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Prozac “unsafe & ineffective” for young people, analysis finds

Reanalysis of regulatory data finds that attempted suicides were excluded from the final journal publication, and the journal has not corrected the record.


new analysis finds that Prozac (generic name fluoxetine) is unsafe and ineffective for treating depression in children and adolescents.

Regulatory documents show that trial participants attempted suicide after taking fluoxetine, but these events were excluded from the final journal publication.

I notified the journal of the new findings, but the editor refuses to correct the record.

Prozac approval

In 2002, Prozac (fluoxetine), manufactured by Eli Lilly, was FDA-approved for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents based on data from two clinical trials.

The two trials were published in peer-reviewed journals in 1997 (Study 1) and 2002 (Study 2).

Both publications reported a small benefit of fluoxetine over placebo in young people with depression and there appeared to be no major safety concerns.

Subsequently, fluoxetine became one of the most prescribed antidepressants for children aged 0-19 years in the US, and is in the top 5 most prescribed antidepressants in England.

Restoring old trials

An initiative called Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) has enabled researchers to “restore” old clinical trial publications by analysing documents submitted to drug regulators by the drug companies.

These analyses have revealed that serious drug harms are either underreported or excluded entirely from medical journals.

Physician Peter Gøtzsche and psychiatrist David Healy obtained regulatory documents (protocols and clinical study reports) from UK’s drug regulator (MHRA) of the two fluoxetine trials that underpinned the drug’s approval in 2002.

The discrepancies

Multiple problems were identified when Gøtzsche and Healy compared the clinical study reports of the two fluoxetine trials, with what was published in the medical journals.

Many suicidal events in people taking fluoxetine were either missing or labelled incorrectly in the published reports.

For example, in Study 1, the clinical study report described two patients who’d attempted suicide after 12 and 15 days of taking fluoxetine, but these events were excluded from the journal article.

They found problems with ‘blinding’ in both trials, meaning the trial investigators were likely aware of which patients were on the drug or the placebo.

They also found that people who were recruited into the trial, and who were already taking an antidepressant, were only given one week to “wash out” the drug from their system before commencing the randomisation process.

This caused severe withdrawal symptoms in some participants who ended up in the placebo group, making it difficult to ascertain the true level of harms in the treatment group.

Finally, when Gøtzsche and Healy looked back and analysed the data from the primary outcome – which was depression – there was no meaningful benefit from fluoxetine compared to placebo.

Journals turn a blind eye?

wrote to both journals asking if the editors would consider correcting the discrepancies and clearly delineate the adverse events that were not reported in the published articles through an erratum.

Neither journal has done so.

The editor at Arch Gen Psychiatry (now called JAMA Psychiatry) rejected concerns about two suicide attempts that were omitted from its publication of Study 1, and has not made any corrections or clarifications.

In response, Gøtzsche said, “It’s totally unacceptable. When attempted suicides are left out of journal articles, which has happened in many such trials, it changes the safety profile of the drugs completely. This is important information that patients should know about before considering taking the pills.”

Gøtzsche drew similarities to another placebo-controlled trial in adolescents which used the drug Paxil (paroxetine).

GlaxoSmithKline’s Study 329 famously claimed that “Paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective,” but when researchers restored the trial data using regulatory documents, the opposite became true.

“A restoration of the data from Study 329 showed that paroxetine was neither safe nor effective for treating depression in children and adolescents,” said Gøtzsche.

“Many suicidal events on paroxetine had been omitted or given an obscure name such as emotional lability. I consider this fraud,” he added.

The editor at J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry (JAACAP), which published Study 2 of fluoxetine said they would not respond to criticisms until the discrepancies documented by Gøtzsche and Healy were published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The process took over a year, but Gøtzsche and Healy’s paper has now been published in a peer-reviewed journal and sent to the JAACAP for review.

The JAACAP said in a statement:

JAACAP takes seriously its responsibility to ensure scientific integrity. As stated in the guide for authors, review of post-publication critiques will be managed according to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. We will let you know the outcome of the review process…

Why does it matter?

The restoration of old trials has revealed to patients and physicians that much of the data in peer-reviewed journals are incomplete, biased, and often cherry-picked.

The exclusion of suicide attempts and suicides distorts the medical literature and prescribing guidelines to such an extent that they cannot be trusted. It also may reduce options for safer, more effective interventions such as psychotherapy.

“I’ve heard from many families whose children committed suicide because of antidepressants. We should not be prescribing them to young people,” said Gøtzsche.

“Our meta-analysis of ten trials showed that psychotherapy halved the occurrence of new suicide attempts in patients admitted after a suicide attempt. Psychotherapy is what they should be getting, not pills,” he added.

Ultimately, it’s the patients who pay the price, sometimes with their lives, from distorted clinical data, and from journals that refuse to correct glaring errors.

Antidepressants like fluoxetine double the risk of suicide and aggression in children and adolescents, they often lead to decreased quality of life, they cause sexual dysfunction in about 50% of users, and these harms may continue long after they try to quit.

In conclusion, there seems to be no rationale for using fluoxetine in young people for treating depression – the new analysis concludes the drug is unsafe and ineffective.

DisclosureI received funding from the RIAT Support Center for publishing two Expression of Concerns in 2021.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

They’re Coming To Take You Away

By Michael Lesher | Brownstone Institute | May 9, 2023

Suppose I tell you in advance that the essay you are reading is meant to startle you. And suppose I suggest, by way of demonstration, that two people as loosely connected as the leader of the “COVID Crisis Group” and Joe Biden’s “Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Antisemitism” – both of whom have recently offered recommendations for improving political life in the United States – are in fact determined to unravel American freedoms.

Would you be surprised?

Well, if so, that is exactly the startling fact I am trying to bring to your attention. True, you may not have heard that the 34 COVID-19 “experts” headed by one Philip Zelikow (last seen justifying the concealment of information about the 9/11 attacks) and anti-Semitism “ambassador” Deborah Lipstadt – perhaps best known for slandering scads of Jewish survivors of the Nazis as “soft-core” Holocaust deniers because they objected to the massacre of 1,462 of Gaza’s civilians nine years ago – are both out to dismantle the Bill of Rights. But if you haven’t, it isn’t because they’ve been coy about their objectives.

Take the Zelikow panel. Its new book on “the lessons learned from COVID-19” openly conflates the federal government’s management of a respiratory virus with “wartime” – thus rationalizing the executive branch’s preemption of democratic government. Not only that, Zelikow and his band of “experts” explicitly call for the consolidation of power in the hands of an unelected “health security enterprise” that would control, among other things, a “systematic biomedical surveillance network.” And in case you can’t guess who is likely to benefit from the snooping, the panel goes on to praise the coercive experimental drug program that gave us the COVID-19 “vaccines” – “a bargain at $30 billion,” according to the editors of the Washington Post – signaling at one stroke the experts’ contempt for the Nuremberg Code and their subservience to Big Pharma.

As for Lipstadt, she has launched her attack on the First Amendment by redefining “anti-Semitism” so as to include an extraordinary range of political speech. Her first step in that transformation is the familiar trick of confusing criticism of the Israeli government with anti-Jewish bigotry. But her second step is newer and, arguably, even more disturbing: she tars all denigration of Jews with the hot-button label “conspiracy theory.”

Let’s be clear: however noble the pretext of opposing Jew-hatred, it should be obvious that once you characterize anti-Semitism as a “conspiracy theory” you have made a case for censorship. As Lipstadt herself explained to Jane Eisner of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism (in an interview printed in the latest AARP Magazine but not available online): “[I]t’s a conspiracy theory that Jews control the media, the banks, the election process, etc. If you believe that there is a group controlling these things, then essentially you’re saying that you don’t believe in democracy.

And there’s the trouble. After all, an overt attack on democracy isn’t a viewpoint; it isn’t even an expression of run-of-the-mill bigotry. It’s a threat to the state. And it follows, if you accept Lipstadt’s formulation, that anyone the government can label an “anti-Semite” may now be punished in the same way the Biden administration is already punishing people who protested the presidential election results of November 2020. Note, too, the selective parameters of the offense: blaming Donald Trump’s election on the Russians is presumably “legitimate” speech; but accusing a “group” of controlling “the election process” can land you in jail – that is, when the “group” is not an official enemy but a favored minority, and when that “process” has reached results endorsed by those in power.

So the Zelikow panel and Ambassador Lipstadt can’t be accused of hiding their illiberal goals. Like the Democratic lynch mob that denounced Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger on the floor of Congress last March for revealing the extent of government censorship of Twitter, these propagandists quite openly assert that surveillance is good for us, while free speech is entirely too dangerous to be entrusted to mere citizens.

“Ordinary folks and national security agencies responsible for our security,” Congressman Colin Allred lectured Taibbi, “are trying their best to find a way to make sure that our online discourse doesn’t get people hurt, or see our democracy undermined.” It’s pretty breathtaking to watch an African-American liberal solemnly declare that the CIA and the FBI are the true guardians of democracy – not to mention his defense of the security state’s behind-the-scenes censorship of political speech. But what’s even more ominous is that not a single prominent Democratic politician nor a single pundit in mainstream liberal media has repudiated anything the congressman said.

Is it any wonder, then, that no one in mainstream media has mentioned the totalitarian tendencies implicit in the COVID Crisis Group’s recommendations for “pandemic” regulation via dismantling democracy, or in Ambassador Lipstadt’s appeals to the public to “discredit” anti-Semitism by recasting it as a criminal conspiracy?

Of course it isn’t. And that is my point. That is my motive in writing in tandem about these two apparently disparate subjects, connected only by the facts that both of them involve recent public declarations and that both of them represent attacks on fundamental liberties.

Because the truth is that condemning freedom is now so entirely respectable that it’s happening practically everywhere – under every possible pretext, almost any day, from just about any left-liberal institution that claims to care about the public good. Close your eyes, and you can hardly tell whether what you’re hearing is coming from a Democratic Party stalwart or from an old-line Soviet apologist explaining why Andrei Sakharov or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn or Yuri Orlov is really, notwithstanding the accuracy of what he’s been saying, a threat to the state who deserves to be muzzled or jailed.

And the media’s silence about it all is as ominous as the Orwellian nattering of the freedom-haters themselves.

Take another look at the Zelikow panel’s assessment of the US government’s performance during the “COVID crisis.” Writing about what the “experts” praise or blame in their report, the Washington Post never once mentions the crippling of the US working-class economy due to arbitrary confinements and business shutdowns, the educational damage done to a whole generation of children through needless school closures, the reckless suspension of representative democracy in four-fifths of our states, the medically unjustifiable trauma caused by “mask mandates,” or the undermining of the national healthcare system through an obsessive focus on one respiratory virus while more serious issues were sidelined for over a year. As far as the Post is concerned, the real outrages of the COVID coup never happened at all.

Even when the experts and the editors do manage to notice something sinister, they go out of their way to miss the point. The Zelikow panel specifically notes the “four pandemic planning exercises” staged by the US government barely a year before the announcement of the COVID-19 outbreak. And it offers a few technical criticisms of the proceedings.

But neither the panel nor the Post editors’ congratulatory summary of its conclusions addresses the fact that the exercises – which omitted any suggestion for using repurposed drugs as early treatment for a novel virus, as in all previous influenza-like outbreaks – made a point of discussing the importance of thought-policing social media. That prescription for censorship became a grim reality after March 2020. But you’d never know it from reading the Zelikow panel’s assessment of the government’s mistakes in addressing the “pandemic.”

And Lipstadt? She claims to be a passionate defender of free speech. But that didn’t stop her from smearing Senator Ron Johnson as a “white nationalist sympathizer” because of his politically incorrect comments about Black Lives Matter. And when that issue made it to the op-ed page of the New York Times, it was only to further demonize Johnson; Lipstadt’s slander got a pass.

Why do I worry so much about this? Well, first of all because an attack on freedom is an attack on all of us.

But I think there is a special reason for alarm. It’s not just that our ruling elites believe that we, the people, need to be stripped of our right to free expression. I’m afraid that the freedom-haters clustered around our figurehead President are not even aware just how thin the ice is onto which they’re propelling us. Their position (taking the most charitable possible view of it) runs something like this: if the public isn’t exposed to views of which the censors disapprove, hoi polloi will meekly accept whatever policies are imposed on them (for their own good, of course).

But the censors are wrong. The fabric of American political life has been strained to such tautness that a single acute crisis might rupture it altogether. And if that happens, people who have been deprived of reasonable dissent will not shrink from violent opposition; on the contrary, they will embrace it. When the monolithic narrative that is all they have been taught lies in ruins, they will replace it not with a rational, informed alternative – for they will know of none – but with whatever satisfies the rage of a population that realizes, too late, that it has been hoodwinked.

Woe to the freedom-haters when the lion they think they have tamed turns its fury on the liberal society that soothsayers like Zelikow and Lipstadt still imagine they are defending!

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 5 Comments

NATO Airborne Units Arrive in Estonia for Swift Response-23 Drill

Sputnik – 09.05.2023

The US-led Swift Response military exercise has been launched in Estonia to increase interoperability and practice deployment of local and NATO armed forces in the country, the Estonian Defense Forces said on Tuesday.

“Almost 1,500 soldiers from Poland, the US, Czech Republic, the UK, Latvia and Estonia are taking part in the drills. Nearly 600 paratroopers from Poland, the UK and the Czech Republic will parachute to Nurmsi airfield as part of a large-scale airborne operation. The active stage of the drills will end in Estonia on May 14,” the military said.

The troops will stage various airborne operations to practice fast deployment and immediate task performance during the drills, Estonian Staff Commander at the exercise Colonel Viktor Kalnitski said.

“For the Estonian Defense Forces’ part, it is important for us to perfect comprehensive support of allies reception and to coordinate and arrange various aerial and land operations,” Kalnitski said in the statement.

Swift Response-23 is comprised of three airborne operations, held by the European and US armed forces in Estonia, Spain and Greece.

On Monday, US Air Force command in Europe said that a squadron of tactical stealth fighters F-22 Raptor had been deployed from Poland to Estonia’s Amari air base to “deter aggression over Baltic skies.”

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment

Imran Khan’s Arrest Will Bring Pakistan’s Year-Long Crisis Much Closer To Its End Game


The post-modern coup that removed former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan from office last April as punishment for his multipolar foreign policy catalyzed cascading crises across the economic, judicial, political, and security spheres that have shaken this South Asian state to its core. The US-backed regime that was installed in his place refuses to hold free and fair elections as early as possible since they know they’d lose after the former premier’s PTI party won multiple by-elections over the past year.

During that same time, the post-modern coup regime viciously cracked down on society by abducting dissidents and censoring the media out of desperation to retain power. Far from pressuring the Pakistani people into silence and forcing them to accept what Khan calls their imported government, they continued peacefully protesting for the right to exercise their democratic will sooner than later. Only upon resolving Pakistan’s political crisis in that manner, these patriots believe, can the other ones then be tackled.

To their credit, they remained committed to this path despite last November’s assassination attempt against Khan that he blamed on The Establishment, the raid on his home in mid-March, and the Interior Minister’s continued death threats against him. Their red line was always that he wasn’t to be arrested on trumped-up charges as part of the post-modern coup regime’s lawfare since this scenario would pose a threat to his life due to The Establishment’s reputation and also likely doom any democratic solution.

That red line was just crossed after dozens of Ranger paramilitary forces stormed an Islamabad courthouse to abduct him on Tuesday in a move that former PTI Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari described “as if (they were) invading an occupied land”. Nationwide protests were organized in response and are still occurring at the time of this analysis’ publication, but the post-modern coup regime might exploit this reaction to justify a conventional military coup in the worst-case scenario.

The Establishment’s latest power play is extremely dangerous since these stakeholders already know very well how polarized society has become over the past year. They could have responsibly exerted influence on their political proxies that replaced Khan after last April’s regime change to organize free and fair elections as early as possible in order to serve as a pressure valve. That could have averted the cascading crises that followed and just risked reaching their breaking point on Tuesday.

Some sort of pragmatic working arrangement could still have been brokered between them and the PTI in theory upon the latter returning to power as expected in that case, yet no such outcome appears possible now after The Establishment crossed the opposition’s red line as part of their power play. They’re practically daring people to publicly defy them and thus put their lives on the line, yet a large number of them are doing precisely that out of patriotic fervor since they fear losing their country.

In their minds, a new dark age is rapidly descending upon Pakistan, which might never restore the sovereignty that it’s losing by the day as a result of the cascading crises catalyzed by last April’s regime change. They can’t in good conscience sit back and let this happen without knowing in their hearts that they tried doing something tangible to stop it. This explains why they’re literally risking their lives right now protesting against Khan’s abduction and all that it entails for their country’s democratic future.

At present, it appears unlikely that The Establishment will relent by releasing him and pressuring their political proxies to publicly agree on a date for holding free and fair elections sometime in the very near future, but that doesn’t mean that their calculations might not change. In any case, it’s clear that Pakistan’s year-long crisis is reaching its end game since there are really only two mutually exclusive outcomes that are possible: a chance at true democracy or continuing to languish under dictatorship.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Syria’s Return to Arab League Shows US Gulf Allies Tired of ‘Regime Change’

By James Tweedie – Sputnik – 09.05.2023

Syria’s secular government is still standing after more than a decade of sectarian terrorist insurgency backed by the US and its regional allies. Independent investigative journalist Christopher Helali said its readmittance to the Arab League was a sign of waning US power in the Middle East.

Return of Damascus to the bosom of the Arab League after 11 years of pariah status shows the failure of the US doctrine of regime change, a journalist says.

The regional group of nations voted on Sunday to reverse its 2012 decision to expel the Syrian Arab Republic over President Bashar al-Assad’s resistance to religious-sectarian ‘rebels’ backed by the Western powers and several of the Gulf monarchies.

The tide of the conflict turned in 2015 with Russia’s military assistance, helping to break the sieges of Aleppo and other cities alongside volunteers from Iraq and Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Christopher Helali told Sputnik that the major change of stance by the Arab nations was “part of the ongoing geopolitical shifts that we’re seeing in the wider region.”
“Syria being allowed back into the Arab League is certainly a coup, not only for the Arab countries, but I think for countries like China behind the scenes who have been pushing diplomacy and pushing rapprochement between different sides in the Syrian civil war,” Helali said.

The welcome back for Damascus and President Bashar al-Assad showed there was “no more appetite for regime change” or for backing the “alphabet soup of jihadist groups” funded and armed by Washington — the al-Nusra Front, Islamic State, various al-Qaida affiliates and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Those sectarian terrorist forces were supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and possibly Qatar and Jordan, the journalist said.

The journalist noted there was “growing discontent” among the Arab states over how the conflict has progressed and its unwanted effects. “People are saying, okay, let’s just let’s finish it and let’s send a lot of these refugees back.”

The other question is who Assad must negotiate with to finally end the 12-year conflict, given the Gulf monarchies previous insistence on a political “transition” that brings the “rebels” into the mainstream.

Those groups have been “allowing different Western journalists there to show that ‘we are moderate rebels… we are Islamists, but we’re not fanatical like ISIS, even though they are underground’,” Helali said.

“Ultimately, Assad would have to speak to the great power brokers in this conflict — the people who supported those groups. So you’d have to think about Turkiye, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, the United States, Russia, Iran, everybody would have to be at the table,” he continued. “But of course, nobody’s coming to that table except for the people already on Assad’s side. Plus Turkiye, because it’s being pushed to find a settlement, especially for the northern part of Syria, especially by Russia and as well as Iran.”

The elephant in the room remains the illegal US occupation of north-eastern Syria, with its concentration of lucrative oil fields, along with its outpost at al-Tanf in the southern desert near the border with Jordan.

“There can be no peace plan, there can be no situation in which everything is resolved so long as foreign troops, including US troops, still occupy sovereign Syrian territory and so long as arms and equipment and funding keeps funnelling in to Syria, to other armed groups,” Helali stressed.

“Once that stops and once there can be sovereignty over in territorial integrity, Syria reclaiming all of its borders, then there can be some plan. But that plan will have to be Syrian-led” and not imposed form outside, he said.

The ultimate significance the republic’s return to the League is the tacit admission that the US-led plan to overthrow Syria’s government failed — with disastrous consequences for her neighbours.

“What the Arab League is saying is that we’ve tried, it’s failed. Assad is here to stay and we have to find some normalization because we’re also dealing with millions of refugees in the region,” Helali said. “There has to be some political resolution to this conflict so that people can return home. Turkiye has 5 million Syrian refugees. Everybody wants a resolution to this.”

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Difference Between Secrets and Lies

Can the White House even understand the difference?


Recent developments in Washington relating to Ukraine and the Middle East remind me that there is a big difference between maintaining secrecy when a situation warrants it and lying over issues where there is no compelling reason to do so beyond political expediency. Having spent more than twenty years in American intelligence agencies where secrecy was the operative norm, I would illustrate that difference as follows: a legitimate secret would be something like not revealing information that would place people or vital national interests in jeopardy, while a lie would be committing a crime and fabricating a narrative that would deny or obfuscate that anything dire had actually taken place. When it comes to lying, I am, of course, referring to the bizarre behavior by the United States government, most particularly ever since 9/11, to commit war crimes and then come up with reasons for its foreign and national security policies to have taken a singular aggressive and coercive turn not justified by reality or by any real threat. That shift in behavior has had a profoundly negative consequence, with much of the world now inclined to identify the United States as the most dangerous country globally speaking in terms of being the greatest threat to peace among nations.

One might reasonably award the gold medal for creative destruction in that light to the Administration of George W. Bush, which elevated lying to a level hitherto hardly imagined in Washington. Bush had a neocon dominated foreign policy team, concentrated in the Pentagon with Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith and with Scooter Libby in the Vice President’s office, which did not hesitate to stovepipe fabricated information through the system to justify a totally fraudulent war against Iraq. The conspirators, most of whom were Jews who had close ties to the Israeli government, were supportive of the Jewish state’s desire to have the US attack Baghdad. They were joined in their drive to war by a hapless Secretary of State Colin Powell, a woefully ignorant National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and a ruthlessly ambitious George Tenet at CIA to go along for the ride. Within that context, what the president of the United States actually thought, if he was thinking at all, remains unknowable. The result was the catastrophe of Iraq, with hundreds of thousands of dead civilians over a totally invented threat of “weapons of mass destruction” in the hands of Saddam Hussein. Currently, twenty years after the event, Washington still has soldiers in Iraq even though the Iraqi parliament has repeatedly asked them to leave.

Interestingly, however, what played out under George Bush was child’s play compared to the contemporary political environment where the media has joined the Joe Biden Administration in lying about nearly everything. This has included an act of war committed against both a nuclear armed adversary and an ally in the form of the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, which was clearly carried out by the United States against Russia and Germany after Biden even incoherently warned publicly that he would do it. Since investigative journalist Seymour Hersh blew the lid off the story, the US and its captive media have responded by helping to float a completely implausible alternative tale of how it may have been accomplished by a handful of rogue Ukrainians operating off a fishing boat. Russian attempts to get the incident investigated by the United Nations and/or the International Criminal Court (ICC) have been successfully blocked by the US, which has in response supported a British jurist’s successful attempt to get the Russians themselves investigated for war crimes by the ICC.

In the latest edition of lies and more lies, the US is hanging out to dry a twenty-one year old Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira whom it is charging with stealing and making public on an internet chat room highly classified national security related information. The airman might indeed be guilty of having done just that though his motive continues to be elusive and his actual ability to access some of the material he obtained is questionable. More to the point, however, is the back story, which is that the documents reveal that the Ukrainians are clearly losing the war against Russia, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to seek both NATO membership and newer longer-range weapons so he can hit Russia directly and hard enough to bring the US and NATO directly and fully into the conflict. The recent possible attempt to kill Vladimir Putin using a drone may be part of such planning and, if it had come closer to being successful, the Russian overwhelming response would likely have escalated the conflict to produce a disaster of possibly global proportions.

The leaked intelligence suggests that Ukraine will not be able to defend its airspace at all after this month and will also soon be running out of ammunition. These “facts” were known to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin when he testified several weeks ago that the Kiev was winning its war against Moscow. Biden, for his part re the conduct of the war, has continued to deny that US soldiers are “boots on the ground” engaged in Ukraine. The leaked documents demonstrate that he is also either lying or poorly informed about that. The only intelligence item that seems to reflect some measure of acknowledgeable truth is the information indicating that there is no intention on the part of Washington to take steps to initiate peace talks to put an end to the fighting in 2023. That is clearly what the White House wants going into the 2024 elections, where Joe Biden or whoever succeeds him will want to look like a “war president,” a vigilant defender of the United States to appeal to voters.

From the viewpoint of a tax paying American citizen, the fact that the US Treasury has given or promised well in excess of $100 billion to a hopelessly corrupt Ukrainian government to oppose a nuclear-armed Russia that did not threaten the United States in any way prior to the fighting breaking out last February should be significant. And what happened to the so-called War Powers Act requiring Congress to make a declaration of war? So where is the upside of all of this for the American people?

And there’s more. There is also the recent revelation, also from Sy Hersh, that Volodymyr Zelensky and his gang of crooks have stolen $400 million from the cash provided by the Biden Administration to buy diesel fuel for the Ukrainian Army. The fraud was discovered by the CIA, whose Director William Burns actually personally confronted Zelensky with the numbers and names of those involved in January. Zelensky and his profiteers carried out their project by obtaining the money from the United States Treasury at the US petrodollar rate per gallon plus shipping costs before turning around and buying the fuel from cheaper suppliers located regionally, including the Lukoil Neftohim Burgas refinery located in Bulgaria. The difference then disappeared into the pockets of Zelensky and his generals. And where did the less expensive fuel come from? Mostly from Russia and also from Iran!

To be sure there has been some pushback from a small group of mostly Republican congressmen. Matt Gaetz has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives requiring the White House to provide full information, to include “copies of any and all documents outlining plans for military assistance to Ukraine. Additionally, the resolution directs Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to disclose the number of United States Armed Forces, including special operators, deployed to Ukraine without Congressional authority. The Biden Administration and other allied countries have been misleading the world on the state of the war in Ukraine. There must be total transparency from this administration to the American people when they are gambling war with a nuclear adversary by having special forces operating in Ukraine.”

Maverick GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene also got into it with her GOP colleagues after she praised the alleged leaker of the Pentagon documents due to his exposure of the lies surrounding the Ukraine war. She said “Jack Teixeira is white, male, Christian, and antiwar. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime. And he told the truth about troops being on the ground in Ukraine and a lot more. Ask yourself who is the real enemy?” Senator Lindsey Graham as well as the Republican Party leadership immediately jumped on Greene, denouncing her for being against the war. Graham, who recently advocated invading Mexico to solve America’s drug problem, in particular dubbed her response “one of the most irresponsible statements she could make,” adding that it would “destroy America’s ability to defend itself.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan also denounced Greene’s comments, declaring that “From my perspective, I think Marjorie Taylor Greene has demonstrated time and time again that she’s not fit to hold public office…” Recall for a moment that Brennan was himself one of the most disastrous CIA Directors to ever hold office. He advocated torture of “terrorists” by the Agency as well as “signature” drone strikes to kill suspects on the ground in the Middle East and Asia. He collaborated with efforts to derail the Donald Trump campaign and signed on to a letter in October 2020 claiming that Trump’s re-election campaign might well be benefitting from a Russian disinformation operation, an initiative that may have influenced the election outcome. On one occasion, after a Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, Brennan observed that “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of ‘treasonous.’ Not only were Trump’s comments ‘imbecilic,’ he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

The exchanges with the GOP as well as from nearly all Democrats serve as one more indication that the problem with the United States government is systemic: going to war while also denigrating critics and then lying about it all to avoid a perceived problem is always the preferred option for both the White House and Congress. No matter who wins in 2024, with the possible exceptions of Robert Kennedy Jr. or Tulsi Gabbard, the outcome in terms of a fractured and incoherent foreign policy that actually itself threatens the United States at every level will be roughly the same.

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

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , | Leave a comment

Serbian president reveals what West wants him to do

RT | May 9, 2023

The West has not given up on steamrolling Serbia into imposing sanctions on Russia, the country’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, has revealed. However, he said Belgrade has so far been able to resist the pressure.

Speaking to Serbia’s Happy TV channel on Monday, Vucic said that “whoever comes [to Belgrade feels their] first obligation is to explain to me that I am a jerk who did not introduce sanctions.”

The Serbian head of state acknowledged that he had already gotten used to constant “pressure [and] ultimatums” from Western representatives.

Last month, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee slammed Serbia for its failure to join the EU sanctions against Russia, and urged Belgrade to shut down Russian “disinformation” outlets, including RT Balkans.

The US State Department also called for a ban on the media outlet, which began broadcasting in November 2022.

Speaking in mid-March, President Vucic reiterated that his government’s “position is to not impose sanctions” on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine. He made it clear that this could be changed only in “circumstances when there is no way out.”

His remark came in response to calls made earlier that month by the country’s Economy Minister Rade Basta on social media. Basta argued that Belgrade should impose punitive measures because Western pressure was becoming unbearable.

The minister quickly came under fire from within his own party for his comments.

Serbia has resisted pressure from the EU and the US to sanction Russia, citing, among other things, the apparent discrepancy between Western demands that Belgrade recognize the independence of the breakaway province of Kosovo and their simultaneous insistence on Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Former Pakistani PM detained

The Cradle | May 9, 2023

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan has been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Geo News reported on 9 May.

Khan was taken into custody by security personnel known as “Rangers” outside the IHC where he had gone to seek bail as a result of graft charges.

According to Fawad Chaudhry, the official spokesperson of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party (PTI), the ex-prime minister has been “abducted from court premises. Scores of lawyers and general people have been tortured.”

Khan was arrested in connection with the allegations that Bahria Town allotted land worth 530 million rupees to the Al-Qadir Trust, owned by the PTI chairman and his wife, according to Islamabad police.

“Khan has been whisked away by unknown people to an unknown location,” Chaudhry said.

According to Imran Khan’s spokesman Raoof Hasan, “He was taken away… before he could appear before the judges, which is in violation of all laws.”

“The party has given a call to immediately start protests across Pakistan,” PTI leader Azhar Mashwani tweeted.

Khan’s arrest was not authorized by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, however, who requested the attorney general appear before the court within 15 minutes and instructed him to immediately find out who was behind the arrest.

“If an inquiry has to be conducted, action will also be taken against the prime minister and ministers,” the chief justice said.

Security forces previously attempted to detain Khan last March after an Islamabad court issued an arrest warrant to ensure his attendance in court to face graft charges.

However, security forces were blocked by hundreds of the former prime minister’s supporters, who gathered outside his Lahore home to prevent his arrest. The clashes between both sides, in which security forces fired tear gas and water cannons, and Khan’s supporters threw stones, led to dozens of injuries.

The former cricket star, who was ousted as prime minister in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April 2022, went to Islamabad to appear before three courts on charges of selling state gifts and failing to disclose assets but failed to appear before the fourth court to face indictment in the graft case, which is a legal process for starting his trial.

Khan claimed the charges filed against him, which include terrorism charges, are an effort by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to discredit him and prevent him from contesting the upcoming elections.

At the time of his ousting as prime minister, Khan accused the United States of working with a coalition of Pakistani opposition parties to topple his government.

Khan alleged that US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu met with the Pakistan Ambassador Asad Majeed and warned that there could be implications if Khan was not ousted as prime minister.

Khan has long been known for his opposition to US foreign policy. In 2017, Khan organized a motorcade march to Pakistan’s tribal areas to protest US drone strikes against Islamic militants.

In November 2022, Khan was the target of an assassination attack. A gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon on his convoy of lorries and cars, injuring Khan’s leg and killing one of his supporters, and injuring seven more.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Israel jails former Jerusalem minister under administrative detention order

The former Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs on 26 September 2011 [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]
MEMO | May 9, 2023

The Israeli occupation authorities jailed former Jerusalem Minister Khaled Abu Arafa for four months on Monday under an administrative detention order. The order was imposed a week after he was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces from his temporary residence in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Abu Arafa and three other Jerusalemites were stripped of their Israeli identity documents when they won seats in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election. They were all jailed under administration detention orders which were renewed regularly with neither charge nor trial until they were released in May 2010. They were then expelled from Jerusalem after staging a protest in the office of the International Red Cross in the city that lasted until September 2011, and were forbidden from returning to the occupied city.

Since then, they have been living in temporary homes in the occupied West Bank. This has not stopped the occupation authorities from harassing and now detaining them under new administrative detention orders.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Biden unilaterally extends ‘national emergency’ targeting Syria

The Cradle | May 9, 2023

On 8 May, US President Joe Biden signed a new one-year extension for the “national emergency” declared concerning Syria, just one day after the Arab League approved Damascus’ reentry to the bloc despite Washington’s objections.

Initially signed in 2004 by former president George W. Bush, Executive Order 13338 classified Syria, a nation nearly 10,000km away from Washington, as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

“The United States will consider changes in policies and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future,” Biden’s letter concludes.

On Sunday, White House officials confirmed that crushing US sanctions on Syria would continue to be enforced despite an ongoing push by the Arab world to normalize ties with the war-torn country.

“We do not believe that Syria merits readmission to the Arab League at this time, and it’s a point that we’ve made clear with all of our partners,” US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said on 7 May.

Since 2011, Syria has been the setting of a brutal war sponsored by several members of NATO and regional nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This includes the ongoing occupation of large swathes of its territory by the US and Turkiye and the plundering of its natural resources and humanitarian aid by anti-government militias.

While the CIA was tasked with arming and training extremist groups in Syria since late 2012, US troops officially entered the fray once Damascus asked for Russia’s help to push back against ISIS in 2015.

Seeing the gains the Syrian and Russian armies made against ISIS and other armed groups, the US partnered with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to create the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), effectively starting a race for control of Syria’s resource-rich Deir Ezzor and Hasakah governorates.

Around 900 US troops are still present in Syria. Their deployment is illegal under international law, as the government in Damascus did not approve it.

Moreover, former US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump deployed the troops without congressional approval, abusing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in 2001 in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Russian citizen killed in Israeli raid

The aftermath of the Israeli strikes on Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, May 9, 2023 © AP / Yousef Masoud
RT | May 9, 2023

The Israel Defense Forces launched operation ‘Shield and Arrow’ against the leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Tuesday morning, allegedly killing several high-ranking militants – as well as their wives, children and other civilians nearby.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Health Ministry, Ashraf al-Qedra, told RIA Novosti that one of the victims was a citizen of Russia, Jamal Abu Haswan, who “died in Gaza City as a result of shelling by the Israel Defense Forces.”

A neighbor and friend of the deceased told the agency that “a rocket hit the apartment where Abu Haswan lived, which led to his death along with his wife and son.” According to RIA, Abu Haswan worked at a medical facility that “specializes in physical therapy and medical rehabilitation.”

The air raid took place at around 2am local time and left at least 20 people injured in addition to the 12 killed, according to the latest estimates.

The IDF has issued a rare statement confirming its military operation against the PIJ, claiming to have neutralized three top members of the group.

The Palestinian Health ministry said the militants’ families and other civilians were killed in the strikes on an apartment building in Gaza City and a house in the southern city of Rafah.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Bridgen and Fraser Myers clash in fiery debate on Covid vaccine harms

GBNews | May 8, 2023

Andrew Bridgen, a Member of Parliament in the UK, has been vocal about vaccine harms and the origins of Covid.

Fraser Myers, deputy editor of Spiked online, published an article called “The delusions of Andrew Bridgen – Conspiratorial thinking corrodes reason, democracy and humanism”.

The pair joined Andrew Doyle on GB News in a fiery debate.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Video | , , | 1 Comment