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Frauds: The Election, Media, Congressional Dems, and the FBI

By Clarice Feldman | American Thinker | December 13, 2020

The first of this week’s two biggest stories was Friday evening’s action by the Supreme Court refusing to hear the lawsuit brought by Texas and other states respecting the evident fraud in the balloting in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan. I expressed my views on this yesterday here: ‘A Republic, If You Can Keep It’ | The Pipeline

In short, I believe if the Court had decided to take it, it would not have decided who won these states. Instead, had it decided that the electors from those states were chosen illegally, it would have remanded the complaints to the legislatures of these states, which have the responsibility to fashion a remedy. In any event, had they decided to throw out the electoral votes of those states, Biden would still have one more electoral vote than President Trump, as the majority is determined by the number of electoral votes actually cast. It’s now up to the state legislatures and Congress to decide what to do with the votes from the states in question and the Texas filing provides an excellent template for deciding the votes from those and other states where fraud was rampant — either pick a different slate of electors or provide no slate from those states. If the state legislatures fail in their responsibilities, at the demand of one congressman and one senator, any electoral slate can be challenged and the outcome of the challenge is determined by the House of Representatives voting by delegation, a system in which the Republicans have the most delegations and, therefore, the most votes.

The second most significant matter, in my view, was the clear gaslighting the media and former intelligence officials carried out on the Hunter Biden story, hiding the fact that he’s been under criminal investigation since 2018 for bribery, tax evasion, and money laundering from, among other sources, China. Drew Holden and Arthur Schwartz rounded up the evidence of this gaslighting. That it was effective in its bad faith effort at keeping relevant information about Chinese bribery of the Biden family and their consummate corruption in time to affect the election is clear. One survey reports that nearly 10% of those who voted for Biden in key states would not have, had they known about this scandal which the major media deeply hid from them.

Knowing about the scandals involving Biden’s son Hunter’s dealings with officials and firms in China, Ukraine and Russia would have prompted 9.4 percent of those surveyed to change their vote, according to the survey of 1,750 Biden voters in Nevada, Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Michigan.

All the fact-free media claims that the Biden corruption was “Russian disinformation” served only to bury the truth that these and other government figures were captives of the Chinese government, a government of ruthless ambitions against both us and their own people. Interestingly, the press that swatted away the report in the NYPost about Hunter as “Russian Disinformation” were the very same people who on zero evidence accused President Trump of Russian collusion for 3 1/2 years.

Just as interesting were the 50 former intelligence officers, including John Brennan and James Clapper, who had not been briefed about Hunter Biden, but all the same claimed that the story about his corruption had all the characteristics of “Russian disinformation.”

Hunter and Joe Biden were not the only people unmasked as Chinese stooges this week. Congressman Eric Swalwell was as well when the story broke that he had been too close — how close he hasn’t denied — to a Chinese honeypot spy while he sat on the House Intelligence Committee, recipients of the most secret of our intelligence gathering. Even more damning is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi put Swalwell in that position after the FBI notified her that he had been compromised. Congressman Adam Schiff, chair of that committee, was also informed and it didn’t bother him. Instead he peddled lies about Trump and Russia for years and bottled up evidence that the claims were baseless. Just as the agency stoked and never rebutted the claims of Russian collusion against Trump, which it knew at the very outset were false, they did nothing to deal with Swalwell’s having been compromised.

Tammy Bruce nailed it:

Now clear: FBI *knew* Rep. Swalwell was compromised via a Chinese spy, yet spent the last 4 years pushing an accusation against @realDonaldTrump they KNEW was false & helped perpetuate. But don’t worry, our system would totally not compromise the election.

— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) December 8, 2020

Indeed, the FBI has a great deal to answer for and in a better world would be stripped of its counterintelligence functions and more.

Don Surber has dubbed the agency “The KGB for Democrats,” and he has a solid point. It has, as he notes, been in recent years covering up for Democrats and besetting those that the Democrats don’t like. It’s hard to take issue with his examples:

The FBI actually aids and abets crime. Its investigation of Hillary’s sale of state secrets through 33,000 private emails focused not on prosecuting her, but on destroying all evidence of her crimes, including the computer she used. [snip]

Then there is Seth Rich, the man who blew the whistle on the DNC and sent to Wikileaks a thumb drive of incriminating emails. Everyone in DC knows he was murdered. No one is investigating.

Ty Clevenger represents Brian Huddleston in a lawsuit against the FBI. He cannot get the bureau to turn over records. His FOIA lawsuit did get an admission from the bureau.

Clevenger wrote:

“After three years of claiming that it could not find any records about murdered Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich, the FBI admitted today that it has thousands of pages of information about him, further admitting that it has custody of his laptop.” [snip]

The FBI does not work for the American people. If it did, it would have told Obama to pound salt when he demanded the FBI spy on Donald John Trump. Instead it lied to federal judges and spied.

Four years later, only one poor soul has been prosecuted. No other prosecution is expected.

Then there is Hunter Biden’s laptop filled with details of corruption, bribes, and sex with underage women in Red China.

It sat on that laptop for a year. The good citizen who turned it in lost his business and is now in hiding.

The corrupt agency is now involved in a wide-ranging investigation of sexual misconduct, conducted by the Office of the Inspector General.

At week’s end Senator Ted Cruz wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General William Barr, noting that under oath former director James Comey and former deputy director Andrew McCabe‘s testimony about their knowledge and approval of the 2016 Clinton media leak is at odds, that one of them lied under oath, a federal crime. He wants an investigation to determine which one is the liar.

Lying partisans from top to bottom.

With all this going on, it’s no surprise that disinfectants are in such demand and they are hard to find in the market.

December 13, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Covid-19 Celebrity Humanitarianism – Sean Penn and the Great Reset

By Vanessa Beeley | Unlimited Hangout | November 27, 2020

Actor Sean Penn’s “charitable” NGO, with close ties to USAID and the Clintons, has pivoted its focus from “disaster relief” abroad to now playing a key role in US COVID-19 testing and the promotion of the transnational corporatocracy’s Covid-19 narratives.

On the 12th November 2020, an article appeared in the Daily Mail about three powerful men sharing a beach holiday: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Hollywood’s Sean Penn and the reclusive Israeli billionaire, Vivi Nevo. The story slipped under the radar, almost unnoticed by a public caught up in the Covid-19 controversy that continues to sweep the planet. However, the connections between these three elite influencers is well worth a closer look, particularly with regards to their combined role in promoting the transnational corporatocracy’s Covid-19 narratives.

Sean Penn and his altruistic aspirations – valiant, misguided or corrupt?

In Part 1 of this 2 part article, I will review the emergence of Sean Penn as a gladiator for the official Covid-19 narrative and the promotion of ulterior agendas in service to the ruling class who are turning their hybrid war strategy against their own populations with devastating effect.

Sean Penn established Community Organised Relief Effort (CORE) in January 2010 in response to the earthquake that devastated the island of Haiti that same year. Formerly called the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation, CORE claims that “our life-saving programs revolve around building healthier and safer neighbourhoods to mitigate the scale of devastation caused by disaster.”

The Clinton connection

What CORE fails to mention is that the destabilisation and eradication of Haitian culture, heritage, communities and self-sufficiency began long before the earthquake of 2010. It might have something to do with the funding that CORE receives from USAID, a CIA power expansion agency, and Penn’s close relationship with the Clintons whose foundation has been instrumental in the “rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.”

CORE partners taken from their website

Penn declines to mention that Clinton, Bush and Obama have the blood of Haitians on their hands or that Clinton and Bush were deeply involved in “perpetuating the poverty, backwardness and repression in Haiti” that exacerbated the crisis in January 2010 that Penn responded to.

According to journalist, Patrick Martin:

“Clinton took office in the immediate aftermath of the military coup which ousted Haiti’s first democratically elected president, the populist cleric Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That coup was backed by the administration of Bush’s father, who saw Aristide as an unwanted and potentially dangerous radical.”

The Clinton’s influence on the island of Haiti has been one of unmitigated predation and political piracy – a legacy entirely ignored by Penn, who endorsed Hilary Clinton in the 2016 elections and who visited the imperialism-stricken island with robber baron, Bill Clinton, in 2015. Penn appears to be blissfully ignorant of the scandal surrounding the Clinton response to the 2010 earthquake that left the already scavenged island in tatters.

The Clintons stepped up to lead the global response to the Haiti earthquake. At President Obama’s request, Clinton and George W. Bush created the “Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund,” and began “aggressively fundraising around the world to support Haiti”. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) selected Bill Clinton as its co-chair. Hillary Clinton was still Secretary of State and was therefore responsible for funnelling USAID “relief” funding to Haiti. A whopping $ 13.3 billion was pledged by international donors to allegedly rebuild Haiti and to restore dignity to the lives of the forcibly impoverished Haitian people. Unsurprisingly, the IHRC response was mired in controversy and accusations of embezzlement levied against the Clintons who, effectively, held the purse strings of the incoming donations.

The IHRC collected and estimated $ 9.9 billion in three years but the deplorable misery and poverty that Haitians endure did not improve. It is widely believed that the Clintons cynically robbed and destroyed Haiti for their own gain. Haitian author, journalist, and historian, Dady Chery, expressed the general view thus:

“In 2016, by all estimates, the cost of the US presidential elections doubled or quadrupled to about $5-10 billion. This is the most expensive presidential bid in history, and Hillary Clinton has vastly outspent Donald Trump. Where did the money come from?”

Rather than express outrage at the Clinton potential involvement in defrauding the people of Haiti, Penn continued a campaign of genuflection to the Clintons. In 2015, at a Haiti benefit event, Penn introduced Bill Clinton as a “once-in-a-generation leader with laser focus, immense curiosity, courage and compassion that can be unequivocally measured by sustainable benefits and the improvement of so many lives around the world.”

During his twenty minute speech, Clinton praised Penn for his work in Haiti and encouraged the star-studded audience to contribute to what is now CORE by stating that “you will never contribute to an organisation that will give you a higher probability of having your good intentions turned into real positive changes in other people’s lives”. The hypocrisy oozed from every honeyed word.

Also present at the fundraising gala was sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape earlier this year. This will connect to the other two men on the beach (i.e. Jack Dorsey and Vivo Nevo) in Part 2.

In 2012, Hillary Clinton’s aides lavished praise on Penn who had just received the 2012 “Peace Summit Award” from former Soviet Union President, Mikhail Gorbachev, for his work in Haiti. A number of media reports pointed out that the email address had been redacted but was listed as “CIA”.

Whether Penn participated knowingly in the imperialist rape of Haiti or was nothing more than a useful celebrity idiot who served the agenda of the Clinton/Bush vulture policy is a question for serious debate. Penn certainly didn’t slum it when travelling to Haiti. HRO or CORE paid out more than $ 126,000 in first class flights in 2013. This luxury travel was justified by Penn’s celebrity status and “consideration for his safety”.

Penn’s close relationship with the Clintons also apparently brought him into the nefarious orbit of child-sex provider and elite blackmailer, Jeffrey Epstein. It has been claimed that Penn was on the guest list of an intimate dinner between Epstein’s under-age girl procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell and Bill Clinton in 2014.

Covid-19 “response” and a potential ulterior motive for CORE Covid-19 tests

Fast forward to 2020, and we find Sean Penn and CORE intimately involved in Covid-19 drive-through testing centres. In September 2020, CORE had conducted more than one million Coronavirus tests, by November, this had increased to 2.5 million.

The PCR test, DNA harvesting and false positives

The validity of the PCR tests in diagnosing Covid-19 has been the subject of much scientific discussion with a growing number of medical experts and analysts dismissing the PCR test as unreliable and inconclusive due to the high percentage of false positives. It is also claimed that this widespread DNA collection under the pretext of Covid-19 could be a covert genetic information harvest on the pretext of extracting viral DNA from all the genetic material.

I spoke with a medical expert who will remain anonymous for security reasons and he informed me that the PCR test is “not designed to diagnose disease.” He told me:

“The test identifies a genetic sequence being present in a sample and then copies it, thereby increasing the amount of genetic material. Each test cycle copies and increases the genetic material. A specific amount of GM is required to meet a threshold of detection. The test will keep copying until it is possible to say the virus is “detected”. Therein lies the problem. After “Covid” infection, when the virus has been removed by the immune system, some viral genetic debris can remain for many months. A tiny fragment viral, genetic material debris will be found and multiplied by many, many cycles until the detection threshold is reached. This is a false positive.”

He informed me that most labs are running upwards of 40 cycles. “In at least 4 examples of RT PCR testing in the US, it was found that 90% of the positive tests were actually false.”

He also told me “the real reason they are pushing the testing is control. They want a rapid test to be used every day, multiple times per day to gain entry to school, work, restaurants, entertainment centres etc. It is conditioning.”

The sinister question is whether all this genetic DNA information is passed on to undisclosed entities for “research purposes” without the patient’s knowledge.

Prior to the Covid-19 “crisis”, patient privacy in the US was protected by federal laws like the Common Rule and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Emergency laws or orders introduced on the back of Covid-19 have enabled a widespread genome harvesting strategy with little or no accountability for how the DNA information collected is ultimately used.

The issue of DNA collection is not new. An article by Off-Guardian from 2017 asked why the US Air-force was collecting samples of Caucasian Russian DNA. Predictably, the story was ignored by US/UK state media. At the time, Russian President Putin, speculated that the US was preparing an anti-Russian bioweapon. That theory is no longer so “conspiratorial” with the looming threat of a potential bio terror false flag which will, inevitably, plunge the world into even greater engineered chaos.

As part of my research for this article, I sent an email to CORE asking them what they did with the DNA collected from their testing procedures. Until now, no response has been forthcoming.

CORE now receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO donated $ 10 million to Penn’s initiative. Further sponsors include the Clinton Foundation. The CORE testing site at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles is the largest in the US – “three times the size of any other location in LA” and can test up to 6,000 people per day. Mouth swabs are used in place of the nasal swabs to avoid the need for medical staff to perform the test.

Penn’s funding from Covid-19 impresario, Bill Gates, is an indicator of the depth of Penn’s involvement in what is the Covid-19 portal to the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset”. Penn is no stranger to the Gates world of “philanthropy”. When Melinda Gates spoke about gender inequality at a 2015 Hollywood Report “women in entertainment” breakfast, it was Penn who introduced her. Penn went on to extol the Gates global immunisation projects. That Penn is wholly supportive of the Covid-19 class war should come as no surprise.

One cannot help but wonder what happened to Penn. In 2002, Penn placed a $56,000 advertisement in the Washington Post asking President George W. Bush to end a cycle of violence. In 2003, he wrote an impassioned anti-imperialist full-page statement for the New York Times opposing the Bush military interventionism in Iraq.

Penn wrote:

“We see Bechtel. We see Halliburton. We see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, Perle, Ashcroft, Murdoch, many more. We see no WMDs. We see dead young Americans. We see no WMDs. We see dead Iraqi civilians. We see no WMDs. We see chaos in the Baghdad streets. But no WMDs.”

This could simply be a result of Penn’s fervent support for the Democrats or it could indicate that, once upon a time, Penn had genuine anti-war principles. I will cover Penn’s pro-Democrat-bias and possible connections later in this article.

Today, in 2020, Penn appears to be a fully fledged member of the billionaire and Big Pharma complex that is pushing a high-risk global vaccination roll-out. He has demanded that the “military must be tasked with a full offensive against this virus.” Penn has described the military intervention in Haiti as the US deployment of “the most effective logistical and humanitarian organization the world has ever seen: the US military.” Penn’s own terminology in relation CORE’s Covid-19 response has been littered with military analogy, describing it as a “mission to save lives”, an interesting allusion to “an active shooter scenario” and finally “you become a gun.” That might be a little closer to the truth than Penn intended.

CORE is backed by USAID, the Clintons, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is not a grass roots volunteer organization, it is an instrument of power. Co-founder of CORE, or J/P HRO as it was in 2010, is a notorious character by the name of Sanela Diana Jenkins ( the J/P stood for Jenkins-Penn).

Jenkins who is of Bosnian (Bosnia and Herzegovina) origin, has consistently underpinned the narratives that led to the NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia in 1999 including the much disputed Srebenica “genocide.” (For a greater understanding of the complexities of this dark period in Yugoslav history, I highly recommend “Media Cleansing, Dirty Reporting,” by Peter Brock.) Jenkins raised $ 1 million for the Clinton Foundation in Haiti and together with actor, George Clooney, she raised $ 10 million for the “Not on Our Watch” organisation, which intervened in Darfur on behalf of US imperialist interests.

Jenkins actively supported regime change in Libya which resulted in the brutal murder of its President, Muammar Gaddafi, which was famously celebrated by Hillary Clinton, who said : “we came, we saw, he died”.

Penn – Maverick or CIA tool?

I mentioned Penn’s support for the Democrats earlier in the article. A deeper delve into Penn’s “journalism” reveals a possible political agenda that is in lock-step with the Democrat policies. On October 23, 2008, Penn met with President Raul Castro of Cuba, less than two weeks before Barack Obama was elected as the first black US President. During the seven-hour meeting, Castro expressed a desire to meet with Obama who had said that he would reverse some of the draconian policies imposed by the preceding Bush administration during his election campaign.

The Mexican drug cartels and the US banking cartel cover-up

According to Penn’s biography as it appears in his controversial Rolling Stone interview with Mexican drug lord, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, i.e. El Chapo, “Actor, writer and director Sean Penn has written from the front lines in Haiti, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.” El Chapo’s arrest almost immediately after meeting with Penn drew accusations of Penn’s involvement in his detection. However, there is evidence that El Chapo was actually not that hard to find and that the entire capture may have been nothing more than elaborate cover for the real billionaire criminals behind the global drug dealing industry, the US banking cartel.

As journalist, Richard Becker, wrote in 2019:

“Joaquin Guzman, also known as “El Chapo,” will likely spend the rest of his life in isolation inside a “supermax” prison in Colorado, after his sentencing on July 17 for drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes. No US bankers will be in the adjoining cells, although without vast assistance from the latter, the Mexico-based drug cartels could never have achieved the size and profitability they have.

Despite the banks reaping huge profits as financiers and accomplices of the cartels, the number of bank executives criminally prosecuted for laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal drug money is exactly zero.”

One could be forgiven for speculating that the Penn scandal provided spectacular cover for the oligarchs behind the scenes of El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel. In March 2010, Wachovia bank agreed “in a settlement to having laundered at least $378 billion in drug money from 2004-2007 for Mexican drug cartels.” The case never went to court.

There is also the additional issue of claims of the discovery of a 50-caliber sniper rifle associated with Obama’s “Operation Fast and Furious” at the hideout of El Chapo. Operation Fast and Furious involved the sale of firearms at retail stores which could then allegedly be tracked to prominent drug cartel figures in Mexico. The operation was an abject failure which resulted in the murder of various individuals with US-supplied weapons, not dissimilar to the Obama “train and equip” programme in Syria, which squandered $500 million on weapons and equipment for the non-existent “moderate opposition.” These weapons, they say, inexplicably fell into the hands of the global terror organisation, ISIS. The US National Rifle Association accused Obama and former Attorney General, Eric Holder of hatching the operation as cover to increase gun violence in Mexico and thus justify more restrictive gun-laws in the US.

At the very least, the timing of Penn’s intervention and the subsequent arrest of El Chapo is interesting.

Penn always in the “right” place at the right time?

Haiti

In 2012, Penn met with US-approved, former Haiti President, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier whose father Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, had been instated as President-for-life in 1957 with US backing. US warships were reportedly stationed “just off the coast of Haiti to oversee a smooth transition of power to Duvalier’s son.” Under the Duvalier dynasty, more than 60,000 Haitians were murdered and tortured by death squads known as the Tonton Macoutes who regularly burned dissenters alive or publicly hung them. “Baby Doc” had been removed from power in 1986 by a popular uprising. After his meeting with “Baby Doc”, Penn recommended “reconciliation” with this neo-colonialist instrument of injustice, despite the fact that Haitian human rights group and civilians wished to see “Baby Doc” prosecuted for “crimes against humanity” and widespread corruption.

Penn does not specify the date of his 2012 “chance” meeting with “Baby Doc” but perhaps coincidentally, President Bill Clinton met “Baby Doc” in January 2012 in Titanyen, the site of mass graves for the bodies of men, women and children massacred by the Duvalier tyrants over the course of three decades of US-orchestrated and sponsored dictatorship. On the same stage with “Baby Doc” and Clinton was the latest in the line of US-approved puppet leaders, President Michel Martelly also highly promoted by Penn.

Sean Penn holds flag as he walks with Egyptian actor Khaled al-Nabawi in Tahrir Square during a protest against the ruling military council, in Cairo September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Egypt

In 2011, Penn just happened to be in Tahrir Square as the Arab Spring gathered momentum in Egypt. Penn called on military leaders for a “faster transition to democracy”. Penn told the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, that “the world is inspired by the call for freedom by the courageous revolution of Egypt [..] a transition of power from the military to the people.” Effectively, Penn came out in favour of yet another US/UK-orchestrated regime change – one that would ultimately lead to the reduction of Egypt to a poverty-stricken nation dependent upon foreign aid, conveniently for the US  and Israel who alongside the UK, were instrumental in fomenting the uprising as explained by the Journeyman documentary – “The Revolution Business”.

Iran, Syria and Chavez

In 2009, two American “hitch-hikers”, Josh Fattel and Shane Bauer, were arrested by Iranian border guards after they were accused of entering Iranian territory on the border with Iraqi “Kurdistan” without permission and were jailed for espionage. Penn flew to Venezuela to ask President Hugo Chavez to negotiate their release with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Penn had allegedly been alerted to the plight of Bauer and Fattel by friends in “US intellectual circles.” Penn’s support for Chavez was the subject of much controversy in American media, but that controversy likely provided him with the credibility he needed to be afforded an audience with Syria’s US-media-maligned President Bashar Al Assad in the midst of the US/UK-driven “regime change” war against Syria. The meeting is believed to have taken place during the summer of 2016.

Perhaps it is yet another coincidence, but one of thePenn-rescued “hitch hikers,” Shane Bauer, went on to become a “journalist” member of the western media “regime change” chorus invested in the criminalization of the Syrian government and its elected President Bashar Al Assad. A “journalist” who, without hesitation, regurgitated the now discredited 2018 Douma “chemical weapon” story despite serious doubts from acclaimed journalist, Robert Fisk, who was one of the first to visit the scene of the alleged attack. Evidence that the attack was, almost certainly, a staged event, produced by the UK FCO-midwived White Helmets and Douma’s dominant armed group, Jaish Al Islam, seemed to escape Bauer’s “in depth” journalism. One Syrian commentator on Twitter responded succinctly to Bauer’s tweet.

Bauer, himself, reported that he had been denied a visa by the Syrian authorities because his “journalism” was not considered objective enough. It is quite possible that the decision could also have been influenced by his history of illegal entry into Iran. True to form, Bauer entered Syria illegally with the help of US-proxies, the Kurdish contra forces, the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces” occupying much of north-east Syria, including the oil fields in order to produce his undercover report which served as thinly veiled PR for the continuation of a ten-year US/UK-led war against Syria.

Celebrity humanitarianism: PR for neoliberal capitalism and US hegemony

Is Sean Penn a Hollywood “honey trap” for the five eyes intelligence alliance, as he was colourfully described by a Twitter commenter recently? Or is Penn nothing more than a member of the rising celebrity cult-humanitarian complex spearheaded by entertainment stars, billionaires and activist “NGOs” that include Bill Gates, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, Bono and Penn’s ex-wife, Madonna? The line between being an intelligence asset and an “innocent” promoter of US hegemony and neoliberal capitalism is an indistinct one in either case.

The three men on the beach, Sean Penn, Jack Dorsey and Vivi Nevo. Photo: the Daily Mail

In many instances, the timing of Penn’s “happenstance” meetings with figures key to US foreign policy and military adventurism raises obvious questions. I have not covered all of Penn’s political publicity stunts in this article, only those I consider to be the primary ones. Effectively, Penn’s political involvement has furthered the foreign policy objectives of the US predatory class, which inevitably result in global inequality, food insecurity and devastation for countries in the cross-hairs, the same global insecurity that Penn’s version of celebrity altruism claims to fight against.

As described in the book, “Celebrity Humanitarianism – the ideology of global charity” by Byllan Kapoor:

“[…] celebrity humanitarianism, far from being altruistic, is significantly contaminated and ideological: it is most often self-serving, helping to promote institutional aggrandizement and the celebrity ‘brand’; it advances consumerism and corporate capitalism, and rationalizes the very global inequality it seeks to redress; it is fundamentally depoliticizing, despite its pretensions to ‘activism’; and it contributes to a ‘post-democratic’ political landscape, which appears outwardly open and consensual, but is in fact managed by unaccountable elites.”

Penn is a Covid-19 fearmongering fanatic. Aside from demanding that the military be involved in the response, Penn has issued an array of stinging attacks on Twitter against President Trump’s Covid-19 measures, deeming them ineffective and disproportionate to the Penn-perceived magnitude of the threat. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Penn is supportive of the Biden power bid, which will bring in a Covid-19 task force comprised of individuals who have voiced support for eugenics and population control.

Who persuaded Penn to take to Twitter earlier this year? None other than Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, who will be the main subject of Part 2 of this article, which will cover Dorsey’s role in funding and promoting the Covid-19 Big Pharma programmes and draconian US government population suppression measures.

Sean Penn with Vivi Nevo and Leonardo Di Caprio at the Haiti Rising Gala, 2017. Photo: Getty images, Vogue.

The three men on the beach are instrumental in paving the way for the Great Reset and Dorsey should be held responsible for much of the Twitter censorship of dissenting voices during this unprecedented power grab by the powers that be. Celebrities like Penn and influencers like Dorsey enable their expansionism rather than call for their accountability for the damage being inflicted upon the world’s most vulnerable and increasingly disenfranchised human beings under the guise of “relief.”

December 12, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biden Appointee Neera Tanden Spread the Conspiracy That Russian Hackers Changed Hillary’s 2016 Votes to Trump

By Glenn Greenwald | November 30, 2020

The announcement that Joe Biden intends to nominate Neera Tanden as his Director of the Office of Management and Budget — a critical position overseeing U.S. economic and regulatory policy — triggered a wide range of mockery, indignation and disgust from both the left and the right.

That should not be surprising: though a thoroughly mediocre and ordinary D.C. swamp creature from the perspective of both ideology and competence, Tanden’s uniquely unhinged, venomous, corrupt and pathologically dishonest conduct as a Clinton Family and DNC apparatchik and President of the corporatist-and-despot-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) has earned her a list of enemies far longer and more impressive than her accomplishments.

When news of her appointment broke, many of the journalists and activists she has spent years abusing, slandering, and lying about instantly stepped forward to compile just some of her worst political and behavioral lowlights. And some preliminary signs emerged that she might encounter difficulty in obtaining the Senate confirmation needed for her to assume this position. The Communications Director for GOP Senator John Cornyn of Texas announced that “Tanden stands zero chance of being confirmed” by the Senate.

Former Sanders campaign aide David Sirota hypothesized that “it is not a coincidence that they are putting Neera Tanden — the single biggest, most aggressive Bernie Sanders critic in the United States of America — specifically at OMB while Sanders is Senate Budget Committee ranking/chair.” Sirota’s statement suggests Biden’s nomination of Tanden was intended as yet more humiliation doled out to the Democratic-loyal Sanders left by cucking the Vermont Senator even further by forcing him to shepherd the confirmation of one of his most vicious and amoral attackers (who Sanders himself in 2019 vehemently denounced). But Sirota’s point also raises the prospect that Tanden’s nomination could even encounter trouble from that side of the aisle as well (given Sanders’ compliant and disciplined conduct over the last six months, it’s more likely we will see him roll out a literal red carpet for Tanden to walk on, gently toss red roses on it before she passes, and then serve her a glass of Chardonnay rather than meaningfully obstruct her confirmation).

The list of sociopathic and even monstrous acts from Tanden is too long to list comprehensively. She punched one of her own employees, a reporter for CAP’s now-abolished blog ThinkProgress, after he had the temerity to ask Hillary Clinton in 2008 about her support for the Iraq War (Tanden claimed she “merely” had “pushed,” not punched, her undeferential reporter). In 2011, as the Obama administration was participating in the NATO bombing of Libya, Tanden suggested in internal CAP discussions that the U.S. steal Libya’s oil as a way of reducing the U.S. deficit (a story I was able to report only because Tanden had abused and alienated so many of her employees that they worked together to leak her incriminating emails to me).

During her tenure as CAP’s President, Tanden accepted millions of dollars from the regime of the United Arab Emirates, which built Dubai and Abu Dhabi using slave labor, along with massive donations from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, the Walton Family and Michael Bloomberg, while hiding the identity of some of her think tank’s largest donors. A huge chapter on the NYPD’s abusive policies toward Muslims under Mayor Michael Bloomberg was removed from a CAP report after Boomberg donated more than $1 million to Tanden’s organization, and he continued to donate even more after that courteous gesture.

She ordered the supposedly independent journalists of the ThinkProgress blog, including Muslim writers, to stop writing critically about Israel after key CAP donors, including Barney Frank’s sister Ann Lewis and long-time Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson, complained. [More info on this and about AIPAC’S influence is here and here. and here and here]

Ann Lewis speaks at AIPAC national conference, March 20, 2016 in Washington DC. Lewis is a Democratic political strategist and former White House Communications Director to President Bill Clinton.

Tanden and Wolfson plotted in 2016 how to weaponize female journalists and people of color against Hillary’s critics as well to use their identity to stigmatize and thus stop undesirable coverage from The New York Times. In 2018, she outed a CAP employee at a staff-wide meeting who had filed an anonymous complaint of sexual harassment and retaliation against one of Tanden’s male allies. Secure with her UAE-and-corporate-funded large salary, she has long urged cuts to Social Security. The list goes on and on.

One can reasonably view Biden’s choice of Tanden as a positive. She is no different in character or ideology than any of the faceless, more obscure DNC operatives who would occupy this position if she did not. But because of how well-known her sociopathy, militarism and corporatism are to many on the liberal-left, her face serves as an undeniable and unavoidable reminder of what the Biden administration and the Democratic Party really are. She illuminates the truth about their real aims.

But beyond things like wanting to steal Libya’s oil after bombing it into oblivion, outing sexual harassment complainants, and physically assaulting and censoring her own employees, there is one uniquely abominable feature of Neera Tanden. She is one of the most deranged conspiracy theorists in the United States, and has done more than almost any other Washington functionary to contaminate Democrats’ mental health, capacity to reason, and faith in the legitimacy of U.S. elections.

Tanden owes her entire career to the patronage of Hillary Clinton, and her devotion to Hillary approaches restraining-order levels of creepiness (here you can watch Tanden beam with adoration as then-Senator Hillary Clinton, on the Senate floor in 2004, explains her steadfast opposition to marriage equality for same-sex couples on the ground that “marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman” and “exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history” for the primary purpose of raising children — just a few short years before Democrats changed views on this, after which it instantly became the hallmark of an unreconstructed hateful bigot to say this).

Few people took Hillary’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump as hard as Tanden, or handled it as poorly. Indeed, she refused to believe it really happened, and encouraged others to similarly refuse to accept its reality.

In the weeks after Trump’s victory, Tanden joined numerous Democrats in encouraging electors of the Electoral College to ignore their states’ votes and refuse to elect Trump as President (many rationale were invoked for this: Tanden’s was a CAP article promoting #Resistance fanatic Richard Painter’s argument that Trump’s violations of the Emolument Clause precluded an Electoral College win). She insisted that Hillary lost because of Russia, claiming the “Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states.” And she was not only one of the first to push the Steele Dossier’s claim that Russia held blackmail power over Trump but also one of the last to do so — insisting in 2018 that “the dossier been mostly proven to be true” and claiming as late as 2019 that nothing in this discredited junk report had been disproven.

Tanden’s bizarre claims about Russian hackers

But what really distinguished Tanden when it came to unhinged and toxic behavior was her repeated (and obviously baseless) claims that Hillary only lost because Russian hackers invaded the U.S. voting system and clandestinely changed Hillary’s votes to Trump’s, costing the real winner — Hillary — her rightful place on the throne, behind the Resolute Desk.

Four days after the 2016 election, Tanden began strongly implying, if not outright stating, that Russian hackers changed the vote totals, and that this is why “Trump was as surprised as everyone else” by his victory. When I highlighted her conspiratorial claims, she did not deny their obvious meaning, but rationalized them by insisting that her conspiracies were not as bad as Trump’s refusal, in advance of the election, to acknowledge the legitimacy of an election that had not yet taken place:

Tanden’s insistence that Russia changed the voting results through hacking did not once her traumatic shock in the weeks after Hillary’s loss dissipated (if it ever did). After The Intercept published an anonymous, evidence-free document in June, 2017, allegedly sent by NSA employee Reality Winner, which led that site to claim that “Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials,” Tanden returned to pushing this bizarre conspiracy theory, demanding that I “retract” my post-election criticism of her for peddling this Russia-changed-the-votes madness — as if this NSA document published by The Intercept proved vote-changing hacking by Russia.

This conspiracy-mongering led by Tanden and other prominent liberal activists had a corrosive effect on the ability of Democrats to perceive basic reality, to put that mildly. A 2018 poll from Economist/YouGov — conducted more than a year after Trump’s inauguration — found that a large majority of Democrats (66%) believe that “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected President.”

Economist/YouGov poll, published Mar. 9, 2018

Thereafter, Hillary herself took to calling Trump an “illegitimate” president, further fueling the destruction of confidence and faith among Democrats in the legitimacy of the vote totals and specifically the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Democratic leaders and their media allies love to patronizingly warn that conservative media outlets and their audiences are prone to spread and believe crazy conspiracy theories. They purport particular worry when such conspiracies are designed to undermine faith and trust in the U.S. electoral system itself.

Yet few have done more to destroy such confidence and faith than Neera Tanden, achieved by disseminating over the course of several years some of the most unhinged, evidence-free and deranged conspiracy theories in which she deliberately deceived Democratic partisans into believing that Moscow’s dastardly hackers invaded the sanctity of the U.S. voting system to change Hillary’s votes to Trump’s. And it worked: at least as of 2018, large majorities of Democrats believe that this utterly unproven but dangerous assertion is true.

If Joe Biden succeeds in empowering someone like Neera Tanden without extreme opposition from supposedly adversarial journalists, not only Democrats but also these media outlets will lose whatever lingering credibility they have to denounce conspiracy theories and to defend the legitimacy of U.S. elections. And they will deserve that fate. You can’t run around expecting people will take you seriously when you warn of the dangers of toxic, moronic conspiracy theories when you yourself embrace, elevate and promote the most prolific and reckless purveyors of them.

December 1, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

More on the Strange Demise of The American Herald Tribune

By Tony Hall • Unz Review • November 13, 2020

In recent days many news sites, including Unz Review, have highlighted the role of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI and the CIA in removing web sites from the Internet. For five years I have worked as Editor in Chief of one of the targeted sites that was killed as a result of specious claims concocted by the US intelligence agencies and their media extensions. American Herald Tribune is a victim of a drive-by shooting inflicted by many of the same people seeking to impose the outcome of this presidential election. AHT is now a fallen soldier in the increasingly contentious Battle for Reality.

Initiated in 2015, AHT was made to disappear through the destructiveness of those presently vandalizing the Internet and much else besides. This modern-day version of book burning is based on a closed process where imperatives of the Empire of Deception are expressed. The imperatives of deception must be made to prevail no matter what; no matter who gets hurt or killed in the process

The destruction of the web site that I worked on with others was destroyed on the basis of a ridiculous claim from on high. American Herald Tribune was grouped together with dozens of other web sites said to form what was described as a worldwide propaganda scheme directed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is well integrated into the larger structures of the Iranian Armed Forces.

Based on a directive given in 2019 by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to US President Donald Trump, IRGC was added to the US list of terror organizations. Netanyahu thanked Trump for “responding to another important request of mine.” For one country to designate the Armed Forces of another country as “terrorists” is pretty much the same as a Declaration of War. It creates something new with no precedent or formal place in the constitutional inheritance of international law.

While it can be dangerous to say so out loud, it is well known among the attentive that the government of Israel holds seemingly unlimited sway over many aspects of US lives and US governance. The areas of Israeli and Jewish dominance include strategic communications and foreign policy.

Within this framework of power relations the dominant unfulfilled action sought by Israel First partisans is to maneuver the US Armed Forces into invading and destroying Iran. Sheldon Adelson has specifically called for the use of nukes to bomb Iran “half way into the stone age.”

The prospect of such a war, one that came very close to happening in the opening days of 2020, is one of the most destabilizing factors in global geopolitics. At its strategic nexus in the heart of Eurasia, the Islamic Republic of Iran is allied with China and Russia. Moreover Iran has its own highly sophisticated military apparatus. Many of its senior soldiers and commanders are battle hardened especially from the legacy of decade-long war with US-backed Iraq. Iran is the home of a well-educated population of Persians with a great sense of rootedness in one of the world’s most ancient and accomplished civilizations.

The assault on American Herald Tribune and other web sites was justified as a step along the lethal trajectory meant to lead to a military invasion on Iran. The US attack on web sites is better understood as part of a well orchestrated domestic attack not only on the free speech rights codified in the First Amendment but on the whole underlying essence of Constitutional governance in the beleaguered United States..

The very parties engaged in censoring the Internet and shaping it to advance their own self-interested agendas are themselves deeply implicated in perpetrating major international and domestic crimes. The pre-emptive disappearance of the American Herald Tribune is one small but telling example of a ritual of exorcism. Its dynamic includes an effort to protect the guilty from the incursions that can arise from genuine investigative journalism.

The crimes being pressed from within the US intelligence agencies are extensive, elaborate and devastating in their consequence. The role of the FBI in perpetrating and covering up crime is especially obvious. As Gareth Porter has demonstrated, the FBI was engaged at all stages in a process that disabled and eventually destroyed AHT. The destruction began with the FBI ordering the disabling of AHT first on the strategic platforms of Facebook, Instagram Twitter and Google.

On Nov. 4, just as the tsunami of dirty tricks entailed in election fraud began rolling into the American heartland, American Herald Tribune was removed altogether from the Internet. The site itself along with its archives were plunged into oblivion

It seemed that CIA skills in rigging many elections around the world are now being deployed domestically. The imperial chickens were coming home to roost. The USA is itself now the site of a George Soros-backed Color Revolution. The residue of democracy still barely alive in United Sates is thereby being flattened and killed as the media pushes aside due process to anoint “President Elect Joe Biden.”

US Department of Justice (DOJ) took the lead in justifying the purge that eliminated AHT from the mix of Internet offering. This assault on a small but symbolically significant vehicle of investigative journalism speaks of the rapid ascent of authoritarian milieu where the law-defying media cartels appointed themselves top government deciders.

The Post-Mafia Character of Organized Crime

Many of the agencies engaged in the ritual assassination of AHT are engaged in a range of operations that are taking place far outside the gamut of the rule of law. Organizations charged to counter high-level crimes are instead engaged in committing and covering up organized crime. Some of the crimes that the big US intelligence agencies are promoting rather than prohibiting include, for starters, aggressive warfare as well as drug dealing, money laundering, stock market manipulation, bribery, blackmail and fraud. This list is far from complete.

The inability of the US Justice Department to keep an incarcerated Jeffrey Epstein alive long enough to face his accusers in a trial is suggestive of many things to come. The demise of the Epstein case on the issues Mr. Epstein had come to embody points to the great power of those that traffic in the exploitation of sex slaves, including children.

It seems that one of the big payoffs in this gruesome category of crime involves the filming of influential figures having sex with children. Apparently the threat of exposing these films to public view forms one of the most reliable means for the intelligence agencies to blackmail trendsetters, opinion makers, financiers and deciders into compliance.

The systemic involvement of the big intelligence agencies in organized crime extends to the massive deceptions pressed on the public through the 24/7 dissemination of disinformation by agglomerated media cartels. These cartels have been working in concert with the tax-free and indemnified corporate monopolies presently engaged in seizing illicit control of the Internet.

The scope of the media Mafioso’s power grab is epitomized by its attempt to install Joe Biden as US President by ignoring or downplaying massive and growing evidence of widespread election fraud.

In the days leading up to the US election, Rudy Giuliani, former NY City mayor and one of the most successful prosecutors in US history, was pictured in the media busily marshalling evidence. The evidence he was amassing should be more than enough to trigger a full-fledged FBI investigation into the well-documented case swirling around the possible criminal conduct of Joe Biden’s and much of his family. A considerable amount of evidence is already on the public record. It illuminates the nature of a political career that seems deeply bound up, at the very least, with illicit influence peddling conducted by Joe Biden’s son and his brothers.

The findings of Rudolf Giuliani cannot be easily dismissed. As a federal prosecutor Giuliani succeeded in winning convictions of America’s leading mafia families. It is hard to counter Giuliani’s insistence concerning the broader implications of Hunter Biden’s escapades. Hunter’s conduct was especially significant when he was for all intents and purposes a foreign affairs emissary of the Obama-Biden White House.

Giuliani effectively makes the case that he, together with a small coterie of other experienced investigators, have already identified the broad outlines of a crime spree and a national security scandal involving the many-faceted infractions committed collectively by the racketeering members of the Biden Crime Family.

The publicity attending reports of the Laptop from Hell have helped draw attention to the Biden scandal as articulated by Giuliani and also by Steve Bannon, Senator Ron Johnson, Peter Scweitzer, Maria Bartiromo, and, for a time, by reporters at the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. The FBI is apparently holding the original hard drive of the Hunter Biden’s discarded Laptop from Hell.

Hence the receptacle of a significant part of the smoking-gun-evidence in the Biden scandal has apparently been gathering dust throughout 2020 in the office of FBI Director, Christopher Wray. This revelation has particular significance for me especially in light of the FBI cavalier removal of Internet content containing some of my best investigative work developed over a period of five years. Christopher Wray sat on the Biden laptop during the very months when his office was showering attention on the process leading to AHTs removal from cyberspace .

Who thinks that the FBI Director Wray got his priorities wrong? Who is willing to take on a federal police force possessing, no doubt, abundant surveillance files on every individual of consequence? This intrusive approach to federal policing was pioneered by J. Edgar Hoover. For almost half a century Hoover was the FBI’s notorious Director. No doubt the data-collecting capacities during Hoover’s time pale in comparison with government spying activities carried out by the post-9/11 surveillance state.

When I think of the FBI a flood of images of government malfeasance come to mind. I think, for instance, of the FBI’s involvement in the murders of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. I think of J. Edgar Hoover. I think of the farce of the FBI’s fake investigation into the 9/11 fiasco under the auspices of FBI Director Robert Mueller.

In 2017 Mueller returned to his role as a master of the FBI propensity to cover the tracks of high-ranking criminals. Mueller was brought in to clean up the mess created by the Clinton-Obama losers after they handed over the keys to the White House to the new Donald Trump administration.

The departing oligarchs acted on the principle that the best defence is a good offence. Donald Trump, it turned out, did not dare as he had promised to set in motion the jailing of Hillary Clinton. Instead Donald Trump was subjected to the Russiagate deception, a prelude to the current Irangate deception. A telling symbol of the Irangate deception is the FBI’s knife in the back of AHT.

When I think of the effort to undermine all possible platforms for aggressive investigative journalism, I am reminded of probable FBI-CIA collaboration in the murder of perennial truth teller, John Lennon. I think of the FBI’s role in the police killing in 1969 of the Black Panther activist Fred Hampton and of the FBI’s direct assassination of Lavoy Finicum in 2016.

Finicum was a rancher and an outspoken critic of the federal role in land management in the western US. Like Hampton, Finicum was a gifted speaker with a talent for widening the discussion from the grievances of particular groups to the grievances shared by people in general. Both Hampton and Finicum were victims of governmental homicide aimed at killing the messengers of popular discontent.

During the university winter break in 2016 I drove from my home in Lethbridge Alberta to investigate in Oregon the murder of Finicum as well as popular responses to it. In the course of my research I tried to visit the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, federal land that had been occupied in the protest movement led by Finicum, the Bundies and other members of the Citizens for Constitutional Freedoms.

As I approached the site of the Malheur protest I was stopped at a roadblock. I was suddenly confronted by about 6 machinegun-wielding officials all wearing overalls with the FBI crests. I was patted down and threatened and instructed in no uncertain terms to turn around and head back to where I had come from.

I wrote about the whole experience at some length as part of the process of taking on my new responsibilities as Editor in Chief of American Herald Tribune. Because of the FBI’s recent assault on AHT, the articles explaining my encounter in 2016 with FBI officials are no longer readily accessible. Some digital fragments of my writing on the Finicum affair survive here and there.

My point is not that the FBI helped to assassinate AHT in order to hide the FBI’s own crimes and misdemeanors. My point is that this federal police force has a history of committing crimes and covering up crimes so that the FBI is no longer a credible instrument of law enforcement. The history of FBI crimes via COINTELPRO that have been directed at, for instance, the peace movement, the American Indian Movement, the Black Panthers, the civil rights movement, the environment movement, and the Nation of Islam.

There are some very dark sides to the history of undercover assaults by the FBI and its accomplices on people and organizations pressing for needed changes to existing social, economic and political orders. The protesters in Black Lives Matter need to take seriously the politics of their siding with some of the primary opponents of the very principles they claim to be advancing in 2020. As always, its important to follow the large sums of money that are helping to fuel the sometimes violent BLM and Antifa actions.

The attack on AHT is quite well aligned with the FBI’s history of seeking the repression of progressive movements. The FBI is a failing federal police agency that should indeed be defunded. The FBI should be replaced with another entity designed to reflect the findings of an investigation into federal policing, an investigation that is long past due.

The Seeds of American Herald Tribune

I have never made any secret of the fact that I have visited Iran several times in the last six years. One of these visits arose from my agreement to deliver an invited paper at a history conference at the University of Tehran. I also attended an event in the Iranian Parliament where Muslim solidarity was expressed by many delegations including many that represented national governments. The shared cause that brought us together was justice for the Palestinians. My other visits involved attendance at New Horizon Conferences.

The most recent New Horizon conference took place in Beirut in the autumn of 2019. Invited US delegates including Dr. Philip Giraldi and Dr. Kevin Barrett. They were threatened by FBI officers promising harsh consequences if they attended the Beirut gathering.

My initial participation in a New Horizon conference took place in 2014. I was one of about 60 foreign delegates invited from throughout North America and Europe. The delegates included Pepe Escobar, Medea Benjamin, Ken O’Keefe, Imran Hussein, Thierry Meyssan, and Wayne Madsen.

One of the featured speakers was Gareth Porter. Dr. Porter introduced his book, Manufactured Crisis, where he exposed the errors in much US and Israeli alarmism concerning Iran’s nuclear energy program.

As I would later realize, the New Horizon conference of 2014 can be seen as a part of the political negotiations that would culminate in 2015 in the agreement of Iran with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The aim of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was intended to enable the Iranian government to continue with its nuclear energy program with international monitoring.

Another aspect of the deal involved some reduction in economic sanctions imposed on the basis of the international power derived from the Federal Reserve banking system headquartered on Wall Street. To get a deal, US President Barak Obama had to invest considerable political capital in what could be seen as a move aimed at normalizing relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

When President Donald J. Trump came to power he very publicly renounced the deal on behalf of the US government. Much to the pleasure of the Israeli government, the resulting deterioration in US-Iran relations has become more and more severe right up to the present.

The whole experience of being part of a very significant event in Tehran was for me something of a revelation with many layers of meaning. As my time in Tehran passed I could see in my mind’s eye a melting away of media-generated caricatures embodied in popular stereotypes of the most demonized country on earth.

The agenda of the 2014 New Horizon conference included some very lively academic sessions. The exchanges among colleagues caused me to become more aware of subtle prohibitions on free speech in North America. I witnessed how the delegates in Tehran were able to converse on some contentious issues in a relaxed and poised way. I reflected on the irony of how difficult it would be to replicate this quality of open debate in academic conferences in North America.

As I ingested the basics of what was to me a new discourse, it seemed I had entered the vortex of very profound antagonisms between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran. I could sense that these antagonisms were reverberating far beyond the region. Prototypes and patterns were being set that help shape many facets of international relations.

In the process of returning from Tehran to Lethbridge I saw from computer searches conducted in airports various versions of a much-mirrored report conveying unflattering things about the New Horizon conference. The same story was replicated across many influential venues.

The highlighted story featured angry condemnations hurled aggressively by Abe Foxman, then National Director of Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Foxman described the whole conference as a hate fest of anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers.

Seeing this combination of weaponized phrases alerted me to how such terms can be combined to compound the harshness of defamatory smears. To be accused of any one of the ADL’s condemnations implied that the whole set of accusations applied to the entire conference and to every delegate who took part.

This crash course in the techniques of Israel First propaganda extended to shocking illustrations meant to indicate what the conference was supposedly all about. Accompanying text presenting hostile commentary on the New Horizon event I saw published images of angry demonstrators burning the Israeli flag. No such demonstration took place. But adherence to the truth of what did or didn’t happen has not been a priority for the authors of a smear campaign the likes of which I had never seen, let alone experienced up until that point

As I settled back into my usual routine in Canada I resolved to look more deeply into a research problem that had come into greater focus during my time in Iran. Since 1982 the academic focus of my research, publication, and teaching was centered on studying encounters between Indigenous peoples and the societies of the colonizing newcomers they encountered.

Over time I worked on expanding this study from Canada to North America and then to the Western Hemisphere. A reasonable extension of this approach, I determined, would be to expand this trajectory of study to the treatment of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine by the Zionist founders and builders of Israel.

A major thread of continuity in this study linking US and Israeli history was the Calvinist views of New England founder’s who saw themselves as God’s Chosen people, as Israelites seeking to establish a New Jerusalem. This vision of Manifest Destiny runs from the creation of New England to the transcontinental expansion of the United States to the US-backed expansion of Israeli settlements eastward to the West Bank and beyond.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky is the founder of revisionist Zionism, the version of imperial Zionism that today dominates the Israeli Knesset. In developing his vision of Greater Israel, or Eretz Israel, Jabotinsky drew heavily on his reading of US expansion into Indian Country. He provided the essential metaphor of the “Iron Wall” as the essential condition for Israeli security and for the Jewish state’s acquisition of new territory. Military force, not compromises and reciprocity with Indigenous peoples, was to provide the basis of the Iron Wall on the moving frontiers of the Jewish state.

The Life and Times of American Herald Tribune

In the months following my return to Canada I engaged in E-mail exchanges with a thoughtful Iranian graduate student who reached out to me based on what he saw at the New Horizon conference. Out of that exchange emerged the idea of the American Herald Tribune, a project we worked on together over a five-year period. During most of those years Donald Trump has been US President who adopted the specious 9/11 narrative and as well as the caricature of Iran as a country of ruthless terrorists.

The Zionist design to poison the minds of Westerners against the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been unrelenting especially since 2001. In the days following the 9/11 debacle, recall that George W. Bush characterized Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, as members of“the axis of evil.”

After 9/11 the Israel First architects of the Global War on Terror were especially fast and zealous to pin the label of “terrorist” on the Palestinians and Iranians. After the New Horizon conference in Beirut in 2019 I addressed the meme of Israeliocentric allegation that Iran is the world’s biggest exporter of terrorism.

The misrepresentation of of 9/11 and many subsequent false flag terror events was systematically deployed to pave the way for the invasion of several Muslim-majority countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.

These invasions were deemed acceptable in the West because of the toxification of the mental environment with poisonous inducements in popular culture to fear all Arabs and Muslims as potential jihadists. The result has been elevated levels of Arabophobia and Islamophobia. The Zionist Lobby worked especially hard, however, to stimulate attitudes of Iranophobia,

Iranophobia can flourish in societies where most people have very little knowledge of Iran and its deep Persian heritage. This ignorance of Iran is not inadvertent. Only very rarely do we see Iranians loyal to Iran’s present government invited to represent their country in the Western media. Increasingly the rule seems to be that Iran can only be spoken about by lobbyists actively promoting aggressive war against the Islamic Republic. There seems to be no room in the media for Iranians to represent their own country on their own terms. Nor is there room for proponents of peace with Iran to counter the messages of the war hawks.

My Iranian colleague and I have since 2015 worked together to build up American Herald Tribune. I was surprised myself by the growth of a large constituency of authors from around the world who became enthusiastic to contribute on a wide array of subjects. Initially some of the authors were paid small amounts and many contributors receive no recompense at all.

Some of the published pieces were contributions written especially for AHT and some of the items were mirrored from other sites. Some of the authors are experienced and well known and some of the authors were neophytes submitting their first attempts at journalism. All in all AHT became very multinational and international in character with a fairly frequent focus on West Asia and Eurasia.

In recent years whatever amounts of money were originally available apparently dried up. Like many Internet initiatives, the AHT project was by and large a labor of love, not a money-making enterprise. I made a point of contributing my modest talents and services for free. I did not seek and I was not offered any material gain. In my role as Editor in Chief I would intervene from time to time to sort out various contentions.

The subject of homosexuality, for instance, generated contrasting treatments by AHT contributors Miko Peled and Gearoid O’Colmain. My advice was not to pick sides but to publish the different perspectives of both commentators. The decision was not well received by some. AHTs then-regular columnist, George Galloway, for instance, chose to withdraw from AHT because of how we handled this matter.

While AHT had developed over time a genuinely international personality, the project continued to hold my interest largely because of my desire to promote the ideals of peace over the contentions of war. As part of this commitment I have become an advocate in Canada of the resumption of normal diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Israel First sycophant, Canadian PM Stephen Harper, had unilaterally severed diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012. Justin Trudeau has promised to restore diplomatic relations but has failed to do so.

I have intervened against interventions by B’nai Brith Canada and its MEK partners to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the IRGC, as a terrorist organization. I my view, President Trump made a big mistake when he gave into Netanyahu’s demand to designate the Armed Forces of a sovereign government as a terrorist organization. If that approach was to catch on, how many peoples in the world would have good reason to designate the US Armed Forces as a terrorist organization?

I completely reject as absurd any notion that AHT is a venue somehow operated by the IRGC as part of a worldwide Iranian influence network. That hallucination is the product of the kind of twisted thinking that tends to develop in those whose perceptions have been distorted by too much war game strategizing. As for me, I am comfortable in my skin as an advocate of peace who makes a point of getting in the way of the intrigues of war mongers.

I took on the war mongers, for instance, at CNN and the Washington Post when earlier this years they both published articles aimed at stigmatizing AHT as a crude instrument of Iranian propaganda. My two responses originally published at AHT have been made to disappear. The articles, however, were picked up by other sources where they can still be found.

As I wrote in AHTs response to the Washington Posts smear of the targeted venue,

I proudly affirm that AHT is opposed to any US-led war with Iran. For those seeking to avoid the scourge of war, the pursuit of peace obviously favors dialogue and exchange rather than animosity and sword-rattling. AHT intends to continue favoring dialogue and exchange.

In answering the criticisms of CNN and WaPo, I was very much aware that I was responding to two media venues well known for their close relations with the US intelligence establishment but especially the CIA. While CNN was not established until 1980, both venues extend into contemporary times the older heritage of Operation Mockingbird, the mother lode of CIA-engineered propaganda establishing much of the narrative of the US-led side in the Cold War. CIA operatives and assets continue to be well represented within the staffs of many big media venues.

The Washington Posts essay on AHT was written as an account of the decision of the newspaper’s Iranophobic Editorial Board. I accused this Board of

… rattling off jargon paraphrasing a deeply flawed study that provides no evidence whatsoever for the extravagant claims being irresponsibly asserted.

The basis for the Washington Post’s claim goes back to a glossy document put together in Milpitas California by an organization named Fire Eye. Fire Eye’s CEO is Kevin Mandia who cryptically describes his company’s specialty as the defense against “cyberattacks.”

The title of the Fire Eye report is Suspected Iranian Influence Operation: Leveraging Inauthentic News Sites and Social Media Aimed at U.S., U.K., Other Audiences. No specific individuals have permitted their names to appear as authors. Thus no one takes specific responsibility for the report’s contents, an understandable absence given the shoddy quality of the study.

There is absolutely no information given about the funders of the report. Why? What is there to hide? Did CNN or the Washington Post or a subsidiary company help fund the study? Did the Israeli or US government pay the piper? The question of the sponsorship of such an investigation is crucial to an assessment of its credibility. Everything points to the fact that there is apparently much about the origins and genesis of this mysterious study that is being kept under lock and key.

There is no clear explanation or justification of the methodology used. There are no specific references to other studies of a similar nature except for vague references to the Democratic Party’s hunt for Russian influences on US politics. There are no scholarly references nor is there a bibliography.

I did not see anywhere in the anonymously authored document a single reference to American Herald Tribune. Not one. Instead the report is organized as individual studies devoting a few pages including screen shots to several sites. These sites are Liberty Front Press, US Journal, Real Progressive Front, British Left, Critics Chronicle and Instituto Manquehue. Before doing research for this essay I had not heard of any of these sites. When I looked them up on Internet search engines, I found in several places adjacent to the named sites results linking to the Fire Eye document.

Propaganda Directed at Iran and Iranians: Prof. Marandi Speaks

The allegations from the US intelligence agencies and their extensions in mainstream media devote enormous attention to what they see as inward-flowing propaganda from Russia and Iran. Those that make this case, however, fail to consider the reverse of what they are arguing. Very concerted efforts are being mounted to bring via media venues foreign influences into the formulation of the attitudes and behaviour of Iranians in Iran. Double standards are in effect. Iranians are being flooded with alien propaganda while any Iranian influence in US media is treated as necessarily evil and illegitimate.

Earlier this year by Professor Seyed Mohammed Marandi provided a very telling account of this inundation of Iran with hostile propaganda from the United States and Britain. Prof. Marandi was interviewed by Anya Parampilaya on Max Blumenthall’s social media operation, the Grayzone. Prof. Marandi did his Ph.D at the University of Birmingham. He is currently Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran.

Prof. Marandi explained that tens of TV networks including BBC Persia broadcast into his country programming that often is rife with hostile depictions of Iranian society and government. With significant backing from US, Israeli and European sources, some of this propaganda is produced by MEK, an organization that joined with the Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq’s war with Iran during the 1980s.

MEK is known to have assassinated Iranian scientists. The MEK organization is widely perceived within Iran as a terrorist group supported by some Iranians who wish for a return to a regime similar to that of the Shah of Iran.

Before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Shah was an instrument of Iran’s friendly integration with the West. Many saw the Shah as a puppet of US, British and Israeli interests.

As the primary source of oil for Royal Navy, Iran had played a crucial role in the history of the British empire throughout the first half of the twentieth century. The cycles of history that have made Iran a site of contention in global affairs gained momentum in 1953. The CIA and British intelligence interests organized a coup to fend off a bid to nationalize Iranian oil supplies. That hostile intervention by the West continues to reverberate across generations right up to present times.

Prof. Marandi explained that much of Farsi (Persian) language propaganda material emanating from foreign sources is engineered to instigate anti-Arab prejudices. Alternatively, much of the Arab-language propaganda generated by the Western-aligned monarchies in the Persian Gulf region is directed at engendering anti-Iranian, anti-Persian prejudices.

The interview with Prof. Marandi took place in the wake of the decision of Facebook and other social media to deplatform him. Prior to 2020 this Iranian academic was a frequent guest on many mainstream media outlets in the US, Great Britain and Australia. The effort to block Iranian perspectives in Western media hardened, however, after an unprovoked and lethal US drone attack in Baghdad that started the process of making 2020 a year like no other.

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The huckster and the hack: UK govt report undermines stars of Cambridge Analytica-Russiagate scandal

By Alexander Rubinstein · The Grayzone · November 2, 2020

Self-styled whistleblower Christopher Wylie and The Guardian reporter Carole Cadwalladr earned film deals and flashy awards by blaming Brexit and Trump on a sweeping conspiracy between data firm Cambridge Analytica and Russia. A British government investigation shatters their claims to fame.

Two years after the stunning June 2016 passage of the Brexit referendum, affirming the British public’s desire to withdraw from the European Union, and the equally unexpected November 2016 election of Donald Trump to the White House, a scandal erupted that seemed to explain these rogue right-wing victories as the handiwork of an especially devilish data-mining scheme.

In 2018, a hipster techie named Christopher Wylie emerged as a supposed whistleblower from the UK data firm SCL-Cambridge Analytica. Wylie claimed inside knowledge of how his former employer illicitly harvested the personal data of British and American voters through Facebook to conduct micro-targeting operations in favor of Brexit and Trump. Further, and most memorably, he asserted that “known Russian agents” were involved in the right-wing plot.

“Here is what I know,” Wylie tweeted, “when I was at Cambridge Analytica, the company hired known Russian agents, had data researchers in St Petersburg, tested US voter opinion on Putin’s leadership, and hired hackers from Russia – all while [former Trump Chief of Staff Steve] Bannon was in charge.”

As soon as Wylie went public, his accusations against Cambridge Analytica became a central pillar of the Russiagate narrative, bridging Trump-Putin across the Atlantic to Brexit and the rise of Euroscepticism.

Wylie, a self-proclaimed progressive Eurosceptic, has since published a book, “Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America,” and inspired an Oscar-shortlisted Netflix documentary about the supposed scandal called “The Great Hack.” In 2018, Wylie’s supposed revelations earned him a spot on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. A film based on the rebel techie’s interview with The Guardian is on the way.

Wylie has boastfully described himself as “the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating ‘Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool,’” who enjoys a wild ride “from fashion to fascism to fashion.” (After starting out as a fashion school student, he said he was hired by H&M in 2018.)

The hipster whistleblower was cultivated over the course of 2017 and 2018 by The Guardian’s Russia-obsessed correspondent Carole Cadwalladr. Operating as Wylie’s de facto publicist and churning out a stream of reports based on his spectacular claims, Cadwalladr has won admiring media profiles, an array of journalism awards, and a finalist nomination in the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

In July 2018, Cadwalladr issued a bold prophesy that stirred liberal audiences across the Atlantic: “From [former FBI director Robert] Mueller’s most recent indictments [of Trump officials], it is clear that the data trail must be coming soon: the chain of evidence that is required to understand how the Russian government’s influence operation targeted American voters.”

She pointed to a forthcoming report by the British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and its commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, on the role of SCL-Cambridge Analytica in Brexit and 2016 US elections: “And here is the clue and where it is believed Denham comes in – what data it was based on.”

Her self-styled whistleblower source, Wylie, has also praised Denham: “I want to point out this Russia/Facebook/[Cambridge Analytica] investigation is being led by women like Elizabeth Denham, the UK Information Commissioner, and Carole Cadwalladr at the Guardian. When the tech bros looked away, these women paid attention and put in the hours to investigate.”

But the data trail promised by Cadwalladr never arrived. Instead, Denham and the British ICO produced a report that contradicted virtually ever major prediction and assertion that Wylie and Cadwalladr made about SCL-Cambridge Analytica and its role in UK politics. Published this October, the ICO report reinforces a British parliamentary investigation into Brexit that found no evidence of Russian meddling.

With the release of the ICO report, the Cambridge Analytica-Russiagate bombshell that erupted two years ago has been exposed as another dud. Now, there are serious questions about the credibility of the figures who inspired the debunked narrative.

Another Russiagate plot point reaches a revealing denouement

The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) spent over two years investigating Cambridge Analytica (CA) and associated entities, including its parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL); the Canada-based Aggregate IQ (AIQ); and the research facility Global Science Research (GSR).

Strategic advisory firms like Cambridge Analytica work with political campaigns, governments, and corporate clients, offering them a variety of services from public relations to black operations. The ICO report, for example, found that Cambridge Analytica purchased large amounts of commercially available data on US citizens. The data was then used to build profiles on American voters so that they could be targeted with election advertising tailored to them.

After examining Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, the 2016 Brexit referendum in the UK, and allegations of ties to Russian government influence operations, the ICO found a chaotic, largely ineffectual operation with no connection to the Kremlin. The closure of the investigation marked yet another anti-climactic denouement of a key Russiagate plot point.

Elizabeth Denham methodically discredited the baseless allegations of collusion between the data firm, the Russian government, and the Trump campaign. Further, her report poured cold water on the influence of Cambridge Analytica in Brexit, demonstrating the company’s negligible impact on the vote.

The ICO even concluded that Cambridge Analytica’s widely touted psychographic micro-targeting of voters was mostly hype. Its tactics were neither new nor particularly effective.

“The scale of the investigation I conducted was unprecedented for a data protection authority,” declared the ICO commissioner in her 18-page report. “It highlighted the whole ecosystem of personal data in political campaigns.”

“During my investigation a large amount of material and equipment was reviewed including; 42 laptops and computers, 700 TB of data, 31 servers, over 300,000 documents, and a wide range of material in paper form and from cloud storage devices,” Denham said.

The Guardian reported “40 full-time investigators working on the case, 20 specialist contractors, and they have an interview list that numbers 264 people.”

“The ICO has conducted a reverse engineering exercise to try to identify and confirm as far as possible, how SCL/CA processed the personal data they held… my findings were also informed and corroborated based on accounts obtained from witness interviews and the contents of statements taken during the investigation,” Denham said.

The methodically detailed investigation’s findings were a damning commentary on the Western media that opportunistically painted SCL-Cambridge Analytica as a batcave command center for Putin and the Bannonite far-right.

Reaching for the Russia ruse

In March 2018, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pointed to Cambridge Analytica’s alleged work with Russia in order to deflect from her loss to Trump in 2016. “You’ve got Cambridge Analytica… and you’ve got the Russians. And the real question is how did the Russians know how to target their messages so precisely?” she posed to the UK’s Channel 4 News in an interview for the network’s documentary on the data scandal.

“If they were getting advice from let’s say Cambridge Analytica or someone else, about, ‘ok, here are the 12 voters in this town in Wisconsin…’ that indeed would be very disturbing,” Clinton declared.

Cadwalladr seized on the statement as confirmation of her own reporting.

 

That same month, Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressional point man on allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, had invited Wylie to testify as a part of “ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.” In the Senate, Richard Blumenthal called to have Cambridge Analytica investigated over its “ties to Russia” and “services for Russians.”

The uproar that ensued from Wylie’s testimony resulted in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg being dragged before Congress to apologize like a whimpering puppy for his role in enabling the British data firm to meddle in elections.

Corporate media leapt on the salacious story, devoting copious air time to the topic. One journalist noted dozens of tweets about Cambridge Analytica written in 2018 by CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju, the network’s media critic Brian Stelter, and its primetime host Jake Tapper.

 

When Wylie testified behind closed doors to members of the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee and an Oversight and Government Reform panel in April 2018, he stunned the lawmakers with claims that Cambridge Analytica had tested messaging with American voters about Russian President Vladimir Putin and his policies in Eastern Europe.

Wylie claimed that people who worked on the US and UK campaigns had connections to two Russian intelligence outfits, as well as to Russians and Russian companies which were in turn linked to the Kremlin itself. According to the self-styled whistleblower, Cambridge Analytica hired “known Russian agents.” He painted a sprawling, conspiratorial portrait of a hostile foreign information warfare operation that seemed almost custom made for a US media and Democratic Party eager to impeach Trump and wage a new cold war against Putin.

“There was a lot of relationships and a lot of communications with different fairly senior Russian officials,” Wylie told NPR. He has claimed that a Russian gas company with alleged ties to the Kremlin named Lukoil inquired about political, non-commercial online targeting in the United States to the company.

“Wylie also revealed Cambridge Analytica’s links to Russia. Wylie had the documents and tapes to back him up,” NPR reported.

Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) has said it discussed working with “Lukoil Turkey [to] better engage with its loyalty-card customers at gas stations,” but that nothing came from the meeting. Tellingly, Lukoil received not one mention in the short section on Russia in the ICO’s report.

While the ICO report mentioned “possible Russia-located activity” – referring to Russian IP addresses found in some data – the information was ultimately referred to the National Crime Agency, which has not taken any action. “These matters fall outside the remit of the ICO,” the report says.

In July 2018, Wylie claimed this information was also in the FBI’s hands, and that he had “been helping their investigation.” However, the reported DOJ-FBI investigation that ran parallel to the ICO has offered nothing to corroborate his remarkable assertion.

The ICO’s Russiagate section concluded as follows: “We did not find any additional evidence of Russian involvement in our analysis of material contained in the SCL / CA servers we obtained.”

In other words, virtually everything Wylie told US Congress and the media about Cambridge Analytica’s role as a secret Russian weapon – the entire basis of his fame – has been discredited by the ICO report he helped to spur.

Blustery claims of influence exposed as hot air

UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham’s report also surgically dismantled many of the most sensational claims about Cambridge Analytica advanced by Christopher Wylie’s promoters in the media, like Cadwalladr.

In one of the report’s most revealing sections, its authors found:

The methods that SCL were using were, in the main, well recognised processes using commonly available technology. It was these third-party libraries which formed the majority of SCL’s data science activities which were observed by the ICO… We understand this procedure is well established within the wider data science community, and in our view does not show any proprietary technology, or processes, within SCL’s work.

However, it is important to stress that the output was only a prediction… the real-world accuracy of these predictions – when used on new individuals whose data had not been used in the generating of the models – was likely much lower.

As in so many previously misreported Russiagate stories, the subjects of the controversy may have been a victim of their own self-promotional bluster. In a press release following Trump’s victory in 2016, for example, Cambridge Analytica claimed it was “instrumental in identifying supporters, persuading undecided voters, and driving turnout,” and bragged that it had “informed key decisions on campaigning communications, and resource allocation.”

“We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communications played such an integral part in President-elect Donald Trump’s extraordinary win,” CEO Alexander Nix boasted at the time.

The ICO report, on the other hand, noted “evidence that [SCL’s] own staff were concerned about some of the public statements the leadership of the company were making about their impact and influence.”

“SCL’s own marketing material claimed they had ‘Over 5,000 data points per individual on 230 million adult Americans.’ However, based on what we found it appears that this may have been an exaggeration,” the report stated.

The investigation not only exposed SCL-Cambridge Analytica’s claims of driving tectonic shifts in global politics as hot air; it also found the company’s data protection was almost comically sloppy, “with little thought for effective security measures.”

Widespread data manipulation tactics painted as uniquely evil Republican mind-weapons

Yet as recently as September of this year, media outlets like Channel 4 have continued to milk the scandal, using Cambridge Analytica data to fuel its investigative exposés on the 2016 election. Like reporting over the previous years, the coverage was premised on the dubious notion that Cambridge Analytica’s impact was meaningful.

When the scandal broke, few journalists penned anything counter to the prevailing narratives on Cambridge Analytica. Among the very few skeptics at the time was Yasha Levine, author of “Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet.” In March 2018, Levine panned media coverage of the firm’s activities.

“This story is being covered and framed in a misleading way,” Levine wrote. “So far, much of the mainstream coverage, driven by the Times and Guardian reports, looks at Cambridge Analytica in isolation—almost entirely outside of any historical or political context.”

“Everyone” working in contemporary data-driven politics employs the tactics employed by Cambridge Analytica, Levine explained to The Grayzone.

“The Koch brothers have their own firm that sucks in data from Facebook and a million other sources to micro-target voters,” he said. “The Democratic Party has its own software that does exactly the same thing. Facebook has a whole team that works with campaigns to utilize data and profile voters. It’s a huge business with billions slushing around. Everyone promises huge results, way overselling their capability. If you knew even a little bit about the way political campaigns use data, it was clear that the whole thing was a sham the moment this scandal hit.”

While Wylie has claimed that SCL conducted “counter-extremism” information operations in the Middle East on behalf of the British government, and suggested that Bannon sought to deploy these tools to foment extremism in the US, the reality is that the technology was hardly limited to the 2016 election, or to one party.

This May, for example, Fox News reported that technology that received initial funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was deploying AI-driven information warfare tools originally meant to fight ISIS propaganda in order to target pro-Trump voters.

An award-winning narrative collapses

According to Elizabeth Denham’s ICO report, SCL-Cambridge Analytica’s targeted advertising was “likely the final purpose of the data gathering.” However, it “has not been possible to determine from the digital evidence reviewed” whether the firm’s online tactics influenced any political campaign.

In March 2018, Christopher Wylie testified to the UK parliament that Cambridge Analytica had shared surreptitiously obtained Facebook data with AggregateIQ (AIQ), a firm that was contracted by several pro-Brexit campaigns including Vote Leave. Wylie claimed AIQ was the Canadian front for SCL. However, the ICO report referred to AIQ merely as “a company associated with SCL/CA.”

The ICO report concluded that SCL had only a negligible impact on Brexit: “From my review of the materials recovered by the investigation I have found no further evidence to change my earlier view that SCL/CA were not involved in the EU referendum campaign in the UK – beyond some initial enquiries made by SCL/CA in relation to [the UK Independence Party] data in the early stages of the referendum process,” Denham wrote. “This strand of work does not appear to have then been taken forward by SCL/CA.”

The ICO report went on to state that the data harvested by SCL from Facebook could not have been used by anyone in the course of Brexit campaigns:

It was suggested that some of the data was utilised for political campaigning associated with the Brexit Referendum. However, our view on review of the evidence is that the data from GSR could not have been used in the Brexit Referendum as the data shared with SCL/Cambridge Analytica by Dr. Kogan related to US registered voters.

In one revealing finding laid out in the report, GSR “shared subsets of the data harvested by the App” with Eunoia Technologies Inc, among other companies.

Unmentioned in the report was that Eunoia Technologies was founded by none other than Christopher Wylie after he left Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

To be sure, there were real connections between the Donald Trump operation and Cambridge Analytica. Trump’s then-campaign manager, Steve Bannon, was a vice president at Cambridge Analytica before he joined the Trump campaign. Top Trump moneyman Robert Mercer had funded the firm, along with Bannon’s assorted media projects and the Trump campaign. Anti-Trump forces exploited these ties to try to frame Cambridge Analytica as a non-existent bridge between Trump Inc. and “the Russians.”

There is also no doubt that there was illicit data that was likely misused in the course of political campaigns by Cambridge Analytica. But Western media once again crossed the line from mundane fact into Russiagate fiction by alleging that the Kremlin exploited data non-consensually harvested by Cambridge Analytica to micro-target US and UK citizens with political messaging meant to sway the presidential election and the Brexit referendum.

These conspiracy theories were amplified and seemingly legitimized by Wylie, who was touted as an experienced company insider who came forward out of a commitment to democratic values. But was he truly who he said he was, or was he another opportunist seeking to exploit the paranoid atmosphere of Russiagate for fame and fortune?

A Wylie web of deceptions and suspect associates

Throughout the Cambridge Analytica pseudo-scandal, a series of conflicting narratives raised questions that were conveniently overlooked by US and UK media. Was AIQ, the Canadian firm, truly part and parcel of SCL? Was Christopher Wylie a co-founder, a contractor, or a mere intern? Questions about the provenance of the data Wylie blew the whistle on have not been posed.

While Wylie focused on the most seemingly explosive connections, such as former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s meetings with Cambridge Analytica prior to Trump’s announcement that he was running for president, he omitted crucial pieces of evidence that undermined the conspiracy theories the media feasted on.

For example, Wylie neglected to mention that his own company, Eunoia, met with Lewandowski at about the same time in an attempt to retain the soon-to-be campaign as a client, offering them services similar to Cambridge Analytica’s.

Reporting from Buzzfeed indicated that Eunoia pitched the Trump campaign – a Cambridge Analytica client – on micro-targeting services. Wylie told the website that he deleted the illicit data in 2015. According to BuzzFeed, Wylie “bragged to associates about meetings he had with potential corporate clients, including Walmart, Monsanto, the American Petroleum Institute, Burberry, DKNY, Ford, and Virgin.”

That was before Wylie “blew the whistle.”

According to the former campaign director for Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, who today serves as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief advisor, “Wylie tried to sell me the same crap he accuses Cambridge Analytica of doing.”

While Wylie claimed that after leaving Cambridge Analytica he was subjected to lawsuits from the company in order to make it impossible for him to ever “work in any kind of political thing again or data thing again,” and to keep quiet about the data, Buzzfeed’s reporting and Cummings’ account of his apparent attempts to poach Vote Leave and the Trump campaign from his former employer corroborates accusations against him in a report commissioned by Cambridge Analytica.

Wylie claims he was appalled at the direction of the company following Bannon’s takeover, however, he has been credited with personally developing the illicit data harvesting tactic, and likely exploited it while at Cambridge Analytica before leaving the company to start his own firm – which also had access to the data. He then allegedly attempted to court the very same right-wing clients with essentially the same services. It was only after the failure of his private company that Wylie began sounding the alarm.

It is not clear exactly when Wylie experienced a change of heart. Cadwalladr says she first approached him on LinkedIn in 2017. Years earlier, in 2013, Wylie was discussing plans to found Eunoia Technologies and build it into “the NSA’s wet dream.”

Buzzfeed noted that Wylie approached SCL colleagues about joining his Palantir-like data firm. Promotional materials later produced by Eunoia pitched the targeting of voters for political clients, just as SCL did.

Wylie has also claimed to be a founder of Cambridge Analytica. “I got recruited to join a research team at SCL Group, which, at the time, was a British military contractor based in London. Most of its clients were various ministries of defense in NATO countries,” he boasted to NPR.

However, the report Cambridge Analytica commissioned in the aftermath of Wylie’s emergence as a supposed whistleblower claimed he was little more than an intern on a student visa who only worked two days per week.

That record stands in stark contrast to the claim by The Guardian’s Cadwalladr that Wylie was the man who “came up with an idea that led to the foundation of a company called Cambridge Analytica.”

Coupled with the damning conclusions of the UK ICO report, the conflicting accounts of Wylie’s background seem to shatter his credibility, along with that of the Western press that accepted his spectacular claims at face value.

So was his most enthusiastic promoter, Cadwalladr, acting purely as a journalist, or as a partisan advancing an ulterior Cold War agenda?

At around the same time Cadwalladr was spinning out the now-discredited Cambridge Analytica story, she was listed by a covert, UK Foreign Commonwealth Office-funded, anti-Russian propaganda operation, the Integrity Initiative, as part of a UK-based cluster of journalists that operated under its watch. In fact, Cadwalladr participated in a November 2018 Integrity Initiative conference with other members of the cluster called “Tackling Tools of Malign Influence.”

Cadwalladr also appears to have enjoyed some form of relationship with the dubious former British spy and author of the discredited Steele Dossier, Christopher Steele. Beyond repeatedly hyping Steele and his dossier, the Guardian writer appears to have meet with the British spook. In fact, Steele spoke about “imminent and urgent threats to democracy” at a screening of “The Great Hack,” the documentary about Cadwalladr and Wylie. His comments, however, were off the record.

 

On Twitter, the Guardian writer has spun out unfounded conspiracies, declaring that “Trump = Brexit = Russia.” She has also decried being “mocked as a crackpot conspiracy theorist for pursuing Cambridge Analytica. Let’s hope I’m as [sic] wrong about Brexit’s centrality in Trump-Russia axis.”

 

Wylie, for his part, enjoyed a speaking gig alongside Cadwalladr and Bill Browder, the vulture capitalist fugitive from Russian justice whose distortion-laden tale of persecution by the Kremlin inspired the US government’s Magnitsky Act and helped fuel the anti-Russian politics that now dominate Washington.

 

Since the UK’s ICO report demolished the claims that were central to Wylie’s hipster-whistleblower persona, and which provided the basis for Cadwalladr’s award-winning reporting, one has gone off the radar while the other has gone into apparent damage control mode.

Wylie and Cadwalladr ignore, dismiss a report they had eagerly anticipated

On Twitter, Christopher Wylie has chosen to ignore the damning ICO report that he once predicted would validate his explosive allegations.

Carole Cadwalladr, for her part, has pumped out a series of Tweets attacking outlets that claimed the ICO report undermined her award-winning reporting. In apparent hopes of shielding her reputation from scrutiny, she linked to a commentary by The Guardian Observer’s editorial board which bizarrely insisted “this newspaper’s exposé of the exploitation of private data has been vindicated [by the ICO report].”

The column highlighted certain aspects of the report that seemed to corroborate the paper’s reporting. However, it dismissed the meat of the investigation, declaring that “it stretches credulity to present [the ICO investigation] as a full investigation into potential Russian influence on Brexit.” Like Cadwalladr, it attacked other publications for misreporting the story.

“The ICO report confirmed massive mishandling of private data and its exploitation for political campaigning. The Observer is proud of its role in the exposure of these abuses,” the article proclaimed.

The editorial is correct about one thing, at least: the ICO investigation has resulted in a number of penalties. Cambridge Analytica was fined before it shuttered; Facebook was fined for allowing applications to harvest data from friends of users; Vote Leave and other campaigns and companies were also hit with fines for data crimes relating to the Brexit campaign – including pro-Remain entities.

But the high-tech huckstering hipster Wylie and his media muse Cadwalladr have faced no consequences for the hyperbolic bluster and now-debunked hype about foreign infiltration they spun out to win fame, film deals, and flashy journalistic awards. No matter the evidence, the Russiagate show must go on.

November 10, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Return of the Democrats and the Undead Past

By Martin Sieff | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 2, 2020

The partisan swallowing of ridiculous anti-Russia conspiracy theories by Democrats in Congress added to Hunter Biden’s truly sleazy business adventures in Ukraine have created an exceptionally dangerous brew to threaten and demonize Russia if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the U.S. national election on November 3. All the curses and bungles of America’s past 20 years will rise up anew to threaten the nation’s entire future,

If Joe Biden wins the election, we face an unprecedented situation in U.S. and global affairs since the beginning of the Atomic Age in 1945-49:

The problem is far deeper and more dangerous than any personal problem with Biden or his apparently sleazy son (Hunter Biden’s business dealings with both Ukraine and China cry out for serious honest congressional inquiries in the interests of sane and disinterested U.S. future relations with China and Ukraine – as well as with Russia.)

The real problem is that for eight years the Obama administration, in which Joe Biden was the putative Number Two figure engaged on a Helter-Skelter, crazed descent towards mindless confrontation with Russia and also institutionalized a reckless and plain wicked policy of toppling governments around the world in straight defiance of international law.

The true architect of these policies was neither Obama nor Biden but their first secretary of state Hillary Clinton. It was she who ordered the CIA to collect DNA samples of Latin American national leaders, an unprecedented seven of whom contracted cancers, some of them exceptionally rare and virulent, including two democratically elected presidents of Brazil and the late democratically elected president of Brazil Hugo Chavez who died of his.

Clinton also unleashed the dogs of chaos and war across the Middle East by approving the undermining and successful toppling of the government of Libya and the undermining although unsuccessful efforts to topple the government of Syria. This unleashed a ferocious civil war, the greatest catastrophe the Middle East has seen since Iraq’s attack on Iran in 1980, also at the time recklessly supported by an ignorant and incompetent president Jimmy Carter.

Carter, like Obama after him was ludicrously ignorant of international affairs. Both presidents allowed themselves to be led by the nose through the region by Zbigniew Brzezinski who served as Carter’s national security adviser. Brzezinski’s eagerness to embrace and support the very worst Islamist genocidal extremist groups was exceeded only by his lifelong, unwavering hatred of Russia and all Russians.

Clinton was succeeded as secretary of state in Obama’s second term starting in January 2013 by a far more experienced, restrained and responsible figure, Senator John Kerry. Kerry rightly worked hard and well with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to prevent the reckless and destructive policies of the rest of the administration from totally destroying constructive communications between Washington and Moscow.

But Kerry could not control even his own State Department. He proved utterly unable to rein in the neo-conservative and neo-liberal super-hawks with whom Clinton had seeded the State Department led by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. They joined forces with crazed right wing warmongers like the late Senator John McCain (now sanctified, but whose uncontrollable screaming rages were legendary in his days on Capitol Hill).

Together with ambitious plotters in the European Commission in Brussels they manipulated the toppling of the stable, democratically elected government of Ukraine in the 2014 violent Maidan coup in Kiev. McCain and Nuland actually addressed the violent revolutionaries and openly exhorted them to topple their own democratic and previously peaceful government.

The Kremlin moved – in reality with careful and considered restraint – to safeguard the democratically expressed wishes of the population of Crimea to rejoin Russia, and of the Russian ethnic majorities in the eastern provinces of Ukraine. But the Obama administration joined forces with the openly neo-Nazi movements that had seized undemocratic control in Kiev.

Over the following six years to the present, successive U.S. congresses have voted enormous sums of financial aid and sophisticated weapons systems to be sent to Ukraine with the express purpose of killing Russian soldiers and Russian-supported forces. It is no wonder that false and entirely undocumented reverse accusations have now been lodged against Russia by the very same individuals who have supported the forces of violence, revolution and aggression for so long in Ukraine.

President Donald Trump, to his great credit, ran on for election in 2016 on a policy of reducing tensions with Russia and restoring a state of stable coexistence with the other main thermonuclear power on the planet. At no point did he advocate stripping the United States of its defenses.

On the contrary, Trump doubled up on Obama’s unprecedented more than $1 trillion nuclear weapons modernization program. He expanded spending on both conventional and strategic weapons on the largest scale seen since the Reagan-Caspar Weinberger buildup 40 years before.

Nevertheless, Trump was then subjected to the most unfounded, ridiculous political witch hunt against a sitting national leader in U.S. history – at least since President John Kennedy was openly and repeatedly accused of treason for seeking to reduce the dangers of nuclear confrontation after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Through all of this, hatred and unreasoning accusations against Russia were accompanied by attempted efforts even to destroy the property and economic security of the Russian people. Congress imposed punitive sanctions (they failed completely) with Democrats taking the lead.

Why revisit all this history? It is because, as the great and wise American novelist William Faulkner understood, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.”

If the Democrats regain power in Washington, they will return with all the dire and insanely dangerous policies and obsessions they displayed for eight years under Obama and Biden. But those hatreds and prejudices will be superheated by four years of Russiagate fantasies and raving accusations against Russia unsupported by any serious evidence. Indeed, they have been coolly exposed and refuted indeed by many courageous and principled former senior U.S. officials and scholars.

Nevertheless, this Undead Past will rise up, more terrible and destructive than any fantasy of werewolves and zombies, to demolish our Present and horrifically curse our Future.

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

The Empire’s 2009 Coup in Honduras

Tales of the American Empire | October 29, 2020

Most Americans are unaware of the “Banana Wars.” These were a series of American military interventions in Latin America a century ago to support American business interests. The United States treated Latin American nations as colonies, and still does by using covert methods. Control is maintained with bribery, blackmail, assassinations, sanctions, and election rigging. This sometimes fails and a coup is required. The role of the United States usually remains hidden in these regime changes, but sometimes it becomes obvious, like in the 2009 coup in Honduras.

______________________________________________  

“A coup with connections”; Mark Weisbrot; Los Angeles Times ; July 23, 2009; https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-x…

“Hillary Clinton’s Two Foreign Policy Catastrophes; Eric Zuesse; Huffpost ; August 16, 2013; https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hillar…

“During Honduras Crisis, Clinton Suggested Back Channel with Lobbyist Lanny Davis”; Lee Fang; The Intercept ; July 6, 2015; https://theintercept.com/2015/07/06/c…

“Welcome to the Joint Task Force-Bravo”; details on the growing Soto Cano base; https://docplayer.net/55721450-Welcom…

“The Forgotten Base at Soto Cano”; Carlton Meyer; G2mil 2011; https://www.g2mil.com/sotocano.htm

October 30, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mysterious Hillary Emailgate Whistleblower & FBI’s Apparent Decades-Long Cover-Up Ploy

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 30.10.2020

The Hunter Biden scandal recently propelled by the Trump campaign has much in common with the controversy surrounding the Clintons, Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel says, shedding light on a story of a mysterious high-profile whistleblower who was apparently ignored by the FBI in 2016.

Days before The New York Post dropped a bomb on the Bidens alleging that the Democratic presidential contender and his son were involved into a “pay-to-play” scheme, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson and Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel published two separate stories about a neglected State Department whistleblower who informed the FBI about the potential harm to US national interests posed by Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified data in January 2016.

High-Profile Whistleblower’s Report Overlooked by Comey

The whistleblower’s letter dated 10 January 2016 was sent to then-FBI chief Jim Comey. It detailed how the ex-secretary of state used her unclassified server system to conduct government business, thus exposing US secret intelligence information, and suggested that her entourage and other government officials were aware of that the entire time.

In addition to this, the whistleblower, who, according to the document, had served in the Armed Forces and the Department of State for many years, provided specific recommendations as to who the bureau needed to interview in order to get further evidence and expressed willingness to testify before the agency officials having “certain TS/SCI clearances.”

After sending the letter on 10 January, the individual in question personally visited the FBI’s premises in Washington on 27 January 2016 to find out whether the exposé reached its destination and provided his credentials to intelligence officers.

An FBI report describing this visit was written only a month later, on 22 February 2016, with copies sent to FBI agents Jonathan Moffa and Peter Strzok. The rest is history: on 5 July 2016 then FBI Director James Comey announced that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Hillary Clinton for the emails.

Judging from the whistleblower’s credentials, knowledge of the matter and the provided evidence, his letter was worth examination and required certain investigative activities, argued CIA veteran Johnson and Wall Street analyst Ortel in their op-eds.

“Failure by Comey to even interact with the whistleblower in January 2016 stands in stark contrast to anti Trump efforts launched by the FBI before, during and after the 2016 election”, says Charles Ortel. “Moreover, decisions to let Hillary Clinton and others off for mishandling classified information also appear deeply suspicious.”It appears strange that the bureau declined to learn more from the whistleblower given that it had started investigating the Clinton email server on 10 July 2015, according to the analyst.

“Then, when the determined whistleblower followed up by visiting the FBI Washington Field Office later in January 2016, why did it take so long to write an internal FBI report explaining what happened and what the concerns were?” asks Ortel. “More recently, did US Attorney John Huber examine the whistleblower materials? If not, why not? And, is John Durham evaluating all relevant records? I certainly hope so.”

Whistleblowers Apparently Ignored or Intimidated

Apart from investigating the Clinton email case, Jim Comey also started to look into the Clinton Foundation in January 2016, exactly when the whistleblower filed his complaint, the Wall Street analyst notes.

According to Ortel, who has been conducting a private investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud, the charity supposedly worked as a vehicle in the Clintons’ “pay-to-play” operations with foreign governments. Hillary’s unsecured email server potentially could be used to conduct this business while avoiding the Freedom of Information Act provisions since the FOIA requires the full or partial disclosure of the United States government’s documents upon request.

The FBI has an almost two-decade record of overlooking the Clintons’ questionable activities and their charity’s messy financial documentation under former FBI directors Robert Mueller (2001 – 2013) and Jim Comey (2013 – 2017) and later on, according to the analyst.

The aforementioned State Department whistleblower was not the only one who has stepped forward to report the Clintons to the US authorities.

In June 2018, FBI whistleblower Nate Cain delivered 450 pages of documents concerning Hillary Clinton’s supposed role in the Uranium One deal to Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz. In November 2018, 16 FBI agents stormed Cain’s Maryland home, ignoring his argument about whistleblower protection and accused him of possessing “stolen federal property”.

How High Political Offices Were ‘Monetised’

The FBI’s alleged cover-up of political power clans’ questionable activities has not been limited to the Clintons and apparently involved the Department of Justice as well, Ortel believes.

“Going all the way back to 1992, the Clintons and their backers seem to have monetised high political offices to enrich themselves”, he suggests. “Along the way, it seems likely that national security was compromised, and that other dynastic political families emulated the Clintons. The evolution of unregulated globalism and coordinated lowering of benchmark interest rates from 1988 forward created too many opportunities for oligarchs of all nationalities to exploit under-paid but powerful politicians, investigators, judges, and influence shapers.”

The recent scandal surrounding the Bidens’ alleged quid-pro-quo schemes involving foreign businessmen and officials has also triggered public debate over what some see as the FBI’s inaction. Bombshell emails released by The New York Post came from the so-called “hard drive from hell”, a copy of the one allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden’s laptop.

The FBI has acknowledged that it has had possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop for quite a while. It still remains unclear whether the “damning” messages, emails and photos circulated by The Post came from the original hard drive. If they did, the bureau’s silence appears suspicious, according to the analyst.

“If President Trump wins re-election – a strong likelihood at this moment – Durham’s major challenge will be to break the will of co-conspirators to fight at trials, rather than to negotiate guilty plea agreements”, Ortel deems. “The public record strongly suggests that many once-powerful politicians and bureaucrats committed serious crimes. Managing through this will require airing lots of “dirty laundry”. I hope President Trump and his team take the courageous decision to release information that implicates these traitors and details their crimes, little of which may shock thinking members of the electorate.”

October 30, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Endangering European security: Biden’s assertion that Russia is number one ‘threat’ to US flies in face of facts & reason

By Glenn Diesen | RT | October 28, 2020

Joe Biden’s belief that Russia is the greatest danger to the US is based on emotion and outdated ideology. It should alarm Europeans as they could find themselves on the frontline of a ‘struggle’ that makes little or no sense.

US presidential challenger Joe Biden recently referred to Russia as the main threat to the US. The statement perplexed some observers given how his former boss Barack Obama dismissed Russia as a weak regional power in 2014, while in 2012 Obama himself had mocked Mitt Romney for arguing that Russia was America’s number one “geopolitical foe.”

Biden, the erstwhile vice president of Obama, has now seemingly made a complete reversal.

Remarkably, Russia has become the primary threat to the US without Washington clearly defining the rivalry. The vague references to Russia plotting against America, undermining democracy or being anti-Western have the common denominator of lacking coherence and conceptual clarity. What confrontation spawned this threat?

Anti-Western Russia

The Russian threat argument is founded on the narrative that Putin  apparently reversed the supposedly Western friendly policies of Yeltsin and reignited confrontation. Yet, what exactly would pro-Western policies entail?

Yeltsin pursued a radical pro-Western platform, accepting unilateral concessions and a demeaning student-teacher relationship vis-à-vis the West, in the belief that a Greater Europe would be constructed. However, the West looked at a weakened Russia and decided to construct a new Europe without Moscow. Through expansionism, NATO and the EU have become the main institutions to represent the continent and any Russian resistance is depicted as ambitions to restore the Soviet Empire.

Yeltsin’s entire foreign policy platform subsequently collapsed before he brought Putin to power to reform the untenable policies toward the West. Putin continued to push for a Greater Europe, although from a position of strength by rejecting unilateral concessions and being ‘socialized’ or ‘civilized’ by the West. However, the West continues to conceptualize Yeltsin’s pro-Western policies as a capitulation by forfeiting any role for Russia in Europe.

A revisionist power

Revisionism is the main concept that informs the West’s threat analysis of Russia. States can be divided into status quo powers, which seek to preserve the international system as it is, and revisionist powers that aim to overturn the status quo. Depicting Russia as a revisionist power for opposing NATO and EU expansionism is the great paradox that defines European security.

Irrespective of any benign intentions, the EU and NATO are revisionist by being the main vehicles to reorganize Europe. These two institutions push the dividing lines on the continent to the East and impose a destabilizing civilizational choice on the divided societies positioned between the West and Russia. NATO and the EU did not simply create an unfavorable status quo for Russia, they rejected the establishment of a new status quo order by rejecting any limitations to their expansion.

For centuries the West was concerned that the Russian Empire did not have any natural borders and expanded by impulse, yet in the post-Cold War era, this revisionist itch describes the West.

The failure to recognize Russia as a status quo power has continuously produced flawed predictions. In August 2008, Russia intervened in South Ossetia to repel an invasion by Georgia, which had been promised by NATO in April 2008 it would become a member of the military bloc. While Western media and politicians predicted that Russia would conquer Tbilisi and possibly annex Georgia, Russia merely restored the status quo of an autonomous South Ossetia.

In March 2014, Russia responded to the Western-backed toppling of Yanukovich by reabsorbing Crimea. Again, Western pundits’ warnings of Russia seeking to conquer Kiev and restore the Soviet empire proved to be wrong. Russia cemented its control over its strategic naval base in Crimea, which it already controlled before the Maidan.

Russia’s intervention in Syria in 2015 was similarly designed to preserve the status-quo, aimed against US efforts to topple the Syrian government in a wider revisionist effort to reorganize the power balance in the region.

Restoring the Soviet empire

Russia’s alleged effort to restore the Soviet empire similarly lacks coherence. The accusation evokes familiar and powerful Cold War connotations that can mobilize political support and resources among NATO states. However, what exactly does it mean to restore the Soviet empire and why would Russian tanks enter Warsaw?

Moscow is not led by communists seeking to rid the world of capitalism. Russia has neither the interest nor capacity to control a foreign population that does not want to live within Russian borders. How did this absurd concept end up dominating the Western discourse?

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred in 2012 to the Customs Union and the pending Eurasian Economic Union as an effort to “re-Sovietize the region” and proclaimed Washington’s intention to slow it down or break it up. The Eurasian Economic Union is not devoted to world revolution, rather it is a voluntary international institution largely modeled after the EU, which mostly focuses on facilitating free movement of people, goods, services and capital. Does the reference to the Soviet Union help us to understand the Eurasian Economic Union in any way, or does it merely revive the inference of incompatible values and threats?

The effort to make Russia fit in the clothes of the Soviet Union also manifests itself in the constant accusation of Moscow attempting to establish a sphere of influence, which implies a region of exclusive influence. Is the pot calling the kettle black? Moscow’s main argument under its Greater Europe Initiative has been to end bloc politics in Europe and replace it with mutual accommodation and harmonization of interests.

Before the toppling of Yanukovich, Moscow and Kiev proposed a trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine trade commission to avoid zero-sum formats of exclusive influence. The EU Commission president denounced the proposal by Moscow and Kiev as unacceptable and insisted that Ukraine had to choose and make the right decision. Similarly, Russian influence in the Western Balkans is frequently denounced as an unacceptable intrusion into the EU’s backyard. EU and NATO policies inevitably become a struggle for spheres of influence as there is no conceptual space for legitimate Russian influence beyond its borders.

The ‘Sovietization’ thesis also explains why the West’s prediction about a Russian-Chinese clash over Central Asia did not materialize. Unlike the West, Beijing has not defined its strategy in the post-Soviet space as ‘saving’ the region from Russia. As both Russia and China do not demand exclusive influence in the region, a partnership has developed based on mutual recognition of legitimate interest.

Biden’s ideological threat perceptions

Biden’s antagonistic remarks about Russia should create concerns about the future of European security. The ideological language and reluctance to address Russian security interests results in an inaccurate interpretation of Moscow’s intentions while leaving no prospect for a compromise.

Russian security concerns and interests never enter the discourse in the West, and competition is subsequently interpreted solely as incompatible values. When competing security concerns are identified, compromise is the path to peace. However, when competing interests are clothed in the language of incompatible values, compromise is tantamount to appeasement and treason. There is subsequently no prospect for a solution to this impasse, and peace demands nothing less than victory.

Glenn Diesen is an Associate Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal. Follow him on Twitter @glenndiesen

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

US elections: with two weeks to go who’s winning

By William Stroock | October 23, 2020

2016 was a bad year for political pollsters and predictors. At his website, FiveThirtyEight, data guru Nate Silver gave Hillary Clinton a 65% Chance of defeating Donald Trump. Silver’s prediction model was on the low end. The New York Times said Hillary had an 85% chance of winning. The Princeton Election Consortium put Hillary’s chances at 99%. Hillary Clinton was heavily favored in 2016.

But she shouldn’t have been. At the end of the Obama presidency much of the nation was in a malaise. The Obama economic recovery never achieved an annual growth rate of 3% and wasn’t felt throughout large swaths of the country. While Obamacare enabled some Americans to buy health insurance, it didn’t lead to universal coverage and was passed by the Democrats via parliamentary muscle and maneuver. The president’s Iran nuclear deal was never ratified by the senate and did not have the force of law. Under Obama the Democrat Party didn’t grow, it shrank. Obama lost nearly a thousand elected Democrat seats throughout the nation. Obama’s presidency simply wasn’t transformative as he and the Democrats promised.

After eight years of Obama, Hillary had a tough task before her. Replacing a two-term president from your party, while not impossible, is hard to do. Just ask Vice Presidents Richard Nixon and Al Gore. In 2016 had Hillary Clinton been in the White House for eight years, a brilliant Democrat candidate like Barrack Obama would’ve been hard pressed to defeat Donald Trump.

Hillary was not a brilliant candidate. From her first senate run in 2000 she was stiff on the stump and had trouble connecting with voters. One got the sense that everything Hillary said had been presented to a focus group and written into a talking point. Overtime she should have become a better campaigner. But bizarrely, from 2000 through 2016 Hillary only became more awkward, ‘Why aren’t I fifty points ahead!?’ she shouted in a weird televised message during the 2016 campaign. She couldn’t defeat Obama in the 2008 Democrat primary and barely defeated socialist Bernie in 2016

Hillary could have learned a thing or two from her husband. In 1992 Bill Clinton jumped into the Democrat primary. Clinton cast himself as an old fashioned democrat in the model of JFK and FDR, an alternative to the ‘bleeding heart’ liberals that lost five of the last six presidential elections to the GOP. Clinton reinvented campaigning, appearing on talk shows and attending townhalls where he took questions from voters. Clinton had an uncanny knack for connecting with people in these venues. After twelve years of Republicans in the White House and a recession, the circumstances for Clinton were fantastic and he won a three-way race. With a good economy at his back in 1996, Clinton easily defeated Republican dinosaur Bob Dole.

In 2000 Vice President Al Gore won the Democrat nomination. But despite eight years of peace and prosperity, Gore lost the 2000 election by a razor thin margin. The Vice President looked uncomfortable before the cameras as he tried to overcome his reputation for being ‘wooden’. His ideas like a social security ‘lock box’ were the butt of jokes. His three debates with GOP nominee George W. Bush were the turning point of the campaign. Bush was amiable while Gore looked like a smug, know it all bully lacking self-awareness. Gore thought he won the debates. Exasperated staffers showed him clips of Saturday Night Live’s brutal parodies of his performance.

So at this point readers are probably wondering where Trump and Biden fit into this matrix of circumstances, ideas and candidates. Let’s ask ourselves who’s the better candidate. Joe Biden has spent most of the campaign in his Wilmington home. When Biden does come out, he reads cues from a comically large teleprompter, very often losing his place and the context of what he is saying. Biden looks tired and old. On most days he ends press availability before noon. The size of the Trump crowd protesting outside a Biden campaign event usually outnumbers the people attending. Biden just isn’t a big campaign draw. At this point Biden’s best argument is that he’s not Trump. His TV ads are sentimental calls for unity and change but offer no specifics. In essence Biden tells voters nothing about what he would do in the Oval Office.

Despite being 73 years old and having just recovered from the Corona Virus, Trump is campaigning across the country. He often holds two rallies a day; thousands attend. These rallies are visual masterpieces, usually held in local airports with Air Force One in the background. On the trail, Trump is relentlessly on message, touting his record on China, trade war, Corona Virus and the economy. He hammers Biden on his 47 years in Washington and son Hunter’s corruption. As far as circumstances go, who would you rather be right now, Trump or Biden?

October 23, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

FBI used MEDIA REPORTS seeded by British spy to ‘corroborate’ Steele Dossier, declassified spreadsheet shows

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | October 13, 2020

The FBI sought to ‘verify’ information in the notorious dossier at the heart of Russiagate by using media articles seeded by the actual dossier author, British spy Christopher Steele, newly released evidence has shown.

The so-called Steele Dossier is the centerpiece of ‘Russiagate,’ the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump “colluded” with Moscow in the 2016 US presidential election. The dossier’s most bombastic claim was that Russia had “kompromat” on him in the form of sex tapes from a Moscow hotel involving urinating prostitutes.

Steele compiled the dossier for Fusion GPS, a DC-based firm paid by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign through the DNC. The FBI then used it to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page in October 2016, and extended it three times well into 2017.

A 94-page spreadsheet made public on Monday, however, shows the FBI relied heavily on media reports to corroborate Steele’s claims – in many cases, the very same reports Steele had planted himself.

According to analyst Stephen McIntyre, footnotes listed in the spreadsheet show that 39 percent of the footnotes lead to Washington, DC media outlets, another 29 percent are redacted, and Steele himself was cited on 18 occasions, somehow self-verifying his own work.

In one instance, McIntyre notes, the FBI triple counted an article from the Daily Beast as three separate sources. Other media outlets named in the document are CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News and Mother Jones.

The FBI had actually decided to fire Steele as a paid informant in September 2016 – before obtaining the Page warrant – because he leaked to the media, specifically Yahoo and Mother Jones, but that never raised any red flags either with the warrant or the corroboration, apparently.

Moreover, the Bureau knew in December 2016 that the “primary sub-source” (PSS) for the dossier was a Russian national they had investigated as a foreign agent in 2009, but the investigation was abandoned without explanation and this fact was never flagged. Even after interviewing the PSS in January 2017, and establishing that most of the dossier was fabricated outright, the FBI continued to use it at the FISA court to extend the Page warrant.

Another source the FBI used to corroborate Steele was Cody Shearer, a long-time Clinton operative who produced a memo alleging that Russian intelligence had a sex tape of Trump. That amounts to more circular reporting, however, as Steele was reportedly given the Shearer dossier by State Department official Jonathan Winer, and then handed it over to his FBI contacts in October 2016.

The spreadsheet is the first confirmation that the FBI actually used the ‘Shearer Dossier,’ whose existence was first reported by the Guardian in January 2018, as part of a push by Democrats to show that the Steele dossier wasn’t the sole grounds for the FISA warrants.

Just last week, however, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified notes from then-CIA chief John Brennan, who said he warned the Obama administration about a plan by Hillary Clinton to smear Trump with allegations of ‘Russian collusion’ as a means of “distracting the public from her use of a private email server” before the 2016 election.

The two-year probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller came up with zero evidence of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, much less Trump himself – and while it argued that Moscow “meddled” in US elections, it offered no evidence beyond its own assertions contained in indictments that were subsequently dropped when challenged in court.

While all these revelations have amounted to an indictment of the entire ‘Russiagate’ affair, the media that gave each other awards for their coverage of ‘collusion’ has never apologized for any of it. To this day, millions of Americans continue to believe their president is a “Russian agent.”

October 13, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming Soon to a U.S. Neighborhood Near You? Regime-Change Foot Soldiers Parading as Social Justice Warriors

By Robert Bridge | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 22, 2020

Is the ‘Trump regime’ about to get a taste of the color revolution tactics that America has employed in the past against “illiberal” foreign governments that refused to toe the neoliberal globalist line? It’s looking highly likely.

Despite great efforts by the mainstream media to play it down, an increasing number of Americans are being subjected to a level of aggression, intimidation and street violence that the authorities seem unable or unwilling to control. This is no accident.

Since 2016, a series of actions by the political left indicate that the chaos unfolding on the streets of America is no grassroots movement on behalf of ‘social justice,’ but rather a carefully coordinated plan to oust Trump in the event the Democrats fail to get Biden into office. Indeed, for the orchestrators of this coup, what happens on Nov. 4 is of far more relevance that what happens on Election Day.

The first sign of trouble came in 2016, when none other than George Soros began spending a king’s ransom in local judicial elections. As the Daily Signal noted, “[r]adical social justice activists will serve as the top prosecutors for three major Washington, D.C., suburbs—including the two wealthiest counties in the U.S.—after George Soros’ political action committee poured $2.1 million into ordinarily sleepy local races.”

Only a crazed conspiracy theorist, like Newt Gingrich, apparently, would see any connection between Soros supporting radical prosecutors, and his other pet project of supporting ‘social justice’ groups, like Black Lives Matter and Antifa, who occasionally find themselves in need of a sympathetic justice system. And if local courts somehow fail to catch and release the hoodlums, Hollywood has shown a disturbing willingness to write out the bail checks. The only thing the looters and ‘peaceful protesters’ need now is a government mandate that requires masks be worn in public to protect their identities, and for property owners to understand they will be prosecuted for demonstrating their 2nd Amendment rights.

Now that the radicals have their institutional support structure all in place, a strange yet not wholly unexpected thing is happening. Although police brutality has been occurring in the United States long before Trump became president, and it effects both whites and blacks, the ‘peaceful protesters’ are venting their outrage primarily against Republicans, which the left has come to associate with ‘white supremacists’ and ‘fascism.’ This demonization of the right, which the mainstream media is happy to accentuate so long Trump is at the helm, gives left-wing groups the bare amount of legitimacy they need to carry out their activities.

By way of example, consider the way members of Black Lives Matter aggressively taunted Republicans as they attempted to leave the Republican National Convention where Trump accepted the nomination for the presidential election. As Senator Rand Paul and his wife Michele walked down the sidewalk, a frenzied mob could be heard shouting, “say her name!” in reference to Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot to death by police at her home in March during a botched raid. Apparently it did not matter to the rabble, or they never knew, that Paul was responsible for filing legislation to prohibit police officers from using no-knock warrants like the one that led to the fatal shooting of Ms. Taylor.

Another strange coincidence for the coincidence theorists is that a number of Democrats have been calling for exactly the sort of harassment against Trump supporters that is now unfolding across the nation. In June, Maxine Waters, for example, incited her followers to “create a crowd, and you push back on them.” More recently, Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice president nominee, said in an interview with Stephen Colbert, “They [the protesters] are not going to stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not going to stop after Election Day… They’re not going to let up, and they should not, and we should not.”

Reading such comments almost forces one to conclude that the Democrats, at least the radical progressive wing of the Democratic Party, have no illusions about Biden’s real chances for beating Trump. After all, if victory looked certain there would be no need for the threats. In other words, what the Democrats are most concerned about are not the actual results of the election, which have a very high chance of being unfavorable, but rather the reaction to the results. On this point, appearances are everything. Thus the mainstream media, in cahoots with left-leaning polling agencies and colleges, have conditioned Liberals – in the very same way they did in 2016 with their hugely inaccurate polls – to believe that Biden simply cannot lose. It doesn’t require a degree in the theory of revolutions to predict how those BLM/Antifa protesters, many of whom were too young to vote in 2016, are going to react to the news of four more years of a ‘white supremacist in chief.’ Not calmly and rationally, that’s for sure. After all, we are talking about an entire generation that has graduated from Woke U. with a Marxist major in ‘American Imperialism’ and a minor in ‘Mass Destruction’.

Here is where the stage has been rigged for a full-blown ‘color revolution’ erupting on or shortly after November 3rd. If anyone needs more proof, consider Hillary Clinton’s telling comment that “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances” because he will win if “we don’t give an inch.” In other words, the election has nothing to do with counting votes, or even mail-in ballots, but rather which side, according to the rationale of Hillary Clinton, has the greater staying power.

As witnessed in faraway places where the U.S. State Department prepared the groundwork for regime change operations against governments and leaders they did not like, as in Ukraine, for example, and more recently in Belarus, it will take no effort whatsoever for the puppet masters to mobilize ‘social justice groups’ like BLM and Antifa to come out in massive protest against the results of November’s contest. And since we are talking about a homegrown operation, there is no need for NGOs working secretly behind the scenes to rally the locals into action; the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer was all that was required to mobilize the media and the young radicals of the left against ‘systemic racism,’ which is just another way of saying ‘white supremacy,’ which is just another way of saying ‘Donald Trump.’

Have America’s regime-change vultures come home to roost? Unfortunately, such a grim prospect is looking more likely with each passing day as Nov. 3rd promises to be a presidential election without precedent in U.S. history. That is the day when the American Revolution may go full circle.

September 23, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 5 Comments