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“Careless Talk Costs Lives” – Fresh Calls To Silence Pandemic Skepticism

OffGuardian | January 6, 2021

Throughout 2020, there has regularly been claimed to be a Left-biased pandemic zealotry in operation. We see Wales’ strict corona measures. Victoria. New Zealand. Most recently, two examples chill the blood.

Keir Starmer, appearing on the ITV’s Good Morning Britain, said

we have to deal with the antivaxx campaigns because they will cost lives and if we need to pass emergency legislation to deal with them I would be prepared to work with the government on that.

George Monbiot said, today, we need to…

criminalise the spreading of blatant disinformation about the pandemic. As in wartime, careless talk costs lives.

No doubt the output of Off-Guardian over the last 12 months would fall into the brackets these gentlemen are referring to.

As if to underpin this apparent slant of the Left toward authoriranianism, Talkradio, oft touted as a Right Wing platform, was today deplatformed from Youtube. It was subsequently ‘replatformed’ after a UK minister from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sportminister ‘inquired’ as to why.

Apart from raising the question of how much at the beck and call of government these supposedly ‘private’ and independent Silicone Valley tech companies are, it is an unsettling sign of potential things to come.

January 6, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 3 Comments

New Zealand suspends funding to Palestinians through UNRWA

MEMO | August 28, 2019

The government of New Zealand has withdrawn and suspended funding to the United Nations’ (UN) aid agency which provides support for Palestinians.

The country’s suspension of aid and financial contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is to be implemented until the release of a report by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services in October, which would detail allegations of misconduct, corruption, links to terror groups, and anti-Semitism that have been levelled against the agency.

A statement released by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “We expect UNRWA to cooperate fully with the investigation under way and to report back on the investigation’s findings and recommendations.” It added that “The Ministry will review the findings of the UN OIOS report once the investigation is complete and, after that point, will provide advice to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on future funding.”

The move by the island nation is in stark contradiction to its recent announcements that it will provide more aid to the agency and to Palestinians, such as in November last year when it vowed to increase its support to UNRWA and in May this year when it assured its commitment to back the organisation until at least 2021.

This shift in financial policy and the withdrawal of aid comes amid an ongoing campaign to deprive the UNRWA of funding and support from a variety of Western nations, most prominently the United States (US) when the Trump administration withdrew its funding for the agency last year. The most recent cases of the suspension of funds occurred last month when the Netherlands and Switzerland also froze financial support due to reports of alleged corruption within the agency.

The sharp reduction in funding has had a direct effect on the situation of Palestinians in refugee camps in particular. Since the US withdrawal from the agency, there have emerged widespread reports of worsening conditions in the camps scattered throughout Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, and the UN organisation continues to struggle financially amid the ongoing campaign against it, seeking urgent funds to maintain its work.

August 28, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Lone Wolf’ Myth Covers Up Possible Mossad Role in New Zealand Terrorist Attack

By Max Parry • Unz Review • March 27, 2019

Ever since the news broke on March 15 of two consecutive mass shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, corporate media has been determined to establish that suspect Brenton Tarrant acted alone in the terrorist attacks that took the lives of 50 innocent Muslim worshippers and wounded 50 others. While mainstream media has been predictably eager to parade the tragedy as another chapter in the wave of rising Islamophobia and right-wing extremism globally, they have put equal effort into conscientiously avoiding any evidence that contradicts the ‘lone wolf’ theory they decided on in the initial hours following the first mass shooting in New Zealand since 1997.

Whenever terrorism is committed by Arabs or Muslims, the fourth estate is usually anxious to speculate whether or not the suspect is connected to a larger radical syndicate. However, the same scrutiny is seldom applied to white nationalists like Tarrant. In fact, they are even hesitant to label it ‘terrorism’ at all, with everyone from The Daily Telegraph to the fanatical Zionist Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News settling for the choice words ‘mass shooting.’ While Tarrant denies being part of any group in his public declaration, he does hint that he is part of a broader extremist network:

“I am not a direct member of any organization or group, though I have donated to many nationalist groups and have interacted with many more. No group ordered my attack, I make the decision myself. Though I did contact the reborn Knights Templar for a blessing in support of the attack, which was given.”

As many have noted, the “Knights Templar” is the name of an anti-Muslim militant group that another infamous right-wing terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, claimed to belong to. During the 2011 Norway attacks, Breivik targeted a government building in the city of Oslo and a youth camp of the ruling Labour party on the island of Utøya in a sequential car bombing and mass shooting that killed a total of 77 people. However, the media and prosecutors in Breivik’s trial were insistent that the group was fictional and the only possibility was that he was an ‘army of one’ while suffering from a psychiatric disorder, another trait that is apparently only applicable to white-skinned terrorists. There was no serious inquiry into whether he was part of a larger nexus, even though he had direct contact with groups like the English Defense League (EDL), the British far right Islamophobic group led by neo-fascist agitator Tommy Robinson. Breivik was portrayed as a fundamentalist Christian but was curiously a member of the Norwegian Order of Freemasons, an organization with a history of ties to the espionage world and susceptible to infiltration because of its inherent secrecy. The original Knights Templar, or “Templars,” were a Christian army founded in the 10th century who initially shielded pilgrims voyaging to the Holy Land and later fought against Muslims during the Crusades while the name is drawn from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

What has been downplayed by the yellow press is the specific brand of Islamophobic extremism that was the basis of Tarrant’s attacks. His ideology is revealed in a 73-page manifesto, entitled “The Great Replacement” in reference to the ‘white genocide’ theory held by white nationalist identitarians, which he dispatched less than ten minutes prior to the ambush in emails to several media outlets and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s office. While the corporate press is correct that Tarrant and Breivik clearly follow the practices of the anti-Islam xenophobic movement on the rise in Europe, North America and now Oceania, the key element they have deliberately avoided mentioning is a strong collective affinity for the state of Israel. The coverage of Christchurch has repeated the same pattern displayed following the 2011 Norway attacks where the distinguishing characteristic of the extremism both culprits adhere to is of a staunchly pro-Zionist variety which has been decidedly overlooked. In the eight years between the two attacks, the pro-Israel European right has only augmented in size. In his manifesto, Brenton Tarrant even boasted the unverified claim to have had “brief contact with Knight Justiciar Breivik” while taking “true inspiration” from him. His Norwegian idol had his own 1,500 page manifesto where Israel was approvingly name-dropped nearly 400 times while he declared:

“So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.”

The combination of far right nationalism and support for Israel may seem like an unlikely combination, but it is an ideology shared by most of the Islamophobic and anti-immigrant political parties throughout Europe that have performed impressively well in European Parliament elections. These include Hungary’s Fidesz, the Italian League and Five Star Movement, the Flemish Flaams Belang, Poland’s Law and Justice, Belgian People’s Party, the Progress Party of Norway (of which Breivik was a member), True Finns Party, France’s National Rally, Alternative for Deutschland, and many others. It is likely that Tarrant, like Breivik, is not anti-semitic and actually views Jews as ‘allies’ in a civilizational crusade against Islam. Just as Israel has helped orchestrate the US wars in the Middle East against its enemies that has contributed to the mass influx of refugees seeking asylum in the West, it has fostered the Islamophobic backlash to it by supporting the growing far right movement that is ascendant.

Following the tragedy in Christchurch, it was revealed that 28-year old Tarrant had traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including to Afghanistan, Pakistan and even North Korea. The year prior, he also visited Israel for nine days, just as his fellow Christian Zionist Breivik had done several times prior to 2011. Tarrant’s journey in Europe included a stop in Ukraine, a hotbed of neo-Nazi activity and as it happens during the massacre he donned the SS wolf’s hook symbol used by the right wing paramilitary group Azov Battalion to which Israel has provided weapons support in its fight against pro-Russian separatists. The blend of such considerable travel activity while stockpiling a cache of semi-automatic firearms with a digital footprint espousing his extremist views online makes the likelihood that Tarrant managed to remain under the radar of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) difficult to believe. It is especially doubtful they would be unable to detect him considering he was reportedly interviewed by New Zealand police prior to obtaining his firearms license in 2017.

Judging by the Facebook live-streamed video of the massacre shot by the suspect himself wearing a GoPro head-mounted camera that resembled first-person shooter video game shows he was no amateur and possibly professionally trained as a militant. Given his extensive travel and the apparent expertise used to carry out the attacks, there are many legitimate questions about how his ventures were sponsored and whether he had accomplices. Police found undetonated car bombs in addition to his arsenal and believe he was planning on carrying out a third attack with them. What was he doing in his travels? Was he really able to finance everything alone using crypto-currency investments as purported by the media? He could very well have been a patsy in a larger plot or received support from abroad. For instance, from a certain national intelligence service whose notorious motto is “for by cunning stratagems, you wage war.”

Mossad covert operations have been exposed several times over the years violating New Zealand’s sovereignty and international law which caused a series of diplomatic rows between the two countries. Most recently was in 2011 following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch which caused significant damage to the city and killed 185 people, coincidentally the very same week as the attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik. Incredibly, a stone structure of a building collapsed onto a van during the earthquake which killed a man inside who turned out to be an Israeli national. His death accidentally unearthed a ring of Mossad agents after the man was discovered with multiple fake passports and USB flash drives which contained confidential data believed to have been illegally downloaded from the New Zealand police’s national computer system. The other agents in the Israeli sleeper cell were able to flee the country less than a day after his body was discovered, probably to avoid the fallout that occurred after an earlier incident in the country just a few years prior. In 2004, two Israeli men who turned out to be Mossad agents were arrested trying to obtain fraudulent passports and travel documentation that included stealing the identity of a quadriplegic. The two men were subsequently jailed for six months for engaging in criminal enterprise.

Pictured: Uriel Zosha Kelman, an Israeli spy, arrives in court in disguise in 2004 (left)) / Zev Barkan, another spy (right).

Mossad seemed to have developed a habit of revealing themselves in light of the infamous arrest of five of its agents in Secaucus, New Jersey on the morning of September 11th, 2001 by the FBI who were tipped off that a group of men were observed suspiciously dancing and celebrating while watching the WTC towers ablaze and collapsing across the Hudson River. The “dancing Israelis” were found with $5,000 in cash which raised suspicions while their vehicle was traced to a shady moving company called Urban Moving Systems that was suspected to be a front for an intelligence operation after their headquarters was abandoned and its owner, Dominick Suter, immediately fled to Israel following their apprehension. During their two month detention, the CIA intervened and halted the probe while the agents were subsequently deported in a deal with the Israeli government for overstaying their visas but not before it was confirmed that at least two of the men were intelligence officers and no ordinary moving company employees.

The world was briefly reminded of this mysterious case when Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in 2016 made the wild exaggeration that on 9/11 he had personally observed “thousands of Muslims” celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers across the river in New Jersey. It is likely that Trump mixed up two different reports from 9/11, one of Reuters footage widely circulated by major networks of a small group of Arabs in East Jerusalem celebrating the attacks and the reports about the Israelis arrested in New Jersey who were initially believed to have been of “Middle Eastern appearance” and descent. One wonders if Trump would accurately recall his other observations that morning now that he is in the service of his Saudi and Israeli masters. Needless to say, this widely suppressed story which should have been front page news led many to rightly suspect there was prior knowledge and even direct involvement among Israeli intelligence in the 9/11 attacks, along with a trove of other evidence.

ABC News Friday 06/21/2002 05:42:40 pm-05:46:50 pm (Studio: Elizabeth Vargas) Report introduced. (Studio: John Miller) Exclusive ABC News investigation into what five Israelis were doing on …

The New Jersey cell were also in possession of foreign passports. Mossad has typically used fake passports, including that of Australians and Kiwis, regularly for its clandestine operations and carrying out assassinations like the 2010 targeted killing of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai which one of the spies apprehended in New Zealand, Zev Barkan, was involved in. After the arrest of the two spooks in New Zealand in 2004, the government imposed diplomatic sanctions against Israel and temporarily severed high-level contacts between the two countries in what became a significant diplomatic rift. WikiLeaks diplomatic cables revealed that the U.S. was not at all pleased.

Relations had returned to normal between the countries until December 2016 when along with Malaysia, Senegal, Venezuela and others, New Zealand co-sponsored the controversial United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories during the last months of the Obama administration. The same motion briefly became mired in the Trump-Russia investigation when former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about lobbying activities related to the resolution during the transition between administrations on behalf of Israel. The Trump White House has since proven to be the most fanatically Zionist presidency since the foundation of the Jewish state in 1948. Over the years, New Zealand has shown a willingness to stand up to Jerusalem and its brazen disregard for international law that other nations could learn from. Despite being a small nation, it has played an important role in pro-Palestinian activism and the prospect of Palestinian statehood just as it did in protesting South African Apartheid in the 1980s. In 2018, when New Zealand-born popular musician Lorde canceled a concert in Tel Aviv in solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, she became the target of vicious Zionist smear campaign which saw right-wing Trumpist Rabbi Schmuley Boteach take out a full-page ad in The Washington Post denouncing her as a bigot while a $13,000 lawsuit was filed by the Mossad-linked Shurat HaDin lawfare NGO. Meanwhile, unlike Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Jacinda Ardern has been critical of the Trump administration’s move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, stating it undermines the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

New Zealand’s relatively even-handed foreign policy has likely rattled the Zionists and their far right Islamophobic counterparts in the West and it is possible that it is viewed as a threat to the interests of Israel and the U.S. The feasibly manufactured terrorist attack against New Zealand has greatly disrupted the small country, a state which in 2018 had its lowest homicide rate in 40 years and averages well below 100 murders per year, making this attack an extremely rare occurrence for the peaceful country. In light of the attacks on the mosques in Christchurch, it could now end up acquiring the police state model of the U.S. and Israel as part of the global ‘War on Terror.’ The country immediately issued a ban on semiautomatic weapons following the tragedy in a disturbing rollback of civil liberties while engaging in an unprecedented censorship effort to criminalize sharing and possession of Tarrant’s manifesto and video. Prior to Breivik’s perpetration of the attacks in Norway, there had been significant political tensions between Oslo and Jerusalem in the months leading up to the violence due to Norway’s intent to recognize a Palestinian state and the circumstances in relations between New Zealand and Israel prior to Christchurch is eerily reminiscent.

Israel has a storied history of being a state sponsor of international terrorism as well as the use of ‘false flag’ operations to achieve its political objectives, most notably in the 1954 Lavon Affair, codenamed Operation Susannah, where the Aman branch of its military intelligence services recruited Egyptian nationals to commit bombings to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood in order to maintain desired British military presence in Egypt. It continues such cloak-and-dagger tactics to this day with the use of terror proxies such as the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) and Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) to undermine Iran, as well as the arming and funding of al-Qaeda affiliated Syrian jihadist groups against the Assad government. If it is willing to co-sponsor radical Islamists with its ally Saudi Arabia to attack their mutual regional enemies, now that the ruling Likud Party has made strange bedfellows with far right Islamophobes in the West it is within the realm of possibility it would continue to do the same especially when the victims are Arab or Muslim.

Regardless of whether or not there turns out to be any Mossad fingerprints discovered on the Christchurch shootings, if the world is serious about confronting the emerging far right internationally it must be willing to accurately diagnose the phenomenon. One of its most distinctive attributes is its Christian Zionism and a shared belief that the Bible gives Israel evidential right to Palestinian land and that Jews are inherently non-indigenous to Europe. The ever-expanding colonization of the West Bank and Gaza has solidified Israel’s nationalist foundations, especially now that Arabic has been removed as a second official language and the passing of the 2018 Nationality Law defining Israel as an ethno-nationalist state with Arabs officially second-class citizens. If Israel did not directly participate in the 9/11 attacks by infiltrating the al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany and directing the airplane hijackings as many legitimately suspect, it has certainly facilitated the U.S. wars in the Middle East against its regional enemies and now it is nurturing the Islamophobic far right in the West hostile to the flood of displaced refugees fleeing them. Israeli policy has principally benefited from all this but one can only expect the hasbaric retaliation of ‘anti-Semitism’ smears like those against UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for pointing this out. In the meantime, the Russiagate hoax has deflected attention away from Jerusalem toward Moscow in regards to foreign cultivation of the growing far right nationalist movement in the West. One hopes the recent bust of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will put some of the distraction to rest and shift the speculation toward Israel where it belongs.

Finally, the political confusion of zealots like Tarrant needs to be addressed as entirely predictable instead of as unintended consequences of the War on Terror and the financial crisis. Recently, 2020 Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Andrew Yang became the subject of establishment-led smears simply for acknowledging verifiable facts about declining birth-rates of white Americans where he was vilified as adjoining with the views of those like Tarrant. Yet these statistics designated by race that Yang recognized are expressions of the results of class conflict while genuine anger is being misdirected toward immigrants instead of capital and its never-ending changes in labor demands. This is the cycle which must be broken if this holy war between the West and Islam stirred up by Zionists or what the orientialist Samuel Huntington called the ‘clash of civilizations’ is to end. If not, we cannot only expect the U.S. empire to continue its downward slide and its fear of a multipolar world to culminate in an internecine that will turn the whole world into a tragedy like Christchurch.

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Christchurch Mosque Shootings: One Man Faces Murder Charges, What Happened to the Other Three Arrested?

Cryptogon | March 16, 2019

What would be the odds of two people being arrested with firearms in close proximity to this incident and not being involved with it?

Fascinating.

Via: New Zealand Herald :

While four people were arrested in relation to Christchurch’s mosque massacres, only one man, Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with murder.

What happened to the other three? And why were they suspects?

One woman and two other men were also arrested and held in custody in relation to the attacks.

The woman has been released without charge. The man who was in a vehicle with the woman has been charged with firearms offences and will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Monday.

An 18-year-old man, who was not connected to the couple, will also appear in Christchurch District Court on Monday for possessing a firearm.

Police say they do not believe either men were involved in the attacks.

March 17, 2019 Posted by | Deception | | 2 Comments

NATO Coordinates Information War on Russia

Strategic Culture Foundation | 05.10.2018

The US, Britain and other NATO allies upped the ante this week with a coordinated campaign of information war to criminalize Russia. Moscow dismissed the wide-ranging claims as “spy mania”. But the implications amount to a grave assault recklessly escalating international tensions with Russia.

The accusations that the Kremlin is running a global cyberattack operation are tantamount to accusing Russia of “acts of war”. That, in turn, is creating a pretext for NATO powers to carry out “defensive” actions on Moscow, including increased economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia, as well as “counter” cyberattacks on Russian territory.

This is a highly dangerous dynamic that could ultimately lead to military confrontation between nuclear-armed states.

There are notably suspicious signs that the latest accusations against Russia are a coordinated effort to contrive false charges.

First, there is the concerted nature of the claims. British state intelligence initiated the latest phase of information war by claiming that Russian military intelligence, GRU, was conducting cyberattacks on infrastructure and industries in various countries, costing national economies “millions of pounds” in damages.

Then, within hours of the British claims, the United States and Canada, as well as NATO partners Australia and New Zealand followed up with similar highly publicized accusations against Russia. It is significant that those Anglophone countries, known as the “Five Eyes”, have a long history of intelligence collaboration going back to the Cold War years against the Soviet Union.

The Netherlands, another NATO member, added to the “spy mania” by claiming it had expelled four members of Russian state intelligence earlier this year for allegedly trying to hack into the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague.

There then followed predictable condemnations of Russia from the NATO leadership and the European Union. NATO was holding a summit in Brussels this week. It is therefore plausible that the timing of the latest claims of Russian “malign activity” was meant to coordinate with the NATO summit.

More sanctions against Moscow are expected – further intensifying tensions from already existing sanctions. More sinister were NATO warnings that the military alliance would take collective action over what it asserts are Russian cyberattacks.

This is creating a “casus belli” situation whereby the 29 NATO members can invoke a common defense clause for punitive actions against Russia. Given the rampant nature of the claims of “Russian interference” and that certain NATO members are rabidly Russophobic, it is all too easily dangerous for cyber “false flags” to be mounted in order to criminalize Moscow.

Another telltale factor is that the claims made this week by Britain and the other NATO partners are an attempt to integrate all previous claims of Russian “malign activity”.

The alleged cyber hacking by Russia, it is claimed, was intended to disrupt OPCW investigations into the purported poison-assassination plot against Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy living in Britain; the alleged hacking was also claimed to be aimed at disrupting investigations into alleged chemical weapons atrocities committed by the Syrian government and by extension Syria’s ally Russia; the alleged Russian hacking claims were also linked to charges of Olympic athletes doping, as well as “interference in US elections”; and even, it was asserted, Russia trying to sabotage investigations into the downing of the Malaysian civilian airliner over Ukraine in 2014.

Up to now, it seems, all such wildly speculative anti-Russia narratives have failed to gain traction among world public opinion. Simply due to the lack of evidence to support these Western accusations. The Skripal affair has perhaps turned into the biggest farce. British government claims that the Kremlin ordered an assassination have floundered to the point of ridicule.

It is hardly coincidence that Britain and its NATO allies are compelled to shore up the Skripal narrative and other anti-Russian narratives with the ramped up “global cyberattack” claims made this week.

Photographs of alleged Russian intelligence operatives have been published. Potboiler indictments have been filed – again – by US law enforcement agencies. Verdicts have been cast by NATO governments and compliant news media of Russian state culpability, without Moscow being given a fair chance to respond to the “highly likely” claims. Claims and narratives are being accelerated, integrated and railroaded.

It is well-established from the explosive disclosures by Edward Snowden, among other whistleblowers, that the American CIA and its partners have the cyber tools to create false “digital fingerprints” for the purpose of framing up enemies. Moreover, the vast cyber surveillance operations carried out by the US and its “Five Eyes” partners – much of which is illegal – is an ironic counterpoint to accusations being made against Russia.

It is also possible in the murky world of all foreign states conducting espionage and information-gathering that attribution of wrongdoing by Russia can be easily exaggerated and made to look like a campaign of cyberattacks.

There is a lawless climate today in the US and other Western states where mere allegations are cited as “proof”. The legal principle of being innocent until proven guilty has been jettisoned. The debacle in the US over a Supreme Court judge nominee is testament to the erosion of due process and legal standards.

But what is all the more reprehensible and reckless is the intensification of criminalization of Russia – based on flimsy “evidence” or none at all. When such criminalization is then used to “justify” calls for a US-led naval blockade of Russian commercial oil trade the conditions are moving inevitably towards military confrontation. The blame for belligerence lies squarely with the NATO powers.

A further irony is that the “spy mania” demonizing Russia is being made necessary because of the wholly unsubstantiated previous claims of Moscow’s malfeasance and “aggression”. Illusions and lies are being compounded with yet more bombastic, illusory claims.

NATO’s information war against Russia is becoming a self-fulfilling “psy-op”. In the deplorable absence of normal diplomatic conduct and respect for international law, NATO’s information war is out of control. It is pushing relations with Russia to the abyss.

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Russophobia | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forget Facebook, Five Eyes is bigger threat to our privacy, security

By Yves Engler | May 8, 2018

While the media has been full of news about information-gathering by Facebook and other Internet giants, other secretive organizations that are a major threat to our personal privacy and public security are seldom mentioned. And when they are, it has most often been because politicians are praising them and offering up more money for them to spy.

For example, Justin Trudeau recently promoted the “Anglosphere’s” intelligence sharing arrangement. Two weeks ago, in a rare move, the PM revealed a meeting with his “Five Eyes” counterparts. After the meeting in London Trudeau labelled the 2,000 employee Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s main contributor to the “Five Eyes” arrangement, “an extraordinary institution”. Last year Trudeau said that “collaboration and co-operation between allies, friends and partners has saved lives and keeps all of our citizens safe.”

The praise comes as the government is seeking to substantially expand CSE’s powers and two months ago put up $500 million to create a federal “cybersecurity” centre. This money is on top of CSE’s $600 million annual budget and a massive new $1.2 billion complex.

Since its creation CSE has been part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing framework. The main contributors to the accord are the US National Security Agency (NSA), Australian Defence Signals Directorate (DFS), New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and CSE. A series of post-World War II accords, beginning with the 1946 UK USA intelligence agreement, created the “AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/US EYES ONLY” arrangement.

Writing prior to the Internet, author of Target Nation: Canada and the Western Intelligence Network James Littleton notes, “almost the entire globe is monitored by the SIGINT [signals intelligence] agencies of the UKUSA countries.” With major technological advancements in recent decades, the Five Eyes now monitor billions of private communications worldwide.

The Five Eyes accords are ultra-secretive and operate with little oversight. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden labeled it a “supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the known laws of its own countries.”

In addition to sharing information they’ve intercepted, collected, analysed and decrypted, the five SIGINT agencies exchange technologies and tactics. They also cooperate on targeting and “standardize their terminology, code words, intercept–handling procedures, and indoctrination oaths, for efficiency as well as security.”

CSE Special Liaison Officers are embedded with Five Eyes counterparts while colleagues from the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand are inserted in CSE. NSA has had many long-term guest detachments at CSE facilities. An NSA document Snowden released described how the US and Canadian agencies’ “co-operative efforts include the exchange of liaison officers and integrees.”

NSA has trained CSE cryptanalysts and in the 1960s the US agency paid part of the cost of modernizing Canadian communications interception facilities. With CSE lacking capacity, intelligence collected at interception posts set up in Canadian embassies in Cuba, Jamaica, Russia, etc. was often remitted to NSA for deciphering and analysis. In his 1986 book Littleton writes, “much of the SIGINT material collected by Canada is transmitted directly to the U.S. National Security Agency, where it is interpreted, stored, and retained. Much of it is not first processed and analyzed in Canada.”

Five Eyes agencies have helped each other skirt restrictions on spying on their own citizenry. Former Solicitor-General Wayne Easter told the Toronto Star that it was “common” for NSA “to pass on information about Canadians” to CSE. Conversely, former CSE officer Michael Frost says NSA asked the agency to spy on US citizens. In Spyworld: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments Frost reveals that on the eve of the 1983 British election Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asked GCHQ to spy on two cabinet ministers “to find out not what they were saying, but what they were thinking.” Reflecting the two agencies close ties, GCHQ requested CSE’s help on this highly sensitive matter. Frost notes that CSE wasn’t particularly worried about being caught because GCHQ was the agency tasked with protecting Britain from foreign spying.

In the lead-up to the US-British invasion of Iraq NSA asked Canada and the rest of the Five Eyes to spy on UN Security Council members. On January 31, 2003, NSA SIGINT Department Deputy Chief of Staff for regional targets wrote alliance counterparts: “As you’ve likely heard by now, the agency is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council (UNSC) members (minus US and GBR [Great Britain] of course) for insights as to how membership is reacting to the ongoing debate RE: Iraq, plans to vote on any related resolutions, what related policies/negotiating positions they may be considering, alliances/dependencies, etc. – the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to US goals or to head off surprises.”

While CSE reportedly rejected this NSA request, a number of commentators suggest CSE has shown greater allegiance to its Five Eyes partners than most Canadians would like. Littleton writes, “the agreements may not explicitly say that the United States, through its SIGINT organization, the National Security Agency (NSA) dominates and controls the SIGINT organizations of the other member nations, but that is clearly what the agreements mean.”

An NSA history of the US–Canada SIGINT relationship released by Snowden labelled Canada a “highly valued second party partner”, which offers “resources for advanced collection, processing and analysis, and has opened covert sites at the request of NSA. CSE shares with NSA their unique geographic access to areas unavailable to the US.”

The Five Eyes arrangement has made Canada complicit in belligerent US foreign policy. It’s time for a debate about Canadian participation in the “Anglosphere’s” intelligence sharing agreement.

May 8, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Post Ad Calls Singer Lorde a Bigot Over Cancelled Israeli Show

Sputnik – 01.01.2018

A backlash against New Zealand singer Lorde continues in the wake of her decision to call off her concert in Israel amid pressure from her fans following Trump’s Jerusalem move.

A full-page advertisement calling Lorde a bigot and accusing New Zealand of harboring a bias against Israel appeared on the fifth page of the Washington Post’s December 31 edition.

The ad features Lorde’s photo over the picture of men running through ruins with babies and Israeli flags streaming in the wind. The headline says “Lorde and New Zealand ignore Syria to attack Israel.”

It slams the 21-year-old singer’s decision to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv following a wellspring of Muslim fans urging her not to go there, noting that she had joined the global boycott of Israel but “will perform in Russia, despite Putin’s support for Assad’s genocide in Syria.”

The advertisement adds that Lorde’s move shows how a “growing prejudice against the Jewish State” in New Zealand is “trickling down to its youth.”

As for New Zealand, the ad points out the country’s support for the UN resolution urging the US to revoke its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while citing New Zealand’s co-sponsorship of a UN resolution condemning illegally-built Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories. The resolution, which was approved by every member of the UN Security Council except the US (which abstained), was endorsed by both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

“Let’s boycott the boycotters and tell Lorde and her fellow bigots that Jew-hatred has no place in the twenty-first century,” the ad reads.

Commenting on the advertisement in the Post, the New Zealand Jewish Council said that the council is “committed to dialogue and tolerance and distances itself from the inflammatory and aggressive material that stoops to the level of BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement] rather than rising above it.”

“We are disappointed with Lorde’s decision to cancel her show after pressure from the discriminatory BDS movement and invite Lorde to continue learning about the region,” the council’s statement reads.

Lorde called off her June concert in Tel Aviv, giving in to the mounting pressure from activists of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS), which aims “to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law,” according to its official website.

She was also influenced by an open letter written by her fans from New Zealand, which stated that the show in Tel Aviv would demonstrate support for Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

“I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages & letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show,” Lorde said, as quoted by Naranjah, the Israeli promoters of her show.

The decision was made after what the New Zealand pop star deemed as her “learning all the time” and “considering all options” available to her.

January 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Analyst Dismisses White House Claims Pyongyang Behind WannaCry

Sputnik – 20.12.2017

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert announced that North Korea is responsible for the May 2017 “WannaCry” global cyberattack that targeted Windows computers and was allegedly aided by leaked National Security Agency technology.

In the article titled, “It’s Official: North Korea Is Behind WannaCry,” Bossert points the finger at North Korea for being behind the cybercrime in which millions of users’ computer data was encrypted and then ransomed for bitcoins. The attack slowed down after a mistake in WannaCry’s code revealed a kill switch that prevented infected computers from spreading the virus.

“Cybersecurity isn’t easy, but simple principles still apply. Accountability is one, cooperation another,” Bossert wrote in his article. “They are the cornerstones of security and resilience in any society. In furtherance of both, and after careful investigation, the US today publicly attributes the massive ‘WannaCry’ cyber attack to North Korea.”

In a White House press briefing Tuesday morning, Bossert claimed that the US came to this conclusion after a “careful investigation.”

“We don’t do this lightly,” Bossert said during the briefing. “We do so with evidence and with partners,” adding that Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom all agree that North Korea is responsible.

“While victims received ransom demands, paying did not unlock their computers,” the homeland security adviser wrote. “It was cowardly, costly and careless. The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible.”

On Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear, financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey asserted his belief that North Korea is not behind the cyberattack.

“I’m a little suspicious myself. The drums of war have been beaten against [North Korea] for some time now and it’s very convenient that now this severe cyberattack is being laid against the doors of North Korea,” Sankey told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker.

“And of course, as usual, we can take the intelligence community’s word for it because they know better than us and they published it in the Wall Street Journal — so it must be North Korea,” he added sarcastically.

“I am a little skeptical because a big part of the virus was extorting various users to send bitcoin in exchange for access to their files again. In the end, they stole about $55,000 in bitcoin and that’s not enough money for North Korea to trouble itself with,” Sankey said.

“Also, what is North Korea going to do with bitcoin? They need commodities, they need cash, they need access to different markets. They don’t need bitcoin. How are they going to turn that into oil or coal or various other things they need? How are they going to convert that into a convertible currency? It’s really not feasible.”

Although Bossert said that the US did “not make the allegation lightly,” he didn’t provide any solid evidence and simply alluded to National Security Agency and Microsoft research. He also referred to the UK’s determination in October that North Korea was responsible for the attack.

In May, security firms discovered a link between the ransomware and southern China during an investigation of the code’s notes, which revealed that WannaCry’s creators were fluent in a form of Chinese very common in that region.

According to security firm Flashpoint, which conducted the analysis, “A typo in the note, “帮组” (bang zu) instead of “帮助” (bang zhu) meaning “help,” strongly indicates the note was written using a Chinese-language input system rather than being translated from a different version. More generally, the note makes use of proper grammar, punctuation, syntax, and character choice, indicating the writer was likely native or at least fluent.”

Although the linguistic analysis of the code did not reveal any Korean, the US has still confidently asserted that North Korea is responsible, and Sankey believes it’s because the underlying problem behind the attacks actually has nothing to do with the hackers but with intelligence communities, who may be actually be responsible for the crimes.

“I think that the real problem is that intelligence communities are becoming aware of vulnerabilities in these systems, and rather than working with the private sector to protect consumers and peoples’ data, they are just sitting on those vulnerabilities so that they can use them later to hack systems.”

In his editorial, Bossert concludes, “Mr. Trump has already pulled many levers of pressure to address North Korea’s unacceptable nuclear and missile developments, and we will continue to use out maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang’s ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise.”

With the Trump administration’s increased use of aggressive language against North Korea’s continued nuclear weapon tests and with this new allegation that the country is responsible for WannaCry, it doesn’t appear that the relationship between the two is going to be getting better anytime soon.

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Roll of Shame

By Craig Murray | June 24, 2017

These are the 15 countries which shamefully voted against a UN General Assembly Resolution on Thursday which proposed to seek an opinion from the International Court of Justice on Britain’s continued colonial possession of the Chagos Islands. In the most absolute example of ethnic cleansing in modern history, less than 50 years ago the UK deported by force the entire population of the Chagos Islands to make way for the US military base on Diego Garcia, and to this day refuses to allow them to return.

The Dirty 15

USA
UK
Israel
Australia
New Zealand

The above are of course arguably the five countries in the world most profoundly implicated in the usurpation and destruction of native populations

Afghanistan
Albania
Bulgaria
Croatia
Hungary
Japan
Lithuania
Maldives
Montenegro
South Korea

This second small group is dominated by countries with a particularly close security relationship with the United States on which they place particular reliance in relation to a perceived threat.

It must however be heartening that the US and UK could round up so very few supporters for their utterly immoral stance. It is particularly worth noting that none of the major players within the EU backed the UK.

The US and UK are also remarkably silent on the blockade of Qatar by their ally Saudi Arabia. The release of Saudi demands including the closing down of Al Jazeera TV and other media outlets including the excellent Middleeasteye.net show the Saudis’ true motives. Frankly I am shocked by the failure of the mainstream media in the West seriously to question the ludicrous Saudi claim that this attack on Qatar is over support for terrorism.

Mohammed Bin Salman was appointed by his father the King as Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia on 21 June. Bin Salman has been directing the major affairs of the state for the last three years. The ferocity of the prosecution of the war in Yemen is very much his baby. Bin Salman’s master plan, which he has driven through with much skill, is for a far more aggressive Saudi Arabia leading the conservative forces in the Middle East, above all in fierce opposition to Iran and Shia interests. To this end he has forged a conservative alliance incorporating Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and the United States.

US and UK involvement in the war in Yemen goes beyond the enthusiastic supply of the bombs and aircraft which have killed thousands of children. Both have had special forces on the ground, and the CIA has yet again been deeply implicated in the detention, extreme torture and murder of opponents.

The Bin Salman plan is dressed up as “pro-Western” and media hacks paint him as a “reformer” because he wishes to expand a network of McDonalds in the Kingdom. But as Iran slowly does reform, and sticks meticulously to the terms of the internationally guaranteed nuclear agreement, Saudi paranoia towards its regional “rival” becomes ever more dangerous. The Iranians deserve respect for the moderation with which they reacted to the Saudi sponsored terror attack on their parliament itself. But such provocations will increase.

Saudi support for ISIL, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and the numerous other jihadist groups will only increase as Saudi Arabia seeks to deploy them in its sectarian war against the Shia and their allies. For that reason there is no prospect of terrorist violence in Syria declining. Indeed the United States shooting down of a Syrian jet in “self-defence” was almost certainly an indication that the Syrians were at the time targeting jihadist forces reinforced by US special forces. Israeli bombing and missile sorties against Syrian regime targets in support of jihadist rebels are finally being regularly reported in mainstream media.

I do not hold up Qatar or its ruling aristocracy as a paragon of virtue. But it seeks a more pacific relationship with Iran, and has more developed economic relationships including on shared offshore fields. Qatar has also consistently shown greater interest in the plight of the Palestinians, and more scepticism towards Israel, than Bin Salman is happy with. Qatar also has problems with the brutal military dictatorship of Egypt.

Most worryingly to Saudi Arabia, these slightly more liberal attitudes are closer to the views of the “arab street”, where there is disquiet at Saudi Arabia’s obvious but officially denied relationship with Israel. Qatar also has a media which can reflect these views to a wider Arab audience. Even though, following previous Saudi threats, al Jazeera’s content has been toned down, the Saudis see the station as an intolerable direct threat.

There is public fatigue in the West with regard to the affairs of the Middle East. This is a mistake as the situation is more dangerous than ever. The UK and USA both look likely to support the Saudis and Israel in their determination for conflict with Iran. The EU and Russia – and anybody not harbouring a death wish – will be working to keep the Iranian nuclear deal together. Bin Salman has chosen his time well, with slightly crazed right wing regimes in Washington, London and Tel Aviv willing to back his adventurism. The blockade of Qatar is but a symptom of something much more dangerous.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Espionage System Misleads New Zealand to Suspect Democracy Group of Coup Plot

Sputnik — 15.08.2016

New Zealand’s security agency, using US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs, mistook pro-democracy activists for conspirators plotting a coup in Fiji, media reported.

An investigation carried out by Television New Zealand together with The Intercept media outlet revealed on Sunday that New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) used NSA-based surveillance system in the summer of 2012 to intercept the internet communications of a group of local campaigners for democracy in Fiji who were suspected of conspiring to overthrow of the government.

According to the media outlet, GCSB’s surveillance of citizens of New Zealand was not authorized at the time.

Although communications collected by the GCSB lacked evidence to prove the plot, New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service together with their counterparts from neighboring Australia were prompted to raid the homes of the suspects and their families to probe into the plot amid “national security concerns.”

Since 2013, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has been leaking documents that have exposed numerous global surveillance programs, many of them run by the NSA and the Five Eyes surveillance alliance, which includes the intelligence agencies of New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

August 15, 2016 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | Leave a comment

Let us also remember the victims of Canada’s wars

By Yves Engler · November 10, 2015

Trudeau “unveils most diverse Cabinet in Canada’s history”, was how one media outlet described the new Liberal cabinet. It includes a Muslim woman, four Sikhs, an indigenous woman, two differently abled individuals and an equal number of women and men. Half even refused any reference to God at Wednesday’s swearing in ceremony.

But in one respect there was no diversity at all. Every single person wore a Remembrance Day poppy. Even Justin Trudeau’s young children were made to publicly commemorate Canadians (and allies) who died at war.

As we approach the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month expect politicians of every stripe to praise Canadian military valour. At last year’s Remembrance Day commemoration Stephen Harper suggested that Canada was “forged in the fires of First World War”. The former Prime Minister described “the values for which they fought … Justice and freedom; democracy and the rule of law; human rights and human dignity.”

On Remembrance Day what is it we are supposed to remember? The valour, sacrifice and glory of soldiers — and no more?

What about the victims of Canadian troops? Should we abandon the search for truth and learning from our past on this day that is supposedly devoted to remembering?

Why not a diversity of recollection? An honest accounting of what really happened and why — isn’t that the best way to remember?

For example, World War I had no clear and compelling purpose other than rivalry between up-and-coming Germany and the lead imperial powers of the day, Britain and France. In fact, support for the British Empire was Ottawa’s primary motive in joining the war. As Canada’s Prime Minister Robert Borden saw it, the fight was “to put forth every effort and to make every sacrifice necessary to ensure the integrity and maintain the honour of our empire.”

To honour Canada’s diversity, how about this year we remember some of the victims of that empire?

For Africans World War I represented the final chapter in the violent European scramble for their territory. Since the 1880s the European powers had competed to carve up the continent.

Canada was modestly involved in two African theatres of World War I. A handful of Canadian airmen fought in East Africa, including naval air serviceman H. J. Arnold who helped destroy a major German naval vessel, the Königsberg, during the British/Belgian/South African conquest of German East Africa. Commandant of Canada’s Royal Military College from 1909 to 1913, Colonel J.H.V. Crowe commanded an artillery division for famed South African General Jan Christiaan Smuts and later published General Smuts’ Campaign in East Africa.

About one million people died as a direct result of the war in East Africa. Fighting raged for four years with many dying from direct violence and others from the widespread disease and misery it caused. Hundreds of thousands of Africans were conscripted by the colonial authorities to fight both in Africa and Europe.

J.H.V. Crowe was English born, but an individual with deeper roots in Canada, commanded the force that extended Britain’s control over the other side of the continent.

The son of a Québec City MP and grandson of a senator, Sir Charles MacPherson Dobell, commanded an 18,000 man Anglo-French force that captured the Cameroons and Togoland. Gazetted as Inspector General of the West African Frontier Force in 1913, the Royal Military College grad’s force defeated the Germans in fighting that destroyed many villages and left thousands of West Africans dead. Early in the two-year campaign Dobell’s force captured the main centres of Lomé and Douala and he became de factogovernor over large parts of today’s Togo and Cameroon. A telegram from London said “General Dobell should assume Government with full powers in all matters military and civil.”

British officials justified seizing the German colony as a response to the war in Europe, but to a large extent World War I was the outgrowth of intra-imperial competition in Africa and elsewhere. In The Anglo-French “Condominium” in Cameroon, 1914-1916 Lovett Elango points to “the imperialist motives of the campaign”, which saw the two allies clash over their territorial ambition. Elango concludes, “the war merely provided Britain and France a pretext for further colonial conquest and annexation.” After the German defeat the colony was partitioned between the two European colonial powers.

Canada’s massive contribution to World War I propped up British (as well as French, Belgian and South African) rule in Africa. It also added to it. Similar to the Berlin Conference of 1885, which effectively divided Africa among the European powers, after World War I European leaders gathered to redraw Africa’s borders. But this time the Canadian prime minister attended.

World War I reshaped colonial borders in Africa. Germany lost what is now Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and part of Mozambique (German East Africa) as well as Namibia (German West Africa), Cameroon and Togoland. South Africa gained Namibia, Britain gained Tanzania and part of Cameroon, France gained Togo and part of Cameroon while Belgium took Burundi and Rwanda.

The other British Dominions (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) that fought alongside London were compensated with German properties. With no German colonies nearby Ottawa asked the Imperial War Cabinet if it could take possession of the British West Indies as compensation for Canada’s defence of the Empire. London balked.

Ottawa was unsuccessful in securing the British Caribbean partly because the request did not find unanimous domestic support. Prime Minister Borden was of two minds on the issue. From London he dispatched a cable noting, “the responsibilities of governing subject races would probably exercise a broadening influence upon our people as the dominion thus constituted would closely resemble in its problems and its duties the empire as a whole.” But, on the other hand, Borden feared that the Caribbean’s black population might want to vote. He remarked upon “the difficulty of dealing with the coloured population, who would probably be more restless under Canadian law than under British control and would desire and perhaps insist upon representation in Parliament.”

Our racist and colonial past, as well as Canada’s role in exploiting people of colour all over the world, must also be included in our remembrance if we are to build a nation of respect for all people — the essence of real diversity.

November 10, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment