Aletho News


Germany’s Governments still have totalitarian powers to direct the course of Justice – and make use of it today

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi’s Legal Case


On May 23rd, 2023, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi MD, a distinguished scientist and prominent critic of experimental gene based injections, will be put on trial in Germany by the Chief Public Prosecutor of the State of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Prosecutor brought charges of “Anti-Semitism” and “Holocaust Relativization” after Professor Bhakdi had been acquitted of these very charges earlier.

Heribert Prantl, Member of the editorial board at Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s most established newspapers comparable to the Washington Post or New York Times has called out the German Governments for perversion of the law in a video from 2020He did not know the Bhakdi case then, of course, which is one of the most glaring examples of perversion of justice.

Below is a transcript of Prantl’s statement:

There are things in existence which are impossible, which ought not to be allowed to exist. Yet, they do exist. They are even written into Law.

Even though this in itself is perverse for a constitutional democracy, which is founded on the balance of powers.

One such perversity is that the Public Prosecutor’s office is bound by instructions of the Ministry of Justice. This is codified in the German Judicature Act, a law which was passed 140 years ago. [Those were the times of the Prussian Monarchy]

And this is the Law to this present day.

This Law was enacted to codify that Prosecutors are bound to directives of the states Ministers of Justice. It is up to the Ministers of Justice to direct that investigations be delayed, or expedited or dropped.

This is an intolerable state of affairs. The Judiciary shall be independent. That is what the German Basic Law says – but the Public Prosecutors are not!

Criticism of this intolerable state of affairs is brushed aside by politicians – brushed aside by saying such instructions to prosecutors would be “very rarely made use of”.

This doesn’t make it any better!

Why? It is exactly the delicate cases which are in need of independent judgement.

The German Association of Judges, which many German Judges and Public Prosecutors are members of, has just recently repeated its demand to abolish this power to issue instructions.

This demand is supported by the European Court of Justice and the European Commission. The ECJ has issued a spectacular decision but one year ago when it denied German Public Prosecutors the right to issue European Arrest Warrants because of the existence of the German power to issue instructions from the political authorities.

“Being bound by political instructions is a birth defect of the German Public Prosecutor’s offices. This power of instruction is due to the government’s desire to have control over the Penal Justice at any given time.”

This is a quote from the “Juristenzeitung” (Journal of Jurists), and it was printed during the Weimar Republic.


Also, see this by Dr. Meryl Nass — Several people asked me about assisting with Dr. Bhakdi’s legal defense

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 2 Comments

Farewell Questions for Rochelle Walensky An open letter to Congress


The history of the CDC during covid has been, at best, a checkered one.

Given what we now know about the complete failure of covid vaccines to provide sterilizing immunity, stop infection, or stop spread as well as the fact that such issues were not even tested for in the drug trials that approved them, certain questions would seem overdue in the asking:

Just what was this “Data from the CDC today” that suggested that “Vaccinated people do not carry the virus?”

Was there, in fact, any data at all?

Or was this a completely fabricated claim used to underpin the mass rollout of a product that failed so spectacularly right out of the gates and:

There seems to be an awfully large body of claims made by CDC that appear to have lacked foundation in fact or data. Both Dr Walensky and her predecessor Robert Redfield would seem to have a great deal to answer for here.

“The covid vaccine will make the vaccinated a dead end for the virus.”

This talking point was simply everywhere all at once.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla certainly pushed this narrativePresumably, the fact that he was allowed to do so (itself quite an exceptional situation) implies the acquiescence of FDA, CDC, and other regulators.

Upon what was this seemingly widespread consensus based?

The matter appears to have never even been studied at the time the claims were made.

Why were the usually strict and fastidious US regulators so sanguine about such unusually aggressive and certain statements?

This is a most unusual situation and such an extraordinary outcome would seem to demand an extraordinary explanation.

Yet none seems forthcoming.

“The mRNA and the spike protein do not last long in the body” constitutes another key early safety claim similarly rooted in opaque or absent evidence or perhaps simply assumed or invented. (before being quietly retracted later).

This claim also proved extravagantly incorrect.

Wherever one looks, it seems one finds that these grand claims of safety and efficacy were underpinned by a paucity or utter absence of supporting evidence.

Even the definitions themselves such as “Any positive for trace covid from a PCR test at a 40 Cycle Threshold is covid” or “No disease outcomes from vaccines are to be counted until 2 weeks after the second (or third) dose” which left a large window (4-6 weeks) during a period of known immune suppression from the jabs uncounted or even, in many cases, attributed to the unvaccinated in a manner that can make placebo look like high efficacy preventative are so unusual and inconsistent with past practice or sound science as to demand the most pointed of questions as to how such practices came to be and who the decision makers who put them in place were.

This series of unfounded claims and distortionary definitions seems both a poor and a deeply dangerous practice for Public Health.

If we are to have any hope of restoring faith in this field, we must ask and answer the pointed questions of “How did this happen?” and “At whose behest?”

Someone made these choices for some reason. Who and why would seem to be the bare minimum of post mortem here.

It is oft opined that a bad map is worse than no map at all and in this, I must wholeheartedly agree. The public health agencies in America have become the most calamitous of cartographers.

If we would seek to have the agents of public health act as something other than a marketing arm and apologist for the revolving door of Pharma with whom they seem to so regularly swap staff and sinecure then it must once more be turned to serve the public. It may do so only if it regains the public trust and such trust, once lost, may only be restored by asking the hard questions and diligently following the answers wherever so they may lead until we may understand what went wrong, hold the malefactors to account, and effect the means to prevent this from happening again.

Please make no mistake, if nothing is done and this is swept beneath some august Congressional rug or societal memory hole, it will happen again. And soon. This is not a choice I would have for America and one I do not believe you should countenance.

Public health runs on public trust.

I ask you to restore it.

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Covid: The destruction of medical ethics and trust in the medical profession, Part 2

This is the second part of a discussion by a consultant surgeon of the damage done by the government’s irrational Covid policies. You can read Part 1 here. Part 2 focuses on the betrayal of informed consent.

By Ahmad K Malik | TCW Defending Freedom | May 13, 2023

It isn’t enough to get permission from a patient before you carry out an intervention. For consent to be valid it has to hold up to certain preconditions. Patients must be properly informed of all their options, including not having any treatment. They must be warned of the pros and cons of each choice. It has to be voluntary with no coercion, no intimidation and no threats. Patients should be allowed to ask questions. For example, what is in the vaccine? What are my individual risks of having it? (From Pfizer’s own data, serious adverse events were later reported at 1 in 800.) What is my absolute risk reduction from the intervention?

Other valid questions have remained the province of alternative media, raised only when they escaped censorship. Were aborted foetal cells used? Why was the spike protein (supposedly the most lethal part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus) produced for the vaccine? How much spike protein would be made? Would there be any risk to the body by its introduction?

At the time of the vaccine rollout we had been living under nine months of severe government restrictions, lockdowns, social distancing, mask mandates and bans on travel and even visits to a pub or restaurant. Sage’s SPI-B (Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours) and the ‘nudge unit’ had done a fantastic job along with the rest of Government and the MSM in scaring us, while dangling the freedom carrot on a vaccine stick. This was nothing if not coercive. Were the population clearly told that they would be receiving an experimental, novel, unproven gene therapy with no long-term safety data? No. They were told with a repetitive singularity that it was ‘safe and effective’ and anyone asking legitimate questions was labelled dangerous, a misogynist, a racist, an idiot, reckless and a danger to society. A ‘granny killer’. Against all the principles of medical ethics, a combination of fear, isolation, restriction of freedom, propaganda and information suppression was used to ‘persuade’ the population into signing up to being part of a mass experiment. Almost everyone I knew told me they had the vaccine only so that they could travel to see loved ones or go on holiday. If not coercion, it was certainly bribery. For the unvaccinated and unmasked it was difficult to access medical treatment. In some parts of the world a medical apartheid existed.

A further blow to medical ethics came with vaccine mandates, first for care home workers and then for all NHS and private healthcare workers, the latter rescinded only at the 11th hour. Mandates are anathema to medical ethics. They fly against the third pillar – the fundamental right to bodily autonomy and personal choice. Forty thousand care home workers lost their jobs in the UK for asserting this right and have never been compensated. Many, many more in the US lost their livelihoods or were coerced into mandatory vaccination.

Despite this systematic crushing of medical ethics, the vast majority of the 280,000 UK doctors stood silent. The Royal Colleges of physicians, surgeons, nurses etc went along with the Government narrative. The General Medical Council, which issues guidance to doctors on what it means to be a Good Medical Doctor, remained silent.

The few doctors who were bold enough to question the narrative and did raise concerns were investigated and suspended by the GMC. Doctors who were pro-narrative and stated incorrect facts were left unsanctioned by the GMC. The double standards were clear to see and set a warning to any dissidents of what lay in store if they questioned the narrative.

The GMC and disciplinary processes in hospitals were weaponised to create medical censorship, though the fightback is gaining strength.

When I published a video on Twitter questioning the safety of the Covid mRNA gene therapy shots, I was contacted by the national medical directors of two private hospital groups I work out of. They told me anonymous complaints had been made and I was to stop posting on Twitter and to take down my video, under threat of possible future action including review of my practising privileges. I argued that as a doctor it was my duty of care to speak up especially regarding patient safety issues. I was also following GMC guidance items 23 and 24 in the Good Medical Practice guide.

Guidance 23 states that to help keep patients safe you must: contribute to confidential inquiries, adverse event recognition, report adverse incidents involving medical devices that put or have the potential to put the safety of a patient, or another person, at risk, and report suspected adverse drug reactions and respond to requests from organisations monitoring public health, while always respecting patients’ confidentiality.

Guidance 24 says you must promote and encourage a culture that allows all staff to raise concerns openly and safely.

I haven’t stopped my social media posts and I will continue to raise awareness of the harms that I am seeing from these ‘therapies’. Referring to GMC guidance, other doctors should perhaps be braver about standing up to such attempted censorship.

Informed consent is not bound by one moment in time. Patients need to be made aware of new information that might affect their choice and future decisions, for example the emerging evidence that the shots do not remain in our arms only; that the lipid nanoparticles travel across the blood-brain barrier and throughout the body including reproductive organs. We were told the mRNA could not be written into our DNA, but a 2022 study shows that this can happen within six hours of taking the shot. Pfizer themselves produced a document listing hundreds of potential complications. Such risks are referred to by the MHRA but consistently downplayed or dismissed. Yet their Yellow Card reports show nearly 500,000 people impacted by adverse events, the majority seriously, despite which the MHRA repeats and insists on its ‘safe and effective’ mantra. Have patients being offered boosters been made aware of any of this?

It is hard to understand the MSM culture of silence and avoidance of anything that seems like a critique of either the mRNA ‘vaccines’ or of the government health agencies, who refuse to review the collateral health damage even though  informed consent and patient safety are at stake. The bodies that are meant to defend the patient and stand up for medical ethics remain quiet. The journalists, media outlets, celebrities, influencers and activists who speak out on ‘climate emergency’ or the UK getting there first on the vaccine remain deadly quiet when it comes to the greatest medical experiment inflicted on humankind.

Every week doctors tell me in whispered conspiratorial tones that they agree with me, that they support what I am doing, and that they won’t have any more shots. But when I ask them why they don’t go public, they shake their heads and look down at the ground. They are scared of losing their jobs and livelihood, of course. A neurologist mentioned to me how he had never been so busy; that he was seeing bizarre and rare conditions on an ever more frequent basis. When I asked what was driving this, he answered under his breath ‘the vaccines’, even though we were the only two in the room. I asked if he would go public, and he shook his head and walked away.

As a member of a private closed Facebook group for doctors numbering in the thousands, I witnessed the virtue signalling, professional hubris and groupthink and how they ridiculed colleagues and patients who chose not to have the vaccine. What I didn’t see was compassion, empathy and respect for people’s choices.

The fact that doctors, of all people, couldn’t see the hypocrisy and lies underlying the fear-mongering, manipulation and censorship is cause for grief.

Doctors have let their patients down badly. They have blindly followed the government narrative. They have abandoned any pretence at medical ethics. They now refuse or are reluctant to admit that there are mRNA gene injuries or see them for what they are, and help address them. This is medical gaslighting at its finest.

The public are not blind to this. Every day I get messages informing me that trust in the medical profession is dead, that it will never be regained.

If we, the medical profession, hope to regain that coveted position of most trusted profession, we need to first acknowledge a mistake was made (duty of candour), apologise, prevent it from happening again and seek to remedy and put to right the wrongs.

To stay silent is to be complicit to the greatest breach of our human rights and medical ethics in human history.

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

Biden Misses Deadline To Hand Over Censorship Collusion Documents

By Dan Frieth | Reclaim The Net | May 15, 2023

The Biden Administration’s State Department has failed to meet the deadline to provide documents related to the “misinformation” and censorship efforts by its controversial Global Engagement Center (GEC). The House Foreign Affairs Committee demanded the documents in a letter sent on May 1.

The GEC has come under fire from Republicans after it was revealed that it funds the Global Disinformation Index, an organization that provides blacklists of media outlets to advertisers.

“State’s failure to meet the deadline continues a troubling Biden administration practice of noncompliance with congressional oversight and a lax attitude about its obligation to respond,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the committee’s chair, told the Washington Examiner. “The Foreign Affairs Committee will keep this in mind as it considers any and all State Department-requested legislative proposals.”

In the letter, which was addressed to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, McCaul accused the GEC of straying from its mission to “direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate” the government’s efforts to combat “foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation” by funding organizations like the Global Disinformation Index, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and Moonshot CVE.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, now led by Republicans, delayed reauthorizations of the GEC, which was founded in the Obama era. The GEC’s legal authority will end in December 2024 unless Congress reauthorizes it.

“Neither the State Department, nor the GEC, have come close to detailing for Congress the extent of their censorship activities or provided any confidence that the problem isn’t even worse than is known right now,” said Rep. Dareell Issa (R-CA), one of the signatories to the letter sent to the State Department on May 1. “This is the time to come clean.”

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

West is a ‘partner’ in Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, rights group says

MEMO | May 15, 2023

The UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR UK) has accused Western countries of being “partners” in Israel’s crimes against Palestinians and demanded the United Nations General Assembly adopt the “United for Peace” resolution forcing all countries to prevent the supply of lethal weapons to Israel.

In a statement issued yesterday, the AOHR said the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip which lasted five days resulted in the killing of 33 people, including six children and three women, and wounded 147 others. Infrastructure in the besieged enclave was also badly damaged in the strikes.

The organisation said the human and material losses caused during this short period of aggression show that the Israeli occupation uses lethal and internationally prohibited weapons against civilian targets, without any regard for the rules of war, deliberately inflicting the greatest losses on civilians.

According to the statement, most of the weapons used by Israel against the Palestinian civilians are manufactured in Western countries such as the United States, Canada, Britain and European countries, led by Germany, which is the second largest exporter of weapons to Israel after the United States.

“These countries continued to export weapons to the occupation despite the strong international condemnations of exporting weapons to the occupation,” AOHR UK said in the statement.

Such immoral policies that violate the rules of international humanitarian law cannot be tolerated anymore, especially with the overwhelming evidence that confirms the occupation’s continuous use of these weapons to kill the Palestinians without any deterrence.

It stressed that countries that supply the Israeli occupation with these weapons are partners in the crimes committed against the Palestinians, and that time has come to hold them accountable.

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | 1 Comment

Israel drone bombs Palestinian cyclist in Gaza

MEMO | May 15, 2023

There has been widespread anger after a video began circulating on social media recorded by a security camera in Gaza showing an Israeli drone bombing a Palestinian while he was riding his bike in the southern city of Rafah.

The Palestinian was travelling along a road when he was attacked by the Israeli drone during the occupation’s latest offensive on Gaza.

The video triggered anger on social media, with users highlighting that the cyclist was doing nothing suspicious.

During a five-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, the occupation killed 34 Palestinian, including six children and three women, and wounded 157 others, including 48 children, 26 women and ten senior citizens.

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Assassinating Vladimir Putin?

By RON UNZ • UNZ REVIEW • MAY 15, 2023

Early on the morning of May 3rd the Kremlin was attacked by two explosive drones, and although these were destroyed by the defenses, the Russian government claimed that the incident had probably been an assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin.

I was skeptical at the time, but when Ray McGovern was interviewed a few days later he seemed to take the accusation seriously. Given his 27 years as a CIA Analyst, including serving as head of the Soviet Policy Group, I tend to trust his judgment on such matters:

Although pro-Ukrainian forces had likely been responsible for the drone attack, our government provides all their funding, intelligence, and control, and such a momentous act must have been fully authorized by top American officials. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is the Neocon responsible for Ukraine issues and McGovern believed she would have been the one who signed off on the strike against the Kremlin.

Russia’s nuclear arsenal is the most formidable in the world, somewhat larger than our own, while its revolutionary hypersonic delivery systems are entirely unstoppable. This currently gives Moscow a measure of strategic superiority and if Putin or his successor gave the order, the bulk of our population could be annihilated within hours. Although he came into office at the end of 1999 and has spent more than twenty years in power, Putin’s current approval rating is over 80%, more than twice that of President Joseph Biden, so his death or serious injury might have world-shattering consequences.

Given the ongoing Russia-NATO military confrontation in the Ukraine war, an American sponsored drone strike against the Kremlin and Putin is an extraordinarily reckless and foolish action. What would we think if the Soviets had attacked the White House at the height of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis? But extraordinarily reckless and foolish actions have become an American specialty in recent years, notably including our destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, perhaps Europe’s most important civilian energy infrastructure.

Indeed, soon after the outbreak of the Ukraine war in early 2022, our bipartisan political and media elites began vilifying Putin as “another Hitler,” with leading media figures and top U.S. Senators loudly calling for the assassination of the Russian president.

Such statements are particularly provocative given that just two years earlier we had publicly assassinated a top Iranian leader in a drone attack. At the time I had warned of the extremely dangerous implications for our future relations with Russia:

The January 2nd American assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani of Iran was an event of enormous moment.

Gen. Soleimani had been the highest-ranking military figure in his nation of 80 million, and with a storied career of 30 years, one of the most universally popular and highly regarded. Most analysts ranked him second in influence only to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s elderly Supreme Leader, and there were widespread reports that he was being urged to run for the presidency in the 2021 elections.

The circumstances of his peacetime death were also quite remarkable. His vehicle was incinerated by the missile of an American Reaper drone near Iraq’s Baghdad international airport just after he had arrived there on a regular commercial flight for peace negotiations originally suggested by the American government.

Our major media hardly ignored the gravity of this sudden, unexpected killing of so high-ranking a political and military figure, and gave it enormous attention. A day or so later, the front page of my morning New York Times was almost entirely filled with coverage of the event and its implications, along with several inside pages devoted to the same topic. Later that same week, America’s national newspaper of record allocated more than one-third of all the pages of its front section to the same shocking story.

But even such copious coverage by teams of veteran journalists failed to provide the incident with its proper context and implications. Last year, the Trump Administration had declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard “a terrorist organization,” drawing widespread criticism and even ridicule from national security experts appalled at the notion of classifying a major branch of Iran’s armed forces as “terrorists.” Gen. Soleimani was a top commander in that body, and this apparently provided the legal fig-leaf for his assassination in broad daylight while on a diplomatic peace mission.

But note that Congress has been considering legislation declaring Russia an official state sponsor of terrorism, and Stephen Cohen, the eminent Russia scholar, has argued that no foreign leader since the end of World War II has been so massively demonized by the American media as Russian President Vladimir Putin. For years, numerous agitated pundits have denounced Putin as “the new Hitler,” and some prominent figures have even called for his overthrow or death. So we are now only a step or two removed from undertaking a public campaign to assassinate the leader of a country whose nuclear arsenal could quickly annihilate the bulk of the American population. Cohen has repeatedly warned that the current danger of global nuclear war may exceed that which we faced during the days of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and can we entirely dismiss his concerns?

I went on to note that this American policy represented a radical change from the practice of past centuries, with the major Western countries having abandoned the use of assassination in the 17th century after the end of the bloody Wars of Religion.

The 1914 terrorist assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was certainly organized by fanatical elements of Serbian Intelligence, but the Serbian government fiercely denied its own complicity, and no major European power was ever directly implicated in the plot. The aftermath of the killing soon led to the outbreak of World War I, and although many millions died in the trenches over the next few years, it would have been completely unthinkable for one of the major belligerents to consider assassinating the leadership of another.

A century earlier, the Napoleonic Wars had raged across the entire continent of Europe for most of a generation, but I don’t recall reading of any governmental assassination plots during that era, let alone in the quite gentlemanly wars of the preceding 18th century when Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa disputed ownership of the wealthy province of Silesia by military means. I am hardly a specialist in modern European history, but after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War and regularized the rules of warfare, no assassination as high-profile as that of Gen. Soleimani comes to mind.

During our Revolutionary War, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and our other Founding Fathers fully recognized that if their effort failed, they would all be hanged as rebels by the British. However, I have never heard that they feared falling to an assassin’s blade, nor that King George III ever considered using such an underhanded means of attack. During the first century and more of our nation’s history, nearly all our presidents and other top political leaders traced their ancestry back to the British Isles, and political assassinations were exceptionally rare, with Abraham Lincoln’s death being one of the very few that comes to mind.

Unfortunately, the use of such lethal measures was eventually revived amid the bitter ideological struggle of World War II, at least in some quarters. According to renowned historian David Irving, when Hitler’s secret service suggested that an attempt be made to assassinate the Soviet military leadership, the German Fuehrer immediately forbade any such practices as contrary to the laws of warfare.

But his Western opponents had fewer such scruples. In 1941 Czech agents with Allied assistance successfully assassinated Reinhard Heydrich in Prague and in 1943 the US military intercepted and shot down the plane of Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. However, some of the highest profile targets the Allied leadership selected for elimination seem to have been within their own ranks.

Curtis B. Dall was a New York stockbroker who had been FDR’s son-in-law during the early 1930s and he later spent decades as a leading figure in various anti-Semitic Far Right political organizations. In 1967 a fringe Christian group published his memoirs in a cheap paperback edition, and I happened to read that book three or four years ago.

Most of the incidents and stories Dall recounted seemed reasonably plausible, but I was very surprised when he claimed that late in the war the American government, possibly under Communist influence, had decided to assassinate Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the largest Allied nation. Although the effort fell through and the project was later abandoned, I’d never previously seen a hint of that story anywhere else and I was very skeptical of such an astonishing claim from a rather doubtful source. However, when I read Prof. Sean McMeekin’s outstanding 2021 history Stalin’s War a year or two later, he provided the same account, drawing upon the memoirs of a high-ranking American military commander based in the Chinese theater.

The plan had been to eliminate Chiang by means of a plane crash, and according to Irving the American and British governments also intended the same fate in 1943 for Charles de Gaulle, who was proving very uncooperative in his subordinate role as Free French leader in exile. However, de Gaulle survived the near-fatal accident caused by the sabotage of his plane and thereafter became much more cautious in his air travel.

Other Allied leaders were less fortunate. Like de Gaulle, Gen. Władysław Sikorski was based in London as leader of the Polish government in exile, and at first his relationship with the Allied leaders was good, with many thousands of Polish troops and airmen serving side-by-side with the British forces. However, in 1943 the Germans discovered and publicized the 1940 Katyn Forest massacre, revealing that Stalin had executed some 20,000 Polish officers whom he held as POWs. Sikorski was outraged at that enormous wartime atrocity and demanded a full Red Cross investigation while refusing to be fobbed off by Soviet denials or the implausible claim that the Germans themselves had been responsible. This led Stalin to break relations with the Polish exile government, and Irving makes a strong case that the top Allied leaders eventually decided that preserving the vital Soviet wartime alliance required Sikorski’s elimination, leading to the latter’s death in a suspicious airplane crash on Gibraltar a couple of months after de Gaulle’s had narrowly avoided the same fate.

Irving also explains that the previous year Gen. Dwight Eisenhower had made a deal with Admiral François Darlan, commander of all Vichy French forces, recognizing his authority in return for his joining the Allied cause; but the Allied leadership then nullified that controversial agreement by apparently arranging Darlan’s assassination a few weeks later.

During World War II America’s government had also put very substantial resources into the development of biological weapons and this continued after the end of the conflict although all these facts were kept completely secret at the time. There was considerable overlap of technology and personnel with the poisons and other assassination methods developed by the recently-established CIA during that period, as was discussed in a 2019 book by respected journalist Stephen Kinser, who also mentioned some of the prominent world leaders that our government attempted to assassinate during that era.

However, this climate of media avoidance has recently begun changing. Another strong endorsement of Baker’s book came from Stephen Kinzer, who just a year earlier had published Poisoner in Chief, primarily focused upon the notorious MK-ULTRA mind-control projects of Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA researcher described in the title. Kinzer’s book attracted glowing accolades from Pulitzer Prize winners Seymour Hersh and Kai Bird, both writers with great experience on intelligence matters, and received quite favorable reviews in the elite mainstream media.

At first glance, mind-control and biological warfare might seem entirely dissimilar topics, but they actually share considerable areas of overlap. Both required the creation and use of dangerous biological or biochemical agents, which for maximal effectiveness must then be tested upon unwilling human subjects, often in dangerous or lethal ways. Since in this regard they obviously operate outside the boundaries of normal legality, especially in peacetime, their use must be kept entirely secret, naturally matching them with the proclivities of an intelligence agency such as the CIA. Throughout his book Kinzer emphasized the considerable overlapping personnel and resources between these two domains. Indeed, as the CIA’s “chief poisoner,” Gottlieb developed a wide range of deadly biological compounds which he deployed in a number of mostly unsuccessful attempts to assassinate foreign leaders such as Prime Ministers Zhou Enlai of China and Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, as well as Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

However, unlike today’s climate of bold public declarations, all those previous American assassination plots of the 1950s and 1960s were kept secret from the American people. And as I explained in an an article, their eventual disclosure during the post-Watergate era produced a huge public backlash:

At the height of the Cold War, our CIA did involve itself in various secret assassination plots against Cuba’s Communist dictator Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders considered hostile to US interests. But when these facts later came out in the 1970s, they evoked such enormous outrage from the public and the media, that three consecutive American presidents—Gerald R. FordJimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan—all issued successive Executive Orders absolutely prohibiting assassinations by the CIA or any other agent of the US government.

Although some cynics might claim that these public declarations represented mere window-dressing, a March 2018 book review in the New York Times strongly suggests otherwise. Kenneth M. Pollack spent years as a CIA analyst and National Security Council staffer, then went on to publish a number of influential books on foreign policy and military strategy over the last two decades. He had originally joined the CIA in 1988, and opens his review by declaring:

One of the very first things I was taught when I joined the CIA was that we do not conduct assassinations. It was drilled into new recruits over and over again.

Yet Pollack notes with dismay that over the last quarter-century, these once solid prohibitions have been steadily eaten away, with the process rapidly accelerating after the 9/11 attacks of 2001. The laws on our books may not have changed, but

Today, it seems that all that is left of this policy is a euphemism.

We don’t call them assassinations anymore. Now, they are “targeted killings,” most often performed by drone strike, and they have become America’s go-to weapon in the war on terror.

The Bush Administration had conducted 47 of these assassinations-by-another-name, while his successor Barack Obama, a constitutional scholar and Nobel Peace Prize winner, had raised his own total to 542. Not without justification, Pollack wonders whether assassination has become “a very effective drug, but [one that] treats only the symptom and so offers no cure.”

Thus over the last couple of decades American policy has followed a disturbing trajectory in its use of assassination as a tool of foreign policy, first restricting its application only to the most extreme circumstances, next targeting small numbers of high-profile “terrorists” hiding in rough terrain, then escalating those same killings to the many hundreds. And now under President Trump, the fateful step has been taken of America claiming the right to assassinate any world leader not to our liking whom we unilaterally declare worthy of death.

Pollack had made his career as a Clinton Democrat, and is best known for his 2002 book The Threatening Storm that strongly endorsed President Bush’s proposed invasion of Iraq and was enormously influential in producing bipartisan support for that ill-fated policy. I have no doubt that he is a committed supporter of Israel, and he probably falls into a category that I would loosely describe as “Left Neocon.”

But while reviewing a history of Israel’s own long use of assassination as a mainstay of its national security policy, he seems deeply disturbed that America might now be following along that same terrible path. Less than two years later, our sudden assassination of a top Iranian leader demonstrates that his fears may have been greatly understated.

So in recent years assassination has become a standard tool of American policy, often publicly declared. This has naturally lowered the threshold for its use, perhaps leading our government to now target the political leader controlling the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, a possibility that would have been utterly unimaginable during the original Cold War.

There may be another contributing factor to this disturbing trend of American behavior. As I’ve recently discussed, over the last three decades the Neocons have gained a bipartisan stranglehold over our national security policy, and whether or not the particular individuals are Jewish, they have all been closely aligned with support for Israel and the Zionist ideological cause.

One particularly problematical aspect of this powerful Israeli ideological influence has been the long Zionist history of the use of assassination, both before and after the creation of the State of Israel. In early 2020 our Solemaini killing prompted me to publish a very lengthy presentation of this important yet long concealed history, from which this paragraph and many of the preceding extracts were drawn:

Indeed, the inclination of the more right-wing Zionist factions toward assassination, terrorism, and other forms of essentially criminal behavior was really quite remarkable. For example, in 1943 Shamir had arranged the assassination of his factional rival, a year after the two men had escaped together from imprisonment for a bank robbery in which bystanders had been killed, and he claimed he had acted to avert the planned assassination of David Ben-Gurion, the top Zionist leader and Israel’s future founding-premier. Shamir and his faction certainly continued this sort of behavior into the 1940s, successfully assassinating Lord Moyne, the British Minister for the Middle East, and Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Peace Negotiator, though they failed in their other attempts to kill American President Harry Truman and British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, and their plans to assassinate Winston Churchill apparently never moved past the discussion stage. His group also pioneered the use of terrorist car-bombs and other explosive attacks against innocent civilian targets, all long before any Arabs or Muslims had ever thought of using similar tactics; and Begin’s larger and more “moderate” Zionist faction did much the same.

We should also recognize the reality that during the last seventy years America has maintained the world’s largest and best-funded biological warfare program, with our government spending many tens of billions of dollars on biowarfare/biodefense across those decades. And as I’ve discussed in a long article, there is even considerable evidence that we actually used those illegal weapons during the very difficult first year of the Korean War.

Soon after their invasion, the Russians publicly claimed that the U.S. had established a series of biolabs in Ukraine, which were preparing biological warfare attacks against their country. Last year one of their top generals declared that the global Covid epidemic was probably the result of a deliberate American biowarfare attack against China and Iran, echoing the accusations previously made by those countries.

Russian security concerns over our advanced biowarfare capabilities and the extreme recklessness with which we might employ them may explain the rather strange behavior of President Putin when he met in Moscow for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shortly before the outbreak of the Ukraine war.

At the time many observers were puzzled why in each case the two national leaders were seated at opposite ends of a very long table, with Putin blandly suggesting that the placement was meant to symbolize the vast distance separating Russia and NATO’s Western leaders. Perhaps that innocuous explanation was correct. But I think it far more likely that the Russians were actually concerned that the Western leaders meeting him might be the immunized carriers of a dangerous biological agent intended to infect their president.

Considering the total madness that America’s ruling elites have exhibited in recent years, we can hardly blame the Russians for taking such unusual precautions to ensure Putin’s safety. This is especially true because in today’s Russia nominal and actual political power are conjoined, a very different situation than is often found in America or much of the West, as I’d noted in 2015.

Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia’s entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

Given this situation, I think it is very fortunate for the world—and our own country—that both Russia and China are currently led by extremely cautious and pragmatic individuals willing to forego any cycle of retaliatory escalation. But the ruling political elites of DC should recognize that their own persons are hardly likely to remain permanently sacrosanct from the terrible forces they seem all too eager to set into motion.

Related Reading:

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Russian Air Defense Downs Storm Shadow Missile – MoD

RT | May 15, 2023

Russian forces have stopped a UK-supplied cruise missile along with several other weapons fired by Ukrainian forces, the Defense Ministry reported in its daily update on Monday. London confirmed delivering Storm Shadow weapons to Ukraine last week, with Kiev promptly using them to attack the city of Lugansk.

The Defense Ministry claimed having intercepted in the previous 24 hours seven anti-radiation HARM missiles, one Storm Shadow missile and seven rockets fired by HIMARS multiple launch weapon systems. It was the first time that Moscow reported downing one of the projectiles supplied by the UK since Kiev started firing them last week.

The local authorities in Lugansk blamed the new addition to Ukraine’s arsenal for several recent airstrikes on the Russian city. On Monday morning, two of them caused damage to residential buildings, an office, and two cars in the city, a regional monitor reported.

Acting Governor Leonid Pasechnik said that a military aviation school had been hit but that the attack did not cause any casualties, citing preliminary reports from the scene.

Before London sent its cruise missiles, which can strike targets up to 300km (200 miles) away, Kiev did not have any Western weapons with a comparable range. The Ukrainian government had pleaded for months to acquire such arms, but the US and its allies were previously reluctant to extend Ukraine’s striking capability.

London said the new weapons will bolster the Ukrainian forces for the long-promised counteroffensive against Russia.

The Storm Shadows were touted as a game changer by some media outlets, which reported the impending deliveries days before an official confirmation by the UK. The MBDA-produced missile was described as having some stealth capability thanks to its relatively small size and ability to hug terrain to avoid radar detection.

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

On Korea, Joe Biden Is Choosing Every Bad Option

By Ted Galen Carpenter | The Libertarian Institute | May 15, 2023

Joe Biden has managed to embrace nearly all of the worst, most dangerous options with respect to U.S. policy on the Korean Peninsula. Washington’s policy toward North Korea is utterly sterile and ineffective. The glimpses of hope during Donald Trump’s administration that the United States might adopt a fresh approach instead of clinging to its longstanding, unattainable demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program have vanished. Biden abandoned even Trump’s modest policy deviations. Instead, his administration has resumed the insistence on Pyongyang’s complete denuclearization, along with placing strict limits on the country’s ballistic missile capabilities. North Korea continues to test missiles with ever longer ranges as U.S. leaders fume impotently.

At the same time, the Biden administration shows no inclination to re-examine the risk-reward calculation with respect to Washington’s alliance with South Korea, even as Pyongyang is now acquiring the capability to strike the American homeland. Indeed, administration officials are moving in the opposite direction, emphasizing the U.S. defense commitment to its longstanding dependent and discouraging any hints that Seoul may wish to take greater responsibility for its own defense—especially if such an initiative includes the acquisition of an independent nuclear deterrent. Instead, U.S. leaders are working to enlist South Korea as a pawn in a geostrategic chess match directed against China in exchange for a more robust U.S. commitment to defend Seoul against its North Korean adversary.

The continuing, if not intensifying, patron-client relationship between the United States and South Korea was underscored in the joint declaration that Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol issued following their April 26, 2023, summit meeting; “The ROK has full confidence in U.S. extended deterrence commitments and recognizes the importance, necessity, and benefit of its enduring reliance on the U.S. nuclear deterrent.” If that wasn’t enough to emphasize South Korea’s continuing security dependence on the United States, the declaration added, “President Yoon reaffirmed the ROK’s longstanding commitment to its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of the global nonproliferation regime.”

Perpetuating America’s risk exposure in that fashion was bad enough, but Biden went out of his way to rattle sabers at North Korea:

“President Biden reaffirmed that the United States’ commitment to the ROK and the Korean people is enduring and ironclad, and that any nuclear attack by the DPRK against the ROK will be met with a swift, overwhelming and decisive response. President Biden highlighted the U.S. commitment to extend deterrence to the ROK is backed by the full range of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear.”

Such statements were decidedly unhelpful, given the already tense environment on the Korean Peninsula. But Biden managed to inflame the situation further. “Going forward, the United States will further enhance the regular visibility of strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula, as evidenced by the upcoming visit of a U.S. nuclear ballistic missile submarine to the ROK.” North Korea’s regime is notoriously prickly and prone to engage in saber rattling of its own. However, even a more sedate government likely would feel threatened by such a provocative U.S. deployment in its immediate neighborhood.

Washington needs to adopt the opposite course to the one it is pursuing toward both North and South Korea. The Biden administration’s ossified policy toward Pyongyang is especially frustrating and dangerous. The president’s commitment to the futile zombie policy of trying to isolate North Korea was confirmed when Washington imposed new sanctions following a new round of tests in January 2022. If the administration does not change course, it is likely just a matter of time until Pyongyang resumes testing not only ICBMs, but nuclear weapons. In early February 2022, China’s ambassador to the United Nations correctly emphasized that the United States needs to come up with “more attractive and more practical” policies and actions to reduce tensions with North Korea and avoid a return to a “vicious circle” of confrontation, condemnation and sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile program.

U.S. leaders should seek ways to establish a normal bilateral relationship with North Korea. That means easing and eventually eliminating the vast array of economic sanctions that have been imposed over the decades. It also means negotiating a treaty formally ending the Korean War and establishing full diplomatic relations between the two countries. If such actions are not taken, the United States faces the imminent prospect of having no meaningful relations with a country that has an expanding nuclear arsenal combined with delivery systems capable of striking the American homeland. One would be hard pressed to identify a more dangerous situation.

The drastically changed nuclear weapons environment also underscores why the United States needs to remove itself from the front lines of the tense situation between North and South Korea. U.S. leaders should encourage South Korea’s greater strategic autonomy, not try to stifle independent initiatives. Even the decision about acquiring nuclear weapons should be made in Seoul, not Washington. There is no question that South Korea can provide for its own defense. It has an economy 40 to 50 times greater than North Korea’s, and it is a technological juggernaut. Keeping a weak, vulnerable Seoul as a U.S. strategic dependent was a highly questionable policy even during the early decades of the Cold War. Keeping a strong, fully capable South Korea as such a dependent, despite rapidly escalating risks to the United States, is monumentally foolish.

President Biden’s Korea policy risks the worst possible scenario. Continuing to treat North Korea as a pariah increases the likelihood of rash, desperate behavior on Pyongyang’s part, which could rekindle the dormant Korean War. Continuing to treat Seoul as a U.S. protectorate makes it certain that if an armed conflict between the two Koreas does break out, the United States would be hopelessly entangled. It would be a challenge to identify a more dangerous, bankrupt policy than the one the Biden administration is pursuing.

Ted Galen Carpenter is a senior fellow at the Libertarian Institute and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. Dr. Carpenter also served in various policy positions during a 37-year career at the Cato Institute. He is the author of thirteen books and more than 1,200 articles on international affairs and the threat that the U.S. national security state poses to peace and civil liberties at home and around the world. Dr. Carpenter’s latest book is “Unreliable Watchdog: The News Media and U.S. Foreign Policy” (2022)

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

US Pushes Indonesia to Ramp Up Military Cooperation, Jakarta Pledges Neutrality

Sputnik – 15.05.2023

The US Army’s top general was deployed to Indonesia in an effort to solidify the country’s position in the American orbit this week amid Washington’s ongoing efforts to encircle China militarily and constrain its growth.

On Friday, the Army’s Chief of Staff, James McConville, described his meeting with Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto as a relatively benign effort to bring peace to the Indo-Pacific region.

“We have many friends in the region, and we work closely together,” McConville said. “We all share the same interests for the region: peace, security, stability.”

“That’s why we work together on maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific for everyone,” he insisted.

For his part, Subianto described peace and stability in the region as a “common concern,” but insisted Indonesia would maintain its neutrality, pledging to continue pursuing relationships with all world’s nations – “especially all the major powers.”

McConville touched down in Jakarta on Thursday on the heels of a visit to the Philippines. That trip came shortly after last month’s massive US-Philippine war drills provoked anger among authorities in Beijing, who simulated an encirclement of their own against the renegade island of Taiwan in response.

But it’s unclear that Jakarta’s leaders are as willing to sign up for a battle with Beijing as their counterparts in Manila. Last November, Subianto promised to restore joint military exercises with China following a meeting with the nation’s defense minister.

In 2017, the US embassy in Jakarta released around 30,000 documents showing “the US actively supported the Indonesian military’s killing of as many as 1 million suspected communist sympathizers in the mid-1960s despite concerns about the reasons behind the massacre,” the Financial Times reported.
But the US maintains close relations with Indonesia’s leaders despite its questionable legacy there.

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Japan to open NATO liaison office in new provocation against China and Russia

By Ahmed Adel | May 15, 2023

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi announced that his country is considering opening a NATO liaison office, demonstrating that Tokyo is deepening its ties with the US and becoming more hostile to China and Russia. Tokyo’s rapprochement with NATO would strengthen the anti-China/Russia alliance and advance the US plans to create a NATO-styled organisation in the Far East.

“We are already in discussions, but no details (have been) finalised yet,” Hayashi said on May 10.

He specifically referenced Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine as something with repercussions far beyond Europe’s borders that made Japan rethink regional security.

“The reason why we are discussing about this is that since the aggression by Russia to Ukraine, the world (has) become more unstable,” he claimed. “Something happening in East Europe is not only confined to the issue in East Europe, and that affects directly the situation here in the Pacific. That’s why a cooperation between us in East Asia and NATO (is) becoming … increasingly important.”

However, the foreign minister failed to explain how events in Ukraine affect those in East Asia. Rather, Hayashi is using this as a weak justification for why Japan is militarising, which directly relates to Tokyo’s claims against sovereign seas and territories belonging to China and Russia.

The opening of a NATO office in Japan does not mean that the country will join the Alliance, but it does open a path for Japan to become a member of an expanded AUKUS (Australia-United Kingdom-United States). This, in turn, will require Tokyo to strengthen its contacts with NATO.

It is recalled that NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, went to Japan and South Korea in January 2023 to lay the groundwork for strengthened ties. This is one of the reasons why Tokyo is already involved in conflicts that are not directly related to the region, despite some of the mental gymnastics it procures to create a justification.

The Japanese government is also providing $5.5 billion in aid to Ukraine, which can be seen as a step forward for the country to join AUKUS and confirms Tokyo’s intentions to strengthen its relationship with NATO. However, NATO will not officially expand to include Japan because members of the Alliance, such as Hungary, do not always align their position for the sake of serving US interests.

At the same time, France, at least in rhetoric, is seeking a degree of autonomy from the US. French President Emmanuel Macron said on April 9 that Europe needs to limit its dependence on the US.

In this way, the expansion of NATO to Asia is not likely since this initiative could lead to a further weakening of unity within the military alliance. The Americans are aware of this, and for this reason, they are working on a separate Eastern bloc to strengthen relations between NATO and Japan, most likely through the AUKUS format.

Suppose the AUKUS bloc includes Japan and intends to become the equivalent of NATO in Asia, with which the Western military alliance will cooperate closely; it would be a significant step in pressuring China and Russia since Japan’s technological and military potential exceeds that of many European countries.

It must be borne in mind that Tokyo’s rapprochement with NATO would reinforce the anti-Chinese/Russian ideology prevailing in the West. However, Tokyo’s actions come at a time when many countries in Asia and even some in Europe do not fully agree with this course of action.

The opening of the NATO office in Japan clearly indicates that the US plans to create a so-called “NATO of the Far East” and is making concrete steps towards this goal.

It cannot be overlooked that Japan’s reestablishment of overly friendly relations with South Korea attests to these plans, mainly as they have unexpectedly gone to a new qualitative level in a single leap. The President of South Korea has already visited Japan, and there are plans for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to visit South Korea soon, as well as their impending G7 summit meeting in Hiroshima. This has occurred in recent times despite Tokyo and Seoul being embroiled for many years in mutual accusations on various historical occasions.

The leaders of both East Asian countries now hold a distinctly pro-American stance. If the opening of a NATO liaison office in Tokyo is successful, it can be expected that one will open in Seoul too, especially since the country’s leadership has taken on a provocative position against Beijing and Moscow, including the drawing of red lines concerning the war in Ukraine.

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

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Yes, you can yell “fire” in a crowded theater

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | September 24, 2020

The manner in which free speech has been coming under attack over the past several years makes it easy to forget that this is not the only era of the internet and social media when this has been happening.

Different approaches and debates about how to handle what is, or is seen as “misinformation” and “disinformation” (used by most censorship champions interchangeably these days) have existed in the past as well, as have attempts to justify limiting freedom of speech protections provided by the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

And in the US, the go-to “crutch phrase” used by those favoring the stifling of speech over promoting freedom of expression has been to explain it as the need to sanction those who are, proverbially, “shouting fire in a crowded theater.”

The expression is derived from a 1919 US Supreme Court case, US v. Schenck, during which Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes remarked that, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”

The phrase would in the meantime all but inevitably appear whenever an argument is being made that censorship is acceptable and needed in order to prevent some type of harm. But the use of “shouting fire in a crowded theater” in this way is itself a form of disinformation.

Charles Schenck got himself in trouble, and in jail 100 years ago not by literally starting any fires, but by opposing the WW1 draft policy of his government, and putting together a pamphlet to this effect. Schenck v. The United States held that the defendant’s speech opposing the draft during World War I was not protected free speech under the First Amendment.

Some of the slogans he used are fairly universal, though, and can be applied to a variety of issues, including the present-day curtailing of online speech: messages like, “Do not submit to intimidation,” and, “Assert your Rights.”

Schenck was put on trial and found guilty under the Espionage Act, but in 1969, the US Supreme Court ruled on the issue of inflammatory speech in the Brandenburg v. Ohio case to annul the validity of that decision, when it established that the First Amendment does in fact protect free speech, all the way to the right of Ku Klux Klan members to advocate violence – unless there as a direct threat of “imminent lawless action.”

Although the expression about fires in crowded theaters never carried actual legal weight, the 1969 decision should have also made it less and less appealing to censorship proponents. However, it is still going strong.

There are several cases when the phrase was used in the last decade by officials and commentators, such as a Twitter user accused of spreading disinformation during Hurricane Sandy, WikiLeaks and its activities, and a pastor calling for the burning of Qurans.

In internet years, 2012 is today a distant past, however, the same issues concerning free speech and transparency around attempts to suppress it online were taking place at the time as well. What’s changed in the last eight years is the intensity of the argument that the only way to deal with misinformation or disinformation is to obliterate such suspected content in acts of, by and large, unaccountable censorship, particularly that taking place on social media.

In the US, this has become an often fear mongering campaign that promotes the notion that other approaches would directly and dangerously undermine democracy. In reality, though, it’s the rampant censorship that is more likely to achieve this; even Justice Holmes eventually came round to the idea that “free trade in ideas” was preferable to their suppression, when he later dissented in a case similar to Schenck’s.

The best, and likely the only truly legal and legitimate way to deal with false information on social media is to identify and expose it, rather than censor it, or prosecute its authors.

As for the “crowded theater” phrase, these days it is almost exclusively used in the media to heap criticism on US President Donald Trump, such as this recent Vanity Fair article that calls him “The Human Embodiment of Yelling ‘Fire’ in a Crowded Theater.”

This was said in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, and, of course, a particularly heated election campaign that is fertile ground not only for censorship but also for using strong and suggestive language like this – whether or not it has any legal, or ethical relevance.

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment