Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Mueller’s Indictments Debunked by NSA Whistle-blower Bill Binney

The Jimmy Dore Show | August 13, 2018

VIPS Professional Bill Binney sets the record straight on Guccifer 2.0 and Mueller’s latest indictments.

Here’s How You Can Support Our Show & Independent Media:

Check Us Out On Steemit http://bit.ly/2H99uTF

Become a PATRON https://www.patreon.com/jimmydore

Become a Premium Member http://bit.ly/JDPremium

Upcoming Live Shows http://bit.ly/2gRqoyL

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia, Video | | Leave a comment

‘Too Big to Fail’: Russia-gate One Year After VIPS Showed a Leak, Not a Hack

By Patrick Lawrence | Consortium News | August 13, 2018

A year has passed since highly credentialed intelligence professionals produced the first hard evidence that allegations of mail theft and other crimes attributed to Russia rested on purposeful falsification and subterfuge. The initial reaction to these revelations—a firestorm of frantic denial—augured ill, and the time since has fulfilled one’s worst expectations. One year later we live within an institutionalized proscription of proven reality. Our discourse consists of a series of fence posts and taboos. By any detached measure, this lands us in deep, serious trouble. The sprawl of what we call “Russia-gate” now brings our republic and its institutions to a moment of great peril—the gravest since the McCarthy years and possibly since the Civil War. No, I do not consider this hyperbole.

Much has happened since Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity published its report on intrusions into the Democratic Party’s mail servers on Consortium News on July 24 last year. Parts of the intelligence apparatus—by no means all or even most of it—have issued official “assessments” of Russian culpability. Media have produced countless multi-part “investigations,” “special reports,” and what-have-yous that amount to an orgy of faulty syllogisms. Robert Mueller’s special investigation has issued two sets of indictments that, on scrutiny, prove as wanting in evidence as the notoriously flimsy intelligence “assessment” of January 6, 2017.

Indictments are not evidence and do not need to contain evidence. That is supposed to come out at trail, which is very unlikely to ever happen. Nevertheless, the corporate media has treated the indictments as convictions.

Numerous sets of sanctions against Russia, individual Russians, and Russian entities have been imposed on the basis of this great conjuring of assumption and presumption. The latest came last week, when the Trump administration announced measures in response to the alleged attempt to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal, a former double agent and his daughter, in England last March. No evidence proving responsibility in the Skripal case has yet been produced. This amounts to our new standard. It prompted a reader with whom I am in regular contact to ask, “How far will we allow our government to escalate against others without proof of anything?”

This is a very good question.

Cover of 2001 book that looks at an earlier era of anti-Russia hysteria

There have been many attempts to discredit VIPS50 as the group’s document is called. There has been much amateurish journalism, false reporting, misrepresentation, distortion, misquotation, and omission. We have been treated to much shoddy science, attempts at character assassination, a great deal of base name-calling, and much else. Russia is routinely advanced as the greatest threat to democracy Americans now face. Is there any denying that we live amid an induced hysteria now comparable to the “Red under every bed” period of the 1950s?

None of this has altered the basic case. VIPS and forensic scientists working with it have continued their investigations. New facts, some of which alter conclusions drawn last year, have come to light, and these are to be addressed. But the basic evidence that Russia-gate is a false narrative concocted by various constituents of national power stands, difficult as this is to discern. Scrape back all that is ethically unacceptable and unscrupulously conveyed into the public sphere and you find that nothing has changed: No one “hacked” the Democratic party’s mail in the summer of 2016. It was leaked locally, from what one can make out, to expose the party leadership’s corrupt efforts to sink Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign to win the Democratic nomination.

But in another, very profound way, more has changed since VIPS50 was published than one could have imagined a year ago. American discourse has descended to a dangerous level of irrationality. The most ordinary standards of evidentiary procedure are forgone. Many of our key institutions—the foreign policy apparatus, the media, key intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, the political leadership—are now extravagantly committed to a narrative none appears able to control. The risk of self-inflicted damage these institutions assume, should the truth of the Russia-gate events emerge—as one day it surely will—is nearly incalculable. This is what inspires my McCarthy and Civil War references. Russia-gate, in a phrase, has become too big to fail.

This column is an attack on no one. However it may be read, it is not intended as another round of vituperative argument adding to the din and fog we already suffer daily. No shred of ideology informs it. I write a lament—this for all we have done to ourselves and our institutions this past year, and to the prospect of an orderly world, and for all that must somehow be done to repair the damage once enough of us indeed recognize what has been done.

New VIPS Findings

Binney: Dares anyone to prove remote speeds

The forensic scientists working with VIPS continued their research and experiments after VIPS50 was published. So have key members of the VIPS group, notably William Binney, the National Security Agency’s former technical director for global analysis and designer of programs the agency still uses to monitor internet traffic. Such work continues as we speak, indeed. This was always the intent: “Evidence to date” was the premise of VIPS50. Over the past year there have been confirmations of the original thesis and some surprises that alter secondary aspects of it. Let us look at the most significant of these findings.

At the time I reported on the findings of VIPS and associated forensic scientists, that the most fundamental evidence that the events of summer 2016 constituted a leak, not a hack, was the transfer rate—the speed at which data was copied. The speed proven then was an average of 22.7 megabytes per second. That speed matches what is standard when someone with physical access uses an external storage device to copy data from a computer or server and is much faster than a remote hack reliant on an internet service provider could achieve—either at the time or since, Binney has found.

Binney experimented into the autumn. By mid-autumn he had tested several routes—from East Coast locations to cities in eastern Europe, from New Jersey to London. The fastest internet transfer speed achieved, during the New Jersey–to–Britain test, was 12.0 megabytes of data per second. Since this time it has emerged from G-2.0’s metadata that the detected average speed—the 22.7 megabytes per second—included peak speeds that ran as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, impossible over the internet. “You’d need a dedicated, leased, 400–megabit line all the way to Russia to achieve that result,” Binney said in a recent interview.

To my knowledge, no one with an understanding of the science involved, including various former skeptics, any longer questions the validity of the specific finding based on the observed transfer rate. That remains the bedrock evidence of the case VIPS and others advance without qualification. No one—including the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA—has come out against this finding,” Binney said Monday. “Anyone who says the speed we demonstrated can be achieved remotely, our position is ‘Let’s see it. We’ll help any way we can.’ There hasn’t been anyone yet.”

There is also the question of where and when leaks were executed. Research into this has turned out differently.

Evidence last year, based on analysis of the available metadata, showed that the copy operation date-stamped July 5, 2016, took place in the Eastern U.S. time zone. But Forensicator, one of the chief forensic investigators working on the mail-theft case anonymously, published evidence in May that, while there was activity in the Eastern zone at the time of that copy, here was also a copy operation in the Pacific time zone, where clocks run three hours earlier that EST. In an earlier publication he had also reported activity in the Central time zone.

Plainly, more was awaiting discovery as to the when and where of the copy operations. The identity of Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be a Romanian hacker but which the latest Mueller indictment claims is a construct of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, has never been proven. The question is what G–2.0 did with or to the data in question. It turns out that both more, and less, is known about G–2.0 than was thought to have been previously demonstrated. This work has been completed only recently. It was done by Binney in collaboration with Duncan Campbell, a British journalist who has followed the Russia-gate question closely.

Peak Speed Established

Binney visited Campbell in Brighton, England, early this past spring. They examined all the metadata associated with the files G–2.0 has made public. They looked at the number of files, the size of each, and the time stamps at the end of each. It was at this time that Binney and Campbell established the peak transfer rate at 49.1 megabytes per second.

But they discovered something else of significance, too. At some point G–2.0 had merged two sets of data, one dated July 5, 2016, which had been known, and another dated the following September 1, which had not been known. In essence, Campbell reverse-engineered G–2.0’s work: He took the sets of data G–2.0 presented as two and combined them back into one. “G–2.0 used an algorithm to make a downloaded file look like two files,” Binney explained. “Those two shuffled back together like a deck of cards.”

G–2.0 then took another step. Running another algorithm, he changed all the dates on all the files. With yet another algorithm, he changed the hours stamped on each file. These are called “range changes” among the professionals. The conclusion was then obvious: G–2.0 is a fabrication and a fabricator. Forensicator had already proven that the G–2.0 entity had inserted Russian “fingerprints” into the document known as the “Trump Opposition Report,” which he had published on June 15, 2016. It is clear that no firm conclusions can be drawn at this point as to when or where G–2.0 did what he did.

“Now you need to prove everything you might think about him,” Binney told me. “We have no way of knowing anything about him or what he has done, apart from manipulating the files. We detected activity in the Eastern time zone. Now we have to ask again, ‘Which time zone?’ The West Coast copy operation [discovered by Forensicator] has to be proven. All the data has been manipulated. It’s a fabrication.”

This throws various things into question. The conclusions initially drawn on time and location in VIPS50 are now subject to these recent discoveries. “In retrospect, giving ‘equal importance’ status to data pertaining to the locale was mistaken,” Ray McGovern, a prominent VIPS member, wrote in a recent note. “The key finding on transfer speed always dwarfed it in importance.”

The indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers announced in mid–July by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney-general, also come into question. They rest in considerable part on evidence derived from G–2.0 and DCLeaks, another online persona. How credible are those indictments in view of what is now known about G–2.0?

Binney told me: “Once we proved G–2.0 is a fabrication and a manipulator, the timing and location questions couldn’t be answered but really didn’t matter. I don’t right now see a way of absolutely proving either time or location. But this doesn’t change anything. We know what we know: The intrusion into the Democratic National Committee mail was a local download—wherever ‘local’ is.” That doesn’t change. As to Rosenstein, he’ll have a lot to prove.”

What Role does Evidence Play?

Rosenstein’s predicament—and there is no indication he understands it as one—brings us to an essential problem: What is the place of evidence in American public discourse? Of rational exchange?

The questions are germane far beyond the Russia-gate phenomenon, but it is there that answers are most urgent. What is implicit in the Rosenstein indictments has been evident everywhere in our public sphere for a year or more: Make a presumption supported by circumstantial evidence or none and build other presumptions upon it until a false narrative is constructed. The press has deployed this device for as long as I have been a practitioner: “Might” or “could” or “possibly” becomes “perhaps,” “probably” and “almost certainly,” and then moves on to unqualified fact in the course of, maybe, several weeks. Now this is how our most basic institutions—not least agencies of the Justice Department—routinely operate.

Rosenstein at the Department of Justice July 13, 2018 announcing indictments against 12 Russian GRU. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

This is what I mean when I refer to ours as a republic in peril.

There is the argument that certain things have been uncovered over the past year, and these are enough to conclude that Russia plots to undermine our democracy. I refer to the small number of Facebook advertisements attributed to Russians, to strings of Twitter messages, to various phishing exercises that occur thousands of times a day the world over. To be clear, I am no more satisfied with the evidence of Russian involvement in these cases than I am with the evidence in any other aspect of the Russia-gate case. But for the sake of argument, let us say it is all true.

Does this line up with the Russophobic hysteria—not too strong a term—that envelops us? Does this explain the astonishing investments our public institutions, the press, and leading political parties have made in advancing this hysteria as they did a variant of in the 1950s?

As global politics go, some serious thought should be given to a reality we have created all by ourselves: It is now likely that America has built a new Cold War division with Russia that will prove permanent for the next 20 to 30 years. All this because of some Facebook ads and Twitter threads of unproven origin? Am I the only one who sees a weird and worrisome gap between what we are intent on believing—as against thinking or knowing—and the consequences of these beliefs?

There was an orthodoxy abroad many centuries ago called Fideism. In the simplest terms, it means the privileging of faith and belief over reason. It was the enemy of individual conscience, among much else. Fideism has deep roots, but it was well around in the 16th century, when Montaigne and others had to navigate its many dangers. Closer to our time, William James landed a variant on American shores with an 1896 address called “The Will to Believe.” Bertrand Russell countered this line of thinking a couple of decades later with “Free Thought and Official Propaganda,” a lecture whose title I will let speak for itself. Twenty years ago, none other than Pope John Paul II warned of a resurgence of Fideism. It is still around, in short.

Do we suffer from it? A variant of it, I would say, if not precisely in name. There seems to be a givenness to it in the American character. I think we are staring into a 21st century rendition of it.

To doubt the hollowed-out myth of American innocence is a grave sin against the faith. It is now unpatriotic to question the Russia-gate narrative despite the absence of evidence to support it. Informal censorship of differing perspectives is perfectly routine. It is now considered treasonous to question the word of intelligence agencies and the officials who lead them despite long records of deceit. Do we forget that it was only 15 years ago that these same institutions and people deceived us into an invasion of Iraq the consequences of which still persist?

This was the question Craig Murray, the former British diplomat (who has vital information on the DNC mail theft but who has never been interviewed by American investigators) posed a few weeks ago. Eugene Robinson gave a good-enough reply in a Washington Post opinion piece shortly afterward: “God Bless the Deep State,” the headline read.

How we got here deserves a work of social psychology, and I hope someone takes up the task. Understanding our path into our self-created crisis seems to me the first step to finding our way out of it.


Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist.

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Resignation matter or fake news? Attack on Corbyn over ‘terrorist wreath laying’

RT | August 13, 2018

The latest anti-Semitism story to hit Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has polarised debate. His critics want him to resign immediately, while supporters are rushing to his defence, denying the accusations and crying ‘fake news.’

Photographs, taken in 2014 and published by the Daily Mail on August 11, show Corbyn holding a wreath at a service in Tunisia close to the graves of the Black September terrorists, who were implicated in the Munich attacks, in which 11 Israeli athletes were killed in 1972.

The original story is headlined “Corbyn’s wreath at Munich terrorists’ graves,” goes on to accuse the Labour leader of attending a “tribute event for Palestine ‘martyrs’ including plotters behind 1972 slaughter of Israeli Olympic athletes.”

The Labour Party has rejected calls for an apology, reiterating that Corbyn’s statement that he was laying a wreath honoring the 47 victims of an Israeli attack on a Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) base outside of Tunis in 1985.

Responding to a follow up story, in which relatives of the Munich victims state that Corbyn should be “ashamed and apologize,” the party’s press team posted that the relatives were being “misled” by the story.

Writing in the left-wing Morning Star after the visit to the Tunisian cemetery, Corbyn stated that wreaths were laid to mark the 1985 Israeli bombing, adding: “After wreaths were laid at the graves of those who died on that day and on the graves of others killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991.”

It is unclear who Corbyn was referring to as there are no known Israeli killings in Paris in that year. However, Mossad agents did reportedly kill the PLO’s liaison officer with foreign intelligence agencies, Atef Bseiso, a suspected Black September member in 1992 in the French capital.

The article’s perceived inaccuracies prompted certain Corbyn supporters to call on him to sue the Daily Mail and over what they insist is ‘inaccurate reporting.’

In turn, right-wing Twitter condemnations of Corbyn were rife. Broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer mocked the Labour leader, and staunch Corbyn critic and Daily Mail journalist, Dan Hodges posted: “Dear Corbynites. It’s clear your hero honoured one, or a number of, the terrorists responsible for the Munich attack.”

The accusations led to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to demand Corbyn resign. “If this was the leader of any other major political party, he or she would be gone by now.” stated the Conservative.

While Jewish Leadership Council, Jonathan Goldstein, told the Jewish News : “This man is not fit to be a Member of Parliament, let alone a national leader.”

Another piece published by the Daily Mail on the same day attacked Corbyn for attending the wedding of a Palestinian ambassador who was accused of Holocaust denial in 2014, a claim he denies. Corbyn attended the wedding in 2010.

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

How Do You Tell If The Earth’s Climate System “Is Warming”?

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | August 9, 2018

The earth’s climate system “is warming.” True or false? The answer is that there is no definitive answer. And if someone tells you there is, then that person doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.

A more precise answer to the question is that whether the earth’s climate system “is warming” or “is cooling” entirely depends on who gets to pick the start date for the analysis. If you are the one who gets to pick the start date, then you can make it so that the system is either warming or cooling, whichever you would like for your purpose of the moment.

But of course, there are many people out there today with a lot invested in the proposition that the climate system “is warming.” That proposition is a key tenet of global warming alarmism. To “prove” the point that the system “is warming,” advocates use the simple trick of picking a start point to their liking, making for a presentation that appears to support their position. Have you been fooled by this simple trick? The advocates leave it up to you to figure out that if you picked a different start point, you could just as easily make an equally convincing presentation showing that the climate system “is cooling.” A lot of seemingly intelligent people can’t figure that out, and get taken in by the scam.

I raise this point today because it appears that, as part of the campaign to suppress disfavored political speech, Google has begun within the past few days adding a legend at the bottom of YouTube videos that express politically incorrect views in the field of climate science. For example, here is the legend that they have added to a video made for Prager University by eminent MIT atmospheric physicist and climate skeptic Richard Lindzen:

Lindzen YouTube Video.jpg

“Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.

The quote comes from the first two sentences of this Wikipedia entry with the title “Global warming.” Well, Wikipedia says it, so I guess it must be true!

According to this post at BuzzFeed on August 7, others who have been subject to having the same legend affixed to their work include Tony Heller of the Deplorable Climate Science Blog, Mark Morano of Climate Depot, and the Heartland Institute. (So far, nothing comparable has happened to the Manhattan Contrarian; but then, I don’t make YouTube videos.)

So let’s investigate the question of whether the earth’s “climate system” is or is not warming. You could, for example, look at the chart presented by Wikipedia in that entry. Here it is:

Wikipedia GAST trend.png

That looks rather dramatic. On the other hand, the whole vertical scale of the chart is only about 1.5 deg C; and they picked 1880 as their start date. (The slope here is also greatly accentuated by some very large and questionable “adjustments” that have made earlier years cooler and more recent years warmer. You can read my eighteen part series “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time” for much more detail. But those details are not critical for understanding the current issue.)

Does your skeptical mind possibly think, when they use that phrase “century scale,” is that just a bias-free description of the issue at hand, or is it instead a hand-wave to provide a fake justification for picking a preferred start date? Why do we need to go back 138 years when we are considering a question phrased in the present tense — whether the climate “is” warming? Wouldn’t the present tense normally be used to cover a much shorter period, like a year or two or three at most?  So you ask, what has the climate system been doing during that time? For the answer, how about looking for temperature data to the far more accurate UAH satellite-based series which provides monthly data points going back to 1979. Here is the latest chart from that source:

UAH_LT_1979_thru_July_2018_v6-550x317.jpg

This time, you get to pick the start date. To cover the last few years, how about picking early 2016?  After all, these last couple of years should be a much better indicator of whether the climate “is” warming or cooling than the entire last 138 years. Really, what do temperatures more than 100 years ago, or even 30 or 40 years ago, have to do with the question of whether the earth’s climate “is” warming? So we look at the UAH chart, and we find our answer: since early 2016 temperatures have fallen by more than 0.5 deg C. Thus, once we get to pick our preferred start time, it is obvious that the climate system “is cooling.”

Or, you can pick a different start date to your liking. How about 1998? That will give you an entire 20 year run. It’s hard to say that the verb “is” should cover a period of more than 20 years. On the UAH series you can see that temperatures have also fallen about 0.4 deg C since early 1998. Again, even on this substantially longer scale, the earth “is cooling.” (Note, however, that there is a significant difference between the Wikipedia chart and the UAH satellite series as to what has happened since 1998. On the Wikipedia chart the latest reading (2017?) is up about 0.3 deg C from 1998; while on the UAH series, the latest reading (July 2018) is down about 0.4 deg C from the then-records set in 1998. That’s those “adjustments” in the surface temperature record that I was talking about. I would say that there is no credible position that the heavily adjusted surface temperature record that Wikipedia relies on should be used for this purpose over the far more accurate and un-tampered UAH satellite record.)

But how about if we decide that there is something to this “century-scale” thing? Let’s agree that we’re going to go back many, many decades to determine if the earth “is warming.” But if we’re going to do that, where do we stop? If you want, you can go back a hundred million years; or even a billion. And if you follow this subject a little, you probably know that the 1700s and 1800s are a very suspect era to start a series like this, because those centuries are a known cold period sometimes referred to as the “Little Ice Age.” Picking a date in the “Little Ice Age” as the start point to prove warming is what’s called “cheating.” Let’s pick something more fair.  How about going back a nice round millennium?  Was that time warmer or cooler than now?

OK, they didn’t have networks of thermometers set up around the globe in the 11th century, let alone the highly accurate satellites that we have today. But scores of scientists have done hundreds of studies based on many sorts of “proxies” to determine at least whether it was warmer or cooler at that time than today. It turns out that the evidence is rather overwhelming that it was warmer. Actually, this is what is known as the “Medieval Warm Period.” But picking a date in that period as your start date for deciding whether the earth “is warming” is no more fair or unfair than picking a date in the “Little Ice Age.”

Here is a compilation of dozens of studies reaching the conclusion that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the present:  “More than 700 scientists from 400 institutions in 40 countries have contributed peer-reviewed papers providing evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was real, global, & warmer than the present.”  Examples:

There are literally dozens more, if you follow the links.  The conclusion is inescapable: on a centuries-scale basis, the earth’s climate system “is cooling.”

And by the way, if you want to keep going back farther and farther, you can keep finding time periods that were warmer than the present.  Examples: the Roman Warm Period, from around 250 BC to 450 AD; and the Holocene Climate Optimum, about 5000 to 3000 BC.

So here’s the real answer to the question of whether the earth’s ciimate system “is warming”:

  • If your start date is June 2018, it “is warming.”
  • If your start date is January 2016, it “is cooling.”
  • If your start date is January 1998, it “is cooling.”
  • If your start date is 1880, it “is warming.”
  • If your start date is the year 1000, it “is cooling.”
  • If your start date is the Dark Ages, it “is warming.”
  • If your start date is Roman times, it “is cooling.”

In short, the question is completely meaningless.

It’s hard to believe that the supposed geniuses at Google could be taken in by a scam so obvious and so transparent. But that’s the world we live in.

August 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

How NATO-linked Think Tanks Control EU Refugee Policy

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 27.04.2016

A flood of uncontrolled war refugees from Syria, Libya, Tunisia and other Islamic countries destabilized by Washington’s ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions, has created the greatest social dislocation across the EU from Germany to Sweden to Croatia since the end of World War II. By now it has become clear to most that something quite sinister is afoot, something which threatens to destroy the social fabric of the very core of European civilization. What few realize is that the entire drama is being orchestrated, not by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or by faceless EU bureaucrats of the Brussels EU Commission. It is being orchestrated by a cabal of NATO-linked think tanks.

Last October 8, 2015 amid the great stream of hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding into Germany from Syria, Tunisia, Libya and other lands, a newly self-confident German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed on a popular German TV program, “I have a plan.” She took the occasion to take a sharp dig at coalition partner, Bavarian CSU head, Horst Seehofer, a stauch critic of Merkel’s open arms refugee position since spring 2015 that saw more than one million refugees enter Germany last year alone.

Since that point, with iron-hard resolve, the German Chancellor has defended the criminal Erdogan regime in Turkey, an essential partner in her “plan.”

Most of the world has looked on with astonishment as she ignored principles of free speech and decided to prosecute publicly a well-known German TV comedian, Jan Böhmermann, for his satirical remarks about the Turkish President. They were astonished as the symbol of European democracy, the German Chancellor, chose to ignore Erdogan’s imprisonment of opposition journalists and his shutting of Turk opposition media as he proceeded with plans to establish a de facto dictatorship rule within Turkey. They were puzzled as Berlin’s government chose to ignore overwhelming proof that Erdogan and his family were materially aiding and abetting ISIS terrorists within Syria who were in fact creating the war refugee crisis. They were astonished to see her push through an EU commitment to give Erdogan’s regime billions of euros to supposedly deal with the refugee flow from Turkish refugee camps across the border into EU neighbor land, Greece and beyond.

The Merkel Plan

All of those seemingly inexplicable actions from the once-pragmatic German leader appear to go back to her embrace of a 14-page document prepared by a network of pro-NATO think-tanks, brazenly titled “The Merkel Plan.”

What the newly-self-confident German Chancellor did not tell her hostess, Anne Will, or her viewers was that “her” plan was given to her just four days earlier, on October 4, in a document already titled The Merkel Plan, by a newly-created and obviously well-financed international think-tank called the European Stability Initiative or ESI. The ESI website showed that it had offices in Berlin, Brussels and in Istanbul, Turkey

Suspiciously, the authors of the ESI plan titled their plan as if it had come from the German Chancellor’s office and not from them. More suspicious is the contents of The Merkel Plan of ESI. In addition to already taking more than one million refugees in 2015, Germany should “agree to grant asylum to 500,000 Syrian refugees registered in Turkey over the coming 12 months.” In addition, “Germany should accept claims from Turkey… and provide safe transport to successful applicants… already registered with the Turkish authorities…” And finally, “Germany should agree to help Turkey obtain visa-free travel in 2016.”

That so-called Merkel Plan was a product of US and NATO-linked think tanks and of governments of NATO member countries or prospective members. The maxim “follow the money trail” is instructive in this case to see who really runs the EU today.

The ESI

The ESI came out of NATO-led efforts to transform South East Europe following the US-instigated war in Yugoslavia during the 1990’s that resulted in the Balkanization of the country and establishment of a major USA and NATO airbase, Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo.

Current ESI Chairman directly responsible for the final Merkel Plan document is Istanbul-based Austrian sociologist, Gerald Knaus. Knaus is also a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), and an Open Society Fellow.

Founded in London in 2007, the ECFR is an imitation of the influential New York Council on Foreign Relations, the think-tank created by the Rockefeller and JP Morgan bankers during the 1919 Versailles peace talks to coordinate an Anglo-American global foreign policy. Significantly, the creator and moneybags for the ECFR is American multi-billionaire and Color Revolution funder, George Soros. In virtually every US State Department-backed Color Revolution since the collapse of the Soviet Union, including in Serbia in 2000, in Ukraine, in Georgia, in China, in Brazil and in Russia, George Soros and offshoots of his Open Society Foundations have been in the shadows financing “democracy” NGOs and activists to install pro-Washington and pro-NATO regimes.

The select members, called Council Members or associates, of the London-based ECFR include ECFR co-chairman Joschka Fischer, former German Green Party Foreign Minister who arm-twisted his party into backing Bill Clinton’s illegal 1999 bombing of Serbia without UN Security Council backing.

Other members of the Council of Soros’ European Council on Foreign Relations think tank include former NATO Secretary General, Xavier Solana. It includes disgraced plaigarist and former German Defense Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg; Annette Heuser, Executive Director Bertelsmann Stiftung in Washington DC; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman, Munich Security Conference; Cem Özdemir, chairman, Bündnis90/Die Grünen; Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, German Liberal Party (FDP) MP; Michael Stürmer, Chief Correspondent, Die Welt; Andre Wilkens, Director of Mercator Foundation; pederasty defender, Daniel Cohn-Bendit of the European Parliament. Cohn-Bendit, known as “Danny the Red” during the May, 1968 French student riots, was a member of the the autonomist group Revolutionärer Kampf (Revolutionary Struggle) in Rüsselsheim, Germany along with his close ally, now ECFR chairman, Joschka Fischer. The two went on to found the “realo” wing of the German Greens.

The Open Society Foundations is the network of tax-exempt “democracy-promoting” foundations created by George Soros on the collapse of the Soviet Union to promote “free market” pro-IMF market liberalization of former communist economies that opened the doors for the systematic plundering of invaluable mining and energy assets of those countries. Soros was a major financier of the liberal economic team of Boris Yeltsin including Harvard “Shock Therapy” economist, Jeffrey Sachs, and Yeltsin liberal adviser, Yegor Gaidar.

Already it becomes clear that the “Merkel Plan” is the Soros Plan in fact. But there is more if we wish to understand the darker agenda behind the plan.

The ESI Funders

The European Stability Initiative think-tank of Soros-tied Gerald Knaus is financed by an impressive list of donors. Their website lists them.

The list includes, in addition to Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the Soros-tied German Stiftung Mercator, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. ESI funders also include European Commission. Then, curiously enough the funder list for The Merkel Plan includes an organization with the Orwellian name, The United States Institute of Peace.

Some research reveals that the United States Institute of Peace has anything but a peace-loving background. The United States Institute of Peace is chaired by Stephen Hadley, former US National Security Council adviser during the neo-conservative war-waging Bush-Cheney administration. Its Board of Directors includes Ashton B. Carter, current Obama Administration neo-conservative hawkish Secretary of Defense; Secretary of State John Kerry; Major General Frederick M. Padilla, President of the US National Defense University. These are some very seasoned architects of the US Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance strategy for world military domination.

The “Merkel Plan” authors at the European Stability Initative, in addition to the largesse of George Soros’ foundations, list as “core” funder, the German Marshall Fund of the United States. As I describe in my book, The Think Tanks, the German Marshall Fund is anything but German. With its seat in Washington, as I noted in the book, “It’s an American think tank with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. In point of fact, its agenda is the deconstruction of postwar Germany and more broadly of the sovereign states of the EU to fit them better into the Wall Street globalization agenda.”

The German Marshall Fund of Washington has been involved in the post-1990 USA agenda of regime change around the world in league with the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy, Soros Foundations, and the CIA front called USAID. As I describe it in the think tanks book, “The major focus of the German Marshall Fund according to its 2013 Annual Report was to support the US State Department agenda for so-called democracy-building operations in former communist countries in eastern and south-eastern Europe, from the Balkans to the Black Sea. Significantly their work included Ukraine. In most instances, they worked together with the USAID, widely identified as a CIA front with ties to the State Department, and the Stewart Mott Foundation which gives funds to the US Government-funded National Endowment for Democracy.”

Notably, the same Stewart Mott Foundation is also a funder of the ESI-authored Merkel Plan, as is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

This all should give pause for reflection as to who and for what goals the Merkel-Erdogan deal for dealing with the EU refugee crisis is intended. Does the Rockefeller-Bush-Clinton faction in the United States intend to use it as a major social engineering experiment to create chaos and social conflict across the EU at the same time their NGOs such as the NED, Freedom House and the Soros Foundations are stirring things up in Syria and Libya and across the Islamic world? Is Germany, as former US presidential adviser and Rockefeller crony, Zbigniew Brzezinski called her, a “vassal” of US power in the post-1990 world? To date the evidence is pretty strong that that’s the case. The role of US and NATO-linked think tanks is central to get an understanding of how the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union are actually controlled from behind the Atlantic curtain.

August 12, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Deception | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Florida And DHS Refute Democrat Congressman’s Claim That Russia “Penetrated” Election System

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 08/11/2018

Election officials in South Florida on Thursday refuted a claim made by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) that Russian hackers had penetrated their voter registration system.

“We have had absolutely no information regarding that,” said Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes. “We have not seen anything with our system that something strange is going on.”

State officials also say Nelson’s claim is unfounded.

On Wednesday, Nelson – the ranking member of the cyber subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee said that Russian operatives had penetrated some of Florida’s election systems ahead of this year’s midterms.

“They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about,” Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times, though he wouldn’t identify which counties were affected – saying it was classified.

“The threat is real and elections officials — at all levels — need to address the vulnerabilities.”

Election officials in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties likewise said they weren’t aware of any breaches.

That said, Florida election officials say they are doing everything they can to monitor for Kremlin hijinks.

Susan Bucher, supervisor of elections for Palm Beach County, said her office has been working diligently to ensure systems are safe on Election Day.

Employees have undergone training, and the county’s system has been repeatedly tested for vulnerabilities. “We are confident we have done as much as we can,” Bucher said.

Snipes said she too has conducted additional training and monitoring in response to the threat. –SunSentinel

Florida counties are receiving $15.5 million to beef up election security before November’s midterms, which Governor Rick Scott’s office says $14.5 million of which has been distributed to date – including $3.7 million which went to Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Nearly $2 million will be used to purchase a network monitoring security system that provides automated alerts about threats, the Florida State Department said. SunSentinel

Scott, a Republican who is challenging Nelson’s Senate seat, has demanded that Nelson provide proof of his vague claim over election system penetration.

“Either Bill Nelson knows of crucial information the federal government is withholding from Florida elections officials or he is simply making things up,” Scott said in during a campaign event in Tampa. “Did Nelson illegally release some classified information? Or did he make this charge of Russian penetration up?”

Nelson and Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a July letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, warning election officials that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had discovered that “Russia was preparing to undermine confidence in our voting process” and suggested they take advantage of federal resources. The letter claims that in a small number of cases “cyber actors affiliated with the Russian government accessed voter registration databases.”

Nelson suggested that Russians could start eliminating registered voters.

“You can imagine the chaos that would occur on Election Day when the voters get to the polls and they say: ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Smith. I’m sorry, Mr. Jones, you’re not registered.’ That’s exactly what the Russians want to do,” Nelson said.

The Florida Department of State said they have no idea what Nelson is talking about, and has received “zero information” from the Senator or his staff to support the Russian hacking claims.

“Additionally, the department has received no information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that corroborates Sen. Nelson’s statement and we have no evidence to support these claims,” the Florida DoS said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. “If Sen. Nelson has specific information about threats to our elections, he should share it with election officials in Florida.”

Okaloosa Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux, who is president of the state’s association of election supervisors, said 37 of the state’s 67 county election supervisors he received responses from indicated they had received no word of a specific threat or breach to their system.

One issue, he said, is election supervisors are not able to get security clearances that would allow them to receive briefings on classified information. –SunSentinel

“If the federal government has actionable intelligence and we don’t have access to that intelligence you can’t be surprised that we can’t take the actions necessary to respond to those threats,” said Lux.

The Department of Homeland Security also responded to Nelson’s claim – issuing a statement Wednesday evening saying “While we are aware of Senator Nelson’s recent statements, we have not seen any new compromises by Russian actors of election infrastructure. That said, we don’t need to wait for a specific threat to be ready.”

August 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes from Piraya Film AS on Vimeo

The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes from Piraya Film AS on Vimeo

A 2 hour 32 min version of THE MAGNITSKY ACT – BEHIND THE SCENES had its world premiere at an invitation-only screening at Filmens Hus in Oslo, Norway, on June 25th, 2016. Since then, the film has been shown (and awarded) at several international film festivals. Personal copies have also been sent to hundreds of journalists, politicians and others who have expressed interest in the film, given the film’s high-profile political content.

However, more than two years after its world premiere, the film has not yet been released to the general public. It has not been broadcast on TV, nor been screened at cinemas, released on DVD or made available online. Many dissatisfied members of the audience have asked Piraya Film why they cannot see the film.

The answer is that an attack campaign was launched by the British financier Bill Browder (who appears in the film) against the film and the filmmakers while the film was still under production. This campaign was backed by, among others, individuals in the US State Department, CIA, various think tanks and human rights organizations, and included smear tactics in the press and in various other settings. The campaign succeeded in blocking planned screenings at the European Parliament and at a Norwegian film festival. The film was partly financed by several TV stations, and normal procedure for a documentary would be that these TV stations broadcast the film first. However, the involved TV stations were subject to both political and legal pressure, and have, until this date, not published the film.

One individual decided to leak his personal copy of the film to the internet in July 2018. We have worked hard to remove this from YouTube and various other sites, but we see that it is impossible to stop this illegal copy from spreading. With the film out like that, in an illegal manner and in breach of our copyright, we have decided to release THE MAGNITSKY ACT – BEHIND THE SCENES on Vimeo on Demand. We urge the public to support our work by seeing it here. With Browder as the main source of a disinformation campaign against the film and filmmakers, we have a need to counter the libel and defend ourselves through letting the public see the film.

August 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Film Review, Video | , | Leave a comment

Meet Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales: Ex Porn Peddler Paid by ‘Israel’ to Spread Zionist Propaganda

Empire Strikes Black | August 10, 2018

In the midst of the ongoing ‘Israeli’ government campaign against Jeremy Corbyn,(1) Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has entered the fray launching an inexplicable attack on the Labour leader. His tweet posted on the 9th of August 2018 lambastes Jeremy Corbyn for apparently failing to condemn Hamas rockets.

Wales tweets: 150 rockets fired at Israel by Hamas. @jeremycorbyn silent

To those well-versed on the history of Palestine this statement rightfully seems absurd and somewhat topsy-turvy. How can an occupied, brutalised and imprisoned people be castigated for merely defending themselves? While ‘Israel’ occupies land that does not belong to it – including Gaza which has no semblance of freedom with its borders and airspace locked down by the occupying regime which routinely commits bloody massacres with huge civilian death tolls – it absolutely must distort the facts in order to shape public opinion in its favour. ‘Israel’ committed and commits every day the causal acts of violence of ethnically cleansing Palestine and keeping the natives imprisoned, occupied and disenfranchised. The ‘Israel is acting in self-defence’ trope is then in fact the only form of rhetorical recourse that the Zionists can resort to in order to justify the historical and ongoing crimes against humanity committed every day in Palestine.

Jimmy Wales: Porn-Peddler-cum-Paid-Hasbara-Agent

In a revelation that will no-doubt raise eyebrows amongst Wikipedia users, in 1996 Jimmy Wales co-founded an online Internet portal called Bomis which sold porn and explicit material to users. The following, actually taken from the Wikipedia article for Bomis(2) adds context:

Bomis became successful after focusing on X-rated media. “Bomis Babes” was devoted to erotic images; the “Bomis Babe Report” featured adult pictures. Bomis Premium, available for an additional fee, provided explicit material. “The Babe Engine” helped users find erotic content through a web search engine. The advertising director for Bomis noted that 99 percent of queries on the site were for nude women.

Even the New York Times reports that the creation of Wikipedia was financed by Wales’ earlier porn venture,(3) whereby he would literally hand deliver cheques from Bomis porn revenues in order to keep Wikipedia’s servers running. On a perhaps related but definitely unsurprising note, the same New York Times article also reveals that via his wife, Jimmy Wales is very closely connected to Tony Blair(3) who even attended their wedding.

Though peddling porn may not be illegal, at the very least it sheds light on the true character of this man. What heroic agent of free information exchange makes money from selling pornography?

Wales has close links to ‘Israel’ and was awarded $1 million ‘Israeli’ prize for his services

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales poses in a sleazy Bomis advertisement

In 2015 Jimmy Wales told The Times of Israel (4) that he had visited ‘more than ten times’, suggesting links to the Zionist enclave. He even told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency,(4) “I’m a strong supporter of Israel, so I don’t listen to those critics.” Laughably Wales cites ‘women’s rights’ as one of his reasons(4) for his support of the illegitimate Zionist entity. This is a statement that rings as hollow as a drum considering this man made his money in an industry that degrades women and enslaves vulnerable girls.

Wales’ numerous visits to ‘Israel’ during this time period must be understood in the wider context of Zionist information warfare. In 2010 the UK Guardian reported that Zionist groups were establishing Wikipedia editing courses(5) in order to sway Wikipedia entries in the Zionist regime’s favour. Additionally in 2012 The National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) launched a program(6) to pay Israeli university students $2,000 to spread pro-‘Israel’ propaganda online for 5 hours per week.

Moreover, in the same year (2015) Mr. Wales was awarded $1 million by the ‘Israeli’ Dan David Foundation(7) after being selected by the prize committee for spearheading what they referred to as ‘the information revolution’.

The Electronic Intifada reports that the ‘Israeli’ government itself has been implicated in running the information war against Jeremy Corbyn. As part of this campaign, the ‘Israeli’ government has used its Act.IL software application to issue a mission for social media users to post negative comments against Jeremy Corbyn(1) suggesting he is an ‘anti-Semite’.

Let’s bring things full circle. Not only is Jimmy Wales a man of highly questionable moral character. Wales has close links to the Zionist regime, having visited it numerous times during the very same time period that Zionist groups were running Wikipedia editing courses and the ‘Israeli’ government was literally paying people to spread Zionist propaganda online. Wales’ efforts have culminated in him being awarded $1m by an ‘Israeli’ charitable organisation for his efforts in the ‘information revolution’. And now, interestingly, Mr. Wales is taking part in the very same information warfare campaign against Jeremy Corbyn that the ‘Israeli’ government has itself launched.

What is most alarming here is not merely Wales’ questionable character – having peddled porn and sleaze to make money – but the alarming indications that he could in fact be a de facto paid agent of the Zionist regime.

Notes

(1) ‘Israel running campaign against Jeremy Corbyn’ – The Electronic Intifada, 7 August 2018.
(2) ‘Bomis’ Wikipedia.com entry as of 10 August 2018.
(3) ‘Jimmy Wales Is Not An Internet Billionaire’ – The New York Times, 27 June 2013.
(4) ‘Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales likes Israel but stays neutral’ – The Times of Israel, 19 May 2015.
(5) ‘Wikipedia editing courses launched by Zionist groups’ – The Guardian, 18 August 2010.
(6) ‘Israeli students to get $2,000 to spread state propaganda on Facebook’ – The Electronic Intifada, 4 January 2012.
(7) ‘Wiki founder wins $1m Israeli prize’ – The Times of Israel, 10 February 2015.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bjorn Lomborg: ‘Stop these silly, undocumented claims of ever-increasing fire’ Claims ‘based on anecdotes, not data’ – Reality is Global & U.S. fires declining

By Bjørn Lomborg · August 6 2018

Could we please stop with the misleading fire stories?

The Economist cover story, like so many other stories these last weeks, claim that forest fires are exceptional and record-breaking: “EARTH is smoldering. From Seattle to Siberia this summer, flames have consumed swathes of the northern hemisphere”

This is based on anecdotes, not data.

As I’ve shown in previous days, the US burnt area was much higher in the early part of last century, and the EU burnt area has declined by half over the past 36 years.

So: No, the US is not smoldering more – it is smoldering much less than it used to in the first part of the 20th century.

And no, the EU is not smoldering more – it is smoldering much less over the past 36 years.

Let’s finally look at the global perspective. While many of these fire scare stories are based on news from the US and the EU, the Economist claim was explicitly global.

Yet, the data does not support the argument that things are burning more and more.

The graph shows the estimated area burnt globally per year from 1900-2010. And it shows a steady decline.

It is from the article “Spatial and temporal patterns of global burned area in response to anthropogenic and environmental factors: Reconstructing global fire history for the 20th and early 21st centuries” One important point is to recognize that there is absolutely not enough data to do this only based on reported burning.

This is one of the reasons I started off with the US (where we have solid (if likely under-reported) data from 1926) and the EU. But clearly, the evidence for the global trend is unmistakable.

We see a similar pattern from the 2018 Nature article “Reduction in global area burned and wildfire emissions since 1930s enhances carbon uptake by land” which (as the title suggests, finds a strong decline in area burnt since 1930 (figure 2).

We also see declining area burnt from 1900-2000 from the article “Human impacts on 20th century fire dynamics and implications for global carbon and water trajectories”, figure 4b.

In a very recommendable (and freely available) overview article “Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world” they clearly write that people (like the journalist at the Economist ) who believe there is more fire now, that is worse and have higher impact, are likely wrong:

“Many consider wildfire as an accelerating problem, with widely held perceptions both in the media and scientific papers of increasing fire occurrence, severity and resulting losses. However, important exceptions aside, the quantitative evidence available does not support these perceived overall trends. Instead, global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.”

Beyond better fire prevention an important reason might be that more people and higher population densities perhaps surprisingly means *less* fire. The paper “Impact of human population density on fire frequency at the global scale” shows that “at the global scale, the impact of increasing population density is mainly to reduce fire frequency.”

So: Stop these silly, undocumented claims of ever-increasing fire, please.

Sources:

Graph from “Spatial and temporal patterns of global burned area in response to anthropogenic and environmental factors: Reconstructing global fire history for the 20th and early 21st centuries” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/…/10.1…/2013JG002532.

“Reduction in global area burned and wildfire emissions since 1930s enhances carbon uptake by land” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03838-0

“Human impacts on 20th century fire dynamics and implications for global carbon and water trajectories” https://www.sciencedirect.com/…/artic…/pii/S0921818117303910

“Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world” http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/cont…/…/1696/20150345 (not embargoed)

“Impact of human population density on fire frequency at the global scale.” https://www.biogeosciences.net/11/1085/2014/

US fire data: https://www.facebook.com/…/a.2217582089…/10157044699208968/… and additional data set here: https://www.facebook.com/bjornlomb…/posts/10157044718363968…

EU fire data: https://www.facebook.com/…/a.2217582089…/10157047962983968/…

August 8, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Critical voices needed at development studies conference

By Yves Engler · August 8, 2018

Are they critical thinkers or cheerleaders pretending to be independent of the government that funds them? Given the title conference organizers chose — “Is Canada Back: delivering on good intentions?” — one would guess the latter. But, an independent researcher keeps an open mind.

Publicity for the mid-September conference organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) notes: “Inspired by Justin Trudeau’s 2015 proclamation ‘Canada is Back’, we are presenting panels that illustrate or challenge Canada’s role in global leadership. Are we doing all that we could be doing in the world?”

Formulating the question this way seems like a sop to the government that provides their funding. Conference organizers must be aware of the Trudeau government’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia’s monarchy, backing for brutal mining companies, NATO deployments, antagonism towards Palestinian rights, efforts to topple the Venezuelan government, failure to end Canada’s ‘low level war’ on Iran, refusal to support nuclear weapons controls, promotion of military spending, etc.

The reality is that while the two conference sponsors are supported by some labour unions, left groups and internationalist-minded young people, they are heavily dependent/tied to Canada’s official foreign policy apparatus.

To understand government influence over the NGO/development studies swamp requires wading through acronym-filled historical waters. An umbrella group representing dozens of major development NGOs, the CCIC was created fifty years ago with financing from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA, now part of Global Affairs Canada). The aid agency expected it to coordinate relations with the growing NGO network and build domestic political support for the aid program. While it has challenged government policy on occasion, the CCIC is highly dependent on government funds. Shortly after it publicly complained the government created a “chill” in the NGO community by adopting “the politics of punishment … towards those whose public views run at cross purposes to the government,” the CCIC’s $1.7 million CIDA grant was cut in 2012. This forced it to lay off two thirds of its staff.

CASID and international development studies programs more generally have received significant support from CIDA and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Crown Corporation. In 2015 CASID’s president thanked “IDRC for its support of CASID over the past decade and more.” As part of one contract, IDRC gave CASID $450,000 between 2012 and 2015.

In the mid-1990s IDRC sponsored an initiative to enhance university undergraduate international development programs. This led to the creation of the Canadian Consortium for University Programs in International Development Studies (CCUPIDS), which has as its primary objective to “strengthen the position of International Development Studies.” CIDA also funds CCUPIDS conferences.

CCUPIDS is a branch of CASID, which publishes the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. In the introduction to a journal special issue on Canadian universities and development, editors Leonora Angeles and Peter Boothroyd write:

Thanks mostly to grant funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the International Development Research Council (IDRC), Canadian academics have been able to engage intensively in development work for over three decades.

CIDA and IDRC also directly fund international development studies initiatives. In the late 1960s CIDA sponsored a study with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) to investigate what schools offered development studies courses. According to IDRC: 40 years of ideas, innovation, and impact, “early on, it began funding Canadian area and development studies associations, their conferences, journals, and research — gathering and communication activities.” The Canadian Association of African Studies, Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Canadian Asian Studies Association and Canadian Association of Studies in International Development all “received substantial core funding from IDRC, intermittently in the 1970s and 1980s, and continuously since 1990.”

Significant sums of aid money continue to flow to international development studies programs. The website of the McGill Institute for the Study of International Development lists a dozen contracts worth more than $600,000 from CIDA, as well as $400,000 in contracts from IDRC and Foreign Affairs. An NGO and CIDA training ground, these programs often include internships and volunteer opportunities funded by development aid. The Students for Development Internships is “offered through the AUCC and CIDA, and students are funded to work for up to four months with an NGO anywhere in the world.” Queen’s Global Development Studies exchange program, for instance, received $270,000 from CIDA in 2011.

Individuals who participated in aid agency-funded projects, notably the government-backed Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO), spurred or launched international development studies programs. In Canada’s Global Villagers: CUSO in Development, 1961-86 Ruth Compton Brouwer writes:

CUSO staff and RV’s [returned volunteers] contributed substantially to the establishment of university-level courses and programs related to global issues and the centres for international education and development studies. These are now such ordinary features of Canadian universities that it is difficult to conceive of how novel they were when they began in the 1960s.”

Led by CUSO’s former West Africa coordinator Don Simpson, University of Western Ontario opened an office of international education in 1969, which “operated in collaboration with CIDA.” Similarly, “valued friends of CUSO” instigated development studies programming at the universities of Ottawa and Toronto.

Canadian aid also directly shapes international development studies research. Half of the respondents to a 2002 survey of 64 scholars reported that CIDA’s six development priorities influenced their research focus. A professor or student who aligns their pursuits with those of the aid agency or IDRC is more likely to find funding or a fellowship. And IDRC/Global Affairs Canada’s priorities don’t include challenging Canadian foreign policy.

Given the sponsors’ ties to the foreign policy apparatus it is likely that the September conference will offer little more than cheerleading for the Trudeau Liberals’ foreign policy. Still, one can’t be certain and, having been invited by a Facebook friend to attend, I emailed the conference organizers to ask if they would allow me to present a critical look at Trudeau’s foreign policy. Thus far they have not accepted my offer.

If you agree that answering the question “Are we doing all that we could be doing in the world?” requires some critical voices, please email (ac.cicc@stneve) and ask them to allow Yves Engler to speak on Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy at your upcoming conference.

I love a good debate and maybe both sides will learn something new.

August 8, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiroshima Fictions and Facts

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | August 7, 2018

About the US atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, popular accounts still stick to the false but “greatest generation” story that, “Without [them], more Japanese would have died in a US assault on the islands, as would have tens of thousands of Americans,” as Mike Hashimoto wrote in the Dallas Morning News in 2016.

The New York Times reported that year, “Many historians believe the bombings [of] Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, which together took the lives of more than 200,000 people, saved lives on balance, since an invasion of the islands would have led to far greater bloodshed.” Many historians, perhaps; but not that many.

On the contrary the chief historian of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, J. Samuel Walker, wrote in the journal Diplomatic History in 1990, “The consensus among scholars is that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan and to end the war within a relatively short time. It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it.”

Historian Martin Sherwin has debunked the tale of the “good” atom bombs, citing in his 2003 book A World Destroyed “a ‘considerable body’ of new evidence that suggested the bomb may have cost, rather than saved, American lives. That is, if the US had not been so determined to complete, test, and finally use the bomb, it might have arranged the Japanese surrender weeks earlier, preventing much bloodshed on Okinawa.”

Historian Gar Alperovitz wrote in Atomic Diplomacy (Vintage Books, 1967), “available evidence shows the atomic bomb was not needed to end the war or to save lives — and that this was understood by American leaders at the time.” Further declassification of wartime secrets and 28 additional years of research make Alperovitz’s definitive 1995 history The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb even stronger on this point. 

Admirals and Generals Destroy the Myth

Combat veterans and bomber crews defeated Japan well before August 6, 1945 by fighting and dying in dreadful battles over Midway, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and elsewhere, a fact corroborated by dozens of military commanders, as Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the 21st Bomber Command, boasted. LeMay said publicly on Sept. 20, 1945: “The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb.” Asked to clarify, the general who directed the destruction of 67 Japanese cities using mass incendiary attacks doubled down saying, “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”

Gen. George Kenny, who commanded parts of the Army Air Forces in the Pacific, was asked in 1969 for his opinion and said, “I think we had the Japs [sic] licked anyhow. I think they would have quit probably within a week or so of when they did quit.” Alperovitz notes further that Adm. Lewis Strauss, an assistant to WW II Navy Secretary James Forrestal, wrote to historian Robert Albion in 1960: “[F]rom the Navy’s point of view, there are statements by Admiral King, Admiral Halsey, Admiral Radford, Admiral Nimitz and others who expressed themselves to the effect that neither the atomic bomb nor the proposed invasion of the Japanese mainland were necessary to produce the surrender.”

In Mandate for Change, President Dwight Eisenhower admitted that when Sec. of War Henry Stimson told him atomic bombs were going to be used, “I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary….”

President Truman’s Chief of Staff, Adm. William Leahy, agreed. As Robert Lifton and Greg Mitchell, report in Hiroshima in America: 50 Years of Denial, Leahy said, “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.…” Even official histories have debunked the fiction. “[T]he US Strategic Bombing Survey published its conclusion that Japan would likely have surrendered in 1945 without atomic bombing, without a Soviet declaration of war, and without an American invasion,” Alperovitz recounted in The Decision. 

Still, the myth that the mass destruction of 200,000 was necessary to save lives is believed by millions in the US who refuse to consider or accept the historical record. This greatest of the “greatest generation’s” yarns may help some sleep at night, and to think better of killing civilians than does the rest of the world, but it doesn’t help abolish nuclear weapons.

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

More Lies About the White Helmets

Is resettling a terrorist front group in the West a good idea?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • August 7, 2018

When is a terrorist group not a terrorist group? Apparently the answer is that it ceases to be terrorist when it terrorizes someone who is an enemy of the United States. The most prominent recent example is the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK), a murderous Iranian Marxist cult which assassinated five Americans in the 1970s as part of its campaign against the Shah’s government. It was removed from the State Department terrorist list in 2012 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after it had promised not to kill any more Americans but really because it had bought the support of prominent politicians to include Elaine Chao, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and John Bolton. It also had the behind the scenes endorsement of both the Israeli Mossad and CIA, both of whom have been using it in their operations to kill Iranians and damage the country’s infrastructure. Someone high up in the federal government, perhaps Hillary or even President Obama himself, must have decided that terrorists who kill only Iranians deserve a get out of jail free card from the State Department.

There are other examples of cynical doublespeak from the Syrian conflict, including labeling rebels against the Damascus government “freedom fighters” when in reality they were as often as not allied with the al-Qaeda affiliated group Al-Nusra or even with ISIS. Frequently they received training and weapons from Washington only to turn around and either join Al-Nusra and ISIS as volunteers or surrender their weapons to them.

But perhaps there is no bigger fraud making the rounds than the so-called White Helmets. The recent media coverage derives from the documentary The White Helmets, which was produced by the group itself and tells a very convincing tale promoted as “the story of real-life heroes and impossible hope.” It is a very impressive piece of propaganda, so much so that it has won numerous awards including the Oscar for Best Documentary Short last year and the White Helmets themselves were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. More to the point, however, is the undeniable fact that the documentary has helped shape the public understanding of what is going on in Syria, describing the government in Damascus in purely negative terms.

The fawning Hollywood and Congressional depictions of the group go something like this: “the White Helmets are an ‘heroic’ impartial non-government humanitarian volunteer group that engages in ‘first response’ emergency rescue and medical treatment for all those who have been impacted by the fighting in Syria. The Syrian government hates the group because it assists victims of the fighting who are either rebels or living in rebel held areas. Recently, with the Syrian Army closing in on the last White Helmet affiliates still operating in the country, the Israeli government, assisted by the United States, staged an emergency humanitarian evacuation of the group’s members and their families to Israel and then on to Jordan.”

Virtually all the mainstream media coverage of the White Helmets is bogus, but by far the most ridiculous account of the Exodus from Syria came from the BBC. For those who are not familiar with it, the BBC, which once upon a time had a reputation for journalistic integrity, has become one of the worst pro-government propaganda shills of all time. Reading its articles is even worse than having a similar go at The Washington Post, which is the prime newspaper exemplar of fake news and phony journalism pretending to be a respectable news source in the United States. Let’s face it, Donald Trump has a point. Nearly all of the mainstream media lies persistently these days but some sources are worse than others. People complain about Fox, and rightly so, but CNN is the absolute pits when it comes to slanting its coverage, as is MSNBC.

BBC’s article is entitled Syria conflict: White Helmets evacuated by Israel. It makes the following statements, many coming directly from Israeli official sources, regarding the White Helmets, its activities and the group’s relationship to some governments, to include Britain:

  • “The IDF said they had ‘completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization and their families’, saying there was an ‘immediate threat to their lives.’ The transfer of the displaced Syrians through Israel was an exceptional humanitarian gesture.”
  • “Although Israel is not directly involved in the Syria conflict, the two countries have been in a state of war for decades. Despite the intervention, the IDF said that ‘Israel continues to maintain a non-intervention policy regarding the Syrian conflict.’”
  • “A statement from Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: ‘White Helmets have been the target of attacks and, due to their high profile, we judged that, in these particular circumstances, the volunteers required immediate protection. We pay tribute to the brave and selfless work that White Helmet volunteers have done to save Syrians on all sides of the conflict.’”
  • “Their official name is the Syrian Civil Defense and it began in early 2013 as an organization of volunteers from all walks of life, including electricians and builders. Its main task soon became to rescue civilians in war zones in the immediate aftermath of air strikes, and it says its volunteers have saved the lives of more than 100,000 people during the civil war.”

The BBC story could have been written by the White Helmets themselves or by their press department. Or alternatively by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. First of all, the Israelis do not do humanitarian gestures. They helped bail out the White Helmets at the request of the U.S. because capture by the Syrians would have produced embarrassing revelations about how the group was funded and what its affiliation with terrorists was all about. And Israel’s denial of involvement in Syria is nonsense, unless one considers demonstrated collaboration with the terrorist groups punctuated by nearly weekly bombing and missile attacks to be non-involvement.

The British too are into the deception up to their eyeballs. The comment by Hunt and Mordaunt is complete fabrication regarding what the White Helmets represent. The same goes for the BBC account of how the group developed, which comes directly from the White Helmet’s own propaganda division as amplified by Hollywood and the U.S. and U.K. governments.

Just as important as what is said about the White Helmets’ activities is the exclusion of a great deal of credible negative reporting on the group. The carefully edited scenes of heroism under fire that have been filmed and released worldwide conceal the White Helmets’ relationship with the al-Qaeda affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra and its participation in the torture and execution of “rebel” opponents. Indeed, the White Helmets only operate in rebel held territory, which enables them to shape the narrative both regarding who they are and what is occurring on the ground.

Exploiting their access to the western media, the White Helmets thereby de facto became a major source of “eyewitness” news regarding what was going on in those many parts of Syria where European and American journalists were quite rightly afraid to go. It was all part of a broader largely successful “rebel” effort to manufacture fake news that depicts the Damascus government as engaging in war crimes directed against civilians, an effort that led to several attacks on government forces and facilities by the U.S. military.

The White Helmets travel to bombing sites with their film crews trailing behind them. Once at the sites, with no independent observers, they are able to arrange or even stage what is filmed to conform to their selected narrative which consistently promotes tales of government atrocities against civilians to encourage outside military intervention in Syria and bring about regime change in Damascus. The White Helmets were, for example, the propagators of the totally false but propagandistically effective claims regarding the government use of so-called “barrel bombs” against civilians.

Peter Ford, British Ambassador in Damascus from 2003-2006, recently described the group in an audio interview saying, “The White Helmets are jihadi auxiliaries. They are not, as claimed by themselves and by their supporters… simple rescuers. They are not volunteers. They are paid professionals of disinformation.” He noted particularly the large size of the organization’s “press department”, saying, “This gives us an idea what the priority is for this very dubious organization… All their activities are directed at mobilizing Western opinion behind the jihadis with whom they associate. They co-locate their centers with the Al-Qaeda organization known as Al-Nusra and with other militant groups such as Jaish al-Islam. They have in the past been shown associating with and waving the flags of ISIS.”

The group is currently largely funded by a number of non-government organizations (NGOs) as well as governments, including the United States, Britain and some European Union member states. The U.S. has directly provided $23 million through the USAID (US Agency for International Development) as of 2016 and almost certainly considerably more indirectly. Max Blumenthal has explored in some detail the various funding resources and relationships that the organization draws on, mostly in Europe and the United States.

Perhaps the most serious charge against the White Helmets consists of the evidence that they actively participated in the atrocities, to include torture and murder, carried out by their al-Nusra hosts. There have been numerous photos of the White Helmets operating directly with armed terrorists and also celebrating over the bodies of execution victims and murdered Iraqi soldiers. The group’s jihadi associates regard the White Helmets as fellow “mujahideen” and “soldiers of the revolution.”

So Israel’s celebrated rescue of the White Helmets was little more than a theatrical performance intended to perpetuate the myth that the al-Assad government was thwarted in an attempt to capture and possibly kill an honorable non-partisan group engaged in humanitarian relief for those caught up in a bloody conflict seeking to oust a ruthless dictator. The reality is quite different. The White Helmets were and are part and parcel of the attempt to overthrow a legitimate government and install a regime friendly to western, American and Israeli interests. For Israel in particular the ongoing chaos in Syria was and is part of its plan for dividing all of its neighbors into warring ethnicities and sects, making them less viable as threats to the Jewish state.

The 800 White Helmets rescued reportedly will be resettled in the U.S., Britain and Germany. One hopes those coming to America can end up in Los Angeles, where they would presumably mingle with Hollywood big shots and the usual snowflakes while working on their next documentary. As some of them are most certainly radical Jihadists, it will be interesting to observe exactly how that will play out.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment