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Laser Weapon Scams

By Carlton Meyer

Lasers are impractical weapons. This is obvious to anyone who spends an hour reading about the limitations of lasers. They are not useful weapons because of the massive electrical power required, because the atmosphere weakens and distorts the beam, because laser beams spread, and because lasers must maintain a precise spot on a moving target for several seconds to burn through. I wrote about this many years ago while contractors stole billions of dollars via the Airborne Laser program that was eventually cancelled. That concept relied on dangerous chemical lasers, but as recent technological innovations allow solid state lasers to grow in power, the laser weapon scammers returned to the Pentagon.

Proposals to place lasers on aircraft are ridiculous given the electrical power required and the simple fact that bouncing aircraft cannot keep a laser aimed on a spot, but profitable contracts have been awarded to Boeing anyway. Ship-based lasers are also bogus. Lasers are line-of-sight (direct fire) weapons and the earth is round. This means a laser cannot engage a low-flying incoming missile until it’s detected coming over the horizon roughly 10-20 miles out. It takes several seconds for radar to track a missile and aim the laser, so it will have perhaps a minute to shoot down the missile, and it requires several seconds of precise lasing to burn through its thin casing.

This is not possible more than a mile away because ship and missile are moving! They roll and bounce up and down. Computer software can predict ship movements and compensate, but not perfectly, and cannot predict the movements of the incoming missile. An incoming missile is always making slight flight adjustments to compensate for air turbulence while tracking its moving ship target, so a laser is unable to keep the beam on target more than a mile away due to the tracking/aiming delay. This means if a dozen missiles are inbound, the system may be able to shoot down only one. And since these systems are the size of a 5-inch gun mount and need most of the electrical power from the ship to fire, a cruiser or destroyer can carry just a couple of systems and will need to remove other weaponry to make room.

Laser range is also limited because particles in the air reflect, scatter, and distort laser beams, even on clear days. This quickly depletes beam power and limits their effective range to less than a mile. This is a complex topic and several, short technical explanations are found in this article and this one from a US Navy research lab that states even in clear weather:

“A number of physical processes affect and limit the amount of laser energy that can be delivered to a target. These effects are interrelated and include thermal blooming, turbulence, and molecular/aerosol absorption and scattering. These processes affect the laser intensity profile by modifying the refractive index of the air, which causes the laser beam wavefront to distort. Wavefront distortion results in enhanced transverse laser beam spreading, and can severely limit the amount of energy that can be propagated. The maritime environment is particularly challenging for high energy-laser (HEL) propagation because of its relatively high water vapor and aerosol content. In the infrared regime, water molecules and aerosols constitute the dominant source of absorption and scattering of laser energy, and represent a limitation for HELs propagating in a maritime atmosphere.”

None of this is secret, yet one reads articles and comments by “experts” and senior officers who seem unaware of these severe limitations. Some of this problem can be overcome by using a low-power targeting laser to analyze the atmosphere in the beam path just before firing the main laser, then using complex optics to adjust lenses to optimize the beam. Billions of dollars were spent the last three decades on this solution with little success because the atmosphere in the beam path constantly changes due to wind and as the beam moves to track a target.

In addition, lasers are worthless in rain, fog, clouds, and haze since beam energy is quickly lost. So even if laser power is greatly improved with magical breakthroughs, an enemy may attack during inclement weather when lasers are useless. Some claim that lasers are the only defense against incoming supersonic missiles, however, such missiles are designed with a hardened nose made with materials to serve as a heat shield needed to resist air friction. A few seconds of laser heating at close range just before it impacts a ship is unlikely to burn through, and wouldn’t stop the missile from hitting the ship even if it burned through. The simple GAU-19 .50 cal/12.7mm gatling gun that can fire up to 33 rounds a second would prove far more effective.

Yet another problem with lasers is “beam divergence.” Lasers do not emit a steady narrow beam, it slowly enlarges and weakens. Here is an excellent diagram of beam divergence from a US Navy manual.

5.3.2. Laser Beam Divergence. Beam divergence is the spread of the laser beam over distance. Laser spot size is a function of beam divergence and the distance from the laser system to the target. If a designator has a beam spread or divergence of 0.25 milliradian, its spot would have a diameter of approximately 0.25 meters at a distance of 1,000 meters in front of the designator. At 5,000 meters, the beam would spread to 1.25 meters; at 10,000 meters, the beam would spread to 2.5 meters (see FIGURE 7).

In this example of a common laser, at just a kilometer (.625 miles) a laser beam aimed to cut through steel expands to ten inches! That can burn skin and start fires, but not harm a tank or even a moving car. In addition, lasers do not destroy upon contact but require several seconds of EXACT lasing to burn through. Here is a video of a 2016 ship test. Note the weather is clear and the slow flying plastic drone is close. This exposes its large delta wing to laser heating, yet it takes ten seconds of laser contact to cause a fire. An inbound sea skimming missile presents a far smaller and much faster target, and if lasers proliferate, missile makers will introduce shiny stainless steel nose cones to reflect most laser light and blind American sailors. They may also program the missile to fly a tight spiral path to the ship the last mile, like the Russian Kornet anti-tank missile.

Lasers look great in tests when the target and laser are close and motionless on the ground, but when both are bouncing around, accuracy is poor. A large ultra-expensive laser may detonate an incoming missile after several seconds of precise lasing as it nears a ship, but would still result in damage as the momentum (kinetic energy) from the missile fragments penetrate. Increasing the power of lasers does not address this aiming problem, the poor weather problem, and increases the “thermal blooming” problem when heated air particles expand faster and weaken the beam.

Lasers can blind optical systems and pilots (as the British did in the Falklands) so lasers are useful in that role. Stationary vehicle-mounted lasers are useful downing small drones flying slow and low overhead. But lasers can never overcome their range limitation or produce the required power to damage missiles and aircraft upon contact. Nevertheless, laser salesmen roam the Pentagon touting solid-state advancements to collect billions of dollars each year for pointless testing and development. In 2016, experts began to complain since laser weapons are obviously impractical. This caused laser scammers to play the secrecy card. The January 2017 issue of National Defense magazine had an article titled: Navy Officials No Longer Talking Publicly About Laser Weapon Systems, which includes this:

“When asked by National Defense for updates on LaWS, and a test of a 150-kilowatt laser aboard a ship that Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran announced last year, he said he would not share them, citing competition between the United States and its adversaries.

‘I’m going to be far more reluctant to talk about things like that,” he said. “When it comes to specific capabilities, when it comes to specific schedules, specific operations, … I would rather find a more appropriately cleared room to talk about that.’

Later during the summit, Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems at OPNAV N9, said that in the past he was happy to speak about program specifics. However, ‘we figured out that the competitors were actually learning and doing their own kind of crowdsourcing thing, learning from us,’ he said. Richardson did stress, however, that while he would no longer give too many details on its laser program, the service was hard at work developing such systems.”

The Admiral is correct. Competitors learned not to waste their time and money on bogus laser weapons! Admiral Manazir also claimed lasers are the future and he needed more money to speed development. However, if his new 150-kilowatt laser could shoot down an incoming missile, he would surely demonstrate this breakthrough. The Admiral did prove capable of dispensing billions of dollars to contractors, so was hired by Boeing in August 2017, the same month he retired from the Navy.

National Defense magazine was good enough to post my comment at the bottom of that article explaining why a ship laser is ineffective, but the article and my comments soon disappeared from the web, and the link to the Navy Research Lab article I quoted is also dead. Laser weapons are a scam, and those profiting will not discuss the issues mentioned in this article because they have no answers. Funding laser research is justifiable, but building and fielding dysfunctional laser weapons is criminal. Nevertheless, in January 2018 the US Navy awarded a contract worth nearly a billion dollars to Lockheed-Martin to deploy two more ultra-expensive, worthless lasers aboard ships.

Carlton Meyer, editorG2mil@Gmail.com

©2018 http://www.G2mil.com

January 26, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

“No One Has Suggested My Son Did Anything Wrong”: Joe Biden Doubles Down On Denial

By Jonathan Turley | January 24, 2020

We have previously discussed the denials of former Vice President Joe Biden that his son did anything wrong in Ukraine. As I have written, not only did Hunter Biden clearly enter into a corrupt (but arguably lawful) contract but Joe Biden did not do enough to confirm that his son was not engaging in influence peddling. Nevertheless, this week, Joe Biden continued this indefensible position and declared bizarrely that “no one has suggested my son did anything wrong.”

According to the Washington Post, Joe Biden declared on the campaign trail that “There’s nobody that’s indicated there’s a single solitary thing that he did that was inappropriate, wrong … or anything other than the appearance. It looked bad that he was there.” He then curiously added “He acknowledges that he in fact made a mistake going on the board.” So, in other words, he did nothing wrong but he apologized for it.

Joe Biden continues to maintain that “no one” has accused his son of wrongdoing when there is a chorus of such allegations. He seems to be drawing a distinction between what is criminal and what is not — as if the criminal code is the only measure of wrongdoing or unethical conduct.

Hunter Biden not only clearly engaged in influence peddling but he is clearly a relevant witness.

Ukraine was a virtual gold rush for Washington’s elite and Hunter Biden was one of the first in line to cash in. Biden’s quest for a Ukrainian windfall took him to one of Ukraine’s most controversial and corrupt associates, Mykola Zlochevsky, who leveraged his post as minister of ecology and natural resources to build a fortune. Before fleeing Ukraine, Zlochevsky paid Hunter Biden and several other Americans to be directors of his energy company, Burisma Holdings. Hunter Biden had no experience in the field — but he did have a notable connection to the vice president, who publicly has bragged about making clear to the Ukrainians that he alone controlled U.S. aid to the country. A stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry also was asked to serve as a director but reportedly declined and warned Hunter Biden not to do it; Biden didn’t listen. He later told The New Yorker that “the decisions that I made were the right decisions for my family and for me.” His decisions certainly were profitable, but they were not “right” as an ethical matter for himself or his father.

The use of spouses or children in influence peddling schemes is a tried and true technique in Washington. You find some kid of a powerful politician and give them a windfall salary or contract. There is no direct bribe or criminal violation, just influence with the politician. Joe Biden seems to believe that, so long as it does not violation the criminal code, it makes it “right” or curiously somehow “not wrong.”

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Corruption | , | Leave a comment

We have legal age limits for driving, voting, and having sex, why not for transgender treatment?

By Tomasz Pierscionek | RT | January 23, 2020

Vulnerable children and adolescents are being influenced by PC culture that elevates rights over responsibilities, teaches children there are over 100 genders, and where a fear of offending others trumps common sense.

Western democracies preach tolerance and require its citizens to accept progressive ideas; the more unconventional the better. A particular idea or course of action may even go against common sense and lead to harm, yet an overriding fear of causing offence or being labelled a [insert blank]-phobe thwarts open discussion about important issues.

There are, however, those who speak out and remind us to think carefully about embarking down a slippery slope from which it is difficult to return.

Susan Evans, a mental health professional and former employee of the UK’s only Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), is asking the High Court to undertake a judicial review and raise the age at which individuals can consent to receiving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to 18. Ms Evans is joined by the parent of a 15-year-old adolescent on the GIDS waiting list.

Although individuals in the UK cannot undergo gender reassignment surgery until the age of 18, children and teenagers suffering from gender dysphoria (uncomfortable feelings brought on by a person’s gender identify differing from their birth sex) may receive medications to slow the onset of puberty and thus delay development of physical characteristics associated with their undesired sex. Later, from the age of 16, either testosterone or oestrogen (cross-sex hormones) are given to help an individual’s physical characteristics better align with those of their preferred gender identity.

Evans wants to raise the age of consent for children with gender identity issues receiving puberty blockers and other cross-sex hormones on the basis that under 18s are unable to provide informed consent for potentially life changing procedures. The former nurse expressed concerns that children, some aged as young as nine, are too hastily prescribed puberty blockers, reportedly the first step on the path towards gender reassignment.

Evans commented: “It’s about informed consent. Under [18s], we don’t think, are sufficiently mature enough to consent to a treatment that is going to potentially affect their adult life, because they go on a pathway. They start the blockers and then they go on the cross-sex hormones. [The trust’s] own research shows that virtually 100% of children they started on the blockers go on to the cross-sex hormones.”

She added“My experience with staff is that they’ve become fearful of doing anything that disagrees with a patient. The important thing in mental health work is to keep an open mind, it’s not to jump to the same conclusion that your patient comes to.”

It is worth noting that across the pond in the US, the state of South Dakota recently passed a bill making it illegal for medics to provide gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy to minors. Similar bills could also be introduced across a number of other US states.

Puberty is confusing at the best of times, we’ve all been there. No one doubts that children and teenagers are more susceptible to external influence than adults and are less capable of considering the future impact of major decisions. Granted, there are exceptions to the rule but it’s safe to say that on the whole adolescents lack knowledge, life experience, forward planning, and an awareness of consequences in contrast to adults. That is partly why we have legal age limits for driving, voting, and having sex. The frontal lobes of the brain – those parts responsible for planning, self-regulation, exercising good judgement, and preventing unwise decisions – are not fully developed in children and adolescents. Evidence even suggests that the frontal lobes may not fully mature until the mid 20s.

An adult has the right to take cross-sex hormones after weighing up the pros and cons, and coming to an informed decision. Part of that right involves accepting the risks and possible regrets that may accompany their decision. Adolescents typically lack the maturity to commence treatments that interfere with their natural development, a decision they may later regret when they find themselves less physically and sexually developed than their peers. Those suffering from gender dysphoria should indeed be supported and offered psychotherapy to help them manage their distress. A rise in under 18s receiving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones could be followed by a rise in medico-legal cases and compensation claims as those same individuals (now adults) later maintain they were insufficiently informed or were not mature enough to provide informed consent. In such cases lawyers would be the only winners.

There has been an explosion in the number of under 18s referred to the GIDS, rising from 94 in 2009-2010 to around 2500 in 2018-2019. Of particular concern are reports that children as young as five have been referred. It is also likely that vulnerable children and adolescents are being influenced by a culture that elevates rights over responsibilities, teaches children that there are over a 100 genders, and where a fear of offending others trumps common sense. As it happens, due to the growing number of referrals, a child or teenager referred to GIDS today might have to wait until early 2024 for their first appointment, giving them plenty of time and opportunities to change their mind.

In the US the gender reassignment industry is now worth over $1.3 billion a year; cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers also provide American Big Pharma with a healthy windfall. It seems that both identity politics advocates and the pharmaceutical industry have a common interest; they wish to exert greater (socio-ideological or financial) influence over future generations. In the battle for profits and minds, neither group is going to step aside without a fight.

Tomasz Pierscionek is a medical doctor and social commentator on medicine, science, and technology. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact and is editor of the London Progressive Journal.

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

Soros pumps $1bn into ‘global education network’ to fight ‘climate change & dictators’ like Trump, Xi & Modi

anti-Soros poster in Hungary © Global Look / Martin Fejer
RT | January 24, 2020

Billionaire George Soros has unveiled a new ambitious project: creating a global university network that would save the world from climate change and rescue democracy itself from ‘dictators’ like US President Donald Trump.

The 89-year-old grey eminence of liberal globalism announced “the most important project of my life” on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Describing the current state of the world as dire, with the strongest powers “in the hands of would-be or actual dictators,” Soros said he would put forth $1 billion towards the creation of the Open Society University Network, revolving around his own Central European University (CEU).

The announcement came as part of Soros’s meandering speech to the gathering of global elites, which painted a dire picture of the world in the hands of “would-be or actual dictators” – he singled out by name Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi – and paragons of “open society” such as the European Union defeated by the UK decision to vote in a pro-Brexit government.

Soros described Trump as a “con man and the ultimate narcissist who wants the world to revolve around him,” accusing the US leader of wanting to “impose his alternative reality not only on his followers but on reality itself.” Just moments later, however, he praised Trump’s hard-line China policy and lamented that it does not go far enough.

The Hungarian-born billionaire held up climate change as a possible rallying cry of the “open society” adherents. He also praised the student-led protests in Hong Kong, holding them up as an example of what young people around the world can do when properly motivated.

This was the lead-in to his university project reveal, through which Soros hopes to unite all “academically excellent but politically endangered scholars” across the globe, whatever that means.

Continuing his crusade against social media, which he also launched in Davos two years ago, Soros slammed Facebook as having “a kind of informal mutual assistance operation” with Trump.

“Facebook will work together to re-elect Trump, and Trump will work to protect Facebook so that this situation cannot be changed and it makes me very concerned about the outcome for 2020,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

“This is just plain wrong,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said when asked about Soros’s comments, for which the ‘Open Society’ magnate did not offer any evidence. Soros has previously funded Facebook’s third-party “fact checker” programs officially designed to “defend democracy.”

While claiming to champion democracy and “open society,” Soros has used massive amounts of money to influence national and local politics in the US, giving $5 million so far to the Democrats’ 2020 efforts to unseat Trump but also bankrolling local prosecutors with radical agendas.

January 23, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Big Tech joins up with Big Brother to turn your private health data into $38bn ‘public treasure’

By Helen Buyniski | RT | January 21, 2020

Big Tech is poised to rake in tens of billions of dollars from a new healthcare record keeping standard that scorns privacy for convenience, creating massive opportunities for extortion and other abuses by criminals and government.

“Wouldn’t life be easier if you could view your full medical history with a few taps on your smartphone?” an upbeat piece touting Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) – a new data standard for healthcare patient data – asked, somewhat rhetorically, on Tuesday in Kaiser Health News. This oversimplified, no-downside spin on a truly ominous technology neglects to warn anyone who’s ever used a health clinic that the medical details of their private life are about to get a lot more public, data-privacy laws be damned, and there will be no putting this particular genie back in the bottle.

The US government has officially thrown its weight behind the rollout of FHIR, mandating in 2020 that all medical providers who receive government funding make patient data available through FHIR-compatible apps. This move cements an unspoken alliance between Big Tech and Big Brother that has repeatedly seen the former deployed to circumvent troublesome constitutional restrictions imposed on the latter. The government may not be able to violate Fourth Amendment provisions against unreasonable search and seizure, but if, say, the FBI wants access to a target’s health records, it no longer has to show up at their doctor’s office with a warrant – those records will be sitting in an unsecured corporate database on the cloud, if history is any guide. Unless the medical records industry seriously overhauls its idea of what constitutes information security, patient data will be fair game for everyone from the NSA to the lowliest basement-bound hacker.

Americans’ health data is supposed to be protected under a law called HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that, at least in theory, gives the patient autonomy over how and where their records are shared. The US Department of Health and Human Services claims 2018 was the biggest year yet for HIPAA enforcement, and a glimpse at the agency’s newsroom shows a constant stream of multi-million-dollar payouts from companies found guilty of treating patient privacy like an afterthought, even a nuisance. Keeping in mind that even this lengthy list only represents the violators who got caught, it’s safe to assume that healthcare providers violate patient privacy on an almost-daily basis, whether by failing to encrypt or otherwise secure patient data or failing to ensure those accessing the data have the authority to do so. FHIR lacks any sort of new provisions to hold these companies responsible for data breaches, which with every patient’s information on the same server will be orders of magnitude more devastating than they already are. FHIR is also expected to stream data from wearable devices like fitness trackers directly into patients’ medical records, opening up a whole new dimension of surveillance.

Without the new government mandate, healthcare providers had been slow to embrace the idea of Google or Microsoft essentially sticking a billion-dollar straw into their patient records and slurping heartily. Health Level Seven International, the private company that devised FHIR, has boasted of the “public treasure” of information exchange that will result from “breaking open the silos” and unleashing decades of stored health data on the world. Paper-based records are described as “chaos,” and even electronic records are lamentably “isolated in electronic silos.” Inert data is not “working for the industry” – never mind that the data legally belongs to patient and practitioner, not “the industry,” and that under FHIR it will be leveraged by private-sector players with no intention of paying any of the parties whose data makes the system valuable. Providers who don’t want to participate in this orgy of financial speculation (the electronic health record “market” is predicted to be worth $38 billion by 2025) aren’t protecting their patients – they’re “information blocking,” according to financial penalties Congress has imposed since 2016. With the 2020 mandate, they’ll be exiled from government pastures entirely, unless they give up their data. Your data.

If this all sounds like paranoid technophobia, look no further than Blue Button, the government-backed initiative to create consumer demand for FHIR by making it the go-to standard for patients to download their personal health records. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce plus the US government have thrown their considerable resources behind this surveillance-state bonanza, which seems designed to trick consumers into prioritizing convenience over safety. The project’s webpage informs patients that the onus is on them to protect their medical data once downloaded, even though the average US internet user knows next to nothing about information security and their government likes to keep things that way. One need only witness US Attorney General William Barr lecturing Apple about the evils of encryption last week in regard to an already-solved case to observe how information security is treated by Washington as an obstacle to what was once called Total Information Awareness before some clever soul in the Pentagon decided the name (but not the concept) was too Orwellian for the public.

FHIR is hardly the first attempt to sell a privacy-destroying technology using convenience, or the first attempt to specifically target medical privacy as a sort of ‘final frontier’ of the surveillance state. But anyone who doesn’t want their latest STD test, abortion, rehab stay, life-threatening allergy, Viagra prescription, or other formerly-private clinical experience ending up in the public domain would be wise to advocate for stricter privacy protections – and steeper penalties for violators, especially app developers – before it’s too late.

January 22, 2020 Posted by | Corruption | | Leave a comment

Joe Biden’s ‘conspiracy theory’ memo to U.S. media doesn’t match the facts

John Solomon Reports | January 21, 2020

Former vice president Joe Biden’s extraordinary campaign memo this week imploring U.S. news media to reject the allegations surrounding his son Hunter’s work for a Ukrainian natural gas company makes several bold declarations.

The memo by Biden campaign aides Kate Bedingfield and Tony Blinken specifically warned reporters covering the impeachment trial they would be acting as “enablers of misinformation” if they repeated allegations that the former vice president forced the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden worked as a highly compensated board member.

Biden’s memo argues there is no evidence that the former vice president’s or Hunter Biden’s conduct raised any concern, and that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s investigation was “dormant” when the vice president forced the prosecutor to be fired in Ukraine.

The memo calls the allegation a “conspiracy theory”  (and, in full disclosure, blames my reporting for the allegations surfacing last year.)

But the memo omits critical impeachment testimony and other evidence that paint a far different portrait than Biden’s there’s-nothing-to-talk-about-here rebuttal.

Here are the facts, with links to public evidence, so you can decide for yourself.

Fact: Joe Biden admitted to forcing Shokin’s firing in March 2016.

It is irrefutable, and not a conspiracy theory, that Joe Biden bragged in this 2018 speech to a foreign policy group that he threatened in March 2016 to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev if then-Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko didn’t immediately fire Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden told the 2018 audience in recounting what he told Poroshenko

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event.

Fact: Shokin’s prosecutors were actively investigating Burisma when he was fired.

While some news organizations cited by the Biden memo have reported the investigation was “dormant” in March 2016, official files released by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office, in fact, show there was substantial investigative activity in the weeks just before Joe Biden forced Shokin’s firing.

The corruption investigations into Burisma and its founder began in 2014. Around the same time, Hunter Biden and his U.S. business partner Devon Archer were added to Burisma’s board, and their Rosemont Seneca Bohais firm began receiving regular $166,666 monthly payments, which totaled nearly $2 million a year. Both banks records seized by the FBI in America and Burisma’s own ledgers in Ukraine confirm these payments.

To put the payments in perspective, the annual amounts paid by Burisma to Hunter Biden’s and Devon Archer’s Rosemont Seneca Bohais firm were 30 times the average median annual household income for everyday Americans.

For a period of time in 2015, those investigations were stalled as Ukraine was creating a new FBI-like law enforcement agency known as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau ((NABU) to investigate endemic corruption in the former Soviet republic.

There was friction between NABU and the prosecutor general’s office for a while. And then in September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt demanded more action in the Burisma investigation. You can read his speech here. Activity ramped up extensively soon after.

In December 2015, the prosecutor’s files show, Shokin’s office transferred the evidence it had gathered against Burisma to NABU for investigation.

In early February 2016, Shokin’s office secured a court order allowing prosecutors to re-seize some of the Burisma founder’s property, including his home and luxury car, as part of the ongoing probe.

Two weeks later, in mid-February 2016, Latvian law enforcement sent this alert to Ukrainian prosecutors flagging several payments from Burisma to American accounts as “suspicious.” The payments included some monies to Hunter Biden’s and Devon Archer’s firm. Latvian authorities recently confirmed it sent the alert.

Shokin told both me and ABC News that just before he was fired under pressure from Joe Biden he also was making plans to interview Hunter Biden.

Fact: Burisma’s lawyers in 2016 were pressing U.S. and Ukrainian authorities to end the corruption investigations.

Burisma’s main U.S. lawyer John Buretta acknowledged in this February 2017 interview with a Ukraine newspaper that the company remained under investigation in 2016, until he negotiated for one case to be dismissed and the other to be settled by payment of a large tax penalty.

Documents released under an open records lawsuit show Burisma legal team was pressuring the State Department in February 2016 to end the corruption allegations against the gas firm and specifically invoked Hunter Biden’s name as part of the campaign. You can read those documents here.

In addition, immediately after Joe Biden succeeded in getting Shokin ousted, Burisma’s lawyers sought to meet with his successor as chief prosecutor to settle the case. Here is the Ukrainian prosecutors’ summary memo of one of their meetings with the firm’s lawyers.

Fact: There is substantial evidence Joe Biden and his office knew about the Burisma probe and his son’s role as a board member.

The New York Times reported in this December 2015 article that the Burisma investigation was ongoing and Hunter Biden’s role in the company was undercutting Joe Biden’s push to fight Ukrainian corruption. The article quoted the vice president’s office.

In addition, Hunter Biden acknowledged in this interview he had discussed his Burisma job with his father on one occasion and that his father responded by saying he hoped the younger Biden knew what he was doing.

And when America’s new ambassador to Ukraine was being confirmed in 2016 before the Senate she was specifically advised to refer questions about Hunter Biden, Burisma and the probe to Joe Biden’s VP office, according to these State Department documents.

Fact: Federal Ethics rules require government officials to avoid taking policy actions affecting close relatives.

Office of Government Ethics rules require all government officials to recuse themselves from any policy actions that could impact a close relative or cause a reasonable person to see the appearance of a conflict of interest or question their impartiality.

“The impartiality rule requires an employee to consider appearance concerns before participating in a particular matter if someone close to the employee is involved as a party to the matter,” these rules state. “This requirement to refrain from participating (or recuse) is designed to avoid the appearance of favoritism in government decision-making.”

Fact: Multiple State Department officials testified the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In House impeachment testimony, Obama-era State Department officials declared the juxtaposition of Joe Biden overseeing Ukraine policy, including the anti-corruption efforts, at the same his son Hunter worked for a Ukraine gas firm under corruption investigation created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In fact, deputy assistant secretary George Kent said he was so concerned by Burisma’s corrupt reputation that he blocked a project the State Department had with Burisma and tried to warn Joe Biden’s office about the concerns about an apparent conflict of interest.

Likewise, the House Democrats’ star impeachment witness, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, agreed the Bidens’ role in Ukraine created an ethic issue. “I think that it could raise the appearance of a conflict of interest,” she testified. You can read her testimony here.

Fact: Hunter Biden acknowleged he may have gotten his Burisma job solely because of his last name.

In this interview last summer, Hunter Biden said it might have been a “mistake” to serve on the Burisma board and that it was possible he was hired simply because of his proximity to the vice president.

“If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would’ve been asked to be on the board of Burisma?,” a reporter asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, in retrospect,” Hunter Biden answered. “But that’s — you know — I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden.”

Fact: Ukraine law enforcement reopened the Burisma investigation in early 2019, well before President Trump mentioned the matter to Ukraine’s new president Vlodymyr Zelensky.

This may be the single biggest under-reported fact in the impeachment scandal: four months before Trump and Zelensky had their infamous phone call, Ukraine law enforcement officials officially reopened their investigation into Burisma and its founder.

The effort began independent of Trump or his lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s legal work. In fact, it was NABU – the very agency Joe Biden and the Obama administration helped start – that recommended in February 2019 to reopen the probe.

NABU director Artem Sytnyk made this announcement that he was recommending a new notice of suspicion be opened to launch the case against Burisma and its founder because of new evidence uncovered by detectives.

Ukrainian officials said that new evidence included records suggesting a possible money laundering scheme dating to 2010 and continuing until 2015.

A month later in March 2019, Deputy Prosecutor General Konstantin Kulyk officially filed this notice of suspicion re-opening the case.

And Reuters recently quoted Ukrainian officials as saying the ongoing probe was expanded to allegations of theft of public funds.

The implications of this timetable are significant to the Trump impeachment trial because the president couldn’t have pressured Ukraine to re-open the investigation in July 2019 when Kiev had already done so on its own, months earlier.

For a complete timeline of all the key events in the Ukraine scandal, you can click here.

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Biden campaign warns media not to spread ‘debunked’ claims about his activities in Ukraine or else

RT | January 20, 2020

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has issued a warning to the media cautioning journalists against spreading what he called “debunked” theories about his controversial role in having a Ukrainian prosecutor removed from office.

In the memo first reported by NBC News, Biden’s campaign accuses President Donald Trump of “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory” that the former VP engaged in wrongdoing when he pressured Ukraine to fire former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

Biden has previously bragged about his role in having Shokin fired, even admitting on camera that he presented an ultimatum to Ukrainian authorities, threatening to withhold a billion-dollar loan guarantee unless the prosecutor was given the boot. It emerged later that Biden’s own son Hunter sat on the board of the Burisma energy company which Shokin had been investigating for corruption.

The memo, described as “unusual” by NBC News, demands that “any media organization referencing, reporting on, or repeating” claims that Biden engaged in wrongdoing “must state clearly and unambiguously that they have been discredited and debunked by authoritative sources.”

The memo instructs journalists that it is “not sufficient” to say allegations against the Democratic candidate are “unsubstantiated.” They must tell readers there is a mountain of evidence which debunks them, it says. Any journalists or media organizations failing to adhere to Biden’s standards in their reporting on his and his families’ activities in Ukraine are accused of “malpractice.”

The memo comes as Republicans call for Hunter Biden to testify during Donald Trump’s impending Senate impeachment trial. Trump was impeached last month by the US House Representatives for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” relating to the alleged claim that he withheld aid from Ukraine in an effort to force an investigation into Biden’s involvement with Burisma and his role in Shokin’s firing.

However, even if Biden’s claim that he was not motivated by his son’s position on Burisma’s board when he insisted on Shokin’s sacking is true, he has already publicly admitted to threatening to withhold money from Ukraine unless authorities did his bidding — which, somewhat ironically, is exactly what Democrats impeached Trump for last month.

One campaign that did not get Biden’s memo is that of Bernie Sanders, which has earned criticism from the left for calling Biden “corrupt” in an attack ad. Among the critics was liberal economist Paul Krugman.

rump’s trial in the Senate is set to kick off this week and has been dismissed by his legal team as a “highly partisan and reckless obsession” engineered by Democrats who want him thrown out of office.

January 20, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

An American Oligarch‘s Dirty Tale of Corruption

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 12.06.2015

Rarely does the world get a true look inside the corrupt world of Western oligarchs and the brazen manipulations they use to enhance their fortunes at the expense of the public good. The following comes from correspondence of the Hungarian-born billionaire, now naturalized American speculator, George Soros. The hacker group CyberBerkut has published online letters allegedly written by Soros that reveal him not only as puppet master of the US-backed Ukraine regime. They also reveal his machinations with the US Government and the officials of the European Union in a scheme where, if he succeeds, he could win billions in the plunder of Ukraine assets. All, of course, would be at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and of EU taxpayers.

What the three hacked documents reveal is a degree of behind-the-scene manipulation of the most minute details of the Kiev regime by the New York billionaire.

In the longest memo, dated March 15, 2015 and marked “Confidential” Soros outlines a detailed map of actions for the Ukraine regime. Titled, “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine,” the memo from Soros calls for steps to “restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement.” To do the restoring, Soros blithely notes that “General Wesley Clark, Polish General Skrzypczak and a few specialists under the auspices of the Atlantic Council [emphasis added—f.w.e.] will advise President Poroshenko how to restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement.”

Soros also calls for supplying lethal arms to Ukraine and secretly training Ukrainian army personnel in Romania to avoid direct NATO presence in Ukraine. The Atlantic Council is a leading Washington pro-NATO think tank.

Notably, Wesley Clark is also a business associate of Soros in BNK Petroleum which does business in Poland.

Clark, some might recall, was the mentally-unstable NATO General in charge of the 1999 bombing of Serbia who ordered NATO soldiers to fire on Russian soldiers guarding the Pristina International Airport. The Russians were there as a part of an agreed joint NATO–Russia peacekeeping operation supposed to police Kosovo. The British Commander, General Mike Jackson refused Clark, retorting, “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you.” Now Clark apparently decided to come out of retirement for the chance to go at Russia directly.

Naked asset grab

In his March 2015 memo Soros further writes that Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s “first priority must be to regain control of financial markets,” which he assures Poroshenko that Soros would be ready to assist in: “I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement.”

He also calls on the EU to give Ukraine an annual aid sum of €11 billion via a special EU borrowing facility. Soros proposes in effect using the EU’s “AAA” top credit rating to provide a risk insurance for investment into Ukraine.

Whose risk would the EU insure?

Soros details, “I am prepared to invest up to €1 billion in Ukrainian businesses. This is likely to attract the interest of the investment community. As stated above, Ukraine must become an attractive investment destination.” Not to leave any doubt, Soros continues, “The investments will be for-profit but I will pledge to contribute the profits to my foundations. This should allay suspicions that I am advocating policies in search of personal gain. “

Anyone familiar with the history of the Soros Open Society Foundations in Eastern Europe and around the world since the late 1980’s, will know that his supposedly philanthropic “democracy-building” projects in Poland, Russia, or Ukraine in the 1990’s allowed Soros the businessman to literally plunder the former communist countries using Harvard University’s “shock therapy” messiah, and Soros associate, Jeffrey Sachs, to convince the post-Soviet governments to privatize and open to a “free market” at once, rather than gradually.

The example of Soros in Liberia is instructive for understanding the seemingly seamless interplay between Soros the shrewd businessman and Soros the philanthropist. In West Africa George Soros backed a former Open Society employee of his, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, giving her international publicity and through his influence, even arranging a Nobel Peace Prize for her in 2011, insuring her election as president. Before her presidency she had been well-indoctrinated into the Western free market game, studying economics at Harvard and working for the US-controlled World Bank in Washington and the Rockefeller Citibank in Nairobi. Before becoming Liberia’s President, she worked for Soros directly as chair of his Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon’s new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to “protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights.”

Naftogaz the target

The Soros memo makes clear he has his eyes on the Ukrainian state gas and energy monopoly, Naftogaz. He writes, “The centerpiece of economic reforms will be the reorganization of Naftogaz and the introduction of market pricing for all forms of energy, replacing hidden subsidies…”

In an earlier letter Soros wrote in December 2014 to both President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Soros openly called for his Shock Therapy: “I want to appeal to you to unite behind the reformers in your government and give your wholehearted support to a radical, ‘big bang’ type of approach. That is to say, administrative controls would be removed and the economy would move to market prices rapidly rather than gradually… Naftogaz needs to be reorganized with a big bang replacing the hidden subsidies…”

Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization “big bang.”

The Puppet-Master?

The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation’s Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine’s independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.

Soros’ foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department. In 2004 just weeks after Soros’ International Renaissance Foundation had succeeded in getting Viktor Yushchenko as President of Ukraine, Michael McFaul wrote an OpEd for the Washington Post. McFaul, a specialist in organizing color revolutions, who later became US Ambassador to Russia, revealed:

Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same.

Soros shapes ‘New Ukraine’

Today the CyberBerkut hacked papers show that Soros’ IRF money is behind creation of a National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree from Poroshenko which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine’s legislature. Soros writes, “The framework for bringing the various branches of government together has also emerged. The National Reform Council (NRC) brings together the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, the Rada and its committees and civil society. The International Renaissance Foundation which is the Ukrainian branch of the Soros Foundations was the sole financial supporter of the NRC until now…”

Soros’ NRC in effect is the vehicle to allow the President to override parliamentary debate to push through “reforms,” with the declared first priority being privatization of Naftogaz and raising gas prices drastically to Ukrainian industry and households, something the bankrupt country can hardly afford.

In his letter to Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk, Soros hints that he played a key role in selection of three key non-Ukrainian ministers—Natalia Jaresko, an American ex- State Department official as Finance Minister; Aivras Abromavicius of Lithuania as Economics Minister, and a health minister from Georgia. Soros in his December 2014 letter, referring to his proposal for a “big bank” privatization of Naftogaz and price rise, states, “You are fortunate to have appointed three ‘new Ukrainian’ ministers and several natives (sic) who are committed to this approach.”

Elsewhere Soros speaks about de facto creating the impression within the EU that the current government of Yatsenyuk is finally cleaning out the notorious corruption that has dominated every Kiev regime since 1991. Creating that temporary reform illusion, he remarks, will convince the EU to cough up the €11 billion annual investment insurance fund. His March 2015 paper says that, “It is essential for the government to produce a visible demonstration (sic) during the next three months in order to change the widely prevailing image of Ukraine as an utterly corrupt country.” That he states will open the EU to make the €11 billion insurance guarantee investment fund.

While saying that it is important to show Ukraine as a country that is not corrupt, Soros reveals he has little concern when transparency and proper procedures block his agenda. Talking about his proposals to reform Ukraine’s constitution to enable privatizations and other Soros-friendly moves, he complains, “The process has been slowed down by the insistence of the newly elected Rada on proper procedures and total transparency.”

Soros suggests that he intends to create this “visible demonstration” through his initiatives, such as using the Soros-funded National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine’s legislature.

George Soros is also using his new European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank to lobby his Ukraine strategy, with his council members such as Alexander Graf Lambsdorff or Joschka Fischer or Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, not to mention former ECB head, Jean-Claude Trichet no doubt playing a subtle role.

George Soros, now 84, was born in Hungary as a Jew, George Sorosz. Soros once boasted in a TV interview that he posed during the war as a gentile with forged papers, assisting the Horthy government to seize property of other Hungarian Jews who were being shipped to the Nazi death camps. Soros told the TV moderator, “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets–that if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would.”

This is the same morality apparently behind Soros’ activities in Ukraine today. It seems again to matter not to him that the Ukrainian government he helped bring to power in the February 2014 US coup d’etat is riddled with explicit anti-semites and self-proclaimed neo-Nazis from the Svoboda Party and Pravy Sektor. George Soros is clearly a devotee of “public-private-partnership.” Only here the public gets fleeced to enrich private investors like Mr. Soros and friends. Cynically, Soros signs his Ukraine strategy memo, “George Soros–A self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine, March 12, 2015.”

January 17, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hear no evil, see no evil, print no evil? MSM warn journalists away from Burisma/Biden info after ‘hack’ report

By Helen Buyniski | RT | January 14, 2020

The US political and media elite have warned any journalist who might think of publishing (or even looking at) material potentially hacked from Ukrainian gas firm Burisma that they’re essentially handing 2020’s election to Russia.

Burisma Holdings – the Ukrainian company where Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden’s son Hunter served as a director – has been hacked, cybersecurity firm Area 1 announced on Tuesday. Area 1 has ties to both the NSA and Crowdstrike, the firm behind 2016’s still-unproven “Russian hacking” allegations, and has fingered “Fancy Bear” – the ‘hacking group’ at the center of those allegations – as the culprit.

No files have been released from the “hack,” but that hasn’t stopped American political and media thought leaders from issuing dire warnings to any journalists thinking of publishing or even reading them if they ever are released. To do so would be giving aid and comfort to the enemy – one step above treason – and nothing less than a capital thoughtcrime, these individuals have suggested.

Daily Beast editor Noah Shachtman put out a notice to his fellow editors warning them to steer clear of any information that could possibly have come from the hack. Since there was no confirmation of any data being copied, planted, or removed in that “hack,” editors might just want to be safe and ignore any negative information that might emerge relating to Biden. Problem solved!

According to Area 1, the Burisma “hack” echoed the setup that brought down Clinton campaign director John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee in 2016 – a phishing scheme in which executives received emails linking to fake login pages and a few hapless dupes fed their passwords to the scammers. Area 1 didn’t share what (if any) data had been accessed or stolen – they merely informed the media that “the timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the GRU hacks we saw in 2016 against the DNC and John Podesta… in what we can only assume is a repeat of Russian interference in the last election.”

As if on cue, 2016’s victim-in-chief, former Secretary of State and almost-president Hillary Clinton, leapt into the fray, lamenting that “Russians appear to be re-running their 2016 hacking playbook.” She warned the media against “playing along” by publishing any ‘hacked’ material, lest “the Russians help pick our POTUS again.”

A CNN reporter weighed in, warning “Russia could leak Burisma emails, and slip in some doctored emails, to harm Biden later on, if he is the Democratic nominee.” Russiagate true-believer Malcolm Nance predicted an oddly specific version of the same thing. And MSNBC took that conspiratorial line public, essentially warning Americans to discard any and all leaked emails, lest a few fakes (or deepfakes!) slip by.

“We are just not clear on what’s real and what’s not anymore,” an ‘expert’ lamented, sounding vaguely panicked.

News of the “hack” follows closely on the heels of anonymous US officials’ claim that “Russian disinformation operations” are targeting Biden – once the surefire Democratic frontrunner, but lately second to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and even Pete Buttigieg, depending on the poll. The Biden campaign seized on news of the “hack” as proof their candidate was still a force to be reckoned with, making sure to get in a dig at President Donald Trump at the same time in campaign spokesman Andrew Bates’ comment to the New York Times. “Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections,” he said, surprising anyone who didn’t realize ‘the sovereignty of our elections’ extends deep into Ukraine.

Area 1 specializes in “preemptive cybersecurity,” and asking the entire US news media to ignore any data that might potentially have come from a phishing attack on a Ukrainian energy firm fits that definition rather well. But interfering with freedom of the press in the name of preventing foreign interference means there’s no need for a Russian bogeyman anymore – the political establishment can defeat itself.

January 14, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

UkraineGate documentary: Joe Biden’s ‘someone solid’ for Ukrainian General Prosecutor was anything but

Click here for video

RT | January 13, 2020

Former US vice-president and White House hopeful Joe Biden “brazenly lied” about supporting anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine while actually hindering them, according to a new hard-hitting documentary film.

US President Donald Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives based on the narrative that he interfered in Ukrainian domestic affairs for personal political gain – but it was Biden himself who interfered while he was Barack Obama’s deputy, according to ‘UkraineGate: Inconvenient Facts.’

The documentary was produced by French investigative journalist Olivier Berruyer, founder of popular anti-corruption and economics blog Les Crises.

Biden publicly boasted about using US and international aid as leverage in 2015 to get prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired and replaced by Yuriy Lutsenko, who was an interior minister in 2005-2006 but was later convicted by a Ukrainian court for corruption. After the 2014 Euromaidan coup the sentence was quashed.

Those interviewed in Berruyer’s film describe Lutsenko as a “crook” who was “abusing his office,” a man who “does not have any moral values and principles,” and who had done “nothing” to fight corruption while in his post.

“Our investigation and its many powerful testimonies prove that Joe Biden lied brazenly and misled many people” when he claimed Shokin’s replacement was “someone solid,” says Berruyer.

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

How much difference do Russia’s new nuclear weapons really make?

By Padraig McGrath | January 10, 2020

Are Russia’s Avangard and Sarmat missiles really the game-changers which they’re depicted to be?

Readers may recall President Putin’s unveiling of these weapons systems on May 1st 2018. His state of the union address to the federal assembly that day could certainly be described as provocative, perhaps inadvisably so. Ever since then, both Russian and western media have discussed at length the numerous reasons why these ICBM’s render all currently existent missile-defence systems obsolete.

First and foremost, these weapons are seen as invulnerable to all currently existent missile defence systems because of their hypersonic capabilities. Avangard can fly at about 33 thousand kilometres per hour, or 27 times the speed of sound. The RS-28 Sarmat can fly in excess of 25 thousand kilometres per hour.

Missile defence systems, fundamentally, work on the basis of the premise that if an interceptor missile can detonate its own nuclear warhead within a 10-kilometre radius of the flight-path of the missile which it is attempting to intercept, then the resulting shock-wave stands a pretty good chance of bringing the target down or otherwise knocking it out of its flight-path. So, in practical terms, “intercepting” a nuclear missile means getting an interceptor to within a 10-kilometre radius of its flight-path.

However, under actual battle-conditions, the chances of intercepting ICBM’s in this way would not be particularly good to start with. Therefore, a more effective missile defence methodology is simply to “intercept” them during their boost phases – that is to say, before they launch. Hit them before they leave the ground.

Both the Avangard and the Sarmat fly far, far too fast for aerial interception to be plausible.

Furthermore, both the Avangard and the Sarmat can be re-maneuvered in mid-flight, making it extremely difficult for missile defence systems to predict their trajectories. In the case of Sarmat, an added problem for currently existent missile defence systems is that it has an extremely short boost phase, making it difficult for spy-satellites to identify the imminent threat in time, and also making it more difficult to track once it has launched.

However, there is one solid counter-argument to the idea that, strategically, these new weapons-systems change everything.

Namely, Russia already had hypersonic ICBM capability 15 years ago. The Topol-M SS27 was and is hypersonic, capable of flying at about 14 thousand kilometres per hour. It’s not quite as fast as the Sarmat or Avangard, but it’s still far too fast for any interceptor to have a realistic chance to getting within the required 10-kilometre radius of its flight-path. Furthermore, the Topol-M SS27 could be re-maneuvered in mid-flight, just as Sarmat and Avangard can, and it releases a multiplicity of different warheads, each with a different trajectory, once it nears its target. Furthermore, the Topol-M SS27 could be launched from the back of a truck, making it almost impossible to pre-empt during its boost-phase.

In short, all of NATO’s currently existent missile defence infrastructure was already obsolete 15 years ago.

Scott Ritter is a former US intelligence officer and weapons inspector who participated in formal inspections-teams at the Votkinsk Machine-Building Plant, where the SS-27 and its predecessor the SS-25 were assembled. In January 2005, he argued that “to counter the SS-27 threat, the US will need to start from scratch… The US cannot afford to spend billions of dollars on a missile-defense system that will never achieve the level of defense envisioned. The Bush administration’s embrace of technology, and rejection of diplomacy, when it comes to arms control, has failed.”

Neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration ever did start from scratch. They simply pressed ahead with the installation and deployment of missile defence systems which they knew were already obsolete. The Trump administration adheres to the same obtuse path.

The desire to protect the interests of the US corporations which contract for the Aegis missile defence project is only one of the motivations which drives this policy. In addition, the presence of Aegis missile defence installations in Poland and Romania economically incentivizes local elites within those countries to propagandize their own populations, to amplify fears of the Russian bear at the local level, thereby cementing ideological loyalty within the NATO defence-apparatus.

Furthermore, it should be noted that it has never been possible to test any missile defence system under anything even realistically simulating actual battle-conditions. Missile defence systems are tested one shot at a time, which is completely unrealistic. Under actual battle-conditions, they would be required to intercept several dozen ICBM’s in simultaneous flight, and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that more than a fraction of the ICBM’s would be successfully intercepted.

Therefore, we can say that the primary strategic purpose of a missile defence installation, as opposed to its economic purpose or ideological purpose, is simply to serve as a pretext for its adjoining radar-installation. Parked so close to Russia’s borders, these installations are elaborate pretexts for electronic espionage or signals-intelligence (SIGINT).

However, the Russian government is playing the same game – both sides have their own reasons for pretending that Sarmat and Avangard are “game-changers,” when in fact we know that the Topol-M SS27 was the real game-changer. While the nations within the western alliance maintain this pretense in order to justify increasingly gargantuan defence-budgets and to propagandize their own populations with Russophobic hysteria, the government of the Russian Federation does so in order to persuade Russia’s population that perpetual geo-strategic threats are being addressed. As with much content published in Russia’s media-space, the disproportionate focus on geo-strategy, external relations and external security issues occurs because these are the spheres in which the Russian government is at its most professionally competent. This disproportionate media-focus, therefore, is devised in order to detract attention from domestic issues wherein the government’s record of effective policy-implementation has not been quite so successful.

January 10, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Video from outside cell during Epstein’s first ‘suicide attempt’ deleted – after being lost & found

RT | January 9, 2020

Surveillance footage from outside notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell during his first alleged suicide attempt in July has been deleted, concluding a comedy of errors that saw the video first lost, then found.

Video from outside the deceased financier’s cell, on the day he was found semi-conscious on the floor with marks on his neck, believed to have attempted suicide, has been permanently deleted by Metropolitan Correctional Center, according to a court filing. The jail allegedly saved video from the wrong tier of the facility. A backup system that should have retained the deleted footage stopped functioning in August, and the video no longer exists there either due to “technical errors,” prosecutors claimed. It is the latest in a long series of “mistakes” and anomalies surrounding the convicted sex offender’s death.

The footage had a complicated journey before its final meeting with oblivion, if media reports are to be believed. Prosecutors claimed to have “found” the video on December 19, a day after a prosecutor said it had gone missing during a hearing. When it was found, it was said to have been properly preserved by MCC staff. The footage had been requested by attorneys for Epstein’s former cellmate, a burly ex-cop named Nicholas Tartaglione, accused of killing four people in a drug deal gone bad and burying them in his backyard.

They asked to see the tape in the hope of obtaining a more lenient sentence for Tartaglione, after he claimed he had helped save Epstein’s life – only to be stonewalled for nearly five months.

Epstein allegedly attempted suicide on July 23, only to be saved by Tartaglione. Just two days later, Tartaglione’s attorneys asked to see the surveillance footage, only to be “told that it was not retained,” one lawyer recalled to CNBC. It’s not clear why this went unremarked-upon for five months or where the footage was ultimately found.

Crucially, it appears the footage was still in limbo when Epstein was found dead on the morning of August 10. His death was ruled a suicide, though a celebrity pathologist hired by his family claimed his body showed evidence of homicidal strangulation and witnesses heard “shrieking and yelling” coming from his cell that morning.
Also on rt.com Epstein autopsy photos add to murder speculation

Epstein’s death – the first ‘suicide’ inside the MCC in decades – remains shrouded in mystery. Two guards have been charged with negligence for failing to check on their infamous prisoner for hours, and surveillance video from that day was deemed “unusable.” Revelations that Epstein had compromising material on many of his powerful friends gave rise to numerous alternate theories about his death.

January 9, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | | 4 Comments