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The New York Times’ Preemptive Reporting on James Comey

By Ray McGovern • Consortium News • October 13, 2019

James Comey Would Like to Help: The former F.B.I. director wants an end to the Trump presidency. And yes, he knows you might think he caused it” is the headline atop an instructive article on Sunday by Matt Flegenheimer of The New York Times. His article makes clear the Times remains determined to support former FBI Director James Comey and sustain the discredited Russiagate narrative they share to the point of helping Comey and his partners avoid possible time in prison.

In late August, the Department of Justice decided to let Comey off with a slap on the wrist for leaking to the Times, through an intermediary, highly sensitive information from his talks with President Donald Trump. At that juncture, it was already a no-brainer to warn that the victory lap Comey chose to run was clearly premature.

Consequential leaks to the media by a former FBI director are serious enough. Now, however, we are talking about possible felonies. Comey is standing in such deep kimchi that he may drown — despite how tall he is, and despite preemptive puff pieces protesting a purity of the caliber of Caesar’s wife. This time, even with the Establishment media and Comey’s accomplices offering fulsome praise for him, there’s serious doubt whether he can wangle a Stay-Out-Of-Jail Card.

Why do they appear to be running so scared?

In Horror of Horowitz

Over the last year and a half, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating how Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, and three deputy attorneys general (Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, and Dana Boente) thought they could get away with signing applications for surveillance of former Trump associate Carter Page without disclosing that, as McCabe later testified, the application was based largely on the shabby, unverified “Steele dossier” paid for by the Democrats.

Providing incomplete, misleading information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a felony.

No problem, these top law enforcement officials probably thought at the time. Who would find out about their misconduct after Hillary Clinton — the odds-on favorite — became president? There would be encomia and promotions for help rendered, not indictments.

But now all of the above are squirming, and there is a paper trail. Only one of the FISA application signers is still in a key position to help from the inside — Boente. He was not demoted to working in the file room. He is the FBI general counsel, that is, its top attorney.

Is it About to Hit the Fan?

According Horowitz, Attorney General William Barr has had his draft IG report for over a month. Horowitz has said that his team “reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several of witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed.” The team is “finalizing” the report prior to releasing it publicly.

Some pundits are now suggesting that the DOJ IG report may be published as early as this Friday.

Hold onto your hats.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

US Working With Russia to Handover Patrols Between Turkish and Syrian Armies in Manbij

By Patrick Henningsen | 21st Century Wire | October 15, 2019

This morning, Russian military officials announced they are now patrolling the region surrounding Syria’s northern town of Manbij, specifically in the areas which separate Turkish troops and the Syrian Arab Army soldiers.

According to a Russian Defense Ministry statement issued Tuesday, Russian military police are being positioned as a ‘buffer’ around the area northwest of Manbij, “along the line of contact between the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey.” Officials also indicated that they are in communication with the Turkish military leadership to ensure that patrols are observing necessary deconfliction protocols.

More interestingly, US reports suggest that the Pentagon has been working together with Moscow in order engineer a seamless handover to Russian military police of positions previously held by US forces.

According to one senior Pentagon official who spoke to Newsweek, some US personnel have stayed to behind to assist Russian forces, noting that US special forces “having been in the area for longer, has been assisting the Russian forces to navigate through previously unsafe areas quickly.”

“It is essentially a handover,” said the official. “However, it’s a quick out, not something that will include walk-throughs, etc., everything is about making out with as much as possible of our things while destroying any sensitive equipment that cannot be moved.”

This latest move by Moscow to install a security buffer should allay any international concerns that Trump’s sudden withdrawal of US forces would create a power vacuum that might lead to some sort of Turkish ‘massacre’ of ethnic Kurds in northern Syria. The sheer volume of alarmist western propaganda promoting that scenario has been incessant over the last week. The UK’s Guardian newspaper even went so far as to promote the idea that a US withdrawal would result in “genocide” of Syrian Kurds.

Also helping to promulgate the idea of an impending Turkish-led massacre was America’s ABC News, who used old footage from a Kentucky gun range – claiming it was Turkey firing on the Kurdish population in Syria.

This latest news comes immediately on the heels of a new deal struck yesterday between Kurdish officials in northeastern Syria and the government in Damascus allowing the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to takeover key strategic positions along Syria’s northern border with Turkey. The new security agreement also includes disbanding and abolishing the previously US-backed SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), and with remaining militias to be incorporated into the Syrian Republic’s Armed Forces including “all the current Kurdish forces and military groups joining the 5th Corps (Assault Legion) under Russian control.”

As a newly unified SAA and Russian military police establish positions around Manbij, the threat still remains of advancing platoons of Turkish-backed former FSA (Free Syrian Army) ‘opposition’ fighters who are now rebranded as ‘Syrian National Army.’  These opposition militants could still cause problems in maintaining peace and stability along proscribed battle lines.

***

Author Patrick Henningsen is an American writer and global affairs analyst and founder of independent news and analysis site 21st Century Wire, and is host of the SUNDAY WIRE weekly radio show broadcast globally over the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR). He has written for a number of international publications and has done extensive on-the-ground reporting in the Middle East including work in Syria and Iraq.

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fake news fail! ABC claims footage from Kentucky gun range shows Turkish attack on Kurdish civilians

RT | October 14, 2019

In a scarcely believable display of extreme incompetence or bald-faced lying, ABC News has broadcast footage from a Kentucky gun show, claiming it shows a Turkish assault on Kurdish civilians in northern Syria.

The news organization made the humiliating fumble on its World News Tonight show on Sunday and then again on Good Morning America on Monday. It featured in a package that was heavily critical of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.

“Slaughter in Syria,” the on-screen graphic screamed as anchor Tom Llamas introduced the footage. “This video, right here, appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town,” Llamas said as the tape rolled.

There’s just one problem, the video wasn’t from northern Syria, it was filmed about 6,200 miles (10,000km) away during a gun show at the Knob Creek Gun Range near West Point, Kentucky.

The open air gun range holds the dramatic shows twice a year and they have been immortalized in numerous YouTube videos. ABC played a video from 2017 in its Sunday snafu.

Viewing the clips clearly shows that it’s the same scene but the video has been edited to crop out the audience watching in the foreground.

After broadcasting the fake footage into homes across the US, ABC also uploaded it to YouTube. The video was subsequently deleted when the massive error came to light.

World News Tonight issued a correction on Monday, saying that ABC News “regrets the error.” “We’ve taken down video that aired on ‘World News Tonight’ Sunday and ‘Good Morning America’ this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy,” it tweeted.

ABC’s mistake is made even more glaring by the fact that footage from the Kentucky gun show previously went viral in another fake news fail when it was claimed that it showed Kurdish forces destroying Turkish tanks in January 2018. Too bad ABC don’t employ any good fact checkers.

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Sam Husseini: The Entire US Establishment Helped Lie Their Way into the Iraq War

By Slava Zilber | American Herald Tribune | October 14, 2019

Sam Husseini is a senior analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy, independent journalist and contributor to The Nation and FAIR.

Slava Zilber: Sam, three years ago, you appeared on Talk Nation Radio with David Swanson and spoke about the case of the GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun. You pointed out that the people involved in the spying on the UN and the people authorizing the Iraq War were not held accountable:

“Virtually everybody who went along with the war, whether it is Kerry or Clinton, of course, the Bush administration themselves has falsified their own records in terms of why, what they did, when they did, why they did it, to the extent that they’ve been scrutinised at all.”

You also address it in a recent article. And recently, Joe Biden has been lying about his position on the Iraq War. How can such an important issue escape meaningful scrutiny?

Sam Husseini: Because the media and the political system uses constant distractions of other issues, of personalities, of punditry to distract from these core issues. The entire US establishment helped lie their way into the Iraq War. More than that, the Katharine Gun case, which is featured in a new movie, Official Secrets, shows how the US attempted to blackmail other members of the Security Council by spying on them to try to get a second UN Security Council resolution authorizing the Iraq War. It shows the length to which they wanted to go to make sure that they got their war, both the US and Britain and others.

So all of these diabolical efforts to launch an aggressive war haven’t been seriously held accountable to it. Biden is a very notable example. I mean, the entire political system is guilty, but he is incredibly important because he was head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2002, during the build-up of the Iraq War. It is not just that he voted wrong, as some people say. Even somebody like Bernie Sanders says it was the wrong vote. It was far worse than the wrong vote. Biden, in his hearings, prevented meaningful scrutiny and dissent and the basic facts from being highlighted in terms of the false case that was being put forward for war in 2002 and in 2003.

And he has continued to lie about his own record. Biden recently has said all kinds of things: That he was opposed to the war as soon as it started, which is totally false. He continued to back it. He even said at one point that he was always against it, which is utterly ridiculous. I mean, he always couched his criticism in bizarre ways basically agreeing with the war but saying that Bush had to do a better job of getting the UN on board. Well, as the Katharine Gun case shows, the Bush administration and the Blair government were going so far as to spy on other countries to blackmail them in order to get them on board. So saying that the US needed to do a better job of getting the UN on board is a way of saying that it should have been even more coercive than it was. His story is, in a sense, an indictment of the entire political system since before the Iraq War because he, in the 1990s, said all kinds of aggressive things about Iraq.

And it is also an indictment of the media. Do you see you a connection to what you describe in another FAIR article titled “Triumph of Conventional Wisdom: AP Expunges Iran/Contra Pardons from Barr’s Record”? Are they giving those lies a pass for the same reason they are doing this with the record of Attorney General William Barr?

It is funny that you mention that. Part of what I know about Barr is that Biden was a big backer of his.

The really notable thing about Barr’s record is that he was Attorney General for George H. W. Bush and when Iran/Contra pardons happened. This was a huge scandal during the Reagan/Bush years, and at the end of it, it was basically ended. As the prosecutor, L. Walsh, a straight-shooting Republican, said, it was a cover-up pardon. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger and others. And Barr basically approved all of that. And what’s remarkable about that is that just as Barr was rehabilitated by the media, so too was – Biden helped rehabilitate him as well.

Biden’s record closely parallels that of the major media. Very often, his claims dovetail very strongly with them. He is sort of the closest thing that the Democrats have to a John McCain: Somebody who constantly appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows and pulled together what the late great journalist Robert Parry called conventional wisdom. So a whole series of fabrications about the Iraq War, before and after it happened, were perpetrated by the major media as well as people like Joe Biden. And Biden was rehabilitating criminal, basically, figures like Barr who was Bush’s Attorney General and helped cover-up the Iran/Contra scandal and who now is Trump’s Attorney General and, I think, playing a major role in terms of ensuring that the Trump administration maintains an establishment orientation in terms of foreign policy as well as other things. I think that he is playing a very nefarious role, and he was largely rehabilitated by Biden. We have transcripts of Biden in the mid-1990s talking him up: “What a great guy! And we have disagreements, but I have a lot of respect for you” and so on and so forth. So Biden continuously helps resurrect figures like that and does other things to maintain a very militaristic orientation in terms of foreign policy.

I had to think about a recent incident: The talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres attended a game with former President G.W. Bush. Could you please talk about what her response to the criticism that followed and the reactions from, for example, Obama administration officials Samantha Power and David Axelrod indicate? Is it also this kind of cooperation that you have just described with Mr. Barr and Mr. Biden?

Yes, I think since the Bush administration there’s been an attempt to rehabilitate it and that has gone into overdrive during the Trump administration: That is the establishment media attempt to contrast the gentlemanly Bushes, both of them, the father and the son now, as fundamentally decent, earnest people who are trying to do the right thing in contrast to this crass baffoon Donald Trump. So you had literal Obama embrace of the Bushes since Bush leaving the White House and then his father’s funeral a year ago. Barr was brought on as Attorney General just after Bush the father’s funeral at the National Cathedral. And in the Trump years, you had a total Trumpwashing of Bush and other people in his administration, much of the former CIA officials some of whom actually were already Trumpwashed before Trump because Obama brought them into his administration. Obama brought in Brennan. Obama even brought in Gates. He kept the same so-called “Defense Secretary” that Bush had. So there is a longstanding cooperation between what are sometimes called liberal interventionists and sometimes called neocons. But they all fundamentally share the same neo-imperial, colonialist mindset in terms of how the US should deal with the rest of the world. And I think that does include certain people like Samantha Power. Her rationale around the Iraq War – sort of backing it without backing it or backing it and facilitating it while attempting to pretend that they had a critique of how Bush was doing it – is actually quite similar to Biden’s as I recall. I have not looked at her record recently but recalling that record, there is a serious interplay there. So it is interesting that you’ve mentioned her as well. But it’s all based on the same sort of falsifications for war.

But again, they started and they were articulated by the major media and by figures like Biden before the Iraq War itself. For example, the weapons inspections regime of the 1990s was ended because then-President Clinton bombed Iraq and withdrew the weapons inspectors. And then he had to figure what the heck you were going to do after that. The media and people like Joe Biden continually talked about: ‘Saddam Hussein kicked out the weapons inspectors’ and ‘When are we going to get them back in?’ The weapons inspections regime didn’t end because Saddam Hussein kicked out the weapons inspectors. It ended because the US government pulled them out in order to launch a bombing campaign which people might recall happened just as Clinton’s scheduled impeachment vote was supposed to happen in 1998. And you saw much the same thing happen in 2003. How did the Iraq War begin? It didn’t begin because Saddam Hussein was not cooperating with the weapons inspectors. He was totally cooperating with the weapons inspectors. He said over and over again, including on US shows like 60 Minutes, that he had no weapons of mass destruction. So how did the war begin? The war began with G. W. Bush saying: ‘This process has gone on long enough. You, Saddam Hussein, have 48 hours to get out of Bagdad with your sons.’ And then they put out a statement that even if he got out of Iraq in 48 hours with his sons, they would still start the bombing. And they told the UN to get the weapons inspectors out of the country so they wouldn’t bomb them. And then they started their shock and awe bombing campaign. That’s how the war started.

Some people claim that Biden is now becoming senile or something. And that’s why he hasn’t been able to articulate his position on Iraq. Hardly! He has been lying about his position on Iraq for years. In 2007, he was asked about his Iraq War vote, and he actually had the temerity to say: ‘Why didn’t Saddam Hussein say that he didn’t have the weapons!’ Of course, Saddam Hussein was saying that he didn’t have the weapons! But there he is: Biden pretending that it wasn’t known that Saddam Hussein was denying they had the weapons. And that’s also another lie that major media themselves perpetrated, including 60 Minutes itself. 60 Minutes had an interview with Saddam Hussein before the Iraq War in which he said ‘I don’t have any weapons of mass destruction.’ And then several years later, after the Iraq War, they did some so-called reporting about: ‘Why didn’t Saddam Hussein say that he didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction?’ So it’s the level of absurdity you have with the record of establishment media and establishment figures like Joe Biden. And there is a remarkable lack of scrutiny, especially when it most matters. One of Biden’s falsifications, when he had an interview with NPR, got a little bit of scrutiny. It wasn’t nearly enough, and sometimes the scrutiny actually helped build up other Iraq War lies. But none of the scrutiny in the major media happened right after the Democratic debates. He has lied about his Iraq War record during each of the Democratic debates. It is Sanders who I think needs to be far more forceful if he is to comport with the indicting facts in this case. But he at least brought it up. In his words: He led the effort against the Iraq War in the Senate, and Biden voted for it. That’s an understatement again. But at least he has brought it up, and that has compelled Biden to explain his position and lie about it in the process.

It is such a loser strategy as well because it’s quite similar to Kerry’s position. You remember Kerry looked ridiculous in 2004 because he was forced to explain his position then, and he was saying things like ‘I was for the war before I was against it’ and this kind of doubletalk. Biden, if anything, is even worse than that. So it’s factually vacuous and demented, and it is probably not going to galvanize voters and be a very poor strategy electorally. 

You have been covering the Iraq War and the discourse about the Iraq War. Do you have the impression that invading another country and causing immense suffering is either considered irrelevant or treated just as something one disagrees with, especially from episodes like the one with Ms. DeGeneres, Samantha Power, and David Axelrod? Do you think it would have been different had there been an Iran/Contra trial with convictions and had the Obama administration prosecuted the people involved in torture? Would it have made a difference?

Yes, I think it would have made a difference. All of those things could have made some difference to try to have some kind of meaningful accountability in US law and political life, that people who engage in torture or launching war of aggression or other war crimes be held accountable for that. It would get those people out of public life, make them pay some measure of penalty for their own conduct, and become an example so that others don’t simply perpetuate as it is. We have some of the same figures coming back. There you have Elliott Abrams, and John Bolton, who committed criminal acts under the Bush administrations, come back under the Trump administration. In spite of its isolationist veneer, it has basically adopted a Bush type of foreign policy in many respects.

And I mean this ‘Let’s all get along even if we have disagreements!’ Well, you know, ok. So I fully expect Ellen DeGeneres to have somebody from ISIS on to talk about how she can have disagreements with him. But perhaps they can be fond of each other personally. Or pick the group of your choice that is totally distasteful or allegedly totally distasteful. I mean, in some ways, people allege the US has coordinated with groups like ISIS in terms of destabilizing Syria. But pick whatever group the US establishment most despises, and it’s not as if their members or leadership are humanized. I mean Hezbollah and Hamas are regarded as terrorist organizations even though they are political parties that do a lot of good for people. I have serious disagreements with them. And they do use violence, on a far smaller scale than the US and Israel and other states do. But it would be very refreshing if Ellen DeGeneres and other political talk show hosts took their word seriously, that they want to have a dialogue with people, even people they disagree with, and they still view them as human. So let’s have Nasrallah and the leader of Hamas on late-night talk shows. Well, I don’t think it is going to happen any time soon. It is just an exercise in making the criminality of the US establishment palatable to the public.

And it is interesting that in this case there was a fair amount of pushback. I think that’s partially because you still have some semblance in social media of evenhandedness of discourse, but I think that that has been pushed away gradually as Twitter and Facebook and other social media are tilting the playing field more and more, excluding voices, using opaque algorithms to marginalize some voices further and increase others. So the war against accountability and for meaningful dialogue about issues of war and peace – on many levels, that fight is happening.

Sam, are there cases where the question of whether one opposed the war in Iraq or supported it is being reduced to a talking point, for example, in 2016 against Hillary Clinton? How many people actually care about the human cost of that war to Americans and Iraqis?

I think a lot of US political system is trying to make the Iraq War an irrelevant thing in the distant past and the decision and the mechanisms used to launch the Iraq War. It is not a coincidence that Obama cast himself as an anti-war candidate. And he won. Trump cast himself as an anti-war candidate. And he won. I think there is a hunger in the American public for a different way to orient itself to the rest of the world. It’s a very difficult thing for the American public to sort out because it doesn’t get adequate information. Instead, it gets lies upon lies upon lies. But it is notable that the candidates that were brazenly part of the pro-war establishment have generally lost on the national stage. Now, Obama and in different ways, Trump were deceitful in casting themselves as anti-war. But I think it doesn’t change the fact that there is this underlying hunger. And there are serious opportunities because the wars continue and they continue to threaten to spiral further out of control, and they continue to have this devastating effect as most recently Turkey killing Kurds not only on its side of the border but dramatically escalating their killing of Kurds on the Syrian side of the border. And the colonial prerogatives are still the same: We can invade Iraq because we can invade Iraq. And now we can do all kinds of things in Syria because we can do all kind of things in Syria.

I think there is an attempt to reduce the Iraq War to a mere talking point. And it is facilitated in part because virtually nobody left in ruling circles got it right. Sanders did not get the Iraq War right. He bought some of the establishment lines. And I think it would do him some good to say: ‘Even I bought part of the establishment line!’ Sanders was not out there saying: ‘Iraq doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction.’ There were some people like Scott Ritter, who was saying that. I was saying there has been no evidence for saying that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. But Sanders was not saying that. He was simply saying: ‘War is a bad idea. It is going to make things worse. It could compel Saddam Hussein to use his weapons of mass destruction.’ Sanders actually made that argument. Pelosi and others made even worse arguments even though they cast their votes against war. Some of them actually helped to facilitate war even though they technically cast their votes against it.

So the entire political system – right now, I feel the correct analogy is geology in the 17th century. Geology in the 17th century was a debate between people who thought that the earth was 5000 years old versus people who thought that the earth was maybe a hundred million years old. The correct answer – that the earth was over a billion years old – was off the charts. It wasn’t part of the mainstream discussion. And I think we have a similar thing right now with coming to grips with fundamental questions of US foreign policy like the Iraq War. The correct, empirically-driven answer is well outside the current acceptable discourse. And this leads to all kinds of perversities one of which is the rise of somebody like Trump who does say perverse truths at times and that grants him a measure of legitimacy because nobody who articulates those truths in a principled way is allowed to take part in a meaningful way in public discourse because of the constrictions of major media. So these are some of the problems that have to be overcome.

Do you see them being overcome? What can be done to change things?

There is a pat answer to that: Getting information out, doing what you can. And there are all kinds of good webpages and periodicals out there. And some people try to use social media as best they can. Your program is a very good example, as well.

But I think we need to get to concrete proposals. One proposal I wanted to start building for some time and perhaps some of your listeners can help is to build what would now be called a Wiki with the relevant lies and fabrications of the establishment figures: In very short concise format so there would be a go-to place for whatever establishment figure, whether it is Biden or Wolf Blitzer or Samantha Power, to in very concise form have a thing contríbuted to by many people doing research, but then distilled so it is not a mass of treaties. So it is literally about 500 words but linked to, with substantial documentation of their various fabrications, whether it is about Iraq WMDs or other issues that we might achieve a culture of accountability so that these people could be challenged when they speak at universities or elsewhere. You could have it as a PDF so that it can be printed out and then distributed at events where these individuals are speaking. It could be distilled into a graphic form that could proliferate over social media, for example. I think it is a matter of people who do have a commitment to relevant facts and to a fundamental humanity, driven by respect for things like opposing aggressive war to organise our efforts better so we can more effectively challenge and expose people who deceit on such a massive scale to do things that have caused such harm and will continue to cause more and more harm, potentially threatening nuclear war.

I’ve been doing work lately with the Institute for Public Accuracy about the Plowshares actions. They have had an action in Georgia with these religiously-driven activists to destroy nuclear weapons symbolically. And many of them have spent much of the last year and a half in jail. Now they are facing decades in prison, and their trial begins in a couple of weeks.

I wanted to be inspired by their dedication in terms of their actions: to try to have the same dedication for laying out the critical facts in a way that is irrefutable and solidly documented and working with others to do that so that the force of that is so great that it, in effect, winds its way into the mechanisms of war and the lies that feed them and causes them to come to a grinding halt.

Slava Zilber is the host of the political podcast “Conversations with Slava” and a guest contributor to The Canary.

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

‘You’ve been duped by spooks & terrorists’: Russian military reveals flaws in NYT’s report on hospital bombings

RT | October 14, 2019

A damning report by the New York Times, which accused Russia of bombing four UN-protected hospitals in Syria, is a product of misinformation by Western intelligence services and jihadists, the Russian military said.

On Sunday, the leading US newspaper said it had irrefutable proof that Russian warplanes had bombed four sites in Syria, which it knew to be locations of civilian hospitals. The accusation stems from analysis of social media, interviews with witnesses, data provided by local plane spotters and records of communications of the Russian military deployed in Syria. The bombings, which happened on May 5 and 6, are just a faction of attacks on civilian infrastructure, for which Moscow carries responsibility, the newspaper alleged.

Responding to the accusation on Monday, the Russian military said Times report was flawed for several reasons, including failure to explain that Idlib Governorate, where the four alleged bombings took place, lives under rule of brutal jihadists. That detail affects the entire narrative, indicating its flawed sourcing.

“Gadgets, modern radio scanners, protected notebooks, internet connection are all things that the local civilian population simply cannot afford. They are more interested in daily surviving under the yoke of the terrorists,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

He was referring to the equipment used by “plane spotters”, who provided their data to Times. The newspaper said those observers “insisted on anonymity for their safety”, but the Russian military says they shouldn’t have bothered and identified them as the people behind a “combat intelligence system” based on equipment developed by a US company called Hala Systems.

The system known as Sentry is a collection of suitcase-sized sensors connected into a network plus an AI-based algorithm, which uses signals from those sensors as well as social media data to analyze and predict airstrikes in Idlib. Hala Systems says it’s a for-profit company that develops and operates the system on grants from governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark the United States, and Germany.

The company deemed it necessary to explain in its FAQ that it is not a front for the CIA, but acknowledges that it deployed the system in conjunction with the notorious White Helmets, the group that operated in jihadist-held parts of Syria with strongly suspected ties to Western intelligence services.

The statement by Konashenkov said Times chose to omit those details because they clearly expose its source as potentially compromised rather than to protect anyone.

“The ‘evidence’ published by NYT are not worthy even of the paper it was printed on.”

He added there were inconsistencies with other parts of the report, in particular a claim that a Russian pilot received coordinates for his target openly on the air, which would have been in violation of military operating procedures.

He also questioned identification of one of the locations named by the Times as a civilian hospital, saying it was not clear how one can operate in a remote cave.

“Just a week ago we took over 80 journalists from leading Russian and international media to a cave located in that general area. They saw with their own eyes what is kept in such caves, or rather reinforced terrorist bunkers,” the Russian general said.

“There were large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, including those Western-made, prisons, holes to cover tanks, gas masks, food and medical supplies.”

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

NASA : Batting 0.000 For Thirty-Three Consecutive Seasons

In 1986, NASA’s James Hansen made some projections about how global warming was going to affect eight cities.

Mintzer distributed a chart showing a 1986 projection made by NASA climatologists of the likely impact of global warming on eight major U.S. cities in the year 2030.

13 Apr 1987, 13 – Lancaster Eagle-Gazette at Newspapers.com

Let’s see how he did.

Memphis, according to EPA statistics, would experience 145 days annually with temperatures surpassing 90 degrees, compared to 65 days now, and 42 days above 100 degrees, com-pared to four now.

Covington is the closest Tennessee USHCN station to Memphis. The frequency of 90 and 100 degree days has plummeted.

Denver, which almost never registers temperatures above 100 degrees, would do so on 16 days a year under the projection, and its 90-phis days would rise from 33 to 86.

Boulder is the closest USHCN station to Denver.There has been no trend over the past 65 years, and it almost never gets above 100 degrees.

In Chicago, the number of over-90 days would jump from 16 to 56, while six days would see temperatures above 100 degrees, a rarity today.

Aurora is the closest USHCN station to Chicago, and the frequency of 90 and 100 degrees days has dropped sharply since the 1930s.

Dallas, which already gets 100 days over 90 degrees and 19 over 100, would see the first figure grow to 162 and the second to 78

Weatherford is the closest USHCN station to Dallas, and the number of 90 and 100 degree days has dropped sharply.

Los Angeles would see the number of 90-plus degree days move up from five to 27, while four days would register more than 100 degrees, compared to one day a year currently.

Downtown LA is much hotter than those numbers, so I assume he meant the airport. The closest USHCN station to LAX is Newport Beach, which shows no trend in hot days.

In New York, four days would exceed 100 degrees annually, while in most years no days are that hot now. The number of over-90 days would rise from 15 to 48.

The frequency of hot days at New York City has dropped sharply since Hansen made his forecasts in 1986.

One hundred degree days in New York peaked in the 1950’s, so the Orwellian New York Times has tried to erase them.

It’s Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter. – The New York Times

Omaha would see 86 days hotter than 90 degrees, compared to 37 today. Days over 100 degrees would jump from three per year today to 21 in 2030.

The closest USHCN station to Omaha is at Ashland, and the number of hot days has plummeted to record lows.

Washington. D C , the number of days above 90 degrees would rise from 36 to 87 per year, while over-100 days would jump from one annually today to 12 in 2030

Purcellville is the closest Virginia USHCN station to Washington D.C., and the number of hot days there has plummeted. I used to live across the river in Maryland, and never needed air conditioning.

Hansen was wrong, because his CO2 climate model was based on superstition rather than science. But undaunted by their past failures, the New York Times continues to push the same nonsense.

How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?

The Union of Concerned Scientists has at least been clever enough to change over to “feels like 90 degrees”

Northwest Region Areas to Endure Seven Weeks or More a Year When “Feels Like” Temperature Exceeds 90 Degrees | Union of Concerned Scientists

In most professions there are consequences for being wrong, but not if you are employed by the climate religion – where facts simply don’t matter. There is no possible way for you to be wrong.

30 years later, deniers are still lying about Hansen’s amazing global warming prediction | Dana Nuccitelli | Environment | The Guardian

October 13, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Did Hong Kong police use excessive force?

CGTN | October 13, 2019

Accusations of #HongKong #police using excessive #force are without end. This video puts the issues into perspective.

October 13, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | | Leave a comment

TYT sad to see US troops go

Hereticus Librarius | October 8, 2019

These two progressive liberals, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, apparently haven’t heard that Trump’s decision to pull out was expressed many months ago.

Suddenly TYT cares about the Pentagon weighing in on the US getting out of regime change operations.

Oh, the Kurds have no choice but to cooperate with Syria and Russia and Iran vis-a-vis Turkey? Good.

The lawful and sensible solution is to have Syrian reunification.

Also, Assad is a democratically elected head of state. The UN election observers in Syria endorsed the election process. Bashar al-Assad is not a dictator!

The progressive news outlet TYT is engaging in Deep State-Mainstream media war propaganda and are thus in league with international terrorism [regime change ops and affiliated methods].

October 11, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Imran Khan ‘Puzzled’ Over Vast Media Coverage of Hong Kong and ‘Disregard’ of Kashmir Issue

Sputnik – October 11, 2019

Ahead of last month’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) summit, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan raised various concerns while travelling to New York, accusing world leaders of avoiding the Kashmir issue and the alleged humanitarian crisis in the Kashmir valley.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter​ to say how “puzzled” he is over the sharp contrast in international media coverage of the situations in Hong Kong and Kashmir while squarely blaming the press for not highlighting the situation in Kashmir properly.

He claimed that the media paid much attention to the ongoing Hong Kong protests while surprisingly avoided giving importance to the “dire human rights situation” in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Khan, who returned from China on Thursday, chose to highlight the issue hours ahead of the crucial second Informal Summit to be held between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China has already extended its full support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. In a joint statement, it has said: “The Kashmir issue is a historical dispute, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.”

China has already expressed its opposition to India’s unilateral action on 5 August to strip the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state and split the region into two federally administered territories. It has said the decision scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir “complicates the situation”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Khan in his Tweet has said the communications blackout and curfew in Kashmir since 5 August is a growing humanitarian crisis.

“For over two months there has been a complete blackout of communications, thousands imprisoned, including the entire spectrum of political leadership and children, and a growing humanitarian crisis. In Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir 100 thousand Kashmiris have been killed over 30 years of fighting for their right to self-determination,” he added.

India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over Kashmir since they attained independence from British Colonial rule in 1947. While the two neighbours both claim the entire territory, they administer separate parts of Kashmir.

October 11, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 1 Comment

WADA is being weaponized to destroy Russians’ dignity

By Andrew Korybko | October 11, 2019

Most of the world remembers the controversy in recent years about Russian athletes allegedly failing to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) policies, but that scandal still continues to this day after the international organization recently threatened that country’s sportspeople with being banned from next year’s Tokyo Olympics on the same basis. The narrative is that there are supposedly “inconsistencies” with the lab data that Russia submitted to prove its adherence to WADA’s regulations, though that storyline is extremely suspect and also reeks of selective enforcement for political reasons.

To explain, it’s illogical that Russian athletes would continue to use banned substances after the agency globally humiliated them and the country that they represented several years ago on that basis, nor would their coaches and those responsible for them allow “inconsistent” lab results to be given to that international sports body if that was still the case (though it was always questionable to begin with the first time around whether there were actually any violations or not). Every stakeholder therefore has a self-interested reason in ensuring that the testing process proceeds smoothly and without incident, not to cheat the rules while under scrutiny.

Another valid point to make is that other countries’ athletes use questionable medication to treat certain health symptoms that might have actually given them an unfair advantage during competitions. For instance, RT reported last year on how Swedish media alleged that “70 percent of Norwegian medals in Olympic skiing events were won by athletes diagnosed with asthma”, yet those athletes aren’t under WADA’s microscope like Russia’s are. Quite clearly, the agency is only selectively enforcing its standards for what can only be presumed to be political reasons related to the New Cold War.

Russia is one of the US’ chief geopolitical adversaries across the world, and Washington is weaponizing all means at its disposal to wage a Hybrid War against Moscow, one that transcends the traditional definition of war to include intangible and unquantifiable aspects such as the degrading of national dignity. Understanding this, it makes sense why WADA is threatening Russian athletes, since that’s intended to damage their country’s dignity on the world stage as punishment for their government refusing to submit to the US’ foreign policy diktats. As a result, all Russians might be made to suffer.

This strategy isn’t just being carried out for the sake of schadenfreude, but as part of a far-fetched plan to decrease the population’s support of their government. The theory goes that average Russians might eventually be misguided by a forthcoming US-backed infowar campaign to somehow blame their government for this humiliation, which could contribute to increasing anti-government sentiment and then indirectly influence their political preferences in 2024 after President Putin’s final term ends. That idea might sound attractive in Washington think tanks and the halls of Langley, but it’s completely unrealistic in practice.

A supposedly apolitical international organization punishing a population for the disagreements that their government has with another violates all morality and exposes that said body for what it truly would be in that scenario, which is an American proxy organization being weaponized for Hybrid War ends. It doesn’t matter that the consequences of such a decision wouldn’t have any effect on political stability in Russia, but just that it would be very cruel to do to ordinary people who more often than not could care less about international politics and are more interested in patriotically rooting for their country’s team as they compete in Tokyo.

The Olympics are supposed to bring the world together for a few weeks by allowing everyone’s athletes to bask in glory that they deserve for being the best of the best selected to compete in this prestigious event, provided that they earned their place fairly. Singling out Russians for alleged “inconsistencies” while ignoring the much more credible case of Norwegians gaming the system — to say nothing of transsexuals now being allowed to participate, even without undergoing gender reassignment surgery — is a travesty of everything that the Olympics are supposed to stand for and actually degrades the international community’s dignity most of all.

Andrew Korybko is an American political analyst.

October 11, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

Propaganda 101: The New York Times pumps another ‘evil Russia’ plot

By Finian Cunningham | RT | October 10, 2019

The “newspaper of record” New York Times arguably holds the record for peddling anti-Russia scare stories. This week the NY Times delivered yet another classic spook tale dressed as serious news.

Among its splash articles, under the headline ‘Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say’, readers were told of an elite Russian spy team which has, allegedly, only recently been discovered.

It’s called “Unit 29155” and purportedly directed by the Kremlin to “destabilize Europe” with “subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

According to the NY Times, this crack squad of Russia’s most ruthless military intelligence agents were involved in an attempted assassination of an arms dealer in Bulgaria in 2015; the destabilization of Moldova; a failed coup against the Montenegrin government; and the alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in England last year.

The article states: “Western security officials have now concluded that these operations, and potentially many others, are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe, executed by an elite unit inside the Russian intelligence system skilled in subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

The NY Times adds: “The purpose of Unit 29155, which has not been previously reported, underscores the degree to which the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, is actively fighting the West with his brand of so-called hybrid warfare — a blend of propaganda, hacking attacks and disinformation — as well as open military confrontation.”

This is all because, the readers are told, “The Kremlin sees Russia as being at war with a Western liberal order that it views as an existential threat.”

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed it as more of the “pulp fiction category” which Western news media have manufactured with seeming increasing intensity over recent years. Peskov pointed out that Moscow has repeatedly stated its desire to normalize relations with Western states and the European Union in particular, contradicting the theme of the NY Times’ piece.

Indeed, the Russian Embassy in Britain recently published a compilation of false articles peddled by Western media over the past four years. The NY Times features prominently as one of the main purveyors of scare stories about alleged malign Russian activities, from hacking into presidential elections, to targeting American power grids, to covert collusion with President Donald Trump.

For students of Propaganda 101, this week’s tale makes a case study of how disinformation is disseminated in the guise of “news reporting.”

First of all, the NY Times reporter, Michael Schwirtz, gives a meandering account of lurid dirty deeds performed in various international locations allegedly carried out by the supposed “elite” Kremlin hybrid warriors. But tellingly, there are no details evidencing Russian involvement. It’s all lurid speculation spiced with fear-mongering, which reads like a pallid John le Carré spy novel.

Then, the usual giveaway that the NY Times is engaging in disinformation, it quotes anonymous security officials for apparent verification of its claims about “Unit 29155”. This is tacit admission of who the real authors are: Western spooks.

Next, a neat effort to give the lame story some legs is to quote named public figures. But these sources don’t confirm the existence of the alleged Kremlin unit; they are merely invited to speculate on its existence and presumed malign purpose. One of those named sources is MI6 chief Alex Younger. Yes, that’s right, the paper of record is quoting British military intelligence as a reliable source for public information. Another named source is Peter Zwack, who is described as a former US military intelligence officer who worked at the American Embassy in Moscow. Zwack is quoted as describing Russians as “organically ruthless” (whatever that means), while the paper actually admits that “he was not aware of the unit’s existence.”

The purpose of throwing a few names into the reporting mix is to lend a veneer of credibility to the nebulous, unverifiable, scary stuff that the anonymous spooks feed the reporter.

A special mention must be given to a third named source quoted by the NY Times. He is Eerik-Niiles Kross, an Estonian lawmaker and former military intelligence chief in Tallinn. He styles himself as “Estonia’s James Bond,” and is known for his salacious Russophobic warnings of “imminent invasion of the Baltic states” – over the past three decades. Kross is quoted to speculate on the existence of the alleged Kremlin hybrid warfare unit. Of course, he dutifully serves up his notorious anti-Russian fear-mongering. But he is not confirming. His speculation is pseudo-validation of information that is essentially fictional.

All in all, the latest installment of anti-Russia propaganda from the NY Times this week is a damp squib among many previous baseless reports of alleged Kremlin malign activity. If it serves any purpose, it is perhaps a choice illustration of how disinformation is sneakily, insidiously presented as ‘news’. The fact that this should appear in a Pulitzer Prize-winning, supposedly premier, American newspaper is the disturbing part.

But it is no surprise to those who have long studied how the US corporate media has been under the control of state intelligence agencies for many decades, especially after the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War against the Soviet Union.

In a seminal essay in 1977 for Rolling Stone magazine, award-winning journalist Carl Bernstein documented how the CIA systematically cultivated hundreds of reporters, columnists, editors, publishing executives and broadcast networks to function as conduits for disinformation – much of it directed at demonizing the Soviet Union.

“From the outset, the use of journalists was among the CIA’s most sensitive undertakings,” writes Bernstein.

He added: “By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.”

How the CIA goes about planting false stories in the American and European media is outlined in this candid interview by John Stockwell, who was former National Security Council coordinator for the agency during the 1970s. Stockwell also added: “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the US military machine to turn.”

You may wonder, if the Cold War ended nearly 30 years ago when the Soviet Union dissolved, why then do the NY Times and other Western media outlets continue to pump out anti-Russian propaganda? But that assumes the Cold War was primarily about the US opposing the ideology of communism. It wasn’t. It was, and still is, all about imposing control over the masses so they don’t ever challenge the power structure that deprives them of full democratic rights and decent livelihoods.

In a recent interview, philosopher André Vitchek makes the point that Western politicians and media like the NY Times keep harping on Cold War scare stories about evil foreigners in order “to distract their citizens from thinking about their increasingly limited freedoms and diminishing standards of living.”

The Cold War continues, and anti-Russia hysteria is but a distraction, as was the anti-Soviet hysteria. The aim is to distract the public from the real Cold War which is a war by the elites against democracy ever being actually realized among the masses.

October 10, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

#TrumpBetrayedtheKurds: “Progressive Hollywood” Calls for War

Conditioned “influencers” crying crocodile tears on cue

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | October 10, 2019

I wrote, just a few days ago, that we’d be able to tell just how real Trump’s “Syria Withdrawal” was by how loud, and how strong, the establishment voices came out against it.

The media (and collected punditry) will likely play the “poor little Kurds” card a lot in the next few days…[this] will determine how much of a genuine threat to the establishment agenda this “withdrawal” really is.

Turns out, it might be a lot.

Every single media outlet is variously “shocked”, “appalled” or “disgusted”. Politicians from both sides of the house (and Israel) have condemned him. Media pundits, ex-generals. Combat veterans in the Independent.

Even good-old Fox News, Trump’s only real support in the media, have finally had to choose between supporting the President and supporting war. They chose war.

Nowhere is this seething hatred of Trump, and adoration of the Kurds stronger than Hollywood. A population of ill-informed moralising egos have decided Trump’s “betrayal” of the Kurds is his greatest crime, despite having very little idea who the Kurds are or what (if anything) they have ever done.

Still, there’s not to reason why, there’s just to tweet and lie.

Compare the hysteria about “protecting the Kurds” today, to the tone of commentary on the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The difference is startling.

Hell, compare it to Yemen. Were there this many hashtags about Yemen? Of course not.

The Hollywood outrage machine only kicks into gear when American troops WITHDRAW, but never when they ATTACK.

All of the US aggression against Syria was met with a shrug by these same people, and the hundreds of others like them. If they even knew it was happening.

But it’s not just Hollywood, even the “new wave” of Brave Democrat Women were keen to oppose withdrawing US troops from a country they are illegally occupying in breach of international law.

Somewhere along the line, the poison of identity politics has totally subverted the traditionally anti-war politics of the fringe-left, the arts, actors and writers.

They now respond literally like programmed robots, without ever pausing to question their hardcoded responses

Trump wants to run “end war”.
Trump = “bad”
Therefore: “end war” = “bad”
Therefore: “war” = “good”.

The process runs, the output is logged and off they run: Damning Trump for his stupid racist fascist peace, and declaring we should be fighting a lovely progressive war (against…Turkey? I guess? I’m not sure and neither are they).

This is the ultimate victory of the Deep State in the United States. The zenith of Trump Derangement Syndrome: The Pavlovian conditioning of the entire “liberal” establishment.

We told you this would happen.

October 10, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment