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Fear Is Contagious and Used to Control You

fear contagious

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | June 18, 2021

Governments are using fear to control and manipulate their citizens. That has now been admitted by members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior (SPI-B), a subcommittee that advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in the U.K. And they should know, because they advocated for it, and now say it was a regrettable mistake. As reported by The Telegraph, May 14, 2021:1

“Scientists on a committee that encouraged the use of fear to control people’s behavior during the COVID pandemic have admitted its work was ‘unethical’ and ‘totalitarian.’ Members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior (SPI-B) expressed regret about the tactics in a new book about the role of psychology in the Government’s COVID-19 response.

SPI-B warned in March last year that ministers needed to increase ‘the perceived level of personal threat’ from COVID-19 because ‘a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.’

Gavin Morgan, a psychologist on the team, said: ‘Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism. It’s not an ethical stance for any modern government. By nature I am an optimistic person, but all this has given me a more pessimistic view of people.’”

Psychological Warfare Is Real

The Telegraph quotes several of the SPI-B members, all of whom are also quoted in the newly released book, “A State of Fear: How the UK Government Weaponised Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic,” written by Laura Dodsworth:2

“One SPI-B scientist told Ms Dodsworth: ‘In March [2020] the Government was very worried about compliance and they thought people wouldn’t want to be locked down. There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear. The way we have used fear is dystopian.

The use of fear has definitely been ethically questionable. It’s been like a weird experiment. Ultimately, it backfired because people became too scared’ …

One warned that ‘people use the pandemic to grab power and drive through things that wouldn’t happen otherwise … We have to be very careful about the authoritarianism that is creeping in’ …

Another member of SPI-B said they were ‘stunned by the weaponization of behavioral psychology’ during the pandemic, and that ‘psychologists didn’t seem to notice when it stopped being altruistic and became manipulative. They have too much power and it intoxicates them.’

Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the COVID Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said: ‘If it is true that the state took the decision to terrify the public to get compliance with rules, that raises extremely serious questions about the type of society we want to become. If we’re being really honest, do I fear that government policy today is playing into the roots of totalitarianism? Yes, of course it is.’”

The Manufacture of Fear

For nearly a year and a half, governments around the world, with few exceptions, have fed their citizens a steady diet of frightening news. For months on end, you couldn’t turn on the television without facing a tickertape detailing the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

Even when it became clear that people weren’t really dying in excessive numbers, the mainstream media fed us continuous updates on the growing number of “cases,” without ever putting such figures into context or explaining that the vast majority were false positives.

Information that would have balanced out the bad news — such as recovery rates and just how many so-called “cases” actually weren’t, because they never had a single symptom — were censored and suppressed.

They also refused to put any of the data into context, such as reviewing whether the death toll actually differed significantly from previous years. Instead, each new case was treated as an emergency and a sign of catastrophic doom.

Don’t Be Confused — Contradiction Is a Warfare Tactic

Aside from the barrage of bad-news-only data — which, by the way, was heavily manipulated in a variety of ways — fear and anxiety are also generated by keeping you confused. According to Dodsworth, giving out contradictory recommendations and vague instructions is being done intentionally, to keep you psychologically vulnerable.

“When you create a state of confusion, people become ever more reliant on the messaging. Instead of feeling confident about making decisions, they end up waiting for instructions from the Government,” she said in a May 20, 2021, interview on the Planet Normal podcast.3

An example provided by Dodsworth are the pandemic measures implemented over Christmas 2020:

“Family Christmases were on, then off, then back on, then off again. You have got someone tightening the screw, then loosening the screw, then tightening it again. It’s like a torture scenario.”

But that’s not all. As explained by psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin, by layering confusion and uncertainty on top of fear, you can bring an individual to a state in which they can no longer think rationally. Once driven into an illogical state, they are easily manipulated. I have no doubt driving people into a state where logic and reason no longer registers is the whole point behind much of the conflicting information we’re given.

The Fear Factory

In her book, Dodsworth details a number of branches of the British government that are using psychological warfare methods in their interaction with the public. In addition to the SPI-B, there’s the:4

Behavioral Insights team, the so-called “nudge unit,” a semi-independent government body that applies “behavioral insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver positive results for people and communities.”5 This team also advises foreign nations.

Home Office’s Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), which is part of the U.K.’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, advises front groups disguised as public “grassroots” organizations on how to “covertly engineer the thoughts of people.”

Rapid Response Unit, launched in 2018, operates across the British Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister’s office (colloquially known as “Number 10” as in the physical address, 10 Downing Street in London) to “counter misinformation and disinformation.” They also work with the National Security Communications Team during crises to ensure “official information” gets maximum visibility.6

Counter Disinformation Cell, which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Both monitor social media and combat “fake news” about science in general and COVID-19 in particular, with “fake news” being anything that contradicts the World Health Organization’s guidance.7

Government Communications Headquarters (QCHQ), an intelligence and security organization that provides information to the U.K. government and the armed forces. According to Dodsworth, QCHQ personnel, and even members of the 77th Brigade, have been enlisted as so-called sockpuppets and trolls to combat anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown messaging on social media.

According to Dodsworth, there are many others. In her book, she claims at least 10 different government departments in the U.K. are working with “behavioral insights teams” to manipulate the public.

We’re Just Seeing It Now

Importantly, government’s reliance on behavioral psychology didn’t just happen as a result of the pandemic. These tactics have been used for years, for myriad PR purposes, and while the pandemic may be winding down, Dodsworth warns that more and more behavioral scientists are being hired:8

“It’s growing and growing. Right now, I feel we are in a maelstrom of nudge,” she says. “In the past, there have been calls to consult the public on the use of behavioral psychology, and those calls have come from the behavioral scientists themselves. And yet it hasn’t happened. We haven’t yet been consulted on the use of subconscious techniques which effectively strip away our choices …

I fervently hope this book [‘The State of Fear’] is actually going to inspire a much-needed conversation about the use of fear, not just in the epidemic, but the way we use behavioral psychology overall.

It’s not just a genie that has been let out the bottle. It’s like we’ve unleashed a Hydra and you can keep chopping its head off, but they keep employing more of these behavioral scientists throughout different government departments. It’s very much how the Government now does business. It’s the business of fear …

I think ultimately people don’t want to be manipulated. People don’t enjoy being hoodwinked and they don’t want to live in a state of fear. We maybe need to be a bit bolder about standing up more quickly when something is not right.”

Full article

June 21, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Book Review | , | Leave a comment

On ‘conflict’, ‘peace’ and ‘genocide’: Time for new language on Palestine and Israel

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | June 12, 2021

On 25 May, famous US actor Mark Ruffalo tweeted an apology for suggesting that Israel is committing “genocide” in Gaza.

“I have reflected and wanted to apologise for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide’,” Ruffalo wrote, adding: “It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful and is being used to justify anti-Semitism, here and abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.”

But were Ruffalo’s earlier assessments, indeed, “not accurate, inflammatory and disrespectful”? And does equating Israel’s war on besieged, impoverished Gaza with genocide fit into the classification of “hyperbole”?

To avoid pointless social media spats, one only needs to reference the “United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”. According to Article 2 of the 1948 Convention, the legal definition of genocide is: “Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

In its depiction of Israel’s latest war on Gaza, the Geneva-based human rights group, Euro-Med Monitor, reported: “The Israeli forces directly targeted 31 extended families. In 21 cases, the homes of these families were bombed while their residents were inside. These raids resulted in the killing of 98 civilians, including 44 children and 28 women. Among the victims were a man and his wife and children, mothers and their children, or child siblings. There were seven mothers who were killed along with four or three of their children. The bombing of these homes and buildings came without any warning despite the Israeli forces’ knowledge that civilians were inside.”

As of 28 May, 254 Palestinians in Gaza were killed, and 1,948 were wounded in the latest 11-day Israeli onslaught, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Though tragic, this number is relatively small compared with the casualties of previous wars. For example, in the 51-day Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, over 2,200 Palestinians were killed, and over 17,000 were wounded. Similarly, entire families, like the 21-member Abu Jame family in Khan Younis, also perished. Is this not genocide? The same logic can be applied to the killings of over 300 unarmed protesters at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel between March 2018 and December 2019. Moreover, the besiegement and utter isolation of over two million Palestinians in Gaza since 2006-2007, which has resulted in numerous tragedies, is an act of collective punishment that also deserves the designation of genocide.

One does not need to be a legal expert to identify the many elements of genocide in Israel’s violent behaviour, let alone language, against Palestinians. There is a clear, undeniable relationship between Israel’s violent political discourse and equally violent action on the ground. Potentially Israel’s next Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has served the role of defence minister, in July 2013 stated: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that.”

With this context in mind, and regardless of why Ruffalo found it necessary to back-track on his moral position, Israel is an unrepentant human rights violator that continues to carry out an active policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the native, indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.

Language matters, and in this particular “conflict”, it matters most, because Israel has, for long, managed to escape any accountability for its actions, due to its success in misrepresenting facts and the overall truth about itself. Thanks to its many allies and supporters in mainstream media and academia, Tel Aviv has rebranded itself from being a military occupier and an apartheid regime to an “oasis of democracy“, in fact, “the only democracy in the Middle East”.

This article will not attempt to challenge the entirety of the misconstrued mainstream media’s depiction of Israel. Volumes are required for that, and Israeli Professor Ilan Pappé’s Ten Myths about Israel is an important starting point. However, this article will attempt to present some basic definitions that must enter the Palestine-Israel lexicon, as a prerequisite to developing a fairer understanding of what is happening on the ground.

A military occupation – not a ‘conflict’

Quite often, mainstream Western media refers to the situation in Palestine and Israel as a “conflict“, and to the various specific elements of this so-called conflict as a “dispute“. For example, the “Palestinian-Israeli conflict” and the “disputed city of East Jerusalem”.

What should be an obvious truth, is that besieged, occupied people do not engage in a “conflict” with their occupiers. Moreover, a “dispute” happens when two parties have equally compelling claims to any issue. When Palestinian families of East Jerusalem are being forced out of their homes which are, in turn, handed over to Jewish extremists, there is no “dispute” involved. The extremists are thieves, and the Palestinians are victims. This is not a matter of opinion. The international community itself says so.

“Conflict” is a generic term. Aside from absolving the aggressor – in this case, Israel – it leaves all matters open to interpretation. Since US audiences are indoctrinated to love Israel and hate Arabs and Muslims, siding with Israel in its “conflict” with the latter becomes the only rational option.

Israel has sustained a military occupation of 22 per cent of the total size of historic Palestine since June 1967. The remainder of the Palestinian homeland was already usurped, using extreme violence, state-sanctioned apartheid, and, as Pappé puts it, “incremental genocide” decades earlier.

From the perspective of international law, the term “military occupation”, “occupied East Jerusalem”, “illegal Jewish settlements”, and so forth, have never been “disputed”. They are simply facts, even if Washington has decided to ignore international law, and even if mainstream US media has chosen to manipulate the terminology to present Israel as a victim, not the aggressor.

‘Process’ without ‘peace’

The term “peace process” was coined by US diplomats decades ago. It was put to use throughout the mid and late 1970s when, then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger laboured to broker a deal between Egypt and Israel in the hope of fragmenting the Arab political front and, eventually, sidelining Cairo entirely from the “Arab-Israeli conflict”.

Kissinger’s logic proved vital for Israel as the “process” did not aim to achieve justice according to fixed criteria that has been delineated by the United Nations for years. There was no frame of reference anymore. If any existed, it was Washington’s political priorities that, historically, almost entirely overlapped with Israel’s priorities. Despite the obvious US bias, the US bestowed upon itself the undeserving title of “the honest peace broker“.

This approach was used successfully in the write-up to the Camp David Accords in 1978. One of the accords’ greatest achievements is that the so-called “Arab-Israeli conflict” was replaced with the so-called “Palestinian-Israeli conflict”.

Now, tried and true, the “peace process” was used again in 1993, resulting in the Oslo Accords. For nearly three decades, the US continued to tout its self-proclaimed credentials as a peacemaker, despite the fact that it pumped – and continues to do so – $3-4 billion of annual, mostly military, aid to Israel.

On the other hand, the Palestinians have little to show. No peace was achieved; no justice was obtained; not an inch of Palestinian land was returned and not a single Palestinian refugee was allowed to return home. However, US and European officials and a massive media apparatus continued to talk of a “peace process” with little regard to the fact that the “peace process” has brought nothing but war and destruction for Palestine, and allowed Israel to continue its illegal appropriation and colonisation of Palestinian land.

Resistance, national liberation – not ‘terrorism’ and ‘state-building’

The “peace process” introduced more than death, mayhem and normalisation of land theft in Palestine. It also wrought its own language, which remains in effect to this day. According to the new lexicon, Palestinians are divided into “moderates” and “extremists”. The “moderates” believe in the US-led “peace process”, “peace negotiations” and are ready to make “painful compromises” in order to obtain the coveted “peace”. On the other hand, the “extremists” are the “Iran-backed“, politically “radical” bunch that use “terrorism” to satisfy their “dark” political agendas.

But is this the case? Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, many sectors of Palestinian society, including Muslims and Christians, Islamists and secularists and, notably, socialists, resisted the unwarranted political “compromises” undertaken by their leadership, which they perceived to be a betrayal of Palestinians’ basic rights. Meanwhile, the “moderates” have largely ruled over Palestinians with no democratic mandate. This small but powerful group introduced a culture of political and financial corruption, unprecedented in Palestine. They applied torture against Palestinian political dissidents whenever it suited them. Not only did Washington say little to criticise the “moderate” Palestinian Authority (PA)’s dismal human rights record, but it also applauded it for its crackdown on those who “incite violence” and their “terrorist infrastructure”.

A term such as “resistance” – muqawama – was slowly but carefully extricated from the Palestinian national discourse. The term “liberation”, too, was perceived to be confrontational and hostile. Instead, such concepts as “state-building” – championed by former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and others – began taking hold. The fact that Palestine was still an occupied country and that “state-building” can only be achieved once “liberation” was first secured, did not seem to matter to the “donor countries”. The priorities of these countries – mainly US allies who adhered to the US political agenda in the Middle East – was to maintain the illusion of the “peace process” and to ensure “security coordination” between PA police and the Israeli army carried on, unabated.

The so-called “security coordination”, of course, refers to the US-funded joint Israeli-PA efforts at cracking down on Palestinian resistance, apprehending Palestinian political dissidents and ensuring the safety of the illegal Jewish settlements, or colonies, in the occupied West Bank.

War and, yes, genocide in Gaza – not ‘Israel-Hamas conflict’

The word “democracy” was constantly featured in the new Oslo language. Of course, it was not intended to serve its actual meaning. Instead, it was the icing on the cake of making the illusion of the “peace process” perfect. This was obvious, at least to most Palestinians. It also became obvious to the whole world in January 2006, when the Palestinian faction Fatah, which has monopolised the PA since its inception in 1994, lost the popular vote to the Islamic faction, Hamas.

Hamas, and other Palestinian factions, have rejected – and continue to reject – the Oslo Accords. Their participation in the legislative elections in 2006 took many by surprise, as the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was itself a product of Oslo. Their victory in the elections, which was classified as democratic and transparent by international monitoring groups, threw a wrench in the US-Israeli-PA political calculations.

Lo and behold, the group that has long been perceived by Israel and its allies as “extremist” and “terrorist” became the potential leaders of Palestine! The Oslo spin doctors had to go into overdrive in order for them to thwart Palestinian democracy and ensure a successful return to the status quo, even if this meant that Palestine is represented by unelected, undemocratic leaders. Sadly, this has been the case for nearly 15 years.

Meanwhile, Hamas’s stronghold, the Gaza Strip, had to be taught a lesson, thus the siege imposed on the impoverished region for nearly 15 years. The siege on Gaza has little to do with Hamas’s rockets or Israel’s “security” needs, the right to “defend itself” and its supposedly “justifiable” desire to destroy Gaza’s “terrorist infrastructure”. While, indeed, Hamas’s popularity in Gaza is unmatched anywhere else in Palestine, Fatah, too, has a powerful constituency there. Moreover, the Palestinian resistance in the strip is not championed by Hamas alone, but also by other ideological and political groups, for example, the Islamic Jihad, the socialist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and other socialist and secular groups.

Misrepresenting the “conflict” as a “war” between Israel and Hamas is crucial to Israeli propaganda, which has succeeded in equating Hamas with militant groups throughout the Middle East and even Afghanistan. But Hamas is not Daesh, Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. In fact, none of these groups is similar, anyway. Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic nationalist movement that operates within a largely Palestinian political context. An excellent book on Hamas is the recently published volume by Dr Daud Abdullah, Engaging the World. Abdullah’s book rightly presents Hamas as a rational political actor, rooted in its ideological convictions, yet flexible and pragmatic in its ability to adapt to national, regional and international geopolitical changes.

But what does Israel have to gain from mischaracterising the Palestinian resistance in Gaza? Aside from satisfying its propaganda campaign of erroneously linking Hamas to other anti-US groups, it also dehumanises the Palestinian people entirely and presents Israel as a partner in the US global so-called “war on terror”. Israeli neofascist and ultranationalist politicians then become the saviours of humanity, their violent racist language is forgiven and their active “genocide” is seen as an act of “self-defence” or, at best, a mere state of “conflict”.

The oppressor as the victim

According to the strange logic of mainstream media, Palestinians are rarely “killed” by Israeli soldiers, but rather “die” in “clashes” resulting from various “disputes”. Israel does not “colonise” Palestinian land; it merely “annexes”, “appropriates” and “captures”, and so on. What has been taking place in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, for example, is not outright property theft, leading to ethnic cleansing, but rather a “property dispute”.

The list goes on and on.

In truth, language has always been a part of Zionist colonialism, long before the state of Israel was itself constructed from the ruins of Palestinian homes and villages in 1948. Palestine, according to the Zionists, was “a land with no people” for “a people with no land”. These colonists were never “illegal settlers” but “Jewish returnees” to their “ancestral homeland”, who, through hard work and perseverance, managed to “make the desert bloom”, and, in order to defend themselves against the “hordes of Arabs”, they needed to build an “invincible army”.

It will not be easy to deconstruct the seemingly endless edifice of lies, half-truths and intentional misrepresentations of Zionist Israeli colonialism in Palestine. Yet, there can be no alternative to this feat because, without proper, accurate and courageous understanding and depiction of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian resistance to it, Israel will continue to oppress Palestinians while presenting itself as the victim.

June 12, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Nullifying the First Amendment

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | June 9, 2021

Whenever some foreign regime that is independent of the U.S. Empire goes after dissenters, U.S. officials trot out the First Amendment to show how different the United States is. Here, people are free to criticize government officials without fear of being put in jail or otherwise punished for exercising their free speech rights, they proudly point out. 

However, what goes unexplained in such pious proclamations is why so many leading executives in big American companies remain silent when it comes to America’s foreign wars, foreign interventions, coups, alliances with dictators, torture, mass secret surveillance, indefinite detention, denial of due process, Gitmo, state-sponsored assassinations, and other dark-side activities of the U.S. national-security establishment.

The reason is that every one of those executives knows that federal officials are able to retaliate against them in indirect ways for criticizing their policies and operations. Such indirect methods of retaliation can consist of IRS audits, regulatory harassment, denial of applications for mergers and acquisitions, non-renewal of radio and television licenses, and even the threat of disclosure of personal secrets acquired through secret surveillance of emails and telephone records. 

A good example of free speech nullification involved President Lyndon Johnson, soon after he became president after the assassination of President Kennedy. Johnson’s indirect nullification of the First Amendment is set forth in Robert Caro’s book The Passage of Power.

Prior to the assassination, a Dallas reporter named Margaret Mayer had begun investigating Johnson’s radio and television stations in Austin. On the evening of Saturday, January 4, 1964, Johnson telephoned her paper’s managing editor and spoke directly about what he was prepared to do if the paper didn’t stop Mayer’s investigation. 

Johnson mentioned by name the paper’s publisher and board owner, its president, and the president of radio and television stations owned by the paper. He then made it clear that he was prepared to use all the powers at his disposal against them if they didn’t stop Mayer’s investigation, including IRS audits, both personal and business, as well as non-renewal of FCC licenses for the radio and television stations. 

Johnson demanded a response by the next morning. The next morning — Sunday morning —  the editor telephoned the president and said, “We’ll take care of the thing tomorrow” and assured Johnson that his role would be kept secret. Mayer’s investigation was shut down.

Caro provides another example, one involving not just a reporter but rather an entire newspaper, which had been critical of Johnson before the assassination. Johnson set out to stop the criticism.

The paper’s president also served as president of a local bank that was trying to merge with another Texas bank. Such mergers require federal approval. Both the Federal Reserve and the Justice Department opposed the merger. Using presidential aide Jack Valenti as an intermediary, Johnson told the paper that if it wanted the merger to go through, it would have to cease criticizing him. According to Caro, the paper became a supporter of Johnson, even endorsing him in the 1964 race. Johnson overruled the Fed and Justice and ordered the approval of the merger.

Caro provides another example of this phenomenon, one involving a Washington, D.C., correspondent for a Texas newspaper. The reporter had been critical of Johnson. Johnson telephoned the paper’s owner and mentioned Fort Worth’s Carswell Air Force Base as well as the recent decision to close the Fort Worth Army Depot. He also mentioned a project to make the Trinity River navigable for barges from the Gulf of Mexico to Fort Worth.

The paper squeezed out the reporter. Carswell remained in operation and ended up playing a big role in Johnson’s war in Vietnam. Johnson also made sure that one billion dollars in federal money went to the Trinity River project, although the project was never finished. 

Today, it is hard to believe that a president, the Pentagon, the CIA, or the NSA would make these types of direct threats to any U.S. company or its executives. But they don’t have to. Everyone knows what can happen to them if they decide to publicly criticize the sordid, dark-side activities of the national-security establishment. Discretion is the better part of valor, which has to be one big reason why most executives choose to remain silent. 


Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education.

June 11, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Forgotten moments from the history of vaccines; yes, history matters

By Jon Rappoport | No More Fake News | June 9, 2021

Scientific propaganda about vaccines has reached dizzying heights, as officials point the uninformed public toward the Day of Liberation, when a COVID shot, otherwise known as God, will rescue Earth.

Here, from a chapter in my 1988 book, AIDS INC., is an excerpt exposing some of the infamous moments in vaccination history—hidden by the press, or simply forgotten.

For those denialists who cling to the notion that vaccines are remarkably safe and effective, this article is a pill you can swallow, bitter to be sure, but immunizing against the effects of bald lies from the bent medical establishment.

Understand: this is only a partial history of disasters and revelations, and it stops at 1988.

“The combined death rate from scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough and measles among children up to fifteen shows that nearly 90 percent of the total decline in mortality between 1860 and 1965 had occurred before the introduction of antibiotics and widespread immunization. In part, this recession may be attributed to improved housing and to a decrease in the virulence of micro-organisms, but by far the most important factor was a higher host-resistance due to better nutrition.” Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis, Bantam Books, 1977

“In a recent British outbreak of whooping cough, for example, even fully immunized children contracted the disease in fairly large numbers; and the rates of serious complications and death were reduced only slightly. In another recent outbreak of pertussis, 46 of the 85 fully immunized children studied eventually contracted the disease.”

“In 1977, 34 new cases of measles were reported on the campus of UCLA, in a population that was supposedly 91% immune, according to careful serological testing. Another 20 cases of measles were reported in the Pecos, New Mexico, area within a period of a few months in 1981, and 75% of them had been fully immunized, some of them quite recently. A survey of sixth-graders in a well-immunized urban community revealed that about 15% of this age group are still susceptible to rubella, a figure essentially identical with that of the pre-vaccine era.”

“Finally, although the overall incidence of typical acute measles in the U.S. has dropped sharply from about 400,000 cases annually in the early 1960s to about 30,000 cases by 1974-76, the death rate remained exactly the same; and, with the peak incidence now occurring in adolescents and young adults, the risk of pneumonia and demonstrable liver abnormalities has actually increased substantially, according to one recent study, to well over 3% and 2%, respectively.” Richard Moskowitz, MD, The Case Against Immunizations, 1983, American Institute of Homeopathy.

“Of all reported whooping cough cases between 1979 and 1984 in children over 7 months of age – that is, old enough to have received the primary course of the DPT shots (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) – 41% occurred in children who had received three or more shots and 22% in children who had one or two immunizations.”

“Among children under 7 months of age who had whooping cough, 34% had been immunized between one and three times…”

“… Based on the only U.S. findings on adverse DPT reactions, an FDA-financed study at the University of California, Los Angeles, one out of every 350 children will have a convulsion; one in 180 children will experience high-pitched screaming [can indicate brain damage]; and one in 66 will have a fever of 105 degrees or more.” Jennifer Hyman, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, special supplement on DPT, dated April, 1987.

“A study undertaken in 1979 at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the sponsorship of the Food and Drug Administration, and which has been confirmed by other studies, indicates that in the U.S.A. approximately 1,000 infants die annually as a direct result of DPT vaccinations, and these are classified as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) deaths. These represent about 10 to 15% of the total number of SIDS deaths occurring annually in the U.S.A. (between 8,000 and 10,000 depending on which statistics are used).” Leon Chaitow, Vaccination and Immunization, CW Daniel Company Limited, Saffron Walden, Essex, England, 1987.

“Assistant Secretary of Health Edward Brandt, Jr., MD, testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, rounded… figures off to 9,000 cases of convulsions, 9,000 cases of collapse, and 17,000 cases of high-pitched screaming for a total of 35,000 acute neurological reactions occurring within forty-eight hours of a DPT shot among America’s children every year.” DPT: A Shot in the Dark, by Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fischer, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

“While 70-80% of British children were immunized against pertussis in 1970-71, the rate is now 39%. The committee predicts that the next pertussis epidemic will probably turn out to be more severe than the one in 1974/75. However, they do not explain why, in 1970/71, there were more than 33,000 cases of pertussis with 41 fatal cases among the very well immunized British child population; whereas in 1974/75, with a declining rate of vaccination, a pertussis epidemic caused only 25,000 cases with 25 fatalities.” Wolfgang Ehrengut, Lancet, Feb. 18, 1978, p. 370.

“… Barker and Pichichero, in a prospective study of 1232 children in Denver, Colorado, found after DTP that only 7% of those vaccinated were free from untoward reactions, which included pyrexia (53%), acute behavioral changes (82%), prolonged screaming (13%), and listlessness, anorexia and vomiting. 71% of those receiving second injections of DTP experienced two or more of the reactions monitored.” Lancet, May 28, 1983, p. 1217

“Publications by the World Health Organization show that diphtheria is steadily declining in most European countries, including those in which there has been no immunization. The decline began long before vaccination was developed. There is certainly no guarantee that vaccination will protect a child against the disease; in fact, over 30,000 cases of diphtheria have been recorded in the United Kingdom in fully immunized children.” Leon Chaitow, Vaccination and Immunization, p. 58.

“Pertussis (whooping cough) immunization is controversial, as the side effects have received a great deal of publicity. The counter claim is that the effectiveness and protection offered by the procedure far outweigh the possible ill effects… annual deaths, per million children, from this disease over the period from 1900 to the mid-nineteen seventies, shows that from a high point of just under 900 deaths per million children (under age 15) in 1905, the decline has been consistent and dramatic. There had been a lowering of mortality rates of approximately 80% by the time immunization was introduced on a mass scale, in the mid-nineteen fifties. The decline has continued, albeit at a slower rate, ever since. No credit can be given to vaccination for the major part of the decline since it was not in use.” Chaitow, Vaccination and Immunization, p. 63.

“… the swine-flu vaccination program was one of its (CDC) greatest blunders. It all began in 1976 when CDC scientists saw that a virus involved in a flu attack outbreak at Fort Dix, N.J., was similar to the swine-flu virus that killed 500,000 Americans in 1918. Health officials immediately launched a 100-million dollar program to immunize every American. But the expected epidemic never materialized, and the vaccine led to partial paralysis in 532 people. There were 32 deaths.” U.S. News and World Report, Joseph Carey, October 14, 1985, p. 70, “How Medical Sleuths Track Killer Diseases.”

“Despite (cases) in which (smallpox) vaccination plainly failed to protect the population, and despite the rampant side-effects of the methods, the proponents of vaccination continued their attempts to justify the methods by claims that the disease had declined in Europe as a whole during the period of its compulsory use. If the decline could be correlated with the use of the vaccination, then all else could be set aside, and the advantage between its current low incidence could be shown to outweigh the periodic failures of the method, and to favour the continued use of vaccination. However, the credit for the decline in the incidence of smallpox could not be given to vaccination. The fact is that its incidence declined in all parts of Europe, whether or not vaccination was employed.” Chaitow, Vaccination and Immunization, pp. 6-7.

“Smallpox, like typhus, has been dying out (in England) since 1780. Vaccination in this country has largely fallen into disuse since people began to realize how its value was discredited by the great smallpox epidemic of 1871-2 (which occurred after extensive vaccination).” W. Scott Webb, A Century of Vaccination, Swan Sonnenschein, 1898.

“In this incident (Kyoto, Japan, 1948) – the most serious of its kind – a toxic batch of alum-precipitated toxoid (APT) was responsible for illness in over 600 infants and for no fewer than 68 deaths.”

“On 20 and 22 October, 1948, a large number of babies and children in the city of Kyoto received their first injection of APT. On the 4th and 5th of November, 15,561 babies and children aged some months to 13 years received their second dose. One to two days later, 606 of those who had been injected fell ill. Of these, 9 died of acute diphtheritic paralysis in seven to fourteen days, and 59 of late paralysis mainly in four to seven weeks.” Sir Graham Wilson, Hazards of Immunization, Athone Press, University of London, 1967.

“Accidents may, however, follow the use of this so-called killed (rabies) vaccine owing to inadequate processing. A very serious occurrence of this sort occurred at Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil, in 1960. No fewer than 18 out of 66 persons vaccinated with Fermi’s carbolized (rabies ) vaccine suffered from encephalomyelitis and every one of the eighteen died.” Sir Graham Wilson, Hazards of Immunization.

“At a press conference in Washington on 24 July, 1942, the Secretary of War reported that 28,585 cases of jaundice had been observed in the (American) Army between 1 January and 4 July after yellow fever vaccination, and of these 62 proved fatal.” Wilson, Hazards of Immunization.

“The world’s biggest trial (conducted in south India) to assess the value of BCG tuberculosis vaccine has made the startling revelation that the vaccine ‘does not give any protection against bacillary forms of tuberculosis.’ The study said to be ‘most exhaustive and meticulous,’ was launched in 1968 by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.”

“The incidence of new cases among the BCG vaccinated group was slightly (but statistically insignificantly) higher than in the control group, a finding that led to the conclusion that BCG’s protective effect ‘was zero.’” New Scientist, November 15, 1979, as quoted by Hans Ruesch in Naked Empress, Civis Publishers, Switzerland, 1982.

“Between 10 December 1929 and 30 April 1930, 251 of 412 infants born in Lubeck received three doses of BCG vaccine by the mouth during the first ten days of life. Of these 251, 72 died of tuberculosis, most of them in two to five months and all but one before the end of the first year. In addition, 135 suffered from clinical tuberculosis but eventually recovered; and 44 became tuberculin-positive but remained well. None of the 161 unvaccinated infants born at the time was affected in this way and none of these died of tuberculosis within the following three years.” Hazards of Immunization, Wilson.

“We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to test the efficacy of the 14-valent pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide vaccine in 2295 high-risk patients… Seventy-one episodes of proved or probable pneumococcal pneumonia or bronchitis occurred among 63 of the patients (27 placebo recipients and 36 vaccine recipients)… We were unable to demonstrate any efficacy of the pneumococcal vaccine in preventing pneumonia or bronchitis in this population.” New England Journal of Medicine, November 20, 1986, p. 1318, Michael Simberkoff et al.

In the spring of 1955, Cutter Labs started selling their standard polio vaccine. The vaccine was infective, and 200 cases of polio resulted among recipients. Of these, there were eleven deaths. About 100 cases of paralysis resulted. JR

“But already before Salk developed his vaccine, polio had been constantly regressing; the 39 cases out of every 100,000 inhabitants registered in 1942 had gradually diminished from year to year until they were reduced to only 15 cases in 1952… according to M. Beddow Baylay, the English surgeon and medical historian.” Slaughter of the Innocent, Hans Reusch, Civitas Publish ers, Switzerland, and Swain, New York, 1983.

“Many published stories and reports have stated, implied and otherwise led professional people and the public to believe that the sharp reduction of cases (and of deaths) from poliomyelitis in 1955 as compared to 1954 is attributable to the Salk vaccine… That it is a misconception follows from these considerations. The number of children inoculated has been too small to account for the decrease. The sharp decrease was apparent before the inoculations began or could take effect and was of the same order as the decrease following the immediate post-inoculation period.” Dr. Herbert Ratner, Child and Family, vol. 20, no. 1, 1987.

“So far it is hardly possible to gain insight into the extent of the immunization catastrophe of 1955 in the United States. It may be considered certain that the officially ascertained 200 cases (of polio) which were caused directly or indirectly by the (polio) vaccination constitute minimum figures… It can hardly be estimated how many of the 1359 (polio) cases among vaccinated persons must be regarded as failures of the vaccine and how many of them were infected by the vaccine. A careful study of the epidemiologic course of polio in the United States yields indications of grave significance. In numerous states of the U.S.A., typical early epidemics developed with the immunizations in the spring of 1955… The vaccination incidents of the year 1955 cannot be exclusively traced back to the failure of one manufacturing firm.” Dr. Herbert Ratner, Child and Family, 1980, vol. 19, no. 4, “Story of the Salk Vaccine (Part 2).”

“Suffice it to say that most of the large (polio) epidemics that have occurred in this country since the introduction of the Salk vaccine have followed the wide-scale use of the vaccine and have been characterized by an uncommon early seasonal onset. To name a few, there is the Massachusetts epidemic of 1955; the Chicago epidemic of 1956; and the Des Moines epidemic of 1959.” Dr. Herbert Ratner, Child and Family, 1980 vol. 19, no. 4.

“The live (Sabin) poliovirus vaccine has been the predominant cause of domestically arising cases of paralytic poliomyelitis in the United States since 1972. To avoid the occurrence of such cases, it would be necessary to discontinue the routine use of live poliovirus vaccine.” Jonas Salk, Science, March 4, 1977, p. 845.

“By the (U.S.) government’s own admission, there has been a 41% failure rate in persons who were previously vaccinated against the (measles) virus.” Dr. Anthony Morris, John Chriss, BG Young, “Occurrence of Measles in Previously Vaccinated Individuals,” 1979; presented at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology at Fort Detrick, Maryland, April 27, 1979.

“Prior to the time doctors began giving rubella vaccinations, an estimated 85% of adults were naturally immune to the disease (for life). Because of immunization, the vast majority of women never acquire natural immunity (or lifetime protection).” Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, Let’s Live, December 1983, as quoted by Carolyn Reuben in the LA WEEKLY, June 28, 1985.

“Adminstration of KMV (killed measles vaccine) apparently set in motion an aberrant immunologic response that not only failed to protect children against natural measles, but resulted in heightened susceptibility.” JAMA Aug. 22, 1980, vol. 244, p. 804, Vincent Fulginiti and Ray Helfer. The authors indicate that such falsely protected children can come down with “an often severe, atypical form of measles. Atypical measles is characterized by fever, headache… and a diverse rash (which)… may consist of a mixture of macules, papules, vesicles, and pustules… ”

The above quotes reflect only a mere fraction of an available literature.

It is criminally deceiving to say, “Vaccines are simple; they stimulate the immune system and confer immunity against specific germ agents.”

Official reports on vaccine reactions are often at odds with unofficial estimates because of the method of analysis used. If adverse vaccine-reaction is defined as a small set of possible effects experienced within 72 hours of an inoculation, then figures will be smaller. But doctors like G.T. Stewart, of the University of Glasgow, have found through meticulous investigation, including visits to hospitals and interviews with parents of children vaccinated, that reactions as severe as brain-damage (e.g., from the DPT vaccine) can be overlooked, go unreported and can be assumed to have come from other causes.

— Well, that was my finding, in 1988, when I looked beneath the surface of the vaccine question.

Now we are in very deep waters. COVID-19 hysteria has been tuned up to the NEED for a vaccine.

WE need to slough off this promoted bad dream and stand firm against the little gods who traffic their vials in every doctor’s office, hospital, school, drug store, and tented parking lot—making them into shooting galleries.

We already have natural immune systems. They work.

June 10, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

RFK’s False-Flag Assassination, and the Forgotten Palestinian Patsy

BY LAURENT GUYÉNOT • UNZ REVIEW • JUNE 5, 2021

On June 6, 1968, Robert Kennedy had just won the California Democratic presidential primary, when he was shot dead, five years after his brother. David Talbot has shown in his book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster, that Robert had never believed in the conclusion of the Warren Commission Report, and that, had he succeeded in becoming the next American president, he would have done his utmost to set up a new investigation. Whether he would have been able to get to the bottom of it is another matter. But it is a reasonable assumption that the forces that had killed John were the same that killed Robert on his way to reclaim the White House. After all, as Laurence Leamer writes in Sons of Camelot: “Bobby had been the president’s alter ego and protector. . . . He had loved his brother so intensely and served him so well that within the administration it was hard to tell where one man ended and the other began.”[1] After 1963, Robert was still his brother’s continuation. He was the heir and the avenger.

That is why I have argued before — and I repeat in my new book — that the ultimate key to the JFK whodunit is in RFK’s assassination, which has a very clear, unmistakable Israeli signature. RFK’s assassination is a masterwork of false flag operation, designed by a supremely intelligent, Machiavellian, and organized cabal, the same that orchestrated one year earlier, with Johnson’s complicity, the attempted false flag attack on the USS Liberty (watch the new groundbreaking four-part documentary film Sacrificing Liberty).

What is truly extraordinary, and demonstrates an unmatched expertise in the industry of lies, is that the conspirators succeeded to get rid of Robert Kennedy while at the same time blaming the assassination on their enemies — the Palestinians — and thereby giving themselves both an alibi and a victim’s role: through RFK, Israel was the target, they claim.

Sirhan Sirhan, the “virulent anti-Semite”

Just hours after Robert’s assassination, the press informed the American people, not only of the identity of the assassin, but also of his motive, and even of his detailed biography.[2] Twenty-four-year-old Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in Jordan, and had moved to the United States when his family was expelled from West Jerusalem in 1948. After the shooting, a newspaper clipping was found in Sirhan’s pocket, quoting Robert’s following statement: “The United States should without delay sell Israel the 50 Phantom jets she has so long been promised.” Handwritten notes by Sirhan found in a notebook at his home confirmed that his act had been premeditated and motivated by his hatred of Israel.

That became the mainstream storyline from day one. Jerry Cohen of the Los Angeles Times wrote a front page article, saying that Sirhan is “described by acquaintances as a ‘virulent’ anti-Israeli” (Cohen changed that into “virulent anti-Semite” in an article for the Salt Lake Tribune), and that: “Investigation and disclosures from persons who knew him best revealed [him] as a young man with a supreme hatred for the state of Israel.” Cohen infers that “Senator Kennedy . . . became a personification of that hatred because of his recent pro-Israeli statements.” Cohen further revealed that, about three weeks before the shooting, Sirhan wrote “a memo to himself” that said, “Kennedy must be assassinated before June 5, 1968,” that is, Cohen notes, “the first anniversary of the six-day war in which Israel humiliated three Arab neighbors, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.”[3]

After September 11, 2001, the tragedy of Robert’s assassination was rewritten and installed into the Neocon mythology of the “Clash of Civilizations” and the “War on Terror.” A book entitled The Forgotten Terrorist, by Mel Ayton (2007), purports to present “a wealth of evidence about [Sirhan’s] fanatical Palestinian nationalism,” and to demonstrate that “[Sirhan’s] politically motivated act was a forerunner of present-day terrorism.”

In 2008, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Bobby’s murder, Sasha Issenberg of the Boston Globe recalled that the death of Robert Kennedy was “a first taste of Mideast terror.” He quotes Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz saying: “It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn’t recognize it at the time.”[4]‬ That Sirhan was from a Christian family was lost on Dershowitz.

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin took care to mention it in The Forward, only to add that Islamic fanaticism ran in his veins anyway: “But what he shared with his Muslim cousins — the perpetrators of September 11 — was a visceral, irrational hatred of Israel. It drove him to murder a man whom some still believe might have been the greatest hope of an earlier generation. . . . Sirhan hated Kennedy because he had supported Israel.”

And so, the Forward insists: “One cannot help but note the parallel between [Robert] Kennedy’s assassination and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In both tragic cases, Arab fanaticism reared its ugly head on American soil, irrevocably changing the course of events in this country.”[5] And the lesson: “In remembering Bobby Kennedy, let us remember not just what he lived for, but also what he died for — namely, the precious nature of the American-Israeli relationship.”[6] In other words: let’s propagate the narrative, for it is good for Israel.

On the fiftieth anniversary, the narrative was well rehearsed: Robert got killed because he was “pro-Israel”.[7] Therefore his murder was a crime against Israel.

For anyone familiar with the history of the Kennedy clan, there is something odd in the notion that the assassination of Robert Kennedy was a crime against Israel. Robert had not been, in his brother’s government, a pro-Israel Attorney General. He had infuriated Zionist leaders by supporting an investigation led by Senator William Fulbright and the Committee on Foreign Relations, aimed at registering the American Zionist Council as a “foreign agent”, which would had considerably hindered its efficiency.[8]

In 1968, Robert Kennedy had not suddenly turned pro-Israel. He was simply trying to attract Jewish votes, as everyone else. Robert’s statement in an Oregon synagogue, mentioned in the May 27 Pasadena Independent Star-News article found in Sirhan’s pocket, didn’t exceed the minimal requirements. Its author David Lawrence had, in another article entitled “Paradoxical Bob,” underlined how little credit should be given to such electoral promises: “Presidential candidates are out to get votes and some of them do not realize their own inconsistencies.”[9] In fact, as Arthur Krock has noted, the supposed motive for RFK’s murder is itself paradoxical: “If this motive was his position that the United States was committed to preserve Israel as a nation, his statement was made with more moderation than that of other important political persons who said the same thing.”[10]

All things considered, there is no ground for believing that Robert Kennedy would have been, as president of the U.S.A., particularly Israel-friendly.

Did Sirhan kill Robert Kennedy?

If we trust official statements and mainstream news, the assassination of Robert Kennedy is an open-and-shut case. The identity of the killer suffers no discussion, since he was arrested on the spot, with the smoking gun in his hand.

In reality, ballistic and forensic evidence shows that none of Sirhan’s bullets hit Kennedy. According to the autopsy report of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Thomas Noguchi, Robert Kennedy was hit by three bullets, while a fourth went through his coat. All these bullets were shot from behind Kennedy: two of them under his right armpit, following an upward angle, and the third, the fatal bullet, behind his right ear, at point blank range. Dr. Noguchi reaffirms his conclusion in his memoirs, Coroner (1983). Yet the sworn testimonies of twelve witnesses established that Robert had never turned his back on Sirhan and that Sirhan was five to six feet away from his target when he fired. Moreover, Sirhan was physically overpowered by Karl Uecker after his second shot, and, although he continued pressing the trigger mechanically, his revolver was not directed towards Kennedy anymore.

By tallying all the bullet impacts in the pantry, and those that wounded five people around Kennedy, it has been estimated that at least twelve bullets were fired, while Sirhan’s gun carried only eight. On April 23, 2011, attorneys William Pepper and Laurie Dusek gathered all this evidence and more in a 58-page file submitted to the Court of California, with a request that Sirhan’s case be reopened. They pointed out major irregularities in the 1968 trial, notably that the serial number of Sirhan’s pistol did not match the serial number of the pistol by which were test fired the bullets compared with those extracted from Robert’s brain.[11] Pepper also provided a computer analysis of audio recordings during the shooting, made by engineer Philip Van Praag in 2008, which confirms that two guns are heard.[12] Paul Schrade, a Kennedy confidant who was behind Robert during the shooting and received one of Sirhan’s bullets, has long believed there was a second shooter. He testified at Sirhan’s 2016 parole hearing, and told him: “the evidence clearly shows that you were not the gunman who shot Robert Kennedy.”[13] Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his sister Kathleen have joined Schrade and support the call for a reinvestigation of the assassination.[14]

The presence of a second shooter was mentioned by several witnesses and reported on the same day by a few news outlets. There are strong suspicions that Robert’s real assassin was Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard hired by the Hotel Ambassador, property of Zionist businessman Myer Schine. Cesar was stuck behind Kennedy at the moment of the shooting, and some people saw him draw his pistol. One of them, Don Schulman, positively saw him fire.[15] Incredibly, Cesar’s weapon was never examined, and he was never interrogated, even though he did not conceal his hatred for the Kennedys.[16]

Even if we assumed that Sirhan did kill Robert Kennedy, a second aspect of the case raises question: Sirhan seemed to be in a state of trance during the shooting, and of disorientation just after. More importantly, Sirhan has always claimed that he has never had any recollection of his act. Fifty years after the facts, he continues to declare: “I was told by my attorney that I shot and killed Senator Robert F. Kennedy and that to deny this would be completely futile, [but] I had and continue to have no memory of the shooting of Senator Kennedy.” He also claims to have no memory of “many things and incidents which took place in the weeks leading up to the shooting.”[17] Some repetitive lines written of a notebook found in Sirhan’s bedroom, which Sirhan recognizes as his own handwriting but does not remember writing, are reminiscent of automatic writing: there is a whole page of fifteen repetitions of “RFK must die, Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated, assassinated, assassinated, assassinated,” suddenly turning to “I have never heard please pay to the order of of of of of.”[18]

Psychiatric expertise, including lie-detector tests, has confirmed that Sirhan’s amnesia is not faked. Therefore, experts in hypnosis and mental manipulation believe that Sirhan has been submitted to hypnotic programming. “It was obvious that he had been programmed to kill Robert Kennedy and programmed to forget that he had been programmed,” stated Dr. Robert Blair.[19] In 2008, Harvard University professor Daniel Brown, a noted expert in hypnosis and trauma memory loss, interviewed Sirhan for a total of 60 hours, and concluded that Sirhan, whom he classified among “high hypnotizables,” acted involuntarily under the effect of hypnotic suggestion: “His firing of the gun was neither under his voluntary control, nor done with conscious knowledge, but is likely a product of automatic hypnotic behavior and coercive control.” During his sessions with Dr. Brown, Sirhan could remember having been accompanied by an attractive woman, before suddenly finding himself at a shooting range with a weapon he did not know. According to Brown’s report, “Mr. Sirhan did not go with the intent to shoot Senator Kennedy, but did respond to a specific hypnotic cue given to him by that woman to enter ‘range mode,’ during which Mr. Sirhan automatically and involuntarily responded with a ‘flashback’ that he was shooting at a firing range at circle targets.” Later, attorney William Pepper found an entry in the police file that showed that, just days before the assassination, Sirhan had visited a firing range, accompanied by an unknown instructor.[20]

Mossad, Mental control, and false-flag terrorism

We know that in the 1960s, American military agencies were experimenting on mental control. Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, son of Hungarian Jews, directed the infamous CIA MKUltra project, which, among other things, were to answer questions such as: “Can a person under hypnosis be forced to commit murder?” according to a declassified document dated May 1951.[21] As Larry Romanoff has pointed out, MKUltra was an overwhelmingly Jewish enterprise, with people like Dr. John Gittinger, Harris Isbell, James Keehner, Lauretta Bender, Albert Kligman, Eugene Saenger, Chester Southam, Robert V. Lashbrook, Harold Abramson, Charles Geschickter, and Ray Treichler.[22]

In his book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations (2018), Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman has revealed that, in May 1968, the month preceding Robert Kennedy’s assassination, the Israeli Military Intelligence (AMAN) was planning to assassinate Yasser Arafat by hypnotically programming a Palestinian. The idea was proposed by a Navy psychologist named Binyamin Shalit, who claimed that, “if he was given a Palestinian prisoner — one of the thousands in Israeli jails — with the right characteristics, he could brainwash and hypnotize him into becoming a programmed killer. He would then be sent across the Jordan, join the Fatah there, and, when the opportunity arose, do away with Arafat.” The proposal was approved. Shalit selected a 28-year-old Palestinian from Bethlehem, whom he deemed easily suggestionnable. The operation failed, but it proves that, in 1968 precisely, Israel was practicing a method of assassination identical to the one used against Robert Kennedy.[23]

Moreover, manipulating Palestinians to make them commit crimes, or committing crimes and blaming Palestinians for them, bears the signature of Israel. According to former Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky, in 1991 elements of the Mossad were plotting an attempt on the life of President George H. W. Bush. Bush had resisted an unprecedented pro-Israel lobbying campaign that called for $10 billion to help Jews immigrate from the former Soviet Union to Israel, complaining in a televised press conference on September 12 that “one thousand Jewish lobbyists are on Capitol Hill against little old me.”[24] Worse, there was his policy of pressuring Israel to the negotiating table at the Madrid Conference by freezing their loan guarantees. Israel had had enough of him. The plan was to leak words to the Spanish police that terrorists were on their way, kill Bush and, in the midst of the confusion, release three Palestinians captured earlier and kill them on the spot.[25]

It is well known that Israel has a long history and a grand expertise in false flag terrorism. A report of the U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), quoted by the Washington Times on September 10, 2001, described the Israeli Intelligence agency as: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”[26] That statement was made public on the day before 9/11.

The pattern dates from before the creation of the Jewish State, with the bombing of the King David Hotel, headquarter of the British authorities in Jerusalem, in the morning of July 22, 1946. Six terrorists of the Irgun dressed as Arabs brought 225 kg of explosives hidden in milk churns into the building. When a British officer became suspicious and gunshot ensued, the Irgun members fled after igniting the explosives. The explosion killed 91 people, mostly British, but also 15 Jews.

The strategy was repeated in Egypt during the summer of 1954, with Operation Susannah. The goal was to compromise the British’s withdrawal from the Suez Canal, demanded by Colonel Abdul Gamal Nasser with support from President Eisenhower. Egyptian Jews trained in Israel bombed several British targets, then put the blame on the Muslim Brotherhood. The accidental detonation of an explosive device allowed the exposure of the conspiracy, which led to the “Lavon Affair”, from the name of the Defense Minister who was held responsible.

There are more of the same stories in Gordon Thomas’s Gideon’s Spies: the Secret History of the Mossad (2009).[27] By definition, false-flagged Arab terrorism is only exposed when it fails, and we cannot know how many such operations have been set up by the Mossad. But from the revelations of Ronen Bergman in Rise and Kill First, Sirhan sure looks like a typical made-in-Mossad Palestinian patsy.

There are still, of course, unanswered questions, such as: How did Sirhan find himself in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel at midnight on June 6, 1968, with a pistol in his pocket? Sirhan himself declared it was by accident, or by mistake, but then he doesn’t remember much of that evening. Another question is: Why did Kennedy, after finishing his speech, exit the ballroom through the kitchen pantry, instead of walking through the crowd of his supporters, as he usually did? To this question, there is an answer: according to a campaign volunteer present at the scene and interviewed by Michael Piper, it was Frank Mankiewicz who insisted that Robert go this way.[28] Now, isn’t it awkward that Mankiewicz had started his career in public relations “as civil rights director for the western branch of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith,” as he mentions in his autobiography.[29] (The ADL, remember, was founded in 1913 by the B’nai B’rith to defend the convicted child rapist and murderer Leo Frank.)[30] In 1991, Mankiewicz handled publicity for Oliver Stone’s film JFK.

Content of my new book, The Unspoken Kennedy Truth:

  • Introduction
  • 1. RFK’S False-Flag Assassination
  • 2. JFK and the Samson Option
  • 3. LBJ, Israel’s Best Friend
  • 4. Jack Ruby, Gangster for Zion
  • 5. Jim Angleton, Mossad’s CIA Asset
  • 6. Joe, the Cursed Peacemaker
  • 7. JFK Jr., the Slain Prince
  • 8. Forrestal, Kennedy’s Foreshadow
  • Conclusion

Watch the video based on my earlier Kennedy research:

Laurent Guyénot, Ph.D., is the author of The Unspoken Kennedy Truth (2021), “Our God is Your God Too, But He Has Chosen Us”: Essays on Jewish Power (2020), and From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land (2018).

Notes

[1] Laurence Leamer, Sons of Camelot: The Fate of an American Dynasty, HarperCollins, 2005, kindle 225.

[2] Watch in Evidence of Revision: Part 4: The RFK assassination as never seen before, 01:11:42

[3] Jerry Cohen, “Yorty Reveals That Suspect’s Memo Set Deadline for Death,” Los Angeles Times, June 6, 1968, on latimesblogs.latimes.com; Jerry Cohen, “Jerusalem-Born Suspect Called An Anti-Semite,” The Salt Lake Tribune, June 6, 1968, on www.newspapers.com.

[4] Sasha Issenberg, “Slaying gave US a first taste of Mideast terror,” Boston Globe, June 5, 2008, on www.boston.com

[5] Jeffrey Salkin, “Remember What Bobby Kennedy Died For,” Forward.comJune 5, 2008. Also Michael Fischbach, “First Shot in Terror War Killed RFK,” Los Angeles Times, June 02, 2003, on articles.latimes.com

[6] Jeffrey Salkin, “Remember What Bobby Kennedy Died For,” Forward.comJune 5, 2008.

[7] Judy Maltz, “Bobby Kennedy’s Little-known Visit to the Holy Land That Made Him pro-Israel – and Got Him Killed,” The Forward, June 8, 2018, on www.haaretz.com/

[8] The Israel Lobby Archive, www.irmep.org/ila/forrel/

[9] David Lawrence, “Paradoxical Bob,” Independent Star-News, May 26, 1968, page 14, on www.newspapers.com/; Shane O’Sullivan, RFK Must Die, on YouTube, at 00:14.

[10] Arthur Krock, Memoirs: Sixty Years on the Firing Line, Funk & Wagnalls, 1968, p. 347.

[11] First discovered in 1970 by Pasadena criminologist William Harper. John Crewdson, “6 Years Later, Evidence in Sirhan’s Case Is Questioned,” New York Times, December 15, 1974, on www.nytimes.com

[12] Frank Morales, “The Assassination of RFK: A Time for Justice!” June 16, 2012, on www.globalresearch.ca; watch “RFK Assassination 40th Anniversary (2008) Paul Schrade on CNN” on YouTube.

[13] “Robert F Kennedy’s killer loses 15th parole bid as witness says: ‘It’s my fault’”, Feb 11, 2016, on www.thegardian.com

[14] Stephanie Haney “Bobby Kennedy’s children at war with each other over new death probe,” June 2, 2018, on dailymail.com

[15] Watch Ted Charach and Gerald Alcan’s film The Second Gun: Who Really Killed Robert Kennedy, 1998 on YouTube.

[16] Philip Melanson, The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination: New Revelations On the Conspiracy And Cover-Up, S.P.I. Books 1994, p. 25.

[17] In a parole hearing in 2011. Watch “Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole” on YouTube.

[18] Shane O’Sullivan, Who Killed Bobby? The Unsolved Murder of Robert F. Kennedy, Union Square Press, 2008, pp. 5, 44, 103.

[19] In Shane O’Sullivan’s 2007 documentary RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, on YouTube.

[20] Jacqui Goddard, “Sirhan Sirhan, assassin of Robert F.Kennedy, launches new campaign for freedom 42 years later,” The Telegraph, Dec. 3, 2011, on www.telegraph.co.uk

[21] Colin Ross, Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists, Manitou Communications, 2000, summary on www.wanttoknow.info/bluebird10pg

[22] Larry Romanoff, “CIA Project MK-Ultra,” on www.unz.com

[23] Ronen Bergman, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, Random House, 2018, pp. 117-119.

[24] Alexander Cockburn, ed., The Politics of Anti-Semitism, AK Press, 2003, p. 104.

[25] Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue Agent Exposes the Mossad’s Secret Agenda, HarperCollins, 1994.

[26] Rowan Scarborough, “U.S. troops would enforce peace Under Army study,” The Washington Times, 10 septembre 2001, on www.washingtontimes.com

[27] Gordon Thomas, Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, St. Martin’s Press, 1999, pp. 384-385 and 410-411.

[28] Piper, Final Judgment, pp. 343, 347.

[29] Frank Mankiewicz, So As I Was Saying… My Somewhat Eventful Life, with Joel Swerdlow, MacMillan, 2016, p. 10.

[30] Ron Unz, “American Pravda: The ADL in American Society,” October 15, 2018, on unz.com.

June 5, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 5 Comments

Israel’s War on Truth-Telling Media and Journalists

By Stephen Lendman | May 16, 2021

Time and again, truth-telling journalism as it should be is a casualty of all things war and related violence.

Big Lies, mass deception, and censorship are weapons of war by other means — in support of the official falsified narrative.

In their book titled “Guardians of Power,” David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today’s media are in crisis — free and open societies at risk.

It’s because press prostitution substitutes fiction for fact — notably in the US, other Western countries and Israel.

Their state-approved sanitized reports stick exclusively to the official falsified narrative in support of wealth, power and privilege over full and accurate reporting.

In the US especially, news consumers are fed a daily diet of managed news misinformation, disinformation, junk food news and infotainment — at all times.

Notably in times of war, their reports regurgitate state-supplied talking points.

Whatever diverges from the official falsified narrative is filtered out and suppressed.

Adopted unanimously by Security Council members in December 2006, SC Res. 1738 affirms protection for civilians and journalists in war theaters — calling their safety and security “urgent and important.”

Condemning intentional attacks on fourth estate members, the resolution demands accountability for responsible parties.

At all times, especially at times of war and under occupation, civilians are protected persons. So are journalists — under international law.

Throughout at least most of its history, Israel waged war on truth-telling Palestinian journalists.

They’re at risk of arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, and/or assassination.

According to the Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists, “(t)he Israeli occupation tries to muzzle the Palestinian journalists’ mouths and prevent them from unmasking its barbaric practices in the occupied Palestinian territories to the international media.”

Palestinian journalists covering Israeli violence against legitimate protesters risk serious injury or death.

Anyone wearing a flak jacket labeled press is vulnerable, their unprotected areas vulnerable to Israeli sniper attacks by live fire — including use of exploding dum dum bullets able to leave fist-sized existing wounds in individuals struck.

They’re designed to inflict disabling damage to internal organs or death — even though banned by the 1899 Hague Convention.

Since IDF terror-bombing and shelling of Gaza began on May 10, silencing truth-telling media has been a prioritized Netanyahu regime aim.

The same objective is sought in all Israeli preemptive wars, as well as at all other times on whatever conflicts with official falsified Israeli talking points.

On May 15 in Gaza, Israeli terror-bombing turned the 11-story Al-Jalaa building to smoldering rubble — its occupants given one hour to vacate the premises.

It’s unknown so far if some remained inside and perished.

Along with residences of Gazan families, the building housed international media offices.

According to DW News, AP News, AFP, Al Jazeera, other international media operations, and local Palestinian news agencies had offices in the building.

The IDF defied reality by falsely claiming that the building included Hamas “military assets (sic),” adding:

“(O)ffices of civilian media outlets (were) use(d) (by Hamas) as human shields (sic).”

According to AP News, the Netanyahu regime and IDF “did not provide evidence for the claim” — because there is none.

On its Saturday newscast, senior Al Jazeera (AJ) political analyst Marwan Bishara minced no words in debunking the thinly veiled IDF Big Lie.

Gaza-based AJ journalist Al Kahlout said the following in response to Israel’s destruction of the Al-Jalaa building with three missiles:

“(N)o one can understand the feeling of the people whose homes have been destroyed by such kind of air attacks,” adding:

“It’s really difficult to wake up one day and then you realize that your office is not there with all the career experiences, memories that you’ve had.”

Separately on Saturday, IDF terror-bombing destroyed a Gaza City area refugee camp three-story residence, massacring eight children and two women.

The above buildings had no military significance. Israel defied reality by claiming otherwise.

In response to its destruction of Gaza’s Al Jalaa building, AP News president and CEO Gary Pruitt said the following:

“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”

“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza.”

“This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life.”

Separately, AP reported:

“For 15 years, the AP’s top-floor office and roof terrace were a prime location for covering Israel’s conflicts with Gaza.”

Now it’s gone, along with scores of massacred Gazans, including women and children.

NY-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ executive director Joel Simon said the following:

“This latest attack on a building long known by Israel to house international media raises the specter that the IDF is deliberately targeting media facilities in order to disrupt coverage of the human suffering in Gaza.”

Indeed so!!

Silencing coverage of its high crimes of war, against humanity, and other human rights abuses is longstanding Israeli policy — in flagrant breach of international law.

On May 10, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reported the following:

It “condemn(ed) escalating attacks of the occupation forces against journalists and media workers in Palestine…”

MADA noted what’s going on in “occupied…Jerusalem…aim(s) (to) block the transmission of the violations to the world.”

“This was accompanied by widespread violations of freedom of expression committed by social media companies to serve the goal of the occupation state by obscuring the attacks implemented by its soldiers and settlers.”

In early May alone, “Israeli attacks against journalists during their field coverage of events, as the occupation army targeted a number of journalists while they were” reporting on what’s going on.

At least “10 (Palestinian) journalists” were targeted and “injured.”

“(I)mpunity of the Israeli occupation forces over the years for their almost daily crimes and violations of media freedoms in Palestine, including the killing of more than 40 journalists during the past two decades, is what encourage them to continue committing more crimes and violations, which requires serious action to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, as the only way to reduce it.”

Facebook, Twitter, and other “social media companies… deliberately blocked and suspended the accounts of many Palestinian citizens, including many journalists…”

MADA called their action “a severe violation against freedom of expression (in cahoots with) the occupation state (by) blocking facts and suppressing media freedoms and freedom of expression.”

At the same time, they freely allow hostile-to-truth-telling Western and Israeli propaganda on their “platforms.”

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Ten years on, Syria is almost destroyed. Who’s to blame?

Syria in ruins after ten years of conflict (File photo)
BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | MARCH 20, 2021 

In George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, the ruling pigs led by Napoleon constantly rewrote history in order to justify and reinforce their own continuing power. The rewriting by the western powers of the history of the ongoing conflict in Syria leaps out of Orwell. 

The joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy last week to mark the tenth anniversary of the Syrian conflict begins with an outright falsehood by holding President Bashar al-Assad and “his backers” responsible for the horrific events in that country. It asserts that the five western powers “will not abandon” the Syrian people — till death do us part.

The historical reality is that Syria has been a theatre of the CIA’s activities ever since the inception of that agency in 1947. There is a whole history of CIA-sponsored “regime change” projects in Syria ranging from coup attempts and assassination plots to paramilitary strikes and funding and military training of anti-government forces.

It all began with the bloodless military coup in 1949 against then Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli which was engineered by the CIA. As per the memoirs of Miles Copeland Jr, the CIA station chief in Damascus at that time — who later actually went on to write a fine book of high literary quality on the subject — the coup aimed at safeguarding Syria from the communist party and other radicals!

However, the CIA-installed colonel in power, Adib Shaishakli, was a bad choice. As Copeland put it, he was a “likeable rogue” alright who had not “to my certain knowledge, ever bowed down to a graven image. He had, however, committed sacrilege, blasphemy, murder, adultery and theft” to earn American support. He lasted for four years before overthrown by the Ba’ath Party and military officers. By 1955, CIA estimated that Syria was ripe for another military coup. By April 1956, a joint CIA-SIS (British Secret Intelligence Service) plot was implemented to mobilise right-wing Syrian military officers. But then, the Suez fiasco interrupted the project.

The CIA revived the project and plotted a second coup in 1957 under the codename Operation Wappen — again, to save Syria from communism — and even spent $3 million to bribe Syrian military officers. Tim Weiner, in his masterly 2008 book Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, writes:

“The president (Dwight Eisenhower) said he wanted to promote the idea of an Islamic jihad against godless communism. “We should do everything possible to stress the ‘holy war’ aspect,” he said at a 1957 White House meeting… (Secretary of state) Foster Dulles proposed a “secret task force,” under whose auspices the CIA would deliver American guns, money, and intelligence to King Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, President Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, and President Nuri Said of Iraq.”

“These four mongrels were supposed to be our defence against communism and the extremes of Arab nationalism in the Middle East… If arms could not buy loyalty in the Middle East, the almighty dollar was still the CIA’s secret weapon. Cash for political warfare and power plays was always welcome. It could help an American imperium in Arab and Asian lands.”

But, as it happened, some of those “right-wing” officers instead turned in the bribe money and revealed the CIA plot to the Syrian intelligence. Whereupon, 3 CIA officers were kicked out of the American embassy in Damascus, forcing  Washington to withdraw its ambassador in Damascus. With egg on its face, Washington promptly branded Syria as a “Soviet satellite”, deployed a fleet to the Mediterranean and incited Turkey to amass troops on the Syrian border. Dulles even contemplated a military strike under the so-called “Eisenhower Doctrine” as retaliation against Syria’s “provocations”. By the way, Britain’s MI6 was also working with the CIA in the failed coup attempt; the details came to light accidentally in 2003 among the papers of British Defence Minister Duncan Sandys many years after his death.

Now, coming down to current history, suffice to say that according to the WikiLeaks, since 2006, the US had been funding London-based Syrian dissidents, and the CIA unit responsible for covert operations was deployed to Syria to mobilise rebel groups and ascertain potential supply routes. The US is known to have trained at least 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion annually since 2012. President Barack Obama reportedly admitted to a group of senators the operation to insert these CIA-trained rebel fighters into Syria.

The well-known American investigative journalist and political writer Seymour Hersh has written, based on inputs from intelligence officers, that the CIA was already transferring arms from its Benghazi station (Libya) to Syria around that time. Make no mistake, Obama was the first world leader to openly call for the removal of Assad. That was in August 2011. Then CIA chief David Petraeus paid two unannounced visits to Turkey (in March and September 2012) to persuade Erdogan to step in as the flag carrier of the US’ regime change project in Syria (under the rubric of “anti-terror fight”.)

In fact, the US’ key allies in the Persian Gulf — Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE — took the cue from Obama to loosen their purse strings to recruit, finance and equip thousands of jihadi fighters to be deployed to Syria. Equally, from the early stages of the conflict in Syria, major western intelligence agencies provided political, military and logistic support to the Syrian opposition and its associated rebel groups in Syria.

Curiously, the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2015 was in response to an emergent imminent defeat of the Syrian government forces at the hands of the jihadi fighters backed by the US’ regional allies. Saudi Arabia withdrew from the arena only in 2017 after the tide of the war turned, thanks to the Russian intervention.

The joint statement issued last week by the US and its NATO allies belongs to the world of fiction. In reality, there is Syrian blood in the hands of these NATO countries (including Turkey) and the US’ Gulf allies. Look at the colossal destruction that the US has caused: in the World Bank’s estimation, a cumulative total of $226 billion in gross domestic product was lost to Syria due to the war from 2011 to 2016 alone.

The Syrian conflict has been among the most tragic and destructive conflicts of our time. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died, half a nation has been displaced, and millions have been forced into desperate poverty and hunger. In the UNHRC estimation, after ten years of conflict, half of the Syrian population has been forced to flee home, 70% are living in poverty, 6.7 million Syrians have been internally displaced, over 13 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection, 12.4 million people suffer from lack of food (or 60% of the entire population), 5.9 million people are experiencing a housing emergency and nearly nine in 10 Syrians are living below the poverty threshold.

And, come to think of it, Syria used to have one of the highest levels of social formation in the entire Muslim Middle East. It used to be a middle income country until the US decided to destabilise Syria. Ever since the late 1940s, the US’ successive regime change projects were driven by geopolitical considerations. The agenda is unmistakeable: the US has systematically destroyed the heart, soul and mind of “Arabism” — Iraq, Syria and Egypt — with a view to perpetuate the western [Zionist] domination of the Middle East.

Former President Donald Trump intended to withdraw the US troops from Syria and end the war. He tried twice, but Pentagon commanders sabotaged his plans. What Joe Biden proposes to do is anybody’s guess. Biden doesn’t seem to be in any rush to withdraw the US troops.

The most disturbing aspect is that the US is methodically facilitating a Balkanisation of Syria by helping the Kurdish groups aligned with it to carve out a semiautonomous enclave in the country’s northeast. In fact, the the Arab population in northeastern Syria resents being under the Kurds’ governance, and this may eventually turn into a new source of recruits for Islamic State. Meanwhile, Turkey seized the US-Kurdish axis as alibi to occupy vast territories in northern Syria.

The sad part of the joint statement by the US and its European allies is not only that it is rewriting history and spreading falsehood but conveys a sense of despair that there is no hope for light at the end of the tunnel in the Syrian conflict in a conceivable future. 

The US policy in Syria is opaque. It has oscillated between aiming to prevent a resurgence of IS, confronting Iran, pushing back against Russia, providing humanitarian aid, and even protecting Israel, while the crux of the matter is that successive US administrations have failed to articulate a clear strategy and rationale for the US military presence in Syria.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Obama administration scientist says climate ‘emergency’ is based on fallacy

By Dr. Steven E. Koonin | New York Post | April 24, 2021

The Science,” we’re told, is settled. How many times have you heard it?

Humans have broken the earth’s climate. Temperatures are rising, sea level is surging, ice is disappearing, and heat waves, storms, droughts, floods, and wildfires are an ever-worsening scourge on the world. Greenhouse gas emissions are causing all of this. And unless they’re eliminated promptly by radical changes to society and its energy systems, “The Science” says Earth is doomed.

Yes, it’s true that the globe is warming, and that humans are exerting a warming influence upon it. But beyond that — to paraphrase the classic movie “The Princess Bride” — “I do not think ‘The Science’ says what you think it says.”

For example, both research literature and government reports state clearly that heat waves in the US are now no more common than they were in 1900, and that the warmest temperatures in the US have not risen in the past fifty years. When I tell people this, most are incredulous. Some gasp. And some get downright hostile.

These are almost certainly not the only climate facts you haven’t heard. Here are three more that might surprise you, drawn from recent published research or assessments of climate science published by the US government and the UN:

    • Humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century.
    • Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t shrinking any more rapidly today than it was 80 years ago.
    • The global area burned by wildfires has declined more than 25 percent since 2003 and 2020 was one of the lowest years on record.

Why haven’t you heard these facts before?

Most of the disconnect comes from the long game of telephone that starts with the research literature and runs through the assessment reports to the summaries of the assessment reports and on to the media coverage. There are abundant opportunities to get things wrong — both accidentally and on purpose — as the information goes through filter after filter to be packaged for various audiences. The public gets their climate information almost exclusively from the media; very few people actually read the assessment summaries, let alone the reports and research papers themselves. That’s perfectly understandable — the data and analyses are nearly impenetrable for non-experts, and the writing is not exactly gripping. As a result, most people don’t get the whole story.

Policymakers, too, have to rely on information that’s been put through several different wringers by the time it gets to them. Because most government officials are not themselves scientists, it’s up to scientists to make sure that those who make key policy decisions get an accurate, complete and transparent picture of what’s known (and unknown) about the changing climate, one undistorted by “agenda” or “narrative.” Unfortunately, getting that story straight isn’t as easy as it sounds.

I should know. That used to be my job.

I’m a scientist — I work to understand the world through measurements and observations, and then to communicate clearly both the excitement and the implications of that understanding. Early in my career, I had great fun doing this for esoteric phenomena in the realm of atoms and nuclei using high-performance computer modeling (which is also an important tool for much of climate science). But beginning in 2004, I spent about a decade turning those same methods to the subject of climate and its implications for energy technologies. I did this first as chief scientist for the oil company BP, where I focused on advancing renewable energy, and then as undersecretary for science in the Obama administration’s Department of Energy, where I helped guide the government’s investments in energy technologies and climate science. I found great satisfaction in these roles, helping to define and catalyze actions that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the agreed-upon imperative that would “save the planet.”

But doubts began in late 2013 when I was asked by the American Physical Society to lead an update of its public statement on climate. As part of that effort, in January 2014 I convened a workshop with a specific objective: to “stress test” the state of climate science.

I came away from the APS workshop not only surprised, but shaken by the realization that climate science was far less mature than I had supposed. Here’s what I discovered:

Humans exert a growing, but physically small, warming influence on the climate. The results from many different climate models disagree with, or even contradict, each other and many kinds of observations. In short, the science is insufficient to make useful predictions about how the climate will change over the coming decades, much less what effect our actions will have on it.

In the seven years since that workshop, I watched with dismay as the public discussions of climate and energy became increasingly distant from the science. Phrases like “climate emergency,” “climate crisis” and “climate disaster” are now routinely bandied about to support sweeping policy proposals to “fight climate change” with government interventions and subsidies. Not surprisingly, the Biden administration has made climate and energy a major priority infused throughout the government, with the appointment of John Kerry as climate envoy and proposed spending of almost $2 trillion dollars to fight this “existential threat to humanity.”

Trillion-dollar decisions about reducing human influences on the climate should be informed by an accurate understanding of scientific certainties and uncertainties. My late Nobel-prizewinning Caltech colleague Richard Feynman was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. At the 1974 Caltech commencement, he gave a now famous address titled “Cargo Cult Science” about the rigor scientists must adopt to avoid fooling not only themselves. “Give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another,” he implored.

Much of the public portrayal of climate science ignores the great late physicist’s advice. It is an effort to persuade rather than inform, and the information presented withholds either essential context or what doesn’t “fit.” Scientists write and too-casually review the reports, reporters uncritically repeat them, editors allow that to happen, activists and their organizations fan the fires of alarm, and experts endorse the deception by keeping silent.

As a result, the constant repetition of these and many other climate fallacies are turned into accepted truths known as “The Science.”

This article is an adapted excerpt from Dr. Koonin’s book, “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters” (BenBella Books), out May 4.

April 28, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

How we fool ourselves. Part III: Social biases

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | April 25, 2021

“Is the road to scientific hell paved with good intentions?” – political psychologist Philip Tetlock (1994)

Part I in this series addressed logical fallacies. Part II addressed biases associated with a consensus building process. Part II addresses the role of social conflicts and biases.

Additional biases are triggered by social conflict between an individual’s responsibility for responsible conduct of research, and the larger ethical issues associated with the well-being of the public and the environment. Further, social biases are triggered by careerist goals, loyalty to one’s colleagues and institutional loyalties.

Scientists have the responsibility of adhering to the principles of ethical research and professional standards. But what happens when other responsibilities get in the way of these professional standards? These might include responsibilities to their conscience, their colleagues, institutions, the public and/or the environment. One can imagine many different conflicts across this range of responsibilities that that can bias the scientific process. As an example, scientists that have been heavily involved with the IPCC may be concerned with preserving the importance of the IPCC and its consensus, which has become central to their professional success, funding and influence.

Arguably the most important of these are conflicts between the responsible conduct of research and larger ethical issues associated with the well-being of the public and the environment. Fuller and Mosher’s book Climategate: The CruTape Letters argued that ‘noble cause corruption’ was a primary motivation behind the Climategate deceits. Noble cause corruption is when the ends of protecting the climate (noble) justify the means of sabotaging your scientific opponents (ignoble).

Psychologist Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia claims that the most common and problematic bias in science is ‘motivated reasoning’. People that have a ‘dog in the fight’ (reputational, financial, ideological, political) interpret observations to fit a particular idea that supports their particular ‘dog.’ The term ‘motivated reasoning’ is usually reserved for political motivations, but preserving their reputation or funding is also a strong motivator among scientists.

The embedding of political values into science occurs when value statements or ideological claims are wrongly treated as objective truth. Scientists have a range of attitudes about the environment; the problem occurs because there is the presumption that one set of attitudes is right and those who disagree are in denial. This results in conversion of a widely shared political ideology about climate change into ‘reality.’

Confirmation bias can become even stronger when people confront questions that trigger moral emotions and concerns about group identity. People’s beliefs become more extreme when they’re surrounded by like-minded colleagues. They come to assume that their opinions are not only the norm but also the truth – creating what social psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls a ‘tribal-moral community’ with its own sacred values about what’s worth studying and what’s taboo. Such biases can lead to widely-accepted claims that reflect the scientific community’s blind spots more than they reflect justified scientific conclusions.

Psychologists Cusiman and Lombrozo found that people facing a dilemma between believing an impartial assessment of the evidence and believing what would better fulfill a moral obligation, people often believe in line with the latter. Cuisman and Lombrozo found that morally good beliefs demand less evidence than morally bad beliefs. They also found that people sometimes treat the moral value of a belief as an independent justification for belief.

Motivated biases become particularly problematic once these biases are institutionalized, with advocacy statements made by professional societies, editorials written by journal editors, and public statements by the IPCC leadership.

April 25, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

The Covidian Cult (Part II)

By CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory, Inc | April 21, 2021

Back in October of 2020, I wrote an essay called The Covidian Cult, in which I described the so-called “New Normal” as a global totalitarian ideological movement. Developments over the last six months have borne out the accuracy of that analogy.

A full year after the initial roll-out of the utterly horrifying and completely fictional photos of people dropping dead in the streets, the projected 3.4% death rate, and all the rest of the official propaganda, despite the absence of any actual scientific evidence of an apocalyptic plague (and the abundance of evidence to the contrary), millions of people continue to behave like members of an enormous death cult, walking around in public with medical-looking masks, robotically repeating vacuous platitudes, torturing children, the elderly, the disabled, demanding that everyone submit to being injected with dangerous experimental “vaccines,” and just generally acting delusional and psychotic.

How did we ever get to this point … to the point where, as I put it in The Covidian Cult, “instead of the cult existing as an island within the dominant culture, the cult has become the dominant culture, and those of us who have not joined the cult have become the isolated islands within it?”

To understand this, one needs to understand how cults control the minds of their members, because totalitarian ideological movements operate more or less the same way, just on a much larger, societal scale. There is a wealth of research and knowledge on this subject (I mentioned Robert J. Lifton in my earlier essay), but, to keep things simple, I’ll just use Margaret Singer’s “Six Conditions of Mind Control” from her 1995 book, Cults in Our Midst, as a lens to view the Covidian Cult through. (The italics are Singer. The commentary is mine.)

Six Conditions of Mind Control

1. Keep the person unaware of what is going on and how she or he is being changed a step at a time. Potential new members are led, step by step, through a behavioral-change program without being aware of the final agenda or full content of the group.

Looking back, it is easy to see how people were conditioned, step by step, to accept the “New Normal” ideology. They were bombarded with terrifying propaganda, locked down, stripped of their civil rights, forced to wear medical-looking masks in public, to act out absurd “social-distancing” rituals, submit to constant “testing,” and all the rest of it. Anyone not complying with this behavioral-change program or challenging the veracity and rationality of the new ideology was demonized as a “conspiracy theorist,” a “Covid denier,” an “anti-vaxxer,” in essence, an enemy of the cult, like a “suppresive person” in the Church of Scientology.

2. Control the person’s social and/or physical environment; especially control the person’s time.

For over a year now, the “New Normal” authorities have controlled the social/physical environment, and how New Normals spend their time, with lockdowns, social-distancing rituals, closure of “non-essential” businesses, omnipresent propaganda, isolation of the elderly, travel restrictions, mandatory mask-rules, protest bans, and now the segregation of the “Unvaccinated.” Basically, society has been transformed into something resembling an infectious disease ward, or an enormous hospital from which there is no escape. You’ve seen the photos of the happy New Normals dining out at restaurants, relaxing at the beach, jogging, attending school, and so on, going about their “normal” lives with their medical-looking masks and prophylactic face shields. What you’re looking at is the pathologization of society, the pathologization of everyday life, the physical (social) manifestation of a morbid obsession with disease and death.

3. Systematically create a sense of powerlessness in the person.

What kind of person could feel more powerless than an obedient New Normal sitting at home, obsessively logging the “Covid death” count, sharing photos of his medical-looking mask and post-“vaccination” bandage on Facebook, as he waits for permission from the authorities to go outdoors, visit his family, kiss his lover, or shake hands with a colleague? The fact that in the Covidian Cult the traditional charismatic cult leader has been replaced by a menagerie of medical experts and government officials does not change the utter dependency and abject powerlessness of its members, who have been reduced to a state approaching infancy. This abject powerlessness is not experienced as a negative; on the contrary, it is proudly celebrated. Thus the mantra-like repetition of the “New Normal” platitude “Trust the Science!” by people who, if you try to show them the science, melt down completely and start jabbering aggressive nonsense at you to shut you up.

4. Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments and experiences in such a way as to inhibit behavior that reflects the person’s former social identity.

The point here is the transformation of the formerly basically rational person into an entirely different cult-approved person, in our case, an obedient “New Normal” person. Singer gets into this in greater detail, but her discussion applies mostly to subcultural cults, not to large-scale totalitarian movements. For our purposes, we can fold this into Condition 5.

5. Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences in order to promote learning the group’s ideology or belief system and group-approved behaviors. Good behavior, demonstrating an understanding and acceptance of the group’s beliefs, and compliance are rewarded, while questioning, expressing doubts or criticizing are met with disapproval, redress and possible rejection. If one expresses a question, they are made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them to be questioning.

OK, I’m going to tell you a little story. It’s a story about a personal experience, which I’m pretty sure you’ve also experienced. It’s a story about a certain New Normal who has been harassing me for several months. I’ll call him Brian Parks, because, well, that’s his name, and I no longer feel any compunction about sharing it.

Brian is a former friend/colleague from the theater world who has gone full “New Normal” and is absolutely furious that I have not. So outraged is Brian that I have not joined the cult that he has been going around on the Internet referring to me as a “conspiracy theorist” and suggesting that I’ve had some kind of nervous breakdown and require immediate psychiatric treatment because I do not believe the official “New Normal” narrative. Now, this would not be a very big deal, except that Brian is impugning my character and attempting to damage my reputation on the Facebook pages of other theater colleagues, which Brian feels entitled to do, given that I am a “Covid denier,” a “conspiracy theorist,” and an “anti-vaxxer,” or whatever, and given the fact that he has the power of the state, the media, etc., on his side.

This is how it works in cults, and in larger totalitarian societies. It isn’t usually the Gestapo that comes for you. It’s usually your friends and colleagues. What Brian is doing is working that system of rewards and punishments to enforce his ideology, because he knows that most of my other colleagues in the theater world have also gone full “New Normal,” or at least are looking the other way and staying silent while it is being implemented.

This tactic, obviously, has backfired on Brian, primarily because I do not give a fuck what any New Normals think of me, whether they work in the theater world or anywhere else, but I am in a rather privileged position, because I have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish in the theater, and would rather stick my hand in a blender than submit my novels to corporate publishers for review by “sensitivity readers,” so there isn’t much to threaten me with. That, and I have no children to support, or administrations to answer to (unlike, for example, Mark Crispin Miller, who is currently being persecuted by the “New Normal” administration at NYU).

The point is, this kind of ideological conditioning is happening everywhere, every day, on the job, among friends, even among families. The pressure to conform is intense, because nothing is more threatening to devoted cultists, or members of totalitarian ideological movements, than those who challenge their fundamental beliefs, confront them with facts, or otherwise demonstrate that their “reality” isn’t reality at all, but, rather, a delusional, paranoid fiction.

The key difference between how this works in cults and totalitarian ideological movements is that, usually, a cult is a subcultural group, and thus non-cult-members have the power of the ideology of the dominant society to draw on when resisting the mind-control tactics of the cult, and attempting to deprogram its members … whereas, in our case, this balance of power is inverted. Totalitarian ideological movements have the power of governments, the media, the police, the culture industry, academia, and the compliant masses on their side. And, thus, they do not need to persuade anyone. They have the power to dictate “reality.” Only cults operating in total isolation, like Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Guyana, enjoy this level of control over their members.

This pressure to conform, this ideological conditioning, must be fiercely resisted, regardless of the consequences, both publicly and in our private lives, or the “New Normal” will certainly become our “reality.” Despite the fact that we “Covid deniers” are currently outnumbered by the Covidian cultists, we need to behave as if we are not, and hold to reality, facts, and real science, and treat the New Normals as exactly what they are, members of a new totalitarian movement, delusional cultists run amok. If we do not, we will get to Singer’s Condition 6 …

6. Put forth a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by leadership approval or executive order. The group has a top-down, pyramid structure. The leaders must have verbal ways of never losing.

We’re not there yet, but that is where we’re headed … global pathologized totalitarianism. So, please, speak up. Call things what they are. Confront the Brians in your life. Despite the fact that they tell themselves that they’re trying to help you “come to your senses” or “see the truth,” or “trust the Science,” they are not. They are cultists, desperately trying to get you to conform to their paranoid beliefs, pressuring you, manipulating you, bullying you, threatening you. Do not engage them on their terms, or let them goad you into accepting their premises. (Once they’ve sucked you into their narrative, they’ve won.) Expose them, confront them with their tactics and their motives. You will probably not change their minds in the least, but your example might help other New Normals whose faith is slipping to begin to recognize what has been done to their minds and break with the cult.

April 21, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

How Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press

By Alan Macleod | MintPress News | April 9, 2021

AMSTERDAM — Investigative site Bellingcat is the toast of the popular press. In the past month alone, it has been described as “an intelligence agency for the people” (ABC Australia ), a “transparent” and “innovative” (New Yorker ) “independent news collective,” “transforming investigative journalism” (Big Think ), and an unequivocal “force for good” (South China Morning Post ). Indeed, outside of a few alternative news sites, it is very hard to hear a negative word against Bellingcat, such is the gushing praise for the outlet founded in 2014.

This is troubling, because the evidence compiled in this investigation suggests Bellingcat is far from independent and neutral, as it is funded by Western governments, staffed with former military and state intelligence officers, repeats official narratives against enemy states, and serves as a key part in what could be called a “spook to Bellingcat to corporate media propaganda pipeline,” presenting Western government narratives as independent research.

Citizen journalism staffed with spies and soldiers

An alarming number of Bellingcat’s staff and contributors come from highly suspect backgrounds. Senior Investigator Nick Waters, for example, spent three years as an officer in the British Army, including a tour in Afghanistan, where he furthered the British state’s objectives in the region. Shortly after leaving the service, he was hired by Bellingcat to provide supposedly bias-free investigations into the Middle East.

Former contributor Cameron Colquhoun’s past is even more suspect. Colquhoun spent a decade in a senior position in GCHQ (Britain’s version of the NSA), where he ran cyber and Middle Eastern terror operations. The Scot specializes in Middle Eastern security and also holds a qualification from the U.S. State Department. None of this, however, is disclosed by Bellingcat, which merely describes him as the managing director of a private intelligence company that “conduct[s] ethical investigations” for clients around the world — thus depriving readers of key information they need to make informed judgments on what they are reading.

Bellingcat fails to inform its readers of even the most glaring conflicts of interest

There are plenty of former American spooks on Bellingcat’s roster as well. Former contributor Chris Biggers, who penned more than 60 articles for the site between 2014 and 2017, previously worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — a combat support unit that works under the Department of Defense and the broader Intelligence Community. Biggers is now the director of an intelligence company headquartered in Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington (close to other semi-private contractor groups like Booz Allen Hamilton), that boasts of having retired Army and Air Force generals on its board. Again, none of this is disclosed by Bellingcat, where Biggers’s bio states only that he is a “public and private sector consultant based in Washington, D.C.”

For six years, Dan Kaszeta was a U.S. Secret Service agent specializing in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and for six more he worked as program manager for the White House Military Office. At Bellingcat, he would provide some of the intellectual ammunition for Western accusations about chemical weapons use in Syria and Russia’s alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal.

Kaszeta is also a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank funded by a host of Western governments as well as weapons contractors such as Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Its president is a British field marshal (the highest attainable military rank) and its senior vice president is retired American General David Petraeus. Its chairman is Lord Hague, the U.K.’s secretary of state between 2010 and 2015.

Bellingcat Sergei Skripal

A Bellingcat article covering the alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a story covered heavily by the organization. Alexander Zemlianichenko | AP

All of this matters if a group is presenting itself as independent when, in reality, their views align almost perfectly with the governments funding them. But yet again, Bellingcat fails to follow basic journalism ethics and inform readers of these glaring conflict of interests, describing Kaszeta as merely the managing director of a security company and someone with 27 years of experience in security and antiterrorism. This means that unless readers are willing to do a research project they will be none the wiser.

Other Bellingcat contributors have similar pasts. Nour Bakr previously worked for the British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office while Karl Morand proudly served two separate tours in Iraq with the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division.

Government and intelligence officials are the opposite of journalists. The former exist to promote the interests of power (often against those of the public) while the latter are supposed to hold the powerful to account on behalf of the people. That is why it is so inappropriate that Bellingcat has had so many former spooks on their books. It could be said that ex-officials who have renounced their past or blown the whistle, such as Daniel Ellsberg or John Kiriakou, have utility as journalists. But those who have simply made the transition into media without any change in positions usually serve only the powerful.

Who pays the piper?

Just as startling as its spooky staff is Bellingcat’s source of funding. In 2016 its founder, Eliot Higgins, dismissed the idea that his organization got money from the U.S. government’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as a ludicrous conspiracy theory. Yet, by the next year, he openly admitted the thing he had laughed off for so long was, in fact, true (Bellingcat’s latest available financial report confirms that they continue to receive financial assistance from the NED). As many MintPress readers will know, the NED was explicitly set up by the Reagan administration as a front for the CIA’s regime-change operations. “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” said the organization’s co-founder Allen Weinstein, proudly.

Higgins himself was a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, NATO’s quasi-official think tank, from 2016 to 2019. The Atlantic Council’s board of directors is a who’s who of state power, from war planners like Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell to retired generals such as James “Mad Dog” Mattis and H.R. McMaster. It also features no fewer than seven former CIA directors. How Higgins could possibly see taking a paid position at an organization like this while he was still the face of a supposedly open and independent intelligence collective as being at all consistent is unclear.

Bana Alabed, an outsoken anti-Assad child activist, promotes Bellingcat at an Atlantic Council event. Photo | Twitter

Other questionable sources of income include the Human Rights Foundation, an international organization set up by Venezuelan activist Thor Halvorssen Mendoza. Halvorssen is the son of a former government official accused of being a CIA informant and a gunrunner for the agency’s dirty wars in Central America in the 1980s and the cousin of convicted terrorist Leopoldo Lopez. Lopez in turn was a leader in a U.S.-backed coup in 2002 and a wave of political terror in 2014 that killed at least 43 people and caused an estimated $15 billion worth of property damage. A major figure on the right-wing of Venezuelan politics, Lopez told journalists that he wants the United States to formally rule the country once President Nicolas Maduro is overthrown. With the help of the Spanish government, Lopez escaped from jail and fled to Spain last year.

Imagine, for one second, the opposite scenario: an “independent” Russian investigative website staffed partially with ex-KGB officials, funded by the Kremlin, with most of their research focused on the nefarious deeds of the U.S., U.K. and NATO. Would anyone take it seriously? And yet Bellingcat is consistently presented in corporate media as a liberatory organization; the Information Age’s gift to the people.

The Bellingcat to journalism pipeline

The corporate press itself already has a disturbingly close relationship with the national security state, as does social media. In 2019, a senior Twitter executive was unmasked as an active duty officer in the British Army’s online psychological operations unit. Coming at a time when foreign interference in politics and society was the primary issue in U.S. politics, the story was, astoundingly, almost completely ignored in the mainstream press. Only one U.S. outlet of any note picked it up, and that journalist was forced out of the profession weeks later.

Increasingly, it seems, Bellingcat is serving as a training ground for those looking for a job in the West’s most prestigious media outlets. For instance, former Bellingcat contributor Brenna Smith — who was recently the subject of a media storm after she successfully pressured a number of online payment companies to stop allowing the crowdfunding of the Capitol Building insurrectionists — announced last month she would be leaving USA Today and joining The New York Times. There she will meet up with former Bellingcat senior investigator Christiaan Triebert, who joined the Times’ visual investigations team in 2019.

The Times, commonly thought of as the United States’ most influential media outlet, has also collaborated with Bellingcat writers for individual pieces before. In 2018, it commissioned Giancarlo Fiorella and Aliaume Leroy to publish an op-ed strongly insinuating that the Venezuelan state murdered Oscar Perez. After he stole a military helicopter and used it to bomb government buildings in downtown Caracas while trying to ignite a civil war, Perez became the darling of the Western press, being described as a “patriot” (The Guardian ), a “rebel” (Miami Herald ), an “action hero” (The Times of London ), and a “liberator” (Task and Purpose ).

Until 2020, Fiorella ran an opposition blog called In Venezuela despite living in Canada. Leroy is now a full-time producer and investigator for the U.K.-government network, the BBC.

Bad news from Bellingcat

What we are uncovering here is a network of military, state, think-tank and media units all working together, of which Bellingcat is a central fixture. This would be bad enough, but much of its own research is extremely poor. It strongly pushed the now increasingly discredited idea of a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, attacking the members of the OPCW who came forward to expose the coverup and making some bizarre claims along the way. For years, Higgins and other members of the Bellingcat team also signal-boosted a Twitter account purporting to be an ISIS official, only for an investigation to expose the account as belonging to a young Indian troll in Bangalore. A leaked U.K. Foreign Office document lamented that “Bellingcat was somewhat discredited, both by spreading disinformation itself, and by being willing to produce reports for anyone willing to pay.”

Ultimately, however, the organization still provides utility as an attack dog for the West, publishing research that the media can cite, supposedly as “independent,” rather than rely directly on intelligence officials, whose credibility with the public is automatically far lower.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett, professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University and an expert in the connections between the deep state and the fourth estate, told MintPress that “the role of Bellingcat is to provide spurious legitimacy to U.S./NATO pretexts for war and conflict.” In far more positive words, the CIA actually appears to agree with him.

“I don’t want to be too dramatic, but we love [Bellingcat],” said Marc Polymeropoulos, the agency’s former deputy chief of operations for Europe and Eurasia. “Whenever we had to talk to our liaison partners about it, instead of trying to have things cleared or worry about classification issues, you could just reference [Bellingcat’s] work.” Polymeropoulos recently attempted to blame his headache problems on a heretofore unknown Russian microwave weapon, a claim that remarkably became an international scandal. “The greatest value of Bellingcat is that we can then go to the Russians and say ‘there you go’ [when they ask for evidence],” added former CIA Chief of Station Daniel Hoffman.

Bellingcat certainly seems to pay particular attention to the crimes of official enemies. As investigative journalist Matt Kennard noted, it has only published five stories on the United Kingdom, 17 on Saudi Arabia, 19 on the U.S. (most of which are about foreign interference in American society or far-right/QAnon cults). Yet it has 144 on Russia and 244 under its Syria tag.

In his new book “We Are Bellingcat: An Intelligence Agency for the People,” the outlet’s boss Higgins writes: “We have no agenda but we do have a credo: evidence exists and falsehoods exist, and people still care about the difference.” Yet exploring the backgrounds of its journalists and its sources of funding quickly reveals this to be a badly spun piece of PR.

Bellingcat looks far more like a bunch of spooks masquerading as citizen journalists than a people-centered organization taking on power and lies wherever it sees them. Unfortunately, with many of its proteges travelling through the pipeline into influential media outlets, it seems that there might be quite a few masquerading as reporters as well.

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles.

April 15, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Former minister blasts pro-Israel lobby over ‘disgusting interference’ in British politics

MEMO | April 9, 2021

Former Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has accused pro-Israel lobbyists of “the most disgusting interference” in British politics, and of negatively influencing the country’s foreign policy in the Middle East. The veteran politician has also claimed that Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) went “ballistic” and blocked him from taking on a new post covering the region’s affairs.

Duncan, a former Conservative MP and government minister, makes the sensational claims in his newly published memoir, In The Thick of It: The private diaries of a minister (published by William Collins, 2021). Speaking to journalist Michael Crick about his book for the MailPlus website, the 64 year-old blasted CFI and its undue influence in British politics.

Conservative Friends of Israel, he said, had injected a “Netanyahu-type view of Israeli politics into our foreign policy,” referring to Israel’s right-wing prime minister. He claimed that it had applied pressure on Theresa May’s government to prevent him becoming Middle East minister at the Foreign Office.

In his book, Duncan claims that his new role was agreed until the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson alerted him to the fact that CFI “are going ballistic”. He insists that he was blocked from taking the post because he believes in the rights of the Palestinians.

In one diary entry Duncan is scathing about Conservative MPs’ fawning over Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Britain. He was “ashamed” of the British government, accusing officials of allowing Netanyahu to “peddle pro-settlement propaganda”.

Duncan described to Crick the culture of fear created by CFI. “A lot of things do not happen in foreign policy or in government for fear of offending them because that’s the way it’s put to them by the CFI.”

He warned: “It’s a sort of buried scandal that has to stop… they will interfere at a high level in British politics in the interests of Israel on the back of donor power in the UK.” Ultimately, he pointed out, the influence of the pro-Israel lobby group came at the expense of the Palestinians.

Duncan has been a major target for the pro-Israel lobby. In 2017, an Al Jazeera documentary sensationally exposed the operations of pro-Israel lobbyists working with the Israeli Embassy in London to “take down” a minister of the Crown. Duncan, fellow Conservative MP Crispin Blunt and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were marked out as targets. Writing for Al Jazeera at the time, Robert Grenier, a retired, 27-year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service, warned against what he called the “insidious threats” of the pro-Israel lobby.

Read also: Conservative Friends of Israel urge UK to oppose ICC’s war crimes investigation

April 10, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment