Aletho News


UK govt unveils plan to teach school kids about ‘fake news’… What could go wrong?

RT | July 15, 2019

The British government is planning a new initiative which will aim to help schoolchildren distinguish real information from ‘fake news’ — in an eyebrow-raising move which could be described as a little bit Orwellian.

British Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds unveiled the new plan, warning that teachers need to better prepare students for the risks posed by “fake news” online, the Independent reported.

From 2020, British kids in both primary and secondary schools will learn about “confirmation bias” and “online risks” as part of a compulsory section of the curriculum. As part of the plan, teachers will help children identify techniques used for “persuasion” and be told “when to seek support.” They will also learn about the reasons why someone might wish to “bend the truth” in the first place.

A concerned Hinds warned that the internet makes it easier for both state actors and individuals to “spread falsehoods.” One area in particular which the government is looking at is “misleading content” regarding vaccinations. Without “firm action,” the proliferation of allegedly misleading information online will “get a lot worse,” he said.

Hinds recalled that propagandists have sought to “manipulate the truth” since “ancient times.” Indeed, this is something any British government official should be well aware of, since it’s well-known that the British mainstream media — including the BBC and British newspapers — have historically been infiltrated by intelligence agents from MI5 and MI6. One could probably safely assume that such inconvenient information will be left off the agenda, however, with the British program more likely to focus on the evils of propaganda emanating from Britain’s geopolitical adversaries.

Aside from the obvious question of whether governments are best placed to create a curriculum on fake vs. real news, there’s also the added dilemma of whether teachers should be responsible for imparting wisdom on media manipulation to children, when so much of the task of deciphering the news these days comes down to pure opinion. What one teacher might regard as real, another might view as fake.

Presumably, for example, Hinds would regard an institution like the BBC as a “trusted” source — and yet many others of a different political persuasion would likely disagree. The initiative raises the question of who exactly should be allowed to set the standards of ‘truth’ and ‘trusted’ when it comes to media. This is usually only the role of government in dystopian novels.

It’s not the first time Western governments or government-linked initiatives have sought to ‘educate’ the public about fake news through arguably sketchy means. The CIA-linked NewsGuard app has managed to get itself automatically installed on Microsoft’s Edge mobile browser, warning users away from “unreliable” whistleblowing and alternative news sites and directing them firmly toward mainstream sources that don’t often question establishment narratives.

A cynic might suggest such that the British government’s latest plan amounts to a form of state indoctrination of children to support the ‘correct’ narratives to serve its agenda from an early age.

Also on

No need to install: Microsoft has controversial fake news filter NewsGuard built into mobile browser

July 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

US mission in Baghdad serves as Mossad, Daesh headquarters: Iraqi MP

This file photo shows the US embassy building in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Press TV | July 15, 2019

A senior Iraqi parliamentarian warns that the US embassy in Baghdad is involved in “suspicious activities,” saying agents of the Israeli spy agency Mossad and the Daesh terrorist group have been spotted regularly visiting the diplomatic mission.

“The US embassy in Baghdad has turned into a center for Israel’s Mossad and ISIS (Daesh) terrorists,” Hassan Salem was quoted as saying by the Iraqi Arabic-language al-Sumariya news website.

Salem said the US embassy is interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs by spying, spreading rumors and hatching plots.

“The US embassy’s violation of laws and forgetting its responsibilities based on the international laws mean that the center could not be called an embassy and therefore, its closure is legally necessary,” the Iraqi lawmaker said.

US giving Daesh head protection

Salem had earlier suggested that US forces in Ain al-Assad military base were protecting Daesh ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the western desert of Iraq’s Anbar province.

“Al-Baghdadi is using the Anbar desert as a safe haven, while the US forces provide him with all means of support from their station at the Ain al-Assad military base in Anbar province,” Salem said in February.

The Iraqi MP argued then that America’s support for al-Baghdadi “stems from Washington’s fear of a draft bill on expelling foreign troops from Iraq, which the parliament intends to vote on during the new legislative term.”

Also in February, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the first time divulged explosive secrets about how the United States supported Daesh and intentionally allowed the Takfiri terror outfit to gain power in Iraq so that Washington could creep back into the Arab country.

He said the administration of former US President Barack Obama had played a key role in the creation of Daesh by allowing the terrorist group to overrun Iraqi territories.

In March, an Iraqi security expert also revealed that the American embassy in Iraq was carrying out suspicious measures, describing the mission as a US-Israeli operations room that sought to destabilize the region.

Abbas al-Ardawi was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma’alomeh news website as saying that US administration was exerting pressures on Baghdad and killing time to prolong its deployment in Iraq.

He said the relocation of terrorists from the town of Baqouz in Eastern Syria to the US bases in Iraq was aimed to stir security tensions in the country and find a pretext for continued deployment of American forces.

Al-Ardawi said Iraqi lawmakers certainly want all US forces to be expelled from the country as soon as possible.

Another senior Iraqi expert had in January warned of Washington’s attempts to increase its influence in Iraq, saying Israeli spies and Daesh terrorists were present at across US bases in Iraq.

Hafez Al-e Basharah told al-Ma’aloumeh news website that the US was attempting to boost its presence in Iraq and the American forces had been stationed in the southern parts of Baghdad.

He went on to say that the US forces did not allow any Iraqis to enter their bases in the country in an attempt to conceal the realities from the public opinion.

Israeli intelligence agents were also operating from the bases, where Takfiri terrorists also received shelter and training, he added.

July 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Real Hedge-Fund Managers Think Epstein’s Actual Business Was Blackmail

cryptogon | July 14, 2019

Via: New York Magazine :

Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.

“I’m hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who’s throwing money around,” says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. While stories about young girls swarming Epstein’s waterfront mansion and the sex parties he hosted for the rich and powerful were the talk of the town, Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.

Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he’d worked for decades, so he began to ask around. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,” he recalls. “Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

When a reporter came to interview Kass about Bernie Madoff shortly before that firm blew up in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, Kass told her, “There’s another guy who reminds me of Madoff that no one trades with.” That man was Jeffrey Epstein.

“How did he get the money?” Kass kept asking.

Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.

July 15, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | | 3 Comments

US, UK Intel Services Prepare Fakes About Putin’s Inner Circle Via Soros, Browder Entites – Source

Sputnik – July 13, 2019

According to a military diplomatic source, the defamation campaign repeats the Panamagate scenario in 2015 when Western media published dossiers about tax havens implicating various political leaders.

UK and US intelligence services are currently in an active phase of the anti-Russian campaign aiming to discredit individuals from the inner circle of the Russian president, as well as the leadership of the Defence Ministry.

“As part of the undisguised provocative actions, specialists from the American and British intelligence agencies fabricate fakes about the Russian leadership”, the source stated.

The source noted that aggressive actions could be seen in the information space, and provocations were no longer being concealed.

The fake information will wind up in the media controlled by foundations established by influential financiers such as George Soros and William Browder, according to the report. The source added the defamation campaign will also engage news agencies openly funded by US authorities, naming Radio Freedom and Current Time among others.

According to the report, the campaign follows the Panamagate template by disseminating biased information through non-commercial organisations affiliated with the State Department.

The source underlined that the fakes about the Russian leadership constitute direct interference in Russia’s internal affairs.

“As in the case with the Panama dossier, despite the absurdity of the accusations, the White House predictably uses fakes to justify sanctions. Such actions are direct interference in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation aimed to destabilise the country, weaken the economic potential of Russia and form the levers of political influence on its leadership”, the source added.

Millions of documents known collectively as the Panama Papers were leaked in 2016 from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The leaked data exposed a large number of offshore operations and shell companies, and implicated multiple highly-placed individuals from across the world.

July 13, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Parents of French babies born with deformities angry after official probe yields no answers

RT | July 13, 2019

A much-delayed government report failed to identify the cause in a spate of arm malformations across France, and despite calls for a more in-depth study, scientists say a definitive explanation may never be found.

Commissioned last year, the 265-page report examined 18 cases of congenital deformities since 2007 in four different regions across the country, studying whether they were linked by a common cause, such as environmental pollution, toxic drug exposure, or genetic damage.

“Scientific studies screening, questionnaires and local environment testing have been conducted by Sante Publique France which has not identified an obvious cause,” the public health body, which had been asked repeatedly about the case by RT, said in its summary.

The commission did admit that there is a “cluster” of cases in the commune of Guidel in the north-western department of Morbihan, where three babies missing arms were born in 22 months. But for the region of Ain in the east of the country, where eight such babies were born between 2009 and 2014, researchers said there was no statistical anomaly or telling pattern.

Pesticides blamed

But parents and activists who were present during the unveiling of the report were not satisfied, with some saying that only a superficial study was conducted, that some cases were excluded due to arbitrary cut-off points, and that the criteria for why some cases were dismissed as statistical noise were never explained.

“I did not expect big news, but I am surprised by the removal of ‘clusters’, it seems scandalous,” Samuel Bernard, the father of a daughter born without a hand in Morbihan, told France Info.

Bernard complained that an independent body was not put in charge, and bemoaned the lack of communication or investigation of specific hypotheses.

Emmanuelle Amar, the director of the malformations register of the Rhone-Alpes region, who helped bring the story to prominence, continues to believe that pesticides or other manmade chemical agents could be to blame.

“Exactly the same deformity, it never happened in the history of deformities,” she said following the report presentation. “The probability that it is linked to chance is more than infinitesimal. We are facing a possible health scandal.”

It is notable that the investigation said all the pregnancies occurred in the vicinity of growing cereal crops.

“We need to bring together specialists to define what kind of studies we need for this type of reporting, but the answer so far is to say: ‘We do not want to know what kind of studies because we do not want to study,’” Amar said. “And that is irresponsible.”

Field tests are poised to continue, with another report expected at the end of the year.

But there are reasons for believing that even with the best of intentions and sufficient resources, answers may be hard to come by.

One of the problems is the sheer rarity of such malformations. They occur on average in 1.7 cases each 10,000 births, and while several more cases look drastic, they could still just be a relatively random blip. Additionally, with so few cases, it gives doctors fewer children to examine among whom shared explanations could be located.

With many of the children now several years old, the evidence for whatever may have affected their mothers during pregnancy may also be long gone, particularly as the researchers don’t actually know what exactly they are looking for.

In addition to that, only 20 percent of France’s population is covered by registries that record deformities, meaning that even the true scale of the problem, or if it even exists, is impossible to ascertain without overhauling the medical records system, and collecting new data from millions.

Isabelle Taymans-Grassin, mother of another child born in Morbihan without a hand, says that while they are not giving up their fight, they despair at the chances of ever proving a certain link or punishing a culprit.

“Accountability will be impossible to find,” she said.

July 13, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism | | 1 Comment

Ending the myth of the ‘Millionaire Mullah’

Part 1

By Ramin Mazaheri | Press TV | July 2, 2019

There are many pieces of nonsense about Iran, which are fervently believed in the West but which have zero credibility inside Iran. “Millionaire Mullahs” is a concept which has captivated the Western imagination, even though it has no basis in reality.

The idea of “Millionaire Mullahs” was conceived in 2003 by the uber-capitalist magazine Forbes. What’s worse, it was created by their longtime Russia editor during the age of Yeltsin, when neoliberal capitalism was shamelessly gutting all the nations of the former Soviet Union and transferring the longtime assets of the people/state to Western high finance.

The idea “sounds right” to Western ears for three likely reasons: they are often ardently secular and suspicious of all religious authority; they assume all Muslim religious authorities are as rabidly capitalist as the Roman Catholic Church has often been; and also because they know nothing about the revolutionary (unique) and inherently anti-capitalist post-1979 changes to the Iranian economy.

Let’s stop with the nonsense: being a mullah in Iran usually places one in the lower middle class. Iranian Shia clergy do not have extravagant lifestyles, and they have certainly chosen the wrong calling if that was their aim. Furthermore, the Iranian press – which casts an open and intensely critical eye on the government, contrary to Western perceptions – would absolutely have a field day were there any mullahs living the lavish lives of millionaires. The entire idea is absurd and – rather crucially – unproven.

The subject has come up again, due to the incredibly foolish sanctions by the US against Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Ayatollah Khamenei, like his predecessor in the Leader post, Ruhollah Khomeini, and his family are known by all Iranians for living simple lifestyles and for possessing absolutely common levels of personal wealth. How does all of Iran know this? Well, doesn’t everyone in the US know the general financial background of Trump?

But first, a bit of background for non-Iranians: Ayatollah Khamenei is from clerical families on both sides of his parents. They were not rich clerics, but lower-middle class, like the majority of Iranian clergy. The 1979 Revolution was decidedly class-based — it was called “the revolution of the barefooted” — and this extended to the clerical class as well, so it should not be surprising that someone from Ayatollah Khamenei’s class background rose so high.

Because clerics are humans, they have a right to have varied personal interests: ex-Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani was rather an Iranian Islamic Revolution anomaly – a revolutionary cleric from a rich background (pistachio farmers) – and he had a personal interest in the affairs of business. It is common knowledge that Ayatollah Khamenei has never evinced this interest, and nor have his several brothers, who are also clerics – the family’s interests are clearly religion and politics.

Furthermore, simply check out his speeches on YouTube (and perhaps while you still can do so, as Press TV was banned from YouTube in April): Ayatollah Khamenei is always discussing the example of his namesake, Imam Ali, the personification of personal austerity in Islam. “Shia” means “partisan of Ali,” so non-Muslims should be able to easily imagine that if Ayatollah Khamenei was constantly exhorting everyone to follow “Pope” Ali’s worthy example, yet not following it himself, this would be cause for immediate and widespread comment among the highly-educated, very politically-involved Iranian general public.

So even the whiff of a mere rumor of personal embezzlement would be a major risk to Ayatollah Khamenei’s job status!

Part 2 will fully quote and explain the begrudging exoneration of Ayatollah Khamenei by one of his biggest adversaries – Western mainstream media – that there is “no evidence” that Ayatollah Khamenei has used Iran’s wealth to enrich himself. And, of course, there is no logical reason why he would thus tolerate theft and fraud among his fellow lower-ranking clergy who also work as civil servants.

Ayatollah Khomeini’s and Ayatollah Khamenei’s precedents of clearly living in a manner, which rejects worldly riches will certainly help produce this same type of Leader in the future, but whoever is the Leader at any time in the Islamic Republic of Iran will likely be forced to live lives of transparent piety and to display moral, spiritual and fiscal rectitude, which combined with self-sacrificing patriotism, is the very essence of the job. The Leader’s post is not that of a technocrat, as Western leaders are now often merely supposed to be; he is essentially called to act as the “soul of the nation,” and, I would also add, “of the government.”

Such values are anathema to Western secularism, which is a governmental philosophy that was certainly available in 1979 for Iranians to select. However, even atheistic secularists must concede that Western-style secularism was democratically rejected by Iranians, and this fact cannot be ignored no matter how disagreeable non-Iranians may find this fact.

To put it plainly: Does the West really think that Iranians don’t have a good sense of Ayatollah Khamenei’s personal morality? He has been living in the public eye longer than French President Emmanuel Macron has been alive, and the French all know about Macron’s privileged upbringing, marriage to a chocolate heiress who was his high school teacher, and Rothschild banker-paid lifestyle. An entire nation simply cannot be kept in the dark about the true personal nature of its leaders; people are not stupid, anywhere, and the Iranian press is far from being either non-existent or totally subservient to power.

You can take the average Iranian’s word for it: if Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei was living lavishly – or, living like every single Western CEO does – and with absolutely zero Western media condemnation, sadly – all of Iran would know it, and there would be serious repercussions.

This all explains why Iranians view the recent US sanctions on their Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as absurd and based on both propaganda and ignorance. The sanctions put The New York Times in a quandary: they had to choose between their iron-law Iranophobia and their equally unobjective anti-Trump editorial policy. Their jeering-but-accurate headline, “Iran Greets Latest US Sanctions with Mockery,” reflects that the anti-Trumpers drowned out the Irano-/Islamophobes on that day in their newsroom.

Beyond Ayatollah Khamenei, I can very briefly explain how and why the West can persist with their “Millionaire Mullah” mythology:

There are many economic principles that guide the Iranian economy, which have no basis in the West – they are, after all, “revolutionary.” Many are based on principles of Islamic charity and of Islamic finance; many are also based on anti-capitalist principles, which were obviously drawn from 20th century socialism. There are almost too many to list, but in Part 2 of this three-part article I will pick a few key ones, which specifically relate to clergy, and which – when added with Iranophobia – create such widespread and ignorant propaganda.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China”.


July 13, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Why FBI, DOJ Officials Have Every Reason to Lose Sleep Over Epstein Sex Trafficking Case

By Ekaterina Blinova | Sputnik | 13.07.2019

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller and a number of top-level Department of Justice officials may find themselves “caught up” in the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, say Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel and the US lawyer known by alias Techno Fog on Twitter.

Billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on 6 July and charged with sex trafficking of minors by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY). According to the indictment, the financier, who pleaded not guilty, “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls” at his mansions in Manhattan and Palm Beach from 2002 to 2005.

The Epstein sex scandal first caught the headlines in the 2000s. In May 2006, Palm Beach police filed a probable cause affidavit stating that Epstein should be charged with four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and a lewd and lascivious molestation count.

However, the Palm Beach County state attorney referred the case to a grand jury, which indicted the billionaire on the lesser count in July 2006, as The New York Times revealed at the time, citing the Palm Beach police concerns over a potential “preferential treatment”. The police sent the case to the FBI, which launched an investigation into Epstein in July 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2007-2008 Epstein lawyers managed to reach an agreement with federal prosecutors led by then-US attorney for the Southern District of Florida Alex Acosta and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials. According to the non-prosecution agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty for state charges of solicitation of prostitution and served just a 13-month sentence instead of possible 10 years in prison. He was also registered as a sex offender. It is still unclear how the FBI inquiry ended and whether the bureau also reached a deal with Epstein.

Epstein Sex Scandal & FBI Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey

Not only the sex trafficking scandal but also the controversial plea deal concluded by the DOJ with Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 is likely to become the focus of federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, according to Wall Street and investigative journalist Charles Ortel. The analyst suggested that Robert Mueller and James Comey apparently were well-informed about the first Epstein scandal.

“The indictment revealed on 8 July covers alleged crimes that began in 2002, when Robert Mueller headed the FBI, and while James Comey was US Attorney in the Southern District of NY [in 2002-2003 and then Deputy Attorney General from 2003 to 2005 – Sputnik], where today’s charges were unsealed”, Ortel pointed out. “Mueller was still head of the FBI when Epstein’s attorneys appear to have brokered a highly favourable resolution that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state crimes and avoid prosecution for federal crimes. One wonders what records may exist concerning Mueller’s and/or the FBI’s analysis of this resolution?”

Citing reports that the Epstein case is being handled by the SDNY Public Corruption Unit (PCU), Ortel presumed that “authorities aim to convict not only Epstein, but many other powerful people and they are taking extra care and time to build their cases and develop their lines of attack so as to cast the widest net possible”.

“One wonders how much damaging information Epstein had already shared with the FBI by 2008, and then, whether the FBI swiftly acted upon this damaging information, or chose to sit on it, or use it as leverage”, the investigative journalist remarked.

The Wall Street analyst noted that the FBI and DOJ’s failure to hold Epstein accountable for abusing minors evokes strong memories of former FBI director James Comey’s oversight of the Hillary Clinton emailgate case and Robert Mueller’s apparent negligence with regard to the Clinton Foundation controversy and a number of other peculiar cases which deserves further scrutiny, according to Ortel.

“Numerous decisions made at the FBI while Robert Mueller was director, and afterwards under James Comey, need to reassessed including the Uranium One case, the Anna Chapman case, the Epstein case and the failure to prosecute the Clinton ‘charity’ network when the FBI might easily have added the Justice Department in mounting unassailable arguments for convictions of many back as early as 2001”, Ortel, who has been looking into the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud for the past three years, pointed out.

‘DOJ Had More Than Enough Evidence to Prosecute Epstein for Sex Trafficking in 2008’

While the MSM is blaming the controversial plea deal largely on Alex Acosta, the US administration labour secretary who announced his resignation on 12 July, Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyer admitted in his January tweet that “the plea bargain went through numerous levels of approval at main justice”.

​Techno Fog, a pseudonym for a US lawyer, who has long been looking into the Epstein case, presumes that the whole Department of Justice (DOJ) was involved in the controversial plea deal up to its eyeballs.

​”Consider for a moment that this is the DOJ covering its ass for the prior sweetheart deal”, he said, commenting on the reopening of the case in 2019 and referring to conservative activist Mike Cernovich and The Miami Herald journalists’ relentless work as the trigger for the case.

​”Court documents demonstrate that the DOJ had more than enough evidence to prosecute Epstein for trafficking young girls. This included witness interviews, bank records, travel records, and victim interviews. We know for certain that Epstein was a cooperating witness”, he emphasised.

The American lawyer did not rule out that Epstein could have had “intelligence ties (not to mention powerful friends) that protected him from more serious charges by the DOJ and the State of Florida”.

​In 2018, Techno Fog suggested that the FBI, then headed by Robert Mueller, struck a separate deal with Epstein in 2007-2008 citing FBI Vault documents. One of them, dated 18 September 2008 said: “Epstein has also provided information to the FBI as agreed upon”. The lawyer asked rhetorically whether “pedophile Jeffrey Epstein an informant for Mueller’s FBI”.

He also drew attention to the fact that the non-prosecution agreement was signed by Epstein on 27 September 2007, while on 31 October 2007 emails indicated that at that time, FBI agents had still not interviewed all the victims.

​”Per court records, we have determined that the FBI continued to investigate the case after the NPA was signed because the terms of the NPA were not yet executed by Epstein”, the lawyer said. “How legitimate was the Epstein deal? Legally it’s legitimate. Morally it’s bankrupt”.

As for the reports that the Epstein case is now being handled by the SDNY Public Corruption Unit (PCU), Techno Fog noted that “it’s very possible that the PCU is looking into whether corrupt acts contributed to the original Epstein deal”.

“This is no guarantee that they’ll find anything illegal. Federal prosecutors have a great deal of leeway in making their decisions”, he added.

The scandal resurfaced after 12 years, in February 2019, when US Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that the DOJ had responded to his numerous requests and opened a probe into the handling of Epstein’s prosecution.

On 6 July 2019, Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey charged with sex trafficking. It was ordered on 8 July that he would be held in custody without bail pending a detention hearing on 15 July.

July 13, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

US pours oil into fire in Gulf, mum’s the word for India

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | July 12, 2019

The illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibralter by the British Navy last Friday is fast acquiring farcical character. Britain acted at the behest of the US; in turn, the US probably acted at the behest of the ‘B Team’. So far, only one top US official has expressed joy over the incident — National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is of course the member-secretary of the B Team. None of the other three members of the B Team — Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu or either of the two Gulf Crown Princes (bin Salman and bin Zayed)) has waded into the controversy.

The original intention behind the Anglo-American operation was clearly to provoke the Iranians into some retaliatory action. But Iran refused to be provoked and is biding its time. Had Iran acted impulsively or rashly, a military conflagration might have ensued, which would have provided just the alibi for a large-scale US military strike at Iranian targets. Even Article 5 of the NATO Charter on collective security might be invoked. The B Team has been angling for just such a window of opportunity. The US defence secretary’s last visit to Brussels was a mission to rally NATO support for a military strike against Iran.

Now, Iran is savvy enough to figure out the Anglo-American game plan. Tehran is indignant and has warned of consequences, but all in good time. Since Iran refused to be provoked, Britain made a false allegation that Tehran made an abortive attempt to “intimidate” a British oil tanker. Tehran, of course, furiously denied the allegation. Meanwhile, there is a parallel move by the US to assemble a ‘coalition of the willing’ ostensibly to protect oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, an Iranian waterway. Therein hangs a tale.

The false allegation by Britain has been promptly seized by the US Navy to press ahead with its master plan to establish military escorts for shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. General Mark Milley, who has been nominated to become chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been quoted as saying on July 11 during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington that the Pentagon is working to put together a coalition “in terms of providing military escort, naval escort to commercial shipping.” In his words, “I think that that will be developing over the next couple weeks.” Milley characterised the project as an assertion of a fundamental principle of “freedom of navigation”, a coinage Washington uses arbitrarily in its “Indo-Pacific” rule book.

The Strait of Hormuz, located betweenIran and Oman connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea and is the world’s most important oil chokepoint.

It doesn’t need much ingenuity to figure out that the US intends to take control of the Strait of Hormuz — although the strait is Iranian-Omani waters under international law. As the narrowest point of the Strait of Hormuz is twenty-one nautical miles, all vessels passing through the Strait must traverse the territorial waters of Iran and Oman. The rights of passage for foreign vessels under international law will consequently be subject to either the rules of non-suspendable innocent passage or transit passage depending on the applicable legal regime.

The topic has come before the International Court of Justice. The ICJ confirmed the customary international law rule, used in international navigation, that foreign warships have the right of innocent passage in straits during peacetime, which means that during peacetime the coastal state could only prohibit the passage of any foreign-flagged vessel if its passage was non-innocent.

However, the grey area here (which the US wants to challenge) is that Iran has the legal right as a coastal state to prevent transit or non-suspendable innocent passage of ships if the ship that is in engaged in passage through the strait constitutes a threat or actual use of force against Iran’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence, or could be acting in any other manner in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.

In strategic terms, therefore, by precipitating the seizure of the Iranian oil tanker, the US and Britain are proceeding on a track to create a pretext to challenge Iran’s rights over the Strait of Hormuz and to take control of the strait. This is also contingency planning in advance insofar as under international law, if the US were to attack Iranian territory without a decision of the UN Security Council, the question would arise whether the provisions for transit passage under UNCLOS would continue to apply to the Strait of Hormuz or whether Iran could invoke the laws of war and take action against tankers, especially if they are deemed to be assisting the enemy.

Suffice to say, it is possible to see that what might have appeared as a  maverick or silly act by Britain off Gibralter when it seized the Iranian tanker could actually be the tip of a calibrated project aimed at imposing effectively a naval blockade against Iran. Indeed, this forms the latest chapter in the US’‘maximum pressure’ policy against Iran.

By the way, a second leg of the current project is also to seize control of the strategic shipping lanes via the the Bab al-Mandab (off Yemen), which leads to the Suez Canal. (The narrow Bab al-Mandab connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.)

The chokepoint of Bab el-Mandab off Yemen connecting Indian Ocean to the Suez Canal via Red Sea

The US control of the Bab al-Mandab will mean that Iran’s use of the Suez Canal will come under intense US monitoring. The US has a military base in Djibouti facing the Bab al-Mandab. (Against this backdrop, the bitterly-fought war in Yemen falls into perspective, too.)

Of course, all this constitutes acts that are in gross violation of international law and the UN Charter and India should keep miles away from the Anglo-American project to impose naval blockade against Iran on whatever pretext.

Indeed, India will be called upon to take some tough decisions in the period ahead vis-a-vis the emergent situation in the Persian Gulf. First and foremost, India should stay clear of the US-led project to establish military escorts for ships in the Persian Gulf. There are reports that the Indian Navy has deployed two ships with helicopters in the Gulf of Oman. Presumably, this deployment will not form part of the US-led naval flotilla to intimidate and blockade Iran.

Second, there is a strong likelihood of the US invoking its privileges under the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement to gain access to Indian military facilities for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment of its ships. At the signing of the LEMOA in 2016, much criticism was expressed by Indian experts that it was a “strategic mistake”. In an impassioned plea, Bharat Karnad wrote in August 2016: “It (LEMOA) is, perhaps, the most serious strategic mistake made by the country in its nearly seven decades of independent existence.” Karnad’s criticism forewarning the serious consequences has turned out to be prescient. (here)

The LEMOA’s text remains secret. The Indian public doesn’t even know if India has an option to reject any US demarche for access to our military bases for their ships in a situation such as today’s when war clouds are gathering in our extended neighbourhood and Washington is stepping up preparations for a military operation against Iran, a friendly country with which India has had profound civilisational ties and common concerns in the contemporary regional setting.

The government will be betraying India’s medium and long-term national interests if it provides the US Navy with back-up facilities in its military bases at present under the LEMOA.

Third, most important, Delhi is maintaining deafening silence — for reasons best known to the policymakers — over the gathering storms in the Persian Gulf region. Damn it, over 7 million Indians live and work in that region. Even if one were to overlook that these Gulf-based NRIs give significant budgetary support to the Indian economy, running into billions of dollars annually through their remittances, the government owes it to its citizens to leave no stone unturned to ensure their physical safety and security. Tens of millions of their relatives in India depend on them critically for livelihood.

Shouldn’t the government say something to the effect that India opposes a war situation in the Persian Gulf and that the Trump administration should act with utmost restraint? If this is not a foreign policy issue of consequence for the Prime Minister to articulate, what else could be? Other countries such as Russia, China and the US’ close allies have spoken on the Persian Gulf crisis.

What explains the government’s cowardice? Fear of Trump? Are our elites far too compromised with the B Team? Faustian deal with Netanyahu (who is reportedly heading for Delhi to meet PM)? Or, plain Ostrich Approach of seeing no evil, hearing no evil or speaking no evil if it is about Uncle Sam? At any rate, what kind of impression of a regional power of India is it that the government is projecting? Shame on India!

July 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Concord Management and the End of Russiagate?

By Daniel Lazare | Consortium News | July 12, 2019

Don’t look now, but a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has just shut down half of Robert Mueller’s Russian-interference case.

In February 2018, the special prosecutor indicted a St. Petersburg troll farm called the Internet Research Agency along with two other companies, their owner, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, and 12 employees. The charge: fraud, traveling to the United States under false pretenses, and using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to “sow discord” and “interfere in US political and electoral processes without detection of their Russian affiliation.”

The charge was both legally dubious and heavy-handed, a case of using a sledge hammer to swat a fly.  But Mueller went even further in his report, an expurgated version of which was made public in April. No longer just a Russian company, the IRA was now an arm of the Russian government. “[T]he Special Counsel’s investigation,” it declared on page one, “established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign and then released stolen documents.”

“Prigozhin,” the report added, referring to the IRA owner, “is widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”  A few pages later, it said that the IRA’s efforts “constituted ‘active measures’ … a term that typically refers to operations conducted by Russian security services aimed at influencing the course of international affairs.”

Thus, the IRA played a major role in the vast Kremlin conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 election and install Donald Trump in office. But now Judge Dabney Friedrich has ordered Mueller to stop pushing such stories because they’re unfair to Concord Management and Consulting, another Prigozhin company, which astonished the legal world in May 2018 by hiring an expensive Washington law firm and demanding its day in court.

Silent on IRA-Kremlin Connection

Judge Dabney Friedrich. (Twitter)

Contrary to internet chatter, Friedrich did not offer an opinion as to whether the IRA-Kremlin connection is true or false. Rather, she told the special prosecutor to keep quiet because such statements go beyond the scope of the original indictment and are therefore prejudicial to the defendant. But it may be a distinction without a difference since the only evidence that Mueller puts forth in the public version of his report is a New York Times article from February 2018 entitled “Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian Oligarch Indicted by US, Is Known as ‘Putin’s Cook.’”

It’s a case of trial by press clip that should have been laughed out of court – and now, more or less, it is. Without the IRA, the only argument left in Mueller’s brief is that Russia stole some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents from Democratic National Committee computers and then passed them along to WikiLeaks, which published them to great fanfare in July 2016.

But as Consortium Newspointed out the day the Mueller report came out, that’s dubious as well. [See “The ‘Guccifer 2.0’ Gaps in Mueller’s Full Report,” April 18.]  The reason: it rests on a timeline that doesn’t make sense:

  • June 12, 2016: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announces that “leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton” were on the way.
  • June 15: Guccifer 2.0, allegedly a stand-in for Russian military intelligence, goes on line to claim credit for the hack.
  • June 22: Guccifer and WikiLeaks establish contact.
  • July 14: Guccifer sends WikiLeaks an encrypted file.
  • July 18: WikiLeaks confirms that it’s opened it up.
  • July 22: The group releases a giant email cache indicating that the DNC rigged the nominating process in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders.

But why would Assange announce the leaked emails on June 12 before hearing from the source on June 22?  Was he clairvoyant? Why would he release a massive file just eight days after receiving it and as a little as four days after opening it up?  How could that be enough time to review the contents and ensure they were genuine? “If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered,” blogger Mark F. McCarty points out, “WikiLeaks’s reputation would have been in tatters.” Quite right. So if Mueller’s chronology doesn’t hold up, then Assange’s original statement that “our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party” still stands – which it plainly does.

Going Up in Smoke 

Bottom line: Russiagate is going up in smoke. The claim that Russian military intelligence fed thousands of emails to WikiLeaks doesn’t stand up to scrutiny while Mueller is not only unable to a prove a connection between the Internet Research Agency and the Kremlin but is barred from even discussing it, according to Friedrich’s ruling, without risking a charge of contempt. After 22 months of investigating the ins and outs of Russian interference, Mueller seems to have finally come up dry.

Reed Smith’s Pittsburgh office. (Wikimedia Commons)

“Revenge of the oligarchs” might be a good headline for this story. The IRA indictment initially seemed to be a no-lose proposition for  Mueller. He got to look good in the press, the media got to indulge in yet another round of Russia-bashing, while, best of all, no one had to prove a thing. “Mueller’s allegations will never be tested in court,” noted Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor turned pundit for the rightwing National Review. “That makes his indictment more a political statement than a charging instrument.”

Then came the unexpected. Concord Management hired Reed Smith, a top-flight law firm with offices around the world, and demanded to be heard. The move was “a real head-scratcher,” one Washington attorney told Buzzfeed, because Concord was beyond the reach of U.S. law and therefore had nothing to fear from an indictment and nothing to gain, apparently, from going to court. But then the firm demanded to exercise its right of discovery, meaning that it wanted access to Mueller’s immense investigative file. Blindsided, Mueller’s requested a delay “on the astonishing ground,” according to McCarthy, “that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned.”

Prigozhin: Forced Mueller to show his hand. (YouTube)

Prigozhin was forcing the special prosecutor to show what he’s got, McCarthy went on, at zero risk to himself since he was not on U.S. soil.  What was once a no-lose proposition for Mueller was suddenly a no-lose proposition for Putin’s unexpectedly clever cook.

Now Mueller is in an even worse pickle because he’s barred from mentioning a major chunk of his report.  What will he discuss if Democrats succeed in getting him to testify before the House intelligence and judiciary committees next week – the weather? If his team goes forward with the Concord prosecution, he’ll risk having to turn over sensitive information while involving himself in a legal tangle that could go on for years, all without any conceivable payoff. If he drops it, the upshot will be a public-relations disaster of the first order.

As skeptics have pointed out, the IRA’s social-media campaign was both more modest and more ineffectual than the Mueller report’s over-the-top language about a “sweeping and systematic” conspiracy would suggest. Yet after Facebook Vice President Rob Goldman tweeted that “the majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election,” he was forced to beg for forgiveness like a defendant in a Moscow show trial for daring to play down the magnitude of the crime.

But it wasn’t Goldman who shaved the truth. Rather, it was Mueller. Thanks to the unexpected appearance of Concord Management, he’s now paying the price.

Daniel Lazare is the author of “The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy” (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics.

July 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

‘Any lie will do’: Head of US international broadcast agency Lies to Congress about RT’s funding

RT | July 12, 2019

The CEO of the American agency that governs international broadcasting has made a powerful, if blatantly false, sales pitch for his fight against ‘Russian disinformation’… right after saying “any lie will do” for the Kremlin.

John Lansing, the CEO of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which supervises Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others, raised the alarm over Washington’s favorite shadowboxing opponent – ‘fake news’ allegedly spread by the Kremlin – at a recent House Committee on Appropriations hearing.

He is worried his agency isn’t getting enough government money to fight “Russian disinformation.”

As the main perpetrators, he named RT and Sputnik (no surprise there). Their goal, according to Lansing, is to “destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts,” their modus operandi – “in a world where nothing is empirically truthful, any lie will do.”

He then set his own pants on fire by claiming that while he doesn’t know for certain how much the Russian government invests in those outlets, he knows “it’s more than the US government invests.” How much more? “I think it’s around the 10x factor, absolutely.”

Which is about a 19x factor away from the truth. USAGM’s 2019 budget is $808 million. The combined 2019 budget of the Russian media group that runs RT and Sputnik (as well as a few other outlets) is around $440 million – a far cry from the $8bn+ Lansing generously estimated.

July 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception | | Leave a comment

Hiring the swamp: Meet new RFE/RL boss, a Russiagate-pushing neocon

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | July 11, 2019

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a US government-funded propaganda outfit, will soon get a new president – a NeverTrump neoconservative flack, who last worked at an outfit promoting the ‘Russiagate conspiracy.’

Jamie Fly is supposed to take over at RFE/RL in Prague on August 1, having reportedly been handpicked by board chair Kenneth Weinstein and endorsed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He reportedly received unanimous support from the board, composed of Democrats and Republicans appointed under the Obama administration.

Fly’s name may not be familiar to the general public, but he is well known in Washington. His latest posting was at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), a quasi-non-governmental outfit that sponsors the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), among other things. The ASD was set up by leading Democrats and neoconservatives in July 2017, and operates the notorious Hamilton68 dashboard, the shady analysis tool that sees “Russian bots and trolls” everywhere.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has followed ASD since its inception, called Hamilton 68 “the single most successful media fraud & US propaganda campaign” he had seen in years of covering US politics.

The ASD was just one of the outfits that sprung up since 2016, driven by the allegations that Russia “meddled” with the US presidential election that were concocted and weaponized to help explain how President Donald Trump got into the White House instead of the establishment favorite Hillary Clinton – and fuel calls for Trump’s impeachment.

What they all had in common was seeing “Russians” all over social media, and demanding purges from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. Fly himself boasted, from his GMF/ASD perch, that his outfit was guiding Facebook in its crackdown on “Russian” pages and other “fringe” views in October 2018, and that it was “just the beginning.”

Meanwhile, RFE/RL was getting caught red-handed violating Facebook’s advertising rules by posting pro-NATO propaganda.

The rest of Fly’s work history is hardly better. Between 2013 and 2017, he worked as a foreign policy adviser to Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida). Rubio, you may recall, currently champions “regime change” in Venezuela and seems to enjoy Trump’s favor even after voting against his efforts to secure the US-Mexico border.

Prior to working for Rubio, Fly was executive director at the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), an interventionist think-tank that operated between 2009 and 2017 and was co-founded by a trio of prominent neoconservatives. Dan Senor served as the chief spokesman for the US occupying authority in Iraq and later as a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney in 2012. The other two co-founders were Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, formerly of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and authors of an infamous 1996 treatise advocating “benevolent global hegemony” by the US.

During the neoconservative-dominated George W. Bush administration, Fly worked at the National Security Council and at the office of the Secretary of Defense, under both Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates.

In other words, Jamie Fly is the perfect example of what Trump had called the “swamp” and vowed to “drain” in his 2016 campaign – a neoconservative Washington operative dedicated to policies and ideas that Trump got elected by denouncing and opposing. Yet in an administration whose foreign policy is run by Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, he should be a perfect fit.

July 11, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Interview 1459 – New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato

Corbett • 07/11/2019

Welcome back to New World Next Week – the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week:

Story #1: No Way Will Epstein Be Allowed to Expose Political Pedos

Coulter Calls Epstein “State Sponsor(ed)” “Concierge”, Running “Blackmailing” Operation

Here’s Ghislaine Maxwell, by many accounts Jeffrey Epstein’s “pimp” and “groomer of girls” at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.

Epstein Rabbit Hole Goes a Lot Deeper Than You Think

Search Archive: “Jeffrey Epstein”

Flashback: Prince Andrew & Perv Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein Stroll Around NYC (Feb. 24, 2011)

NWNW Flashback: New Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Goes Public; Defamation Lawsuit Targets Dershowitz (Apr. 18, 2019)

NWNW Flashback: Jeffrey Epstein Witnesses Take the 5th (Jan. 8, 2015)

Alex Acosta Reportedly Claimed Jeffrey Epstein ‘Belonged to Intelligence’


Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight

Episode 304 – Political Pedophilia

Interview 1403 – Derrick Broze on Jeffrey Epstein and The Finders

Spacey Accuser Refuses To Testify In Court

Story #2: Somerville, Massachusetts Becomes 2nd US City To Ban Facial Recognition Tech

UK Man Fined £90 for Hiding Face From Police Facial Recognition Cameras

#BreakingNews: @Minds CEO & Co-Founder Bill Ottman “is attending The White House #SocialMediaSummit to discuss #transparency, #privacy, digital rights and civil discourse between the left and right both online and offline.”

Story #3: Juror Urges U.S. Judge to Uphold $80 Million Roundup Verdict Against Bayer

Lawsuits Against Bayer Are Sprouting Like Weeds

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July 11, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Video | | Leave a comment