Aletho News


Why was the FBI paying Twitter millions of dollars?

By Dan Frieth | Reclaim The Net | December 20, 2022

The latest batch of  Files, released by independent journalist Michael Shellenberger on December 19, revealed that the FBI paid Twitter millions of dollars to process the bureau’s requests.

“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” wrote an employee at Twitter’s Safety, Content, & Law Enforcement (SCALE) team, in an email sent in February 2021.

“In 2019 SCALE instituted a reimbursement program for our legal process response from the FBI,” the email continued. “Prior to the start of the program, Twitter chose not to collect under this statutory right of reimbursement for the time spent processing requests from the FBI.”

The payout to Twitter, like many other things revealed through the Twitter files, is disturbing. However, Twitter’s “Guidelines for law enforcement” has a section titled “Cost reimbursement,” which states that “Twitter may seek reimbursement for costs associated with information produced pursuant to legal process and as permitted by law (e.g., under 18 U.S.C. §2706).”

The email suggests that the FBI’s reimbursement program for paying companies to process requests was there long before Twitter began accepting the payments. That means that other social media companies were also likely getting paid. What is not clear is which companies, how much the FBI has spent, and for how long it has been making the payments.

The amount spent to pay Twitter could be seen as bribing the company more than compensating it for the extra resources required to process the requests for information or simply buying information on users.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Can the January 6 Panel Really Charge Donald Trump?

By Ilya Tsukanov – Samizdat – 19.12.2022

Congressman Adam Schiff announced Sunday that the House Select Committee Investigating January 6 had accumulated “sufficient evidence” to criminally refer Donald Trump to the Justice Department for prosecution “in connection with his efforts to overturn” the 2020 election. What kinds of charges could the former president face? Sputnik explores.

After a year-and-a-half and over $9 million worth of interviewing, interrogating, examining, and investigating, the January 6 committee is ready to present its final report on the riots and chaos that broke loose at the Capitol complex on January 6, 2021.

The report – an executive summary of which will be released later Monday, will be complemented by a committee vote on criminal referrals to the Justice Department targeting the former president and members of his staff for possible criminal activity.

“People are hungering for justice and for accountability and consequences here,” Maryland Democrat committee member Jamie Raskin told reporters earlier this month. “I know that people feel that we need to make sure that accountability runs all the way to the top. Just because you’re elected president, or used to be president, does not give you the right to engage in crimes freely,” the politician stressed.

California Democrat Adam Schiff echoed his colleague’s sentiments on Sunday, saying that the “evidence was plain” that Trump was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. “This is someone who tried to interfere with a joint session, even inciting a mob to attack the Capitol. If that’s not criminal, then I don’t know what is,” he said.

What Charges Could Trump Face?

Schiff did not specify what criminal charges Trump could face, saying he did not “want to telegraph too much.” However, possible charges include obstruction of the certification of the outcome of the 2020 election, which Trump continues to maintain was rigged against him, seditious conspiracy or insurrection charges, conspiracy to defraud the United States, or even “dereliction of duty” charges over the former president’s purported failure to promptly stop the unrest taking place at the Capitol on that cold January day.

The obstruction and seditious conspiracy charges would be the most serious, and could land the former president up to 40 years prison time total, meaning the 76-year-old would be almost certain to die in prison if tried and convicted, and if the maximum penalty was applied. The conspiracy to defraud the United States charge could mean five years jail time.

Trump has dismissed the committee and its 18-month investigation as a “show trial” and a continuation of the “Russia-Russia-Russia” “witch hunt” against him that began shortly before he was elected president in 2016. Trump’s allies suspect that the January 6 committee’s real goal is to bar the businessman from running for president again in 2024 after two failed impeachments and the collapse of the “Russian collusion” claims.

The committee has been criticized for its partisan nature, with its nine members including just two Republicans – never-Trumpers Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

By law, the DoJ would be required to treat the criminal referral in a nonpartisan, unbiased way. However, as other recent criminal cases against Trump associates like Steve Bannon have demonstrated, impartiality may not exactly be the Biden DoJ’s forte. Bannon, 69, appealed his contempt of Congress conviction last month after being slapped with a four-month jail sentence and a $6,500 fine for failing to comply with two subpoenas from the January 6 committee requiring him to testify.

Charges Would Be Historic

A recommendation of criminal charges against a former president would be a precedent-setting event. No sitting or former president has ever been convicted of a crime or served jail time. Three presidents have been impeached (Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump), but all three were acquitted by the Senate. Ulysses S. Grant was arrested in 1872 on a misdemeanor charge for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage. George W. Bush was arrested near his family’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine for drunk driving in 1976, nearly 25 years before becoming president. Other than that, most American presidents have had a squeaky clean criminal record, regardless of suspected crimes by some of them while in office.

And Dangerous

As Democrats seek to silence Trump and prevent him from running again, and mainstream Republicans’ search for a safe, more controllable alternative to the brash New York businessman, political observers on both the left and right are becoming increasingly concerned about the state of the political climate in the United States. According to one recent poll, 57 percent of Americans fear that a civil war is “very likely” or “at least somewhat likely” as Americans become increasingly divided.

Surely, DoJ action to slap criminal charges against a former president, particularly as outstanding questions about the alleged pre-election cover-up of a suspected pay-to-play scandal involving President Joe Biden’s son Hunter ahead of the 2020 election remain unresolved, wouldn’t be a measure that would cool existing tensions. Especially given that upwards of 40 percent of Americans, (and over 60 percent of Republicans) still believe that Biden didn’t win the 2020 race fair and square.

Amazingly, the likely January 6 criminal referrals aren’t even the only potential criminal charges facing the former president, with Trump also being probed by the government over the alleged improper handling and storage of classified files at his Mar-a-Lago estate (which could land him charges under the Espionage Act – and 10 years in the slammer).

Separately, the Trump Organization has been under investigation by New York City and New York State officials, with the real estate mogul’s business empire found guilty of tax fraud earlier this month, facing a fine of up to $1.6 million.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 2 Comments

More on Anti-Antisemitism


It seems that if there is one thing that those at the top of the United States government and the national media really want for the holidays it is to be able to accuse someone new of being an antisemite. Since the Kanye West story exploded, anti-antisemitism has suddenly become big business in America with the White House hosting a December 7th conference on that theme featuring the media and the usual agitprop suspects and groups proclaiming from on high how hatred of the Jewish people is surging. Of course, it is those very groups that compile the numbers on the alleged surge to benefit their argument and one sometimes wonders if a poster on a college campus wall announcing a meeting to support Palestine that annoys a Jewish student is really antisemitism.

One of the loudest voices calling for a crack-down on the alleged hate criminals, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Executive Director Jonathan Greenblatt, calls the latest developments a “national crisis.” He has been particularly vocal in demanding strong hate crime type countermeasures to deal with those who dare to challenge the reality of Jewish power in the United States and has inter alia been successful in helping to convince the federal government to define criticism of Israel as ipso facto antisemitism. That leaves many of us wondering what happened to the First Amendment right to free speech, particularly as Israel is a foreign country with a dubious human rights and foreign relations history that merits considerable criticism.

The posing by Israel and its supporting cast of characters as perpetual victims is somewhat ironic, as Jews are the wealthiest, best educated and most politically powerful demographic in the United States. Joe Biden’s special envoy to monitor antisemitism worldwide Deborah Lipstadt oddly disagrees, saying that “For too long, Jew-hatred has been belittled or discounted because Jews have erroneously been considered white and privileged. This is a very real threat to Jews…” but who is she trying to kid? Jews dominate and control the entertainment and news reporting sectors of the economy and are way over represented in many high profile, highly paid and high prestige professions, including medicine, law, financial services, government and academia. Beyond that, more than 90% of the discretionary spending by the Department of Homeland Security goes to Jewish groups and organizations to provide them with “security.”

Much of the Jewish success is due to persistent and successful networking within their ethnicity to advance themselves even when it is achieved at the expense of the common good. When necessary, both antisemitism and the so-called holocaust are cited to silence critics and justify the murderous and genocidal excesses committed by a succession of Israeli governments, likely reaching its peak when the new ultra-conservative government of Benjamin Netanyahu is formed in the next few days.

Politicians, understanding that being perceived as anti-Israel or opposed to the corruption of the political system itself wrought by Jewish money, quickly learn to avoid antagonizing the Tribe. Those who do not, are removed from the system as soon as possible, frequently when they find themselves running for their next office against an exceptionally well-funded and media endorsed opponent.

The recent White House sponsored closed-door meeting bringing together Jewish leaders to discuss what to do about the antisemitism problem was addressed by no less than Doug Emhoff, the Hollywood lawyer described as the “Second Gentleman” by virtue of his marriage to the woman who currently pretends to be the Vice President of the United States. He is the first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president.

Emhoff described his boyhood growing up Jewish in New Jersey and New York and lamented the developing “epidemic of hate” directed against Jews by certain entertainers and public figures. He elaborated ““Let me be clear — words matter. People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud, they are screaming them,” Emhoff said. “We cannot normalize this. We all have an obligation to condemn these vile acts. We must not stay silent. There is no either or. There are no two sides. Everyone must be against this.”

The meeting, held in the in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, also featured State Department anti-Semitism envoy Lipstadt and White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice. There were representatives from a dozen Jewish organizations, including the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Agudath, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, American Jewish Committee, Orthodox Union, Jewish on Campus, National Council of Jewish Women, Hillel, Secure Community Network, Religious Action Center, Anti-Defamation League, Integrity First for America and American Friends of Lubavitch.

Many of those present urged a major federal government effort to address the developing antisemitism problem, as they see it. Some stressed the importance of improving education on Jews and anti-Semitism in schools where such issues are not taught, which would mean wholesale adoption of the acceptable narrative on both Jewish issues and on what is increasingly referred to as holocaust denial.

The antisemitism meeting was preceded by a December 5th letter to the White House that was originated by Senator Jackie Rosen of Nevada and signed by 124 other Congressmen identifying themselves as the House and Senate Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism. The letter called on the White House to take action against the antisemites through a “unified national strategy.” President Joe Biden responded by setting up an interagency task force to focus on the antisemitism problem, directed by the National Security Council. The group’s first task is coming up with a strategy to tackle the problem. Presidential spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre elaborated how “This strategy will raise understanding about antisemitism and the threat it poses to the Jewish community and all Americans, address antisemitic harassment and abuse both online and offline, seek to prevent antisemitic attacks and incidents, and encourage whole-of-society efforts to counter antisemitism and build a more inclusive nation.”

So the United States government and the so-called Justice Department will soon likely be going to war against alleged antisemites. Like all of America’s pointless wars, this war will be expensive and fundamental liberties will be sacrificed as the government intrudes in the daily lives of its citizens to enforce complete conformity. There are perhaps other signs that the war has already begun, at least for some public figures. One of the most astonishing stories to appear recently concerns how the Democratic Party majority on the House Foreign Affairs committee by a 26 to 22 vote margin rejected a resolution presented by a group of Republican lawmakers that would initiate auditing of the money going to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an effort to determine how it is being spent (or wasted).

The bill had been introduced by controversial Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and a small group of mostly conservative Republicans who either oppose or seek restraint on US aid to Ukraine, but it also received some strong support including from more hawkish Republicans who generally back the war. Republican congressmen Thomas Massie (KY), Matt Gaetz (FL), Barry Moore (AL), and Andrew Clyde (GA) cosponsored Greene’s bill.

Several Democratic congressmen alleged that the legislation to set up the audit was due to the sponsors having been taken in by Russian propaganda, but the prize for Democratic Party response must go to Congresswoman Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, who opined that the bill was “a political stunt designed to tie up and slow down our critical efforts to help Ukrainian forces.” But that was preceded by a personal rant attacking Marjorie Taylor Greene. Wild told her colleagues that “I want to begin on a personal note. As a Jewish American at a time when powerful public figures, including several celebrities with global platforms are putting Jewish communities across our country at risk of violent attacks by engaging in vicious antisemitism and holocaust denial […] it is beyond shameful to see support for a measure like this one introduced by representative Greene. I am not going to attempt to recite even a fraction of the patently false, bigoted, and hateful statements and actions that have characterized Representative Greene’s time as a member of this body. I will just say that her antisemitic conspiracy theories and trivializations of Nazism stand out as particularly reprehensible reflections of her ideology and approach to holding public office. I cannot in good conscience remain silent about any of this. I find the idea of Rep. Greene — the legitimacy that comes with elevating one of her pieces of legislation to be profoundly offensive.”

So, for someone in Congress the fate of a reasonable and much needed bill to audit the billions of dollars going to Ukraine turns out to be all about the alleged antisemitism of the legislation’s sponsor, which is not true in any event unless one defines criticizing the Rothschilds and globalist demon George Soros as antisemitism. Unfortunately, Susan Wild is far from unique.

Another antisemitism event heavily promoted in the media recently concerns Francesca Albanese, an Italian lawyer-diplomat who is currently the United Nations human rights special rapporteur in charge of monitoring the situation in the Palestinian territories. American officials sharply criticized several social media messages that Albanese wrote in 2014, which seemed to them to confirm charges of anti-Israel bias in the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where Albanese’s office is located. Michele Taylor, the US Ambassador to the UNHRC exploded, saying “We are appalled. This is outrageous, inappropriate, corrosive, and degrades the value of the UN.”

So, what was among the Albanese messages, which appeared on Facebook? She opined that “America and Europe, one of them subjugated by the Jewish lobby, and the other by the sense of guilt about the Holocaust, remain on the sidelines and continue to condemn the oppressed — the Palestinians — who defend themselves with the only means they have (deranged missiles), instead of making Israel face its international law responsibilities.” In another message she described Israeli behavior as “greedy.”

After the wave of attacks on her Francesca Albanese maintained that the observations were made long ago and that she had failed to contextualize them properly. I will leave it up to the reader to judge the comments, but I find them perfectly acceptable given the reality of what is going on in Israel-Palestine as well as the de facto domination of the process and narrative by Israel and its powerful lobbies in both the anglophone world and Europe. In fact, I would go farther and suggest that the essentially contrived anti-antisemitism campaign that seems to be gaining momentum in both Europe and the US indicates that, if anything, Albanese has understated her case.

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, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 7 Comments

World Cup puts Palestinian cause in the spotlight

Free West Media | December 20, 2022

For this first World Cup in an Arab country, the Palestinian flag was visible everywhere, especially through the demands of fans.

During this World Cup in Qatar, the first in an Arab country, the Palestinian cause was honoured through its flag, which was omnipresent in the stands and in scenes of fan jubilation, reported L’Équipe on Sunday 18 December. During the group match between France and Tunisia, a supporter managed to run onto the pitch with the Palestinian flag, to the cheers of the crowd chanting “Palestine”, recalled another daily Le Monde.

According to Le Monde, the infatuation for the Palestinian cause is fed by an Arab sensibility that transcends the state framework. This is why the Palestinian flag was so visible during the competition.

Palestine, a member of FIFA since 1998 but not of the UN, was ironically renamed “the 33rd qualified country”, reported L’Équipe. “The real winner of the World Cup on social networks is Palestine,” according to the left-wing Israeli daily Haaretz.

The Palestinian cause even eclipsed Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky’s request to share his message which he had planned to broadcast before Argentina faced France on Sunday and which FIFA had rejected.

FIFA refused Ukraine’s proposal to show a video message from Zelensky in Qatar’s Lusail Stadium ahead of the World Cup final on Sunday.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | | 2 Comments

Scathing Report Blasts Finland’s Role in Afghanistan

By Igor Kuznetsov – Samizdat – 20.12.2022

The decades-long Afghanistan intervention, in which Finland played an active role, ultimately fueled large-scale corruption and resulted in the death of thousands of civilians, an august research institute established by the Finnish parliament has concluded in a gloomy assessment of the US’ longest war.

Finland’s involvement in Afghanistan has been slammed by a new scalding report by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, a body largely funded by the parliament.

Not only was the Finnish role in the US-led intervention motivated by geopolitics rather than goodwill, it also had a limited efficacy because of a lack of long-term strategy, the report found.

Although Finnish involvement in Afghanistan was largely portrayed as a humanitarian act by politicians and media, in actual fact the Nordic country’s main interest was to strengthen its relationship with the US and NATO, as well as solidifying its decision-making clout within the UN, the report said.

“Finland’s actions in Afghanistan were guided primarily by the desire to maintain and deepen its international foreign and security policy partnerships. The aims related to Afghanistan’s development and the strategic monitoring of their attainment remained secondary concerns, and Finland’s actual efforts were not based on a comprehensive approach or a realistic analysis of the situation”, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs wrote.

As regards Afghanistan and its development, the objectives of the various activities remained “vague, unrealistic and unclear, and received insufficient attention”, the report said. Instead of critical analysis and strategic monitoring, attempts were made to meet the stated objectives, however vague, by highlighting the progress made and keeping silent about the combats and difficulties, it added.

At the same time, the report stressed that the intervention, in which Finland played an active role, ultimately led to large-scale corruption and resulted in the unnecessary death of thousands of civilians.

Some 2,500 Finnish soldiers and 140 crisis management experts served in Afghanistan with the total price tag of around 700 million euros (about $740 million).

Finland’s involvement in NATO’s Afghanistan mission was seen as an early sign that the Nordic nation was slowly drifting towards the alliance and attempting to bolster its partner status. Earlier this year, Finland and its western neighbor Sweden both abandoned their historic military non-alignment and rushed to become members of NATO, citing Russia’s special operation in Ukraine and the ensuing “security situation” as a pretext.

The Costs of War project by the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs estimated the total cost of the US involvement in Afghanistan since 2001 as part of the post 9/11 wars at $2.3 trillion, with funds spent on lifetime care of US veterans and future interest payments on money borrowed not included. The same project also estimated that at least 243,000 people have died as a direct result of this war.

In its aftermath, after the hasty retreat of the coalition forces, the Taliban surged back to power in 2021, two decades after US-led forces embarked on their longest war in history.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine is not our ally – Croatian president

RT | December 20, 2022

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday that Ukraine “is not an ally” of his country and warned against bringing “war” to the Balkans.

“Ukraine is not an ally. It’s being forcibly made into one. It was cynically granted the status of an EU candidate. That’s what the EU is today: squalor, zero.”

Talking to reporters, he also hit out against Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic for his proposal to have Ukrainian troops trained in Croatia. Milanovic said such a move would “bring war” to the country.

“You keep pushing moral blackmail,” he addressed Plenkovic, “but you have no morals yourself. Go to Ukraine and fight.”

Speaking of the Croatian military’s preparedness to fight, Milanovic noted it had a shortage of anti-tank rockets, for example. “We have Americans, who will defend us the way they defend the Ukrainians. Great!” he said sarcastically.

The president’s comments come after Croatian lawmakers failed to adopt a motion for the country to join an EU program intended to train some 15,000 Ukrainian military personnel to fight against Russia. Last week, only 97 Croatian MPs out of 151 voted for the proposal, just short of the two-thirds of lawmakers it needed to pass.

Ahead of the vote, Milanovic, who is the commander-in-chief of the Croatian armed forces, warned that joining the program could make Zagreb a target for Russia. Plenkovic, whose cabinet backed the mission, in turn accused the president of harboring “pro-Russian views.”

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

A Lexicon for Disaster

Russia seeks arms control agreements to prevent dangerous escalation. But the U.S. seeks only unilateral advantage. This risks all out conflict unless this changes.

By Scott Ritter | Consortium News | December 19, 2022

Dec. 8 marked the 35th anniversary of the signing of the intermediate nuclear forces (INF) treaty. This landmark arms control event was the byproduct of years of hard-nose negotiations capped off by the political courage of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev who together signed the treaty and oversaw its ratification by their respective legislatures.

The first inspectors went to work on July 1, 1988. I was fortunate to count myself among them.

In August 2019, former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the INF treaty; Russia followed shortly thereafter, and this foundational arms control agreement was no more.

The Decline of Arms Control

The termination of the INF treaty is part and parcel of an overall trend which has seen arms control as an institution — and a concept — decline in the eyes of policy makers in both Washington and Moscow. This point was driven home during a two-day period where I marked the INF anniversary with veteran arms control professionals from both the U.S. and Russia.

These experts, drawn from the ranks of the diplomatic corps who negotiated the treaty, the military and civilian personnel who implemented the treaty others from all walks of life who were affiliated with the treaty in one shape or another, all had something to say about the current state of U.S.-Russian arms control.

One thing that struck me was the importance of language in defining arms control expectations amongst the different players. Words have meaning, and one of the critical aspects of any arms control negotiation is to ensure that the treaty text means the same thing in both languages.

When the INF treaty was negotiated, U.S. and Soviet negotiators had the benefit of decades of negotiating history regarding the anti-ballistic missiles (ABM) treaty, the strategic arms limitation talks (SALT), and START, from which a common lexicon of agreed-upon arms control terminology was created.

Over the years, this lexicon helped streamline both the negotiation and implementation of various arms control agreements, ensuring that everyone was on the same page when it came to defining what had been committed to.

Today, however, after having listened to these veteran arms control professionals, it was clear to me that a common lexicon of arms control terminology no longer existed — words that once had a shared definition now meant different things to different people, and this definition gap could— and indeed would — further devolve as each side pursued their respective vision of arms control devoid of any meaningful contact with the other.

The U.S. Lexicon

Disarmament. Apparently, disarmament doesn’t mean what it once did to the U.S.—the actual verifiable elimination of designated weapons and capability. In fact, disarmament and its corollary, reduction, are no longer in vogue amongst the U.S. arms control community. Instead, there is an arms control process designed to promote the national security interest. And by arms control, we mean arms increase.

America, it seems, is no longer in the arms reduction business. We did away with the ABM and INF treaties, and as a result we are deploying a new generation of ballistic missile defense systems and intermediate-range weapons. While this is disconcerting enough, the real threat comes if and when the only remaining arms control agreement between the U.S. and Russia — the New START treaty — expires in February 2026.

If there is not a replacement treaty of similar capacity negotiated, ratified and ready for implementation at that time, then the notion of strategic arms control will be completely untethered from any controlling mechanism. The U.S. would then be free to modernize and expand its strategic nuclear weapons arsenal. Disarmament, it seems, means the exact opposite — rearmament. George Orwell would be proud.

The Interagency. Back when the INF treaty was negotiated and implemented, the United States was graced with a single point of contact for arms control matters — the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, or ACDA. Formed by President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960’s, ACDA provided the foundation for continuity and consistency for U.S. arms control policy, even as the White House changed hands.

While there were numerous bureaucratic stakeholders involved in formulating and executing U.S. arms control policy, ACDA helped ride herd over their often-competing visions through what was known as the interagency process—a system of coordinating groups and committees that brought the various players around one table to hammer out a unified vision for disarmament and arms control. The interagency was, however, a process, not a standalone entity.

How times have changed. Today, ACDA is gone. In its place is what is referred to as The Interagency. More than a simple process, The Interagency has morphed into a standalone policy making entity that is more than simply the combined power of its constituent components, but rather a looming reality that dominates arms control policy decision making.

The Interagency has moved away from being a process designed to streamline policy making, and instead transformed into a singular entity whose mission is to resist change and preserve existing power structures.

Whereas previously the various departments and agencies that make up the U.S. national security enterprise could shape and mold the interagency process in a manner which facilitated policy formulation and implementation, today The Interagency serves as a permanent brake on progress, a mechanism which new policy initiatives disappear into, never to be seen again.

Sole Purpose. Sole Purpose is a doctrinal concept which holds that the sole purpose of America’s nuclear arsenal is deterrence, and that American nuclear weapons exist only to respond to any nuclear attack against the United States in such a manner that the effective elimination of the nation or nations that attacked the U.S. would be guaranteed.

Sole Purpose was linked to the notion of mutually assured destruction, or MAD. Sole purpose/MAD was the cornerstone philosophy behind successive American presidential administrations. In 2002, however, the administration of President George W. Bush did away with the Sole Purpose doctrine, and instead adopted a nuclear posture which held that the U.S. could use nuclear weapons preemptively, even in certain non-nuclear scenarios.

Barack Obama, upon winning the presidency, promised to do away with the Bush-era policy of preemption but, when his eight-year tenure as the American commander in chief was complete, the policy of nuclear preemption remained in place. Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, not only retained the policy of nuclear preemption, but expanded it to create even more possibilities for the use of U.S. nuclear weapons.

Joe Biden, the current occupant of the White House, campaigned on a promise to restore Sole Purpose to its original intent. However, upon assuming office, Biden’s Sole Purpose policy ran headfirst into The Interagency which, according to someone in the know, was not ready for such a change.

Instead, Sole Purpose has been re-purposed to the extent that it now reflects a policy posture of nuclear pre-emption. You got that right—thanks to The Interagency, the sole purpose of American nuclear weapons today is to be prepared to carry out preemptive attacks against looming or imminent threats. This, The Interagency believes, represents the best deterrent model available to promote the general welfare and greater good of the American people.

The Russian Lexicon

Reciprocity. Reciprocity is the Golden Rule of arms control — do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It was the heart and sole on the INF treaty — what was good for the Goose was always good for the Gander. In short, if the Americans mistreated the Soviet inspectors, one could guarantee that, in short order, American inspectors were certain to encounter precisely the same mistreatment.

Reciprocity was the concept which prevented the treaty from getting bogged down in petty matters and allowed the treaty to accomplish the enormous successes it enjoyed.

Under the terms of the New START treaty, each side is permitted to conduct up to 18 inspections per year. Before being halted in 2020 because of the pandemic, a total of 328 inspections had been carried out by both sides with the rules of reciprocity firmly in place and adhered to.

However, in early 2021, when both sides agreed that inspections could resume, the U.S. demonstrated the reality that the concept of reciprocity was little more than a propaganda ploy to make Russia feel “equal” in the eyes of the treaty.

When the Russians attempted to carry out an inspection in July, the aircraft carrying the inspection team was denied permission to fly through the airspace of European countries due to sanctions banning commercial flights to and from Russia in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russians cancelled the inspection.

Later, in August, the U.S. tried to dispatch its own inspection team to Russia. The Russians, however, denied the team permission to enter, citing issues of reciprocity — if Russian inspectors could not carry out their inspection tasks, then the U.S. would be similarly denied.

For Russia, the definition of reciprocity is quite clear — equal treatment under the terms of a treaty. For the U.S., however, reciprocity is just another concept which it can use to shape and sustain the unilateral advantages it has accrued over the years when it came to implementing the New Start treaty.

Predictability. Historically, the primary purpose of arms control agreements was to reach a common understanding of mutual objectives and the means to achieve them so that over the agreed upon timeframe there would exist an element of stability from the predictability of the agreement.

This, of course, required agreement on definitions and intent accompanied by a mutual understanding of the four corners of the deal, especially on quantifiable subjects such as treaty-limited items.

Under the INF treaty, the goals and objectives for both parties were absolute in nature: total elimination of the involved weapons which existed in a class covered by the treaty. One couldn’t get much clearer than that and by mid-1991, all weapons covered by the treaty had been destroyed by both the U.S. and Soviet Union.

Subsequent inspections were focused on ensuring both sides continued to comply with their obligation to permanently destroy the weapons systems designated for elimination and not to produce or deploy new weapons systems whose capabilities would be prohibited by the terms of the treaty.

Under New START, the goals and objectives are far more nebulous. Take, by way of example, the issue of decommissioning nuclear-capable bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missile launch tubes. The goal is to arrive at a hard number that meets the letter and intent of the treaty.

But the U.S. has undertaken to decommission both the B-52H and Trident missile launch tubes onboard Ohio-class submarines in a manner which allows for reversal, meaning that the hard caps envisioned by the treaty, and around which strategic planning and posture is derived, are not absolute, but flexible.

As such, Russian strategic planners must not only plan for a world where the treaty-imposed caps are in effect, but also the possibility of a U.S. “break out” scenario where the B-52H bombers and Trident missiles launch tubes are brought back to operational status.

This scenario is literally the textbook definition of unpredictability and is why Russia looks askance at the idea of negotiating a new arms control treaty with the U.S. As long as the U.S. favors treaty language which produces such unpredictability, Russia will more than likely opt out.

Accountability. One of the most oft-quoted sayings that emerged from the INF treaty is “trust but verify.” This aphorism helped guide that treaty through the unprecedented success of its 13-year period of mandated inspections (from 1988 until 2001.) However, once the inspections ended, the “verify” aspect of the treaty became more nebulous in nature, opening the door for the erosion of trust between the U.S. and Russia.

A key aspect of any arms control agreement is its continued relevance to the national security postures of the participating nations. At the same time the INF inspections came to an end, the administration of President George W. Bush withdrew from the landmark 1972 anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty.

In doing so, the United States propelled itself into a trajectory where the principles that had underpinned arms control for decades—the de-escalation of nuclear tensions through the adherence to principles of disarmament set forth in mutually-reinforcing agreements intended to be of a lasting nature, no longer applied.

By unilaterally disposing of the ABM treaty, the U.S. opened the door for the deployment of ABM systems in Europe. Two Mk. 41 Aegis Ashore anti-missile defense systems, normally deployed as part of a ship’s Aegis-capable cruisers and destroyers, were instead installed on the ground in Romania and Poland. The issue of the Mk. 41 system is that the launch pods are capable of firing either the SM-3 missile as an interceptor, or the sea-launched cruise missile (Tomahawk.)

Russia objected to the Mk. 41 potentially offense system being employed on the ground, arguing that in doing so the U.S. was violating the INF treat by deploying a ground-launched cruise missile.

The U.S. rejected the Russian allegations, declaring that the Aegis Ashore launch configuration was solely for the firing of surfacre-to-air missiles. However, the U.S. balked at providing Russia the kind of access that would be necessary to ascertain the actual science behind the U.S. claim that the missile batteries were configured to operate only in a surface-to-air mode.

The U.S. also claimed it was impossible for the Mk. 41 to incorporate the Tomahawk cruise missile or a follow-on variant of the SM-3 or the SM-6 Typhoon, which are surface-to-surface missiles at ranges (reaching Moscos) that would violate the INF treaty.

(Removal of these missiles from Poland and Romania was one demand Russia made in draft treaty proposals to the U.S. last December. After the U.S. rejected it, Russia intervened in Ukraine.)

As had been the case with the ABM treaty, the U.S. had grown tired of the restrictions imposed by the INF treaty. U.S. military planners were anxious to field a new generation of INF weapons to counter what they perceived to be the growing threat from China, whose ballistic missile arsenals were not constrained by the treaty.

The ABM and INF treaties had become inconvenient to the U.S. not because of any actions undertaken by their treaty partners, the Russians, but rather due to an aggressive, expansive notion of U.S. power projection that mooted the purpose of the treaties altogether.

Arms control treaties are not meant to facilitate the expansion of military power, but rather restrict it. By viewing treaty obligations as disposable, the U.S. was eschewing the entire philosophy behind arms control.

Moreover, the tactics employed by the U.S. to undermine the credibility of the INF treaty revolved around fabricating a case of alleged Russian violations built around “intelligence” about the development of a new Russian ground-launched cruise missile, the 9M729, which the U.S. claimed proved that the new missile was in violation of the INF treaty.

That the intelligence was never shared with the Russians, further eroded the viability of the U.S. as a treaty partner. When the Russians offered up the actual 9M729 missile for physical inspection to convince the U.S. to remain in the INF treaty, the U.S. balked, preventing not only U.S. officials from participating, but also any of its NATO allies.

In the end, the U.S. withdrew from the INF treaty in August 2019. Less than a month later, the U.S. carried out a test launch of the Tomahawk cruise missile from a Mk. 41 launch tube. The Russians had been right all along — the U.S., in abandoning the ABM treaty, had used the deployment of so-called new ABM sites as a cover for the emplacement of INF-capable ground-launched missiles on Russia’s doorstep.

And yet the U.S. pays no price — there is no accountability for such duplicity. Arms control, once a bastion of national integrity and honor, had been reduced to the status of a joke by the actions of the U.S.

No Trust Left

With no common language, there can be no common vision, no common purpose. Russia continues to seek arms control agreements which serve to restrict the arsenals of the involved parties to prevent dangerous escalatory actions while imposing a modicum of predictable stability on relations.

The U.S. seeks only unilateral advantage.

Until this is changed, there can be no meaningful arms control interaction between the U.S. and Russia. Not only will the New START treaty expire in February 2026, but it is also unlikely the major verification component of the treaty — on site inspections — will be revived between now and then.

Moreover, it is impossible to see how a new arms control agreement to replace the expired New START treaty could be negotiated, ratified, and implemented in the short time remaining to do so. There is no trust between Russia and the U.S. when it comes to arms control.

With no treaties, there is no verification of reality. Both the U.S. and Russian arsenals will become untethered from treaty-based constraint, leading to a new arms race for which there can be only one finishing line — total nuclear war.

There is a long list of things that must happen if meaningful arms control is ever to resume its place in the diplomatic arsenals of either the U.S. or Russia. Before either side can resume talking to one another, however, they must first re-learn the common language of disarmament.

Because the current semantics of arms control is little more than a lexicon for disaster.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Japan’s $320 billion militarization plan wastes precious resources amid rapid societal decline

By Drago Bosnic | December 20, 2022

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Japan went through a process of thorough demilitarization. The country’s militaristic ideology, the effects of which were disastrous for the entire Asia Pacific region during WWII, was also dismantled by American occupation forces. The changes were codified in the new Japanese constitution which effectively banned the country from possessing a fully fledged military.

This changed to a certain degree during the zenith of the (First) Cold War when the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) essentially became the country’s military, although its role was limited to effectively being a footnote within the larger context of US-led “Free World” security policies. This approach lasted up until recently, when Tokyo decided to start a massive rearmament program aimed at turning Japan into a major military power.

On December 16, the Japanese government announced a $320 billion program that would make it possible for the JSDF to launch standoff strikes against China and other regional adversaries (presumably North Korea). Reportedly, the plan also involves the expansion of Japanese military power to include the ability to maintain a sustained front against advanced opponents. Speculation about the program started in late November when Tokyo hinted it could soon equip its submarines with long range missiles. According to a report by the Naval News, the Japanese Defense Ministry announced it was in the process of extending the range of its Type 12 surface-to-ship missiles deployed by the Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) from the current 200 km to a maximum of 1,200 km.

A Reuters report claims the new military plan would take approximately five years to complete and would also make Japan the world’s third largest military spender, right after the United States and China. The program would also focus on logistics as it would include the stockpiling of spare parts and various types of munitions, expanding transport capacity, as well as the development of cyber warfare capabilities.

The deal is also set to benefit the Japanese military industry, as companies such as the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are expected to be at the helm of the development efforts for long-range missiles that are set to constitute the backbone of the country’s new military power projection in the Asia-Pacific region. The company is currently involved in a project to develop Japan’s next generation fighter jet. The effort, which also includes corporate giants such as the BAE Systems and Leonardo SPA, is a joint venture between Japan, the UK and Italy. So far, the project received at least $5.6 billion in funding.

Foreign companies, particularly those from the US, are also expected to benefit from Japan’s (re)militarization efforts.

Additionally, Tokyo says it plans to arm its ships with the latest iteration of the “Tomahawk” cruise missile (most likely referring to the new Block V) made by the Raytheon Technologies. According to Reuters, other weapons set to be acquired as part of the new five year program will very likely include interceptor missiles for ballistic targets (apparently including the troubled ship-borne “Aegis” and its land-based “Aegis Ashore” version), attack and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) drones, satellite communications equipment, F-35 fighter jets, helicopters, submarines, warships and heavy-lift transport jets.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently stated that “Japan is at a turning point in history,” adding that “the ramp-up in its military was my answer to the various security challenges that we face.” According to Reuters, Kishida’s government is allegedly concerned that “Russia has set a precedent that will encourage China to attack Taiwan, threatening nearby Japanese islands, disrupting supplies of advanced semiconductors and putting a potential stranglehold on sea lanes that supply Middle East oil.” Needless to say, the claim that Russia set a precedent is quite bemusing, especially when considering the countless examples of the massive scope of US aggression against the world.

Expectedly, the program will be closely coordinated with the US, as shown in a separate national security document in which Tokyo pledged to maintain close security ties with Washington DC and its other vassals. The US itself was quick to show public support for the program. US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel stated that “the Prime Minister is making a clear, unambiguous strategic statement about Japan’s role as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific.”

In addition, the cooperation is apparently also set to include China’s breakaway island province of Taiwan. During a meeting with Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi on Friday, the incumbent head of the government in Taipei Tsai Ing-wen stated she expected greater defence cooperation with Japan. “We look forward to Taiwan and Japan continuing to create new cooperation achievements in various fields such as national defence and security, the economy, trade, and industrial transformation,” Reuters claims the presidential office cited Tsai as saying.

The plan is expected to double Japan’s military expenditures to around 2% of the country’s GDP over a period of five years. The previous 1% limit was self-imposed in 1976, nearly 50 years ago. This is also set to increase the share of military expenditures to around 10% of all public spending. To secure funding for the program, the current Japanese government announced tax hikes, which can only further exacerbate the country’s woes, including the disastrous demographic situation which is set to get even worse in the coming years.

With nearly 1,400,000 deaths and approximately 840,000 births per year, Japan is highly unlikely to get out of its current demographic “black hole”. And yet, instead of focusing on preventing further societal decline, the Japanese government is still blindly following the suicidal US diktat by investing precious remaining resources into a military project which is bound to fail from the start, as China’s unrelenting rise will dwarf anything its opponents could hope to accomplish.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

‘About $45 billion’ in new Ukraine aid tucked into omnibus bill

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos | Responsible Statecraft | December 20, 2022

According to reports overnight, House and Senate lawmakers have agreed to an omnibus package —a massive spending bill to keep the government going after Friday and into next year — that includes “about $45 billion” in new Ukraine aid. That’s eight billion more than what President Biden was reportedly asking for to finish out the year.

If it passes, that will mean U.S. assistance to Ukraine in its war against Russia will top out at more than $100 billion for the year. This includes humanitarian/economic aid as well as the steady flow of weapons into that country since Putin declared his “special operation” and invaded Ukraine in February.

To put this into context, Russia’s projected defense budget for 2023 is $84 billion.

There are no new details at this time but this will be the fourth package for Ukraine. The first was after the invasion in March for $13.6 billion, the second was $40 billion in May and the third was $12.3 billion, which was attached to the continuing resolution in September to keep the current budget going. Altogether, the three packages total some $65 billion.

Of that, according to CSIS defense analyst Mark Cancian, nearly $30 billion has been military aid, including direct short and long term support to Ukraine, U.S. military operations in the region, and “general support” that is “tangentially related to Ukraine.”

As of this writing, we do not know the breakdown of the new $45 billion package, how much is military, or where it would go, but if you want to see where the money has been going since February, my colleague Connor Echols has been keeping with each new disbursement of the military aid, here.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Former Austrian vice-chancellor launches peace platform

Free West Media | December 20, 2022

The launch of a remarkable peace initiative has been reported from Austria. The initiator of the “Platform for Peace and Neutrality” is the former FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache. On Monday, a highly acclaimed panel discussion took place in Vienna.

Guests included FPÖ veteran Andreas Mölzer, the former Liberal National Councilor Peter Fichtenbauer, AfD member of parliament Christina Baum, former Baden-Württemberg AfD member of parliament Heinrich Fiechtner and non-aligned Efgani Dönmez.

The motive for the event and the founding of his platform was that there were “no loud and audible peace initiatives,” explained Strache, who moderated the discussion. Russia is not being invited to the negotiating table, he added, blaming Western nations for not taking the initiative.

Former MEP Mölzer stated: “Nothing positive is being brought to the table from the European side at the moment.”

The panellists also agreed that Russia was being portrayed too negatively in the Western media. However, the causes of the war are much more complex, stated Mölzer. He added: “Not everyone who is critical [of the war], is a Putin supporter.”

For the AfD member of parliament Christina Baum, who had already spoken out in the Bundestag against Sweden and Finland joining NATO, Russia or Kremlin chief Putin was not responsible for the war in Ukraine. “The aggressor is the one who forces his opponent to take up arms,” ​​she quoted Frederick the Great as saying. Even before the war, she thought, “I hope Putin won’t lose his nerve,” because he was “permanently provoked”.

The former Greens and ÖVP member Dönmez, a representative from the camp of the mainstream parties also participated in the round of talks.

Dönmez pleaded for restraint and understanding towards Russia: “We are presented with a narrative, a story that we have to accept without thinking. As a mediator, I say: I would also like to understand Mr. Putin.” This also applies in the case of the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the Turkish President Erdogan. Instead, the West is deliberately escalating tensions.

The war is a proxy war of the great powers, said Dönmez. The EU only acts as a “vassal state” of the USA. Putin did them a favor with the war: the EU has now moved closer to the USA and has distanced itself from Russia, while the EU should actually pursue an independent peace policy, explained Dönmez.

Asked by moderator Strache whether Ukraine was the epitome of “Western values”, ex-AfD member of parliament Heinrich Fiechtner replied: “Unfortunately yes, it is – in all its corrupt amalgamation.”

The roundtable convened in Vienna also agreed that Austria’s neutrality should be upheld, which has been increasingly undermined since the beginning of the war. “I think joining NATO is the last thing the Austrians want,” Strache said. AfD MP Baum agreed and expressed the opinion that “it is very important that Austria remains neutral”. She wished the same for Germany, but chances are slim that Atlanticist politicians will abandon their course.

New enemies

While a year ago the unvaccinated and those who refused to wear masks were marginalized in society, today friends of Russia or critics of the war are the new enemy to be denunciated and discriminated against.

The deputy leader of the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag Andrea Lindholz (CSU) has demanded a “reporting office” and a “nationwide situation report” on alleged Russian disinformation.

“The danger of Russian propaganda and disinformation in Germany must not be underestimated,” Lindholz is quoted as saying. “Especially now that everything is getting more expensive, there is a risk that people will become more receptive to pro-Russian fake news,” the CSU politician told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

Of course, it is particularly insidious when more and more alleged “fake news” turn out to be true as is currently being experienced with the Corona pandemic.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Over 60 Russians ‘Held Hostage’ in US, Arrested on False Charges, Deputy Foreign Minister Says

Samizdat – 20.12.2022

MOSCOW – The United States is practically holding over 60 Russians hostage by arresting people on false charges and sentencing them to dozens of years in prison, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told Sputnik on Tuesday.

“The US authorities have been literally hunting Russians across the globe especially in countries that have bilateral treaties on extradition with the US, seeking the arrest of our citizens on false charges… The overall number of Russian citizens basically held hostage exceeds 60,” the deputy minister said.

Vershinin said that US courts sentence Russians to dozens of years in prison, with the tendency becoming even stronger under the current US administration amid rising political tensions between the two countries.

The senior Russian diplomat also urged Russian people to weigh up the risks they could face when traveling to unfriendly countries if there is even the “slightest suspicion” that they could be of specific interest to US secret services and law enforcement as Russians are presumed guilty in this country.

Russia’s foreign ministry, embassy in Washington, general consulates in New York and Houston will continue to provide all possible help to Russians who are in trouble and seek their return home, Vershinin added, noting that Moscow would decisively respond to all hostile actions by the US authorities.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 2 Comments


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | December 15, 2022

Governor Ron DeSantis’ Vaccine Accountability Roundtable was a groundbreaking moment in the fight for medical freedom. While The HighWire celebrates certain impactful moments from the event, Del takes note of the pro-vaccine sentiment displayed during the forum toward childhood vaccines, and sends a clear message on where The HighWire stands after years of research on Vaccine Safety, Research, and Policy.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Video | Leave a comment