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Putin Paranoia

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | March 31, 2017

Things about America we’ve learned since November.

Our nation, the republic, democracy, our very system of government is more fragile than at any other time in American history. So fragile that everything has, or is in near-immediate danger of, collapsing, after only a two month jog from near-perfect to the edge of dystopia.

The cause of this is Vladimir Putin, who is an evil genius, spymaster, mastermind, brilliant, super criminal, chessmaster, but also a thug and dictator.

Only a few months ago, stuff like this lurked in the dank corners of the Internet, usually web sites that were designed in the 1990s, or on late night talk radio, or on six hour YouTube video rants. These were the same sources who found the Illuminati, Mossad, childhood vaccines, and chemtrails responsible for the impending end of our nation. We called this stuff conspiracy theories and if rational people mentioned them at all, it was as a punchline, with a shake of the head and a muttered “How can people believe this crap?”

Good times. But they are over.

We now live in a media world where what used to be crazy is now mainstream. Today’s example is from Salon, with a piece subtitled “The Soviet Union never attacked America as blatantly as Putin has — and we’re in danger of losing democracy.”

The article gets right to it, announcing this is

… the first time in modern history in which Russia has directly attacked the United States — on American soil no less, and precision-aimed at what matters most: the very integrity of our democratic process.”

How was this done? By hacking our election, hacking being a word that no longer means anything but something something computers I don’t really understand but it’s bad. Like when your mom calls you up and says her laptop was hacked because it lost the wifi link to the printer (just restart it, mom…)

Anyway, how was this hacking done? Social media. Russia ‘bots. Fake news. RT.com which no one watches. The upshot according to Salon ? Millions of Americans

… were manipulated into acting as unwitting foot soldiers for Vladimir Putin’s invasion… Americans were suckered by and acted in accordance with Putin’s plot… [because] Americans are deeply vulnerable to digital manipulation and weaponized social media hoaxes.

More about how stupid our nation is in the face of Putin’s brilliance? Here you go, same article:

The blind acceptance of Russian propaganda, because it happened to include “facts” that some of us were starved to read, is what turned otherwise decent though gullible Americans into Putin’s infantry, virally blitzing the Kremlin’s message through the trenches of the political internet, attacking and converting more voters with zombie lies. Trench by trench, Facebook group by Facebook group, Americans executed Putin’s attacks for him.

And then oh-my-God things really start to fall into place to somehow explain Hillary Clinton’s inexplicable loss:

The hacking of the DNC and Podesta aside, the effort to trick Americans into being recruited as Russian cyber-soldiers began by turning Democrats who supported Bernie Sanders against the predicted front-runner, Hillary Clinton. Using “bots” and human resources, Putin lobbed fake news and ridiculous conspiracy theories into social media. Voters who were predisposed to distrust Clinton willingly shared these stories, poisoning everyone who inexplicably wanted to be poisoned.

Knowing what we know now, it’s no longer a stretch to report that Trump was placed in office by Putin. But it only happened because millions of Americans unknowingly volunteered to serve as enemy combatants, undermining and betraying their own country.

So there it is, laid out in black and white: Americans were duped by Putin into destroying our own democracy by exercising our right to vote in a way Salon doesn’t like. Basically, our precious bodily fluids are at grave risk. Brilliant, evil, but brilliant.

BONUS: So in summary, some substantial number of Americans clearly and truly believe Putin engineered the results of our last election, not by manipulating actual ballot counts, but via influencing social media in a way that influenced some 50% of Americans to vote a certain way. And that the entire universe of factors that went into the election (advertising, endorsements, emails, you choose) did not have as significant an effect as Facebook and RT. And that as a result, the President of the United States is under the direct and immediate control of Putin and has and will continue to purposefully act against the interests of the U.S.

Seriously, that is some whack paranoid sh*t right there.

April 1, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Nagorno-Karabakh and the Passover Feast: Hollywood’s Glorification of the Arms Trade

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David Packouz (L) and Efraim Diveroli
By Richard Edmondson | Fig Trees and Vineyards | April 7, 2016

From Ukraine to North Africa to the Middle East, and most recently in the Caucasus with the outbreak of hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia, death and destruction are on the prowl in multiple wars, while at the same time international laws governing armed conflict are rapidly being cast onto the rubbish heap.

Many of these wars have been instigated by powers outside the countries in which they are being fought, and the tide of violence threatening to engulf the world now is unprecedented in history. You would think that at such a time, Hollywood would have better taste than to make a movie glorifying the arms trade.

But of course, you would be wrong.

Scheduled for release in August, “War Dogs” is based on the real life story of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, two twenty-something Jews who got involved in the arms trade and ended up bidding on Pentagon contracts, in the process scoring deals to supply weapons, ammo, and other military equipment to forces the US was arming in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Their story was told in a 2011 Rolling Stone article which detailed their passion for money-making, recreational drug use, and their predilection for shady business dealings. “Packouz and Diveroli met at Beth Israel Congregation, the largest Orthodox synagogue in Miami Beach,” the story informs us, and then goes on to describe how they landed some lucrative contracts, including one worth $300 million, all while operating a small company known as AEY, a shell company Diveroli’s father had set up. All of this was in the years 2005-2007.

For decades, weapons had been stockpiled in warehouses throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe for the threat of war against the West, but now arms dealers were selling them off to the highest bidder. The Pentagon needed access to this new aftermarket to arm the militias it was creating in Iraq and Afghanistan. The trouble was, it couldn’t go into such a murky underworld on its own. It needed proxies to do its dirty work — companies like AEY. The result was a new era of lawlessness…

One evening, Diveroli picked Packouz up in his Mercedes, and the two headed to a party at a local rabbi’s house, lured by the promise of free booze and pretty girls. Diveroli was excited about a deal he had just completed, a $15 million contract to sell old Russian-manufactured rifles to the Pentagon to supply the Iraqi army. He regaled Packouz with the tale of how he had won the contract, how much money he was making and how much more there was to be made….

Diveroli, by the way, is the nephew of celebrity rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a staunch supporter of Israel and author of several books, including one entitled “Kosher Sex”–a book in which he “breaks down sexual taboos” while  pioneering “a revolutionary approach to sex, marriage, and personal relationships, drawing on traditional Jewish wisdom.” Boteach has also run inflammatory ads in the New York Times defending Israel, and in 2012 was bankrolled by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in an unsuccessful campaign for Congress.

So in other words, while Boteach was doing the TV talk show circuit advising Americans how to improve their sex lives, his nephew Diveroli was finding his niche in the “murkey underworld” of arms trafficking.

Above all, Diveroli cared about the bottom line. “Efraim was a Republican because they started more wars,” Packouz says. “When the United States invaded Iraq, he was thrilled. He said to me, ‘Do I think George Bush did the right thing for the country by invading Iraq? No. But am I happy about it? Absofuckinglutely.’ He hoped we would invade more countries because it was good for business.”

The big $300 million deal they landed found them purchasing stocks of Chinese-made ammunition in the Balkans and transporting them to Afghanistan, but a US embargo against Chinese weapons meant the whole thing had to be carried out clandestinely. The ammo was repackaged in cardboard boxes with no Chinese lettering. But some of the ammo was quite old, a number of the crates were infested with termites, and the two ended up being indicted for fraud and pleading guilty. And now we have a forthcoming Hollywood movie about their endogamic escapades.

It’s tempting to dismiss “War Dogs” as just another piece of Hollywood trash, but of course it comes as millions are coping with the destruction of homes and lives in the bogus war on terror and as whole nations are being torn apart. In Syria, the US has aligned itself with so-called “moderate” rebels, equipping them with vast stocks of weapons, many of which have ended up in the hands of ISIS, while in Yemen, we have assisted Saudi Arabia in an air campaign which, as of January 2016, had resulted in 2,795 killed and 5,324 wounded.  At least 62 civilians were killed by coalition airstrikes in December alone, reports the UN, which was more than twice the number killed in the previous month. Many others have been left homeless.

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A girl drinks from a leaking street pipe in Yemen, where millions now have no access to drinking water

But this hasn’t stopped the US from continuing to fuel the fire, so to speak. According to Defense News, the State Department has facilitated $33 billion worth of weapons sales to its Arab Gulf allies since May of 2015. The weapons–including anti-armor missiles, attack helicopters, and ballistic missile defense capabilities–have been sold to the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC. These would of course be some of the same countries that have been supplying arms to ISIS while also carrying out war crimes in Yemen.

“In addition, the U.S. government and industry also delivered 4,500 precision-guided munitions to the GCC countries in 2015, including 1,500 taken directly from U.S. military stocks — a significant action given our military’s own needs,” said David McKeeby, a spokesman with the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

How much of this ordnance may have ended up in the hands of not-so-moderate terrorists is unclear, but in December of 2015, Amnesty International published a report entitled “Taking Stock: The Arming of the Islamic State,” which found that the terrorist army “now deploys a substantial arsenal of arms and ammunition, designed or manufactured in more than 25 countries.”

A lot of this was looted or captured from poorly secured Iraqi military stocks, says the report, but illicit weapons transactions also seem to have played a considerable role in building up the ISIS arsenal–and some of the “chain of custody” evidence cited in the report, including a cache of weapons transferred from Croatia to the Free Syrian Army, sounds almost eerily similar to the sort of shady weapons trafficking operation run by Packouz and Diveroli.

Of course there is the old adage about art imitating life, and, on some level the fact that Hollywood would make a film about two Jews and then go on to entitle it “War Dogs” is perhaps not surprising. This, keep in mind, coming at a time when evidence of Israel’s support for terrorists in Syria is as clear as the hand in front of your face. And of course who could forget the lovable Victoria Nuland and her famous “f**k-the-EU” comment, mouthed off at a time when her State Department was busy engineering a coup in Ukraine?

In fact, efforts by Zionist Jews to create instability and instigate wars are getting to be about as common as fireflies on a summer night. They’re not always easy to spot, but you know they’re out there because they occasionally involuntarily light up, as when someone like Nuland gets caught in a taped phone conversation.

And now it looks like certain fireflies have moved into the Caucasus where they seem to be taking advantage of a long-simmering dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On April 2, intense fighting broke out followed by a series of charges, counter-charges, claims and counterclaims, made by both sides. According to the Armenians, it started with an offensive launched by Azerbaijani troops using tanks and artillery. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, insists it was responding to large-caliber weapons fire from inside the ethnic Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh area. So who is telling the truth? Or are both sides lying?

Hard to say for sure, but a couple of knowns are worth mentioning: A) Armenia is closely allied with Russia, and, B) Azerbaijan, too, has ties, including trade ties, with Russia, but it also is closely aligned with Turkey and maintains extensive trade relations with Israel. And the trade with Israel has been especially heavy in the area of military procurement.

Israeli drones, anti-aircraft and missile defense systems have been supplied to Azerbaijan in the wake of a $1.6 billion agreement struck between the two countries in 2012. Israeli companies are also active in the Azerbaijani telecommunications, agriculture, water supply medical technology, and energy sectors. That makes for a lot of sayanim on the ground inside a relatively small country.

Perhaps no surprise, then, that Armenian forces shot down an Israeli drone on April 2–the very day hostilities broke out.

The ThunderB drone is known for its light weight, 62 pounds, and its long flying time–25.5 hours–on a single tank of fuel. It is made by an Israeli company known as BlueBird, which reportedly may be about to be purchased by Elbit Systems.

And then on Tuesday came news of yet another Israeli drone spotted over Nagorno-Karabakh–this one believed to be a Harop drone, made by Israeli Aerospace Industries. The Harop is also known as a “suicide drone” in that rather than firing a missile at a target it simply becomes the missile itself, ramming the target and destroying it.

According to Gordon Duff, senior editor at Veterans Today, the key to understanding the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is to recognize “that Azerbaijan is a client state of Israel and the CIA.” He adds that Azerbaijan has as well become “the regional operating center for Google Idea Groups,”  which he refers to as the “shadow CIA.”

Google Ideas was formed in 2010. At that time Google CEO Eric Schmidt tapped the State Department’s Jared Cohen to direct the new venture, dubbed as a “think/do tank.” In late 2015, Google was reorganized under a parent company called Alphabet, Inc., and in February of this year Google Ideas was rebranded as “Jigsaw”–although it is still run by Cohen and still affiliated with Google.

Cohen, by the way, is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and during his years with the State Department (2006-2010) he worked closely with Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, and became a strategic advisor in US policy toward Iran. Jigsaw’s mission is to “use technology to tackle the toughest geopolitical challenges, from countering violent extremism to thwarting online censorship to mitigating the threats associated with digital attacks,” says Schmidt.

Sounds nice, but a purview of Jigsaw’s website–fittingly kind of creepy and dark-looking–suggests that virtually all of the “activists” it has provided support to seem to be from countries with governments the US seeks to overthrow. And indeed, in 2012 Wikileaks released a cache of emails concerning Cohen’s activities in the Middle East, including one, apparently written by Cohen himself, in which he discusses efforts to stir up trouble in Iran:

I wanted to follow-up and get a sense of your latest thinking on the proposed March trip to UAE, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. The purpose of this trip is to exclusively engage the Iranian community to better understand the challenges faced by Iranians as part of one of our Google Ideas groups on repressive societies. Here is what we are thinking: Drive to Azerbaijan/Iranian border and engage the Iranian communities closer to the border (this is important because we need the Azeri Iranian perspective).

So here, it seems, we have Cohen basically setting up shop on the Iran-Azerbaijan border. It should be noted that both Azerbaijan and Armenia border Iran, while Azerbaijan also shares a border with Russia. A conflict breaking out in this region could easily spill over into Russia or Iran–both of which have called for the two warring parties to adhere to a 1994 ceasefire agreement.

But of course, such a spillover would advance certain geopolitical interests. For one thing, it would pose a dilemma for Russia at a time when it is engaged in Syria. Sergei Zheleznyak, vice speaker of the Russian state Duma, has voiced the view that a “third force” is behind developments in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the Russian News Agency Tass :

“It is clear that the force that continues to fan the flames of war in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus dissatisfied with the peacekeeping and counter-terror success of Russia and our allies in Syria is interested in the speedy exacerbation of the protracted conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region,” the parliamentarian wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.

According to Zheleznyak, “neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia essentially need this exacerbation now.” He noted that “there is every likelihood that this provocation has been organized by a third force,” adding that “information on its presence is beginning to leak out.” In view of this, he drew attention to the fact that “at night in the mountains it is enough to have a few trained armed persons who know the opposing sides’ balance of forces to provoke them to open reciprocal ‘reprisal’ fire.”

Most people probably assumed Zheleznyak, in talking about a “third force,” was referring to Turkey–and certainly Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet in Syria factors into the equation. But another element that perhaps figures even more prominently is the “clash of civilizations” that hardcore Zionists have long salivated over the thought of.

We might theorize that ISIS was created with a two-fold objective: one was to break apart Syria and bring about the overthrow of Bashar Assad, while the other was to jockey into existence a clash of civilizations between Christians and Muslims. In both of these objectives it has failed. Assad is still standing, and while the rise of ISIS certainly inflamed anti-Muslim sentiments in the West, it has not resulted in the all-out war between Christianity and Islam that would have played so well into the hands of the Jewish state.

But where the ISIS plan failed, the conflict in the Caucasus could well succeed. Armenia is predominantly a Christian state, while Azerbaijan is mostly Muslim. A war between these two could galvanize public opinion in the region along religious lines. Regional political alignments and the history of the Armenian genocide are also to be considered. Turkey, though sharing a border with Armenia, has openly sided with Azerbaijan. Russia, on the other hand, has remained officially neutral. However, an RT report filed April 5 shows journalist Murad Gazdiev reporting from inside Armenian Karabakh trenches.

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Armenian Genocide–young girls crucified on crosses

So where is Israel in all of this? Officially it doesn’t seem to be saying much about it, but in May of 2015, the Jewish Daily Forward published an article entitled, “Why Israel’s Alliance with Azerbaijan is so Shortsighted.” The writer, Christopher Atamian, takes the Jewish state to task over its refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide as well as for its lucrative arms contract with Azerbaijan, a country he refers to as an “authoritarian regime that is fueling regional conflict.”

“This is the same country that attempted to wipe out the entire Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh in 1991 before losing a bloody war against the Armenians,” he adds.

What he leaves unspoken, of course, is that Israel’s refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide is tantamount to holocaust denial. More than 1.5 million Armenians were massacred from the years 1915 to 1922, and the Jewish state’s silence on the matter became a particularly hot-button issue last year on the genocide’s 100th anniversary.

Zheleznyak, the Duma vice speaker, seems for his own part to be offering sage advice to both parties in the current conflict, noting that Russia’s president as well as its government agencies “urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease fire and not to allow to draw them into someone else’s insidious game, as long as it is still possible.”

“As long as it’s still possible” is of course the key question. The more people die, the further recede the possibilities of the regional players not getting trapped or caught up in the “insidious game”–and the greater  grow the chances of the conflict’s becoming the parabolic curve that ignites World War III.

Should that come to pass, maybe Diveroli and Packouz will vie for ringside seats–although it doesn’t appear they’ll especially want to sit next to each other. According to the article in Rolling Stone, the two had a major falling out.

“Listen, dude, if you f**k me, I’m going to f**k you,” one of them warned during an argument over money.

“Whatever,” replied the other.

One wonders why they didn’t name the movie “War Pigs” rather than “War Dogs.” Perhaps it wouldn’t have been kosher enough.

In the past year in Israel we’ve seen an arson attack on a Palestinian home which left a mother, father and their 18-month-old baby dead; we have seen a video of Jewish settlers dancing and celebrating the attack by stabbing a photo of the baby; we have observed continued expropriation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, including one of the biggest land grabs in recent years–579 acres near the Dead Sea; and more recently we have seen a second video showing an Israeli soldier executing a wounded Palestinian with a gunshot to the head.

The execution video showed Israeli soldier Elior Azaria pump a bullet into the head of 21-year-old Abdul Fattah Sharif, as he lay on the ground wounded and barely moving. The murder took place on Purim, the Jewish holiday which celebrates the massacre of thousands of Gentiles, as told of in the Book of Esther. The next holiday on the Jewish calendar is Passover, coming up on April 22-23. The significance of Passover is laid out in twelfth chapter of Exodus:

On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn–both men and animals–and I will bring judgement on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord–a lasting ordinance… And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’

It seems that both Purim and Passover are in essence celebrations of the deaths of non-Jews. Suppose Gentiles observed holidays each year in which we celebrated Jewish deaths? What do you suppose would be said of it?

Whatever one’s views of Judaism may be (there are some admirable sentiments expressed in the Old Testament as well as some repellent ones), Zionism has morphed from the simple idea of a homeland for a specific group of people into a supremacist ideology that has had appalling consequences–not only for its victims but also even for its adherents, dehumanizing them to a degree never thought imaginable.

Zionism is the great Passover feast that has become a celebration of war.

April 8, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Film Review, Mainstream Media, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Brand Is Impunity: Why is the U.S. Harboring Bolivia’s Most Wanted Fugitive?

New film Our Brand is Crisis doesn’t tell us how a president who authorized the massacre of indigenous Bolivians has lived with impunity in the US for 12 years

By Emily Achtenberg – Rebel Currents – 10/29/2015

Our Brand Is Crisis, a new feature film produced by George Clooney and “inspired by true events,” tells the story of a presidential campaign in a fictional Latin American country that is besieged by social unrest.

In real life, the country is Bolivia, the year was 2002, and the candidate was Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (“Goni”), a deeply unpopular former president who was propelled to victory by the nefarious campaign strategies of prominent U.S. polling and marketing consultants Greenville Carville and Shrum. Goni, a U.S.-educated millionaire mine owner, won the election with only 22% of the popular vote.

What the film doesn’t show is what happened less than a year later. In October 2003, Goni authorized the violent repression of indigenous citizens who were protesting the privatization of Bolivia’s oil and gas reserves, and the proposed export of cheap gas to the U.S. through Chilean ports. The results were 68 dead and 400 injured, including onlookers and children. Most of the violence took place in El Alto, the indigenous city overlooking La Paz that was the epicenter of Bolivia’s “Gas War.”

The massacre sparked a popular uprising that led to Goni’s resignation, followed by a chain of events culminating in the 2005 election of Evo Morales as Bolivia’s first indigenous president. Goni and his defense minister Carlos Sánchez Berzaín fled to the US, where they have lived for 12 years in comfort, relative obscurity, and with full impunity, shielded by successive Republican and Democratic administrations.

Bolivians, though, have not forgotten. This past month, in what has become an annual ritual, families, survivors, and friends of the victims marched in El Alto, together with hundreds of supporters from popular and neighborhood organizations, to commemorate the events of “Black October” and demand that the perpetrators of violence be brought to justice.

Beyond his infamous responsibility for Black October, Goni is equally despised in Bolivia for overseeing a radical neoliberal program of privatization, austerity, and deregulation at the behest of the US government and international financial institutions. While helping to reduce hyperinflation, these free-market reforms also led to rising unemployment, deepening poverty, and transnational corporate control of Bolivia’s economy.

In 2004, after a concerted campaign by the victims’ families and human rights groups, more than two-thirds of the Bolivian Congress—including many members of Goni’s own party—voted to authorize a “trial of responsibility” for the perpetrators of the Black October violence. Seventeen former military and government officials, including Goni and Sánchez Berzaín, were charged with serious human rights crimes, including homicide, torture, and “genocide in the form of a bloody massacre.” Seven have been tried and convicted in Bolivia, receiving prison sentences of 3-15 years in a landmark 2011 case. However, under Bolivian law, those who fled into exile cannot be held legally accountable unless the government succeeds in extraditing them.

The Bolivian government’s initial petition for the extradition of Goni and Sánchez Berzaín, filed in 2008, was rejected by the U.S. State Department in 2012, seemingly because some charges lacked equivalency in U.S. law. A revised request, filed in July 2014, is still pending.

The obstacles to success remain formidable, including Goni’s long-standing dual citizenship, advanced age (85), and, especially, his close ties to powerful US politicians and business tycoons. In addition to his relationship with top Democratic political operatives James Carville, Stan Greenberg, and Bob Shrum (detailed in the original Our Brand is Crisis, an excellent 2005 documentary by Rachel Boynton), Goni was advised in his 2002 campaign by Mark Feierstein, who currently serves as Obama’s Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council. Greg Craig, Goni’s former attorney, coordinated Bill Clinton’s legal defense during his impeachment trial and later became Obama’s White House Counsel.

Last April, Goni was a featured speaker in a lecture series at Mercer University’s Center for Undergraduate Research on Public Policy and Capitalism, financed by the Koch brothers. More than 300 US solidarity activists, academics, and representatives of civil society organizations protested the event in a letter to the university president, requesting that video testimonies offered by the Black October victims’ families also be aired to provide a more balanced perspective.

Underlying the conflict over extradition is the fraught political relationship between Bolivia and the US that has persisted throughout the Morales era, characterized by mutual distrust and a tendency on both sides to exploit ideological differences for domestic political gain. The two countries have not had formal diplomatic relations since 2008, when Morales expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg for suspected consorting with conservative opposition leaders who were actively seeking to destabilize his government—a suspicion subsequently borne out by Wikileaks cable revelations—and the US responded in kind.

In 2013, Morales also expelled USAID for meddling in domestic political affairs, an accusation that gained widespread traction due to the agency’s lack of transparency in funding. A few months later, the grounding of Morales’s presidential jet in Europe when the U.S. suspected that fugitive Edward Snowden might be on board substantially undermined a new “framework agreement” for bilateral relations negotiated by the parties in 2011.

Morales has repeatedly clashed with the U.S. over drug policy. In 2008, he expelled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), symbol of the repressive U.S. War on Drugs, to embark on a new anti-drug trafficking strategy that acknowledges Bolivia’s traditional uses of coca and enlists the powerful coca growers’ unions in regulating their own activity through social control.

Despite a recent United Nations report documenting the success of this policy, in the form of a significant reduction in Bolivia’s coca-growing acreage, the U.S. has continued to “decertify” Bolivia for “failing demonstrably” to curb illegal drug trafficking. This means that the U.S. will likely continue to deny previously-granted trade preferences for Bolivia’s manufacturing exports, an economic sanction that Bolivia deeply resents.  Recent revelations that the US has secretly indicted several top government officials and their associates as a result of a DEA drug sting have reinforced Morales’s suspicions that a vengeful DEA is working to undermine his administration.

Still, with the recent U.S.-Cuba thaw setting a new standard for diplomatic pragmatism in the region, there is good reason to anticipate that U.S.-Bolivia relations will improve. As with Cuba, a primary motivating factor is likely to be the availability of new markets for U.S. businesses in Bolivia, now that, with the end of the commodities boom, the Morales government has stepped up its efforts to attract foreign capital.

Just this past week, Morales showcased investment opportunities in Bolivia’s hydrocarbons, mining, energy, manufacturing, and tourist sectors at a New York City conference, “Investing in the New Bolivia.” The event, sponsored by the London-based Financial Times (FT), drew more than 150 corporate and financial representatives from the U.S .and around the world, with 34 companies (including Seattle-based Boeing) expressing significant interest.

Despite Morales’s warnings that foreign companies must partner with the government and not meddle in domestic politics —important differences from the neoliberal Goni era— Bolivia’s new pro-business climate could go a long way towards countering the recent history of ideological and rhetorical conflict between the two countries. Even so, with Goni’s still powerful bipartisan connections, it’s hard to say whether improved economic and political relations could elevate the status of Bolivia’s extradition request on the bilateral agenda. It’s also unclear whether extradition is still a top priority for the Morales government, or has been superseded by other nationalist causes—such as Bolivia’s demand for the return of its seacoast from Chile—that have gained new political traction.

Meanwhile, a civil suit filed against Goni in 2014 by the families of Black October victims, seeking compensatory and punitive damages under the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act, is progressing slowly through the US courts. Last May, Goni was forced to submit to a 6-hour deposition, an emotional experience for the families— and the first and only time he has appeared in a judicial forum to account for his crimes. The families are also pursuing claims in the Bolivian courts to allow the assets of those convicted of Black October crimes to be auctioned off and paid to them as reparations.

Here in the US, solidarity activists have launched a parody website to tell the true story of state violence and impunity that lies behind the fictionalized Our Brand is Crisis. It includes video testimonies from the families of Black October victims and survivors and a petition demanding Goni’s extradition.


Emily Achtenberg is an urban planner and the author of NACLA’s blog Rebel Currents, covering Latin American social movements and progressive governments

November 5, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Five of 6 Syrian Hospitals Allegedly Hit by Russian Airstrikes Don’t Exist

Sputnik – 02.11.2015

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied an existence of five out of six Syrian hospitals allegedly hit by Russian airstrikes, said that the claims of Western media unfounded.

Russia’s Defense Ministry denied the existence of five out of six Syrian hospitals allegedly hit by Russian airstrikes.

“I would like to remind you that a week ago several leading Western media outlets citing the US-based Syrian American Medical Society accused us of allegedly bombing hospitals in al-Ees, al-Hader, Khan Tuman, Sarmin, Latamna and al-Zirba,” ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told reporters.

The spokesman added, that “all these reports were made without any proof.”

“We investigated this information. It turned out, in fact, that there is a hospital only in the settlement of Sarmin. There are no hospitals in al-Ees, al-Hader, Khan Tuman, Latamna and al-Zirba, and, consequently, there are no healthcare workers,” he added.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Monday provided aerial photos of the hospital in Sarmin, which was allegedly destroyed by the Russian airstrikes, as some Western media claims. But the aerial photo shows, that the building is not destroyed.

Russia has been conducting precision airstrikes against ISIL positions in Syria at the request of President Bashar Assad since September 30.


RT Update – November 3

November 2, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media | , , | 1 Comment

Protecting Israel, Trashing Hebron: More Spin from The NY Times

By Barbara Erickson | TimesWarp | October 30, 2015

Today in The New York Times we have a look at Hebron, a blood-drenched city in the West Bank, a community besieged by violent settlers and trigger-happy Israeli forces. In this month alone, some 20 of its Palestinian residents have died at the hands of soldiers and police, their deaths sometimes caught on video that belies official accounts.

But this grim reality is not the focus in the Times. The article by Diaa Hadid and Rami Nazzal strips the full context of the occupation from Hebron and presents it, not as a city struggling to survive under crushing oppression, but as a hotbed of Palestinian radicals, a stronghold of the oft-demonized Hamas.

The story takes us to the funeral of Dania Irsheid (identified as Dania al-Husseini in the Times), a schoolgirl shot at a checkpoint on Sunday. It mentions other deaths in recent days, but it completely avoids the eyewitness accounts and human rights organization findings that show many of these deaths were extrajudicial executions.

Israel has callously refused to release the bodies of most of the 20 victims, and we read that residents feel “particular outrage” over the death of Dania and another girl, Bayan Oseili, 16, killed a week before, both accused of stabbing attacks. The story deftly avoids another compelling reason for this outrage: the fact that both obviously posed no threat and could have been arrested and that video footage in the case of Bayan and eyewitness accounts in the case of Irsheid contradict police claims.

Hadid and Nazzal, however, have nothing to say about these contradictions and write that residents are angry because the refusal to release the bodies is an “affront to the Muslim tradition of immediate burial and a defilement of their honor.”

This fits neatly into the Times’ attempt to spin the oppression in Hebron into more blaming of the victims, who are described as Hamas followers and culturally conservative. The article opens with a quote from a Hebron resident who applauds knife attacks on Israeli soldiers, and it closes with the same speaker who “was pleased to see the surge in violence turn to Hebron.”

Missing entirely are any comments from nonviolent Hebron activists and the accounts of eyewitnesses who say Israeli forces have planted knives near the bodies of victims. The story also omits some chilling reports of deliberate executions and the statements of human rights groups that raise the charge of extrajudicial killings.

One of the most disturbing accounts describes the death of a young man, Islam Ibeidu, 23, on Wednesday near the Kirya Arba settlement. The news outlet Middle East Eye noted, “According to the quoted eyewitness, Ibeidu was searched by Israeli soldiers by the checkpoint and released, before orders were given to execute him.”

One witness tweeted: “I saw everything. I saw soldiers loading the guns. He had his arms up and was shaking, he was unarmed and they just shot him.” A second tweet continues, “eyewitness overheard police woman say ‘he looks nice, shoot him’ before he was shot to death by m16 from 2 meters away.”

The accounts of other deaths are equally disturbing (see TimesWarp 10-27-15), but the Times story includes none of them. It states that the victims this month died “in demonstrations and attacks,” taking the official Israeli line as fact.

On the other hand, the article refers frequently to Hamas in an effort to tie the group to the violence in Hebron. It makes no mention of several non-violent groups active in the city, such as Youth Against Settlements, Christian Peacemaker Teams, the International Solidarity Movement and the UN mandated Temporary International Presence in Hebron.

All of these organizations are avowedly non-violent; they observe and document violence against Palestinians. Yet another group, Breaking the Silence, was founded by Israeli soldiers who had served in Hebron and now collect and document Israeli army abuses. None of these organizations has a voice in the Times story.

Much of Hebron’s agony dates back to March, 1994, when an American-born settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 worshippers in the Ibahimi Mosque. Hadid mentions this as part of the historical record but omits the brutal Israeli crackdown that followed.

Rather than act to protect Palestinians after this attack, Israeli security forces went on to kill some 20 more Hebron residents during protests and to lock them down under a round-the-clock curfew. The government also closed once bustling Shuhada Street to all Palestinian traffic, welded shut Palestinian shops, turned the street over to settlers and divided the mosque into Jewish and Muslim sections.

This finds no clarification in the Times story, which refers vaguely to a “volatile mix of Palestinians and Jewish settlers.” Instead, the newspaper has adopted the official playbook of the occupiers: Stick to the narrative of Israeli victimhood, ignore countervailing fact, and whenever possible blame Hamas.

October 31, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Mainstream Media, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Importance of the Official 9/11 Myth

By Kevin Ryan | Dig Within | October 26, 2015

People sometimes wonder why is it important to investigate the alleged hijackers and others officially accused of committing the 9/11 crimes. After all, the accused 19 hijackers could not have accomplished most of what happened. The answer is that the official accounts are important because they are part of the crimes. Identifying and examining the people who created the official 9/11 myth helps to reveal the ones who were responsible overall.

The people who actually committed the crimes of September 11th didn’t intend to just hijack planes and take down the buildings—they intended to blame others. To accomplish that plan the real criminals needed to create a false account of what happened and undoubtedly that need was considered well in advance. In this light, the official reports can be seen to provide a link between the “blaming others” part of the crimes and the physical parts.

bremerPushing the concept of “Islamic Terrorism” was the beginning of the effort to blame others, although the exact 9/11 plan might not have been worked out at the time. This concept was largely a conversion of the existing Soviet threat, which by 1989 was rapidly losing its ability to frighten the public, into something that would serve more current policy needs. Paul Bremer and Brian Jenkins were at the forefront of this conversion of the Soviet threat into the threat of Islamic terrorism. Both Bremer and Jenkins were also intimately connected to the events at the World Trade Center.

The concerted effort to propagandize about Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden (OBL) seems to have begun in earnest in 1998. That’s when the African embassy bombings were attributed to OBL and the as-yet unreported group called Al Qaeda. The U.S. government responded with bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan and, with help from the New York Times, began to drum up an intense myth about the new enemy.

“This is, unfortunately, the war of the future,” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said. “The Osama bin Laden organization has basically declared war on Americans and has made very clear that these are all Americans, anywhere.”

In retrospect, it is surprising that this was the first reference to Al Qaeda in the New York Times, coming only three years before 9/11. More surprising is that The Washington Post did not report on Al Qaeda until June 1999, and its reporting was highly speculative about the power behind this new threat.

“But for all its claims about a worldwide conspiracy to murder Americans, the government’s case is, at present, largely circumstantial. The indictment never explains how bin Laden runs al Qaeda or how he may have masterminded the embassy bombings.”

Despite this skepticism from The Post, the reports about Al Qaeda continued in an odd mixture of propaganda and doubt. For example, The Times reported on the trial of the men accused of the African embassy attacks in May 2001. That article contradicted itself saying that “prosecutors never introduced evidence directly showing that Mr. bin Laden ordered the embassy attacks” and yet that a “former advisor” to Bin Laden, one Ali Mohamed, claimed that Bin Laden “pointed to where a truck could go as a suicide bomber.” The fact that Mohamed had worked for the U.S. Army, the FBI, and the CIA was not mentioned.

Other facts were ignored as well. That OBL had worked with the CIA and that Al Qaeda was basically a creation of CIA programs like Operation Cyclone were realities that began to fade into the background. By the time 9/11 happened, those facts were apparently forgotten by a majority of U.S. leaders and media sources. Also overlooked were the histories of people like Frank Carlucci and Richard Armitage, who played major roles in Operation Cyclone and who remained powerful players at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

In the two years before 9/11, the alleged hijackers were very active within the United States. They traveled extensively and often seemed to be making an effort to be noticed. When they were not trying to be noticed, they engaged in distinctly non-Muslim behavior. Mohamed Atta’s actions were erratic, in ways that were similar to those of Lee Harvey Oswald, and Atta appeared to be protected by U.S. authorities.

Meanwhile, leading U.S. terrorism experts seemed to be facilitating Al Qaeda terrorism. Evidence suggests that U.S. intelligence agency leaders Louis Freeh and George Tenet facilitated and covered-up acts of terrorism in the years before 9/11. Both of their agencies, the CIA and FBI, later took extraordinary measures to hide evidence related to the 9/11 attacks. And both agencies have made a mockery of the trial of those officially accused of helping OBL and the alleged hijackers.

Counter-terrorism leader Richard Clarke inexplicably helped OBL stay out of trouble, protecting him on at least two occasions. Clarke blatantly failed to follow-up on known Al Qaeda cells operating within the United States. After 9/11, Clarke was among those who falsely pointed to Abu Zubaydah as a top leader of Al Qaeda. Zubaydah’s torture testimony was then used as the basis for the 9/11 Commission Report.

Former CIA operative Porter Goss created the first official account of what happened on 9/11, along with his mentor Bob Graham. This was the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry, produced by the intelligence oversight committees of the U.S. Congress. It was greatly influenced by people who should have been prime suspects. For example, Richard Clarke was the one in charge of the secure video conference at the White House that failed miserably to connect leaders and respond to the attacks. In the Joint Inquiry’s report, Clarke was cited as an authoritative reference 46 times. CIA director George Tenet was cited 77 times, and Louis Freeh was cited 31 times.

Therefore it is imperative that the people who worked to create the background story behind OBL and the accused hijackers be investigated for their roles in the 9/11 crimes. This includes not only those who were figureheads behind the official reports, but more importantly the ones who provided the evidence and testimony upon which those reports were built. The alleged hijackers and their associates should also be of considerable interest to 9/11 investigators. That’s because what we know about them was provided by people who we can assume were connected to the crimes and what we don’t yet know about them can reveal more of the truth.

October 26, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Russia’s Fantasy “Stray Missiles”, America’s Real Ones

By Felicity Arbuthnot | Dissident Voice | October 16, 2015

Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terrorism.
— Barack Obama, February 15, 2013.

Even to those who do not watch closely it has to be apparent that Washington’s vast disinformation machine is finally out of control, seriously awry, or desperate.

The latest foray in apparent media manipulation was the claim by US “anonymous sources” that four Russian missiles targeting terrorist groups in Syria, landed in Iran.

US Administrations are serial repeaters of untruths. However, talking of stray missiles after bombing a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan under a week before – when coordinates of the buildings had been confirmed to US authorities again just prior to the attack – then changing the story as to how it happened four times in less days, is skating on wafer thin ice.

As Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of MSF and former French Foreign Minister wrote: “Targeting a red cross drawn on the roof of a hospital is … unacceptable … a line has again been crossed.” Demanding an independent investigation he stated: “It is a war crime.” (Guardian, October 9, 2015.)

Former US Senate candidate, Mark Dankof, speaking to Iran’s Press TV regarding US claims of stray missiles in Iran, believes a full-blown psychops operation towards Russia is underway.  President Putin’s Ministers stating that all terrorists terrorizing the people of Syria are targets – thus including the US backed ones – might be the reason.

Dankof points out: “ … two anonymous US officials (are) a basis for this claim, who in turn are quoting unspecified, uncorroborated, and unverified ‘military and intelligence information.’”

Moreover:

This is laughable … and underscores the blizzard of lies spun by the American government, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, and Turkey, about what has been going on in Syria, and who is clearly responsible for the 250,000 Syrian deaths, one million wounded, and 9.5 million displaced citizens of that country”, he added.

The blame is clearly on the aforementioned states, who have financed, supported, and introduced the … extremists and terrorists into the sovereign state of Syria in an illegitimate attempt to overthrow the legitimate and recognized government  … This is not simply evil, but illegal.

The lies being woven by Zionist corporate media in the West about Russia are an attempt to conceal the alliance of ISIL, al-Qaeda, and affiliates with American, Israeli, British, French, and Saudi intelligence, and to conceal the obvious fact that the Russian airstrikes are hurting these terrorist groups militarily, even as they take place legally because the sovereign government … of Syria has formally requested Russian assistance.

Dankov pointed out that on Thursday October 8, the “White Helmets” became CNN’s source for their reports on the stray missiles, the network citing them as “an independent medical team” in Syria. However:

The truth is that the White Helmets are an invention of state intelligence agencies and NGOs who seek the overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This organization has special links to the British government in particular, and (also) to the PR firm Purpose Inc., to lobby for military intervention against Assad.

They are closely linked to the Avaaz NGO which has the same agenda, and is linked to the Open Society Foundation of George Soros …

Australian born Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO of Purpose Inc. (“We create new organizations and ventures to tackle issues where mass participation and collective action can unlock big change”; Purpose moves people to remake the world”) is also a co-founder of Avaaz.

However, back to “stray missiles”, a story speedily silent in the Western media. Russian General Musa Kamali told Sputnik News Agency on October 9, 2015: “We have no reports of any Russian missiles crashing in Iran … those media reports alleging that Russian missiles aiming at Syria hit Iran are blatant lies. If the people making those claims had any proof, they would have certainly presented it”, he said. Quite.

Of course, US expertise excels not alone in stray missiles, but in planned assaults on hospitals and other buildings protected under international laws. Hospitals are specifically protected under Article 20 of the Geneva Convention, amongst other binding international laws.

Intended indiscriminate destruction was demonstrated in 2003, when: “The scenes of downtown Baghdad in flames (made it) abundantly clear why US officials insisted on covering up a reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ at the UN Security Council during Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 5, 2003 presentation of the American case for war against Iraq.” Picasso’s painting commemorates a Basque town razed to the ground by a German aerial assault in April 1937 during the Spanish Civil War.

At the onset of their illegal invasion US aircraft were making bombing runs on Baghdad at the rate of 1,000 a day with many parts of the city described as “an inferno.” Holocaustal war crimes of enormity. (Holocaust: “Great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life, especially by fire.”)

Further, the US is also no stranger to stray missiles. As Time Magazine reported in April 2003, just two weeks into America’s bombardment:

… in the past week, three U.S. Tomahawks have gone missing in the rocky plains of southeastern Turkey en route to Iraq, several hundred miles from the war zone. Five more went astray in Saudi Arabia, and a handful of others have broken up in Iran and reportedly, Syria.

Bombing in Iraq, as everywhere “liberated” by America was criminally indiscriminate. Edward S. Herman cites Fallujah as a chilling example and of war crimes of enormity:

According to Dr. Hafidd al-Dulzanni, head of the Commission for the Compensation of Fallujah Citizens, the U.S. assault (of 2004) destroyed some 7,000 houses, 840 stores, workshops and clinics, 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries, 59 schools, 13 government buildings, two electricity stations, three water purification plants, along with several railroad stations and sewage purification plants, among other things. Hospitals were an explicit target and weapons like white phosphorus and uranium-loaded projectiles were used, all adding up to massive violations of the laws of war. (Emphasis mine.)

Fallujah’s illegal destruction both targeted and indiscriminate was a metaphor for all Iraq.

On the day the US military entered Baghdad (April 8, 2003) they declared war on journalists, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol 1 and a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

First US troops directed a missile at the Al Jazeera offices in Baghdad killing correspondent Tariq Ayoub and seriously wounding several others. It should be noted that: “The attacks came amid broadcasts showing some of the mounting slaughter being conducted by US troops throughout the Iraqi capital.”

The surviving Al Jazeera staff sought shelter in nearby Abu Dhabi TV which then also came under US attack. Abu Dhabi TV correspondent, Shaker Hamed, issued an on air call for help reporting: “Twenty-five journalists and technicians belonging to Abu Dhabi television and … Al-Jazeera are surrounded in the offices of Abu Dhabi TV in Baghdad.” Note the “surrounded”.  These were seemingly no “stray” airborne missiles. The tanks were firing from near point blank range. “Kill the messenger” comes to mind.

Hamed called for relevant agencies “to intervene quickly to pull us out of this zone where missiles and shells are striking in an unbelievable way.”

In a now chillingly familiar story, also reminiscent of the MSF hospital in Kundiz: “Al-Jazeera had written to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on February 23 giving the precise location of its office so as to avoid being targeted.” Giving co-ordinates to the US military is, it appears, literally the kiss of death.

Al Jazeera was also attacked by the US troops in Afghanistan at the time of the US invasion, as Iraq, destroying their offices.

Having targeted Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV, the US troops turned their attention to the Palestine Hotel, where two hundred journalists and world wide media were based. They killed Reuters correspondent Taras Protsyuk and Jose Couso of Spanish Telecinco TV. Three other journalists were injured, and the hotel was extensively damaged. The US military had, of course, been informed that the Palestine was the media’s base.

The previous day in Basra, Al Jazeera offices were targeted by two US missiles which failed to explode and outside Baghdad on the highway both Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV cars, clearly marked as such on roof, sides and hood, were targeted.  Miraculously no one was hurt.

ITV journalist Terry Lloyd was murdered near Basra by the US within four days of the invasion – also in a clearly marked car. Cameraman Fred Nerac and their Lebanese assistant Hussein Osman in an accompanying car were also killed. French cameraman, Daniel Demoustier, injured in the attack said the US were firing on media vehicles: “to wipe out troublesome witnesses.” Given the examples above and the continuing litany of such attacks by US troops (and British) during the occupation, he seems to have hit the nail on the head.

When it comes to war crimes the US is a serial offender. In the 1991 assault on Iraq all water purification plants were deliberately destroyed on the orders of US Central Command, as were clinics, schools, separate Education Ministry stores. Media centres and radio stations were obliterated across the country. Over fifty percent of all livestock was destroyed, farms and herds, chicken farms a special target. Iraq was the world’s largest exporter of dates – the US clearly regarded date palms as an enemy and bombarded great ancient, majestic groves too.

The women and children who nightly went to the great, reinforced Ameriyah Shelter on the outskirts of Baghdad were also incinerated – the US had satellites over the Shelter which recorded the women and children entering as dusk fell and leaving at first light.

The factory that made baby milk powder was reduced to rubble and described as a “chemical weapons factory.” The machinery was provided, installed and maintained by a company in Birmingham, England – and could only have been used to provide baby milk.

Also destroyed were plants which produced basic medical supplies as syringes, pain killers, antibiotics, a well worn path followed in other US bombings as a civilian pharmaceutical factory, Al-Shifa (“The Cure”) Sudan in August 1998 when missiles also rained down on Afghanistan. Two US embassies in East Africa had been attacked, so as ever, proof-free Judge, jury and executioner, the US randomly bombed.

Barely noticed have been the numerous US attacks on ancient Yemen (population just 24.41 million) before their ongoing proxy attack by current Chair of the UN Human Rights Council, Saudi Arabia.

Ninety eight US missile and drone attacks struck Yemen between 2002 and 2015; 41 in 2012, 26 in 2013 and 14 in 2014, with other attacks in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The cost in human life is hidden and shaming. In May 2010 alone an “errant” US drone killed five people. In December 2009 a US Cruise missile killed 41 souls.

In 1999 former Yugoslavia was decimated – with stray US missiles landing in Macedonia, hitting Belgrade’s media centre, the Chinese Embassy, markets, obliterating train passengers, all “liberated” from life the American way.

2011 brought involvement in Libya’s destruction – another metaphor for the monstrosity of lawless might presented as benevolent saviour.

Let us hear no more phony allegations of stray missiles before the hell of the real ones have been accounted for.

• I am indebted to Nicolas J. Davies, author of the eye opening Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq for the reminder of stray US missiles.

October 17, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Guardian makes “error” reading MH17 report, accuses rebels of cover up

off-guardian | October 14, 2015

In a report compiled by Luke Harding, Shaun Walker and Julian Borger, entitled “MH17 report suggests efforts were made to cover up causes of disaster”, and published October 13, the Guardian claimed the Dutch report on the downing of MH17 alleged there was evidence of a “bungled autopsy” and attempt to “remove foreign objects” from the body of the first officer. The implication was that this had been done in order to conceal the cause of the crash, and the further implication was of course that Russia and the rebels had been involved.

The report by the Dutch safety board said that more than 120 objects, “mostly metal fragments”, were found in the body of the first officer, who had sustained “multiple fractures”.. When Dutch experts identified the captain’s body they found it had already “undergone an external and internal examination to remove foreign objects”.

Despite apparent attempts to remove shrapnel, “hundreds of metal objects were found”, the report said, as well as bone fractures and other injuries.

After this appeared a rebuttal was posted BTL, by the CiFer known as Pigswiggle, who showed conclusively the report made no such claim, or anything remotely like such a claim.

This is a really bizarre inference from the report.

[…]

The report is merely explaining that the Captain from Team A was not chosen by the public prosecutor as one of the bodies for further “detailed examination.” The Dutch authorities “found” that the Captain’s body “had already ‘undergone an external and internal examination to remove foreign objects,’” because it was part of the investigation procedure that all the bodies were subjected to (as described in the preceding paragraphs of the report). The Guardian is attempting to accuse Russia of a “cover up” based on the investigative actions of the Netherlands Forensic Institute. Indeed, according to the report, the persons responsible for having removed foreign objects from the Captain was a team of “120 forensic specialists from the National Forensic Investigations Team (LTFO) from the Netherlands and 80 forensic specialists from Australia, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Zealand.”

The Guardian needs to correct this story. It is highly embarrassing to it and its journalists.

[read full text of this comment here]

Following this, and other complaints, October 14 the Guardian issued what amounted to a retraction:

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 18.15.03

and reworded the offending part of the article to read:

The report by the Dutch safety board said that more than 120 objects, “mostly metal fragments”, were found in the body of the first officer, who had sustained “multiple fractures”. Dutch experts performed an “external and internal examination on the the captain’s body” and removed “hundreds of metal fragments”. They also observed bone fractures and other injuries.

Shaun Walker even tweeted the retraction:

We made a change to this story. There’s enough confusion/disinfo already so apologies for inadvertently adding to it

Some cynical commenters have pointed out this “error” has had the result of spreading a false and baseless rumour of Russian evidence-tampering around the web. A rumour that the foot-noted retraction will do little to quell – especially since they did not see fit to also change their grossly misleading headline, which as of 20:00 BST October 14 still reads thus:

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 19.40.31

Which means to all intents and purposes the lie is left to stand, “retraction” or no.

Is this ethical journalism?

Anyone who wants to register their opinion on this and/or ask for further correction can write to the Guardian here:

guardian.readers@theguardian.com

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media | , , | 1 Comment

Vice News, Sputnik and the Cold Nature of Proper-ganda

By Katerina Azarova – Sputnik – October 7, 2015

Sputnik’s coverage is often completely at odds with how the same story is reported in the West”, writes Vice News reporter Justin Ling. He was specifically addressing our coverage of the Canadian election, but the sentiment is spot on. Thanks for getting us, Justin. That’s precisely what we’re trying to do here.

Vice, which started out as a Canadian magazine and grew into an international media empire, is known for its in-depth, yet highly comprehensible coverage of international news. So it’s flattering, I guess, that they would pay attention to our articles, albeit a little confusing as to why.

After diligently mentioning all the right buzzwords — “Kremlin” and “propaganda” – in the very first paragraphs, Justin moves on to say that Sputnik is “directly run by the Russian government” – but claims that information is “scrubbed daily from the news outlet’s Wikipedia page”. And it is bizzare.

Now, I know, and you know, that journalists rely on Wikipedia for a quick fact check or background details to a story. But I would never expect a reporter of Ling’s stature to be using Wikipedia as a news source. (No offence, Wikipedia).

I’ll admit, curiosity got the better of me and I, too, checked out Sputnik’s Wiki page.

Sputnik Wikipedia

Now, either our daily page-scrubbing service has gone on strike, or Wikipedia in Canada looks dramatically different to what we’re seeing in Russia. And the US. And the UK. I know, because I asked our hubs to check. What can I tell you, I’m a curious gal. … Full article

October 9, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media | , | Leave a comment

MH-17 Yet Again, Poring Over the Data (and Translations); Serious Factual Errors by Time and Western Media

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock | Global Economic Trend Analysis | October 7, 2015

For most, the shoot-down of flight MH-17 over Ukraine is a forgotten memory. Western media has continually trumped up one of three stories.

  1. Russian-backed rebels did it
  2. Russia did it
  3. Russian-backed rebels did it with Russia’s help

The extent to which Western media fabricated all sorts of lies to make those claims is still not widely known or understood.

Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks and reads Russian, and who works for the US government (but speaks only for himself),  just recently decided to review some video footage and translations offered by Time Magazine on July 17: Russia Is Blocking Justice for the Victims of Flight 17.

Dreizin emailed Time about factual errors in the article a few days ago. He sent this letter to Time.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have found a serious factual error—in fact, a complete fabrication—in your July 17, 2015 piece titled How Russia Is Blocking Justice for the Victims of Flight 17, which is posted here:

http://time.com/3963346/mh17-malaysia-airlines-flight-17-russia-ukraine/

In the piece, your author, Simon Shuster, states as follows:

On the day of the tragedy, the Ukrainian State Security Service, which is known as the SBU, released what it claimed to be an intercepted phone conversation between Kozitsyn and one of his fighters. According to the SBU’s recording, the fighter reports to Kozitsyn that they have shot down a civilian plane by mistake. “There’s a whole sea of corpses, women and children,” the fighter says. The voice identified as that of Kozitsyn does not seem moved by this information. “They shouldn’t have been flying,” the voice says. “There’s a war going on here.”

I am a native Russian speaker and I have listened to this recording, which commences at around 1:50 at the following link:

https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCMFhiqp9R0

I can tell you that in this recording, despite the allegations of your author, who claims to be a native Russian speaker (as per his LinkedIn account), at no time does either party to this particular conversation claim to have shot down an airplane.

Rather, as per the SBU’s accurate translation, which is shown in subtitles on the YouTube link, and which I confirm is correct, the unnamed alleged rebel speaking with a person alleged to be Kozitsyn merely recounts his observations of the wreckage of a plane that he believes has been shot down.  He takes no credit for shooting it down, nor does he state or suggest who shot it down.

Why, then, does your writer, Simon Shuster, state “According to the SBU’s recording, the fighter reports to Kozitsyn that they have shot down a civilian plane by mistake”?

Mr. Shuster’s account substantially departs from his own source material.  Why?

Of course, the SBU’s intent is to showcase a number of alleged rebels talking about an aircraft going down and to imply (by way of their interest in the matter) that they were responsible for the MH17 disaster.  Mr. Shuster, like so many others over the last 14-some months, seems to have taken that implication and ran with it, to the point of actually putting words into the recording that are simply not there!

Another point of interest:  In the first recording in the above link, which starts at around 0:18 in the link, the SBU allegedly presents the rebel commander Igor Bezler talking with his alleged Russian handler as to his knowledge of a certain rebel unit shooting down a plane around 30 minutes prior to the conversation occurring.  The SBU translation subtitles also suggest that Bezler can see smoke coming from the crash site, although to me that part is indiscernible.

Given that Bezler’s headquarters and main zone of control (the city of Gorlovka) was roughly 25 to 30 miles northwest of the MH17 debris field, it is highly likely that—assuming it is in fact him on the recording—the conversation relates to a prior shoot-down of a Ukrainian combat plane in the Gorlovka area, i.e. something that did in fact take place before the downing of MH17.

In any case, there is nothing within the recording itself to identify a place, date, time, or even the parties to the conversation—we have only the SBU’s word as to who these people are and when the conversation is taking place.

Also of interest, the second recording in the link (starting at 0:43) is unnatural in places and, to a Russian speaker such as myself, seems to be either a splice of two or three separate conversations, or else one conversation that has been condensed (i.e. pieces of it have been removed, possibly to present an inaccurate picture of the whole.)

Last but not least, the fact that this diverse montage (totaling three separate conversations) was jumbled together in one video, subtitled in English, and posted to YouTube, not to mention pitched to the media, all just a few hours after MH17 went down (note the date on the link), is suspicious to say the least.  I work for the U.S. Government, and (though I am not speaking for the Government or any of its agencies or offices in any way whatsoever) I have never seen Government move so fast—it is simply inconceivable.

My main point in writing you is to inform you that your writer, Simon Shuster, has made a bold, significant claim on your website that is patently and demonstrably false—and moreover, one that he must have known to be false.

Thus, I request that you issue a public retraction on this matter.

Thank you for your attention.
Respectfully,

Jacob Dreizin

Video in Russian – English Subtitles

Link if video does not play: Malaysia Airlines: Phone calls of terrorists intercepted by Security Service of Ukraine.

I commend Dreizin for taking a stand for the truth, and I hope it does not cost him his job.

Bottom Line

  1. Neither the US nor Ukraine is interested in the truth if Ukraine is responsible.
  2. Neither Russia nor the Rebels are interested in the truth if the rebels or Russia is responsible.
  3. Blatant lies and sloppy media reporting by Ukraine and Western media is clearly rampant.
  4. Most have jumped to conclusions believing biased reporting and outright fabrications by their government.
  5. A small subset of us would like to know what really happened, regardless of whom is to blame.

Shortly after the incident, allegations similar to those made by Simon Shuster were widely trumped up as “proof” the rebels did it. The ensuing propaganda campaign was an unfortunate success, at least to the small subset of us who want the truth be known, no matter which side is to blame.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Tehran Has No Info on Cruise Missiles Which Allegedly Landed in Iran

Sputnik – 08.10.2015

Iranian defense ministry believes reports on “fallen Russian cruise missiles” are part of the intensified western propaganda war, according to a source.

Tehran has denied US reports that four of Russia’s cruise missiles targeting ISIL actually fell to the ground in Iran, with the country’s defense ministry calling the accusations “psychological war.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry also refutes US media reports of an alleged incident involving cruise missiles which were fired at ISIL positions in Syria on October 7, stating that all missiles hit their designated targets.

“No matter how unpleasant and unexpected for our colleagues in the Pentagon and Langley was yesterday’s high-precision strike on Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, the fact remains that all missiles launched from our ships have found their targets,” ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

On Thursday, CNN reported that four of the 26 missiles fired from Russian warships in the Caspian Sea went off target and crashed in Iran. That report was based on anonymous Pentagon sources, who despite claiming to have evidence of the targeting malfunction, could not identify where, precisely, the missiles landed.

“In contrast to CNN we do not talk with reference to anonymous sources,” Konashenkov said. “We show the launch of our rockets and the targets they struck.”

Indeed, the Russian Defense Ministry has posted a number of videos to prove the accuracy of its targeting systems.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media | , , , | 2 Comments

NYT: Putin is “enemy No. 1 in the Sunni Muslim world”

Sputnik – 08.10.2015

In the US information war aimed against the Russian air campaign in Syria, perhaps no outlet has been more misleading than the New York Times.

Writing for America’s newspaper of record, columnist Thomas Friedman wrote fairly candidly of his opinion on Russia’s Syria campaign.

“Putin stupidly went into Syria looking for a cheap sugar high to show his people that Russia is still a world power,” Friedman wrote in the NYT last week. “Watch him become public enemy No. 1 in the Sunni Muslim world. ‘Yo, Vladimir, how’s that working for you?'”

As Patrick L. Smith points out, writing for Salon, “most of ‘the Sunni Muslim world’ is as appalled by the Islamic State as the non-Sunni Muslim world.”

But Friedman’s unfounded statements shouldn’t be altogether surprising, given his employer’s history of toeing the line of the US government.

Since the Russian airstrikes began, the New York Times – as well as the vast majority of Western media – has spread the Pentagon’s falsehoods about the conflicts.

“We are always encouraged to find anything Putin does devious and the outcome of hidden motives and some obscure agenda having to do with his pouting ambition to be seen as a first-rank world leader,” Smith writes.

“From the government-supervised New York Times on down, this is what you read in the newspapers and hear on the radio and television broadcasts.”

So Friedman’s self-described “defense of President Barack Obama’s policy on Syria,” falls in line with that doctrine.

While Friedman may claim to disapprove of the airstrikes because “Putin and Russia would be seen as going all-in to protect Assad, a pro-Iranian, Alawite/Shiite genocidal war criminal,” it’s hard to ignore the true source of such hyperbolic statements.

Friedman’s views – and those of the New York Times – owe allegiance not to truth, but to American empire.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Mainstream Media | , | Leave a comment