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Barbaric U.S. Sanctions on Syria Are Futile Extension of Failed Regime-Change War

Strategic Culture Foundation | June 19, 2020

A total blockade of war-torn Syria is the desired effect of sweeping new sanctions imposed this week by the United States. The purpose is to prevent the Arab nation from achieving reconstruction and international normalization after suffering nearly a decade of war.

Washington’s objective is to make regime change in Damascus inevitable by making social conditions in the country as unbearable for the population as it possibly can.

With cruel Orwellian irony, the American sanctions implemented this week bear the words “Syria Civilian Protection Act”.

The U.S. legislation was passed by both parties in the Congress last year and signed off by President Donald Trump. Syria was already under American sanctions, but the latest round of restrictions aim to choke off all international investment and trade with the country.

It should be remarked too that the European Union renewed its own sanctions on Syria last month. Such partnering with the U.S. is a reprehensible sign of the EU’s political and moral bankruptcy.

Kelly Craft, America’s ambassador to the UN, informed the Security Council that the sanctions would prevent the Syrian government from “securing military victory”.

The move was denounced by Russia, China and Iran as “inhumane”. Syria’s envoy to the UN, Bashar al-Ja’afari, said the American plan for embargo showed a “new face of terrorism”.

Washington’s admission that the restrictions are aimed at preventing military victory are telling. It shows that the U.S. is livid from the failure of its regime-change campaign over the past decade in which Washington and other NATO powers covertly sponsored foreign aggression against Syria. That nefarious plot was defeated by the courage of the Syrian people and their armed forces, along with the crucial support of Russia, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Having failed on the battle field, Washington is now pursuing its criminal regime-change war objective through economic aggression.

All of this, it should be said, is in flagrant violation of international law and the UN Charter. The U.S. conduct is tantamount to the Nuremberg-standard designating crimes of state-sponsored terrorism.

The sanctions unveiled this week are but the opening of a new front for assault on Syria.

“We anticipate many more sanctions,” stated U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who went on to say for risible propaganda effect, “and we will not stop until Assad and his regime stop their needless, brutal war against the Syrian people and the Syrian government agrees to a political solution to the conflict.”

The “political solution” that Pompeo is referring to is the one dictated by Washington which means Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stepping down, to be replaced by an American puppet regime.

It is notable that the new sanctions also target the Assad family, including the president’s wife, Asma, as well as the wider national economy. Pompeo vilified Asma al-Assad as a “notorious war profiteer”. Such personal attack on a foreign leader and his family shows a new low in Washington’s gutter tactics. It is no doubt a sign of the frustration and vindictiveness seething in the waning U.S. imperium that it is resorting to such sordid gouging.

The latest U.S. sanctions are a despicable act of barbarity by Washington. If there was any prevailing justice, Washington should be paying massive reparations to Syria for orchestrating a war of aggression. Not only the U.S., but all those other accomplices in the criminality: Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.

However, the renewed aggression will backfire. America’s international image is descending rapidly into a cesspool of its own making. At a time of global pandemic from the coronavirus, Washington is seen as an unrelenting degenerate ramping up sanctions against several nations, including Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China, as well as Cuba and North Korea.

Whatever moral and political authority the U.S. may have had in the past, it is now squandering at a startling pace. The corrosive effect from this degeneracy on U.S. power and its financial privileges from the dollar as international reserve currency is very real and underway.

The attempts to block Syria’s reconstruction will only galvanize other nations to redouble their efforts to solidify an alternative to the U.S.-dominated financial system. Iran has vowed to ignore American sanctions on Syria. So too will Russia, China, Venezuela and others.

Washington failed to subjugate the Syrian nation despite inflicting unspeakable terrorism on it by enlisting jihadi gangs from all over the world to do its dirty work. The war’s death toll stands at near 400,000 with millions of more lives ruined through displacement. Reconstruction costs may run into trillions of dollars. But the new phase of American economic aggression will also fail. Because of international solidarity with Syria.

Washington’s tyranny is inadvertently creating a portal to a new global geopolitical realignment, one which will see the final demise of U.S. imperial power.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Who Will Fact Check the Fact Checkers?

Corbett • 06/19/2020

We’ve all come across online fact checkers that purport to warn us away from independent media sites under the guise of protecting us from fake news. But who is behind these fact check sites? How do they operate? And if these ham-fisted attempts at soft censorship aren’t the solution to online misinformation, what is? Join James for this week’s important edition of The Corbett Report podcast, where we explore the murky world of information gatekeeping and ask “Who will fact check the fact checkers?”

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June 19, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | 2 Comments

Caesar Tries to Suffocate 17 Million Syrians

By Rick Sterling | Dissident Voice | June 19, 2020

Since 2011, the US and allies have promoted, trained and supplied militants trying to bring about “regime change” in Damascus. Having failed in that effort, they have tried to strangle Syria economically. The goal has always been the same: to force Syria to change politically. This month, June 2020, the aggression reaches a new level with extreme sanctions known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.

The new law is fraudulent on two counts. It is called “Caesar” in reference to a 2014 propaganda stunt involving an anonymous Syrian who was alleged to be a military photographer. He claimed to have 55,000 photos showing about eleven thousand victims of Syrian government torture. As the Christian Science Monitor said at the time, the “Caesar” report was “A well-timed propaganda exercise funded by Qatar.” A 30 page analysis later confirmed that the “Caesar” report was a fraud with nearly half the photos showing the OPPOSITE of what was claimed: they documented dead Syrian soldiers and civilian victims of “rebel” car bombs and attacks.

The Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act is also fraudulent by claiming to “protect civilians.” In reality, it punishes and hurts the vast majority of the 17 million  persons living in Syria. It will result in thousands of civilians suffering and dying needlessly.

Pre-Existing Sanctions

The US has been hostile to Syria for many decades. Unlike Anwar Sadat of Egypt, Syria under Hafez al Assad refused to make a peace treaty with Israel. Syria was designated a “state sponsor of terrorism” and first sanctioned by the U.S. in 1979.

After the US invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, Syria accepted about one million Iraqi refugees and supported the Iraqi resistance in various ways. In retaliation, the US escalated punishing sanctions in 2004.

In 2010, US Secretary of  State Hillary Clinton pressured Syria to change their foreign policy and be more friendly to Israel. Syrian President Bashar al Assad pointedly declined. Twelve months later, when protests and violence began in Syria in 2011, the US, Europe and Gulf monarchies (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) quickly supported the opposition and imposed more sanctions.

In 2016, after five years of crisis and war, a report on the humanitarian impact of sanctions on Syria was prepared for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. It noted that “U.S. and E.U. sanctions on Syria are some of the most complicated and far-reaching sanctions regimes ever imposed.” The 30 page report went on document with case studies how humanitarian aid which is supposed to be permitted is effectively stopped. The sanction regulations, licenses, and penalties  make it so difficult and risky that humanitarian aid is effectively prevented. The report concluded with thirteen specific recommendations to allow humanitarian and development aid.

But there was not relaxation or changes in the maze of rules and sanctions to allow humanitarian relief. On the contrary,  as the Syrian government was expelling terrorists from east Aleppo, southern  Damascus, and Deir Ezzor, the US and EU  blocked all aid for reconstruction. The US and allies were intent to NOT allow Syria to rebuild and reconstruct.

In 2018, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Idriss Jazairy, prepared a report on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on human rights in Syria. He noted, “Unilateral  coercive measures on agricultural inputs and outputs, medicines, on many dual use items related to water and sanitation, public electricity and transportation, and eventually on rebuilding schools, hospitals and other public buildings and services, are increasingly difficult to justify, if they ever were justifiable.”

Before 2011, 90% of pharmaceutical needs were filled by Syrian factories. Those factories which remain have trouble getting raw materials and cannot get replacement parts for equipment. For example an expensive dialysis machine or MRI machine from Siemens or General Electric is rendered useless because Syria cannot import the spare part or software. On paper, they can purchase this but in reality they cannot.

Over 500,000 civilians returned to Aleppo after the terrorists were expelled at end of 2016. But reconstruction aid is prohibited by US sanctions and UN rules. They can receive “shelter kits” with plastic but rebuilding with glass and cement walls is not allowed because “reconstruction” is prohibited. This article describes numerous case examples from war torn Aleppo.

The author had a personal experience with the impact of sanctions. A Syrian friend could not get hearing aid batteries for a youth who was hard of hearing. Sanctions prevented him from being able to order the item because financial transactions and delivery is prohibited without a special license. A stockpile of the specialized batteries was easy to purchase in the USA but took almost a year to get to the destination in Syria.

US Economic Bullying and Terrorism

The Caesar Act extends the sanctions from applying to US nationals and companies to any individuals and corporations. It claims the supra-national prerogative to apply US laws to anyone. “Sanctions with respect to foreign persons” include blocking and seizing the property and assets of a person or company deemed to have violated the US law. This is compounded by a fiscal penalty which can be huge. In 2014, one of the largest international banks, BNP Paribas, was fined $9 Billion for violating US sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan.

The Caesar Act claims the Syria Central Bank is a “primary money laundering” institution and thus in a special category. It aims to make it impossible for Syrian companies to export and import from Lebanon. It will make it extremely difficult or impossible for Syrians abroad to transfer money to support family members in Syria.

In addition to these extraordinary attacks, the US is undermining and destabilizing the Syrian currency.  In October 2019, the Syrian currency was trading at about 650 Syrian pounds to one US dollar. Now, just 8 months later, the rate is 2,600 to the US dollar. Part of the reason is because of the threat of Caesar sanctions.

Another reason is because of US pressure on the main trading partner, Lebanon. Traditionally, Lebanon is the main partner for both imports and exports. In spring 2019 US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, threatened Lebanon if they did not change their policies. It was blatant interference in Lebanese internal affairs. In Fall 2019 street protests began, and the Lebanese and Syrian banking crisis also began.

With the devaluation of their currency, prices of many items have risen dramatically. Agricultural, medical, industrial and other raw materials and finished goods are almost impossible to acquire.

The shortage of  food is compounded because wheat fields in North East Syria, the bread basket of Syria, have been intentionally set on fire. In the past week, sectarian groups in Lebanon have blocked World Food Program trucks carrying food aid to Syria. Meanwhile, in eastern Syria, the US and its proxy militia control and profit from the oil fields while the Syrian government and civilians struggle with a severe shortage oil and gas.

James Jeffrey and US Policy

In a June 7 webinar, the Special Representative for Syria Engagement, Ambassador James Jeffrey, brazenly stated the US policy. The US seeks to prevent Syria from rebuilding. He said, “We threw everything but the kitchen sink …. into the Caesar Act.”

The exception to punishing sanctions are 1) Idlib province in the North West, controlled by Al Qaeda extremists and Turkish invading forces and 2) north east Syria controlled by US troops and the proxy separatists known as the “Syrian Democratic Forces”. The US has designated $50 million to support “humanitarian aid” to these areas. Other US allies will pump in hundreds of millions more in aid and “investments.” US dollars and Turkish lira are being pumped into these areas in another tactic to undermine the Syrian currency and sovereignty.

In contrast, the vast majority of Syrians — about 17 million – are being- suffocated and hurt by the extreme sanctions.

The US has multiple goals. One goal is to prevent Syria from recovering. Another goal is to prolong the conflict and damage those countries who have assisted Syria. With consummate cynicism and amorality, the US Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey described his task: “My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.” Evidently  there has been no significant change in foreign policy assumptions and goals since the US and Saudi Arabia began interfering in Afghanistan in 1979.

In his 2018  “End of Mission” statement the United Nations Special Rapporteur was diplomatic but clear about the use of unilateral coercive sanctions against Syria: “the use of such measures may be contrary to international law, international humanitarian law, the UN Charter and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States.”

Caesar and the Democrats

The economic and other attacks on Syria have been promoted by right wing hawks, especially fervent supporters of Israel. Eliot Engel, chairman of the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee, pushed to get the Caesar Act into law for years. This was finally done by embedding it in the humongous 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

In a hopeful sign that times may be changing, a progressive candidate named Jamaal Bowman may unseat Engel as the Democratic candidate in the upcoming election. Eliot Engel is supported by Hillary Clinton and other foreign policy hawks. Jamaal Bowman is supported by Bernie Sanders.

While this may offer hope for the future, the vast majority of Syrians continue as victims of US foreign policy delusions, hypocrisy, cynicism and cruelty.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who has visited Syria several times since 2014. He lives in the SF Bay Area and can be reached at

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Wars for Israel | , , , | 3 Comments

Police Bigotry and the Drug War

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | June 17, 2020

To suggest that all cops and all judges are racial bigots would obviously be ridiculous. But it would be equally ridiculous to suggest that there are no racial bigots within law enforcement or even the judiciary.

In fact, the DEA, the state police, and local law enforcement all serve as a magnet for racial bigots. There is a simple reason for that. The enforcement of drug laws attracts racial bigots. End the drug war and you get rid of that magnet.

We all know that there are racial bigots in American society. Some of them are very open about their bigotry. They make no bones about it. They don’t seem to care that people are aware of their bigotry.

Others though are more circumspect about their bigotry. They want to hide it from others. The reason? They are embarrassed about it. They care about what other people say. They know that in the times in which we live, they will quite likely be subjected to criticism, moral condemnation, social ostracism, or economic boycott. Being an openly self-proclaimed racial bigot is not a popular thing today in American society.

But if a bigot joins the DEA, the state police, or a local police department, everything changes. He knows that he still cannot openly express his bigotry but he also knows that now he can exercise his bigotry to his heart’s content and not be criticized, condemned, ostracized, or boycotted for it. On the contrary, he knows that now he will be honored, praised, awarded, and glorified for doing his part to “win the war on drugs” and “ridding” American society of drugs.

Enforcing the drug war

The bigoted cop can stop any black walking or driving down a street and subject him to a humiliating interrogation and pat-down search. Woe to the black who “mouths off” by objecting. He will be “roughed up” and then arrested for “resisting arrest.” If he later explains that he didn’t do anything wrong, at his trial prosecutors will ask the jury the standard question: Who are you going to believe  — this upstanding police officer who keeps us all safe or this no-good defendant who has a motive to lie?

For some unlucky blacks, they will be shot or choked to death, which obviously saves the time and expense of a trial for “resisting arrest.” Or maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll just be shot with a taser.

In the event that blacks don’t cooperate by possessing or distributing drugs, racially bigoted cops might just plant the drugs on them or frame them by falsely alleging that they were caught violating the drug laws. Just ask the people of Tulia, Texas, about that phenomenon.

And then there are the cases where blacks traveling down the highway are caught with a large amount of cash. The cops just seize it, even though there are no drugs found. If they don’t like this highway robbery, they can sue to get their money back, assuming they have additional money to hire a lawyer.

What is important in all this is that it’s the drug war that gives racially bigoted law-enforcement agents a license to exercise their bigotry legally and get thanked, praised, glorified, and honored for it.

That’s not to say, of course, that the drug war isn’t enforced against people of all colors, creeds, and national origins. We all know that it is. It is simply to say that the drug war attracts racial bigots into law enforcement (and the judiciary) so that they can exercise their bigotry to their heart’s content and be thanked, honored, praised, and glorified for it rather than criticized, condemned, ostracized, and boycotted.

By ending the drug war, you end up removing the biggest opportunity for racial bigots to exercise their bigotry through law enforcement. Police departments would no longer serve as a magnet for racial bigots. The bigots already there would start to drift away. Sure, they could still exercise their bigotry in the enforcement of murder, rape, and robbery laws, but the opportunity to do that is extremely limited.

CNN’s David Simon interview

Don’t just take my word for the importance of ending the drug war in the context of police brutality against blacks and others. Watch this 16-minute interview by CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour of David Simon, the creator of the “The Wire,” a television series about policing in America. I cannot recommend this interview too highly.

Notice how Simon continues to emphasize his point that if you want to end police brutality and corruption, you have to end the drug war. But notice something equally important, something that characterizes many members of the mainstream press: Amanpour does not seize the opportunity to follow up on Simon’s point. She doesn’t ask Simon to explain the relationship between the drug war and police brutality. She doesn’t delve into why ending the drug war is the solution to police brutality. Throughout the interview, I got the feeling that Amanpour wanted Simon to simply address police brutality in the context of the continued existence of the drug war.

To Simon’s credit, he refused to go down that road, no doubt to Amanpour’s chagrin. He was masterfully steadfast in maintaining the central point — if you want to end police brutality and corruption, you have to end the drug war.

If only all Americans were to come to this realization, we could not only bring an end this Jim Crow program but also help restore some liberty and privacy to people of all races, colors, and national origins.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

COVID-19 Cold War: Will the 2nd Wave Come from Vaccine Trials?

By Dady Chery | teleSUR | June 18, 2020

If the English-language press had done its job, and not parroted press releases that promote vaccination as the only escape from the social isolation we’ve endured the last three months, the public would be asking many questions about the ongoing protests and their relation to the logistics of vaccine trials. To test a vaccine, typically a pharmaceutical company recruits healthy volunteers for several phases of a clinical trial with a defined endpoint.

I have previously noted that an FDA “fast-track” designation has essentially accorded a carte blanche to a set of vaccines that are financed by CEPI, an alliance of Bill Gates with the six biggest pharmaceutical companies, and in many cases also by the U.S. Homeland Security and Department of Defense concerns BARDA and DARPA.

In the fast-track system, a pharmaceutical company hardly examines the results of a phase one trial before moving on to phases two and three, even though phase one is supposed to identify the best dose for safety on a small group of 15 to 50 healthy volunteers, and phase 2/3 is supposed to follow up with a test of efficacy and an expansion of the test for safety to a larger group. For any vaccine worth its name, the endpoint is a dose that is not only safe in the short and long term but also protects the volunteers from the infectious agent.

Yes, this does imply that the volunteers get exposed to the infectious agent as part of the trial, even though I would challenge you to find this fact being spelled out anywhere in the news. Since the volunteers are typically young and healthy, the expectation for a vaccine candidate against COVID-19 is that, if it fails, as most vaccine candidates do, the volunteers will not become deathly ill on exposure to the virus but will merely turn into asymptomatic carriers. Enter the WHO, which declares on June 8, 2020, without any obvious prompting, that asymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be “very rare.” The WHO “doth protest too much, methinks.” This is much too convenient a discovery right now.

The WHO statement contradicts numerous observations and at least one recent review of the coronavirus literature. The review states that “asymptomatic persons seem to account for approximately 40 to 45 percent of SARS-CoV-2 infections, and they can transmit the virus to others for an extended period, perhaps longer than 14 days.” It is actually 21 days but never mind all that. The WHO has found another paper, not yet in the press, that says what it likes. A CDC-approved vaccine typically guarantees over US$1 billion in profit for its manufacturer. When it comes to that kind of money, it appears that any report may be concocted. One important reason for the WHO to make this declaration is probably to absolve from liability the manufacturers that are, as I write this article, injecting their potential vaccines into volunteers and then exposing them to SARS-CoV-2, without any provision whatsoever for a quarantine period or the facilities for one.

Some manufacturers might pretend that their endpoint is a demonstration that the volunteers have produced “neutralizing antibodies” against the virus, as determined from assays of their serum in test tubes. If so, then people are being deceived, and the supposed vaccines may offer no protection at all in a real encounter with a virus. In vitro results quite often do not hold up to their promise. After all, every drug that has failed in animal and human trials would not have been tried if it had not first worked in vitro.

The three major potential anti-COVID-19 vaccines that are in the run right now and zipping right along to phase two or three, are arguably Moderna’s mRNA-1273, Astra Zeneca’s AZD1222 (previously ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), and Sinopharm’s BBIBP-CorV.

Moderna’s project is a much-touted mRNA vaccine, for which a phase one trial began in mid-March with 45 human volunteers, and a phase two trial with 600 volunteers was approved a mere six weeks after the start of phase one. The company enjoys US$483 million from BARDA, an apparent blank check from CEPI to get its drug to phase two, plus funds from DARPA and Anthony Fauci’s NIAID. During the phase one trial, three healthy volunteers who received 250 micrograms of mRNA-1273 developed “grade three adverse effects,” meaning that they became so sick that they could not function for one day or more. One 29-year-old man vomited, fainted, and developed a more than 103 F fever that lasted about five hours. The phase two trial will presumably use 50 or 250 micrograms of mRNA-1273. It gives little confidence to know that Moderna’s top executives have cashed out US$89 million of their shares of stock as its value has climbed from US$20 in early January to US$87 on May 22. Currently, the public is being prepared for a flare-up of COVID-19 in Seattle and Atlanta, presumably because of massive anti-racism Black Lives Matter protests. No one is asking about the Moderna vaccine trials in Seattle and Atlanta that have potentially created many asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2.

Astra Zeneca has developed its potential vaccine, called AZD1222, together with the University of Oxford, although the company controls about eight percent of Moderna’s stock. Astra Zeneca got a whopping US$1.2 billion from BARDA on May 21, 2020, and is a darling of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which has promised to deliver hundreds of millions of doses of a supposedly efficacious vaccine to Americans by January 2021. Their immunization approach is to administer an injection of 50 billion particles of a chimpanzee adenovirus that has been engineered to make the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. In an initial animal study, five out of six supposedly immunized monkeys developed COVID-19 symptoms: specifically, they became infectious, with viral RNA in their nasal passages, after they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 four weeks “post-vaccination.” Such results would normally kill a project, but not for Astra Zeneca. They spun their damning results by boasting that their injections had prevented illness because the monkeys did not get pneumonia. They are plowing through a 1,000-volunteer phase one study in southern England that started on April 23 and pushing phase 2/3 trials with more than 10,000 volunteers. Interestingly, about 10,000 protesters marched through Brighton, on the southern coast of England, on June 13 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Might we expect a COVID-19 surge there too?

Last but not least is Sinopharm, a Chinese State project that involves the China National Pharmaceutical Group, together with the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other major health concerns based in Beijing. Sinopharm has been secretive about its plans and merely announced that it was working on a potential vaccine based on the inactivated virus, with promising results in animals and “early human tests” underway. But the group just published a paper in the journal Cell that describes the animal studies. Their potential vaccine is called BBIBP-CorV, and some aspects of it should have raised more questions with Cell. For example, the same dosage is reported to work on mice, rats, rabbits, and monkeys. Sinopharm also claims to have observed no Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of disease (ADE). In other words, it is among the first to assert that the supposedly immunized animals did not become gravely ill – worse than the controls — after they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Considering that ADE has routinely been observed in laboratories that have attempted to vaccinate animals against coronaviruses, the paper should have explained how Sinopharm met this challenge. Coincidentally, Beijing has so far had a surge of about 80 new COVID-19 cases. Chinese health authorities are mandating extreme lockdown and blaming the cases on the Xinfadi market, the city’s largest wholesale food market. Conveniently, all the tests of recent visitors to the market have turned up positive, though this is actually an impossibility.

We have been promised a second wave of COVID-19, and we will surely get one. I propose that it will not happen because of the popular uprisings, winter cold, or any of the other hypotheses that have been put forward to prepare us for it. Instead, it will probably be due to the free circulation of tens of thousands of volunteers from various failed vaccine trials. In the U.S., China, and several Western countries, pharmaceutical concerns are becoming an arm of the military-industrial complex. In the West, the main motivation is a desire for a piece of the large pie of military budget. In China, it is an aspiration for greater prestige in the world and conquest of the hearts and minds of citizens of other countries, particularly the global south. The supposedly greater race consciousness that has erupted from the Black Lives Matter protests could soon turn into a racist call for the mandatory vaccination of mostly black and brown low-wage workers, for their own good. Racism is alive and well, and the Vaccine Cold War is on. What we are experiencing is analogous to the fallout from the atmospheric nuclear tests of the first Cold War. We are being played like fish near a hook.

Dr. Dady Chery is an Associate Professor of Biology, Co-Editor-In-Chief of News Junkie Post, and the author of We Have Dared to Be Free: Haiti’s Struggle Against Occupation.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 2 Comments

Hungary’s NGOs will have to disclose foreign funds despite EU top court’s ruling: Orban

RT | June 19, 2020

Civil organizations involved in Hungarian politics will still have to disclose their foreign donors, PM Viktor Orban said on Friday. He made the statement after the European Union’s top court said Hungary’s stance on overseas funding violated EU law.

The Hungarian legislation was part of measures against what the government sees as unfair foreign influence, linked to its disagreements with US billionaire George Soros, who was born in Budapest.

On Friday, reacting to the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU for the first time, Orban said Hungary would respect the decision about the funding of NGOs but transparency rules would continue to apply.

“All Hungarians will know about every and each forint worth of funding sent here from abroad for political purposes,” the PM told state radio.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Epstein Case: Documentaries Won’t Touch Tales of Intel Ties

By Elizabeth Vos | Consortium News | June 17, 2020

Investigation Discovery premiered  a three-hour special, “Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein?” on May 31, the first segment in a three-part series, that  focused on Epstein’s August 2019 death in federal custody. The series addresses Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, his links with billionaire Leslie Wexner, founder of the Victoria Secrets clothing line, and others, as well as the non-prosecution deal he was given.

The special followed on the heels of Netflix’s release of “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich,” a mini-series that draws on a book of the same name by James Patterson.

Promotional material for “Who Killed Jeffery Epstein?” promises that: “… exclusive interviews and in-depth investigations reveal new clues about his seedy underworld, privileged life and controversial death. The three-hour special looks to answer the questions surrounding the death of this enigmatic figure.” Netflix billed its series this way: “Stories from survivors fuel this docuseries examining how convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein used his wealth and power to carry out his abuses.”

Neither documentary however deals at all with Epstein’s suspected ties to the world of intelligence.

Absent from both are Maxwell’s reported links to Israeli intelligence through her father, Robert Maxwell, former owner of The New York Daily News and The Mirror newspaper in London. Maxwell essentially received a state funeral in Israel and was buried on the Mount of Olives after he mysteriously fell off his yacht in 1991 in the Atlantic Ocean.

In an interview with Consortium News, former Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe said Epstein did not work with Mossad. “Military intelligence was who he was working with,” said Ben-Menashe. “Big difference,” he said. “He never worked with Mossad, and Robert Maxwell never did, either. It was military intelligence.”

Ben-Menashe claimed Robert Maxwell was Epstein’s “tie over. Robert Maxwell was the conduit. The financial conduit.”

In “Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” a book published in December, Ben-Menashe is quoted as saying he worked with Robert Maxwell who introduced his daughter and Epstein to Israeli intelligence, after which they engaged in a blackmail operation for Israel. “[Epstein] was taking photos of politicians f**king fourteen-year-old girls — if you want to get it straight. They [Epstein and Maxwell] would just blackmail people, they would just blackmail people like that,” he says in the book.

Ben-Menashe also claims that Robert Maxwell had attempted to blackmail Mossad. “He really lost his compass once he started playing these games with people,” he told Consortium News.

Prince Andrew

About a week after both documentaries premiered, the U.S. Department of Justice approached the U.K.’s Home Office requesting that Prince Andrew answer questions in the U.K. over his links to Epstein, The Mirror reported.  If he refuses, the paper said, U.S. prosecutors would ask that he be brought to a British court to respond to their questions. Andrew’s lawyers say he three times agreed to be questioned by U.S. authorities, but it is not known if Andrew attached conditions, such as immunity.

Both documentaries mention Prince Andrew in the context of allegations about him from one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. But neither film goes into much detail about Andrew’s role in the Epstein operation, which Ben-Menashe said, was to lure powerful men into Epstein’s orbit.

“One of the things that are really key to this is that he [Epstein] befriended a very useful idiot called Prince Andrew,” Ben-Menashe told CN. “Now what really happened was that this Prince Andrew, with nothing to do, was having fun with this, and Prince Andrew brings in the fancy people, invites them to play golf with him, and then takes them out for fun. Then Epstein shows up, and these people are basically blackmailed.”

“The only person that can talk, that probably knows quite a bit, is the great prince,” Ben-Menashe said. “He was with him [Epstein] all the time. I really don’t know what his future is going to be like, either.”

Since a number of influential figures were named in a lawsuit filed by Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell the day before Epstein was found dead in his federal prison cell in New York, Ben-Menashe said: “I’m starting to think that lawsuit was his death sentence, because people didn’t want to be named. That’s my guess, it’s just a guess. Obviously, somebody decided that he had to go.”

Epstein’s death was ruled a “suicide” by New York’s chief medical examiner. A pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother said it was homicide.

An Angry Call

Just before Ben-Menashe spoke to Consortium News on Monday, he said he had received an angry telephone call from Israel’s Channel 13 television station.

“They called me, and they went wild: ‘What, you believe Israel would use little girls? You are saying that? You are insulting the nation, you are making us anathema around the world.’ I said, ‘The truth is the truth.’ And Jeffrey Epstein’s story is something that nobody wanted to hear. He was working with the Israelis, he was working with Maxwell,” Ben-Menashe said.

He added: “It’s a very bad story, and I can see why the Israelis are so concerned about it. I believe [Channel 13] were expressing anger, and I believe this was a message. I don’t like messages like that… it has to do with the timing and these stories coming out about Epstein. They [Israel] are starting to become anathema to the world, this adds to it — the Epstein story.”

Victims’ Voices

The Netflix and Investigation Discovery productions allow survivors to recount their experiences in interviews as well as taped police recordings and focus on the sweetheart plea deal provided to Epstein by former Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta during Acosta’s tenure as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Each series outlines Epstein’s relationships with Wexner, Maxwell, and a variety of elite figures. Investigation Discovery focuses on the controversy surrounding Epstein’s death while Netflix’s “Filthy Rich” examines the second attempt to prosecute Epstein in the context of the Me Too movement.

The Netflix series describes the initial investigation of Epstein as it shifted from the state to the federal level, and airs allegations that Florida  journalists covering the story were threatened. Netflix also interviews psychologist Dr. Kathryn Stamoulis, a specialist in adolescent sexuality, who gives a description of Epstein’s targeting and grooming of young girls. Epstein survivor Giuffre later describes in the film being groomed to tolerate exploitation and sex trafficking as part of a “deranged family.”

The final section of the fourth episode in Netflix’s miniseries includes a survivor stating that this was not simply an Epstein operation, but an “international sex trafficking ring that reached all over the world.” Epstein is described as a “very small piece in a huge network.” But the documentary goes no further than that.

As in the Belgian Dutroux case, victims alleged that multiple abusers acted in concert with each other, using blackmail to keep each other in line. In both instances, authorities and the media portrayed the abuse as chiefly the product of an aberrant lone predator.

“This wouldn’t be the only time this happened, but this guy got way over his head,” Ben-Menashe told Consortium News. “He probably was blackmailing too many people, too many powerful people. And then, this is a story the Israelis wouldn’t want to come out, anyway.”

Thriving in Murky Waters

Another angle the documentaries did not approach was the environment in which Epstein thrived like an algae bloom in stagnant water, that is, within a long history of child trafficking rings linked with intelligence agencies, often with the aim of gathering blackmail material. It was within this reality that Epstein appeared to be rendered untouchable.

Omitting the intelligence aspect of Epstein’s history allows the Establishment media to portray his case as a mysterious and unsolvable aberration, rather than perhaps a continuation of business-as-usual amongst those in power.

The glaring refusal to address Epstein’s intelligence involvement becomes clear when Investigation Discovery and Netflix’s programs discuss the role of Acosta in securing Epstein’s “sweetheart” plea deal, but do not reference Acosta’s widely reported explanation as to why Acosta agreed to the deal. As reported by The Daily Beast, Acosta claimed that he cut the non-prosecution deal because he had been told that “Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.”

Independent journalist Whitney Webb has reported on Epstein’s many ties with intelligence, telling  CNLive! in August last year that there is evidence this included with the CIA.

Webb spoke about  Iran-Contra links to Epstein via his and billionaire Wexner’s efforts to relocate Southern Air Transport (formerly the CIA’s Air America) from Florida to Ohio: “What’s significant here is that out of all the airlines in the United States, Wexner and Epstein choose the airline, the only airline that is outed, publicly known at the time, to be a CIA cut-out. Out of all the airlines that exist, that’s the one they go for,” she said.

Webb also cited reporting by Nigel Rosser, a British journalist, who wrote in the Evening Standard in 2001 that Epstein claimed he worked for the CIA in the 1990s.

Lip Service

Investigation Discovery and Netflix give lip service to Wexner’s ties with Epstein, omitting that Wexner gave Epstein the largest private residence in New York City — essentially for free. Investigation Discovery does not mention that the residence was extensively wired with surveillance equipment, per Webb and The New York Times.

“James Patterson, before writing his book on Epstein, ‘Filthy Rich,’ on which this documentary [by Netflix] is based, wrote a novel [‘The President is Missing’] with Bill Clinton , who is of course quite close to the Epstein scandal, so that definitely, in my opinion, raises some eyebrows,” Webb told Consortium News.

“I think that one of the goals of this [Netflix] documentary is to basically imply that Epstein was the head of the operation and that now that he is dead, all of that activity has ceased,” Webb said. “If they had actually bothered to explore the intelligence angle, in some of the more obvious facts about the case, like Leslie Wexner’s role, for example, it becomes clear that Epstein was really just more of a manager of this type of operation, [and] that these activities continue.”

Webb said a main reason for avoiding discussion of the intelligence angle is that mention of state sponsorship would lead to calls for accountability and open inquiry into a history of sexual blackmail by intelligence agencies. “So if they had given even superficial treatment of those ties, it would have exposed threads that if anyone had bothered to pull on a little bit, would start to unravel a lot of things that obviously these powerful people and institutions don’t want exposed,” Webb said.

More than nine months since Epstein’s death, no alleged Epstein co-conspirator has been arrested or charged with a crime despite reports of an active criminal investigation of Maxwell (who has disappeared), and multiple failed attempts of alleged Epstein victims to serve her with civil suits.

“The criminal case against him, and all the evidence that was gathered against him as part of that, will never be made public unless someone else is charged,” said Webb. “So, the fact that they’re not charging anyone else is quite telling, and the fact that the mainstream media isn’t pushing back against that, I think is telling as well.”

The omissions of major aspects of the Epstein case by the media, specifically its links with the intelligence community, seems to be yet another example of a buffer between justice and those responsible for rendering Epstein untouchable.

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter and co-host of CN Live. 

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Film Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

German Authorities Detain Drunken US Soldier Who Bit, Referred to Them as ‘Nazis’

Sputnik -17.06.2020

A drunken US Army soldier of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment was tied up and arrested by six German police officers in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday after he reportedly assaulted arresting officers and referred to them as Nazis.

An unnamed 22-year-old of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, Germany, could soon find himself facing assault charges under the US’ Uniform Code of Military Justice, following allegations of an aggressive and drunken encounter with German police officers over the weekend, according to Stars and Stripes.

Prior to being identified as a member of the US Army, the 22-year-old was reported to German authorities over his aggressive behavior toward staff at a Nuremberg train station.

“Due to the [intoxication] and the aggressive behavior, the identity of the man could not be determined on the scene,” police said, as reported by Stars and Stripes.

Cops initially handcuffed the drunken American, who then began to shout epithets, such as calling them Nazis, and kicked the arresting officers with his cowboy boots.

German officers responded to the resistance by tying up the soldier’s legs and hauling him off to the local police station. Authorities allege the American drew blood from an officer after biting his leg during a search.

Authorities told Stars and Stripes that the cop in question was taken to a hospital and “is currently not able to work.”

The American soldier has since been released to the US military.

Maj. John Ambelang, spokesperson for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, confirmed to the outlet that the unit “is aware of an incident involving a soldier” and “takes unlawful violence toward others very seriously.”

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , | 1 Comment

US Rejects Venezuela Legislative Elections as TSJ Intervenes in Two Opposition Parties

By Ricardo Vaz and Lucas Koerner – Venezuelanalysis – June 17, 2020

Mérida – The US State Department has voiced opposition to upcoming parliamentary elections in Venezuela.

In a press statement published on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the recent Supreme Court (TSJ) appointment of a new electoral council (CNE).

“The regime has selected a CNE that will rubber-stamp its decisions and ignore the conditions required for free elections,” the statement said, adding that “elections that represent the will of the people are impossible.”

The Trump administration has repeatedly refused to recognize any elections while President Nicolas Maduro remains in office. In March, the State Department released a “transition” plan with a five-person “Council of State” assuming power and convening presidential and legislative elections. Washington has vowed to ramp up sanctions until Caracas accepts the deal.

The Venezuelan Supreme Court swore in a new CNE on Friday, with former TSJ justice Indira Alfonzo assuming the presidency. While Venezuelan law mandates that the CNE be chosen by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly (AN), the judicial body stepped in following a request from minority opposition parties in order to guarantee elections this year. The TSJ had also appointed the CNE in 2003, 2005, and 2014 when the AN failed to secure the necessary majority.

AD ruling

Pompeo’s statement came amid another pair of controversial rulings by the high court.

On Monday, the TSJ suspended the current leadership of Venezuela’s largest opposition party, Democratic Action (AD), and named a new ad hoc one headed by former Amazonas State Governor Bernabe Gutierrez.

The brother of newly-appointed CNE Rector Jose Gutierrez, Bernabe Gutierrez previously served as the party’s national secretary before he was expelled by AD Secretary General Henry Ramos Allup on Monday for “conspiring” with President Nicolas Maduro to participate in the upcoming elections. The TSJ order provisionally anulls all party expulsions and exclusions.

Ramos Allup lashed out at the move as a “robbery,” challenging Gutierrez to “come here and take [the headquarters of] Democratic Action.”

For his part, Gutierrez released a statement accusing the ex-secretary general of operating a “regime of terror” and announcing a new era of “internal democracy, of the right to opine, to dissent… without fear of being expelled.” The party leader additionally confirmed that AD would participate in parliamentary elections later this year, which Ramos Allup had previously announced in March.

Ramos Allup has long been infamous for authoritarian leadership style and hostility to elections, with US State Department cables describing the party under his tenure as not only “extremely vertically organized” but “dictatorial.”

Hard-right opposition figures have, however, denounced the standoff within Democratic Action as staged, accusing Ramos Allup of ordering Gutierrez to negotiate with the Maduro government in his stead out of fear of US sanctions.

In 2017, the AD boss announced that four governors from the party had “expelled themselves” after they swore in before the National Constituent Assembly. The elected officials remain members of AD to this day.

PJ ruling

The TSJ ruling was followed by a similar one on Tuesday suspending the leadership of the right-wing Justice First (PJ) party. National Assembly Deputy Jose Brito, who broke with opposition leader Juan Guaido over a series of mutual corruption allegations late last year, was named national coordinator of the party. Following his expulsion from PJ in December, the lawmaker filed a TSJ motion for his reinstatement, claiming that his exclusion was “illegal” and demanding internal party elections.

Brito has likewise confirmed that PJ will participate in AN elections, stating that the majority of the party rank-and-file “want to go to elections.”

PJ’s national coordinator Julio Borges blasted the attempt to “steal” the party, adding that the party is “united and in high spirits, with the goal of restoring freedom to Venezuela.” Borges, who serves as opposition representative before the Lima Group, is sought by Venezuelan prosecutors for his alleged involvement in the 2018 assassination attempt against President Nicolas Maduro.

EU weighs in

The European Union also released a statement criticizing the CNE appointment and TSJ rulings.

“These decisions reduce the democratic space in the country to a minimum and create additional obstacles to the resolution of the profound political crisis in Venezuela,” the statement read, before urging the Venezuelan government and opposition to “engage in meaningful and inclusive negotiations” concerning the CNE and electoral participation.

In response, President Maduro blasted the EU’s “colonialist vision” and urged the body to “leave Venezuela alone.”

“Venezuela will have its elections. We do not care about the European Union,” he said in a televised address on Monday.

On Tuesday, Maduro held a conference call with members of the ruling Socialist Party (PSUV), urging the party to nominate fresh candidates for AN elections, to open the door to grassroots candidates and strengthen alliances with other parties.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself “interim president” last year with the support of Washington, has vowed to boycott the elections, proposing to extend the opposition-controlled AN’s mandate through 2021.

Under Venezuela’s constitution, legislative elections must be held before the end of the year.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Venezuela’s US-backed opposition probed over links to terrorism

By Jesús Silva | Press TV | June 19, 2020

Caracas – Over the past few days, the US-backed Venezuelan opposition parties have been hit by decisions of the country’s Supreme Court of Justice.

The court has ordered an investigation into one party’s possible links to terrorism while appointing new heads for three other parties.

Voluntad Popular, the main opposition party, which is related to politicians Leopoldo López and Juan Guaido, is now being investigated over possible involvement in acts of terror and may be declared a terrorist group by the Judiciary in the upcoming days.

By the same token, Primero Justicia, Acción Democrática and UNT, three of the largest political organizations who oppose President Nicolas Maduro, were sued by many of their own members over impeding internal elections. The nation’s top Court responded by appointing new provisional authorities for the parties and ordering internal elections to be held as soon as possible.

The opposition says the judges are politically biased and some have described the move as an attempt by the government to bring the National Assembly under its control.

However, the court says the decisions were part of a necessary restructuring process. Some say the rulings are all based on the facts and the rule of law.

Persident Maduro has once again accused opposition parties of robbing Venezuela of its wealth and plotting a foreign invasion to end his socialist government.

This year’s parliamentary elections are being organized by Caracas despite Washington’s meddling and boycott threats from the US-backed opposition. Experts say that the socialist ruling party has a good chance of winning the vote since the opposition is divided.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | | 1 Comment