Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Brazilian President visits CIA before visiting Trump on first US visit

Press TV – March 19, 2019

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has made an unprecedented visit to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in his first US visit before a meeting with US President Donald Trump scheduled on Tuesday.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, a lawmaker and son of the Brazilian president confirmed the visit on Monday, calling the intelligence agency one of the “most respected” in the world.

“Going now with president Jair Bolsonaro and ministers of the CIA, one of the most respected intelligence agencies in the world. It’ll be an excellent opportunity to speak about international relations topics in the region with experts and the technicians of the highest level,” he said in a tweet.

Eduardo Bolsonaro claimed the meeting was to discuss “international themes in the region”.

Leading Brazilian daily O Globo reported that Bolonsaro visited the agency along with Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro, noting that the visit had not been published in the president’s public agenda and that press was not allowed to accompany Bolonsaro in the event.

The CIA had no comment on the visit.

Observers believe the unusual visit further signals Bolsonaro’s shift towards Washington. The move is, however, expected to be received controversially in Brazil.

In 2013, American whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the American National Security Agency (NSA) had wiretapped the conversations of then-President Dilma Rousseff, leading to suspicions towards the US and its spy agencies.

Former Brazilian Foreign Minster Celso Amorim has also slammed the meeting, saying that “no Brazilian president had ever paid a visit to the CIA.”

“This is an explicitly submissive position. Nothing compares to this,” he added.

Bolsonaro originally arrived in the US on Sunday, stating that the trip marked the first “pro-America Brazilian president” recently visiting the country.

“It’s the beginning of a partnership focused on liberty and prosperity, something that all of us Brazilians have long wished for,” he said.

Bolsonaro is an ardent admirer of US President Donald Trump and the White House’s policies, particularly those with regard to opposing left-wing governments in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The Brazilian president, who is also known as “Tropical Trump,” has sparked controversy by following Trump on calling for the relocation of his country’s embassy to the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Bolsonaro personally made the promise to Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu while he attended the Brazilian president’s inauguration ceremony on January 1.

Last week, however, reports emerged that Bolsonaro may fail to carry out the move following opposition from military officers in his cabinet.

Vice President Hamilton Mourao also objected to the embassy move last month, claiming that the measure would hurt Brazilian exports to Arab countries which include an estimated $5 billion in halal food sales.

Bolsonaro has also said that he is open to considering the establishment of a US military base in Brazil as a way to “counter Russian influence” in neighboring Venezuela.

The move was rejected by Brazilian Defense Minister General Fernando Azevedo e Silva a week later.

March 19, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

The Horrific Long-Term Consequences of Regime Change

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | March 15, 2019

84-year-old Emma Thiessen Alvarez has never forgotten the day in 1981 when Guatemalan officials came to her house looking for her daughter, a student leader who had escaped from military custody. Unable to find her, the officials settled for Thiessen’s 14-year-old son. She never saw him again.

Thiesen’s story was highlighted in a recent New York Times article because the Guatemalan legislature is now contemplating granting a blanket amnesty to military officials who participated in the rein of terror that the Guatemalan national-security establishment inflicted on the Guatemalan people for period of some 36 years.

Thiessen and other Guatemalans who were victimized during that period of time are not happy about the proposed amnesty. As Edgar Perez, a human-rights lawyer, put it, “For the victims, the sentence is their certificate of truth. It is their history.”

Guatemalans are not the only ones who have an interest in what is now occurring in that country. So do the American people. That’s because it was the U.S. national-security establishment that set into motion the events that ultimately led to the death of Emma Thiessen Alvarez’s son, along with 200,000 other Guatemalans, as well as to massive human-rights violations at the hands of the Guatemalan national-security establishment.

As Americans reflect on the mass carnage, destruction, and suffering and the hundreds of thousands of deaths produced by U.S. regime-change efforts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, and Afghanistan, it’s important to also keep in mind the deaths produced by U.S. regime change in Guatemala in 1954. That was when the CIA initiated a military coup that succeeded in destroying Guatemala’s democratic system and replacing it with a brutal, unelected military dictatorship.

Guatemalan voters had democratically elected a socialist named Jacobo Arbenz, a man whose economic philosophy mirrored those of many American politicians today, both Democrat and Republican. U.S. officials concluded that Arbenz was a threat to U.S. national security, not only because of his socialist policies but also owing to his desire to reach out to the communist Soviet Union, including Russia, in a spirt of peace and friendship. By this time, the U.S. national-security establishment was waging its Cold War against the Soviet Union, which ironically had been America’s WWII partner and ally. The Pentagon and the CIA were convinced that the Russians were coming to get us as part of a worldwide communist conspiracy based in Moscow. In the minds of the Pentagon and CIA, Arbenz was part of that communist conspiracy and, therefore, needed to be removed from office before the Reds were able to come and take over the United States.

The CIA targeted Guatemalan officials with assassination. Americans are still not permitted to see which officials were going to be murdered (“national security,” of course), but surely Arbenz was at the top of the list. He was able to escape the country before the CIA could assassinate him.

Not surprisingly, the CIA installed into power a brutal “law and order” military tyrant, one whose military dictatorship proceeded to wage a vicious war against leftist-oriented Guatemalans. As the leftists fought back, the country was thrown into a violent civil war that lasted 36 years. At least 200,000 people were killed, with the full support of the U.S. national-security establishment, which took the position that their military regime was protecting America and the world from the worldwide communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow and that was supposedly coming to get us.

At the time it succeeded in ousting Arbenz and installing a military regime in his stead, the CIA was ecstatic over its success. Internal celebrations were held and medals were awarded. The same thing happened after the CIA’s regime-change operation in Iran in 1953, the year before the Guatemalan regime-change operation. After succeeding in destroying Iran’s democratic system and installing, training, and supporting the viciously brutal tyranny of the Shah, the CIA internally celebrated its success and handed out the medals to those who had brought it about.

Today, more than half-a-century later, Americans, Iranians, and Guatemalans are still living with the horrific long-term consequences of those U.S. regime-change operations. It’s something for Americans to keep in mind as the U.S. national-security establishment continues to effect regime-change operations in various parts of the world today. Just ask 84-year-old Guatemalan Emma Thiessen Alvarez, who still feels the pain of losing her 14-year-old son to U.S.-supported Guatemalan military brutes.

March 15, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

CIA May Be Behind February Attack on North Korean Embassy in Madrid – Reports

Sputnik – 13.03.2019

Spanish police and intelligence officers, who are investigating the attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February, believe that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) may be behind the incident, El Pais newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to El Pais, at least two out of 10 attackers were identified to have connections with US intelligence services. Spanish investigators have already requested the CIA about their involvement in the incident.

According to the publication, the CIA denied their guilt, but the response to the request was “unconvincing.”

This incident may eventually lead to diplomatic friction between Madrid and Washington, the newspaper said. Sources in the Spanish government believe that if the CIA’s involvement in the attack is confirmed, it will be regarded as “unacceptable” actions by the ally. According to the publication, this would mean that US intelligence services acted in Spain without permission and violated international agreements protecting diplomatic missions.

The reports come after in February, El Confidencial newspaper reported, citing sources in the Spanish Interior Ministry, that a group of unidentified men broke into the North Korean embassy in Madrid, restrained the diplomatic staff for several hours and stole computers. According to the newspaper, the incident occurred on February 22. One of the employees managed to escape and report to the police.

March 13, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | 1 Comment

Intelligence Contractors Make New Attempt To Provoke Tensions With North Korea

By William Craddick | Disobedient Media | March 8, 2019

It’s the second, but no less ludicrous, attempt in one week to sway the opinion of the public and President Donald Trump against the concept of denuclearization and peaceful dialogue with North Korea.

A March 8, 2019 report from National Public Radio (NPR) follows another by NBC News with sensational and misleading claims that satellite imagery released by private corporations with contractual ties to government defense and intelligence agencies show imminent preparations by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to engage in missile testing or the launch of a satellite from their facilities in Sanumdong, North Korea. An examination of the photos provided shows absolutely no indication of such activity.

I. Satellite Footage Of Sanumdong Facility Shows No Sign Of Imminent Launch

Images provided to NPR by private contractor DigitalGlobe consist of two low resolution images, one of a building in the Sanumdong complex and the other of a train sitting along a rail line. In neither photo is there any discernible amount of unusual activity.

Credit: Image ©2019 DigitalGlobe, Inc. Graphic: Alyson Hurt/NPR

The first image of a “production hall” bears a striking resemblance to a similar photo run by the Washington Post in July 2018 where unnamed intelligence officials claimed that North Korea was building one or possibly two liquid fueled ICBMs which appear to have never materialized or been used in any launch. The claims came one month after President Trump met with Chairman Kim Jong Un in Singapore for a historic summit between the United States and the DPRK.

NPR claims that the imagery shows “vehicle activity” occurring around the facility. Yet close inspection shows that the “activity” consists of a few inert vehicles, which appear to be a white pickup and white dump truck or flatbed parked in a permanent position next to piles of metal. The scene does not appear to be different from any number of sleepy yards of businesses that can be examined by members of the public on Google Maps.

Credit: Image ©2019 DigitalGlobe, Inc. Graphic: Koko Nakajima/NPR

The second image, according to NPR, shows rail cars sitting “in a nearby rail yard, where two cranes are also erected.” The photo simply shows a train car sitting inert with empty flatbed cars and hopper cars that are either filled with coal or empty. A second rail line similarly holds a number of hoppers and flatbed cars. Hopper cars in particular are totally unsuitable for the transportation of military technology such as missiles.

The tracks in the lower left corner are covered in snow, meaning that the train sat for many months through the winter or was backed into its position. Considering that US and international sanctions have caused an extreme scarcity of fuel in the DPRK it is likely that the trains have not moved for quite some time, unless their diesel engines were converted to burn coal or wood.

In short, there is absolutely no indication that several low resolution photos of a facility in North Korea have any activity in them outside of a few rusting vehicles that have sat without moving for some time.

II. NPR’s Sources Of Satellite Imagery Are Contractors For The CIA And Pentagon

The report by NPR lists two sources of satellite imagery – DigitalGlobe, Inc. and Planet Labs, Inc. As Disobedient Media has previously reported, DigitalGlobe is an American vendor of satellite imagery founded by a scientist who worked on the US military’s Star Wars ICBM defense program under President Ronald Reagan. DigitalGlobe began its existence in Oakland, CA and was seeded with money from Silicon Valley sources and corporations in North America, Europe and Japan. Headquartered in Westminster CO, DigitalGlobe works extensively with defense and intelligence programs. In 2016, it was revealed that DigitalGlobe was working with CIA chipmaker NVIDIA and Amazon Web Services to create an AI-run satellite surveillance network known as Spacenet.

Planet Labs is a private satellite imaging corporation based in San Francisco, CA that allows customers with the money to pay for an opportunity to gain access to next generation surveillance capabilities. In February 2016, Federal technology news source Nextgov noted a statement from former CIA Information Operations Center director and senior cyber adviser Sue Gordon that Planet Labs, DigitalGlobe and Google subsidiary Skybox Imaging were all working with the Pentagon’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to provide location intelligence. Planet Labs’ own website also lists press releases detailing past contracts for subscription access to high resolution imagery with the NGA.

The pervasive involvement of intelligence agencies and defense contractors in attempts to undermine negotiations with North Korea does not create confidence in the already shaky claims made by NPR regarding alleged preparations by the DPRK to participate in a missile launch. These contentions are not supported in substance by any tangible facts. As claims and pressure continue to build on President Donald Trump to abandon the peace process, there are multiple factions of the United States government who are running a real risk of behaving in manners which could be interpreted as open sedition or refusal to carry out the stated goals and policies of the President.

March 10, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember the Maine? CIA Intervention in Venezuela

Photograph Source National Museum of the U.S. Navy
By David Rosen | CounterPunch | March 1, 2019

In January 1897, Frederic Remington, a 19th-century painter famous for his depictions of the Old West, was on assignment in Havana for William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal to illustrate Spanish atrocities against Cubans. He sent a telegram to Hearst, noting: “Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return.” Hearst replied: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

One year later, on February 15, 1898, the battleship USS Maine mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor. Pres. William McKinley ordered the battleship sent to Havana on January 25th to observe the growing tension between the U.S. and Spain. The explosion killed 268 of the crew’s 354 men and shocked the American public.

The U.S. press went wild with headlines proclaiming, “Spanish Treachery!” and “Destruction of the War Ship Maine Was the Work of an Enemy!” Hearst and the Journal offered a $50,000 award for the “detection of the Perpetrator of the Maine Outrage.” “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” became a rallying cry.

To this day, no one knows what caused the explosion. Initial reports claimed the ship was sunk by a naval mine. Later investigations, one in 1911 and another in 1974, hypothesized that it was a coal dust fire. Still others believed it was due to sabotage, some speculating it was a covert Hearst operation to increase his newspaper’s readership.

While McKinley sought to maintain peace with Spain, Theodore Roosevelt, the Sec. of the Navy, led the war faction. He insisted, “Let the fight come if it must. I rather hope that the fight will come soon. The clamor of the peace faction has convinced me that this country needs a war.”

On April 21, 1898, the U.S. declared war on Spain. The sinking of the Maine climaxed pre-war tensions, a provocation that accelerated the breakdown in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Spain. The war last 10 weeks and the U.S. was victorious; it took temporary control of Cuba (although it still controls Guantanamo Bay), control of the Philippines (until 1946) and ongoing control of Puerto Rico and Guam. Provocations can work.

***

Americans will likely never know the complete role the CIA has played – and likely continues to play — in the campaign to overthrow the Maduro government in Venezuela.  (Claims of “national security” are used to hide the truth.) The Trump administration’s Troika of Evil – VP Mike Pence, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton – seem to be plotting the overthrow of the Maduro government. One can well assume that the CIA, along with other agencies of the U.S. military-industrial complex, have been recruited to destabilize Venezuela, if not worse. Given this, one can wonder if another provocative act like the sinking of the Maine will be orchestrated to legitimize a domestic coup – or U.S. military intervention — in Venezuela.

Since Pres. James Monroe proclaimed what became known as the “Monroe Doctrine” in 1823, the U.S. has actively intervened in the affairs of innumerable countries across the globe. Since its establishment in 1946, the CIA has played a key role in U.S. interventions, whether through destabilization campaigns or an outright coups, especially in Latin and South America and the Caribbean.

A review of a dozen or so CIA interventions between 1954 and 2002 is suggestive as to what might be playing out in Venezuela.

Guatemala,1954 – the CIA launched the so-called Operation PBSuccess against president Jacobo Arbenz in support of United Fruit Company and bombed Guatemala City.

Haiti, 1959 – the CIA intervened to halt a popular movement to overthrow the puppet dictator, Francois Duvalier; according to one report, “over 100,000 people were murdered.”

Brazil 1964 – the CIA backed a coup against the democratically-elected president Joao Goulart who threatened to tax U.S. multinational corporations.

Uruguay, 1969 – CIA agent Dan Mitrione trained security forces in torture as part of Operation Condor; the agency pushed a coup that installed a military dictatorship led by Juan Maria Bordaberry.

Cuba, 1961 – the CIA-backed Cubanexiles and oversaw the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in the wake of the Cuban revolution of 1959; repeated CIA attempts to kill Fidel Castro failed.

Bolivia, 1971– the CIA orchestrated a coup against Gen. Juan Jose Torres, installing Gen. Hugo Banzer who imposed a violent dictatorship.

Chile1973– the CIA backed Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s coup against Pres. Salvador Allende, imposing a dictatorship that last 17 years.

Argentina, 1976 – the CIA installed Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla in a coup as part of the Dirty War to overthrow the Peronists.

El Salvador, 1979 – the CIA supported a 1979 coup fearing a popular insurgency that culminated in the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero (February 1980) and four American nuns (December 1980); in 1984, it financed Jose Durate’s campaign.

Grenada, 1983 – the CIA began efforts to destabilize the Marxist government in 1981 that led to the U.S. Marines invading in the country in ‘83 allegedly to protect about 1,000 American students on the island.

Panama, 1989 – the CIA orchestrated Operation Just Cause to overthrow its long-time operative, the drug trafficker Manuel Noriega, that left 3,500 civilians dead.

Peru1990 – the CIA backed Alberto Fujimori presidential election who renamed himself National Intelligence Service director, dissolved Congress and locked up the justices of the Supreme Court.

Venezuela, 2002 – the CIA backed mutinous army officers who briefly deposed Pres. Hugo Chávez in a coup attempt.

The CIA has also been involved in numerous other political and military campaigns in the region.

***

On February 15th, the U.S. celebrated the 121st anniversary of the sinking of the USS Maine. Since then, the U.S. has engaged in numerous military and political interventions in countries across the globe.  Since its founding in 1947, the CIA has been the lead federal entity in foreign interventions and is likely playing a key role in the destabilization of Venezuela. Little information about the agency’s role in Venezuela has been reported, but suggestive rumors are circulating.

Earlier this month, a 21 Air cargo flight from Miami International Airport was seized by government authorities in Valencia, Venezuela, transporting 19 assault rifles, telescopic sights, radio antenna and other materiel likely for anti-Maduro forces.  The flight company denied all knowledge of what it was shipping.  The company that chartered the flight, GPS-Air, flatly rejected any claim that it had shipped weapons. As McClatchy reported, “Only a fool would try sending guns out of the [Miami] airport,” said Cesar Meneses, GP-Air’s cargo shipping manager.

Last year, a rumor circulated that the CIA was involved in an attempted assassination of Pres. Maduro. While giving a TV broadcast speech in February 2018, an explosion disrupted the event and Maduro blamed Colombia for the attack, saying later on, “I have no doubt that the name [Colombian president] Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.” Trump advisor Bolton denied any U.S. involvement, insisting on Fox News, “I can say unequivocally there is no US government involvement in this at all.”

It’s unlikely that the American public will know the role the U.S. military-intelligence apparatus, especially the CIA, is playing in the attempted overthrow of the Venezuelan government. A direct military intervention in the grand old sense of Cuba, Panama or Grenada seems unlikely. Unfortunately, the Troika of Evil – Pence, Pompeo and Bolton – are likely scheming for a provocative incident similar to the sinking of the Maine.

March 1, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

McCarthyism Then and Now: But There Was Reality Then

By Patrick ARMSTRONG | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.02.2019

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. (Karl Marx)

Humor is reason gone mad. (Groucho Marx)

Every now and again, we hear about a “new McCarthyism“. Usually it’s the alternative media like Truthdig or Consortium News or left-wing outlets because mainstream outlets are so sunk in Trumpophobia that they have forgotten what the expression means. It’s not Trump who’s the new McCarthy (Trumpism Is the New McCarthyism or Is Donald Trump The New Joe McCarthy?) it is they: Is Trump Putin’s Puppet?Trump Is Making the Case That He’s Putin’s Puppet; calling other people Moscow puppets is precisely what McCarthy did. And today’s Russhysteria has spread outside the USA: France to Probe Possible Russian Influence on Yellow Vest RiotsWhy Putin Is Meddling in Britain’s Brexit VoteSpain: ‘Misinformation’ on Catalonia referendum came from Russia. Endless torrents of delirium, nothing too absurd: Russia could freeze us to death!Russian cricket agents14-legged killer squid found TWO MILES beneath Antarctica being weaponised by Putin? The Russophobes find Moscow’s influence everywhere: children’s’ cartoonsfishsticksPokemon. People who like to imagine that they’re taken seriously suggest the Russians are threatened by our “quality”.

But not so threatened, it appears, by our mental qualities.

Joseph McCarthy, making much of (and perhaps improving upon) his war record, was elected a US Senator in 1946. After three years in which he attracted little attention, he rose to national prominence with a speech in February 1950 in which he claimed to have a list of Communist Party members active in the US State Department. There is still debate today about the precise numbers he claimed and to what degree he was used by other actors. But he realised he was on to a good thing (he secured re-election in 1952) and kept “revealing” communists in the government and elsewhere. Televised hearings showed his vituperative and erratic nature; the Senate censured him in 1954 and he faded away. “McCarthyism” has become a doubleplusungood swearword so stripped of meaning that it can be shaped into mud to be thrown at Trump.

But – and a very big but – whatever McCarthy’s motivation or cynicism, however unpleasant, shifty and unshaven he looked on TV, there was a reality behind what he was saying.

  • ITEM. August 1945. Elizabeth Bentley approaches the FBI and eventually reveals the spying activities of the CPUSA.
  • ITEM. September 1945. Igor Guzenko defects in Ottawa, revealing the extent of spying on its allies by the USSR. Thanks to his information Alan Nunn May, part of the British contribution to the atomic bomb project, is arrested March 1946. A number of Canadians are arrested – including the MP Fred Rose.
  • ITEM. August 1948. Whittaker Chambers, a CPUSA member disgusted by the Hitler-Stalin pact, in testimony to HUAC, names Alger Hiss, a senior State Department official, as a CPUSA agent.
  • ITEM. February 1950. McCarthy’s speech.
  • ITEM. Beginning in summer 1951 with the defection of Burgess and Maclean and only ending with the discovery of the last member in 1979, the revelation of extensive penetration by the Soviets of British intelligence – the Cambridge Five – caused continuing investigations and suspicions which tied up the CIA and SIS for years.

In conclusion, whatever you think of the man himself, “McCarthyism” was based on reality: there was extensive Soviet penetration in the USA and elsewhere.

+ + +

And today? The equivalent of McCarthy’s speech are the Clinton campaign’s excuses for losing.

We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election. (Hillary Clinton, 19 October 2016.)

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. [9 November 2016] Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. (From Shattered, quoted here.)

After the story had been happily re-typed by the complaisant media, the “intelligence community” weighed in with two fatuous “intelligence assessments”:

ITEM. The DHS/FBI report of 29 December 2016 carried this stunning disclaimer:

This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.

ITEM. The DNI report of 6 January 2017 crazily devoted nearly half its space to a four-year old rant about RT. But the real clue that the report was nonsense was its equally stunning disclaimer:

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

In other words, DHS told us to ignore its report and the one agency in the US intelligence structure that would actually know who hacked what refused to sign its name to it.

And not “all 17”, only three. Then – the final nail – not really the three but only “hand-picked” people from them. Eventually, the NYT issued a correction. (“Correction” being presstitute-speak for “you caught us”.)

The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community. (New York Times correction, 29 June 2017)

And that was the beginning of the story that has consumed so much effort, done so much damage, metastasised so far and continues today. No Elizabeth Bentley, no atomic spies, no Venona. Only 1) an excuse for losing, 2) “hand-picked” writers, 3) forced plea deals and 4) the pompous indictment of a Russian click bait farm.

The fons et origo of today’s Russhysteria, I am convinced, was a conspiracy in the security organs to derail Trump’s candidacy and when that failed, to overthrow him. Little by little that story is dribbling out:

Congressional testimony backs up former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s account that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was talking to high-level officials about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

One can only hope that the conspiracy will finally be so revealed and so proven and so obvious that even the consumers of CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian, the NYT and the rest will understand what was really going on. Then, maybe, we can hope to edge away from the highly dangerous anti-Russia hysteria.

McCarthyism was based on reality, today’s recurrence is not. A significant difference indeed.

+ + +

Lavrenti Beria is reputed to have said “give me the man, and I will give you the crime”. And sleep depravation and teeth and blood on the floor delivered the confession. How little he understood his craft. Maria Butina, an innocent if naïve Russian girl who liked the Second Amendment, arrested, stuck in solitary, on suicide watch (sleep deprivation – Beria knew about that), innumerable charges, after months, makes a plea deal. Michael Flynn, innumerable charges, savings burnt up, makes a plea deal. Paul Manafort, early morning SWAT attack (Beria recognises that), innumerable charges, makes a plea deal. Cohen, Papadopoulos and so on. That’s the American justice system – not Stalin’s “beat, beat and beat again” – just innumerable charges, bankruptcy by lawyers’ fees, endless interrogations, SWAT raids. Then the plea deal. Beria was an amateur.

So the Marx brothers are both wrong: the second time it’s a much more dangerous tragedy and, when you actually see it in reality, reason gone mad isn’t actually very funny.

February 27, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

The Russian Mirror

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | February 26, 2019

A recent article in the New York Times about Russia’s “intelligence state,” authored by John Sipher, a former chief of station for the CIA, provides a valuable mirror for the American people. The problem is that American statists cannot see it as a mirror. While Sipher’s article clearly demonstrates that American statists, especially conservative ones, can see the wrongdoing of foreign totalitarian or authoritarian regimes with great clarity, they have a moral blindness when it comes to recognizing wrongdoing by their own government. Even worse, they defend wrongdoing by their own regime (which they can’t see as wrongdoing) as a way to combat foreign wrongdoing. In fact, they come to view their own wrongdoing as something good when it is being used to oppose wrongdoing by a foreign regime.

Sipher labels Russia’s (and, before that, the Soviet) governmental system an “intelligence state.” He’s critical of it, and rightly so. It is a type of governmental system that engages in such things as secret surveillance of the citizenry, assassination, torture, and interference in the affairs of other nations.

Referring to Russia’s system under Vladimir Putin, who Sipher reminds us is a former KGB officer, Sipher writes:

“The history of the brutal Soviet security services lays bare the roots of Russia’s current use of political arrests, subversion, disinformation, assassination, espionage and the weaponization of lies. None of those tactics is new to the Kremlin.

“In fact, those tactics made Soviet Russia the world’s first “intelligence state,” and they also distinguished it from authoritarian states run by militaries…. The result is a regime with the policies and philosophy of a supercharged secret police service, a regime that relies on intelligence operations to deal with foreign policy challenges and maintain control at home….

“Over the decades, the Soviet and Russian secret services developed tools and habits based on their Chekist experience that set them apart from their counterparts in the West. Rather than focusing on collecting and analyzing intelligence, they developed expertise in propaganda, agitation, subversion, repression, deception and murder.”

Sipher uses the label “intelligence state” to describe the Russian and Soviet system. There is another label that Sipher could have used, a much more common one: a “national security state.”

Why would Sipher avoid using the term “national-security state”? My hunch is that he instinctively knows that that would be holding the mirror to himself and the rest of the American people. That’s because the United States is a “national-security state” or an “intelligence state,” just like Russia is.

In fact, a supreme irony in Sipher’s article is that he worked for the CIA for 27 years. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the CIA is an “intelligence agency,” one that not only engages in intelligence gathering but also has long wielded and exercised the powers of assassination, torture, indefinite detention, involuntary drug experimentation, and secret surveillance — that is, the same types of powers that Sipher decries in the Russia/Soviet “intelligence state.”

Sipher points out that one of the main features of an “intelligence state” is lying. He ought to know. Since its very beginning, the CIA has been an agency based on lies and lying. Deception has always been justified under the rubric of “national security.” Coming immediately to mind is CIA Director Richard Helms, who was convicted of lying to Congress regarding the CIA’s secret regime-change operation against Chile, to the praise and acclaim of his subordinate officers in the CIA. Let’s also not forget the lies that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr. told Congress under oath regarding the NSA’s secret surveillance of Americans.

Consider all the nefarious things the CIA has done and continues to do in foreign countries, including assassination, coups, installation of foreign dictators, invasions, wars of aggression, torture, rendition, partnerships with dictatorial regimes, sanctions and embargoes targeting innocent people with death, impoverishment, and suffering.

Or consider MKULTRA, the CIA’s top-secret operation to subject innocent, unsuspecting people to drug experimentation, along with the subsequent intentional destruction of official records to prevent Americans from discovering the full extent of the operation.

Or the U.S. national-security state’s secret surveillance of American citizens, along with secret illegal operations to spy on and infiltrate peaceful and law-abiding organization with the intent to smear and destroy them and their members.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way. The United States was founded as a limited-government republic, which is the opposite of a national-security state. For more than 150 years, our nation prospered without a Pentagon, a military-industrial complex, a national-security state, a CIA, and a NSA. Governmental procedures were transparent. There was no obsession over the nebulous and meaningless term “national security.”

Then came the aftermath of World War II, when U.S. officials told Americans that they were now facing a new official enemy, one that had been an official enemy of Nazi Germany and a friend and partner of the United States. That new official enemy was the Soviet Union and its system of communism. The communists were coming to get us, U.S. official maintained, as part of a worldwide communist conspiracy based in Moscow, Russia.

U.S. officials said that there was only one way to prevent a communist takeover of the United States. In order to prevail against the Soviet Union, the U.S. government would have to be converted into the same type of governmental system, U.S. officials said.

That meant moving to the dark side — toward torture, assassination, coups, regime-change operations, sanctions and embargoes, secret surveillance — i.e., the types of things the communists were doing. That’s how we got the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, three principal components of the U.S. national-security state or intelligence state.

What about our limited-government republic? U.S. officials said that as soon as the Cold War was over, we could have it back. But when the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly ended, we didn’t get our republic back. Instead, we got the continued existence of the national-security state, along with its forever wars and forever interventions all around the world, along with its never-ending plunge into the dark side.

Worst of all, we got a moral blindness, one in which all too many Americans are unable to recognize what all this has done to us.

February 26, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

The International Criminal Complicity

On Intimidation, Cowardice & Corruption (at the International Criminal Court)

“Drill and uniforms impose an architecture on the crowd. An army’s beautiful. But that’s not all; it panders to lower instincts than the aesthetic. The spectacle of human beings reduced to automatism satisfies the lust for power. Looking at mechanized slaves, one fancies oneself a master” -Aldous Huxley

By Ronald Thomas West | February 22, 2019

The United Nations is an experiment in democracy founded on the Western principles of international law. Angela Merkel’s conflating globalism with multilateralism (these are NOT the same thing) notwithstanding, the United Nations is a global body established by multilateral treaties. This does not establish ‘globalism’ but serves as a platform for facilitating relationships between sovereign nations. The International Criminal Court is an example of this, where the ‘Rome Statute’ (the multilateral treaty establishing the court) had been ‘midwifed’ from within the UN but created a court (the ICC) that is ostensibly independent. However the UN Security Council may refer cases to the ICC, the UN has no authority over the court and no power to extend or curtail the courts jurisdiction, which is solely over those nations which had opted to enter into the treaty (Rome Statute) creating the court.

However, if the institutions of the United Nations are notoriously politicized and corrupt, and they most certainly are [1] it follows the UN’s closely aligned institutions might be expected to show similar symptoms.

We have recently seen these symptoms (read on) but it should be noted the ICC had been undermined from its inception, particularly by the USA in what appears on its face to have been a geo-strategic policy of fraudulent engagement of the Rome Statute process. In short, the USA participated in the setting up of the court but used its considerable influence to prevent the court adopting a principle of universal jurisdiction. With the court at its formation limited to jurisdiction over nations entering into the Rome Statute treaty, the USA would appear to have disingenuously joined the court (signed on) but never seriously pursued ratification (the legal necessity of a democratic nation’s parliamentary body affirming the state executive signature) and therefor never came under the court’s jurisdiction.

What had been created is a social oxymoron in actuality; a core body of nations (Europe, EU & NATO nations, particularly) determined never to self-prosecute but to use the prosecutorial vehicle provided by the Rome Statute as post-colonial geopolitical device aimed at African states in ongoing state of neocolonialism. Consequently the court has seen to the prosecutions of politicians from Congo, Kenya, Sudan and Ivory Coast but not the French role in Rwanda’s genocide or Paul Kagame, a USA darling:

“He’s [Kagame] actually gotten a free ride from the ICC despite all the evidence of his army creating, sponsoring militias in Congo since 2002. Militias sponsored by Kagame’s troops have plundered, killed civilians and recruited child soldiers in the Congo yet Kagame and his commanders have not been indicted by the ICC” [2], [3], [4]

Relevant to the French immunity (impunity), this raises a question concerning whether European states signatory to the Rome Statute, that is a “coalition of the willing” should have been liable for what amounts to a ‘crime against humanity’, or an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 dead civilians having resulted due to infrastructure destruction (e.g. disease via water contamination), when Iraq had been invaded despite the invading states’ leaders (notably Tony Blair) knowing that invasion’s premise was false. Are the EU & NATO states’ accountability waived by the ICC?

It hardly seems a ‘crime of aggression’ need be adopted to hold states responsible for their acts where existing statutory law should be adequate.

This brings us to a recent case filed by this reporter which points to corruption. For the purpose of defining corruption in the case at hand, identified by the court’s filing reference ICC OTP-CR-295/18 [5] it is asserted (by this reporter) any case of acquiesce in the face of intimidation is a form of corruption, where cases are shelved as opposed to pursued in good faith. A recent example of this is demonstrated in the resignation of an ICC judge citing two instances where the ICC had been subject to threats or subverted. [6]

In the first instance, Turkey arrested an ICC judge with Turk nationality under the pretext of ties to Gulen, an excuse often used by the current Salafi leadership of Turkey to rid itself of principled Sufi members of Turkey’s civil service. [7] The UN Secretary General, rather than confront Turkey with a principled stance no UN member state will unilaterally set precedent with the removal of ICC judges, allowed the precedent to stand.

The other instance causing his resignation (mentioned by Judge Flugge) is the well publicized (policy) threats against the ICC by USA National Security Advisor, John Bolton, in his speech to the Federalist Society. [8]

According to Christopher Black, a longtime barrister working the several international tribunals, including the ICC, the USA plays strongly:

“First of all through key personnel they have placed in the ICC, for example the prosecutors, some judges who are willing to do what they want…

“A judge in my case was threatened by Americans working there that if certain passages in the judgement acquitting the general I was defending were not removed he would face physical problems. This is the type of gangsterism they use to get their way in these tribunals”

Also specific to the USA, at a separate tribunal, according to Black:

“Not only was a judge in my case at the Rwanda tribunal pressured but I myself was threatened by the CIA while I was there to stop raising questions and presenting evidence they [the US side] did not like” [9]

The preceding suggests Turkey may have arrested the judge with Turkish nationality as a quid pro quo on behalf of a 3rd party to dispense with a judge perceived as a threat. In any case it’s clear the ICC is compromised.

Bearing the preceding in mind, in the case filed by this reporter, to begin it should be noted it was the ICC itself that invited my filing, when the Office of the Prosecutor had responded, on 3 July 2018, to a letter I’d emailed to a German international law attorney on, 30 June 2018, copied to the ICC.

In both the letter and the complaint a clear line of evidence had been provided pointing to Turkey had (false-flag attack, in league with al Qaida) arranged the indiscriminate murder of well over 1,000 civilians at Ghouta, Syria in August of 2013. According to a Turkish parliamentarian, Eren Erdem, citing Turkish state produced investigative files in his possession, the chemicals used to produce the Sarin gas in this attack had been sourced in Europe. Turkish MP Erdem is on record stating:

“All basic materials are purchased from Europe. Western institutions should question themselves about these relations. Western sources know very well who carried out the sarin gas attack in Syria. They know these people, they know who these people are working with, they know that these people are working for Al-Qaeda. [What] I think is Westerns are hypocrites about the situation”

In this regard it is noted the court’s Office of the Prosecutor takes on the responsibility of assembling evidence:

“At the ICC, most evidence is collected and secured by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP)” [10]

In the present case (ICC OTP-CR-295/18) the filing party (Ronald Thomas West) had assembled ample evidence to justify initiating a preliminary investigation that should have triggered the court looking into whether there had been the associated crime of ‘aiding and abetting’ committed within ICC jurisdiction. To bolster this, the case had been made an additional, associated crime of aiding and abetting had been demonstrated where German intelligence had misinformed German politicians of the facts actually surrounding the Ghouta sarin attack, so far as to blame Assad.

This last (immediate preceding) would not necessarily constitute a prosecutable crime (depending on what the judges might be inclined to believe on a given day) but there is more. This reporter had provided the necessary evidence to the concerned politicians correcting the record; indisputable evidence Turkey’s intelligence agency was providing sarin to al-Qaida militants within a timeline consistent with the Ghouta attack. [11]

This evidence submitted to the German executive (office of the Federal Prosecutor) and oversight (parliamentary leadership of all parties represented in the federal parliament) was never acted on; the German political establishment closed ranks across the political spectrum to deny the government of Syria honest assessment of the Ghouta attack. The false-flag crime accordingly sustained as a successful political ploy in regime change endeavors by EU and NATO states where those very states have become complicit in aiding and abetting a war crime with the act of material concealment of the actual perpetrators identity (a NATO state.) [12]

The German politicians (and related institutions) had been provided with the evidence on 2 December 2015. By the time this (very same) evidence had been provided to the ICC in a formalized complaint on 4 July 2018, thirty one months had passed without action by the Germans, satisfying the requirement Germany should have had opportunity to redress the wrong.

On 6 February 2019, one week after the resignation of Judge Christoph Flugge, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor replied to this reporter with:

“The Office of the Prosecutor has examined your communication and has determined that more detailed information would be required in order to proceed with an analysis of whether the allegations could fall within the jurisdiction of the Court. The Prosecutor has determined that, in the absence of such information, there is not a basis at this time to proceed with further analysis”

Essentially what the ICC has done is, to shelve the case with a demand this reporter who’d made the filing (at their invitation) provide information beyond simple and clear evidence aiding and abetting of a war crime is ongoing by a state within the jurisdiction of the court. This general, non-specific language, in the common vernacular, are called ‘weasel words.’

Why? Clearly the ramifications of adopting the practice of prosecuting the politicians empowering false flag geopolitical engineering by intelligence agencies is frightening and no doubt opposed by politician & spy alike.

Were the ICC to proceed in this case (whether it were a successful prosecution or acquittal), not only would it likely topple Angela Merkel, but it likely brings into reach Davis Cameron and his spy chief Alex Younger, also Francois Hollande and his spy chief Bernard Bajolet… and so on.

In the case of Germany, there is a safe assumption: There will be no prosecution of these crimes due to a German constitutional loophole larger than the Brandenberg Gate … “for the good of the state.” Because at the end of the day, it is (a commonly used German expression) “just not possible” to rock the boat with Turkey or cross the USA.

Why the International Criminal Court matters (in the present moment) has little to do with justice and much to do with exposing the corruption of foundational principles across the spectrum of international institutions.

*

The ICC had been provided a nearly identical draft of this (preceding) with opportunity to comment. [13] Prior to releasing this for initial publication at the Ft Russ news website, two weeks have passed and no reply has been forthcoming. The ICC also declined to clarify the nature of “more detailed information [that] would be required” and has remained silent on my asking whether the German authorities had been contacted with request for information and if so, the nature of any reply.

Noteworthy is the ICC does not deny the “allegations” (the evidence is too strong) nor does the ICC altogether dismiss the possibility of jurisdiction (they have jurisdiction over complicit parties within the EU, only are either intimidated and afraid or too corrupted to exercise it, probably a combination) rather finds a ‘weasel words’ excuse to shelve a case that would call out the hypocrisy of the European signatories to the Rome Statute based on the criminality of the EU/NATO intelligence agencies.

The net result is, as of this moment the false-flag sarin attack at Ghouta, Syria (and murder of well over 1,000 innocents) during the month of August 2013 remains a successful sleight-of-hand attack blamed on the wrong party and the crime of aiding and abetting the perpetrators, it could be argued, extends to the International Criminal Court itself, in case where refusal to correct the public record protects the guilty parties. I would describe this as ‘international criminal complicity’ when a UN associated judicial body becomes aware of an easily rectified element of a major war crime, as simple as recognizing an evidence based false-flag, and instead chooses to sit on its hands.

The pity of it all is, if there were courage to pursue jurisdiction over those complicit parties within the Rome Statute’s signatory states, a precedent would be established perhaps leading (over time) to further precedent where anyone complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity could be arrested when stepping on any Rome Statute nation’s soil and progress made in realizing accountability.

Ronald’s Maxim

In any democracy, ethics, self restraint, tolerance and honesty will always take a second seat to narcissism, avarice, bigotry & persecution, if only because people who play by the rules in any democracy are at a disadvantage to those who easily subvert the rules to their own advantage

References:

[1] http://www.innercitypress.com/index.html

[2] http://www.therwandan.com/the-icc-has-given-africas-most-prolific-genocidaire-a-free-ride/

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41283362

[4] https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/rwanda-paul-kagame-americas-darling-tyrant-103963

[5] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/07/03/western-intelligence-agencies-the-international-criminal-court/

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/28/international-criminal-court-icc-judge-christoph-flugge-quits-citing-political-interference-trump-administration-turkey

[7] https://www.dw.com/en/from-ally-to-scapegoat-fethullah-gulen-the-man-behind-the-myth/a-37055485

[8] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/full-text-john-bolton-speech-federalist-society-180910172828633.html

[9] https://www.rt.com/news/450611-us-icc-manipulation-experts/

[10] https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-642-35076-4_4.pdf

[11] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/15/what-can-be-known-vs-what-will-be-known/

[12] https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/10/12/a-breaking-point-in-geopolitical-torsion/

[13] copy of this post & relevant questions requesting information were sent to the ICC on 9 February 2019

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

ISIS and Oswald

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | February 22, 2019

How ironic that the U.S. government’s war on ISIS, the group brought into existence by the U.S. national-security establishment’s war of aggression on Iraq, would provide insight into the U.S. national-security’s establishment’s relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy some 55 years ago.

As I emphasized in my 29-part video series on the JFK assassination and as I am emphasizing in my multipart series on the same subject in FFF’s monthly journal Future of Freedom, circumstantial evidence is just as valid as direct evidence. Equally important, sometimes we can glean just as much from what government officials fail to do as from what they do.

Consider the case of Hoda Muthana, a 23-year-old American citizen who traveled to Syria four years ago and became the wife of a member of ISIS. She had a baby and now wants to return to the United States.

It’s not going to happen if President Trump gets his way. He is steadfastly refusing to permit Muthana to return to the United States. As far as he is concerned, she is a traitor for having left the United States to join up with ISIS, which became an official enemy of the U.S. Empire after the U.S. conquest of Iraq.

What about Muthana’s American citizenry? Don’t citizens have a right to return to their home country regardless of what they have done abroad, even if they face the prospect of criminal charges? U.S. officials are questioning her citizenship, claiming that her father was a foreign diplomat residing in the United States when she was born, which would disqualify her from U.S. citizenship even though she was born in the United States. Her father denies that, saying that he had resigned his diplomatic position by the time she was born. According to an article in the New York Times, Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of George Washington Program on Extremism, “said the United States had an obligation to bring her home — ‘albeit in handcuffs.’”

The citizenship issue is now in court, but that issue is besides the point for purposes of this article. The point is that Trump and his national-security cohorts do not want this woman back in the United States. They want her to stay away. And they are fighting as hard as they can to keep her away. Moreover, if she is permitted back, she will undoubtedly return “in handcuffs.”

Muthana isn’t the only one in this situation. 19-year-old Shamima Begum is a British citizen who also traveled to Syria and joined up with ISIS. She has a baby boy and now wants to return to Britain.

The British government, which partnered with the U.S. government’s war of aggression on Iraq, is opposing Begum’s return to her home country as ferociously as the U.S. government is opposing Muthana’s return. Why, the British government has even stripped her of her British citizenship.

Some 59 Americans are believed to have joined ISIS. Even if any of them are permitted to return to the United States, they will almost certainly face criminal charges, either in U.S. district court or the military’s criminal “justice” system at Guantanamo Bay. According to an article on CNN.com, thirteen of them, “including a Texas man just last month, have faced terror-related charges after being returned to the US, according to research from the George Washington University Program on Extremism.”

None of this should surprise us. That’s how we would expect U.S. officials to behave given these facts and circumstances. We would be surprised if they instead took the opposite approach — one of forgiveness and red-carpet reentry into the United States.

Which brings us to Lee Harvey Oswald, the former U.S. Marine who U.S. officials have always said was a “lone nut” communist who killed President Kennedy.

How does Oswald’s case relate to those of the Americans who joined up with ISIS? The U.S. government’s treatment of Oswald, whose conduct was arguably as bad if not worse than that of the ISIS Americans, was exactly the opposite of how they are treating the ISIS Americans.

In fact, as I have noted in my two series, there are but two reasonable possibilities: Either Oswald was a Cold War miracle story or he was what many assassination researchers have long contended: a U.S. intelligence agent whose official cover was a communist.

Don’t forget the official narrative. It begins with a supposed communist joining the U.S. Marine Corps. How many communists have you ever heard of who have joined the U.S. Marines? Why would a genuine communist join the Marines? The Marines hate communists. They kill communists.

When Oswald joined the Marines, the Marines had just helped kill millions of communists in the U.S. intervention into the Korean War. The war was never ended, only suspended. The war could have resumed on a moment’s notice. Why would a genuine communist join an organization in which he might suddenly be called upon to kill more of his fellow communists? Does that make any sense?

Moreover, why would the Marines permit a communist to join their ranks? Couldn’t he be spying on them and reporting their movements and actions to what the national-security establishment said was a worldwide communist conspiracy based in Moscow, Russia (yes, that Russia!).

Oswald learned fluent Russian while he was in the Marines. How did he do that without help, especially since his study would presumably be limited to evenings and weekends? He was also studying Marxism, even to the point that his military colleagues were calling him “Osvaldovitch.”

Would the Marines really have permitted a Russian-learning, Marxism-studying “Osvaldovitch” to remain in their ranks? Not a chance. The circumstantial evidence points in only one reasonable direction: Oswald was recruited and being trained to be a communist infiltrator, one who would later infiltrate not only the Soviet Union but also communist organizations here in the United States that the CIA, the Pentagon, and the FBI had targeted for infiltration and destruction, such as the U.S. Communist Party and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

Then Oswald walked into the U.S. embassy in Russia and loudly announced that he is renouncing his U.S. citizenship—loud enough to ensure that Russian monitoring devices could pick up what he was saying. He handed over his passport to a U.S. official in the embassy and loudly declared that he intends to divulge all the secrets he learned in the U.S. military to the Russians. It was not an idle threat because the U.S. military had stationed this ostensible communist at Atsugi Air Base in Japan, which was where the CIA’s top-secret U-2 spy plane was based.

While in Russia, Oswald married a communist woman, one whose uncle had close ties to Soviet intelligence.

After a couple of years, Oswald suddenly had a change of heart, just like those ISIS wives. He decided that he now wanted to come home, along with his Red wife.

Now, how do you think that request would be handled by U.S. officials. Before you answer, remember: This was the height of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. That was the time when the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI had convinced Americans that the communists were coming to get us as part of their worldwide communist conspiracy to take over the world, a conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow. The fear of this conspiracy was about 1000 times greater than the fear that ISIS was going to come and get us and establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate that was going to force every American to learn Sharia law.

In fact, take the current animus that U.S. officials have toward both Russia and ISIS and multiply it by 1,000. That’s how they felt about commies during the Cold War.

So what did they do when Oswald, the purported communist ex-Marine who had renounced his American citizenship, joined up with America’s official enemy that was trying to conquer the United States, married a Red wife, and promised to violate his oath of secrecy by divulging U.S. military secrets to the Russians?

Did they tell him he wasn’t welcome to come back? Did they tell him to stay away? Did they threaten to prosecute him, torture him, or threaten to send him to Guantanamo Bay? Did they tell him he could come back in handcuffs?

Nope. None of those of things. In fact, in what can only be described as a Cold War miracle story, Oswald was given a red-carpet treatment during a period of time in which the U.S. national-security establishment was doing everything it could to ferret out, smear, and destroy any American suspected to be a communist. A U.S. group called Traveler’s Aid even advanced Oswald the money to return with his Red wife. Upon his return, he wasn’t arrested, investigated, harangued, abused, or interrogated. Why, he wasn’t even summoned to appear before a federal grand jury, much less criminally indicted. And no handcuffs.

Instead, he found himself being mentored in Dallas by a right-wing elderly man who had U.S. intelligence stamped all over him. He also somehow secured a job with a photography company that did top-secret work for the U.S. government.

After he moved to New Orleans, Oswald somehow had the good fortune of securing a job with a coffee company whose owner was a fiercely right-wing anti-communist. Moreover, while Oswald was distributing pamphlets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which the U.S. national-security establishment was trying to destroy, he was associating with a former FBI agent whose office was located squarely within the U.S. intelligence establishment in New Orleans. Why, even some of Oswald’s FPCC pamphlets had the FBI agent’s address stamped on the pamphlets as the return address.

The attitude and treatment of Americans who joined ISIS by President Trump and the national-security establishment is precisely what we would expect. The U.S national-security establishment’s treatment of Lee Harvey Oswald is also how we would expect they would treat a U.S intelligence operative trained to pose as a communist.

February 22, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Counterpunch Shadowboxes and Loses

By Edward Curtin | February 17, 2019

In a fair boxing match, opponents enter the ring with similarly padded gloves and battle under the bright lights for the world to see. There are, of course, cases where one fighter cheats, as in the infamous case in 1983 when Luis Resto wore weakly padded gloves and hand wraps hardened with plaster to make them rock solid. His opponent, Billy Collins, an up-and-coming boxer from Tennessee with a 14-0 record, was permanently and very seriously injured in the fight at Madison Square Garden. His eyes were battered shut and his vision damaged. He never fought again and died depressed the following year at age twenty-two.

In the fight for truth in the public arena, similar subterfuges occur.

To battle honestly in the open forum, to argue to and fro squarely, is often prevented in advance by eliminating an opponent’s voice from the debate. This is the typical method used by the corporate mass media that stack the deck with sycophants and refuse dissidents a place to voice their ideas.

Then there is the masquerade of fighting an opponent who is really a collaborator and benefactor, whose punches one counters in a game of shadow boxing meant to convince the audience that the fight is real and you are on their side. Some alternative media use this technique because they are gatekeepers for the power elite.

Sometimes this ruse is so blatant that the fix becomes transparent because the smart-asses who play this game screw up, yet they still expect their real opponents to shut up and walk away because their fixer’s mantra  is “Never apologize, never explain.” It has always been the code of the rich and powerful.

Some are brawlers, however, and fight back against this bullshit.

The well-known leftist website Counterpunch is an example of the “never apologize, never explain” school. A number of writers and journalists who have published many pieces at Counterpunch have been banned from this site in recent years without an explanation, Andre Vltchek and C.J. Hopkins being two who crossed an invisible boundary the Shadow had drawn and were never again published by Counterpunch. Others, smelling an odd odor, have walked away. The numbers are growing.

I’ve recently seen Counterpunch shadowbox and the Shadow won.

On January 29, 2019, I published an article highly critical of the CIA at Global Research, where I am a Research Associate. After this piece appeared, I received an email from the editor of Counterpunch, Jeffrey St Clair, telling me that he too was going to publish this article on Friday, February 1, for Counterpunch’s weekend edition. I had written a few dozen pieces that Counterpunch had published and had a very cordial relationship with St Clair. In fact, when I was in Rome in 2018, he had asked me to place a stone for him on Keats’ and Shelley’s graves when I visited the cemetery where they were buried. I did that, and my wife took photos that I sent to him. All was copacetic. Buddies. High fives!

On February 1, 2019, shortly after midnight Eastern time (12:02 AM), Counterpunch published my piece for their weekend edition where articles remain for three days. When I awoke at 4 A.M., I saw it. Then at 8 A. M., when I arrived at the college where I teach, I again saw it. At 11 A.M., when I had finished teaching a few classes, I looked again and it had disappeared. Transitive verb: Counterpunch had disappeared it. Eliminated it. Scratched it. Excised it.

All the other numerous articles remained. Only mine was gone. At first I thought it was a mistake. But as the day wore on I wondered. So I emailed St Clair and asked my buddie what had happened. As compatriots don’t do, he did not reply. But I assumed he was busy, as I am, and gets many emails. So I waited. When I emailed him again, there was no reply. A third very cordial email three days later went unanswered.

Unlike Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot, I am no longer waiting. No reply is coming, and St Clair isn’t Godot, or on second thought he may be, a chimerical leftist gatekeeper enticing Counterpunch’s followers to wait forever for a revelation that isn’t coming. Like his mentor and the founder of Counterpunch, Alexander Cockburn, who was so fond of excoriating as “idiots” and “conspiracy nuts” anyone questioning the JFK assassination or the attacks of September 11, 2001 – two fundamental issues that only believers in official government conspiracy theories such as Cockburn could dismiss – St Clair seems similarly dismissive of explaining why a writer’s critique of the CIA would deserve to be eliminated after being published. As if only an idiot would want to know.

However, any reasonable person would ask: Why would he not respond?  St Clair, the editor-in-chief, published the piece and then disappeared it after 10-11 hours? This is highly unusual, to put it mildly. Unprecedented for the so-called left-wing alternative media. It is the kind of thing when done by the mainstream corporate media would be denounced and exposed as censorship. Not publishing an article is a publication’s prerogative, of course, but what could cause one to eliminate an article highly critical of the CIA after people had ten or so hours to read it, and since the author and editor had a very cordial relationship up to that point and the editor had days to read it carefully?

One doesn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to realize that someone objected to the piece. But who could that be? If it were St Clair’s managing editor, Joshua Frank, twenty years his junior (the two run the operation), then St Clair could have explained to me why, since we were on good terms. I wouldn’t have liked it and argued my points, but at least we could have cordially agreed to disagree. But the Frank possibility makes no sense, for a managing editor would be intimately involved in the publishing process that was completed the previous day in time for the very early Friday A.M. postings. And in any case, St Clair is in charge.

Clearly an outside reader objected. The question is: Who is that reader that could exert such control over a publication that promotes itself as one that “Tells the Facts, Names the Names.” A publication that is considered radically leftist and in opposition to the ruling elites.

Okay, Counterpunch, would you name the name of the shadowy one who won this fight?

February 17, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments

Elliott Abrams ‘Cabaled Quietly’ to Spring a CIA-Connected Drug Trafficker

By Jefferson Morley | The Deep State | February 15, 2019

Surely, this is just another “loony left” headline about Elliott Abrams, the administration’s point man on Venezuela, whom some say has been unfairly pilloried on Capitol Hill.

If you read this September 1986 National Security Council email, written by NSC staffer Oliver North, you’ll see the headline is not over-stated but factually precise and faithful to the conspiratorial tone of the original source.

When U.S. policymakers needed to spring a convicted CIA-connected drug trafficker from doing hard time in federal prison, who did they call?

Trump’s appointed special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams.

On Thursday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) scorched Abrams for his covering up the infamous El Mozote massacre and lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra conspiracy in the 1980s.

Her interrogation drew rebuke from Max Boot, the apostate conservative, and a chorus of right-wing media commentators. Boot described Omar’s comments as a “disgraceful ad hominem attack.”

Actually the impertinent Congresswoman from Minneapolis could have gone much further about Abrams’ untrustworthy behavior. One of the most revealing stories about Abram’s hypocrisy comes from an impeccably right-wing source, Oliver North, former Republican senatorial candidate and Fox News talking head.

Bagman

The year was 1986. Abrams served as assistant secretary of state for Latin America under President Reagan. He was a 39 year old lawyer and foreign policy polemicist. Even then his perennial scowl and crooked grin managed made him look furtive and self-righteous at the same time.

The Iran-Contra conspiracy was in full swing. The conspiracy, permissively labelled “a scandal,” was a Reagan White House plot to subvert the U.S. Congress’s powers of the purse. North was the coordinator of what can fairly be described as an unconstitutional covert operation, while Abrams played the role of bagman.

To bypass the so-called Boland Amendment, Abrams took payments from the Sultan of Brunei, a petroleum potentate from South Asia, and passed them to the leaders of Reagan’s counterrevolutionary army in Nicaragua. When questioned under oath, Abrams lied. He later pleaded guilty to two counts of deceiving Congress.

As part of the conspiracy, Abrams also put in a good word for a convicted drug trafficker, General Jose Bueso Rosa. He was a Honduran general who had helped the U.S. government with  “sensitive operations” in Central America. As Murray Waas and I wrote in the Washington Post, North did “a favor for a felon.”

So did Abrams.

‘Sensitive Operations’

As an episode of CIA-sanctioned drug trafficking, the Bueso story was  typical. Bueso, it turns out, had helped put together a CIA-trained military intelligence unit known as Battalion 316, which served as death squad for U.S. policymakers.  A Honduran government investigation found that Battalion 316 had captured, tortured and executed some 200 suspected leftists.

Bueso had also trafficked multi-kiloton shipments of cocaine. As CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz documented in Volume 2 of his report on contra drug trafficking, the agency did business with more than 50 suspected drug traffickers in the 1980s.

(Lazy reporters sometimes say that the CIA was cleared of the allegation. They didn’t bother to read the Sections 800-1148 of Hitz’s report which detail how the agency took no action against four dozen suspected traffickers who aided Reagan’s–and Abrams’–anticommunist crusade.)

IG report that CIA reporters prefer not to read
(Credit: CIA)

Investigating the story for the Post, I spoke on background with law enforcement officials familiar with Bueso’s case. A  wiretap had picked up Bueso repeatedly talking about shipments of “flour” into central Florida, they said.

Given Bueso’s connections, no one in the Reagan Justice Department cared to make a big deal of his cocaine shipments, no matter how hefty. They just wanted a conviction that would put him out of business. Bueso got a generous plea bargain. He would only have to serve five years.

Bueso, however, was led to believe his American friends would save him from serving any time all.

In his September 1986 email, later uncovered by Iran-contra investigators, North worried Bueso might “break his long standing silence.” He might, in other words disclose unpleasant truths about death squads and CIA drug trafficking that might taint professed U.S. ideals of human rights.

So North “cabaled quietly” with Abrams, as well as top Pentagon, CIA and Justice Department officials.  A presidential pardon was out of the question but transfer to a comfortable “Club Fed” facility was arranged.

At a time when U.S. prosecutors meted out ten-year sentences to young black men for the possession of a few ounces of cocaine, Abrams was part of a gang that thought a multi-kiloton trafficker should be treated leniently. Such was his subtle advocacy of human rights.

Bueso got out of prison early–for “good behavior.” Abrams went on to a long career in U.S. foreign policy. Hundreds of thousands of black men remained in jails for years, if not decades.

Question

Rep. Omar could have asked an even tougher question of Abrams, namely, “Does Trump’s policy toward Latin America today involve protection of drug traffickers as Reagan’s policy did in the 1980s?”

She was certainly justified in questioning his veracity.

“I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful,” she said.

————————

Here’s the Omar-Abrams exchange.

February 17, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer

By Joyce Nelson | CounterPunch | February 15, 2019

On February 11, Bloomberg News published an astonishing piece about the unfolding Venezuelan turmoil. It was apparently the result of a major investigative effort involving three reporters and five others providing “assistance”. You’ll notice I haven’t called it a piece of news (although that’s what it looks like), but I’m not sure what to call it. It’s a piece of something, but what?

With eight people working on it, the piece is a long one, with plenty of sources. By my count, there were 19 sources. Here are 16 of them:

1-4) “four people with knowledge of the discussions”
5) “another person”
6) “a person familiar with the thinking”
7) “a person with knowledge of the conversations”
8) “another person” (different from the previously cited “another person”)
9) “a foreign military official”
10) “a French official”
11) “another person with knowledge of the deliberations”
12) “a person with knowledge of the internal discussions”
13) “a person familiar with [Juan] Guaido’s thinking”
14) “a person familiar with the discussions”
15) “a senior Turkish official”
16) “another person” (different from the previously cited “another person” and “another person”)

A seventeenth source was Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special representative for Venezuela. It’s not clear, however, that any of Bloomberg News’ three reporters or the five others providing “assistance” actually interviewed Abrams or were simply quoting from a previous press conference: “Speaking in Washington last week, Abrams said…”

So what was the focus of this piece? The intrepid reporters were picking up on a January 31st tweet by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who encouraged Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to retire to “a nice beach somewhere far from Venezuela” while he still had time.

The Bloomberg News piece is entitled: “As Nicolas Maduro digs in, his aides hunt for an emergency escape route out of Venezuela.” It got wide exposure, including in Canada’s National Post. [1] The eight reporters and aforementioned 16 sources imply that Maduro is frantically seeking a bolthole somewhere, anywhere – Cuba? Russia? Turkey? Mexico? France? – while appearing to hang on to power.

Their quote from Abrams is this: “’I think it is better for the transition to democracy in Venezuela that he be outside the country,’ Elliott Abrams, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s special representative for Venezuela, said of Maduro. ‘And there are a number of countries that I think would be willing to accept him,’ he told reporters, citing ‘friends in places like Cuba and Russia’.”

There were two more sources cited in this piece: Andrey Kortunov, head of a Moscow research organization entitled the Russian International Affairs Council, and Russian lawmaker Andrey Klimov, deputy head of the upper house of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee. Both affirmed Maduro’s resilience in the midst of the turmoil, with Klimov telling Bloomberg News that Maduro “is not planning to go anywhere.”

Indeed, Klimov “dismissed talk of Maduro’s evacuation as ‘psychological warfare’ aimed at ‘sowing panic and hysteria’” in Venezuela.

In the old days, according to persons knowledgeable on the matter, psychological warfare was conducted through the CIA’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” – massive propaganda efforts utilizing mainstream media and other outlets. These days U.S. taxpayer-funded organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have taken over much of that function. As The Intercept (Jan. 30) informs us, Elliott Abrams is on the board of the NED. [2]

The Mighty Wurlitzer blares on, but under different management and branding. Has Bloomberg News become part of this effort? At this point, persons familiar with the company’s thinking about the question have yet to come forward.

Footnotes:
[1] Esteban Duarte, Eric Martin, Ilya Arkhipov (Bloomberg News ), “As Nicolas Maduro digs in, his aides hunt for an emergency escape route out of Venezuela,” National Post, February 11, 2019.
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/as-nicolas-maduro-digs-in-his-aides-hunt-for-an-emergecy-escape-route-out-of-venezuela
[2] Jon Schwartz, “Elliott Abrams, Trump’s Pick for Fixing ‘Democracy’ in Venezuela, Has Spent His Life Crushing Democracy,” The Intercept, January 30, 2019.

Joyce Nelson’s sixth book, Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism, can be ordered at: http://watershedsentinel.ca/banksters. She can be reached through www.joycenelson.ca.<

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