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UK government funded unit that created demonetization blacklist of news publishers

By Cindy Harper | Reclaim The Net | February 21, 2023

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office is funding London-based think tank the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), which creates a blacklist of websites it thinks advertisers should avoid that are mostly right-of-center news websites.

GDI states that its objective is to “disrupt their advertising-funded business models by encouraging brands, suppliers and ad tech vendors to blocklist them.”

The GDI is also funded by the US State Department.

Recently, the think tank published a list of 10 “least risky” and “riskiest” news websites in the US. The New York Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, and AP News were among the list of “least risky.” Among the 10 “riskiest” websites were the New York Post, Newsmax, the American Spectator, and The Federalist.

GDI also wants anything that challenges scientific consensus on vaccines and climate change to be blocked. For instance it is disinformation to describe the COVID-19 vaccines as “experimental.”

The GDI is on a mission to “defund online sources of disinformation.”

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Evidence of US guilt for Nord Stream ‘more than a smoking gun’ – Russia

RT | February 21, 2023

The destruction of Nord Stream pipelines was an act of international terrorism and needs to be addressed to avoid “chaos” on the high seas, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday. Russia has accused Germany, Sweden and Denmark of a cover-up to shield the US, and said it would only trust a UN investigation.

The two pipelines carrying Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea were damaged by a series of blasts in September 2022. While Moscow has stopped short of openly accusing the US of carrying out the bombing, journalist Seymour Hersh did just that in an article published earlier this month.

Nebenzia referred to Hersh’s article and statements by multiple US officials threatening the pipeline – from president Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to “godmother of the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine,” Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. He also brought up the infamous tweet by former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski and an alleged text by Liz Truss, the UK prime minister at the time – all suggesting the US and its allies had the motive, as well as means and opportunity, to destroy Nord Stream.

“We’re not going to do ‘highly likely’ here,” said Nebenzia, referring to the British accusations against Russia in the Security Council chamber in 2018. The publicly available evidence is “more than a smoking gun” that Hollywood is so fond of, but all Moscow wants is an independent international investigation into the claims in Hersh’s article, the Russian diplomat added.

The attack on Nord Stream involved explosives and qualifies as international terrorism under a convention signed in 1997, Nebenzia noted. Unless its perpetrators are found and brought to justice, the attack may well usher in an epoch when transnational undersea infrastructure becomes a legitimate target, which would cause “chaos and terrible damage to all of humanity,” he added.

According to Nebenzia, Russia does not trust the investigations currently conducted by Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as they all refused to share their findings or outright ignored Moscow’s inquiries. “It is quite clear,” he said, that they are “covering up for their American big brother.” If Western countries block Russia’s request for a UN investigation, that will “only shore up our suspicion,” he added.

Before Nebenzia addressed the Security Council, former US diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo – currently the under-secretary-general for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs – argued the world body was “not in position to verify or confirm” anything, urging everyone to “show restraint and avoid accusations that could escalate the already heightened tensions in the region.”

The Security Council also heard from professor Jeffrey Sachs and retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who both testified to Hersh’s bona fides. While the US government rejected Hersh’s narrative as false, it “did not offer any information contradicting Hersh’s account, and did not offer any alternative explanation,” said Sachs. He also called Nuland’s comments about Nord Stream “not at all appropriate in the face of international terrorism.”

February 21, 2023 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

State Department globalists responsible for Ukraine coup – Trump

RT | February 21, 2023

Former US president Donald Trump has blamed “warmongers and ‘America Last’ globalists” at the State Department for pushing Ukraine toward conflict. Trump, who is running for office in 2024, promised to rid Washington of “warmongers, frauds and failures” if elected again.

In a campaign video released on Tuesday, Trump warned that “World War III has never been closer than it is right now,” and laid the blame on “all the warmongers and ‘America Last’ globalists in the Deep State, the Pentagon, the State Department and the national security industrial complex.”

The former president singled out Victoria Nuland, the US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, whom he said was “obsessed with pushing Ukraine towards NATO.”

Trump declared that Nuland and “others just like her” at the State Department supported the 2014 “uprisings” in Ukraine that saw democratically-elected former president Viktor Yanukovych replaced with the pro-Western Petro Poroshenko, who then began a campaign of military repression against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Nuland met with rioters in Kiev in 2014, where she promised pro-Western politicians a billion dollar loan guarantee program and military assistance. In an infamous leaked call between Nuland and the US’s then-ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, the pair discussed selecting a leader to replace Yanukovych from a list of opposition politicians.

Trump claimed, as he has on several occasions over the last year, that the conflict in Ukraine would have “never happened if I was your president.”

“I was the only president who rejected the catastrophic advice of many of Washington’s generals, bureaucrats and so-called diplomats who only know how to get us into conflicts,” he continued, adding that “we need to get rid of the corrupt globalist establishment that has botched every major foreign policy decision for decades.”

“The State Department, Pentagon, and national security establishment will be a very different place by the end of my administration,” Trump said, claiming that “the warmongers, frauds and failures in the senior ranks of our government will all be gone.”

Opposition to America’s “forever wars” was a core component of Trump’s 2016 platform. Although Trump was the first president in decades not to involve the US in a new foreign conflict, he was criticized by his base for briefly hiring noted war-hawk John Bolton as his national security adviser, and for authorizing missile strikes on Syria.

While President Joe Biden has pledged to indefinitely supply Kiev with weapons, Trump has claimed that he would call Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin if elected and “have a deal made in 24 hours.”

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | 8 Comments

Ukraine bans former president’s party

RT | February 21, 2023

The party of former president Viktor Yanukovich, once Ukraine’s largest, was banned on Tuesday by a Kiev court acting on a government request. Ukraine’s security services had accused the Party of Regions of illegally signing a 2010 treaty with Russia and “crimes” against the 2014 US-backed coup that ousted Yanukovich.

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) announced the ban to state media, saying it followed a motion by the Ministry of Justice based on accusations leveled by the SBI and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) against the party.

“In particular, the SBI provided materials regarding the illegal actions of the leadership of the Party of Regions during the signing and ratification of the so-called Kharkov Agreements, as well as crimes committed by them during the events of the Revolution of Dignity,” the agency said.

The 2010 agreement, signed in Kharkov, extended the Russian lease of naval facilities in Crimea through 2042 and gave Ukraine a discount on Russian natural gas supplies. The “Revolution of Dignity” is the name the new Ukrainian government gave the Maidan coup of 2014, which triggered the conflict over Crimea and the Donbass.

The Ukrainian government is “currently determining” the value of the party’s assets, which will be seized under a law enacted in May 2022. It enables President Vladimir Zelensky’s government to ban any party that challenges its official position, in particular when it comes to the conflict with Russia. A court’s decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

The law has been used to ban a dozen parties so far. The largest parliamentary opposition bloc, Opposition Platform – For Life, was outlawed last June.

The Party of Regions was established in 1997 and had grown into Ukraine’s biggest political party by 2006, in response to the 2004 ‘Orange Revolution’ that installed a pro-American government. It practically ceased to operate after the 2014 coup, as Yanukovich and Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov sought asylum in Russia.

The latest ban comes just a day after US President Joe Biden visited Kiev and compared Ukraine’s government to democracy itself. “Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. America – and the world – stands with Ukraine,” Biden declared after a photo-op with Zelensky.

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

How Long Did Americans Support America’s Longest War?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | February 21, 2023

In an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times, Alexander J. Moytyl, a professor of political science at Rutgers, asks, “How long will Russians tolerate Putin’s costly war?” After pointing out the many negative consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moytyl makes a pointed observation: “And yet, almost a year after the invasion of Ukraine, Russians continue to support strongman Putin and the war.” Moytyl just cannot understand how this can be.

Well, maybe if we look inward, which Moytyl certainly does not do in his op-ed, we can figure out the answer. 

Let’s consider, for example, the U.S. government’s wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. There were lots of negative aspects of those two wars, beginning with the fact the U.S. invasions of both countries were illegal, both under International law and U.S. law.

It is undisputed that neither Afghanistan nor Iraq ever attacked the United States. That means that the U.S. was the aggressor in both wars.

Yes, I know, defenders of the Afghanistan invasion point to the fact that Osama bin Laden, who was accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, was supposedly living in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, under International law, the U.S. had no legitimate legal authority to invade Afghanistan to arrest or kill him. 

It is also undisputed that there was no extradition treaty between Afghanistan and the United States. Therefore, when President Bush demanded that the Afghan government extradite bin Laden to the U.S., under international law Afghanistan had the legitimate authority to say no. Under international law, Bush had no legitimate authority to invade the country simply because Afghanistan rejected his unconditional extradition demand. 

It is also undisputed that neither the Iraqi people nor the Iraqi government had any connection to the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. invasion of that country was a pure war of aggression, one based on the flagrant and fraudulent pretense of uncovering non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” 

It is also undisputed that there was no declaration of war issued by Congress against either Afghanistan or Iraq, as required by the U.S. Constitution. That made both invasions illegal under our form of constitutional government. 

It is impossible to know exactly how many people in Afghanistan and Iraq were tortured, injured, or killed by U.S. forces in those two wars of aggression. That’s because, early on, the Pentagon announced that it would not keep track of enemy dead. That’s because the lives of Afghans and Iraqis didn’t count. 

However, according to the Watson Institute at Brown University, “Nearly 20 years after the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan, the cost of its global war on terror stands at $8 trillion and 900,000 deaths.”

That is a lot of money. And that is a lot of dead people. I would estimate that 99 percent of those dead people had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. 

Yet, many Americans supported their government throughout all this mayhem, just as the Russian people are standing with their government during its current mayhem. In fact, I remember church ministers all across the United States beseeching their congregations for years to “support the troops, especially those in harm’s way in Afghanistan and Iraq.” I also recall how we were all encouraged to “thank the troops for their service” whenever we saw them in uniform. I also remember all those critical things that were said against those of us who opposed these wars of aggression and resulting occupations. 

Supporting their government in time of war is what most citizens do in every nation, including Russia, the United States, and Germany. Most citizens are forced into the state’s educational system at a very young age, where their minds are molded to blindly come to the support of their regime during wartime. Children are inculcated with mindsets of deference to authority and blind trust in their political, military, and intelligence officials. That mindset continues well into adulthood. In the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, I recall many people, including commentators in the mainstream press, exclaiming, “We need to trust our officials. They have access to information that we don’t have.”

So, what befuddles me is why Alexander J. Moytyl is befuddled by the overwhelming support by Russian citizens of their regime during wartime. If American citizens blindly support their regime during wartime, why would anyone expect that Russian citizens would respond differently?

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 7 Comments

Biden’s Kiev trip ‘a slap in the face’ to America – US Congressman

RT | February 21, 2023

US President Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine was “a slap in the face to every American,” Republican Rep. Paul Gosar declared on Monday. Already under fire over the hundreds of billions of dollars he’s handed Kiev, Biden is now being savaged by Republicans for his handling of a disastrous chemical accident on US soil.

Biden made an unannounced visit to Kiev on Monday, where he told Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that his administration was readying a $500 million military aid package for his forces. Biden’s administration has handed Zelensky almost $30 billion in military aid since last February, and has set aside more than $110 billion for continued military and economic assistance to Ukraine.

“Joe Biden visiting Ukraine is a slap in the face to every American, especially the people of East Palestine, Ohio,” Gosar tweeted. “Ukraine is not our friend, and Russia is not our enemy.”

Gosar has bitterly opposed Biden’s bankrolling of Ukraine, and sponsored a resolution earlier this month that would halt US aid to Kiev. The resolution, signed by 11 members of the anti-interventionist ‘Freedom Caucus’, calls on Russia and Ukraine to reach a peace agreement.

Republicans from the Freedom Caucus and beyond have hammered Biden for his handling of the East Palestine chemical spill. A train carrying vinyl chloride and other hazardous chemicals derailed in this small Ohio town earlier this month, and a controlled burn of these substances blanketed the town in a cloud of black smoke.

Biden has not visited East Palestine, nor has he approved a disaster declaration. Biden’s transportation secretary blamed the derailment on former President Donald Trump, and although Biden has sent Environmental Protection Agency and Health and Human Services officials to the location to declare it safe, residents have complained of alarming physical symptoms as well as dead pets, livestock and fish.

“That was the biggest slap in the face,” East Palestine Mayor Trent Conway said of Biden’s trip to Kiev. “That tells you right now he doesn’t care about us. He can send every agency he wants to, but I found out this morning that he was in Ukraine giving millions of dollars away to people over there and not to us…on President’s Day in our country, so I’m furious,” he told Fox News.

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

Mass demo in Munich against war

Free West Media | February 21, 2023

While Annalena Baerbock and US VP Kamala Harris discussed the further escalation of the war in Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference convened in the Bayerischer Hof, thousands demonstrated peacefully against war on the Königsplatz.

Several demonstrations took place in Munich on Saturday on the fringes of the Security Conference directed against the meeting itself. The organizers of one group, Munich Stand Up! counted between 20,000 to 25,000 of their participants.

Protesters followed the call by the Munich AfD on Saturday morning to the Old Botanical Garden, where they could be seen with peace signs and Russian flags.

According to the police, there was a scuffle and verbal confrontations with a small group of left-wing counter-demonstrators. They shouted “Fascist pack” and “Nazi plague”. Around noon, many participants in the AfD demo joined the protest on the Königsplatz, the largest gathering.

Right and left come together

Regardless of whether they were right-wing or left-wing: in terms of symbolism, both groups held flags displaying peace signs and Russian colours.

Slogans criticized NATO and the press as “warmongers” or drew parallels with the Corona pandemic, which many believe had been staged for nefarious purposes. The speakers included the left-wing politician Dieter Dehm and the former CDU politician Jürgen Todenhöfer.

Dehm spoke of “Ukrainian killer gangs and Nazi fascists” while Todenhöfer said in his speech: “The West wanted this war.” He accused the federal government of “madness”.

The final rally of the big “Anti-SiKo-Demo” took place on Marienplatz. As every year, the Munich “Action Alliance against the NATO Security Conference” had called for the demonstration. The opponents, who came mainly from the left-wing spectrum, had gathered at the Stachus shortly after noon.

The demonstrators called to “Create peace without weapons” on posters. Rainbow flags with the words “Pace” (Italian for peace) were displayed next to the dove of peace.

Confronting Ukraine supporters

As in previous years, peace demonstrators walked through the city center, where they passed a gathering at Odeonsplatz  – a small band of supporters of Ukraine.

On the stage in front of the Feldherrnhalle, the members of the Bundestag Anton Hofreiter (Greens) and Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) spoke, and again called for the escalation of the war in Ukraine. Jamila Schäfer (Greens) expressed her satisfaction that the government had now initiated the delivery of battle tanks.

When the two protest camps met, it remained peaceful. However, it got a bit loud because both sides started chanting their slogans.

Some Ukrainian supporters burst into tears when they saw the peace posters: “Negotiate instead of shooting” was written on them.

Nazis for Ukraine

At the Feldherrnhalle, the site of Hitler’s putsch in 1923, the war supporters demonstrated for the Zelensky regime.

President Zelensky has banned all opposition media and parties in Ukraine and is openly cooperating with neo-Nazi militias and, according to recent photographs taken by die Associated Press, also with ISIS commanders.

Before the conference, he had even demanded the delivery of banned cluster bombs.

Thousands of police officers

According to the police, around 4,500 officers from Bavaria and other federal states as well as 300 federal police officers were on duty around the conference. At the international meeting of experts from Friday to Sunday, the main focus was on arming Ukraine. In addition, there were also debates about other conflicts such as in the Middle East, Yemen or Iran.

In support of the conference therefore, a few people demonstrated loudly for regime change in Iran in the morning on Odeonsplatz. The country’s green, white and red flag flew over the heads of people who want a pro-US regime and called on the European Union to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. The “National Council of Resistance of Iran” had called for the protest.

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Clear majority of Austrians say no to war

Free West Media | February 21, 2023

VIENNA – According to a recent survey by Unique Research, 65 percent of Austrians want Ukraine to stop fighting. They want peace talks. It is interesting to also note that only Green voters want fighting to continue.

The effects of the war are becoming more and more dramatic. A current survey done for the magazine Heute is therefore unsurprisingly very clear: the Austrians have had enough. They feel that Ukraine should finally sit down at the negotiating table with Russia, even if that means giving up territory.

Escalation spiral continues

“There are no compromises with the Russians,” according to Ukrainian President Zelensky. Not only has he demanded battle tanks, but Kiev wants cluster munitions and phosphorus bombs. The reason for the constant escalation lies not least in the situation at the front. After months of fighting with thousands of dead, the Donbass “fortress” Bakhmut is about to fall.

Only Greens are still for war

While many European politicians (and much of the media) continue  their warmongering, a peace movement is therefore sweeping through Austria. The war is only still popular among the Greens. Some 49 percent of the former pacifist party want Ukraine to keep fighting while 48 percent want peace – the rest are unsure.

Only 21 percent of respondents believe that Ukraine should continue fighting, while 65 percent have called on Kiev to negotiate. The call for peace was most pronounced among FPÖ voters, with 86 percent in favor of a speedy end to the war, even if Ukraine would have to make concessions to do so.

Similarly, 63 percent of SPÖ voters want to go down the path of diplomacy and 59 percent of ÖVP supporters call for peace. Among Neos voters, 54 percent are in favor of immediate negotiations.

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Russia issues warning about future of Ukraine conflict

RT | February 21, 2023

Western elites “intend” to transform the conflict in Ukraine from a regional to a global one, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Moscow perceives this as an existential threat and will react accordingly, he said.

The goal of those in power in the US and other Western nations is to “end us once and for all,” the Russian leader stated during a keynote speech on Tuesday. They are using Ukraine as a “battering ram” against Russia and don’t care how many people will die as a result, he said.

“They intend to turn a local conflict into a phase of global confrontation. That is how we understand things and will react accordingly. Because the issue here is the existence of our state,” Putin said.

The Ukraine conflict was unleashed by the West when it supported an armed coup in Kiev in 2014, the Russian president noted. Western powers then poured resources into the new regime, even as it used the military against its own population and became increasingly nationalist and extreme.

Western elites “don’t care who they are betting on in their fight against us, their fight against Russia. They just want them to go to war,” Putin observed. The current Ukrainian government is “alien” to the people it governs and serves Western interests, he believes.

“Nobody among them counts the loss of human lives and tragedies, because trillions of dollars are at stake, an opportunity to keep robbing everyone under the cover of rhetoric of democracy and freedoms,” the Russian leader warned.

He said that ultimately Russia’s opponents must realize that the country cannot be defeated on the battlefield. That is why they target it in different ways, trying to undermine its unity via historical revisionism and attacks on Russian traditional values, Putin explained.

The remarks were part of the president’s address to the Federal Assembly, as both chambers of the Russian parliament are called, as well to as senior Russian officials and public figures.

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Moldova acts in a destabilizing way in Transnistria

By Lucas Leiroz | February 21, 2023

Moldova insists on the threat and blackmail strategy against Transnistria. The country’s new head of government has called on Russian troops to withdraw from the autonomous republic in order for the region to be “demilitarized”. In fact, the Western-backed Moldovan tactic of trying to intimidate the Transnistrian people will only lead to more conflict and insecurity, creating a scenario of instability in the face of which Moscow will not remain inert.

The new Prime Minister of Moldova, Dorin Recean, said on February 20 that Transnistria must be demilitarized, and the Russian troops must be expelled from there. The statement made clear the position of the new head of the Moldovan government, eliminating any doubts about the possibility of the emergence of more peaceful tendencies towards Russia in Chisinau with the recent change in the team of ministers. The country seems increasingly willing to cooperate with the West to advance anti-Russian political projects in the region.

According to Recean, Moldova is currently in a very vulnerable security situation, the solution of which depends in the first place on the immediate demilitarization of the “left bank of the Dniester”. The prime minister made it clear that even economic and social issues should only be discussed after demilitarization is achieved. In this sense, the withdrawal of Russian forces from Transnistria is the highest priority of the Moldovan government.

“[There are] real threats of escalation of either military or hybrid operations [in Moldova] (…) We must calibrate our defenses so that it would be tough for any aggressor to attack us (…) The left bank of the Dniester (Transnistria) should be demilitarized by evacuating Russian troops and demilitarizing local residents (…) We must achieve one fundamental thing – demilitarization. Everything else follows after that, and the economic and social integration of our citizens who are there is very important, but in the first place is demilitarization. It depends on many things, but at some point, it will be decided”, he said.

As expected, the reaction of the Russian and Transnistrian authorities was immediate, with several criticisms against the Moldovan position. Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the topic saying that “Moldova is slipping into anti-Russian hysteria”. In the same vein, Transnistria’s Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatyev said: “It (the Moldovan side) is not ready for dialogue (…) In reality, Chisinau is sparing no effort to destroy the negotiating structures we have and to create new problems to dodge the implementation of its liabilities”.

In fact, it is curious to analyze what the Moldovan government understands by “demilitarization”. The withdrawal of Russian forces from Transnistria would not mean the mere “demilitarization” of the region, but its weakening, thus enabling Chisinau to intervene and resolve the issue through force and hostility. At no time did the Moldovan government show interest in advancing the negotiations towards a peaceful solution – it only emphasizes the Transnistrian issue as a national security matter, which makes it seem that the demand for the Russians to leave has the objective of facilitating a possible armed intervention in the region.

The presence of Russian peacekeepers in Transnistria is not any kind of occupation. On the contrary, the permanence of the forces is supported by the vast majority of the local population, who see in the Russian military a guarantee of protection against the constant threats of aggression by the central government. Politically, Moscow has respected Moldovan sovereignty, recognizing Transnistria as an autonomous region, with its right to self-administration, in coexistence with the Moldovan government. However, for Chisinau, there seems to be no other possible end to the conflict than an eventual military, violent recapture of the area.

Considering that Moldova has acted over the years as a proxy for NATO, given its alignment with the countries of the western alliance, mainly Romania, for Moscow it is absolutely unacceptable to allow Moldovan military growth in the region, as this would jeopardize not only the security of the Transnistrian people, but would also threaten Russia itself, since the Russian strategic environment would be vulnerable in the face of yet another focus of conflict.

Therefore, threat and blackmail really do not seem like good tactics for the Moldovan government to deal with the Transnistrian issue. The only interesting way to resolve the dispute is through peace negotiations that guarantee Transnistria’s right to political autonomy. Demanding that the Russians leave the region is meaningless, as obviously Moscow cannot remain inert while another threat of war arises within its strategic environment. In fact, either Chisinau adheres to diplomacy or the militarization of Transnistria will continue.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

You can follow Lucas on Twitter and Telegram.

February 21, 2023 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

America the Feckless

Lies and hypocrisy are at the heart of the Biden foreign policy


One would think that the United States military staging an unprovoked “plausibly deniable” covert attack on a nation with which it is not at war would be at least considered newsworthy. That the attack did grave damage to a country with which the US is closely allied would seem to make the aggression even more unthinkable. And, perhaps worst of all, that the attack was set up by the nation’s chief executive using a political bypass that avoided congressional oversight and adherence to the war powers act which might be most reprehensible of all as it cuts to the heart of the nation’s constitutional balance of powers. It is clearly an impeachable offense. And “Yes,” for those who are still wondering, Joe Biden and his team of terrorist emulators have done all that and more, and have capped their performance with a series of flat out lies and evasions to make it appear that they had done nothing wrong.

And the mainstream America media, in its worst performance since the invasion of Iraq, has served as an echo chamber for everything the White House chooses to leak to it. Given all of that, it was perhaps completely predictable that the government-subservient press and TV news would almost completely ignore the devastating report released by top investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on February 8thHersh’s article was entitled “How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline” with a secondary headline reading “The New York Times called it a ‘mystery,’ but the United States executed a covert sea operation that was kept secret—until now.” The article, which Hersh self-published on the internet, describes in considerable detail the preparations and execution by the US Navy Diving and Salvage Center and Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Maritime Branch, coordinated and directed by the White House, to sabotage and destroy Russia’s four Baltic Sea Nord Stream gas pipelines, a war crime and terroristic action that moves the United States much closer to direct armed conflict with Russia.

Given its potential political blowback, the Hersh story might very well be the most important expose to appear since fighting began in Ukraine over a year ago, but it is being ignored by the White House, which is denying the report, with a spokesman only commenting that “This is false and complete fiction.” The CIA’s spokesman Tammy Thorp likewise replied to Hersh that “This claim is completely and utterly false.” The US Navy was also asked for comments but did not respond. The media, clearly evident by its inaction, has religiously adhered to that government line, possibly due to some mistaken notion that our national security forces have to be supported when they are going “toe to toe with the Russkies” over Ukraine. On the contrary, it is precisely when the government is behaving recklessly not to mention criminally to bring about an unnecessary war that the press should be in hot pursuit of the story and what it means. That is particularly so as the Ukraine conflict is now escalating and threatening to go nuclear as both sides dig in to incompatible positions.

I have known Sy Hersh for a number of years and spent time together with him and other former CIA colleagues helping to confirm details of some of his earlier exposes on US government abuses and outright lies in its somewhat not completely credible role as “guardian” of national security. Hersh is a meticulous investigator who never, in my experience, accepted uncorroborated claims in support of his narratives. I have some understanding of who his sources in the intelligence agencies and Department of Defense might be in this case and it should be accepted that what he has written is completely verifiable and derived from individuals who were actual participants in the activities described. That is not to say that there will not be failures to recall accurately certainly details including aspects of the possible Norwegian involvement, something critics are already pointing to, but the main thrust of “whodunit” and “how” is pretty definitively demonstrated.

The report is long and includes a great deal of information on both the planning and the political decision-making that went into the willingness to destroy the pipeline, which I will briefly describe. Sy claims the following: It has not exactly been a secret that many in the United States government have long regarded the Nord Stream pipelines to be a security threat as the supply of relatively cheap natural gas to Germany as a gateway into Europe by Russia would enable Moscow to create a dependency on it for energy which could be manipulated to produce political and strategic advantage.

As the crisis over Ukraine deepened in 2021, the Biden White House set up a secret task force that worked on possible scenarios that focused on using military and intelligence resources to physically destroy the pipelines with some measure of plausible denial of the US hand in the process in order to avoid political blowback from America’s European allies or escalation of the conflict. The secrecy was needed to protect Biden from charges of hypocrisy since he had repeatedly pledged that the US would not be directly involved in any armed conflict with Russia over Ukraine.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan headed the interagency task force, which convened throughout late 2021 and included key players from the Agency’s Maritime Branch and the Navy’s Diving and Salvage Center, both located in Panama City Florida, as well as the State Department, Treasury and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The operation was originally treated as a covert action that would have required congressional oversight, but that fig leaf was abandoned and it became a “highly classified intelligence operation” when Biden and others in the administration stated publicly and clearly their intentions to stop the pipeline, making what eventually took place an openly declared policy, perhaps intended to send a warning to the Russians. A number of options to destroy the pipelines were discussed. According to Hersh, the participants in the meeting, many of whom were hawks who had cut their teeth under the Obama Administration, clearly understood that they were proposing an “act of war” that was being considered in spite of potential blowback because the president had ordered it.

There was plenty of warning of what might be coming. In early February 2022, shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Biden publicly pledged during a joint news conference accompanied by a silent and frowning German chancellor Olav Scholz that “If Russia invades … there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2” and, when pressed on how he would carry that out, he responded, “We will — I promise you — we will be able to do it.” Later, after the destruction of the pipeline, Secretary of State Blinken stated that) the sabotage offered a “tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy… That’s very significant and that offers tremendous strategic opportunity for the years to come.” Not that any more confirmation was needed, but on January 22nd 2023 Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland gloated while testifying to a US Senate committee that “the administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now … a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”

The Biden Administration, in its arrogance has more-or-less been admitting that it was behind the sabotage, which it certainly had the motive and means to carry out, though it was carefully avoiding leaving any actual evidence behind that it had carried out the destruction. As observed above, it has also been deliberately avoiding any congressional involvement, presumably to avoid any discussion of war powers or even due to concerns over possible media leaks.

The mechanics of the placing explosives followed by the actual destruction of the pipelines was reportedly as follows: Under cover of a NATO Baltic Sea exercise called BALTOPS-22 in June 2022 US Navy and possibly also CIA Special Activities and Norwegian deep sea divers descended 260 feet to a spot off the Danish Island of Bornholm, which was considered to be a location where the pipelines converged in relatively shallow tide-free water and were particularly vulnerable. They attached C-4 explosives both to Nord Stream 1, which was operational, and Nord Stream 2, which was completed but was waiting for German safety and security regulators’ approval to become active. The explosives were designed to be remotely detonatable.

The explosives were on a timer that created an escape window for those initiating the detonation and were reported to be activated by a secure signal sent by a sonar buoy that was dropped onto the prepared site by a Norwegian navy helicopter. The Norwegians were essential in that role due to their own military presence close to the targeted part of the Baltic as well as their considerable experience in deep-sea cold-water operations. A Norwegian Navy helicopter in the area would presumably arouse no particular concern, even from the ever-watchful Russians.

Under orders to “Go!” from Washington, on September 26, 2022 the Norwegians dropped the sonar buoy and a few hours later the C-4 explosives were detonated, immediately knocking out three of the four pipelines. In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, the US and its allies in the media made every effort to blame the Russians who were repeatedly cited as a likely culprit. Leaks from the White House and from the British government never established a clear explanation of why Moscow would be into self-sabotage of a lucrative business arrangement. A few months later, when it was revealed that Russian authorities had been quietly getting estimates for the cost to repair the Nord Streams, in the neighborhood of $10 billion, the New York Times seemingly cluelessly described the development as “complicating theories about who was behind” the sabotage.

Indeed, it was never clear why Russia would seek to destroy its own valuable pipeline which was intended to be a major income source for many years to come, a proposition that former British diplomat Craig Murray describes as “deranged.” But a more telling rationale for the President’s action came from Secretary of State Blinken. Asked at a press conference in September about the consequences of the worsening global energy crisis, most felt in Western Europe, a delusional Blinken described the development in positive terms, enthusing how the destruction would “take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs.”

The tale told by Sy Hersh is yet another great betrayal by the country’s so-called leadership, an egregious example of the United States government aided by its lap-dog media again lying to its own citizens and the world to cover-up a criminal act that in no way made Americans safer or more prosperous. In the US, the gadfly Tucker Carlson, among prominent journalists, has up to this point dared to present the investigative account developed by Hersh in a five-minute segment of his programNewsweek has also run a piece examining the issues raised featuring Constitutional lawyer John Yoo. More interesting perhaps, a half hour interview of Hersh by Amy Goodman on PBS television’s Democracy Now! aired last week but then was partially blocked because YouTube considered it to be “inappropriate or offensive.” The full availability of the Seymour Hersh interview video has since that time been restored with the Democracy Now! channel providing the following explanatory message: “UPDATE: We have blurred some imagery about 30 seconds into the video in response to a content warning from YouTube that severely limited the reach of this interview. What you see now is an edited version. For the uncensored version of this interview that aired on our show, visit”

Beyond that exposure, there remain, nevertheless, a lot of questions about the destruction of Nord Stream, which was unambiguously an act of war or even terrorism, that continue to be unanswered. Consider, for example, how NATO countries, the US and Norway, de facto attacked fellow NATO country Germany, which was both the intended recipient and an economic partner in the pipelines. Though some British involvement in the operation, also detected by Russian intelligence, was quickly revealed publicly by then-British Prime Minister Elizabeth Truss’s “It’s done” text to Secretary of State Antony Blinken sixty seconds after the detonation. Berlin apparently was not trusted enough to have a voice in the planning and execution of the bombing even though it was gravely damaged by it. Also, Article 5 of the NATO charter says an attack on one nation requires all other alliance members to aid the country that was targeted and it is intriguing to consider whether the rest of NATO ought to go to war with the United States and Norway. Alternatively, can “friends” in the defensive alliance attack each other without consequences or ought the US and Norway now be considered rogue nations? Will the alliance itself be able to stay together if several member states take steps unilaterally that can severely damage the economy of another member? And how are the Germans actually responding to their sinking economy and standards of living, with closing factories and cold houses as a consequence of the US/Norwegian action?

Americans, for their part, should also be thinking deeply about the government we have and the lack of restraint with which it behaves. The framers of the Constitution gave only to Congress the power to declare war, perhaps imagining that at some future date the president might stoop to using the military and naval forces of the United States globally to punish and coerce other nations, seize their territory, and kill their people. And it is all justified by something called “exceptionalism” empowering a massive sustained deception that waging continuous war is actually keeping the peace in a “rules based international order.”

But the final, and biggest, question remains: How will Russia retaliate to Nord Stream? Will it be one step closer to possible nuclear war initiated by Joe Biden’s reckless move or will the Kremlin persist with its request to have the United Nations Security Council investigate the incident? Moscow will certainly be careful to pick the right time and place, but the last act in this play surely remains to be written.

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

February 21, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments