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Veteran FBI Lawyer Boente Resigns Over Role in Michael Flynn Case

Sputnik – 31.05.2020

Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Dana Boente has resigned after 38 years due to pressure from the Justice Department, after facing criticism for his role in the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“Few people have served so well in so many critical, high-level roles at the Department. Throughout his long and distinguished career as a public servant, Dana has demonstrated a selfless determination to ensure that justice is always served on behalf of our citizens. While it will be difficult to replace Dana, I am committed to ensuring that the next general counsel is experienced, objective, and prepared to lead the men and women who make up this vital part of the FBI’s mission,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

Boente, who had also been acting assistant attorney general of the National Security Division and US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has come under fire for his handling of the case against Flynn.

Flynn pleaded guilty December 2017 to lying to FBI investigators about conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak regarding a United Nations resolution on Israel – Flynn has since rescinded his plea, and the Justice Department is seeking to drop the case.

In late April, a couple of right-leaning news outlets reported Boente had concealed exculpatory evidence related to Flynn. These reports were amplified by Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, who said on his show, “Shocking new reports suggest FBI General Counsel Dana Boente was acting in coordination with FBI Director Christopher Wray to block the release of that evidence that would have cleared Gen. Flynn.”

Wray picked Boente to be the FBI’s general counsel in January 2018, and he went on to play a key role in the agency’s Trump-Russia investigation – Senator Lindsey Graham, chair of the Judiciary Committee, named him as a possible target for subpoena as part of the panel’s probe of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation into potential collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

Boente is the last remaining active government official who signed off on a FISA warrant targeting Trump campaign adviser Carter Page – former FBI Director James Comey signed off on the second FISA renewal for the FBI April 2017 – which occurred during his brief stint as acting attorney general. He assumed the role after Sally Yates, deputy attorney general in the Obama administration, was fired in late January 2017 for refusing to defend President Trump’s travel ban. Boente was replaced by Jeff Sessions.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December report into Crossfire Hurricane criticised the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to FISA warrants against Page in 2016 and 2017 and for the Bureau’s reliance on former MI6 operative Christopher Steele’s utterly discredited dossier. Recently declassified footnotes show the FBI was aware the document’s content may have been compromised by Russian intelligence and used it anyway..

The report noted Boente and other DOJ officials who signed off on the applications “did not have accurate and complete information at the time they approved them”.

May 31, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

‘US statements are fake, not Libyan money’: Moscow rebuffs accusations of printing counterfeit dinars

RT | May 30, 2020

Moscow printed dinars for Libya in accordance with a government contract, so Washington’s claims of it being fake money have nothing to do with reality, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

The US State Department announced on Friday that $1.1 billion worth of “counterfeit, Russian-printed Libyan currency” was seized in Malta earlier this week.

Moscow confirmed the dinars were indeed printed by Russian state-owned company Goznak, but it was done in accordance with a contract it signed with the Central Bank of Libya in 2015. The order was fully paid for by the Libyan side, it was announced.

Following the NATO-backed removal of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and years of chaos, Libya is now run by two rival governments, which both have their own central banks. Moscow said it sent money to Benghazi, which is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar, because the head of the local bank was appointed by the democratically elected parliament. The seized money was essential for stabilizing the troubled Libyan economy, the ministry added. “Therefore, it’s the American statements that are false, but not the Libyan dinars.”

Washington, which backs the UN recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), has labeled the LNA and its bank “an illegal parallel entity.”

Moscow reiterated its stance that the conflict in Libya should only be solved behind the negotiations table, calling upon the sides to lay down arms and start talking.

May 30, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Indian Council of Medical Research writes to WHO disagreeing with HCQ assessment

Officials say international trial dosage four times higher than India

ANI | May 29, 2020

NEW DELHI: After the Union Health Ministry expressed reservations about the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) advisory to suspend hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) usage in treating COVID-19 patients, now, India’s nodal government agency ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) overseeing the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has also written to the WHO citing differences in dosage standards between Indian and international trials that could explain the efficacy issues of HCQ in treating COVID-19 patients.

Currently, as per protocols set by the Indian government to treat severe coronavirus patients requiring ICU management, HCQ dosages are administered in the following way- 1st day a heavy dose of 400mg HCQ dose once in the morning and one at night, followed by 200 mg HCQ one in the morning and one at night to be followed for the next four days. The total dosage administered to a patient in 5 days, therefore, amounts to 2400 mg.

Speaking to ANI on the condition of anonymity, a Health Ministry official explained the context behind the ICMR and Health Ministry disagreeing with WHO’s assessment, the primary point being the wide gap in dosage levels given in India and internationally.”Internationally in Solidarity trial COVID-19 patients are being administered with–800 mg x 2 loading doses 6 hours apart followed by 400 mg x 2 doses per day for 10 days. The total dosage given to a patient over 11 days is about 9600 mg which is four times higher than the dose we are giving to our patients,” informed the official.

“This indicates that in our treatment protocol, the efficacy of HCQ is good and patients are recovering quickly with less amount of dosage being administered,” said the official.

Buoyed by the preliminary success observed in the treatment of COVID-19 patients through these HCQ tablets, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has written to the WHO.

In a letter via an email, Dr Sheela Godbole, National Coordinator of the WHO-India Solidarity Trial and Head of the Division of Epidemiology, ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute has written to Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at World Health Organization.

In a letter, Dr Godbole stated: “There was no reason to suspend the trial for safety concern.” … Full article

May 30, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

EXPLOSIVE transcripts show Flynn wanted to work with Russia against ISIS, Kislyak warned Trump ‘Russiagate’ was targeting HIM

RT | May 29, 2020

Transcripts of conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak show that incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was looking out for US interests and sought Russian help against terrorists, while the FBI framed him.

Flynn and Kislyak spoke several times in December 2016 and January 2017, during the presidential transition. Within days of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the FBI interviewed Flynn with an intent – as shown by recently published documents – to catch him in a perjury trap. After a description of his call with Kislyak was leaked to the Washington Post, Flynn was accused of misleading the White House about the calls and pressured to resign.

Those invested in the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory have claimed for years that Flynn discussed easing US sanctions against Moscow.

Actual transcripts of the calls, made public on Friday by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), paint a drastically different picture. They show Flynn asking Moscow to not play the game of “tit-for-tat” escalation triggered by outgoing President Barack Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats, that would have “boxed in” the incoming president – and seeking to work together with Russia against “a common threat in the Middle East,” which from the context appears to be a reference to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists.

“Do not allow this administration to box us in, right now, okay?” Flynn tells Kislyak in a call on December 29, 2016, asking Russia to make its response “reciprocal.” He doesn’t want to create a situation where “everybody’s got to go back and forth and everybody’s got to be the tough guy here, you know?”

“We don’t need that right now,” Flynn says. “We need cool heads to prevail, and uh, and we need to be very steady about what we’re going to do because we have absolutely a common uh. threat in the Middle East right now.”

Two days later, on December 31, Kislyak informs Flynn that their conversation “was taken into account” in Moscow. In fact, President Vladimir Putin decided not to retaliate at all, saying he didn’t want to ruin the holidays for American diplomats and their families.

Flynn called this decision “wise.” Kislyak then said something that would turn out to be prophetic – that Russia judged these actions by the Obama administration to be aimed not just against Moscow, but against Trump.

“And I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president-elect… and with all our rights to respond we have decided not to act now because, it’s because people are dissatisfied with the loss of elections and, and it’s very deplorable,” the ambassador said.

The events that unfolded proved Kislyak correct. The pretext for the FBI and DOJ to go after Flynn was that he supposedly violated the Logan Act – an archaic law banning ordinary Americans from conducting foreign policy, but which did not apply to him as the incoming presidential adviser anyway. Instead, what the transcripts show is that the outgoing administration was seeking to sabotage the incoming one.

On January 4, 2017, FBI agent Peter Strzok – who had previously vowed to “stop” Trump from getting elected in texts with colleague and lover Lisa Page – improperly ordered the FBI background investigation of Flynn to stay open. The following day, FBI chief James Comey went to the White House and discussed investigating Flynn with Obama personally. On that same day, January 5, the president’s chief of staff sent a request to the NSA to “unmask” Flynn. All of this was revealed only a month ago, in documents presented as evidence in the trial of Flynn for allegedly lying about the calls.

Russia eventually retaliated only in July 2017, when a Republican-majority Congress overrode Trump and passed a toxic sanctions bill based entirely on unsubstantiated ‘Russiagate’ claims of meddling in the presidential election. Just as Flynn feared, this would trigger a chain of “tit for tat” expulsions and closures that left both countries short of diplomatic staff – and cut off all avenues of further cooperation against IS, for peace in Syria, or anything else.

May 29, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Australian Court Ruling Grants Access to Queen’s Correspondence Written Before Whitlam Dismissal

Sputnik – 29.05.2020

On 11 November 1975, Governor-General of Australia John Kerr sacked Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, arguing that he had failed to get parliament to approve a national budget and then refused to resign or call an election. Since then, historians have questioned what Buckingham Palace knew about the removal of Whitlam.

The Australian Supreme Court ordered to make public the correspondence written by the Queen Elizabeth II before the 1975 dismissal of then Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

The court ruled that the letters that the monarch had sent to Governor General John Kerr were in the public domain, according to the BBC.

Kerr fired Whitlam three years after he was elected prime minister, which led to a deep constitutional crisis. The reasons for his resignation are still being discussed; some experts believe that the UK and even the US tried to suppress the reformist ideas of the politician.

More than 200 letters have been kept sealed in the National Archives since 1978, but on Friday the High Court of Australia ruled that they could be accessed in the national interest.

The contents of the the letters between the Queen and Sir John are unknown.

In 2018, the historian Jenny Hocking demanded that the correspondence be published, but the Australian federal court refused the plaintiff to release the Queen’s letters.

May 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | 1 Comment

The Campaign Against HCQ—Part II

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts | Institute For Political Economy | May 28, 2020

A few years ago the British medical journal, The Lancet, published a paper touting the safety of HCQ. But this was before HCQ with zinc was found effective if used early enough against Covid-19. Covid-19 turned HCQ’s effectiveness into a big problem for Big Pharma’s big profits.

The solution was another study by medical professionals some of whom have ties to Big Pharma and none of whom, apparently, are involved in the treatment of Covid patients. The study lumps together people in different stages of the disease and undergoing different treatments. It touts its large sample, but many of the patients in the sample received treatment too late after the virus had reached their heart and other vital organs. Most likely the people who died from heart failure died as a result of the virus, not from HCQ.

To be effective treatment has to stop the virus early. Waiting until the patient must be hospitalized has given the virus too much of a head start. Every doctor, and there are many, who reports success with the HCQ treatment stresses early treatment. President Trump used a two-week treatment with HCQ as a prophylactic as he was constantly coming into contact with people who tested positive for the virus. Many medical professionals who are treating Covid patients also use HCQ as a prophylactic.

The Lancet study was a rush job as it was essential for Big Pharma to prevent the spread of the HCQ treatment and awareness of its safety and effectiveness. The study’s authors completed the data collection around the middle of April and the study was published on May 22. As soon as it appeared, it was used to close down the World Health Organization’s clinical  trial of hydoxychloroquine in coronavirus patients citing safety concerns. Most likely, the trial was aborted in order to prevent an official agency from finding out that HCQ worked.

The media, of course, used the suspended trial to cast more doubt on Trump’s judgment for recommending and using the treatment, the implication being that Trump had put himself at more risk from a heart attack than from the virus itself.

The Daily Mail, which is often somewhat skeptical of official reports, even misreported French virologist Didier Raoult’s report (see this) of his success with treating 1,061 patients with HCQ/AZ as consisting of only a small sample of 30 patients (see this). A small sample is considered to be inconclusive. Thus 1,061 people became 30.

The Lancet study claims a high mortality from HCQ treatment, reporting a death rate ranging from 5.1% to 13.8%. In response to a journalist when asked about this claim, Didier Raoult said that he and has colleagues have followed 4,000 of their patients so far. They have had 36 deaths and none from heart problems for a death rate of 0.009%. According to The Lancet study, he should have between 204 and 552  patients dead from heart problems. He has zero. Raoult had more than 10,000 cardiograms analysed by rythmologists (a special kind of cardiologist) searching for any sign of heart problems.

NIH’s Dr. Fauci denies that Raoult’s hard evidence is evidence. On May 27 Fauci said, without showing shame of his ignorance or his lie, that there’s no evidence that shows the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is effective at treating COVID-19. (see this)

Perhaps what Fauci means is that no study undertaken by NIH or another Big Pharma friendly official body has been done and that only such studies constitute evidence.

When hard evidence such as Raoult’s is suppressed and misreported while “studies” doctored to produce a predetermined conclusion that serves Big Pharma profits are rushed into publication, we know that money has pushed ethics out of medical research. A number of concerned people have been telling us this for some time. We are past due to listen to them.

Private medicine is profit driven, which makes it susceptible to fraud. In long ago days fraud was restrained by the moral character of doctors and the respect for truth of researchers. These restraints, never perfect, have eroded as greed turned everything, integrity itself, into a commodity that is bought and sold.

The intent is to bury HCQ as a low cost effective treatment and to put in its place a high cost alternative whether effective or not, and to supplement this enhancement of profits with mass vaccination which might do us more harm than the virus itself. Big Pharma could care less. The only value it knows is profit.

This intent has garnered the support of the French, Belgian and Italian governments. Using The Lancet study and WHO’s termination of its HCQ trial as the excuse, the French government revoked its decree authorizing HCQ treatment. Belgium’s health ministry issued a warning against the use of HCQ except in registered clinical trials. Italy’s health agency wants HCQ’s use banned outside of clinical trials and suspended authorization to use HCQ as a Covid-19 treatment. See this.

Does this mean that Raoult and his team who by treating Covid patients with HCQ have achieved the remarkable low death rate of 0.009% are prohibited from using the proven cure to save lives? Will Raoult and his team be imprisoned if they continue to save lives? What about the people who will die from the three government’s prevention of a safe and effective treatment? Will France, Belgium, and Italy accept responsibility for these lost lives?

I can’t avoid wondering if the revolving door between Big Pharma and the NIH and CDC which corrupts US public health decisions also operates in France, Belgium and Italy. Are European health officials elevating themselves by climbing over the dead bodies of their victims?

May 29, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 1 Comment

J’accuse: Pinning down responsibility for Belgium’s dismal record of Covid-19 mortality

By Gilbert Doctorow | May 28, 2020

For a number of weeks in a row as coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths spiraled upwards exponentially, the broad population in Belgium and many other European countries came out at specified times in the evening to collectively celebrate the heroism of their medical cadres on the front lines of the pandemic. For a while I joined in, but then as it became clear that Belgium has the world’s highest number of deaths per capita in the world, and that the explanations for this given by the authorities are utterly unconvincing, my feelings towards our medical profession changed from admiration to pity for their risking their lives only to produce miserable results. Clearly the foot soldiers had been let down by their generals.

As of today, more than 9,500 patients have died in this country of 11.5 million, half in hospital and half in old age and care homes. To put this in proper perspective, in the United States, where the chaotic response of the federal government under President Trump has been exposed to scathing ridicule both domestically and by observers abroad, today was marked with solemnity as the country crossed the threshold of 100,000 Covid -19 deaths. If the official Belgian mortality rate per million were to be projected onto the United States, which is 28 times more populous, we should be marking 270,000 deaths there today.  Of course, given the unruly de-confinement now going in many U.S. states with the active encouragement of the White House, the numbers there may reach and exceed that level in the coming weeks. But they also may not.

If we use another yardstick which has been promoted by the Financial Times, namely the total excess deaths in a given country in 2020 during the months of the pandemic compared to the normal mortality in the same country in the same period over the past several years, Belgium once again comes out at the top of the list of shame, just behind the UK and Italy.

Most of the Covid-19 deaths in Belgium could have been spared had the right decisions been taken at the outset. And I do not mean earlier imposition of confinement. I will explain myself below. Many other unnecessary deaths have continued even up to the present day because of critical errors that are not being corrected due to pure incompetence, aided and abetted by a dysfunctional political system of power sharing, placing political ideology above pragmatism, and being penny wise and pound foolish in the spending to combat the epidemic. In this regard, it is relevant to note that the daily death toll in Belgium this past week has persistently exceeded that in neighboring France, a country with 5 times the population.

In this brief essay, I will ask some of the tough questions that our lame print media seem unable or unwilling to do during the thrice weekly press conferences held by officials of the federal health ministry.

As recently as a few days ago I hesitated to come out with accusations since I am not a health professional and can base my doubts only on the inconsistencies I have remarked between how the epidemic has been handled in other countries including South Korea and Russia where deaths per million are vastly lower, and what is being done and said from high offices in Belgium. However, the very sharp criticism reported on 26 May in the middle-of-the-road French language newspaper La Libre Belgique directed against the Sciensano institute at the center of the Government’s Covid 19 management has brought starkly into the open some of the weaknesses we in lay society had observed among ourselves in kitchen talk. A breach in the Government’s defenses of its policies has opened up and it is high time to march through.

* * * *

La Libre Belgique assigned to the article mentioned above a title sure to attract the attention it merits: “Coronavirus: the Royal Academies castigate the ‘opaque decisions of Sciensano’ which ‘put our country in danger.’” The Royal Academy of Medicine and the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts denounce in particular the monopoly of power exercised by the Scientific Institute of Public Health (Sciensano) with respect to management of the health crisis and the way their own advice has not been taken into account. They call for ‘rethinking the strategy for developing the Belgian medical plan.’ They note that the oncoming pandemic provoked panic in the country. Decisions were taken precipitously and without any well thought out plan despite the fact that the viral outbreak had occurred in China already in December. They insist that Belgium must learn from its errors if it is to face up to the likely second wave of viral infections ahead.

The one specific charge the Royal Academies raise is over the flip-flop on public policy with respect to wearing masks. We are told that “They point their finger at the ‘denial of the interest in the population wearing masks to cover up the shortage [of masks] and a lack of foresight, as well as the ‘restrictions on use of diagnostic tests’ for the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases of persons having been in contact with a contaminated person.’”

The net result of the démarche is the following: “The two Academies ask Sciensano to collaborate with them in order to ensure transparency, independence and coherence of the decisions taken. They emphasize that they are composed of ‘internationally recognized experts in numerous disciplines concerned by the problem at hand.’”

Finally we are told that the two Academies point to the mistrust which the population is showing with regard to the management of the health crisis, saying ‘’It is urgent that we reestablish confidence and credibility between the decision-making authorities and civil society.”

* * * *

For little Belgium, the open conflict among elites that we see in the article I have summarized above is quite remarkable. We read that the public has lost trust in the authorities, and we read that internationally recognized experts have been sidelined.

Neither phenomenon is particularly unusual in this country where the flip side of the advanced democratic solutions for holding the kingdom together, given the rivalries of the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking regions, is power sharing. This power sharing broadly equates to institutionalized corruption and incompetence. Ministers receive their portfolios by back-room deals among the parties forming the governing coalition of the day. The coronavirus is the sharp end that has driven these abuses out into the open for public scrutiny, particularly as regards the reviled minister of public health Maggie de Bock.

The remarks about government lies about the usefulness of masks when there were none for the hospitals let alone for the general public hit at the most talked about and grating abuses of the Minister of Health. Moreover, she had a year earlier overseen the destruction of millions of masks purchased for the feared ‘bird flu’ H5N1 ten years ago, thereby leaving the country totally exposed in case of some new viral epidemic. On these grounds alone, the Belgian doctors’ association had called for her to be stripped of her license to practice medicine. That may not seem more than a tap on the wrist, but the notion of hauling her into court for dereliction of duty was too improbable of success to be contemplated.

In the meantime, two months into the pandemic, Belgium has stocked up on masks and latex gloves. In my own commune of Ixelles, one of the boroughs in central Brussels, we received a knock on the door a couple of weeks ago, from a communal official delivering for me and my wife individually packaged double layer cloth masks. A very nice gesture, if somewhat late. In Brussels, it is now mandatory to wear masks on public transit and in stores. However, the damage to public trust from the prevarication of the minister was substantial.

What we see in the allegations of the two Academies is that the rot goes much further than one incompetent minister. The Institute advising the ministry, Sciensano, is itself a concoction of political interests rather than a serious center of expertise. It serves two very different administrations: Public Health and Agriculture. Wikipedia tells us that “its core business is scientific research in the fields of public health, animal health and food safety.” The same source spells out the ideology which Sciensanto promotes: “that the areas of human health, animal health and the environment are inherently connected with each other.” Given this ‘green agenda,’ is it any wonder that early on in the pandemic we heard that the high levels of infection and mortality in Belgium might be explained by the high levels of industrial pollution in its cities. I would suggest that this irrelevancy blinded officials to the mortal threat posed by a vicious and uniquely contagious viral infection, full stop.

* * * *

There is no question but that lockdown everywhere has been effective in “flattening the curve” and bringing the daily admissions into hospital, and more particularly into Intensive Care Units, down to manageable levels and so avoiding the kind of pandemonium that we all saw to our horror hit Lombardy in early March.

It is also beyond dispute that imposition of draconian lockdown rules in democratic societies could come only after the existential threat to society was made plain by the kind of disaster that hit Italy. During an interview with the BBC, Italian Prime Minister Conte said as much to justify his foot-dragging in the early days of the epidemic: “Had I imposed lockdown then, all the political classes would have said I was crazy.”

In this respect, we have to give credit to the government of Belgium, and to its Acting Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès for its breaking the political logjam and imposing lockdown in time to avoid the tragedy of Northern Italy. However, it also has to be said that this very rich country did not do what could have changed the game in favor of both saving lives and saving the economy: it did not reach into its wallet to do what China had done so impressively, namely to urgently construct one or more large scale dedicated hospitals to isolate and treat Covid 19 patients. Removing the flow of patients from the normal hospital infrastructure could have maintained essential services to the public., so important to dialysis patients, oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy, those suffering from cardio-vascular events, and the like. Equally importantly, the concentration of fire power in a very few facilities would have helped to ensure proper training and availability of proper protective equipment for those dealing with the Covid-19 patients.  Instead, Belgium chose the cheap and dirty solution, distributing the daily influx of Covid-19 patients among more than 100 hospitals around the country, most of which were very poorly prepared for the daunting challenges ahead.

The second, very important strategic failure of the Belgian health profession was to advise all those who were reporting Covid-19 symptoms to remain at home as long as possible and merely consult with their ‘family physicians’ (which a great many people do not have) by remote. The net result of this practice is that Belgian patients came to hospital by ambulance in advanced and often untreatable condition. Yes, they may have been placed on respirators in ICU’s. Indeed, Belgium never fell short of respirators. We can have no doubt that failure by the health authorities to inform us about the fatality rate of those placed on respirators is simply that the figures are too shocking.

So what do other countries that have been more successful both in patient outcomes and in damage to the economy show us?  First, that those exhibiting or complaining of Covid-19 symptoms should be isolated by the authorities, not by self-quarantine, and that they should be observed closely and given drugs now known to inhibit the reproduction of the virus, among which we find the Gilead substance remdesivir. This is what is being done with great effect in South Korea. It is what is being done in Russia, where another virus-inhibitor discovered in China during the Wuhan treatments is now undergoing massive production in Moscow for widespread distribution to treat the virus. Russian authorities claim that the Chinese pills shorten the Covid-19 recovery time and lessen the damage from the infection by a factor of two compared to remdesivir.

As we all know, Western media have focused on the high incidence of Covid-19 infections in Russia, said to be third in the world after the United States and China, and the very low mortality, with death toll less than 4,000 at last count. The first fact results directly from the massive testing going on in Russia, far greater than in any other country now experiencing this plague.

The reasons for the relative benign outcomes in Russia are simple if you make an effort to understand what is being done. First, the Russians have copied directly the Chinese approach to urgent construction of dedicated Covid-19 field and permanent hospitals. These are state of the art facilities with $60,000 allocated for each bed. Second, the Russians followed the draconian lockdown on the most vulnerable populations, namely those over age 65.  In Russia, seniors are directed, not merely advised to stay at home. No walking the dog, no visits to pharmacies or food stores. As regards the urban population, volunteers bring food and other essentials directly to the apartments of the seniors. This is precisely what the Chinese were doing in Wuhan for the entire population.

Unfortunately, in Belgium as in most of Western Europe and in the USA, China is today viewed only as the source of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yes, they are paid suppliers of our masks and other protective gear.  But we do not see in them solutions to medical management that are proving very effective in Russia and which have parallel, home developed solutions elsewhere in Asia.

Despite all the talk of globalization, the reality here in Belgium with respect to handling the Covid-19 pandemic has been insular and, quite plainly, ignorant. Let us hope that now, when the first wave of the pandemic is receding, we will stop rallying around the interim government and start exercising our minds by challenging the authorities on the points above and many further points which I am sure our medical experts in the Academies are aware of.

©Gilbert Doctorow,  2020

May 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , | Leave a comment

AFRICOM’s gambit: Why a US military command is waging a ‘media war’ on Americans

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | May 28, 2020

A regional US military command tasked with hunting down terrorists across Africa seems to be far more interested in waging psychological operations targeting the American public, the Pentagon and the White House. How curious.

Most countries in the world divide their own territory in military areas of responsibility. Not so the US, whose combatant commands span the entire globe – and beyond. One of these, the Africa Command (AFRICOM) is responsible for the entire African continent – with the exception of Egypt, which somehow ended up in the realm of the neighboring Central Command (CENTCOM).

AFRICOM is one of the US combatant commands that span the entire planet, as well as space now ©  Wikipedia

Tasked with going after terrorist groups like Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), AFRICOM has recently focused its efforts on using friendly journalists, media leak and bombastic social media statements to bypass its military and civilian superiors and lobby in Washington for more power, influence and money.

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action,” goes a quote attributed to James Bond author Ian Fleming. So it was definitely noticeable when AFRICOM made a third bid to attract attention in under a month.

On Wednesday, the left-progressive magazine Nation published an exclusive story based on an AFRICOM document showing that the command was worried about President Donald Trump freezing US funding for the World Health Organization and how China might exploit that for expanding its influence in Africa. Journalist Ken Klippenstein says the document, dated April 23, was leaked to him.

The leak came only a day after AFRICOM posted a series of tweets accusing Russia of sending fighter jets to Libya. One of them quoted its commander, General Charles Townsend, saying that they “watched as Russia flew fourth generation jet fighters to Libya – every step of the way.”

Except no proof of this was actually offered, and AFRICOM’s statement qualified the claim with weasel-words such as “assessed” and “likely.” Russian officials have dismissed the claim as ridiculous, especially the part about supposedly camouflaging the fighters’ origins by giving them a fresh paint job in Syria.

AFRICOM has been very sore about Moscow’s alleged military presence in Libya – where its own troops withdrew from in March 2019, per Trump’s orders – claiming that Russia is “destabilizing” Libya and making worse the “migration crisis affecting Europe.” In Tuesday’s statement, it accused Russia of not being “interested in what is best for the Libyan people” but “working to achieve their own strategic goals instead.”

That’s a bit rich, considering that it was the US and its NATO allies that carried out the 2011 regime-change intervention, turning Libya from the most prosperous country in Africa into a hellhole infested with warlords, terrorists and slavers ever since.

While leaking to The Nation appealed to the American left, AFRICOM has previously reached out to the right as well. Back in April, the command used a friendly reporter at the conservative Washington Examiner to claim that the (alleged) Russian presence in Libya is “more dangerous than ISIS,” which actually operated in Libya at one point in time.

“We believe that there will be a need in the future, an opportunity for us to get back into Libya again,” the unnamed official was actually quoted as saying at one point, giving away the endgame.

Between bombastic tweets, anonymous insinuations to friendly conservative reporters and leaks to liberal ones, the picture that emerges is of AFRICOM waging a psychological operation (psyop), a propaganda war on the US public bypassing the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon and even the commander in chief himself to lobby for a bigger piece of the military pie.

This may seem far-fetched, but it isn’t strictly speaking without precedent. Some might remember General Phillip ‘Bwana’ Breedlove, who headed the European Command until May 2016. Emails from his personal account – published in July 2016, following his retirement from the US military – revealed months of effort to lobby the Pentagon and the White House to give EUCOM more attention, including spinning tall tales about a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine. The emails also revealed how Washington-based lobbyists identified the right way of approaching certain officials and the best channels for influencing the Obama administration when it came to Ukraine – notably, Vice President Joe Biden.

At one point, Breedlove even accused Moscow of “weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve” – just as AFRICOM is doing now.

All of which raises the question: when did combatant commands – an organization system invented during WWII to streamline command, control and communication between various branches of the military – morph into de facto feudal fiefdoms, with their commanders as barons more focused on currying favor in Washington than doing their actual job in the field?

In AFRICOM’s case, that job literally involves hunting down terrorists – or helping locals do so themselves, since the command is headquartered in Germany and has only a few actual bases in Africa. Not that any of that is going well at all. So AFRICOM shifted its focus on the home front instead.

One possible explanation may be money. Back in February, a rumor began spreading around Washington that the Trump administration was considering “zeroing out” AFRICOM’s budget. Both the rumor itself and the reported reactions to it have been hotly denied, but that might just help shed some light on Townsend’s gambit. As with any bureaucracy, survival is the highest priority.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

May 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Five Myths About the Venezuelan Opposition

Venezuelanalysis • May 24, 2020

The corporate media is almost unanimous in its support for US regime change plans in Venezuela. This support naturally extends to the US-backed Venezuelan anti-Chavista opposition, which in the past 20 years has constantly tried to overthrow the government. In order to maintain uncritical support for the opposition, the mainstream media has created a series of “myths” about it. The latest joint VA-Tatuy TV production explores five myths that sustain this favorable coverage.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 2 Comments

Telephone calls between Biden and Poroshenko reveal Kiev’s submission to Washington

By Lucas Leiroz | May 25, 2020

Recently, several phone calls made four years ago between former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden were revealed. The content of the talks is profound and controversial and reveals the high degree of American influence in the coordination of Ukrainian domestic politics, showing the advanced state of submission of Kiev to Washington.

According to the deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament (Supreme Rada), Andrei Derkach, the audio recordings were received from an anonymous investigative journalist. Derkach revealed the content of the recordings and declared full confidence in his informant.

On audio recordings, we can hear the former US Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry demanding that the leader of a formally independent state make decisions that are convenient for them, as well as a totally submissive posture on the part of Poroshenko, who is absolutely oblivious to Ukrainian national interests.

The demands made during the talks are diverse and impressive by the American boldness to interfere so deeply in other states. In one of the recordings, dated from 2015, it is possible to hear John Kerry demanding the resignation of Ukrainian attorney general Viktor Shokin, for not meeting American expectations. In another record, Poroshenko communicates with Biden saying he has “good news for him.” In the recording, Poroshenko says that while there was no charge or complaint against Shokin, he managed to convince the attorney to resign. The interlocutor replies: “Excellent”. So, Poroshenko reports that the dismissal of the attorney general is yet another “step in fulfilling his obligations” to the US.

In another phone call, the topic of appointing a new attorney is discussed. After a conversation between Poroshenko and his American counterparts, Yuri Lutsenko is chosen to be appointed to the office. Washington’s interlocutors make it clear that Lutsenko’s appointment is an essential condition for Kiev’s receipt of a loan of one billion dollars. Totally submissive, Poroshenko agrees with the terms of the agreement and the fees imposed without any dispute, consolidating the “partnership”.

In Washington, assistants of the former Vice President and current candidate Joe Biden informed The Washington Post that the recordings have been edited and are being used improperly to put pressure on the parties involved in the talks. However, the veracity of the existence of such telephone conversations has not been contested, which in itself is enough to create an atmosphere of tension and distrust towards the figures involved.

The fact is that the matter is still far from over. Whether or not they were edited, the recordings are apparently real. And, although the content of the conversations is contested, in truth, one billion dollars were withdrawn from the American public coffers and handed over to the president of another country, without the American population being informed of anything. After all, what will be the reaction of the American people when they understand that this money comes from their taxes and, instead of being invested in improvements to the national infrastructure, it is being used in obscure political maneuvers with other countries?

This all tends to strengthen Donald Trump in the upcoming election. The current American president until recently had an absolute majority of voting intentions and is now starting to weaken due to the way he has been dealing with the new coronavirus pandemic in the US – the global epicenter of the infection. Biden, although much less popular, progresses little by little and is already showing the ability to become a real opponent to Trump. However, as the scandals spread, it is likely that there will be a drop in Biden’s supporters or, at least, a greater atmosphere of collective distrust for him.

Still, Joe Biden’s reliability is not the main issue that comes up with the revelations of these recordings, but the level of American interference in the domestic politics of other national states. With these telephone records, Kiev proved to be a zone of foreign interference, where a president is coerced by members of the government of another country to make decisions that he would not like to make. This is not just an extremely demoralizing fact for Ukraine, but it also deeply destroys the myth of “Ukrainian nationalism,” so defended by the militias involved in the Euromaidan coup in 2014. However, more than that, the case may bring Petro Poroshenko to court. The recordings are sufficient evidence to accuse the former president of national treason. If formally accused and condemned, Poroshenko will have ended his political career in the worst possible way for a former president: being remembered as a traitor to his own country.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international Law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

May 25, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

What Google and Facebook Are Hiding

The American Deep State Strikes Back

By Ron Unz • Unz Review • May 24, 2020

After several months of record-breaking traffic our alternative media webzine suffered a sharp blow when it was suddenly purged by Facebook at the end of April. Not only was our rudimentary Facebook page eliminated, but all subsequent attempts by readers to post our articles to the world’s largest social network produced an error message describing the content as “abusive.” Our entire website had been banned.

Facebook publishes a monthly report cataloging its actions to eliminate “improper content,” and although our publication was probably one of the largest and most popular ever so proscribed, the explanation provided was remarkably cursory, with our name mentioned in only two scattered sentences across the 47 page document.

Our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their coordination, our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and to individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

As I’ve previously discussed, characterizing our alternative media publication as an “anti-immigration” website “similar” to VDare seemed utterly bizarre considering that only about 0.2% of our 2020 content was republished from that source and many months had elapsed since we had last featured a piece on immigration. So I strongly suspected that the claim merely served as an excuse.

I don’t use Facebook or other social networks myself, and noticed little reduction in our daily traffic following that purge, seeming to demonstrate our lack of reliance upon social media. But a week later, this abruptly changed, and our regular daily readership dropped by a significant 15-20%, hardly a crippling blow but quite distressing, setting us back many months of previous growth.

This puzzled me. Why would the Facebook ban have had such limited initial impact but then suddenly become so much more serious? Eventually I discovered that a second, even more powerful Internet giant had also banned us, which explained the sharp drop. Our entire website and all its many millions of pages of serious content had been silently deranked by Google, thus eliminating nearly all our incoming traffic from search results. A few quick checks confirmed this unfortunate situation, best illustrated by a particularly striking example.

Just over a decade ago, I had published an important article entitled The Myth of Hispanic Crime, and for ten years it had always placed extremely high in Google searches, generally being ranked #2 across the 52,000,000 results for “Hispanic crime” and also #2 among the 139,000,000 results for “Latino crime.” The impact of my analysis on the heated public debate had also been quite considerable, and a few years ago a leading academic specialist even asked me to blurb his book on that subject. But my article had now vanished from all such Google searches.

Although Google holds an overwhelming monopoly for web searches across the Western world, comparable products such as Bing and DuckDuckGo using similar technology do exist, and these still list my article among their results, with Bing ranking it at #2 for “Hispanic crime” and “Latino crime,” while DuckDuckGo places it #4 in each. But no one would ever find it using Google.

All the other pages of our website have been similarly blacklisted, effectively eliminated from all web searches courtesy of Google’s information monopoly. This even included the periodical content library that I had built during the 2000s, containing the near-complete archives of hundreds of America’s most influential publications of the last 150 years. Millions of these important articles were available no where else, and their disappearance representing a tremendous loss to academic scholarship.

Google still does contains all these pages, and if the additional specifier “unz” is added to the search, the results do come up, but for anyone not knowing where to look, our entire website and all its content has completely disappeared. This explained our sudden 15-20% reduction in regular traffic.

Internet law is obviously quite murky, but it seems a great shame if Google has decided to use its software monopoly to severely manipulate search results and deliberately hide important information. The notion of Google “disappearing” an entire website and all its material is surely fraught with peril. Should Google’s executives be allowed to “disappear” whichever politicians or candidates they dislike? Should wealthy individuals or powerful groups be able to pay or lobby Google to have their critics removed from all search results?

During 2018 Google employees themselves took a very strong public stance on exactly this issue, protesting their own company’s willingness to produce a “censored” version of their search engine for use in China, a controversy that reached the national headlines, and soon forced executives to abandon the project. But although Google censorship of content within China still remains an inflammatory topic, Google censorship of American content is now apparently so routine and acceptable that it took me more than a week to discover that our entire website had been thrown down the Orwellian “memory hole.”

I’d always taken considerable pride that my Hispanic Crime article had spent a decade ranked #2 among nearly 200,000,000 Google results for that important topic, and was dismayed that Google “disappeared” it. But in fairness, I’d have to admit that those individuals whose views make themselves disagreeable to ruling political elites have sometimes suffered far worse retaliation. For example, my Saturday morning newspapers carried the latest episode in the unfortunate story of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissenting Saudi journalist whose critical writings in the Washington Post so irritated his government that they had him killed and his body dismembered with a bone-saw. Much as I liked my article, having it deranked by Google hardly seems a comparable fate.

For years our website has published a great deal of extremely controversial material, and many readers are probably much more surprised that Google and Facebook took so long to purge us rather than they finally did so.

Consider, for example, my own American Pravda series, which together with related articles runs 280,000 words and has drawn about 3 million pageviews, while attracting over 25,000 comments totaling another 3.5 million words. Many of these articles candidly address some of the most controversial aspects of the JFK Assassination, the 9/11 Attacks, and the history of World War II, topics so touchy that a couple of years ago the redoubtable Israel Shamir described me as the “Kamikazi from California,” and suggested along with numerous other observers that our website might soon be annihilated as a consequence. But aside from a rather lackluster rebuke from the usually ferocious ADL, absolutely nothing untoward happened.

Yet now we have been almost simultaneously banned by both Google and Facebook, America’s leading gatekeepers to the Internet, concerted action that hardly seems likely to have been coincidental, especially coming after years of apparent equanimity. So what had prompted this sudden purge?

I think the obvious answer was my most recent American Pravda installment, which attracted more early readership and social media interest than anything I had previously written, and which appeared just eight days before Facebook’s ban.

My article noted some important facts that are less widely known that they should be, and are quite embarrassing both to our own government and its overly subservient mainstream journalists.

For decades, the American media had regularly denounced the Chinese government for its notorious 1989 slaughter of the student protesters at Tiananmen and shamed its leadership for continuing to flatly deny that historical reality, with China’s demands for censorship of the massacre being a leading source of conflict with Google. However, I pointed out that more than twenty years ago the former Beijing bureau chief of the Washington Post, who had personally covered the events, published a long article in our most prestigious journalism review admitting that the infamous “Tiananmen Square Massacre” had never actually happened, and was just a concoction of incompetent journalists and dishonest propagandists. Yet for decades the promotion of that debunked hoax by our elite media has continued unabated.

As another example, I noted that back in 1999 our warplanes had bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing or wounding dozens of Chinese diplomats. At the time, our media uniformly reported the attack as a tragic accident, while ridiculing China’s government for alleging otherwise. However, just a few months later, many of the leading newspapers in Britain and the rest of the world revealed that the bombing had indeed been deliberate, quoting numerous NATO intelligence sources to that effect. But since the American media completely boycotted this major international story, very few Americans ever discovered that the Chinese had been telling the truth all along and our own government lying.

Although these historical items were important, they merely set the stage for a far more explosive analysis. The bulk of my 7,400 word article presented the very considerable circumstantial evidence that our current Coronavirus national disaster was entirely self-inflicted, being the unintended blowback from an extremely reckless American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), presumably organized by the Deep State Neocons or other rogue elements in our national security establishment.

This ongoing disease epidemic has already killed 100,000 Americans and wrecked our economy, so we can easily understand why the guilty parties would do all they could to prevent some of the critical information from getting into general circulation, pressuring Google and Facebook to suppress the crucial evidence. A few excerpts from my long analysis, now banned by America’s Internet giants, are worth once again repeating:

As the coronavirus gradually began to spread beyond China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied my suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China. But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak. Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians dying of the disease, including some who were quite senior. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began gleefully noting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.

Let us consider the implications of these facts. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been those of Iran, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iranian ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?

* * *

For obvious reasons, the Trump Administration has become very eager to emphasize the early missteps and delays in the Chinese reaction to the viral outbreak in Wuhan, and has presumably encouraged our media outlets to direct their focus in that direction.

As an example of this, the Associated Press Investigative Unit recently published a rather detailed analysis of those early events purportedly based upon confidential Chinese documents. Provocatively entitled “China Didn’t Warn Public of Likely Pandemic for 6 Key Days”, the piece was widely distributed, running in abridged form in the NYT and elsewhere. According to this reconstruction, the Chinese government first became aware of the seriousness of this public health crisis on Jan. 14th, but delayed taking any major action until Jan. 20th, a period of time during which the number of infections greatly multiplied.

Last month, a team of five WSJ reporters produced a very detailed and thorough 4,400 word analysis of the same period, and the NYT has published a helpful timeline of those early events as well. Although there may be some differences of emphasis or minor disagreements, all these American media sources agree that Chinese officials first became aware of the serious viral outbreak in Wuhan in early to mid-January, with the first known death occurring on Jan. 11th, and finally implemented major new public health measures later that same month. No one has apparently disputed these basic facts.

But with the horrific consequences of our own later governmental inaction being obvious, elements within our intelligence agencies have sought to demonstrate that they were not the ones asleep at the switch. Earlier this month, an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within our Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report warning that an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of our government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia. After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment. But a few days later, Israeli television mentioned that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC News story and its several government sources.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

Although criticism of the mainstream media has been the central theme of my American Pravda series, I always spend at least a couple of hours every morning carefully reading our leading newspapers, which I regard as unmatched sources of important information so long as their articles are treated with proper caution and rigor. As an example, I would note that most of the crucial evidence suggesting an American biowarfare attack was hidden in plain sight in such eminently respectable news sources as the NYT, the WSJ, and ABC News.

As our global confrontation with China has grown hotter, my morning New York Times has continued to provide invaluable information for anyone who is willing to read it carefully.

For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo probably ranks as the most prominent Deep State Neocon in the Trump Administration, and is a leading architect of our confrontation with China. Last week he broke quarantine to take a trip to Israel and hold important talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as reported in a 1,600 word NYT article. Although the majority of their discussion concerned American support for the proposed annexation of the Palestinian West Bank, a serious disagreement came with regard to Israel’s growing economic ties with China, with the piece noting that the Jewish State had “antagonized” Washington by allowing Chinese companies to make major infrastructure investments, some of them in sensitive locations. According to the three Times journalists, Netanyahu firmly stood his ground, determined to “push back” against Pompeo’s repeated warnings and refused to reconsider his government’s China policy.

But just a couple of days later, the Times then reported that Du Wei, the Chinese ambassador to Israel, age 57, had been found dead at his home, having suddenly fallen victim to “unspecified health problems.” The piece emphasized that he had become a leading public critic of America’s current policies toward China, and the juxtaposition of these two consecutive NYT articles raised all sorts of obvious questions in my mind.

According to standard mortality tables, an American male age 57 has less than a 1% chance of dying in a particular year, and given the similarity in overall life expectancy, the same must surely be true of Chinese males. Recently appointed Chinese ambassadors are likely to be in reasonably good health rather than suffering the last stages of terminal cancer, and such causes together with obvious, visible injuries account for more than half of all fatalities at around that age. Thus, the likelihood that the 57-year-old Chinese diplomat died naturally within that two day window was probably far less than 1 in 50,000. Lightning does sometimes strike under the most unlikely of circumstances, but not very often; and I think that the unexplained deaths of ambassadors during international confrontations probably fall into the same category.

It therefore seems exceptionally unlikely that the sudden demise of Ambassador Du was not somehow directly connected with the heated dispute between Pompeo and Netanyahu over Israel’s China ties that had occurred two days earlier. The exact details and circumstances are entirely obscure, and we can merely speculate. But since speculation has not yet been outlawed by government edict, an interesting possibility comes to mind.

In sharp constrast to the elected leaders of America’s vassal-states throughout Europe and Asia, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hardly regards himself as beholden to the American government. He is a powerful, arrogant individual who remembers the endless standing ovations that he enjoyed when he addressed our own House and Senate, receiving the sort of bipartisan public adulation that would be unimaginable for a Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular with half our Congress. So faced with demands by a Trump envoy that he sacrifice his own nation’s interests by cancelling important Chinese economic projects, he apparently disregarded Pompeo’s warnings and told him to get lost.

The classic 1972 film The Godfather ranks #2 in the IMDb Movie Database, and one of its most famous scenes concerns a conflict between a powerful and arrogant Hollywood film mogul and a visiting representative of the Corleone family. When the polite requests of the latter are casually disregarded, the movie tycoon awakens to discover the bloody head of his prized race-horse in his own bed, thereby demonstrating the serious nature of the warning he had received and indicating that it should not be disregarded. Pompeo had recently served as CIA Director, and I suspect he called in a few favors with elements of the Israeli Mossad and had them take lethal steps to convince Netanyahu that our demands that he reassess his ties with China were of a serious nature, not to be treated lightly. I strongly suspect that the controversial Chinese-Israeli economic ventures will soon be abandoned.

I had never heard of the unfortunate Chinese ambassador prior to his sudden demise, and under normal circumstances any such notions of American foul play might be dismissed as absurd. But consider that just a few months earlier, we had publicly assassinated a top Iranian leader after he was lured to Baghdad for peace negotiations, an act vastly more weighty than the plausible deniability of of a middle-aged diplomat being found dead in his own home of unknown causes.

A few days later, my Wall Street Journal carried an article entitled China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomats Are to Fight, beginning on the front page and running 2,200 words, by far the longest piece appearing in that day’s edition. Yet although the late Ambassador Du had been in the forefront of this ongoing Chinese campaign to challenge American influence, both in Israel and during his previous posting to Ukraine, and the sudden demise of this particular “wolf warrior” was surely known to the journalists, his name appeared nowhere in the text, leading me to wonder whether it had been deliberately excised to avoid raising obvious suspicions in the WSJ readership.

For hundreds of years since the Treaty of Westphalia, the lives of diplomats have been almost always treated as sacrosanct, and a typical response to breaking such international conventions might be tit-for-tat retaliation. China’s leadership tends to be remarkably pragmatic, and recognizes that its national strength is rapidly growing even as our own society decays and declines, so perhaps they will forego any such reaction, at least for the time being. But if any American diplomats or other ranking officials begin to suffer strange fatalities, the explanation may be less than mysterious, though Google and Facebook will certainly do their best to keep it so.

May 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment