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The role of UK intelligence services in the abduction and murder of James Foley

An investigation into British and American collusion with the terror groups that kidnapped and murdered western hostages in Syria

By William Van Wagenen | The Cradle | November 25, 2022

On 19 August, 2014, ISIS released a video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley who was kidnapped by the terrorist organization in 2012 while reporting on the conflict in Syria.

Foley’s shocking execution became one of the most widely followed news stories of the Syrian war. Foley’s killer, Mohammed Emwazi, popularly known as “Jihadi John” by the western media, was a Kuwaiti-born Brit from West London. In the Foley execution video, Emwazi’s unmistakable London accent can be heard.

However, what is less known about the notorious ISIS member, was that he travelled to Syria as part of a “terror-funnel” established by British intelligence, and abducted Foley while fighting for an armed group known as Katibat al-Muhajireen – or the Emigrants Brigade – which enjoyed direct support from British intelligence. Many members of al-Muhajireen, including Emwazi, then helped lay the foundation for the rise of ISIS by joining the terror group with its establishment in April 2013.

Further, for a period of Foley’s captivity he was being held in a prison jointly controlled by another armed group, Liwa al-Tawhid, or the Monotheism Brigade, which operated under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) umbrella and received aid directly from US intelligence. Some of this included arms being sold onto ISIS, including to the group leader holding James Foley.

In other words, although James Foley’s murder occurred in the deserts of Raqqa, it arguably began in more familiar places, namely London and Washington.

The terror-funnel

In 2009, former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas was told by top UK officials that “Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria.”

This involved sending British jihadis to Syria through a pipeline established by UK intelligence decades before, to fight in Bosnia and Kosovo against Serbia. According to former US federal prosecutor John Loftus, British intelligence had used the London-based Al-Muhajireen Movement to recruit Islamist militants with British passports for the war against the Serbs.

The Al-Muhajireen, later known as al-Ghurabaa and Islam4UK was a Salafist religious movement established in Britain in 1996 by exiled Syrian cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who, as journalist Nafeez Ahmed details, was a long-time informant for UK intelligence, meeting regularly with MI5 agents throughout the 1990s.

Bakri himself acknowledged his role in training jihadists to be dispatched abroad, in an interview with The Guardian in May 2000.

A month after the 7 July, 2005 attacks in London, in which suicide bombers targeted the city’s transport system, killing 52, Bakri left the UK for Lebanon. Although former Muhajireen members participated in the attack, the British Home Office did not prevent Bakri from leaving the country but did ban him from ever returning.

By 2009, Lebanese security forces were accusing Bakri of training Al-Qaeda members, while Bakri himself boasted: “Today, angry Lebanese Sunnis ask me to organize their jihad against the Shi’ites … Al-Qaeda in Lebanon … are the only ones who can defeat Hezbollah.”

Jihadi John

But who was Mohammed Emwazi? As the Guardian reported, Emwazi came to Britain with his family from his native Kuwait as a young boy. After attending the University of Westminster to study Information Technology, Emwazi became politically active as part of a group of West Londoners who followed an Islamic preacher named Hani al-Sibai. Some members of the group took part in jihadi training camps in Northern England and Scotland and were being monitored by M15.

In 2009, Emwazi traveled to Tanzania with two friends from the group, Bilal el-Berjawi and Mohamed Sakr. Assumed to be traveling to Somalia to join Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab, MI5 had the men detained in Dar es Salaam and subjected them to lengthy interrogations before forcing them to return to the UK. Both Berjawi and Sakr later succeeded in traveling to Somalia and were killed in US drone strikes.

Emwazi continued to be monitored by MI5 and was prevented from traveling to his native Kuwait in 2010, where he allegedly wished to marry. Emwazi claimed he was interrogated and harassed at Heathrow Airport by MI5, and complained of his treatment to CAGE, a London-based advocacy group led by former Guantanamo detainee Moazem Begg which focuses on Muslim detainees. CAGE then began an advocacy campaign on Emwazi’s behalf.

Yet Emwazi was then somehow later able to travel to Syria. The Daily Beast reported that this seemed odd, given that Emwazi had been “described as a core member of an extremist network linked to the al Shabab group in Somalia during a court hearing as far back as 2010” and had been tracked by MI5 for at least five years. “His links to terror networks were well known—and yet, he was released by the authorities” to travel to Syria.

Journalist Nafeez Ahmed reports that according to former British counterterrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge, British authorities “turned a blind eye to the travelling of its own jihadists to Syria, notwithstanding ample video and other evidence of their crimes there,” because it “suited the US and UK’s anti-Assad foreign policy.”

Ahmed notes this “terror-funnel is what enabled people like Emwazi to travel to Syria and join up with [the Islamic State] – despite being on an MI5 terror watch-list. He had been blocked by the security services from traveling to Kuwait in 2010: why not Syria?”

Upon arriving in Syria in August 2012, Emwazi joined an armed group known as Katibat al-Muhajireen. Journalist James Harkin reports that according to Jejoen Bontinck, a Belgian jihadi that fell out with his brigade and was imprisoned for a time with Foley, most British jihadis traveling to Syria joined Katibat al-Muhajireen.

deep embarrassment

Crucially, Katibat al-Muhajireen enjoyed support from UK intelligence services. This is evidenced by the terror trial of Swedish citizen Bherlin Gildo, who according to the Daily Mail fought for Katibat al-Muhajireen as well.

The Guardian reports that Gildo was detained while transiting through Heathrow Airport having been accused by British authorities of attending a terrorist training camp and receiving weapons training between 31 August, 2012, and 1 March, 2013 – as well as possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist.

However, the terror trial collapsed “after fears of deep embarrassment” to the British security services. This was because, as Gildo’s lawyer explained: “British intelligence agencies were supporting the same Syrian opposition groups as he [Gildo] was.”

British intelligence support for Katibat al-Muhajireen was further confirmed when former Guantanamo detainee Begg of CAGE was also tried on terror charges. Begg had also traveled to Syria several times in 2012 and provided physical training to foreign fighters from Katibat al-Muhajireen in Aleppo, as reported by Foreign Policy. Begg made his latest trip to Syria in December 2012.

As a result, Begg was later detained by British authorities and accused of attending a terrorist training camp. The Guardian reported, however, that Begg was freed after MI5 “belatedly gave police and prosecutors a series of documents that detailed the agency’s extensive contacts with him before and after his trips to Syria,” and which showed that MI5 told Begg he could continue his work for the so-called opposition in Syria “unhindered.”

In short, Emwazi traveled to Syria through a pipeline established by UK intelligence, and then joined an armed group, Katibat al-Muhajireen, that was supported by British intelligence, but which was viewed as a terrorist organization by the British police.

Kidnapped by the one who killed him

James Foley was an American freelance journalist who reported from Iraq and Afghanistan before traveling to Libya in 2011 to cover the NATO-led war on Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan government. While in Libya, a close colleague of Foley’s was shot and killed by Libyan security forces, who also detained and imprisoned Foley for 44 days.

In 2012, Foley began making trips to Syria to report on the conflict for the Global Post and AFP, including in July when armed opposition groups, the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the FSA’s Liwa al-Tawhid, invaded the city.

In October 2012, Foley published an article from his time in Aleppo suggesting that the opposition armed groups enjoyed little popularity among the city’s residents. Foley noted that “many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition,” which was “deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.”

This ran contrary to mainstream narratives about the Syria conflict, which suggested the armed opposition groups were comprised of army defectors fighting for democracy and enjoying strong popular support.

In November 2012, Foley was returning to Turkey after a reporting trip with British journalist John Cantlie. After stopping at an internet café in the town of Binnish, the pair’s taxi began heading for the border when it was overtaken on the road and forced to stop by a van full of armed men. Among them was Muhammad Emwazi.

James Harkin explains that according to two European hostages who had been held with Foley but later freed, the kidnapping gang that took Foley and Cantlie was led by Emwazi. “[Foley] was kidnapped by the one who killed him,” one of the freed Europeans told Harkin: “I am sure of that.”

Emwazi participated in Foley’s abduction just two months after arriving in Syria. Note that this was during the period Katibat al-Muhajireen was receiving support from British intelligence, as shown by the periods when Gildo and Begg attended Katibat al-Muhajireen training camps.

According to a US Department of Justice indictment, Emwazi was joined by two of his fellow Brits, Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, in the operation to abduct Foley. Emwazi, Kotey, Elsheikh, and one other Brit, Aine Davis, were later collectively known as the “Beatles,” initially by their captives due to their British accents, and later by western media.

Foley’s critical coverage of the US and UK-backed armed groups occupying Aleppo, coupled with the British Foreign Office effort to control the narrative of the war in the media – including by “waging information warfare in Syria by funding media operations for some rebel fighting groups” – raises the question of whether UK intelligence officials ordered the Muhajireen militants to kidnap Foley. On this point we can of course only speculate.

Collaborations with ISIS

According to the Belgian jihadi Bontinck, Emwazi and his fellow Beatles continued serving as Foley’s guards at various times, and passed him to Aleppo’s ISIS leader, Abu Athir, sometime in the late spring or early summer of 2013. By this time, they had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

This raises the question of whether Emwazi, and the other British Muhajireen fighters continued to enjoy support from UK intelligence after joining ISIS as well.

By August 2013, Foley was being held by ISIS in a prison in the basement of the Aleppo Children’s Hospital, along with several other foreign hostages.

Another American journalist, Theo Padnos, had previously been held in the same prison, but as a captive of the Nusra Front. As the Washington Post reported, Nusra had established a headquarters at the Aleppo Children’s Hospital in 2012, which it shared with Liwa al-Tawhid, the US-backed FSA faction.

According to the New York Times, after ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi announced the creation of ISIS, the Nusra brigade sharing the children’s hospital headquarters with Liwa al-Tawhid pledged loyalty to ISIS.

Liwa al-Tawhid then continued to share the headquarters with ISIS, and its leader, Abd al-Qader al-Salah was criticized for his cooperation with ISIS. Killed by a Syrian government airstrike in November 2013, the New York Times noted that Salah “ultimately made accommodations with ISIS that, to some of his allies, were at best disappointing and at worst ugly. Though he had welcomed journalists and aid workers, when Islamist groups began kidnapping them, even holding hostages at a compound he shared with ISIS in Aleppo, he made no public moves to stop it.”

Liwa al-Tawhid’s collaboration with ISIS had come into the spot-light in August 2013, while Foley was languishing in prison in the two groups’ Aleppo headquarters.

On 4 August, Tawhid commander Abd al-Jabbar al-Okaidi, who also served as the head of the FSA’s Aleppo Military Council, was filmed celebrating the capture of the Menagh Air Base in the Aleppo countryside with ISIS commander Abu Jandal. Okaidi praised the ISIS fighters and referred to them as “brothers” for their help in capturing the airbase.

The video of Okaidi celebrating with the ISIS commander proved embarrassing to the Obama administration, because US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford had crossed the border to Syria to meet with Okaidi a few months before, in May 2013 – and because Okaidi was considered the main conduit for US–provided non-lethal aid to armed opposition groups in northern Syria.

McClatchy reports that in response to the Menagh video, Ford called Okaidi directly to complain, saying that it had created “a public relations nightmare for the Obama administration, which was trying to show Congress and the American public that it was boosting moderates and isolating extremists on the battlefield.” However, as McClatchy notes, “When the importance of the jihadis became undeniable, Obama administration officials were irate.”

Okaidi had also previously spoken openly of his collaboration with ISIS, again referring to ISIS commanders as “brothers” and indicating that he communicated with them daily in an interview with pro-opposition Orient TV.

Buying weapons from the FSA

Abu Athir, the ISIS leader in Aleppo holding Foley, had similarly kind words for Okaidi’s FSA. Al-Jazeera quoted Abu Athir as stating in July 2013 that, “We are buying weapons from the FSA. We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti-tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA.”

The Koncourse missiles had in turn been provided to Okaidi’s Liwa al-Tawhid courtesy of the CIA. According to reporting by the Los Angeles Times, Koncourse missiles were provided to FSA groups such as Tawhid via the CIA’s regional allies, while CIA officers trained FSA fighters in the use of these weapons in Jordan and Turkey starting in November 2012.

In August 2013, a month after ISIS leader Abu Athir boasted of buying Koncourse missiles from the FSA, a video emerged of Okaidi’s Liwa al-Tawhid fighters also using Koncourse anti-tank missiles in the fight at Menagh airbase.

This suggests that Okaidi was receiving Koncourse missiles from his CIA handlers, and was then selling some of them to his ISIS counterpart, Abu Athir.

Ambassador Ford had himself been involved in the CIA effort to provide these weapons to Okaidi and the FSA. According to journalist Michael Gordon of the New York Times, Ford traveled to Langley, Virginia in 2012 to meet with then-CIA director David Petraeus to plan providing weapons covertly to the Syrian opposition.

Recall that US-favorite Okaidi was the FSA leader in Aleppo and claimed to communicate daily with his ISIS counterparts during this time. If pressed by Ambassador Ford, Okaidi could have therefore inquired with Abu Athir about Foley and the other foreign hostages held by ISIS in August 2013.

Dragging their feet

In January 2014, a civil war broke out between ISIS on the one hand, and Nusra, Liwa al-Tawhid, and other opposition factions on the other, in which ISIS was expelled from Aleppo city but took full control of Raqqa, which would go on to serve as its de-facto Syrian capital. Foley and other foreign hostages were then moved to Raqqa, while ISIS massacred most of the Syrian prisoners it had held in Aleppo before evacuating.

In the following months, ISIS freed 15 European hostages after receiving ransoms averaging some two million euros, whether from the captives’ governments, families, or insurers. However, the US government refused to pay a ransom for Foley.

Further, Ambassador Ford’s State Department threatened to prosecute Foley’s parents if they paid a ransom, which deterred them from raising funds for that purpose.

ISIS pointed to this in their English-language magazine, Dabiq, explaining that “As the American government was dragging its feet, reluctant to save James’s life,” other hostages had been spared after ransoms were paid.

British-backed militants 

On 19 August, 2014, Foley was beheaded by Emwazi, who shortly thereafter also executed journalist Steven Sotloff, and aid workers David Haines, Alan Henning, and Peter Kassig, as well as 22 Syrian soldiers. John Cantlie’s fate is still unknown.

Emwazi was killed in a US airstrike in Raqqa on in November 2015. However, two of his fellow Beatles, Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were later captured alive, and stood trial in the US. Both were convicted of participating in Foley’s abduction and killing and sentenced to life in prison.

It is no coincidence that Kotey and Elsheikh were tried in US courts. Any effort to prosecute them in the UK would have quickly collapsed, because British intelligence were supporting the very same armed group – Katibat al-Muhajireen – in which they and Emwazi were members when they abducted Foley. A UK trial would have proved a “deep embarrassment” for British intelligence, just as the attempted prosecutions of Bherlin Gildo and Moazem Begg had been.

In short, James Foley was abducted, held captive, and later murdered by militants from an armed group that received direct support from British intelligence. These militants fought in a dirty war to topple the Syrian government orchestrated by US planners, including Ambassador Ford.

Weapons sent by Ford and his CIA counterparts were given to another armed group, Liwa al-Tawhid, which shared a prison with ISIS during the time Foley was held there, and which sold some of these weapons to the ISIS commander then holding Foley.

Not only Foley but hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed as a result of the US and UK-led dirty war on Syria. The murder of James Foley is just one atrocity among countless others for which both Washington and London are responsible as a result of their effort to effect regime change in Syria.

November 26, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama and Bush to present seminars about tackling online “misinformation”

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | November 14, 2022

Former US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are to hold conferences encouraging more online censorship.

According to Axios, the conferences by the two former presidents will “highlight rising threats from authoritarianism and disinformation — and how to combat them globally and at home.”

On November 16, the George W. Bush Institute will hold a conference called “The Struggle for Freedom.” The conference will address revitalizing democracy globally. The conference’s third panel is titled “Emerging Technology and the Future of Freedom.”

The conference will be attended by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of .

Bush’s conference only subtly hints at tackling “misinformation” and “disinformation.” Obama’s conference, the Democracy Forum, more broadly states disinformation will be a topic.

The first panel of the conference is titled “Tackling Disinformation, Protecting Democracy.” Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch, a platform that claims to be “the friendly place where everyone builds the web, is listed among the key speakers.”

The second panel is titled “Lightning Talk: Dismantling Hate in the Digital Age.” One of the key speakers is Vidhya Ramalingam, CEO of Moonshot, a company dedicated to developing tech solutions to “expose threats, disrupt malicious actors and protect vulnerable audiences online.”

Obama has been a vocal supporter of content moderation and has called “disinformation” a threat to democracy.

“Solving the disinformation problem won’t cure all that ails our democracies or tears at the fabric of our world, but it can help tamp down divisions and let us rebuild the trust and solidarity needed to make our democracy stronger,” Obama said at an event at Stanford University earlier this year.

Despite most Republicans calling for less censorship, Bush has encouraged content moderation.

November 14, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 7 Comments

To Save the Republic, Abolish the Black Budget

By Laurie Calhoun | The Libertarian Institute | October 10, 2022

I have been puzzling over the ever-augmenting Black Budget since about the time the U.S. government began openly assassinating suspects, including U.S. citizens, without indictment, much less conviction in a court of law, for capital crimes. Tim Weiner’s groundbreaking work Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget (1990) explains how the means to commit crimes under cover of state secrets privilege all began with the Manhattan Project. Like so many other aspects of the sprawling defense and security apparatus which continues to expand like an amoeba, engulfing nearly every aspect of American culture, the Black Budget took on a life of its on during the Cold War.

The stakes were admittedly high: freedom or slavery? Put that way, it seemed eminently reasonable to policymakers at the time to devise intricate mechanisms shrouded from public view in order to do whatever needed to be done to keep the inhabitants of the Western world both safe and free. In their view, it was strategic; it was tactical; and it had to be secret, in order to succeed. Beginning with the Manhattan Project, through which atomic bombs were developed for the first time in human history, the perceived need to keep newly developed weapons systems shrouded in secrecy, for fear that the enemy might develop the same, arose out of a recognition of just how devastating those weapons could be. Little Boy and Fat Man were notoriously tested on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945, and with the U.S. government’s demonstrated willingness to deploy such weapons, the nuclear arms race was on.

Once a chunk of the defense budget had been made black to keep new weapons technology secret, it did not take long for entire systems of clandestine operations, today known as “black ops,” to emerge and expand as well. Again, we have Tim Weiner to thank for having done us the service of documenting in his indispensable work Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (2007) at least some of what went on during the Cold War. Legacy of Ashes is based on a trove of some 50,000 CIA documents first declassified near the end of the twentieth century. But today, long after the Soviet Union collapsed, the secrecy apparatus put in place by well-meaning—if sometimes confused, inept, deluded and occasionally outright insane—bureaucrats has come to be a seemingly permanent fixture of our world. At more than $80 billion, the Black Budget now exceeds the entire military budget of nearly all other governments.

We may, if so inclined, most charitably explain the persistence of the Black Budget by appeal to bureaucratic habits (which do die hard…), even when the rational grounds for the secrecy no longer obtain. The strategic grounds originally used to justify the Black Budget disappeared with the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., but so did the tactical grounds, given that advanced nuclear weapons systems are already possessed by several governments, and the technology has been shared with others as well—whether by spies, defectors or simple mercenaries. The secrets, then, remain secrets, ironically enough, only to the very citizens who pay for the systems, including nearly all of their elected representatives.

Legislators continue nonetheless reflexively to approve every new defense budget, along with any requests for funding which anyone cares to cast as a matter of national defense. Indeed, embedding controversial, non-defense measures within National Defense Authorization Acts (NDA) has become a tried-and-true technique of passing new laws which would never have been ratified on their own, as stand-alone bills. A notable and relevant example is the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, which was rolled into the NDA of 2013. This tactic works because any congressperson who votes against “national defense” becomes an instantly denounced target by the political opposition and the media.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower presciently warned in 1961 about the danger of perversely prioritizing state means of mass homicide over every other thing. How this ultimately came to fruition has been illuminated by Robert Higgs, author of Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government (1987), who shows how historical crises invariably expand the power of the state, the agents of which are loath to give any of it back. Even when the originating crisis is somehow mitigated or resolved, the government does not retract in size. Instead, it continues to “ratchet up” in response to each new crisis, with the previous expansion regarded as the new baseline.

Everyone is aware of this dynamic on some level, whether or not they spend much time reflecting on foreign affairs. We all know, to take a considerably less grave example than the summary execution of persons deemed “suspicious” by anonymous analysts, that when we prepare to fly anywhere in the world from the United States, we are not permitted to transport in our carry-on luggage any liquids or gels in volumes greater than 100ml (~3.3 ounces). Why do we still have to remove our footwear to get through airport security, more than two decades after September 11, 2001? Because some incompetent dude thought that he could use explosives hidden in his shoes to blow up a plane.

The post-9/11 travel security measures seem unlikely ever to change, and we can also expect the structural features of the sprawling homeland defense apparatus, including mass surveillance of citizens not suspected of any crimes, to continue to grow, given the conservative nature of belief conjoined with the bet-hedging behavior of lawmakers. Setting what is arguably bribery by lobbyists to one side, the primary driving factor in the minds of politicians who wish to be reelected is plausibly that they want not to be blamed, should anything untoward happen after they vote to reduce the defense budget or eliminate any of the security-related laws already in place. And God forbid that unelected bureaucrats who dispense unaccountable Black Budget funds at their caprice should be “hobbled” through oversight!

The reasoning of opportunistic politicians appears to be that adding even more restrictions, filling the (feckless) defense department’s already overflowing coffers, and allowing off-the-leash bureaucrats to do whatever they may deem necessary in the name of national defense, will all be seen in a positive light by citizens who are counting on the government to serve as their protector. This fictional image is maintained, against all empirical evidence of the actual outcomes of every military intervention since World War II, because the populace is constantly “tutored” by the government-coopted mainstream media to support anything whatsoever labeled by anyone as “defense”. Examples include the “War on Terror”; the “humanitarian intervention” on behalf of the Libyan people; the empowerment of Saddam Hussein; the arming of radical Islamists in Afghanistan and, later, in Syria; the bombing of Kosovo; and the goading of Russian President Putin in 2022 to the point where he may opt to use nukes. Despite the human misery which these undertakings have caused, all have been “worth it,” according to mainstream media pundits, and as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright might say.

Now, given the tendency of government restrictions enacted in response to crises to expand, the power of government authorities in such circumstances to augment, and the natural resistance of human beings to relinquish any of that power, the persistence and expansion of the Black Budget may not seem puzzling in the least. Having been trained quite effectively to believe that “national defense” is always and everywhere good, few citizens would find it troubling even to learn that trillions of Pentagon dollars have been “lost track of”—creating what is in effect an enormous supplement to the Black Budget, which should perhaps be termed the Ultra Black Budget.

Albeit considerably less charitable than the “bureaucratic habit” explanation for the persistence and growth of the Black Budget, equally plausible is that it has created a class of people who now wear what is tantamount to the ring of Gyges (Plato’s Republic). They are capable of committing crimes invisibly, with no possible risk of being redressed, much less punished, for their morally dubious activities. Why would anyone in such a position ever renounce that privilege, the unassailable power to do anything at all to anyone at all for any reason at all and with complete impunity? To anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of human nature and the reality of corruption, it should be clear that the ongoing pretext of state secrets privilege has opened up the possibility of an entire criminal underworld operating under the aegis of the U.S. government and fully funded by taxpayers.

What it worse, far from serving either strategic or tactical roles in defending our waning republic, the Black Budget is arguably being used to undermine it. Let us take as a possible example the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines between Russia and Europe. If this intentional act of piracy was perpetrated by the United States, then it is equivalent to a declaration of war against Russia. As a Black Op, the secret need never be admitted to anyone, even if it leads to World War III and nuclear holocaust. And therein lies the irony: the means to destroy the United States in toto are now possessed by a few individuals with access to the Black Budget, even though all of what they do is paid for by citizens under the assumption that they are being protected. Such is the logic of the legislatively shielded Black Budget that, if in fact the Nord Stream sabotage was a U.S. operation, then anyone who knows what happened and who dares to go public with compelling evidence of the truth becomes guilty of espionage, if not treason, and subject to the federal death penalty, if convicted. Conviction?

One of the most significant expansions of federal power in the twenty-first century has been the executive’s elimination of the requirement of conviction in a court of law before state execution. This assault on the most basic principles of the republic came about in incremental steps, in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, and was made possible by the technological development of the ability to kill by remote control.

The U.S. government’s first publicly vaunted execution of suspects by lethal drone outside a war zone was carried out under the authorization of President George W. Bush, on November 3, 2002, in Yemen, when a group of men were incinerated while driving down a road. Nearly twenty years later, President Joe Biden claimed to have terminated the life of alleged al Qaeda mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 31, 2022. For his part, President Donald Trump openly bragged about having used a lethal drone to eliminate Iranian Major General Qasem Soleiman on January 3, 2020, at Baghdad International Airport, as though this brazen act of premeditated, intentional homicide were somehow noble or courageous.

Before Biden and Trump, it was President Barack Obama who in 2011 summarily executed not only Osama bin Laden, when he could have been taken prisoner, but also Anwar al-Awlaki, which places Obama in a league all his own, having intentionally denied even a U.S. citizen his right to stand trial for whatever crimes he was believed to have committed. (Note that an American, Kamal Derwish, was killed by the Bush administration in its publicly vaunted drone strike on November 3, 2002, but this fact appears to have been discovered after, not before, the strike.) Had Anwar al-Awlaki been found guilty of treason in a federal court, he might have been sentenced to death. Obama opted instead to streamline the process, in the manner of every tyrant since time immemorial, by imposing the death penalty on the basis of what the president, a fallible human being, had been persuaded by bureaucrats to believe was evidence of the suspect’s guilt. John Brennan, Obama’s drone killing czar at the time, was promoted in 2013 to the directorship of the CIA.

Obama also authorized the execution of U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, for which no official explanation was ever offered by his killers. Being a male and having recently celebrated his sixteenth birthday, the younger al-Awlaki did satisfy the Obama administration’s scrupulous standard for classifying a corpse as an Enemy Killed in Action (EKIA). Yes, the label EKIA was applied to all men who found themselves at the receiving end of missiles launched by U.S. drones, whether inside or outside areas of active hostility, provided only that they were of military age. We have Daniel Hale to thank for having revealed to U.S. citizens the unsavory truth about the drone program, that the burden of proof was inverted by the drone killers, who defined their victims as guilty until proven innocent. Note that Hale was rewarded for his courageous act of whistleblowing with a federal prison sentence.

The longstanding international proscription to political assassination has been flouted throughout the twenty-first century, and the string of intentional acts of homicide perpetrated and openly acknowledged by four successive administrations together illustrate that the U.S. executive is no longer constrained in any way by the letter of international law. Once someone has been labeled a “terrorist” by appropriately situated bureaucrats, the U.S. executive grants the drone assassins the license to take him out. Given this normalization of assassination, what precisely is the Black Budget being used for, if people deemed dangerous by the U.S. government may be summarily executed without any sort of judicial process whatsoever?

No one privy to the details, the line items shrouded in secrecy, is permitted to share them publicly without risking harsh sanctions. But logic suggests that the Black Budget and the ancillary Ultra Black Budget (the trillions of dollars “lost track of” by the Pentagon) are being either siphoned off by mercenary criminals, in yet another version of the lobbyist kick-back scheme, or else used to commit crimes which are even worse than the summary execution of suspected criminals without trial. Assuming for the sake of argument the latter to be true, if government officials are now permitted premeditatedly and intentionally to assassinate human beings, including U.S. citizens, perceived of as potentially dangerous, then what is it that the Ring of Gyges wearers are not permitted to do and which must, for allegedly strategic and tactical reasons, be done secretly and beyond the reach of any form of accountability?

There is no proof that the U.S. government perpetrated the Nord Stream attack and thereby increased the likelihood of nuclear war, in which millions of Americans could be expected to die. But undermining democratically elected foreign governments, through inciting mass unrest and plotting coups are enterprises in which the U.S. government is known to have engaged repeatedly. Again, a great deal of that sort of activity went on during the Cold War, on the grounds that the evil Communists could not be allowed to spread their ideology around the world. But communism is no longer a threat, so it is unclear what the rationale for undermining democratically elected governments is supposed to be today, beyond maintaining U.S. global military hegemony.

In this post-Communist world, examples of crimes worse than the summary execution of terrorist suspects (some of whom are in fact innocent) could be the summary execution (or attempted elimination) of persons whose outspoken opposition to the U.S. hegemon is perceived of as threatening to the defense apparatus itself. Such figures may have included Julian Assange, Michael Hastings, John McAfee, et al.—anyone who has dared to reject in an effective way the reigning narrative that “We are good, and they are evil,” which has been used to rationalize mass homicide and destruction wherever and whenever the current crop of U.S. elites happen to please.

Consider the plans reportedly drawn up to assassinate Wikileaks founder Julian Assange while he was living under asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It is undeniable that this sort of initiative is both illegal and criminal, and yet it is, one gathers, fully funded by taxpayers. Less clear examples of the same phenomenon may or may not include the fate suffered by a long list of other “annoying” persons who came to tragic ends either by their own or someone else’s hand. The case of Julian Assange is especially troubling because he quite successfully exposed U.S. war crimes, and for his efforts he has been discredited and criminalized as though he were a mass murderer. It is true that Assange is still among the living, which cannot be said of the many other arguably less fortunate nonviolent dissidents eliminated by governments throughout history. But Assange has by now been incapacitated to the point where it can be said without hyperbole that he no longer is the person who he once was. His power to express dissent has been stripped entirely away. The Nord Stream sabotage “mystery” is in fact just the sort of event which Assange, if not shackled and muffled, might have been able to illuminate with the aid of whistleblowers.

Needless to say, this schema does not bode well for the future of free people, and least of all dissidents who criticize the government, pointing out its crimes and contradictions. President Biden recently announced that “domestic extremists” currently constitute the gravest danger to the republic, an allegation which he claims is based on reports from “our very own intelligence agencies,” presumably including the CIA and the FBI. Both of these organizations have evinced a morally unsavory “scorecard” mentality in recent years, attempting to rack up as many EKIA (in the case of the CIA) or federal convictions (in the case of the FBI) as possible—by all means necessary.

In the drone killing program run throughout the Middle East by the CIA in the twenty-first century, analysts have been generously remunerated for finding potential future terrorists to kill, with ever-lengthening hit lists of targets created through bribing informants on the ground while mining the cellphone data of persons previously suspected of terrorism. Meanwhile, in the homeland, FBI agents have gone to great lengths to identify potential future members of factional terrorist groups, and even to lure them into complicity in conspiracies to commit violent plots which were in fact masterminded by government officials and informants, who provided funding to hundreds of hapless losers who ended up being convicted and are now serving sentences in federal penitentiaries. It sounds preposterous, if not impossible, but such techniques of entrapment have been well-documented by Trevor Aaronson in his extremely disturbing exposé, Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism (2013).

Given the ways in which suspected potential terrorists were targeted and ensnared by the CIA and the FBI throughout the “War on Terror,” we should be very wary of anyone who maintains that persons in the homeland who reject the current administration’s narratives are properly labeled “extremists”. “Extremism” is a concept by now wed to the notion of “terrorism,” and by calling dissenters at home “extremists,” the path is paved for bureaucrats to deploy the very same “tools” against them.

By stripping our civil liberties away and propelling the nation toward World War III, the bureaucrats currently protected by state secrets privilege are on track, and indeed seem determined, to destroy what remains of the republic. Nowhere is the danger before us more evident than in the shockingly reckless handling of the crisis in Ukraine by war propagandists posing as diplomats. It has become abundantly clear that the only way to rein in what has transmogrified into tyrannical rule by an unaccountable oligarchic bureaucracy is to abolish the Black Budget and cease funding any of the network of activities being perpetrated under cover of a spurious and obsolete need for secrecy.

Laurie Calhoun is the author of We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering to Assassination in the Drone Age, War and Delusion: A Critical Examination, Theodicy: A Metaphilosophical Investigation, You Can Leave, Laminated Souls, and Philosophy Unmasked: A Skeptic’s Critique, in addition to many essays and book chapters.

October 10, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

US is recalibrating the power dynamic in East Mediterranean. Can South Asia be far behind?

File Photo
BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | OCTOBER 2, 2022 

A mild flutter ensued after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent meeting with his Turkiye counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York on September 21 when it came to be known that Cyprus figured in their discussion. Jaishankar highlighted it in a tweet 

The Indian media instinctively related this to Turkish President Recep Erdogan making a one-line reference to the Kashmir issue earlier that day in his address to the UN GA. But Jaishankar being a scholar-diplomat, would know that Cyprus issue is in the news cycle and the new cold war conditions breathe fresh life into it, as tensions mount in the Turkish-Greek rivalry,  which often draws comparison with the India-Pakistan animosity, stemming from another historical “Partition” — under the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) that ended the Ottoman Empire. 

The beauty about peace treaties is that they have no ‘expiration date’ but the Treaty of Lausanne was signed for a period of a hundred years between Turkiye on one side and Britain, France, Italy, Greece, and their allies on the other. The approaching date heightens the existential predicament at the heart of Turkiye’s foreign policy. 

The stunning reality is that by 24th July 2023, Turkey’s modern borders become “obsolete”. The secret articles of the 1923 Treaty, signed by Turkish and British diplomats, provide for a chain of strange happenings — British troops will reoccupy the forts overlooking the Bosphorus; the Greek Orthodox Patriarch will resurrect a Byzantine mini state within Istanbul’s city walls; and Turkey will finally be able to tap the forbidden vast energy resources of the East Mediterranean (and, perhaps, regain Western Thrace, a province of Greece.) 

Of course, none of that can happen and they remain conspiracy theories. Nonetheless, the “end-of-Lausanne” syndrome remains a foundational myth and weaves neatly into the historical revisionism that Ataturk should have got a much better deal from the Western powers. 

All this goes to underline the magnitude of the current massively underestimated drama, of which Cyprus is at the epicentre. Suffice to say, Turkey’s geometrically growing rift with Greece and Cyprus over the offshore hydrocarbon reserves and naval borders must be properly understood in terms of the big picture.

Turkiye’s ruling elite believe that Turkey was forced to sign the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 and the “Treaty of Lausanne” in 1923 and thereby concede vast tracts of land under its domain. Erdogan rejects any understanding of history that takes 1919 as the start of the 1,000-year history of his great nation and civilisation. “Whoever leaves out our last 200 years, even 600 years together with its victories and defeats, and jumps directly from old Turkish history to the Republic, is an enemy of our nation and state,” he once stated. 

The international community has begun to pay attention as Turkiye celebrates its centenary next year, which also happens to be an election year for Erdogan. In a typical first shot, the US State Department announced on September 16 — just five days before Jaishankar met Cavusoglu — that Washington is lifting defence trade restrictions on the Greek Cypriot administration for the 2023 fiscal year. 

Spokesman Ned Price said, “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken determined and certified to Congress that the Republic of Cyprus has met the necessary conditions under relevant legislation to allow the approval of exports, re-exports, and transfers of defence articles.” 

The US move comes against the backdrop of a spate of recent arms deals by Cyprus and Greece, including a deal to purchase attack helicopters from France and efforts to procure missile and long-range radar systems. Turkiye called on the US “to reconsider this decision and to pursue a balanced policy towards the two sides on the Island.” It has since announced a beefing up of its military presence in Northern Cyprus.  

To be sure, the unilateral US move also means indirect support for the maritime claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, which Turkiye, with the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, rejects as excessive and violates its sovereign rights and that of Turkish Cypriots. 

Whether these developments figured in Jaishankar’s discussion with Cavusoglu is unclear, but curiously, India too is currently grappling with a similar US decision to offer a $450 million military package to Pakistan to upgrade its nuclear-capable F-16 aircraft. 

Indeed, the US-Turkey-Cyprus triangle has some striking similarities with the US-India-Pakistan triangle. In both cases, the Biden administration is dealing with friendly pro-US governments in Nicosia and Islamabad but is discernibly unhappy with the nationalist credo of the leaderships in Ankara and New Delhi. 

Washington is annoyed that the governments in Ankara and New Delhi preserve their strategic autonomy. Most important, the US’ attempt to isolate Russia weakening due to the refusal by Turkiye and India to impose sanctions against Moscow. 

The US is worried that India and Turkiye, two influential regional powers, pursue foreign policies promoting multipolarity in the international system, which undermines US’ global hegemony. Above all,  it is an eyesore for Washington that Erdogan and Prime Minister Modi enjoy warm trustful personal interaction with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The photo beamed from Samarkand during the recent SCO summit showing Erdogan arm in arm with Putin must have infuriated President Biden. Modi too displayed a rare moment of surging emotions when he told Putin at Samarkand on September 16, 

“The relationship between India and Russia has deepened manifold. We also value this relationship because we have been such friends who have been with each other every moment for the last several decades and the whole world also knows how Russia’s relationship with India has been and how India’s relationship with Russia has been and therefore the world also knows that it is an unbreakable friendship. Personally speaking, in a way, the journey for both of us started at the same time. I first met you in 2001, when you were working as the head of the government and I had started working as head of the state government. Today, it has been 22 years, our friendship is constantly growing, we are constantly working together for the betterment of this region, for the well-being of the people. Today, at the SCO Summit, I am very grateful to you for all the feelings that you have expressed for India.” 

Amazingly, the western media censored this stirring passage in its reports on the Modi-Putin meeting! 

Notably, following the meeting between Modi and Erdogan in Samarkand on Sept. 16, a commentary by the state-owned TRT titled Turkiye-India ties have a bright future ahead signalled the Erdogan government’s interest to move forward in relations with India. 

India’s ties with Turkiye deserve to be prioritised, as that country is inching toward BRICS and the SCO and is destined to be a serious player in the emerging multipolar world order. Symptomatic of the shift in tectonic plates is the recent report that Russia might launch direct flights between Moscow and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a state supported and recognised only by Ankara. (Incidentally, one “pre-condition” set by the Biden administration to resume military aid to Cyprus was that Nicosia should roll back its relations with Moscow!)  

Without doubt, the US and the EU are recalibrating the power dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean by building up the Cyprus-Greece axis and sending a warning to Turkiye to know its place. In geopolitical terms, this is another way of welcoming Cyprus into NATO. Thus, it becomes part of the new cold war. 

Can South Asia’s future be any different? Turkiye has so many advantages over India, having been a longstanding cold-war era ally of the US. It hosts Incirlik Air Base, one of the US’ major strategically located military bases. Kurecik Radar Station partners with the US Air Force and Navy in a mission related to missile interception and defence. Turkey is a NATO power which is irreplaceable in the alliance’s southern tier. Turkey controls the Bosphorus Straits under the Montreux Convention (1936).

Yet, the US is unwilling to have a relationship of mutual interest and mutual respect with Turkiye. Pentagon is openly aligned with the Kurdish separatists. The Obama administration made a failed coup attempt to overthrow Erdogan. 

October 2, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Leading from behind’: Is Washington at war with Moscow?

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | September 17, 2022

Though Washington insists that it is not interested in a direct military conflict with Moscow, the latter claims that the US is, in fact, directly involved. But who is telling the truth?

On 8 September, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared in Kyiv on an unannounced visit. He carried with him pledges of yet another military and financial package of nearly $3 billion, mostly to Ukraine, but also to other Eastern European countries. According to a report published by The New York Times in May, US financial support for Ukraine has exceeded $54 billion.

Devex‘s funding platform states: “A relatively small percentage of that funding is humanitarian-focused.” The same source also indicates that the total amount of mostly military aid provided by the West to Ukraine between 24 February and 16 August has topped the $100 billion mark.

For such a massive military arsenal to operate, one can imagine the involvement of legions of military experts, trainers and engineers. Washington’s latest package includes hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, such as more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

And more is coming. According to Blinken: “President Biden… will support the people of Ukraine as long as it takes.”

The Russians, however, have no illusions that US military support for Ukraine is confined to mere weapons shipments or limited to financial transactions. On 2 August, the Russian Defence Ministry accused the US of being “directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine.” The ministry’s statement cited an admission by Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence, Vadym Skibitsky, who told The Telegraph: “Washington coordinates HIMARS missile strikes.”

This is not the first time Russia accuses the US of direct involvement in the war. As early as 25 March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the West had declared “total war” on Russia. In this instance, Moscow’s top diplomat was referencing every aspect of this “real hybrid war”, including unprecedented sanctions that were meant to break the back of Russia’s economy and the will of its military forces. Since then, the US Western embargo on Russia has exceeded 10,000 sanctions, an unprecedented number in modern conflicts.

Also, since then, the nature of American involvement in the war has changed. The type of weapons first provided to Kyiv by Washington quickly transformed from weapons of defensive capabilities with limited outreach, to weapons of offensive capabilities with long-range artillery systems, including HIMARS and M270.

Much of the US involvement can be understood through common sense. Consider Politico‘s report on 29 August, alleging that: “Since the early days of the war, Kyiv has seized the initiative as missile strikes and mysterious explosions have wreaked havoc on the Russian fleet, sinking several vessels… and devastating its Crimea-based air wing in a dramatic attack this month.” If these details are accurate, it is hard to imagine that such success would have been carried out by, as described by Politico itself, a “small Ukrainian navy”.

When American weapons are provided and operated by American military experts, and when the movement of Russian forces is monitored by American satellite coordinates, one should easily conclude that the US is indeed involved in a direct war with Russia. This argument is strengthened by the fact that the US is utilising all of its expertise in economic warfare, used against Iraq, Cuba and others, to devastate the Russian economy.

But why does the US refuse to accept that it is engaged in a direct war against Russia?

Successive US administrations have perfected the art of engaging in military conflicts without making such a declaration. As the US fought its protracted war in Vietnam starting in the mid-1950s, it engaged in many other military conflicts that were mostly kept secret. These undeclared wars included the Nixon administration’s secret bombing campaigns in Cambodia, which resulted in the estimated deaths of 100,000 people.

To curtail the power of the president to conduct war without notifying Congress, the US Congress passed the War Powers Resolution of 1973, also known as the War Powers Act. Despite a presidential veto, a two-thirds majority in Congress managed to pass the resolution into law. Still, successive administrations found ways around the law, including the US involvement in the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 and again in the US war on Libya in 2011.

In fact, it was in Libya that the phrase “leading from behind” was used in abundance. Americans seemed to have found a brilliant way of engaging in war while avoiding its costly political consequences. This way, former US President Barack Obama could be involved in several wars all at once without being called an interventionist or a war-mongering president.

To understand the extent of America’s ongoing, undeclared wars, marvel at this 1 July report by The Intercept, which obtained the data using the Freedom of Information Act. This was “the first official confirmation that at least 14” military operations – known as 127e programs – were active in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region in 2020, and that between 2017 and 2020, US commandos carried out 23 separate operations.

So, even if the US engages in direct combat against Russia, the chances of war being declared are almost nil. Therefore, the extent of US involvement can only be gleaned from evidence on the ground.

Call it “leading from behind”, “proxy war” or “hybrid war”, Washington is very much a party in the devastating war in Ukraine, which is paying a heavy price for Washington’s desire to remain the world’s only superpower.

September 17, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 5 Comments

Exposed: The ‘97% of scientists agree with manmade global warming’ lie

By David Craig | TCW Defending Freedom | September 12, 2022

Our government is imposing draconian limitations on our lifestyles, our economy and our finances to save the planet from supposed catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), now renamed ‘climate change’.  Probably one of the most repeated arguments you’ll hear in support of the need to achieve ‘net zero’ is that ’97 per cent of scientists agree CAGW is happening’.

President Obama is just one of many who have made this claim: ‘Ninety-seven per cent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.’

So did President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, when he warned of the ‘crippling consequences’ of climate change and said: ‘Ninety-seven per cent of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent.’

Yet, in spite of the damaging effects reaching ‘net zero’ will have on Western economies, not a single politician or mainstream journalist seems to have made the effort to find out where this ‘97 per cent’ figure came from and how accurate it is.

The main author of the paper which came up with the figure was John Cook, an Australian former web programmer and blogger who later gained a PhD in philosophy at the University of Western Australia and founded what could be seen as a climate alarmist website.

He assembled a group of volunteers recruited via the website as part of a ‘citizen science’ project and tasked them with examining the abstracts of 11,944 climate papers from 1991-2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. Note that the volunteers didn’t speak to any scientists and didn’t read the scientific papers. They just looked at the abstracts – a summary paragraph or two. The volunteers classified the abstracts into one of seven categories according to their opinions of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW):

1.      Explicit endorsement of AGW with quantification

2.      Explicit endorsement of AGW without quantification

3.      Implicit endorsement of AGW

4.      No position or Uncertain

5.      Implicit rejection of AGW

6.      Explicit rejection of AGW without quantification

7.      Explicit rejection of AGW with quantification

The reviewers then ‘simplified’ results into four main categories as follows:

Endorse AGW               3,896                   32.6 per cent of abstracts

No AGW position         7,930                   66.4 per cent of abstracts

Reject AGW                  78                         0.7 per cent of abstracts

Uncertain on AGW      40                         0.3 per cent of abstracts

This gave 32.6 per cent of abstracts which the reviewers concluded endorsed AGW.

Now comes the clever bit. Instead of admitting that just 32.6 per cent of papers (actually just abstracts of papers) endorsed AGW, the group removed the 7,930 abstracts which didn’t take a position on AGW. That left just 4,014 abstracts of which 3,896 (97 per cent) supposedly ‘endorsed’ AGW.

This is like doing a survey of the voting intentions of 1,000 people. You find that 90 say they’ll vote Labour, 10 say they’ll vote Conservative and the remaining 900 are undecided. You eliminate the 900 undecideds and claim that 90 per cent of voters support Labour and just 10 per cent of voters will vote Conservative. This is, of course, complete statistical nonsense as the real percentage of the sampled 1,000 voters who have said they will vote Labour is 9 per cent, not 90 per cent.

That’s not the end of the magic employed to reach that wondrous 97 per cent. The reviewers lumped together three categories of abstracts – ‘explicit endorsement with quantification’, ‘explicit endorsement without quantification’ and ‘implicit endorsement’. (Implicit endorsement means that the reviewer felt that the paper endorsed the AGW theory even though the paper didn’t do so explicitly).

In the paper claiming 97 per cent support for AGW, the reviewers don’t tell us how many papers fitted into each of these three categories, but the survey’s own database shows that of the 3,896 abstracts which supposedly ‘endorsed’ AGW, just 64 were in the ‘explicit endorsement with quantification’ category; 922 were in the ‘explicit endorsement without quantification’ and the vast majority – 2,910 out of 3,896 – were in the ‘implicit endorsement of AGW’ category.

Thus only 986 of 11,944 – that’s just 8.2 per cent – of abstracts explicitly said they agreed with the theory of man-made global warming.

To summarise, this ‘97 per cent of scientists’ claim was based on the work of 11 to 12 volunteers, whose scientific credentials have not (as far as I know) been released and all of whom were probably firm AGW believers. Each looked at around 1,000, often quite obscure, scientific abstracts and from these documents decided whether the scientific papers (which they hadn’t read) supported the AGW theory. To claim such an approach is statistically valid is beyond farcical. To call the ‘97 per cent of scientists endorse AGW’ result ‘garbage’ could be seen as insulting to garbage.

Given the damage ‘net zero’ will do to our economies and our lives, it is incredible that not a single politician, mainstream journalist or editor seems to have had the ability or the inclination to expose the dubious origins of the ubiquitous ‘97 per cent of scientists endorse AGW’ claim.

September 14, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Presidential Record Racketeering

By Jim Bovard | The Libertarian Institute | August 30, 2022

Former President Donald Trump is supposedly one of the biggest scoundrels in American history for allegedly retaining documents from his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago home. Trump denies wrongdoing but the Justice Department is targeting him for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. DOJ is refusing to reveal the affidavit and the specific charges that the feds claimed justified a massive, heavily-armed raid on Trump’s Florida base.

Much of the media commentary on the raid castigates Trump for conspiring to block Americans’ access to official records. But the federal government has done thousands of times more damage on that score than Trump.

Trump is suspected of violating the Presidential Records Act, a law Congress enacted in 1978 after former President Richard Nixon claimed his secret Oval Office tapes and other records were his personal property. The law asserts, “The United States shall reserve and retain complete ownership, possession, and control of Presidential records…The Archivist of the United States shall assume responsibility for the custody, control, and preservation of, and access to, the Presidential records.”

The Presidential Records Act is critical to our democracy, in which the government is held accountable by the people,” Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero declared earlier this year. But the statue is a pseudo-disclosure law that keeps far more secrets than it exposes.

All records from former presidents are kept secret for at least five years, and presidents can also slap a 12-year automatic delay on other records. After that deadline, people can file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see specific records. But as Politico reported in March, “At many presidential libraries, the queues for processing FOIAs stretch for years,” and requests “involving classified information can take more than a decade.”

The disclosure of Barack Obama’s records could be delayed practically indefinitely because his lawyers concocted a new legal doctrine, “White House equities,” to justify vetoing FOIA requests that could tarnish the image of the Obama presidency. At the end of the Obama administration, a congressional committee report aptly titled “FOIA is Broken” noted that journalists had completely abandoned “the FOIA request as a tool because delays and redactions made the request process wholly useless for reporting.”

Federal disclosure logjams are increasingly the topic of ridicule on social media. When Pfizer submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration for a new COVID vaccine in 2020, the FDA approved it in 108 days. But when a group of scientists and professors filed a FOIA to see the application and the data on injury from the vaccine, FDA told them it would take 75 years to fully release the data. A federal judge smashed FDA and is requiring them to complete disclosure a hundred times faster than they planned—releasing 55,000 pages a month instead of 500 pages. But unless people can afford to pay massive legal fees to fight the feds in court, FOIA is mostly a mirage.

As soon as presidents leave office they can collect king’s ransom advances for writing a memoir. Former president Bill Clinton received a $15 million advance for his memoir; George W. Bush received a $10 million advance; and Barack Obama and his wife Michelle received $60 million for a two-book memoir deal. Presidents can practically use any information they please—including info that no one else can use—to write their memoirs with expedited clearance of classified information.

The rigging of presidential records enables politicians to profit massively from lying about their time in office. When George W. Bush was president, he vehemently denied that he ever authorized torture, which is considered a war crime under U.S. and international law. But in his 2010 memoir Decision Points, Bush bragged about ordering torture. Bush wrote that when he was requested to approve the CIA’s waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he responded, “Damn right.” Six months before his memoir was released, in a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he told the audience, “Yeah, we water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I’d do it again to save lives.” But there is no evidence that torture saved any Americans’ lives. Actually, torture helped send 4000+ Americans to their death in Iraq, since the Bush administration relied on false confessions gained via torture to justify toppling Saddam Hussein. The United States had classified waterboarding as torture since the Spanish-American War, and the U.S. government had classified waterboarding as a war crime since 1947.

If all of the Bush administration’s records were made public, Bush and plenty of his subordinates might be indicted for war crimes. But Bush doesn’t need to worry because the U.S. government blindfolds Americans from learning of their rulers’ crimes.

Sham transparency is “close enough for government work.” At the end of the Obama administration, 30 million pages of his records were trucked to a warehouse near Chicago. The Obama Foundation promised to pay to have those records scanned and made accessible online but that never happened. The Obama Foundation says that 95% of the non-classified Obama records now held by the Archives are already digitized. The Archives could push a few buttons and make them accessible, but that would put a lot of bureaucrats and lawyers out of work. Instead, each document needs to be “reviewed” by bureaucrats before release—assuring that the vast majority will not see the light of day until long after Obama collects tens of millions of dollars in additional speaking fees.

In a 2017 Politico article headlined, “Presidential Libraries are a Scam,” author and former congressional staffer Anthony Clark observed, “Presidential libraries are perfect examples of just how far presidents will go to control their own legacies. Since the first one was created in 1941, what were intended to be serious research centers have grown into flashy, partisan temples touting huckster history.” Unfortunately, most politicians prefer “huckster history” to the real thing. Clark notes that the National Archives and Records Administration “has increasingly become reliant, for ongoing financial support and political cover, on the private foundations presidents create to build the libraries. Which means that [the Archives] cozies up to these organizations, working side by side to help fulfill the foundations’ legacy-polishing ambitions.” The result is the Archives putting its stamp of approval on policies and exhibits that are as deceptive as the typical White House press conference.

If honesty is the goal, then separating state and history is necessary. Presidential records should be automatically and speedily accessible to Americans on the day a former president signs a lucrative contract to write his memoirs. Former presidents should be stripped of any prerogative to limit or delay the disclosure of 99.99%+ of the non-classified records from their administration.

It remains unclear what, if any, legal violations that Trump may have committed with the records seized by the FBI. But there is enough on the table to know that the Presidential Records Act is an ongoing crime against self-government. Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson declared in 2019, “If people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work.” But our current system of government is designed to blindfold Americans on the vast majority of federal crimes. If democracy depends on transparency, and government transparency is an illusion, then what is U.S. democracy?

Jim Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), and 7 other books. 

August 31, 2022 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Fauci finally promises to leave and collect his gratuities with a book deal

By Meryl Nass, MD | August 22, 2022

Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama got a $65 million advance for their joint book deals. Except, nobody sells enough books to make such a stupefying advance work. So those of an inquiring mind wondered if the book deal was a way to launder money to the former President and his family for services rendered.

Mr. Fauci earns a bureaucrat’s salary. $437,000/year. But with royalties, adding in his wife’s salary (head Ethics officer for the NIH Clinical Center) and their investments, it is said the family earned $1.7 million dollars last year.

You’d have thought he got a tidy sum on his last book, which came out only 10 months ago. But no. He only got a basket of superlatives:

Compiled from hours of interviews drawn from the eponymous National Geographic documentary, this inspiring book from world-renowned infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci shares the lessons that have shaped the celebrated doctor’s life philosophy, offering an intimate view of one of the world’s greatest medical minds as well as universal advice to live by.

Before becoming the face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and America’s most trusted doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci had already devoted three decades to public service. Those looking to live a more compassionate and purposeful life will find inspiration in his unique perspective on leadership, expecting the unexpected, and finding joy in difficult times.

With more than three decades spent combating some of the most dangerous diseases to strike humankind– AIDS, Ebola, COVID-19–Dr. Fauci has worked in daunting professional conditions and shouldered great responsibility. The earnest reflections in these pages offer a universal message on how to lead in times of crisis and find resilience in the face of disappointments and obstacles.

Filled with inspiring words of wisdom, this profound book will offer readers a concrete path to a bright and hopeful future.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Anthony Fauci had no creative control over this book or the film on which it is based. He was not paid for his participation, nor does he have any financial interest in the film or book release.

Well then, since I don’t think he could legally be paid extra for a book while in office, it will be of great interest how much he gets for his next work of art. Somebody that good must be worth plenty.

Fauci’s final thoughts from STAT (he never forgets the $): “Thanks to the power of science and investments in research and innovation, the world has been able to fight deadly diseases and help save lives around the globe,” Fauci said. “I am proud to have been part of this important work and look forward to helping to continue to do so in the future.”

We the people will not necessarily benefit from Il Fauci giving up his post. What changed when Francis Collins left the NIH? Nothing. The Acting Director job was given to Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D. Dentist Tabak was one of Fauci and Collins’ co-conspirators in the COVID origins coverup. He knows where the bodies are buried and has kept the shovels locked up.

August 22, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

A Democrat President Again Wastes Taxpayer Money On Useless Renewables

By Jerome Corsi | American Thinker | August 12, 2022

This past week, the Senate passed the Biden administration’s “Inflation Reduction Act,” which includes $368 billion for green energy spending targeted to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030, a move that will almost certainly increase inflation. In a repeat of the renewable energy project failures that the Obama administration financed with federal grants and tax breaks, the Biden administration is betting more potentially inflationary deficit spending against the odds that renewable energy will be profitable this time.

Ironically, on September 4, 2009, then-Vice President Joe Biden was the one who announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) had just finalized a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, LLC. This green energy company manufactured “innovative cylindrical solar photovoltaic panels that provide clean, renewable energy.” Biden enthusiastically noted the DOE loan guarantee aimed to finance the construction of Solyndra’s manufacturing plant. He also bragged that the annual production of solar panels from the first phase of Solyndra’s plans would provide energy equivalent to powering 24,000 homes a year for over half a million homes during the project’s lifetime.

On September 6, 2011, Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, suspended operations at its headquarters, and laid off 1,100 workers. Solyndra went bankrupt despite $535 million in federal loan guarantees and more than $700 million in venture capital funding. The U.S. Department of Energy blamed the Solyndra bankruptcy on the Chinese, claiming the China Development Bank offered more than $30 billion in financing to Chinese solar manufacturers, “about 20 times more than U.S.-backed loans to solar manufacturers.”

On December 25, 2011, after analyzing thousands of memos, company records, and internal emails, the Washington Post provided interesting insights into Obama’s entire $80 billion clean energy technology program.

First, it concluded that the Obama administration gave preferred access to investors in Solyndra who had donated to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Some of these select investors even took jobs in the administration and helped manage the clean energy program. “Documents show that senior officials pushed career bureaucrats to rush their decision on the [Solyndra] loan so Vice President Biden could announce it during a trip to California.” The same article noted that Obama’s May 2010 stop at Solyndra’s headquarters, “like most presidential appearances,” was “closely managed political theater.”

Second, it noted that Solyndra’s most substantial political connection was George Kaiser, a Democratic fundraiser and oil industry billionaire who happened to be an Obama campaign bundler in 2008. Kaiser had hosted Obama at his home, and his family’s foundation owned more than a third of Solyndra. Kaiser “took a direct interest in its [Solyndra’s] operations.”

Peter Schweizer, head of the Government Accountability Institute, reported that 80% of the money spent in Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act on green energy companies went to companies with individual owners who sat on Obama’s finance committee for his 2008 presidential campaign. Given the number of influential donors in Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign who have considerable financial stakes in green energy companies, Schweizer predicts Biden’s “Build Back Better” green energy program amounts to nothing more than “a wealth transfer to Biden’s biggest bundlers.”

By 2015, the Obama administration had used taxpayer funds to subside solar and other renewable energy in the United States at an average of $39 billion per year over five years, for a total of nearly $200 billion. This massive investment in renewable energy resulted in less than 1% of additional electrical generation.

In total, the Obama administration financed some thirty-four faltering or bankrupt green energy companies, including the following: solar panel manufacturers Solyndra LLC ($535 million loss in federal loan guarantees) and Abound Solar Manufacturing, LLC ($400 million loss); Fisker Automotive ($529 million), a green vehicles program; and green energy storage companies Beacon Power ($43 million) and A123 Systems ($132 million).

On May 5, 2021, Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso, M.D., the ranking member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced an investigative report that the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources had released about a concept he called the “Solyndra Syndrome.” The report contended Biden is heading down the same green energy path as Obama. Throwing billions of taxpayer jobs at various clean energy ventures didn’t work for Obama, and Barrasso argued it wouldn’t work for Biden either. Moreover, like Obama, Biden was putting a stranglehold on the oil and gas industries, where jobs were being created.

The reality is that green energy is an expensive chimera. With today’s technology, it can’t come close to satisfying America’s energy needs.

In a perfect world, batteries the size of flashlight batteries could store enough wind or solar energy to light a city; and ten wind turbines placed a few miles outside a metropolitan area could provide all the electricity that the city and suburbs needed for a week, whether or not the wind blew. If that technology existed, the entire world would instantly switch to these new, powerful solar batteries. Instead, in the real world, renewable energy use in utility-scale electricity generation will remain dependent upon government grants and tax credits for the foreseeable future.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable fuels in 2020 were only 12% of all U.S. energy consumption. When we break down the renewable energy category, solar energy and wind energy together were 37% of the renewable energy used, but only 4.44% of all energy the United States used that year. These numbers would surprise those who consume only the mainstream media.

In September 2019, the EIA released an International Energy Outlook that included global energy projections from 2019 to 2050. The EIA noted that, while renewables are “the world’s fastest growing form of energy,” hydrocarbon fuels “continue to meet much of the world’s energy demand.” The report projected that by 2050, world energy consumption would grow nearly 50%, even as 70% of global energy consumption would remain using oil, natural gas, and coal, with the oil price possibly reaching as high as $175/barrel. Despite the worldwide push for renewable fuels, the EIA projected that, by 2050, renewable fuels would still be only 28% of global energy consumption.

While Trump was still president, the left turned to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to propose an FDR-like, government-mandated, sweeping Green New Deal to shove hydrocarbon fuels into the dustbin of world energy history. On January 19, 2019, at the Women’s Unity Rally at Foley Square in New York City, Ocasio-Cortez declared that young Americans fear “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” She called the fight to mitigate the effects of climate change her generation’s “World War II.”

Guided by Ocasio-Cortez and her understanding of climate science, the Biden administration appears determined to repeat the Obama administration’s failure by once again pursuing an aggressive taxpayer-subsidized green energy policy designed to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions, even if reducing the use of hydrocarbon fuels amounts to the United States committing economic suicide.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez has captured the neo-Marxist critical theory left by doubling down on her hysteria that we are facing a world-ending global warming crisis if we fail to declare a climate emergency to force decarbonization. Her argument is only convincing to those whose selective memory chooses to ignore the Obama era “Solyndra Syndrome,” instead believing the global-warming climate catastrophes Al Gore predicted 16 years ago in his 2006 An Inconvenient Truth documentary has come true.

Since 2004, Jerome R. Corsi has published 25 books on economics, history, and politics, including two #1 New York Times bestsellers. In 1972, he received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University. He currently resides in New Jersey with his family. His current book, The Truth About Energy, Global Warming, and Climate Change: Exposing Climate Lies in an Age of Disinformation, published on June 28, 2022, was listed by Amazon.com as a “Best Seller” in the first week of sales. Dr. Corsi’s new website, DrJeromeCorsi.com, is now on the Internet in its first phase of redevelopment.

August 19, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

US “Iran Nuclear Deal” Ploy Coming Full Circle

By Brian Berletic – New Eastern Outlook – 22.07.2022 

Hopes for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) simply known as the Iran Nuclear Deal seemed to fade further during US President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Israel where the US and Israeli governments signed a pledge to use force against Iran should it pursue nuclear weapons (weapons both the US and Israel possess).

US-based ABC News in its article, “Biden left with few options on Iran as nuclear talks stall,” would claim:

President Joe Biden made a clear promise on Iran, declaring that the country would never become a nuclear power under his watch. But during his time in the White House, the path towards upholding that promise has only become murkier.

During his trip to the Middle East, the president said he would consider using force against Iran only as a “last resort,” although Israel, the US.’s most ardent ally in the region, has pushed for the administration to issue a “credible military threat” against Tehran.

The article would mention the Iran Nuclear Deal specifically, claiming:

… while the administration initially hope to cut a “longer and stronger” deal with Iran, over a year and half of indirect negotiations has produced little movement towards restoring even the original terms of the agreement.

After a monthslong stalemate, a 9th round of talks took place in Doha, Qatar, at the end of June. A State Department spokesperson did not sugarcoat the outcome, saying “no progress was made.”

The 2018 unilateral withdrawal of America from the deal by the administration of US President Donald Trump is blamed for the deal’s failure. Yet the Trump administration’s withdrawal was predicted long before President Trump took office, and in fact, long before US President Barack Obama even signed the deal in the first place. President Biden’s recent activities are only wrapping up what was always a diplomatic ploy meant to trap Iran.

The Nuclear Deal Was Always a Trap

When President Obama signed the Iran Nuclear Deal, it was celebrated as a breakthrough in US diplomacy and a departure from the previous Bush administration’s expanding wars of aggression spanning Iraq and Afghanistan while threatening Iran next.

Signed by the United States and Iran along with other participating nations (the UK, EU, Germany, Russia, China, and France) in 2015, NBC News in their article, “What is the Iran nuclear deal?” would explain:

The Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, offered Tehran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for agreeing to curb its nuclear program.

The agreement was aimed at ensuring that “Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.” In return, it lifted UN Security Council and other sanctions, including in areas covering trade, technology, finance and energy.

At face value, the United States imposing sanctions on Iran to impede its development of nuclear weapons was problematic. The United States is the only nation in human history to use nuclear weapons against another nation, twice. Following the 2001 US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, the United States had military forces to Iran’s west and east. US hostilities toward Iran stretch back decades and the US State Department, regardless of administration, has made little secret that Washington seeks regime change in Tehran just as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Worse still, US policymakers as early as 2009 had articulated a ploy by which the US would offer Iran a “deal” before deliberately sabotaging it and using its failure as a pretext for the long sought-after regime change war the US has wanted against Iran.

The Washington DC-based Brookings Institution, funded by the largest corporate-financier interests in the Western world as well as Western governments themselves including the US through the US State Department published the 2009 paper (PDF), “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran.” In it, the Brookings Institution’s policymakers explicitly articulated options the US could pursue to achieve regime change in Iran.

These options were broken down into sections and chapters within the 170-page report and ranged from “An Offer Iran Shouldn’t Refuse: Persuasion,” to “Toppling Tehran: Regime Change,” to “Going All the Way: Invasion,” and “The Velvet Revolution: Supporting a Popular Uprising.” Everything from setting diplomatic traps to arming designated terrorist organzations were not only discussed, but in the years that followed the paper’s publication, they were implemented one after the other without success. The remaining options on the long list are military in nature involving either the US or Israel (or both) waging war directly and openly against Iran.

All that is required before doing so is a pretext, including the “offer” the US made, but Iran “refused.”

“An Offer Iran Shouldn’t Refuse”

Under “Chapter 1” titled, “An Offer Iran Shouldn’t Refuse: Persuasion,” Brookings policymakers would explain (emphasis added):

any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it.

The paper then laid out how the US could appear to the world as a peacemaker and depict Iran’s betrayal of a “very good deal” as the pretext for an otherwise reluctant US military response (emphasis added):

The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

The Iran Nuclear Deal was doomed before it was ever signed. It was conceived wholly as a pretext for war, not as a diplomatic solution to avoid it.

False Hope Spanning Multiple US Presidencies

In many ways, Iran would be foolish not to create a sufficient military deterrence against US aggression, including the development of nuclear weapons if necessary. However, Iran nonetheless agreed to the nuclear deal’s terms and until the US unilaterally abandoned the deal in 2018, abided by it.

In fact, following the US withdrawal from the deal, Iran continued abiding by many of its conditions alongside its other signatories in the vain hope that under a new US administration it could be salvaged.

When US President Joe Biden took office, the obvious first step by Washington should have been to unconditionally rejoin the deal by removing sanctions, followed by Iran’s renewed and full compliance to the deal’s conditions. Yet the US demanded Iranian compliance first before even agreeing to negotiate Washington’s return to the deal.

It was clear long before President Obama’s signature was inked on the deal’s documents that the US would sabotage it, blame Iran, then pursue renewed and expanded aggression against Iran directly, by proxy, or both. President Trump in 2018 took advantage of America’s domestic politics and the perceived notion that US “Republicans” seek a harder line versus Iran in order to abandon the deal. Because of President Trump’s perceived trait as an “outsider” both to his own party and wider US politics, the US could shift the blame squarely on his administration. Yet the continuity of this ploy across presidential administrations is evident by the fact that upon coming into office, President Biden did not immediately and unconditionally return the US to the deal’s framework.

Instead, President Biden’s administration prevented America’s return to the deal by creating unreasonable preconditions placed entirely upon Iran. With President Biden’s statement in Israel coupled with a recent claim made by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan that Iran is preparing to supply Russia with drones, the US is closing the door on the deal indefinitely.

Further evidence of continuity between US administrations can be seen throughout the US-led destabilization, invasion, and occupation of Syria. The campaign was meant as one of several prerequisites laid out by the Brookings Institution’s experts in 2009 before attempting regime change against Iran directly. Ironically, as the Obama administration appeared reconciliatory toward Iran by signing the Iran Nuclear Deal, the same administration presided over the devastating proxy war targeting Iran’s key ally in the region, Syria.

Support of US aggression in Syria transcended presidencies, from the Bush administration who set the stage for it, to the Obama administration who presided over the opening phases of hostilities and occupation, to the Trump and now Biden administrations who have perpetuated a US military presence in Syria along with a policy of denying Syria its key fuel and food production regions in the east to block reconstruction. US foreign policy toward Syria and Iran should not be interpreted separately. The fate of both nations is entwined and illustrates the wider agenda the US is pursuing in the region and has been for decades regardless of US administration.

Barring a fundamental reordering of both American foreign policy objectives and a reordering of the special interests driving them, the Iran Nuclear Deal’s prospects of success will only fade further in the distance. While Tehran’s patience is admirable, Iran and its allies must prepare for the inevitable hostilities that will follow US blame against Tehran for “undermining” a deal the US never had any intention of honoring in the first place.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer.

July 22, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Russia, Iran and Turkey agree the US troops must leave Syria

By Steven Sahiounie | MIDEAST DISCOURSE | July 20, 2022

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran held talks yesterday in Tehran at the 7th Astana summit for peace in Syria, stressing the need for respecting Syria’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The summits date from January 2017, and are named for the Kazakhstan capital they were first held at. The trio of leaders decided the next meeting will be held in Moscow before the end of the year.

The Syrian Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, arrived in Tehran late on Tuesday to be briefed about the latest decisions following the meeting of the presidents.

The joint conclusions

Many important issues were discussed by the trio concerning the situation in Syria, which has developed into a stalemate. Global media has stopped covering Syria since 2019 when the battlefields went silent, but a political solution has been elusive.

One point that Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed upon was the need for the US occupation troops to leave Syria, and their unified opposition to the Biden administration policy in Syria, which includes the need to lift US sanctions on Syria which are oppressing the Syrian people.

“We have certain differences concerning what is happening on the Euphrates eastern bank. But we have a shared position that American troops must leave this territory,” Putin said while adding, “They must stop robbing the Syrian state, Syrian people, illegally exporting oil from there.”

The trio affirmed that there was “no military solution” to the conflict in Syria, and agreed on the need to eliminate terrorism and opposed any attempts to divide the country.

The three leaders also jointly condemned Israel’s ongoing attacks on civilian targets in Syria, and agreed that the crisis in Syria could only be resolved peacefully and by the Syrians themselves.

Raisi said, “The international community bears the responsibility to solve the crisis of the displaced and Syrian refugees, and we will support any initiative to do so.”

The Turkish position

For at least two months, Erdogan has threatened to conduct a fourth military invasion into northern Syria. Analysts had thought the summit would be used by Iran and Russia to convince Turkey a new attack on the US-sponsored SDF in the northeastern Kurdish region would be a destabilizing event for the region. It appears that Turkey was able to get assurances from Iran and Russia that the SDF would not present a border terrorist threat to Turkey.

The US, Russia and Iran had all shared the view that Turkey should not begin a new military attack in northern Syria.

Turkey and US are NATO members and had been allies. But, the US chose to partner with the SDF, who are a separatist group in Syria led by Kurds who are following a socialist political ideology based on the communist framework of the PKK, an internationally outlawed terrorist group who have killed thousands in Turkey over three decades.

The trio agreed that terrorism must be eradicated everywhere, and there cannot be “good terrorists” who are used by the US, while others are deemed “bad terrorists” such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

US President Obama began the US-NATO attack on Syria in 2011 for ‘regime change’. He failed. The US used the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East, as well as global Al Qaeda branches which were transported into northern Syria from their base in southern Turkey, were the CIA operated a terrorist headquarters which was finally shut down in 2017 by President Trump.

Erdogan is a Muslim Brotherhood follower, and his AKP party is aligned with the international terrorist group banned in Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The US position

The Biden administration has made no changes to US policy in Syria since taking office. The US is not present in any Syrian peace talks. Obama started the destruction in Syria, but Biden is not offering any solution. The US sanctions have prevented any reconstruction from beginning, and the Syrian people have been struggling under hyper-inflation, with no end in sight.

Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed the US-EU sanctions should be lifted and described them as being “in contravention of international law, international humanitarian law and the UN Charter including, among other things, any discriminatory measures through waivers for certain regions which could lead to this country’s disintegration by assisting separatist agendas.”

Trump had ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, but the Pentagon insisted that they stay in support of the SDF who steal the oil from the main oil field in Syria and sell the oil to support their socialist administration. That oil is the property of Syria, and because they are refused access to the oil, the Syrian people live with just two hours of electricity per day.

Damascus considers the US troops in Syria as a military occupation force which destabilizes the country and is against the UN charter and international law.

US raids on terrorists in Idlib

Idlib is the last remaining terrorist controlled area in Syria. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is the Radical Islamic terrorist group who keep about three million persons as human hostages. Turkey protects the terrorists and keeps Russian and Syrian military from attacking Idlib, while the UN and other humanitarian groups keep the terrorists, their families, and civilians fed. The US has also been very vocal and has accused the Syrian and Russian military for attacking terrorists in Idlib.

In a double-faced US policy in Idlib, the US has continued to kill ISIS leaders in Idlib, including the first assassination of the ISIS Calipha Baghdadi ordered by Trump. Since then, another five ISIS leaders have been killed by the US in Idlib. The US know that the terrorists in control in Idlib are allies of ISIS, and yet the US policy is to protect Idlib from being cleared of terrorists.

In 2015, Russia was asked to enter Syria as the Al Qaeda affiliate Jibhat al-Nusra was threatening to create an Islamic State in Syria. Putin recalled at the summit, “We broke the backbone of international terrorism there.”

Grain crisis discussion

Putin and Erdogan discussed the supply of grain from Russia and Ukraine to world markets. Putin thanked Erdogan for his efforts “to mediate by providing Turkey with a platform for negotiating food issues and grain exports across the Black Sea.” Putin called on the US to lift all restrictions on grain exports from Russia to improve the global food market situation.

Erdogan has been leading efforts to broker a deal to allow thousands of tons of grain that is being blockaded by Russia to leave Ukraine’s ports. Turkey has responsibility under the 1936 Montreux convention for naval traffic entering the Black Sea, and is proposing that Russia allow Ukrainian grain ships to leave Odesa on designated routes.

Steven Sahiounie is a journalist and political commentator.

July 21, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama: We have to “detoxify” the “scourge of disinformation and conspiracy theories and hate online”

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | June 10, 2022

Former US President Barack Obama made a fresh push for online censorship during an appearance at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit by calling for crackdowns on content that he deems to be “disinformation,” “hate,” or a “conspiracy theory.”

Before Obama took the stage, 2022 Obama Foundation Leader Sarah-Josephine Hjorth hinted at what was to come by railing against “fake news and misinformation.”

“While the increase in use of smartphones and social media first came with the whisper of renewed democratic participation, fake news and misinformation dominate the digital landscape and result in an erosion of the fabric of truth and polarization,” Hjorth said.

Shortly after taking the stage, Obama continued this theme by invoking the January 6 Capitol riot and tying it to “misinformation and conspiracy theories.”

“In my own country, the forces that unleashed mob violence on our Capitol are still churning out misinformation and conspiracy theories,” Obama said.

Towards the end of his speech, Obama made a more direct call for censorship of content that’s branded as a conspiracy theory, disinformation, or hate.

“We have to take steps to detoxify our discourse,” the former President said. “Particularly the scourge of disinformation and conspiracy theories and hate online that has polluted our political discourse.”

Obama continued by demanding that technology companies “accept a certain degree of democratic oversight and accountability” and noting that he spoke at length about these issues during his April 21 speech at Stanford University.

In his Stanford speech, Obama called for “solving the disinformation problem,” welcomed social media censorship of “hate speech,” and said that content moderation “doesn’t go far enough.”

After finishing his speech, Obama invited three 2022 Obama Foundation leaders, Tudor Iulian Bradatan, Selvije Mustafi, and Federica Vinci, to the stage. He then complained about the increased amount of misinformation since he left office and the difficulty of “sorting between what’s true and what’s false, what’s journalism and what’s fabrication.”

Obama continued by claiming that the politicization of COVID issues, such as getting vaccinated or wearing masks, was “driven just by misinformation that was out there.”

“I’m wondering how…it’s [misinformation] affected you and whether you’ve seen some solutions to…help young people distinguish between what’s true and false in making decisions about how to participate and what to support?” Obama asked.

Mustafi, a national grassroots organizer at the biggest Roma movement in North Macedonia, said “there are big concerns also in our movement about how…false information and misinformation is spreading on the internet to influence decisions by some political actors or political sides.”

She added that the challenge of this kind of fake news and misinformation is that it makes people have a “different kind of opinion which is not necessarily relevant or truthful.”

Vinci, the Deputy Mayor of Isernia, Italy, described the spread of “false news” and “false noise” as “scary.”

Obama’s Copenhagen Democracy Summit and Stanford University speeches are some of the many pushes he’s made for rules that would chill online speech.

Earlier this year, the former President proposed “modifications” to online anonymity when people are “rude, obnoxious, cruel, or lie” and suggested that social media algorithms should be audited by federal inspectors to deal with misinformation.

And in previous years, Obama has called for social media regulations that curb “crazy lies and conspiracy theories” and pushed internet platforms to reduce the influence of hate groups.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 4 Comments