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Emails show Biden officials demanding Facebook censor Team Trump before the election

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim the Net | June 24, 2021

Emails that have now surfaced show that Joe Biden campaign officials pressured Facebook to censor his opponent, Donald Trump – specifically the Team Trump account – ahead of the 2020 US presidential election.

CNN writes about this, framing this revelation as proof that misinformation and what it calls “violent rhetoric” was rampant on Facebook and not properly addressed by the giant – rather than what others will see as proof of concerning levels of undue influence politicians tried to exert on the world’s biggest social media platform.

The report said that the emails show Democrats had become very worried about “misinformation” – and apparently very unhappy with an uncooperative Facebook, what a former Biden campaign staffer said “essentially did nothing” when faced with a barrage of public and private complaints and letters coming from the party.

Not only the election but also the January 6 breach in Washington DC are thrown in as yet more evidence that Facebook was not diligent enough in suppressing and censoring information, because it allowed protesters to use it to plan their activities (at the time, though, legacy media like CNN accused independent alternative platforms as hubs for this, leading the charge in what resulted in wiping some of them off the social media map).

Some might wonder what makes CNN play the risky game of effectively unmasking the Biden campaign as privately putting pressure on Facebook to act in a certain way, and the answer may be – in order to put on yet more pressure, this time with the 2022 midterm elections in mind.

One of the emails that have now been made public concerns a video posted by Team Trump showing Donald Trump Jr. accusing Democrats of planning to rig the election, and calling on Trump supporters to rally around their candidate to oppose this. Facebook slapped a label on the video, but that was not enough for Democrats.

In order to get the video banned, a senior Biden campaign figure wrote to Facebook on September 22, cautioning the giant that it was not implementing its own policies around “voter suppression” – that Democrats were apparently previously privately assured would be enforced. At one point the email “implores” Facebook to approach the issue with “a sense of mission.”

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Illegal Occupation | , , | Leave a comment

The Deep State Defeat of Donald Trump

By James Bovard | FFF | June 23, 2021

“The Trump–Deep State clash is a showdown between a presidency that is far too powerful versus federal agencies that have become fiefdoms with immunity for almost any and all abuses,” I wrote in an FFF article a year ago. Since then, Donald Trump lost the 2020 election by fewer than 50,000 votes in a handful of swing states that determined the Electoral College result.  There were numerous issues that could drive that relatively small number of votes. But machinations by the Deep State probably cost Trump far more votes than it took to seal his loss.

“The Deep State” commonly refers to officials who secretly wield power permanently in Washington, often in federal agencies with vast sway and little accountability. During Trump’s first impeachment, the establishment media exalted the Deep State. New York Times columnist James Stewart assured readers that the secretive agencies “work for the American people,” New York Times editorial writer Michelle Cottle hailed the Deep State as “a collection of patriotic public servants,” and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson captured the Beltway’s verdict: “God bless the Deep State!”

The first three years of Trump’s presidency were haunted by constant accusations that he had colluded with Russians to win the 2016 election. The FBI launched its investigation on the basis of ludicrous allegations from a dossier financed by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. FBI officials deceived the FISA Court to authorize surveilling the Trump campaign. A FISA warrant is the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI “to conduct simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target’s home, workplace and vehicles,” as well as “physical searches of the target’s residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails,” as a FISA court decision noted. The FISA court is extremely deferential, approving 99 percent of all search warrant requests.

Leaks from federal officials spurred media hysteria that put Trump on the defensive even before he took his oath of office in January 2017. A 2018 Inspector General (IG) report revealed that one FBI agent labeled Trump supporters as “retarded” and declared, “I’m with her” (Clinton). Another FBI employee texted that “Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS.” One FBI lawyer texted that he was “devastated” by Trump’s election and declared, “Viva la Resistance!” and “I never really liked the Republic anyway.” The same person became the “primary FBI attorney assigned to [the Russian election-interference] investigation beginning in early 2017,” the IG noted.

FBI chief James Comey leaked official memos to friendly reporters, thereby spurring the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump. A 2019 Inspector General report noted that top FBI officials told the IG that they were “shocked,” “stunned,” and “surprised’ that Comey would leak the contents of one of the memos to a reporter. The IG concluded, “The unauthorized disclosure of this information — information that Comey knew only by virtue of his position as FBI Director — violated the terms of his FBI Employment Agreement and the FBI’s Prepublication Review Policy.” The IG concluded that by using sensitive information “to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees — and the many thousands more former FBI employees — who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information.” The IG report warned that “the civil liberties of every individual who may fall within the scope of the FBI’s investigative authorities depend on FBI’s ability to protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.” But the only penalty that Comey suffered was to collect multimillion-dollar advances for his book deals.

The Steele dossier

In December 2019, another Inspector General report confirmed that the FBI made “fundamental errors” to justify surveilling the Trump campaign. The FBI refrained from launching a FISA warrant request until it came into possession of a dossier from Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent. The Steele dossier played “a central and essential role in the decision by FBI [Office of General Counsel] to support the request for FISA surveillance targeting Carter Page, as well as the FBI’s ultimate decision to seek the FISA order,” the IG report concluded. The FBI “drew almost entirely” from the Steele dossier to prove a “well-developed conspiracy” between Russians and the Trump campaign. The IG found that FBI agents were “unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page” in the Steele dossier but the FBI relied on Steele’s allegations regardless.

The FBI withheld from the FISA court key details that obliterated the dossier’s credibility, including a warning from a top Justice Department official that “Steele may have been hired by someone associated with presidential candidate Clinton or the DNC [Democratic National Committee].” The CIA disdained the Steele dossier as “an internet rumor,” one FBI official told IG investigators.

Many if not most of the damning details involving Russiagate have still not been disclosed. But the occasional disclosures are doing nothing to burnish the credibility of the key players. On January 12, 2017, Comey attested to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court that the Steele dossier used to hound the Trump campaign had been “verified.” But on the same day, he emailed the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, “We are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting.” That email was revealed this past February, thanks to a multi-year fight for disclosure by the Southeastern Legal Foundation.

If the FBI’s deceit and political biases had been exposed in real time, there would have been far less national outrage when Trump fired Comey. Instead, that firing was quickly followed by the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate the Russian charges. In April 2019, Mueller admitted there was no evidence of collusion. Conniving by FBI officials and the veil of secrecy that hid their abuses had roiled national politics for years.

Not one FBI official has spent a single day in jail for the abuses. In January, former FBI assistant general counsel Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced after he admitted falsifying key evidence used to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. A federal prosecutor declared that the “resulting harm is immeasurable” from Clinesmith’s action. But a federal judge believed that a wrist slap was sufficient punishment — 400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The Deep State defeated Trump in part because the president appointed agency chiefs who were more devoted to secrecy than to truth. Bureaucratic barricades were reinforced by judges who repeatedly defied common sense to perpetuate iron curtains around federal agencies.

Syria

Trump’s failure to extract the United States from the Syrian civil war was one of his biggest foreign policy pratfalls. Each time he sought to exit that quagmire, the Washington establishment and Deep State agencies pushed back.

When Trump tried to end CIA assistance to Syrian terrorist groups in July 2017, a Washington Post article portrayed his reversal in apocalyptic terms. Trump responded with an angry tweet: “The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.” That disclosure spurred a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the New York Times for CIA records on payments to Syrian rebel groups. The CIA denied the request and the case ended up in court.

CIA officer Antoinette Shiner warned the court that forcing the CIA to admit that it possessed any records of aiding Syrian rebels would “confirm the existence and the focus of sensitive Agency activity that is by definition kept hidden to protect U.S. government policy objectives.” Of course, “kept hidden” doesn’t apply to the CIA when it was engaged in “not for attribution” bragging to reporters. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius proudly cited an estimate from a “knowledgeable official” that “CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies over the past four years.”

Federal judges, unlike Syrian civilians slaughtered by U.S.-funded terrorist groups, had the luxury of pretending the program didn’t exist. In a decision last July, the federal appeals court of the Second Circuit stressed that affidavits from CIA officials are “accorded a presumption of good faith” and stressed “the appropriate deference owed” to the CIA. The judges omitted quoting former CIA chief Mike Pompeo’s description of his agency’s modus operandi: “We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s like we had entire training courses.”

Since Trump’s tweet did not specifically state that the program he was seeking to terminate actually existed, the judges entitled the CIA to pretend it was still top secret. The judges concluded with another kowtow, stressing that they were “mindful of the requisite deference courts traditionally owe to the executive in the area of classification.” Judge Robert Katzmann dissented, declaring that the court’s decision put its “imprimatur to a fiction of deniability that no reasonable person would regard as plausible.”

On February 9, another federal appeals court shot down a FOIA request from BuzzFeed journalist Jason Leopold who had sought the same records on the basis of Trump’s tweet. But the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia unanimously blocked Leopold’s request: “Did President Trump’s tweet officially acknowledge the existence of a program? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. And therein lies a problem.” The judges proffered no evidence that Trump had tweeted about a program that didn’t exist. The judges reached into an “Alice in Wonderland” bag of legal tricks and plucked out this pretext: “Even if the President’s tweet revealed some program, it did not reveal the existence of Agency records about that alleged program.” Since Trump failed to specify the exact room number where the records were located at CIA headquarters, the judges entitled the CIA to pretend the records didn’t exist.

Only a federal judge could shovel that kind of hokum. Well, also members of Congress and editorial writers, but that’s a story for another month.

In his final months in office, Trump repeatedly promised massive declassification which never came. Was the president stymied by persons he had unwisely appointed, such as CIA chief Gina Haspel and FBI chief Christopher Wray? Or was that simply another series of empty Twitter eruptions that Trump failed to follow up? Instead, his legacy is another grim reminder of how government secrecy can determine political history.

Have Deep State federal agencies become a Godzilla with the prerogative to undermine elections? Unfortunately, there’s no chance that federal judges would permit disclosure of the answer to that question. Former CIA and NSA boss Michael Hayden proudly proclaimed, “Espionage is not just compatible with democracy; it’s essential for democracy.” And how can we know if the Deep State’s espionage is actually pro-democracy or subversive of democracy? Again, don’t expect judges to permit any truths to escape on that score.

Secrecy is the ultimate entitlement program for the Deep State. The federal government is creating trillions of pages of new secrets every year. The more documents bureaucrats classify, the more lies politicians and government officials can tell. Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson warned in 2019, “If people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work.” Actually, it is working very well for the FBI, CIA, and other Deep State agencies.

This article was originally published in the May 2021 edition of Future of Freedom.

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

More on Domestic Terrorism: Who Will Be the Target?

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | June 24, 2021

When the so-called war on domestic terrorism was declared quite early on in the Joe Biden Administration it provoked a wave of dissent from those who recognized that it would inevitably be used to stifle free speech and target constituencies that do not agree with the White House’s plans for sweeping changes in how the country is governed. Some rightly pointed out that every time the Federal government declares war on anyone or anything, to include drugs, poverty, or even Afghanistan, the results are generally counter-productive. But others noted that once fundamental liberties are taken away they will likely never return.

At first there were reports that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were increasing their investigations, many centered on the so-called U.S. Capitol “insurrection” of January 6th, which it now appears might have been in part incited by the FBI itself. The scope of the inquiries into how perfectly legal opposition groups operate and proliferate in the U.S. soon broadened to include opponents of much of the social engineering that the Democrats have brought with them to change the face of America. “Hate” or “extremist” groups and individuals became the targets with “hate” and “extremism” liberally defined as anyone whose identity or agenda did not coincide with that of the Democratic Party.

This effort to root out “domestic terrorism” needed a focus and that came with what was claimed to be an intelligence community joint assessment in March which labeled “white supremacists” and “anti-government extremists” as “the two most lethal elements of today’s domestic terrorism threat.” The White House echoed that judgement, claiming that the report’s conclusions had identified “the most urgent terrorism threat the United States faces today.”

The report’s conclusions were somewhat odd and it would be interesting to know who wrote it and whether there was any dissent over what it included. Presumably, no one was empowered to suggest that surging black violence over the past year is a major “domestic terror” issue. The conclusion therefore was skewed – while no one would deny that there have been violent incidents involving white racist group and individuals, they are far outnumbered by the deaths that have taken place due to the black lives matter movement, which both government and corporate America have embraced. Given that, the targeting of “white” groups must be considered to be essentially political, particularly insofar as the White House and Attorney General Merrick Garland have made every effort to link the “racist-extremists” to the Republican Party and more particularly to Donald Trump.

All of this came together last Tuesday when Garland released the first-ever “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism,” which had been a work in progress ordered by President Biden on his very first day in office. The plan is a curious mixture of enhancement of traditional law enforcement measures, to include calls for increased information-sharing between governments and technology sectors, as well as an infusion of over $100 million to hire more focused prosecutors, investigators, and intelligence specialists. Ominously, it also supports setting up mechanisms for screening government employees for ties to “extremist” and hate groups, meaning that anyone belonging to a group that praises the virtues of European nations or the white race will quickly become unemployed. Such screening is already taking place in the Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Department. The overall strategic objective is to attempt to prevent recruitment by extremist groups by, inter alia, increasing the law enforcement penetration and investigation of such entities while also marginalizing and punishing those individuals who do become members.

Biden’s war on domestic terrorism is so far lacking new legislation that will enable the authorities “to successfully hunt down, prosecute, and imprison homegrown extremists” just because they have been generically labeled extreme, but presumably that is coming. Interestingly, one would expect a Justice Department document to be race and gender neutral, but it is anything but that, again reenforcing that it is a political statement. It sees as a major objective for the government to directly confront “racism and bigotry as drivers of domestic terrorism.”

Merrick Garland spoke briefly to the media when he was releasing the document. He claimed that the robust government approach would not infringe on First and Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights, the rights of free speech and assembly and freedom from searches without due process. But then he oddly enough added that “The only way to find sustainable solutions is not only to disrupt and deter, but also to address the root causes of violence.” If one follows that line of reasoning and accepts that white supremacists are the major problem, then the assumption is that available resources will go to where the problem is: white people who oppose government policies, which might presumably include anyone who voted for Donald Trump.

Garland then added that the new strategy would be “focused on violence, not on ideology,” as “We do not prosecute people for their beliefs.” One might argue with that assertion as the policy clearly targets individuals for their beliefs, including that they have a constitutional right to be left alone by a meddling federal government. Ironically, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded to the document by complaining that its tactics employ “abusive counterterrorism tools that result in unfair and unjustified surveillance and targeting of Black and Brown people, particularly Muslims.” ACLU has it wrong and should have read the document more carefully: it actually targets white people.

Inevitably such a report that is seeking to pursue and transform most of the U.S. population produced a reaction. One of the most ridiculous came from Cynthia Miller-Idriss, who heads the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) at American University,  writing for The Atlantic,  who believes it is a “public health problem, not a security issue.” She wrote “The extremism we’re now seeing in the U.S. is ‘post-organizational,’ characterized by fluid online boundaries and a breakdown of formal groups and movements …. To fight this amorphous kind of radicalization, the federal government needs to see the problem as a whole-of-society, public-health issue.”

So if it is a public health issue the government will no doubt order development of a vaccine at great expense that will be mandatory for all Americans above the age of twelve. As Biden has identified the threat in racial terms, even though it is being claimed that no one’s rights will be violated, how will a law enforcement let off the leash to pursue the target of choice respond? What to do about the numerous white ethnic societies that exist in the United States to celebrate their heritage? Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans and German-Americans watch out! And wait a minute, aren’t organizations like black lives matter already supporting a certain level of violence to bring about change? But presumably only “whites” will be surveilled because the government has identified them as the problem. Looking at the issues being raised and the solutions being suggested one might conclude that the real problem in America is not necessarily extremism among the people but rather extremism in the government. We have been taught undesired and quite frankly hypocritical lessons by four presidents in a row and perhaps it is now time that we be left alone!

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

America & some of its so-called ‘democratic’ allies have turned ‘liberal-totalitarian’: Russia’s top spy

By Jonny Tickle | RT | June 24, 2021

The US and some other Western nations held up as “models of liberal democracy” are rapidly turning into totalitarian regimes reminiscent of the Soviet Union, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service has claimed.

Speaking on Thursday at the Moscow Conference on International Security, Sergey Naryshkin claimed that there are “almost all signs of a totalitarian dictatorship” in some Western countries, including a “monopoly on the media,” the “police nature of the state,” and the “irremovability of oligarchic elites.”

“It is astonishing to see how the West is trying to divide our diverse world into two completely artificial camps – a supposedly democratic one and a supposedly authoritarian one,” Naryshkin said, noting Russia, China, and Iran have been placed into the second camp, along with NATO ally Turkey and, on some issues, EU member state Poland.

“The US and other so-called models of liberal democracy seem not to notice that they themselves are rapidly turning into a liberal-totalitarian regime,” the chief spook said.

According to Naryshkin, the West’s imposition of ideological attitudes is somewhat reminiscent of the history of the late Soviet Union, in that it doesn’t even believe the values it tries to project abroad.

However, the head spy pointed to the US-Russia summit in Switzerland earlier this month as a potential turning point, noting that he hopes the West will be able to use “the spirit of Geneva to try to build a safer and fairer world.”

Naryshkin’s belief that the West is attempting to split the world into ‘democratic’ and ‘authoritarian’ echoes a statement made by Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu at the same conference on Wednesday.

“Today, a new trend is coming to the fore,” Shoygu said. “The formation of global coalitions, the division of the world into ‘friends’ and ‘strangers.’”

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Behind Google’s Keen Interest in Biotech Research?

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 24.06.2021

The hoarding of DNA samples and Intense interest in virology research recently expressed by private corporations, including Google, and even politicians has prompted concerns as to how this sensitive information could be used and whether the parties involved are on a power trip, notes Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel.

On 19 June, The National Pulse dropped a bombshell about Google’s involvement in the funding of virus experiments and research by EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit. Its founder, British zoologist Peter Daszak, lately made the headlines due to his collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Wuhan, China is believed to be the epicentre of the first massive COVID-19 outbreak.

Google Investing in Virology

Over the past decade Google.org, the tech giant’s charitable arm, has funded EcoHealth’s studies on bat flaviviruses, henipavirus spillover, herpes as well the threat of transmission of zoonotic pathogens from animals to humans. Some of those studies were also supported by USAID and the US Department of Defence.

While there’s obviously nothing criminal about funding scientific research, Google’s involvement has raised two questions. The first one was asked by “The Next Revolution” host Steve Hilton, who wondered whether Google’s censorship of COVID-related news and theories stemmed from its involvement in EcoHealth’s virology research.

The second question is posed by Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel, who wonders why Google.org overlooked the fact that Daszak’s non-profit was not properly organised: the entity’s IRS filings are replete with apparent errors, while EcoHealth have apparently strayed far from its original authorised tax-exempt purpose, which was protecting wildlife facing extinction.

“EcoHealth Alliance – the ‘tax-exempt organisation’ through which government money was channelled – was formed to protect wild species threatened by extinction, and certainly not authorised, legitimately, to manipulate natural viruses so as to make them more dangerous for humans or other living creatures”, Ortel notes, pointing to instances of “gain-of-function” research publicly discussed by Peter Daszak.

The Wall Street analyst, who specialises in charity fraud issues, warns that improper documentation sometimes indicates potential mismanaging of funds and murky activities.

“Certainly since 2001, when Lois Lerner moved into a key position at the IRS, politically connected insiders have known that false-front ‘charities’ are excellent vehicles to hide criminal activities, especially when they operate abroad,” presumes Ortel.

It appears that some elements in governments and multinational corporations are not confused at all when they discover fake charities like EcoHealth, as they “can be used to pay off corrupt politicians and/or to enrich bureaucrats and insiders,” according to him.

Google Funded Hoarding of Genetic Data

In addition to virology studies, Google appears to be interested in other biotech research as well. In May 2007, the tech giant took a stake in California-based biotech company 23andMe, investing $3.9 million in it. Earlier in the month Sergey Brin, then-president of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. married Anne Wojcicki, a 23andMe co-founder.

23andMe is known for providing a direct-to-consumer genetic testing service whose declared aim is to help people to understand their genetic make-up and inherited traits. However, in 2013 Scientific American, one of the US oldest scientific magazines, presumed that 23andMe was nothing short of “a front end for a massive information-gathering operation against an unwitting public.”

SA quoted Patrick Chung, a 23andMe board member, who openly stated that the biotech company’s long game was not to make money selling kits, but to collect personal data: “Once you have the data, [the company] does actually become the Google of personalised health care,” Chung told FastCompany in October 2013.

The Google-backed biotech company not only provided information about ancestry and inherited traits but also analysed data regarding genetic predispositions to various diseases, something which prompted friction between 23andMe and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013.

While the DNA testing market was undergoing its boom with millions of consumers sharing their sensitive genetic data with private companies, FastCompany revealed in 2018 that the Federal Trade Commission had launched an investigation into 23andMe handling personal info and sharing it with third parties. There were also growing concerns about the security of personal DNA data. In response to FastCompany’s request, 23andMe’s spokesperson declined to comment on any probe, insisting that it only shares DNA data “with researchers if the customer has consented.”

“23andme held great appeal to those studying family history,” says Ortel. “But failure to secure results of the many DNA tests they performed on willing subjects, or harvesting of these results for financial gain are dangers one hopes government authorities are investigating.”

Meanwhile, in 2019, the Pentagon leadership warned military personnel against taking direct-to-consumer DNA tests over “negative professional consequences” and “unintended security consequences” and “increased risk to the joint force and mission”.

In January 2020, CNBC reported that 23andMe had seen an unexpected DNA test sales decline. CEO Anne Wojcicki cited a number of reasons behind this including recession and privacy concerns.

Biomedical Research & Bioweapon Concerns

One might wonder as to why Google is demonstrating keen interest in virology and DNA gathering not being a biotech or pharma company from inception.

“An original goal of Google was to organise Earth’s information,” the Wall Street analyst says. “There are, and will always be many viruses, so one imagines that Google researchers might be curious to catalogue these and ultimately track their course through the world population. If Google were on a power trip, and as new viruses hit, the company might be able to shape allocation of resources fighting viruses towards perceived allies and away from foes, theoretically speaking.”

There could also be a political dimension to using such data: in 2009 then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton specifically requested that American diplomats collect “biometric information”, such as DNA, from foreign heads of state and senior United Nation officials, according to secret cables released by WikiLeaks.

Meanwhile, a private multi-national corporation with a vast amount of sensitive bio-information and little if any supervision from government and public regulators prompt concerns about how this data could be handled and what would happen should it end up in the “wrong hands.”

Most fears are triggered about the possibility of “developing completely novel weapons on the basis of knowledge provided by biomedical research”, as German biologist Jan van Aken and American biosafety activist Edward Hammond wrote in 2003.

“Such weapons, designed for new types of conflicts and warfare scenarios, secret operations or sabotage activities, are not mere science fiction, but are increasingly becoming a reality that we have to face,” the researchers warned.

Yet another concern of international scientists is a “genetic biological weapon” which theoretically could target particular ethnic groups by homing in on molecular differences in their DNAs. In 2004 the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested in its report Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity II that construction of genetic weapons “is now approaching reality.” The bioweapon topic has been repeatedly touched upon by the media and scientific community over the past decade with various scenarios being presented.

Recently, experiments with viruses, DNAs and so-called gain-of-function” studies which makes pathogens more deadly or more transmissible have triggered a renewed debate and calls for greater transparency in the aftermath of the COVID outbreak.

“In theory, use of bioweapons has been prohibited in the civilised world,” Ortel says. “In practice, though, the regulatory regimes are not tough enough or swift enough to bring criminals engaged in bioweaponry to the tough justice they deserve. Life is precious and should not be curtailed by bioweapons, especially if these are funded with taxpayer money.”

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Uyghur Tribunal: Inciting Hatred Against China

By Christopher Black – New Eastern Outlook – 22.06.2021

The fascists are very active these days and one of the proofs of this dark shadow looming over the world is the recent so-called “peoples’ tribunal” put on in London over three days in early June. Otherwise called the “Uyghur Tribunal,” it is headed by Sir Geoffrey Nice, Q.C, the Machiavellian British barrister, knighted by the Queen for his services to Britain, who became notorious for trying to frame-up Yugoslavia’s President Milosevic at the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal.

This new ‘tribunal’ follows on the China Tribunal also headed by Nice and also based in London, which focused on fabricated allegations of forced organ trafficking by China. This second tribunal focuses on fabricated allegations against China concerning the treatment of Uyghurs in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. The allegations before both of these ‘tribunals’ have one objective; to slander the Communist Party of China and to undermine China as a developing and sovereign nation.

The ‘tribunal’ is part of the propaganda matrix being constructed by NATO, led by the USA and UK, which has the objective of manipulating people’s minds to generate hatred and hostility towards China to, at the least, hinder its trade and development, at worst, to prepare the minds of people for war. In that sense this ‘tribunal’ is nothing less than a part of the preparation for war, and can be seen, under international criminal law, as part of a conspiracy to engage in the supreme war crime, the crime of aggression.

The same tactics are being applied to Russia with all the false allegations being made by the Americans against Russia, allegations that Joe Biden shamefully repeated in his meeting with President Putin in Geneva, as if he was king of the world dressing down a wayward vassal. No wonder that meeting was cut short. Only a fly on the wall can tell us what was really said and happened in Geneva, but who can imagine the Russians sitting there for long having to listen to a lecture on how they should stop doing what they are not doing “or face the consequences.” How can any serious person sit there and not either laugh out loud or become angry at the absurdity of it? But of course that is the spin in the western media, the spin that Biden put on the meeting; that he “talked tough to Putin.” Bluster and lies is the American way.

The bluster and lies continued at the Uyghur tribunal over the three days of “hearings” that took place from June 4 to 7 which were staged as a piece of theatre, even to the extent of the organisers selling tickets to attend. It was all acted out by a company of roaming players who go from one forum to another playing their roles, speaking their lines on cue from a script written by shadowy men and women in shadowy rooms in London and Washington.

Geoffrey Nice not only is chair of the two tribunals dealing with China and persecutor of President Milosevic, he is also a co-author of the Caesar Report on Syria, produced by the NATO backed Centre For Justice and Accountability so-called, another propaganda outfit focused on slandering Syria, along with his friend, former US Ambassador For War Crimes, Stephen Rapp. He seems to be NATO’s ever eager go-to lawyer when they need some propaganda put out to justify their wars

One of Nice’s most notorious crimes in the Milosevic show trial at the ICTY was to deliberately mislead the judges and the world by stating that the Kosovo Field speech made by Milosevic proved Milosevic was for a Greater Serbia. But Milosevic produced the real speech proving that he had said the exact opposite of what Nice claimed, that he had called for inter-ethnic tolerance. Nice was proved to be a liar. But the judges did nothing to him. He was allowed to continue spewing lies day after day throughout that show trial because NATO wanted the show to go on and Nice was their chosen circus ringmaster. So, it is no surprise that he was chosen to be ringmaster of this new propaganda circus.

This ‘tribunal’ claims to be independent. Yet it is neither a “tribunal’ nor independent. It has no legal or other authority. It certainly has no moral authority when we look at its funding and the experts called upon to give their ‘evidence,’ for we see clearly the connections between it, the NATO governments and western financial interests.

Much of its funding comes from the World Uyghur Congress whose affiliations with the CIA and funding by the National Endowment For Democracy are well known. In fact it was the World Uyghur Congress that asked Geoffrey Nice to set up the tribunal, according to him, and it provided the initial funding, so that we see right at the beginning, that the US government, through the CIA and NED, is directly involved with the Nice tribunal. Let us look at some of the others involved.

There is Nick Vetch, an extremely rich British businessman, who is founder and CEO of BigYellow a large UK storage company, which, in turn, has some of its shares owned by US financial companies such as Blackrock Inc, Standard Life Aberdeen, American Financial Group and others. Vetch is also a director of the Global Human Rights Fund, a UK “human rights’ organisation, which appears to provide some funding to the Nice tribunal. He is also a member of Nice’s China Tribunal.

Vetch’s connection to the Fund indicates who is behind his activities since the Global Human Rights Fund in turn gets its funding from the European Union, the Swedish Government, the Ford Foundation, George Soros, The Rockefeller Foundation, and other US corporate-backed foundations. The Chair of the Fund is Chris Canavan, managing director of Lion’s Head Global Partners, formerly Director of Global Policy Development for the Soros Fund, formerly senior official with Goldman Sachs Bank in New York and a lifetime member of the US Council on Foreign Relations.

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Other members of the ‘tribunal’ are members of the British Establishment, and aside from anti-China credentials seem to be brought in to add some credibility to the proceedings. They include Dame Parveen Kumar, a UK doctor and member of the British Establishment, Ambreeana Manji, UK law professor who once worked for the British Institute in East Africa, Tim Clark, a UK lawyer and senior director of Vetch’s company Big Yellow and who is also an adviser to G3, which claims to be ‘one of the leading international strategic advisory groups’. Based in London, G3 seems to be an intelligence group with murky connections.

The list includes Ramindar Kaur, social anthropologist, writer, and “human rights” activist who is also deeply immersed in the British establishment. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and head of a number of government studies on UK social issues. There is Dr. David Lynch, a specialist on cancer at University College London, Audrey Osler, Professor of education and human rights, University of Leeds, an advocate of using human rights education to achieve changes in world societies, and Catherine Roe, who began her career as a British diplomat, specialising in multilateral negotiations and who is now a Trustee of the Institute of International Strategic Studies.

Hamid Sabi, is styled as “counsel to the tribunal.” He is a British lawyer, active in the service of the western powers. He is, among other things, a director of Justice For Iran, an organisation accusing Iran of human rights violations, whose recommendations for sanctions against Iranian officials and Press TV are followed by the US and EU and UK governments and who has a history of attacking China.

He is assisted by Aarif Abraham, another UK lawyer, and former lawyer for the NATO tribunal for Yugoslavia, (ICTY) another very anti-China, pro-foreign intervention type who wrote a paper on the Uighurs accusing China of all sorts of crimes. Another assistant is Aldo Samit Borda, a Maltese, but now a lawyer in the UK involved in human rights, who has connections with the British government as he once worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat. The NATO-ICTY connection continues with Marilena Stegbauer, their general assistant, a German, and former intern for the NATO prosecutor at the ICTY, former researcher at Human Rights Institute in the UK, then a writer for The German Diplomat in Germany, who now calls herself a “human rights consultant”.

There is Frankie Vetch, production assistant, son of the Vetch senior, making the tribunal a bit of a Vetch family affair, and Nevenka Tromp, another NATO asset who also worked at the ICTY as a researcher for prosecution in the Milosevic and Karadzic trials. The group is rounded off with Baroness Helena Kennedy, adviser and member of the British House of Lords, Queen’s Counsel, also member of the International Bar Association Institute of Human Rights who in 2020, worked with the Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith and “democracy activist” with Hong Kong Watch, Luke de Pulford, to create the global pressure group the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, in March 2021,

The Coalition for Genocide Response is a supporter of the tribunal. It is the project of John Luke de Pulford mentioned above who is a prominent London establishment anti-communist, anti Chinese Government figure and a supporter of Nathan Law, the Hong Kong fifth columnist working for British interests in Hong Kong, now fled to London. In fact the tribunal has also revealed that it was launched on 3 September 2020, with assistance from the Coalition for Genocide Response that was founded by John Luke de Pulford, the protégé of British journalist turned activist, Benedict Rogers, and Hong Kong Watch functionary, who also has close links to Stand with Hong Kong. Benedict Rogers is the founder of Hong Kong Watch, a notorious propaganda outfit that specializes in churning out fallacies about China. Rogers also has put out false claims about North Korea, works with governments from the UK to Canada and USA and is a leader of the anti-communist Christian Solidarity Worldwide. He states that he introduced Nice to the Uyghurs a couple of years ago. Rogers recently appointed Nice to Hong Kong Watch as a patron, joining the former British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten. Another of its patrons is Lord David Alton, who is linked with the concocted report on the Hong Kong Police Force, which the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong, of which he is a vice-chair, produced in 2020.

On Sept 23, 2020, in the House of Lords, Alton asked the British foreign office minister, Lord Ahmad, if the government would “welcome” the initiative to set up the “Uyghur Tribunal”, and “cooperate” with it. The minister did not give a clear reply but the tribunal has since thanked the British government for fast-tracking visas for foreign nationals to attend the tribunal. In view of Alton’s links with Hong Kong Watch, the extent to which it is covertly involved in the tribunal cannot be underestimated as Benedict Rogers is also an adviser to the World Uyghur Congress. The circle of interconnections is complete.

Those are the people behind the tribunal. Some, like Nice, are clearly NATO assets. None of them are independent or objective.

Since this is supposedly a tribunal they had to produce witnesses. These fit into two categories, expert witnesses and witnesses of fact, that is, people who claim to have observed things.

These were duly paraded before the tribunal, one after one, made statements without offering any proof of their claims and then retired with none of them cross-examined on their statements. Their claims were not tested at all; not by the ‘judges’ who are also in fact the “prosecutors” nor by anyone else. Instead the statements were accepted as true without any examination and when the ‘witnesses’ faltered in reading their lines, the ‘judges’ assisted them. This is not the procedure of a trial or even a hearing. It is more closely associated with an Inquisition. Nice and company are not interested in the truth or falsity of the claims being made. Their only interest is in making sure the statements they require to make effective anti-Chinese propaganda are supplied.

The so-called ‘expert witnesses’ included Ethan Guttman, a Senior fellow at the anticommunist “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an American organisation funded by the US Congress to “educate people on the evils of communism,” who has made many wild claims about China in particular on allegations of “organ harvesting” and Adrian Zenz, also a fellow at the same anti-communist organisation. His propaganda work is notorious.

It incudes Laura Murphy, trained as a literature scholar, who became a “human rights” professor at the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, University of Sheffield. Harvard educated, she seems to be a professional witness and has worked for US Government Office of Victims of Crime, and other US government agencies, has put out propaganda on the BBC about “forced labour” in China and received an award for her propaganda work from the US government agency the National Endowment For Humanities, and grants from their National Humanities Centre. She also received grants from the British Academy.

Finally there is Dr. Darren Byler, of the University of Colorado, who is engaged in post doctoral work with the ChinaProject, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, a famous, anti-communist organisation founded by Henry Luce, and, Nathan Ruser, an Australian researcher with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute who is an expert in satellite data and surveillance who has written a number of anti-Chinese propaganda articles. There are a few others of the same type.

The factual witnesses are a travelling troupe of players many of whom have given statements in other venues, often contradicting their claims at the tribunal. The Chinese government has exposed the lies of several of these witnesses who travel the world as professional witnesses-earning their keep by telling stories which do not bear up under any scrutiny. But none of the witnesses testified under a real oath, none were questioned on the contents of their statements or how they came to the attention of the organisers, apart from being recruited by the World Uyghur Congress.

Having myself experienced how Nice and the other prosecutors at the Yugoslav and Rwanda tribunals got people to be witnesses, and how they coerced them into given false testimony when required makes it impossible to accept any of the statements made by these alleged witnesses with anything less than complete disbelief. Not that it matters in legal terms. Despite Nice spouting platitudes about “reasonable doubt” and “assessing the evidence” we all know what the outcome of the hearings, to be continued in September, will be; the condemnation of China.

So there we have it, another propaganda exercise masquerading as a search for justice and accountability, But it is about time these propagandists be held accountable for their actions, for manufacturing hatred and hostility towards a nation that has brought its people out of the poverty imposed on them by the west during the colonial period and which the west wants to impose again.

At the Nuremberg Trials the Nazi propagandist, Julius Streicher, was hanged for putting out propaganda about Jews and inciting hatred leading to genocide. At the Rwanda Tribunal the members of a radio station were convicted of genocide for allegedly making false reports on events that the prosecutors claimed instigated hatred that led to genocide. Hate speech is proscribed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other treaties. Is this not what Nice and his players are doing, trying to instigate hatred and hostility to justify war, to justify harming and killing Chinese? Is this not where it all leads? Is this not a crime against humanity? Are not they the real criminals?

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds.

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hezbollah, Iraqi anti-terror group slam US seizure of website domains tied to pro-resistance media

Press TV – June 24, 2021

Lebanon’s Hezbollah pro-resistance movement and Iraq’s anti-terror Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq have strongly condemned the US government’s decision to seize and block dozens of website domains connected to Iranian and regional media outlets, describing the measure as a “criminal act” and a convincing proof of  Washington’s policy of repression.

“Hezbollah condemns in the strongest terms the seizure of a large number of free media sites by the US administration [of President Joe Biden]. The move confirms Washington’s pursuit of suppressing freedom under false allegations and lurid headlines,” Mohammad Afif, Hezbollah’s head of public relations office, said in a statement on Thursday.

He added, “Through such an outrageous move, the US administration sought to cover up truth about crimes and atrocities committed by itself and its allies against the oppressed nations of our region, especially in Palestine and Yemen, where people are subjected to the worst forms of abuse and blockade.”

“Hezbollah expresses its solidarity with these honorable sites, whose reflection of truth cannot be hidden away at all. We call for a major campaign of solidarity with these media institutions so they can continue to perform their sincere and humanitarian missions,” the statement concluded.

‘US seizure of website domains tied to resistance out of despair’

Qais Khazali, who leads the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance group, also reacted to the US seizure of pro-resistance news website domains.

“Day by day, the West’s hollow claims about advocating human rights and freedom of expression are becoming further exposed,” he said in a statement carried by the Iraqi News Agency said, citing the removal of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen and the Israeli regime from a list of groups violating children’s rights, and the recent seizure of “the media websites that oppose American, British, Israeli, Saudi and Emirati schemes.”

“This is a sufficient justification… the United States, having failed in its military plans, desperately opted to seize websites whose sole weapons are words and ideas,” Khazali continued.

“The seizure shows its defeat in the field of media war. The pro-resistance media outlets exposed Washington’s hideous nature and its conspiracies,” he pointed out.

On Tuesday, the US seized the websites of Press TV and al-Alam, Iran’s English-language and Arabic-language newscasters, as well as al-Masirah TV of Yemen.

Other web domains, including Palestine al-Youm, a Palestinian-directed broadcaster, Karbala TV – the official television of the Imam Hussein (PBUH) shrine in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, Iraqi Afaq TV, Asia TV and al-Naeem TV satellite television channels, as well as Nabaa TV which reports the latest stories about Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, were also seized.

Bahrain’s LuaLua TV, a channel run by opposition groups with offices in London and Beirut, was also closed, according to AFP.

Press TV website was back online within hours with the new .ir domain address. Al-Alam TV also quickly announced that its website will be available on .ir domain.

Al-Masirah TV established a new website, using its name but swapping the .net domain for .com.

The US Justice Department said Wednesday it had seized 33 media websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), as well as three of the Iraqi anti-terror Kata’ib Hezbollah group, which it said were hosted on US-owned domains in violation of sanctions.

Over the past years, the United States has for several times taken similar measures against Iranian media outlets.

The US tech giant Google has recurrently taken on Press TV more than any other Iranian outlet given the expanse of its viewership and readership.

In March, Google for the seventh time blocked the English-language news network’s access to its official YouTube account without any prior notice, citing “violations of community guidelines.”

The US-based social media giant Facebook also informed Press TV in the same month that its account had been shut down for what it claimed to be the Iranian news channel’s failure to “follow our Community Standards.” The page was reinstated a few days later.

The Tehran-based network has also fallen victim to censorship on Twitter and Instagram.

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Reveals Why Iran Doesn’t Need Nukes, Says World Should Know Truth About 9/11

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 24.06.2021

The veteran politician, who served as Iran’s president between 2005 and 2013, and as Tehran mayor and Ardabil province governor before that, attempted to take part in both the 2017 and 2021 presidential elections, but was barred from doing so by Iran’s powerful Guardian Council.

The world needs to know the truth about the 9/11 terror attacks, and Iran doesn’t need to pursue nuclear weapons because they cannot protect even superpowers from collapse, former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.

“Deciphering the events of 11 September, 2001 will be the key to an understanding of all political events and processes in the sphere of global security over the past 70 years, and this will pave the way for us all to a better world,” Ahmadinejad said, speaking to Russian media in a broad ranging interview published on Thursday.

“When the terrorist attack took place, I announced to the United Nations the need to create a consolidated investigative group to establish all the circumstances of the incident and to find the culprit, and said that the Americans themselves were investigating this incident, holding court themselves, deciding everything themselves and fighting wars in other countries on this basis, not allowing anyone to comment on what is happening,” the former president recalled.

“I remember at this time the United States was very angry with me. But all I said was that there was a need for an international investigation, so that the whole world could know who carried out these attacks, and what connections [the attackers] could have to US intelligence and the American security apparatus to be able to break through all defensive barriers and destroy two towers in the very heart of the American nation,” Ahmadinejad added.

According to the politician, the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, mounted in the aftermath of 9/11, were an attempt to change the situation in the world and the Middle East in Washington’s favour, and to hide “deep economic and social problems” plaguing the United States. Time has shown that neither war was a success, Ahmadinejad said, with both wars continuing to claim lives and forcing people to flee as their countries, while the states’ infrastructure collapses and their future remains uncertain.

No Need for Nukes

Commenting on Iran’s commitment not to pursue nuclear weapons, and recent attempts by the Biden administration to return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement, Ahmadinejad said the Democratic president has failed to make any substantive changes to his predecessor’s policies, but that this was because US foreign policy is not controlled by presidents – who are only a small part of the decision-making process.

As for nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad suggested that “today, nuclear weapons have no practical application, so all the costs of their creation are superfluous. I in principle consider the production and accumulation of weapons an inhuman act and am categorically opposed to it. If world powers reject hegemony and are not looking for disagreements and wars, why start an arms race? Why should the wealth of nations be spent on the production of weapons intended only for murder and not for prosperity?”

“In my first meeting with Mr. Putin at the UN in 2005, I asked him if nuclear weapons could have prevented the collapse of the Soviet Union. These weapons were highly developed, yes, but they did not stop the collapse of the USSR. Because weapons, in principle cannot improve human relations. Today, the capitalist world order led by America is in decline. Can American atomic bombs stop the collapse of US global hegemony? I don’t think there is a single wise person in the world who would say yes,” the Iranian politician added.

World Needs Fundamental Changes

Ahmadinejad expressed certainty that the current world order is unsustainable and is in need of “fundamental changes.”

“Over the past 100 years, it has spawned hundreds of wars, assassinations, arms races, broad class divisions, poverty and social constraints for nations. I believe that we must all join hands and build a new world – a world in which all people will be free and respected –and where justice is central. And I believe that the noble people of Russia can play a very important role in this process,” he stressed.

Candidacy Rejected

Ahmadinejad was barred from running in Iran’s presidential elections twice in a row, first in 2017 and then in the June 2021 vote, which was handily won by Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative with close ties to the clergy and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad did not contest the decision to bar him, made by the Guardian Council – Iran’s powerful constitutional watchdog of six high-ranking Shiite clerics appointed by Khamenei and six lawyers chosen by parliament from nominations by the judiciary.

In the West, Ahmadinejad is best remembered for his war of words with the Bush administration over the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his 2006 statement that Israel [sic] (the “Zionist regime” ) must “vanish from the page of history,” often misquoted as “wiped off the map,” which sparked outrage in Tel Aviv and conservatives in Washington. Also in 2006, CNN famously misquoted his statement that Iran has a “right to nuclear energy” as Iran’s “right to nuclear weapons,” with that scandal prompting Iran to boot the US cable news network’s journalists out of the country.

In 2007, Ahmadinejad stirred up anger among liberals during a trip to New York when he told students at Columbia University that gays and lesbians “don’t exist” in Iran.

Since completing his term as president in 2013, Ahmadinejad has occasionally popped up in the news cycle, especially while quoting the lyrics of well-known American rap artists, who he apparently vibes to, to make a political point. Last year, the politician’s use of the late Tupac Shakur’s “Pull the trigger kill a N**** he’s a hero” to refer to the death of Minnesota black man George Floyd got him in trouble online.

In his home country, Ahmadinejad is better known for his ascetic lifestyle, populist economic policies, campaigns against corruption, and programmes to improve Iran’s self-sufficiency in a range of areas, including defence. During his time in office, he advocated for a compromise between Western-style capitalism and socialism. Under him, Tehran was also able to form a strategic alliance with Venezuela – with that partnership remaining strong to this day.

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Economics, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yemenis slam US seizure of resistance website domains

By Abdullatif Al-washali | Press TV | June 24, 2021

Sana’a – The US Justice Department committed a new flagrant violation of the freedom of the press and blocked several regional outlets’ websites including the Yemeni channel al-Masirah and Iran’s Press TV claiming they are linked to what it calls Iranian disinformation efforts.

Yemenis condemned this move saying it proves that the US calls for freedom of speech are lies. Yemen’s Ministry of Information said the US government seizure of a few websites confirmed the strength of the media of the resistance and proved that these websites revealed the true face of the US including its participation in the brutal Saudi war on Yemen.

Ali al-Share’e the manager of al-Masirah website said this move revealed the weakness of the US even though it owns thousands of media outlets.

Experts believe that this step is part of a media war of the US government against the media outlets of the resistance. They said these attacks will persist and the resistance axis should be ready for further violations.

Yemenis say the freedom of speech is a fundamental right for all free people of the world and the United States has no right to deny individuals or communities this right. They believe that such attacks will promote the free media outlets to continue exposing the US policies.

June 23, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

What is Biden’s “Build Back Better World” (B3W)?

By Brian Berletic – New Eastern Outlook – 22.06.2021

Announced at the archaic “Group of 7” summit (G7) in mid-June – the “Build Back Better World” (B3W) initiative is billed by Western governments and the Western corporate media as a plan that “could rival” China’s One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR).

Yet even its announcement – surely the easiest phase of the overall initiative – fell flat. Not a single actual example was provided of what B3W would provide prospective partners beyond the vaguest platitudes and most ambiguous commitments.

A “fact sheet” provided by the White House for what is essentially a US-led project  – rather than clarify or solidify B3W’s vision – instead seems to suggest the “initiative” is serving as a rebranding exercise behind which US meddling abroad will continue.

The White House document mentions, “Development Finance Corporation, USAID, EXIM, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the US Trade and Development Agency,” as being involved – all of which are admittedly arms of US political interference abroad, not agencies involved in driving actual development.

USAID – for example – is mentioned by name 40 times in the US Joint Chiefs of Staff’s counterinsurgency manual (PDF) which describes the tools and techniques the US military can use to defeat insurgency abroad – tools and techniques that are admittedly just as useful at undermining, overthrowing, and replacing a targeted government with.

In many instances, “counterinsurgency” strategies are employed by the US for precisely this purpose – cementing in power a client regime selected by the US to replace a targeted government toppled by Washington. USAID’s role is augmenting the insurgency-counterinsurgency strategy, not actually spurring development in any given country.

Other pillars of B3W like the “Millennium Challenge Corporation” qualify development through influencing policymaking.

One project on the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s official website featured in a post titled, “Social Inclusion in MCC’s Mongolia Compact: Affordable Water for all in Ulaanbaatar,” illustrates that US-funded “development” in Mongolia regarding “affordable water for all” is not building physical infrastructure that actually brings affordable water for all – but instead consists of conducting surveys and pressuring policymakers.

Rather than images of American construction crews building pipelines, digging wells, or putting up permanent water towers serving entire communities, the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s website features people with clipboards knocking on doors.

Myanmar: A “Sneak Peak” at America’s B3W in Action

Instead of actual development, US “development” agencies like these often channel money into political opposition groups specifically to block the construction of national infrastructure that would solve issues like energy, water, and food shortages – often predicated on false socio-political pretexts like “human rights” and “environmental” concerns.

In Myanmar for example, US government-funded opposition groups have worked for years to block the construction of Chinese-led projects including dams that would generate electricity, contribute to flood control, and aid in agricultural irrigation.

Wikileaks in a 2010 US diplomatic cable titled, “Burma: Grassroots Opposition to Chinese-backed Dam in Northern Burma,” would reveal US diplomats discussing the success of US embassy-funded “grassroots” opposition groups blocking Chinese-initiated dams. The cable noted:

An unusual aspect of this case is the role grassroots organizations have played in opposing the dam, which speaks to the growing strength of civil society groups in Kachin State, including recipients of Embassy small grants.

Once projects like dams, roads, rails, or ports are blocked in targeted nations like Myanmar, no Western alternative is ever offered.

Instead, organizations like USAID provide provisional infrastructure like solar panels and ad-hoc water towers providing recipient communities with minimum living standards. The goal is to disrupt unifying national projects and encourage local communities to make do without modern infrastructure. This in itself aids in arresting development across entire regions – allowing the US to artificially maintain “primacy” over them. This also contributes to separatism, with communities dependent on US handouts rather than working with their own nation’s government  – which in Myanmar in particular has been the source of decades of armed conflict. This conflict also further arrests development.

All of this is in stark contrast to China’s OBOR which is building physical infrastructure that is transporting goods and people across entire regions and providing food, energy, and water for a growing number of people around the globe – all without political strings attached or armies of foreign-funded “activists” commandeering national policymaking and in turn, hijacking national sovereignty.

Nations have already tangibly benefited from Chinese-led infrastructure projects – including nations like Myanmar where projects have been completed. These include roads, bridges, and dams.

The Irrawaddy Bridge (also known as the Yadanabon Bridge) built by China CAMC Engineering and completed in 2008 – for example – finally allows heavy vehicles to cross the Irrawaddy River from the nation’s northwest to Mandalay and the nation’s interior beyond without using cumbersome ferries.

Also built with China’s help is the Yeywa Dam commissioned in 2010. It includes the nation’s largest hydroelectric power plant, providing energy to nearby Mandalay. It also significantly contributes to flood control.

Opposed to its construction was the so-called “Burma Rivers Network” – an extension of “International Rivers” – funded by Western corporate foundations like Open Society, the Ford Foundation, and the Sigrid Rausing Trust – all admittedly working in parallel with fronts like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy to advance US government foreign policy objectives.

Burma Rivers Network made claims regarding the dam including that the power would “likely” be “transmitted to China” – a claim that was and is completely false. The network also made baseless claims that villagers were “forcibly relocated without compensation” and that the dam would jeopardize their livelihood. This livelihood included unsustainable fishing and logging along the river – a livelihood necessitated by a previous lack of infrastructure needed for modern and sustainable economic opportunities.

As other adjacent projects to the Yeywa Dam are either proposed or in the process of being built – these same US-backed networks work tirelessly to derail compensation, relocation, and even public hearings to discuss either in the first place.

In some cases – like the proposed and partially constructed Myitsone Dam – work has been halted by not only US-funded opposition groups politically obstructing progress, but also by armed attacks by US-backed separatist groups.

The Guardian in a 2014 article titled, “Burmese villagers exiled from ancestral home as fate of dam remains unclear,” would admit:

As work got underway, the Kachin Independence Army broke a 17-year-old ceasefire to attack the dam site. In 2010, 10 bombs exploded around the dam site, killing a Chinese worker.

Kachin separatism is openly encouraged by the US as revealed through a series of leaked cables and the US government’s funding of Kachin separatist groups listed on the National Endowment for Democracy’s official website.

While the example of US interference in Myanmar and its open determination to arrest development is an extreme one – it is essentially the same process used around the globe to address – as the White House “fact sheet” regarding B3W calls it, “competition with China.”

It is also a “sneak peak” at what B3W will actually entail. Were it a genuine infrastructure drive – actual projects would have been showcased upon its inauguration. Instead, hand-waving and platitudes were used as stand-ins where real infrastructure projects should have been – an assurance that the US was merely rebranding its ongoing efforts to derail not just Chinese-led development worldwide – but development itself.

For a declining empire to maintain “primacy” over areas of the planet as the US insists it must do regarding the Indo-Pacific region – the only way to remain on top is to make sure everyone is declining at an equal or greater rate than the US – even if it means Washington knocking these nations down itself.

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

June 23, 2021 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

New evidence reveals John McCain and other Vietnam War POWs may have lied about being tortured

By Paul Benedikt Glatz, Jeremy Kuzmarov and Steve Brown | Covert Action Magazine | June 21, 2021

Collusion by the White House, the Pentagon, and the mainstream media resulted in disparagement, denial, and suppression of eyewitness testimony confirming that most POWs were actually well-treated by their North Vietnamese captors (in contrast to the brutal torture and death often meted out to North Vietnamese POWs by U.S. forces).

Dissenting POWs: From Vietnam's Hoa Lo Prison to America Today
[Source: amazon.com]

When numerous U.S. POWs began to understand the truth about the war they had been fighting, they spoke out against it—voluntarily—as an act of conscience. But they were cynically portrayed as traitors, turncoats and “camp rats,” their reputations and lives destroyed, driving many to despair and even suicide.

Among the few memories that most Americans still retain of the Vietnam War—now nearly 60 years in the past—one of the most vivid centers around the torture suffered by Senator John McCain at the hands of his brutal Vietnamese captors while a prisoner of war in Hanoi’s Hoa Lo prison (AKA The Hanoi Hilton).

This story has been told, retold, and continually burnished countless times by admiring media interviews and a flood of books and memoirs, including several by McCain himself.

Another memory of the war, still believed by millions of Americans, is that hundreds or even thousands of American soldiers classified as MIA (Missing in Action) are actually being held and tortured in secret North Vietnamese POW camps, callously abandoned by our government and desperately praying to be rescued—preferably in a Hollywood-style rescue by Chuck Norris or Sylvester Stallone, who starred in the spate of Commie-hating blockbuster movies inspired by their plight.

This belief is continually reinforced by POW/MIA flags which fly at every post office, and a ready supply of new books and movies, such as the 2018 release of the film M.I.A. A Greater Evil.

But both memories of the Vietnam War are false memories. However passionately believed, they were cynically manufactured fantasies implanted in all-too-willing American minds for political purposes.

How and why these counter-factual beliefs were so successfully foisted on the American public is the subject of the new myth-shattering book by Tom Wilber and Jerry Lembcke, Dissenting POWs: From Vietnam’s Hoa Lo Prison to America Today (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2021).

Wilber is the son of a dissenting POW, Walter “Gene” Wilber, who is featured in the book, and has contributed to the award-winning documentary film The Flower Pot Story by Ngọc Dũng. Lembcke is a distinguished sociologist from College of the Holy Cross who has written a number of books debunking popular myths about the Vietnam War.

The two start their book by noting that the dominant war hero image of the POW—who endured torture and resisted service to enemy propaganda—was to a large extent created by high-ranking men like McCain who were captured early in the conflict.

John McCain Was a War Hero. But He Shouldn't Have Been.
John McCain embodied the war hero image of someone who endured torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors while retaining loyalty to the United States. [Source: nymag.com]

McCain’s oft-told story of ill-treatment and torture is contradicted by Nguyen Tien Tran, the chief prison guard of the jail in which McCain was held. In a report by The Guardian, “[Tran] acknowledged that conditions in the prison were ‘tough, though not inhuman’. But, he added: ‘We never tortured McCain. On the contrary, we saved his life, curing him with extremely valuable medicines that at times were not available to our own wounded’. . . . [H]e denied torturing him, saying it was his mission to ensure that McCain survived. As the son of the US naval commander in Vietnam, he offered a potential valuable propaganda weapon.”

Most of the others promoting a heroized image of U.S. POW’s were graduates of service academies and came from privileged backgrounds. They included a) James Stockdale, who ran for Vice President in 1992 as the running mate of Ross Perot; b) Robinson Risner, a double recipient of the Air Force Cross, the second highest military decoration for valor; and c) Jeremiah Denton, who went on to become the first Republican Senator from the state of Alabama and a close ally of President Ronald Reagan.

John McCain fit well with this group because he was also academically privileged and his family included high-ranking military officers like his father, Jack, who was an admiral and the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

James Stockdale, Medal of Honor, Vietnam War | Military.com

James Stockdale while in captivity. [Source: military.com]

Jeremiah Denton featured in famous film footage from his captivity. [Source: washingtontimes.com]

After his release in 1973, Colonel Risner, right, and Maj. Gen. LeRoy J. Manor rode in a parade in San Francisco.
Robinson Risner, right, is celebrated in a parade in San Francisco in 1973 after his return following seven years in a North Vietnamese POW camp. [Source: nytimes.com]

With post-war military careers at stake, these high-ranking officers played up the alleged barbarity of the North Vietnamese, demanded resistance to interrogations from other captives, and threatened so-called deviants with disciplinary charges after release to the U.S.

The Nixon administration advanced their credibility and status in a desperate ploy to stir up support at home for an unpopular conflict abroad; and further concocted a story—announced in a press conference by Defense Secretary Melvin Laird on May 19, 1969—that 1,300 American soldiers deemed “missing in action” were believed to be prisoners of war.

Melvin Laird was first to publicize plight of POWs in Vietnam - Hartford Courant
Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird gives the opening statement of a press conference on May 19, 1969, to publicize the plight of U.S. POWs and MIAs in North Vietnam. [Source: courant.com]

The unaccounted for would now publicly be described as “POW/MIA,” implying that any serviceperson missing in Vietnam could also be a prisoner of war. This transformed the war from a political issue into a humanitarian one, trading public support for sympathy. It didn’t matter why we were there in the first place: Our boys were there, and by God were we going to do anything to get them home.

Suddenly, the public image of Vietnam looked very different. The very real footage of brutalized Vietnamese bodies, wailing children, and napalmed villages was traded for a fantasy—all of the violence that had been done in Uncle Sam’s name was now being done to him.

Kim Phuc, the napalm girl: 'Love is more powerful than any weapon'
Images like this famous one of a Vietnamese girl, Phan Thi Kim Phúc, running from a U.S. napalm strike, were supplanted by the fixation with the plight of American POW/MIAs. This was a brilliant public relations maneuver by the Nixon administration in collusion with the media. [Source: irishtimes.com]

The POW issue soon became a cause célèbre. In the early 1970s, millions of “POW bracelets” were sold by a student group called VIVA (Voices in Vital America), each branded with the name of a missing American serviceman.

Washington Memorial Park | Pow mia, My childhood memories, Baby boomers memories

POW/MIA bracelet. [Source: pinterest.com]
POW MIA Bracelet

[Source: audacy.com]

These shiny nickel bracelets were spotted on the wrists of celebrities like Sonny and Cher—who had often before dressed like hippies—and Sammy Davis, Jr, and allegedly Princess Grace of Monaco put in an order for two bracelets.

The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Episode 42 - Cher Scholar

Sonny and Cher with returned POW John “Spike” Nasmyth on their CBS comedy hour program in March 1973 in which they announced that they wore POW bracelets with his name. [Source: cherscholar.com]

The silver bracelets could even be spotted on the fashion runway, where models with an interest in political activism took to wearing them. A New York Times profile from the day quotes a model named Astrida Woods, who said she was “dissatisfied” with her life as a model and felt the urge to give back. “I began to do some work with Ralph Nader, and now [wearing the bracelets]. It’s a way to contribute something.”

Pretty young women showcasing POW bracelets as part of PR campaign to unify the nation around support for POW/MIAs, if not the Vietnam War itself. [Source: audacy.com]

Many U.S. GIs and pilots, however, reported being humanely treated during their captivity, with access to adequate food, recreation facilities and reading material.

Wilber and Lembcke conclude that “instances of brutal treatment” were “less common than [has been] purported” and that evidence of systematic torture drawn from visitor reports, POW statements, and oral histories was scant.

Those POWs who questioned the war were dismissed by the military for their supposedly “weak personal character” and “lack of education and backgrounds in broken and poor families,” a typical case of “psychologizing the political.”

These men were in turn stigmatized and then forgotten by the public amidst the manufactured concern about POW/MIAs who were supposedly brutalized and then kept in captivity and abandoned by their government.

Camp Rats?

A person with a mustache Description automatically generated with low confidence
Edison Miller [Source: valor.militarytimes.com]

The ranks of the POW dissenters included Lt. Col. Edison Miller, a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart from California who spent six years in captivity after his fighter plane was shot down over North Vietnamese skies on October 13, 1967.

A contemporary described Miller, a Californian who flew previously over Korea, as a “first-rate pilot with a zeal for combat but an independent sort.”

John McCain falsely accused Miller of being a turncoat because he appeared in North Vietnamese propaganda.

In his 1999 best-selling book Faith of My Fathers, McCain wrote about Miller as one of two “camp rats”—the other being Tom’s father Gene, who had been executive officer of a squadron of F-4s when he was shot down over North Vietnam on June 16, 1968.

McCain said both “had lost their faith completely.”

“They not only stopped resisting but apparently crossed a line no other prisoner I knew had even approached,” McCain wrote. “They were collaborators, actively aiding the enemy.”

Miller told the Orange County Register in response to these charges that McCain had “lied about me … The attacks on my character and integrity are totally without merit or justification. I did stand up and say the war was wrong. I would speak against the war, but I never spoke against my country. And I gave up no secrets.”

A person in a suit and tie Description automatically generated with low confidence
Edison Miller holding his Marine Corps uniform in 2008. [Source: ocregister.com]

McCain accused Miller of receiving eggs, bananas and other delicacies to eat from camp guards. Miller says, however, that he never saw eggs during his internment and that McCain was never in a position to see the food brought to him.

A picture containing text, person, wearing, person Description automatically generated
Robert Schweitzer [Source: valor.militarytimes.com]

McCain further claimed that Miller turned him in to a North Vietnamese guard when McCain tried to befriend him, and that the guard then beat McCain. Miller said: “I never ratted out a fellow American. McCain has fabricated and exaggerated his experience for political advantage.”

Miller’s anti-war views had been sharpened in conversation with Navy Commander Robert Schweitzer, a captive from 1968 to 1973 who died a year after his release while still on active duty in San Francisco.

Schweitzer felt that, because the U.S. had never declared war, there could not legally be any North Vietnamese prisoners of war, only “Americans detained by a foreign power,” Miller said.

A tape of a conversation between Miller and Schweitzer was played for other prisoners, who heard not only an anti-war message but a challenge to the legality of the U.S. military action in Vietnam.

In 1970, when Miller and Gene Wilber were interviewed on national television, Wilber called for an immediate U.S. troop withdrawal “so that the Vietnamese can solve their own problems.”

U.S. journalists at the time, however, did not take their interview seriously, regarding it rather as a North Vietnamese propaganda show.

The two men along with Schweitzer continued to write protest statements and together with fellow dissenters met with American peace activists visiting North Vietnam, including actress Jane Fonda and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

Jane Fonda in Nghe An, North VN 1972 | manhhai | Flickr

Jane Fonda (center) during trip to North Vietnam in 1972. [Source: flickr.com]

Mr. Clark, left, in North Vietnam in 1972. He met with Communist officials in Hanoi and publicly criticized American conduct of the Vietnam War.

Ramsey Clark (left) in North Vietnam in 1972. [Source: nytimes.com]

Empathy for the War’s Victims

Amazon.com: Black Prisoner of War: A Conscientious Objector's Vietnam Memoir (9780700610600): Daly, James A., Bergman, Lee: Books
[Source: amazon.com]

Most dissenting POWs came from a working-class background.

James A. Daly, an African-American infantryman from the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, for example, was raised in poverty by a single mother.

His 1975 book, Black Prisoner of War, describes his three years of jungle confinement after his capture by North Vietnamese soldiers and the South Vietnam-based National Liberation Front (NLF), followed by a two-month trek north to Hanoi on the Ho Chi Minh trail where he experienced what it was like to be on the receiving end of U.S. ordnance.

Bob Chenoweth, from a white working-class family in Oregon, similarly developed an empathy for the Vietnamese people and a distaste for the racist views of most Americans toward the Vietnamese.

A helicopter crew member, before he was shot down and captured, Chenoweth said he “couldn’t see how U.S. forces could possibly be helping the Vietnamese given the attitude that GIs had, viewing them as ‘subhuman’ and disparaging them as ‘gooks and dinks.’”

Chenoweth and other of his contemporaries authored anti-war statements, wrote messages to GIs asking them to follow their consciences, sent letters to politicians, and recorded tapes to be aired via Radio Hanoi.

A person standing at a podium Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Bob Chenoweth speaking at Veterans for Peace conference in Spokane, Washington, in 2019. He was active in the Vietnam era anti-war movement upon his return from the war. [Source: wagingpeaceinvietnam.com]

Higher ranking POWs responded by trying to isolate the dissenters from other American prisoners while charging them with participating in a conspiracy against the United States.

One of the dissidents, Abel Kavanaugh, committed suicide as a result of the intense pressure and prospective stigma of a dishonorable discharge only a few months after coming home from Vietnam.

 Abel Larry Kavanaugh

Abel Kavanaugh [Source: findagrave.com]

Charges against the POW dissidents were eventually dropped, Wilber and Lembcke believe, so as to not jeopardize the hero-prisoner story with too much attention on dissent and through a possible exposure of inconsistencies in the accusers’ own prison biographies.

Fear of Communist Infiltration

A critical trope in Cold War America was the fear of communist infiltration and internal subversion through brainwashing and mind control.

This trope was fortified by a CIA propaganda effort that depicted Korean War POWs who defected to the North Korean and Chinese side as having been brainwashed in interrogation.

Brainwashing by Edward Hunter

CIA propaganda tract accusing Communist China of brainwashing U.S. POWs. The stereotype of cunning and evil Oriental communists endured through the Vietnam War and beyond and impacted how Americans viewed the dissenting POWs in Vietnam. [Source: goodreads.com]

Most of these defectors were in fact African-Americans who did not want to return to the Jim Crow South, while others were attracted by communist ideals or saw the U.S. war as immoral.[1]

Clarence Adams with Korean prisoners of war and communist captors, in 1954. Photos: SCMP; Della Adams; UPI
Clarence Adams with Korean POWs and Communist captors in 1954. Adams lived in China for 12 years. He said he was well treated in captivity and stayed on in China because he was offered the chance at education there. Later he made propaganda broadcasts for Radio Hanoi, eventually returning to his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, where he ran a chain of successful Chinese restaurants. [Source: u.osu.edu]

The stereotype of the brainwashed POW of the Korean War turned collaborator and traitor because of his weak character would become the backdrop for the discrediting of the dissident POWs of the Vietnam War.

The Korean War Prisoner Who Never Came Home
POW defectors in the Korean War who stood for peace. [Source: newyorker.com]

In an appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Gene Wilber was grilled on whether he had given in to the enemy to make antiwar statements. That he had acted on his own “conscience and morality” was drowned out by host Mike Wallace’s implications of collaboration and opportunism.

When he was subsequently invited to the White House POW reception, Wilber found his hotel room broken into and marked with accusations of treason when he returned from the reception.

In the summer of 1973, James Stockdale charged Wilber and Edison Miller with collaborating with the enemy, mutiny, and inciting personnel to insubordination. However, military judges found insufficient evidence to prosecute the case, and Wilber and Miller instead received letters of censure for their failure to meet the standard expected of officers.

Hollywood Revisionism

POW films starting from this time focused on returnees’ estrangement with their families and society and were told as stories of spousal infidelity, representing both individual drama as well as a sense of “home-front betrayal.”

These films were part of a post-war revisionism, which included a spate of films that contributed to the legend of American servicemen left behind in Vietnam.

In the 1980s, a new subgenre emerged focused on Vietnam veterans heroically taking on the task of returning to Indochina and liberating the left-behind POWs, who had been betrayed on the home front and abandoned by the U.S. government.

The POWs were depicted as victimized and emasculated captives who needed to be rescued by individualist heroes and whose honor as Americans was to be restored.

A picture containing text, book Description automatically generated

[Source: wikipedia.org]

This image, Wilber and Lembcke argue, fits the post-war efforts to psychologize the once political conflicts of the Vietnam War and to depict the veteran as a victim and loser.

More of a heroized image and the POWs’ endurance of torture was revived with the 1987 film, The Hanoi Hilton, which starred Michael Moriarty, Ken Wright and Paul Le Mat as U.S. POWs who defy their captors while enduring brutal treatment at Hanoi’s Hoa Lo prison (aka The Hanoi Hilton).

The Hanoi Hilton (1987) - IMDb

[Source: imdb.com]

This film meshed particularly well President’s Ronald Reagan’s characterization of the Vietnam War as a “noble cause,” fought by noble men, with the POW dissenters by implication being ignoble.

Persistence of the Hero-Prisoner Story

In their quest to comprehend the persistence of the hero-prisoner story, Wilber and Lembcke take their readers back to American colonial history and the captivity narratives emerging during that time.

These stories are about a complex mix of violence against captives, temptations to stay with their captors, the ideal to remain loyal with their fellow colonists, and their Christian beliefs.

Indian Captives

Illustration of captives in the Indian Wars. [Source: legendofamerica.com]

Such tensions and correlations between the Self and the Other were critical in the making of an American identity. The wars in Korea and Vietnam and the POW experiences there can be understood as a new chapter of this identity-making process. Here, too, Americans must prove their will and ability to endure the brutality of a racialized Other.

A wrench in the story, however, is revealed in the autobiographical accounts of POW-heroes like Stockdale, Denton, and Risner. They wrote about fasting as a way of enforcing self-discipline and self-assurance, sometimes with a religious subtext.

More bizarrely, they also wrote about self-mutilation—the deliberate infliction of physical wounds on themselves that would be visible during filmed interviews.

The aim was to make it appear to other POWs (and to the U.S. public) that they had been tortured. One officer wrote of how he purposely damaged his vocal apparatus so he could not be forced to make propaganda statements.

In addition to some high-ranking officers attempting to portray themselves as heroes by means of self-mutilation, Wilber and Lembcke also noted that they tried to keep political literature and news of dissent back home away from other POWs, fearing that these would enhance critical positions on the war and against their authority within the prison population.

Moreover, these ranking officers often despised the more humane view of the Vietnamese displayed by other prisoners, including an interest in their language and culture, and an understanding of why they were fighting back against an invasion of their country by the most powerful military force in the world.

Bringing Back Forgotten Dissenters

Wilber and Lembcke’s book helps restore these forgotten POW dissenters to their rightful—and honored—place among the large and diverse Vietnam generation of dissidents, draft resisters, oppositional GIs, veteran activists, deserters, and all those who supported them.

Antiwar Resistance Within the Military During the Vietnam War
[Source: vietnampeace.org]

The book also shows that, despite all destruction and death brought by the invaders from the sky, North Vietnam maintained a moral superiority through oftentimes fair treatment of the captured Americans. This was in stark contrast to the more systematic adoption of torture methods by USAID and CIA-trained police under the Operation Phoenix and like-minded programs.

A group of people holding signs Description automatically generated with low confidence
Vietnam War protesters create mock Tiger Cage, replicating one in the USAID-run Con Son prison where Vietnamese inmates were tortured in a way American POWs claimed they had been tortured. [Source: easyyolktoofiles.wordpress.com]

The POW/MIA flag that flies today over the White House is intended to honor the men who endured captivity; however, it continues to perpetuate a distorted understanding of a war that was as abominable as it was unjust, and helps to advance a dangerous nationalist ideology that will lead to future Vietnams.


  1. See Clarence Adams, An American Dream: The Life of an African American Soldier and POW Who Spent Twelve Years in Communist China (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007). 

June 23, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes, Timeless or most popular, Book Review, Film Review | , | 3 Comments

153 Houston Methodist hospital network employees fired or quit after refusing coronavirus vaccination

RT | June 23, 2021

More than a hundred people have lost their job at a Texas hospital after refusing to get a coronavirus vaccine and unsuccessfully challenging the mandate in court.
Houston Methodist spokesperson Gale Smith told the media that 153 workers had their employment terminated or resigned on Tuesday. They were all among nearly 200 employees who had been suspended for missing the June 7 mandatory vaccination deadline. Smith added that those who ultimately got the shot were allowed back on the job.

The Houston Methodist healthcare corporation runs eight hospitals and employs around 25,500 people, including close to 7,750 doctors, according to its website.

A US court earlier this month threw out a lawsuit by 117 employees who said they did not want to serve as “guinea pigs” and argued that the vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are not safe enough because they had only received emergency-use approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The full approval by the regulator required a more thorough review.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insists that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective, pointing out that over 317 million doses have been administered across the country by Monday.

There has been some political pushback against possible discrimination based on vaccination status. States like Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Iowa banned vaccine passports, according to US News & World Report.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an order this month, banning public universities from demanding vaccination, or forcing students to get tested or wear masks for in-person classes. “The vaccine works, and we encourage Arizonans to take it. But it is a choice and we need to keep it that way,” Ducey said.

June 23, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 3 Comments