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Don’t Talk to the Police

Regent University School of Law | March 20, 2012

Regent Law Professor James Duane gives viewers startling reasons why they should always exercise their 5th Amendment rights when questioned by government officials.

Download his article on the topic at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf….

October 14, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 6 Comments

Hypersensitivity and hypocrisy reduce leftist critics of Israel to collaborators

By Greg Felton | October 8, 2018

The most disturbing aspect of the U.S.’s subservience to Israel is that it has gone on for so long. Ever since Harry Truman accepted that $2 million bribe to support the “creation” of Israel in 1948, Israel and its multi-tentacled lobbies have extorted hundreds of billions of dollars in military and other forms of tribute, which it uses to terrorize and murder civilian populations; meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans go without medical care, livable housing, honest banking or decent education.

Thanks to the coercive power of the Lobby, the U.S. is no longer even recognizable as a republic. “Congress,” as Pat Buchanan famously observed, “is Israeli occupied territory.” This occupation is so blatant and unapologetic that one might have expected popular uprisings and demands for treason trials long before now, but Zionist subversion has become so normalized and pervasive that it is invisible, even accepted, by the mass public.

It is true that some brave Americans denounce the Zionization of America and condemn Israel’s genocide of Palestine, but their efforts are largely ineffectual. Much of the reason has to do with language. The shibboleth “anti-Semite”––a meaningless, artificial term––is reflexively hurled to smear anyone who stands up for Israel’s victims or condemns Israel’s atrocities. This intimidation has metastasized throughout all aspects of American (and Canadian) society, which makes the Lobby’s influence by definition totalitarian.

A less obvious, but equally serious, reason has to do with language within the anti-Zionist community, especially the abuse of the terms “Jew” and “Jewish”. People on either side of the political spectrum understand these terms emotionally, not intellectually, and apply them in a manner that ends up reinforcing the cult of Jewish victimhood, the most powerful Zionist propaganda weapon and the source of the “anti-Semite” slur.

First, the failings of the anti-Zionist left are generally common to most so-called leftist agitators. (I say “so-called” because the terms “left” and “right” no longer have any useful meaning in an age of pro-imperial conformity; these terms will be used only for the sake of convenience.) Leftists present themselves as progressives, voices of reason and defenders of free speech, but their commitment to these principles is rather selective. When their dogma or terminology are challenged, even within the leftist community, they respond with cognitive dissonance and hostility and even call for censorship of “offensive” opinions. This hypocrisy is especially prevalent regarding Israel, and I experienced this earlier this year.

In April, I noticed that a bookstore hosted presentations by local authors. I mentioned to one of the owners, Tamara Gorin, that I lived in the area asked if I could give a reading. She said I could, and we settled on the afternoon of June 23. Before leaving the bookstore, however, I made a point of letting her know that my book attracts hostility from pro-Israel zealots in case she wanted to reconsider. Gorin replied that she believed in free expression and that she had previously championed unpopular points of view. As part of our arrangement, she agreed to carry three copies of the third edition of my book, The Host & The Parasite––How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America.

My presentation focused mainly on my latest chapter, which deals with the place of the Obama and Trump administrations on the spectrum of the Zionization of America. I use the term “Zionization” deliberately because in my book and elsewhere I am scrupulously careful not to conflate “Zionist” with “Jew”: The former is a political term; the latter is religious. Not all Jews support Israel and many of Israel’s most effective critics are Jewish. In fact, anti-Zionist Jewish professors and students have been targeted by the Lobby for their outspokenness.

After the presentation, though, the subject of Jews did come up, but only once and in a tangential sense. In response to a question about why so many Americans favour Israel, I mentioned the phenomenon of Judeophilia­­, also known as philosemitism­­: an affinity among certain Christians for Jews and all things Jewish, including religion. I cited as an example Josiah Wedgwood and James Arthur Balfour, both of whom were British MPs who supported the Jewish banker Lord Rothschild in his ambition to carve out a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. From this analogy, I said many American politicians seek the company and favour of rich and powerful people, many of whom control campaign funding and the corporate media. It just so happens that many of them happen to be Jewish. I should have added at the time that the vast majority, to borrow Thomas Friedman’s expression, are “warm Jews”: Jews who put Israel’s needs first.

The day after the event, I received an e-mail from Gorin asking me to pick up my books. She decided not to carry them because of my mention of Jews, which she said was an attack on people because of their faith. The next day when I went to collect my books I remonstrated rather vigorously that she had misrepresented what I said and by extension accused me of being anti-Jewish even though in no way did I attack anyone’s faith. In any event, her refusal to carry my book made no sense since, as I told her, the subject of Jews is not in it.

During the next 20 minutes, I demanded she demonstrate how I attacked Jews on religious grounds. At length, she admitted that I had not. I then insisted that she honour her commitment to free expression by carrying my book. She still refused.

At issue was not my presentation or my book but Gorin’s hypersensitivity to the mention of Jews. Like a lot of liberal critics of Israel––especially Jews of East European extraction like Gorin––claims of support for free expression are not to be taken at face value. By effectively censoring me, she exhibited the kind of selective moralism that sabotages debate and reduces the so-called liberal left to collaborators with the Zionist entity.

For example, J Street, a non-profit, liberal advocacy group in Washington, D.C., claims to advocate for a peaceful, diplomatic end to conflicts between the Arab World and Israel, yet it calls itself “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel.” The concept of irony and self-contradiction is lost on its Jewish founders, one of whom is George Soros, the éminence grise of the Democratic Party, the natural governing party of Israel in the U.S. Advocating for peace while drawing a false equivalency between Zionist terrorists and their victims is monstrous and serves only to justify the on-going atrocity.

This hypocrisy was also on display yet again in Canada’s Parliament when an opposition MP asked Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau why his government did not have any reaction to Israel’s demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan al Ahmar, which included the destruction of a school. The question was good and the MP deserves credit for bringing it up, but she also couched her question in the false equivalency of “peace” and “the two-state solution,” which has never been a viable option. Trudeau, like an obedient Israeli satrap, began his answer with, “Canada is a steady ally of Israel” and proceeded to say that his government expressed its “concerns” to the Israeli government, especially regarding the school. He ended with the boilerplate excuse that “unilateral action” would not help “a two-state solution,” as if Israel’s actions were not unilateral.

Pro-peace, leftist, liberal critics of Israel have to do more than call attention to Israel’s atrocities, offer sympathy for its victims and recite delusional boilerplate; they must use language honestly to defend all manner of Palestinian self-defence and categorically denounce Israeli atrocities. If this entails drawing attention to the influence of warm Jews, so be it. The same goes for attacking the cult of Jewish victimhood, which is a matter of politics, not religion.

Before I left, I again challenged her on her hypocritical support for free speech. She conceded there were some topics that were off-limits, one of which is the Holocaust®. This was the first mention of religion in this absurd episode. As long as this founding act of sacred Jewish violence is off limits, leftist criticism of Israel will never amount to anything more than a sanctimonious hypocrisy.

Next: Right-wing bigotry masquerades as patriotism
Previous: Political reformers will wallow in futility until they take aim at the real enemy

October 14, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 13 Comments

United States Did It Again: Warplanes Use White Phosphorous Munitions in Syria

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 14.10.2018

The US-led coalition used white phosphorus (WP) munitions delivering air strikes in the Syrian province of Deir Ez-Zor on Oct.13. The attack resulted in casualties among civilians. Last month, WP munitions were also used by two US Air Force (USAF) F-15s in an attack on the town of Hajin, Deir-ez-Zor. The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the US-led coalition, which says the need to fight ISIS justifies its military actions while denying the fact it uses white phosphorous projectiles.

WP does not fall into the category of chemical weapons banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention but it is an incendiary weapon. As such, it cannot be used against non-combatants. Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons “prohibits the use of said incendiary weapons against civilians (already forbidden by the Geneva Conventions) or in civilian areas”. The substance ignites spontaneously upon contact with air, producing a dense white smoke. The heat could reach 800-900°C. No water will help. Severe injuries to internal organs could be caused when absorbed through skin, ingested, or inhaled. Burning particles of white phosphorus produce thermal and chemical burns if they come into contact with skin.

It’s not Syria only where the US used WP munitions. White phosphorous artillery shells were used in Iraq during the assault on Fallujah in 2004. The US admitted the fact. There have also been media reports about the WP use in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria. Last year, the Washington Post published photographs of US Marines equipped with white phosphorus projectiles to be used in the battle for Raqqa. The source offered similar pictures showing WP munitions with US Army units outside Iraqi Mosul.

The Human Rights Watch has warned about dangers coming from the use of WP in urban areas. According to Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch, “No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians.”

In 2015, the United States used depleted uranium (DU) in Syria. DU is not banned by an international treaty but its use runs counter to the International Humanitarian Law (IHW). Article 36 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions requires to ensure that “any new weapon means or method of warfare does not contravene existing rules of international law.” It says “General principles of the laws of war/IHL prohibit weapons and means or methods of warfare that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, have indiscriminate effects or cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment.” In 2012, the UN General Assembly tried to adopt a resolution restricting the use of DU. The move was supported by 155 states, with 27 abstaining and four, including the United States, voting against.

The American military has used cluster bombs against civilians in Yemen. The US is not one of the 102 states parties to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the weapons that open in the air, dispersing multiple bomblets or submunitions over a wide area. Many submunitions fail to explode on initial impact, acting like landmines for years. The Pentagon refuses to give cluster munitions and American field commanders are authorized to use them at their discretion.

The US continues to run biological programs, operating more than 20 laboratories around the world in blatant violation of the UN Biological Weapons Convention. An opinion paper published on Oct. 4 in the journal Science, written by an international group of researchers claims the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is potentially developing insects as a means of delivering a “new class of biological weapon.”

In 2011, US police used tear gas and other chemical irritants against Occupy protesters. Tear gas is prohibited for use against enemy soldiers in battle by the Chemical Weapons Convention but it’s all right with America’s law enforcement agencies using the dangerous substance against their own people.

There is no justification for using WP at the time ISIS has been reduced to insignificance in Syria but Washington did it again. It violated international law after having unilaterally imposed sanctions on Russia without any evidence to support the relevant accusations. It should also be remembered that, unlike Russia, the US has so far failed to meet its obligations and destroy the chemical weapons stockpile. The use of substances to harm civilians is a serious matter that should be addressed at the ongoing 79th session on UN General Assembly. America’s non-compliance with generally accepted norms is the most acute problem on the international security agenda.

October 14, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Pages purged by Facebook were on blacklist promoted by Washington Post

By Andre Damon  | WSWS | October 13, 2018

Media outlets removed by Facebook on Thursday, in a massive purge of 800 accounts and pages, had previously been targeted in a blacklist of oppositional sites promoted by the Washington Post in November 2016.

The organizations censored by Facebook include The Anti-Media, with 2.1 million followers, The Free Thought Project, with 3.1 million followers, and Counter Current News, with 500,000 followers. All three of these groups had been on the blacklist.

In November 2016, the Washington Post published a puff-piece on a shadowy and up to then largely unknown organization called PropOrNot, which had compiled a list of organizations it claimed were part of a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign.”

The Post said the report “identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans.”

The publication of the blacklist drew widespread media condemnation, including from journalists Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald, forcing the Post to publish a partial retraction. The newspaper declared that it “does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet.”

While the individuals behind PropOrNot have not identified themselves, the Washington Post said the group was a “collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.”

PropOrNot, which remains active on Twitter, publicly gloated about Facebook’s removal of the pages on Thursday. “Russian propaganda is VERY VERY MAD about their various front outlets & fellow travellers getting suspended by @Facebook &/or @Twitter,” it wrote. The tweet tagged The Anti Media and The Free Thought Project, and included a Russian flag emoji next to an emoji depicting feces.

PropOrNot did not attempt to reconcile its own narrative that the targeted organizations were front groups for the Kremlin with Facebook’s official claim that they operated independently of any government but sought to “stir up political debate” for financial motives. This is because both accusations are hollow pretexts for political censorship.

In a separate post, PropOrNot added: “Well, look at that… @Facebook removed some of the most important gray/black Russian propaganda outlets from their platform! Bravo @Facebook – better late than never, so a BIG thank you for this.”

It added, ominously: “All of these [organizations] are cross platform & have websites, but one thing at a time.”

These comments by PropOrNot make clear where the censorship measures supervised by the US government and implemented by the internet companies are going. While these organizations still “have websites,” the authorities are handling “one thing at a time.”

The clear implication is that censorship will not end with Google’s manipulation of its search platform or the removal of accounts by Facebook and Twitter. The ultimate aim is the total banning of oppositional news web sites.

The publication of the PropOrNot blacklist and its promotion by the Washington Post helped trigger a wave of censorship measures against oppositional news sites by the major technology companies, working at the instigation of the US intelligence agencies and leading politicians.

Last year, the World Socialist Web Site reported that it an other sites, including Global Research, Counterpunch, Consortium News, WikiLeaks and Truthout, saw their search traffic plunge after search giant Google implemented a change to its search ranking algorithm.

In the subsequent period, search traffic to these sites has fallen even further. Search traffic to Counterpunch has fallen by 39 percent, and Consortium News has fallen by 51 percent.

These developments confirm the analysis made by the World Socialist Web Site in its open letter to Google alleging that it was censoring left-wing, anti-war and socialist websites.

“Censorship on this scale is political blacklisting,” the letter declared. “The obvious intent of Google’s censorship algorithm is to block news that your company does not want reported and to suppress opinions with which you do not agree. Political blacklisting is not a legitimate exercise of whatever may be Google’s prerogatives as a commercial enterprise. It is a gross abuse of monopolistic power. What you are doing is an attack on freedom of speech.”

On Tuesday, Google admitted in an internal document that it and other technology companies had “gradually shifted away from unmediated free speech and towards censorship and moderation.” The document stated that an aim of the censorship was to “increase revenues” under conditions of growing government and commercial pressure.

The document acknowledged that such actions constitute a break with the “American tradition that prioritizes free speech for democracy.”

October 14, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Undue Process: Forgotten FBI Anti-Terrorism Entrapment Debacles

By James Bovard • October 11, 2004

The train wrecks of the Justice Department’s domestic War on Terror continue to pile up. Despite the perennial victory claims by Attorney General John Ashcroft and other high officials, three recent cases vivify how federal prosecutors and FBI agents continue tripping over the evidence—or worse.

On May 7, the FBI arrested Brandon Mayfield, an Oregon lawyer, for his alleged involvement in the Madrid train bombings of March 11 that killed 191 and left 2,000 wounded. A U.S. counterterrorism official (almost certainly an FBI or Justice Department official) told Newsweek that Mayfield’s fingerprint was an “absolutely incontrovertible match” to a copy of the fingerprint found on a bag of bomb detonators near the scene of the Madrid attack. News of Mayfield’s arrest provided alarming evidence that Americans were involved in international conspiracies to slaughter civilians around the globe, and he was informed that he could face the death penalty for his crimes.

Employing Patriot Act powers, the feds, prior to the arrest, conducted secret searches of Mayfield’s home and tapped his phone and e-mail. After the arrest, they froze his bank accounts. The FBI’s arrest affidavit revealed that its agents had “observed Mayfield drive to the Bilal Mosque located at 415 160th Ave., Beaverton, Oregon, on several different occasions.” Another incriminating detail in the arrest warrant: Mayfield advertised his legal service in the Muslim Yellow Pages. (Mayfield, a former Army lieutenant, converted to Islam and has an Egyptian wife.) In early April, the Spanish police described Mayfield “as a U.S. military veteran who was already under investigation by U.S. authorities for alleged ties to Islamic terrorism,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Yet the key to the case—the fingerprint—was shakier than a George W. Bush press conference. The FBI quickly claimed to have achieved a match on the partial print, but, on April 13, Spanish government officials warned the FBI that their experts were “conclusively negative” that Mayfield’s print matched the print on the bomb detonator bag. The FBI responded by flying one of its fingerprint analysts to Madrid to explain to the Spaniards why they were wrong. But during the Madrid visit, the FBI expert never requested to see the bag or to get a better copy of the print. The arrest warrant in early May wrongly informed a federal judge that the Spaniards were “satisfied” with the FBI’s match.

Mayfield was arrested as a “material witness,” thereby permitting the feds to hold him as long as they pleased without charging him with a specific crime. The Justice Department refuses to disclose how many people have been or are being held as “material witnesses” in prisons around the country.

After Mayfield was arrested, FBI agents raided his home and office and carted off boxes of his papers and his family’s belongings. Among the items seized were “miscellaneous Spanish documents,” according to an FBI statement to the federal court. These supposedly incriminating papers turned out to be the Spanish homework of Mayfield’s son. Perhaps elite FBI investigators suspected that “Hola, Paco. Como Estas?” was a secret code.

Though the FBI never possessed anything on Mayfield aside from a misidentified fingerprint, it did not hesitate to cast him in sinister colors. The FBI informed a federal judge: “It is believed that Mayfield may have traveled under a false or fictitious name.” But Mayfield, whose passport expired the previous year, insisted he had not left the country. The FBI apparently never bothered to check whether Mayfield had been absent from the U.S. before making one of the most high-profile terrorism arrests of the year.

On May 20, after Spanish authorities announced that they had found a clean match with the fingerprint, the Justice Department acquiesced to Mayfield’s release. A few weeks later, Attorney General Ashcroft informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that his case vindicated the American system of justice: “As a matter of fact, the pride of our system is that people are found innocent because we adjudicate these things.” But there was effectively no adjudication in this case because Mayfield was classified as a “material witness”— which meant that the feds could hold him as long as they chose, or at least until his detention became too embarrassing. Ashcroft also testified, “When we learned that the reservations of the Spanish were so substantial, we went to the court, asked for the release of Mr. Mayfield.” In reality, the Justice Department did not acquiesce until the Spanish government announced that they had arrested the Algerian whose fingerprint matched that on the bag.

FBI director Robert Mueller visited Portland a month after Mayfield’s release and announced that FBI agents had acted appropriately. Yet, as a Portland Oregonian editorial noted, “If not for the Spanish authorities doing their own investigation, Mayfield likely would still be in jail today.” And sadly, the unfortunate Mr. Mayfield is not an isolated case.

On Aug. 5, federal agents carried out middle-of-the-night raids to nab a pizzeria owner and an ambulette driver. Deputy Attorney General James Comey announced at a Washington news conference: “Anyone engaging in terrorist planning would be very wise to consider whether their accomplice is not really one of our guys. We are working very, very hard to infiltrate the enemy.”

Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain were arrested for allegedly taking part in a plot to launder money from a government informant who claimed to be involved with a plan to use a shoulder-fired missile to kill a Pakistani diplomat in New York. The feds used the Patriot Act to sweep up Aref’s phone calls and e-mail messages. Perhaps the most decisive item they unveiled at the initial court hearing was the fact that Aref’s name was discovered in a notebook at an alleged terrorist camp in Iraq (after a night attack in which U.S. soldiers killed 80 of 82 people at the camp). Federal prosecutors brandished the fact that he was identified as “the Commander” and declared that the obliterated group was part of Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaeda affiliate. The feds’ charges persuaded a federal court to lock up both defendants without bail.

A few weeks later, however, at another court hearing, the Justice Department admitted that the key word was mistranslated. Instead of Arabic, the writing was actually Kurdish; instead of “commander,” it merely said “brother.” Aref, a Kurdish refugee who was the leader of an Albany storefront mosque, had relatives back in the homeland. Even though the feds had been in possession of the notebook for more than a year, they had not bothered to verify the Defense Department’s translation before creating an elaborate sting.

The Justice Department also misrepresented where the notebook was discovered. The Defense Department did not identify the targeted group as terrorist-connected. Instead, at the time of the attack, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan declared, “I will simply tell you that it was a camp area that was confirmed with bad guys.” According to Federal Magistrate David Homer, “There is no evidence … to support the claim that Mr. Aref has any contact with any terrorist organization.”

Federal prosecutors responded quickly to the translation debacle, seeking to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act. A statement from the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section warned, “The United States believes that disclosure of this material would raise issues of national security …” It was curious how a case about a phony plot, an inoperable missile (which the informant purportedly showed the defendants), and phony claims by the government suddenly raised national security concerns. The Justice Department unsuccessfully sought to avoid turning over the transcripts of discussions between the defendants and its agent provocateur. After some of the information was released, “transcripts of the undercover tapes show how much prodding by the informant was needed to lure Hossain into the fictitious terrorist plot,” the Albany Times-Union noted.

The defendants were released on $250,000 bail each, after spending 20 days in custody. Another court hearing is scheduled in Albany for Sept. 15 on whether the Justice Department will be permitted to use the Classified Information Procedures Act to shield its case.

DOJ could use a win, for earlier this month, federal prosecutors were forced to admit that their biggest victory over a terrorist cell was in fact a sham. A week after the 9/11 attacks, federal agents nabbed three Arabs living in an apartment in Detroit. (A fourth suspect was snared in North Carolina.) Federal prosecutors described the men—arrested during a raid in which the FBI was looking for another Arab on a terrorist watch list—as a “sleeper operational combat cell.” Two of the alleged cell members were convicted in June 2003 on charges of providing material aid and support to terrorism. A third was convicted on fraud, and a fourth was acquitted. Ashcroft hailed the verdict: “Today’s convictions send a clear message: The Department of Justice will work diligently to detect, disrupt and dismantle the activities of terrorist cells in the United States and abroad.”

The Detroit bust was the only case in which the feds appeared to have nailed a group that may have actually been planning attacks. But after the courtroom victory, the case began to crumble. Federal Judge Gerald Rosen ordered the Justice Department to investigate possible misconduct by lead prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino and others in the case. The controversy mushroomed when Convertino sued Ashcroft, charging him with “gross mismanagement” in the War on Terror.

Perhaps the most decisive physical evidence in the trial was a day planner with a couple of pages of sketches. Federal prosecutors assured the jury that one drawing was an aircraft hanger at a U.S. military base in Turkey and another represented a military hospital in Jordan.

Justice Department prosecutors knew that government experts did not agree with those claims. Instead, most who analyzed one of the simple sketches concluded that it was a rough outline map of the Middle East, not an air-base target in Turkey. At the trial, defense lawyers requested photographs of the alleged Jordanian hospital. Prosecutors falsely denied possessing such photos. The Justice Department’s formal investigation, released in early September, concluded, “It is difficult, if not impossible, to compare the day planner sketches with the photos and see a correlation,” The most important witness to testify against the alleged terrorist cell was Youssef Hmimssa, who co-operated in part because he faced credit-card and other fraud charges. The Detroit News noted that Hmimssa was “a self-described scam artist and crook.” Yet, on the day after Hmimssa finished testifying, Ashcroft publicly declared his co-operation had been “a critical tool” in fighting terrorism and that “his testimony has been of value, substantial value.”

A Justice Department inquiry found that prosecutors failed to turn over more than 100 documents to defense attorneys during the trial, including a letter written by a convict who served time with Hmimissa that stated that the star witness had bragged about “how he lied to the FBI” on the terror-cell case.

Moreover, Convertino ordered FBI agents who interviewed Hmimssa for more than 20 hours to take no notes during the interview. Instead, he briefed the agents after the sessions with Hmimssa and made his own notes, which he repeatedly altered. The Justice Department report observed that there were “discrepancies between these [Convertino’s notes] versions, supporting defense counsel’s claims that Hmimssa’s testimony evolved over time.” The report noted that “Convertino’s approach caused significant controversy” and that one FBI agent was “adamantly opposed” to such a method.

Judge Rosen overturned the convictions declaring, “the prosecution materially misled the court, the jury and the defense as to the nature, character and complexion of critical evidence that provided important foundations for the prosecution’s case.”

These three instances may be only the tip of the iceberg as the government can usually rely on acquiescent federal judges or coerced plea bargains to keep most of its dirty laundry out of view. The public soundbites seek to reassure us that the Justice Department’s domestic War on Terror is going well by invoking largely meaningless numbers. In a July report on the Patriot Act, DOJ bragged, “the Department has charged 310 defendants with criminal offenses as a result of terrorism investigations since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and 179 of those defendants have already been convicted.” But the vast majority of the convictions have had nothing to do with terrorism. Instead, they are a litany of credit-card fraud, visa violations, and other offenses whose prosecution does nothing to protect America against deadly foreign threats—while the pursuit of PR victories over bogus plots diverts resources from real terrorist dangers.

As the election draws closer, the Bush administration may unveil new arrests on terrorism charges. If so, it would be wise to wait until long after the triumphant press conferences to gauge whether the government has finally got the goods—or whether the busts are simply another effort simultaneously to frighten and comfort voters.

_________________________________________________

James Bovard is the author of the just-published The Bush Betrayal (Palgrave Macmillan) and seven other books.

October 14, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Congress Members Urge Trump to Meddle in Hungary’s Elections

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | October 12, 2018

There’s no hypocrisy like Capitol Hill hypocrisy. Congressional Democrats have been beating the dead horse of “Russian meddling” for nearly two years, obsessed with claims that “Russia hacked our democracy” and that a few Facebook posts from “Russia-linked” accounts are actually a massive Putin-led effort to make Americans lose faith in their democracy.

To date no evidence points to any significant or effective Russian government effort to alter the outcome of US elections in any way. With each passing day we learn more about how the “Russia hacked us” story is just a bunch of hot air. In fact just yesterday, award-winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter published an extensive report demolishing a recent 10,000 word New York Times piece on the “influence” of Russian social media over US elections.

One of the loudest voices screaming “Russia is meddling in our democracy!” has been Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Last year she signed a letter to the Speaker of the House demanding that Homeland Security and the FBI brief Congress on “the Russian attack on 21 states’ voting systems” (a charge since disproven). The letter complained that “when a sovereign nation attempts to meddle in our elections, it is an attack on our country.”

To be fair, it is hard to disagree with Rep. Kaptur and her colleagues on that final point. No one wants a foreign country meddling in their elections, hacking their ballot machines, funding opposition parties, manipulating the media in favor of one side, etc.

But here’s the rub: Rep. Kaptur has just sent a letter to the State Department demanding that the United States government commit all of the above violations against NATO partner country Hungary!

Yes, Kaptur is furious over unproven claims that the Russians fiddled in our democracy while at the same time demanding that the US fiddles in Hungary’s democracy.

This week Rep. Kaptur (and 22 Democrat colleagues) sent a letter to President Trump’s Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Wess Mitchell, demanding the reinstatement of a cancelled State Department program to send $700,000 to finance anti-government stories in Hungary’s media in advance of the upcoming 2019 local elections in that country.

“Supporting an independent media in Hungary should be a priority” for the United States, the Congressional letter says.

Do Kaptur and her Capitol Hill colleagues not understand the basic fact that when a foreign government funds a sector of another country’s media, that media can no longer be considered “independent”?

How is it not meddling in Hungary’s democracy for the United States government to finance stories attacking the democratically-elected Hungarian government?

In Lewis Carroll’s classic “Through The Looking Glass,” Humpty Dumpty scowled at Alice for demanding that his words mean something. Dumpty said:

When I use a word… it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

This is the world of Rep. Marcy Kaptur and all of Washington’s interventionists. They have been stricken with hysterical paranoia for two years over unproven claims that Putin was pulling our strings when we went to the ballot box, yet at every turn they demand that the United States government do that exact thing: manipulate the ballot boxes of other sovereign states.

As Lou Reed (among others) put it, “you’re going to reap just what you sow.”

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia | , , | 8 Comments

Banned alternative media speak to RT after mass Facebook purge

RT | October 13, 2018

Some 800 anti-establishment accounts and pages have been yanked from Facebook in a sweeping crackdown the social media giant framed as a fight against spammers. RT talked to those who were targeted in the cleansing.

Among the hundreds of pages and accounts Facebook and Twitter took down were those both on the political left and right, ranging from conspiracy theorists and police brutality watchers, to news outlets with non-mainstream angles, While their content could be at times described as controversial, the bulk of the banished pages boasted large followings and outreach.

RT spoke to some of the voices silenced by the Facebook move. Here is what they had to say.

Jason Bassler, The Free Thought Project, 3.1mn followers

The Free Thought Project bills itself as a “hub for free thinking conversations.” Both its Facebook and Twitter accounts were shut down in the pre-midterms purge. Jason Bassler, who co-founded the project in 2013, told RT that what Facebook did is an act of political censorship and has nothing to do with its stated goal to clean up its platform from spam.

“If that was just spam, if that was just irrelevant garbage they wouldn’t be so threatening, they would not ban us, they would not care, we would not have been on their radar.”

By spinning the story as a fight against unworthy news trash, Facebook itself is misleading users with its own version of fake news, he said: “This is nothing more than political censorship and trying to eradicate certain political ideologies.”

Nicholas Bernabe, founder of The Anti-Media, 2.1mn followers

Nicholas Bernabe, blogger and entrepreneur behind the independent news aggregator The Anti-Media, believes that “the most troubling” thing in Facebook’s treatment of media pages is that tech giants are now trying to police cultural dialogue by posing as politically neutral.

“That could actually be perceived as Facebook itself meddling in elections, because we are only a few weeks away from the midterms and they go and target 800 politically-oriented media pages for deletion.”

He added that the majority of the banned pages held “very anti-establishment, very anti-authoritarian views,” that appealed to those whose take on election is very different from what mainstream media has to offer.

Matt Savoy, The Free Thought Project, 3.1mn followers

It is hard to overestimate the implications for those that were swept up in the purge, Matt Savoy of The Free Thought Project said. Many of the affected websites will be out of business and “thousands of people will be out of work.”

“This is like a death blow. Facebook was a source of how we were able to get our links out and drive traffic to the website, and we no longer have it. The few remaining employees that we have, they are going to be gone.”

Journalists did not have any time to prepare for the looming crackdown, Savoy said, and at first the staff thought it was a mere glitch.

Matt Bergman, Punk Rock Libertarians, 190,000 followers

Matt Bergman, who founded the Punk Rock Libertarians in 2010, told RT that his ‘The Daily Liberator’ podcast was taken down from Facebook without any explanation. Bergman’s own account was also briefly suspended, as well as those of other page admins.

The purge is the result of the pressure Congress put on Mark Zuckerberg, and its first targets were independent outlets “right of the dial,” since it’s easier to get away with banning relatively small outlets than major channels like RT, he argued.

“Their terms of service agreement is probably a million words long. Nobody has ever read it all the way through and I would think that if they wanted to they can ban CNN, they can ban you guys, if they wanted to, they can ban anybody.”

Bergman said he is filing an appeal in a bid to restore the account.

Dan Dicks, Investigative Journalist, 350,000 followers

Vancouver-based investigative journalist Dan Dicks, who writes for The Press for Truth, said the Facebook crackdown was “clearly political” as it saw tech companies assuming the role of “the gatekeepers of political thought.”

“What we are dealing with here today is the silencing of anybody who goes against the status quo right now, does not matter right or left side of the political spectrum.”

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, expunged from Facebook and Twitter, might have been “the first domino to fall,” but now the crackdown has widened to affect smaller outlets that vie for minds of the people on par with mainstream media, he said.

The crackdown on anti-establishment voices will come back to bite Facebook, UK Labour Party activist and political theorist Dr. Richard Barbrook argued.

Facebook and other tech companies who feel compelled to impose more “traditional media censorship” are likely to see a mass exodus from their platforms, he believes.

“The problem is if they are doing it too much, people would be gone somewhere else, where they don’t have network effects working against them,” Barbrook told RT.

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Background of Russia-Greek Summit in December: Greek Defense Chief Makes Landmark Foreign Policy Proposals

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.10.2018

Greece’s Defense Minister Panos Kammenos visited the United States on October 9 to make two proposals that would change a lot if accepted: a new Balkans military alliance and substantial expanding of US military presence in the country. The latter includes setting up three military bases in Larissa, in Volos, in Alexandroupolis on a more permanent basis. The regional defense alliance, formed to diminish “Russia’s influence”, is to comprise Greece, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Bulgaria, and later Serbia. “I want to affirm that Greece considers the United States a strategic partner and ally… the only one, I dare to say,” he said during the meeting with US Defense Secretary James Mattis. “It is very important for Greece that the United States deploy military assets in Greece on a more permanent basis, not only in Souda Bay but also in Larissa, in Volos, in Alexandropoulis,” he added.

In the spring of 2018, the US began operating MQ-9 Reaper drones out of Greece’s Larisa Air Force Base. The American-Greek defense cooperation agenda includes the extension of the agreement for the use of the US naval base in Souda Bay, Crete, the upgrading of the Greek fleet of F-16 military jets and the plans to build a second military base in southern Crete. The United States and Greece are reportedly discussing the creation of a military base on the island of Karpathos in the South Aegean Sea, between Rhodes and Crete. According to the plans, the island will host US Patriot air defense missile systems and F-22 Raptor fighters. US F-35 will be stationed in Volos, F-16 in Andravia, while F-15 are already in Souda airbase in Crete.

As the relationship with Turkey continues to deteriorate, Greece acquires a more significant military role for the United States in the Mediterranean as well as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Wall Street Journal reported last month, “the US military is in talks to expand its operations in Greece, including using more air and naval bases here, signaling a potential move toward the eastern Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Turkey.” According to the source, US officials who had visited Greece not long before the publication said both the government and the opposition were receptive to strengthening military ties. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, believes that the “geography of Greece and the opportunities here are pretty significant.”

A military alliance of Greek Cyprus, Israel and Greece, Eastern Mediterranean Alliance (EMA), has actually been formed. Greece and Israel have a military cooperation agreement in place since 2015. The military ties between Cyprus and Israel are also expanding. After a trilateral conference held in Larnaca in June, defense chiefs of the three countries pledged to expand cooperation on cyber-security, joint military drills and search and rescue operations in the eastern Mediterranean. The three also visited the US together in May. Last month, the United States opened its first permanent military facility in Israel.

The US has recently changed its Syria policy, including the support of the Kurds that angers Turkey so much. With the tariffs and sanctions war unleashed by Washington against Ankara, it appears to have nothing to lose. The United States is considering permanent cuts to its military presence in Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, a strategic point for its military operations in Syria. This possibility is very real as several pro-government Turkish lawyers have reportedly filed charges against US Air Force officers associated with the base, alleging they are connected to those who staged the attempted coup d’état against Turkey’s government in 2016.

Greece wants Alexandroupolis to become a hub for the gas being exported from Israel via Cyprus, Crete and Greece to Italy. The route will bypass Turkey, which is adamant in its desire to prevent such a scenario. It says part of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus is under Turkish jurisdiction. A conflict is possible and the EMA partners want the US to be on their side. America needs the allies too as it strives to increase its clout in the Middle East. Libya is among the countries it wants to control, while rolling Russia back. The United States needs military support, especially bases, as it has decided to stay in Syria “until Iran withdraws its forces”. The growing military cooperation between the EMA alliance and the US reflects nothing else but war preparations.

In summer, Greece expelled two Russian diplomats accused of attempting to instill opposition to the agreement in order to prevent Macedonia’s NATO membership. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov subsequently canceled a planned visit to Athens. All these trends and events create certain background before the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Russia scheduled on Dec. 7 (it had been previously planned for Dec.12). The two countries have always been friends and close partners but the announced plans to turn Greece into a US aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean is a matter of concern and not only for Moscow.

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Naomi Klein’s Patriarchal Christian Nation

By Eve Mykytyn | October 13, 2018

Naomi Klein’s piece “Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh and the Rule of Pampered Princelings,” is a thoughtful consideration of how the children of the moneyed classes propagate the ‘self made’ myth in which individual effort is lionized. In this fiction, government ‘interference’ is the enemy, and, as Klein points out, those with a lifetime of safety deride the frail safety net society allows to others. She notes that although these ‘princelings’ may include the less privileged in their rhetoric, they propagate social policies of low taxes and fewer regulations that primarily benefit the very rich.

Klein asks, “But what must it take to pour large parts of a fortune that came to you by accident of birth into a relentless campaign of further affirmative action for the rich?” Klein’s answer is that the rich attribute their riches to what Trump has called, ‘good genes,’ the corollary of which is that those without must have ‘bad genes’ and deserve their fate as ‘losers.’

To Klein, this is the basis of Trump’s bargain: native born whites, although they lack Trump’s wealth, are invited to celebrate “their own, albeit more modest, birthright entitlements as white, middle-class Americans,” and their entitlements as white citizens of a “Christian patriarchal nation.” This is where my disagreements with Klein begin.

Some of Trump’s supporters may well like to identify with (or would like to possess) Trump’s wealth. But whether or not the US is a ‘Christian patriarchal nation,’ I don’t see the evidence that Trump’s support comes from people who would like to see it as such.

First, it is unfair to put all of Trump’s supporters in one barrel. Trump won a majority of votes from all white Americans of every education level. Interestingly, while analysis of votes is broken down by race, education and income, there was no category that includes both race and income. Or to the point, we have little direct data on how whites who enjoy little of the vestiges of ‘white privilege’ voted. An analysis in Medium divides the US by region and finds Trump’s strongest support in the US’s poorest and perhaps whitest regions, Appalachia and southern Louisiana, which he won by 22% and 25% respectively. So the data we do have does not support Klein’s assertion that Trump’s voters support him to protect their white privilege; in fact, it seems that his strongest support comes from whites who have few, if any, privileges.

A glance at any Trump rally shows large numbers of women, does Ms Klein believe all these women want a patriarchy? And, according to Money magazine, women inherit 70% of the assets passed down in the United States and own more then 50% of investable assets. Not much of a patriarchy.

Further, the claim of Trump’s voters as holding on to a Christian nation seems purely speculative. While Jews voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, Orthodox Jews supported Trump by a margin of 29%. The Orthodox would seem to have little interest in preserving the United States as a Christian Nation.

If, as Klein claims, the United States has always been the province and protector of ‘propertied white men,’ wealth is no longer solely in the hands of men or of Christians.

The exclusive classes contain a large number of self-identified Jews. A Jewish newsletter counted 139 of the Forbes top 400 (richest) as Jewish. Despite the so called dog whistling (apparently heard primarily by Jews who found anti Semitic content in Trump lambasting the non Jewish Koch brothers) Trump as president has not been anti Semitic. Far from it. Trump has duly rewarded his Jewish benefactors, the Mercers and Sheldon Adelson, and has sicced his Zionist son in law on the Middle East. His appointments have contained so many of the mostly Jewish Goldman Sachs once and future anointed that Goldman’s chair, Lloyd Blankfein stated that having so many Goldman people in the Trump administration made him “a little apprehensive about it because for fear of how it might look.”

Klein’s complaint that Trump has posited himself falsely as a self made man is legitimate. His response that the New York Times report on the source of his wealth as being largely his family’s money was that the report was ‘boring.’ This is hardly a repudiation. But the wealth of Trump and other scions of the very wealthy will not enure to the non college educated whites who largely supported Trump.

If Klein’s goal is a change in the administration, her goal might be better served by finding a way to appeal to Trump’s voters rather than smearing them with condescending and unproven shibboleths.

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 3 Comments

Israel advocates are the 2 largest donors in lead-up to U.S. midterm elections

Former New York City Mayor and political donor Michael Bloomberg with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | October 13, 2018

Two Israel partisans are the top campaign donors in the midterm elections, each pumping millions of dollars into campaign coffers.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who once said he wished he’d served in the Israeli military instead of the American one, is donating tens of millions of dollars to Republicans. He is expected to be the top donor in this election cycle.

Adelson, accompanied by his wife, speaking to an Israeli group in July 2010 :

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who has twice flown to Israel in the midst of its massacres in Gaza to demonstrate his support for Israel, is coming in second, giving tens of millions of dollars to Democrats. Bloomberg has pledged to spend $100 million in the final weeks leading up to the election.

Bloomberg, who was a Republican until recently, has hinted that he may run for President in 2020.

In addition to giving candidates money, Bloomberg is also personally campaigning for some, including Tennessee’s Phil Bredesen and Florida’s Andrew Gillum.

Last week the Tampa Bay Times reported: “[Andrew Gillum] walked into one of the most dependable voting precincts in South Florida wearing a yarmulke and touted his ties to Florida’s Jewish community. In the company of the Jewish former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, [Andrew] Gillum delivered a short speech in which he spoke about his three trips to Israel during his time in office in Tallahassee and his family’s history.”

Michael Bloomberg, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Andrew Gillum at Century Pines Jewish Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida, 10-7-2018. Gillum is the Democratic candidate for Governor.

Bloomberg gives both personal donations and PAC donations from his political action committee “Everytown for Gun Safety.”

While Bloomberg appears to be an opponent of guns, he supports Israel, where settlers on illegally acquired Palestinian land carry and use guns regularly.

Israeli settlers open fire in vicinity of elementary school near Bethlehem, June 2018. Also see “Israeli settlers injure dozens of Palestinian students in Nablus

For a list of Israelis and Palestinians killed since 2000, see this Timeline:

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Corruption, Video | , | 2 Comments

US Coalition Strikes Syrian Town Using Banned White Phosphorus – Reports

Sputnik – October 13, 2018

The reported strikes are not the first time that the US-led coalition has been accused of using the banned munitions in recent weeks. Last month, the Russian military reported that US strikes using white phosphorus had resulted in major fires and civilian casualties in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ez-Zor.

The strikes, taking place Saturday across multiple districts in the town of Hajin, Deir Ez-Zor province, included the use of white phosphorus, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported, citing local sources.

The agency did not provide any immediate information about possible civilian casualties.

Syrian television station Ikhbariya later reported that several people had been killed and several others injured following separate coalition strikes in al-Soussa, Deir Ez-Zor in an attack which hit a local bakery.

SANA said the strikes involving the use of white phosphorus appeared to have been carried out “under the pretext of fighting Daesh (ISIS).”

The coalition has not yet made any official commentary regarding the alleged incident.

This week, the United Nations’ humanitarian watchdog expressed concern regarding the safety of an estimated 10,000 civilians believed to be trapped in the Hajin area amid reports of civilian deaths during ongoing SDF and coalition operations in the area against Daesh.

Saturday’s incident was not the first suspected use of white phosphorus by the US-led coalition. Last month, the coalition denied using the substance in Syria after the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation issued a report of airstrikes carried out using the internationally-prohibited weapons by US F-15 fighter jets on September 8. Damascus has repeatedly accused the coalition of using white phosphorus in its attacks, charging Western forces of using the agent in strikes which have led to the deaths of multiple civilians, including children, last year.

Under Geneva Conventions, white phosphorus munitions are prohibited for use against civilians or in civilian areas.

US-led coalition operations in Syria are not sanctioned by Syrian government, nor the UN.

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Stanford’s Hoover Institution implicated in “astroturfed” pro-Israel demonstration

If Americans Knew | October 12, 2018

A leaked clip from a censored documentary indicates that a pro-Israel, anti-Arab protest was manufactured with the help of some staff and students from the Hoover Institution.

The documentary, produced by Al Jazeera, says that the protestors at the demonstration were “on a fellowship program run by a conservative think tank called the Hoover Institution.” A student says in the clip that they were “forced” to participate.

The Hoover Institution is located at Stanford University and is funded under Stanford University’s tax-exempt status as an educational institution.  The Hoover Institution has refused to answer questions about the report.

Hoover Tower occupies a central place on the Stanford campus, one of four Hoover Institution buildings at Stanford.

The student in the clip has not yet been identified, and it is unclear which Hoover program he was on. At one point in the video he laughs and says that he and others “sold out” for $50,000 and benefits.

Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reports about the clip:

The Al Jazeera reporter joined a group of students who received a fellowship from the right-wing Hoover Institution, and they are seen telling him that their presence in a small pro-Israeli demonstration has been declared mandatory by their supervisors.

“’his is actually the first foot-soldier activity that we’ve been forced to do,” one of the students says. Another describes it as “a chance to shout at Arabs” who will protest against Israel at the same location.

The students also describe their presence at the demonstration as “astroturfing” – a political term that describes inauthentic political activism, which pretends to be grass-roots based activism. “It’s when you set up fake protests,” one student says. The same students are later seen holding “pro-Israel” signs at the demonstration.

The clip is from an Al Jazeera documentary about the Israel lobby in the U.S. that has not yet been broadcast. Ha’aretz reports that the film was pulled in a bid “to appease the U.S. Jewish community.”

Two sources from pro-Israeli organizations confirmed that the video excerpts were indeed filmed by the Al Jazeera reporter.

Hoover officials have refused to comment on the actions by Hoover staff members reported in the documentary, and it is unclear whether the institution approves of their behavior.

Stanford officials also failed to respond to inquiries about the report.

Hoover’s director is Thomas W. Gilligan, 650-723-1198, and its associate director is Eryn Witcher Tillman (also listed as a media contact for Stanford), 650-725-3076.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment