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The Maxwell Family Business: Espionage

By Whitney Webb | Unlimited Hangout | July 15, 2020

Many were surprised to learn earlier this month that the key co-conspirator in Jeffrey Epstein’s intelligence-linked sexual blackmail operation, Ghislaine Maxwell, had been in hiding in New England since Epstein’s arrest and subsequent “suicide” last summer. Her recent arrest, of course, has returned attention to the Epstein scandal and to Ghislaine’s ties to the entire operation, in which she played a central and crucial role, arguably more so than Epstein himself.

Ghislaine was first reported to be living in New England at the mansion of her alleged boyfriend Scott Borgeson on August 14th of last year. Though Maxwell is believed to have stayed there until purchasing the nearby New Hampshire home where she was arrested, attention from her presence on the East Coast was immediately and sensationally re-directed to the West Coast when, a day later on August 15ththe New York Post published a picture allegedly depicting Maxwell reading a book on “CIA operatives” at an In-N-Out Burger in Los Angeles, California. The photo was later revealed to have been photoshopped and a fake, but ultimately served its purpose in distracting from her actual location in New England.

While the media frenziedly covered the fake In-N-Out Burger photo, the appearance of an unexpected visitor nearby Borgeson’s mansion succeeded in largely slipping under the radar. On August 18th, Ghislaine’s sister Christine was spotted “packing up a number of bags” into a SUV just a few miles from Borgeson’s “secluded beachfront” home. Christine, who currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas, declined to comment on why she was visiting the exact area where Ghislaine was allegedly hiding at the time.

Out of the seven Maxwell siblings, Ghislaine Maxwell has undoubtedly received the bulk of media scrutiny both in recent years and arguably ever since the suspected homicide of the family patriarch, Robert Maxwell, in 1991. In the years since his death, Robert Maxwell’s close ties to Israeli intelligence and links to other intelligence agencies have been documented by respected journalists and investigators including Seymour Hersh and Gordon Thomas, among others.

While Ghislaine’s own ties to intelligence have since come to light in relation to her critical role in facilitating the Jeffrey Epstein sexual blackmail operation. Little, if any attention, has been paid to her siblings, particularly Christine and her twin sister Isabel, despite them having held senior roles at the Israeli intelligence front company that facilitated their father’s greatest act of espionage on Israel’s behalf, the sale of the bugged PROMIS software to the U.S. national laboratories at the heart of the country’s nuclear weapons system.

Not only that, but Christine and Isabel later became directly involved with technology-based business ventures that directly involved Ghislaine during the very period she worked with Epstein on behalf of Israeli and U.S. intelligence to ensnare powerful U.S. political and public figures in a sexual blackmail scheme involving minors. At the time, Ghislaine described her profession to a number of newspapers as “an internet operator.” Then, after this venture’s multi-million dollar sale to a competitor, Christine and Isabel became involved with successors to the PROMIS software scandal that were closely tied to U.S. intelligence and Israeli intelligence, respectively.

Ghislaine herself also became involved in these affairs, as did Jeffrey Epstein following his first arrest, as they began courting the biggest names in the U.S. tech scene, from Silicon Valley’s most powerful venture capital firms to its most well-known titans. This also dovetailed with Epstein’s investments in Israeli intelligence-linked tech firms and his claims of having troves of blackmail on prominent tech company CEOs during this same period.

With Ghislaine’s name and her ties to intelligence now inking their way back into the media sphere, detailing the decades-long course of these technology-focused espionage operations and their persistent ties to the Maxwell sisters demands the attention it deserves, as the need to air out the real Maxwell family business – espionage – is now greater than ever before.

Trap doors and Treason

One of the most brazen and successful operations conducted by Israeli intelligence on a global scale is undeniably its sale of a bugged software program to governments, corporations and major financial and scientific institutions around the world. That software program, known as the Prosecutor’s Information Management System or by its acronym PROMIS, was originally created and marketed by Inslaw Inc., a company created by former NSA official Bill Hamilton and his wife Nancy.

In 1982, Inslaw leased its revolutionary PROMIS software to the U.S. Justice Department, then headed by arch neocon Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan’s most trusted advisor and who would later go on to advise Donald Trump following the 2016 election. The success of the software, which allowed integration of separate databases and information analysis on a previously unimaginable scale, eventually caught the attention of Rafi Eitan, the notorious and legendary Israeli spymaster and handler of the “most damaging spy” in American history, Jonathan Pollard. Eitan, at the time, was serving as the then-head of the now defunct Israel intelligence service known as Lekem, which focused specifically on espionage related to scientific and technical information and discoveries.

Eitan had first learned of PROMIS from Earl Brian. Brian was a long-time associate of Ronald Reagan who had previously worked for the CIA in covert operations and had been in charge of Reagan’s healthcare program when Reagan was governor of California. Brian often bragged of the nickname he had acquired in overseeing that health care initiative – “the man who walked over the dead.” In 1982, however, Brian was attempting to build a business empire, in which then-AG Ed Meese’s wife was a major investor, and he had first met Eitan while attempting to sell a healthcare system in Iran.

Brian divulged the efficacy of PROMIS, but – instead of praising its revolutionary approach to data analysis – expressed his frustration that the software enabled U.S. federal investigators to successfully track and target money laundering and other financial crimes. He also expressed frustration that he had been left out of the profits on PROMIS, the development of which he had followed closely for several years.

As their conversation wore on, Eitan and Brian hatched a plan to install a “trapdoor”, today more often referred to as a back door, into the software. They would then market PROMIS throughout the world, providing Israeli intelligence and allied elements of U.S. intelligence with a direct window into the operations of its enemies and allies while also netting Eitan and Brian massive profits for the sale of the software. Brian, of course, would also be able to use PROMIS to circumvent authorities investigating financial crimes.

According to the testimony of ex-Mossad official Ari Ben-Menashe, after PROMIS was obtained by Israel’s military intelligence through direct collusion with the U.S. Department of Justice,  Ben-Menashe contacted an Israeli American programmer living in California on Eitan’s orders. That programmer then planted a “trapdoor” or back door into the software that would allow Lekem covert access to any database connected to a device on which the software was installed.

Once the back door was present, Brian attempted to use his company Hadron Inc to market the bugged PROMIS software around the world, though he first had tried to buy out Inslaw to do so. Unsuccessful, Brian turned to his close friend, then-Attorney General Ed Meese, and the Justice Department then abruptly refused to make the payments to Inslaw that had been stipulated by the contract, essentially using the software for free, which Inslaw claimed to be theft.

Meese’s actions would force Inslaw into bankruptcy and Inslaw subsequently sued the Justice Department, with a US court later finding that the Meese-led department “took, converted, stole” the software through “trickery, fraud and deceit.” With Inslaw out of the way, Brian sold the bugged software to Jordan’s and Iraq’s intelligence services, a major boon for Israel, and to a handful of companies. Despite this, Eitan was unsatisfied with Brian and Hadron and he quickly turned to the person he thought could most effectively market and sell PROMIS to governments of interest all over the world, Robert Maxwell.

First recruited as an asset of Israeli intelligence in the early 1960s, Maxwell’s standing with Israeli intelligence would strengthen considerably beginning in the early 1980s, when he purchased a web of Israeli companies, many of which were official “service providers” for the Mossad. One of these companies, a computer firm called Degem, had been used for years to provide cover to Mossad assassins that conducted kidnappings and murders in Latin America and Africa.

Through Degem and other Maxwell-owned companies based in Israel and elsewhere, Maxwell marketed PROMIS so successfully that Israeli intelligence soon had access to the innermost workings of innumerable governments, corporations, banks and intelligence services around the world. Many of Maxwell’s biggest successes came in selling PROMIS to dictators in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. Following the sale and after Maxwell collected a handsome paycheck, PROMIS’ unparalleled ability to track and surveil anything – from cash flows to human movement – were used by these governments to commit financial crimes with greater finesse and used to hunt down and disappear dissidents. Israeli intelligence, of course, watched it all play out in real time.

In Latin America, for instance, Maxwell sold PROMIS to military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina, which were used to facilitate the mass murder that characterized Operation Condor as the friends and families of dissidents and so-called subversives were easily identified using PROMIS. PROMIS was so effective for this purpose that, just days after Maxwell sold the software to Guatemala, its US-backed dictatorship rounded up 20,000 “subversives” who were never heard from again. Of course, thanks to the back door in PROMIS, Israeli intelligence knew the identities of Guatemala’s disappeared before the victim’s own families. Israel was also intimately involved in the arming and training of many of the same Latin American dictatorships that had been sold the bugged PROMIS software.

Though Israeli intelligence found obvious use for the steady stream of sensitive and classified information, their biggest prize was yet to come – top secret government laboratories in the United States. Eitan tasked Maxwell with selling PROMIS to US labs in the Los Alamos complex, including Sandia National Laboratory, which was and is at the core of the US nuclear weapons system. Notably, the eventual sale of PROMIS to these laboratories by Maxwell occurred during the same period in 1984 when Eitan tasked one of Israel’s top experts in nuclear targeting with supervising Jonathan Pollard’s espionage of U.S. nuclear secrets on Israel’s behalf.

In order to plot how he would accomplish such a feat, Maxwell would meet with none other than Henry Kissinger, who told him that – in order to sell PROMIS to these sensitive laboratories – he needed to enlist the services of then-Senator for Texas John Tower, who was the head of the Senates’ Armed Services Committee at the time. Maxwell quickly struck a deal with Tower and then, using Mossad money, paid Tower $200,000 for his services, which included opening doors – not just to the Los Alamos complex, but also to the Reagan White House. Tower would arrange a trip for Maxwell to travel to Sandia National Laboratory, where he would market PROMIS. Unlike most other PROMIS sales, this one would not be handled by Degem, but a US-based company called Information on Demand.

It is worth noting that, despite Tower’s obvious and treasonous actions with respect to U.S. national security, another long-time “source” of Robert Maxwell, George H.W. Bush, would attempt to nominate Tower to serve as U.S. Secretary of Defense. When the Senate refused to confirm Tower, only then did Bush nominate Dick Cheney, who would then head the Pentagon and oversee the U.S.’ role in the First Gulf War. Not long after his failure to secure the nomination as Pentagon chief, Tower died in a suspicious plane crash soon after the equally suspicious death of Robert Maxwell.

Front Companies and FBI Cover-ups

Robert Maxwell purchased Information on Demand from its founder, Sue Rugge – a former librarian, through the Pergamon Group in 1982 – the very year plans were made by Rafi Eitan and Earl Brian to subvert PROMIS. Its offices were just a few doors down from the home of Isabel Maxwell and her first husband Dale Djerassi, son of the scientist credited with creating the birth control pill.

According to FBI files obtained by Inslaw Inc. via a FOIA request in the 1990s, San Francisco’s FBI opened an investigation into Information on Demand a year later in October 1983 and subsequently interviewed Rugge about the business and its activities. She told the FBI that the company’s sources “include over 250 computer data bases” and that company uses these to “locate single facts as well as provide answers to complex questions dealing with such areas as comprehensive marketing research, custom data summaries, sophisticated literature searching, current awareness service and global information capability.

One of these databases included Lockheed’s Dialog database and “the Defense Technical Center which is connected to the Department of Defense (DOD) which contains classified information.” She asserted, however, that the company “has no password for access and further no need for access.” Elsewhere in the document, it notes that Information on Demand claimed not have any access to classified information “to the best of their knowledge” and “includes information concerning government and various available means of tapping government information databases.”

The FBI asked Rugge about one client of the company in particular, whose name and identifying information is redacted in its entirety, but notes that this mysterious client had worked with Information on Demand since at least 1973. Subsequent efforts by Inslaw Inc. and others to learn the identity of the redacted client have been unsuccessful since 1994.

Notably, just one month before the FBI opened an investigation into Information on Demand and interviewed Sue Rugge, another related Maxwell-owned firm, Pergamon International Information Corporation, had sent a letter to then-CIA Director Bill Casey, offering to provide the agency with access to patent databases. The only redacted portion of the letter is the identity of PIIC’s Executive Vice President, who had written the letter to Casey.

After Rugge had been interviewed, FBI interest in Information on Demand peaked soon after in June 1984, when a formal investigation was opened. This took place after two employees of Sandia National Laboratory who worked in technology transfer approached the Bureau over Information on Demand’s efforts to sell PROMIS to the laboratory. Those employees were compelled to contact the FBI after obtaining information from employees of the National Security Agency (NSA) regarding “the purchase of Information on Demand Inc. by one Robert Maxwell, the owner of Pergamon International.” The specific information on this purchase from the NSA is included in the report but redacted in its entirety. Two months later, one of the Sandia employees followed up with the Bureau, suggesting that the NSA and FBI jointly investigate Information on Demand, but was essentially stonewalled and told to take it up with FBI headquarters.

The FBI case file is coded as a foreign counter-intelligence investigation specifically, suggesting that the case was opened because the FBI was made aware of the alleged involvement of a foreign intelligence service in some aspect of Information on Demand’s activities that related specifically to the “dissemination, marketing or sale of computer software systems, including but not limited to the PROMIS computer software product.” It also noted that Maxwell himself had previously been the subject of a “security investigation” conducted by the FBI from 1953 until 1961, the year Maxwell was formally recruited as an Israeli intelligence asset.

In early August 1984, FBI headquarters and other higher-ups in the Ed Meese-led Department of Justice, which itself was complicit in the whole sordid PROMIS affair, ordered the New Mexico office to halt its investigation into Information on Demand, Maxwell and PROMIS. The cover-up, oddly enough, continues today, with the FBI still refusing to release documents pertaining to Robert Maxwell and his role in the PROMIS scandal.

Several months following the shuttering of the FBI investigation into Information on Demand, Robert Maxwell again returned to Sandia National Laboratories in February 1985, signing the contract for the sale of PROMIS and listing himself as President and CEO of Information on Demand. A few months later, he passed that role on to his daughter Christine, who served as the company’s president and CEO up until her father’s death in 1991, according to her résumé. Upon the collapse of his business empire shortly after his demise, which also resulted in the closure of Information on Demand, Christine created a company called Research on Demand that offered similar services and specialized “in Internet- and Big Data analytics-related market studies for companies in the Telecoms.”

In addition, Isabel Maxwell, who lived in close proximity to the company’s offices in Berkely, CA, told Haaretz that she had also worked for Information on Demand, which she refers to as “her sister’s company,” following her 1989 divorce from Dale Djerassi.

Recreating their Father’s Legacy

After the death of Robert Maxwell, in what most of his family and many of his biographers regard as a murder conducted by Israeli intelligence, his children began to pick up the pieces and sought to rebuild their father’s empire. Of his seven children, five took on different aspects of their father’s vast portfolio.

Kevin and Ian Maxwell took over much of his business (and the associated fall-out) and his murky network of interlocking companies, trusts and foundations spread throughout the world. Ghislaine, having already positioned herself in New York at her father’s behest to anchor his efforts to expand his empire and operations into Manhattan, began a sexual blackmail operation on behalf of Israeli intelligence alongside Jeffrey Epstein. Christine and Isabel, however, would take off where Maxwell’s intelligence-linked work with PROMIS and in technology had left off by cashing in on a new revolutionary technology, the Internet.

“We literally were trying to think about how to restart this whole business” that had collapsed after their father’s death, Christine Maxwell would later say of her decision to found, along with her husband Roger Malina, Isabel and Isabel’s then-husband David Hayden, their internet services company – the McKinley Group – in January 1992. Isabel would remember the decision similarly, telling Wired in 1999, that she and her sister had “wanted to circle the wagons and rebuild,” seeing McKinley as “a chance to recreate a bit of their father’s legacy.” In 2000, Isabel would tell The Guardian that her father would “love it [the internet] if he was still here.” “He was very prescient…. He’d be in his element, he’d be having a blast, I’m sure he’d be thrilled to know what I’m doing now,” she told the UK-based publication while “throwing back her head and laughing loudly.” Notably, at that time, Isabel was leading Israeli software company with ties to Israeli military intelligence and powerful Israeli political players, including some who had previously worked directly under her father.

It’s not hard to see why Christine and Isabel saw the internet as their chance to expand upon and rebuild upon Robert Maxwell’s “legacy.” As previously mentioned, Christine, right up until her father’s death, had been president and CEO of the Robert Maxwell-owned Israeli intelligence front company, Information on Demand, where Isabel had also worked. Upon his death, Christine had founded a related company called Research on Demand, which specialized in “internet and big data analytics” for telecommunications firms, and would later overlap with the McKinley Group’s work. McKinley began as a directory with a rating system for websites, later transitioning into the Magellan search engine, all of which Isabel Maxwell told Cnet in 1997 were all Christine’s idea.

McKinley created what became known as the Magellan online directory, remembered as “the first site to publish lengthy reviews and ratings of websites.” Magellan’s “value-added content” approach attracted several large corporations, resulting in “major alliances” with AT&T, Time Warner, IBM, Netcom and the Microsoft Network [MSN] that were negotiated by Isabel Maxwell. Microsoft’s major alliance with McKinley came in late 1995, when Microsoft announced that Magellan would power the search option for the company’s MSN service. Time Warner first chose Magellan for its early web portal called Pathfinder and Magellan was on the homepage of the internet browser Netscape for much of the 1990s.

However, McKinley’s fortunes were troubled as its efforts to be the first search engine to go public fell through, igniting a stand-off between Christine Maxwell and Isabel’s husband that also resulted in the company’s essentially falling behind other market leaders both missing the window for a second IPO attempt and lagging behind in adding ad revenue to their business model. Excite, which was later acquired by AskJeeves, ultimately bought the McKinley Group and Magellan for 1.2 million shares of Excite stock in 1996, which was then valued at $18 million. It was allegedly Isabel Maxwell who made the deal possible, with Excite’s CEO at the time, George Bell, claiming she alone salvaged their purchase of McKinley.

Despite the company’s lackluster end, the Maxwell sisters and other stakeholders in the company, Ghislaine Maxwell among them, not only obtained a multi-million dollar payout from the deal, but also forged close connections with Silicon Valley high-rollers. Upon McKinley/Magellan’s sale, the overt ties of Christine and Isabel Maxwell to intelligence in both the U.S. and Israel would grow considerably.

A Family Affair

While the company is often framed as being a venture between Christine and Isabel Maxwell, McKinley Group and Magellan were much more than just the twin sisters’ business. For instance, a November 2003 article in The Evening Standard notes that Christine and Isabel launched the company with considerable help from their brother, Kevin Maxwell who the article described as being “consumed by an overwhelming desire to be his ‘dad reincorporated’” according to confidants. Another Evening Standard article from March 2001 cited report that “Kevin played a major role” in the company’s affairs.

In addition, at the time, The Sunday Times noed in November 2000 that Ghislaine Maxwell “had a substantial interest in Magellan” and netted a considerable sum following its sale to Excite in 1996. It also noted that Ghislaine, throughout the 1990s, had “been discreetly building up a business empire as opaque as her father’s” and that “she is secretive to the point of paranoia and her business affairs are deeply mysterious.” However, she would nonetheless describe “herself as an ‘internet operator’” even though “her office in Manhattan refuses to confirm even the name or the nature of her business.” A separate article in The Scotsman from 2001 also notes that Ghislaine “is extremely secretive about her affairs and describes herself as an internet operator.”

Exactly how involved Ghislaine Maxwell was involved in the McKinley Group and Magellan is unclear, though her decision to describe herself as an “internet operator” and her documented “substantial interest” in the company suggest that it was more than superficial. What is notable, however, is that Ghislaine’s time as an “internet operator” and her business interests in Magellan overlap directly with her time working alongside Jeffrey Epstein in an Israeli intelligence-linked sexual blackmail operation.

During this period of time, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein frequently had considerable overlap in their finances, with press reports from the time often asking whether Ghislaine’s expenses were paid by Epstein or through her access to the “lost Maxwell millions” that had been hidden in a web of murky, untraceable financial entities and allegedly “disappeared” following his 1991 death.

The latter is certainly a possibility as it was Ghislaine who was the first to walk into her late father’s office on the Lady Ghislaine following his death, where she “shredded all incriminating documents onboard,” according to journalist John Jackson who witnessed the scene. This would likely mean that she was quickly able to distinguish which documents were “incriminating” and was intimately aware of his more unsavory business activities. In addition, prior to his death, Robert Maxwell had provided Ghislaine with a “tailor-made” New York corporation called Maxwell Corporate Gifts, of which little is known. The corporation was reportedly intended to aid her in establishing a foothold in New York’s power base for Robert Maxwell’s planned expansion into New York society, a plan first set into motion following his purchase of the New York Daily News.

Notably, an article from The Evening Standard in 2001 makes an odd comment about a major source of income from Epstein during the 1990s, stating that “has made many millions out of his business links with the likes of Bill Gates, Donald Trump and Ohio billionaire Leslie Wexner, whose trust he runs.”  In addition, Epstein victim Maria Farmer noted in an interview that she overheard Ghislaine and Epstein discuss Bill Gates as though they knew him well in 1995. However, these mentions of Bill Gates here defy the official narrative about the Epstein-Gates relationship, which claims they first met in 2011. Given the “major alliance” between McKinley/Magellan and Microsoft that was forged in 1995-1996, it is certainly possible that Epstein’s pre-2001 “business links” with Bill Gates were, in fact, related to Ghislaine’s involvement and stake in Magellan. This is also supported by the fact that, as will be shown in Part 2 of this report, Magellan co-founder Isabel Maxwell had a personal relationship with Bill Gates and that he put her subsequent company, Israel-based CommTouch, “on the map” after a major investment that had been brokered between Gates and Isabel personally. Part 2 will also show how both Isabel and Christine’s overt involvement, with Israeli and U.S. intelligence, respectively, deepened after Magellan was sold to Excite in 1996.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

How an Israeli Spy-Linked Tech Firm Gained Access to the US Gov’t’s Most Classified Networks

By Whitney Webb | Unlimited Hangout | July 15, 2020

If the networks of the U.S. military, the U.S. intelligence community and a slew of other U.S. federal agencies were running the software of a company with deep ties, not only to foreign companies with a history of espionage against the U.S. but also foreign military intelligence, it would — at the very least — garner substantial media attention. Yet, no media reports to date have noted that such a scenario exists on a massive scale and that the company making such software recently simulated the cancellation of the 2020 election and the declaration of martial law in the United States.

Earlier this month, MintPress News reported on the simulations for the U.S. 2020 election organized by the company Cybereason, a firm led by former members of Israel’s military intelligence Unit 8200 and advised by former top and current officials in both Israeli military intelligence and the CIA. Those simulations, attended by federal officials from the FBI, DHS and the U.S. Secret Service, ended in disaster, with the elections ultimately canceled and martial law declared due to the chaos created by a group of hackers led by Cybereason employees.

The first installment of this three part series delved deeply into Cybereason’s ties to the intelligence community of Israel and also other agencies, including the CIA, as well as the fact that Cybereason stood to gain little financially from the simulations given that their software could not have prevented the attacks waged against the U.S.’ electoral infrastructure in the exercise.

Also noted was the fact that Cybereason software could be potentially used as a backdoor by unauthorized actors, a possibility strengthened by the fact that the company’s co-founders all previously worked for firms that have a history of placing backdoors into U.S. telecommunications and electronic infrastructure as well as aggressive espionage targeting U.S. federal agencies.

The latter issue is crucial in the context of this installment of this exclusive MintPress series, as Cybereason’s main investors turned partners have integrated Cybereason’s software into their product offerings. This means that the clients of these Cybereason partner companies, the U.S. intelligence community and military among them, are now part of Cybereason’s network of more than 6 million endpoints that this private company constantly monitors using a combination of staff comprised largely of former intelligence operatives and an AI algorithm first developed by Israeli military intelligence.

Cybereason, thus far, has disclosed the following groups as lead investors in the company: Charles River Ventures (CRV), Spark Capital, Lockheed Martin and SoftBank. Charles River Ventures (CRV) was among the first to invest in Cybereason and has been frequently investing in other Israeli tech start-upsthat were founded by former members of the elite Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 over the last few years. Spark Capital, based in California, appears to have followed CRV’s interest in Cybereason since the venture capitalist who co-founded Spark and led its investment in Cybereason is a former CRV partnerwho still has close ties to the firm.

While CRV and Spark Capital seem like just the type of investors a company like Cybereason would attract given their clear interest in similar tech start-ups coming out of Israel’s cyber sector, Cybereason’s other lead investors — Lockheed Martin and SoftBank — deserve much more attention and scrutiny.

Cybereason widely used by US Government, thanks to Lockheed

“A match made in heaven,” trumpeted Forbes at the news of the Lockheed Martin-Cybereason partnership, first forged in 2015. The partnership involved not only Lockheed Martin becoming a major investor in the cybersecurity company but also in Lockheed Martin becoming the largest conduit providing Cybereason’s software to U.S. federal and military agencies.

Indeed, as Forbes noted at the time, not only did Lockheed invest in the company, it decided to integrate Cybereason’s software completely into its product portfolio, resulting in a “model of both using Cybereason internally, and selling it to both public and private customers.”

Cybereason CEO and former offensive hacker for Israeli military intelligence — Lior Div — said the following of the partnership:

Lockheed Martin invested in Cybereason’s protection system after they compared our solution against a dozen others from the top industry players. The US firm was so impressed with the results they got from Cybereason that they began offering it to their own customers – among them most of the top Fortune 100 companies, and the US federal government. Cybereason is now the security system recommended by LM to its customers for protection from a wide (sic) malware and hack attacks.”

Rich Mahler, then-director of Commercial Cyber Services at Lockheed Martin, told Defense Daily that the company’s decision to invest in Cybereason, internally use its software, and include the technology as part of Lockheed Martin’s cyber solutions portfolio were all “independent business decisions but were all coordinated and timed with the transaction.”

How independent each of those decisions actually was is unclear, especially given the timing of Lockheed Martin’s investment in Cybereason, whose close and troubling ties to Israeli intelligence as well as the CIA were noted in the previous installment of this investigative series. Indeed, about a year prior to their investment in the Israeli military intelligence-linked Cybereason, Lockheed Martin opened an office in Beersheba, Israel, where the IDF has its “cyberhub”. The office is focused not on the sales of armaments, but instead on technology.

Marilyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s CEO, said the following during her speech that inaugurated the company’s Beersheba office:

The consolidation of IDF Technical Units to new bases in the Negev Desert region is an important transformation of Israel’s information technology capability… We understand the challenges of this move. Which is why we are investing in the facilities and people that will ensure we are prepared to support for these critical projects. By locating our new office in the capital of the Negev we are well positioned to work closely with our Israeli partners and stand ready to: accelerate project execution, reduce program risk and share our technical expertise by training and developing in-country talent.”

Beersheba not only houses the IDF’s technology campus, but also the Israel National Cyber Directorate, which reports directly to Israel’s Prime Minister, as well as a high-tech corporate park that mostly houses tech companies with ties to Israel’s military intelligence apparatus. The area has been cited in several media reports as a visible indicator of the public-private merger between Israeli technology companies, many of them started by Unit 8200 alumni, and the Israeli government and its intelligence services. Lockheed Martin quickly became a key fixture in the Beersheba-based cyberhub.

Not long before Lockheed began exploring the possibility of opening an office in Beersheba, the company was hacked by individuals who used tokens tied to the company, RSA Security, whose founders have ties to Israel’s defense establishment and which is now owned by Dell, a company also deeply tied to the Israeli government and tech sector. The hack, perpetrated by still unknown actors, may have sparked Lockheed’s subsequent interest in Israel’s cybersecurity sector.

Soon after opening its Beersheba office, Lockheed Martin created its Israel subsidiary, Lockheed Martin Israel. Unlike many of the company’s other subsidiaries, this one is focused exclusively on “cybersecurity, enterprise information technology, data centers, mobile, analytics and cloud” as opposed to the manufacture and design of armaments.

Haden Land, then-vice president of research and technology for Lockheed Martin, told the Wall Street Journal that the creation of the subsidiary was largely aimed at securing contracts with the IDF and that the company’s Israel subsidiary would soon be seeking partnership and investments in pursuit of that end. Land oversaw the local roll-out of the company’s Israel subsidiary while concurrently meeting with Israeli government officials. According to the Journal, Land “oversees all of Lockheed Martin’s information-systems businesses, including defense and civilian commercial units” for the United States and elsewhere.

Just a few months later, Lockheed Martin partnered and invested in Cybereason, suggesting that Lockheed’s decision to do so was aimed at securing closer ties with the IDF. This further suggests that Cybereason still maintains close ties to Israeli military intelligence, a point expounded upon in great detail in the previous installment of this series.

Thus, it appears that not only does Lockheed Martin use Cybereason’s software on its own devices and on those it manages for its private and public sector clients, but it also decided to use the company’s software in this way out of a desire to more closely collaborate with the Israeli military in matters related to technology and cybersecurity.

The cozy ties between Lockheed Martin, one of the U.S. government’s largest private contractors, and the IDF set off alarm bells, then and now, for those concerned with U.S. national security. Such concern makes it important to look at the extent of Cybereason’s use by federal and military agencies in the United States through their contracting of Lockheed Martin’s Information Technology (IT) division. This is especially important considering Israeli military intelligence’s history of using espionage, blackmail and private tech companies against the U.S. government, as detailed here.

While the exact number of U.S. federal and military agencies using Cybereason’s software is unknown, it is widespread, with Lockheed Martin’s IT division as the conduit. Indeed, Lockheed Martin was the number one IT solutions provider to the U.S. federal government up until its IT division was spun off and merged with Leidos Holdings. As a consequence, Leidos is now the largest IT provider to the U.S. government and is also directly partnered with Cybereason in the same way Lockheed Martin was. Even after its IT division was spun off, Lockheed Martin continues to use Cybereason’s software in its cybersecurity work for the Pentagon and still maintains a stake in the company.

The Leidos-Lockheed Martin IT hybrid provides a litany of services to the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence. As investigative journalist Tim Shorrock noted for The Nation, the company does “everything from analyzing signals for the NSA to tracking down suspected enemy fighters for US Special Forces in the Middle East and Africa” and, following its merger with Lockheed and consequential partnership with Cybereason, became “the largest of five corporations that together employ nearly 80 percent of the private-sector employees contracted to work for US spy and surveillance agencies.” Shorrock also notes that these private-sector contractors now dominate the mammoth U.S. surveillance apparatus, many of them working for Leidos and — by extension — using Cybereason’s software.

Leidos’ exclusive use of Cybereason software for cybersecurity is also relevant for the U.S. military since Leidos runs a number of sensitive systems for the Pentagon, including its recently inked contract to manage the entire military telecommunications infrastructure for Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). In addition to maintaining the military telecom network, Cybereason is also directly partnered with World Wide Technologies (WWT) as of this past October. WWT manages cybersecurity for the U.S. Army, maintains DISA’s firewalls and data storage as well as the U.S. Air Force’s biometric identification system. WWT also manages contracts for NASA, itself a frequent target of Israeli government espionage, and the U.S. Navy. WWT’s partnership is similar to the Lockheed/Leidos partnership in that Cybereason’s software is now completely integrated into its portfolio, giving the company full access to the devices on all of these highly classified networks.

Many of these new partnerships with Cybereason, including its partnership with WWT, followed claims made by members of Israel’s Unit 8200 in 2017 that the popular antivirus software of Kaspersky Labs contained a backdoor for Russian intelligence, thereby compromising U.S. systems. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the alleged backdoor but did not mention the involvement of Unit 8200 in identifying it, a fact revealed by the New York Times a week later.

Notably, none of the evidence Unit 8200 used to blame Kaspersky has been made public and Kaspersky noted that it was actually Israeli hackers that had been discovered planting backdoors into its platform prior to the accusation levied against Kaspersky by Unit 8200. As the New York Times noted:

Investigators later discovered that the Israeli hackers had implanted multiple back doors into Kaspersky’s systems, employing sophisticated tools to steal passwords, take screenshots, and vacuum up emails and documents.”

Unit 8200’s claims ultimately led the U.S. government to abandon Kaspersky’s products entirely in 2018, allowing companies like Cybereason (with its own close ties to Unit 8200) to fill the void. Indeed, the very agencies that banned Kaspersky now use cybersecurity software that employs Cybereason’s EDR system. No flags have been raised about Cybereason’s own collaboration with the very foreign intelligence service that first pointed the finger at Kaspersky and that previously sold software with backdoors to sensitive U.S. facilities.

SoftBank, Cybereason and the Vision Fund

While its entry into the U.S. market and U.S. government networks is substantial, Cybereason’s software is also run throughout the world on a massive scale through partnerships that have seen it enter into Latin American and European markets in major ways in just the last few months. It has also seen its software become prominent in Asia following a partnership with the company Trustwave. Much of this rapid expansion followed a major injection of cash courtesy of one of the company’s biggest clients and now its largest investor, Japan’s SoftBank.

SoftBank first invested in Cybereason in 2015, the same year Lockheed Martin initially invested and partnered with the firm. It was also the year that SoftBank announced its intention to invest in Israeli tech start-ups. SoftBank first injected $50 million into Cybereason, followed by an additional $100 million in 2017 and $200 million last August. SoftBank’s investments account for most of the money raised by the company since it was founded in 2012 ($350 million out of $400 million total).

Prior to investing, Softbank was a client of Cybereason, which Ken Miyauchi, president of SoftBank, noted when making the following statement after Softbank’s initial investment in Cybereason:

SoftBank works to obtain cutting edge technology and outstanding business models to lead the Information Revolution. Our deployment of the Cybereason platform internally gave us firsthand knowledge of the value it provides, and led to our decision to invest. I’m confident Cybereason and SoftBank’s new product offering will bring a new level of security to Japanese organizations.”

SoftBank — one of Japan’s largest telecommunications companies — not only began to deploy Cybereason internally but directly partnered with it after investing, much like Lockheed Martin had done around the same time. This partnership resulted in SoftBank and Cybereason creating a joint venture in Japan and Cybereason creating partnerships with other tech companies acquired by SoftBank, including the U.K.’s Arm, which specializes in making chips and management platforms for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

SoftBank’s interest in Cybereason is significant, particularly in light of Cybereason’s interest in the 2020 U.S. election, given that SoftBank has significant ties to key allies of President Trump and even the president himself.

Indeed, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son was among the first wave of international business leaders who sought to woo then-president-elect Trump soon after the 2016 election. Son first visited Trump Tower in December 2016 and announced, with Trump by his side in the building’s lobby, that SoftBank would invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs. Trump subsequently claimed on Twitter that Son had only decided to make this investment because Trump had won the election.

Son told reporters at the time that the investment would come from a $100 billion fund that would be created in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund as well as other investors. “I just came to celebrate his new job. I said, ‘This is great. The US will become great again,’” Son said, according to reports.

Then, in March of 2017, Son sent top SoftBank executives to meet with senior members of Trump’s economic team and, according to the New York Times, “the SoftBank executives said that because of a lack of advanced digital investments, the competitiveness of the United States economy was at risk. And the executives made the case, quite strongly, that Mr. Son was committed to playing a major role in addressing this issue through a spate of job-creating investments.” Many of SoftBank’s investments and acquisitions in the U.S. since then have focused mainly on artificial intelligence and technology with military applications, such as “killer robot” firm Boston Dynamics, suggesting Son’s interest lies more in dominating futuristic military-industrial technologies than creating jobs for the average American.

After their initial meeting, Trump and Son met again a year later in June 2018, with Trump stating that “His [Son’s] $50 billion turned out to be $72 billion so far, he’s not finished yet.” Several media reports have claimed that Son’s moves since Trump’s election have sought to “curry favor” with the President.

Through the creation of this fund alongside the Saudis, SoftBank has since become increasingly intertwined with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS), a key ally of President Trump in the Middle East known for his authoritarian crackdowns on Saudi elites and dissidents alike. The ties between Saudi Arabia and SoftBank became ever tighter when MBS took the reins in the oil kingdom and after SoftBank announced the launch of the Vision Fund in 2016. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is a vehicle for investing in hi-tech companies and start-ups and its largest shareholder is the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Notably, Son decided to launch the Vision Fund in Riyadh during President Trump’s first official visit to the Gulf Kingdom.

In addition, the Mubadala Investment Company, a government fund of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), gave $15 billion to the Vision Fund. UAE leadership also share close ties to the Trump administration and MBS in Saudi Arabia.

As a consequence, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is majority funded by two Middle Eastern authoritarian governments with close ties to the U.S. government, specifically the Trump administration. In addition, both countries have enjoyed the rapid growth and normalization of ties with the state of Israel in recent years, particularly following the rise of current Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Jared Kushner’s rise to prominence in his father-in-law’s administration. Other investments in the Vision Fund have come from Apple, Qualcomm and Oracle’s Larry Ellison, all tech companies with strong ties to Israel’s government.

The Saudi and Emirati governments’ links to the Vision Fund are so obvious that even mainstream outlets like the New York Times have described them as a “front for Saudi Arabia and perhaps other countries in the Middle East.”

SoftBank also enjoys close ties to Jared Kushner, with Fortress Investment Group lending $57 million to Kushner Companies in October 2017 while it was under contract to be acquired by SoftBank. As Barron’s noted at the time:

When SoftBank Group bought Fortress Investment Group last year, the Japanese company was buying access to a corps of seasoned investors. What SoftBank also got is a financial tie to the family of President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.”

According to The Real Deal, Kushner Companies obtained the financing from Fortress only after its attempts to obtain funding through the EB-5 visa program for a specific real estate venture were abandoned after the U.S. Attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission began to investigate how Kushner Companies used the EB-5 investor visa program. A key factor in the opening of that investigation was Kushner Companies’ representatives touting Jared Kushner’s position at the White House when talking to prospective investors and lenders.

SoftBank also recently came to the aid of a friend of Jared Kushner, former CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann. Neumann made shocking claims about his ties to both Kushner and Saudi Arabia’s MBS, even asserting that he had worked with both in creating Kushner’s long-awaited and controversial Middle East “peace plan” and claimed that he, Kushner and MBS would together “save the world.” Neumann previously called Kushner his “mentor.” MBS has also discussed on several occasions his close ties with Kushner and U.S. media reports have noted the frequent correspondence between the two “princelings.”

Notably, SoftBank invested in Neumann’s WeWork using money from the Saudi-dominated Vision Fund and later went on to essentially bail the company out after its IPO collapse and Neumann was pushed out. SoftBank’s founder, Masayoshi Son, had an odd yet very close relationship with Neumann, perhaps explaining why Neumann was allowed to walk with $1.7 billion after bringing WeWork to the brink of collapse. Notably, nearly half of SoftBank’s approximately $47 billion investments in the U.S. economy since Trump’s election, went to acquiring and then bailing out WeWork. It is unlikely that such a disastrous investment resulted in the level of job creation that Son had promised Trump in 2016.

Given that it is Cybereason’s top investor and shareholder by a large margin, SoftBank’s ties to the Trump administration and key allies of that administration are significant in light of Cybereason’s odd interest in 2020 U.S. election scenarios that end with the cancellation of this year’s upcoming presidential election. It goes without saying that the cancellation of the election would mean a continuation of the Trump administration until new elections would take place.

Furthermore, with Cybereason’s close and enduring ties to Israeli military intelligence now well-documented, it is worth asking if Israeli military intelligence would consider intervening in 2020 if the still-to-be-decided Democratic contender was strongly opposed to Israeli government policy, particularly Israel’s military occupation of Palestine. This is especially worth considering given revelations that sexual blackmailer and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who targeted prominent U.S. politicians, mostly Democrats, was in the employ of Israeli military intelligence.

Notably, Cybereason’s doomsday election scenarios involved the weaponization of deep fakes, self-driving cars and hacking Internet of Things devices, with all of those technologies being pioneered and perfected — not by Russia, China or Iran — but by companies directly tied to Israeli intelligence, much like Cybereason itself. These companies, their technology and Cybereason’s own work creating the narrative that U.S. rival states seek to undermine the U.S. election in this way, will all be discussed in the conclusion of MintPress’ series on Cybereason and its outsized interest in the U.S. democratic process.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It Was JFK Who Blinked in the Cuban Missile Crisis

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | July 13, 2020

By the time he graduates public high school, most every student in America has been indoctrinated with the notion that it was Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev who “blinked” during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually it was President John Kennedy who “blinked” during the crisis, and it was a good thing he did.

Every public school student across America is also indoctrinated with the notion that the Soviet Union installed “offensive” missiles in Cuba during the crisis, which the U.S. national-security establishment gravely maintained were a grave threat to U.S. “national security.”

That’s a lie too. The Soviet missiles were defensive in nature. Their aim was to deter another U.S. invasion of the island or, in the event that deterrence failed, to enable Cuba to defend itself against another unlawful U.S. invasion with nuclear weapons.

It’s important to keep in mind an important fact: In the long relationship between communist Cuba and the United States, it has always, without exception, been the United States, not Cuba, that has been the aggressor.

Cuba has never attacked or invaded the United States or even threatened to do so. It has also never initiated any act of terrorism within the United States. Instead, it has been the U.S. government that has done those types of things against Cuba.

There is the brutal economic embargo that the U.S. government has enforced against Cuba almost from the start of the communist regime there. Its aim has always been to inflict impoverishment, suffering, and death on the Cuban people as a way to achieve regime change in the country.

Operating through the CIA, the U.S. government also orchestrated numerous assassination attempts against Cuban leader Fidel Castro. President Lyndon Johnson referred to the CIA’s assassination program as “a damned Murder, Inc.” The CIA had entered into an assassination partnership with the Mafia, the most crooked murderous private organization in the world.

The CIA also sponsored terrorist attacks inside Cuba, for the purpose of destroying government-owned enterprises and to foment revolution. The attacks produced both death and property damage.

The CIA also sponsored a military invasion at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, which was designed to oust the Fidel Castro regime and replace it with another U.S. puppet regime, similar to the one that Castro had ousted from power in the Cuban revolution. The invasion failed and Castro’s forces killed or captured the CIA’s invaders.

After the Bay of Pigs debacle, the Joint Chiefs of Staff continually exhorted Kennedy to order an all-out U.S. military invasion of Cuba for the purpose of regime change. As part of its efforts, the Pentagon presented Kennedy with a regime-change plan called Operation Northwoods. It called for terrorist attacks to be carried out on American soil that would result in the loss of American life. The plan was to blame the attacks on Cuban agents, which would then give Kennedy the rationale for invading Cuba. Kennedy rejected the plan.

Castro was well aware of the steadfast determination of the CIA and the Pentagon to invade Cuba.  But while he could defeat a rag-tag army of CIA-trained Cuban exiles, Castro knew that there was no way he could win if the U.S. military attacked and invaded Cuba.

That was when he asked the Soviet Union to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. It was his only chance to deter an invasion. He had also decided that if the invasion came, he was determined to resist it with nuclear weapons.

Needless to say, the Pentagon was livid with Kennedy. If he had accepted Operation Northwoods, the Joint Chiefs of Staff felt, this problem would never have arisen. Now America was faced with nuclear weapons 90 miles away from American shores, which, the JCS maintained, were a grave threat to “national security” even though they were defensive in nature.

The Pentagon exhorted and pressured Kennedy to order a bombing and an invasion of Cuba. Otherwise, the Pentagon maintained, there was no way America could survive.

Kennedy resisted the pressure. And it was a good thing he did. What he and the CIA didn’t know is that Soviet tactical nuclear weapons were fully armed and that Soviet commanders on the ground had been given battlefield authority to use them. If Kennedy had followed the recommendation of the Pentagon to bomb and invade Cuba, it is a virtual certainty that it would have led to all-out nuclear war.

Kennedy ended up striking a deal with the Khrushchev in which the U.S. would not invade Cuba and the Soviets would withdraw their nuclear weapons. That’s precisely what Castro wanted. That’s why the missiles had been put there in the first place. Kennedy also secretly promised to remove U.S. nuclear weapons from Turkey that were aimed at the Soviet Union.

Thus, contrary to what public school students are taught about the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was Kennedy, not Khrushchev, who “blinked” during the crisis. It’s a good thing that he had the wisdom to do so because his action saved the world from nuclear holocaust.

But the military and the CIA were furious. They considered Kennedy’s resolution of the crisis to be akin to surrender, treason, and cowardice. More important, by agreeing to leave a permanent communist outpost 90 miles away from American shores, Kennedy, the national security establishment felt, had placed America in grave jeopardy insofar as “national security” was concerned.

For more details, see FFF’s ebook JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, who served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Proxies Profit from U.S. Coronavirus Funding

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • July 14, 2020

Washington D.C. is surely one of the most corrupt places on earth. Money talks and nearly everyone into the game sometimes referred to as politics has his or her hand out and expects to end up a millionaire. Given that, it should surprise no one to learn that a large chunk of the CARES Business Assistance Program’s trillions of dollars recently doled out for coronavirus relief, sold to the public as intended to help small businesses survive, has instead gone to those who are politically connected through lobbyists and other special interests.

A recent Time magazine article describes what it calls “a familiar lobbying bonanza.” To be sure, the details regarding who got the cash makes for depressing reading, though there is a familiar smell to it in light of the many boondoggled programs to make America “safe” over the past twenty years. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided no less than 663,000 loans over $150,000, but much of the money has gone to “billionaires, country clubs, lobbyists, political allies, Wall Street, and big business,” all of which have better access to government than does the small business owner.

Recipients included 600 mostly large equity and asset management firms that were actually ineligible because of their involvement in “investment or speculation.” Cash rich law firms also benefited with more than 45 of top firms receiving at least $210 million in PPP loans while companies owned in whole or part by nine congressmen also received funds. A business partially owned by Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, obtained a loan as did a real estate project run by the family of Jared Kushner.

Other decidedly questionable recipients include Planned Parenthood, the Church of Scientology, and rapper Kanye West, up until recently a Trump favorite, who, with his wife Kim Kardashian, owns a shoe and clothing company worth an estimated $3 billion.

Given the apparent fact that obtaining a loan was largely a matter of who you know, it is perhaps not surprising that the state of Israel and its myriad supporting entities in the United States were in front of the line when the money was passed out.

I recently wrote about the apparent holocaust scam run out of Israel whereby gullible foreigners have been receiving emails and seeing media solicitations regarding how Jewish survivors of World War 2 currently in Israel are living in squalor and starving due to the impact of the coronavirus. Readers commented that there are similar ads running on television in the U.S. soliciting money from “Christians and Jews” to help relieve the suffering. There have recently been allegations of fraud regarding the millions of dollars that have been raised by Christian groups in the United States. As Israel is a wealthy, socialist state with world class medical and social services systems in part paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, as well as pensions provided mostly by Germany for all survivors, the entire business definitely has a bad smell to it.

If so-called holocaust survivors are actually suffering, the fault should be firmly placed where it belongs: the Jewish “charitable” organizations and the state of Israel itself, which are custodians for the money coming from Europe and elsewhere. Professor Norman Finkelstein has demonstrated in his book The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering how all the billions of dollars extorted by Israel and Jewish groups has been diverted and rarely reaches those who might actually have suffered.

A review of the Finkelstein book notes “…that very little of the recently extracted ‘compensation’ has reached its nominal beneficiaries. Instead, the industry’s concern today lies with winning compensation for law firms, consultants, politicians, Holocaust organizations, and industry elites. ‘When Jewish elites rob Jewish survivors no ethical issues arise; it’s just about the money…’”

In the current economic and healthcare crisis, some of these groups including Israeli start-up companies and proxy groups that lobby in the United States are eligible to received PPP under the multi-trillion dollar CARES Business Assistance Program as long as they have some salaried U.S. employees. The loans can be up to two and a half times the cost of wages actually paid to employees up to a total of $10 million and are issued at 1% interest that is repayable within two years, with a six-month grace period before payments are due. The loan would be converted into a grant if the company can demonstrate that the money was actually spent on salaries that prevented terminating employees.

Predictably, Israeli connected law firms in the U.S. were immediately out of the starting gates. “’In this program, it’s all about being first to the prize,’ said Attorney Oz Halabi, a partner and head of the U.S. taxation department at the New York office of law firm Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz and a former senior official at the Israel Tax Authority. ‘It is very important to submit applications as soon as possible and to understand that the program is relevant to 99% of Israeli startups.’”

Because Israeli companies are well wired into political and financial power brokers in Washington and New York, they inevitably have had insider help applying early and obtaining immediate approvals for loans that struggling American small businesses will not receive. Reportedly 1,000 Jewish and Israel linked groups have already received $500 million but then proceeded to lay off employees anyway after they received their money. There has been, of course, no reciprocity of tax breaks or loans for U.S. companies operating in Israel.

The full measure of PPP spending has yet to be appreciated, but Grant Smith at the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP) has described a C-Span interview that reveals the extent to which Israel has taken advantage of CARES. Smith reports that “Israel lobby organizations such as the Zionist Organization of America ($2-5 million), Friends of the IDF ($2-5 million) and the Israeli American Council ($1-2 million) are grabbing huge loans from the CARES Act PPP program. According to SBA data, Israel’s Bank Leumi has doled out a quarter to a half billion dollars under the program, despite being called out for operating in the occupied West Bank. It has given sweetheart deals to the Israeli company Oran Safety Glass (which defrauded the U.S. Army on bulletproof glass contracts) and Energix, which operates power plants in the occupied Golan Heights and West Bank.”

Grant has also identified PPP money going to the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), which inter alia arranges “terrorism” training for American police; the Jewish National Fund, which supports Israel’s illegal settlements; and the Israel on Campus Coalition, which has harassed students critical of the Jewish state on American campuses. Several of the organizations being supported with American taxpayer money are little more than front organizations promoting Israeli interests in the U.S. They should be required to be registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938 but the Justice Department never does anything about Israeli government fronts active in the United States.

Note that an Israeli bank has somehow been able to grant as much as a half billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money under the program, all of it apparently going to Israeli businesses and other Israel-linked entities. One wonder what the screening process was like, if there even was one. And note that the Zionist Organization of America is essentially an Israeli lobbying group. It too gets the cash, as does the similar Israeli America Bank. Oran Safety Glass, which “won” a Pentagon contract for bulletproof glass for U.S. Army vehicles even though it could not produce the glass, also gets money.

But the most outrageous grant is to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), an organization that raises money in the U.S. for the Israeli military. It held a gala event in Hollywood in 2017 that raised $53.8 million while one in New York City in the same year promoted as a “A Night of Heroes” raised $35 million, so it clearly does not need the money but took it anyway. Donations to FIDF are tax deductible as the organization is registered with the U.S. Treasury as a 501(c)3 educational and charitable non-profit foundation. One might well ask how it is possible that the American taxpayer should subsidize a foreign military organization that is regularly accused of war crimes in its ongoing brutal and genocidal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem? Where are the screams of outrage from Congress and the media, which are silent even as an estimated 100,000 American small businesses meanwhile go bust?

The multitude of gifts to Israel come at a time when the cover provided by the coronavirus and the BLM disruption have hidden from sight the expansion of the Israeli-American national security state. Writing at MintPress in an article entitled “The Merging of US and Israeli National Security States is Accelerating Amid COVID-19,” Raul Diego reports that:

A two-pronged initiative by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security is set to substantially increase Israel’s already significant role in America’s digital health, artificial intelligence (AI), critical health infrastructure, as well as law enforcement, public and border protection and other key sectors. Citing ‘health challenges’ posed by COVID-19, the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative (USIBI), a venture of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is advancing a new eight-point policy framework to facilitate a ‘more robust bilateral collaboration’ between Israeli and American companies to realize the ‘potential’ of technologies emerging out of Israel relating to telehealth, robotic diagnostics and AI-powered applications in healthcare.”

Diego also observes how “In a recent article, investigative reporter Whitney Webb uncovered the deep Israeli military roots of virtually every ‘health’ tech startup to emerge in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and their extensive relationships with the U.S. government at both the federal and state level. Regarding the policy framework, Webb stated that it was likely ‘part of a broader effort aimed at using the coronavirus crisis to facilitate the integration of Israeli tech companies, particularly in the “digital health” sector, into the U.S. technology ecosystem. Many, if not the vast majority, of these companies’, she continued, ‘were either founded by ex-members of Israeli intelligence or military intelligence, but also serve as contractors to Israel’s government or its military.’”

Inevitably, the rape of America and its remaining resources by Israel will accelerate with hardly a peep out of politicians or the media. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S.-Israel Business Initiative only works in one direction, delivering money and jobs to Israel as it simultaneously makes Americans poorer and unemployed. The joint projects also enable the stealing of U.S. technology to advance the Jewish state’s own high-tech sector at no cost. There will also be major national security implications as the Israelis will be able to access every telephone to confront “health challenges” while monitoring the movement of Americans as they also record classified conversations to send the “take” back to Jerusalem.

And it all starts with the presumption that Israel is some kind of friend, which it is not. Fake charities and various schemes to otherwise defraud and impoverish the U.S. taxpayer is the name of the game and Israel goes on from there to become a “business arrangement” and “health initiative partner” plus “national security asset.” When will it ever end? Ask your congressman. He or she will not reply. Or write a letter to the Washington Post or New York Times. They will not print it.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 3 Comments

‘Get out now or risk the consequences’: US threatens investors in Russian energy projects

RT | July 15, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned investors to ditch two major Russian gas pipeline projects, Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream, or face Washington’s sanctions.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Pompeo said that the State Department is set to update “CAATSA [Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] to include the Nord Stream 2 and the second line of Turkstream 2” pipelines. The move is set to put any investments in those projects at risk of sanctions.

“It’s a clear warning to companies that aiding and abetting Russian malign influence projects will not be tolerated. Get out now or risk the consequences,” he warned.

The threat comes as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea nears completion, with ships able to lay the final kilometers of the pipeline already spotted in the area. Earlier this month, the Danish energy regulator allowed the operator of the project – Nord Stream 2 AG – to use ships with anchor positioning, expanding earlier rules that allowed it to use only vessels equipped with a dynamic positioning system. The construction can be resumed next month, after the time to appeal the decision expires.

The project, set to boost Russian gas supplies to Europe, stalled at the end of last year after a similar US sanctions threat. Back then, Swiss-Dutch pipelaying firm Allseas withdrew its vessels from the area, forcing Russia to finish the remaining part on its own.

Russia and both of which heavily invested in the project along with other European nations, have repeatedly criticized the US for interfering with the project. In June, Berlin said that new sanctions against the project will amount to “a serious interference in European energy security and EU sovereignty.”

The other Russian energy project mentioned by Pompeo, TurkStream, was officially launched in January. The two-string natural gas pipeline has the total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters, with one line supplying Turkey and the other – the one that could fall under US restrictions – transferring gas to southern and southeastern Europe.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , | 8 Comments

India fully removed from Iranian railway project: Report

Press TV – July 14, 2020

A report says Iran has dropped India from a key railway project located southeast of the country.

An Indian newspaper says Iran has decided to remove India from a partnership on a key railway project that is being constructed southeast of Iran along the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Hindu said in a Tuesday report that Iran is now going on with the construction of the Chabahar-Zahedan railway on its own, despite the fact that the project was supposed to benefit from India’s supply of investment and equipment.

The report said recurrent delays by India in bringing in the required investment and the equipment needed to build the rail line finally caused Iran to drop the partnership.

Iran began track-laying for the 610-kilometer railway last week after authorities said they have the finances required to finish the project until the end of the current fiscal year in Iran in March 2021.

Iran has tapped into its sovereign wealth fund to draw more than 300 million euros for the project, according to statements by Iranian officials in the past.

India has been a major contributor to the plans to develop Chabahar, Iran’s sole ocean port on the Sea of Oman and where India seeks to build terminals and port installations to ease its trade access to Afghanistan and other landlocked countries in the Central Asia region.

New Delhi has been hesitant to become actively involved in the Chabahar-Zahedan project mainly because of the threat of the American sanctions.

The report by The Hindu reiterated that India has obtained the required waivers from the US sanctions to contribute to the construction of the rail line.

However, it said that Indian Railways Construction Ltd (IRCON) has failed to find equipment suppliers and partners who are not fearful of being targeted by US sanctions four years after it signed an agreement with Iran to become involved in the project.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

Iran oil revenue dips but future holds bright promises

Press TV – July 15, 2020

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says Iran’s revenue from total crude oil exports and oil products in 2019 was just over $19 billion, less than a third of the previous year.

According to the organization’s annual report, Iran’s income from selling oil and oil products amounted to 60.5 billion in 2018, while it was $110 billion in 2011.

Iran’s average daily crude oil exports last year were 651,000 barrels per day, of which about 60,000 barrels went to Turkey and the rest to Asia, it said. In 2018, the figure was 1.85, and in 2017 more than 2.1 million barrels per day.

Iran’s oil industry is at the forefront of an economic war with the United States which has pledged to bring Tehran’s crude exports down to zero. The Islamic Republic exported around one million bpd until May 2019, when the United States tightened its sanctions, banning all oil exports from Iran.

The Iranian economy has been carrying on at a relatively steady clip after a period of turmoil when the Trump administration unleashed its most ferocious economic attack on the country in November 2018 with a pledge to sink its oil exports to zero.

According to OPEC, Iran also exported about 285,000 bpd of oil products including diesel and fuel oil last year.

Barring oil products, revenues from Iran’s crude oil exports last year were less than $9 billion, government officials have said.

The OPEC report said Iran’s total oil and non-oil exports reached $69 billion last year, down about a third from 2018.

Early this year, Industry Minister Hossein Modares Khiabani, then a deputy, told an exports quality summit in Tehran that Iran had exported $32 billion of non-oil goods in the 10 months up to January, shoring up its economy amid the unprecedented US sanctions.

“This is like a miracle in the current economic situation of the country,” he said. “Non-oil exports have almost replaced oil exports, and the country is governed by the revenues of the non-oil sector,” he added.

The Trump administration is tweaking the contours of its sanctions regime to put more aspects of the Iranian economy under strain.

In recent months, the US Treasury Department has announced new sanctions against Iran’s air and maritime transport industries, construction, manufacturing, textiles, mining, aluminum, copper, iron and steel industries to hit much of Iran’s economy as well as Chinese companies that have conducted business with Iran.

Iran-China partnership

China has long been Iran’s largest trading partner and the Islamic Republic is one of its major suppliers of oil. US officials have reportedly been working behind the scenes to pressure China into halting all its oil and condensate imports from Iran.

But recent reports of an imminent finalization of a roadmap for strategic partnership have put the kibosh on those reports.

On Sunday, The New York Times said the sweeping economic and security partnership would clear the way for billions of dollars of Chinese investments in energy and other sectors, undercutting the Trump administration’s efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic.

The paper said it had obtained details of an 18-page proposed agreement that would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years, it said.

The partnership — first proposed by China’s leader Xi Jinping, during a visit to Iran in 2016 — was approved by President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet in June, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week.

The deal “represents a major blow to the Trump administration’s aggressive policy toward Iran since abandoning the nuclear deal reached in 2015 by President Obama and the leaders of six other nations after two years of grueling negotiations,” The Times said.

Renewed American sanctions, including the threat to cut off access to the international banking system for any company that does business in Iran, have prompted Tehran to turn to China, which has the technology and appetite for oil that Iran needs.

China gets about 75 percent of its oil from abroad and is the world’s largest importer, at more than 10 million barrels a day last year.

The Chinese investments in Iran would reportedly total $400 billion over 25 years. China will invest $280 billion developing Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors. There will be another $120 billion investment in upgrading Iran’s transport and manufacturing infrastructure.

Such an infusion would certainly help to revive Iran’s economy and create more jobs, according to Shireen Hunter, an affiliate fellow at the Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

“A major reason for Iran’s shift towards China and other Asian countries, known locally as the ‘pivot to the East’, has been the failure of Iran’s repeated efforts, beginning with the administration of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, to expand economic relations with the West as a prelude to better political ties,” she wrote on the Middle East Eye news website.

Hunter cited the latest of Iran’s offers after the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, including for buying Boeing and Airbus aircraft and welcoming American and European companies such as Total into the country – to which the West responded negatively.

“If the Iran-China agreement is implemented, it would revive Iran’s economy and stabilize its politics. Such an economic and political recovery would improve Iran’s regional position and perhaps incentivize adversaries to reduce tensions with Tehran, instead of blindly following US policies. Arab states could rush to make their own special deals with China,” she wrote.

“By pursuing an entirely hostile policy towards Iran, the US has limited its strategic choices in Southwest Asia and thus been manipulated by some of its local partners, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. China’s more pronounced interest in Iran should alert the US to review its past approach towards Tehran,” she added.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment