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Disinformation By Popular Demand: How The Authenticity of Hunter’s Laptop Became Immaterial

By Jonathan Turley | October 27, 2020

Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden was again insisting that the scandal involving Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation despite the direct refutation of that claim by the FBI. No mainstream reporter bothered to ask the simple question of whether this was his son’s laptop and emails, including emails clearly engaging in an influence peddling scheme and referring to Joe Biden’s knowledge.  Instead, media has maintained a consistent and narrow focus. Indeed, in her interview, Leslie Stahl immediately dismissed any “scandal” involving Hunter in an interview with the President on 60 Minutes. It was an open example of what I previously noted in a column: “After all, an allegation is a scandal only if it is damaging. No coverage, no damage, no scandal.”

In her interview with Joe Biden, CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell did not push Biden to simply confirm that the emails were fake or whether he did in fact meet with Hunter’s associates (despite his prior denials). Instead O’Donnell asked: “Do you believe the recent leak of material allegedly from Hunter’s computer is part of a Russian disinformation campaign?”

Biden responded with the same answer that has gone unchallenged dozens of times:

“From what I’ve read and know the intelligence community warned the president that Giuliani was being fed disinformation from the Russians. And we also know that Putin is trying very hard to spread disinformation about Joe Biden. And so when you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani– the president, together– it’s just what it is. It’s a smear campaign because he has nothing he wants to talk about. What is he running on? What is he running on?”

It did not matter that the answer omitted the key assertion that this was not Hunter’s laptop or emails or that he did not leave the computer with this store.

Recently, Washington Post columnist Thomas Rid wrote said the quiet part out loud by telling the media: “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.”

Let that sink in for a second. It does not matter if these are real emails and not Russian disinformation. They probably are real but should be treated as disinformation even though American intelligence has repeatedly rebutted that claim. It does not even matter that the FBI has seized the computer as evidence in a criminal fraud investigation or that a Biden confidant is now giving his allegations to the FBI under threat of criminal charges if he lies to investigators.

It simply does not matter. It is disinformation because it is simply inconvenient to treat it as real information.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Anthony Fauci: 40 Years of Lies From AZT to Remdesivir

As the planet’s “Virus Tsar” since 1984, he has spread misinformation and ignored critical questions. The consequences could hardly be more fatal.

By Torsten Engelbrecht & Konstantin Demeter | OffGuardian | October 27, 2020

Last week, US president Donald Trump committed a kind of blasphemy by attacking Anthony Fauci, his pandemic consultant and practically the spokesperson for the White House regarding COVID-19, saying that:

“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots. He’s been here for 500 years.  Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths.”

A remarkable statement of historical dimension, since Trump is the first American head of state to casts doubt on Fauci, who has acted as the virus tsar for no less than six presidencies: Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama and Trump.

To make it clear, the logic behind Trump’s attack is scientifically unfounded. He refers to a statement of Fauci he made some months ago, according to which people should “not wear face masks.” But even if all Americans had followed this advice, it would not have lead to a single extra death.

The simple reason is that the COVID-19 death rate data show unambiguously that a viral cause for the excess mortality seen in some countries, including the US, is virtually impossible — and that instead the massive experimental use of highly toxic drugs is the key factor in this context, as I recently outlined together with Claus Köhnlein MD, in an in-depth analysis for Real News Australia.

But on one point Trump hits the nail on the head: Fauci is simply a disaster, because he has been telling the world one lie after another for decades, why his presence actually feels almost as if he has been there for 500 years. And tragically, the mass media sell them to their audience of billions as a kind of gospel.

An example is — there’s no other way to put it — the downright shameful four page interview with Anthony Fauci in Germany’s best-known news magazine, Der Spiegel, published recently.

Shameful because Fauci here, too, is doing what he is a master at, namely, hoaxing the world — and Der Spiegel has been hoodwinked by him and, in admiration for the man dubbed by The New Yorker as “America’s Doctor,” which is a euphemism of the highest order, has forgotten to do its job: to ask critical questions.

The initial question alone is unworthy of a journalistic medium:

“Dr. Fauci, you once said of yourself that you had‚ a reputation of speaking the truth at all times and not sugarcoating things. Can we hope to get a few samples of previously unspoken truths from you today?”

And Fauci answers:

“Of course! I will always give you truth. Just ask the question and I’ll give you the truth. At least to the extent, that I think it is, right [laughs].”

Fauci: 36 years as the Modern Munchausen

What a farce. What Fauci thinks is right may be true for himself. But his statements do not stand up to an objective examination of scientific evidence.

Therefore he is not only “Dr. Wrong”, as he has been called recently by the conservative economist Stephen Moore, but actually “Dr. Baron of Lies”, because he must be aware that he is telling the untruth or that there are well-supported doubts about his theses. Especially because, since the beginning of his “reign” as global virus tsar in 1984, he has been repeatedly confronted with critical questions by many people (including me).

And what was his reaction over and over again? He just silenced and ignored the inquirers.

This is why his answer to Der Spiegel, “Just ask the question and I’ll give you the truth” is also a downright Fauci lie.

Unfortunately, he gets away with it not least because even world-famous personalities like Brad Pitt buy his lies and sell him to the world public as thoroughly sincere.

This is what happened on April 25, when the Hollywood star portrayed Fauci on Saturday Night Live. With a Fauci wig on his head and with the virus tsar’s typical raspy voice Brad Pitt spoke: “Until [I am getting fired by Trump], I am gonna be there puttin’ out the facts to whoever is listening.”

And at the end of the performance the actor took off the wig and said in his own voice: “To the real Dr. Fauci. Thank you for your calm, and your clarity in this unnverving time.” ix

But the only truth in these statements by Brad Pitt is that we live in “unnerving times.”

In fact, not outlining the facts, but saying the untruth and not answering is a characteristic behaviour that runs through Fauci’s entire 36 years in which the now 79-year-old has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). And this has very serious consequences.

Because with a current annual budget of almost six billion dollars, Fauci’s institute is a giant in AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and autoimmune research — while he himself is perhaps the most powerful man in the global virus circus.

The abundance of lies Fauci puts into the world is so great that you don’t even know where to start to enumerate them all. One of the many topic fields about which he is sending out factually untenable statements to the whole world is without question COVID-19. In order to become aware of this, one has to realize that:

Thus, Fauci‘s narratives about the alleged novel coronavirus become a downright fairy tale. And a fairy tale teller, a modern-day Munchausen “Baron of Lies”, Fauci has been since he became the director of the NIAID in 1984 — the year Ronald Reagan was US president and AIDS was put on the world stage.

This was a turning point in modern world history. Since then the virus hunters enjoy god-like status, and this was accomplished by lies and deceit. Fauci played a decisive role in its creation, and the parallels to the “installation” of COVID-19 are striking.

How Fauci’s Falsehoods turned AZT into a “magic bullet”

How could this happen? Not least due to the swine flu disaster in 1976 in which 50 million US citizens were persuaded to get vaccinated, resulting in side effects in 20 percent to 40 percent of recipients, including paralysis and even death, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came into unsettled political waters at the end of the 1970s.

As a result, the great contemplation began at these two most powerful organizations related to health politics and biomedical science.

In fact, Red Cross officer Paul Cumming told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1994 that “the CDC increasingly needed a major epidemic” at the beginning of the 1980s “to justify its existence.” And the HIV/AIDS theory was a salvation for American epidemic authorities.

As a result, “All the old virus hunters from the National Cancer Institute put new signs on their doors and became AIDS researchers. [US President Ronald] Reagan sent up about a billion dollars just for starters,” noted Kary Mullis who received the Nobel Prize for his invention of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which plays a central role in the context of COVID-19. “And suddenly everybody who could claim to be any kind of medical scientist and who hadn’t had anything much to do lately was fully employed.“

Among those who jumped over from cancer research to AIDS research, the best known is Robert Gallo. “HIV didn’t suddenly pop out of the rain forest or Haiti. It just popped into Bob Gallo’s hands at a time when he needed a new career,” as Mullis, who unfortunately died last year, noted with a wink.

And it started with big lies. The most important one was announced in April 1984 by Gallo, working under Fauci, when he claimed in a press conference that gained worldwide attention that “the probable cause of AIDS has been found.“

NB. Gallo’s papers were printed in the journal Science over one week after his press conference and also after he had filed a patent application for an antibody test later misleadingly named “HIV test”. Thus, nobody was able to review his work prior to his spectacular TV appearance, and for some days afterwards.

This presented a severe breach of professional scientific etiquette. And as review later showed Gallo’s studies did not deliver any proof for the virus thesis.[1]

Mullis confirmed it as well:

“People keep asking me, ‘You mean you don’t believe that HIV causes AIDS?’ And I say, ‘Whether I believe it or not is irrelevant! I have no scientific evidence for it!’ I might believe in God, and He could have told me in a dream that HIV causes AIDS. But I wouldn’t stand up in front of scientists and say, ‘I believe HIV causes AIDS because God told me.’ I’d say, ‘I have papers here in hand and experiments that have been done that can be demonstrated to others.’ It’s not what somebody believes, it’s experimental proof that counts. And neither Montagnier, Gallo, nor anyone else had published papers describing experiments which led to the conclusion that HIV probably caused AIDS.”

Mullis even had the opportunity to ask Montagnier personally about a reference proving that HIV causes AIDS. But he couldn’t name one. “It was damned irritating,“ as Mullis reported. “If Montagnier didn’t know the answer, who the hell did?“

Of course, whoever is in possession of a solid peer-reviewed study that proves that HIV causes AIDS may please present it to me or my co-author!

I have searched for such a study by myself, but haven’t found it, either. I have also approached Anthony Fauci and his NIAID several times asking them, among other things, to send me such a study showing that HIV is a retrovirus that causes a deadly infection. Finally, I was told by Hillary Hoffman from the NIAID’s News and Science Writing Branch that:

“Dr. Fauci respectfully declines to respond to the questions that you emailed.”[2]

About this practice of refusing to answer questions Horace F. Judson, historian of molecular biology, wrote in his book The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science:

“Central to the problem of misconduct is the response of institutions when charges erupt. Again and again the actions of senior scientists and administrators have been the very model of how not to respond. They have tried to smother the fire. Such flawed responses are altogether typical of misconduct cases.”

Calling AZT trials “scientifically controlled” is like referring to garbage as “haute cuisine”

Such behavior, which smells of misconduct, runs like a golden thread through Fauci‘s 36-year history as director of the NIAID.

A particularly blatant example is the approval of azidothymidine – commonly known as AZT – that became the first authorized AIDS medication. The basis for this was the so-called Fischl study which was published in July 1987 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) — and already then Fauci was in charge of federal AIDS funding.

John Lauritsen, journalist, Harvard analyst and active in the Gay Rights Movement since the 1970s, had viewed the FDA documents on the Fischl study and came to the conclusion that the study was “fraud”; the Swiss newspaper Weltwoche termed the experiment a “gigantic botch-up” and NBC News in New York branded the experiments, conducted across the US, as “seriously flawed.“

Even the FDA toxicology analyst Harvey I. Chernov concluded — months before publication of the mentioned pivotal AZT study – in an FDA document obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act by John Lauritsten that:

‘The available data are insufficient to support FDA approval [of AZT].”

The Fischl experiments were, in fact, stopped after only four months, after 19 trial subjects in the placebo group (those who did not receive AZT, but rather an inactive placebo) and only one participant from the so-called verum group (those who were officially taking AZT) had died. Through this, according to the AIDS establishment, the efficacy of AZT appeared to be proven.

But the Fischl study was not even worth the paper it was printed on. Not only was it financed by AZT manufacturer Wellcome (today GlaxoSmithKline), which is clearly a conflict of interest, but it was “clear that Fauci‘s NIH and the FDA had far too ‘cozy’ a relationship with Burroughs-Wellcome,” as Lauritsen writes.

Apart from that, the study was stopped after only four months. A clinical trial observation period of only four months is much too short to be informative, considering the usual practice of administering AIDS medications over years, or even a lifetime.

Moreover, the Fischl study had been conducted in a downright fraudulent manner. “It is almost beyond the bounds of probability that the mortality data could be correct,” as Lauritsen states. “There are many ways that errors can occur in research. But in this particular study the most parsimonious explanation would be deliberate fraud.” [3]

For example, the double-blind conditions of the study (according to which neither the researchers nor patients should have known who was taking AZT and who was taking placebos) were no longer existent after a short time. NBC lead reporter Perri Peltz stated in 1988, that almost immediately everyone knew who was getting what. Patients told how they can distinguish AZT from placebo by the taste.

Furthermore, the FDA documents show that the study results were distorted. For example, sicker patients were placed in the placebo group or because the group that swallowed AZT (and therefore had to cope with the severe side effects) received more supportive medical services than the placebo subjects.

NBC reported that there was widespread tampering with the rules of the Fischl trial. The rules had been violated coast to coast, and if all patients with protocol violations were dropped, there wouldn’t be enough to be able to continue the study.

Fauci’s History of Ignoring Critical Questions

On 27 January 1988, NBC News (Channel 4) broadcasted the first of Peltz‘ three-part exposés on AZT.

“When preparing this report, we repeatedly tried to interview Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health. But both Dr. Fauci and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Frank Young declined our request for interviews.”

“Welcome to the club, Perri!” wrote John Lauritsen in his book The AIDS War: Propaganda, Profeteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex.

“When it comes to questions of HIV or AZT, the Public Health Service bureaucrats and “scientists” won’t speak to me either; they have also refused to speak to the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio, Channel 4 (London) television, Italian television, The New Scientist, and Jack Anderson.“

The same happened to me recently when I sent Fauci, and his NIAID, questions regarding the Fischl study — to this day I have not received any answer.[4]

Of course, Fauci was willing to talk… in media that did not ask critical questions and only let him pray down his advertising messages.

On February 19, 1988, Fauci appeared on the television program Good Morning America, as Lauritsen writes in his book. And he was asked why only one drug, AZT, had been made available. He replied:

“The reason why only one drug has been made available — AZT — is because it’s the only drug that has been shown in scientifically controlled trials to be safe and effective.“

But “this brief statement contains several outstanding falsehoods,” as Lauritsen points out.

“First, there have been no “scientifically controlled trials” of AZT; to refer to the FDA-conducted AZT trials as ‘scientifically controlled’ is equivalent to referring to garbage as la haute cuisine. Second, AZT is not ‘safe’: it is a highly toxic drug — the FDA analyst who reviewed the toxicology data on AZT recommended that it should not be approved. Third, AZT is not known objectively to be ‘effective’ for anything, except perhaps for destroying bone marrow.” [5]

Nevertheless, Fauci did not get tired of spreading factually unsubstantiated statements about AZT throughout the world. Even this year, at the end of April, Fauci was not afraid of promulgating the untruth about AZT during a White House meeting about Gilead’s drug remdesivir, by saying “the first randomized placebo-controlled trial with AZT… turned out to give an effect that was modest” (more on remdesivir below).

By the way, the inventor of AZT himself, Jerome Horwitz, said he was so cloyed with the drug that he “dumped it on the junk pile,” he “didn’t [even] keep the notebooks.“

His invention AZT was a chemotherapy-like drug of extreme, not to say fatal, toxicity and “so worthless” to him that he “didn’t think it was worth patenting,” as former BusinessWeek journalist Bruce Nussbaum writes in his book Good Intentions: How Big Business and the Medical Establishment are Corrupting the Fight against AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Cancer and More.

In the mid 1980s Fauci promised the world they would “develop a vaccine for AIDS” rapidly. But even 35 years later such a vaccine is not yet in sight — and this despite the fact that, according to calculations since the 1980s governments alone have funded HIV research with well over half a trillion US dollars so far, with annual budgets that are now around 35 billion dollars, compared to 0.9 billion in 1987.

Is the Watergate phenomenon — follow the money — also evident here? To this Charles Thomas, molecular biologist and former professor of biochemistry at Harvard and John Hopkins Universities, said:

“Too many people are making too much money out of it. And money is stronger than truth.”

Same Old Scam: From AZT to “swine flu” vaccines, PrEP & remdesivir

The list of Fauci‘s assertions, which he must know he cannot substantiate scientifically, is almost endless. This cannot be stressed often enough.

In the context of so-called “bird flu” (H5N1) which was exaggerated to a world threat by the WHO, politicians, scientists and the mainstream media between 2003 and 2005, Fauci predicted that “even in the best-case scenarios” it would “cause 2 to 7 million deaths” worldwide. As the journalist Michael Fumento writes in his article:

“Dr. Fauci’s recurring disease ‘nightmares’ often don’t materialize.”

In fact, even the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that by May 16, 2006, H5N1 had killed “only” 100 people.

Equally unsubstantiated was Fauci’s aggressive promotion of H1N1 influenza (“swine flu”) vaccine in 2009. Back then he was reassuring that serious adverse events were “very, very, very rare”. Unfortunately, this statement was also irresponsibly unfounded, because the underlying studies were fast-tracked ones and lacked solid double-blind placebo-controls. There were also heavy conflicts of interests.

To make matters worse, only one year later, in 2010, the Swedish Agency for the Regulation of Prescription Drugs reported cases of children and adolescents suffering from narcolepsy after a swine flu vaccination — a neurological disorder that leads to a disturbance of the circadian rhythm (the biological clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle).

Further analysis confirmed that the Pandemrix vaccine also caused the disease in vaccinated people in other countries. That the swine flu vaccine causes narcolepsy has been confirmed by the courts.

Nevertheless, Fauci did not let himself be put off.

In December 2015, for instance, the NEJM published his article Ending the HIV–AIDS Pandemic: Follow the Science. In this piece he made a case to “dramatically scale up HIV testing and treatment around the world” — including preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), i.e. “using ART [antiretroviral therapy] for HIV prevention in HIV negative persons.”

That is to say, healthy people should take highly toxic drugs. But here again: As self-assured as he presents his statements, he was not prepared to substantiate them factually.

In my mentioned request to the NIAID, in relation to his 2015 article about PrEP I asked:

  • In your NEJM article you write that the IPERGAY study showed that ‘persons who took PrEP… were 86% less likely to acquire HIV infection than those taking placebo.’ But in which study has it been shown that HIV is a very special retrovirus that causes a deadly infection?
  • Or in other words: If even Luc Montagnier admits, that on the images done by electron microscopy of the cell culture that he used he “saw some particles but they did not have the morphology typical of retroviruses”xxxii — in which study has it been proven that HIV, which is said to be a retrovirus, is a deadly retrovirus?
  • In your article you are making a case for “dramatically scale up HIV testing”—but in which study it has been proven that so-called HIV tests are in fact HIV tests?
  • Do you agree that:
    1. so-called HIV tests respond “positive” to a wide range of physiological conditions
    2. HIV test kits were approved only for blood screening
    3. these tests do not claim to diagnose infection
    4. proteins such as p18 or p24 are not specific for HIV, and that
    5. there is no gold standard for an HIV test?

    If not, which of these statements is wrong, and why is it wrong? If yes, why should we “dramatically scale up HIV testing” ?

  • You say in your article that “the early promise of durable effects from combination therapy has been realized for many patients.” But how can we conclude that ART being introduced in 1995/1996 is life-prolonging and responsible for having decreased the number of AIDS deaths in industrialized countries if:
    1. in 1995/1996 only a fraction of patients received ART
    2. statistics from the CDC and the RKI clearly show that the number of AIDS deaths actually reached the peak (mortality summit) as early as 1991,
    3. no reliable statements can be made as to whether a single drug and ART are life-prolonging, since the basic prerequisite for this is lacking: a solid placebo-controlled study that has demonstrated the superiority of the drug/ART?

Unfortunately, as mentioned, Hillary Hoffman from NIAID just let me know that:

“Dr. Fauci respectfully declines to respond to the questions that you emailed.”[6]

Another example of a Fauci farce is Gilead Sciences’ rapid-release drug remdesivir, which was approved on May 2, 2020 in the context of COVID-19 for emergency use only. A few days before, the NIAID director claimed that a study found remdesivir would reduce recovery time and reduce mortality.

This can only be described as another scandal in which Fauci plays a central role—especially when you look at the fraudulent way in which the drug was approved and which is very similar to the way AZT was authorized in 1987.

An article from the Alliance for Human Research and Protection (AHRP) — Fauci’s Promotional Hype Catapults Gilead’s remdesivir — brought up the following painful subject:

Fauci has a vested interest in remdesivir. He sponsored the clinical trial whose detailed results have not been peer-reviewed. Furthermore, he declared the tenuous results to be ‘highly significant,’ and pronounced remdesivir to be the new ‘standard of care.’ Fauci made the promotional pronouncement while sitting on a couch in the White House, without providing a detailed news release; without a briefing at a medical meeting or in a scientific journal — as is the norm and practice, to allow scientists and researchers to review the data.

When he was asked about a recently published Chinese study on remdesivir, in The Lancet (April 29th , 2020); a trial that was stopped because of serious adverse events in 16 (12%) of the patients compared to four (5%) of patients in the placebo group, Dr. Fauci dismissed the study as ‘not adequate.’

But while the Chinese study that Fauci denigrated, was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center peer-reviewed, published study in a premier journal, The Lancet, with all data available, the NIAID-Gilead study results the remdesivir approval is based on have not been published in peer-reviewed literature — nor have details of the findings been disclosed.

“However, they were publicly promoted by the head of the federal agency that conducted the study, from the White House,” as the AHRP underlined. “What better free advertisement?”

By the way, regarding Fauci’s financial relations with Gilead, there is a petition that requests that he discloses them, since he hasn’t done it yet.

What the virus tsar also failed to disclose to the public in his promotional pronouncement of remdesivir was that the primary outcomes of the study that led to its emergency use approval were changed on April 16, 2020. Changes in the primary outcome are posted on clinicaltrials.gov.

Where previously there was an 8-point scale, which also included the deceased patients, from then on there has been only a 3-point scale, which leaves the deceased patient out of the equation and which at the same time only measures the time until recovery or being released from the hospital.

“Changing primary outcomes after a study has commenced is considered dubious and suspicious,” as the AHRP pointed out. And Reuters News reported that respected prominent leaders in the medical community — such as Steven Nissen MD, the chief academic officer at the Cleveland Clinic and Eric Topol MD, director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California — were unimpressed by remdesivir’s tentative, modest benefit at best.

Referring to the Lancet report, Topol stated:

“That’s the only thing I’ll hang my hat on, and that was negative.”

As for the NIAID modest results, Dr Topol was unimpressed:

“It was expected to be a whopping effect. It clearly does not have that.”

The change in primary outcome measures raised serious red flags for scientists; but was largely ignored by the mainstream media which mostly repeated Fauci’s promotional script.

Steve Nissen told The Washington Post :

“I think that they thought they weren’t going to win, and they wanted to change it to something they could win on. I prefer the original outcome. It’s harder. It’s a more meaningful endpoint. Getting out of the hospital early is useful, but it’s not a game-changer.”

As you can guess, all the questions I have asked the NIAID regarding remdesivir have remained unanswered as well… [7]

How toxic remdesivir is, is also shown by the fact that just recently, on October 2, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the regulator of medicinal products of the European Union, started a safety review of remdesivir. Reason: Some patients taking the drug reported serious kidney problems.

About two weeks later, on October 15, the WHO reported that in its own trial named “Solidarity” which started in March this year remdesivir not only failed to produce any measurable benefit in terms of mortality reduction, but that it also didn’t reduce the need for ventilators, or the length of hospital stays.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s organization Children’s Health Defense pointed this out on October 23 on its website. Fauci, by contrast, again remained silent about this study.

But Gilead shot ahead and commented in all seriousness “it is unclear if any conclusive findings can be drawn from the [Solidarity] study results,” because the trial hadn’t been peer reviewed or published in a scholarly journal.

But this comment is downright ridiculous.

On the one hand, it was no less a figure than Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, who initiated this multi-center, global Solidarity trial (more than 11,300 adults with Covid-19 in 405 hospitals in 30 countries) for the very reason that:

“multiple small trials with different methodologies may not give us the clear, strong evidence we need about which treatments help to save lives. This large, international study is designed to generate the robust data we need, to show which treatments are the most effective.”

Moreover, Gilead forgot to mention in its statement that the pivotal trial of remdesivir leading to its emergency use approval, as outlined, had not been peer reviewed and published in a solid journal on the day of its approval (May 2nd), either, and that it was seriously flawed.

Nevertheless, the study funded by Fauci’s NIAID has been finally published on October 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The only alleged benefit reported was a shorter recovery time for patients receiving remdesivir compared to those in the placebo group.

But this result has no validity, not only because of the seriously flawed underlying data. The way in which this drug got its approval is very reminiscent of the outlined fraudulent way in which AZT received its approval in 1987 in an alleged placebo trial. But in reality, almost from the beginning, everyone knew who was getting what (AZT or placebo) and patients even had their pills analyzed in the craving for the alleged miracle drug.

Who wants to rule out that this did not happen with remdesivir as well?

Especially since the placebo subjects in the remdesivir study did not receive a real placebo. Instead, the bulk the patients got a “placebo” containing the same ingredients as remdesivir except the agent sulfobutylether-beta-cyclodextrin, which can cause serious damage.

hydroxychloroquine illustrates Fauci’s mendacity

The story of the drug hydroxychloroquine also illustrates Fauci’s phoniness. At the end of March, US president Trump called this agent “a gift from God”, while Fauci warned against jumping on conclusions.

On May 27, Fauci even stated on CNN about hydroxychloroquine, “The scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy.”

And his comments came days after the Lancet published a 96,000-patient observational study that concluded that hydroxychloroquine had no effect on Covid-19 and may have even caused some harm.

Too bad that shortly after, this Lancet study was retracted, because:

several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai.”

Hence, Fauci’s assertion on May 27, “The scientific data [about hydroxychloroquine] is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy,” was definitely a voluntary false statement, simply because at that date Fauci must have known that scientific data backing his claim did not exist.

Or as Politico put it on May 27:

“There is no data yet from randomized, controlled clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine—the gold standard for evaluating potential treatments.”

In fact, in 2005 the Virology Journal published an article concluding that chloroquine (of which hydroxychloroquine is a slightly milder derivative) is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus dubbed SARS-CoV-1, as health care expert Kevin Corbett points out in a Twitter post on October 26. And so-called SARS-CoV-2 is claimed to be genetically related to so-called SARS-CoV-1.

Of course, the Virology Journal study lacks validity because the science behind SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 is totally unfounded, and not least also because the study was just a cell culture and not a patient trial.

But Fauci is the world’s number one herald of the official corona narrative, and the study has been conducted by CDC scientists. So he should actually be totally convinced that chloroquine (and thus also hydroxychloroquine) is helpful in the context of corona.

Nevertheless, Fauci was unequivocal on Wednesday May 27, saying that “the data are clear right now” that hydroxychloroquine is not effective against the coronavirus.

This is why I asked Fauci’s NIAID, “How did Anthony Fauci come to his conclusion on May 27?” [8]. But I have not received an answer to this question, either.

Conversely, this does not mean that the effectiveness of the drug has been properly proven. Let’s not forget that hydroxychloroquine is far from a candy, it can have many serious side effects and even be fatal by causing cardiac arrhythmias, for example. Especially if it is given in higher doses, which is what happened in the treatment of so-called COVID-19 patients.

As mentioned, the experimental administration of high doses of potentially lethal drugs such as hydroxychloroquine is the major factor for the excess mortality observed in some (but not all!) countries. “I agree about hydroxychloroquine overdosing, both from a reduced function point of view and toxicity,” writes me Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch by e-mail. [9]

Risch belongs to the best-known researchers who see a potential curative effect in the drug. The relevant studies with COVID-19 patients “all showed significant benefit for high-risk outpatients,” says Risch. [10]

A view that is also expressed, for example, in the almost 40-page inquiry of Paul V. Sheridan to Fauci with copies sent to President Trump and others.

But even if we assume that administering hydroxychloroquine in lower doses alone, or in combination with an antibiotic and possibly zinc, to so-called COVID-19 patients may help decreasing the hospitalization and mortality risk, for instance, there is definitely no solid proof that this is due to an antiviral/anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect, as claimed. So the only conclusion would be that the positive effect is due to hydroxychloroquine having an anti-inflammatory effect, antibiotics clearing pathogenic bacteria and zinc boosting the immune system and metabolism function.

Furthermore, it must be considered in this context that administering hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with an antibiotic and maybe zinc cannot be at all a sustainable long-term therapy nor does it represent a real causal therapy.

This approach also just follows “modern biomedicine’s basic formula with its monocausal-microbial starting-point and its search for magic bullets: one disease, one cause, one cure,“ as American sociology professor, Steven Epstein, writes in his book Impure Science — AIDS, Activism and the Politics of Knowledge. An approach that finally is just escapist.

This was expressed by Allan Brandt, a medical historian at Harvard Medical School, stating in his book No Magic Bullet: The promise of the magic bullet has never been fulfilled.

Apart from that, there is only one way to prove that a drug or a combination of agents help reducing mortality or hospitalization or is effective in relation to any other clinical endpoint, that is if you do compare it with a real placebo.

As Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, states quite rightly in her book The Truth About the Drug Companies:

“If there is really doubt about whether a standard treatment is effective, the FDA should require that clinical trials of new treatments have three comparison groups—new drug, old drug, and placebo.”

Unfortunately, there is no such placebo-study for hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 showing that this drug is superior compared to doing nothing.

In this context, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote on August 2 on Instagram, Fauci “insists he will not approve HCQ [hydroxychloroquine] for COVID until its efficacy is proven in ‘randomized, double blind placebo studies.’”

On this point one can indeed only agree with the virus tsar. And at the beginning of June, researchers reported the results of the first gold-standard clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19, concluding that it did not perform any better than placebo.

But here as well Fauci’s hypocrisy shows up in the end. Not only did the results of the said “first gold-standard” placebo study become known only at the beginning of June — thus a couple of days after Fauci made his unfounded claim that “The scientific data [about hydroxychloroquine] is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy.”

Also, “to date, Dr Fauci has never advocated such [placebo] studies for any of the 72 vaccine doses added to the mandatory childhood schedule since he took over NIAID in 1984,” as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also notes in his Instagram post. “Nor is he requiring them for the COVID vaccines currently racing for approval. Why should chloroquine be the only remedy required to cross this high hurdle?”

Fauci follows Big Pharma’s track

Additionally, the following question must be asked: Why do Fauci and his compliant companions focus on a “magic bullet” oriented symptom treatment medicine and not on causal therapies that take lifestyle factors such as nutrition, industrial toxins, exercise and psyche into account?

That can only be because people who occupy the highest positions of power such as Fauci obviously are on the side of pharmaceutical companies.

“Dr Fauci’s peculiar hostility towards HCQ is consistent with his half-century bias favoring vaccines and patent medicines,” as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. states. “Dr. Fauci’s double standards create confusion, mistrust and polarization.”

In this context, Kennedy Jr. points out that:

“HCQ’s patents are long expired; pills cost 30¢. [And] HCQ might compete with Dr Fauci’s vaccines including the Moderna vaccine for which his agency owns half the patent and Dr Fauci has invested $500 million in taxpayer dollar.”

The emperor of worldwide virus research also has ties with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who in turn is associated with Big Pharma and other powerful industries, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) that is associated with powerful industries as well.

In 2012 Fauci was named one of the five Leadership Council of the Gates Foundation-created Global Vaccine Action Plan.

The Gates Foundation also invests directly in Fauci’s NIAID (around $1.5 million in 2020 and around $7.5 million in 2019). And not least through Fauci’s vested interest in remdesivir, the circle closes when one realizes that the Gates Foundation owns more than $1.3 million in Gilead stock and more than $3.2 million in Gilead bonds.

So it is just jaw-dropping how Fauci can bloviate in the interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel mentioned at the beginning of this article:

“I stay completely apolitical. I never, ever, get involved in politics… I have been neutral throughout the six presidents that I have served.”

With this assertion Fauci conveys a completely unrealistic picture of the reality which resembles a Fata Morgana in which politicians rule, companies keep the economy going and science tracks down the facts in completely independent manner — without getting significantly in each other’s way or even corrupting each other.

Besides, scientists are in no way immune to careerism, greed, and thirst for glory. Even though they are often perceived as such, scientists are not saints, they are humans with virtues and faults. Even Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur whose claims laid the foundation for the whole virus mania, were demonstrably career-obsessed science fraudsters.

No doubt, we are living in times in which politicians are less and less in control of politics and in which the influence of powerful industries is so great that the independence of research is no longer guaranteed in many areas.

As a 2004 Lancet review of Judson’s aforementioned book The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science points out:

“Judson paints a dark picture of [biomedical] science today, but we may see far darker days ahead as proof and profit become inextricably mixed.”

Fauci himself is the personified expression of this alarming development and thus far from being “completely apolitical,” in fact the opposite. Against this background, it seems just comprehensible that there is even a petition titled “#Fire Fauci.”

NOTES:

  • [1] Steven Epstein. Impure Science—AIDS, Activism and the Politics of Knowledge (University of California Press, 1996, p. 73)
  • [2] Author’s email communication with the NIAID media team (among them Hillary Hoffman) between January 9 and 30, 2018
  • [3] John Lauritsen. The AIDS War. Propaganda, Profeteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex (Asklepios, 1993, p. 77)
  • [4] Author’s emails to the NIAID on August 24 and 27, 2020
  • [5] John Lauritsen. The AIDS War. Propaganda, Profeteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex (Asklepios, 1993, pp. 71-79)
  • [6] Author’s email communication with the NIAID media team (among them Hillary Hoffman) between January 9 and 30, 2018
  • [7] Author’s email to the NIAID on August 27, 2020
  • [8] Personal email from September 11, 2020
  • [9] Personal email from September 9, 2020
  • [10] ibid.

Torsten Engelbrecht is an award-winning journalist and author from Hamburg, Germany. In 2006 he co-authored Virus-Mania with Dr Klaus Kohnlein, and in 2009 he won the German Alternate Media Award. He has also written for Rubikon, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Financial Times Deutschland and many others.

Konstantin Demeter is a freelance photographer and an independent researcher. Together with the journalist Torsten Engelbrecht he has published articles on the “COVID-19” crisis in the online magazine Rubikon, as well as contributions on the monetary system, geopolitics, and the media in Swiss Italian newspapers.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Wokeness Wars’ Coming to Your County

By Philip M. Giraldi – American Free Press – October 23, 2020

Kurt Vonnegut’s 1961 dystopian short story “Harrison Bergeron” describes a 2081 America in which the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments to the Constitution of the United States have together mandated that all Americans must be made completely equal. No one is allowed to be more intelligent or handsome or more physically capable than anyone else. The standards are enforced by a Handicapper General, an elderly woman named Diana Moon Glampers armed with a shotgun, who mandates the wearing of disfiguring masks for those who are thought to be too beautiful while tiny radios are mounted inside the ears of intelligent people, programmed to go off at intervals and disrupt any thoughts. Those who are stronger or faster than others are required to wear heavy weights around their wrists and ankles.

Somehow, the Vonnegut story comes to mind at the present time, particularly in my home county here in Virginia. Loudoun County, a suburb of Washington D.C. where all that fiat money is printed, is the wealthiest in the United States based on per capita income. When I moved here twenty-three years ago, it was solidly Republican, but now it is controlled by the Democrats, largely due to the influx of out of state newcomers moving in to take the thousands of new federal jobs in the burgeoning Global War On Terror. When in power, the Republicans foolishly had allowed their business cronies to build large and ugly commuter housing developments that eventually changed the political power alignment when the liberal newcomers inevitably outnumbered the relatively conservative locals.

The county Board of Supervisors is headed by a black woman named Phyllis Randall. Randall has been in place since 2015 and is reliably progressive. Apart from muttering about “diversity” and “affordable housing,” she has generally avoided race issues in a county that is less than 10% black but has become more outspoken recently. The county seat Leesburg had a monument near the court house featuring a seven-foot bronze war memorial statue of a Confederate infantryman dubbed “Silent Sam” by some of the locals. Randall had described the memorial as a racist symbol that had intimidated “Thousands of Loudoun citizens, Black citizens, who never had a voice and sometimes didn’t have a vote.” It is a ridiculous argument that is often made when historical monuments are about to be purged by vandals, but apparently a statue can inspire real fear in some circles, at least according to Randall.

After being reelected last November and backed by a unanimously gutless board in a May vote, Randall felt empowered to remove the offending statue saying that she was “correcting history” over a “statue [that] should never have been put up.” The removal was accomplished on June 21st, in the midst of the wave of looting, rioting and arson all over the United States that was triggered by the Floyd George death.

Randall has also been pushing to replace the highly respected local sheriff’s department with a police department which would be controlled by her board. The popular sheriff is an elected official and he has committed the crime of being both somewhat independent and a Republican.

Since the removal of the Confederate statue, there has been more fun and games to include an apology to the black citizens of Loudoun from both the board of supervisors and the school board for the school segregation that continued into the 1960s. The local NAACP graciously responded that the apology was “not enough.” That was followed by a slap at another perennial punching bag for the social justice warrior movement. Columbus Day on the school calendar was renamed. Indigenous Peoples Day.

All of that has been bad enough, but the clincher is what is going on with the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). The school board has spent $422,500 on a consultant to apply Critical Race Theory (CRT) to a new program of instruction that will be mandatory for all employees and will serve as the framework for teaching the students. When schools eventually reopen, all kindergarteners, for example, will be taught “social justice” in a course designed by the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center and “diversity training” will be integrated in all other grade levels.

Critical Race Theory has been fairly criticized as it pretends to be an antidote to systemic racism but is itself racist in nature as it opposes a race neutral system that equally benefits everyone. It proposes that all of America’s governmental bodies and infrastructures are racist and supportive of “white supremacy” and must be deconstructed. It requires everything to be examined through a value system determined by identity politics and race and it views both whites and their institutions as hopelessly corrupted, if not evil.

The principal concern currently is that the school board, which is revising its Personal Conduct Policy 7560 “Professional Conduct” for staff, is basically treating the First Amendment right to free speech as inapplicable when it comes to challenging certain policies involving the school system arguing that the Bill of Rights itself is just a tool in support of white supremacy, which is what CRT teaches. The Personal Conduct draft only addresses the First Amendment briefly, noting that the right “may be outweighed” by LCPS interest in “promoting internal…and external community harmony and peace” through “directives, including protected class equity, racial equity, and the goal to root out systemic racism.”

Section B3 of the draft revised policy requires total commitment to the forthcoming “equity” policies and it threatens punishment to include firing if anyone within the system dares to express a criticism. The full text cites “Any comments or actions that are not in alignment with the school division’s commitment to action-oriented equity policies, and which impact an individual’s abilities to perform their job responsibilities or create a breach in the trust bestowed upon them as an employee of the school division. This includes on-campus and off-campus speech, social media posts, and any other electronic or telephonic communications.”

The school board also has an “Action Plan to Combat Systemic Racism” which will require mandatory “racial literacy” classes for staff with the objective of creating “equity literacy and racial consciousness” for employees. To support struggling black students there will be non-coercive alternatives to suspension or expulsion for misbehavior, a feature that is being copied in many school districts. It is all part of the larger “Comprehensive Equity Plan” that the revised personal conduct policy is intended to protect, which includes manipulating passing grades to achieve “equity” — that is, to reward or punish people based not on their conduct and accomplishments or hard work, but primarily on their race and ethnicity. It calls specifically for the “disruption and dismantling of white racism.” It is not intended to give everyone an equal chance and is rather trying to guarantee a certain outcome. It will mean pushing people through the system based on race rather than merit until they find themselves holding jobs that they cannot possibly perform based on what they learned at school.

If that were not bad enough, the document also encourages school system employees to report on other employees who are critical of the policy. Most companies are within their rights to demand certain behavior while in the workplace, but the Loudoun County Public Schools demand that even criticizing the new policy with friends, family, at home, while on the phone, while shopping or even walking through the park is a violation subject to punishment. The draft states explicitly that employee speech “will not be tolerated” if it could be perceived as “undermining the views, positions, goals, policies or public statements” of Schools Superintendent Eric Williams or the school board. And other LCPS employees would have the “duty to report” speech violations to the school administration. Given that, the likelihood that anyone who is bold enough to surface as an employee-critic would be railroaded by the school administrators and the board is guaranteed. And, one might point out, LCPS has no teachers’ union.

Rod Dreher observes how the policy will also translate into what and how one’s children are taught. They too will be required to conform. “If your kid goes to a church that is not progressive and LGBT-affirming, she better shut up about her religious views at school, or she will be expelled. If you[r] kid won’t consent to calling a trans student by that student’s preferred pronoun, that could be the end of him at Loudoun County public schools. Anything that the left identifies as a manifestation of ‘white supremacy’ — and these days, what isn’t? — makes students who hold it targets of the system. What if a high school student believes that on balance, Robert E. Lee was a noble, if tragic, figure, and said so in a history class? He would have to fear that Loudoun County public schools, in the state of Virginia, would punish him as a white supremacist. Basically, deep-blue, wealthy, predominantly white Loudoun County in suburban Washington, DC, is going to ruin its public schools by turning them into ideology factories.”

One might also observe that imposition of a totalitarian style “equity” regime based on race will inevitably drive many of the academically better prepared students out of the system. Many of the better teachers will also move to the private academies that will spring up due to parental and student demand. Others will stop teaching altogether when confronted by political correctness at a level that prior to 2020 would have seemed unimaginable. The actual quality of education will suffer for everyone involved.

The outcry against the proposed Loudoun Public Schools Personal Conduct Policy has been such that there has been some suggestion that it might be revised, but the most recent minutes of school board meetings suggest otherwise. One suspects that if the policy ever actually is approved it will be challenged and declared to be unconstitutional, but it would be unwise to place too much trust in America’s increasingly politicized “social” judicial system.

A quote attributed to Sinclair Lewis goes “If fascism ever comes to America it will be carrying a Bible and wrapped in a flag.” He was wrong. We have learned in the past few months that totalitarianism can come from either the left or the right. Currently in America it is coming wrapped in a lot of virtue signaling coming from a gaggle of politicians and media “experts” who are working hard to turn the part of the United States that they have not burned down into what they perceive as a utopia where everyone can gather round the campfire and sing “Kumbaya.” Of course, one will have to eliminate all the deplorables first, and some radicals are clearly prepared to use informants and spies to do so. It’s ironic that the progressives who wrote the draft on Professional Conduct for Loudoun County Public Schools just cannot see that there is scant difference between the system of control and intimidation that they are promoting and the vilified regimes once in place in Russia and Germany. Well, possibly the school board will develop a spine and a conscience and reverse itself. But, on the other hand, more likely not. Sadly, the issue is quite real for me as I have grandchildren in LCPS.

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.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | | Leave a comment

Britain’s Nuclear Weapons: Money for Nothing

By Brian Cloughley | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 27, 2020

On 19 October the BBC reported that “A Royal Navy officer has been sent home from the U.S. after reporting to take charge of a submarine’s Trident nuclear missiles while unfit for duty. Lt Cdr Len Louw is under investigation at Faslane naval base in Scotland amid reports he had been drinking. Colleagues raised concerns when the weapons engineering officer arrived for work on HMS Vigilant last month.”

It must be made clear that there was no possibility this officer or any other single person could in some way commit the submarine to despatch of its weapons. It simply could not happen. But the squalid little incident did draw attention to the fact that a British nuclear submarine was in the United States for some reason and although the UK’s over-staffed and infamously incompetent Ministry of Defence condescendingly announced that “the Royal Navy does not comment on matters related to submarine operations” it was apparent that the boat was in port at the U.S. submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia, probably to update and recalibrate technical devices and to load a number of Trident II D5 nuclear missiles.

The UK keeps insisting it has an independent nuclear weapons capability, so it has to be asked why the Royal Navy needs to send submarines to the U.S. to pick up missiles. But as with so many defence matters the government tries to keep the British public in the dark as much as possible. According to the U.S. Naval Institute, “Vigilant is one of four U.K. Vanguard-class boomers that the Royal Navy maintains as part of the British nuclear deterrent force. While the MoD maintains its own nuclear warheads, British and U.S. submarines share a common stockpile of Trident II D5 missiles stored at Kings Bay.”

It can also be asked why the United Kingdom government thinks the country needs nuclear weapons at all.

London’s reluctance to provide information to the public about nuclear weapons is likely based on the government’s desire to disguise the vast expenditure involved. When it is demanded by law that information be provided, it is released on a carefully timed basis. The public relations operators have it all planned, and choose a day when more exciting news can be either expected or manipulated, rather like the FBI’s notification of the preposterous allegations that “Iran and Russia Seek to Influence Election in Final Days” that — surprise, surprise! — were headlines on the same day that former President Obama gave a speech in support of presidential candidate Joe Biden.

But the Brits didn’t succeed in one particular case concerning vast expenditure on systems to replace the existing Trident nuclear missiles on its four submarines. It had been stated in the annual update to Parliament by the Ministry of Defence in December last year that “Work also continues to develop the evidence to support a government decision when replacing the warhead” and there matters rested — until in February Admiral Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, “told the Senate defence committee that there was a requirement for a new warhead, which would be called the W93 or Mk7. Richard said ‘This effort will also support a parallel replacement warhead programme in the United Kingdom’.”

The disclosure forced the underhand of the UK government, and on February 25 Defence News reported Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as stating that “To ensure the Government maintains an effective deterrent throughout the commission of the Dreadnought Class ballistic missile submarine we are replacing our existing nuclear warhead to respond to future threats and the security environment” which is a weasel-worded admission that did not mention the colossal sums of money involved.

(But then, Ben Wallace is no stranger to large sums of money, and during the 2009 revelations by the UK’s Daily Telegraph concerning fiddling and greed on the part of politicians it was revealed that in 2008 he had the fourth highest expenses of any Member of Parliament, claiming £175,523 (on top of his £63,000 salary), including £29,000 a year to employ his wife as a part-time research assistant.)

The cost of replacing Trident missiles by the “life extension programme” of the warheads is not known, as the only estimate available, given in a 2006 government paper on ‘The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent’, is £250 million which is obviously a small fraction of the true amount.

Not only is the UK committing massive sums to replace the weapons systems of existing nuclear submarines, it has embarked on an enormous programme to build four new ones to replace the Vanguard class vessels. A House of Commons research briefing of June 2020 (produced by the House Library whose researchers are not influenced by sleazy political fandangos) states that the programme involves “design, development and manufacture of four new Dreadnought class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) that will maintain the UK’s nuclear posture of Continuous at Sea Deterrence” and that “the cost of the programme has been estimated at £31 billion, including defence inflation over the life of the programme.”

The United Kingdom is in a parlous economic state. The International Monetary Fund assesses that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will hit Britain’s economy much harder than much of the rest of the world, and while nobody can forecast what will befall the UK if it abandons trade negotiations with the European Union, it is certain that there can be no economic benefit from its current policies.

The last thing the UK needs to do is to commit billions of pounds to nuclear weapons. (Although its Members of Parliament do count the pennies on occasions. They’ve just been told they are to get a pay increase of over 3,000 pounds a year, and on October 21 voted overwhelmingly to reject a plan for poor children to receive midday school meals during school holidays in this period of extreme financial insecurity. They’re all heart.)

At the moment, UK nuclear policy is that “we are committed to maintaining the minimum amount of destructive power needed to deter any aggressor” and as noted by Scientists for Global Responsibility, “The UK’s nuclear warheads are carried on Trident missiles – leased from the USA – in nuclear-powered submarines. Currently, eight missiles can be fired, carrying 40 x 100kT warheads, with a few hours’ notice from a submerged submarine. The UK’s total nuclear weapons arsenal consists of 195 warheads.”

There is no doubt that 195 warheads would destroy enormous areas, but there is no point in going into detail, because if the submarines fired off any nuclear weapons at Russia (the only conceivable target), retaliation would ensure that the UK would cease to exist.

Just who does London imagine is being deterred by its expensive nuclear missiles? America is the only western country that would commit to firing nuclear weapons, and there is no possibility that Washington would consult London about its decision. Once Washington went to nuclear war, all that the UK could do would be to pop off its missiles to pile destruction on destruction. That’s not deterrence, and Britain would be well advised to refrain from spending countless billions on a new set of nuclear toys and commit its resources to betterment of its citizens.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

The Truth Behind the Biggest Threat to the ‘War on Terror’ Narrative

By Cynthia Chung | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 27, 2020

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.”

– Julius Caesar

The illegal invasion of Libya, in which Britain was complicit and a British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s report confirmed as an illegal act sanctioned by the UK government, over which Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister (weeks before the release of the UK parliament report), occurred from March – Oct, 2011.

Muammar al-Gaddafi was assassinated on Oct. 20th, 2011.

On Sept 11-12th, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyron Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at two U.S. government facilities in Benghazi.

It is officially denied to this date that al-Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization participated in the Benghazi attack. It is also officially denied that the attack was pre-meditated.

On the 6th year anniversary of the Benghazi attack, Barack Obama stated at a partisan speech on Sept 10th, 2018, delivered at the University of Illinois, that the outrage over the details concerning the Benghazi attack were the result of a “wild conspiracy theory” perpetrated by conservatives and Republican members of Congress.

However, according to an August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report  (only released to the public in May 2015), this is anything but the case. The report was critical of the policies of then President Obama as a direct igniter for the rise of ISIS and the creation of a “caliphate” by Syria-based radical Islamists and al-Qaeda. The report also identified that arms shipments in Libya had gone to radical Islamist “allies” of the United States and NATO in the overthrowing of Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi. These arms shipments were sent to Syria and became the arsenal that allowed ISIS and other radical rebels to grow.

The declassified DIA report states:

AQI [al-qaeda –iraq] SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA… WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS… THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…” [emphasis added]

Another DIA document from Oct 2012 (also released in May 2015), reported that Gaddafi’s vast arsenal was being shipped from Benghazi to two Syrian ports under the control of the Syrian rebel groups.

Essentially, the DIA documents were reporting that the Obama Administration was supporting Islamist extremism, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

When the watchdog group Judicial Watch received the series of DIA reports through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits (FOIA) in May 2015, the State Department, the Administration and various media outlets trashed the reports as insignificant and unreliable.

There was just one problem; Lt. Gen. Flynn was backing up the reliability of the released DIA reports.

Lt. Gen. Flynn as Director of the DIA from July 2012 – Aug. 2014, was responsible for acquiring accurate intelligence on ISIS’s and other extremist operations within the Middle East, but did not have any authority in shaping U.S. military policy in response to the Intel the DIA was acquiring.

In a July 2015 interview with Al-Jazeera, Flynn went so far as to state that the rise of ISIS was the result of a “willful decision,” not an intelligence failure, by the Obama Administration.

In the Al-Jazeera interview Flynn was asked:

Q: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

FLYNN: I think the Administration.

Q: So the Administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?

FLYNN: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

Q: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?

FLYNN: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

Flynn was essentially stating (in the 47 minute interview) that the United States was fully aware that weapons trafficking from Benghazi to the Syrian rebels was occurring. In fact, the secret flow of arms from Libya to the Syrian opposition, via Turkey was CIA sponsored and had been underway shortly after Gaddafi’s death in Oct 2011. The operation was largely run out of a covert CIA annex in Benghazi, with State Department acquiescence.

This information was especially troubling in light of the fact that the Obama Administration’s policy, from mid-2011 on, was to overthrow the Assad government. The question of “who will replace Assad?” was never fully answered.

Perhaps the most troubling to Americans among the FOIA-released DIA documents was a report from Sept. 16, 2012, which provided a detailed account of the pre-meditated nature of the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi, reporting that the attack had been planned ten days prior, detailing the groups involved.

The report revealed that it was in fact an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group that was responsible for the Benghazi attack. That despite this intelligence, the Obama Administration continued to permit arms-trafficking to the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels even after the 9/11/12 attacks.

In August 2015, then President Obama ordered for U.S. forces to attack Syrian government forces if they interfered with the American “vetted, trained and armed” forces. This U.S. approved Division 30 Syrian rebel group “defected” almost immediately, with U.S. weapons in hand, to align with the Nusra Front, the formal al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Obama’s Semantics War: Any Friend of Yours is a Friend of Mine

“Flynn incurred the wrath of the [Obama] White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria… He thought truth was the best thing and they shoved him out.”

– Patrick Lang (retired army colonel, served for nearly a decade as the chief Middle East civilian intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency)

Before being named Director of the DIA, Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for the Joint Staff, as Director of Intelligence for the U.S. Central Command, and as Director of Intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command.

Flynn’s criticisms and opposition to the Obama Administration’s policies in his interview with Al-Jazeera in 2015 was nothing new. In August 2013, Flynn as Director of the DIA supported Gen. Dempsey’s intervention, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in forcing then President Obama to cancel orders to launch a massive bombing campaign against the Syrian government and armed forces. Flynn and Dempsey both argued that the overthrow of the Assad government would lead to a radical Islamist stronghold in Syria, much like what was then happening in Libya.

This account was also supported in Seymour Hersh’s paper “Military to Military” published in Jan 2016, to which he states:

“Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn’t doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. ‘If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,’ Flynn told me. ‘We understood Isis’s long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.’ The DIA’s reporting, he [Flynn] said, ‘got enormous pushback’ from the Obama administration. ‘I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.’

[According to a former JCS adviser]’… To say Assad’s got to go is fine, but if you follow that through – therefore anyone is better. It’s the “anybody else is better” issue that the JCS had with Obama’s policy.’ The Joint Chiefs felt that a direct challenge to Obama’s policy would have ‘had a zero chance of success’. So in the autumn of 2013 they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing U.S. intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State [ISIS].” [emphasis added]

According to Hersh’s sources, it was through the militaries of Germany, Israel and Russia, who were in contact with the Syrian army, that the U.S. intelligence on where the terrorist cells were located was shared, hence the “military to military”. There was no direct contact between the U.S. and the Syrian military.

Hersh states in his paper:

“The two countries [U.S. & Syria] collaborated against al-Qaida, their common enemy. A longtime consultant to the Joint Special Operations Command said that, after 9/11, ‘Bashar was, for years, extremely helpful to us while, in my view, we were churlish in return, and clumsy in our use of the gold he gave us. That quiet co-operation continued among some elements, even after the [Bush administration’s] decision to vilify him.’ In 2002 Assad authorised Syrian intelligence to turn over hundreds of internal files on the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and Germany. Later that year, Syrian intelligence foiled an attack by al-Qaida on the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, and Assad agreed to provide the CIA with the name of a vital al-Qaida informant. In violation of this agreement, the CIA contacted the informant directly; he rejected the approach, and broke off relations with his Syrian handlers.

… It was this history of co-operation that made it seem possible in 2013 that Damascus would agree to the new indirect intelligence-sharing arrangement with the U.S.”

However, as the Syrian army gained strength with the Dempsey-led-Joint Chiefs’ support, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey escalated their financing and arming of al-Nusra and ISIS. In fact, it was “later” discovered that the Erdogan government had been supporting al-Nusra and ISIS for years. In addition, after the June 30th, 2013 revolution in Egypt, Turkey became a regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Organization.

In Sept. 2015, Russia came in and directly intervened militarily, upon invitation by the Syrian government, and effectively destroyed ISIS strongholds within Syrian territory. In response, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 on Nov 24th, 2015 for allegedly entering Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. Days after the Russian fighter jet was shot down, Obama expressed support for Erdogan and stated at a Dec. 1st, 2015 press conference that his administration would remain “very much committed to Turkey’s security and its sovereignty”. Obama also said that as long as Russia remained allied with Assad, “a lot of Russian resources are still going to be targeted at opposition groups … that we support … So I don’t think we should be under any illusions that somehow Russia starts hitting only Isil targets. That’s not happening now. It was never happening. It’s not going to be happening in the next several weeks.”

Today, not one of those “opposition groups” has shown itself to have remained, or possibly ever been, anti-extremist. And neither the Joint Chiefs nor the DIA believed that there was ever such a thing as “moderate rebels.”

Rather, as remarked by a JCS adviser to Hersh, “Turkey is the problem.”

China’s “Uyghur Problem”

Imad Moustapha, was the Syrian Ambassador to the United States from 2004 to Dec. 2011, and has been the Syrian Ambassador to China for the past eight years.

In an interview with Seymour Hersh, Moustapha stated:

“‘China regards the Syrian crisis from three perspectives,’ he said: international law and legitimacy; global strategic positioning; and the activities of jihadist Uighurs, from Xinjiang province in China’s far west. Xinjiang borders eight nations – Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – and, in China’s view, serves as a funnel for terrorism around the world and within China. Many Uighur fighters now in Syria are known to be members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – an often violent separatist organisation that seeks to establish an Islamist Uighur state in Xinjiang. ‘The fact that they have been aided by Turkish intelligence to move from China into Syria through Turkey has caused a tremendous amount of tension between the Chinese and Turkish intelligence,’ Moustapha said. ‘China is concerned that the Turkish role of supporting the Uighur fighters in Syria may be extended in the future to support Turkey’s agenda in Xinjiang. We are already providing the Chinese intelligence service with information regarding these terrorists and the routes they crossed from on travelling into Syria.’ ” [emphasis added]

This view was echoed by a Washington foreign affairs analyst whose views are routinely sought by senior government officials, informing Hersh that:

“Erdoğan has been bringing Uighurs into Syria by special transport while his government has been agitating in favour of their struggle in China. Uighur and Burmese Muslim terrorists who escape into Thailand somehow get Turkish passports and are then flown to Turkey for transit into Syria.”

China understands that the best way to combat the terrorist recruiting that is going on in these regions is to offer aid towards reconstruction and economic development projects. By 2016, China had allegedly committed more than $30 billion to postwar reconstruction in Syria.

The long-time consultant to the Joint Special Operations Command could not hide his contempt, according to Hersh, when he was asked for his view of the U.S. policy on Syria. “‘The solution in Syria is right before our nose,’ he said. ‘Our primary threat is Isis and all of us – the United States, Russia and China – need to work together.’“

The military’s indirect pathway to Assad disappeared with Dempsey’s retirement in September 25th, 2015. His replacement as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Joseph Dunford, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in July 2015, two months before assuming office, “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia.”

Flynn’s Call for Development in the Middle East to Counter Terrorism

Not only was Flynn critical of the Obama Administration’s approach to countering terrorism in the Middle East, his proposed solution was to actually downgrade the emphasis on military counter-operations, and rather focus on economic development within these regions as the most effective and stable impediment to the growth of extremists.

Flynn stated in the July 2015 interview with Al-Jazeera:

“Frankly, an entire new economy is what this region needs. They need to take this 15-year old, to 25 to 30-year olds in Saudi Arabia, the largest segment of their population; in Egypt, the largest segment of their population, 15 to roughly 30 years old, mostly young men. You’ve got to give them something else to do. If you don’t, they’re going to turn on their own governments, and we can solve that problem.

So that is the conversation that we have to have with them, and we have to help them do that. And in the meantime, what we have is this continued investment in conflict. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just fuels the conflict. Some of that has to be done, but I’m looking for other solutions. I’m looking for the other side of this argument, and we’re not having it; we’re not having it as the United States.” [emphasis added]

Flynn also stated in the interview that the U.S. cannot, and should not, deter the development of nuclear energy in the Middle East:

“It now equals nuclear development of some type in the Middle East, and now what we want… what I hope for is that we have nuclear [energy] development, because it also helps for projects like desalinization, getting water… nuclear energy is very clean, and it actually is so cost effective, much more cost effective for producing water from desalinization.”

Flynn was calling for a new strategic vision for the Middle East, and making it clear that “conflict only” policies were only going to add fuel to the fire, that cooperative economic policies are the true solution to attaining peace in the Middle East. Pivotal to this is the expansion of nuclear energy, while assuring non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, which Flynn states “has to be done in a very international, inspectable way.”

When In Doubt, Blame the Russians

How did the Obama Administration respond to Flynn’s views?

He was fired (forced resignation) from his post as Director of the DIA on April 30th, 2014. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was briefed by Flynn on the intelligence reports and was also critical of the U.S. Administration’s strategy in the Middle East was also forced to resign in Feb. 2015.

With the election of Trump as President on Nov. 8 2016, Lt. Gen. Flynn was swiftly announced as Trump’s choice for National Security Adviser on Nov. 18th, 2016.

Just weeks later, Flynn was targeted by the FBI and there was a media sensation over Flynn being a suspected “Russian agent”. Flynn was taken out before he had a chance to even step into his office, prevented from doing any sort of overhaul with the intelligence bureaus and Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was most certainly going to happen. Instead Flynn was forced to resign on Feb. 13th, 2017 after incessant media attacks undermining the entire Trump Administration, accusing them of working for the Russians against the welfare of the American people.

Despite an ongoing investigation on the allegations against Flynn, there has been no evidence to this date that has justified any charge. In fact, volumes of exculpatory evidence have been presented to exonerate Flynn from any wrongdoing including perjury. At this point, the investigation of Flynn has been put into question as consciously disingenuous and as being stalled by the federal judge since May 2020, refusing to release Flynn it seems while a Trump Administration is still in effect.

The question thus stands; in whose best interest is it that no peace be permitted to occur in the Middle East and that U.S.-Russian relations remain verboten? And is such an interest a friend or foe to the American people?

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Rejects US Proposals on New START Verification, Ryabkov Says

By Irina Acheeva – Sputnik – 27.10.2020

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested extending the last arms control agreement between the United States and Russia for another year without any conditions, stressing that a world without the New START would be worryingly vulnerable.

Moscow maintains active dialogue on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), but will not make any other concessions, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

Ryabkov further elaborated that Moscow does not accept the US proposal for verification within the framework of the New START.

“We have the full impression that the Americans do not need any agreements, they only need verification. And verification, in the way proposed by them, is, basically, to establish external control over the most sensitive elements of ensuring the entire systems of our national security. This is unacceptable for us”, the deputy minister said.

According to Ryabkov, Russia “cannot agree to such a proposal for higher reasons”.

“We said and continue to say that any agreement in this area is possible only where both interests are balanced, as a certain compromise. We are ready for this but see no indication that the US side is prepared to compromise. Therefore we conclude that attaining basic agreement in the present segment is, to put it mildly, doubtful”, the diplomat noted.

He added that Moscow is disappointed by the signs it sees from the US regarding an extension of the New START.

“We are having vigorous talks with the US on these issues. The signs we are getting from them disappoint us. The Americans do not seem to understand that we cannot implement proposals, when the US, rather than making requests, keeps piling on demand after demand”, Ryabkov said.

The statement comes after Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that Russia is urging the US to stop trying to bargain for benefits in the last days of the New START. Antonov also pointed out that Washington has bluntly rejected to prolong the treaty as it was signed without any conditions.

On 22 October, Russian President Vladimir Putin said “nothing bad will happen” if the New START gets extended for one year, as it would provide both sides with more time to find a compromise. US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has commented on Putin’s proposal calling it a “non-starter“.

The United States had previously suggested prolonging the treaty for one year if Moscow and Washington froze the number of their nuclear warheads during that period.

The New START that is set to expire in February 2021, is the last arms control agreement between the United States and Russia.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Leaked papers: UK ran secret training & PR op for Syrian militants costing millions, despite knowing risks

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 27, 2020

A swath of what appear to be secret Foreign & Commonwealth Office documents outline a multimillion-pound British effort to train rebel fighters in Syria via private companies, knowing but brushing off the risk of jihadist hijack.

The documents released by the hacktivist collective Anonymous appear to expose a variety of covert actions undertaken by the UK government against the Syrian state over many years.

The overriding objective behind them all, the papers suggest, was to destabilise the government of Bashar Assad, convince Syrians, Western citizens, foreign governments, and international bodies that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was a legitimate alternative, and flood media the world over with pro-opposition propaganda.

The dimensions of the assorted information warfare operations implied in the papers, some of which have been detailed by the Grayzone Project, were vast. In a representative example, “social enterprise” firm ARK, founded by veteran Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) operative Alistair Harris, “rebranded” the Syrian Military Council, “softening the Free Syrian Army’s image” in order to “distinguish it from extremist armed opposition groups and establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

Training ‘credible and effective’ militants

At least one cog in this cloak and dagger connivance was overtly militant in nature. From August 2016, a consortium of private contractors ran a programme for the FCO, through which “training, equipment, and other forms of support” was provided to the FSA’s ‘Southern Front’ coalition, to “foster a negotiated political transition, support moderate structures and groups in opposition held areas of Syria, counter violent extremism and prevent the establishment of a terrorist safe-haven.”

Under its clandestine auspices, up to 600 belligerents were trained every year the operation ran, an indeterminate total – the endeavour was dubbed MAO B-FOR (Moderate Armed Opposition Border Force Capability Project), and forecast to cost the FCO £15,767,599.

B-FOR’s ‘statement of requirements’ document sets out in succinct detail Whitehall’s objectives in pursuing the project.

“The aim… is to generate pressure on the Assad regime and on extremists, in the south the country… If MAO border groups are better able to secure and maintain control of specific areas of responsibility across liberated near-border communities along Syria’s southern border with Jordan… the MAO will demonstrate its tangible value to the local and international community as an effective security actor… This will reinforce perceptions that there is a credible and effective moderate opposition able to provide support for an alternative pathway to political transition,” the project tender states.

In practical terms, fighters in “international borders under MAO control” and “areas bordering MAO control under the control of another entity or under no control” – the Jordan-Syria border being the FCO’s “current priority area” – were intended to be “better able to control their AOR [areas of responsibility] through effective use of relevant tactics, operations, equipment, infrastructure, and ability to react to a changing tactical situation.”

To this end, the UK government provided a “dedicated training site” in Jordan “at no cost” to project contractors. The site is situated 45 minutes from the Jordanian capital, Amman, according to an annotated Google Earth snapshot found among the leaked papers. The 600-acre expanse comprised “accommodation, ablution, dining, classrooms, driving track, outside rural environment areas, and open space for equipment storage solutions.” In particular, trainees were to be tutored in the effective use of AK-47s, PK machine guns, and pistols, with 175 fighters able to be accommodated on-site at a time, four weeks the maximum period they could be tutored there continuously.

Contractors were also asked to ensure the project took into account, among other things, Whitehall’s “policy toward gender” – a reflection, just like the tender’s references to “reinforcing perceptions,” of B-FOR’s strong psychological component.

‘Kill, Burn and Loot’

In response, global advisory firm Adam Smith International (ASI) apparently submitted an extensive proposal to the department, offering to head a consortium of contractors, comprised of Pilgrims Group, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), Oakas, and GlenGulf.

We have reached out to the companies for comment.

In terms of project roles, ASI – which according to the proposal had been operating in Syria since early 2013, and boasted “well over” 100 field staff in the country – was to provide “strategic stakeholder engagement, project management, project leadership positions, conflict research and analysis and monitoring and evaluation functions.” Pilgrims Group – said to have “supported a large number of media organisations operating in Ukraine” – was tasked with “training delivery, initial military skills assessment, training programme design.”

KBR – which has reaped untold millions from a variety of US conflicts, been embroiled in numerous high-profile scandals, and was reportedly nicknamed “Kill, Burn & Loot” by US marines during the Iraq War – had responsibility for “manning procurement and logistics functions,” including providing the facility’s “quartermaster, storemen and a liaison officer at the key port of entry for imported goods.” Oakas was to offer “bespoke training for MAO command elements (‘battle staffs’) on decision making and planning,” and GlenGulf the “provision of training to officers and commanders on human intelligence gathering and management.”

Excerpt from alleged ASI document

Accompanying project staff CVs reveal many individuals involved in B-FOR were senior UK military veterans, who all received sizeable three-figure per diem fees for their participation. For instance, its ranks included a former senior British military advisor to US Central Command, experience ASI claims granted him “in-depth knowledge” of the Syrian “context.”

US-backed rebel front collapses

Part of that context at the time would’ve been the virtual collapse of Southern Front as a serious fighting force. Formed in February 2014 at the behest of the US Military Operations Command (MOC) in Jordan, the Front was a coalition of 50-60 rebel groups. As ASI’s proposal notes, its constituent factions were “given various types of support from the MOC,” including “small arms, artillery, anti-tank guided missiles, ammunition, vehicles, communications equipment, and uniforms,” the Command also paying fighters’ salaries.

Washington’s largesse was fundamental in the Front scoring a series of victories over government forces throughout 2014 and the first half of the next year. In the process, it became the largest rebel umbrella organization in southern Syria, comprising 25-30,000 fighters, and challenging the political and military dominance of Salafist Al-Nusra, the region’s then-largest jihadist group. The mainstream media widely promoted the Front as Western leaders’ best hope of achieving a “moderate” Syrian “revolution” – despite many of its units frequently cooperating and collaborating with Al-Nusra.

However, an over-ambitious attempt by the Front to wrest the city of Deraa’s northern and eastern districts from government control in June 2015 ended in embarrassing failure. The cataclysm led to almost total cessation of MOC support, which in turn meant the Front lost much of its operational capabilities and many of its fighters, who defected in droves to other rebel groups offering salaries. Saudi Arabia subsequently stepped in to provide weapons and fresh funding to the ailing force – B-FOR represented London’s illicit contribution to keeping it functional, and ASI’s proposal makes clear the consortium well-understood the many risks attached to the project.

Risks known, responsibility offloaded

A lengthy section of ASI’s proposal – ‘oversight and management of threats and risks’ – details some of these myriad hazards, along with their likelihood and impact. It was considered highly probable, for instance, groups such as Al-Nusra and ISIS would interfere in the program, “due to perceptions of an ‘international political agenda’” – as a result, extremists “may seek to prevent trainees from joining or inhibit them from fulfilling their functions once trained via kidnap, assault and theft of equipment.”

The possibility that the consortium’s curated fighters may choose or be forced to join other, non-border force Southern Front operations, in turn “[leading] to a weakening of the border capability and perception of UK support to active military operations,” was rated as “medium.” Border force trainees collaborating with extremist actors and/or committing human rights abuses, in the process compromising “the legal and reputational viability of the programme,” was likewise considered of “medium” likelihood and impact.

ASI’s proposed method of dealing with these and other dangers was almost invariably to simply “transfer” responsibility for “owning and managing” the problem to the FCO itself, even suggesting the UK government must simply “tolerate” failings such as the loss of equipment “to a reasonable degree.”

It seems the FCO either acquiesced to shouldering the inherent burdens, or was intensely relaxed about such issues, for the consortium was duly awarded the B-FOR contract, judging by other papers found in the leak.

Non-Disclosure Agreements signed June 10, 2016 by the firms involved indicate they were obliged to adhere to the stringent confidentiality requirements of the 1911 and 1989 Official Secrets Acts, forbidding them from “disseminating any information related to the project to any third party.” Meticulous instructions for disposing of ‘secret’, ‘restricted’, and ‘confidential’ FCO communications were also included.

‘Jihadis You Pay For’

It’s uncertain how many years, or perhaps months, B-FOR endured. Its ‘statement of requirements’ forecast the project would “cover a period until 31st March 2019 with a clause for a breakpoint at the end of each financial year.”

However, in February 2017, a report by Parliament’s international development committee found ASI staff had submitted fake testimonials from aid recipients to a House of Commons inquiry into its activities, set up in response to allegations the firm had been seeking improper financial benefit from UK aid spending.

In response, DfID blocked the company from bidding on future government contracts, and the next month, ASI’s three founding executives resigned. Even more damningly, in December that year, a BBC Panorama documentary (Jihadis You Pay For) exposed how FCO cash ASI distributed in Syria had ended up in extremists’ pockets.

The investigation focused on the FCO’s Access to Justice and Community Security (AJACS) program, under which ASI funded and trained the Free Syria Police, an unarmed civilian force set up to re-establish law and order in opposition-controlled areas.

It found ASI had identified links between several FSP stations and sharia courts run by Al-Nusra and not ended its funding of the stations, or compelled them to sever all connections with the courts – FSP officers in theoretical receipt of FCO funds via ASI had also been present when women were stoned to death. Troublingly, ASI’s B-FOR pitch states its “experience and knowledge” of running AJACS will be “leveraged” to ensure optimal delivery of the border project.

Whether B-FOR was quietly shelved or simply handed over to other contractors in response to these damaging exposures is unknown. In any event, in July 2018, the Front was comprehensively crushed by pro-government forces, its surrendering fighters either agreeing to reconciliation deals or fleeing to Idlib.

It’s also unknown how many fighters trained via the program went on to join jihadist groups, and how much equipment was “lost” over the course of its operation, ending up in the hands of extremists and used to slaughter and maim innocent civilians. The companies running the operation, much less the UK government, certainly weren’t keeping count.

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Will US continue to further implement RAND Corporation’s strategy in relation to Russia?

By Lucas Leiroz | October 27, 2020

The recent conflicts in the Russian zone of influence have attracted attention around the world. But little has been said about the possibility that such conflicts are part of a single common plan, designed to geopolitically destabilize Russia. This possibility is what we can deduce when we recall some recent writings of the renowned think tank RAND Corporation, which, in 2019, openly defended the adoption of a series of measures to weaken Moscow, exploiting its vulnerabilities. Among such measures in the economic sphere the document proposed the manipulation of oil and gas prices that affect the Russian defense budget, as well as the imposition of increasingly rigid sanctions and in the political sphere – the spread of regional conflicts in its “periphery” which could perfectly include Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan and others.

Several of the points highlighted in the RAND’s document entitled “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia”, in its more than 350 pages, have been implemented so far, especially in the “immediate periphery”. The recent Belarusian political crisis itself, for example, highlights the role of external agents interested in the destabilization of this historic Russian ally – something that is openly defended in such a document which proposes a colorful revolution in Belarus. In addition, the incitement of conflicts in the Caucasus and Central Asia, the deterioration of the Syrian and Ukrainian situations, among others, are also strategic points raised by the dossier.

RAND’s goal is to define the areas where the US can compete most effectively, providing reports and proposals based on concrete data. Such reports must accurately define the vulnerabilities in the economic and military spheres of each nation against which the United States is competing, helping Washington to create its strategies. Several of the policies adopted by the US are the result of advices from RAND’s analysts. In this sense, RAND’s analysis about Russia and its draft strategy for a competition between the US and Russia today proposes that the best way to weaken Moscow is through a siege of conflicts in its territorial proximities. Obviously, it is not proposed to attack Russia, but to create wars along its entire border, destabilizing international security in the region – a scenario from which many other possibilities arise.

Despite all the complex political and military strategy, in the RAND document it is highlighted that the biggest Russian weakness in a dispute with the US is the economic issue. The think tank’s proposal focuses on heavy investment in energy production, mainly renewable energy, as well as encouraging domestic production of such energy sources in countries allied to the US, with the aim of reducing Russian exports – which would strongly affect Russian defense budgets. The central role of the US in the boycott against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a clear example of how such strategies are being put into practice.

Another type of measures that RAND recommends is in the ideological and informational spheres. The Corporation advises a vigorous pro-Western information campaign aimed at highlighting aspects allegedly present in the Russian regime, such as endemic corruption. In any case, RAND considers this disinformation strategy to be “risky”, as it would encourage Moscow to highlight the weaknesses of Western democracies, leading to a new ideological war through disinformation campaigns.

Interestingly, Russia is constantly accused of interfering in the American electoral process through campaigns of disinformation and cyber war since the rise of Donald Trump four years ago. Now, with the new elections, the tendency is for such accusations to grow exponentially, showing a strategy of mass disinformation meticulously planned by strategists with clear goals.

In fact, there is no doubt about the power of influence of RAND Corporation’s analysis in the construction of US foreign policy strategies. The siege that is being proposed in the document gradually materializes, with strategies of economic suffocation, disinformation and inciting regional conflicts, but it remains to be seen what the consequences for the US domestic scenario will be. The RAND report had no way of predicting the emergence of a global tragedy such as the new coronavirus pandemic. In the context of more than 220,000 deaths due to the virus in the US, popular rebellions and inflamed racial tensions across the country and in the midst of a decisive electoral process, will Washington be able to maintain such a siege strategy? Is it sustainable for the US to stir up conflict in the vicinity of Russia when its internal bases are crumbling?

Perhaps the strategies designed by RAND last year are absolutely useless today. The pandemic structurally changed the dynamics of world geopolitics and currently the idea of an American siege against Russia is not conceivable. The tendency is that all conflicts will diminish as no major military power will intervene. The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh shows how the tendency is for conflicts to gradually stabilize. On the contrary, within the US, everything just tends to get worse. Perhaps Washington is taking a step beyond its reach. Or perhaps the interests of strategists at RAND Corporation and the American Deep State do not exactly imply what is best for the US.

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

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

What does Israel have against Palestinian singer, Mohammed Assaf?

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | October 27, 2020

Why does Israel hate Palestinian singer, Mohammed Assaf?

On October 16, Avi Dichter, Israeli Member of Parliament from the right-wing Likud Party, announced that Assaf’s special permit to enter the occupied Palestinian West Bank would be revoked.

Assaf, originally from Gaza, now lives with his family in the United Arab Emirates. He achieved stardom in 2013, when he won the ‘Arab Idol’ singing contest. His winning song, “Raise your Keffiyeh”, represented a rare moment of unity among all Palestinian communities everywhere. As the audience, the judges and millions of Arabs danced along when Mohammed took center stage in Beirut, Palestinian culture, once again, proved its significance as a political tool that cannot be disregarded.

Since then, Mohammed has sung about everything Palestinian: from the Nakba – the catastrophic loss of the Palestinian homeland – to the Intifada, to the pain of Gaza to every Palestinian cultural symbol there is.

Assaf was born and raised in the Gaza Strip. Here, he experienced Israel’s military occupation first-hand, several deadly Israeli wars, and, of course, the ongoing siege. Both his parents are refugees, his mother from Beit Daras and his father from Beir Saba’. The young man’s ability to overcome his family’s painful legacy, yet remaining committed to the cultural values of his society, is worthy of much reflection and praise.

Dichter’s announcement that Assaf would be barred from returning to his homeland is not as outrageous as it may appear.  Israel’s war on Palestinian culture is as old as Israel itself.

Throughout the last seven decades, Israel has proven its ability to defeat Palestinians and whole Arab armies, as well. Moreover, Israel, with the help of its Western benefactors, succeeded in dividing Palestinians into rival groups, while breaking down whatever semblance of Arab unity on Palestine.

Even geographically, Palestinians were divided and isolated into numerous little corners in the hope that each collective would eventually develop a different set of aspirations based on entirely different political priorities. As a result, Palestinians were holed in besieged Gaza, in segregated zones in the West Bank, in East Jerusalem, in economically marginalized communities within Israel, and in the ‘shataat’ – diaspora.

Even diasporic Palestinians, some made refugees multiple times, subsisted in political environments, over which they exercise very little control. The Palestinians of Iraq, for example, found themselves on the run at the onset of the American invasion of that country in 2003; the same happened in Lebanon prior; in Syria later on, etc.

Israel’s incessant attempts at destroying Palestine, in all of its representations, moved from the material sphere to the virtual one, pushing to censor Palestinian voices on social media, removing the reference to Palestine from Google Maps and even from airline menus.

None of this was random, of course, as Israeli leaders understood that destroying the tangible, actual Palestine had to be accompanied by the destruction of the Palestinian idea – the set of cultural and political values that give Palestine its cohesiveness and continuity in the mind of all Palestinians, wherever they are.

Since culture is predicated on myriad forms of expression, Israel has dedicated much energy and resources to eliminate Palestinian cultural expressions that allow Palestine to exist despite the political division, Arab disunity and geographic fragmentation.

There are numerous examples that amply demonstrate Israel’s official obsession with defeating Palestinian culture. As if the physical erasure of Palestine in 1948 was not enough, Israeli officials are constantly devising new ways to erase whatever symbols of Palestinian and Arab culture that remain in place.

In 2009, for example, Israel’s right-wing government began the process of changing the names of thousands of road signs from Arabic to Hebrew. In 2018, the openly racist Nation-State Law degraded the status of the Arabic language altogether.

But these examples are hardly the start of the Israeli war aimed at defacing Palestinian culture. Israel’s founders were aware of the danger that Palestinian culture posed in terms of its ability to unify the Palestinian people, soon after the ethnic cleansing of nearly two thirds of the Palestinian population from their historic homeland.

In an official letter sent to Israel’s first Interior Minister, Yitzhak Gruenbaum, the latter was tasked with swapping the names of newly depopulated Palestinian villages and regions with Hebrew alternatives.

“The conventional names should be replaced by new ones … since, in an anticipation of renewing our days as of old and living the life of a healthy people that is rooted in the soil of our country, we must begin in the fundamental Hebraicization of our country’s map,” the letter said in part.

Soon after, a government commission was assembled and entrusted with the task of renaming everything Palestinian Arab.

Another letter written in August 1957 by an Israeli foreign ministry official urged the Israeli Department of Antiquities to speed up the destruction of Palestinian homes conquered during the Nakba. “The ruins from the Arab villages and Arab neighborhoods, or the blocks of buildings that have stood empty since 1948, arouse harsh associations that cause considerable political damage,” he wrote. “They should be cleared away.”

For Israel, erasing Palestine and writing the Palestinian people out of the history of their own homeland has always been a strategic endeavor.

Fast forward to today, the official Israeli machine remains dedicated to the same colonial mission of old. The agreement signed in 2016 between the Israeli government and the social media platform, Facebook, to end Palestinian ‘incitement’ online is part of that same mission: silencing the voice of the Palestinian people at any cost.

Palestinian culture has served the Palestinian people’s struggle so well. Despite Israeli occupation and apartheid, it has given Palestinians a sense of continuity and cohesion, attaching all of them to one collective sense of identity, always revolving around Palestine.

Israel’s announcement to bar a Palestinian singer from returning, thus performing to other Palestinians under occupation is, from an Israeli viewpoint, not outrageous at all. It is another attempt at disrupting the natural flow of Palestinian culture, which, despite the loss of Palestine itself, is as strong and as real as it has always been.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

The Anniversary of Gaddafi’s Death and the Current Reality in Libya

By Yuriy Zinin – New Eastern Outlook – 26.10.2020

“Security problems, political discord, oil blockades, corruption, and Libya’s foreign debt, which has reached 270% of its GDP, all torpedo economic life,” said Central Bank of Libya governor Sadiq al-Kabir. Oil revenues in Libya have plummeted, from $53 billion in 2012 to near zero this year, he added.

These words, spoken on the eve of another anniversary of the assassination of Libyan leader M. Gaddafi on October 20, 2011, do in fact serve to illustrate what the country has come to over the past nine years of its history, since the collapse of the previous regime.

Having come to rule with massive outside support from NATO, the new forces, although they inherited huge financial reserves and the potential following the era of the previous leader, became dependent on the various militias that brought them to power. Along with that, these “brothers-in-arms” soon turned into implacable enemies. The country fell into an abyss of civil strife and, since the summer of 2014, has been divided into two military and political camps, with one pole of power in Tripoli and the other in Tobruk. Because of this turmoil, Libya’s development has come to a standstill, and GDP is dropping. In comparison with previous times, it has slid backwards in many respects.

The oil sector has become hostage to conflicts in society, a source of funding for diverse groups that act in opposition to national interests. However, there is plainly a growing shadow economy, flourishing of currency fraud, the smuggling of goods, illegal emigrants, etc.

The dependence of the Libyan authorities on external forces, both regionally and globally, has increased. At the same time, the intra-Libyan conflict does not have a clearly defined bloc “tutelage”. The aspirations of the “stakeholder forces” have many different thrusts. Their desire to resolve their differences by taking to the Libyan field is often seen, and that, among other things, is fraught with the likelihood of collisions occurring between them.

Since 2015, the UN has been initiating efforts to reconcile the opposing poles in Libya. Delegates from the warring parties participate nonstop in different series of negotiations, sometimes under the auspices of the UN, sometimes hosted by major powers, or as part of the efforts put forth by various neighboring states and the African Union. These kinds of conferences and meetings, including those between the leaders of the two camps, were held in no less than a dozen cities on three continents, including Moscow.

The efforts by various mediators have not turned the tide, or yielded any decisive results. No new constitution has been adopted, and no presidential elections, or elections for a new parliament have been held.

It is encouraging that so far the opposing sides have been honoring the decision they made on August 21 this year for a ceasefire. A number of local and foreign observers have pinned their hopes on three tracks for the negotiation process, all of which are now going on simultaneously.

For example, at talks in the Moroccan city of Bouznika under the auspices of the UN Support Mission in Libya, they reached “a mutual understanding on the transparency of the standards and mechanisms” used to allocate key positions in the government, and throughout other echelons.

In the Swiss city of Montreux, the participants agreed that for the duration of a comprehensive resolution of the intra-Libyan crisis, Sirte, which effectively divides the North African country, will become the seat of the executive and legislative bodies.

In the Egyptian city of Hurghada, Libyan representatives talked about building on the peaceful respite, and restructuring the armed forces.

Libyan experts note that there is a long distance between the decisions that were announced, and the mutual understanding that was reached, to realizing them. From circles close to the governing bodies and military authorities in Tripoli and Tobruk, criticism is spilling forth about the agreements that are progressing on these tracks.

At the same time, it cannot be said that there is absolutely no ground for agreements or compromises. First, the balance of power in Libya does not allow either of the two poles to achieve final victory by military means.

Second, Libya today is divided by the parties into peculiar areas of responsibility, but along with that none of them is economically self-sufficient. For example, most of the fields, pipelines, and oil terminals are in the sphere of influence of the authorities in Tobruk. But normal operations for the entire economic infrastructure under its control are impossible without interacting with the other component present in the Libyan conflict. In matters concerning producing oil, selling it, and earning revenue from it, the key role is still played by the state acting as a rentier, and in which economics and politics are fused in a union of marriage.

These issues for the opposing sides can serve as a starting point for moving towards each other. Among everything else, the Libyan public is putting pressure on top officials. In August this year in Tripoli and Benghazi, the largest cities for both poles of power, there were demonstrations by residents who were tired of political instability and socioeconomic hardship.

Libya since the fall of Gaddafi represents a tragic example of how a country that used to be stable, and which is rich in oil reserves, can be bled dry not only by outside intervention, but from internal conflict as well.

Yury Zinin is a Leading Research Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 2 Comments

Britain’s Labour Party reprimands MP for occupation ‘crime’ comment

MEMO | October 26, 2020

Labour Party MP Stephen Kinnock has reportedly been given a “dressing down” after saying that profiting from illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is “tantamount to profiting from the proceeds of crime.”

Party leader Keir Starmer was said to be furious at Kinnock’s impassioned speech calling for international law to be upheld. Complaints were made by various pro-Israel groups, including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who raised concerns with Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy and demanded “clarification”.

Kinnock made his speech in the House of Commons on 24 September, raising concerns about the increasing number and size of Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land. All of Israel’s settlements, official and “outposts”, are illegal under international law.

“The Government must ban all products that originate from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories,” insisted Kinnock, the son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock. “Profiting from such products is tantamount to profiting from the proceeds of crime, and it must stop. When we trade with these settlements, we are essentially telling the world that international law does not matter, and such trade legitimises and facilitates the existence and expansion of the settlements.”

He went on to criticise the “deal of the century”: “President [Donald] Trump and Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu have come forward with their so-called deal of the century. This is not a deal. It is not a plan. It is not even a starting point for talks. It is a proposal that is fundamentally flawed because it has no basis in law. It is a land and power grab that would mean Israel seizing around 40 per cent of the West Bank, with full military and security control over the Palestinian people and their resources.”

Starmer previously sacked left-leaning socialist MP Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing an interview on social media with actress Maxine Peake in which she spoke about the Israeli Army’s role in training American police forces. Peake’s comments in the wake of the George Floyd murder were deemed to be “anti-Semitic” by the Labour hierarchy, despite it being a fact that Israel has trained hundreds of US police officers on restraint and other techniques.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment