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Obama suggests Big Tech algorithms need to be regulated over “misinformation” problem

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | April 8, 2022

Former US President Barack Obama railed against social media platforms for supposedly prompting “white supremacists, insurrectionists, misogynist behavior, bullying behavior,” accused these platforms of undermining democracy, and called for them to be regulated during Wednesday’s “Disinformation and Erosion of Democracy” conference.

At the conference, Obama described himself as “close to a First Amendment absolutist” who believes that you “deal with bad speech with good speech.”

“We don’t want to be policing… everything that’s said on the internet,” Obama added.

However, when it came to speech that Obama deems to be “misinformation” or “disinformation,” he didn’t propose more speech as a solution.

Instead, he framed the weaponization of “information, disinformation, misinformation” as one of the things that he’s “most concerned about” and something that he “underestimated the degree to which democracies were as vulnerable to.”

Obama also claimed that social media product design “monetizes anger, resentment, conflict, division, and, in some cases, makes people very vulnerable” and “can lead to violence.”

“If you are… a woman, if you are a person of color, if you are a trans person right now in certain parts of this country, what’s said matters,” Obama said. “What you now have is…these product designs that are… in a non-transparent way, that we don’t have much insight to, a series of editorial choices are essentially being made that undermine our democracy and oftentimes, when combined with any kind of ethnonationalism misogyny or racism, can be fatal.”

Additionally, the former President invoked the January 6 Capitol riot and complained that social media platforms “have some insight into what’s more likely to prompt white supremacists, insurrectionists, misogynist behavior, bullying behavior” but haven’t been forthcoming about their product designs.

Obama’s proposed solution to his complaints about misinformation and social media is to regulate social media algorithms and subject these platforms to federal inspections.

“I think it is reasonable for us as a society to have a debate and then put in place a combination of regulatory measures and industry norms that leave intact the opportunity for these platforms that make money but say to them that… there’s certain practices you engage in that… we don’t think are good for our society and we’re gonna discourage,” Obama said.

He continued by arguing that “a democracy can rightly expect” social media platforms to share their insights with the public and be subject to a level of scrutiny from federal inspectors that is similar to the safety standards and inspections imposed on producers of meat, cars, and toasters.

Interestingly, when Obama was asked to provide examples of misinformation and disinformation during the conference, his stance varied wildly depending on how these examples affected him.

He branded the first example that he provided, media speculation about his birthplace, as agenda-driven promotion of “a clearly false fact.”

Yet when he provided the second example, the media’s accusations that he’d shared false information and lied about the Affordable (sic) Care Act, Obama admitted that what he’d said was “technically” false but justified it by claiming that “the basic principle I’d laid out, I meant and was true.”

This isn’t the first time Obama has pushed for government oversight of Big Tech. In 2020, the former President called for regulations that curb “crazy lies and conspiracy theories.”

April 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Evidence of Pandemic and Bioweapon Cover-Ups

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | April 7, 2022

As evidence of a potential bioweapons cover-up has started emerging, a company called Metabiota is gaining prominence. The links between Metabiota and several key players in the COVID pandemic and/or the Ukraine labs story are manifold, so there’s no really simple way to unravel it in a logical sequence. That said, let’s start with what Metabiota does and the connections of its founder, and expand from there.

Metabiota’s Mission

Metabiota’s mission is to make the world more resilient to epidemics by providing “data, analytics, advice and training to prepare for global health threats and mitigate their impacts.”1

Through data analysis, they help “decision makers across government and industry” to estimate and mitigate pandemic risks. But they also claim to support “sustainable development,” which seems to have little to do with pandemic risk management.

That term, “sustainable development,” is one promoted by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF). It’s part and parcel of Schwab’s plan for a global Great Reset and transhumanist revolution (aka, the Fourth Industrial Revolution).

It’s not surprising, then, to find out that the founder of Metabiota, Nathan Wolfe, not only has close ties to the WEF, but is also a rising star there. He’s a WEF Young Global Leader graduate and was awarded the WEF’s Technology Pioneer award in 2021.

Metabiota and the Search for Pandemic Viruses

Metabiota was a core partner of a United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Pandemic Threat Program called PREDICT, which sought to identify viruses with pandemic potential.

Contractors funded through this program have included the EcoHealth Alliance, headed by Peter Daszak. The PREDICT program, directed by Dennis Carroll, appears to have served as a proof of concept for the Global Virome Project that Carroll founded.

According to a recent investigation by U.S. Right to Know (USRTK),2 Carroll appears to have diverted government funds from the PREDICT program while he was still running it, to fund this personal side project, which was set up with the intention to collect, identify and catalogue 1 million viruses from wildlife in an effort to predict which ones might cause a human epidemic.

Metabiota’s Funding

Metabiota receives funding from several interconnected organizations and agencies, including:3

Pilot Growth Management, cofounded by Neil Callahan. Callahan is also a cofounder of Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners, and he sits on Metabiota’s board of advisers

The Global Virome Project, which reportedly paid (or was planning to pay) Metabiota $341,000 to conduct a cost-benefit analysis4

In-Q-Tel, a CIA venture capital firm that specializes in high-tech investments that support or benefit the intelligence capacity of U.S. intelligence agencies

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).5 Specifically, in 2014, DTRA awarded Metabiota $18.4 million in federal contracts for scientific and technical consulting services to the DTRA’s labs in Ukraine and Georgia6

By outsourcing work to private companies, DTRA is able to circumvent Congressional oversight. Russia is now accusing the U.S. of funding secret and illegal bioweapons research in these Ukraine labs, and claims this was the real reason behind its invasion

Rosemont Seneca,7 an investment fund co-managed by Hunter Biden.8 If Russia’s accusations turn out to be true, this tie may prove deeply problematic for the White House, as this means the Biden family was more or less directly involved in the funding of that research

Wolfe has also received more than $20 million in research grants from Google, the NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, just to name a few, and was a friend of now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein. In his 2012 book, “The Viral Storm,” Wolfe thanked friends for their support, including Epstein and Boris Nikolic. Nikolic, a biotech venture capitalist, was named “back-up executor” in Epstein’s will.9

Epstein, who besides being a convicted pedophile and accused child sex trafficker, had a robust interest in eugenics. It’s now well-known that he dreamed of creating a “superhuman” race of his own by impregnating dozens of women at a time at his New Mexico ranch.10 Epstein also managed to secure meetings with Bill Gates,11 whose family history is also marked by an interest in eugenics and population control.

Metabiota’s Founder Tied to Suspect in COVID Pandemic

In addition to having close ties to the WEF and its Great Reset agenda, Wolfe, the founder of Metabiota, has also served on the EcoHealth Alliance’s editorial board since 2004. In 2017, he even co-wrote a study on coronaviruses in bats together with EcoHealth Alliance president, Peter Daszak.

As you may recall, EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization focused on pandemic prevention, worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China, where SARS-CoV-2 is suspected of having originated.12

Daszak — who received funding for coronavirus research from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the U.S. State Department13 — subcontracted some of that work to Shi Zheng-li at the WIV. He was also the coauthor on research projects at the WIV.

Once rumors of SARS-CoV-2 being man-made first began, Daszak played a central role in the plot to obscure the lab origin by crafting a scientific statement condemning such inquiries as “conspiracy theory.”14,15 This manufactured “consensus” was then relied on by the media to counter anyone presenting theories and evidence to the contrary.

This, despite the fact that he, in 2015, warned that a global pandemic might occur from a laboratory incident — and that “the risks were greater with the sort of virus manipulation research being carried out in Wuhan”!16

In 2021, two investigations into the origins of the COVID pandemic were opened, one by the World Health Organization17 and another by The Lancet,18 and Daszak somehow managed to end up on both of these committees, despite having openly and repeatedly dismissed the possibility of the pandemic being the result of a lab leak.19

Editor’s note: The WHO reference has been scrubbed from both the agency’s website and internet archives, but several news stories like this one from NPR,20 published after the investigation was launched, are still live and accessible.

Interestingly, one of EcoHealth Alliance’s policy advisers is a former Fort Detrick commander named David Franz. Fort Detrick is the principal U.S. government-run “biodefense” facility, although Franz himself has publicly admitted that “in biology … everything is dual use — the people, the facilities and the equipment.”21

Metabiota and the DTRA

In late May 2016, Metabiota hired Andrew C. Weber,22 a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, to head up its Global Partnerships.23 Between 2009 and 2014, Weber served as assistant secretary of defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense under then-president Obama.

Weber is credited with creating the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) — a combat support agency within the U.S. DoD, specializing in countering weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons24,25 — and as mentioned earlier, the DTRA has reportedly funded Metabiota to operate U.S.-funded biological research labs in Ukraine.

The DTRA has also issued a number of grants to the EcoHealth Alliance, totaling at least $37.5 million,26,27 including a 2017 grant for $6.5 million to “understand the risk of bat-borne zoonotic disease emergence in Western Asia.”28

According to a December 2020 report by The Defender,29 EcoHealth Alliance had tried to hide most of the Pentagon funding that it had received between 2013 and 2020, most of which came from the DTRA.

Metabiota’s Bungled Ebola Response

In 2016, CBS News published a scathing critique of Metabiota’s response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.30 Metabiota had been hired by the WHO and the local government of Sierra Leone to monitor the spread of the epidemic, but according to an investigation by The Associated Press, “some of the company’s actions made an already chaotic situation worse.”

In a July 17, 2014, email obtained by AP, Dr. Eric Bertherat, medical officer at the WHO’s Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response, complained about misdiagnoses and “total confusion” at the small laboratory Metabiota shared with Tulane University in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

According to Bertherat, there was “no tracking of the samples” and “absolutely no control on what is being done.” “This is a situation that WHO can no longer endorse,” he wrote. Similarly, Sylvia Blyden, special executive assistant to the president of Sierra Leone, told AP Metabiota’s response was a disaster:31

“’They messed up the entire region,’ she said. She called Metabiota’s attempt to claim credit for its Ebola work ‘an insult for the memories of thousands of Africans who have died.’”

U.S. health official Austin Demby, who evaluated Metabiota’s and Tulane’s lab work at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the government of Sierra Leone, was also critical.

In one email, Demby noted used needles were left out and there was no ultraviolet light for decontamination. The space was also too small to safely process blood samples. “The cross-contamination potential is huge and quite frankly unacceptable,” he wrote.

Anja Wolz, an emergency coordinator with Doctors Without Borders, told AP she witnessed Metabiota workers entering homes of suspected Ebola patients without protective gear, and leaving high-risk areas without performing any kind of decontamination procedure. She also accused Metabiota of miscalculating the severity of the outbreak, while insisting that they had the situation under control when clearly, they didn’t.

Tulane microbiology professor Bob Garry was also critical of Metabiota’s choice to have Dr. Jean-Paul Gonzalez run the operation, as Gonzalez, in 1994, had accidentally gotten infected with a rare hemorrhagic fever while working in a Yale University lab.

He failed to notify anyone about the exposure for more than a week, a delay that put more than 100 other people at risk. Gonzalez was ordered to take a remedial safety course, but according to Garry, such carelessness was a red flag, and he didn’t think Gonzalez was the right man to teach Sierra Leoneans about Ebola.

“Do you really want the person who infected himself with hemorrhagic fever going around explaining to people how to be safe?” Garry asked in an email to a Metabiota media representative. Wolfe defended his company, saying there was no evidence they’d done anything wrong. Some of the problems he blamed on misunderstandings, and others on commercial rivalry.

Lab Accident ‘Most Likely,’ yet Least Probed Cause of COVID

In a March 28, 2022, report,32 U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) revealed the contents of a 2020 State Department memo33 obtained by the group. USRTK writes:34

“‘Origin of the outbreak: The Wuhan labs remained the most likely but least probed,’ reads the topline. The memo is written as a BLUF — ‘bottom line up front’ — a style of communication used in the military. The identity of the author or authors is unknown …

‘BLUF: There is no direct, smoking gun evidence to prove that a leak from Wuhan labs caused the pandemic, but there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such is the case,’ the memo reads. Apparently drafted in spring 2020, the memo details circumstantial evidence for the ‘lab leak’ theory — the idea that COVID-19 originated at one of the labs in Wuhan, China, the pandemic’s epicenter.

The memo raises concerns about the ‘massive amount’ of research on novel coronaviruses apparently conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the nearby Wuhan Center for Disease Control lab … The memo also flags biosafety lapses at both labs, calling the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s ‘management of deadly viruses and virus-carrying lab animals … appallingly poor and negligent.’

The memo provides an extraordinary window into behind-the-scenes concerns about a lab accident among U.S. foreign policy leaders, even as this line of inquiry was deemed a conspiracy theory by international virologists, some of whom had undisclosed conflicts of interest.

The memo also calls into question these virologists’ impartiality. Shi Zhengli, a Wuhan Institute of Virology coronavirus researcher nicknamed the ‘Bat Woman,’ has forged wide-reaching international collaborations, including with prestigious Western virologists, the memo notes.

‘Suspicion lingers that Shi holds an important and powerful position in the field in China and has extensive cooperation with many [international] virologists who might be doing her a favor,’ it reads …

The memo laments that ‘the most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off from inquiry by the [Chinese Communist Party]’ … The memo even suggests that other hypotheses may have served as a distraction from a probe of the city’s extensive research on novel coronaviruses. ‘All other theories are likely to be a decoy to prevent an inquiry [into] the WCDC and WIV,’ it states …

The memo cites a 2015 paper35 coauthored by Shi titled ‘A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence’ that described creating a ‘chimera,’ or engineered virus, with the spike protein of a coronavirus from a Chinese horseshoe bat.

Editors at Nature Medicine added a note in March 2020 cautioning that the article was ‘being used as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered’ … But the memo shows that the State Department indeed considered the paper relevant to the pandemic’s origins.”

NIH Retracted Gene Sequence at WIV Researcher’s Request

While we’ve yet to obtain bulletproof evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was developed as a bioweapon, there’s plenty of circumstantial evidence that points in that direction. Disturbingly, as time goes on, more and more of this circumstantial evidence seems to highlight the United States’ involvement. If one proverbial finger is pointing at China, four others are pointing back at us.

This is profoundly bad news, but it really ought to strengthen our resolve to get to the bottom of it. None of us are safe until the mad scientists responsible for this pandemic are brought to justice. It doesn’t matter who they are. In all likelihood, we’ll find that blame cannot be pinned on a single nation. At bare minimum, the U.S. and China appear to be covering for each other.

As just one example, there are the deletions of information that have occurred both at the National Institutes of Health and the WIV, either at the other’s request, or as what appears to be a favor.

As reported by Just the News,36 NIH deleted a genetic sequencing submission of SARS-CoV-2 from its Sequence Read Archive (SRA) at the request of a researcher at the WIV. Emails37 obtained via FOIA request to the NIH by Empower Oversight show a WIV researcher who had submitted two genetic sequences to the SRA, one in March 2020, and a second in June 2020, asked to have the last one retracted.

NIH initially stated that it would be better to edit or replace the submission rather than retracting it, but the researcher insisted it be removed, which they did. To be fair, the NIH also states it has retracted at least eight SRA submissions in total, most from American researchers, at their request. However, emails also show the NIH directed reporters on how to provide more favorable and less sensationalized coverage of the deletion of the Chinese sequence. Just the News writes:38

“[Empower Oversight] says one of the most disconcerting elements of the emails is evidence showing the NIH has refused to participate in a transparent process to examine data on the deleted sequences.

‘Most importantly, why has NIH refused to examine archival copies of deleted sequences in an open scientific process to determine whether any of that information might be able to shed light on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic?’ the group asked.

However, that argument was dismissed by NIH official Steve Sherry. Although sequences are never fully deleted, according to the agency, Sherry told a researcher who asked for transparency, ‘As you know, when data sets are withdrawn from the database, that status does not permit use for further analyses.’”

WIV Deleted Mentions of US Collaborators

The WIV has also deleted information in what appears to be an effort to shield the NIH. Shortly after Fauci testified in a Senate hearing in March 2021,39 the WIV quietly deleted all mentions of its collaboration with Fauci’s NIAID, the NIH and other American research partners from its website. As reported May 15, 2021, by The National Pulse :40

“March 21st, 2021, the lab’s website listed six U.S.-based research partners: University of Alabama, University of North Texas, EcoHealth Alliance, Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States, and the National Wildlife Federation.41

One day later, the page was revised to contain just two research partners — EcoHealth Alliance and the University of Alabama.42 By March 23rd, EcoHealth Alliance was the sole partner remaining.43

EcoHealth Alliance is run by long-standing Chinese Communist Party-partner Dr. Peter Daszak, who National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam has repeatedly claimed will be the first ‘fall guy’ of the Wuhan lab debacle …

Beyond establishing a working relationship between the NIH and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now-deleted posts44 from the site also detail studies bearing the hallmarks of gain-of-function research conducted with the Wuhan-based lab.”

Indeed, a now-deleted WIV web page titled “Will SARS Come Back?” stated that:45

“Prof. Zhengli Shi and Xingyi Ge from WIV, in cooperation with researchers from University of North Carolina, Harvard Medical School, Bellinzona Institute of Microbiology … examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations.

Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, the scientists generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.

The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.

Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein.

On the basis of these findings, they synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo …”

The WIV’s deletions of American research partners from its website (with the exception of EcoHealth Alliance), and its deletion of the article discussing genetic research on the SARS virus only served to strengthen suspicions of a cover-up. At the time, the most surprising thing about it was that they were covering up American involvement and not just their own.

Are We the Bad Guys?

Alas, as noted by Maajid Nawaz,46 a former Islamist revolutionary who became an anti-extremism activist, if it turns out that the U.S. did in fact engage in illegal bioweapons development in Ukraine, it might just turn out that we’re the bad guys here. He writes, in part:47

“On the 24th February 2022, the very day of Russia’s invasion, some of us were already worried about the prospect of biological weapons laboratories existing in Ukraine …

The existence of bio-weapons labs on Ukraine’s border with Russia has since been confirmed by both Russia and the US (I say both because the Ukrainian government is essentially serving as a US proxy). The only remaining question is around what we were doing in those laboratories.

It is no longer in doubt that we funded bio-weapons research in the Wuhan lab in China, from where it is now believed that COVID most likely leaked from. So were we doing the same in Ukraine too? Russia has certainly made the allegation …

The official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov stated48 ‘In the course of a special military operation, the facts of an emergency cleansing by the Kiev regime of traces of a military biological program being implemented in Ukraine, funded by the US Department of Defense, were uncovered.’

With this, he released this document drop49 alleging … that these papers substantiated their case. If Russia’s allegations hold up, the US and her proxy Ukrainian regime would be in violation of the first article of the UN Convention on the Prohibition of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons.50

Russia’s announcement appears to have forced America’s hand to admit that such bio labs do indeed exist. US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland framed this admission by stating that these labs were for defensive research only.

Under Secretary Nuland however continued to make the case that such labs would be dangerous if they fell into Russian hands, without apparently noticing the contradiction inherent in her position that such labs are only dangerous because they can be weaponized …

Matching Russian precision strikes to a map of bio lab locations inside Ukraine certainly does suggest that Putin’s ‘special military operation’ appears to be targeting some of these dangerous labs.”

Indeed, Nawaz highlights a 2021 Ukrainian petition51,52 to president Zelensky, asking for a) the immediate closure of “American bio-laboratories in the territory of Ukraine,” b) an investigation into the activities of those labs, and c) an investigation into potential Ukrainian participation in the creation of SARS-CoV-2.

In other words, at least some Ukrainians, by 2021, were wondering whether the U.S. labs in their country might have been involved in the creation of this pandemic.

Denouncements Ring Hollow

Not surprisingly, the U.S. State Department took a hard line, denouncing all allegations with the statement that “The United States does not have chemical and biological weapons labs in Ukraine.”53 In another statement,54 the State Department “clarified” that the labs were for “biodefense,” not biological weapons, thus semantically cleansing their criminal activities.

The problem with that is that there’s no hard line between biodefense and bioweapons research. As admitted by EcoHealth Alliance’s policy advisor and former Fort Detrick commander David Franz, it’s all “dual use — the people, the facilities and the equipment.”55 Biodefense implies biowarfare, as it involves the creation of more dangerous pathogens for the alleged purpose of finding treatments against them.

Bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, has also pointed out that most BSL-4 labs are dual use: “They first develop the offensive biological warfare agent and then they develop the supposed vaccine.”56 And then, there’s the weapons proliferation agreement57 between the U.S. and Ukraine, signed at the end of August 2005.

Incidentally, former President Barrack Obama spearheaded the project to construct these Ukrainian labs back in 2005, when he was still a senator and, curiously, the online announcement of his involvement in this project has also been deleted from the web.58

According to this agreement, the U.S. Department of Defense will assist the Ministry of Health in Ukraine, at no cost, to prevent “proliferation of technology, pathogens and expertise” found in a number of Ukraine labs, that “could be used in the development of biological weapons.”

The Burning Question of Intent

So, the agreement itself clarifies that they’re working on pathogens that COULD be used as biological weapons, and Nuland’s stated concerns back this up. The only question remaining then is one of intention. What’s the intended use of these pathogens? Defense? Or offense? And is there really a difference?

As noted by Nawaz, the U.S. clinging to the defense of “biodefense” and anti-bioweapons proliferation is “the equivalent of denying that Einstein’s discovery of splitting the atom to generate energy is not also something that could be used to make nuclear weapons. After the COVID outbreak, the notion that bio labs can be weaponized should simply be presumed as a rule.”

Also, consider the network of players reviewed earlier. The Ukrainian-American collaboration to study pathogens capable of weaponization is run by the DTRA, which funds Metabiota, which is run by a WEF leader with close personal ties to the one person — Daszak — suspected of being a key player in the creation of SARS-CoV-2, a go-between of the NIH and the WIV, and a central force in the cover-up of the lab leak theory.

Interestingly, Metabiota is also financially backed by Hunter Biden’s investment company, and let’s not forget that young Biden also collected a six-figure salary from a Ukrainian gas company for doing literally nothing, other than supplying his “powerful name.”59

Circumstantial or not, it just doesn’t look good. And, by now, it should be crystal clear that any lab doing defensive work is equally capable of churning out offensive weapons. Debating that point is just silly, as it all boils down to semantics.

According to Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, Metabiota is a key player in the Ukrainian labs. David Horowitz, a political writer, has noted that Metabiota is “a company that tracks the trajectory of outbreaks and sells pandemic insurance, but also seems to have its hand in the actual labs that … might be the source of some of these outbreaks.”60

In other words, could it be that Metabiota has been producing biological agents under diplomatic cover and then selling pandemic insurance and pandemic trackers to “help countries get ahead of what they are putting out”?61

Nawaz asks, “was ensuring that a ‘next pandemic’ doesn’t occur by taking out these bio labs, what Putin had in mind by his phrase ‘special military operation’?”62 At this point, it seems a valid question.

Sources and References

April 7, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Romney’s self-fulfilling Russia prophecy

The degradation of the Russian-US relations is the byproduct of the American foreign policy

By Scott Ritter | RT | March 1, 2022

A decade ago, then-Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was lambasted by the media for calling Russia “America’s number one geopolitical foe.” Today, he is being lauded for being a visionary. Romney’s self-fulfilling prophecy says more about bad US policy than Russian malfeasance.

It was the hot mic moment heard around the world. On March 26, 2012, as reporters were being led into a photo opportunity involving President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the eve of a global nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea, their microphones picked up an exchange between the two leaders.

Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”

Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

The context of the conversation—delicate negotiations between the US and Russia regarding ballistic missile defense systems in Europe—was irrelevant to what happened next.

That night,while being interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama’s Republican opponent in the 2012 US Presidential race, Mitt Romney, chided the Democratic incumbent for his comments. “Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage,” Romney said. “And for this president to be looking for greater flexibility, where he doesn’t have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia, is very, very troubling, very alarming.” Calling Russia America’s number one geopolitical foe, Romney declared, “they fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that [President Barack Obama] has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling, indeed.”

The issue of Obama’s hot mic moment came up again, during a televised debate on October 22, 2012. Obama, aware of the potential negative political exposure his hot mic incident could create, came loaded with a zinger. “A few months ago,” he told Romney, “when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia… and the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

All Romney could do was repeat his assessment of Russia being America’s number one geopolitical foe, before declaring: “I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, ‘I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.’”

Obama’s mic-drop moment was devastating for Romney, who lost the election in a landslide.

Years later, some of Romney’s biggest critics appear to have changed their minds about his “Cold War” moment. “Look, I’m willing to say that in 2012 when we all scoffed at Mitt for saying that, gee, Russia was our No. 1 geopolitical foe, think we were a little off there,” former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau noted in 2017.

In the aftermath of Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine, Mitt Romney’s 2012 pronouncements have been, in the eyes of many political observers in America, vindicated.

Romney certainly believes so, commenting on CNN’s State of the Union last Sunday that “a geopolitical foe they obviously were and continue to be, because Russia continues to fight us in every venue they have. They support the world’s worst actors.”

Romney expressed concern over a trend by three former presidents—George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump—who sought to reset relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “John McCain was right,” Romney said. “He said he looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw the KGB. And that’s what we’re seeing: a small, evil, feral-eyed man who is trying to shape the world in the image where once again Russia would be an empire. And that’s not going to happen.”

To the geopolitically uninitiated, Romney’s 2012 remarks, when viewed through the lens of the present, certainly seem prescient. What is missing, however, is the context of history over time, the factual connectivity between events circa 2012, and the moment. When Obama and Medvedev had their hot mic incident, the US and Russia were still in their “reset” phase of the Obama first term, where the US hoped against hope that they would be able to weaken Putin’s hold on power by promoting the political fortunes of Medvedev.

This gambit failed, not because of any malfeasance on the part of Russia, but the lack of integrity in the Obama administration when it came to fulfilling promises made to Medvedev concerning arms control and the NATO intervention in Libya. While the US notion that Medvedev could somehow supplant Putin as the leading political figure in Russia was always an American pipe dream (the brain child of none other than Michael McFaul, Obama’s foremost Russian expert in the national security council who went on to become Obama’s Ambassador in Moscow), the notion that improving US-Russian relations through meaningful diplomatic engagement was not far-fetched. Indeed, had the Obama administration delivered on missile defense, and limited the intervention in Libya to purely humanitarian pursuits, there was a good chance that relations between the US and Russia during Putin’s second incarnation as Russia’s President could have been constructive.

The duplicity and deceit of the Obama administration, when combined with the flagrant Russophobia that defined the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, so soured relations that even before Joe Biden took office in early 2021, the level of US-Russian discourse had sunk to Cold War-era levels. The Trump administration had inherited a dark mess from its predecessor when it came to US-Russian relations, colored not only by the false allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the 2016 US Presidential election, but a proxy conflict in Ukraine which had emerged in the aftermath of the so-called Maidan Revolution. The 2014 US-backed insurrection overthrew the duly elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, replacing him with ultra-nationalists whose anti-Russian stance led to the reabsorption of Crimea by the Russian government and the outbreak of fighting between the new Ukrainian government and pro-Russia separatists in the Donbass region.

The US had become so entangled in the Ukrainian web that Trump was impeached based upon a phone call he made in the summer of 2019 to newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During that call, he allegedly held US military aid hostage to a promise by Zelensky to investigate the relationship between Joe Biden’s son and a Ukrainian energy holding company, Burisma. The way the impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, described the importance of this aid was telling when it came to the state of US-Russian relations.

“This military aid, which has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support, was designed to help Ukraine defend itself from the Kremlin’s aggression. More than 15,000 Ukrainians have died fighting Russian forces and their proxies, and the military aid was for such essentials as sniper rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers, radar, night vision goggles and other vital support for the war effort,” Schiff said in his opening address to the US Senate presiding over the impeachment trial of Trump, on January 22, 2020.

He continued: “Most critically, the military aid we provide Ukraine helps to protect and advance American national security interests in the region and beyond. America has an abiding interest in stemming Russian expansionism and resisting any nation’s efforts to remake the map of Europe by dint of military force, even as we have tens of thousands of troops stationed there. Moreover, as one witness put it during our impeachment inquiry: ‘The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here.’”

Seen in this light, there was nothing prescient about Mitt Romney’s 2012 categorization of US-Russian relations. Far from representing a maintenance of a decade-long status quo linked to the pernicious personality of a single Russian president, the degradation of relations between Russia and the US from 2012 to the present was the byproduct of an American foreign policy which was inherently anti-Russian in its construct. Romney’s 2012 pronouncements represent little more than a self-fulfilling prophecy, the consequence of a relationship marked by bad faith on the part of the United States.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ‘SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.’ He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector.

March 1, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine Crisis: A Nightmare Caused by US Interventionism

By Ron Paul | February 14, 2022

Over the weekend we heard that the US is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a Russian invasion. We also heard that Russia is evacuating its embassy in Kiev for fear of a US-backed provocation in eastern Ukraine that may lead to a Russian military response.

We are in “uncharted territory” the media tells us. Yes, that is true. But it is uncharted because no one had ever imagined in the past that the US government would be so foolish to risk a thermonuclear war over the borders of a country – Ukraine – that have changed so many times over the past century.

An urgent Biden-Putin phone call on Saturday did not lead to any breakthrough – as if anyone thought it would. Instead, it provided cover for Biden Administration hawks to claim they tried every diplomatic approach, but war seems to be the only option.

But this whole thing is a farce. As I see it, here is the Ukraine crisis in a nutshell:

Biden to Putin: “Don’t invade Ukraine.”

Putin to Biden: “We have no intention of invading Ukraine.”

Biden to the US media: “Putin is about to invade Ukraine!”

Then Biden’s top officials proceed to embarrass themselves by warning that the invasion was imminent. Or it’s coming next Tuesday, or Wednesday, or surely before the end of the Olympics. Does anyone think they have any credibility left with their constant hysterical warnings?

Meanwhile “US intelligence” continues to leak incendiary information – likely self-serving – to a US media that has lost any interest in skepticism toward any “scoop” handed down by US government officials.

What the US media will not report is that this entire crisis – and the threat of a serious war – has all been brought about by US interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, specifically the US-backed coup that overthrew an elected government in 2014. Every bit of unrest in Ukraine proceeded from that single foolish and immoral act by the Obama Administration.

That is why we are non-interventionist. The philosophy of non-interventionism is one very good piece of insurance protecting us from needless war. If you don’t meddle in the affairs of foreign countries, there is less chance of being dragged into an unnecessary war.

Ukraine is a great example of why non-interventionism is the only pro-America foreign policy. We are risking nuclear war with Russia over what? Ukraine’s borders? Surely most Americans see how idiotic this is.

The Biden Administration is at present shell-shocked that the Russian government did not back down over plans to expand NATO to Ukraine. Russia understandably views NATO membership for Ukraine -with its Article 5 guarantees – to be an unacceptable threat considering the ongoing border disputes.

This is not our fight, yet Biden’s foreign policy team has decided it’s a great time to kick the hornet’s nest.

Is it all about Biden’s dismal approval ratings? What a sick thing to risk a major war over. We need to stand up and say “enough.” Before it’s too late.

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Misrepresentation Of The Scientific Consensus On Climate Change

By Iain Aitken | Watts Up With That? | February 10, 2022

[Note: This essay is abstracted from my eBook Myths: Widely Held But False Beliefs In The Climate Change Crisis, available on Amazon]

In their Fifth Assessment Report the IPCC, the ‘internationally accepted scientific authority on climate change’, gave their opinion of how much of the recent global warming was caused by human activity: ‘It is extremely likely [95-100 percent confidence] more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic [i.e. man-made] increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together’. Reflecting that opinion Wikipedia states that the ‘Scientific consensus on climate change’ is that ‘the Earth is warming and… this warming is mainly caused by human activities’. It claims that 97-100% of actively publishing climate scientists endorse this opinion. Similarly, NASA claim that, ‘A consensus on climate change and its human cause exists… human activities are the primary cause of the observed climate-warming trend over the past century.’ And in an October 2020 interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes climatologist Dr Michael Mann said, ‘There’s about as much scientific consensus about human-caused climate change as there is about gravity.’ So is it actually true that 97-100% of climate scientists explicitly or implicitly endorse this key IPCC opinion?

Although science is not remotely democratic (it only needs one scientist to prove that the ‘consensus view’ is wrong and it is wrong) the fact remains that if this 97-100% consensus assertion is true then it is indeed very powerful. If the ‘internationally accepted scientific authority on climate change’ says something is almost certainly true and almost all climate scientists in the world agree then it almost certainly must be true – mustn’t it? Whilst there is undoubtedly almost total scientific consensus amongst the scientific authorities (literally dozens of scientific academies from around the world explicitly or implicitly endorse the IPCC’s opinions) that does not necessarily reflect the consensus view amongst climate scientists themselves. So what exactly is it that climate scientists agree on?

The consensus argument is epitomized by Barack Obama’s 2013 tweet that, ‘Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous’. He tweeted this immediately after the publication of the most famous climate change consensus survey, Quantifying the consensus on man-made global warming in the scientific literature (John Cook et al, 2013) conducted by Skeptical Science, a small group of climate change activists, who, despite their name, are precisely the opposite of climate change skeptics (their strapline is ‘Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism’). This study examined the Abstracts from 11,944 climate science papers published over the twenty-year period from 1991 to 2011. It concluded that 97.1% of the Abstracts (that actually expressed an opinion on the causes of global warming) endorsed the view that man-made greenhouse gas emissions (or, at least, greenhouse gases) cause global warming. Although this was 97% of Abstracts, not 97% of climate scientists, it is not unreasonable to suppose that, based on this survey, about 97% of climate scientists endorse the view that man-made greenhouse gas emissions (or, at least, greenhouse gases) cause global warming. It said nothing whatsoever about how much warming those emissions were causing and whether or not such warming was ‘dangerous’. It is probably the case that at least 99.9% of people who might describe themselves as climate scientists (including those most skeptical about the climate change crisis idea) endorse the view that man-made greenhouse gas emissions (or, at least, greenhouse gases) cause global warming, i.e. some global warming. That is not in any serious dispute. The dispute is about how much global warming human activity is causing and whether or not it is ‘dangerous’. So the study revealed nothing that was not already well known and uncontroversial.

Skeptical Science summarized their findings with the statement, ‘97% of climate papers expressing a position on human-caused global warming agree: global warming is happening and we are the cause’ – where ‘we are the cause’ clearly implied ‘we are the sole cause’ instead of what it actually found, viz. that we are the cause of some of the global warming. If the study had been able to show convincingly that 97% of climate scientists endorsed the IPCC’s opinion that human activity was the predominant cause of global warming between 1951 and 2010 then that would certainly have strongly supported the view that there was almost total scientific consensus that the IPCC was right. But of all the Abstracts reviewed in this study only 0.3% explicitly endorsed that central IPCC opinion1. Even (ex-IPCC) Mike Hulme has noted that, ‘The Cook et al study is hopelessly confused… in one place the paper claims to be exploring “the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW [Global Warming]” and yet the headline conclusion is based on rating abstracts according to whether “humans are causing global warming”. These are two entirely different judgements.’ The recently published paper Greater than 99% consensus on human caused climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature (Lynas et al, 2021) claims that the consensus is actually 2% higher – but once again only actually finds a 99% consensus that human activity contributes to climate change to some extent2; in fact about 99% of the papers reviewed in this study failed to explicitly quantify the extent. A survey3 of more than 1,800 climate scientists conducted in 2015 concluded that just 43% of them would endorse the IPCC opinion about our recent predominant role in global warming (and how many of them were agreeing based primarily on their faith in the IPCC and/or their self-interest in staying ‘on message’ to the climate change crisis narrative?)

Mike Hulme has stated that, ‘Claims such as “2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate” are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts.’ Supporting that view, an independent study4 found that the views expressed by the IPCC were the consensus of a leadership cadre of just 53 (about 2%) of them, 44 of whom were very closely linked professionally, having co-authored papers with one another and so very likely to share the same opinions. The author of the study, John McLean (climate data analyst at the Australian Climate Science Coalition and an Expert Reviewer for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report), concluded that ‘Governments have naively and unwisely accepted the claims of a human influence on global temperatures made by a close-knit clique of a few dozen scientists, many of them climate modellers, as if they were representative of the opinion of the wider scientific community.’

One of the most comprehensive reviews5 ever performed of surveys of the scientific consensus on climate change concluded:

  • The articles and surveys most commonly cited as showing support for a ‘scientific consensus’ in favor of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis are without exception methodologically flawed and often deliberately misleading.
  • There is no survey or study showing ‘consensus’ on the most important scientific issues in the climate change debate.
  • Extensive survey data show deep disagreement among scientists on scientific issues that must be resolved before the man-made global warming hypothesis can be validated. Many prominent experts and probably most working scientists disagree with the claims made by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

So what is the real scientific consensus on climate change? There is almost total scientific consensus that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing, that that increase is predominantly due to human activity, that the climate system is warming, that climate change is happening and that human activity has contributed to some extent to the warming, changing climate. Note again that skeptical scientists, like Dr Roy Spencer and Dr Judith Curry and Dr Richard Lindzen, are part of this ‘scientific consensus on climate change’; the idea that they constitute the 3% of scientists who do not support the scientific consensus on climate change is a false idea, misrepresenting what the ‘scientific consensus on climate change’ actually is6. This misrepresentation is designed to bolster the ‘climate change crisis’ narrative and to marginalize and neutralize the skeptical scientists by making their views appear to fall far outside the overwhelming consensus view, even though they actually share that consensus view. Basically, the ‘consensus’ breaks down over the issue of whether or not human activity has been predominantly responsible for recent warming – and whether or not that warming is ‘dangerous’. The power of the false ‘97% scientific consensus that human activity has been predominantly responsible for climate change’ meme, perpetuated by Wikipedia, NASA, Facebook (and many others) is that it can be used very effectively to strangle at birth any debate about the science. As Dr Richard Lindzen has put it, ‘The claim is meant to satisfy the non-expert that he or she has no need to understand the science. Mere agreement with the 97 percent will indicate that one is a supporter of science and superior to anyone denying disaster. This actually satisfies a psychological need for many people.’

So if we return to Dr Michael Mann’s statement that, ‘There’s about as much scientific consensus about human-caused climate change as there is about gravity’ this is very disingenuous. Whilst there is almost total scientific consensus that climate change is ‘real’ and happening and that there has been some human-caused influence, there is no such scientific consensus over the extent of the human-caused influence and whether or not it could reasonably be described as ‘dangerous’, let alone a ‘crisis’.

References

Legates et al. (2015), Science & Education and ‘Consensus? What Consensus?’, GWPF Note 5, thegwpf.org, September 2013 and ‘Richard Tol’s Excellent Summary of the Flaws in Cook et al. (2013) and ‘The Infamous 97% Consensus Paper’, wattsupwiththat.com, 26 March 2015 and ‘The Cook ‘97% consensus’ paper, exposed by new book for the fraud that it really is’, wattsupwiththat.com, 12 March 2016

2 ‘Cooked Up Consensus: Lynas et al “Should Rather Be Classified As Propaganda, Bad Science”’, wattsupwiththat.com, 26 October 2021

3 Bart Strengers, Bart Verheggen and Kees Vringer (2015), Climate Science Survey, Questions and Responses, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, pp 1 – 39

4 ‘Prejudiced authors, prejudiced findings’, John McLean, (Science and Public Policy Institute), July 2008

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming (2015) – Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, S. Fred Singer

6 ‘Study: 3% Contrarians Derailing the 97% Climate Consensus’, wattsupwiththat.com, 18 December 2021

February 11, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Defiant Pentagon hides poor testing results behind phony firewall

Defense contractors and program advocates have unusual control over what the public sees, leading to bad oversight, or worse.

By Winslow T. Wheeler | Responsible Statecraft | February 3, 2022

Withholding information under the guise of classification “undermine[s] our national security, as well as critical democratic objectives, by impeding our ability to share information in a timely manner,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said just last month. The Wall Street Journal, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and the Washington Post all agree. But the Defense Department is going in the opposite direction. It is attempting to mask deficiencies in weapons programs — revealed by their own testing — from the public.

This effectively squashes debate and oversight of their programs. The costs come in the form of more expense, additional delays, and underperforming weapons in the hands of our military, which has and will cost lives.

Nickolas H. Guertin, the Defense Department’s newly installed Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), wasted no time undermining his own office by going along with a scheme egged on by the military services to bury information about how the weapons they buy with taxpayer money are actually performing. Mr. Guertin endorsed his office’s new FY 2021 Annual Report, required by law, with wholesale deletions of presumably relevant material deemed not classified, but “Controlled Unclassified Information” (CUI), a category created during the Obama administration but not so dramatically exploited in these reports until now.

Last December, Guertin’s immediate predecessor explained that unclassified information was being removed from the new public report because it “shouldn’t wind up in our adversaries’ hands.” Of course any material that will help enemies should be withheld and reported only in the classified version of the Director’s Annual Report to Congress. However, there is an important class of information that is essential to understand the depth and scope of plusses and minuses in how a weapon has performed in testing and how rigorously it was tested. This is essential to public understanding, and it is that comprehension that drives oversight by Congress, and even the Pentagon, to fix the problems. This is how our system attempts to make sure no seriously flawed systems get into the hands of our forces, which would truly aid the enemy, in addition to endangering our own people.

The unclassified-but-not-for-public-eyes information (a preposterous category in itself) is not an effort to keep the enemy in the dark, but to keep the public in the dark. It stems from advocates of programs in the Pentagon bureaucracy and defense contractors seeking to mask deficiencies. They want to make sure no controversies emerge that might endanger the money flow, even when the problems cost more, cause delays, limit the combat effectiveness of these weapons, and endanger the lives of the troops. That is precisely what the DOT&E law was designed to stop when it was created in 1983 by a group of Republicans and Democrats in Congress over the bitter opposition of the Pentagon leadership and fellow travelers in Congress and industry.

Under the new CUI regime, the omissions are serious. Director Guertin’s report discloses that 22 accounts of weapons and their testing saw information removed by the military services. An article from Breaking Defense discusses what has been deleted, such as whether the defense systems on the Navy’s new $13 billion aircraft carrier can or cannot “detect, track, engage, and defeat the types of threats for which the system was designed.” It is one thing to foolishly disclose a technical flaw an enemy can exploit; it is quite another to disclose that system X, Y or Z cannot do its job — and with enough detail to permit an understanding whether the problem is serious and what fixes must be applied. Keeping that information away from the public simply means that Congress and the Pentagon will be under less pressure to act responsibly — and that the pressure that is applied will be less informed and easier to overcome.

Not among the programs that Breaking Defense found to have been watered down by the withholding of unclassified information was the notorious F-35, suggesting there is a second level of information deletion at work here. Reviewing the F-35 report submitted by Director Guertin, compared to predecessors, reveals a fundamental — even profound — problem.

The Annual Report submitted by DOT&E J. Michael Gilmore in his last report in FY 2016 contained 62 pages of analysis of the F-35. Reports by his immediate successor, Robert F. Behler, varied from 30 to 16 pages. The section of the Guertin report on the F-35 is a whole nine pages. The texts of the previous reports were radically different. They contained multiple tables, details, and explanations for how and why the F-35 was failing to meet its performance and reliability thresholds, let alone combat expectations. Under meaningful explanatory discussion were issues such as the inability of the aircraft to be available for a mission, unpredictable performance in a stressful combat environment, and details like un-commanded maneuvers due to aerodynamic flaws and the gun not shooting where the pilot aimed.

Also reported were the efforts of some in the military services and the F-35 Joint Program Office to incompletely test the aircraft or manipulate test results. None of this shows up in the public Guertin report. Multiple issues, such as the gun, have disappeared, and previous manipulations of the hundreds of deficiencies discovered in the F-35 would appear to be less of a concern today.

There are two problems here, not one: there is the information behind the CUI labeling cover, and information never included in the report because the DOT&E office knew what the military services wanted addressed, and what they didn’t. It is the latter —self-censorship — that appears far more serious than the false classification issue. Why? Because it results in not just the deletion of phrases and sentences, but presumably pages and pages of detail and analysis. On the other hand, those with access to the CUI version of the report can make a comparison, should they choose to do so.

Program advocacy in the Pentagon, much of which is done by defense corporations, is exercising control over the previously more independent and objective reports to Congress and the public on weapons testing. Inadequate public reporting means feeble oversight, plain and simple.

The current Director of the Operational Test Office is new to the job, but he is off to a very poor start. His office was created to contend with the forces arrayed against tough testing and complete, honest reporting, not comply with them. If there is any meaningful oversight in Congress, the redactions in DOT&E Guertin’s recent Annual Report should be fully assessed. More importantly, the prior restraint/self-censorship apparent in producing this and any other DOT&E reports needs to be fully investigated and eviscerated.

February 9, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

More Presidential Killings

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano | January 27, 2022

Secretly and quietly, the Biden administration has continued to use the killing machine crafted by President George W. Bush, expanded by President Barack Obama and employed from time to time by President Donald Trump. These presidents have used drones and other unmanned missiles and projectiles to target persons in foreign countries with which the United States is not at war.

They have done this notwithstanding the prohibition of taking life, liberty or property from any person — not just any American, but any person — in the Constitution each has sworn to uphold, and they have done so pursuant to secret rules that they themselves have established for these killings.

Last week, 11 senators and 39 members of the House of Representatives — Democrats all — to their credit sent a harshly worded letter to President Joseph R. Biden asking him to stop the killings. As of this writing, he has not publicly replied.

Here is the backstory.

The purpose of the Bill of Rights — the first 10 amendments to the Constitution — is to protect personal liberty by restraining the government.

The Fifth Amendment prohibits killing persons, restraining liberty and taking property without due process; that means a jury trial at which the government must prove fault. Until President Abraham Lincoln waged war on half the country, the operative clause in the Fifth Amendment was understood to prohibit all federal killing without a declaration of war or due process.

If the country is at war — lawfully and constitutionally declared by Congress — obviously the president can use the U.S. military to kill the military of the opposing country. And if an attack on the U.S. is imminent, the president can strike the first blow against the military of the entity whose attack is just about to occur.

There are no other constitutional circumstances under which a president may kill.

All this changed — culturally, not constitutionally — when President Harry Truman targeted Japanese civilians in Japan as the Japanese government was within days of surrendering in World War II. Truman was, of course, not the first American president to target civilians, as Lincoln criminally targeted American civilians during the War between the States.

Notwithstanding his unprosecuted war crimes, and with the government’s version of Pearl Harbor still fresh in many Americans’ minds, Truman was regarded as heroic for ordering the profoundly immoral, militarily useless, criminal mass killings against the hated Japanese using atomic bombs.

Fast-forward to the 9/11 era, and Bush had precedent to begin his own presidential killings of people the government wanted Americans to hate. While Congress did authorize him to use force against those who caused or aided the 9/11 attacks, we all know that his thirst for Middle Eastern blood knew no regard for the Constitution, evidence, proportionality, civilian lives, morality or human decency.

Julian Assange sits in a British dungeon awaiting decisions on his extradition to the U.S. because he courageously, lawfully and constitutionally published documents and videos demonstrating conclusively that Bush’s use of drones targeted and murdered Afghan and Iraqi civilians, and his administration covered it up.

Obama took this to another level when he targeted and killed Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son, both of whom were born in the U.S. Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, advised Obama that the killings were lawful, as al-Awlaki had encouraged folks in the Middle East to fight against American soldiers there. Holder likened killing al-Awlaki to a shooting at a bank robber who is being chased by police and shooting at them.

Holder forgot that al-Awlaki was not charged or indicted for any crime, was never accused of violence and was not even the subject of an arrest warrant when a drone evaporated him while sitting at an outdoor cafe in Yemen.

The exercise of power by the federal government is largely based on precedent and politics. Whenever a president wants to kill secretly, he need only find an example of a predecessor having killed secretly with impunity — without due process, without a declaration of war and without an imminent attack. And then he needs only to calculate what he thinks he can politically get away with.

Stated differently, Joe Biden — whose drones in 2021 targeted innocent civilians in Afghanistan, killing dozens — is using unlawful powers that his modern predecessors used and got away with to target and kill unsympathetic persons.

The nature of political power is to expand so that it fills a perceived need, unless there are mechanisms in place to restrain its expansion.

The founding generation believed that British monarchs had no limits on their power and that was a good enough reason for the 13 colonies to secede. They also believed that they had crafted founding documents — the Constitution and the Bill of Rights — for the new nation that imposed sufficient restraints on the federal government.

After all, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Its language is clear that only Congress writes laws and declares war, and presidents can kill only troops in wartime or civilians consistent with due process.

Moreover, every president takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as it was written, not as they may wish it to be.

Sadly, the Founders were wrong.

Today, the president writes laws and rules that let him restrain personal liberty and kill with impunity, and Congress and the American people let him get away with it. Formally, we still have a Constitution. Functionally, it has utterly failed to restrain the government.

Ultimately, we have ourselves to blame for these killings. Why do we repose the Constitution for safekeeping into the hands of those who subvert it? If a future president uses Bush’s lust and Obama’s logic and Biden’s stealth to kill Americans in America, no one’s life, liberty or property will be secure.

Creators Syndicate, Inc. © 2022

January 30, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wind will be Competitive! (Secretary Chu from 2011)

By Robert Bradley Jr. | MasterResource | January 6, 2022

“’Before maybe the end of this decade, I see wind and solar being cost-competitive without subsidy with new fossil fuel,’ Chu told an event at the Pew Charitable Trusts.” (below)

Energy history matters. In the marketplace, what energies performed and at what cost; in energy policy, who said what and when. In this regard, intermittent, dilute energies have a bad history.

Obama’s DOE Secretary Steven Chu has a ten-year anniversary of a statement that is now falsified. As reported by the American Security Project in “Wind, Solar Becoming Cost Competitive: Chu,”

Clean sources of energy such as wind and solar will be no more expensive than oil and gas projects by the end of the decade, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday.

President Barack Obama’s administration has been encouraging companies to invest in green growth, calling it a new source of jobs and fearing that other nations — led by China — are stealing the march.

“Before maybe the end of this decade, I see wind and solar being cost-competitive without subsidy with new fossil fuel,” Chu told an event at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“So the country and the companies who develop those renewable energy and resources that become cost competitive without subsidy all of a sudden have a world market. And, boy, we can’t lose that world market,” he said.

The US Congress has rejected attempts to mandate curbs on carbon emissions blamed for climate change, with many members of the Republican Party arguing that reducing dependence on fossil fuels would be too expensive.

But the Obama administration has been hoping to seek bipartisan cooperation on what it hopes are less controversial efforts such as encouraging renewable energy….

Wind energy, never competitive with fossil fuels, remains uncompetitive as demonstrated by the desperate attempt by the Biden Administration in BBB (Build Back Better) to extend the Production Tax Credit for a 14th time. Yes, what began in 1992 for wind’s PTC was extended in 1999… 2002 … 2004 … 2005 … 2006 … 2008 … 2009 … 2012 … 2014 … 2015 … 2016 … 2019 … 2021.

It’s time to pull the plug and let the market decide between energies. The government–the taxpayers–should be neutral.

January 10, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Presidents lose their minds and their manners

By Donald Forbes | TCW Defending Freedom | January 7, 2022

A LOT has been said about the psychological effects of Covid on the public. Worryingly, the management of an unpredictably mutating virus which is always one step ahead is fraying the composure of our leaders too.

In the last couple of weeks, Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron have lashed out at fellow citizens who defy government orders to be vaccinated because they doubt ‘the science’ is truly settled in favour of a jab which has not been subjected to the full range of tests for side-effects later in life.

Exasperated by resistance to their Covid dictates, the American and French leaders appear to be losing their minds and their manners in the battle between the risks of vaccination and the risk of becoming serious ill with the virus.

Biden, alarmed by the refusal of one third of Americans to be vaccinated while Omicron is on the loose – though it causes mainly flu-like symptoms – warned them at Christmas that they faced a ‘winter of death’. Not one person in the US is yet known to have died from the latest Covid variant.

‘We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated, for themselves and their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm,’ quoth the ancient prophet of doom at a White House briefing whose message was that the unjabbed are not just selfish, they endanger the lives of everyone else.

Biden fingered them officially as ‘bad persons’, an unwelcome term in America where being a good person is vital to many. Not unnaturally, his presentation was badly received, reinforcing as it did the political polarisation between Democrats and Republicans, whom the former accuse of being the main vaccination hold-outs.

People, including essential workers, are being fired across America for defying Biden’s vaccination mandates.

Macron went further this week in a newspaper interview, threatening to ‘emmerder les non-vaccinés jusqu’au bout’. A polite translation of this is that he intends to go after them hard until they give in.

Emmerder – literally, to smear with sh*t – is a commonly used expression and is offensive or not according to context. Macron deliberately used it at its rudest and got the reaction he hoped for.

A session of parliament to discuss the government’s introduction of an updated vaccination passport restricting the freedom of movement of the unvaccinated was suspended in uproar when members heard the explosion of Macron’s little bomb.

He changed the focus of the argument from the virus to his brutal language. It’s likely to be a talking point for his opponents during his campaign for re-election this spring.

The fashion for politicians insulting the people they rely on to elect them was set by President Obama referring to ‘bitter clingers’ and Hillary Clinton describing some Midwestern voters as ‘deplorables’. (Those bad persons again.)

Biden and Macron forgot that these remarks were never forgiven by their targets and in Clinton’s case helped her to lose the race for the presidency.

Boris Johnson has at least grasped that, after two years of unprecedented exposure to the arbitrary powers of government, it is politically counter-productive to strain people’s patience with constant loosening and re-tightening of a Covid regime unknown in free countries outside wartime.

What is shocking about Biden, Macron, Obama and Clinton is the openness of their contempt for the people they govern as if being in public office conferred on them a wisdom that separated them from the common voters rather than the duty to lead with their consent.

There is nothing in our democratic system, adversarial as it is, that entitles politicians to treat us angrily. How many people, hearing the Biden and Macron anathemas, rushed out with arms bared to the needle?

I was vaccinated promptly myself because the odds pushed me that way. But I understand the motives of those who see obligatory vaccination – along with a sustained media campaign to vilify them – as a step too far by an overbearing state.

The certitudes of government’s own scientific advisers are offset by the determination of so many health professionals – including my own GP – to refuse the vaccines. What right do political leaders, themselves scientifically uneducated, have to threaten doctors and nurses who have daily experience of how medical treatments work and which can be trusted?

‘My body my choice’, the battle cry that worked so well for supporters of abortion, is suddenly off the table when the principle doesn’t suit politicians.

Biden and Macron weren’t showing leadership. What they expressed was frustration that, with all their power, they cannot force obedience on free-thinking citizens and anger that they will be blamed for the consequences. Macron especially forgot that the way we speak to each other in public matters. If you abuse people, they remember.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unveiled documents expose countless civilian deaths and war crimes committed by the US

By Paul Antonopoulos | December 22, 2021

Since the early 2000’s, drone use in warfare became more prominent in US military planning and engagement. Successive US presidents, particularly Barack Obama, promised that the use of all-seeing drones and precision bombs would reduce civilian casualties. However, documents unveiled by the New York Times show flawed intelligence, faulty targeting, years of civilian deaths, and perhaps most disturbingly, scant accountability.

The New York Times shockingly outlines various cases of civilians in the Middle East, including children, being killed by US drone strikes with no repercussions for the war crime. The cases they outline were drawn from a hidden Pentagon archive of American airstrikes in the Middle East since 2014, i.e., since the US campaign against ISIS began.

The trove of documents revealed that by the US military’s own assessments, there were more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties by American airstrikes. The author of the article, Azmat Khan, said that the unveiled documents “lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children, a sharp contrast to the American government’s image of war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs.”

She added that “despite the Pentagon’s highly codified system for examining civilian casualties, pledges of transparency and accountability have given way to opacity and impunity.” Khan also explained how despite the 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, “only [in] a handful of cases were the assessments made public” and “not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action.”

Despite thousands of people devastated by reckless American airstrikes, including survivors being left with horrific disabilities and expensive medical bills, less than a dozen of condolence payments were made to victims. This is an unsurprising outcome considering that the efforts to identify root causes or lessons learned from intelligence failures are rare.

Obama called the strikes against ISIS as “the most precise air campaign in history” and lauded it as being more protective for troops and civilians alike. However, this belief was contradicted by Captain Bill Urban, the spokesman for the US Central Command. In responding to questions from The Times, he said that “even with the best technology in the world, mistakes do happen, whether based on incomplete information or misinterpretation of the information available.”

Although he claimed that the US tries to learn “from those mistakes”, “[…] works diligently to avoid such harm” and “investigate each credible instance,” the evidence proves otherwise as the hidden documents show civilians regularly as collateral victims.

The Times, as Khan says, “did what military officials admit they have not done: analyzed the casualty assessments in aggregate to discern patterns of failed intelligence, decision-making and execution.” The investigation found that although it is impossible to determine the full civilian death toll from US strikes, it is certainly far higher than the 1,417 victims that the Pentagon actually admits to.

The newspaper found that many civilian casualties had been summarily discounted, on-the-ground reporting involving a sampling of credible cases were dismissed, and lessons rarely learned.

It is unsurprising that lessons were not learned when chat logs accompanying some assessments revealed that American soldiers treated drone strikes as if they were playing video games. In one recorded case, American soldiers expressed glee over getting to fire in an area ostensibly “poppin” with ISIS fighters — without spotting the children in their midst. By removing soldiers from the ground and putting them behind a computer monitor, it not only reduces on-the-ground intelligence, but also desensitizes soldiers to the social and familial effects that their criminal actions have on ordinary civilians.

Captain Urban attempts to downplay this desensitization by saying that drone operators often “do not have the luxury of time” and that “the fog of war can lead to decisions that tragically result in civilian harm.”

However, in another recorded case in Mosul in 2016, three civilians were killed in a US-approved strike because they had decided to save more-precise weapons for other imminent strikes. In fact, The Times analysis found that civilians were frequently killed in airstrikes that were planned well in advance. This makes a mockery of Captain Urban’s claims that there are “collateral scans”. Disturbingly, some of these “collateral scans” were found to be only 11 seconds long.

Such lazy intelligence gathering has resulted in schools, bakeries and hospitals in Syria and Iraq being hit by targeted strikes, especially after they were removed from the “no-strike” list. For all the benevolence that the US espouses, especially in its “humanitarian interventions” (as it advertises its occupations of Syria and Iraq), its use of drones is really something incredible – operators treating strikes like playing video games, thousands of innocent civilians (including children) being exterminated, and no recourse or responsibility to face.

Effectively no courts, no judges and no prosecution for some of the worst war crimes perpetrated in modern history.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

December 22, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

False imagery and data hallmarks of COP26

By Vijay Jayaraj | CNS News | November 12, 2021

Mainstream media is infamous for its exaggeration of everyday events. When it comes to the issue of climate change, it rarely misses an opportunity to promote fear. True to form, during the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, media promoted incorrect information spewed by politicians and famous personalities.

Special attention was drawn to the assertion that rising sea levels are threatening island nations by none other than Barack Obama, who incongruously has purchased a multi-million-dollar ocean front property on the New England coast.

Catching the attention of millions was the image of a Tuvalu minister standing in knee-high sea water. But there is a problem with this: Most islands in the South Pacific nation of Tuvalu have gained surface area and are in no danger of being inundated.

Despite sea-level rise that has been underway since the end of the last ice age, Tuvalu’s land area has increased recently by 2.9 percent. A peer-reviewed research paper which studied four decades of shoreline change in all 101 islands in theTuvalu atolls categorically proves this. The paper notes that  “…change is analyzed over the past four decades, a period when local sea level has risen at twice the global average (~3.90 ± 0.4 mm.yr−1). Results highlight a net increase in land area in Tuvalu of 73.5 hectares (2.9%) despite sea-level rise and land area increase in eight of nine atolls.”

The case of Tuvalu is not unique. Various island nations have gained landmass in recent decades, including Maldives which increased by 37 square kilometers since 2000.

(Getty Images)

The climate doomsday machine has been using this image-based propaganda for a while now. National Geographic circulated an image of a starving polar bear and falsely claimed that the bear’s condition was a direct result of man-made climate change. However, polar bear populations are relatively healthy and have increased in recent decades. When exposed, the famous media channel issued a statement saying that the reason for the dismal condition of the bear is unknown and that it had exaggerated the climate impact.

At COP26, Bill Gates joined climate elites who resorted to a false representation of reality to promote climate fear. “Farmers in low-income countries are at high risk from the impacts of climate change,” said Gates. But a closer look at weather data and the state of global agriculture reveals a different picture.

The United Nations makes clear that there is no strong evidence that climate change is having a significant influence on the frequency of extreme weather events. IPCC AR5 WGI Chapter 2 states, “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.” When it comes to droughts, the report states that “… there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century.”

Consider India, a country with world’s largest number of low-income farmers. More than 500 million people depend either on agriculture or allied products. Of that total, 150 million depend only on agriculture — the equivalent of 40 percent of the U.S. population.

These farmers — with an average monthly income of less of $120 — depend on monsoon rainfall and there has been no climate signature on the monsoon rainfall trend. Nor has there been any increase in cyclones. In other words, there has not been any increased risk from climate change for India’s farmers. Another indicator of the absence of heightened risk is crop production. For four consecutive years, India has produced record food crops, higher than ever before in its history.

You would think that Gates would know something about agriculture and climate given that he  owns 242,000 acres of U.S.farmland and said to be the largest private owner of such acreage. However, it appears that the billionaire is at best ill-informed.

Though fancying themselves to be noble defenders of nature, these purveyors of doomsday scenarios are more akin to a cult’s priesthood offering commoners salvation in exchange for prosperity and freedom.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and holds a Masters degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, England. He resides in Bengaluru, India.

November 15, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Why does Iran say we do not have ‘nuclear negotiations’?

By Abdolreza Hadizadeh | Press TV | November 13, 2021

The first step in any negotiation is that the participants must share common views on the issue that will be discussed. The main topic takes center stage and viewpoints on its resolution will be put to consultation by the countries participating in the negotiations. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his deputy Ali Baqeri-Kani are seeking to build a common understanding about the nature of future discussions through making trips and phone calls with their counterparts.

In this regard, the Islamic Republic of Iran stresses that it will not participate in any talks revolving around the nuclear issue, and that the country’s nuclear program will not be the topic of any future negotiations.

But, what is the reason for such position in the talks which are set to start on November 29?

The case of negotiations related to Iran’s nuclear issue was closed in 2015 and the parties achieved significant results. In the course of the talks leading up to the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, the Islamic Republic faced unsubstantiated and political allegations. The country had also been subjected to attacks and questions that led it to be unjustly accused by Western media. Therefore, Iran had to build the necessary trust to show its goodwill seriousness.

So, Iran made large-scale retreats in the field of peaceful nuclear energy before the lifting of sanctions. This issue was strongly challenged inside the country. Critics of the agreement in Iran raised the question of why the Zionist regime is engaged in non-peaceful activities without being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (​NPT) while Iran is not supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency and even punished in some way despite its NPT membership and extensive cooperation with the UN atomic watchdog.

The negotiations reached a conclusion and all countries were obliged to honor their commitments based on a specific timetable.

According to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the IAEA was responsible for verifying Iran’s practical measures at its nuclear sites. Later, in 16 reports, the body confirmed goodwill on the part of the Islamic Republic and its full implementation of the nuclear agreement.

These verification reports proved that Iran’s nuclear issue was only a political case brought by the country’s enemies and rivals. Iran’s full commitment to nuclear restrictions took place while the administration of former US president Barack Obama violated the JCPOA through various sanctions and pressure.

After that, the unilateral and illegal withdrawal of Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, from the JCPOA completed the unfinished work of the Democrats, and thus the United States practically violated an international agreement as well as UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Other JCPOA members either failed to provide Iran with the economic benefits of the deal or, like the three European countries, sided with America.

Hence, the United States and the European states are accused of reneging on their obligations. After the US pullout from the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic exercised more than two years of “strategic patience” to prevent the collapse of the nuclear pact.

Then Iran decided, in accordance with Articles 36 and 37 of the deal, to expand its peaceful nuclear activities and take reciprocal measures in the face of the blatant violation of the agreement.

The difference between the political actions of the Islamic Republic and the United States was that Washington through its withdrawal from the JCPOA breached the international agreement, while Tehran expanded its nuclear activities using the mechanisms and methods in the agreement to reaffirm its commitment to the failed deal.

However, the US government’s measures seriously damaged and weakened the deal, and significantly increased the Iranian people’s distrust towards Washington, according to opinion polls.

Investigation into one JCPOA signatory’s violation of its commitments is now the subject of the talks, and other axes of the negotiations will be formed around it, the most important of which are as follows:

1) The Islamic Republic will by no means renegotiate its previously negotiated nuclear issues. Other subjects such as missile and regional issues will also be off the agenda of the talks.

2) If the US government allows itself to completely change its policy towards international obligations after the change of each government, it must give the new Iranian government the right to at least oppose part of the Vienna talks under the previous administration and call for the beginning of new negotiations.

3) The US government’s unilateral and illegal move has made the high wall of mistrust between Iran and America stronger and more stable. If current US officials regard as wrong the path pursued in the past and regret it, they should take confidence-building measures now.

Unfortunately, so far, despite US President Joe Biden’s criticism of Trump’s policies towards the nuclear deal, Iran has not seen any serious change. Hours after taking office, Biden issued 17 executive orders to annul the previous administration’s decisions, but regarding Iran, he continued Trump’s strategy. This matter intensifies the need for the US to build trust.

4) The US has inflicted heavy damage on Iran over the past three years due to its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal. The United States must apologize, compensate the losses, and compensate for Iran’s lack of benefit from the JCPOA.

5) Following confidence-building measures, the US must completely fulfill its obligations. It must remove visa bans, as well as the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), and more than 1,500 sanctions imposed on our country by US governments since its signing of the JCPOA.

6) Iran should have ample time to verify the normalization of its trade and the transfer of currency into the country.

7) The United States must commit itself not to violate its obligations with the change of governments in the country. Additionally, due to the growing distrust towards the US, its ability to trigger the snapback mechanism should be blocked and locked.

8) With the lifting of sanctions and the compensation for the damage inflicted on Iran, along with America’s commitment not to renege on its obligations again, Iran can take steps to return to the restrictions imposed under the JCPOA and thus the nuclear deal can be revived.

November 13, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment