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UK Media Report on ‘Iranian Secret Cyber Files’ Casts More Doubt Than Confidence

By Daria Bedenko – Sputnik – 27.07.2021

The authenticity of the alleged “Iranian secret cyber files” cited by Sky News, on how cyber attacks could be used against civilian infrastructure objects, is debatable, experts said, shortly after the UK media outlet published so-called ‘classified documents’ said to have been acquired from Iranian intelligence.

According to the Monday Sky News report, Iran has been conducting “secret research” into how cyber attacks could affect cargo ships and petrol stations, along with other civilian infrastructure entities. The outlet, citing an unnamed source, attributes the alleged intelligence to the Islamic republic’s clandestine Intelligence Team 13 – a cell described as “a sub-group within the IRGC Shahid Kaveh unit”, which is reportedly under an individual named Hamid Reza Lashgarian.

The anonymous source who shared the documents with the outlet said he was “very confident” in their authenticity.

Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, does not, however, appear to share that confidence, saying that the publication of the so-called classified documents could be “an attempt to ratchet up tensions, especially since they gave it to Sky News.”

Marandi noted that the documents do not appear to have a “date or file number”, and neither there is an IRGC logo on the cover page, saying that it makes the report look “inauthentic”.

Dr. Rasool Nafisi, an Iranian analyst and professor at Strayer University in the US state of Virginia, agreed with the suggestion, underlining a “lack of professional format” in the document.

“The document is not dated, not stamped with security device, it is not typed on especially made papers with transparent emblem. The content is also debatable. It seems more like a dry run for a likely scenario of action. It is not surprising at all if The Islamic Republic of Iran tries to investigate possible cyber interventions, replicating what others have been doing to it for over a decade”, Nafisi pointed out.

The so-called classified documents appeared in the UK media ahead of the possible resumption of the Vienna negotiations for the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iranian nuclear deal. The talks that initially started in April were postponed and could resume after the inauguration of the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, set to take place on 5 August. The UK is among the sides involved in the negotiations.

Not everyone is happy about the plausible revival of the nuclear deal with Iran, however. Israel continues to be a vocal opponent of the restoration of the JCPOA, claiming that the accord would pave the way for Iran to create a nuclear weapon – something that the Islamic republic has consistently denied, insisting that its nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.

When asked about reasons to attempt to dismantle relations between the UK and Iran by the publication of the unverified documents, Marandi suggested that it could be connected with activities of the “pro-Israeli lobby”.

“The Pro-Israeli lobby is working hard to push the two sides towards confrontation. It makes sense for some entity connected to them to be involved in the manufacturing of such a document”, he said, noting that “that’s a possibility” that the intention of the “leak” is to disrupt plans to resume the JCPOA negotiations.

What’s in the ‘Iranian Secret Cyber Files’?

The documents cited by Sky News make five reports, each of them said to be marked as “very confidential”.

Most of the reports are also said to feature a quote that “appears to be” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, reading: “The Islamic Republic of Iran must become among the world’s most powerful in the area of cyber.”

The first report, named “Ballast Water”, allegedly has six pages dedicated to the research of the complex systems on large cargo ships that remotely control infrastructure including filtration and ballast water. Sky News estimated that the document contains open-source research, rather than “privileged information”.

The report adds that “any kind of disruptive influence can cause disorder within these systems and can cause significant and irreparable damage to the vessel.”

Another report, also six pages long, is said to address “a system called an automatic tank gauge that tracked the flow of fuel at a petrol station.” Particularly, the research name-checked fuelling equipment produced by a US firm, Franklin Fueling Systems.

The report allegedly ponders the possible impact of “problems” with the systems, including cutting off the fuel supply, changing its temperature and even mulling the effects of an explosion.

“[An] explosion of these fueling pumps is possible if these systems are hacked and controlled remotely”, the report allegedly said.

Services providing maritime communications are addressed in what was said to be a 14-page report which studies two types of satellite communications used at sea – Sealink CIR and Seagull 5000i, noting that the latter is offered by such companies as Wideye in Singapore and Thuraya in the United Arab Emirates.

While the majority of the report is said to “repeat facts” from open sources about the two systems, there was also a chart in the end, Sky News said, showing the results of something commonly known as “Google dork” – conducting internet searches with certain key phrases enclosed in quotation marks that improve the accuracy of a search.

According to the screenshots from the report, the findings referred to devices from the United Kingdom, France and the United States.

Sky News described two other reports, the only ones marked with dates, that are claimed to be dedicated to building management systems and electrical equipment.

The first, allegedly compiled on 19 November 2020, had nine pages about “computer-based systems that control lighting, ventilation, heating, security alarms and other functions in a smart building”. Among other things, it listed companies that provided such services, including US firms KMC Controls and Honeywell, along with the French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric and the German company Siemens.

The second appears to be the longest of all five, consisting of 22 pages exploring electrical equipment made by the German company WAGO, and reportedly compiled on 19 April 2020.

This piece of purported research explored vulnerabilities in PLCs – “programmable logic controller” – with the findings saying, however, that it would not be possible to use them.

“Continuing the investigation, in order to use these processes, we noticed the vulnerabilities within these systems are irreparable, if there is an attack, damage will not easy to fix,” the report said. “Therefore, compared to other PLC brands, this brand is impenetrable once connected online. When online, the infrastructure and intelligence on engineering cannot be reached and cannot be lost.”

Although neither the Sky News ‘source’ nor British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace could confirm the authenticity of the “classified documents”, the latter nevertheless declared that they could pose “a threat to our way of life”, since they allegedly demonstrate that Western countries currently vulnerable to cyber attacks could see much worse than simple ransomware and DDoS exploits.

“They [Iran] are among the most advanced cyber actors,” claimed General Sir Patrick Sanders, the top military officer overseeing the UK cyber operations,” adding, “We take their capabilities seriously. We don’t overstate it”.

Tehran has not yet officially commented on the allegations made by Sky News.

Iranian trace?

This is not for the first time that Iran, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in particular, have been accused by a Western country of being involved in hacking activities.

Earlier in July, Facebook alleged that “Iranian hackers” presenting themselves as “recruiters, employees of defense contractors and young, attractive women” on the social media platform had tried to hack into the PCs of US military personnel.

Another set of accusations came from the FBI and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in October 2020, when the two entities accused Iran of obtaining “voter registration data in at least one state”, referring to the 2020 US presidential election.

The unsubstantiated claims by the two US agencies followed accusations by Microsoft that “Iranian hackers” targeted candidates in the 2020 US presidential elections – claims that were denied by Iran, which asserted that “unlike the US, Iran does not interfere in other country’s elections”.

While being constantly accused of conducting hacking operations, Iran is known to be a frequent target of hacker attacks. The latest came in early July and was conducted against the nation’s rail service, leading to a brief shutdown of the website for the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots

Questioning the FBI’s role in 1/6 was maligned by corporate media as deranged. But only ignorance about the FBI or a desire to deceive could produce such a reaction.

By Glenn Greenwald | July 24, 2021

The narrative that domestic anti-government extremism is the greatest threat to U.S. national security — the official position of the U.S. security state and the Biden administration — received its most potent boost in October 2020, less than one month before the 2020 presidential election. That was when the F.B.I. and Michigan state officials announced the arrest of thirteen people on terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges, with six of them accused of participating in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who had been a particular target of criticism from President Trump for her advocacy for harsh COVID lockdown measures.

The headlines that followed were dramatic and fear-inducing: “F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” announced The New York Times. That same night, ABC News began its broadcast this way: “Tonight, we take you into a hidden world, a place authorities say gave birth to a violent domestic terror plot in Michigan — foiled by the FBI.”

Democrats and liberal journalists instantly seized on this storyline to spin a pre-election theme that was as extreme as it was predictable. Gov. Whitmer herself blamed Trump, claiming that the plotters “heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry — as a call to action.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) claimed that “the president is a deranged lunatic and he’s inspired white supremacists to violence, the latest of which was a plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer,” adding: “these groups have attempted to KILL many of us in recent years. They are following Trump’s lead.” Vox’s paid television-watcher and video-manipulator, Aaron Rupar, drew this inference: “Trump hasn’t commended the FBI for breaking up Whitmer kidnapping/murder plot because as always he doesn’t want to denounce his base.” Michael Moore called for Trump’s arrest for having incited the kidnapping plot against Gov. Whitmer. One viral tweet from a popular Democratic Party activist similarly declared: “Trump should be arrested for this plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer. There’s no doubt he inspired this terrorism.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo instantly declared it to be a terrorist attack on America: “We must condemn and call out the cowardly plot against Governor Whitmer for what it is: Domestic terrorism.” MSNBC’s social media star Kyle Griffin cast it as a coup attempt: “The FBI thwarted what they described as a plot to violently overthrow the government and kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.” CNN’s Jim Sciutto pronounced it “deeply alarming.”

lengthy CNN article — dressed up as an investigative exposé that was little more than stenography of FBI messaging disseminated from behind a shield of anonymity — purported in the headline to take the reader “Inside the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.” It claimed that it all began when angry discussions about COVID restrictions “spiraled into a terrorism plot, officials say, with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the target of a kidnapping scheme.” CNN heralded the FBI’s use of informants and agents to break up the plot but depicted them as nothing more than passive bystanders reporting what the domestic terrorists were plotting:

The Watchmen had been flagged to the FBI in March, and one of its members was now an informant. That informant, others on the inside, as well as undercover operatives and recordings, allowed the bureau to monitor what was happening from then on.

The article never once hinted at let alone described the highly active role of these informants and agents themselves in encouraging and designing the plot. Instead, it depicted these anti-government activists as leading one another — on their own — to commit what CNN called “treason in a quaint town.” The more honest headline for this CNN article would have been: “Inside the FBI’s tale of the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.” But since CNN never questions the FBI — they employ their top agents and operatives once they leave the bureau in order to disseminate their propaganda — this is what the country got from The Most Trusted Name in News:

Gov. Whitmer herself attempted to prolong the news cycle as much as possible, all but declaring herself off-limits from criticism by equating any critiques of her governance with incitement to terrorism. Appearing on Meet the Press two Sundays after the plot was revealed, Whitmer said it was “incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States—10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial, and execute me, 10 days after that was uncovered—the president is at it again, and inspiring, and incentivizing, and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.”

On October 22 — just two weeks before Election Day — MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hosted Whitmer and told the Michigan Governor that the evidence was clear that Trump had been “turning on a faucet of violent threats” against her. Whitmer agreed that Trump was to blame for the kidnapping plot by having repeatedly attacked her in his rallies:

Joe Biden also made repeated use of this storyline. Appearing at a campaign rally in Michigan on October 16, the Democratic candidate blasted Trump for the crime of continuing to criticize Whitmer even after she was the target of a terror plot. He explicitly blamed Trump for having incited it: “When the president tweeted ‘Liberate Michigan, Liberate Michigan,’ that’s the call that was heard. That was the dog whistle.” And he accused Trump of purposely stoking a wave of the worst kind of terrorism on U.S. soil: “it’s the sort of behavior you might expect from ISIS,” he said of the accused.

Yet from the start, there were ample and potent reasons to distrust the FBI’s version of events. To begin with, FBI press releases are typically filled with lies, yet media outlets — due to some combination of excessive gullibility, an inability to learn lessons, or a desire to be deceived — continue to treat them as Gospel. For another, the majority of “terror plots” the FBI claimed to detect and break up during the first War on Terror were, in fact, plots manufactured, funded and driven by the FBI itself.

Indeed, the FBI has previously acknowledged that its own powers and budget depend on keeping Americans in fear of such attacks. Former FBI Assistant Director Thomas Fuentes, in a documentary called “The Newberg Sting” about a 2009 FBI arrest of four men on terrorism charges, uttered this extremely candid admission:

If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that “We won the war on terror and everything’s great,” cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.

In the Whitmer kidnapping case, the FBI’s own affidavit in support of the charges acknowledged the involvement in the plot of both informants and undercover FBI agents “over several months.”

Excerpt of FBI affidavit criminal complaint accompanying the criminal complaint in U.S. District Court against six defendants in the Whitmer plot

In sum, there was no way to avoid suspicions about the FBI’s crucial role in a plot like this absent extreme ignorance about the bureau’s behavior over the last two decades or an intentional desire to sow fear about right-wing extremists attacking Democratic Party officials one month before the 2020 presidential election. In fact, the signs of FBI involvement were there from the start for those who — unlike CNN — wanted to know the truth.

report from the Detroit Free Press published just two days after CNN’s FBI stenography noted that the FBI agents were incapable of identifying any specifics of this supposed plot, adding that defense attorneys were adamant that those accused were merely engaged in idle chatter, boasting that they were never really serious about following through. Then the paper added that, for defense lawyers, “it remains to be seen what roles the undercover informants and FBI agents played in the case, and whether they pushed the others into carrying out the plan.” Meanwhile, an actually independent journalist, Michael Tracey, had no trouble identifying the telltale signs of FBI orchestration that were so apparent countless times during the first War on Terror. Three days before the CNN story, he wrote:

But the value of depicting Trump as having incited a frightening terrorist attack just weeks before the election, and the zeal to feed the broader narrative pushed by the U.S. security state that anti-government extremism is America’s greatest national security threat, drowned out any skepticism. The storyline was clear and unquestioned: Trump was inciting ISIS-like terrorism on U.S. soil and right-wing extremists, who would fester even after Trump was done, were the primary menace that requires new domestic powers and larger budgets in order to defeat.

Yet just as happened with so many other narratives — from the origins of COVID to Hunter Biden’s corrupt use of his ties to his father — Trump’s defeat means the media is now willing to reconsider some of the propaganda that was pushed in the lead-up to the election. An excellent piece of investigative journalism published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday documents that, far from being passive observers of the plot, FBI informants and agents were the key drivers of it:

An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported. Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.

So central to this plot were those acting at the behest of the FBI that many of the accused plotters only met each other because of meetings arranged at the direction of the FBI, who targeted them based on social media postings and other political activities that suggested anti-government and anti-Whitmer sentiments which could be exploited:

A longtime government informant from Wisconsin, for example, helped organize a series of meetings around the country where many of the alleged plotters first met one another and the earliest notions of a plan took root, some of those people say. The Wisconsin informant even paid for some hotel rooms and food as an incentive to get people to come.

One of the FBI’s informants, a former Iraq War soldier, “became so deeply enmeshed in a Michigan militant group that he rose to become its second-in-command.” With his leadership role in one of the key groups, and all while acting under the direction of the FBI, he was “encouraging members to collaborate with other potential suspects and paying for their transportation to meetings.” Indeed, he even “prodded the alleged mastermind of the kidnapping plot to advance his plan, then baited the trap that led to the arrest.”

A review of not only the BuzzFeed reporting but also the underlying court documents leaves little doubt that the primary impetus for this plot came over and over from the FBI. On July 12, a lawyer for one of the defendants filed a motion asking the court to compel the FBI to turn over all chats which their agents and informants involving the plot. He did so on the ground that the few chats they had obtained themselves — from their own clients — repeatedly show the FBI pushing and prodding its agents over and over to lure defendants into more meetings, to join in “recon” exercises, and to take as many steps as possible toward the plot.

While it was clear from the start that there were FBI informants and agents in the middle of all of this, it turns out that at least half of those involved were acting on FBI orders: twelve informants and agents. As BuzzFeed says, those acting at the behest of the FBI “had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception.” All of that, concluded the reporters, “raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.”

But this evidence does not so much raise that question as much as it answers it. The idea of kidnapping Gov. Whitmer came from the FBI. It was a plot designed by the agency, and they then went on the hunt to target people they believed they could manipulate into joining their plot — either people were easily manipulated due to psychological weakness, financial vulnerability, and/or their strongly held political views. In sum, the FBI devised this plot, was the primary organizer of it, funded it, purposely directed their targets to pose for incriminating pictures that they then released to the press, and then heaped praise on themselves for stopping what they themselves had created.


For anyone covering the FBI during the first War on Terror, none of this is new. So many of the supposed “terror plots” the FBI purported to disrupt over the last twenty years were — just like the Michigan plot — ones that were created and driven by, and would not have happened without, the FBI’s own planning, funding and direction.

Just as they are doing now, the FBI used those plots to elevate fear levels and justify more domestic surveillance power and funding for the U.S. security state. While the targets then were typically young American Muslims with anti-government views rather than young right-wing white men with anti-government views, the tactics were identical.

The examples are far too numerous to count. As one illustrative example, in 2015, the FBI flamboyantly praised itself for arresting three Brooklyn men on charges of “attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq.” Then, as now, outlets such as The New York Times promoted the FBI’s maximalist-fear-mongering version of events: “3 Brooklyn Men Accused of Plot to Aid ISIS’ Fight,” blared the headline.

But even that largely pro-FBI Times article raised the question of whether this plot was real or manufactured by the bureau:

The case against the three men relies in part on a confidential informant paid by the government, court documents show. Defense lawyers have criticized the government’s use of informers in similar cases, saying they may lure targets into making extreme plans or statements. In some cases, the threat has turned out to be overstated.

And the FBI itself admitted that the “threats of violence” from the three arrested — such as killing President Obama — “had an ‘aspirational’ quality to them, with no indication that the suspects were close to staging an attack, large or small.” The Times article also noted that the FBI observed that “in online postings, the two younger men seem to be searching for meaning in their lives,” adding that “as they were led into court, the youthfulness of Mr. Juraboev and Mr. Saidakhmetov was striking.”

Analyzing all the evidence in this case, my then-colleague at The Intercept Murtaza Hussain documented “the integral role a paid informant appears to have played in generating the charges against the men, and helping turn a fantastical ‘plot’ into something even remotely tangible.” Indeed, he wrote, “none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant.” It was only when the FBI sent an older Muslim man to gain their trust — acting as an FBI informant and being paid for his services — did anything resembling a crime start to form. The paid FBI informant encouraged the young men to pursue the plan more concretely, and only then did they begin agreeing with the informant’s proposed plot. The informant befriended them, moved in with them, and spent months “convincing both of them that he intended to travel to Syria and join Islamic State.”

Just as was true in the Michigan case, Hussain wrote about this arrest: “Crucially, it appears that only after the introduction of the informant did any actual arrangements to commit a criminal act come into existence.” In sum, “the covert informant under the direction of the FBI” — which employs teams of psychologists and other mental health professions who are experts in how to manipulate people’s thinking — “evidently helped encourage the two toward terrorism over the course of these months.”

Article by Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept, Feb. 20, 2015

I have also covered countless other FBI plots over the years where all the same attributes were present. After the 2015 “ISIS arrest,” I wrote an article compiling how often the FBI was doing this and asked this question in the headline: “Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?,” noting that the bureau’s behavior “is akin to having the DEA constantly warn of the severe threat posed by drug addiction while it simultaneously uses pushers on its payroll to deliberately get people hooked on drugs so that they can arrest the addicts they’ve created and thus justify their own warnings and budgets.”

Months before the 2015 ISIS arrests, the FBI issued a press release praising itself for arresting “a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” But as I reported, the scary terrorist was “20-year-old Christopher Cornell, [who] is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as ‘Mommy’ and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as ‘a typical student’ and ‘quiet but not overly reserved’ by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.”

Then House Speaker John Boehner immediately seized on that arrest to warn Americans to be afraid: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” Boehner also told Americans they should be grateful for domestic surveillance and not try to curb it: the Speaker claimed that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” Yet the only way Cornell got close to any crimes was because the FBI informant began suggesting to him that he act on his rage against U.S. officials by attacking the Capitol.

Salon articles of my reporting on FBI’s creation of terror plots it “stops”: Nov. 28, 2010 and Sep. 29, 2011

One of the most egregious cases I covered was the 2011 arrest of James Cromitie, an African-American convert to Islam who the FBI attempted to convince — over the course of eight months — to join a terror plot, only for him to adamantly refuse over and over. Only once they dangled a payment of $250,000 in front of his nose right after the impoverished American had lost his job did he agree to join, and then the FBI swooped in, arrested him, and touted their heroic efforts in stopping a terrorist plot.

The U.S. federal judge who sentenced Cromitie to decades in prison, Colleen McMahon, said she did so only because the law of “entrapment” is so narrow that it is virtually impossible for a defendant to win, but in doing so, she repeatedly condemned the FBI in the harshest terms for single-handedly converting Cromitie from a helpless but resentful anti-government fanatic into a criminal. The defendant “was incapable of committing an act of terrorism on his own,” she said, adding: “only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.” She added: “There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that James Cromitie could never have dreamed up the scenario in which he actually became involved.”

Her written ruling is worth quoting at length because of how relevant it is to current FBI activities. The judge began by noting that Cromitie “had successfully resisted going too far for eight months,” and agreed only after “the Government dangled what had to be almost irresistible temptation in front of an impoverished man from what I have come (after literally dozens of cases) to view as the saddest and most dysfunctional community in the Southern District of New York.” It was the FBI’s own informant, she wrote, who “was the prime mover and instigator of all the criminal activity that occurred.” She then wrote (emphasis added):

The Government indisputably “manufactured” the crimes of which defendants stand convicted. The Government invented all of the details of the scheme – many of them, such as the trip to Connecticut and the inclusion of Stewart AFB as a target, for specific legal purposes of which the defendants could not possibly have been aware (the former gave rise to federal jurisdiction and the latter mandated a twenty-five year minimum sentence). The Government selected the targets. The Government designed and built the phony ordnance that the defendants planted (or planned to plant) at Government-selected targets. The Government provided every item used in the plot: cameras, cell phones, cars, maps and even a gun. The Government did all the driving (as none of the defendants had a car or a driver’s license). The Government funded the entire project. And the Government, through its agent, offered the defendants large sums of money, contingent on their participation in the heinous scheme.

Additionally, before deciding that the defendants (particularly Cromitie, who was in their sights for nine months) presented any real danger, the Government appears to have done minimal due diligence, relying instead on reports from its Confidential Informant, who passed on information about Cromitie information that could easily have been verified (or not verified, since much of it was untrue), but that no one thought it necessary to check before offering a jihadist opportunity to a man who had no contact with any extremist groups and no history of anything other than drug crimes.

One of the reporters who has most extensively covered the FBI’s role in manufacturing terrorism cases it then proceeds to “break up” is Trevor Aaronson. In 2011, he documented, working with the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley, that of 508 post-9/11 terrorism defendants, “nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants, many of them incentivized by money.” After 9/11, the FBI’s budget-increasing, power-enhancing strategy was to target “tens of thousands of law-abiding people, seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity” by monitoring their social media postings, and “then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.” Of the terrorism arrests from sting operations, almost 1/3 were ones in which “defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur—an FBI operative instigating terrorist action.”


It is this long history and mountain of evidence that compels an investigation into the role played by the FBI in the planning of the 1/6 riot at the Capitol. And it is that same evidence that made the corporate media’s derisive reaction to such demands — as voiced by Darren Beattie’s Revolver NewsFox News’ Tucker Carlson and myself — so ignorant and subservient. They acted as if only some unhinged conspiracy theorist could possibly believe that the FBI would have informants and agents embedded in the groups that planned that Capitol riot rather than what it is: the only logical conclusion for anyone who knows how the FBI actually behaves.

Indeed, the BuzzFeed reporters who investigated the FBI’s key role in the Michigan case must have been very disturbed by what they found since they used their reporting to raise that taboo topic: what role did the FBI have in 1/6? Moreover, they asked, is this yet another era where the FBI is targeting Americans not for criminality but for their political views, and then orchestrating their own plots that justify the U.S. security state’s massive budget and unlimited powers?

Instead, [the accused] say, they were targeted because of their political views. Some describe the case as a premeditated campaign by the government to undermine the Patriot movement, an ideology based on fealty to the Second Amendment and the conviction that the government has violated the Constitution and is therefore illegitimate. They argue that the recordings and text messages that the government calls proof of a criminal conspiracy are in fact constitutionally protected speech — expressions of frustration at what they see as the government’s betrayal of its citizens.

The Michigan case is unfolding at another fraught moment in American history. In court, the government has drawn a direct line between the alleged kidnapping plot and the Jan. 6 insurrection, holding up the storming of the US Capitol as evidence that the Michigan defendants posed a profound threat. . . . [I]f the defense is able to undermine the methods used to build the Michigan case, it could add weight to the theory that the administration is conducting a witch hunt against militant groups — and, by extension, that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a black op engineered by the FBI.

When Carlson raised these same questions on his Fox program, he did what I did when doing so: cited my reporting as well as Trevor Aaronson’s about the FBI’s long history of orchestrating such plots and luring people into them using informants and undercover agents. Much of that reporting about the FBI’s tactics was published by The Intercept, which — when aimed at American Muslims during the First War on Terror — had an editorial view that it was extremely improper and dangerous for the FBI to do this. But now that it is being done to American anti-government activists on the right, the site’s liberal editors seem happy about it. They got Aaronson to write an article under the headline “Tucker Carlson Distorted My Reporting in His Latest Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory.”

But that headline was an absolute lie. There was nothing in Aaronson’s article that pointed to any “distortions” in how Carlson (or I) cited Aaronson’s work. To the contrary, Aaronson himself acknowledged that the FBI’s past history — including in the Whitmer case — made such questions highly rational and necessary:

In many of these stings, informants or undercover agents provided all the money and weapons for terrorist plots, and sometimes even the ideas — raising significant questions about whether any of these people would have committed the crimes were it not for the FBI’s encouragement. Many targets of these FBI stings were mentally ill or otherwise easily manipulated. . . .

Carlson’s claim fits an existing and well-established argument: that the FBI creates crimes through aggressive stings where no crimes would otherwise exist. . . . I think it’s worth noting that there’s a reason for the cultural stickiness of the claim by Revolver and Carlson. It might be a conspiracy theory, but it’s not exactly “baseless,” as the Post described it. That’s because there are genuine concerns that the sting tactics used over the past two decades against impressionable Muslims will be used against equally impressionable Americans with right-wing ideologies. In the supposed plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, FBI agents and an informant played significant roles, raising the same question that surrounds so many supposed Islamic State and Al Qaeda cases in the United States: Would this plot have happened were it not for the FBI?

In addition, there is evidence the FBI is assigning informants to infiltrate groups based solely on right-wing ideology. And the increase in right-wing violence in recent years has prompted calls for new anti-terorrism laws that would give the FBI even more power.

I think the FBI’s investigation of potential right-wing threats, and the degree to which the bureau replicates its abusive post-9/11 tactics, will be a critically important story in the coming years. How news organizations report on it will be a significant test.

While Aaronson insists that no proof has yet been presented that the FBI had foreknowledge of the 1/6 plot or encouraged it to happen, and also seized on a minor error in the Revolver News article originally raising these questions about “confidential informants” — an error I noted in my own article about this topic while explaining that it was ancillary and insignificant to the overall question — Aaronson’s article has far more in common with the primary theme raised by Carlson than it does arguments that Carlson “distorted” anything. In particular, Aaronson writes, the FBI’s ample history requires a serious investigation into the role it may have played in knowing about and/or encouraging the 1/6 plotters.

As I documented in my own reporting on this question, there is ample evidence to believe that the FBI had informants embedded in at least two of three key groups it says were behind the 1/6 Capitol riot. As I noted at the time, most of the corporate press spewed contempt and scorn on these questions because 1/6 has become an event that carries virtually religious importance to them, and their reverence for the U.S. security state makes them resistant to any suggestions that the FBI may have acted deceitfully — an utterly bizarre mindset for U.S. journalists to possess. But such is the state of the liberal sector of the corporate press today.

Now that one of their own liberal members in good standing — BuzzFeed — has not only proven the FBI’s key role in the Whitmer plot but also themselves suggested that it makes more plausible the bureau’s involvement in 1/6, these questions are becoming increasingly unavoidable. Both the Whitmer plot and especially 1/6 are absolutely crucial to everything that has happened since: the launch of the new War on Terror, billions more in funds for the security state, proposals for greater surveillance, Biden’s use of the intelligence community to insist that anti-government activists constitute the greatest threat to U.S. national security. Asking what role the FBI played in the episode at the Capitol is not only rational but imperative.

July 24, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | 4 Comments

British Disinfo Machine Out of Whack: The Guardian’s Trump-Russia ‘Bombshell’ Reeks of Forgery

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 22.07.2021

The Guardian’s latest “bombshell” story about how President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian spies at a closed session of the National Security Council to use “all possible force” to make Donald Trump win in 2016 has not got as much media attention as it was apparently planned.

The article written, by Luke Harding, Dan Sabbagh, and Julian Borger appeared on The Guardian’s website on 15 July at 10:00 GMT. Another op-ed on the matter with a byline containing only Harding and Sabbagh was published on the same day at 17:05 GMT. The news was also advertised in the website’s First Thing section on 15 and 16 July and yet, surprisingly, just a “few Western mainstream media outlets have written or reported on what they were all speculating and salivating about for all four years of the Trump presidency”, notes Mark Sleboda, a US military veteran and international affairs and security analyst.

Still, there’s an obvious explanation why the MSM has not taken the bait: the so-called “leak” smacks of an obvious bunk, according to the analyst, who outlines some obvious discrepancies in The Guardian’s “exposé”:

First, it’s absolutely unclear how the supposed “leaked docs” ended up in The Guardian’s hands: there is no chain of custody or explanation at all.

Second, despite The Guardian’s claims that Western intelligence agencies have had these documents for months, no Western government or intelligence agency, neither the British nor the Americans, has so much as made a comment or peep about it.

Third, almost universally native Russian speakers have noticed and called out numerous incidences of lexical awkwardness and mistakes in the snippets, suggesting that the text was written by a non-native Russian speaker with limited cultural fluency.

Fourth, the Russian National Security Council is a formal political body which is not designed for discussing sensitive clandestine operations.

Fifth, the President’s Expert Directorate headed by economist Vladimir Simonenko – named by The Guardian as the apparent author of the grand design to take over the US elections – in fact deals entirely with domestic matters, including the financing of the president and the presidential administration’s activities, as well as collecting, analysing and preparing materials for the president’s annual addresses.

Sixth, the alleged secret meeting took place in January 2016 when Donald Trump was not even considered as a serious presidential candidate, let alone the Republican nominee.

Seventh, the article is riddled with hedging words and expressions, papers “appear to show”, “documents suggest”, “assessed to be”, etc., as if the authors knew that they were peddling disinformation.

​The Guardian report “reeks of disinformation operation”, former Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs remarked on 15 July. Krebs echoes another cybersecurity expert, Thomas Rid of John Hopkins University, who listed a series of issues with the “Kremlin leak” in a Twitter thread.

Many more former Western intelligence operatives and experts publicly questioned the documents’ veracity in both media and social media, including Director of Russian Studies at CNA Michael Kofman, former Information Security Specialist for GCHQ Matt Tait, and former US NSC staff Gavin Wilde.

​Even Dmitri Alperovitch, a co-founder and former CTO of Crowdstrike, who groundlessly blamed “Russian hackers” for breaching DNC servers back in 2016, has weighed in, dismissing the “leak” as forgery.

​What’s Behind the ‘Kremlin Leak’ Story?

On the surface, the “leak” appears to confirm practically every Russiagate fantasy and makes an oblique reference to unspecified “kompromat” on Trump – an apparent reference to ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s “dirty dossier” on the then presidential candidate and his campaign, Sleboda points out.

The analyst highlights that one of the authors of The Guardian’s latest exposé – Luke Harding – has long been an ardent adept of the Steele dossier, despite the ex-British spook’s bizarre claims having neither been corroborated nor confirmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation.

“There seems a likely possibility that these new ‘Kremlin documents’ like the previous Steele dossiers, were fabricated by British intelligence or elements within it, for the same purposes of discrediting Trump and preventing any, even faint, detente in US-Russian relations, whether under Trump or Biden”, suggests Sleboda.

The UK has played a special role in the Trump-Russia story: “There has long been a widely held belief by many because of the prominence of the Steele dossier during the whole Russigate episode that there was a significant degree of the British tail wagging the US political dog”, the analyst says.

Four years ago, Harding claimed that the UK intelligence service GCHQ became aware of “suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents” as early as in 2015, well before their American counterparts. Citing unnamed sources in the UK intelligence community, the journalist presumed that British and EU spies collected information on Trump between late 2015 and summer 2016.

“It is understood that GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information”, Harding asserted on 13 April 2017. “The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets”.

Furthermore, “[Harding] has previously claimed in The Guardian that British intelligence and Foreign Office was given the Steele dossier before it was sent to the United States and vouched for Steele’s ‘credibility’ in reference to it”, Sleboda remarks.

In 2021 alone, the British media has published a number of articles in support of Steele’s debunked narrative:

·         in January, The Guardian ran an outlandish story of Trump being “cultivated” by the Soviet KGB for 40 years;

·         in May, The Telegraph broke a story about a “second dossier” written by Steele during Trump’s presidency;

·         four days prior to Harding’s “bombshell”, Guardian contributor Charles Kaiser tried to rehabilitate at least part of Steele’s “dirty dossier”, alleging that Trump aide Carter Page may have struck a lucrative deal with Russia’s Rosneft, something that wasn’t confirmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The fact that Steele’s story is being kept alive in the British media would seem to indicate that the UK establishment is still backing Steele’s anti-Trump/anti-Russia disinformation campaign, the security analyst believes.

If the “Kremlin documents” were indeed deliberately planted by the UK intelligence elements to target Trump’s potential 2024 election bid as well as US-Russia relations under Biden, this is “an extremely important and dangerous situation”, according to Sleboda.

“It would mean that the British government and/or intelligence have repeatedly conducted active measures to manipulate and interfere in both US domestic elections and foreign policy, destabilising the US political system domestically and putting the entire world at risk by deliberately increasing tensions between the world’s two foremost nuclear armed powers”, he says. “There will likely be no investigation or accountability into this latest Guardian piece of disinformation about Russia in the Western MSM but there most certainly should and desperately needs to be one”.

July 22, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Keir Starmer Is Self-Isolating Now. I Call Bullshit

By Richie Allen | July 21, 2021

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has gone home to self-isolate this afternoon. The media has been told that one of his children has tested positive for covid.

According to the BBC:

A statement from his office said one of his children tested positive at lunchtime, but Sir Keir was doing daily tests and tested negative this morning.

Sir Keir was in the House of Commons for PMQs earlier. The PM and chancellor are also self-isolating after contact with the health secretary who tested positive.

This is the fourth time Sir Keir has had to self-isolate since the pandemic began. His spokesman said his family will also be self-isolating.

I’ve no proof whatsoever, but I call bullshit. The media has spent much of the past 48 hours discussing the NHS app and “pingdemic.” Millions of people have been pinged by the app and told to go home and isolate. It’s led to total chaos.

Business owners are tearing their hair out as staff shortages threaten the post-lockdown economic bounce. There are widespread reports that millions of younger people are deleting the app from their phones. Nobody wants to be forced into isolation, especially at this time of year.

The managers of the scamdemic, the entire political class and the media, are horrified that so many are deleting the wretched app. Maybe Johnson, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Labour leader Keir Starmer have been sent to self-isolate to set an example.

You’d be well within your rights to ask me why. Because chaos is their desired outcome. They want to destroy the economy and cause a shortage of food and other products. They want to bankrupt businesses. They want to bankrupt you. Chaos is the plan.

Ordo Ab Chao. Order out of chaos. All roads lead to The World Economic Forum’s Great Reset. The people will only accept it when their worlds are turned upside-down.

The public is being manipulated 24/7 by the political class and the media working in tandem. They want you in a perpetual state of agitation and confusion. You become even more suggestible while in that low vibrational state.

There’s no covid now. There’s no threat if there ever was one. People should not be taking instructions from their phones to drop everything and rush home to isolate. It’s tyranny. People seem to be wising up to it and ditching the app. It’s about bloody time.

How convenient then, that the PM and the leader of the opposition party should be pinged and sent home, while at the same time the media is attacking anyone who suggests it’s time to move on and get on with our lives.

July 21, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

The BBC vs Donald Trump

By Freddie Attenborough | The Daily Sceptic | July 19, 2021

In March 2021, the BBC reported that one of their investigative teams had, “Been tracking the human toll of coronavirus misinformation”. During this investigation they claimed to have found links to “assaults, arsons and deaths”. Worryingly, experts also told them that, “The potential for indirect harm caused by rumours, conspiracy theories and bad health information could be much worse”. Sounds like an interesting investigation, doesn’t it? Public service output at its finest, you might think. Just the kind of article we’d all like to read.

Alas. Not quite.

The problem with the BBC is that it simply can’t help itself. Having teed an ostensibly interesting story up in this open, investigatory journalistic type of way, its authors then proceed to devote a good-ish chunk of what follows to that most favourite of all BBC pastimes, namely, implicating Donald Trump in the act of mass murder. As with the butterfly so beloved of chaos theory (you know the one: that little blighter who’s always flapping his wings and causing  tsunamis to crash into the coast of Bangladesh) no sooner have the BBC shown us Trump tweeting about the FDA’s preliminary research into hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against Covid than the magic of non-deterministic linear physics kicks in and people all over Nigeria and Vietnam suddenly start mopping up the old bleach-based products like vacuum cleaners.

In the end, then, the only interesting thing about this article is the way it reminds us just how little time and attention the BBC have paid to exploring the link that surely must exist between Covid ‘misinformation’ (as they themselves insist on calling it) and the huge rise in cases of psychosomatic disorder – health anxiety in particular – that we’ve witnessed in the UK since the dawn of the Age of Lockdown (2020-present). Let me explain what I mean.

And to do so, let me start by asking a question: what might disinformation likely to precipitate new, or to heighten existing, levels of anxiety amongst those suffering from psychosomatic disorders look like? How, in other words, might we define such a thing? Well, perhaps we might say that it would be information that unduly exaggerated the risks associated with Covid. Perhaps we might go further and say that it would represent the risks associated with Covid in a highly misleading and/or a sensationalist way. Come to think of it, perhaps we might end up concluding that it would look rather like the BBC’s recent article, ‘Long COVID funding to unearth new treatments.’ Below is the thumbnail picture accompanying the piece.

As you can see, it depicts two masked patients, chaperoned by two masked nurses, who look unmistakably like they’re having to learn how to walk again. (And by the way, anyone who’s going to counter that it could just as plausibly be a depiction of two patients being tested for, say, oxygen carrying capacity or pulse rate during recovery from a respiratory illness like Covid would need to explain to me why it is that neither patient is shown to be wearing any tracking/monitoring equipment, and, in addition, why neither nurse is shown to be holding/studying any data monitors). The male patient in the foreground of the image looks particularly unsteady on his feet, relying heavily on the metal frame surrounding him for bodily support. One of the masked nurses stands next to him, watching his legs and feet intently, presumably scanning for any warning signs of imminent collapse or a stumble. Her right arm is stretching out towards him, and no doubt a guiding/supportive hand is resting on the patient’s shoulder. Just behind the male patient, you can also see the lower half of the wheelchair in which he will have been brought from his hospital ward and into this rehabilitation class.

But if that’s what it shows, then what kind of patient might actually need rehabilitation of this kind; rehabilitation, that is, in which patients are having to learn how to walk again? It’s the type of thing that you’d imagine is normally reserved for patients needing post-surgery rehabilitation; patients who’ve suffered spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders, car-crashes, amputations and the like. That’s big league, serious stuff. We’re essentially talking about a type of rehabilitative treatment for people who’re on the cusp of, or who’re already suffering from, life-changing injuries/illnesses.

So is this the type of treatment that people suffering from Long Covid are likely to need? I ask because as we’ve already established, it’s the type of treatment that’s depicted in the image the BBC have attached to an article entitled, “Long Covid funding to unearth new treatments” the first paragraph of which reads: “Thousands of people with ‘long Covid’ could benefit from the funding of 15 new studies of the condition, its causes and potential treatments”. To help us on the way towards answering this question, here’s what the NHS guide to the symptoms currently associated with ‘Long Covid’ has to say for itself:

Common Long Covid symptoms include:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration (‘brain fog’)
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • joint pain
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

Now I’m no doctor, admittedly, but I’m not entirely satisfied that a programme of rehabilitative walking usually reserved for wheelchair bound patients in post-surgery recovery is going to prove particularly efficacious when it comes to the treatment of long Covid patients with earache, diarrhoea and changes of smell or taste. In fact, I’m not satisfied at all.

Indeed it rather seems to me that the BBC’s choice of image, when considered as an accompaniment to this particular article, might justifiably be described as misinformation; that is, as information that unduly exaggerates the risks associated with long Covid in a highly misleading or a sensationalist way.

By the way, do you like my definition of misinformation? Thanks. Perhaps it might interest you, then, to know it’s culled from the BBC’s own editorial guidelines. Specifically, therein we find “Section 3, Accuracy”, and, more particularly, “Sub-section 3.3.24”, which states that, “Reconstructions [which this image undeniably is] are when events are quite explicitly re-staged”, and that in order to abide by the BBC’s editorial guidelines, “They should normally be based on a substantial and verifiable body of evidence… [and they] should not overdramatise in a misleading or sensationalist way”.

On this basis, then, is it not the case that the BBC’s own reality-check team, that bastion of fairness and impartiality in a world gone wrong, should hold the organisation to account for spreading long Covid misinformation? Is it not an article that exaggerates and sensationalises the effects of long Covid? Further, is it not likely to generate additional, or indeed to heighten existing cases of, psychosomatic health disorders in the U.K.?

I guess if you’re the type of person who’s already suffering from heightened worry about your health, about lockdown, about physical contact with others, about viruses, about disease; I guess if you surf the web but never really read anything carefully; if you scan the thumbnails on the BBC’s news homepage but never click through to the articles; if you look at an article’s opening image and then only scan the first two or three paragraphs of text thereafter… then I guess, absolutely, it might indeed be considered ‘misinformation.’

“But isn’t this all just a little pedantic?” I hear you ask. “A bit nit-picky?” Oh, absolutely. And doesn’t it feel good to be playing the BBC at their own game for a change. So good, in fact, that you really must forgive me. I’m enjoying myself so much that I’m going to continue to be pedantic for a little while yet.

Because you see I guess, too, that if you’re prone to experiencing psychosomatic disorders of one kind of another, if you’re already well-known to your local GP surgery and A&E, then it might panic you quite a bit to think that the image the BBC have chosen to use here depicts a fate that might lie in store for you too if you ever contracted Covid and then experienced Long Covid. I guess too that if you’re that way inclined, then you might even feel you needed to take the vaccine, any vaccine, right this minute, no questions asked, jab jab jab, please, put it in me doctor, oh God, put it in me… and to hell with any kind of informed consent.

Jabbed or not, if you’re that way inclined then I guess you might nevertheless see that picture, that image of the Long Covid patient struggling to walk in the BBC’s article, and then, at some point later, get around to thinking that you’re experiencing the symptoms of Long Covid, that you’re really ill, that you’re dying, that you’re in need of immediate and very urgent medical attention, that you’ve got to go to A&E immediately because you might end up in a wheelchair unable to walk; I guess, too, that you might see that picture and then end up yo-yo-ing in and out of the healthcare system for the rest of your life, costing the taxpayer money, wasting valuable medical time, worrying that there’s a direct line of causality that “the science” has established between you coughing, you sneezing and you ending up in hospital needing a wheelchair to get you to your rehabilitative walking therapy sessions.

It’s strange, isn’t it? I mean, the BBC is normally so keen, so eager, to castigate others for disseminating what they’ve decreed to be Covid misinformation capable of causing or exacerbating existing physical disorders. Yet in the case of psychosomatic disorders – i.e. panic, hyperventilating, health anxiety, generalised anxiety, hypertension, depression, chills, gastrointestinal disturbances – they’re curiously reluctant to take up those same sanctimonious ‘fact-checking’ cudgels.

It’s a reluctance that matters, though, isn’t it? The sad and unfortunate thing about psychosomatic disorders is that those suffering from them are more likely than almost any other group in society to place unnecessary pressure on the NHS. After all, if you’re worried that you’re seriously unwell and/or in imminent danger of dying, where’s the first place you’re going to go? That’s right: a primary or secondary healthcare provider. The problem, of course, is that people who suffer from those types of disorders are neither seriously ill nor in imminent danger of dying. What they ‘are’ is suffering from severe anxiety. That’s not nothing, of course; but it’s hardly first responder or A&E type stuff, is it?

That this might constitute a problem during a global pandemic of a mild respiratory illness in which we’ve all been told to put our lives, businesses, careers on hold because the NHS is under massive existential pressure, seems obvious. If the NHS is already clogged up with respiratory tract illness and you then go and add a whole bunch of psychosomatic patients to the mix… well, you’ve got a problem, haven’t you? You’d think the BBC would care about that sort of thing, particularly given the pious, reverent tone it normally adopts when it’s representing the NHS. You’d think they’d want to provide balanced, calm, rational reportage of what was going on; reportage that was clear about the extremely low risk Covid poses to the vast majority of people in this country.

I wonder. Could it be that if we were to widen the scope of the concept of ‘misinformation’ to include not only information capable of causing physical harm, but also that likely to cause psychosomatic harm, we’d be forced to conclude that the BBC, with all its Covid exaggerations, its hyperbole, its uncritical, unreflexive treatment of “the science” handed down to it by SAGE, its failure to hold the Government to account, to approach statistics sceptically, to put case numbers into perspective, its obsession with filming death porn reports from inside hospitals (etc etc)… if we were to consider all of that as misinformation too, might we not end up concluding that the BBC has done as much damage to the psychological health and wellbeing of the nation it purports to inform, educate and entertain as Donald Trump ever did with his tweety-tweety chit-chat about preliminary research into hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against Covid? I wonder indeed.

Dr Freddie Attenborough is a former academic. You can see his substack account here.

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 2 Comments

RUSSIAGATE: Luke Harding’s Hard Sell

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | July 17, 2021

Luke Harding of The Guardian on Thursday came out with a new story that looks at first glance like an attempt to rescue the Russiagate story and the reputations of Harding and U.S. intelligence.

The headline reads, “Kremlin papers appear to show Putin’s plot to put Trump in White House” with the subhead: “Exclusive: Documents suggest Russia launched secret multi-agency effort to interfere in US democracy.”

Harding’s report says that during a Jan. 22, 2016 closed session of the Russian national security council, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian spies to back a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump for the White House to “help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them ‘social turmoil’ in the US.”

“Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature,” Harding writes. “A report prepared by Putin’s expert department recommended Moscow use ‘all possible force’ to ensure a Trump victory.”

The article, starting with the headline, is littered with the use of qualifiers such as “appears,” “suggests,” “apparent,” and “seems.” Such qualifiers tell the reader that even the newspaper is not sure whether to believe its own story.

Quoting from what he says is an authentic document marked “secret,” Harding writes that there is “apparent confirmation” that the Kremlin had dirt on Trump it could use to blackmail him, gathered during earlier Trump “‘non-official visits to Russian Federation territory.’”

This would seem to confirm a central part of the so-called Steele dossier, which Harding hawked in his bestselling book Collusion.

Harding’s newest story though says nothing about the involvement of Trump operatives with this Kremlin plot, as that was unfounded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Harding also suggests that the documents that came into his possession provides evidence of a Russian hack of Democratic National Committee computers.

Harding at the Nordic Media Festival, 2018. (Thor Brødreskift / Nordiske Mediedager/ Wikimedia Commons)

He writes:

“After the meeting, according to a separate leaked document, Putin issued a decree setting up a new and secret interdepartmental commission. Its urgent task was to realise the goals set out in the ‘special part’ of document No 32-04 \ vd. …

The defence minister was instructed to coordinate the work of subdivisions and services. [Sergei] Shoigu was also responsible for collecting and systematising necessary information and for “preparing measures to act on the information environment of the object” – a command, it seems, to hack sensitive American cyber-targets identified by the SVR. …

The papers appear to set out a route map for what actually happened in 2016.

A matter of weeks after the security council meeting, GRU hackers raided the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and subsequently released thousands of private emails in an attempt to hurt Clinton’s election campaign.”

These documents would perfectly confirm the story put out by U.S. intelligence and an eager Democratic media: that Russia’s defense intelligence agency GRU hacked the DNC and Russia leaked DNC emails to damage Hillary Clinton.

Except that Shawn Henry, the head of the company CrowdStrike hired by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign (while keeping the FBI away) to examine the DNC servers declared under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that no evidence of a hack was discovered. “It appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left,” Henry told the committee.

WikiLeaks, which Harding doesn’t mention, has also denied getting the DNC material from Russia that Harding says was released by Moscow. And Harding ignores the true contents of the emails.

Dmitri Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told The Guardian the story was “great pulp fiction.”

Let’s look at the motives of the players involved in this story.

Harding’s Motives

Henry’s denial of a hack and Mueller’s inability to prove Collusion, embarrassed Harding after he staked his reputation on his bestseller of that name. The book is essentially the story of Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 agent, who was paid by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to come up with opposition research against Trump.

Harding, like the Democratic media establishment, mistook opposition research, a mix of fact and fiction to smear a political opponent, for an intelligence document paid for by taxpayers, presumably in the interests of protecting the country rather than a political candidate. Of course, the FBI and the CIA sold it to the media as such to undermine the other candidate.

Harding has had a major omelet on his face after the Russiagate tale was ultimately exposed as opposition research paid for by the Democrats, who elevated it to a new Pearl Harbor.

Now I will engage in qualifiers here but it seems Harding is desperate to find anything that might rescue the story and his reputation. That’s a vulnerable position to be in, easily exploited by intelligence operatives, the way he was exploited with the original story.

An earlier attempt by Harding at rescuing himself was the disastrous piece he wrote for The Guardian that Paul Manafort, briefly Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, had visited Julian Assange at the Ecuador Embassy in London. It blew up in Harding’s face though his paper has never pulled the story.

U.S. Intelligence Motives

Members of the U.S. intelligence community were staring at possible prosecution in the investigation run by U.S. Attorney John Durham for their role in pushing the opposition research as truth, leading, among other things, to a doctored FBI report to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor a Trump campaign worker.

The Steele dossier became the basis for other shenanigans by U.S. intelligence. Though in the end there were no indictments, the reputation of especially the FBI took a hit.

Leaking a story now that it was all true, after all, might do wonders to restore its standing among wide sections of the U.S. public who lost faith in the bureau over Russiagate.

A Kremlin Leakers’ Motives

Harding writes in a cryptic way about how he got hold of these materials. He says the story is based on “what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.” As they were marked “secret,” and supposedly came from Putin’s innermost circle, as Harding says, it stands to reason that few people in the Russian government would have had access to them outside of that circle.

We are being asked to believe that someone closest to Putin leaked these documents either directly to Harding or to U.S. or British intelligence who then passed it on to Harding. (Harding calling it a leak would rule out that they were obtained through a Western intelligence hack.)

It can’t be dismissed that U.S. intelligence may have an active mole inside the Kremlin. But one must ask would that mole — if he or she exists — risk their freedom by leaking documents that have absolutely no current strategic or even political significance, rather than, say, classified information about Russian troop movements and military intentions?

The only interests this leak serves — if it was a leak — are those of Harding and U.S. intelligence, who were hung out to dry by the collapse of the Russiagate narrative.

Evaluating the Story

Harding is clearly reporting from Russian-language documents, snapshots of which are reproduced in The Guardian article. He writes that these documents were shown to “independent experts” who said they “appear” to be “genuine.” Harding does not reveal who these experts are.

To evaluate the credibility of Harding’s story would require knowing how he got the documents, not the names of the person or persons who gave them to him, but the interests they represent. He is especially vague about this.

Harding writes:

“Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin.”

If they were handed to Harding by U.S. or British intelligence who had them for months, the idea that these are the products of spycraft cannot be dismissed. Crafting what looks like classified evidence from an adversarial power and then leaking it to friendly press has long been in the arsenal of intelligence agencies the world over.

It is unlikely we will ever know how Harding came into possession of these documents or who the experts are who said they “seem” genuine.

But the purpose of this piece may have already been achieved.


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Mystery of the ‘magnetic vaccines’

By Sally Beck | The Conservative Woman | July 19, 2021

FACT checkers at the BBC, Reuters and Snopes have been busy debunking the Covid vaccine ‘magnet challenge’. Social media including TikTok, Facebook and Instagram have been awash with videos showing people with magnets sticking to the exact spot on their arms where they had received a Covid jab. See some independently verified examples here. 

All three companies went to great lengths to explain why a magnet cannot possibly cling to your skin, without experimenting on a single vaccinated person to see what would happen.

BBC fact checker Jack Goodman spoke to many who said the magnet challenge worked for them and ‘were genuinely curious as to why’. He didn’t provide them with answers; instead he focused on one TikTok prankster called Emily who admitted she’d licked a magnet as a joke and stuck it to her arm.

It has been left to independent associations, doctors and journalists to test the phenomenon. Not On The Beeb founder and award-winning director Mark Playne tracked down a woman called Lorraine whose Instagram post of a magnet sticking to the Pfizer vaccine site on her left arm went viral. The fact checkers said the video was a fake but none of them bothered to visit her and test for themselves.

Playne told me: ‘Lorraine’s son Carl demonstrated the spot of magnetism on his mother. Even though I was inches away, I asked Carl to take the camera so I could try for myself. Feeling a magnet being tugged out of your hand, by a subtle yet defined magnetic force from under the skin of a living human being, is quite a shock.

‘Sensing the magnet being repelled and trying to flip so that the correct polarity was in contact with the skin was mind-blowing.’

A group called the European Forum for Vaccine Vigilance (EFVV) representing 25 European countries, took the magnet challenge to the Belle-Étoile shopping centre in Strassen, Luxembourg. The organisation represents over 100,000 medical professionals and scientists, from pro-vaccine choice groups, who are fighting for the 258 million people in Europe who have no freedom of choice when it comes to vaccination.

EFVV randomly interviewed 30 vaccinated and 30 unvaccinated people between June 1 and June 5. There were 15 men and 15 women in each group.

Their published report says: ‘In the non-vaccinated group, the number of people showing attraction to the magnet was zero. In the vaccinated group, 29 of the 30 individuals showed attraction to the magnet. The magnet adhered to their skin without difficulty.

‘Two individuals, a nurse who was one of the first to be vaccinated, and a financial analyst, showed abnormal electric field emission. It seems that people who were vaccinated earlier are more electromagnetic than people who were vaccinated more recently. The magnet adheres faster and holds better than in freshly vaccinated people.’

Some participants were shocked and upset at the results. EFVV said: ‘It was an extremely disorienting experiment for some. One lady cried and said that she had not wanted to be vaccinated but was forced to by her employer because she was in contact with customers.’

The obvious questions are: what is in the vaccine to cause magnetic pull and what are the consequences for the magnetised?

A former GP who prefers to remain anonymous hypothesises, and she stresses that it is a hypothesis, that graphene oxide, a synthetic form of carbon which is being studied as a vaccine delivery method, is the culprit. Graphene oxide is magnetic.

Dr T said: ‘They want to say it is crazy for us to consider that such a thing could be in the vaccinations and yet the literature points to research being exactly in this area for years. And we have magnetic people after vaccination.’

None of the Covid vaccines used in the UK (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna) lists graphene oxide as an ingredient and all three companies deny its inclusion. So far, independent researchers have not managed to obtain empty vaccine vials for analysis, although international lawyer Reiner Fuellmich, whose Coronavirus Investigative Committee Corona Committee Foundation (corona-ausschuss.de) is gathering evidence surrounding the pandemic response, says some vials they have tested contain graphene oxide while others do not.

Chemical engineering researchers from Monash University, Melbourne, have studied whether superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) could improve the efficiency of vaccine gene delivery, and Chinese scientists have studied graphene oxide for the same purpose.

The Graphene Flagship Project, a collaboration of 150 academic and research groups in 20 countries, is studying the safety of graphene oxide for many uses, including vaccines. The tests began in 2013 in the lab, and in animals, and are ongoing. The researchers warn that ‘there needs to be sound, science-based assessment of the potential impact on human health’ after they found it settled in the lungs, causing asbestosis-like illness. It also settled in the liver, caused cell death, mitochondrial dysfunction, changed the diversity in the gut and caused blood clots in mice after 15 minutes. We know that one of the few adverse reactions that has been accepted by the establishment are blood clots that can form in the brain and body, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Last week AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson both announced they are studying their vaccines to see whether they can be modified to reduce blood clots.

Dr T, who has tested the magnet challenge on vaccine recipients herself, believes that graphene oxide is in the vaccine, and that it crosses the blood/brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is there to protect the brain from toxins, but scientists have been trying to breach it to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They discovered that polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is in the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA covid vaccines, can cross it and so can polysorbate 80, which is in the AstraZeneca vaccine. Both substances could allow graphene oxide through too.

Dr T thinks graphene oxide could be the ingredient affecting the 12 cranial nerves emerging from the mid-line structure in the brain and the brain stem. These nerves govern our mood, heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, sight, taste, pain, touch, hearing, balance, muscles inside the major organs, neck muscles and speech.

She said that damaged cranial nerves could account for the many serious neurological and physical adverse reactions reported to the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the government body responsible for regulating all medicines in the UK.

The Yellow Card Scheme to July 9 shows 100,564 reports of headache and 9,649 of migraine. Eye disorders are 16,980 with blindness at 327. Psychiatric disorders stand at 20,856 and hallucinations at 1,183. Facial paralysis, including Bell’s Palsy, are 1,310, nervous system disorders 212,708, strokes and haemorrhages 2,207, Guillain-Barré syndrome 377, tremors 10,565 and dizziness 30,715. Pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, seizures, paralysis, nosebleeds, all types of haemorrhage, vertigo, and tinnitus account for another 23,907 reactions. That’s on top of the 1,440 reported deaths.

Maddie de Garay, 12, from Cincinnati, Ohio, who took part in Pfizer’s vaccine trial for 12-15-year-olds, suffered a serious adverse reaction with neurological and physical symptoms that include seizures, loss of bladder control, loss of memory and heavy menstrual cycles. She is now in a wheelchair and she is fed through a tube.

Dr T said: ‘Maddie’s mum Stephanie said her symptoms worsened after she received an MRI scan. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. If there are magnetic nanoparticles in the vaccine, and someone has an MRI those microscopic particles will be attracted to the scanner – it’s the biggest magnet you can get. They will act like shrapnel, ripping through the brain, damaging everything in their path.’

If patients who believe they are vaccine-damaged experience worsening symptoms post MRI, that should surely be a red flag for doctors?

July 18, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rotten To The Core

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT | JULY 18, 2021

There has been a longstanding concern about blatant bias at the BBC, not least in matters of climate change. This certainly dates back at least to January 2006, when they held a seminar of “top scientific experts” to advise them on climate change. The BBC fought tooth and nail to conceal the identity of these experts, but it was subsequently discovered that they were not experts at all, but the usual collection of green lobbyists.

Ever since, the BBC’s coverage of global warming has been woefully one sided and at times inaccurate,

This year they have been publishing a monthly feature, Then and Now, purportedly showing how climate has been changing in a warming world.

One article looked at the recent drought in California, while another claimed that the Victoria Falls had dried up. Both implied that climate change was to blame, with the usual weasel words that while one weather event cannot be linked to climate change, “scientists” say that such events are likely to get worse with global warming.

However both stories omitted crucial information, which would have shown such claims to be nonsensical and untruthful.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56902340

California, for instance, has had droughts in the 20thC every bit as bad as the current one. Moreover the official data clearly shows megadroughts there were much worse for much of the last thousand years or so. In short, California is a land of drought. The modest amount of warming there since the Little Ice Age has altered nothing.

The BBC claims about the Victoria Falls were even more absurd. For a start, the Falls did not run dry; every dry season lake levels drop. As the Zambian side is at a higher elevation, the Falls there dry up, while continuing at the other end. This happens every year, but the BBC deceitfully misled readers by showing a split image comparing Jan 2019 with Dec 2019. In January every year water levels rise sharply, and Jan 2020 was no exception.

It is certainly true that there was a drought in the region in 2019, and water levels were lower than average. But the Zambesi River Authority say that there have been six occasions since 1914 when water levels were lower, the worst being in 1995.

Just as with California, the BBC have picked on a drought, but ignored all of the data showing that they are both natural events, with no evidence that droughts are getting more severe or common.

This sort of misreporting of the Victoria Falls is of extreme concern to Zambia’s tourist industry and local businesses, who are naturally worried that tourists may stop visiting if they think the Falls are no longer there.

Which brings us to the point of the story. I complained to the BBC that both stories were grossly misleading and omitted crucial information.

Complaints to the BBC go through three stages. The first response appears to be written by the office junior, who tries to fob you off with a few bland statements.

If you are unhappy, you can resubmit the complaint, which usually gets the same response, though dressed up in sciency sounding language.

Finally you can appeal to the Executive Complaints Unit.

As is usually the case, I effectively received the same reply at all three stages, viz:

  1. There was a drought
  2. “Scientists say” climate change is making droughts worse

None of the replies actually addressed my complaint, that the actual data shows droughts are not unusual or getting worse at either location.

The real issue here of course is that the BBC Complaints Dept is all in house, even the ECU. In effect the BBC is marking its own homework.

In theory it is possible to appeal to OFCOM. In practice however they have no obligation to investigate, and would only consider doing so for substantive cases.

Clearly BBC bias will never be addressed until they are subject to a fully independent process, just as the press is.

In the meantime, if Tim Davie is serious about cleaning the stables, he should start by taking his axe to the bloated, fourteen strong Environmental Dept, which is now clearly out of control.

Instances of bias and misinformation, such as these two, are now commonplace in their output, and they seem to believe that they don’t even have to pay lip service to editorial guidelines anymore.

July 18, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Does White House spread misinformation about spreading vaccine misinformation?

By Dr. Ron Brown | Trial Site News | July 17, 2021

Proposed U.S. government censorship of vaccine misinformation, in partnership with Facebook, was announced during a recent White House press conference. White House wants Facebook to censor posts containing ‘COVID-19 misinformation’ | LiveNOW from FOX – YouTube. As people point fingers and accuse each other of censorship and misinformation, I hope to avoid further spreading vaccine misinformation about the White House spreading vaccine misinformation about the public spreading vaccine misinformation. So let’s straighten out this mess by first defining vaccine misinformation. The word truth comes to mind. As long as vaccine information is truthful, it is not misinformation. Furthermore, the whole truth must not leave out information in a way that misleads one to draw untruthful conclusions.

For example, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have a vaccine efficacy, or relative risk reduction, of approximately 95%. But the whole truth is that the mRNA vaccines also have a much lower absolute risk reduction of approximately 1%, which is more meaningful for clinical and public health purposes. Medicina | Free Full-Text | Outcome Reporting Bias in COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Clinical Trials (mdpi.com ).

Most COVID-19 cases also occur in unvaccinated people. But the whole truth is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer counts cases in vaccinated people unless they are hospitalized or die,  potentially undercounting millions of breakthrough infections in people receiving mRNA vaccines with practically no clinical efficacy. CDC’s biased undercount of COVID-19 breakthrough infections (trialsitenews.com). The whole truth also includes the fact that lower socioeconomic groups, having higher susceptibility to COVID-19 before vaccine availability, also have more vaccine hesitancyAP analysis doesn’t prove COVID-19 vaccines prevent deaths (trialsitenews.com ).

Let’s apply the whole truth about COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to the recent White House press conference, in which the spokesperson claimed that the vaccines save lives. Where is the clinical evidence proving this claim? The only causative proof we have of vaccine efficacy are the clinical trials, which demonstrated that vaccine groups had fewer infections with mild symptoms than unvaccinated groups. Death is hardly a mild symptom, and no conclusive estimates of death risk can be drawn from these trials.

Nevertheless, White House misinformation that the COVID-19 vaccines save lives threatens to trample the public’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech by censoring social media. After all, what good are First Amendment rights if you die from COVID-19 because you were convinced by someone’s Facebook blog to forego vaccination? In a statement that carefully avoided mention of misinformation censorship, Facebook boasted that it also saved lives by posting “authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines,” Facebook pushes back against White House criticism, says it’s ‘looking for scapegoats’ | TheHill,

The problem, of course, is that arguments to save lives by censoring misinformation are awash with their own misinformation. Where is the proof that people are dying because they declined vaccination after reading Aunt Millie’s rant against vaccines, posted along with her favorite meatloaf recipes on her homepage? No matter, according to proposed government policy, Aunt Millie must be censored from social media!

July 18, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

Western media use images of PRO-government rally, protest in Miami to illustrate Cuban unrest as Havana warns of ‘soft coup’

The Guardian and a number of other Western news agencies used erroneously captioned photos of a pro-government protest in Havana, Cuba, presenting it as an opposition rally instead.
© TheGuardian.com / screenshot
RT | July 14, 2021

Several Western news outlets have used an erroneously captioned photo showing a pro-government rally in Cuba, deeming it an opposition protest, while CNN opted for an image of a Miami demonstration instead, raising eyebrows.

Captured by Associated Press photographer Eliana Aponte during a demonstration in support of the government in the Cuban capital on Sunday, the photo has made the rounds in the Western corporate press as unrest grips the Caribbean nation. However, multiple outlets have incorrectly described the image as an “anti-government protest,” including the GuardianFox News, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Washington Times and Voice of America. The latter outlet, the US-government funded VOA, committed the error on two separate occasions.

GrayZone journalist Ben Norton and Alan MacLeod of MintPress News were among the first to note the error, sharing screenshots of several examples. MacLeod suggested the outlets may have simply “copied and pasted” the AP’s original photo caption, replicating the error across multiple agencies.

Both journalists pointed out the red-and-black flags hoisted by demonstrators in the photo, which read “26 Julio,” a reference to Fidel Castro’s 26th of July movement. The organization played a major role in the Cuban Revolution and later formed into a political party, with the two-colored flag becoming a common symbol of support for Cuba’s communist government.

Of the six news outlets cited above, only the Guardian had issued a correction at the time of writing, stating that it amended its story because the “original agency caption on the image… incorrectly described them as anti-government protesters. They were actually supporters of the government.”

The AP image is not the only photo to be misrepresented in Western media coverage. On its Instagram page, CNN also strongly implied that another photo showed Cuban protesters, with its caption reading, in part, “Thousands of Cubans protested a lack of food and medicine.” The image in question was taken by an AFP photographer, and a search through the agency’s photo gallery shows the rally was actually held in Miami, Florida. CNN appears to have omitted the first portion of the AFP caption, which made clear the protest was based in the US.

The photo mix-ups in corporate media have been compounded by a wave of false and misleading posts by observers online, with many users sharing photos of gatherings in Egypt, Spain and Argentina while claiming they depict unrest in Cuba – some racking up thousands of shares.

The anti-state protests kicked off in earnest on Sunday, seeing large crowds of demonstrators take to the streets in Havana and elsewhere to demand urgent action on food, medicine and power shortages. The government, however, claims the rallies are fueled by hostile foreign powers, namely Washington, and involve only a small number of ‘counter-revolutionaries’. President Miguel Diaz-Canal said US sanctions were to blame, arguing that Washington’s “policy of economic suffocation” aimed to “provoke social unrest” in Cuba.

Diaz-Canal also alleged that a “campaign against the Cuban revolution” had kicked off on social media platforms, saying they are “drawing on the problems and shortages we are living.” According to internet monitoring firm NetBlocks, Cuba’s state-run web provider ETECSA has moved to restrict access to certain sites and apps since the bout of unrest erupted on Sunday.

The head of the Cuban Communist Party’s ideological department, Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, also claimed that the country is experiencing an attempt at a “color revolution” or a “soft coup,” drawing a comparison to a failed US-backed uprising in Venezuela back in 2019.

Washington, for its part, has offered rhetorical backing to the protesters, with State Department spokesman Ned Price telling reporters on Tuesday that the government is looking at ways to “support the Cuban people,” though he did not elaborate.

Havana has so far offered few details on the number of arrests made or injuries sustained during the protests, though the Cuban Interior Ministry confirmed that the first death occurred during an anti-government action on Monday. Opposition groups, meanwhile, have alleged that a spate of arrests has targeted protesters, journalists and other activists.

July 14, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran Unjustifiably Blamed for Another False Flag Attack?

By Stephen Lendman | July 4, 2021

Unlike repeated US-dominated NATO and Israeli rule of law breaches, Iran fully complies with its international obligations.

Yet time and again it’s falsely accused of things it had nothing to do with, including attacks on Israeli vessels — despite no evidence of its involvement.

In stark contrast, international outlaw Israel attacked Iranian cargo ships numerous times.

In March, the WSJ reported that Israel targeted at least 12 Iranian cargo ships in international waters.

It cyber-attacked its nuclear facilities, accountability for its criminal actions never forthcoming.

On July 3, Lebanese al-Mayadeen television reported the following:

Citing unnamed “reliable sources,” its report said “a fire erupted in an Israeli cargo ship in the northern Indian Ocean,” adding:

“(T)he…merchant ship was hit by an unknown weapon.”

It “was anchored in the port of Jeddah before moving towards the Emirati coast.”

“(N)o one has claimed responsibility for this targeting so far.”

“(T)he incident c(ame) a day after news of an Israeli drone attack west of Tehran.”

On June 23, Iranian media reported a drone attack on a city of Karaj building.

Since its 1979 liberating revolution from US/UK-installed fascist tyranny, US, Western and Israeli regimes have waged forever war on Iran by other means — wanting its government toppled, the nation weakened, partitioned and transformed into a pro-Western vassal state.

Was Saturday’s incident involving a formerly Israeli-owned vessel staged by the Bennett regime as part of its aim to kill the JCPOA nuclear deal — by once again falsely blaming Iran for what no evidence points to its involvement?

Was the incident a joint US/Israeli false flag to blame Iran like many times before unjustifiably?

Israeli political and military dark forces have been pressuring their Biden regime counterparts not to rejoin the landmark agreement as affirmed by Security Council Res. 2231, making it binding international law.

Ideally, they want the deal killed altogether. At minimum, they want it revised to include unacceptable provisions no responsible government would accept.

Saturday’s incident targeted the Liberian-flagged CSAV Tyndall cargo ship.

Haaretz said the vessel was “previously under Israeli ownership,” the attack “causing only mild damage and no casualties.”

Like time and again unjustifiably, Bennett regime officials blamed Iran for what happened, despite no evidence suggesting it.

No Israeli nationals were on board.

Formally owned by London-based Zodiac Maritime Ltd, a company source said the vessel was sold several months earlier.

No one claimed responsibility for the incident. The Jerusalem Post reported the following:

“On Friday, IDF chief of staff Gen. Aviv Kohavi hinted at an Israeli covert operation against Iran at the graduation of the IDF officers course at the Bahad 1 base,” quoting him, saying:

“Anyone who tries to harm the state of Israel (sic) knows that any offensive enemy activity (sic), near or far, will be answered with a significant, overt or covert response.”

The hostile-to-Iran NYT implied its responsibility for the Saturday incident.

Citing no evidence because there is none, it dubiously suggested what happened was “latest tit-for-tat (sic) in a shadowy regional conflict between Israel and Iran,” adding:

The vessel “was believed to have come under assault by an Iranian drone or naval commandos (sic),” citing an unnamed Israeli source with no credibility.

The Times falsely accused Iran of earlier attacks on Israeli-owned ships despite no evidence suggesting it.

On June 1, US intelligence dubiously warned of a possible Iranian attack.

Was it issued ahead of a planned US and/or Israeli false flag on Saturday to once again blame Iran for what it had nothing to do with?

Contact Stephen Lendman at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

July 4, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

U.N. Rejects Its Own Data to Claim ‘Climate Change’ Threatens Mass Starvation in Madagascar

Mainstream Media is Onboard with the Lie

By H. Sterling Burnett | ClimateRealism | June 24, 2021

A recent search of Google News for the term ‘climate change’ turns up a number of stories in the mainstream media promoting the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme saying climate change is causing a drought in Madagascar that threatens more than one million people with starvation.

Linking climate change to a temporary weather event, which this drought is, equates to a false comparison.

Also, the U.N.’s own data show Madagascar has been setting records in recent decades for crop production, so any food supply shortages are due to political or economic factors not declining crop production.

A story titled “Climate change has pushed a million people in Madagascar to the ‘edge of starvation,’ UN says,” by CNN is typical of the mainstream media’s uncritical coverage of the UN’s claims.

Climate change is the driving force of a developing food crisis in southern Madagascar, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) has warned,” writes CNN.

The African island has been plagued with back-to-back droughts — its worst in four decades — which have pushed 1.14 million people ‘right to the very edge of starvation,’ said WFP executive director David Beasley in a news release Wednesday.

The UN and CNN should check their premises and data. History shows back to back droughts are not unprecedented in Madagascar’s history.

Indeed, CNN’s own coverage notes the current drought is the worst in forty years. Forty years ago, during Madagascar’s last major drought, scientists were warning of a coming ice age, not global warming.

Peer-reviewed research shows Madagascar’s large megafauna declined sharply, with many species going extinct during previously extended droughts.

Research indicates Madagascar suffered extended droughts nearly 6,000 and again nearly 1,000 years ago.

A drought, approximately 950 years before the present, triggered a large transformation in vegetation, an increase in wildfires, and a sharp decline in the island’s megafauna.

It may be true that some people in Madagascar face potential starvation, but contrary to UN Food Programme’s claims it can’t be due to more than a very recent decline in food supplies, because data from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization show Madagascar’s food production has set repeated records since 1980, as seen in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Primary crops in Madagascar, all available years. Graph created from the FAO Website. Source

Rice, cassava, and sweet potatoes are three of Madagascar’s staple crops. Each has set multiple records for production over the past few decades. Between 1980 and 2019, the last year for which the FAO has records for Madagascar:

  • Rice production increased by approximately 101 percent.
  • Cassava production grew by slightly more than 73 percent.
  • Sweet potato production increased by more than 198 percent.

The FAO reports Madagascar also saw its fresh vegetable production grow 63 percent between 1980 and 2019.

Madagascar’s current drought is hardly unique and as dire as the present food shortage its people face may be, there is no evidence supposed human-caused climate change is to blame.

Indeed, during the era of global warming, Madagascar’s food production, like food production for the world as a whole, has increased significantly.

Research shows at least part of the recent increase in food production is due to the fertilization effect from increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human fossil fuel use.

In a fervor to link the current drought and associated food shortages to climate change, the UN and CNN forgot a basic fact, weather is not climate and temporary weather conditions, such as back-to-back drought years, don’t necessarily reflect a changing climate.

The UN Food Programme should check its own data before it promotes climate alarm to the media.

Also, media outlets, like CNN, should be more skeptical of alarming climate change-related claims about drought and food production, which readily available data refute.


H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a research fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.

June 28, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 1 Comment