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Recruiting American Spies for Israel

Tax-exempt American foundations lay the groundwork

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • June 18, 2019

Israel never loses an opportunity to promote what it perceives to be its interests. That any nation would do just that most of the time should surprise no one, but Israel is perhaps unique in terms of how assiduously it works at creating situations that favor it through the use of corruption of foreign governments and subversion of existing institutions. For most countries, the actions of a minority that seeks to advance the interests of a foreign nation would face strong resistance, but Israel manages to get away with what it does due to the presence of powerful and wealthy diaspora communities, most particularly in the Anglophone countries, but also in France.

The Israel Lobby in the United States has been subjected to some scrutiny thanks largely to the impetus provided by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s groundbreaking study The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. More recent revelations have come from undercover journalism undertaken by al-Jazeera, which has demonstrated how British Jewish groups and parliamentarians have worked together with Israeli Embassy intelligence officers to remove public officials believed to be critical of Israel. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, has been on the receiving end of a campaign to replace him for his alleged anti-Semitism solely because he has condemned Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. A second al-Jazeera investigation demonstrated how The Lobby, cooperating with the Israeli Embassy, has been controlling discussion of the Middle East in the United States, which should have surprised no one.

Europe indeed appears to be a hotbed of anti-Semitism, or so Israel and its friends would have us believe. Leaders in France, Germany and Britain feel compelled to frequently address the issue, making the equivalent of a war on anti-Semitism a principal objective of government. The United States has joined this effort, appointing a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism whose job includes reporting other countries’ treatment of Jews and Israel.

The newest wrinkle comes under the category of Lawfare. It consists of hate crime laws that are directed against anyone criticizing Jews and, increasingly, Israel. In fact, any criticism of Israel is frequently being seen as a criminal offense, a trend that is also evident in the United States at the national, state and local levels, where Jewish groups have also been quick off the mark in claiming that anti-Semitism is surging. Freedom of speech in the western world has been diminished as a result.

Diaspora Jews are well entrenched in the media, which has enabled them to promote a narrative favorable to Israel no matter what it does, to include a repetitive dose of holocaust guilt that plays out from Hollywood and elsewhere in the media. The assiduously cultivated message for the public is that Jews are always the victims, never the aggressors, even when IDF snipers shoot Arab children and medical workers during protests.

Perhaps more seriously damaging are the technology thefts and deliberate export of American jobs to the Jewish state by Israelis and their diaspora billionaire friends, as well as general interference in and spying on the U.S. government at all levels. But perhaps the most outrageous initiatives engaged in by the Jewish state are the direct attempts to manage U.S. policies by subverting individual Americans who are or will be well placed to influence U.S. government decision making. It is well known how new Congressmen and spouses are treated to an all expenses paid trip to Israel by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is little more than a propaganda exercise designed to influence their thinking about what is going on in the Middle East while at the same time impressing them regarding the power and wealth of The Lobby. The pandering to Israel is frequently extreme. Late last month, Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, who has declared himself the most pro-Israel governor in the U.S., held a possibly illegal meeting of his state’s governing cabinet in Jerusalem.

A recent article in the Jerusalem Post demonstrates another aspect of how extensive Israeli efforts to infiltrate and corrupt American institutions to their benefit actually are. The article describes how “Close to 40 American cadets and officers wrapped up a two-week long trip to Poland and Israel on Monday, meeting with high-ranking military officers to learn about the Jewish State and the reality of its security situation. The trip, organized by Our Soldiers Speak (OSS), left a deep impression on the visiting service members who hail from the West Point Military Academy, the Air Force Academy, and the Virginia Military Institute, with some even voicing their readiness to fight and if necessary die alongside IDF troops.”

It was the third such visit to Israel by a group of representative military cadets. The travelers were treated to guilt first with stops at concentration camps in Poland. They then were subjected to the Israeli point of view through “high-level briefings from current and former policymakers and commentators from across the spectrum in the areas of security, strategy, international relations, law, politics, and more.”

Make no mistake, the entire exercise was a scarcely concealed bid to set up what one might regard as the recruitment of future Israeli spies within the U.S. military. Such spies, who will plausibly be able to promote policies favorable to Israel, are referred to as “agents of influence.” Benjamin Anthony, the Director of OSS, admitted as much, saying that “This unparalleled experience enables American cadets to learn about hot-button issues and matters of utmost strategic importance in the Middle East firsthand. By forging bonds between the cadets and Israeli military officers, we are laying the groundwork for future understanding and productive interactions. We wanted to impact people who will be in leaderships positions a short time after the trip to Israel. All of them will be in command positions two or three years after this trip and they will be better informed about America’s greatest ally in the Middle East and the world.”

The cadets, who apparently received no pre-trip briefings from their respective institutions regarding Israeli spying, naively accepted everything they were presented with and appear to have believed they were hearing the unvarnished truth about the Middle East. They even compared the Jewish state favorably to their own country. One cadet, Stephen Marn of the Virginia Military Institute, enthused that “Israel has so many enemies knocking on their back door yet the people in Jerusalem were happy, enjoying life… it was an amount of true patriotism that I don’t see in America today. I got pretty emotional.”

Marn, who will receive a commission in the U.S. Army, said that he can “absolutely” see himself fighting alongside IDF officers. “No question, without a doubt,” he said with a smile. West Point cadet Travis Afuso agreed, saying “Absolutely. We have a shared understanding of the threats, a shared set of values based on freedom and democracy and those are the things which will allow us to fight together and if necessary to die by each other’s side if that’s what it comes to. If that is what my country asked of us, if I was sent here, I would be proud to stand by the soldiers of the IDF.”

Afuso also admired how “Every soldier we spoke to had a deep need to serve. They understand that there will be no Israel unless people are willing to die for Israel. A lot of people in America need to understand that nothing is free and you have to work for it.”

The comments of the cadets are regrettably similar to the effusions by U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Richard Clark, who has enthused that American soldiers are “prepared to die for the Jewish state” and also added that they would “probably” be under the command of Israeli Air Force General Zvika Haimovitch, who would decide on the involvement of U.S. personnel. Haimovitch commented “I am sure… we will find U.S. troops on the ground… to defend the state of Israel.” The two generals were referring to the fact that the U.S. already has airmen stationed permanently at Israel’s Mashabim Air Base in spite of the fact that the two countries have no defense agreement of any kind. The Americans, though few in number, would serve as a trip wire to guarantee that Washington would become involved in any war that Israel chooses to start.

The fact that future military officers are so naïve as to accept a dog and pony show presented by a foreign government that urgently needs uncritical American support is discouraging. The VIP tour they took was no doubt escorted by good looking young Israeli male and female soldiers, the food they ate was probably exceptional, and one might bet that the high officials they spoke to actually pretended to care about the cadets on a personal level. Once those cadets become military officers in responsible positions a few years down the road good buddy Benjamin from the IDF will show up with a dinner invitation to talk about old times. At dinner, Ben will ask for a favor. That is how an intelligence operation targeting certain groups or demographics works. Relax, we love you.

But what is really surprising is how the trip was organized and paid for. In spite of all the activity by the organization being focused on Israel and its interests, OSS is not Israeli. It is American, funded by the usual Jewish oligarchs and organizations. The “Our Soldiers” referred to are Israelis, demonstrating one again where the actual loyalty of some American Jews resides. OSS is somewhat similar to the odious U.S.-based Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, which routinely raises millions of dollars in gala events in Hollywood and New York City.

Both of the Israeli front organizations are IRS approved 501(c)3, a status normally granted to groups that are either educational or charitable. Donations are tax exempt, which means that the American taxpayers are footing part of the bill for organizations that are plausibly recruiting spies within the United States government and also supporting a military that is in no way allied with the U.S. It would be very interesting to ask a Congressman how that came about, but he or she would be too terrified to respond, while inquiries to Treasury would undoubtedly land on the desk of the same Jewish bureaucrat who granted the exemptions in the first place. Unfortunately, in Washington some things never change.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is <a:inform@cnionline.org” title=”mailto:inform@cnionline.org” href=”mailto:inform@cnionline.org”>inform@cnionline.org.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | 3 Comments

Moldova to move embassy to Jerusalem

MEMO | June 12, 2019

Moldova has announced that it will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move which would make it the first European country to do so.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of a political crisis in Moldova, a small Eastern European country located between Romania and Ukraine.

The country has been engaged in a power struggle between three parties – the pro-European Union ACUM bloc; the Socialists led by Moldovan President Igor Dodon and backed by Russia; and the Democratic Party run by media tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc – since it held elections in February.

After months of post-election deadlock, ACUM and the Socialist party agreed to form a government – a move not recognised by the Democratic Party which insists that the previous prime minister, Pavel Filip, remains in charge.

On Sunday, the Democratic Party persuaded the country’s Constitutional Court to briefly suspend President Dodon and install Filip as president for enough time to allow him to issue a decree calling for snap elections in September, US-based magazine Algemeiner explains. While acting as president, Filip announced that Moldova would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In a statement issued yesterday, Filip tied the country’s domestic difficulties to the announcement of the embassy move, as well as the sale of land for the construction of a new US embassy in Moldovan capital Chisinau.

The interim prime minister wrote: “We are in [a] situation [in which we need] to urgently adopt these decisions taking into account the political instability and uncertainty in the country, but also the latest political developments [in which] one of the political parties that constantly blocked these two projects is attempting an illegal takeover of power.”

He continued: “These are two commitments that we have previously undertaken and we want to make sure they will be respected, regardless of what happens after the snap elections.”

Given Moldova’s internal political instability, it is unclear whether the government will be able to follow through on its announcement. If the relocation is undertaken, Moldova will become the first European country to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

Since US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and relocated the US embassy to the Holy City in May 2018, a handful of countries have followed suit. Most of these have been Latin American countries with close ties to the US, including Paraguay and Guatemala.

However, within months of relocating its mission, Paraguay reversed the decision and moved the embassy back to Tel Aviv, citing a desire to support “broad, lasting and just peace” among Israelis and Palestinians.

Brazil – which recently elected pro-Israel politician Jair Bolsonaro as its president – has also toyed with the idea of moving its embassy to Jerusalem. In March, however, Brazil appeared to backtrack on its promise, saying it would instead open a “business office” in Jerusalem.

Likewise Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban – who, like Bolsonaro, is considered a close associate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – has said his country will open a “diplomatic office” in Jerusalem, though stopped short of promising a full-service embassy.

Despite Israel encouraging other countries to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem – and announcing it would build a new “embassy complex” which could house nine diplomatic missions for the purpose – the international community has generally opted not to follow President Trump’s controversial move.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | | Leave a comment

Boeing, Obama A Gold Watch and 346 Dead

By Russell Mokhiber | CounterPunch | June 7, 2019

Democrats want to make Donald Trump the issue in 2020.

If they do, they will lose again, the way they lost in 2016.

Instead, the 2020 election should be about corporate power in all of its manifestations, its hold on the culture, our country and both major political parties.

Take the case of the two Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane crashes — the Lion Air crash off the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia in October 2018 that killed all 189 on board and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019 that killed all 157 on board.

During his time as President of the United States, Barack Obama promoted the sale of Boeing planes — including the 737 Max 8 planes — around the world.

In November 2011, in Bali, Indonesia, President Obama announced an agreement between Boeing and Lion Air.

“For the last several days I’ve been talking about how we have to make sure that we’ve got a presence in this region, that it can result directly in jobs at home,” Obama said. “And what we see here — a multibillion-dollar deal between Lion Air — one of the fastest-growing airlines not just in the region, but in the world — and Boeing is going to result in over 100,000 jobs back in the United States of America, over a long period of time.”

“This represents the largest deal, if I’m not mistaken, that Boeing has ever done.  We are looking at over 200 planes that are going to be sold.”

In September 2014, Obama met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia at the White House.

“We’re strong trading partners,” Obama said. “And most recently, Boeing has done a deal with Ethiopia, which will result in jobs here in the United States.”

“I’m expecting a gold watch from Boeing at the end of my presidency because I know I’m on the list of top salesmen at Boeing,” Obama said at an export forum at the White House in September 2013.

Of course, Obama got more than just a gold watch from Boeing when he left the White House.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Boeing donated $10 million to the Obama presidential library and museum in Chicago. And earlier this year, Obama dropped in to speak to a Boeing leadership retreat at a swank resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Obama gratefully waived his $400,000 speaking fee.

While pushing the sale of Boeing planes around the world, the Obama administration was at the same time fast tracking a dangerous deregulatory process at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that effectively put the corporations in charge of the safety certification process — and that in effect put Boeing in charge of certifying it’s faulty MCAS software that led to the tragedies in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The FAA certification system is known as the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program. Under that program, companies like Boeing can appoint their own representatives to act in the place of FAA inspectors.

In 2004, one of the unions representing FAA inspectors – Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) – criticized the proposed ODA program as “premature and reckless.”

“Allowing the aviation industry to self-regulate in this manner is nothing more than the blatant outsourcing of inspector functions and handing over inherently governmental oversight activities to non-governmental, for-profit entities,” PASS wrote in its 2004 comments to the FAA.

Would a more independent FAA have prevented the two recent Boeing crashes?

Yes, says Paul Hudson of Flyer’s Rights.

“The ODA program has allowed Boeing to effectively self certify the MCAS software as safe,” Hudson told Corporate Crime Reporter.

“Boeing ‘s CEO, whistleblowers and FAA now admit they failed to properly test, fully connect, or even disclose MCAS, much less its deadly defects and overpowering features — not to the FAA higher ups, not to airline pilots or not even to its own test pilots.”

“Air travel has gotten much safer due to both safety regulation and technical advancements,” Hudson said. “But profit seeking over safety at all costs is destroying both safety and profits.”

“Some Boeing safety inspectors have summed up the current culture as ‘safety is king but schedule is God,” Hudson said. “I asked Boeing in December after the Lion Air crash to ground the Max. Boeing refused.”

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

June 9, 2019 Posted by | Corruption | , | Leave a comment

US Senators meet with Jewish leaders in semi-secret annual event

Jewish leaders meeting with Senate Democrats. Photo from a tweet by Nathan Diament featured by Jewish Insider.
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | June 5, 2019

An article in the Times of Israel reports that “Jewish leaders are meeting with Senate Democrats today.” According to the report, this is an annual event.

All except one of the organizations represented by the Jewish leaders at the meeting advocate for Israel.

Several of the organizations participating are focused on preventing the erosion of support for Israel among Democratic voters. Recent polls show that the large majority of progressive Americans now support Palestinian human rights.

Many of the meeting participants, both Senators and Jewish leaders, are particularly known for their pro-Israel work. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calls himself a “guardian of Israel.”

The meeting does not seem to have been announced publicly ahead of time, and staffers at Senate offices contacted for this article were not aware of it.

The chair for the meeting is Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a 2020 presidential candidate.

Klobuchar is a strong Israel supporter and announces on her website that she supported the $38 billion package to Israel.

Klobuchar’s office would not reveal the location or time of the meeting. It also would not provide the agenda.

The offices of other Senators reportedly participating in the meeting that were contacted for this article – Tim Kaine, Patty Murray, and Chris Koons – also refused to provide this information to the American public.

Jewish Insider terms the event “Meeting of Machers” (wheeler dealers).

Nathan Diament, Executive Director for Public Policy for the Jewish Orthodox Union, posted a photo about the meeting on his Twitter account (see above), but didn’t clarify when the photo was taken.

Senators & Leaders participating

In addition to Klobuchar, the Senators reported to be participating in the meeting include Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

The Jewish leaders attending the meeting reportedly include:

AIPAC’s Howard Kohr

J Street’s Jeremy Ben Ami

ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt,

JNFA’s Mark Wilf

Conference of President’s Arthur Stark

Democratic Majority for Israel’s Mark Mellman

Jewish Democratic Council of America’s Ron Klein

Israel Policy Forum’s Susie Gelman

The Rabbinical Assembly’s Rabbi Julie Schonfeld

Union for Reform Judaism’s Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Orthodox Union’s Avi Katz

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society’s Mark Hetfield

National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry’s Mark B. Levin

Jewish Women International’s Loribeth Weinstein

Jewish Council for Public Affairs’ David Bernstein

Bend the Arc’s Stosh Cotler  (Unlike the other organizations represented at the meeting, Bend the Arc has not taken a public stand on Israel-Palestine. A member of Bend the Arc’s executive board, Howard Welinsky, is active in AIPAC and chairs Democrats for Israel, Los Angeles. Stosh Cotler, on the other hand, once demonstrated against Israeli policies.)

Seating chart

Below is a chart of the seating arrangement for the meeting provided by Jewish Insider:

Chart of the seating arrangement for the June 5, 2019 meeting.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

June 5, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton’s Russia collusion IOU: The answers she owes America

By John Solomon – The Hill – 06/03/19

During the combined two decades she served as a U.S. senator and secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s patrons regularly donated to her family charity when they had official business pending before America’s most powerful political woman.

The pattern of political IOUs paid to the Clinton Foundation was so pernicious that the State Department even tried to execute a special agreement with the charity to avoid the overt appearance of “pay-to-play” policy.

Still, the money continued to flow by the millions of dollars, from foreigners and Americans alike who were perceived to be indebted to the Clinton machine or in need of its help.

It’s time for the American public to call in their own IOU on political transparency.

The reason? Never before — until 2016 — had the apparatus of a U.S. presidential candidate managed to sic the weight of the FBI and U.S. intelligence community on a rival nominee during an election, and by using a foreign-fed, uncorroborated political opposition research document.

But Clinton’s campaign, in concert with the Democratic Party and through their shared law firm, funded Christopher Steele’s unverified dossier which, it turns out, falsely portrayed Republican Donald Trump as a treasonous asset colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin to hijack the U.S. election.

Steele went to the FBI to get an investigation started and then leaked the existence of the investigation, with the hope of sinking Trump’s presidential aspirations.

On its face, it is arguably the most devious political dirty trick in American history and one of the most overt intrusions of a foreigner into a U.S. election.

It appears the Clinton machine knew that what it was doing was controversial. That’s why it did backflips to disguise the operation from Congress and the public, and in its Federal Election Commission (FEC) spending reports.

Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) used the law firm of Perkins Coie to hire Glenn Simpson’s research firm, Fusion GPS, which then hired Steele — several layers that obfuscated transparency, kept the operation off the campaign’s public FEC reports and gave the Clintons plausible deniability.

But Steele’s first overture on July 5, 2016, failed to capture the FBI’s imagination. So the Clinton machine escalated. Steele, a British national, went to senior Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr — whose wife, Nellie, also worked for Fusion — to push his Trump dirt to the top of the FBI.

Nellie Ohr likewise sent some of her own anti-Trump research augmenting Steele’s dossier to the FBI through her husband. Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann used his connection to former FBI general counsel James Baker to dump Trump dirt at the FBI, too.

Then Steele and, separately, longtime Clinton protégé Cody Shearer went to the State Department to get the story out, increasing pressure on the FBI.

In short, the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with pressure — and bad intel — until an investigation of Trump was started. The bureau and its hapless sheriff at the time, James Comey, eventually acquiesced with the help of such Clinton fans as then-FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

To finish the mission, Simpson and Steele leaked the existence of the FBI investigation to the news media to ensure it would hurt Trump politically. Simpson even called the leaks a “hail Mary” that failed.

Trump won, however. And now, thanks to special counsel Robert Mueller, we know the Russia-collusion allegations relentlessly peddled by Team Clinton were bogus. But not before the FBI used the Clinton-funded, foreign-created research to get a total of four warrants to spy on the Trump campaign, transition and presidency from October 2016 through the following autumn.

The Clinton team’s dirty trick was as diabolical as it was brilliant. It literally used house money and a large part of the U.S. intelligence apparatus to carry out its political hit job on Trump.

After two years of American discomfort, and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent, it’s time for the house to call in its IOU.

Hillary Clinton owes us answers — lots of them. So far, she has ducked them, even while doing many high-profile media interviews.

I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Longtime Clinton adviser Douglas Schoen said Friday night on Fox News that it’s time for Clinton to answer what she knew and when she knew it.

Here are 10 essential questions:

  1. In January 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a formal investigative request for documents and written answers from your campaign. Do you plan to comply?
  2. Please identify each person in your campaign who was involved with, or aware of, hiring Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele.
  3. Please identify each person in your campaign, including Perkins Coie lawyers, who were aware that Steele provided information to the FBI or State Department, and when they learned it.
  4. Describe any information you and your campaign staff received, or were briefed on, before Election Day that was derived from the work of Simpson, Steele, Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr or Perkins Coie and that tried to connect Trump, his campaign or his business empire with Russia.
  5. Please describe all contacts your campaign had before Election Day with or about the following individuals: Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele, former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, former foreign policy scholar Stefan Halper and Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud.
  6. Did you or any senior members of your campaign, including lawyers such as Michael Sussmann, have any contact with the CIA, its former Director John Brennan, current Director Gina Haspel, James Baker, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page or former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe?
  7. Describe all contacts your campaign had with Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal concerning Trump, Russia and Ukraine.
  8. Describe all contacts you and your campaign had with DNC contractor Alexander Chalupa, the Ukraine government, the Ukraine Embassy in the United States or the U.S. Embassy in Kiev concerning Trump, Russia or former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
  9. Why did your campaign and the Democratic Party make a concerted effort to portray Trump as a Russian asset?
  10. Given that investigations by a House committee, a Senate committee and a special prosecutor all have concluded there isn’t evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, do you regret the actions by your campaign and by Steele, Simpson and Sussmann to inject these unfounded allegations into the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community and the news media?

Hillary Clinton owes us answers to each of these questions. She should skip the lawyer-speak and answer them with the candor worthy of an elder American stateswoman.

June 5, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Israeli paper betrays scandalous details of ‘deal of century’

Press TV – June 1, 2019

US President Donald Trump’s “the deal of the century” wants Palestinian refugees to be naturalized and settled in several countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, Israeli daily Haaretz reports.

As the world marked the International Quds Day on Friday, political leaders warned of mysterious aspects of the much-touted US plan and its ramifications for the future of Palestinians.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said one definite prospect is that the plan seeks to do away with the issue of returning 6 million refugees to their homeland.

“To realize this goal, America is about to arrange an economic deal and get its money from the miserable Persian Gulf countries,” he said in Tehran.

Haaretz said Washington is thought to be pressing Lebanon to grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees living in the country.

“In the process, this is seen as defusing the issue of a right of return of refugees to Israel, which has been a major obstacle to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the paper said.

According to UNRWA, the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, about 450,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon.

Other reports have put the figure lower, prompting Lebanese groups to say that the census had been conducted under US pressure designed to under-report the real numbers because that way Lebanon could absorb a modest-sized population.

The Lebanese constitution, however, provides that the country’s territory is indivisible and that refugees living there are not to receive citizenship.

The official reason for this is that the absorption of Palestinian refugees would impair their claim to a right of return.

However, the US has sugarcoated the plan with a lifeline to extract Lebanon from its economic crisis, where the country’s debt is estimated at more than $85 billion (about 155 percent of GDP), Haaretz said.

According to the Israeli paper, giving Palestinians citizenship is likely to prompt the roughly 1 million Syrian refugees in the country to demand similar status.

However, Lebanon isn’t the only country concerned about Washington dictating a solution to the refugee problem.

Jordan is horrified over the prospect that the United States will demand it absorb hundreds of thousands or even a million Palestinian refugees in the country, Haaretz added.

The paper cited investigative journalist Vicky Ward recounting in her new book “Kushner Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption” that the Trump administration’s plan sees Jordan providing territory to the Palestinians and receiving Saudi territory in return.

The Saudis, for their part, would get the islands of Sanafir and Tiran from Egypt, it said.

“Land swaps appear to be the magic formula that the Trump administration has adopted, and not just for Jordan,” Haaretz said.

According to Ward, it has been suggested that Egypt give up territory along the Sinai coast between Gaza and el-Arish, to which some of the Gaza population would be transferred. In return, Israel would give Egypt territory of equivalent size in the western Negev.

Haaretz, meanwhile, revealed lucrative projects to be funded by European countries, the US and wealthy Arab states, including an underwater tunnel which Israel would allow to be dug between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Egypt, the paper said, has been promised a whopping $65 billion to help boost its economy which is currently in shambles.

The plan also says Palestinian refugees in Syria, Iraq and other Arab countries would receive citizenship in exchange for generous assistance to the host countries.

The Israeli paper, however, cast doubt on the viability of the “plan of generous financial compensation and empty tracts of land for new housing”.

“The problem is that the Palestinian refugees are the supreme symbols of Palestinian nationhood,” it said.

“An American deal that blatantly relies on buying up that symbol for cash, even lots of it, can’t be acceptable to the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza,” it added.

The Trump administration is set to unveil the economic portion of the so-called “deal of the century” during a conference in Manama, Bahrain, on June 25-26.

All Palestinian factions have boycotted the event, accusing Washington of offering financial rewards for accepting the Israeli occupation.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have said they will send delegations to the Manama forum and Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has said he intends to attend.

June 1, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Total Deception: US House Votes to ‘Enhance Stabilization of Conflict-Affected Areas and Prevent Violence and Fragility Globally’

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | May 24, 2019

The United States government, through arms including the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has long been promoting violence and destruction in previously relatively peaceful and prosperous places around the world. It has done so through supporting sides in conflicts and stirring up conflicts in an effort to determine who governs — either seeking to prop up or overthrow national governments.

This week, the US House of Representatives passed by a voice vote a bill (HR 2116) titled the Global Fragility Act and carrying this short description of its intent: “To enhance stabilization of conflict-affected areas and prevent violence and fragility globally, and for other purposes.” Having been approved in the House, the bill now can proceed to consideration in the US Senate.

You might expect that the Global Fragility Act would, through actions such as placing limits on or defunding activities of the State Department and USAID, seek to stop the US from intervening abroad. That would be a welcome development.

Unfortunately, things tend not to work that way in Washington, DC. In Washington DC “up” is “down” and, as George Orwell wrote about the dystopia in his novel 1984, “war” is “peace.” The Global Fragility Act is a bill to enable the US government to further “break” the world through, among other things, giving the State Department and USAID hundreds of millions of dollars a year to stir up more trouble and further attempt to control who governs in countries around the world.

The bill authorizes appropriating 200 million dollars each of the next five years into a new Stabilization and Prevention Fund administered by the State Department and USAID. And the bill directs that this money be spent on the kinds of purposes typically used to excuse US efforts to support or overthrow governments across the world — supporting “stabilization of conflict-affected areas;” preventing violence; and countering “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, other terrorist organizations, or violent extremist organizations.­”

On top of that, the Global Fragility Act also provides an additional 30 million dollars a year for the next five years to a new Complex Crisis Fund. This fund, the bill directs, will be administered by USAID. The bill states that USAID is to spend the money “to support programs and activities to prevent or respond to emerging or unforeseen foreign challenges and complex crises overseas.” It does not get much more open-ended than that. In short, USAID can use the fund to pursue intervention overseas in just about any way imaginable.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the sponsor of the Global Fragility Act, touted on the House floor this week before the bill was approved by a voice vote that the legislation “gets at the heart of what we want to see from our diplomatic and development efforts around the world: helping places already torn apart by violence to recover and preventing the start of violence in other places where factors are ripe for its outbreak.” Following Engel, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the bill’s lead Republican cosponsor, declared the bill “will make the world a safer place long term.” Don’t believe a word of it. The Global Fragility Act promises to increase US government efforts bringing to the world more violence, more destruction, and more fragility, not less.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 16 Comments

Two scenarios on Trump-Russia investigators — and neither is comforting

By Sharyl Attkisson – The Hill – 05/21/19

As the investigations into the Trump-Russia investigation proceed, it’s not too difficult to figure out a few of the theoretical starting points.

The first and most obvious theory is the one largely promulgated in the media for the better part of two years. It goes something like this: The sharp, super-sleuth investigative skills of top officials within the Justice Department and our intel community enabled them to identify Donald Trump and his campaign as treacherous conduits to Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

That theory was summarily dismissed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that there wasn’t so much as even coordination between Russia and Trump, or any American. So that leaves several other possibilities … and none of them is good:

They knew

One possibility to be considered is that top Obama administration officials knew all along there never was any real collusion or crime at play, but they manufactured the false Russia premise in order to justify their political spying.

Under this hypothetical scenario, they wanted to get inside information on the Trump campaign and, perhaps, gather dirt against the competition for blackmail or political purposes.

This effort included surveillance using paid spies and wiretaps on multiple Trump associates, as reported in the press.

The Obama officials had lots of help from foreign players such as the United Kingdom and Russia’s nemesis, Ukraine. Ukrainian-linked Democrats assisted with an early effort to gin up negative press coverage about key players, such as Trump associate Paul Manafort, who had been hired by the pro-Russian Ukrainian government prior to the anti-Russian Ukrainian government taking over in 2014. There were other Ukraine entanglements, such as the lucrative position earning millions of dollars that then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son got in 2015 to serve on the board of a Ukrainian energy company under the anti-Russia Ukraine regime.

Anyhow, under this scenario, after Trump defied all predictions and won the election, those who had conspired against him went into panic mode. They rightly worried that Trump, his national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and others outside the “establishment” would be able to see what Justice Department and intel officials had been up to in secret.

They were worried that not only would their furtive activities in 2016 be exposed but that their behavior during the past decade-plus, when there were many other documented surveillance and intel abuses. These abuses include improper surveillance of American citizens, political figures, journalists and other targets.

One can only imagine all the things they did that never became public. Whose communications did they pretend to capture accidentally? Whose bank records, photos, emails, text messages, internet history and keystrokes were monitored? What unverified or false evidence did intel officials present to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get wiretaps on political enemies? Who improperly “unmasked” whom?

Hypothetically, these government officials — desperate to keep their deeds in the dark — rushed to amplify the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. Putting Trump under investigation, even if under false pretenses, would accomplish the goal of keeping him from poking around into their business and practices. Any attempts he’d make to find out what was going on inside his own Justice Department or intel agencies would automatically be declared “Obstruction!”

However, they were sloppy.

First, they were sloppy in the improper actions they undertook over a decade or more. They never imagined outsiders would ever really get a look at the evidence of their alleged wrongdoing. Then, they became sloppier in their panic-stricken attempts to cover up after Trump got elected.

As you can see, this scenario presumes a level of corruption.

For those who aren’t prepared to accept the possibility that some within our Justice Department and intel community would frame Trump and his associates to keep their own alleged crimes secret, there is at least one other possibility. But it may not be much more palatable.

They didn’t know

If Mueller is correct and there was no collusion or even coordination between Russia and Trump, or any American, and if the Obama administration officials who insisted that was the case are not corrupt, then they collectively suffered from one of the most historically monumental cases of poor judgment in U.S. intelligence history.

Under this scenario, the seasoned experts entrusted to protect our national security committed the kind of bush-league mistakes that few novice investigators would make. They jumped to conclusions with no evidence. They let their own biases lead them down trails in the wrong direction. They misinterpreted evidence, misread people’s actions and barked up the wrong trees. They misconstrued exceedingly common business and political contacts with Russians as deep, dark, dastardly plots. They wasted energy and resources chasing specters, ghosts and conspiracies where none existed.

Under this scenario, the misguided obsession over nonexistent treachery and enemies of the state caused the officials to underestimate or ignore the real threats that were right under their noses.

We do know this much: Only after Trump was elected did these officials ring major alarm bells about the Russians. It’s as if they are utterly unaware that the election interference they suspected and detected happened while they were in charge.

Or maybe they just hope to convince us to look the other way.

Instead of looking the other way, we might be well advised to open the books and examine how these officials were running their shops well before 2016. What does either scenario imply about how these operators behaved behind closed doors? How did they use their power and the powerful tools at their disposal? How well did they guard the nation’s interests and our deepest secrets?

Whether they were corrupt or inept, whether they knew or whether they didn’t know, the questions seem important to answer.

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of best-sellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trudeau’s Government Accused of Trying to Buy Election Coverage with New Bill

Sputnik – 19.05.2019

Justin Trudeau’s government has been accused of trying to buy media support and undermining the free press by launching a $600 million taxpayer-funded bailout aiming to give tax credits and other incentives for Canadian newspapers.

A bill introducing the initiative, which aims to “support Canadian journalism” struggling in the digital age, is expected to pass the Canadian Parliament in the next few months, ahead of the general election in October.

“I think Trudeau’s timing has been brilliant. He’s made it an election issue for journalists. The implication is ‘Help me get back in and we’ll give you a big pile of cash — allow me to be defeated and you’ll be paying your own bills’,” Pierre Poilievre, a Conservative MP, told The Sunday Telegraph.

The plan suggests that the division of funds will be decided by an independent panel of members from the “news and journalism community” appointed by the government.

“Trudeau wants to define what constitutes acceptable journalism, and then give money to those who meet that definition. Over time it will create a highly dependent group of liberal-minded journalists with a vested interest to keep the Liberals in power. Everyone who wants to pay their mortgage will have to be careful what they write,” Poilievre added.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau argued that the initiative “would “protect the vital role that the independent news media plays in our democracy,” and would help save local newspapers struggling in the age of digital content.

The initiative is viewed as controversial in the Canadian media as well. Paul Godfrey, chief executive of Postmedia, which publishes Canada’s National Post, the Vancouver Sun, and the Montreal Gazette, has called it a “turning point in the plight of newspapers” and suggested journalists should be “doing victory laps.” However, Andrew Coyne, a National Post columnist, has warned that the bill will “irrevocably politicise the press” and suggested that in the end the media could become copies of the government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters also said in a letter to the government that it was “hugely disappointed” that they were not included in the initiative despite the decline in revenues due to the domination of internet content.

The funding is expected to be spread over five years. Around $360 million of it will be in the form of a tax credit publishers can claim that is linked to journalists’ salaries, up to a maximum of $13,750 a year for each employee in a newsroom. Another tax credit will be linked to the number of subscribers to newspapers’ websites, and non-profit media groups will be able to claim charitable status.

Raynell Andreychuk, the Conservative chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a hearing this week: “Selection committees appointed by the government [means] we’re intruding on the freedom of the press. It may not be our intention, it’s the survival of newspapers. [But] to me it’s very dangerous ground.”

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

The Sinking Credibility of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | May 18, 2019

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is supposed to be a neutral international body, without political or national affiliation. It is meant to go where the facts lead it, regardless of any pressures from powerful people and countries to produce reports that might favour their cause and exonerate their actions.

I have long suspected that it has ceased to be such an organisation. There has been an increasingly obvious pattern to alleged chemical weapons attacks, whereby an incident occurs, the Western powers — chiefly the United States, United Kingdom and France — respond, and then the OPCW later produces a report that essentially backs up their claims, but in very dubious ways.

For example, on 4th April 2017, an alleged chemical incident took plane in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria. The White House released a four page intelligence report just one week later, which stated the following:

“The United States is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin, against its own people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in southern Idlib Province on April 4, 2017. According to observers at the scene, the attack resulted in at least 50 and up to 100 fatalities (including many children), with hundreds of additional injuries.

We have confidence in our assessment because we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence, laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims, as well as a significant body of credible open source reporting, that tells a clear and consistent story.”

What they didn’t state is that they had no direct intelligence on the ground, but relied on hearsay, much of it from that “open source” reporting (i.e. internet speculation). And of course there’s a very good reason why they did not have intelligence on the ground, namely that the area was (and still is) controlled by jihadist organisations. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the case against the Assad Government was at that time entirely dependent on information coming from Islamist terrorist organisations, it was apparently enough for the United States to bomb the country, which it did on 7th April 2017, just three days after the incident. Thankfully, there were few casualties as most of the 59 Tomahawk missiles fired didn’t make it to their intended targets, either being shot down or — very probably — taken off course by advanced Russian military electronic jamming equipment.

So the order of things was incident, accusations, bombing, and then release of “intelligence” based on the internet and information released by jihadists. All that was then needed to justify these actions retrospectively was the OPCW report, and this was subsequently released on 29th June 2017.

Peter Hitchens has dealt very thoroughly with that report (here), and the most crucial point about it is that it essentially broke the OPCW’s own rules by failing to establish chain of custody. Instead, the alleged evidence, rather than being gathered from the scene of the incident by the OPCW, was passed to them 2nd or perhaps even 3rd hand. And of course the reason for this is that its investigators were not able to enter the area where the incident was said to have taken place, because it was occupied by al-Qaeda affiliated organisations — the same people who presumably passed on the evidence which ended up in the OPCW’s hands.

Interestingly enough, the OPCW’s inspectors were invited by the Syrian Government to the al Shayrat airbase where the planes, which allegedly dropped chemical munitions, had taken off. But they didn’t take them up on that offer. Make of that what you will.

It is vital to the OPCW’s whole remit and credibility that they visit the sites of alleged attacks in order to secure evidence under full chain of custody. Where they are unable to do this, they should simply say so and refuse to pronounce confidently on what happened. Yet despite not having visited either Khan Sheikhoun, or the al Sharyat airbase, and despite not having full chain of custody, a subsequent report released in October 2017 did indeed pronounce confidently:

“Based on the foregoing, the Leadership Panel is confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017.”

Ignoring its own guidelines to produce such a confident conclusion is enough by itself to call into question the organisation’s impartiality and credibility. But whatever credibility the organisation still possessed after this has now been torn to shreds by the recent leak of a Fact Finding Mission (FFM) Engineering Assessment in the case of another alleged chemical attack, this time in Douma last year.

As you will hopefully recall, the town of Douma was about to be retaken by the Syrian Government from the jihadists who controlled it. Shortly before it was retaken, an alleged chemical incident occurred, in which some 35 civilians were said to have died. The Western powers immediately jumped on it, accusing the Syrian Government of responsibility, and photographs of two canisters allegedly containing a toxic substance, which it was said were dropped from Syrian aircraft, were shown around the world as if supporting the claim.

We can now be confident that the claim is false. What is more, it appears that the OPCW has known full well that the claim is false, but has said nothing publicly about it. According to the FFM Engineering Assessment dated February 2019, the scenario of the canisters being dropped by aircraft is implausible:

“At this stage the FFM engineering sub-team cannot be certain that the cylinders at either location arrived there as a result of being dropped from an aircraft. The dimensions, characteristics and appearances of the cylinders and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.

In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft [my emphasis].”

You can read more about this by going to the site of the group to whom this report was leaked (here) and also to Peter Hitchens’s blog, where he reports on his interactions with the OPCW, which unwittingly confirm the authenticity of the FFM report (here).

The OPCW’s final report on the Douma incident makes no reference to this FFM Engineering report. Why not? The only reasonable conclusion is that it was omitted because its inclusion would have totally undermined the narrative tirelessly propagated by the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and France, as well as the entirety of the Western mainstream media (Global Pravda), and so would have shown the actions of those countries to be utterly immoral, illegal and reckless.

And so one cannot help but think that:

A) The OPCW has been utterly compromised and/or pressurised by those same Governments and

B) A certain individual or individuals in the organisation has been disturbed enough by this to take the risk of leaking information to expose the truth.

It is a solemn and sobering fact that the reaction to the Douma incident could very well have led to a conflict between the United States and Russia. In the aftermath, when the Unites States, the United Kingdom and France were all releasing statements of their intentions, the Russian military warned in no uncertain terms that if the missiles were targeted towards their servicemen, they would not only destroy the missiles but the carriers from which they were fired. They were deadly serious. I have heard unconfirmed rumours that they had MiG-31s loaded with the new hypersonic Kinzhal missiles in the area, ready to sink the vessels firing the missiles should they feel that their military personnel were under threat.

Thankfully there are still some minds left in the Pentagon that are not intoxicated by power, and — so I hear — General James “Mad Dog” Mattis in particular, the then Secretary of Defense, was instrumental in turning what looked like it would be a massive bombardment, possibly targeting areas where Russian servicemen were located, to a much smaller 100-odd missiles, mostly token shots into non-strategic sites, the majority of which were shot down. In other words, Mattis and co may well have averted World War III, but did so in a way that allowed the warmongering leadership of the three nations to save face in their illegal action.

The OPCW’s credibility as an impartial international organisation now lies in tatters. Both the Khan Sheikhoun report with its conclusions without chain of custody, and now even more so the Douma report, which failed to include expert evidence that contradicted its public conclusions, now stand as testimony against the trustworthiness of the organisation. It hardly needs to be said that this is a great shame, not just for international relations in general, but also for those many people who work for it who are undoubtedly still committed to scientific enquiry and impartial judgement.

I cannot leave this piece without asking questions about the other major cases of late involving the OPCW, namely the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings. In both incidents, the OPCW did not release final reports to the public, but a summary of their findings, which you can find here and here. I must say I have never been particularly convinced by these documents. In both cases, the language always struck me as being somewhat evasive.

For instance, neither Summary actually names the substance involved. In fact, in neither case does it confirm the use of a nerve agent. Point one in the summary of the Salisbury case states the following:

“The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) under subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention in relation to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical — allegedly a nerve agent — and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals. The Director-General decided to dispatch a team to the United Kingdom for a technical assistance visit (TAV).”

Allegedly a nerve agent? Which one? Do we find out? Not a bit of it. Point number 10 states the following:

“The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.”

Confirm the findings of the United Kingdom? Which United Kingdom? The Government of the United Kingdom? The intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom? The scientists at Porton Down in the United Kingdom? This is important. The fact is that none of these entities has ever stated what that substance actually is. Instead, they have continued to use the slippery word “Novichok”, but since this is simply a word meaning “newcomer”, and since it doesn’t refer to a substance but rather a group of substances, and since the group of substances falling under the “Novichok” umbrella has never been properly defined and is elastic enough to include pretty much anything and everything the accusing authorities want it to mean, it is, to all intents and purposes, meaningless.

Which is almost certainly why the OPCW not only avoids referring to it in its Summary as “Novichok”, and also why they also fail to confirm it was actually a nerve agent, referring to it throughout as a “toxic chemical”. And whilst they say that it was the same “toxic chemical” identified by the United Kingdom, because the United Kingdom has never publicly identified the substance, this is essentially circular argumentation. Indeed, it reads more like obfuscation than scientific precision.

In the summary of the Amesbury case, things get even more suspect. Again, the phrase “toxic chemical” is used throughout, and again there is no mention of “Novichok” much less the precise type. Like Salisbury, there is only one mention of the word “nerve agent”, but this time it is very odd:

“The toxic chemical compound, which displays the toxic properties of a nerve agent, is the same toxic chemical that was found in the biomedical and environmental samples relating to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Mr Nicholas Bailey on 4 March 2018 in Salisbury (S/1612/2018, dated 12 April 2018) [my emphasis].”

Which displays the toxic properties of a nerve agent? What is that supposed to mean? Isn’t this a mighty strange way of referring to an apparently identified nerve agent?

Think about it. If you tested a substance in a laboratory and found it to be sulphuric acid, and if you were then writing a report about it, would you say that “it is an acid” or that it “displays the properties of an acid?” If you were to write that the substance you had found “displays the properties of acid,” and you never actually gave it a name, my reaction would be to assume that it was something a bit like acid, but not actually acid itself.

It might be argued that since the substance was not on the OPCW database, they simply refer to it as “displaying the properties of a nerve agent.” But this won’t do. The United Kingdom assured the world that it was a nerve agent, and despite inferring that only one country possessed it, they somehow managed to identify it within a day of the initial incident in Salisbury. So why does the OPCW appear to hedge its bets and only say that it “displays the properties of a nerve agent?”, rather than “it is a nerve agent”? I may be wrong, but it seems to me that this statement is more likely the result of compromise between factions in the OPCW, than it is a statement of scientific certainty.

Another very suspect issue in the Summary of the Salisbury report is the fact that it does not mention where the OPCW team conducted its sampling. It is extremely vague, simply stating:

“The team was able to conduct on-site sampling of environmental samples under full chain of custody at sites identified as possible hot-spots of residual contamination. Samples were returned to the OPCW Laboratory for subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories.”

Sites identified as possible hotspots? Such as? We aren’t told, which is very odd, because you might assume that a vital part of the mission would include establishing where the poison was located, and where it was initially placed. But for this we have to turn to the letter sent to the Secretary General of NATO by the UK’s head of national security, Sir Mark Sedwill. Here’s what he said:

“DSTL [Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down] scientific analysis found that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned using a specific Novichok nerve agent. OPCW’s analysis confirmed the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical. This was found in environmental samples taken at the scene and in biomedical samples from both Skripals and police sergeant Nick Bailey, the first responder.

DSTL established that the highest concentrations were found on the handle of Mr Skripal’s front door. These are matters of fact. But, of course, the DSTL analysis does not identify the country or laboratory of origin of the agent used in this attack.”

According to Mr Sedwill, the highest concentrations of the toxic chemical were found on the handle of Mr Skripal’s front door. But crucially he states that this was established by DSTL, and he does not mention that this was confirmed by the OPCW. So did the OPCW visit the house and swab the door? If not, why not? Surely if the DSTL had already established the door handle as the place with the highest concentration of the substance, then you’d expect the OPCW to have visited the house, and that they would have included a mention of the door handle as being the place with the highest concentrations of the “toxic chemical” in their Summary. But they do not, talking instead about “possible hotspots”. On the other hand, if they did visit it, is it credible that they would have asked no serious questions about why the house had not been sealed off in the aftermath of the incident, and whether anyone had been in and out of the house after the alleged poisoning?

Had they asked that question, the honest answer would have been of course be yes, people did go in and out, and they did so unprotected. Here’s what Karen Gardner, a reporter for BBC Radio Wiltshire, said in her broadcast from outside Mr Skripal’s house on 6th March 2018 (two days after the incident):

“It’s a well-kept house, it’s got a horse shoe on the front door, beautifully presented bay trees in pots in the side of the windows. At the moment there’s quite a lot of activity. When I arrived, there were six or seven police officers and PCSOs coming out of the door. Some of those have left, a couple more have arrived. There is a visible presence outside the house, and severe frowning when I walk too close. A lot of the windows are open and I did see coffee flasks and provisions and empty boxes and things brought out, so it looks like there was a lot of activity late last night overnight [my emphasis].”

In a follow up report to mark the one year anniversary of the case, she had this to say:

“When I was here a year ago, I watched Wiltshire police officers with no or minimal protective clothing going in and out that front door. They were carrying coffee flasks. They appeared to have had refreshments in the house overnight. That was two days after the Skripals had collapsed, at the point the Met had taken over the investigation, shouldn’t those officers have been better protected?

That last question is the wrong one. It is not “shouldn’t they have been better protected”, but rather “given that they weren’t protected, how on earth did they not become contaminated by the substance which was apparently on the door handle and which, according to the OPCW, was high purity, persistent and resistant to weather?”

Let’s not beat about the bush here. Unless the laws of science were suspended in Salisbury during the month of March 2018, the idea that a toxic chemical was placed on the door handle on 4th March, that police officers entered the house after that time, and then weeks later the substance was found at the door in high purity, persistent and weather resistant form, as the OPCW claimed, is fairyland. Perhaps this is why the OPCW report fails to mention where the samples were taken, much less that the highest quantities of the substance were apparently on the door handle and door. But it seems to me that as an organisation with a remit to investigate such incidents, it has failed to ask even the most basic questions about the aftermath, and it has failed to use precise language about the substance and the locations where it was found. One can’t help but ask why this is.

As an aside, the BBC has announced that it is to make a drama about the case fairly soon. Quite apart from anything, this is plain wrong, since the investigation into the case is still ongoing. But I must say I look forward to that bit where the unprotected officers with their coffees and takeaway pizzas manage to get into the house via the door, but without using the door handle, which as you will be aware is normally a necessary part of getting in and out of houses.

In summary, suspicions that the OPCW has now been fatally compromised, utterly politicised and cannot be relied upon to be impartial, which surfaced during the Khan Sheikhoun incident, have now been shown to be absolutely true by the Douma case. Given that this is so, and given the wishy-washy, round the houses language used in their reports into Salisbury and Amesbury, why should anyone believe that this organisation has been impartial and thorough in these cases, or that they will be so in any future cases?

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

America’s Most Pro-Israel Governor: Ron DeSantis Will Send More Florida Money to Israel

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Actions to Affirm Florida’s Support of Israel. Credit: flgov.com
By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | May 18, 2019

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s new governor, should be really proud of himself. He recently recalled that when he ran for governor “… [he] promised to be the most pro-Israel governor in America and that the first delegation [he] would lead would be to the state of Israel.” When he confirmed that he would be taking his entire cabinet with him as part of a 75-person delegation scheduled to leave for Israel on May 25th, he boasted that “Today I’m pleased to report that I’m keeping that promise. Our delegation will bring business, academic and political leaders to help strengthen the bond between Florida and Israel.” DeSantis has promised to hold a meeting of his Cabinet in the American Embassy in Jerusalem during his visit, the first time that such a meeting has ever been held by a state government on foreign soil. During the meeting he will ostentatiously sign a legislative bill “combating anti-Semitism.”

DeSantis has been playing the Israel and anti-Semitism cards throughout his political career. Last year, as a Congressman running for governor, he attacked his opponent Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum during their gubernatorial race as not being a “friend of Israel.” He based his charge on reports that Gillum had received support from the Dream Defenders, a group favoring Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, as well as once having given a speech welcoming members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to his city. DeSantis claimed in a video clip that “I can find anti-Semites around him, but it’s almost like ‘we don’t want to discuss that.’”

As a Congressman, DeSantis sponsored in 2013 the Palestinian Accountability Act which called for the withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state. In 2017, he co-founded the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, saying “Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East, as we share common national interests and possess similar national values. Israel is not the problem in the Middle East; it is the solution to many of the problems that bedevil the region. American policy must ensure that Israel emerges victorious against those who deny or threaten her existence.” Earlier this year, DeSantis drafted a proposal calling on the U.S. to recognize Syria’s Golan Heights as an ‘integral part’ of the State of Israel.

DeSantis boasted about his presence in Jerusalem when the U.S. Embassy was moved to that city one year ago and has promised that on his upcoming trip he will visit Israel’s illegal settlements on the West Bank, which he refers to by the preferred Israeli usage as “Judea and Samaria.” He has threatened critics that “If you boycott Israel, the state of Florida will boycott you” and threatened to “sanction” the holiday rental company Airbnb when it refused to offer properties located in the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank. DeSantis was also the driving force behind recently enacted legislation in his state to punish BDS supporters. The legislation is regarded as the most extreme among U.S. states, including explicit equation of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Another bill pending in Florida will enable citizens to sue teachers or government employees who in any way criticize Israel.

DeSantis, a former U.S. Navy lawyer, has demonstrated that he reveres Israel even more than his former comrades in arms. In his congressional district there were a number of survivors of the U.S.S. Liberty, which was attacked in international waters by Israel on June 8, 1967, killing 34 crewmen and injuring 171 more. They report that DeSantis has been completely unsympathetic to their requests that a commission of inquiry finally be convened to determine what actually happened on that day.

Regarding the upcoming visit, a local Florida radio station conducted an interview with Israeli Consul General in Miami Lior Haiat, who emphasized the economic benefits to be derived from the strong bilateral relationship, who said “The fact that the huge delegation is going from Florida to Israel is just a symbol that the outcome of this delegation will be seen in the relationship between Israel and Florida for years to come. Because this is just the beginning. We’re signing over 10 memorandums of understandings and agreements between Israeli companies and universities and the Floridian companies and universities. This is a huge bridge that Gov. DeSantis is building. We are happy to be part of it.”

Consul General Haiat also noted that “There is a lot of new technology based in Israel that is very relevant to Florida both on the red tide and algae, and we are already connecting Israeli companies with local authorities in able to find what is the most useful technology for that part.  But it’s also for the greening of oranges. This is a huge problem here. I think that the connection between Israel and Florida has a lot of potential since Israel has a lot of agricultural technology based on knowledge, and Florida has a huge sector of agriculture that can use that technology.”

The six days De Santis led boondoggle in Israel is funded by taxpayers. A public records request filed by a local newspaper seeking information on how much the trip would cost has not been responded to by the governor’s office. And the idea that the state of Florida and its citizens will benefit materially from the trip is largely an illusion. This mixing of politics and business interests is essentially corrupt and inevitably leads to abuses that do not serve the public interest, particularly as American citizens who stand to benefit both, directly and indirectly, are quite openly promoting the interests of a foreign nation.

The Florida trip is a perfect example of how Israel’s friends go about setting up mechanisms that will benefit the Jewish state. Israel will be selling its products and services to Florida, enabled by a government in place that is promoting the process and will steer contracts in its direction. In return, Florida will get little or nothing as Israel is a tiny market and has no particular need of anything that the Sunshine State produces.

All such trade agreements are designed to enrich Israel. The 1985 United States free trade agreement with Israel has benefitted the Jewish state by $144 billion, which is the U.S. deficit on the trade between 1985 and 2015. An interesting example of how this works at the state level and the abuse that it can produce has recently surfaced in Virginia, where a so-called Virginia-Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) has actually been funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia taxpayers to promote and even subsidize Israeli business in the state, business that currently runs an estimated $500 million per annum in favor of Israel. Grant Smith’s Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP) has done considerable digging into the affairs of VIAB, which was ostensibly “created to foster closer economic integration between the United States and Israel while supporting the Israeli government’s policy agenda” with a charter defining its role as “advis[ing] the Governor on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and the State of Israel, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, and general government.” Smith has observed that “VIAB is a pilot for how Israel can quietly obtain taxpayer funding and official status for networked entities that advance Israel from within key state governments.”

Florida does not yet have an equivalent of Virginia’s VIAB, but it probably does not need one as the pandering to Israel will be run right out of the governor’s office. So if you want to create jobs and exports for a foreign country at a cost to your own citizens, by all means, follow the DeSantis Florida model and send an expensive trade mission over to Jerusalem to sing the praises of Benjamin Netanyahu and his band of war criminals while also promoting “buy Israel.” But just maybe it would be a better idea to stop shilling for a foreign country. Floridians should insist on keeping the travel money here at home where it might actually do some good while also putting a little pressure on DeSantis, who was elected to serve the people of his state, to stop his unseemly boasting about being the “most pro-Israel governor in America.”

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

FBI’s Steele story falls apart: False intel and media contacts were flagged before FISA

By John Solomon – The Hill – 05/09/19

The FBI’s sworn story to a federal court about its asset, Christopher Steele, is fraying faster than a $5 souvenir T-shirt bought at a tourist trap.

Newly unearthed memos show a high-ranking government official who met with Steele in October 2016 determined some of the Donald Trump dirt that Steele was simultaneously digging up for the FBI and for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was inaccurate, and likely leaked to the media.

The concerns were flagged in a typed memo and in handwritten notes taken by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec on Oct. 11, 2016.

Her observations were recorded exactly 10 days before the FBI used Steele and his infamous dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s contacts with Russia in search of a now debunked collusion theory.

It is important to note that the FBI swore on Oct. 21, 2016, to the FISA judges that Steele’s “reporting has been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings” and the FBI has determined him to be “reliable” and was “unaware of any derogatory information pertaining” to their informant, who simultaneously worked for Fusion GPS, the firm paid by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign to find Russian dirt on Trump.

That’s a pretty remarkable declaration in Footnote 5 on Page 15 of the FISA application, since Kavalec apparently needed just a single encounter with Steele at State to find one of his key claims about Trump-Russia collusion was blatantly false.

In her typed summary, Kavalec wrote that Steele told her the Russians had constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.”

She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”

Kavalec, two days later and well before the FISA warrant was issued, forwarded her typed summary to other government officials. The State Department has redacted the names and agencies of everyone she alerted. It is unlikely that her concerns failed to reach the FBI.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and ranking member of its Subcommittee on Government Operations, told me late Thursday he had confirmed with U.S. officials that Kavalec’s memo was forwarded to the FBI in the Oct. 13, 2016, email.

“This once again shows officials at the FBI and (Department of Justice) DOJ were well aware the dossier was a lie — from very early on in the process all the way to when they made the conscious decision to include it in a FISA application,” he said. “The fact that Christopher Steele and his partisan research document were treated in any way seriously by our Intelligence Community leaders amounts to malpractice.”

FBI and DOJ officials did not respond to a request for comment.

But it is almost certain the FBI knew of Steele’s contact with State and his partisan motive. That’s because former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland says she instructed her staff to send the information they got from Steele to the bureau immediately and to cease contact with the informer because “this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of — not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act.”

Even if the FBI didn’t get Kavalec’s memo, it is just as implausible that the bureau couldn’t figure out, during the many hours that its agents spent with Steele, what Kavalec divined in a few short minutes: He was political, inaccurate, spinning wild theories and talking to the media.

All those concerns would weigh against Steele’s credibility and should have been disclosed to the judges under the honor system that governs the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, experts say.

Kavalec’s handwritten notes clearly flagged in multiple places that Steele might be talking to the media.

“June — reporting started,” she wrote. “NYT and WP have,” she added, in an apparent reference to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Later she quoted Steele as suggesting he was “managing” four priorities — “Client needs, FBI, WashPo/NYT, source protection,” her handwritten notes show.

Those same notes suggest Steele spun some wild theories to State, including one that the Russians had a “plant in DNC” and had assembled an “HRC dossier,” apparent references to the Democratic National Committee and Clinton.

She expounded in her typed memo. “The Russians have succeeded in placing an agent inside the DNC,” she quoted Steele as saying.

Steele offered Kavalec other wild information that easily could have been debunked before the FISA application — and eventually was, in many cases, after the media reported the allegations — including that:

  • Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians;
  • Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort owed the Russians $100 million and was the “go-between” from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Trump;
  • Trump adviser Carter Page met with a senior Russian businessman tied to Putin;
  • The Russians secretly communicated with Trump through a computer system.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, released last month, dispelled all those wild theories while hardly mentioning Steele, except for a passing reference to his dossier being “unverified.” That’s significant, because the FISA request from October 2016 that rested heavily on Steele’s information was marked “verified application” before the FBI submitted it to the court.

And, as I reported earlier this week, Kavalec’s memo clearly warned that Steele had admitted his client was “keen” to get his information out before Election Day. In other words, he had a political, rather than an intelligence, deadline.

David Bossie, head of Citizens United, called on State and the FBI to release the rest of Kavalec’s information they redacted: “Christopher Steele was a political operative. The American people have a right to know why the FBI took this garbage to the FISA court.”

Kavalec’s notes aren’t the only red flag that should have caught the FBI’s attention before the bureau vouched for Steele’s credibility.

Notes and testimony from senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr make clear Steele admitted early on that he was “desperate” to get Trump defeated in the election, was working in some capacity for the GOP candidate’s opponent, and considered his intelligence raw and untested. Ohr testified that he alerted FBI and other senior Justice officials to these concerns in August 2016.

Steele eventually was fired by the FBI for leaking to the press — in violation of his source agreement with the bureau — and lying about it. But that did not happen until Nov. 1, 2016 — after the FISA warrant was secured. And, even then, the court wasn’t notified until a few months later, well after Election Day.

Steele’s admission of media contacts on Oct. 11, 2016, and the mere existence of his meeting at the State Department likewise violated his confidentiality agreement with the bureau and clearly were discoverable well before the FISA warrant was secured Oct. 21, 2016.

If the State Department and Ohr could figure out that Steele was a partisan, paid by a political client and facing an Election Day deadline to broadcast raw intelligence that in some cases probably was false, the FBI should have done the same before it ever envisioned taking his evidence to a FISA court.

May 12, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment