Auf Deutsch:  

Das Lied der Deutschen gilt für das gemeine Volk nicht mehr

The German national anthem, as a state symbol, was protected from denigration in a special way. But for months it has been dragged deeper and deeper into the mud by a corrupt clique of politicians on behalf of a billionaire and power “elite” and is now only valid for them, no longer for the common people.

A minority of people, who exploit, enslave, sow discord, injustice and lack of freedom, has taken over the scepter worldwide. And whoever believes that he can speak and negotiate with this other side, these ruling beneficiaries, who have the whole thing in their hands, is mistaken.

No! They are so sick that no negotiation is possible with them. It was still like that in the story: When the working people went on strike for their right to freedom, justice, security, peace and a life worthy of a human being and took to the streets for their children, the governments first used the police and then the military – and finally let them shoot.

The text of the German national anthem is the third verse of the poem “Das Lied der Deutschen” and was written by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841 on Helgoland and set to music by Joseph Haydn:

“Unity and Justice and Freedom / for the German Fatherland!

Let us all strive for this / Brotherly with Heart and Hand!

Unity and Justice and Freedom / are the Promise of Happiness:

Flourish in this Blessing’s Glory, / Florish, German Fatherland!”

What has remained of all this in Germany?

The passing of the new so-called infection protection law last week is only one example of many for the omnipotence fantasies of politicians and the increasing compulsion, the permanent rule changes and threats, the sickening isolation detention of adults and their children, the restricted freedom of movement, the psychological programming and finally the systematic destruction of the human psyche (David Icke). The formerly “silent” dictatorship of democracy was secretly transformed into an open dictatorship.

Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian lawyer, moral teacher and pacifist, showed the world in the last century what strength a person with an unbending will can develop and what he can achieve through it. His motto was:

“Strength does not come from physical abilities. It comes from an unbending will.”

The Indian independence movement, of which he was the intellectual and political leader, took up his idea of non-violent action and “Civil Disobedience” and in August 1947 reached the end of British colonial rule over India. Why should we not develop this unbending will?

“When I think of Germany at night, / Then I am deprived of sleep,

I can no longer close my eyes, / And my hot tears flow.”

(Heinrich Heine, Night Thoughts)

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Auf Deutsch

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Dr. Rudolf Hänsel is a certified psychologist and educationalist.

Featured image is from Wikimedia Commons

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Late on November 19, Azerbaijani troops started entering the district of Agdam in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Agdam is one of the districts surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic that Azerbaijan lost to Armenian forces after the collapse of the USSR, as a result of the First Karabkah War.

On November 20, the district is set to be fully transfered to Azerbaijan under the peace deal reached by Baku and Yerevan to put an end to the Second Karabkah War earlier in November. An overwhelming majority of Armenians living in Agdam have already left the area. Over the past days, authorities of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (also known as the Republic of Artsakh) were assisting in the evacuation. Many of the leaving Armenians were burning their homes in order to not allow the Azerbaijanis to seize them and use them in the future.

The next district, which is set to be transferred to Azerbaijani control, is Kalbajar. Originally, it had to be handed to Baku forces on November 15, but this development was rescheduled for November 25. The Armenians currently fleeing Kalbajar are burning their homes and properties that they cannot evacuate. If the control over Agdam and Kalbajar is transferred to Azerbaijan without major incidents, Lachin will become the next district that will face this fate.

Nonetheless, the Lachin corridor linking Armenia with Stepanakert and other Karabakh territories that will remain in the hands of the Armenians will be secured by the Russian peacekeeping force. Currently, the Russian military has 23 checkpoints in the conflict zone. The Lachin-Stepanakert road was reopened and over 1235 displaced civilians have returned to Stepanakert.

Contrary to the situation within districts that would be transferred to the Azerbaijani forces, Armenians do not flee the areas that will remain in the zone of responsibility of the Russians. Instead, many people that fled the conflict have opted to return their homes. Nonetheless, the local humanitarian crisis can hardly be avoided. According to the 2015 census, the population of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was about 151,000. The conflict reportedly displaced about a half of them, somewhere between 75,000-80,000. Even more people are now fleeing districts that are set to be transferred to Azerbaijan under the fear of violence, ethnic cleansing and other kinds of threats from the Azerbaijani forces and authorities. A part of the displaced people is now returning to Stepanakert and other nearby areas under Russian protection. However, even in the best case, the Armenian state will still have to deal with tens of thousands of displaced people in its territory. Yerevan already announced some financial help and economic support to these people, but the situation in Karabkah itself also requires attention. So far, the only side conducting humanitarian actions there has been Russia that created a special humanitarian center for this purpose.

The coming weeks will demonstrate the ability of the sides to compel each other to the reached ceasefire accords and, in the event of their implementation, a sufficient level of peace and security will finally be achieved in the region.

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During Trump’s legal team press conference on Thursday, attorney Sidney Powell defied reality by the following remarks:

“The Dominion voting systems, the Smartmatic technology software, and the software that goes in other computerized voting systems here in as well, not just Dominion, were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out (sic).”

The above remarks are pure rubbish. No credible evidence supports them.

While a December 2007 constitutional reform referendum favored by Chavez was defeated, it was by a slim 1.3% margin.

Throughout his tenure, he was greatly admired by ordinary Venezuelans for replacing US-supported tyranny with Bolivarian social justice.

According to Venezuela Analysis editor at the time Greg Wilpert, the 2007 referendum failed for these reasons:

The campaign supporting it was “rushed” and ineffective. Some Chavistas “defect(ed).”

“(T)he mood in the country and the process through which the reform was developed” didn’t favor the proposed changes.

Referendum supporters “did not have much time to educate the public as to what the reform was about.”

“(T)here were too many (referendum) articles to discuss and the opposition waged a merciless campaign” — that featured mass deception, enough to eke out a narrow anti-Bolivarian triumph.

The December 2007 referendum aside, Chavez was first elected in December 1998 with a 56% majority, a landslide by any standard — when the entrenched opposition to that time controlled the process.

He was consistently reelected handily until eliminated by Obama/Biden on March 5, 2013.

He knew he was marked for death, explaining the threat many times.

Days after his death, William Blum said that he “personally believe(d) that Hugo Chavez was murdered by the United States.”

Fidel Castro warned him, Chavez saying that “Fidel always told me, Chavez take care.”

“These peo­ple have de­vel­oped tech­nol­o­gy. You are very care­less.”

“Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat…a lit­tle nee­dle and they in­ject you with I don’t know what.”

Six months before Chavez’s (March 2013) death on October 4, 2012, Venezuela Analysis explained the following:

During his tenure, 15 elections (for president and National Assembly legislators) were “declared free and fair, including by international bodies such as the EU and Organization of American States (OAS).”

In September 2012, Jimmy Carter said: “(T)he election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.”

Image on the right is from CADTM

Chavez always won “fairly and squarely.”

After the 2006 presidential election, then-OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said: “(W)e had no objection. (The election) was fair.”

Venezuela “has a strong electoral system that is technically very good.”

According to the EU Observer Mission to the 2006 election:

It was conducted “in respect of national laws and international standards (with) a high turnout, and peaceful atmosphere.”

Whenever Bolivarian elections were held, international observers called the process open, free and fair.

In March 2020, Venezuela Analysis reported that “(a)n unknown hard-right militant group has claimed responsibility for the fire which destroyed 99 percent of the country’s automated (voting) machines.”

They were produced by Smartmatic, the company headquartered in London, UK.

In 2017, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) cancelled a maintenance and repair contract with the firm over its “baseless” claims of fraudulent National Assembly elections in July that year.

Since Chavez was elected Venezuelan President in December 1998, the CNE oversaw 24 presidential and National Assembly elections.

On December 6, parliamentary elections will again be held — 277 seats to be decided, 139 needed for a majority.

According to Venezuela Analysis, “107 political organizations” are participating in the process — 14,400 candidates involved.

With ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and other pro-Bolivarian candidates likely to win a majority, US-designated puppet/usurper-in-waiting Guaido opted out of the process.

His call for a widespread boycott was rejected by a number of opposition parties.

In mid-October, Venezuela Analysis reported that “the CNE  unveiled the new electronic voting machines for the December 6 parliamentary elections,” adding:

“EC21 machines were designed in Venezuela by Venezuelan technicians.”

They’re “simpler to use…and surpass previous models.”

They have “up-to-date security software, a 21 inch touchscreen, a 64 GB hard drive and 8GB of RAM.”

Like previous models, “they emit a paper receipt reflecting the vote entered which is later used to audit the electronic tallies.”

“The electoral process will be subject to 16 audits…witnessed by party representatives and international observers.”

Unlike endless US money-controlled campaigns, the process to win voter hearts and minds in Venezuela began on November 19 — barely over two weeks before election day.

CNE head Indira Alfonzo said “our doors are open for everyone to come and see this electoral process.”

Hundreds of international officials and organizations were invited, including the UN and EU.

Image below: President Nicolás Maduro, 2016. (Cancillería del Ecuador via Flickr)

President Nicolas Maduro warned that Colombian authorities (likely in cahoots with US) are “preparing 1,000 mercenaries (to) infiltrate Venezuela and sabotage the political and electoral climate” ahead of election day.

Venezuelan elections are always scrupulously open, free, and fair.

Claims of rigged voting machines by Trump’s attorney Sidney Powell have no legitimacy.

Saying she has a witness who saw how Venezuela “operate(d)  to make sure the election came out (Chavez’s) way” flies in the face of international observers and organizations that time and again affirmed the legitimacy of the country’s process.

Powell is a competent attorney. She and other Trump campaign lawyers are preparing evidence of fraud in key US swing states for Biden/Harris over Trump.

She’s done no investigatory work on Venezuela’s electoral process.

Her claims of rigging things for Chavez by voting machine software or any other means don’t hold up in the light of day.

She sullied her reputation by unacceptable remarks with no credible evidence supporting them.

If US elections were conducted according to Venezuela’s process, they’d be open, free and fair every time.

No credible evidence suggests otherwise.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image: Rally in rejection of the U.S. destabilizing plan against Venezuela, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @codepink

Video: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Israel, Palestine

November 22nd, 2020 by Palestine Chronicle

US President Donald Trump has arguably been the most staunch supporter of the state of Israel than any other US president since the launch of the so-called peace process in the early 1990s. Now that Trump is defeated, a new administration will soon be formed. 

President-elect Joe Biden and his vice-president Kamala Harris are busy formulating their political vision at home and abroad.

One of the most contentious foreign policy issues that they are expected to quickly deal with is that of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The Palestine Chronicle composed a short video reflecting the views of both Biden and Harris on Israel, Palestine, Hamas, Iran, and other related issues in the Middle East.

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Credits to the owner of the featured image

Our people inside are robbed of privacy, autonomy, safety, and human contact; why would their health in a pandemic be any different? Because of the poor standards and oversight of prison conditions in the U.S., each facility is largely responsible for implementing its own COVID-19 safety measures. All have proved inadequate.

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, only about 50% of states require correctional officers to wear masks. These officers are bringing in the virus from the outside; as they are in direct contact with our people inside, they inevitably infect people.

As Christopher Trotter states, “At this moment, the facility is on lock-down due to COVID-19. A upkick in cases as a result of staff transferring it inside to prisoners. Again, as a result of staff transferring it inside to prisoners.” Regardless of the word of the State, it is clear that our people inside are not being protected from COVID-19.

Ivan Kilgore explains, “…What the [California prison] department is doing is they’re issuing memorandums to the public…basically saying that they are providing us with social distancing, soaps, infectants…which someone who’s been incarcerated for over 20 years and actually in prison reading this stuff, I’m like, okay, where is this stuff? They weren’t passing out none of that.”

Sergio Hyland sent us a letter describing his experience with COVID-19:

Just wanted to update u and everybody over there at prisonradio that I’m in the prison infirmary, due to being hit with Covid-19. I’ve had some really painful days and nights, but hopefully on the road to recovery. I’m on steroids to help my breathing and oxygen levels come back to normal. Pretty weak and tired most of the time, but I’m used to fighting, so… Thank u Noel, and everybody else over there. I’ll be back in no time. Be safe and careful. This thing is no joke! My elder and mentor, Alvin Joyner – who is one of Maroon’s people – passed away on 11-02-20, from Covid-19. I walked and talked with him EVERY SINGLE DAY since we met. I feel so numb from his passing. The world lost a great, great man. – S

We need a reliable way to understand the atrocities that our prison industrial complex creates, and that a pandemic intensifies, is to hear it from people who experience it firsthand. Our work does that.

Today we are launching our Winter Fundraiser. We need the resources to keep our phone lines running to amplify the voices of those most silenced through these unprecedented times. We need your help in order to print the last of Mumia’s opus trilogy, Murder Inc: Perfecting Tyranny. We need to completely overhaul our outdated website to make it easier to navigate the influx of commentaries we’ve been receiving.

As of November 10th, there have been at least 182,776 people who are imprisoned who have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 1,412 deaths, according to The Marshall Project. There is no time to waste; our people inside are continuously and purposefully left out of the narrative, with COVID-19 being no different. As Travis Nettles “Seven” said, “You know, we always on the last of the totem pole.” Join us in fighting for the people who are subjugated to the worst of the pandemic, and donate now.

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Featured image: Sergio Hyland (Source: Prison Radio)

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“Making billions from arms exports which fuel the conflict while providing a small fraction of that in aid to Yemen is both immoral and incoherent.”  So thundered Oxfam’s Yemen Country Director, Muhsin Siddiquey after consulting figures from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showing that members of the G20 have exported over $17 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the Kingdom entered the conflict in Yemen.  “The world’s wealthiest nations cannot continue to put profits above the Yemeni people.” 

They do, and will continue to do so, despite the cholera outbreak, coronavirus, poorly functioning hospitals, and 10 million hungry mouths.  The latest illustration of this is the Trump administration’s hurried $23 billon sale of 50 F-35 fighter aircraft, 18 MQ-9B Reaper drones, air-to-air missiles and various other munitions to the United Arab Emirates.  The UAE used to be a more enthusiastic member of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition that has been pounding Yemen since 2015.  Despite completing a phased military withdrawal from the conflict in February 2020 to much fanfare, Abu Dhabi remains involved in the coalition and an influential agent.  Amnesty International has issued a grim warning that such weapons might well be used in “attacks that violate international humanitarian law and kill, as well as injure, thousands of Yemeni civilians.”

With the imminent change of administration in the United States, there is a moral flutter in Congressional ranks, though much of it remains meek and slanted.  Democratic Senators Bob Menendez (NJ) and Chris Murphy (Conn.), along with Republican Senator Rand Paul (Ky) intend introducing separate resolutions disapproving of President Donald Trump’s sale. Menendez felt morally mighty in warning the Trump administration that “circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible.”

Murphy expressed his support for “the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but nothing in that agreement requires us to flood the region with more weapons and facilitate a dangerous arms race.”

The US President-elect, Joe Biden, has thrown a few titbits of promise to critics of the US-Gulf States circle of love and armaments.  During the Atlanta Democratic debate held in November last year, he entertained a departure from a policy embraced during the Obama administration, certainly with regards to Saudi Arabia.  “I would make it very clear that we were not going to in fact sell more weapons to them.”  A Biden administration would “make them pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are.”  Specifically on the Yemen conflict, he promised to “end the sale of material to the Saudis where they’re going in and murdering children.”  Fighting words, easily said when a candidate.  

This view was reiterated to the Council on Foreign Relations in August this year.  “I would end US support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen and order a reassessment of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”  The Trump administration had issued the kingdom “a dangerous blank check. Saudi Arabia has used it to extend a war in Yemen that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, pursue reckless foreign policy fights, and repress its own people.”

Progressive groups have picked up a scent they find promising.  Policy director for Win Without War, Kate Kizer, expressed hope “that [Biden] starts by immediately undoing as many of the just-notified sales to the UAE as possible, and by putting the brakes on transfers that Congress has previously tried to reject under Trump.”

The moral wash on this is, however, thin.  Menendez, for instance, is hardly giddy about the fate of Yemeni civilians in the context of such arms sales, citing “a number of outstanding concerns as to how these sales would impact the national security interests of both the United States and of Israel.”  Priorities, priorities. 

Biden’s top foreign policy advisor, Tony Blinken, seems less concerned about who will be the target of the weapons in the UAE sale than any upset caused to that most unimpeachable of allies, Israel.  Sales of the F-35, for instance, were intended as a US-Israeli preserve.  Selling it to other powers in the Middle East might well compromise the “qualitative military edge” doctrine Washington adopts towards the Jewish state.  “The Obama-Biden administration made those planes available to Israel and only Israel in the region,” explained Blinken in an interview with the Times of Israel.  The new administration would have to “take a hard look” at the F-35 sale.  Was it, he wondered, a quid pro quo for the normalisation deal between Israel and the UAE? 

Mammoth arms sales continue to remain matters of business and politics, with business tending to be the crowing representative.  Halting or curbing arms sales is only ever trendy and never permanent.  Oxfam reminds us of that blood-soaked truth.  “When arms exports by G20 nations to other members of this [Arab] coalition are included, the figure of $17 billion rises to at least $31.4 billion between 2015 and 2019, the last year for which records are available.”   

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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email: [email protected]

Featured image is from Stop the War Coalition

Commemoration of the Assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963

Imagine this: A so-called presidential historian for a major television network publishes an interview in the most famous newspaper in the world with the most famous singer/songwriter in the world, who has recently written an explosive song accusing the U.S. government of a conspiracy in the assassination of the most famous modern American president, and the interviewer never asks the singer about the specific allegations in his song except to ask him if he was surprised that the song reached number one on the Billboard hit list and other musical and cultural references that have nothing to do with the assassination.

Imagine no more.  For that is exactly what Douglas Brinkley, CNN’s presidential historian, has just done with his June 12, 2020 interview with Bob Dylan in the The New York Times. The interview makes emphatically clear that Brinkley is not in the least interested in what Dylan has to say about the assassination of the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, whose murder most foul marks in the most profound way possible the devolution of the U.S. into the cesspool it has become. Brinkley has another agenda.

He introduces the interview by sketching in his relationship with Dylan and tells us that he therefore felt “comfortable” reaching out to him in April after Dylan had released his song about the JFK assassination, “Murder Most Foul.” He conveniently links to a New York Times piece by John Pareles wherein Pareles writes about the surprise song release, “The assassination of John F. Kennedy is its core and central trauma — “the soul of a nation been torn away/and it’s beginnin’ to go into a slow decay” — while Dylan tries to find answers, or at least clues, in music.”

 

That is simply false – for Dylan emphatically does not try to find answers or clues to JFK’s murder, but boldly states his answer.  If you listen to his piercing voice and follow the lyrics closely, you might be startled to be told, not from someone who can be dismissed as some sort of disgruntled “conspiracy nut,” but by the most famous musician in the world, that there was a government conspiracy to kill JFK, that Oswald didn’t do it, and that the killers then went for the president’s brothers.

But neither Pareles or the presidential historian interviewer Brinkley has any interest in Dylan’s answer.  As I wrote five days after the song’s release, it was already clear that the corporate mainstream media were in the process of diverting readers from the core of Dylan’s message:

While the song’s release has garnered massive publicity from the mainstream media, it hasn’t taken long for that media to bury the truth of his words about the assassination under a spectacle of verbiage meant to damn with faint praise.  As the media in a celebrity culture of the spectacle tend to do, the emphasis on the song’s pop cultural references is their focus, with platitudes about the assassination and “conspiracy theories,” as well as various shameful and gratuitous digs at Dylan for being weird, obsessed, or old.  As the song says, “they killed him once and they killed him twice,” so now they can kill him a third time, and then a fourth ad infinitum.  And now the messenger of the very bad news must be dispatched along with the dead president.

Brinkley continues this coverup under the guise of promoting Dylan’s upcoming album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, while showing his appreciation for Dylan’s music and his genius and asking questions that emphasize cultural and musical allusions in the new album, and making certain to not allow Dylan’s explosive message any breathing room.

Here is Brinkley’s opening question, the only semi-direct one the presidential historian deems worthy of asking about “Murder Most Foul” and the assassination of an American president.  This question opens the interview and shuts the door on further inquiry.  It is a ridiculous question as well:

Was “Murder Most Foul” written as a nostalgic eulogy for a long-lost time?

To which Dylan responds:

To me it’s not nostalgic. I don’t think of “Murder Most Foul” as a glorification of the past or some kind of send-off to a lost age. It speaks to me in the moment. It always did, especially when I was writing the lyrics out.

Could Brinkley really think he was asking a serious question?  Nostalgia? What, for a brutal assassination, as Dylan describes it:

Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb

….

Shot down like a dog in broad daylight

….

The day that they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing

No, the presidential historian knew the question wasn’t serious.  Did he think Dylan was nostalgic for the bloody murder of a man he calls the king, as he sings the part of Hamlet sending his midnight message of truth and revenge to JFK’s ghost?  Of course not.  Brinkley was doing what all the mainstream corporate media do: Making sure the truth was hidden behind a stream of pop cultural references and questions that would appeal to The New York Times’ aging readers who are nostalgic for their youth as they contemplate old age and death.

When Dylan answers one of his questions about his recent song, “I Contain Multitudes,” by saying “it is trance writing,” he uses a word that applies to this New York Times’ interview.  It is a trance-inducing interview meant to do what the Times has been doing for nearly six decades: obfuscating the truth about the murder of President Kennedy by the national security state led by the CIA. The same CIA that has always found a most receptive mouthpiece in the Times.

This interview, that begins with a witless question about nostalgia, ends with the question all the aging baby boomer Times’ readers were waiting to hear Brinkley ask Dylan:

How is your health holding up? You seem to be fit as a fiddle. How do you keep mind and body working together in unison?

From nostalgia to health more or less sums up this interview.

Murder be damned – even when Dylan’s song that initiated this interview, “Murder Most Foul,” truly startles and is a redemptive song. For Dylan holds the mirror up for us. He unlocks the door to the painful and sickening truth of JFK’s assassination.  He shoves the listener in, and, as he writes in Chronicles, “your head has to go into a different place.  Sometimes it takes a certain somebody to make you realize it.”

Bob is that certain somebody.

“What is the truth and where did it go?” he asks.

Brinkley asks other questions to take your head to places where you won’t see a thing.  It’s quite a magic trick.


Listen to Edward Curtin’s interview with One Radio Network below, “The Shallow Deep-State Goes Deeper as It Moves Toward Martial Law”.

The following are the highlights of the interview:

  • What was the main motive of the CIA being involved in JFK’s murder?
  • From the beginning, the CIA wasn’t formed for what the people think it was formed for- it was directly connected to wall street from the start
  • The CIA is the “main block” of the deep state
  • Deep state organizations: CIA, the military, the big corporations and super wealthy, NSA, all the intelligence agencies
  • Big pharma is connected with CIA and deep state
  • How could the deep state affect us today? And how does the deep state affect what the president says?
  • Currently 25% of people are unemployed; yet the wealthy elite are profiting off of the current crisis
  • The federal reserve is owned by the major banks; it is not federally owned
  • The balance sheet of the federal reserve is over $7 trillion
  • Every time money is created, it dilutes the value of the dollar
  • Anthony Fauci said corona will continue to be a nightmare pandemic and we should not implement price controls on those manufacturing a vaccine
  • Before JFK was assassinated, he said he wanted to get rid of the CIA
  • Edward Curtin argues the deep state has so much control, they would not allow someone they didn’t want in office
  • The deep state is programmed to divide the American people and create chaos

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Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He is the author of the new book: https://www.claritypress.com/product/seeking-truth-in-a-country-of-lies/

Commemoration of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963

The truth about Indonesian history and the United States involvement in its ongoing tragedy is little known in the West.  Australian historian, Greg Poulgrain, has been trying for decades to open people’s eyes to the realities of that history and to force a cleansing confrontation with the ugly truth.  It is a story of savage intrigue that involves the CIA and American governments in the support of regime change and the massive slaughter of people deemed expendable.  In his latest book, The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesia Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles, Poulgrain shows how President John Kennedy tried to change American policy in Indonesia but was opposed by Allen Dulles and the CIA, resulting in JFK’s murder.  Kennedy’s death, preceded by that of UN Secretary- General Dag Hammarskjold, then led to the US backed murder of millions of Indonesians, Papuans, and East Timorese. 

While an academic historian with meticulous credentials, Poulgrain is also a rare bird: a truth teller.

In this interview, he greatly expands on many issues in his books, including Allen Dulles’s and Kennedy’s conflicting strategies regarding Indonesia, Dulles’s involvement in the assassinations of JFK and Dag Hammarskjold, CIA involvement in the ouster of Indonesian President Sukarno, and the subsequent slaughters throughout Indonesia and West Papua.

For people of conscience, his is a voice worth heeding.

In the introduction to The Incubus of Intervention you ask the question: “Would Allen Dulles have resorted to assassinating the President of the United States to ensure his ‘Indonesian strategy’ rather than Kennedy’s was achieved?”  You say it is up to the reader to decide and that is why you have written the book.  There is a bit of ambiguity in that second statement.  What have you concluded?

Slowly, slowly… I came to understand the role of Indonesia in the differences that emerged between Allen Dulles and John F Kennedy. My lecturing/research on Indonesian history and politics, which I’ve now been doing for several decades, kept me on track. A memorable interview with Indonesian former vice-president, Adam Malik, less than a year before he died, left me puzzled as to why he wanted to impress on me the importance of Indonesia in relation to the Sino-Soviet rift. I did not realize until much later that, once the rift was detected, Indonesia was used by Allen Dulles as a wedge to split them further apart.

Visiting Indonesia from Brisbane is much less of an expedition than travelling from the USA so, over the years, I’ve spoken with many people there about Sukarno and the politics of the ‘60s. Although I include 19th and 20th century history as part of the history I teach, my focus remains the 1950s and 60s, when Indonesia was struggling to find its feet as an independent country. The Dutch had remained for more than three centuries because they were presiding over the world’s richest colony.

Before the war in Vietnam reached full pitch, Washington’s attention was on Laos. Allen Dulles had long been keeping an eye on Indonesia but in government policy or official announcements Indonesia rarely received any mention at all, despite its political volatility, its immense wealth of natural resources and the sheer size of the country. It is many times larger in population than most countries in Southeast Asia – the 4th largest in the world – and as the world’s longest archipelago it is slung across the equator for a distance equivalent to that between Los Angeles and Newfoundland.

The Indonesian populace in 1963 considered JFK a hero, during and after his presidency; so the fact that his strategy to bring Indonesia ‘on side’ in the Cold War is not well known outside Indonesia really highlights our lack of awareness of Indonesia. And how many readers are aware of Allen Dulles’ covert operations in Indonesia? – such as in 1958, which was the largest CIA operation outside Vietnam according to Colonel Fletch Prouty who once worked alongside Dulles.  I am assuming the reader is not familiar with Indonesia of the 1960s and even less familiar with the respective strategies of Kennedy and Dulles, so I really have to throw some light on these to enable the reader to see there is startling evidence linking the two, centered on Indonesia. It was an extraordinary political duel, and the triumph of Dulles led not just to the death of Kennedy but to the death of millions. It is on-going…

Could you share with us this background and their respective strategies?

The potential wealth of the archipelago, particularly oil and minerals, caught the attention of Allen Dulles as a lawyer in the 1920s. He was representing Rockefeller Oil interests against Henri Deterding, the legendary oil mogul of the Netherlands East Indies. Having first started in Intelligence at the time of the First World War, Allen Dulles was still closely linked with Rockefeller oil interests when he became DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) in the 1950s. His expertise was regime change and this was his ultimate aim in Indonesia. His anti-Sukarno strategy had begun more than three years before John F. Kennedy was elected president, and it came into conflict with Kennedy’s pro-Sukarno stance. Kennedy’s Indonesia strategy involved befriending Indonesia as a Cold War ally as this was a prerequisite for Kennedy’s Southeast Asian policy dealing with Laos and the burgeoning problem of North and South Vietnam. In 1961, Dulles did not reveal to Kennedy the depth and intricacy of subterfuge he’d initiated with Indonesia as the focus, nor was Kennedy aware of the extent and elaborate nature of Dulles’ strategy.

Was Allen Dulles’s Indonesian strategy just about Indonesian oil and mineral wealth?  

The Cold War was raging in the early 1960s with Washington pitted against the Sino-Soviet bloc. Driving a wedge between Moscow and Beijing was one of the resolutions of the Rockefeller Brothers panel when it met in 1958 – the panel which included persons such as DCI Dulles and his former associate from postwar Berlin, Henry Kissinger, whose concept of ‘limited nuclear war’ was attracting attention. When an ideological split between Moscow and Beijing was confirmed in the early 1960s, Dulles regarded this intelligence as so vitally important that he informed neither the ailing incumbent president, Eisenhower, nor the Secretary of State who took over in 1959 from John Foster Dulles (Before dying of cancer, John Foster refused his younger brother Allen the privilege of stepping into his shoes as Secretary of State, Allen’s lifelong ambition.)

Nor did Allen Dulles inform the new president, John F Kennedy, that the Sino-Soviet split was real. During his first year in office in 1961, Kennedy all too soon became Dulles’ nemesis. During the second year, with Dulles still as powerful as ever but no longer DCI, the Cold War reached its apogee with the Cuban missile crisis. In the third year of Kennedy’s presidency he intended to implement his Indonesia strategy so as to justify his intervention in the New Guinea sovereignty dispute. In essence, this involved pouring in US aid in order to turn Indonesia towards the West. Kennedy had intended using the same Indonesian army officers which Dulles had been training at US bases since 1958, training in readiness to assume power. Kennedy’s intention to utilize these same troops for massive civic aid programs was the very opposite of Dulles’ intention. But most of all, Kennedy intended to keep Sukarno as president whereas in Dulles strategy Sukarno was the arch-enemy. Under the aegis of Sukarno’s radical nationalism, the Indonesian communist party had been gathering millions of members, driven by poverty and the attraction of owning a small patch of land to grow rice.

 I am reminded of how Dulles, who was so treacherous, also didn’t inform Kennedy that the CIA had learned that the Soviets knew of the date of the Bay of Pigs invasion more than a week in advance and had informed Castro. So Dulles knew the invasion would fail but went ahead with it anyway.  He then blamed Kennedy.  He was devious beyond belief.

A former head of British intelligence once described Allen Dulles as the “greatest intelligence officer who ever lived” and while this comment referred to his activities in the 1940s his Indonesia strategy certainly supports the accolade. Dulles became aware of the bonanza of minerals and oil in Netherlands New Guinea before the Japanese wartime occupation of Indonesia. In the mountains of New Guinea one of the Rockefeller companies discovered the world’s largest primary deposit of gold. In addition to this, the oil that was discovered in record quantity was free of sulphur (so oil-refining was not required).

However, to gain control over these natural resources, first the Dutch colonial administration had to be removed. When Dutch colonial rule in the Netherlands East Indies ended in 1949, the Dutch retained New Guinea and stayed another twelve years. Dulles helped Kennedy to choose in 1962 between Dutch or Indonesian rule over the Papuan people – he chose the latter- by ensuring the UN option would not occur.  The UN option involved secret discussions in 1961 between Kennedy and the UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold. Kennedy favoured intervention by the UN because it meant he would not have to choose between Indonesia (whom he needed as a Cold War ally in Southeast Asia) and the Dutch (who were NATO allies). Hammarskjold was going to deny both Dutch and Indonesian claims to sovereignty and instead grant the Papuan people independence.

The thought of Papuan independence must have incensed Dulles.

‘The Incubus of Intervention’ shows how and why Allen Dulles prevented Dag Hammarskjold from using the United Nations to bring the New Guinea sovereignty dispute to an end. Dulles’ intervention and the death of Hammarskjold is a ghastly precedent for the tragedy that occurred when JFK’s proposed visit to Jakarta was stopped in Dallas.  Kennedy’s visit – as Dean Rusk explained to me in a hand-written letter – was to bring Malaysian Confrontation to a halt and this would only have reinforced Sukarno’s position as ‘president for life’. Kennedy’s proposed visit meant the death of Dulles’ Indonesia strategy.

Had the vast gold and copper deposits in the mountains of West New Guinea (West Papua) remained under the control of President Sukarno, they would have been used primarily to benefit the Indonesian people. The opposite occurred once Indonesia was under the control of General Suharto – indeed, outside the building in Jakarta when the contract was signed with the Rockefeller company, Freeport Indonesia, army tanks were heard patrolling the streets. Vast oil deposits in Sumatra, and oil in other parts of Indonesia, were also exploited. Two of Dulles’ close associates later benefited from the bonanza of natural resources – Admiral Arleigh Burke of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Kissinger joined the Freeport board of directors. When the price of gold was at its height several years ago, the size of the Freeport mining operation could be gauged by the annual turnover which was almost $20 billion.

Do you think Kennedy’s Indonesian strategy would have worked?

Kennedy’s Indonesia strategy would have worked: that was the problem facing Allen Dulles. Stopping Malaysian Confrontation quite possibly may have landed him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Had he not attempted to secure his Indonesia strategy – that is, had he not been prepared to go to Jakarta to stop Confrontation in order to get Congress to resume US aid to Indonesia, winning the 1964 presidential elections would have been next to impossible. His major foreign policy move in Southeast Asia would have been deemed a failure, so he had no option.

It was easy for Kennedy’s detractors to depict his Indonesia strategy as driven by personal political ambition, because the key factor was that he was supporting President Sukarno; and because Sukarno had received such bad press in the USA, such a move by Kennedy seemed fraught with political danger. Sukarno throughout his entire political career back to the 1920s had promoted nationalism but still he was branded by some as a communist, or communist sympathizer; even Kennedy, for that matter, was labelled by some extremist media as a communist. For Dulles’ Indonesia strategy to receive sufficient support from persons in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kennedy’s personal ambition was seen as cutting across the national interest, disrupting the strategy of using the Indonesian army as a political vehicle against the Indonesian communist party, the PKI.  Both Moscow and Beijing were endeavouring to gain influence on the PKI, the latter by promoting the PKI role in Malaysian Confrontation, and the former by discouraging the PKI from participating; instead, Moscow preferred elections to be held so the numerical advantage of the PKI could be brought to bear. The rivalry between the two was intense, and ideological disputes were increasingly evident. Kennedy’s visit would have closed down the opportunity to use the PKI as a wedge to drive the Sino-Soviet dispute into open hostility.

After the PKI was decimated in late 1965-66, under orders from General Suharto’s military cohorts, open hostility flared in the form of tank battles along the Sino-Soviet border. Had Kennedy proceeded with his visit to Jakarta and his Indonesia strategy succeeded, we can only surmise whether or not the Sino-Soviet dispute would have turned into such open conflict or whether the tragic turn of events in Indonesia, 1965, would ever have occurred. Or would General Suharto like a toadstool have found another way to surface.

You do not say if you have concluded that Dulles had JFK assassinated because of the Indonesia issue.  What is your position on that?

Have you seen that 50-minute interview on Youtube by Colonel Fletcher Prouty where he says his former CIA boss, Allen Dulles, in his last few year as Director, was organizing assassinations so regularly and so ruthlessly that Prouty called it “Murder Incorporated” ?

 Yes. Prouty’s insights are invaluable.

For example, take the plane crash which killed UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold in the Congo in 1961. Last year, 2015, a UN investigation finally decided his death was political assassination. Playing a crucial role in this investigation were documents (ten letters by a South African intelligence agency) unearthed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the late 1990s. The name of Allen Dulles was directly linked with the plane crash.

The interview I conducted with Hammarskjold’s right-hand man, George Ivan Smith, which is included in ‘The Incubus of Intervention’ introduced another motive – Indonesia rather than the Congo –  for the involvement of Allen Dulles in the tragic death of Hammarskjold.

Can you talk about that interview?  What you write about the Hammarskjold assassination, JFK, and Indonesia is new and very important.

George Ivan Smith explained that Hammarskjold was planning to make an historic announcement in the General Assembly when he returned from the Congo – which he never did.  The announcement he had intended was for the United Nations to intervene in the long-running dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands over sovereignty of West New Guinea. Had Hammarskjold done this, he would have totally disrupted the ‘Indonesia strategy’ of Allen Dulles. The CIA had already assassinated the first president of the Congo after being granted independence: this is what the US Senate investigated in 1975 and found Allen Dulles was directly involved in instigating this assassination.

What George Ivan Smith told me – combined with the evidence from Bishop Tutu – provided a motive for Allen Dulles’ involvement in the death of Hammarskjold that was centred on Indonesia rather than the Congo.

What I am saying is that in 1961 Hammarskjold unwittingly threatened Dulles strategy and that in 1963 Kennedy also threatened Dulles strategy without being fully aware of what Dulles was planning or the years of covert scheming that had gone into that planning. This is what I have labelled the ‘Indonesia strategy’ of Allen Dulles.  By 1963, with Netherlands New Guinea and its unannounced bonanza of natural resources now a part of Sukarno’s Indonesia, Dulles’ strategy was on several levels which I’d like to restate:

1) It involved using Indonesia, or the Indonesian communist party (PKI ) as the ‘wedge’ to widen the rift between ‘Moscow and Peking’ (Beijing)

2) Dulles’ intervention in Indonesia in 1958 led to full-scale training in the USA of two-thirds of all Indonesian army officers, in readiness for regime change (which came in 1965)

3) Exploitation of the world’s largest primary deposit of gold (and copper) in West New Guinea, and the world’s purest oil, with no sulphur, was a boost for Rockefeller companies (linked with Dulles since the 1920s.)

So the answer to your question is ‘yes’ – Indonesia offered immense benefits in terms of the Cold War struggle, and (when regime-change took place in Indonesia) immense benefits in terms of gold, copper and oil. (West New Guinea also has one of the world’s largest deposits of natural gas.)

Neither Hammarskjold nor Kennedy was aware of how high the stakes were and neither had more than an inkling of how ruthless Dulles could be. The Indonesia context, firstly in 1961 and then again in 1963, provided a motive for murder – first Hammarskjold and then Kennedy.

 I have often thought of Kennedy and Hammarskjold as linked by a certain astute intelligence and a spiritual dimension.  So Dulles had them both killed?

Official records show DCI Dulles often used gambling metaphors when weighing up the chance of success for correctly predicting what some foreign leader would do, or predicting the outcome of one of Dulles’ own projects.  For instance, he’d say there was a “better than even” chance of success. After Hammarskjold’s plane crash in 1961 prevented the UN Secretary-General from interfering in the Indonesia strategy which Dulles had set in motion five years earlier, inexorably moving towards regime change, by 1963 the cumulative evidence confirming the rift in the Sino-Soviet bloc made a successful outcome of this strategy even more critical. In 1963 Kennedy’s proposed visit to Jakarta, while threatening to undo years of intelligence work on the massive amount of natural resources in Indonesia that would be accessible after regime change, also threatened Dulles’ Cold War machinations. Had Kennedy proceeded, the current Dulles’ strategy of using Indonesia as a wedge in the Sino-Soviet split would be undermined.  Malaysian Confrontation, by sending the Indonesian economy into screaming inflation, was working in two ways for Dulles: while it set the scene for the exit of Sukarno, at the same time, it added to the rift and rivalry between Moscow and Beijing.  As such, Kennedy’s visit to Jakarta could be seen as contrary to the national interest, and for the Joint Chiefs of Staff this carried far more weight.  Stopping Kennedy became an imperative for Dulles.  Having removed Hammarskjold, Dulles’ options now – to use his own inimitably callous metaphor – were “double or nothing.”

Could we jump ahead to the 1965-6 period when regime change took place and the slaughter commenced? What can you tell us about the killing of the generals, where the blame lay, Suharto’s links to the CIA, etc.? I know you have delved deeply into that.

Killing the army generals (rather than kidnapping and taking them to Sukarno to explain rumours of a coup) was not on the agenda of the 30th Sept Movement, according to one of the key persons in the Movement, Colonel Abdul Latief.  Killing them changed everything – changed Indonesian history, led to General Suharto taking power and wreaking mayhem, one of the largest mass-murders in the 20th century. The Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) under DN Aidit was the largest communist party outside the Sino-Soviet bloc, and its decimation was a turning point in the Cold War. The serious discord between Moscow and Beijing, identified six years earlier and closely monitored by the CIA, was made far worse by the fate of the PKI. What had once been described as a monolithic communist bloc now had Moscow and Beijing hurling blame and abuse at each other and this soon led to open hostility (eg. tank battles on the Ussuri River.) The continued war in Vietnam, despite US losses, served this same end. In the early 1970s, the population of Beijing was even subjected to trial-runs in the event of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union involving mass-evacuation of the streets into underground shelters.

I know you spoke to Latief.  What did he tell you? 

My interview with Colonel Latief was in Cipinang prison a few days after Suharto resigned. I’d arrived in Jakarta in May 1998, just after the rioting and burning had started – the last person through the airport before it was closed –  and became involved in the supply-chain delivering food to the 60,000 Indonesian students who were occupying the parliament building. Student protest did much of the work (up to the final thumbs-down by US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright) which forced the resignation of Suharto. One of the students who also delivered food to persons in prison – such as Latief, who had been in prison for 30 years – helped me into Cipinang.

The three main army persons in the 30th Sept Movement were Latief, Untung and Supardjo. Latief was commander of the Jakarta military command. It was essential to have him on side for the plan to kidnap half a dozen generals. “There was no plan to kill the generals, no plan to kill anybody,” Latief repeated to me several times. The person described as head of the Movement was Lt. Colonel Untung, commander of the palace guard; but the highest ranking officer was Brig-General Supardjo, based in Pontianak, Kalimantan, as part of the on-going confrontation with Malaysia. He’d been asked over to Jakarta by General Suharto (who was running the Confrontation campaign) but the first person he visited when he arrived was Sjam (full name Kamaruzaman) who was the actual leader of the Movement. This visit by Supardjo was only two days before the kidnapping began. His higher rank as general added respectability to the Movement and he acquiesced in the plan to move against the ‘Council of Generals’ accused of planning a coup against President Sukarno. He could see the Movement lacked any coherent strategy or military planning, but as such an urgent threat needed immediate response he was willing to let it proceed. It cost him his life.

John Roosa’s book, Pretext for Mass Murder, confirms Sjam was the leader of the Movement. Roosa explains Sjam’s role in relation to the Special Bureau, a covert group within the PKI which Aidit started in late 1964 to befriend persons in the armed forces who might have been supportive of the PKI. Since the early 1950s, Aidit had known of Sjam’s skill in becoming involved in an issue from both sides of the political fence and obviously thought he was the man for the job, even though he had no formal military training.  Apparently what Aidit did not know was that Sjam’s military experience during the 1945-49 struggle for Indonesian independence against the Dutch involved close contact with Suharto. Nor did Aidit realize the implications of this military bond which predated his own link-up with Sjam: indeed, it should raise serious questions about Aidit’s control over Sjam in the Special Bureau when Sjam’s ultimate allegiance was to Suharto.

Did Suharto support this group?

Among the members of the 30th Sept Movement, there was no question that Suharto discretely supported the group but it did not dawn on them that Suharto and Sjam may have been operating together as one unit.

So why did they trust Suharto?

When I asked Latief why the Movement trusted Suharto so much before the fateful night when the generals were kidnapped, he answered as follows:  “He was one of us”…..  Latief and Suharto were close friends. They had family links and military ties that went back to the 45-49 independence struggle, where Latief briefly met Sjam for the first time, but the Suharto-Sjam link during the 1950s leading up to Sjam’s role in the Movement remained unknown to Latief – until it was too late and the killings had occurred. Latief said when he was thrown into prison, the bullet shot into his knee was left untreated, and he was also stabbed with a bayonet.  At first he was left without food in prison; he told me he was so hungry he caught a rat and ate it.

In retrospect Latief’s evidence makes a mockery of the court proceedings: after all, he had visited the house of Suharto a few days before the kidnapping to explain to Suharto the plan to kidnap the generals. Any such operation would have been stomped on immediately by Indonesia’s strategic command, Kostrad, but this did not happen because the commander of this elite unit was Suharto himself. If it could be argued that Suharto kept this information to himself for the ultimate benefit of Indonesia, then he must also accept responsibility for the death of the generals – which opened the path to the presidency for none other than the ultimate benefit of Suharto. On the morning of 1st October when troops from the Movement occupied Merdeka Square, a central location in Jakarta, the fact that Suharto’s Kostrad headquarters remained untouched even after the first radio announcement was tantamount to a statement of alliance between him and the 30th September Movement. On one side of the square was the US Embassy, on another side was Kostrad headquarters, and opposite was the Radio station from where the Movement made its first announcement at 7.15am that a number of generals had been arrested and that an Indonesian Revolutionary Council would be established in Jakarta. The ten-minute broadcast gave the name of Untung as leader of the Movement.

According to another person I interviewed, Indonesian Air Force intelligence officer Lt. Colonel Heru Atmodjo, who was accused of involvement in the Movement and spent 17 years in prison, the first radio announcement was written by Sjam but perused and approved by Untung, whereas the second radio announcement just after midday was entirely the work of Sjam.  The second radio announcement was attempting a dramatic restructuring of rank and power – while all the time holding Sukarno as the supreme commander – and as a result of this announcement the Movement has subsequently been labelled as attempting a ‘coup’. Only in hindsight did Latief realize the Movement which he had supported was actually politically motivated or – one might say – infected by the presence of Sjam.

In his defence statement, Latief told the court not only that he visited the house of Suharto a few days before 30th Sept and outlined the plan, but also that they spoke again on the night of 30th September when Suharto was visiting his son in hospital. The court dismissed Latief’s remarkable information as irrelevant. Nor was the court told that, after hearing from Latief that the kidnapping operation would take place that very night in the early morning hours of 1st October, Suharto then paid a secret visit to the official residence of Brig-General Supardjo at Cempaka Putih, in Jakarta. (He also had a family home in Bandung.) The late-night secret visit was witnessed by a Lt. Colonel who took note but did not mention it, of course, during the subsequent years of terror under Suharto. More than two years before Suharto’s resignation, a very high-ranking Indonesian officer, together with a prominent politician, informed me of this visit by Suharto to the residence of Supardjo. Suharto not only knew of the plan to kidnap the generals but was accepted as one of the group.

How and when did Suharto manipulate the kidnapping and murder of the generals as a pretext for the slaughter of the PKI?

A remarkable PhD thesis completed in June 2014 by J. Melvin, ‘The Mechanics of Mass Murder’, shows how Suharto, on the morning of the 1st October 1965, had issued orders to begin arresting and culling the PKI in faraway northern Sumatra.  Before the PKI had even been named as possible culprits – indeed, even before it was known that the fate of the generals was not kidnapping but murder – Suharto was blaming the PKI for the deaths of the generals. He issued orders for retaliation against the PKI. When this gruesome preparatory work of Suharto becomes better known (and I think John Roosa will soon publish another book incorporating this vital information) the role of Suharto in the death of the generals will be seen as his ‘crossing the Rubicon’ – but in this case it was a river of blood.

Suharto’s intelligence aide, Ali Murtopo, later tracked down two of the drivers of the trucks which had transported the troops involved in the kidnapping and murder. Murtopo killed both drivers a week or so later, perhaps because they had information which, in some way, might have linked Suharto to Sjam, or information relating more directly to the death of the generals.

Sjam admitted in court his responsibility for the death of the generals – during the kidnapping the last-minute orders were ‘dead or alive’ and those who survived the kidnapping were later executed with a bullet in the head – but Sjam claimed all this was on instructions from Aidit, bolstering the case that the PKI was responsible.

Taomo Zhou has shown in her article ‘China and the Thirtieth of September Movement,’ (‘Indonesia’ 98,October 2014) that the transcript of a discussion between Chairman Mao and Aidit bears remarkable resemblance to what took place in Jakarta on the fateful night when the six generals were killed – the event which Indonesian terminology refers to as G30S.  However, the transcript is historically contaminated by the murderous events that took place on the night of 30th September. With G30S in hindsight, Aidit’s complicity can be read into the transcript to such an extent that kidnapping is all too readily replaced by murder. Taomo Zhou states that “The Chinese leaders were aware of the PKI’s plan to prevent the anti-Communist army generals from making a move to seize power “- but murder (as Latief explained) was not on the agenda, so to attribute any more than kidnapping into Aidit’s intention would seem to be reading into the transcript more than intended in the original meaning.  Because of the way the term G30S is used in the summing up, Taomo Zhou implies murder was on the agenda: “Recent research indicates that a clandestine group within the PKI, which included Aidit but excluded other members of the politburo and the rank and file of the party, planned G30S.” And again: ”A clandestine group within the PKI independently made the plan, which was then shared by Aidit with the top Chinese leaders in advance.”

If Aidit is to be held responsible for the events which took place that night – and by this I mean the killing rather than the kidnapping of the generals – and that Sjam was acting on Aidit’s orders, then it would have been on Aidit’s instructions that G30S troops did not occupy Kostrad headquarters because Suharto was considered as one who was supporting the Movement.

Although Aidit did not mention any name, it may well have been the highest ranking officer (ie. Suharto rather than Supardjo) whom he was referring to when he told Chairman Mao “we plan to establish a military committee… The head of this military committee would be an underground member of our party.”   The duplicity of Suharto, like Sjam, went a long way back into Indonesia history. In 1948, Suharto was the emissary sent by General Nasution to investigate the military strength and political unity of the movement in Madiun who, apparently under communist leadership, were steadfastly unwilling to conduct negotiations with the Dutch. “Do you negotiate with a burglar in your house?” was one of the rhetorical questions asked at this time.  Suharto supported the intransigence of the left-wing groups in Madiun and, according to the military commander of Madiun, Soemarsono, (now 96 years of age and living in Sydney, where I spoke with him three months ago) Suharto was accepted by the PKI when he was in Madiun because of his strongly pro-left stance.  Perhaps this was why Aidit, who in the postwar days was a young left-wing figure and only became head of the PKI in the early 1950s, was willing to accept the purported hand of friendship Suharto offered as Kostrad commander in Jakarta in 1965.

Suharto’s deviousness is breathtaking.

General Nasution knew Suharto over a period of two decades, from the days of the struggle for independence to 1965, and then for another three decades when Suharto was president. (Nasution 1918-2000 passed away two years after Suharto resigned.) Over a period from 1983 up to 1996, I visited Nasution many times to talk over aspects of Indonesia history.  Hanging on the wall next to where we talked was a painting of his young daughter who was accidentally shot on the night of 30th Sept 65 when troops came to kidnap him, but failed. He escaped by climbing over the fence into an Embassy which was next to his house, but in the fracas his daughter was killed and so too was his adjutant, Lt Tendean.  Nasution told me – without putting it in so many words – that his wife always blamed Suharto for the death of their daughter: for the rest of her life – that is, three decades of living in Jakarta – she never again spoke to Suharto.

Suharto has always claimed he had no prior knowledge of what the 30th Sept Movement was intending to do. Indeed, according to the three-tiered system he himself introduced to apportion blame, anything less than complete denial would have seen Suharto himself in Category One which was ‘prior knowledge’ and punishable by death.

 What was Suharto’s link to the CIA and the 30th September movement?

When I asked Nasution about the role of the CIA, if any, in G30S, he told me that Sjam and Suharto had been observed in Bandung (where the Indonesian army has an officer training school, referred to as SESKOAD) visiting the commander of that school. The name of the commander was Colonel Suwarto and he was closely allied with the CIA, a detail Nasution stressed and one that is generally known by Indonesian scholars of this period. For me, Suwarto was an interesting character – quite apart from the fact that he had a wooden leg – because his American friend was Guy Pauker, well known as a close associate of Allen Dulles. When I asked Pauker if he’d met Suharto before he was president, he denied that he had. However, Pauker commented that Allen S. Whiting (his former friend in RAND and later State Dept Counselor) was the first person to point to the incipient split between Moscow and Beijing as a definite schism. Even in 1963 there were still relatively few who interpreted this split as genuine, but among those who did was Ambassador Marshall Green. [see: footnote 65 in Harold P. Ford’s article ‘Calling the Sino-Soviet Split’ published by CSI, Winter ‘98-99].  Having arrived in Jakarta in 1965 only months before the 30th Sept Movement, Green arranged for the Indonesia army to receive top-level communication gear to coordinate the widespread massacre of the PKI. Also supplying thousands of names, Green’s macabre contribution to the Cold War was, in effect, the decapitation the PKI.

Nasution’s own intelligence cohorts would have been the source of the reported sighting of Suharto and Sjam in Bandung. Assuming this is correct and Pauker’s denial also correct, then Suharto and Sjam might have been talking with Suwarto in one room, with Pauker in the adjacent room: a highly improbable situation, of course. Suwarto was the former instructor of Suharto when he attended SESKOAD, shortly before being appointed commander of the campaign to oust the Dutch from Netherlands New Guinea. (Today this Indonesian province, West Papua, has been controlled by the Indonesian army virtually since the signing of the New York Agreement in 1962, arranged by Allen Dulles’ long-term friend, Ellsworth Bunker.)

I’d like to point out something that emerged as a result of the interview with Colonel Latief. When going through the court testimonial of Sjam, some details he provided deserve closer attention as they are contradicted by Latief’s statement – and he was very adamant when he made the statement to me in Cipinang – that he had never seen Sjam before 30th Sept 1965.  Yet in Sjam’s court evidence, he states that when Aidit and he set up the Special Bureau to ascertain or pinpoint persons in the army who might be sympathetic to the PKI position, this process involved a few meetings.  Sjam claimed he held several meetings with Latief and Untung, and that the purpose of the meetings was to plan a counter-move to the so-called Council of Generals who were planning to move against President Sukarno.  This is clearly incorrect if Latief had never met Sjam before 30th Sept.  Rather than simply say, ‘Well, perhaps Latief is not correct,” another way to view this is to ask, ‘How was it that Suharto was a close friend of the four main persons in the Movement, Supardjo, Sjam, Untung and Latief?’ (Untung had served in the New Guinea campaign to oust the Dutch in 1962, with Suharto as his commanding officer.) Is there not also a possibility that Suharto, using his long-standing friendship with Untung and Latief and his inside-knowledge of where their political sympathies lay, actually suggested to Sjam (as part of his Special Bureau work) to approach Untung. And then for Untung to approach Latief. If this were the case, then we have a situation where Latief would have visited the house of Suharto in the days prior to G30S, to tell him of the action the Movement intended to take, when Suharto actually knew already. This may have reinforced Latief’s perception that Suharto’s role was supportive only, with no link between Sjam and Suharto, and so may have been a reason why Suharto did not have Latief executed, as he did the others in the Movement.

So you have concluded that Suharto was, together with the CIA, the puppeteer behind it all?

Increasingly, as further evidence is compiled years after the event, Suharto is taking on the appearance of the Kostrad commander at the centre of a web. He had made plans – even before the event occurred – to strike at the PKI for the events which occurred on the night of 30th Sept. And through Sjam he was able to ensure the kidnapping event (as planned by Latief, Untung and Supardjo) was turned into the murder of the generals; and through Sjam’s position with Aidit, Suharto ensured the event was turned into a tragedy of epic proportions, from which Indonesia has yet to recover.

So Suharto comes to power, the massacres ensue, and West Papua is exploited by American mining giant Freeport McMoRan.  After all these years, do you see any hope for West Papuan independence?

The main issues facing the Papuan people in the western half of New Guinea, now two Indonesian provinces called Papua and West Papua, all stem from the continuing presence of the Indonesian army. Although there are Papuan regional representatives and a Papuan governor of each province, the Indonesian army rules everyday life, as it has since it first arrived in the territory in December 1962.

Ousting the Dutch colonial power in 1962, the Indonesian rule arrived in the form of an army of occupation and – although it is not as obvious to the casual observer now as it was during the Suharto era – the mentality of occupation, exploitation and annihilation has continued to the present day.

I am not using the word ‘annihilation’ as a simple descriptive term. The word ‘genocide’, of course, is abhorrent, and people visiting Papua/West Papua today would see Papuans in urban areas apparently living freely, and in the more remote regions Papuans still live in villages much as they did during and before the brief Dutch period. Yes, there have been some positive changes but in terms of infant mortality and other important life-indices, the statistics for the quality of life lived by some indigenous Papuans are worse than the worst in Africa. This is precisely what angers the Papuan people. They are 20 times the national average of HIV-Aids and the usual response from Jakarta is that the Papuans are primitive and their sexual practices have led to the shocking statistics. But the reality is – and here I can speak from personal experience having interviewed a medical officer who had investigated the problem – the Indonesian army has been responsible for bringing prostitutes to Papua (as part of the varied business interests of the army in Papua) and ensuring all the prostitutes – they came from Surabaya – were HIV-infected. The medical officer actually interviewed the prostitutes and they said they were picked to go to Papua because they were infected.

I am reminded of methods used to exterminate the native peoples of North America, smallpox, alcohol, etc.

The army even manufactures its own brand of raw alcohol notorious for its methanol toxicity. One morning in Nabire I remember walking along the street and coming across a dead Papuan, dead from drinking the cheap alcohol, I was told. It has been sold everywhere for many years, but now the Papuan governor has introduced a total ban on alcohol. This move might have been inspired by good intentions but will create a thriving black-market dominated by smuggling which will be controlled by the military. Selling logs to China and other places, despite repeated moratoriums on logging, is a business that reaps hundreds of millions of dollars for the army in both provinces, Papua/West Papua. But this is more ecological annihilation.

What did you mean when you used the word genocide?

Let me return to the question of genocide. US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega once asked me to find out more about the killing that took place in the highlands in 1977 – mass killing. The Indonesian army used four Bronco OV10 fighter/bomber planes, ex Vietnam, strafing and bombing non-stop for four months in the highlands. Valley after valley of people working in the gardens tending their sweet-potato crops, villages that had been there for generations – suddenly attacked by the new boss from Jakarta. A Dutch doctor in the highland town of Wamena took note of the number of widows visiting the hospital there the following year and calculated the death toll was above 20,000 people. I have also met Christian missionaries who were in the area when this massive killing spree took place. For one woman, so bad was the horror she was traumatized for the rest of her life. During my first visit to Jayapura in 1978, I recall one night a young boy about 12 years of age came out from under a building, pleading with me: “They kill my mother, they kill my father, and now they kill me.” I had no idea what he was talking about: only later I found out what had happened in the highlands, from where the child had fled, walking for weeks.

The Dutch doctor also noted that four plain-clothed Americans were acting as advisers for the Indonesian pilots involved in this non-stop bombing and strafing. They were providing advice to the pilots on how best to attain better angles and approaches as they searched for new targets beyond the main Baliem valley. The surrounding region which took only minutes to reach by plane took many hours to reach by road transport. This fertile region was the most densely populated of all areas in the entire territory and Papuan communities had lived there for centuries. This was where Richard Archbold (a former CEO from Standard Oil in pre-war days) landed in his giant flying-boat. He dubbed the place “Shangri-La” because the Papuans were so peaceful – men, women and children working in the fields until 2pm, then the men washing the children in the river before conducting school lessons while the women retired to the village to prepare the evening meal.

Do you have figures on how many people in “Shangri-La” were slaughtered in this genocide?

In a land such as Papua, because of the rugged terrain and remoteness, there is always great difficulty in obtaining accuracy of demographic information. The figure of 100,000 Papuans used to be bandied about as the death toll resulting from Indonesian army repression, over the years; but this was chosen only because the Human Rights group which promoted the figure had that number of names and addresses of people, missing or dead. This included persons who were known to have been dropped by helicopter over the sea, or persons forced into a latrine only to have their head pushed under and held there until death. Two decades ago, I discussed this very issue with prominent Papuan activists and realised, while they knew the figure was much higher, the purpose in claiming the figure of 100,000 was because it was indisputable. To gain a better idea of the total number, however, I checked the population figures available from the last census held before the Dutch departed, and with it I compared the statistics available from eastern New Guinea, populated by Papuans with similar culture but under the former colonial control of Australia. The dividing line between east and West Papua is simply a meridian, 141 degrees East, which was agreed upon by the Dutch in the western half, and in the eastern half British and German (before Australia took control after the First World war.) in places, this dividing line which became a colonial border ran straight through the middle of some villages.

So in Netherlands New Guinea in 1960 there was a census, and in the eastern half called Papua New Guinea (PNG) the Australian administration also conducted a census in 1960. PNG always had more inhabitants than the western half but it was the rate of growth that was crucial because it gave a basis of comparison with the similar Papuan culture in the western half. The rate of growth of the PNG Papuan population from 1960 to 2002 was then calculated. This rate I then applied to the census statistics compiled by the Dutch in 1960, to calculate an estimation of what the population in the western half might be in 2002, or might have been expected to be.

Under Indonesian army rule for four decades, there was a remarkable discrepancy showing a population deficit of 1.3 million Papuans. Of course, we must also include in this rough calculation the exodus of Papuans from west to east once the terror of Indonesian army rule became apparent, but it shows without doubt that a vast number of Papuans went missing. This population deficit in the territory of Indonesian-controlled West New Guinea was calculated when the differentiation between Papuan and non-Papuan was still a feature of the census questions. Nowadays this deficit has been more than filled by people coming to Papua from other Indonesian islands, mainly Java and Sulawesi. These people from outside Papua are referred to as transmigrants and, because the flow has not been restricted, Papuans are now a minority in their own land. The figure of 1.3 million Papuans missing over 40 years of army occupation is comparable to the figure often cited for the Armenian genocide that occurred in Turkey around the time of the First World War, an occurrence that has never been acknowledged by the government of Turkey. The estimate of 1.3 Papuans, and the method used for reaching this number, was in an article I wrote for the Encyclopedia of Genocide published by Macmillan in 2005. Papua, most of these people would have died from disease but this still implicates the role of Indonesia in the population loss. Even today, in some remote areas, Papuans living in isolated regions rarely, if at all, ever see a medical doctor.

Have you traveled to these areas to confirm this?

In 1983, I was sent to visit the territory by the London-based Anti-Slavery International to report on figures released by an American bishop operating in the Asmat region along the southern coastline of West New Guinea (then called Irian Jaya.) The bishop claimed 600 out of 1000 Papuan children under five years of age were dying in that region. I went to check out whether this was true or not: it was true.

The unspoken tragedy here comes from medical reports compiled in Dutch times which described this area as a medical phenomenon because of the absence of disease. A few persons had infections in their feet but otherwise the entire area was free of disease.

Access to the Papuan people started with the New York Agreement in August 1962. Freeport gained access to rich mineral deposits almost immediately and then in 1977 the Indonesian army gained access to the indigenous Papuan highlanders. In cultural terms these two were the complete antithesis of each other and the consequences of this has been devastating: the Papuan population suffered an immense depletion in numbers during the Suharto era and conditions two decades later still have Papuans living in appalling conditions. Access for foreigners into the territory has become less of a problem but still some journalists find themselves on the restricted list. But in Papua the digital age has dawned and Papuans are determined to tell the world their plight. In the same way that Indonesian nationalists informed the world to release themselves from Dutch colonial power, Papuans are doing likewise in the hope that the iron grip of the Indonesian army will be released.

What’s the position of the Jakarta government?

The Jakarta government is faced with a stupendous task of negotiating with the Papuan people – perhaps a process similar to the South African ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ – before any progress can be made. The main problem, from the perspective of one who has observed Papuan-Jakarta relations over the decades, is that Jakarta seems reluctant to admit what the army has done, not just during the Suharto era but also in Papua/West Papua today. There does seem to be an administrative gap between what Jakarta says and what actually happens in terms of army brutality in Papua. Whether or not this gap is diminishing, as it seems to be, remains debatable. During the Suharto era, the army was utterly ruthless but in the post-Suharto era we are told things have changed. This change can be gauged by the discrepancy that now appears between Jakarta announcements and the reality in Papua of life under the army, and the police. The post-Suharto era has police in a more prominent role, of course, but this has often led to full-on gun battles between the army and police, fighting over their business interests in this remote corner of Indonesia.

In the first half of 2016, thousands of Papuans have been arrested for peacefully demonstrating in the street, attempting to voice their concern about their human rights, their culture, their lives.

Army and police- with a few exceptions – enjoy impunity from the Indonesian judicial process. For example, six months ago I heard how two young boys in a remote region in the Papuans highlands had their pig killed by a passing car. Pigs are a valuable commodity, and a fully grown one is worth two or three times the price it would fetch in Australia because the pig is so integrated into the culture… many forms of celebrations, weddings for example, would involve roasting a pig or several pigs for the community, not only for the vital nutrients but as a system of cultural bonding. So the two young boys were stopping cars on the road and asking drivers to pay some money as compensation for the pig they had lost. Rp50,000 (rupiahs) would be the same as $5. Two policeman drove to investigate. As the windows were winding down and the boys were about to ask for some money, the police simply shot both boys. Life in Papua – if you are a Papuan – is precarious.

Thank you, Prof. Poulgrain for this disturbing history lesson on Indonesian and American relations. 

Interviewed by Edward Curtin

 

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Commemoration of the Assassination of JKF on November 22, 1963

Government documents declassified after the passage of the JFK Records Act in 1992 prove that the official narrative is bull***t. There is overwhelming evidence implicating the CIA and other United States intelligence agencies, as well as top military officials and corporate entities, in a complex plot to stage a coup against a president who rebelled against their wishes.

Many of the facts revealed in this article were gleaned from the book “JFK and the Unspeakable,” by Jim Douglass, which has recently been endorsed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. I use Douglass’s book as a main source, as all of his facts are documented in over 100 pages of endnotes, citing declassified government documents contained in the National Archives building in Maryland, which are available to the public.

1. Eisenhower warned us of the “military-industrial complex” just before Kennedy took office

In January of 1961, the five-star general who commanded the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, who served as commander-in-chief during the Korean War, and who became the first Supreme Commander of NATO, spoke ominously in his final address to the nation of a sinister group of entities he called the “military-industrial complex.President Eisenhower urged Americans to stay alert and aware before this shadowy, intimately-tied group of government and corporate entities seized too much power.

“Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea…. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex…. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

Eisenhower’s successor would go toe-to-toe with the beast Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address on a near-daily basis. The military-industrial complex had already laid out plans for the World War II veteran and newly-elected president to pre-emptively start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. John F. Kennedy’s insistence on peace would be his downfall.

2. JFK went toe to toe with military contractor United States Steel

“My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now.” – John F. Kennedy, April 1962

One of the leading companies in the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned of was United States Steel, a major contractor with the US military that controlled 25% of the entire steel market. Steelworkers staged a 4-month strike in 1959 during Eisenhower’s second term, and Kennedy hoped to avoid a similar flareup during his tenure amidst fears of inflation affecting steel prices.

JFK brokered a deal between United Steel Workers (USW) and the steel industry, by which workers would get a slight wage increase while a price hike on steel would be avoided for the time being. Kennedy praised the industry for the compromise, calling it “industrial statesmanship of the highest order.” But the words quoted above were spoken to his aides in private, after United States Steel CEO Roger Blough double-crossed Kennedy and informed him in the Oval Office, after the deal was done, that his company would actually be raising steel prices by 3.5 percent to $6 a ton, with other steel companies following suit.

But after Kennedy’s defense secretary, Robert McNamara, informed United States Steel that a new submarine construction contract would be given to a smaller steel company that hadn’t agreed to the price hike, other industries that had raised prices in response to U.S. Steel’s maneuver quickly withdrew their price hikes, leaving the military-industrial complex smarting from the Kennedy administration’s pointed blow.

3. The military-industrial complex regularly pressured JFK to start all-out nuclear war

“And we call ourselves the human race.” – John F. Kennedy to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, after walking out of a top-secret Pentagon briefing

The specter of nuclear war constantly loomed over the Kennedy administration. While JFK famously de-escalated the threat of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, what was not yet known was that Fidel Castro had allowed Russian missiles on Cuban land only as a deterrent against a US attack. However, Kennedy’s Joint Chiefs of Staff thought the opposite, that if the United States didn’t strike first, the nation would be obliterated. Plans for a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union were already in place by the time Kennedy took office.

“Even though it sounds crazy to us, the CIA truly believed Kennedy was deliberately obstructing a war that had to happen,” Jim Douglass told me in a phone interview. “The Soviets were seen as absolute evil, and we were the supposed ‘good guys.'”

On page 237, Jim Douglass describes a top-secret “Doomsday Briefing” between Kennedy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where plans were laid out for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union in 1963. Kennedy repeatedly pressed his top generals for an assessment of the effectiveness of such an attack, and the potential loss of life in the United States. Finally, Kennedy walked out in disgust, making the remark quoted above to his secretary of state.

At the height of cold war tensions, top military brass were deeply troubled by the prospect of a commander-in-chief who actively sought peace with an entity widely viewed as the ultimate enemy of the United States.

4. JFK secretly brokered a nuclear disarmament treaty with Khrushchev

President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev secretly wrote letters to one another throughout JFK’s presidency, and both eventually began to doubt their circle of advisers and appointees about the evil of the other and gradually worked toward peace. Twenty-one letters of correspondence were released by the State Department in July of 1993 after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed by a Canadian newspaper.

Kennedy had first met with Khrushchev in Vienna, and was stunned at his hard-headedness and nonchalance about the prospect of nuclear war. But Khrushchev’s first letter to Kennedy, which a KGB agent covertly handed to Kennedy’s press secretary, Pierre Salinger, behind the back of the Kremlin, spoke warmly of his retreat near the Black Sea and lamented conditions that could lead to the annihilation of millions. Referring to their earlier meeting in Vienna, Khrushchev said:

“The whole world hopefully expected that our meeting and a frank exchange of views would have a soothing effect, would turn relations between our countries into the correct channel and promote adoption of decisions which would give the peoples confidence that at least peace on earth will at last be secured. To my regret – and I believe, to yours – this did not happen.” – Nikita Khrushchev, September 29, 1961

From October 16 to 28, 1962, Kennedy willfully ignored his military and intelligence advisers and decided to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis without instigating nuclear war. The reason Khrushchev installed the missiles in the first place was due to his understanding that the Bay of Pigs invasion was merely the United States’ first of many forays into Cuban affairs, as he wrote in his memoir.

Robert F. Kennedy, in his memoir “Thirteen Days,” wrote of the tense situation his brother faced as the situation seemed to deteriorate toward nuclear war and human annihilation. At one point, two Soviet submarines were charging toward the US naval blockade, which was set up in Cuban waters to stop further shipments of warheads from the USSR. The submarines were targeted for destruction by depth charges, which would likely set off a chain of events leading to war. RFK wrote about his grey-faced brother clenching his fist and holding it over his mouth before Khrushchev ordered the subs to not challenge the blockade at the last minute.

According to White House tapes declassified in the late nineties, General Curtis LeMay of the Joint Chiefs of Staff admonished his commander-in-chief during the crisis for setting up the blockade instead of launching a pre-emptive strike. LeMay compared the blockade to the notorious appeasement of Hitler at Munich in 1938, saying Kennedy’s decision would make him look weak to the Soviets and to the American public.

LeMay: “You’re in a pretty bad fix.”

Kennedy (laughing): “You’re in with me, personally.”

However, the crisis was resolved peacefully, largely thanks to the rapport JFK and Khrushchev established with the secret letters they sent each other through intermediaries. In October of 1963, Khrushchev signed a historic nuclear test ban treaty, which, in a letter to the president, he said would “clear the road to general and complete disarmament, and, consequently, to the delivering of peoples from the threat of war.”

Khrushchev also wrote about the potential for projects the two leaders could work on, like the “conclusion of a non-aggression pact between countries of NATO and member states of the Warsaw Pact, creation of nuclear-free zones in various regions of the world, barring the further spread of the nuclear weapon, banning of launching into orbit objects bearing nuclear weapons, measures for the prevention of a surprise attack, among other steps.”

However, when Soviet foreign minister Valerian Zorin handed this letter to US ambassador Foy Kohler, a cold warrior recommended by the Foreign Service whom Kennedy appointed only when his brother could offer no alternatives, Kohler commented to the State Department that the letter contained nothing of value. The State Department wrote a boilerplate two-paragraph response that remained forever in limbo, and Kennedy died a month later, never seeing the correspondence from the Soviet leader that could have ended the cold war.

5. JFK openly sided with Castro in the Cuban Revolution

“If you see him again, tell him that I’m willing to declare Goldwater my friend if that will guarantee Kennedy’s re-election!” – Fidel Castro to Jean Daniel, November 19, 1963

On October 24, 1963, French journalist Jean Daniel met with JFK in an interview arranged by Newsweek. Daniel would later interview Fidel Castro, just three days before Kennedy’s assassination. US-Cuba relations had been volatile since the botched Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Castro had recently removed Fulgencio Batista, a right-wing dictator allied with the US, from office, and instead allied with the Soviet Union in the height of the cold war. The Bay of Pigs invasion was the CIA’s failed ploy to push Kennedy into a corner and force him to go to war with Cuba, and by default, the Soviet Union.

President Eisenhower had already allocated $13 million to the CIA during his final year in office to authorize the training of Brigade 2506, a paramilitary group charged with overthrowing the Castro regime. Three days after Bridgade 2506 traveled from Guatemala to invade Cuba, Castro forced their surrender, prompting Kennedy to make the decision to mount a larger invasion or suffer a humiliating defeat. After the incident, Kennedy famously said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

Jean Daniel’s eye-opening interview with President Kennedy, roughly 2 years after the Bay of Pigs and a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, revealed that Kennedy in fact sympathized with Fidel Castro, the socialist leader that Americans were conditioned to hate. This is in spite of the fact that Kennedy ran against Nixon in the election on a platform of stiffness toward the Cuban regime.

“I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime…. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries.” – John F. Kennedy, October 24, 1963

Just as he did with Nikita Khrushchev, JFK used intermediaries to correspond with Castro and set up a meeting between the two leaders, subverting his own State Department. Kennedy instructed Adlai Stevenson‘s assistant, William Atwood, to start communicating with Cuba’s UN ambassador, Carlos Lechuga. Castro was doing the same, having been urged by Khrushchev to communicate with Kennedy in an attempt to make peace. Atwood was making progress on setting up talks between the two leaders through Castro’s assistant, Rene Vallejo.

On November 19, 1963, Fidel Castro appeared suddenly at Jean Daniel’s hotel in Havana, prompting a six-hour conversation from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., wanting to hear all about his conversation with Kennedy. The Cuban leader told Daniel that he believed Kennedy could be the one US president to forge world peace.

“He still has the possibility of becoming, in the eyes of history, the greatest President of the United States, the leader who may at last understand that there can be coexistence between capitalists and socialists, even in the Americas. He would then be an even greater president than Lincoln,” Castro said.

On the afternoon of November 22, Jean Daniel was interviewing Castro at his home about the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Castro got a call about President Kennedy having been shot in Dallas. Upon hearing the news, Castro repeated the phrase, “Es una mala noticia (this is bad news),” three times. Upon hearing confirmation of Kennedy’s death, Castro told Daniel, “Everything is changed. Everything is going to change.” Lyndon Baynes Johnson put on hold any and all dialogue between Washington and Havana, despite Castro’s numerous attempts to reach out and make peace.

6. JFK was secretly working to end the US occupation of Vietnam

“This war in Vietnam – it’s never off my mind, it haunts me day and night… The first thing I do when I’m re-elected, I’m going to get the Americans out of Vietnam.” – John F. Kennedy to next-door neighbor Larry Newman in Hyannis Port, October 20, 1963

Before delving into Vietnam, it’s important to acknowledge that Kennedy has received lots of deserved criticism over his decision to deploy Agent Orange, a toxic chemical weapon developed by Monsanto, Dow Chemical and others, in Vietnam in 1962. Agent Orange was responsible for the contamination of crops and thousands of Vietnamese deaths, and will continue to cause serious health defects for generations of Vietnamese yet to be born. Agent Orange also contributed to the deaths of US soldiers who developed serious health conditions upon their return home.

But to fully understand the transition Kennedy underwent from fierce cold warrior to staunch advocate for world peace, Jim Douglass’s “JFK and the Unspeakable” is a must-read. Douglass cites letters written by Thomas Merton, a monk living in Kentucky who offered harsh critiques of Kennedy’s foreign policy and in-depth analysis of his complete transition from a war hawk to a peacemaker. Along with juggling the world-shaking Cuban Missile Crisis and constant tensions with the Soviet Union, Kennedy also had to deal with the prospect of either continuing to prop up the brutal and corrupt Diem regime, or allowing a coup that would oust Diem and give the Soviets an extra piece in the global chess game between the US and USSR.

In late April of 1961, General Douglas MacArthur, who commanded the Allies in the Pacific, told Kennedy: “Anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland of Asia should have his head examined.” When the Joint Chiefs of Staff pressured Kennedy to up the troop presence in Vietnam and even deploy nuclear weapons, he cited the words of General MacArthur in defending his position.

In November of 1963, Kennedy told General David Shoup, commander of the Marines and the only member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he trusted, that the first thing he’d do following the election would be to pull all troops out of Vietnam. Shoup advised his commander-in-chief, “Unless we were prepared to use a million men in a major drive, we should pull out before the war expanded beyond control.” Kennedy issued National Security Action Memo (NSAM) 263 just before his death, which secretly authorized the withdrawal of 1,000 US troops from Vietnam. As history shows, NSAM 263 would never be obeyed, and the Vietnam War would escalate into an unwinnable quagmire under the LBJ administration.

7. JFK refused a 9/11-esque plot to stage terrorist attacks on US soil to be blamed on Cuba

“We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters…. The US could follow up with an air/sea rescue operation covered by US fighters to ‘evacuate’ remaining members of the non-existent crew. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.” – Operation Northwoods, March 13, 1962

In the Spring of 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a sinister, top-secret plot to create the political will to invade Cuba, called Operation Northwoods. This plan was so secretive that it couldn’t be seen by even “commanders of unified or specified commands,” “US officers assigned to NATO activities,” or even “the Chairman, US delegation, United Nations Military Staff Committee.” Upon seeing the documents, Kennedy told Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer there was no way Operation Northwoods would happen under his watch, and a few months later, subsequently denied a renewal of his chairmanship. These excerpts of the document are probably what made Kennedy say no, more than anything else:

“A series of well-coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces.”

“We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated).”

“Hijacking attempts of civil air and surface craft should appear to continue as harassing measures condoned by the government of Cuba.”

Operation Northwoods goes on to explain a detailed plan involving a CIA plane to be painted at Eglin Air Force Base to duplicate a registered civilian aircraft that would be converted to a drone. Then, “any grouping of people with a common interest” would charter a nonscheduled flight to a South American country with a flight plan that crosses Cuba.

The passengers would all be given “carefully prepared aliases” before boarding, and once their plane passed a “rendezvous point” south of Florida, the drone aircraft would proceed to be detonated by radio control over Cuban airspace after “transmitting on the international frequency a ‘MAY DAY’ message stating he is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft.” Meanwhile, the jet with the passengers would fly at minimum altitude back to Eglin so the military would “return the aircraft to its original status.”

Every last detail was thought out for this false flag attack, including the addition of a “pre-briefed pilot” who would fly “tail-end-Charlie,” or right in between the passenger plane and the drone craft. Upon crossing into Cuban airspace, the pilot would put out a distress signal that he was under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft, say he’s going down, and fly back to Eglin, whereupon a new tail number would be given to his craft. The pilot would then “resume his proper identity and return to his normal place of business.” Meanwhile, other surface craft would litter the waters surrounding Cuba with F-101 parts, where search ships would be sent out to find a parachute and other aircraft parts. The document states, “The pilots returning to Homestead would have a true story as far as they knew.”

Despite Kennedy’s steadfast refusal of their nefarious plan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed to keep planning “pretext operations” without Lemnitzer, who would become the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO after Kennedy’s assassination.

8. Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA asset

Three years before the Kennedy assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was being investigated by the CIA’s Special Investigations Group (SIG), a branch of the agency’s Counter-Intelligence (CI) division, headed by James Angleton between 1954 and 1974. This was confirmed in the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) questioning of Ann Egerter, a member of Angleton’s staff who opened the CIA file on Lee Harvey Oswald (a “201 file” in US intel lingo) in December of 1960.

The kicker is that the CI/SIG division is only tasked with investigating current CIA agents who are potential security risks. Egerter said her office was known within the CIA as “the office that spied on spies.” She further elaborated on SIG as the entity that undertook “investigations of agency employees where there was an indication of espionage.”

Because CIA agents are forbidden to disclose the identity of any other agents, Oswald’s true occupation could only be discerned through indirect questions directed at Egerter. One HSCA interviewer asked her what the purpose of the CI/SIG was within the agency. Through this line of questioning, it can be discerned that Lee Harvey Oswald was seen in 1960 as a security risk, making him easy to burn, for example, as a patsy in the Kennedy assassination.

Interviewer: “Please correct me if I’m wrong … it seems that the purpose of CI/SIG was very limited and that limited purpose was to investigate agency employees who for some reason were under suspicion.”

Egerter: “That is correct.”

Interviewer: “When a 201 file is opened, does that mean that whoever opens the file has either an intelligence interest in the individual, or, if not an intelligence interest, he thinks that the individual may present a counterintelligence risk?”

Egerter: “Well, in general, I would say that would be correct.”

Interviewer: “Would there be any other reason for opening up a file?”

Egerter: “No, I can’t think of one.”

9. Oswald was on the FBI’s payroll

In 1963, William Walter was a clerk in the FBI’s New Orleans office. He told the HSCA that Lee Oswald indeed had “an informant’s status with our office.” Orest Pena, another FBI informant, said he saw Oswald with FBI agent Warren deBrueys on ‘numerous occasions,’ even stating that deBrueys physically threatened him about not revealing what he saw before Pena appeared before the Warren Commission. Oswald’s friend Adrian Alba, who managed a New Orleans garage that held FBI and Secret Service cars, recalled watching Oswald approach an FBI car outside the garage and receive a white envelope that was handed to him through a cracked window before concealing it under his shirt. Alba later said Oswald “met the car again a couple of days later and talked briefly with the driver,” whom Alba knew as an “FBI agent visiting New Orleans from Washington.”

While in New Orleans, Oswald was working for the Reily Coffee Company, which was owned by William B. Reily, a financial supporter of the CIA-sponsored Cuban Revolutionary Council. A CIA memo dated January 31, 1964, that has since been declassified states “[Reily’s] firm was of interest as of April 1949.” CIA contractor Gerry Patrick Hemming also confirmed Reily’s coordination with the CIA in a 1968 interview with the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office, which “confirmed that William Reily had worked for the CIA for years.” Reily’s company was located close to the New Orleans offices of the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

Oswald also worked in the office of a detective and former FBI agent named Guy Banister, whose office was directly across the street from the ONI and Secret Service offices. According to Daniel Campbell, an ex-Marine who spied on radical New Orleans students and gave small arms training to Cuban exiles, “Banister was a bagman for the CIA and was running guns to Alpha 66 in Miami.” As you’ll read later, Alpha 66 was a CIA-funded group of Cuban vigilantes plotting to overthrow Castro.

Oswald’s intelligence connections may explain why he was able to summon an FBI agent so easily following his August arrest for an altercation that broke out when he was passing out pro-Castro leaflets. Oswald had written to the New York headquarters of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee about starting a New Orleans branch, and FPCC national director V.T. Lee wrote back, urging him not to cause “unnecessary incidents which frighten away prospective supporters.” Oswald did the exact opposite.

On August 5, Oswald visited Carlos Bringuier at his clothing store about wanting to train Cubans to fight Castro. Bringuier was leader of the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE), which was later described in a 1967 CIA memorandum as “conceived, created and funded by the CIA.” When E. Howard Hunt testified to the HSCA, he named David Atlee Phillips as the person in charge of the group. Though Bringuier testified to the Warren Commission that he was wary about Oswald’s visit, the two CIA-connected men nevertheless staged an act of elaborate street theater that ended in a fight and subsequent arrest of the two men and three of Bringuier’s friends.

While he was in jail, Oswald asked to speak to the FBI, whereupon Special Agent John Quigley met with him for an hour and a half. When Quigley testified about this incident to the Warren Commission, he said Oswald simply explained to him why he was passing out the Castro leaflets. But Harold Weisberg’s book “Whitewash IV” included top-secret remarks from chief Warren Commission council J. Lee Rankin, which were declassified after an extensive legal battle. Rankin’s statement revealed the actual reason for Oswald’s meeting with Quigley. According to the session transcript, Rankin stated Oswald was “employed by the FBI at $200 a month from September of 1962 up to the time of the assassination.”

10. CIA assets helped Lee Harvey Oswald get work

Oswald’s connections to the CIA and FBI would explain why Oswald was issued a passport from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Minsk, USSR, in 1959 in just 24 hours. This is highly unusual, considering Oswald, a former member of the military, had just renounced his American citizenship in the height of the Cold War to travel to the Soviet Union, where presumably his knowledge of military radar from his service in the Marines (including his work on the CIA’s top-secret U-2 project, which you’ll read about later) would be given to the enemy. Upon Oswald’s return to the US in 1961, he and his new wife, Marina, were befriended by the vehemently anti-Communist Russian community in Fort Worth.

While he was in Fort Worth, Oswald became acquainted with a man named George de Mohrenschildt, a CIA asset and son of a Czarist Russia official who liked to be called “The Baron.” In a 1977 interview, de Mohrenschildt admitted that he was given approval to first contact Oswald in late 1961 by J. Walton Moore, the CIA’s Domestic Contacts Service Chief in Dallas. Moore primed de Mohrenschildt to meet his contact, informing him of “an ex-American Marine who had worked in an electronics factory in Minsk, and in whom there was ‘interest.'” In the summer of 1962, de Mohenschildt said he was handed Oswald’s address by an associate of Moore, and, as a quid pro quo, asked Moore to facilitate a contract through his company with “Papa Doc” Duvalier in Haiti.

According to de Mohrenschildt’s wife and daughter, In October of 1962, just 9 days before the Cuban Missile Crisis, Oswald’s new friend and mentor George de Mohrenschildt convinced Lee and Marina to move to Dallas. “The Baron” set up a job for Oswald at a graphic arts company called Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall (JCS), which had contracts with the US Army Map Service. Even though Oswald had renounced his citizenship and would normally be seen as a turncoat by military security apparatus, he nonetheless was working on classified projects involving top-secret U-2 missions. Oswald’s coworkers at JCS said they were working on setting type for Cuban place names to be put on maps, and just days later, Kennedy would be shown photos taken by the CIA’s U-2 spy planes, confirming the presence of Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuba.

“The Baron” also facilitated the first meeting between the Oswalds and Ruth Paine, a housewife with powerful connections to the military-industrial complex. George de Mohrenschildt introduced Paine to Marina Oswald at a party he arranged in February of 1963. Two weeks later, Marina Oswald would move in with Ruth Paine at her home in Irving, a suburb of Dallas, while Lee Oswald went to look for work in New Orleans. Ruth’s husband, Michael, worked as a research engineer for Bell Helicopter, a defense contractor in Fort Worth. Thirty years after the Kennedy assassination, it was discovered that Michael Paine’s stepfather, Arthur Young, was actually the inventor of the Bell Helicopter, connecting him deeply with the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about.

Michael Paine’s mother was Ruth Forbes Paine Young, who came from the aristocratic Forbes family of Boston and was friends with Mary Bancroft, a World War II-era spy who became CIA director Allen Dulles‘s mistress in Switzerland. When Michael Paine was testifying to the Warren Commission, Allen Dulles asked him, “Is this Mr. Young your stepfather?” When Paine confirmed that fact, Dulles remained quiet, allowing other Commissioners to ask their questions. Dulles knew that any follow-up questions he asked of Paine might lead to public knowledge of his intimate family connections with a main benefactor of the president’s accused assassin.

The Paine family’s CIA connections run even deeper. After the passage of the JFK Records Act in 1992, declassified documents showed Paine’s older sister, Sylvia Hyde Hoke, was listed as a CIA employee in the 1961 issue of the city directory for Falls Church, Virginia. In her testimony to the Warren Commission, Ruth Paine very modestly described her father, William Avery Hyde, as an insurance underwriter who “writes the fine print.” But after the publication of the Warren Report in October of 1964, William Avery Hyde received a 3-year contract from the State Department’s US Agency for International Development (USAID) as the regional insurance adviser for all of Latin America, filing reports from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Panama. Ohio governor John Gilligan (father of current Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius) was administrator of USAID from 1977 to 1979, and described its role as a proxy agency for the CIA.

“At one time, many AID field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people. It was pretty well known in the agency who they were and what they were up to … The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind.” – John Gilligan

The Warren Commission shows that Ruth Paine called the Texas School Book Depository on October 14, 1963 about possible job openings for Lee Oswald, after a neighbor suggested the idea. Oswald was interviewed for a part-time job there on the 15th, and started work on the 16th, where he would be paid $208.82 a month. However, the commission also reveals that Paine lied under oath about being contacted by the Texas Employment Commission on October 15th about a far more lucrative full-time job for Oswald at Trans-Texas Airways as a cargo handler, where he would be paid $310 a month. In just a few exchanges with Warren Commission lawyer Albert Jenner, Paine went from denying any knowledge of the job offer, to vaguely remembering it, to hearing about the job from Lee Oswald himself.

Just as the Paine family became the prime sponsors of the Oswalds, the deal de Mohrenschildt asked J. Walton Moore to broker with the Haitian government came through. “The Baron” left Dallas for Haiti in April of 1963, while briefly stopping in Washington to meet with CIA and US Army intelligence to enhance his Haitian connections. De Mohrenschildt was awarded a $285,000 contract to conduct geological surveys for the notoriously corrupt and brutal Duvalier regime. No survey was done, but de Mohrenschildt still deposited $200,000 in his Port-au-Prince bank account that year. In his final interview in 1977, “The Baron” said, “I never would have contacted Oswald in a million years if Moore had not sanctioned it.” Oddly enough, just three hours after that interview, George de Mohrenschildt was dead of an apparent self-inflicted shotgun blast.

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover noticed how suspicious this all looked and warned the Warren Commission against publicizing the connection. On October 23, 1964, Warren Commission chief counsel J. Lee Rankin received a sternly-worded letter from Hoover, warning him not to release the FBI’s “reports and memoranda dealing with Michael and Ruth Paine and George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt … Making the contents available to the public could cause serious repercussions to the commission.”

11. Oswald was seen in Dallas with a CIA covert ops chief two months before the assassination

Antonio Veciana, leader of the CIA-funded paramilitary group Alpha 66 recalled seeing a thin, pale man with wavy hair in a downtown Dallas office building conversing with the CIA contact he knew as “Maurice Bishop.” Bishop was actually David Atlee Phillips, then the chief of covert operations for the CIA’s Mexico City branch (and head of the DRE in New Orleans, as mentioned earlier). Veciana finally opened up about this Oswald sighting in 1975 to Gaeton Fonzi, an investigator with the HSCA.

According to Veciana, he saw “Bishop” talking to a young man with a pale complexion in early September of 1963, whom he would later recognize, after November 22, as Lee Harvey Oswald. When Veciana walked into the lobby to meet with Bishop, he noticed the two quickly exchanged a few more words before Oswald left, and Bishop initiated a conversation with Veciana about Alpha 66, not once mentioning the man with whom he had just been speaking. And Veciana didn’t ask.

Before Veciana was set to testify to the HSCA about the Oswald sighting, the FBI warned him three separate times that he would be killed. Veciana was shot in the head by an unknown would-be assassin and recovered, but the FBI refused to investigate, instead deferring to an uncooperative Miami police department.

12. The CIA revealed their hand in killing JFK through the use of Oswald doubles

Bear with me, because it’s about to get really confusing. The pieces to this jigsaw puzzle are enough to fill an airplane hangar. The CIA wanted it that way. In a nutshell, there were multiple smoke-and-mirror maneuvers to make Lee Harvey Oswald a scapegoat tied to all the right people, in order to instigate the war the military-industrial complex wanted all along. Smoking gun evidence abounds in the following stories that show the CIA’s fingerprints all over the Kennedy assassination, putting Oswald in several locations at the same time and blowing their cover.

The Warren Commission alleges Oswald was in Mexico City from September 27 to October 2 of 1963 at the Soviet and Cuban embassies, both of which were under constant CIA surveillance. The CIA had also tapped phones at both embassies. According to the CIA’s version of the tale, on one call placed to the Soviet embassy on October 1st translated from Russian into English, a man who called himself “Oswald” spoke broken Russian and asked to speak with Valery Vladimirovich Kostikov regarding a telegram to Washington.

Kostikov was the KGB’s chief assassinations expert in the Western Hemisphere, and was incredibly prominent in US intelligence circles, just as Osama bin Laden was prominent in those same circles in the late 1990s. This means that if the “Oswald” who made the call actually was the president’s accused assassin, this would have deeply implicated the Soviet Union in the plot to kill Kennedy. However, the caller was an impostor, since the real Lee Harvey Oswald lived in Minsk for two years and was fluent in Russian, whereas this caller spoke broken Russian.

The October 9 cable from the CIA’s Mexico City bureau to the headquarters in Langley not only described the suspicious call to Kostikov, but also mentioned photos taken of a 6-foot-tall, 35-year-old balding male with an athletic build entering and leaving the Soviet embassy on October 1. Langley cabled Mexico City on October 10, describing the Lee Harvey Oswald who defected to the USSR in 1959 as a five-foot-ten, 24-year-old man who weighed 165 pounds, with wavy light brown hair. Whoever it was entering the Soviet embassy that day, it definitely wasn’t Oswald.

On October 10, the CIA cabled the FBI, the State Department, and the Navy about the information received from Mexico City the day before. But the CIA made no mention at all of Oswald’s reference to Kostikov, despite the prominence of the name. In “JFK and the Unspeakable,” Jim Douglass argues that the CIA kept this highly-sensitive information from other agencies until Oswald, through his multiple CIA connections in Dallas and elsewhere, could be secured in a location directly above Dealey Plaza on November 22.

Another story of dueling Oswald appearances is documented in “JFK and the Unspeakable.” Ralph Leon Yates, a refrigeration mechanic for the Texas Butcher Supply Company in Dallas, picked up a hitchhiker while taking the Beckley Avenue entrance to the R.L. Thornton Expressway at 10:30 AM, on the morning of Wednesday, November 20, 1963. In one of several statements to the FBI, Yates said the man he picked up was carrying a brown paper package roughly 4 feet long. When he told the man he could put the package in the back of his truck, the hitchhiker said the package contained curtain rods, which he preferred to carry himself in the cab. In testimonies following the assassination of Kennedy, Yates told the FBI the man looked almost identical to Lee Harvey Oswald.

While making small talk with the hitchhiker, Yates mentioned that people in the city were excited about Kennedy’s upcoming visit. According to the FBI’s citation of Yates’s story, the hitchhiker suddenly became a fountain of conversation, asking Yates if he thought someone was capable of assassinating the president. After Yates said he believed it could be done, the hitchhiker then asked if it could be done from the top of a building or out of a window, high up. Yates again answered that he thought it was possible if the shooter had a good rifle with a scope.

The notes from the FBI’s conversation with Yates detailed the rest of the odd conversation, during which the hitchhiker suddenly pulled out a picture of a man with a rifle, asking Yates if he thought the president could be killed with a gun like that one. Yates said he was driving and didn’t look at the picture, but answered yes. Then the mysterious rider asked Yates if he knew the president’s route. Yates answered he didn’t, but knew that the route was in the paper. Then the hitchhiker asked Yates if he thought the route might be changed at the last minute. Yates told him no, unless there were safety concerns.

The hitchhiker asked Yates to drop him off on Houston Street, and Yates took him to the Elm and Houston intersection. Yates told the FBI the last he saw of the man was as he walked across Elm Street, in the direction of the Texas School Book Depository. After the odd encounter, Yates told co-worker Dempsey Jones about the hitchhiker. The FBI interviewed Jones for confirmation, and Jones told investigators that before the assassination happened, Ralph Yates definitely described picking up a hitchhiker “who discussed the fact with him that one could be in a building and shoot the president as he, the president, passed by.”

Normally, this would add up to an open-shut case fingering Oswald as the assassin. The highway entrance on Beckley where Yates picked up the hitchhiker was on the same street as Oswald’s rooming house on 1026 North Beckley. Yates dropped the hitchhiker off close to the place where Oswald worked. The hitchhiker fit Oswald’s physical description, and the entire conversation reeked of an apparent assassination plot. But this apparent Oswald sighting directly conflicted with the Oswald sighting the Warren Commission decided to include in their final report.

Buell Wesley Frazier, one of Lee Harvey Oswald’s co-workers at the Texas School Book Depository, testified to the Warren Commission that Oswald asked to ride home with him to Irving on the afternoon of Thursday, November 21, 1963. When Frazier asked Oswald why he wanted to ride with him on Thursday instead of Friday, when he stayed with his wife, Marina and their two daughters at Ruth Paine’s house on the weekend, Oswald said, “I’m going home to get some curtain rods … [to] put in an apartment.”

Frazier and his sister, Linnie Mae Randle, testified that Oswald left his house with a 2-foot-long brown package the following morning, and explained that the package contained curtain rods when he was asked about it. The Warren Commission therefore decided that the package, though far too small to carry a rifle, even when broken down, was the rifle Oswald allegedly smuggled into the Texas School Book Depository on the day of the assassination.

The FBI called Ralph Leon Yates back in to re-tell the story of picking up the hitchhiker on December 10, 1963, and January 3 and January 4, 1964, this time with a polygraph, or lie detector test. Each time, the polygraph test results came back “inconclusive,” meaning that while Yates’s story wasn’t a lie, the FBI wasn’t satisfied with the final result. The FBI recommended Yates immediately go to Woodlawn Hospital (Dallas’s most prominent mental institution). They didn’t have him committed, but rather made the recommendation, and Yates drove himself there, accompanied by his wife, Dorothy. After an episode in which Yates briefly escaped from Woodlawn, he was committed to Terrell State Hospital east of Dallas, where he lived for 8 years. He then spent a year and a half at the Veterans Hospital in Waco, and then in Rusk State Hospital for the last 18 months of his life.

Yates, drifting from institution to institution, never worked again, and his family was left impoverished. He died of congestive heart failure at age 35. Yet the whole time, Yates insisted that this minor story of picking up one unnamed hitchhiker on a Fall day was the reason the president was killed, and refused to recant it. Ralph Yates’s wife, Dorothy, remembered a very puzzling statement from the FBI after Yates’ final polygraph test.

“They told me that he was telling the truth [according to the polygraph], but that basically he had convinced himself that he was telling the truth. So that’s how it came out. He strongly believed it, so it came out that way.”

Jim Douglass theorizes in “JFK and the Unspeakable” that because Yates’s alleged Oswald sighting happened during a time when the real Oswald was already at work, proving that the Oswald Yates picked up was a double, it became necessary for the US government to throw Ralph Yates under the bus. Yates’s story, which he corroborated to both his wife and his co-worker, directly conflicted with the official story the government wanted the Warren Commission to tell. For the tenuous narrative to seem legitimate, Yates had to be discredited.

Still with me? Here’s where it gets weird.

Air Force Sergeant Robert Vinson was an accidental witness to an Oswald double’s secret flight out of Dallas on the day of the shooting. Vinson was upset that despite his diligent work for NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) at Ent Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, he hadn’t been rewarded with a promotion, so he took a spontaneous flight to Washington DC on November 20, 1963, to demand an answer from his superiors.

On November 21, Sergeant Vinson met with a Colonel Chapman in the basement of the US Capitol about his promotion. During their meeting, Vinson remembered Col. Chapman, a liaison officer between Congress and the Pentagon, taking a call and telling the person on the other line that he “would highly recommend the president not go to Dallas, Texas, on Friday because there had been something reported.” After Chapman finished the call, he assured Vinson his promotion would be considered.

On the morning of November 22, Vinson went to Andrews Air Force Base with the intent of coming back home to Colorado Springs by nightfall. He gave an airman at the check-in counter his name and serial number, asking to be alerted when the next plane bound for the area would be departing, “if anything should come through that you don’t have a notice on.” Roughly 15 minutes later, Vinson was paged to the hangar, where he boarded a C54 plane that bore no markings or serial numbers other than a strange brown logo on its tail, of an egg-shaped earth crisscrossed with grid lines.

After boarding the empty plane, Vinson noticed two men in olive drab overalls board the plane and close the cockpit door without even saying a word to Vinson. Sergeant Vinson found it odd that he wasn’t asked to sign a flight manifest, as he had always done when riding Air Force planes. A little after the C54 took off, an unemotional voice announced over the plane’s intercom system, “The president was shot at 12:29.”

The C54 headed due South, and after another few hours, Vinson watched the Dallas skyline approach through the window around roughly 3:30 Central. Once the C54 landed in Dallas, the pilot emerged from the cockpit and opened the passenger door, whereupon two men in off-white construction overalls quickly boarded, after running there from a Jeep that was already backing away from the site. Sgt. Vinson recalled one of the men was between 6′ and 6’1″, looked Cuban, and weighed between 180 and 190 pounds. A shorter Caucasian man also boarded, whom Vinson estimated was between 5’7″ and 5’9″ and weighed between 150 and 160 pounds. The plane took off and headed West without anyone else on the plane saying a word to Vinson. Sgt. Vinson figured the silence of the crew was part of the mission the crew was on, and kept quiet during the flight.

When the plane landed again around sunset, Vinson approached a guard shack and asked an air policeman where he was. The AP told him he was at the Roswell Air Force Base in New Mexico. Vinson was trying to get downtown so he could take a bus back home, but the AP informed him the base was locked down and nobody could get in or out. Vinson thought this was especially strange, given that his plane had just landed with no interference.

By November 23, Robert Vinson was back home with his wife Roberta, watching the news on the assassination that evening, after telling her about his odd flight home. When Lee Harvey Oswald’s face appeared on the news, Robert said, “That guy looks just like the little guy who was on the airplane.”

“Are you nuts?” Roberta asked. “It couldn’t be him. He’s in jail.”

“I swear that’s the little guy who got on the plane,” Vinson insisted.

“Well, keep quiet about it,” Roberta said.

After Jack Ruby murdered Oswald, Vinson vowed to keep quiet about what he saw. But he had still given his name and serial number to the airman at the Andrews Air Force Base check-in counter, and by Spring of 1964, when Vinson had been promoted to technical sergeant, federal authorities had tracked him down. Neighbors told the Vinson family that the FBI was interviewing residents about them, specifically about the Vinsons’ conversation topics in recent months. Vinson’s commanding officer made him sign a secrecy statement, and Roberta, for the first time as an Air Force wife, had to fill out a personal history form and sign an additional secrecy statement.

In November of 1964, Vinson was ordered to go to Washington and call a number for further instructions upon landing. After making the call, Vinson was told he would be spending the better part of a week at CIA headquarters in Langley, where he would soon undergo multiple physical and psychological tests. At the end of the fifth day, Vinson was interviewed by a semi-circle of men shrouded in darkness, who offered Vinson a job with the CIA. When Vinson refused, they offered him lucrative bribes, which he also declined. Vinson went back home to Colorado Springs, until he was contacted again three months later.

This time, the Air Force had Vinson report to a telephone number after landing in Las Vegas. Vinson learned the Air Force had assigned him to the CIA’s top-secret Blackbird SR 71 spy plane in the Nellis Mountains some 40 miles Northwest of Las Vegas. The base was renamed Site 51 after being contaminated by radiation from nearby nuclear testing sites, and focused on experimental aircraft resembling saucers. Vinson later learned that similar flying saucer experiments were being conducted at the Roswell Air Force Base where the C54 had landed on the day of Kennedy’s assassination. Local lore about aliens was seen as convenient cover for the CIA’s top-secret projects.

Robert Vinson spent the last year and a half of his Air Force enlistment as the administrative supervisor for base supply at Site 51. The CIA supplemented Vinson’s Air Force income with monthly cash payments, which both Vinson and his wife suspected was the agency buying their silence about what Sgt. Vinson saw when he boarded the wrong plane on November 22, 1963. When Vinson asked an Air Force sergeant at Site 51 about the origin of a rust-colored egg-shaped Earth logo on the tail of a C54 landing at Site 51, the sergeant said, “CIA.”

Vinson kept quiet for 20 years as he and his wife quietly lived and worked in Wichita, Kansas. In 1976, Robert Vinson told a lawyer friend about the secret he had been keeping, who then told Vinson, “Don’t tell a soul. For your own safety.” Vinson followed his friend’s advice until the passage of the JFK Records Act in 1992, and subsequently went on Wichita’s KAKE-TV Channel 10 to tell the story to Larry Hatteberg. His story was so popular with viewers that the interview was re-broadcasted several more times. Vinson’s story of watching the CIA fly an Oswald double out of Dallas and the subsequent purchasing of his silence and complicity has since been chronicled in the book “Flight From Dallas” by Wichita civil liberties attorney James Johnston and journalist Jon Roe.

While there’s not enough space to get into it here, the testimonies of Dallas mayor Wes Wise, auto mechanic T.F. White, concession stand operator Butch Burroughs, and hobby shop owner Bernard Haire, along with the stories of Sergeant Robert Vinson and Ralph Leon Yates, all prove the sightings of more than one “Oswald” seen in different places at the same time. This is the biggest indicator of the CIA failing in an attempt to force a particular narrative around a particular person, inadvertently drawing more attention to themselves as a result.

13. The Warren Commission Report was a cover-up

Even though the Warren Commission was investigating the alleged assassin of the president who had extensive knowledge of top-secret military intelligence programs, pertinent questions were noticeably absent from the panel.

From September 1957 to November 1958, Oswald was a radar operator for the Marines at the Atsugi Air Force Base in Japan. The base was also the CIA’s main base of operations in the Far East, one of just two bases where top-secret U-2 spy planes took off on missions over China and the Soviet Union. Oswald had a “crypto” security clearance, which is higher than top-secret, giving him license to regularly listen to radio communications from U-2 flights.

Former Marine Corps lieutenant John Donovan told the Warren Commission that Oswald

“had the access to the location of all bases in the West Coast area, strength of all squadrons, number and type of aircraft in a squadron, who was the commanding officer, the authentication code of entering and exiting the ADIZ, which stands for the Air Defense Identification Zone. He knew the range of our radar. He knew the range of our radio. And he knew the range of the surrounding units’ radio and radar.”

As Jim Douglass would write in “JFK and the Unspeakable,” Donovan was dumbfounded that the Warren Commission omitted all questions related to Oswald’s work with the top-secret U-2 planes before defecting to the Soviet Union. After his questioning, Donovan asked a Warren Commission lawyer, “Don’t you want to know anything about the U-2?” The lawyer responded, “We asked you exactly what we wanted to know from you and we asked you everything we wanted and that is all. If there is anything else we want to ask you, we will.” When Donovan asked another witness to Oswald’s work with the U-2 if he was asked anything about it, he said, “No, not a thing.”

Given the obvious omission of critical questions about the alleged assassin of the president and turncoat’s knowledge of top-secret US military operations and programs, and the CIA’s flubbed attempt to tie that alleged assassin to Cold War opponents in elaborate smoke-and-mirror games, the Warren Commission’s ruling that Oswald acted alone has to be taken with a grain of salt.

According to Michael Beschloss, editor of the now declassified Johnson Tapes, CIA director John McCone briefed LBJ at 9:20 AM the day after the assassination. McCone spoke about “information on foreign connections to the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, which suggested to LBJ that Kennedy may have been murdered by an international conspiracy.” At 10:01 that same morning, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover called the newly sworn-in president, where they had this exchange:

LBJ: “Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet embassy in Mexico in September?”

Hoover: “No, that’s one angle that’s very confusing, for this reason – we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy, using Oswald’s name. The picture and the tape do not correspond to the man’s voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there.”

LBJ suspected that the assassination was not carried out by the USSR and Cuba with the help of Oswald as the CIA suggested. In fact, the conversation between Hoover and LBJ had the implication that it may have been facilitated by the CIA itself, given their mishap in Mexico City that led to dubious Oswald sightings.

LBJ knew, given the evidence of Oswald impostors in Mexico City, which puzzled even J. Edgar Hoover, the first option was most likely implausible. The second option meant opening up a whole new can of worms the nation wasn’t prepared to face, so the only feasible option was for the Warren Report to obscure the truth, label Oswald a lone wolf assassin, and call it a day.

14. JFK’s assassination was supposed to happen in Chicago, not Dallas

Chicago was originally where Kennedy was to be assassinated. Had the plan succeeded, Thomas Arthur Vallee would have been the famous alleged assassin whose name would be remembered forever, rather than Lee Harvey Oswald.

On November 2, 1963, Kennedy was set to appear at the Army/Air Force football game in Chicago at 11:40 a.m. At the Chicago Secret Service Bureau, Special Agent in Charge Maurice Martineau informed agents about reports of assassins on October 30. Martineau was repeating a tip from the FBI, in which an informant identifying as “Lee” talked about a four-man sniper team of “rightwing para-military fanatics” with high-powered rifles, who would shoot at Kennedy as his motorcade was driving from O’Hare down the Northwest Expressway, around a slow loop off the highway exit of what is now ironically known as the JFK Expressway.

The tip from “Lee” wasn’t the only one. A landlady at a Northside boarding house called the FBI after she saw four men check into the house, each with a scoped rifle, and carrying a map of Kennedy’s motorcade route. The FBI then called the Secret Service office in Chicago, who searched for the riflemen. Two of the would-be assassins were found and detained for several hours for questioning, while the other two got away. The names of the two would-be presidential assassins are still unknown to this day, as the Department of the Treasury, which oversees the Secret Service, mysteriously destroyed all records of the Chicago plot when the Assassinations Records and Review Board asked for them in 1995, more than three decades after the incident.

In the meantime, the Secret Service had to respond to another tip about an ex-Marine named Thomas Arthur Vallee, who had been reportedly talking about shooting the president when he came to Chicago. Vallee was a paranoid schizophrenic, a disaffiliated member of the famously right-wing, anti-Communist John Birch society, collected guns, and was described as a loner. As a Marine in the Korean War, Vallee was injured by a mortar blast, was subsequently committed to several mental institutions, and received full disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. Like Oswald the expat turncoat, Vallee the mentally disabled fit the preferred profile of the lone wolf presidential assassin.

Vallee’s apartment was raided in his absence, and FBI agents found an M1 rifle, a carbine rifle, and 2500 rounds of ammunition. The Secret Service instructed Chicago Police to put 24-hour surveillance on Vallee and “get him off the street.” Vallee was pulled over and arrested by CPD officers Daniel Groth and Peter Schurla on the morning of November 2, as his 1962 Ford Falcon made its way toward the expressway on Kennedy’s motorcade route. The officers cited a missed turn signal as the result of the arrest. Upon seeing a hunting knife in the front seat of the Falcon, they charged Vallee with carrying a concealed weapon, and a search of his trunk yielded 300 rounds of ammunition.

Vallee’s connections to US intelligence soon came out. His New York license plates read 31-10RF. NBC Chicago employee Luke Christopher Hester learned of the arrest and asked Hugh Larkin, his father-in-law, to have a background check done on the plates by his former colleagues in the NYPD. The plates came back “frozen,” meaning that only US intelligence agencies could retrieve the classified information associated with Vallee’s registration.

Officers Groth and Schurla went on to have prominent intelligence careers. Groth led the December 4, 1969, raid on Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, who were both assassinated by police. Hampton was just 21, and Clark was 22. The families of Hampton and Clark, as well as Black Panthers who survived the raid, would successfully sue Daniel Groth and local, state, and federal agencies in 1983 for a $1.85 million settlement. While under Oath, Groth admitted that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI specifically requested the raid on Hampton. Officer Schurla became a high-level intelligence officer at the Chicago police headquarters.

Like Oswald, Vallee also worked on the CIA’s top-secret U-2 planes in Japan. Vallee told investigative journalist Edwin Black that his U-2 work was at Camp Otsu, but that he also helped the CIA train Cuban exiles to kill Fidel Castro at a CIA base in Levittown, Long Island. Oswald did similar work at a CIA training camp in Lake Pontchartrain, close to New Orleans. Vallee worked near a third floor window at IPP Litho-Plate, at 625 West Jackson Boulevard, directly above where the presidential motorcade would pass. Oswald worked on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, in front of where the Dallas motorcade would pass. It isn’t hard to see how the CIA blazed a path for both men to be set up as scapegoats in their elaborate plot to assassinate JFK.

15. The real shooter in Dallas was on the grassy knoll, and carried a Secret Service badge

Ed Hoffman, a 27 year-old deaf-mute who prided himself on his acute sense of sight, took a detour from a scheduled visit to the dentist on the morning of November 22 to catch a glimpse of Kennedy. Hoffman inadvertently witnessed the shooter on the Grassy Knoll fire the fatal shot from his vantage point on the bridge just above the freeway on Kennedy’s limousine route, and took note of the two getaway cars that transported the assassin and his assistant after the act – one was a white four-door, and the other was a light green Rambler station wagon.

Hoffman finally told his story, with the help of a sign language interpreter, to Jim Marrs in 1989 for his book “Crossfire.” Hoffman had made many attempts to tell the FBI, going against the urging of his father and his uncle, who was a Dallas police officer, to keep quiet for his own safety. One such attempt ended in federal investigators offering Hoffman a bribe of $500 to keep quiet, which Hoffman refused. Next, agents paid a visit to Hoffman’s father and interrogated him about his son’s story. Wanting to protect his son’s life, Frederick Hoffman would only say, “I don’t know if Ed saw what he saw.” FBI agents then manipulated their report to suggest that Hoffman’s own father dismissed his son’s story, in an effort to discredit critical evidence.

In “Crossfire,” Hoffman described watching two men behind the wooden stockade fence at the top of the grassy knoll. One of them was a stocky man in a dark blue suit, which Hoffman called “the suit man.” The other was standing by the railroad switch box, and was taller and thinner, wearing a railroad worker’s clothes. Hoffman called him “the railroad man.” Hoffman thought the pair were peculiar, seeing as they were clearly working together but dressed very differently.

According to Hoffman, the suit man would occasionally walk over to the railroad man and confer with him for a moment before going back to his original position. As the presidential limousine approached, Hoffman watched the suit man talk to the railroad man a final time before walking back to the fence, bending over, picking up an object, and looking back over the fence. When Hoffman saw a puff of smoke emerge from where the suit man was standing, he assumed it was a cigarette. But when the suit man turned, he was holding a rifle. The suit man ran to the railroad man and threw him the rifle.

The railroad man disassembled the rifle with a twist, put it in a railroad workers’ bag, and ran north along the railroad tracks while the suit man strolled casually along the side of the fence. A police officer ran around the fence, pointing a revolver at the suit man, who held out his empty hands. The suit man then produced identification from his coat pocket, the officer lowered his gun, and the suit man blended into the crowd and walked over to the passenger door of the light green Rambler station wagon. The getaway car drove out of the parking lot on the North end of the Texas School Book Depository, and made a right on Houston Street. Hoffman then looked down at the splayed body of JFK in the back seat of the presidential car as it passed directly below him, and noticed a gaping wound in the president’s right rear skull, which he said resembled bloody Jello.

The Dallas police officer Hoffman saw approach the suit man at the wooden fence after the shooting was Joe Marshall Smith, who would tell his superiors he immediately smelled gunpowder near the fence. Smith later told the Warren Commission that the man he approached had Secret Service credentials that looked real enough to satisfy him and the deputy sheriff who was with him. Smith would later recall that the man who produced those credentials wore a sports shirt and sports pants, had dirty fingernails, and hands like an auto mechanic. In a nutshell, he definitely didn’t fit the bill of an actual Secret Service agent.

Gordon Arnold, a 22-year-old soldier in uniform, also witnessed a man behind the wooden fence with Secret Service credentials, right around the same time Officer Smith approached the fence, but just before the assassination. Arnold planned to film the president’s arrival, and was walking toward the railroad bridge to have an ideal vantage point. When walking behind the wooden fence, he described seeing a man in a civilian suit wearing a sidearm standing guard, brandishing a Secret Service badge, and telling him to leave the area. Arnold walked along the front side of the wooden fence, and paused to shoot his film.

In the book “Crossfire,” Arnold recalled feeling the whiz of the bullet pass by his left ear, coming from the wooden fence just a few feet behind him. Arnold then heard the report of the rifle, and immediately hit the ground, having just crawled under live machine gun fire as part of the basic training he had recently completed. Arnold recalled hearing another whiz over his head, and another crack of a rifle report. He then remembered seeing a man standing over him, waving a long gun, acting hysterically, and demanding the film in his camera. When Arnold tossed it over to the gunman, the gunman removed the film from the camera and threw the camera back to Arnold. And just as Officer Smith said, Gordon attested that the man with the rifle had noticeably dirty hands.

Other witnesses described aggressive activity from men near the wooden fence. Jean Hill said men who identified themselves as Secret Service agents confiscated photos she took of the motorcade when she ran behind the fence at the top of the grassy knoll. Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman told the Warren Commission that he gave “one of the Secret Service men” a piece of the president’s skull that he had found in the street. There is overwhelming evidence that men with Secret Service badges confiscated all evidence from nearby witnesses just before and after the shooting.

16. CIA employee Sidney Gottlieb made Secret Service credentials

In 2007, the CIA finally declassified its “Family Jewels” report as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request that had been in limbo for 15 years. A damning 1973 memo from Sidney Gottlieb, chief of the CIA’s Technical Services Division, is buried in the 702-page document. In the memo, Gottlieb talks about how he “furnished this [Secret] Service” with “gate passes, security passes, passes for presidential campaign, emblems for presidential vehicles; a secure ID photo system.” However, Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden, who was part of the investigation into the Chicago assassination plot, stated that when Secret Service books were all replaced in January of 1964, it was done by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The Department of the Treasury has jurisdiction over both the Secret Service and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, not the CIA, meaning that Gottlieb’s orders were for an unknown covert purpose rather than providing standard identification for Secret Service agents.

Thus, the complex and intricate plot to kill Kennedy was carried out by multiple alphabet agencies, acting on what they believed were righteous motives to remove an obstructionist president in the way of a war they felt had to be waged. But the suggestion that a government agency would covertly kill its own president to advance a cause isn’t that radical. Our CIA has been behind the assassinations of world leaders both before and after the Kennedy assassination, from Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, to Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. Just as with JFK’s assassination in 1963, our runaway intelligence agencies have repeatedly shown they won’t let any elected leader stand in the way of their goals.

On December 22, 1963, exactly one month after the assassination, former president Harry Truman published a precisely worded op-ed in the Washington Post about the need to rein in the same agency he created with the stroke of his pen after World War II. He wrote:

“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas … There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.” – Harry S. Truman

Three weeks before his op-ed was published, which was met with absolute silence from the media, Truman had written more urgently-worded notes that are still preserved in the Truman Library:

“[The CIA] was intended merely as a center for keeping the president informed on what was going on in the world at large and the United States and its dependencies in particular … it should not be an agency to initiate policy or to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized.”

The recent NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, and our government’s brutal response to his attempt at transparency, give just an inkling of how far our government is willing to in lying to the public and suppressing the truth. In the aftermath of Snowden’s revelations, some have suggested that we repeal the Patriot Act. But real justice for Kennedy and the countless other victims of the massive intelligence and military apparatus of the US government can only come about by repealing Truman’s National Security Act of 1945, which created the CIA and the NSA. And if we don’t push for it using all the earth-shattering new knowledge that people like Jim Douglass and Ed Snowden have armed us with, this same specter will continue to haunt all future presidencies to come.

Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary “We’re Not Broke,” which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at [email protected], and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Originally published by Reader Supported News in November 2013

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Unspeakable Memories: The Day John Kennedy Died

November 22nd, 2020 by Edward Curtin

Updated on November 20, 2020.

There is a vast literature on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who died on this date, November 22, 1963.  I have contributed my small share to such writing in an effort to tell the truth, honor him, and emphasize its profound importance in understanding the history of the last fifty-seven years, but more importantly, what is happening in the U.S.A. today. In other words, to understand it in its most gut-wrenching reality: that the American national security state will obliterate any president that dares to buck its imperial war-making machine. It is a lesson not lost on all presidents since Kennedy.

Unless one is a government disinformation agent or is unaware of the enormous documentary evidence, one knows that it was the U.S. national security state, led by the CIA, that carried out JFK’s murder.

Confirmation of this fact keeps arriving in easily accessible forms for anyone interested in the truth.  A case in point is James DiEugenio’s posting at his website, KennedysandKing, of James Wilcott’s affidavit and interrogation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, declassified by the Assassinations Record Review Board in 1998.  In that document, Wilcott, who worked in the finance department for the CIA and was not questioned by the Warren Commission, discusses how he unwittingly paid Lee Harvey Oswald, the government’s alleged assassin, through a cryptonym and how it was widely known and celebrated at his CIA station in Tokyo that the CIA killed Kennedy and Oswald worked for the Agency, although he did not shoot JFK.  I highly recommend reading the document.

I do not here want to go into any further analysis or debate about the case.  I think the evidence is overwhelming that the President was murdered by the national security state. Why he was murdered, and the implications for today, are what concern me. And how and why we remember and forget public events whose consequences become unbearable to contemplate, and the fatal repercussions of that refusal.  In what I consider the best book ever written on the subject, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (2009), James W. Douglass explains this in detail, including the James Wilcott story.

Realizing what I am about to say might be presumptuous and of no interest to anyone but myself, I will nevertheless try to describe my emotional reactions to learning of John Kennedy’s murder so long ago and how that reverberated down through my life. I hope  my experiences might help explain why so many people today can’t face the consequences of the tragic history that began that day and have continued to the present, among which are not just the other assassinations of the 1960s but the lies about the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent endless and murderous “war on terror” with its mind-numbing propaganda and the recent anti-Russia phobia and the blatant celebration of the so-called “deep-state’s” open efforts to overthrow another president, albeit a very different one.

On November 22, 1963 I was a college sophomore. I was going down three steps into the college dining hall for lunch. (Many of my most significant memories and decisions have taken place on steps, either going up or going down; memory is odd in that way, wouldn’t you say?) I remember freezing on the second step as a voice announced through a PA system that the president had been shot in Dallas, Texas. When I finally recovered and went down into the building, another announcement came through saying the president had died. The air seemed to be sucked out of the building as I and the other students with a few professors sat in stunned silence. Soon little groups on this Catholic campus joined together to pray for John Kennedy. I felt as if I were floating in unreality.

Later that day when I left the campus and drove home, I thought back to three years previously and the night of the presidential election. Everyone at my house (parents, grandparents, and the five sisters still at home) had gone to bed, but I stayed up past 1 A.M., watching the television coverage of the vote count. My parents, despite their Irish-Catholicism, were Nixon supporters, but I was for JFK. I couldn’t comprehend why anyone would vote for Nixon, who seemed to me to personify evil. When I finally went up the stairs to bed, I was convinced Kennedy would win and felt very happy.

It wouldn’t be for another tumultuous decade before I would hear Kris Kristofferson sing

Never knowin’ if believin’ is a blessin’ or a curse

Or if the going up is worth to coming down….

From the rockin’ of the cradle to the rollin’ of the hearse

The goin’ up was worth the coming down

and I would ask myself the same question.

In the meantime, the next few years would bring the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile crisis, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, among other significant events, and for a high school student interested in politics and world events it was a heady and frightening few years. It was a country of newspapers back then, and I would read perhaps 3-4 each day and sensed a growing animosity toward Kennedy, especially as expressed in the more conservative NYC papers. I can remember very little talk of politics in my home and felt alone with my thoughts. As far as I can remember, this was also true at the Jesuit high school that I attended. And of course nothing prepared me for the president’s murder and the feeling of despair it engendered in me, a feeling so painful that I couldn’t really acknowledge it. At nineteen, I felt traumatized but couldn’t admit it or tell anyone. After all, I was a scholar and an athlete. Tough.

Oswald

Then on Sunday morning my family had the TV on and we watched as Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the guy the government said had killed the president. The unreality was compounded manyfold, and when later it was reported that Oswald had died, I felt I was living in an episode of The Twilight Zone, a popular television show at the time, whose narrator would say we are now entering the weird world between shadow and substance.

The next day a friend and I went to the Fordham University campus to visit a Jesuit priest who was a mentor to us. He had the television on for JFK’s funeral and we sat and watched it for a while with him. After a few hours, it became too painful and the two of us went outside to a football field where we threw a football back and forth. Perhaps subconsciously we were thinking of Kennedy’s love of football; I don’t know. But I remember a feeling of desolation that surrounded us on that empty cold field with not another soul around. It seemed sacrilegious to be playing games at such a time, yet deep trauma contributes to strange behavior.

Then I went on with my college life, studying and playing basketball, until the day after Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965. Those New York newspapers that didn’t like Kennedy, hated Malcom even more and were constantly ripping into him. I vividly remember talking to my college basketball teammate the next day. He had been in the Audubon Ballroom during the assassination. His sense of devastation as a young African American struck me forcefully. As we walked to basketball practice and talked, his sense of isolation and gloom was palpable. Visceral. Unforgettable. It became mine, even though I didn’t at the time grasp its full significance.

In 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, I was driving to visit a girlfriend and remember hearing the news on the car radio and feeling deeply shocked. I felt immediately oppressed by the first warm spring evening in the New York area. It was as if the beautiful weather, usually so uplifting after winter and so joyously stimulating to a young man’s sexuality, was conspiring with the news of King’s death to bring me down into a deep depression.

Soon the country would awaken on June 5 to the surreal news that Senator Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles the night before. Like so many Americans, when he died not long after, I felt his death was the last straw. But it was far from it. For all the while Lyndon Johnson had lied his way to election in 1964 and escalated the Vietnam war to savage proportions. Death and destruction permeated the air we were breathing. The year 1968 ended with the suspicious death in Thailand of a hero of mine, the anti-war Trappist Monk Thomas Merton. Subsequent research has shown that that too was an assassination. And while all of this was going on and my political consciousness was becoming radicalized, I became a conscientious objector from the Marines. I was 24 years old.

By the late 1970s, having been fired from teaching positions for radical scholarship and anti-war activities, and mentally exhausted by the unspeakable events of the 1960s, I retreated into the country where I found solace in nature and a low-key life of contemplation, writing literary and philosophical essays, a novel, book reviews, and becoming a part-time newspaper columnist. By the 1990s, I gradually returned to teaching and a more active political engagement, primarily through teaching and writing.

Then in 1991 Oliver Stone jolted me back in time with his film JFK. I found powerful emotional memories welling up within me, and growing anger at what had happened to the U.S. in the previous decades. Soon JFK Jr., who was investigating his father’s assassination and was about to enter politics and take up his father’s mantle, was killed in a blatantly rigged “accident.” A month before I had been standing in line behind his wife in the bakery in my little town while he waited outside in a car. Now the third Kennedy was dead. I called my old friend the Jesuit priest from Fordham, but he was speechless. The bodies kept piling up or disappearing.

When the attacks of September 11, 2001 happened, I realized from day one that something was not right; that the official explanation was full of holes. My sociological imagination took fire. All that I had thought and felt, even my literary writing, came together. The larger picture emerged clearly. My teaching took on added urgency, including courses on September 11thand the various assassinations.

Then in 2009 I read and reviewed James Douglass’s masterpiece, JFK and the Unspeakable, and my traumatic memories of 1963 and after came flooding back in full force. I realized that those youthful experiences had been so difficult for me to assimilate and that I therefore had to intellectualize them, for the emotional toll of reexperiencing them and what they meant was profound. The book really opened me to this, but so too did the awareness of how sensitive I was to John Kennedy’s death, how emotional I felt when reading about it or hearing him speak or listening to a song such as “The Day John Kennedy Died” by Lou Reed. It was as though a damn had burst inside me and my heart had become an open house without doors or windows.

I tell you all this to try to convey the ways in which we “forget” the past in order to shield ourselves from powerful and disturbing memories that might force us to disrupt our lives. To change. Certain events, such as the more recent attacks of September 11, have become too disturbing for many to explore, to study, to contemplate, just as I found a way to marginalize my feelings about my own government’s murder of President Kennedy, a man who had given me hope as a youngster, and whose murder had nearly extinguished that hope.

Many people will pretend that they are exposing themselves to such traumatic memories and are investigating the events and sources of their disquietude. It is so often a pretense since they feel most comfortable in the land of make-believe. What is needed is not a dilettantish and superficial nod in the direction of having examined such matters, but a serious in-depth study of the facts and an examination of why doing so might make one uncomfortable. A look outward and a look inward. Just as people distort and repress exclusively personal memories to “save” themselves from harsh truths that would force them to examine their current personal lives, so too do they do the same with political and social ones. When I asked two close relatives of mine, both of whom came close to death on September 11, 2001 at The World Trade Towers, what they have thought about that day, they separately told me that they haven’t really given it much thought. This startled me, especially since it involved mass death and a close encounter with personal death in a controversial public event, two experiences that would seem to elicit deep thought. And these two individuals are smart and caring souls.

What and why we remember and forget is profoundly important. Thoreau, in writing about life without principle, said, “It is so hard to forget what is worse than useless to remember.” This is so true. We are consumed with trivia, mostly by choice.

Perhaps a reason we remember so much trivia is to make sure we forget profound experiences that might shake us to our cores. The cold-blooded public execution of President John Kennedy did that to me on that melancholy Friday when I was 19, and by trying to forget it and not to speak of it, I hoped it would somehow go away, or at least fade to insignificance. But the past has a way of never dying, often to return when we least expect or want it.

So today, on this anniversary, another November 22, I have chosen to try to speak of what it felt like once upon a time on the chance that it might encourage others to do the same with our shared hidden history. Only by speaking out is hope possible. Only by making the hidden manifest.

T. S. Eliot wrote in “Journey of the Magi” words that echo ironically in my mind on this anniversary of the day John Kennedy died:

All this was a long time ago, I remember

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and Death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

Remembering in all its emotional detail the day John Kennedy died has been a long and cold journey for me. It has allowed me to see and feel the terror of that day, the horror, but also the heroism of the man, the in-your-face warrior for peace whose death should birth in us the courage to carry on his legacy.

Killing a man who says “no” to the endless cycle of war is a risky business, says a priest in the novel Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone. For “even a corpse can go on whispering ‘No! No! No! with a persistence and obstinacy that only certain corpses are capable of. And how can you silence a corpse.”

John Kennedy was such a man.

Eliot was right: Sometimes death and birth are hard to tell apart.

President Kennedy’s courage in facing a death he knew was coming from forces within his own government who opposed his efforts for peace in Vietnam , nuclear disarmament, and an end to the Cold War – “I know there is a God-and I see a storm coming. I believe that I am ready,” he had written on a slip of paper, and his favorite poem contained the refrain, “I have a rendezvous with death” – should encourage all of us to not turn our faces away from his witness for peace.

We must stop being at ease in a dispensation where we worship the gods of war and clutch the nuclear weapons that our crazed leaders say they will use on a “first-strike” basis. If they ever do, Eliot’s question – “were we led all that way for Birth or Death?” – will be answered.

But no one will hear it.

*

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Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization  His website is edwardcurtin.com and his new book is Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies 


Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies

Author: Edward Curtin

ISBN: 9781949762266

Published: 2020

Options: EBOOK – Epub and Kindle, paper, PDF

Click here to order.

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Os Euromisseis nucleares estão de regresso

November 21st, 2020 by Manlio Dinucci

Quando há mais de cinco anos, referimos como título no ‘il manifesto’ (9 de Junho de 2015), “Será que os mísseis regressam a Comiso?”, essa hipótese foi ignorada por todo o arco político e descartada como ‘alarmista’ por alguém que se designa arbitrariamente como sendo um especialista. Infelizmente, o alarme era fundamentado.

Há poucos dias, em 6 de Novembro, a Lockheed Martin (a mesma empresa que produz os F-35) assinou o primeiro contrato de 340 milhões de dólares com o Exército dos EUA para a produção de mísseis de médio alcance, também com ogivas nucleares, projectados para serem instalados na Europa. Os mísseis dessa categoria (com base no solo e alcance entre 500 e 5500 km) foram proibidos pelo Tratado INF, assinado em 1987 pelos Presidentes Gorbachev e Reagan e eliminou os mísseis balísticos nucleares Pershing II, instalados pelos Estados Unidos na Alemanha Ocidental e os mísseis nucleares de  cruzeiro Tomahawk, estabelecidos pelos Estados Unidos em Itália (em Comiso), na Grã-Bretanha, na Alemanha Ocidental, na Bélgica e na Holanda e, ao mesmo tempo, os mísseis balísticos SS-20 colocados pela União Soviética no seu território.

Em 2014, a Administração Obama, sem qualquer prova,  acusava a Rússia de ter experimentado um míssil de cruzeiro (sigla 9M729) da categoria proibida pelo Tratado e, em 2015, anunciou que “perante a violação do Tratado INF pela Rússia, os Estados Unidos estão a considerar a inserção na Europa, de mísseis com base em terra”.

O testemunho passou, então, para a Administração Trump que, em 2019, decidiu a retirada dos Estados Unidos do Tratado INF, acusando a Rússia de tê-lo “violado deliberadamente”.

Após alguns testes de mísseis, a Lockheed Martin foi contratada para construir um míssil de cruzeiro derivado do Tomahawk e um míssil balístico derivado do SM-6 da Raytheon. Segundo o contrato, os dois mísseis estarão operacionais em 2023: portanto, prontos para serem instalados na Europa dentro de dois anos. O factor geográfico deve ser tido em consideração: enquanto um míssil balístico nuclear americano de médio alcance lançado da Europa pode atingir Moscovo após alguns minutos, um míssil semelhante lançado pela Rússia pode atingir as capitais europeias, mas não Washington. Invertendo o cenário, é como se a Rússia estivesse a instalar mísseis nucleares de médio alcance no México. Deve notar-se também que o SM-6, especifica a Raytheon, desempenha a função de “três mísseis num só”, a saber: função antiaérea, antimíssil e de ataque. Portanto, o míssil nuclear derivado do SM-6 poderá ser usado pelos navios “blindados” e pelas instalações terrestres dos Estados Unidos na Europa cujos tubos de lançamento, especifica a Lockheed Martin, podem lançar “mísseis para todas as missões”.

Numa declaração datada de 26 de Outubro de 2020, o Presidente Putin reafirma a validade do Tratado INF, definindo a retirada dos EUA como sendo um “grave erro” e o compromisso da Rússia de não instalar mísseis semelhantes até ao momento em que os EUA posicionem as suas forças perto do seu território. Por conseguinte, propõe aos países da NATO uma “moratória reciproca” e “medidas de verificação mútua”, ou seja, inspecções nas instalações recíprocas  de mísseis. A proposta russa foi ignorada pela NATO. O Secretário Geral, Jens Stoltenberg, em 10 de Novembro, reiterou que “num mundo tão incerto, as armas nucleares continuam a desempenhar um papel vital na preservação da paz”.

Não se ergueu nenhuma voz dos governos e dos parlamentos europeus, embora a Europa corra o risco de estar na vanguarda de um confronto nuclear semelhante ou mais perigoso do que o da Guerra Fria. Mas esta ameaça não está relacionada com o Covid, portanto, não é comentada.

A União Europeia, da qual 21 dos 27 membros fazem parte da NATO, já se fez ouvir quando, em 2018, rejeitou nas Nações Unidas,  a resolução apresentada pela Rússia sobre a “Preservação e observância do Tratado INF”, dando luz verde à instalação de novos mísseis nucleares dos USA na Europa.

Haverá alguma mudança quando Joe Biden for investido para a Casa Branca? Ou, depois do democrata Obama ter aberto o novo confronto nuclear com a Rússia e do republicano Trump o ter agravado, ao destruir o Tratado INF, o democrata Biden (antigo Vice Presidente de Obama) irá assinar a instalação dos novos mísseis nucleares americanos na Europa?

Manlio Dinucci

 

 

Artigo original em italiano :

Ritornano gli euromissili nucleari

il manifesto, 17 de Novembro de 2020

Tradutora: Maria Luísa de Vasconcellos

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First published on July 21, 2016. In commemoration of the November 22, 1963 Assassination of JFK

Researchers who have investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for 30 or more years have concluded that he was murdered by a conspiracy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the Secret Service. See for example, JFK And The Unspeakable by James W. Douglass. Shortly before he was murdered, President John F. Kennedy gave an extraordinary speech at American University. In the speech he came out against continuation of the Cold War that risked all life on earth for the benefit of the profits of the military-security complex and the budgets and power of the Pentagon and CIA.

President Kennedy was already marked for assassination. He rejected the Joint Chiefs’ belligerence toward the Soviet Union and their belief that nuclear war could be won. He rejected Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lemnitzer’s “Operation Northwoods,” a plan to carry out false flag terror attacks on Americans and blame Castro in order to create support for a US invasion of Cuba.

 

He rejected US Air Force support for the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

He worked outside of channels with Khrushchev to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. The paranoid anti-communists who controlled US military and security forces concluded that President Kennedy did not serve their career interests and was soft on communism and thereby unable to stand up to the Soviet Union. They viewed Kennedy as a threat to US national security that needed to be removed.

A new peace movement, NoWar2016 has utilized part of President Kennedy’s speech to build interest in its September 23-25 conference at American University.

David Swanson points out the difference between President Kennedy’s approach to the Soviet Union and Washington’s approach to Russia today. There was hope in Kennedy’s approach. There is no hope in the approach today.

Listen to Kennedy’s speech and despair that such brilliant and fearless leadership was snuffed out by the military-security complex.

 

Like almost all Americans at the time, Senator John F. Kennedy regarded the Soviet Union as a threatening adversary. He campaigned for the presidency on “the missile gap,” the presumption of which was that the Soviets were gaining military supremacy over the US. But once in the Oval Office, Kennedy witnessed the extreme risks that US military leadership was willing to impose on American lives in behalf of a war than no one needed. He realized that the US military-security complex was as great a threat to life as the Soviets. He understood that tensions between the two nuclear powers had to be defused, not increased. Once reelected, he intended to cease the US intervention in Vietnam and to discipline the CIA. Kennedy’s approach was not acceptable to the military-security complex, and he was eliminated.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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The JFK Assassination: Why CIA’s Richard Helms Lied About Oswald

November 21st, 2020 by Prof Peter Dale Scott

First published by GR in December 2015

On April 26, 2018 the National Archive released 19045 classified documents on the JFK assassination:  

In accordance with President Trump’s direction on October 26, 2017, the National Archives today posted 19,045 documents subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act).   Released documents are available for download.  The versions released today were processed by agencies in accordance with the President’s direction that agency heads be extremely circumspect in recommending any further postponement.

***

The following essay is based on a talk given by Peter Dale Scott at the Third Annual JFK Assassination Conference in Dallas, 2015. (Produced by TrineDay Books, Conscious Community Events, and the JFK Historical Group.). It was first published by Who What Why and Global Research on December 24, 2015 

(This is Part 1 of a three-part series. For Part 2, please go here, and for Part 3, go here.)

Why Helms Perjured Himself

I wish in this essay to show how Richard Helms first lied to the Warren Commission about the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald. I argue that his performance, and that of other CIA officials up to the present, constituted significant obstruction of justice with respect to one of this country’s most important unsolved murder cases.

image right: Peter Dale Scott

Furthermore, we can deduce from the carefully contrived wording of Helms’s lies what the CIA most needed to hide: namely, that the CIA had recently launched a covert operation involving the name of Lee Harvey Oswald (and perhaps Oswald himself), only five weeks before President Kennedy was killed.

That operation—either in itself, or because it was somehow exploited by others—would appear to have become a supportive part of the assassination plot. It seems almost certain moreover that the “Oswald operation” became the focal point of the ensuing CIA cover-up, and of Helms’s perjury.

As I relate in my book Dallas ’63: The First Revolt of the Deep State Against the White House, there was culpable lying and cover-up from many others in high places, including individuals in the FBI, the Secret Service, ONI, and probably still more military intelligence agencies.

For example, the FBI first reported truthfully to both LBJ and the Secret Service on November 23 that a recording of someone calling himself “Lee Oswald” in Mexico City had been listened to by FBI agents in Dallas, who were “of the opinion that [the man in Mexico] was not Lee Harvey Oswald”.[1] Two days later Dallas FBI agents, along with the FBI Legat in Mexico City, reported falsely on November 25 that “no tapes were taken to Dallas”.[2] Subsequently the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) used this false report, compounded by false and misleading logic, to conclude that there was no “basis for concluding that there had been an Oswald imposter”.[3]

We should not conclude from the change in the FBI’s story about the tapes that either it, or still less the HSCA, was involved in the Kennedy assassination. It does however seem extremely likely that further investigation of the Oswald imposter in Mexico City would have, one way or another, have led to exposure of the CIA’s Oswald operation exposed in this essay.

The CIA and FBI were not alone in their post-assassination falsification of facts about Oswald. At one point even the Mexican government participated in this high-level cover-up: It supplied when needed a falsified bus manifest and later a falsified version of its statement taken from Cuban Consulate official Silvia Durán.[4]

Without doubt the post-assassination cover-up of what happened was high-level, and widespread.

But the CIA lies differ from those of other agencies in two important respects. First, the CIA was lying about Oswald before the assassination, as well as after. Specifically the CIA lied about Oswald on October 10, 1963, in two important and lengthy outgoing cables, DIR 74673 and 74830, about which I shall say much more.[5] Second, the CIA lies have also continued over time, and can be construed as an on-going obstruction of justice.

One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to recognize this. Tim Weiner, a New York Times journalist, has written a well-informed book about the CIA, Legacy of Ashes. In that book he, like other mainstream journalists, describes Oswald as a lone assassin. And yet he still acknowledges that the conduct of James Angleton, the CIA’s Chief of Counterintelligence (CI), was “an obstruction of justice.”[6]

Richard Helms Lies to the Warren Commission, March 1964

Let us now look at Helms’s informative lies about the CIA and Oswald. On March 6, 1964, from Richard Helms sent an important memo to J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission staff. This memo was the first page of what we know as Warren Commission Document 692, the so-called “CIA’s Official Oswald Dossier.” In this memo, which was declassified in 1973, Helms wrote, “There is attached an exact reproduction of the Agency’s official dossier on Lee Harvey OSWALD beginning with the opening sheet dated 9 December 1960.”[7]

There was a lot concealed by this sentence. To begin with, the CIA did not have just one “official dossier” on Oswald but at least two. Helms was referring to the so-called 201 Counterintelligence file on Oswald. But there was at least one other official Oswald file, in the Office of Security. In addition we know of a so-called “soft file” on Oswald maintained in the Soviet Russia division of the CIA’s Department of Plans, and there may have been more.

Much more importantly, what Helms gave the Commission was far from “an exact reproduction” of the actual Counterintelligence Oswald file. Instead he transmitted a radically curtailed version of it in a new file of March 1964  (XAAZ 22592), which the CIA much later acknowledged was a file “prepared [the CIA’s word] for the Warren Commission.”[8] The word “prepared” is important. Like ONI, and almost certainly the FBI, Helms and the CIA did not deliver “an exact reproduction” of an original Oswald file, but of a file that had been belatedly “prepared” in March for others to see.[9]

CIA Lies about Oswald, October 1963

In the redaction of this 201 file prepared for the Warren Commission the CIA removed the most sensitive and relevant portion of the original: a series of cables in and out of CIA Headquarters concerning Oswald, beginning just six weeks before the assassination.[10] (It is clear from a much later CIA document that the original copies of these cables were located in Oswald’s Counterintelligence file, 201-289248).[11] In their place was a sanitized and in some respects inaccurate description of these messages, supplied earlier as Warren CD 347 of January 31, 1964. In September 1992 a CIA Memo to the National Archives admitted that these cables were only “added [i.e. restored] to the ‘pre-assassination’ [CIA’s quotes] file (XAAZ 22592) after the file was prepared for the Warren Commission.”[12]

(Helms’s memo described the January 1964 memo in the “prepared” file as covering “all substantive developments affecting CIA in the matter of Lee Harvey OSWALD from 9 October to 22 November 1963.” We shall have more to say about this contorted legal language below, when we come to discuss Helms’s perjury.

As most assassinations researchers know, the suppressed materials began with MEXI 6453, a cable from Mexico City on October 9, reporting that “an American male who… said his name [was] Lee Oswald” had spoken of meeting in the Soviet Embassy with the “Consul, whom he believed [to] be Valeriy… Kostikov.”[13] (The source for this cable was LIENVOY, a CIA tap on the Soviet Embassy telephone, which produced the tape listened to on November 23 by FBI agents in Dallas.)

The news in this cable was, if true, important and indeed explosive information. Kostikov was a known KGB agent, and the FBI believed he was also an assassination agent. True or false, the news would become even more sensitive after the Kennedy assassination was blamed on Oswald, setting off what I have called the “Phase One” story that the KGB night have been responsible for the president’s murder. It is now firmly established that this Phase One story (later replaced by the more innocuous Phase Two story that the president was killed by a lone nut) was the story used by Johnson to persuade Chief Justice Ear Warren and others to serve on the Warren Commission.

CIA headquarters, in response to this report, sent out two cables on October 10, which transmitted more information about Oswald that was in places both false and mutually contradictory. The cable to CIA Mexico began with the claim “Lee Oswald who called Sovemb 1 Oct probably identical Lee Henry Oswald… born 18 Oct 1939,” even though the authors of the cable knew very well the real name of the man born in 1939 was Lee Harvey Oswald; “Lee Henry Oswald” was a name invented in 1960 by one of the cable’s authors and used only in some CIA records.[14]

Of the other falsehoods, one will deserve further attention: the claim that “Latest HDQS info was [State] report dated May 1962 saying [State] had determined Oswald is still US citizen and both he and his Soviet wife have exit permits and Dept State had given approval for their travel with their infant child to USA.” [15]

3

This claim that CIA last heard of Oswald when he was still in Russia was not just absurdly false, it was a lie. The CIA had received many FBI reports since his return, and we know from their CIA Routing Sheets that some of those signing off on the October 10 cable had seen these reports. Just two weeks before the cable, the CIA had received an FBI report of September 24 on Oswald’s arrest in New Orleans; and the Routing Sheet for that report shows that two of the CIA officers who signed off on the cable (John Whitten and Jane Roman) had read it.[16]

(After the two falsified cables were released, CIA Counterintelligence officer Jane Roman was interviewed about them by John Newman and Jefferson Morley. Faced with the clear evidence of falsehood, Roman conceded, “Yeah, I mean I’m signing off on something that I know isn’t true.”[17])

Explanation for CIA October Lies about Oswald: a Counterintelligence LCIMPROVE Operation

One explanation for these pre-assassination falsehoods is relatively clear: the cables were part of a counterintelligence operation. This was confirmed by the release of the MEXI 6453 cable in 1993 with its “action indicator,” LCIMPROVE, no longer redacted.

An LCIMPROVE operation, the CIA later explained to the House Committee on Assassinations, referred to  “Counter Espionage involving Soviet intelligence services (worldwide)”,[18] LCIMPROVE operations had targeted Soviet officials in Oswald’s orbit since at least 1959, when one target was the Soviet consul in Finland (Gregory Golub) who issued Oswald a visa to enter the Soviet Union.[19] Another LCIMPROVE target in 1963 was a Soviet Embassy companion of Valeriy Kostikov, who was himself a target of a CIA recruitment operation (“REDCAP”).[20]

Another sign that the cables were part of an operation is that the October 10 reply to Mexico was authenticated by William Hood, the Chief of Operations for the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division.[21] In other words, a lie on October 10 in a cable about Oswald was not necessarily culpable, merely evidence of a counterintelligence operation.

As I have written in Dallas ’63, falsified copies of documents about Oswald, notably from the State Department, had been used as part of a mole hunt by CI Chief James Angleton from the time of Oswald’s 1959 “defection” to Russia.[22] However the CIA cables about Oswald in October 1963 were unprecedented: the first time that the CIA initiated false information about Oswald and shared it with other agencies.

All of this may have been authorized as part of a counterintelligence operation. But after the assassination Helms’s concealment of the existence of this operation from the Warren Commission was a different matter.

 Notes:

[1] Church Committee Staff memo of  March 5, 1976, 1; Miscellaneous Records of the Church Committee, NARA 157-10014-19168 , 3(LBJ); AR 250 (Secret Service). Cf. Memorandum of Belmont to Tolson of 11/23/53: “Dallas agents who listened to the tape allegedly of Oswald…and examined the photographs… were of the opinion that neither the tape nor the recording pertained to Oswald.” Quoted in NARA 157-10014-19168, 5; HSCA, “Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City” (aka “Lopez Report”), Addendum to Footnote 614, 11 (518). [Throughout these footnotes WR, WH, and WCD refer to the Report, Hearings, and unpublished Documents of the Warren Commission (1964); AR and AH refer to the Report and Hearings of the House Select Committee on Assassinations or HSCA (1979). Legat refers to the FBI representative in Mexico City. NARA #000-00000-00000 refers to a document RIF (reference) number in the National Archives. All those cited in this essay can be seen on line by searching for them by the RIF 13-digit number on the Mary Ferrell Foundation website, http://www.maryferrell.org.]

[2] AR 250 (Dallas FBI agents); Lopez Report, 12 (519) (Legat). The Legat cable is reproduced in NARA 157-10014-19168, 8, but is mostly illegible.

[3] AR 250: “The committee determined that CIA headquarters never received a recording of Oswald’s voice. The Committee concluded, therefore [sic], that the information [that the two voices had been compared and found to be different] was mistaken and did not provide a basis for concluding that there had been an Oswald imposter.” But it was the Dallas FBI, not the CIA, who listened to the recording, which in any case was precisely not “a recording of [Lee Harvey] Oswald’s voice.“ The HSCA Report also said that “at 7:23 p.m. (CST) on November 23, `953, Dallas Special Agent-in-Charge Shanklin advised Director Hoover that only a report of this conversation was available, not an actual tape recording” (AR 250). In fact Shanklin’s cable read, “the actual tape from which this transcript was made has been erased” (Lopez Report, 12 (519).  Shanklin’s claim was based on an FBI cable to him from Mexico City saying “CIA has advised that these tapes have been erased” (FBI Cable of November 23 from Eldon Rudd to SAC, Dallas; FBI file MX 105-3702-12, NARA #124-10230-10430). This false claim by the CIA was reversed on November 24; see Scott, Dallas ’63, 25.

[4] Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 95-96, citing 24 WH 673, 682; 25 WH 736 (bus manifest); Peter Dale Scott, Oswald, Mexico, and Deep Politics (New York: Skyhorse, 2013), 118-21 (Durán statement).

[5] NARA #104-10015-10052; NARA 3104-10015-10048.

[6] Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 230: Angleton’s “conduct was an obstruction of justice.”

[7] Warren CD 692, 1.

[8] Memo of 4  September “1982” [i.e. 1992] for NARA Reviewers, “Oswald 201 File, Pre-Assassination File,” 201-289248, p. 211, http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95567&search=%22Oswald_201+File%2C+Pre-Assassination+File%22#relPageId=2&tab=page.

[9] For the ONI file prepared for Assistant Secretary of Defense McNaughton, see Peter Dale Scott, Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House, 83-84. The FBI HQ file on Oswald deposited in the National Archive, 105-82555, appears to have been falsified: what is now included as the first recorded serial, 105-82555-1, is apparently a substitute for the original first recorded serial; for the document, a 1959 news story from the Corpus Christ Times about Oswald’s defection, is clearly stamped “NOT RECORDED”.

[10] These cables, together with a CIA Mexico memo of October 16, 1963, are now in the National Archives (and MFF website) as records 104-10015-10047 through 104-10015-10053.

[11] “Russ Holmes Work File,” NARA # 104-10406-10009, 7.

[12] Memo of 4  September “1982” [i.e. 1992] for NARA Reviewers, “Oswald 201 File, Pre-Assassination File,” 201-289248, p. 211. The prepared file that became CD 692 with Helms’s memo of March 1964 was XAAZ 22595 (NARA # 1993.07.20.15:16:21:930270), not “22592” as reported in the 1982 CIA memo. The January 1964 summary (CD 347) was XAAZ 22594 (“A Collection of Cables,” CIA, NARA #104-10422-10021, p, 12/13). XAAZ 22593 concerned the “unidentified individual” who may or may not have been the person who identified himself as “Lee Oswald” in a phone call to the Soviet Embassy (CIA Draft Document, NARA # 104-10213-10022, p. 38). XAAZ 22593 is not on the MFF website.

[13] MEXI 6453 of 9 Nov 1963 to DIR, NARA #104-10015-10047.

[14] DIR 74830 of 10 Oct 1963 to Mexico City, NARA #104-10015-10048.

[15] DIR 74673 of 10 Nov 1963  to State, FBI and Navy, Subject: Lee Henry Oswald, NARA #104-10015-10052.

[16] CIA Routing and Record Sheet for DBA 52355, NARA #104-10015-10046.

[17] Jefferson Morley, “What Jane Roman Said; Part 3: The Interview,” http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/morley3.htm\; John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1995), 405.

[18] “LIST OF NAMES RE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION INVESTIGATION,” NARA #104-10061-10115, 23 “Counter Espionage involving Soviet intelligence services (worldwide”), 23; cf. 22. Cf. Bill Simpich, “The JFK Case; the Office that Spied on its Own Spies,” http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/THE-JFK-CASE–THE-OFFICE-by-Bill-Simpich-100310-266.html.

[19] Bill Simpich, The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend, Part Two: An Instant Visa Gets the Marine into Moscow,” http://www.opednews.com/articles/THE-JFK-CASE–THE-TWELVE-by-Bill-Simpich-100830-157.htmll. Cf. e.g.  NARA #104-10172-10294, CIA Dispatch of 28 August 1959, REDCAP/LCIMPROVE, “Procuring of Female Companionship for Grigoriy Ye. Golub,”.

[20] E.g. NARA 104-10162-10316, Dispatch of 27 September 1963 from COS Mexico to Chief WH, REDCAP KOSTIKOV, HMMA-22179. September 27, the date of this dispatch, is the day “Lee Oswald” is reported to have entered the Soviet Embassy and Cuban Consulate.

[21] DIR 74830 to MEXI of 10 October 1963; NARA #104-10015-10048,.

[22] Scott, Dallas ’63, 43-74.

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Conspiracy and Class Power: A Talk by Michael Parenti

November 21st, 2020 by Michael Welch

Those larger institutional forces are directed by conscious human agency, and those agencies use conspiracy or non-conspiracy, they use conspiratorial forces or non-conspiratorial forces, and that the conspiratorial forces are important, they’re not rare exceptions, and that they are systemic in their nature and in their output.”  – Michael Parenti (from this week’s lecture.)

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Conspiracy theory.

The term is in frequent use today. It is abundant during present day discourse over the coronavirus pandemic, as voices are rising to raise questions around some of extra-ordinary moves being made by governments to enforce the main narrative. [1][2][3]

The term is also a ‘thought-stopper.’ As soon as you are labelled a ‘conspiracy theorist,’ even before you have a chance to muster an argument, the public by and large will immediately develop a distrustful attitude toward you.

But conspiracies not only exist in our society, it actually is a concept in law! And, it is in systemic use by governments determined to fulfill a desired goal that might be difficult to explain. What’s more, the concept of Class Power plays a substantial role in subverting this deception ‘in the public good.’

Sunday November 22 is the anniversary of one of the most famous incidents of ‘conspiracy’ in the history of America – the assassination of John F Kennedy courtesy of one lone gunman. After the multiple exposures of Kennedy at odds with some elements of his own state with regard to Cuba and Vietnam, it end up being simpler to blame one ‘patsy’, kill him, and keep invoking the term ‘conspiracy theory’ to throw innocent inquiry off balance. [4]

This set-up forms the backdrop for the entire discussion aired on the Global Research News Hour this week. ‘Conspiracy and Class Power’ is a famous speech given in Berkeley, California by author and lecturer Michael Parenti. Unlike Alexander Cockburn, Noam Chomsky and others, this progressive voice finds ‘conspiracy’ to be not only an aspect of an occasional event, but a factor running through regular State operations.

The 1993 lecture you are about to hear not only brings this characteristic forward, he talks about incidents of known conspiracies, the history of foreign invasions and interference inconvenient from the perspective of Liberal ‘apologists,’ and the gearing of the conscious intent of State to use murder to defend an entire element of Class.

This lecture is offered for free. Please feel free to share it widely.

Michael Parenti is an internationally known author and lecturer. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 1962 and is one of the nation’s leading progressive political thinkers.  His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. His books include Democracy for the Few, Superpatriotism, The Assassination of Julius Caesar, History as Mystery, and Contrary Notions.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 296)

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

Notes:

  1. https://www.npr.org/2020/11/19/936248527/covid-19-denial-still-rampant-in-some-virus-hotspots
  2. Yaron Steinbuch (November 18, 2020), ‘Nurse suspended for spreading conspiracy theories on COVID-19 ‘scamdemic’’; https://nypost.com/2020/11/18/nurse-suspended-for-spreading-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories/
  3. Katie Sewell (Nov 20, 2020) ‘Coronavirus vaccine conspiracies fact-checked: Ridiculous theories causing people to think’; https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1362113/coronavirus-vaccine-conspiracy-theory-fact-check-explained-covid-vaccination-evg
  4. https://lightonconspiracies.com/jfk-a-conspiracy-theory/
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FDA Lets Pfizer Test Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine on U.S. Children

November 21st, 2020 by Children’s Health Defense

Americans have been following COVID-19 vaccine trial developments for weeks, watching companies jockey for frontrunner status like contestants in a reality TV show. And though participants in some of the studies (by Moderna, Oxford, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer) have surfaced with reactions serious enough to pause several of the trials, market analysts remain “bullish” about the near-term prospects for approval of these liability-free products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On Oct. 16, Pfizer’s CEO indicated the company would likely file for FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its experimental BNT162b2 vaccine in late November. That statement came three days after Pfizer announced that it had received FDA permission to administer the unproven vaccine to children as young as 12, becoming the first company in the U.S. to include young participants in Phase 3 trials. In the UK, Oxford and AstraZeneca gained approval to test their vaccine in children aged 5-12 back in May, a couple of months before two of their adult clinical trial participants developed transverse myelitis.

To date, Pfizer has administered two doses of vaccine to almost 35,000 adult participants in five countries. Unworried by the dramatic side effects reported by some of these adults — including high fever, pounding headaches, body aches, exhaustion and shivering intense enough to crack teeth — more than 90 parents have already expressed interest in volunteering their teenagers.

Are these parents (perhaps left unemployed by coronavirus restrictions) tempted by the financial incentives offered to clinical trial participants, reportedly anywhere from $1200 to $2000? Otherwise, their motivation for wanting to throw their children into the experimental fray is unclear; as the director of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital stated, “most of the time, what a coronavirus causes is a cold” that does not even make children “sick enough to where a parent says they need to go to a doctor.”

The Cincinnati physician has, nonetheless, just started giving Pfizer’s shot to 16- and 17-year-olds (and soon to 12-15-year-olds). To entice additional young participants, he tells parents that the COVID-19 death rate in children is “not zero” — but declines to spell out that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the survival rate in those age 19 and under is 99.997%. Using similarly vague language, a Memorial Sloan-Kettering health policy expert said that a COVID-19 vaccine’s benefits for the young would likely be “secondary’ in nature” but characterized the gesture as “an act of service to help protect others.”

However, reports in Pediatrics and other journals assert that children are not a source of infection and are far more likely to acquire COVID-19 from adults “rather than transmitting it to them.” In other words, policymakers expect children to accept a risk-benefit equation heavily tilted toward risk.

Corporate bad guy

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer — the second-largest drug and biotech company in the world and the fourth-highest earner of vaccine revenues — has seen a 7% increase in its share value this year. However, though Pfizer claims to be a standard-bearer for “quality, safety and value,” it has a corporate rap sheet a mile long. Pfizer is routinely mired in controversies involving alleged price-fixing, bribery, kickbacks, tax avoidance, regulatory misdirection and other unsavory practices and has also repeatedly paid fines for environmental violations at its research and manufacturing plants.

Critics point to decades of aggressive and questionable marketing. In 2009, this behavior earned Pfizer the dubious distinction of paying the largest-ever criminal fine at the time — $2.3 billion — for fraudulent and illegal promotion of four drugs, including a painkiller marketed at “dangerously high” doses. In 2016, a British regulator levied a $106 million fine against Pfizer for a 2600% increase in the price of a widely prescribed anti-epilepsy drug that increased the National Health Services’ expenditures from one year to the next — for a single drug—from $2.5 million to $63 million.

Perhaps to compensate for its unpleasant track record, Pfizer is the top drug company spender in state elections, even outspending the industry’s own lobbying group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRM). As a just-published analysis of drug company political spending by STAT and the National Institute on Money and Politics shows, Pfizer’s “prolific” state-level spending ($778,000 since January 2019) “mirrors its behavior at the federal level, where its [political action committee] was also the top political spender among drug companies” — roughly $1 million over the same time period. The report pointedly notes that while the amounts paid out to legislators represent a “pittance” for a company earning tens of billions a year, “those small chunks of corporate change can have a significant impact.”

Pfizer’s vaccines

Pfizer is responsible for two vaccines on the U.S. childhood and adolescent vaccine schedule: the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar-13 (given to children under 5 and also to older adults) and the meningococcal vaccine Trumenba (approved for 10 – 25-year-olds). Package inserts link the two vaccines to a large number of serious adverse events, including anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions, severe headaches and chronic muscle and joint pain. Among the roughly 40 harms listed in the Prevnar-13 insert are sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and half a dozen other fatal outcomes.

Pfizer developed its COVID-19 vaccine — which uses experimental messenger RNA (mRNA) technology — in partnership with the German biopharma company BioNTech. Although mRNA vaccines must be stored in special ultra-low-temperature freezers that pose certain logistic obstacles, Pfizer is gung-ho on the never-before-approved approach because it bypasses the more costly and difficult methods used in traditional vaccine production. It does this by essentially turning recipients into “vaccine factories” — with long-term risks that are unknown.

Pfizer and BioNTech brought their COVID-19 vaccine candidates “from concept into clinical development” in under three months, perhaps helped along by the current Pfizer CEO’s efforts to restructure Pfizer into a more “nimble” company. At the same time, observers who now place Pfizer at the head of the pack for COVID-19 vaccines credit the company’s “well-oiled system,” remarking that “Pfizer’s incredibly organized and is always … a couple steps ahead, planning where they want to go.”

Conflicts of interest and revolving doors

In the summer of 2019, after having served as the Trump administration’s FDA commissioner for two years, Scott Gottlieb passed through the revolving door to join Pfizer’s board of directors as well as becoming a regular contributor on CNBC. For the past four decades, stepping onto pharmaceutical boards has been par for the course for departing FDA commissioners, though Gottlieb may have upped the ante by also joining the boards of the AI- and big-data-reliant genetic testing start-up, Tempus, and the biotech company Illumina.

While at the FDA, Gottlieb presided over a record number of drug approvals. According to one commentator, this “trail-blazing” FDA stint and Gottlieb’s focus on “hustling up the [drug approval] process … helped endear him to the industry, making him one of the most popular commissioners in FDA history.” As the director of a consumer watchdog group put it, “He’s basically been a shill for pharmaceutical corporations for much of his career.” Two months before stepping down from the agency, Gottlieb attracted notice when he strongly denied any link between vaccines and autism while publicly threatening that the federal government might be “forced” to intervene in states with vaccine exemptions to make vaccines mandatory across the board.

Gottlieb’s affiliation with CNBC may explain why he has been a frequent public face during the coronavirus pandemic, promoting the U.S. as a world leader in the vaccine race but also vocally endorsing measures like universal masking, universal testing and restaurant and school shutdowns. On October 19, Gottlieb dourly told Americans that the U.S. is “entering a pretty difficult period” and that “the hardest part is probably [still] ahead.” Ironically, around the same time that Gottlieb was using positive test results to hype ongoing restrictive measures, a former Pfizer vice-president and chief science officer in the UK characterized mass testing as “inappropriate,” asserting that “it is impossible for the positives to be much other than false.” Discussing the harsh policies that have been particularly disastrous for children, the former Pfizer executive agreed that they have essentially been based on “completely fake data.”

Kids at risk

Reporter Whitney Webb recently outlined how Operation Warp Speed is awarding contracts to vaccine companies through a nongovernmental defense contractor intermediary, a tactic that shields the contracts from oversight and federal regulation. Meanwhile, Moncef Slaoui — who heads up the Operation Warp Speed initiative — stated that after a round of testing in adolescents, he expects the leading coronavirus vaccines to also be tested in toddlers and babies. Parents would do well to keep their children on the sidelines of these experiments. If vaccine clinical trials, including Pfizer’s, are already generating concerning results in adults capable of describing their symptoms, what will happen when preverbal babies experience similar adverse outcomes?

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The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland, brings together international business and political leaders, economists and other high-profile individuals to discuss global issues. Driven by the vision of its influential CEO Klaus Schwab, the WEF is the main driving force for the dystopian ‘great reset’, a tectonic shift that intends to change how we live, work and interact with each other.

The Great Reset entails a transformation of society resulting in permanent restrictions on fundamental liberties and mass surveillance as entire sectors are sacrificed to boost the monopoly and hegemony of pharmaceuticals corporations, high-tech/big data giants, Amazon, Google, major global chains, the digital payments sector, biotech concerns, etc.

Using COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions to push through this transformation, the great reset is being rolled out under the guise of a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in which older enterprises are to be driven to bankruptcy or absorbed into monopolies, effectively shutting down huge sections of the pre-COVID economy. Economies are being ‘restructured’ and many jobs will be carried out by AI-driven machines.

In a short video below, the WEF predicts that by 2030, “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.” A happy smiling face is depicted while a drone delivers a product to a household, no doubt ordered online and packaged by a robot in a giant Amazon warehouse: ‘no humans were involved in manufacturing, packaging or delivering this product’; rest assured, it is virus- and bacteria-free – because even in 2030, they will need to keep the fear narrative alive and well to maintain full-spectrum dominance over the population.

The jobless (and there will be many) could be placed on some kind of universal basic income and have their debts (indebtedness and bankruptcy on a massive scale is the deliberate result of lockdowns and restrictions) written off in return for handing their assets to the state or more precisely the financial institutions helping to drive this great reset. The WEF says the public will ‘rent’ everything they require: stripping the right of ownership under the guise of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘saving the planet’. Of course, the tiny elite who rolled out this great reset will own everything.

Hundreds of millions around the world deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ are to be robbed (are currently being robbed) of their livelihoods. Our every movement and purchase are to be monitored and our main dealings will be online.

The plan for individual citizens could reflect the strategy to be applied to nation states. For instance, World Bank Group President David Malpass has stated that poorer countries will be ‘helped’ to get back on their feet after the various lockdowns that have been implemented. This ‘help’ will be on condition that neoliberal reforms and the undermining of public services are implemented and become further embedded.

On 20 April, the Wall Street Journal ran the headline ‘IMF, World Bank Face Deluge of Aid Requests From Developing World. Scores of countries are asking for bailouts and loans from financial institutions with $1.2 trillion to lend. An ideal recipe for fuelling dependency.

In return for debt relief or ‘support’, global conglomerates along with the likes of Bill Gates will be able to further dictate national policies and hollow out the remnants of nation state sovereignty.

Identity and meaning

What will happen to our social and personal identity? Is that to be eradicated in the quest to commodify and standardise human behaviour and everything we do?

The billionaire class who are pushing this agenda think they can own nature and all humans and can control both, whether through geoengineering the atmosphere, for example, genetically modifying soil microbes or doing a better job than nature by producing bio-synthesised fake food in a lab.

They think they can bring history to a close and reinvent the wheel by reshaping what it means to be human. And they think they can achieve this by 2030. It is a cold dystopian vision that wants to eradicate thousands of years of culture, tradition and practices virtually overnight.

And many of those cultures, traditions and practices relate to food and how we produce it and our deep-rooted connections to nature. Consider that many of the ancient rituals and celebrations of our forebears were built around stories and myths that helped them come to terms with some of the most basic issues of existence, from death to rebirth and fertility. These culturally embedded beliefs and practices served to sanctify their practical relationship with nature and its role in sustaining human life.

As agriculture became key to human survival, the planting and harvesting of crops and other seasonal activities associated with food production were central to these customs. Freyfaxi marks the beginning of the harvest in Norse paganism, for example, while Lammas or Lughnasadh is the celebration of the first harvest/grain harvest in Paganism.

Humans celebrated nature and the life it gave birth to. Ancient beliefs and rituals were imbued with hope and renewal and people had a necessary and immediate relationship with the sun, seeds, animals, wind, fire, soil and rain and the changing seasons that nourished and brought life. Our cultural and social relationships with agrarian production and associated deities had a sound practical base.

Prof Robert W Nicholls explains that the cults of Woden and Thor were superimposed on far older and better-rooted beliefs related to the sun and the earth, the crops and the animals and the rotation of the seasons between the light and warmth of summer and the cold and dark of winter.

We need look no further than India to appreciate the important relationship between culture, agriculture and ecology, not least the vital importance of the monsoon and seasonal planting and harvesting. Rural-based beliefs and rituals steeped in nature persist, even among urban Indians. These are bound to traditional knowledge systems where livelihoods, the seasons, food, cooking, processing, seed exchange, healthcare and the passing on of knowledge are all inter-related and form the essence of cultural diversity within India itself.

Although the industrial age resulted in a diminution of the connection between food and the natural environment as people moved to cities, traditional ‘food cultures’ – the practices, attitudes and beliefs surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food – still thrive and highlight our ongoing connection to agriculture and nature.

‘Hand of God’ Imperialism

If we go back to the 1950s, it is interesting to note Union Carbide’s corporate narrative based on a series of images that depicted the company as a ‘hand of god’ coming out of the sky to ‘solve’ some of the issues facing humanity. One of the most famous images is of the hand pouring the firm’s agrochemicals on Indian soils as if traditional farming practices were somehow ‘backward’.

Despite well-publicised claims to the contrary, this chemical-driven approach did not lead to higher food production according to the paper ‘New Histories of the Green Revolution’ written by Prof Glenn Stone. However, it has had long-term devastating ecological, social and economic consequences (see Vandana Shiva’s book ‘The Violence of the Green Revolution’ and Bhaskar Save’s now famous and highly insightful open letter to Indian officials).

In the book ‘Food and Cultural Studies’ (Bob Ashley et al), we see how, some years ago, a Coca Cola TV ad campaign sold its product to an audience which associated modernity with a sugary drink and depicted ancient Aboriginal beliefs as harmful, ignorant and outdated. Coke and not rain became the giver of life to the parched. This type of ideology forms part of a wider strategy to discredit traditional cultures and portray them as being deficient and in need of assistance from ‘god-like’ corporations.

What we are seeing in 2020, is an acceleration of such processes. In terms of food and agriculture, traditional farming in places like India will be under increasing pressure from the big-tech giants and agribusiness to open up to lab-grown food, GMOs, genetically engineered soil microbes, data harvesting tools and drones and other ‘disruptive’ technologies.

The great reset includes farmerless farms being manned by driverless machines, monitored by drones and doused with chemicals to produce commodity crops from patented GM seeds for industrial ‘biomatter’ to be processed and constituted into something resembling food. What will happen to the farmers?

Post-COVID, the World Bank talks about helping countries get back on track in return for structural reforms. Are tens of millions of smallholder farmers to be enticed from their land in return for individual debt relief and universal basic income? The displacement of these farmers and the subsequent destruction of rural communities and their cultures was something the Gates Foundation once called for and cynically termed “land mobility”.

Cut through the euphemisms and it is clear that Bill Gates – and the other incredibly rich individuals behind the great reset – is an old-fashioned colonialist who supports the time-honoured dispossessive strategies of imperialism, whether this involves mining, appropriating and commodifying farmer knowledge, accelerating the transfer of research and seeds to corporations or facilitating intellectual property piracy and seed monopolies created through IP laws and seed regulations.

In places like India – still an agrarian-based society – will the land of these already (prior to COVID) heavily indebted farmers then be handed over to the tech giants, the financial institutions and global agribusiness to churn out their high-tech, data-driven GM industrial sludge? Is this part of the ‘own nothing, be happy’ bland brave new world being promoted by the WEF?

With the link completely severed between food production, nature and culturally embedded beliefs that give meaning and expression to life, we will be left with the individual human who exists on lab-based food, who is reliant on income from the state and who is stripped of satisfying productive endeavour and genuine self-fulfilment.

Technocratic meddling has already destroyed or undermined cultural diversity, meaningful social connections and agrarian ecosystems that draw on centuries of traditional knowledge and are increasingly recognised as valid approaches to secure food security (for example, see ‘Food Security and Traditional Knowledge in India’ in the Journal of South Asian Studies). The massive technocratic transformation currently envisaged regards humans as commodities to be controlled and monitored just like the lifeless technological drones and AI being promoted.

But do not worry – you will be property-less and happy in your open prison of mass unemployment, state dependency, track and chip health passports, cashlessness, mass vaccination and dehumanisation.

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With foresight, this article by Peter Koenig was first written on March 12, 2020

It seems, the more there is written about the causes of the Coronavirus – the more the written analyses are overshadowed by a propaganda and fear-mongering hype. Questions for the truth and arguments for where to look for the origins and how the virus may have spread and how to combat it, are lost in the noise of wanton chaos. But isn’t that what the “Powerful financial elites” behind this intended pandemic want – chaos, panic, hopelessness, leading to human vulnerability – a people becoming easy prey for manipulation?

Today WHO declared the coronavirus COVID-19 a “pandemic” – when there is not the slightest trace of a pandemic. A pandemic might be the condition, when the death to infection rate reaches more than 12%. In Europe, the death rate is about 0.4%, or less. Except for Italy which is a special case, where the peak of the death rate was 6% (see below for further analysis).

China, where the death rate peaked only a few weeks ago at about 3%, is back to 0.7% – and rapidly declining, while China is taking full control of the disease – and that with the help of a not-spoken-about medication developed 39 years ago by Cuba, called “Interferon Alpha 2B (IFNrec)”, very effective for fighting viruses and other diseases, but is not known and used in the world, because the US under the illegal embargo of Cuba does not allow the medication to be marketed internationally.

WHO has most likely received orders from “above”, from those people who also manage Trump and the “leaders” (sic) of the European Union and her member countries, those who aim to control the world with force – the One World Order.

This has been on the drawing board for years. The final decision to go ahead NOW, was taken in January 2020 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos – behind very much closed doors, of course. The Gates, GAVI (an association of vaccination-promoting pharmaceuticals), Rockefellers, Rothschilds et al, they are all behind this decision – the implementation of Agenda ID2020 – see below.

After the pandemic has been officially declared, the next step may be – also at the recommendation either by WHO, or individual countries, “force vaccination”, under police and/or military surveillance. Those who refuse may be penalized (fines and / or jail – and force-vaccinated all the same).

If indeed force-vaccination will happen, another bonanza for Big Pharma, people really don’t know what type of cocktail will be put into the vaccine, maybe a slow killer, that acts-up only in a few years – or a disease that hits only the next generation – or a brain debilitating agent, or a gene that renders women infertile …. all is possible – always with the aim of full population control and population reduction. In a few years’ time, one doesn’t know, of course, where the disease comes from. That’s the level of technology our bio-war labs have reached (US, UK, Israel, Canada, Australia…).

Another hypothesis, at this point only a hypothesis, but a realistic one, is that along with the vaccination – if not with this one, then possibly with a later one, a nano-chip may be injected, unknown to the person being vaccinated. The chip may be remotely charged with all your personal data, including bank accounts – digital money. Yes, digital money that’s what “they” are aiming at, so you really have no control any more over your health and other intimate data, but also over your earnings and spending. Your money could be blocked, or taken away – as a ‘sanction’ for misbehavior, for swimming against the stream. You may become a mere slave of the masters. Comparatively, feudalism may appear like a walk in the park.

It’s not for nothing that Dr. Tedros, DG of WHO, said a few days ago, we must move towards digital money, because physical paper and coin money can spread diseases, especially endemic diseases, like the coronavirus. A precursor for things to come? – Or for things already here? – In many Scandinavian countries cash is largely banned and even a bar of chocalate can be paid only electronically.

We are moving towards a totalitarian state of the world. This is part of Agenda ID2020 – and these steps to be implemented now – prepared since long, including by the coronavirus computer simulation at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore on 18 October 2019, sponsored by the WEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bill Gates, one of the chief advocates of vaccinations for everybody, especially in Africa – is also a huge advocate of population reduction. Population reduction is among the goals of the elite within the WEF, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Morgens – and a few more. The objective: fewer people (a small elite) can live longer and better with the reduced and limited resources Mother Earth is generously offering.

This had openly been propagated already in the 1960s and 70s by Henry Kissinger, Foreign Secretary in de Nixon Administration, a co-engineer of the Vietnam war, and main responsible for the semi-clandestine bombing of Cambodia, a genocide of millions of unarmed Cambodian civilians. Along with the CIA-Kissinger engineered coup on 9/11, 1973, in Chile, killing the democratically elected Salvador Allende and putting the military dictator Pinochet in power, Kissinger has committed war crimes. Today, he is a spokesman (so to speak) for Rockefeller and their  “Bilderberger Society”.

Two weeks after the computer simulation at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, that “produced” (aka simulated) 65 million deaths (!), the COVID-19 virus first appeared in Wuhan. By now it is almost certain that the virus was brought to Wuhan from outside, most likely from a bio-war lab in the US. See also this and this.

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What is the infamous ID2020? It is an alliance of public-private partners, including UN agencies and civil society. It’s an electronic ID program that uses generalized vaccination as a platform for digital identity. The program harnesses existing birth registration and vaccination operations to provide newborns with a portable and persistent biometrically-linked digital identity. GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, identifies itself on its website as a global health partnership of public and private sector organizations dedicated to “immunization for all”. GAVI is supported by WHO, and needless to say, its main partners and sponsors are the pharma-industry.

The ID2020 Alliance at their 2019 Summit, entitled “Rising to the Good ID Challenge”, in September 2019 in New York, decided to roll out their program in 2020, a decision confirmed by the WEF in January 2020 in Davos. Their digital identity program will be tested with the government of Bangladesh. GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and “partners from academia and humanitarian relief” (as they call it), are part of the pioneer party.

Is it just a coincidence that ID2020 is being rolled out at the onset of what WHO calls a Pandemic? – Or is a pandemic needed to ‘roll out’ the multiple devastating programs of ID2020?

Here is what Anir Chowdhury, policy advisor of the Bangladesh government program, has to say:

“We are implementing a forward-looking approach to digital identity that gives individuals control over their own personal information, while still building off existing systems and programs. The Government of Bangladesh recognizes that the design of digital identity systems carries far-reaching implications for individuals’ access to services and livelihoods, and we are eager to pioneer this approach.”

Wow! Does Mr. Anir Chowdhury know what he is getting into?

Back to the Pandemic and the panic. Geneva, the European seat of the United Nations, including the headquarters of WHO, is basically shot down. Not unlike the lock-down that started in Venice and later expanded to northern Italy until a few days ago – and now the lock-down covers all of Italy. Similar lock-down may soon also be adopted by France – and other European vassal states to the Anglo-Zionist empire.

Numerous memoranda with similar panic-mongering contents from different UN agencies in Geneva are circulating. Their key message is – cancel all mission travel, all events in Geneva, visits to the Palais des Nations, the Geneva Cathedral, other monuments and museums. The latest directives, many agencies instruct their staff to work from home, not to risk contamination from public transportation.

This ambiance of panic and fear – outstrips any sense of reality, when the truth doesn’t matter. People can’t even think any more about the causes and what may be behind it. Nobody believes you (anymore), when you refer to Event 201, the coronavirus simulation, the Wuhan Military Games, the closing last August 7, of the high-security biological war lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland…. what could have at one point been an eye opener for many, today is sheer conspiracy theory. The power of propaganda. A destabilizing power – destabilizing countries and people, destroying economies, creating hardship for people who may lose their jobs, usually the ones who can least afford it.

Also, at this time it becomes increasingly important to remind people that the outbreak in China was targeting the Chinese genome. Did it later mutate to transgress the ‘borders’ of Chinese DNA? When did that happen, if it happened? Because at the beginning it was clear that even the infected victims in other parts of the world, were to 99.9% of Chinese descent.

What happened later, when the virus spread to Italy and Iran, is another issue, and opens the way to a number of speculations.

(i) There were various strains of the virus circulated in sequence – so as to destabilize countries around the world and to confound the populace and media, so that especially nobody of the mainstream may come to the conclusion that the first strain was targeting China in a bio-war.

(ii) In Iran, I have a strong suspicion that the virus was an enhanced form of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, man-made, broke out first in Saudi Arabia in 2012 , directed to the Arabic genome) – which was somehow introduced into government circles (by aerosol spray?) – with the goal of “Regime Change” by COVID19-caused death. Its Washington’s wishful thinking for at least the last 30 years.

(iii) In Italy – why Italy? – Maybe because Washington / Brussels wanted to hit Italy hard for having been officially the first country to sign a Belt and Road (BRI) accord with China (actually the first was Greece, but nobody is supposed to know that China came to the rescue of Greece, destroyed by Greece’s brothers, the EU members, mainly Germany and France).

(iv) The hype about the high death to infection rate in Italy, as of the time of this writing: 10,149 infections vs. 631 deaths = death rate of 6.2 (comparatively Iran: 8042 infections vs. 291 deaths = 3.6 death rate). The death rate of Italy is almost double that of Iran and almost ten-fold that of average Europe. (Are these discrepancies the result of failures in the establishing reliable data pertaining to “infections”, see our observations pertaining to Italy below).

Why? – Was is Italy being affected with virus panic? Was there a much stronger strain introduced to Italy?

The common flu in Europe in the 2019 / 2020 season, has apparently so far killed about 16,000 (in the US the death toll is, according to CDC between 14,000 and 32,000, depending on which CDC website you look at).

Could it be that among the Italian coronavirus deaths there were also common flu victims, as the affected victims are mostly elderly with respiratory preconditions? Also, symptoms are very similar between coronavirus and the common flu, and nobody questions and checks the official authorities’ narrative?

Maybe not all the coronavirus strains come from the same laboratory. A journalist from Berlin of Ukrainian origin, told me this morning that Ukraine is host to some 5 high security US bio-war labs. They test regularly new viruses on the population – yet, when strange diseases break out in the surroundings of the labs, nobody is allowed to talk about it. Something similar, she says, is happening in Georgia, where there are even more Pentagon / CIA bio-war labs – and where also new and strange diseases break out.

All of this makes the composite picture even more complicated. Overarching all is this super hype is profit driven, the quest for instant profit, instant benefits from the suffering of the people. This panic making is a hundred-fold of what it’s worth. What these kingpins of the underworld, who pretend to run the upper world, perhaps miscalculated, is that in today’s globalized and vastly outsourced world the west depends massively on China’s supply chain, for consumer goods, and for intermediary merchandise – and, foremost for medication and medical equipment. At least 80% of medication or ingredients for medication, as well as for medical equipment comes from China. The western China dependence for antibiotics is even higher, some 90%.  The potential impacts on health are devastating.

During the height of the COVID-19 epidemic China’s production apparatus for everything was almost shut-down. For deliveries that were still made, merchandise vessels were regularly and categorically turned back from many harbors all around the world. So, the west has tricked itself into a shortage-of-everything mode by waging a  de facto “economic war” on China. How long will it last? – Nobody knows, but China’s economy which was down by about half, has rapidly recovered to above 80% of what it was before the coronavirus hit. How long will it last to catch up with the backlog?

What is behind it all? – A total crackdown with artificially induced panic to the point where people are screaming “help, give us vaccinations, display police and military for our security” – or even if the public despair doesn’t go that far, it would be easy for the EU and US authorities to impose a military stage of siege for “health protection of the people”. In fact, CDC (Center for Disease Control in Atlanta), has already designed harshly dictatorial directives for a “health emergency”.

Along with forced vaccination, who knows what would be contained in the cocktail of ‘’mini-diseases” injected, and what their long-term effects might be. Similar to those of GMOs, where all sorts of germs could be inserted without us, the commons, knowing?

We may indeed be just at the beginning of the implementation of ID2020 – which includes, forced vaccination, population reduction and total digital control of everybody – on the way to One World Order – and global financial hegemony – Full Spectrum Dominance, as the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century) likes to call it.

A windfall for China. China has been purposely targeted for “economic destruction”, because of her rapidly advancing economy, an economy soon to overtake that of the now hegemon, the US of A, and because of China’s strong currency, the Yuan, also potentially overtaking the dollar as the world’s main reserve currency.

Both occurrences would mean the end of US dominance over the world. The coronavirus disease, now in more than 80 countries, has crashed the stock markets, a decline of at least 20% over the last few weeks – and rising; the feared consequences from the virus of an economic slow-down, if not recession, has slashed petrol prices within about two weeks almost in half. However, without China’s central bank interference, the Yuan’s value vis-à-vis the dollar has been rather stable, at around 7 Yuan to the dollar. That means, the Chinese economy, despite COVID-19, is receiving still much trust around the globe.

Advice to China – buy all the US and European corporate shares you can at current rock-bottom prices from the stock markets that collapsed by a fifth or more, plus buy lots of oil futures. When the prices recover, you have not only made billions, probably trillions from the west, but you also may own or hold significant and influence-yielding amounts of shares in most of the largest US and European corporations – and will be able to help call the shots of their future endeavors.

There is however, one little silver lining oscillating at the horizon full of dark clouds. It could miraculously be an awakening of consciousness of a critical mass that could put an end to it all. Although, we seem to be far from such a miracle, somewhere in a hidden corner of our brain, we all have a spark of consciousness left. We have the spiritual capacity to abandon the disaster path of western neoliberal capitalism, and instead espouse solidarity, compassion and love for each other and for our society. That may be the only way to break the gridlock and doom of western egocentric greed.

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Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world, including in Palestine, in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press, TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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Nestes primeiros vinte anos do século, presenciamos um surpreendente avanço tecnológico em setores como informática, telecomunicações, indústria militar e também na tecnologia dos golpes de estado. Não só os aparelhos telefônicos e computadores são hoje mais potentes e discretos, mas também os golpes políticos têm se caracterizado por serem mais sutis, bem  ornados com discursos psicologicamente impactantes e costumeiramente precedidos por ampla campanha midiática.

Independente de o mandatário ter sido eleito em votações bem observadas pela comunidade internacional, a propaganda dos contras passa pela repetição do discurso de que se trata de um “usurpador”, alguém que de “presidente eleito”, tornou-se um “ditador”, um “regime que viola os direitos humanos”, e por aí segue.

Bielorrússia: o novo alvo do avanço neoliberal rumo ao Oriente

O grande alvo agora é a Bielorrússia, país estratégico para os interesses da OTAN de cercar a Rússia, grande potência rival. Esta nação, uma ex-república soviética, é governada há duas décadas e meia por Alexander Lukashenko, um líder que os “democráticos” EUA e a UE afirmam, ser “autoritário”. Porém, surge a dúvida para quem quer se informar melhor, para além da pauta orquestrada pela mídia corporativa: o presidente eleito bielorrusso é mais autoritário do que qual governo sob o domínio do capital e sua meia dúzia de megamonopólios? O de um “eleito” como Trump? Ou o de um Bolsonaro?

Observemos de perto o caso do “autoritarismo” bielorrusso, liderado por um presidente que mantém, há mais de 20 anos, sólidas políticas sociais, como na saúde e educação pública. Uma nação que manteve em certa medida a racionalidade de uma economia planificada, como nos tempos soviéticos, e que assim se esquivou da grave crise que acometeu a Rússia no período da desintegração da URSS, quando empresas estatais foram privatizadas a preços de atacado. Um país que hoje detém um dos melhores Índices de Desenvolvimento Humano (IDH) do mundo, e não apenas isso:  um dos menores coeficientes Gini de desigualdade.

Estes dados, para um país semiperiférico, com um território mediterrâneo de dimensão média e sem muitos recursos, decerto não foram motivados pelos “ajustes estruturais” ou pelo “enxugamento dos gastos” (em políticas sociais), políticas trágicas impostas pelo FMI, sobretudo durante a década de 1990, quando a União Soviética foi derrotada na Guerra Fria e os Estados Unidos passaram a controlar sozinhos o planeta.

Se Lukashenko, a partir da dissolução da URSS conseguiu manter o nível de vida bielorrusso nestes patamares, isto se deve, por um lado, a uma planejada opção política de manter as virtudes do legado “socialdesenvolvimentista” de tipo soviético. Por outro, advém da oportunidade econômica que o líder percebeu na parceria geoestratégica e cultural com sua grande irmã eslava, a Rússia.

Tal acusação de autoritarismo, por parte das potências invasivas da OTAN, como se busca expor nesta reportagem, passa por um exercício retórico, visando ganhos sobretudo geopolíticos. Ou seja, a aliança ocidental (Estados Unidos e União Europeia) segue pressionando seus opositores, buscando avançar sobre a fronteira eurasiática, com vistas a ameaçar diretamente o território da Rússia e os interesses da China – estas duas superpotências que são hoje os mais fortes concorrentes econômicos e militares do Ocidente. E a Bielorrússia é um dos principais caminhos do petróleo e gás russo, além de histórica passagem da Rota da Seda, em que os chineses estão investindo forte.

Golpes coloridos: a OTAN mais perto da fronteira russa

Não é o intuito aqui, entretantom defender o governo Lukashenko – em si – da acusação de “autoritarismo”, mas sim buscar compreender o todo da questão bielorrussa e as possibilidades de solução.

Vejamos então mais de perto quem são os dois lados em conflito, nesta luta que se iniciou, ao que parece, a partir de uma movimentação interna (baseada em pautas de uma parcela da população, mais abastada e ocidentalizada); mas que vem sendo agora amplificada a partir de pressões econômicas e diplomáticas, além de contra com a injeção de enormes recursos materiais e tecnológicos bancados pelo Ocidente.

Como se verá, diversas evidências caracterizam o caso bielorrusso como sendo mais um capítulo dos golpes de novo tipo, “brandos”, de acordo com tática já bem conhecida nesse novo século: a chamada “revolução primaveril” ou “colorida”, eufemismo que a grande mídia consagrou (com os casos da Ucrânia e Geórgia) para designar processos golpistas menos agressivos e de iniciativa “interna”.

Tratam-se de golpes que chegam ao conhecimento público sempre floridos pela imprensa dominante com adornos “populares” e “democráticos” – ainda que o termo “popular” se refira aqui maiormente à elite pró-ocidental, inflamada e bem formada no exterior.

Embora menos violentos, tais processos têm sido sempre manchados, em sua evolução, com a miséria da “democracia neoliberal”, o consequente êxodo populacional migratório e o enfraquecimento da nação: vide os casos sírio, venezuelano, ucraniano, etc.

Lukashenko: ascensão e desgaste

Chamado pelos EUA e UE de “o último ditador da Europa”, Lukashenko foi eleito pela primeira vez em 1994, logo após a derrota soviética. Sua popularidade, desde então, é inegável, apesar do desgaste pelo longo tempo no poder e pelos efeitos da crise econômica mundial, que se arrasta desde 2008.

Logo de início, o governante teve a inteligência de barrar e até reverter privatizações de estatais (prática que quebrou a Rússia, nos anos 1990); vendeu apenas poucas empresas, de menor valor estratégico e deficitárias; investiu em políticas sociais e aumentou significativamente o salário-mínimo. Sua grande base política se conformaria em torno dos trabalhadores das estatais. Ao longo de seus governos, construiu um modelo econômico fundado no controle estatal de empresas estratégicas, na regulação estatal do mercado e no alto nível de investimento social.

De acordo com matéria recente da conservadora BBC inglesa [1] o estado bielorrusso controla hoje mais da metade do PIB, com taxas de pobreza e de desemprego muito baixas, inclusive para o padrão europeu (embora estes números tenham naturalmente declinado com a série de crises dos últimos anos – econômica e sanitária).

Apesar do alto IDH e da baixa desigualdade social, pesa sobre Lukashenko sua longa estada no poder: os jovens de 25 anos não conheceram outro presidente no poder, e o que é mais impactante, não viveram a situação de decadência social dos anos 1990. Deste modo, os excelentes índices sociais vêm sendo questionados por discursos que acusam como sendo “baixos” os salários praticados nesta nação planificada, quando comparados aos das potências vizinhas da UE. Argumentos porém que não levam em conta o bom poder de compra destes “baixos” salários, dado o baixíssimo custo de vida (saúde e educação pública, impostos, subsídios, etc).    

Na mencionada reportagem da BBC (“Cómo funciona la economía estatizada de Bielorrusia), afirma-se ainda que a “última economia planificada da Europa” segue um “caminho do meio” entre uma direção estatal da economia e a abertura de um “mercado livre”; uma espécie de “socialismo de mercado” em que setores como a indústria e a agricultura são majoritariamente controladas pelo estado.

Vale notar porém que essa estatal britânica (de orientação neoliberal), embora crítica de Lukashenko, é obrigada a admitir que o país afrontou positivamente a crise do período imediatamente pós-soviético, introduzindo controles administrativos sobre os preços e o câmbio, introduzindo subsídios e um sistema de assistência social ampliado, que fizeram do país “um estável estado de bem-estar social”, no qual “a saúde e a educação são públicas e gratuitas”, o “desemprego é baixo”, e o percentual de pessoas abaixo do nível de pobreza decresceu, entre 2000 e 2018, “de 41,9% para 5,6%” (conforme dados do Banco Mundial) – “uma das taxas mais baixas da Europa”.

O oscilante Lukashenko

Se Lukashenko pode e deve ser criticado por sua postura despeitada diante da gravidade da crise sanitária da covid-19, chegando a sugerir que se tomasse “vodca” e fizesse “sauna” como proteção contra o coronavírus (notícia copiosamente utilizada pela mídia ocidental na tentativa de derrubá-lo do poder), este seu sério equívoco, que não é decerto o único, não deveria bastar para que certos críticos progressistas e até socialistas passassem a comprar a versão da OTAN, denunciando seu governo como uma “ditadura insana”, como se tem visto.

O governo de uma nação é uma tarefa por demais complexa e ampla, que não pode ser medida com a régua pequena que serve a um ou outro episódio – ou fala fora de propósito, a que todo indivíduo está sujeito.

Cabe, antes, buscar enxergar o todo da questão, a “totalidade concreta” – como diz Marx –, que no caso consiste em entender os objetivos gerais das ações políticas tomadas pelo governo, os resultados obtidos no período, e inclusive os possíveis rumos do país (caso a oposição assessorada pelo Ocidente consiga derrubar o governo).

No fim dos anos 2000, a Europa se vê mergulhada com gravidade na crise econômica mundial (que começara em 2008).

Neste contexto, Lukashenko tentou obter ganhos em seus imensos negócios com a Rússia (petróleo, gás, eletricidade), acenando à UE por uma aproximação, e abrindo a economia para investimentos ocidentais, segundo tática de não-alinhamento automático, que foi batizada por analistas, como “pêndulo de Lukashenko” [2].

Durante algum tempo, isso permitiu a Minsque barganhar por melhores condições com Moscou. Dentre os principais flertes com as potências ocidentais, Lukashenko decidiu privatizar algumas empresas menores – como duas operadoras de telefonia celular –, ação que levaria até o FMI a aplaudir o “último ditador”, reforçando seu poder. De acordo com reportagem de 2009 da revista alemã Der Spiegel [3], o presidente “reagiu bem à crise” e “repentinamente parece um homem diferente”, que “pede por liberalização econômica”, buscando tornar seu país “atraente para os investidores”, destacando-se especialmente no ramo de “tecnologia da informação” – como o “Vale do Silício bielorrusso”. Por outro lado, a matéria destaca a desconfiança de Lukashenko quanto a relações com oligarcas russos, e sua rejeição ao investimento de um banco estatal do país vizinho.

Porém “na verdade” – pontua a revista corporativa alemã – a meta do líder eslavo não é de fato a “reforma” (referência à meta neoliberal de se abrir o mercado nacional ao capital internacional e minimizar as ações do estado); seu objetivo é sim, mediante tais políticas emergenciais, obter um maior “controle sobre as empresas mais importantes do país” (que continuaram estatais). Além disso, as empresas oferecidas à privatização, não foram consideradas “atraentes” (ao apetite monetário dos lobos do Ocidente) – de maneira que, na Bielorrússia, o governo controla ainda “três quartos da economia”, e os investidores estrangeiros “continuam sendo uma exceção à regra”.

Na véspera das eleições do último agosto, as oscilações de Lukashenko voltariam a querer demonstrar a seu povo e ao mundo certa autonomia frente à forte Rússia de Putin, país de que a economia bielorrussa é bastante dependente.

Já desde janeiro a disputa entre Minsque e Moscou estava abalada, pois Putin decidira interromper o acordo pelo qual a Rússia fornecia petróleo barato à Bielorrússia [4]; isto porque o vizinho estava revendendo o ouro negro russo à Ucrânia, beneficiando portanto este país hoje dominado pelo Ocidente e polo de práticas antirrussas.

Em julho, o estremecimento entre os parceiros eslavos culmina na detenção de 33 cidadãos russos [5], ligados a uma empresa militar privada – suspeitos de tentativa de organizar distúrbios no país, em temporada pré-eleitoral, e acusados de espionagem.

Esta desavença, que enfraqueceu a aliança russo-bielorrussa em um momento crucial do país, foi a boa oportunidade que a oposição neoliberal aguardava para atacar. Para tanto obteve o apoio do Ocidente, e se usou de influenciadores digitais e discursos apelativos “contra a corrupção e o autoritarismo” e até mesmo “pela família”.

O que se vê, no atual cenário bielorrusso, é uma nação conturbada pela crise mundial e por manifestações de rua que, se não continuam assim tão massivas (quanto as amplificam a lupa dos meios ocidentais), têm feito chacoalhar o presidente. Reeleito agora para o sexto mandato, Lukashenko está desgastado pela visibilidade do poder, mas tão somente essa longevidade não seria motivo para que o tachassem de “ditador”, já que até a mandatária-mór da tão “democrática” UE, Angela Merkel nos dá o exemplo de seu quarto mandato (na Alemanha); isto sem contar o caso das monarquias eternas (amigas da OTAN e portanto “democráticas”), como a Arábia Saudita.

Observemos a seguir quem é que vem capitaneando a oposição: Svetlana Tsikhanouskaia, candidata derrotada por Lukashenko, sem nenhuma passagem pela política e sem um programa de governo consistente, para além de acenos a Merkel, Macron (e até Trump) em nome da “modernização” do país, e bravatas contra o “autoritarismo” e a “corrupção” e “pelas crianças” – algo próximo ao que se viu recentemente ser propagandeado no Brasil por um certo juiz formado nos EUA, ex-ministro atualmente desempregado, e cuja consequência foi um fascista de segunda linha no poder.

Yuri Martins-Fontes

Segunda parte :

Golpe colorido na Bielorrússia: o projeto liberal da oposição

Referências

[1 https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-internacional-53986659

[2]https://diplomatique.org.br/bielorrussia-esgotamento-economico-e-crise-politica]

[3]https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-minsk-tiger-lukashenko-s-high-tech-ambitions-for-belarus-a-668405.html

[4]https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/07/17/petrole-la-bielorussie-s-ouvre-une-porte-a-l-ouest_1794440

[5]https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/363237-32-ciudadanos-rusos-detenidos-regresar

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Selected Articles: Nuclear Euromissiles Are Back

November 20th, 2020 by Global Research News

Nuclear Euromissiles Are Back

By Manlio Dinucci, November 20 2020

A few days ago, on November 6, Lockheed Martin (the same company that produces the F-35s) signed a first $ 340 million contract with the US Army for the production of medium-range missiles, including those armed with nuclear warheads, designed to be installed in Europe.

A New Era for Nuclear Disarmament

By Ed Lehman, November 20 2020

The treaty outlaws the use or threat to use nuclear arms, and bars signatories from allowing “any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” on their territory. The U.S. is putting pressure on its allies not to sign this groundbreaking treaty.

Video: Senate Hearing on COVID-19 Outpatient Treatment

By C-Span and Elizabeth Woodworth, November 20 2020

The media has consistently suppressed the three top experts in early outpatient treatment of Covid. (They each have hundreds of peer-reviewed medical publications in top journals, over time.) Testimony includes the fact that Asia and Africa are on top of the Covid-19 problem. It’s only the West that is dominated by criminal lies from its presstitute media.

Leading COVID Vaccine Candidates Plagued by Safety Concerns

By Alix Mayer, November 20 2020

“It works!” trumpeted the normally stoic Nature journal about Pfizer’s early release results in a Phase III trial of its vaccine for COVID-19. Pfizer stated the vaccine was 90% effective when trial participants were exposed to SARS CoV-2, the virus said to cause COVID-19 symptoms. Not so fast.

Pfizer CEO Sells Stock Same Day Positive Results of COVID-19 Vaccine Announced

By Kate Raines, November 20 2020

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc. announced on Nov. 9, 2020 that ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial of its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidate suggests the vaccine may be 90 percent effective in preventing infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The news sent Pfizer’s stock price surging to a high of $41.99 per share and earned CEO Albert Bourla $5.6 million.

Declassify America’s Dirty Secrets in Syria to Stop a Biden War

By James Bovard, November 20 2020

How many Syrians did you vote to kill on Election Day? Thanks to our perverse political system, the answer will be revealed over the next four years if the Biden administration drags the U.S. back into the Syrian Civil War. But there are steps that Trump can take in his final months in office to deter such follies.

The Credibles: How Airwars Secured the Most Comprehensive Locational Data on Civilian Harm Ever Released by the US Military

By Chris Woods, November 20 2020

The US-led Coalition has released to Airwars the near coordinates of almost all confirmed or ‘Credible’ civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria in the long war against so-called Islamic State, allowing for the first time the accurate locating of 341 confirmed incidents and almost 1,400 civilian deaths since 2014.

“Biden’s America” Will Continue Pressure on Iran

By Tony Cartalucci, November 20 2020

There is a major misconception that the previous administration of former US President Barack Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden – had somehow sought to resolve US-Iranian tensions and offer Iran an opportunity to escape out from under decades of economic sanctions imposed by one US administration after another.

Ten Foreign Policy Fiascos Biden Can Fix on Day One

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, November 20 2020

The authors of this article put forth ten important foreign policy objectives. The fundamental question is whether a Biden/ Harris administration will “set the stage for a broader progressive foreign policy”.

Possible US Strike on Iran?

By Stephen Lendman, November 20 2020

Since Iran ended a generation of US/UK-installed fascist tyranny in 1979, both wings of US duopoly rule waged dirty war on the country and its people by other means. They stopped short of attacking Iranian territory militarily. Will US hardliners reverse this policy ahead? Will they do what no previous regime in Washington did before?

Plastic Entangling, Choking 1,800 Marine Animals in U.S. Waters

By Oceana, November 20 2020

In a report released today, Oceana reveals for the first time the available data on marine mammals and sea turtles swallowing or becoming entangled in plastic in U.S. waters.

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Possible US Strike on Iran?

November 20th, 2020 by Stephen Lendman

Since Iran ended a generation of US/UK-installed fascist tyranny in 1979, both wings of US duopoly rule waged dirty war on the country and its people by other means.

They stopped short of attacking Iranian territory militarily.

Will US hardliners reverse this policy ahead? Will they do what no previous regime in Washington did before?

Will they risk embroiling the Middle East in more all-out war than since US and UK forces challenged and defeated Nazi General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps during WW II in the region?

While Iran can’t match the US militarily, it’s strong enough to hit back hard against any attack on its territory, making Washington pay a big price for aggression if launched.

If Iranian oil shipments are blocked, its forces can retaliate by preventing hydrocarbon supplies of other regional countries from getting through the Strait of Hormuz — shutting off their crude to world markets.

According to the petroleum geoscience magazine GEOExPro, oil from Middle East countries is nearly half of proven recoverable crude worldwide — a resource too invaluable to lose even short-term.

When Iran struck the Pentagon’s Ain al-Assad airbase in Iraq — causing significant numbers casualties to US forces and damage — for assassinating its Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani last January, the IRGC said the following:

“We warn the Great Satan, the bloodthirsty and arrogant regime of the US, that any new wicked act or more moves and aggressions (against Iran) will bring about more painful and crushing responses,” adding:

“The brave soldiers of the IRGC Aerospace Force in a successful operation in the name of martyr Gen. Qassem Soleimani… launched tens of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles” on the Ain Al Assad base occupied by the “terrorist and aggressive US army.”

“We are warning all US allies who gave their bases to its terrorist army that any territory that in any way becomes the starting point of hostile and aggressive acts against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be targeted.”

“We in no way consider the Zionist regime (of Israel) to be separated from the criminal US regime in these crimes.”

It would be unwise for the US to ignore Iran’s “harsh revenge” pledge of retaliation against any preemptive Pentagon strikes on its territory.

In response to a dubious NYT report, alleging Trump sought “options” from the Pentagon and advisors about striking Iran’s legitimate nuclear facilities, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said the following:

“Any action against the Iranian nation would certainly face a crushing response.”

US forces and facilities anywhere in the region, along with Israel, would be vulnerable to painful retaliation.

According to the UN Charter and other international law, the right of self-defense is inviolable.

At the same, no nation may legally attack another preemptively for any reason. There are no exceptions to this fundamental law — that’s automatically US law under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.

While it’s possible that US forces might attack Iran militarily while Trump is in office or a successor, it’s unlikely based on the historical record over the past 40 years.

Regardless of what the Times claimed in its report — an unreliable source time and again — it’s unknown if Trump actually considered attacking Iran militarily.

He hasn’t done it during nearly four years in office.

Why now with weeks to go in his term? Why change tactics at this time?

Longstanding Iranophobe claims that it’s close to producing nuclear weapons have been debunked time and again by the US intelligence community and nuclear watchdog IAEA.

Iran’s legitimate nuclear program has no military component, no evidence suggesting otherwise.

What Trump may do in a second term if litigation against brazen fraud is successful is an issue for another time.

On January 20, 2021 — two months from now — his current term ends.

Would he really consider embroiling the Middle East in major conflict as his parting shot before returning to civilian life if things turn out this way?

Would he want to be remembered as a US head of state who launched war on a nonbelligerent country threatening no one during his final days in office?

I think not. Make your own judgment.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from InfoBrics

How many Syrians did you vote to kill on Election Day? Thanks to our perverse political system, the answer will be revealed over the next four years if the Biden administration drags the U.S. back into the Syrian Civil War. But there are steps that Trump can take in his final months in office to deter such follies.

Syria was not an issue in the presidential campaign and there were no foreign policy questions in the two presidential debates. That won’t stop the Biden team from claiming a mandate to spread truth and justice via bombs and bribes any place on the globe.

The Biden campaign promised to “increase pressure” on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad – presumably by providing more arms and money to his violent opponents. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris declared that the U.S. government “will once again stand with civil society and pro-democracy partners in Syria and help advance a political settlement where the Syrian people have a voice.” Northeastern University professor Max Abrahms observed,

“Every foreign policy ‘expert’ being floated for Biden’s cabinet supported toppling the governments in Iraq, Libya and Syria, helping Al Qaeda and jihadist friends, ravaging the countries, uprooting millions of refugees from their homes.”

Syria policy has long exemplified the depravity of Washington politicians and policymakers and the venality of much of the American media. The same “Hitler storyline” that American politicians invoked to justify ravaging Serbia, Iraq, and Libya was applied to Assad by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013. Once a foreign leader is irrevocably tagged with the scarlet H, the U.S. government is automatically entitled to take any action against his nation that would purportedly undermine his regime. Every side in the Syrian civil war committed atrocities, but the Obama administration acted as if there was only one bad guy.

Trump attempted to extract the U.S. from the Syrian conflict, but his sporadic, often unfocused efforts were largely thwarted by the permanent bureaucracy in the Pentagon, State Department, and other agencies. Considering the likelihood that the Biden administration will rev up the Syrian conflict by targeting Assad, recapping how America got involved in this mess to begin with is worthwhile.

President Obama promised 16 times that he would never put U.S. “boots on the ground” in the four-sided Syrian civil war. He quietly abandoned that pledge and, starting in 2014, launched more than 5,000 airstrikes that dropped more than 15,000 bombs in Syria.

Lying and killing are often two sides of the same political coin. The U.S. government provided cash and a massive amount of military weaponry to terrorist groups seeking to topple the Assad regime. The fig leaf for the policy was that the U.S. government was merely arming “moderate” rebels—which apparently meant groups that opposed Assad but which refrained from making grisly videos of beheadings. U.S. policy in Syria became so bollixed that Pentagon-backed Syrian rebels openly battled CIA-backed rebels. The U.S. government spent billions aiding and training Syrian forces who either quickly collapsed on the battlefield or teamed up with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or al-Qaeda-linked forces.

Federal law prohibiting providing material support to terrorist groups was not permitted to impede Obama’s Syrian crusade. Evan McMullin, a 2016 presidential candidate, admitted on Twitter:

“My role in the CIA was to go out & convince Al Qaeda operatives to instead work with us.”

Most of the media outlets that shamelessly regurgitated the Bush administration’s false claims linking Iraq to Al Qaeda to justify a 2003 invasion ignored how the Obama administration began aiding and abetting terrorist groups. The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan lamented last year that those who warned that the U.S. government “providing money and weapons to such rebels would backfire… were smeared as genocide apologists, Assad stooges, Iran supporters.” A Turkish think tank analyzed the violent groups committing atrocities in Syria after the start of the Turkish invasion in 2019: “Out of the 28 factions, 21 were previously supported by the United States, three of them via the Pentagon’s program to combat [ISIS]. Eighteen of these factions were supplied by the CIA.”

Stephen Lendman is not a supporter of either Trump nor Biden. He is committed to fair and honest elections.

***

US Election 2020 for president may one day be remembered as the most brazen political grand theft in the country’s history.

Evidence abounds yet establishment media pretend it doesn’t exist.

Can anyone ever believe anything they claim ever again?

In what has clear earmarks of an orchestrated anti-Trump plot, they unanimously declared Biden/Harris president-and-vice-president-elect — defying reality, betraying the US public at the same time.

Before getting into the meat of this article, let me make one thing  clear — what followers of my writing already know.

Throughout his tine in office, I’ve been a sharp Trump critic.

Instead of draining the swamp as promised, he filled it to overflowing.

He fulfilled the wish list of Wall Street, the military, industrial, security complex, and other monied interests — at the expense of peace, stability, equity, justice, and the rule of law.

What about Biden/Harris?

Throughout his near-half century as US senator and vice president, Biden’s been pro-war, pro-business, anti-progressive, anti-labor, anti-governance serving everyone equitably— anti-what matters most to ordinary Americans.

Leopards don’t change their spots, notably not late in life.

If Biden succeeds Trump in January, dirty business as usual continuity is certain.

He backed all US wars of aggression against invented enemies, its wars by other means on nations unwilling to surrender the sovereign rights to US interests, along with supporting privileged interests over the general welfare.

As Alameda County CA assistant DA, San Francisco DA, and California state AG, Harris pursued injustice by blocking exculpatory evidence, defending unconstitutional practices, and preventing prosecution of wealthy individuals.

For voting-age Americans, the choice between Trump and the alternative is none at all. It’s like choosing between the devil you know and the similar deep blue sea.

Now to the latest breaking news developments.

On Thursday, Trump campaign legal team members Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis discussed their claims of election fraud and actions they’re pursuing.

Former US Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova was there with them.

Evidence gathering takes time. A team of experienced lawyers are involved in preparing enough in an attempt to reverse brazen election fraud.

Below are remarks from a transcript of their press conference:

Giuliani: On election night, Trump was ahead in Pennsylvania by “seven or 800,000” votes, (but) somehow he lost” the state.

“(T)hat’s almost statistically impossible to have happened in the period of time that it happened.”

Testimonies are being gathered from “witnesses” to election fraud in key swing states — won by Trump in 2016, not this year as things now stand.

According to election officials in these states, “not a single voter fraud” occurred, said Giuliani.

“This pattern repeats itself in a number of states.”

“Almost exactly the same pattern, which to any experienced investigator, prosecutor would suggest that there was a plan from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities” like Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Atlanta — controlled by Dems.

“(F)riendly judges” aided them.

In Pennsylvania, “we have affidavits that there was no inspection of…682,770 (mail-in) ballots.

Long ago, Jimmy Carter, James Baker, and Supreme Court Justice David Souter noted that they’re susceptible to fraud.

In Pennsylvania, Michigan, and other states, GOP election monitors were denied permission to observe vote-counting close up.

In Michigan, Trump’s legal team has an affidavit from “an honest (Dem) who said there was cheating.”

Media “coverage of (Election 2020) has been almost as dishonest as the scheme itself.”

File:Sidney Powell.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Remarks by Trump campaign team attorney Sidney Powell:

Voting machine “software…was created with so many variables and so many back doors that can be hooked up to the internet or a thumb drive stuck in it or whatever, but one of its most characteristic features is its ability to flip votes.”

“It can set and run an algorithm that probably ran all over the country to take a certain percentage of votes from…Trump and flip them to Biden…”

“That’s when they came in the backdoor with all the mail-in ballots, many of which they had actually fabricated.”

“Some were on pristine paper with identically matching perfect circle dots for Biden.”

“Others were in batches.They’re always put in in a certain number of batches and people would rerun the same batch.”

“This corresponds to our statistical evidence that shows incredible spikes in the vote counts at particular times and that corresponds to eyewitness testimony of numerous people who have come forward and said they saw the ballots come in the backdoor at that time.”

Dominion Voting Systems “move(d) their offices overnight to (unknown) different places.”

Their “executives are nowhere to be found now.”

Their electronic voting machines are used in 29 US states, including contested swing ones.

The company’s “leadership” has ties to Dem supporter George Soros and “the Clinton Foundation…”

Election 2020 results from their machines “ha(ve) been uncertifiable in multiple states.”

Dominion machines are “easily accessible to hackers.”

“There’s video on the net that will explain to you how a kid with a cell phone can hack one of these voting machines.”

“There’s been no oversight of Dominion or its software.”

“We have testimony of different workers admitting that they were trained how to dispose of Trump votes and add to Biden votes.”

“The software has a feature pursuant to which you can drag and drop any number of batches of votes to the candidate of your choice, or simply throw them away.”

“So we have mathematical evidence in a number of states of massive quantities of Trump votes being trashed, just simply put in the trash like you would on your computer with any file and Biden votes being injected.”

“That’s in addition to the flipping” of Trump votes to Biden.

It’s done by “an algorithm that runs automatically flips all the votes…”

“There’s no doubt (that Election 2020 results were) alter(ed)” to benefit Biden over Trump.

“We are going to take this country back. We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down.”

“We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide.”

“We are going to prove it, and we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.”

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Remarks by attorney Jenna Ellis:

The Trump campaign will “get to court to actually have a full trial on the merits to actually show this evidence in court and prove our case.”

“Trials take time. Putting on evidence takes time.”

“(T)he American people can understand what the (media) have been hiding and what they refuse to cover, because all of your fake news headlines are dancing around the merits of this case and are trying to de- legitimized what we are doing…”

“This is absolutely a legitimate legal basis. We have been asked to provide an entire case that generally would take years in civil litigation.”

“The Constitution requires that the State Legislatures are the ones that make election law.”

“It still has to go by the US Constitution.”

“But what has happened in this case is that state and local level officials and all the way up have changed the rules.”

Press conference remarks by members of Trump’s legal team were an opening statement, an overview to what will be presented in court.

Brazen fraud decided Election 2020 for US president and vice president.

Things were decided long before early voting began and polls opened on November 3.

The popular will was excluded from the process.

Vote-flipping shifted many thousands in the count from Trump to Biden in key swing states — enough to assure the winner lost.

Much the same thing happened with countless numbers of suspect mail-in ballots, including from deceased and non-state residents, ones without postmarks, others arriving post-election, and many for Trump dumped.

The Justice Department should thoroughly investigate Election 2020 shenanigans.

Everyone involved in manipulating the results should be held fully accountable.

Chances that the race for the White House will be awarded on the basis of an honest vote count over a fraudulent one are slim.

The same goes for accountability.

If Biden/Harris succeed Trump in January, illegitimacy will define their time in office.

They lost. Trump won. Honest historians will likely set the record straight one day — when it’s too late to matter.

The US is defined by hypocrisy, autocracy and kleptocracy.

From inception, democracy the way it should be has always been pure fantasy.

The nation’s ruling class prohibits the real thing.

Instead of explaining election fraud and demanding accountability, establishment media support one of the most shameful ever political chapters in the nation’s history.

When votes for one candidate illegally flip to another, when others for the “wrong” candidate are dumped and not counted — can US federal election results ever be trusted again?

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Right Side Broadcasting Network

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc. announced on Nov. 9, 2020 that ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial of its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidate suggests the vaccine may be 90 percent effective in preventing infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The news sent Pfizer’s stock price surging to a high of $41.99 per share and earned CEO Albert Bourla $5.6 million when he sold 60 percent of his holdings (132,508 shares) at $41.94 per share on the same day.1

A Legal Sale With Questionable Ethics

Sidestepping questions of insider trading, a company spokesperson said the sale was part of a prearranged plan put in place and authorized by Bourla on Aug. 19, 2020 with sale of shares set up to happen automatically when Pfizer shares hit a predetermined price. In a similar pre authorized deal, executive vice president Sally Susman also sold 43,662 shares at $41.94 per share on Monday, valued at $1.8 million.

It is not unusual for company executives to receive significant compensation in the form of company stocks or to prearrange the sale of stock shares as part of ongoing financial planning. Both Pfizer executives’ sales were done under 10b5-1 trading plans, which allow for scheduling sales in advance, either when a stock reaches a certain price per share or for a specific date.2 If the shareholder wishes, the sales can be delayed to avoid the appearance of taking unfair advantage of one-time events that can affect share pricing.3 Pfizer shares have dipped since the Nov. 9 announcement, and have been  trading at $37.34 per share.4

A few months ago, executives at Moderna, another pharmaceutical company working on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, were criticized for allegedly overstating vaccine trial results, temporarily increasing stock prices and earning over 90 million dollars in stock sales for its executives, before deflating shortly afterwards when experts called into question the reported trial results.5

Questions Also Remain for Pfizer’s Experimental Vaccine

Reporter Arthur Allen posed several questions about whether Pfizer’s stock jump was warranted.He noted that it has not yet been established, for example, how long the vaccine will protect against COVID-19 infection or whether it will offer any protection to the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly or those with serious underlying health risks.

The Pfizer mRNA vaccine is also extremely vulnerable to temperature changes. It must be kept at a -94 degrees Fahrenheit (-70 degrees Celsius) and can only be held for a maximum 24 hours at refrigerated temperatures between 35.6 F and 46.4 F (2 C and 8 C).7 To accommodate the requirements, Pfizer has developed its own elaborate system for storage and transport. How that will translate into real world use is another question.

If Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial data have been publicized prematurely, there is also a question of how that might impact public perception of other COVID-19 vaccines in the research pipeline. For example, would people refuse to sign up for other studies for fear of getting a placebo when an active vaccine is available? Alternatively, might data from Pfizer’s study inappropriately be applied to other experimental vaccines?8

Overall, Pfizer has released few details of their reportedly positive results. Side effects and safety data are sparse. Pfizer officials have said only that, “there were fewer symptomatic cases of COVID-19 among clinical trial participants who received the vaccine than in those who received a placebo” and that more information would be released in the coming weeks.9

Emergency Use Authorization

On the basis of the preliminary data, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE are expected to apply for U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) for their experimental mRNA COVID-19 vaccine sometime in November, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could make a regulatory decision as soon as December 2020. If Pfizer submits its study data to the regulatory authorities and the vaccine is approved as quickly as has been projected, the U.S. government’s plan is to launch a COVID-19 vaccination program right away. According to Anthony Fauci, MD, the vaccine could be made available to “high priority groups” as soon as December and to the general public by April 2021.10

To date, 49 percent of people in the U.S. have indicated that they will either definitely or probably not get a COVID-19 vaccine if it is released this year, most citing concerns over safety issues related to the accelerated research, development and licensing timeline.11 12 If the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is granted emergency approval, it would be the first mRNA type vaccine to be licensed for human use.

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Notes

References:

1 Ruvic D. Pfizer CEO Sells $5.6mn Of Stock On Record Surge The Day He Praised COVID-19 Vaccine’s 90% Effectiveness, Denies Insider Trading. RT Nov. 12, 2020.

2 Flanagan C, Melin A. Pfizer CEO Joins Pharma Executives Selling Stock In Rally. The Boston Globe Nov. 11, 2020.

3 La Monica PR. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Sold Stock The Day He Announced Promising Vaccine News. CNN Nov. 11, 2020

4 Markets. Business Insider Nov. 12, 2020.

5 See Footnote 3.

6 Allen A. 5 Important Questions About Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine. Fierce Pharma Nov. 11, 2020.

7 Blankenship K. Pfizer, Biontech Ink Multibillion-Dollar EU Deal For Up To 300M Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine. Fierce Pharma Nov. 11, 2020.

8 See Footnote 6.

9 See Footnote 1.

10 Fruen L. Pfizer CEO Sold 60 PERCENT Of His Stock For $5.6M The DAY Of The Vaccine Announcement – But Firm Claims It Was All Part Of A Pre-Announced Trading Plan Agreed In AUGUST. Daily Mail Nov. 11, 2020.

11 See Footnote 1.

12 TVR Staff. Poll: 69 Percent of Americans Worried Fast-Tracked COVID-19 Vaccines Won’t Be Safe. The Vaccine Reaction Aug. 10, 2020.

Featured image is from Children’s Health Defense

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Ten Foreign Policy Fiascos Biden Can Fix on Day One

November 20th, 2020 by Medea Benjamin

The authors of this article put forth ten important foreign policy objectives.  

Joe Biden was a firm supporter of the Iraq war (2003) as well as Obama’s  bombing campaign of Iraq and Syria initiated in early August 2014, These airstrikes were described by the media as part of  a “soft” counter-terrorism operation, rather than an act of all out war directed against Syria and Iraq. 

The fundamental question is whether a Biden/ Harris administration will “set the stage for a broader progressive foreign policy”. (M. Ch. Global Research)

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Donald Trump loves executive orders as a tool of dictatorial power, avoiding the need to work through Congress. But that works both ways, making it relatively easy for President Biden to reverse many of Trump’s most disastrous decisions. Here are ten things Biden can do as soon as he takes office. Each one can set the stage for broader progressive foreign policy initiatives, which we have also outlined.

1) End the U.S. role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and restore U.S. humanitarian aid to Yemen.  

Congress already passed a War Powers Resolution to end the U.S. role in the Yemen war, but Trump vetoed it, prioritizing war machine profits and a cozy relationship with the horrific Saudi dictatorship. Biden should immediately issue an executive order to end every aspect of the U.S. role in the war, based on the resolution that Trump vetoed. 

The U.S. should also accept its share of responsibility for what many have called the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today, and provide Yemen with funding to feed its people, restore its healthcare system and eventually rebuild this devastated country. Biden should restore and expand USAID funding and recommit U.S. financial support to the UN, the WHO, and to World Food Program relief programs in Yemen.

2) Suspend all U.S. arms sales and transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Both countries are responsible for massacring civilians in Yemen, and the UAE is reportedly the largest arms supplier to General Haftar’s rebel forces in Libya. Congress passed bills to suspend arms sales to both of them, but Trump vetoed them too. Then he struck arms deals worth $24 billion with the UAE as part of an obscene military and commercial ménage à trois between the U.S., the UAE and Israel, which he absurdly tried to pass off as a peace agreement.   

While mostly ignored at the behest of the weapons companies, there are actually U.S. laws that require the suspension of arms transfers to countries that use them to violate U.S. and international law. They include the Leahy Law that prohibits the U.S. from providing military assistance to foreign security forces that commit gross violations of human rights; and the Arms Export Control Act, which states that countries must use imported U.S. weapons only for legitimate self defense.

Once these suspensions are in place, the Biden administration should seriously review the legality of Trump’s arms sales to both countries, with a view to canceling them and banning future sales. Biden should commit to applying these laws consistently and uniformly to all U.S. military aid and arms sales, without making exceptions for Israel, Egypt or other U.S. allies.

3) Rejoin the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) and lift sanctions on Iran. 

After reneging on the JCPOA, Trump slapped draconian sanctions on Iran, brought us to the brink of war by killing its top general, and is even trying to order up illegal, aggressive war plans in his last days as president. The Biden administration will face an uphill battle undoing this web of hostile actions and the deep mistrust they have caused, so Biden must act decisively to restore mutual trust: immediately rejoin the JCPOA, lift the sanctions, and stop blocking the $5 billion IMF loan that Iran desperately needs to deal with the COVID crisis.

In the longer term, the U.S. should give up the idea of regime change in Iran–this is for the people of Iran to decide–and instead restore diplomatic relations and start working with Iran to deescalate other Middle East conflicts, from Lebanon to Syria to Afghanistan, where cooperation with Iran is essential.

4) End U.S. threats and sanctions against officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Nothing so brazenly embodies the U.S. government’s enduring, bipartisan disdain for international law as its failure to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). If President Biden is serious about recommitting the U.S. to the rule of law, he should submit the Rome Statute to the U.S. Senate for ratification to join 120 other countries as members of the ICC. The Biden administration should also accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which the U.S. rejected after the Court convicted the U.S. of aggression and ordered it to pay reparations to Nicaragua in 1986.

5) Back President Moon’s diplomacy for a “permanent peace regime” in Korea. 

President-elect Biden has reportedly agreed to meet South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in soon after he is sworn in. Trump’s failure to provide sanctions relief and explicit security guarantees to North Korea doomed his diplomacy and became an obstacle to the diplomatic process under way between Korean presidents Moon and Kim. 

The Biden administration must start negotiating a peace agreement to formally end the Korean war, and initiate confidence-building measures such as opening liaison offices, easing sanctions, facilitating reunions between Korean-American and North Korean families and halting U.S.-South Korea military exercises. Negotiations must involve concrete commitments to non-aggression from the U.S. side to pave the way for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and the reconciliation that so many Koreans desire–and deserve.

6) Renew New START with Russia and freeze the U.S.’s trillion-dollar new nuke plan. 

Biden can end Trump’s dangerous game of brinksmanship on Day One and commit to renewing Obama’s New START Treaty with Russia, which freezes both countries’ nuclear arsenals at 1,550 deployed warheads each. He can also freeze Obama and Trump’s plan to spend more than a trillion dollars on a new generation of U.S. nuclear weapons.

Biden should also adopt a long overdue “no first use” nuclear weapons policy, but most of the world is ready to go much further. In 2017, 122 countries voted for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) at the UN General Assembly. None of the current nuclear weapons states voted for or against the treaty, essentially pretending to ignore it. On October 24, 2020, Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the treaty, which will now go into effect on January 22, 2021. 

So, here is a visionary challenge for President Biden for that day, his second full day in office: Invite the leaders of each of the other eight nuclear weapons states to a conference to negotiate how all nine nuclear weapons states will sign onto the TPNW, eliminate their nuclear weapons and remove this existential danger hanging over every human being on Earth.

7) Lift illegal unilateral U.S. sanctions against other countries. 

Economic sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council are generally considered legal under international law, and require action by the Security Council to impose or lift them. But unilateral economic sanctions that deprive ordinary people of necessities like food and medicine are illegal and cause grave harm to innocent citizens. 

U.S. sanctions on countries like Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea and Syria are a form of economic warfare. UN special rapporteurs have condemned them as crimes against humanity and compared them to medieval sieges. Since most of these sanctions were imposed by executive order, President Biden can lift them the same way on Day One.

In the longer term, unilateral sanctions that affect an entire population are a form of coercion, like military intervention, coups and covert operations, that have no place in a legitimate foreign policy based on diplomacy, the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

8) Roll back Trump policies on Cuba and move to normalize relations 

Over the past four years, the Trump administration overturned the progress towards normal relations made by President Obama, sanctioning Cuba’s tourism and energy industries, blocking coronavirus aid shipments, restricting remittances to family members and sabotaging Cuba’s international medical missions, which are a major source of income for its health system. 

President Biden should start working with the Cuban government to allow the return of diplomats to their respective embassies, lift all restrictions on remittances, remove Cuba from the list of countries that are not U.S. partners against terrorism, cancel the portion of the Helms Burton Act (Title III) that allows Americans to sue companies that use property seized by the Cuban government 60 years ago, and collaborate with Cuban health professionals in the fight against COVID-19.

These measures would mark a down payment on a new era of diplomacy and cooperation, as long as they don’t fall victim to crass attempts to gain conservative Cuban-American votes in the next election, which Biden and politicians of both parties should commit to resisting.

9) Restore pre-2015 rules of engagement to spare civilian lives. 

In the fall of 2015, as U.S. forces escalated their bombing of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria to over 100 bomb and missile strikes per day, the Obama administration loosened military rules of engagement to let U.S. commanders in the Middle East order airstrikes that were expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from Washington. Trump reportedly loosened the rules even further, but details were not made public. Iraqi Kurdish intelligence reports counted 40,000 civilians killed in the assault on Mosul alone. Biden can reset these rules and start killing fewer civilians on Day One.

But we can avoid these tragic civilian deaths altogether by ending these wars. Democrats have been critical of Trump’s often ad hoc pronouncements about withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Somalia. President Biden now has the chance to truly end these wars. He should set a date, no later than the end of December 2021, by when all U.S. troops will come home from all these combat zones. This policy may not be popular among war profiteers, but it would certainly be popular among Americans across the ideological spectrum.

10) Freeze U.S. military spending, and launch a major initiative to reduce it. 

At the end of the Cold War, former senior Pentagon officials told the Senate Budget Committee that U.S. military spending could safely be cut by half over the next ten years. That goal was never achieved, and the promised peace dividend gave way to a triumphalist “power dividend.” 

The military-industrial complex exploited the crimes of September 11th to justify an extraordinary one-sided arms race in which the U.S. accounted for 45% of global military spending from 2003 to 2011, far outstripping its peak Cold War military spending. The military-industrial complex is counting on Biden to escalate a renewed Cold War with Russia and China as the only plausible pretext for continuing these record military budgets.

Biden must dial back the conflicts with China and Russia, and instead begin the critical task of moving money from the Pentagon to urgent domestic needs. He should start with the 10 percent cut supported this year by 93 representatives and 23 senators. 

In the longer term, Biden should look for deeper cuts in Pentagon spending, as in Representative Barbara Lee’s bill to cut $350 billion per year from the U.S. military budget, approximating the 50% peace dividend we were promised after the Cold War and freeing up resources we sorely need to invest in healthcare, education, clean energy and modern infrastructure.

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Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and the author of several books, including Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection and Inside Iran: the Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK, and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq

Featured image is by Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday, there were new street demonstrations in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Last week, two British diplomats were declared “persona non grata” by the Belarusian government. They are accused of conducting “destructive activities” – most probably related to aiding demonstrators amid the Belarusian crisis.

Meanwhile, last weekend, the ceasefire in Donbass was, once again, breached twice. Tensions are on the rise in the East Slavic region of Europe. Moreover, tensions are rising in most – if not all – countries neighboring Russia. From a Russian point of view, its Western borders (south-western borders particularly) are facing neighboring countries at risk of instability, velvet revolutions and civil war, with civil war already the case in Ukraine since 2014 – or governments increasingly hostile to Russia. Georgia, for example is amid violent protests over the result of its elections and former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili – currently living in Ukraine – is seeking his political comeback and appealing to Biden. It has been NATOs ambition to further deepen its partnerships with Georgia. Likewise, in September, NATO troops took part in provocative military exercises in Estonia, near the Russian border.

Under a Joe Biden presidency (Trump is contesting the election results, but Biden is most likely to take the oath), tensions will likely keep increasing. Biden has stated he will ensure that the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine will continue. Ukrainian armed forces resumed combat operations in several “hot zones” across the Donbass region. At least one commander in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) – a disputed zone – was killed. Former Donetsk Defense Minister, Igor Strelkov, stated in an interview with Russian media, that Ukrainian offensives will increase, “especially after Joe Biden’s victory”. Former DPR Chairman Andrei Purgin said that if Trump’s administration employed “slow strangulation” against the Donbass region, Biden would use “more aggressive” methods.

The Donbass region comprises of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, that are internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine, but are de facto the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. The Donbass War, as it has been called, has been ongoing since March 2014, when protests in the aftermath of the Maidan Revolution escalated into armed conflict between forces from Donbass and the new post-Maidan Ukrainian government.

Even though Trump’s administration kept supporting Ukraine and donating war equipment to Kiev, since May 2019, Washington has not had a permanent ambassador in Ukraine as Trump recalled Marie Yovanovitch from her post. Biden is expected to appoint a high-profile diplomat for this position, after all he has engaged strongly with Ukraine. In fact, while he was Obama’s vice-president, he visited Ukraine at least five times and had a key role in defining the US’ Ukrainian policy. During the election, Biden condemned the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea after a referendum. He even described Russia as the main “threat” against the United States.

This is in line with US policy since World War II. At the end of the Cold War, the Iron Curtain fell, but NATO just kept expanding. In the end, it does not matter what flag is flying over the Kremlin in terms of ideology – for the US, rivalry with Russia is of a profoundly geopolitical nature: it is part of a struggle for the Heartland, as Halford Mackinder terms it. US foreign policy remains to a large extent shaped by Mackinder’s ideas about controlling the core of Eurasia to dominate the world. Trump’s administration sought better relationship with Russia, even though relations worsened at times, especially when sanctions were signed by Washington against Moscow. Be as it may, his administration was quite a relative “set-back” in this particular anti-Russian tendency. But these days are over – in Biden’s own words, “America is back”.

Thus, the new administration will bring changes not only in US relations to Ukraine and Eastern Europe, but to the entirety of Europe. Under Trump’s administration, Poland for instance, had American support in initiatives that were not well seen by the rest of the EU. However, a Biden administration will likely push Poland deeper into a pro-Atlantic stance. Last month, Michael Carpenter, Biden’s adviser on international relations, claimed that, as president, Biden will “unite NATO, support Poland’s defence abilities, and prioritize the Three Seas Initiative”, a forum of twelve states in the EU. Unlike Trump (who even often antagonizes Germany), Biden certainly wants a strong EU to “counter” and even “encircle” Russia.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Uriel Araujo is a researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts.

Featured image is by danielo / Shutterstock

The court stated, the test’s reliability depends on the number of cycles used and the viral load present. Citing Jaafar et al. 2020, the court concludes that

“if someone is tested by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.”

The court further notes that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown.

The threshold cycles used in PCR tests in India is between 37 and 40, which makes the reliability of the PCR test less than 3% and the false positive rate as high as 97%.

This case concerned the fact that four people had been quarantined by the Regional Health Authority. Of these, one had tested positive for COVID using a PCR test; the other three were deemed to have undergone a high risk of exposure. Consequently, the Regional Health Authority decided that all four were infectious and a health hazard, which required that they go into isolation.

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The US-led Coalition has released to Airwars the near coordinates of almost all confirmed or ‘Credible’ civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria in the long war against so-called Islamic State, allowing for the first time the accurate locating of 341 confirmed incidents and almost 1,400 civilian deaths since 2014.

The groundbreaking decision by the US-led Coalition – which came after several years of patient engagement by Airwars – will enable affected Iraqis and Syrians for the first time to know whether their loved ones were caught up in a particular event. That in turn could open the way for both apologies and ex gratia payments from the US and its international allies.

Former chief Coalition spokesman Colonel Myles Caggins said that the decision to share the data had been taken in the interest of transparency: “We take every allegation of civilian casualties with the utmost sincerity, concern, and diligence; we see the addition of the geolocations as a testament to transparency, and our commitment to working with agencies like Airwars to correctly identify civilian harm incidents.”

“The release of this locational data for confirmed civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria – accurate in some cases to just one metre – sets a new and welcome transparency benchmark,” Airwars noted. “We appreciate the US-led Coalition’s decision to release this important material, which should help affected Iraqis and Syrians to secure some closure following tragic losses within their families.”

What the data shows

In August 2014 the US-led coalition began bombing so-called Islamic State after militants had seized large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. Millions of civilians were trapped in a brutal war that lasted several years, with fighting often taking place in heavily built-up neighbourhoods.

Over the years the US-led Coalition has admitted many hundreds of civilian deaths from its own actions – though identifying exactly where these took place has been a major challenge.

The release to Airwars of hundreds of coordinates of Credible incidents – most accurate to within 100 metres and some to within just one metre  – is believed to be the most comprehensive locational civilian casualty data ever released by the US military.

Airwars has now added a new mapping and research tool to its website, The Credibles, which comprehensively maps all located incidents across both Iraq and Syria. The data has also been visualised in partnership with The Washington Post.

The locational data provided by the US military is, Airwars believes, unique. No previous belligerent is thought to have revealed at scale – either during or after a war – exactly where and when it has harmed civilians.

Using the US Department of Defense’s preferred Military Grid Reference System (MGRS), 70 of these Credible civilian harm events have now been publicly geolocated by the Coalition to an accuracy of just one metre squared, with all additional events geolocated to an accuracy of a one hundred metre square box.

Many of these incidents have already been well documented by affected communities themselves, with associated photographs, videos, and eyewitness narratives. Airwars also presently lists the names of more than 900 victims from these located events.

Just three of 344 confirmed Coalition civilian casualty incidents have been omitted from the data release. One recent case involved Coalition ground troops in Iraq, suggesting possibly sensitive Special Forces operations. Another event is still being queried with US Central Command (CENTCOM). The third case is the sole British-confirmed anti ISIS event, from March 2018 – with the UK Ministry of Defence still declining to release any locational information.

Some of the 341 Credible locations released to date by the US-led Coalition

The civilian casualty assessment process

More than 29,600 civilians have locally been alleged killed by US-led Coalition actions in Iraq and Syria since 2014, according to Airwars monitoring of local populations. The US was initially slow to engage – with just three civilian harm events confirmed by CENTCOM in the first 16 months of the war.

Beginning in 2016, the process of casualty assessments by the US military became more systematised – in part as a result of an increased focus on casualty mitigation by the Obama administration during its last months in office; and in part because of pressure from Airwars and other NGOs, which between them were tracking local allegations of civilian harm from Inherent Resolve actions in both Iraq and Syria.

CENTCOM established a permanent civilian casualty assessment team at Tampa covering the war against ISIS in mid 2016, and began publishing more regular public reports on confirmed civilian harm events. An additional 60 Credible incidents were admitted that year, for example.

In December 2016, the Coalition took over civilian casualty assessments from CENTCOM (although almost all personnel continued to be drawn from US forces.) The US-led alliance also began publishing monthly civilian harm assessments – which continue today. In total, CENTCOM and the Coalition have now assessed almost 3,000 alleged civilian harm events in the war against ISIS, to date confirming as Credible some 344 of these incidents.

The challenges of properly locating Credible events

While the confirming of multiple civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria by CENTCOM and the Coalition was generally well received, there were often significant challenges in properly identifying the location of such events.

Press releases issued via military public affairs teams only tagged a Credible event to the nearest large population centre. In the September 2017 report for example, the Coalition declared a major confirmed civilian harm event in Mosul: “March 14, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a strike on ISIS fighters engaging partner forces from a fighting position, it was assessed that 27 civilians in an adjacent structure were unintentionally killed.”

The month of March 2017 saw very heavy fighting at Mosul. Airwars tracked five separate claimed civilian harm events in the city for March 14th alone (two of them mass casualty incidents), with some days seeing more than a dozen allegations. Without the correct coordinates, affected Moslawis could never know whether their loved ones were (or were not) affected by particular strikes.

For the March 14th 2017 event cited above, Coalition officials eventually provided Airwars with coordinates in Mosul accurate to within just one metre (38SLF2901422174), confirming that the event took place in the neighbourhood of al Jadida. The challenge was whether such precise data could now be acquired for all confirmed events.

Such data could also help to prise open the door on possible restitution for civilian harm from US and Coalition actions in Iraq and Syria. According to the Pentagon, only six ex gratia payments were made to Iraqis during 2019, compared with more than 600 such awards for Afghanistan. Poor public locational data from Operation Inherent Resolve for confirmed civilian harm events has majorly hampered the ability of Iraqis and Syrians to pursue claims – until now.

Ex gratia payments awarded by the US in Afghanistan during 2019 were one hundred times higher than in Iraq. Poor public locational data by CJTF-OIR for confirmed events likely contributed to that disparity.

Securing the locational data

Following a face to face meeting with senior officials in Tampa in May 2016, CENTCOM and Airwars began regularly sharing data on civilian casualty allegations, in order to improve understanding, on both sides, of reported non combatant harm. That relationship has continued, with sometimes weekly confidential engagements between the Coalition’s CIVCAS Cell and the Airwars military advocacy team, involving granular queries from both parties.

CENTCOM also began sharing with Airwars occasional precise locational data for Credible events in mid 2016, in order better to clarify particular cases. Over time this became more systematised.

Alongside its monthly public press releases, the Coalition for several years provided Airwars with a private, annotated version of the monthly release, which both identified the geolocation of the event – and also, where possible, specifically cross matched Credible incidents to coded events already in the Airwars database. This locational information was provided by CJTFOIR on the expectation that Airwars would make it public through its own database of civilian harm events.

By early 2018 the Coalition was consistently providing MGRS data every month to Airwars for both Credible and later, for ‘Non Credible’ events. However this still left 126 historical confirmed cases for which Airwars had no locational data.

In early 2019, Airwars asked both the Coalition and the US Department of Defense to release this information – arguing that the alliance’s significant transparency in confirming civilian harm cases was being weakened by our then being unable publicly to determine where such cases had actually occurred. It was also argued that the US could better distinguish itself from Russia and other belligerents, who instead chose to hide or deny civilian harm from their own actions.

The missing locational data was provided to Airwars in Summer 2019 by the Coalition’s civilian casualty assessment team – a major step forward for transparency and public accountability. Later that year, the Coalition also began publishing MGRS data as part of its regular monthly public reporting.

The Coalition began sharing Credible close coordinates with Airwars in 2016, at first in private annotated versions of public reports.

Visualising the data

The Credibles dataset offers significant potential for visualisations, allowing for each confirmed US and allied civilian harm event in both Iraq and Syria to be precisely mapped and timelined. Additionally, each event can be cross matched to an associated Airwars incident report. More than 900 victim names are linked, along with associated photographs, videos, witness statements, and satellite imagery analysis of bomb sites.

Airwars has built a new subsite illustrating the remarkable potential of this unique transparency dataset. Each US-led Coalition Credible event has been precisely mapped down to at least 100 metres, and timelined across the war.

“The significance of this information for the affected communities led us to create an interface that would make the dataset easily accessible, and represent the information in a way that reflected its accuracy,” says Lizzie Malcolm of Scottish-American design team Rectangle, which conceived the new subsite.

The Credibles data sets a new benchmark for US military accountability for civilian harm. It’s hoped that the release of such accurate geolocational data can now become standard both for the US military and its allies.

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New START is the last remaining Russia/US agreement to prevent unconstrained expansion of nukes that can kill us all if detonated in enough numbers.

Under Trump, it’s dead. Efforts by hardliners surrounding him to kill the deal succeeded by making unacceptable demands no responsible government would accept.

Is resuscitation possible if Biden/Harris succeed Trump in January?

Dems are notoriously more belligerent than Republicans.

Softening US relations with Russia, China, and other independent nations on the US target list for regime change is virtually off-the-table.

US relations with nations it doesn’t control are more likely to be hardened, not eased.

As long as nuclear weapons and long-range delivery systems exist in the hands of a nation seeking unchallenged global dominance — imperial USA — possible mass annihilation threatens everyone everywhere.

The US dismissed proposals by Russia to extend New START short-term ahead of November 3 elections.

Despite good faith efforts by Moscow to bridge differences, Pompeo and other Trump regime hardliners consistently rejected its proposals.

New START expires on February 5. Biden earlier said if he succeeds Trump in January, he’ll pursue extending the treaty without conditions.

Time and again, what US politicians say and do are worlds apart.

In relations between Washington and other nations, nothing is certain except militancy, belligerence, and rage to control planet earth, its resources and populations — wars by hot and/or other means its favored strategies.

In late October, Russia’s Foreign Ministry offered to extend New START for one year, adding:

The Kremlin would commit to “freeze for the above-mentioned period the number of nuclear warheads that each side possesses.”

The good faith offer would “be implemented only and exclusively on the premise that ‘freezing’ of warheads will not be accompanied by any additional demands on the part of the United States.”

“(T)ime gained (by extending the treaty for a year) “could be used to conduct comprehensive bilateral negotiations on the future nuclear and missile arms control that must address all factors affecting strategic stability.”

In mid-October, Vladimir Putin offered to extend New START “unconditionally for at least a year” in its present form.

Trump’s national security advisor Robert O’Brien called the offer a “non-starter.”

Following O’Brien’s rejection, Pompeo falsely claimed the landmark treaty “is not a good deal for the United States or our friends or allies.”

In late October, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister/chief New START negotiator with the US Sergey Ryabkov said the following:

“(T)he degree of our differences is rather significant. (He saw no) “reasons for strong optimism” that New START would be extended, warning:

Failure to reach agreement (because of unacceptable US demands) risks “destroy(ing)” it altogether.

While “Russia is open to continuing the dialogue,” chances for a breakthrough with Trump regime hardliners is virtually nil.

If New START expires and Biden/Harris succeed Trump on January 20, they’ll have barely more than two weeks to extend it.

On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov expressed little hope for extending the agreement, saying:

Russia’s “(c)onversations (with the US) are conducted in terms of the mentality of ‘who will win, who will lose’ ” by Trump regime negotiators.

“When talking about the START treaty, everyone can win if we extend it without any preconditions.”

An earlier unacceptable arrangement had US “inspectors…sitting at the gates of our military-industrial complex factories.”

This was during the Boris Yeltsin years “in the 1990s. (T)here will never be a return to this system,” Lavrov stressed, adding:

“Considering the hype that has developed in the United States as part of the ongoing vote counting, lawsuits, and other perturbations, it is probably not reasonable to expect any clear proposals from the Americans.”

“The ball is now in their court. If the answer is no – well, we will live without the agreement.”

Throughout his tenure, Trump proved he’s a deal-breaker, not maker. New START may be the next to go.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from InfoRos

Hungary, Poland and Slovenia have blocked the EU’s budget and post-COVID recovery plan in order to oppose conditions that European aid must be connected to “respecting the rule of law.” Budapest, which is leading the veto, blocked the budget after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned that he does not support the EU’s attempts of linking the rule of law criterion to budgetary decisions.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács explained on Twitter that “we cannot support the plan in its present form to tie rule of law criteria to budget decisions.” In fact, Hungary was fully aware that its veto would create a crisis in the EU, with Kovács saying:

“[On] whether a Hungarian veto could lead to a crisis? I repeat: The burden of responsibility rests with those who have given rise to this situation in spite of Hungary’s well-articulated stance.”

With emphasis that Hungary is a “dedicated follower of the rule of law” that supports fellow EU Member States, Orbán also explained that Brussels only views “countries which let migrants in as those governed by the rule of law. Those who protect their borders cannot qualify as countries where rule of law prevails. Once this proposal gets adopted, there will be no more obstacles to tying member states’ share of common funds to supporting migration and use financial means to blackmail countries which oppose migration.”

Representatives of EU Member States were to vote on authorizing an increase in resources in order to finance the post-COVID economic recovery plan. However, this veto has delayed economic recovery in the EU as Orbán fears that the agreement could be weaponized against Hungary for its strong domestic anti-immigration position.

Germany, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Council until the end of 2020, is trying to find a compromise but is visibly not happy with the Orbán-led veto.

“We have already lost a lot of time in the face of the second wave of pandemics and the severe economic damage,” said Michael Clauss, Germany’s ambassador to the EU.

Clément Beaune, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, is optimistic though, assuring that a “solution will be found in the next few weeks.”

However, the reality is that dialogue is broken and neither of the two camps want to give in. It is likely that there is no possibility of concessions and it will be very difficult to find a solution. Frictions between Brussels and these three central European countries are not new. The crisis between the EU and Hungary even dates back to 2015 when there was a massive influx of migrants coming from Turkey to Central Europe via the Balkan route. This was the first sign of major polar differences within the EU.

On September 29, Orbán demanded the resignation of Věra Jourová, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, after she publicly called Hungary a “sick democracy.” The next day, the Commission unveiled its first report on respect for the Rule of Law among the 27 EU Member States, singling out in particular Warsaw and Budapest, accusing them of undermining the independence of the judiciary.

The laborious negotiations on the stimulus plan also testify to these strong tensions. A compromise was reached on July 20 by all the member countries on the conditionality of granting European funds to respect democratic principles. This “respect for the rule of law” and mentions of a “conditionality regime,” without describing precisely how it would be applied, is highly problematic as it can be manipulated in many ways to serve an agenda. According to this provisional agreement, countries violating the rule of law could more easily lose their access to European funds.

This was contested by the Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga, who denounced the “political and ideological blackmail.” Janusz Kowalski, Polish Deputy Minister of State Treasury, was equally dramatic and tweeted:

“VETO or DEATH! Symbol in the fight for Polish sovereignty against Eurocrats and German politicians who disobey European Union treaties.”

When Hungary, Poland and Slovenia joined the EU in 2004, there was no requirement on being open to illegal immigration. Rather, these are later political and ideological developments. However, two opposing conceptions of the EU have emerged and are unlikely going to compromise. Compromising “the rule of law” for the sake of good relations is a short-term policy bound to fail and a long-term strategic weakness.

However, it must also be remembered that Hungary is one of five EU states that vetoed sanctions against Turkey for, among many other things, orchestrating a migrant crisis on Greece’s borders in February and March of this year. In fact, in October 2019, Hungary frustrated the EU when it vetoed a draft text to warn the Turkish government that its Syrian operations could unleash another wave of refugees.

These continuous Hungarian vetoes for sanctions against Turkey are of course tied to its absorption into the Turkic sphere of influence, with the Central European country becoming an observer member of the Turkic Council in 2018. Hungary even opened a representative office of the Turkic Council in 2019. Orbán himself promotes the theory that Hungarians are “Kipchak Turks,” a Turkic tribe. Orbán even said that Hungary “is Christian Turkish lands” when speaking at the Hungarian Turan Foundation in March 2019 – Turan being a reference to a pan-Turkic motherland.

Therefore, Orbán’s claims that he is opposing the new budget because of his fear that the EU will force Hungary to accept illegal immigrants is extremely questionable. It is more likely that Orbán wants to maintain his grip on power that the EU says is in opposition to their liberal values and Western interpretation of democracy. With this, he also has the support of Poland and Slovenia to oppose the EU’s new budget, which will only descend the bloc into further fragmentation and disunity.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

Featured image: Viktor Orbán, Photo by European People’s Party (CC BY 2.0)

“Biden’s America” Will Continue Pressure on Iran

November 20th, 2020 by Tony Cartalucci

US President Donald Trump famously took a hardline approach against Iran – withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or the “Nuclear Deal” – and opting instead for a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran diplomatically and economically.

But there is a major misconception that the previous administration of former US President Barack Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden – had somehow sought to resolve US-Iranian tensions and offer Iran an opportunity to escape out from under decades of economic sanctions imposed by one US administration after another.

In fact – the US strategy regarding Iran required by necessity a feigned rapprochement – via the “Nuclear Deal” – followed by a sharp and hostile pivot aimed to make Iran appear unreasonable in the face of attempted peace offered by Washington.

This two-part strategy was planned during the administration of US President George Bush and executed by the Obama and Trump administrations respectively.

Far from mere speculation – this strategy was laid out in an extensive 2009 policy paper published by the Brookings Institution – a prominent US-based think tank funded by the largest, most powerful corporate-financier interests in the West.

The paper titled, “Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran”, stated explicitly (emphasis added):

..any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

For the policy to be executed within the current political environment in the United States – it required one administration operating under liberal left cover – and another under a more hardline right-leaning cover.

The paper having been published in 2009 and the policy laid out in it executed over the course of the following decade illustrates the continuity of agenda in Washington regardless of who is elected into office – and how corporate interests – not the American people or even the rhetoric of their elected representatives – drive US foreign policy.

And even when the Obama administration extended its feigned “Nuclear Deal” to Iran – it had deliberately engineered proxy war in Syria aimed directly at one of Iran’s closest regional allies.

Thus – at the same time the US posed officially as seeking peace with Iran – its proxy war funded, armed, and provided military support for militant groups killing both Syrian forces allied to Iran and Iranian forces attempting to aid in the protection and restoration of order in Syria.

In essence – US war in Syria was defacto war by proxy against Iran. The same could be said of US support for Saudi Arabia and its unrelenting destruction of neighboring Yemen – a war the US provides Saudi Arabia weapons, training, logistics, intelligence, and even its own special forces to aid and abet Saudi forces inside Yemen.

These conflicts aimed at Iran – and Russia and China in a much wider scope – were engineered beginning under the administration of US President George Bush, executed under the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration.

Unless the weapon manufacturers, banks, oil companies, and other interests driving US foreign policy particularly in regards to Iran have for some reason changed their motivations and objectives regarding the Middle East – this agenda will continue uninterrupted under a Biden administration. And it’s quite clear the prevailing foreign policy circles in Washington still desire containment and even regime change in Iran.

For Iran – who surely has “noticed” this pattern of enduring American belligerence from one administration to the next – it will most likely continue operating under the assumption that genuine peace will not be offered to it by Washington and is instead a condition Iran and its own policies must impose upon Washington and its presence in the Middle East and Central Asia regions by leaving the United States no other viable option.

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Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook” where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Several county sheriffs in New York State are saying they will not enforce Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that limits Thanksgiving Day gatherings to 10 people or less.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo summed up the sheriffs’ objections nicely.

“I can’t see how devoting our resources to counting cars in citizens’ driveways or investigating how much turkey and dressing they’ve purchased is for the public good,” Zurlo said in a press release.

This has nothing to do with “virus fatigue,” it’s a common-sense rebellion against insanity.

New York Post:

In a scathing Facebook post on Saturday, Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino questioned the legality of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newly instituted 10-person cap on parties and other gatherings in private residences.

“Frankly, I am not sure it could sustain a Constitutional challenge in Court for several reasons including your house is your castle,” the sheriff wrote in the Saturday post.

“And as a Sheriff with a law degree I couldn’t in good faith attempt to defend it Court, so I won’t,” he said.

The time has passed when grasping politicians can use the public health crisis to impose unconstitutional restrictions on citizens. The Great Virus Scare of 2020 is over and if Joe Biden tries to bring it back, he won’t find meek and mild sheep doing everything the experts are telling them to do.

This, from a Mississippi public health official is typical of the scaremongering that isn’t going to work anymore: “It’s going to happen. You’re going to say hi at Thanksgiving, it’s so nice to see you, and you’re either going to be visiting her by Facetime in the ICU or planning a small funeral by Christmas,” the MSMA president said.

As for the sheriffs, they’re telling Cuomo that if he wants to keep people apart, he can do it himself.

Giardino noted his office, with limited resources, has scant legal options to enter private homes other than search warrants, invitations or under an “emergency circumstance.”

“We have limited resources and we have to set priorities, so obtaining a Search Warrant to enter your home to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present is not a priority,” Giardino wrote.

This is something Cuomo would know if he weren’t such an arrogant, elitist, snob. Apparently, he thinks that simply by snapping his fingers and issuing a decree, his will becomes law. Sic Semper Tyrannus, baby.

I have no intention of visiting anyone at Thanksgiving, but that’s my choice. I would suggest that if you do visit relatives that you take simple, common-sense precautions. As far as “planning a small funeral by Christmas” for those who want to visit, Cuomo and other public health dragoons might be surprised at the number of older people with pre-existing conditions who have decided to stay home — all on their own without any help from the government in making the choice.

Turns out most citizens in America aren’t ten-year-old children who constantly have to be told what to do.

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In a report released today, Oceana reveals for the first time the available data on marine mammals and sea turtles swallowing or becoming entangled in plastic in U.S. waters. After surveying dozens of government agencies, organizations and institutions that collect data on the impact of plastic on marine animals, Oceana found evidence of nearly 1,800 animals from 40 different species swallowing or becoming entangled in plastic since 2009. Of those, a staggering 88% were species listed as endangered or threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act. Perhaps even more concerning, Oceana says the animals reflected in this report are far fewer than the true number of sea turtles and marine mammals that consume or become entangled in plastic in U.S. waters.

“Before now, the evidence that many U.S. marine mammals and sea turtles were being harmed by plastic was not compiled in one place. While there may never be a complete account of the fate of all marine animals impacted by plastic, this report paints a grim picture. The world is hooked on plastic because the industry continues to find increasingly more ways to force this persistent pollutant into our everyday routines — and it’s choking, strangling and drowning marine life,” said Dr. Kimberly Warner, report author and senior scientist at Oceana. “This report shows a wide range of single-use plastic jeopardizing marine animals, and it’s not just the items that first come to mind, like bags, balloons and bottle caps. These animals are consuming or being entangled in everything from zip ties and dental flossers to those mesh onion bags you see at the grocery store. We can only expect these cases to increase as the industry continues to push single-use plastic into consumers’ hands.”

Oceana’s report found that plastics affected animals at all life stages, from recently hatched sea turtles to seal mothers with nursing pups. Plastic consumption was the most prevalent problem in the animal cases reviewed, comprising 90% of the total, though entanglement also affected a significant number of marine mammals and sea turtles in heartbreaking, and sometimes gruesome, ways.

A few of the report highlights include:

  • Most of the species that consumed or became entangled in plastic are endangered or threatened, including Hawaiian monk seals, manatees, Steller sea lions and all six species of U.S. sea turtle.
  • In the cases where plastic ingestion was the likely cause of or contributor to death, seven involved just one piece of plastic.
  • Bags, balloons, recreational fishing line, plastic sheeting and food wrappers were the most common types of identifiable plastics consumed by these animals.
  • Plastic packing straps, bags, balloons with strings, and sheeting were the most common items entangling the animals.
  • Some sea turtle groups consumed plastic up to three times more often than average for their species.
  • Some marine mammals, such as the northern fur seal, consumed plastic up to 50 times more often than average for eared seals.
  • Additional items involving entanglement or ingestion included bottle caps, water bottles, straws, plastic chairs, plastic forks, toothbrushes, children’s toys, buckets, bubble wrap, sponges, swim goggles, plastic holiday grass, sandwich bags and polystyrene cups.

The report features case studies from around the U.S., including:

  • In Florida, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was found entangled in a plastic bag that had become filled with sand. The plastic bag had wrapped around the animal’s neck, and scientists believe the animal drowned due to the weight of the bag or suffocated from the entanglement.
  • A Florida manatee likely died from the plastic bag, straw, string, pantyhose and fishing line filling its stomach and colon.
  • In Virginia, a female sei whale swallowed a DVD case, which lacerated her stomach and led to gastric ulcers, harming her ability to find food.
  • In New Jersey, a plastic bag was the only item found in the stomach of a dead pygmy sperm whale.
  • In California, a northern elephant seal nursing a dependent pup was found with a packing strap around her neck.
  • In South Carolina, a sea turtle center found almost 60 pieces of plastic that a loggerhead sea turtle defecated during its rehabilitation.

“This report is merely a snapshot of what’s happening to the animals inhabiting plastic-polluted waters around the United States — imagine how great the numbers would be if they included the animals not observed or documented by humans,” said Christy Leavitt, report author and plastics campaign director at Oceana. “Plastic production is expected to quadruple in the coming decades, and if nothing changes, the amount of plastic flowing into the ocean is projected to triple by 2040. The only way to turn off the tap and protect our oceans is for companies to stop producing unnecessary single-use plastic — and that will require national, state and local governments to pass policies ensuring they do.”

Marine animals swallow plastic when they mistake it for food, or inadvertently swallow it while feeding or swimming. Once swallowed, it can obstruct their digestion or lacerate their intestines, and all of this can interfere with their ability to feed and obtain nourishment. These problems can lead to starvation and death. When animals become entangled in plastics, they can drown, choke to death or suffer physical trauma, such as amputation and infection. Entanglement can also lead to malnutrition when it prevents their ability to feed properly.

Scientists now estimate that 15 million metric tons of plastic floods into the ocean every year. That equates to about two garbage trucks’ worth of plastic entering the ocean every minute. The U.S. plays a significant role in this global problem, generating more plastic waste than any other country, according to a 2020 study. Plastic has been found in every corner of the world and has turned up in our drinking water, beer, salt, honey and more. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increasing amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.

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“It works!” trumpeted the normally stoic Nature journal about Pfizer’s early release results in a Phase III trial of its vaccine for COVID-19. Pfizer stated the vaccine was 90% effective when trial participants were exposed to SARS CoV-2, the virus said to cause COVID-19 symptoms.

Not so fast. Pfizer’s study protocol states cases count even if a trial participant has a positive test and only one symptom — like a cough, chills or diarrhea — that could easily be caused by one of 1,400 human pathogens, including 200 viruses known to infect humans. Except for Hepatitis A, B, C and HIV, the study protocol is silent on testing for other infectious causes of the participant’s symptoms.

In other words, the study suffers from confirmation bias. A cough and a positive test equals COVID, even when an “alternative possible diagnosis” could be the real cause of the symptoms. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Pfizer, partnering with BioNTech, uses new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology in their vaccine, and will apply for a coveted Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), likely before the end of November. Pfizer’s announcement comes after 94 trial participants — of more than 43,000 — tested positive for SARS CoV-2. Pfizer has not released data on whether the cases were mild, moderate or severe.

Early results may sound encouraging to some, but experts like Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, indicated “the vaccine may not turn out to be as effective once the trial is complete and all the data has been analysed [sic],” however “its effectiveness is likely to stay well above 50%.” Pfizer’s study protocol (p. 103) states “success at the final analysis” will achieve a minimum 30% efficacy, with greater than 98% certainty. We hope the vaccine is not 30 to 90% effective against mild illness.

Will the Pfizer vaccine work, and is it safe? Questions remain. Any vaccine, including all COVID-19 vaccines, must be proven both safe and effective before being administered to high-risk groups or to the global population.

A successful vaccine must prevent severe illness, hospitalizations or death, without serious adverse events that outweigh these benefits. It cannot just claim to prevent mild cases that would resolve on their own. It must also prevent person-to-person transmission. The trial data must be sufficiently powered to answer these questions, not just for the healthy, but for high-risk groups such as the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

Any initial protection from COVID-19 symptoms should also endure, and not wane after a few weeks or a few months. Questions remain about these valid criteria as applied to COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Recent publications in leading medical journals indicate that the answers to safety and efficacy questions may be less than assuring.

As most of the world still suffers under lockdowns, many wonder if these magic keys dangled to unlock us — the vaccines being developed for COVID-19 — will cause more injuries and deaths than those caused by COVID-19 illness.

Illegal to mandate vaccines under Emergency Use Authorization

Any COVID vaccine(s) approved for emergency use should be voluntary, since the vaccine(s) are considered investigational and are held to a much lower standard for both efficacy and safety. For example, compared to the non-emergency approval process to get full licensure, an emergency approval allows for a vaccine that “may” be effective, compared to the non-emergency approval process where a vaccine must demonstrate “substantial” effectiveness.

Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) law is clear: States are barred from mandating a vaccine approved for emergency usage. (See Section VI. Preemption.) It also should be illegal for private businesses, airlines or your employer to mandate a vaccination while it is approved under an EUA.

The New York Bar Association somehow missed this materially important barrier to mandates. Their attorneys published a position statement urging states to make COVID vaccination mandatory, allowing only a medical exemption. It appears that these lawyers either have supernatural foresight that COVID vaccines will be granted full licensure sometime in the future, or they have great hubris thinking they can override EUA law.

Only if the FDA were to grant full licensure, which normally takes years, would the states or businesses be allowed to consider vaccine mandates. The PREP Act exempts COVID vaccine manufacturers from liability, even if the vaccine(s) harm recipients, so the idea of mandates is particularly frightening.

Settling for a ‘new normal’

Public health authorities tantalize us with the idea of a “new normal” after a vaccine for COVID-19 is widely available. The term implies, and has been widely interpreted to mean, that for society to return to normal, the vaccine would prevent person-to-person transmission so everything could “open up.”

As appealing as this may sound to those harmed by lockdowns, only 42% of Americans now say they would get a COVID vaccine, according to the latest YouGov poll. Even among this sanguine minority, two-thirds harbor concerns about COVID vaccine safety. If public health authorities want high uptake of the vaccine, they need to push manufacturers to provide transparent trial information to address concerns, as the vaccine will have to be voluntary if any EUAs are granted.

In June, vaccine industry spokesperson Dr. Peter Hotez said, “Ideally, you want an antiviral vaccine to do two things. … First, reduce the likelihood you will get severely ill and go to the hospital, and two, prevent infection and therefore interrupt disease transmission.”

However, last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and White House coronavirus spokesperson, moved the goalpost and admitted the goal of COVID vaccines is to provide personal protection only, not to prevent death, or person-to-person transmission. Fauci  said he and his colleagues would “settle for … the primary endpoint to prevent clinically recognizable disease.”

“Settle for” could be used when someone cannot afford the house they want, or when their favorite pizza topping is not available, so someone settles for cheese pizza instead of pepperoni. It is hard to imagine the words “settle for” would ever be uttered in reference to a vaccine, let alone by the guy leading the COVID vaccine program for the U.S.

Settling for a vaccine that does not meet the initially lofty promises will not make more people voluntarily line up to get it.

Flawed trial design 

As conceded by Fauci, there are indeed some concerning issues with the trial design, spelled out nicely by Dr. Peter Doshi in the British Medical Journal. Doshi focuses on the two biggest issues. First, none of the leading vaccine candidate trials is designed to test if the vaccine can reduce severe COVID-19 symptoms, defined as: hospital admissions, ICU or death. And, second, the trials are not designed to test if the vaccine can interrupt transmission.

If neither of these conditions is met, the vaccine in essence performs like a therapeutic drug, except a vaccine would be taken prophylactically, even by the perfectly healthy, and more than likely carries a higher risk of injury than a therapeutic drug. If this were to be true, then therapeutic drugs would be superior to any COVID vaccine.

Preventing severe symptoms?

Regarding the new Pfizer trial results, Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said: “I want to know the spectrum of disease that the vaccine prevents. You’d like to see at least a handful of cases of severe disease in the placebo group.”

Though Pfizer stated “the study also will evaluate the potential for the vaccine candidate to … [prevent] against severe COVID-19 disease,” Pfizer’s press release did not indicate if the cases described in the company’s Phase III early release results were mild or severe. “In all the ongoing phase III trials for which details have been released, laboratory confirmed infections even with only mild symptoms qualify as meeting the primary endpoint definition,” wrote Doshi.

Phase III trials include a challenge test, where those who are vaccinated and those in the placebo group are followed to see if they end up testing positive for COVID-19, referred to as events or cases. “Final efficacy analyses are planned after just 150 to 160 ‘events,’” stated Doshi, “regardless of severity of the illness.” He went on to say that “hospital admissions and deaths from COVID-19 are simply too uncommon in the population being studied for an effective vaccine to demonstrate statistically significant differences in a trial of 30,000 people.”

The entire point of clinical trials is to demonstrate statistical significance so the FDA can make an informed decision on whether or not to approve the vaccine. The present clinical trials do not provide reliable data on whether these vaccines prevent hospitalizations and deaths.

No blocking of transmission

Plans to roll out vaccines to the 7.5 billion people in the world based on about 160 clinical trial participants per vaccine candidate not only lacks statistical power; most would consider it reckless.

Regarding the Pfizer results, Mt. Sinai virologist and trial participant Florian Krammer indicated “a transmission-blocking vaccine could accelerate the end of the pandemic. However, it will be difficult to determine if the Pfizer vaccine, or others in late-stage trials, can achieve this.” Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks concurs, stating “our trial will not demonstrate prevention of transmission, because … you have to swab people twice a week for very long periods, and that becomes operationally untenable,” citing the need for a five-to-ten times longer trial length and even higher costs.

Since these COVID-19 vaccines will not be approved for full licensure based on their ability to stop the spread of COVID-19 or prevent hospitalization or death, we may face never-ending lockdowns. If the present COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials eventually lead to full licensure, yet do not statistically significantly establish prevention of person-to-person transmission, they should not be used to justify mandated vaccinations in order to board a plane, go to work, attend a concertor eat at a restaurant.

Lack of study power in groups most affected by COVID-19

After Phase I trials, manufacturer studies are recruiting the elderly, minorities and those with underlying health conditions into larger studies with more than 30,000 subjects. However, though Pfizer stated that “approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds,” there are concerns the trials are not sufficiently powered to evaluate vaccine effectiveness in these groups.

The 160-event challenge tests will not be broken down by sub-population, leaving little actionable data on these vulnerable groups. Additionally, Pfizer has not disclosed how many elderly are enrolled in its trial. “I can’t see how anybody — the DSMB [Data Safety Monitoring Board] or the FDA Vaccine Advisory Committee, or FDA decision-makers — would ever allow a vaccine to be recommended for that group [age 65 and older] without having adequate data,” said Offit.

Adverse events and concerning vaccine ingredients

So exactly what has been revealed thus far by the COVID-19 vaccine trials? Below are the issues with trial design, paused trials, adverse events, and questions about fast-tracking a new mRNA technology, among many other questions and issues.

Here are the five companies hoping the FDA will grant an Emergency Use Authorization: Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Astra-Zeneca/Oxford, and GlaxoSmithKline. All receive funding from Operation Warp Speed to compress development time into a few months. Normally, vaccines take years to go through proper safety testing.

Significantly, with about two dozen vaccines in active use today, at least 66 formally tested and approved vaccines in the U.S. have been discontinued. Many — like RotaShield (rotavirus), Lymerix, and the DTP shot — were removed due to safety issues. Given the highly compressed development time, the adverse events experienced by trial participants and the possibility of vaccine mandates under full licensure, the public must demand transparency and open access to trial data.

Paused trials

Johnson & Johnson was the latest vaccine maker to pause its COVID-19 vaccine trial due to a severe adverse event in a vaccine recipient. At the Oct. 30 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting, Johnson & Johnson’s Dr. Jerald Sadoff was pressed by no fewer than six ACIP members to reveal the illness, but refused, citing confidentiality.

Meanwhile, Astra-Zeneca/Oxford also had to pause their trial after trial participants developed neurological conditions like transverse myelitis and multiple sclerosis and due to a death, reportedly in the placebo group, which received meningitis vaccines instead of true saline placebos.

In Moderna’s Phase I trial, at least one participant had to drop out due to urticaria, a common allergic drug reaction that can cause a life-threatening anaphylaxis, but the drugmaker did not pause its trial. Pfizer/BioNTech has stated it will not pause its trial despite “side effects that have emerged.”

On Oct. 23, the FDA cleared both Johnson & Johnson and Astra-Zeneca to resume their trials, stating they could not definitively link the severe adverse events or death to the COVID vaccines. Given the small number of people in the trials, severe adverse events in just a few participants could translate into thousands, if not millions of injuries if the entire world population were vaccinated.

Questionable efficacy

Among the leading COVID vaccine candidates, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Astra-Zeneca/Oxford and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have all published data from early human trials. (Links to published studies within the text above, and also cited after the article.)

While all four report 90% to 100% of participants developed antibodies after two doses (single dose for J&J), all four also report a high rate of adverse events. Note that antibodies are merely presumed to be effective, when levels are comparable to antibodies in people who recovered naturally from COVID.

We will not know if the vaccines prevent or reduce symptoms, like the early release results from the Pfizer trial, until complete challenge test results are back. In the challenge test, the vaccinated and those who got a placebo injection remain blinded, that is, they do not know which group they are in. If a participant experiences COVID-like symptoms, he or she will get a “nasal swab” test. Cases will be counted when a participant tests positive for SARS CoV-2, the virus that is thought to cause COVID-19 symptoms, via a polymerase chain reaction test. The vaccinated group will then be compared to the placebo group.

High systemic adverse events

One hundred percent of those injected with two doses of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine (100 mcg) experienced systemic adverse events, while 50% of those aged 18-55 in Pfizer’s trial had systemic adverse events.

In Astra-Zeneca/Oxford’s trial, it took only one dose to cause more than 50% of participants to experience adverse events. In J&J’s trial, a single dose caused almost two-thirds of those under 55 to have systemic adverse events, compared to about a third of those over 65.

Systemic adverse events experienced by participants in all trials include chills, fever, muscle pain and headache, which participants claim last about 24 hours. One man with chills chattered his teeth so badly that he broke a tooth.

mRNA: unproven new vaccine technology

Historically, vaccines are made from an infectious organism — either a virus or a bacterium — that is grown in a cell culture, like egg or aborted fetal cells such as MRC-5.

Vaccine antigens are prepared in four ways: 1) live, but weakened by attenuation, like the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR); 2) inactivated with a poison such as formaldehyde, like the flu shot; 3) using part of an organism — a subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide or a conjugate vaccine, like Hepatitis B or the shingles vaccine; or 4) using a toxoid (toxin) made by a germ, like a tetanus shot.

In all cases, the resulting vaccine provokes the recipient’s B-cells to make antibodies to that organism. Subunit and toxoid vaccines tend not to work without an adjuvant like aluminum, which causes a more robust immune response.

In a technological departure from the four basic vaccine types, both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are testing mRNA vaccines, a technology that does not appear to rely at all on biological products. mRNA instructs our cells to take action. In the case of the COVID vaccine, the lab works with synthetic mRNA intended to instruct the body’s cellular machinery to make some of the SARS CoV-2 proteins, but not the entire SARS CoV-2 virus. Then the immune system is expected to make antibodies against those parts of the virus. Basically, mRNA vaccines are intended to biohack — through genetic modification — a human being to produce parts of a virus.

Vaccines are classified as biologics, not drugs, because traditional vaccines have always been derived from biological materials. It is questionable that an mRNA vaccine using synthetic RNA — which appears to have nothing biological in it — could still maintain this classification as a biologic. It is really an injected drug, and obviously a huge departure from traditional biologically based vaccine technology. This should give us pause, given the fast-tracked schedule is even more inappropriate for an entirely new vaccine technology.

Autoimmune syndromes caused by vaccination: pathogenic priming and antibody-dependent enhancement

The handful of animal trials performed by the manufacturers — J&J (primate), Moderna (mouse & primate), Pfizer (mouse & primate) and AstraZeneca/Oxford (primate) — focused on overall tolerability of the vaccines, clearance of pathogens from the upper and lower respiratory tract, and probed for which dose level might be immunogenic and safe.

The animal trials are being conducted alongside — not before — human trials, and have yet to release results regarding the possibility of pathogenic priming, which could lead to enhanced COVID-19 disease in individuals vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and potentially cause autoimmunity against many human proteins, including critical proteins in our immune systems.

As far as is known, none of the vaccines has eliminated unsafe epitopes — the part of SARS-CoV-2 proteins that match human proteins. If the immune system produces antibodies to these epitopes, they could attack “self,” the hallmark of autoimmune disease.

We may have to wait for results from Phase III COVID vaccine trials for information on another untoward autoimmune condition, antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). In ADE, vaccines may cause idiopathic antibodies that act like a Trojan horse for wild viruses, allowing the target virus to enter cells and replicate. The opposite of protecting someone from an infection, ADE causes the vaccinated person to get a worse case of the disease, and possibly suffer organ damage.

A recent review of ADE, also termed immune enhancement, noted current trials are not designed to find ADE, concluding that “rigorous clinical trial design and postlicensure [sic] surveillance should provide a reliable strategy to identify adverse events, including the potential for enhanced severity of COVID-19 disease, after vaccination.”

ADE has been demonstrated in studies on SARS CoV in: humans, ferrets (liver damage) and non-human primates (acute lung damage), among a much larger body of literature.

It is not known what percent of the population may suffer pathogenic priming or antibody-dependent enhancement after vaccination with a COVID vaccine. Estimates of Americans who already have an autoimmune disease range from 14.7 million to 23.5 million. They are likely more susceptible to pathogenic priming and ADE.

Other concerning ingredients

Aside from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, the other leading vaccine manufacturers are using recombinant vaccine technology, producing a genomic chimera with properties intended to both activate the immune system and generate antibodies to the SARS CoV-2 spike protein.

Astra-Zeneca/Oxford is using a chimp virus — an adenovirus — that can be the cause of the common cold, combined with the spike protein from SARS CoV-2. There are long-standing concerns about primate viruses in vaccines ever since the polio vaccine administered from 1955 to 1963 was linked with cancer. The polio vaccine was cultured in primate kidney cells infected with simian virus 40 (SV40).

Johnson & Johnson is using a human adenovirus combined with the spike protein. GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi is using a recombinant antigen based on their flu vaccine technology.

Veteran vaccine researchers have also raised a warning flag about COVID-19 vaccine candidates that use adenoviruses that could result in an increased susceptibility to HIV infections based on previous findings. In a Lancet report in October, researchers utilizing adenovector COVID vaccine technology acknowledged the “controversial” possibility of their vector increasing the risk of HIV infection, and said they would watch for it in the vaccine candidate trials.

There are some other concerning ingredients to watch closely. In the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines, polyethylene glycol (PEG) is found in the fatty lipid nanoparticle coating around the mRNA. Seventy percent of people make antibodies to PEG and most do not know it, creating a concerning situation where many could have allergic, potentially deadly, reactions to a PEG-containing vaccine. PEG antibodies may also reduce vaccine effectiveness.

Pfizer is inserting an ingredient derived from a marine invertebrate, mNeonGreen, into its vaccine. The ingredient has bioluminescent qualities, making it attractive for medical imaging purposes, but it is unclear why an injected vaccine would need to have the equivalent of a visual day-glow marker. mNeonGreen has unknown antigenicity.

Finally, the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine will have a well-characterized toxic ingredient, AS03, an adjuvant used in the H1N1 vaccine that was linked with narcolepsy and cataplexy. It contains squalene which is harvested from shark livers, and is linked with Gulf War Syndrome. AS03 also contains polysorbate 80, which disrupts the normally protective blood-brain barrier, and tocopherol, a form of Vitamin E, as an emulsifier.

Meningitis vaccine ‘fauxcebo’

While Pfizer and GSK are using saline placebos in their trials, Astra-Zeneca/Oxford is using a meningitis vaccine as its “placebo,” which some term a “fauxcebo.” The meningitis vaccine causes significant levels of adverse events, and may have even caused the reported death in the Astra-Zeneca/Oxford trial.

Comparing a COVID-19 vaccine to a meningitis vaccine as a placebo may have comparable levels of adverse events, allowing the manufacturers to misleadingly assert their COVID-19 vaccines had no more adverse events than the meningitis placebo. If they actually compared their vaccines to a saline placebo, the COVID-19 vaccine would likely have more adverse events.

In their study protocol, Astra-Zeneca/Oxford stated the “use of saline as a placebo would risk unblinding participants, as those who had notable reactions would know they were in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine group.” Astra-Zeneca/Oxford does have one saline placebo trial planned in South Africa, so there will be safety data compared to a real placebo when that trial is completed in a few years.

Tylenol in some study groups

Finally, another oddity in the Astra-Zeneca/Oxford trial is the use in some study groups of acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or paracetamol. The vaccine maker explained that it wanted to use the highest vaccine dose possible, so a higher percentage of people would develop immunity after the first dose. Per their Phase I study, “a single higher [vaccine] dose was chosen to provide the highest chance of rapid induction of neutralizing antibody. In the context of a pandemic wave where a single higher, but more reactogenic dose might be more likely to rapidly induce protective immunity, the use of prophylactic paracetamol appears to increase tolerability and would reduce confusion with COVID-19 symptoms that might be caused by short-lived vaccine-related symptoms without compromising immunogenicity.”

Acetaminophen is made from coal tar, and even though it’s been in use since the late 1800s, science is still unsure of its mechanism of action. Side effects are well known, however. It depletes glutathione, the body’s most abundant antioxidant made in the liver. It is a questionable practice to administer this over-the-counter drug with vaccines, as the body needs abundant glutathione to detoxify vaccine ingredients.

BARDA funding and potential approval right around the corner

All five of the leading vaccine manufacturers have received money from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), in amounts ranging from $1.2 to $3 billion to accelerate trials under Operation Warp Speed. Manufacturers are all committed to producing 100 – 300 million initial doses of their vaccines, with contracts to produce millions or billions more doses.

As enthusiasm for a COVID-19 vaccine wanes, it appears the clinical trials will not inspire more confidence. Since everyone eagerly awaits the “new normal” and some think a vaccine is the key to end lockdowns, enthusiasm remains for even a sub-optimal vaccine. If suboptimal means a high rate of serious injury, the vaccine makers still have a long road ahead to prove the vaccines do not cause more death and injury than the symptoms of COVID-19.

Confidence is certainly not boosted when new mRNA vaccine technologies are being tested at Warp Speed led by former GSK executive Moncef Slaoui, who helped conceal Avandia’s severe cardiac adverse events — a clear case of the fox guarding the henhouse.

Trading COVID disabilities and deaths for vaccine injuries and deaths is not an option. Even if manufacturers can show the serious injury rate is less than 1%, if the 7.5 billion people in the world were all vaccinated, millions could be permanently injured or die from the vaccine. Though mandates are prohibited under an Emergency Use Authorization, it will not be too much longer until manufacturers seek full licensure.

However, even under full licensure, if the vaccine doesn’t prevent spread, there is no case to be made for vaccine mandates. Individuals should always have the choice of whether or not to vaccinate themselves or their minor children, after being fully informed of both risks and benefits. As always, Children’s Health Defense awaits a safe and effective vaccine, and opposes all mandated medicines.

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Video: Trump Campaign Legal Team Holds Press Conference on Electoral Fraud

November 20th, 2020 by Right Side Broadcasting Network

We bring to the attention of Global Research the video of the press conference in Washington, D.C. (November 18, 2020) with former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani and Trump Campaign Senior Legal Advisor Jenna Ellis.

Our intent is to inform our readers on the issue of Electoral Fraud.

Global Research is not a supporter of either candidate in the 2020 presidential elections.

Watch the press conference below.

Scroll down for Complete Transcript

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TRANSCRIPT

Rudy Giuliani: (00:00)
Well, this is representative of our legal team. We’re representing President Trump and we’re representing the Trump campaign. When I finish, Sidney Powell and then Jenna Ellis will follow me. And we will present in brief the evidence that we’ve collected over the last, I guess it is two weeks. Also, Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing are here with me. There are a lot more lawyers working on this, but I guess, we’re the senior lawyers. And Boris Epshteyn.

Rudy Giuliani: (00:40)
So, I guess the best way to describe this is, when we began our representation of the president, we certainly were confronted with a very anomalous set of results. The president way ahead on election night, seven or 800,000 in Pennsylvania, somehow he lost Pennsylvania. We have statisticians willing to testify that that’s almost statistically impossible to have happened in the period of time that it happened. But, of course, that’s just speculation.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:12)
As we started investigating, both our investigations and the very patriotic and brave American citizens that have come forward, are extraordinary, extraordinary number of people, extraordinary number of witnesses. And what emerged very quickly is it’s not a single voter fraud in one state. This pattern repeats itself in a number of states. Almost exactly the same pattern, which to any experienced investigator, prosecutor would suggest that there was a plan from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities and specifically focused on, as you would imagine, big cities controlled by Democrats, and particularly focused on big cities that have a long history of corruption. The number of voter fraud cases in Philadelphia could fill a library. Just a few weeks ago, there was a conviction for voter fraud and one two weeks before that. And I’ve often said, I guess, sarcastically, but it’s true, the only surprise I would have found in this is that Philadelphia hadn’t cheated in this election, because, for the last 60 years, they’ve cheated in just about every single election. You could say the same thing about Detroit.

Rudy Giuliani: (02:43)
Each one of these cities are cities that are controlled by Democrats, which means they can get away with anything they want to do. It means they have a certain degree of control over… certainly control the election board completely. And they control law enforcement. And unfortunately, they have some friendly judges that will issue ridiculously irrational opinions just to come out in their favor.

Rudy Giuliani: (03:08)
So, let’s start with the specifics, Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the margin of victory now for Biden, which is not a victory, it’s a fraud, is 69,140 votes. The reality is that we are now at a count of 682,770 ballots for which we have affidavits that there was no inspection of that ballot at the time that it was entered in the vote. It was a mail ballot.

Rudy Giuliani: (03:45)
Mail ballots are particularly prone to fraud. We were warned about that by Jimmy Carter, president Jimmy Carter and Secretary Baker in a report about a dozen years ago, in which they said that mail balloting is particularly susceptible of fraud, that we should very carefully consider ever doing it, and that it can be taken advantage of. Justice Souter warned us at the same thing in a comment in an election law case. And even the New York Times wrote articles about how dangerous mail voting, mail-in voting was. And this is the first time we ever did it en masse. And I think we proved that all three are prophets. It’s not only susceptible to fraud, it is easily susceptible to fraud, particularly if you have a plan or scheme, which sounds eerily similar to what Joe Biden told us a few days before the election, that he had the best voter fraud team in the world. But they were good. I don’t know that they were that good because they made significant mistakes, like all crooks do. And we caught them. One of them was pushing out Republican inspectors. Every state… almost every civilized country, even Tanzania and places that you wouldn’t think of, have rules about inspectors, particularly for mail-in ballots. And why particularly for mail-in ballots? Because they can more easily be defrauded and you can’t check on them.

Rudy Giuliani: (05:26)
People who have never done a mail-in ballot, I’m going to show you why it’s so easy. Well, you fill out an envelope like this. You put your… usually in New York, it would be your assembly district and the precinct in which you’re voting. You fill out your name and your address, and you sign it. You then use an inner envelope, and you put the ballot inside the inner envelope. You seal it all, and you send it in.

Rudy Giuliani: (05:56)
When it’s being counted, almost invariably in the United States, up until the mass cheating that went on in this election, a Republican and a Democrat inspector, as well as others, if there are other parties, is allowed to watch the unsealing of this ballot. It used to go on all over America when we conducted honest elections. Because the only time you can ever find out if it’s a fraudulent ballot, is when it is looked at. The minute you approve this, it’s thrown away, gone for eternity. The only thing left is the vote. That could have been Mickey Mouse. That could have been a dead person. That could have been not filled out properly. That could have been the same person 30 times. And all these things have happened, by the way. That could have been nothing filled out. We never know.

Rudy Giuliani: (06:58)
So, for example, the recount being done in Georgia will tell us nothing because these fraudulent ballots will just be counted again because they wouldn’t supply the signatures to match the ballots. So, it means nothing to have counted these ballots, because for example, in Pennsylvania, where we have probably our most precise evidence, 682,770 of these ballots were cast, put in, and they weren’t inspected, which renders them ballots that are null and void, cannot be counted, have to be removed from the vote. Why? For several reasons, not the least of which is, that was basically only one of two places in the state where it was done. So, in the other parts of the state, there was a legitimate inspection of the ballots. So, if you have two different standards in different parts of the state, one favoring one part of the state, the other disfavoring the other part of the state, that’s a classic violation of the equal protection clause of the United States constitution, Bush V Gore being the most recent case that teaches that.

Rudy Giuliani: (08:15)
That’s not the only fraud that went on in Pennsylvania. All of the other frauds carried out on the other states by the Democrat bosses happened there as well. For example, if you’ve made a mistake in that ballot and you lived in Philadelphia or in Pittsburgh, you were allowed to fix the mistake. But, if you lived in what would be considered more Republican or Trump parts of the state, you were given no such right.

Rudy Giuliani: (08:52)
One of our plaintiffs, Mr. Henry cast a absentee ballot, and he failed to put it in the secure envelope inside. He just put it in open, naked. That ballot was cast aside because it was invalid because that breaks the privacy of the vote. In Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia, if they noticed that there wasn’t an inner envelope, they’d contact the voter and allow them to vote again. Or, if he didn’t fill it out completely, or if he made a mistake and didn’t sign his full name, he was allowed to cure it. There is no such provision under the law of Pennsylvania. The Democrat secretary of state made that up in order to maximize the votes in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. And to minimize the votes in the other parts of the state, clearly illegal, clearly voter fraud, easily provable, hundreds of witnesses, maybe thousands.

Rudy Giuliani: (09:57)
To give you another example, we have 17,000 provisional ballots cast in Pittsburgh. Do you know what a provisional ballot is? Provisional ballot usually happens this way, and about 15 of the 17,000 happened this way, you walk in and you say, I’m here to vote today. Oh, Mr. Giuliani, you already voted. I did? I don’t remember voting. Oh, yes. Yes. You cast an absentee ballot. No, I didn’t. Yes, you did. No, I didn’t. Yes, you did.

Rudy Giuliani: (10:34)
So, why does that happen 17,000 times in Pittsburgh? People walked in thinking… actually 15,000, to be precise. Why did it happen 15,000 times that people in Pittsburgh walked in to vote and they had already voted, according to the Democrat election machine? Did they forget? That many people with bad memories in Pittsburgh? Or is the following correct, that, as witnesses will testify, they were instructed by the Democrat bosses when they had a ballot in which there was no one registered, just assign it to somebody, just assign it to Rudy Giuliani. So, maybe Rudy Giuliani won’t show up to vote. And, if he does show up to vote, we’ll give him a provisional ballot. That is what we call circumstantial evidence of the fraud.

Rudy Giuliani: (11:36)
The direct evidence of the fraud are the people who will testify that, in fact, that’s what happened to them, as well as the 50 to 60 witnesses we have for the way they were treated and not allowed to inspect the ballots. They weren’t just not allowed to do it. They were pushed. A few cases, they were assaulted. In all cases, they were put in a corral so far away. Probably the closest they got is from here to the back of that room. We could do like a… Did you all watch My Cousin Vinny? You know the movie? It’s one of my favorite law movies because he comes from Brooklyn. And when, the nice lady who said she saw, and then he says to her, “How many fingers do I got up?” And she says a three. Well, she was too far away to see it was only two. These people were further away than My Cousin Vinny was from the witness. They couldn’t see a thing.

Rudy Giuliani: (12:41)
Now, I don’t know. You’re going to tell me that 60 people are lying? They didn’t just tell me this. They swore under penalty of perjury, which is something no Democrat has ever done. You don’t even ask Biden about this. You don’t put them under penalty of perjury. He doesn’t even get asked questions about it. He doesn’t get asked questions about all the evidence of the crimes that he committed. These people are under penalty of perjury, the names that are on our affidavit. They swear that they weren’t allowed to carry out their function as inspectors.

Rudy Giuliani: (13:20)
And it’s not just a technical thing. There’s a reason they did it. Why would you not allow people to carry out the function they’ve been allowed to do for 50 years, 60 years? Why wouldn’t you allow inspections of those ballots? Because you knew you were going to use those ballots to catch Biden up. And you had a big road ahead of you. You had to catch him up for 700,000 to 800,000 votes that he was behind. And the only way you were going to do it were with the mail-in ballots. You couldn’t have a Democrat and Republican inspector around. They don’t even have Democrats watching, because they’d be afraid that they’d be honest Democrats who would say, “You’re cheating.”

Rudy Giuliani: (14:09)
So, that takes us to Michigan where there was an honest Democrat who said they were cheating. And we’ll show you her affidavit because I know you keep reporting falsely that we have no evidence, that we have no specific acts of fraud. That’s because the coverage of this has been almost as dishonest as the scheme itself. The American people are entitled to know this. You don’t have a right to keep it from them. You don’t have a right to lie about it. And you are. I mean, you don’t report to them that a citizen of this country, a very fine woman who was willing to allow me to give you her name. I can’t give you all these affidavits. Because, if I do, these people will be harassed. They’ll be threatened. They may lose their job. They will lose their friends. We’ve lost lawyers in this case because they’ve been threatened. We’ve had lawyers that need protection. What’s going on in this country is horrible. And the censorship that you’re imposing is making it worse.

Rudy Giuliani: (15:18)
But Jesse Jacob is an adult citizen and a resident of the state of Michigan. She’s been an employee of the City of Detroit for decades. I know her age, but she can tell you her age. She was assigned to voting duties in September, and she was trained by the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan. She was basically trained to cheat. She said that I was instructed by my supervisor to adjust the mailing date of these absentee ballot packages to be dated earlier than when they were actually sent in. The supervisor made that announcement for all workers to engage in that fraudulent practice. That’s not me saying that. That’s this American citizens saying that under oath.

Rudy Giuliani: (16:14)
I don’t know. Maybe you could say she’s lying, but you can’t say there’s no evidence. This is what we call evidence. This is direct evidence not circumstantial. I tried many, many cases, as did all my colleagues here. You put a witness on a witness stand, the witness is testifying to their own knowledge. This witness goes on the witness stand and she will say, “I was told to adjust the date on the absentee ballots. I witnessed election workers and employees going over to the voting booth with voters in order to watch them vote and coach them for whom to vote.” Completely illegal. She will testify to that. I don’t know. Biden’s people can cross examine her, but you can’t just throw it away. Gee, there’s no evidence. Next time you say that you’ll be lying because there is evidence. By the way, this is public. You can all get it. It’s attached to the complaint in Constantino vs. the City of Detroit.

Rudy Giuliani: (17:24)
Then she was instructed, “By my supervisor not to ask for a driver’s license or any photo ID when a person was trying to vote. Don’t ask for identification. Why would you not ask for identification? Because you knew that a lot of people not entitled to vote were going to come in and early vote. Because you knew that illegal immigrants were going to be allowed to vote. You knew, if you lived in Philadelphia, unless you’re [Italian 00:17:56]. That’s an Italian expression for stupid. Unless you’re stupid, you knew that a lot of people were coming over from Camden to vote. They do every year. It happens all the time in Philly. It’s about as frequent as getting beaten up at a Philadelphia Eagle football game. Happens all the time, all the time.

Rudy Giuliani: (18:14)
And as it allowed to happen because it is a Democrat corrupt city and has been for years, many, many years. And they carried it out in places they could get away with it. They didn’t carry it out in neutral places. They didn’t carry it out in Republican places. They didn’t carry it out where the law is respected. They carried it out in a corrupt city where the district attorney releases criminals on mass, which is why it has so much crime.

Rudy Giuliani: (18:45)
She also said, “I observed a large number of people who came to the satellite location to vote in person, but they had already applied for and submitted an absentee ballot.” So, she observed a lot of people voting twice. Again, this is Jesse Jacob, not me. “I was instructed not to invalidate any ballots and not to look for any deficiency in the ballots. Why would you do that? Because you’re cheating, on purpose cheating, intentionally cheating. You’re cheating as a institution. This is an instruction from the election commissioner or the employer to the worker. “Don’t look for any deficiencies in the ballot.” “I was instructed not to look at any of the signatures on the absentee ballots. “If she was instructed not to look for any of the signatures on the absentee ballots, why the heck do you sign it in the first place? In order to identify it. She was instructed not to do that because many of the absentee ballots were fraudulent, and they knew that, and they didn’t want to have account of that.

Rudy Giuliani: (20:07)
“On November four, 2020, I was in strict structured to improperly predate the absentee ballot when the receipt date was after November 3rd, 2020.” Now, this is really significant because Justice Alito of the Supreme Court instructed Pennsylvania that any ballot that comes in after eight o’clock on November 3rd, 2020 had to be put aside and not opened because there’s a question as to its legality and its constitutionality. What she’s telling you is that they blatantly disregarded that order, that they took ballots that were marked the fourth, and the fifth, and the sixth, and they marked it down for the third in blatant disregard of the order of the United States Supreme Court.

Rudy Giuliani: (20:59)
I don’t know if she’s a Democrat or Republican. I assume, if she’s working with the city of Detroit, that she’s a Democrat. I assume, but I may be wrong. She’s a citizen. I’ve never met her, never coached her. And I’d like you to note that it’s signed under penalties of perjury. We have a hundred more of these. I can’t show them to you because those people don’t want to be harassed. They don’t want to have their lives torn apart by the goons on the other side. We don’t do that to them. They’ve done that to a lot of our people. They’ve done it for four years. And it’s outrageous that it’s tolerated. And it’s tolerated because you condone it in the press, and you don’t cover it, and you don’t condemn it. And it shouldn’t happen to a Republican or a Democrat. A lawyer shouldn’t have to withdraw from a case because he’s representing the President of the United States.

Rudy Giuliani: (22:11)
There are many more affidavits here. I’d like to read them all to you, but I don’t have the time. You should have had the time and energy to go look for them. That’s your job, like it’s my job to defend the president and to represent the president. It’s your job to read these things and not falsely report that there’s no evidence. Do you know how many affidavits we have in the Michigan case? 220 affidavits. They’re not all public, but eight of them are. Four affiants here, those are people who give affidavits, report an incident that, under any other circumstances, would have been on the front page of all your newspapers if it didn’t involve the hatred that you have, irrational, pathological hatred that you have for the president. What they swear to is that, at 4:30 in the morning, a truck pulled up to the Detroit center where they were counting.

Rudy Giuliani: (23:03)
A truck pulled up to the Detroit center where they were counting ballots. The people thought it was food, so they all ran to the truck. Wasn’t food. It was thousands and thousands of ballots and the ballots were in garbage cans, they were in paper bags, they were in cardboard boxes, and they were taken into the center. They were put on a number of tables. At that time, they thought all the Republican inspectors had left, all but two had and an employee of Dominion who we will address a little bit later, Dominion.

Rudy Giuliani: (23:42)
Here’s what they jointly swear to, that every ballot that they could see, everything they could hear, these were ballots for Biden. When they saw a ballot, these were ballots only for Biden, meaning there was no down-ticket. Just Biden. Many of them didn’t have anything on the outer envelope because these ballots were produced very quickly, very swiftly and there are estimated to be a minimum of 50,000, maximum of 100,000. Many of them were triple-counted, which means they were put into the counting machine this way. Once, twice, three times. I didn’t see that. I don’t know that but for the fact that three American citizens are willing to swear to it. We’re not going to let them go to court and do that? We’re going to let this election go by when there are in this case 60 witnesses that can prove what I’m saying to you and other acts of fraud in Michigan? I mean what’s happened to this country if we’re going to let that happen? What happened to this country if we’re going to cover that up? We let Al Gore carry on an election dispute longer than this one has been going on for one state and for chads. This happened in Pennsylvania, it happened in Michigan, Michigan probably right now, if I count up the B, just one case alone, Trump v. Benson, a case that we dismissed today because that case was attempting to get the Wayne County Board of Supervisors to de-certify. Well they did. They de-certified. That case has 100 affidavits and 100 affidavits show essentially what I’ve talked to you about. Counting ballots improperly, counting them three and four times, having people vote three and four times, changing and backdating ballots to the point of at least 300,000 illegitimate ballots that we can specifically identify. The margin in Michigan is 146,121 and these ballots were all cast basically in Detroit that Biden won 80-20. So you see it changes the result of the election in Michigan if you take out Wayne County. So it’s a very significant case. That is being raised in the case of Costantino v. The City of Detroit. Not by us, but by an individual plaintiff. We are helping and assisting in that case however and you can find all the affidavits that you want filed in that case. You can find out they’re not just allegations, they’re allegations supported by sworn testimony which is a lot better than Joe Biden has ever done on anything. He doesn’t answer questions, much less give you sworn affidavits.

Rudy Giuliani: (26:53)
Wisconsin. Wisconsin had a very small margin, 20,544 last time I looked. In Wisconsin, without going into great detail, very similar plan. Republicans shut out in the City of Milwaukee and also in Madison. Republicans almost uniformly shut out from the absentee process. Not allowed to inspect, not allowed to look at the ballots. We have in Milwaukee and in the state of Wisconsin a much stricter law. Wisconsin doesn’t allow mail-in ballots. They didn’t buy into the big mail-in ballot situation. Wisconsin, when you look at their constitution, almost seems to not like absentee ballots. They state it’s not a right, a privilege, and they have very, very strict procedures and the strict procedure says that you can’t be given an absentee ballot, you have to personally apply for it. It’s illegal basically to solicit a vote and they have actually many reasons for it that probably goes back to their progressive days, when I say progressive, I mean late 19th century early 20th century progressive, when that really meant progressive, not retrogressive.

Rudy Giuliani: (28:15)
So there are 60,000 ballots in Milwaukee County and 40,000 ballots in Madison that as far as we can tell and this is why we are auditing because we have very good information that numbers are going to come out about here that don’t have applications. Under the law of the State of Wisconsin, already decided, if there’s no application for an absentee ballot, the absentee ballot is thrown away. This all happened in two places in Wisconsin. Didn’t happen in Northern Wisconsin. Didn’t happen in Republican Wisconsin. Didn’t happen in neutral Wisconsin, where there are equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, it happened in a place where the vote was 75, 80% for the Democrat. You take away any number of those and that 20,000 lead disappears. In other words, if you count the lawful votes, Trump won Wisconsin by a good margin. Indeed, if you count the lawful votes in Pennsylvania, he won it by about 300,000 votes.

Rudy Giuliani: (29:29)
Also in the lawsuit filed in Wisconsin which is really a petition because of their procedures, there were no inspectors provided for the count of the illegal ballots. There were numerous backdated ballots, we’re just counting them now. Run over into the thousands and there were many precincts in which there was an overvote. Now let me explain to you what an overvote is which is something you should have explained to the American people because it’s about the clearest circumstantial evidence of massive fraud that you can have. An overvote is if 200% of the people who are registered in a district vote. Think about that. 200% of the registered voters in a district vote. What does that mean? That means somebody voted twice, that means somebody who’s not entitled to vote voted, an illegal, a person from another city or state, a person who’s not registered, but what it means is that those are illegitimate votes. You don’t have an overvote of 200% or 300%. You don’t have an overvote of 100%. Most precincts don’t have 100% turnout. In fact, classically it’s considered to be an overvote if you go over 80%. Well in Michigan and Wisconsin, we have overvotes in numerous precincts, of 150%, 200%, and 300%.

Rudy Giuliani: (31:05)
One of the reasons why the two Republicans did not certify in Wayne, Michigan, Wayne County, Michigan is because the overvote was so high. Monstrously high in about two-thirds of the precincts in the city of Detroit. Which means magically two and three times the number of registered voters turned out to vote. In fact we have precincts in which two times the number of people who live there, including children, voted. That’s absurd. The frustration of this is, what I’m describing to you is a massive fraud. It isn’t a little teeny one. It isn’t 100 votes switched here or there. Georgia. We’re about to file a major lawsuit in Georgia. That’ll be filed probably tomorrow. I don’t need to go through it. Virtually the same things I’ve told you before. In the City of Atlanta, Republicans were not allowed to watch the absentee mail-in ballot process. Inspections completely cast aside and we have numerous double voters, we have numerous out-of-state voters, and we have specific evidence of intimidation and changes of vote. That will all be in the lawsuit that comes out tomorrow.

Rudy Giuliani: (32:37)
Arizona is a state that we are looking at very, very carefully. I would say we’re probably going to bring a lawsuit in Arizona. More than probably, I think we are going to bring a lawsuit in Arizona. We’re still collecting that evidence and the state that we’re looking at that would surprise you is we have very, very significant amount of fraud allegations in the state of New Mexico, and we have a significant number of allegations in the state of Virginia. I don’t know yet whether the number in Virginia will reach a number that can turn the election. In the states that we have indicated in red, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Arizona, we more than double the number of votes needed to overturn the election in terms of provable, illegal ballots. All you got to do to find out if I’m misleading you at all is to look at the lawsuit. Look what’s alleged, look at the affidavits, maybe we can supply more affidavits. In order to do it, I have to get permission from the people but in the materials I have here there were at least 10 that come from citizens. We have a thousand at least and we’re getting more every day and there are other aspects of this fraud that at this point I really can’t reveal. This is really enough. It’s enough to overturn any election. It’s disgraceful what happened and I’ll conclude by asking you to just think about this for a minute. What happened on the morning of November 3 when they were going to count this new kind of ballot, this mail-in ballot? Did every Democrat leader in Pennsylvania and in Michigan and in Wisconsin and in Georgia and in Nevada and in Arizona, they all wake up and all separately have the same idea? Did they all separately have the idea that we are going to … We’re going to put Republican inspectors in pens, we’re not going to let them look at mail-in or absentee ballots? They all independently come up with that, like just by coincidence. They say, “Hey, you know, we’re going to put the Republicans in pens and corrals. We’re going to do it in Pittsburgh, we’re going to do it in Philadelphia, we’re going to do it in Detroit. We’re going to do it in Milwaukee, we’re going to do it in Las Vegas, we’re going to do it in Phoenix. What did I miss? Oh we’re going to do it in Atlanta.”

Rudy Giuliani: (35:16)
Or isn’t the logical conclusion that I think any jury would accept if they heard this evidence, that somebody had this plan? Maybe that was always the plan? To do these … This very, very questionable form of voting, which has been criticized by President Carter, by Secretary Baker, by most experts on election reform? I think the logical conclusion is this is a common plan, a common scheme, that comes right directly from the Democrat Party and it comes from the candidate. Clearly, that’s the reason why Hillary Clinton said don’t concede even if you’re losing. That’s the reason, we had a Freudian slip by the candidate and he said he had the best voter fraud team in the country. That’s the reason why he probably didn’t have to go out and campaign. He had to have known what they were going to do. This had to be planned in advance. I’m kind of checking, did they go to the same contractor to get the corrals to put the Republicans in?

Rudy Giuliani: (36:27)
This is a disgraceful thing that was done in this country. Probably not much more disgraceful than the things these people did in office which you didn’t and don’t bother to cover and conceal from the American people but we let this happen, we use largely a Venezuelan voting machine in essence to count our vote. We let this happen, we’re going to become Venezuela. We cannot let this happen to us. We cannot allow these crooks, because that’s what they are, to steal an election from the American people. They elected Donald Trump. They didn’t elect Joe Biden. Joe Biden is in the lead because of the fraudulent ballots, the illegal ballots, that were produced and that were allowed to be used, after the election was over. Give us an opportunity to prove it in court and we will.

Rudy Giuliani: (37:28)
Now I’m going to ask Sidney Powell to describe to you what we can describe about another totally outrageous situation. I don’t think most Americans know that our ballots get calculated, many of them, outside the United States and are completely open to hacking, completely open to change, and it’s being done by a company that specializes in voter fraud. I’ll let Sidney describe that to you.

Sidney Powell: (38:02)
Thank you Rudy. What we are really dealing with here and uncovering more by the day is the massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China in the interference with our elections here in the United States. The Dominion voting systems, the Smartmatic technology software and the software that goes in other computerized voting systems here in as well, not just Dominion, were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out. We have one very strong witness who has explained how it all works. His affidavit is attached to the pleadings of Lin Wood in the lawsuit he filed in Georgia. It is a stunning, detailed affidavit because he was with Hugo Chavez while … He was being briefed on how it worked, he was with Hugo Chavez when he saw it operate to make sure the election came out his way. That was the express purpose for creating this software. He has seen it operate and as soon as he saw the multiple states shut down the voting on the night of the election, he knew the same thing was happening here, that that was what had gone on.

Sidney Powell: (39:40)
Now the software itself was created with so many variables and so many back doors that can be hooked up to the internet or a thumbdrive stuck in it or whatever, but one of its most characteristic features is its ability to flip votes. It can set and run an algorithm that probably ran all over the country to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to President Biden which we might never have uncovered had the votes for President Trump not been so overwhelming in so many of these states that it broke the algorithm that had been plugged into the system and that’s what caused them to have to shut down in the states they shut down in. That’s when they came in the backdoor with all the mail-in ballots, many of which they had actually fabricated, some were on pristine paper with identically matching perfect circle dots for Mr. Biden. Others were shoved in in batches, they’re always put in in a certain number of batches and people would rerun the same batch. This corresponds to our statistical evidence that shows incredible spikes in the vote counts at particular times and that corresponds to eyewitness testimony of numerous people who have come forward and said they saw the ballots come in the backdoor at that time.

Sidney Powell: (41:06)
Notably the Dominion executives are nowhere to be found now. They are moving their offices overnight to different places. Their office in Toronto was shared with one of the Soros entities, one of the leaders of the Dominion Project overall is Lord Malloch-Brown, Mr. Soros’ number two person in the U.K., and part of his organization. There are ties of the Dominion leadership to the Clinton Foundation and to other known politicians in this country. Just to give you a brief description of how this worked, I’m going to quote from a letter that was written and I will read that to make sure I get the quotes right. This person was objecting to the United States acquisition of Sequoia Voting Systems by Smartmatic, a foreign-owned company. I believe this transaction raises exactly the sort of foreign ownership issues that [Siphius 00:42:10] is best positioned to examine for national security purposes. It’s undisputed that Smartmatic is foreign-owned and it has acquired Sequoia, they keep changing the names as they go along. Different times when a problem comes up, they just create another corporation and call it a different name, but it was a voting machine company doing business in the United States.

Sidney Powell: (42:30)
Sequoia voting machines were used to record over 125,000,000 votes during the 2004 presidential election in the United States. Smartmatic now acknowledges that Antonio Mugica, a Venezuelan businessman, has controlling interest in Smartmatic but the company has not revealed who all the Smartmatic owners are. According to the press, Smartmatic’s owners are hidden through a web of offshore private entities and that is in fact true. Smartmatic has been associated with the Venezuelan government led by Hugo Chavez which is openly hostile to the United States and of course as we all communistic and really brutalizing its own people. The system has been continued there by Mr. Maduro and ensured his election. Smartmatic’s possible connection to the Venezuelan government poses a potential national security concern in the context of its acquisition of Sequoia because electronic voting machines are susceptible to tampering and insiders are in the best position to engage in such tampering. This letter expresses concerns of the Chicago 2006 primary election and it ends by saying the products and services that are of Venezuelan origin and evaluate Smartmatic’s ownership to determine who could have influence and control over these and other Sequoia products and services are important to the national security of the United States.

Sidney Powell: (43:56)
This letter was written to Hank Paulson on October 6, 2006 by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. Senators Klobuchar and Warren have raised these concerns as recently as December 2019. Why our government has not taken them seriously is beyond my comprehension unless they have some of the three letter agencies have used them themselves. In other parts of the world we know that the technology was exported to affect an election in Argentina. That’s admitted by our friend who wrote the affidavit about Hugo Chavez and his interest in Smartmatic. Again in 2006, Carolyn Maloney wrote The Honorable John Snow, the Secretary of the Treasury about the issues, speaking of Smartmatic’s leadership. One of the Smartmatic patent holders, Eric Coomer I believe his name is, is on the web as being recorded in a conversation with ANTIFA members saying that he had the election rigged for Mr. Biden, nothing to worry about here and they were going to f Trump. His social media is filled with hatred for the president and for the United States of America as a whole as are the social media accounts of many other Smartmatic people.

Sidney Powell: (45:29)
There has been widespread use of this, Dominion itself is utilized in 2,000 jurisdictions in 30 states. It has been uncertifiable in multiple states. You realized all the problems that it had including Texas. Experts have described it across the board from a Princeton group of three professors to experts that we have talked to about its end user vulnerabilities. People can admittedly go in and change whatever they want. They can set the ratio of votes from one thing to another. They can say that –

Sidney Powell: (46:03)
… show of votes from one thing to another, they can say that a Biden vote counts as 1.25, and a Trump vote counts as 0.75 and those may be the numbers that were actually used here. It’s not just the swing States that were affected. The algorithm was likely run across the country to affect the entire election. Like I said, we only discovered it this year because of the overwhelming number of votes for President Trump in the swing States that caused the machines to have to shut down for them to backfill for adding votes.

Sidney Powell: (46:36)
We have evidence of different numbers of votes being injected into the system, the same identical unique six digit number multiple times in at least two States that we’ve analyzed so far. I’m talking about like 341,542 votes for Biden and 100,012 for Trump. There’s no explanation, no logical explanation for the same numbers being injected 20 minutes apart into the machine. The software manual itself, you can download it from the internet and I would encourage you all to read it, because it specifically advertises some of these things as features of the system. Why it was ever allowed into this country is beyond my comprehension and why nobody has dealt with it is absolutely appalling.

Sidney Powell: (47:27)
The machines were easily accessible to hackers. There’s video on the net that will explain to you how a kid with a cell phone can hack one of these voting machines. There’s been no oversight of Dominion or its software. Workers in each county were trained by Dominion, but there’s no evidence of any monitoring otherwise. We have testimony of different workers admitting that they were trained how to dispose of Trump votes and add to Biden votes. The software has a feature pursuant to which you can drag and drop any number of batches of votes to the candidate of your choice, or simply throw them away. So we have mathematical evidence in a number of states of massive quantities of Trump votes being trashed, just simply put in the trash like you would on your computer with any file and Biden votes being injected. That’s addition to the flipping.

Sidney Powell: (48:23)
I mean, it really happens in two ways. There’s an algorithm that runs that automatically flips all the votes, and then each operator has the ability to go in override settings. They can ignore a signature, they could ignore the top line of the ballot. They can go down ballot and select who they want to change the results for. The gentleman who founded Smartmatic, there’s video of him on the internet, explaining that, yes, in at least one occasion, he admits, they changed a million votes with no problem. Many of the jurisdictions that have had this problem might not have known of the issues, but many did. I think a full-scale criminal investigation needs to be undertaken immediately by the Department of Justice and by every state’s equivalent, Attorney General’s Office or State Investigatory Unit, because there’s evidence of different benefits being provided to the people who spent 100 million dollars of taxpayer money at the last minute for their state to get the Dominion voting systems put in, in time for this election in different ways.

Sidney Powell: (49:37)
There’s one person that a lawyer told me got, “election insurance”, meaning that he would be able to make sure he was elected. I’m sure they explained that feature in detail to many people who expressed interest in putting this voting system in. Texas denied certification of the Dominion system in 2019, but there are no doubt issues with the software that Texas did use, unbeknownst to Texas, I would imagine, since they went to great trouble to examine the Dominion systems and reject them, but other software, the source code that does the alterations is embedded we have been told in the source code all across the country, in all the voting machines.

Sidney Powell: (50:21)
There’s no doubt it has been used to alter elections in other countries. We know specifically that Venezuela exported it for that purpose to Argentina and other Latin American companies, to make sure that the corrupt rulers who were willing to pay the highest price for being in office were allowed to rig their elections.

Sidney Powell: (50:41)
This is stunning, heartbreaking, infuriating, and the most unpatriotic acts I can even imagine for people in this country to have participated in, in any way, shape or form. I want the American public to know right now that we will not be intimidated. American patriots are fed up with the corruption from the local level, to the highest level of our government. We are going to take this country back. We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it, and we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.

Speaker 1: (51:39)
How come you are not suing in the Wisconsin counties that use this? Why are you only doing a recount-

Jenna Ellis: (51:43)
Excuse me, we’re not at the questions at this point. So excuse [crosstalk 00:05:48 we’re not at the questions at this point. My name is Jenna Ellis, and I’m the Senior Legal Advisor to the Trump campaign and I’d like to just explain it now where we’ve been and where we’re at and what you can expect from this process. So what you have heard, I’m sure in the fake newspapers tomorrow will be one of two things. Either, there was not sufficient evidence that we’ve presented or we spoke too long. Okay? So what you’ve heard now is basically an opening statement. This is what you can expect to see when we get to court to actually have a full trial on the merits to actually show this evidence in court and prove our case. This is not a Law and Order episode where everything is neatly wrapped up in 60 minutes.

Jenna Ellis: (52:33)
For those of you who are here in this room, or have maybe tuned out in other networks, clearly you’ve never been court reporters. Trials take time. Putting on evidence takes time. This is basically an opening statement so the American people can understand what the networks have been hiding and what they refuse to cover, because all of your fake news headlines are dancing around the merits of this case and are trying to de- legitimized what we are doing here. Let me be very clear that our objective is to make sure to preserve and protect election integrity. President Trump has been saying from day one, that this is about maintaining free and fair elections in this country. It is not about overturning an outcome. It is about making sure that election integrity is preserved and every American should want that. If every American is not on board with that, you have to ask yourself why. If your fake news network is not covering this or allowing you to cover it fairly and accurately, you should ask yourself why. This is absolutely a legitimate legal basis. We have been asked to provide an entire case that generally would take years in civil litigation. I’ve been a prosecutor, I have tried cases with far simpler facts. One thing happened in a matter of minutes and it still takes days. We go through a jury process. This is the court of public opinion right now. We are not trying our case in the court of public opinion, because if we were, we would get unbiased jurors, I would strike 99% of you from the jury and I would be allowed to, because of the fake news coverage you provide. You’re not unbiased jurors. Until you step out of your role as a journalist and actually go into a courtroom and you are a judge on a bench that has sworn an oath to be unbiased in our separation of powers, then your opinion does not matter.

Jenna Ellis: (54:35)
The facts matter. The truth matters. And if you are fair reporters, you will cover that fairly and appropriately and you will allow coverage of our media team here and our legal team. That is absolutely shocking, that all you cover are around the margins, and I’ve seen all of you taking pictures right now, and I can anticipate what your headlines are going to be. If you are not willing to talk about the evidence that has been presented, then that is absolutely unacceptable for journalistic standards. This is an opening statement. This is something where we have told you what the evidence will show and we have given you a brief description. That happens in a courtroom all the time, where that’s not the fact-finding process, that is just an overview. That is what we have given you today, because the American people deserve to know what we have uncovered in the last couple of weeks. Remember, this is such a short timeframe, and this is an elite strikeforce team that is working on behalf of the President and the campaign to make sure that our Constitution is protected. We are a nation of rules, not a nation of rulers. There is not someone that just gets to pick who the next President is outside the will of the American people. That is our task, because when we talk about voter fraud, it’s actually election official fraud. That cannot stand. The Constitution requires that the State Legislatures are the ones that make election law. It still has to go by the US Constitution. But what has happened in this case is that state and local level officials and all the way up, have changed the rules. That’s what the Democrats do. If they don’t like the rules, they change them and they change them at the last minute, they manipulate them. They want to tear down our American system.

Jenna Ellis: (56:28)
Our founders were so brilliant that they anticipated this, that there would be corruption. There would be foreign influence, there would be attempts to manipulate the outcome of the election, especially with who they called our Chief Magistrate. I would encourage all of you to go home and actually read Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 6-8 and see what he described as an advocacy position to adopt and ratify the Electoral College and the process by which we select our President. We select our President through the Electoral College, not because it disenfranchises voters, but because it is a security mechanism for exactly the type of corruption that we are uncovering. Every American should be grateful and thankful that our founders had the foresight to put in those protections and provisions to make sure that your legitimate legal vote is not disenfranchised. That is what we are advocating for.

Jenna Ellis: (57:25)
We want to make sure to protect election integrity and your President, President Trump, we are so proud that he is in this fight, because he understands that when he swore his oath of office, he swore an oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution. That is what he is doing and that is what we are doing. We are confident that through this multiple pathway to victory, we will get to the actual outcome that the evidence shows, but this is not about overturning an election on our part. It’s about making sure that we protect and preserve free and fair elections for all future American elections. If the United States caves to corruption or this type of election integrity disaster, then no election will be secure from here on out, and we all need to be keenly aware of that. We are the representatives here that are standing in this gap and defending President Trump and defending you, the American people at the end of the day. This is ultimately about the United States of America and we want to make sure to protect and defend that.

Jenna Ellis: (58:37)
As my colleagues have said, we will not back down. We won’t be intimidated. President Trump will not be intimidated. You, the American people should not be intimidated. You, the press, should cover this fairly and should know that this matters to election integrity and it matters to the future of our nation. So we have given you an overview, but recognize this is not a court of law. We will get there and we have time and we have constitutional provisions that will step in when we show the corruption and the irredeemably challenged and overturned votes that are absolutely corrupt in all of these counties. It is irredeemably compromised. We will show that, but you have to give us that opportunity. This has been just our opening statement and we have an opportunity to get there and we have time and we will do that. This is the United States of America, and we stand proudly for President Donald J. Trump. Thank you.

Rudy Giuliani: (59:33)
One more point?

Sidney Powell: (59:34)
Yep. The world is watching this. I have gotten multiple emails from people in other countries who watched the same pattern happened there. We have witness testimony that the same things were done in those countries, as this was exported from Venezuela by Maduro and by Mr. Chavez and by Cuba. Of course, we know China also has a substantial presence in Venezuela and substantial interest in making sure that President Trump does not continue in office. This is the consummate foreign interference in our election in the most criminal way you can possibly imagine. It must be shut down.

Sidney Powell: (01:00:19)
We know, for example, that one of the Dominion’s highest level employees or officers went to Detroit himself to man the Detroit Operation Center, where he could watch the votes coming in real time and decide what file folder in the system to put those votes into. That’s why you see massive spikes after hours when people were told that all the votes were in and all the votes were counted. Many Dominion employees have already reached out to us to tell us the truth. They are Americans who want ensure election integrity like we do. I would encourage every Dominion, or Smartmatic employee, who is fed up with the corruption in this country to come forward as soon as possible, because these are serious federal offenses that I am confident the Department of Justice will be in pursuit of in very short order, if they are not already.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:01:15)
All right. A few questions.

Speaker 2: (01:01:17)
Yeah. Mayor Giuliani, this sort of remind of 30 years ago they had federal judges doing consent degrees over elections, they got a federal judge overseeing the election [inaudible 01:01:30]. Will you be asking that in Georgia, where you have two Senate races, to have the US District Court judges and Federal authorities monitoring elections?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:01:39)
I can’t say what’s going to be done about [crosstalk 00:15:43].

Speaker 2: (01:01:43)
[crosstalk 01:01:43] operation-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:01:43)
I’m sorry, in what county?

Speaker 2: (01:01:45)
[crosstalk 01:01:45] County, Pennsylvania.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:01:45)
Yes.

Speaker 2: (01:01:47)
[crosstalk 01:01:47] Operation Gray Lord, I don’t know if you were informed of that.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:01:52)
Yep. I know about it. I really can’t give you an opinion on that. I think obviously every election official should learn something from this and be very, very careful with the next election. I know this is a lot of information that we’ve given you, probably because we’re frustrated with what we keep reading and hearing in the censored press, which is that we have no evidence. We have no specifics. We have no backup of what we’re saying. You largely ignore the affidavits that are filed. Whether you agree or disagree with an affidavit, it’s evidence. You can’t say… I mean, you’re just lying to the American people when you say there’s no evidence. Sidney was giving you information that come from affidavits from other people, that are given under oath. I was explaining things to you from affidavits, that come from other people, American citizens who swear under oath that they saw 100,000 ballots come in and that they were all for Joe Biden. I should point out now that Sidney has spoken, that those happened just around the time that the Dominion or Smartmatic people called a halt to the election. Then you can also trace it with a very big spike in the vote count at exactly that time [crosstalk 01:03:22] right up. So what we’re telling you is supported by evidence, and we’re going to have to present these, because of the procedures that exist according to the different voting laws of the different states. For example, you asked us about Wisconsin. We have to first create a contest in Wisconsin before we can move to bringing a fulsome federal lawsuit. The contest, from everything I can see, is going to overturn the vote, because it’s going to show somewhere around 100,000 illegal ballots in two counties that Biden carried by 75, 80% and you know how close Wisconsin is. What I’m talking about is the absentee ballots for which there were no applications.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:04:16)
That’s not just a small matter. The reason for the application and the reason to keep all these things together is precisely to avoid what the Democrats did in this election, which is to misuse the absentee ballot process and the mail-in ballot process in order to cheat. So they really cheated in two respects. They cheated with the machines… Instead of asking me, “Are we going to bring a lawsuit in Wisconsin?” Which we will, if we have to, you should have asked me and you should be more astounded by the fact that our votes are counted in Germany and in Spain, by a company owned by affiliates of Chavez and Maduro. Did you ever believe that was true? Did any of you here believe that that was possible? Of course, it shouldn’t be possible. I don’t know if we’re going to have time to develop all that in time to fill the requirements of all these cases.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:05:23)
We have enough evidence without that to overturn this election. We have it from the affidavits of American citizens, but that’s a matter of national security that we’re talking about now, very, very serious matter of national security. Please don’t make light of it and don’t act like you knew it, don’t act like it isn’t a surprise. If that’s not a headline tomorrow, then you don’t know what a headline is. There isn’t a single person in this country that would have believed that we have states that are stupid enough to have our vote sent out of this country. You couldn’t possibly believe that the company counting our vote, with control over our vote is owned by two Venezuelans who were allies of Chavez, are present allies of Maduro, with a company whose Chairman is a close associate and business partner of George Soros the biggest donor to the Democrat party, the biggest donor to Antifa, and the biggest donor of Black Lives Matter. My goodness, what do we have to do to get you to give our people the truth? Yes.

Lin Suarz: (01:06:36)
Thank you, Giuliani. My name is Lin [Suarz 01:06:39] with RSBN, some on this legal team have mentioned before that people close to the Trump campaign are pressuring them to drop the investigation into Dominion. Can you go further into detail and tell us specifically who those people are? Also, if it’s possible, can you tell us if they work with some of our powerful defense groups in the United States, such as the CIA?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:07:00)
The last part was, do they work…

Lin Suarz: (01:07:04)
With defense groups.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:07:05)
With defense groups and the CIA? First, I’m in charge of this investigation with Sidney and the people that you see here. There’s been no pressure to stop investigating Dominion.

Lin Suarz: (01:07:18)
No one’s pressuring you all to stop-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:07:20)
No, there’s pressure to go as fast as we can. I mean, I think there was uniform shock when we first heard it. I think when I first heard it, I didn’t believe it until Sidney showed me the documents. In fact, I feel kind of stupid and you all should, because all you had to do is go online and find out that Smartmatic is owned by Venezuelans close to Chavez. You can Google it, well, unless they take it down. I preserved it. So you can find it. By the way, the [Coomer 01:07:51] character who is close to Antifa, took off all of his social media. Aha! But we kept it, we’ve got it. The man is a vicious, vicious man. He wrote horrible things about the President. He is completely biased. He’s completely warped and he specifically says that they’re going to fix this election. I don’t know what you need to wake you up, to do your job and inform the American people, whether you like it or not, of the things they need to know. This is real. It is not made up. There’s nobody here that engages in fantasies. I’ve tried 100 cases. I prosecuted some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. I know crimes. I can smell them. You don’t have to smell this one, I can prove it to you 18 different ways. I can prove to you that he won Pennsylvania by 300,000 votes. I can prove to you that he won Michigan by probably 50,000 votes. When I went to bed on election night, he was ahead in all those States, every single one of those States, how is it they all-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:09:03)
In all those states, every single one of those states, how is it they all turned around? Every single one of them turned around? Or is it more consistent there was a plan to turn them around? And since there are witnesses who say there was a plan to turn them around, and it kind of begs credulity to say that it all happened in every single state. My goodness, this is how you win cases in a courtroom.

Speaker 4: (01:09:26)
Sir, is it your goal to pressure officials and lawmakers in these Battleground States to block or delay certification so the GOP can pick their own electors? Is that the end game here?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:09:41)
Our goal here is to go around the iron curtain of censorship. What publication are you with?

Speaker 4: (01:09:48)
CNN.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:09:52)
It’s to go around the outrageous iron curtain of censorship, and get facts to the American people that if you were a fair and honest network, you’d have been reporting for the last two weeks. These are facts. These are things that actually happened. These people really wrote these affidavits. These affidavits are really part of the public record. You’re concealing them, you’re covering them up, and our role here is to do your job, because you don’t do it.

Speaker 3: (01:10:23)
Mr. Mayor. Affidavits. [crosstalk 01:10:27].

Rudy Giuliani: (01:10:23)
Chanel?

Chanel: (01:10:27)
Mr. Mayor, thank you and to Ms. [inaudible 01:10:30] as well. Where is our FBI? And have they expressed any interest whatsoever, in looking into allegations of voter fraud and election fraud that you have pointed out in these six states?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:10:41)
Come on, you have to have a little humor.

Sydney: (01:10:44)
We have witnesses who have actually reported-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:10:47)
Where are you FBI?

Sydney: (01:10:49)
… and nothing’s happened as a result of it.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:10:51)
I don’t know where the FBI has been for the last three years. I have no idea where the FBI has been for the last four years. Explain to me how the FBI concealed a memo in the hand of Brennan to Obama saying that Hillary basically made up the Russia collusion pot. They would held that for four years and cost our country $40 million and two impeachment. One attempted one actual and then an acquittal proceeding. I don’t know where they’ve been. I don’t know where they were on the hard drive. They got it, eight, 10 months ago. There are clear crimes revealed on it. Didn’t do anything with that. I don’t know where they are now. Our country has had its ballots counted, calculated, and manipulated in a foreign country with a company controlled by friends of an enemy of the United States. What do we have to do to get the FBI to wake up? Maybe we need a new agency to protect us. I have no idea.

Sydney: (01:11:58)
If I may speak for just a minute. In terms of the level of corruption we are looking at here, we have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates in any state across the country paid to have the system rigged to work for them. These people didn’t do this just to take control. They make one heck of a lot of money off of it. Think about the global interests behind your own news organizations. Think about the pressure being brought to bear from the social media companies to shut down free speech on any challenge to the election. This is a massive, well-funded, coordinated effort to deprive we, the people of the United States of our most fundamental right under the constitution to preserve this Republic that we all cherish. It is of the greatest concern. It is the 1775 of our generation and beyond.

Speaker 5: (01:12:55)
Sydney, speaking of our votes being held and processed tabulated overseas, there was reports that there was a piece of hardware, probably a server picked up in Germany. Is that true, and is it related to this?

Sydney: (01:13:12)
That is true. It is somehow related to this, but I do not know whether good guys got it or bad guys got it.

Speaker 5: (01:13:18)
Well, we don’t know who [inaudible 01:13:19]?

Sydney: (01:13:25)
I can only hear one person at the time. I’m going to take the one with the hands raised.

Speaker 7: (01:13:29)
I’m with Just The News, [inaudible 01:13:31] outlets. So question for you, Sydney, first on the issue of the machines, are you taking a court order to either seize or subpoena or just to gain access to any of these machines in any of these contested districts, have you begun that process? And when do we expect the timeline on that? And then for you, Mr. Mayor, you mentioned in Wisconsin and in Michigan these issues of over voting, where can we learn more about that? You’re saying 150, 200%-

Sydney: (01:13:59)
Up to 350% in some places.

Speaker 7: (01:14:03)
Where would we get access to that data? And then to what extent were those people who showed up to vote in person? Because in Michigan, for example, they did allow same day registration.

Sydney: (01:14:16)
Yes, well, the same day registration causes problems with the vote signature and the registration itself. That’s a whole different system that makes it impossible, really to validate the signature. One person could sign the same name. I could sign John Smith, I could sign K Smith. I could sign on both things and run 50 ballots that way. And we’ve got some evidence of that being done as well. Rudy, do you want to speak to the other part of it?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:14:45)
Sure. We have now, three over vote analysis done. One for Pennsylvania, one for Michigan And one for Wisconsin. We’re in the process … oh, I’m sorry, Georgia. We’re in the process of doing the others. I’ll check to see if it’s appropriate for us to make it public. I imagine it is, but you could do it yourself.

Sydney: (01:15:15)
A lot of the analysis comes from the real time data that came through to the news medias the night and following the election. And some interim entrepreneurs out there have started crunching data themselves in addition to multiple experts who could easily recognize with the mathematical brain that I do not have, beyond explicable deviations to the point of mathematical impossibility that 186,000 votes come in at once, all for Joe Biden. That’s like flipping a coin 186,000 times and it lands on heads every time. That does not happen. There is no reasonable explanation for the up shoots, the straight lines up. I’m not even talking about an angle. I’m talking about some massive straight lines up in the vote tallies in the middle of the night after they’ve supposedly stopped counting. And that’s [inaudible 01:16:13] went in injected votes and changed the whole system. And it affects votes around the country, around the world, and all kinds of massive interests of globalist dictators, corporations, you name it. Everybody’s against us except President Trump. And we, the people of the United States.

Speaker 8: (01:16:35)
You spoke of unleashing the Kraken. Is the country ready for this? Americans should be astonished what you’re saying here today. Is the country on the verge of an electoral breakdown?

Sydney: (01:16:47)
We’ve already had it. We’ve already had that electoral breakdown. But the constitution as Jenna explains, has provisions in it for how you fix this. And there should never be another election conducted in this country, I don’t care if it’s for a local dog catcher, using a Dominion machine and Smartmatic software. We’ve got to have an American company that uses paper ballots that we can all verify. So every one of us can see that our vote is our vote.

Speaker 9: (01:17:16)
Why are you not requesting recounts in Wisconsin that used Dominion software. You’re requesting recount in two counties that don’t use the software at all.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:17:26)
Remember this case, didn’t begin with Dominion. This case began, and this case can be proven the old fashioned way. It can be proven based on just good old fashioned democratic tactics to go back to Mayor Daley in the 1960s, when he held the vote back in Chicago so that he could elect John F. Kennedy.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:17:46)
Or as recently as last year, when they held the vote back in Palm Beach County and Broward County, in order to see if they could steal that for the Senate and governor, and then got caught manufacturing ballots. Democrats have been doing this for years on a small scale. When they passed the mail in voters statute, which all of a sudden multiplied by 10 times the number of mail in votes, they realized they could have a field day. They could do precisely what Jimmy Carter and Secretary Baker warned us about. All you have to do is own an election board, and you can get away with it. And unlike what Sydney is talking about, where you could have a paper trail, a paper ballot, I tried to point out to you, the minute that you separate the outer envelope from the ballot, you can no longer trace it, which is why whatever the count in Georgia today is, it’s totally ridiculous. They’re counting the same fraudulent ballots one more time. And we’re still very close.

Speaker 10: (01:18:51)
Mr. Mayor, so far, no single court has found evidence of fraud. That’s got to be disappointing for you and the president. How would you describe his mood at the moment? And do you and him still genuinely believe you can overturn this election or is it about something bigger for you?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:19:09)
Well, it is about something. Let’s go from the big picture to the smaller picture. The most important thing here is that this has been a massive attack on the integrity of the voting system in the greatest democracy on earth. The people who did this have committed one of the worst crimes that I’ve ever seen or observed. One of the things we’re the most proud of in this country is that we’ve been such a longstanding democracy based on the right to vote. They have trashed the right to vote. They’ve dishonored the right to vote. They’ve destroyed the right to vote in their greed for power and money. And there’s no doubt about it. This was not an individual idea of 10 or 12 Democrat bosses. This is a plan. You would have to be a fool not to realize that. They do the same thing in exactly the same way in 10 big Democrat controlled, in most cases, crooked city.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:20:08)
And when I say crooked city, go look at how many of their officials have gone to jail in the last 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 years, that they have dominated and destroyed those cities. They picked the places where they could get away with it. They pick the places where, whether or not Republicans testified to something, judges would just dismiss it. Because judges are appointed politically and too many of them are hacks. They pick places where they could get a sheriff that refused to enforce a court order. When we got a court order that we could be 10 feet closer, our representatives were told, “If you try to do it, I’ll arrest.”

Speaker 10: (01:20:54)
You’re painting a portrait of a national conspiracy suggesting that Joe Biden was a happy part of that-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:21:01)
Part one, it began as a national conspiracy, clearly. That evidence emerged very, very quickly. The minute I saw that it was the same thing in 10 states, just using logic. I said, This can’t be an accident.” And then what I was surprised about is the dimension of it. Not inspecting almost 700,000 ballots is astounding.

Speaker 10: (01:21:30)
If you’re suggesting a Joe Biden was paused that conspiracy, I just wonder what your evidence-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:21:32)
Honestly, I don’t know what Joe Biden is aware of or not aware of. And I mean that as a lawyer, not trying to be cute. I’ve watched him, I’ve observed him. I honestly don’t know how much he’s aware. I don’t know how much he decides and how much things are decided for him. So I-

Speaker 11: (01:21:53)
Let me just address one other thing to your question about the process. Your question is fundamentally flawed when you’re asking, where’s the evidence? You clearly don’t understand the legal process. What we have asked for in the court is to not have the certification of false results. And so to say, “Hold on a minute, we have evidence that we will present to the court.” We haven’t had the opportunity yet to present that to the court.

Speaker 11: (01:22:19)
We’re giving you an overview and a preview of what we’ve discovered, but no court yet, has had that opportunity. And we have fraud allegations pending. So what we’ve asked for are temporary restraining orders or injunctions to not certify false results. We’re very happy that Michigan, the reason we dismissed that lawsuit today is because the Michigan County in Wayne County, they’re not going to certify that because 71% of counties have inconsistent data. No person in this room or in this country should want states to rush through and coronate a president with false results. We have to make sure that the results are accurate. That’s what we will prove.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:23:01)
Two more questions.

Speaker 12: (01:23:01)
The secretary of state says that that can’t actually happen. That those votes can’t be rescinded and that [inaudible 01:23:06] in Michigan currently stands.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:23:04)
Secretary of state where?

Speaker 12: (01:23:04)
In Michigan.

Sydney: (01:23:11)
Yeah, they’ve got problems in Michigan. Follow the money.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:23:14)
Follow the political party, man. You’re actually seriously going to want me to take seriously the secretary of state of Michigan? When the secretary of state of Michigan never bothered to find out that the votes in her state were being counted in Germany, by a Venezuelan company? And you want me to take her seriously or him seriously? I was in government. If I were the governor of that state, I’d fire, everybody that was involved in this election.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:23:48)
They didn’t come and tell me that my state was going to embarrassed, made a fool of, because I’m sending my votes of people in Michigan over to Germany to be counted by a company that is owned by people who are allies of Maduro and Chavez? By the way, Carolyn Maloney, who wrote that, is my Congresswoman. A Democrat pointed that out. They didn’t do the darndest bit of due diligence. If you bought a $10 million company, you would have done more due diligence on that. Maybe they’re incompetent, or maybe they didn’t want to know. But you’re not going to have me take seriously anything that comes from anyone involved in the election the way it was conducted in Michigan.

Speaker 12: (01:24:31)
But you guys are saying that those votes have been rescinded, they haven’t. The secretary of state there said that they can’t be.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:24:37)
The secretary of state can say whatever she wants to say. Of course, she’s going to say that, she’s a Democrat. She could also credit the affidavits of the two people and say that the board is tied and therefore the vote hasn’t been certified. So because she’s a Democrat, she’s saying that. Do you think she has any credibility, having run the kind of election they ran in Michigan? You think anyone in that government has credibility, after using a machine and fooling their citizens? There can’t be a person in Michigan who thought their vote was being sent outside of the United States so somebody could play with it. It’s disgraceful what the government of Michigan did to its citizens. Absolutely disgraceful.

Speaker 13: (01:25:17)
Last question.

Speaker 14: (01:25:18)
Mr. Mayor, just to go back to the servers. Are you going to be able to get your hands on the voting machines or the servers? Are you going to be able to see [crosstalk 01:25:32]-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:25:33)
We are limited in what we can do. We’re not the FBI. We’re not the government. We don’t have that kind of subpoena power. We don’t have the power to just go subpoena anything we want, the government does. We would have to subpoena in line with a case. Our first case we’re asking for that authority in Pennsylvania and in Michigan. But you have to get that authority from the court. We’re private citizens. We’re not the government. If I were the government, like I used to be, there’d probably be a lot of people were arrested by now. Because there’s plenty of probable cause, plenty of probable cause.

Speaker 14: (01:26:11)
[crosstalk 01:26:15].

Speaker 15: (01:26:15)
You allege that Donald Trump has won by a landslide. We’ve seen that a lot of your lawsuits and in fact, lawyers have been kind of dropping like flies. What do you say to those people who call this a Russia Gate 2.0, just on the other side? Also, why didn’t [crosstalk 00:17:35]-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:26:35)
What fake network do you come from?

Speaker 15: (01:26:39)
I don’t have come form a fake network. In fact, I am completely independent and I have no one about my head.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:26:43)
Oh my goodness. Well, first of all, our cases haven’t been dismissed. We only have-

Speaker 15: (01:26:49)
Over 20.

Speaker 11: (01:26:50)
Look at the plaintiffs who were involved in this.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:26:53)
It’s not our case, ma’am. Don’t lie to people.

Speaker 15: (01:26:56)
I’m saying what do you say to people who call this [crosstalk 00:18:01]-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:26:57)
Ma’am, you’re lying. You’re lying. Continue to lie. I’m not-

Speaker 15: (01:27:06)
Way over their head.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:27:08)
Ma’am, okay. Let me answer the question. Let me answer the question. The answer to the question is, we don’t have a lot of lawsuits, we only have three. Our lawsuits have not been dropped all over the place. [crosstalk 01:27:25]okay. Well, you’re a totally discourteous person. I’m going to finish my answer.

Speaker 15: (01:27:30)
I’m actually really nice.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:27:31)
So I’m going to finish my answer. The fact is we have very, very few lawsuits. The lawsuits you’re talking about have been brought by private individuals and groups. Most of them were dismissed for lack of standing, probably correctly. Because they were brought before the election took place.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:27:47)
The election is now over. The only lawsuit we have withdrawn is the one where we got the relief that we wanted. And that’s the one in Michigan. We also have another lawsuit in Michigan that will accomplish the other objectives of what we want to do in Michigan. So it’s silly to have two competing lawsuits. The only lawyer that left a case left because he was threatened, his family was threatened, his children were threatened. And so was the other lawyer. Yeah, that’s true. We have a little difficulty getting lawyers because our lawyers get threatened with being killed. Because of the ridiculous way in which you cover this and the ridiculous way in which you cover-

Speaker 15: (01:28:23)
You haven’t seen how I cover this-

Rudy Giuliani: (01:28:25)
I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about everybody, but I get a pretty good sense from the way you handle yourself, how you cover it. All right. We’re finished with you now. One last question. One last question. One last question. [crosstalk 01:28:42] One last question from a reasonable, civil person. You are not. Yes?

Speaker 16: (01:28:48)
I’m not a reasonable person?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:28:49)
No. Her. She isn’t.

Speaker 16: (01:28:50)
All right.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:28:50)
Well, we’ll find out.

Speaker 16: (01:28:51)
I’m from the Daily Caller, for the record.

Speaker 15: (01:28:53)
Oh, there we go.

Speaker 16: (01:28:54)
If the courts don’t let you present these cases like Jenna just said, will you give the entire bulk of the evidence to the media to review? And if so, when? Are you going to drag this thing out like the Hunter Biden hard drive again?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:29:07)
We’re not going to drag it out. This is ridiculous for you to say we’re dragging it out. Al Gore had a lot more time than we’ve had, and we’ve had two weeks to investigate. So that’s also completely unfair to say we’re dragging it out. Also, if we’re going to present things in court, if we present it to you, judges are not going to be very happy with us. And finally, I have to tell you, our witnesses don’t want to be exposed to the tender mercies of a vicious press. I have great difficulty getting those witnesses that I did reveal to allow me to do it. They don’t trust you. They don’t like you. They think you put their lives in jeopardy with the spin that you put on what’s going on here and with the unfairness in which you cover it, it’s not easy to reveal the things that they tell me.

Speaker 16: (01:29:53)
So the answer is no?

Rudy Giuliani: (01:29:53)
The answer is I can’t do it because I can’t put a witnesses life in jeopardy or a person who thinks their life is in jeopardy. This woman tells me we have lawyers dropping out of the case. We have lawyers dropping out of the case because they’re being threatened with destruction of their careers, destruction of their livelihood, and in some cases, destruction of their lives. That comes about because of the hysterical way in which you have covered Donald Trump and his administration. But we’re going to change all that. We’re going to go to courts, we’re going to prove it in court.

Rudy Giuliani: (01:30:24)
I would love to release all the information that I have. I would love to give it to you all. Except most of you wouldn’t cover it. A few of you would, and then we’d have half the American people probably informed. The censorship that is going on in this country right now by big tech and by big media, is almost as dangerous as the election fraud that we’re revealing, maybe just as dangerous. We’re headed to a very bad place and it is not inappropriate that a Venezuelan company counted our votes. Thank you.

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The media has consistently suppressed the three top experts in early outpatient treatment of Covid. (They each have hundreds of peer-reviewed medical publications in top journals, over time.)

Testimony includes the fact that Asia and Africa are on top of the Covid-19 problem. It’s only the West that is dominated by criminal lies from its presstitute media.

Govt. and media might as well be burning books as they did in the Third Reich.

After 25 years of delivering timely information to medical health officers and epidemiologists, I am staggered.

List of witnesses and individual testimonies here.

Source: C-Span

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As chief conductor of the saint factory, Pope John Paul II was always going to be, in time, canonised.  Almost 500 saints were created under his watch.  The previous 600 years had seen 300.  But declaring him a saint in 2014, a mere nine years after his death, was speedy by the standards of the Vatican.  Critics, and those more reserved about the wisdom of such a move, now have more reason to question the pontiff’s hastily affixed halo. 

In a 449-page report released last week by the Vatican, the large figure of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick takes centre stage.  McCarrick was promoted by John Paul in 2000 to be archbishop of Washington DC.  He was defrocked by Pope Francis last year following a separate Vatican inquest which found McCarrick to have abused his power over seminarians and bore responsibility for sexually abusing children and adults, with some acts taking place during confession.

While Pope Francis is attempting to do some tidying up in the church, a deeper investigation was not necessarily what he had hoped for.  Despite being praised for cleansing “the Church of its dirt”, McCarrick had impressed him.  It took the savage promptings of the former Holy See ambassador to the US, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, to push the cart along.  Viganò had been one of the noisiest of accusers, claiming that 20 or so US and Vatican officials, not to mention Pope Francis himself, had been responsible for the vigilant concealment of McCarrick’s improprieties.  The Report found some of the claims to have merit, others not. 

Viganò himself was not spared; stinging suggestions were made of his own efforts to either conceal or frustrate processes of investigating McCarrick.  One instance of this involved Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the newly appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, urging Viganò to take steps investigating the claims of a certain “Priest 3” from Metuchen whose lawsuit alleged “that overt sexual conduct between him and McCarrick occurred in 1991.”  He “did not take these steps and therefore never placed himself in a position to ascertain the credibility of Priest 3.”  

The lengthier Report served to sketch John Paul’s role in a sordid tale of institutional complicity, though it is rather forgiving at points.  Reports about McCarrick’s behaviour were already being received during the late 1990s. A letter dated October 28, 1999 from the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal John O’Connor, to the Apostolic Nuncio, was shared with the pope summarising various allegations against McCarrick.  These included claims of sexual conduct, actual and attempted, with priests; “a series of anonymous letters” distributed to Church officials accusing McCarrick of paedophilia with his “nephews” and instances were beds were shared with young adult men and seminarians at the Bishop’s residence in Metuchen and Newark and a beach house on the New Jersey shore. 

John Paul did relent in commissioning an inquiry directed at four New Jersey bishops.  While the bishops confirmed that McCarrick had shared a bed with young men, instances of “sexual misconduct,” according to the Report, were not confirmed.  However, “three of the four American bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the Holy See regarding McCarrick’s sexual conduct with young adults.” The information, in turn “appears likely to have impacted the conclusions of John Paul II’s advisors and, consequently, of John Paul II himself.”

A critical point seems to have been the personal intervention of McCarrick himself.  On August 6, 2000, he penned a letter to the then papal secretary Bishop Stanisław Dziwisz, in an attempt to counter the allegations made by Cardinal O’Connor. 

“In the seventy years of my life,” wrote a solemn McCarrick, “I have never had sexual relations with any person, male or female, young or old, cleric or lay, nor have I ever abused another person or treated them with disrespect.”

Presenting himself as a model of celibate propriety, his letter was believed.  McCarrick’s name was not only put forward as a candidate for promotion but checks as to his adherence to Church doctrine were waived by Papal direction.  Dziwisz would himself go on to be stone deaf, even hostile, to claims of abuse in the Church, notably after becoming Archbishop of Krakow in 2005.

The Report also notes the culture of the period, in part to exempt the Holy See from claims of connivance.  There were no complaints “direct from a victim, whether adult or minor, about McCarrick’s misconduct.”  His supporters, to that end, “could plausibly characterize the allegations against him and ‘gossip’ and ‘rumours’.” As is often the case in such institutional investigations, notably when made by the institution itself, a bit is had both ways.

The hoodwink defence is always easy to resort to when the larder of options is bare.  Papal biographer George Weigel is familiar with the tried formula, fashioned from the greater the saint, greater the sinner school of persuasion.  “Saints are human beings, and saints, in their humanity, can be deceived.”  Given that the pontiff purports to be a representative hovering somewhere between the heavenly divine and earth bound humanity, this argument quickly collapses.  But it certainly satisfied the head of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gadecki, who is of the view that John Paul should be venerated further, both as a Doctor of the Church and patron saint of Europe.  (The Vatican disagrees.)  In a statement last Friday, the Archbishop insisted that John Paul had been “cynically deceived”.   

John Paul had his own reasons in dealing with rumours and suspicions that flesh was being pursued with avid enthusiasm by highly placed church officials.  An enemy of the communist system, indeed celebrated within Poland as a vital figure in undermining it, he was also aware of methods used to accuse and denounce opponents without an iota of evidence.   The Catholic Church, and certainly the Polish branch, holds the line on that score.

The view was not shared by the Missouri-based National Catholic Reporter. “It is time for a difficult reckoning,” suggested the editors on November 13.  “This man, proclaimed a Catholic saint by Pope Francis in 2014, wilfully put at risk children and young adults in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and across the world.”  This “undermined the global church’s witness, shattered its credibility as an institution, and set a deplorable example in ignoring the account of those abuse victims.”  The solution?  “Suppress” the cult of John Paul II.  History suggests a different trajectory: the saint abused is one adored ever more.

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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email: [email protected]

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A New Era for Nuclear Disarmament

November 20th, 2020 by Ed Lehman

On Oct. 25 the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons announced: “Honduras has become the 50th country to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons so it will now come into force in 90 days time.”

This treaty binds those countries that have signed it to “never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” The treaty outlaws the use or threat to use nuclear arms, and bars signatories from allowing “any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” on their territory.

The U.S. is putting pressure on its allies not to sign this groundbreaking treaty.

We can be proud that many Canadians over the last seven decades, including thousands of residents of Saskatoon, have campaigned for the banning of the nuclear bomb. We can be particularly proud of Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor, who has played a special role with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Now is the time for the Canadian government to act and sign the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons.

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Ed Lehman is President of the Regina Peace Council.

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What’s coming if Biden/Harris succeed Trump begins with regime appointees.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden/Harris transition team includes “at least 40 registered lobbyists” — hired guns for special interests.

Bringing them onboard is one of many examples of how dirty business in Washington works under both parties.

According to ProPublica and Columbia’s School of Journalism, over 280 registered lobbyists held Trump regime posts.

Obama/Biden operated the same way. So did at least most of their predecessors in modern times.

Members of the Obama/Biden transition team have similar roles for Biden/Harris.

Included are former deputy labor secretary Chris Lu, his predecessor Seth Harris, former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) head Jenny Yang, former Social Security Admin. chief Carolyn Colvin, former chief US statistician Nancy Potok to review Commerce Dept. staff, and Matt Bailey to head the US Digital Service.

There’s more including Ronald Stroman to head the Postal Service team, Aneesh Chopra, another USPS team member, Ann Dunkin on the EPA team, Kiran Ahuja to head the Office of Personnel Management team, and Martha Coven to head the Office of Management and Budget.

More transition team members include Bridget Dooling on the OBM team.

Kate Kale heads the General Services Admin. team.

Katherine Hicks heads the DOD team.

A Separate Pentagon review team includes a range of former war department officials.

Meg Cabot is Department of Veterans Affairs team head.

Ur Jaddou heads the DHS team.

Many more former Obama/Biden operatives hold various Biden/Harris transition team positions.

They were chosen to assure dirty business as usual continuity, how all US regimes operate.

Former Obama/Biden national security advisor, earlier its US envoy Susan Rice may be Biden/Harris choice as chief diplomat at State.

Endorsing virtually everything  about US imperial adventurism may boost her chance of succeeding Pompeo at Foggy Bottom.

In this capacity is appointed, she’ll direct foreign policy for Biden/Harris.

Richard Stengel heads their US Agency for Global Media team, a CIA created Cold War relic, its mission spreading disinformation about nations free from US control, notably Russia and China.

The former Time magazine managing editor and MSNBC political commentator is notoriously hostile toward free expression.

At Time magazine in 2011, he featured a cover story, headlined: “Does It Still Matter?”

Referring to the Constitution’s First Amendment, he said the following:

“(W)e can pat ourselves on the back about the past 223 years, but we cannot let the Constitution become an obstacle to the US’s moving into the future with (an) an evolving sense of civil and political rights,” adding:

“The Constitution does not protect our spirit of liberty; our spirit of liberty protects the Constitution.”

“The Constitution serves the nation; the nation does not serve the Constitution.”

In a 2019 WaPo op-ed, he argued that “as a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier.”

In his new Biden/Harris transition team role, he called himself its “chief propagandist,” calling for them (if succeed Trump) to “rethink” the First Amendment.

He also urged use of propaganda as regime policy against the “population,” adding:

“I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population. And I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful.”

It’s longstanding practice by US  and other Western officials, along with their major media — the same policy true most everywhere else.

Noted muckraking journalist IF Stone long ago explained that all politicians lie. Nothing they say should be believed.

Notably throughout new millennium years in the US and West, censorship has been the new normal.

Speech, media, and academic freedoms are eroding and threatened.

Social media, Google, and other tech giants are complicit in a campaign to suppress content online that conflicts with the official narrative.

What’s going on, perhaps to harden further if the current trend continues, is the hallmark of totalitarian rule — controlling the message, eliminating what conflicts with it.

Without speech, media, and academic freedom, all other rights are jeopardized.

When truth-telling and dissent are considered threats to national security, free and open societies no longer exist – the slippery slope where America and other Western societies are heading.

Stengel wants what remains of free expression in the US reconsidered.

Does he favor censoring or silencing independent media, truth-telling journalists, and activists?

Is greater control of the message one of his priorities?

Separately, Luciana Borio is a member of Biden/Harris’ so-called Covid-19 task force.

She called for withholding food stamps and other federal aid to Americans in need who refuse to be vaxxed, notably African-Americans and other minorities.

Various polls show that half or more of US Blacks don’t intend to submit to covid vaxxing.

Borio favors a national propaganda campaign to convince skeptics to accept what risks vulnerability to any one of a long list of major illnesses — from dangerous toxins in all vaccines.

Rushed development and marketing of covid vaccines may be especially hazardous to human health.

Domestic and geopolitical policies favoring privileged interests over the general welfare will be pursued no matter which right-wing of US duopoly rule runs things ahead.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is by Adam Schultz/Flickr

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US Political Crisis Just Entered More Dangerous Phase

November 20th, 2020 by Dr. Jack Rasmus

Today the political crisis in America may be entering an even more dangerous phase–a phase that I predicted was possible months ago. Today reportedly Trump has asked Republican state legislators in Michigan, where he lost the popular vote, to come to the White House. Trump no doubt wants them to select electors who will vote for him, not for the winner of the vote in Michigan, Biden.

The veil of Democracy in America is being ripped away from the body politic right before our eyes. Not only can the Electoral College thwart the popular vote for president; but there are even more nefarious ways for political elites to circumvent the Electoral College if they don’t like it.

The electoral college is, of course, the means by which the popular vote for the president is prevented. Instead of Democracy’s principle of ‘one person, one vote’, we have electors who are selected by their state legislatures who then cast their vote for president. That’s the appearance. But it’s even worse than that.

The timeline for the Electoral College to meet and cast their votes for president is December 8. Each state’s vote in the Electoral College’s must then be sent by December 14 to their state’s governor, who must send that decision to Congress by December 23. Congress then confirms the president by January 6. That’s the actual process how presidents are ‘elected’.

The problem is that state legislatures select the electors who vote in the electoral college. But the electors they select don’t necessarily have to vote for the candidate the majority of the people of their state vote for. The legislature can select electors, or direct the electors they already selected, to vote for a candidate who the people of the state didn’t vote for. Court decisions prohibiting this are not clear cut, so it can be argued the legislatures can select the electors who can vote for whatever candidate they want. Even recent US Supreme Court decisions on this are ambiguous.

By calling Republican state legislatures from Michigan today to the White House–an act that in itself is intimidating, since Republican politicians know Trump can unseat them next primary–Trump is clearly attempting to ‘convince’ them to select, or order, electors to vote for him instead of Biden. If successful in Michigan, Trump will no doubt target another couple Republican majority state legislatures to do the same between now and December 14. Like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia are all Republican state majority legislatures. That’s how he’ll try to ‘reverse’ the electoral college vote in his favor, or at least he clearly now thinks he can or he wouldn’t bother ‘inviting’ Republican state legislatures from Michigan to the White House. He’s not doing so for any other obvious reason.

Those who disagree with this analysis may say, ‘even if he convinces Republican state legislators to select electors for him, the governors of those states will not send the vote of those ‘reversed’ electors to Congress on December 23′. So he won’t get away with that maneuver.

But wait. Not so fast. Trump can then use that refusal of a governor to send Trump electors to Congress as an excuse to call in the US Supreme Court to decide the issue. Trump’s lawyers will then argue to the Court there isn’t a complete electoral college vote total to determine the outcome of the election if one or more governors don’t send in the results. The Supreme Court would then likely ‘pass the buck’ and order the decision on the election referred to the US House of Representatives, per the US Constitution.

Here’s where US Democracy is further revealed as the ‘fig leaf’ it is. In the House of Representatives the vote for president is done by one vote per state, not by total representatives. 435 Representatives don’t vote if the election is thrown into the House, which has a majority of Democrat legislators. No. Each state in the House gets just one vote. All the states with a majority Republican state legislature get to cast one vote for president. With Republican politicians cowering everywhere, fearful of Trump’s 70 million Republican voters, guess how they’ll vote in the House?

And if Trump has more red state Republican majority legislatures–which he does–the majority of red states would out-vote blue states by a vote of around 27 or so to 23. Trump wins!

If this sounds incredible it is nevertheless arguably legal and politically possible. And we know Trump will go to any length over the next 60 days–regardless if it results in the destruction what’s left of even the fig leaf of Democracy in America. Even if it leads to a political breakdown of the system or violence in the streets between Trump’s supporters and the rest of the country’s voters and citizenry (which Trump would no doubt like to see as well).

By calling Michigan state legislatures to the White House today it is clear this is the trajectory Trump now has in mind. We should all be forewarned! The fight to restore what’s little left of American Democracy may just be beginning.

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Dr. Rasmus’s most recent book is ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’, Clarity Press, January 2020. He blogs at http://jackrasmus.com and hosts the weekly radio show, Alternative Visions, on the Progressive Radio network. His twitter handle is @drjackrasmus. His website with downloadable podcasts, videos, reviews, and public talks is http://kyklosproductions.com. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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This Week’s Most Popular Articles

November 20th, 2020 by Global Research News

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Nuclear Euromissiles Are Back

November 20th, 2020 by Manlio Dinucci

Over five years ago we titled in the Manifesto ((9 June 2015) “Are missiles returning to Comiso? (Sicily).” This hypothesis was ignored by the entire political spectrum and dismissed by some self-styled expert as “alarmist.” The alarm, unfortunately, was well founded.

A few days ago, on November 6, Lockheed Martin (the same company that produces the F-35s) signed a first $ 340 million contract with the US Army for the production of medium-range missiles, including those armed with nuclear warheads, designed to be installed in Europe. Missiles of this category (with a ground base and range between 500 and 5500 km) were prohibited by the INF Treaty, signed in 1987 by Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan: it had eliminated the nuclear ballistic missiles Pershing 2, deployed by the United States in Western Germany, and the nuclear cruise Tomahawk missiles, deployed by the United States in Italy (Comiso, Sicily), Great Britain, West Germany, Belgium, and Holland, and at the same time the SS-20 ballistic missiles deployed by the Soviet Union on its territory.

In 2014, without any evicence, the Obama administration accused Russia of having tested a cruise missile (acronym 9M729) in the category prohibited by the Treaty, and, in 2015, announced that “faced with the violation of the INF Treaty by Russia, the United States is considering the deployment of ground-based missiles in Europe.”

The baton then passed to the Trump administration, which in 2019 decided on the withdrawal of the United States from the INF Treaty, accusing Russia of having “deliberately violated” it.

After some missile tests, Lockheed Martin was commissioned to build a cruise missile deriving from the Tomahawk and a ballistic missile deriving from Raytheon’s SM-6. According to the contract, the two missiles will be operational in 2023: therefore, ready to be installed in Europe in two years.

The geographic factor should be kept in mind: while a medium-range US nuclear ballistic missile launched from Europe can hit Moscow in a few minutes, a similar missile launched by Russia can hit European capitals, but not Washington. Reversing the scenario, it is as if Russia were to deploy medium-range nuclear missiles in Mexico.

It should also be noted that the SM-6  performs the function of “three missiles in one,” as Raytheon specified: anti-aircraft, anti-missile and attack missile. The nuclear missile deriving from the SM-6 will therefore be able to be used by the US “shield” ships and land installations in Europe: their launch tubes,  as Lockheed Martin specified, can launch “missiles for all missions.”
In his October 26, 2020 statement, President Putin reaffirmed the INF Treaty validity, calling the US withdrawal a “grave mistake,” and Russia’s commitment not to deploy similar missiles, until the US deploys its own missiles close to Russian territory. He, therefore, proposed a “mutual moratorium” to NATO countries and “mutual verification measures,” that is inspections in the reciprocal missile installations.

The Russian proposal was ignored by NATO. Its secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg reiterated on 10 November that “in such an uncertain world, nuclear weapons continue to play a vital role in preserving peace.”

No voices were raised from European governments and parliaments, even though Europe risks being at a nuclear confrontation forefront similar or more dangerous than that of the Cold War. But this is not the threat of Covid 19, and therefore nobody talks of it.

The European Union,  (21 over  27 members are part of NATO), has already made its voice heard when in 2018 it rejected the resolution presented by Russia on the “Preservation and observance of the INF Treaty” at the United Nations, giving the green light to the installation of new US nuclear missiles in Europe.

Will anything change once Joe Biden takes office in the White House? Or, will Democrat Biden (formerly Obama’s vice president) sign the installation of the new US nuclear missiles in Europe, after Democratic Obama opened the new nuclear confrontation with Russia and Republican Trump aggravated it by tearing up the INF Treaty?

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This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Strangling Sanctions against North Korea. “Psychopathic Double Standards” at the UN Security Council

By Carla Stea, November 19 2020

Today at a Security Council stakeout, the German Ambassador, Chair of the 1718 Sanctions Committee against DPRK held a stakeout reiterating the grotesque and Orwellian double standards being inflicted by the UN Security Council against the DPRK.

Understanding The History of the Korean War (1950-1953)

By Kim Petersen, November 19 2020

In western state/corporate media the question of who started the war on the Korean peninsula is given as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. If one is curious enough to seek out what the DRPK side or independent media says, then a different answer might be forthcoming.

Towards A Police State in Germany? Police Raid into Home of Dr. Andreas Noak

By Global Research News, November 19 2020

This is what is happening in Germany. Police break into the home of Dr. Andreas Noack – a renowned Chemist – and arrest him brutally while he is engaged in a live stream internet (Webinar) conference.

United States Imperialism Threatening War Against Iran During Contested Presidential Elections Struggle

By Abayomi Azikiwe, November 19 2020

There have been serious threats to the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies in the aftermath of the contested presidential and congressional elections in the United States.

An Institutionally Racist Lockdown Policy

By Soham Bandyopadhyay, November 19 2020

 In effect, the UK Government has just forbidden a large proportion of minority ethnic university students from returning home in order for Christmas not to be affected. This seems to have been done without much thought about the impact this would have on an already marginalised community.

IMF

The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and the IMF

By Peter Koenig, November 19 2020

Not only are they regularly lending huge sums of money to horror regimes around the world, but they blackmail poor nations into accepting draconian conditions imposed by the west. In other words, the WB and the IMF are guilty of the most atrocious human rights abuses.

“The End of the War in Syria Will Come as Part of the Agreement Between Iran and China,” Says Iranian Foreign Policy Analyst

By Polina Aniftou and Steven Sahiounie, November 19 2020

As the US changes leadership, new opportunities for re-alignment may open up for the Middle East and the wider region.  To understand more fully the implications presented in conflicts ranging from the US-Iran tension, the Syrian war, and the role of Turkey and Israel in the destabilization of the region, Steven Sahiounie of MidEastDiscourse, reached out to Polina Aniftou, analyst of the Iranian foreign policy, in a wide-ranging interview.

Biden’s Deep State

By Steve Brown, November 19 2020

Now after three years screaming about “Russian collusion” it appears the Evil Empire is about to regain its lost ground, championing new wars and more interventionist expansionism with a much greater role for the US military in the world.

Leading Canadian Health Expert Outraged at Government Response to COVID

By Children’s Health Defense, November 19 2020

Dr. Roger Hodkinson, MA, MB, FRCPC, FCAP, CEO and medical director of Western Medical Assessments, spoke at the Edmonton City Council Community and Public Services Committee meeting on Nov. 13 about the city’s move to extend its face-covering bylaw.

Forbidden Weapons and Israeli War Crimes

By Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh, November 19 2020

In the period 2008-2014, Zionist settler colonialists launched three aggressive wars against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip: (1) Dec 2008-Jan 2009, (2) 14 Nov 2012, and (3) July-August 2014. During these aggressive wars, the Israeli military used a number of American-made forbidden weapons.

A Religion-Free Society?

By Prof. Ruel F. Pepa, November 19 2020

Is there really a need for religion(s) in the 21st century? If there is, why? Isn’t it that religions have always been with us since time immemorial and we take their existence as something normal?

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All vaccines are toxic and hazardous to human health.

The great covid vaccines to the rescue scheme risks widespread harm, not protection.

In cahoots with Big Government, Big Pharma prioritizes maximum profits over human health.

Drug companies are rushing to cash in big on a potential bonanza once one or more covid vaccines are approved for human use.

Toxins in vaccines cause diseases they’re promoted to protect against, along with the risk of illness from other serious diseases.

Adverse reactions from vaxxing causes many deaths and disabling disorders.

Vaccines are an unreliable way to prevent illness and disease.

Proper health, personal hygiene, and sanitation practices are far more effective than mass-vaxxing.

Rushed development of covid vaccines is especially worrisome.

Vaccine development requires years of testing. Bringing them to market at “warp speed” is a red flag for avoiding what may be especially hazardous to human health.

On Friday, the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) reported “safety concerns” affecting “leading covid vaccine candidates.”

They’re being developed with “unproven technologies, unsafe ingredients and inadequate testing.”

Reports of Pfizer/BioNTech’s covid vaccine effectiveness may be greatly exaggerated.

Pfizer reportedly is applying for an “Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), likely before the end of November,” CHD explained.

According to Scripps Research Translational Institute’s director Eric Topol:

Pfizer’s “vaccine may not turn out to be as effective once the trial is complete and all the data ha(ve) been analyzed.”

Is it safe, CHD asked? “Questions remain” unanswered.

“Recent publications in leading medical journals indicate that the answers to safety and efficacy questions may be less than assuring.”

It’s “illegal to mandate (mass vaxxing) under Emergency Use Authorization.”

If Big Pharma-controlled FDA approves the Pfizer and other vaccines this way, their use should be strictly “voluntary.”

In early November, the New York Bar Association passed a resolution — urging state authorities to mandate covid vaxxing, even if objected to for “religious, philosophical or personal reasons,” allowing only a medical exemption.

Attorneys who urged mandatory vaxxing of state residents ignored that such action is illegal, as explained above.

The so-called Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act (2005) lets the HHS secretary declare any disease an epidemic or national emergency, requiring mandatory vaccinations.

The HHS may “issue a declaration…that provides immunity from tort liability (except for willful misconduct) for claims of loss caused, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from administration or use of (vaccines or other pharmaceutical) countermeasures to diseases, threats and conditions determined by the secretary to constitute a present, or credible risk of a future public health emergency.”

All too often, inadequately tested/rushed to market drugs have questionable efficacy and may have dangerous side effects.

An October YouGov poll found that only 42% US respondents said they’d agree to be vaxxed for covid.

According to virologist Florian Krammer, “it will be difficult to determine if the Pfizer vaccine, or others in late-stage trials, can” block covid transmission.

Even if the vaccines work, “you have to swab people twice a week for very long periods, and that becomes operationally untenable.”

Approval of vaccines will not be based on the ability to stop covid transmission, so “we may face never-ending lockdowns,” CHD explained, an unacceptable situation.

Along with Pfizer, four other companies are rushing covid vaccine development — Moderna, J&J, Astra-Zeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline.

All received US “Operation Warp Speed” funding — dangerously cutting corners to rush vaccines to market.

Pfizer, J&J, Moderna and Astra-Zeneca reported “a high rate of adverse events,” CHD explained.

Vaccine developers face major hurdles to overcome and prove that their products “do not cause more death and injury than the symptoms of COVID-19,” CHD stressed.

Pfizer’s claim of 90% vaccine  effectiveness was in a news released, not a peer-reviewed medical journal.

According to Thailand Medical News, Pfizer management “spend a fortune on a PR conference and paying off numerous unethical media writers and media to do an elaborate piece” on its covid vaccine’s alleged effectiveness, adding:

No peer-reviewed “published studies or data…back any of its claims.”

“America has lowered the standards for vaccine approvals and efficacy…even for (other) drugs and therapeutics.”

No data shows that the Pfizer vaccine “prevents severe cases, the type that can cause hospitalization and death.”

Since trials have only been ongoing for a few months, “it is impossible to say how long it will protect against infection with the virus.”

“(T)here are…many ways that studies (of drug efficacy) can be manipulated.”

According to biotech firm Moderna, preliminary analysis claims to show that its covid vaccine is 95% effective.

According to Thailand Medical News last May, Moderna began human trials for its covid vaccine “without any previous preclinical testing for efficacy or safety.”

At least three individuals involved as test subjects had adverse reactions, at least one needing urgent medical treatment.

TMN noted that Moderna never successfully brought a drug to market through required clinical trials.

The company failed to disclose data on its vaccine development, focusing instead on non-specific press release information to the public.

It doesn’t publish research findings in scientific journals.

According to CHD chairman Robert Kennedy Jr. last week:

“Moderna is the number one, of all the 210 vaccines that are now part of Warp Speed program or trying to get into the Warp Speed program” to get US funding.

The company was given “concessions” not afforded to covid vaccine developing firms.

It was given permission to “skip animal testing and go straight to human testing.”

“Moderna is using a technology that has never been used in any medicine before.”

“And it’s a technology that is controversial and nobody knows whether it’s going to have a bad downside.”

“Bill Gates…is one of the company’s funders.

If Moderna’s covid vaccine is 95% effective, it’s unknown if it’s only short-term.

If so, repeating vaxxing would be required. Unknown as well is its safety.

Does its use risk potentially serious health issues — including possibly contracting the illness it’s supposed to protect against and/or other major diseases.

RFK Jr. called Moderna — and its connection to Tony Fauci — a “racket.”

“Nobody in the world would buy (its) vaccine if they knew” the risks involved.

It has “really serious problems.” Since last May, its clinical trial “high dose group” human testing resulted in “21%” of test subjects “requir(ing) medical intervention or a hospitalization.”

Around “6% (of) low dose” subjects became ill enough to require medical treatment.

Days before Moderna announced that its covid vaccine was 95% effective, RFK Jr. said “this thing is dead on arrival.”

And yet its “market cap (went) through the roof.” Before the latest announcement sent its stock price soaring even higher, it “doubled (during a period of) 14 trading days.

“Fauci has a secret contract with the Pentagon (to) buy 500 (Moderna) doses for $9 billion,” RFK Jr. explained.

“(I)t doesn’t matter if it works or not. It doesn’t matter if it hospitalizes 20% of the people who take it.”

“All he has to do is get an FDA approval, and the day he gets (it), that $9 billion is his.”

Based on RFK Jr.’s remarks, Moderna’s vaccine seems more like a bioweapon than protection against any disease.

Notably in cahoots with politicians in Washington and elsewhere, drug companies seek maximum profits — even at the expense of human health.

Vaccines are notoriously hazardous.

Rushing development for mass vaxxing against covid amounts to playing Russian roulette with human health.

Instead of protecting the public from health hazards, US ruling authorities, in cahoots with Big Pharma, are promoting use of potentially dangerous vaccines ahead.

They’re acting in lieu of proved effective, widely available, inexpensive hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) when used with either azithromycin or doxycycline and zinc.

Covid is another form of seasonal flu/influenza.

Unreliable PCR tests produce many false positive results.

Failing to distinguish between seasonal flu/influenza and covid makes them a dubious diagnostic tool.

Annually in the US, tens of millions of Americans become ill from seasonal flu/influenza.

Hundreds of thousands are hospitalized. Tens of thousands die — with no pandemic fear-mongering mass hysteria, no mandatory house arrest lockdowns, no social distancing or mandated mask-wearing.

Covid should be handled the same way as seasonal flu/influenza.

If earlier in the year lockdowns are repeated again — in individual US states or nationwide — they’ll do infinitely more harm than good if mandated.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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Most Western elites are telegraphing the message that we will be forced to cover our humanity with cheap  face masks indefinitely. They are mandating that even two-year-olds must wear masks. The long-term effects on the lungs, emotional and behavioral problems, and development of infants and toddlers is enormous. For such an unconstitutional invasion of personal liberty, they are responsible to show us some amazing degree of effectiveness of this cultish ritual. In fact, the data show the opposite.

The much-vaunted Danish mask study was finally published today in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine. Now we know why three medical journals were so averse to publishing its findings. The study completely obliterates the cultish devotion to masks. The results of this massive real-life controlled experiment show that the group that wore surgical masks in April experienced a 0.38% lower infection rate than the control group that did not wear masks. That is about one-third of one percent, which is so low that it could just be statistically random variances that demonstrate no definitive efficacy even to that infinitesimal level.

“The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use,” concluded the authors. “The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.”

There was a total of roughly 3,000 people in each group of the study, which would make this the largest study ever conducted on the efficacy of mask-wearing. In October, Berlingske, Denmark’s oldest operating daily newspaper, reported that three major journals – JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, and Lancet – refused to publish the study.

It appears that the study’s authors had to twist their tongues in order to get this study published by noting that “the estimates were imprecise and statistically compatible with an effect ranging from a 46% decrease to a 23% increase in infection.” They of course had to concede that their study doesn’t definitely rule out the idea that masks could be effective!

So, we’ve gone from masks being more effective than a vaccine to no incontrovertible evidence that they will ever work in some way.

It’s important to note that several studies have theorized that the virus might have gotten more contagious in recent months than it was in the Spring. Assuming there is validity to that theory, this Danish study, which was conducted in April and May, would demonstrate that masks are ineffective even against the less contagious version of the virus.

Then again, there is nothing new about mask-wearing to anyone paying attention. It has long been the policy of OSHA that respirators, such as an N-95s, are the minimum standard for personal protective equipment. We have always known that surgical masks, which have pores about 30 times larger than virus particles and are not form-fitted around the edges, cannot protect against airborne viruses such as the flu. Plus, most people, especially those who are indoors for a long period of time, such as in school and business settings, will tend to wear more comfortable cloth masks, which are even less effective and risk spreading the virus even more.

Which is why nobody should pay attention to the disclaimer in the study, which the authors clearly had to write in order to get the study accepted:

The findings, however, should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection. During the study period, authorities did not recommend face mask use outside hospital settings and mask use was rare in community settings. This means that study participants’ exposure was overwhelmingly to persons not wearing masks.

This is a fair point – that at the time, most other people outside of the study group in Denmark were not wearing masks. The problem is we’ve seen the virus spread to everyone in the ensuing months, including in places with 100% mask compliance. In a recent CDC study, 85% of those convalescent COVID patients surveyed reported that they wore masks always or most of the time during the lead-up to their infection period. Thus, the Danish study results clearly corroborate what we see with our own eyes in all environments.

We have seen this result from over six months of real-life experience in the world and even in the military with 100% compliance. Mask-wearing is the only edict that can result in zero efficacy and then use that lack of efficacy against the virus, as witnessed by the massive spread, as further pretext … to double down on mask-wearing! My son was yelled at for slipping his mask down in a dentist’s office for a few seconds when the doctor and hygienist would literally be in his mouth for a much longer period of time. Have we ever experienced something this destructive and illogical in our lifetimes?

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Do They Have a Conscience?

“A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong, says L. Michael Tompkins, EdD. He’s a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center. 

A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.

A sociopath typically has a conscience, but it’s weak. They may know that taking your money is wrong, and they might feel some guilt or remorse, but that won’t stop their behavior.

Both lack empathy, the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. But a psychopath has less regard for others, says Aaron Kipnis, PhD, author of The Midas Complex. Someone with this personality type sees others as objects he can use for his own benefit.

They’re Not Always Violent

In movies and TV shows, psychopaths and sociopaths are usually the villains who kill or torture innocent people. In real life, some people with antisocial personality disorder can be violent, but most are not. Instead they use manipulation and reckless behavior to get what they want.

“At worst, they’re cold, calculating killers,” Kipnis says. Others, he says, are skilled at climbing their way up the corporate ladder, even if they have to hurt someone to get there.”

Part I

Today at a Security Council stakeout, the German Ambassador, Chair of the 1718 Sanctions Committee against DPRK held a stakeout reiterating the grotesque and Orwellian double standards being inflicted by the UN Security Council against the DPRK.  This time the strangling sanctions are being tightened to further restrict oil supply to the DPRK as brutal winter approaches, a psychopathic action, stealthily genocidal in outcome.  The Ambassador questioned whether Russia and China are conforming to these murderous sanctions, and one can only hope that these two countries, at least,  are refusing to conform, and evading this barbarism.

Image on the right: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré 

The Security Council’s sanctions against the DPRK are in violation of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appeal of March 26, 2020, requiring “the waiving of sanctions that undermine countries’ capacity to respond to the coronavirus disease pandemic,” and in violation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 23 March on “the need to ease or suspend sectoral sanctions in light of their debilitating impact on the health sector and human rights.  We also reaffirm the Group of 77 and China’s statement calling to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement’s declaration on condemning unilateral coercive measures and urging their elimination to ensure the effectiveness of national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The powerful struggle of the majority of world citizens against the psychopathic double standards used by the major capitalist powers in attempt to justify their global hegemonic agenda was recently dramatically presented at the UN Third Committee, which focuses upon Human Rights.  In a powerful speech, Pakistan presented a statement on Behalf of 54 Countries, Opposing Interfering in China’s Internal Affairs under the Pretext of Hong Kong.  The statement emphasized that “non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states is an important principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and a basic norm of international relations.  The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of China, and Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs that brook no interference by foreign forces.”

Consistent with the overwhelming opposition to capitalist domination and attempts to destabilize China with methods similar to those used to destabilize the Soviet Union, Cuba also made a  joint statement on Behalf of 45 Countries “in Firm Support of China’s Counter-Terrorism and Deradicalization Measures in Xinjiang.  The joint statement “firmly opposes politicization of human rights issues and double standards…commends that the Chinese government pursues the people-centered philosophy in advancing economic and social sustainable development, eradicating poverty, increasing employment, improving people’s living standard and promoting and protecting human rights.  We note with appreciation that China has undertaken a series of measures in response to threats of terrorism and extremism in accordance with the law to safeguard the human rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.  There was no single terrorist attack in Xinjiang in the last three years.  People of all ethnic groups enjoy their lives in a peaceful and stable environment.  China maintains openness and transparency by, among other things, inviting more than 1,000 diplomats, officials of international organizations, journalists and religious personages to visit Xinjiang, who witnessed Xinjiang’s remarkable achievements.  We take note that the Chinese government has extended an invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Xinjiang and the two sides are keeping contacts on the matter…it is imperative to respect the basic facts rather than making unfounded allegations against China and interference out of political motivation and bias.”

In this connection, Ambassador Bashir Ja’afari of Syria described the nefarious attempt to perpetuate the late Zbigniew Brzezinski’s use of Islamic extremism and methods of jihad to destabilize, first, the Soviet Union, and now used in efforts to similarly destabilize The People’s Republic of China.

Syria’s Ambassador described Saudi Arabia’s yearly hosting of 5,000 Chinese Moslems from the Xingjiang region at the pilgrimage in Mecca;  Saudi Arabia extends the invitation of the Chinese Moslems one month longer than all other “pilgrims,” and indoctrinates them in the most extreme forms of Islamic radicalism, trains them in violent methods of jihad, and then returns these now trained terrorists to China, fully intending them to actively destabilize China through terrorist and separatist activity, with the expectation that these violent manoeuvers will metastasize, and lead to the disintegration of China, provoking repressive actions by the Chinese government in efforts to defend their country, repressive measures which can then be used as examples of “undemocratic” measures by China’s Communist Party.

Part 2 

There is an astounding similarity between the UN Security Council sanctions against the DPRK and the Nazi encirclement and starvation of the people of Leningrad during World War II.  Indeed, it is only a nazi mentality that would inflict such vile methods of starving and freezing the citizens of the DPRK,  and then blaming the DPRK government for this genocide.  The DPRK is innocent of everything except their heroic choice of a Socialist economic system.  Capitalist power tolerates “freedom” only for those who support capitalism.  It is only extremist hypocrisy and arrogance, and, as earlier said, psychopathological hostility to human rights that makes possible the UN Security Council’s imposition of criminal sanctions against the DPRK.

North Korea was essentially obliterated in the 1950s by criminal capitalist powers, with the US leading the attack which had been planned for several prior years by General Douglas McArthur, John Foster Douglass and President Truman, eliciting UN collusion in this crime against humanity.  The US has refused to sign a peace treaty with North Korea, maintaining lethal armed forces at its border, and this hostile policy toward the DPRK is one of the reasons the people of North Korea are justified in  protecting themselves from another holocaust by the only effective means possible.

Indeed, President Clinton was on the verge of bombing the DPRK two decades ago, and was stopped only by the unconventional, unbureaucratic, unauthorized and heroic disobedience of former President Jimmy Carter, who, recognizing the imminence of war against the DPRK, personally traveled to Pyongyang, with his wife Roslyn, and a CNN crew, met with DPRK leader Kim Il Sung, arranged a peace settlement with Kim Il Sung which CNN immediately broadcast to the world, thereby bringing peace to the world, and depriving President Clinton of his bombing escapade, annihilating even more human beings in the DPRK.  Carter’s instantaneous action to avert the horrors of war should have earned him as well as Kim Il Sung the Nobel Peace Prize.

Conclusion

Image below: Ambassador Zhang Jun (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China)

Ambassador Zhang Jun Briefs on the Work of the Security Council for the Month of March

It is crucial to end here with the words of Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Third Committee:

“The US, Germany and the UK, ignoring the call from all sides, insist on provoking antagonism.  They abuse the UN platform, politicize human rights issues, and provoke political confrontation.  They spread false information and political virus….I would like to say to the US that your despicable acts are completely at odds with the trend of history. ..You are standing on the wrong side of history and the opposing side of the international community.”

“It is the US that should stop war crime and give peace back to the world.  In its 244 years of existence, the US has not been at war for only 16 years.  It is the most belligerent country in the world.  It has dropped bombs and fired bullets at civilians of other countries, resulting in massive casualties, refugees and displacements.  Your hands are stained with the blood of innocent civilians.”

“It is the US that should earnestly implement international human rights obligations.  The US is practicing unilateralism and evading its own responsibilities.  It has withdrawn from the Human Rights Council, refused to ratify human rights treaties, sanctioned ICC prosecutor and imposed unilateral sanctions on other countries.  This has seriously disrupted international cooperation on human rights.  It is time for the US to heed the world’s call for justice.”

“I must also point out that Germany, the UK and a few other countries, in disregard of the facts, have violated justice and undermined cooperation.  Facing the poor human rights record of your own and of the US, you choose to engage in selective blindness and double standards, willingly follow the US and become its accomplices.  How hypocritical!  Let me say this to you:  put away your arrogance and prejudice, and pull back from the brink, now.”

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Carla Stea is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Global Research’s Correspondent at UN headquarters, New York. 

Featured image: Trump and Kim meet Sunday before Trump became first US president to step on North Korean territory. (White House photo)

The Times of London reported, on November 16, that Trump’s recent installation of loyalists in top Pentagon jobs is likely to be for the purpose of fulfilling his long-term pledge to bring an end to the U.S.’ “endless wars”. It is expected that Trump will order the withdrawal of 4,500 troops from Afghanistan and so end 19 years of occupation.

There are two prominent objections to Trump’s likely proposal. Firstly, a swift withdrawal of U.S. forces, that would have to take place before January, will bring logistical chaos. However, the daily state of chaos which occupation brings to the lives of millions is barely considered.

Secondly, an “early” withdrawal will disrupt efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Christopher Miller the current U.S. Acting Defense Secretary sent out a memorandum saying, “we are on the verge of defeating Al Qaida and its associates, but we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish.” A fair point, but if not now then when? Furthermore, who gets to define when a mission is accomplished?

If 19 years of occupation, by the mightiest military force of our modern age, has not led to a suitable conclusion then unlikely will another year make any difference. The fact is the U.S. occupation, of Afghanistan, has been an unmitigated disaster that next to Libya, Syria, and Iraq represents a litany of the greatest human rights violations of the 21st century.

There are now 2.7 million Afghani refugees worldwide while Afghanistan’s GDP per capita stands at a paltry $531. Afghanistan now cultivates over two-thirds of global opium and has 2.4 million opium addicts. Tragically, the U.S. spent $52 billion occupying Afghanistan, in 2019, which is more than twice Afghanistan’s GDP at $20.68 billion.

With the devastating suffering which occupation has brought to the Afghani people, notwithstanding the criticisms of an abrupt exit, Trump’s efforts to bring an end to the occupation of Afghanistan and end U.S. wars are commendable.

In contrast, unlikely will the mild-mannered, but often hawkish, Biden take the same line. While he has not always supported military action he nevertheless believes in the U.S. hegemonic right to use hard force. For example, Biden supported the catastrophic 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq and he pushed for NATO’s expansion eastwards.

However, Trump’s actions, in regards to Afghanistan, may be too little too late. Instead of concentrating on ending U.S. global occupation, he has been busily engaged with a self-destructing economic war with China who could have been a useful ally in ending the Afghanistan quagmire. Why then has President Trump been distracted by China at the expense of fulfilling his pledge to “bring home the troops”?

Trump’s problems stem from being able to recognize the unease of working-class America that arise from both national and transnational capital, i.e. the one-percent, while concurrently being beholden to the propaganda of the one-percent used to control the ninety-nine percent.

For example, Trump, in contrast to previous presidents, captures the zeitgeist of a large section of traditional working-class Americans who serve in the military. It is they who make needless sacrifices, through their blood and taxes, for the service of an elite who care little for their subaltern. However, due to Trump’s billionaire status, and his own willingness to swallow the propaganda fed to the working-man, he has been ideologically crippled.

Firstly, being a billionaire, he has been unable to see that unfettered U.S. capital, both in their national and transnational forms, represents the nucleus of where the U.S.’ primary contradiction emanates from. On one hand, Trump has supported capital with avaricious tax breaks. On the other hand, the military-industrial-complex, that has resisted Trump, is a business itself that feeds on the suffering of never-ending wars.

Secondly, Trump’s rightly sees that the American worker has been disempowered due to U.S. transnational capital shifting production to Asia. However, Trump unfortunately falls into the trap of jingoism by predominantly vilifying China for events beyond China’s own control. China then is as much an innocent party as the American working-class who are taught to hate China.

In addition, Trump, when it suits him, is quick to criticize the disseminating of “fake news” by the U.S. mass-media itself controlled by transnational capital. However, Trump like much of the U.S. working-class has nevertheless been indoctrinated to accept simplistic narratives this mass-media propagates. It is these narratives which justify and distract Americans from their home-grown problems which stem from U.S. class contradictions.

For example, the mass-media’s constant China-bashing, which has been a feature long before Trump’s arrival, along with their support of U.S. foreign interventions work hand in hand. Threats are used to justify war at an ideological level, to the masses, while the war itself is used to achieve the strategic and economic goals of the one-percent.

In addition, foreign threats and wars work to distract Americans from their own deep-state’s machinations. This in turn drums up a national fanaticism that provides an “emasculated” working-class with a masculinized American identity linked to the U.S.’ global supremacy and “righteous wars”. Trump, of course more than any other president, has tapped into this masculinized American “tough man” image.

While the existence of a corporate media, along with deep-state interests, negate U.S. democracy and make the country ungovernable for the ordinary citizen, it is, these same external influences which form the “embodying features” of Trump who being from the swamp has been unable to extradite himself from the swamp.

Thus, the very quagmire that is U.S. democracy and that is Trump is also the quagmire of Afghanistan today. Regrettably, transnational capital, who Trump calls the globalists, has played Trump well throughout his presidency. As such, unless serendipity allows the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan, in the next two months, Biden, who cannot be accused of being ideologically naïve will be ready to take over the reins from where Bush and Obama left off which is the never-ending journey to war.

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Forbidden Weapons and Israeli War Crimes

November 19th, 2020 by Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh

In the period 2008-2014, Zionist settler colonialists launched three aggressive wars against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip: (1) Dec 2008-Jan 2009, (2) 14 Nov 2012, and (3) July-August 2014. During these aggressive wars, the Israeli military used a number of American-made forbidden weapons: White Phosphorus, GBU-39 Shells, DIME bombs, Flechette Shells, Vacuum bombs, and Scandium 64 Aerosol.

The following research article will explore the first two forbidden weapons. Each one of these two weapons will be investigated, thus revealing their components then showing their hazardous implications on the health of the Gazan civilians. The second four forbidden weapons will be explored in a forthcoming research article.

In addition to that, this research article will explore two phenomenona: the ‘Cheering Israelis’ who gather during wars to “watch, clap and cheer” Israeli bombing and pounding of Gaza Strip civilians and the critical Israelis who are motivated by humane and anti-racist morals, and who criticize the colonial policies of the consecutive Israeli right-wing governments. However, prior to that, this article will begin with an analysis of the systematic policy of killing innocent Palestinian civilians, which is connected with the use of forbidden weapons.

The Killing of Innocent Civilians: Is it a Systematic Policy?

Throughout its aggressive wars against Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army has deliberately and intentionally targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure. This policy has been a declared Zionist plan and it was applied in Lebanon during the 2006 war.  According to the Israeli Chief of Staff, in 2008, Major General Gadi Eizenkot,

… trying to hit rocket launchers is “complete nonsense”, because “when there are thousands of launchers on the other side, it is impossible to hunt them down.” Israel, instead, should focus on deterrence: Every village from which they fire on Israel, we will deploy disproportional force, and cause massive damage and destruction. As far as we are concerned, these are military bases. Eizenkot emphasized that “this is not a recommendation; this is the plan and it has been approved.”[1]

Of course, the implementation of this plan has resulted in numerous civilian casualties. Once the Zionist army regards Arab villages and refugee camps as legitimate “military bases”, Zionist weapons and fire are bound to kill civilians.

Palestinian take cover as Israeli forces fire at protesters at the Gaza border on 14 December 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Few cases of the results of this policy are worth mentioning. During the aggressive war against the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009, the “… Israeli artillery fire reportedly hit near a UN school where hundreds of Gazans had sought refuge, killing an estimated 42 people. Israel said its troops were responding to fire from militants near the school…”[2] Another case happened in the same war. “…  Gazans allege Israeli soldiers ordered 110 civilians into a warehouse, then shelled it the next day, killing 30. Israel denies the army targeted the warehouse.”[3] Another case was “… the attack on the Al-Dahiyeh family home in the Gaza City neighborhood of Zeitoun, in which 21 members of the same family were killed.”[4] These cases are indicative of the existence of a systematic Zionist policy of shoot to kill and cannot be classified as mistakes in targeting or exceptions.

Moreover, an Israeli combat pilot who used to carry out raids against Gazan houses revealed this policy after he was dismissed from the Israeli air-force for refusing to continue the murderous raids. Ex-pilot Roi Maor wrote that: “Israeli policy … is not intended to maximize civilian casualties. Yet it does intentionally target civilians: it is intended to produce maximal civilian distress, while avoiding mass civilian casualties.”[5]

Due to international condemnation, the Israeli army felt pressured and responded by holding fictitious inquiries. “The inquiries were performed by five IDF colonels who were not involved in the fighting in Cast Lead, and examined reports of attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, medical personnel and facilities, United Nations facilities, and also the use of white phosphorous.”[6] The result of these inquiries were conveyed by Deputy Israeli army Chief of Staff General Dan Harel who reported “… that in the dozens of cases they examined, they found that throughout Cast Lead the IDF “adhered to international law and maintained a high level of professionalism and morality.””[7]

In response to the results of the inquiries, the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, “…called the military’s investigation flawed. B’Tselem added that it “does not answer the need for an independent inquiry outside the army that would look at the whole range of violations the army is incapable of looking at.”[8]

Despite calling the army investigations as flawed, and following the release of these inquiries, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is directly responsible for these war crimes, responded by declaring “… the army’s willingness to probe itself “once again proves that the IDF is one of the most moral armies in the world.”[9]

It is worth pointing out that the “one of the most moral armies in the world” has: committed a number of massacres in 1948-1949 in Palestine, carried out ethnic cleansing against the people of Palestine, systematically murdered thousands of Egyptian POWs in 1967, and killed innocent Palestinian civilians in all the wars and incursions that took place inside the Gaza Strip. Moreover, “One of the most moral armies in the world” uses snipers to shoot, kill and wound Palestinian civilians who demonstrate in the Gaza Strip against the suffocating Zionist military siege. Apparently, the moral measure that Barak uses is a settler colonial one based on the outright myth fabricated by an arrogant war criminal.

The systematic killing of Palestinian civilians by the Zionist army has been affirmed by Amnesty International. In its 2009 annual report, Amnesty International reported that “Israeli forces repeatedly breached the laws of war, including by carrying out direct attacks on civilians and civilian buildings and attacks targeting Palestinian militants that caused a disproportionate toll among civilians…”[10] The report stated that 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the offensive – including 300 children – and that 5,000 people were wounded.[11]

Components of White Phosphorus Shells

White Phosphorus is a shell used by armies as an obscurant weapon. It is used, to hide military operations, in training, as well as, in war conditions. White Phosphorus shells are shot by artillery as well as by air power. Once it is shot, WP shell explodes and “… spreads 116 burning wafers over an area between 125 and 250 meters in diameter, depending on the altitude of the burst…”[12]

White phosphorus munitions are weapons which use one of the common allotropes of the chemical element phosphorus. It is used in smoke, illumination and incendiary munitions, and is commonly the burning element of tracer ammunition.[13]   It is also pyrophoric (self-ignites on contact with air), burns fiercely, and can ignite cloth, fuel, ammunition, and other combustibles.

Razan al-Najjar, the 21 year old Gaza medic killed by an Israeli sniper on June 1, treating an injured man, undated photo from Palestine Live on twitter.

This weapon is not forbidden, by international law, when it is used in wars against other military personnel, however it is forbidden to be used against civilians. Despite Israeli denials, the Israeli army has used WP against Palestinian civilians living in the densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip. This fact has been confirmed by “… various international human rights organizations…” who have found “… substantial evidence of use of white phosphorus…” by the Israeli army, “…in civilian and residential areas…”[14]

According to a report by ‘Human Rights Watch’ the Israeli army, during the 2008-2009 aggressive war against the Gaza Strip,

… had deliberately or recklessly used white phosphorus munitions in violation of the laws of war. First, the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus in populated areas until the last days of the operation reveals a pattern or policy of conduct rather than incidental or accidental usage. Second, the IDF was well aware of the effects of white phosphorus and the dangers it poses to civilians. Third, the IDF failed to use safer available alternatives for smokescreens.[15]

Health Hazards of White Phosphorus

In 17 December 2009, a group of researchers from the New Weapons Research Group (NWRG) conducted a mass spectrometry analysis at the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. They “… found aluminium, titanium, strontium, barium, cobalt and mercury in biopsies taken from white phosphorus wounds  of Palestinian wounded…”[16] Moreover, “… Aluminium, barium and mercury have potential for lethal and intoxicating effects, aluminium and mercury can cause chronic pathologies over time, mercury is carcinogenic for humans, cobalt can cause mutations, and aluminium is fetotoxic i.e. injurious to fetuses…”[17]

It should be pointed out that “White phosphorus ignites on contact with oxygen and continues burning at up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (816 degrees Celsius) until none is left or the oxygen supply is cut. It is often used to produce smoke screens, but can also be used as a weapon, producing extreme burns if it makes contact with skin.” [18]

Finally, the health hazards caused by Phosphorus Shells are severe and could cause death to those affected. It  should be pointed out that “… Phosphorus burns carry an increased risk of mortality due to the absorption of phosphorus into the body through the burned area with prolonged contact, which can result in liver, heart and kidney damage, and in some cases multiple organ failure.”[19]

Consequently, white phosphorus particles continue to burn until completely consumed unless deprived of oxygen,[20] a matter that cannot be easily achieved. Only surgical removal of the affected area will put an end to the burning.

Components of GBU-39 Shells

Depleted Uranium (DU) is the radioactive waste that accumulates inside nuclear reactors. American Pentagon scientists at the military laboratories of Los Alamos discovered that when mixing DU with steal they can manufacture a shell called GBU-39 that is extremely hard and dense. According to Japanese researcher Yagasaki Katsuma, these shells are guided weapons in the form of bombs and cruise missiles designed to break through concrete hardened bunkers and other targets. They are loaded with DU penetrators, each of which weighing several tons…[21]

Moreover,

DU shells are called armor-piercing firebombs, because they not only break through a steel armor but also burn up intensely. As armor-piercing rounds, they would punch out the bulky iron plate of tanks, invade their interior, and bounce around inside killing the combat crew, destroying tank facilities and burn them out. They would hit the target with their enormous momentum and pierce a hole with their kinetic energy…[22]

In Addition to that “…the bomb can penetrate deep into the earth, into an apartment building or into a bunker, through reinforced concrete and other multiple resistant obstacles…”[23] According to information provided by a group called Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes (ACDN),

…The explosive in the GBU-39s is said to be a new formula of perchlorate (a highly carcinogenic product) with the addition of micromolecular carbon powder (in place of aluminium) and of a “booster” based on DU powder. The role of this powerful explosive is to ensure great velocity for these “metal shards” which ignite because they contain pyrophoric DU, but only after the friction of impact with their “targets” raises their temperature sufficiently.[24]

Upon impact, “… these weapons … unleash “a hellish fire” of nearly 1200°C. The occupants of a tank hit by a DU shell are not torn to bits but burnt to a cinder…”[25] This is due to the fact that “… the bomb explodes in seconds or minutes after contact with the target, whatever the nature of the target. This means that the material is sure to disappear when used. No remains will be found of a GBU-39, either intact or in fragments. Only a little black powder.”[26]

These shells contain uranium “… They explode and ignite, spreading around them a cloud of smoke comprising billions of radioactive nanoparticles which oxidize and either fall to rest nearby after contaminating the exploded rubble and earth or else mingle with the dust which the wind carries off and thus become part of the air we breathe.”[27]

Health Hazards of GBU-39 Munition 

According to a report prepared by Citizens Action to Dismantle Nuclear Weapons Completely, the quantity of Depleted Uranium dropped on the Gaza Strip during the Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009 war “… may amount to no less than 75 tons found in the soil and subsoil in the Gaza Strip…”[28] Analysis by a team of researchers showed that “… the presence of particles of the cesium, a radioactive and carcinogenic dust which includes asbestos, a carcinogenic, in addition to volatile organic compounds and fine particles that pose health risks, especially children’s health, those living with asthma and the elderly.”[29]

According to the report of the ACND, which was issued in January 2009 at the end of the war, the Gaza Strip civilians who were bombarded with the GBU-39 weapons were forced to face the following health hazards. “The extremely tiny radioactive particles pass through all types of barriers, including gas-masks. They travel on the air, contaminate the atmosphere and enter organisms via respiration, ingestion or wounds of any size.[30]  “… the greater part of the uranium remains as invisible uranium oxide in the atmosphere which the populations breathe, while another fraction contaminates the soil, the subsoil and the groundwater.”[31]

The impact of DU particles on the health situation of the Palestinian civilians has been recorded through its accumulation “… in the bone, kidney, reproductive system, brain and lung. It is carcinogenic, toxic to the kidneys, damaging to cellular DNA and causes malformations to an embryo or fetus.”[32] It should be pointed out that the “… birth defects included incomplete hearts and malformations of the brain…”[33]

Finally, it should be pointed out that the radioactive half-life[34] of the depleted uranium used in the Gaza Strip is 4.5 billion years, the age of our solar system[35], a fact that means a very long period of suffering from its health hazards by the Gazan civilian population. Radioactive particles will continue to: damage human cells, split the chromosomes, and alter the DNA. The consequences of these health hazards are cancers, leukemias, lymphomas, diabetes, sterility, and fetal malformations and these hazards are irreversible and cannot be treated inside the Gaza Strip.[36] Consequently, “… high intake of DU over a long period of time will impair or cause failure of organ functions such as kidney, liver, heart and brain leading to death.”[37] 

Cheering Israelis under the Travelling Radioactive Dust

It should be emphasized “… that atmospheric movements don’t stop at the borders of Gaza…”[38], so the radioactive carcinogenic dust particles will continue to move by air. “…By bombing Gaza with DU devices, Israel is inevitably contaminating its own food production, its own exports, its own soldiers and its own population.”[39]

More specifically, Israeli soldiers who “… are handling with no precautions all the material to be loaded (artillery shells, gear to attach the missiles under aircraft wings, transfer of missile heads into the weapons holds of tanks, loading the machine-guns on board the planes…)[40] are carrying out these military functions “… as if they were handling conventional materials.”[41]

In other words, the health hazards caused by DU munition that affect the Palestinian civilians will definitely affect both the Israeli civilians and the Israeli military personnel. Both “… will be scarred for life in their lungs, their blood or their genes, as a result of these perverse weapons? Remember: no mask can give protection against the nanoparticles of DU.”[42]

Due to complicit Zionist official media and incorrect political decisions by the Israeli Ministry of Health, these health hazards in the making are being covered up and kept hidden away from honest public scrutiny. A good proof for this is the strange social behavior of some Israeli residents of settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip, who gather during wars to “watch, clap and cheer” Israeli bombing and pounding of Gaza Strip civilians. This irresponsible and ignorant behavior was reported by numerous Western journalists among them: Charles Levinson of the Wall Street Journal, Robert Mackey of the New York Times, and Harriet Sherwood of The Guardian. [43]

British journalist Harriet Sherwood has eloquently described this strange Israeli social phenomenon in the following terms. “As the sun begins to sink over the Mediterranean, groups of Israelis gather each evening on hilltops close to the Gaza border to cheer, whoop and whistle as bombs rain down on people in a hellish warzone a few miles away.”[44]

Apparently, Zionist propaganda machine, some complicit Israeli academicians, complacent Members of Parliament and engrained racism, have combined together in creating the groups of acquiescent and dehumanized “Cheering Ignorants”.

Critical Israelis

In addition to complicit, racist, right-wing and narrow-minded Israelis that “watch, clap and cheer” Israeli bombing and pounding of Gaza Strip civilians, there are Israeli citizens who are motivated by humane and anti-racist morals. These Israelis express their critical positions whenever they can. The following are two examples, a civilian and a military.

Yonathan Shapira is a former Blackhawk pilot, who refused to serve in the colonized Palestinian territories.[45] In 2003, Yonathan Shapira, initiated a letter that was signed by 30 Israeli pilots. In this letter these pilots expressed their refusal to serve in the colonized Palestinian territories. Among other things these pilots wrote the following[46]:

We, veteran pilots and active pilots together, who served and still serve the State of Israel during long weeks each year, object to perform illegal and immoral orders of attacks that the State of Israel performs in the territories.

We, who were raised to love the State of Israel and to contribute to the Zionist enterprise, refuse to take part in the attacks of the air force in concentrations of civilian population.

We, for whom the IDF and the air force are inseparable parts of us, refuse to continue and harm innocent civilians.

In addition to those 30 pilots, a group of “… 567 reserve army officers and soldiers have declared publicly that they will no longer serve in the Palestinian territories, and hundreds of others have quietly asked their commanders for reassignment, according to military lawyers and Israeli military experts.”[47]

Another critical Israeli is the late Shulamit Aloni,  a former Meretz member of Knesset and cabinet minister. After the High Court of Justice sanctioned the use of Flachettes shells in the Gaza Strip, Shulamit Aloni wrote an article in which she openly accused the High Court of Justice of providing the army with a license to kill.

“In its decision of April 27, Israel’s highest court has essentially issued a license to kill civilians by determining that the use of flechette shells fired from tanks is not prohibited by international law. The court has thereby done its duty by the occupation army, which uses flechette rounds in densely populated areas. The High Court of Justice (?) knows that the killing of civilians is banned by international law and every other human law; that, evidently, didn’t bother the court.”[48]

Aloni added that “…In the name of the war against terror, acts of terror, acts of intolerable piracy and humiliation, are being committed…”[49]

These critical Israelis are not alone. It is hopeful that their number will continue to grow to a point where they will become influential and thus will stop the right-wing Israeli camp from using the Israeli army to commit war crimes in the name of the entire Israeli people.

Concluding Remarks

  • Zionist Israel uses forbidden weapons in the Gaza Strip in order to terrorize the civilian Palestinian population and force them to give up resistance to its colonial policies;
  • Zionist Israel uses the slogan of “fighting terrorism” as a coverup for its colonial plunder of Palestinian land and water resources;
  • US imperialism protects Israel from the Security Council that could be a tool to condemn and prevent Israeli war crimes;
  • Most Israelis are complicit and support right-wing policies but a minority are motivated by a humane, progressive and liberal orientations. They are often ready to voice their critical views whenever they can;
  • Due to lack of public scrutiny and scientific information among a great part of the Israeli public, the health hazards of DU radioactivity remain unknown to the Israeli people.

*

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Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh teaches sociology at Birzeit University in the colonized West Bank. He is a resident of Nazareth, Palestine. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester and is author of a number of books and research articles.

Notes

1. Maor, Roi, “Does Israel intentionally target civilians?”, http://972mag.com, 22-4-2011

2. Pfeffer, Anshel, “Gaza probe shows IDF among world’s most moral armies Gaza probe”, http://www.haaretz.com, 23-4-2009

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Maor, Roi, op. cit.

6. Pfeffer, Anshel, op. cit.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid. 

9. Ibid.

10. Melman, Yossi, “Amnesty: Israel repeatedly breached rules of war in Gaza”, http://www.haaretz.com, 28-5-2009

11. Ibid.

12. Human Rights Watch, “Israel: Stop Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza”, https://www.hrw.org, 10-1-2009

13. “Pyrotechnics, Explosives, & Fireworks”, http://www.faqs.org, 4-12-2005. As quoted by Wikipedia, “White phosphorus munitions”, https://en.wikipedia.org, Accessed on 5-9-2020

14. “Israel never used internationally prohibited weapons”, https://zio-myths.fandom.com. Retrieved on: 29-9-2020

15. Human Rights Watch, “White Phosphorus Use Evidence of War Crimes”, https://www.hrw.org, 25-3-2009

16. Skaik, Sobhi, Abu-Shaban, Nafiz, Abu-Shaban, Nasser, Barbieri, Mario, Barbieri, Maurizio, Giani, Umberto, Manduca, Paola, “Metals Detected by ICP/MS in Wound Tissue of War Injuries Without Fragments in Gaza”, http://www.newweapons.org, 31-7-2010; NWRC, “Gaza Strip, soil has been contaminated due to bombings: population in danger”, http://www.newweapons.org, 17-12-2009; As quoted by Lightbown, Richard, “The Devastating Consequences of Israeli Weapons Testing”, https://www.globalresearch.ca, 13-3-2011

17. Ibid.

18. Reuters, “Israel made illegal use of phosphorus shells in Gaza”, http://www.haaretz.com, 25-3-2009

19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “White Phosphorus: Health Effects”, Toxicological Profile Information Sheet , (ATSDR).http://www.atsdr.cdc.gove. Accessed on: 30-10-2020. As quoted by Wikipedia, “White phosphorus munitions”, https://en.wikipedia.org, Accessed on 5-9-2020

20. Ibid.

21. Rania, “Israel firing experimental weapons at Gaza’s civilians, say doctors”, https://electronicintifada.net, 15-7-2014

22. Global Security, “Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME)”, https://www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved at: 6-9-2020

23. Silverstein, Richard “Israel Tests New Highly Lethal, Cancer-Causing Tungsten Bomb in Gaza”, https://www.richardsilverstein.com, 10-10-2006

24. Skaik, Sobhi, op. cit.

25. Ibid.

26. Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes, “Israel did use Depleted Uranium weapons in the Gaza Strip”, http://www.acdn.net,12-2-2009

27. Brooks, James, “Warfare of the Future, Today”, Traprock Peace Center, http://www.traprockpeace.org, 12-12-2006

28. Ibid.

29. Khalek, Rania, op. cit.

30. Ibid.

31. Action of Citizens op. cit.

32. Ibid.

33. Katsuma, YAGASAKI, “Depleted Uranium Shells, The Radioactive Weapons”, https://ratical.org/radiation/DU/KYagasakiOnDU.pdf, 27-10-2020

34. Ibid.

35. Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes, op. cit.

36. Ibid.

37. Press TV, “The Alert”, http://www.presstv.ir, 4-1-2009

38. Action of Citizens, op. cit.

39. Ibid.

40. Palestine News Network, “No less than 75 tons of depleted uranium found in Gaza soil and subsoil after Israel attacks”, http://english.pnn.ps, 24-5-2009

41. Ibid.

42. Action of Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament, “In Gaza, Genocide by Depleted Uranium has begun using “GBU-39” bombs provided by the USA”, https://www.acdn.net, 6-1-2009

43. Hindin, Rita, Brugge, Doug, and Panikkar, Bindu, “Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective”, http://www.ehjournal.net, 1-4-2017. As quoted by: Lightbown, Richard, “The Devastating Consequences of Israeli Weapons Testing”, https://www.globalresearch.ca, 13-3-2011

44. Lightbown, Richard, “The Devastating Consequences of Israeli Weapons Testing”, https://www.globalresearch.ca, 13-3-2011

45. The half-life is defined as the amount of time it takes for a given isotope to lose half of its radioactivity. Connor, Nick, “What is Radioactive Half-Life – Physical Half-Life – Definition”, https://www.radiation-dosimetry.org, 14-12-2019.

46. Iraq Veterans Against the War, “Depleted Uranium”, https://www.ivaw.org. Retrieved on: 5-11-2020

47. Press TV, “The Alert”, http://www.presstv.ir, 4-1-2009

48. S. Craft et al., “Depleted and Natural Uranium: Chemistry and Toxicological Effects,” J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 7, 297 (2004). As quoted by:Adijanto, Eric, “Hazards of Depleted Uranium”, http://large.stanford.edu, 21-3-2012

49. Action of Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament, “Israel did use Depleted Uranium weapons in the Gaza Strip”, https://www.acdn.net, 12-2-2009

50. Ibid.

51. Ibid.

52. Ibid.

53. Ibid.

54. Levinson, Charles, “They Come With Binoculars and Lawn Chairs”, The Wall Street Journal, https://www.wsj.com, 8-1-2009; Mackey,Robert, “Israelis Watch Bombs Drop on Gaza From Front-Row Seats”, https://www.nytimes.com, 14-7-2014; and Sherwood,  Harriet, “Israelis gather on hillsides to watch and cheer as military drops bombs on Gaza”, https://www.theguardian.com, 20-7-2014

55. Sherwood,  Harriet, “Israelis gather on hillsides to watch and cheer as military drops bombs on Gaza”, https://www.theguardian.com, 20-7-2014

56. Shapira, Yonathan, “We Refuse to Take Part in the Occupation”, dissidentvoice.org, 24-1-2004

57. Ibid.

58. Moore, Molly, “Israeli Army Engaged in Fight Over Its Soul”, http://www.com, 18-11-2004

59. Aloni, Shulamit, “A License to Kill Civilians”, www.Occupationl Hazared.org, 4-5-2003 Aloni, Shulamit, “A License to Kill Civilians”, www.Occupationl Hazared.org, 4-5-2003

60. Ibid.

Featured image is from IMEMC

 

A Religion-Free Society?

November 19th, 2020 by Prof. Ruel F. Pepa

“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.” — George Carlin

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.” — John Lennon

“Religion is the opium of the people.” — Karl Marx

“Science not only purifies the religious impulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes to a religious spiritualization of our understanding of life.” — Albert Einstein

“All real art is, in its true sense, religious; it is a religious impulse; there is no such thing as a non-religious subject. But much bad or downright sacrilegious art depicts so-called religious subjects.” — Madeleine L’Engle

***

Is there really a need for religion(s) in the 21st century? If there is, why? Isn’t it that religions have always been with us since time immemorial and we take their existence as something normal? Without getting into a hasty generalization, isn’t it that every individual person who has a religion was actually born into it (of course, except those converts in their adult life)? In this sense, we should not be talking about the need for religion(s). Religion seems to be a spontaneous event as if it just comes naturally, i.e., without any resistance at all on the part of someone entering into it. The initiation is so unconstrained that it is even construed as a celebration.

Or having this kind of notion is just a rehearsal of a classic understanding of what religion is. In that case, such classic treatment is nothing but a romanticizing of its past glory that no longer makes sense from the perspective of modern humanity. In this connection, we could assume that there has been a rocky path in our journey through historic time where religion has encountered strong resistance like a sailboat struggling to keep afloat amidst the onslaught of giant waves in a stormy sea. Perhaps religion has been under attack from adversaries who have been sick and tired of its lofty promises that don’t match up with paramount reality. Perhaps religion has already reached its limits that it can no longer cope with the tall order of science. In other words, religion has already failed – and failed miserably – to satisfy certain inquiries emanating from the inquisitive mind of the modern person. Perhaps we should be considering right now the possibility of a religion-free society.

Thinking of a religion-free society automatically reminds me of John Lennon’s immortal “Imagine” where one stanza says: 

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too. 

Very idealistic indeed. Though I wouldn’t venture to opine at this point that such is an impossibility. Neither David Hume would, had he been around armed with his theory of causality which distinguishes constant conjunction from necessary connection. In the realm of necessary connections – the technical field of logical analysis – impossibility is reckoned only in contradictory expressions, propositions and arguments. While in the realm of constant conjunctions – the world of human experiences – anything conceivable, i.e., imaginable, in the mental space that doesn’t violate its logical configuration is possible to be or to be made to exist in reality. Within the context of this Humean theoretical platform, it is not impossible under normal circumstances to conceive in one’s mind the being of a society where there is no religion at all.

But before proceeding further in the present discussion, let it be made clear that I am using the term “religion” in its basic sociological sense as an institutional organization of faithful believers holding a set of doctrinal beliefs – virtues and values – and dogmas (or so-called “eternal principles”) as well as practising certain established rituals and observing fixed holy days (or holidays, if you will) of solemn importance, among other salient components exclusive to the organization’s systemic structure. Apparently, the meaning of religion, in this scope and limits, doesn’t include personal religion which particularly depends on the faith-experience or spiritual beliefs of an individual person which is a matter of subjective conviction. In other words, religion in the present context may not totally equate with individual spirituality. However, a deeper consideration of which could be of fundamental significance if viewed from the perspective that institutional religion basically emanates from such kind of individual subjective spirituality.

In a world beset with all types of problems big and small, simple and complex, despite the progress generated by science and technology by leaps and bounds, there are moments when we find ourselves alone even amidst a crowd gathered around us that doesn’t know, much less care, about our sufferings. We are in the company of colleagues, acquaintances, and friends but we are all alone in the unspoken pains that continue to linger in our hearts. And we look for inspiration and insight to brighten, freshen and uplift the spirit in us. In the words of the German philosophical theologian, Paul Tillich, we are set to discover the existential significance of an “ultimate reality” to make our lives worth living. This is the factor that connects and identifies with the religious impulse or the impulse of the spirit in us.

There seems to be a natural religious impulse within the mental constitution of every human being that is endowed with a consciousness capable to be aware not only of the phenomena of external realities but likewise of its own consciousness. Under normal circumstances, this urge is present in every human endeavor to make one’s life liveable. It doesn’t have to be called “religious” or something associated with the common understanding of religion. But the seminal principle of practically all established religions in the world emanated from this impulse. It could even be understood as the one single integrant of human existence that spontaneously gathers individual persons together to satisfy the inherent longing to belong and be associated with each other in achieving common goals from day to day as we share the same horizon not only in the here and now but more significantly in the future.

Self-reflectiveness spontaneously draws the human individual to a realization of both her/his outer and inner strengths and limitations in a universe whose mysteries s/he seemingly can never comprehensively fathom and ultimately master even in several lifetimes. In this situation of givenness, s/he is not alone; the entire humanity is with her/him as s/he is, in reality, a part of that humanity. And in a myriad of pockets of humanity, like-minded individuals are drawn together and find themselves amazingly sharing similar ideals, wishes and hopes from the most microcosmic to the most macrocosmic levels of existence. From this point onward lies the trajectory that leads to consolidation where similar religious impulses that now converge as a unified form of higher spirituality evolves into a formidable institutional power called religion.

Along this line of thought, this impulse of the spirit, if you will, has perennially been present in every age and generation. And as we connect it with the basic notion of religion that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with our concept of organized and institutionalized religion as we know them all around the neighborhood, it is the factor that also seeks and desires for a gathering in a community of likeminded individuals. The issue of belief and faith is out of the question at the earliest point of encounter. What really matters most importantly is the community itself–something that is lacking in a typical modern western society of thousands of beaten paths reflective of the separate ways people take as they pursue their individualistic, even egotistical, way of life.

This trend has always been present since time immemorial in successive generations of practically all social formations on planet Earth. In this connection, it seems like thinking and imagining a religion-free society is by and large just a fanciful musing of idle dreamers who’d rather choose to be left alone in their schizophrenic fantasies. So that despite the robust efforts of the so-called freethinkers of modern or post-modern category to stamp out religions from the face of the Earth, the whole commitment is an exercise in futility and the more these freethinkers unite and push their agenda further as they organize into united fronts, the more it becomes obvious that they in the process are unwittingly on the way to the formation of a new kind of religion. With this in mind, what we could imagine at this point is the emergence of a religion that may not have the trappings of the old traditional ones but still an institutional organization whose members hold a set of non-negotiable beliefs and non-compromisable principles as well as practising certain ceremonies and observances of paramount importance, among other practices exclusive to the organization’s systemic structure.

Perhaps, the most realistic thing we could dare say at this juncture of humanity’s cultural evolution is the fading away of certain religious beliefs of ancient vintage that have been overwhelmingly subdued and swept away by science into the dustbin of impracticability and irrelevance. But in the light of the principle of evolution that has continually been operating in the world, religion will simply go through the process of mutation and transmutation depending on how it satisfies the physical, mental and spiritual longings of humanity. 

In conclusion, we can say with a modicum of reasonable certainty that the need for religion(s) is commonplace in all ages and thus in the 21st century. Religion in all forms and shapes, colors and hues is here to stay. It may assume a new configuration, both internal and external, but it will always be around as a fitting manifestation of an impulse inherent in humanity whether it is theistic or atheistic, pantheistic or panentheistic. What truly matters is the instinctive inclination and urge of normal like-minded people to gather together in a sharing community. Believing in a supreme being or not is not the key point; it is the feeling of belongingness. And this we have witnessed in the invention of new religions and the reinvention of traditional ones as well. In the final analysis, a society that is free from religion will remain to be an unachievable ideal of romantics undyingly enthralled by John Lennon’s poetry.

*

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Prof. Ruel F. Pepa is a Filipino philosopher based in Madrid, Spain. A retired academic (Associate Professor IV), he taught Philosophy and Social Sciences for more than fifteen years at Trinity University of Asia, an Anglican university in the Philippines.

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Understanding The History of the Korean War (1950-1953)

November 19th, 2020 by Kim Petersen

Education is supposed to encourage critical thinking. However, if critical thinking ever were a part of the education curriculum, it usually goes out the window around Remembrance Day.

Take, for instance, Canada Remembers Times the Veterans’ Week Special Edition (5-11 November 2020). It is published by Veterans Affairs Canada and made available in BC provincial elementary schools. On page one an article caught my eye: “Going to War in Korea.”

The article relates:

The Korean War erupted 70 years ago when the North Korean troops poured across the border into South Korea on 25 June 1950…. More than 26,000 Canadians traveled halfway around the world to fight with the United Nations forces…

There is no background to the article, and there is no supporting evidence for the information given. For example, readers are not apprised that the UN Security Council was able to vote for sending troops to Korea because the USSR did not partake in order to show solidarity with the bid of the People’s Republic of China to hold the UNSC China seat (instead of the Republic of China, aka Taiwan). It seems that an essential piece of information was omitted, and that poses a question mark to the validity and morality of Canada joining UN forces in a military venture that is strikingly at odds with the UN’s expressed raison d’être of preventing the scourge of war.

In western state/corporate media the question of who started the war on the Korean peninsula is given as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. If one is curious enough to seek out what the DRPK side or independent media says, then a different answer might be forthcoming. Pyongyang states that there were several Republic of Korea troop incursions into the North preceding the DPRK invasion that began on 25 June 1950. [1],[2]

Regardless of whether the North or the South had initiated militarism on the peninsula, what is not discussed is the question of what gave the US and the UN the moral right to become involved in what was initially a civil war?

Who started the war on the Korean peninsula is relevant. But the far more important question is what caused the war? The what in this case would seem to answer the question of who.

At the end of WWII, Japan was defeated, and it would have had to end its colonization of Korea which began in 1910. Left out of many accounts is the Taft-Katsura Agreement, essentially a quid pro quo imperialism where the US left Korea to Japan and Japan left the Philippines to the US. [3]

This would all change shortly after the end of WWII.

Yo Un Hyung was a politician, well regarded in both the ROK and the DPRK, who had vigorously opposed the Japanese occupation of Korea. At the end of WWII, Yo was handed the reins of self-government in Korea by the Japanese governor general of Korea, general Abe Endo. Yo helped form People’s Committees in all Korean provinces and the Korean People’s Republic arose. On 14 September 1945, the first cabinet was formed. [4]

The US, however, feared a socialist state in Korea. The US dismantled and abolished the fledgling democratic Korean People’s Republic. Vice president Yo was forced to step down, as the United States Army Military Government in Korea consolidated its occupation of the South.

As a consequence, the division imposed by the US created a situation in which the Korean people would seek to unite the two sides of the peninsula. The unpopular US-installed government in the south rapidly fell to the northern forces who were supported by socialist sympathizers in the south and aided by desertions from the ROK forces. The peninsula, aside from a pocket in Busan, was militarily captured by northern fighters. Thus the US intervened.

Writes author Nhial Esso,

If the issue of [governance] had been left to the Korean people themselves to decide, all of Korea would have been united under the leadership of the North, long recognized by the Socialist Bloc (and at that time, much of the Korean and world populations) as the sole legitimate government on the peninsula. [5]

Korea expert Bruce Cumings argued: “it is the Americans who bear the lion’s share of the responsibility for the thirty-eighth parallel.” [6]

Countries of ethnically similar people that are split up by outside actors tend to want to rejoin. In recent history there are the examples of North and South Viet Nam as well as East and West Germany reuniting. The US had a hand in the partitioning of Viet Nam, Germany, and Korea. It is only matter of time before some form of reunification happens between the DPRK and ROK.

Thus it is prima facie evident that the US bears responsibility for instigating the war on the Korean peninsula. If the US had not forced a division of the Korean peninsula, there would not have been a burning desire to reunite what was not separated.

***

So why is Veterans Affairs Canada pushing this hawkish narrative? Is it ignorance? Is it subservience to the US? When it comes to wars and warring, what is the narrative a government (in this case the Canadian government) should be presenting in schools? Should not governments promote a narrative that peace is the path to be followed?

I do recognize that many of the people who fought in the wars, fought out of bravery and the conviction that they were fighting for a noble cause. That Remembrance Day recognizes the past sacrifice of men and women who fought for, what they believed to be, a good cause is respectful. But a more important and respectful use of such a holiday is to lay bare the fact that warring is a dirty, violent business that has no place in a moral universe. Governments that believe in the sanctity of human life must strive to prevent the scourge of war. But governments misuse Remembrance Day. Thus Remembrance Day comes packaged with patriotism, propaganda, and disinformation.

The research of professor Jacques Pauwels reveals that World War One and World War Two were fought for ignoble reasons. [7] Pauwels writes that WWI was antagonistic to the working class, hindering workers from organizing, receiving higher wages, and demanding greater democracy. The Establishment hoped that WWI would destroy revolutionary zeal, democratic aspirations, and the desire for socialism. As for WWII, Pauwels argues that the United States’ participation was again based mainly on the economic and business interests of US corporations.

If Pauwels’ etiology of WWI and WWII is correct, and I believe it is, then shouldn’t the extirpation of the elaborate propaganda and disinformation architecture that helps to foment wars be priority number one? Is the celebration of the individual acts of certain soldiers to be accorded greater attention than the millions upon millions of people killed, the cities leveled, and the resulting immiseration? Would people sacrifice their lives and take the lives of others knowing beforehand that wars are fought for corporate profiteering?

Governments must be truthful and forthright about the scourge of war, and the men and women have an ethical obligation to become deeply familiar with what war is and what the moral implications are before they take up arms. Some soldiers may well be heroes, but many are killers and war criminals. Right now a man is incarcerated in the ill-reputed Belmarsh Prison in London because he helped to expose the war crimes of Americans. Julian Assange is a genuine hero, but the governments of today, and the state/corporate media prefer that he be dropped down the Memory Hole. One day, however, it is the heroes of peace, people like Julian Assange, who will be remembered and celebrated on this day.

The physicist Albert Einstein identified how simple it is to bring an end to warring: “I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.” [8] In other words, to some extent, the people who continue to enlist and put their bodies on the line for what their government deems to be a good cause are guilty of perpetuating war. Remembrance Day and its annual propaganda trumpets battlefield heroism and desensitizes people to the bloody carnage.

To target such propaganda at young children is condemnatory.

Yet, such propaganda is presented within the school system to impressionable young minds, minds that haven’t fully developed the intellectual tools to evaluate the verisimilitude of information. [9]

Is it any wonder that Mark Twain said, “Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.”

*

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Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: [email protected]. Twitter: @kimpetersen.

Notes

  1. See Won Myong Uk and Kim Hak Chol, Distortion of US Provocation of Korean War (Pyongyang: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 2003).
  2. See Ho Jong Ho, Kang Sok Hui, and Pak Thae Ho, The US Imperialists Started the Korean War (Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1993).
  3. See Carole Cameron Shaw, The Foreign Destruction of Korean Independence (Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 2007).
  4. Lee Wha Rang, “Who was Yo Un-hyung? (Part 2),” Association for Asian Research, 1 March 2004.
  5. Nhial Esso, What You Don’t Know about North Korea Could Fill a Book (Intransitive Publishers International, 2013): 21%.
  6. Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2005): 186.
  7. See Jacques R. Pauwels, The Great Class War 1914-1918 (Lorimer, 2016) and The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War, Lorimer, second edition, 2015).
  8. Einstein from an interview with George Sylvester Viereck, January 1931.
  9. The child development psychologist Jean Piaget considered higher level reasoning occurs during the formal operational stage of development, at approximately age twelve, although not everyone achieves this stage of cognitive development. The psychologist Lev Vygotsky promoted guided discovery in the classroom for problems beyond a child’s level of understanding.

Featured image is from Flickr

As the US changes leadership, new opportunities for re-alignment may open up for the Middle East and the wider region.  To understand more fully the implications presented in conflicts ranging from the US-Iran tension, the Syrian war, and the role of Turkey and Israel in the destabilization of the region, Steven Sahiounie of MidEastDiscourse, reached out to Polina Aniftou, analyst of the Iranian foreign policy, in a wide-ranging interview.

***

Steven Sahiounie (SS):  Once President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20th, will there likely be found a solution to ease the tension between Iran and Washington, in your view?

Polina Aniftou (PA):  We have to be honest and accept that the tensions have a unilateral character from the US side, and the way the US, on behalf of Israel, try to involve Iran into a conflict, or a war, in the region, is not strategically wise. The US tried with the assassination of Major Soleimani, explosions in Tehran, sanctions, the explosion in Beirut, and the war in Armenia to involve Iran into a regional conflict that would be expanded into war and to attack Iranian militias and army forces outside Iran. The US treats Iran as they treat Egypt, Jordan, Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf, as states under colonization, and second-class citizens of the Middle East. The difference with Iran is that Iran has a long past and history of not asking for help and not accepting being treated as a weak state, and Iran has no interest to look to the West at this moment. Iran has influence in a region from Beirut to Kabul and the country is safe and secure. Economically, Iran has is self-sufficient with products and raw materials to survive with a good living standard for decades, and the US is aware of this. Given these facts, Biden will try to approach Iran for his benefit, to understand the objectives and the goals of Iran in order not to be humiliated in his foreign policy, unlike Trump. I strongly believe that Biden will start eliminating sanctions only when he realizes the weak position of Israel and Israel’s negative demographics and inefficiency which prevent it’s being a key-actor in the region. I would say that in the next 2-3 years we will see many changes and Iran will be liberated by the imposed sanctions, mainly due to the reaction of China after signing the 25-year agreement with Iran last summer, and China needs a strong Iran to secure the Silk Road from Beirut to Kashmir through its allies and Shia populations that are loyal to Imam Khamenei.

SS:  President Donald Trump broke with the nuclear deal that former President Obama had signed.  Do you see the former deal being renewed under the future Biden administration, or will Iran have some new conditions?

PA:  In a few months’ elections are coming to Iran and the new setup will be much closer to the army, Ayatollah’s opinion, and path of understanding. After the assassination of Soleimani, Ayatollah repeated a very important admonition to not trust the US, and he made relevant statements during the US elections recently. Iran has a philosophy in its foreign policy that if the enemy is threatening Iran, the enemy needs to take the steps to attack or to conquer Iran. Historically, this has never occurred, even Alexander the Great did not manage a foothold in Iran. Thus, as the US left the agreement from the Iranian side, the US dishonored themselves and cannot be trusted. The US did not pay the penalty to Iran for the unilateral withdrawal from the Nuclear Agreement. Iran has claims but will sit on the same table to listen and be present before the eyes of the international community, and not to be accused. Iran will never sit on the table if Biden is threatening, mistreating, and assaulting Iran and its political and diplomatic honesty. I doubt that the Nuclear Agreement will be fully executed or motivated by any of the parties, but Biden will eliminate sanctions, due to pressure by Russia and China, and will start monitoring the region by closely observing Israel, which has caused discrepancies and incompatibility with the US foreign policy.

SS:  In your view, if the relationship between Tehran and Washington were to be improved, could the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran be eased?

PA:  The tensions between Iran and Riyadh may have been initiated by the US, but behind this diplomatic distance there is a deep ideological and theological gap that I fear cannot be bridged. The monarchies in the region worried about their future after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The values of the Islamic Revolution are against monarchy, oppression, and promote self-sufficiency, independence, and Muslim unity (Ummah). The way the Saudis face Shiism, the solitude of Shiism, the reactions against Prophet Succession, and the leadership that Iran claims for the creation of Ummah put Saudis in a difficult position as they are afraid of the systemic existence of their monarchies.  The fact that even today it takes at least 15 years for an Iranian, after the application to be granted a visa, to visit Mecca indicates the hostility of Saudis to Iran. The violence, the lack of respect for others, and human dignity in Saudi Arabia and the laws of Saudi Arabia, affect the relations between the two countries more than any involvement of a third power. How is possible, when in Iran there are so many Sayyed, that receive legitimacy and origin from the 12 Imams, that 11 of them were killed by the forefathers of the Saudis and the Caliphs, for Iranians to feel secure with Saudis? Though for Iranians it is not important, certainly it is essential for Saudis, that they have tortured the daughter of the Prophet for the leadership of Caliphs, from where the monarchies are founded.

SS:  The US sees the Israeli occupation as their main ally in the Middle East region. In your view, could the US keep ties with the Israeli occupation while establishing a relationship with Iran?

PA:  Iran is missing from the puzzle of the US and they cannot accept that they lost Iran. When the Islamic Revolution was at the door of the Shah, the US was afraid of a communist ‘red revolution’. The Shah did not believe that the clergies would support Imam Khomeini, and only Mossad and Israel understood that the Islamic Revolution was coming. This is important because in the 60s and 70s during the Arab-Israeli war, the US prepared the Periphery Doctrine, along with the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion. The objectives of the Doctrine was for Israel to be supported by two non-Arab, but Muslim countries, Turkey and Iran. It was during the time of making Iran a westernized society in the scheme of Turkey succeeded by Ataturk. Ataturk demolished all the links and ties of the Ottoman Empire with Islam and its eastern lands and introduced Turkey to the west, to westernize Turkey and control it via western legislators and education. It is similar to what Reza Shah tried to do by issuing a decree known as Kashf-e hijab banning all Islamic veils in 1935, which led to the massacre at the Goharshad Mosque in Mashhad in August 1935, and the White Revolution of 1963 by his son M. Reza, and introducing land reforms, education changes, and westernizing society. The Islamic Revolution stopped the Periphery Doctrine, something that the US cannot forgive Iran for, as this forced the US to be focused on the protection of Israel in the region and to invest in infrastructure and support of Turkey to become a regional power, as a Muslim country with imperial ambitions to protect Israel under the instructions of the US. I am sure that a government led by Mr. Rouhani could skip this detail between Israel and the US, but a new government that will be supported by Quds (Jerusalem) forces, cannot forget its invisible mission to end its task by liberating Quds.  The US will keep their ties with Israel, as Israel is a small, weak country, made by the US to keep Jews away from the west and for intervening in the region, thus Iran will discuss with the US to solve sanction issues, but not for accepting Israel and its ties with the US.

SS:  Iran has supported the fight against terrorism in Syria. Do you see Iran including the end to the war in Syria as part of their negotiations which may begin with the future Biden administration?

PA:  Iran never negotiates its positions in one table. Iran puts its demands in different baskets moving according to the reactions. The war in Syria will end as soon as Biden realizes that Israel will have implications and costs through this war, and the only way for that to happen is by enhancing the power of President Assad and by keeping Lebanon stable. Hezbollah will play a dramatic role in that and would need to take the initiation to empower Mr. Assad. But, the war in Syria will need to end to avoid re-mapping the region after the bad agreement in Armenia that got Turkey and Israel into the Caucasus, threatening the stability and peace. The end of the war in Syria will come as part of the agreement between Iran and China and will be imposed on the US, by annulling the plans of Ankara and Tel Aviv, that since the 60s have worked officially together with common grounds and targets in the regional policy. Iran will demand not only the end of the war, and the disarmament of terrorists, but also the terrorists to be convicted and to eave west Asia.

*

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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The “Dominion” of Election Fraud?

November 19th, 2020 by Brett Redmayne-Titley

“The maintenance of Americans’ constitutional rights should not depend on the good graces and sketchy ethics of a handful of well-connected corporations… who have stonewalled Congress, lied to Congress, and have questionable judgment when it comes to security…” -Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore)

Barely two weeks ago allegations that the 2020 US Presidential election had been rigged on behalf of DNC presidential spawn Joe Biden were met with almost universal scepticism. This past week may have changed that.

In the article of Monday, Nov 9 the author examined the problems with the mail-in ballot totals in the five key swing states and the legal and legislative challenges to them including re-counts and the SCOTUS intervention of the PA Supreme Court.

The subject of alleged DNC election fraud has now shifted to an examination of the machines that count each ballot and render the results. The voter is supposed to believe that Joe Biden defeated Trump and at the same time lost seats in the US House and state legislatures. This is possible but highly improbable.

Today, Nov 17, in preparation for a multi-state legal challenge to results created by these voting machines, lead Trump attorney and former Assistant US Attorney Sidney Powell, said:

“They need to investigate the likelihood that 3% of the vote total was changed in the pre-election voting ballots that were collected digitally by using the Hammer program and the software program called Scorecard. That would have amounted to a massive change in the vote.”

Here, begins that examination. As shown, there is reason for concern.

Numbers don’t lie. Mounting evidence to date suggests that voting machines do, particularly the ones sold by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. As the third part of this chronology begins it has now become obvious that Trump’s campaign operatives expected election fraud. They have since very quickly brought legal challenges to bear in AZ, GA, MI, PA, WI, and NV. However, most of this news first circled around only the mail-in ballots.

From Trump’s perspective, as of this writing, 87,804 (WI-20,540; GA-14,045; PA- 53,219) are needed to flip the election. MI is the toughest and shows Biden up by a reported 146,123 votes.

Interestingly, regarding the numbers in each state- and AZ- the Dominion voting machine’s results are in dispute in all. Whereas, the proceedings regarding the mail-in ballots may provide a switch of perhaps thousands of votes, issues with the Dominion machines, if proven, could be in the 100’s of Thousands. Or More.

This past week, evidence is surfacing.

Before 2020: Warning Signs

Days before the 2020 election important news was buried. On September 30 a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer detailed that “a laptop and several memory sticks”used to program Dominion voting machines in Philadelphia had mysteriously vanished.

But concerns about Dominion had begun far earlier.

The U.S. Constitution leaves election management up to state and local officials, so voting systems and protocols vary across thousands of jurisdictions. Partly for this reason, a 2019 investigation was launched by senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and other Democratic lawmakers into the three largest suppliers of US digital voting machines, Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic. Together they hold over 92% of all US distribution of voting machines.

In review, the Senate committee wrote to all three firms saying in part,

“(W)e have concerns about the spread and effect of private equity investment… including the election technology industry—an integral part of our nation’s democratic process These problems threaten the integrity of our elections and demonstrate the importance of election systems that are strong, durable, and not vulnerable to attack.”

The Committee revealed that the Dominion machines were vulnerable to internal and internet hacking. Because all these machines interface their ballot totals via wireless digital modem external interference is all too possible. Further concerns were provided by NBC news in very early 2020.

In the State of Texas, well before the 2020 election Dominion Voting Systems and their proprietary “Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5” was rejected three times. From the summary:

“The reports identified multiple hardware and software issues that preclude the Office of the Texas Secretary of State from determining that the Democracy Suite 5.5-A system satisfies each of the voting-system requirements…Specifically, [if] the system is suitable for its intended purpose; operates efficiently and accurately; and is safe from fraudulent or unauthorized manipulation.”

A 2019 report by the Brennan Center for Justice highlighted a lack of vendor oversight, raising this Congressional concern about voting machines in general, according to The Associated Press

Previously, Federal regulation attempts on voting machines in 2018 were fruitless since this was opposed by some state election officials and the White House on the grounds that it would impose on states’ rights.

A prudent measure that had some bipartisan support (S. 2593 in the 115th Congress) ended up going nowhere. Introduced by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) this bill would have required voting machines to produce a printout to let election officials confirm electronic votes. Lankford and Wyden had said that they intended to reintroduce paper-trail bills. They did not.

The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative published a report that explored their attempts to look into Dominion and other voting companies:

“Part of the challenge…is that it is difficult to compile even basic facts about it. The industry earns an estimated $300 million in revenue annually…is dominated by three firms…[and is] limiting the amount of information available in the public domain about their operations and financial performance.”

Nonetheless, Republicans and Democrats agreed in a 2018 omnibus bill (Public Law 115-141) to divide among the states $380 million for voting system upgrades. Georgia’s legislature also approved a plan to spend as much as $150 million on equipment that cybersecurity researchers say is still hackable. Most of that equipment was supplied by Dominion.

According to Business Insider, Georgia “became the only state in the country last year to overhaul its entire election system, paying Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems $106 million for new voting machines, printers and scanners.”

The NY Times reported that some Democrats in the Georgia Legislature opposed purchasing the Dominion system and there is “some evidence that heavy lobbying and sales tactics have played a role in their adoption in Georgia and elsewhere.”

In hotly contested Georgia, during 2019’s test run a now-deleted Atlanta Journal Constitution article detailed “a glitch” that surfaced when six counties tested the Dominion system. The problem occurred in at least four of the six counties where the new voting system was being tested before being used statewide during the March 24 presidential primary. The problems weren’t rectified by primary date, which was moved to June due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the New York Times:

“Georgia’s statewide primary elections on Tuesday were overwhelmed by a full-scale meltdown of new voting systems… Scores of new state-ordered voting machines were reported to be missing or malfunctioning, and hours-long lines materialized at polling places across Georgia. Some people gave up and left before casting a ballot… Predominantly black areas experienced some of the worst problems.

Who is Dominion?

Dominion Voting Systems is a company from Toronto, Canada, that has headquarters in Denver, Colorado, and is one of the three major firms providing voting machines in U.S. elections. The others are Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic with ES&C in the top spot and Dominion at number two.

A 2014 form filed with the State of California says Dominion was founded in 2003 in Canada and in 2009 moved to the U.S. Its principal officers were listed as John Poulos, CEO; Ian MacVicar, CFO; and James Hoover, vice president of product line management. Dominion Voting Systems, claims to work with 1300 voting jurisdictions including nine of the 20 largest counties in the nation.

Dominion produced the software used in MI , GA and all the remaining states in question.

Like many corporations, Dominion purchased influence in congress. Bloomberg reported in April of last year that Dominion hired lobbying firm, Brownstein Farber Hyatt & Schreck. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi’s former chief of staff, Nadeam Elshami, is one of the lobbyists for that firm.

At the state level, Dominion employs eight registered lobbyists in GA alone. They include Lewis Abit Massey, a former Democratic Georgia Secretary of State, and Jared Thomas, former chief of staff for Republican Governor Brian Kemp.

ES&S also has its own lobbying effort recently adding Peck Madigan Jones to the lobbying firm Vectre Corp. ES&S paid Vectre $80,000 during the last three months of 2018 alone. According to the Washington Post, Dominion also reported donating in between $25,001-$50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Why the Clinton Foundation?

Locations of US voting machines: Dominion is shown in Orange; ES&S in Blue. (Source: Penn Warton)

Locations of US voting machines: Dominion is shown in Orange; ES&S in Blue. (Source: Penn Warton)

The news site, Truthout, reported that Dominion “was recently acquired by New York-based hedge fund Staple Street Capital.” An executive board member of Staple Street Capital, William Earl Kennard, is a former ambassador to the EU who was appointed to that position by Barack Obama. In 2018, Dominion publicly announced it had been acquired by its management team and Staple Street Capital.

Interestingly, on November 6, Deadline reported that Kennard was named to the board of WarnerMedia parent company to AT&T, which owns CNN.

Long ago, Dominion earned $44 million in 2012. It listed its addresses for manufacturing and development as Toronto; Belgrade, Serbia; Denver; Plano, Texas; and Baldwin Park, California. A 2020 filing lists their registered agent as Cogency Global in Florida. Its directors were listed as Hootan Yaghoobzadeh of Staple Street Capital, Stephen Owens, also of Staple Street, and Benjamin Humphreys. Yaghoobzadeh and Owens both have past ties to the Carlyle Group investment firm. In 2015, Carlyle was the world’s largest private equity firm.

“Glitches.”

Beyond the reports of problems with the mail-in ballots, in the aftermath of the election two weeks ago, the independent reports of voting machine irregularities have in combination developed serious concerns about Dominion and their software that they feature as “Democracy Suite 5.5.” All of these problems favored Biden, never Trump.

First, on Tuesday, in the wee hours of the morning Dominion machines erroneously gave Democratic candidate Joe Biden a 3,000 plus vote advantage in Antrim County, MI. After a manual recount of the votes, officials posted updated results showing President Trump won the county with 9,783 votes making up 56.46% of ballots cast. Joe Biden earned 7,289 votes or 42.07%. CNN “went blue” for Biden before the error was discovered.

With the machine results being utterly mathematically disconnected to the hand-count tally Antrim County officials have blamed the county’s election software saying totals counted did not match tabulator tapes.

In Oakland County, Michigan, according to the Royal Oak Tribune another glitch in a completely different ballot counting system, Hart Intercivic, switched over 1,200 Republican votes to Democrat. The switch initially caused County Commissioner Adam Kochenderfer to lose. Once the glitch was found, and the votes were properly attributed, Kochenderfer went from losing by 100 votes to winning by over 1,100. Hart uses its proprietary system called Verity. Eleven Michigan counties use Hart’s systems

Back in GA, voters were unable to cast machine ballots for a couple of hours in Morgan and Spalding counties after the electronic devices crashed, state officials said. In response to the delays, Superior Court Judge W. Fletcher Sams extended voting until 11 p.m.

The companies “uploaded something last night, which is not normal, and it caused a glitch,” said Marcia Ridley, elections supervisor at Spalding County Board of Elections. Ridley said that a representative from Dominion called her after poll workers began having problems with the equipment Tuesday morning and said the problem was due to an upload to the machines by one of their technicians overnight. Said Ridley,

“That is something that they don’t ever do. I’ve never seen them update anything the day before the election.”

There is a reason for Ridley’s observation. By GA law the machines are supposed to be certified for accurate use by the state before the election day. How was this possible with Dominion uploading data unknown during that night?

This matter may be far from over in GA. Trump has already filed for an injunction, per state statute, which cites, “These vote tabulator failures are a mechanical malfunction that, under MCL 168.831-168.839, requires a “special election” in the precincts affected.” The keyword here is precincts. Plural.

In Oakland County Michigan, Dominion machine errors resulted in a Democrat being wrongly declared the winner of a commissioner’s race by 104 votes – only to have their seat flip back to the rightful Republican candidate after the error was caught.

More importantly, Wisconsin reports came in that showed that the vote totals for Rock County appeared to be switched between President Trump and Joe Biden. 9,516 votes were eliminated from President Trump and moved to Joe Biden. If this one report is proved true, then the 19,032-vote shift would nearly wipe-out, of its own, Biden’s reported 20,540 vote lead in Wisconsin and his electoral votes.

Pennsylvania and its twenty electoral votes are also hotly in contention. Dominion machines are being used in Armstrong, Carbon, Clarion, Crawford, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Fulton, Luzerne, Montgomery, Pike, Warren, York counties.

State Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York, says she started getting calls shortly after the polls opened Tuesday morning that the machines were jamming and causing delays.

Phillips also highlighted another problem. “If that ballot is rejected, for example, if they over-voted for county commissioner, and that ballot is rejected, then that person has no way of knowing that their vote has been invalidated. That’s not acceptable,”she said.

Due to Dominion machine delays, PA election officials admitted that if ballots could not be immediately scanned by the machines, those ballots were instead stored so they could be counted later in “emergency holding boxes will be scanned at the polling places.”

Those “stored” ballots were not always scanned. The Pennsylvania GOP had to bring a lawsuit to ensure that all York County ballots were counted. These had been placed in suitcases quickly purchased by Dominion and none were scanned.

AZ is also reporting problems. Boasts Dominion’s website: “Arizona: “Serving 2.2 million Maricopa County voters with Democracy Suite 5.5…”

Yep. Maricopa County. The contested county where this week, Arizona GOP Chair Rae Chorenky was been forced to resign after failing to sign the required Certificate of Accuracy for the Dominion voting machines.

Concerns Mount.

The key difficulty in examining potential election fraud by Dominion and possibly their counterparts is in going beyond isolated incidents and establishing a systemic fraud. One safety mechanism Dominion and other providers tout is that while voters might make their choices on a touchscreen machine, a paper ballot with a bar code is printed out where the voter can confirm their choices before inputting the paper ballot into a machine. Here’s the problem, according to a US News story:

“[The machines] register votes in bar codes that the human eye cannot decipher. That’s a problem, researchers say: Voters could end up with printouts that accurately spell out the names of the candidates they picked, but, because of a hack, the bar codes do not reflect those choices. Because the bar codes are what’s tabulated, voters would never know that their ballots benefited another candidate.”

These bar codes are vitally important to the subject of election fraud. They are also of great interest to Ray Lutz of California based Citizen’s Oversight.

For those unfamiliar with Lutz and Citizen’s, his organization has garnered great respect across the state for, among other examples, championing the successful closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) and next the exposure of demonstrative election fraud in the 2016 California primary that tipped the scales for Hillary Clinton rather than Bernie Sanders. Lutz is no stranger to using the courts effectively for the public good.

To this end, Lutz just a month before the election announced the launch of Citizen’s new ballot checking software called AuditEngine. In reply to an inquiry for data, Lutz said,

“We are still gathering information at this time. We may have a lawsuit in NC to get poll tapes data. Also, we will be seriously looking at PA.”

In a press release this week Lutz forewarned:

“Ballot images can thwart changes to paper ballots, magically losing or finding new ballots in the recount. Citizens’ Oversight… today sent a request to keep the images… By preserving the ballot images, we can make sure the paper ballots recounted in Georgia match ballot images that were made on election night, and are not modified by any unscrupulous campaign operatives.”

As Citizen’s takes a closer look at GA and possibly PA while others examine the swing states, the likely hood of this showing a massive shift towards Trump in every state is a difficult proposition. However, in the era of the citizen investigator, the work of one anonymous source is picking up traction, so much so that many alternative media sources are quoting it, as is the Trump campaign.

The methodology of this investigation is thorough but needs corroboration by experts. However, the person releasing this analysis obtained the same data as was captured by the New York Times on election night from Edison Research. It is the same data that was used for election coverage by ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News. The report provides a careful and plausible methodology and a state-by-state list of votes switched from Trump to Biden and of votes simply erased by Dominion machines. His results show discrepancies- some very large- in every state and particularly in GA and PA where, if proven, those states would flip for Trump.

Following the Dots Down the Rabbit Hole?

For the reader who cares to look beyond “Plausible Deniability” and connect the dots of possibility, days before the election of Nov 3 Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) cast his own suspicions that were in keeping with the charges levelled today by Sidney Powell.

McInerney stated he was warned in 2018 by Admiral James Aloysius “Ace” Lyons Jr., just before his death, that a plot to fix the 2020 election was in the works. Lyons served as Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet from 1985 to 1987. He also wrote a column about Seth Rich being the one who leaked the 2016 DNC email tranche that blew HRC out of the water and which The Washington Times deleted.

McInerney, although previously discredited for his backing of the 2002 Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” claims, thus described the two US/ CIA covert operations called “Hammer” and “Scorecard.” Both were designed for the CIA in the aftermath of 9/11.

The author has verified the existence of both programs.

The Hammer” is a counter-intelligence surveillance program used to spy on activities carried out through protected networks (like voting machines) without detection. “Scorecard” is a vote-manipulation application that changes votes during data transfer.

Adding credence to the allegations of both men is a previous report by Alan Jones and Mary Fanning of the American Report that was published on March 17, 2017. The claims in that report mirror those of Lyons and McInerney and refer to the information provided by the man who designed both Hammer and Scorecard, Dennis Montgomery, who has turned whistleblower.

Montgomery states that Hammer and Scorecard were designed by him under the supervision of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper and then CIA director John Brennan. In a subsequent article, The American Report connects the dots from Brennan and Clapper to Christopher Krebs, currently the head of the DHS’s Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA). It should be noticed that it is Krebs who has in recent days been the DHS point man for denying any and all allegations of election fraud as an MSM spokesperson on the matter.

[Breaking News: Moments ago, Trump fired Christopher Krebs effective immediately]

John Brennan, James Clapper and Krebs are all DNC disciples and have been vociferous in their public disdain for Trump over the past four years. With this and the week’s aforementioned national news in mind, next came the news yesterday, that Sidney Powell considered the reports about Hammer and Scorecard credible, saying on Fox News, that,

“… it explains a lot of what we’re seeing… All of those districts need to be checked for the software glitch that would change the vote for Michigan dramatically. The same thing is happening in other states. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of ballots appear for solely Mr Biden which is statistically impossible as a matter of mathematics. It can all be documented it is being put in files that we will file in federal court.”

As if this all were not enough to create bi-partisan concern for the 2020 election, just moments ago it was revealed that a memory card was found during the audit in Fayette county GA with 2,755 votes, most of them for Trump. The news comes one day after 2,600 uncounted ballots were found on another memory card in Floyd County, GA – which were also mostly cast for President Trump.

The new margin total statewide in GA is now a 12,929 lead for Biden.

Observers might notice that there does not appear to be any sense of panic by the Trump campaign, nor their lawyers and that all have so far moved methodically via the courts and in announcing the steady stream of reported violations.

Certainly, Trump has lost in some court proceedings so far, but the big cases, such as the SCOTUS intervention with the rulings of the lower PA Supreme Court are still in play as are the states final vote certification, the results of which preclude further legal action.

[Breaking News: Officials in Wayne County, Michigan – home to the city of Detroit, have refused to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election.]

As suggested in the first article in this series, “Trump’s (64Day) Election End Game” Trump continues to play the long game at least until the Jan 6 meeting of the Electoral College in Wash. DC. Since the time of that article, the subject of the Electoral College has been examined across the nation’s news media and transformed from skepticism to probability.

What should become most important, if these many allegations come together as substantial truth, is that the issue of 2020 Election fraud must become a bi-partisan issue and quickly.

As was suggested in the previous article, “Of Color Revolutions, Foreign… and Domestic,” the advent of America’s own color revolution may be at hand and become the most significant threat to America since the civil war. To view this only as an indictment of one party allows those loyal to that party to ignore consideration of facts. This will only split the country further.

To prevent a US color revolution, the one the Dems are already calling, “Purple,” there must be a bi-partisan investigation by both sides of the aisle that transcends party loyalty to that of the priority of saving the country. Not Joe Biden. Not Donald Trump. Criminal charges and indictments must be brought against one and all proved to be involved in the attempt to circumvent the American election process.

That indictment: Treason.

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Brett Redmayne-Titley has authored and published over 180 in-depth articles over the past twelve years. Many have been translated and republished worldwide. He can be reached at: live-on-scene ((at)) gmx.com. Prior articles can be viewed at his archive: www.watchingromeburn.uk

Finally, a priest gives a sermon against the devilish new normal: Father Anthony Hannon is a Latin Rite Catholic priest incardinated with the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada. In a comment, after his A Great Spiritual Reset video, he writes:

“Wearing a mask under the pretense that it protects ourselves or others is a lie. It doesn’t do any of that. In fact it will more likely do physical harm to a mask wearer and possible psychological harm to some, especially children and those who have been abused.

“Some people say that wearing a face covering is a sign of love, if for no other reason than to calm the anxiety who are afraid of the virus that has a 99.7% recovery rate. Sorry, but you cannot separate truth and charity. Not real charity. Real, genuine love has nothing to do with lies.”

He goes on to encourage people not only to pray, but to act:

“The lock downs, forced quarantines, the closing of schools and businesses, and the destruction of the economy have caused more suffering and deaths than the 2019-2020 cold or flu, which is all that Covid 19 is, or ever was. The government measures are crimes against humanity.

“Everybody is being bullied and the fear is paralyzing individuals. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the way to stop a bully is to stop acquiescing to the bully’s demands. Nobody is forcing anybody to wear a mask and stop seeing family and friends. We are doing it to ourselves, and we need to muster up the self respect and the courage to stand up to the bully.”

You can hear more of his brave words in his It’s Time to Get Honest video.

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John C. A. Manley has spent over a decade ghostwriting for medical doctors, naturopaths and chiropractors. He currently writes the COVID-19(84) Red Pill Daily Briefs — an email based newsletter that questions and exposes the contradictions in the COVID-19 narrative and control measures. He is also writing a novel,  Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. You can visit his website at MuchAdoAboutCorona.ca. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from howstuffworks

The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and the IMF

November 19th, 2020 by Peter Koenig

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) work hand in glove – smoothly. Not only are they regularly lending huge sums of money to horror regimes around the world, but they blackmail poor nations into accepting draconian conditions imposed by the west. In other words, the WB and the IMF are guilty of the most atrocious human rights abuses.

You couldn’t tell, when you read above the entrance of the World Bank the noble phrase, “Our Dream is World Free of Poverty”. To this hypocrisy I can only add, ”…And we make sure it will just remain a dream.” This says both, the lie and the criminal nature of the two International Financial Institutions, created under the Charter of the United Nations, but instigated by the United States.

The front of these institutions is brilliant. What meets the eye are investments in social infrastructure, in schools, health systems, basic needs like drinking water, sanitation – even environmental protection – over all “Poverty Alleviation”, i.e. A World Free of Poverty. But how fake this is today and was already in the 1970’s and 1980’s is astounding. Gradually people are opening their eyes to an abject reality, of exploitation and coercion and outright blackmail. And that, under the auspices of the United Nations. What does it tell you about the UN system? In what hands are the UN? – The world organization was created in San Francisco, California, on 24 October 1945, just after WWII, by 51 nations, committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UN replaced the League of Nations which was part of the Peace Agreement after WWI, the Treaty of Versailles. It became effective on 10 January 1920, was headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, with the purpose of disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries, through negotiation diplomacy and improving global welfare. In hindsight it is easy to see that the entire UN system was set up as a hypocritical farce, making people believe that their mighty leaders only wanted peace. These mighty leaders were all westerners; the same that less than 20 years after the creation of the noble League of Nations, started World War II.

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This little introduction provides the context for what was eventually to become the UN-backed outgrowth for global theft, for impoverishing nations, around the world, for exploitation of people, for human rights abuses and for shoveling huge amounts of assets from the bottom, from the people, to the oligarchy, the ever-smaller corporate elite – the so-called Bretton Woods Institutions.

In July 1944 more than 700 delegates of 44 Allied Nations (allied with the winners of WWII, including the Soviet Union) met at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after WWII. Let’s be sure, this conference was carried out under the auspices of the United States, the self-declared winner of WWII, and from now on forward the master over the financial order of the world – which was not immediately visible, an agenda hidden in plain sight.

The IMF was officially created to ‘regulate’ the western, so-called convertible currencies, those that subscribed to apply the rules of the new gold standard, i.e. US$ 35 / Troy Ounce (about 31.1 grams). Note that the gold standard, although applicable equally to 44 allied nations was linked to the price of gold nominated in US dollars, not based on a basket of the value of the 44 national currencies. This already was enough reason to question the future system. And how it will play out. But nobody questioned the arrangement. Hard to believe though that of all these national economists, none dared question the treacherous nature of the gold-standard set-up.

The World Bank, or the Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), was officially set up to administer the Marshall Plan for the Reconstruction of war-destroyed Europe. The Marshall Plan was a donation by the United Stated and was named for U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, who proposed it in 1947. The plan gave $13.2 billion in foreign aid to European countries that had been devastated physically and economically by World War II. It was to be implemented from 1948 to 1952 which of course was much too short a time, and stretched into the early 1960s. In today’s terms the Marshall plan would be worth about 10 times more, or some US$ 135 billion.

The Marshall Plan was and still is a Revolving Fund, paid back by the countries in question, so that it could be relent. The Marshall Plan money was lent out multiple times and was therefore very effective. The European counterpart to the World Bank-administered Marshall Fund was a newly to be created bank set up under the German Ministry of Finance, The German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW – German acronym for “Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau”).

KfW, as the World Bank’s European counterpart still exists and dedicates itself mostly to development projects in the Global South, now primarily with fuds from the German Government and borrowed from the German and European capital markets. KfW often cooperates on joint projects with the World Bank. Today there is still a special Department within KfW that deals exclusively with Marshall Plan Fund money. These still revolving funds are used for lending to poor southern regions in Europe, and also to prop up Eastern European economies, and they were used especially to integrate former East-Germany into today’s “Grand Germany”.

Two elements of the Marshall Plan are particularly striking and noteworthy. First, the reconstruction plan created a bind, a dependence between the US and Europe, the very Europe that was largely destroyed by the western allied forces, while basically WWII was largely won by the Soviet Union, the huge sacrifices of the USSR – with an estimated 25 to 30 million deaths. So, the Marshall Plan was also designed as a shield against communist Russia, i.e. the USSR.

While officially the Soviet Union was an ally of the western powers, US, UK, and France, in reality the communist USSR was an arch-enemy of the west, especially the United States. With the Marshall Plan money, the US bought Europe’s alliance, a dependence that has not ended to this day – and has, and still is preventing Europe of establishing normal relations with Russia, even though the Soviet Union has disappeared three decades ago. The ensuing Cold War after WWII against the USSR – also all based on flagrant lies, was direct testimony for another western propaganda farce – which to this day, most Europeans haven’t grasped yet.

Second, the US imposition of a US-dollar based reconstruction fund, was not only creating a European dollar dependence, but was also laying the ground work for a singular currency, eventually to invade Europe – what we know today, has become the Euro. The Euro is nothing but the foster child of the dollar, as it was created under the same image as the US-dollar – it is a fiat currency, backed by nothing. The United Europe, or now called the European Union – was never really a union. It was never a European idea, but put forward by US Secret Services in disguise of a few treacherous European honchos. And every attempt to create a United Europe, a European Federation, with a European Constitution, similar to the United States, was bitterly sabotaged by the US, mostly through the US mole in the EU, namely the UK.

The US didn’t want a strong Europe, both economically and possibly over time also militarily (pop. EU 450 million, vs US pop. 330 million; 2019 EU GDP US$ 20.3 trillion equivalent, vs US GDP US$ 21.4 trillion. Most economists would agree that a common currency for a loose group of countries has no future, is not sustainable. There is no common Constitution, thus no common objective, financially, economically and militarily. A common currency is not sustainable in the long run under these unstable circumstances. This is more than visible only 20 years into the Euro. The eurozone is a desperate mess. In comes the European Central Bank (ECB), also a creation inspired by the FED and the US Treasury. The ECB has really no Central Bank function. It is rather a watch dog. Because each EU member country has still her own Central Bank, though with a drastically reduced sovereignty which the eurozone countries conceded to the ECB, without receiving any equivalent rights.

Out of the currently 27 EU members, only 19 are part of the Euro-zone. Those countries not part of the Eurozone, i.e. Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden – and more, have preserved their sovereign financial policy and do not depend on the ECB. This means, had Greece opted out of the Eurozone when they were hit with the 2008 / 2009 manufactured “crisis”, Greece would now be well on her way to full recovery. They would not have been subject to the whims and dictate of the IMF, the infamous troika, European Commission (EC), ECB and IMF, but could have chosen to arrange their debt internally, as most debt was internal debt, no need to borrow from abroad.

In a 2015 bailout referendum, the Greek population voted overwhelmingly against the bailout, meaning against the new gigantic debt. However, the then Greek President Tsipras, went ahead as if the referendum had never taken place and approved the huge bailout despite almost 70% of the popular vote against it.

This is a clear indication of fraud, that no fair play was going on. Tsipras and / or his families may have been coerced to accept the bailout – or else. We may never know, the true reason why Tsipras sold his people, the wellbeing of the Greek people to the oligarchs behind the IMF and World Bank – and put them into abject misery, with the highest unemployment in Europe, rampant poverty and skyrocketing suicide rates.

Greece may serve as an example on how other EU countries may fare if they don’t “behave” – meaning adhere to the unwritten golden rules of obedience to the international money masters.

This is scary.

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And now, in these times of covid, it is relatively easy. Poor countries, particularly in the Global South, already indebted by the plandemic, are increasing their foreign debt in order to provide their populations with basic needs. Or so they make you believe. Much of the debt accumulated by developing countries is domestic or internal debt, like the debt of the Global North. It doesn’t really need foreign lending institutions to wipe out local debt. Or have you seen one of the rich Global North countries borrowing from the IMF or the World Bank to master their debt? – Hardly.

So why would the Global South fall for it? Part corruption, part coercion, and partly direct blackmail. – Yes, blackmail, one of the international biggest crimes imaginable, being committed by the foremost international UN-chartered financial institutions, the WB and the IMF.

For example, the whole world is wondering how come that an invisible enemy, a corona virus hit all 193 UN member countries at once, so that Dr. Tedros, Director General of WHO, declares on 11 March a pandemic – no reason whatsoever since there were only 4,617 cases globally – but the planned result was a total worldwide lockdown on 16 March 2020. No exceptions. There were some countries who didn’t take it so seriously, like Brazil, Sweden, Belarus, some African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania – developed their own rules and realized that wearing masks did more harm than good, and social distancing would destroy the social fabric of their cultures and future generations.

But the satanic deep dark state didn’t want anything to do with “independent” countries. They all had to follow the dictate from way above, from the Gates, Rockefellers, Soroses, et al elite, soon to be reinforced by Klaus Schwab, serving as the chief henchman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Suddenly, you see in Brazil, a drastic surge in new “cases”, no questions asked, massive testing, no matter that the infamous PCR tests are worthless, according to most serious scientists – see The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test: How to Mislead All Humanity. Using a “Test” To Lock Down Society (by Pascal Sacré – 5 November 2020) (only sold and corrupted scientists, those paid by the national authorities, would still insist on the RT-PCR tests). Brazil’s Bolsonaro gets sick with the virus and the death count increases exponentially – as the Brazilian economy falls apart.

Coincidence? Hardly.

In comes the World Bank and / or the IMF, offering massive help mostly debt relief, either as grant or as low interest loans. But with massive strings attached: You must follow the rules laid out by WHO, you must follow the rules on massive testing on vaccination, when they become available, mandatary vaccination – if you conform to these and other country-specific rules, like letting western corporations tap your natural resources, continue privatizing your social infrastructure and services – you may receive, WB and IMF assistance.

Already in May 2020 the World Bank Group announced its emergency operations to fight COVID-19 had already reached 100 developing countries – home to 70% of the world’s population with lending of US$ 160 billion-plus. This means, by today, 6 months later and in the midst of the “Second Wave” the number of countries and the number of loans or “relief’ grants must have increased exponentially, having reached close to the 193 UN member countries. Which explains how all, literally all countries, even the most objecting African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania, among the poorest of the poor, have succumbed to the coercion or blackmail of the infamous Bretton Woods Institutions.

These institutions have no quarrels in generating dollars, as the dollar is fiat money, not backed by any economy – but can be produced literally from hot air and lent to poor countries, either as debt or as grant. These countries, henceforth and for pressure of the international financial institutions will forever become dependent on the western masters of salvation.  Covid-19 is the perfect tool for the financial markets to shovel assets from the bottom to the top.

In order to maximize the concentration of the riches on top, maybe one or two or even three new covid waves may be necessary. That’s all planned, The WEF has already foreseen the coming scenarios, by its tyrannical book “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”. It’s all laid out. And our western intellectuals read it, analyze it, criticize it, but we do not shred it apart – we let it stand, and watch how the word moves in the Reset direction. And the plan is dutifully executed by the World Bank and the IMF – all under the guise of doing good for the world.

What’s different from the World Bank and IMF’s role before the covid plandemic? – Nothing. Just the cause for exploitation, indebtment, enslavement. When covid came along it became easy. Before then and up to the end of 2019, developing countries, mostly rich in natural resources of the kind the west covets, oil, gold, copper and other minerals, such as rare earths, would be approached by the WB, the IMF or both.

They could receive debt relief, so-called structural adjustment loans, no matter whether or not they really needed such debt. Today these loans come in all names, forms, shapes and colors, literally like color-revolutions, for instance, often as budget support operations – I simply call them blank checks – nobody controls what’s happening with the money. However, the countries have to restructure their economies, rationalizing their public services, privatizing water, education, health services, electricity, highways, railroads – and granting foreign concessions for the exploitation of natural resources.

Most of this fraud – fraud on “robbing” national resources, passes unseen by the public at large, but countries become increasingly dependent on the western paymasters – peoples’ and institutional sovereignty is gone. There is always a corrupter and a corruptee. Unfortunately, they are still omni-present in the Global South. Often, for a chunk of money, the countries are forced to vote with the US for or against certain UN resolutions which are of interest to the US. Here we go – the corrupt system of the UN.

And of course, when the two Bretton Woods organizations were created in 1944, the voting system decided is not one country, one vote as in theory it is in the UN, but the US has an absolute veto right in both organizations. Their voting rights are calculated in function of their capital contribution which derives from a complex formula, based on GDP and other economic indicators. In both institutions the US voting right and also veto right is about 17%. Both institutions have 189 member countries. None of these other countries have a voting right higher than 17%. The EU would have, but they were never allowed by the US to become a country or a Federation.

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Covid has laid bare, if it wasn’t already before, how these “official” international, UN-chartered Bretton Woods financial institutions are fully integrated in the UN system – in which most of the countries still trust, maybe for lack of anything better.

Question, however: What is better, a hypocritical corrupt system that provides the “appearance”, or the abolition of a dystopian system and the courage to create a new one, under new democratic circumstances and with sovereign rights by each participating country?

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This article was originally published on New Eastern Outlook.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

Peter is also co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Credits to the owner of the featured image

There have been serious threats to the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies in the aftermath of the contested presidential and congressional elections in the United States.

Inside the U.S., the incumbent administration of President Donald J. Trump has refused to concede electoral defeat in the November 3 elections where challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris won both the popular vote and the electoral college.

During this uncertain period there is a threat of the launching of yet another military assault on the peoples of West Asia and other geo-political regions of the world. Iran has been singled-out as purportedly conducting research which could lead to nuclear weapons capability.

What is not assertively emphasized by the Trump administration, President-elect Joe Biden, Congressional spokespersons and the corporate media is that the existing regime walked away from the negotiated agreement which was signed by several European states, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the former President Barack Obama and the Iranian Foreign Ministry. With the suspension of participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the Trump administration, Washington then enacted additional sanctions against Tehran. (See this)

In fact, more sanctions against Iran were announced on November 18 by the Trump White House which has sought to disenfranchise tens of millions of people within majority and near-majority municipalities and rural areas where African Americans and other oppressed peoples reside. What legitimacy does any government within an imperialist system have in relationship to threatening and waging military conflict directed towards other independent states? Sanctions are acts of war and the impact of such economic measures are illustrated clearly in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Sudan and other geo-political regions of the world. (See this)

The administration has been discussing plans for the attempt at “regime change” in Iran. Such discussions should not be taken lightly since only earlier in the year during January, two leading military officials from Iran and Iraq, Maj. Gen. Qasem Suleimani and the leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi a-Muhandis, were killed in Baghdad by a Pentagon targeted assassination. These military actions and the further boisterous propaganda against the Tehran are contributing to the escalation of tensions in West Asia, including Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Palestine.

These military threats are based upon falsehoods related to the role of Iran in the region and the existence of a resistance axis which extends from Palestine to South Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Tehran. These anti-imperialist forces in West Asia are continuing to be on the frontlines against the aggressive policies of the State of Israel bolstered by Washington and its allies in the Gulf monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These states recently signed “peace accords” with Tel Aviv while the Palestinian people remain imprisoned by the racist apartheid regime which is funded by Washington and Wall Street.

An article published by the Guardian newspaper on November 18 says:

“Fears that Donald Trump might try to wreak havoc on the world stage in his final, desperate, weeks in office appear to have been well-founded, after he reportedly asked for options on bombing Iran. A report in the New York Times said Trump was advised against strikes on Iranian nuclear sites by senior officials warning of the risk of triggering a major conflict. But it added that the president may not have entirely given up on the idea of staging attacks on Iran or its allies and proxies in the region.”

A military strike on Iran would prompt retaliatory responses from Tehran and its allies throughout the region. The attacks could lead to an extended war which would be inherited by the Biden-Harris “government in waiting.” An ill-advised military maneuver by the Trump administration will undoubtedly weaken the social fabric of the U.S. and its people. The country is facing the worst public health crisis in more than a century. Hospitals and the entire largely privatized healthcare system are being stretched to its structural limits. Schools have suspended in-person learning in many areas while millions of households among the working class and poor are ill-equipped with the proper infrastructure to participate effectively in online education.

Iran Vows to Resist Any Incursion by the U.S. and its Allies

During the evening hours of November 17 there were several news reports indicating that the Israeli Airforce had engaged in strikes inside Syrian territory. Some dispatches stated that the Israeli strikes were in the Golan Heights while others said Damascus repelled an attack. (See this)

The incumbent President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has taken a firm position on the necessity of the White House to shift its orientation towards Tehran. Rouhani is demanding respect towards his nation noting otherwise there will be no fundamental change in the character of relations.

A Press TV report said of the Iranian political leader that:

“President Hassan Rouhani says current developments indicate that the new U.S. administration would need to switch from a posture of threats against Iran to one of seeking opportunities with the country. Speaking at a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani said the incoming U.S. administration would return to a situation in which rules are respected. ‘With the situation that has been brought about, we will in the future be moving from an atmosphere of threats created by this rogue [U.S.] administration to one of opportunity,’ he said.”

Overall, the international community, including the oppressed, former colonial, semi-colonial, neo-colonial, socialist and non-capitalist governments are welcoming the potentialities associated with the departure of the Trump regime. Whether these aspirations will result in concrete reforms related to Washington’s foreign policy remains to be seen. The Democratic Party governments do not have a record of peace and recognition of the sovereignty of nations around the world. A brief cursory review of the histories of U.S. interventions during the post-World War II period in Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Lebanon, Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Panama, among a host of others territories subjected to sanctions, provocations, drone strikes, targeted executions, destabilization efforts and economic exploitation., illustrates clearly that the majority of people need to remain vigilant in their opposition to U.S. imperialist militarism.

The Role of the Antiwar and Peace Movements in the Imperialist States

Considering the transitional crisis in existence among the two leading bourgeois parties in the U.S., those who are in principled opposition to imperialist militarism must demand that the current war propaganda and sanctions tyranny levelled against Iran and other targeted states be halted immediately. There is a need for the drafting of an agenda which outlines the parameters of antiwar and anti-imperialist organizing related to the current lame duck administration as well as moving forward into a Biden-Harris configuration.

President-elect Joe Biden has been a proponent of imperialist wars which have proven disastrous for both the peoples of the U.S. and the around the globe. The proclivities towards intervention and occupations by the Democratic Party leadership, Cold War liberals and all apologists for the Pentagon, should be countered with concrete arguments and slogans that advance the interests of the working class and the oppressed, in alliance with the peoples within the international community.

Moreover, the large-scale presence of the Pentagon in far too numerous nations are not only a threat to global peace and security, it is a drain on the capacity of the peoples of the U.S. to address the enormous and burgeoning social problems stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, astronomical unemployment, impoverishment, racial unrest and intensifying class struggle. The movement to acquire genuine democratic rights for the working class and oppressed in the U.S. can only benefit the political and economic aspirations of the proletariat and nationally oppressed worldwide.

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Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of Pan-African News Wire. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Credits to the owner of the featured image


150115 Long War Cover hi-res finalv2 copy3.jpg

The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

Michel Chossudovsky

The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-6-0
Year: 2015
Pages: 240 Pages

List Price: $22.95

Special Price: $15.00

Click here to order.

Leading Canadian Health Expert Outraged at Government Response to COVID

November 19th, 2020 by Children’s Health Defense

Dr. Roger Hodkinson, MA, MB, FRCPC, FCAP, CEO and medical director of Western Medical Assessments, spoke at the Edmonton City Council Community and Public Services Committee meeting on Nov. 13 about the city’s move to extend its face-covering bylaw. He was listed as speaker number 95 on the meeting agenda.

Hodkinson was trained at Cambridge University in the UK. He is ex-president of the pathology section of the Medical Association.

He was chairman of the Examination Committee on Pathology, Royal College of Physicians of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.

Here’s a recording of Hodkinson’s testimony:

Here’s the transcript of Hodkinson’s testimony:

This is Dr. Hodkinson, I just wanted to let you know I’m standing by.

OK, well we would love to hear from you, the floor is yours.

Thank you very much. I do appreciate the opportunity to address you on this very important matter. What I’m going to say is lay language, and blunt. It is counter-narrative, and so you don’t immediately think I’m a quack, I’m going to briefly outline my credentials so that you can understand where I’m coming from in terms of knowledge base in all of this.

I’m a medical specialist in pathology which includes virology. I trained at Cambridge University in the UK. I’m the ex-president of the pathology section of the Medical Association. I was previously an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine doing a lot of teaching. I was the chairman of the RCPC Examination Committee on Pathology in Ottawa, but more to the point I’m currently the chairman of a biotechnology company in North Carolina selling the COVID-19 test.

And [inaudible] you might say I know a little bit about all of this. The bottom line is simply this: There is utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians. It’s outrageous. This is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to contain this virus. Other than protecting older, more vulnerable people. It should be thought of as nothing more than a bad flu season. This is not Ebola. It’s not SARS. It’s politics playing medicine and that’s a very dangerous game.

There is no action of any kind needed other than what happened last year when we felt unwell. We stayed home, we took chicken noodle soup, we didn’t visit granny and we decided when we would return to work. We didn’t need anyone to tell us.

Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence base for their effectiveness whatsoever. Paper masks and fabric masks are simply virtue-signaling. They’re not even worn effectively most of the time. It’s utterly ridiculous. Seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people — I’m not saying that in a pejorative sense — seeing these people walking around like lemmings, obeying without any knowledge base, to put the mask on their face.

Social distancing is also useless because COVID is spread by aerosols which travel 30 meters or so before landing. Enclosures have had such terrible unintended consequences. Everywhere should be opened tomorrow as well as was stated in the Great Barrington Declaration that I circulated prior to this meeting.

And a word on testing: I do want to emphasize that I’m in the business of testing for COVID. I do want to emphasize that positive test results do not, underlined in neon, mean a clinical infection. It’s simply driving public hysteria and all testing should stop. Unless you’re presenting to the hospital with some respiratory problem.

All that should be done is to protect the vulnerable and to give them all in the nursing homes that are under your control, give them all 3,000 to 5,000 international units of vitamin D every day which has been shown to radically reduce the likelihood of Infection.

And I would remind you all that using the province’s own statistics, the risk of death under 65 in this province is one in 300,000. One in 300,000. You’ve got to get a grip on this.

The scale of the response that you are undertaking with no evidence for it is utterly ridiculous given the consequences of acting in a way that you’re proposing. All kinds of suicides, business closures, funerals, weddings etc. It’s simply outrageous! It’s just another bad flu and you’ve got to get your minds around that.

Let people make their own decisions. You should be totally out of the business of medicine. You’re being led down the garden path by the chief medical officer of health for this province. I am absolutely outraged that this has reached this level. It should all stop tomorrow.

Thank you very much.

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GR Editor’s Note: (Correction, error in transcription). Dr. Hodkinson was chairman of the RCPC Examination Committee on Pathology in Ottawa,

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I have a crazy idea that I can’t get out of my head, that we Americans are heading for something like an Armageddon in the next several months no matter how the currently electoral imbroglio is resolved. My greatest concern is that I fear that Trump is going to attack Iran, either through some kind of false flag contrivance or through direct aggression. The stage has already been set for military action through the unrelenting hostility towards the Islamic Republic over the past four years combined with an economic war waged against the country’s economy and the deliberately provocative assassination of an Iranian leader, General Qassim Soleimani in January. In truth, it would not require much to start a shooting war, just an errant patrol boat creeping into Iranian coastal waters and opening fire when challenged by a Revolutionary Guards speedboat. A couple of Iranians die, maybe also an American or two and you will have a war.

Speculation that something might be coming derives in part from how several top level Pentagon personnel changes have occurred at a time that makes no sense for a lame duck administration or even for an administration that thinks it will reverse the electoral results. The “termination” and replacement of Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense has been explained as being due to his resistance to orders by the president to carry out a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, but as such a withdrawal would hardly even be started by January, it doesn’t seem to make sense to make the change in the command structure right now. Indeed, having new leadership would only slow down the process, even though new acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller has reportedly issued a memo last Friday saying “All wars must end” and there has been an announcement of troop reductions in both Afghanistan and Iraq before January, though we shall see how that actually develops. The arrival of anti-interventionist Colonel Douglas Macgregor at the Pentagon as Senior Advisor to the Acting Secretary of Defense is also supportive of the view that a major withdrawal of U.S. forces is impending.

It is also plausible that Esper was fired due to his resistance to using soldiers to put down rioters in the event of civil unrest between now and January, but that too lacks credibility as such a move would certainly be opposed by entire Joint Chiefs of Staff who would not cooperate. Yet another explanation is that the termination was due to Esper’s reported resistance to releasing classified files relating to Russiagate, which Donald Trump might be seeing as a final exposure of the national security conspiracy that sought to destroy his administration.

Be that as it may, in addition to Esper, the Pentagon’s acting chief of planning James Anderson was also forced to resign. Anderson was replaced by hard-liner Anthony Tata, who is believed to be fiercely loyal to the president and has supported some “deep state” conspiracy theories about the Obamas. The changes at the top in the Defense Department have also triggered resignations of other senior staff including retired Vice Adm. Joseph Kernan, who was undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security. Kernan was replaced by Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a friend of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. There reportedly continues to be some concern among other top managers that a witch hunt is in progress.

The cleaning house at the Pentagon as well as persistent rumors that it will soon be followed by firings at the Attorney General’s office, the FBI and the CIA make little sense at this point in the electoral cycle, whether or not one believes that the election results in the U.S. will be reversed. But taken together, they might give Trump a free hand to do whatever he wants in the next two months, to include possibly using some elements in the national security apparatus to intervene directly in the counting and transition processes. They signal to me that an angry Trump just might be preparing something really vindictive and also incredibly stupid in terms of national interests.

President Donald Trump clearly has a visceral hatred for Iran. It has been reported that as recently as last week he asked senior advisers whether he ought to attack Iran’s main nuclear site at Natanz. The meeting reportedly came shortly after international inspectors observed what appeared to be a significant increase in the Iranian stockpile of nuclear material. The advisers convinced the president that a military strike might quickly escalate and would not be in U.S. interests, however.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also already served notice on the centrality of Iran in White House thinking. A recent New York Times report regarding the assassination of an alleged al-Qaeda leader in Tehran that is sourced to unnamed “intelligence officials” is intended to suggest that the Iranian government is working with the terrorist group, which is not the case. Pompeo’s State Department also has announced that the U.S. is going to continue to increase sanctions on Iran as well as on Syria. Analysts believe the intention is to create such an all-encompassing network of sanctions that they will not easily be undone, so no one in the future can mend fences with Iran by seeking to restore anything like the nuclear program inspections established by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The move is clearly intended to prevent Joe Biden, if he should become president, from trying to reverse Trump administration policies towards the Islamic Republic.

There are other indications that the Trump White House is moving ahead with measures to put even more pressure on Iran. Elliot Abrams, who is in charge of Iran policy as Special Envoy, has just been in Israel on a visit to discuss how the Trump administration, in coordination with Israel and several Gulf states, will impose the new sanctions on Iran in the remaining weeks left before inauguration day, just in case Biden’s election is confirmed. And Mike Pompeo has also stopped in Israel for a visit and talk with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Those trips come oddly at a time when you would think the two administration loyalists would be needed in Washington. Israel is, of course, lurking in the shadows on anything having to do with U.S. policy towards Iran. Israel manages the current White House through multi-billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson and the Israelis, though confident of their ability to direct Joe Biden just as they controlled Barack Obama, are also warning the incoming president that if he seeks to restore the nuclear inspection agreement Israel will have to “take steps” and there will be warwith Iran.

In an admittedly more alarming report suggesting that Israel will be able to take control of whoever is in charge in Washington, “Shimrit Meir, an Israeli analyst and commentator, told JI [Jewish Insider] that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would likely ‘save the option’ of having the Republicans in control ‘for a desperate time — a looming agreement with Iran that doesn’t address [Israeli] concerns, for example.’ A Republican Senate will have an ability to ‘apply unique pressure on a Biden administration’s foreign policy,’ suggested Richard Goldberg, senior advisor at the [neocon] Foundation for Defense of Democracies.”

Just exactly who would be doing the fighting and dying in any event is not exactly clear, but as Israel’s government and its U.S. lobby own the Democratic Party, Biden is not likely to be so bold as to bite the hand that feeds him and he will forego taking the risk of initiating any rapprochement with the Iranians.

In addition to doing yet another favor for Israel, a little, hopefully containable, war could also be beneficial in other ways. If it is hyped enough by an acquiescent media, it could possibly generate something like a state of emergency declaration prolonging what we are going through right now and the inauguration of Biden will just have to wait. Are Trump and Pompeo capable of that? Maybe.

Is all of that just too outlandish to consider? And what can be done to stop it? I would observe that I am not the only one whose danger antennae went up when the top Pentagon officials were ousted so soon after the election. Even the Israeli press is speculating that an attack might be coming and Mondoweiss has a compelling piece entitled “An unhinged Trump could still unleash violence against Iran but the U.S. media downplay the danger.” The article cites a New York Times piece discussing the Pentagon firings which includes buried in the text “. . . Defense Department officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries in his waning days in office.”

The Times followed up with another article on the Pentagon changes on November 11th, which began with “A purge of the senior civilians at the Pentagon and the ascension of a similar hard-line policy official to a top job at the National Security Agency have prompted concerns that the Trump administration may be planning new punishments for Iran…” Given that the generally tone-deaf newspaper of record just might have a reliable source could suggest that the rest of us should also take note. One would like to know who those unnamed Defense Department officials were and one might ask “What do they know that we the public should know?”

Some might argue that even for the Trump administration an unprovoked attack on a foreign country just days before a transition in government here at home would be a bridge too far. But that assessment is somewhat naïve. United States governments, both Democratic and Republican, have been doing the unspeakable and unjustifiable for some time now. Let’s hope that instead of a new armed conflict Donald Trump has the vision and fortitude to deliver on what he promised to do four years ago. Let’s end the wars and bring the troops home.

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Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org,address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is [email protected]. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is by Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor


150115 Long War Cover hi-res finalv2 copy3.jpg

The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

Michel Chossudovsky

The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-6-0
Year: 2015
Pages: 240 Pages

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Genocide in Congo and militarization of the African continent are Susan Rice’s specialties, but Black Democrats see her as a “role model.”

“Rice cultivated relations with every pro-U.S. warlord in Africa.”

No one in high levels of U.S. government has been more intimately complicit in the death of more than six million Africans in the Democratic Republic of Congo than Susan Rice, the bloodstained Democratic Party political operative who is actively seeking the job of secretary of state in the incoming Biden administration. If recent history is a guide, we can expect the entirety of the Black Democratic establishment to support this uber-criminal’s elevation as a fitting reward to Black voters for putting Joe Biden in the White House – thus implicating all of Black America in the largest genocide since World War Two.

Rice is a protégé of former secretary of state Madelaine Albright, who in 1996 infamously described the sanctions-induced death of half a million Iraqi children as “worth it ” to punish the Saddam Hussein regime. But Rice has bested her mass murderous mentor in total career body count. As President Bill Clinton’s national security advisor (1993 to 1997), senior director for African Affairs (1995 to 1997) and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1997 to 2001), Rice was the point person in Washington’s massive coverup of the invasion, pillage and depopulation of Congo by the armies of U.S. client states Rwanda and Uganda. In service to the Obama administration (ambassador to the United Nations, 2009-2013, national security advisor, 2013-2017), Rice smothered a United Nations Mapping Report  that documented Rwandan and Ugandan crimes against Congo, including potentially genocidal offenses, and protected Uganda from the International Court of Justice’s award of $10 billion in damages  to the Democratic Republic Congo.

“Rice was the point person in Washington’s massive coverup of the invasion, pillage and depopulation of Congo.”

When the United Nation’s highest court issued its verdict in 2005, the death toll in Congo was estimated at 3 million. By 2010, with Ambassador Susan Rice at the United Nations, the uninterrupted genocide had claimed six million  lives, while the looting of Congo’s vast mineral resources financed the rise of a gleaming skyline over Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, a nation that has no significant mineral deposits. Multinational corporations are the biggest beneficiaries of the ”blood” minerals; it is these conglomerates whose interests Susan Rice protects.

Today, Congolese speak of eight million dead, but nobody in the Congressional Black Caucus is listening. Half of the Black Caucus voted against a measure that would have halted President Obama’s bombing of Libya , in the summer of 2011. Obama claimed that the Euro-American air war in support of mainly jihadist opponents of Muammar Gaddafi’s secular government was not subject to the War Powers Act, because no Americans had died – a totally novel definition of war in which only American bodies matter. Rice was then ambassador to the United Nations, where she successfully pressed for a “no fly zone” as a cover for NATO’s war against Libya. “This resolution should send a strong message to Colonel Qadhafi and his regime that the violence must stop, the killing must stop and the people of Libya must be protected and have the opportunity to express themselves freely,” Rice told reporters . But the bulk of violence was committed by U.S.-backed “rebels” against Black Libyans and south Saharans working in the country. Tawergha , a Black Libyan town of almost 50,000 people, was utterly destroyed, its inhabitants killed, imprisoned or scattered – with not a peep of complaint from the Black American woman at the UN or the First Black President of the United States. The branded faces  of Black migrant workers sold into slave markets are Rice and Obama’s Libyan legacy.

“Rice successfully pressed for a ‘no fly zone’ as a cover for NATO’s war against Libya.”

The unprovoked war against Libya, which removed a bulwark of African independent economic and political development, was heralded as AFRICOM’s “first major combat operation  on the African continent.” There would be many more, as a Black U.S. administration methodically occupied the continent, from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans.

Rice cultivated relations with every pro-U.S. warlord in Africa. She was especially close  to Meles Zenawi, the deceased former leader of the dictatorial Ethiopian regime that invaded Somalia with the full support of U.S. air, ground and sea power in December of 2006, ousting a moderate Islamic Courts government that had brought a brief period of peace to the country. The Somali war, now effectively run by the CIA, has engulfed the Horn of Africa – another bloody feather in Susan Rice’s cap.

When Rice was a candidate for secretary of state under President Obama in 2012, the entirety of the Black Misleadership Class circled their wagons around her, to counter Republican claims that Rice was to blame for the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya by U.S.-backed jihadists. Ignoring Rice’s and Obama’s crimes against Africans, Black American politicos rallied to Rice’s defense  as a “a role model to all women” who “represents a rich and important legacy of strong women leaders in foreign policy.” Twelve female members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including anti-war icon Barbara Lee, offered Rice their sisterly support. “We will not allow a brilliant public servant’s record to be mugged to cut off her consideration to be secretary of state,” said DC congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The Black Misleadership Class circled their wagons around her.”

None of Rice’s Black boosters gave a thought to her culpability in the ongoing terror in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a 2011 study  estimated that “nearly two million women have been raped…with women victimized at a rate of nearly one every minute.” (See Black Agenda Report, “The Shameless Vacuity of Susan Rice’s Boosters,” Dec 5, 2012.)

Rice’s bid for the top State Department job was frustrated in 2012, but she’s once again shamelessly campaigning for the office, reportedly with the backing of Obama . The Black Misleadership Class – eternally full of themselves – puts forth the worst possible image of Black America to the rest of the world, with not a iota of embarrassment. Having “arrived” at positions of influence in the belly of the beast, they strut about like any other variety of “ugly Americans” who want nothing more than to be full citizens of empire – humanity, including Africa, be damned.

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Biden’s Deep State

November 19th, 2020 by Steve Brown

Philosopher Hannah Arendt once wrote about the banality of evil, and there’s never been a more banal bunch than the foreign policy and security state crew Barak Obama surrounded himself with for eight years beside the possible exception of Bush’s own Neocons.

Now after three years screaming about “Russian collusion” it appears the Evil Empire is about to regain its lost ground, championing new wars and more interventionist expansionism with a much greater role for the US military in the world.

Let’s name names.

Pentagon

For the defense chief post, the Washington Post has portrayed the banal face of Michele Flournoy as the pick to ‘restore stability’ to the Pentagon, an entirely false assertion. Recall that Fluornoy promotes unilateral global US military intervention, and advocated the destruction of Libya in 2011. By the military-industrial revolving door, Flournoy enabled many Corporate weaponry contracts amounting to tens of millions. Likewise Fluornoy is on the Booz-Hamilton board, where the swamp cannot get any deeper. As if this wretched example of an agent-provocateur for war and destruction were not bad enough, Biden is reportedly considering Lockheed-Martin banal kingpin Jeh Johnson for the DoD position, too.

Lockheed director Johnson was employed by Rob Reiner and Atlantic editor arch-Neocon David Frum to run the Committee to Investigate Russia which mysteriously blew up as soon as the Mueller Report was released. Jeh Johnson has continued to warn of “Russian interference” in the US presidential election until now. Biden’s anointing as president-elect has ended that. As Homeland Security head, Johnson authorized cages for holding immigrant children. He also supported the assassination of General Suleimani, and has voiced support for US wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

State

From Libya to Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and beyond, the banality of evil is perhaps best personified by Susan Rice – apparently Biden’s premiere pick for Secretary. Rice was an abject failure at the United Nations, but all seems forgiven, probably at the behest of Biden’s donors. After her failure at the UN, Obama kicked Rice upstairs to be his National Security Advisor, a position that does not require Senate approval.

An obvious war hawk in the mold of the Democrat’s donor class, a Rice appointment could reinforce the liberal mantra that women can be just as good at interventionism as men, and ensure full re-establishment of the Neoliberal agenda in Washington. John Kerry has been flagged as a potential for State (again) too, but at age 77 and subsequent to the failure of the JCPOA Kerry is an unlikely pick.

Another potential pick among the banal Daughters of Darkness is Victoria Kagan-Nuland, architect of the 2014 debacle in Ukraine (among other things). Outed at State in an embarrassing act of what she called impressive statecraft and other embarrassing incidents, Nuland seems an unlikely choice. But Kagan-Nuland is as banal as banal can be, and Biden may somehow wish to reinforce his solidarity with the JTF and his donor class, on Israel.

National Security Advisor

Banality is certainly the mark of the beast here, in the form of Tony Blinken. Well in with Michele Flournoy (above) Blinken typifies the type of banality the Deep State engages in to promote its evil, with Blinken as successful as any other Deep State actor. A major hawk on Russia and war hawk in general, Blinken is an apologist for Israel. Blinken is a war hawk on Afghanistan and Syria too, and Blinken was directly involved in CIA operation Timber Sycamore. Oh, the banality.

Another model of banality is Leon CIA Panetta who so far claims that cruising the Monterey peninsula is more fun that being in Washington. But we know that’s false and Panetta would be a logical pick. Besides being a hawk on everything, and laughing about the fact he has no idea how many wars Obama’s America was fighting – because he lost count – Panetta is simply another sycophant for evil like Hannah Arendt portrayed in her study of Adolf Eichmann.

CIA

Banal of the banal is of course Mike Morell. This incredibly vacuous excuse for a human being has been hate-mongering for years. Beside his blatant pandering support for another banal and brutal warmonger – Hillary Clinton – Mike Morell is one Neoliberal who still maintains that Saddam Hussein actively aided and abetted al Qaeda with regard to the 911 attacks. But Morell simply and ultimately represents the banality of evil, just as Arendt depicted Adolf Eichmann, but in Morell’s case succinctly summarized here by Ray McGovern.

United Nations

Outing the banality of the banal would be incomplete without mentioning Jen Psaki. Although a potential pick for White House Communications Director, why not promote an accomplished liar to a venue where accomplished lying really matters?

Conclusion

There is no indication that the United States as an entrenched warfare state will ever change its course until forced to. Mr Trump was incapable of enforcing that change. Sidelined by Russiagate psychosis, as a Beltway Neophyte and his own worst enemy at times, that sank Trump’s agenda.[1] The actions of Mr Trump now – to end the wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen — should have been undertaken in earnest and without compromise years ago. Point being that Mr Trump’s new appointments to the Pentagon – and let’s hope CIA – will hopefully blunt the efficacy of Biden’s bad actors going forward.

Regardless, characters the same or similar to the ones listed above will definitely infest Washington’s infernal Beltway cesspool once again via Joe Biden … make no mistake. …And they will be meaner and nastier than ever before! Guaranteed.

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[1] Beside his appointment of dreadful characters like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Elliott Abrams, apparently at the behest of his own donor class!

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Trump’s Decision to Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan

November 19th, 2020 by Andrew Korybko

Trump’s decision to cut the number of US troops in Afghanistan from 4500 to 2500 raised questions about whether he’s simply fulfilling a campaign promise out of principle or whether he’s hedging his bets in a Machiavellian way by preemptively attempting to obstruct Biden’s possible foreign policy in the event that his opponent successfully seizes power after the disputed presidential election.

Americans are divided along partisan lines over whether Trump is a man of his word or just a sore loser after he decided to cut the number of US troops in Afghanistan from 4500 to 2500. His supporters recall how he previously campaigned on doing just that with the ultimate goal of completely withdrawing the American military presence from Afghanistan while his opponents believe that he’s preemptively attempting to obstruct Biden’s possible foreign policy in the event that the Democrat candidate successfully seizes power after the disputed presidential election. The reality is probably somewhere in between. The President is moving forward with his original plans out of confidence that he’ll be certified the winner but also understands very well that this move would make Biden’s plans much more difficult to implement in that region in the worst-case scenario that he replaces him.

Although Trump is criticized even among some of his supporters for controversially bombing Syria in 2017 and assassinating Major General Soleimani at the start of this year, he nevertheless holds the distinction of being the first president in nearly four decades not to embroil America in a new war. To the contrary, despite his heavy-handed “America First” policy of so-called “surgical strikes”, “maximum pressure”, and other coercive measures against his country’s adversaries, Trump has remained committed to ending the US’ “endless wars” across the world. Nowhere is this more evident than in Afghanistan, which is the longest war in American history. So serious is Trump about executing on this ambitious vision that he even approved talks between his administration and the Taliban, the latter of which is still officially designated as a terrorist group and thus contradicts his 2016 campaign pledge to show zero tolerance towards what he calls “radical Islamic terrorists”.

For Trump, pragmatism is more important than politics, which is something that his base in general sincerely appreciates about him in contrast to his predecessors. Unlike what his opponents claim, however, he’s not just recklessly withdrawing from a war-torn region without any backup plan in mind, but actually envisions American engagement with that landlocked country and the Central Asian region beyond to be more economically driven in the future as elaborated upon by Pompeo in February. The author analyzed this new vision at the time in a piece about how “The US’ Central Asian Strategy Isn’t Sinister, But That Doesn’t Mean It’ll Succeed”. The gist is that the US might expand upon Pakistan’s recent infrastructural gains under CPEC to use the “global pivot state” as a platform for pioneering a trans-Afghan trade corridor to Central Asia. This would be a more peaceful way for the US to compete with Russia, China, and Turkey in that strategic region.

Biden, however, has signaled that he might appoint neoliberal war hawk Michele Flournoy as his Secretary of Defense if he “wins” the election. She’s been previously criticized by many as a warmonger who risks returning the US back to its destabilizing strategy of “endless wars” and “humanitarian interventions”, which would be the exact opposite of how it’s conducted its foreign policy over the past four years under Trump. Democrats are already decrying his Afghan drawdown as dangerous so it’s likely that they intended to at the very least retain the previous troop numbers there for a bit longer than he did, or possibly even expand them under a milder variation of the Obama-era “surge”. It doesn’t seem like there’s much appetite even among those ideologues for doubling down on the war in any traditional sense, especially since the geostrategic situation there has tremendously changed since the Obama era, but their plans would still be less peaceful than Trump’s.

Since it’s still uncertain whether or not the incumbent will remain in office next year, it makes sense that he’d also try to obstruct his potential successor’s policies, not just out of petty spite, but also in order to ensure his own legacy. By reducing the US military presence in Afghanistan by almost half of its current number (which is already much less than what he inherited), Trump would make it more difficult for Biden’s team to sabotage the sensitive peace process that he oversaw across the past four years. That doesn’t mean that they couldn’t still ruin everything in the event that they seize power, but just that they’d have to try harder and their subversive efforts would be much more noticeable. It’s therefore with these points in mind that the author concludes that Trump made his Afghan drawdown decision for both principled and Machiavellian reasons.

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This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is a U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini/Released