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We’ve spent a TRILLION dollars on statins to lower cholesterol, yet cardiovascular deaths have gone UP – it’s achieved nothing

By Malcolm Kendrick | RT | August 4, 2020

New research shows that the most widely prescribed type of drug in the history of medicine is a waste of money. One major study found that the more ‘bad’ cholesterol was lowered, the greater the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, almost every other medical condition has been shoved onto the sidelines. However, in the UK last year, heart attacks and strokes (CVD) killed well over 100,000 people – which is at least twice as many as have died from Covid-19.

CVD will kill just as many this year, which makes it significantly more important than Covid-19, even if no one is paying much attention to it right now. So, it is good to see that research goes on, and papers are still being published.

One of the most significant, and of great interest to me personally, was a critical examination of the benefits of lowering cholesterol. This was published on August 4. The paper was called ‘Hit or miss: the new cholesterol targets,’ and it came out in Evidence Based Medicine, one of the key titles that sits under the umbrella of British Medical Journal publishing.

It was carefully worded, as all clinical papers are, but a key section of the press release was as follows: “Setting targets for ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol levels to ward off heart disease and death in those at risk might seem intuitive, but decades of research have failed to show any consistent benefit for this approach, reveals an analysis of the available data, published online in BMJ Evidence Based Medicine.”

What is being said here is the following. Everyone thinks that lowering LDL, aka ‘bad cholesterol,’ is considered the single most important way to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. However, “decades of research have failed to show any consistent benefit for this approach.”

Surely this flies in the face of almost all the advice we have been bombarded with for the last 50 years or so. Cholesterol – by which we really mean low density lipoprotein (LDL) – is a killer and must be lowered. This is the whole point of statins, the single most widely prescribed type of drug in the history of medicine. Drugs that have racked up sales of nearly $1 trillion since their launch.

Now, newer and far more expensive LDL-lowering medications are available, riding on the success of statins. They are injectable, rather than tablets, and the cost is far higher. In the US, you are looking at around $5,000 per year. In the UK, one of these drugs, Repatha, costs the NHS just over £4,000 ($5,200) per year. These drugs are known as PCSK9-inhibitors.

These are eye-watering costs. It is estimated that around seven million people in the UK take statins currently. If everyone converted to a PCSK9-inhibitor, this would cost the NHS £28 billion ($36.4 billion) a year – not far off the entire defense budget.

But do these drugs work, does lowering LDL work? Surely it does, surely it must. The answer is, not necessarily. Yes, statins have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, not by a massive amount, but the effect exists. At least in some studies, if not all.

However, many other drugs also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease without having any effect on LDL levels, e.g. aspirin. A number of researchers have long argued that the benefits of statins are mainly due to “off-target” effects, by which they mean that, yes, statins lower LDL, but they also have effects on many other things and it is the “other things” that provide the benefit.

For example, statins have been found to have quite strong anti-coagulant (anti-blood-clotting) effects. Same as aspirin, as highlighted in the 2013 paper, ‘Anticoagulant effects of statins and their clinical implications.’ It states: “There is evidence indicating that statins… may produce several cholesterol-independent antithrombotic [anti-coagulant] effects.”

So, it has always remained possible that the main benefit of statins was not due to their impact on lowering LDL. It is because of something else that they do.

In this recent study, the authors decided to examine this possibility. So they gathered together all the LDL lowering trials – at least those big enough, and long enough to count – and try to establish whether the amount that the LDL was lowered matched the reduction, if any, in cardiovascular disease. The technical term for this is “dose-response.”

Or, to put this another way, if the LDL hypothesis is correct, the greater the LDL lowering, the greater the benefit on CVD should be. What did they find? Here are the key findings – from the press release:

“Their analysis showed that over three quarters of all the trials reported no positive impact on the risk of death and nearly half reported no positive impact on risk of future cardiovascular disease.

“And the amount of LDL cholesterol reduction achieved didn’t correspond to the size of the resulting benefits, with even very small changes in LDL cholesterol sometimes associated with larger reductions in risk of death or cardiovascular ‘events,’ and vice versa.

“Thirteen of the clinical trials met the LDL cholesterol reduction target, but only one reported a positive impact on risk of death…

“Considering that dozens of [randomized controlled trials] of LDL-cholesterol reduction have failed to demonstrate a consistent benefit, we should question the validity of this theory.”

And they conclude:

“In most fields of science the existence of contradictory evidence usually leads to a paradigm shift or modification of the theory in question, but in this case the contradictory evidence has been largely ignored, simply because it doesn’t fit the prevailing paradigm.”

In short, what they found was that there was absolutely no correlation between the amount that LDL was lowered and the resulting benefit on CVD. In fact, the benefit was inverse i.e. the less the LDL was lowered, the greater the benefit.

This is a hugely important finding that really ought to be shouted from the rooftops. I admit I have a horse in the race, having long argued that LDL has nothing to do with heart disease (and being roundly condemned for doing so). So, it is nice to have my thoughts so powerfully supported in a peer-reviewed, high-impact journal.

For the average person on the street, what this research means is that you should stop worrying about your LDL levels, and obsessively trying to get them down with drugs or diet. Tucked away in the paper was this significant finding:

“Moreover, consider that the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, a four-year long RCT [randomized controlled trial] of a low-fat diet involving 9,423 subjects, actually reported an increase in mortality and cardiovascular events despite a 13 percent reduction in total cholesterol.”

Cholesterol (LDL) went down, CVD went up. We really are wasting a colossal amount of money.

Malcolm Kendrick is a doctor and author who works as a GP in the National Health Service in England. His blog can be read here and his book, ‘Doctoring Data – How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense,’ is available here.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 9 Comments

Austrians protest government cooperation with Israel in cyber drills

By Homa Lezgee | Press TV | August 4, 2020

Vienna – Protesters in Vienna are demanding an immediate end to Austria’s military cooperation with the Israeli regime.

The slogan of protesters gathered outside the American embassy in Vienna is “No to Austrian subordination to US/Israeli interests.”

They say the Austrian government’s decision to involve its intelligence forces in cyber maneuvers with Israel is meant to serve the interests of the US and Israel despite concerns it could lead to mass surveillance of the Austrian population.

Not much is known about the maneuvers, reportedly involving the Israeli military, the German Armed Forces, and units from Austria and Switzerland, during which cyber attacks would be simulated and countered.

Protesters also condemned the Austrian government for refusing to vote against Israel’s recent illegal annexation plans.

Pro-Palestinian groups in Austria, such as the Palestine Solidarity Platform, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) have been facing increasing government restrictions amid allegations of promoting anti-Semitism, an accusation they say is being used to misrepresent their goal of opposing Israeli occupation and aggression.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lithuania’s alleged involvement in Maidan contradicts supposed European values

By Paul Antonopoulos |  August 4, 2020

New scandalous information about the 2014 Maidan coup d’état in Ukraine has emerged that implicates Lithuania’s important role in instigating the violent events. David Zhvania, a former Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, revealed on his YouTube channel that the seizure of power in Ukraine was financed in “several ways.”

“One of the external sources was the Lithuanian embassy, ​​through which money and weapons were transferred, and the internal channel was Diamantbank. I have documented evidence to support my words,” said the former ally of Petro Poroshenko, the previous president of Ukraine.

Zhvania called on Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova to initiate criminal proceedings and to summon him for questioning. According to the former MP, “Ukrainians should finally find out the truth” on who funded Maidan and who was bribed. He then admitted he was a member of a “criminal group that carried out a coup.”

“To help the conspirators, I used my political influence and my position as head of the State-Building Committee,” he said, adding that he would testify against himself, “but with one condition.”

“Please guarantee my security because I know who the people of Poroshenko are. They can easily order me to be removed,” he stressed.

Mass protests in Kiev began in November 2013 after preparations for the signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union were suspended. This set off mass anti-Russian hysteria and by the end of February 2014, a coup d’état took place in Ukraine, ousting President Viktor Yanukovych from power. This led to Petro Poroshenko becoming president and ultra-nationalists, including neo-Nazis, gained significant power in Ukraine and instigated a war with the Russian-speaking minority of Eastern Ukraine.

Although U.S. and Western European involvement in Maidan are well documented and known, Zhvania’s admissions are the first admittance of how a small Baltic country of under 3 million people played a key role in destabilizing Ukraine. Lithuania’s role was not only with financial support, but also with arms transfers. Although some may be sceptical that Lithuania played such a role, Zhvania is confident enough in his allegations that he announced he is willing to submit “documented evidence” to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.

The question arises whether the Prosecutor’s Office will accept Zhvania’s testimony and evidence. Such a testimony and submission of evidence would further question the legitimacy of the Maidan events as a fight for freedom and democracy in Ukraine. If the legitimacy of Maidan is questioned, ultra-nationalists in Ukraine could become hysterical and instigate political destabilization to maintain and protect the powers they attained when Yanukovych was ousted. This is something the Prosecutor’s Office would be considering.

Lithuania was an active supporter of the 2004-2005 Orange Revolution that brought pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko to power in Ukraine. Although Yushchenko was unconstitutionally brought to power, for Lithuania this was not a problem so long as Kiev had a pro-Western orientation. It is therefore not surprising that in 2014 it again supported reactionary forces in Ukraine. From the beginning of the conflict in Donbass, the eastern region of Ukraine where the majority of the Russian-speaking minority are, Lithuania started to provide official military support to Ukraine with armaments and advisers, and informally by recruiting and sending mercenaries.

As Lithuania has taken a pro-American position since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country’s leadership has aggressively served Washington’s ambitions of limiting Russian influence and expanding American interests in the post-Soviet space. It is for this reason that Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland created the “Lublin Triangle,” a trilateral platform for these three countries to counter supposed “ongoing Russian aggression” and show their “firm support” for Western institutions. In their joint declaration published online, the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the three countries condemned Russia’s “ongoing aggression” and its “attempted annexation” of Crimea, while welcoming Ukraine’s “European choice.” Effectively the trilateral platform is a pillar for the three countries to enact Washington’s main foreign policy priorities in the region, that they call “Central Europe” instead of Eastern Europe. Claiming that Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine are in Central Europe instead of the geographical reality that they are in Eastern Europe, is an awkward attempt by these countries to disassociate themselves from Western orientalization that the East is primitive and/or backwards.

If Zhvania’s statements that Lithuania’s role in Maidan are confirmed to be true, it would certainly not come as a surprise, but as mentioned, they delegitimize the initial claims that the movement was a struggle for democracy and Western European values in Ukraine. It would also confirm that Lithuania interfered in the internal affairs of another state and participated in an unconstitutional coup. Effectively, if proven true, the supposed values of Western Europe that Maidan struggled for would prove to be a sham as it was not achieved through the will of the people, but rather through foreign funds and weapons, including those from seemingly insignificant states like Lithuania.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Lebanon-Israel border fire: Scandal or victory for Tel Aviv?

Photo: Fear of Hezbollah Pushes Israeli Artillery to Bombard Israeli Military Site
Middle East Observer | July 31, 2020

Description:

Senior Lebanese political analyst Anees Naqqash provides his analysis of the recent flareup on the Lebanese-Israeli border, an incident which is becoming the subject of many questions, theories and debates.

In this interview on Al-Manar TV, Naqqash says something ‘very strange and major’ occurred in this incident, and perhaps the ambiguity will be removed in the future. However, the senior analyst, who is closely-tied to Hezbollah, affirmed that the events at the border were a ‘major scandal for the entire state of Israel’.

Here’s the necessary context:

For days Israeli forces had been on high alert on the Lebanese border after Tel Aviv understood that a Hezbollah reprisal attack was imminent after the Lebanese group announced that one of its cadres (namely Ali Kamil Mohsen) had been killed by an Israeli airstrike near Damascus International Airport.

On the 27th of July, 2020, a military incident occurred at the border between Lebanon and Israel. Much debate ensued regarding what actually occurred. As the apparent cross-border fire unfolded on that Monday afternoon at the Shebaa Farms border region, Israeli media reported the developing situation minute by minute, albeit with contradictory accounts. Meanwhile, Hezbollah remained silent, while Lebanese media outlets like Al Mayadeen TV largely relayed Israeli media’s breaking news reports.

The final account that Israeli media and officials generally settled on hours later was this: the Israeli army had thwarted a Hezbollah infiltration attempt into Israeli-controlled territory, and that the army remains alert for any future attempts to breach the border.

Thereafter, when the dust had settled, Hezbollah issued a statement denying Israeli media reports that a Hezbollah infiltration attempt was foiled, and asserted that all the fire that was opened was carried out unilaterally by the Israelis. Hezbollah unequivocally asserted that there were no ‘clashes’, nor exchange of cross-border fire, nor ‘martyrs’ that fell from its side, but rather ‘terrified and anxious’ Israeli forces ‘firing at each other’.

The Hezbollah statement also assured that the reprisal for Israel’s killing of Ali Kamil Mohsen, one of its cadres in Syria, is undoubtedly coming.

Source: Al-Manar TV

Date: July 27,2020

Transcript:

Host:

Mr. Anees, let us return to the point raised by Mr. Hijazi (Al-Manar journalist) regarding the (various) scenarios. What are the potential scenarios that led the enemy entity (Israel) to this situation today? Is it truly the case that the huge (Israeli) confusion and tension (in anticipation of the promised Hezbollah reprisal), this idea (invoked initially by Nasrallah, that the Israelis ought to wait for the reprisal by) “standing on a leg and a half” , also after Hezbollah’s (media) statement, which we’re going to mention after a while, and I don’t know how much they’ll last standing on a leg and a half moving forward… what are the scenarios that led to this scene? Or is it truly a trick (by Israeli officials) aimed at getting rid of the burden of (Hezbollah’s promised) reprisal through any way possible, by say fabricating a story or scenario to reach this end?


Naqqash:

This scenario, in which (the Israelis purposefully) commit an attack against their own selves in order to prevent Hezbollah from responding by drawing a statement from Hezbollah (in which the Lebanese group can claim) that “We have retaliated and carried out our reprisal”, this (possibility) is abit unlikely, unless of course (the Israelis) are that stupid, But whoever knows Hezbollah well, knows that they won’t engage in such a game.

There’s something that I don’t know how we will reach one day, but something (in what occurred today) looks like the Ansariya operation (of 1997, which occurred at the Lebanese coastal town of Ansariya). When the Ansariya operation took place, Robert Fisk, the famous correspondent from The Independent, came to me and said, “Anees, my estimation of this operation is that it is impossible for it to have occurred in the manner in which it did.” In what sense (did Fisk mean)? (He meant that) Hezbollah (during the Ansariya operation) was awaiting the Israeli special forces in order to trap them, and these (Israeli special) forces do not move into action except by the command of the (Israeli) Prime Minister and (Israeli army’s) Chief of Staff, so this means complete secrecy, a large part of the (Israeli army) does not know about the movements (of these special forces).

Fisk continued, “So, I believe that Hezbollah was awaiting (the arrival of these forces at Ansariya), and there’s no way (this ambush could have occurred) except by (Hezbollah) having penetrated the Israeli (Chief of) Staff Command.” (Fisk) wasn’t joking at all. He said “my estimation”, and you know Fisk’s (journalistic) experience, he has extensive experience in the (Middle East) region for over 30 years. I replied to Fisk’s claim and told him, “No, I don’t think it required (Hezbollah) to penetrate the (Israeli Chief of) Staff Command. There’s something major that happened, maybe one day it will be clarified.”

What was the major thing (that was revealed later)? That an (Israeli) spy drone had been capturing images of an area (in the Lebanese town of) Ansariya, (Hezbollah) operatives (had intercepted this drone) and were collecting these images, which allowed them in turn to uncover the enemy’s intended target (i.e. Hezbollah anticipated where the Israeli special forces were intending to land and strike). They uncovered the enemy’s intended target via the enemy’s eye (in the sky). Through the enemy’s eye they prepared for them an ambush.

I believe the day will come when the major fact (behind today’s events) is revealed, because what happened today was very strange. It wasn’t merely a confused Israeli soldier who was firing a M16 or PKM, or even a single tank firing at an invisible target. Rather, it consisted of extremely heavy shelling from several (Israeli) sources of fire, all of which were targeting an (Israeli) military base, and this lasted for several minutes. The information was delivered to the (Israeli) prime minister and he (immediately) issued threats and assessed the (magnitude of the) situation. Something major occurred at this (military) site. I think that the enemy today is extremely confused to the maximum level possible. What happened to its forces? Who gave the order to open fire? What (is the nature of the) penetration that took place? What camouflage (tactics) were used?

During war, armies carry out spy missions, deception operations, I give him fake targets (to shoot at), and perhaps behind these fake targets his own forces could be stationed. All this occurs. What happened today? No one can say exactly what happened, but one thing could be said, “It is a scandal for the Zionist enemy and its army and its (entire) state as a (political) entity, because it is not just the (Israeli) Northern (Army) Command which is involved in this scandal, as I said in the beginning, from the Prime Minister, to the ‘Minister of War’, to the (local commanders) on the ground, all are embroiled in this scandal.

Something major has happened today, which is forcing (the Israelis) to reconsider their calculations. Great powers today are looking at this (Israeli) entity today and saying: something major has happened. This is an entity that cannot be relied upon (to achieve any military advances). This reminds us of reports written by great powers after 2006 which said that this army cannot win any (future) war, because its performance in 2006 was one of the worst performances, (a war waged against) only two thousand fighters from Hezbollah. Today the situation is (even) totally different in terms of (Hezbollah’s) numbers, equipment and weapons, but this is another issue. Yet the confusion that took place today, the scenario that caused a total collapse of the (Israeli) media and intelligence (apparatus), of the Chief of Staff, of the Prime Minister, to the (actual) Israeli base on the ground that bombarded the other military base.

Recently I received information that large plumes of smoke were rising from some (Israeli) bases. My estimates were that the enemy was evacuating from these bases and did not want (Hezbollah) to know that it had evacuated. This base (that was bombarded by Israel) was part of the scenario. Did the enemy evacuate this base in order to create this scenario? This would indicate the level of disgrace of the Zionist enemy, as it imagines Hezbollah would feel satisfied with this scenario and claim that it carried out this operation. It’s as if (the Israelis) are convincing themselves that (Hezbollah) might do such a thing. And this is impossible (Hezbollah would never do it) . As you heard today (the Israelis) saying: “What annoys us more is that Hezbollah did has not issued a statement yet.” And when the situation became clear, Hezbollah issued that very clear statement, and by doing so, revealed the weakness of the enemy, as it revealed Hezbollah had no hands in the clashes, and that the Israelis were clashing with themselves. Today there is a great defeat for the enemy at all levels, and this must be further closely studied.

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July 31, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

US’ global media agency launches probe into ‘election interference’ after VOA runs Biden campaign ad targeting Muslims

RT | July 31, 2020

The head of the US agency for Global Media has announced an investigation into state-funded Voice of America (VOA) for possible election meddling, after its service in Urdu promoted a clip of Joe Biden courting Muslim votes.

The probe, announced by the newly-appointed agency CEO Michael Pack on Thursday, aims to determine whether federal employees of the broadcaster, funded exclusively through taxpayer money, “transgressed the VOA Charter, VOA’s Best Practices Guide, VOA’s Journalistic Code,” and whether they committed US election interference and a federal offence by airing a video “that can only be described as an apparent election advertisement for [the] presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.”

The clip, which was branded with a VOA logo, shows Biden addressing the Million Muslim Votes Summit earlier this month and citing a hadith (saying of Islam’s Prohet Mohammed), while making a series of election pledges such as the ending of travel restrictions to countries with substantial Muslim populations, labeled by US President Donald Trump’s detractors as a “Muslim ban.”

“Your voice is your vote. Muslim American voices matter. I’ll be a president who seeks out and incorporates the ideas and concerns of Muslim Americans on everyday issues that matter most to our communities,” Biden says in the clip.

The ad, which also features the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, sees Biden’s promise of “having Muslim American voices as part of my administration.”

The video urges American Muslims to go out and vote, calling the effort “the largest Muslim voter mobliziation in America.”
Also on rt.com Envoy demands VOA ramp up anti-Iran efforts to ‘support’ Iranians… because what they really need is more US-funded propaganda

The clip was shared on the VOA’s Urdu website as well as across its social media, before it was scrapped.

In his statement, Pack said that the agency is seeking to find those behind “this significant content and editorial breakdown.”

“USAGM staff members who attempt to influence American elections will be held accountable.”

Ever since Pack was confirmed by the Senate in early June to lead the agency, mainstream media and Democrats have been sounding alarms over the VOA, initially set up in 1942 as a propaganda arm of the US government, potentially becoming an outlet for the wrong kind of propaganda – that is, a mouthpiece for the Trump campaign. However, that does not seem to be the case, at least, for now.

July 31, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 1 Comment

Unsealed docs: Clinton was on ‘pedophile island’ w/ ‘young girls’ & cite Epstein saying former president ‘owed him favor’

RT | July 31, 2020

Newly unsealed files tied to the Jeffrey Epstein sex-trafficking case imply that former US President Bill Clinton visited the investor’s private island along with “young girls,” and that the FBI knew well about the minors’ abuse.

Comprising hundreds of pages of documents, the trove was released on Thursday night following a judge’s order last week to have it unsealed, over the objections of Ghislaine Maxwell, a former girlfriend to Epstein who has recently been charged as an accomplice in his alleged sex-trafficking operation.

The records stem from a 2015 defamation suit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre, which was placed under lock and key after the case was settled in 2017, but was recently unsealed, as a result of a lawsuit brought last year by conservative blogger Mike Cernovich and the Miami Herald newspaper.

Among other revelations, the documents indicate that former US president Bill Clinton consorted with “young girls” during at least one visit to Epstein’s private resort in the Virgin Islands, where the billionaire was said to host regular “sex orgies.”

“When you were present with Jeffery Epstein and Bill Clinton on the island, who else was there?” one witness – presumably Giuffre – was asked during an interview, to which she replied that Epstein, Maxwell, an unidentified woman named “Emmy” and “2 young girls” had been on the island with the former POTUS. The witness did not elaborate on Clinton’s interactions with the girls, however.

The same witness also told her attorney in 2011 that she had overheard Epstein saying that Clinton owed him “favors,” but noted she couldn’t tell whether he was joking.

“He would laugh it off. You know, I remember asking Jeffrey ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’… and he laughed it off and said ‘well he owes me a favor,’” she said. “He never told me what favors they were. I never knew. I didn’t know if he was serious.”

“He told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favors. They’re all in each other’s pockets.”

One of America’s top law enforcement agencies was also apparently aware that underage girls were still being abused at Epstein’s properties as far back as 2011 – years after he was sentenced for similar crimes in his first criminal case. During her defamation suit, Giuffre said she had provided the FBI a now widely circulated photo of herself and the UK’s Prince Andrew – where he is pictured smiling with an arm around her bare waist.

In 2014, moreover, Giuffre contacted the FBI to request evidence they had previously seized from Epstein’s residences to aid her civil case, suggesting the bureau had for long been informed of her allegations regarding Epstein and his continued involvement with minor girls.

President Donald Trump also made an appearance in the unsealed papers. However, an associate of Epstein, Juan Alessi, said in an interview that Trump “never” stayed overnight while visiting Epstein’s Palm Beach estate, and that he did not receive any “massages” there, as “he’s got his own spa.” An alleged victim also maintained that while Trump and Epstein were “good friends,” Trump made no attempts to “flirt” with her.

Despite repeatedly insisting he had no ties to Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring, legal scholar and former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz is directly accused in the documents of having “sexual relations” with an underage girl. He is also said to have witnessed “the sexual abuse of many other minors by Epstein and several of Epstein’s co-conspirators,” and would later help to negotiate an undisclosed immunity deal for himself during Epstein’s first criminal case.

More than 1,000 pages of documents from Giuffre’s civil defamation case had previously been released in August 2019, indicating that a long list of wealthy and powerful figures regularly spent time with Epstein at his lavish properties. One day after that trove was unsealed, Epstein was found hanging in his Manhattan prison cell, dead from an apparent suicide after being charged with sex trafficking and imprisoned some weeks previously.

Maxwell was arrested and charged with procuring minors for sexual abuse earlier this month, after keeping a low profile in the period following Epstein’s death. She has pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts and remains in custody without bail, after prosecutors had labeled her an “extreme” flight risk.

July 31, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 5 Comments

The Incident at Benghazi

Tales of the American Empire | July 30, 2020

Chris Stevens was an ambitious US State Department employee who volunteered to participate in the overthrow of the Libyan government in 2011. He covertly arrived in Libya in early 2011 aboard a Greek cargo ship with CIA personnel and set up operations in Benghazi to coordinate illegal shipments of weaponry into Libya and organized attacks on the Libyan army. After Africa’s most prosperous nation was in ruins, Stevens became the US Ambassador to Libya in Tripoli and was given a new mission of shipping tons of arms to Syria to destroy that nation. He traveled to Benghazi in September 2012 to check on progress and was attacked. Stevens was captured, beaten, and killed. The Obama administration hid these facts and proclaimed Chris Stevens an American hero who had traveled to Benghazi to mediate peace among warring factions when he was killed by terrorists.

_______________________________

“Slain Ambassador Chris Stevens Slipped Into Libya on a Cargo Ship During Revolution”; Amy Bingham; ABC News; September 12, 2012; https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/…

Related Tale: The Destruction of Libya in 2011; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Lh4…

“Operation Timber Sycamore”; the CIA’s semi-secret shipments of tons of weapons to terrorists in Syria; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_…

“CIA Gun—running, Qatar-Libya-Syria”; Phil Greaves; Global Research ; August 9, 2013; https://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-gun…

“The Arming of Benghazi”; Fox News; June 27, 2015; https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/…

Video report: Part I https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/43285…

Part II https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/43284…

“Arms for Libya 2.0”; Wikispooks; https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Arms_for_…

”Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged broker of Libyan weapons”; Ken Vogel; Politico ; October 5, 2016; https://www.politico.com/story/2016/1…

“Hillary’s Secret War”; Andrew Napolitano; July 2, 2015; Antiwar.com ; http://original.antiwar.com/andrew-p-…

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Are You Gonna Believe?

By Steve Sailer • Unz Review • July 29, 2020

From the NYT opinion page:

Help Me Find Trump’s ‘Anarchists’ in Portland

The president has his politically driven narrative. And then there’s reality.

By Nicholas Kristof
Opinion Columnist

July 29, 2020, 4:23 p.m. ET

PORTLAND, Ore. — I’ve been on the front lines of the protests here, searching for the “radical-left anarchists” who President Trump says are on Portland streets each evening.

I thought I’d found one: a man who for weeks leapt into the fray and has been shot four times with impact munitions yet keeps coming back. I figured he must be a crazed anarchist.

But no, he turned out to be Dr. Bryan Wolf, a radiologist who wears his white doctor’s jacket and carries a sign with a red cross and the words “humanitarian aid.” He pleads with federal forces not to shoot or gas protesters.

“Put your gun barrels down!” he cries out. “Why are you loading your grenade launchers? We’re just standing ——”

And then they shoot.

Dr. Wolf, an assistant professor at Oregon Health Sciences University, helps at a medic stand operated by volunteers from the medical school. Could they be radical-left anarchists? No, they’ve imposed order on the anarchy of the street by establishing qualifications for field medics and a hierarchy among them, so that any badly injured protester will immediately get the right kind of care.

See, they are organized so they can’t anarchists!

Also, they are anarchists so they can be an organization, and thus they are not liable under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization law!

Accomplishing all this while tear gas is swirling and impact munitions are whizzing by, without even asking for insurance cards — that seems the opposite of what fanatical anarchists might do.

Maybe the rioting anarchists were in front of the crowd, where there are discussions about Black Lives Matter? I found musicians and activists and technicians, who were projecting a huge sign on the wall of a nearby building — “Fed Goons Out of PDX” — that seemed a bit geeky for anarchists.

Oh, wait, there was a man using angry language about the federal “occupation” and calling it “abhorrent.” Lots of protesters don’t seem to like him, so could he be a crazed anarchist rioter?

Oops, no, that’s just Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, sputtering after being tear-gassed by the feds.

Listen up, people, we at the New York Times spent the last six years telling you in excruciating detail about the menace posed by the radical right. If the radical left were important, wouldn’t we have, you know, gotten around to mentioning them? So, logically, they don’t exist.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments

Political Legitimacy Dies in 2020

By James Bovard | American Institute for Economic Research | July 28, 2020

The American political system may be on the eve of its worst legitimacy crisis since the Civil War. Early warning signals indicate that many states could suffer catastrophic failures in counting votes in November. The election will occur amidst the vast economic devastation inflicted by a political class that responded to COVID by seizing almost unlimited power. And Deep State federal agencies have already proven that they will trample the law to sabotage election results.

America could soon see a hundred-times worse replay of the Florida presidential balloting 20 years ago in the Bush-Gore showdown. Some Florida counties had antiquated voting equipment while others had harebrained ballot designs that confounded voters. The Florida Supreme Court ordered a manual recount of disputed votes but the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, stopped the recount because it could result in “a cloud upon what [George W. Bush] claims to be the legitimacy of his election,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. Two days, the same Supreme Court majority blocked any subsequent recounting because it was “not well calculated to sustain the confidence that all citizens must have in the outcome of elections.” Unfortunately, “legitimacy via blocked recounts” may also be the epithet for the 2020 presidential election.

Because of the pandemic, many states are switching primarily to mail-in voting even though experiences with recent primaries were a disaster. In New York City, officials are still struggling to count mail-in ballots from the June primary. Up to 20% of ballots “were declared invalid before even being opened, based on mistakes with their exterior envelopes,” the Washington Post noted, thanks largely to missing postmarks or signatures. In Wisconsin, more than 20,000 “primary ballots were thrown out because voters missed at least one line on the form, rendering them invalid.”

Some states are mailing ballots to all the names on the voting lists, providing thousands of dead people the chance to vote from the grave. President Trump claims that the shift to mail-in voting could result in “the most corrupt vote in our nation’s history.” Trump is often wrong on issues but even a New York Daily News article tagged the recent primary results a “dumpster fire.” Delayed election results and potentially millions of disputed ballots could minimize support for whoever is designated the next president.

Elections supposedly choose which candidates are selected to follow the law and uphold the Constitution, but COVID shutdown dictates vividly how political power is now practically unlimited. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer prohibited “all public and private gatherings of any size” (prohibiting people from visiting friends) and also prohibited purchasing seeds for spring planting in stores after she decreed that a “nonessential” activity. Oregon Governor Kate Brown banned the state’s four million residents from leaving their homes except for essential work, buying food, and other narrow exemptions, and also banned all recreational travel – even though much of her state had almost zero COVID cases.

In the name of reducing risks, politicians entitled themselves to destroy tens of millions of jobs. Permitting governors to shut down churches was not on the ballot but that didn’t stop many states from banning worship services at the same time politicians cheered mass protests that scorned “stay-at-home” orders.

The media has often whitewashed the damage from COVID power grabs in part because every restriction was supposedly justified by “science.” After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dictated that nursing homes must admit COVID patients, more than 6,000 elderly nursing home residents were killed by the coronavirus. Cuomo has yet to reveal which “science” textbook spawned this policy (which several other states also imposed). Were those state governments grossly incompetent or were they murderous? It doesn’t matter because Trump made rude comments about N.I.H. honcho and media darling Anthony Fauci. What’s the point of voting for politicians who merely need to invoke dubious statistical extrapolations to sow death and economic devastation?

Finally, does the presidential election even matter? Deep State federal agencies are a Godzilla that have established their prerogative to undermine if not overturn election results. The FBI has achieved saint-like status among many liberals for its efforts to topple Trump. For almost three years, the nation’s political life was roiled by an investigation driven by false allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. As George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley observed last week, the media continues to ignore “one of the biggest stories in decades. The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence.” Obama officials who exploited the CIA and other intelligence agencies to illicitly target Trump campaign officials have laughed all the way to million-dollar book advances.

During the Trump impeachment effort, the establishment media openly cheered the Deep State. New York Times columnist James Stewart assured readers that the secretive agencies “work for the American people,” New York Times editorial writer Michelle Cottle hailed the Deep State as “a collection of patriotic public servants,” and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson captured the Beltway’s verdict: “God bless the Deep State!” The media has almost completely abandoned its watchdog role, and its veneration will make it easier for the FBI, CIA, and National Security Agency to ravage not just elections but also Americans’ rights and liberties in the coming years.

Even before the voting starts, surveys show that for the first time “a majority of Americans (55 percent) are dissatisfied with their system of government,” the Atlantic reported. The percentage of Americans who “expressed trust in government in Washington” has fallen from 73% in 1958 to only 17% now, according to the Pew Research Center. But those numbers could quickly become far more ominous for our political ruling class.

What happens if Trump continues to repel many if not most potential voters, and then Biden comes across in the presidential debates as clueless and doddering as did Special Counsel Robert Mueller in a congressional hearing last July? How many Americans will feel forced to choose between a scoundrel and an idiot?

Many pundits and professors presume that a Biden victory in November will magically re-legitimize the American political system. But almost all the problems of recent years will continue or intensify. The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, both of which horribly botched the nation’s response to COVID, will continue bollixing public health crises. U.S. foreign policy will continue to be reckless and self-defeating, with American pretensions to global hegemony becoming ever more ludicrous. Deficit spending will continue to spin out of control, spiraling closer to the day when the Federal Reserve’s sorcery fails to entrance financial markets. Unfortunately, both Democrats and Republicans appear willing to bankrupt the nation to perpetuate their own power.

Federal legitimacy hinges on the Constitution, but there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that either Trump or Biden will “make America constitutional again.” As Thomas Jefferson declared in 1786, “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.” What’s the point of voting if “government under the law” is not a choice on Election Day? American political legitimacy will continue plummeting as long as politicians scorn any legal and constitutional limits on their power.

James Bovard is the author of ten books, including Public Policy Hooligan, Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, New Republic, Reader’s Digest, and many other publications. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, a frequent contributor to The Hill, and a contributing editor for American Conservative.

July 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

More Explosive Leaks From OPCW Show Trump Bombed Syria On False Grounds

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge | July 27, 2020

As the ongoing increased sanctions regimen on Syria demonstrates, Washington’s pursuit of regime change against Assad is not over, despite Damascus clearly having won the war, and with the US having wisely ditched talk of some kind of overt major Iraq-style military intervention (as was the case under Obama in August 2013).

While mainstream media has largely “moved on” from coverage of Syria (so much for feigned humanitarian “concern” for millions of Syrians suffering under severe American-led sanctions!), some analysts like independent journalist Aaron Maté have been detailing damning leaks from the chemical weapons watchdog Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“A series of leaked documents from the OPCW raise the possibility that the Trump administration bombed Syria on false grounds and pressured officials at the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up,” Maté’s latest report in The Nation begins.

“Two OPCW officials, highly regarded scientists with more than 25 years of combined experience at the organization, challenged the whitewash from inside. Yet unlike many whistle-blowers of the Trump era, they have found no champion, or even an audience, within establishment circles in the United States,” the report continues.

Recall that President Trump bombed Syria on two occasions. On the last occasion, in April 2018, Damascus was pummeled with a series of major tomahawk missile strikes ostensibly in response to claims by the primarily Saudi-backed jihadist group Jaysh al-Islam that the Syrian Army had carried out a chemical weapons attack on civilians. It was the all too familiar pattern which went back to 2013: “rebels” on the brink of being wiped out make a last ditch unverified claim in order to draw Western military support, then the mainstream media runs with it because it already fits the narrative of the “monster” Assad, and then right away it’s American and allied “bombs away” with no questions asked.

But Maté now documents an avalanche of leaks and internal dissent within the global chemical weapons watchdog group OPCW to say the US once again attacked a Middle East country based on lies (and just like in neighboring Iraq, don’t forget that some 1,000 or more American troops occupy the oil-rich northeast section of Syria).

Maté’s report finds that “Since May 2019, internal OPCW documents, including a trove published by WikiLeaks, reveal that the Douma investigators’ initial report reached different conclusions than their organization’s published version. They were overruled by senior officials who kept evidence from the public.”

The Nation report outlines leaks’ key revelations as follows:

Senior OPCW officials reedited the Douma investigators’ initial report to produce a version that sharply deviated from the original. Key facts were removed or misrepresented and conclusions were rewritten to support the allegation that a chlorine gas attack had occurred in Douma. Yet the team’s initial report did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred, and left open the possibility that victims were killed in a “non-chemical related” incident.

Four experts from a OPCW and NATO-member state conducted a toxicology review at the OPCW team’s request. They concluded that observed symptoms of the civilians in Douma, particularly the rapid onset of excessive frothing, as well as the concentration of victims filmed in the apartment building so close to fresh air, “were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine, and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”

Chemical tests of the samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were, in most cases, detected at what amounted to trace quantities in the parts-per-billion range. Yet this finding was not disclosed publicly. Furthermore, it later emerged that the chemicals themselves did not stand out as unique: According to the author of the initial report, the OPCW’s top expert in chemical weapons chemistry, they could have resulted from contact with household products such as bleach or come from chlorinated water or wood preservatives.

The author of the initial report protested the revisions in an e-mail expressing his “gravest concern.” The altered version “misrepresents the facts,” he wrote, thereby “undermining its credibility.”

Following the e-mail of protest over the manipulation of the team’s findings, the OPCW published a watered-down interim report in July 2018. Around that time, OPCW executives decreed that the probe would be handled by a so-called “core team,” which excluded all of the Douma investigators who had traveled to Syria, except for one paramedic. It was this core team—not the inspectors who had been deployed to Douma and signed off on the original document—that produced the final report of March 2019.

After the e-mail of protest, and just days before the interim report was published on July 6, a US government delegation met with members of the investigation team to try to convince them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical attack with chlorine. According to veteran reporter Jonathan Steele, who interviewed one of the whistle-blowers, the Douma team saw the meeting as “unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.” Interference by state parties is explicitly prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The inference drawn from the OPCW’s final report—widely disseminated, including by the Trump administration—was that gas cylinders found in Douma likely came from Syrian military aircraft. An unpublished engineering study reached the opposite conclusion. The study evaluated competing hypotheses: Either the cylinders were dropped from the sky or they were manually placed. There is “a higher probability,” it concluded, “that both cylinders were manually placed… rather than being delivered from aircraft.” At “Location 4,” where a cylinder was found on a bed, the study determined that the cylinder was too large to have penetrated the hole in the roof above; at the other site, “Location 2,” the observed damage to the cylinder and to the roof it allegedly penetrated were incompatible with an aircraft bombing. Ballistics experts also said it was more likely that the crater had been made by an explosion, probably from an artillery round, a rocket, or a mortar. With both cylinders, the study concluded, “the alternative hypothesis”—that the cylinders were manually placed and that the craters were caused by other means—”produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

Of course, the media is seeking for these revelations to be memory-holed right way.

They are being conveniently ignored, and not just ignored, but covered up.

* * *

Read the full in-depth investigative report at The Nation.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | 3 Comments

Cybereason Announces New Plans to “Accelerate” Access to US Govt Networks Ahead of 2020 Election

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | July 27, 2020

A cybersecurity firm tied to Israeli intelligence’s Unit 8200 that simulated a series of terrorist attacks occurring on the U.S. 2020 election has announced a new hire with deep ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities with the goal of gaining greater access to U.S. government networks.

A cybersecurity company tied to Israeli intelligence and a series of unnerving simulations regarding cyber-terrorist attacks on the upcoming U.S. elections has recently announced a new hire who plans to aid the company in further penetrating the U.S. public sector. Last Wednesday, the company Cybereason announced that it had hired Andrew Borene as its Managing Director for its recently launched U.S. public sector business. Borene, who boasts longstanding ties to the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon, “will accelerate Cybereason’s partner and customer presence in the U.S. public sector,” according to a Cybereason press release.

“My goal is to build a strong business for Cybereason within the U.S. public sector and I am planning to recruit a group of direct support executives, veterans and alumni of the elite [U.S.] military units and agencies that have defended our nation in the information age. I’ll also work to establish a network of the best channel and delivery partners for federal, state and local governments,” Borene said per the press release.

Eric Appel, Cybereason’s General Manager for North American Sales, stated that “We’re excited about Andrew joining Cybereason and the opportunity in the U.S. public sector for Cybereason to make a profound impact on helping the nation’s federal civilian, military, state and local government agencies…”

Borene will likely be successful in his ability to recruit a sales team of prominent alumni from the U.S. intelligence and defense communities to market Cybereason’s products throughout the U.S. government. Prior to joining Cybereason, Borene was a senior advisor to the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the intelligence community’s “DARPA” equivalent that is housed within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He served in that capacity on behalf of intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to that, Borene served as Associate Deputy General Counsel to the Pentagon and was previously a military intelligence officer for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Borene’s private sector experience is also significant, as he was a senior executive at IBM. Notably, the current Chief Information Officer for the CIA, Juliane Gallina, had served alongside Borene as a top IBM executive prior to taking her current position at the agency. In addition, Borene also boasts ties to Wall Street as a veteran of Wells Fargo’s investment banking division.

In addition, Borene has deep ties to Washington’s foreign policy establishment as a “life member” of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and to the national security-think tank nexus through his senior fellowship at the National Security Institute (NSI). NSI’s board includes former NSA directors, Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden (also a former CIA director); former Deputy Defense Secretary and “architect” of the Iraq War, Paul Wolfowitz; former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, David Shedd; and a variety of other former top intelligence and defense officials as well as Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists.

Notably, Borene is the latest addition to Cybereason with ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities as the company’s advisors include Robert Bigman, former Chief Information Security Officer for the CIA as well as Peter Sherlock, the former Chief Operating Officer of MITRE corporation, a major intelligence and defense contractor connected to the Ptech-9/11 controversy.

Cybereason: a front for Israeli Military Intelligence

Cybereason’s announcement of its hire of Andrew Borene coincided with its launch of its new “U.S. public sector business,” meaning that Cybereason now seeks to have its cybersecurity software running on even more of the U.S. government’s most classified networks. Cybereason, for years, has already been running on several sensitive U.S. government networks through its partnerships with IT contractors for intelligence and defense, such as Lockheed Martin (also a Cybereason investor), WWT and Leidos. However, Borene’s hire and this new publicly announced pivot towards the U.S. public sector clearly demonstrates the company’s interest in further deepening its presence on U.S. government networks.

Cybereason’s pivot is concerning for several reasons. First, its co-founders are alumni of Israel’s Unit 8200, an elite unit of the Israeli Intelligence corps that is part of the IDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence and is involved mainly in signal intelligence, surveillance, cyberwarfare and code decryption. It is also well-known for its surveillance of Palestinian civilians and for using intercepted communications as blackmail in order to procure informants among Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank.

In addition, all three Cybereason co-founders, after leaving Unit 8200, went on to work for two private Israel-based tech/telecom companies with a notorious history of aggressive espionage against the U.S. government: Amdocs and Comverse Infosys (the latter is now known as Verint Systems Inc.). This raises the possibility that Cybereason software could potentially be used as a backdoor by unauthorized actors, given that the company’s co-founders all previously worked for firms that have a history of placing backdoors into U.S. telecommunications and electronic infrastructure as well as aggressively spying on U.S. federal agencies.

Also notable is the fact that the company’s current CEO and co-founder Lior Div was much more than the average Unit 8200 officer during his time in the unit, as he “served as a commander [in Unit 8200] and carried out some of the world’s largest cyber offensive campaigns against nations and cybercrime groups. For his achievements, he received the Medal of Honor, the highest honor bestowed upon Unit 8200 members,” according to his biography. Troublingly, in an interview that Div gave to TechCrunch last year, Div stated that his work at Cybereason is “the continuation of the six years of training and service he spent working with the Israeli army’s 8200 Unit.”

This is particularly noteworthy given that Israel’s government has openly admitted that an on-going intelligence operation, first initiated in 2012 – the year Cybereason was founded, involves Israeli military intelligence and intelligence operations that had previously done “in house” (i.e. as part of Unit 8200, Mossad, etc.) being spun off into private companies, specifically start-ups in the “cyber” realm.

This operation is part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “deliberate policy” to have former members of Israel’s “military and intelligence units … merge into companies with local partners and foreign partners” in order to make it all but impossible for major corporations and foreign governments to boycott Israel and to also to ensure that Israel becomes the world’s dominant “cyber power.”

One notable report on this policy, published by Israeli outlet Calcalist Tech, interviewed dozens of Israeli military, intelligence and government officials and noted that “since 2012, cyber-related and intelligence projects that were previously carried out in-house in the Israeli military and Israel’s main intelligence arms are transferred to companies that in some cases were built for this exact purpose.” The article also states that beginning in 2012, Israel’s intelligence and military intelligence agencies began to outsource “activities that were previously managed in-house, with a focus on software and cyber technologies.”

“Simulating” the Cancellation of the 2020 Election

In light of Cybereason’s background and the “acceleration” of their presence on U.S. government networks, the timing of their redoubled efforts to court the U.S. public sector add additional layers of concern given that it precedes the U.S. 2020 election by a matter of months. Since last year, Cybereason has conducted multiple simulations focused on the 2020 election, which were attended by federal officials from the FBI, DHS and the U.S. Secret Service and all of which ended in disaster. In those simulations, the 2020 election was ultimately canceled and martial law was then declared due to the chaos created by a group of hackers led by Cybereason employees.

Notably, Cybereason stood to gain nothing financially from the simulations given that their software could not have prevented the attacks waged against the U.S.’ electoral infrastructure in the exercise and the company framed their hosting of the simulations as merely “altruistic” because of their professed desire to help “protect” U.S. election infrastructure. The attacks conducted in the simulations by Cybereason employees included creating power grid blackouts, the use of deep fakes to sow confusion, creating havoc with municipal sewage systems and crashing self-driving cars into voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, killing 32 and injuring over a hundred people.

In the months since I first wrote about Cybereason and their 2020 “doomsday” simulations back in January, U.S. government officials and mass media alike have been warning that these same types of attacks that Cybereason simulated are likely to come to pass on this upcoming election day, scheduled for November 3rd of this year. More recently, in less than a week, headlines like “Election Security Experts Expect ‘Chaos’ Unless Action Taken,” “New York’s Pandemic Voting ‘Chaos’ Set to Go Nationwide in November,” and “Foreign adversaries ‘seeking to compromise’ presidential campaigns, intel warns,” among others, have been published in major U.S. media outlets.

While these narratives have asserted that China, Russia and/or Iran will be to blame for such attacks, it is worth noting that a tight-knit web of Israeli state-owned and private companies tied to Israeli military intelligence now run the software controlling key parts of the power grid in New York, California and elsewhere in the U.S.; are the main global producers of deep fakes; and the main providers of “security” software for self-driving and semi-self-driving cars, the quantity of which on U.S. streets has grown dramatically as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

With Cybereason’s newly announced push to run its software on critical U.S. government networks at both the federal and state levels, the company’s history of simulating terror attacks on critical U.S. infrastructure and their openly admitted and on-going ties to Israeli military intelligence deserve more scrutiny than ever as the U.S. election draws closer.

July 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

More willful blindness by the media on spying by Obama administration

By Jonathan Turley | The Hill | July 25, 2020

The Washington press corps seems engaged in a collective demonstration of the legal concept of willful blindness, or deliberately ignoring the facts, following the release of yet another declassified document which directly refutes prior statements about the investigation into Russia collusion. The document shows that FBI officials used a national security briefing of then candidate Donald Trump and his top aides to gather possible evidence for Crossfire Hurricane, its code name for the Russia investigation.

It is astonishing that the media refuses to see what is one of the biggest stories in decades. The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence. The media covered Obama administration officials ridiculing the suggestions of spying on the Trump campaign and of improper conduct with the Russia investigation. When Attorney General William Barr told the Senate last year that he believed spying did occur, he was lambasted in the media, including by James Comey and others involved in that investigation. The mocking “wow” response of the fired FBI director received extensive coverage.

The new document shows that, in summer 2016, FBI agent Joe Pientka briefed Trump campaign advisers Michael Flynn and Chris Christie over national security issues, standard practice ahead of the election. It had a discussion of Russian interference. But this was different. The document detailing the questions asked by Trump and his aides and their reactions was filed several days after that meeting under Crossfire Hurricane and Crossfire Razor, the FBI investigation of Flynn. The two FBI officials listed who approved the report are Kevin Clinesmith and Peter Strzok.

Clinesmith is the former FBI lawyer responsible for the FISA surveillance conducted on members of the Trump campaign. He opposed Trump and sent an email after the election declaring “viva the resistance.” He is now under review for possible criminal charges for altering a FISA court filing. The FBI used Trump adviser Carter Page as the basis for the original FISA application, due to his contacts with Russians. After that surveillance was approved, however, federal officials discredited the collusion allegations and noted that Page was a CIA asset. Clinesmith had allegedly changed the information to state that Page was not working for the CIA.

Strzok is the FBI agent whose violation of FBI rules led Justice Department officials to refer him for possible criminal charges. Strzok did not hide his intense loathing of Trump and famously referenced an “insurance policy” if Trump were to win the election. After FBI officials concluded there was no evidence of any crime by Flynn at the end of 2016, Strzok prevented the closing of the investigation as FBI officials searched for any crime that might be used to charge the incoming national security adviser.

Documents show Comey briefed President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the investigation shortly before the inauguration of Trump. When Comey admitted the communications between Flynn and Russian officials appeared legitimate, Biden reportedly suggested using the Logan Act, a law widely seen as unconstitutional and never been used to successfully convict a single person, as an alternative charge against Flynn. The memo contradicts eventual claims by Biden that he did not know about the Flynn investigation. Let us detail some proven but mostly unseen facts.

First, the Russia collusion allegations were based in large  part on the dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Clinton campaign repeatedly denied paying for the dossier until after the election, when it was confronted with irrefutable evidence that the money had been buried among legal expenditures. As New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it and with sanctimony for a year.”

Second, FBI agents had warned that dossier author Christopher Steele may have been used by Russian intelligence to plant false information to disrupt the election. His source for the most serious allegations claims that Steele misrepresented what he had said and that it was little more than rumors that were recast by Steele as reliable intelligence.

Third, the Obama administration had been told that the basis for the FISA application was dubious and likely false. Yet it continued the investigation, and then someone leaked its existence to the media. Another declassified document shows that, after the New York Times ran a leaked story on the investigation, even Strzok had balked at the account as misleading and inaccurate. His early 2017 memo affirmed that there was no evidence of any individuals in contact with Russians. This information came as the collusion stories were turning into a frenzy that would last years.

Fourth, the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and inspectors general found no evidence of collusion or knowing contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. What inspectors general did find were false statements or possible criminal conduct by Comey and others. While unable to say it was the reason for their decisions, they also found statements of animus against Trump and his campaign by the FBI officials who were leading the investigation. Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified he never would have approved renewal of the FISA surveillance and encouraged further investigation into such bias.

Finally, Obama and Biden were aware of the investigation, as were the administration officials who publicly ridiculed Trump when he said there was spying on his campaign. Others, like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, declared they had evidence of collusion but never produced it. Countless reporters, columnists, and analysts still continue to deride, as writer Max Boot said it, the spinning of “absurd conspiracy theories” about how the FBI “supposedly spied on the Trump campaign.”

Willful blindness has its advantages. The media covered the original leak and the collusion narrative, despite mounting evidence that it was false. They filled hours of cable news shows and pages of print with a collusion story discredited by the FBI. Virtually none of these journalists or experts have acknowledged that the collusion leaks were proven false, let alone pursue the troubling implications of national security powers being used to target the political opponents of an administration. But in Washington, success often depends not on what you see but what you can unsee.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

July 27, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment