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Time magazine celebrates medical authoritarianism, naming Fauci ‘guardian of the year’

By Helen Buyniski | RT | December 11, 2020

Time magazine has designated US coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci as a ‘guardian of the year,’ a new category that emphasizes his dystopian doomsday pronouncements. The message? Sit down, muzzle up, and fear what you’re told to fear.

Since the first reports of the novel coronavirus on American shores, Fauci has been front and center, scaring the life out of Americans with apocalyptic predictions of millions of deaths that – while they haven’t come to pass – have triggered devastating economic shutdowns. A recent survey found nearly two out of five US families planned to spend the next year in “survival mode,” having no choice but to put aside long-term goals in order to do whatever they can to make ends meet as the economy circles the drain.

It’s no coincidence that Fauci’s directives to “hunker down” for the much-hyped “dark winter” came ahead of the Christmas shopping season, when most retail businesses earn their way back into the black in order to make it through the following year. Fauci and his colleagues in the US health bureaucracy are facilitating the asset-stripping of America, whether or not they’re aware of it.

The Covid-19 czar’s opposition to the cheap, off-patent malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, according to some expert estimates. While the World Health Organization (WHO) terminated its trial of HCQ stating it showed no improvement over standard treatments, there is evidence of success from countries that used the drug to treat early symptoms of Covid-19 – and the US, where the drug was demonized and politicized, is among the top ten in terms of coronavirus-related deaths per capita. Fauci has pooh-poohed the cheap drug in favor of Remdesivir, itself a failed (but fantastically expensive) ebola drug – which the WHO has likewise admitted has little therapeutic potential against the coronavirus.

Indeed, Fauci has gotten every single “epidemic” in his 50-year tenure wrong. From suppressing drugs that were effective in treating AIDS-related pneumonia, resulting in some 17,000 deaths, to shilling for the swine flu vaccine that spawned a narcolepsy epidemic among vaccinated children in 2009, he has been persistently on the wrong side of history. He has lied under oath regarding documented side effects of the measles vaccine and foisted highly toxic AIDS drugs on healthy people under the guise of “pre-exposure prophylaxis” (PrEP). The career medical official has gallons of American blood on his hands.

Ironically, these characteristics would make him ideally suited to Time’s ‘person of the year’ designation – which has been awarded to the likes of Adolf Hitler, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The man has always put profits before people, a characteristic which should preclude holding public office but which is praised in the sociopathic ruling class circles that anoint America’s ‘leaders.’

Many dystopian works of literature and film use the term “guardian” to denote secret police, and the term fits Fauci perfectly. The immunologist even undermined his own fearmongering when he all but admitted the “gold standard” PCR test used to diagnose Covid-19 is essentially useless – yet gleefully uses these bogus test results to terrorize the American population.

Time is far from alone in lionizing Fauci – indeed, the entire media establishment hangs on his every word. The editor of Yale University’s book of notable quotes declared Fauci’s “wear a mask” to be quote of the year – even though the official had, just a few months before imploring Americans to mask up, declared such a precaution unnecessary, and even detrimental.

Given the utter disaster 2020 has been for the US and many other countries, perhaps it’s fitting that Fauci should be selected to epitomize it. But with the rollout of barely-tested vaccines looming in the future, and the possibility that a “don’t call it a mandate” vaccination certificate will be a requirement to participate in what passes for normal life post-Covid-19, Americans should seriously reconsider placing their trust in this avatar of medical totalitarianism.

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

December 11, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump Reportedly Takes Helm in US-DPRK Negotiations as MSM Cries Foul

Sputnik – 21.03.2019

In the aftermath of the failed Hanoi summit between the US and North Korea, US President Donald Trump has reportedly taken the helm in denuclearization negotiations with Pyongyang. Meanwhile, Seoul now sees the ball as having landed in its court to convince its neighbor to give up its weapons and rocket programs.

According to Trump administration officials who spoke with Time for a Monday article, the US president is “sidelining” his special envoy to North Korea, Stephen Biegun, and “dismissing the warnings of top intelligence and foreign policy advisers” who dissent from his continued policy of negotiation with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Time reports that Trump has shut down attempts by Biegun to establish a back channel to Pyongyang via the socialist country’s United Nations mission in New York, citing US and South Korean officials, and is focusing on attempts to negotiate a deal with Kim instead of bowing to the advice of his advisers to press North Korea harder with sanctions — or to abandon negotiations altogether.

Trump and Kim met late last month in Hanoi, Vietnam, for a second round of denuclearization talks to follow up on a June 2018 summit that laid the groundwork for peace on the Korean Peninsula. While Pyongyang has made considerable progress with the South toward that end, negotiations with Washington have stalled, as the two sides reached a point where neither was willing to budge any further until the other side gave something first.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has made several good faith moves toward reducing tensions, including the halting of weapons tests and the destruction of key missile and nuclear program sites. However, Kim was unwilling to make further concessions before Washington lowered at least some of its economic sanctions blocking international trade in many items with his country. The US has refused to lower any of those sanctions until Kim produces “verified denuclearization.” The Hanoi summit failed to surmount this impasse.

Trump administration officials such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton have used Pyongyang’s red line to argue that Kim is intransigent and not cooperative. The mainstream media has also largely adopted this position, as the articles by Time, CNN and The Hill on these developments show.

Indeed, ever since Trump agreed to meet with Kim last spring, the mainstream media has been devoted to producing stories that undermined Trump’s attempts at peace, and hawkish foreign policy think tanks have produced report after report claiming Kim has violated the terms of the negotiations. Their reports are often based on outdated or undated evidence, supposition or otherwise unverifiable claims, Sputnik has reported.

One example, from Time’s Tuesday article, tries to juxtapose Trump’s supposedly delusional belief that “Kim is his ‘friend,'” according to an administration official, with the “unanimous assessment by multiple agencies that Kim remains wedded to his nuclear program,” and thus is incapable of responding to a carrot, understanding only the stick.

Indeed, such has been the common refrain by US state officials for decades, going back to George F. Kennan’s eponymous telegram about how the US should handle the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and even further to the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in imperial China at the turn of the last century.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae In has continued his rapprochement with Kim, despite US-DPRK failures.

“We’re in a deep agony over how to take advantage of this baton that has been handed over to us,” said a Moon administration figure earlier this week, according to South China Morning Post.

“We agree with the view that no deal is better than a bad deal… However, in reality, it is difficult to achieve complete denuclearization at one stroke. I think we need to reconsider the so-called all or nothing strategy,” the official said.

Seoul aims to get Pyongyang to “agree with a broad road map aimed to achieve the overarching goal of denuclearization,” the official said, noting that “we should make further efforts to turn a small deal into a deal that is good enough. In order to achieve meaningful progress, we need one or two early harvests for mutual trust-building to move on toward the final goal.”

Still, in the aftermath of Hanoi, Moon’s popularity fell in his country from a high of 70 percent last summer to a measly 45 percent earlier this month, Sputnik reported.

The metaphor of the “harvest” presents a timely parallel as North Korean officials have pressed the UN to step up its food and medical aid to DPRK in the coming year due to bad harvests last year and projected shortages in 2019, Sputnik has reported.

“Although Security Council sanctions clearly exempt humanitarian activities, life-saving programs continue to face serious challenges and delays,” Tapan Mishra, the UN’s resident coordinator in the DPRK lamented earlier this month. “While unintended consequences of sanctions persist, these delays have a real and tangible impact on the aid that we are able to provide to people who desperately need it.

US and other international sanctions bar many useful medical items from being imported by DPRK, too. For example, a paper published last December by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey looked at scientific projects in which North Korean scientists had partnered with scholars from other countries, noting that roughly 100 of the 1,300 they examined had “identifiable significance for dual-use technology, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or other military purposes.”

That means that even though DPRK doctors might be studying epidemiology, their work could be subject to weapons sanctions. “When you study infectious diseases, which are a big burden in North Korea, you have to grow bacteria,” Harvard Medical School neurosurgeon Kee Park, director of DPRK Programs for the Korean American Medical Association, told NPR at the time. “That’s the kind of technology that goes into creating biological weapons.”

The problem is that “virtually all technology you can possibly think of is dual use,” professor and author Tim Beal told Sputnik.

Time reports that Trump administration officials fear the US president might try and strike a deal with Pyongyang and lift some sanctions in exchange for a pledge to continue their freeze on weapons development and testing, which Trump has said he considers to be more important to maintain than the total removal of nuclear weapons and delivery systems from North Korean possession. However at the same time, it seems to be the consensus among administration officials that any such deal wouldn’t actually make progress at all, only “remove much of the leverage” on the DPRK that they believe compels the country to negotiate in the first place.

March 20, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela Coverage Takes Us Back to Golden Age of Lying About Latin America

By Mark Cook | FAIR | February 22, 2019

I was sitting in my apartment in Caracas, Venezuela, reading the online edition of Time magazine (5/19/16), which carried a report that there was not even something as basic as aspirin to be found anywhere in Venezuela: “Basic medicines like aspirin are nowhere to be found.”

I walked out of the apartment to the nearest pharmacy, four blocks away, where I found plenty of aspirin, as well as acetaminophen (generic Tylenol) and ibuprofen (generic Advil), in a well-stocked pharmacy with a knowledgeable professional staff that would be the envy of any US drugstore.

A few days after the Time story, CNBC (6/22/16) carried a claim that there was no acetaminophen to be found anywhere, either: “Basic things like Tylenol aren’t even available.” That must have taken the Pfizer Corporation by surprise, since it was their Venezuelan subsidiary, Pfizer Venezuela SA, which produced the acetaminophen I purchased. (Neither Time writer Ian Bremer nor CNBC commentator Richard Washington was in Venezuela, and there was no evidence offered that either of them had ever been there.)

I purchased all three products, plus cough syrup and other over-the-counter medications, because I doubted that anyone in the United States would believe me if I couldn’t produce the medications in their packages.

Unrelenting drumbeat of lies

In fact, I myself wouldn’t have believed anyone who made such claims without being able to produce the proof, so intense and unrelenting has been the drumbeat of lies. When the Youth Orchestra of Venezuela gave a concert in New York in early 2016, before I moved to Caracas, I went there thinking, “Gee, I hope that the members of the orchestra are all well-dressed and well-fed.” Yes, of course they were all well-dressed and well-fed!

When I mentioned this in a talk at the University of Vermont, a student told me that he’d had the same feeling when he was following the Pan American soccer championship. He wondered if the Venezuelan players would be able to play, because they’d be so weakened from lack of food. In fact, he said, the Venezuelan team played superbly, and went much further in the competition than expected, since Venezuela has historically been a baseball country, unlike its soccer-obsessed neighbors Brazil and Colombia.

Hard as it may be for followers of the US media to believe, Venezuela is a country where people play sports, go to work, go to classes, go to the beach, go to restaurants and attend concerts. They publish and read newspapers of all political stripes, from right to center-right, to center, to center-left, to left. They produce and watch programs on television, on TV channels that are also of all political stripes.

CNN was ridiculed recently (Redacted Tonight, 2/1/19) when it carried a report on Venezuela, “in the socialist utopia that now leaves virtually every stomach empty,” followed immediately with a cut to a demonstration by the right-wing opposition, where everybody appeared to be quite well-fed.

But surely that’s because most of the anti-government demonstrators were upper-middle class, a viewer might think. The proletarians at pro-government demonstrations must be suffering severe hunger.

Not if one consults photos of the massive pro-government demonstration on February 2, where people seemed to be doing pretty well. This is in spite of the Trump administration’s extreme economic squeeze on the country, reminiscent of the “make the economy scream” strategy used by the Nixon administration and the CIA against the democratic government of President Salvador Allende in Chile, as well as many other democratically elected governments.

Rival demonstrations

That demonstration showed considerable support for the government of President Nicolás Maduro and widespread rejection of Donald Trump’s choice for president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó.

Guaidó, who proclaimed himself to be president of the country and was recognized minutes later by Trump, even though a public opinion poll showed that 81 percent of Venezuelans had never heard of him, comes from the ultra-right faction in Venezuelan politics.

The pro-Maduro demonstration suggested, not surprisingly, that Guaidó had failed to win much popular support outside the wealthy and upper-middle class. But Guaidó couldn’t even win support from many of them. The day before rival rallies February 2, Henrique Capriles, the leader of a less extreme right-wing faction, gave an interview to the AFP that appeared in Últimas Noticias (2/1/19), the most widely read newspaper in Venezuela. In it, Capriles said that most of the opposition had not supported Guaidó’s self-proclamation as president. That may explain the surprisingly weak turnout at Guaidó’s demonstration, held in the wealthiest district of Caracas, and obviously outshone by the pro-government demonstration on the city’s main boulevard.

The New York Times did not show pictures of that pro-government demonstration, limiting itself to a claim by unnamed “experts” (2/2/19) that the pro-government demonstration was smaller than the anti-government one.

Readers can look at the photos of the rival demonstrations and judge for themselves. Both groups did their best to pull out their faithful, knowing how much is riding on a show of popular support. The stridently right-wing opposition paper El Nacional (2/3/19) carried a photo of the right-wing opposition demonstration:

If that was the best photo it could find, it was remarkably unimpressive compared to the photos in the left-wing papers CCS (2/2/19)….

… and Correo del Orinoco (2/3/19), which were only too happy to publish pictures of the pro-government event:

Unlikely humanitarian

A huge anti-government demonstration was supposed to make possible a coup d’état, a maneuver the CIA has used repeatedly—in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Brazil in 1964 and many more, straight through to Honduras in 2009 and Ukraine in 2015. The turnout at the Trump administration’s demonstration was disappointing, and the coup d’état never occurred. The result is that Trump has expressed a sudden interest in getting food and medicine to Venezuelans (FAIR.org, 2/9/19).

Trump, who let thousands die in Puerto Rico and put small children in cages on the Mexican border, seems to be an unlikely champion of humanitarian aid to Latin Americans, but the corporate media have straight-facedly pretended to believe it.

Most have suppressed reports that the Red Cross and the UN are providing aid to Venezuela in cooperation with the Venezuelan government, and have protested against US “aid” that is obviously a political and military ploy.

The corporate media have continued to peddle the Trump-as-humanitarian-champion line, even after it was revealed that a US plane was caught smuggling weapons into Venezuela, and even after Trump named Iran/Contra criminal Elliott Abrams to head up Venezuelan operations. Abrams was in charge of the State Department Human Rights Office during the 1980s, when weapons to US-backed terrorists in Nicaragua were shipped in US planes disguised as “humanitarian” relief.

Canada’s CBC (2/15/19) at least had the honesty to acknowledge that it had been had in swallowing a lie from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Venezuelan government had blockaded a bridge between Colombia and Venezuela to prevent aid shipments. The newly built bridge has not yet been opened: it has never been open, apparently because of hostile relations between the two countries, but the non-opening long predates the US government’s alleged food and medicine shipments.

The absurdity of $20 million of US food and medicine aid to a country of 30 million, when US authorities have stolen $30 billion from Venezuela in oil revenue, and take $30 million every day, needs no comment.

‘Failed state’

The campaign of disinformation and outright lies about Venezuela was kicked off in 2016 by the Financial Times. Ironically, it chose the 14th anniversary of the 2002 failed coup d’etat against President Hugo Chávez—April 11, 2016—to claim that Venezuela was in “chaos” and “civil war,” and that Venezuela was a “failed state.” As with the Time and CNBC reports, the Financial Times reporter was not in Venezuela, and there was no evidence in the report that he had ever been there.

I asked right-wing friends in Venezuela whether they agreed with the Financial Times claims. “Well, no, of course not,” said one, stating the obvious, “there is no chaos and no civil war. But Venezuela is a failed state, since it has not been able to provide for all the medical needs of the population.” By that standard, every country in Latin America is a failed state, and obviously the United States too.

The New York Times has run stories (5/15/16, 10/1/16) claiming that conditions in Venezuelan hospitals are horrendous. The reports enraged Colombians in New York, who have noted that a patient can die on the doorstep of a Colombian public hospital if the patient has no insurance. In Venezuela, in contrast, patients are treated for free.

One Colombian resident in New York said that his mother had recently returned to Bogotá after several years in the United States, and had not had time to obtain medical insurance. She fell ill, and went to a public hospital. The hospital left her in the waiting room for four hours, then sent her to a second hospital. The second hospital did the same, leaving her for four hours and then sending her to a third hospital. The third hospital was preparing to send her to a fourth when she protested that she was bleeding internally and was feeling weak.

“I’m sorry, Señora, if you don’t have medical insurance, no public hospital in this country will look at you,” said the woman at the desk. “Your only hope is to go to a private hospital, but be prepared to pay a great deal of money up front.” Luckily, she had a wealthy friend, who took her to a private hospital, and paid a great deal of money up front.

Such conditions in Colombia and other neoliberal states go unmentioned in the US corporate media, which have treated the Colombian government, long a right-wing murder-squad regime, as a US ally (Extra!, 2/09).

Well, OK, but are the reports of conditions in Venezuelan hospitals true or grossly exaggerated? “They are much better than they were ten years ago,” said a friend who works in a Caracas hospital. In fact, he said, ten years before, the hospital where he worked did not exist, and new hospitals are now being opened. One was dedicated recently in the town of El Furrial, and another was opened in El Vigia, as reported by the centrist newspaper Últimas Noticias (3/3/17, 4/27/18). The government has also greatly expanded others, like a burn center in Caracas and three new operating rooms at the hospital in Villa Cura.

Meanwhile, the government is inaugurating a new high-speed train line, The Dream of Hugo Chávez, in March (Correo del Orinoco, 2/6/19). Since the US media have never allowed reporting on any accomplishments in the years since  Chávez took office in 1999, but only any alleged, exaggerated or, as noted, completely invented shortcomings, readers have to consult an alternative history. Here is one offered by a Venezuelan on YouTube (3/31/11): “Por Culpa de Chávez” (“It’s Chávez’s Fault”). Depicting new hospitals, transit lines, housing, factories and so on built under Chavismo, it might help many understand why the Maduro government continues to enjoy such strong backing from so many people.

Economic warfare

This is not to minimize Venezuela’s problems. The country was hit, like other oil-producing countries, and as it was in the 1980s and ’90s, by the collapse of oil prices. That failed to bring down the government, so now the Trump administration has created an artificial crisis by using extreme economic warfare to deprive the country of foreign exchange needed to import basic necessities. The Trump measures seem designed to prevent any economic recovery.

Like any country at war (and the Trump administration has placed Venezuela under wartime conditions, and is threatening immediate invasion), there have been shortages, and products that can mostly be found on the black market. This should surprise no one: During World War II in the US, a cornucopia of a country not seriously threatened with invasion, there was strict rationing of products like sugar, coffee and rubber.

The Venezuelan government has made food, medicine and pharmaceuticals available at extremely low prices, but much of the merchandise has made its way to the black market, or over the border to Colombia, depriving Venezuelans of supplies and ruining Colombian producers. The government recently abandoned some of the heavy price subsidies, which resulted initially in higher prices. Over the past few weeks, prices have been coming down as supplies stayed in Venezuela, especially as the government gained greater control over the Colombian border to prevent smuggling.

There has never been a serious discussion of any of this in the US corporate media, much less any discussion of the campaign of lies or the Trump administration warfare. There has been no comparison with conditions in the 1980s and ’90s, when Venezuela’s neoliberal government imposed IMF economic recipes, resulting in a popular rebellion, the bloody 1989 Caracazo, when wholesale government repression took the lives of hundreds (according to the government at the time) or thousands (according to government critics), and martial law took the lives of many more.

Efforts by the right-wing opposition to provoke a similar uprising, and another Caracazo that could justify a foreign “humanitarian intervention,” have failed repeatedly. So the US administration and corporate media simply resort to the most extreme lying about Latin America that has been seen since the Reagan administration wars of the 1980s.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

Butina prosecutors wrote their own James Bond novel with sex allegations – and the media loved it

Jailed Russian “spy” Maria Butina / Facebook
RT | September 10, 2018

US prosecutors who wrongly accused Russian ‘foreign agent’ and gun activist Maria Butina of trading sex for influence peddled their own cheap James Bond fan fiction. No matter how incorrect, the media lapped it up.

Butina’s request to be released until the time of her trial was declined by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday. Chutkan ruled that the Russian activist is to remain in jail until she’s tried on the charges of acting as an unregistered agent for a foreign government. Butina has pleaded not guilty.

The judge has also slapped both the prosecution and the defense with a media gag order, after berating the defense attorney for giving interviews on his client’s innocence and slamming the prosecution for opening the case with a “salacious” and “notorious” claim that proved to be completely false. Days after Butina was arrested in July, Assistant US Attorney Erik M. Kenerson claimed she was offering an individual “sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization.”

In a filing on Friday, prosecutors in the US attorney’s office in Washington, including Kenerson, backtracked on the July allegation, and stressed that it “was based both on a series of text messages between the defendant and another individual.” They admitted that the “government’s understanding of this particular text conversation was mistaken.”

Accusing Butina of trading sex for work was never about building a solid case against her, however. Instead, it was about portraying her as a Russian femme fatale; a pawn of Putin seducing her way through American political circles to sow division and discord in American politics.

“I think it was done to get headlines,” human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik told RT. “I think it was done to injure her reputation… All along, the US officials and even the press have tried to present her as some kind of spy, when in fact there is not even an allegation in that regard.”

Using the term “spy” to describe Butina, even to the untrained eye, is a bit of a reach. Before falling victim to Washington’s anti-Russian crusade, Butina moved to the US on a student visa in 2016. She graduated from American University in Washington DC with a master’s degree in international relations earlier this year. Butina is also the founder of Right to Bear Arms, a pro-gun organization that lobbies to change Russia’s strict gun laws. Right to Bear Arms has developed ties with the National RIfle Association (NRA) in the US. In her time in America, Butina met and socialized with several conservative political figures.

The sex allegations, Kovalik argues, were tacked on to bolster the US government’s already weak case against Butina. The 28-year-old gun activist was arrested for failing to register as a foreign lobbyist under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), an offense that doesn’t immediately scream “spy.”

“Clearly, this is a political case,” Kovalik said. “It is unclear to me what this young woman has done wrong, except maybe not registered under the FARA act. I believe no one has been arrested ever for violating that act which is rarely invoked.”

The smear worked, and the salacious headlines did the rounds in US media. “A simple Google search using the phrase ‘Maria Butina and sex’ yields over 300,000 hits,” her defense lawyer Robert Driscoll said in an interview, after the government backtracked on the allegation.

With their imaginations left to run riot, American journalists pumped out cold-war style spy fiction with impunity. “Sex and schmoozing are common Russian spy tactics. Publicity makes Maria Butina different,” read a headline from USA Today on August 29.

The USA Today writer scratches his head as to why Butina operated so publicly; giving interviews and speeches, publishing articles explaining her political views, and even posing for photos in magazines. After speaking to four anonymous ‘intelligence officials,’ he can only conclude that Butina’s transparency is “evidence the Russians have grown bolder in their spy efforts.”

Throughout much of the mainstream media, journalists parroted the prosecutors’ claims. Butina’s activism, the New York Times wrote in July “appears to be another arm of the Russian government’s attempts to influence or gain information about the American political process.” Butina, Time Magazine wrote at the same time, “lived a double life by using sex and a love of guns to infiltrate American political organizations… in order to advance Moscow’s agenda.”

What ‘Moscow’s agenda’ is here is unclear. Butina’s however, is clear as day. “She was meeting with people to talk about gun rights that she wants loosen in her own country back home in Russia,” Kovalik told RT. After all, if you want to talk gun rights in the USA, who better to talk to than the NRA, the world’s best-known gun rights organization, with more than six million members and a yearly revenue of almost $500 million.

Why then did she find herself the unwilling star of a third-rate spy novel, serialized and dramatized in US newspapers?

“I think this was a political gambit to deal with bigger geopolitical issues to try to ruin the outcome of the summit between Trump and Putin,” Kovalik said. “She is being used as a political pawn by the US.”

As long as the case against Butina is ongoing, the US government has human proof that the specter of ‘Russian meddling’ in US politics is alive and well.Unfortunately for Butina, that means she sits in jail until her case is eventually resolved. The Russian Embassy in Washington DC has accused American authorities of subjecting her to ‘borderline torture’ conditions, including unnecessary strip searches after every visit, sleep deprivation, and denying the 28-year-old medical treatment for a swelling on her leg.

“There are attempts to break her will,” the embassy said.

According to Kovalik, Butina’s outlook is grim. “I am going to bet that this case will drag on and this poor woman will rot in jail, apparently subjected to all sorts of indignities, including a body cavity search she is after every meeting,” the veteran human rights lawyer said. “And ultimately the charges will be dropped for the lack of evidence. But in the meantime her reputation and life will be destroyed. That is how I see this case going, to be perfectly frank.”

While the sex allegations against Butina have been dropped, prosecutors have still clung to the claims that she is, in fact, a spy. They say that her having received multiple visits from Russian officials while in jail is somehow proof of her importance to the Russian government, as is the fact that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov complained about her detention to his US counterpart Mike Pompeo.

However, a visit from a Russian bureaucrat doesn’t sell newspapers like a juicy, sex-filled headline does. Therefore, this information was relegated to the final paragraphs of the retraction articles on Friday – an ignominious end to a damp squib of a modern spy thriller.

See also:

Accused ‘Russian agent’ Butina didn’t offer sex for job, prosecutors admit

September 10, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Time magazine’s ‘creepy’ Putin-Trump cover is what media subversion really looks like

© TIME
By Simon Rite | RT | July 19, 2018

Staring out from the front cover of this week’s Time magazine is a striking, unsettling picture of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump morphed into one. The hidden, yet unsubtle messaging behind the image is equally unsettling.

Time describes the image as “meaning to represent this particular moment in US foreign policy, following the pair’s recent meeting in Helsinki, Finland.” However, what it really represents is the way that a major US media outlet wants its readers to see these two men. As strange and creepy figures who are in some way linked.

The publication cannot write a story which backs up allegations that the two presidents have some kind of conspiratorial relationship, but it can print an image which insinuates it, demanding your attention and entering your subconscious. If investigators want a textbook example of how the media attempts to subvert and influence, then look no further.

How many other morphed images of world leaders has Time featured on its famed front page? None. There is no Trerkel, no Macrump not even a Tru Jong-Un. With these leaders there is no conspiracy to sell and no bandwagon on which to jump.

The US is still wrestling with the reality of Trump as president and claims of election interference. The mainstream constantly debates how it was allowed to happen at all, and here Time wants to provide the answer in one unsettling picture. It must have been Putin, the two are so close they could be one person the image suggests, they’re two sides of the same coin.

RT can exclusively reveal that the two do, in fact, have extremely serious connections: they both currently find themselves as the leaders of the two biggest nuclear powers on Earth. That is an incontrovertible fact and, as Trump said in Helsinki, he decided to take a political risk by meeting Putin in an attempt to reduce tensions. In America’s current political climate that is more than enough to get you an insidious Time magazine front page.

The idea is not original. German news magazine Der Spiegel did the identical thing last year by morphing the two men on its cover page. The aesthetic was less psycho warfare horror movie, and more Soviet schtick.

Der Spiegel’s headline was at least more transparent in what it was trying to say ‘The double regent: how much Putin is in Trump?’

Time’s simple ‘The Summit Crisis’ is short and ambiguous enough that the reader has more time to let the hidden meaning of the image settle in.

Has it worked? You only have to look on Twitter to see the words people are using to describe the front page: “Creepy,” “nightmare,” “scary” and “chilling.” Time magazine: mission accomplished.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

How Can Vladimir Putin Destroy Non-Existent Democracy?

By Phil Butler – New Eastern Outlook – 25.05.2017

TIME Magazine’s Bill Powell is a gifted journalist. Anyone who reads the LinkedIn recommendations for the former Newsweek bureau chief will assuredly be impressed. Dozens and dozens of senior editors and journalistic colleagues are there, as are people like Dorinda Elliott, who is the Editorial and Communications Director at Harvard’s prestigious Paulson Institute. Yes, Bill Powell is an American stereotype and storyteller. And his latest piece for Newsweek hits like a expertly wielded meat clever.

Inside Putin’s Campaign to Destroy U.S. Democracy”, that’s the expertly stylized headline Newsweek’s bosses must have desperately needed this week. Reading the introductory paragraphs on how Vladimir Putin more-or-less rescued a chaotic Russia from the Russian robber barons, and how the America and the world reveled in the former KGB operative’s deft potential, I found myself captivated. “Here is the Newsweek I remember”, I caught myself thinking. But that title? I should have known – Powell interjects:

“We forget now, in the midst of the intensifying hysteria in Washington, D.C., about all things Russia, that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin—now commonly portrayed as a cartoon villain by Western politicians and press—had a honeymoon period. Many people back then chose to disregard Putin’s career in the KGB and focused instead on the fact that he had been an energetic aide to the reform-minded mayor of his native St. Petersburg in the immediate post-Soviet era.”

Then masterfully, like a Houdini magician with a keyboard Powell creates the “set up”, he inserts the fallibility of former US presidents, then draws back on the well used wooden handle of the glistening cleaver… Set to cut the meaty brain tissue that connects reality from fiction and PR, the TIME veteran lowers the boom!

“Now Russia is again public enemy No. 1 in the United States, and Putin is on offense around the world. He is the primary backer of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, thanks to his audacious deployment of Russia’s military to combat the anti-Assad Islamic rebels. He annexed Crimea and sent Russian troops and special operators into eastern Ukraine, where they remain today. In the Far East, he is moving Russia closer to a military alliance with Beijing. And in Europe and the United States, Putin’s cyberwarriors are wreaking havoc.”

In a single paragraph the wordsmith recounts the Obama White House rhetoric, he severs once again the thin tendril of hope that links western nations to an oh-so logical alliance for peace. America’s “thinkers” are forced to think again. Europe is pinned in the middle, as always. And Russia is left with the nagging realization nothing has changed since the Tsar was murdered. Russophobia, the “Great Game”, the globalist quest for all those Russia riches is still on. Newsweek puts familiar Putin quotes under the subtitle “Shining Tsar” – which is strangely appropriate given it’s coming up on the centennial of the October Revolution of 1917.

For his ending, Powell manages to insert Russian mafioso, ousted Yukos billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky once again. And I am snapped back into reality where Newsweek is concerned. The media outlet now owned by IBT Media, which is in turn owned (supposedly) by Etienne Uzac and Johnathan Davis, was the subject of several of my stories in the past. Most pointedly, “Is Newsweek Led by Jesus, or Mikhail Khodorkovsky?” calls to question who really owns IBT, the man some say is the second coming of Jesus himself, the right Korean reverend David J. Jang. Now here I am reverting to familiar themes to combat a perverted mainstream. It’s sad we’re still caught in an inescapable maelstrom of expert paid journalists versus willing narrators of a dissenting view. Some call Russia sympathetic writers like me “Kremlin Trolls”, when the reality of this geo-political situation is a simple matter of choosing the status quo versus the world we were told to dream of. For those who see Russia as the needless victim in all this mess, NATO snatching up one former Soviet boundary after another is the clincher.

Finally, journalists like Bill Powell are brought in as the “go-to” people who either snatch or just maintain credibility for these “owned” media outlets. While the west hammers on state owner RT and others for being Putin’s propaganda bull horns, five thousand times Russia’s media budgets are wagered in the same old crisis game. At the end of Powell’s piece the chips fall into place. Forget the lead and the middle, it’s the title or the ending readers will remember. Here’s his ending:

“Putin may have restored Russian pride, and a semblance of its Great Power status, but the former spymaster may well have overplayed his hand in trying to tilt the 2016 U.S. election to his preferred candidate. He may have gotten the result he wanted—but someday wish he hadn’t.”

Russia as a “great power” equals a new Soviet Union for Newsweek readers. The “former spymaster” in charge labels Vladimir Putin the KGB assassin of old Hollywood. Then saying Putin “tilted” the election, without any proof to back the claim, simply galvanizes the globalist claims. The rest is fortification, and gloating like a Clinton fanatic. Powell should have been paid well for this one, for Newsweek surely retained thousands of liberal readers and Putin haters. Why the “Jesus” owned magazine even got certified Kremlin agents to read. But I’m not ready to subscribe just yet. My guess is that Putin could care less about destroying something that does not exist – something like American democracy. Let’s hear your thoughts.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe.

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Behind Time Magazine’s Putin Demonizing?

By David Swanson | Let’s Try Democracy | October 5, 2016

“Russia Wants to Undermine Faith in the U.S. Election. Don’t Fall For It.” Thus reads the cover of Time magazine with a photo of Vladimir Putin on the cover staring at me from shelves as I sit in an airport.  Genuinely curious, I check out Massimo Calabresi‘s article online.

Of course, U.S. elections are almost completely unverifiable and do not even pretend to meet international standards. Jimmy Carter doesn’t even try to monitor them because there’s no way to do it. Much voting is done on machines that simply must be trusted on faith. Whether they accurately count the votes entered is simply unknowable, and reason to wonder is fueled by the machines’ frequently changing a vote visibly just as it’s cast, and by the ease with which people have been able to hack the machines. Never mind all the problems with registration, intimidation, inconvenience, discrimination, etc.

We should undermine our own faith in the U.S. election system. I’d include in that the financial corruption, gerrymandering, etc., but here I’m just referring to the counting of votes. Then we should repair it! Is Russia helpfully pointing out the problem to us? Not that I’ve seen. But the Russia-did-it stories that were used to bury the DNC-rigged-its-primary stories rather shockingly blurted out in major corporate U.S. media what I’ve just been saying. For a while it seemed acceptable to be aware that U.S. elections are faith-based as long as it helps build up hostility with Russia. Now, however, we’re being told of our duty to remain firm in our faith. Time says:

“The leaders of the U.S. government, including the President and his top national-security advisers, face an unprecedented dilemma. Since the spring, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies have seen mounting evidence of an active Russian influence operation targeting the 2016 presidential election.”

Why the “top national-security advisers”? That’s a euphemism for war counselors. How do they come into this? And where is the evidence, mounting or otherwise?

“It is very unlikely the Russians could sway the actual vote count, because our election infrastructure is decentralized and voting machines are not accessible from the Internet.”

Of the 50 states into which the vote counting is “decentralized” there are only a handful the U.S. media will pay much attention to. Those “swing states” are the ones a hacker would hack. And here’s an interesting Washington Post article I recommend to the editors of Time:More than 30 states offer online voting, but experts warn it isn’t secure.”

“But they can sow disruption and instability up to, and on, Election Day, more than a dozen senior U.S. officials tell TIME, undermining faith in the result and in democracy itself.”

Democracy itself? Egad! Those commies must be against democracy. Perhaps they even hate capitalism! How many of those senior officials have names? Is “senior” in this case a polite way of saying “extremely elderly”? Come on! Nobody has faith in U.S. democracy. That’s undermined every day by the U.S. government, as Time’s own pollsters are perfectly aware. Most U.S. residents believe their government is broken, and they’re perfectly right. Russia’s government could use a lot of improvements too. But only one of the two is building missile bases and engaging in military “exercises” on the other one’s border.

“The question, debated at multiple meetings at the White House, is how aggressively to respond to the Russian operation. Publicly naming and shaming the Russians and describing what the intelligence community knows about their activities would help Americans understand and respond prudently to any disruptions that might take place between now and the close of the polls.”

Gee, there’s an idea. If only there were a journalist in the building!

“Senior Justice Department officials have argued in favor of calling out the Russians, and that position has been echoed forcefully outside of government by lawmakers and former top national-security officials from both political parties.”

Wait, don’t tell me, are these the same guys who sincerely wanted to tell us where the Weapons of Mass Destruction were in Iraq?

“Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The President and several of his closest national-security advisers are concerned about the danger of a confrontation in the new and ungoverned world of cyberspace, and they argue that while the U.S. has powerful offensive and defensive capabilities there, an escalating confrontation carries significant risks.”

That’s right! Hey, they know best. Accusing Russia without any evidence shouldn’t offend anybody. The Russian government should be grateful. But presenting evidence and seeking to uphold the law, truth, and perhaps even reconciliation? Only reckless subversives would suggest such lunacy!

“National Security Council officials warn that our critical infrastructure–including the electricity grid, transportation sector and energy networks–is vulnerable to first strikes; others say attacks on private companies, stock exchanges and the media could affect the economy.”

Is there some nation whose infrastructure is not vulnerable to first strikes? Is the blurring of computer hacking and bomb dropping even conscious anymore?

“Senior intelligence officials even worry about Russia exposing U.S. espionage operations in retaliation.”

Well, if Russia can expose them, exactly what purpose are they currently serving? And what of any of this has Russia actually threatened? If I “worry about” Henry Kissinger streaking Fifth Avenue will Time run that story?

“And while U.S. officials have ‘high confidence’ that Russia is behind what they describe as a major influence operation, senior U.S. officials tell TIME, their evidence would not yet stand up in court.”

Mid-article, you’ll notice, we’ve dropped from the statement of fact on the cover of a magazine displayed everywhere in a nation of people who hardly read, to a statement of possibility.

“And so with five weeks to go, the White House is, for now, letting events unfold. On one side, U.S. law-enforcement agencies are scrambling to uncover the extent of the Russian operation, counter it and harden the country’s election infrastructure. On the other, a murky network of Russian hackers and their associates is stepping up the pace of leaks of stolen documents designed to affect public opinion and give the impression that the election is vulnerable, including emails from the computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).”

Not those emails that added so authoritatively to our knowledge that the DNC had rigged its own primary? Not those emails? Surely if it were those emails you’d mention their contents, not just an evidence-free claim as to who leaked them?

“Meanwhile, the FBI alerted all 50 states to the danger in mid-August, and the states have delivered evidence of a ‘significant’ number of new intrusions into their election systems that the bureau and their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security ‘are still trying to understand,’ a department official tells TIME.”

Wait, I thought it was all offline and decentralized? Are all these intrusions harmless because they might be by non-Russians? Or is it only in the scenario in which they are acts of the Russian government that we should pay no attention to the uselessness of the lousy vote-counting machines? Or should we just not worry in either case, even while really really — you know — worrying?

“All of which makes Donald Trump’s repeated insertion of himself into the U.S.-Russia story all the more startling. Trump has praised Putin during the campaign, and at the first presidential debate, on Sept. 26, he said it wasn’t clear the Russians were behind the DNC hack.”

Time said the same thing three paragraphs back. Perhaps the real sin here is praising Putin, eh? But Trump is praising Putin for violating people’s rights, not for being a designated enemy of Time magazine and the government for which it serves as a stenographer.

“But the U.S. intelligence community has ‘high confidence’ that Russian intelligence services were in fact responsible, multiple intelligence and national security officials tell TIME.”

That’s impressive. How many of them have names?

“Trump was informed of that assessment during a recent classified intelligence briefing, a U.S. official familiar with the matter tells TIME. ‘I do not comment on information I receive in intelligence briefings, however, nobody knows with definitive certainty that this was in fact Russia,’ Trump told TIME in a statement. ‘It may be, but it may also be China, another country or individual.'”

Is that not indisputably accurate?

“Russia’s interference in the U.S. election is an extraordinary escalation of an already worrying trend.”

Whether or not it exists?

“Over the past 2½ years, Russia has executed a westward march of election meddling through cyberspace, starting in the states of the former Soviet Union and moving toward the North Atlantic.”

Freud. Sigmund. Paging a Doctor Freud, Sigmund. NATO has in fact literally marched in the path of Nazis right to the border of Russia with new members, new troops, new weapons, new nukes, new missile bases, new threats, and new lies — plus a violent coup in Ukraine. But it’s a march of alleged election meddling that should scare us, despite the United States government’s blatant election meddling (and support for coups) in nations all over the world, including Ukraine, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, etc.

“‘On a regular basis they try to influence elections in Europe,’ President Obama told NBC News on July 26. With Russia establishing beachheads in the U.S. at least since April, officials worry that in the final weeks of the campaign the Russian cybercapability could be used to fiddle with voter rolls, election-reporting systems and the media, resulting in confusion that could cast a shadow over both the next President and the democratic process.”

Despite the offline decentralized security?

And the media too? How would Russia hack the media exactly?

“Obama’s decision not to call out the Russian espionage operation has so far left the effort to educate Americans about it to lawmakers and national-security experts. On Sept. 22, the ranking Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam Schiff, released an unusually blunt statement. ‘Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election,’ they said. ‘At the least, this effort is intended to sow doubt about the security of our election.”

That’s like saying ‘We’ve been briefed on the WMDs in Iraq and at the very least there is an effort to scare the heck out of you. Of course we and Time magazine are central to this effort, but try to focus on the alleged role of Iraq.’

“Orders for Russian intelligence agencies to conduct electoral-influence operations, they added, could come only from very senior levels of government. ‘We call on [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin to immediately order a halt to this activity.’ The statement, though not endorsed publicly by the Administration, was cleared with the CIA. To understand why Putin would want to undercut the legitimacy of the U.S. election, it helps to step back from the long and ugly presidential campaign and remember why we’re voting in the first place. Elections are the ultimate source of authority in our democracy. Because Republicans and Democrats have agreed for decades that spreading democracy is good for everyone, America has pushed for free and fair elections around the world.”

Really? Are we all agreed on “pushing” for the “spread of democracy”? Who has more of it, do you think, Russia, the United States, or any of the seven nations the United States has bombed and “liberated” in recent years?

“And many nations have embraced them: peasants in the Balkans put on their Sunday best to go to the polls, and burqa-clad women in Afghanistan brave terrorist attacks to stand in line for hours to cast their ballots.”

Well that proves it. Better bomb some more places!

“Not surprisingly, quasi-authoritarian rulers in the former Soviet Union, latter-day communists in China and medieval theocrats in the Middle East, among many others, see America’s sometimes aggressive evangelism about the benefits of liberal democracy as a direct threat to their own claims to authority.”

The UN Charter also has that odd view, choosing to see aggressive wars as criminal.

“Putin has taken particular umbrage, accusing the U.S.–and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in particular–of meddling in Russia’s presidential election in 2012. He has publicly questioned the validity of past U.S. presidential elections, saying, on June 17, of the Electoral College, ‘You call that democracy?'”

Do you?

“Now, experts say, Putin is expanding his anti-American campaign into cyberspace. ‘More than any attempt to get one candidate or another elected, this [Russian influence operation] is about discrediting the entire idea of a free and fair election,’ says Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity company that did the analysis of the DNC hack.”

Wow, congratulations on naming names. Dmitri must be a special person to get his name into Time magazine.

“No one knows that better than Arizona secretary of state Michele Reagan. One day in June she was in her backyard in Phoenix when she got a call from her chief of staff. ‘Are you sitting down?’ he asked. The FBI had been monitoring a corner of the so-called dark web, the network of hidden sites used by criminals to buy and sell drugs, pedophilic pornography and stolen identities. A group of hackers known collectively as Fancy Bear, which the U.S. government believes is controlled by Russian military intelligence, was trying to sell a user name and password that belonged to someone in an Arizona county election official’s office, which holds the personal data of almost 4 million people. ‘My first reaction was, Well, this is like the worst thing that you want to hear,’ Reagan recalls.”

All I can say is it’s a darn good thing everything is offline and decentralized.

“Reagan and the FBI scrambled to figure out how the Russians had gotten into Arizona’s system and what needed to be done to secure it. It turned out that an election official in rural Gila County, pop. 54,000, had opened a Word document on her desktop computer that contained malicious software. Fortunately, while Fancy Bear had penetrated a local computer system, it hadn’t accessed the statewide registration database. Others weren’t so lucky. Fancy Bear’s electronic fingerprints were found on the hack into the DNC computers. In Illinois, the feds found that Fancy Bear had stolen 85,000 voter records from that state’s registration systems in mid-July. Later that month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) revealed that it, too, had been hacked by Fancy Bear.”

Well he or she or they are called “Bear.” I can’t see why that wouldn’t be enough to convict Russia in a court of law.

“With other states now reporting intrusions of unknown origin, the government wants to reassure the public that the vote count itself is safe. ‘We have confidence in the overall integrity of our electoral systems,’ Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson said on Sept. 16. ‘It is diverse, subject to local control, and has many checks and balances built in.’ Each of the U.S.’s more than 9,000 polling places uses machines not connected to the Internet, precincts count and report their results independently, and most have paper or electronic backups in case a recount is needed.”

Oh OK, then I’ll stop worrying. Never mind, after all, Vladimir.

“The Administration has a message for Russia too.”

Oh no. Wait. What?

“The U.S. has privately warned that any effort to sway the election would be unacceptable, intelligence and other Administration officials tell TIME. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the message to his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Laos on July 27. During a 90-minute meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting on Sept. 6, Obama pulled Putin aside and discussed the cyberconcerns one-on-one, with no aides present, a White House official tells TIME. In a press conference later, the President called for restraint on all sides in the use of cyberweapons and issued a veiled threat about America’s cyberpowers. ‘Frankly, we’ve got more capacity than anybody both offensively and defensively,’ Obama said.”

Because offensive attacks by the United States are good things, you see. (Some people might get confused without that explanation.)

“Putin’s history of using influence operations against opponents begins, appropriately enough, with himself. As he was rising quickly through the Kremlin ranks in 1999, one of his main opponents, Prosecutor General Yuri Skuratov, was caught on tape having sex with two women in a hotel room in what Skuratov later claimed was a Putin-run espionage operation traditionally known as a ‘honey trap.’ Putin, who had risen from a Soviet-era KGB operative to head the country’s intelligence services, denied he was behind it but said on TV that his agents had confirmed that the man in the grainy video was Skuratov. Putin went on to win the presidency the next year. Skuratov, who ran against him, got less than 1% of the popular vote.”

That seems like good grounds to me for risking nuclear apocalypse. Please proceed.

“With the expansion of the Internet in the decade that followed, the Russians adopted cyberweapons as a standard tool of political meddling. Nowhere has their tactic of spreading chaos around a vote been clearer than in Ukraine, where three days before the presidential election on May 25, 2014, the computer systems of the Central Electoral Commission went dark. ‘The servers wouldn’t turn on. The links to the local election authorities were cut off,’ says Victor Zhora, director of the cybersecurity firm Infosafe, which had been hired to defend the system. ‘Literally, nothing worked.'”

Only the Russians could have done something so devious to put in place a new anti-Russian government that immediately began efforts to restrict the use of the Russian language, and which put into power actual Nazis.

Read the rest at Time magazine if you can stand it.

October 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Last chance! [And this time they really, really, mean it]

ClimateChangePredictions | October 30, 2015

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is having its 21st meeting in Paris towards the end of 2015. (Hence COP21 or conference of parties)

We’ve been told this is the ‘last effective opportunity’ to keep global warming to ‘a limit safe for humanity.’

However we are reassured by the fact there have been previous last chances, and this website predicts that COP21 will not be the last ‘last chance.’

Previous ‘Last Chance’ UN climate summit deadlines: 

Last chance! – Bonn, 2001 – A Global Warming Treaty’s Last Chance. That teetering edifice that is the Kyoto Protocol gets some emergency repair work this week as delegates from 180 countries gather in Bonn to work out problems that threaten to scuttle the deal altogether. – Time Magazine, 16 Jul 2001

Last chance! – Montreal, 2005 – In an open letter to delegates at the Montreal environmental summit, beginning today, campaigner Mark Lynas explains why action on climate change can no longer be stalled. “I’m scared. For 15 years I’ve watched international progress on climate change get slower and slower, even while the pace of global warming seems to get ever more rapid. With time running out for the global climate, your meeting in Montreal represents a last chance for action.” – The Independent, 28 Nov 2005

Last chance! – Bali, 2007 – World leaders will converge on Bali today for the start of negotiations which experts say could be the last chance to save the Earth from catastrophic climate change. Bali could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming, said Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth. – The New Zealand Herald, 3 Dec 2007

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2007: Philip Clapp, head of the Washington-based National Environment Trust, says: “Fifteen years of international negotiations have not yet produced a comprehensive agreement that will get developed countries to begin serious reductions.”He adds: “The framework for such an agreement must come out of the Bali meeting. The scientists are telling us that this is the world’s last shot at avoiding the worst consequences of global warming.” – The Independent, 2 Dec 2007

Last chance! – Poznan, Poland, 2008 – The world will “suicide” if it cannot strike a strong climate pact soon, Australian environmental scientist Tim Flannery has warned. Professor Flannery, who is attending a UN climate summit in Poland, expressed dismay at the slow progress. “Resistance is a suicidal tactic,” the former Australian of the year, scientist and author told reporters in Poland. “This round of negotiations is likely to be our last chance as a species to deal with the problem.” The Age, 9 Dec 2008

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2008: Humanity is approaching the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change, according to WWF’s analysis of the latest climate science.The warning comes during UN climate talks in Poznan, Poland.“Governments in Poznan must agree to peak and decline global emissions well before 2020 to give people reasonable hope that global warming can still be kept within limits that prevent the worst,” said Kim Carstensen, leader of WWF’s global climate initiative. – WWF, “Poznan provides last chance to curb climate change” 5 Dec 2008

Last chance! – Copenhagen, 2009 – The world faces a final opportunity to agree an adequate global response to climate change at a U.N.-led meeting in Copenhagen in December, the European Union’s environment chief said on Friday. It is now 12 years since Kyoto was created. This makes Copenhagen the world’s last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return, European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told a climate conference in Budapest on Friday. – Reuters, Feb 27 2009

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2009: Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, has warned of “catastrophic consequences” unless a new international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions is reached.Climate change is “simply the greatest collective challenge we face as a human family”, Mr Ban said in a speech on Monday in Seoul. He urged international leaders to reach a deal to limit their countries’ carbon emissions at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December. – The Telegraph, 10 Aug 2009

2009: “No one said the road to Copenhagen would be easy. But the agreement we all hope to reach in Copenhagen next year represents the last chance to bring climate change under control before it is too late. There is progress, but we need to step up the pace. With resolve, cooperation and imagination, we can conclude an agreement at the end of next year, delivering the ambitious global action that is needed.”
Speech by Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner responsible for environment at a Climate Change Conference, 31 October 2008, Prague

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2009: The Copenhagen summit is the world’s last chance to save the planet from “catastrophic” global warming, according to a major study led by Lord Stern of Brentford, the country’s leading authority on climate change.Without an international agreement to limit global warming, temperatures are likely to rise by 9F (5C) by the end of the century – triggering mass migration, warfare and world hunger, according to the report. – The Telegraph, 2 Dec 2009

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Last chance! – Cancun, 2010 – A sense of foreboding is one of the few points of general agreement among the 15,000 participants congregating for the next two weeks on this long thin strip of land, marooned between a wide lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. Jairem Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, sees it as the “last chance” for climate change talks to succeed; Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate chief, believes a disappointing outcome would “put the whole process in danger”. – The Telegraph (UK), 29 Nov 2010

Last chance! – Durban, 2011 – Rev. Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit, who leads the World Council of Churches, says the upcoming climate conference in South Africa is mankind’s ‘last opportunity’ to address climate change. This week the World Council of Churches general secretary, Reverend Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, called the United Nations UNFCCC COP 17 meeting a “last opportunity for the international community to be responsible in addressing climate change”, and called on the meeting to “act now for climate justice.” – Spero News, 27 Nov 2011

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2011: Durban climate change meeting is “the last chance”. Attended by over 200 countries, this week’s major UN conference has been described by many experts as humanity’s last chance to avert the disastrous effects of climate change.Together with around 20 000 delegates from nearly 200 countries, Ferrial Adam, the climate change and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa, will be attending the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which gets under way in Durban in the next two weeks, towards negotiating a new climate regime. – UCANews, 28 Nov 2011

Last chance! – Doha, 2012 – Tomorrow: the earth’s last chance with climate change? Tomorrow, the whole world talks about irreversible global warming as this year’s international climate change summit begins. Participating are 195 countries (almost all of the United Nations). There are two concurrent meetings: the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol; and the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. They will take place from Monday, November 26, 2012 to Friday, December 7, 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. – The Examiner, 25 Nov 2012

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Last chance! – Warsaw, 2013 – Is the Warsaw Climate Change Conference a last-chance summit? The Warsaw Climate Change Conference opened on Monday 11th November. After the 2012 failure of Doha, this summit could represent a turning point in the fight against global warming. “Global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak this decade, and get to zero net emissions by the second half of this century,” announced Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC in a press release dated 8th November. “We have the money and technology, the knowledge and the new economic models to get the job done in time,” she confirmed before describing the next two years as “a critical period to act faster on climate.” – Sustainable Mobility, 14 Nov 2013

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Last chance! – Lima, 2014 – Last chance: Change needed for climate negotiations in Lima 2014. WWF issued the following statement today from Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative, as the UN climate talks drew to a conclusion: “A repeat performance next year would be disastrous, not just for the progress of these negotiations, but more importantly for vulnerable communities everywhere and the natural world on which we all depend…By the time we get to next year’s meeting in Lima, we urgently need to have political will, real commitments, and a clear path to a comprehensive and fair agreement in Paris 2015, where a new global agreement on climate change has to be signed.” – WWF Global, 23 Nov 2013

Last chance! – Paris, 2015: Scientists are calling on world leaders to sign up to an eight-point plan of action at landmark talks in Paris. The key element is the goal to limit global warming to below 2C by moving to zero carbon emissions by 2050. The UN meeting in December is “the last chance” to avert dangerous climate change, according to the Earth League. – BBC News 22 Apr 2015

November 7, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

MH-17 Yet Again, Poring Over the Data (and Translations); Serious Factual Errors by Time and Western Media

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock | Global Economic Trend Analysis | October 7, 2015

For most, the shoot-down of flight MH-17 over Ukraine is a forgotten memory. Western media has continually trumped up one of three stories.

  1. Russian-backed rebels did it
  2. Russia did it
  3. Russian-backed rebels did it with Russia’s help

The extent to which Western media fabricated all sorts of lies to make those claims is still not widely known or understood.

Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks and reads Russian, and who works for the US government (but speaks only for himself),  just recently decided to review some video footage and translations offered by Time Magazine on July 17: Russia Is Blocking Justice for the Victims of Flight 17.

Dreizin emailed Time about factual errors in the article a few days ago. He sent this letter to Time.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have found a serious factual error—in fact, a complete fabrication—in your July 17, 2015 piece titled How Russia Is Blocking Justice for the Victims of Flight 17, which is posted here:

http://time.com/3963346/mh17-malaysia-airlines-flight-17-russia-ukraine/

In the piece, your author, Simon Shuster, states as follows:

On the day of the tragedy, the Ukrainian State Security Service, which is known as the SBU, released what it claimed to be an intercepted phone conversation between Kozitsyn and one of his fighters. According to the SBU’s recording, the fighter reports to Kozitsyn that they have shot down a civilian plane by mistake. “There’s a whole sea of corpses, women and children,” the fighter says. The voice identified as that of Kozitsyn does not seem moved by this information. “They shouldn’t have been flying,” the voice says. “There’s a war going on here.”

I am a native Russian speaker and I have listened to this recording, which commences at around 1:50 at the following link:

https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCMFhiqp9R0

I can tell you that in this recording, despite the allegations of your author, who claims to be a native Russian speaker (as per his LinkedIn account), at no time does either party to this particular conversation claim to have shot down an airplane.

Rather, as per the SBU’s accurate translation, which is shown in subtitles on the YouTube link, and which I confirm is correct, the unnamed alleged rebel speaking with a person alleged to be Kozitsyn merely recounts his observations of the wreckage of a plane that he believes has been shot down.  He takes no credit for shooting it down, nor does he state or suggest who shot it down.

Why, then, does your writer, Simon Shuster, state “According to the SBU’s recording, the fighter reports to Kozitsyn that they have shot down a civilian plane by mistake”?

Mr. Shuster’s account substantially departs from his own source material.  Why?

Of course, the SBU’s intent is to showcase a number of alleged rebels talking about an aircraft going down and to imply (by way of their interest in the matter) that they were responsible for the MH17 disaster.  Mr. Shuster, like so many others over the last 14-some months, seems to have taken that implication and ran with it, to the point of actually putting words into the recording that are simply not there!

Another point of interest:  In the first recording in the above link, which starts at around 0:18 in the link, the SBU allegedly presents the rebel commander Igor Bezler talking with his alleged Russian handler as to his knowledge of a certain rebel unit shooting down a plane around 30 minutes prior to the conversation occurring.  The SBU translation subtitles also suggest that Bezler can see smoke coming from the crash site, although to me that part is indiscernible.

Given that Bezler’s headquarters and main zone of control (the city of Gorlovka) was roughly 25 to 30 miles northwest of the MH17 debris field, it is highly likely that—assuming it is in fact him on the recording—the conversation relates to a prior shoot-down of a Ukrainian combat plane in the Gorlovka area, i.e. something that did in fact take place before the downing of MH17.

In any case, there is nothing within the recording itself to identify a place, date, time, or even the parties to the conversation—we have only the SBU’s word as to who these people are and when the conversation is taking place.

Also of interest, the second recording in the link (starting at 0:43) is unnatural in places and, to a Russian speaker such as myself, seems to be either a splice of two or three separate conversations, or else one conversation that has been condensed (i.e. pieces of it have been removed, possibly to present an inaccurate picture of the whole.)

Last but not least, the fact that this diverse montage (totaling three separate conversations) was jumbled together in one video, subtitled in English, and posted to YouTube, not to mention pitched to the media, all just a few hours after MH17 went down (note the date on the link), is suspicious to say the least.  I work for the U.S. Government, and (though I am not speaking for the Government or any of its agencies or offices in any way whatsoever) I have never seen Government move so fast—it is simply inconceivable.

My main point in writing you is to inform you that your writer, Simon Shuster, has made a bold, significant claim on your website that is patently and demonstrably false—and moreover, one that he must have known to be false.

Thus, I request that you issue a public retraction on this matter.

Thank you for your attention.
Respectfully,

Jacob Dreizin

Video in Russian – English Subtitles

Link if video does not play: Malaysia Airlines: Phone calls of terrorists intercepted by Security Service of Ukraine.

I commend Dreizin for taking a stand for the truth, and I hope it does not cost him his job.

Bottom Line

  1. Neither the US nor Ukraine is interested in the truth if Ukraine is responsible.
  2. Neither Russia nor the Rebels are interested in the truth if the rebels or Russia is responsible.
  3. Blatant lies and sloppy media reporting by Ukraine and Western media is clearly rampant.
  4. Most have jumped to conclusions believing biased reporting and outright fabrications by their government.
  5. A small subset of us would like to know what really happened, regardless of whom is to blame.

Shortly after the incident, allegations similar to those made by Simon Shuster were widely trumped up as “proof” the rebels did it. The ensuing propaganda campaign was an unfortunate success, at least to the small subset of us who want the truth be known, no matter which side is to blame.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Syria: Iconic images or chronic lies?

A young boy walks past a makeshift barricade made of wreckages of buses to obstruct the view of regime snipers and to keep people safe, on March 14, 2015 in the rebel-held side of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Syria's conflict enters its fifth year on March 15, 2015 with the regime emboldened by shifting international attention and a growing humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the rise of the Islamic State group. AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images

By Vanessa Beely | The Wall Will Fall | September 11, 2015

March 2015 and TIME magazine printed one of the most iconic photos of the Syrian “conflict”.  The upended buses forming a barrier of rusting metal carcasses against the threat of “regime snipers”. The article went on to describe how “The Ahrar al-Sham brigade [a group that adheres to the conservative Salafi interpretation of Sunni Islam] placed the buses in such a way. They used ropes, pulleys and a number of men to get the buses in such position. They are [blocking] the view of regime snipers.”

The inference of the article is predominantly the risk from “regime” snipers, a risk for civilians and “rebels”.  Speaking to such civilians in Aleppo, it becomes clear that this is a misleading narrative.

“It’s vice versa. The terrorists put these buses that way. It’s obvious that it’s a form of border or barrier between them and us. It is the terrorists that use them as a platform for sniping people and soldiers on the other side.  These public buses were owned by the government as a cheap and affordable transportation for the people of Aleppo. Look what they’ve done with it.”

Another comment on the photograph from Aleppo:

“It is a war.  This is a demarcation line erected by the terrorists and yes there are many of them all over Aleppo.  The other side may be blocked by a huge textile curtain which protects civilians and soldiers from the terrorist snipers who use the buses as cover.  The TIME article only talks about the threat from government snipers, this is untrue.  The threat we face is from the terrorist snipers or from being caught in the crossfire”

Speaking with civilians living through “rebel” occupation of Aleppo, it appears accurate to say that 80% of these civilians support the Syrian Arab Army in their efforts to cleanse the city of the insurgent cells that are dotted all over Aleppo.  The greatest threat faced by civilians is that of the “rebel” hell cannons, mortars, snipers, suicide bombers and explosive tunnels that are dug as a diversion to draw the SAA away from their stronghold on the Acropolis hill in the centre of the ancient citadel of Aleppo which is surrounded by “rebel” camps.

Here are a collection of reports from Aleppo that describe a very different picture to the one portrayed by the Western media and assorted Western funded NGOs and Humanitarian organisations, like the White Helmets who are on the ground in Aleppo and providing a constant stream of biased, pro intervention, anti Assad propaganda, whilst purporting to be neutral & impartial.

Voices from Aleppo

It is admitted that there is an element of corruption among some who describe themselves as government officials, an inevitable result of the water and food deprivation which is being imposed upon Aleppo by rebel factions.  However, the majority of people in Aleppo still support the Syrian government against the rebel insurgents.  As stated, a huge majority have family members in the SAA and fully support their battle to regain control of Aleppo and to rid the streets of the presence of armed and erratic elements.

Karam al-Masri ~ photographer

Let us also look at the photographer of this TIME image and the source of comments quoted in the article.

Sheikh Najjar, Aleppo

According to an Al Jazeera article in March 2015, Karam al-Masri was kidnapped and tortured by ISIS at the “start of the war”. He was allegedly incarcerated in the Abu Ghraib prison in Sheikh Najjar, one of the biggest industrial zones to the north of Aleppo.

Al Bustan area, Aleppo

Al-Masri hails from the Bustan al Qasr area of Aleppo, the area that spans the eastern banks of the River Queik.  There has been a flood of stories of the “regime” dumping bodies into the river along this zone.  Stories, that have once again been negated by Aleppo civilians:

“The river Queik was reduced to a dry valley, distinctly malodorous in the summer.  This ensured the loss of all the species of fish that had been documented by western scientists and historians centuries before. Turkish-Syrian relations had improved in the decade prior to the crisis to the extent that the Aleppo river basin had been converted into a series of canals dotted with beautiful bridges, illuminated at night.
With the advent of the crisis, however, the tide literally turned.  The river formed a natural border between terrorist held eastern Aleppo and government held western Aleppo.

The river became the terrorist dumping ground for dead bodies, massacred by the terrorists not by the government as depicted in western media whose sole aim was & still is,  to demonize the Syrian government.

A couple of years back, the terrorists were sending young kids to buy huge amounts of bread supplied by the government to feed the people of Aleppo city.  Once purchased, this bread was callously dumped in the river resulting in a crippling bread shortage for a long time.  Eventually the government managed to round up the culprits and imprison them.  I don’t have to tell you how the media portrayed this activity but the truth is, it was necessary to ensure the people of Aleppo didn’t starve.”

Anyway back to Karam al-Masri.  In the Al Jazeera article, al-Masri makes the rather curious and incendiary claim ” “A camera’s role is greater than a weapon’s, when the regime arrests someone who works in the media, they torture them more than they would an FSA (Free Syrian Army) member.”  This from someone imprisoned and tortured by ISIS, the very terrorist organisation being flushed from Aleppo by the SAA.

We could argue that al-Masri is aligning himself with  the “moderate rebels” and presume he perceives the FSA to fulfil the criteria of “moderate rebel”.  Nonetheless what does get even curiouser, is that al-Masri, despite or prior to his torture and imprisonment, still manages to photograph Al Nusra in October 2013, calling for the establishment of an Islamic State.  This is another iconic photo that appeared in many Western media publications:

A picture taken on October 25, 2013 shows members of jihadist group Al-Nusra Front taking part in a parade calling for the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria, at the Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood of Aleppo. (Photo: AFP - Karam al-Masri)

This photograph accompanied an Al Akhbar article outlining Saudi involvement in the attempted Western regime change in Syria.  This is a quote from the article “ The Saudi spy chief, in cooperation with Washington and Paris, is in the process of building up an army of 30,000 fighters, with many coming from the ranks of the “Army of Islam,” which is known to have ties to al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front.”

What is also puzzling is the discrepancy in the kidnap story.  In the Al Jazeera article, it is claimed that al-Masri [who contributes to the article and would presumably have had editing rights] was imprisoned for 6 months:

“We also meet Karam al-Masri, a photographer who was captured by ISIL, tortured and held for six months at the start of the war”

However, in his own statement, which I have only found in French, al-Masri clearly states 45 days:

“Abu Ghraib”, “Prison de haute sécurité”, “Centre de liquidation”… bien des noms ont été donnés à l’enfer où j’ai passé 45 jours entre les mains de l’Etat islamique (Da’ech).”

There is also a distinct lack of date when this imprisonment occurred in either al-Masri’s personal testimony or in the Al Jazeera article, a bizarre omission from a reporting or witness credibility perspective?  Further internet searches did not immediately shed any light on the timeline which makes it hard to pinpoint when al-Masri was imprisoned in relation to his being able to photograph “rebel” factions known to by sympathetic to Islamic State.

In fact if we do a simple google search on the images of al Masri, we see a heady concoction of photographs of Islamic State supporters.  Karam al-Masri photographs

The final photograph I will leave you with is this photo of the White Helmets, a US/UK SNC [Syrian Opposition] backed Humanitarian organisation portrayed as impartial “miracle workers” who rescue the civilians of Aleppo from the effects of the Government barrel bombs.  The same impartial “miracle workers” and heroes who fail to report on the effects of the “rebel” hell cannon and mortar fire. This photo clearly demonstrates the White Helmet co-operation with Al Nusra, look at the man on the right carrying the stretcher.  Members of Islamic extremist groups can be identified by the beard and no moustache, among other identifying features. [NDF source]

Photo: Karam al-Masri

This is all simple research and investigation.  I am not categorically stating that al-Masri is lying.  I am saying that there are a number of inaccuracies in his story and a number of questions that should be asked, particularly when one considers that his testimony and images are used exclusively to further demonize the Syrian Government and the SAA.

Syria is fighting a war on many fronts and the propaganda war is perhaps one of the most insidious and malevolent. It is propaganda that took us to war in Iraq.  It is propaganda that ensured the devastation of Libya. It is propaganda that is now clamouring for further foreign intervention in Syria.  It is propaganda that must be exposed at source before it further opens the floodgates to hell for the Syrian people.

September 12, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment