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Kyle Rittenhouse, Project Veritas, and the Inability to Think in Terms of Principles

By Glenn Greenwald | November 16, 2021

The FBI has executed a string of search warrants targeting the homes and cell phones of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and several others associated with that organization. It should require no effort to understand why it is a cause for concern that a Democratic administration is using the FBI to aggressively target an organization devoted to obtaining and reporting incriminating information about Democratic Party leaders and their liberal allies.

That does not mean the FBI investigation is inherently improper. Journalists are no more entitled than any other citizen to commit crimes. If there is reasonable cause to believe O’Keefe and his associates committed federal crimes, then an FBI investigation is warranted as it is for any other case. But there has been no evidence presented that O’Keefe or Project Veritas employees have done anything of the sort, nor any explanation provided to justify these invasive searches. That we should want and need that is self-evident: if the Trump-era FBI had executed search warrants inside the newsrooms of The New York Times and NBC News, we would be demanding evidence to prove it was legally justified. Yet virtually nothing has been provided to justify the FBI’s targeting of O’Keefe and his colleagues, and the little that has been disclosed by way of justifying this makes no sense.

The FBI investigation concerns the theft last year of the diary of Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley, yet Project Veritas, while admitting they received a copy from an anonymous source, chose not to publish that diary because they were unable to verify it. Nobody and nothing thus far suggests that Project Veritas played any role in its acquisition, legal or otherwise. There is a cryptic reference in the search warrant to transmitting stolen material across state lines, but it is not illegal for journalists to receive and use material illegally acquired by a source: the most mainstream organizations spent the last month touting documents pilfered from Facebook by their heroic “whistleblower” Frances Haugen.

On Monday night, we produced an in-depth video report examining the FBI’s targeting of O’Keefe and Project Veritas and the dangers it presents (as we do for all of our Rumble videos, the transcript will soon be made available to subscribers here; for now, you can watch the video at the Rumble link). One of the primary topics of our report was the authoritarian tactic that is typically used to justify governmental attacks on those who report news and disseminate information: namely, to decree that the target is not a real journalist and therefore has no entitlement to claim the First Amendment guarantee of a free press.

This not-a-real-journalist tactic was and remains the primary theory used by those who justify the ongoing attempt to imprison Julian Assange. In demanding Assange’s prosecution under the Espionage Act, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “Mr. Assange claims to be a journalist and would no doubt rely on the First Amendment to defend his actions.” Yet the five-term Senator insisted: “but he is no journalist: He is an agitator intent on damaging our government, whose policies he happens to disagree with, regardless of who gets hurt.”

This not-a-real-journalist slogan was also the one used by both the CIA and the corporate media against myself and my colleagues in both the Snowden reporting we did in 2013, as well as the failed attempt to criminally prosecute me in 2020 for the year-long Brazil exposés we did: punishing them is not an attack on press freedom because they are not journalists and what they did is not journalism.

What is most striking about this weapon is that — like the campaign to agitate for more censorship — it is led by journalists. It is the corporate media that most aggressively insists that those who are independent, those who are outsiders, those who do not submit to their institutional structures are not real journalists the way they are, and thus are not entitled to the protections of the First Amendment. In order to create a framework to deny Project Veritas’s status as journalists, The New York Times claimed last week that anyone who uses undercover investigations (as Veritas does) is automatically a non-journalist because that entails lying — even though, just two years earlier, the same paper heralded numerous news outlets such as Al Jazeera and Mother Jones for using undercover investigations to accomplish what they called “compelling” reporting.

I am very well-acquainted with this repressive tactic of trying to decree who is and is not a real journalist for purposes of constitutional protection. Many have forgotten — given the awards it ultimately ended up winning — that the NSA/Snowden reporting we did in 2013 was originally maligned as quasi-criminal not just by Obama national security officials such as James Clapper but also by The New York Times. The first profile the Paper of Record published about me the day after the reporting began referred to me in the headline as an “Anti-Surveillance Activist” and then, once backlash ensued, it was changed to “Blogger” (the original snide, disqualifying headline is still visible in the URL).

The Guardian, Jan. 29, 2014

As the New York Times‘ own Public Editor at the time objected, by purposely denying me the label “journalist,” the paper was knowingly increasing the risks that I could be prosecuted for my reporting. Indeed, recent reporting from Yahoo! News about CIA plots to kidnap or murder Julian Assange reported that denying Assange the label “journalist,” and then re-defining what I and my colleague Laura Poitras were doing from “journalist” to “information broker,” would enable the U.S. Government to spy on or even prosecute us without having to worry about that inconvenient “free press” guarantee of the First Amendment.

New York Times, June 6, 2013

All of this demonstrates how dangerous it is to invoke this very same not-a-real-journalist tactic against O’Keefe and Project Veritas. Yet, if one warns of the dangers of the FBI’s actions, that is precisely what one hears from liberals, from Democrats and from their allies in the media: the FBI’s targeting of Project Veritas has nothing to do with press freedoms since they’re not real journalists. They are invoking the authoritarian theory that maintains that the state (or, in this case, the FBI) is vested with the power to decree who is a “real journalist” — whatever that means — and who is not.

There are so many ironies to the use of this framework. So often, employees of media corporations who have never broken a major story in their lives (and never will) revel in accusing independent journalists who have broken numerous major stories (such as Assange) of not being real journalists. At the height of the Snowden reporting, I went on Meet the Press in July, 2013, only for the host, David Gregory, to suggest that I ought to be in prison alongside my source Edward Snowden because I was not really a journalist the way David Gregory was. At the time, Frank Rich, writing in New York Magazine, noted how bizarre it was that the TV personality David Gregory assumed he was a real journalist, whereas I was a non-journalist who belonged in prison for my reporting, given that Gregory — like most employees of large media corporations — had never broken any story in his life. Rich used a Q&A format to make the point this way:

On Sunday, Meet the Press host David Gregory all but accused the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald of aiding and abetting Edward Snowden’s fugitive travels, asking, “Why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” And, speaking to his larger point, do you see Greenwald as a journalist or an activist in this episode? And does it matter?

Is David Gregory a journalist? As a thought experiment, name one piece of news he has broken, one beat he’s covered with distinction, and any memorable interviews he’s conducted that were not with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin, or Chuck Schumer. Meet the Press has fallen behind CBS’s Face the Nation, much as Today has fallen to ABC’s Good Morning America, and my guess is that Gregory didn’t mean to sound like Joe McCarthy (with a splash of the oiliness of Roy Cohn) but was only playing the part to make some noise. In any case, his charge is preposterous. As a columnist who published Edward Snowden’s leaks, Greenwald was doing the job of a journalist — and the fact that he’s an “activist” journalist (i.e., an opinion journalist, like me and a zillion others) is irrelevant to that journalistic function. . . . [I]t’s easier for Gregory to go after Greenwald, a self-professed outsider who is not likely to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and works for a news organization based in London. Presumably if Gregory had been around 40 years ago, he also would have accused the Times of aiding and abetting the enemy when it published Daniel Ellsberg’s massive leak of the Pentagon Papers. In any case, Greenwald demolished Gregory on air and on Twitter (“Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?”).

At the time — both in terms of that exchange with Gregory and my overall reporting on the NSA — I had significant support from the liberal-left (though it was far from universal, given that we were exposing mass, indiscriminate, illegal spying by the Obama administration). But few believed that I ought to be prosecuted on the grounds that, somehow, I was not a real journalist.

So why are so many of them now willing to endorse this same exact theory when it comes to O’Keefe and Project Veritas, or even to justify the prosecution of Julian Assange? The answer is obvious. They are unwilling and/or incapable of thinking in terms of principles, ones that apply universally to everyone regardless of their ideology. Their thought process never even arrives at that destination. When the subject of the FBI’s attacks on O’Keefe is raised, or the DOJ’s prosecution of Assange is discussed, they ask themselves one question and only one question, and that ends the inquiry. It is the exclusive and determinative factor: do I like James O’Keefe and his politics? Do I like Julian Assange and his politics?

This primitive, principle-free, personality-driven prism is the only way they are capable of understanding the world. Because they dislike O’Keefe and/or Assange, they instantly side with whoever is targeting them — the FBI, the DOJ, the security state services — and believe that anyone who defends them is defending a right-wing extremist rather than defending the non-ideological, universally applicable principle of press freedoms. They think only in terms of personalities, not principles.

The FBI’s actions against Project Veritas and O’Keefe are so blatantly alarming that press freedom groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Freedom of the Press Foundation (on whose Board I sit) have expressed grave concerns about it, including on their social media accounts for all to see. Even the ACLU — which these days is loathe to speak out in favor of any person or group disliked by their highly partisan liberal donor base — issued a very carefully hedged statement that made clear how much they despise Project Veritas but said: “Nevertheless, the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom” (at least thus far, the ACLU has just quietly stuck this statement on its website and not uttered a word about it on its social media accounts, where most of its liberal donors track what they do, but the fact that they felt compelled to say anything in defense of this right-wing boogieman demonstrates how extreme the FBI’s actions are). The federal judge overseeing the warrants has temporarily enjoined the FBI from extracting any more information from the cell phones seized from O’Keefe and other Project Veritas employees pending a determination of their legal justification.

Committee to Protect Journalists, Nov. 15, 2021

The reason this is such a grave press freedom attack is two-fold. First, as indicated, any attempt to anoint oneself the arbiter of who is and is not a “real journalist” for purposes of First Amendment protection is inherently tyrannical. Which institutions are sufficiently trustworthy and competent to decree who is a real journalist meriting First Amendment protection and who falls outside as something else?

But there is a much more significant problem with this framework: namely, the question of who is and is not a real journalist is completely irrelevant to the First Amendment. None of the rights in the Constitution, including press freedom, was intended to apply only to a small, cloistered, credentialed, privileged group of citizens. The exact opposite was true: the only reason they are valuable as rights is because they enjoy universal application, protecting all citizens.

Indeed, one of the most passionate grievances of the American colonists was that nobody was permitted to use the press unless first licensed by the British Crown. Conversely, the most celebrated journalism of the time was undertaken by people like Thomas Paine — who never worked for an established journalistic outlet in his life — as he circulated the pamphlet Common Sense that railed against the abuses of the King. What was protected by the First Amendment was not a small, privileged caste bearing the special label “journalists,” but rather the activity of a free press. The proof of this is clear and ample, and is set forth in the video we produced on Monday night.

But none of this matters. If you express concern for the FBI’s targeting of O’Keefe, it will be instantly understood not as a concern about any of these underlying principles but instead as an endorsement of O’Keefe’s politics, journalism, and O’Keefe himself. The same is true for the discourse surrounding Kyle Rittenhouse. If you say that — after having actually watched the trial — you believe the state failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in light of his defense of self-defense, many will disbelieve your sincerity, will insist that your view is based not in some apolitical assessment of the evidence or legal principles about what the state must do in order to imprison a citizen, but rather that you must be a “supporter” of Rittenhouse himself, his ideology (whatever it is assumed to be), and the political movement with which he, in their minds, is associated.

On some level, this is pure projection: those who are incapable of assessing political or legal conflicts through a prism of principles rather than personalities assume that everyone is plagued by the same deficiency. Since they decide whether to support or oppose the FBI’s actions toward O’Keefe based on their personal view of O’Keefe rather than through reference to any principles, they assume that this is how everyone is determining their views of that situation. Similarly, since they base their views on whether Rittenhouse should be convicted or acquitted based on how they personally feel about Rittenhouse and his perceived politics rather than the evidence presented at the trial (which most of them have not watched), they assume that anyone advocating for an acquittal can be doing so only because they like Rittenhouse’s politics and believe that his actions were heroic.

In sum, those who view the world through a prism bereft of principles — either due to lack of intellectual capacity or ethics or both — assume everyone’s world view is similarly craven. It is this same stunted mindset that saddles our discourse with so much illogic and so many twisted presumptions, such as the inability to distinguish between defending someone’s right to express a particular opinion and agreement with that opinion. In a world in which ideology, partisan loyalty, tribal affiliations, in-group identity and personality-driven assessments predominate, there is no room for principles, universally applicable rights, or basic reason.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Fanatical Followers of the Covid Regime: A Jim Jones-Style Cult?

By Professor Roger Watson and Dr. Niall McCrae | The Daily Sceptic | November 15, 2021

As scholars at leading British universities over recent decades, we witnessed the replacement of critical thinking and debate by narrative: facts are discrimination and scientific method is imperialism; truth, instead, is derived from ‘progressive’ values. This educational trend may be a major contributory factor to the ease in which society has been inculcated to the Covid ‘new normal’ of masking, testing, and repeated doses of vaccines for a disease of similar risk to severe influenza.

One doesn’t need much critical reasoning to observe the flawed logic of some vaccination enthusiasts, such as people who respond to experiencing any side effects, however debilitating, by saying “at least I know it’s working”, or, after contracting the disease despite their promised inoculation (over 90% effective, according to initial drug company claims), “I’d have been worse off without the jab.” Perhaps these attitudes have some justifiability. But, especially in light of the fact that none of the purported Covid vaccines is greater than approximately 1% effective at preventing an individual from contracting Covid in terms of absolute risk reduction, it would make more sense to take the opposite view, that the vaccine is not working as well as it should.

This week the Manchester Evening News (November 9th 2021) reported the tragic story of Neil Astle, a 59 year-old solicitor, who died from a blood clot in the brain soon after his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The coroner, attributing death to the injection, asserted that this was an “extremely rare” consequence, and praised the family for promoting vaccination despite their loss. His brother remarked: “I think everybody in this country should have the vaccine. I had the vaccine even after Neil died.” The wife of the deceased, whose first sign of something wrong was her husband’s severe headache, remarked that “the vaccine never even entered our minds because it was nine days after”. This appears to be a case arising from microcoagulation, whereby small clots in peripheral blood vessels gradually grow like a snowball, eventually blocking a critical artery.

Comments criticising the coroner’s and relatives’ comments, and the newspaper’s coverage, were swiftly removed. This is not the only case of a family urging others to take the vaccine that has evidently taken the life of their loved one, or after a vaccinated loved one died from Covid despite the presumed protection.

Also used for the vaccination drive are cases of unvaccinated people succumbing to COVID-19. Fifteen year-old Jorja Halliday, a healthy teenager, died on the day she was due to be vaccinated; her grieving mother urged people to get the jab as soon as possible. In a similar vein, unvaccinated Megan Blankenbiller saw the error of her ways from her death bed, convinced that the vaccine would have saved her. It is reminiscent of what Hamish Fraser, one of Britain’s most famous Catholic converts from Communism, reported in his biography Fatal Star. Fraser served as a political officer with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War and oversaw the execution by firing squad of suspected traitors who, in order to prove their loyalty to the cause, were heard shouting Communist slogans as the order to fire was called. Dedication to the cause must be demonstrated whatever the terrible consequences.

As we have observed online and in hecklers at freedom rallies, the zeal for Covid vaccines sometimes distorts into misanthropic missives against those yet to roll their sleeves up (one of us is jabbed, the other not). Some people get very angry very quickly on hearing any opposition to the universal vaccination programme. Education and professional standing are no brake on the outpouring of vitriol.

Canadian Cardiologist Sohrab Lutchmeial died in his sleep after his third injection of the vaccine. Aged 52, this sprightly hockey coach had frequently attacked ‘anti-vaxxers’ on Twitter, saying “I want to punch these people in the face” and tweeting: “For those who won’t get the shot for selfish means – whatever – I won’t cry at their funeral.” Such comments made by a vaccine sceptic would surely breach Twitter’s ‘community standards’, while any doctor wishing ill of the vaccinated would be in trouble with the professional regulator.

This social schism is unprecedented and may have been partly manufactured. According to Laura Dodsworth, whose book A State of Fear investigated how the British public was subjected to a form of psychological warfare by the Government, the Nudge Unit, formed under David Cameron’s administration, became a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A respiratory infection, elevated to the status of pandemic, was exploited to induce something akin to mass hysteria.

Fear displaces rational thought. Firing of the primitive mid-brain blocks out the perception and considered response of the cerebral grey matter. The authorities knew that a mortal threat would terrify people, reducing them to putty in the hands of modellers. Meanwhile, a divisive strategy was used to vilify the sizeable minority of dissidents as selfish and dangerous extremists. The term ‘anti-vaxxer’, rarely heard two years ago, was weaponised for abuse.

Millions have been brought round to unquestioning faith in heroic medicine and herald vaccines as ‘miracles of science’, with slavish adherence to rules and restrictions. Indeed, in their blind obedience to the cause, many appear to have been ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’, a reference to the notorious cult led by Jim Jones. We are not suggesting that vaccine enthusiasts are at the same level of delusion as those of doomsday cults, but some parallels may be drawn. If we consider Jim Jones’s community in the Guyanan jungle as a Platonic pure form of cult behaviour, we can use such an extreme manifestation for comparative purpose.

An idealistic, charismatic figure, Jones was a civil rights activist in the 1960s. He gave his son the middle name of Ghandhi. Decrying social injustice, he recruited hundreds of black Americans, as well as numerous graduates versed in radical ideology. On November 18th 1978 the cult culminated in the murder-suicide of 918 followers, most having drunk cyanide-laced Kool-Aid on Jones’s order. How was such a massacre possible?

Theodore Millon, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard, described a personality disorder featuring puritanical compulsion, whereby the world is divided into good and evil with no middle ground. With fanatical zeal, the self-declared good cannot bear to be in the company of the bad, which is why extreme cults take refuge outside normal society. Common to cults is a belief that humanity is in grave danger, and we can see this thinking in the more devout believers in climate change and Covid crises.

Research shows that contrary evidence strengthens rather than undermines the beliefs of cult followers. The more compelling the facts, the shriller the reaction to the messenger. Cultists struggle to relax, which partly explains why they depend on meditative practices. Indeed, Covid culture has shown a difference in outlooks like that between progressives and conservatives. Converts to the conservative cause from the Left, such as educationalist Katharine Birbalsingh, were initially surprised to find that their erstwhile political opponents were not the ogres that they were portrayed to be. Tammy Bruce, a gay feminist broadcaster in the USA, remarked: “Something had to explain why my left elite allies were generally miserable, angry and paranoid, while the enemy was secure, comfortable, generally happy people.” Bruce came to realise the difference between idealistic engineering and conservative realism.

Covid vaccine absolutism allows no exemptions. Refuseniks will get no sympathy, and it is troubling to see the lack of lines drawn by punitive zealots. If the Government ordered vaccination of newborn babies, if unvaccinated relatives and neighbours were sent into quarantine camps, if hospital treatment were denied to the unvaccinated, would supporters of the regime call for caution? Unlikely, because that is not how cultists behave.

We wonder whether, if and when the Covid emergency ends, the most faithful followers of Covid orthodoxy will take themselves off to a redoubt, and it will be we sceptics who will try to coax them back.

Both Professor Roger Watson and Dr. Niall McCrae are Registered Nurses.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

RFK, Jr.’s ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’ Hits Bookstores

The Defender | November 16, 2021

Children’s Health Defense’s board chair and lead counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s highly anticipated book, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” is available today in bookstores throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The New York Times bestselling author’s latest work details how Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates and their cohorts used their control of media outlets, scientific journals, key government and quasi-governmental agencies, and influential scientists and physicians to flood the public with fearful propaganda about COVID-19 virulence and pathogenesis, and to muzzle debate and ruthlessly censor dissent.

As people the world over are questioning the origins of the COVID crisis, news continues to emerge about U.S. taxpayers’ funding of gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China. Some U.S. Senators including Rand Paul are calling for Fauci’s resignation while U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace is leading a bipartisan effort to investigate his agency’s treatment of beagle puppies during experiments that the group of lawmakers calls “cruel.”

The Real Anthony Fauci” exposes a side of Dr. Fauci that has thus far been shielded from the public by the ongoing media blackout of any information that counters the Pharma/government narrative.

“The research I conducted for this book exposes how Fauci’s gargantuan yearly disbursements allow him to dictate the subject, content and outcome of scientific health research across the globe,” said Kennedy.

“These annual disbursements also allow Fauci to exercise dictatorial control over the army of ‘knowledge and innovation’ leaders who populate the ‘independent’ federal panels that approve and mandate drugs and vaccines — including the committees that allowed the Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccines.”

The Real Anthony Fauci” informs readers of how Fauci, Gates and their collaborators:

  • Invented and weaponized a parade of fraudulently concocted global pandemics, including bird flu (2005)swine flu (2009) and Zika (2015-2016), in order to sell novel vaccines, enrich their Pharma partners and increase the power of public health technocrats and Gates’ entourage of international agencies.
  • Used “gain-of-function” experiments to breed pandemic superbugs in shoddily constructed, poorly regulated laboratories in Wuhan, China, and elsewhere, under conditions that almost certainly guaranteed the escape of weaponized microbes, in partnership with the Pentagon, the Chinese military and a shady cabal of bioweapons grifters.
  • Made a series of prescient predictions about the imminent COVID-19 pandemic — almost to the day. Their precision soothsaying further awed a fawning, credulous and scientifically illiterate media that treats Gates and Fauci as religious deities, insulates them from public criticism and vilifies their doubters as heretics and “conspiracy theorists.” Adulatory mainstream media abetted Fauci’s conspiracy to cover up COVID’s origins at the Wuhan lab.
  • Teamed with government technocrats, military and intelligence planners, and health officials from the U.S., Europe and China to stage sophisticated pandemic “simulations” and “Germ Games.” Exercises like these, encouraged by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, laid the groundwork for imposition of global totalitarianism, including compulsory masking, lockdowns, mass propaganda and censorship, with the ultimate goal of mandating the coercive vaccination of 7 billion humans.
  • Practiced, in each of their “simulations,” psychological warfare techniques to create chaos, stoke fear, shatter economies, destroy public morale and quash individual self-expression — and then impose autocratic governance.

Kennedy discussed “The Real Anthony Fauci” at length Monday with Tucker Carlson on FOX Nation. Portions of that interview were featured last night on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Watch here.

“Fauci’s COVID policies also spawned new insidious authoritarianism — and propelled America down a slippery slope toward a grim future as a dark totalitarian security and surveillance state,” said Kennedy.

GET YOUR COPY TODAY at Barnes & NobleAmazonIndieBoundBookshop.org and independent booksellers including these.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

‘Most vaccinated’ place on earth cancels Christmas

RT | November 16, 2021

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, Gibraltar has canceled official Christmas events and “strongly” discouraged people from hosting private gatherings for four weeks. Gibraltar’s entire eligible population is vaccinated.

The government of Gibraltar recently announced that “official Christmas parties, official receptions and similar gatherings” have been canceled, and advised the public to avoid social events and parties for the next four weeks. Outdoor spaces are recommended over indoor ones, touching and hugging is discouraged, and mask wearing is advised.

“The drastic increase in the numbers of people testing positive for Covid-19 in recent days is a stark reminder that the virus is still very prevalent in our community and that it is the responsibility of us all to take every reasonable precaution to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” Health Minister Samantha Sacramento said.

Gibraltar, a tiny British Overseas Territory sharing a land border with Spain, has seen an average of 56 Covid-19 cases per day over the last seven days, up from fewer than 10 per day in September. The rise in cases, described by the government as “exponential,” comes despite Gibraltar having the highest vaccination rate in the world.

More than 118% of Gibraltar’s population are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with this figure stretching beyond 100% due to doses given to Spaniards who cross the border to work or visit the territory every day. Gibraltar’s entire adult population has been fully vaccinated since March, and masks are still required in shops and on public transport.

Gibraltar is currently doling out booster doses to the over-40s, healthcare workers, and other “vulnerable groups,” and administering vaccines to children aged between five and 12.

Similarly well-vaccinated countries have also reported surges in Covid-19 infections recently. In Singapore, where 94% of the eligible population have been inoculated, cases and deaths soared to record highs at the end of October, and have since subsided slightly. In Ireland, where around 92% of the adult population is fully vaccinated, cases of Covid-19 and deaths from the virus have roughly doubled since August.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 4 Comments

They Just Admitted What The Passport System Is For

By Tom Woods | Principia Scientific International | November 16, 2021 

You’ve probably seen a handful of people on social media say that vaccine passport systems make them “feel safe.” You know and I know that these systems have nothing to do with health or safety.

Well, some authorities in Canada just admitted what you and I knew: the aim is to punish the unvaccinated.

The British Columbia Parks and Recreation department says: “Remember, the purpose of the PoV card is to incentivize residents to be vaccinated, not to control the spread of the virus.

Then further: “This is an important shift to keep aware of for your decision-making; the province has shifted from actions that provide a COVID-safe environment to actions that provide discretionary services to the vaccinated.

Patricia Daly, Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, added:

“The vaccine passport requires people to be vaccinated to do certain discretionary activities such as go to restaurants, movies, gyms, not because these places are high risk. We are not actually seeing covid transmission in these settings.

It really is to create an incentive to improve our vaccination coverage…. The vaccine passport is for non-essential opportunities, and it’s really to create an incentive to get higher vaccination rates.”

So even though cities and countries with these systems in place are doing no better than countries that don’t, that isn’t the point.

The point, as I’ve said all along, is to punish those who decline the vaccines.

Bold emphasis added.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

Unassailable proof that the COVID vaccines are the most deadly vaccines in human history

By Steve Kirsch | November 16, 2021

Just because the FDA, CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada have found no issues with the vaccines, doesn’t mean they are safe. Here’s unassailable proof they aren’t.

We have to stop blindly trusting our trusted authorities that they are giving us good information. It isn’t warranted. We should always insist on hearing both sides of the story.

We should be extremely suspicious when not a single leading medical advocate of the vaccine is willing to debate a team of qualified scientists who disagree with the narrative.

For example, it is well known that Merck received approval from the FDA to give Vioxx to 2 year old children just 3 weeks before Merck pulled the drug for safety issues.

We’re doing it again now with our kids and this time the drug companies aren’t going to pull it even though there is compelling evidence in plain sight of everyone.

Here are three pieces of unassailable proof that the COVID vaccines are the most dangerous in history and should be immediately pulled:

  1. The VAERS data shows 8,456 deaths in the US (note: if you are using openvaers, be sure to “flip the switch” to show domestic only). Even using the most conservative assumptions of 223 background deaths (the highest annual death toll in VAERS history for domestic deaths), this is 8,233 “excess” deaths. Something caused those deaths. That’s a HUGE number. It’s a public health disaster. If it wasn’t the vaccine, then what did the CDC find caused all these excess deaths? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Note that I didn’t even have to multiply by the VAERS under-reporting factor (URF) of 41 (calculated via the CDC’s own methodology). There are only 226M vaccinated people. That’s a death rate from the vaccine of at least 36 deaths per million vaccinated (assuming the most conservative possible URF of 1). That’s 36 times more deadly than the deadliest vaccine in human history, a vaccine that is too unsafe to use. It has no business being on the market. Note that all reports in VAERS are validated by HHS before they are allowed to appear in VAERS. Mistakes do happen. There are at least 2 records of the 1.6M in VAERS that were gamed, one by Dr. David Gorski (who is proud of breaking Federal law to do that).
  2. A prominent group of neurologists with 20,000 patients has had around 2,000 patients with vaccine-related adverse reactions. In the 11 year history of the practice, they’ve never had a patient with a vaccine-related adverse reaction. While this could happen just by bad luck, the chance of it happening by “bad luck” is less than 1 in 10**100, i.e., impossible. This is a huge increase in significant neurological events that is inexplicable if the vaccines are safe. This is further evidence that the increase in the events reported in VAERS is not “stimulated reporting.” NOTE: The doctors won’t come forward publicly for fear of retribution (loss of medical license). That’s why nobody knows. With the doctors’ permission, I’m happy to disclose it to the NY Times or other allegedly reputable news source under NDA if they want to do a story on it.
  3. And then there is the 60-fold increase in the rates of adverse events happening in front of our eyes. Hard to explain since it never happened before the vaccines rolled out.

When I say unassailable, I mean that nobody can argue using evidence that these happened due to something other than the vaccine as the primary cause. The “using evidence” is key. People make hand-waving arguments all the time to dispute hypotheses. What matters is arguments with supporting evidence. That appears to be non-existent in all three cases.

Extra credit

And then I got this which matches what I’ve heard from others. It’s a bit hard to explain if the vaccines are safe. Check with your own neurologist if you don’t believe me.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Europe heads the stampede to medical apartheid

By Tom Penn | TCW Defending Freedom | November 16, 2021

WHILE the media engaged in a classic diversionary tactic – chortling over reports that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock was to write a book about how he won the Covid war – they virtually ignored perhaps the most concerning pandemic news out of Western Europe so far.

The Netherlands entered a three-week partial lockdown, the news of Austria’s lockdown for the unvaccinated was ‘officially announced’, and Germany’s health agencies began clamouring for tougher restrictions. 

Segregation on so-called medical grounds is finding ever firmer footing in Europe – no doubt spurred on by its increasingly successful introduction in Australia and New Zealand even in the face of huge, impassioned protests.

This is the hyper-normalisation of medical apartheid at work, and one day soon the witless masses who permit this process to erode unchallenged the moral bedrock of their societies, will wake up to find that it was they, not their governments, who were the engineers of an all-encompassing punitive style of governance whose dystopian interventions not even the quadruple-jabbed will ultimately be able to evade.

On home soil the supposed leak of the UKHSA’s plan to abandon attempts at stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2 ‘at all costs’ come springtime, using their exit-strategy named ‘Operation Rampdown’, should come as highly disconcerting and not optimistic news in light of the madness playing out across the Channel right now.

Quite aside from the fact that we have heard all this tosh about promised freedom numerous times before and yet here we are still stuck waist-deep in the bog of Covid-19 interventions, from what we know of the 160-page dossier so far, the scaling-back of spread-control measures is limp to the point of portentous: the real question being just what will such controls be replaced with?

The last 20 months has shown that when the State give with one hand, they use the other to put more shackles on the recipient – we, the people – and Operation Rampdown already sounds not like the Yellow Brick Road to freedom but the paving of the way for medical apartheid.

Ten-day self-isolation is supposedly to be entirely done away with: however, in all likelihood only for those vaccinated and with up-to-date boosters. Free Covid testing is supposedly to end: a move designed to impose a Macron-style financial burden on the unvaccinated, as private testing firms with ties to Government break free of the pricing limitations never enforced in the first place, and the national ‘Test and Trace’ system is purportedly to be scrapped, the billions invested set only to reveal the software’s original design-objective: universal health passports.

When Johnson talks about the ‘storm clouds gathering over Europe’ I don’t envisage the DHSC’s Covid-smoke wafting our way, I see instead scope for ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdowns for the unvaccinated; given succour via the majority of people’s inability to heed the deafening alarms currently being sounded by various neighbouring EU Governments.

At present the UK population is like an infant flat on its back, staring beguiled at a revolving cot-mobile, off which dangles the likes of Matt Hancock, dog coronavirus, and a Harry Kane international hat-trick; whilst Papa Johnson is busy disabling the home’s smoke alarms and opening all the windows in an attempt not to let Covid-19 out, but the far more noxious smoke of apartheid in.

Matt Hancock, I suggest not the working title ‘How I Won the Covid War’, but ‘How I Started the Covid War Engineered Never To Be Won’, alongside the quote from yourself, dated March 16 2020:

‘We should only use the NHS when we really need to.’

You say the war is won, Mr Hancock, yet we still can’t use the NHS. Write a book about that, why don’t you, then you’ll finally find yourself on the same page as the six million poor sods awaiting treatment.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 2 Comments

IMF Correctly Predicts Arrival of Compulsory Vaccination Across Russia After Gifting Kremlin $18 Billion

By Edward Slavsquat | Anti-Empire | November 16, 2021

Before October, most of Russia’s 85 regions had few (if any) COVID-related restrictions; mandates requiring businesses to vaccinate the majority of their employees—introduced in Moscow and several other regions in June—had not yet become the norm.

This all changed after the State Duma elections in late September. Speaking a day before the election results were announced, Annette Kyobe, IMF Representative in Russia, made a prophetic observation. As TASS reported at the time:

“There is no appetite [in Russia] for restrictive measures, lockdown, at least on the part of state authorities. <…> After the parliamentary elections, perhaps a more unpopular measure, like mandatory vaccination, can be initiated as early as October-November. “

What an incredible prediction! As it just so happens, COVID “cases” and “deaths” inexplicably began to skyrocket immediately after the Duma elections, forcing Russian authorities to introduce mandates and QR codes across the country.

IMF totally called it!

Starting in October, Russian regions began the mass adoption of vaccine mandates and digital “health” passes. On October 14, Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov told the IMF and World Bank that Russia’s government understood how important it was to shove a needle into every arm:

Participants in the autumn session of the IMF and the World Bank on Wednesday came to the conclusion that the problem of the crisis in the global economy cannot be solved until the population of all countries is vaccinated in the required proportion, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov told reporters following these meetings.

“Until all countries are vaccinated in the required proportion, the world will not return to the old normality. Therefore, the question was raised that it is necessary to increase efforts to produce, to ensure access to vaccines. more and more waves of COVID cover different countries, “Maksimov said.

But wait… how was the IMF—an organ of Western Financial Extortion—able to so accurately predict Russia’s warm embrace of the global Vax Caste System?

Just a lucky guess. Obviously it had nothing to do with the 18 billion United States Dollars that the IMF shoveled into the Kremlin’s coffers back in August. The head of the IMF described the generous cash-injection as part of a “vaccination for the world economy during an unprecedented crisis.” (We should note for the sake of accuracy that the $18 billion was awarded in the form of “special drawing rights.” SDRs are units of account for the IMF and represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged.)

Outrageously, some Russian analysts and media outlets have suggested that something is slightly suspicious about all this—but why would they suggest something so silly? Anyway:

“There is no appetite for restrictive measures, lockdown, at least on the part of the state authorities. After the parliamentary elections, perhaps a more unpopular measure, such as compulsory vaccination, can be initiated as early as October-November.”

This is an excerpt from the speech of the IMF Resident Representative in Russia Annette Kyobe during the Fitch Ratings webinar “Russia – Macroeconomic Forecast 2021”.

On the air on the Tsargrad TV channel, Alexander Losev, a member of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, explained why our country continues to cooperate with discredited organizations and why the IMF wants to vaccinate all of Russia:

“The IMF and the World Bank are two organizations that have introduced such a concept as the Washington Consensus.

Adherence to this Washington Consensus is written for all developing countries.

First of all, this is a limitation of state sovereignty, less support for business, more – the market, invisible hands of the market, there are many of them, and some requirements for budgets and budgetary policy.

All countries that followed the Washington Consensus ended up poorly, with crises.

The second point is why the IMF says it.

At the end of August, the Bank of Russia received $ 18 billion from the IMF in the form of special drawing rights, that is, it received money. I’m not hinting at anything, I’m just stating: was the money accepted? Accepted.

These are the institutes of world governance created by the United States. And now the activity of these institutions is an attempt by the United States to preserve its hegemony, to preserve its power over the world.

They are tools. Behind them is the United States and their establishment, those who manage capital, world politics – or think they do.

[…]

The main beneficiaries of the pandemic are, of course, financiers. Because all the money that governments and central banks sent to help the economy, they basically all went through the banking system. The American banking system is $ 90 trillion in assets. All the money that the government allocated went there too.

The estimate is how much money was allocated and how much got into the banking system, from 24 to 27 trillion dollars. Equivalent. In different countries, including developing countries.

Utter nonsense! Russia adopted nationwide compulsory vaccination policies because there was a huge, dangerous wave of COVID that emerged immediately after Duma elections, which required more Sputnik V, everywhere and for everyone. If Russians don’t like it, they will have a chance to vote again, in the next Duma elections, in 2026.

Public health is a funny thing.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 3 Comments

Why is the US Hyping Up the Threat of ISIS in Afghanistan?

By Valery Kulikov – New Eastern Outlook – 16.11.2021

To justify its interventionist actions in the Middle East, the United States, following the now cliched example, actively uses its alleged commitment to fighting against terrorism, focusing on countering such well-known terrorist formations as Al Qaeda and ISIS. The same goes for the actions of the USA in Afghanistan. However, Washington didn’t take any accountability before the rest of the world about the results of this fight against terrorists in Afghanistan during its 20 years of abysmal military intervention.

At the same time, the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov and foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned several times that Russia has sufficient facts backing the claims about the USA’s cooperation with the ISIS militants in the northern part of Afghanistan. In particular, since 2017, unmarked helicopter flights have been recorded within areas of ISIS militant activity, not without the explicit knowledge of US and NATO forces in their area of responsibility, especially in northern Afghanistan… According to Afghan sources, these aircraft have been used to deliver manpower, weapons, and ammunition to ISIS militants. Moreover, there were recorded instances of surgical strikes by the US Air Force not against terrorists, but positions of radical Taliban fighters engaged in combat against ISIS.

After the termination of the US military intervention in Afghanistan in August this year under the pressure of the international public and Americans themselves, certain American politico-military circles, clearly dissatisfied with this step, started to spin the propaganda campaign about the allegedly intensified in recent months “danger of ISIS activity in Afghanistan” through their lackey media. With the apparent hope of triggering a new international armed aggression in Afghanistan, again under “US patronage.”

Thus, on September 28 this year, General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced the supposedly obvious danger of strengthening of Al-Qaeda and ISIS positions in Afghanistan: “And we must remember that the Taliban was and remains a terrorist organization, and they still have not broken ties with al-Qaeda. I have no illusions about who we are dealing with.” “A reconstituted al-Qaeda or Daesh/ISIS with aspirations to attack the US is a very real possibility,” General continued.

The allegedly growing threat of ISIS in Afghanistan has recently been actively picked up by the American media, handy to the current military and political elite. In particular, recently The New York Times began to scare the world with stories that, since the Taliban came to power, ISIS militants in Afghanistan have intensified, their terrorist attacks are exhausting the new government and raising fears among Western powers of a potential revival of the group. During his speech in Congress, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl admitted that the ability of Afghan authorities to combat the Islamists “has yet to be determined.” However, he did not say anything about who and when will determine the results of 20 years of fighting them by the United States itself.

The New York Times acknowledged that, after its disgraceful flight from Afghanistan in August, Washington had lost reliable access to intelligence. Limited drone flights now provide only partial information given the distance they need to travel to reach Afghanistan, and its established network of informants has been destroyed.

However, the real reason behind Washington’s new propaganda wave regarding the allegedly heightened threat of ISIS from Afghanistan becomes apparent in one of the final paragraphs of the article published by this newspaper. It states that the Taliban “refuse to cooperate with the United States in fighting ISIS by fighting the war on their terms.”

As for the organization of today’s fight against ISIS, Dr. Bashir, head of the Taliban’s intelligence services, has directly pointed out that such work is constantly being done, and his men have adopted the methods of this fight from their predecessors. Moreover, they even rely on Western equipment to intercept messages and radio communications. He insists, however, that the Taliban have something the past government and the Americans did not have: widespread local support that can alert authorities to attacks and militant positions, something that has always been hard to detect in the past.

As for some Western propagandists who attempt to use the thesis about the alleged merger of the Taliban with ISIS terrorists at the instigation of Washington, keep in mind that ISIS does not have such a strong influence in Afghanistan as the Taliban, and they are seen as antagonists in the country. The fact is that ISIS relies on Salafi ideology, while most Afghans identify themselves with the Hanafi school of fiqh. Therefore, the organization is a foreign body in the structure of Afghan society, which undoubtedly limits its growth of influence and popularity in the country.

As you know, ISIS announced the formation of the group in Iraq in 2014. Then came the ISIS affiliate in Pakistan. As for Afghanistan, a branch of ISIS emerged here in January 2015 under the Islamic State – Khorasan Province, which later the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan joined with. In 2015, several regional media reports revealed that the National Directorate of Security (NDS), under complete US control, had helped ISIS gain a foothold in Nangarhar province. There have also been reports that some leaders of the Afghan branch of ISIS, including Sheikh Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost (a former Guantanamo Bay detainee!), traveled in Afghan intelligence vehicles and lived in guesthouses belonging to Afghan intelligence agencies. Therefore, some analysts accuse US intelligence services of involvement in creating and strengthening ISIS in Afghanistan.

At a certain point, the Taliban viewed ISIS as temporary “allies” fighting against US intervention within Afghanistan. However, after ISIS demanded that Taliban leaders swear allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, clashes broke out between the Taliban and ISIS, especially in Nangarhar province. Notably, after such clashes broke out, government helicopters rescued ISIS fighters besieged by the Taliban in some areas, such as Jawzjan province. In particular, Afghan army helicopters supported by US forces evacuated ISIS fighters and their families and housed them in guesthouses in Sheberghan, Jawzjan province, belonging to Afghan intelligence. Afghan intelligence agencies implicitly acknowledged this.

The estimated number of ISIS fighters in Afghanistan is 5,000. A UN report released in mid-July said the number of ISIS fighters in Afghanistan ranges from 500 to 1,500. Currently, ISIS does not possess heavy weapons, guns, and tanks, even though such equipment was abandoned in large numbers by the US army after fleeing Afghanistan, and has no centers, headquarters, or open fronts on Afghan soil. In these circumstances, ISIS can gain a foothold in Afghanistan only if some foreign patrons support it with people, arms, and money to use this organization to weaken the Taliban’s power and turn Afghanistan into a new breeding ground for terrorism. And here, one cannot rule out such actions precisely on the part of the United States and its Western allies. For example, Washington has done it before by supporting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in its confrontation with the Soviet Union.

In a sense, former Afghan army and Afghan intelligence officers trained in the United States, who had already joined ISIS in Afghanistan in August after the US fled Afghanistan, could be used by the United States to manipulate ISIS. Their numbers, as admitted by The Wall Street Journal, “are still relatively small, but they are growing, according to those who know these people, and also according to Afghan and Taliban intelligence agencies.”

Today, the Taliban control the entire country and view ISIS as a foreign group to be fought and wholly expelled from Afghanistan. As for the restraints the Taliban has towards carrying out joint counter-terrorist actions against ISIS, confirmed by the Taliban on October 11 at the meeting with the Americans in Doha, one cannot rule out that it was Washington’s former ties with ISIS that could lie behind such a position of the current rulers of Afghanistan.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine gives its view on alleged Russian military buildup near border

By Jonny Tickle | RT | November 16, 2021

Ukraine’s State Border Service has rejected claims that Russia’s military is gathering near the two countries’ shared border, after NATO’s Secretary-General said there was a “large and unusual” build-up of forces at the frontier.

Speaking to the Ukraine-24 TV channel on Monday, border service spokesman Andrey Demchenko revealed that Kiev does not have reason to believe Russian troops are accumulating nearby.

“We do not register any movement of equipment or military of our neighbouring country near the border,” he explained. “If any actions are taking place, it may be dozens or even hundreds of kilometres from the state border.”

Demchenko’s comments directly contradict a claim from NATO head Jens Stoltenberg, made earlier that day. “We see an unusual concentration of troops, and we know that Russia has been willing to use these types of military capabilities before to conduct aggressive actions against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

Last week, American business outlet Bloomberg reported that US officials warned their European counterparts that Moscow may be planning an invasion of Ukraine, noting that their concerns were backed by “publicly available evidence.”

The suggestion of an invasion was quickly slammed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov groundless.

“This is not the first publication and not the first statement by the US that they are concerned about the movement of our armed forces in Russia,” he said. “We have repeatedly said that the movement of our armed forces on our own territory should be of no concern to anyone. Russia poses no threat to anyone.”

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

CIA Director Burns Goes to Moscow

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • NOVEMBER 16, 2021

The recent unprecedented surprise two-day visit by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns to Moscow for talks with his counterparts has triggered considerable discussion within retired spook circles in and around Washington. Even among active CIA employees the preparations for the trip were tightly held with few advisers briefed on the agenda that had been prepared for the meetings, which were clearly initiated at Langley’s request. Burns met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev as well as Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin last Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin was briefed on the meetings on the following day. Concerning the discussions, a Kremlin spokesman said only that “Of course, dialogue at this level and dialogue on such sensitive issues is extremely important for bilateral relations and for the exchange of views on the problems that we have” elaborating only that various international issues were discussed. A US Embassy press release echoed the Russian comments.

There is a consensus that Burns, a former Ambassador to Russia and a Russian speaker, was on a mission ordered by the president to create a more stable and predictable relationship. The move comes in spite of US issuance of a new wave of sanctions for past presumed Russian offenses in April. Leaks regarding the visit, if verifiable, indicate that Burns was in Moscow to discuss specifically alleged Russian ransomware hacking and even the widely discredited view that Moscow has been continuing its interference in US elections. If all of that is so, the visit would be pointless as the Kremlin has denied any such involvement and dismissed claims that the alleged Russian hackers are in any was associated with the government.

The most popular narrative currently making the rounds among some conspiracy theorists is that the Biden Administration has compiled what might be described as a dossier on the expansion of Chinese influence operations worldwide and is keen to make the case that they threaten everyone, including the Europeans and Russians. Presumably Burns would have been in Moscow to share that information in hopes that the burgeoning de facto alliance between Russia and China can be reversed. Whether Burns was successful in such a task remains to be seen, but it of course would not take into account that views in Beijing and Moscow have been shaped and hardened by confrontational activity that the United States has been engaged in both in the Baltic and South China Sea.

Joe Biden for his part has not helped any rapprochement by his assurances to defend Taiwan and his critical comments about Vladimir Putin at the recent climate change conference in Glasgow. So one must ask why is it that an Administration that is increasingly seen as disconnected and incapable at home has been persisting in provocative policies that could plausibly lead to war against major powers like China and Russia? Particularly given the fact that recent war games and exercises have suggested that the in-disarray US armed forces might well be defeated? Is the trip of William Burns to Moscow something of a wake-up call to the fact that US foreign policy basically makes no sense?

Unfortunately, the Republicans are equally locked into an adversarial mode when it comes to Russia and China. Ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, is now calling for economic war against Beijing. Some might conclude that everything in contemporary Washington comes down to a latter-day opera buffa in which an assortment of comic characters parade for a moment only to be replaced by the next bumbler sporting an equally ridiculous message.

Russia aside, witness the recent wave of China bashing, begun by Barack Obama with his pivot to Asia, continued under Donald Trump with his China virus rants, and endorsed by Joe Biden’s team which persists in labeling Beijing as enemy number one. No one steps back and considers even for a moment that the US is China’s largest market and that the US in turn relies on Chinese manufactured products to fill its Walmarts. If ever two nations had good reasons not to go to war, it would be China and the United States, yet the US desire to confront the “Red Menace” to include defending Taiwan continues to drive policy.

So, it remains to be seen what might come out of the William Burns delegation going to Moscow. But there have been other recent visits by senior American officials. If you really want to consider policy making that is brain dead, the prize would have to go to the recently concluded trip made by State Department Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland to Moscow. The mainstream media that reported the trip saw it, just like the Burns trip, as a gesture being made by the Biden White House to mend fences with the Vladimir Putin government. But if that were so, the selection of Nuland as the interlocutor was particularly inappropriate. She is a hard-core neoconservative who is married to Robert Kagan. She was in fact on a Russian sanctions list before her trip and had to be removed from it so she could carry out the official travel. Nuland is best known in the media for having said in an intercepted phone call “Fuck the EU” when a colleague suggested that the European Union might have a role to play in the future direction of Ukraine.

Nuland at State Department under Barack Obama was in fact the driving force behind demanding regime change in Ukraine to oust its pro-Russian government. She would drop in on Kiev’s Maidan Square with her buddy Senator John McCain to pass out cookies to demonstrators. After the government was changed to satisfy Washington, it was admitted that the US had spent something like $5 billion to bring about the “revolution.” Moscow and Putin, however, were not amused and promptly moved to take back Crimea and to stir up resistance in the largely ethnic Russian Donbass region.

Nuland met in Moscow with the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. What she chose to discuss belies suggestions that she was there to talk nice and mend fences. A major issue was a demand from Washington to greatly reduce the Russian diplomatic presence in the United States. The number that Nuland reportedly presented to Ryabkov was that 300 diplomats would have to go. The demand reportedly came from Congressional pressure to greatly reduce the number of accredited Russians based on the claim that Moscow had interfered in American elections. Nuland had with her two lists of names for removal, and suggested that the first fifty should be returned home by January.

The Russians responded that they were willing to lift all sanctions of US diplomats if Washington would reciprocate by lifting sanctions on Russian diplomatic missions in the US. Nuland said that was not acceptable. Ryabkov countered with his observation that many of the diplomats were accredited to the United Nations and were not accountable to the US approved diplomatic list. Ryabkov elaborated that “If you will insist, we are ready to close down all US missions in Russia, and to lock down our remaining offices at Washington. We can terminate all diplomatic interaction; if you want our relations be based on the number of our nuclear missiles, we are ready. But it’s your choice, not ours.” So the discussion obviously went nowhere.

In fact, the discussion went downhill from that point, including as it did US disapproval of Russian involvement in Mali and in Libya and a sounding out of possible Kremlin response if the Biden Administration pushes forward with plans to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. The Russians also confirmed that they would not permit hosting US intelligence personnel on military bases in former Central Asian Soviet countries “the ‘Stans” to monitor developments in Afghanistan. Crimea was apparently not mentioned.

Ryabkov concluded that “… he and Nuland made no progress on normalizing the work of their diplomatic missions, which has been hampered by multiple rounds of sanctions, adding that the situation could exacerbate even further. The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated Moscow’s readiness to respond in kind to any unfriendly US action.” The only positive development was thin gruel, coming when Ryabkov floated a suggestion that Putin might be willing to meet with Joe Biden at some undesignated point in the future to discuss mutual concerns.

One has to wonder who exactly selected someone as toxic as Victoria Nuland to go to Russia, but worse was to come after her return to America. Any Putin-Biden summit meeting is now less likely than it was several weeks ago as right after Nuland’s departure for the United States, the bilateral relationship worsened. The NATO headquarters in Brussels declared several Russian diplomats ‘personae non gratae’, and the Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the provocation by sending home all NATO representatives present at diplomatic missions in Russia. In response back in the United States, the media and some Congressmen and Biden Administration officials immediately began to press forward with their plans to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, a vital or even existential issue for Russia that guarantees to scuttle any attempts to actually improve relations. And the White House continues to make a bad situation worse by suggesting that it has an obligation to “defend Ukraine.”

So why was CIA Director William Burns in Moscow and what did he accomplish? God only knows!

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 councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

From Pegasus to Blue Wolf: how Israel’s ‘security’ experiment in Palestine went global

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | November 16, 2021

The revelation a few years ago that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been conducting mass surveillance on millions of Americans reignited the conversation on governments’ misconduct and their violation of human rights and privacy laws. Until recently, however, Israel has been spared due criticism, not only for its unlawful spying methods on the Palestinians, but also for being the originator of many of the technologies which are now being criticised heavily by human rights groups worldwide.

Even at the height of various controversies involving government surveillance in 2013, Israel remained on the margins, despite the fact that its government, more than any other in the world, uses racial profiling, mass surveillance and numerous spying techniques to sustain its military occupation of Palestine.

In Gaza, two million Palestinians are living under an Israeli blockade. They are surrounded by walls, electric fences, underground barriers, naval vessels and a multitude of snipers. From above, the tannaana, the Arabic slang used by Palestinians for unmanned drones, watch and record everything. These armed drones are used to destroy anything deemed suspicious from an Israeli “security” perspective. Moreover, every Palestinian wishing to leave or return to Gaza — and only a relative few are allowed the privilege — is subjected to the most stringent “security” measures, involving various government agencies and endless military checks. This applies as much to a Palestinian toddler as it does to a terminally-ill Palestinian man or woman seeking treatment unavailable in the besieged territory.

In the West Bank, Israel’s security “experiment” takes many forms. While the Israeli objective in Gaza is to entrap people, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem its aim is to control the everyday life of the Palestinians. Aside from the 1,660 kilometre-long Apartheid Wall in the West Bank, there are many other walls, fences, trenches and other types of barriers that are aimed at fragmenting Palestinian communities. These isolated communities are only connected through an elaborate system of Israeli military checkpoints, many of which are permanent, but with many more duly erected or dismantled depending on the “security” objectives on any given day.

Much of the surveillance occurs daily at these Israeli checkpoints. While Israel uses the convenient term “security” to justify its practices against Palestinians, actual security has very little to do with what takes place at checkpoints. Many Palestinians have died and many mothers have given birth or lost their newborn babies while waiting for Israeli security clearance. It is a daily torment, and Palestinians are subjected to it because they are the unwitting participants in a very profitable Israeli experiment.

Fortunately, the details of Israel’s undemocratic practices are becoming better known. On 8 November, for example, the Washington Post revealed an Israeli mass surveillance operation, which uses “Blue Wolf” technology to create a massive database of all Palestinians.

This additional measure gives soldiers the opportunity to use their own cameras to take pictures of as many Palestinians as possible and match them “to a database of images so extensive that one former soldier described it as the army’s secret ‘Facebook for Palestinians’.”

We know very little about this “Facebook for Palestinians”, aside from what has been revealed in the media. However, we do know that Israeli soldiers compete to take as many photos of Palestinian faces as possible, as those with the highest number of photos could potentially receive certain rewards, the nature of which remains unclear.

While the “Blue Wolf” story is receiving some attention in international media, it is nothing new for Palestinians. To be a Palestinian living under occupation is to carry multiple permits and magnetic cards; to require numerous “security” clearances; to have your photo taken regularly; to have your movements monitored; and to be ready to answer any question about your friends, your family, your co-workers and your acquaintances. When that is impractical because, say, you live under siege in Gaza, then the work is entrusted to unmanned drones scanning the land, sea and sky.

The reason that “Blue Wolf” is receiving some traction in the media is that Israel has been implicated recently in one of the world’s biggest espionage operations. Pegasus is a type of malware that spies on iPhones and Android devices to extract photos, messages and emails, and to record calls. Tens of thousands of people around the world, many of whom are prominent activists, journalists, officials, business leaders and such like, have fallen victim to this operation. Unsurprisingly, Pegasus is produced by an Israeli technology company, the NSO Group, whose products are involved heavily in the monitoring of and spying on Palestinians, as confirmed by the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders, and as reported in the New York Times on 8 November.

It is a sad reflection of world affairs that Israel’s unlawful and undemocratic practices only became the subject of international condemnation when the victims were high-ranking personalities, such as French President Emmanuel Macron and others. When Palestinians were on the receiving end of Israeli spying, surveillance and racial profiling, the story was deemed to be unworthy of global outrage and coverage.

Moreover, for many years, Israel has promoted and sold its sinister “security technology” to the rest of the world as “field-tested”, meaning that it has been used against Palestinians living under occupation. That may have raised a few eyebrows among concerned individuals and human rights groups, but the tried and tested brand has, nonetheless, allowed Israel to become the world’s eighth-largest arms exporter. Israeli military and security technology is now used by governments around the world. It can be found at North American and European airports; at the Mexico-US border; in the hands of various intelligence agencies; and in European Union territorial waters, largely to intercept refugees from war (in which Israeli technology is also utilised) and asylum seekers.

Covering up Israel’s unlawful and inhuman practices against the Palestinians has become a liability for the credibility of the very people who justify Israeli actions in the name of “security” and “self-defence”, including successive administrations in Washington. On 3 November, the Joe Biden administration decided to blacklist the Israeli NSO Group for acting “contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.” This is a right and proper measure, of course, but it fails to address the ongoing Israeli violations against the people in occupied Palestine.

The truth is, for as long as Israel maintains its military occupation of Palestine, and as long as the Israeli military-industrial complex continues to see Palestinians as subjects in a mass “security experiment”, the Middle East — in fact, the entire world — will continue to pay the price.

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments