Apr 21, 2019

Secretary of State At A&M, On His Role At The CIA

From The Duran, I couldn't help myself (post this, that is). As they say at The Duran, Pompeo finally speaks some truth!

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The former CIA Director admitted, 'as an aside' to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto "we lied, we cheated, we stole"...which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on 'lying, cheating and stealing.' Pompeo finally speaks some truth. The interesting part starts at 3:43

Apparently This Is A First - Arab and Israeli Military Pilots Train Together

According to the report, it was pilots from United Arab Emirates, (which doesn't recognize Israel officially) that were training together, along with American and Greek personnel.

Is this Jared Cohen's Peace in the Middle East strategy's doing, you think? Let me know in the comments.

Apr 20, 2019

Trump, Novichok, CIA and the DuckGate Affair

Wow, this is quite the story - I found out about this blog (more on that later) from 'The Duran' an excellent video blog that digests political current events of the day. A highly recommended YouTube channel!

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 189.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the stunning, inadvertent, admission by the New York Times and CIA Director Gina Haspel that much of what we know from the Salisbury-Skripal poisoning is pure fabrication and manipulation. 'Duckgate', as it is now being dubbed, was used to trick US President Trump into expelling 60 Russian Diplomats over false photographic evidence presented to him by Haspel, as it was provided to her by UK authorities.  The manipulation of POTUS Trump, courtesy of CIA Director Haspel, the UK government (and accidentally documented on by the NYT), has now blown open some serious holes into the entire narrative that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by Russian agents with the deadly Novichok nerve agent.Trump in Dumps as Spook Picks Sick Kids’n’Dead Duck Trick Pics
So, Alexander, (editor in chief of The Duran) considers the Blogmire (based in the town of Salisbury, by the way) to be the source of accurate information on The Skirpal Affair. Here is the direct link to the Skirpal files from the Blogmire.

Skripal Links:
RT, Amesbury incident latest: Man reportedly poisoned by Novichok discharged from hospital. .
“Bellingcat outed by the Independent,” OffGuardian, 11-Oct-2018. [Online]. Available: https://off-guardian.org/2018/10/11/bellingcat-outed-by-the-independent/. [Accessed: 12-Oct-2018].
Russia Insight, BREAKING! The Integrity Initiative, UK Govt Funded Anti-Russia PsyOp, Was Behind The Skripals Case? .
craig, “British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and the Skripal Case,” Craig Murray, 21-Dec-2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/12/british-government-covert-anti-russian-propaganda-and-the-skripal-case/. [Accessed: 26-Dec-2018].
The Duran, CIA Director and NYT Accidentally Expose Skripal Poisoning Hoax - DUCKGATE. .
Fake Evidence! Zakharova is SHOCKED By How Poorly UK Intelligence Tries to Frame Russia! .
The Duran, Forget due process and evidence  Theresa May knows Russians are Novichok assassins. .
21wire, “How the Integrity Initiative Spun the West’s Improbable Skripal Narrative,” 21st Century Wire, 05-Jan-2019. [Online]. Available: https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/01/05/how-the-integrity-initiative-spun-the-wests-improbable-skripal-narrative/. [Accessed: 06-Jan-2019].
“Integrity Initiative, Skripal, Kaspersky,” Moon of Alabama. .
“MoA - ‘Integrity Initiative’ - New Documents From Shady NGO Released.” [Online]. Available: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/integrity-initiative-new-documents-from-shady-ngo-released.html. [Accessed: 04-Jan-2019].
“MoA - ‘It’s The Cover-Up’ - UK Foreign Office Deletes Tweet, Posts False Transcript, Issues New Lies.” [Online]. Available: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/its-the-cover-up-uk-foreign-office-deletes-tweet-posts-false-transcript-issues-new-lies.html. [Accessed: 27-Jun-2018].
“MoA - Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats To Suppress ‘Novichok’ Discussions.” [Online]. Available: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/clinton-state-department-discouraged-novichok-discussion.html. [Accessed: 27-Jun-2018].
“MoA - The Magic Of Novichok - Deadly Agent Found In Perfume Bottle.” [Online]. Available: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/07/the-magic-of-novichok-deadly-agent-found-in-perfume-bottle.html. [Accessed: 17-Jul-2018].
21wire, “More ‘Novichok’ Fears Stoked by UK Government After British Couple Hospitalized,” 21st Century Wire, 05-Jul-2018. [Online]. Available: https://21stcenturywire.com/2018/07/05/more-novichok-fears-stoked-by-uk-government-after-british-couple-hospitalized/. [Accessed: 06-Jul-2018].
“Opinion: The tough questions we should be asking about the Skripals and Bellingcat,” The Independent, 10-Oct-2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/skripals-bellingcat-gru-novichok-anatoly-chepiga-alexander-mishkin-putin-russia-a8577161.html. [Accessed: 12-Oct-2018].
Vesti News, Powerful Putdown: Maria Zakharova Buries Salisbury Accusations Once and For All. .
“Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative,” Craig Murray, 07-Mar-2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/03/pure-ten-points-i-just-cant-believe-about-the-official-skripal-narrative/. [Accessed: 16-Mar-2019].
The Duran, Putin’s Novichok assassins identified. Pictured smiling, walking UK streets. .
21wire, “REPORT: Sergei and Yulia Skripal Now ‘Working for British Security Services,’” 21st Century Wire, 09-Jan-2019. [Online]. Available: https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/01/09/report-sergei-and-yulia-skripal-now-working-for-british-security-services/. [Accessed: 09-Jan-2019].
Vesti News, Retired KGB Agent Vasilyev: Accused Salisbury “Russian Agents” Hardly Look/Act Like Spies. .
Vesti News, Russian OPCW Envoy Shulgin: The New Skripal “Evidence” Proves Less Than Nothing. .
21wire, “Skripal Affair: Moscow’s 14 Questions,” 21st Century Wire, 02-Apr-2018. [Online]. Available: http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/04/02/skripal-affair-moscows-14-questions/. [Accessed: 27-Jun-2018].
“Skripal Case.” .
RT, “Skripal case is a carefully-constructed drama” - John Pilger. .
RT, Skripal case: RT talks to former MI5 intelligence officer. .
21wire, “SKRIPAL: The Nurse’s Tale Makes a Mockery of UK State-Media ‘Poisoning’ Narrative,” 21st Century Wire, 26-Jan-2019. [Online]. Available: https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/01/26/skripal-the-nurses-tale-makes-a-mockery-of-uk-state-media-poisoning-narrative/. [Accessed: 26-Jan-2019].
RT, Skripal’s niece makes statement on poisoning investigation at press conference in Moscow. .
craig, “The Holes in the Official Skripal Story,” Craig Murray, 12-Jul-2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/the-holes-in-the-official-skripal-story/. [Accessed: 14-Jul-2018].
craig, “The Silence of the Whores,” Craig Murray, 25-Jul-2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/the-silence-of-the-whores/. [Accessed: 25-Jul-2018].
Sputnik, “The Skripal Case: Fifteen Facts and Some Logical Conclusions.” [Online]. Available: https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201810091068735575-skripal-case-russia-uk-facts/. [Accessed: 12-Oct-2018].
RT, “We’ve seen the pictures, we know who they are”: Putin on Skripal case suspects. .

Apr 14, 2019

A Cat Lounging on a Piano

Sunday post here and thought I'd give a rest to political news for the day. I love cats, there's something about them and their quirky ways - but at the same time they're so lovable. I have 3 myself!
So without further ado, I present the "Piano Kitty". It loves its human's playing apparently! Enjoy.

Assange and the Rule of Law


It is a very sad day for the rule of law.
Today’s broad-daylight manhandling and kidnapping of Julian Assange from political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London demonstrates in bas-relief that in today’s Anglo-America, the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights are now “quaint and obsolete,” to use the words of pseudo-lawyer, Alberto Gonzales.
White House attorney Gonzales was referring in January 2002 to other basic principles of international law, the Geneva Conventions, from which he decided he could grant Bush an exemption so he could authorize torture — which he did on February 7, 2002. (We have that memo.)
This no secret; we also have the Gonzales’s memo to Bush. For services performed, Gonzales was nominated and confirmed as Attorney General, the chief U.S. law enforcer.
When WikiLeaks revealed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity chose Julian Assange for its annual integrity award.  The award’s “Oscar,” a corner-brightener candlestick holder for shining light into dark places, was presented to Mr. Assange by UK Ambassador Craig Murray and Daniel Ellsberg after a major press conference in London on October 23, 2010.  Julian Assange became the eighth in what has become an distinguished line of sixteen truthtellers — awardees of the Sam Adams Associates.
It seems altogether fitting and proper that this year’s award be presented in London, where Edmund Burke coined the expression “Fourth Estate.” Comparing the function of the press to that of the three Houses then in Parliament, Burke said:
“…but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sits a Fourth Estate more important far then they all.”
The year was 1787—the year the U.S. Constitution was adopted. The First Amendment, approved four years later, aimed at ensuring that the press would be free of government interference. That was then.
With the Fourth Estate now on life support, there is a high premium on the fledgling Fifth Estate, which uses the ether and is not susceptible of government or corporation control. Small wonder that governments with lots to hide feel very threatened.
It has been said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” WikiLeaks is helping make that possible by publishing documents that do not lie.
Last spring, when we chose WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for this award, Julian said he would accept only “on behalf or our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.”
We do not know if Pvt. Bradley Manning gave WikiLeaks the gun-barrel video of July 12, 2007 called “Collateral Murder.” Whoever did provide that graphic footage, showing the brutality of the celebrated “surge” in Iraq, was certainly far more a patriot than the “mainstream” journalist embedded in that same Army unit. He suppressed what happened in Baghdad that day, dismissed it as simply “one bad day in a surge that was filled with such days,” and then had the temerity to lavish praise on the unit in a book he called “The Good Soldiers.”
Julian is right to emphasize that the world is deeply indebted to patriotic truth-tellers like the sources who provided the gun-barrel footage and the many documents on Afghanistan and Iraq to WikiLeaks. We hope to have a chance to honor them in person in the future.
Today we honor WikiLeaks, and one of its leaders, Julian Assange, for their ingenuity in creating a new highway by which important documentary evidence can make its way, quickly and confidentially, through the ether and into our in-boxes. Long live the Fifth Estate!
This article originall appeared at consortiumnews.com

Apr 13, 2019

Julian Assange's Martyrdom

Picture of Capitol Building with 'Deep State' text overlayed image.
The arrest Thursday of Julian Assange eviscerates all pretense of the rule of law and the rights of a free press. The illegalities, embraced by the Ecuadorian, British and U.S. governments, in the seizure of Assange are ominous. They presage a world where the internal workings, abuses, corruption, lies and crimes, especially war crimes, carried out by corporate states and the global ruling elite will be masked from the public. They presage a world where those with the courage and integrity to expose the misuse of power will be hunted down, tortured, subjected to sham trials and given lifetime prison terms in solitary confinement. They presage an Orwellian dystopia where news is replaced with propaganda, trivia, and entertainment. The arrest of Assange, I fear, marks the official beginning of the corporate totalitarianism that will define our lives.

Under what law did Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno capriciously terminate Julian Assange’s rights of asylum as a political refugee? Under what law did Moreno authorize British police to enter the Ecuadorian Embassy—diplomatically sanctioned sovereign territory—to arrest a naturalized citizen of Ecuador? Under what law did Prime Minister Theresa May order the British police to grab Assange, who has never committed a crime? Under what law did President Donald Trump demand the extradition of Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen and whose news organization is not based in the United States?

I am sure government attorneys are skillfully doing what has become de rigueur for the corporate state, using specious legal arguments to eviscerate enshrined rights by judicial fiat. This is how we have the right to privacy with no privacy. This is how we have “free” elections funded by corporate money, covered by a compliant corporate media and under iron corporate control. This is how we have a legislative process in which corporate lobbyists write the legislation and corporate-indentured politicians vote it into law. This is how we have the right to due process with no due process. This is how we have a government—whose fundamental responsibility is to protect citizens—that orders and carries out the assassination of its own citizens such as the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son. This is how we have a press legally permitted to publish classified information and a publisher sitting in jail in Britain awaiting extradition to the United States and a whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, in a jail cell in the United States.

Britain will use as its legal cover for the arrest the extradition request from Washington based on conspiracy charges. This legal argument, in a functioning judiciary, would be thrown out of court. Unfortunately, we no longer have a functioning judiciary. We will soon know if Britain as well lacks one.

Assange was granted asylum in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sexual offense allegations that were eventually dropped. Assange and his lawyers always argued that if he was put in Swedish custody he would be extradited to the United States. Once he was granted asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship the British government refused to grant Assange safe passage to the London airport, trapping him in the embassy for seven years as his health steadily deteriorated.

The Trump administration will seek to try Assange on charges that he conspired with Manning in 2010 to steal the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs obtained by WikiLeaks. The half a million internal documents leaked by Manning from the Pentagon and the State Department, along with the 2007 video of U.S. helicopter pilots nonchalantly gunning down Iraqi civilians, including children, and two Reuters journalists, provided copious evidence of the hypocrisy, indiscriminate violence, and routine use of torture, lies, bribery and crude tactics of intimidation by the U.S. government in its foreign relations and wars in the Middle East. Assange and WikiLeaks allowed us to see the inner workings of empire—the most important role of a press—and for this they became empire’s prey.

U.S. government lawyers will attempt to separate WikiLeaks and Assange from The New York Times and the British newspaper The Guardian, both of which also published the leaked material from Manning, by implicating Assange in the theft of the documents. Manning was repeatedly and often brutally pressured during her detention and trial to implicate Assange in the seizure of the material, something she steadfastly refused to do. She is currently in jail because of her refusal to testify, without her lawyer, in front of the grand jury assembled for the Assange case. President Barack Obama granted Manning, who was given a 35-year sentence, clemency after she served seven years in a military prison.

Once the documents and videos provided by Manning to Assange and WikiLeaks were published and disseminated by news organizations such as The New York Times and The Guardian, the press callously, and foolishly, turned on Assange. News organizations that had run WikiLeaks material over several days soon served as conduits in a black propaganda campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks. This coordinated smear campaign was detailed in a leaked Pentagon document prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch and dated March 8, 2008. The document called on the U.S. to eradicate the “feeling of trust” that is WikiLeaks’ “center of gravity” and destroy Assange’s reputation.

Assange, who with the Manning leaks had exposed the war crimes, lies and criminal manipulations of the George W. Bush administration, soon earned the ire of the Democratic Party establishment by publishing 70,000 hacked emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and senior Democratic officials. The emails were copied from the accounts of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

The Podesta emails exposed the donation of millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the major funders of Islamic State, to the Clinton Foundation. It exposed the $657,000 that Goldman Sachs paid to Hillary Clinton to give talks, a sum so large it can only be considered a bribe. It exposed Clinton’s repeated mendacity. She was caught in the emails, for example, telling the financial elites that she wanted “open trade and open borders” and believed Wall Street executives were best positioned to manage the economy, a statement that contradicted her campaign statements. It exposed the Clinton campaign’s efforts to influence the Republican primaries to ensure that Trump was the Republican nominee. It exposed Clinton’s advance knowledge of questions in a primary debate. It exposed Clinton as the primary architect of the war in Libya, a war she believed would burnish her credentials as a presidential candidate.

Journalists can argue that this information, like the war logs, should have remained hidden, but they can’t then call themselves journalists.

The Democratic leadership, intent on blaming Russia for its election loss, charges that the Podesta emails were obtained by Russian government hackers, although James Comey, the former FBI director, has conceded that the emails were probably delivered to WikiLeaks by an intermediary. Assange has said the emails were not provided by “state actors.”

WikiLeaks has done more to expose the abuses of power and crimes of the American Empire than any other news organization. In addition to the war logs and the Podesta emails, it made public the hacking toolsused by the CIA and the National Security Agency and their interference in foreign elections, including in the French elections. It disclosed the internal conspiracy against British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by Labour members of Parliament. It intervened to save Edward Snowden, who made public the wholesale surveillance of the American public by our intelligence agencies, from extradition to the United States by helping him flee from Hong Kong to Moscow. The Snowden leaks also revealed that Assange was on a U.S. “manhunt target list.”

A haggard-looking Assange, as he was dragged out of the embassy by British police, shook his finger and shouted: “The U.K. must resist this attempt by the Trump administration. … The U.K. must resist!”

We all must resist. We must, in every way possible, put pressure on the British government to halt the judicial lynching of Assange. If Assange is extradited and tried, it will create a legal precedent that will terminate the ability of the press, which Trump repeatedly has called “the enemy of the people,” to hold power accountable.

The crimes of war and finance, the persecution of dissidents, minorities and immigrants, the pillaging by corporations of the nation and the ecosystem and the ruthless impoverishment of working men and women to swell the bank accounts of the rich and consolidate the global oligarchs’ total grip on power will not only expand, but will no longer be part of public debate.

First Assange. Then us.

This article originally appeared at O Society

Mar 7, 2019

Iraq Security & Humanitarian Monitor for the week ending March 7, 2019

ISHM: February 28 - March 7, 2019 - EPIC: 

Key Takeaways:

Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts; 

KDP and PUK Reach Power-Sharing Deal;

Kurdish Opposition Leader Arrested;

Chairmanships of Parliamentary Committees Divided – On March 2, the Iraqi Speaker of the House Mohammed Halboussi arrived in Jordan for the summit of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union. On March 3, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Iraqi … Continue reading ISHM: February 28 – March 7, 2019 →

Secretary of State At A&M, On His Role At The CIA

From The Duran , I couldn't help myself (post this, that is). As they say at The Duran, Pompeo finally speaks some truth! The Duran’...