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Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic Council’

Facebook Removes News Outlets in Latest Orwellian Purge – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on May 11, 2020

Facebook and its Western government-backed partners will continue to remove accounts each month for engaging in CIB. It will be hard to know if the connections they make to the accounts are genuine. But if the sloppy work they did on SouthFront and News Front is any indication, claims from Facebook and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab should always be met with skepticism.

https://original.antiwar.com/Dave_DeCamp/2020/05/10/facebook-removes-news-outlets-in-latest-orwellian-purge/

Over the past three years, Facebook has been removing accounts for participating in what they call “coordinated inauthentic behavior” (CIB). According to Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, the Orwellian term refers to when “groups of pages or people work together to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing.” Facebook takes down accounts for CIB due to “deceptive behavior” not for sharing false information. In the latest purge, Facebook removed accounts from two news outlets, SouthFront and News Front.

The two outlets have no affiliation; the only thing they share besides the word “Front” in their names is content that does not toe the Western mainstream media line. In its effort to remove CIB and limit “disinformation,” Facebook partners with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab (DFRLab). The Atlantic Council is a Washington-based think-tank that receives funding from Western and Gulf State governments, defense contractors, and social media outlets. Some of its top contributors for the 2018 fiscal year include the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Embassy of the UAE to the US, the US State Department, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Facebook started releasing monthly CIB reports in March that detail the networks and accounts they take down. On May 5th, Facebook released its CIB report for April 2020. The report says Facebook removed eight networks of accounts, pages, and groups engaging in CIB. SouthFront and News Front are included in the first network covered in the report. “We removed 46 Pages, 91 Facebook accounts, 2 Groups, and 1 Instagram account for violating our policy against foreign interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign entity,” the report reads.

Facebook claims they linked this activity to “individuals in Russia and Donbass, and two media organizations in Crimea – NewsFront and SouthFront.” In a response to the report, SouthFront says the claim that they are based in Crimea is a “blatant lie” that they are willing to “defend in court.” SouthFront says the organization is made up of “an international team of independent authors and experts,” some of whom are from Russia and post-USSR states. News Front, on the other hand, is based in Crimea, but the organization does not try to hide its pro-Russia bias.

In a press release, the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab announced Facebook’s removal of the two organizations. The DFRLab refers to News Front and SouthFront as “two Crimea-based media organizations with ties to the FSB.” The FSB is a Russian security and intelligence agency, a successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB. In its independent analysis of the two outlets, the DFRLab offers little evidence to back up the claim of FSB ties. The analysis only uses a 2017 story from the German outlet Zeit, where a former News Front staffer claims the organization receives funding from the FSB. The DFRLab offers no evidence to link the FSB with SouthFront.

The DFRLab does not make a strong case for Facebook’s removal of the news outlets. The press release says, “While the DFRLab could not corroborate Facebook’s finding of CIB, it also found no evidence to contradict it.”

But using Facebook’s definition of CIB, the DFRLab’s analysis of the two outlets does seem to contradict Facebook’s findings. The pages and users analyzed do not seem to be misleading others or hiding who they are. “Most of the assets that DFRLab had access to did not hide their connection to South Front or News Front. Many of the pages wore their connections on their sleeves, naming themselves as different language versions of the websites,” the analysis reads. News Front is an international news organization with websites in English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Georgian and had Facebook pages to reflect that.

The analysis finds what they call “suspicious links” between News Front and ANNA News, another pro-Russia news outlet. But those “suspicious links” are just two former ANNA News anchors who now work for News Front. Facebook removed pages dedicated to the two anchors.

The analysis goes on to address the only connection between SouthFront and News Front, and probably, the real reason why they were removed from Facebook. Both outlets share stories that go against the Western narrative. The example the analysis seems to take the greatest issue with is stories that take into account Russia’s denial in the role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The analysis also points out that News Front accounts shared news stories from Russian-state funded media outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Ultimately, the DFRLab does not provide any information linking SouthFront or News Front’s social media activity to the Russian government and does not give examples of the accounts intentionally hiding their identity. The best they can do is mention some connections to the Russian government the founders of News Front have, but it is nothing they are trying to hide.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in internet censorship. YouTube’s CEO recently said they would remove any videos that go against the World Health Organization’s guidelines for the virus. On top of the Facebook ban, SouthFront’s YouTube channel has also been removed without any explanation. Although most of SouthFront’s content is military analysis, some stories they published on Covid-19 were flagged as “disinformation” by a ministry of the European Union. SouthFront published a detailed response to those accusations, pointing out that only three of the 3,000 stories they published this year were found to be “disinformation” by what they call “pro-NATO propagandists.”

SouthFront posted a video asking their readers for support in the wake of the social media bans. For independent news outlets, reach on social media is vital for their survival. SouthFront’s Facebook page had around 100,000 subscribers, and the YouTube channel had about 170,000. SouthFront publishes multiple news stories each day, mostly following updates on wars in the Middle East. One of the website’s best resources is its frequently updated maps.

Other networks removed by Facebook in April include accounts in Iran, Georgia, Mauritania, the US, and Myanmar. Facebook claims they took down a network of accounts connected to Iran’s state broadcasting company, although they provide no evidence to support the claim. Content credited to this network includes a post promoting former presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul from 2012. Another example from 2014 is just a news story about Israeli forces preventing Palestinians from praying in al-Aqsa Mosque.

Facebook and its Western government-backed partners will continue to remove accounts each month for engaging in CIB. It will be hard to know if the connections they make to the accounts are genuine. But if the sloppy work they did on SouthFront and News Front is any indication, claims from Facebook and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab should always be met with skepticism.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Quincy Conference: A ‘Seat at the Table’…or a Kick in the Teeth?

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2020

But nothing could be further from the truth. Out of 22 speakers there was not a single non-interventionist in the line-up.

The Republican, Arizona’s Andy Biggs, made the absurd and laughable claim that Juan Guaido was “rightfully elected” president of Venezuela and therefore it is legitimate for the US to install him in office. Though he didn’t say “Guaido” because he clearly did not even know they guy’s name. And as we know, Guaido never even ran for president in Venezuela – he was named president by Mike Pence!

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/march/05/quincy-conference-a-seat-at-the-tableor-a-kick-in-the-teeth/

Written by Daniel McAdams

his article originally appeared as a special update to RPI subscribers. Subscribe for free here.

I hesitate to write this, as I am a fan of the Libertarian Institute. But one of their recent articles has me scratching my head. And though I have never named them before in a critical piece, I notice that one of my articles is linked in their article so I believe I should set the record straight because the topic is so critically important to our movement.

The article in question, “The Quincy Institute: Off to a Decent Start,”  heaps praise on the Koch/Soros collaboration for its first conference, inaccurately titled, “A New Vision for America in the World.”

From the first sentence of the Libertarian Institute article it is clear there is something very wrong with the piece.

It begins, “Non-interventionists are not used to having a seat at the power table.” The implication is clear: with this conference non-interventionists have finally been given their “seat at the power table.” But nothing could be further from the truth. Out of 22 speakers there was not a single non-interventionist in the line-up. So, even though the table was absurdly large, there were still no seats for non-interventionists. Not. One. Seat.

And we are supposed to cheer?

Unfortunately, the piece was littered with some assertions that frankly are hard to explain. For example, the author, in responding to criticism over the speaker line up (where he links to my article on the topic), explains the abysmal selection of speakers by claiming, “The event was pitched as a forum between the Quincy Institute and Foreign Policy…” (emphasis added).

But that is simply not true. Nowhere in the promotional materials on either the Foreign Policy or Quincy website was this conference billed as a debate between Quincy and Foreign Policy magazine, with one favoring “restraint” and the other pushing the status quo. It was billed as a jointly hosted “leadership forum on the future of US foreign policy and national security.”

The whole “this was a debate between FP and Quincy” is revisionism in response to the outcry over the choice to feature the unreconstructed epitome of the “old vision” – David Petraeus – as the lead speaker facing no scrutiny or opposition. As if Quincy had no power to reject the inclusion of Petraeus in its own conference.

Further attempting to exculpate the Quincy Institute for any responsibility over the line-up, the author writes, “Quincy was discernably the junior partner in the conversation.”

Based on what evidence? Presumably being backed by moneybags Koch and Soros, the Quincy Institute picked up the lion’s share of the tab for the event. How does that make one a “junior partner”? More accurately it would suggest they are either grossly incompetent or in on the scam.

And while we’re at it, if you are seeking to launch a “new vision” for US foreign policy, why partner with a magazine that endorsed the bloodthirsty warmonger Hillary Clinton for president in 2016?

Don’t like Trump? Fine. Don’t endorse anyone.

Though it has received less scrutiny, it is worth mentioning that the other major backer for this event was the Pivotal Foundation. For those unfamiliar with that organization, it is among the single largest financial backers of…the McCain Institute! Yes…that McCain.

So we have an event funded by two huge backers of the warmongering Atlantic Council (Koch and Soros) and a major funder of the neoconservative McCain Institute. We have as “senior partner” in the conference a publication that endorsed for president the instigator of the murderous Libya invasion and the author of the plan to arm jihadists in Syria. It is a conference that features not a single non-interventionist on a single panel. Yet we are supposed to jump up and cheer because we finally have a place at the table?

Are we really that desperate for a pat on the head from the Beltway bombardiers and their think tanks?

The author does not go into the actual presentations at the conference beyond the Petraeus debacle, but it isn’t difficult to see that even the “best” speakers are, at best, self-described “realists.”

On the panel ostensibly to demonstrate that “left wing” Members of Congress are getting together with “right wing” Members to push non-interventionism we are treated to the display of BOTH Members of Congress agreeing that Venezuela’s president was a monster who had to go! That’s the real bipartisanship in Washington.

The Republican, Arizona’s Andy Biggs, made the absurd and laughable claim that Juan Guaido was “rightfully elected” president of Venezuela and therefore it is legitimate for the US to install him in office. Though he didn’t say “Guaido” because he clearly did not even know they guy’s name. And as we know, Guaido never even ran for president in Venezuela – he was named president by Mike Pence!

Biggs then further shows his utter ignorance of a country where he seeks US regime change by stating, “I view Maduro as the legitimate leader” before being corrected by a member of the audience and, clearly embarrassed, laughing it off.

This is the best argument for non-intervention: the people “in charge” have no idea what they are dealing with (and the people under them know exactly what they are dealing with).

Realists are not strategic allies of non-interventionists. There may be some tactical alliances on specific issues where there is the joint intent of sucking the oxygen out of the room on a particular intervention, but we should not forget that “realists” believe strongly in US government interventionism overseas. They only quibble with the neocons over the criteria. If it’s “in the national interest” they are all for it. But who gets to determine the “national interest”? Well they do, of course. And as ever check their funders to determine their interpretation of the national interest.

The neocons are Trotskyites determined to use force to remake the entire world in their image. Realists are for the use of force to affect outcomes determined by the masters of the Grand Chessboard.

To paraphrase Michael Malice, realism is just neoconservatism driving the speed limit.

The purpose of the Quincy conference was not to promote non-interventionism. Not a single non-interventionist was allowed to speak. Worse, actual non-interventionists were not welcome even in the audience. Genuine antiwar activist and intellectual Ray McGovern was denied entry to the event because presumably they could not bear having anyone with a history of challenging “King David” Petraeus on his murderous record.

The purpose was, as I said in my original piece, to serve up the old wine of a disastrous foreign policy in the new bottles of “restraint” and other meaningless wooden language phrases. One speaker even expressed the view that we should stop calling war “war” because it implied that there should be an end to the use of US military force overseas!

So this conference was “a good start” for non-interventionists? What’s their next act…a keynote from Bill Kristol?

As Ron Paul has always said, this is at its core a philosophical question. It is not about compromising one’s values or principles. We must stand strong against US government interventionism overseas. Full stop. Anything less and we are, like the Quincy Institute, merely providing cover for the continuation of Washington’s disastrous and anti-American foreign policy.


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Lying Schiff’s Star Witness Alexander Vindman Tied to Ukrainian Arms Dealers, Ukrainian Oil and Gas and the Atlantic Council

Posted by M. C. on February 10, 2020

Vindman also admitted during testimony that he tampered with and tried but failed to alter the transcript of President Trump’s call to the Ukrainian President.

He may be a US citizen but he is also Ukrainian.

Kim Philby was a British citizen. That doesn’t mean that was where his loyalties lay.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/10/lying-schiffs-star-witness-alexander-vindman-tied-to-ukrainian-arms-dealers-ukrainian-oil-and-gas-and-the-atlantic-council/

Joe Hoft

We just keep getting more and more pieces to the corrupt puzzle involving the Democrats, the Deep State, foreign actors and the media.  Here’s some more about Alexander Vindman, Lying Adam Schiff’s start witness two days ago.

We reported yesterday that Yesterday Colonel Alexander Vindman was a witness in Adam Schiff’s basement chamber of secrets.  During questioning on Tuesday Colonel Vindman admitted he shared the read-outs of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelenzky with several other secret operatives.

When Rep. Jim Jordan asked him who he shared the readouts with — Rep. Adam Schiff SHUT DOWN the questioning!

FOX News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge reported that Colonel Vindman may have violated the federal leaking statute 18 USC 798 when he leaked the president’s classified call to several other operatives.

Vindman also admitted during testimony that he tampered with and tried but failed to alter the transcript of President Trump’s call to the Ukrainian President.

Yesterday we tied Vindman to Obama’s former Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul who spoke out in support of Vindman.  The fact that Vindman is connected to McFaul is alarming. McFaul was one of the first to attack President Trump’s attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for investigating Ukrainian corruption involved in the Russia collusion scam. During his work, Rudy identified the crimes committed by the Bidens in their pay-for-play scam in the Ukraine.

McFaul is no stranger to controversy or corruption. It goes without saying he was Obama’s Ambassador to Russia, for example.

McFaul has a storied past. D. Manny wrote at Politics Central that McFaul was one of the first individuals to discuss the never verified Russian hack of the DNC –

 

There is a 06/14/2016 article on Politico written by Daniel Strauss entitled, “Russian Government Hackers Broke into DNC Servers, Stole Trump Oppo; The Hackers had Access to the Information for Approximately One Year.” In that article, Strauss includes a comment attributed to Michael McFaul:

Michael McFaul, who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, called the hack “meddling in our personal affairs.”

“I am sure they intended to do this without being caught,” he told POLITICO. “They wanted to obtain the information without it being detected. That’s a kind of target that would make sense — in terms of them wanting to know things about what is going on here. Whether they were doing it to try to try to [sic] manipulate our political process, I’d have to think about that.”

He added: “Russia has tremendous capabilities, both the Russian government and their proxies and people somewhat affiliated with the government. We always underestimate their capabilities.”

First, such an odd choice from whom to seek a comment. What qualifications or expertise render McFaul an authority on matters such as Russian hacking? A search of Michael McFaul’s history shows he served as US ambassador to Russia two years prior to the Politco article, and what’s more, he previously made the news because Obama assigned McFaul to be an ambassador without having any prior diplomatic skills, to a major country like Russia too.

Manny goes on to state that soon after McFaul was appointed Ambassador in Russia he was visited by a number of Communist leaders from Russia at the US Embassy.

Perhaps the most shocking observation of McFaul is related to his invitation in front of Congress at a Foreign Affairs Committee. Pictures of the event are telling, not necessarily because of McFaul, but rather because of the individual he has sitting directly behind him, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

McFaul’s Congressional hearing occurred eight days after the now famous Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Donald Trump Jr. This meeting resulted in Donald Jr. being interrogated for hours by Congress over his meeting with Veselnitskaya.

What is more shocking is that Veselnitskaya met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, before and after her meeting with Donald Jr. Fusion is the firm behind the phony Trump-Russia dossier that was never confirmed and very possibly all made up but nevertheless was used by Obama’s Deep State to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on President Trump.

Vindman is also connected to Glenn Simpson. Vindman was in Eurasia, specializing in Russian affairs, at the same region as Glenn Simpson, who was also specializing in Russian affairs was there, as well as Christopher Steele, who was also specializing in Russian affairs at the time. Trey Gowdy uncovered this in Simpson’s testimony in front of Congress –

Today we have more on Vindman, Shifty Schiff’s star witness ==>>

Yorktown Solutions is a lobbying firm that represents some questionable Ukrainian arms companies and the Ukrainian Oil and Gas industry, interested in undermining the Nordstream 2 Project. (Kiev Post)

Daniel Vajdich is listed as the registered agent for the lobbying firm Yorktown Solutions. He just so happens to be a member of the Atlantic Council. The same Atlantic Council Burisma donated heavily to and welcomed Volker, now a Senior Advisor, after he resigned. (Which opens a whole other can of worms regarding his meeting with Burisma board members at the Atlantic Council Event.)

Yorktown Solutions lists Alexander Vindman in its FARA filing –

On what appears to be their first day of U.S. operations, Vindman received his first email from Yorktown, he then met with them in March, and is listed as corresponding with Yorktown Solutions through email every few weeks since. Important to note, March of 2019 is also when Lutsenko began making allegations against Biden per WAPO’s timeline.

In addition, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Stanislav Shevchuk met with the Special Advisor to the President of the USA, Head of the Russian and Eurasian Section of the US National Security Council Fiona Hill, Head of the Eastern Europe and Russia Division of the US National Security Council Alexander Vindman, former US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Director of the Eurasian Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States John Herbst, partner of Baker McKenzie law firm Thomas Firestone during which a number of urgent issues were raised, in particular, the protection of the Constitution as part of the stability of the legal system and guarantee the effective functioning of democratic institutions.

What the hell were Hill, Vindman and Firestone doing together in Novermber 2018?   No doubt wasting more tax payer dollars working to overturn the 2016 election and the US Constitution.  This whole Schiff Sham is a disgrace.  Let’s hope and pray for justice.

Happy Halloween from the Schiff Sham and its basement chamber of secrets!

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An American Oligarch‘s Dirty Tale of Corruption – NEO

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

Clark, some might recall, was the mentally-unstable NATO General in charge of the 1999 bombing of Serbia who ordered NATO soldiers to fire on Russian soldiers guarding the Pristina International Airport. The Russians were there as a part of an agreed joint NATO–Russia peacekeeping operation supposed to police Kosovo. The British Commander, General Mike Jackson refused Clark, retorting, “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you.”

https://journal-neo.org/2015/06/12/an-american-oligarch-s-dirty-tale-of-corruption/

Author: F. William Engdahl

soros1_1496566bRarely does the world get a true look inside the corrupt world of Western oligarchs and the brazen manipulations they use to enhance their fortunes at the expense of the public good. The following comes from correspondence of the Hungarian-born billionaire, now naturalized American speculator, George Soros. The hacker group CyberBerkut has published online letters allegedly written by Soros that reveal him not only as puppet master of the US-backed Ukraine regime. They also reveal his machinations with the US Government and the officials of the European Union in a scheme where, if he succeeds, he could win billions in the plunder of Ukraine assets. All, of course, would be at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and of EU taxpayers.

What the three hacked documents reveal is a degree of behind-the-scene manipulation of the most minute details of the Kiev regime by the New York billionaire.

In the longest memo, dated March 15, 2015 and marked “Confidential” Soros outlines a detailed map of actions for the Ukraine regime. Titled, “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine,” the memo from Soros calls for steps to “restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement.” To do the restoring, Soros blithely notes that “General Wesley Clark, Polish General Skrzypczak and a few specialists under the auspices of the Atlantic Council [emphasis added—f.w.e.] will advise President Poroshenko how to restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement.”

Soros also calls for supplying lethal arms to Ukraine and secretly training Ukrainian army personnel in Romania to avoid direct NATO presence in Ukraine. The Atlantic Council is a leading Washington pro-NATO think tank.

Notably, Wesley Clark is also a business associate of Soros in BNK Petroleum which does business in Poland.

Clark, some might recall, was the mentally-unstable NATO General in charge of the 1999 bombing of Serbia who ordered NATO soldiers to fire on Russian soldiers guarding the Pristina International Airport. The Russians were there as a part of an agreed joint NATO–Russia peacekeeping operation supposed to police Kosovo. The British Commander, General Mike Jackson refused Clark, retorting, “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you.” Now Clark apparently decided to come out of retirement for the chance to go at Russia directly.

Naked asset grab

In his March 2015 memo Soros further writes that Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s “first priority must be to regain control of financial markets,” which he assures Poroshenko that Soros would be ready to assist in: “I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement.”

He also calls on the EU to give Ukraine an annual aid sum of €11 billion via a special EU borrowing facility. Soros proposes in effect using the EU’s “AAA” top credit rating to provide a risk insurance for investment into Ukraine.

Whose risk would the EU insure?

Soros details, “I am prepared to invest up to €1 billion in Ukrainian businesses. This is likely to attract the interest of the investment community. As stated above, Ukraine must become an attractive investment destination.” Not to leave any doubt, Soros continues, “The investments will be for-profit but I will pledge to contribute the profits to my foundations. This should allay suspicions that I am advocating policies in search of personal gain. “

For anyone familiar with the history of the Soros Open Society Foundations in Eastern Europe and around the world since the late 1980’s, will know that his supposedly philanthropic “democracy-building” projects in Poland, Russia, or Ukraine in the 1990’s allowed Soros the businessman to literally plunder the former communist countries using Harvard University’s “shock therapy” messiah, and Soros associate, Jeffrey Sachs, to convince the post-Soviet governments to privatize and open to a “free market” at once, rather than gradually.

The example of Soros in Liberia is instructive for understanding the seemingly seamless interplay between Soros the shrewd businessman and Soros the philanthropist. In West Africa George Soros backed a former Open Society employee of his, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, giving her international publicity and through his influence, even arranging a Nobel Peace Prize for her in 2011, insuring her election as president. Before her presidency she had been well-indoctrinated into the Western free market game, studying economics at Harvard and working for the US-controlled World Bank in Washington and the Rockefeller Citibank in Nairobi. Before becoming Liberia’s President, she worked for Soros directly as chair of his Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon’s new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to “protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights.”

Naftogaz the target

The Soros memo makes clear he has his eyes on the Ukrainian state gas and energy monopoly, Naftogaz. He writes, “The centerpiece of economic reforms will be the reorganization of Naftogaz and the introduction of market pricing for all forms of energy, replacing hidden subsidies…”

In an earlier letter Soros wrote in December 2014 to both President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Soros openly called for his Shock Therapy: “I want to appeal to you to unite behind the reformers in your government and give your wholehearted support to a radical, ‘big bang’ type of approach. That is to say, administrative controls would be removed and the economy would move to market prices rapidly rather than gradually…Naftogaz needs to be reorganized with a big bang replacing the hidden subsidies…”

Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization “big bang.”

The Puppet-Master?

The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation’s Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine’s independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.

Soros’ foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department. In 2004 just weeks after Soros’ International Renaissance Foundation had succeeded in getting Viktor Yushchenko as President of Ukraine, Michael McFaul wrote an OpEd for the Washington Post. McFaul, a specialist in organizing color revolutions, who later became US Ambassador to Russia, revealed:

Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same.

Soros shapes ‘New Ukraine’

Today the CyberBerkut hacked papers show that Soros’ IRF money is behind creation of a National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree from Poroshenko which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine’s legislature. Soros writes, “The framework for bringing the various branches of government together has also emerged. The National Reform Council (NRC) brings together the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, the Rada and its committees and civil society. The International Renaissance Foundation which is the Ukrainian branch of the Soros Foundations was the sole financial supporter of the NRC until now…”

Soros’ NRC in effect is the vehicle to allow the President to override parliamentary debate to push through “reforms,” with the declared first priority being privatization of Naftogaz and raising gas prices drastically to Ukrainian industry and households, something the bankrupt country can hardly afford.

In his letter to Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk, Soros hints that he played a key role in selection of three key non-Ukrainian ministers—Natalia Jaresko, an American ex- State Department official as Finance Minister; Aivras Abromavicius of Lithuania as Economics Minister, and a health minister from Georgia. Soros in his December 2014 letter, referring to his proposal for a “big bank” privatization of Naftogaz and price rise, states, “You are fortunate to have appointed three ‘new Ukrainian’ ministers and several natives (sic) who are committed to this approach.”

Elsewhere Soros speaks about de facto creating the impression within the EU that the current government of Yatsenyuk is finally cleaning out the notorious corruption that has dominated every Kiev regime since 1991. Creating that temporary reform illusion, he remarks, will convince the EU to cough up the €11 billion annual investment insurance fund. His March 2015 paper says that, “It is essential for the government to produce a visible demonstration (sic) during the next three months in order to change the widely prevailing image of Ukraine as an utterly corrupt country.” That he states will open the EU to make the €11 billion insurance guarantee investment fund.

While saying that it is important to show Ukraine as a country that is not corrupt, Soros reveals he has little concern when transparency and proper procedures block his agenda. Talking about his proposals to reform Ukraine’s constitution to enable privatizations and other Soros-friendly moves, he complains, “The process has been slowed down by the insistence of the newly elected Rada on proper procedures and total transparency.”

Soros suggests that he intends to create this “visible demonstration” through his initiatives, such as using the Soros-funded National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine’s legislature.

George Soros is also using his new European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank to lobby his Ukraine strategy, with his council members such as Alexander Graf Lambsdorff or Joschka Fischer or Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, not to mention former ECB head, Jean-Claude Trichet no doubt laying a subtle role.

George Soros, now 84, was born in Hungary as a Jew, George Sorosz. Soros once boasted in a TV interview that he posed during the war as a gentile with forged papers, assisting the Horthy government to seize property of other Hungarian Jews who were being shipped to the Nazi death camps. Soros told the TV moderator, “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets–that if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would.”

This is the same morality apparently behind Soros’ activities in Ukraine today. It seems again to matter not to him that the Ukrainian government he helped bring to power in February 2014 US coup d’etat is riddled with explicit anti-semites and self-proclaimed neo-Nazis from the Svoboda Party and Pravy Sektor. George Soros is clearly a devotee of “public-private-partnership.” Only here the public gets fleeced to enrich private investors like Mr. Soros and friends. Cynically, Soros signs his Ukraine strategy memo, “George Soros–A self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine, March 12, 2015.”

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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DC’s Atlantic Council raked in funding from Hunter Biden’s corruption-stained employer while courting his VP father | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on October 17, 2019

Addressing the parliament in Kiev, Biden declared that “corruption can have no place in the new Ukraine,” stating that the “United States has also been a driving force behind the IMF, working to provide a multi-billion package to help Ukraine..”  

That same month, Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma.

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/13/dcs-atlantic-council-raked-in-funding-from-hunter-bidens-corruption-stained-employer-while-courting-his-vp-father/

By Max Blumenthal

With its relentless focus on corruption in Russia and Ukraine, the Atlantic Council has distinguished itself from other top-flight think tanks in Washington. Over the past several years, it has held innumerable conferences and panel discussions, issued a string of reports, and published literally hundreds of essays on Russia’s “kleptocracy” and the scourge of Kremlin disinformation.

At the same time, this institution has posed as a faithful partner to Ukraine’s imperiled democracy, organizing countless programs on the urgency of economic reforms to tamp down on corruption in the country.

But behind the curtain, the Atlantic Council has initiated a lucrative relationship with a corruption-tainted Ukrainian gas company, the Burisma Group, that is worth as much as $250,000 a year. The partnership has paid for lavish conferences in Monaco and helped bring Burisma’s oligarchic founder out of the cold.

This alliance has remained stable even as official Washington goes to war over allegations by President Donald Trump and his allies that former Vice President Joseph Biden fired a Ukrainian prosecutor to defend his son’s handsomely compensated position on Burisma’s board.

As Biden parries Trump’s accusations, some of the former vice president’s most ardent defenders are emerging from the halls of the Atlantic Council, which featured Biden as a star speaker at its awards ceremonies over the years. These advocates include Michael Carpenter, Biden’s longtime foreign policy advisor and specialist on Ukraine, who has taken to the national media to support his embattled boss.

Even as Burisma’s trail of influence-buying finds its way into front page headlines, the Atlantic Council’s partnership with the company is scarcely mentioned…

NATO’s think tank in Washington

The Atlantic Council functions as the semi-official think tank of NATO in Washington. As such, it cultivates relationships with well-established policymakers who take a hard line against Russia and support the treaty organization’s perpetual expansion.

Biden has been among the think tank’s most enthusiastic and well-placed allies.

In 2011, then-Vice President Biden delivered the keynote address at the Atlantic Council’s distinguished leadership awards. He returned to the think tank again in 2014 for another keynote at its “Toward A Europe Whole and Free” conference, which was dedicated to expanding NATO’s influence and countering “Russian aggression.” Throughout the event, speakers like Zbigniew Brzezinski sniped at Obama for his insufficiently bellicose posture toward Russia, while former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright fretted over polls showing low public support for US interventionism overseas.

In his own comments, Biden emphasized the need to power Europe with non-Russian sources of natural gas. This provided a prime opportunity to Ukrainian suppliers like Burisma and US energy titans. Many of these energy companies, from Chevron to Noble Energy, also happen to be top donors to the Atlantic Council.

“This would be a game-changer for Europe, in my view, and we’re ready to do everything in our power to help it happen,” Biden promised his audience.

At the time, the Atlantic Council was pushing to ramp up the proxy war against pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. In 2015, for instance, the think tank helped prepare a proposal for arming the Ukrainian military with offensive weaponry like Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Given that the Atlantic Council has been funded by the two manufacturers of the Javelin system, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, this created at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. In fact, the think tank presented its Distinguished Business Leadership Award to Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson that same year.

Dubious arrangements like these are not limited to arms manufacturers. Anders Aslund, a neoliberal economist who helps oversee the Atlantic Council’s programming on Russia and Eastern Europe, was quietly paid by a consortium of Latvian banks to write an October 2017 paper highlighting the supposed progress they had made in battling corruption…

Biden made his first visit to the post-Maidan government of Ukraine in April 2014, just as Kiev was launching its so-called “anti-terrorist operation” against separatists who broke off from the new, NATO-oriented Ukraine and its nationalist government and formed so-called people’s republics in the Russophone Donbass region. The fragmentation of the country and its grinding proxy war flowed directly from the regime-change operation that Biden helped oversee.

Addressing the parliament in Kiev, Biden declared that “corruption can have no place in the new Ukraine,” stating that the “United States has also been a driving force behind the IMF, working to provide a multi-billion package to help Ukraine..”

That same month, Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma.

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Helterskelter to World War Three

 

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Viable Opposition: Facebook and Its Close Links to Washington

Posted by M. C. on April 17, 2019

http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/04/facebook-and-its-close-links-to.html

With Facebook taking a very strong stance against so-called fake news and foreign interference in what passes for democracy in the United States and particularly given its recent association with the Atlantic Council and its Digital Forensic Research Lab.  I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Matt Agorist at the Free Thought Project, one of the entities that was purged by Facebook in October 2018, for inspiring this posting

In no particular order, let’s look at some of Facebook’s key personnel and their relationship to Washington:

1.) Katie Harbath: Ms. Harbath is currently Director of Global Politics and Government Outreach at Facebook as shown here:

…and has very close links to the Republican Party (a relative rarity among Facebook key personnel) including Deputy eCampaign Director for Rudy Giuliani’s run at the Oval Office both before and during her tenure at Facebook as shown here:

It was Ms. Harbath who announced Facebook’s “exciting new partnership” with the Atlantic Council on May 17, 2018:

Today, we’re excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems. Experts from their Digital Forensic Research Lab will work closely with our security, policy and product teams to get Facebook real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world. This will help increase the number of “eyes and ears” we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.”

2.) Nathaniel Gleicher:  Mr. Gleicher is Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook as shown here:

…and was former Director for Cybersecurity Policy for the National Security Council at the White House, Senior Counsel for Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the United States Department of Justice and a Law Clerk for Senator Patrick Leahy as shown here:

Just so you can get a sense of Mr. Gleicher’s belief system, here is what he said in a blog posting on January 17, 2019 entitled “Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour from Russia“:

Today we removed 364 Facebook Pages and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries. The Page administrators and account owners primarily represented themselves as independent news Pages or general interest Pages on topics like weather, travel, sports, economics, or politicians in Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. Despite their misrepresentations of their identities, we found that these Pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a news agency based in Moscow, and that some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption.(my bolds)

Yes, imagine being anti-NATO and anti-corruption!  That’s totally unAmerican not to mention totally without merit!

3.) David Recordon: Mr. Recordon lists himself as a “doer” on his Linkedin page as shown here:

…however, his “real position” is Engineering Director for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a company founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan which has the goal of “advancing human potential and promoting equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy”.

Between March 2015 and January 2017, Mr. Recordon was the Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House IT and a consultant for the U.S. Digital Service at the White House as you can see here:

Please note that prior to his tenure with the federal government, Mr. Recordon was Engineering Director at Facebook.

4.) Aneesh Raman:  Mr. Raman is currently the Head of Economic and Social Impact at Facebook as you can see here:

…and was the former speechwriter to President Obama and worked in Strategic Communications at the Pentagon as shown here:

5.) Meredith Carden: Ms. Carden is currently working on Facebook’s News Integrity Partnerships as shown here:…

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Online Censorship: The Cure is Worse than the Disease | The Nestmann Group

Posted by M. C. on February 27, 2019

https://www.nestmann.com/online-censorship-the-cure-is-worse-than-the-disease

By Mark Nestmann

Fake news is a big problem. And as I’ve written, technology is about to make a lot worse.

But censoring online content to combat fake news is equally problematic. And it doesn’t matter where on the political spectrum your opinions lie…it’s a problem for everyone.

From a legal perspective, it’s clear that the government can’t force the media to filter out fake news. After all, the First Amendment reads, in part:

Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

But private companies are free to censor anyone they want. That’s how iTunes, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube justified removing Jones’ audio and video content produced by online provocateur and right-wing activist Alex from their platforms last August…

But as big a problem as fake news is, online censorship isn’t the answer. Like it or not, booting Alex Jones off social media puts us as a society on a dangerous slippery slope. And we are sliding down that slope now. On October 11, within weeks of kicking off Jones, Facebook removed hundreds of pages of smaller left-wing, libertarian, and anti-war media outlets. Four of the more prominent organizations affected are Cop Block, the Free Thought Project, the Anti-Media, and Press for TruthRead the rest of this entry »

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