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First ever double-blind randomised trial of Vitamin D for the prevention of Covid infections

Health Advisory & Recovery Team | May 6, 2022

A recent paper describes the first ever double-blind randomised trial of Vitamin D for the prophylaxis of Covid.

HART has been one of many voices previously highlighting the evidence for the role of Vitamin D deficiency in preventing severe outcomes from Covid infections, and questioning why the very safe and cheap measure of ensuring adequate intake was being ignored.

The new paper outlines a study conducted in healthcare workers in Mexico. They randomly allocated subjects (who were only eligible if they had not had covid)) to receive either 4000 IU of Vit D or placebo. The data from 94 Vit D recipients and 98 who received placebo, were included in the per-protocol analysis.

The double-blind study was conducted in late 2020, thus removing vaccination as a possible confounding factor. Covid infection was confirmed by the presence of a positive PCR test following swab testing performed at several time points during the follow-up period, or by positive antibody testing at day 45.

The results are quite extraordinary, demonstrating a highly statistically-significant 78% reduction in becoming infected if a member of the Vit D prophylaxis group; 6 out of 94 Vit D recipients caught Covid, compared to 24 out of 98 on placebo. Notwithstanding that the trial was conducted during a period of high prevalence, the rate of infection in the placebo groups seems high, although the trial was of healthcare workers, and nothing suggests the comparison between the 2 groups is invalidated by the apparent high rate of infection.

One particularly notable observation from the data is that the effect was seen regardless of whether the baseline Vit D level indicated deficiency or not, possibly indicating that the optimal minimum for Vit D levels might be higher than currently thought.

Several criticisms and open questions about the study can be posed. In particular, the study was (obviously) not powered to detect any effects on the incidence of severe disease, and the clinical relevance of preventing infections per se, when, regardless of vaccination status, infections appear to be a prerequisite for full, flexible and durable immunity, must be questionable.

Nevertheless, the study is notable for being randomised and double-blind, and for the magnitude of the observed effect. It integrates into the body of knowledge which is building in relation to the role of Vit D in optimal immunity, and as such supports HART’s contention that willfully ignoring the potential for reducing the burden of Covid on our society with this safe, cheap and simple measure has been nothing short of scandalous.

A detailed thread critiquing some aspects of the study can be seen here.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

If your region was a success story with regard to COVID cases earlier, it will be a failure now, or later.

Vermont, for example…

By Meryl Nass, MD | May 5, 2022

AP: CDC: Half Of Vermont’s 14 Counties Have High COVID-19 Levels 

Half of Vermont’s 14 counties have been rated as having high community levels of COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rankings are based on a handful of factors including new hospital admissions for COVID-19, recent case counts, and the community’s overall hospital capacity. Washington County reported the highest number of cases per 100,000 individuals, followed by Chittenden County and Bennington County. The other counties with high community levels of the virus are Addison, Franklin, Grand Isle and Orleans. (5/1) Kaiser Health News.

So much for those high vaccination rates, coupled with people staying home. Vermont is the most rural of US states; in other words, a smaller percent of Vermont’s 624,000 residents live in cities than in any other state. So there were fewer opportunities for crowds.

The lesson is that with endemic viruses, you get it now or you get it later. Have the vaccines worked for more than a few months, it might have been different.

In Maine, I learned today that 70% of COVID deaths in the past month were in the vaccinated–the vaccine is not saving lives, despite what Rochelle may claim while batting her eyelashes and trying to appear earnest.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

More Than 8,000 New COVID Vaccine Injuries Reported to VAERS, CDC Data Show

By Megan Redshaw | The Defender | May 6, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released new data showing a total of 1,255,355 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 29, 2022, to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S.

The data included a total of 27,758 reports of deaths — an increase of 226 over the previous week — and 226,703 serious injuries, including deaths, during the same time period — up 1,937 compared with the previous week. There were 8,224 additional total adverse events reported to VAERS over the previous week.

Excluding “foreign reports” to VAERS, 813,021 adverse events, including 12,779 deaths and 81,271 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 29, 2022.

Foreign reports are reports foreign subsidiaries send to U.S. vaccine manufacturers. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, if a manufacturer is notified of a foreign case report that describes an event that is both serious and does not appear on the product’s labeling, the manufacturer is required to submit the report to VAERS.

Of the 12,779 U.S. deaths reported as of April 29, 16% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 20% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination and 59% occurred in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated.

In the U.S., 575 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of April 29, including 339 million doses of Pfizer, 217 million doses of Moderna and 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Every Friday, VAERS publishes vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.

Historically, VAERS has been shown to report only 1% of actual vaccine adverse events.

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 29, 2022, for 5- to 11-year-olds show:
U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 29, 2022, for 12- to 17-year-olds show:
  • 31,504 adverse events, including 1,808 rated as serious and 44 reported deaths.
    The most recent reported death involves a 14-year-old girl from Tennessee (VAERS I.D. 2238618) who died after receiving her second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. According to the VAERS report, the girl had a previous history of cancer but was hospitalized 29 days after receiving her second dose of Pfizer with severe COVID-19 and COVID pneumonia. She became “critically ill,” developed respiratory failure and bradycardia and later died.
  • 65 reports of anaphylaxis among 12- to 17-year-olds where the reaction was life-threatening, required treatment or resulted in death — with 96% of cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • 650 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis — two fewer than last week — with 638 cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • 166 reports of blood clotting disorders — 1 fewer than last week — with all cases attributed to Pfizer.
U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to April 29, 2022, for all age groups combined, show:

Megan Redshaw is a staff attorney for Children’s Health Defense and a reporter for The Defender.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Bill Seeks to Muzzle Doctors Who Tell the Truth About COVID

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | May 5, 2022

One of the most stunning parts of this pandemic has been the denial of basic science, and one of the most shocking developments from that has been the attack on medical doctors who try to set the record straight.

As reported by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya — professor of health policy at Stanford, research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and coauthor of the Great Barrington Declaration, which calls for focused protection of the most vulnerable1 — a California bill is now threatening to strip doctors of their medical licenses if they express medical views that the state does not agree with.2

Bhattacharya’s Personal Battle

Bhattacharya has first-hand experience with this kind of witch hunt. He was one of the first to investigate the prevalence of COVID-19 in 2020, and found that by April, the infection was already too prevalent for lockdowns to have any possibility of stopping the spread.

Bhattacharya has called the COVID-19 lockdowns the “biggest public health mistake ever made,”3 stressing that the harms caused have been “absolutely catastrophically devastating,” especially for children and the working class, worldwide.4

After Bhattacharya co-sponsored the Great Barrington Declaration, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and his former boss, now retired National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins, colluded behind the scenes to quash the declaration from day 1.5

To that end, they set out to smear and destroy the reputations of Bhattacharya and the other coauthors of the declaration. In one email, Collins referred to the three highly credentialed and respected scientists as “fringe epidemiologists” and called for a press “takedown” of the trio.6,7,8,9 I detailed this treachery in “Authors of Barrington Declaration Speak Out.”

“Big tech outlets like Facebook and Google followed suit, suppressing our ideas, falsely deeming them ‘misinformation,’” Bhattacharya writes.10 “I started getting calls from reporters asking me why I wanted to ‘let the virus rip,’ when I had proposed nothing of the sort. I was the target of racist attacks and death threats.

Despite the false, defamatory and sometimes frightening attacks, we stood firm. And today many of our positions have been amply vindicated. Yet the soul searching this episode should have caused among public health officials has largely failed to occur. Instead, the lesson seems to be: Dissent at your own risk.

I do not practice medicine — I am a professor specializing in epidemiology and health policy at Stanford Medical School. But many friends who do practice have told me how they have censored their thoughts about COVID lockdowns, vaccines, and recommended treatment to avoid the mob …

This forced scientific groupthink — and the fear and self-censorship they produce — are bad enough. So far, though, the risk has been social and reputational. Now it could become literally career-ending.”

Do You Want Your Doctor To Be Muzzled by the State?

California Assembly Bill 209811 — introduced by Assemblyman Evan Low, a Silicon Valley Democrat, and coauthored by Assembly members Aguiar-Curry, Akilah Weber and Wicks, and Sens. Pan and Wiener — designates “the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or ‘COVID-19,’ as unprofessional conduct” warranting “disciplinary action” that could result in the loss of their medical license.

Misinformation or disinformation related to SARS-CoV-2 includes “false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.” But as far as what might constitute “misinformation” or “disinformation” is unclear and basically left open for interpretation — by the state. As noted by Bhattacharya:12

“Doctors, fearing loss of their livelihoods, will need to hew closely to the government line on COVID science and policy, even if that line does not track the scientific evidence.

After all, until recently, top government science bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci claimed that the idea that COVID came from a Wuhan laboratory was a conspiracy theory, rather than a valid hypothesis that should be open to discussion. The government’s track record on discerning COVID truths is poor.

The bill claims that the spread of misinformation by physicians about the COVID vaccines ‘has weakened public confidence and placed lives at serious risk.’ But how significant is this problem in reality? Over 83% of Californians over the age of 50 are fully vaccinated (including the booster) …

What is abundantly clear is that this bill represents a chilling interference with the practice of medicine. The bill itself is full of misinformation and a demonstration of what a disaster it would be to have the legislature dictate the practice of medicine.”

The Shanghai Model

We don’t have to guess at what life might look like if this and other bills like it are implemented, Bhattacharya warns. The drama currently playing out in Shanghai offers a clear look into what can happen when public health is dictated by the state rather than by qualified medical professionals rooted in sound science.

“Shanghai is the model for the terrifying dangers of giving dictatorial powers to public health officials,” Bhattacharya writes.13 “The harrowing situation unfolding there is a testament to the folly of a virus containment strategy that relies on lockdown.

For two weeks, the Chinese government has locked nearly 25 million people in their homes, forcibly separated children from their parents, killed family pets, and limited access to food and life-saving medical care — all to no avail. COVID cases are still rising, yet the delusion of suppressing COVID persists.

In America, many of our officials still have not abandoned their delusions about COVID and the exercise of power this crisis has allowed. As the Shanghai debacle demonstrates, of all the many terrible consequences of our public health response to COVID, the stifling of dissenting scientific viewpoints by the state might be the most dangerous.”

The Science Deniers Are in Power

As stressed by Bhattacharya, the California bill includes a number falsehoods and fails to acknowledge basic science, starting with natural immunity. High-quality studies have repeatedly shown that natural immunity is equivalent or superior to the COVID shots. Were this bill to pass, a California doctor could lose his license for taking a patient’s COVID history into account when recommending the shot.

It also negates doctors’ ability to prescribe off-label drugs for the treatment of COVID, even though this has been a common and uncontroversial medical practice for many decades. It’s not uncommon for a drug intended for one condition to be used off-label for another. But for some reason, when it comes to COVID, this practice is now deemed hazardous and unprofessional.

The bill also falsely asserts that the “safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines have been confirmed through evaluation by the federal Food and Drug Administration.” Anyone who has followed this circus over the past year realizes that the FDA has completely ignored loud and clear warning bells showing the shots are far from safe and nowhere near as effective as initially claimed.

The bill also ignores the fact that the safety depends on the individual patient’s medical history and current state of health. “For example, there is an elevated risk of myocarditis in young men taking the vaccine, especially with the booster,” Bhattacharya notes.14

Doctors have an ethical obligation to treat each patient as an individual, and to ensure each patient receives the safest and best care. Bill 2098 will turn doctors into government agents, leaving no one to advocate for patients’ health.

“The false medical consensus enforced by AB 2098 will lead doctors to censor themselves to avoid government sanction. And it will be their patients, above all, who will be harmed by their silence,” Bhattacharya warns.

Californians, Vote NO on COVID Tyranny Bills

California Bill 2098 isn’t the only bill seeking to enshrine tyranny into law. Other pending California bills include:15

Senate Bill 1390,16 introduced by Sen. Pan, which seeks to criminalize “amplification of harmful content” on social media platforms.

Assembly Bill 1797,17 introduced by Assembly member Weber, which calls for the creation of a centralized vaccination registry.

Senate Bill 1464,18 introduced by Pan, which would strip state funding from any law enforcement agency that “publicly announces that they will not follow, or adopts a policy stating that they will not follow, a public health order.”

Those funds would instead be reallocated to the county public health department. Essentially, this bill would coerce sheriffs and police officers to violate their conscience or the law, or both, in the name of “public health policy.”

Senate Bill 871,19 introduced by Pan, which would mandate all school children, ages 5 and older, be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19. The bill would also repeal exceptions to mandatory hepatitis B vaccination to attend school, and would remove the personal belief exemption against vaccination.

Senate Bill 866,20 introduced by Wiener and Pan, which would authorize minors, 12 years and older, to consent to vaccines without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Senate Bill 1479,21 introduced by Pan, which would expand “contagious, infectious, or communicable disease testing and other public health mitigation efforts to include prekindergarten, onsite after school programs, and child care centers,” and require each school district, county office of education, and charter school to create a COVID-19 testing plan, and report testing data to State Department of Public Health.

If you live in California, please review these bills and VOTE NO. In a Substack article, Margaret Anna Alice, offers the following guidance to Californians:22

“If you are a resident of California, please consider taking the additional step of contacting your respective senators and assembly members in addition to filling out the online portal. See Californians for Medical Freedom for step-by-step instructions on how to contact your local legislators as well as what to say if you decide to call (which is recommended).

The PERK website is also a very helpful way to track the hearing dates and status of these bills. In the comments, Donald Tipon has provided additional links for opposing AB2098 and AB1797 from A Voice for Choice Advocacy.”

Front Groups Marshal the Ignorant

Regulating the medical views a doctor can and cannot have is dangerous in the extreme, and hopefully the Californians who are left to vote in that state will quash such efforts. On the national level, we must also stay vigilant against similar legislative proposals, and push back against phony front groups that promote this kind of medical tyranny.

This includes the No License for Disinformation23 (NLFD) group, which promotes the false information disseminated by the dark-money group known as the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

As most now know, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a medical doctor in his own right, has been the primary challenger of Fauci’s lies, and the NLFD has been instructing individuals to report him to the Kentucky Medical Board, with the aim of getting his medical license revoked.24

An Open War on the Public

We find ourselves in a situation where asking valid questions about public health measures are equated to acts of domestic terrorism. It’s unbelievable, yet here we are. Over the past two years, the rhetoric used against those who question the sanity of using unscientific pandemic countermeasures, such as face masks and lockdowns, or share data showing that COVID-19 gene therapies are really bad public health policy, has become increasingly violent.

Dr. Peter Hotez, a virologist who for years has been at the forefront of promoting vaccines of all kinds, for example, has publicly called for cyberwarfare assaults on American citizens who disagree with official COVID narratives, and this vile rhetoric was published in the prestigious science journal Nature, of all places.25

Doctors and nurses are now facing the untenable position of having to choose between doing right by their patients and toeing the line of totalitarianism. This simply cannot go on. It’s profoundly unhealthy and dangerous in a multitude of ways.

While frustrating and intimidating, we must all be relentless in our pursuit and sharing of the truth, and we must relentlessly demand our elected representatives stand up for freedom of speech and other Constitutional rights, including, and especially, the rights of medical doctors to express their medical opinions.

Sources and References

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , | 2 Comments

African Governments to Western Eco-Imperialists Who Tell Them Not to Drill Their Own Oil and Gas – Get Lost

By Chris Morrison | The Daily Sceptic | May 5, 2022

It was never going to work. Telling African countries to stop developing their economies by banning cheap, reliable fossil fuel is little more than an eco-imperialist dream. Writing in Monday’s Daily Telegraph, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni lauded the discovery of oil in Lake Albert, but noted it was a battleground for the green NGOs and activists who claim that Armageddon is nigh at every opportunity.

“We are accustomed to these lectures, but we are tired of hearing them,” he added.

For the last decade, the West through the IMF and the World Bank has imposed a moratorium on support for African fossil fuel development – initially coal and more recently oil and gas as well. Museveni notes that in Africa the population is set to double by 2050, “and it is becoming increasingly clear that our energy needs cannot be met with a sudden shift to more expensive and less reliable solar and wind alone”.

Rich Western eco elites, of course, argue that the world must rid itself of fossil fuel as soon as possible. They believe the world is facing climate breakdown, although as articles in the Daily Sceptic show on a regular basis, that belief is backed by surprisingly few scientific facts. These Western elites effectively seek a command-and-control economy based on Net Zero, and a neo-pagan return to ancient Gaia goddess worship that elevates nature as sacred and denigrates humanity as destructive of it.

It might all play better in Africa if so-called global warming could be detected.

Atmospheric warming over the last 40 years has been more pronounced over the northern hemisphere, despite regular scare stories appearing about equatorial regions becoming uninhabitable. The GISS temperature database is run by NASA, and as with similar datasets it has been subject to considerable recent modifications, with the past cooled and later results warmed. Without these retrospective data adjustments, global recorded warming ran out of steam nearly two decades ago. Nevertheless, the contrast between the north, painted in fiery red, and most of Africa is clear from the GISS map (above).

The Lake Albert project is going ahead following a $10bn investment from the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Total Energies of France. It includes the building of a 900 mile pipeline to the port of Tanga. According to Real Clear Energy, the project will provide $48.5m in annual payments to Ugandan employees living in one of the least developed countries in the world. But opposition is fierce. Writing in the New York Times the local green agitator Vanessa Nakate of StopEACOP said the project would bring “poverty and destruction to the people of Africa”. It is claimed by her activist group that building the East African crude oil pipeline would tip the world closer to “full blown climate catastrophe”.

It is comments such as these which mostly surface in mainstream media, rather than those of the President of Uganda. It might also be thought that most Africans are less impressed with other solutions advanced in the West to solve any problems caused by growing populations. Sir David Attenborough is on record as stating humans are a plague on the Earth, and it was “barmy” to send food to Ethiopia to solve the famine crisis. In Attenborough’s view, sending flour bags to under-developed countries was pointless.

In public in the West, many  African politicians pay lip service to the aims of COP, not least because plenty of aid cash is on offer. Others take a more challenging and outspoken view. N.J. Ayuk is the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and he recently called the idea that you could develop Africa with handouts, “preposterous and sickening”.

He continued: “You cannot take people of any colour and exempt them from the requirements of civilisation – including work, free markets, behavioural standards, personal responsibility, fossil fuels, financial literacy and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain – without ruinous consequences to them and society at large.”

In his view, no country has ever been developed by fancy wind and green hydrogen. Africans see oil and gas as a path to success and a solution to their problems. “The demonisation of oil and gas companies will not work,” he added.

Writing in 2015, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson commented that something deep inside the human psyche makes it receptive to apocalyptic warnings. By a cruel irony, he said, too many climate scientists and their hangers-on have become the high priests of a new age of unreason. Asking developing countries to abandon the cheapest available sources of energy is, at the very least, asking them to delay the conquest of malnutrition, to perpetuate the incidence of preventable diseases and to increase the number of premature deaths.

“Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked,” he concluded.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , , | 4 Comments

Klaus Schwab’s daughter wants governments to use COVID policies for climate change

By Keean Bexte | The Counter Signal | April 29, 2022

Nicole Schwab, the daughter of World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab and current WEF Co-Director of the Platform to Accelerate Nature-Based Solutions, wants governments to take advantage of COVID infrastructure and policies to fight climate change.

“Clearly, the system… is not sustainable,” began Nicole Schwab, speaking at an InTent roundtable. “So, I see it as a tremendous opportunity to really have this Great Reset and to use these huge flows of money, to use the increased levers that policymakers have today in a way that was not possible before to create a change that is not incremental, but that we can look back and we can say, ‘This is the moment where we really started to position nature at the core of the economy.’”

Schwab continues, saying that politicians and businesses have the opportunity to redesign the economies of the world with nature and “regenerative agriculture” in mind before pivoting into a discussion about “engaging youth” with climate change propaganda to create a “restoration generation” (i.e., indoctrinating an entire generation).

“And one of the key reflection points here is also around engaging youth,” Schwab continues. “And, for me, again, I come back to this shift in mindset of the restoration generation. Can we conceive of ourselves as humans — I mean, you talked about a new humanity… Can we conceive of ourselves as a restoration generation?”

“I think that’s where we need to go. I’m also hopeful that it’s possible, but I think it will take a lot of will, both political will but also in terms of the business actors, to break with business as usual… And this is about risk, and it’s about risk, and it’s about resilience because the shocks coming are going to be even worse if we don’t do it now. “

It appears the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Nicole’s father, Klaus Schwab, has also spoken and written on redesigning society with climate policies at the fore.

In a WEF article entitled “Now is the time for a ‘great reset,’” Schwab senior lays out the three key components of the Great Reset, second of which is “equality and sustainability.”

“The second component of a Great Reset agenda would ensure that investments advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability… Rather than using these funds… to fill cracks in the old system, we should use them to create a new one that is more resilient, equitable, and sustainable in the long run. This means, for example, building “green” urban infrastructure and creating incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics,” writes Schwab.

The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics that Schwab mentions sound benign but are truly radical.

As part of their ESG metrics and international dietary framework, the United Nations recommends that red meat consumption be reduced to 14 grams (one bite) per day per person in the name of sustainability and ‘saving the world.’

Climate change education, as mentioned by Nicole Schwab, is another crucial ESG metric in the overall agenda.

Another all-encompassing policy of the UN’s ESGs that’s become increasingly noticeable and disastrous in countries like Canada is a carbon tax on practically everything from food to gas to heating to private businesses that don’t conform to the new normal, which will lead to pricing the average person out of their ability to use private transportation and consumption of meat products.

If you want to read more on ESGs, digital IDs, and the Great Reset, you can do so by clicking here.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 5 Comments

‘Her Majesty’s Russia Unit’: how British spies have launched a full-scale propaganda war to demonize Moscow

Samizdat | May 6, 2022

The growing political feud between Russia and the West has spurred the activation of specialized propaganda and intelligence units. With regards to the Ukraine crisis, experts say one of the most active parties has been the United Kingdom, which in recent years has stepped up its efforts to demonise Russia by waging a full-scale propaganda war.

As an RT analysis has shown, Britain’s “HMG Russia Unit,” an interdepartmental government organization created several years ago, has acted as a front for soft influence operations against Moscow with the assistance of international consulting organizations.

Up until now, the activities of the operation had not been publicly visible. However, last month publications containing its employees’ personal information appeared in a number of Russian Telegram channels. It is alleged that the email addresses included in these posts belong to employees of the HMG Russia Unit who are also connected to various other UK government departments, including the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, military intelligence, MI5, and the Ministry of Defence, as well as American curators attached to the group.

Prioritized Propaganda

To begin with, let’s explain how a group specifically targeting Russia appeared within the British government, what its purpose is, and what it does.

“The government has long recognized the presence of a sustained and significant threat from Russia to the UK and its allies, including both conventional military capabilities and disinformation, illegal financial transactions, influence operations, and cyber-attacks,” said a report submitted to parliament by the Office of the British Prime Minister in 2020.

For the British government, Russia has become “one of the main priorities from the point of view of national security,” it adds.

“This is why in 2017 the Government implemented the NSC-endorsed (National Security Council — editor) Russia Strategy, and in 2017 established the cross-Government Russia Unit which brings together the UK’s diplomatic, intelligence and military capabilities to maximum effect,” the report goes on to say.

According to the British government’s own reports, the HMG Russia Unit, which was formally attached to the UK Foreign Office, was primarily tasked with coordinating information and propaganda campaigns aimed against Russia. This can be traced from data released by the British government and, in particular, from a large-scale program financed by the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) that was carried out by the Foreign Office up until 2021 to develop media resources, including in Russian, and so-called “counter disinformation.”

The program notes that the United Kingdom is working with a number of partners to improve the quality of public and independent media resources, including Russian-speaking ones, so they can “support social cohesion, uphold universal values and provide communities in countries across Eastern Europe with access to reliable information.”

The forms of support vary. They include, for example, mentoring by British media staff, consultations on creating broadcast networks, financing of joint productions, and support for regional media projects in Russian.

“In the coming year we will be investing over £8m in supporting public service and independent media. This will include projects in the Baltic States and Ukraine, as well as regional initiatives,” according to a document published by the UK government.

Contract for Demonization 

However, the HMG Russia Unit’s efforts are not limited to coordinating propaganda efforts. From data on the UK government’s public procurement portal, it can be seen that it has served as a customer for the Green Finance initiative – a British-Russian project aimed at promoting sustainable financing for developing institutional ties between Moscow and London in the environmental and economic spheres. The final date for fulfilling the contract is March 31, 2022.

“Funds in the amount of £987,600 were received by the well-known consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).”

If we analyze the UK government’s funding allocations targeting Russia, it turns out that in addition to PwC, Moody’s Analytics (a Moody’s subsidiary) received funds through a specialized non-profit entity named UK Research and Innovation as part of a contract to track companies and individuals that have been sanctioned over the Ukraine conflict. The relevant restrictions are noted on a portal for the placement of UK government contracts.

The involvement of private international consulting companies in promoting the UK agenda with respect to Russia, as well as the post-Soviet space, logically correlates with the HMG Russia Unit’s involvement in large-scale projects to demonize Russia’s image.

In this regard, there is a noteworthy letter dated February 7, 2019, addressed to the British investigative journalist Till Bruckner, who had requested data on the activities of the Integrity Initiative from the British Foreign Office. It states that in 2017-2018, £296,500 was earmarked to finance the project, and an additional £1.961 million in 2019.

A response to the journalist’s request was received from the HMG Russia Unit. The Integrity Initiative has been flagged as one of Britain’s main programs responsible for spreading anti-Russia fakes and waging a propaganda war against Moscow. At the same time, as RT noted back in 2018, the Anonymous hackers’ collective published internal documents from the Integrity Initiative that revealed the mechanisms British media networks employ in their subversive work aimed at Russia.

‘Fake’ Trendsetters

British influence networks initially set a certain standard for the West’s anti-Russian template, Alexey Martynov, a political scientist who heads the Institute of Newly Established States, said in an interview with RT.

“The British are trendsetters, in a sense. The now popular buzzword ‘fake news’, the formation of false narratives, the management of media streams – all this was born in their heads,” says the political scientist. “Goebbels studied with British military propagandists. What they are doing is military propaganda.”

The academic noted that using private consulting companies and rating agencies as tools to influence Russia was a ‘soft power’ tactic traditionally employed by specialized British agencies.

“Any rating agency is created as a tool for manipulating media flows, and other business dimensions grow out of this. They also have access to domestic statistics that are not available to the public,” the political scientist said. “These mechanisms have been tested since the 1990s, when all data was opened to foreign ‘partners’. Then these mechanisms were created – it is important to have a high ranking with rating agencies, otherwise you won’t receive loans.”

The UK continues to ramp up its sanctions against Russia. In May it announced another package of restrictive measures, adding more individuals and legal entities from Russia to the list and planning to ban imports of russian oil. In April, London also banned the import of Russian silver, caviar, and wood products.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

20 states threaten legal action over DHS disinformation board

By Dan Frieth | Reclaim The Net | May 6, 2022

Attorneys General from 20 conservative states are threatening legal action against the Department of Homeland Security’s newly formed Disinformation Governance Board, which they said will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and described as “un-American.”

Virginia’s AG Jason Miyares and 19 other attorneys general sent a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary, demanding the dissolution of the Disinformation Governance Board.

We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.

“This is an unacceptable and downright alarming encroachment on every citizen’s right to express his or her opinions, engage in political debate, and disagree with the government,” the attorneys general wrote.

The Republicans are taking issue with the timing of the new board, as it comes after it was revealed that the White House was flagging posts on behalf of social media platforms. Additionally, it comes just after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist, made a bid for Twitter.

“Suddenly, just as Elon Musk prepares to acquire Twitter with the stated purpose of correcting the platform’s censorship of free speech, you announce the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board. As the Biden Administration apparently loses a critical ally in its campaign to suppress speech it deems “problematic,” you have created a new government body to continue that work within the federal government,” the letter says.

“The contemporaneous occurrence of these two events is hard to explain away as mere coincidence. It instead raises troubling questions about the extent of the Biden Administration’s practice of coordinating with private-sector companies to suppress disfavored speech.”

The Republicans also expressed concern about the leader of the board, Nina Jankowicz, noting that she is “often in error but never in doubt.” She claimed the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian propaganda, a theory that has since been proven wrong.

The attorneys general argue the board is illegal because there is “no statutory authority” supporting its creation.

“Unless you turn back now and disband this Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board immediately, the undersigned will have no choice but to consider judicial remedies to protect the rights of their citizens,” the letter concludes.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Missouri and Louisiana Attorneys General sue Biden over Big Tech ‘collusion’

Samizdat | May 6, 2022

Attorneys General from two Republican-led US states, Missouri and Louisiana, have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, Fox News reported on Thursday. The states are accusing high-ranking officials, including President Joe Biden, of having “pressured and colluded” with social media companies to censor and suppress information on a number of big stories over the past two years.

Among the officials named as defendants are White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and the President’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. They, and others, are accused of exerting undue pressure on, or working together, with a number of Big Tech companies such as Meta, Twitter and YouTube to suppress information regarding the Hunter Biden laptop controversy, the origins of Covid-19, and security concerns associated with mail-in voting during the pandemic.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry claim the Biden Administration has been doing so “under the guise of combating misinformation.”

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, describes the administration’s supposed efforts to hush up certain information as “one of its greatest assaults by federal government officials in the Nation’s history” on Americans’ constitutional right to free speech.

The filing goes on to claim that “Having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social-media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation’.”

In an exclusive statement to Fox News Digital, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt explained the decision to file the lawsuit by saying that he would “not stand idly by while the Biden Administration attempts to trample on the First Amendment rights of Missourians and Americans.”

His colleague from the state of Louisiana, Jeff Landry, went so far as to characterize Big Tech as an “extension of Biden’s Big Government,” which is busy “suppressing truth and demonizing those who think differently.” Landry compared Joe Biden to Joseph Stalin over the president’s policies that allegedly aim to “censor free speech and propagandize the masses.” The Attorney General said the lawsuit was seeking to “ensure the rule of law and prevent the government from unconstitutional banning, chilling, and stifling of speech.”

Among the cases brought up in the filing are Twitter’s decision to disable the sharing of a 2020 New York Post story revolving around the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop that was recovered from a repair shop in Delaware. The report was later found to be accurate by the Washington Post and the New York Times, the two Attorneys General pointed out.

In a separate instance, Facebook supposedly censored posts suggesting that Covid-19 may have accidentally leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The Attorneys General claim that it was Anthony Fauci who orchestrated an effort to “discredit” the narrative while “exchanging emails with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, regarding the control and dissemination of Covid-19 information.” The campaign only began to wind down after more media outlets started reporting on the viability of the theory, the lawsuit alleges.

In addition, according to the filing, YouTube effectively censored Republican Senator Rand Paul and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for calling into question the effectiveness of wearing cloth masks during the Covid pandemic.

Another major case where “social-media platforms aggressively censored” speech, as Schmitt and Landry allege, was the run-up to the November 2020 presidential race. The Attorneys General claim that Donald Trump’s concerns regarding the security of mail-in voting were stifled by Big Tech at the time. Trump’s tweets were flagged, with a notice directing users to the facts surrounding the practice.

As further proof that the Biden administration has been exerting undue pressure on social media platforms to suppress free speech, the filing mentions Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s statement back in June 2021, where he said “we expect more from our technology companies… We’re asking them to monitor misinformation more closely.” Moreover, the latest launch of the new DHS disinformation board just goes to show that the current US political leadership is intent on ramping up its “campaign of censorship,” the Attorneys General warn.

Fox News, which covered the lawsuit filing, reached out to Meta, Twitter, YouTube as well as the White House for comment, but apparently none of them have replied so far.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US bragging about its direct involvement in Ukraine may lead to uncontrollable escalation

By Drago Bosnic | May 6, 2022

On May 4, the New York Times published a highly controversial article openly bragging about how the United States has been providing critical intelligence about the location and movement of Russian troops, which has allowed Ukrainians to target them. The publication also claims that “many Russian generals have died in action in the Ukraine as a result,” citing senior US officials. However, this is hardly news, since the US and NATO have been doing it since day one of the special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian military has been warning the political West about this issue. And yet, the US and NATO aren’t only ignoring the warnings, but are also openly bragging about their actions which are contributing to the death of Russian military personnel in Ukraine as we speak.

The claim that “many Russian generals have died” is questionable at best, but it does show the US and NATO’s determination, whose involvement is key to prolonging the conflict. An epidemic of fake news about alleged injuries or even murder of Russian High Command officers has become the mainstay, even among the once-respected Western media. According to these news outlets, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has so far survived at least two heart attacks “due to bad performance and high casualties of the Russian military” and even “Putin’s order to shoot the Defense Minister for his failures in Ukraine”.

These claims are not just outright lies, but simply ridiculous. However, they expose the mainstream media in the US and other NATO countries as an inalienable part of the military and (geo)political structure. Their reporting is designed not just to demoralize the opponent, but also to boost public morale, galvanize it and push for more support for a potential war with the targeted country or even a group of countries. This is exacerbating the already high tensions between the political West on one side and Russia and its allies on the other.

When the special military operation started, the US and NATO at least claimed their non-involvement, even though everyone knew they were involved. But the very statement they weren’t sent a message that NATO will not escalate tensions. However, this report has now changed that. By admitting effectively direct involvement in the conflict, the US and NATO are opening the door for further escalation, which most certainly will not be appreciated by Russia, whose leadership has already given strong statements regarding this issue.

The intelligence sharing is part of “a stepped-up flow” in US assistance that includes heavier weapons and billions in military supplies, demonstrating how quickly the “early American restraint” on support for Ukraine has shifted as the war enters a new stage, the NYT reported. This is further proof that the US is not interested in de-escalation. On the contrary, the latest “lethal aid” package President Biden announced is said to be $33 billion, a truly staggering sum, orders of magnitude greater than Ukraine’s annual military budget.

“The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield intelligence secret, out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war. American officials would not describe how they have acquired information on Russian troop headquarters, for fear of endangering their methods of collection. But throughout the war, the U.S. intelligence agencies have used a variety of sources, including classified and commercial satellites, to trace Russian troop movements,” the NYT report added.

This statement alone should trigger alarm across the globe. The admission that the US military and intelligence services are using commercial satellites in their operations sets a dangerous precedent which further blurs the line between civilians and the military. This comes at a time when companies such as SpaceX are accused of using their products and services, most notably the Starlink satellites, to help the Ukrainian military target Russian and DLNR units. It’s clear the US is mobilizing all of its assets in an attempt to weaken Russia. In fact, this is exactly what US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin openly stated. He went so far as to say that “we want to see Russia weakened to the degree it cannot do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

However, there are still moments when the Pentagon and State Department are giving vague and even contradictory statements regarding this issue. When asked about the intelligence being provided to the Ukrainian side, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that “we will not speak to the details of that information.” But he acknowledged that the US provides Ukraine with intelligence information. After the NYT article was published, Adrienne Watson, a National Security Council spokeswoman, said that the battlefield intelligence was not provided to the Ukrainians “with the intent to kill Russian generals.”

“Not all the strikes have been carried out with American intelligence. A strike over the weekend at a location in eastern Ukraine where Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, had visited was not aided by American intelligence, according to multiple U.S. officials. The United States prohibits itself from providing intelligence about the most senior Russian leaders,” the official said.

This statement clearly refers to the reports that the Chief of Russian General Staff, General Gerasimov was allegedly wounded in a Ukrainian strike during a visit to the frontline units. Again, this shows an almost schizophrenic nature of statements coming from US officials. First, they are bragging about the “decisive role” of their intelligence support to Ukrainians, but as soon as reports of Russian High Command officers being injured surface, they are quick to announce how this support might not be “as decisive as previously thought”.

This just goes to show how dangerous US involvement in Ukraine is. Even though we know the statements about Gerasimov are false, an obvious question arises, what if it were to happen? What if he or any other Russian High Command officer were injured in Ukraine? Does the US truly believe they could just say “it wasn’t our intelligence” in an attempt to control the level of escalation which could plunge all of us into a world-ending conflict?

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments

US’ coercive diplomacy with Saudi Arabia

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | MAY 6, 2022

Some three weeks after the reported meeting of the CIA chief William Burns with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed bin Sultan, the OPEC+ ministerial held a videoconference on Thursday. 

The OPEC+ meet drew satisfaction that “continuing oil market fundamentals and the consensus on the outlook pointed to a balanced market.” The press release issued in Vienna says the ministerial “further noted the continuing effects of geopolitical factors and issues related to the ongoing pandemic” and decided that the OPEC+ sticks to the monthly production adjustment mechanism agreed in July last year “to adjust upward the monthly overall production by 0.432 million barrels/day for the month of June 2022.” 

As per the former publisher of the Journal Karen Elliott House, Burns came to Saudi Arabia for a “mating dance” with Prince Mohammad — namely, the Prince must cooperate on a new oil-for-security strategy to “increase production to save European nations from energy shortages.” 

Burns’ visit to the Kingdom took place just ahead of the 5th round of Saudi-Iranian normalisation talks in Baghdad between the Saudi intelligence chief and the deputy head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. The Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi who was acting as mediator and attended the latest round of talks told the state media last week, “Our brothers in Saudi Arabia and Iran approach the dialogue with a big responsibility as demanded by the current regional situation. We are convinced that reconciliation is near.” 

Nournews, affiliated to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, also reported on April 24 that the fifth round of talks on a possible détente was “constructive” and the negotiators managed “to draw a clearer picture” of how to resume bilateral relations, and, “given the constructive bilateral dialogue so far, there is a possibility of a meeting between the Iranian and Saudi top diplomats in the near future.” 

Burns’ mission couldn’t have been indifferent toward the Saudis’ reconciliation track with Tehran. With the outcome of the JCPOA talks in Vienna uncertain, Iran’s close ties with Russia and China remains a major worry for Washington. And with Tehran’s stubborn refusal to trim its regional policies to suit US regional strategies, Washington has fallen back on the default option to resuscitate the anti-Iran front of its regional allies. The US hopes that Saudi Arabia will come on board the Abraham Accords. 

Meanwhile, the issue of oil prices has returned to the centre stage. Indeed, high oil prices mean high income for Russia. Russia’s sales of oil and natural gas far exceeded initial forecasts for 2021 as a result of skyrocketing prices, accounting for 36% of the country’s total budget. The revenues exceeded initial plans by 51.3%, totalling  $119 billion. The Biden administration’s best-laid plans to cripple the Russian economy are unravelling. Equally, high oil price is also a domestic issue for Biden. Above all, unless Europe finds other oil sources, it will continue buying Russian oil. 

However, Prince Mohammad has a different agenda. He is likely to rule Saudi Arabia for many decades—half a century if he lives to 86, his father’s age. And the Prince has been remarkably successful in creating a “power base”. His lifestyle changes have been a smashing hit with Saudis 35 and under—70% of the Kingdom’s citizens — and his ambition to transform Saudi Arabia into a modern technological leader ignites the imagination of the youth. 

Clearly, his refusal to punish Russia and his gesture to place the princely amount of $2bn in a new, untested investment fund started by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner speak for themselves. Prince Mohammed would have his own reasons too, starting with Biden’s contemptuous reference to Saudi Arabia as a “Pariah” state and refusal to deal in person. 

The Prince hit back recently by declining to take a call from Joe Biden. Besides, the US’ restrictions on arms sales; insufficient response to attacks on Saudi Arabia by Houthi forces; publication of a report into the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi — all these are in play here. 

Even if the administration is able to get Congressional approval for new security guarantees for Saudi Arabia (which is rather problematic), Prince Mohammad may not be swayed, since at the end of the day, high oil prices boost Saudi budget too. 

The paradox is, both Saudi Arabia and Russia are stakeholders in OPEC+ as is evident from the explicit warning to the EU by OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo last month that it would be impossible to replace more than 7 million barrels per day of Russian oil and other liquids exports potentially lost due to current or future sanctions or voluntary actions. 

In such a torrential stream where crosscurrents are foaming and weltering, what probably unnerves the Biden Administration most could be the talk that Chinese President Xi Jinping may be planning to visit Saudi Arabia, amidst persistent reports recently that Riyadh and Beijing are in talks to price some of the Gulf nation’s oil sales in yuan rather than dollars, which would indeed mark a profound shift for the oil market and help advance China’s efforts to convince more countries and international investors to transact in its currency. 

The Saudi explanation for the shift to the yuan is that the kingdom could use part of new currency revenues to pay Chinese contractors involved in mega projects within the kingdom domestically, which would reduce the risks associated with the capital controls Beijing imposes on its currency. But, for Washington, that means certain sensitive Saudi-China transactions in yuan do not appear in the rearview mirror of the SWIFT messaging infrastructure, making transaction monitoring unviable.  

There are persistent US reports that with Chinese support, Saudi Arabia may be constructing a new uranium processing facility near Al Ula to enhance its pursuit of nuclear technology. Saudi Arabia’s generous $8 billion in financial support for Pakistan, unveiled this week, will almost certainly raise hiccups in Washington. 

Saudi Arabia is a central pillar of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative and ranks in the top three countries globally for Chinese construction projects, according to the China Global Investment Tracker, run by the American Enterprise Institute. Suffice to say, the CIA chief’s call could not have been for a friendly chat with Prince Mohammad. 

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Don’t patronize us’ over Ukraine, India tells Netherlands

Samizdat | May 6, 2022

India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti, has accused the Netherlands of “patronizing” his country after the Dutch ambassador to the UK publicly scolded New Delhi for abstaining on UN General Assembly resolutions on the war in Ukraine.

“Kindly don’t patronise us, Ambassador. We know what to do,” Tirumurti wrote in a tweet to Dutch envoy Karel van Oosterom on Thursday.

Tirumurti’s tweet came in response to van Oosterom’s (now-deleted) warning that India “should not have abstained” from votes pertaining to Russia and the war in Ukraine and that it should “respect the UN Charter.”

Despite repeated calls and pressure to join the West in isolating Russia over the Ukraine war, New Delhi has been reluctant to cut ties with Moscow.

India has abstained on multiple votes and resolutions at the UN General Assembly this year, including a vote moved by the US in April to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over accusations of the killing of civilians.

India also abstained from a vote brought by Ukraine and its backers in March, condemning Russia over the humanitarian situation in the country, saying then that the focus should be on the cessation of hostilities.

In a statement delivered Wednesday at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine, Tirumurti reiterated India’s position that “pursuing the path of dialogue and diplomacy” is the “only way out” of the crisis.

“India remains on the side of peace and therefore believes that there will be no winning side in this conflict and, while those impacted by this conflict will continue to suffer, diplomacy will be a lasting casualty,” he said.

The South Asian nation has a strong trading relationship with Russia, receiving arms from Moscow in previous agreements between the two sides. It even deemed the current situation an opportunity to broaden cooperation. The country boosted oil purchases from Russia recently, despite pressure from Washington.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment