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An Extraordinary Unsolved Murder in Washington D.C.

In the matter of SETH RICH, the FBI asks for 66 years to release his laptop contents Nov 5 DNC Staffer Seth Rich, murdered on July 10, 2016

By John Leake | Courageous Discourse | November 5, 2022

“A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.” —James Madison

As an investigative author I’ve often dealt with the extreme frustration of making federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and state Open Records Act requests. So often, it seems that federal and state agencies don’t want to release the information, delay in responding, and then cite multiple exceptions to the law in order to justify keeping the information secret.

I therefore felt sympathy for my fellow Texan, Brian Huddleston, when I saw the recent Epoch Times report that his FOIA request for the information found on Seth Rich’s laptop is being thwarted by the FBI, which asked the judge who ruled in Huddleston’s favor to grant the Bureau 66 years to fulfill the request.

Readers of this Substack may find the FBI’s request reminiscent of the FDA’s request for 55 years to release COVID-19 vaccine data. Given the unfortunate reality of human mortality, one wonders what public interest will be served 55 or 66 years from now, apart from satisfying the curiosity of historians who aren’t yet born.

The murder of Seth Rich—in the middle of one of the most brutal presidential election years in history—has always struck me as an example of the authorities NOT investigating a matter of public interest. The mainstream media and half the country were so blinded by partisan passions that they couldn’t see the grounds for suspecting that the young man’s murder was politically motivated. Just a few hours after the incident occurred—before there was any time to perform an investigation—the Metropolitan Police Department announced that the murder appeared to be a “botched robbery.”

Since Seth Rich was murdered on July 10, 2016—12 days before Wikileaks published embarrassing DNC e-mails—there has been much speculation that he could have been the source because he was upset about how the DNC had treated Bernie Sanders. A good investigator wouldn’t speculate about the crime, but he would certainly notice that, statistically speaking, the murder is extraordinary.

Seth Rich was shot in the back near his apartment building, and though he was carrying a valuable watch, wallet, and cell phone, these were not taken by the assailant. Perhaps it was a botched robbery, as the Metropolitan Police Department quickly announced, but shooting a guy in the back without taking his valuables is not typical of armed robbery. Other robberies in the same neighborhood around the same time followed the conventional pattern of the assailant threatening the victim and demanding his or her valuables instead of opening fire on the victim.

In the year 2016, there were 135 homicides in Washington D.C., which has a resident population of 672,000, which comes to approximately one murder per 5000 residents— a dramatic decline from the city’s murder rate in the early nineties. Incidentally, the Metropolitan Police conducted an analysis of homicide for the years 1998-2000—after homicide rates had dropped significantly—and concluded that the primary motives were

1) Argument/conflict

2). Drug related

3). Revenge/retaliation

4). Robbery

5). Gang related.

During this period, homicides were not equally distributed throughout the city, but were concentrated in particular neighborhoods. 92% of the victims were African Americans 3.2% were Hispanic and 3.2% were white. Though one must consider the possibility that homicide trends in DC have changed since 2000 (apart from merely decreasing in numbers) it’s notable that, of the currently unsolved homicides in Washington DC in the year 2016, Seth Rich is the only white victim in a city that is now 44% white.

Julian Assange has always insisted the DNC e-mails were leaked and not hacked. Former NSA technical director William Binney has also insisted that if the DNC e-mails were hacked, it would be child’s play for the NSA to establish the precise routing of the hack, which indicates that the e-mails were more likely leaked by an insider.

Regarding motive, a good investigator would consider the hypothesis that Seth Rich was murdered NOT in retaliation, but to eliminate him as a witness that the DNC e-mails were leaked by an insider and not hacked by Russians. Almost immediately after the embarrassing e-mails were published, the DNC vehemently proclaimed it was Russian hackers who were responsible, though no evidence has been presented to support this accusation.

Regarding the assailant: A good investigator would consider the hypothesis that he was contracted to murder Rich but knew nothing about his target or the motive for killing him. This hypothesis is consistent with Rich being murdered as he approached the entrance to his home—that is, the contract killer was provided only with the address and a photograph of his target.

Another notable aspect of this crime has been the extremely emotional tone of press reporting from the same reporters who so passionately embraced the Russian meddling story. The mere suggestion that Seth Rich’s murder was politically motivated prompted these same people to angrily denounce this (perfectly reasonable hypothesis) as “wild, right wing conspiracy theory” and to demand that reporters cease and desist from exploring this hypothesis.

And yet, given that the crime remains unsolved, why not explore this hypothesis?

November 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , , | 13 Comments

All of Us Are in Danger: When Anti-Government Speech Becomes Sedition

By John & Nisha Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | October 5, 2022

Anti-government speech has become a four-letter word.

In more and more cases, the government is declaring war on what should be protected political speech whenever it challenges the government’s power, reveals the government’s corruption, exposes the government’s lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.

Indeed, there is a long and growing list of the kinds of speech that the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject to censorship, surveillance, investigation and prosecution: hate speech, conspiratorial speech, treasonous speech, threatening speech, inflammatory speech, radical speech, anti-government speech, extremist speech, etc.

Things are about to get even dicier for those who believe in fully exercising their right to political expression.

Indeed, the government’s seditious conspiracy charges against Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, and several of his associates for their alleged involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots puts the entire concept of anti-government political expression on trial.

Enacted during the Civil War to prosecute secessionists, seditious conspiracy makes it a crime for two or more individuals to conspire to “‘overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force’ the U.S. government, or to levy war against it, or to oppose by force and try to prevent the execution of any law.”

It’s a hard charge to prove, and the government’s track record hasn’t been the greatest.

It’s been almost a decade since the government tried to make a seditious conspiracy charge stick—against a small Christian militia accused of plotting to kill a police officer and attack attendees at his funeral in order to start a civil war—and it lost the case.

Although the government was able to show that the Hutaree had strong anti-government views, the judge ruled in U.S. v. Stone that “[O]ffensive speech and a conspiracy to do something other than forcibly resist a positive show of authority by the Federal Government is not enough to sustain a charge of seditious conspiracy.”

Whether or not prosecutors are able to prove their case that Rhodes and his followers intended to actually overthrow the government, the blowback will be felt far and wide by anyone whose political views can be labeled “anti-government.”

All of us are in danger.

In recent years, the government has used the phrase “domestic terrorist” interchangeably with “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” to describe anyone who might fall somewhere on a very broad spectrum of viewpoints that could be considered “dangerous.”

The ramifications are so far-reaching as to render almost every American with an opinion about the government or who knows someone with an opinion about the government an extremist in word, deed, thought or by association.

You see, the government doesn’t care if you or someone you know has a legitimate grievance. It doesn’t care if your criticisms are well-founded. And it certainly doesn’t care if you have a First Amendment right to speak truth to power.

What the government cares about is whether what you’re thinking or speaking or sharing or consuming as information has the potential to challenge its stranglehold on power.

Why else would the FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies be investing in corporate surveillance technologies that can mine constitutionally protected speech on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?

Why else would the Biden Administration be likening those who share “false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information” to terrorists?

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorism bulletin, “[T]hreat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”

By the government’s own definition, America’s founders would be considered domestic extremists for the heavily charged rhetoric they used to birth this nation.

All across the country, those who challenge the government’s authority with rhetoric no less colorful than the founders’ are being shut up, threatened with arrest or at the very least accused of being radicals, troublemakers, sovereign citizens, conspiratorialists or extremists.

Some are being fined.

In Punta Gorda, Florida, for instance, two political activists were fined $3000 for displaying protest flags with political messages that violated the city’s ordinance banning signs, clothing and other graphic displays containing words that the city deems “indecent.” The protest signs  displayed phrases which said “F@#k Policing 4 Profit,” “F@#k Trump,” “F@#k Biden,” and “F@#k Punta Gorda, trying to illegally kill free speech.”

Coming to the defense of the two activists, The Rutherford Institute challenged the City of Punta Gorda’s ban on indecent speech as a violation of the First Amendment’s safeguards for political speech.

We won the first round, with the Charlotte County Circuit Court ruling against the City, noting that the ordinance was clearly designed to chill political speech, which is protected under the First Amendment.

You see, the right of political free speech is the basis of all liberty.

No matter what one’s political persuasion might be, every American has a First Amendment right to protest government programs or policies with which they might disagree.

The right to disagree with and speak out against the government is the quintessential freedom.

Every individual has a right to speak truth to power using every nonviolent means available.

This is why the First Amendment is so critical. It gives the citizenry the right to speak freely, protest peacefully, expose government wrongdoing, and criticize the government without fear of reprisal.

Americans of all stripes would do well to remember that those who question the motives of government provide a necessary counterpoint to those who would blindly follow where politicians choose to lead.

We don’t have to agree with every criticism of the government, but we must defend the rights of all individuals to speak freely without fear of punishment or threat of banishment.

This is how freedom rises or falls.

As comedian Lenny Bruce, a lifelong champion of free speech, remarked, “If you can’t say ‘F@#k’ you can’t say, ‘F@#k’ the government.’”

Unfortunately, what we’re dealing with today is a government that wants to suppress dangerous words—words about its warring empire, words about its land grabs, words about its militarized police, words about its killing, its poisoning and its corruption—in order to keep its lies going.

If the government censors get their way, there will be no more First Amendment.

There will be no more Bill of Rights.

And, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, there will be no more freedom in America as we have known it.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His most recent books are the best-selling Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the award-winning A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, and a debut dystopian fiction novel, The Erik Blair Diaries. Whitehead can be contacted at staff@rutherford.org. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.

October 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Moscow responds to German spying allegations

Samizdat | June 5, 2022

Moscow has shot back at Germany’s accusations of spying, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying on Sunday that Berlin forgot about America’s wiretapping practices. The remark was in response to German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser’s recent warning that Russia could be wiretapping government offices in the capital.

In an interview with German newspaper Bild on Saturday, Faeser said her ministry “is keeping an eye out for what intelligence means the Russian government is using.”

It is this vigilance, according to the official, that led Berlin to expel 40 Russian embassy staff in April. Faeser claimed they were working for Russian intelligence services.

Moscow vehemently denied the accusations and responded with a tit-for-tat expulsion of 40 German diplomats.

Bild’s report went on to quote unnamed officials from Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as saying that “particularly in sensitive areas such as the government quarter in Berlin, the risk of wiretapping and the threat of unauthorized data collection are real and should not be underestimated.”

“Nancy Faeser forgot to add that German officials have always been wiretapped by the Americans,” Zakharova said in a Telegram post.

In 2013, it was revealed that the mobile phone of then-Chancellor Angela Merkel had been monitored by the NSA as part of systematic wiretapping operations worldwide. Merkel famously said “spying on friends” is unacceptable.

Last May, Danish state broadcaster DR reported that the NSA had colluded with Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit to spy on officials in several neighboring countries, including Germany, from at least 2012 to 2014.

According to the revelation based on the Danish Defense Intelligence Service’s 2015 internal investigation, Merkel, along with then-Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former opposition leader Peer Steinbrueck, were among the targets.

June 5, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 4 Comments

Western Dissent from US/NATO Policy on Ukraine is Small, Yet the Censorship Campaign is Extreme

Preventing us from asking who benefits from a protracted proxy war, and who pays the price, is paramount. A closed propaganda system achieves that.

By Glenn Greenwald | April 13, 2022

If one wishes to be exposed to news, information or perspective that contravenes the prevailing US/NATO view on the war in Ukraine, a rigorous search is required. And there is no guarantee that search will succeed. That is because the state/corporate censorship regime that has been imposed in the West with regard to this war is stunningly aggressive, rapid and comprehensive.

On a virtually daily basis, any off-key news agency, independent platform or individual citizen is liable to be banished from the internet. In early March, barely a week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the twenty-seven nation European Union — citing “disinformation” and “public order and security” — officially banned the Russian state-news outlets RT and Sputnik from being heard anywhere in Europe. In what Reuters called “an unprecedented move,” all television and online platforms were barred by force of law from airing content from those two outlets. Even prior to that censorship order from the state, Facebook and Google were already banning those outlets, and Twitter immediately announced they would as well, in compliance with the new EU law.

But what was “unprecedented” just six weeks ago has now become commonplace, even normalized. Any platform devoted to offering inconvenient-to-NATO news or alternative perspectives is guaranteed a very short lifespan. Less than two weeks after the EU’s decree, Google announced that it was voluntarily banning all Russian-affiliated media worldwide, meaning Americans and all other non-Europeans were now blocked from viewing those channels on YouTube if they wished to. As so often happens with Big Tech censorship, much of the pressure on Google to more aggressively censor content about the war in Ukraine came from its own workforce: “Workers across Google had been urging YouTube to take additional punitive measures against Russian channels.”

So prolific and fast-moving is this censorship regime that it is virtually impossible to count how many platforms, agencies and individuals have been banished for the crime of expressing views deemed “pro-Russian.” On Tuesday, Twitter, with no explanation as usual, suddenly banned one of the most informative, reliable and careful dissident accounts, named “Russians With Attitude.” Created in late 2020 by two English-speaking Russians, the account exploded in popularity since the start of the war, from roughly 20,000 followers before the invasion to more than 125,000 followers at the time Twitter banned it. An accompanying podcast with the same name also exploded in popularity and, at least as of now, can still be heard on Patreon.

What makes this outburst of Western censorship so notable — and what is at least partially driving it — is that there is a clear, demonstrable hunger in the West for news and information that is banished by Western news sources, ones which loyally and unquestioningly mimic claims from the U.S. government, NATO, and Ukrainian officials. As The Washington Post acknowledged when reporting Big Tech’s “unprecedented” banning of RT, Sputnik and other Russian sources of news: “In the first four days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, viewership of more than a dozen Russian state-backed propaganda channels on YouTube spiked to unusually high levels.”

Note that this censorship regime is completely one-sided and, as usual, entirely aligned with U.S. foreign policy. Western news outlets and social media platforms have been flooded with pro-Ukrainian propaganda and outright lies from the start of the war. A New York Times article from early March put it very delicately in its headline: “Fact and Mythmaking Blend in Ukraine’s Information War.” Axios was similarly understated in recognizing this fact: “Ukraine misinformation is spreading — and not just from Russia.” Members of the U.S. Congress have gleefully spread fabrications that went viral to millions of people, with no action from censorship-happy Silicon Valley corporations. That is not a surprise: all participants in war use disinformation and propaganda to manipulate public opinion in their favor, and that certainly includes all direct and proxy-war belligerents in the war in Ukraine.

Yet there is little to no censorship — either by Western states or by Silicon Valley monopolies — of pro-Ukrainian disinformation, propaganda and lies. The censorship goes only in one direction: to silence any voices deemed “pro-Russian,” regardless of whether they spread disinformation. The “Russians With Attitude” Twitter account became popular in part because they sometimes criticized Russia, in part because they were more careful with facts and viral claims that most U.S. corporate media outlets, and in part because there is such a paucity of outlets that are willing to offer any information that undercuts what the U.S. Government and NATO want you to believe about the war.

Their crime, like the crime of so many other banished accounts, was not disinformation but skepticism about the US/NATO propaganda campaign. Put another way, it is not “disinformation” but rather viewpoint-error that is targeted for silencing. One can spread as many lies and as much disinformation as one wants provided that it is designed to advance the NATO agenda in Ukraine (just as one is free to spread disinformation provided that its purpose is to strengthen the Democratic Party, which wields its majoritarian power in Washington to demand greater censorship and commands the support of most of Silicon Valley). But what one cannot do is question the NATO/Ukrainian propaganda framework without running a very substantial risk of banishment.

It is unsurprising that Silicon Valley monopolies exercise their censorship power in full alignment with the foreign policy interests of the U.S. Government. Many of the key tech monopolies — such as Google and Amazon — routinely seek and obtain highly lucrative contracts with the U.S. security state, including both the CIA and NSA. Their top executives enjoy very close relationships with top Democratic Party officials. And Congressional Democrats have repeatedly hauled tech executives before their various Committees to explicitly threaten them with legal and regulatory reprisals if they do not censor more in accordance with the policy goals and political interests of that party.

But one question lingers: why is there so much urgency about silencing the small pockets of dissenting voices about the war in Ukraine? This war has united the establishment wings of both parties and virtually the entire corporate media with a lockstep consensus not seen since the days and weeks after the 9/11 attack. One can count on both hands the number of prominent political and media figures who have been willing to dissent even minimally from that bipartisan Washington consensus — dissent that instantly provokes vilification in the form of attacks on one’s patriotism and loyalties. Why is there such fear of allowing these isolated and demonized voices to be heard at all?

The answer seems clear. The benefits from this war for multiple key Washington power centers cannot be overstated. The billions of dollars in aid and weapons being sent by the U.S. to Ukraine are flying so fast and with such seeming randomness that it is difficult to track. “Biden approves $350 million in military aid for Ukraine,” Reuters said on February 26; “Biden announces $800 million in military aid for Ukraine,” announced The New York Times on March 16; on March 30, NBC’s headline read: “Ukraine to receive additional $500 million in aid from U.S., Biden announces”; on Tuesday, Reuters announced: “U.S. to announce $750 million more in weapons for Ukraine, officials say.” By design, these gigantic numbers have long ago lost any meaning and provoke barely a peep of questioning let alone objection.

It is not a mystery who is benefiting from this orgy of military spending. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that “the Pentagon will host leaders from the top eight U.S. weapons manufacturers on Wednesday to discuss the industry’s capacity to meet Ukraine’s weapons needs if the war with Russia lasts years.” Among those participating in this meeting about the need to increase weapons manufacturing to feed the proxy war in Ukraine is Raytheon, which is fortunate to have retired General Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary, a position to which he ascended from the Raytheon Board of Directors. It is virtually impossible to imagine an event more favorable to the weapons manufacturer industry than this war in Ukraine:

Demand for weapons has shot up after Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24 spurred U.S. and allied weapons transfers to Ukraine. Resupplying as well as planning for a longer war is expected to be discussed at the meeting, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. . .

Resupplying as well as planning for a longer war is expected to be discussed at the meeting. . .  The White House said last week that it has provided more than $1.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the invasion, including over 5,000 Javelins and more than 1,400 Stingers.

This permanent power faction is far from the only one to be reaping benefits from the war in Ukraine and to have its fortunes depend upon prolonging the war as long as possible. The union of the U.S. security state, Democratic Party neocons, and their media allies has not been riding this high since the glory days of 2002. One of MSNBC’s most vocal DNC boosters, Chris Hayes, gushed that the war in Ukraine has revitalized faith and trust in the CIA and intelligence community more than any event in recent memory — deservedly so, he said: “The last few weeks have been like the Iraq War in reverse for US intelligence.” One can barely read a mainstream newspaper or watch a corporate news outlet without seeing the nation’s most bloodthirsty warmongering band of neocons — David Frum, Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, Wesley Clark, Anne Applebaum, Adam Kinzinger — being celebrated as wise experts and heroic warriors for freedom.

This war has been very good indeed for the permanent Washington political and media class. And although it was taboo for weeks to say so, it is now beyond clear that the only goal that the U.S. and its allies have when it comes to the war in Ukraine is to keep it dragging on for as long as possible. Not only are there no serious American diplomatic efforts to end the war, but the goal is to ensure that does not happen. They are now saying that explicitly, and it is not hard to understand why.

The benefits from endless quagmire in Ukraine are as immense as they are obvious. The military budget skyrockets. Punishment is imposed on the arch-nemesis of the Democratic Party — Russia and Putin — while they are bogged down in a war from which Ukrainians suffer most. The citizenry unites behind their leaders and is distracted.

April 13, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great Reset: Do You Really Want To Go There?

Money Circus | February 9, 2021

Time to make an educated, perspicacious estimation of where this is heading. The following applies to most countries:

The pretext (problem):

  • Scientific data is being manipulated to drive public fear, out of all proportion to medical and health norms or recent hospital, infection or mortality rates.
  • Mask and social distancing rules have a clearly negative impact on social health.
  • Corporate interests are ‘informing’ government policy: from jabs to ‘immunity’ passports; facial recognition and software that tracks location and distance from other people; to paying hospitals for ‘finding’ Covid and intubating patients.
  • Corporate interests linked to the above censor social media for the ‘public good’.
  • Military and ad hoc bureaucratic committees censor information to encourage ‘consent’. The press is used to deliver wartime blanket propaganda.
  • Lockdowns are extended on numerous pretexts.

The process (reaction):

  • Rules are tweaked constantly, maximizing disruption and uncertainty perhaps with the intention of disguising the objective of preventing resistance.
  • Masks, distancing, gathering limits and even attempts to ban singing or speaking loudly, directly curb fundamental liberties.
  • Economic life is sharply curtailed, killing small and mid-size businesses and rendering the population dependent on government and corporations for support.
  • Military have been put on standby to assist police in maintaining order, to vaccinate the population forcibly (why else would the military be needed), and to isolate politicians from the public.
  • Concentration camps for vaccine resisters have been publicly discussed in countries like Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The silence of other countries like Britain speaks volumes (on the other hand Britain is rather small and previously used Australia as its holding pen for deplorables).
  • The Executive operates by diktat, rules, ‘mandates’ and the misuse of earlier laws. Only sometimes through legislation, often submitted to lawmakers retrospectively or at short notice.


The outcome (solution):

Several front organizations, mainly bankers and tech companies drive this part but the ideology is technocracy, as promoted by Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission (see second part of this article, Origins of Technocracy):

  • Food and farming is already disrupted, particularly meat but also soy and other forms of protein. Inevitable impact on diet. Some positive outcome likely, such as reduction in obesity, but may also impact brain health and intelligence.
  • Energy: Considerable shortfall if politicians implement plans to end use of hydrocarbons. Bio-fuel, solar and wind will make up a fraction of the difference, while plans for smart cities and 5G, electric cars and electric heating will massively increase demand.
  • Energy-based accounting could make many products uneconomic or expensive. Hard to estimate as governments may subsidize some items.
  • Innovation to suffer from move to a recycling-based economy where repurposing replaces manufacturing.
  • Service based economy will replace consumption. Personal ownership of cars may cease. Air travel may become a rarity.
  • Rationing and waiting lists are likely, as in the Soviet Union where people waited years to acquire a car (this time you may even wait to borrow a car). No private deals, all transactions to be public, not only tracked and surveilled but regulated. Those raised with electronic gadgets and battery-driven everything may experience material privation.
  • Regulation will see the biggest lifestyle changes. Residence permits will decide where you live. You will need a reason to travel. Social credit scores will determine your access to services.
  • Economic dependence, from income to spending. Jobs may be allocated, with limited choice of location, as in the former USSR.
  • Public services may be interrupted as government transition from tax-based system to energy credits and carbon offsets. Massive decline in wealth. Stuff not made is never regained.
  • Monetary system: Plan to replace money with energy-based credits.
  • Pensions, savings and assets may be lost, seized by government or compulsorily purchased and exchanged at a rate favourable to the authorities.

It seems clear to me where this is intended to lead. Those who willfully ignore reality will not be persuaded by words and we need to stop focusing on the small data. Yes it is a fraud but perhaps it is intended to distract us. After all, it is only a pretext.

Do you want to go to this outcome? If not, now is the time to turn away.

One must always identify and name one’s enemy. In this case he has hidden for years. Authors like Carroll Quigley were censored, the books pulped, the printing plates smashed. Those like Antony Sutton lost their jobs, too. Thanks, however, to those who knew them, such as Patrick M Wood who collaborated with Sutton, we know where their efforts were directed and some inkling of their intention. In recent years, the mask of secrecy has slipped somewhat. The State Corporatist Media has conceded that the Trilateral Commission is not a conspiracy theory; that front organizations like the Bilderberg Group do in fact exist.

The press still refuses to interrogate the work of these groups, instead mentioning them only in hushed, reverential tones. This does not mean the press ignores them, it simply refuses to acknowledge that it acts on their behalf. It has for years conveyed the message and prepared public opinion clandestinely. We had to wait for David Rockefeller himself to draw aside the curtain in 1991.

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years… It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.” ― David Rockefeller

So what’s the plan?

The following is a summary and potted history courtesy of Patrick Wood and his interlocutor Richard Grove of Tragedy & Hope.

ORIGINS OF TECHNOCRACY
Utopian movement seeking to abandon the use of money to price goods, instead judging value purely by energy inputs. Technocracy is a method of governance that has no political ideology. Plato’s Republic has a chapter on cybernetics and social control.

Utopians took many forms — communism, socialism, fascism — and some came close to religion, like scientism and humanism.

Henri Saint-Simon stated, “A scientist, my dear friends, is a man who foresees; it is because science provides the means to predict that it is useful, and the scientists are superior to all other men.”

Saint-Simon’s disciple was Auguste Comte, the father of sociology. They developed Positivism, the concept that truth can only be determined through rationalism or science. Positivism in turn gave birth to Scientism, which says that only science can discover truth about humans and reality and there is no other truth. As it does not explain the soul, emotion, caring or jealousy, it does not acknowledge these truths. The Prussian physiologist and psychologist Wilhelm Wundt took this further, insisting humans have no soul and so can be manipulated like a clockwork orange and this gives rise to outcomes-based education, focused on standardization as an end in itself.

Born in the white heat of industrial expansion. Gained attention from the apparent failure of capitalism during the Great Depression. Boosted when taken up by Columbia University in 1932. Technocracy Inc formed as an ideological movement in 1933.

FOCUS ON DATA PROCESSING, LINKS TO IBM
Shared basement in Hamilton Hall, Columbia U, with the early IBM which was then developing the tabulators which they would lease to the German government for social profiling in the 1930s and 40s. No further information exists as IBM historical documents have been lost.

Brzezinski in his book Political Power: USA/USSR (1964) writes that the DDR Stasi was gathering huge amounts of data on people but lacked the technical power to put it to use.

LINKS TO HITLER’S GERMANY

Technocracy and technocrats don’t care what political system they operate under. It is concerned with the correct scientific methodology rather than the political ends.

German technocracy movement was not connected to the U.S. counterpart but shared and reprinted articles. Hitler saw technocrats as a rival and outlawed the organisation. However, technocrats had a profound influence on Hitler’s Germany and continued to communicate. The Third Reich could not have happeed without technocrats and the Technocracy movement. Ironically, Canada temporarily outlawed Technocracy Inc fearing it had fascists links.

Technocracy started at Columbia U, jumped over to Germany. The experiments in the concentration camps created a body of science that they brought back to the U.S. After WW2, Operation Paperclip transfered thousands of German technocrats to the U.S. where the German scientific experiments were continued under MK-Ultra by the CIA.

TECHNOCRACY IS NOT FASCISM OR SOCIALISM
Mistaken association with Communism. Members of Technocracy Inc would have bridled at association with Communists, who still used money and priced goods in money. However Brzezinski proposed that Marxism could be a stepping stone, destroy capitalism prior to installing the technotronic era. This will not be a personal dictator but a system of control, technology enforcing laws that keep you in line.

As for Fabian socialism, which aimed to merge the corporate and government world but still envisaged private property and a price based system. In short, all former systems have supply and demand, resolved by prices, and technocracy has an energy or resource-based economy. Technocracy is not proposed as a political form of government.

OVERLAP WITH EUGENICS

Eugenics was mostly based in California rather than Columbia but the peak of eugenics coincided with that of technocracy. There was no organizational link between Technocracy and the Eugenics movement, however they shared a common approach. From a scientists’ perspective managing society is similar to livestock.

Eugenics was a response to the challenge of Darwin and Marx and the fascists, challenging people to think of ways to change society in previously unthinkable ways. These were radicals of their time: not of a left-wing radicalism but utopians in a race to the future. The Eugenics Record Office, of Cold Spring Harbor, New York, inspired many of Hitler’s speeches.

ELITES AND TECHNOCRACY

There was no backing from the tax-exempt foundations in the beginning. Technocracy was a grass roots movement and its founders were relatively poor.

In the 1960s Brzezinski taught at Columbia U and many of his books mirror Technocracy.

The Journal on Race Development (1910) became the Journal of International Relations, which in turn was merged with Foreign Affairs in 1922. It was founded by Yale alumnus Stanley Hall who was a student of Wilhelm Wundt and a member of Skull and Bones. This shows the link between the Council on Foreign Relations, the elite secret societies dedicated to “thinking the unthinkable” or shaking up society, as well as the sending of American academics to Europe for indoctrination before returning them to shape U.S. universities, future graduates and social institutions.

THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION

At the 1972 Bilderberg meeting, Rockefeller and Brzezinski went to sell the TC. They likely invited the Europeans of the Bilderbergers to join, such as Kissinger. They invite members, like any fraternity.

Brzezinski picked Jimmy Carter as presidential candidate, to whom he became National Security Adviser, gatekeeper to the President (10/17 have been members of the Trilateral Commission). Brzezinski bragged about educating Carter on foreign affairs and economics. At one point Carter had one third of the U.S. membership of the Trilateral Commission to his administration. Of his Cabinet, all were TCs bar one.

The Trilateral Commission decides policy in advance and implements it without reference to Congress through control of the Executive. What’s more, this was not political control.

They only wanted the executive branch in order to use the influence of the U.S. presidency to create their new world economic order. Of U.S. Trade Representatives, the first was appointed by Jimmy Carter. Of 12, nine have been members of the TC.

In addition to the U.S. Executive, the Trilateral Commission influences the World Bank. Of WB presidents, 6/8 have been members of the Trilateral Commission.

David Rockefeller in April 1967 as he spearheaded construction of the new World Trade Center, eight months after breaking ground.

ROCKEFELLER LOCK ON POLICY

Involved in Council on Foreign Relations, Columbia U, and United Nations. It is surprising that they did not fund Technocracy at the start, given that it was housed in Columbia. It’s competitor was the even more radical New School. Until the 1970s, these families never funded Technocracy.

The payback for the Rockefeller influence to the UN was the use of the UN as a contagion mechanism to spread Agenda 21 around the world. The UN makes an ugly project look pretty. It is the user interface that makes evil look friendly. Slogans like interdependence,

Jay Rockefeller is one of the few family members to be elected, in W. Virginia. Nelson had to be appointed as Vice President but as head of the Senate he pushed through the fast-track mechanism for trade treaties. It was used to push through trade deals with minimal oversight, including NAFTA, CAFTA, TIP and TPP. The Senate knew how dangerous this legislation is, by delegating to the executive branch the ability to negotiate treaties. They should be passed with a two-thirds vote but the president can now present a treaty for approval, that has 20 hours of floor debate, no amendments allowed and reduces the floor vote to 50 per cent. In the case of NAFTA, the Trilateral Commission pulled out all the big guns including Henry Kissinger to browbeat Congressmen to pass it. And it only just passed.

NAFTA was written by Carla Hills, member of the Trilateral Commission, signed by George HW Bush a member of the TC, pushed into law by Bill Clinton, a member of the TC, and lobbied by numerous members of the TC like Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger…

Nelson Rockefeller ensured through the fast-track mechanism could force through these changes.

FAMILY TAX-EXEMPT FOUNDATIONS

NGOs, Trust Funds, Foundations have been the engine of social change for 100 years, as exposed by the Reece committee and the testimony of Norman Dodd.

These have reshaped universities, grade school and common core, business regulation, and then they for the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank. Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies was closely associated with the Trilateral Commission at board of directors level.

Beneath this like a submarine is Technocracy, now surfacing.

AGENDA 21, AKA TECHNOCRACY

1930s Technocracy proposed “functional sequences” or common functions that need to be managed by a central authority: health, manufacturing… Their view of the “service sequence” of education is “conditioning”.

Smart Grid is an original specification of Technocracy — the idea of controlling the energy that is consumed.

Total Awareness Surveillance is an original specification of Technocracy — you cannot manage what you cannot monitor. That is an engineer’s mindset.

For an economic system: financial records, people’s purchase intentions and desires, health records, education records like Common Core collects 400 data points on students now.

Public Private Partnership with flavors of partenrship.

All of these are in the Rio 1992 conference which was preceded by the Gro Harlem Brundtland Commission which convened 1982-87 producing a report, Our Common Future, popularising the phrase, sustainable development. Brundtland was a member of the Trilateral Commission, whose stated purpose is to create a new international economic order.

Was Agenda 21 an organic United Nations creation or was it produced by the Trilateral Commission, just like NAFTA? It completely reflects the new international economic order. The UN picks it up, the Rio Conference follows, Agenda 21 is published, book on biodiversity is published… Today Earth Charter and Sustainable Development has spread to every country right dnown to county and district level.

ROTHSCHILD EMPIRE

This overlaps with Agenda 21, as espoused in the UNCED (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) promoted by Edmond de Rothschild in 1987 with Maurice Strong: they were participating in a United Nations project but if you see where their interests lay, they were gaining authority to pursue personal financial interests.

David de Rothschild wrote the comic book to spread the gospel to young people.

DISARMING THE PEOPLE

How do the Rockefellers and Rothschilds benefit from people not being able to defend themselves.

Why would Rockefeller try to end capitalism?

Bankers’ expertise is money. They don’t make anything. Perhaps it was never meant to be permanent and there is an end to money.

Their view of wealth is different. They don’t see thousands in the bank as security. There is no value in money. It can be declared obsolete tomorrow.

Wealth lies in resources of the Earth that support all life.

These will be licensed to people as the feudal barons let you survive in return for 80 per cent of your produce.

Sustainable development is twisting the resources out of the people and transfering it to a global trust (they never say who are the trustees: they will be those who set up the system).

WHITHER LIBERTY

It took 300-500 years to develop the principles of liberty.

They culminated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

If Technocracy wins it could take hundreds of years, perhaps even longer, for liberty to surface again.

Once they get control of the economic mechanims, they will control life itself.

THE CASTE SYSTEM

The system will manage your carbon footprint. If you use too much electricity at home you may be denied a flight to a funeral. The elite will face no such restrictions.

THE CRISIS IN DEMOCRACY

This paper was issued in 1975 by the Trilateral Commission. The republic and democracy was outmoded for the coming technotronic era.

This suggested democracy is out of date… Brzezinski argued in his book Between Two Ages that bankers and multinational corporations already control countries, rendering the nation state a plaything. People who support nation states are derided as nativists.

THE MEDIA

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” — David Rockefeller, 1991

Antony Sutton meanwhile was fired and censored for reporting on the Trilateral Commission. Sutton exposed how Wall Street had enabled the revolutions to take place in Russia and Germany and continued to finance and support the fascists and communists. Sutton saw the stacking of the Carter administration and recognized the patterns.

Before he even published anything David Packard, of Hewlett Packard, a member of the Trilateral Commission and trustee of the Hoover Institution had Sutton fired.

THE CHURCH

Steven Clark Rockefeller put together the Earth Charter. A theologian, Rockefeller is an instigator of the interfaith movement and all the major faiths have gone Green, with encyclicals from the Pope on climate change. Global stewardship, sustainable planning and development are the common buzzwords indicating their complete co-option. This goes back to the World Council of Churches and the Dulles brothers.

Nazi Oaks, by Mark Musser, explores the first Green movement to become state policy, which was that of the NAZI movement. Now there are books with titles like, Green Faith. Yet the new priesthood are the scientists who go up the mountain to listen to the volcano and come down and say the god of science says, ‘you must do x or y.’ No one is allowed to go to the volcano themselves, or to question what the scienpriests say they know, otherwise you are punished as a denier and excommunicated as a heathen.

TRANSHUMANISM AND THE DENIAL OF DEATH

Death is central to life. Transhumanism excludes god without being atheistic: they believe that they will become immortal.

In religion, the fall of man prescribes that death will be a feature until god wraps things up in the future. The transhumanists are making an end run around what religion says.

The mass surveillance society competes with god in another way, seeking to be the overseer of humanity and the recording of all your life’s deeds, good and bad. You will pay for your sins through your social credit score.

SURVEILLANCE STATE AS TECHNOCRACY. 

In 2005 the intelligence system in the U.S. was completely overhauled with the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, lording it over 17 national intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency.

The legislation to Congress to authorize the ODNI was sponsored by Jay Rockefeller and Dianne Feinstein, both members of the Trilateral Commission. George Bush created the ODNI and appointed John Negroponte as the first director: member of the Trilateral Commission.

So the TC proposed the law, filled the position and has taken control of the reorganisation of all intelligence gathering.

We know they want a new international economic order. Now the ODNI takes full control of data gathering, under which the NSA is merely an agent. This is the monitoring network for the whole Technocracy system.

They have all the phone calls and emails, all the health records through Obamacare, all the education data through Common Core, all financial and business data. The collection has grown but the ability to analyse the data has not kept up: moving the data from the storage devices into the CPUs to process, that’s the bottleneck, and putting it back again if necessary. They estimate they will solve that problem in three to five years. Then we’ll be in big trouble (date of interview, 2015).

This alone shows how close we are to the launch of Technocracy. This is an expression of the Trilateral Commission’s dominance over policy for the past 40 years. The odds of this small group having this much influence are, according to mathematicians, infinitesimal.

THE FIGHT NOW

Two economic systems are fighting for control. They cannot co-exist. Technocracy and Capitalism are matter and anti-matter. One will die, one will live.

If the Technocracy system is set up properly, the system does the controlling. It monitors you and self corrects. This allows it to manage populations of billions without many people being involved. That is the idea of a scientific dictatorship.

The global elite are pedestrian academics and intellectuals at best. They have never had an original idea of their own. To gain advantage they have to hijack the ideas of others.

Technocracy was not their idea. It goes way back. The originals Greens of the 1960s will “spit molten nails that they got pushed out of their own movement”. The global elite took over the green movement and the purest objectives were hijacked by this elite who took off in a totally different direction.

They are hijackers. They take whatever idea suits them to push forward their own vested interests. It does not speak too well of their intellectual abilities.

Know who the enemy is. We have had our ladder leaning against the wrong wall, and we are worse off than we’ve been, for 40 years. We must identify the enemy to have any success, and make a target of them.

In the longer term, we must retain some vestige of liberty in the hearts of men, says Patrick Wood. If we lose our liberty people will be living in a scientific dictatorship where freedom is a curiosity. Hopefully enough people can keep a seed of liberty alive so that one day, when the dark ends, it may sprout again.

Notes from an interview by Patrick M Wood given to Richard Grove.

January 9, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

How Domestic Surveillance of Journalists & Citizens Became Standard US Government Practice

By Ekaterina Blinova | Sputnik | December 14, 2021

Under the Trump administration, the Counter Network Division, a special unit within Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, used government databases intended for terrorist tracking to investigate 20 US-based journalists, Yahoo News revealed on Saturday.

CBP is the largest federal law enforcement agency in the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The bombshell revelation prompted ire among US news organisations, with AP’s executive editor, Julie Pace, urging DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to explain why the agency ran the name of an AP reporter through its databases. In its statement, the CBP claimed that the agency “does not investigate individuals without a legitimate and legal basis to do so.” However, according to AP, “this appears to be an example of journalists being targeted for simply doing their jobs, which is a violation of the First Amendment.”

Are US Federal Probes Turning Into Paranoia?

“The Department of Homeland Security has pretty much summed up America’s authoritarian drift since its creation in the wake of 9/11,” says Daniel Lazare, an independent journalist, author, and writer.

Lazare mocks the newly revealed operation, carried out by the Counter Network Division’s Jeffrey Rambo in 2017 and dubbed “Operation Whistle Pig,” adding that “the particulars of the case are less interesting than the general trend, which is toward greater and greater paranoia.” To illustrate his point the independent journalist refers to the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane into alleged Trump-Russia collusion which turned out to be what CNN described as a “big nothing burger”.

He also cites the US intelligence community and mainstream media attempts to depict New York Post’s allegations about Hunter Biden as “Russia disinformation.” Lazare also posits what he refers to as vain efforts by the Democrat-run US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack as a means of steering public attention away from a question of “whether FBI or CIA informants helped egg on the insurrection.”

“So while the DHS has promised to call off its bloodhounds with regard to the AP, my sense is that paranoia will merely take on new forms as it continues to metastasize,” the writer says. “The problem can only get worse.”

Why US Federal Agencies are Tracking Independent Journalists

“Operation Whistle Pig” is just one of numerous surveillance efforts carried out by US federal agencies against journalists, notes former Department of Defence veteran analyst Karen Kwiatkowski.

“Utilising national technical means to track journalists, access their metadata to determine and identify their anonymous or protected sources, and using domestic law enforcement capabilities to monitor, pressure and prosecute journalists into revealing their sources has been done for more than just the previous administration,” Kwiatkowski says, referring to similar ops under the Obama administration.

In particular, the veteran DoD analyst refers to Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter James Risen, who was persecuted under the Obama administration over his refusal to reveal confidential sources. In February 2015, Risen called the Obama administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom.” Additionally, the Obama cabinet and also subsequent US administrations have targeted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, seeking his extradition to the US.

Earlier this year, a scandal erupted over allegations of spying on Fox News host Tucker Carlson. In June the journalist claimed, citing an unnamed whistleblower within the US government, that the National Security Agency (NSA) was monitoring his electronic communications and had planned to leak them to the press to take his show off of the air for “political reasons.”

“This is increasingly standard practice for US administrations,” Kwiatkowski suggests. “However, in the case of US citizens, without FISA Court authorization, this kind of surveillance and targeting remains illegal and unconstitutional.”

While the US government usually justifies its conduct as matters of “national security,” in reality, according to the Pentagon veteran, it is protecting “government security” by chasing those who are leaking factual information that the US leadership finds “embarrassing”.

She refers to ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelation with regard to National Security Agency’s global spying programmes; Chelsea Manning’s exposure of Pentagon war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and WikiLeaks bombshells, including Vault 7, which detailed CIA hacking techniques and cyber-tools.

“Avoiding political embarrassment, and controlling a certain political narrative is, for most people in Washington DC, more important and more compelling than national security,” she stresses.

While mainstream journalism in the US “is well moderated and normally serves to promote the government narrative of whatever subject, be it health, national security or science and technology,” there are alternative media sources that occasionally manage to gain audience and traction, she offered.

Ironically, according to Kwiatkowski, US government agencies are keeping an eye on dissenting news sources and independent journalists akin to Washington’s Cold War-era rivals, whom the US leadership used to scold for their own lack of press freedom.

How US Government Agencies are Surveilling Americans

It’s not only journalists who are being surveilled by US government agencies, however, as a FISA compliance review written in November 2020 and declassified on 26 April 2021 revealed that the FBI used the NSA’s massive electronic troves for warrantless searches of US citizens’ information, despite having been previously censured by a court for such activities.

In May 2021, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden raised an alarm over what he described as the Pentagon’s warrantless spying on US citizens. The DoD reportedly used various software tools that used location data harvested from common apps installed on peoples’ phones. Wyden’s investigation also “confirmed the warrantless purchase of Americans’ location data by the Internal Revenue Service, Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Defence Intelligence Agency,” according to the senator’s letter, addressed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.

That same month, CNN reported that the Biden administration was considering using private firms to surveil “suspected domestic terrorists” online under the pretext that the DHS and the FBI, are limited in how they can monitor citizens online without a warrant. An unnamed source said to be familiar with the matter told the broadcaster that outside entities hired by federal authorities would be able to “legally” infiltrate private groups to gather vast amounts of information.

December 15, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

New law allows for warrantless spying on Australians – where next?

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | November 30, 2021

The Australian Signals Directorate, Canberra’s equivalent of Britain’s GCHQ or the US National Security Agency, will be granted sweeping new powers to spy on Australians for the first time since its November 1947 founding.

The move allows the agency to collect signals intelligence on individuals within the country without a warrant, although allegedly only in situations where there is an “imminent risk to life.” Domestic terror suspects are cited as a key target in the Directorate’s crosshairs, and it will also collect intelligence in conjunction with the Australian Defence Force for military operations, with ministerial authorization.

Rules governing the reform and protecting citizens’ privacy will be published on the agency’s website, and subject to review and scrutiny by the Australian parliament’s security and intelligence committee. While framed as sincerely concerned with keeping Australians safe, experts have expressed grave reservations about the development. Among them is John Blaxland, Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies at the Australian National University, himself a military intelligence veteran, who warned the powers were ripe for abuse.

“I’m a former insider… I have a much greater appreciation of the need for checks and balances, because power tends to corrupt,” he cautioned. “My concern is the legislation we put forward is being drafted by insiders, it’s drafted with their own concerns in mind.”

Drafted by insiders, the legislation certainly was – it’s inspired by the findings of an extensive review by Dennis Richardson, former chief of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the country’s FBI, conducted in close consultation with Australia’s assorted intelligence services, in a manner akin to foxes being quizzed on how best to guard a henhouse.

Published in December 2020, his appraisal’s discussion of “authorisations” noted that these agencies can already conduct warrantless intelligence-gathering if they believe it to be “necessary, proportionate, reasonable and justified” in certain circumstances, and “would like the ability” to not only use various investigative techniques without official permission, but also with “protection from criminal liability” when doing so.

Leaked documents exposed by journalist Annika Smethurst in April 2018 showed that high-level plans for untrammeled domestic spying by the Australian Signals Directorate date back even further. They revealed how the respective heads of Australia’s Defence and Home Affairs ministries had discussed allowing the agency to access citizens’ emails, bank records and text messages without approval, or trace. A government source told Smethurst they were “horrified” by the proposals, given “there is no actual national security gap this is aiming to fill.”

Australian Federal Police raided both the alleged leaker of the files and Smethurst the next year. In a perverse irony, the charges against her were dropped in May 2020, as Australian High Court judges unanimously ruled that the warrant secured from a magistrate in relation to the raid was invalid, because it not only “misstated the terms of the offence” but was also ambiguous if not outright absurd.

“[The warrant] lacked the clarity required to fulfil its basic purposes of adequately informing Smethurst why the search was being conducted and providing the executing officer and those assisting in the execution of the warrant with reasonable guidance to decide which things came within the scope of the warrant,” the High Court damningly concluded.

In other words, it was impossible to know from the warrant’s wording what the investigation actually concerned, what evidence or information was sought, and what, if any, crime she may or may not have committed. That this baseless and broad investigative authorization was formally granted at all renders the Directorate’s newfound power to conduct warrantless surveillance all the more disquieting. If such procedural perversion can occur even with putative oversight, what abuses will be engaged-in without any meaningful supervision?

Misuse of these capabilities is almost inevitable. In 1973, the US Supreme Court ruled warrants were mandatory for domestic intelligence gathering. Two years later, a Senate investigation found that the NSA and other US intelligence agencies had nonetheless been engaged in unauthorized spying on American citizens, including anti-war protesters, civil rights activists, and political dissidents, monitoring all their private communications from telephone conversations to telegrams. This led to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which made it a dedicated criminal offense to eavesdrop on American citizens without judicial oversight.

Yet,it was revealed in late 2005 that the NSA had all along continued illegally intercepting the phone calls and digital communications of US citizens, with the witting help of major telecoms giants, which passed copies of all emails, web browsing and other internet traffic to and from its customers at home and abroad to the agency, and its British counterpart GCHQ. Files disclosed in 2013 by whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed this criminal dragnet was truly global in scale, and very much ongoing.

Key components of this international spying network, known as ‘Five Eyes,’ are situated in Australia, at the Pine Gap and Kojarena satellite surveillance bases. According to investigative legend Duncan Campbell, around 80% of the messages intercepted by the latter – which employs US and British staff in key posts – are sent automatically to GCHQ and the NSA. While every Five Eyes member can theoretically veto requests for such material, “when you’re a junior ally” like Canberra, “you never refuse,” Campbell records.

One can’t help but wonder if the Directorate’s new domestic purview is an experiment, gauging levels of backlash and controversy among the Australian public, before similar measures – provably or potentially already in operation – are openly codified across all Five Eyes member states. Ongoing legal battles against mass data collection in various jurisdictions clearly necessitate the practice being legalized and legitimized. If Canberra’s American and/or British friends politely requested they run such a pilot scheme, would or even could they decline?

Reinforcing this interpretation, mere days after the Directorate’s remit was expanded, the Australian government pledged to introduce new laws forcing social media giants to “unmask” anonymous users who post offensive comments, with hefty fines doled out to those companies which are unwilling or unable to do so. The reasons for Canberra’s haste are unclear, although it’s surely no coincidence that London and Washington have battled for many years to end online anonymity for good – it’s only due to intense domestic opposition that these efforts have so far failed.

 Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions.

November 30, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them

How about some accountability for Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen?

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • AUGUST 24, 2021

If you want to know how the United States wound up with “government by stupid” one need only look no farther than some of the recent propaganda put out by members of Congress, senior military officers and a certain former president. President George W. Bush, who started the whole sequence of events that have culminated in the disaster that is Afghanistan, is not yet in prison, but one can always hope.

Regarding the current crisis, former FBI special agent and 9/11 whistleblower Coleen Rowley cited Richard W. Behan who mused over “How perverse we have become. We chastise President Biden for a messy ending of the war in Afghanistan and fail to indict George Bush for its illegal beginning.” She then observed, in her own words on Facebook, “So Rehabilitated War Criminal Bush can maintain his legacy as stalwart statesman as he cutely dances with Ellen DeGeneris and Michelle Obama on television screens. Washington is just a big fact-free political show where the blame game winners are the best manipulators.”

I would add to that the hubris of the “Mission Accomplished” banner on the tower of an aircraft carrier as Bush, wearing a flight suit, inaccurately announced victory and an end of combat in Afghanistan, presumably so he could focus on his new war in Iraq. As the Taliban had not attacked or threatened America, had no means of doing so, and were even willing to turn over “their guest” Osama bin Laden to US justice after the bombing of the USS Cole in late 2000, they were hardly a formidable foe. The Bush Administration refused the offer to surrender bin Laden on four occasions before 9/11 and once more five days after the attack because it wanted a war. Given all of that backstory, what Bush and his posse of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Tenet, Feith, Powell and Libby did was indisputably a war crime. And they followed up with fake intelligence to justify a second war against Saddam Hussein, who had also sought to avoid war by offering to go into voluntary exile. The Nuremberg tribunals considered aggressive war against an unthreatening nation to be the ultimate war crime. That would make it an ultimate war crime times two, not to mention the killing of civilians and torture that went along with it. And President Barack Obama added to that toll by subsequently destroying an unthreatening Libya. Unfortunately, many of those war criminals from the Bush and Obama cliques who are still alive are sitting fat and pretty in retirement or in lucrative private sector positions while the only ones who have been punished are the whistleblowers who tried to stop the madness.

George W. Bush is not particularly good at apologies so it is not surprising that he did not deliver one regarding the war he unnecessarily started and even more unnecessarily prolonged through the US occupation. In his view, the US should now remain in Afghanistan and he claims to be worrying about what will happen to Afghan women in particular and to the growing number of refugees, who he opines should be allowed to enter the United States. His statement includes a tip of the hat to the armed forces: “Many of you deal with wounds of war, both visible and invisible… And some of your brothers and sisters in arms made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror. Each day, we have been humbled by your commitment and your courage. You took out a brutal enemy and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care. You kept America safe from further terror attacks, provided two decades of security and opportunity for millions, and made America proud. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and will always honor your contributions.”

The delusional Bush makes it all sound like a mission of mercy which inter alia destroyed a ruthless enemy preparing to strike and kept America free of terror, none of which is true but it certainly sounds nice. But what is really interesting is how the fall of Afghanistan is being used by some to hype Bush’s war on terror, making the case that it is now more important than ever to strengthen US counterterrorism efforts. Which is another way of saying, “keep the cash flowing!” Those who have a vested interest in the war on terror are warning that the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan has raised concerns relating to a possible resurgence of terror groups that might once again use the country as a home base. The frequently wrong on every issue General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that “the United States could now face a rise in terrorist threats from a Taliban-run Afghanistan.”

Of course, if that were the case, Afghanistan might well face a bout of heavy strategic bombing by the United States, so there is not exactly an incentive for them to do something that provocative. Nor do they have the resources to act outside their own borders and they presumably would not welcome any of their “guests” provoking another US invasion.

Milley’s dumb comments on Afghanistan, to include the astonishingly wrong claim that US intelligence did not report in extenso the sorry state of the Afghan Army and the imminent collapse of the government, demonstrate that ignorance on major issues relating to foreign policy is not limited to those who call themselves Republicans. Secretary of State Tony Blinken insists that the retreat from Kabul is not a replay of Saigon, nor were the withdrawal plans, such as they existed, “botched.” Word in Washington is that Blinken will be the designated fall guy for the disaster to protect his boss.

Apart from the Afghanistan fiasco, stupid extends to how the government operates, particularly in Congress. In a recent memo to supporters and constituents Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who heads the Senate Intelligence committee described his top priorities. Three of them are quite interesting. They are: “(1) Root out anti-government extremism, including the white nationalist militias who participated in the January 6th insurrection at our Capitol; (2) Rebuild intelligence community agencies and departments that were understaffed and under-resourced in the previous administration, and (3) Depoliticize our intelligence-gathering apparatus, so these tireless and patriotic public servants can stay above the partisan fray and focus on their jobs: defending the American homeland.”

Enough has been said about the Democratic Party’s obsession with putting white Americans in their proper place, which is some deep hole where they can be ignored and berated as necessary. Purges are already taking place at the Pentagon and at the Justice and Homeland Security Departments. But Warner’s stated “priority” to engage in the rebuilding of an intelligence community that has seen its budget grow year after year comes as somewhat of a surprise. Perhaps it needs the extra cash to root-out those pesky whites. And finally, “depoliticizing” intelligence gathering has to be something of a joke, coming as it does from the party that did the most to politicize it in the first place under President Barack Obama working hand-in-hand with the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to promote the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. I suppose Senator Warner does not see the party in power using the CIA, NSA and FBI to discredit an opponent and destroy his campaign as politicization. Or you can always blame it on the Russians.

All in all, we have had a fine team working in harmony to protect the American people. Hopefully the time they spend in prison somewhere down the road will not discourage them and they will emerge with their brilliant insights fully intact. With leaders like Bush, Milley, Blinken and Warner, what could possibly go wrong?

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

August 24, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The U.S. Government Lied For Two Decades About Afghanistan

By Glenn Greenwald | August 16, 2021

“The Taliban regime is coming to an end,” announced President George W. Bush at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on December 12, 2001 — almost twenty years ago today. Five months later, Bush vowed: “In the United States of America, the terrorists have chosen a foe unlike they have faced before. . . . We will stay until the mission is done.” Four years after that, in August of 2006, Bush announced: “Al Qaeda and the Taliban lost a coveted base in Afghanistan and they know they will never reclaim it when democracy succeeds.  . . . The days of the Taliban are over. The future of Afghanistan belongs to the people of Afghanistan.”

For two decades, the message Americans heard from their political and military leaders about the country’s longest war was the same. America is winning. The Taliban is on the verge of permanent obliteration. The U.S. is fortifying the Afghan security forces, which are close to being able to stand on their own and defend the government and the country.

Just five weeks ago, on July 8, President Biden stood in the East Room of the White House and insisted that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was not inevitable because, while their willingness to do so might be in doubt, “the Afghan government and leadership . . . clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place.” Biden then vehemently denied the accuracy of a reporter’s assertion that “your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse.” Biden snapped: “That is not true. They did not — they didn’t — did not reach that conclusion.”

Biden continued his assurances by insisting that “the likelihood there’s going to be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.” He went further: “the likelihood that there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.” And then, in an exchange that will likely assume historic importance in terms of its sheer falsity from a presidential podium, Biden issued this decree:

Q.  Mr. President, some Vietnamese veterans see echoes of their experience in this withdrawal in Afghanistan.  Do you see any parallels between this withdrawal and what happened in Vietnam, with some people feeling —

THE PRESIDENT:  None whatsoever. Zero.  What you had is — you had entire brigades breaking through the gates of our embassy — six, if I’m not mistaken.

The Taliban is not the south — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan.  It is not at all comparable.

When asked about the Taliban being stronger than ever after twenty years of U.S. warfare there, Biden claimed: “Relative to the training and capacity of the [Afghan National Security Forces] and the training of the federal police, they’re not even close in terms of their capacity.” On July 21 — just three weeks ago — Gen. Mark Milley, Biden’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conceded that “there’s a possibility of a complete Taliban takeover, or the possibility of any number of other scenario,” yet insisted: “the Afghan Security Forces have the capacity to sufficiently fight and defend their country.”

Similar assurances have been given by the U.S. Government and military leadership to the American people since the start of the war. “Are we losing this war?,” Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Schloesser, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, asked rhetorically in a news briefing from Afghanistan in 2008, answering it this way: “Absolutely no way. Can the enemy win it? Absolutely no way.” On September 4, 2013, then-Lt. Gen. Milley — now Biden’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — complained that the media was not giving enough credit to the progress they had made in building up the Afghan national security forces: “This army and this police force have been very, very effective in combat against the insurgents every single day,” Gen. Milley insisted.

None of this was true. It was always a lie, designed first to justify the U.S’s endless occupation of that country and, then, once the U.S. was poised to withdraw, to concoct a pleasing fairy tale about why the prior twenty years were not, at best, an utter waste. That these claims were false cannot be reasonably disputed as the world watches the Taliban take over all of Afghanistan as if the vaunted “Afghan national security forces” were china dolls using paper weapons. But how do we know that these statements made over the course of two decades were actual lies rather than just wildly wrong claims delivered with sincerity?

To begin with, we have seen these tactics from U.S. officials — lying to the American public about wars to justify both their initiation and continuation — over and over. The Vietnam War, like the Iraq War, was begun with a complete fabrication disseminated by the intelligence community and endorsed by corporate media outlets: that the North Vietnamese had launched an unprovoked attack on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin. In 2011, President Obama, who ultimately ignored a Congressional vote against authorization of his involvement in the war in Libya to topple Muammar Qaddafi, justified the NATO war by denying that regime change was the goal: “our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives . . . broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.” Even as Obama issued those false assurances, The New York Times reported that “the American military has been carrying out an expansive and increasingly potent air campaign to compel the Libyan Army to turn against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.”

Just as they did for the war in Afghanistan, U.S. political and military leaders lied for years to the American public about the prospects for winning. On June 13, 1971, The New York Times published reports about thousands of pages of top secret documents from military planners that came to be known as “The Pentagon Papers.” Provided by former RAND official Daniel Ellsberg, who said he could not in good conscience allow official lies about the Vietnam War to continue, the documents revealed that U.S. officials in secret were far more pessimistic about the prospects for defeating the North Vietnamese than their boastful public statements suggested. In 2021, The New York Times recalled some of the lies that were demonstrated by that archive on the 50th Anniversary of its publication:

Brandishing a captured Chinese machine gun, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara appeared at a televised news conference in the spring of 1965. The United States had just sent its first combat troops to South Vietnam, and the new push, he boasted, was further wearing down the beleaguered Vietcong.

“In the past four and one-half years, the Vietcong, the Communists, have lost 89,000 men,” he said. “You can see the heavy drain.”

That was a lie. From confidential reports, McNamara knew the situation was “bad and deteriorating” in the South. “The VC have the initiative,” the information said. “Defeatism is gaining among the rural population, somewhat in the cities, and even among the soldiers.”

Lies like McNamara’s were the rule, not the exception, throughout America’s involvement in Vietnam. The lies were repeated to the public, to Congress, in closed-door hearings, in speeches and to the press.

The lies were repeated to the public, to Congress, in closed-door hearings, in speeches and to the press. The real story might have remained unknown if, in 1967, McNamara had not commissioned a secret history based on classified documents — which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. By then, he knew that even with nearly 500,000 U.S. troops in theater, the war was at a stalemate.

The pattern of lying was virtually identical throughout several administrations when it came to Afghanistan. In 2019, The Washington Post — obviously with a nod to the Pentagon Papers — published a report about secret documents it dubbed “The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war.” Under the headline “AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH,” The Post summarized its findings: “U.S. officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it, an exclusive Post investigation found.” They explained:

Year after year, U.S. generals have said in public they are making steady progress on the central plank of their strategy: to train a robust Afghan army and national police force that can defend the country without foreign help.

In the Lessons Learned interviews, however, U.S. military trainers described the Afghan security forces as incompetent, unmotivated and rife with deserters. They also accused Afghan commanders of pocketing salaries — paid by U.S. taxpayers — for tens of thousands of “ghost soldiers.”

None expressed confidence that the Afghan army and police could ever fend off, much less defeat, the Taliban on their own. More than 60,000 members of Afghan security forces have been killed, a casualty rate that U.S. commanders have called unsustainable.

As the Post explained, “the documents contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.” Those documents dispel any doubt about whether these falsehoods were intentional:

Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul — and at the White House — to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.

Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers. “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”

John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to The Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to.”

 

Last month, the independent journalist Michael Tracey, writing at Substack, interviewed a U.S. veteran of the war in Afghanistan. The former soldier, whose job was to work in training programs for the Afghan police and also participated in training briefings for the Afghan military, described in detail why the program to train Afghan security forces was such an obvious failure and even a farce. “I don’t think I could overstate that this was a system just basically designed for funneling money and wasting or losing equipment,” he said. In sum, “as far as the US military presence there — I just viewed it as a big money funneling operation”: an endless money pit for U.S. security contractors and Afghan warlords, all of whom knew that no real progress was being made, just sucking up as much U.S. taxpayer money as they could before the inevitable withdraw and takeover by the Taliban.

In light of all this, it is simply inconceivable that Biden’s false statements last month about the readiness of the Afghan military and police force were anything but intentional. That is particularly true given how heavily the U.S. had Afghanistan under every conceivable kind of electronic surveillance for more than a decade. A significant portion of the archive provided to me by Edward Snowden detailed the extensive surveillance the NSA had imposed on all of Afghanistan. In accordance with the guidelines he required, we never published most of those documents about U.S. surveillance in Afghanistan on the ground that it could endanger people without adding to the public interest, but some of the reporting gave a glimpse into just how comprehensively monitored the country was by U.S. security services.

In 2014, I reported along with Laura Poitras and another journalist that the NSA had developed the capacity, under the codenamed SOMALGET, that empowered them to be “secretly intercepting, recording, and archiving the audio of virtually every cell phone conversation” in at least five countries. At any time, they could listen to the stored conversations of any calls conducted by cell phone throughout the entire country. Though we published the names of four countries in which the program had been implemented, we withheld, after extensive internal debate at The Intercept, the identity of the fifth — Afghanistan — because the NSA had convinced some editors that publishing it would enable the Taliban to know where the program was located and it could endanger the lives of the military and private-sector employees working on it (in general, at Snowden’s request, we withheld publication of documents about NSA activities in active war zones unless they revealed illegality or other deceit). But WikiLeaks subsequently revealed, accurately, that the one country whose identity we withheld where this program was implemented was Afghanistan.

There was virtually nothing that could happen in Afghanistan without the U.S. intelligence community’s knowledge. There is simply no way that they got everything so completely wrong while innocently and sincerely trying to tell Americans the truth about what was happening there.

In sum, U.S. political and military leaders have been lying to the American public for two decades about the prospects for success in Afghanistan generally, and the strength and capacity of the Afghan security forces in particular — up through five weeks ago when Biden angrily dismissed the notion that U.S. withdrawal would result in a quick and complete Taliban takeover. Numerous documents, largely ignored by the public, proved that U.S. officials knew what they were saying was false — just as happened so many times in prior wars — and even deliberately doctored information to enable their lies.

Any residual doubt about the falsity of those two decades of optimistic claims has been obliterated by the easy and lightning-fast blitzkrieg whereby the Taliban took back control of Afghanistan as if the vaunted Afghan military did not even exist, as if it were August, 2001 all over again. It is vital not just to take note of how easily and frequently U.S. leaders lie to the public about its wars once those lies are revealed at the end of those wars, but also to remember this vital lesson the next time U.S. leaders propose a new war using the same tactics of manipulation, lies, and deceit.

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , | 3 Comments

Trump was spied on, so why not Tucker? There is no room for dissent in Our Democracy

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | July 8, 2021

Tucker Carlson is far more dangerous to the US media-political establishment than President Donald Trump was, and they pulled out all the stops to get rid of him. Now they’re going after the Fox News host using the same methods.

Wednesday’s revelation – in the Washington political gossip outlet Axios – that Carlson was emailing “Kremlin intermediaries” in order to set up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin indirectly confirmed his claim that the National Security Agency (NSA) had read his emails and was leaking them to the press.

The same people who initially outright dismissed the notion and cited the NSA non-denial of Carlson’s claims are now in the process of regrouping to argue that sure, OK, the spying happened but it was legitimate – because Russia! Hardly surprising, given that they spent the past several years promoting the Russiagate conspiracy theory.

This is the position of Democrats and their allies in the nominally Republican camp – the Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, Lincoln Project crowd. Most Republicans, meanwhile, are outraged and pointing out that spying on Carlson is unconstitutional and an attack on press freedom. They’re correct. They’re also missing the point.

Press freedom and constitutional constraints are quaint relics of the old republic, which has been taken over by something called Our Democracy, gradually and then suddenly over the course of the past year. This new regime cares less about what is being done, and more about who is doing it to whom. Those designated as virtuous can do no wrong, and those designated as villains can do no right. Uneven application of the law in the name of “equity” and social justice is a feature in Our Democracy, not a bug.

Most importantly, Our Democracy is built on narratives, which override observable reality. One dares to notice that – much less point out – at own risk.

Which brings us to Carlson. The formerly bowtie-sporting establishment conservative got his start in the now-defunct (and unlamented) Weekly Standard in the 1990s. He spent the aughts hosting shows on CNN and MSNBC, and founded the Daily Caller in 2010. It wasn’t until 2015 that his current show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, began airing on Fox.

Since then, he has become the undisputed ratings king of primetime cable TV, the most-watched evening opinion host in America. But while his follow-on colleague Sean Hannity has featured a lineup of Republican politicians – and Trump himself on more than one occasion – Carlson ditched the bowtie and turned to ordinary Americans.

Circumstantial evidence suggested that Trump paid attention to Carlson, and the host’s strong opposition on certain issues – the 2018 strikes against Syria, for example – has reportedly served to anchor the White House from drifting too far into neoconservative waters. He also emerged as one of the leading critics of coronavirus lockdowns, featuring as guests a number of small business owners who were ruined by them.

In other words, Carlson was doing what the media are supposed to do in a republic – be watchdogs who bring attention to political issues, thereby keeping the authorities in check. That, however, is not the media’s job in Our Democracy, where they serve as guard dogs of the regime instead. People who appeared on his show ended up being even more viciously persecuted by Democrat governors, as an example to others. It was only a matter of time before it would be Carlson’s own turn.

Which brings us to the present day, and the revelation that the NSA spied on Carlson’s emails. The details of how aren’t yet clear. It could have been through a FISA warrant, the way the FBI spied on Trump’s campaign and the first year of presidency, falsely claiming Carter Page was a “Russian agent” and citing the fraudulent, Democrat-funded Steele Dossier as evidence. Or it could have been through incidental spying on a foreign citizen he was emailing, but with Carlson’s name illegally “unmasked” and leaked to the press – the same way Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn was set up in early 2017.

To borrow a phrase from Hillary Clinton, what difference at this point does it make? Only one of the people involved in ‘Spygate’ was ever punished for it – with a slap on the wrist, no less – while the rest went on to become heroes of the Resistance. Ditto with the railroading of Flynn. Having successfully spied on and sabotaged an existing president, why wouldn’t they go after a cable TV host?

Moreover, Americans who get their news from CNN or MSNBC don’t know about any of this, and think these are Republican conspiracy theories – unlike the Russiagate fantasy that Trump was a Kremlin agent and Russia somehow “hacked our democracy” in 2016, which they believe is 100% real.

Carlson’s ratings and popularity have enabled him to resist many attempts at cancellation over the years, from activists brigading his advertisers to the ADL outright misrepresenting his words. His censorious competition at CNN has tried to compare Carlson to Alex Jones, whom they led the charge in deplatforming back in 2018, and even Trump himself. Clownish as all that sounded, with the involvement of the Biden administration and its spy agencies it now becomes ominous.

Whether the objective is to intimidate Fox into canceling Carlson, or pressure him to renounce himself and bend the knee, the media-political complex behind Our Democracy is counting on getting away with it. After all, they’ve done it before.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Telegram @TheNebulator

July 10, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

A Country That Has Lost Its Way: U.S. Government and Corporations Combine to Strip Citizens of Their Rights

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | July 8, 2021

The American people have increasingly become aware that government surveillance and corporate censorship have combined to keep people ignorant and controlled. What is taking place has generated some dark humor. A friend of mine, also a former CIA officer, wrote to me recently and said tongue-in-cheek that he retains a lot of respect for the Agency because it is the only major government national security entity that does not read our mail and emails. Those jobs are the responsibility of the NSA and FBI. I responded that I would imagine that CIA does in fact read quite a lot of mail where it operates overseas but it is probably done the old-fashioned way by recruiting an underpaid mail clerk as an agent.

The whole issue of the government spying illegally on its own citizens has again made the news with the claims by conservative commentator Tucker Carlson that NSA has been spying on him, presumably because he has connections that the government regards either as subversive or, in the new reckoning, as “extremists” who are potential “domestic terrorists.” Given the reasonable assumption that anyone who voted for Donald Trump might well fall under those categories, that means that something like half the U.S. population could be under suspicion.

Mass electronic surveillance of literally trillions of phone calls and messages worldwide without a warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment restrictions on searches without probable cause or a proper warrant issued by a judge has been the regular NSA authorized procedure at least since 9/11 and there is no reason to assume that it is no longer the practice. It basically is initiated by the agency involved (normally NSA or FBI) going to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court or to some other appropriate judge to get a warrant on an individual where there is some probable cause. Probable cause can consist of “someone searching the web for suspicious stuff.” The Court then gives its approval, which it does in the case of FISA 99% of the time. When that individual is then surveilled, the names of his or her contacts are also added to the investigation. And it goes on from there, expanding and growing until it includes thousands of phone numbers and email addresses, individuals who are overwhelmingly innocent of any wrongdoing.

So, it is safe to assume that many of us are right at this moment eligible for being monitored electronically by the federal government. If one combines that with the Biden Administration’s June 1st announcement of a war on “domestic terrorism,” which it clearly considers to be a function of “white supremacists,” it is easy to see where all that is going. Biden pulled no punches, describing the threat from “white supremacy” as the “most lethal threat to the homeland today,” so that would mean that the government is doing all in its power to stamp it out, whatever it takes and whatever that means.

Surveilling ordinary Americans for what they might be thinking, which is what this comes down to, would be a George Orwellian 1984 tale for our times, updated from when Winston Smith was doing mandatory daily exercises in front of his television set. He slacked off a bit and the TV instantly admonished him. He then wondered whether it was possible that he and all the other residents of Airstrip One (once called Britain) are surveilled all the time. He concluded that they were.

So, if your television set suddenly speaks to you in the next few months, it might not be Alexa. The other development that has surfaced in the past couple of weeks is the increased corporate cooperation with what the government is saying and doing. Mainstream media has certainly done its share of obfuscation, including the current near total suppression of the story that a key witness who provided false testimony against journalist Julian Assange languishing in a British prison has turned out to be a pedophile, diagnosed sociopath and serial liar. But the major player is inevitably social media, which has enormous power in the United States and also elsewhere to shape opinions and propagate false information that serves the government agenda. The media has banned numerous groups, individuals, and links to sites from its pages, a barrier to free speech and freedom of expression. And it has, for example, enthusiastically cooperated fully with the essentially fraudulent government claims of Russian interference in the two most recent U.S. elections. It is censoring or denigrating material that is at variance with official policies, including, for example, Facebook’s pop-ups that appear whenever there is any article that contests the approved version of the response to the COVID virus.

Back in June, the Biden administration said it would also be working with some of the large high-technology and social media companies to “increase information sharing” to assist in combatting radicalization. Biden announced that his Justice Department would create ways for Americans to report radicalized friends and family to the government. One senior official put it this way: “We will work to improve public awareness of federal resources to address concerning or threatening behavior before violence occurs… If you see something, say something. This involves creating contexts in which those who are family members or friends or co-workers know that there are pathways and avenues to raise concerns and seek help for those who they have perceived to be radicalizing and potentially radicalizing towards violence.”

In other words, in plain English, the Biden Administration is calling on Americans to spy on friends, neighbors and family and reporting any “extremist” views to the authorities. Well, Facebook is now fully on board with more of the same, engaged in the “hot” war against the “white supremacists/extremists/domestic terrorists.” It has blocked or shut down many former contributors and also begun posting at least two versions of warnings to users. One targets individuals who might have personally been visiting an “extremist” site while the other encourages users to snitch on friends or family who might be enticed by such material. The personalized pop-up reads as follows: “[Name of Recipient], you many have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently – Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment. You can take action now to protect yourself and others.-Get support from experts-Spot the signs, understand the dangers of extremism and hear from people who escaped violent groups.”

The snitch on friends version reads: “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?-We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support. How you can help. Hear stories and get advice from people who escaped violent extremist groups-Get support.”

To be sure, one has to ask how Facebook knows that one has visited an “extremist” site since they have blocked such material. Are they somehow hacking into the personal accounts of their own users? The situation is dire, no doubt about it, but it has provoked a backlash, including this post: “Become the extremist Facebook warned you about!” One also has to wonder how Facebook will deal with individuals who complain about some other groups with a demonstrated history of promoting violence, including black lives matter, that are not white supremacist related. It will almost certainly do nothing, just like the federal government’s demonstrated “racially sensitive” supine response to a year of riot, burning, looting and homicide. In truth Americans are standing at the edge of a precipice with just one more “crisis” possibly coming that will tip everyone over the edge so we wind up with a totalitarian government which works hard to keep everyone safe by doing the opposite. We are almost there, and if you doubt it just go take a look at Facebook.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

Inside Biden’s new “domestic terrorism” strategy

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | July 1, 2021

Following the (completely contrived) Capitol Hill “riot” on January 6th, Joe Biden made it clear – or rather, the people that control Joe Biden made it clear – “domestic terrorism” was going to be a defining issue of his presidency.

Indeed, in an act of startling prescience, the incoming administration had been talking about a new “Domestic Terrorism Bill” for well over three months before the “riot” happened. The media had been calling for one for at least six. Major universities were writing papers about it.

It’s funny how often that happens, isn’t it?

I wrote at the time that the Capitol Hill “riot” could prove to be America’s Reichstag Fire – a fake attack, blamed on an invisible enemy and used to rush through restrictive legislation and emergency powers. A 9/11 sequel, extending the Patriot Act franchise.

Now, just a few short months later, the Biden White House has released their National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. Let’s take a look inside it, shall we?

SO, WHAT IS “DOMESTIC TERRORISM”?

The first thing to say about the “strategy”… is that it’s not really a strategy. It’s more of a mission statement or even a press release. It hits talking points, but not real policies. Its watchword is “vague” – in both definition of the problem and proposed solutions (with a couple of noteworthy exceptions, but we’ll get to that.)

For starters – who or what IS a “domestic terrorist”?

Well, their answer to that is, essentially, potentially anybody. They’re not identifying any particular ideology or cause or group – but rather EVERY ideology cause or group. I wrote, back in January, that any definition would be kept intentionally loose, and the strategy does not disappoint.

The cause of “domestic terrorism” can be racism, religious intolerance, environmental protest, anti-government feeling, animal rights, anti-abortion campaigners, “perceived government overeach”, “incel ideology”, “anti-corporate globalization feeling” or a mixture of any of the above.

“Domestic terrorists” may espouse violence or they may not espouse violence. They may work in groups, or be loners, or be loose associations with no organizational structure. They can be left wing or right wing, religious or secular.

They can be anybody who thinks anything.

There is a lot of entirely intentional vagueness here. Again and again, we are told that “the domestic terrorism threat is complex, multifaceted, and evolving”. They are keeping their options open.

Don’t expect ANY specifics on who is a “domestic terrorist” until AFTER any legislation is passed. That way, the great American public can insert their own personal bugbear into the ellipsis (and then be taken completely by surprise when it turns out the new laws apply to everyone).

That said, there have been some clues as to the kind of person that might be the target of any new anti-terror legislation.

In the Washington Post, in February this year, California State Senator Richard Pam wrote:

Anti-vaccine extremism is akin to domestic terrorism

He wasn’t alone, on this side of the Atlantic the head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit “called for action against coronavirus anti-vaxxers”.

Even this document makes insinuations on that front.

In a startling contradiction, after spending five or six pages talking up the “complex” and “unpredictable” nature of “domestic terrorism,” they then make an incredibly specific prediction about a future “domestic terrorist attack”:

Taken from the “Assessment of the Domestic Violent Extremism Threat” (p. 10):

Newer sociopolitical developments–such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol, conditions related to the COVID–19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence–will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year.

Apparently, the official position of the FBI, CIA, NSA and DHS is that domestic terrorism is a vast cloud of mystery, swirling with unknown and conflicting motivations…. but they definitely know when the next attack will happen, and why it will take place..

SO WHAT’S TO BLAME?

The evil “domestic terrorists” and “violent extremists” might be widely diverse in their ideologies, social structures, motives and political leanings… but nevertheless, they ALL use the same exact methods of communication, and the same platforms to host their “misinformation”.

It turns out, according to this strategy, there’s really only one thing at the root of all “domestic terrorism”: The internet.

Yes, the vast majority of this “strategy” is focused on the digital world. In only 28 pages of text the words “online”, “social media”, “internet”, “platform”, “encryption”, and “site” occur well over 60 times combined. Here’s some examples:

… social media, file–upload sites, and end–to–end encrypted platforms, all of these elements can combine and amplify threats to public safety…
*
DVEs exploit a variety of popular social media platforms, smaller websites with targeted audiences, and encrypted chat applications to recruit new adherents, plan and rally support for in-person actions, and disseminate materials that contribute to radicalization and mobilization to violence
*
Recruiting and mobilizing individuals to domestic terrorism [is] increasingly happening on Internet–based communications platforms, including social media, online gaming platforms, file–upload sites, and end–to–end encrypted chat platforms
*
… extreme polarization, fueled by a crisis of disinformation and misinformation often channeled through social media platforms, which can tear Americans apart and lead some to violence.
*
DVE attackers often radicalize independently by consuming violent extremist material online.

It goes on, and on and on in that fashion.

As much as the Deep State talks up the supposedly unknowable nature of “domestic terrorism” early on, they are equally sure that every single one of them is on the net. Which, fortunately from the state’s point of view, means they can all be tackled with the same solution.

WHAT THEY’RE GONNA DO ABOUT IT

You probably don’t need me to tell you what the supposed “solution” to this entirely created “problem” is. It’s the same grab-bag of solutions that a power-hungry state will always seek, given the opportunity. Yes, there’s a token reference to guns and “high-capacity” magazines, but really it’s all about controlling the internet.

Specifically – it’s about surveillance, censorship, and propaganda. The big three.

Of course, the document never ever uses those words. Surveillance is “information gathering”. Propaganda is “messaging” or “education”. Censorship is “countering propaganda” or “working with media partners to remove incitement of violence”.

They use the shifting, indirect language of government, but the meaning is clear if you know how to read it:

… the Department of Homeland Security and others are either currently funding and implementing or planning evidence–based digital programming, including enhancing media literacy and critical thinking skills, as a mechanism for strengthening user resilience to disinformation and misinformation online for domestic audiences. The Department of State and United States Agency for International Development are doing similar work globally.

Translation: The DHS is funding massive propaganda campaigns designed to both brainwash the public, and discourage them from reading any sources which disagree with the official line.

The Department of Homeland Security has expanded its efforts to provide financial, educational, and technical assistance to those well placed to recognize and address possible domestic terrorism recruitment and mobilization to violence and will ensure that its counter–domestic terrorism prevention efforts are driven by data and informed by community–based partners.

Translation: DHS is working with social media monopolies to censor certain people, and paying them to pass citizens’ private information to the government and/or intelligence agencies.

Enhancing faith in American democracy demands accelerating work to contend with an information environment that challenges healthy democratic discourse. We will work toward finding ways to counter the influence and impact of dangerous conspiracy theories that can provide a gateway to terrorist violence.

Translation: “Enhancing faith in democracy” means censoring anybody who posts evidence that elections are fixed, that the political class is corrupt or that the media are servants of the state who peddle lies for cash.

And then there are some phrases that need no translation at all:

the Department of Justice is examining carefully what new authorities might be necessary and appropriate.

… seems pretty clear.

The obvious end goal here is new legislation granting greater powers to the state.

THE NATURE OF “VIOLENCE”

Time to address the elephant in the room: “violence”. The word is used a lot in the report. One-hundred and eleven times in 28 pages. It’s never just “extremism” when it can be “violent extremism”. But what does that word really mean in this context?

The answer to that is “absolutely nothing”. It is a phrase robbed of meaning. Applied on an ad hoc basis, based on political convenience rather than physical reality.

A reminder that this is described as “violent extremism”:

And this as “mostly peaceful”:

And this is “inciting violence”:

If the President of the United States can be deleted from the internet, impeached and tried before the Senate because “go home in peace and love” and “stay peaceful” are “inciting violence”, then the word is totally meaningless and we should simply ignore it.

Essentially, they have demonstrated they will classify anything they want as violent, and ignore any actual violence if they need to.

THE ROLE OF IDENTITY POLITICS

I doubt any White House policy announcement has ever leaned so heavily into the politics of identity before now. “Hatred”, “bigotry”, “LGBTQI+” “racism”… and so on. They all get a lot of mentions. But why?

Well, the simple answer is camouflage. Generally, by draping the inevitable Patriot Act 2.0 in the language of identity, they can trick “liberals” into believing it’s some kind of progressive policy.

More specifically, they can align “anti-government” with “white-supremacy”, as if they are always the same. In this sentence for example:

Today’s domestic terrorists espouse a range of violent ideological motivations, including racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred as well as anti–government or anti–authority sentiment…

Look at the other causes listed alongside “White supremacy” in this document: “perceived government overreach”“anti-corporate globalization”“opposing government institutions”“anti-authority sentiment”. Rational, reasonable anti-government positions, bracketed alongside bigotry and racism.

General Mark Miley recently testified in front of the senate about how the need to “understand white rage”.

As Glen Greenwald wrote, this is not about racism, but about aligning the “progressive left” with the military. Turning militaristic, totalitarian Imperialism into a progressive cause, whilst smearing all those who oppose it as bigots and potential “domestic terrorists”.

THE WAY AHEAD

This strategy is just the latest domino put in place. It’s a long con, with multiple moving pieces, but the end is clear. Though this document is deliberaletely cagy about the possibility of new legislation, that is all part of the dance.

The manipulation of the public has been government practice since the dawn of time. The contrived public reticence to act, concealing intrigues behind the scenes which create an apparent need for action. Eventually, the public will beg the state to “do something”, and they’ll unveil the something they were planning the whole time. Tale as old as time. True as it can be.

This is no different.

Only last night, the US Senate voted to create a “select committee” investigating the Capitol Hill riot. This political pantomime will roll on for a few weeks with “shocking testimony” from FBI agents and military intelligence operatives.

They will detail how “misinformation radicalised people online”, alongside admitting they “had knowledge, but lacked the power to act” or that “counter-terrorism forces were focused on foreign groups” and/or lacked “legal authority” to surveil domestic threats. There will be a couple of throwaway admissions, something akin to a “failure of imagination”.

Senators from liberal states will make speeches about how the military/CIA/FBI are institutionally racist because they assumed white people can’t be terrorists, and a few willing uniformed fall guys will look appropriately shame-faced behind their medals.

There will be no real inquest, and no new information. It will be an exercise in reinforcing an entirely fake reality. And the final findings will be that the FBI/CIA/NSA… or whoever…needs more money and power. A new bill (likely already written) will be pushed into the hands of some hip “liberal” politician, who will do a decent job pretending they wrote it.

If there is any noteworthy public objection to the new powers, well then we’ll see another “domestic terrorist” attack. Maybe there’ll be one anyway, just to underline how vital the new bill is. (They’re prepping us already, with the DHS warning about attacks on July 4th and a possible “summer of violence”).

And then, stirring itself to act only at the insistence of the Democrat-controlled Senate, the White House will sign-off on its Patriot Act 2.0.

The final paragraph of the strategy document reads:

This document represents that Strategy – a Strategy whose implementation is, already, well underway.

No kidding.

July 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment