is only speculative, but what is for certain is that by reopening relations with Syria, Greece is consolidating the emerging East Mediterranean order and opposes Turkish hegemony in the region. Greece will always have close relations with Cyprus, and has also entered a military alliance with Egypt, supports the Libyan National Army against Turkish-backed forces, and has strong military and energy ties with Israel. Relations with Syria have essentially finalized the strangulation of Turkey’s attempted hegemony of the Eastern Mediterranean and made it the most isolated country in the region – despite Athens’ insistence on improving ties with Ankara if it finally abandons its aggressive foreign policy.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Probe Testimonies Reveal There Was No Collusion Between Moscow & Trump Campaign, Report Says

By Lilia Dergacheva – Sputnik – May 7, 2020

As part of an earlier declared bipartisan effort to approve the public release of files pertaining to the Russia probe, Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell announced that 53 of them had been cleared to this end.

The due-to-be-released transcripts of House Intelligence Committee interviews feature top law enforcement and intelligence officials asserting they had no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia , senior administration and intelligence community officials told Fox News.

The findings are reportedly entirely in line with the results of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which found no evidence of illegal or criminal coordination between President Trump, his presidential campaign, and Russia in 2016. However, the interviews, which are eligible for release, cast a heavy doubt on committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s previous statements about “direct evidence” of close coordination.

“Schiff is in panic mode”, a senior administration official recounted to Fox News.

The 53 transcripts reportedly include interviews with Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s ex-campaign manager Steve Bannon, adviser Jared Kushner, Trump aide Hope Hicks, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, and others.

“The transcripts show a total lack of evidence, despite Schiff personally going out saying he had more than circumstantial evidence that there was collusion”, one source involved in House Russia investigations told Fox News.

Only one of the 53 is said to have implied there is some evidence of alleged coordination.

Earlier this week, House Republicans combed through over 6,000 pages of transcripts pertaining to interviews conducted by the committee in 2017 and 2018, after the the partisan vote in September 2018 approved their public release.

Newly sworn-in Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell notified Schiff that the redaction and declassification process was complete, and that the records were ready for release, thereby implying that Schiff is welcome to act next. Grenell directed a letter to Schiff on 4 May reporting that the review of 43 of the 53 transcripts “was completed in June 2019″, and that the “interagency review of the remaining ten transcripts has been completed”. “Pursuant to your guidance, these transcripts have not been shared with the White House”, Grenell further pointed out.

Grenell went on to inform Schiff that he was “willing” to release the transcripts directly from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence [ODNI] “as to ensure we comply with the unanimous and bipartisan vote to release the transcripts”. However, he didn’t specify when he would release the transcripts.

Intelligence officials told Fox News that Schiff had had his subcommittee staff director reaching out to intelligence community agencies asking how Grenell was involved and what role Grenell, who is known to be a Trump ally, could have played in the declassification and review he had reported on.

Fox News was told, however, that the review was completed before Grenell took the helm as acting director a little over two months ago, in February.

The process, according to an intelligence source, took place under both former directors Dan Coates and Joseph Maguire, and was conducted by career intelligence officials. The official also told Fox News that the relevant heads of appropriate agencies were consulted on the declassifications and redactions of all 53 transcripts.

Adam Schiff made headlines when he dramatically read into the congressional record some of the most explosive claims from Christopher Steele’s controversial dossier. His claims, in common with ones by the “former British intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by US intelligence”, as Schiff put it, have since been directly contradicted by intelligence evidence in recently declassified and released FBI and Justice Department memos and reports.

Mueller, similarly, rounding off of his nearly two-year-long investigation, found insufficient evidence and produced no charges of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. At the same time, the Special Counsel’s team did not reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice, which current Attorney General Bill Barr ultimately decided not to pursue.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | | 1 Comment