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UK Already Planning to Extend Lockdown Before First Extension Even Announced

SOPA Images via Getty Image
By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | June 14, 2021

Having first mooted a 2 week delay to lifting lockdown which will today likely become a 4 week delay, government ministers in the UK are already suggesting the lockdown could continue beyond July.

The country was supposed to exit all lockdown restrictions on June 21st, dubbed “freedom day” by the media.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today announce a four week extension to the restrictions, meaning that Brits had more freedom in July 2020 compared to now despite the vast majority of “vulnerable” people having received the vaccine.

But there’s absolutely no guarantee the lockdown will end next month.

The same advisers who admitted using “mind control” and “totalitarian” fear tactics to terrify the British public into compliance are still fearmongering about the Indian variant of the virus in a bid to prolong restrictions for months longer.

By delaying the lifting of lockdown until September, a “third wave” of COVID will then be pushed into autumn/winter, meaning the narrative that the NHS will be “overwhelmed” can be trotted out once again.

Then it becomes “just one more lockdown to save Christmas” (the same thing Brits were told last Christmas) and around we go over and over again.

Health Minister Ed Argar said today that “it is of course possible” that yet another delay will be needed beyond July 19 due to the “Indian variant.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also acknowledged that there was no “absolute guarantee” that restrictions would be lifted on July 19.

As we highlighted last week, former Communist Party member and current government adviser Susan Michie says that mask mandates and social distancing should continue “forever” and that people should adopt such behaviour just as they did with wearing seatbelts.

A doctor who argued that the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown should remain in place indefinitely also revealed his true thoughts by letting slip the comment, “sadly, it can’t be forever.”

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment

Jessica Ashooh: The Taming of Reddit and the National Security State Plant Tabbed to Do It

How and why did a hawkish young mandarin hothoused at elite universities and in the halls of state power end up an executive at an anarchic messageboard site with an anti-establishment reputation?

Photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera
By Alan Macleod | MintPress News | June 11, 2021

Reddit is one of the world’s most influential news and social media platforms. The website attracted over 1.2 billion visits in April 2021 alone, making it the United States’ eighth most visited site, ahead of other leviathans like Twitter, Instagram and eBay. Now majority-owned by a much larger corporate publishing empire, Reddit is also far ahead of more established news sites, garnering three times the numbers of Fox News and five times those of The New York Times.

That is why it was so surprising that so little was made of the company’s decision to appoint foreign policy hawk Jessica Ashooh to the position of Director of Policy in 2017, at which time it was also the eight most visited site in the U.S. Ashooh, who had been a Middle East foreign policy wonk at NATO’s think tank the Atlantic Council, was appointed at around the same time that the Senate Select Intelligence Committee was demanding more control over the popular website, on the grounds that it was being used to spread disinformation. In her role as Director of Policy, she oversees all government relations and public policy for the company, in addition to managing content, product and advertising. Yet a Google search for “Jessica Ashooh Reddit” filtered between late 2016 and early 2017 (after she was appointed) elicits zero relevant results, meaning not one media outlet even mentioned the questionable appointment.

This is all the more hair-raising, given her resume as a high state official — all of which raises serious questions about the extent of collaboration between Silicon Valley and the national security state.

A hawk’s talons on Syria

The Atlantic Council is the de-facto brains of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and takes funding from the military alliance, as well as from the U.S. government, the U.S. military, Middle Eastern dictatorships, other Western governments, big tech companies, and weapons manufacturers. Its board of directors has been and continues to be a who’s who of high U.S. statespeople like Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as well as senior military commanders such as retired generals Wesley Clark, David Petraeus, H.R. McMaster, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the late Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and Admiral James Stavridis. At least seven former CIA directors are also on the board. As such, the council chooses to represent both political wings of the national security state.

Ashooh’s LinkedIn resume epitomizes the troubling relantionship between think tanks and big tech.

Between 2015 and 2017, Ashooh was Deputy Director of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force, working directly with and under Madeline Albright and Stephen Hadley. This is particularly noteworthy, given both these individuals’ roles in the region. As Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Albright oversaw the Iraq sanctions and the Oil for Food Program, denounced as “genocide” by the successive United Nations diplomats charged with carrying them out. In an infamous interview with 60 Minutes, Albright casually brushed off a question about her role in the killing of half a million children, stating “the price is worth it.” Meanwhile, Hadley was deputy or senior national security advisor to the government of George W. Bush throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, surely the greatest crimes against humanity thus far in the 21st century.

Ashooh appears to be as hawkish as her bosses. Her particular area of expertise is the war in Syria, regarding which she has been among the most belligerent voices, constantly calling for more American intervention to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. In a 2015 interview with Al Jazeera, she praised the U.K. government’s decision to bomb the country, claiming that the British public was “coming around” to the idea of war. A shocked interviewer asked “how will the British airstrikes [on] Syria… make the British public any safer?” Ashooh replied that it was “generally a positive decision” because “it goes a long way in improving international consensus on the way forward on Syria,” although she lamented that there wouldn’t be “much improvement in the situation without ground troops.” There will be “no political solution without a military element,” she predicted, essentially making the pitch for war.

Ashooh has also constantly praised and supported Syria’s opposition forces. In 2016, she said that she was very happy that “fighters on the ground from a number of key factions” were uniting against the “Assad regime.” She condemned Russia for claiming these opposition forces were members of terrorist groups like Al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Islam or ISIS, insisting that these were “moderate” rebels.

Of course, the idea that there was still any measurable distance between “moderate” rebels and outright militant jihadists by 2016 was hard to maintain. Even The Washington Post by this time was admitting as much, noting that so-called moderates were now so “intermingled” with al-Nusra that it was difficult to tell them apart.

Nevertheless, the New Hampshire native took to the pages of The New York Times to demand that the U.S. arm the opposition. Of course, it was already doing so, the CIA spending $1 billion per year fielding rebel mercenary armies in the conflict — with one in every 15 dollars the agency spent going to this endeavor. All of this Ashooh surely knew, yet she maintained that the West must continue to “jack up the price” of Russia defending Assad. “As long as [Assad] remains in power and remains the figurehead of the Syrian government… this conflict won’t end,” she said, laying out her regime-change-or-bust position. Just weeks before unexpectedly taking over at Reddit, Ashooh seemed to still be in full foreign-policy-hawk mode, condemning Obama in the pages of The Washington Post for his apparent softness on Syria and demanding that Trump “restore U.S. credibility” by “order[ing] targeted, punitive strikes against the Assad regime.”

Jessica Ashooh

Ashooh attends British Polo Day at Abu Dhabi’s Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club. Photo | Ahlan

Dirty war, dirty warrior

Ashooh is actually even more involved in the Syrian conflict than one might realize from her hawkish opinions alone. Between 2011 and 2015, she worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, in her own words, “[p]rovid[ing] senior decision makers with policy analysis and strategic advice, with a particular focus on Syria.”

At that time the UAE was using its enormous financial clout to arm and fund a myriad of jihadist groups attempting to overthow the secular strongman Assad and establish some kind of Islamic state. Far from a conspiracy theory, this comes straight from the horse’s mouth, as then-Vice President Joe Biden revealed in a Q&A session in 2014. The future president frankly stated:

The Saudis, the Emiratis, what were they doing?… They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. “

Under pressure, he later apologized for his loose lips.

MintPress News asked the Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs to comment on precisely what Ashooh’s role was, but they failed to respond.

Jessica Ashooh Kurdistan

Ashooh is pictured during her time as a “consultant” in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo | Academyalumni

Ashooh herself appears to have been a relatively major player in the Syrian Civil War. In her previously mentioned Washington Post article, she notes that her boss was a former Emirati Air Force General and that she was flown to Istanbul in 2013 to attend an emergency meeting with leaders of the Syrian opposition, as well as ambassadors from unnamed Arab and Western states, in order to plan a response to a reported chemical weapons attack and to help the U.S. “coordinate with the Syrian opposition.”

At the same time as she was advising the nation on Middle Eastern affairs, the UAE was widely accused of flying ISIS and al-Qaeda leaders into Yemen to help them intensify the Saudi-led onslaught on the impoverished nation and of smuggling U.S.-made weaponry — including small arms, TOW missiles and Oshkosh fighting vehicles — to the jihadist groups. While Ashooh’s writing is careful to maintain a distinction between the “moderate” rebels she supports and the fundamentalist radicals she does not, it certainly is noteworthy that the entities she worked for consistently seem to end up in league with the most regressive forces in the region. MintPress also reached out to Reddit for comment on why they appointed Ashooh, given her past history, and on the wider phenomenon of government penetration of social media. The company initially promised to issue a response to the inquiry but has not followed through with it.

Opposing some dictatorships, supporting others

Regime change is on the table for more than just one Middle Eastern nation. In a 2017 paper for the Center for the National Interest — a think tank established by former Republican President Richard Nixon and the “Godfather of Neoconservatism,” Irving Kristol — Ashooh explores the different options for forcing regime change in Iran, but concludes that overthrowing the “odious regime” is an impossible task right now, and criticizes the idea as a quixotic dream.

Nevertheless, she is far from an Iran dove. An Atlantic Council report she co-wrote insists that “Iranian interference in the Arab world must be deterred,” and that “America’s friends and partners must be reassured that the U.S. opposes Iranian hegemony and will work with them to prevent it.”

Ashooh’s commitment to fighting against Middle Eastern dictatorships might seem more principled if she did not appear so enamored of the least democratic one of them all. In 2016, she accompanied Albright and Hadley to Saudi Arabia and praised the monarchy’s dynamic leadership on the economy and its nurturing of a new generation. “It was really really exciting to see that level of energy and the level of government support for these young people who were interested in shaping their own futures… it was just wonderful,” she said. In an article about her experience for business news website Market Watch, she waxed lyrical about how forward-thinking the Saudi government is and how the country has become “a hub for the dynamic and positive change that is swelling up throughout the region.” Presumably, this excludes Yemen, a nation they were bombing relentlessly. In a 2020 interview, Ashooh revealed that her dream job would be U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. One of her earliest comments on her public Reddit page (made before she began working there) is deflecting the Kingdom from criticism of its dreadful treatment of women.

As part of the Atlantic Council, Ashooh was tasked with envisaging a new Middle East for the 21st century. Given her output, it seems that she advocates for a transition towards a more privatized, free-market economic setup, not completely unlike the shock therapy tried in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. “We have to “encourage states to make the reforms that move economies from state-based to ones that support entrepreneurship, because the age of state-based economies is over,” she said at a talk at New York University in 2015, adding:

You’ve got to move to support entrepreneurship in the region and let people take advantage of the natural industrial tendencies of people in the Middle East. My God, if you’ve ever been to a Turkish bazaar or a market in Cairo you know that these countries are perfectly capable of having functioning market economies. But the state has gotten in the way.

Ashooh’s LinkedIn profile also notes that in 2010, she worked as an advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Planning “on a variety of strategic and economic development issues,” but does not go into any more detail about what those issues were. A further biography merely states that her consultancy agency “provid[ed] strategic and management consulting services to the Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq.” Unsurprisingly, the organization has links to the U.S. military; the agency’s lead partner being a former Army captain.

Think Tankie

Ashooh comes from a relatively prominent New Hampshire family of Lebanese descent, the most notable of which is probably her uncle Richard. Richard Ashooh was Donald Trump’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and a former executive at weapons manufacturer BAE Systems. Unlike her uncle, Jessica appears to lean more Democratic, having donated money to a number of local politicians, as well as to anti-Trump Republican groups aimed at convincing them to vote blue, such as Right Side PAC and the now infamous Lincoln Project. However, she also appears to have great respect for many Republicans, having written her doctoral thesis at Oxford University on the Middle East policy of the George W. Bush administration. She also stated that the person she would have most liked to have met was 41st President George Bush Senior, describing him as possessing “incredible amounts of strategy, finesse and restraint.” Thus, her political views appear to be exactly in the center of the neoliberal “blob” in Washington.

Ashooh also worked for the right-wing think tank the CATO Institute and is a Term Member of the more Democratic-aligned Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR’s term member program is intended to, in its own words, “cultivate the next generation of foreign policy leaders.”

Surveillance Valley

How and why, then, did a hawkish young mandarin hothoused at elite universities and in the halls of state power end up an executive at an anarchic messageboard site with an anti-establishment reputation? Virtually everyone else in senior roles at Reddit has relevant backgrounds in marketing or tech, having worked with comparable companies such as Yelp, Expedia and Snapchat.

Tom Secker — a journalist, podcaster and researcher who runs SpyCulture.com, an online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry — was deeply skeptical. “That someone whose entire career has been in international relations and foreign affairs is now the senior policy wonk at Reddit is simply bizarre. Given her ties to the CFR, Atlantic Council and the like, it’s downright suspicious,” Secker told MintPress.

Underneath the surface, however, the Atlantic Council has been rapidly expanding its influence and control over big social media companies. In 2018, it announced that it would be partnering with Facebook to promote trustworthy sources and derank, demote and even delete low quality or fake news, thus effectively curating what the platform’s 2.85 billion worldwide users see in their news feeds. But the effect of recent algorithmic changes has been to throttle alternative media traffic in favor of establishment sources such as CNNFox News and The New York Times. Even such more mainstream liberal sites as Mother Jones have seen their numbers crater. Facebook later admitted that they were directly targeting Mother Jones because of its left-leaning content, raising the question that if such a middle-of-the-road liberal outlet was being penalized, wasn’t the collapse in traffic to more radical publications surely deliberate? Given the Atlantic Council’s funding and the identities of those on its board, their control over social media is tantamount to state censorship on a global level.

Earlier this year, Facebook also hired NATO press officer Ben Nimmo to be its intelligence chief, in another move that dismayed free-speech advocates. In the past, Nimmo has identified a Welsh pensioner and an internationally known Ukranian pianist as Russian bots, raising more questions about the suitability of the Atlantic Council to be an arbiter of truth online.

The Facebook-Atlantic Council link mirrors that of Microsoft with NewsGuard, a new piece of software purportedly trying to fight fake news by placing either green shields or red warning logos, corresponding to an outlet’s credibility, beside all links in its browser, Microsoft Edge — this credibility being decided entirely by NewsGuard itself. Newsguard pushed Microsoft to install the software on all its products as standard. Again, however, NewsGuard’s system rated establishment websites like Fox News and CNN as trustworthy but independent media as suspect. And again, a glance at its advisory board makes it clear that this is a state operation. Those in key positions included George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security and former NSA and CIA Director General Michael Hayden; ex-White House Communications Director Don Baer; and former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Worse still, NewsGuard is also linked to a PR agency employed in whitewashing the Saudi government’s human-rights record and its role in the carnage in Yemen.

Twitter, too, has some extremely troubling links with state power. In 2019 Gordon MacMillan, a senior Twitter executive responsible for the Middle East region, was outed as an active duty officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online operations and psychological warfare. Far from causing a scandal, only one major U.S. outlet even mentioned the story, and the journalist in question resigned from the profession weeks later, claiming the existence of a network of top-down state censors who quash stories that threaten the power and prestige of the national security state. To this day, MacMillan remains in his post at Twitter, strongly suggesting the social media company knew of his role before he was hired.

Over the past few years, Twitter, Reddit and Facebook have announced the deletion of hundreds of thousands of accounts linked to sources in Russia, Iran, China and other enemy states, often on the recommendation of Western governments or state-sponsored intelligence organizations. However, they never seem willing or able to find any manipulation of their platforms by Western governments. Thus, the upshot of this has been to slowly dissuade critics of Western foreign policy from using their services.

“The mainstream media-politik establishment has managed to get a hold over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — shadow-banning and downrating posts considered ‘Russian propaganda’ or whatever other excuse they use to marginalize perspectives and content outside of the mainstream,” Secker told MintPress. “Audiences for this sort of content are increasingly pissed off and alienated by the major social media sites.”

Increasingly, unwelcome political voices are either brushed off by centrist pundits as repeating Russian talking points or smeared as being amplified by Kremlin-based bot farms. The popularity of movements on the left like Black Lives Matter or the Bernie Sanders’ campaign were written off as partially linked to Russia, while others suggested that the January 6 insurrection in Washington was essentially a Russian operation.

The irony is that many of the wildest accusations against Putin that have fed this climate of suspicion began life in Atlantic Council documents. For example, the organization has published a series of studies that suggest that virtually every European political party challenging the neoliberal status quo in some way — from Labour and UKIP in the U.K. to Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece and PODEMOS and Vox in Spain — are secretly controlled by Russia, functioning as the “Kremlin’s Trojan Horses,” in its words.

The Atlantic Council is also deeply intertwined with a U.K. government-funded organization called the Integrity Initiative, something that purports to be a group defending democracy from disinformation. However, in practice, it appears to be doing the opposite: planting disinformation about politicians’ supposed links to Russia in order to undermine them. The Integrity Initiative is a government-backed cluster of journalists who operate in unison to conduct propaganda blitzes on unsuspecting publics. In 2018, it launched a successful operation to prevent Colonel Pedro Baños being appointed Spain’s head of national security. Considering Baños too soft on Russia for the Atlantic Council and other hawks’ liking, the initiative sprung into action, creating a storm of protest that led to another individual being chosen.

Reddit actually played a key role in a 2019 propaganda blitz against anti-war Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. A few days before the U.K.’s general election, Corbyn promoted documents leaked on the platform that showed that Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson was negotiating with American companies, putting much of the country’s National Health Service up for sale. With just days to go before polls opened, it could have proved a game changer. Reddit quickly came to Johnson’s rescue, however, asserting that the documents were part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The story in the pliant British press switched from “Boris Johnson is selling off the NHS” to “Corbyn promotes Russian disinfo,” thus greasing the skids for an easy victory for the hardline anti-Russia Conservative Party, an outcome the hawks at the Atlantic Council were no doubt relieved by, given Corbyn’s open skepticism about war, empire and nuclear weapons. The veracity of the documents was not challenged.

For a while…

Founded in 2005, Reddit has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most influential websites. However, it began life as an anarchistic messageboard whose culture was profoundly libertarian and anti-establishment. For years, the company’s administrators took a near free speech absolutist position. Aaron Swartz, Reddit’s co-founder, was an open source hacktivist and even attempted to download and publish the entirety of academic publisher Jstor’s library. When authorities got wind of what he was doing, they threatened him with 40 years in prison, an action that caused him to take his own life in 2013.

Reddit’s own position on free information and free speech was often so extreme it caused huge controversy. The site became the internet’s largest source of child pornography. It was only after CNN began reporting on it to a nationwide audience that things began to change. Other, grossly offensive communities like /r/BeatingWomen and /r/CoonTown were also protected.

Nevertheless, the culture established by anarchistic tech bros remained for some years, with the site resembling darker corners of the internet like 4Chan and 8Chan as much as more family-friendly mainstream social media like Facebook.

Ashooh’s arrival in 2017 coincided with a new era in the site’s history. Gone were the days of protecting communities that would bring in bad publicity. Her team quickly brought in a new content policy and began to delete communities that violated it. Last year, she oversaw the banning of over 2,000 communities in a single day, including /r/The_Donald, the main Donald Trump subreddit, and /r/ChapoTrapHouse, the most active left-wing community. These decisions have helped the money flow in; since 2017 revenue has more than tripled.

However, what has been lost across the internet is the liberatory potential of these technologies. In the 1990s and 2000s, many predicted that the internet would usher in a new era of egalitarianism and genuine democracy, helping even to reduce barriers and tensions between nations. For a while, the new medium allowed political actors to challenge the status quo and gain huge followings quickly. Alternative media was easily outperforming legacy media, and challenging the status quo when it came to news. Seeing that, the reaction since 2016 has been swift, as the elite have moved to retighten their grip over the means of communication. Ashooh’s jump from national security state official to Reddit Director of Policy is just one more point of reference on that chart.

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles

June 13, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1,295 DEAD in UK Following COVID Bioweapon Shots – Italy Halts AstraZeneca Shots After Teen Dies

By Brian Shilhavy | Health Impact News | June 11, 2021

The UK Government’s reporting system for COVID vaccine adverse reactions from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency released their latest report yesterday, June 10, 2021.

The report covers data collected from December 9, 2020, through June 2, 2021, for the three experimental COVID “vaccines” currently in use in the U.K. from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.

They report a total of 1,295 deaths and 922,596 injuries recorded following the experimental COVID injections.

Here are the breakdowns from the three shots:

  • AstraZeneca: 863 deaths and 717,250 injuries. (Source.)
  • Pfizer- BioNTech: 406 deaths and 193,768 injuries. (Source.)
  • Moderna: 3 deaths and 9243 injuries. (Source.)
  • Unspecified COVID-19 injections: 22 deaths and 2335 injuries. (Source.)

Meanwhile, Italy announced today that it was halting use of the AstraZeneca injections for people under the age of 60, following the death of a teenager who died from blood clots.

June 12, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 4 Comments

The NHS just changed how they count Covid “cases”… here’s why

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | June 11, 2021

The UK’s National Health Service has received new instructions from the government on how it should record Covid19 “cases”, separating those who are actually sick from those who just test positive.

From the beginning of the “pandemic” last spring, the NHS (and other countries all over the world) have defined a “case” as anyone who tests positive for the Sars-Cov-2 virus, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.

Given that as many as 80% of those who have been infected have no symptoms, and the propensity for the flawed PCR tests to return false-positive results, this lead to likely massively inflated numbers of “cases”.

Now, though, the NHS is going to attempt to differentiate between patients who actually have the alleged disease “Covid19”, and those who are in hospital for other reasons and only “incidentally” tested positive for the virus.

According to a report in the Independent [emphasis added]:

NHS England has instructed hospitals to make the change to the daily flow of data sent by NHS trusts […] Hospitals have been told to change the way they collect data on patients infected with coronavirus to differentiate between those actually sick with symptoms and those who test positive while seeking treatment for something else.

The distinction between “with” and “from” in Covid deaths – and “with” and “for” in hospitalisations – has been one Covid sceptics all over the world have been keen to make for over a year, but this is the first time any institution has really recognised the difference. And, certainly, it’s the first time any healthcare service has endeavoured to actually catalogue them differently.

So what does the NHS expect the impact of this change to be? Again, from the Independent:

One NHS source said the new data would be “more realistic” as not all patients were sick with the virus, adding: “But it will make figures look better as there have always been some, for example stroke [patients], who also had Covid as an incidental finding”.

That’s a frank admission, and an important one.

For the last eighteen months, voices all over the alternate media have been saying the Covid numbers are unrealistic, specifically because they include people who were never actually sick. We have been called “deniers” and “conspiracy theorists” for our trouble.

But now an NHS source has actually said, going forward, the Covid data will be “more realistic” as it will discount all the patients where Covid was only “an incidental finding”. This is a bigger story than the media coverage suggests – only the Indy and Telegraph are covering it right now, and neither with the focus it deserves.

NHS England is, essentially, tucking away a covert admission that a lot of their fear-mongering statistics were never “realistic”.

Why would they do this? And why now?

Well, here’s what they claim [emphasis added]:

[The NHS said] the move was being done to help analyse the effect of the vaccine programme and whether it was successfully reducing Covid-19 sickness.

But it doesn’t really make any sense, when you think about it.

It will “help analyse the effect of the vaccine programme”? How so?

How does changing the definition at this point possibly help “analyse” anything? Doesn’t it confuse the issue?

Won’t it, in fact, effectively reduce the numbers of official “covid cases”? Doesn’t making the numbers “look better”, at this stage, make the “vaccine” appear more effective?

It’s also important to note that the changes in data collection will only apply to new patients, it will not be retroactive. Prof Keith Willett, NHS England’s Covid incident director, was very clear on that in a quote for the Telegraph [emphasis added]:

In lay terms this could be considered as a binary split between those in hospital ‘for Covid-19’ and those in hospital ‘with Covid-19’. We are asking for this binary split for those patients newly admitted to hospital and those newly diagnosed with Covid while in hospital.”

So, the old (and now admitted unrealistic) data, will not be subject to change. The Covid “case” numbers before June 7th are etched in stone – everyone who tested positive was a “case”.

But after June 7th they will be separating Covid cases who are actually hospitalised due to Covid19, from other patients who only have “incidental covid”.

Any good scientist will tell you you can’t change the way you measure or collect your data halfway through an experiment, and you can’t compare data gathered in one way to data gathered in another. That is not “analysing the effect” of anything, it’s altering the experiment conditions.

The difference between “with” and “for” has always existed, but by applying that filter only to new data they will make it appear that it’s a new phenomenon, caused by the vaccination programme.

It is incredibly bad science.

… but it’s also totally in keeping with the trend of altering Covid practices to create the impression the “vaccine” is having a positive impact.

We’ve already reported that WHO changed their Covid diagnosis guidelines, and their PCR test guidelines, in late 2020 and early 2021, right in line with the first vaccination programs being launched. The US CDC has likewise been repeatedly fiddling their definition of “breakthrough infection” in order to make the vaccines appear more effective.

This NHS change is just more of the same – altering the experimental conditions to achieve the desired outcome. A total, complete inversion of the scientific method, by the same people who zealously scream about “following the science”.

It is deliberate manipulation of the data, being done brazenly in the public eye.

But what impact will it actually have? Throughout the pandemic, how many patients were ever sick with only Covid, and how many had cancer, or a stroke or Alzheimers along with “incidental covid”?

Well, official figures on deaths have shown that well over 80% of so-called “Covid deaths” had at least one serious pre-existing condition, and Bernard Marx did a great breakdown of how the cause of death figures are manipulated. But that’s deaths, what about hospital admissions?

Although only anecdotal, we have been sent results of several Freedom of Information Act requests that UK citizens submitted to their local NHS trusts. These FOI requests ask for the number of people currently in hospital being treated for Covid, or numbers who died solely due to Covid or variations on that theme. Here’s 1234 them. There are a lot more available.

The numbers are uniformly small. So, it’s entirely possible that, under this new method of “analysis”, the NHS’s list of “Covid cases” will shrink to almost nothing.

Don’t worry though, should that happen we will likely never be told about it, because NHS England has made it quite plain that they might never release this data to the public. Both the Independent and Telegraph say so, with almost word-for-word the exact same sentence:

NHS England has not yet confirmed whether the data will be made public, as it must be checked and verified first.

They need to “check” and “verify” the data before we’re allowed to see it, huh? It’s almost as if they’ve got something to hide.

June 12, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 1 Comment

Tony Blair Suggests Unvaccinated Should Remain Under Lockdown Restrictions

Says June 21st date can only be met if two groups are treated differently

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | June 11, 2021

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair implied that those who choose not to be vaccinated should be discriminated against by remaining under lockdown restrictions if the UK’s June 21st “freedom day” is to be accomplished.

During an interview with ITV News, Blair was asked if he would delay the June 21st deadline, when all social distancing, mask mandates and other lockdown rules are supposed to come to an end.

Blair said that if the data suggested the June 21st date was at risk, the government should “look again at distinguishing between those people who are vaccinated and those people who aren’t because it really makes no sense to treat the two groups as if they’re the same.”

The former Labour leader then attempted to offer a rebuttal to those who would describe this as discrimination, but only succeeded in affirming that he is advocating for discrimination against the unvaccinated.

“If someone simply chooses not to get vaccinated, I mean frankly that’s their choice, you’re not discriminating against them, they’ve chosen not to do it,” said Blair.

In other words, Blair is suggesting that people who haven’t taken the vaccine should be punished by remaining under lockdown rules while the rest of the population gets their freedoms back.

Blair’s agenda in advocating discrimination against the unvaccinated isn’t surprising given that he has been aggressively pushing the use of vaccine passports for almost a year.

Back in January, Blair asserted that Britain should take the lead in presiding over a global vaccine passport system.

“It’s going to be a new world altogether,” Blair proclaimed, adding “The sooner we grasp that and start to put in place the decisions [needed for a] deep impact over the coming years the better.”

June 12, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 1 Comment

At G7, Joe Biden and Boris Johnson sign charter committing to defend against “disinformation”

A sign of more censorship to come?

By Tom Parker | Reclaim the Net | June 10, 2021

At the 2021 G7 summit, an annual meeting attended by seven wealthy democracies, US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a charter that vows to collectively defend against a series of “new and old challenges” including “disinformation.”

The charter is a “revitalized” version of the original 1941 Atlantic Charter declaration that was released by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill on August 14, 1941 and provided a broad statement of US and British World War II aims.

This new version of the charter says that it will build on “the commitments and aspirations set out eighty years ago,” affirm the US and UK’s “ongoing commitment to sustaining our enduring values and defending them against new and old challenges,” and counter “the efforts of those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions.”

It contains eight broad commitments with the third commitment containing a pledge against disinformation.

“We oppose interference through disinformation or other malign influences, including in elections, and reaffirm our commitment to debt transparency, sustainability and sound governance of debt relief,” the charter states.

We obtained a copy of the new Atlantic Charter for you here.

This new version of the Atlantic Charter doesn’t detail how the duo plan to fight what they deem to be disinformation but follows both countries signaling that they plan further crackdowns on online content based on censorship buzzwords such as disinformation and “misinformation.”

During a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters “the President’s view is that the major platforms have a responsibility related to the health and safety of all Americans to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation, and misinformation, especially related to COVID-19, vaccinations, and elections.”

She added: “His view is that there’s more that needs to be done to ensure that this type of misinformation; disinformation; damaging, sometimes life-threatening information is not going out to the American public.”

In the UK, efforts to censor disinformation are coming through a new draft “Online Safety Bill” which intends to block social media sites in the country if they fail to take down disinformation or “legal but harmful content.”

June 11, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 3 Comments

Belfast urges expulsion of Israeli envoys from UK, Ireland

Press TV – June 6, 2021

The City Council of Belfast in Northern Ireland has approved a motion calling on the governments of the UK and Ireland to expel Israeli ambassadors over the occupying regime’s crimes against the Palestinians.

The document, passed with votes from left-wing parties, urged Belfast municipality to call on London and Dublin “to expel from office Israeli ambassadors, with immediate effect.”

Speaking at the voting session, Socialist councilor Fiona Ferguson said, “I think the expulsion of ambassadors is a first step – a preliminary step – to greater action, but it’s an incredibly important and symbolic step.”

Ferguson, who has tabled the motion, demanded that the UK and Ireland lead by example and answer “the call from Palestinians across the world who have asked for ambassadors to be expelled.”

The resolution states that Israel’s military operation in Gaza amounts to the “ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians” and that the regime’s “illegal settlement expansion, represents flagrant breaches of international law.”

It further says normal cooperation with Tel Aviv is “untenable” at a time when “a growing list of human rights organizations has determined that Israel’s actions amount to apartheid.”

“The council recognizes the rich history of solidarity and activism in this city from all communities for Palestine, including very recently when a huge demonstration called for an end to Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians; and that such solidarity on the part of our citizens can be an important tool in dismantling support for Israel’s actions,” the motion reads.

Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian students and activists staged a sit-in protest in front of the Irish Foreign Ministry in Dublin.

They blocked the entrance to the ministry, waving signs urging Ireland to expel the Israeli envoy.

Tel Aviv launched the bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10, after Palestinian retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Apparently caught off guard by unprecedented rocket barrages from Gaza, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 260 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli offensive, including 66 children and 39 women, and 1948 others were wounded.

June 6, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Notorious London Spy School Churning Out Many of the World’s Top Journalists

The Maughan Library Gate at Kings College London, UK. David JC | Alamy
By Alan MacLeod | MintPress News | June 4, 2021

LONDON — In a previous investigationMintPress News explored how one university department, the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, functions as a school for spooks. Its teaching posts are filled with current or former NATO officials, army officers and intelligence operatives to churn out the next generation of spies and intelligence officers. However, we can now reveal an even more troubling product the department produces: journalists. An inordinate number of the world’s most influential reporters, producers and presenters, representing many of the most well-known and respected outlets — including The New York TimesCNN and the BBC — learned their craft in the classrooms of this London department, raising serious questions about the links between the fourth estate and the national security state.

National security school

Increasingly, it appears, intelligence agencies the world over are beginning to appreciate agents with a strong academic background. A 2009 study published by the CIA described how beneficial it is to “use universities as a means of intelligence training,” writing that, “exposure to an academic environment, such as the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, can add several elements that may be harder to provide within the government system.”

The paper, written by two King’s College staffers, boasted that the department’s faculty has “extensive and well-rounded intelligence experience.” This was no exaggeration. Current Department of War Studies educators include the former Secretary General of NATO, former U.K. Minister of Defense, and military officers from the U.K, U.S. and other NATO countries. “I deeply appreciate the work that you do to train and to educate our future national security leaders, many of whom are in this audience,” said then-U.S. Secretary of Defense (and former CIA Director) Leon Panetta in a speech at the department in 2013.

King’s College London also admits to having a number of ongoing contracts with the British state, including with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), but refuses to divulge the details of those agreements.

American connections

Although a British university, King’s College markets itself heavily to American students. There are currently 1,265 Americans enrolled, making up about 4% of the student body. Many graduates of the Department of War Studies go on to attain powerful positions in major American media outlets. Andrew Carey, CNN’s Bureau Chief in Jerusalem, for example, completed a master’s there in 2012. Carey’s coverage of the latest Israeli attack on Gaza has presented the apartheid state as “responding” to Hamas rocket attacks, rather than being the instigator of violence. A leaked internal memo Carey sent to his staff last month at the height of the bombardment instructed them to always include the fact that the Gazan Ministry of Health is overseen by Hamas, lest readers begin to believe the well-documented Palestinian casualty figures brought on by days of bombing. “We need to be transparent about the fact that the Ministry of Health in Gaza is run by Hamas. Consequently, when we cite latest casualty numbers and attribute to the health ministry in Gaza, we need to include the fact that it is Hamas run,” read his instructions.


Carey leaked memo

King’s College alumnus turned CNN Jerusalem bureau chief Andrew Carey instructed reporters on how to cover Israel’s latest assault on Gaza

Once publicized, his comments elicited considerable pushback. “This is a page straight out of Israel’s playbook. It serves to justify the attack on civilians and medical facilities,” commented Al-Jazeera Senior Presenter and Producer Dena Takruri.

The New York Times, the United States’ most influential newspaper, has also employed Department of War Studies alumni. Christiaan Triebert (M.A., 2016), for example, is a journalist on their visual investigations team. He even won a Pulitzer Prize for “Revelations about Russia and Vladimir Putin’s aggressive actions in countries including Syria and Europe.” Hiring students from the school for spooks to bash Russia appears to be a common Times tactic, as it also employed Lincoln Pigman between 2016 and 2018 at its Moscow bureau.

Josh Smith, senior correspondent for influential news agency Reuters and formerly its correspondent in Afghanistan, also graduated from the department in question, as did The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Ford.

Arguably the most influential media figure from the university, however, is Ruaridh Arrow. Arrow was a producer at many of the U.K.’s largest news channels, including Channel 4Sky News and the BBC, where he was world duty editor and senior producer on Newsnight, the network’s flagship political show. In 2019, Arrow left the BBC to become an executive producer at NBC News.

The British invasion

Unsurprisingly for a university based in London, the primary journalistic destination for Department of War Studies graduates is the United Kingdom. Indeed, the BBC, the country’s powerful state broadcaster, is full of War Studies alumni. Arif Ansari, head of news at the BBC Asian Networkcompleted a masters analyzing the Syrian Civil War in 2017 and was soon selected for a leadership development scheme, placing him in charge of a team of 25 journalists who curate news primarily geared toward the substantial Middle Eastern and South Asian communities in Great Britain.

Many BBC employees begin studying at King’s years after their careers have already taken off, and balance their professional lives with pursuing new qualifications. Ahmed Zaki, Senior Broadcast Journalist at BBC Global News, began his master’s six years after he started at the BBC. Meanwhile, Ian MacWilliam — who spent ten years at BBC World Service, the country’s official news broadcast worldwide, specializing in sensitive regions like Russia, Afghanistan and Central Asia — decided to study at King’s more than 30 years after completing his first degree.

Another influential War Studies alumnus at the World Service is Aliaume Leroy, producer for its Africa Eye program. Well-known BBC News presenter Sophie Long also graduated from the department, working for Reuters and ITN before joining the state broadcaster.

“It’s an open secret that King’s College London Department of War Studies operates as the finishing school for Anglo-American securocrats. So it’s maybe not a surprise that graduates of its various military and intelligence courses also enter into a world of corporate journalism that exists to launder the messaging of these same ‘security’ agencies,” Matt Kennard — an investigative journalist for Declassified U.K. who has previously exposed the university’s connections to the British state — told MintPress. “It is, however, a real and present danger to democracy. The university imprimatur gives the department’s research the patina of independence while it works, in reality, as the unofficial research arm of the U.K. Ministry of Defence,” he added.


Neri Zilber

Israeli writer and King’s College alumnus Neri Zilber has bylines in many of the media’s most important outlets

The Department of War Studies also trains many international journalists and commentators, including Nicholas Stuart of the Canberra Times (Australia); Pakistani writer Ayesha Siddiqa, whose work can be found in The New York TimesAl-JazeeraThe Hindu and many other outlets; and Israeli writer Neri Zilber, a contributor to The Daily BeastThe GuardianForeign Policy and Politico.

What’s it all about?

Why are so many influential figures in our media being hothoused in a department well known for its connections to state power, for its faculty being active or former military or government officials, and for producing spies and operatives for various three-letter agencies? The point of this is not to allege that these journalists are all secretly card-carrying spooks: they are not. Rather, it is to highlight the alarmingly close links between the national security state and the fourth estate we rely on to be a check on their power and to hold them accountable.

Journalists trained in this sort of environment are far more likely to see the world in the same manner as their professors do. And perhaps they would be less likely to challenge state power when the officials they are scrutinizing were their classmates or teachers.

These sorts of questions abound when such a phenomenon exists: Why are so many journalists choosing to study at this particular department, and why do so many go on to be so influential? Are they being vetted by security agencies, with or without their knowledge? How independent are they? Will they just repeat British and American state talking points, as the Department of War Studies’ publications do?

On the question of vetting, the BBC admitted that, at least until the 1990s, it conspired with domestic spying agency MI5 to make sure that people with left-wing and/or anti-war leanings, or views critical of British foreign policy and empire were secretly blocked from being hired. When pressed on whether this policy is still ongoing, the broadcaster refused to comment, citing “security issues” — a response that is unlikely to reassure skeptics.

“While it strikes me as very interesting that a single academic institution could play such a major role in the recruitment of pro-establishment activist intellectuals and delivery of the same to the media, it is not so surprising,” Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State’s School of Media and Communication and an expert in collusion between government and media, told MintPress, adding:

Elite institutions in the past and doubtless still today have been major playgrounds for intelligence services. The history of the modern nation-state generally, not just the USA, seems to suggest that national unity — and therefore elite safety — is regarded by elites as achievable only through careful management and often suppression or diversion of dissent. Far more resources are typically committed to this than many citizens, drilled in the propaganda of democracy, realize or care to concede.

The Bellingcat Boys

While the journalists cataloged above are not spooks, some other Department of War Studies figures working in journalism could possibly be described as such, particularly those around the influential and increasingly notorious investigative website Bellingcat.

Cameron Colquhoun, for instance, spent almost a decade at GCHQ, Britain’s version of the NSA, where he was a senior analyst running cyber and counter-terrorism operations. He holds qualifications from both King’s College London and the State Department. This background is not disclosed in his Bellingcat profile, which merely describes him as the managing director of a private intelligence company that “conduct[s] ethical investigations” for clients around the world.

Bellingcat’s senior investigator Nick Waters spent four years as an officer in the British Army, including a tour in Afghanistan, where he furthered the British state’s objectives in the region. After that, he joined the Department of War Studies and Bellingcat.

For the longest time, Bellingcat’s founder Eliot Higgings dismissed charges that his organization was funded by the U.S. government’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) — a CIA cutout organization — as a ridiculous “conspiracy.” Yet by 2017, he was admitting that it was true. A year later, Higgins joined the Department of War Studies as a visiting research associate. Between 2016 and 2019 he was also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the brains behind the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Higgins appears to have used the university department as a recruiting ground, commissioning other War Studies graduates, such as Jacob Beeders and the aforementioned Christiaan Triebert and Aliaume Leroy, to write for his site.

Bellingcat is held in very high regard by the CIA. “I don’t want to be too dramatic, but we love [Bellingcat],” said Marc Polymeropoulos, the agency’s former deputy chief of operations for Europe and Eurasia. Other officers explained that Bellingcat could be used to outsource and legitimize anti-Russia talking points. “The greatest value of Bellingcat is that we can then go to the Russians and say ‘there you go’ [when they ask for evidence],” added former CIA Chief of Station Daniel Hoffman.

Bellingcaught

A recent MintPress investigation explored how Bellingcat acts to launder national security state talking points into the mainstream under the guise of being neutral investigative journalists themselves.

Newly leaked documents show how BellingcatReuters and the BBC were covertly cooperating with the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to undermine the Kremlin and promote regime change in Moscow. This included training journalists and promoting explicitly anti-Russian media across Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the FCO notedBellingcat had been “somewhat discredited,” as it constantly spread disinformation and was willing to produce reports for anyone with money.

Nevertheless, a new European Parliament proposal published last month recommends hiring Bellingcat to assist in producing reports that would lay the groundwork for sanctioning Russia, for throwing it out of international bodies, and to “assist Russia’s transformation into a democracy.” In other words, to overthrow the government of Vladimir Putin.

An academic journalistic nexus

The Department of War Studies is also part of this pro-NATO, anti-Russia group. Quite apart from being staffed by soldiers, spooks and government officials, it puts out influential reports advising Western governments on foreign and defense policy. For instance, a study entitled “The future strategic direction of NATO” advises that member states must increase their military budgets and allow American nuclear weapons to be stored in their countries, thereby “shar[ing] the burden.” It also recommended that NATO must redouble its commitment to opposing Russia while warning that it needed urgently to form a “coherent policy” on the Chinese threat.

Other War Studies reports claim that Russia is carrying out “information-psychological warfare” through its state channels RT and Sputnik, and counsel that the West must use its technical means to prevent its citizens from consuming this foreign propaganda.

King’s College London academics have also proven crucial in keeping dissident publisher Julian Assange imprisoned. A psychiatrist who has worked with the War Studies department testified in court that the Australian was suffering only “moderate” depression and that his suicide risk was “manageable,” concluding that extraditing him to the United States “would not be unjust.” As Matt Kennard’s investigation found, the U.K. Ministry of Defence had provided £2.2 million ($3.1 million) in funding to the institute where he worked (although the psychiatrist in question claimed his work was not directly funded by the MoD).

King’s College London markets the War Studies department to both graduates and undergraduates as a stepping stone towards a career in journalism. In its “career prospects” section for its master’s course in war studies, it tells interested students that “graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MoD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more.”

Likewise, undergraduates are told that:

You will gain an in-depth and sophisticated understanding of war and international relations, both as subjects worthy of study and as intellectual preparation for the widest possible range of career choices, including in government, journalism, research, and humanitarian and international organisations.

Courses such as “New Wars, New Media, New Journalism” fuse together journalism and intelligence and are overseen by War Studies academics.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the department has taught many influential politicians, including foreign heads of state and members of the British parliament. But at least there is considerable overlap between the fields of defense policy and politics. The fact that the very department that trains high state officials and agents of secretive three letter agencies is also the place that produces many of the journalists we rely on to stand up to those officials and keep them in check is seriously problematic.

An unhealthy respect for authority

Unfortunately, rather than challenging power, many modern media outlets amplify its message uncritically. State officials and intelligence officers are among the least trustworthy sources, journalistically speaking. Yet many of the biggest stories in recent years have been based on nothing except the hearsay of officials who would not even put their names to their claims.

The level of credulity modern journalists have for the powerful was summed up by former CNN White House Correspondent Michelle Kosinski, who last month stated that:

As an American journalist, you never expect:

  • Your own govt to lie to you, repeatedly
  • Your own govt to hide information the public has a right to know
  • Your own govt to spy on your communications

Unfortunately, credulity stretches into outright collaboration with intelligence in some cases. Leaked emails show that the Los Angeles Times’ national security reporter Ken Dilanian sent his articles directly to the CIA to be edited before they were published. Far from hurting his career, however, Dilanian is now a correspondent covering national security issues for NBC News.

Boyd-Barrett said that governments are dependent on “the assistance of a penetrated, colluding and docile mainstream media which of late — and in the context of massive confusion over Internet disinformation campaigns, real and alleged — appear ever more problematic guardians of the public right to know.”

In recent years, the national security state has increased its influence over social media giants as well. In 2018, Facebook and the Atlantic Council entered a partnership whereby the Silicon Valley giant partially outsourced curation of its 2.8 billion users’ news feeds to the Council’s Digital Forensics Lab, supposedly to help stop the spread of fake news online. The result, however, has been the promotion of “trustworthy” corporate media outlets like Fox News and CNN and the penalization of independent and alternative sources, which have seen their traffic decrease precipitously. Earlier this year, Facebook also hired former NATO press officer and current Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Ben Nimmo to be its chief of intelligence. Reddit’s Director of Policy is also a former Atlantic Council official.

Meanwhile, in 2019, a senior Twitter executive for the Middle East region was unmasked as an active duty officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, its unit dedicated to psychological operations and online warfare. The most notable thing about this event was the almost complete lack of attention it received from the mainstream press. Coming at a time when foreign interference online was perhaps the number one story dominating the news cycle, only one major outlet, Newsweek, even mentioned it. Furthermore, the reporter who covered the story left his job just weeks later, citing stifling top-down censorship and a culture of deference to national security interests.

The purpose of this article is not to accuse any of those mentioned of being intelligence agency plants (although at least one person did actually work as an intel officer). The point is rather to highlight that we now have a media landscape where many of the West’s most influential journalists are being trained by exactly the same people in the same department as the next generation of national security operatives.

It is hardly a good look for a healthy, open democracy that so many spies, government officials, and journalists trusted to hold them accountable on our behalf are all being shot out of the very same cannon. Learning side by side has helped to create a situation where the fourth estate has become overwhelmingly deferential to the so-called deep state, where anonymous official’s words are taken as gospel. The Department of War Studies is just one part of this wider phenomenon.T

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles

June 5, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do SAGE Members Calling for Lockdown to be Extended Beyond June 21st Not Believe the Vaccines Work?

By Will Jones • Lockdown Sceptics •  June 1, 2021

So do the vaccines not work then? That’s certainly the impression you’d get from the way various members of SAGE are carrying on, warning of new waves and new variants and the need to delay the end of lockdown even further (completely ignoring the fact that half of America is now open without any problems so far).

As Sherelle Jacobs asks in the Telegraph, why is the debate continuing as though nothing has changed despite half the country – the most vulnerable half – being vaccinated?

Instead of discussing how quickly vaccines could spell the end of restrictions, the commentariat fixates on the risk of another wave as if absolutely nothing has changed. Somehow, despite low deaths, the Indian variant rather than the vaccine has become the game changer.

We have become wearily used to these media interventions from SAGE members in the build-up to key decisions around lockdowns, usually pushing some skewed version of the scientific evidence to frighten the public and pile pressure on the Government to tighten or maintain restrictions. This was bad enough in the autumn before the vaccines were on the scene, but now it leaves you wondering if they know something we don’t about how well the vaccines prevent death and serious disease.

The Government has been continually putting out new research showing how effective the vaccines are, including against the Indian variant, and while I have written on a number of occasions about the shortcomings of these studies, I had been assuming that the vaccines do work, or at least that the Government and its scientists believe they work. With all this talk of third waves and extending lockdown, you have to wonder.

The latest line to justify extending the lockdown is from NERVTAG member Professor Ravi Gupta, who argues for just a few more weeks to let more people get vaccinated, saying there are signs an “explosive” third wave is on the horizon.

Yet according to the latest figures, 51.3% of the adult population has now had one vaccine dose and 31.4% has had two. Over 90% of the over-70s are now fully vaccinated.

The vaccines are supposed to be up to 90% effective at preventing symptomatic infection, including in the over-65s. They are also claimed to be a 90% effective at preventing hospitalisation or death (though presumably their efficacy is reduced somewhat in the frail elderly). This means any new “surge” will have something like one tenth of the infections of earlier waves, while hospitalisations and deaths should be up to a hundred times less – a non-event in infectious disease terms. While these are likely overestimates of vaccine effectiveness, especially among those most susceptible to the disease, there is also naturally acquired immunity and prior immunity that will help to bring the disease burden down.

However you look at it, if the vaccines are going to do their thing then they are already doing it and there’s no point postponing the unlocking. If they’re not working then there’s nothing we can do about it now anyway so we might as well get back to living fully. Either way, the SAGE prophets of doom should be roundly ignored.

June 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

All British children have plutonium in their teeth, from Sellafield nuclear plant

By Antony Barnett | The Guardian | November 30, 2003

The Government has admitted for the first time that Sellafield ‘is a source of plutonium contamination’ across the country. Public Health Minister Melanie Johnson has revealed that a study funded by the Department of Health discovered that the closer a child lived to Sellafield, the higher the levels of plutonium found in their teeth.

Johnson said: ‘Analysis indicated that concentrations of plutonium… decreased with increasing distance from the west Cumbrian coast and its Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant – suggesting this plant is a source of plutonium contamination in the wider population.’ Johnson claimed the levels of plutonium are so minute that there is no health risk to the public. But this is disputed by scientists, MPs and environmental campaigners who have called for an immediate inquiry into how one of the world’s most dangerous materials has been allowed to continue to contaminate children’s teeth. There have long been claims of clusters of childhood leukaemia around Sellafield.

In the late 1990s researchers collected more than 3,000 molars extracted from young teenagers across the country during dental treatment and analysed them. To their surprise they found traces of plutonium in all the teeth including those from children in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Alarmingly, they discovered that those living closer to Sellafield had more than twice the amount of those living 140 miles away.

Plutonium is a man-made radioactive material and the only source of it in Britain is from Sellafield. The plant, which reprocesses nuclear fuel from reactors, still discharges plutonium into the Irish Sea.

The original research was carried out in 1997 by Professor Nick Priest who was working for the UK Atomic Energy Authority. At the time the conclusions of the research received little attention because the study concluded that the contamination levels were so minuscule they were thought to pose an ‘insignificant’ health risk.

But earlier this year the Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters, looking at health risks posed by radioactive materials, examined Priest’s study. Some of the committee’s members have now cast doubt on the conclusions that plutonium in children’s teeth posed no health risk. Professor Eric Wright, of Dundee University Medical School, is one of the country’s leading experts on blood disorders and a member of the committee. He believes that the tiny specks of plutonium in children’s teeth caused by Sellafield radioactive pollution might lead to some people falling ill with cancer.

He said: ‘There are genuine concerns that the risks from internal emitters of radiation are more hazardous [than previously thought]. The real question is by how much. Is it two or three times more risky… or more than a hundred?’

Wright believes that, while the plutonium contamination is unlikely to pose a health risk to much of the British population, it might be a problem for some individuals.

He said: ‘If somebody has a bad collection of genes which means their body cannot deal with small levels of internal radioactive material, then there could be an issue.’

Wright’s comments, coming on top of the admission from the Health Minister, have led to calls for an independent inquiry. Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Norman Baker said: ‘[This] stinks of a cover-up. They have known for six years that Sellafield has contaminated the population with plutonium but done nothing. Yet the plant continues to discharge plutonium into the Irish Sea. It shows the wanton disregard the nuclear industry has for public health and there needs to be an independent inquiry.’

Janine Allis-Smith of the campaign group Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment said: ‘There is no safe amount of plutonium. The plant must be closed down immediately.’

May 30, 2021 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Brits protest outside BAE Systems for weapons sales to Israel

By Ahmed Kaballo – Press TV – May 28, 2021

London – Hundreds of pro-Palestine protestors gathered outside the BAE Systems factory in Blackburn in the north of England, to call upon the weapons manufacturer to stop supplying components for F-35 fighter jets that have been used in the recent bombardment of Gaza.

The protest came on the back of one the largest pro-Palestine demonstrations in British history on Saturday and similar demonstrations throughout the week led by Palestine action groups who have been protesting outside the Israeli-owned Elbit Systems factory that provides drones, weapons, and military hardware to the Israeli army.

We have seen protests in Leicester, Tamworth, Oldham, and today in Blackburn as the anger amongst the British public begins to swell at the thought that UK weapons have been used by the Israeli army to kill Palestinian children.

It has become increasingly clear that the British government’s unwavering support for Israel is not representative of the feeling on the ground with more than 383,000 Brits calling on their government to sanction the Israeli regime for their crimes against the Palestinian people.

But while the UK remains complicit through the hundreds of millions of pounds worth of weapons sold to the Israeli army. Some might wonder if the UK should also be held accountable.

May 28, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Shocking! – Latest update on adverse reactions to the Covid Vaccines in the USA released by CDC

THE DAILY EXPOSE • May 23, 2021 

The number of reported adverse reactions to the Covid vaccines in the USA surpassed 200,000 according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data comes directly from reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.

Every Friday, VAERS makes public all vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date, usually about a week prior to the release date. The latest data shows that between the 14th December 2020 and the 14th May 2021, a total of 227,805 total adverse events were reported to VAERS, including 4,201 deaths — an increase of 144 over the previous week — and 18,528 serious injuries, up 1,338 on the previous week.

This data also showed 943 total adverse events, including 23 rated as serious, among 12- to -17-year-olds.

In the U.S., 268.4 million COVID vaccine doses had been administered as of May 14. This includes 115 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, 144 million doses of Pfizer and 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID vaccine. […]

The latest VAERS data shows:

There have also been 822,845 adverse reactions to the Covid vaccines in the UK alongside 1,180 unnecessary deaths, you can read our latest analysis of the UK report here.

May 28, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments