Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

EVEN CNN hosts gasp at guest’s claim that Tulsi Gabbard is ‘a Russian puppet’

RT | October 15, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is no stranger to mainstream media smears, but even a panel of CNN hosts and analysts audibly gasped when one guest outright accused the Hawaii congresswoman of working for Russia.

What started off as a standard panel discussion on Tuesday’s upcoming Democratic debate quickly took a dark turn, as CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers accused Gabbard of foreign allegiances. As soon as Gabbard’s name was mentioned, Sellers took the opportunity to claim that there “is a chance that Tulsi’s not just working for the United States of America.”

The dramatic accusation prompted uncomfortable shuffling from the rest of the panel, with CNN contributor April Ryan asking “ohh, wait a minute, what?” Sitting opposite Sellers, commentator Angela Rye jumped in to stress that any accusations of Gabbard working for a foreign power are just “an allegation.”

Sellers was not content to quit, however, adding that it was “not just an allegation” — despite the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Gabbard is compromised by any foreign country.

Then Sellers got into the specifics.

“There’s no question, there is no question that Tulsi Gabbard, of all the 12 [debate participants], is a puppet for the Russian government.”

“How is there no question?” host Alisyn Camerota asked, seemingly taken aback by the seriousness of the claim. Sellers instantly cited Gabbard’s position on the war in Syria as proof.

Indeed, the unapologetically anti-war candidate has faced similar smears of being an “Assad apologist” and a “Putin puppet” multiple times due to her criticisms of US foreign policy in Syria, where she believes Washington should never have backed and funded jihadist rebels fighting President Bashar Assad.

As for Sellers himself, he has endorsed California Senator Kamala Harris for president, so his distaste for Gabbard is not entirely surprising. Gabbard won broad praise for expertly taking Harris to task on her record as a prosecutor during an earlier debate — so much so that the hashtag #KamalaHarrisDestroyed even trended on Twitter (but that was apparently Russia’s fault, too).

While Sellers did face some mild pushback from the CNN panel, none of the participants rushed to wholeheartedly defend Gabbard, either. The analyst did experience the wrath of Twitter, however.

Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted that Sellers comment was somewhat ironic since he is “an actual puppet for corporate America and AIPAC.” Sellers is an activist for the pro-Israel AIPAC lobbying organization, which is accused of waging outsized influence in US domestic politics and foreign policy.

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald called Sellers’ comments “repugnant, McCarthyite accusations of treason” and noted that the CNN panel moved quickly on and would surely allow him back to repeat the same smears on another occasion.

“If there were a shred of proof that she is working for the Russian government she would be in a whole world of trouble,” another user wrote, noting that Gabbard is a major in the National Guard and a member of congress with top secret security clearance.

The anti-Gabbard smears have been bubbling in mainstream media since before she even announced her candidacy, but they went into overdrive after she entered the race for president.

NBC has accused her of being supported by Russian trolls on Twitter, while the New York Times recently published a hit piece in the ‘news’ section, headlined: “What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?” The piece speculated that Gabbard’s anti-interventionist stances might somehow make her a Russian stooge, even citing coverage of her campaign by RT of all news organizations as some kind of proof.

Gabbard also won no friends within the Democratic Party in 2016 after she stepped down as DNC vice chair, endorsed Bernie Sanders and accused the party of bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Gabbard has continued her criticism of her party during this election cycle, too — so it’s no wonder that the mainstream media and Democratic establishment haven’t exactly warmed to her candidacy.

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

The New York Times’ Preemptive Reporting on James Comey

By Ray McGovern • Consortium News • October 13, 2019

James Comey Would Like to Help: The former F.B.I. director wants an end to the Trump presidency. And yes, he knows you might think he caused it” is the headline atop an instructive article on Sunday by Matt Flegenheimer of The New York Times. His article makes clear the Times remains determined to support former FBI Director James Comey and sustain the discredited Russiagate narrative they share to the point of helping Comey and his partners avoid possible time in prison.

In late August, the Department of Justice decided to let Comey off with a slap on the wrist for leaking to the Times, through an intermediary, highly sensitive information from his talks with President Donald Trump. At that juncture, it was already a no-brainer to warn that the victory lap Comey chose to run was clearly premature.

Consequential leaks to the media by a former FBI director are serious enough. Now, however, we are talking about possible felonies. Comey is standing in such deep kimchi that he may drown — despite how tall he is, and despite preemptive puff pieces protesting a purity of the caliber of Caesar’s wife. This time, even with the Establishment media and Comey’s accomplices offering fulsome praise for him, there’s serious doubt whether he can wangle a Stay-Out-Of-Jail Card.

Why do they appear to be running so scared?

In Horror of Horowitz

Over the last year and a half, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating how Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, and three deputy attorneys general (Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, and Dana Boente) thought they could get away with signing applications for surveillance of former Trump associate Carter Page without disclosing that, as McCabe later testified, the application was based largely on the shabby, unverified “Steele dossier” paid for by the Democrats.

Providing incomplete, misleading information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a felony.

No problem, these top law enforcement officials probably thought at the time. Who would find out about their misconduct after Hillary Clinton — the odds-on favorite — became president? There would be encomia and promotions for help rendered, not indictments.

But now all of the above are squirming, and there is a paper trail. Only one of the FISA application signers is still in a key position to help from the inside — Boente. He was not demoted to working in the file room. He is the FBI general counsel, that is, its top attorney.

Is it About to Hit the Fan?

According Horowitz, Attorney General William Barr has had his draft IG report for over a month. Horowitz has said that his team “reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several of witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed.” The team is “finalizing” the report prior to releasing it publicly.

Some pundits are now suggesting that the DOJ IG report may be published as early as this Friday.

Hold onto your hats.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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

‘You’ve been duped by spooks & terrorists’: Russian military reveals flaws in NYT’s report on hospital bombings

RT | October 14, 2019

A damning report by the New York Times, which accused Russia of bombing four UN-protected hospitals in Syria, is a product of misinformation by Western intelligence services and jihadists, the Russian military said.

On Sunday, the leading US newspaper said it had irrefutable proof that Russian warplanes had bombed four sites in Syria, which it knew to be locations of civilian hospitals. The accusation stems from analysis of social media, interviews with witnesses, data provided by local plane spotters and records of communications of the Russian military deployed in Syria. The bombings, which happened on May 5 and 6, are just a faction of attacks on civilian infrastructure, for which Moscow carries responsibility, the newspaper alleged.

Responding to the accusation on Monday, the Russian military said Times report was flawed for several reasons, including failure to explain that Idlib Governorate, where the four alleged bombings took place, lives under rule of brutal jihadists. That detail affects the entire narrative, indicating its flawed sourcing.

“Gadgets, modern radio scanners, protected notebooks, internet connection are all things that the local civilian population simply cannot afford. They are more interested in daily surviving under the yoke of the terrorists,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

He was referring to the equipment used by “plane spotters”, who provided their data to Times. The newspaper said those observers “insisted on anonymity for their safety”, but the Russian military says they shouldn’t have bothered and identified them as the people behind a “combat intelligence system” based on equipment developed by a US company called Hala Systems.

The system known as Sentry is a collection of suitcase-sized sensors connected into a network plus an AI-based algorithm, which uses signals from those sensors as well as social media data to analyze and predict airstrikes in Idlib. Hala Systems says it’s a for-profit company that develops and operates the system on grants from governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark the United States, and Germany.

The company deemed it necessary to explain in its FAQ that it is not a front for the CIA, but acknowledges that it deployed the system in conjunction with the notorious White Helmets, the group that operated in jihadist-held parts of Syria with strongly suspected ties to Western intelligence services.

The statement by Konashenkov said Times chose to omit those details because they clearly expose its source as potentially compromised rather than to protect anyone.

“The ‘evidence’ published by NYT are not worthy even of the paper it was printed on.”

He added there were inconsistencies with other parts of the report, in particular a claim that a Russian pilot received coordinates for his target openly on the air, which would have been in violation of military operating procedures.

He also questioned identification of one of the locations named by the Times as a civilian hospital, saying it was not clear how one can operate in a remote cave.

“Just a week ago we took over 80 journalists from leading Russian and international media to a cave located in that general area. They saw with their own eyes what is kept in such caves, or rather reinforced terrorist bunkers,” the Russian general said.

“There were large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, including those Western-made, prisons, holes to cover tanks, gas masks, food and medical supplies.”

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

NASA : Batting 0.000 For Thirty-Three Consecutive Seasons

In 1986, NASA’s James Hansen made some projections about how global warming was going to affect eight cities.

Mintzer distributed a chart showing a 1986 projection made by NASA climatologists of the likely impact of global warming on eight major U.S. cities in the year 2030.

13 Apr 1987, 13 – Lancaster Eagle-Gazette at Newspapers.com

Let’s see how he did.

Memphis, according to EPA statistics, would experience 145 days annually with temperatures surpassing 90 degrees, compared to 65 days now, and 42 days above 100 degrees, com-pared to four now.

Covington is the closest Tennessee USHCN station to Memphis. The frequency of 90 and 100 degree days has plummeted.

Denver, which almost never registers temperatures above 100 degrees, would do so on 16 days a year under the projection, and its 90-phis days would rise from 33 to 86.

Boulder is the closest USHCN station to Denver.There has been no trend over the past 65 years, and it almost never gets above 100 degrees.

In Chicago, the number of over-90 days would jump from 16 to 56, while six days would see temperatures above 100 degrees, a rarity today.

Aurora is the closest USHCN station to Chicago, and the frequency of 90 and 100 degrees days has dropped sharply since the 1930s.

Dallas, which already gets 100 days over 90 degrees and 19 over 100, would see the first figure grow to 162 and the second to 78

Weatherford is the closest USHCN station to Dallas, and the number of 90 and 100 degree days has dropped sharply.

Los Angeles would see the number of 90-plus degree days move up from five to 27, while four days would register more than 100 degrees, compared to one day a year currently.

Downtown LA is much hotter than those numbers, so I assume he meant the airport. The closest USHCN station to LAX is Newport Beach, which shows no trend in hot days.

In New York, four days would exceed 100 degrees annually, while in most years no days are that hot now. The number of over-90 days would rise from 15 to 48.

The frequency of hot days at New York City has dropped sharply since Hansen made his forecasts in 1986.

One hundred degree days in New York peaked in the 1950’s, so the Orwellian New York Times has tried to erase them.

It’s Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter. – The New York Times

Omaha would see 86 days hotter than 90 degrees, compared to 37 today. Days over 100 degrees would jump from three per year today to 21 in 2030.

The closest USHCN station to Omaha is at Ashland, and the number of hot days has plummeted to record lows.

Washington. D C , the number of days above 90 degrees would rise from 36 to 87 per year, while over-100 days would jump from one annually today to 12 in 2030

Purcellville is the closest Virginia USHCN station to Washington D.C., and the number of hot days there has plummeted. I used to live across the river in Maryland, and never needed air conditioning.

Hansen was wrong, because his CO2 climate model was based on superstition rather than science. But undaunted by their past failures, the New York Times continues to push the same nonsense.

How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?

The Union of Concerned Scientists has at least been clever enough to change over to “feels like 90 degrees”

Northwest Region Areas to Endure Seven Weeks or More a Year When “Feels Like” Temperature Exceeds 90 Degrees | Union of Concerned Scientists

In most professions there are consequences for being wrong, but not if you are employed by the climate religion – where facts simply don’t matter. There is no possible way for you to be wrong.

30 years later, deniers are still lying about Hansen’s amazing global warming prediction | Dana Nuccitelli | Environment | The Guardian

October 13, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Propaganda 101: The New York Times pumps another ‘evil Russia’ plot

By Finian Cunningham | RT | October 10, 2019

The “newspaper of record” New York Times arguably holds the record for peddling anti-Russia scare stories. This week the NY Times delivered yet another classic spook tale dressed as serious news.

Among its splash articles, under the headline ‘Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say’, readers were told of an elite Russian spy team which has, allegedly, only recently been discovered.

It’s called “Unit 29155” and purportedly directed by the Kremlin to “destabilize Europe” with “subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

According to the NY Times, this crack squad of Russia’s most ruthless military intelligence agents were involved in an attempted assassination of an arms dealer in Bulgaria in 2015; the destabilization of Moldova; a failed coup against the Montenegrin government; and the alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in England last year.

The article states: “Western security officials have now concluded that these operations, and potentially many others, are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe, executed by an elite unit inside the Russian intelligence system skilled in subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

The NY Times adds: “The purpose of Unit 29155, which has not been previously reported, underscores the degree to which the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, is actively fighting the West with his brand of so-called hybrid warfare — a blend of propaganda, hacking attacks and disinformation — as well as open military confrontation.”

This is all because, the readers are told, “The Kremlin sees Russia as being at war with a Western liberal order that it views as an existential threat.”

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed it as more of the “pulp fiction category” which Western news media have manufactured with seeming increasing intensity over recent years. Peskov pointed out that Moscow has repeatedly stated its desire to normalize relations with Western states and the European Union in particular, contradicting the theme of the NY Times’ piece.

Indeed, the Russian Embassy in Britain recently published a compilation of false articles peddled by Western media over the past four years. The NY Times features prominently as one of the main purveyors of scare stories about alleged malign Russian activities, from hacking into presidential elections, to targeting American power grids, to covert collusion with President Donald Trump.

For students of Propaganda 101, this week’s tale makes a case study of how disinformation is disseminated in the guise of “news reporting.”

First of all, the NY Times reporter, Michael Schwirtz, gives a meandering account of lurid dirty deeds performed in various international locations allegedly carried out by the supposed “elite” Kremlin hybrid warriors. But tellingly, there are no details evidencing Russian involvement. It’s all lurid speculation spiced with fear-mongering, which reads like a pallid John le Carré spy novel.

Then, the usual giveaway that the NY Times is engaging in disinformation, it quotes anonymous security officials for apparent verification of its claims about “Unit 29155”. This is tacit admission of who the real authors are: Western spooks.

Next, a neat effort to give the lame story some legs is to quote named public figures. But these sources don’t confirm the existence of the alleged Kremlin unit; they are merely invited to speculate on its existence and presumed malign purpose. One of those named sources is MI6 chief Alex Younger. Yes, that’s right, the paper of record is quoting British military intelligence as a reliable source for public information. Another named source is Peter Zwack, who is described as a former US military intelligence officer who worked at the American Embassy in Moscow. Zwack is quoted as describing Russians as “organically ruthless” (whatever that means), while the paper actually admits that “he was not aware of the unit’s existence.”

The purpose of throwing a few names into the reporting mix is to lend a veneer of credibility to the nebulous, unverifiable, scary stuff that the anonymous spooks feed the reporter.

A special mention must be given to a third named source quoted by the NY Times. He is Eerik-Niiles Kross, an Estonian lawmaker and former military intelligence chief in Tallinn. He styles himself as “Estonia’s James Bond,” and is known for his salacious Russophobic warnings of “imminent invasion of the Baltic states” – over the past three decades. Kross is quoted to speculate on the existence of the alleged Kremlin hybrid warfare unit. Of course, he dutifully serves up his notorious anti-Russian fear-mongering. But he is not confirming. His speculation is pseudo-validation of information that is essentially fictional.

All in all, the latest installment of anti-Russia propaganda from the NY Times this week is a damp squib among many previous baseless reports of alleged Kremlin malign activity. If it serves any purpose, it is perhaps a choice illustration of how disinformation is sneakily, insidiously presented as ‘news’. The fact that this should appear in a Pulitzer Prize-winning, supposedly premier, American newspaper is the disturbing part.

But it is no surprise to those who have long studied how the US corporate media has been under the control of state intelligence agencies for many decades, especially after the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War against the Soviet Union.

In a seminal essay in 1977 for Rolling Stone magazine, award-winning journalist Carl Bernstein documented how the CIA systematically cultivated hundreds of reporters, columnists, editors, publishing executives and broadcast networks to function as conduits for disinformation – much of it directed at demonizing the Soviet Union.

“From the outset, the use of journalists was among the CIA’s most sensitive undertakings,” writes Bernstein.

He added: “By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.”

How the CIA goes about planting false stories in the American and European media is outlined in this candid interview by John Stockwell, who was former National Security Council coordinator for the agency during the 1970s. Stockwell also added: “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the US military machine to turn.”

You may wonder, if the Cold War ended nearly 30 years ago when the Soviet Union dissolved, why then do the NY Times and other Western media outlets continue to pump out anti-Russian propaganda? But that assumes the Cold War was primarily about the US opposing the ideology of communism. It wasn’t. It was, and still is, all about imposing control over the masses so they don’t ever challenge the power structure that deprives them of full democratic rights and decent livelihoods.

In a recent interview, philosopher André Vitchek makes the point that Western politicians and media like the NY Times keep harping on Cold War scare stories about evil foreigners in order “to distract their citizens from thinking about their increasingly limited freedoms and diminishing standards of living.”

The Cold War continues, and anti-Russia hysteria is but a distraction, as was the anti-Soviet hysteria. The aim is to distract the public from the real Cold War which is a war by the elites against democracy ever being actually realized among the masses.

October 10, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

The Campaign to Stop William Barr

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 5, 2019

The furor over Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky has not been easy to figure out. Contrary to initial reports, the president said nothing about a quid pro quo, and he didn’t push the Ukrainian president to “dig up dirt” on Joe Biden either. All he did according to the official transcript was ask Kiev to look into his activities, and all Zelensky did in response was guarantee that any such investigation “will be done openly and candidly.” An honest inquiry into a politician who cheerfully confessed to forcing out a prosecutor looking into his son’s company – what’s wrong with that?

But now the mystery is solved. The uproar is not about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigating the former vice president. It’s about William Barr investigating Russiagate, which is far more important.

This became clear early this week when the New York Times reported that Trump had also phoned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and asked him to cooperate with the attorney general. Suddenly, Giuliani and Biden were forgotten as the rest of corporate media screamed themselves hoarse. “Democrats’ worst fears about William Barr are proving correct,” declared the Washington Post. “AG Bill Barr finds himself ‘neck deep’ in Trump scandal,” said MSNBC. The Daily Beast called for his impeachment while the Guardian accused him of nothing less than attempting to “rewrite the history of the 2016 US presidential election.”

This was cheeky coming from a newspaper that tried to rewrite history itself by falsely accusing imprisoned whistleblower Julian Assange of meeting with Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in connection with stolen Democratic Party emails.

But it was all nonsense. Trump’s crimes – waging war on Yemen, blockading Iran, attempting to starve Venezuela into submission, etc. – are almost beyond enumeration. But this is not one of them. Despite the cries of outrage, he did nothing wrong in phoning up Scott Morrison, and neither did Barr in flying to London and Rome to seek their cooperation. Indeed, both men would have been remiss if they didn’t.

The reason is that Australia, Italy, and the UK are as central to Russiagate, the pseudo-scandal that dominated US headlines for two and a half years, as the Ukraine is to l’Affaire Biden. After all, it was an Anglo-Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud who told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” and it was Aussie diplomat Alexander Downer, a self-described “warrior for the Western alliance,” who elicited the news from Papadopoulos at a London wine bar and then triggered a formal investigation by informing the FBI.

It was an ex-British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele who sent the press into a frenzy when someone leaked his phony “golden showers” dossier in January 2017. It was ex-British intelligence chief Sir Richard Dearlove who coached Steele on how to spread word of his “findings,” and it was a long-time US intelligence agent named Stefan Halper, a colleague of Dearlove’s at Cambridge University, who flew Papadopoulos to London so he could pepper him with leading questions:

“It’s great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails.”

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” Papadopoulos says he replied. If he had taken the bait on the other hand, the FBI might have charged him with collusion and forced him to wear a wire so he could entrap other Trump campaign officials as well.

As for Italy, that’s where Mifsud has reportedly been holed up since early 2017. Anyone wishing to get to the bottom of Russiagate would want to know who is protecting him – and hopefully Rome will now help Barr find out.

Russiagate was one of the most bizarre episodes in modern political history, a wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at driving a legally-elected president out of office. The Times, WaPo, MSNBC, and the Guardian were all neck deep in the scandal, and now they’re neck deep in the cover up by attempting to deep-six the official Department of Justice investigation into how Russiagate began before it is even completed. If they get away with it, the big loser will be the public– and democracy as well.

October 5, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

The New York Times Called a Famous Cartoonist an Anti-Semite. Repeatedly. They Didn’t Ask Him for Comment.

By Ted Rall | CounterPunch | October 3, 2019

Earlier this year the Portuguese cartoonist António Moreira Antunes drew one of the most controversial political cartoons in history. His cartoon about U.S.-Israeli relations sparked so much controversy that The New York Times, whose international edition published it in April, decided to fire its two staff cartoonists, neither of whom had anything to do with it. Then the Times permanently banned all editorial cartooning.

Antunes took the most flak from the Times itself, as it furiously backpedaled from its own editorial decision to publish his cartoon. In five news stories and editorials, the Newspaper of Record unreservedly described Antunes’ cartoon as anti-Semitic. American media outlets followed the Times’ lead.

“I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m anti-Zionist,” Antunes told me. “In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict I am in favor of two countries and I am against all annexations made by Israel.” The Times censored Antunes’ side of the story from its readers.

Was Antunes’ cartoon, a metaphorical illustration depicting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding the leash of a dog in the form of a blind President Trump, anti-Semitic? That question is both inherently subjective and eminently debatable. “The cartoon is not anti-Semitic, but many political and religious sectors classify any criticism of Israeli policies as anti-Semitic,” Antunes said in an interview.

Pro-Israel groups disagreed. On the other hand, many cartoonists thought there was nothing wrong with it.

But that’s not how the Times covered it. In article after article, Antunes’ cartoon was described as anti-Semitic. It was an objective truth. No one could doubt the cartoon’s anti-Semitism more than the fact that Washington is the capital of the United States.

Times Apologizes for Publishing Anti-Semitic Cartoon,” read the headline on April 28th.

Not “allegedly anti-Semitic.”

Not “cartoon criticized as anti-Semitic.”

In an April 30th editorial, the paper called Antunes’ work “an appalling political cartoon” and “an obviously bigoted cartoon.” It explained: “The cartoon was chosen from a syndication service by a production editor who did not recognize its anti-Semitism.” Not “its possible anti-Semitism.”

Two more articles on the subject appeared on May 1st: “Times Disciplines Editor and Cancels Cartoon Contract Over Anti-Semitic Drawing” (we don’t know what that discipline entailed, but unlike the cartoonist, the editor wasn’t fired) and “After the Publication of an Anti-Semitic Cartoon, Our Publisher Says We’re Committed to Making Changes.” The text of both pieces described the cartoon as self-evidently anti-Semitic.

On June 10th a Times article announced the end of political cartooning in the Gray Lady. Antunes’ cartoon, the Times stated flatly, contained “anti-Semitic imagery.”

Accusing a political cartoonist of anti-Semitism is as serious as it gets. So something jumped out at me as I read the Times’ repeated characterizations of Antunes’ cartoon as anti-Semitic, so devoid of mitigating language: where was his response?

“The New York Times never contacted me at any time,” Antunes now says.

I reached out to the Times about this; I asked why they didn’t talk to him and how the paper made the determination that Antunes’ cartoon was anti-Semitic. James Bennet, the editorial page editor who banned cartoons and presumably wrote the editorials, did not reply to my repeated queries. (I gave him nearly a week to do so.) Neither did two reporters who authored pieces about Antunes.

I did hear back from Stacy Cowley, who wrote the April 28th piece. “I dug around online and was unable to find any contact information for Mr. Antunes,” Cowley explained. “He has no publicly posted contact information that I could find, and as of the date I wrote my article, he had not publicly commented to any other news outlets about his cartoon. (Had he done so, I would have linked to and quoted his comments.)” Cowley said she tried to reach the editors of Antunes’ home paper in Portugal. She noted that she was working on a tight deadline.

I reached Antunes via Facebook; he replied via email.

Contacting the subject of a news story for comment is Journalism 101, a basic ethos taught to students at high school newspapers. That goes double when the article is critical.

“Few writers need to be reminded that we seek and publish a response from anyone criticized in our pages,” the Times says in its Guidelines on Integrity. “But when the criticism is serious, we have a special obligation to describe the scope of the accusation and let the subject respond in detail. No subject should be taken by surprise when the paper appears, or feel that there was no chance to respond.” Given the gravity of the criticism leveled against Antunes, the Times appears to have fallen woefully short of its own standards.

OK, Cowley was on deadline. What about the other articles? They appeared days later. One ran six weeks later. Antunes isn’t a recluse—he’s one of the most prominent cartoonists in Europe. I found him. So did other newspapers.

The Times could have contacted the New York-based syndicate from which it bought Antunes’ cartoon; the syndicate has his contact information, as they do of all their contributors.

Though scarred by his experience, Antunes says that he has not lost business. “The U.S. media” he says, “are prisoners of political correctness, right-wing turning [sic] and social media.” Europe, he says, is more tolerant.

What’s clear is that the Times threw its cartoonist under the bus in a shockingly cavalier fashion—a practice that has become so common that it’s contributing to the imminent extinction of political cartooning.

The Times owes Antunes an apology. They owe the two fired cartoonists their jobs back, along with back pay. Political cartoons should resume their rightful place in the paper.

Finally, the Times owes its readers an assurance that they will never again succumb to the siren call of “fake news” as part of an ethically-challenged witch hunt.

Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for ANewDomain.net, is the author of the book “Snowden,” the biography of the NSA whistleblower.<

October 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 6 Comments

NY Times Removes Race Context After Black Girl Admits Faking Hate Crime

To hide the fact they amplified another race hate hoax

By Paul Joseph Watson | Infowars | September 30, 2019

After a 12-year-old African-American girl admitted she lied about a group of white boys cutting off her dreadlocks, the New York Times decided to strip the fact that the accused were “white” from its follow up headline.

The global mainstream media, as well as lawmakers like Rashida Tlaib, amplified Amari Allen’s falsehood after she claimed that three white male classmates had pinned her down, called her “nappy” and “ugly” and cut her hair.

This prompted a wave of sympathy for Allen, a lucrative GoFundMe, and a volley of resentment towards young white men.

In the vast majority of these media reports, the fact that the boys were white was included in the headline.

It subsequently emerged that Allen had faked the entire story, with her grandparents today apologizing to those falsely accused.

However, in the media reports that carried the update to the story, the fact that the entire narrative was predicated on the incident being a racist hate crime was stripped from the story.

In its initial report on the issue, the New York Times headline read ‘Black Virginia Girl Says White Classmates Cut Her Dreadlocks on Playground’.

However, in the follow up story, the headline read ‘Virginia Girl Recants Story of Boys Cutting Off Her Dreadlocks’.

The media seems very keen to obscure the fact that they helped inflate yet another race hate hoax that turned out to be nothing but hot air.

“The most noteworthy part of this story is this girl allegedly getting a bit of her hair cut off made international news while the murder of John Weed was ignored,” comments Chris Menahan.

October 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 4 Comments

Impeachment… or CIA Coup?

By Ron Paul | September 30, 2019

You don’t need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine. According to the White House record of the call, the President asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into whether there is any evidence of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election and then mentioned that a lot of people were talking about how former US Vice President Joe Biden stopped the prosecution of his son who was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine.

Democrats, who spent more than two years convinced that “Russiagate” would enable them to remove Trump from office only to have their hopes dashed by the Mueller Report, now believe they have their smoking gun in this phone call.

It this about politics? Yes. But there may be more to it than that.

It may appear that the Democratic Party, furious over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, is the driving force behind this ongoing attempt to remove Donald Trump from office, but at every turn we see the fingerprints of the CIA and its allies in the US deep state.

In August 2016, a former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, wrote an extraordinary article in the New York Times accusing Donald Trump of being an “agent of the Russian Federation.” Morell was clearly using his intelligence career as a way of bolstering his claim that Trump was a Russian spy – after all, the CIA should know such a thing! But the claim was a lie.

Former CIA director John Brennan accused President Trump of “treason” and of “being in the pocket of Putin” for meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki and accepting his word that Russia did not meddle in the US election. To this day there has yet to be any evidence presented that the Russian government did interfere. Brennan openly called on “patriotic” Republicans to act against this “traitor.”

Brennan and his deep state counterparts James Comey at the FBI and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper launched an operation, using what we now know is the fake Steele dossier, to spy on the Trump presidential campaign and even attempt to entrap Trump campaign employees.

Notice a pattern here?

Now we hear that the latest trigger for impeachment is a CIA officer assigned to the White House who filed a “whistleblower” complaint against the president over something he heard from someone else that the president said in the Ukraine phone call.

Shockingly, according to multiple press reports the rules for CIA whistleblowing were recently changed, dropping the requirement that the whistleblower have direct, first-hand knowledge of the wrongdoing. Just before this complaint was filed, the rule-change allowed hearsay or second-hand information to be accepted. That seems strange.

As it turns out, the CIA “whistleblower” lurking around the White House got the important things wrong, as there was no quid pro quo discussed and there was no actual request to investigate Biden or his son.

The Democrats have suddenly come out in praise of whistleblowers – well not exactly. Pelosi still wants to prosecute actual whistleblower Ed Snowden. But she’s singing the praises of this fake CIA “whistleblower.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned Trump that if “you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” It’s hard not to ask whether this is a genuine impeachment effort… or a CIA coup!

Copyright © 2019 by RonPaul Institute.

September 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 4 Comments

Why Does Chris Hedges Hedge His Bets?

By Edward Curtin | September 21, 2019

The revelations about the machinations of the so-called “deep state” often conceal deeper truths that go unmentioned. This is quite common, whether it is done intentionally or not.

Sometimes it is intentional and is directed by the intelligence agencies themselves or their accomplices in the media, who operate a vast propaganda network. In that case, it is because the secret rulers have been caught doing some evil deed, and, not being able to fully deny it, they admit to part of it while concealing deeper secrets. This is termed “a limited hangout.” It is described by ex-CIA Deputy Director Victor Marchetti, author of The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, as follows:

Spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.

For the average person, it is very hard to read between the lines and smell a skunk. The subterfuge is often very subtle and appeals to readers’ sense of outrage at what happened in the past. After the Church Hearings in the 1970s, and then Carl Bernstein’s limited hangout article in Rolling Stone in 1977, where he named the names and “outed” many major media and individuals for having worked with the CIA, many people breathed deeply and consigned these evil and propagandistic activities to the bad old days. But these “limited hangouts” have been going on ever since, allowing people to express outrage and feel some sort of redemption is at hand in the naïve belief that the system is reformable. It is a pipe dream induced by the smallest puff on the media’s latest recreational drug, for which no prescription is needed. The media that more openly and proudly than ever reveal their jobs as stenographers for the intelligence agencies (see my US Media Propaganda. Drawing “Liberals” and “Leftists” into the CIA’s Orbit. NPR)

In The Iceman Cometh, the playwright Eugene O’Neill puts the delusional nature of so much public consciousness thus:

To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It’s irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.

Truth may never have been popular, but if one studies the history of propaganda techniques as they have developed in tandem with technological changes, it becomes apparent that today’s incredibly sophisticated digital technology and the growth of screen culture that has resulted in what Guy Debord has called “the society of the spectacle” has made the manipulation of truth increasingly easier and far trickier. News in today’s world appears as a pointillistic canvas of thousands of disconnected dots impossible to connect unless one has the desire, time, determination, and ability to connect the points through research, which most people do not have. “As a result,” writes Jacques Ellul in his classic study, Propaganda, “he finds himself in a kind of kaleidoscope in which thousands of unconnected images follow each other rapidly” and “his attention is continually diverted to new matters, new centers of interest, and is dissipated on a thousand things, which disappear from one day to the next.” This technology is a boon to government propagandists that make sure to be on the cutting edge of new technology and the means to control the flow of its content, often finding that the medium is the message, one that is especially confounding since seemingly liberating – e.g. cell phones and their easy and instantaneous ability to access information and “breaking news.”

Then there are writers, artists, and communicators of all types, whether consciously or not, who contribute to the obfuscating of essential truths even while informing the public of important matters. These people come from across the political spectrum. To know their intentions is impossible, unless they spell them out in public to let their audiences evaluate them, which rarely happens, otherwise one is left to guess, which is a fool’s game. One can, however, point out what they say and what they don’t and wonder why.

A recent article, Our Invisible Government, by the well-known journalist, Chris Hedges, is a typical case in point. As is his habit, he sheds light on much that is avoided by the mainstream press. Very important matters. In this piece, he writes in his passionate style that

The most powerful and important organs in the invisible government are the nation’s bloated and unaccountable intelligence agencies. They are the vanguard of the invisible government. They oversee a vast “black world,” tasked with maintaining the invisible government’s lock on power.

This, of course, is true. He then goes on to catalogue ways these intelligence agencies, led by the CIA, have overthrown foreign governments and assassinated their leaders, persecuted and besmirched the names of those – Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, et al. – who have opposed government policies, and used propaganda to conceal the real reasons for their evil deeds, such as the wars against Vietnam, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. He condemns such actions.

He spends much of his article referencing Stephen Kinzer’s new book, Poisoner in Chief: Sydney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control and Gottlieb’s heinous exploits during his long CIA career. Known as “Dr. Death,” this Bronx born son of Jewish immigrants, ran the CIA’s mind control programs and its depraved medical experiments on unknowing victims, known as MK-ULTRA and Artichoke. He oversaw the development of various poisons and bizarre methods to kill foreign leaders such as Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba. He worked closely with Nazi scientists who had been brought to the United States by Allen Dulles in an operation called Operation Paperclip. Gottlieb was responsible for so many deaths and so much human anguish and suffering that it is hard to believe, but believe it we must because it is true. His work on torture and mind control led to Abu Ghraib, CIA black sites, and assorted U.S. atrocities of recent history.

Hedges tells us all this and rightly condemns it as “the moral squalor” and “criminality” that it is. Only a sick or evil person could disagree with his account of Gottlieb via Kinzer’s book. I suspect many good people who have or will read his piece will agree with his denunciations of this evil CIA history. Additionally, he correctly adds:

It would be naive to relegate the behavior of Gottlieb and the CIA to the past, especially since the invisible government has once again shrouded the activities of intelligence agencies from congressional oversight or public scrutiny and installed a proponent of torture, Gina Haspel, as the head of the agency.

This also is very true. All these truths can make you forget what’s not true and what’s missing in his article.

But something is missing, and some wording is quite odd and factually false. It is easy to miss this as one’s indignation rises as one reads Hedges’ cataloguing of Gottlieb’s and the CIA’s obscenities.

He omits mentioning the Clinton administration’s dismantling wars against Yugoslavia, including 78 days of non-stop bombing of Serbia in 1999 that killed thousands of innocent people in the name of “humanitarian intervention,” wars he covered for the New York Times, the paper he has come to castigate  and the paper that has a long history of doing the CIA’s bidding.

He claims that Gottlieb and the CIA’s scientists failed in their “vain quest” for mind control drugs or electronic implants that might, among other things, get victims to act against their wills, such as acting as a Manchurian candidate, and as a result, “abandoned” their efforts. That they failed is not true, and that they abandoned their efforts is unknowable, unless you wish to take the CIA at its word, which is a hilarious thought. How could Hedges possibly know they abandoned such work? A logical person would assume they would say that and continue their work more secretly. On one hand, Hedges says, “It would be naive to relegate the behavior of Gottlieb and the CIA to the past,” but then he does just that. Which is it, Chris? By definition, the “invisible” government, the CIA, never reveals their operations, and lying is their modus operandi, especially with their brazen in-your-face biblical motto: “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

He says the invisible deep state “failed to foresee… the 9/11 attacks or the absence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.” This is factually wrong and quite absurd, as is well documented. They simply lied about these matters ex post facto. He suggests such failures were due to “ineptitude,” a coy word used by numerous other writers who find reasons to deny intentionality to the “deep state.”

He therefore is implying that the attacks of September 11, 2001, a subject that he has consistently failed to address over the years even while he has written in detail about so much else, did not involve America’s “invisible government forces.” The ineptitude explanation fails elementary logical analysis. Does he think it was intelligence ineptitude that allowed operatives to wire the highly-secure Twin Towers and Building 7 for controlled demolition that brought those buildings down, as the testimony of one’s eyes and that of hundreds of NYC firefighters who reported explosions throughout the buildings affirm? Ineptitude is another word for avoidance of evidence, gathered over the years by careful scholars and researchers. Ineptitude is another word for the belief “in miracles,” as David Ray Griffin has phrased it.

What does he think Colin Powell was doing at the United Nations on February 5, 2003 with CIA Director George Tenet sitting behind him when he lied repeatedly and fabricated evidence for Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to promote and justify the U.S. war against Iraq? Ineptitude? A failure of intelligence?

Chris Hedges is a very intelligent man, so why does he write such things?

Most importantly, why, when he writes about the past evil deeds of the intelligence operatives – Gottlieb and the CIA’s overseas coups and assassination of foreign leaders, etc. – does he fail to say one word about the CIA’s assassination of domestic leaders, including President John Kennedy in 1963, the foundational event in the invisible government’s takeover of the United States. Can an act be more evil and in need of moral condemnation? And how about the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968, or Malcolm X in 1965? Why does Hedges elide these assassinations as if they are not worthy of attention, but Gottlieb’s sick work for the CIA is? Like the attacks of September 11, 2001, he has avoided these assassinations throughout the years.

I don’t know why. Only he can say. He is a very well-read man, who is constantly quoting from scholars about various important issues. His books are chock full of such quotations and references. But you will look in vain for references to the brilliant, scholarly work of such writers on these assassinations, the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the CIA’s criminal and morally repugnant activities as James Douglass, David Talbot, David Ray Griffin, William Pepper, Graeme MacQueen, Lisa Pease, and so many others. Is it possible that he has never read their books when he has read so much else? If so, why?

As I said before, Chris Hedges, who has a passionate but mild-mannered style, is not alone in his disregard of these key matters. Other celebrity names on the left have been especially guilty of the same approach: Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Alexander Cockburn, to name just a few (Zinn and Cockburn are dead). They have avoided these issues as if they were toxic. Nor would they logically explain why. The few times they did respond to those who criticized them for this, it was usually through a dismissive wave of the hand or name calling, a tactic such as the CIA developed with the term “conspiracy theory.” Cockburn was particularly nasty in this regard, priding himself on dismissing others with words such as kooks, lunatics, and idiots, even when his logic was deplorable. He liked to use ineptitude’s synonym, “incompetence,” to explain away what he considered intelligence agency failures. “Why,” he wrote in one piece attacking September 11 critics while upholding the government’s version, “does the obvious have to be proved?”  “Brillig!” as Humpty Dumpty would say. Absolutely brillig!

The CIA’s mind control operations need to be exposed, as Hedges does to a degree in this latest article. But revealing while concealing is unworthy of one who condemns “creeps who revel in human degradation, dirty tricks, and murder.” It itself is a form of mind control.

Perhaps he will see fit to publicly explain why he has done this.

September 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Explaining CIA’s ‘Agent Smolenkov’

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 16, 2019

The saga of daring escape by a supposed Russian CIA agent from the Kremlin’s clutches and then the added twist of a security-risk American president putting the agent’s life in danger does indeed sound like a pulp fiction novel, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov put it.

How to explain this sensational story? “Opportunism” is one word that comes to mind.

The news media who pushed the story, CNN, the New York Times and Washington Post, are vehemently “anti-Trump”. Any chance to damage this president and they grab it.

Also, perhaps more importantly, these media are desperate to salvage their shot-through journalistic credibility since the “Russiagate” narrative they had earnestly propagated died a death, after the two-year Mueller circus finally left town empty-handed.

This damage to supposed bastions of US journalism cannot be overstated. More than two years of spinning speculation-cum-reporting about Russian collusion with Trump and/or interference in US politics has produced not a crumb of substantive fact. That means those media responsible for the “Russiagate” nonsense have forfeited that precious quality – credibility. They no longer deserve to be categorized as news services, and are more appropriately now listed as fiction peddlers.

So when they got the chance to seemingly resurrect their buried “Russiagate” yarn with this latest fable about agent Oleg Smolenkov being exfiltrated from Russia to the US, they leapt at it because their equally buried reputations are also at stake.

As far as we can tell, an anonymous intelligence source started the ball rolling. The source is likely to be former CIA chief John Brennan or former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Both are hangouts for the anti-Trump media since they lost their intel jobs at the beginning of 2017, and both are believed to have seeded the “Russiagate” narrative in 2016 from before Trump was elected.

Notably, the current CIA assessment of the latest US media reporting on the exfiltrated spy is that the reporting is “false” and “misguided”. In particular, the CNN spin that the agent (Smolenkov) had to be extricated from Russia in 2017 because Langley feared that Trump may have endangered the supposed Kremlin mole when he hosted Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in the White House in May 2017.

Also of note is the dismissive response from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who rubbished the reports. He was head of the CIA during 2017. (Admittedly, Pompeo is a self-confessed liar.)

According to CNN, NY Times and Washington Post, the former spy in the Kremlin, named as Oleg Smolenkov by subsequent Russian media reporting, was a top mole with direct access to President Vladimir Putin. It is claimed that Smolenkov confirmed allegations about a Putin-directed plot to interfere in US presidential elections. The agent is said to have also confirmed that Putin (allegedly) ordered the hacking of the Democratic party’s central database to obtain scandalous material on Hillary Clinton which was then fed to the Wikileaks whistleblower site for the purpose of scuttling her bid for the presidency in November 2016, thus favoring Trump.

Smolenkov was allegedly providing this information on a purported Kremlin interference campaign in 2016.

The US media claim Smolenkov was exfiltrated from Russia by the CIA in June 2017 – out of concern for his safety, which CNN reported was being jeopardized by President Trump due to his implied compromised relations with Putin. Smolenkov and his family disappeared while on a holiday in Montenegro in June 2017.

After the story broke earlier this week about the exfiltrated Kremlin mole, subsequent media reporting tracked down Oleg Smolenkov and his wife living in a $1-million-dollar mansion in Stafford, Virginia. Curiously, public records showed the house purchase was in their names, which seems odd for a supposed top-level spy, who had apparently committed extreme betrayal against the Kremlin, to be living openly. The family apparently fled the house to unknown whereabouts on September 9 after the story about his alleged spy role broke this week.

Who is Oleg Smolenkov? The Kremlin said this week that he previously worked in the presidential administration, but he was sacked “several years ago”. He did not have direct access to President Putin’s office, according to the Kremlin. For his part, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says he never heard of the man before, never mind ever having met him.

It is understood that Smolenkov previously worked in the Russian embassy in Washington under ambassador Yuri Ushakov (1999-2008). Smolenkov reportedly continued working for Ushakov when the diplomat returned to Moscow after his ambassadorial tenure in the US.

Here is where we may speculate that Smolenkov was recruited by the CIA during his diplomatic assignment in the US. But we assume that the Kremlin’s assessment is correct; he did not have a senior position or access to Putin’s office. By contrast, the US media are claiming Smolenkov was “one of the CIA’s most valuable assets” in the Kremlin and that he was providing confirmatory information that Putin was (allegedly) running an interference campaign to subvert the US presidential elections.

The discerning detail as to the truth of the imbroglio is revealed by the US media claims that Smolenkov corroborated the alleged hacking into the Democratic party database in 2016. However, that specific allegation has been disproven by several top hacker experts, notably William Binney who was formerly technical head at the US National Security Agency. There was no hacking. The damaging information on Hillary Clinton was leaked by a Democratic party insider, possibly Seth Rich, who soon after was shot dead by an unknown attacker. In short, the entire narrative about the Kremlin hacking into the Democratic party is a fiction. The premise to “Russiagate” is baseless.

Thus, if Smolenkov is peddling fiction to his former handlers in the CIA, that means he has no credibility as a “top mole”.

Again, opportunism is the key. Somebody came up with a lurid story about “Russian interference” in US democracy and “collusion” with Trump. Maybe it was Smolenkov who saw an opportunity to win a big pay day from his CIA patrons by flogging them a blockbuster. Or maybe, Brennan and Clapper (known liars in the public record) dreamt up a scheme of Kremlin malignancy to benefit Trump, and if that could be tied to Trump then his election would be discredited and nullified. But what they needed was a “Kremlin source” to “corroborate” their readymade story of “Russian interference”. Step forward Oleg Smolenkov – fired and out of work – to do the needfed “corroboration” and in return he gets a new life for himself and family with a mansion in a leafy Virginian suburb.

CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, Brennan and Clapper are so much damaged goods from past failure of “Russiagate” fabrications, they find an opportunity to salvage their disgraced names by outing the hapless Smolenkov at this juncture.

That then raises the grave question of why he was permitted to live openly in his own name?

There is a sinister similarity here to the Sergei Skripal case in England. Is Smolenkov being set up for a hit which can then be conveniently blamed on Russia as “revenge” by the Russophobic, anti-Trump, deep state US media?

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Questions Nobody Is Asking About Jeffrey Epstein

By Eric Rasmusen • Unz Review • September 2, 2019

The Jeffrey Epstein case is notable for the ups and downs in media coverage it’s gotten over the years. Everybody, it seems, in New York society knew by 2000 that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were corrupting teenage girls, but the press wouldn’t cover it. Articles by New York in 2002 and Vanity Fair in 2003 alluded to it gently, while probing Epstein’s finances more closely. In 2005, the Palm Beach police investigated. The county prosecutor, Democrat Barry Krischer, wouldn’t prosecute for more than prostitution, so they went to the federal prosecutor, Republican Alexander Acosta, and got the FBI involved. Acosta’s office prepared an indictment, but before it was filed, he made a deal: Epstein agreed to plead guilty to a state law felony and receive a prison term of 18 months. In exchange, the federal interstate sex trafficking charges would not be prosecuted by Acosta’s office. Epstein was officially at the county jail for 13 months, where the county officials under Democratic Sheriff Ric Bradshaw gave him scandalously easy treatment, letting him spend his days outside, and letting him serve a year of probation in place of the last 5 months of his sentence. Acosta’s office complained, but it was a county jail, not a federal jail, so he was powerless.

Epstein was released, and various lawsuits were filed against him and settled out of court, presumably in exchange for silence. The media was quiet or complimentary as Epstein worked his way back into high society. Two books were written about the affair, and fell flat. The FBI became interested again around 2011 (a little known fact) and maybe things were happening behind the scenes, but the next big event was in 2018 when the Miami Herald published a series of investigative articles rehashing what had happened. In 2019 federal prosecutors indicted Epstein, he was put in jail, and he mysteriously died. Now, after much complaining in the press about how awful jails are and how many people commit suicide, things are quiet again, at least until the Justice Department and the State of Florida finish their investigation a few years from now. (For details and more links, see “Investigation: Jeffrey Epstein” at Medium.com and “Jeffrey Epstein” at Wikipedia.)

I’m an expert in the field of “game theory”, strategic thinking. What would I do if I were Epstein? I’d try to get the President, the Attorney-General, or the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to shut down the investigation before it went public. I’d have all my friends and all my money try to pressure them. If it failed and I were arrested, it would be time for the backup plan— the Deal. I’d try to minimize my prison time, and, just as important, to be put in one of the nicer federal prisons where I could associate with financial wizards and drug lords instead of serial killers, black nationalists, and people with bad breath.

That’s what Epstein would do. What about the powerful people Epstein would turn in to get his deal? They aren’t as smart as Epstein, but they would know the Deal was coming— that Epstein would be quite happy to sacrifice them in exchange for a prison with a slightly better golf course. What could they do? There’s only one good option— to kill Epstein, and do it quickly, before he could start giving information samples to the U. S. Attorney.

Trying to kill informers is absolutely routine in the mafia, or indeed, for gangs of any kind. The reason people call such talk “conspiracy theories” when it comes to Epstein is that his friends are WASPs and Jews, not Italians and Mexicans. But WASPs and Jews are human too. They want to protect themselves. Famous politicians, unlike gangsters, don’t have full-time professional hit men on their staffs, but that’s just common sense—politicians rarely need hit men, so it makes more sense to hire them on a piecework basis than as full-time employees. How would they find hit men? You or I wouldn’t know how to start, but it would be easy for them. Rich powerful people have bodyguards. Bodyguards are for defense, but the guys who do defense know guys who do offense. And Epstein’s friends are professional networkers. One reporter said of Ghislaine Maxwell, “Her Rolodex would blow away almost anyone else’s I can think of—probably even Rupert Murdoch’s.” They know people who know people. Maybe I’m six degrees of separation from a mafia hit man, but not Ghislaine Maxwell. I bet she knows at least one mafioso personally who knows more than one hit man.

In light of this, it would be very surprising if someone with a spare $50 million to spend to solve the Epstein problem didn’t give it a try. A lot of people can be bribed for $50 million. Thus, we should have expected to see bribery attempts. If none were detected, it must have been because prison workers are not reporting they’d been approached.

Some people say that government incompetence is always a better explanation than government malfeasance. That’s obviously wrong— when an undeserving business gets a contract, it’s not always because the government official in charge was just not paying attention. I can well believe that prisons often take prisoners off of suicide watch too soon, have guards who go to sleep and falsify records, remove cellmates from prisoners at risk of suicide or murder, let the TV cameras watching their most important prisoners go on the blink, and so forth. But that cuts both ways. Remember, in the case of Epstein, we’d expect a murder attempt whether the warden of the most important federal jail in the country is competent or not. If the warden is incompetent, we should expect that murder attempt to succeed. Murder becomes all the more plausible. Instead of spending $50 million to bribe 20 guards and the warden, you just pay some thug $30,000 to walk in past the snoring guards, open the cell door, and strangle the sleeping prisoner, no fancy James Bond necessary. Or, if you can hire a New York Times reporter for $30,000 (as Epstein famously did a couple of years ago), you can spend $200,000 on a competent hit man to make double sure. Government incompetence does not lend support to the suicide theory; quite the opposite.

Now to my questions.

  1. Why is nobody blaming the Florida and New York state prosecutors for not prosecuting Epstein and others for statutory rape?

Statutory rape is not a federal crime, so it is not something the Justice Dept. is supposed to investigate or prosecute. They are going after things like interstate sex trafficking. Interstate sex trafficking is generally much harder to prove than statutory rape, which is very easy if the victims will testify.

At any time from 2008 to the present, Florida and New York prosecutors could have gone after Epstein and easily convicted him. The federal nonprosecution agreement did not bind them. And, of course, it is not just Epstein who should have been prosecuted. Other culprits such as Prince Andrew are still at large.

Note that even if the evidence is just the girl’s word against Ghislaine Maxwell’s or Prince Andrew’s, it’s still quite possible to get a jury to convict. After all, who would you believe, in a choice between Maxwell, Andrew, and Anyone Else in the World? For an example of what can be done if the government is eager to convict, instead of eager to protect important people, see the 2019 Cardinal Pell case in Australia. He was convicted by the secret testimony of a former choirboy, the only complainant, who claimed Pell had committed indecent acts during a chance encounter after Mass before Pell had even unrobed. Naturally, the only cardinal to be convicted of anything in the Catholic Church scandals is also the one who’s done the most to fight corruption. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to prosecute. It’s even easier to convict someone if he’s actually guilty.

  1. Why isn’t anybody but Ann Coulter talking about Barry Krischer and Ric Bradshaw, the Florida state prosecutor and sheriff who went easy on Epstein, or the New York City police who let him violate the sex offender regulations?

Krischer refused to use the evidence the Palm Beach police gave him except to file a no-jail-time prostitution charge (they eventually went to Acosta, the federal prosecutor, instead, who got a guilty plea with an 18-month sentence). Bradshaw let him spend his days at home instead of at jail. In New York State, the county prosecutor, Cyrus Vance, fought to prevent Epstein from being classified as a Level III sex offender. Once he was, the police didn’t enforce the rule that required him to check in every 90 days.

  1. How easy would it have been to prove in 2016 or 2019 that Epstein and his people were guilty of federal sex trafficking?

Not easy, I should think. It wouldn’t be enough to prove that Epstein debauched teenagers. Trafficking is a federal offense, so it would have to involve commerce across state lines. It also must involve sale and profit, not just personal pleasure. The 2019 indictment is weak on this. The “interstate commerce” looks like it’s limited to Epstein making phone calls between Florida and New York. This is why I am not completely skeptical when former U.S. Attorney Acosta says that the 2008 nonprosecution deal was reasonable. He had strong evidence that Epstein violated Florida state law— but that wasn’t relevant. He had to prove violations of federal law.

  1. Why didn’t Epstein ask the Court, or the Justice Dept., for permission to have an unarmed guard share his cell with him?

Epstein had no chance at bail without bribing the judge, but this request would have been reasonable. That he didn’t request a guard is, I think, the strongest evidence that he wanted to die. If he didn’t commit suicide himself, he was sure making it easy for someone else to kill him.

  1. Could Epstein have used the safeguard of leaving a trove of photos with a friend or lawyer to be published if he died an unnatural death?

Well, think about it— Epstein’s lawyer was Alan Dershowitz. If he left photos with someone like Dershowitz, that someone could earn a lot more by using the photos for blackmail himself than by dutifully carrying out his perverted customer’s instructions. The evidence is just too valuable, and Epstein was someone whose friends weren’t the kind of people he could trust. Probably not even his brother.

  1. Who is in danger of dying next?

Prison workers from guard to warden should be told that if they took bribes, their lives are now in danger. Prison guards may not be bright enough to realize this. Anybody who knows anything important about Epstein should be advised to publicize their information immediately. That is the best way to stay alive. This is not like a typical case where witnesses get killed so they won’t testify. It’s not like with gangsters. Here, the publicity and investigative lead is what is most important, because these are reputable and rich offenders for whom publicity is a bigger threat than losing in court. They have very good lawyers, and probably aren’t guilty of federal crimes anyway, just state crimes, in corrupt states where they can use clout more effectively. Thus, killing potential informants before they tell the public is more important than killing informants to prevent their testimony at trial, a much more leisurely task.

  1. What happened to Epstein’s body?

The Justice Dept. had better not have let Epstein’s body be cremated. And they’d better give us convincing evidence that it’s his body. If I had $100 million to get out of jail with, acquiring a corpse and bribing a few people to switch fingerprints and DNA wouldn’t be hard. I find it worrying that the government has not released proof that Epstein is dead or a copy of the autopsy.

  1. Was Epstein’s jail really full of mice?

The New York Times says,

“Beyond its isolation, the wing is infested with rodents and cockroaches, and inmates often have to navigate standing water — as well as urine and fecal matter — that spills from faulty plumbing, accounts from former inmates and lawyers said. One lawyer said mice often eat his clients’ papers.”

Often have to navigate standing water”? “Mice often eat his clients’ papers?” Really? I’m skeptical. What do the vermin eat— do inmates leave Snickers bars open in their cells? Has anyone checked on what the prison conditions are really like?

  1. Is it just a coincidence that Epstein made a new will two days before he died?

I can answer this one. Yes, it is coincidence, though it’s not a coincidence that he rewrote the will shortly after being denied bail. The will leaves everything to a trust, and it is the trust document (which is confidential), not the will (which is public), that determines who gets the money. Probably the only thing that Epstein changed in his will was the listing of assets, and he probably changed that because he’d just updated his list of assets for the bail hearing anyway, so it was a convenient time to update the will.

  1. Did Epstein’s veiled threat against DOJ officials in his bail filing backfire?

Epstein’s lawyers wrote in his bail request,

“If the government is correct that the NPA does not, and never did, preclude a prosecution in this district, then the government will likely have to explain why it purposefully delayed a prosecution of someone like Mr. Epstein, who registered as a sex offender 10 years ago and was certainly no stranger to law enforcement. There is no legitimate explanation for the delay.”

I see this as a veiled threat. The threat is that Epstein would subpoena people and documents from the Justice Department relevant to the question of why there was a ten-year delay before prosecution, to expose the illegitimate explanation for the delay. Somebody is to blame for that delay, and court-ordered disclosure is a bigger threat than an internal federal investigation.

  1. Who can we trust?

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is the only government official who is clearly trustworthy, because he could have stopped the 2019 Epstein indictment and he didn’t. I don’t think Attorney-General Barr could have blocked it, and I don’t think President Trump could have except by firing Berman. I do trust Attorney-General Barr, however, from what I’ve heard of him and because he instantly and publicly said he would have not just the FBI but the Justice Dept. Inspector-General investigate Epstein’s death, and he quickly fired the federal prison head honcho. The FBI is untrustworthy, but Inspector-Generals are often honorable.

Someone else who may be a hero in this is Senator Ben Sasse. Vicki Ward writes in the Daily Beast:

“It was that heart-wrenching series that caught the attention of Congress. Ben Sasse, the Republican senator from Nebraska, joined with his Democratic colleagues and demanded to know how justice had been so miscarried.

Given the political sentiment, it’s unsurprising that the FBI should feel newly emboldened to investigate Epstein—basing some of their work on Brown’s excellent reporting.”

  1. Will President Trump Cover Up Epstein’s Death in Exchange for Political Leverage?

President Trump didn’t have anything personally to fear from Epstein. He is too canny to have gotten involved with him, and the press has been eagerly at work to find the slightest connection between him and Epstein and have come up dry as far as anything but acquaintanceship. But we must worry about a cover-up anyway, because rich and important people would be willing to pay Trump a lot in money or, more likely, in political support, if he does a cover-up.

  1. Why did Judge Sweet order Epstein documents sealed in 2017. Did he die naturally in 2019?

Judge Robert Sweet in 2017 ordered all documents in an Epstein-related case sealed. He died in May 2019 at age 96, at home in Idaho. The sealing was completely illegal, as the appeals court politely but devastatingly noted in 2019, and the documents were released a day or two before Epstein died. Someone should check into Judge Sweet’s finance and death. He was an ultra-Establishment figure— a Yale man, alas, like me, and Taft School— so he might just have been protecting what he considered good people, but his decision to seal the court records was grossly improper.

  1. Did Epstein have any dealings in sex, favors, or investments with any Republican except Wexner?

Dershowitz, Mitchell, Clinton, Richardson, Dubin, George Stephanopolous, Lawrence Krauss, Katie Couric, Mortimer Zuckerman, Chelsea Handler, Cyrus Vance, and Woody Allen, are all Democrats. Did Epstein ever make use of Republicans? Don’t count Trump, who has not been implicated despite the media’s best efforts and was probably not even a Republican back in the 90’s. Don’t count Ken Starr– he’s just one of Epstein’s lawyers. Don’t count scientists who just took money gifts from him. (By the way, Epstein made very little in the way of political contributions, though that little went mostly to Democrats ($139,000 vs. $18,000. I bet he extracted more from politicians than he gave to them.

  1. What role did Israeli politician Ehud Barak play in all this?

Remember Marc Rich? He was a billionaire who fled the country to avoid a possible 300 years prison term, and was pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001. Ehud Barak, one of Epstein’s friends, was one of the people who asked for Rich to be pardoned. Epstein, his killers, and other rich people know that as a last resort they can flee the country and wait for someone like Clinton to come to office and pardon them.

Acosta said that Washington Bush Administration people told him to go easy on Epstein because he was an intelligence source. That is plausible. Epstein had info and blackmailing ability with people like Ehud Barak, leader of Israel’s Labor Party. But “intelligence” is also the kind of excuse people make up so they don’t have to say “political pressure.”

  1. Why did nobody pay attention to the two 2016 books on Epstein?

James Patterson and John Connolly published Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein. Conchita Sarnoff published TrafficKing: The Jeffrey Epstein Case. I never heard of these before 2019. Did the media bury them?

  1. Which newspapers reported Epstein’s death as “suicide” and which as “apparent suicide”?

More generally, which media outlets seem to be trying to brush Epstein’s death under the rug? There seems to have been an orchestrated attempt to divert attention to the issue of suicides in prison. Subtle differences in phrasing might help reveal who’s been paid off. National Review had an article, “The Conspiracy Theories about Jeffrey Epstein’s Death Don’t Make Much Sense.” The article contains no evidence or argument to support the headline’s assertion, just bluster about “madness” and “conspiracy theories”. Who else publishes stuff like this?

  1. How much did Epstein corrupt the media from 2008 to 2019?

Even outlets that generally publish good articles must be suspected of corruption. Epstein made an effort to get good publicity. The New York Times wrote,

“The effort led to the publication of articles describing him as a selfless and forward-thinking philanthropist with an interest in science on websites like Forbes, National Review and HuffPost….

All three articles have been removed from their sites in recent days, after inquiries from The New York Times….

The National Review piece, from the same year, called him “a smart businessman” with a “passion for cutting-edge science.”…

Ms. Galbraith was also a publicist for Mr. Epstein, according to several news releases promoting Mr. Epstein’s foundations… In the article that appeared on the National Review site, she described him as having “given thoughtfully to countless organizations that help educate underprivileged children.”

“We took down the piece, and regret publishing it,” Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review since 1997, said in an email. He added that the publication had “had a process in place for a while now to weed out such commercially self-interested pieces from lobbyists and PR flacks.””

The New York Times was, to its credit, willing to embarrass other publications by 2019. But the Times itself had been part of the cover-up in previous years. Who else was?

Eric Rasmusen is an economist who has held an endowed chair at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and visiting positions at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the Harvard Economics Department, Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Nuffield College/Oxford, and the University of Tokyo Economics Department. He is best known for his book Games and Information. He has published extensively in law and economics, including recent articles on the burakumin outcastes in Japan, the use of game theory in jurisprudence, and quasi-concave functions. The views expressed here are his personal views and are not intended to represent the views of the Kelley School of Business or Indiana University. His vitae is at http://www.rasmusen.org/vita.htm .

September 2, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 4 Comments