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Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard

By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | July 13, 2018

If FBI agent Peter Strzok were not so glib, it would have been easier to feel some sympathy for him during his tough grilling at the House oversight hearing on Thursday, even though his wounds are self-inflicted. The wounds, of course, ooze from the content of his own text message exchange with his lover and alleged co-conspirator, Lisa Page.

Strzok was a top FBI counterintelligence official and Page an attorney working for then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The Attorney General fired McCabe in March and DOJ has criminally referred McCabe to federal prosecutors for lying to Justice Department investigators.

On Thursday members of the House Judiciary and Oversight/Government Reform Committees questioned Strzok for eight hours on how he led the investigations of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized emails and Donald Trump’s campaign’s ties with Russia, if any.

Strzok did his best to be sincerely slick.  Even so, he seemed to feel beleaguered — even ambushed — by the questions of Republicans using his own words against him. “Disingenuous” is the word a Republican Congresswoman used to describe his performance.  Nonetheless, he won consistent plaudits from the Democrats. He showed zero regret for the predicament he put himself into, except for regret at his royal screw-up in thinking he and Lisa could “talk about Hillary” (see below) on their FBI cellphones and no one would ever know.  One wag has suggested that Strzok may have been surreptitiously texting, when he should have been listening to the briefing on “Cellphone Security 101.”

In any case, the chickens have now come home to roost. Most of those chickens, and Strzok’s predicament in general, are demonstrably the result of his own incompetence.  Indeed, Strzok seems the very embodiment of the “Peter Principle.” FBI agents down the line — that is, the non-peter-principle people — are painfully aware of this, and resent the discredit that Strzok and his bosses have brought on the Bureau.  Many are reportedly lining up to testify against what has been going on at the top.

It is always necessary at this point to note that the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and even the Department of Justice were operating, as former FBI Director James Comey later put it, in an environment “where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump.” Most of them expected to be able to stay in their key positions and were confident they would receive plaudits — not indictments — for the liberties that they, the most senior U.S. law enforcement officials, took with the law. In other words, once the reality that Mrs. Clinton was seen by virtually everyone to be a shoo-in is taken into account, the mind boggles a lot less.

Peter Principle

In a text sent to Page on April 2, 2016, Strzok assured her that it was safe to use official cellphones.  Page: “So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it can’t be traced.” It goes downhill from there for the star-crossed lovers.

Pity Page, who asked for more time to answer a subpoena to testify to the same joint-committee. It is understandable that she would have trusted Strzok on this. After all, he was not only her lover, but also one of the FBI’s top counterintelligence officials.

How could she ever have expected to taste the bitter irony that the above text exchange could be retrieved, find its way to the Department of Justice Inspector General, to Congress, and then to the rest of us, not to mention far more incriminating exchanges.

The ‘Hillary Dispensation’

There were moments of high irony at Thursday’s hearing. For example, under questioning by Darrell Issa (R-CA), Strzok appealed, in essence, for the same kid-gloves treatment that his FBI and DOJ associates afforded Mrs. Clinton during the Strzok-led investigation of her emails.

Issa: Mr. Strozk, you were part of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, that’s correct?

Strzok: Yes.

Issa: And in that investigation, uh, you were part of the decision for her to, uh, and her lawyers, to go through emails that were produced during, uh, you, if you will, during her time as Secretary, go through and determine which ones were Government, and which ones were not, both the classified and unclassified, is that correct?

Strzok: I was not.

Issa:   You were not involved at all.

Strzok: That’s correct.

Issa: But you’re aware of it.

Strzok: I.. I’m aware of their statements to us about how they did it.

Issa: And do you think it was ok, uh, for Secretary Clinton to determine what could or couldn’t, uh, uh, qualify for her to turn in under the Federal Records Act?

Strzok: I, I can’t speak to that. That was a decision, my understanding between her and her attorneys, and…

Issa:   Ok, but you were aware that in her production she failed to deliver some items that’ve now been ruled were classified, is that correct?

Strzok: I’m aware that we recovered information that was not in the material that she turned over. I don’t know if it was her failure, the failure of the attorneys conducting that sort, or simply because she didn’t have it. I, I don’t know the answer to that question.

Issa: So, I bring up something that came up in the previous round. So far, only you have determined what should be turned over from your private emails, that, or your non-government emails and texts, what should be delivered because it was government in nature. You’ve made that decision.

Strzok: That’s right.

Issa: And it’s your position that nobody else in the way of a government entity should be able to look over your shoulder, so to speak, and make that decision.

Strzok:   That, that’s right.

Issa: So you think it’s ok for the target — and you are a target — of an investigation to determine what should be delivered rather than, if you will, the government, right?

Strzok: Sir, I am not aware of any investigation of which I am a target, not aware I’m a target of any investigation.

At this point Issa tells Strzok he is indeed a target of investigation by Congress. More importantly, Issa makes the point that the content of the texts exchanged on the FBI phones contained a mixture of official business and personal matters.

So why, asks Issa, should we not ask you to provide similar texts from your personal exchanges, since there is likely to be a similar mixture of official and personal matters in those texts? Issa suggests they likely “would be similar.”

Strzok asks if, by “similar,” Issa means “commenting on Mr. Trump or Hillary Clinton or anything else political in nature.” Strzok then adds, “I don’t specifically recall but it is probably a safe assumption.”

Uh oh.

Strzok: No Good Options

If Strzok was distracted by texting during the standard briefing on “NSA Capabilities:101,” he may have missed the part about NSA collecting and storing everything that goes over the Internet. That would include, of course, his private text messages with Page on private phones.

There is, admittedly, a very slim chance Strzok is unaware of this. But, given his naiveté about how well protected the texts on his FBI cellphone were, that possibility cannot be ruled out. In any case, given the high stakes involved, there seems a chance he might be tempted to follow Mrs. Clinton’s example with her emails and try to delete or destroy texts that provide additional incriminating evidence — or get someone else to do so.

More probably, after Thursday’s hearing, Strzok will see it as too late for him to try to cash in on the “Hillary Exemption.” Strzok, after all, is not Hillary Clinton. In addition, it has probably long since dawned on him that his FBI and DOJ co-conspirators may well decide to “throw him under the bus,” one of those delicate expressions we use in Washington. In this connection, Strzok will have noted that last month McCabe asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to give him immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony on how senior officials at the FBI and Justice Department handled the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.

If McCabe knows FBI history, he is aware that one of his predecessors as acting director, L. Patrick Gray, famously was left to “twist slowly in the wind” per the instructions of President Richard Nixon’s aide John Ehrlichman, when the Senate Judiciary Committee could not get satisfactory answers from Gray.

Nixon had nominated Gray to lead the FBI after J. Edgar Hoover died in May 1972, but he could never get confirmed by the Senate. Worse still, Gray was forced to resign after less than a year as acting FBI director, after he admitted to having destroyed Watergate-related documents.

Predictable Media Spin

The “mainstream media” remain the main obstacle to understanding what is going on behind the scenes. It would be easier to forgive them, were not a full-blown Constitutional crisis brewing the Executive and Legislature branches, as the DOJ and FBI continue to resist Congress’s requests for original documents. Former CIA chief John Brennan is also being given space to indulge in pre-emptive rhetoric that he apparently thinks will help when they get to him.

The New York Times reported Friday that “Peter Strzok … was hauled before the House but came out swinging. … The embattled F.B.I. agent who oversaw the opening of the Russia investigation mounted an aggressive defense of himself and the F.B.I. on Thursday, rejecting accusations that he let his private political views bias his official actions and labeling Republicans’ preoccupation with him ‘another victory notch in Putin’s belt.’”

The Potomac Times (aka The Washington Post) ran similarly laudatory coverage of Strzok — “Strzok testifies amid partisan fury: heated hearing sheds little light as agent fumes at accusations of FBI bias” — and laced its coverage with a defamatory article about Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who led the most aggressive Republican questioning of Strzok.

According to the Times, Jordan is “under withering scrutiny as he faces numerous accusations that he knew or should have known about the alleged sexual misconduct of a doctor who worked with the Ohio State wrestling team when Jordan was an assistant coach there between 1986 and 1995.” The Times goes on to quote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Well, many people say that he did know and by his own standard, he should have known.”

And, sadly, do not look to so-called progressive media for more balanced reporting. For example, Democracy Now! Friday morning chose to highlight Strzok’s tortured explanation of what he really meant when he told Page, “We will stop” Trump. Strzok says the “we” he referred to was “the American population [which] would not elect somebody” who behaves like Trump. The context of that text exchange, however, makes it clear who the “we” is — or was.

Finally, for those with the courage to dissect and explain Strzok’s testimony to neighbors still drinking Russia-gate Kool-Aid, please note that Strzok’s name is easier to say, than to spell.  It is pronounced “struck” like “dumbstruck,” or — equally applicable in Strzok’s circumstances — “Moonstruck.” Those watching Thursday’s hearing will have noticed that not all members of the House Judiciary and Oversight/Government Reform Committees had gotten the word on how to pronounce what may now become a household word.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former U.S. Army officer and CIA analyst, he has closely watched Washington goings-on like this for five decades. Ray co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

July 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Denying the Obvious: Leftists and Crimestop

By Edward Curtin | January 28, 2018

“And thus the U.S. left leadership sits in the left chamber of the hall of mirrors, complaining about conspiracy theories while closing its eyes to actual conspiracies crucial to contemporary imperialism.” – Graeme MacQueen, Beyond Their Wildest Dreams: September 11, 2001 and the American Left

It is well known that effective propaganda works through slow, imperceptible repetition. “The slow building up of reflexes and myths” is the way Jacques Ellul put it in his classic, Propaganda. This works through commission and omission.

I was reminded of this recently after I published a newspaper editorial on Martin Luther King Day stating the fact that the United States’ government assassinated Dr. King. To the best of my knowledge, this was the only newspaper op-ed to say that.  I discovered that many newspapers and other publications (with very rare exceptions), despite a plethora of articles and editorials praising King, ignored this “little” fact as if it were inconsequential.  No doubt they wish it were, or that it were not true, just as many hoped that repeating the bromide that James Earl Ray killed Dr. King would reinforce the myth they’ve been selling for fifty years, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary that is available to anyone wishing to investigate the truth.

The general attitude seemed to be: Let’s just appreciate MLK on his birthday and get on with it. Don’t be a spoil-sport.

That this is the approach of the mainstream corporate media (MSM) should not be surprising, for they are mouthpieces for official government lies. But when the same position is taken by so many liberal and progressive intellectuals and publications who are otherwise severely critical of the MSM for their propaganda in the service of empire, it gives pause. Like their counterparts in the MSM, these liberals shower King with praise, even adding that he was more than a civil rights leader, that he opposed war and economic exploitation as well, but as to who killed him, and why, and why it matters today, that is elided. Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! in a recent piece on an upcoming documentary about King is a case in point. Not once in this long conversation about a film about the last few years of King’s life and his commitment to oppose the Vietnam War and launch the Poor People’s Campaign is the subject of who killed him and why broached. It is a perfect example of the denial of the truth through omission.

Propaganda, of course comes in many forms: big lies and small; half-truths, whispers, and rumors; slow-drip and headlong; misinformation and disinformation; through commission and omission; intentional and unintentional; cultural and political, etc.  Although it is omnipresent today – 24/7 surround sound – when it comes from the mouths of government spokespeople or corporate media the average person, grown somewhat suspicious of official lies, has a slight chance of detecting it. This is far more difficult, however, when it takes the form of a left-wing critique of U.S. government policies that subtly supports official explanations through sly innuendos and references, or through omission. Reading an encomium to Dr. King that attacks government positions on race, war, and economics from the left will often get people nodding their heads in agreement while they fail to notice a fatal flaw at the heart of the critique. The Democracy Now! piece is a perfect example of this legerdemain.

I do not know the motivations or intentions of many prominent leftist intellectuals and publications, but I do know that many choose to avoid placing certain key historical events at the center of their analyses. In fact, they either avoid them like the plague, dismiss them as inconsequential, or use the CIA’s term of choice and call them “conspiracy theories” and their proponents “conspiracy nuts.”  The result is a powerful propaganda victory for the power elites they say they oppose.

Orwell called it “Crimestop: [it] means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short means protective stupidity.”

There are many fine writers and activists who are very frustrated by their inability, despite a vast and continuous outpouring of excellent critiques of the machinations of the oligarchical rulers of the U.S., to convince people of the ways they have been brainwashed by government/media propaganda. Most of their anger is directed toward the most obvious sources of this intricate psychological warfare directed at the American people. They often fail to realize, however – or fail to say – that there are leftists in their ranks who, whether intentionally or not, are far more effective than the recognized enemies in government intelligence agencies and their corporate accomplices in the media in convincing people that the system works and that it is not run by killers who will go to any lengths to achieve their goals. These leftist critics, while often right on specific issues that one can agree with, couch their critiques within a framework that omits or disparages certain truths without which nothing makes sense. By truths I do not mean debatable matters, but key historical events that have been studied and researched extensively by reputable scholars and have been shown to be factual, except to those who fail to fairly do their homework, purposely or through laziness.

There is no way to understand today’s world without confronting four key historical events out of which spring today’s conditions of oligarchic rule, constant war, and the growth of an intelligence apparatus that makes Orwell’s 1984 look so anachronistic.

They are: the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK by elements within the U.S. intelligence services, and the insider attacks of September 11, 2011. These are anathema to a group of very prominent left-wing intellectuals and liberal publications. It is okay for them to attack Bush, Obama, Clinton, Trump, the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders, liberals in general, creeping fascism, capitalism, the growth of the intelligence state, etc.; but to accept, or even to explore fairly in writing, what I assert as factual above, is verboten. Why?

When President Kennedy was murdered by the CIA, the United States suffered a coup d’état that resulted in years of savage war waged against Vietnam, resulting in millions of Vietnamese deaths and tens of thousands of American soldiers. The murder of JFK in plain sight sent a message in clear and unambiguous terms to every President that followed that you toe the line or else. They have toed the line. The message from the coup planners and executioners was clear: we run the show. They have been running it ever since.

When Martin Luther King declared his opposition to the Vietnam War and joined it to his espousal of a civil rights and an anti-capitalist program, he had to go. So they killed him.

Then, when the last man standing who had a chance to change the direction of the coup – Robert Kennedy – seemed destined to win the presidency, he had to go. So they killed him.

To ignore these foundational state crimes for which the evidence is so overwhelming and their consequences over the decades so obvious – well, what explanation can leftist critics offer for doing so?

And then there are the attacks of September 11, 2001, the fourth foundational event that has brought us to our present abominable condition. One has to be very ignorant to not see that the official explanation is a fiction conjured up to justify an endless “war on terror” planned as perhaps the prelude to the use of nuclear weapons, those weapons that JFK in the last year of his life worked so hard to eliminate after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

In refusing to connect the dots from November 22, 1963 through April 4 and June 5,1968 and September 11, 2001 until today, prominent leftists continue to do the work of Crimestop. For the moment I will leave it to readers to identify who they are, and the numerous leftist publications that support their positions. There are two famous left-wing American intellectuals, one dead and one living, who are often intoned to support this work of propaganda by omission: Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, both of whom dismissed the killing of JFK and the attacks of September 11 as inconsequential and not worthy of their attention. They have quite a few protégés whose work you probably read and agree with, despite the void at the heart of their critiques. Why they avoid accepting the truth and significance of the four events I have mentioned, only they can say. That they do is easy to show, as are the dire consequences for a united front against the deep-state forces intent on reducing this society and the world to rubble because of their refusal to confront the systemic evil that they render unspeakable by their acquiescence to government propaganda.

In his groundbreaking book on the assassination of John Kennedy, JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters, James Douglass quotes his guide into the dark underworld of radical evil and our tendency to turn away from its awful truths, the Trappist Monk Thomas Merton, who said of the Unspeakable: “It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said; the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss.”

Can you hear it on your left?

 

January 29, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Is Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent for Regime Change in Syria?

By Kim Petersen | American Herald Tribune | April 7, 2017

One might well expect the corporate/state media to twice be complicit for the gas attack perpetrated by the Syrian regime scenario. One would hope, however, that media independent of the state and corporate sponsors would apply a higher journalistic standard. Yet Democracy Now! has been pushing the imperialist agenda for regime change in Syria. Tendentious recent reports from DN make this abundantly clear. The so-called independent [1] DN has also lured octogenarian professor Noam Chomsky to criticize the “Assad regime.”

DN begins with the leading statement of “worldwide outrage mounts over an alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib province, which was reportedly carried out by the Assad government…” No evidence is presented to support the accusation, and the accusers also are unnamed. What kind of journalism is this?

It would be completely nonsensical and insane for Syria to use chemical weapons while the war is turning in its favor. And, of course, there is evidence that refutes the allegation. For the record, when a Zionist and war criminal Barack Obama was bent on attacking Syria in 2013 following false accusations that the Assad government used sarin gas in Ghouta, Syria – to preempt the threatened invasion Assad agreed (UN Resolution 2118) to give up Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons (a deterrence against Israel’s nuclear weapons). Now the Syrian government stands accused of using a chemical that was disposed of under international supervision. Is the Syrian government that stupid to risk another threat of invasion by using a non-conventional attack? And why is this new gas attack in Idlib taking place just after Rex Tillerson declared that it is the Syrian people who should decide the fate of their current president?

The professor tells DN: “Syria is a horrible catastrophe. The Assad regime is a moral disgrace. They’re carrying out horrendous acts, the Russians with them.”

How about a dose of skepticism? After all, Chomsky speculated recently of a Donald Trump-orchestrated false flag. Chomsky’s opening omissions speak loudly. He goes straight at the Syrian government; he does not mention involvement by the US, Israel, and other western states. He does not mention the western, Saudi, and Qatari-backed terrorist mercenaries that seek to topple a foreign government through violence.

Indeed Chomsky, the linguist, has dipped into the imperialist lexicon. He criticizes the Assad “regime.” I am unaware of Chomsky ever referring to a Trump, Obama or other US “regime” or of an Israeli “regime.” To be sure, Chomsky has been a critic of US terrorism and imperialism and of Zionist crimes against Palestinians, but I am unaware of Chomsky referring to US, Israeli, or other western regimes as a “moral disgrace.” It might be implicit but not explicit.

Moreover, to criticize “the Assad regime” seems starkly at odds with a fundamental tenet of Chomsky’s philosophy: that his concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by his own state, the USA.[2]

Chomsky is even on record as denying American-Israeli intent at regime change in Syria. If Chomsky is correct, then that would signal a profound change in American imperialist direction. In 2007, former US general Wesley Clark, told of a classified memo describing the US “tak[ing] out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.”

DN asks Chomsky: “Why the Russians with them [the ‘Assad regime’]?”

Replied Chomsky: “Well, pretty simple reason: Syria is their one ally in the whole region. Not a close ally, but they do have—their one Mediterranean base is in Syria. It’s the one country that’s more or less cooperated with them. And they don’t want to lose their one ally. It’s very ugly, but that’s what’s happening.”

That is Chomsky’s assessment, but it is factually inaccurate. Iran and Hezbollah are helping fight the terrorists in Syria. Also Chomsky does not discuss an important point: that Russia was invited to aid the Syrian government, as were Iran and Hezbollah.[3] The US is uninvited and Syrian president Assad calls US forces in Syria “invaders.” Chomsky is well versed as to what happens when uninvited US forces show up in foreign lands – among them Korea, Viet Nam, Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc: genocide, millions killed, millions displaced, economic infrastructure destroyed, and vassalage.

Later in the interview, Chomsky almost exculpates the Russians when he mentions “an initiative from the Russians … for a negotiated settlement, in which Assad would be phased out, not immediately…. The West would not accept it, not just the United States. France, England, the United States simply refused to even consider it. At the time, they believed they could overthrow Assad, so they didn’t want to do this, so the war went on.”

Is the West’s refusal of a negotiated settlement not a “moral disgrace”?

Says Chomsky, “Qatar and Saudi Arabia are supporting jihadi groups, [Italics added. Again Chomsky borrows from the imperialist lexicon. Why not characterize, then, western groups as “crusaders”?] which are not all that different from ISIS. So you have a horror story on all sides. The Syrian people are being decimated…. the country is simply being destroyed. It’s descending to suicide.”

Suicide? When US invaders are in Syria, when western governments and operatives are arrayed against the Syrian government, when Saudi and Qatari governments are supporting terrorists, and when Syrian people are being killed and made into refugees, then why describe this as a “suicide”? Does Chomsky want to imply that the Syrian people bear responsibility for the horror and decimation imposed upon them from outside? It sounds absurd.

Moral Imperatives

As a first imperative, all uninvited outsiders should vacate Syria immediately. As a second imperative, all parties responsible for aggression against Syria and its peoples must be charged and prosecuted. Third, any crimes committed by the Assad government in allegedly putting down peaceful protests must be investigated and where such charges are valid, then prosecution must be carried out.

Noam Chomsky has garnered enormous respect for his opposition to US crimes, support for social justice, and anarchist leanings. Yet, Chomsky also stakes out positions that appear flawed (his statement that the truth doesn’t matter as to 9-11), even morally questionable (his opposition to the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement).

It is imperative is that people become informed. We should all listen to the words of intellectuals and persons who have demonstrated great integrity, but we must also pay heed to our internal dissonance to seemingly incongruous information; we must question and apply rigorous challenge to that information; and based on our assessment of the factual accuracy, logic, and morality of the information we must reach our own conclusions. Avoid the allure of unquestioningly accepting the words of authority! Regardless of personage, open-minded skepticism is the key to developing our own ability to cut through disinformation and thwart the insidious acts propaganda is intended to disguise.

Critical and moral thinking is crucial to the revolution for a free and socially just world.

ENDNOTES

  1. As the whistleblowing former FBI contractor Sibel Edmonds, among others, has pointed out DN receives large foundation grants:Serious questions have arisen about how Democracy Now!, begun and developed with the resources of Pacifica Radio and grants from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund and others, suddenly became independent and the effective property of Amy Goodman without recompense to Pacifica. This transferapparently included valuable assets such as trademarks, ownership of years of archived programs, affiliate station access, and more. In a contract that remains secret, Amy Goodman is also receiving $1 million per year for a five-year period that began in 2002, according to Pacifica Treasurer Jabari Zakiya, to continue doing what has become Pacifica’s flagship morning news program. This is more than double Goodman’s officially stated stipend of $440,000 per year from Pacifica Radio. Democracy Now! receives indirect funding from George Soros, and direct funding from the Ford Foundation, the Glaser Foundation, Soros’ Open Society Institute… [Emphasis in original]
  2. See Noam Chomsky, On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures (South End Press, 1987.)
  3. Colleague BJ Sabri and I concluded in part 6 — “A Russian White Knight or an Interventionist Power?” — of our 7-part series on “The Imperialist Violence in Syria”:
    “Russia, although it entered the war on the side of the legitimate government, Russia has never declared any strategy or long-term objective in Syria except the one supporting a legitimate U.N. member from not being overrun by American/Saudi-supported terrorists and mercenaries.”

April 7, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments

The Information War on Syria and Beyond

By Rick Sterling | Dissident Voice | December 30, 2016

The U.S. establishment is not happy. They are not content with largely dominating media narratives on Syria and other critical foreign policy issues; they want total dominance.

Thus we now have the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act signed into law on December 24 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017. The bill will mandate the U.S. Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and other federal agencies to “create a Global Engagement Center to fight against propaganda from foreign governments”.

The bill directs the future Center to be formed in 180 days and to share expertise among agencies and to “coordinate with allied nations”.

This bill was initiated in March 2016, before widespread allegations of “Russian hacking” began. Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for the bill: “It’s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy, and innocent lives.”

Irony: USA is the Major Purveyor of Propaganda

This bill is remarkable because the US government and agencies appear to be major purveyors not victims of propaganda and disinformation.  A good recent example is the accusations of Russian hacking at the Democratic National Committee and Clinton private email servers to “influence’ the U.S. election. Despite the widespread accusations, here is little or no no public evidence in support of this and much to contradict the claims. An analysis by veteran intelligence professionals leads to the conclusion this was a leak, NOT a “hack”, and allegations of hacking the election are “baseless”. On top of that, there is now a credible source, a former UK Ambassador, who says he received the Clinton email data from a disgruntled DNC staffer and delivered the data to WikiLeaks. The accusation that the US election was influenced by Russian hacking appears to be an example of what they claim to oppose: fake news and disinformation for political purposes.

There is a long history of U.S. disinformation and propaganda. Former CIA agents Philip Agee and John Stockwell documented how it was done decades ago. For the past ten years there has been increasing emphasis on using supplied, trained and paid “activists” and “independent journalists” along with social media to spread false stories and news and to undermine or discredit journalists who challenge the orthodoxy. Disinformation, fake news and propaganda are no longer the province of the CIA; it’s managed by the State Department using staff and contractors. The new bill to “counter foreign propaganda” will provide tax payer money and escalate this aspect of the information war.

Propaganda and Disinformation on Syria

Syria is a good case study in the modern application of information warfare. In her book “Hard Choices”, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote that the U.S. provided “support for (Syrian) civilian opposition groups, including satellite -linked computers, telephones, cameras, and training for more than a thousand activists, students and independent journalists.”

A huge amount of money has gone to “activists” and “civil society” groups in Syria as well as in the USA and west. These groups have shaped and manipulated public opinion. The fact they are recipients or contractors of one or more governments directly involved in trying to overthrow the Syrian government has generally been ignored or hidden.

In North America, representatives from the Syrian Local Coordination Committees (LCC) were frequent guests on popular media programs such as Democracy Now. The message was clear: there is a “revolution” in Syria against a “brutal regime” personified in Bashar al Assad. It was not mentioned that the “Local Coordination Committees” have been primarily funded by the West, specifically the Office for Syrian Opposition Support which was founded by the United States Department of State and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

More recently, news and analysis about Syria has been conveyed through the filter of the White Helmets, also known as Syrian Civil Defense. The White Helmets were stated to be neutral, non-partisan, civilian volunteers courageously carrying out rescue work in the war zone. In fact, the group is none of the above. It was initiated by the US and UK using a British military contractor and Brooklyn based marketing company. While they may have performed some genuine rescue operations, the White Helmets is primarily a media organization with a political goal: to promote NATO intervention in Syria. The manipulation of public opinion using the White Helmets and promoted by the NY Times and Avaaz petition for a No Fly Zone in Syria is documented here. The White Helmets hoax continues to be widely believed and receive uncritical promotion but is increasingly being exposed as the creation of a “shady PR firm”. White Helmet individuals have been used as the source for important news stories despite a track record of deception.

Recent Propaganda: Blatant Lies?

As the armed groups in east Aleppo recently lost ground and then collapsed, western governments and allied media went into a frenzy of accusations based on reports from sources connected with the armed opposition. CNN host Wolf Blitzer described Aleppo as “falling” in a “slaughter of these women and children” while CNN host Jake Tapper referred to “genocide by another name”. The Daily Beast published the claims of the Aleppo Siege Media Center. They titled it “Doomsday is held in Aleppo” and claimed the Syrian army was executing civilians, burning them alive and “20 women committed suicide in order not to be raped.” These sensational claims were widely broadcast without verification.

In fact, the news and reports on CNN and throughout western media were coming from highly biased sources and many of the claims can be accurately described as propaganda and disinformation. As one indication, the Aleppo Media Center was created by the Syrian Expatriates Organization (SEO) based on K Street in Washington DC, the base of operations for Public Relations and Marketing firms.

In sharp contrast to the wailing and dubious reports of CNN and most western media, RT and other media outlets have broadcast videos and interviews showing popular celebrations at the “liberation of Aleppo”. Jan Oberg of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research has published a powerful photo essay describing his eye witness observations in Aleppo including the happiness of civilians from east Aleppo reaching the government controlled areas of west Aleppo. Dr. Nabil Antaki, a medical doctor from Aleppo, describes the liberation of Aleppo in an interview titled “Aleppo is Celebrating, Free from Terrorists, the Western Media Misinformed.” The first Christmas celebrations in Aleppo in four years are shown here, replete with marching band members in Santa Claus outfits. Journalist Vanessa Beeley has published testimonies of civilians from East Aleppo. The happiness of civilians at their liberation is clear.

Contrary to the mythology of rebel “liberated zones” , there is persuasive evidence the armed groups were never popular in Aleppo. American journalist James Foley described the situation in 2012 like this:

Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.

The rebels in Aleppo are predominantly from the countryside, further alienating them from the urban crowd that once lived here peacefully, in relative economic comfort and with little interference from the authoritarian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Overall Narrative on Syria

Analysis of the Syrian conflict boils down to two competing narratives. One narrative, pervasive in the West,  is that the conflict is a fight for freedom and democracy against a brutal regime. This description has been promoted in the West and Gulf, in those countries which have been fueling the conflict from the start. This narrative is also put forward by some self-styled “anti-imperialists” who seek a “Syrian revolution”.

The other narrative is that the conflict is essentially a war of aggression against a sovereign state. The aggressors include western NATO countries plus Gulf monarchies, Israel and Jordan.

Censorship and domination of western media is so thorough that one rarely hears the second narrative. This is true of much of the liberal and progressive media as well as mainstream. For example, listeners and viewers of the generally progressive TV and radio program Democracy Now have rarely if ever heard the second narrative described in any detail. Democracy Now news has frequently broadcast the explanations of Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and others associated with the US position. They have rarely if ever broadcast the explanation and viewpoint of the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, the Syrian Foreign Minister or countless analysts inside Syria and around the world who have written about and follow events there closely.

Democracy Now has done repeated interviews with proponents of the “Syrian revolution” and never with analysts who say this is a war of aggression. This, despite the fact that many prominent international figures see it as such. For example, the former Foreign Minister of Nicaragua and former President of the UN General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto, has said, “What the U.S. government is doing in Syria is tantamount to a war of aggression, which, according to the Nuremberg Tribunal, is the worst possible crime a State can commit against another State.”

In many areas of politics, the public affairs program Democracy Now is excellent and challenges corporate media. However in this area, coverage of the Syrian conflict, their broadcast is biased, one-sided and echoes the news and analysis of mainstream western corporate media. This shows the extent of domination of foreign policy news that already exists.

Suppressing and Censoring Challenges

One of the primary purposes of the new Global Engagement Center will be to “counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation.” This is another remarkable development because there is already widespread censorship and “countering” of alternative analyses of critical international issues. In an article titled “Controlling the Narrative on Syria,” Louis Allday describes the criticisms and attacks on journalists Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal for straying from the “approved” western narrative on Syria. Some of the bullying and abuse has come from precisely those people, such as Robin Yassin-Kassab, who have been frequent guests in liberal western media.

Recently Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett returned to North America after being in Syria and Aleppo. She conveyed a very different image and criticized biased media coverage of the Syrian conflict. She pointed to western media broadcasting claims without credible sources or evidence. Bartlett appeared at a United Nations press conference and then did numerous interviews across the country during a speaking tour. During the course of her talks and presentation, Bartlett criticized the White Helmets and questioned whether it was true that Al Quds Hospital in opposition held East Aleppo was attacked and destroyed as claimed.

Snopes is a useful website which has exposed many urban legends and false rumors. Unfortunately they have many internal challenges and have become inconsistent in their investigations. In an examination titled “White Helmet HearsaySnopes writer Bethania Palmer says claims the White Helmets are “linked to terrorists” is “unproven”. She overlooks numerous videos, photos, and other reports showing White Helmet members celebrating Nusra/Al Qaeda battle victory, picking up the bodies of civilians executed by Nusra executioner, and alternatively being rebel/terrorist fighter with weapon but later wearing a White Helmet uniform. The “fact check” barely scrapes the surface of public evidence.

The same writer did another shallow “investigation” titled “victim blaming” regarding Bartlett’s critique of White Helmet videos and what happened at the Al Quds Hospital in Aleppo. Bartlett suggests that some White Helmet videos may be fabricated and include the same child at different times. Photographs appear to show the same girl being rescued by White Helmet workers at different places and times. While the similarity in appearance is clear, it is uncertain whether or not this is the same girl.

The Snopes writer goes on to criticize Bartlett for her comments about the reported bombing of the Al Quds Hospital in East Aleppo in April 2016. A statement at the website of Doctors Without Borders says the building was “destroyed and reduced to rubble”. This is clearly false since photos show the building with unclear damage. Five months later, the September 2016 report by Doctors Without Borders says the top two floors of the building were destroyed and the ground floor Emergency Room damaged yet they re-opened in two weeks. The many inconsistencies and contradictions in the statements of Doctors Without Borders resulted in an open letter to them. In their last report Doctors Without Borders (MSF) acknowledges that “MSF staff did not directly witness the attack and has not visited Al Quds Hospital since 2014”.

Bartlett referenced satellite images taken before and after the reported attack on the hospital. These images do not show severe damage and it is unclear whether or not there is any damage to the roof. This was the basis for Bartlett’s statement. In the past week, independent journalists have visited the scene of Al Quds Hospital and report that that the top floors of the building are still there and damage is unclear. The Snopes investigation about Bartlett’s statement is superficial and ignores much larger issues of accuracy and integrity. Instead it appears to be an effort to undermine the overall eye-witness observations and analysis provided by a journalist who is challenging the mainstream narrative.

The Coming New McCarthyism?

U.S. propaganda and disinformation on Syria has been overall effective in misleading much of the population. Most Americans are unaware how many billions of tax payer dollars have been spent on yet another “regime change” attempt. Many liberal and progressive news outlets have failed to challenge the propaganda and disinformation on Syria. It has been left to RT and a host of smaller media outlets to challenge the government and mainstream media.

The passage of HR5181 “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation”, suggests that the ruling powers seek to escalate suppression of news and analysis which runs counter to their narrative. Despite their current dominance in the media and information arena, that is not enough. They seek to further squelch opposing voices. The bill calls for “countering” and “refuting” what they deem to be propaganda and disinformation. A slush fund of $20M is provided to hire or reward “civil society groups, NGOs, journalists and private companies “ who participate in the campaign.

Progressives need to prepare for the escalation of the information war.


Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist and member of Syria Solidarity Movement. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com.

December 30, 2016 Posted by | Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Democracy Now! Criminal Cheerleaders for US-NATO-GCC’s Perpetual Conflict and Bloodshed in Syria

By Vanessa Beeley | 21st Century Wire | November 26, 2016

“A closer look at what Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” is reporting on Syria shows that the purported critical broadcaster has become a purveyor of Western government propaganda. While the mainstream media’s propaganda function is obvious to the informed public, Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” plays a more subtle role. Camouflaged with the trappings of critical, independent journalism, “Democracy Now!” serves to sow powerful seeds of misinformation in a way that the “compromised” mainstream media cannot.” ~ Finian Cunningham 2012

“As the United Nations says nearly 1 million Syrians are living under siege and the last remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed.” ~ Democracy Now! November 2016

Last night, Democracy Now! released a report that was breathtaking in the saturation of NATO aligned propaganda in this one segment out of their almost six year criminal, media campaign against Syria and the sovereign will of its people. In the first line alone, we have the ubiquitous and now hugely discredited description of the “last remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo”.

The East Aleppo “last hospital” litany has become synonymous with corporate media lies. It’s duplicitous and misleading use is clearly demonstrated by this short video collection of the many mainstream media reports on the “last hospital” rendering these corporate media accounts questionable and far from credible.

A search on Twitter under the hashtag “last hospital” reveals the extent of the mockery of the mainstream media narrative that has risen to an unprecedented level of outright lies in line with the US coalition frustration at the Syrian Arab Army allied advances towards the full liberation of East Aleppo from the clutches of over 22 brigades of assorted US, UK, EU, Turkish, Gulf State-funded & armed militants and mercenary gangs under the leadership of Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda terrorist affiliate in Syria.

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Collection of corporate media tweets amplifying the “last hospital” narrative in East Aleppo. (Collage created by @Navsteva)

“Nothing Short of a Slaughter“: 1 Million Syrians in Aleppo Under Siege with No Hospital, Food”

This is the already misleading headline of the Democracy Now! report.  Interviewer, Nermeen Shaikh interviews guests, Bassam Haddad, director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies program at George Mason University, and Dr. Zaher Sahloul, founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria and senior adviser and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society.

The following are the ten main points put forward by these two guests, points that are questionable, and yet go unchallenged by Shaikh:

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1: East Aleppo contains 300,000 people, of which 100,000 are children

2: These people are under siege, starving & without medicine for the last four and half months, due to the Syrian “regime” and allies.

3: Every 17 hours right now in Aleppo, “health care facilities” are being targeted. In the last 144 days, there were 143 attacks on health care facilities across Syria. One third of these attacks were in the “city of Aleppo”, so 48 attacks in last four and a half months.

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4: The daily massacre and maiming of Syrian civilians in West Aleppo by the militant factions in East Aleppo pales into “insignificance” when compared to  the “brutal bombardment of eastern Aleppo and the almost total destruction of life

5: The Syrian “regime” is “focused” upon re-conquering the whole of Syria in its entirety.

6: Al Nusra are not in East Aleppo except maybe a “few fighters

7:  The population of East Aleppo was 1.5 million before the crisis.  Now it is 300,000 so majority have fled to Turkey, Europe or elsewhere inside Syria. Any other place in Syria is dangerous. If they go to government controlled areas they risk being “tortured or detained”. So, the civilians in East Aleppo cannot leave because there is nowhere safe for them.

8: The Syrian “regime” is conducting an ethnic cleansing operation by evacuating “rebels” from liberated areas such as East Aleppo, Homs, Daraya.

9: There is a rift between the US think tanks who support the Syrian “revolution” in order to ensure Israel’s security in the region and the true “revolution” supporters who are interested primarily in the well being of all Syrians. “A rift that should have existed from the very beginning for the sake of building a healthier, independent and democratic uprising in Syria against a dictatorial regime.” ~ Bassam Haddad

10: President Elect, Donald Trump’s stated support for Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, is the “final nail in the coffin of the aspiration of the Syrian people, the young people of Syria, who rose up in the beginning of this five years ago for freedoms and liberties that we enjoy and we all support.” ~ Dr Zaher Sahloul

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Democracy Now!’s Fake Objectivity

Yet again, Democracy Now! give their guests a protected platform to present a very partisan and biased view of events in Syria.  Not once does Shaikh proffer an alternative view to that which is being presented by the show’s guests. On the contrary, she positively reinforces their narrative with the use of her own rhetoric and terms such as “annihilation and war crimes” directed against the Syrian government and allies, in the opening statement of the interview.

“The second implication is that this neutral voice, without a discipline of verification, creates a veneer covering something hollow. Journalists who select sources to express what is really their own point of view, and then use the neutral voice to make it seem objective, are engaged in a form of deception. This damages the credibility of the craft by making it seem unprincipled, dishonest, and biased.” ~ The American Press Institute. (Emphasis added)

Shaikh even fails to question the contradiction of her own introduction by Sahloul. Sahloul states that Al Nusra barely exist in East Aleppo. In her introduction, Shaikh alludes to the UN suggestion that the Syrian government should permit autonomy for East Aleppo provided the “jihadist fighters linked to al-Qaeda (Al Nusra) withdrew and the fighting stopped.”

Shaikh fails in her assumed role as an independent and objective reporter.  She fails to ask the most basic questions that would deconstruct the narrative being projected by her guests. She fails to debate. She succeeds only in giving credibility to an incredible account of the situation in East Aleppo, an account that is flatly denied by recent visitors to Aleppo such as independent journalists & researchers, Eva Bartlett, Tom Duggan and the author of this article,  Vanessa Beeley.

Continue readingHow a Genuinely Objective Journalist should have Responded

November 28, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 4 Comments

The Unethicality of the Sore Loser

Moving the goalposts on electoral criteria
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Photo credit – Reuters
By Kim Petersen | American Herald Tribune | November 12, 2016

During live US presidential election coverage on RT, after it became clear that Donald Trump was going to secure the required number of electoral college votes to win the election, word came that Hillary Clinton would not make a concession speech that night. The moderator of the live election coverage at RT was gobsmacked. He called Clinton’s behavior the “epitome of arrogance.” It certainly did smack of being a poor loser.

It seems that being a sore loser has reached stratospheric dimensions, as some are trying to reverse the electoral defeat for Clinton because she won the popular vote. To be clear, there is no comparison to what befell Al Gore here. Gore also won the popular vote in the 2000 US presidential election, but he was considered by many to have won the majority of electoral college votes because of electoral fraud in Florida. Yet even Gore, who has a better case to have overturned his defeat in 2000 than Clinton has in 2016, eventually conceded defeat.

These people seeking to circumvent current electoral college convention are, in other words, trying to move the goalposts on Donald Trump and his supporters.

Moving the goalposts is a type of logical fallacy whereby when a person has met the criteria required to succeed subsequently the criteria are changed to something different or raised to a higher standard (also referred to as “raising the bar”).

Moving the goalposts is unethical. When it occurs in the sporting world, a penalty is bestowed on the offending team.

On 8 November candidate Donald Trump surpassed 270 electoral college votes and was declared winner of the 2016 election. Yet we hear from Democracy Now! of a movement to overturn the system of winner take-all electoral college votes in a state. The show referred to a petition supported by the celebrity Lady Gaga asking: “Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19.”

It calls on the electors to ignore the current rules, which bind them to voting for the winner of their state, and cast their ballots instead for the winner of the popular vote, Hillary Clinton.

Democracy Now! reports than 2 million people have signed the petition.

What it Signifies for US Democracy

The United States is not a democracy in any meaningful sense. Despite the US relentlessly tooting its own horn as the bastion of democracy, it is arguably inferior in level of democratic attainment even compared to nations it considers nemeses — Cuba and China — and that it fallaciously derides as being dictatorships.

Conferring victory upon the candidate who garners the plurality of votes in an election will do little to assuage the democratic deficit in the US.

Yes, deciding the outcome of an election through the electoral college vote seems out-dated at any point in time. However, overturning the rules of the game post hoc poses another logical quandary: the slippery slope. If a precedent is set whereby the rules of the game can be changed during play or after the match, then what is to stop the rules being tampered with again in the future when a result is not to a powerful side’s liking?

There are many crucial steps required before the United States can present itself as a meaningful democracy: for example, among others, discarding the electoral college, bringing transparency to party primaries, overturning Citizens United, providing impartial and equal media coverage for all candidates (including “third” party candidates) during an election, easing the barriers for “third” party electoral participation, facilitating electoral participation for all Americans. These measures must be implemented before an election. They must not be implemented during or after an election to change the result. It is unfair. That is elementary morality that any child would comprehend.

November 12, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Democracy Now’s Non-Correction on Nuclear Vote

By Sam Husseini | November 1, 2016

Follow up to my piece ‘Democracy Now!’ Gets Nuclear Ban Vote Totally Wrong:

After I posted my piece on Friday, “Democracy Now!” changed the transcript to read:

The United Nations on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to start talks aimed at abolishing all nuclear weapons. The landmark resolution will see the U.N. convene a conference next year to negotiate a legally binding instrument for worldwide nuclear prohibition. The vote was 123-38, with 16 countries abstaining. [Not supporting the measure] were all nine known nuclear states: China, Russia, France, the U.K., India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea and the United States.

But this is also incorrect. As I noted in my piece, North Korea in fact voted for the proposal. There has apparently been no on-air correction or pseudo-correction — the following program’s headlines made no mention of the vote.

This is no minor matter. What’s needed is a basic acknowledgement and understanding of the role the U.S. government and NATO play in ensuring the continuation of the nuclear weapons threat. “Democracy Now” is unwilling to make that acknowledgement.

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

“Democracy Now!” Gets Nuclear Ban Vote Totally Wrong

By Sam Husseini | October 28, 2016

“Democracy Now” sadly continues its descent, which I’ve alluded to occasionally on twitter. To fully tell this story would require a very long and detailed piece, but the latest chapter of this is worth noting in more than a tweet as it happens. On this morning’s headlines, Amy Goodman claimed:

The United Nations on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to start talks aimed at abolishing all nuclear weapons. The landmark resolution will see the U.N. convene a conference next year to negotiate a legally binding instrument for worldwide nuclear prohibition. The vote was 123-38, with 16 countries abstaining. Voting against were all nine known nuclear states: China, Russia, France, Britain, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea as well as the United States. [Note, this is wording as broadcast, the transcript is minorly different.]

In fact, China, India and Pakistan abstained. North Korea actually voted for the resolution. As even the AP correctly reported: “The United States, Russia, Israel, France and the United Kingdom were among the countries voting against the measure.” See country by country breakdown results from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. See excellent map from ILPI. If you’re still skeptical, see actual pic of vote board.

As Ira Helfand — past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility and currently co-president of that group’s global federation, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War — noted in Nukes and the U.N.: a Historic Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons:

The ‘No’ votes came from the nuclear weapons states, and U.S. allies in NATO, plus Japan, South Korea and Australia, which have treaty ties to the U.S., and consider themselves to be under the protection of the ‘U.S. nuclear umbrella.’

But four nuclear weapons states broke ranks, with China, India and Pakistan abstaining, and North Korea voting in favor of the treaty negotiations. In addition, the Netherlands defied intense pressure from the rest of NATO and abstained, as did Finland, which is not a member of NATO but has close ties with the alliance.

So, what actually happened is that the U.S. and various client states — especially, but not limited to, NATO members — voted against the nuclear weapons ban. China, India and Pakistan abstained — not voted against as “Democracy Now!” claimed. And North Korea actually voted for the resolution — U.S. client state South Korea voted with the U.S. against.

It would be interesting to see how a mistake like this could possibly happen. Icing on the cake is the way it was phrased, even above and beyond the outright falsehoods about China, India, Pakistan and North Korea. Goodman claimed “as well as the United States” — as if the U.S. were an afterthought when it’s obvious that the U.S. government has been leading the effort against the vote. As the German Press Agency reported: “Due to U.S. pressure, 27 of the 28 NATO member states voted against the resolution with the Netherlands abstaining.”

Such errors are likely a consequences of a world view that seems to not fully grasp, or perhaps not want to grasp or communicate, the threat the U.S. government poses to much of humanity in terms of the actual nature of U.S. foreign policy.

October 28, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Democracy Now?

By Richard Hugus | Aletho News | October 3, 2016

When it comes to Syria, the supposedly “alternative” media outlet, “Democracy Now!” promotes a line no different from the US State Department. In its September 29, 2016 broadcast, “Democracy Now!” co-host Narmine Shaikh describes a “devastating bombing campaign by the Syrian government and Russia in the city of Aleppo” three days earlier, saying that “the two largest hospitals in Aleppo were forced to close after being hit by airstrikes.”

The broadcast implies that, for no reason, public hospitals in Aleppo were intentionally bombed by Syria and Russia. There is no explanation of why they would do this. No proof is given that the hospitals were operational, whether they were in fact bombed, who bombed them, or who controlled them. Instead, in the background, we see videos of blasted buildings and innocent people, including a small child, apparently being rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings. The video implies that this was done by the Syrian government and Russia, but the time and place of the footage is not provided. The footage of the rescue of the small child carries the logo of the western propaganda NGO, the White Helmets, and has no credibility. Amy Goodman describes this group as “Syria civil defense forces” but Vanessa Beeley has reported that Syria has a real civil defense organization, which the White Helmets are not a part of; the White Helmets are USAID-funded impostors making propaganda videos to demonize Russia and Assad. Beeley also reports:

“Western media infers that those being targeted are civilians, not members of the Nusra Front and other foreign-funded terrorist brigades, and that all these “civilians” are being mercilessly bombed by Russian and Syrian air strikes.

All three main hospitals are fully occupied by the various armed insurgencies led by the Nusra Front, according to Dr. Hayak [a doctor in non-occupied Aleppo], who said they use the top floors as sniper towers.”

Without comment, “Democracy Now!” plays a clip in which President Obama says, “the key in Syria now is that, unless we can get the parties involved to realize they are just burning their country to the ground . . . there’s going to be a limit to what we can do.” Obama promotes the idea that Syria is in the midst of a terrible civil war and that the most the US can do there is “to mitigate the pain and suffering those folks are undergoing.” How generous of the US! Why doesn’t it just end its massive support for the killers that are attacking and occupying Syria? The question would not be raised by “Democracy Now!”.

By showing dramatic footage of bombed buildings and injured civilians and blaming it on the Syrian government and Russia, “Democracy Now!” is providing everything the US needs to finally claim that it must carry out another “humanitarian war,” this time against Syria. A key promoter of this Orwellian concept is Samantha Power, who, as US ambassador to the UN, barely conceals the contempt she and her fellow neocons have for the rest of the world. In an insulting an officious tone, this instigator of war called Russia “barbaric” for its alleged bombing of Aleppo. “Democracy Now!” airs a clip showing Ban Ki Moon saying the same thing. Though he does not name Russia or Syria, we are led to believe that Russia and the Syrian government were the perpetrators of killing worse than what takes place in “a slaughterhouse.” Of course, when the US kills people, it is always done humanely. Humanitarian killing has been Samantha Power’s specialty since the war on Yugoslavia, where the US and NATO dropped humanitarian bombs on Serbia for 79 straight days.

Two guests appear on the September 29 program, both introduced as grassroots Syrian human rights activists. The first, Osama Nasser, seems to be stumbling over a script he was given to read while Amy Goodman struggles not to look annoyed. Nasser says that Aleppo is being attacked by Russia and Syrian regime forces and that the US is doing nothing to help, as if the US were not already there in any other capacity. For instance, he does not mention the ongoing occupation of Aleppo by US forces cloned from al-Qaeda, and the “Democracy Now!” hosts do nothing to raise this obvious point. Al-Qaeda foreign mercenaries are supposed to be the arch-enemy of the US, so mentioning them would only confuse people. Thanks to other news sources, we know that the Syrian army and Russia are fighting to force al-Qaeda out of Aleppo.

When Osama Nasser gets through his talking points, on comes the more polished Yasser Munif, speaking from Emerson College in Boston. Munif pushes an idea designed to appeal to western leftists, that since 2011 Syria has been experiencing a domestic grassroots revolution, the main enemy of which is President Assad, who came down on the revolution with brutal repression. Munif does not mention that the 2011 protests were likely orchestrated by Israel and the West in the first place to destabilize Syria. But one would think, if they didn’t get this in 2011, that when they saw their cause being taken over by thousands of mercenaries from other countries, these grassroots revolutionaries would perhaps take a break from the “revolution” to get rid of the invaders. But Munif and other proponents of the so-called grassroots movement insist that all along there has been only one problem – the Syrian government. The US State Department and the Syrian Revolution are, conveniently, in full agreement: Bashar al-Assad is the root of all evil. “Assad must go” is at the top of the list of propaganda points.

In his commentary, Munif says that the Syrian government has used the media “to create a parallel reality” – a phrase taken from whoever creates buzzwords for John Kerry, who said in the same week that Russian-Syrian assertions of the US responsibility for sabotaging a ceasefire made him feel like he was living in “a parallel world.” The world that most other people live in could see that the US was clearly guilty of sabotage.

The propaganda we are seeing in the world today relies on a full 180º overturning of reality. The horrendous crimes being committed by the US, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others in Syria, as they are carried out, are immediately blamed on the victims of those crimes – the people of Syria — and on Russia, the one nation which has stood up in Syria’s defense. “Democracy Now!” is doing its part in this subterfuge by making sure that liberals and leftists who follow the show are properly misled. It does this by devoting a lot of its program space to good causes, like exposing the epidemic (surely a policy by now) of police murders of blacks on US streets. Indeed, most of the September 29 program was devoted to the then latest murder of Ugandan refugee, Alfred Olango.

But “Democracy Now!” is no different than any of the mainstream media news programs – it omits any analysis of Israel’s role in instigating a war against Arab and Muslim nations, it omits any critique of the power of the Israel lobby, it omits any examination of the neocons and their agenda for Israel, and it omits any coverage of the fact that the September 11, 2001 attacks were planned and carried out by the neocons and others in order to begin the succession of wars that followed. This is by no means a complete list of the services rendered by “Democracy Now!”.  The program would not be on the air, getting generous funding and wide exposure, if it were not doing some heavy lifting. The self-righteousness coming off the screen of this supposedly radical left news program makes it even more offensive than Fox News.

More articles by Richard Hugus

October 3, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Gurus of the progressive community . . . Chomsky and Goodman

By Dave Alpert | Intrepid Report | May 23, 2016

There was a time when I, like tens of thousands of my progressive partners, held Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman in awe. After all, Amy informed us and Noam spoke for us, coherently explaining the issues. However, as I became more aware and more informed, I realized that there were great differences between their thinking and mine.

In many instances, our gurus spoke with forked tongue. Although Amy’s program Democracy Now! was informative, there were many areas of reporting that were out of bounds and were not reported on.

One could legitimately claim that reporters cannot report on everything and they would be right. But let us be honest. When 9/11 occurred, it was an historical event and an event that changed the course of history. Where was Amy? Relatively silent. She invited David Ray Griffin, who has written several books illustrating the lies and misdirections of the government’s narrative about that day, to Democracy Now! which one could claim was a significant journalistic move.

However, instead of interviewing him so that he could reveal to her listening audience the facts that he had accumulated that put into question the government’s explanations of that day, she paired him with a pro-government guest who spent the hour attacking Griffin personally and ignoring any of the data Griffin produced. It became a three-ring circus and helped sabotage any impetus the Truth Movement might have gained within the progressive community. Was that her goal? I’m not sure I can answer that but it was a successful strategy, progressives seemed reluctant to support the Truth Movement. The Movement was being portrayed as one in which there were marginal “conspiracy nuts” leading the charge and should be avoided.

Where was Noam Chomsky on this issue? Despite the significance of 9/11, Chomsky has remained relatively passive concerning this event.

During an interview on Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky stated that he believes Osama bin Laden was probably behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. The statement was curious because in earlier interviews Chomsky described the evidence against bin Laden as thin to nonexistent, which was accurate and, no doubt, explains why the US Department of Justice never indicted bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks.

In two peer-reviewed papers published in 2008–2009, independent scientists reported finding residues of nanothermite, an incendiary, military level explosive which is capable of cutting through steel, in dust samples from the collapsed World Trade Center. The scientists also found tiny flakes of unexploded nanothermite.

How did this explosive material get into the dust at the WTC? Certainly, one could conclude that the explosives were used to bring down all three towers (WTC #7 collapsed later that day in free fall time despite the fact a plane never touched it).

This evidence of explosives coupled with the testimony of many New York City firemen, who claimed they heard a continuing series of explosions before the towers collapsed, and the testimony of Willie Rodriquez, a maintenance worker in the towers, who stated that there was an explosion in the sub-basement before any planes flew into the towers, make it clear that it was the explosives, not the planes that brought the towers down. The question now is, who planted these explosives in the three buildings that collapsed? It takes time to set up a controlled demolition which means the explosives had been placed in the buildings prior to 9/11. Does this sound like a conspiracy to anyone?

In response to a question at the University of Florida recently, Noam Chomsky claimed that there were only “a minuscule number of architects and engineers” who felt that the official account of WTC Building 7 should be treated with skepticism. Chomsky followed-up by saying, “a tiny number—a couple of them—are perfectly serious.” The reality is that close to 2,500 architects and engineers have expressed their doubts about the government’s explanation of how and why the towers fell. It doesn’t matter how many professionals or intellectuals are willing to admit it. The facts remain that the U.S. government’s account for the destruction of the WTC on 9/11 is purely false. There is no science behind the government’s explanation for WTC 7 or for the Twin Towers and everyone, including the government, admits that WTC Building 7 experienced free fall on 9/11. There is no explanation for that other than the use of explosives.

Also, Chomsky’s assumption that only a small number of architects and engineers have expressed support for the notion that the towers fell because of explosives planted in the buildings and that a much larger majority of architects and engineers have remained silent, is the argument of the absurd. It is equivalent to implying that if 10,000 New Yorkers claim the schools are substandard, because the rest of New Yorkers remain silent, the schools cannot be considered substandard.

Chomsky and Goodman are bright, knowledgeable, intelligent people. What has influenced them to avoid confronting the government regarding the events of 9/11?

The fact that 9/11 investigators had already presented substantial documented evidence for: prior warnings, Air Force stand-down, anomalous insider trading connected to the CIA, withdrawal of most of the U.S. fighter planes from the east coast to participate in military exercises on that particular day, cover-up of the domestic anthrax attacks, inconsistencies in identities and timelines of “hijackers” did not appear to influence either Amy or Noam.

Their influence on people who view themselves as progressive cannot be over estimated. When I began questioning the government’s role regarding 9/11, several of my friends responded to me negatively and said specifically that if my suspicions had any legitimacy, Chomsky and Goodman would be speaking out.

Ever since the events of 9/11, the American Left and even ultra-Left have been downright fanatical in combating notions that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks or at least had foreknowledge of the events.

This kind of response from Chomsky regarding possible government conspiracies is not new. He still insists that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas. Anyone who still supports the Warren Commission hoax after 50 years of countering proofs is either ill-informed, dumb, gullible, afraid to speak truths to power or a disinformation agent.

Michael Morrissey stated, in one of his articles, “Rethinking Chomsky,” in 1994, “we should be clear about the stand that ‘America’s leading intellectual dissident,’ as he is often called, has taken on the assassination. It is not significantly different from that of the Warren Commission or the majority of Establishment journalists and government apologists, and diametrically opposed to the view ‘widely held in the grassroots movements and among left intellectuals’ and in fact to the view of the majority of the population.”

Michael Parenti states, “Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history.”

However, the word conspiracy is often used by those in power, who have participated in a conspiracy to advance their own power and/or wealth, as a label to marginalize and neutralize those who seek to reveal the conspiracy. Thus we, as a society, have developed what Parenti calls conspiracy phobia.

The behavior of both Chomsky and Goodman have led me to conclude that they hesitate to see the conspiracies for fear that such acknowledgment would compromise their reputations. Either that or they are controlled by powerful people who censor their behavior. We cannot afford to accept what they say at face value.

Chomsky’s questionable political positioning is still evident today. On May 17, Chomsky appeared on Democracy Now! and was asked by Amy Goodman to speak on the Syrian crisis. Chomsky is a linguist and words are very meaningful to him. So what he said and how he said it is significant.

“It’s necessary to cut off the flow of arms, as much as possible, to everyone. That means to the vicious and brutal Assad regime, primarily Russia and Iran, to the monstrous ISIS, which has been getting support tacitly through Turkey, through—to the al-Nusra Front, which is hardly different, has just the—the al-Qaeda affiliate, technically broke from it, but actually the al-Qaeda affiliate, which is now planning its own—some sort of emirate, getting arms from our allies, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Our own—the CIA is arming them.”

I found it particularly informative that he describes Assad’s regime as vicious and brutal and places Russia and Iran right alongside ISIS.

If Assad’s government is really brutal and vicious, why did 86% of the Syrian people vote for him in the last election. Also, let it be clear that it was Russia’s entrance into the conflict last September that led to the retreat of ISIS from many cities and villages, a success that the U.S. had avoided for a year. Syrians who were freed from ISIS rule were openly happy to welcome Assad’s “brutal” army into their villages. Many Syrian refugees began returning to their homes.

Chomsky also managed to portray the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as terrorists in their conflict with Britain. He conveniently omitted the context for their behavior . . . the brutality of British rule against the Irish Catholics for hundreds of years.

Both Amy and Noam are extremely influential and have attained a degree of power amongst progressives. It is crucial that we remain aware of what they are telling us, how they are framing it, and what it is they are not telling us. Both seem to have provided, and continue to provide today, a cover from the left for the U.S.’s imperialist agenda.

Chomsky is called upon to address various issues periodically. Amy, on the other hand, is viewed every week, Monday through Friday. It is easy to identify her evolution into someone slightly to the left of MSNBC.

With the world collapsing around her, she offers relative silence on issues such as the U.S. supported takeover of the Ukrainian government by neo-Nazis, the surrounding of Russia by U.S. and NATO military forces, the threat of WW3 which would likely be a nuclear war, the Syrian crisis and the U.S. desire to overthrow Assad’s government, the humanitarian crisis in Libya, the coup to oust Dilma Rousseff from office in Brazil, the ongoing collapse of the Venezuelan economy and the threat to the Maduro government (please note: both Rousseff and Maduro are progressive thinkers—is the U.S. behind the collapse of their governments?). She does not address the continuous wars sponsored by the U.S. and NATO countries in their imperialistic ventures.

Instead, most of her time is spent covering the election and interviewing guests who have recently published books. Her program has mellowed. Most of her guests are establishment people, people MSNBC would not hesitate to have on. The radical view, the view that challenges the establishment, is no longer part of her coverage.

Amy’s audience expects to get the news coverage and the variety of views the MSM does not provide. Today’s Democracy Now! no longer provides that.

Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology.

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Dead Children, the Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS) and its Friends

By Henry Kamens | New Eastern Outlook | August 24, 2016

In civil war situations, such as the conflict in Syria, sides routinely make conflicting claims. It is hard to see who is telling the truth unless you have access to actual intelligence and a front row seat. But it becomes easier to see what is really happening by watching the mainstream news and comparing it to reality.

Let us take the recent Democracy Now interview with Dr. Zaher Sahloul, the former President of the Syrian American Medical Society. This accompanied the global media coverage of the bombed, bloodied and beaten little boy from Aleppo, apparently rescued from what was left of a makeshift refugee camp. At one time Democracy Now was a respected alternative media site. Unfortunately, this article and the circumstances of its writing suggest that it has bought into the system it once stood up to.

Gut ruling head

The article includes this quote, designed to be as emotive as possible:

“I’ve just had to watch a woman lose three of her children, who were killed—OK?—and crying over their dead bodies. Thirty people just got killed not far from here in place called Shaar [inaudible]. We were just there yesterday. In a marketplace, 30 people just got killed. So, we’ve had so many dead bodies. You can hear what’s going on here. So, my dear brothers and sisters … We need to get the message out right now: Hospitals are being targeted; People are being killed. OK? And war crimes are being committed. We need a no-fly zone in Syria. We need everybody to start voting for a no-fly zone. This is a massacre going on. This is genocide.”

These sort of reports are emerging daily from Syria. But the wave of recent killings of children by Saudi forces is overlooked. Why? For the same reason that all these reports don’t mention how the war in Syria started and how the hodgepodge of anti-government fighters and terrorist groups which have escalated are funded.

The article fails to mention why the Syrian government is fighting terrorists in the first place. The questions the doctor is asked are also revealing, as is the use of key terms such as barrel bombs, WMD, no fly zone, UN, etc, which never used to be a hallmark of Democracy Now coverage. Like others, the article is designed to get us so upset that we don’t want to look any further. It uses dead children as a means of stifling any debate about why they are dying: we are expected to get angry at those we are told to get angry at, to prevent us getting angry about anyone else.

This interview raises many flags, firstly in its timing, during the countdown to the US presidential elections, and then in the context of Iran and Russia now closely collaborating in the war on terror. An agreement has recently been reached for Russia to make bombing raids against US-backed terrorists in Syria from Iranian territory. This is what the West says it wants, fight terrorism, but in reality does everything to prevent. Getting us angry about “foreign bombers” killing children is merely another way of trying to prevent the War on Terror, which the US started, ever actually taking place.

Not shooting the messenger

Dr. Zaher Sahloul was a classmate of Bashar al-Assad in medical school but is now a critical care specialist in Chicago. He has visited Aleppo five times since the war began, but is observing the situation from a US vantage point.

This smooth-talking humanitarian seems happy to recount horrific stories of maiming and killing in graphic detail, as long as he can blame Assad and the Russians. Last week he addressed the UN Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, making the same points. In the US doctors are often scared of making public statements, much less prescribing medicines, for fear of malpractice suits. So if a US doctor makes a public statement someone is watching his back.

Dr. Sahloul works in the US, which has a vested interest in the Syrian conflict. Is it conceivable that he would be called to address the UN Security Council if he wasn’t spouting an agreed line?

Sahloul’s Democracy Now interview was conducted CNN-fashion, meaning that he did not respond to questions posed on the spot but released a carefully scripted text which the questions were adjusted to fit. The details about babies being tossed from incubators in Kuwait, and those not killed by barrel bombs surviving on cat food and grass, are revealed in such a way that they are unlikely to be spontaneous recollections. Nor do these “memories” remind Dr. Sahloul of the beheading of innocent children by the IS, which they might be presumed to do if child welfare was his concern.

If Dr. Sahloul wanted to stop the killings he would question who stands behind this terrorism – the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – but he does not do so. It can be assumed that he is interested in ending all the killings as he has addressed the UN Security Council, which claims a peace promotion remit. But there is no mention anywhere of stopping the terrorists, only of stopping Assad, thus allowing terrorist atrocities against children to continue unabated.

Mouths we are fed

CNN has responded to the Democracy Now interview by claiming that the killing of children in Aleppo was done by a pro-regime militia force made up mostly of Palestinians. It is also CNN which is parading that poor little boy all over the media, apparently in confirmation of Dr. Sahloul’s claims.

We are used to seeing CNN reports exposed as manipulation. Unfortunately for this little boy, these reports appear to be part of this tradition. There is ample evidence that much of the reporting on Syria by “legitimate sources” is carefully manipulated.

For instance, CNN is quoting the Syrian-American Medical Society as claiming that US-trained doctors are being harassed when they return to Syria. This is denied by even the US Embassy, which says there have been no reports of this, and by a Wikileaks cable.

In fact the US medical establishment has continued to support the maintenance of bilateral relations with the Syrian medical community, in spite of the war and this alleged harassment. Dr. Sahloul’s comments, which are entirely consistent with the US political position in that conflict and obscure the humanitarian concerns which emerge from the behaviour of both sides, give us a clue as to why. The US is using this open access attitude of the Assad government as a means of getting MDs into the country to conduct intelligence and PR work. This is borne out by the use of Syrian doctors to obtain evidence of Assad’s use of chemical weapons, as reported by the Guardian.

SAMS claims to be an apolitical, non-profit organisation founded by American medical professionals of Syrian descent. Its alleged objective is to share best medical practices with local hospitals and medical schools and donate medical care to needy Syrians. This work necessarily involves going into secure facilities in conflict zones.

As the work of other US aid agencies has long demonstrated, such aid is ultimately designed to secure allegiance to the US. Providing such aid buys the US a green light for whatever it wants to do, rather than serving its ostensible humanitarian purpose.

According to its own website SAMS is provided with full support by the US State Department, millions of dollars’ worth of it. The website even includes a video by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers, hailing SAMS as one of her “personal heroes.”

Furthermore, Dr. Sahloul is said by those who know him in Chicago to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood himself. His alleged medical work would be the perfect cover for providing support to terrorist organisations which seek to divide and destroy Syria. All he has done with his Democracy Now interview is confirm that repeating the State Department’s unfounded narratives regarding “barrel bombs” and the use of “chlorine gas” by the Syrian government is a tactic used by the US to further this end.

Assad knows very well that these medics are working for US intelligence. He also knows the headlines that would follow him if he refused them entry. He calculates that whatever the doctors can do will harm him less than denying them access would. This is very embarrassing for the US, as it demonstrates Assad doesn’t have as much to hide as the US wants to think, and so he is happy to continue allowing these “revelations” to take place, while real doctors actually treat the war victims on a daily basis.

What’s in a name?

At least on the surface, Dr. Zaher Sahloul believes in what he is doing.  However there is further reason to doubt that his actions are prompted by either medical considerations or support for his native or adopted country.

In 2009, before this war began, Syria embarked on a process of “economic liberalisation,” as favoured by the US, and “previously disallowed businesses” were suddenly permitted and encouraged by the Syrian Government. According to an article published in The National on February 9, 2009  one such business had just been founded by a certain Zhouheir Yassar Sahloul, described as “the most powerful rogue trader in Syria.”

As the head of the country’s largest money changing enterprise, Sahloul was the link between Syria’s struggling, isolated economy and its huge diaspora, which still remits billions of dollars a year to families back home. In a country saddled with strict foreign exchange laws, it was Mr Sahloul’s agents who ensured Syrian merchants were supplied with enough hard currency to do business with partners overseas.

At the same time Yassar Sahloul and Sons were licensed as foreign exchange traders, Dr. Sahloul and his SAMS were building hospitals in Syria, on the basis of the same “regulatory relaxation.” This might explain why Yassar Sahloul also established a more formal mechanism for handling capital inflows, an Islamic bank with a capital base of US$100 million (Dh367m). It also chimes in with his reported ambition to make Yassar Sahloul and Sons the holding company for a diversified concern including “shipping and property investment assets as well as banking and finance,” as hospitals are valuable properties whose worth only increases the more customers they serve.

These two Sahouls may or may not be immediately related. What we know about the one who stayed behind is his present business address, which is in Aleppo, and that in 2006 he was an Informal Financial Intermediary who participated in a “Feasibility Study to develop new options for private sector investment financing in the Syrian Arab Republic

A Zuher Sahloul Construction Company was active during the lead up to the war in Syria. According to a Wikileaks cable:

“As Washington policy makers consider ways to pressure the regime, one possibility would be to go after President Assad’s money-men. Four individuals Assad uses to make and move money are Zuhair Sahloul, Nabil Kuzbari, Assad’s uncle Mohammad Makhlouf, and his father-in-law, Fawas Akhras. Each is important to Assad and each plays a somewhat different role in facilitating regime graft.”

In short, “(S) Sahloul (AKA Abu Shafic) is the most important black-market money changer in Syria. When the Syrian Pound (SYP) devalued precipitously in the fall of 2005, the SARG gave Sahloul an office in the Central Bank and access to its hard currency reserves so he could intervene in the black market to stabilize the currency. NB: Sahloul was surprisingly effective, and within weeks the SYP appreciated 20 percent, allowing Sahloul in the process a handsome profit for both himself and a handful of regime-insiders. End note.) Sahloul moves Assad’s money using his own network and his access to Hawalis worldwide. A Sahloul intimate bragged to us recently that Sahloul could move ten million dollars anywhere in the world in 24 hours.”

If Washington insiders are dealing with someone called Sahloul, from Syria, who is involved with the regime they have targeted they are not going to let someone else called Sahloul address the UN Security Council, or build hospitals in Syria, without conducting background checks. It is not an unusual surname, but not a very common one either. Whatever the US knows about the good doctor it knows he is not going to compromise its dealings with the other Sahloul, the one in Aleppo. He is, at the very least, a safe person to send to face the press.

End of the line

There is a lot more to the story of the little boy from Aleppo than meets the eye. But we are being encouraged not to look further, and rely on our emotional response. We are led to look for someone to blame, and then, by coincidence, told exactly who without any complications entering the picture.

The victims of Aleppo deserve better than to suffer for the sake of a set up. So does everyone who sees this story. But given that Yassar Sahloul was one of those promoting the protests in Damascus which led to the civil war, is it any wonder things are turning out how they are?

August 24, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Classic Hoax of Homeric Proportions

By Prof. Tony Hall | American Herald Tribune | July 22, 2016

The Kevin Barrett-Chomsky Dispute in Historical Perspective – Fifth part of the series titled “9/11 and the Zionist Question” – Read the fourth part here.

larry silverstein and 7WTC 0a38a

In his presentation at the Left Forum, Kevin Barrett acknowledged his intellectual debt to the work of Barrie Zwicker, one of Canada’s most accomplished and experienced investigative journalists. Barrett and Zwicker concur that Noam Chomsky’s nonsensical interventions on 9/11 constitute an important part— indeed, perhaps the single most instrumental part— of the 9/11 cover up. If Chomsky’s adoring fans had been treated with respect and truth rather than with duplicity and lies, they might have joined together in a timely and effective way to get to the bottom of the 9/11 deception and to demand some legal and political accountability for the fraud.

The Left’s most influential guru, however, discouraged his obedient flock from trying to sort out 9/11 truth from the instrumentalized fiction embedded in the 9/11 fable. As the Trojan horse within the progressives’ main camps, Chomsky moved decisively and deliberately to discourage independent investigations into a classic hoax of Homeric proportions.

In New York Dr. Barrett underlined the pivotal role of Noam Chomsky as a primary agent of the 9/11 cover up. In making his point the martyred former professor referred to Building 7. WTC 7 is the third World Trade Center skyscraper in New York to be downed on 9/11 in a controlled demolition. Lucky Larry Silverstein’s World Trade Center 7 was not hit by any jet. Nevertheless, this 47-story steel-frame skyscraper collapsed almost instantly into its own footprint late in the afternoon of September 11 twenty minutes after its destruction had been announced on the BBC.

Said Barrett, “In November of 2001, if Chomsky had not chosen to feed us such a diet of bull shit, but instead had eloquently pushed the whole Left towards just looking at Building 7 and then drawing the obvious conclusions, I think we’d be living in a very different and vastly better world.”

Why did Noam Chomsky intervene so quickly, aggressively and unrelentingly to persuade his admirers, including many teachers, politicians, jurists and journalists, to put aside their own critical faculties in evaluating the substance of what actually transpired in the most transformative event of the twenty-first century? Why did Chomsky rush into print his book of November 2001 to declare “the initial conclusions about 9/11 are presumably correct,” and to reassure that there would be no major “long-term restriction of rights” or “government censorship” flowing from the debacle?

In his 2006 volume entitled, Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11, Barrie Zwicker devotes a chapter to “The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left.” (pages 179-224) This seminal chapter was accompanied by a series of short documentaries by Snowshoe Productions now published on You Tube by Yoryvrah. Zwicker explains that he was once “a fan, a protégé and a booster” of Noam Chomsky. In these print and video publications, Zwicker describes how prior to 9/11 he voraciously read many of Chomsky’s books. The investigative reporter and teacher included a number of Chomsky’s articles in the curriculum of the journalism courses he taught at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Zwicker corresponded with his former role model on a collegial basis. There exists public acknowledgment of Zwicker’s contribution to the gestation process of Manufacturing Consent, Chomsky’s 1992 co-authored book accompanied by a documentary film project. The Canadian journalist interviewed Chomsky twice, once in the 1990s and the second time in Hamilton Ontario in 2002. In the second interview Chomsky responded dismissively to Zwicker’s questions on 9/11. The visiting scholar referred to critiques of the official narrative of 9/11 as “conspiracy theories.”

Chomsky’s flippant reference to a notoriously engineered meme, namely his mention of “conspiracy theories,” amounts to the purposeful deployment of a tactic aimed at blocking critical and thoughtful exchange. Chomsky’s resort to this overworked cliché caused Zwicker to begin the process of re-evaluating the work of the MIT professor. By using without irony the uncontextualized term “conspiracy theorist”, Chomsky signaled his unwillingness to engage in open-minded dialogue on a difficult yet vital topic. Chomsky’s refusal to engage in honest evidence-based discussion about 9/11 alerted Zwicker that his US guest could sometimes be “intellectually dishonest.” Zwicker would subsequently learn that Chomsky was not above resorting to cheap “put down phrases” and “bizarre non-sequiturs.”

Both Zwicker and Barrett are far from alone in noticing that Chomsky defends both the government narrative of 9/11 as well as the now-discredited government myth that a sole gunman acting independently killed former US President John F. Kennedy. When pressed to provide clarification on both positions Chomsky notoriously resorts to rhetorical dismissals like “Who cares?” or “What does it matter?” Of course it matters a great deal who did 9/11 and who killed Kennedy. A conclusive and honest answer to both questions would reveal much about how we are governed and who is really in control.

In Towers of Deception, Zwicker deals not only with America’s most highly-publicized professor, but also with many foundation-funded alternative media that followed Chomsky’s lead in avoiding honest critical analysis of the originating events of the 9/11 Wars.

Among the Left Gatekeeper institutions Zwicker identifies are Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, Michael Albert’s Z Magazine, David Corn’s The Nation and many other venues including The Progressive, Mother Jones and South End Press. In summing up his commentary on “The Shame of Noam Chomsky,” Zwicker observed, “When he is not appearing to undermine the American Empire, which is the main thing he does, [Chomsky] is buttressing it by undermining the most effective and therefore dangerous foe the Empire faces—the conscious Left.”

Zwicker asks:

How many could imagine that the person warning you is one of the most perilous against whom you’ll need to defend yourself? That he is the fire marshal who wires your house to burn down, the lifeguard who drowns you, the doctor with a disarming bedside manner who administers a fatal injection? If Noam Chomsky did not exist, the diaboligarchy would have to invent him. To the New World Order, he is worth 50 armored divisions. (page 224)

Zwicker’s comparison of Chomsky to a very large grouping of military units is striking and apt given what we now know. Ironically Chomsky made his name and fame drawing attention to the role of propaganda in manufacturing consent for war and contemporary colonization. Disinfo agent Michael Shermer has replicated this strategy of seeming to expose the very tactic he utilizes to advance the interests of power.

https://www.amazon.ca/MANUFACTURING-CONSENT-Mark-Achbar/dp/1551640023

A disingenuous TV professor with a penchant for misrepresenting his limited academic credentials, Shermer is editor of the deep-state funded Skeptic Magazine that is anything but skeptical when it comes to addressing the lies and crimes of 9/11.

You will read “Inside Job? Inside What?” in the next part.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | 3 Comments