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Ex-CIA operative says US has long meddled in elections, but it’s OK since they are ‘god cops’

RT | February 18, 2018

In an article published in the New York Times on Saturday, former CIA officers and several researchers, who have been studying covert US intelligence operations for years, say that the while methods allegedly used by Russians to meddle into the US elections might slightly differ from the old school CIA operations overseas, there is nothing in the allegations against Russians that Americans haven’t done themselves.

“If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” retired CIA veteran Steven Hall told NYT’s Scott Shane.

Hall, who left his job as CIA Chief of Russian Operations in 2015 after 30 years of service, noted that the US has never shunned attempting to meddle in other countries’ elections.

Saying that the CIA had “absolutely” engaged in such operations in the past, Hall added that he hopes “we keep doing it.”

Thirteen Russian nationals and three entities were indicted on Friday as part of the special FBI counsel Robert Mueller’s lingering probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, and collusion between Moscow and US President Donald Trump’s campaign. As proof to support either of the two allegations is still scant, the Russians listed in the indictment were accused of waging “information warfare against the United States of America,” including by sowing discord on social media with “divisive” posts on Facebook and Twitter.

While the social media boom is a recent phenomenon, the US intelligence has a long record of weaponizing information, albeit in a more conventional form, Loch Johnson, a scholar at the University of Georgia, who has been investigating the CIA since the 1970s, told the Times.

“We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash,” Johnson said, recounting that in the late 1980s he was told by CIA operatives that they used to plant reports that fit the US agenda or bluntly fake news in foreign newspapers by the dozen. The number of such daily “insertions” ran in as many as 70 to 80 publications, he recounted.

But when the US does it, it’s for the greater good, the scholar and the CIA officers claim.

Likening the American operations to what Russia is accused of, “is like saying cops and bad guys are the same because they both have guns — the motivation matters,” Hall said. Because, just like the bloody wars the US is waging around the world, it is being done for the sake of democracy.

Contrary to the supposed Russian onslaught on the American democracy, which, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, did not affect the outcome of the presidential elections, some US meddling did lead to actual changes of power across Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

According to a survey by Researcher Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Politics and Strategy, the US meddled in elections at least 81 times from 1946 to 2000, including in Yugoslavia in the 2000 against Slobodan Milosevic.

The number, however, does not include the military coups orchestrated by the US, or regime changes as a result of the US interventions, some of which had precious little to do with democracy, such as the rise of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet after the violent overthrow of President Salvador Allende in 1973. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the US did not give up on its interventionist policy. The most recent examples include the US-led NATO intervention in Libya that brought down strongman Muammar Gaddafi, but failed to deliver a semblance of democracy. The war-ravaged country is being torn between three different power centers seven years after the military incursion.

The US role in the coup in Ukraine, which paved way for bloodshed in the country’s east, has been widely reported. Last year, former US Vice President Joe Biden admitted in his memoir that he demanded former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich resign in 2014, telling him that his “time was over.”

Biden also boasted that he played a part in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor during a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk in March 2016.

Read more:

Venezuela’s Maduro may be kicked out by own military & get ‘nice’ exile in Cuba, Tillerson hints

‘Democrats & MSM wreaked far more havoc than Russians’ – White House spokesman

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 2 Comments

Students Report Multiple Shooters & Mass Shooting Drill at Florida High School

By Matt Agorist | Free Thought Project | February 15, 2018

Parkland, FL — Multiple students have since come forward after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday with details that raise some serious questions. These students have reported that a mass casualty drill was scheduled that day as well as at least one other student reporting multiple shooters.

It is important to point out that we are not claiming what these students are saying is true, however, we feel that their points of view are certainly newsworthy.

In one chilling account, a high school student not only told reporters that she witnessed multiple shooters, but she also explained how she was talking to the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, as she heard rounds being fired down the hall.

Alexa Miednik told KHOU-TV journalist Matt Musil:”The fire alarm went off and the principal came on the speaker saying ‘everybody needs to evacuate right now,’ so that’s what I did.”

“As I was going down the stairs I heard a couple of shots fired, everybody was freaking out saying that it was a gun,” explained Miednik.

“As we were walking, the whole class together, I actually was speaking to the suspect Nikolas Cruz,” said Miednik, as she made quotes with her fingers when saying ‘suspect’.

“And as I was speaking to him he seemed very – I don’t know what the word is – he was trouble in high school. So I actually joked to him about and said, ‘I’m surprised you weren’t the one who did it.’ And he just gave me a ‘huh?’,” Miednik said.

After this incredible account, Miednik went on to explain that she was absolutely sure there were multiple shooters.

“So, you were walking down the hall with him?” asks the reporter. “Weren’t you scared?”

“In the moment I wasn’t,” replied Miednik. “because there was obviously…definitely another shooter involved.”

“Oh, you think he was not the only one?” asks the surprised reporter.

“No, definitely not,” replied Miednik.

“Why do you say that?” the reporter asked.

“Because when shots were fired, I saw him after the fact. The shots were coming from the other part of the building. So, there definitely had to be two shooters involved,” she explained.

According to police, there was only one shooter—Cruz—who is currently in custody.

On top of the report of multiple shooters, there were multiple reports of active shooter drills happening the same day.

It has not been confirmed that a drill was planned—other than a fire drill that morning—but students said they’d heard a ‘rumor’ that they would have to take part in a ‘code red’ practice exercise.

“I thought, ‘I don’t know if this is real or fake,’” Kelsey Friend explained to CNN.

“We had rumors going around the school that police would do a fake code red with fake guns but sounding real,” Friend explained to reporters. “I thought, at the beginning that this was all a drill… until I saw my teacher dead on the floor.”

Another student, Will Gilroy, reportedly said that students at the high school in were told there would be an active shooter drill at their school this week. He said that’s why students thought they were participating in a drill when they were evacuating.

Again, it is important to point out that we are merely reporting on eyewitness testimony and not drawing any conclusions from their statements. However, the reason it is important to report this—outside of the obvious one that the mainstream media is not—is the fact that it is highly suspicious and raises questions like, did Cruz know there were be an active shooter drill that day?

Were the second shots as described by Miednik part of that drill?

If Cruz did know about the rumored drill, who told him?

All these questions and more need to be asked in order to get a clear image of why so many innocent people were killed. There is nothing “tinfoily” or “fake news” about them, it is simply important to leave no stone unturned.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment

Public hearing and written comments on draft registration

By Ed Hasbrouk | The Practical Nomad | February 16, 2018

For the first time in decades, a Federal commission is holding open-mike public hearings throughout the USA (starting next Friday, 23 February 2018, in Harrisburg, PA) and taking written testimony (through 19 April 2018, Patriots’ Day) on whether draft registration should be ended or extended to women as well as men; whether there should be a draft of people with medical or other special skills regardless of age or gender; whether a draft would be “feasible” (it wouldn’t, because so many people haven’t registered with the Selective Service System, have moved without notifying the SSS, and/or would resist if drafted); and related issues.

Despite some problems, this is by far your best and most open opportunity in decades to tell the Federal government to end draft registration.

In late 2015, Commander-In-Chief Obama ordered all military assignments opened to women. That order undercut, and probably eliminated, the legal argument that had been used since 1980 to justify requiring only men, but not women, to register for the draft.

That gave members of Congress three options, none of which most of them wanted to take responsibility for, in the run-up to the 2016 elections:

  1. Do nothing and wait for courts to invalidate the requirement for men to register for the draft;
  2. Repeal the requirement for men to register, and abolish the Selective Service System (and risk being attacked as peaceniks); or
  3. Extend the requirement to register for the draft to women as well as men (and risk being attacked by both feminists and sexists).

After elaborate bi-partisan machinations, Congress chose Door Number One (“Do Nothing”). Perhaps members of Congress thought that would allow them to point the finger of “blame” at the courts, and away from themselves, if draft registration was ended. More likely they just wanted to punt this political hot potato past the 2016 elections into the Clinton or Trump Administration.

To provide further political cover for delaying its decision, Congress voted in late 2016 to establish a National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service “to conduct a review of the military selective service process (commonly referred to as ‘the draft’).” The Commission is required to solicit and consider public comments, and to report back to the President and Congress with its recommendations by March 2020 (at which time its recommendations can either be ignored, used, or abused to score points in 2020 election campaigns).

That Commission has now been appointed and held its first public meeting on 18 January 2018.

Today the Commission published:

  • A notice in the Federal Register soliciting written comments (by a Web form or by e-mail to “”, mentioning “Docket No. 05-2018-01” in the subject) though 19 April 2018; and
  • An announcement on the Commission’s Web site of a first public hearing, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Friday, 23 February 2018, at the Harrisburg Area Community College, Midtown Trade and Technology Center, Midtown 2, Room 206, 1500 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg, PA.

Pass the word to any of your contacts who might be able to make it to Harrisburg that day.

It’s unclear how the Commission’s hearings will be conducted. So far as I can tell from the announcement it appears that at least the first hearing will be a first-come, first-served, open microphone event, although I have no idea how much time each speaker will be allowed.

The law establishing the Commission requires that:

The Commission shall conduct hearings on the recommendations it is taking under consideration. Any such hearing, except a hearing in which classified information is to be considered, shall be open to the public. Any hearing open to the public shall be announced on a Federal website at least 14 days in advance. For all hearings open to the public, the Commission shall release an agenda and a listing of materials relevant to the topics to be discussed.

The Commission’s first planned hearing in Harrisburg, PA, on 23 February 2018, was announced on the Commission’s Web site on February 16th, only seven days in advance. The Commission appears to be in flagrant violation of the statutory requirement for 14 days’ notice, and the hearing in Harrisburg, if it is held on February 23rd, will be unlawful. As of a week before the planned hearing, no agenda has been released.

Members of the Commission have said it plans to hold public hearings in each of the nine US Census regions over the next two years, but none of the other dates and locations have been announced yet.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Bernie Sanders makes no comments about Russia’s alleged support for him in 2016

Press TV – February 17, 2018

US independent Senator Bernie Sanders has remained silent towards allegations by special counsel Robert Mueller about Moscow’s support for him ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The Vermont lawmaker released a statement to announce stance in the wake of Mueller’s Friday revelations coming from months of investigation into ties between Russia and US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.

According to Mueller’s indictment, the Russians “primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about [then-Democratic candidate] Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

Mueller also indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities over Moscow’s interference, whose operations allegedly started as early as 2014.

Shortly after Mueller’s indictment, Sanders called for the continuation of the investigation without mentioning allegations that Russia supported him to undermine Hillary’s campaign.

“It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 elections and intends to be involved in the 2018 elections. It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs,” Sanders said. “It is absolutely imperative that the Mueller investigation be allowed to go forward without obstruction from the Trump administration or Congress.”

Clinton herself has not commented on the indictment yet but Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez called the new revelations “chilling” in a statement.

“This indictment gives us a chilling look at just how sophisticated, well-funded and wide-ranging this attack on democracy really was. It should send chills up the spine of every American,” he said.

The investigation seeks to find out whether the Russian government coordinated with Trump’s aides after the intelligence community’s conclusion that the Kremlin helped with the New York billionaire’s campaign effort ahead of winning the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and the president.

According to the new indictment, Russian “specialists were instructed to post content that focused on ‘politics in the USA’ and to ‘use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them.).’”

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 5 Comments

Putin’s Grand Bargain to Israel: Can Israel Digest It?

By Alastair CROOKE | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.02.2018

“Israel is climbing up a high horse,” Alex Fishman (the veteran Israeli Defence Correspondent) wrote in the Hebrew daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, last month, “and is approaching with giant steps a ‘war of choice’: Without mincing words, it’s an initiated war in Lebanon.” In Fishman’s article, he notes: “Classical deterrence is when you threaten an enemy not to harm you in your territory, but here, Israel demands that the enemy refrain from doing something in its own territory, otherwise Israel will harm it. From a historical perspective and from the perspective of international legitimacy, the chances of this threat being accepted as valid, leading to the cessation of enemy activities in its own territory, are slim.”

Ben Caspit also wrote about a fair prospect of a “war of choice,” whilst a Haaretz editorial – explains Professor Idan Landau in an Israeli news blog – noted: “The Israeli government therefore owes Israeli citizens a precise, pertinent and persuasive explanation as to why a missile factory in Lebanon has changed the strategic balance to the extent that it requires going to war. It must present assessments to the Israeli public as to the expected number of casualties, damage to civilian infrastructure and the economic cost of going to war, as compared with the danger that construction of the missile factory constitutes.”

We live dangerous times in the Middle East today – both in the immediate present, and in the mid-term, too.

Last week saw the first ‘game changer’ that almost plunged the region into war: the downing of one of Israel’s most sophisticated aircraft – an F16i. But as Amos Harel notes, on this occasion: “Russian President Vladimir Putin put an end to the confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria – and both sides accepted his decision … On Saturday afternoon, after the second wave of bombardments … senior Israeli officials were still taking a militant line, and it seemed as if Jerusalem was considering further military action. Discussion of that ended not long after a phone call between Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” (emphasis added).

And that last statement represented the second ‘game changer’: In ‘good old days’, as Martin Indyk called it, it would have been to the US that Israel reflexively would have turned, but not this time. Israel asked President Putin to mediate. It seems that Israel believes that Mr Putin is now the ‘indispensable power’. And in terms of airspace in the north, he is. As Ronen Bergman wrote in the New York Times: “Israel will no longer be able to act in Syria without limitations”; and secondly, “if anyone was not yet aware of it, Russia is the dominant power in the region”.

So, what is all this about? Well for a start, it is not about a drone which may (or may not) have trespassed into what Israel calls Israel, or what Syria sees as ‘occupied Golan’. Let us ignore all that: or, think of it as ‘the butterfly wing effect’ in chaos theory, whose tiny wing changes ‘the world’, if you prefer. Ultimately however, these various warnings of impending war, precipitated out from the Syrian State’s success in defeating the jihadi insurgency mounted against it. This outcome has changed the regional balance of power – and we are witnessing states reacting to that strategic defeat.

Israel, having backed the losing side, wants to limit its losses. It fears the changes taking place across the northern tier of the region: Prime Minister Netanyahu has several times sought guarantees from President Putin that Iran and Hizbullah should not be allowed to gain any strategic advantage from Syria’s victory that might be to Israel’s disadvantage. But Putin, it seems clear, gave no guarantees. He told Netanyahu that whilst he recognised, and acknowledged Israel’s security interests, Russia had its interests, too – and also underlined that Iran was a “strategic partner” of Russia.

In practice, there is no effective Iranian or Hizbullah presence in any proximate vicinity to Israel (and indeed both Iran and Hizbullah have substantially pared their forces in Syria as a whole). But, it seems that Netanyahu wanted more: And to put leverage on Russia to guarantee a future Syria, free from any ‘Shi’a presence, Israel has been bombing Syria on almost a weekly basis, and issuing a series of war-like threats against Lebanon (on the pretext that Iran was constructing ‘sophisticated missile’ factories there), saying, in effect to President Putin, that if you do not give ironclad guarantees vis-à-vis a Syria free of Iran and Hizbullah, we will disrupt both countries.

Well, what happened is that Israel lost an F16: unexpectedly shot down by the Syrian air defences. The message is this: ‘Stability in Syria and Lebanon is a Russian interest. Whilst, we recognise Israel’s security interests, don’t mess with ours. If you want a war with Iran that is your business, and Russia will not be involved; but do not forget that Iran is, and remains our strategic partner’.

This is Putin’s Grand Bargain: Russia will assume a certain defined responsibility for Israel’s security, but not if Israel undertakes wars of choice against Iran and Hizbullah, or if it deliberately disrupts stability in the North (including Iraq). And no more gratuitous bombing raids in the north, intended to disrupt stability. But if Israel wants a war with Iran, then Russia will stand aloof.

Israel has now had a taste of President Putin’s ‘stick’: Your air superiority in the North has just been punctured by the Syrian air defences. You, Israel, will lose it completely were our Russian S400s air defences to be enabled: ‘Think it over’.

In case of doubt, consider this statement in 2017, by the Chief of Staff of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Major-General Sergey Meshcheryakov. He said: “Today, a unified, integrated air defense system has been set up in Syria. We have ensured the information and technical interlinkage of the Russian and Syrian air reconnaissance systems. All information on the situation in the air comes from Syrian radar stations to the control points of the Russian force grouping”.

Two things flow from this: First, that Russia knew exactly what was going on when the Israeli F16 met with a barrage of Syrian air defence missiles. As Alex Fishman, doyen of Israeli defence correspondents, noted (in Hebrew) Yediot Ahoronot on 11 February: “One of the [Israeli] planes was hit by the two barrages of 27 Syrian surface-to-air missiles… which is a huge achievement for the Syrian army, and embarrassing for the IAF, since the electronic warfare systems that envelope the plane were supposed to have provided protection from a barrage of missiles… The IAF is going to have to conduct an in-depth technical-intelligence inquiry to determine: are the Syrians in possession of systems that are capable of bypassing the Israeli warning and jamming systems? Have the Syrians developed a new technique that the IAF is unaware of? It was reported that the pilots did not radio in any alert that an enemy missile had locked onto their plane. In principle, they were supposed to report that. They might have been preoccupied. But there is also the more severe possibility that they were unaware of the missile that had locked onto them—which leads to the question of why they didn’t know, and only realized the severity of the damage after they had been hit and were forced to bail out.”

And the second: that subsequent Israeli claims that Syria was then punished by Israel through the destruction of 50% of her air defence system should be taken with a big pinch of salt. Recall what Meshcheryakov said: It was a fully integrated, unified Russian-Syrian system, which is to say it had a Russian flag flying over it. (And this initial Israeli claim has now been back-peddled by the IDF spokesman; see here).

Finally, Putin, in the wake of the F16 downing, told Israel to stop destabilising Syria. He said nothing about Syria’s drone patrolling the southern border (a regular Syrian practice for monitoring insurgent groups in the south).

The message is clear: Israel gets Russia’s limited security guarantees, but loses its freedom of action. Without air domination (which Russia already has seized), the assumed superiority over its neighbouring Arab states – which Israel long since has folded into its collective psyche – will see Israel’s wings clipped.

Can such a bargain be digested culturally in Israel? We must wait to see whether Israel’s leaders accept that they no longer enjoy air superiority over Lebanon or Syria; or whether, as the Israeli commentators warn in our introductory quotes, the Israeli political leadership will opt for a ‘war of choice’, in an attempt to pre-empt Israel’s final loss of its domination of the skies. There is, of course, a further option of running to Washington, in order to try to co-opt America into adopting the eviction of Iran from Syria – but our guess is that Putin has already quietly squared Trump with his plan beforehand. Who knows?

And would then a preventive war to try recuperate Israeli air superiority be feasible or realistic from the perspective of the Israeli Defence Forces? It’s a moot point. A third of Israelis are culturally, and ethnically, Russian, and many admire President Putin. Also, could Israel count, in such circumstances, on Russia not using its own highly sophisticated S400 air-defence missiles, stationed in Syria, in order to protect Russian servicemen stationed across Syria?

And the Israeli-Syrian-Lebanese tensions, in themselves, do not bring an end to the present clutch of risks associated with Syria. On the same weekend, Turkey lost a helicopter and its two crew, brought down by Kurdish forces in Afrin. Sentiment in Turkey against the YPG and PKK is heating up; nationalism and New Ottomanism is spiking; and America is being angrily portrayed as Turkey’s “strategic enemy”. President Erdogan asserts forcefully that Turkish forces will clear all the YPG/PKK forces from Afrin to the Euphrates, but an American general says that American troops will not budge from blocking Erdogan’s route, midway – at Manbij. Who will blink first? And, can this escalation continue without a major rupture to Turkish-US relations? (Erdogan has already noted that America’s defense budget for 2019 includes an allocation of $550 million for the YPG. What exactly does America mean by that provision?).

Also, can a US military leadership, concerned to play-out a re-make of the Vietnam war – but with America winning this time (to show that the Vietnam outcome was a wholly unmerited defeat for the US forces) – accept to pull back from its aggressively imposed occupation of Syria, east of the Euphrates, and thus lose further credibility? Particularly when restoring US military credibility and leverage is the very mantra of the White House generals (and Trump)? Or, will the pursuit of US military ‘credibility’ degenerate into a game of ‘chicken’, mounted by US forces versus the Syrian Armed Forces – or even with Russia itself, which views the US occupation in Syria as inherently disturbing to the regional stability which Russia is trying to establish.

The ‘big picture’ competition between states for the future of Syria (and the region) – is open and visible. But who lay behind these other provocations, which could equally have led to escalation, and quite easily slipped the region towards conflict? Who provided the man portable surface-to-air missile that brought down the Russian SU25 fighter – and which ended, with the pilot, surrounded by jihadists, courageously preferring to kill himself with his own grenade, rather than be taken alive? Who ‘facilitated’ the insurgent group which fired the manpad? Who armed the Afrin Kurds with sophisticated anti-tank weapons (that have destroyed some twenty Turkish tanks)? Who provided the millions of dollars to engineer the tunnels and bunkers built by the Afrin Kurds, and who paid for the kitting out of its armed force?

And who was behind the swarm of drones, with explosives attached, sent to attack the main Russian airbase at Khmeimim? The drones were made to look outwardly like some simple home-made affair, which an insurgent force might cobble together, but since Russian electronic measures managed to take control and land six of them, the Russians were able to see that, internally, they were quite different: They contained sophisticated electronic counter-measures and GPS guidance systems within. In short, the rustic external was camouflage to its true sophistication, which likely represented the handiwork of a state agency. Who? Why? Was someone trying to set Russia and Turkey at each other’s throats?

We do not know. But it is plain enough that Syria is the crucible to powerful destructive forces which might advertently, or inadvertently, ignite Syria – and – potentially, the Middle East. And as the Israeli defence correspondent, Amos Harel, wrote, we have already this last weekend, “come a hair’s breadth from a slide into war”.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Result of Mueller’s Investigation: Nothing

By Paul Craig Roberts • Institute For Political Economy • February 16, 2018

Robert Mueller discredited himself and his orchestrated Russiagate investigation today (Friday, February 16, 2018) with his charges that 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies plotted to use social media to influence the 2016 election. Their intent, Mueller says, was to “sow discord in the US political system.”

What pathetic results to come from a 9 month investigation!

Note that the hyped Russian hacking of Hillary’s emails that we have heard about every day is no where to be found in Mueller’s charges. In its place there is “use of social media to sow discord.” I mean, really! Even if the charge were correct, considering the massive discord present in the last presidential election, with the Democrats calling Trump voters racist, sexist, homophobic white trash deplorables, how much discord could a measly 13 Russians add via social media?

Note also that the Trump/Putin conspiracy is also not present in Mueller’s charges. Mueller’s charges say that the Russians’ plan to sow discord began in 2014, before there was any notion that Trump would run for president in 2017. The link of the plot to Putin is reduced to the allegation that the plot was financed by a St. Petersburg restaurateur whose connection to Putin is that his business once catered official dinners between Russian officials and foreign dignitaries.

Finally, note that Mueller’s release of his charges in the face of dead news weekend means that Mueller knows that he has nothing to justify the massive propaganda onslaught against Trump for conspiring with Putin with which the presstitutes have regaled us. If the charges amounted to anything, they would have been released on Monday morning, and the presstitutes would have been handed by the FBI and CIA the news stories to file with their papers.

How did the 13 Russians go about sowing discord? Are you ready for this? They held political rallies posing as Americans and they paid one person (unidentified) to build a cage aboard a flatbed pickup truck and another person to wear a costume portraying Hillary in prison clothes.

How much money was lavished on this plot. A monthly budget of $1.2 million, a sum far too small to be seen in the $2.65 billion spent by Hillary and Trump and the $6.8 billion spent by all candidates for federal elective offices in the last election.

Mueller claims to have emails from some of the 13 Russians. If the emails are authentic, they sound like a few kids pretending to friends that they are doing big things. One of the emails brags that the FBI got after them so they got busy covering up their tracks.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has fallen for Mueller’s ruse.

Remember what William Binney, the person who designed the NSA spy program, said: If any such Russiagate plot existed, NSA would have the evidence. No investigation would be necessary.

One can conclude that Mueller and Rosenstein are fighting for their lives now that it is known that their spy requests for FISA court approval were based on deception. Mueller has produced this silly indictment of individuals who are not the Russian government in the hope that it will keep the attention off the FBI’s deception of the FISA court.

As a special prosecutor Mueller has demonstrated the same lack of intergrity that he demonstrated as FBI director.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

Mueller’s Investigation A Farce: Files Joke Indictment Against Russian Trolls

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
By Elizabeth Vos | Disobedient Media | February 16, 2018

If one needed proof that Mueller’s investigation was an utter farce, they were in for a treat this morning when the Deputy Attorney General announced the indictment of indicted 13 “Russian trolls,” for allegedly interfering in the 2016 Presidential election by posting on social media accounts.

Laying Mueller’s disregard of the First Amendment aside, the indictment is blatantly hypocritical in light of active social media intervention by pro-Clinton David Brock and his multi-million dollar efforts to ‘Correct The Record.’

The indictment alleges that: “Beginning in or around June 2014, the ORGANIZATION obscured its conduct by operating through a number of Russian entities, including Internet Research LLC, MediaSintez LLC, GlavSet LLC, MixInfo LLC, Azimut LLC, and NovInfo LLC.”

The indictment further alleges that: “The ORGANIZATION sought, in part, to conduct what it called information warfare against the United States of America through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media.”

According to the indictment, the co-conspirators “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

The indictment represents the latest mutation of Russian interference allegations that have dragged on for over a year. As this author previously noted, the definition of Russian interference has mutated from unsubstantiated claims of Russian hacking, to Russian collusion, and finally to Russian social media trolling.

The Washington Post reported in 2015 that David Brock’s Correct The Record would work directly with the Clinton Campaign, “testing the legal limits” of campaign finance in the process. How did Correct The Record skirt campaign finance law? The Washington Post tells us: “by relying on a 2006 Federal Election Commission regulation that declared that content posted online for free, such as blogs, is off-limits from regulation.” And post online, Brock’s PAC did: “disseminating information about Clinton on its Web site and through its Facebook and Twitter accounts, officials said.”

Time reported the opinion of a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center who characterized Correct The Record as: “creating new ways to undermine campaign regulation.” Meanwhile, The New York Times detailed the “outrage machine” that Brock and fellow Clinton supporter Peter Daou had created:

“Peter Daou sat with his team at a long wooden table last week, pushing the buttons that activate Mrs. Clinton’s outrage machine. Mr. Daou’s operation, called Shareblue, had published the article on Mr. Trump’s comment on its website and created the accompanying hashtag.“They will put that pressure right on the media outlets in a very intense way,” Mr. Daou, the chief executive of Shareblue, said of the Twitter army he had galvanized. “By the thousands.”

Going further, the New York Times details fervently the $2 million budget of Daou’s Shareblue and admits that the intent of the entire operation is interference in the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton: “Beyond creating a boisterous echo chamber, the real metric of success for Shareblue, which Mr. Brock said has a budget of $2 million supplied by his political donors, is getting Mrs. Clinton elected. Mr. Daou’s role is deploying a band of committed, outraged followers to harangue Mrs. Clinton’s opponents.”

The New York Daily News put the matter most bluntly: “Hillary Clinton camp now paying online trolls to attack anyone who disparages her online.” The LA Times described the active election interference: “It is meant to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical.”

Despite the millions of dollars poured into a pro-Clinton ‘outrage machine’ bent on her support, Clinton inexplicably lost the election to Donald Trump, a fact which still seems not to have sunk in for the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

But why bring up this apparently old news, in the face of Mueller’s latest mockery of the American judicial process and the First Amendment? Because it reveals in the words of the legacy press that by definition Mueller’s circus has zero interest in campaign or election integrity and is solely interested in getting scalps for Clinton and for the unelected powers she represented.

Despite obvious hypocrisy given the actions of Shareblue and David Brock’s Correct The Record, corporate media ignored all double standards and attempted to report on “Russian twitter trolling” with a straight face. Business Insider wrote: “Russian Twitter Trolls Tried To Bury Or Spin Negative Trump News Just Before Election,” as if that wasn’t what Correct The Record spent millions on doing for the benefit of Clinton.

The double standards applied to Clinton for her benefit goes beyond hypocrisy. Many have claimed that constantly metamorphosing allegations of Russian interference represents an insidious effort to silence dissent and anti-establishment political discourse: for example, by turning third-party, anti-establishment or conservative voices into “Russians” by proxy of their opposition to Clinton.

By converting legitimate American free speech into insidious “Russian bots,” a pretext is created to silence dissent across the board. Without the Russian interference circus, the efforts to breach the First Amendment would be overtly authoritarian and would be inexcusable even by the most corrupt establishment media standards.

The results of such a clamp-down on free and effective speech have manifested in censorship crackdowns across large social media platforms including Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook, with Twitter admitting to actively censoring roughly 48% of tweets that included the “#DNCEmails” hashtag. It seems anyone with an opinion the establishment doesn’t like is liable to be memory-holed.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians perfectly timed to be buried in media cycle

© Ting Shen / Xinhua / Global Look Press
RT | February 17, 2018

The latest not-so-smoking gun in the ‘Mueller time’ saga – the indictment of 13 Russian nationals suspected of interfering with American democracy – comes at a time when it is certain to get the least media coverage.

FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller published the indictment on Friday evening – just two days after a high-profile school shooting in Florida. Both factors are likely to reduce the media coverage of the release, which apparently falls short of expectations of a smoking gun to take down the administration of Donald Trump, which many ‘Russiagate’ proponents have been hoping for.

“The fact that Mueller dumped these indictments out today proves that he is kind of hoping to go undercover – as far as is possible – to go undercover with political news like that,” conservative radio host Dave Perkins told RT. “[Mueller] has indicted these Russians knowing that he will never actually have to bother to prosecute them. Which is why he indicted them for peculiar, almost not-named crimes, very low-level things.”

“What has happened is Mueller is setting himself up, having tossed red meat to the base on the left: here is your Russians, here is your conspiracy, see, they have tried to affect the outcome of the election. And then he can fade back into the hedge.”

The indictment targets Russian nationals allegedly involved in a campaign meant to sow discord in America through social media. The document does not mention the hack of the DNC server or the phishing attack on Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, which both resulted in leaks of sensitive emails. Nor does it indicate that any of the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign or any other individuals in the US. Nor does it claim that the persons indicted were acting on orders from the Russian government. The document says there was no evidence the alleged campaign had any impact whatsoever on the outcome of the election.

Friday afternoon is “a great time to release news if you want to bury the news,” Just Foreign Policy Group director Robert Naiman said, though he doubts this was done intentionally. He added that the new development in the Russia probe is unlikely to tip public perception of it in a significant way. “People who want to put forward the Russia story – many of them will see this as vindication. They won’t care really what the details are.”

“This is an indictment. In the US system this means that a threshold has been met for taking a case to trial. It doesn’t mean anything has been proved,” he said.

The details of the indictment make it a shaky case for trial, media analyst Lionel pointed out, arguing that most of the things the 13 Russians are alleged to have done are not even a crime and had been done by others during the election campaign.

“They were apparently Russian nationals that didn’t say, hey, we are Russian nationals” while conducting their election-related activities on social media, he told RT. “I have never seen an indictment so bereft of citation and case law… I would have loved to argue this one in a motion to dismiss.”

If the indictment was properly covered by the US media, Americans would realize there was not much to it, independent journalist, author, and former Wall Street Journal correspondent Joe Lauria believes, but this is unlikely the way the story will be remembered.

“If these things did happen – they may be guilty of identity theft and certainly didn’t register as foreign agents – but the idea that this had an impact on the election is farcical. And if it was seen that way in the United States, Trump would have nothing to worry about. But the corporate media is going to push this as the smoking gun.”

The reporting, he predicted “will put more fuel on the fire to create more smoke that somehow Russia helped Trump steal this election from Hillary Clinton, which this indictment does not show in any way.”

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Libya: 7 Years since February 17

By Yuriy Zinin – New Eastern Outlook – 17.02.2018

On February 17 it will be 7 years since the start of the events in Libya which led to the overthrow of its leader – Muammar Gaddafi. These years have been full of dramatic and often bloody events, which, according to a number of different indices (effective sovereignty, stability, commercial activity etc.), have left the country much worse off.

Since 2014 the country has been in chaotic situation- divided into two sectors, with opposing capitals in Tripoli and Tobruk, each of which have their own government, parliament, and security services. The balance of power between them is changing.

In the last year the area controlled by the National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar (i.e. the eastern, or Tobruk, sector) has expanded. That sector includes the ‘oil crescent’ (the oil wells and the main ports for oil exports). The Government of National Accord, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has an unsteady hold over the country.

For three years the United Nations and a number of neighboring Arab countries have tried, without success, to persuade the two opposing parties to comply with the peace agreement that they signed in Morocco (which called for the creation of unified national transitional state structures, elections to the new parliament etc.) The Shkirat Agreement expired at the end of 2017.

Many experts consider that the negotiators meeting to discuss issues arising from the treaty lack the authority to make any decisions, and the military groups who they represent are heterogenous, each split into a number of camps, divided along regional and tribal lines.

To save the negotiating process, the UN special representative for Libya, Hasan Salam has presented a three-stage plan for the next year. He proposed that the Shkirat Agreement be amended, the Tripoli-based government be restructured, a constitution be drawn up and elections be held in the new parliament.

The question is, how can fair, impartial and democratic elections be held, when there are two governments? And how important are elections to the average Libyan, living in a delicate security situation and suffering from disorder and social and economic problems?

The falling value of the Libyan dinar and annual inflation of 30% are causing a fall in his standard of living. Before the revolution a dinar could be exchanged for three dollars and at its highest level Libyans looked down on the ‘green dollar’ with contempt. Now one dollar can be exchanged in the market for 9 Libyan dinars.

This is genuinely resulting in an increase in prices, as the majority of goods, especially food, are imported. Libyans are faced with the curse of cash shortages, queues in banks, power cuts, deteriorating services etc.

All these problems are the result of the collapse of Libya’s economy and manufacturing sector. According to Mustafa Sanalla, the president of the National Oil Corporation, Libya has lost $180 billion since 2011 because of the actions of various militias in the regions where oil is extracted, refined and transported.

In 2017 Libya received $14 billion from oil sales, three times more than in the previous year. But in 2010, the year before the revolution, oil exports brought approximately $47 billion into the national budget. It is true that recently the amount of ‘black gold’ extracted has increased to 1 million barrels a day, but this is still below the pre-revolution level of 1.6 million barrels a day.

Out of the 150 countries listed in Forbes Magazine’s rating of the ‘Best Countries for Foreign Business’, Libya occupies the last but one position.

As a result of the above situation, people’s attitudes towards the ideals of the February revolution are changing. Today, in Libya’s political and media circles, a clear divide is being observed between so-called ‘Februarists’ and ‘Septemberists’.

The ‘Februarists’ are those who fully support the February 17 revolution, and are convinced that the ‘rebels against a despotic regime’ won a just victory.

Those who support the former Gaddafi regime are known as ‘Septemberists’, as it was the September Revolution that brought Gaddafi to power. The latter camp, shaking their heads in wonder, ask themselves whether it was worth shedding so much blood, losing lives and suffering a huge material loss, merely to end up in Libya’s current fragmented state.

Both of these schools of thought have their own liberal, Islamist, and secular factions. That is why many local political analysts are urging them to find common points of agreement, steer clear of extreme positions, and put the interests of their country above their own selfish political calculations and concerns.

For example, Fatima Hamroush a former minister in Libya’s first post-revolution government, called for the creation of an emergency cabinet made up of politicians with a wide range of affiliations, including former associates of Gaddafi (). That is despite the fact that Dr. Hamroush was at one time a fierce critic of the previous regime.

It appears possible that a political consensus, arrived at in accordance with the law, might be able to fill the current institutional vacuum. But Libyan society is still divided by the powerful shocks it suffered in a war involving NATO and other foreign powers, and during the period of sectarian conflict which followed.

Political circles are pulled apart by disagreement, and are kept hostage by mutual resentments, suspicions and hostilities that have built up over a number of years.

Yury Zinin, Leading Research Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Resistance front will purge US from eastern Euphrates: Iran

Press TV – February 17, 2018

A senior Iranian official says the resistance front in the region will push the United States and Israel out of the eastern side of the Euphrates River, which flows from Turkey through Syria and into Iraq.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, made the remarks in a conference on Islamic unity in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Saturday.

Velayati said the Americans and Arabs are trying to create “a new Middle East, whose reality will be marked by the disintegration of Muslim societies.”

He said Washington was seeking to split Syria through its presence in the eastern Euphrates.

He also referred to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent Middle East tour, saying the visit had been aimed at broadening the division among the Muslim Ummah and Muslim countries.

Velayati said the Americans were seeking to establish bases for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with the help of Muslim states to prevent unity among these countries.

“The Americans and Zionists should know that as they were defeated in the Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, their illusions won’t materialize. The resistance front in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon will push them out of the eastern Euphrates,” he said.

Much of northeast Syria to the east of the Euphrates is controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and is backed by the US.

The US announced last month that it would work with the SDF to set up a new 30,000-strong “border security” force along the Turkish border with Iraq and within Syria along the Euphrates River.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mueller indicted 13 Russians to drag probe out and keep his position – State Senator Black

RT | February 17, 2018

By indicting Russian nationals and entities for meddling in the 2016 US election, FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller seeks to drag the probe out for his own gain, Virginia State Senator Richard Black told RT.

Thirteen Russian individuals and three entities, were accused of attempting to advance the presidential bid of Donald Trump and tarnish the reputation of Hillary Clinton with the ultimate goal to “spread distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.” However, none of the activities described in the indictment were able to sway the vote, US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told media.

According to Black, the lackluster outcome of the ever-widening investigation invokes suspicion that although Mueller knows there’s nothing substantial to uncover, he and his team will continue feeding the media headline-grabbers to keep his rather lucrative job.

“To a certain extent, I think, Robert Muller is struggling to keep alive his position of a special counsel. The special counsel has already earned 7 million dollars. When you become a special counsel, you have an open checkbook for the US Treasury and you are guaranteed to become a mega-millionaire if you simply can drag out the proceedings,” Black told RT.

“I suspect that this is just a case of dragging out the proceedings, throwing some indictments on some silly things – not registering as a foreign agent – that typically is not prosecuted, but they are prosecuting it in this case because they are running out of ideas.”

The latest twist of the Russia probe saga, which has so far failed to provide any proof of Trump’s collusion with Moscow, indicates that “there is simply nothing there to go after,” Black said. He noted that since both sides appear to agree that the alleged meddling could not have changed the outcome of the election, the probe is essentially “irrelevant.”

The record of US intelligence, which is no stranger to providing “completely fabricated” intel, does not lend much credibility to the “intelligence assessments” over the Kremlin’s alleged role in the election, Black said.

“I’m not really impressed, I want facts; I don’t want some generalized conclusions from these intelligence agencies,” he said, noting that if he were Trump, he would ask them to “show precisely” what evidence they have in their hands.

Back believes that what is really on the agenda is to rein in Trump so he will not oppose the hawks in their pursuit of hostile foreign policy towards Russia.

“One of the things they wanted to do is to undermine Donald Trump and to keep him constantly on the defensive against Russia so he cannot do the rational thing, which is to reduce the tensions with Russia, to draw back from the Russian borders,” he said, noting that the “deep state” seeks confrontation with Russia as it allows them to “sell weapons and increase the size of the military.”

Speaking about the claims that Russia-linked operatives spent $100,000 on Facebook ads to promote divisive social and political issues to stir up American voters, Black compared it with “throwing a penny to a beggar,” arguing that by “creating chaos” in the election, nobody could have achieved anything, “no matter who they are.”

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment