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Bellingcat DID take UK Foreign Office money, open logs show, directly contradicting Eliot Higgins’ claims

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 27, 2020

Controversial ‘open source investigations’ website Bellingcat was paid directly by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) at least once, official data shows, debunking its founder and chief’s claims to the contrary.

Suggestions that Bellingcat is a tool of Western governments, and funded by them directly, have long-abounded – and consistently been denied by founder and chief Eliot Higgins.

Such allegations reached fever pitch in late 2018, when files related to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) military intelligence operation Integrity Initiative were leaked by hacktivist collective Anonymous. The papers revealed the secret endeavour, among other things, worked to discredit left-leaning, anti-war figures at home and abroad, and maintained clandestine global networks of journalists, academics, and military and intelligence operatives to spread pro-Western propaganda and encourage more aggressive policies toward Moscow.

Several documents openly referred to Bellingcat, at least one suggesting the organizations were collaborating on certain projects – if true, this would in turn imply Bellingcat was in receipt of FCO cash. Higgins was repeatedly probed on the question via Twitter, but he strenuously denied Bellingcat had conducted any work for or with the Initiative, or received FCO funding.

However, publicly-available documents prove the latter contention, at least, to be an outright lie. As Declassified UK chief Matt Kennard revealed on Twitter on October  26, official FCO procurement figures make clear the department paid Bellingcat £1,800 on December 20 2018 for “consulting, management and public relations” services – mere days prior to several of Higgins’ spirited denials.

The precise nature of the “consulting, management and public relations” services rendered by the organization is unclear, although it may be related to shadowy FCO program Open Information Partnership (OIP).

Officially, under its auspices Bellingcat collaborates with the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab, Zinc Network and Media Diversity Institute to “work together through peer-to-peer learning, training and working groups to pioneer methods to expose disinformation,” in collaboration with a sizable network of NGOs across Europe.

However, leaked documents suggest the endeavor is in actuality an avowed “disinformation factory” itself, seeking to covertly further Whitehall’s global policy objectives, seeking to influence “elections taking place in countries of particular interest to the FCO,” and other malign objectives – and strongly suggest Integrity Initiative is involved in the endeavour, or at least was at some stage.

The Initiative’s parent ‘charity’ Institute for Statecraft was named as one of OIP’s partners alongside Bellingcat et al, a number of Initiative staff were to be seconded to OIP, and the Initiative’s “pre-existing pool of contacts” was intended to serve “as a springboard for the identification of new potential network members.”

Significantly, the documents also detail numerous examples of OIP partners collaborating prior to the program’s April 2019 launch – yet further indications Eliot Higgins was also lying when he denied Bellingcat had ever joined forces with the Integrity Initiative.

For instance, in Ukraine OIP collaborated with a dozen online ‘influencers’ “to counter Kremlin-backed messaging through innovative editorial strategies, audience segmentation, and production models that reflected the complex and sensitive political environment,” in the process allowing them to “reach wider audiences with compelling content that received over four million views.”

In Russia and Central Asia, OIP worked with a network of ‘YouTubers’ in Russia and Central Asia to create videos “promoting media integrity and democratic values.” Somewhat sinisterly, participants were also taught how to “make and receive international payments without being registered as external sources of funding” and “develop editorial strategies to deliver key messages,” while the organization minimized their “risk of prosecution” and managed “project communications” to ensure the existence of the network, and indeed OIP’s role, were kept “confidential.”

Bellingcat’s website notes the organization is an OIP partner, although the fact that the program is funded entirely by the FCO – a fact openly stated on OIP’s homepage – isn’t mentioned. Upon the endeavour’s launch, Higgins was keen to claim Bellingcat was “subcontracted” for the project by OIP partner Zinc Network, which in turn received FCO funds. A cynic might suggest this semantic fudge allowed him to maintain the fiction Bellingcat wasn’t funded directly by the FCO, thus preserving the myth the organization is an independent citizen journalist collective, while nonetheless being heavily bankrolled by the UK government.

Alternatively, it may be the case that Whitehall itself wishes to distance itself from Higgins. After all, a leaked FCO-commissioned appraisal of Bellingcat concluded the organization was “somewhat discredited, both by spreading disinformation itself, and by being willing to produce reports for anyone willing to pay.”

Whatever the truth of the matter, there are indications Bellingcat’s relationship with the FCO may extend far further than what can be pieced together from publicly-available information. A Freedom of Information request submitted to the FCO in January 2019 asked the department for all internal documents related to research on the Syrian crisis mentioning Bellingcat, particularly those relating to the use of chemical weapons in the country, and “any documents that refer to the reliability of Bellingcat as a source when drafting research assessments.”

In response, the FCO stated it could “neither confirm nor deny it holds information relevant to your request,” on the grounds of “safeguarding national security.”

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Nine Covid Facts: A Pandemic of Fearmongering and Ignorance

By Jeff Harris | Ron Paul Institute | October 28, 2020

Ever since the alleged pandemic erupted this past March the mainstream media has spewed a non-stop stream of misinformation that appears to be laser focused on generating maximum fear among the citizenry. But the facts and the science simply don’t support the grave picture painted of a deadly virus sweeping the land.

Yes we do have a pandemic, but it’ a pandemic of ginned up pseudo-science masquerading as unbiased fact. Here are nine facts backed up with data, in many cases from the CDC itself that paints a very different picture from the fear and dread being relentlessly drummed into the brains of unsuspecting citizens.

1) The PCR test is practically useless

According to an article in the New York Times August 29th 2020 testing for the Covid-19 virus using the popular PCR method results in up to 90% of those tested showing positive results that are grossly misleading.

Officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada compiled testing data that revealed the PCR test can NOT determine the amount of virus in a sample. (viral load) The amount of virus in up to 90% of positive results turned out to be so miniscule that the patient was asymptomatic and posed no threat to others. So the positive Covid-19 tests are virtually meaningless.

2) A positive test is NOT a CASE

For some reason every positive Covid-19 test is immediately designated a CASE. As we saw in #1 above up to 90% of positive Covid-19 tests result in miniscule amounts of virus that do not sicken the subject. Historically only patients who demonstrated actual symptoms of an illness were considered a case. Publishing positive test results as “CASES” is grossly misleading and needlessly alarming.

3) The Centers for Disease Control dramatically lowered the Covid-19 Death Count

On August 30th the CDC released new data that showed only 6% of the deaths previously attributed to Covid-19 were due exclusively to the virus. The vast majority, 94%, may have had exposure to Covid-19 but also had preexisting illnesses like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, cancer and various respiratory illnesses. While they died with Covid-19 they did NOT die exclusively from Covid-19.

4) CDC reports Covid-19 Survival Rate over 99% 

The CDC updated their “Current Best Estimate” for Covid-19 survival on September 10th showing that over 99% of people exposed to the virus survived. Another way to say this is that less than 1% of the exposures are potentially life threatening. According to the CDC the vast majority of deaths attributed to Covid-19 were concentrated in the population over age 70, close to normal life expectancy.

5) CDC reveals 85% of Positive Covid cases wore face masks Always or Often 

In September of 2020 the CDC released the results of a study conducted in July where they discovered that 85% of the positive Covid test subjects reported wearing a cloth face mask always or often for two weeks prior to testing positive. The majority, 71% of the test subjects reported always wearing a cloth face mask and 14% reported often wearing a cloth face mask. The only rational conclusion from this study is that cloth face masks offer little if any protection from Covid-19 infection.

6) There are inexpensive, proven therapies for Covid-19

Harvey Risch, MD, PhD heads the Yale University School of Epidemiology. He authored “The Key to Defeating Covid-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It” which was published in Newsweek Magazine July 23rd, 2020. Dr. Risch documents the proven effectiveness of treating patients diagnosed with Covid-19 using a combination of Hydroxychloroquine, an antibiotic like azithromycin and the nutritional supplement zinc. Medical Doctors across the globe have reported very positive results using this protocol particularly for early stage Covid patients.

7) The US Death Rate is NOT spiking

If Covid-19 was the lethal killer it’s made out to be one would reasonably expect to see a significant spike in the number of deaths reported. But that hasn’t happened. According to the CDC as of early May 2020 the total number of deaths in the US was 944,251 from January 1 – April 30th. This is actually slightly lower than the number of deaths during the same period in 2017 when 946,067 total deaths were reported.

8) Most Covid-19 Deaths Occur at the End of a normal Lifespan

According to the CDC as of 2017 US males can expect a normal lifespan of 76.1 years and females 81.1 years. A little over 80% of the suspected Covid-19 deaths have occurred in people over age 65. According to a June 28th New York Post article almost half of all Covid suspected deaths have occurred in Nursing Homes which predominately house people with preexisting health conditions and close to or past their normal life expectancy.

9) CDC Data Shows Minimal Covid Risk to Children and Young Adults

The CDC reported in their September 10th update that it’s estimated Infection Mortality Rate (IFR) for children age 0-19 was so low that 99.97% of those infected with the virus survived. For 20-49 year-olds the survival rate was almost as good at 99.98%. Even those 70 years-old and older had a survival rate of 94.6%. To put this in perspective the CDC data suggest that a child or young adult up to age 19 has a greater chance of death from some type of accident than they do from Covid-19.

Taken together it should be obvious that Covid-19 is pretty similar to typical flu viruses that sicken some people annually. The vast majority are able to successfully fight off the virus with their body’s natural immune system. Common sense precautions should be taken, particularly by those over age 65 that suffer from preexisting medical conditions.

The gross over reaction by government leaders to this illness is causing much more distress, physical, emotional and financial, than the virus ever could on its own. The bottom line is there is NO pandemic, just a typical flu season that has been wildly blown out of proportion by 24/7 media propaganda and enabled by the masses paralyzed by irrational fear.

State and local governments in particular have ignored the rights of the people and have instituted outrageous attacks on freedom and liberty that was bought and paid for by the blood and sacrifice of our forefathers.

Slowly the people are recognizing the great fraud perpetrated on them by bureaucrats and elected officials who have sworn to uphold rights and freedoms as spelled out in the US Constitution. The time has come to hold these criminals accountable by utilizing the legal system to bring them to justice.

Either we act now to preserve freedom and liberty for our children and future generations yet unborn, or we meekly submit to tyrants who crave more power and control. I will not comply!

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Disinformation By Popular Demand: How The Authenticity of Hunter’s Laptop Became Immaterial

By Jonathan Turley | October 27, 2020

Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden was again insisting that the scandal involving Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation despite the direct refutation of that claim by the FBI. No mainstream reporter bothered to ask the simple question of whether this was his son’s laptop and emails, including emails clearly engaging in an influence peddling scheme and referring to Joe Biden’s knowledge.  Instead, media has maintained a consistent and narrow focus. Indeed, in her interview, Leslie Stahl immediately dismissed any “scandal” involving Hunter in an interview with the President on 60 Minutes. It was an open example of what I previously noted in a column: “After all, an allegation is a scandal only if it is damaging. No coverage, no damage, no scandal.”

In her interview with Joe Biden, CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell did not push Biden to simply confirm that the emails were fake or whether he did in fact meet with Hunter’s associates (despite his prior denials). Instead O’Donnell asked: “Do you believe the recent leak of material allegedly from Hunter’s computer is part of a Russian disinformation campaign?”

Biden responded with the same answer that has gone unchallenged dozens of times:

“From what I’ve read and know the intelligence community warned the president that Giuliani was being fed disinformation from the Russians. And we also know that Putin is trying very hard to spread disinformation about Joe Biden. And so when you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani– the president, together– it’s just what it is. It’s a smear campaign because he has nothing he wants to talk about. What is he running on? What is he running on?”

It did not matter that the answer omitted the key assertion that this was not Hunter’s laptop or emails or that he did not leave the computer with this store.

Recently, Washington Post columnist Thomas Rid wrote said the quiet part out loud by telling the media: “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.”

Let that sink in for a second. It does not matter if these are real emails and not Russian disinformation. They probably are real but should be treated as disinformation even though American intelligence has repeatedly rebutted that claim. It does not even matter that the FBI has seized the computer as evidence in a criminal fraud investigation or that a Biden confidant is now giving his allegations to the FBI under threat of criminal charges if he lies to investigators.

It simply does not matter. It is disinformation because it is simply inconvenient to treat it as real information.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Anthony Fauci: 40 Years of Lies From AZT to Remdesivir

As the planet’s “Virus Tsar” since 1984, he has spread misinformation and ignored critical questions. The consequences could hardly be more fatal.

By Torsten Engelbrecht & Konstantin Demeter | OffGuardian | October 27, 2020

Last week, US president Donald Trump committed a kind of blasphemy by attacking Anthony Fauci, his pandemic consultant and practically the spokesperson for the White House regarding COVID-19, saying that:

“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots. He’s been here for 500 years.  Fauci is a disaster. If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths.”

A remarkable statement of historical dimension, since Trump is the first American head of state to casts doubt on Fauci, who has acted as the virus tsar for no less than six presidencies: Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama and Trump.

To make it clear, the logic behind Trump’s attack is scientifically unfounded. He refers to a statement of Fauci he made some months ago, according to which people should “not wear face masks.” But even if all Americans had followed this advice, it would not have lead to a single extra death.

The simple reason is that the COVID-19 death rate data show unambiguously that a viral cause for the excess mortality seen in some countries, including the US, is virtually impossible — and that instead the massive experimental use of highly toxic drugs is the key factor in this context, as I recently outlined together with Claus Köhnlein MD, in an in-depth analysis for Real News Australia.

But on one point Trump hits the nail on the head: Fauci is simply a disaster, because he has been telling the world one lie after another for decades, why his presence actually feels almost as if he has been there for 500 years. And tragically, the mass media sell them to their audience of billions as a kind of gospel.

An example is — there’s no other way to put it — the downright shameful four page interview with Anthony Fauci in Germany’s best-known news magazine, Der Spiegel, published recently.

Shameful because Fauci here, too, is doing what he is a master at, namely, hoaxing the world — and Der Spiegel has been hoodwinked by him and, in admiration for the man dubbed by The New Yorker as “America’s Doctor,” which is a euphemism of the highest order, has forgotten to do its job: to ask critical questions.

The initial question alone is unworthy of a journalistic medium:

“Dr. Fauci, you once said of yourself that you had‚ a reputation of speaking the truth at all times and not sugarcoating things. Can we hope to get a few samples of previously unspoken truths from you today?”

And Fauci answers:

“Of course! I will always give you truth. Just ask the question and I’ll give you the truth. At least to the extent, that I think it is, right [laughs].”

Fauci: 36 years as the Modern Munchausen

What a farce. What Fauci thinks is right may be true for himself. But his statements do not stand up to an objective examination of scientific evidence.

Therefore he is not only “Dr. Wrong”, as he has been called recently by the conservative economist Stephen Moore, but actually “Dr. Baron of Lies”, because he must be aware that he is telling the untruth or that there are well-supported doubts about his theses. Especially because, since the beginning of his “reign” as global virus tsar in 1984, he has been repeatedly confronted with critical questions by many people (including me).

And what was his reaction over and over again? He just silenced and ignored the inquirers.

This is why his answer to Der Spiegel, “Just ask the question and I’ll give you the truth” is also a downright Fauci lie.

Unfortunately, he gets away with it not least because even world-famous personalities like Brad Pitt buy his lies and sell him to the world public as thoroughly sincere.

This is what happened on April 25, when the Hollywood star portrayed Fauci on Saturday Night Live. With a Fauci wig on his head and with the virus tsar’s typical raspy voice Brad Pitt spoke: “Until [I am getting fired by Trump], I am gonna be there puttin’ out the facts to whoever is listening.”

And at the end of the performance the actor took off the wig and said in his own voice: “To the real Dr. Fauci. Thank you for your calm, and your clarity in this unnverving time.” ix

But the only truth in these statements by Brad Pitt is that we live in “unnerving times.”

In fact, not outlining the facts, but saying the untruth and not answering is a characteristic behaviour that runs through Fauci’s entire 36 years in which the now 79-year-old has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). And this has very serious consequences.

Because with a current annual budget of almost six billion dollars, Fauci’s institute is a giant in AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and autoimmune research — while he himself is perhaps the most powerful man in the global virus circus.

The abundance of lies Fauci puts into the world is so great that you don’t even know where to start to enumerate them all. One of the many topic fields about which he is sending out factually untenable statements to the whole world is without question COVID-19. In order to become aware of this, one has to realize that:

Thus, Fauci‘s narratives about the alleged novel coronavirus become a downright fairy tale. And a fairy tale teller, a modern-day Munchausen “Baron of Lies”, Fauci has been since he became the director of the NIAID in 1984 — the year Ronald Reagan was US president and AIDS was put on the world stage.

This was a turning point in modern world history. Since then the virus hunters enjoy god-like status, and this was accomplished by lies and deceit. Fauci played a decisive role in its creation, and the parallels to the “installation” of COVID-19 are striking.

How Fauci’s Falsehoods turned AZT into a “magic bullet”

How could this happen? Not least due to the swine flu disaster in 1976 in which 50 million US citizens were persuaded to get vaccinated, resulting in side effects in 20 percent to 40 percent of recipients, including paralysis and even death, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came into unsettled political waters at the end of the 1970s.

As a result, the great contemplation began at these two most powerful organizations related to health politics and biomedical science.

In fact, Red Cross officer Paul Cumming told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1994 that “the CDC increasingly needed a major epidemic” at the beginning of the 1980s “to justify its existence.” And the HIV/AIDS theory was a salvation for American epidemic authorities.

As a result, “All the old virus hunters from the National Cancer Institute put new signs on their doors and became AIDS researchers. [US President Ronald] Reagan sent up about a billion dollars just for starters,” noted Kary Mullis who received the Nobel Prize for his invention of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which plays a central role in the context of COVID-19. “And suddenly everybody who could claim to be any kind of medical scientist and who hadn’t had anything much to do lately was fully employed.“

Among those who jumped over from cancer research to AIDS research, the best known is Robert Gallo. “HIV didn’t suddenly pop out of the rain forest or Haiti. It just popped into Bob Gallo’s hands at a time when he needed a new career,” as Mullis, who unfortunately died last year, noted with a wink.

And it started with big lies. The most important one was announced in April 1984 by Gallo, working under Fauci, when he claimed in a press conference that gained worldwide attention that “the probable cause of AIDS has been found.“

NB. Gallo’s papers were printed in the journal Science over one week after his press conference and also after he had filed a patent application for an antibody test later misleadingly named “HIV test”. Thus, nobody was able to review his work prior to his spectacular TV appearance, and for some days afterwards.

This presented a severe breach of professional scientific etiquette. And as review later showed Gallo’s studies did not deliver any proof for the virus thesis.[1]

Mullis confirmed it as well:

“People keep asking me, ‘You mean you don’t believe that HIV causes AIDS?’ And I say, ‘Whether I believe it or not is irrelevant! I have no scientific evidence for it!’ I might believe in God, and He could have told me in a dream that HIV causes AIDS. But I wouldn’t stand up in front of scientists and say, ‘I believe HIV causes AIDS because God told me.’ I’d say, ‘I have papers here in hand and experiments that have been done that can be demonstrated to others.’ It’s not what somebody believes, it’s experimental proof that counts. And neither Montagnier, Gallo, nor anyone else had published papers describing experiments which led to the conclusion that HIV probably caused AIDS.”

Mullis even had the opportunity to ask Montagnier personally about a reference proving that HIV causes AIDS. But he couldn’t name one. “It was damned irritating,“ as Mullis reported. “If Montagnier didn’t know the answer, who the hell did?“

Of course, whoever is in possession of a solid peer-reviewed study that proves that HIV causes AIDS may please present it to me or my co-author!

I have searched for such a study by myself, but haven’t found it, either. I have also approached Anthony Fauci and his NIAID several times asking them, among other things, to send me such a study showing that HIV is a retrovirus that causes a deadly infection. Finally, I was told by Hillary Hoffman from the NIAID’s News and Science Writing Branch that:

“Dr. Fauci respectfully declines to respond to the questions that you emailed.”[2]

About this practice of refusing to answer questions Horace F. Judson, historian of molecular biology, wrote in his book The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science:

“Central to the problem of misconduct is the response of institutions when charges erupt. Again and again the actions of senior scientists and administrators have been the very model of how not to respond. They have tried to smother the fire. Such flawed responses are altogether typical of misconduct cases.”

Calling AZT trials “scientifically controlled” is like referring to garbage as “haute cuisine”

Such behavior, which smells of misconduct, runs like a golden thread through Fauci‘s 36-year history as director of the NIAID.

A particularly blatant example is the approval of azidothymidine – commonly known as AZT – that became the first authorized AIDS medication. The basis for this was the so-called Fischl study which was published in July 1987 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) — and already then Fauci was in charge of federal AIDS funding.

John Lauritsen, journalist, Harvard analyst and active in the Gay Rights Movement since the 1970s, had viewed the FDA documents on the Fischl study and came to the conclusion that the study was “fraud”; the Swiss newspaper Weltwoche termed the experiment a “gigantic botch-up” and NBC News in New York branded the experiments, conducted across the US, as “seriously flawed.“

Even the FDA toxicology analyst Harvey I. Chernov concluded — months before publication of the mentioned pivotal AZT study – in an FDA document obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act by John Lauritsten that:

‘The available data are insufficient to support FDA approval [of AZT].”

The Fischl experiments were, in fact, stopped after only four months, after 19 trial subjects in the placebo group (those who did not receive AZT, but rather an inactive placebo) and only one participant from the so-called verum group (those who were officially taking AZT) had died. Through this, according to the AIDS establishment, the efficacy of AZT appeared to be proven.

But the Fischl study was not even worth the paper it was printed on. Not only was it financed by AZT manufacturer Wellcome (today GlaxoSmithKline), which is clearly a conflict of interest, but it was “clear that Fauci‘s NIH and the FDA had far too ‘cozy’ a relationship with Burroughs-Wellcome,” as Lauritsen writes.

Apart from that, the study was stopped after only four months. A clinical trial observation period of only four months is much too short to be informative, considering the usual practice of administering AIDS medications over years, or even a lifetime.

Moreover, the Fischl study had been conducted in a downright fraudulent manner. “It is almost beyond the bounds of probability that the mortality data could be correct,” as Lauritsen states. “There are many ways that errors can occur in research. But in this particular study the most parsimonious explanation would be deliberate fraud.” [3]

For example, the double-blind conditions of the study (according to which neither the researchers nor patients should have known who was taking AZT and who was taking placebos) were no longer existent after a short time. NBC lead reporter Perri Peltz stated in 1988, that almost immediately everyone knew who was getting what. Patients told how they can distinguish AZT from placebo by the taste.

Furthermore, the FDA documents show that the study results were distorted. For example, sicker patients were placed in the placebo group or because the group that swallowed AZT (and therefore had to cope with the severe side effects) received more supportive medical services than the placebo subjects.

NBC reported that there was widespread tampering with the rules of the Fischl trial. The rules had been violated coast to coast, and if all patients with protocol violations were dropped, there wouldn’t be enough to be able to continue the study.

Fauci’s History of Ignoring Critical Questions

On 27 January 1988, NBC News (Channel 4) broadcasted the first of Peltz‘ three-part exposés on AZT.

“When preparing this report, we repeatedly tried to interview Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health. But both Dr. Fauci and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Frank Young declined our request for interviews.”

“Welcome to the club, Perri!” wrote John Lauritsen in his book The AIDS War: Propaganda, Profeteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex.

“When it comes to questions of HIV or AZT, the Public Health Service bureaucrats and “scientists” won’t speak to me either; they have also refused to speak to the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio, Channel 4 (London) television, Italian television, The New Scientist, and Jack Anderson.“

The same happened to me recently when I sent Fauci, and his NIAID, questions regarding the Fischl study — to this day I have not received any answer.[4]

Of course, Fauci was willing to talk… in media that did not ask critical questions and only let him pray down his advertising messages.

On February 19, 1988, Fauci appeared on the television program Good Morning America, as Lauritsen writes in his book. And he was asked why only one drug, AZT, had been made available. He replied:

“The reason why only one drug has been made available — AZT — is because it’s the only drug that has been shown in scientifically controlled trials to be safe and effective.“

But “this brief statement contains several outstanding falsehoods,” as Lauritsen points out.

“First, there have been no “scientifically controlled trials” of AZT; to refer to the FDA-conducted AZT trials as ‘scientifically controlled’ is equivalent to referring to garbage as la haute cuisine. Second, AZT is not ‘safe’: it is a highly toxic drug — the FDA analyst who reviewed the toxicology data on AZT recommended that it should not be approved. Third, AZT is not known objectively to be ‘effective’ for anything, except perhaps for destroying bone marrow.” [5]

Nevertheless, Fauci did not get tired of spreading factually unsubstantiated statements about AZT throughout the world. Even this year, at the end of April, Fauci was not afraid of promulgating the untruth about AZT during a White House meeting about Gilead’s drug remdesivir, by saying “the first randomized placebo-controlled trial with AZT… turned out to give an effect that was modest” (more on remdesivir below).

By the way, the inventor of AZT himself, Jerome Horwitz, said he was so cloyed with the drug that he “dumped it on the junk pile,” he “didn’t [even] keep the notebooks.“

His invention AZT was a chemotherapy-like drug of extreme, not to say fatal, toxicity and “so worthless” to him that he “didn’t think it was worth patenting,” as former BusinessWeek journalist Bruce Nussbaum writes in his book Good Intentions: How Big Business and the Medical Establishment are Corrupting the Fight against AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Cancer and More.

In the mid 1980s Fauci promised the world they would “develop a vaccine for AIDS” rapidly. But even 35 years later such a vaccine is not yet in sight — and this despite the fact that, according to calculations since the 1980s governments alone have funded HIV research with well over half a trillion US dollars so far, with annual budgets that are now around 35 billion dollars, compared to 0.9 billion in 1987.

Is the Watergate phenomenon — follow the money — also evident here? To this Charles Thomas, molecular biologist and former professor of biochemistry at Harvard and John Hopkins Universities, said:

“Too many people are making too much money out of it. And money is stronger than truth.”

Same Old Scam: From AZT to “swine flu” vaccines, PrEP & remdesivir

The list of Fauci‘s assertions, which he must know he cannot substantiate scientifically, is almost endless. This cannot be stressed often enough.

In the context of so-called “bird flu” (H5N1) which was exaggerated to a world threat by the WHO, politicians, scientists and the mainstream media between 2003 and 2005, Fauci predicted that “even in the best-case scenarios” it would “cause 2 to 7 million deaths” worldwide. As the journalist Michael Fumento writes in his article:

“Dr. Fauci’s recurring disease ‘nightmares’ often don’t materialize.”

In fact, even the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that by May 16, 2006, H5N1 had killed “only” 100 people.

Equally unsubstantiated was Fauci’s aggressive promotion of H1N1 influenza (“swine flu”) vaccine in 2009. Back then he was reassuring that serious adverse events were “very, very, very rare”. Unfortunately, this statement was also irresponsibly unfounded, because the underlying studies were fast-tracked ones and lacked solid double-blind placebo-controls. There were also heavy conflicts of interests.

To make matters worse, only one year later, in 2010, the Swedish Agency for the Regulation of Prescription Drugs reported cases of children and adolescents suffering from narcolepsy after a swine flu vaccination — a neurological disorder that leads to a disturbance of the circadian rhythm (the biological clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle).

Further analysis confirmed that the Pandemrix vaccine also caused the disease in vaccinated people in other countries. That the swine flu vaccine causes narcolepsy has been confirmed by the courts.

Nevertheless, Fauci did not let himself be put off.

In December 2015, for instance, the NEJM published his article Ending the HIV–AIDS Pandemic: Follow the Science. In this piece he made a case to “dramatically scale up HIV testing and treatment around the world” — including preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), i.e. “using ART [antiretroviral therapy] for HIV prevention in HIV negative persons.”

That is to say, healthy people should take highly toxic drugs. But here again: As self-assured as he presents his statements, he was not prepared to substantiate them factually.

In my mentioned request to the NIAID, in relation to his 2015 article about PrEP I asked:

  • In your NEJM article you write that the IPERGAY study showed that ‘persons who took PrEP… were 86% less likely to acquire HIV infection than those taking placebo.’ But in which study has it been shown that HIV is a very special retrovirus that causes a deadly infection?
  • Or in other words: If even Luc Montagnier admits, that on the images done by electron microscopy of the cell culture that he used he “saw some particles but they did not have the morphology typical of retroviruses”xxxii — in which study has it been proven that HIV, which is said to be a retrovirus, is a deadly retrovirus?
  • In your article you are making a case for “dramatically scale up HIV testing”—but in which study it has been proven that so-called HIV tests are in fact HIV tests?
  • Do you agree that:
    1. so-called HIV tests respond “positive” to a wide range of physiological conditions
    2. HIV test kits were approved only for blood screening
    3. these tests do not claim to diagnose infection
    4. proteins such as p18 or p24 are not specific for HIV, and that
    5. there is no gold standard for an HIV test?

    If not, which of these statements is wrong, and why is it wrong? If yes, why should we “dramatically scale up HIV testing” ?

  • You say in your article that “the early promise of durable effects from combination therapy has been realized for many patients.” But how can we conclude that ART being introduced in 1995/1996 is life-prolonging and responsible for having decreased the number of AIDS deaths in industrialized countries if:
    1. in 1995/1996 only a fraction of patients received ART
    2. statistics from the CDC and the RKI clearly show that the number of AIDS deaths actually reached the peak (mortality summit) as early as 1991,
    3. no reliable statements can be made as to whether a single drug and ART are life-prolonging, since the basic prerequisite for this is lacking: a solid placebo-controlled study that has demonstrated the superiority of the drug/ART?

Unfortunately, as mentioned, Hillary Hoffman from NIAID just let me know that:

“Dr. Fauci respectfully declines to respond to the questions that you emailed.”[6]

Another example of a Fauci farce is Gilead Sciences’ rapid-release drug remdesivir, which was approved on May 2, 2020 in the context of COVID-19 for emergency use only. A few days before, the NIAID director claimed that a study found remdesivir would reduce recovery time and reduce mortality.

This can only be described as another scandal in which Fauci plays a central role—especially when you look at the fraudulent way in which the drug was approved and which is very similar to the way AZT was authorized in 1987.

An article from the Alliance for Human Research and Protection (AHRP) — Fauci’s Promotional Hype Catapults Gilead’s remdesivir — brought up the following painful subject:

Fauci has a vested interest in remdesivir. He sponsored the clinical trial whose detailed results have not been peer-reviewed. Furthermore, he declared the tenuous results to be ‘highly significant,’ and pronounced remdesivir to be the new ‘standard of care.’ Fauci made the promotional pronouncement while sitting on a couch in the White House, without providing a detailed news release; without a briefing at a medical meeting or in a scientific journal — as is the norm and practice, to allow scientists and researchers to review the data.

When he was asked about a recently published Chinese study on remdesivir, in The Lancet (April 29th , 2020); a trial that was stopped because of serious adverse events in 16 (12%) of the patients compared to four (5%) of patients in the placebo group, Dr. Fauci dismissed the study as ‘not adequate.’

But while the Chinese study that Fauci denigrated, was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center peer-reviewed, published study in a premier journal, The Lancet, with all data available, the NIAID-Gilead study results the remdesivir approval is based on have not been published in peer-reviewed literature — nor have details of the findings been disclosed.

“However, they were publicly promoted by the head of the federal agency that conducted the study, from the White House,” as the AHRP underlined. “What better free advertisement?”

By the way, regarding Fauci’s financial relations with Gilead, there is a petition that requests that he discloses them, since he hasn’t done it yet.

What the virus tsar also failed to disclose to the public in his promotional pronouncement of remdesivir was that the primary outcomes of the study that led to its emergency use approval were changed on April 16, 2020. Changes in the primary outcome are posted on clinicaltrials.gov.

Where previously there was an 8-point scale, which also included the deceased patients, from then on there has been only a 3-point scale, which leaves the deceased patient out of the equation and which at the same time only measures the time until recovery or being released from the hospital.

“Changing primary outcomes after a study has commenced is considered dubious and suspicious,” as the AHRP pointed out. And Reuters News reported that respected prominent leaders in the medical community — such as Steven Nissen MD, the chief academic officer at the Cleveland Clinic and Eric Topol MD, director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California — were unimpressed by remdesivir’s tentative, modest benefit at best.

Referring to the Lancet report, Topol stated:

“That’s the only thing I’ll hang my hat on, and that was negative.”

As for the NIAID modest results, Dr Topol was unimpressed:

“It was expected to be a whopping effect. It clearly does not have that.”

The change in primary outcome measures raised serious red flags for scientists; but was largely ignored by the mainstream media which mostly repeated Fauci’s promotional script.

Steve Nissen told The Washington Post :

“I think that they thought they weren’t going to win, and they wanted to change it to something they could win on. I prefer the original outcome. It’s harder. It’s a more meaningful endpoint. Getting out of the hospital early is useful, but it’s not a game-changer.”

As you can guess, all the questions I have asked the NIAID regarding remdesivir have remained unanswered as well… [7]

How toxic remdesivir is, is also shown by the fact that just recently, on October 2, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the regulator of medicinal products of the European Union, started a safety review of remdesivir. Reason: Some patients taking the drug reported serious kidney problems.

About two weeks later, on October 15, the WHO reported that in its own trial named “Solidarity” which started in March this year remdesivir not only failed to produce any measurable benefit in terms of mortality reduction, but that it also didn’t reduce the need for ventilators, or the length of hospital stays.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s organization Children’s Health Defense pointed this out on October 23 on its website. Fauci, by contrast, again remained silent about this study.

But Gilead shot ahead and commented in all seriousness “it is unclear if any conclusive findings can be drawn from the [Solidarity] study results,” because the trial hadn’t been peer reviewed or published in a scholarly journal.

But this comment is downright ridiculous.

On the one hand, it was no less a figure than Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, who initiated this multi-center, global Solidarity trial (more than 11,300 adults with Covid-19 in 405 hospitals in 30 countries) for the very reason that:

“multiple small trials with different methodologies may not give us the clear, strong evidence we need about which treatments help to save lives. This large, international study is designed to generate the robust data we need, to show which treatments are the most effective.”

Moreover, Gilead forgot to mention in its statement that the pivotal trial of remdesivir leading to its emergency use approval, as outlined, had not been peer reviewed and published in a solid journal on the day of its approval (May 2nd), either, and that it was seriously flawed.

Nevertheless, the study funded by Fauci’s NIAID has been finally published on October 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The only alleged benefit reported was a shorter recovery time for patients receiving remdesivir compared to those in the placebo group.

But this result has no validity, not only because of the seriously flawed underlying data. The way in which this drug got its approval is very reminiscent of the outlined fraudulent way in which AZT received its approval in 1987 in an alleged placebo trial. But in reality, almost from the beginning, everyone knew who was getting what (AZT or placebo) and patients even had their pills analyzed in the craving for the alleged miracle drug.

Who wants to rule out that this did not happen with remdesivir as well?

Especially since the placebo subjects in the remdesivir study did not receive a real placebo. Instead, the bulk the patients got a “placebo” containing the same ingredients as remdesivir except the agent sulfobutylether-beta-cyclodextrin, which can cause serious damage.

hydroxychloroquine illustrates Fauci’s mendacity

The story of the drug hydroxychloroquine also illustrates Fauci’s phoniness. At the end of March, US president Trump called this agent “a gift from God”, while Fauci warned against jumping on conclusions.

On May 27, Fauci even stated on CNN about hydroxychloroquine, “The scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy.”

And his comments came days after the Lancet published a 96,000-patient observational study that concluded that hydroxychloroquine had no effect on Covid-19 and may have even caused some harm.

Too bad that shortly after, this Lancet study was retracted, because:

several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai.”

Hence, Fauci’s assertion on May 27, “The scientific data [about hydroxychloroquine] is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy,” was definitely a voluntary false statement, simply because at that date Fauci must have known that scientific data backing his claim did not exist.

Or as Politico put it on May 27:

“There is no data yet from randomized, controlled clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine—the gold standard for evaluating potential treatments.”

In fact, in 2005 the Virology Journal published an article concluding that chloroquine (of which hydroxychloroquine is a slightly milder derivative) is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus dubbed SARS-CoV-1, as health care expert Kevin Corbett points out in a Twitter post on October 26. And so-called SARS-CoV-2 is claimed to be genetically related to so-called SARS-CoV-1.

Of course, the Virology Journal study lacks validity because the science behind SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 is totally unfounded, and not least also because the study was just a cell culture and not a patient trial.

But Fauci is the world’s number one herald of the official corona narrative, and the study has been conducted by CDC scientists. So he should actually be totally convinced that chloroquine (and thus also hydroxychloroquine) is helpful in the context of corona.

Nevertheless, Fauci was unequivocal on Wednesday May 27, saying that “the data are clear right now” that hydroxychloroquine is not effective against the coronavirus.

This is why I asked Fauci’s NIAID, “How did Anthony Fauci come to his conclusion on May 27?” [8]. But I have not received an answer to this question, either.

Conversely, this does not mean that the effectiveness of the drug has been properly proven. Let’s not forget that hydroxychloroquine is far from a candy, it can have many serious side effects and even be fatal by causing cardiac arrhythmias, for example. Especially if it is given in higher doses, which is what happened in the treatment of so-called COVID-19 patients.

As mentioned, the experimental administration of high doses of potentially lethal drugs such as hydroxychloroquine is the major factor for the excess mortality observed in some (but not all!) countries. “I agree about hydroxychloroquine overdosing, both from a reduced function point of view and toxicity,” writes me Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch by e-mail. [9]

Risch belongs to the best-known researchers who see a potential curative effect in the drug. The relevant studies with COVID-19 patients “all showed significant benefit for high-risk outpatients,” says Risch. [10]

A view that is also expressed, for example, in the almost 40-page inquiry of Paul V. Sheridan to Fauci with copies sent to President Trump and others.

But even if we assume that administering hydroxychloroquine in lower doses alone, or in combination with an antibiotic and possibly zinc, to so-called COVID-19 patients may help decreasing the hospitalization and mortality risk, for instance, there is definitely no solid proof that this is due to an antiviral/anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect, as claimed. So the only conclusion would be that the positive effect is due to hydroxychloroquine having an anti-inflammatory effect, antibiotics clearing pathogenic bacteria and zinc boosting the immune system and metabolism function.

Furthermore, it must be considered in this context that administering hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with an antibiotic and maybe zinc cannot be at all a sustainable long-term therapy nor does it represent a real causal therapy.

This approach also just follows “modern biomedicine’s basic formula with its monocausal-microbial starting-point and its search for magic bullets: one disease, one cause, one cure,“ as American sociology professor, Steven Epstein, writes in his book Impure Science — AIDS, Activism and the Politics of Knowledge. An approach that finally is just escapist.

This was expressed by Allan Brandt, a medical historian at Harvard Medical School, stating in his book No Magic Bullet: The promise of the magic bullet has never been fulfilled.

Apart from that, there is only one way to prove that a drug or a combination of agents help reducing mortality or hospitalization or is effective in relation to any other clinical endpoint, that is if you do compare it with a real placebo.

As Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, states quite rightly in her book The Truth About the Drug Companies:

“If there is really doubt about whether a standard treatment is effective, the FDA should require that clinical trials of new treatments have three comparison groups—new drug, old drug, and placebo.”

Unfortunately, there is no such placebo-study for hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 showing that this drug is superior compared to doing nothing.

In this context, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote on August 2 on Instagram, Fauci “insists he will not approve HCQ [hydroxychloroquine] for COVID until its efficacy is proven in ‘randomized, double blind placebo studies.’”

On this point one can indeed only agree with the virus tsar. And at the beginning of June, researchers reported the results of the first gold-standard clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19, concluding that it did not perform any better than placebo.

But here as well Fauci’s hypocrisy shows up in the end. Not only did the results of the said “first gold-standard” placebo study become known only at the beginning of June — thus a couple of days after Fauci made his unfounded claim that “The scientific data [about hydroxychloroquine] is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy.”

Also, “to date, Dr Fauci has never advocated such [placebo] studies for any of the 72 vaccine doses added to the mandatory childhood schedule since he took over NIAID in 1984,” as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also notes in his Instagram post. “Nor is he requiring them for the COVID vaccines currently racing for approval. Why should chloroquine be the only remedy required to cross this high hurdle?”

Fauci follows Big Pharma’s track

Additionally, the following question must be asked: Why do Fauci and his compliant companions focus on a “magic bullet” oriented symptom treatment medicine and not on causal therapies that take lifestyle factors such as nutrition, industrial toxins, exercise and psyche into account?

That can only be because people who occupy the highest positions of power such as Fauci obviously are on the side of pharmaceutical companies.

“Dr Fauci’s peculiar hostility towards HCQ is consistent with his half-century bias favoring vaccines and patent medicines,” as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. states. “Dr. Fauci’s double standards create confusion, mistrust and polarization.”

In this context, Kennedy Jr. points out that:

“HCQ’s patents are long expired; pills cost 30¢. [And] HCQ might compete with Dr Fauci’s vaccines including the Moderna vaccine for which his agency owns half the patent and Dr Fauci has invested $500 million in taxpayer dollar.”

The emperor of worldwide virus research also has ties with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who in turn is associated with Big Pharma and other powerful industries, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) that is associated with powerful industries as well.

In 2012 Fauci was named one of the five Leadership Council of the Gates Foundation-created Global Vaccine Action Plan.

The Gates Foundation also invests directly in Fauci’s NIAID (around $1.5 million in 2020 and around $7.5 million in 2019). And not least through Fauci’s vested interest in remdesivir, the circle closes when one realizes that the Gates Foundation owns more than $1.3 million in Gilead stock and more than $3.2 million in Gilead bonds.

So it is just jaw-dropping how Fauci can bloviate in the interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel mentioned at the beginning of this article:

“I stay completely apolitical. I never, ever, get involved in politics… I have been neutral throughout the six presidents that I have served.”

With this assertion Fauci conveys a completely unrealistic picture of the reality which resembles a Fata Morgana in which politicians rule, companies keep the economy going and science tracks down the facts in completely independent manner — without getting significantly in each other’s way or even corrupting each other.

Besides, scientists are in no way immune to careerism, greed, and thirst for glory. Even though they are often perceived as such, scientists are not saints, they are humans with virtues and faults. Even Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur whose claims laid the foundation for the whole virus mania, were demonstrably career-obsessed science fraudsters.

No doubt, we are living in times in which politicians are less and less in control of politics and in which the influence of powerful industries is so great that the independence of research is no longer guaranteed in many areas.

As a 2004 Lancet review of Judson’s aforementioned book The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science points out:

“Judson paints a dark picture of [biomedical] science today, but we may see far darker days ahead as proof and profit become inextricably mixed.”

Fauci himself is the personified expression of this alarming development and thus far from being “completely apolitical,” in fact the opposite. Against this background, it seems just comprehensible that there is even a petition titled “#Fire Fauci.”

NOTES:

  • [1] Steven Epstein. Impure Science—AIDS, Activism and the Politics of Knowledge (University of California Press, 1996, p. 73)
  • [2] Author’s email communication with the NIAID media team (among them Hillary Hoffman) between January 9 and 30, 2018
  • [3] John Lauritsen. The AIDS War. Propaganda, Profeteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex (Asklepios, 1993, p. 77)
  • [4] Author’s emails to the NIAID on August 24 and 27, 2020
  • [5] John Lauritsen. The AIDS War. Propaganda, Profeteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex (Asklepios, 1993, pp. 71-79)
  • [6] Author’s email communication with the NIAID media team (among them Hillary Hoffman) between January 9 and 30, 2018
  • [7] Author’s email to the NIAID on August 27, 2020
  • [8] Personal email from September 11, 2020
  • [9] Personal email from September 9, 2020
  • [10] ibid.

Torsten Engelbrecht is an award-winning journalist and author from Hamburg, Germany. In 2006 he co-authored Virus-Mania with Dr Klaus Kohnlein, and in 2009 he won the German Alternate Media Award. He has also written for Rubikon, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Financial Times Deutschland and many others.

Konstantin Demeter is a freelance photographer and an independent researcher. Together with the journalist Torsten Engelbrecht he has published articles on the “COVID-19” crisis in the online magazine Rubikon, as well as contributions on the monetary system, geopolitics, and the media in Swiss Italian newspapers.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

The Truth Behind the Biggest Threat to the ‘War on Terror’ Narrative

By Cynthia Chung | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 27, 2020

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.”

– Julius Caesar

The illegal invasion of Libya, in which Britain was complicit and a British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s report confirmed as an illegal act sanctioned by the UK government, over which Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister (weeks before the release of the UK parliament report), occurred from March – Oct, 2011.

Muammar al-Gaddafi was assassinated on Oct. 20th, 2011.

On Sept 11-12th, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyron Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at two U.S. government facilities in Benghazi.

It is officially denied to this date that al-Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization participated in the Benghazi attack. It is also officially denied that the attack was pre-meditated.

On the 6th year anniversary of the Benghazi attack, Barack Obama stated at a partisan speech on Sept 10th, 2018, delivered at the University of Illinois, that the outrage over the details concerning the Benghazi attack were the result of a “wild conspiracy theory” perpetrated by conservatives and Republican members of Congress.

However, according to an August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report  (only released to the public in May 2015), this is anything but the case. The report was critical of the policies of then President Obama as a direct igniter for the rise of ISIS and the creation of a “caliphate” by Syria-based radical Islamists and al-Qaeda. The report also identified that arms shipments in Libya had gone to radical Islamist “allies” of the United States and NATO in the overthrowing of Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi. These arms shipments were sent to Syria and became the arsenal that allowed ISIS and other radical rebels to grow.

The declassified DIA report states:

AQI [al-qaeda –iraq] SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA… WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS… THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…” [emphasis added]

Another DIA document from Oct 2012 (also released in May 2015), reported that Gaddafi’s vast arsenal was being shipped from Benghazi to two Syrian ports under the control of the Syrian rebel groups.

Essentially, the DIA documents were reporting that the Obama Administration was supporting Islamist extremism, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

When the watchdog group Judicial Watch received the series of DIA reports through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits (FOIA) in May 2015, the State Department, the Administration and various media outlets trashed the reports as insignificant and unreliable.

There was just one problem; Lt. Gen. Flynn was backing up the reliability of the released DIA reports.

Lt. Gen. Flynn as Director of the DIA from July 2012 – Aug. 2014, was responsible for acquiring accurate intelligence on ISIS’s and other extremist operations within the Middle East, but did not have any authority in shaping U.S. military policy in response to the Intel the DIA was acquiring.

In a July 2015 interview with Al-Jazeera, Flynn went so far as to state that the rise of ISIS was the result of a “willful decision,” not an intelligence failure, by the Obama Administration.

In the Al-Jazeera interview Flynn was asked:

Q: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

FLYNN: I think the Administration.

Q: So the Administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?

FLYNN: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

Q: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?

FLYNN: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

Flynn was essentially stating (in the 47 minute interview) that the United States was fully aware that weapons trafficking from Benghazi to the Syrian rebels was occurring. In fact, the secret flow of arms from Libya to the Syrian opposition, via Turkey was CIA sponsored and had been underway shortly after Gaddafi’s death in Oct 2011. The operation was largely run out of a covert CIA annex in Benghazi, with State Department acquiescence.

This information was especially troubling in light of the fact that the Obama Administration’s policy, from mid-2011 on, was to overthrow the Assad government. The question of “who will replace Assad?” was never fully answered.

Perhaps the most troubling to Americans among the FOIA-released DIA documents was a report from Sept. 16, 2012, which provided a detailed account of the pre-meditated nature of the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi, reporting that the attack had been planned ten days prior, detailing the groups involved.

The report revealed that it was in fact an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group that was responsible for the Benghazi attack. That despite this intelligence, the Obama Administration continued to permit arms-trafficking to the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels even after the 9/11/12 attacks.

In August 2015, then President Obama ordered for U.S. forces to attack Syrian government forces if they interfered with the American “vetted, trained and armed” forces. This U.S. approved Division 30 Syrian rebel group “defected” almost immediately, with U.S. weapons in hand, to align with the Nusra Front, the formal al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Obama’s Semantics War: Any Friend of Yours is a Friend of Mine

“Flynn incurred the wrath of the [Obama] White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria… He thought truth was the best thing and they shoved him out.”

– Patrick Lang (retired army colonel, served for nearly a decade as the chief Middle East civilian intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency)

Before being named Director of the DIA, Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for the Joint Staff, as Director of Intelligence for the U.S. Central Command, and as Director of Intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command.

Flynn’s criticisms and opposition to the Obama Administration’s policies in his interview with Al-Jazeera in 2015 was nothing new. In August 2013, Flynn as Director of the DIA supported Gen. Dempsey’s intervention, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in forcing then President Obama to cancel orders to launch a massive bombing campaign against the Syrian government and armed forces. Flynn and Dempsey both argued that the overthrow of the Assad government would lead to a radical Islamist stronghold in Syria, much like what was then happening in Libya.

This account was also supported in Seymour Hersh’s paper “Military to Military” published in Jan 2016, to which he states:

“Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn’t doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. ‘If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,’ Flynn told me. ‘We understood Isis’s long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.’ The DIA’s reporting, he [Flynn] said, ‘got enormous pushback’ from the Obama administration. ‘I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.’

[According to a former JCS adviser]’… To say Assad’s got to go is fine, but if you follow that through – therefore anyone is better. It’s the “anybody else is better” issue that the JCS had with Obama’s policy.’ The Joint Chiefs felt that a direct challenge to Obama’s policy would have ‘had a zero chance of success’. So in the autumn of 2013 they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing U.S. intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State [ISIS].” [emphasis added]

According to Hersh’s sources, it was through the militaries of Germany, Israel and Russia, who were in contact with the Syrian army, that the U.S. intelligence on where the terrorist cells were located was shared, hence the “military to military”. There was no direct contact between the U.S. and the Syrian military.

Hersh states in his paper:

“The two countries [U.S. & Syria] collaborated against al-Qaida, their common enemy. A longtime consultant to the Joint Special Operations Command said that, after 9/11, ‘Bashar was, for years, extremely helpful to us while, in my view, we were churlish in return, and clumsy in our use of the gold he gave us. That quiet co-operation continued among some elements, even after the [Bush administration’s] decision to vilify him.’ In 2002 Assad authorised Syrian intelligence to turn over hundreds of internal files on the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and Germany. Later that year, Syrian intelligence foiled an attack by al-Qaida on the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, and Assad agreed to provide the CIA with the name of a vital al-Qaida informant. In violation of this agreement, the CIA contacted the informant directly; he rejected the approach, and broke off relations with his Syrian handlers.

… It was this history of co-operation that made it seem possible in 2013 that Damascus would agree to the new indirect intelligence-sharing arrangement with the U.S.”

However, as the Syrian army gained strength with the Dempsey-led-Joint Chiefs’ support, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey escalated their financing and arming of al-Nusra and ISIS. In fact, it was “later” discovered that the Erdogan government had been supporting al-Nusra and ISIS for years. In addition, after the June 30th, 2013 revolution in Egypt, Turkey became a regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Organization.

In Sept. 2015, Russia came in and directly intervened militarily, upon invitation by the Syrian government, and effectively destroyed ISIS strongholds within Syrian territory. In response, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 on Nov 24th, 2015 for allegedly entering Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. Days after the Russian fighter jet was shot down, Obama expressed support for Erdogan and stated at a Dec. 1st, 2015 press conference that his administration would remain “very much committed to Turkey’s security and its sovereignty”. Obama also said that as long as Russia remained allied with Assad, “a lot of Russian resources are still going to be targeted at opposition groups … that we support … So I don’t think we should be under any illusions that somehow Russia starts hitting only Isil targets. That’s not happening now. It was never happening. It’s not going to be happening in the next several weeks.”

Today, not one of those “opposition groups” has shown itself to have remained, or possibly ever been, anti-extremist. And neither the Joint Chiefs nor the DIA believed that there was ever such a thing as “moderate rebels.”

Rather, as remarked by a JCS adviser to Hersh, “Turkey is the problem.”

China’s “Uyghur Problem”

Imad Moustapha, was the Syrian Ambassador to the United States from 2004 to Dec. 2011, and has been the Syrian Ambassador to China for the past eight years.

In an interview with Seymour Hersh, Moustapha stated:

“‘China regards the Syrian crisis from three perspectives,’ he said: international law and legitimacy; global strategic positioning; and the activities of jihadist Uighurs, from Xinjiang province in China’s far west. Xinjiang borders eight nations – Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – and, in China’s view, serves as a funnel for terrorism around the world and within China. Many Uighur fighters now in Syria are known to be members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – an often violent separatist organisation that seeks to establish an Islamist Uighur state in Xinjiang. ‘The fact that they have been aided by Turkish intelligence to move from China into Syria through Turkey has caused a tremendous amount of tension between the Chinese and Turkish intelligence,’ Moustapha said. ‘China is concerned that the Turkish role of supporting the Uighur fighters in Syria may be extended in the future to support Turkey’s agenda in Xinjiang. We are already providing the Chinese intelligence service with information regarding these terrorists and the routes they crossed from on travelling into Syria.’ ” [emphasis added]

This view was echoed by a Washington foreign affairs analyst whose views are routinely sought by senior government officials, informing Hersh that:

“Erdoğan has been bringing Uighurs into Syria by special transport while his government has been agitating in favour of their struggle in China. Uighur and Burmese Muslim terrorists who escape into Thailand somehow get Turkish passports and are then flown to Turkey for transit into Syria.”

China understands that the best way to combat the terrorist recruiting that is going on in these regions is to offer aid towards reconstruction and economic development projects. By 2016, China had allegedly committed more than $30 billion to postwar reconstruction in Syria.

The long-time consultant to the Joint Special Operations Command could not hide his contempt, according to Hersh, when he was asked for his view of the U.S. policy on Syria. “‘The solution in Syria is right before our nose,’ he said. ‘Our primary threat is Isis and all of us – the United States, Russia and China – need to work together.’“

The military’s indirect pathway to Assad disappeared with Dempsey’s retirement in September 25th, 2015. His replacement as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Joseph Dunford, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in July 2015, two months before assuming office, “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia.”

Flynn’s Call for Development in the Middle East to Counter Terrorism

Not only was Flynn critical of the Obama Administration’s approach to countering terrorism in the Middle East, his proposed solution was to actually downgrade the emphasis on military counter-operations, and rather focus on economic development within these regions as the most effective and stable impediment to the growth of extremists.

Flynn stated in the July 2015 interview with Al-Jazeera:

“Frankly, an entire new economy is what this region needs. They need to take this 15-year old, to 25 to 30-year olds in Saudi Arabia, the largest segment of their population; in Egypt, the largest segment of their population, 15 to roughly 30 years old, mostly young men. You’ve got to give them something else to do. If you don’t, they’re going to turn on their own governments, and we can solve that problem.

So that is the conversation that we have to have with them, and we have to help them do that. And in the meantime, what we have is this continued investment in conflict. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just fuels the conflict. Some of that has to be done, but I’m looking for other solutions. I’m looking for the other side of this argument, and we’re not having it; we’re not having it as the United States.” [emphasis added]

Flynn also stated in the interview that the U.S. cannot, and should not, deter the development of nuclear energy in the Middle East:

“It now equals nuclear development of some type in the Middle East, and now what we want… what I hope for is that we have nuclear [energy] development, because it also helps for projects like desalinization, getting water… nuclear energy is very clean, and it actually is so cost effective, much more cost effective for producing water from desalinization.”

Flynn was calling for a new strategic vision for the Middle East, and making it clear that “conflict only” policies were only going to add fuel to the fire, that cooperative economic policies are the true solution to attaining peace in the Middle East. Pivotal to this is the expansion of nuclear energy, while assuring non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, which Flynn states “has to be done in a very international, inspectable way.”

When In Doubt, Blame the Russians

How did the Obama Administration respond to Flynn’s views?

He was fired (forced resignation) from his post as Director of the DIA on April 30th, 2014. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was briefed by Flynn on the intelligence reports and was also critical of the U.S. Administration’s strategy in the Middle East was also forced to resign in Feb. 2015.

With the election of Trump as President on Nov. 8 2016, Lt. Gen. Flynn was swiftly announced as Trump’s choice for National Security Adviser on Nov. 18th, 2016.

Just weeks later, Flynn was targeted by the FBI and there was a media sensation over Flynn being a suspected “Russian agent”. Flynn was taken out before he had a chance to even step into his office, prevented from doing any sort of overhaul with the intelligence bureaus and Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was most certainly going to happen. Instead Flynn was forced to resign on Feb. 13th, 2017 after incessant media attacks undermining the entire Trump Administration, accusing them of working for the Russians against the welfare of the American people.

Despite an ongoing investigation on the allegations against Flynn, there has been no evidence to this date that has justified any charge. In fact, volumes of exculpatory evidence have been presented to exonerate Flynn from any wrongdoing including perjury. At this point, the investigation of Flynn has been put into question as consciously disingenuous and as being stalled by the federal judge since May 2020, refusing to release Flynn it seems while a Trump Administration is still in effect.

The question thus stands; in whose best interest is it that no peace be permitted to occur in the Middle East and that U.S.-Russian relations remain verboten? And is such an interest a friend or foe to the American people?

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leaked papers: UK ran secret training & PR op for Syrian militants costing millions, despite knowing risks

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 27, 2020

A swath of what appear to be secret Foreign & Commonwealth Office documents outline a multimillion-pound British effort to train rebel fighters in Syria via private companies, knowing but brushing off the risk of jihadist hijack.

The documents released by the hacktivist collective Anonymous appear to expose a variety of covert actions undertaken by the UK government against the Syrian state over many years.

The overriding objective behind them all, the papers suggest, was to destabilise the government of Bashar Assad, convince Syrians, Western citizens, foreign governments, and international bodies that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was a legitimate alternative, and flood media the world over with pro-opposition propaganda.

The dimensions of the assorted information warfare operations implied in the papers, some of which have been detailed by the Grayzone Project, were vast. In a representative example, “social enterprise” firm ARK, founded by veteran Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) operative Alistair Harris, “rebranded” the Syrian Military Council, “softening the Free Syrian Army’s image” in order to “distinguish it from extremist armed opposition groups and establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

Training ‘credible and effective’ militants

At least one cog in this cloak and dagger connivance was overtly militant in nature. From August 2016, a consortium of private contractors ran a programme for the FCO, through which “training, equipment, and other forms of support” was provided to the FSA’s ‘Southern Front’ coalition, to “foster a negotiated political transition, support moderate structures and groups in opposition held areas of Syria, counter violent extremism and prevent the establishment of a terrorist safe-haven.”

Under its clandestine auspices, up to 600 belligerents were trained every year the operation ran, an indeterminate total – the endeavour was dubbed MAO B-FOR (Moderate Armed Opposition Border Force Capability Project), and forecast to cost the FCO £15,767,599.

B-FOR’s ‘statement of requirements’ document sets out in succinct detail Whitehall’s objectives in pursuing the project.

“The aim… is to generate pressure on the Assad regime and on extremists, in the south the country… If MAO border groups are better able to secure and maintain control of specific areas of responsibility across liberated near-border communities along Syria’s southern border with Jordan… the MAO will demonstrate its tangible value to the local and international community as an effective security actor… This will reinforce perceptions that there is a credible and effective moderate opposition able to provide support for an alternative pathway to political transition,” the project tender states.

In practical terms, fighters in “international borders under MAO control” and “areas bordering MAO control under the control of another entity or under no control” – the Jordan-Syria border being the FCO’s “current priority area” – were intended to be “better able to control their AOR [areas of responsibility] through effective use of relevant tactics, operations, equipment, infrastructure, and ability to react to a changing tactical situation.”

To this end, the UK government provided a “dedicated training site” in Jordan “at no cost” to project contractors. The site is situated 45 minutes from the Jordanian capital, Amman, according to an annotated Google Earth snapshot found among the leaked papers. The 600-acre expanse comprised “accommodation, ablution, dining, classrooms, driving track, outside rural environment areas, and open space for equipment storage solutions.” In particular, trainees were to be tutored in the effective use of AK-47s, PK machine guns, and pistols, with 175 fighters able to be accommodated on-site at a time, four weeks the maximum period they could be tutored there continuously.

Contractors were also asked to ensure the project took into account, among other things, Whitehall’s “policy toward gender” – a reflection, just like the tender’s references to “reinforcing perceptions,” of B-FOR’s strong psychological component.

‘Kill, Burn and Loot’

In response, global advisory firm Adam Smith International (ASI) apparently submitted an extensive proposal to the department, offering to head a consortium of contractors, comprised of Pilgrims Group, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), Oakas, and GlenGulf.

We have reached out to the companies for comment.

In terms of project roles, ASI – which according to the proposal had been operating in Syria since early 2013, and boasted “well over” 100 field staff in the country – was to provide “strategic stakeholder engagement, project management, project leadership positions, conflict research and analysis and monitoring and evaluation functions.” Pilgrims Group – said to have “supported a large number of media organisations operating in Ukraine” – was tasked with “training delivery, initial military skills assessment, training programme design.”

KBR – which has reaped untold millions from a variety of US conflicts, been embroiled in numerous high-profile scandals, and was reportedly nicknamed “Kill, Burn & Loot” by US marines during the Iraq War – had responsibility for “manning procurement and logistics functions,” including providing the facility’s “quartermaster, storemen and a liaison officer at the key port of entry for imported goods.” Oakas was to offer “bespoke training for MAO command elements (‘battle staffs’) on decision making and planning,” and GlenGulf the “provision of training to officers and commanders on human intelligence gathering and management.”

Excerpt from alleged ASI document

Accompanying project staff CVs reveal many individuals involved in B-FOR were senior UK military veterans, who all received sizeable three-figure per diem fees for their participation. For instance, its ranks included a former senior British military advisor to US Central Command, experience ASI claims granted him “in-depth knowledge” of the Syrian “context.”

US-backed rebel front collapses

Part of that context at the time would’ve been the virtual collapse of Southern Front as a serious fighting force. Formed in February 2014 at the behest of the US Military Operations Command (MOC) in Jordan, the Front was a coalition of 50-60 rebel groups. As ASI’s proposal notes, its constituent factions were “given various types of support from the MOC,” including “small arms, artillery, anti-tank guided missiles, ammunition, vehicles, communications equipment, and uniforms,” the Command also paying fighters’ salaries.

Washington’s largesse was fundamental in the Front scoring a series of victories over government forces throughout 2014 and the first half of the next year. In the process, it became the largest rebel umbrella organization in southern Syria, comprising 25-30,000 fighters, and challenging the political and military dominance of Salafist Al-Nusra, the region’s then-largest jihadist group. The mainstream media widely promoted the Front as Western leaders’ best hope of achieving a “moderate” Syrian “revolution” – despite many of its units frequently cooperating and collaborating with Al-Nusra.

However, an over-ambitious attempt by the Front to wrest the city of Deraa’s northern and eastern districts from government control in June 2015 ended in embarrassing failure. The cataclysm led to almost total cessation of MOC support, which in turn meant the Front lost much of its operational capabilities and many of its fighters, who defected in droves to other rebel groups offering salaries. Saudi Arabia subsequently stepped in to provide weapons and fresh funding to the ailing force – B-FOR represented London’s illicit contribution to keeping it functional, and ASI’s proposal makes clear the consortium well-understood the many risks attached to the project.

Risks known, responsibility offloaded

A lengthy section of ASI’s proposal – ‘oversight and management of threats and risks’ – details some of these myriad hazards, along with their likelihood and impact. It was considered highly probable, for instance, groups such as Al-Nusra and ISIS would interfere in the program, “due to perceptions of an ‘international political agenda’” – as a result, extremists “may seek to prevent trainees from joining or inhibit them from fulfilling their functions once trained via kidnap, assault and theft of equipment.”

The possibility that the consortium’s curated fighters may choose or be forced to join other, non-border force Southern Front operations, in turn “[leading] to a weakening of the border capability and perception of UK support to active military operations,” was rated as “medium.” Border force trainees collaborating with extremist actors and/or committing human rights abuses, in the process compromising “the legal and reputational viability of the programme,” was likewise considered of “medium” likelihood and impact.

ASI’s proposed method of dealing with these and other dangers was almost invariably to simply “transfer” responsibility for “owning and managing” the problem to the FCO itself, even suggesting the UK government must simply “tolerate” failings such as the loss of equipment “to a reasonable degree.”

It seems the FCO either acquiesced to shouldering the inherent burdens, or was intensely relaxed about such issues, for the consortium was duly awarded the B-FOR contract, judging by other papers found in the leak.

Non-Disclosure Agreements signed June 10, 2016 by the firms involved indicate they were obliged to adhere to the stringent confidentiality requirements of the 1911 and 1989 Official Secrets Acts, forbidding them from “disseminating any information related to the project to any third party.” Meticulous instructions for disposing of ‘secret’, ‘restricted’, and ‘confidential’ FCO communications were also included.

‘Jihadis You Pay For’

It’s uncertain how many years, or perhaps months, B-FOR endured. Its ‘statement of requirements’ forecast the project would “cover a period until 31st March 2019 with a clause for a breakpoint at the end of each financial year.”

However, in February 2017, a report by Parliament’s international development committee found ASI staff had submitted fake testimonials from aid recipients to a House of Commons inquiry into its activities, set up in response to allegations the firm had been seeking improper financial benefit from UK aid spending.

In response, DfID blocked the company from bidding on future government contracts, and the next month, ASI’s three founding executives resigned. Even more damningly, in December that year, a BBC Panorama documentary (Jihadis You Pay For) exposed how FCO cash ASI distributed in Syria had ended up in extremists’ pockets.

The investigation focused on the FCO’s Access to Justice and Community Security (AJACS) program, under which ASI funded and trained the Free Syria Police, an unarmed civilian force set up to re-establish law and order in opposition-controlled areas.

It found ASI had identified links between several FSP stations and sharia courts run by Al-Nusra and not ended its funding of the stations, or compelled them to sever all connections with the courts – FSP officers in theoretical receipt of FCO funds via ASI had also been present when women were stoned to death. Troublingly, ASI’s B-FOR pitch states its “experience and knowledge” of running AJACS will be “leveraged” to ensure optimal delivery of the border project.

Whether B-FOR was quietly shelved or simply handed over to other contractors in response to these damaging exposures is unknown. In any event, in July 2018, the Front was comprehensively crushed by pro-government forces, its surrendering fighters either agreeing to reconciliation deals or fleeing to Idlib.

It’s also unknown how many fighters trained via the program went on to join jihadist groups, and how much equipment was “lost” over the course of its operation, ending up in the hands of extremists and used to slaughter and maim innocent civilians. The companies running the operation, much less the UK government, certainly weren’t keeping count.

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

WHO Taps ‘Anti-Conspiracy’ Crusader to Sway Public Opinion on COVID Vaccine

By Jeremy Loffredo | Children’s Health Defense | October 23, 2020

An outspoken proponent of government-led tactics to influence public opinion on policy and to undermine the credibility of “conspiracy theorists” will lead the World Health Organization’s (WHO) efforts to encourage public acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine, Children’s Health Defense has learned.

Last week, WHO’s general director, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, tweeted that he was glad to speak with the organization’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health to “discuss vaccine acceptance and uptake in the context of COVID-19.”

In his next tweet Ghebreyesus announced that Cass Sunstein, founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School, will chair the advisory group, which was created in July.

Sunstein was former President Barack Obama’s head of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where he was responsible for overseeing policies relating to information quality.

In 2008, Sunstein wrote a paper proposing that governments employ teams of covert agents to “cognitively infiltrate” online dissident groups and websites which advocate “false conspiracy theories” about the government. In the paper, Sunstein and his co-authors wrote:

“Our principal claim here involves the potential value of cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, designed to introduce informational diversity into such groups and to expose indefensible conspiracy theories as such.”

The government-led operations described in Sunstein’s paper would work to increase faith in government policy and policymakers and undermine the credibility of “conspiracists” who question their motives. They would also maintain a vigorous “counter misinformation establishment” to counter “conspiracy” groups opposed to government policies that aim to protect the common good.

Some of this would be accomplished by sending undercover agents, or government-paid third parties, into “online social networks or even real space groups.”

Sunstein also advocated in 2008 that the government pay “independent experts” to publicly advocate on the government’s behalf, whether on television or social media. He says this is effective because people don’t trust the government as much as they trust people they believe are “independent.”

WHO has already contracted the public relations firm, Hill + Knowlton. The PR giant, best known for its role in manufacturing false testimonies in support of the Gulf War, was hired by WHO  to “ensure the science and public health credibility of the WHO in order to ensure WHO’s advice and guidance is followed.”

WHO paid Hill + Knowlton $135,000 to identify micro-influencers, macro-influencers and “hidden heroes” who could covertly promote WHO’s advice and messaging on social media, and also protect and promote the organization’s image as a COVID-19 authority.

There’s no evidence that WHO has yet implemented any “cognitive infiltration” policies similar to what Sunstein advocated in 2008. If the organization were to adopt such a strategy, and use it to convince hesitant populations to take a COVID vaccine, it would raise questions of legality.

As put forward in a report by the Congressional Research Service, illegal “publicity or propaganda” is defined by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to mean either (1) self-aggrandizement by public officials; (2) purely partisan activity; or (3) “covert propaganda.” By covert propaganda, GAO means information which originates from the government but is unattributed and made to appear as though it came from a third party.

Because WHO is a multinational organization and not a U.S. Government agency, covert “cognitive infiltration” policies could fall into a gray area, or even be considered legal.

Dr. Margaret Chan, former general-director of WHO, once stated that the organization’s policies are “driven by what [she called] donor interests.”

According to a 2012 article in Foreign Affairs, “few policy initiatives or normative standards set by the WHO are announced before they have been casually, unofficially vetted by Gates Foundation staff.” Or, as other sources told Politico in 2017, “Gates’ priorities have become the WHO’s.”

WHO’s current general director, Ghebreyesus, was previously on the board of two organizations that Gates founded, provided seed money for and continues to fund to this day: GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, a public–private global health partnership focused on increased access to vaccines in poor countries, and the Global Fund, which says it aims to accelerate the “development, production and equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.”

If, as Politico put it, “Gates priorities have become the WHO’s,” and if WHO’s policies are driven by “donor interests,” this raises questions as to what online groups, people and websites would be targeted by such covert programs.

The idea of government agents carrying out psychological operations on social media is not far fetched. Earlier this year the head of editorial for Twitter’s Middle East and Africa office was outed as an active officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit, known as the 77th brigade, which specializes in online behavioral change operations.

© 2016-2020 Children’s Health Defense® • All rights Reserved

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

GSA Gave FBI, Mueller ‘Secret Access’ To Trump Records

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 10/24/2020

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the General Services Administration (GSA) undermined the Trump transition team by violating a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the GSA – when they complied with requests from the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office to provide private records on members of Trump’s team, according to a Senate report released on Friday.

As Just the News notes:

The majority staff report from both the Senate Committee on Finance and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs claims that officials from both the FBI and Mueller’s office “secretly sought and received access to the private records of Donald J. Trump’s presidential transition team, Trump for America, Inc.

“They did so,” the report continues, “despite the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the General Services Administration...—the executive agency responsible for providing services to both candidates’ transition teams—that those records were the transition team’s private property that would not be retained at the conclusion of the transition.”

According to the report, the GSA – without notifying the White House – reached out to the FBI following Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser and offered to retain records from the Trump transition team in early 2017. The records compiled eventually made their way into Mueller’s office, according to the report.

“At bottom,” continues the report, “the GSA and the FBI undermined the transition process by preserving Trump transition team records contrary to the terms of the memorandum of understanding, hiding that fact from the Trump transition team, and refusing to provide the team with copies of its own records.”

These actions have called into question the GSA’s role as a neutral service provider, and those doubts have consequences,” the report reads. “Future presidential transition teams must have confidence that their use of government resources and facilities for internal communications and deliberations—including key decisions such as nominations, staffing, and significant policy changes—will not expose them to exploitation by third parties, including political opponents.”

October 25, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

BBC’s upcoming White Helmets ‘documentary’ aims at character assassination of those who challenge Syria war narratives

By Vanessa Beeley | RT | October 24, 2020

The BBC is preparing an attack against journalists, former diplomats, academics and scientists who challenge the dominant pro-war narratives against Syria underpinned by the pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets.

The British public broadcaster has sent out requests for comments to those who have dared to expose the role the UK government and its intelligence agencies have played in the destabilization of Syria, which look more like neo-McCarthyist charge sheets. The producer of an upcoming Radio 4 documentary series had been in email and telephone conversation with the author of this article, as well as Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria, and members of the Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda (WGSMP) since June 2020. The result of those conversations, during which the evidence emanating from serious scientific research and on-the-ground testimony was presented to the producer, was a familiar list of accusations of “conspiracy theorism” and suggestions of “incentivized” Russian or Syrian bias.

Fellow independent journalist Eva Bartlett has spent long periods of time inside Syria, reporting from many of the most high-risk areas during the Syrian Arab Army allied campaigns to liberate swathes of Syrian territory from the US coalition-proxy occupation. She had this to say about the email she received a few days ago:

“The questions emailed to me by the BBC evidence a predetermined intent to character assassination. This approach shows an utter lack of journalistic integrity on the part of the BBC.

The BBC’s hostile insinuations against me arrogantly infer that neither I nor the Syrians I interview think for ourselves, but are puppets of the Syrian and Russian governments. My journalism dates back to 2007 and is quite extensive, with 13 years of on the ground experience, from Palestine and Syria, to Venezuela and eastern Ukraine, and elsewhere.

My focuses have been on giving voice to Syrians disappeared by corporate media, highlighting the terrorism they endured by terrorist groups which the West dubs “rebels,” and highlighting war propaganda by outlets such as the BBC.”

It was clear from the BBC’s line of questioning that this was not a genuine investigation into the life and times of White Helmets founder, and former British military intelligence officer, James Le Mesurier. It is effectively a damage limitation exercise designed to discredit the evidence that points to the White Helmets being a propaganda construct with extremist connections funded by the US/UK coalition to vilify the Syrian government and allies, thus justifying military intervention by proxy and aggression against a sovereign nation. The aggression includes economic sanctions that have devastated the Syrian economy and caused widespread poverty and food insecurity among the Syrian people.

The upcoming BBC programme – ‘Mayday’ – appears to be an attempt to whitewash British intelligence operations inside Syria. Operations that were recently further exposed following the leak of alleged UK Foreign Office documents, reported by Grayzone, which detailed the extent to which the UK government provided media and PR support to the armed groups in Syria. Those groups effectively include Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) affiliates such as Jaysh Al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Sham, who are responsible for the horrific bloodshed and devastation of infrastructure in the areas they invaded and occupied.

The UK and EU government-funded Mayday Rescue organisation was established by Le Mesurier to provide an intermediary management of the funds the UK government was providing to the White Helmets as they embedded themselves with armed groups in extremist-controlled areas throughout Syria, more recently exclusively in Idlib, the last remaining and “largest Al Qaeda haven since 9/11.” Le Mesurier died in November 2019 having fallen from the balcony of his Istanbul home which he shared with his third wife, Emma Winberg. Three days before his death, which was ruled a suicide, Le Mesurier had reportedly admitted to defrauding Mayday Rescue of funds provided by UK and European governments.

It is also worth a reminder that the Dutch government had withdrawn funding from Mayday Rescue in 2018 following an extensive investigation that had concluded a lack of assurances that funds were not being hijacked by the armed groups in Syria, including Al Qaeda.

The BBC pins its arguments on the view that the White Helmets are a “humanitarian” organisation – an Oscar-winning illusion that has been dismantled by some of the most acclaimed independent journalists and researchers of our time, including Cory Morningstar, Rick Sterling, Eva Bartlett, Stephen Kinzer, Robert Parry, John Pilger, Gareth Porter, Ray McGovern, Phillip Giraldi, Craig Murray and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, to name just a few.

The former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, also received the BBC bill of indictment and he issued this statement in response:

“The BBC have systematically tried to suppress views on Syria which run counter to the standard one-sided narrative. This programme’s efforts to smear dissenters takes BBC conduct to a new low. By alleging conspiracy theorising where there is only evidence-based reporting and analysis, the BBC is showing its frustration at being unable to stifle truth-telling.

The only conspiracy here is whatever coordination has taken place between the BBC and British authorities responsible for failing to achieve regime change in Syria despite throwing many millions of taxpayer money at the effort. Why is the BBC not drawing attention to the biggest failure of British foreign policy since Suez, as judged by its self-proclaimed objective of removing Assad, rather than busying itself with trying to take down unsupported individual dissenters who have ranged against them the vast wealth and resources of the establishment?

The charge of biggest failure since Suez as judged by its own objective of regime change is stinging because palpably true, and will with luck get some play in the follow up. It’s an angle that has been largely lost in the welter of detail.”

On October 5, the US and UK envoys to the UN Security Council (UNSC) led the campaign to ban the former Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) director general, Jose Bustani, from briefing the UNSC meeting presided over by Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. Nebenzia accused the US/UK-led truth-suppressors of bringing the UNSC into disrepute. One week later, the BBC, a de facto UK-state-media outlet, kicked off its attack on the individuals responsible for highlighting the corruption of the OPCW and the fraud that was the final report on the alleged Douma chemical attack in April 2018.

One member of the WGSMP, Paul McKeigue, has published his conversations with the producer. Regarding the Douma incident, McKeigue informs us that “a reader of this correspondence could reasonably conclude that […] Raed Saleh (White Helmets leader) has something to hide, and further that [the BBC producer] is, for some reason, colluding with him by helping him to avoid having to respond” to questions regarding the whereabouts of the bodies of the alleged chemical weapon attack victims. Part of my response to the BBC also alludes to the apparent suppression of evidence:

“A BBC producer, Riam Dalati, has stated publicly that the Douma hospital scenes, the site of the alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria, 2018, were staged. As has been pointed out repeatedly to Riam Dalati and the BBC, if the hospital scenes at Douma were staged so too were the films of the deceased in the Douma apartment block. The BBC have never reported this information, nor has it passed the information obtained by its producer to either the OPCW FFM or the IIT. It is extraordinary and completely unjustifiable that the BBC should be withholding this vital information from a UN linked organisation.”

Dr. Piers Robinson, the co-founder of the WGSMP, accused the BBC of suppressing truth:

“The BBC is also attempting to smear academics researching alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria as ‘conspiracy theorists’, even though their work has been supported by the leading chemical and biological weapons expert the late Julian Perry Robinson and vindicated by whistleblowers and leaks from the OPCW itself. The BBC is not engaging in journalism but rather suppression of the truth.”

In conclusion, the BBC is not an honest broker. Our work as journalists and researchers is to mine for the truth. The BBC’s output, especially with regards to foreign affairs, is produced in lock-step with UK foreign policy objectives. In the context of the war against Syria, this has resulted in a pattern of omission and censorship that has underpinned UK FCO efforts to foment conflict within Syria and to overthrow the internationally recognised Syrian government.

The result has been an illegal war that has caused death and suffering for millions of Syrian people. Regarding the UK/US intelligence-incubated, Al Qaeda-linked, White Helmets, the BBC could be considered complicit in manufacturing consent for another “humanitarian war” through their lack of “rigorous journalism” and omission of the facts surrounding this UK state-client-propaganda-manufacturer. Just as the BBC defended the WMD “dodgy dossier” that decimated Iraq and led to the deaths of millions of Iraqis, we now see the BBC rallying around the chemical weapon “dodgy dossier” that has enabled the prolongation of the barbaric war against the Syrian people.

Editor’s note: RT has reached out to the BBC producer for comment on issues raised in Vanessa’s article. A BBC spokesperson gave this response:

“The BBC’s journalism is rigorous, independent and impartial, and that will be evident to anyone who listens to this new series.”


Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. Follow her on Twitter @VanessaBeeley

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Twitter vs. the First Amendment in Social Media Censorship

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | October 24, 2020

Twitter and Facebook are the censors the Founders feared when they wrote the First Amendment. In the 18th century, none of those forward-thinking men could have envisioned a day when technology and global corporations would overshadow the power of governments to control information. But that day is here, and @jack and his colleagues are trying to steal an election for Joe Biden in real time.

The social media giants this week tried to disappear a story from the New York Post claiming Hunter Biden had sold access to his father Joe to a Ukrainian company. I’m afraid to include a link to the story, for fear this article too will be blocked and made to disappear. See, you can’t tweet a link to the Post’s story or send it as a direct message on Twitter and you can’t post it on Facebook without some sort of red flag. If you’re an unimportant person your message will just be blocked. If you are important, like the White House press secretary, @Team Trump, or a conservative journalist trying to report out the fuller story, your account will be locked. The NY Post, one of the largest mass circulation dailies, can’t RT its own article on Twitter. In my case, I was life banned from Twitter years ago, censored so broadly I can’t even buy a ticket for this ride. Orwell of course anticipated all this, creating the term “unperson” for someone erased from society. But he, too, did not anticipate the power of the electronic media companies or he would have likely also created the term “unthought.”

The goal of Twitter and Facebook censorship is unthought, to make the NY Post story go away to the extent possible, and to delegitimize it as much as possible in those spaces the giants do not yet control because it might hurt Biden’s chances in the election. They have reimagined free speech as a liability to democracy. They have also crossed some border into the bizarro world by claiming the NY Post story is unproven after years of pressing untrue Russiagate stories into the public conscious, and after featuring NYT stories on Trump’s taxes based on purloined documents never made public. They have given voice to their self-created Blue Check experts who, simply based on imagination, claim the Post story has been spiked directly into the American vein by the Russians. The latter is especially insidious, using a fully disproven story (the Russians controlled the 2016 election) to support another new unproven accusation. This is sadly consistent with another blow to democracy, the media’s abandonment of any commitment to objectivity in favor of ideological activism. This election, there is a Right Candidate and a Wrong Candidate and it is the media’s job to use the tools of censorship, propaganda, and now unthought to direct your vote accordingly.

We have no protection. For something like this to be unconstitutional or illegal, the denial has to come from the government. Facebook and others can deny speech rights anytime they want. We now know the argument only the government is covered by the 1A has reached its limit. Technology and market dominance give great power with no responsibility to a handful of global companies even as the law hides behind the simplicity of the 18th century. That way of thinking requires you to believe that Facebook, et al, would never act as a proxy, barring viewpoints on behalf of a politician who would not be allowed to do it himself.

The NY Post story being disappeared caught the public’s eye, coming from a MSM source, right in front of the election, with all the sleaze of crack pipes and Russian spies as a cherry on top. But this has been going on for a long time.

After hazy accusations that some Russians tried to influence the 2016 presidential election, Twitter and Facebook banned advertising by RT and Sputnik. Senator Chris Murphy followed by demanding social media censor even more aggressively on the government’s behalf for the “survival of our democracy.” Following racial violence in Charlottesville, Google, GoDaddy, and Cloudflare collectively ended their relationships with The Daily Stormer, “effectively booting it off the Internet.” Google noted that, “while some free speech advocates were troubled by the idea that ‘a voice’ could be silenced at its source, others were encouraged by the united front the tech firms put up.”

Google blocks users from their own documents on Google Drive if the service feels the documents are “abusive.” Twitter and the others suspend those who promote (what it defines as) hatred and violence, “shadow bans” others to limit the size of their audience, and tweaks its trending topics to push certain political ideas and downplay others. It purges users and bans “hateful symbols.” There are near-daily demands by increasingly organized groups to censor specific users, with Trump at the top of that list. Users can snitch out other users so that Twitter can evaluate whether they should be suspended. The motivation is always the same: to limit the ideas people can choose to be exposed to.

Google has basically added its terms of service to the First Amendment. A leaked document from the tech giant argues that because of a variety of factors, including the election of Donald Trump, what it dismissively calls the “American tradition” of free speech may no longer be viable. The report lays out how Google can serve as the world’s “Good Censor,” protecting us from harmful content and, by extension, dangerous behavior, like electing the wrong president again. Google sees itself at the nexus of  historic change, declaring, “Although people have long been racist, sexist, and hateful in many other ways, they weren’t empowered by the Internet to recklessly express their views with abandon.” Google is, for the first time in human history, in a position to do something about it. After all, via 90 percent market dominance, they “now control the majority of our online conversations,” so the Internet is whatever they say it is.

We are approaching a time when the freedom to speak will no longer exist independent of the content of speech. What you’re allowed to say could depend on media’s opinion of how it will affect others, in this case, electing Joe Biden. Maybe you like Joe, but do I really have to include here “but what about the next time they use this power, maybe against something believe in?”

For those muttering “it can’t happen here,” look how American tech companies are already employing their tools to serve the 1A-free China market’s social control needs. Companies exist to make money. You can’t count on them past that. Handing over free speech rights to an entity whose core purpose has nothing to do with free speech means it will inevitably quash ideas when they conflict with profits; it just happens to be going your way right now. Those who gleefully celebrate that the anthropomorphized @jack and good old ‘Zuck are not held back by the 1A and can censor at will seem to believe they will always yield power in the way “we” want them to. And trading away a little free speech, especially from a journalistic roach like the NY Post seems reasonable compared to another four years of Trump.

It makes sense for them to unabashedly mainstream unthought and censorship Because Trump. Never before have a large number of Americans feared a politician more. Trump isn’t just against what you are for, he is someone literally out to kill you, via COVID, via some war, your life is in danger. He is not just bad, he is a pure strain of evil without goodness, like a pedophile.

Google first introduced censorship in the most well-intentioned way: to stop child predators. The Internet giant tweaked its search results to block sites it believed linked to child porn. It went on to do the same for terrorist sites, and sites that encouraged suicide. But Google can skew search results any way it wants. It knows the higher an item appears on a list of search results, the more users will click on it. In a test, placing links for one candidate above another in a rigged search increased the undecided voters who chose that candidate by 12 percent. Burying an idea can have a similar effect; 21st century free speech is as much about finding an audience as it is about finding a place to speak. Censorship in the 21st century targets both speakers (example: Twitter blocks someone) and listeners (Google hides that person’s articles). There will soon be no fear anyone will lock up dissident thinkers in some old-timey prison to silence them; impose a new Terms of Service and they are effectively dead. As are their ideas.

The argument Twitter, Facebook, and Google are private companies, that no one forces you to use their services, and in fact you are free to switch to MySpace, is an out-of-date attempt to justify end runs around the First Amendment. Platforms like Twitter are the public squares of the 21st century (seven of 10 American adults use a social media site), and should be governed by the same principles, or the First Amendment will become in practical terms irrelevant.

Pretending a corporation with the reach to influence elections is just another company that sells stuff is to pretend the role of unfettered debate in a free society is outdated. These corporations understand their power to influence. They feel morally required in using it for partisan goals. They have exercised it for Joe Biden. When that happens, elections can be stolen in real time. Just watch.

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Former UK Cabinet Secretary Claims London Staging ‘Discreet’ Cyber Attacks on Russia

RT | October 24, 2020

London has used “discreet” and “covert” measures to retaliate against Moscow for allegedly carrying out a chemical weapon attack on British soil, back in 2018, a former top adviser to PM Boris Johnson disclosed on Saturday.

The explosive claim comes from Lord Mark Sedwill, who until last month served as the most senior adviser and head of the civil service in Johnson’s cabinet. He held the same positions under former prime minister Theresa May, during whose term the Salisbury affair unfolded.

Speaking to Times Radio, Sedwill said Russia has “some vulnerabilities that we can exploit.” So London’s response to the incident included not only publicly accusing Russia of being behind the attack and expelling its diplomats, but also “a series of other discreet measures including tackling some of the illicit money flows out of Russia, and covert measures as well, which obviously I can’t talk about,” the former official said.

“The Russians know that they had to pay a higher price than they had expected for that operation.”

Sedwill would not explain how stopping illicit money flowing out of Russia would hurt the Russian government or why the UK didn’t act sooner to crack down on those financial crimes. Presumably, in his view, President Vladimir Putin’s power relies on allowing crooked officials and businessmen to siphon the Russian national wealth and the British government was content with it as long as the UK was on the receiving end.

A different view is taken in Moscow, where officials have repeatedly accused the British of harboring Russian criminals and welcoming illicitly gained cash.

The Times implied that the “covert measures” mentioned by Sedwill included the UK using its cyber offensive capabilities against Russia.

The Salisbury poisoning happened in March 2018. Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were injured by what the British government described as a uniquely Russian chemical weapon, but have since recovered. London identified two people from Russia as the culprits, calling them agents of the Russian military intelligence.

Moscow denied any involvement in the poisoning and said London had stonewalled all attempts to properly investigate what had happened.

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Data from Bolivia’s Election Add More Evidence That OAS Fabricated Last Year’s Fraud Claims

The MAS Received More Votes in Almost All of the OAS’s 86 Suspect Precincts in 2020 than in 2019

By Jake Johnston | CEPR | October 21, 2020

On Sunday, October 20, Bolivians went to the polls and overwhelmingly elected Luis Arce of the MAS party president. Private quick counts released the night of the vote showed Arce receiving more than 50 percent of the vote and holding a more than 20 percentage point lead over second place candidate Carlos Mesa. As of Wednesday morning, just over 88 percent of votes had been tallied in the official results system — and Arce’s lead is even greater. The MAS candidate’s vote share is, at the time of writing, 54.5 compared to 29.3 for Mesa. As the final votes are counted, Arce’s vote share will likely increase further.

At this point, there can be no questioning Arce’s victory. The election came nearly exactly a year after the October 2019 elections which were followed by violent protests and the ouster of then president Evo Morales, who resigned under pressure from the military. Official results in that vote showed Morales and the MAS party winning with a 10.56 percentage point advantage over Mesa, just over the 10 point margin of victory needed for Morales to win the election outright, without having to stand in a run-off election. However, the Organization of American States (OAS) alleged widespread manipulation of the results, feeding a narrative of electoral fraud that served as a pretext for  the November 10, 2019 coup.

With Arce’s 2020 victory now all but confirmed, what do the 2020 results tell us about the OAS allegations of fraud in last year’s vote?

The OAS’s initial claims of fraud centered around a “drastic” and “inexplicable” change in the trend of the vote, which allegedly took place after the preliminary results system, or TREP, was suspended for nearly 24 hours. In the time since, myriad statistical analyses — from CEPR (beginning the day after the OAS allegations), and from academics at MIT, Tulane, University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, have shown the OAS’s statistical analysis to be deeply flawed. In fact, there was no “inexplicable” change in the trend of the vote.

The OAS has refused to respond to these studies, or to queries about their statistical analysis from members of Congress, and has instead pointed to other alleged irregularities identified in the OAS audit. Statistical analysis is just informative, the OAS claimed, but the real evidence was in an audit that they carried out after the elections.

In that audit, the only evidence purporting to show an actual impact on the results of the elections were 226 tally sheets from 86 voting centers across the country. The OAS alleged that the tally sheets had been doctored. They noted that, if you removed the votes for Morales from all of these 226 tally sheets, his entire advantage above the 10 percentage point threshold for a first-round win disappeared. In other words, these 226 tally sheets served as supposed proof that Morales had cheated in order to win in the first round.

Excerpts from the OAS audit report

In March 2020, CEPR published an 82-page report detailing how the rest of the OAS allegations were just as flawed as the statistical analysis that formed the basis for the fraud narrative that led to Morales’s forced removal from office. We looked into these 226 tally sheets, showing the flaws in the OAS analysis and pointing out that the results in these voting centers closely matched results from previous elections. There was, in fact, nothing surprising about MAS performing extremely well in these areas. Further, we noted that while OAS officials had repeatedly spoken publicly about forged tally sheets, the auditors had provided no evidence to back up that allegation.

Now that there are disaggregated voting results from this Sunday’s elections, we can see that results in the centers where the OAS had allegedly identified doctored tally sheets follow the same patterns as in the 2019 elections.  Table 1, below, presents the 2020 results (with 88 percent of votes counted overall) in all 86 voting centers where the OAS alleged that tally sheets had been manipulated last year.

Table 1.

We have at least partial data for 81 of the 86 voting centers, and in all but 9, the MAS share of the vote has increased when compared to 2019.

In 2019, the OAS and other observers appeared scandalized by the fact that, in many rural areas, Morales had received more than 90 percent of the vote — and in some cases, even 100 percent of the vote. This, they claimed, surely sufficed as evidence of fraud. But, the 2020 results thus far further discredit the unsubstantiated claims made by the OAS, which served as justification for a coup d’etat and the repression that followed. To this day, former electoral officials remain under house arrest based on nothing more than the OAS audit.

As we noted in the March report, the communities targeted in the OAS analysis of these 226 tally sheets are, in the majority of cases, predominantly Indigenous. Though it may come as a shock to see a candidate receive 100 percent of the votes, it shouldn’t. Community voting — in which a community comes to a consensus around who to vote for — is a widely recognized phenomenon in Bolivia.

What the OAS alleged is that electoral jurors, the citizens selected at random by the electoral authorityTSE to serve as electoral officials at each voting table, did not print their names on the tally sheets — but that someone else had written their names. To be clear, the OAS does not allege that all 226 were filled out by the same individual; —  in no case does the OAS allege that more than 7 tally sheets were filled out by the same person. Further, in only one of the 226 cases does the OAS allege any problem at all with any signatures on the tally sheets. Rather than fraud, the most likely explanation for this is simply that a notary (each notary oversees about 8 voting tables), or some other official with clear handwriting, printed the names and then each juror signed the tally sheet. It is not clear, from the electoral regulations, that this is even a violation of the electoral law. Either way, the results from 2020 further confirm that there was nothing abnormal about the results on these 226 tally sheets in 2019. Further, what the OAS identified as irregularities had no discernable impact on the results of the election.

We can’t go back to 2019, or erase the racist violence unleashed on the population following the coup. On Sunday, Bolivians showed their courage, and the power of organized social movements, in righting the wrong of 2019. But that victory shouldn’t allow us to forget about 2019, or the role that international actors played in overthrowing a democratically elected government. Those 226 tally sheets never showed fraud, as the OAS asserted. They do, however, reveal how the OAS disenfranchised tens of thousands of Indigenous Bolivians in its galling attempts to justify the undemocratic removal of an elected leader.

Jake Johnston is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.

En español

October 23, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment