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Newsweek Claims Russia Orchestrated Boston Marathon Bombing

Sputnik | September 6, 2017

Online publication Newsweek upped the ante in explosive rhetoric Sunday by suggesting the Tsarnaev brothers, responsible for the 2013 Boston Marathon terror attack, were operating on behalf of Moscow – even though Russian security agencies tipped off the FBI and CIA that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother presented imminent security risks.

Since evidence is apparently optional for arguments published by Newsweek, this time, an author featured in the publication seems to have looked out onto the world, found it bloody and complicated, and decided to pin any old recent disaster on Russia.

The United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe and the rise of right-leaning politicians can all be traced back to one single, remarkably effective cause: Moscow. “Russia must accept a share of responsibility” in all of these events, Andrei Kovalev wrote in a September 3 op-ed for Newsweek.

As for the Boston bombing, he asks, “Did the emigrants, the brothers Tsarnaev, of Chechen nationality, responsible for the Boston attack, act on their own initiative? It seems most unlikely.”

Kovalev worked as a diplomat in the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev as well as for Russian presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. “Sometimes I am reproached for attributing to the Kremlin too much influence in the world,” he confessed in the article.

In reality, Russian security services sent warnings to multiple US agencies explaining that Chechen-American Tamerlan Tsarnaev had “changed drastically since 2010” and that he and his mother were adherents to “radical Islam” long before the Boston attack occurred. “The Russians were concerned that mother and son were very religious and strong believers, and they could be militants if they returned to Russia,” a US official told the New York Times in 2013.

“You have Russian intelligence services contacting two agencies without our federal government responsible for our national security, the FBI and CIA … they tell us, ‘We believe you have a radical Islamist in your midst,'” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham explained at the time.

Newsweek’s readers quickly pointed out that the claim that Russia had orchestrated the Boston Marathon terror attack originated with Louise Mensch, a former UK member of Parliament who shot to fame as a darling of the Russia-bashing wing of the Trump resistance, but, given her penchant for calling literally any critic a Russian spy, has somewhat fallen from favor. Mensch was recently embarrassed by the Guardian for broadcasting information around the internet that was made up by a hoaxer but supported her “Russians are behind it all” agenda. As Radio Sputnik’s Fault Lines host Garland Nixon joked, “pretty much everybody that dies, the death was related to Vladimir Putin,” in Mensch’s world.

​When faced with accusations of spreading deleterious and false information, Mensch doubled down and said the Guardian was being operated by Russian security agency spies, too. The former MP alleged that one of her collaborators, Claude Taylor, had been duped, but that her reporting remained free of falsehoods.

Mensch has nevertheless been published by the New York Times, the Guardian and the Sun in addition to making TV appearances on MSNBC and Bill Maher’s “Real Time” show. A running list of her baseless conspiracies includes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acting as a mole and Putin ordering the assassination of Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart to pave the way for Steve Bannon to take the reins of the organization.

Newsweek, too, has gotten quite good at getting things wrong. It previously deleted two slanderous articles attacking a former Sputnik News editor following a defamation lawsuit settlement levied by now-attorney and former Sputnik weekend editor William Moran. During the scandal, in which the young lawyer represented himself in legal proceedings alleging slander against himself and Sputnik as a whole, Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Jim Impoco was fired. The February ouster was first reported by Politico.

Newsweek was forced to settle with Moran in July. “I brought this case before I was admitted to the bar and was up against the talented attorneys at mega law firm Pepper Hamilton,” Moran said in a statement that month after a settlement was reached between the publication and recent Georgetown Law graduate for an undisclosed sum.

Shortly after, Editor-in-Chief Matt McAllester was forced to take a leave of absence for “personal reasons” in the beginning of August following an age and sex discrimination suit filed against Time Inc. by its former European editor, Catherine Mayer, in which McAllester is featured as the main offender. By August 25, McAllester had been dismissed from his position, the New York Post reported, citing internal company memos.

See Also:

Newsweek Seems to Fire Disgraced Writer Eichenwald After Humiliating Settlement

Newsweek Takes Down Fabricated Sputnik-Trump Collusion Stories After Humiliating Settlement

Newsweek Shamefully Silent as Twitter Demands Retraction From Implicated Writer

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Violation of international law’: Russia to sue over diplomatic property row, Lavrov tells Tillerson

RT | September 5, 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has told his American counterpart, Rex Tillerson, that Moscow has initiated legal proceedings over the “seizure” of Moscow’s diplomatic properties in the country at the behest of the current White House administration.

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said that Lavrov and Tillerson spoke by phone on Tuesday.

“When discussing international relations, Lavrov pointed out that the seizure of Russian diplomatic property on US soil was a flagrant violation of international norms,” the ministry said in a statement. “The minister drew the secretary of state’s attention to the words of Vladimir Putin during the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China about Russia’s intention to use legal means to fight back against Washington’s illegal actions.”

On August 31, Russia was given 72 hours to clear out its consulate in San Francisco, and the diplomatic annexes in Washington DC and New York. Russia says that the buildings were subsequently searched, in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and that it has been denied access to them, despite their status as “inviolable” diplomatic properties.

“The American decision to deprive Russia of the use of its property is an obvious violation of Russia’s property rights,” Putin said in China earlier on Tuesday. “Let’s see how well the much-praised American legal system works in practice.”

Meanwhile, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was open to filing its lawsuit with whichever court best gave it a chance of defending its interests.

In its written motivation for the closures, the US said that it was restoring “parity” after Russia’s order to close several consulates, and cut the numbers of American diplomatic staff in July, and hoped to halt the spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions between Moscow and Washington.

In a statement given out to the media on Tuesday, the Russian diplomatic service said that it took an “extraordinary” amount of work to vacate properties at such short notice, and noted that it has received “tens” of letters of support, expressing bemusement at the US decision.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Atlanta cops run suspect over in case of mistaken identity

RT | September 5, 2017

An Atlanta police officer was placed on leave after he was accused of running over a man he wrongly thought was a suspect.

Warren Hill said he was run over in the parking lot of a mall last week. “It hurt bad,” he told WSBTV. “My head, my neck, my back, my whole body. You get hit by a car, what do you think is going to happen?”

Hill said he ran away from the approaching police because he was “scared of the cops.”

“They thought I was the suspect and ran me down like a dog or an animal,” he said.

Hill said after the police realized they had mistaken him for a domestic violence suspect, they arrested him for an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court for a broken taillight.

The Atlanta Police Department told WSBTV the officer is now on leave and that its report or further details on the incident are not yet available.

“The officer has been relieved from duty pending the outcome of the OPS investigation,” Atlanta police spokeswoman Officer Stephanie Brown told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

READ MORE‘We only kill black people’: US cop reassures female driver during routine stop

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Iran, India seem to be parting ways on long coveted giant gas field

Indian PM Narendra Modi
Press TV – September 5, 2017

Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum says it has started preliminary talks with Russians to develop Farzad B but negotiations also continue with the Indians who have long coveted the giant gas field.

“For the development of the Farzad B field, we are pursuing three separate paths in parallel, but none of the options is definite yet,” director of the integrated planning at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Karim Zobeidi said on Monday.

The third path is the implementation of a development study plan in cooperation with a foreign consultant and Iran’s Petropars company, the official explained.

Zobeidi said negotiations with the Indians have not achieved satisfactory results but they have not stopped either and that Iran was pursuing preliminary talks with a Russian company as the second path.

“Along these two routes, the study of the development of Farzad A and B and the feasibility of the injection of gas from these fields into Aghajari (oil field) in cooperation with a foreign consultant and Petropars company is in progress,” he added.

Indian companies discovered the Farzad B gas field in Iran in 2008 and have bid several times for the development rights.

The Indians were supposed to develop the field after its exploration, but they stopped their activities after the West intensified sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2012.

With the lifting of the sanctions, India once again called for the development of Farzad B by ONGC Videsh which is the overseas investment arm of the country’s biggest energy exploration firm.

According to an agreement, the Indians were first to submit a technical plan and then a financial proposal for the development of the field, but Iran did not agree with the other side’s financial proposals.

In the absence of an agreement between Iran and India, the development plan for Farzad B will be put to international tender.

In May, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh announced that Iran had signed a basic agreement with Russia’s energy giant Gazprom over the development of Farzad B.

Indians shift attention to Israel

On Monday, Reuters cited India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as saying that state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp planned to bid for disputed Israeli offshore oil-and-gas exploration blocks.

A high-ranking Indian delegation visited Israel last month to discuss taking part in the tender for blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, the news agency reported.

“We will definitely bid for Israel’s oil-and-gas blocks,” Reuters quoted Pradhan as saying.

New Delhi has deep military ties with Tel Aviv but they reportedly seek to expand their relationship to other sectors such as energy and technology following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July.

According to Reuters, Israeli officials were pleased with the visit by the Indian economic team, while many oil majors have been hesitant to enter the Israeli market, fearing a backlash from oil-rich Arab states.

Lebanon has a long-standing dispute with Israel which stands accused of stealing Arab resources.

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has said Israel was overtly stealing Lebanon’s underwater oil and gas reserves off the coast of south Lebanon. Hezbollah has warned that it would use force to protect Lebanon’s resources.

The gas discoveries have created a new source of friction between Lebanon and Israel, which have clashed repeatedly.

Lacking in natural resources, Israel has said it had discovered two fields thought to contain about 24 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, enough to make it energy self-sufficient for decades. Lebanese leaders have said the reserves were a “golden opportunity” for Lebanon to service its huge debt and rebuild its economy.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fadwa Barghouthi banned from visiting her husband in Israeli prison until 2019

Palestinian Fatah Movement leader Marwan Barghouti
Ma’an – September 5, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Fadwa Barghouthi, a Palestinian lawyer and the wife of imprisoned Fatah movement official Marwan Barghouthi, said that Israeli authorities have told her that she is banned from visiting her husband in prison until 2019.

Fadwa told Ma’an that after having being denied permission to visit Marwan since he led a mass prison hunger strike more than four months ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated a one-time permit for her to see Marwan last week.

However, after she left to visit her husband along with other relatives of Palestinian prisoners on Monday and waited outside the prison from between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Israeli forces eventually informed her that she would not be allowed to visit him until 2019, and that the permit issued to her had been a mistake.

Other reports said that the ban prevented her from visiting all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as well.

Fadwa said that the decision to deny her the visits was a punishment directed at her, not at her husband, for her actions during the hunger strike that started last April, presumably referring to her own activism and participation in numerous solidarity protests throughout the 40-day strike.

By Tuesday evening, an IPS spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment sent on Monday regarding the ban placed on Fadwa.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

The Conflict In Syria Was Always Israel’s War

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | September 4, 2017

After years of fomenting the Syrian conflict from the shadows, the U.S. has recently seemed to back away from its push to militarily intervene in the embattled nation, instead choosing to focus its saber-rattling and destabilization efforts on other theaters. The consequence of this has seemingly been the winding down of the long-running conflict, now entering its seventh year.

Buoyed by Russia, Iran and Lebanon, the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad has managed to retake vast swaths of territory, all while surviving and growing stronger over the course of a largely foreign-funded onslaught. As a result, many of the governments that were instrumental in funding and arming the so-called “moderate” opposition have begun to extricate themselves, unwilling to further test the resilience of Assad or the Syrian people.

With some anticipating the long-awaited conclusion of the Syrian conflict, recent threats from Israel’s government to assassinate Assad by bombing his residence seemed to appear out of the blue. According to the Jerusalem Post, a senior Israeli official accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a recent visit to Russia warned the Kremlin that if Iran continues to “extend its reach” in Syria, Israel would bomb the presidential palace in Damascus.

Israel’s comments should come as no surprise, however, as the foreign-funded and manufactured conflict in Syria was always Israel’s war. The only real surprise is Israel’s growing isolation in pushing for the further escalation of the conflict.

WikiLeaks sheds light on the origins of the war

Though it has successfully avoided being labeled a major player in the effort to oust Assad, Israel has long been the mastermind of the plan, which stems in large part from the long-standing hostilities between the two nations as well as Israel’s own regional ambitions. State Department diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have shown that in 2006, five years before the conflict in Syria manifested, the government of Israel had hatched a plan to overthrow the Assad government by engineering sectarian strife in the country, creating paranoia within the highest-ranks of the Syrian government, and isolating Syria from its strongest regional ally, Iran.

Israel then passed this plan along to the United States, which would then involve Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt in fomenting the “breakdown” of the Assad regime as a way of weakening both Iran and Hezbollah — with the effect of empowering both Israel and the Gulf monarchies, two seemingly disparate forces in the region that are becoming increasingly allied.

Leaked emails belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton further reveal Israel’s role in covertly creating the conflict and its clear role in securing the involvement of the U.S. and other nations in executing its plan for Assad’s removal. One email, forwarded by Clinton to her advisor Jacob Sullivan, argues that Israel is convinced that Iran would lose “its only ally” in the region were Assad’s government to collapse.

It further stated that “The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.” This possible sectarian war was perceived as a potential “factor in the eventual fall of the current government of Iran.”

Another Clinton email released by WikiLeaks stated:

“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,

Adding

Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.”

The email also notes:

A successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States” and states that “arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach.”

Read the full Wikileaks release below:

Stated plainly, the U.S.’ decision to spend over $1 billion until 2015 to arm Syria’s terrorist-linked “rebels” — and to invoke the assistance of Wahhabi terrorism exporters like Saudi Arabia and Qatar in funneling weapons and funds to these same groups — was spurred by Israel, which not only drafted the original blueprint for the Syrian conflict but guided U.S. involvement by exerting its powerful influence over the foreign policy of that country.

Aiding the Rebels

Israel did more, however, than covertly instigate and guide the funding of opposition “rebels” — having secretly funded and aided opposition groups, including ones with overt terrorist affiliations, over the course of the six-year-long conflict.

Israeli involvement in direct funding and aiding the Syrian “rebels” was suspected for years before being officially made public by the Wall Street Journal in June of this year. The report revealed that Israel, since the beginning of the conflict, had been “supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel, and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.” Israel has also frequently brought wounded “rebels” into Israel for medical treatment, a policy it often touts as a “humanitarian effort.”

These “friendly” forces were armed groups that formed part of or were allied with al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, known for committing atrocities against thousands of Syrian civilians and slaughtering religious and ethnic minorities. Since 2013, al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups have dominated the “eight-square-kilometer separation zone on the Golan.” Israel has stated officially that these fighters are part of the U.S. coalition-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA). However, it has long been known that the vast majority of the groups comprising FSA have pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, and that those who still fight under the FSA banner meet with al-Nusra on a daily basis.

Israel’s support for terrorist groups went far beyond medical treatment, food supplies and cash. The Israeli army was also found to have been in regular communication with these terrorist groups and even helped “pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons.” In addition, when the positions of the “rebel” groups it funded, armed and paid were in danger of being overtaken by Syrian government forces, Israel stepped in to directly bomb Syrian targets. For instance, in June, Israel attacked several Syrian military positions after claiming a stray mortar had landed within the boundaries of the Golan Heights, part of Syria that has long been occupied by Israel. However, the attack tellingly coincided with Syrian army advancements against the “rebel” groups that Israel has long cultivated as part of the so-called “buffer zone.”

Furthermore, Israel has launched attacks inside Syria “dozens and dozens of times,” according to a recent admission by Netanyahu. Earlier this year, Israel also threatened to “destroy” Syrian air defenses after the Syrian army fired missiles at Israeli warplanes striking targets within Syria.

Also very telling has been Israel’s position on Daesh (ISIS). In June of last year, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevi, openly stated that Israel does not want to see Daesh defeated in Syria — expressing concern about the offensives against Daesh territory and lamenting their “most difficult” situation. Prior to Halevi’s comments, Israeli officials had regularly noted that Daesh conquering the whole of Syria would be preferable to the survival of the Assad government. These comments have been echoed by Israeli and NATO-affiliated think tanks, one of which called Daesh “a useful tool in undermining” Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia — despite Daesh’s barbaric tactics, war crimes, enslavement of women and ethnic cleansing efforts.

Israel’s larger geopolitical agenda

Though Israel’s support of Wahhabi terrorists like Daesh (ISIS) and al-Nusra may seem counter-intuitive, Israel’s overarching purpose in expelling Assad from power is based on strategic geopolitical and economic goals that Israel is determined to meet at any cost. While Israel frequently mentions Iran as the pretext for its involvement in Syria, the strongest motivators for Israel’s participation in the destruction of its northern neighbor are oil and territorial expansion.

One of Israel’s clearest reasons for being interested in the destabilization of Syria is its ability to assert further control of the Golan Heights, an area of Syria that Israel has illegally occupied since 1967 and annexed in 1981. Despite filling the area with illegal settlements and military assets, Israel has been unable to convince the international community, and even its close allies such as the U.S., to recognize its sovereignty over the territory. However, the conflict in Syria has proven beneficial to this end, allowing Israel to send even more settlers into the Golan, an estimated 100,000 over five years.

Israel is largely interested in gaining control over the Golan for economic reasons, owing to the occupied territory’s oil reserves, which are estimated to contain “billions of barrels.” Under the cover of the Syrian conflict, the Israeli branch of an American oil company — whose investors include Dick Cheney, Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — has been drilling exploratory wells throughout the region, as the Heights’ uncertain territorial status prevents Israel from financially exploiting the resource.

Despite the prohibitions of international law, Israel is eager to tap into those reserves, as they have the potential to “make Israel energy self-sufficient.” Israel has even offered, per the Galant plan, to “rebuild” Syria with billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars in exchange for the Golan Heights — though the plan received a tepid reception from all involved parties other than Israel itself.

As its stands, Assad’s removal and replacement with a government friendly to Israeli and Western interests is Israel’s only real means of claiming the Golan Height’s energy resources for itself.

Pawns blocking Israel’s endgame

Aside from the oil and the territory it seeks to gain in the Golan Heights, Israel is also seeking to expand well beyond that territory in order to more widely exert its influence and become the region’s “superpower.” This ambition is described in the Yinon Plan, a strategy intended to ensure Israel’s regional superiority in the Middle East that chiefly involves reconfiguring the entire Arab world into smaller and weaker sectarian states. This has manifested in Israel’s support for the partition of Iraq as well as Syria, abetted by its support for the establishment of a separatist Kurdish state within these two nations.

This goal, in particular, largely explains Israel’s obsession with curbing Iranian influence in the Middle East, whether in Syria or elsewhere. Iran – more than any other nation in the region – is the most likely to threaten the “superpower” status that Israel seeks to gain for itself, as well as Israel’s loss of monopoly as the region’s only nuclear power.

Given Israel’s compound interests in seeing the removal of Assad and the partition of Syria, it is hardly surprising that Israeli political rhetoric has reached new heights of saber-rattling as Tel Aviv becomes increasingly concerned that the conflict it masterminded could backfire. Prior to the explosive comments regarding Israeli threats to bomb Assad’s residence, an anonymous Israeli government minister blamed the U.S. for backing out of Syria, a move he argued sacrificed Israeli interests:

The United States threw Israel under the bus for the second time in a row. The first time was the nuclear agreement with Iran, the second time is now that the United States ignores the fact that Iran is obtaining territorial continuity to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel’s northern border [through Syria].”

Not only that but Israel has recently vowed to “nullify” the ceasefire deal brokered between Russia and the U.S. with Syrian and Iranian support if it fails to comply with Israel’s needs — an ultimatum based on rather subjective terms given that “Israel’s needs” are hardly static. Israel’s response again shows the perception among officials in Tel Aviv that the Syrian conflict is of primary importance to Israeli geopolitical interests.

Furthermore, given that the response suggested so far by Israeli officials – on more than one occasion – has been to assassinate Syria’s democratically-elected President – the contemplated means of Israel “nullifying” the ceasefire deal will likely have explosive implications. Israel — apparently refusing to accept that the conflict it orchestrated is not going, and may not end, as planned — is now willing to escalate the situation militarily, with or without allies, resorting to dangerous brinkmanship with global implications.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The USS Liberty Wins One!

The American Legion finally calls for a congressional inquiry

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 5, 2017

On June 8th 1967 the United States Navy intelligence ship the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked in international waters by aircraft and vessels belonging to Israel. Thirty-four sailors, Marines and civilians were killed in the attack. The deliberate Israeli air and sea onslaught sought to sink the clearly identified intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew. It was in truth the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peace time. In addition to the death toll, 171 more of the crew were wounded in the two-hour assault, which was clearly intended to destroy the intelligence gathering vessel operating in international waters collecting information on the ongoing fighting between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The Israelis, whose planes had their Star of David markings covered up so Egypt could be blamed, attacked the ship repeatedly from the air and with torpedo boats from the sea. When one Israeli pilot hesitated, refusing to attack what was clearly an American ship, he was instructed to proceed anyway.

Most Americans are completely unaware that a United States naval vessel was once deliberately targeted and nearly sunk by America’s “greatest friend and ally” Israel. The attack was followed by a comprehensive cover-up that demonstrated clearly that at least one president of the United States even back nearly fifty years ago valued his relationship with the state of Israel above his loyalty to his own country.

The most disgusting part of the tale relates to how U.S. warplanes sent to the Liberty’s aid from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean were called back by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara acting under orders from President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who declared that he would rather see the ship go to the bottom of the sea than embarrass his good friend Israel. Ironically, the first ship to reach the foundering Liberty and offer assistance was from the Soviet Union, an offer that was declined.

The incredible courage and determination of the surviving crew was the only thing that kept the Liberty from sinking. The ship’s commanding officer Captain William McGonagle was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic role in keeping the ship afloat, though President Lyndon Baines Johnson broke with tradition and refused to hold the medal ceremony in the White House, also declining to award it personally, delegating that task to the Secretary of the Navy in a closed to the public presentation made at the Washington Navy Yard. The additional medals given to other crew members in the aftermath of the attack made the U.S.S. Liberty the most decorated ship based on a single engagement with hostile forces in the history of the United States Navy.

The cover-up of the attack began immediately. The Liberty crew was sworn to secrecy over the incident, as were the Naval dockyard workers in Malta, and even the men of the U.S.S. Davis, which had assisted the badly damaged Liberty to port were ordered to be silent. A hastily convened and conducted court of inquiry ordered by Admiral John McCain interviewed only a few crewmen and did not seek to determine what had actually happened, instead, acting under orders from Washington, it moved quickly to declare the attack a case of mistaken identity. The inquiry’s senior legal counsel Captain Ward Boston, who subsequently declared the attack to be a “deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew,” also revealed that Admiral Isaac Kidd, who presided over the inquiry, had told him that “President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him [Kidd] to conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” The court’s findings were rewritten and sections relating to Israeli war crimes, to include the machine gunning of life rafts, were excised.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Senator John McCain of Arizona has used his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to effectively block any reconvening of a board of inquiry to reexamine the evidence. The documents relating to the Liberty incident from the White House perspective of McNamara and Johnson, if they have not been destroyed, have never been released to the public in spite of the 50 years that have passed since the attack took place.

In retrospect, one might well have expected little better from the likes of Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara and either Admiral John McCain or his son, but the cover-up that has endured for fifty years involving the national media as well as politicians from both parties is perhaps even more disgraceful because it has established the principle that even when Israel targets and kills American military personnel it will never ever be held accountable. Such is the power of the Israel Lobby in the United States.

Even if one is not exactly surprised by the behavior of Washington’s own apparatchiks there has been one constituency that has been steadfast in its support of the U.S.S. Liberty and its surviving crew and that is America’s veterans. Or at least that has been true with one major exception, consisting of the largest veterans’ organization, the American Legion. The second largest veterans’ group the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) has long demanded a proper investigation into what happened to the Liberty as have also the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled Veterans of America, and the Retired Officers Association, but the Legion has long been actually hostile to any attempts to establish accountability for the Liberty survivors.

The Legion’s history of opposition to any examination of what happened to the U.S.S. Liberty is interesting in that it demonstrates how one or two individuals can work insidiously within a large organization to prevent the endorsement of policies overwhelmingly favored by most of its members. The American Legion did, in fact, decry the Israeli attack on the Liberty shortly after it occurred. In August 1967, after the conclusion of the flawed Admiral John McCain directed inquiry, the American Legion adopted Resolution 508 declaring that the published report “fails to provide the American public with a satisfactory answer as to the reason for the attack.” It asserted that “The American Legion denounces and condemns Israel’s irresponsible attack” and demanded “a complete and thorough investigation of the incident.” Immediately after the passage of the resolution there were complaints and pressure coming from Jewish groups and individuals, which is why the resolution was unfortunately never acted upon at a time when it might have had some impact on a congress that was not yet completely Israeli occupied territory. The 1967 resolution was rescinded by the Legion’s National Executive Committee in 1984.

There followed more than thirty years of futility as Liberty survivors and veterans groups sought to reintroduce their demand for a proper inquiry as an active American Legion resolution, but the group’s National Executive exploited a number of stratagems to block every attempt to introduce a new resolution, including rejecting proposals in committee, changing convention rules and physically confronting and expelling those who objected. Indeed, the Legion’s executive did its best to drop the U.S.S. Liberty story down a memory hole. An article written by James Ennes, an officer wounded in the attack, was commissioned for publication in the Legion magazine but was pulled at the last minute because it was “too controversial.”

Efforts by the Legion’s Michigan Department in 2012 to introduce a new resolution resulted in some heated exchanges with senior Legion officials who clearly were the driving force on blocking any action relating to the Liberty. The Legion’s Judge Advocate General Phil Onderdonk confronted the Michigan delegate Ted Arens and angrily informed him that “Your resolution is going nowhere” before describing the Liberty survivors as “anti-Semites.” He also said that “The ship should never have been there. It was a spy ship.” Onderdonk was true to his word about the resolution going nowhere. He reportedly personally removed Arens’ name from the foreign affairs committee agenda to block him from either speaking or presenting his resolution.

Onderdonk’s name pops up regularly in the reminiscences of those who have been advocating for a new Liberty resolution. Indeed, he appears to have been the Legion point-man for dealing with the U.S.S. Liberty inquiries. He is a lawyer from Indiana who served as a “contracting officer” during the Vietnam War. Onderdonk was obviously badly informed regarding the facts in the case as the Liberty was in international waters and clearly marked as an American vessel. And if it was a spy ship, that spying was being done under orders from and to benefit the United States government. And, of course, the claim of anti-Semitism is as ever the last refuge of a scoundrel who has nothing better to say, particularly if one is allegedly representing a patriotic organization and is discussing a surprise attack by a foreign government in which 34 American sailors, Marines and civilians were killed.

I should also note that Onderdonk has been the Legion Judge Advocate General since 1983, shortly before the original Liberty resolution by the Legion was rescinded. If past interaction with Liberty survivors is anything to go by, it can be assumed that he will do everything in his power to block any recognition for the ship and its crew. He is, unfortunately, still the Legion Judge Advocate General and it is at least somewhat ironic that a Religious Liberty Award has been named in his honor and recently presented to Senator Ted Cruz.

Also in 2012, two Liberty survivors were turned away from the annual convention where they had expected to man a booth for the Liberty Veterans Association, which they had paid for. They were forcibly ejected from the convention hall and the Legion’s conference coordinator Dick Holmes turned on Arens and told him “I am sick of you bastards and am going to throw you out on your ass.” In 2013, Liberty survivors’ application for a booth was similarly rejected without any reason being offered. In the following year, the Legion reached out to the VFW and tried to convince it to ban the Liberty survivors from its own gatherings. The VFW rejected the appeal.

So the attempt of the U.S.S. Liberty survivors and their supporters to get the American Legion on board for an inquiry seemed doomed to fail – until this year, the 50th anniversary of the attack. A new resolution was adopted in March by Post 40 in Seattle Washington and was later passed unanimously at the State of Washington’s own American Legion convention, thus placing it on the agenda of the national convention. It was then endorsed by the Iowa delegation, which introduced it to the Foreign Relations subcommittee. Gunnery Sergeant Bryce Lockwood, who received a Silver Star for gallantry during the Israeli attack, worked the August 17-24 national convention in Reno and performed heroically for a second time on behalf of his shipmates, shepherding the draft resolution through in spite of resistance from the American Legion Executive and Foreign Relations subcommittee chair William Flanagan.

One of the participants in the process described how the critical vote came at the National Security Committee level, which was where previous draft resolutions had been derailed. The National Executive had recommended against the resolution and there was considerable opposition from the leadership on the Foreign Relations subcommittee, but the rank-and-file on Foreign Relations did not back down and were successful in a 27-11 vote. The Security Committee then passed it on an overwhelmingly favorable voice vote, with Gunny Lockwood working hard from the sidelines on both committees as well as on the convention floor. When the resolution finally was presented to the full membership it easily passed on another voice vote, revealing that there was strong support from the Legion membership.

Resolution 40 begins by making the case for the Liberty in 11 “Whereas” paragraphs. It then states: “RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Reno, Nevada, August 22, 23, 24, 2017, that The American Legion calls upon the 115th United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.”

Whether Congress can be induced to do the right thing by the Liberty remains to be seen, but the adoption of the resolution was a major victory brought about by a confluence of factors as well as a lot of hard work on the part of the Liberty survivors and their supporters. And certainly, it is no time to relax as the Israel Lobby never sleeps, never gives up. The resolution is posted on the American Legion website but one should assume that there will still be some pushback against actually doing anything about the resolution being exerted by senior officials within the American Legion bureaucracy. Israel meanwhile will certainly use all the resources that it has at hand, and they are considerable, to make sure that Congress never looks into the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in any capacity.

We Americans who care for the Liberty and are concerned by the 50 years of lies, cover-up and general obfuscation regarding it can do our bit by calling or writing our members of Congress to remind them that all major veterans groups now are expecting action. We should also tell them that the investigation into what happened on that day is way past due. Sometimes even Senators and Representatives listen.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 7 Comments

North Korean delegation arrives in Russia, to be joined shortly by South Korean President

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | September 5, 2017

Hours after the 9th annual BRICS summit wrapped up in Xieman, China, delegates from East and South East Asia have begun arriving in the Russian city of Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum.

The Forum is an event designed to enhance economic partnerships and cooperation between multiple Asian nations including Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam and the Korean states.

This year’s summit occurs days after North Korea tested what is thought to be a hydrogen-weapon. Russia and China have both condemned the move and support UN sanctions against Pyongyang, but are equally opposed to further crippling unilateral sanctions from Washington.

With many suspecting that North Korea would boycott the event, Russian officials have confirmed otherwise, stating that the North Korean delegation is already in Vladivostok.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is to arrive shortly along with the South Korean delegation. While the Korean crisis is set to dominate discussions that would otherwise have been reserved for discussing trade and economic matters, it is not yet clear if the North and South Korean delegations will interact at any level.

Many suspect that Russian President Vladimir Putin who hosts the event will attempt to conduct dialogue with the representatives of both Korean states in order to try and de-escalate regional tensions.

The Eastern Economic Forum officially begins on the 6th of September and runs through the 7th.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment