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Mueller’s team WIPED over 30 cell phones before turning them over to inspector general

Obstruction of justice?

RT | September 10, 2020

Over a dozen members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate-investigating team “accidentally” wiped their phones before they could be inspected and “lost” the phone of disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page with anti-Trump texts.

Mueller and his team were tasked with investigating accusations of President Donald Trump’s “collusion” with Russia during the 2016 election, but found no evidence of it. In their final report they tried to insinuate that Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice, but stopped short of outright saying so.

An 87-page document, released by the Justice Department on Thursday under the Freedom of Information Act, reveals that Mueller’s investigators “accidentally” or deliberately wiped their devices when the DOJ inspector-general asked for them.

At least 12 officials, whose names are redacted, claimed to have accidentally erased all data from their phones. Five officials are mentioned by name: Andrew Weissman, James Quarles, Greg Andre, Kyle Freeny and Rush Atkinson. Their phones allegedly wiped themselves or reset after too many wrong password entries.

As many as 31 phones may have been affected, including the devices that had been “reassigned.”

Weissman was Mueller’s principal deputy. He is generally considered to have actually been in charge of the ‘Russiagate’ probe, especially after the former FBI director couldn’t recall much of anything during his July 2019 testimony before Congress.

Another discovery in the document was that the phone belonging to FBI lawyer Lisa Page got “lost” by the Mueller team, and the name of the official who had custody of it: Christopher Greer. It was eventually retrieved, but the IG report found that it had been wiped two weeks after Page had left the special counsel team.

Page was involved both in the early stages of the special counsel investigation and the original ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ probe of the Trump campaign – alongside Agent Peter Strzok, with whom she had an extramarital romantic relationship. Both were quietly removed from Mueller’s team after the discovery of text messages that disparaged Trump voters and even referred to “stopping” his election via an “insurance policy.”

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | 1 Comment

US sanctions Ukrainian lawmaker who published Biden-Poroshenko tapes for ‘Russian influence’ in presidential election

RT | September 10, 2020

Ukrainian parliamentarian Andrii Derkach has been sanctioned by the US, and his publication of alleged phone calls between the Ukrainian president and the US vice president declared ‘Russian interference’ in the US election.

Derkach “has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services,” the US Treasury Department declared on Thursday, sanctioning the member of parliament for “foreign interference in an attempt to undermine” the upcoming presidential elections. In addition, three alleged employees of the Internet Research Agency, also referred to as the St. Petersburg ‘troll factory,’ were placed on the sanctions list.

The move against “four Kremlin-linked officials” was hailed by the State Department as “a clear signal that the United States will not tolerate interference or influence” in the upcoming vote.

No evidence was offered for the allegation that either Derkach, or the IRA trio – identified as Artem Lifshits, Anton Andreyev and Darya Aslanova – were actually in any way connected to the Russian government.

Instead, the Treasury claimed that Derkach had “waged a covert influence campaign centered on cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning US officials.” Between May and July this year, he released “edited audio tapes and other unsupported information with the intent to discredit” US officials, they allege.

Derkach released several hours worth of audio tapes purporting to be conversations between former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and former US Vice President Joe Biden from 2014-2016, including references to investigations of the gas company Burisma, which had given Biden’s son Hunter a lavishly compensated seat on its board.

Poroshenko has denounced the revelations as “fabrications” and “part of a large-scale hybrid war” by Russia, and it appears the US Treasury has taken his word at face value. There was no indication any of Derkach’s claims, the tapes, or the documents he offered to the press have been investigated; instead, the Treasury simply asserts that everything he said was “unsubstantiated.”

Similarly, Derkach’s “reliance on US platforms” is taken as proof that he “almost certainly targeted the US voting populace, prominent US persons, and members of the US government.”

The Treasury’s explanation of why Derkach was sanctioned basically claims that any effort to investigate Biden – now the Democratic presidential nominee – or his son amounts to “interference” in US elections, which was the main premise of the Democrat-led effort to impeach President Donald Trump back in September 2019.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Iran, China, Russia to partake in Caucus 2020 military drills

Press TV – September 10, 2020

Military forces from Iran, China, and Russia are scheduled to take part in joint military exercises with a number of other countries in southern Russia later this month.

China’s Defense Ministry made the announcement in a news release on Thursday and said troops from Armenia, Belarus, Myanmar, and Pakistan would also participate in the drills, code-named “Caucus 2020.”

The ministry added that the exercises, to be held from September 21 to 26, would focus on defensive tactics, encirclement, and battlefield control and command.

The drills have special significance “at this important moment when the entire world is fighting the pandemic,” the ministry said.

The United States administration has insinuated that the coronavirus was artificially developed in a Chinese lab. China has rejected that insinuation.

Iran, China, and Russia have over the past years increased their military and diplomatic cooperation to counter the United States’ hostile policies and extra-territorial presence in their regions.

Late last year, the three countries held four days of naval exercises code-named the “Marine Security Belt” to promote regional security and peace and safeguard international trade in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US Fails to Control Lebanon Because Hezbollah, Amal ‘Represent the Majority’ – Journalist

Sputnik – 10.09.2020

While US officials claim that their recent sanctioning of former Lebanese government ministers was designed to expose the corruption of the country’s politicians, one expert tells Sputnik that Washington’s recent action is nothing more than a continuation of a longstanding, but unsuccessful, Western campaign to control Lebanon.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenke declared on Tuesday that political allies of Hezbollah will have to “choose between bullets and ballots,” as they stand to be held “accountable for any enabling of [Hezbollah’s] terrorist and illicit activities,” Arab News reported.

This came amid the two-day Lebanon leg of Schenke’s tour of the Middle East, which also included stops in Qatar and Kuwait.

That same day, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned former Lebanese Minister of Transportation and Public Works Yusuf Finyanus and former Lebanese Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil, who Washington claims “provided material support to [Hezbollah] and engaged in corruption.”

Laith Marouf, an award-winning multimedia producer as well as a media policy and law consultant with the Community Media Advocacy Center, joined Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary on Wednesday and told hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman that what is occurring right now is a continuation of “twenty-some” years of attempts by Washington and “imperial forces” to control Lebanon’s government.

Marouf explained that Khalil is a member of the Amal Movement, which is “allied with Hezbollah,” and Finyanus is aligned with the Christian Marada party of Suleiman Frangieh. These parties are “allied with the sovereigntist movements in Lebanon,” which virtually means they “represent the majority of the [country’s] population.”

Because of this, he asserted, the US’ attempts to gain control have been unsuccessful. “The majority of the Lebanese have lived [through] the crises,” he said, referring to a “cycle” of Western military aggression and sanctions that has occurred in the years following the Lebanese Civil War.

“There’s not going to be a change in the population demographics without a major, major war,” he argued.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

4 Yemen tribes sign no aggression deal with Houthis in Marib

MEMO | September 10, 2020

Four major Yemeni tribes in the city of Marib, northeast of the capital Sanaa, signed an agreement with Houthi military leaders in Sanaa on Saturday, to spare their areas from fighting while talks continue with other tribes in the region to sign similar deals, Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

Until recently, the region’s tribes have supported the Saudi-led coalition which backs the internationally recognised Yemeni government.

According to reports from Yemen, with the new development, the Houthis will be able to control the city of Marib, after they seized ten of the governorate’s 14 directorates.

Local sources said the Houthis have Gained control of Al-Sadara strategic area as well as the Al-Kula region, adding that violent clashes were taking place between the Houthis backed by tribesmen, and the Yemeni government forces in the Al-Manqil area near Al-Jawba.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Israel Funds America’s Israel Lobby, While U.S. Taxpayers Pay for Endless Fraud Against Themselves

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 10, 2020

Imagine for a moment that there is a foreign government that receives billions of dollars a year in “aid” and other benefits from the United States taxpayer. Consider beyond that, the possibility that that government might take part of the money it receives and secretly recycle it to groups of American citizens in the United States that exist to maintain and increase that money flow while also otherwise serving other interests of the recipient country. That would mean that the United States is itself subsidizing the lobbies and groups that are inevitably working against its own interests. And it also means that U.S. citizens are acting as foreign agents, covertly giving priority to their attachment to a foreign country instead of to the nation in which they live.

I am, of course, referring to Israel. It does not require a brilliant observer to note how Israel and its allies inside the U.S. have become very skilled at milking the government in the United States at all levels for every bit of financial aid, trade concessions, military hardware and political cover that is possible to obtain. The flow of dollars, goods, and protection is never actually debated in any serious way and is often, in fact, negotiated directly by Congress or state legislatures directly with the Israeli lobbyists. This corruption and manipulation of the U.S. governmental system by people who are basically foreign agents is something like a criminal enterprise and one can only imagine the screams of outrage coming from the New York Times if there were a similar arrangement with any other country.

The latest revelation about Israel’s cheating involves subsidies that were paid covertly by Israeli government agencies to groups in the United States which in turn took direction from the Jewish state, often inter alia damaging genuine American interests. The groups involved failed to disclose the payments, which is a felony. They also failed to register under the terms of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which mandates penalties for groups and individuals acting on behalf of foreign governments. In particular, FARA mandates that the finances and relationships of the foreign affiliated organization be open to Department of the Justice inspection. It states that “any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or otherwise acts at the order, request, or under the direction or control of a foreign principal.” Those who fail to disclose might be penalized by up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

Israel’s various friends and proxies, uniquely, have been de facto exempt from any regulation by the U.S. government. The last serious attempt to register a major lobbying entity was made by John F. Kennedy, who sought to have the predecessor organization to today’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) comply with FARA. Kennedy was killed before he could complete the process.

To be sure, the U.S. government has recently been aggressive in demanding FARA registration for other nations as well as for Americans working for foreign powers. There have been several prominent FARA cases in the news. Major Russian news agencies operating in the U.S. were compelled to register in 2017 because they were funded largely or in part by the Kremlin. Also, as part of their plea deals, the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn both conceded that they had failed to comply with FARA when working as consultants with foreign governments.

A leading recipient of the Israeli government’s largesse has been the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), which has a presence in 43 countries worldwide, though it is registered in the U.S. as a non-profit. It received a grant of $100,000 from Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry in 2019, part of the $6.6 million that was doled out to eleven American organizations in 2018-9. Israel Allies particularly uses Lawfare to target the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which has a large and growing presence on university campuses. Effective lobbying by IAF in the U.S. has resulted in more than half of all states passing legislation that bans or limits the BDS activity while legislation that would criminalize organizations working against Israel has also been moving through congress. IAF has been directly involved in drafting such legislation and has more recently been pushing for new laws that would legally define criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.

The Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs initially, in 2015-7, tried to give money openly to diaspora organizations but found that many American Jewish groups, to their credit, would not take it due to concerns over FARA and being accused of “dual loyalty.” So, the Ministry created an ostensibly non-government “public benefit company” cut-out to distribute the cash in a more secretive fashion. The mechanism was given the operational name Concert.

Concert’s sole purpose was to provide money to diaspora advocacy groups that would work primarily against BDS and other efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Concert had an independent board, but its activity of directed by the Strategic Affairs Ministry’s director-general.

Concert’s internal documents are predictably vague in describing the activities that it was funding, and one might assume that they are purposely misleading. They refer to “defensive and offensive” actions, on “corporate responsibility,” “the digital battlefield,” and regarding “amplification units” that would provide “support for organizations in a pro-Israeli network.” The intention was to improve Israel’s image due to the widespread and completely accurate perception that its human rights record is among the worst in the world. Concert was created to serve as a mechanism to be exploited where situations prevailed that “require an ‘outside the government’ discussion with the different target audiences… [and] provide a rapid and coordinated response against the attempts to tarnish the image of Israel around the world.”

Interestingly, one of the most recognizable recipients of Concert funds was Christians United for Israel (CUFI), America’s largest pro-Israel group, which received nearly $1.3 million in February 2019 to pay for several 10 week-long “pilgrimages” to the Holy Land. Each pilgrimage involved thirty “influential Christian clerics from the U.S.” who were clearly propagandized while they were in the Middle East. Other large disbursements went to predominantly Jewish student groups, presumably to provide them with both resources and necessary training to oppose campus critics of Israel.

The simple way to deal with the massive and illegal Israeli influencing operations that are being directed against the United States would be first of all to deduct every identifiable dollar that is being spent by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to empower supporters in America from the $3.8 billion plus that Israel receives each year directly from the U.S. Treasury. Israel would not be concerned if the United States were to recover a paltry $10 million or so, but it would definitely send a message.

And then one might follow-up by requiring all the Israeli proxies that together make up the Israel Lobby to register under FARA. One might start with AIPAC, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) but there will be many, many more before the work is done. And CUFI, for sure. The fundamentalist Christian head cases that place Israel’s interests ahead of those of their own country finally need to have their bell rung.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 4 Comments

NATO begins military maneuvers in the Barents Sea

By Lucas Leiroz | September 10, 2020

NATO has stepped up its activities in the neutral waters of the Barents Sea, raising tensions in the Arctic region. In just one day, Russian pilots escorted three military planes, one Norwegian and two British. One of the British planes was headed specifically for the Russian border when it was identified and escorted by the Russian fighter MiG-29, which caused discontent among Russian military and politicians.

Aerial maneuvers in the region were intense and revealed a new stage in the operations of the Western military alliance in the vicinity of the Arctic. Commenting about the incidents, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that, while NATO training flights near Russian borders are not new, the nature of those flights has changed, considering that military flights were less frequent and now they are regular, with constant war training and missile tests, with a large number of aircraft being used in such operations.

It is important to note, however, that the increased activities of NATO forces has been general and not restricted to the Arctic zone alone. Previously, on September 1, Russian fighters escorted three US Air Force strategic B-52H bombers over the Baltic Sea. The day before, August 31, a Su-27 fighter from the Russian Aerospace Force intercepted four NATO planes heading for the Russian border. In addition, in the past week, Russian fighters had to take off three times to escort a Norwegian Air Force aircraft over the Barents Sea.

NATO’s maritime presence has been equally striking. Currently, the US Navy destroyer USS Ross, armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles and the Aegis air defense system, is leading a fleet of NATO warships that entered the Barents Sea on September 7.

These ships, bases and fighter planes are part of a major military program that aims to build a complex defense system for Europe. In fact, NATO continues to prepare for an eventual war against Russia and uses increasingly aggressive maneuvers to demonstrate its military strength and capability. What is not yet clear is the reason for such an alarm for a possible war. After all, what would be Russia’s interest in a war against the West (in NATO programs, it is preparing for a possible Russian attack)? The one who shows the most hostility and does not seem to want any kind of friendly relationship with Moscow is precisely the Western alliance, and the reasons seem clear.

NATO is a military organization designed by Washington exclusively to serve American interests. The alliance was created in the Cold War, in a context of geopolitical bipolarity precisely to contain the Soviet advance and guarantee Western interests. After the end of the Cold War, what is its purpose for existence, considering that the US already enjoys the global dominance? Simply, to preserve and perpetuate such hegemony. However, American power is in significant decline, with several facts showing the emergence of a multipolar world.

Faced with this scenario, Washington, which leads NATO, is organizing demonstrations of force that are aimed simply at ensuring the West’s ability to maintain its dominance in case of a conflict or war. Thus, determined targets are chosen to be the focus of these demonstrations, such as Russia in Europe, China in the Pacific, Venezuela in the Caribbean. For each of these targets, Washington invests in the support of a geographically close country or region, such as Western Europe in the Russian case, India in the Chinese case and Colombia in the Venezuelan case. In fact, none of these target countries has any pretensions to declare war against the US, invade Europe or anything similar. These narratives are created to justify dangerous and bold military maneuvers whose aim is simply to demonstrate force.

Especially in the Arctic, the US has a historical weakness, with Russia playing a role of regional hegemony. Washington is increasingly trying to gain space in the Arctic zone, but it cannot reverse its historical backwardness alone, thus depending on a joint NATO effort.

However, the effects of these measures are extremely dangerous. Russia cannot simply ignore the provocations, accepting that foreign forces carry out maneuvers on its border. Moscow will certainly react with similar exercises and as a result the diplomatic crisis with the US will deepen. Likewise, the role of European countries in Washington’s plans is unstable. Such military maneuvers do not favor major European interests, but many countries with lesser military potential see NATO as a possibility to increase its geopolitical relevance and then adhere to all the programs of the alliance. In the Arctic, however, all NATO efforts are unlikely to be successful, with Russian regional dominance being virtually irreversible in the current circumstances.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Microsoft Allegedly Flags “Russian Hacking” Attempt Targeting Biden Campaign Firm

By Svetlana Ekimenko – Sputnik – 10.09.2020

As the 2020 presidential race tightens, reports of allegedly massive cyber activities targeting the United States have typically surfaced, reminiscent of the events of 2016, when the Democratic Party almost immediately played the “Russian meddling” card to explain its defeat.

Microsoft Corp is claimed to have alerted an election campaign advisory firm working with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that it had been allegedly targeted during the last two months by suspected ‘Russian state-backed hackers’, according to three sources cited by Reuters.

Staff at Washington-based public affairs and political consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker, which works with Biden and other prominent Democrats, was believed to have been the target of the attack.

The hackers, however, failed to infiltrate the company’s networks, a source is cited as saying, adding:

“They are well-defended, so there has been no breach.”

According to the report, it was unclear whether the cyberattack sought to target Joe Biden’s campaign or to gain access to information about other SKDK clients.

The managing director of SKDK, Anita Dunn, was formerly communications director during the White House tenure of Barack Obama. Dunn currently serves as a senior adviser to the Biden campaign.

After flagging the hacking attempt that reportedly included phishing, Microsoft suggested the suspected culprits were most likely connected to the Russian government, claim sources cited by the outlet.

Besides the popular hacking method that attempts to manipulate users into revealing passwords, other methods were reportedly used to try and infiltrate SKDK’s network.

SKDK is closely associated with the Democratic Party, having worked on six presidential campaigns and numerous congressional races, while back in 2018 it worked on successful governor’s races in Kansas and Connecticut.

There has been no comment on the report from Microsoft.

SKDK and the Joe Biden election campaign have similarly not offered any statements in connection with the report.

Claims of Meddling 

As the date of the November presidential elections in the US draws near, the country’s intelligence agencies have been raising concerns over possible efforts by foreign governments to interfere in the ballot.

Earlier, in July, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden claimed he had been warned by US intelligence of foreign interference in the upcoming presidential elections.

“We know from before and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again. The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimise our electoral process. Fact,” he said during a fundraiser, as cited by The Hill.

Biden also made references to alleged interference that involves “China and others”, referring to “activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome”.

The allegations of ‘meddling’ come as a throwback to the 2016 US election race.

At the time, the ‘Russia card’ was played, as the US Democratic Party sought to explain its loss after their candidate Hillary Clinton was defeated by Republican Donald Trump, despite polls suggesting a different outcome.

In 2016, the US peddled claims that Moscow had “meddled” in the nation’s presidential elections, alleging that “Russian hackers” had infiltrated the Democratic National Committee’s servers.

US President Donald Trump was later accused of “collusion” with Russia. However, as the allegations were probed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the latter’s report said that insufficient evidence had been found to support the claims.

Russia, for its part, has vehemently denied any interference in the US elections, calling the accusations part of America’s “domestic political struggle”.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Vitamin D, First clinical trial

Dr. John Campbell | September 6, 2020

About 42% of the US population is vitamin D deficient

82% in black people

70% in Hispanics

Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results, (JAMA Open, 3rd September, Chicago)

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama…

Cohort study of 489 Patients who had a vitamin D level measured in the year before COVID-19 testing

Relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times

First clinical trial on vitamin D and COVID Therapy versus best Available Therapy on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study (Spain, Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science…

Objective

Vitamin D decreases Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Effect of calcifediol treatment

Calcifediol can rapidly increase serum 25OHD concentration

25-hydroxyvitamin D

Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality

Spanish patients hospitalized for COVID-19.

Design

Parallel pilot, randomized, double-masked clinical trial

Setting

Reina Sofia University Hospital, Córdoba, Spain

Participants

76 consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection

Clinical picture of acute respiratory infection

Confirmed by a radiographic pattern of viral pneumonia

Positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR

Procedures

All hospitalized patients received as best available therapy

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin

Allocated at a 2 calcifediol:1

Oral calcifediol (0.532 mg), or not

Oral calcifediol (0.266 mg) on day 3 and 7

Then weekly until discharge

End points, ICU admission and deaths.

Results

50 patients treated with calcifediol

One required admission to the ICU (2%),

Of 26 untreated patients, 13 required admission (50%)

p  less than 0.001

Of the patients treated with calcifediol, none died, and all were discharged, without complications

Of the patients not treated, 2 died

Conclusion

Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the disease

Larger trials with groups properly matched will be required to show a definitive answer

Rationale, activation of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) signalling pathway

Reduced ARDS

Cytokine/chemokine storm

Regulating the renin angiotensin system

Modulating neutrophil activity

Maintaining the integrity of the pulmonary epithelial barrier

Stimulating epithelial repair

Tapering down the increased coagulability

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment