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More on Imran Awan

Where are all those congressional emails?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 26, 2017

I wrote an article on the strange case of Imran Awan about two months ago. To summarize it briefly, Awan, his two brothers and wife, naturalized U.S. citizens born in Pakistan living in the Washington DC area, found employment as IT administrators in the House of Representatives working for as many as 80 Democratic Party congressmen. Even though they may have had little actual training in IT, they insinuated themselves into the system and were paid in excess of $5 million over the course of ten years, chief-of-staff level pay, while frequently not even showing up for work. They even brought into the arrangement a frequent no-show Pakistani friend whose prior work history consisted of getting recently fired by McDonald’s.

Along the way, their security files were never reviewed. They were involved in bankruptcies, bank fraud and other criminal activity, but their troublesome behavior was never noticed. They were on bad terms with their father and step-mother, which including forging a document to cheat their step-mother of an insurance payment and even holding her “captive” so she could not see their dying father. Their father even changed his last name to dissociate himself from them.

Imran Awan, the leader of the group, worked particularly for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who was, at the time, also the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Though he had no clearance and was not supposed to work with classified material, he and his family obtained password access to congressional files and Imran himself was able to enter Wasserman-Schultz’s own personal iPad computer which linked to the server used by the Democratic National Committee.

As of February 2016, the Awans came under suspicion by the Capitol Hill Police for having set up an operation involving double billing as well as the possible theft and reselling of government owned computer equipment. It was also believed that they had somehow obtained entry to much of the House of Representatives’ computer network as well as to other information in the individual offices’ separate computer systems that they were in theory not allowed to access. It was also believed that Imran sent “massive” quantities of stolen government files to a remote personal server. It may have been located in his former residence in Lorton, Virginia. The police began an investigation and quietly alerted the congressmen involved that there might be a problem. Most stopped employing the Awan family members and associates, but Wasserman-Schultz kept Imran on the payroll until the day after he was actually arrested.

Imran was arrested on July 25th at Dulles Airport as he was flying to Pakistan to join his wife Alvi, who had left the country with their children and many of their possessions in March. In January, they had also wired to Pakistan $283,000 that they had obtained fraudulently from the Congressional credit union. After his arrest, Imran was defended by lawyer Chris Gowen, a high-priced $1,000 an hour Washington attorney who has worked for the Clintons personally, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.

There are many questions regarding the Awan case. One might reasonably ask how foreign-born IT specialists are selected and vetted prior to being significantly overpaid and allowed to work on computers in congressional offices. And the ability of those same individuals to keep working even after the relevant congressmen have been warned that their employee was under investigation has to be explained beyond Wasserman-Schultz’s comment that Awan had not committed any crime, which may have been true but one would expect congressmen to err on the side of caution over an issue that could easily have national security ramifications. And how does a recently bankrupt and unemployed Imran Awan wind up with a high-priced Clinton-connected lawyer to defend himself?

As the story involves possible espionage, fraud and even something new to consider regarding the theft of information from the DNC server, one might have expected the Fourth Estate to wake from its slumber and take notice. But perhaps not surprisingly there has been astonishingly little follow-up in the mainstream media about the Awan family, possibly because it involves some leading Democrats, though the Daily Caller and some other conservative sites have stayed on top of developments.

Since his arrest Imran Awan has had his passports confiscated by the court and has been released on bail on condition that he wear an ankle monitor at all times and not travel more than 50 miles from the Virginia home where he is staying with a relative. In early September, he sought to have the monitor removed and his passports returned so he could travel to Pakistan and visit his children. His plea was rejected. He is not yet scheduled for trial on the allegations of bank fraud and is apparently still under investigation by the Bureau relating to other possible charges, including possible espionage. His four accomplices are also still under investigation but have not been charged. They are on a watch list and will not be allowed to leave the United States while the inquiry is continuing.

It has also been learned that Imran had been on the receiving end of complaints filed with the Fairfax County Virginia police in 2015-6 by two women who resided in separate apartments in Alexandria that are reportedly paid for by Imran Awan. Both of the women complained of abuse and one is believed to be a “second wife” for Imran Awan, legal in Pakistan but illegal in the United States. Imran reportedly divorced his second wife shortly after his arrest.

In a surprise development, investigative journalists have also determined that Imran Awan retained as of the end of August a still-active secret, numeric email account on the House of Representatives server. E-mail accounts in Congress normally are labeled using the holder’s name, so all active accounts are identity-linked as a security measure. In this case the numeric account was linked to the actual account of a House staffer who works on national security issues for Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana. Imran Awan clearly has been using the anonymous House of Representatives address as it was cited in a suit filed by a landlord seeking unpaid rent on an apartment rented for his second wife in Alexandria.

The most significant recent development in the Awan case is, however, the decision made by Imran’s wife Alvi to return to the United States at the end of this month. She has been charged as a co-conspirator relating to the bank fraud that her husband was also involved in, which potentially could result in some jail time. There are, however, reports that she has been interviewed several times in Pakistan by FBI agents and has apparently agreed to a plea bargain to tell all she knows about what went on with the Awan family. Some on Capitol Hill believe that what she knows could prove to be explosive, not only regarding the lax security practices in Congress but also in terms of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s negligence in providing access to the DNC server. The actual whereabouts of the large quantity of stolen government documents might also be resolved.

This story, which is still unfolding, continues to have the potential to blow wide open the complacent culture on Capitol Hill and it also might ruin the reputations of a number of leading Democrats. Stay tuned!

September 26, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Explanation

Xymphora | December 16, 2016

You need to remember the names Chuck Schumer, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel. These are all blood-pouring-from-the-fangs Zionists, and, not coincidentally, recently in charge of the people who run as Democrats in national American politics. They have consistently picked extreme right-wing candidates to run, so right-wing that they are not acceptable to most Democrat voters. If these ridiculous candidates win, they vote as ‘blue dogs’, mostly with the Republicans. If they lose, which recently has been the trend, a Republican is elected. The Zionists don’t care. Their only criterion of electoral success is if a hard-line Zionist ends up elected. The result of years of this treason has been the apotheosis of the Republican Party, and too many Wars For The Jews to count, with the accompanying impoverishment of the country.

Hillary was picked by the ‘donors’ – code for Jewish billionaire ‘one issue guys’ – as the candidate who would most reliably support extreme Zionist goals, including expansion of the Zionist Empire across the Middle East employing more Wars For The Jews and general Yinon state-splitting techniques. Russia is perceived as the only real impediment to extreme Zionism, as the kind of terrorist states which are to be constructed through Yinon techniques are correctly perceived by the Russians as an existential threat. Thus, Hillary’s main job was to tie up Russian actions by rapidly increasing cold war tensions leading to WWIII and, hopefully, regime change in Russia replacing Putin with Zionist stooges.

I pause to note that no ‘respectable’ person can possibly notice any of this, let alone write it, as utterly obvious as it is.

These . . . contradictions . . . in the Democrats have now led to electoral disaster. The problem is that there can be no fault in the institutional structure of the party as that would lead to reforms which would upset the Zionist apple-cart. Scapegoats must be found outside of the party. The FBI, ‘fake news’, and, of course, Putin’s personal disruption of the American political system by providing accurate information to American voters. ‘Fake news’ is the information provided largely by the social media which the Jewish billionaires have not yet been able to stifle. Of course, the Jewish billionaires own most of the American mainstream media, and are hemorrhaging money largely because the obvious truths provided by the social media are driving out the obvious lies provided by the mainstream media. People have noticed that their lives are wrecked largely as a result of political decisions based on these lies. Thus Trump. I note that Trump’s win with much less money spent has broken the Jewish billionaire model that elections must be won by funneling political donations – aka bribes – to media outlets owned by Jewish billionaires.

You may say that such an explanation is simplistic, not to mention ‘anti-Semitic’, but it explains everything, the collapse of the Democratic Party, the odd inability to acknowledge that there might be a problem so something might be done to fix it (remember everything is fine because of ‘demographics’), the specific nature of the scapegoats provided in lieu of taking responsibility, and the general collapse of the United States, and the destruction of the lives of so many of its citizens, under the weight of so many Wars For The Jews with no conceivable American imperial advantage.

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

US anti-Russia rhetoric goes nuclear with threats of covert cyber-attacks

By Robert Bridge | RT | October 16, 2016

The world seems to be sleepwalking its way into a geopolitical maelstrom as the US, increasingly paranoid over Russia, said it is considering a cyber-attack against the Kremlin in retaliation for purported Russian meddling in the US election process.

NBC News, citing those conveniently omnipresent “anonymous sources,” reported that the CIA is preparing to deliver ideas to the White House for “a wide-ranging ‘clandestine’ cyber operation designed to harass and ‘embarrass’ the Kremlin leadership,” as if dragging the Kremlin through the mud of the 2016 presidential campaign wasn’t embarrassing enough.

The report went on to say that the covert action plan, which is certainly no longer covert, “is designed to protect the US election system and insure that Russian hackers can’t interfere with the November vote (…) Another goal is to send a message to Russia that it has crossed a line.”

Before continuing, it is important to note that America’s electronic voting machines have long been vulnerable to hackers and vote riggers. And with all due respect to Russian ingenuity and resourcefulness, it was not the Russians who revealed that information to the Americans. In 2006, a group of computer programmers from Princeton University said they successfully created “vote-stealing software” that could be easily installed on a Diebold AccuVote-TS (the programmers, incidentally, admitted they acquired the voting machine “at a party”).

NBC then interviewed former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell about Washington’s alleged plans to conduct a cyber-attack against Russia. Morell was against the covert cyber plan, but for all the wrong reasons.

“Physical attacks on networks is not something the US wants to do because we don’t want to set a precedent for other countries to do it as well, including against us,” he said. “My own view is that our response shouldn’t be covert – it should overt, for everybody to see.”

Incidentally, it was Morell who told Charlie Rose in August that“we need to make the Russians pay a price” – i.e. kill them – apparently for the Russian military’s actions in Syria, which came as a shock given its success in routing Islamic State forces in the war-stricken Arab Republic.

NBC, as well as every other media outlet that has reported on the “Russian hacks,” failed to provide any concrete evidence of Russia “tampering in the US election process.” The NBC article, however, did prove that the Democrats, in a desperate bid to keep their Oval Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, will do whatever it takes to ‘help’ Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump next month, even to the point of staging a zero-sum, take-no-prisoner poker game with Russia, the possible implications of which simply boggle the mind.

Political high stakes

Hunting season against the big, bad Russian bear opened in July this year, as WikiLeaks dumped a batch of incriminating emails showing that Hillary Clinton had received favorable treatment by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over other presidential contenders, including Bernie Sanders. The scandal led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the now-disgraced DNC chair.

Before WikiLeaks gleefully dumped the emails, the FBI had just concluded an investigation against Clinton for using her private server while handling thousands of government documents, many of them stamped ‘classified.’ The FBI, admitting the former Secretary of State had been “extremely careless” with her computer, recommended that no charges be filed against her. At this point, the reader may be asking: Okay, what does any of this have to do with Russia? That’s a very good question, and one that Russia is asking as well.

In fact, the only evidence is circumstantial, via a remark uttered by Donald Trump, who suggested – sarcastically – that Russia might want to help US authorities locate thousands of Clinton emails that mysteriously vanished in the ether.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump quipped at a news conference in late July. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

The Clinton campaign failed to see the irony of the comments, of course. Instead, it took Trump’s words quite literally, peddling to a gullible public the story of deep collaboration between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. From there, rumors of a budding ‘bromance’ between Putin and Trump provided the necessary diversion to distract attention away from the explosive content of Clinton’s emails, and to the fantasy land of “Russian aggression.”

The Clinton campaign’s readiness to do whatever it required to win the White House was brought out in stark relief with the latest batch of leaked emails. The Young Turks, for example, found that Clinton was actually tipped off regarding a question on the death penalty that would be asked at the CNN Town Hall Debate against Donald Trump. The email in question was sent by Donna Brazile, who was then employed at CNN before becoming interim DNC Chair.

When Brazile was confronted with the allegations, she reacted by casually dismissing them. “I refuse to open them,” she remarked, talking about the proof of the leaks that had been sent to her email, of all places. “And I’ve asked the staff at the DNC and all of our Democratic allies, don’t open up that crap, because it’s postmarked from Russia.”

Clinton officials echoed Brazile’s comments, dubbing the popular whistleblower website a “propaganda arm of the Russian government.”

So just like that, yet another case of Clinton political chicanery, worthy of a Watergate-style investigation, is swept under America’s carpet, while WikiLeaks and Russia are accused of working in tandem to stain the squeaky clean electoral process. And now here we are, with the Obama administration suggesting some sort of cyber-attack on Russia – a nuclear-armed country, by the way – over what really amounts to extreme misconduct at the highest levels of the Clinton campaign, with Russia being dragged in as scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s dogged insistence that Russia is somehow responsible for the hacked emails, which even the media has admitted it cannot prove, is forcing the outgoing Obama administration to act as if it is doing something about it.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden met “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd for an interview that has raised serious concern in Russia.

Without bothering to question the validity of the claims, Todd took the allegations of Russian hacking at face value, opening his interview with a loaded question: “Why haven’t we sent a message yet to Putin?”

After a moment of deafening silence in which it was possible to hear the gears grinding in Biden’s brain, the VP responded: “We’re sending a message. We have the capacity to do it and it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”

When Todd asked if the public will know a message was sent, Biden replied, “Hope not.”

Now just try and square that. Biden tells Todd on national television that the United States will “send a message” to Russia that has the “greatest impact,” yet he hopes the American public will not connect the dots and discover whodunnit.

The inherent danger of NBC News posting this story and interview is obvious. First, as has been said a hundred times already, there is zero proof to connect Russia to the alleged hacks; and if the Obama administration is sitting on evidence it defies logic not to provide that to the public. Furthermore, should Russia be hit one day by a cyber-attack in the near or distant future, the obvious temptation will be to pin the blame on the United States, and regardless of the state of bilateral relations at that time. So in that respect, the Obama administration is doing future US and Russian administrations a terrible disservice by uttering such mindless threats that will hang over US-Russia relations for as long as our technological societies are dependent on computer systems, i.e. a very long time.

In fact, this is not the first time that the brilliant idea of talking up a cyber strike on Russia has happened. In August, the influential Atlantic Council released a paper calling for Poland to ‘reserve the right’ to attack Russian infrastructure, including Moscow’s public transport and RT’s offices, via electronic warfare. One of the authors of that diabolical piece is an adviser to BAE Systems, Europe’s largest company in the Defence Sector. Go figure.

So whether Joe Biden is simply uttering election-year rhetoric to sway voter opinion no longer matters to Russia. Unsubstantiated claims of Russian hacking is one thing, but when the second-ranking US official not only joins the blame game, but asserts that Russia will be on the receiving end of a cyber-attack, well, we’ve clearly entered an entirely new dimension – a parallel reality, if you like.

On Sunday, Vladimir Putin emphasized that US threats of cyber-attacks do not correspond to the norms of international relations.

“The only novelty is that for the first time, on the highest level, the United States has admitted involvement in these activities, and to some extent threatened [us] – which of course does not meet the standards of international communication,” the Russian leader said.

“Apparently, they are nervous,” he added.

“One can expect just about anything from our American friends. After all, what did he (Biden) say that we didn’t already know? Didn’t we know that US authorities are spying and eavesdropping on everyone?”

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks expressed reservations over the seriousness of a covert cyberwar on Russia.

“If the US ‘clandestine’ pending cyberwar on Russia was serious: 1) it would not have been announced 2) it would be the NSA [National Security Agency] and not the CIA,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.

Aside from the leaked emails from WikiLeaks, which are tossing a monkey wrench into the Democrat’s election plans, there are many other issues affecting the cantankerous American campaign. Donald Trump, for example, has promised to severely scale back America’s military footprint around the world, as well as end military campaigns that are drying up US finances. This is the very last thing the elite and the powerful military-industrial complex want, and they are willing to do anything – including lying through their teeth about Russian hacking – to ensure that Clinton gets into the White House and maintain the status quo.

Regarding the claims of a possible cyber-attack on Russia, there are also grounds for taking this report with a generous handful of salt. First, Barack Obama is presiding over the remaining lame-duck days of his 8 years in office. And lately there have been disturbing signs of a mutiny of sorts inside his administration.

In June, for example, dozens of State Department diplomats, apparently upset with Russian military’s successes in Syria, signed an internal memo calling the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, which sounds curiously like the position many predict Clinton will take should she reach the White House.

Since the NBC News report of an alleged plan to conduct a cyber-attack on Russia contained not a single named source, not to mention the futility of publicly declaring a “covert” operation, this may be nothing more than a case of the US mainstream media unilaterally poking the hornets nest, agitating Russia, while creating a perfect smokescreen to conceal the misconduct of their obvious favorite candidate – Wall Street-approved, Neocon-supported, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

@Robert_Bridge

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Venezuela Faces Down Rebuke at UN, Possible New Sanctions

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim | Venezuelanalysis | September 30, 2016

A group of 29 countries called for the Venezuelan government and opposition to engage in renewed national dialogue Thursday, amid calls for more US sanctions against the South American country.

Led by the right-wing government of Paraguay, the international group including the US and UK called on President Nicolas Maduro to “ensure the full respect of human rights, due process, the separation of powers and the consolidation of a representative democracy”.

Issued during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the statement also called for the Venezuelan government to ensure the organisation of a presidential recall referendum.

Venezuela condemned the declaration as “interventionist”, while its regional allies drew support outweighing the Paraguayan statement.

A call from Cuba for respect for state sovereignty drew the support of 88 countries.

Maduro described the outcome of the UNHRC meeting as a “great victory” for Venezuela.

“To their 29 votes, we got 88,” he said.

The fiery session Thursday was the latest in a series of jabs at Venezuela over the course of the meeting. When the UNHRC forum began on September 13, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein lashed out at Maduro’s government over “allegations of repression of opposition voices, arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force against peaceful protests”.

A major anti-government rally two days later drew thousands of opposition supporters to the streets of Caracas and other major Venezuelan cities, with no signs of widespread police crackdowns or repression. Another large rally is scheduled to take place on October 12.

More International Setbacks, Possible Sanctions

The controversy at the UNHRC followed weeks of bad news for Venezuela’s international relations. Earlier this month Venezuela was barred from its position as president of the South American trade bloc Mercosur, while Maduro’s hosting of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement failed to draw more than a handful of international allies.

Then on Wednesday, US lawmakers issued renewed condemnation, and calls for new sanctions on Caracas.

On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the release of “political prisoners” in Venezuela.

“This resolution states in no uncertain terms that President Maduro’s shameful and rampant corruption in Venezuela must end,” said Florida Representative and former chairperson of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Schultz herself faced allegations of corruption earlier this year, after whistle-blower website Wikileaks released documents that appeared to show Schultz and other leading party officials failed to maintain impartiality during the Democratic primaries.

CNE Head Targeted by Rubio

The day after the House issued its latest Venezuela resolution, long time anti-Venezuela campaigner Senator Marco Rubio called on President Barack Obama to authorise sanctions on government officials including the head of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena.

Rubio claimed Lucena and other top officials have “committed significant acts of violence or human rights abuses”.

Lucena herself has no oversight over Venezuela’s security forces, which have been accused of human rights abuses. Nor has she directly been involved in the arrest of opposition political figures such as Leopoldo Lopez, who was imprisoned in 2015 after a Venezuelan court found him guilty of inciting a wave of deadly violence.

As head of the CNE, Lucena has been criticised by opposition supporters, who say her organisation has dragged its feet on preparing for a presidential recall referendum, which could lead to Maduro being forced from power early. CNE officials have responded to the complaints by arguing the opposition itself has slowed the referendum by allegedly including bogus signatures in a preliminary petition that was required to prompt a recall vote.

Last week, the CNE confirmed the referendum would not be possible until next year, dashing opposition hopes of forcing new elections. The timing of the referendum is significant: if it takes place before January 10, 2017, Maduro could be forced from office, and snap elections held. If the referendum is held after this cut off point, Maduro will simply be replaced by his vice-president for the rest of the normal presidential term.

The CNE’s handling of the referendum has also been criticised by the US, prompting backlash from the Maduro administration.

In a bid to ease tensions, the US and Venezuela are expected to hold new diplomatic talks in the coming weeks.

According to a report from the Associated Press this week, the talks will include Venezuelan officials and a US Department of State official. The official was named as Thomas Shannon, the state department’s current undersecretary of state for political affairs.

No further details of the meeting have been released, though another recent meeting between Venezuelan officials and US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly focused on the detention of Joshua Holt.

A US national, Holt was detained by the Venezuelan military in June, under allegations of stockpiling firearms in the home of his wife in Venezuela. Holt’s relatives have denied the allegations.

October 1, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedian

By Sam Husseini | July 26, 2016

In remarks from the Democratic National Convention stage applauded by big media, Sarah Silverman lauded the Democratic Party primary process as “exemplary”.

I guess that’s why she’s a comedian.

Perhaps she doesn’t know who Debbie Wasserman Schultz is. Perhaps she doesn’t know that Schultz just resigned as head of the Democratic National Committee after the release by WikiLeaks of DNC internal emails showing evidence of them conspiring against Sanders. Of course, Schultz was then immediately named “honorary chair” of the Clinton campaign. Schultz as “honorary” anything — now that’s funny.

Hey Sarah, check this out: “DNC Staffers Mocked the Bernie Sanders Campaign, Leaked Emails Show“. Julian Assange accused the Democratic National Committee of “naked conspiracies” against Bernie Sanders.

Still, Silverman insisted: “This Democratic primary was exemplary. No name calling … that stuff is for third graders.”

Yes, name calling is for third graders. Which I guess is why she then blurted out “Can I just say, to the Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous.”

Wow, there’s a well-reasoned argument. “You’re being ridiculous.”

I have mixed feelings about people shouting in a hall, but what was really ridiculous was that as I flipped from network to network, none seems to want to tell me what it was the delegates were chanting. After poking around my twitter feed, here’s some of what they were apparently saying — more substantial than the speeches from the podium:

“Tax Wall Street!” and “Release the transcripts!” and “99 percent!” and, as it was claimed that Clinton would be tough on Wall Street: “Goldman Sachs! Goldman Sachs!” and “We trusted you! We trusted you!” (to Elizebeth Warren) and apparently, at one point, they referred to the DNC scandal — “Wikileaks! Wikileaks! Wikileaks!” When Bernie Sanders talked about Hillary Clinton on crime, some shouted “super predators!”

But who wants to hear what delegates think when we have Sarah Silverman making STD jokes about “feel the burn”?

Not that activists shouldn’t be questioned. I’ve had my own criticisms of #BernieOrBust for some time. Some of them have made a cult out of an obviously flawed man, who it’s been apparent for weeks if not months would not get the nomination. Backing Sanders should be a tactic, not the goal. His supporters now should use the VotePact.org voting strategy — see in my piece “#BernieAndBoom.” This would mean disenchanted Democrats and disenchanted Republicans who know and trust each other pairing up and vote for the independent candidates of their choice, like the Green or Libertarian candidates. Methodical action is the order of the day in the coming weeks, months and years.

And I don’t mean to be too hard on Silverman. After all, I don’t think her performance with Al Franken was quite the unintentionally funniest bit on Monday night.

I thought it was hilarious when Elizabeth Warren tried to paint Clinton as someone who would stand up to Wall Street. And I thought it was unintentionally uproariously funny when the much touted “first Muslim” member of Congress, Keith Ellison, introduced Sanders without a mention of perpetual U.S. wars — which have killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims over the last several decades. Seeing the king of rhetoric, Bill Clinton applauding speakers like some kind of phony wise man was sickeningly priceless. And there was comedic irony in Cory Booker’s endless empty platitudes about “courage” and such as grassroots activists showed some degree of actual courage — struggling to find a way to be heard in a rigged system.

Silverman also said: “My shrink says we don’t get what we want, we get what we think we deserve.” So, maybe that’s what she thinks she deserves: a corporate, militaristic candidate serving the interests of the elite — of which Silverman is a member at this point.

The sign many were waving last night — “love trumps hate” — was way off. Clinton — “we came, we saw, he died” (about Qaddafi) — is the candidate of love? Really? The Clinton message is actually “fear trumps Trump”. Even as speaker after speaker at the DNC attacked Trump for instilling fear (true enough), their own go-to message was: Back Hillary because the Donald should arouse such fear in you that all other thought processes should immediately shut down.

So it took extra chutzpah, and comedic gold, for Silverman to saying that “I will vote for Hillary with gusto” — showing for all to see her extraordinary delusion.

This is a world view in which substance, debate and democracy must be avoided. The New York Times headlined a piece “Sarah Silverman tames the Bernie beast” — echoing the now fashionable founding money man of the one percent Alexander Hamilton’s derision of the general public: “Your people, sir — your people is a great beast!”

Appropriately, just as Sanders ended his own sad speech, which induced tears of grief among his perhaps naive delegates, the choreographers of the evening’s festivities chimed in a riff from “Taking it to the Street” — perhaps they didn’t think to look at the rest of the lyrics of the song:

You, telling me the things you’re gonna do for me 

I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see

Quite appropriate for an evening of promises on behalf of the corporate candidate of perpetual wars who has just again reiterated her actual big money allegiance with her vice presidential pick — to the delight of a stage managed, big media driven system appalled by the threat of accountability and democracy actually breaking out.

July 26, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Militarism | , , , | 3 Comments

Ecuadorian Fugitives Gave Large Sums of Money to US Politicians

Prensa Latina | March 13, 2014

Washington – Ecuadorian bankers Roberto and William Isaias, current fugitives, donated large sums of money to campaigns of U.S. politicians, the press revealed today.

Reports underline that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating cases that involve Congressional Republican Senator Marco Rubio, Democrat Robert Menendez and Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, among other politicians.

New York’s NBC network says the FBI suspects that Menendez, through phone calls and recommendation letters to the Department of State and other bodies, helped the Ecuadorian brothers establish themselves in the U.S. in exchange for donations to his reelection campaign.

Journalist and blogger Alberto Padilla claims he can confirm that, since they arrived to live in Miami, the Isaias have financed an active lobbying campaign against the Rafael Correa administration in Ecuador and have also aided senators, in exchange for being allowed to remain in the United States.

The Isaias were sentenced in absentia to eight years of imprisonment on April 11, 2012 by the National Court of Justice after a judicial process that lasted 13 years and in which 54 judges participated.

In the Ros-Lehtinen case, the Daily Beast website assured that she recently received money from the former bankers in exchange for help.

The Isaias had donated at least $23,700 USD to Ros-Lehtinen during the 2010, 2012 and 2014 electoral cycles, according to federal contribution campaign registers.

The Isaias also contributed to the campaign funds of Florida’s Senator Bill Nelson, and Congresswoman and also President of the National Democrat Committee Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Representative Joe Garcia.

March 14, 2014 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Administration Considering Targeted Sanctions against Members of Venezuelan Government

By Jake Johnston | CEPR Americas Blog | March 4, 2014

Members of Congress and the Obama administration have consistently placed the blame for the violence stemming from protests on the Venezuelan government, while overlooking or ignoring violent incidents by opposition protesters, including the decapitation of motorcycle riders, the burning of government buildings and metro stations, attacks against state media companies, and the killing of individuals seeking to dismantle barricades, including a National Guard officer. Officials have referred instead to “systematic” human rights abuses and government repression, without citing evidence.

Based on these assertions, momentum is building to implement sanctions on members of the Venezuelan government. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) told the press on Monday that, “There should be sanctions on individuals. … The administration is looking at those.” Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, cited a “high-level” State Department official that she had recently spoken to.

That the administration is considering sanctions comes on the heels of demands from members of congress that the Obama administration go further in its application of pressure on the Venezuelan government. After introducing legislation “supporting the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democracy,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) stated that:

“But this resolution can only be the first step to hold Maduro and his fellow regime thugs accountable for their violent response and their abuses of the Venezuelan people’s liberties and human rights. I have already begun circulating a letter amongst my colleagues in the House, addressed to President Obama, asking him to take immediate actions against Maduro and other Venezuelan officials who are responsible for violations of their people’s human rights. We are calling for the President to enact immediate sanctions against these officials, under authorities granted to him under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), including denying them visas to enter the United States, blocking their property and freezing their assets in the U.S., as well as prohibiting them from making any financial transactions in the U.S.”

Ros-Lehtinen also plans to introduce a bill that would require the administration to take these steps. The moves from the House of Representatives have been echoed in the Senate, where the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced a resolution calling for sanctions. Menendez stated:

“Now is the time to pursue a course of targeted sanctions by denying and revoking visas, and freezing the assets of Venezuelan officials complicit in the deaths of peaceful protestors. Human rights violators should be held accountable for the crimes they committed and their presence should not be welcome in our nation. Venezuelans today are denied basic rights, freedoms, and the ability to peacefully protest the dire economic circumstances caused by President Maduro and his government. We stand with the Venezuelan people and the brave opposition leaders in their pursuit to build a more hopeful Venezuela that embraces a bright future while discarding a failed past.”

Marco Rubio even made the case for sanctions on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” telling host David Gregory that, “I would like to see specific U.S. sanctions against individuals in the Maduro government that are systematically participating in the violation of human rights and anti-democratic actions.” Florida Governor Rick Scott has also called for sanctions. Although neither the House nor the Senate have passed these resolutions calling for sanctions, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters last week that, “with respect to Venezuela, Congress has urged sanctions.”

The call for sanctions has also been trumpeted by the press, with Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer saying that if Venezuela does not respond to “international diplomatic pressures,” then the Congress “should revoke the U.S. visas of Venezuelan government and military leaders.” Further, Otto Reich, the former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the time of the U.S.-backed coup of 2002, wrote an opinion piece for the National Review titled “It’s Time for Sanctions in Venezuela.”

None of the members of congress nor any of the resolutions mention the fact that of the 18 tragic deaths in Venezuela since the protests began, many were not protestors, but individuals removing barricades and motorcyclists killed by wires strung across streets, or by crashing into barricades. In one case, a member of the Venezuelan National Guard was shot and killed. The Senate resolution makes no call for both sides to refrain from violence nor does it condemn the violent actions of some from the protest movement, however it does deplore “the use of excessive and unlawful force against peaceful demonstrators in Venezuela and the inexcusable use of violence…to intimidate the country’s political opposition.”

While, undoubtedly, excessive force has been used by members of the Venezuelan security forces, over 10 individuals have been arrested for these actions and further investigations are under way. According to the Attorney General (AG) of Venezuela, there are currently 27 investigations into violations of human rights. The AG, Luisa Ortega Diaz, stated that her office “will not tolerate violations of human rights under any circumstance and that any official turns out to be responsible will be sanctioned as established by the laws of Venezuela.” Far from censoring information or trying to hide the extent of the arrests or of those killed in the last few weeks, Diaz has provided regular updates to the press and has kept the public informed about the status of investigations.

March 5, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bye, Bye, American Pie: US intransigence in the face of a war-weary world

US intransigence in the face of a war-weary world will mean the end of the country as we know it

By Daniel Patrick Welch | September 4, 2013

It actually shouldn’t be that much of a shock. For the last twelve years at least, Americans have watched their country drift into the shadows of international law abroad and onto the shoals of fascism at home. Inexorably, the weight of imperial overstretch has crippled an economy already on a constant war footing and led to the steady erosion of civil liberties once taken for granted.

At one point, Democrats cried out in (what turns out to be mock) horror when one of the Bushmen smirked at the Geneva Convention as ‘quaint.’ Outrageous! Squeaked the remnants of an American “Left.” No more. As drones are poised to darken the skies like a plague of locusts, intelligence agencies can read all of our communications even as we write them, and the general criminalization of dissent has accelerated without objection because, after all, the guy doing it has a -D after his name.

And now, nary a peep from so-called ‘progressives’ in Congress as a Democrat and his lurking, smooth-talking Consigliore use the same lies and fabrications to shove yet another war down our throats, all neatly packaged in Red, White and Blue, the specter of National Security—in short, the same old bullshit we’ve heard before.

But it’s not the same—that’s the point. And it’s a shame the fools in congress are too stupid (most of them, apparently) to see it. Showing the delusional thinking that is now seemingly required to hold and keep public office, one particularly deranged congresswoman actually told Wolf Blitzer that “dozens” of countries stood ready to support the US’ aggressive war against Syria, though she couldn’t name them offhand. Debbie Wasserman Schultz actually said “I mean we have, from the briefings that I’ve received, there are dozens of countries who are going to stand with the United States, who will engage with us on military action and also that back us up.”

Oh, okay then. Micronesia will send staples, and Samoa is serving drinks. The problem is that, inside the bubble of American “thought,” these people really think that mobilizing the ‘international community’ is the same a papering an audience for a bad musical on a weeknight. It is all just a cynical farce to them. They don’t know, or don’t care, that the whole world sees this for the fraud that it is. The Obama regime is about to make the biggest mistake in history.

This is not hyperbole. Bush had far more support going into Iraq, and Saddam had far less. His case for war, filled with lies and fabricated ‘evidence’ and ginned up ‘intelligence’ findings, is far better than the US’ current position—a complete crock of shit to the whole world, but that somehow smells like roses to the US Congress. The government has ceased to function as a representative body, and is completely divorced from the interests of the American people. Don’t want to trust such a judgment to an old commie like me? Take it from a former president—Jimmy Carter. Mr. Peanut himself admitted there is ‘no functioning democracy’ currently in the US. The arrogance of Obama’s War Council is stunning. Russia, China, and Iran have given repeated warnings—stern, clear, and unequivocal, against such an illegal and foolhardy course of action. The world has had it with American intransigence. It makes no difference whether an illegal war of aggression is ‘authorized’ by a compliant US Congress. Zero.

No matter what happens from here on out, the balance of power is already shifting, away from the US and its vassal states toward BRICS and the nations of the Global South. Even if the US regime does not attack (in itself a poor choice of words since it has been arming and funding foreign mercenaries in Syria for over two years), a too-patient world is ready to muzzle the rabid dog that is the US. China, while keeping mostly cool, has let it be known that if a strike does go ahead, that others should offer assistance to resist. This is as clear a shot across the bow as there is, and should give US warmakers pause.

What it means is that Syria, as a sovereign state, is justified in calling on its allies for help, by which it means Iran and its store of Russian Sunburn missiles, or Hezbollah and its own Chinese C-802 missiles, or Russia itself with its S300, S400 & S500 missiles. This is the real red line, and the US already crossed it in Libya. Putin has said that the Americans are acting like a monkey with a grenade in the Middle East. To put a finer zoological point on it, the Panda and the Bear are not fooling around. They have decided, and rightly so, that the US is too dangerous and must be stopped. If Obama goes ahead with this maniacal and murderous plan, China, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah will help Syria sink a few US destroyers, sending hundreds and perhaps thousands of kids to the bottom of the Mediterranean—they have as much as said so. They—not the US—will be within their rights and within international law to do so.

Mourn now, not later. And mourn at least equally for the kids your kids kill and for your kids who are killed in return. Don’t go running for the flag or screaming for revenge. Don’t accuse those of us who shouted from the rooftops of being un-American, or try to bully us into abandoning our principles and join the call for blood. This is wrong. It is illegal. It is as predictable as it is preventable. Even some tepid ‘antiwar’ types have it wrong when they say the US can’t be the world’s policeman. This misses the mark: the real point is that we have no moral authority to do so, and the whole world knows it. The criminal cabal in Washington is so obsessed with its own greatness that is has stood history on its head. In his long, insidious career of lies and obfuscation, Merchant of Death John Kerry finally got something inadvertently right: this *is* a Munich moment. But of course, true to form, he has it backwards. And Chamberlain‘s first name is not Neville, it’s Vlad. And he may give Obama and his henchmen a Nuremberg Moment.

Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia. Together they run The Greenhouse School. Translations of articles are available in over two dozen languages.

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment