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

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | May 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter & media know this isn’t about mail-in ballots or fraud, but about who gets to define truth; Trump does too

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | May 27, 2020

Twitter opened a new battlefront in the 2020 US election by ‘fact-checking’ posts by President Donald Trump to say he was wrong about voter fraud. That would normally be the end of the story – except nothing about this is normal.

On Tuesday, Twitter took the unprecedented step of posting a link under the two tweets – made by the president on his personal account – listing a bunch of mainstream media articles to assert that “fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud,” and therefore Trump’s opinion about the matter is factually wrong.

The move followed a campaign by mainstream media and Democrats to censor Trump over other tweets, insinuating that the intern for former congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough may not have died accidentally, which culminated in a demand for Twitter to “cleanse the Trump stain” in a New York Times op-ed earlier on Tuesday.

Try as they might, Twitter couldn’t find any violation of their ever-shifting rules to pin on Trump, so they did the next best thing and “fact-checked” him. No doubt, whoever came up with this figured it was a really clever way to appease the outrage mob. Sure, the Trump 2020 campaign would protest the bias – and reveal in the process that they pulled advertisements from Twitter months ago – but they can be brushed off, unlike the chorus of his critics.

Then the White House Press Secretary fired off a thread filled with recent stories about mail-in ballot problems – forms being mailed to the dead or people who’d long since moved away, a Philadelphia judge just convicted for stuffing the ballot box, etc. – clearly showing the Twitter “fact checkers” had some explaining to do.

That should not come as a surprise to anyone. After all, these are the same outlets that have peddled the Russiagate conspiracy theory with impunity for the past four years, and even racked up prestigious awards for the blatantly fraudulent coverage. Mainstream media archives are littered with “bombshells” designed to first prevent Trump’s election, then inauguration, then get him impeached or otherwise removed from office. Every single one turned out to be a dud.

“But Trump lies! Constantly!” scream in unison the people used to being not just gatekeepers of “respectable discourse” but the tone police of Washington, the arbiters of the acceptable, the people who believe their pen shapes the very fabric of reality. People who headline their stories with “what you should know” and “how you should think.”

When challenged, they form ranks and scream they are being unjustly attacked and “delegitimized” – but only if it’s one of their mainstream colleagues called out for their excesses. Anyone else, from Julian Assange to alternative outlets, can rot because the precious First Amendment doesn’t apply to them, supposedly.

CNN had to settle a lawsuit after defaming a teenager from Covington, Kentucky. To avoid a similar fate, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow argued that when she says “literally” that’s not news but humorous hyperbole, essentially dismissing her entire show as fake news.

It’s telling that this very phrase – fake news – has become synonymous with Trump’s criticism of the media, even though it was originally used by Hillary Clinton as an excuse for losing the 2016 election. You know, the election the mainstream media gave her 98 percent chances of winning almost to the very end, and openly endorsed her at the same rate?

If you thought Clinton took that loss hard, though, you clearly haven’t been paying attention to the media. Trump’s victory was an existential crisis for them, the moment their power to dictate the shape of reality itself was exposed as a mirage.

This is why they’ve spent the past four years lobbing Russiagate and other ‘bombshells’ at him. This is why they have led the outrage mobs, not just against Trump or the millions of “deplorables” that voted for him, but also against the social media platforms he used to bypass them in 2016, so he wouldn’t be able to do that again this November. Don’t think for a second any of this is about mail-in ballots, which – much like immigration and other issues – Democrats themselves once used to be against.

When they wrote freedom of speech into the Constitution, America’s founders may not have imagined that a president would be an unlikely champion of it, while the “free press” would be clamoring for censorship to preserve its power. Yet here we are.

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

May 27, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Court rejects OAN suit over MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s claim about ‘Russian propaganda’

‘Rhetorical hyperbole’ and NOT FACT

© Global Look /ZUMA Press /Michael Brochstein
RT | May 23, 2020

A US judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit by One America News Network against MSNBC over Rachel Maddow’s claims that OAN was “literally” Russian propaganda, ruling that her segment was merely “an opinion” and “exaggeration.”

OAN sued the liberal talk show host and MSNBC for defamation, demanding over $10 million in damages, back in September 2019. The lawsuit was based on the July 22 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, where Maddow launched a scathing broadside against the conservative television network, labeling it “the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America” and “really literally paid Russian propaganda.”

In the segment, Maddow cited a story by The Daily Beast’s Kevin Poulsen about OAN’s Kristian Rouz, who has previously contributed to Sputnik as a freelance author. Toeing the general US mainstream line on the Russian media, be it Sputnik or RT, Poulsen branded the Russian news agency “the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet” and said Rouz was once on its “payroll.”

Shortly after MSNBC’s star talent peddled the claim, OAN rejected the allegations as “utterly and completely false.” The outlet, which is owned by the Herring Networks, a small California-based family company, said that it “has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government,” with its only funding coming from the Herring family.

In their bid to win the case, Maddow herself, MSNBC, Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Media did not address the accusation itself – namely, that her claim about OAN was false – but opted to invoke the First Amendment, insisting that the rant should be protected as free speech.

Siding with Maddow, the California district court defined Maddow’s show as a mix of “news and opinions,” concluding that the manner in which the progressive host blurted out the accusations “makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact.”

“The statement constitutes opinion and rhetorical hyperbole protected under the First Amendment.”

The court said that while Maddow “truthfully” related the story by the Daily Beast, the statement about OAN being funded by the Kremlin was her “opinion” and “exaggeration” of the said article.

While the legal trick helped Maddow to get off the hook without ever trying to defend her initial statement, conservative commentators on social media wasted no time in pointing out that dodging a payout to OAN literally meant admitting that Maddow was not, in fact, news.

May 22, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

The Case of General Michael Flynn: The Use of Law as a Political Weapon

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy | May 20, 2020

The audacious corruption of the FBI and the US Department of Justice (sic) is demonstrated by their frame-up of the three-star general, former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump.

US Department of Justice (DOJ) documents that the department was forced to turn over to General Michael Flynn’s attorney reveal that the FBI found no wrongdoing by Flynn in its investigation of him and recommended the investigation be closed. Corrupt FBI official Peter Strzok, a leader of the anti-Trump cabal in the FBI, intervened. Strzok convinced the official managing the investigation not to close the case as it was the wishes of the “7th floor” (top FBI officials) to keep the case open. In the absence of evidence against Flynn, released FBI documents prove that the FBI leadership decided to frame General Flynn. The documents reveal that the FBI’s plan is “to get him (Flynn) to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired. . . . we should try to frame them in a way we want.” General Flynn was forced to incriminate himself with a guilty plea. Otherwise, the corrupt DOJ prosecutors threatened to indict Flynn’s son.

When this proof of egregious government misconduct came to light, the DOJ had no choice but to drop the case against General Flynn. Otherwise it would be clear that law in the US is a weapon in the hands of government. This would mean that control of government would be a life and death matter for the two political parties as it is in Ecuador and Bolivia where incoming presidents arrest or attempt to arrest outgoing presidents.

But we didn’t hear a word about the frame-up of General Flynn from the corrupt presstitutes. On May 7 the editorial board of the New York Times published the largest and most egregious collection of lies in the entire history of the disreputable organization. The editorial— “Don’t Forget, Michael Flynn Pleaded Guillty. Twice.” —claimed the lies coerced from Flynn proved Flynn’s guilt, and that Attorney General William Barr is a “personal fixer for the president” and used the Department of Justice to protect friends and to go after political enemies.

The New York Times has it backwards. Going after political enemies is precisely what the Obama Regime’s concocted case against General Flynn (and Trump) was all about. Remember, it was General Flynn who said on television that it was a “willful decision” of the Obama Regime to send the mercenary jihadists to attack Syria, a decision Obama made in the face of contrary advice by General Flynn, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. When Flynn revealed this, it blew up the fake news story spread by the Obama Regime and the presstitutes that the Obama-supported invasion of Syria by CIA mercenaries was an uprising by Syrian moderates fighting for democracy. Flynn’s blood is blood that the corrupt Obama Regime wanted very badly.

Obama’s role in the frame-up of Flynn and the orchestration of the Russiagate hoax is now coming to light, making the former president nervous. On May 10 the Wall Street Journal editorial board asked if Obama’s nerves are getting in the way of his judgment:

“Barack Obama is a lawyer, so it was stunning to read that he ventured into the Michael Flynn case in a way that misstated the supposed crime and ignored the history of his own Administration in targeting Mr. Flynn. Since the former President chose to offer his legal views when he didn’t need to, we wonder what he’s really worried about.”

The Democrats’ frame-up of General Flynn and their two attempted frame-ups of President Trump show an extraordinary audacity and a corruptly compliant FBI and DOJ. They thought that they could get away with it, and, of course, they had all the help possible from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the presstitute scum for whom lies are the currency of their fake news realm. The presstitutes have made clear that the US media is devoid of integrity.

After high officials such as James Clapper, Susan Rice, Samatha Power, and others repeatedly claimed evidence of Trump and Flynn’s guilt, when under oath their story changed 180 degrees. Here is Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.”

Susan Rice, Obama’s incompetent National Security Adviser, and Samatha Power, Obama’s Russia-baiting ambassador to the UN, along with the rest of the disreputable Obama cabal, have admitted that they saw no specific evidence of any collusion between Trump and Russia. The entire thing was an orchestrated hoax that proves beyond all doubt that the Democrat Party and the US media are corrupt beyond redemption.

When the case against Flynn was dropped as a result of the damning evidence of egregious government misconduct in framing a senior official of the US government, the corrupt prosecutors who had prosecuted the innocent Flynn all resigned in a huff, pretending that it was Barr, not them, who used the Department of Justice for self-interested political purpose.

Two Georgetown University law professors, Kean K. Katyal and Joshua A. Geltzer, totally discredited themselves and the Obama contingent in the DOJ, by alleging in the New York Times that the dropped charge against Flynn has resulted in the “utter demoralization” of “the law enforcement community.” In other words, for these law professors and “the law enforcement community” for which they claim to speak, dropping a case consisting entirely of an orchestrated frame-up, a contrived perjury trap, and threats against family members is demoralizing. The professors are so thoroughly dishonest that they use the lies coerced from Flynn—the price of his “cooperation with the investigation” in order that his son would not also be framed-up—as “evidence” of Flynn’s guilt and proof of the political use of the Justice Department by Trump and Barr in dropping the contrived case.

The frame-up of Flynn is not acknowledged by the law professors as political use of the Justice Department.

Instead the law professors describe the vindication of an innocent man on the basis of undeniable evidence as political use of the Justice Department.

If this is the kind of law Georgetown University teaches, the law school should be promptly shut down.

The question that demands an answer is how do people as corrupt and devoid of integrity as Comey, Mueller, and Strzok get into top FBI positions?

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Washington’s tall tale of Iranian-Al Qaeda alliance based on questionably sourced book ‘The Exile’

A disinformation campaign aimed to justify the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by painting him and Iran as willing enablers of al-Qaeda. The propaganda operation relied heavily on a shoddily sourced book, “The Exile.”

By Gareth Porter | The Grayzone | May 19, 2020

The U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani in January touched off a new wave of disinformation about the top Iranian major general, with Trump administration allies branding him a global terrorist while painting Iran as the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Much of the propaganda about Soleimani related to his alleged responsibility for the killing of American troops in Iraq, along with Iran’s role in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

But a second theme in the disinformation campaign, which has been picked up by mainstream outlets like the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio, was the claim that Soleimani deliberately unleashed al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s campaign to kill Shiites in Iraq. That element of the propaganda offensive was the result of the 2017 publication of “The Exile,” a book by British journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, which spun a new version of the familiar U.S. propaganda line of a supposed Iranian terror alliance with al-Qaeda.

Levy and Scott-Clark introduced the theme of secret collusion between the two open adversaries with an article in the The Sunday Times in early 2018, dramatically entitled “Tehran in devil’s pact to rebuild al‑Qaeda.” Soleimani, they claimed, “first offered sanctuary to bin Laden’s family and al-Qaeda military leaders,” then proceeded to “build them a residential compound at the heart of a military training center in Tehran.”

But those two sentences represented a grotesque distortion of Iran’s policy toward the al-Qaeda personnel fleeing from Afghanistan into Iran. Virtually every piece of concrete evidence, including an internal al-Qaeda document written in 2007, showed that Iran agreed to take in a group of al-Qaeda refugees with legal passports that included members of bin Laden’s family and some fighters and middle- and lower-ranking military cadres – but not Zarqawi and other al-Qaeda military leaders — and only temporarily and under strict rules forbidding political activity.

The crucial fact that Levy and Scott-Clark conveniently failed to mention, moreover, was that Iranian officials were well aware that al-Qaeda’s leadership figures, including military commanders and with their troops, were also slipping into Iran from Afghanistan, but Iranian security forces had not yet located them.

Keeping the legal arrivals under closer surveillance and watching for any contacts with those illegally in the country, therefore, was a prudent policy for Iranian security under the circumstances.

In addition, having bin Laden’s family and other al-Qaeda cadres under their surveillance gave Iran potential bargaining chips it could use to counter hostile actions by both al-Qaeda and the United States.

Al-Qaeda documents undermine narrative of cooperation with Iran

Careful study of the enormous cache of internal al-Qaeda documents released by the U.S. government in 2017 further discredited the tall tale of Iranian facilitation of al-Qaeda terrorism.

Nelly Lahoud, a senior fellow at the New American Foundation and former senior research associate at the West Point Combating Terrorism Center, translated and analyzed 303 of the newly available documents and found nothing indicating Iranian cooperation with, or even knowledge about the whereabouts of Zarqawi or other al-Qaeda military leaders prior to their detentions of April 2003.

Lahoud explained in a September 2018 lecture that all actions by al-Qaeda operatives in Iran had been “conducted in a clandestine manner.” She even discovered from one of the documents that al-Qaeda had considered the clandestine presence of those officials and fighters so dangerous that they had been instructed on how to commit suicide if they were caught by the Iranians.

Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark were well aware that those al-Qaeda operatives living in Tehran’s military training center were under severe constraints, akin to a prison.  Meanwhile, senior figures like Zarqawi and Saif al-Adel, the head of the al-Qaeda shura council, were far away from Tehran, planning new operations in the region amid friendly Sunni contacts. These plans included Zarqawi’s campaign Iraq, which he began organizing in early 2002.

Nevertheless the authors declared, “From [the Iranian training center], al-Qaeda organized, trained and established funding networks with the help of Iran, co-ordinated multiple terrorist atrocities and supported the bloodbath against Shi’ites by al-Qaeda in Iraq….”

Anti-Iran think tanker Sadjadpour jumps on the conspiracy bandwagon

Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a reliable fount of anti-Iran spin, responded within days of the Soleimani assassination with an article in the Wall Street Journal’s right-wing editorial section that reinforced the budding disinformation campaign.

Entitled “The Sinister Genius of Qassem Soleimani,” Sadjadpour’s op-ed argued that in March 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “Soleimani’s Quds Force freed many Sunni jihadists that Iran had been holding captive, unleashing them against the U.S.” He cited “The Exile” as his source.

Levy and Scott-Clark did indeed spin a tale in the book of Zarqawi’s troops — and Zarqawi himself — being rounded up and locked to the same prison as those al-Qaeda members who entered with passports in March 2003. The authors claimed they were released within days. But the only sources they cite to support their claims were two people they interviewed in Amman, Jordan in 2016.

So who were these insider sources? The only identifying characteristics Levy and Scott-Clark offer is that they were “in Zarqawi’s group at the time.” Furthermore, neither of these sources is quoted to substantiate the claim that Zarqawi was arrested and then released from prison, and they are mentioned only in a footnote on the number of Zarqawi’s troops that had been sent to the prison.

Sadjadpour offered his own explanation — without the slightest suggestion of any evidence to support it — of why Soleimani would support an anti-Shiite jihadist to kill his own Iraqi Shiite allies. “By targeting Shiite shrines and civilians, killing thousands of Iran’s fellow Shiites,” he wrote, “Zarqawi helped to radicalize Iraq’s Shiite majority and pushed them closer to Iran—and to Soleimani, who could offer them protection.”

In late January, on National Public Radio’s weekly program “Throughline,” Sadjadpour pushed his dubiously sourced argument, opining that Soleimani had figured out how to “use the al Qaeda jihadists of Zarqawi … to simply unleash them into Iraq with the understanding that you guys do what you do.”

The BBC promotes “The Exile” as the book’s narrative crumbles

In a BBC radio documentary broadcasted in late April, titled “Iran’s Long Game” (an allusion to Iran’s alleged long-term plan for domination of the entire Middle East), Cathy Scott-Clark told a story intended to clinch the case that Iran had helped Zarqawi: Other prisoners “heard conversations in the corridors” in which Iranian authorities allegedly assured Zarqawi, “You can do whatever you want to do … in Iraq.”

That story does not appear in her book, however. Instead, Adrian Levy and Scott-Clark related a comment by Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, a spiritual adviser to bin Laden, on hearing about the arrest and subsequent release of Zarqawi from another prisoner who eavesdropped by tapping the pipes leading into his room.

That narrative had already been definitively contradicted long before, however, in an account provided by Saif al-Adl, the most senior member of the al-Qaeda top leadership in Iran. Al-Adl had fled with Zarqawi from Afghanistan across the border into Iran illegally in late 2001 or early 2002 and was apprehended in April 2003 — weeks after the alleged events portrayed in al-Mauritani’s story.

In a memoir smuggled out of Iran to Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, which Husayn published in 2005 in an Arabic-language book (but available online in an English-language translation), Saif al-Adl described an Iranian crackdown in March 2003 that captured 80 percent of Zarqawi’s fighters and “confused us and aborted 75 percent of our plan”.

Because of that round-up, al-Adl wrote, “[T]here was a need for the departure of Abu-Mus’ab and the brothers who remained free.” Al-Adl described his final meeting with Zarqawi before his departure, confirming that Zarqawi had not been caught prior to his own apprehension on April 23, 2003.

Levy and Scott-Clark cited Saif al-Adl’s memoir on other matters in “The Exile,” but when this writer queried Scott-Clark about al-Adl’s testimony – which contradicted the narrative that underpinned her book – Scott-Clark responded, “I know Fuad Hussein well. Most of his information is third hand and not well sourced.”

She did not address the substance of al-Adl’s recollections about Zarqawi, however. When asked in a follow-up email whether she challenged the authenticity of Saif al-Adl’s testimony, Scott-Clark did not respond.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012.  His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

The Covid Lockdown and CO2

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By Kip Hansen | Watts Up With That? | May 18, 2020

There has been a lot of talk in the press and from talking heads claiming that the Covid lockdown has “reduced emissions” (power plants cutting back on power generations, factories closed, populations ordered to stay home, most airplanes grounded) and talk encouraging that government Covid recovery packages, should support only companies and projects “which decouple economic growth from GHG emissions”. The “Build Back Better” movement.

It is true that emissions from human sources – automobiles, factories, power plants, etc. – have been reduced by the multitude of nations that have sacrificed their economies in the [misguided] belief that doing so “saves lives”.

But the idea that the Worldwide Covid Lockdown has had any effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations is simply not true.

Here is the data, from the world’s most trusted monitor of atmospheric CO2:

Mauna_Loa_May_2020

Despite the dreams of the anti-human element of the Climate Cabal, which seems to have been hoping that the Covid Lockdown would destroy enough of to human society to allow the Radical Greens to dictate the “post-apocalypse recovery plan” — there has been no apocalypse (there has been an economic downturn… by definition, they turned down the economy), the lockdown hasn’t even made a dent, not even a tiny slowdown, in the growth atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

That is, this year, through May, looks precisely like each of the previous four years. You might be asking: “How can that be?” — factories closed, cars off the road, power plants just ticking over…..

[ If you don’t like this chart, try the Daily and Weekly Chart — it shows the same thing. ]

Maybe, just maybe, anthropogenic  emissions just don’t make that big of a contribution to the increase…. Maybe abandoning fossil fuels and all the advantages of modern society isn’t a solution to rising CO2.

Don’t ask me to explain it, I don’t know. But it sure is interesting – even I thought the lockdowns would show up at Mauna Loa.

May 17, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

Iranian Official Denies Rumors about Agreement on Assad’s Resignation

Tasnim | May, 17, 2020

TEHRAN – A senior adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker categorically denied reports about Tehran and Moscow agreeing on the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In a post on his Twitter account, senior adviser to the Iranian parliament speaker for international affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian dismissed as “a big lie” the rumors about a plan for the resignation of Syria’s president.

“Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the legitimate president of Syria and the great leader of the fight against Takfiri terrorism in the Arab world,” he said.

“The rumor of an agreement between Iran and Russia on his (Assad’s) resignation is a big lie and a plot from the American-Zionist media,” the Iranian official added.

“Tehran strongly supports the sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of Syria,” Amir Abdollahian underlined.

His comments came in response to media speculations that Iran, Russia and Turkey may reach a consensus to remove the Syrian president and establish a ceasefire in exchange for forming a transitional government that includes the opposition, members of the Syrian government and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

May 17, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Russia’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic: a busy week

By Gilbert Doctorow | May 15, 2020

This week started with a major presentation by President Putin of Russia’s plans for gradually lessening the strictures of lockdown, restarting the economy and restoring normal life as the epidemic in the country passes stabilization, which was just reached, and enters the ebb phase of contagion, hospitalization and death. The setting was a virtual conference with major players in the government responsible for managing the health crisis. However, since Putin’s lengthy speech which came to 17 typed pages was televised live by all Russian state channels, it could just as easily be called an address to the nation.  The main focus was on the economy and assistance to citizens and to business.

That speech has received little attention in the West and I will come back to it in a follow-up tomorrow, because it tells us a great deal about the guiding principles of Russian governance and its ‘social economy.’

In this essay I deal with the second major appearance by Putin this week dedicated to the coronavirus which took place this afternoon, Friday, 15 May. It also was carried live by all state television channels. It also was nominally remarks made within a virtual intragovernmental conference. And it also was a major policy statement that merits our greatest attention, not only for what it says about Russia, but more importantly for what it says about us, in the West, and how we are badly handling the challenges of the pandemic because of our stubborn and proud disparagement of China.

I listened closely to two of the reports to Putin from the ‘regions’, meaning territories outside Moscow on what is being done right now to handle the growing case load of coronavirus sufferers, and Putin’s comments which may be characterized as ‘programmatic’ insofar as they seek to use the ongoing experience in combatting the coronavirus to deliver, at long last, a substantial rebuilding of medical infrastructure across the country with the help of the military.

The regions reporting were St Petersburg, which is still relatively healthy compared to Moscow but has seen a growing number of infections and hospitalizations in the past few weeks, and Voronezh, which more typically represents the Russian provinces and till now has had a very low level of infection, but is preparing for the worst. In each case the governor read a report of what is being done to build dedicated hospitals for treatment of coronavirus cases both by the local administration and with the help of the Ministry of Defense, represented by the senior officer standing at their side who is overseeing construction of modular hospitals by military personnel and staffed by military doctors.

In Petersburg, which is Russia’s second largest city with a population of approximately 5 million, there are specialized hospitals for light cases with 1,000 beds being completed and specialized hospitals with Intensive Care Units in the size of 200 to 600 beds also reaching completion.  A similar approach is being implemented in Voronezh.

The involvement of the Armed Forces in building some of these hospitals is very significant, because they have developed modular solutions that can be applied uniformly across the vast continent that is Russia.

In a way, these projects are similar to what Moscow did as first mover when it opened the state of the art hospital at the city’s periphery in a district called Kommunard. The logic is to remove the coronavirus patients from the general hospital system. This leaves the general hospitals free to continue to serve their traditional ‘clientele,’ the community of those with other ailments. It focuses training, equipment, medicines in locations where maximum attention can be given to ensuring sanitary conditions that protect medical staff and encourage application of well-rehearsed solutions to the challenges of each patient.

Now where would the Russians have gotten this idea from? It is not hard to imagine. We need only think back at the response of the Chinese authorities following the recognition that the outbreak in Wuhan posed existential questions for the local population, indeed for the nation as a whole if it were not contained and wiped out. We all were stunned at the construction of the first specialized facility to deal with the epidemic in one week!

The Russians are less “Stakhanovite” these days, and the hospital projects mentioned above are being executed on a 6 week schedule. But they are being implemented at the highest technical level. Putin gave the figure 5 million rubles as the cost of one hospital bed in the new units; that comes to $60,000 and in Russia’s price equivalency to the dollar probably represents a US cost double or triple the nominal ruble cost. So they are not skimping, not planning to put the incoming patients on matrasses on the floor as happened in Bergamo, Italy.

We also know from the day’s press, that the Russians are now entering into mass production of the few medicines which the Chinese told them proved to be effective in treating their coronavirus patients. Which ones Putin did not say.

And now I must ask, how does Russia’s borrowing from the Chinese playbook compare to what we see around us in Western Europe and the United States? Here China comes up in the coronavirus story only as a punching bag, the people who ‘kept us in the dark’ about the dangers of this plague, not as providers of solutions and advice from their own first and successful experience snuffing it out.

The question I must pose is this:  are the Russians being especially clever, or are we being especially stupid?

The segregation of coronavirus patients from the general flows of the ailing contrasts dramatically with what has been going on in Belgium, for example. Here about 100 hospitals around the country have been sharing the aggravated cases of coronavirus requiring hospitalization. This population reached about 5,000 at its peak with nearly one third in Intensive Care, of which to two thirds required ventilators. At the peak a couple of weeks ago, the number of patients in the last category came close to the national inventory of ventilators, a bit more than 1,000. Thankfully, the numbers in the past ten days have come down sharply and there are now half the number of hospital beds taken by virus sufferers.

However, at the peak, all of Belgium’s hospitals resembled war zones with extraterritorial suited medics at the entrances. Normal patients did not have to think twice to shun them. Accordingly, even non-elective surgery was being cancelled; chemotherapy patients were staying at home, etc. This is one element of the mortality brought on by the coronavirus that no one has been recording. Moreover, one has to ask about the quality of medical attention when 100 hospitals, mostly without any experience in epidemics, in virology, were being used to treat Covid19 patients. This had to be a contributor to the body bag count that went into official statistics.

Finally, in closing ,a word about body counts.

In the past several days there have been news reports in Western media accusing Russia of under-reporting deaths in the country due to the coronavirus epidemic. In particular, I can point to articles in The New York Times and in the Financial Times.

With respect to the New York Times the piquant title given to one respective article pointing to a “Coronavirus Mystery” – is fully in line with the daily dose of anti-Russian propaganda that this most widely read American newspaper has been carrying on for years now.  A couple of weeks ago the same paper carried an article by one of its veteran science journalists accusing President Putin of using the coronavirus to undermine American science, and medicine in particular. That article was totally baseless, a collection of slanderous fake news.

With respect to the accusation of intentional underreporting of mortality figures in Russia, the New York Times was actually borrowing from the Financial Times, which stated that Russian deaths from the virus may be 70 per cent higher than the official numbers. In both cases, even if the underreporting were true, and this is very debatable, it obscures the fact that both official and unofficial numbers are miniscule compared to the devastation wrought by the virus elsewhere in Europe (Italy, Spain and the UK) or in the USA, where the numbers continue to spike. Russia has either a couple of thousand deaths or something closer to three thousand. Compare that to the official deaths ten times greater in the worst hit European countries having overall populations less than half or a third of Russia’s. So the accusation of 72% underreporting in Russia is a debating point that can easily be shown to be deceptive if not irrelevant.

However, there is a missing element here: context. The whole issue of underreporting Covid19 deaths has been reported on by the Financial Times for a good number of countries, not just Russia. Indeed, their first concern has been to show that the official numbers posted by the UK government, now in the range of 30,000 are a fraction of the actual deaths in the UK (more than 50,000) if one uses not the death certificates case by case but the overall excess of deaths in a given month in 2020 compared to the norm in the given country over the 3 preceding years. The New York Times in its typical cherry picking approach to find what is worst to say about Russia ignores this background of FT reporting.

Why is there underreporting? There are many possible reasons, the chief one is the varying methodology used by the various countries to allocate a given death to the virus.

By curious coincidence this very issue was addressed in today’s press conference on the pandemic by the Belgian Ministry of Public Health. As is widely reported, Belgium has one of the world’s highest rates of mortality from Covid19, very close to the figures in Spain and Italy. This has been reported in the local press and the Ministry today chose to respond. As they noted, Belgium is one of the few countries to report ALL Covid-19 deaths, meaning both those in hospital and those in care homes (mostly old age homes). In Belgium, as in France, deaths have been equally split between these two sets of institutions. Almost no deaths have occurred at home or, as they say, ‘in the community.’ Moreover, deaths are attributed to Covid-19 if the symptoms were there even if no proper test was carried out to confirm this.

In total, Belgium death count today stands close to 9,000 for a general population of 11.8 million.  High, but still substantially lower than the mortality in New York, for example, whichever way you count. And, to put the picture into a less dire context, it is reported that each winter Belgium experiences about 5,000 deaths attributable to the seasonal flu. Of course, the flu does not lay waste to the medical establishment, and there you have the difference that makes the ongoing Russian approach to Covid19 so relevant.

© Gilbert Doctorow 2020

May 15, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 10 Comments

Covid-19: For Western mainstream media, Russia fails even when it succeeds

By Anna Belkina | RT | May 14, 2020

The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded that two of the most prominent foreign newspapers, the New York Times and the Financial Times, retract their stories stating that Russia is concealing the real Covid-19 death toll.

Even if the NYT and FT were correct in their claims, Russia would still be doing far better than the vast majority of large industrialized nations, including the US and UK.

As of the morning of May 14, Russia’s Covid-19 death toll stands at 2,212 out of 242,271 recorded cases, or 0.9 percent. This number is not disputed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which has continuously monitored the situation in the country. To compare, the death rate for the novel coronavirus is six percent in the US, seven percent in Canada, 14 percent in the UK, and 10 percent or more in Italy, Spain, France and Sweden. You know, the so-called civilized countries.

There is not a hint of evidence that the Russian government has covered up the coronavirus toll. Yet, foreign media are skeptical of Russia’s numbers. Perhaps because in their worldview, Russia is not allowed to be anything but a grim and miserable failure at everything. Any fact contradicting this narrative is Kremlin propaganda.

To wit, the UK-based, Japanese-owned Financial Times has analyzed the recent all-cause mortality data coming out of Moscow and Saint Petersburg vis-a-vis the cities’ historical averages. It has concluded that Russia’s actual Covid-19 death toll is around 70 percent higher than the officially reported figures.

Meanwhile, the New York Times – headquartered in the city where nurses had to wear garbage bags for the lack of protective equipment, and where the local government began prospecting parks as possible burial grounds due to the staggering Covid-19 body count of nearly 15,000 – claimed that Russia’s real death toll could be “possibly almost three times higher than the official death toll.”

Here’s what the Times doesn’t tell you: Even if their worst case scenario for Russia were true, the country’s Covid-19 death rate would still be one of the lowest among large industrialized nations. Even having been tripled by the Times’ accounting, the resulting 2.7 percent still would be an impressive healthcare result compared to six percent in the US. It  would still be below Japan’s 4.1 percent and barely above the world’s main coronavirus ‘success story’, South Korea, currently at 2.3 percent. Moscow, a city with 50 percent more residents than NYC, would still have a body count five times lower even if all the extra deaths the Times is writing about were attributed Covid-19.

NB: While there are other large nations with smaller fatality numbers, such as India and Brazil, they are testing their populations at levels lower by a factor of tens, and suffer from weaker healthcare infrastructure overall. Their official recorded Covid-19 deaths therefore are likely not providing an accurate portrayal of the situation on the ground, a concern echoed by the WHO. Russia currently tests at the rate of ~40,000 per 1 million people, or well ahead of the US, UK, Canada, France, Sweden, and other OECD countries, and on par with Germany, Norway, and Switzerland, Europe’s ‘model nations’ in combating the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York Times is not interested in exploring the reasons for Russia’s promising performance, be they grounded in the country’s demographics or familial habitation traditions, legacy healthcare system or innovative scientific approaches, historical experiences with respiratory illnesses or modern infrastructure management.

It buries the lede, brushing aside its own note that “underreporting of fatalities has been observed in many other countries, where subsequent data reveal large upticks in deaths compared to the same period in previous years,” and charts showing Spain and England as countries that display a change in historical mortality trend lines nearly identical to Russia’s.

©  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/11/world/coronavirus-news.html

New York’s own numbers, according to the US Centers for Disease Control “may be thousands of fatalities worse than the tally kept by the city and state.” Moscow’s Department of Health, by the way, has already addressed the questions about the city’s cause-of-death accounting.

Instead, the Times pivots to its favorite bête noire – malevolent Russian propaganda. Their purported 300-percent greater coronavirus death toll in Russia “contrasts sharply with the line peddled by the Kremlin.” The paper does not clarify whether the same historical disparities in Spain and the UK contrast sharply with the line peddled by Madrid or the line peddled by 10 Downing Street. Official information from the naughty countries is always ‘peddled lines’; everyone else gets to plead best intentions and innocent ignorance in perpetuity.

The ‘Kremlin line’ on the coronavirus toll in Russia is supported by international monitoring and discrepancies are accounted for by international practices. The Kremlin’s supposedly concealed ‘massive failure’ would still be kicking the a** of most ‘First World’ nations when it comes to mitigating Covid-19 fatalities. But it would kill the mainstream press to admit as much.

Anna Belkina is RT’s deputy editor in chief and head of communications, marketing and strategic development.

May 15, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

CNN lies about 68% of Americans waiting for vaccine to return to normal life as lockdown gives MSM new lease on life

By Helen Buyniski  | RT | May 12, 2020

Mainstream media is running wild during the US coronavirus lockdown with the kind of distorted “facts” that would normally be ignored but have developed staying power due to pandemic-induced vulnerabilities in its audience.

More than two-thirds of Americans are determined to hide out in their homes until a Covid-19 vaccine comes along. Or so CNN appeared to claim in a Tuesday headline, declaring “68 percent of Americans say a vaccine is needed before returning to normal life.” Citing a Gallup poll, the piece implied that until a vaccine is rolled out for the pandemic that has upended the lives of people around the world, most Americans are content to shelter in place, working from home (if they’re lucky enough to be working at all) and absorbing reality through the mainstream media.

The actual Gallup poll the article cited said no such thing. “Availability of a vaccine to prevent Covid-19” was merely one item on a list of factors that respondents could rate as “very,” “somewhat,” or “not too important” as conditions for returning to their pre-pandemic routines. Indeed, a poll taken the previous week that specifically asked how many respondents would only return to normal if there was a vaccine found just 12 percent of respondents felt they needed the still-hypothetical jab to resume their lives.

More important than a vaccine that is expected to take over a year to come to market in Gallup’s poll were “mandatory quarantine for anyone testing positive with Covid-19” (“very important” for 80 percent of respondents) and “improved medical therapies to treat Covid-19” (“very important” for 77 percent). Even a “significant reduction” in virus-related deaths (73 percent) outstripped the vaccine. Yet this benchmark was used as the headline by CNN.

Sure, the decision could have been motivated by the network’s heavy support by pharmaceutical companies. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called out CNN during a primary debate for taking drug company money in a direct conflict of interest, and vaccine safety advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has claimed 70 percent of ad dollars for news networks come from pharmaceuticals during non-election years.

However, given the abysmal track record of previous efforts to develop a vaccine for other coronaviruses, like SARS, there’s no guarantee a Covid-19 shot will ever come on the market. Instead, it’s more likely CNN’s motive in portraying Americans as willing to hide in their homes for another year in the hope of a pharmaceutical savior that may never come is an opportunistic attempt to prey on the newfound vulnerabilities of a pandemic-panicked population.

Everyone makes mistakes, of course, but CNN and its mainstream media ilk have been making an awful lot of them during the coronavirus pandemic, and they’ve all erred in the direction of presenting the virus as a terrifying killer that threatens all populations who dare peek their heads out of their windows (except for the prescribed hour of clapping, of course). CBS was caught re-using the same footage of an Italian hospital overwhelmed by coronavirus-stricken patients twice to illustrate New York hospitals supposedly buckling under the weight of the epidemic, even after the network was caught the first time and excoriated on social media. A Project Veritas exposé last week implied they hadn’t learned their lesson, claiming the network had allegedly staged a long line of patients waiting for coronavirus testing at a Michigan facility, which CBS was quick to blame. Many outlets continued to predict apocalyptic death numbers for the country long after it was apparent that the early estimates were significantly overblown.

It’s not like there haven’t been plenty of sensational Covid-19 stories in the US, which has long been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Between U-Haul trucks filled with decomposing bodies parked outside a Brooklyn funeral home and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s appalling order mandating contagious Covid-19 patients be admitted to nursing homes where they’d – in his own words – infect the tenants “like fire through dry grass,” tales of suffering inflicted by the virus abound. Covid-19 has contributed to over 81,000 deaths as of Tuesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. But it never seems to be enough – so many of the deaths are in nursing home patients or those with comorbid conditions that the media seems compelled to dig for ever more lurid and shocking narratives.

The Covid-19 lockdowns have given the media establishment something it hasn’t had for years – a captive audience. It isn’t about to let something like that go, even as states begin to loosen restrictions and permit the housebound to return to work. Pre-virus, the media establishment enjoyed near-record low approval ratings, with just 41 percent claiming to trust mainstream outlets in 2019. But in the midst of the uncertainty caused by the virus – which has put over 33 million Americans out of work and disrupted the lives of millions more – the certainty and familiarity those outlets provide has shored up their falling stock. Some 57 percent of respondents to a Pew Research poll conducted last month said cable news was doing an “excellent” or “good” job covering the pandemic, while a whopping 68 percent approved of network television coverage. Given the low ratings they enjoy during business as usual, neither CNN nor any other mainstream outlet is going to risk letting their newly-loyal audience return to reality – not when they can keep them at home waiting for a vaccine for another year. For a media that thrives on fear, the best kind of customer is one who’s glued to the couch, terrified of the virus lurking just outside their door.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

May 13, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Former Obama Official Criticized After Classified Testimony Contradicts Her Public Statements

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By Jonathan Turley | May 11, 2020

The long-delayed release of testimony from the House Intelligence Committee has proved embarrassing for a variety of former Obama officials who have been extensively quoted on the allegedly strong evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign and the Russians. Figures like James Clapper, who is a CNN expert, long indicated that the evidence from the Obama Administration was strong and alarming. However, in testimony, Clapper denied seeing any such evidence. One of the most embarrassing is the testimony of Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama Administration official who was widely quoted in her plea to Congress to gather the evidence that she knew was found in by the Obama Administration. In her testimony under oath Farkas repeatedly stated that she knew of no such evidence of collusion.

Farkas, who served as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, was widely quoted when she said on MSNBC in 2017 that she feared that evidence she knew about would be destroyed by the Trump Administration. She stated:

“was urging my former colleagues, and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill… Get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration, because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people that left. So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy . . . the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more.”

MSNBC never seriously questioned the statements despite the fact that Farkas left the Obama Administration in 2015 before any such investigation could have occurred. As we have seen before, the factual and legal basis for such statements are largely immaterial in the age of echo journalism. The statement fit the narrative even if it lacked any plausible basis.

Not surprisingly, the House Intelligence Committee was eager to have Farkas share all that she stated she “knew about [“the Trump folks”], their staff, the Trump’s staff’s dealing with Russian” and wanted to get “into the open.” After all, she told MSNBC that “I knew that there was more.”

She was finally put under oath in the closed classified sessions and there was nothing but classified crickets. Farkas was repeatedly asked to share that information that electrified the MSNBC hosts and audience. She repeatedly denied any such knowledge, telling then Rep. Trey Gowdy (R, S.C.), “I didn’t know anything.”

Gowdy noted that Farkas left the Obama administration in 2015 and asked “Then how did you know?” She repeated again “I didn’t know anything.”

Gowdy then asked “Well, then why would you say, we knew?”

Gowdy later asked, getting to the point “You also didn’t know whether or not anybody in the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia, did you?”

“I didn’t,” Farkas responded.

MSNBC has said nothing about its prior headline story being untrue. Indeed, the media has barely acknowledged that the new documents reinforce that there was never any evidence of collusion and ultimately the allegations were rejected by the Special Counsel, Congress, and inspectors general.

For her part, Farkas has moved on. She is running for Congress. She is still citing her role in raising “the alarm” about Russian collusion:

“After I left the Obama administration, I campaigned to help elect Secretary Clinton as our next President. When Russians interfered in that election, I was among the first to sound the alarm and urge Congress to take action. And I haven’t let up since then.”

She was indeed one of the first but it proved to be a false alarm based on nonexistent knowledge. Does that matter anymore?

May 11, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 5 Comments

BBC Climate Check – May

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | May 10, 2020

For the second month running, the BBC’s Climate Check has failed to find any bad weather to blame on global warming.

The best they could find was some heavy rain which fell in East Africa in February, leading to the locust swarm. Sadly for the BBC, they were unable to provide any evidence that this had anything at all with climate change. Or that such events had not happened regularly in the past.

This month, therefore, they focussed the video on reduced air pollution as a result of lockdowns. Nothing to do with climate or weather, but a good excuse for a bit of propaganda nevertheless!

The presenter, Ben Rich, reckons that emissions of CO2 could drop by 5%, which of course would mean that about 32 billion tonnes of the stuff would be sent up into the atmosphere.

He tells us scientists say the world would need to cut emissions by 7.5% every year for the next decade, to stay on track for 1.5C.

In other words, the world would need to get annual emissions down to 8 billion tonnes by 2030! Fat chance of that.

He then goes on to look at air quality, with some interesting graphics on nitrogen dioxide at about 1.10 mins. Whilst there is clearly a dip in levels of NO2 over China and Italy, there seems little evidence over northern Europe, unless my eyes are getting dodgy.

But back to the locusts. In flat out BBC disinformation mode, Rich warns of biblical famines, as a result of climate change, conflict and economic struggles. This is a reference to East Africa and the locust swarms.

There is simply no evidence that climate change has had any effect whatsoever, and neither does Rich offer any. He just says it, so “it must be true”.

This is typical of the BBC’s disregard for factual reporting, as far as climate change is concerned.

Just in case viewers have forgotten the reason for this monthly series, Rich ends by reminding us that climate change is still a global concern, and that governments will have to think carefully as they look beyond the lockdowns and consider any trade offs between economic recovery and the possible costs to the environment.

When was it a BBC weatherman’s job to attempt to influence government policy?

May 10, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment