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Vaccine: twenty countries suspend injections; does that make you “hesitant?”

By Jon Rappoport | No Mre Fake News | March 19, 2021

The Guardian : “Several European countries have halted using the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine…”

The Guardian has a brand new definition of “several.” Their own article lists the following nations: Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Romania, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Cyprus, Sweden.

Bulgaria and Thailand have also stopped the jab.

The reason for the “pause?” A “small” number of people have developed blood clots.

And now, as I write this, the Wall St. Journal is reporting that European Union medical regulators have decided everything is OK—“the benefits of the shots outweigh the risks.” Standard boilerplate language for: “we don’t have to explain the vaccine injuries or deaths.”

If you believe just a few people with blood clots caused 20 countries to stop giving the jabs, I have condos on Mars for sale.

Hidden behind the firewall of the vaccine establishment, MANY people are keeling over.

And why wouldn’t they? Governments and pharma companies have rushed a new experimental RNA technology into use, for the first time in history. Prior to the COVID injection, all attempts to force approval of RNA tech had failed; dangerous and deadly over-reaction of the immune system was the reason.

Since I seem to be one of the only people saying this, I’ll say it again: Bill Gates, Fauci, and other rabid vaccinators are in love with RNA tech. It allows vaccines to be produced far more quickly, easily, and cheaply.

For any purported virus, at the drop of a hat, companies can come up with a vaccine. It doesn’t take four years. It takes three months.

“We just discovered a virus that crossed over from geese. And here’s a new one from Easter bunnies. And another new one just drifted in from Jupiter. We’ll have vaccines ready by Christmas. The seventh mutation of SARS-CoV-2 has its own vaccine as of yesterday. If you want to take the kiddies to Disneyland, find one of those pretty pink vans parked in your town, take the shot and receive your updated Immunity Certificate…”

Then there is this: the COVID vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna are completely ineffective at preventing serious illness. BY DESIGN.

Months ago, a NY Times piece, by Peter Doshi and Eric Topol, spelled it out.

September 22, 2020: “These Coronavirus Trials Don’t Answer the One Question We Need to Know” :

“If you were to approve a coronavirus vaccine, would you approve one that you only knew protected people only from the most mild form of Covid-19, or one that would prevent its serious complications?” [Clue: “most mild” means cough, or chills and fever, which cure themselves without the need for a vaccine.]

“The answer is obvious. You would want to protect against the worst cases.”

“But that’s not how the companies testing three of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, whose U.S. trial is on hold, are approaching the problem.”

“According to the protocols for their studies, which they released late last week, a vaccine could meet the companies’ benchmark for success if it lowered the risk of mild Covid-19, but was never shown to reduce moderate or severe forms of the disease, or the risk of hospitalization, admissions to the intensive care unit or death.”

“To say a vaccine works should mean that most people no longer run the risk of getting seriously sick. That’s not what these trials will determine.”

The COVID shot: dangerous AND ineffective.

Trump’s coronavirus task force knew the truth. Biden’s task force knows the truth. But they don’t care.

The CDC and the WHO know. They don’t care, either.

But these authorities are very nervous, because droves of people are avoiding the vaccine. It’s not “hesitancy.”

It’s utter rejection.

Sensible rejection.

It began soon after the initial rollout of the Pfizer vaccine. NBC News, December 31, 2020:

“A large percentage of front-line workers in hospitals and nursing homes have refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine…”

“About 50 percent of front-line workers in California’s Riverside County have refused to take the vaccine…”

“Anecdotally, an estimated 60 percent of Ohio nursing home employees have refused the vaccine already…”

“A survey of 2,053 New York City firefighters found that more than half said they would refuse the Covid-19 vaccine when it became available to them…”

And all that was long before 20 countries suspended the injection.

I’ll close, for now, with two statements about the role vaccines have played in eliminating deaths from diseases—because true history matters:

“The combined death rate from scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough and measles among children up to fifteen shows that nearly 90 percent of the total decline in mortality between 1860 and 1965 had occurred before the introduction of antibiotics and widespread immunization. In part, this recession may be attributed to improved housing and to a decrease in the virulence of micro-organisms, but by far the most important factor was a higher host-resistance due to better nutrition.” Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis, Bantam Books, 1977

Robert F Kennedy, Jr.:

“After extensively studying a century of recorded data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins researchers concluded: ‘Thus vaccinations do not account for the impressive declines in mortality from infectious diseases seen in the first half of the twentieth century’.”

“Similarly, in 1977, Boston University epidemiologists (and husband and wife) John and Sonja McKinlay published their seminal work in the Millbank Memorial Fund Quarterly on the role that vaccines (and other medical interventions) played in the massive 74% decline in mortality seen in the twentieth century: ‘The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century’.”

“In this article, which was formerly required reading in U.S. medical schools, the McKinlays pointed out that 92.3% of the mortality rate decline happened between 1900 and 1950, before most vaccines existed, and that all medical measures, including antibiotics and surgeries, ‘appear to have contributed little to the overall decline in mortality in the United States since about 1900 — having in many instances been introduced several decades after a marked decline had already set in and having no detectable influence in most instances’.”

Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALEDEXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX.

March 22, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

Guardian ‘accidentally’ suggests Covid-like shutdowns every 2 years to meet Paris climate goals

Lockdowns or the planet gets it?

© web.archive.org / The Guardian
By Helen Buyniski | RT | March 4, 2021

The Guardian accidentally confirmed the suspicions of a whole lot of conspiracy theorists with an article suggesting a “global lockdown every two years” was needed to meet Paris climate goals. The title was quickly changed.

If carbon dioxide emissions don’t drop by the equivalent of a worldwide lockdown “roughly every two years” for the next decade, the earth will heat to apocalyptic levels, a team of researchers at the University of East Anglia warned in a Nature article published Wednesday.

This apparently so excited a certain strain of climate fanatic on the Guardian staff, that they originally posted the piece under the title “Global lockdown every two years needed to meet Paris CO2 goals – study.” After being dragged mercilessly for such fear porn, the headline was changed to “Equivalent of Covid emissions drop needed every two years – study” with an explainer that “experts say” that “equivalent falls in emissions over a decade” would be “required to keep safe limits of global heating.”

Despite calling for “completely different methods” to achieve and lock in the emissions drop from the pandemic, lead researcher Corinne Le Quéré nevertheless insisted that climate change couldn’t be a “side issue. It can’t be about one law or policy, it has to be put at the heart of all policy.”

“Every strategy and every plan from every government must be consistent with tackling climate change.”

While Le Quéré didn’t come out and suggest people be arbitrarily deprived of their liberties every two years in order to please a climate model, the other “strategic actions” she mentioned to keep some of the gains of the pandemic were already being implemented – and in many cases had been implemented for years. From city planning to incentivize “active transport” (walking and cycling) and growing public transportation, to promoting remote work where possible, her suggestions were not exactly new – and unlikely to convince anyone they were sufficient enough.

“There is a real contradiction between what governments are saying they are going to do [to generate a green recovery], and what they are doing,” Le Quéré told the Guardian, calling the phenomenon “very worrisome.”

Her co-researcher Glen Peters was more explicit in what latitude countries should have to move away from fossil fuels on their own time, calling for “structural changes” to move economies toward renewable energy.

Some on social media, seeing the “quiet part” said out loud on the first edition of the Guardian article, had an “I told you so” moment. The threat of ‘climate lockdowns’ has been alternately presented and “debunked” by mainstream media for months.

… others at first assumed it had to be satire, because no one would post something that on-the-nose –

… except maybe for the World Economic Forum, which actually posted in praise of what lockdowns had done to cities – presumably turned them into uninhabitable hives of snitches where one can’t even take in a Broadway show anymore – earlier this week, before removing its tweet under public pressure.

The WEF had posted a video praising the “silence” and clearer air – and lack of humans, though they didn’t say that part out loud.

March 3, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Guardian writer insists cancel culture doesn’t exist, gets whacked by Big Israel

By Helen Buyniski | RT | February 11, 2021

The meaning of ‘free speech’ is devolving rapidly, with an ever-widening swathe of journalistic content deemed deplatform-worthy, but one writer’s run-in with the Israeli lobby should remind us where “cancel culture” began.

Current Affairs editor Nathan Robinson, a columnist for the Guardian, tripped over Tel Aviv’s time-honored third rail back in December. He was incensed – as any sane American might be – by the truly preposterous piles of money that were being bundled off to Israel as part of what was supposed to be an omnibus spending bill combined with Covid-19 stimulus passed by Congress as a life-raft for a desperately needy American populace. So he sent out a tweet.

Robinson’s tweet – which wryly suggested “it’s the law” that “the US Congress is not actually allowed to authorize any new spending unless a portion of it is directed toward buying weapons for Israel” – was a joke that took a moment to recognize as a joke, given its resemblance to reality, as the best satire often is. But, at some point, he seemed to get cold feet, following up the tweet with a qualifier noting while it wasn’t really the law, it was “at least so customary as to be functionally identical” to it.

Apparently smelling weakness (and finding satire a wholly inappropriate pastime for a Guardian columnist), the Guardian’s US editor ordered him to delete the tweets, declaring they were not “helpful to public discourse.” One might ask how 95 percent of what’s printed in the Guardian is helpful to public discourse, but one would probably not receive a reply. The email also included what seemed to be a forwarded message from some humorless individual who denounced the tweets as “clearly anti-Semitic,” arguing they were “saying that the only Jewish state controls the most powerful country in the world” and were liable to “inform murderous hatred.”

“Delete this and apologise,” the nameless critic demanded.

Robinson at this point was going to get fired no matter what. He could have stood his ground, explaining to his editor that only the unsigned letter-writer had claimed “the only Jewish state controls the most powerful country in the world,” a conclusion which was nowhere to be found in Robinson’s tweets. He could have pointed out that deeming criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic” was itself anti-Semitic, because plenty of Jews disapprove of the sociopathic actions of the Israeli government and don’t appreciate being used as human shields for those actions. Or he could have just said “no.”

Instead, he went the route traveled by so many journalists desperate to save their jobs, deleting the tweets, groveling at the feet of his editor, and even asking for guidance from the Guardian on what was off-limits – only to be told there was no such code, just an “unwritten one.” Thus was Robinson sucked into the apology vortex that has destroyed so many upwardly-mobile political and media figures – including UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – who’ve dared to oppose the “war crimes” of a foreign country.

After weeks of emails going unreturned, Robinson was informed his services would no longer be needed.

His fate certainly had a ring of poetic justice – his last column published by the Guardian denied the existence of “cancel culture,” gloating that “bigots like Jordan Peterson” aren’t owed a platform after some employees at the publisher who’d already inked a deal with Peterson complained.

However, the Israeli lobby has been bullying journalists since long before “cancel culture” had a name, as Robinson himself documented in a typically long-winded piece posted to his website after he discovered his groveling had been for naught. Indeed, today’s “cancel culture” practitioners most likely learned their craft from observing the craven sneak-attacks practiced by the Lobby that dare not speak its name.

Like the Israeli lobby’s defenders, cancel culture practitioners pile on their targets without regard for logic, fact, or common sense. They hammer away at not only their victim, but their victim’s employer until it becomes easier to just give them what they want, even if the “offensive” statement that started the controversy was utterly unimpeachable.

Robinson’s criticism of the US dumping billions of taxpayer dollars at the feet of Israel while millions of Americans struggled to make ends meet was accurate, as most job-killing jabs at Israel are. Because there is no way of justifying the expenditure of $3.8 billion per year on a country that deliberately antagonizes its neighbors in order to justify the purchase of more American weaponry, Israel’s defenders merely lob the same “anti-Semitism accusation” grenade, again and again. As former Israeli minister Shulamit Aloni has freely admitted, “it’s a trick, we always use it.”

“The ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong.”

It doesn’t matter if the critic of Israel is himself or herself Jewish, either: The list of Jewish critics of the Israeli government’s heinous crimes, all dismissed as “self-hating Jews,” could fill a book (whose publication would no doubt be censored). The Israeli government does not represent the Jewish people, no matter how hard it pretends to, and to suggest it does is itself anti-Semitic.

Unfortunately, the American establishment is utterly unwilling to stand up to these bullies for fear of being smeared as anti-Semitic itself, leading to the spectacle satirized so well in a New York Times cartoon from two years ago – one which also got its creator fired.

It’s a trick they will keep using until someone in the media establishment grows a backbone. As more and more self-styled aggrieved groups pick up on how ‘cancel culture’ works, eventually journalists will be unable to speak at all.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

February 11, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 2 Comments

MSM calls for “new definition of free speech”

New buzzwords in the mainstream media bubble spell trouble for those outside it

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | January 16, 2021

Part of the main duty of OffGuardian is to troll through the masses of media output and try and pick up patterns. Sometimes the patterns are subtle, a gentle urging behind the paragraphs. Sometimes they’re more like a sledgehammer to the face.

This has been face-hammer week. In fact, it’s been a face-hammer year.

From “flatten the curve” to “the new normal” to “the great reset”, it’s not been hard to spot the messaging going on since the start of the “pandemic”. And that distinct lack of disguise has carried over into other topics, too.

We pointed out, a few days ago, the sudden over-use of the phrase “domestic terrorism” preparing us for what is, almost certainly, going to be a truly horrendous piece of new legislation once Biden is in office.

Well, the buzz-phrase doing the rounds in the wake of Donald Trump being banned from the internet is “the new definition of free speech”… and variations on that theme.

Firstly, and papers on both sides of the Atlantic want to be very clear about this, Donald Trump being banned simultaneously from every major social network is not in any way inhibiting his free speech.

Indeed none of the tens of thousands of people banned from twitter et al. have had their free speech infringed either. Neither have any of the proprietors – or users – of the Parler app which the tech giants bullied out of existence.

Free Speech is totally intact no matter how many people are banned or deplatformed, the media all agree on that (even the allegedly pro-free speech think tanks).

They also agree that maybe… it shouldn’t be. Maybe “free speech” is too dangerous in our modern era, and needs a “new definition”.

That’s what Ian Dunt writing in Politics.co.uk thinks, anyway, arguing it’s time to have a “grown-up debate” about free speech.

The Financial Times agrees, asking about the “limits of free-speech in the internet era”.

Thomas Edsall, in the New York Times, wonders aloud if Trump’s “lies” have made free speech a “threat to democracy”.

The Conversation, a UK-based journal often at the cutting edge of the truly terrifying ideas, has three different articles about redefining or limiting free speech, all published within 4 days of each other.

There’s Free speech is not guaranteed if it harms others, a drab piece of dishonest apologia which argues Trump wasn’t silenced, because he could make a speech which the media would cover… without also mentioning that the media has, en masse, literally refused to broadcast several of Trump’s speeches in the last couple of months.

The conclusion could have been written by an algorithm analysing The Guardian’s twitter feed:

the suggestion Trump has been censored is simply wrong. It misleads the public into believing all “free speech” claims have equal merit. They do not. We must work to ensure harmful speech is regulated in order to ensure broad participation in the public discourse that is essential to our lives — and to our democracy.

Then there’s Free speech in America: is the US approach fit for purpose in the age of social media?, a virtual carbon copy of the first, which states:

The attack on the Capitol exposed, in stark terms, the dangers of disinformation in the digital age. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which certain elements of America’s free speech tradition may no longer be fit for purpose.

And finally, my personal favourite, Why ‘free speech’ needs a new definition in the age of the internet and Trump tweets in which author Peter Ives warns of the “weaponising of free speech” and concludes:

Trump’s angry mob was not just incited by his single speech on Jan. 6, but had been fomenting for a long time online. The faith in reason held by Mill and Kant was premised on the printing press; free speech should be re-examined in the context of the internet and social media.

Ives clearly thinks he’s enlightened and liberal and educated, after all he drops references to Kant AND Mills (that’s right TWO famous philosophers), but he’s really not. He’s just an elitist arguing working class people are too dumb to be allowed to speak, or even hear ideas that might get them all riled-up and distract them from their menial labour.

To season these stale ideas with a sprinkling of fear-porn, NBC News is reporting that the FBI didn’t report their “concerns” over possible violence at the Capitol, because they were worried about free speech. (See, if the FBI hadn’t been protecting people’s free speech, that riot may not have happened!)

And on top of all of that, there’s the emotional manipulation angle, where authors pretend to be sad or exasperated or any of the emotions they used to have.

In the Irish Independent, Emma Kelly says that “free speech” doesn’t include “hate speech” (she’s never exactly clear what part of “go home in peace love” was hate speech though).

In The Hill, Joe Ferullo is almost in tears that the first amendment has been ruined by the right-wing press continuously “shouting fire in a crowded theatre”, citing the famous Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, which so many use to “qualify” the idea of free speech, without realising it hands over power to destroy it completely.

Up until you can show me the hard-and-fast legal definitions of “shout”, “fire”, “crowded” and “theatre”, this open-ended qualification is nothing but a blank canvas, free to be interpreted as loosely – or stringently – as any lawmaker or judiciary feels is necessary.

As an example:

Twitter is certainly bigger and more populated than a theatre, and spreading anti-vaccination/anti-war/pro-Russia/”Covid denial” news [delete as appropriate] is certainly going to cause more panic than one single building being on fire. Isn’t it?

It’s this potential abuse of incredibly loose terminologies which will be used to “redefine” free speech.

“Offensive”, “misinformation”, “hate speech” and others will be repeated. A lot.

Expressions which have no solid definition under law, and are already being shown to mean nothing to the media talking heads who repeat them ad nauseum.

If “go home in peace and love”, can become “inciting violence”, absolutely everything can be made to mean absolutely anything.

The more they “redefine” words, the further we move into an Orwellian world where all meaning is entirely lost.

And what would our newly defined “free speech” really mean in such a world?

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Blowing in the wind

Climate Discussion Nexus | January 6, 2021

Supposedly the very active Atlantic hurricane season in 2020 was more proof that global warming is upon us. As you will recall, when there was a long hiatus in major hurricanes making landfall in the United States the theory was fine-tuned to say warming decreases hurricanes. But then a string of hurricanes hit and the theory switched back. Except for one small thing: last year was actually a quiet one for… um… hurricanes.

As Paul Homewood writes on his Not A Lot of People Know That blog, or mostly shows in pictures worth thousands of words, the total number of hurricanes recorded by early September 2020 with wind speed over 64 knots was 42 and the number with wind speed over 96 was 18. And while neither number is unprecedented, they are certainly toward the low end of the range from 1980 on. Just as the U.S. saw fewer tornadoes than usual last year. (And for that matter wildfires are down not up over the past few decades; stand by for news that warming reduces wildfires and it’s bad.)

At least 11 years since 1980 saw 60 or more hurricanes recorded globally with wind speed over 64 knots, and at least that many saw 30 or more with wind speed over 96 knots. The period from 1990 to 1998 seems to have been especially bad, if one regards hurricanes as in some way “bad”. (Yes, we realize you don’t want one hitting your home town. But ecosystems are complicated things and it may well be that a healthy planet is one that sees periodic destructive wind storms. Again beware the alarmist trope that all effects of warming are bad and all bad things are effects of warming.)

The overall pattern is, you will not be surprised to hear, complicated. There seems to be a downward trend from the mid-1980s at least until 2014, with a bit of a bump in 2016 and another in 2019.

Some alarmists solved that problem the old-fashioned way, namely by ignoring it. Thus in his lyrical pro-lockdown piece in the Guardian (see below) their global environment editor Jonathan Watts raved about how “2020 saw record smoke plumes from bushfires in Australia, a freakishly protracted heatwave in Siberia, the most tropical storms ever registered in the Atlantic, devastating blazes in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands, the highest flood levels recorded in east Africa, unusually devastating cyclones and typhoons in India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the hottest northern hemisphere summer in history, and temperature records in the Antarctic and the Arctic, where winter ice formation was delayed for longer than in any season in the satellite era.” But we predict a more subtle approach.

The consensus view will be that warming decreases hurricanes except when it increases them. And which way the switch is thrown at any given point will depend not on trends, careful measurement or rigorous analysis of causation but basically on whatever seems to be happening right now.

January 6, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

The huckster and the hack: UK govt report undermines stars of Cambridge Analytica-Russiagate scandal

By Alexander Rubinstein · The Grayzone · November 2, 2020

Self-styled whistleblower Christopher Wylie and The Guardian reporter Carole Cadwalladr earned film deals and flashy awards by blaming Brexit and Trump on a sweeping conspiracy between data firm Cambridge Analytica and Russia. A British government investigation shatters their claims to fame.

Two years after the stunning June 2016 passage of the Brexit referendum, affirming the British public’s desire to withdraw from the European Union, and the equally unexpected November 2016 election of Donald Trump to the White House, a scandal erupted that seemed to explain these rogue right-wing victories as the handiwork of an especially devilish data-mining scheme.

In 2018, a hipster techie named Christopher Wylie emerged as a supposed whistleblower from the UK data firm SCL-Cambridge Analytica. Wylie claimed inside knowledge of how his former employer illicitly harvested the personal data of British and American voters through Facebook to conduct micro-targeting operations in favor of Brexit and Trump. Further, and most memorably, he asserted that “known Russian agents” were involved in the right-wing plot.

“Here is what I know,” Wylie tweeted, “when I was at Cambridge Analytica, the company hired known Russian agents, had data researchers in St Petersburg, tested US voter opinion on Putin’s leadership, and hired hackers from Russia – all while [former Trump Chief of Staff Steve] Bannon was in charge.”

As soon as Wylie went public, his accusations against Cambridge Analytica became a central pillar of the Russiagate narrative, bridging Trump-Putin across the Atlantic to Brexit and the rise of Euroscepticism.

Wylie, a self-proclaimed progressive Eurosceptic, has since published a book, “Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America,” and inspired an Oscar-shortlisted Netflix documentary about the supposed scandal called “The Great Hack.” In 2018, Wylie’s supposed revelations earned him a spot on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. A film based on the rebel techie’s interview with The Guardian is on the way.

Wylie has boastfully described himself as “the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating ‘Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool,’” who enjoys a wild ride “from fashion to fascism to fashion.” (After starting out as a fashion school student, he said he was hired by H&M in 2018.)

The hipster whistleblower was cultivated over the course of 2017 and 2018 by The Guardian’s Russia-obsessed correspondent Carole Cadwalladr. Operating as Wylie’s de facto publicist and churning out a stream of reports based on his spectacular claims, Cadwalladr has won admiring media profiles, an array of journalism awards, and a finalist nomination in the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

In July 2018, Cadwalladr issued a bold prophesy that stirred liberal audiences across the Atlantic: “From [former FBI director Robert] Mueller’s most recent indictments [of Trump officials], it is clear that the data trail must be coming soon: the chain of evidence that is required to understand how the Russian government’s influence operation targeted American voters.”

She pointed to a forthcoming report by the British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and its commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, on the role of SCL-Cambridge Analytica in Brexit and 2016 US elections: “And here is the clue and where it is believed Denham comes in – what data it was based on.”

Her self-styled whistleblower source, Wylie, has also praised Denham: “I want to point out this Russia/Facebook/[Cambridge Analytica] investigation is being led by women like Elizabeth Denham, the UK Information Commissioner, and Carole Cadwalladr at the Guardian. When the tech bros looked away, these women paid attention and put in the hours to investigate.”

But the data trail promised by Cadwalladr never arrived. Instead, Denham and the British ICO produced a report that contradicted virtually ever major prediction and assertion that Wylie and Cadwalladr made about SCL-Cambridge Analytica and its role in UK politics. Published this October, the ICO report reinforces a British parliamentary investigation into Brexit that found no evidence of Russian meddling.

With the release of the ICO report, the Cambridge Analytica-Russiagate bombshell that erupted two years ago has been exposed as another dud. Now, there are serious questions about the credibility of the figures who inspired the debunked narrative.

Another Russiagate plot point reaches a revealing denouement

The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) spent over two years investigating Cambridge Analytica (CA) and associated entities, including its parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL); the Canada-based Aggregate IQ (AIQ); and the research facility Global Science Research (GSR).

Strategic advisory firms like Cambridge Analytica work with political campaigns, governments, and corporate clients, offering them a variety of services from public relations to black operations. The ICO report, for example, found that Cambridge Analytica purchased large amounts of commercially available data on US citizens. The data was then used to build profiles on American voters so that they could be targeted with election advertising tailored to them.

After examining Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, the 2016 Brexit referendum in the UK, and allegations of ties to Russian government influence operations, the ICO found a chaotic, largely ineffectual operation with no connection to the Kremlin. The closure of the investigation marked yet another anti-climactic denouement of a key Russiagate plot point.

Elizabeth Denham methodically discredited the baseless allegations of collusion between the data firm, the Russian government, and the Trump campaign. Further, her report poured cold water on the influence of Cambridge Analytica in Brexit, demonstrating the company’s negligible impact on the vote.

The ICO even concluded that Cambridge Analytica’s widely touted psychographic micro-targeting of voters was mostly hype. Its tactics were neither new nor particularly effective.

“The scale of the investigation I conducted was unprecedented for a data protection authority,” declared the ICO commissioner in her 18-page report. “It highlighted the whole ecosystem of personal data in political campaigns.”

“During my investigation a large amount of material and equipment was reviewed including; 42 laptops and computers, 700 TB of data, 31 servers, over 300,000 documents, and a wide range of material in paper form and from cloud storage devices,” Denham said.

The Guardian reported “40 full-time investigators working on the case, 20 specialist contractors, and they have an interview list that numbers 264 people.”

“The ICO has conducted a reverse engineering exercise to try to identify and confirm as far as possible, how SCL/CA processed the personal data they held… my findings were also informed and corroborated based on accounts obtained from witness interviews and the contents of statements taken during the investigation,” Denham said.

The methodically detailed investigation’s findings were a damning commentary on the Western media that opportunistically painted SCL-Cambridge Analytica as a batcave command center for Putin and the Bannonite far-right.

Reaching for the Russia ruse

In March 2018, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pointed to Cambridge Analytica’s alleged work with Russia in order to deflect from her loss to Trump in 2016. “You’ve got Cambridge Analytica… and you’ve got the Russians. And the real question is how did the Russians know how to target their messages so precisely?” she posed to the UK’s Channel 4 News in an interview for the network’s documentary on the data scandal.

“If they were getting advice from let’s say Cambridge Analytica or someone else, about, ‘ok, here are the 12 voters in this town in Wisconsin…’ that indeed would be very disturbing,” Clinton declared.

Cadwalladr seized on the statement as confirmation of her own reporting.

 

That same month, Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressional point man on allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, had invited Wylie to testify as a part of “ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.” In the Senate, Richard Blumenthal called to have Cambridge Analytica investigated over its “ties to Russia” and “services for Russians.”

The uproar that ensued from Wylie’s testimony resulted in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg being dragged before Congress to apologize like a whimpering puppy for his role in enabling the British data firm to meddle in elections.

Corporate media leapt on the salacious story, devoting copious air time to the topic. One journalist noted dozens of tweets about Cambridge Analytica written in 2018 by CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju, the network’s media critic Brian Stelter, and its primetime host Jake Tapper.

 

When Wylie testified behind closed doors to members of the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee and an Oversight and Government Reform panel in April 2018, he stunned the lawmakers with claims that Cambridge Analytica had tested messaging with American voters about Russian President Vladimir Putin and his policies in Eastern Europe.

Wylie claimed that people who worked on the US and UK campaigns had connections to two Russian intelligence outfits, as well as to Russians and Russian companies which were in turn linked to the Kremlin itself. According to the self-styled whistleblower, Cambridge Analytica hired “known Russian agents.” He painted a sprawling, conspiratorial portrait of a hostile foreign information warfare operation that seemed almost custom made for a US media and Democratic Party eager to impeach Trump and wage a new cold war against Putin.

“There was a lot of relationships and a lot of communications with different fairly senior Russian officials,” Wylie told NPR. He has claimed that a Russian gas company with alleged ties to the Kremlin named Lukoil inquired about political, non-commercial online targeting in the United States to the company.

“Wylie also revealed Cambridge Analytica’s links to Russia. Wylie had the documents and tapes to back him up,” NPR reported.

Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) has said it discussed working with “Lukoil Turkey [to] better engage with its loyalty-card customers at gas stations,” but that nothing came from the meeting. Tellingly, Lukoil received not one mention in the short section on Russia in the ICO’s report.

While the ICO report mentioned “possible Russia-located activity” – referring to Russian IP addresses found in some data – the information was ultimately referred to the National Crime Agency, which has not taken any action. “These matters fall outside the remit of the ICO,” the report says.

In July 2018, Wylie claimed this information was also in the FBI’s hands, and that he had “been helping their investigation.” However, the reported DOJ-FBI investigation that ran parallel to the ICO has offered nothing to corroborate his remarkable assertion.

The ICO’s Russiagate section concluded as follows: “We did not find any additional evidence of Russian involvement in our analysis of material contained in the SCL / CA servers we obtained.”

In other words, virtually everything Wylie told US Congress and the media about Cambridge Analytica’s role as a secret Russian weapon – the entire basis of his fame – has been discredited by the ICO report he helped to spur.

Blustery claims of influence exposed as hot air

UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham’s report also surgically dismantled many of the most sensational claims about Cambridge Analytica advanced by Christopher Wylie’s promoters in the media, like Cadwalladr.

In one of the report’s most revealing sections, its authors found:

The methods that SCL were using were, in the main, well recognised processes using commonly available technology. It was these third-party libraries which formed the majority of SCL’s data science activities which were observed by the ICO… We understand this procedure is well established within the wider data science community, and in our view does not show any proprietary technology, or processes, within SCL’s work.

However, it is important to stress that the output was only a prediction… the real-world accuracy of these predictions – when used on new individuals whose data had not been used in the generating of the models – was likely much lower.

As in so many previously misreported Russiagate stories, the subjects of the controversy may have been a victim of their own self-promotional bluster. In a press release following Trump’s victory in 2016, for example, Cambridge Analytica claimed it was “instrumental in identifying supporters, persuading undecided voters, and driving turnout,” and bragged that it had “informed key decisions on campaigning communications, and resource allocation.”

“We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communications played such an integral part in President-elect Donald Trump’s extraordinary win,” CEO Alexander Nix boasted at the time.

The ICO report, on the other hand, noted “evidence that [SCL’s] own staff were concerned about some of the public statements the leadership of the company were making about their impact and influence.”

“SCL’s own marketing material claimed they had ‘Over 5,000 data points per individual on 230 million adult Americans.’ However, based on what we found it appears that this may have been an exaggeration,” the report stated.

The investigation not only exposed SCL-Cambridge Analytica’s claims of driving tectonic shifts in global politics as hot air; it also found the company’s data protection was almost comically sloppy, “with little thought for effective security measures.”

Widespread data manipulation tactics painted as uniquely evil Republican mind-weapons

Yet as recently as September of this year, media outlets like Channel 4 have continued to milk the scandal, using Cambridge Analytica data to fuel its investigative exposés on the 2016 election. Like reporting over the previous years, the coverage was premised on the dubious notion that Cambridge Analytica’s impact was meaningful.

When the scandal broke, few journalists penned anything counter to the prevailing narratives on Cambridge Analytica. Among the very few skeptics at the time was Yasha Levine, author of “Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet.” In March 2018, Levine panned media coverage of the firm’s activities.

“This story is being covered and framed in a misleading way,” Levine wrote. “So far, much of the mainstream coverage, driven by the Times and Guardian reports, looks at Cambridge Analytica in isolation—almost entirely outside of any historical or political context.”

“Everyone” working in contemporary data-driven politics employs the tactics employed by Cambridge Analytica, Levine explained to The Grayzone.

“The Koch brothers have their own firm that sucks in data from Facebook and a million other sources to micro-target voters,” he said. “The Democratic Party has its own software that does exactly the same thing. Facebook has a whole team that works with campaigns to utilize data and profile voters. It’s a huge business with billions slushing around. Everyone promises huge results, way overselling their capability. If you knew even a little bit about the way political campaigns use data, it was clear that the whole thing was a sham the moment this scandal hit.”

While Wylie has claimed that SCL conducted “counter-extremism” information operations in the Middle East on behalf of the British government, and suggested that Bannon sought to deploy these tools to foment extremism in the US, the reality is that the technology was hardly limited to the 2016 election, or to one party.

This May, for example, Fox News reported that technology that received initial funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was deploying AI-driven information warfare tools originally meant to fight ISIS propaganda in order to target pro-Trump voters.

An award-winning narrative collapses

According to Elizabeth Denham’s ICO report, SCL-Cambridge Analytica’s targeted advertising was “likely the final purpose of the data gathering.” However, it “has not been possible to determine from the digital evidence reviewed” whether the firm’s online tactics influenced any political campaign.

In March 2018, Christopher Wylie testified to the UK parliament that Cambridge Analytica had shared surreptitiously obtained Facebook data with AggregateIQ (AIQ), a firm that was contracted by several pro-Brexit campaigns including Vote Leave. Wylie claimed AIQ was the Canadian front for SCL. However, the ICO report referred to AIQ merely as “a company associated with SCL/CA.”

The ICO report concluded that SCL had only a negligible impact on Brexit: “From my review of the materials recovered by the investigation I have found no further evidence to change my earlier view that SCL/CA were not involved in the EU referendum campaign in the UK – beyond some initial enquiries made by SCL/CA in relation to [the UK Independence Party] data in the early stages of the referendum process,” Denham wrote. “This strand of work does not appear to have then been taken forward by SCL/CA.”

The ICO report went on to state that the data harvested by SCL from Facebook could not have been used by anyone in the course of Brexit campaigns:

It was suggested that some of the data was utilised for political campaigning associated with the Brexit Referendum. However, our view on review of the evidence is that the data from GSR could not have been used in the Brexit Referendum as the data shared with SCL/Cambridge Analytica by Dr. Kogan related to US registered voters.

In one revealing finding laid out in the report, GSR “shared subsets of the data harvested by the App” with Eunoia Technologies Inc, among other companies.

Unmentioned in the report was that Eunoia Technologies was founded by none other than Christopher Wylie after he left Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

To be sure, there were real connections between the Donald Trump operation and Cambridge Analytica. Trump’s then-campaign manager, Steve Bannon, was a vice president at Cambridge Analytica before he joined the Trump campaign. Top Trump moneyman Robert Mercer had funded the firm, along with Bannon’s assorted media projects and the Trump campaign. Anti-Trump forces exploited these ties to try to frame Cambridge Analytica as a non-existent bridge between Trump Inc. and “the Russians.”

There is also no doubt that there was illicit data that was likely misused in the course of political campaigns by Cambridge Analytica. But Western media once again crossed the line from mundane fact into Russiagate fiction by alleging that the Kremlin exploited data non-consensually harvested by Cambridge Analytica to micro-target US and UK citizens with political messaging meant to sway the presidential election and the Brexit referendum.

These conspiracy theories were amplified and seemingly legitimized by Wylie, who was touted as an experienced company insider who came forward out of a commitment to democratic values. But was he truly who he said he was, or was he another opportunist seeking to exploit the paranoid atmosphere of Russiagate for fame and fortune?

A Wylie web of deceptions and suspect associates

Throughout the Cambridge Analytica pseudo-scandal, a series of conflicting narratives raised questions that were conveniently overlooked by US and UK media. Was AIQ, the Canadian firm, truly part and parcel of SCL? Was Christopher Wylie a co-founder, a contractor, or a mere intern? Questions about the provenance of the data Wylie blew the whistle on have not been posed.

While Wylie focused on the most seemingly explosive connections, such as former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s meetings with Cambridge Analytica prior to Trump’s announcement that he was running for president, he omitted crucial pieces of evidence that undermined the conspiracy theories the media feasted on.

For example, Wylie neglected to mention that his own company, Eunoia, met with Lewandowski at about the same time in an attempt to retain the soon-to-be campaign as a client, offering them services similar to Cambridge Analytica’s.

Reporting from Buzzfeed indicated that Eunoia pitched the Trump campaign – a Cambridge Analytica client – on micro-targeting services. Wylie told the website that he deleted the illicit data in 2015. According to BuzzFeed, Wylie “bragged to associates about meetings he had with potential corporate clients, including Walmart, Monsanto, the American Petroleum Institute, Burberry, DKNY, Ford, and Virgin.”

That was before Wylie “blew the whistle.”

According to the former campaign director for Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, who today serves as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief advisor, “Wylie tried to sell me the same crap he accuses Cambridge Analytica of doing.”

While Wylie claimed that after leaving Cambridge Analytica he was subjected to lawsuits from the company in order to make it impossible for him to ever “work in any kind of political thing again or data thing again,” and to keep quiet about the data, Buzzfeed’s reporting and Cummings’ account of his apparent attempts to poach Vote Leave and the Trump campaign from his former employer corroborates accusations against him in a report commissioned by Cambridge Analytica.

Wylie claims he was appalled at the direction of the company following Bannon’s takeover, however, he has been credited with personally developing the illicit data harvesting tactic, and likely exploited it while at Cambridge Analytica before leaving the company to start his own firm – which also had access to the data. He then allegedly attempted to court the very same right-wing clients with essentially the same services. It was only after the failure of his private company that Wylie began sounding the alarm.

It is not clear exactly when Wylie experienced a change of heart. Cadwalladr says she first approached him on LinkedIn in 2017. Years earlier, in 2013, Wylie was discussing plans to found Eunoia Technologies and build it into “the NSA’s wet dream.”

Buzzfeed noted that Wylie approached SCL colleagues about joining his Palantir-like data firm. Promotional materials later produced by Eunoia pitched the targeting of voters for political clients, just as SCL did.

Wylie has also claimed to be a founder of Cambridge Analytica. “I got recruited to join a research team at SCL Group, which, at the time, was a British military contractor based in London. Most of its clients were various ministries of defense in NATO countries,” he boasted to NPR.

However, the report Cambridge Analytica commissioned in the aftermath of Wylie’s emergence as a supposed whistleblower claimed he was little more than an intern on a student visa who only worked two days per week.

That record stands in stark contrast to the claim by The Guardian’s Cadwalladr that Wylie was the man who “came up with an idea that led to the foundation of a company called Cambridge Analytica.”

Coupled with the damning conclusions of the UK ICO report, the conflicting accounts of Wylie’s background seem to shatter his credibility, along with that of the Western press that accepted his spectacular claims at face value.

So was his most enthusiastic promoter, Cadwalladr, acting purely as a journalist, or as a partisan advancing an ulterior Cold War agenda?

At around the same time Cadwalladr was spinning out the now-discredited Cambridge Analytica story, she was listed by a covert, UK Foreign Commonwealth Office-funded, anti-Russian propaganda operation, the Integrity Initiative, as part of a UK-based cluster of journalists that operated under its watch. In fact, Cadwalladr participated in a November 2018 Integrity Initiative conference with other members of the cluster called “Tackling Tools of Malign Influence.”

Cadwalladr also appears to have enjoyed some form of relationship with the dubious former British spy and author of the discredited Steele Dossier, Christopher Steele. Beyond repeatedly hyping Steele and his dossier, the Guardian writer appears to have meet with the British spook. In fact, Steele spoke about “imminent and urgent threats to democracy” at a screening of “The Great Hack,” the documentary about Cadwalladr and Wylie. His comments, however, were off the record.

 

On Twitter, the Guardian writer has spun out unfounded conspiracies, declaring that “Trump = Brexit = Russia.” She has also decried being “mocked as a crackpot conspiracy theorist for pursuing Cambridge Analytica. Let’s hope I’m as [sic] wrong about Brexit’s centrality in Trump-Russia axis.”

 

Wylie, for his part, enjoyed a speaking gig alongside Cadwalladr and Bill Browder, the vulture capitalist fugitive from Russian justice whose distortion-laden tale of persecution by the Kremlin inspired the US government’s Magnitsky Act and helped fuel the anti-Russian politics that now dominate Washington.

 

Since the UK’s ICO report demolished the claims that were central to Wylie’s hipster-whistleblower persona, and which provided the basis for Cadwalladr’s award-winning reporting, one has gone off the radar while the other has gone into apparent damage control mode.

Wylie and Cadwalladr ignore, dismiss a report they had eagerly anticipated

On Twitter, Christopher Wylie has chosen to ignore the damning ICO report that he once predicted would validate his explosive allegations.

Carole Cadwalladr, for her part, has pumped out a series of Tweets attacking outlets that claimed the ICO report undermined her award-winning reporting. In apparent hopes of shielding her reputation from scrutiny, she linked to a commentary by The Guardian Observer’s editorial board which bizarrely insisted “this newspaper’s exposé of the exploitation of private data has been vindicated [by the ICO report].”

The column highlighted certain aspects of the report that seemed to corroborate the paper’s reporting. However, it dismissed the meat of the investigation, declaring that “it stretches credulity to present [the ICO investigation] as a full investigation into potential Russian influence on Brexit.” Like Cadwalladr, it attacked other publications for misreporting the story.

“The ICO report confirmed massive mishandling of private data and its exploitation for political campaigning. The Observer is proud of its role in the exposure of these abuses,” the article proclaimed.

The editorial is correct about one thing, at least: the ICO investigation has resulted in a number of penalties. Cambridge Analytica was fined before it shuttered; Facebook was fined for allowing applications to harvest data from friends of users; Vote Leave and other campaigns and companies were also hit with fines for data crimes relating to the Brexit campaign – including pro-Remain entities.

But the high-tech huckstering hipster Wylie and his media muse Cadwalladr have faced no consequences for the hyperbolic bluster and now-debunked hype about foreign infiltration they spun out to win fame, film deals, and flashy journalistic awards. No matter the evidence, the Russiagate show must go on.

November 10, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Guardian can try rewriting the history of White Helmets’ James Le Mesurier, but the truth is there for all to see

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 30, 2020

A fetishistic Guardian article seeks to rehabilitate the life and death of the former British soldier turned ‘humanitarian’, but cannot explain away his lavish lifestyle, missing money, and all the other financial irregularities.

On the morning of November 11, 2019, James Le Mesurier, founder of Syria’s controversial White Helmets, was found dead in Istanbul. Since then, the Western establishment has struggled to get its story straight on the man, his professional history, the group he founded, and how he died.

The latest example of mainstream media narrative management in the ever-mysterious case came in the Guardian on October 27, in the form of a 6,000-word hagiography of Le Mesurier, authored by its veteran Middle East reporter Martin Chulov.

Many at this point will be familiar with the idolatrous portait it paints of its subject – a heroic humanitarian committed to benevolent causes who saved untold lives, tragically driven to suicide by a “disinformation campaign led by Russian and Syrian officials and peddled by pro-Assad bloggers, alt-right media figures and self-described anti-imperialists.” Nonetheless, it marks the first time the significant controversy surrounding his financial dealings has ever been explored, let alone mentioned, by a British news outlet.

In July this year, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant published a long-read of its own, explosively revealing how, three days prior to his death, Le Mesurier ‘confessed’ via email to the White Helmets’ many international donors, who’d funded the group to the tune of hundreds of millions over the years, that he’d committed fraud.

The disclosure was prompted by an internal audit by a Dutch accountant of the finances of Mayday, the foundation started by Le Mesurier to find, train, and support the White Helmets. The audit found, among other things, that he had been paying himself and his wife, long-time UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) operative Emma Winberg, “excessive” salaries and supplementing the totals with unjustifiably vast cash bonuses; that his employment of his wife represented a potential conflict of interest; and that he might be guilty of tax evasion.

While claiming this malfeasance wasn’t intentional, Le Mesurier took full and sole responsibility, and expressed fears that further investigation could expose yet more “mistakes and internal failures.”

Monetary misconduct

Damning stuff indeed, but De Volkskrant’s seismic disclosures have been curiously ignored by all other Western media outlets until now. The Guardian’s article deals with the damning revelations, both directly and indirectly – Le Mesurier, whom Chulov knew personally, and with whom he clearly maintained an intense affinity, is acquitted on all charges. Indeed, the White Helmets founder is said to have simply “unravelled under the weight of claims that would later prove to be false.”

The author is at pains throughout to frame “disinformation” as fundamental to Le Mesurier’s untimely demise, in terms of causing him immense “stress,” which led to him “disintegrating” mentally, damaging his reputation and that of the White Helmets in the eyes of world opinion, and, in turn, stoking erroneous suspicions in donor countries that he and his company were engaged in various improper activities.

The question of how a battle-hardened military veteran could be so deleteriously impacted mentally and emotionally by “attacks on Russian television and social media,” particularly if they were entirely without substance, is unasked and unanswered.

There’s little doubt Le Mesurier wasn’t in a good state during his final weeks. It’s been widely reported he was taking sleeping pills and psychiatric medication. Less well amplified were Turkish news reports alleging he and his wife had “fought violently” while dining out together the day before his death.

Chulov alleges “a distressed Le Mesurier” told friends just before he died that claims of Mayday’s monetary misconduct “seemed to come from nowhere.” In fact, questions about what purpose the vast sums donated to the company were put to, and where they all ultimately ended up, had long circulated.

While his article states that donor countries maintained their support for the White Helmets “despite the disinformation surrounding the group’s work,” this isn’t true. In September 2018, the Dutch government ended its backing, after a damning Ministry of Foreign Affairs report outlined serious concerns about Mayday’s financial practices, including an almost total lack of oversight over, and even awareness of, how its money entered Syria, and precisely whose pockets it eventually lined.

However, Chulov feels confident dismissing any and all suggestions of embezzlement, for he’s in possession of a report by forensic auditors Grant Thornton, conducted at the request of Mayday’s donors, which concluded there was “no evidence of misappropriation of funds” by Le Mesurier and Winberg.

Except that he isn’t, because it hasn’t been made public, at donors’ express request. Instead, he relies on the claims of a nameless “source familiar” with the report – which could conceivably, of course, be Winberg herself.

Excessive salaries plus bonuses

It’s clear Grant Thornton’s report isn’t an unalloyed clean bill of health, either – the auditors found “significant gaps in the administrative organization and internal control environment of Mayday” and “identified significant cash transactions that have not been (fully) recorded in the cash books and/or general ledger.”

Moreover, due to Mayday’s “informal” working environment, many key discussions took place “orally and over WhatsApp,” meaning auditors “had to reconstruct a number of financial events and are unable to provide certainty in those cases.”

Chulov is quick to dismiss the significance of these failings as nothing more than “shoddy” bookkeeping, contending “auditors found nothing to support the far more serious allegations made” against Le Mesurier – despite apparently not having actually read the report himself.

Likewise, he concedes Mayday’s executive salaries had been “higher than industry standards”, although his anonymous source familiar with the report is on hand to reassure him, and readers, “they were not off-the-scale high.” In 2017, Le Mesurier informed the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs he was paying himself a salary of €24,000 per month, before bonuses – several orders of magnitude higher than the designated salary ceiling at other Dutch government-funded enterprises. And considerably more than the $150 a day the White Helmet rescuers on the ground received.

References to Le Mesurier founding three separate companies named ‘Mayday Rescue’ – Mayday Rescue FZ-LLC in Dubai, Mayday Search and Rescue Training and Consultancy Services Ltd in Turkey, and Stichting Mayday Rescue Foundation in the Netherlands – are predictably absent from the Guardian’s article.

Accounts aren’t publicly available for any of them – the Dutch entity, while not registered as a charitable organisation, is characterised as being ‘without commercial enterprise’, so doesn’t have to file accounts at all. Dutch ‘stichtings’, or foundations, are openly advertised by Dutch law firms as ideal ways for wealthy individuals and corporations to minimize tax liabilities and distribute funds internationally.

The company nonetheless complied with governance and transparency requirements, appointing a Secretary and Treasurer. As such, the UK government could plausibly claim that Mayday Rescue, to which London funneled £43 million between 2015 and 2018, was, to the best of its knowledge, fully above board.

Tax havens and tangled webs

Except the £43 million actually went to Mayday Rescue FZ-LLC in Dubai – something only begrudgingly admitted by the FCO in March 2019, in response to a Freedom of Information request, after much heel-dragging and obfuscation.

Dubai is a notorious tax haven, and FZ-LLCs – Free Zone Limited Liability Companies – aren’t subject to any taxes on dividends, so they can be used to easily and opaquely repatriate profits. The entities are required to maintain accounting records, which can be inspected by authorities, but aren’t required to file accounts of any kind.

It may be significant that one of Stichting Mayday Rescue Foundation’s three directors, alongside Le Mesurier and Winberg, was a British Army veteran, Rupert Davis, who, in April 2016, founded the company Chameleon Global. Dissolved in October 2020, it was categorised as dormant – that is, non-operational – for the duration of its existence. Le Mesurier also founded other companies, with indeterminate connections to his assorted Mayday entities. For instance, in April 2017 he established Sisu Global BV in the Netherlands. It has never filed accounts, in breach of Dutch law. Le Mesurier resigned in November 2018, but Winberg apparently remains a director.

In January 2019, Le Mesurier registered My Zahara Limited as a dormant company in northern England, at an address belonging to a company formation agent specializing in, among other things, compliance with money laundering regulations, suggesting he intended to use the firm to repatriate money from his overseas firms.

Davis was also, until April 2019, connected to Sisu Global BV, a company in the Netherlands founded by Le Mesurier in April 2017. It has never filed accounts, in breach of Dutch law. Le Mesurier himself resigned from it in November 2018. Winberg apparently remains a director.

Chulov also, again predictably, dismisses as “disinformation” allegations that the White Helmets were “created by governments determined to remove Assad from power”; that Le Mesurier was “an agent of western intelligence, using a rescue organisation as a Trojan horse for regime change”; and that the organization was in any way affiliated to violent extremist groups.

What are matters of public record, however, is that the White Helmets were funded by the very governments avowedly committed to ‘regime change’ in Syria via covert and overt means; that Le Mesurier’s professional history included spells as a military intelligence operative; and that the group has openly collaborated with the Al-Nusra Front, among other jihadist elements, and engaged in violent activity.

In a June 2015 speech discussing his founding of the White Helmets, Le Mesurier cited a market research agency study which found that, in fragile environments, security forces garner low levels of public trust while first responders have the highest as a key motivating factor in his decision to establish a “humanitarian aid group.”

Untold millions for propaganda

That the White Helmets’ benevolent image was very carefully constructed and promoted by a government attempting to achieve ‘regime change’ is amply underlined by FCO documents leaked by hacktivist collective Anonymous.

The documents reveal that ARK, a firm founded by FCO veteran Alistair Harris where Le Mesurier worked between 2011 and 2014, played a pivotal role in promoting the White Helmets, developing“an internationally focused communications campaign to raise global awareness” of the group to “keep Syria in the news.”

Along the way, ARK, among many other endeavors, produced a documentary on the White Helmets, and ran its various social media accounts, among them the Facebook page for Idlib City Council, at one time mooted as a potential interim government to replace Bashar Assad. When Al-Nusra took the city, the White Helmets were filmed celebrating the ‘victory’ with the group’s fighters in its main square.

ARK profited to the tune of untold millions of pounds from these and other information-warfare efforts. The same illicit file tranche also reveals InCoStrat, founded by none other than Emma Winberg, also reaped large bounties for manipulating public perceptions about Syria, within and without the country. In one file, the firm boasted of surreptitiously “initiating events to create media effect” and of “using media to create events.”

One example of the former strategy saw InCoStrat produce mock Syrian currency, in three denominations, imploring Syrians to “be on the right side of history.” It was intended to ensure that international opinion remained arrayed against Assad, at a time “media attention has shifted almost exclusively towards ISIS and some influential voices are calling for co-operation with the Syrian regime to combat ISIS.”

The file states: “The notes are due to be smuggled into regime-held parts of Syria once formal clearance has been authorized by HMG officials … We will engage the international media to create a story around the event … The message to the regime [is] covert but active resistance continues.”

Another document indicates that Winberg’s InCoStrat also established Basma – “a media platform providing human interest stories and campaigns that support [UK government] policy objectives” – and engaged in propaganda operations in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, training and maintaining a network of journalists who were “instrumental in reporting on events in Basra.”

On the subject of propaganda, establishment efforts to rehabilitate Le Mesurier are scheduled to continue apace in future.

Starting on November 9, the BBC will transmit a 15-part radio documentary on Mayday Rescue. Over the summer, Chloe Hadjimatheou, a reporter on the project, approached a number of journalists and researchers who’d publicly raised questions about the White Helmets, asking if they wished to contribute to the program.

Several of the individuals targeted subsequently published their correspondence with Hadjimatheou, showing that the program’s preordained agenda and objectives couldn’t be more blatant.

What is clear is that any suggestion Le Mesurier was a British intelligence operative surreptitiously attempting to foster regime change in Syria, or that the White Helmets weren’t an entirely benevolent, independent humanitarian organization will be rubbished, and all voices critical of the group will be smeared as witting or unwitting agents of the Russian and Syrian governments.

By Kit Klarenberg, an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

October 30, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Election reporting

IRRUSIANALITY | September 14, 2020

Leaders of Russia’s ruling United Russia party were in a good mood on Sunday night as the results of the country’s local elections streamed in. ‘You have received the votes of the people, who trust you’, party chairman (and former Prime Minister and President) Dmitry Medvedev told candidates. ‘All our [gubernatorial] candidates … will win in the first round … and likewise in the regional and municipal parliaments United Russia will form a majority in every region without exception’, added party general secretary Andrei Turchak.

Turchak wasn’t exactly right about the results, but not far off. United Russia has reason to be happy. Its candidates for governor were elected with thumping majorities, even in Irkutsk, where it had been predicted it might lose. And in city and regional elections, the party was consistently top, generally getting around 45% of the vote, some 30% or so above its nearest competitors, the Communists and LDPR.

And yet, that’s not what you’d think if you went by the stories in the Western media today, which focused almost entirely on miniscule gains by supporters of opposition activist Alexei Navalny. ‘Russia opposition makes gains in local elections,’ ran the headline on the BBC website. ‘Navalny allies win council seats as Putin’s party claims victory’, said that in the Guardian. ‘Alexei Navalny’s allies claim council wins in Russia local elections’, shouts Deutsche Welle. And so on. You’d imagine that the elections were indicators of some significant shift in the political tide.

So what were these great gains? Navalny-backed candidates won 2 seats in the city of Tomsk, and 5 in Novosibirsk. That’s it. A grand total of 7 council seats. To be fair, it’s 7 more than they’ve ever had before, and so in that respect, it’s progress. But it’s hardly a significant result in the grander scheme of things. Across the country, United Russia governors were being elected with shares of the vote of 70 or so percent. Is ‘Opposition makes gains’ really the appropriate way of reporting the results? Methinks not, but it’s an interesting insight into the mentality of the Western press corps.

September 14, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Press in His Pocket: Bill Gates Buys Media to Control the Messaging

Editorial by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Board Chair, Children’s Health Defense | September 3, 2020

A Columbia Journalism Review expose reveals that, to control global journalism, Bill Gates has steered over $250 million to the BBC, NPR, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, National Journal, The Guardian, the New York Times, Univision, Medium, the Financial Times, The Atlantic, the Texas Tribune, Gannett, Washington Monthly, Le Monde, Center for Investigative Reporting, Pulitzer Center, National Press Foundation, International Center for Journalists, and a host of other groups. To conceal his influence, Gates also funneled unknown sums via subgrants for contracts to other press outlets.

His press bribes have paid off. During the pandemic, bought and brain-dead news outlets have treated Bill Gates as a public health expert—despite his lack of medical training or regulatory experience.

Gates also funds an army of independent fact checkers including the Poynter Institute and Gannett —which use their fact-checking platforms to “silence detractors” and to “debunk” as “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” charges that Gates has championed and invested in biometric chips, vaccine identification systems, satellite surveillance, and COVID vaccines.

Gates’s media gifts, says CJR author Tim Schwab, mean that “critical reporting about the Gates Foundation is rare.” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation declined multiple interview requests from CJR and refused to disclose how much money it has funneled to journalists.

In 2007, the LA Times published one of the only critical investigations on the Gates Foundation, exposing Gates’s holdings in companies that hurt people his foundation claims to help, like industries linked to child labor. Lead reporter Charles Piller, says, “They were unwilling to answer questions and pretty much refused to respond in any sort of way…”

The investigation showed how Gates’s global health funding has steered the world’s aid agenda toward Gates’ personal goals (vaccines and GMO crops) and away from issues such as emergency preparedness to respond to disease outbreaks, like the Ebola crisis.

“They’ve dodged our questions and sought to undermine our coverage,” says freelance journalist Alex Park after investigating the Gates Foundation’s polio vaccine efforts.


© September 3, 2020, Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

September 6, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Navalny Novichok Poisoning: The (Very Unlikely) Story So Far

“Maybe the Russians failed on purpose because they want to scare us”

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | September 2, 2020

For those of you who haven’t been following the news – Russian politician (or “opposition figure”, as he is universally referred to in the Western press) Alexei Navalny was taken ill two weeks ago. It is now being reported he was “poisoned” with “novichok”.

Here’s a quick rundown of the official story as it currently stands (bearing in mind that, as with most “official stories” it will likely be subject to instant, contradictory and retroactive changes in the coming weeks):

  • Alexei Navalny has never held any elected office, his political party doesn’t have a single MP in the Duma, and he polls at roughly 2% support with the Russian people.
  • Despite this, and in the middle of an alleged “pandemic”, Vladimir Putin deems the man a threat and orders him killed.
  • The State apparatus responsible for unnecessary and seemingly arbitrary acts of political murder decide to use novichok to poison him.
  • This decision is taken in spite of the facts that a) Novichok totally and utterly failed to work in their alleged murder of the Skripals and b) It has already been widely publicly associated with Russia.
  • Rather unsurprisingly, the novichok which didn’t kill its alleged target last time, doesn’t kill its alleged target this time either.
  • Compounding their poor decision making, the Russians not only perform an emergency landing and take Navalny straight to a hospital for medical care.
  • Despite Navalny being helpless and comatose in a Russian hospital, the powerful state-backed assassination team make no further attempts on his life.
  • In fact, seemingly determined to under no circumstances successfully kill their intended victim, the Russian government, allow him to leave the country and get medical help from one of the countries which previously accused them of using novichok.
  • To absolutely no one’s surprise, the Germans claim to have detected novichok in Navalny’s system.
  • Vladimir Putin and the Russian government are immediately blamed for the attempted murder.

If all this seems unlikely to you, don’t worry Luke Harding is here to explain it all.

He doesn’t have any evidence, of course. Instead we get sentences like this one [our emphasis]:

Over the past decade Moscow has produced and stockpiled small quantities, western intelligence agencies believe.

However, never let it be said that Luke isn’t aware of the contradictions in his story:

One other unresolved question is why Moscow granted permission for Navalny to be treated abroad, knowing that sooner or later the novichok inside his body would be detected.

But he has an answer for this:

The logical conclusion: Moscow wants the world to know.

You see, Putin wants everyone to know he did it, so he’s making it obvious. And the Kremlin’s denials are being done with “a wink and smile”. This must be some new meaning of the word “logical” I wasn’t previously aware of.

One wonders what the Russians would have done if the novichok had worked as intended, and killed Navalny before he could get to a hospital.

They couldn’t send him to Berlin then, so who announces the novichok was there? Do they do it themselves?

Oh well, at least now people will have something to talk about that isn’t the rapidly crumbling Covid narrative.

September 2, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Fatal polar bear attack in Svalbard unfairly blamed on lack of sea ice

By Susan Crockford | Polar Bear Science | August 28, 2020

A fatal polar bear attack in Svalbard, in the early hours of 28 August 2020 just outside the main town of Longyearbyen, is being unreasonably blamed on lack of sea ice. Details of the attack show it was made by a three year old male: such subadult bears are historically responsible for most attacks on people and they are known to be especially dangerous. It looks to me like someone should have seen this tragedy coming and stepped in to prevent it.

Svalbard_PB_Fareskilt_38

I will update this story as more information comes in but see below for the details known so far.

Longyearbyen_another format_Wikipedia

The attack

Longyearbyen camping site_IcePeople_28 Aug 2020

Camping site across from the airport in Longyearbyen. IcePeople

Details of the attack, from the CBC (28 August 2020), my bold:

A polar bear attacked a camping site Friday in Norway’s remote Svalbard Islands, killing a 38-year-old Dutch man before being shot and killed by onlookers, authorities on the Arctic island said.

Johan Jacobus Kootte was in his tent when it was attacked by the bear that killed him, deputy governor Soelvi Elvedah said. He was an employee of the Longyearbyen Camping site, where the attack occurred, the newspaper Svalbardposten said.

Kootte was rushed to the hospital in Longyearbyen where he was declared dead, Elvedah said.

The attack occurred just before 4 a.m. local time and was being investigated. No one else was injured, but six people — three Germans, one Italian, one Norwegian and one Finn — were hospitalized for shock, authorities said.

The polar bear was found dead in a parking lot by the nearby airport after being shot by onlookers, the governor’s office said in a statement posted on its website.

And from Icepeople (28 August 2020):

There have been at least four polar bears seen near Longyearbyen during the past week.

The bear that killed Kootte is a three-year-old male that was chased away from Hiorthhamn, a cabin across the bay from Longyearbyen, earlier this week, the governor announced Friday evening.

It is also the son of a female bear that was tranquilize [sic], along with her newest cub, and flown by helicopter to the northern part of Isfjorden after also making multiple visits the same location. The mother bear may be the same one that has made annual visits to the area in late summer and early fall, often with cubs, as part of her annual migration.

No other people at the campsite, who were all staying in tents, were physically injured by the polar bear, according to the governor. But six people were taken to the hospital in Longyearbyen and are being cared for by health personnel and city crisis managers.

An autopsy of the bear at a facility used by the governor is scheduled today. Because the fatality of a person was involved, the governor is requesting no photos of the bear be published by the media at this time.

The people at the campsite will be interviewed throughout the day as part of the investigation. The governor is asking people to avoid the area.

The campsite, typically open through early- to mid-September, was closed during the first half of the summer due to the COVID-19 crisis. While it is staffed during that period, and a building with kitchen and other facilities available, the campsite’s policy states guests are responsible for their own safety.

Although the campsite’s website states no bears have been at the site since the service building opened in 1985, a bear visited the designated bird sanctuary on the opposite side of the entrance road literally meters away (see YouTube video of visit at right) on July 29, 2011, only days after a fatal bear attack at a camp site about 40 kilometers away that was the most recent involving a person’s death in Svalbard.

Campsite policy states guests are not allowed to have loaded firearms there.

Nearly 40 comments were posted on the governor’s Facebook page during the hours following the attack, many of them expressing sympathy for the bear as well as the victim and other people there. At the top of those considered “most relevant,” Arek Stryjski, an experienced marine expeditioner in Svalbard, responded to someone upset about the lack of flare-alarm system by noting the risks it might pose in an area where large numbers of people might be present nearby.

“The camping in Longyearbyen is 500 meters from the airport terminal, (and) 100 meters from the parking and bus station,” he wrote. “Putting any flare alarms there will be dangerous for humans. It is miracle someone had loaded gun and more people where not hurt. What if it had attacked people who were leaving airport building?”

Van Dijk told Svalbardposten an electric fence was scheduled to be built around the campsite this year, and supplies arrived in March, but it was delayed when the COVID-19 crisis resulted in the shutdown of all visitors to Svalbard that same month.

“I was going to set up a three-wire electric fence with 200 poles around the entire campsite,” she told the newspaper.

So, there was no protection at the camp site from polar bears. And not only was the bear who perpetrated the attack a young bear who had never been on his own before but authorities knew he was out there, having been abruptly separated from his mother just two days before. Who could possibly not have seen a disaster coming? Sadly, the victim of the attack was sleeping in a tent on an exposed shoreline without an electric fence or a gun: he didn’t have a chance.

The Guardian (28 August 2020) offered this bit of additional insight (my bold):

“According to the local paper Svalbardposten, researchers at the local university field centre, Unis, avoid spending the night in tents near the shoreline – where the campsite is located – because of a recent increase in the presence of polar bears. “

Yet the BBC made this claim in their story on the incident (28 August 2020) about what unidentified ‘experts’ say about polar bears in Svalbard (my bold):

“Experts say polar bears’ hunting grounds have diminished as the Arctic ice sheet melts because of climate change, forcing them into populated areas as they try to find food.“

At least the writers at IcePeople talked to an actual polar bear specialist and included this quote from Norwegian researcher Jon Aars (my bold), who seems to be commenting on the fact that there were bears around in the first place:

Jon Aars, a polar bear expert with the Norwegian Polar Institute who frequently conducts research and advises the governor on polar bear incidents near settlements, told NRK the most recent incident most likely is part of a long-term trend of increasing bear activity near settlements due to vanishing sea ice elsewhere keeping them from tradition hunting sources.

“At this time of year, polar bears have extra challenges in obtaining food,” he said. “It has been a long time since there has been ice in the main hunting area, so there is less access to seals. So, the polar bear spends more time on land to find alternative food.”

I challenge this statement, given the details of this attack: “It has been a long time since there has been ice in the main hunting area.” As I show below, there was ice in the area only a few weeks ago and most bears should have been in excellent condition (bears easily traverse the short overland distance from the east coast of Spitzbergen to the area around Longyearbyen on the west coast).

No mention from Aars about the inherent danger from young bears, the separation of this particular young bear from his mother, or about the higher than average ice levels around Svalbard this year in particular – see my comments below.

Sea ice Svalbard this year

Far from having ‘low’ sea ice, Svalbard ice conditions have been heavier since last fall than they have been in decades. In March this year, Svalbard had more polar bear habitat than it did two decades ago at the same date. By early April, the ice was the highest it had been since 1988 and by the end of April, Svalbard still had the 6th-7th highest ice extent since record began in the late 1960s. There was also exceptionally thick first year ice to the north.

Svalbard ice extent 2020 April 28 graph_NIS

In other words, Svalbard polar bears have had better sea ice conditions leading into the summer season than they have had in decades. And by early July (see below), there was still ice off the east coast of Spitzbergen… Full article

August 28, 2020 Posted by | Fake News | | Leave a comment

Rather not be in Pennyslvania

Climate Discussion Nexus | July 15, 2020

David Middleton takes aim at yet another Guardian panic piece on climate that says atmospheric CO2 is about to reach levels not seen in 15 million years, when the Earth was perhaps 3°C to 4°C warmer than today. As Middleton suggests, this correlation actually suggests that CO2 is not the control knob on temperature given that you have roughly the same CO2 level and very different temperature. Then, as we recommend in “A Historian Looks at Climate Change”, he takes a broader look at temperature and CO2 to try to find a relationship. And does not.

Now you might be tempted to say that the only reason those CO2 levels haven’t got us all in the Pliocene sweatbox is that these things take time and the latest rise in CO2 has been so sudden that temperature hasn’t responded yet. But as Middleton notes, the piece in the Guardian (which he calls the Grauniad, music to our nostalgic ears) links to a good paper about historical atmospheric CO2 and temperature in the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. It shows stuff happening including fairly sudden changes in atmospheric CO2 and in temperature. But what it does not show is CO2 moving up or down and dragging temperature with it.

Then Middleton takes a biiiig step backwards, chronologically not intellectually, to discuss the last time atmospheric CO2 was as low as it is now. And it is important to realize that by genuine historical standards CO2 levels are extremely low, so low that it menaces the survival of much plant life (all the species using C3 photosynthesis); the last glacial maximum apparently featured a brush with a real 6th mass extinction and one liable to be permanent because it would have been very difficult for new types of plant to replace those that bit the icy dust.

That scary scene was recent in geological terms. Middleton is talking about an episode about 300 million years ago (MYA), during the “Pennsylvanian” part of the Carboniferous Period and into the early Permian, when atmospheric CO2 was very low and the Earth was in a serious deep freeze, considerably colder than today. Aha, people may say, low CO2 means low temperature and vice versa, whether you think cold is good or not. But not so fast.

Around 300 MYA temperature began to rise then around 280 MYA it shot up, not so fast in our terms but very rapidly in geological terms, to a level not seen since. And what was our buddy CO2 doing? Snoozing. Eventually it moved up as well, starting around 270 MYA, then stabilized while temperature fell until the Jurassic, after which CO2 began to fall and temperature to rise until about 100 MYA, the mid-Cretaceous.

These reconstructions are of course somewhat speculative. But they tell us one thing with reasonable certainty: historically CO2 does not drive temperature. So last time CO2 levels were this high, they were not controlling the planetary thermometer. Leading everyone at the Guardian to conclude that they will this time for sure.

July 18, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment