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“Through Sherlock’s eyes”: the Litvinenko poisoning

OffGuardian | March 21, 2018

This short documentary film on the Litvinenko case, featuring Vasily Livanov, the Russian actor internationally celebrated for his portrayal of Sherlock Homes, makes some valid points that deserve a lot more attention than they have so far received. Made by a collective of filmmakers & investigators known as Russian Hour TV, in 2012, but unseen in the West apart from one screening at the Russian Embassy in London, this documentary examines three key questions in the official case against Lugovoi and Kovtun, the two Russians “convicted” of the murder in the bizarre and barely legal Public Inquiry of 2015.

The issues raised in this film

1. Lugovoi’s polygraph

During the filming of this documentary in 2012, the team employed a British polygraph practitioner, Bruce Burgess, to question Andrey Lugovoi, one of Litvinenko’s alleged assassins, about his alleged involvement in the murder. The interview itself doesn’t appear in the film, but we see Burgess announce the results on camera.

He says he asked Lugovoi three questions.

  1. “Did you do anything to cause the death of Alexander Litvinenko?”.To which Lugovoi answered “no”
  2. “Where you involved in any way in the death of Alexander Litvinenko?” To which Lugovoi answered “no.”
  3. “Have you ever handled polonium?” To which Lugovoi answered “no.”

According to Burgess the result was “conclusive” on all three questions. Lugovoi was “telling the truth.”

This result from a qualified polygraph examiner was, of course, completely at variance with the official story, and, though not admissible in a court of law, could be expected to impact quite a lot on the court of public opinion and on the general level of credibility surrounding the already legally questionable Inquiry. We may not be too surprised, then, that both the test itself and the man who administered it, where a) excluded from most mainstream discussion and b) when considered, made the subject of ferocious attempts to discredit them.

Burgess himself was revealed as a fairly easy target, having once given a false name after being pulled over for speeding. As a result of this offence he received a two-year suspended sentence. Much was made of this at the Inquiry by Crown barristers, but this was largely a rhetorical device and distraction.

Clearly Burgess’ essentially minor violation doesn’t impact on his professional judgement, and indeed Burgess is still a practising polygraph examiner to this day.

Moreover, despite huge efforts made by the Crown barrister, Andrew O’Connor QC, to make him retract his statement, Burgess refused to back down(see the full transcript of the testimony HERE). He went into the witness box claiming Lugovoi had passed the polygraph test and went out again saying the same thing.

Q. But in any event the outcome of the polygraph test, as we will see, was that you concluded that Mr Lugovoy was not deceiving you when he denied responsibility for Mr Litvinenko’s death?

A. That was what I concluded from the test.

Faced with this potentially devastating pointer to Lugovoi’s innocence, the Guardian, reporting the following day, handled this with its customary ethics and honesty.

Despite the fact Burgess maintained Lugovoi had passed all three parts of his polygraph test “conclusively”, and despite the fact he never wavered from this claim once in his testimony, this was the Guardian headline the following day:

“Alexander Litvinenko murder suspect failed lie detector test, court hears”

This was quite simply an absolute, unequivocal lie.

And a lie repeated and expanded in the body of the article.

We’ll be coming back to talk about that again another time.

2. Polonium

Perhaps most important section of the film is an interview with US nuclear physicist from Princeton University, Professor William Happer, who worked as a nuclear safety adviser for the U.S. Government. His testimony that polonium 210:

a) can be produced by any nuclear reactor

b) is sold and used throughout the world for industrial purposes

doesn’t accord at all with the official view on the subject which dictates that, since most polonium 210 is produced in Russia this must be assumed to indicate Russian state involvement in Litvineko’s death. But in an unbiased discussion this shouldn’t be a controversial issue. Polonium 210’s use in various industrial processes is confirmed in many online sources including this one that lists the manufacture of static eliminators as one of several uses for the isotope. In fact it’s widely available, in potentially lethal doses, in products that can be freely bought online.

Without getting into the debate on how possible/probable it is that any of these products were a source for the polonium that killed Litvinenko, the simple fact that polonium 210 is exported from Russia in its pure form to various locations, mainly the United States, for industrial application, rationally suggests it’s just as possible for the polonium that killed Litvinenko to have “gone missing” after it left Russia as before. Meaning that, while the claim that polonium 210 = “Russia did it” is not quite as absurd as the more recent claim made to the same effect about “novichoks”, it’s still far from an inevitable conclusion.

3. Where and when was Litvinenko poisoned?

The documentary raises an aspect of this question that hasn’t received much attention: how does the traces of polonium found at the Abracadabra club fit with the official timeline? According to the club’s (now deceased) owner, Litvinenko was a regular there, but didn’t visit on the night he was allegedly poisoned (November 1 2006). Luke Harding’s explanation for this errant polonium is that Lugovoi was there during an earlier and abortive attempt at killing Alexander Valterovich, and left his usual radioactive trail behind, but how much hard evidence there is for this (Harding offers none) we haven’t determined at this point.

Altogether this short film shows us how much confusion, contradiction and elision and frank deception there continues to be in this case, 12 years after Litvinenko died.

It concludes, in 2012, four years before the findings of the legal Official Inquiry were published, with an appeal to the truth-based investigative tradition embodied by Sherlock Holmes and the legendary British sense of fair play. From our current perspective, six years on, this appeal was clearly made with unwonted optimism and misplaced faith.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Has Russia Had Enough?

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute For Political Economy | March 21, 2018

This morning I watched a briefing the Russian Foreign Ministry provided for the diplomatic community where international toxic substances experts presented information concerning the alleged nerve agent used in the alleged attack on Skripal and his daughter. This information has been known for some time, and none of it has been reported in the Western presstitute media.

In the briefing the Russians once again relied on facts and existing agreements that govern the investigation of such events and asked why the British were demanding explanations from Russia when the British refuse to comply with established procedures and refuse to produce any evidence of what the British allege to have occurred.

The response from the US and French embassy representatives was simply to state that they needed no evidence to stand in solidarity with their British friends, that Russia was guilty by accusation alone, and that they would hold Russia accountable.

The benefit of this absurd response, which the Russians declared to be shameful, is to make clear to the Russian government that it is a waste of time to try, yet again, to confront unsupported accusations from the West with facts and appeals to follow the specified legal processes. The West simply does not care. The issue is not the facts of the case. The agenda is to add another layer to the ongoing demonization of Russia.

Sooner or later the Russian government will realize that its dream of “working with its Western partners” is not to be and that the hostile actions and false accusations from the West indicate that the West is set on a course of conflict with Russia and is preparing the insouciant Western peoples to accept the consequences.

The Russian official hosting the briefing compared the Skirpal accusation with the Malaysian Airliner accusation and the many others that resulted in instant accusations against Russia and refusal to cooperate in investigations.

The Russian official also drew the parallel of the accusations against Russia with the US and UK false accusations against Serbia, which led to the bombing of Serbia, and to the false accusations against Iraq, for which Colin Powell and Tony Blair had to apologize, that resulted in the destruction of Iraq and the death and displacement of millions of Iraqis.

The Russian official also said, pointedly, that the days were gone when no one challenged statements by the US government. The world, he said, is no longer unipolar. Russia, he said, does not respond to unsupported allegations. He also said that the way the Americans, British, and French are proceeding suggests that the Skirpal affair is an orchestration created for the purpose of accusing Russia.

This conclusion is supported by the history of US and UK interventions. In recent times we have seen the West’s orchestrated interventions based on obvious and blatant lies in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and the attempts to destabilize Iran and Venezuela. History provides almost endless examples of the lies used by the US and UK to implement their agendas.

Nothing Washington and London say can ever be believed. Is it possible for Russia or any country to work with “partners” who are shameless, short on integrity and honesty, and have proven themselves unworthy of trust?

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Russian Military Warns: a Major War in Syria Is Imminent

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.03.2018

On March 17, the Russian General Staff warned about an imminent attack on Syria. The statement did not elaborate. Of course, some information is classified but an independent and impartial analysis of publicly available information leads one to the same conclusion. Let’s look at the facts.

There are warships deployed by US Navy in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf. They are ready to launch roughly 400 long-range Tomahawks against a target in the Middle East on any given day. Sea-launched cruise missiles were used to strike Syria in April. Anything that is at all related to the military operations on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is hush-hush information, but it’s an open secret that the strategic bombers based there can launch at least a hundred cruise missiles and then use other high-precision munitions in a follow-up attack. On average, one bomber carries 20 AGM-86 ALCMs. Five bombers are believed to be normally stationed on this island that is off-limits to inquisitive outsiders. This means that at least 500 cruise missiles can be fired on short notice.

On March 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that Great Britain, France, and some additional countries besides the US had special forces operating in Syria that were engaging the Syrian Army directly. But it’s not just commandos.

It was reported on March 16 that the UK would be stationing a significant number of troops at the US-controlled Al-Tanf military base, adjacent to the Iraqi border. This facility is prominently featured in NATO’s war planning in Syria. It blocks the corridor linking Iran to Lebanon via Syria and Iraq. The size of the deployment — about 2,300 troops accompanied by tanks and helicopters — is too significant just to be intended to fight Islamic State militants who are already on the run.

Before that, the US had already sent 600 troops with armored vehicles to the base. And American reinforcements have also been sent to the Omar oil field.

On March 12, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened military action against Syria. Experience has shown that the US will strike first and think about explanations later. It’ll no doubt “invent” some pretext to justify its actions.

Tensions have risen since last week. For instance, the mainstream media raised a ruckus over a mysterious “large underground” North Korean military base in Syria! This story about Pyongyang helping Syria to rebuild its chemical stockpiles and other urban legends are going viral.

The escalation coincided with the March 16 meeting between the Russian, Iranian, and Turkish foreign ministers in Astana to discuss further plans to bring peace to Syria, including expanding the concept of the de-escalation zones. That meeting laid the ground for a summit in Istanbul on April 4. There are about two weeks still to go. This top-level event could produce landmark decisions that might foil the West’s plans in Syria. Not much time is left. From the American perspective, this calls for urgent action to stymie that process.

Washington’s plan includes the goal of partitioning Syria in such a way that a large chunk of it would remain under the control of the US-led coalition. The Americans are already assembling municipal councils on the lands east of the Euphrates River. This area must be retained at any cost in order to ensure that Washington has a say in the future settlement of this war-torn country, otherwise all the hard work put in so far will go down the drain, undercutting America’s global standing and diminishing its clout in the Middle East. Losing Syria would be tantamount to suffering a major defeat in its confrontation with Iran, which it considers its arch-enemy. The plans include a rollback of Russian forces. Syria is the right place to do that. If the Russian military is openly warning the world of an imminent strike, that is a serious threat. And it does not look like a one-strike operation. This time we’re in for something much more serious — a large-scale operation to “contain” Russia, beat back Iran, win the support of the rich oil-exporting Arab nations and make them pay huge sums for American weapons, and show the world the US is omnipresent and adamant in its desire to dictate its will.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Moscow: UK is Either Unable to Protect From Attack or Staged Skripal Attack

Sputnik – 21.03.2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian Defense Ministry jointly delivered a statement after a meeting with foreign envoys amid the scandal surrounding the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal.

According to the official, “either the British authorities are unable to protect from a terrorist attack on its territory or staged the attack themselves.”

“Russia owes nothing and can bear no responsibility for the actions or lack of actions on the British soil,” Ermakov added.

Moscow is surprised that UK authorities deny consular access to Skripal’s daughter in violation of international norms, Vladimir Ermakov stressed.

The attack on the Skripals is a “gross folly,” which is not beneficial to Russia, he stated.

“Moscow’s list of questions for London regarding the Skripal case is growing,” Vladimir Ermakov added.

Russia isn’t satisfied by the UK’s answers about the Skripal case, and the British have left the most important questions unanswered.

“If the subject of the investigation has not been determined reliably, and all facts are being intentionally hidden, and real evidence may have already disappeared, which has happened in the United Kingdom many times, then it is not clear what issue the UK side has,” Ermakov told a briefing.

“We took one more step forward. We suggested that the British conduct a joint investigation to identify the perpetrators of the Salisbury incident. For this, naturally, we requested access to all the case materials being investigated by Scotland Yard. Without this, it is simply impossible to get a clear picture of what is really happening,” Vladimir Ermakov said.

Earlier, OPCW confirmed that Russia had preliminarily destroyed all chemical weapons in its arsenal, the official said.

“The West is ready to use any means it can to discredit Russia, incidents in Khan Sheikhoun show that,” Vladimir Ermakov said.

The closest UK ally is the only state having the biggest chemical weapons’ arsenal in the world, he added.

Russia is interested that there are no questions between Moscow and the West regarding Skripal; from the British side there is no such approach, Ermakov said, adding that Russia is “shocked by statements made by UK politicians.”

According to a British Embassy’s representative, London wants explanations whether Russia produced a substance dubbed ‘Novichok.’

In his turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official has emphasized that Moscow had repeatedly asked for a joint probe into the Skripal case and access to its materials, including the poisonous substance.

“In conclusion I would like to stress that we are closely following the developments of the Skripal case… I am sure that in time the authors and the participants of this provocation will be punished… I would like to additionally stress that Russia does not accuse anyone of anything,” Ermakov told a briefing.

As Russia did not produce any unrepresented chemical substances under the OPCW convention, there are no such reserves in Russia.

Russia gave the Czech Republic evidence proving statements on the country’s possibility to develop poisoning substances.

When asked by deputy Slovak Ambassador to Moscow about the statement made by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the ministry’s official stated that “Slovakia was mentioned as [former] part Czechoslovakia.”

Russian MoD Comments on Skripal Case

The Russian Defense Ministry has commented on allegations of Damascus’ use of chemical weapons.

According to a ministry’s official, the Syrian Foreign Ministry had informed Moscow that tons of poisonous substances had been found after liberation of territories from militants.

Busted chemical provocations in Syria ‘destroyed coalition’s plans to launch strike’ against Damascus, according to Russian Defense Ministry.

“It seems that Britain is afraid to conduct an unbiased investigation” into the Skripal case, Russian Defense Ministry representative added.

The UK presented no proof that gas allegedly used to poison Skripal was made in Russia, he added.

The United Kingdom first synthesized the VX nerve agent in 1962, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The formula of the substance dubbed ‘Novichok’ was published by the scientist Mirzayanov, who is working under the US government, according to Russian Defense Ministry.

The ministry has suggested that Mirzayanov under US influence could have written in his book the formula of the poisonous substance, allegedly used to poison Skripal.

“It is a gross violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Russian official said.

According to the ministry, Britain “was and is one of the states that have been implementing a program on the development of new chemical weapons since 1970s.”

He added that the Porton Down lab in Britain is used to conduct experiments, involving use of chemical weapons.

The patent for the British-developed toxic substance was later sold the US, the Russian Defense Ministry representative stressed.

Russia has questions about the UK sending about 50mln pounds to Porton Down laboratory, and whether they are trying to destroy Novichok there, Russian Defense Ministry representative added.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that all foreign ambassadors to Russia have been invited to attend a meeting on Wednesday. While EU ambassadors, except Britain, have agreed to attend the meeting, the US envoy hasn’t taken part in the talks.

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the Salisbury incident.

Yesterday, Russian diplomats had to leave the UK as British Prime Minister Theresa May announced a batch of anti-Russia measures in the wake of the poisoning of the ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, the incident which was blamed on Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Ministry denied all the allegations and requested the UK to allow a joint investigation into the case.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Why the UK, the EU and the US Gang-Up on Russia

By James Petras :: 03.20.2018

Introduction: For the greater part of a decade the US, the UK and the EU have been carrying out a campaign to undermine and overthrow the Russia government and in particular to oust President Putin. Fundamental issues are at stake including the real possibility of a nuclear war.
The most recent western propaganda campaign and one of the most virulent is the charge launched by the UK regime of Prime Minister Theresa May. The Brits have claimed that Russian secret agents conspired to poison a former Russian double-agent and his daughter in England, threatening the sovereignty and safety of the British people. No evidence has ever been presented. Instead the UK expelled Russian diplomats and demands harsher sanctions, to increase tensions. The UK and its US and EU patrons are moving toward a break in relations and a military build-up.

A number of fundamental questions arise regarding the origins and growing intensity of this anti-Russian animus.

Why do the Western regimes now feel Russia is a greater threat then in the past? Do they believe Russia is more vulnerable to Western threats or attacks? Why do the Western military leaders seek to undermine Russia’s defenses? Do the US economic elites believe it is possible to provoke an economic crisis and the demise of President Putin’s government? What is the strategic goal of Western policymakers? Why has the UK regime taken the lead in the anti-Russian crusade via the fake toxin accusations at this time?

This paper is directed at providing key elements to address these questions.

The Historical Context for Western Aggression

Several fundamental historical factors dating back to the 1990’s account for the current surge in Western hostility to Russia.

First and foremost, during the 1990’s the US degraded Russia, reducing it to a vassal state, and imposing itself as a unipolar state.

Secondly, Western elites pillaged the Russian economy, seizing and laundering hundreds of billions of dollars. Wall Street and City of London banks and overseas tax havens were the main beneficiaries

Thirdly, the US seized and took control of the Russian electoral process, and secured the fraudulent “election” of Yeltsin.

Fourthly, the West degraded Russia’s military and scientific institutions and advanced their armed forces to Russia’s borders.

Fifthly, the West insured that Russia was unable to support its allies and independent governments throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Russia was unable to aid its allies in the Ukraine, Cuba, North Korea, Libya etc.

With the collapse of the Yeltsin regime and the election of President Putin, Russia regained its sovereignty, its economy recovered, its armed forces and scientific institutes were rebuilt and strengthened. Poverty was sharply reduced and Western backed gangster capitalists were constrained, jailed or fled mostly to the UK and the US.

Russia’s historic recovery under President Putin and its gradual international influence shattered US pretense to rule over a unipolar world. Russia’s recovery and control of its economic resources lessened US dominance, especially of its oil and gas fields.

As Russia consolidated its sovereignty and advanced economically, socially, politically and militarily, the West increased its hostility in an effort to roll-back Russia to the Dark Ages of the 1990’s.

The US launched numerous coups and military intervention and fraudulent elections to surround and isolate Russia. The Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Russian allies in Central Asia were targeted. NATO military bases proliferated.

Russia’s economy was targeted: sanctions were directed at its imports and exports. President Putin was subject to a virulent Western media propaganda campaign. US NGO’s funded opposition parties and politicians.

The US-EU rollback campaign failed.

The encirclement campaign failed.

The Ukraine fragmented – Russia allies took control of the East; Crimean voted for unification with Russia. Syria joined with Russia to defeat armed US vassals. Russia turned to China’s multi-lateral trade, transport and financial networks.

As the entire US unipolar fantasy dissolved it provoked deep resentment, animosity and a systematic counter-attack. The US’s costly and failed war on terror became a dress rehearsal for the economic and ideological war against the Kremlin. Russia’s historical recovery and defeat of Western rollback intensified the ideological and economic war.

The UK poison plot was concocted to heighten economic tensions and prepare the western public for heightened military confrontations.

Russia is not a threat to the West: it is recovering its sovereignty in order to further a multi-polar world. President Putin is not an “aggressor” but he refuses to allow Russia to return to vassalage.

President Putin is immensely popular in Russia and hated by the US precisely because he is the opposition of Yeltsin – he has created a flourishing economy; he resists sanctions and defends Russia’s borders and allies.


In a summary response to the opening questions.

1) The Western regimes recognize that Russia is a threat to their global dominance; they know that Russia is no threat to invade the EU, North America or their vassals.

2) Western regimes believe they can topple Russia via economic warfare including sanctions. In fact Russia has become more self-reliant and has diversified its trading partners, especially China, and even includes Saudi Arabia and other Western allies.

The Western propaganda campaign has failed to turn Russian voters against Putin. In the March 19, 2018 Presidential election voter participation increased to 67%. Vladimir Putin secured a record 77% majority. President Putin is politically stronger than ever.

Russia’s display of advanced nuclear and other advanced weaponry has had a major deterrent effect especially among US military leaders, making it clear that Russia is not vulnerable to attack.

The UK has attempted to unify and gain importance with the EU and the US via the launch of its anti-Russia toxic conspiracy. Prime Minister May has failed. Brexit will force the UK to break with the EU.

President Trump will not replace the EU as a substitute trading partner. While the EU and Washington may back the UK crusade against Russia they will pursue their own trade agenda; which does not include the UK.

In a word, the UK, the EU and the US are ganging-up on Russia, for diverse historic and contemporary reasons. The UK exploitation of the anti-Russian conspiracy is a temporary ploy to join the gang but will not change its inevitable global decline and the break-up of the UK.

Russia will remain a global power. It will continue under the leadership of President Putin. The Western powers will divide and bugger their neighbors – and decide it is their better judgment to accept and work within a multi-polar world.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

American Public Troubled by “Deep State”

By John V. Walsh | Dissident Voice | March 20, 2018

“Public Troubled by Deep State” is the headline that the Monmouth University Polling Institute tags to its recent poll.

Polling about the term “Deep State” is problematical, because as the polling report says:

Few Americans (13%) are very familiar with the term “Deep State;” another 24% are somewhat familiar, while 63% say they are not familiar with this term.

So the careful pollsters at Monmouth defined the term as follows for their interviewees:

The term Deep State refers to the possible existence of a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy.

Then they asked whether such a group exists.

Monmouth reports the results as follows:

Nearly 3-in-4 (74%) say they believe this type of apparatus exists in Washington. This includes 27% who say it definitely exists and 47% who say it probably exists. Only 1-in-5 say it does not exist (16% probably not and 5% definitely not).

Furthermore, these opinions do not follow a partisan divide.  The report continues:

Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group, although Republicans (31%) and independents (33%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (19%) to say that the Deep State definitely exists.

This leads the director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, to volunteer:

We usually expect opinions on the operation of government to shift depending on which party is in charge. But there’s an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a ‘Deep State’ of unelected operatives are pulling the levers of power.

In addition, there are some significant but not drastic racial and ethnic differences on this question.  Says the Report:

Americans of black, Latino and Asian backgrounds (35%) are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (23%) to say that the Deep State definitely exists.

The report also asked about government surveillance of the citizenry and here again there is widespread concern: Fully 8-in-10 believe that the U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens, including a majority (53%) who say this activity is widespread and another 29% who say such monitoring happens but is not widespread. Just 14% say this monitoring does not happen at all. There are no substantial partisan differences in these results.

This too causes the director of the Institute to be concerned. “This is a worrisome finding. The strength of our government relies on public faith in protecting our freedoms, which is not particularly robust. And it’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. These concerns span the political spectrum,” says director Murray.

We can add to the concern about a manipulative unelected apparatus at work in the government the widespread distrust of the press summarized in this recent Gallup/Knight poll:

Today, 66% of Americans say most news media do not do a good job of separating fact from opinion. In 1984, 42% held this view.

Less than half of Americans, 44%, say they can think of a news source that reports the news objectively.

On a multiple-item media trust scale with scores ranging from a low of zero to a high of 100, the average American scores a 37.

This paints a pretty grim picture of trust in both our government and our media. Perhaps “Deep Media” should be a term added to “Deep State.” But perhaps it is cause for optimisim. It seems that people are waking up and thinking for themselves. That is bad news for the organs of control and propaganda that direct our lives.  And perhaps it is good news for those who try to fight the endless wars we experience and who feel that it is the Deep State that gins them up and the mainstream media that creates the environment for them.  Skepticism is the first step in getting to the truth and escaping domination.

John V. Walsh can be reached at

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 2 Comments

Anthrax: The Forgotten Lie

OffGuardian | March 20, 2018

Fifteen years ago today, March 20, the “Coalition of the Willing” declared war on Iraq. We now know that war was based on a monumental and inexcusable lie about Iraq possessing “weapons of mass destruction”, and that the war itself was a crime under international law. But we tend to forget that WMDs wasn’t the only lie told to us at the time. There was also the lie about the anthrax attacks in the USA, which in some ways can be counted even more egregious and cold-blooded.

We were told the anthrax that killed five people and harmed 17 others had been positively identified as originating in Iraq. Colin Powell’s famous “test tube full of washing powder” was a bit of theatre designed to sell us on this alleged fact. But it wasn’t true.

Almost immediately after the attacks the FBI knew the anthrax must have been homegrown, or at least produced somewhere with sophisticated laboratory equipment. But since this fact didn’t fit with the al Qaeda narrative it was suppressed from public knowledge. By October 2001 the Guardian was reporting “Iraq ‘behind US anthrax outbreaks’.” All the usual suspects in promoting imperialist war soon followed suit.

The narrative at this time was clearly intended to be that Iraq was the state-sponsor of al Qaeda terror, and had not only been a supporter of the 9/11 attacks but had provided Osama’ boys with the goods to murder even more Americans with anthrax. This, obviously, was intended to act as the rationale for attacking those two vitally strategic countries in the the US’s project for dominance in the Middle east and Asia – Iraq and Afghanistan.

But, as so often seems to happen, this narrative was almost immediately undermined by official White House statements (perhaps originating in elements of the government anxious to preserve the administration from outright association with a lie) that the anthrax in question showed no signs of coming from Iraq, because they specifically lacked an ingredient called bentonite. Which, as we now know, was true.

This official denial, based on solid scientific evidence, should have been an end to the story. But, as the film above shows, owing to a vast campaign of distraction and deception by politicians and the media, the completely discredited story of Iraqi responsibility for the anthrax attacks continued to flourish and even gain momentum. Outlets such as ABC and, most prominently, from Judith Miller (whose pre-2001 prescience about the dangers of anthrax in the US seems truly breathtaking) in the New York Times, brazenly continued to sell the idea in feature articles, specials and endless repetition in the nightly news.

And what was the central “fact” on which the media story of Iraq’s guilt was built?

Nothing less than the completely and provably false claim the White House had already denied – that there was bentonite in the anthrax.

Even the White House, the same White House that had officially denied the presence of bentonite and therefore ruled out Iraq involvement, continue to use implications, lies by omission and weasel words to enable the opposite view to become lodged in the public mind.

These people didn’t just bend the truth, or fudge or obfuscate. They lied. They invented whole narratives, they made up whole back stories, they looked us in the camera’s eye on TV and completely deceived us. The media’s Anthrax Meme never existed. Not one single part of it. And even while Colin Powell was allowing us to believe the story he had known for more than a year that it was a complete fabrication

The UK government is currently lying to us about the Skripal poisoning. We know that already to be beyond doubt. The only question is how deep the lie goes this time.

When we look back at 2001 we have to realise it could be very deep indeed.

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout

By Chris Busby | CounterPunch | March 20, 2018

George Monbiot, who has now been diagnosed with prostate cancer at the young age of 55, was therefore born in 1963, at the peak of the atmospheric test fallout. He is thus a peak exposed (at risk) member of a cohort of those exposed in the womb to the fallout (1959-63) and currently suffering the consequences of exposure to Strontium-90 in the milk, and (measured) in the childrens’ bones.

In his article in the Guardian, he says that he has always done all the healthy things, done lots of exercise, eaten vegetables, didn’t smoke or drink, all that stuff. He is clearly puzzled about being singled out by the three ladies. But the cause was something that he had no control over, and neither had anyone else who was born in the fallout period. George writes that he is happy. This insane response to his predicament, (which I personally am not happy about despite his intemperate attacks on me in his Guardian column and blogs) must go alongside his equally insane response about the Fukushima events where he publicised his road-to-Damascus conversion to nuclear power.

The effect of the genetic damage of the fallout on babies can be seen in the graph below, Fig 1, taken from a recent paper I published (Busby C (2017) Radiochemical Genotoxicity Risk and Absorbed Dose. Res Rep Toxi. Vol.1 No.1:1.).  The babies that did not die were just those with insufficient genetic damage to kill, but this damage would have affected them in later life in various ways. The most measurable effect (apart from genetic defects and congenital diseases) is higher cancer risk which is presented as early cancer onset. The issue of the 1959-63 cancer cohort was discussed in my 1995 book Wings of Death, and a letter I published in 1994 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The issue is one of Absorbed Dose. If internal exposure to radionuclides like Strontium-90 and Uranium-238 and Uranium-235 bind to DNA, which is the target for genetic damage, then Dose, which is an average quantity over kilograms of tissue, is an unsafe way of quantifying genetic damage. The issue of genetic damage from radioactive pollution was first raised in 1950 by Herman Muller, the Nobel Prize winning geneticist who discovered the effects of radiation, but his warnings were ignored, though they are now found to be accurate.

The serious effects of internal radionuclide exposures on Prostate Cancer were revealed in a study of UK Atomic Energy Agency workers also published in 1993 in the BMJ (Fraser P, Carpenter L, Maconochie N, Higgins C, Booth M and Beral V (1993) Cancer mortality and morbidity in employees of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority 1946-86. Brit. J. Cancer 67 615-624.) This paper showed a 2-fold excess cancer risk in workers who had been monitored for internal radionuclides versus those who had not been. Prostate cancer mortality was significantly high. Although later cover-up studies by the nuclear industry, using a larger cohort reduced this effect for prostate cancer, the internal/ external exposure result for all cancers has not been satisfactorily followed up.

Fig 1. First day neonatal mortality USA shows the effects of the fallout. Because of advances in medicine and better social conditions, infant mortality was falling everywhere. But as soon as the atmospheric tests began, rates went up in time with the fallout. 1st day neonatal mortality is a measure of congenital damage: the baby survives in the mother by using the mothers’ oxygenation and other support but because the babies own organs are damaged and it cannot survive after birth. Strontium-90 was measured in bone where it built up to a peak in 1964. It will also have attached to chromosomes due to its affinity for DNA.

The fallout cohort is now entering the cancer bracket and these people are driving up the cancer rates in the Northern hemisphere, especially for breast cancer and prostate cancer. I have been studying this group since 1995, but now my predictions are appearing in the data.

But the true picture of the fallout effects is even more scary. Not only are the babies born over the peak fallout period, like George, at higher risk of more and earlier cancer, but it is now emerging that their children, born around 1980- 1990 are carrying the same genetic (or rather genomic) curse. I am in the process of putting together a scientific paper on this. There is a sudden increase in cancer rates in young people aged 25-35 which began after 2008. This is an extraordinary development. The finding was confirmed for colon cancer in the USA in a paper published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Rebecca L. Siegel, Stacey A. Fedewa, William F. Anderson, Kimberly D. Miller, Jiemin Ma, Philip S. Rosenberg, Ahmedin Jemal Colorectal Cancer Incidence Patterns in the United States, 1974–2013 JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2017) 109(8): djw322). The authors were unable to explain their findings of increases in colon cancer in young people but decreasing colon cancer rates in older people. They were “puzzled”. The explanation is simple. These were children born to those who were themselves born during the fallout and genomically damaged at birth. The damage is passed to the children (and will be in turn passed to theirs and so on). The effect is clear also in the England and Wales data.

So, for the logical positivists, let’s have a look at the prostate cancer data in England and Wales.

In Table 1 below I show some data from the official ONS government annual reports on prostate cancer incidence in some selected years from 1974 to 2015.


No argument there then. The amazing thing is that there are huge amounts of money received and spent on cancer research: but no-one looks at the cause. Or rather that those who do look at the cause are attacked and marginalised and their work is not reported.

For example, and relevant here, are the serious genetic effects of small dose internal exposures in Europe after Chernobyl reviewed by Prof Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, Dr Sebastian Pflugbeil and myself in a peer review publication in 2016 (Schmitz-Feuerhake, Busby C, Pflugbeil P  Genetic Radiation Risks-A Neglected Topic in the Low Dose Debate. Environmental Health and Toxicology.  2016. 31Article ID e2016001. .) You would think that this evidence, which was reported in the peer review literature from 20 studies from countries all over Europe, might make it into one of the newspapers. But nothing.

My attempts to draw attention to these internal genetic damage issues have also been ignored or dismissed by the British establishment. This year, in September, I was to have presented this evidence to British Government Minister Richard Harrington at a meeting of the NGOs and the government at Church House Westminster. My flight from Sweden was sabotaged but I made it to the meeting nevertheless, to find that the Minister had made some excuse, and had not come. )

At the meeting, the government radiation expert committee members (COMARE) refused to consider anything I said.

This behaviour by the British can be compared with the Swedish Environmental Court in Stockholm to which I had been presenting the same findings the previous week. In January 2018, the 8 judges of the Swedish Court told the Swedish government that they must not permit the development of the nuclear waste facility at Forsmark. This landmark decision was also omitted from any newspapers in the UK, which itself is currently busy trying to find a local council they can bribe to allow them to bury nuclear waste somewhere in England and (more probably) Wales.

When I presented the same genetic damage evidence in the nuclear test veteran case in the Royal Courts of Justice in 2016, I submitted reports by 4 eminent radiation experts, including Prof Schmitz-Feuerhake/ All gave evidence under cross examination. We filed the evidence of genetic damage in the Test Veteran children: a 10-fold excess risk for congenital malformations and in the grandchildren 8-fold. The British Judge, Sir Nicholas Blake, refused to listen to any of this evidence and dismissed our experts. Blake found for the Ministry of Defence. I am taking a new Test Veteran case this summer. We shall see what happens.

But no surprise about judge Blake. In a recent survey of judges in Europe, it was found that Britain was only exceeded by Albania in the percentage of judges (45%) who reported that their decisions had been made at the direction of the establishment. The lowest rates of interference with judges was found (1%)  in—guess where—Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

It seems that we live in a corrupt society here in Britain and I am ashamed to be part of this State which has poisoned its citizens consistently since 1945 and continues to do so, and to cover it all up, aided by dishonest scientists and celebrity reporters like George Monbiot. Those who have a magical view of events might delight in thinking that George has received his just due; for myself I just hope that this may make him look into the issue more deeply and change his mind about the effects of radioactive contamination.

Dr Chris Busby is the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Riskand the author of Uranium and Health – The Health Effects of Exposure to Uranium and Uranium Weapons Fallout (Documents of the ECRR 2010 No 2, Brussels, 2010). For details and current CV see For accounts of his work see and

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Who Are These Mysterious ‘Activists’ Calling for Boycott of World Cup in Russia?

Sputnik – March 20, 2018

A campaign encouraging the boycott of the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia is gaining steam. Avaaz, a US-based ‘cyber-activist’ civic organization is behind it. However, as Sputnik has discovered, the group has not-so-open links to financial speculator George Soros and his Open Society Foundations.

Last week, using the hashtag #CupOfShame, Avaaz launched a campaign aimed at governments and players around the world to boycott the World Cup in Russia, unless it immediately halts its anti-terrorism campaign in Syria.

Accusing the Syrian president of the “extermination of his own people,” the group’s petition claims that Russian support is the “one reason why Assad’s been able to continue with this destruction.” Arguing that the World Cup may be the only thing Moscow cares about more than Syria, Avaaz urges users to join its pressure campaign. As of this writing, close to 790,000 people have already signed.

Commenting on the campaign, Sputnik Mundo journalist David Armas Paz wrote that it was “curious that a group calling themselves ‘citizens from around the world’ has its headquarters in the US, which, following its defeat in a game with Trinidad & Tobago, didn’t qualify for this year’s World Cup. The absence of its team and, subsequently of American fans, seems to have left them free to call on the global community to share in their absence.”

But more seriously, and possible sour grapes aside, the journalist noted that it was worth investigating the kinds of manipulation used by Avaaz and whose interests the group truly represents.

Good Intentions

Avaaz, meaning ‘voice’ in several languages, describes itself as a movement with a “simple democratic mission” aimed at “organiz[ing] citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.” Making use of new information technology and social media, the group’s initiatives include ostensibly noble causes, including protection of the environment, the fight against poverty and the defense of human rights.

However, not all the group’s efforts have proved so noble; in 2011, for example, at the start of the Libyan civil war, the group campaigned in favor of a NATO no-fly zone over the country, encouraging the citizens of Western countries to support alliance intervention. In the end, NATO intervened, overthrew Libya’s government and turned the country into a collection of militia-controlled statelets serving as a source of instability and of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants to southern Europe.

Another not-so-humane campaign included a 2016 effort to collect donations for the White Helmets, a group characterized by independent journalist Vanessa Beeley as ‘al-Qaeda Civil Defense’ in Syria for its documented ties with Islamist militants, and its propensity to create fake footage of government crimes.


Commenting on the phenomenon represented by groups like Avaaz, Paz explains that “in an era of ‘post-truth’ and media wars, the techniques of mass manipulation take on a level never before seen. It’s no longer just about fake news or tendentious Hollywood films designed to create a specific image of the ‘good guy’, who can be forgiven anything, and ‘the bad guy’, who must be punished at every turn. Now, this game has been joined by NGOs like Avaaz, whose self-declared purpose is to ‘fight for everything good against everything bad’, but always in a very selective way.”

The journalist noted, for example, that among Avaaz’s array of projects, one will not find a campaign to condemn events like the US bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, or a campaign to stop torture at the Guantanamo Bay naval base.

Furthermore, some causes, including the latest anti-Russian/anti-Syrian #CupOfShame campaign, are simple cases of manipulation, Paz pointed out.

“In four paragraphs of text, Avaaz makes use of a stream of allegations and claims which are easy to dismantle, at least for a critical and well-informed mind.” Instead, seeking to evoke human empathy, the NGO makes use of the suffering of children, which everyone universally agrees has no place in the world.

Avaaz openly accuses Russia of “dropping bombs on children,” and charges the Syrian government with “surgical” crimes against its people. Meanwhile, the group remains silent about the ‘peaceful armed rebels’ holding these same civilians hostage and using them as human shields. Nor does it mention the Syrian and Russian-led distribution of aid to the civilian population, the provision of medical care, or the humanitarian corridors created to allow people to flee the fighting.

Furthermore, the Sputnik Mundo journalist wrote, “you will not see a campaign on Avaaz’s website against the embargo on the delivery of medicine to Syria instituted by the US and its allies, which has been strongly condemned by the World Health Organization.”With these facts in mind, it becomes clear that Avaaz’s primary goal is to push people into thinking through emotions, rather than using arguments and evidence. And this all leads to questions: Who is behind this campaign and, more importantly, whose interests they are promoting?

Man Behind the Curtain

According to its About Us and FAQ pages, Avaaz was launched in 2007. The site was co-founded by Res Publica, a global lobbying group based in New York, and, a US-based policy advocacy group and political action committee.

Res Publica’s key figures included Ricken Patel, a British national now serving as Avaaz’s executive director. Advisors also included Anthony Barnett, co-founder of openDemocracy, a UK-based website receiving funding from George Soros’ Open Society Initiative for Europe. is open about its links to the Democratic Party, and was created in 1998 to defend then-President Bill Clinton during the effort to impeach him. That group’s key figures included former Congressman Tom Perriello, who went on to become one of Avaaz’s cofounders. Like openDemocracy, Perriello and have also received money from Soros’ foundations.

Leaked internal Open Society Foundations documents published in 2016 have shed light on the true objectives of Soros’ ‘investments’ – including the formation of global public opinion favorable to the US and unfavorable attitudes towards its adversaries, along with interference in political processes around the globe.

With these facts in mind, Paz stressed that knowingly or unknowingly, Avaaz’s supporters and contributors are just another instrument in this game — a tool for transforming genuine and honest human impulses for positive change in the world and channeling them in favor of the interests of the powers that be.


EXCLUSIVE: The Violent Reality of ‘Western Propaganda Construct’ White Helmets

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Russiagate Comes to England

Who poisoned the Russian spy?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 20, 2018

I don’t know what happened in Salisbury England on March 4th, but it appears that the British government doesn’t know either. Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech before Parliament last Monday was essentially political, reflecting demands that she should “do something” in response to the mounting hysteria over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. After May’s presentation there were demands from Parliamentarians for harsh measures against Russia, reminiscent of the calls for action emanating from the U.S. Congress over the allegations relating to what has been called Russiagate.

This demand to take action led to a second Parliamentary address by May on Wednesday in which she detailed the British response to the incident, which included cutting off all high-level contacts between Moscow and London and the “persona non grata” (PNG) expulsion of 23 “spies” and intelligence officers working out of the Russian Federation Embassy. The expulsions will no doubt produce a tit-for-tat PNG from Moscow, ironically crippling or even eliminating the MI-6 presence and considerably reducing Britain’s own ability to understand what it going on in the Kremlin.

May, who referred to a “Russian mafia state,” has blamed Moscow for the attack even though she made plain in her first speech that the investigation was still underway. In both her presentations, she addressed the issue of motive by citing her belief that the attempted assassination conforms with an established pattern of Russian behavior. She did not consider that Vladimir Putin’s government would have no good reason to carry out an assassination that surely would be attributed to it, particularly as it was on the verge of national elections and also, more important, because it will be hosting the World Cup later this year and will be highly sensitive to threats of boycott. And it must be observed that Skripal posed no active threat to the Russian government. He has been living quietly in Britain for eight years, leading to wild tabloid press speculation that the Kremlin’s motive must have been to warn potential traitors that there are always consequences, even years later and in a far-off land.

To provide additional buttressing of what is a questionable thesis, the case of the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 has been repeatedly cited by the media on both sides of the Atlantic as evidence of Russian turpitude, but the backstory is not the same. Litvinenko was an FSB officer who fled to the United Kingdom to avoid prosecution in Russia. In Britain, he became a whistleblower and author, exposing numerous alleged Russian government misdeeds. Would the Kremlin have been motivated to kill him? He was seen as a traitor and a continuing threat through his books and speeches, so it is certainly possible. The story of Skripal was, however, completely different. He was a double agent working for Britain who was arrested and imprisoned in 2006. He was released and traveled to the UK after a 2010 spy swap was arranged by Washington and his daughter has been able to travel freely from Moscow to visit him. If the Russian government had wanted to kill him, they could have easily done so while he was in prison, or they could have punished him by taking steps against his daughter.

There are a number of problems with the accepted narrative as presented by May and the media. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a nerve agent as “usually odorless organophosphate (such as sarin, tabun, or VX) that disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses by inhibiting cholinesterase and especially acetylcholinesterase and is used as a chemical weapon in gaseous or liquid form,” while Wikipedia explains that it is “a class of organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanisms by which nerves transfer messages to organs.” A little more research online reveals that most so-called nerve agents are chemically related. So when Theresa May says that the alleged agent used against the Skripals as being “of a type” associated with a reported Russian-developed chemical weapon called Novichok that was produced in the 1970s and 1980s, she is actually conceding that her own chemical weapons laboratories at Porton Down are, to a certain, extent, guessing at the provenance and characteristics of the actual agent that might or might not have been used in Salisbury.

Beyond that, a military strength nerve agent is, by definition, a highly concentrated and easily dispersed form of a chemical weapon. It is intended to kill or incapacitate hundreds or even thousands of soldiers. If it truly had been used in Salisbury, even in a small dose, it would have killed Skripal and his daughter as well as others nearby. First responders who showed up without protective clothing, clearly seen in the initial videos and photos taken near the site, would also be dead. After her first speech, May summoned the Russian Ambassador and demanded that he address the allegations, but Moscow reasonably enough demanded a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing by relevant international bodies like the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons before it could even respond to the British accusations. It was a valid point even supported in Parliament questioning by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but May and her government decided to act anyway.

May’s language also conveys uncertainty. She used “it appears” and also said it was “highly likely” that Moscow was behind the poisoning of Skripal but provided no actual evidence that that was the case, presumably only assuming that it had to be Russia. And her government has told the public that there is “little risk” remaining over the incident and that those who were possibly exposed merely have to wash themselves and their clothes, hardly likely if it were a military grade toxin, which gains its lethality from being persistent on and around a target. She made clear her lack of corroboration for her claim by offering an “either-or” analysis: either Russia’s government did it or it had “lost control” of its nerve agent.

As noted above, May’s argument is, to a certain extent, based on character assassination of Russians – she even offered up the alleged “annexation” of Crimea as corroboration of her view that Moscow is not inclined to play by the rules that others observe. It is a narrative that is based on the presumption that “this is the sort of thing the Russian government headed by Vladimir Putin does.” The British media has responded enthusiastically, running stories about numerous assassinations and poisonings that ought to be attributed to Russia, while ignoring the fact that the world leaders in political assassinations are actually the United States and Israel.

There are a number of other considerations that the May government has ignored in its rush to expand the crisis. She mentioned that Russia might be somewhat exonerated if it has lost control of its chemical weapons, but did not fully explain what that might mean. It could be plausible to consider that states hostile to Russia like Ukraine and Georgia that were once part of the Soviet Union could have had, and might still retain, stocks of the Novichok nerve agent. That in turn suggests a false flag, with someone having an interest in promoting a crisis between Russia and Britain. If that someone were a country having a sophisticated arms industry possessing its own chemical weapons capability, like the United States or Israel, it would be quite easy to copy the characteristics of the Russian nerve agent, particularly as its formula has been known since it was published in 1992. The agent could then be used to create an incident that would inevitably be blamed on Moscow. Why would Israel and the United States want to do that? To put pressure on Russia to embarrass it and put it on the defensive so I would be forced eventually to abandon its support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Removing al-Assad is the often-expressed agenda of the Israeli and American governments, both of which have pledged to take “independent action” in Syria no matter what the United Nations or any other international body says. The redoubtable Nikki Haley is already using the incident to fearmonger over Moscow’s intentions at the U.N., warning that a Russian chemical attack on New York City could be coming.

And to throw out a really wild possibility, one might observe that no one in Britain had a stronger motive to generate a major confrontation with a well-defined enemy than Theresa May, who has been under fire by the media and pressured to resign by many in her own Conservative Party. Once upon a time suggesting that a democratically elected government might assassinate someone for political reasons would have been unthinkable, but the 2016 election in the United States has demonstrated that nothing is impossible, particularly if one is considering the possibility that a secret intelligence service might be collaborating with a government to help it stay in power. An incident in which no one was actually killed that can be used to spark an international crisis mandating “strong leadership” would be just the ticket.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

March 20, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Wars for Israel | | 1 Comment

Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared

By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | March 19, 2018

What prompted former CIA Director John Brennan on Saturday to accuse President Donald Trump of “moral turpitude” and to predict, with an alliterative flourish, that Trump will end up “as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history”? The answer shines through the next sentence in Brennan’s threatening tweet: “You may scapegoat Andy McCabe [former FBI Deputy Director fired Friday night] but you will not destroy America… America will triumph over you.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan

It is easy to see why Brennan lost it. The Attorney General fired McCabe, denying him full retirement benefits, because McCabe “had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.” There but for the grace of God go I, Brennan must have thought, whose stock in trade has been unauthorized disclosures.

In fact, Brennan can take but small, short-lived consolation in the fact that he succeeded in leaving with a full government pension. His own unauthorized disclosures and leaks probably dwarf in number, importance, and sensitivity those of McCabe. And many of those leaks appear to have been based on sensitive intercepted conversations from which the names of American citizens were unmasked for political purposes. Not to mention the leaks of faux intelligence like that contained in the dubious “dossier” cobbled together for the Democrats by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so to its favorite stenographers at the New York Times and Washington Post. (At one point, the obvious whispering reached the point that the Wall Street Journal saw fit to complain that it was being neglected.) The leaking can be traced way back — at least as far as the Clinton campaign’s decision to blame the Russians for the publication of very damning DNC emails by WikiLeaks just three days before the Democratic National Convention.

This blame game turned out to be a hugely successful effort to divert attention from the content of the emails, which showed in bas relief the dirty tricks the DNC played on Bernie Sanders. The media readily fell in line, and all attention was deflected from the substance of the DNC emails to the question as to why the Russians supposedly “hacked into the DNC and gave the emails to WikiLeaks.”

This media operation worked like a charm, but even Secretary Clinton’s PR person, Jennifer Palmieri, conceded later that at first it strained credulity that the Russians would be doing what they were being accused of doing.

Magnificent Diversion

On April 6, 2017 I attended a panel discussion on “Russia’s interference in our democracy” at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress Fund. In my subsequent write-up I noted that panelist Palmieri had inadvertently dropped tidbits of evidence that I suggested “could get some former officials in deep kimchi – if a serious investigation of leaking, for example, were to be conducted.” (That time seems to be coming soon.)

Palmieri was asked to comment on “what was actually going on in late summer/early fall [2016].” She answered:

“It was a surreal experience … so I did appreciate that for the press to absorb … the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb….

“But then we go back to Brooklyn [Clinton headquarters] and heard from the — mostly our sources were other intelligence, with the press who work in the intelligence sphere, and that’s where we heard things and that’s where we learned about the dossier and the other story lines that were swirling about; and how to process … And along the way the administration started confirming various pieces of what they were concerned about what Russia was doing. … So I do think that the answer for the Democrats now … in both the House and the Senate is to talk about it more and make it more real.”

So the leaking had an early start, and went on steroids during the months following the Democratic Convention up to the election — and beyond.

As a Reminder

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison.

But she lost. And a month ago, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) threw down the gauntlet, indicating that there could be legal consequences, for example, for officials who misled the FISA court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and associates. His words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of yet other miscreants. “If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial,” he said. “The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created.”

John Brennan is widely reported to be Nunes’s next target. Does one collect a full pension in jail?

Unmasking: Senior national security officials are permitted to ask the National Security Agency to unmask the names of Americans in intercepted communications for national security reasons — not for domestic political purposes. Congressional committees have questioned why Obama’s UN ambassador Samantha Power (as well as his national security adviser Susan Rice) made so many unmasking requests. Power is reported to have requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans, most of them in the final days of the administration, including the names of Trump associates.

Deep State Intimidation 

Back to John Brennan’s bizarre tweet Saturday telling the President, “You may scapegoat Andy McCabe but you will not destroy America … America will triumph over you.” Unmasking the word “America,” so to speak, one can readily discern the name “Brennan” underneath. Brennan’s words and attitude are a not-so-subtle reminder of the heavy influence and confidence of the deep state, including the media — exercised to a fare-thee-well over the past two years.

Later on Saturday, Samantha Power, with similar equities at stake, put an exclamation point behind what Brennan had tweeted earlier in the day. Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is “not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is dutifully playing its part in the deep-state game of intimidation. The following excerpt from Sunday’s lead article conveys the intended message: “Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. ‘This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI’s going to win,’ said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. ‘You can’t fight the FBI. They’re going to torch him.’” [sic]

The Post, incidentally, waited until paragraph 41 of 44 to inform readers that it was the FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that found McCabe guilty, and that the charge was against McCabe, not the FBI. A quite different impression was conveyed by the large headline “Trump escalates attacks on FBI” as well as the first 40 paragraphs of Sunday’s lead article.

Putting Down a Marker

It isn’t as though Donald Trump wasn’t warned, as are all incoming presidents, of the power of the Deep State that he needs to play ball with — or else. Recall that just three days before President-elect Trump was visited by National Intelligence Director James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Michael Rogers, Trump was put on notice by none other than the Minority Leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer.  Schumer has been around and knows the ropes; he is a veteran of 18 years in the House, and is in his 20th year in the Senate.

On Jan. 3, 2017 Schumer said it all, when he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, that President-elect Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities:

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told Maddow. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.” Did Maddow ask Schumer if he was saying President of the United States should be afraid of the intelligence community? No, she let Schumer’s theorem stand.

With gauntlets now thrown down by both sides, we may not have to wait very long to see if Schumer is correct in his blithe prediction as to how the present constitutional crisis will be resolved.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He served as a CIA analyst under seven Presidents and nine CIA directors and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

March 19, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SWEDHR Board of Directors ref. misattributed statements on White Helmets and alleged gas attacks in Syria

Professor Emeritus, med. dr.  Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chairman; Professor Emeritus, med. dr. Anders Romelsjö, vice-chairman; Chief physician, med. dr. Alberto Gutiérrez Mardones; Chief physician Ove Johansson, MD; Chief physician, specialist Dr Lena Oske, MD; Specialist Dr Leif Elinder, MD; Specialist Dr Martin Gelin, Dental Surgeon. On behalf of SWEDHR Board of Directors.


SWEDHR have performed several analyses around reports on alleged chemical attacks in Syria, which mostly have been originated from claims by the White Helmets and associates. In the main, our conclusions were that the alleged evidence appear clinically and epidemiological flawed. For instance, in regard to the Khan Shaykhun incident, as put forward in a document by the SWEDHR chair recently published by the United Nations Security Council. [1]  We have also asked for independent, non-biased investigations done by meritorious scientists, instead of politically appointed investigators. In spite that was all we have centrally said on the ‘gas attacks’ issue, we have been unjustifiably attacked by some mainstream media in Sweden, led by Dagens Nyheter, [2] and elsewhere by Der Spiegel, [3] Le Figaro, [4] etc., and in social media –including deleterious references to our organization by Mr Kenneth Roth, [5] president of Human Rights Watch.

However, in recent weeks, the United States Defence Secretary, General (Ret.) Jim Mattis, announced in a press conference that they do not possess evidence of a sarin attack in Syria. [6] Days after, the French Defence Minister, Ms Florence Perly, declared that France has not confirmed evidence of chlorine attacks in Syria attributed to the government forces. [7] Both statements bring unequivocal support, and further credibility, to the conclusions on the very same issues we achieved at SWEDHR, published in April, May and November 2017, respectively (See Notes & References).

Concomitantly, our firm stance about the probe-issue regarding allegations on gas attacks in Syria, by no means contradicts our equally solid stance of considering the eventual perpetration of such attacks a hideous war crime. Neither our demand for a beyond-doubt evidence regarding the alleged responsibility of the Syrian government represents a per-default political endorsement. SWEDHR is by definition opposed to the notion of war. [8] Unlike HRW, we have not advocated for the bombing of Syrians, [9] or for a No-Fly Zone, such as the White Helmets and associates do [10] – which in practical terms would only enable the intensification of belligerent input from jihadists fighting for an Islamic State in Syria. [11] We have instead repeatedly advocated for a prompt settlement of the Syrian conflict via negotiations. We view the Sochi peace talks as positive and crucial in those regards, and we concur with UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, that the progress made in Sochi may be also seen as contributing to the Geneva process. [12]

SWEDHR stances are absolutely independent, [13] we are not bounded to any political or financial interest; we do not receive any support, financial or otherwise, from any government, company or institution –as is the case of ‘stream human rights organizations’ such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty.  We demand respect for SWEDHR authentically independent commitment, and we will held in the future zero tolerance to libelous accusations in the mainstream media and social media which would contend otherwise. To this end, we are working for establishing the means for eventual legal actions.

As an example, the organization Reporters Without Borders, RSF, called the cancellation of the Swiss Press Club conference on the White Helmets of November 2017,  referring SWEDHR as an “organization that, according with our information, acts as a tool of Russian propaganda.” [14] We openly challenged RSF to either publish the evidence for such an allegation they made in a public letter, or otherwise “to shame”. [15] RSF did not reply.


SWEDHR doctors analyzed in March-April 2017 video material posted by the organization White Helmets on alleged life-saving procedures of infants [16] [17]. The conclusions of these analyses or whereabouts of its authors have unfortunately been distorted, as in the case of an article in propagated by Kennet Roth, [5] or a publication by Veterans Today, which we have already refuted. [18]

In recent weeks further misquotes of the SWEDHR doctors’ conclusions on the above-mentioned videos recirculated in social media. This quote, wrongly attributed to SWEDHR says, “Quote: The implication is that the White Helmets may have actually killed children and/or were using already-dead children ‘as propaganda props’.” Which is something SWEDHR doctors never have affirmed.

Instead, the conclusion by the SWEDHR doctors was:

“Lifesaving procedures on the children showed in the White Helmets videos were found to be fake, and ultimately performed on dead children… Which is not the same than affirming that the personnel seen in the videos caused the dead of the infant. In forensic terms, the actual cause of death, as well as the mode and the issue of intent, refer to different items than those treated in our analysis.” [17]

We would like to detail our stance on the White Helmets issue, in order to avoid further misuse or misreading of our investigations:

Even if we have contributed to expose fake life-rescuing episodes as shown in materials posted by the White Helmets themselves, our criticism differs from other authors or news platforms. As the SWEDHR chairman conveyed expressly on behalf of this board of directors at the Swiss Press Club conference of November 2017:

“The point for us has not been to demonise the individual participation of some well-minded volunteers deploying natural solidarity with civilians, which in a given moment are –tragically as in all wars– victims of a collateral damage. Neither is the case to criticise the humanitarian rescue-activity per se, in those cases in which that activity has been real. Instead, our analyses on the White Helmets materials aim to focus on two mayor issues pertaining the White Helmets as institution: a) The geopolitical significance of the White Helmets as an international construction in the propaganda war, and b) The using of this organization as a main source of information by UN investigative commissions.” [20]

We mean that although we do not deny that its individual ranks may have occasionally performed rescue maneuvers, we consider the organization White Helmets as mainly a political organization, with self-declared political aims, and with a war-propaganda purpose which coincides with the geopolitical interests of the powers that finance its operations. We find highly demonstrative that the White Helmets operate solely in territories in the main under the governance of militant jihadists formations, fighting for replace a secular government for a Sharia fundamentalist rule. [11] Which makes even more incomprehensible the support given to this organization by democratic, secular European countries such as Sweden. [21]

We hope the above clarifications will help to a more objective analysis about SWEDHR participation in this principal human rights debate, done in the context of a war which have costed nearly half million lives, and further risks a tragic geopolitical enhancing.

Notes and References

[1] United Nations Security Council, Official document S/2017/1010, 20 February 2018.
[2] Gasattacker förnekas med hjälp från svensk läkargrupp. Dagens Nyheter, 21 April 2017.
[3] Russlands perfider Feldzug gegen die Wahrheit. Der Spiegel, 21 December 2017. Rebuttal by SWEDHR in The Indicter Magazine, 22 December 2017.
[4] En Russie, une curieuse thèse reprise pour exonérer Damas”. Le Figaro, 13 April 2017. Rebuttal by SWEDHR in The Indicter Magazine, 15 April 2017.
[5] Kenneth Roth, promoting a libelous article on SWEDHR in the anti-Russia site Codastory.  On Twitter, 3
May 2017.
[6] Mattis warns Syria against using chemical weapons. CNN, 2 February 2018. See also, Transcripts of US Def Sec James Mattis Press conference Feb 2, 2018.
[7] Florence Parly : Le Service national universel doit être attractif pour les jeunes. Franceinter, 9 February 2018.  See also [English] video “France Defense Minister: No confirmation of chlorine attacks, Syria.” The Indicter Channel. YouTube, 9 February 2018.
[8] From “Swedish Professors and Doctors for Human Rights – About us“: “SWEDHR work for Peace, and consider itself as part of the anti-war global initiative. We oppose war, and we favour instead the solving of geopolitical conflicts through peaceful talks or negotiations with the intervention of neutral mediators. We encourage the respect of decisions taken by International Tribunals. SWEDHR aims to contribute to the international Human Rights movement based on our research and professional experience in the health sciences.”
[9] In “Warmongering by Another Name“, it is found a sample with the following tweets authored by the President of Human Rights Watch, Mr Kenneth Roth:
  • “To justify #Syria inaction, top US general trots out age-old ethnic animosities line. Heard that B4? Bosnia. Rwanda.”
  • “Top general suggests US is more interested in a geopolitical partner in #Syria than saving civilians from slaughter. “
  • “It took chemical attack to convince Obama/Kerry that Assad isn’t interested in negotiated solution!? No more excuses.”
  • “If the appalling slaughter in #Syria won’t get Obama to act, maybe ridicule will:””
  • “If Obama decides to strike #Syria, will he settle for symbolism or do something that will help protect civilians?”
[10] Syria Needs a No-Fly Zone! Syrian American Council, 2016. The political associations between the Syrian American Council and the organization White Helmets is, for example, shown in the Facebook post, “SAC Hosts Official Syrian Opposition Delegation“, of 28 September 2016.
[11] Which rebel groups are fighting in Syria’s eastern Ghouta? Deutsche Welle, 9 March 2018
[12] Note to correspondents from Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria from Sochi. United Nations Secretary-General, 30 January 2018.
[13] SWEDHR Is Absolutely Independent. Article in the Journal of the Swedish Medical Association. The Indicter Magazine, 9 June 2017.
[14] Guy Mettan sommé d’annuler une conférence. Tribune de Genève, 23 November 2017.
[15] Prof Ferrada de Noli, calling Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to publish alleged evidence: On Twitter, 23 November 2017.
[16] White Helmets Video: Swedish Doctors for Human Rights Denounce Medical Malpractice and ‘Misuse’ of Children for Propaganda Aims. The Indicter Magazine, 6 March 2017.
[17] White Helmets Movie: Updated Evidence from Swedish Doctors Confirm Fake ‘Lifesaving’ and Malpractices on Children. The Indicter Magazine, 17 March 2017.
[18] “Statement by Swedish Professors & Doctors for Human Rights on misrepresentations referred in Veterans Today article on White Helmets“. The Indicter Magazine, 8 April 2017.
[20] Should UN consider White Helmets a politically neutral organization, and its allegations as credible sources by UN investigative panels on Syria? The Indicter Magazine, 30 November 2017.
[21] “Why Is Sweden Giving the “Alternative Nobel Prize” to Syria’s ‘White Helmets’?”  The Indicter Magazine, 25 November 2016.

March 19, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment