Aletho News


DHS won’t hand over full details about “anti-disinformation” practices

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | December 23, 2022

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not giving the US Congress information necessary to put in place proper oversight of the agency regarding its “counter disinformation” activities, which have recently been gaining an ever more prominent role.

That is one of the key points conveyed in a letter to DHS head Alejandro Mayorkas by senators Charles Grassley and Josh Hawley.

We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.

Grassley, who is ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Hawley first addressed the DHS expressing serious concerns in June by asking for answers to ten questions, but say that the response they received the same month fell short by either ignoring or downplaying those concerns, and in general, failing to actually answer any of the questions.

Instead, they received documents that were either already publicly available, or heavily redacted, as was the case with a batch of 500 pages of information.

“Based on our review of this material, it appears that many of the redactions are applied to pre-decisional and deliberative process material,” Grassley’s and Hawley’s December letter states.

The senators are taking issue with the plans the DHS is not hiding, and that is increasingly deeper involvement in “monitoring and mediating MDM” – that is, whatever’s labeled as misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation on social media. “Monitoring and mediating” here reportedly also means “directly engaging with social media companies to flag MDM.”

And the agency wants to cover a broad range of topics, such as Covid, race, all the way to the sudden US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Disinformation Governance Board, slammed in the letter as a “seriously misguided effort,” may have been bad enough, but the senators are concerned that these plans now go far beyond that “effort.”

The DHS is accused of ignoring not only the outright questions, but also the fundamentals of the US political system, where executive, legislative and judicial branches have “the separate and co-equal character.”

Therefore, the agency cannot get away with trying to work around requests from Congress members, the senators say.

Grassley and Hawley, however, seem determined not to let the DHS off the hook easily as it attempts to evade clarifying its role and intentions in this realm, and note that their letter was not sent as a Freedom of Information request, nor under DHS’ own procedures, based on which the DHS would be able to respond with redacted documents.

And they continue to await “full and complete” answers.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Why Criminal Referrals Against Trump Seem Pointless, Unlikely to Prevent Him From Running in 2024

By Ekaterina Blinova – Samizdat – 21.12.2022

On December 19, the House Select Committee on the January 6 attack voted on criminal referrals against ex-President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. The charges include inciting an insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to make false statement to the federal government, and obstructing a government proceeding.

“The US congressional inquiry into the last Capitol riots concerning ex-President Donald Trump is as credible as Russiagate concerning the alleged collusion of the Russian government with Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 US presidential election. (…) These charges serve the same purpose,” Adriel Kasonta, a London-based foreign affairs analyst, founder of AK Consultancy, and former chairman of the International Affairs Committee at the Bow Group, told Sputnik.

The Democratic-led panel on the January 6 attack was formed on July 1, 2021. The endeavor was kicked off after the Dems’ attempt to impeach Trump on the charge of “inciting insurrection” for his role in the January 6 riots spectacularly failed after the Senate acquitted him in February 2021.

The protests erupted in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, as Trump supporters sought to prevent the US Congress from certifying the election results which, according to demonstrators, were rigged and thus illegal.

The committee’s initial goal was to hold former President Trump accountable for what the panelists described as a multipart conspiratorial enterprise against the duly elected president, Joe Biden. Since its inception, the committee has come under fierce criticism from the GOP over apparent partisanship. House Democrats enlisted just two Republicans on their panel’s board, both of whom are famously anti-Trump and anti-MAGA.

The panel investigated the January 6 protests in Washington, DC in parallel with the Justice Department, which has arrested at least 964 people over the last two years.

After the months-long probe, the Democratic panelists presented their case to the DoJ calling on the federal government to indict the ex-president on four charges, including inciting insurrection. The question is whether the Justice Department will act on the committee’s recommendations.

“The criminal referral being handed down by the sham J6 Committee is on its face a national embarrassment to any objective lawyer,” Marc Little, a California-based attorney and political commentator, told Sputnik. “To find probable cause that a crime has been committed, the prosecutor must prove intent to commit the crime.”

“The evidence in the public record is that President Trump offered the National Guard to protect the Capitol and his words to his supporters to proceed peacefully, directly destroying the committee’s findings. (One would think not one of them had a legal background.) Moreover, before this committee was established, the FBI found the former president had no connection to the lawless activity that occurred on January 6, 2021. That was ignored by the sham committee,” Little pointed out.

Four Reasons Why the Panel’s Charges May Not Work

A number of US conservative legal experts have already shared their views with regard to the case, and suggested that no reasonable prosecutor would bring Trump’s case.

First, the J6 failed to make a compelling criminal case against Trump, according to conservative lawyers. The Democratic panelists have not presented any substantial new evidence of criminal conduct by Trump, but actually repeated the same arguments that they previously put forward. While repetition is called the mother of study, it is “not the mother of proof,” legal observers noted.

Second, the committee failed to establish that Trump had masterminded an “insurrection.” While there indeed was a riot in Washington, DC, there is no “criminally actionable nexus” between the former president and violence, legal observers argue. Furthermore, none of the arrested January Sixers have been charged with the federal offense of “insurrection” by the DoJ so far, according to lawyers.

In addition to that, over the past two years the DoJ has fallen short of accusing Trump of any crime related to the January 6 protests and has not even referred to the former president as an indicted co-conspirator. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to convict Trump of instigating insurrection or inciting violence, especially given that it is well documented that the former president called on his supporters to protest “peacefully” on January 6, 2021.

While Trump could have been a “pretext” for the Capitol protests, he wasn’t a “catalyst,” according to conservative lawyers. If there is no direct linkage between Trump and the protesters, who disrupted the congressional session on January 6, it would be hard to convict the ex-president of “obstructing” the official proceedings of the United States government on that day.

Third, when it comes to Trump’s alleged defrauding of the US, legal observers suggest that it would be similarly hard to prove. The charge is related to Trump’s reliance on a memo written by American attorney John Eastman, who suggested days before January 6, 2021 that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to refuse to count state-certified electoral votes that had been cast for Joe Biden.

According to US legal observers, Eastman’s memo is likely to be treated by the DoJ as a “fanciful legal theory,” but not as “fraud.” It’s not actually a crime to suggest a legal theory in a system where the constitution guarantees free expression of ideas, they argue.

Fourth, the January 6 committee also recommended that the former president be prosecuted for “making or abetting false statements” with regard to “alternative electors” picked by Trump supporters in some swing states won by Biden. According to lawyers, the Trump electors “plausibly” called themselves “contingent,” not fake.

The alternative electors were not officially certified in their respective states. Therefore, they were not seen as legitimate electors and, subsequently, nobody in the US Congress planned to count their votes. Given that, it would pose a serious challenge for prosecutors to prove that the Trump supporters’ attempt to pick “contingent electors” resulted in “actionable false statements,” according to legal observers.

On top of that, any attempt by the DoJ to tighten the screws on Trump would be seen by everyone as efforts by the Biden administration to get rid of a contender ahead of the 2024 race, especially given that Trump has already tossed his hat in the ring.

The panel’s attempt to indict the former president is most likely doomed, according to conservative lawyers. So why are the Dems pushing ahead with these charges nevertheless?

Dems’ Effort to Disrupt Trump’s Election Bid Likely to Fail

“People were involved in prosecuting Donald Trump, the same as with the Russiagate and the alleged collusion with Russia, which was a total farce,” said Kasonta. “Doing what they can in order to discredit Donald Trump, because they know that they can’t win with Donald Trump, because he’s on the low side. He knows that he’s not guilty. And the people who are charging him also know that he’s not guilty. But the purpose of this is the same as with theatrical performance. So they need to have this performance to seed a doubt in the hearts and minds of a certain level of American citizens. And with certain people who are weak-minded or people who don’t care that much about truth, it will succeed.”

According to Kasonta, the crux of the matter is that Donald Trump is “fighting with not only the elites and the blob in the United States,” but with “international global liberal elites in other countries, who want to see a continuation of this liberal international order.”

Trump has been in the so-called “international blob’s” crosshairs since day one of his presidency, according to Sputnik’s interlocutors.

Earlier, US Attorney General Merrick Garland named Jack Smith, a former war crimes prosecutor, special counsel in two cases involving Trump: the first examines the US president’s role in the lead up to January 6; the second concerns the ex-president’s decision to retain sensitive government documents at his home in Florida.

“It would not be fair to any discussion about the special prosecutor and his scope of work without taking the unprecedented and documented illegal spying on then-candidate and President Trump, lying to the FISA court to spy on Trump’s campaign, the two impeachment hearings that failed in their goal to remove the president, along with the Mueller Probe that came up ‘light’ and with no criminal charges. Because of the legacy media here, most people are simply unaware of the travesty of this behavior,” argued Little.

“When you review the totality of the partisan attacks against President Trump, you must view the unprecedented raid of his home over his alleged unlawful retention of some presidential records in the same category of rabid Trump haters that seem to have a very serious reason to prevent him from returning to the presidency or simply have nothing better to do,” the lawyer continued.

However, these attempts are unlikely to prevent Trump from running for president in 2024, presumed Little: “Even if convicted (and not in jail), there is no bar to Mr. Trump being elected president again,” he said.

As for Trump’s base, it’s highly unlikely that his supporters will stop backing him even if the Biden administration, the Dems, and Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) further increase the pressure on the former president, the observers concluded.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Canada redefined economic impact as “violence” to justify freezing protesters’ bank accounts

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | December 20, 2022

Last February, Canadian authorities used whatever means they thought they could get away with to put an end to a peaceful political protest against Covid restrictions led by truckers, known as the .

Now, in trying to justify the government’s behavior, senior officials appear to be trying to “redefine” the meaning of (physical) violence, to make sure their actions fit within that definition.

The most controversial ones undertaken to stifle the protest – such as deploying riot police and freezing participants’ bank accounts – were done by evoking the Emergencies Act, in itself, a move controversial enough to warrant a commission inquiry.

The Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC) has issued a summary of a panel interview of four senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), while Prime Minister  and several others were interviewed by the commission separately.

We obtained a copy of the summary for you here.

The summary shows that the panel identified areas that they “hoped the Commission could comment on;” one of them being threats to the economic security of , “which carry with them a threat of tangible physical harm and violence.”

One of the PMO officials, the prime minister’s senior adviser on strategist and policy issues, Jeremy Broadhurst, is cited as saying that economic disruptions “can cause real, direct and personal harms in people’s lives.”

The truckers, whose work and livelihoods were first disrupted by Covid vaccine mandates and other restrictions, and then by the government seizing their bank accounts, would no doubt agree – but they had no government to protect them in this matter.

Instead, the government appears to have focused on protecting itself from political dissent back in February, and continues to do so today, as Broadhurst suggested that a “threat” to jobs, free movement of goods, etc. (caused by protests) is a threat “impossible to separate from the threat of violence, including physical violence.”

The question of what passes off as violence these days in Canada is important because in order to justify using martial law like the Emergencies Act, the government must meet the requirement of facing “an unmanageable threat to Canada,” as defined by the country’s Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) Act Section 2. (The Emergencies Act relies on the CSIS Act definition.)

In a previous exchange between a Freedom Convoy lawyer and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) commissioner, however, the former stated, “To your knowledge, there was no credible threat to the security of Canada as defined under Section 2 of the CSIS Act” – to which the commissioner replied, “That would be my understanding, yes.”

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

How Billionaires Fill the Media With Climate Fear and Panic


The popular prints are flooded with climate and weather misinformation. Net Zero, seen by increasing numbers of people as a looming disaster, is lauded to the skies. Few journalists investigate the ‘unsettled’ science behind unproven claims that humans cause most, if not all, changes in the climate. To point out that there are not enough minerals in the ground to make batteries to power humanity’s basic transportation needs, let alone store the energy required to keep us all alive in the cold when renewables go on strike, is simply not allowed. Needless to say, as we have seen in a number of recent Daily Sceptic articles, this absurd state of affairs is partly the product of a carefully-curated public discourse targeting cash-strapped news rooms and funded by a vast supply of dark, green money.

Recently I reported that the Mirror had run a nonsense story about much of London disappearing beneath the waves within 80 years. I noted that this was not the handiwork of a crack team of investigative reporters, but rather the placed work of a U.S. green activist group called Climate Central. This operation specialises in ready-to-publish climate change material highlighting local landmarks allegedly due to disappear beneath the waves. Similar tactics are used by another activist group spreading fear and alarm called Covering Climate Now (CC Now). This operation is run out of the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and is backed by the Nation and the U.K. Guardian. Both operations rely heavily on large gifts from Left-leaning U.S. foundations.

CC Now was started in 2019 and claims to feed over 500 media operations with written stories and climate narratives. Its “partners” include some of the biggest names in news publishing such as ReutersBloombergAgence France-Presse (AFP), CBS News, ABC News and MSNBC News. Leading journals are said to include Rolling StoneHuff Post and Teen Vogue. The founders seek a “reframing” of the way journalists cover climate change. What this means in practice is amplifying an invented ‘climate emergency’ by constant story catastrophisation, while denying any inconvenient science. The political aim is the promotion of the command-and-control Net Zero agenda.

There is plenty of advice for tame journalists aiming to ramp up climate hysteria. “The fastest way to catch up is to emulate outlets that are already covering climate change well. You can’t do better than the Guardian,” CC Now suggests. But what to do about the problem that paying readers tend to disappear when fed a diet of spun political messages? “Foundations like Knight, Ford, McCormick and Emerson Collective are rightly increasing their support for local news organisations,” it adds.

Relentless catastrophising of individual weather events is the favoured weapon to spread climate fear among the wider population. Using the recent experience of the Covid pandemic, activists have been emboldened to spread panic and alarm in controllable media to achieve their wider political aims. Despite oft-made claims, it is impossible to use models to ‘attribute’ single weather events to long term changes in the climate. CC Now skirts this obvious problem by providing a number of helpful explanations for gullible journalists to copy-and-paste. “Climate change isn’t solely to blame for extreme weather, but… it stacks the deck against us… it’s baked in with our weather and often a key ingredient in the outcome… it supercharges normal weather patterns, like steroids.” Journalists are told to emphasise the human impacts of extreme weather, noting that it affects “the poor, communities of colour, and indigenous groups first and foremost”.

All this sterling work, of course, deserves prizes. The 2022 CC Now Journalism Awards “honoured” writers producing the “strongest coverage of the onrushing climate emergency and its abundant solutions”. Winners are said to have come from the Guardian, AFP, Al JazeeraPBS NewsHour and the Los Angeles Times. Journalist of the Year was Time Senior Correspondent Justin Worland. The judges singled out for particular praise an article he wrote ahead of COP26 titled, “The Energy Transition in Full Swing. It’s Not Happening Fast Enough“.

Billionaire-run foundations are spending enormous sums promoting junk alarmist science, in addition to funding on-side academic institutions and other influential bodies. Both Climate Central and CC Now are funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, while Climate Central takes support from the Grantham fund. This latter foundation is connected with the green billionaire investor Jeremy Grantham, and also partly funds three U.K. university institutes. At the LSE, this operation provides material that supports the Net Zero initiatives.

Jeremy Grantham is a long-time promoter of Net Zero and a future based on renewables. But it is not only journalists he has in his sights. Speaking in 2019 to a group of business people in Copenhagen about the approaching apocalypse, he asked rhetorically, “What should I do, you say”? His suggestion: “You should lobby your Government officials – invest in an election and buy some politicians. I am happy to say we do quite a bit of that at the Grantham Foundation… any candidate as long as they are green.”

The science writer and climatologist Dr. Judith Curry has become increasingly concerned about the effect of all this propaganda on children. In a recent essay, she wrote that it was difficult to avoid the conclusion that children are being used as tools in adults’ political agenda surrounding climate change. This is having adverse impacts on the mental health of children, she warned. The apocalyptic rhetoric surrounding the climate ‘crisis’ has numerous victims, she added. “Children and young adults rank among the victims of greatest concern.”

Children and young adults are being used as tools in national and international political  campaigns, continued Dr. Curry. “Blaming this unfortunate situation of psychological stress on a changing climate is incorrect, and the use of the situation to achieve political goals is reprehensible behaviour that is acting to reinforce the children’s psychological injuries,” she charged.

Your correspondent’s advice: When you next see an identikit climate Armageddon story in the mainstream media, just laugh. You will be the sanest person in the room.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment


By Helmholtz Smith | Son Of the New American Revolution | December 22, 2022 

If you think that Volodomyr Zelensky is the first leader in the throes of a civil war (yes, I know, Russia invaded, but the war in Ukraine at its roots is a civil war) to visit Washington, DC and speak to Congress and be compared with Winston Churchill, think again.

I thank my friend, Helmholtz Smith, for noting this historical precedent and finding the relevant video.

While I am sure Zelensky is flattered to be described as a modern day Churchill, he was not the first accorded that honor. Did you know that Ngo Dinh Diem also was the Vietnamese Winston Churchill?

In May 1961, U.S. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Saigon and enthusiastically declared Diệm the “Winston Churchill of Asia”. Asked why he had made the comment, Johnson replied, “Diệm’s the only boy we got out there.” Johnson assured Diệm of more aid in molding a fighting force that could resist the communists.

Diem learned the hard way that once your U.S. backers anoint you as the next Churchill, your days are numbered. Diem was murdered as a consequence of a U.S. engineered coup.

Zelensky’s Wednesday appearance in Washington, D.C. and the accompanying accolades equating him with Winston Churchill is prima facie evidence that most pundits and news readers in American are certifiable ignoramuses. For starters, Churchill, notwithstanding his love affair with imperialism, was a towering intellect. He authored scholarly books and established himself as one of the greatest rhetoricians of all times. He had a knack for turning a phrase and creating iconic moments.

Zelensky? I challenge anyone to recite one memorable moment from Zelensky’s snooze fest before the U.S. Congress. Banality thy name is Volodomyr. But Zelensky can do something that Churchill never did — he can play the piano with his penis. Gives new meaning to the phrase, “banging out a tune.”

Now, set aside the levity. Remember this week as another watershed moment in U.S. history. At the very moment that Washington embraced a malevolent dictator masquerading as a Nazified version of Fidel Castro, Russia sent an unmistakable message to the United States and Europe — Russia acknowledged that a state of war exists, pitting Russia against NATO and the United States, and it is building up its conventional and nuclear forces in anticipation of a future clash.

My dear friend Paul, a retired Navy SEAL Commander, asked me the essential, pertinent question this morning:

The question that continues to nag me, Larry, is most basic. What is the Ukraine-Russia War’s endgame? What do we see as a Ukraine win? Russia’s withdrawal? What does Ukraine see as a win – old borders restored, Russia minds its own business, etc.? What does Russia see as a win – total or partial domination of Ukraine? A western border pushback to NATO’s backyard? Then fortify it (build a fucking wall)? I don’t see focused discussion of the endgame.  No one seems to be asking or answering the endgame question. It appears we (the US) are dumping $$ billions into Ukraine’s defense without telling the taxpayers what the money is expected to achieve – the endgame.

So what do you think? What is the endgame in Ukraine?

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 4 Comments

Former NATO commander urges long-range weapons for Ukraine

RT | December 23, 2022

Ukraine should be able to strike deeper into Russian territory, retired US general Philip Breedlove has said. The former supreme NATO commander for Europe made the remarks in an interview with the Russian-language Voice of America outlet published Thursday.

“I think we should review our rules regarding the types of weapons that we supply to Ukraine, and we should give them more opportunities to inflict deep strikes on the aggressor. With our restrictions, we have actually created a safe haven for the Russian military in its territory,” Breedlove stated.

Kiev has repeatedly demanded long-range weaponry from its Western backers amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. So far, however, the US and others have abstained from providing such weapons, citing fears of an escalation and an all-out war between Russia and NATO.

Breedlove has openly admitted that Ukraine is waging a war on behalf of the West against Russia, urging the lifting of any restrictions on arms use by Kiev.

“Ukraine is now fighting Russia on behalf of the entire Western world, and I would say to all our politicians: if you have already limited your actions in order to prevent our armies from fighting Russia, then you must do everything possible to provide help for Ukraine to defeat Russia.”

While Moscow has described the ongoing hostilities as a proxy-war with the West, the US and NATO as a whole maintain they are not a party to the conflict.

Amid the ongoing conflict, Breedlove has repeatedly produced war-like remarks in rallying support for Ukraine. Back in July, for instance, the former general encouraged Kiev to strike the Crimean Bridge, which links the peninsula to Russia’s mainland. The bridge was a “legitimate target” for Ukraine to strike, Breedlove claimed, adding that its destruction would be a “huge blow” to Moscow.

The bridge was heavily damaged in a major explosion early in October. Moscow has described the incident as a “terrorist attack,” blaming it on Kiev and its Western backers. While the incident has been widely celebrated in Ukraine by common citizens and top officials alike, Kiev has denied its involvement.

The Crimean Bridge blast, as well as other saboteur attacks on Russian soil, attributed to Ukrainians, ultimately triggered a massive bombing campaign against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Moscow maintains the goal of the campaign is to damage Kiev’s warfighting capabilities.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

The pharma inquisitors are coming

start the busses and warm up your throwing arms

by el gato malo – bad cattitude – december 23, 2022

long time readers will know of my past predictions on the pfizer phuture of governments turning upon the big pharma co’s that pushed the covid vaccines and declaring fraud in order to use “we wuz lied to!” as the low energy climbdown out of the eye of public rage that will land upon them should anyone ever figure out what a full blown disaster this has been.

the movement appears to be starting in earnest. first a drop, then a trickle, until one day it’s a dam burst and a torrent.

well, here comes the rain:

DeSantis’ Grand Jury Impaneled to Investigate mRNA Vaccine Manufacturers

as astonishing as it may sound after the last 3 years, it is still, in fact, illegal to sell and market products (especially drugs) based on false claims. even in america, phraud is still a phelony. (it also pierces the EUA liability waiver)

The statewide grand jury will be allowed to investigate groups involved in the design, development, clinical testing, marketing, and distribution of vaccines said to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission. It will be impaneled for one year.

DeSantis’ petition argued that there was widespread belief that the COVID-19 vaccine prevented the disease from spreading, which led to vaccine mandates on citizens, health care workers, and military members.

“It is impossible to imagine that so many influential individuals came to this view on their own. Rather, it is likely that individuals and companies with an incentive to do so created these perceptions for financial gain,” the petition said.

The petition specifically points out Moderna and Pfizer’s claims about preventing the COVID-19 disease with “94.1% efficacy” and “91.3% vaccine efficacy.”

now, many, especially in the hyper-partisan tribalism of the US may try to write this off as a political stunt, and while i suspect it may also be quite politically effective, i doubt that is the primary purpose. there are just too many facts here that don’t add up and this is the path to start getting to the bottom of it.

it’s really not yet clear to me how effective this can or will be. pfizer is a canny company and managed much of their apparent malfeasance in locales like argentina that are notoriously difficult jurisdictions from which to compel the production of documents and witnesses.

on the other hand, the onus lies up the claimant to prove the claims they made are valid and there are entire armories of smoky looking guns lying around in the dodgy looking data.

it will be an interesting wrestling match.

but it is FAR from the only potential bout on the card.

the european commission has been trying to get pfizer CEO albert bourla in to have a few words about the deeply unusual manner in which the EU contracts were signed and EC president ursula von der lyin’ (that was probably a typo or something) sure seems to have lost all her records on the matter.

more dogs are eating more homework as israeli interest in this matters is piqued as well.

and then come the germans who also seem to have some pointy questions of their own.

pfizer and moderna may not be quite running out of friends yet, but they certainly seem to have no shortage of new inquisitors who are starting to take far more than passing interests in the l’affaires covidienne.

this is how the tail gets caught in the ringer and the rest of the beast inexorably follows.

once the questions start in earnest and from all sides, the game can really change…

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 3 Comments

German FM Baerbock calls Nigeria a colony of Germany

Free West Media | December 23, 2022

The fact that history and geography are not necessarily among the strengths of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has been known at least since her last reports about tank battles in the 19th century or countries that are “hundreds of thousands of kilometers” away. The circumference of the Earth is just over 40,000km, so such countries remain an enigma.

Now Baerbock has added to fresh suspicions about her educational background in a new statement via Twitter. “Today we are taking a step that was long overdue: we are bringing twenty Benin bronzes back to their native Nigeria. That will not heal all wounds of the past. But we are showing that we are serious about coming to terms with our dark colonial history,” wrote the Foreign Minister. The problem: Nigeria was not colonized by Germany, but by Great Britain.

The Benin Bronzes are a group of several thousand metal plaques and sculptures that have adorned the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Benin since the 16th century. In the era of the colonization of Africa, they were sold as looted art by the United Kingdom in 1897 – to Germany, among others.

Very little is known about Baerbock. The name is a very unusual one in Germany, and there are no other families with this name. Her “biography” and “family” appear to have been fabricated. In his book that has just been published, bestselling author Gerhard Wisnewski has revealed the gaps in the Foreign Minister’s story.

Baerbock herself dismissed her suspicious CV in an “interview” with a kindergarten child, calling herself a little “forgetful”.

The German Foreign Minister might have no clue what she is talking about most of the time, but she is determined to create “good optics” nonetheless. Baerbock employs a personal stylist who receives a monthly flat rate of 7,500 euros. This was first reported by the Bild newspaper. Accordingly, the make-up artist Claude Frommen has been working for the politician for four years.

“Ms. Frommen takes care of Foreign Minister Baerbock’s make-up and hairstyling for picture and television appointments,” confirmed a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. The stylist also accompanies her on her trips abroad. “I let you shine” is her professional motto.

Frommen is a renowned make-up artist from Berlin whose clients include executives from politics, the media and business. On her website, Frommen lists film productions and photo studios as well as the Green Party among her clients. “Years of traveling all over the world have shaped my thoughts and feelings.”

Previously, Baerbock’s cabinet colleague and party colleague Robert Habeck also drew attention to himself with his tax-financed vanities. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology employs a personal photographer for almost 100,000 euros a year.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | | Leave a comment

Will Korea send its shells to Ukraine, and more importantly, which Korea?

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 23.12.2022

Over the past few days, the author has come across several fake news reports on Korean arms supplies to Ukraine. Both from the North and the South.

On the one hand, there is ongoing speculation in the West that the DPRK is allegedly supplying or intends to supply Russia with munitions for use in Ukraine, although such speculation is only true if the DPRK has secretly already built a teleportation machine. Well, or this is a case of “bold assumptions.”

However, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder reiterated on November 15 that the United States is working with its allies and partners to monitor North Korea’s supply of artillery shells to Russia. The general declined to comment on whether the US had tried to prevent this.

On November 24, during an exclusive interview with the Yonhap News Agency, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Kornienko said that military cooperation between North Korea and Russia cannot be ruled out.

In a webinar hosted by the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies on December 2, 2022, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Eliot Kahn not only claimed that Moscow was doing little to enforce Security Council resolutions on North Korea, but specifically noted that Russia allegedly continues to allow numerous North Korean workers to earn income in its jurisdiction in defiance of the UN Security Council resolution and is in the process of acquiring prohibited munitions from the North to support the invasion of Ukraine. As always, no evidence was presented.

In addition to fake news about shells, Western propaganda floods the media with overwhelming amounts of all kinds of disinformation. First, it is “information” about the alleged recruitment of North Korean workers: in the summer and fall, the South Korean Daily NK reported several times that the DPRK was actively recruiting more and more workers to send to eastern Ukraine.

Another fake story was launched by Radio Free Asia, which, citing unnamed sources in North Korea, claimed that three Pyongyang factories were sewing uniforms for the Russian military engaged in the special military operation in Ukraine using Russian fabric. “Journalists” even had the audacity to send a comment to the Russian Embassy, after which, on November 12, the diplomatic mission’s social media page advised the journalist to choose a career as a science fiction writer.

On December 7, Spokesperson for the US Department of State Ned Price again told that Russia continues to seek weapons from North Korea and Iran for use in its war against Ukraine. And again – with no evidence. Against this backdrop, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby seems a paragon of honesty: “We know that the Russians continue to express interest in obtaining North Korean artillery…. (but) I don’t believe we can say today that we’ve seen definite indications that that transaction has been consummated.”

However, there is much more interest in the information from the other side. It tells the story that South rather than North Korean weapons may appear in the conflict zone.

In September 2022, the Czech publication iDNES claimed that the US was preparing a new scheme to supply Ukraine with weapons: allegedly, a certain Czech arms company would soon receive for transfer to Ukraine South Korean Shingung missile systems (KP-SAM) manufactured by LIG Nex1, designed to counter Russian drones and attack aircraft. The $2.9 billion deal is paid for from the US budget, but has yet to be implemented due to the South Korean government’s official policy of non-interference.  On October 2, 2022, the ROK media also wrote about this, although claiming that it is not true: the Czech Republic allegedly has South Korean weapons, but acquired a long time ago, the US started to re-buy them to send them from the Czech Republic to Ukraine already in its own name.

In this context, speaking at a plenary session of the Valdai international discussion club on October 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the decision to supply arms and ammunition to Ukraine “will destroy our relations”. And this can refer to both direct and indirect supplies, when South Korean weapons are sent via third countries or go as replacements for those supplied to Ukraine. Vladimir Putin said that Russia was aware of the Republic of Korea’s plans to supply arms and ammunition to Ukraine, referring to indirect supplies via Poland.

The next day, on October 28, ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol reiterated that the country had never provided lethal weapons to Ukraine; although aid is a matter of “South Korean sovereignty,” Seoul tries to maintain peaceful and good relations with all countries, including Russia.

However, on November 11, the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed US officials, reported that the US was planning to purchase 100,000 155mm artillery shells from the ROK for subsequent transfer to Ukraine, while previously the US military contingent in South Korea (USFK) had already handed over some of its ammunition in the ROK to Kiev (

On the same day, the ROK Ministry of Defense confirmed that Seoul and Washington were discussing supplies of shells to make up for shortages in US arsenals, and the issue was discussed during talks between the defense ministers of the two countries in early November. But the talks are based on the assumption that the ammunition will be used by the US Army.

The latest fake story, that the US is planning to buy 100,000 shells for 155mm artillery pieces from the ROK for supply to Ukraine, was reported by CNN in late November, citing an unnamed Pentagon official. The CNN news comes amid reports that the US is running out of weapons to send to Kiev, and one of the problems is the 155mm artillery ammunition currently being used on the battlefields in Ukraine. As the ROK media wrote, compared to the US, South Korea’s weapons stockpile is quite large, given that South and North Korea are technically still at war, which helps South Korean manufacturers to continue producing ammunition. In addition, Yoon Suk-yeol sees arms exports as one way out of the emerging economic crisis. He said the ROK will aim to become the world’s fourth largest arms exporter by 2027, taking at least 5% of the industry market.

Commenting on the announcement, Col. Moon Hong-sik of the ROK Ministry of Defense reiterated on November 28 that the US is the end user of South Korean-made artillery shells. Similar reports are citing unnamed officials, but in this case more precise information is needed.

Thus, South Korea does not deny supplying weapons to the US or other countries, while a number of the author’s local respondents, following the South Korean President, emphasize that there will be no direct supplies to Ukraine, the US is the end user, and the deal with Poland even provides for a ban on transferring these weapons to Ukraine.

Of course, the author does not know whether the contract between Poland and the ROK restricts the supply or transfer of arms to third parties. But the whole situation does not bode well.

Although the ROK has been placed on Russia’s list of unfriendly countries, it remains the friendliest of the unfriendly. Without wishing to zero out economic cooperation, Seoul says it is “together with the international community” on the Ukrainian issue, but is not particularly keen to jump ahead. Moreover, some South Korean companies are not only reluctant to leave the Russian market, but are buying up the property of those firms that have actually left.

Such defiance is certainly not to the liking of Washington, which would like relations between Moscow and Seoul to be as messy as those with other US allies. There is a sense that the US is deliberately pushing the ROK and Russia towards a bigger rift, and the fake about “arms deal” in the US media, citing secret sources and without confirmation, was intended to drive an additional wedge into relations between Seoul and Moscow.

Moreover, knowing Moscow’s concerns about the possibility of South Korean arms supplies to Ukraine, Washington is in a position to stage a provocation, realizing that Moscow might be furious and not particularly concerned about whether Seoul knew where the US weapons were going or whether it was “set up.” After all, such a move would be perceived by Moscow as crossing red lines and would be a reason for retaliation.

The possibility of this, incidentally, is also recognized by South Korean experts. On November 11, Jeh Sung-hoon, head of the Russian Studies Department at the University of Foreign Studies, told RIA Novosti that Washington is seeking artillery supplies from the ROK not for military assistance to Ukraine but to chill relations between Seoul and Moscow and make South Korea even more deeply involved in the anti-Russian front.

Park Byung-hwan, a former Consul Ambassador at the South Korean Embassy in Moscow and now director of the South Korean Institute for Eurasian Strategic Studies, also told RIA Novosti that in the current circumstances there is a possibility of “hidden” supplies of South Korean arms to Ukraine, unless there are direct instructions in the contract from Seoul not to send weapons there.

Shin Jong-woo, a senior researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, believes that “if the US purchases the artillery shells from us based on an agreement that the US will be the end user, but it changes its mind later in order to transfer them to Ukraine, we cannot take issue with the decision after selling them.” It is absurd to be interested in who the end user will be as “… exporting countries have few options even if end users do something illegal with their exports.”

On the contrary, Victor Cha, a well-known hawk, who is in charge of Korean affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, writes directly that “the Yoon government should consider arming Ukraine in earnest. Russia has already sanctioned South Korea for joining multilateral sanctions against it, and now, it is already accusing Seoul of doing so. Thus, the Yoon government should go ahead and provide such support to the besieged country as requested by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in his speech to the South Korean National Assembly in April 2022.”

Thus so far, despite the media fuss, none of the fakes about Korean weapons in Ukraine has been confirmed with regard to either the North or the South. Here’s hoping that such propaganda will never become a reality.

Konstantin Asmolov, PhD in History, leading research fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of China and Modern Asia, the Russian Academy of Sciences.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Russian Ammonia Supplies to Needy Nations Blocked Exclusively by Ukraine, Foreign Ministry Says

By Kirill Kurevlev – Samizdat – 23.12.2022

Exports of Russian food and fertilizers are part of the Black Sea grain deal with Ukraine but are not being carried out. At the same time, the UN has assured that the restrictions would be lifted altogether.

Kiev is blocking supplies of Russian ammonia, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry has said, noting that Ukraine is the only obstacle to the supply of fertilizers to countries in need.

“The resumption of ammonia supplies is blocked only and exclusively by Kiev (…) we are talking about seven million tonnes of raw materials per year, sufficient to produce 25 million tonnes of fertilizer to feed 150 million people,” the ministry said.

According to the ministry, similar examples “clearly show” which side in the conflict “not only does not help ensure global food security, but speculates on the needs of the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, including in fertilizers, pursuing neo-colonial or narrowly selfish goals.”

Kiev, however, has claimed that Russia sabotaged the grain deal, despite Ukraine being the country which used the humanitarian corridor for military purposes. The diplomatic body said that it increasingly hears criticism about the insufficiently effective implementation of the agreement, with Kiev blaming Russia, “apparently forgetting that it was Kiev’s actions to use the maritime humanitarian corridor for military purposes that led to the temporary suspension of the initiative from October 29 to November 2 and its virtual failure due to the lack of key security guarantees.”

In this regard, the Foreign Ministry recalled that Russia began to fulfill the terms of the deal in good faith immediately after the signing of the agreements in Istanbul on July 22.

The ministry also recalled that after the expiration of the “Black Sea initiative” for the export of Ukrainian food from the ports of Odessa, Yuzhny and Chernomorsk on November 18, Russia did not object to its extension for another 120 days, until March 18, 2023.

“We made this difficult decision based on our commitment to our obligations to ensure global food security and in strict linkage with the achievement of real returns from the implementation of the Russia-UN Memorandum on the promotion of domestic agricultural exports, which is the second part of the Istanbul “package,” the diplomatic department noted.

The Russian diplomatic body emphasized that there has been no real progress in the implementation of the Russia-UN Memorandum on the normalization of domestic agricultural exports so far.

“Despite the exemptions for food and fertilizer declared by the West, including Europeans as part of the adoption of the 9th package of anti-Russian sanctions, Russian producers and suppliers continue to face blocking bank payments, prohibitive insurance rates and denial of access to ports,” the statement said. “Thus, the matter does not go beyond words and casuistry from Washington, Brussels and London, and in the meantime, countries in need continue to suffer not only from the crisis in the affordability of food and fertilizers but also from their physical shortage.”

It was also stressed that there are still serious distortions in the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative both in the geography of food recipients and in the range of exported products.

“Despite its declared humanitarian nature, cargoes are sent mainly to countries with a high level of income, while poor states receive no more than 3%. At the same time, 70% of the cargoes are fodder corn and feed grains that the needy, they say, can buy food at lower prices,” the ministry said.

Earlier, in an interview with Sputnik, Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior research fellow at the Center for European Studies, Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the West purposefully obstructs fertilizer supplies under the Black Sea grain agreement in an effort to harm Russia’s international standing and compel African nations to purchase grain from Europe and the US.

Given the serious shortage of fertilizer supplies to needy African countries suffering from a food crisis, Moscow has promised to supply fertilizer to the continent for free.

The Black Sea grain deal was reached on July 22 between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the United Nations to create a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships exporting food and fertilizer from Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Vladimir Putin has asserted on numerous occasions that the majority of the ships bringing grain from Ukraine did not arrive in the world’s poorest nations but rather ended up in Europe. Putin has also expressed his worries over the failure of Russian goods to reach international markets as promised by the deal.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , | Leave a comment

Sweden Confirms ‘Baltic Titanic’ Was Used for Secret Military Transports

Samizdat – 23.12.2022

The Estonia’s sinking in 1994 killed 852 people and is seen as the second-worst peacetime maritime disaster, ranking only behind the Titanic. With decades having gone by, questions about the tragedy abound, despite survivors’ numerous calls for justice.

In a sensational confession, the Swedish Armed Forces have admitted that the Estonia passenger ferry, whose demise in 1994 is seen as one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century, was used for secret military transports.

Ever since the Estonia sank on September 28, 1994, there have been rumors that the ferry had military cargo on board on the night of the accident. The accident commission appointed shortly afterwards dismissed the rumors as unsubstantiated fantasies. However, in 2004 Swedish media revealed that at least on two occasions, two weeks and one week before the accident, cars loaded with military gear were transported to Sweden.

In a new document, “a handful” of military transports from the Baltic countries with the Swedish Armed Forces as recipients were finally confirmed, yet without exact dates. However, the document features “electronic equipment without any connection to weapons systems” transported in civilian vehicles.

The Armed Forces’ written response also cited “Project Baltic Support”, a Swedish military aid program run in 1993-2003. Among others, the project included “equipment transferred to the Baltics” as well as “comprehensive training programs.”

The somewhat belated and mostly involuntary admission comes in response to an ongoing re-investigation of the Estonia shipwreck following a groundbreaking documentary that revealed a previously unknown hole in the ship’s hull and sowed skepticism in the official version. As part of their work, the investigators queried the Armed Forces about the military transports.

“At the beginning of the 90s, the Baltic states were newly independent and the Soviet Union had fallen, so there was certainly a great interest, among others, within the Swedish Armed Forces in getting military equipment from there,” Jonas Backstrand, chairman of the Estonia investigation at the State Accident Commission told Swedish media, citing interviews with both current and former employees of the Armed Forces.

Previous investigations hinted that the Armed Forces may have organized the transports in collaboration with officials from Ericsson Group. The Swedish Customs had promised the military not to check the cars’ loads, something it itself later confirmed.

Questions Remain

The passenger ferry Estonia sank on the night of September 28, 1994, about halfway between Tallinn and Stockholm. 852 people died in the disaster, which is now sometimes referred to as the “Baltic Titanic”. 28 years later, it remains largely a mystery despite survivors’ numerous calls for justice.

While a subsequent investigation formally placed the blame on a faulty bow visor that allowed thousands of tons of water to gush in, an abundance of alternative theories have flourished over the decades, including the Estonia being sunk by submarine. These theories, while officially dismissed as conspiracies, were nevertheless fueled by the Swedish government’s hasty decision to drop thousands of tons of pebbles on the site and thereby turn the wreck into a sea grave. Furthermore, the so-called Estonia Act was quickly railroaded through, establishing the sanctity of the site and prohibiting citizens from the signatory counties from even approaching the wreck.

Recently, 17 Estonia survivors penned an opinion piece in Swedish media, urging to add more resources and review the accident in its entirety. They stress that it took 27 years before they were allowed to testify and that the final report from 1997 didn’t fully agree with their experiences.

“If during the 90s it was sensitive to investigate because of security policy issues and Sweden’s need to assert its non-alignment, perhaps it can be seen differently now?”, the survivors wrote, alluding to Sweden’s vaunted vestiges of neutrality that went down in flames earlier this year as the Nordic country filed an application to join NATO.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Japanese politician calls on Biden to apologise for US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Ahmed Adel | December 23, 2022

Renowned Japanese Senator Muneo Suzuki called on the United States to honestly admit to Japan and the whole world that dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II was a mistake.

“Although 77 years have passed since the war ended, the United States, the country that dropped the atomic bomb, has never apologised or asked for forgiveness. It is the United States that still speaks loudly about ‘democracy, human rights and freedom’ for the actions of other countries. So why not tell Japan and the world honestly what the US has done?” the veteran politician said in an article posted on his website.

“During (the visit), you should say using an atomic bomb was a mistake,” stressed the Japanese MP.

Japanese media reported that Washington was negotiating with Tokyo on the possibility of Biden visiting Nagasaki in May 2023. Biden’s visit to Nagasaki is expected to take place within the framework of the G7 Leaders’ Summit to be held in Hiroshima on May 19-21.

Biden will become the first US President to visit Nagasaki if negotiations go well. It is recalled that in May 2016, former President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, became the first US leader to visit Hiroshima during the G7 summit in Japan, but he did not visit Nagasaki.

If the trip occurs, Biden would likely visit the city’s Peace Park, located near the epicentre of the nuclear blast. He, as a devout Catholic, would also expectedly visit Urakami Cathedral, a Catholic church rebuilt after being destroyed by the nuclear blast.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has put forward his vision of a nuclear weapons free world since coming to power in October 2021, would likely accompany Biden on his visit to Nagasaki sometime before or after the summit, Japan Times reported, citing a source close to the matter.

The current Japanese prime minister visited Hiroshima with Obama when he was foreign minister, together with then prime minister Shinzo Abe. It is recalled that Biden served as vice president under Obama, who was controversially awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his so-called attempts to free the world of nuclear weapons. According to Japan Times, Kishida hopes he and Biden can send a similar message to the world from the two Japanese cities.

The G7 summit, to be held from May 19 to 21, will be hosted by Kishida, who represents a constituency in Hiroshima, which was also destroyed by a US atomic bomb. For this reason, Tokyo and Washington are still contemplating if Biden’s trip to Nagasaki, a city which is forever linked with Hiroshima, is viable and to scope the opinions of local residents, including the hibakusha – the Japanese term to mean a survivor of the atomic explosions in 1945.

On August 6 and 9, 1945, the US military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 140,000 people died in Hiroshima and 74,000 people died in Nagasaki. Most of the victims of the two atomic bombings were civilians. Every year on these days, Hiroshima and Nagasaki hold memorials to remember the nuclear tragedy that claimed the lives of 214,000 people.

This massive loss of life has meant a firm element of anti-Americanism in Japan. At the same time though, because the country has been partially occupied by the US since World War II, Tokyo is firmly in the Atlanticist camp as its political elite are mostly controlled. None-the-less, Japan always held a pacifist policy, partly imposed by a US fearful of a Japan once again being military empowered.

However, Japan has evidently abandoned its long-held pacifist policy when considering the $320-billion defence plan recently announced by Kishida. This defence plan will make Japan the world’s third-biggest military spender after the United States and China, surpassing even India, the UK and France.

For this reason, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Japan on December 22 of “unbridled militarisation”.

“It can be clearly seen that Tokyo has embarked on the path of an unprecedented build-up of its own military power, including the acquisition of strike potential,” the statement said. “This is a frank rejection by the F. Kishida administration of the peaceful development of the country, which was persistently declared by previous generations of politicians, and a return to the rails of unbridled militarisation.”

Japan’s actions will inevitably increase tension in the Asia-Pacific region despite the fact there should be no real reason why they should exist to begin with. In fact, they mostly exist on the influence of the US, a country which dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan and to this day still refuses to apologise, as Muneo Suzuki highlighted.

With Japan on the path of becoming a major military power, there is a high possibility that Biden will make the apology if it will deepen American influence in a country which Washington hopes, and seemingly now gives permission, to oppose and challenge Russia and China.

Ahmed Adel is a Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments