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Kafka comes to The Hague – Mail Online – Peter Hitchens blog

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2020

As we shall see, he has had long and distinguished service at the OPCW and was highly-regarded by them right up till the moment when he challenged attempts to exclude his work from consideration.

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/02/someone-has-been-telling-lies-about-a-and-b-kafka-comes-to-the-hague.html

| PETER HITCHENS

The Show Trial of A and B.

Kafka comes to The Hague

Why you should be worried

You might think that when two honest men, with nothing to gain and much to lose, speak the truth about a major scandal in a body which might one day decide between world war and peace, that the world would immediately do the right thing.

You would be utterly wrong.

In the movies, the dissenters would quickly be recognised as the heroes of the story, their bosses would admit to doing wrong. The media would celebrate their courage. And the matter would be set right.

But the case of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) shows that it would be foolish to expect that to happen. The OPCW is an agency of the UN. It exists to ensure impartial and rigorous inspection of the alleged use of chemical weapons. But it is now charged with being neither impartial nor rigorous.

An important story has been widely ignored, to the lasting shame of Western journalism. The organisation involved has made no move to correct the wrong. The individuals involved have been unfairly attacked by their own former employer.

Politicians have continued to repeat claims based on documents which have been gravely challenged, as if nothing had happened.

 

A summary of what happened

Fact: Leaks from the OPCW last summer, whose source has never been identified, showed that the OPCW had sidelined and suppressed key information undermining its own public conclusion that it was ‘reasonable’ to believe that chlorine gas had been used in warfare in Syria in April 2018.

 

A real expert

 

The leak cited work done by an OPCW inspector named Ian Henderson. Mr Henderson is a Chemical Engineer who studied at the universities of Witwatersrand and Durban and has considerable experience in ballistics thanks to military service as an artilleryman. He now lives in Australia. He is entirely non-political.

As we shall see, he has had long and distinguished service at the OPCW and was highly-regarded by them right up till the moment when he challenged attempts to exclude his work from consideration.

 

Unintentional

 

Fact: Asked about the Henderson disclosure, the OPCW stated that it was mounting a leak enquiry, so unintentionally confirming that the documents were genuine.

Not long afterwards, Mr Henderson was escorted from the OPCW building. This happened after he declined to take part in what he called a ‘witch-hunt’ against his colleagues. He has always said that he did not leak the material.

 

The second leak

Fact: Further evidence of wrongdoing emerged late last autumn, when another senior inspector at the OPCW identified himself to a panel of experts as ‘Alex’.

His testimony, reported by the website ‘Counterpunch, stated that the suppression of key information had gone much further. As confirmed by documents later published by Wikileaks, evidence which cast even more doubt on the chlorine gas verdict was filleted out of the reports eventually published by the OPCW.

 

Three mysterious Americans

 

‘Alex’ also recounted how astonishingly, a group of Americans had been introduced to the investigation team, and had more or less told them that chlorine had been used. Ian Henderson later confirmed that this wholly improper meeting had in fact taken place.

 

‘Make it sound like we found something’

 

At one point Mr Henderson had been told by a colleague: ‘we have been told by the first floor [the seat of power at the OPCW] that we have to make it sound like we found something’.

There had been serious internal rows in the OPCW about this censorship, fiercely over-ridden by senior officials. Inspectors had complained about being sidelined and having their work excluded from published reports. But they could get nowhere —as the OPCW has no agreed system in which would-be whistleblowers can access formal procedures. There was little the dissenters could do. But quite large numbers of OPCW staff must by then have been aware of the dissent.

In a statement which Ian Henderson addressed to the Security Council last January he makes claims that are quite astonishing. It describes his attempts to communicate his unease to the OPCW management.

 

“You will never get to the Director-General, and if you try and go around me to get to him, there will be consequences”

 

‘In the weeks following the incident, I attempted to redress the situation internally in a way that would not damage the credibility of the TS. This included the following: • I held discussions and meetings with the Chief of Cabinet, the (newly-joined) Director of Inspectorate, Head of Operations, Head of the Office of Confidentiality and Security, Director of the Office of Strategy and Policy, and the Acting Director of the Office of Internal Oversight. • I requested a meeting with the Director-General, as I thought the situation was serious enough to warrant him being made aware of it. The request for [a] meeting was denied and I was informed by a senior manager that “you will never get to the Director-General, and if you try and go around me to get to him, there will be consequences”. I shall identify the senior manager verbally, in his presence, should this be required. • I drafted a memorandum to the Director-General, through the Director of Inspectorate’.

 

Dossier

 

Henderson compiled a complete dossier of everything that was wrong with the Douma investigation. It was reviewed by the Chief of Cabinet but was not delivered to the DG. Henderson says, ‘I deposited a dossier with the Acting Director of the Office of Internal Oversight, together with a memorandum requesting an investigation by OIO into the situation of the FFM report. Months later I was informed that nothing would be done, as this was now seen as outside the scope of the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight.’

Slightly Foxed

By November 24th it was clear that the scandal was now out in the open.

Tucker Carlson, of Fox News, had interviewed Jonathan Steele about the revelations of ‘Alex’. The London Mail on Sunday carried the story prominently on Sunday 24th November, as did La Repubblica of Rome. Robert Fisk of ‘the Independent’ took up the case. Spectator America also covered it. The major news agencies made small references to it, one of which confirmed the authenticity of a crucial leaked e-mail.

The Sound of Silence

But most major media maintained an almost total silence about them. Meanwhile, on social media, sources sympathetic to the OPCW spread doubts about the validity of the leaks.

For weeks, the OPCW made no official response to these revelations.

Then, on 6th February the OPCW held a briefing for member states, in which it presented the outcome of its inquiry into the actions of two inspectors and an alleged breach of confidentiality. This was reported in a series of documents https://www.opcw.org/media-centre/news/2020/02/opcw-independent-investigation-possible-breaches-confidentiality-report

 

Who Shall Guard the Guardians?

 

One UK newspaper, ‘the Guardian’, reported this development thus:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/25/chemical-weapons-watchdog-opcw-defends-syria-report-after-leaks

 

The OPCW documents took the form of a show trial of both these individuals, conducted in their absence. Inspector A had said he would only participate in the investigation if the OPCW’s chief, Fernando Arias, was given a copy of his original complaint against what he saw as misuse of information. This was refused. Inspector B wished to bring his own lawyer. This also was refused. Both dissenters had tried repeatedly to take their concerns to Mr Arias, but they were blocked by senior management where the NATO powers which have been keen to intervene in Syria are well-represented.

Ad Hominem

The attack was almost entirely ad hominem, claiming, totally inaccurately, that they played a minor role, that they did not know the full story, that they had behaved in an underhand fashion. It did not in fact challenge the veracity of any of the leaks (for the simple reason that they are all true), but instead sought to belittle the two dissenters, who it referred to as ‘Inspector A’ and ‘Inspector B’.

Kafka Calls

These names make the whole thing sound like a mixture of Franz Kafka, Harold Pinter, J.B.Priestley and Inspector Morse. And Kafka, as so often, has provided the atmosphere of injustice, menace and obscurity.

But the claims made by the OPCW were shocking to those who actually know about the case. I am in a privileged position, I have spoken at length to Ian Henderson, who has been ‘outed’ beyond recall and who is obviously ‘Inspector A’. The identity of ‘Inspector B’ remains unrevealed.

I have since been in contact with both of them, receiving their detailed rebuttals to the charges made against them. It is my plan to publish these rebuttals in full at some point.

 

Telling the Security Council

 

But for the moment I will mainly refer readers to the written statement made by Ian Henderson to the UN Security Council. His ultimate employers, at a recent special session which discussed the case. He also made a briefer filmed statement. You may read the written document in full here:

https://thegrayzone.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Henderson-Testimony-UN.pdf

 

Oh yes, he was: Inspector A was a member of the FFM

 

But first let us hear Inspector A’s response to the repeated claim that he was not a member of the OPCW FFM (Fact Finding Mission) which went to Douma in April 2018. Here is his own answer: The OPCW have claimed ‘Inspector A was not a member of the FFM, and his name is not included in the mandates issued for FFM deployments.

‘A: Wrong, and misleading. When the first team was assembled, Inspector A was on a mission in Nepal. Therefore, obviously, he couldn’t be on the mandate for the team first deploying. When he returned to HQ, it was agreed at the operational level that there was a need to add critical experience and expertise to the FFM. He was then notified to the Syrian Arab Republic as an addition to the FFM team and he joined them. Documents support this.’

 

This Doesn’t Quite Add Up

 

I might add to this that the Final Report of the FFM (Annex 6, para 11)  says:

https://www.opcw.org/sites/default/files/documents/2019/03/s-1731-2019%28e%29.pdf

On 4 June, FFM team members tagged and sealed the cylinders from Locations 2 and 4, and documented the procedure.’

Now, there is no doubt that ‘Inspector A’ is Ian Henderson, whose name was on the leak which was investigated.

In his recent report to the UN Security Council he says :

‘I was the sub-team leader for the visit to “Site 8”, to further inspect and photograph the cylinders removed from Locations 2 and 4, and to apply tags/seals to them.’

This would seem to be a conflict. The OPCW’s own report says that FFM members tagged and sealed the cylinders. Mr Henderson was among those who did so and indeed led the team. In that case, surely, he must have been a member of the FFM.

 

Outstanding Professionals

 

This pretence that A and B are unimportant marginal figures is very odd. Both had in fact been considered outstanding professionals for the OPCW throughout their careers, and have many written notes commending the quality of their work. They were rehired – something the OPCW very rarely does – because the OPCW needed their experience.

The OPCW says they were rehired on a lower grade from the one they had previously held. It does not say that this was because the old higher grade had been abolished, and so it was no reflection on the two men’s skills and competence.

 

Underhand or Not?

 

 

THE OPCW also accuses Inspector A of underhand behaviour:

 

‘In July 2018, Inspector A, without proper authorisation, contacted companies about conducting an engineering

study on the cylinders found at two locations in Douma. When this became known to the team leader of the

FFM, Inspector A was instructed to refrain from making contact with any external third parties. The

investigation found that Inspector A did not accept this and decided that he was going to complete his study

alone—without informing the FFM team leader.’

 

Inspector A maintains that he behaved entirely properly and provided a detailed explanation of events in his statement to the UN Security Council (link above) beginning at paragraph 21.

Among many other attacks on the two inspectors is one which suggests that much of the investigation into the Douma incident was carried on after they had left or were no longer involved.

 

Only one visit to Douma

In fact there was only one OPCW visit to Douma and both A and B were deeply involved in it. Later work was done by an almost entirely different team, in what the OPCW calls ‘Country X’ which is almost certainly Turkey. No new information about chemical or ballistic or engineering matters was obtained on those deployments. And it was the suppression of important parts of the initial research, at Douma in April 2018, that caused the inspectors to dissent.

During this visit, Inspector A was in Douma, while Inspector B was in Damascus overseeing the technical and scientific operation. Inspector B *would* have been in Douma if his requests for the necessary security training (essential for such a risky deployment and very hard to complete at short notice) had not been turned down by the OPCW some time before. He was in close touch with the inspectors in Douma and was able to pass on his experience to them through secure communication. Inspector B is in fact one of only 4 inspectors (out of 10) who was present in Damascus for the entire duration of the investigation (14 April to 3 May). The team leader himself, who wrote the final report, left after 3 days, before the investigation ever began, which by an extension of the logic implied, invalidates the team leader’s contribution to the final report.

Inspector B was the planner and coordinator of all the scientific and technical activities on site. He was part of the sub-team involved in the negotiations with the Syrian authorities, participated in the interview process, wrote the on-site progress reports for the previous Director General, was the chief drafter of the original interim report, and with Inspector A, the most experienced inspector in the team. In fact, his 17 years’ experience as an inspector far outnumbers the average for the team.

Inspector B was the only organic chemist in the team and the recognised specialist in the OPCW when it came to chemical weapons production. As testimony to this, in his annual performance appraisals, it is cited by his supervisors that “he demonstrates a knowledge and skill in chemistry which is not possessed by others in the TS” (PMAS 2010), “I can say without fear of being unfair to others that you have been the professional in the TS that has contributed the most to the knowledge and understanding of CW chemistry applied to inspections. You produced a lot of knowledge and unselfishly shared every bit of what you know with others, enthusiastically” (PMAS 2017)

 

There is more

 

I include these facts (a small sample of a 20,000 word dossier I have compiled on this matter) to indicate in just how many ways the OPCW’s attack on these two men is unfair and undeserved.

Perhaps even more important, the OPCW response does not in fact challenge their original concerns, which remain, about the investigation process and the report on Douma. These are that chemical, ballistics and engineering evidence from Douma itself, as well as evidence from external expert toxicologists, were known to the OPCW before the final report but suppressed by it because it would undermined its conclusion that said:

 

Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon on 7 April 2018 in Douma, the Syrian Arab Republic, the evaluation and analysis of all the information gathered by the FFM—witnesses’ testimonies, environmental and biomedical samples analysis results, toxicological and ballistic analyses from experts, additional digital information from witnesses—provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.

 

A weak conclusion

 

Careful readers will note the weakness of the conclusion. ‘Reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical took place’ is a very weak verdict. It is doubts that are usually reasonable. Grounds need to be demonstrable, as the burden of proof must lie with those who make the allegation, in any serious inquiry. As for ‘the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine’ this is also a remarkably weak and diffident statement, especially if it is being used to justify a large multinational military intervention (as it is).

 

It seems to me that the facts and expert opinions which the OPCW had suppressed in its published documents were, even so, unintentionally expressed in the weakness and vagueness of this conclusion.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

 

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Assange’s Extradition Case: Critical Moment for the Antiwar Movement – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on February 17, 2020

While media have become stenographers to power and have long betrayed ordinary
people, WikiLeaks has defended the public’s right to know by publishing more
than 10 million documents, with a pristine record of accuracy exposing human
rights abuses, government spying and war crimes on an unprecedented scale.

If the Trump administration were to succeed in extraditing Assange to the US, where he will not receive a fair trial, it will be the death of investigative journalism and the victory of senseless wars. If this is ever allowed to happen, the murder of an innocent journalist will not be the end, but only the beginning: the unchecked power of the US Empire will bring misery and death to countless innocents around the world, and tyranny inevitably follow with wars without end.

https://original.antiwar.com/Nozomi_Hayase/2020/02/16/assanges-extradition-case-critical-moment-for-the-antiwar-movement/

Last week, Leader of the UK opposition Jeremy Corbyn challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on the US extradition request for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Corbyn stated that Assange had been charged by the US “for exposing war crimes, the murder of civilians and large-scale corruption”. Backing the Council of Europe, who warned that the prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent for journalists and called for his immediate release, he asked:

“Will the Prime Minister agree with the Parliamentary report that’s going to the Council of Europe that this extradition should be opposed and the rights of journalists and whistleblowers upheld for the good of all of us?”

Corbyn has risen to political prominence for his lifelong activism against military action. He opposed the 2003 Iraq War and also voted against British military involvement in Afghanistan and Libya. The Labour leader, who is known for his staunch commitment to democratic rights and peace, understood very well the value of WikiLeaks’ disclosure of government secrets.

WikiLeaks’ publication of documents concerning US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was a major contribution to the antiwar movement. The release of the Collateral Murder video provided a rare window into modern asymmetric warfare, revealing the war crime of a US military airstrike killing innocent civilians in a suburb of Iraq.

Corbyn, who has not mentioned Assange’s plight over the last 10 months, and with now less than two weeks before his extradition hearing, finally broke his silence. In his question to the Prime Minister, he fiercely asserted the voice of the antiwar movement at the Parliamentary session.

The Fourth Estate as a vehicle for peace

This decisive action by Corbyn came shortly after Julian Assange was nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, along with whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. The nomination letter stated that these three need to be recognized for their “unprecedented contributions to the pursuit of peace and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all”. It acknowledged how they have “exposed the architecture of war and strengthened the architecture of peace”. In the following week, Assange also won the 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award, adding another prize to his list of journalism awards.

Assange understood the critical role of media in keeping peace. He once noted: “Populations don’t like wars. They have to be lied into it. That means we can be ‘truthed’ into peace.” Speaking in defense of the disclosure of classified US military documents on the Iraq War, Assange pointed out how “most wars that are started by democracies involve lying” and described, “the start of the Iraq War involved very serious lies that were repeated and amplified by some parts of the press”.

The Iraq War is a good example of the massive failure of established media in the West. Colin Powell’s fabrication at the UN Security Council about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction was a particular low point for the US in its base war propaganda.

While media have become stenographers to power and have long betrayed ordinary people, WikiLeaks has defended the public’s right to know by publishing more than 10 million documents, with a pristine record of accuracy exposing human rights abuses, government spying and war crimes on an unprecedented scale. By bringing truth to the public, the whistleblowing site transformed the Fourth Estate into becoming a powerful vehicle for peacemaking.

Australian MPs’ initiative

In the EU, the number of Parliament members, lawmakers and ministers in support of Assange is growing. In Assange’s home country, Australia, concern for one of the nation’s legendary journalists is becoming stronger. As more and more people voiced disappointment with the inaction of the Australian government, individuals inside the institution began to take action.

On February 10, Australian MP Andrew Wilkie tabled a historic petition in Australia’s Parliament calling for an end to the US extradition. As he urged the government to bring Assange back home, he added:

“That the perpetrator of those war crimes, America, is now seeking to extradite Mr. Assange to face 17 counts of espionage and one of hacking is unjust in the extreme and arguably illegal under British law.”

Then, a day later, he announced that he would travel to London to visit Assange in Belmarsh prison, where he has been kept in complete isolation until recently. Another Australian MP George Christensen will also visit Assange in London and together they plan to lobby Britain for his freedom.

Momentum is now building up, with political figures demonstrating great leadership in urging their governments to do the right thing. In the US, during the lead-up to Mr. Assange’s UK hearing, the Democratic Party’s primary nomination contest is intensifying. Candidates race to win the right to challenge Trump for the 2020 presidential election.

Presidential race to rescue the free press?

Who among the US presidential candidates would be the next to follow Corbyn’s great lead to defend Assange, in order to rescue the free press that is now under attack by the Trump administration?

So far, strong support is shown by Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii’s congresswoman and the first female combat veteran to ever run for president. She indicated that, if elected President in 2020, she would drop all US charges against Julian Assange and pardon Edward Snowden.

What about the positions of other major candidates? Both the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren recognized the dangerous precedent that the Trump administration’s indictment against Assange poses for press freedom, yet they fall short in coming forward to strongly defend a journalist imprisoned in London’s HMP Belmarsh, who is now facing 175 years in a US prison for his publishing activities exposing US war crimes.

Will Sanders, who is viewed by many as America’s counterpart to UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, stand up for what has become the most essential media freedom issue of our time? Would Warren, who promises to take on Wall Street to protect economic opportunities for working families, show the same enthusiasm to protect media freedom? Will any of them challenge Joe Biden for the remarks he made while he was Vice-President to Barack Obama comparing Assange to a “high-tech terrorist”?

Bill Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, who now has become the only opponent to challenge Trump for the Republican ticket, indicated that his administration would not press Espionage Act charges against Julian Assange.

Grassroots action

While presidential candidates are lacking in their courage to defend Assange, support toward the WikiLeaks founder is growing at the grassroots level among the American people. Rick Sterling, the Bay Area-based investigative journalist, recently launched a new petition to intervene on behalf of Assange’s freedom. The petition, endorsed by the National Lawyers Guild and Veterans for Peace, is addressed to Vanessa Baraitser, who will be the presiding judge at Assange’s formal extradition hearing starting February 24, urging her to exercise judicial independence and reject the US extradition request.

Sterling, who is a member of Syria Solidarity Movement, has been critical of the US military invasion of the Middle East, and has traveled to London with other concerned friends to investigate Assange’s current situation. He said, “Once there, we were inspired by the dedication of activists who protest outside Belmarsh Prison every Saturday and in Trafalgar Square every Saturday night. People from around the world are coming to express their solidarity.”

He said that he initiated this petition because he wanted to make it known that  “there are informed American citizens who adamantly OPPOSE what our government is doing”. He added: “We want the judge to consider all the facts and not be pressured or bullied into extraditing Assange.”

In defense of peace

Assange’s US extradition hearing is set to start for five days on February 24, and will then resume on May 18 for three more weeks. His first day in the court is marked as a Global Day of Protests, where supporters around the world are organizing rallies and demonstrations. In the US, supporters across the country are planning to gather for solidarity actions planned in Washington DC throughout the first week of his hearing.

Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture who investigated Mr. Assange’s situation, spoke at a recent public rally in London about how Julian Assange reported on torture conducted by the US government, but which has never been prosecuted. He reminded the audience that Assange has been and continues to be psychologically tortured, and that if he were to be extradited to the US he would be tortured until the day he dies.

The US government’s extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange is a critical moment for press freedom, but also for the antiwar movement. This aggressive government’s assault on journalists poses grave danger to peace, for without a press that is free and independent, truth that has the power to stop wars is defenseless.

If the Trump administration were to succeed in extraditing Assange to the US, where he will not receive a fair trial, it will be the death of investigative journalism and the victory of senseless wars. If this is ever allowed to happen, the murder of an innocent journalist will not be the end, but only the beginning: the unchecked power of the US Empire will bring misery and death to countless innocents around the world, and tyranny inevitably follow with wars without end. We need to solidify our opposition to the US extradition of Julian Assange, because peace needs a great public defense.

Be seeing you

Julian Assange Could Die In Prison Doctors Warn | Disclose.tv

 

 

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The Primary Mechanism Of Your Oppression Is Not Hidden At All – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2020

…we see not public accountability, nor demands for sweeping systemic changes to prevent such malfeasance from reoccurring, but a bunch of narrative management from the political/media class.

This narrative management is used to shift attention away from the information that was revealed and onto the fact that the person who revealed it broke the law or misbehaved in some way. It’s used to convince people that the revelations aren’t actually a big deal, or that it was already basically public knowledge anyway.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/02/02/the-primary-mechanism-of-your-oppression-is-not-hidden-at-all/

I write a lot about government secrecy and the importance of whistleblowers, leakers and leak publishers, and for good reason: governments which can hide their wicked deeds from public accountability will do so whenever possible. It’s impossible for the public to use democracy for ensuring their government behaves in the way they desire if they aren’t allowed to be informed about what that behavior even is.

These things get lots of attention in conspiracy circles and dissident political factions. Quite a few eyes are fixed on the veil of government opacity and the persecution of those brave souls who try to shed light on what’s going on behind it. Not enough eyes, but quite a few.

What gets less attention, much to our detriment, is the fact that the primary mechanism of our oppression and exploitation is happening right out in front of our faces.

The nonstop campaign by bought politicians, owned news outlets, and manipulated social media platforms to control the dominant narratives about what’s going on in the world contribute vastly more to the sickness of our society than government secrecy does. We know this from experience: any time a whistleblower exposes secret information about the malfeasance of powerful governments like NSA surveillance or Collateral Murder, we see not public accountability, nor demands for sweeping systemic changes to prevent such malfeasance from reoccurring, but a bunch of narrative management from the political/media class.

This narrative management is used to shift attention away from the information that was revealed and onto the fact that the person who revealed it broke the law or misbehaved in some way. It’s used to convince people that the revelations aren’t actually a big deal, or that it was already basically public knowledge anyway. And it’s used to manipulate public attention on to the next hot story of the day and memory hole it underneath the white noise of the media news churn. And nothing changes.

We’ve seen it happening over and over and over again. The narrative management machine has gotten so effective and efficient that it’s been able to completely ignore the recent revelation that the US, UK and France almost certainly bombed Syria in 2018 for a completely false reason. A few half-assed Bellingcat spin jobs and an otherwise total media blackout, and it’s like the whole thing never happened.

What this tells us is that our first and foremost problem is not the fact that conspiracies are happening behind a curtain of government secrecy, but that the way people think, act and vote is being actively manipulated right out in the open. Government secrecy is indeed one aspect of establishment narrative control, but controlling the public’s access to information is only one aspect. The bigger part of it is controlling how the public thinks about information.

The reason people never use the power of their superior numbers to force real change, even though they’re being exploited and oppressed in myriad ways by the ruling class, is because they’ve been propagandized into accepting the status quo as desirable (or at least normal). The propaganda of the political/media class is therefore the establishment’s front line of defense. Its most powerful, and essential, weapon.

This is important for dissidents of all stripes to understand, because it means we’re not just passively waiting around for another Manning or Snowden or an Ian Henderson to give us information which we can use to fight the oppression machine. Those individuals have done a great public service, but the battle to awaken human consciousness to what’s really going on in our world is in no way limited to leakers and whistleblowers. It is not at the mercy of government secrecy.

If you are engaged in any type of media, you are engaging the narrative matrix which keeps the public asleep and complacent. It doesn’t matter if you have a Twitter account, a Youtube account, some flyers or a can of spray paint: if you are capable of getting any kind of message out there, you are able to directly influence the mechanism of your oppression. You are able to inform people that they are being lied to, you are able to explain why, and you are able to point them to where they can find more information.

This is extremely empowering. You do not need to wait around hoping that some bombshell piece of information makes it past all the various security checks and spinmeisters and triggers a real social awakening. You can be that information. You can become a catalyst for that awakening.

The key to turning this ship around does not lie hidden somewhere behind a veil of government opacity. It lies in you. It lies in all of us. We can begin awakening our fellow humans right now by attacking the narrative management of the propaganda machine that sits right in front of us, unarmored and unhidden.

____________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/18/the-news-churn-memory-hole-how-the-msm-lies-even-when-telling-the-truth/

“This goofy ass Trump letter is gonna get more outraged coverage than the bombshell report on the entire Afghanistan war being a lie and frankly I don’t know if I can handle that right now,” popular Youtube commentator Kyle Kulinski tweeted today.

The post was just one of the many observations that Kulinski tosses into the Twitterverse every day, presented in his typical casual, offhand way without any self-significance. But if you actually pause and think about what he’s saying here, how true it is and what it says about the mass media institutions which people rely upon to form their worldviews, it’s actually a damning indictment of our entire society.

It is a fact that far more news media energy is going into one trivial aspect of an impeachment agenda that will with absolute certainty fail to remove Trump from office than there is for the known fact that the US government fought to suppress indisputable proof that American officials have been consistently lying about an 18-year military occupation which continues to this day. This fact should, by itself, be sufficient to completely discredit the mainstream press. This one tiny piece of information, that there’s vastly more buzz about an irrelevant impeachment sideshow than there is over the Afghanistan Papers, should in and of itself cause everyone to regard the entire establishment media complex with the same amount of respect as it gives the Flat Earth Society.

But it doesn’t. People are so hypnotized by the endless drama of the mass media news churn that all context and sense of proportionality is lost to them. They stand transfixed by the latest kayfabe combat between the two puppets in America’s two-headed one-party system like an infant distracted from the cause of its outrage by a set of shiny, dangling keys.

The public’s total immersion in whatever sparkly clickbait drama gets served before them by the waiters and waitresses of corporate news media enables the narrative managers responsible for manipulating public thought to simply pace mainstream attention away from inconvenient news stories, even after reporting on those very news stories themselves the day before.

This ability to memory-hole attention away from inconvenient truths using the drama of the relentless news churn is the final line of defense for the establishment propaganda machine, and, much like a video game, they save the hardest boss fight for last. Even if a little truth manages to squeak past the wall of billionaire-controlled media employees who are conditioned to understand that they’ll only be able to advance their careers by promoting narratives which favor the establishment upon which those billionaires have built their respective kingdoms, even if that truth then squeaks past the steadily thickening walls of government secrecy, past the increasingly overt infiltration of media organizations by powerful government agencies, and past the empire’s increasingly aggressive war on oppositional journalism, it still has to face the final boss fight of news churn memory-holing. And boy, it’s almost unbeatable.

A lot of dissident-minded optimists got hopeful that maybe once the lies of the Iraq war were exposed, people would lose trust in the political/media class which deceived them about such a massively significant atrocity. These hopes were of course dashed as public attention was simply paced on to the next new, shiny thing, and then on to another and then on to another, and on now to the point where everyone’s babbling about impeachment over some political shenanigans with Ukraine and Joe Biden without hardly anybody bellowing in unmitigated rage that this same party refused to impeach Bush over mountains of literal war crimes. There is no actual correlation between a story’s newsworthiness and the amount of news coverage it ends up getting, so the still earth-shakingly consequential repercussions of Bush administration’s malfeasance have been eclipsed by today’s set of sparkly keys.

This infuriating tactic has been employed time and time again against inconvenient truths which miraculously managed to surmount the many other roadblocks which obstruct people’s understanding that they do not live in a free or just society but a murderous, oppressive and exploitative one. They are able to employ this immensely crucial strategic advantage because the social engineers whose employers benefit from the status quo don’t just work to manipulate information, but narratives as well.

It doesn’t matter how much information gets leaked to the public by whistleblowers, how much information the public gains access to via successful Freedom of Information Act requests, how much information is brought to public attention by investigative journalists combing through documents to connect the dots on the behavior of the powerful, as long as the establishment can manipulate or suppress any narratives that might get told about that information. No matter how much truth gets exposed about the depravity of the powerful, it won’t make one drop of difference in terms of public accountability if nobody’s talking about it. We see this in the way narratives still depict Trump as a Russian stooge despite the information about his many reckless escalations against Russia being publicly available, we see it in the way mainstream media is suppressing all discussion about the OPCW scandal, and we are now seeing it in the way the Afghanistan Papers are being memory-holed despite their temporarily featuring as front-page mainstream news.

This is all proof that simply getting information published isn’t enough. As important as whistleblowers, investigative journalists and leak publishing outlets like WikiLeaks are, by themselves they’re completely impotent, because all they do is reveal information while leaving the control of the dominant narrative in the hands of the establishment spinmeisters. There is no truth that could possibly be exposed that is so damning and so salacious that it couldn’t be manipulated away by establishment narrative control.

This doesn’t mean there’s no hope of ever awakening a critical mass to the fact that they live in a society which is ruled by oligarchs who benefit from keeping everyone else poor and powerless and profit from deceiving us into sending our children overseas to murder other people’s children. All it means is that we need to approach the problem with a very specific focus. It isn’t enough to simply expose the truth; we need to expose the truth while forcefully driving home the message that the media organizations which people rely on to form their entire understanding of the world have been deceiving them.

Yes, expose the truth, but do it while also saying “Look! See? This proves that the mainstream media have been lying to you this entire time! They lie to you about everything!” Drive this point home constantly, as often as possible. The propaganda machine is only able to manipulate people away from inconvenient truths when people trust it; if you can weaken their trust in the plutocratic media and the political class which regurgitates their narratives, you will cripple the machine’s ability to manipulate them in that way.

It’s not enough to simply expose the truth. You must also fully, repeatedly and consistently expose the ones who are telling lies.

This is simply a matter of an adjustment of focus. Far too many truth-tellers think it’s enough to keep their energy close to their chests and mildly speak truths as correctly as they can into the information ecosystem. This is like being in a cage fight and thinking it’s enough to simply have a good fighting stance. We are being attacked by an enemy who seeks to destroy our ability to understand and respond sensibly to our world, so we need to fight back. We need to be moving our feet and ducking and weaving and throwing strikes in combinations, not just standing there with a textbook-perfect fighting posture.

It’s not enough to be right, we’ve also got to win. We win by pouring our energy into sowing distrust in the establishment propaganda machine, mocking it, ridiculing it, showing everyone how absurdly phony it is, until everyone’s laughing at it and treating it with the same amount of deference that they give to flat-earthers. When we’ve accomplished that, that’s how we’ll know that we’ve won. And from there it will be possible to build a healthy world based on truth.

_____________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Rutherford Institute :: A New Kind of Tyranny: The Global State’s War on Those Who Speak Truth to Power | By John W. Whitehead |

Posted by M. C. on November 6, 2019

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/a_new_kind_of_tyranny_the_global_states_war_on_those_who_speak_truth_to_power

By John W. Whitehead

“What happens to Julian Assange and to Chelsea Manning is meant to intimidate us, to frighten us into silence. By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny. The choice is ours.”—John Pilger, investigative journalist

All of us are in danger.

In an age of prosecutions for thought crimes, pre-crime deterrence programs, and government agencies that operate like organized crime syndicates, there is a new kind of tyranny being imposed on those who dare to expose the crimes of the Deep State, whose reach has gone global.

The Deep State has embarked on a ruthless, take-no-prisoners, all-out assault on truth-tellers.

Activists, journalists and whistleblowers alike are being terrorized, traumatized, tortured and subjected to the fear-inducing, mind-altering, soul-destroying, smash-your-face-in tactics employed by the superpowers-that-be.

Take Julian Assange, for example.

Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks—a website that published secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources—was arrested on April 11, 2019, on charges of helping U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning access and leak more than 700,000 classified military documents that portray the U.S. government and its military as reckless, irresponsible and responsible for thousands of civilian deaths.

Included among the leaked Manning material were the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), a quarter of a million diplomatic cables (November 2010), and the Guantánamo files (April 2011).

The Collateral Murder leak included gunsight video footage from two U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopters engaged in a series of air-to-ground attacks while air crew laughed at some of the casualties. Among the casualties were two Reuters correspondents who were gunned down after their cameras were mistaken for weapons and a driver who stopped to help one of the journalists. The driver’s two children, who happened to be in the van at the time it was fired upon by U.S. forces, suffered serious injuries.

This is morally wrong.

It shouldn’t matter which nation is responsible for these atrocities: there is no defense for such evil perpetrated in the name of profit margins and war profiteering.

In true Orwellian fashion, however, the government would have us believe that it is Assange and Manning who are the real criminals for daring to expose the war machine’s seedy underbelly…

Federal judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia also fined Manning $500 for every day she remained in custody after 30 days, and $1,000 for every day she remains in custody after 60 days, a chilling—and financially crippling—example of the government’s heavy-handed efforts to weaponize fines and jail terms as a means of forcing dissidents to fall in line.

This is how the police state deals with those who challenge its chokehold on power.

Make no mistake: the government is waging war on journalists and whistleblowers for disclosing information relating to government misconduct that is within the public’s right to know…

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has not merely continued the Obama Administration’s attack on whistleblowers. It has injected this war on truth-tellers and truth-seekers with steroids and let it loose on the First Amendment.

In May 2019, Trump’s Justice Department issued a sweeping new “superseding” secret indictment of Assange—hinged on the Espionage Act—that empowers the government to determine what counts as legitimate journalism and criminalize the rest, not to mention giving “the government license to criminally punish journalists it does not like, based on antipathy, vague standards, and subjective judgments.”

Noting that the indictment signaled grave dangers for freedom of the press in general, media lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., warned, “The indictment would criminalize the encouragement of leaks of newsworthy classified information, criminalize the acceptance of such information, and criminalize publication of it.”

Boutrous continues:

[I]t doesn’t matter whether you think Assange is a journalist, or whether WikiLeaks is a news organization. The theory that animates the indictment targets the very essence of journalistic activity: the gathering and dissemination of information that the government wants to keep secret. You don’t have to like Assange or endorse what he and WikiLeaks have done over the years to recognize that this indictment sets an ominous precedent and threatens basic First Amendment values…. With only modest tweaking, the very same theory could be invoked to prosecute journalists for the very same crimes being alleged against Assange, simply for doing their jobs of scrutinizing the government and reporting the news to the American people.

We desperately need greater scrutiny and transparency, not less…

Once again, we find ourselves reliving George Orwell’s 1984, which portrayed in chilling detail how totalitarian governments employ the power of language to manipulate the masses.

In Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.”

Much like today’s social media censors and pre-crime police departments, Orwell’s Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the other government agencies peddle in economic affairs (rationing and starvation), law and order (torture and brainwashing), and news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda).

Orwell’s Big Brother relies on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary.

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—our backs are to the walls.

From this point on, we have only two options: go down fighting, or capitulate and betray our loved ones, our friends and ourselves by insisting that, as a brainwashed Winston Smith does at the end of Orwell’s 1984, yes, 2+2 does equal 5.

As George Orwell recognized, “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Be seeing you

war-is-peace

 

 

 

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The USA’s History Of Controlling The OPCW To Promote Regime Change – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 1, 2019

Think of this the next time you hear the lamestream media say Assad gassed his people.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/10/29/the-usas-history-of-controlling-the-opcw-to-promote-regime-change/

You wouldn’t know it from today’s news headlines, but there’s a major scandal unfolding with potentially far-reaching consequences for the entire international community. The political/media class has been dead silent about the fact that there are now two whistleblowers whose revelations have cast serious doubts on a chemical weapons watchdog group that is widely regarded as authoritative, despite the fact that this same political/media class has been crowing all month about how important whistleblowers are and how they need to be protected ever since a CIA spook exposed some dirt on the Trump administration.

When the Courage Foundation and WikiLeaks published the findings of an interdisciplinary panel which received an extensive presentation from a whistleblower from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation of an alleged 2018 chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, it was left unclear (perhaps intentionally) whether this was the same whistleblower who leaked a dissenting Engineering Assessment to the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media this past May or a different one. Subsequent comments from British journalist Jonathan Steele assert that there are indeed two separate whistleblowers from within the OPCW’s Douma investigation, both of whom claim that their investigative findings differed widely from the final OPCW Douma report and were suppressed from the public by the organization.

The official final report aligned with the mainstream narrative promulgated by America’s political/media class that the Syrian government killed dozens of civilians in Douma using cylinders of chlorine gas dropped from the air, while the two whistleblowers found that this is unlikely to have been the case. The official report did not explicitly assign blame to Assad, but it said its findings were in alignment with a chlorine gas attack and included a ballistics report which strongly implied an air strike (opposition fighters in Syria have no air force). The whistleblowers dispute both of these conclusions.

At the very least we can conclude from these revelations that the OPCW hid information from the public that an international watchdog organization has no business hiding about an event which led to an act of war in the form of an airstrike by the US, UK and France. We may also conclude that skepticism of their entire body of work around the world is perfectly legitimate until some very serious questions are answered. Right now no attempt is being made by the organization to bring about the kind of transparency which would help restore trust, with multiple journalists now reporting that the OPCW is refusing to answer their questions.

It is also not at all unreasonable to question whether the OPCW could have been influenced in some way by the United States behind the scenes, given how its now-dubious final report aligns so nicely with the narratives promoted by the CIA and US State Department, and given how we know for a fact that the US has aggressively manipulated the OPCW before in order to advance its regime change agendas.

In June of 2002, as the United States was preparing to invade Iraq, Mother Jones published an article titled “A Coup in The Hague” about the US government’s campaign to oust the OPCW’s very first Director General, José Bustani. If you’ve been following the recent OPCW revelations you will recall that Bustani was one of the panelists at the Courage Foundation whistleblower presentation in Brussels on October 15, after which he wrote the following: “The convincing evidence of irregular behavior in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing.”

Mother Jones (which used to be a decent outlet for the record) breaks down how the US government was able to successfully bully the OPCW into ousting the very popular Bustani from his position as Director General in April 2002 by threatening to withdraw funding from the organization. This was done because Bustani was having an uncomfortable amount of success bringing the Saddam Hussein government to the negotiating table, and his efforts were perceived as a threat to the war agenda.

“Indeed, US officials have offered little reason for its opposition to Bustani, saying only that they questioned his ‘management style’ and differed with several of Bustani’s decisions,” Mother Jones reports. “Despite this, Washington waged an unusually public and vocal campaign to unseat Bustani, who had been unanimously reelected to lead the 145-nation body in May, 2000. Finally, at a ‘special session’ called after the US had threatened to cut off all funding for the organization, Bustani was sent packing.”

This happened despite broad international support for Bustani, including from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell who’d written to the renowned Brazilian diplomat praising his work in February 2001. According to the report’s author Hannah Wallace, the US was able to oust a unanimously re-elected Director General due to the disproportionate amount of financial influence America had over the OPCW.

“[I]n March of 2002, Bustani survived a US-led motion calling for a vote of no confidence in his leadership,” Wallace writes. “Having failed in that effort, Washington increased the pressure, threatening to cut off funding for the organization — a significant threat given that the US underwrites 22 percent of the total budget. A little more than a month later, Bustani was out.”

“Bustani suggests US officials were particularly displeased with his attempts to persuade Iraq to sign the chemical weapons treaty, which would have provided for routine and unannounced inspections of Iraqi weapons plants,” Wallace reported. “Of course, the Bush White House has recently cited Iraq’s refusal to allow such inspections as one justification for a new attack on Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

“Of course, had Iraq [joined the OPCW], a door would be opened towards the return of inspectors to Bagdad and consequently a viable, peaceful solution to the impasse,” Bustani told Mother Jones. “Is that what Washington wants these days?”

Bustani told Mother Jones that he was already seeing a shift in the OPCW into alignment with US interests. Again, this was back in 2002.

“The new OPCW, after my ousting, is already undergoing radical structural changes, along the lines of the US recipe, which will strike a definitive blow to the post of the Director General, making it once and for all a mere figurehead of a sham international regime,” he said.

“Bustani traces the shift to the influence of several hawkish officials in the Bush State Department, particularly Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton,” Wallace wrote.

Indeed, we’ve learned since that Bolton took it much further than that. Bustani reported to The Intercept last year that Bolton literally threatened to harm his children if he didn’t resign from his position as Director General.

“You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you,” Bolton reportedly told him, adding after a pause, “We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

The Intercept reports that Bolton’s office did not deny Bustani’s claim when asked for comment.

It is worth noting here that John Bolton was serving in the Trump administration as National Security Advisor throughout the entire time of the OPCW’s Douma investigation. Bolton held that position from April 9, 2018 to September 10, 2019. The OPCW’s Fact-Finding mission didn’t arrive in Syria until April 14 2018 and didn’t begin its investigation in Douma until several days after that, with its final report being released in March of 2019.

It is perfectly reasonable, given all this, to suspect that the US government may have exerted some influence over the OPCW’s Douma investigation. If they were depraved enough to not only threaten to withdraw funding from a chemical weapons watchdog in order to attain their warmongering agendas but actually threaten a diplomat’s family, they’re certainly depraved enough to manipulate an investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack. This would explain the highly suspicious omissions and discrepancies in its report.

It is a well-established fact that the US government has long sought regime change in Syria, not just in 2012 with Timber Sycamore and the official position of “Assad must go”, but even before the violence began in 2011. I’ve compiled multiple primary source pieces of evidence in an article you can read by clicking here that the US government and its allies have been planning to orchestrate an uprising in Syria exactly as it occurred with the goal of toppling Assad, and a former Qatari Prime Minister revealed on television in 2017 that the US and its allies were involved in that conflict from the very moment it first started.

So to recap, we know that the US government has manipulated the OPCW in order to advance regime change agendas in the past, and we know that the US government has long had a regime change agenda against Syria. Many questions will need to be answered before we can rule out the possibility that these two facts converged in an ugly way upon the OPCW’s Douma investigation.

________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Real News Is What Is Not in the News – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 29, 2019

H.L. Mencken said: “American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant.” 

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/10/gary-d-barnett/the-real-news-is-what-is-not-in-the-news/

By

…Most of the general “news” outlets today are centered on the possibility of a Trump impeachment, and all the drama and slime connected with this all-consuming story. Of course, the transgender and fake racist news is nearly daily as well, including all the unsettling salacious details. One look at MSNBC will garner the viewer with almost the entirety of its broadcasts related to Trump, impeachment, and the cast of impeachment characters. Jump to the supposedly conservative Fox News, and the tone changes to Republicans versus Democrats, or more accurately, Democrats against Trump. In other words, no real news exists in the mainstream, only infighting, name-calling, tweet wrestling, and absurdity is evident. Throw in the phony nonsensical “climate change” news with the “expert” Hollywood actor and kid-of-the-day reports, and there you have it; all the news fit to print…

So what is not in the mainstream news?

Julian Assange is not in the news. This hero who simply told the truth and exposed the U.S. military and political scum for what they really are, has been almost totally ignored by the media. He was forced into isolation for years, then taken prisoner, drugged, tortured, and is on the verge of death, but news about his plight is not to be found in any mainstream publication.

Jeffrey Epstein was involved in a massive conspiracy of child molestation, extortion, blackmail, espionage, spy networks, and much more. These immoral and criminal activities were connected with high-level politicians, corporate and banking heads, Wall Street, Hollywood giants, and others, but soon after the probable murder of Epstein, a very convenient outcome, his name and all those mentioned have been suspiciously missing from any reporting.

Even with all the massive evidence showing vast inconsistencies in the government’s official story about the “attacks” on September 11th, 2001, have any mainstream outlets investigated the multitude of stories, of witnesses, of legitimate whistleblowers, or even bothered to keep the story alive? In fact, is 9/11 ever mentioned in the mainstream from the standpoint of doubt considering all the many questions left unanswered?

Are any news stories about mass surveillance of the population at large by government, government’s controlling elite, the CIA, FBI, and their fascist partners in the communication industry evident in today’s mainstream news? Every financial transaction, every keystroke, everything viewed or read online, every phone call, text, and every email are captured, databased, and stored, but this is not discussed by those who claim to present the news. It is not investigated or talked about at this juncture unless it is isolated to defending particular individuals or favored politicians…

These are but a handful of examples of the truths purposely left out of the mainstream news. The list is unending, and if any go back in time, there are so many important examples of these lies of omission, that one would find it impossible to identify them all. Attempting to explain the enormity of deceit evident in the reporting of news in the mainstream media would be a futile exercise. Why does it even exist? The mainstream news exists today because it is structured as a propaganda arm of the ruling elite, not an honest business reporting on actual news and events.

H.L. Mencken said: “American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant.” 

He was right of course, but in the context of the press, American journalism’s achievements while insignificant, are destructive, dishonest, misleading, and dangerous. I liken modern journalism as only a colluding partner of the forces of evil.

Be seeing you

H. L. Mencken Quotes - iPerceptive

 

 

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Why Is Julian Assange Being Tortured to Death? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 14, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/karen-kwiatkowski/why-is-julian-assange-being-tortured-to-death/

By

I think we already know the answer.  We need to go further and try and understand what this partially veiled, but completely serious, US and UK destruction of a modern journalist means for all of us.

Assange is an advocate for whistleblowers, a promoter of information access and information security for everyone, not just governments and major government-connected corporations.  He, with the help of information security specialists, codewriters, truthtellers and witnesses around the world, received and published material that embarrassed and exposed a number of powerful organizations, including the US government and its many cronies and beneficiaries.

Why is he being tortured to death?  Why is he still being subjected to new and experimental variants of BZ fresh from Porton Down, and deprived, not only of friends, relatives, and unsupervised access to his legal team, but to food and basic care?

The short answer is that he is being held on behalf of the United States and he is being chemically and physically interrogated in Belmarsh (the British Gitmo) in order to reveal his private cryptographic keys, and the names and cryptographic information relating to others within the Wikileaks information network…

It is fascinating that the plea deals of two recent NSA “spies” – government employees who took home and “hoarded” vast quantities of NSA material were remarkably mild, when compared to what Julian Assange is going through, and how Bini and Manning have been and are being treated.

A Mr. Pho, a 67 year old who worked as a developer for NSA’s Tailored Access Operations, pled guilty to one count of willful removal of defense information, and was free on bail prior to his sentencing in early 2018 to 66 months.  The NSA bit-hoarder extraordinaire, Harold Martin, recently was sentenced to nine years, for his “crimes against the state.”  Even Reality Winner, who was tried under the Espionage Act and did not plea out, received a relatively light sentence, to be completed in a prison close to her home with promises that she can be treated for bulimia.  John Kiriakou did little more than reveal what the whole country already knew about torture conducted by the CIA, and he was sentenced to 30 months of prison…

In the case of Assange, while no damage was done to the world or to human life, the US Government experienced significant embarrassment through the release of USG hacking tools by the Shadow Brokers hacking group.  Those tiered releases indicate what the NSA and other parts of the US Government (and their Five Eyes allies) were and are capable of doing, and are doing, to all of us.  The 2016 retroactive legalization of UK surveillance of its citizens indicates the scope and the concern of existing governments that are engaged in self-preservation in difficult times…

On the other hand, there will be no slow painful recovery for Julian Assange.  He has been reduced to the mental capacity of a drug-addled rubberhead, and some of these effects will be found to be permanent.  Physically he is reported to be underweight (under 100 pounds) with food and water being used as bargaining chips in his continued interrogation.  Ironically, even the prisoners at Gitmo, as part of the tender care by the USG, were force-fed when they tried to starve themselves to death.  Julian’s government caretakers are using food and water to break him completely.

Is there any good news?  NPR’s Terri Gross presented an interesting historical perspective on CIA drug experimentation just last week.  Well worth a listen, as all change is but evolution.  Interestingly, as with the end of Sidney Gottlieb’s employment, if the sponsor of evil within a government is removed, sometimes their entire cadre is cleared out.  More often than not, illustrating Robert Higgs’ “ratcheting effect”, it is simply relocated elsewhere in the government, or even expanded among several agencies.

Modern day government power is fundamentally related to its “believability.”  This believability, this trustworthiness, is teetering everywhere – in part to the valiant work of honest people everywhere – and make no mistake, we are indeed everywhere.  The hopeless and evil persecution of Julian Assange signals just such a believability crisis.  When a building, or an institution, begins to crumble, there are many urgent jobs to do to save lives and ensure a happier future.  Find one of them and start doing it.

Be seeing you

Assange

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No Accountability in Washington. The CIA Wants to Hide All Its Employees — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on July 29, 2019

…consider for a moment that if it turns out that serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was indeed a C.I.A. covert source, which is quite possible, he would be covered and would be able to walk away free on procedural grounds.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/07/25/no-accountability-in-washington-the-cia-wants-to-hide-all-its-employees/

Philip Giraldi

Government that actually serves the interests of the people who are governed has two essential characteristics: first, it must be transparent in terms of how it debates and develops policies and second, it has to be accountable when it fails in its mandate and ceases to be responsive to the needs of the electorate. Over the past twenty years one might reasonably argue that Washington has become less a “of the people, by the people and for the people” and increasingly a model of how special interests can use money to corrupt government. The recent story about how serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein avoided any serious punishment by virtue of his wealth and his political connections, including to both ex-president Bill Clinton and to current chief executive Donald Trump, demonstrates how even the most despicable criminals can avoid being brought to justice.

This erosion of what one might describe as republican virtue has been exacerbated by a simultaneous weakening of the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which was intended to serve as a guarantee of individual liberties while also serving as a bulwark against government overreach. In recent cases in the United States, a young man had his admission to Harvard revoked over comments posted online when he was fifteen that were considered racist, while a young woman was stripped of a beauty contest title because she refused to don a hijab at a college event and then wrote online about her experience. In both cases, freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment was ruled to be inadmissible by the relevant authorities.

Be that as it may, governmental lack of transparency and accountability is a more serious matter when the government itself becomes a serial manipulator of the truth as it seeks to protect itself from criticism. Reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) is seeking legislation that will expand government ability to declare it a crime to reveal the identities of undercover intelligence agents will inevitably lead to major abuse when some clever bureaucrat realizes that the new rule can also be used to hide people and cover up malfeasance.

A law to protect intelligence officers already exists. It was passed in 1982 and is referred to as the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (I.I.P.A.). It criminalizes the naming of any C.I.A. officer under cover who has served overseas in the past five years. The new legislation would make the ban on exposure perpetual and would also include Agency sources or agents whose work is classified as well as actual C.I.A. staff employees who exclusively or predominantly work in the United States rather than overseas.

The revised legislation is attached to defense and intelligence bills currently being considered by Congress. If it is passed into law, its expanded range of criminal penalties could be employed to silence whistle blowers inside the Agency who become aware of illegal activity and it might also be directed against journalists that the whistleblowers might contact to tell their story…

Kiriakou also explains how the “…implementation of this law is a joke. The C.I.A. doesn’t care when an operative’s identity is revealed — unless they don’t like the politics of the person making the revelation. If they cared, half of the C.I.A. leadership would be in prison. What they do care about, though, is protecting those employees who commit crimes at the behest of the White House or the C.I.A. leadership.” He goes on to describe how some of those involved in the Agency torture program were placed under cover precisely for that reason, to protect them from prosecution for war crimes.

Even team player Joe Biden, when a Senator, voted against the I.I.P.A., explaining in an op-ed in The Christian Science Monitor in 1982 that, “The language (the I.I.P.A.) employs is so broadly drawn that it would subject to prosecution not only the malicious publicizing of agents’ names, but also the efforts of legitimate journalists to expose any corruption, malfeasance, or ineptitude occurring in American intelligence agencies.” And that was with the much weaker 1982 version of the bill.

The new legislation is an intelligence agency dream, a get out of jail card that has no expiry date. And if one wants to know how dangerous it is, consider for a moment that if it turns out that serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was indeed a C.I.A. covert source, which is quite possible, he would be covered and would be able to walk away free on procedural grounds.

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In 1975, during the Church Committee hearings, the ...

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Assange Lawyer Reveals The Pentagon Was Behind Bringing Down WikiLeaks’ Assange – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/06/21/news-assange-lawyer-reveals-pentagon-behind-pursuit-of-wikileaks-publisher/

By

In Brief

  • The Facts:One of Assange’s lawyers has confirmed that it was the Pentagon who was behind the smear and aggression to bring down Julian Assange, not the Obama admin.
  • Reflect On:Why does our government’s work so hard to protect secrets related to wrongdoing that no one supports? Why do we spend more time arguing over if Assange is right or wrong when we already know the actions of our governments are dreadful?

As free and open journalism remains under attack, a lawyer for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has confirmed that it’s the Pentagon, and not the White House or any other government agency whose secrets he has leaked, that has been pushing for years to smear and bring down Julian Assange.

Assange lawyer Geoffrey Robertson was granted a meeting with Obama administration insiders and had asked if they “really wanted” the publisher so they could access his whistleblowers and because he warned that “there are dangerous precedents here,” Robertson said they responded simply:

We don’t want him, but the Pentagon does, and the Pentagon may eventually get its way.

Robertson spoke to Obama administration insiders after he learned of a secret grand jury they had convened against Assange in 2010, he explained to Phillip Adams on ABC’s Radio National on Thursday. Robertson reminded them that charging a journalist under national security laws had serious First Amendment implications, but the Obama team was already aware of the kind of precedent it would set. If this goes through, journalists will essentially be silenced from exposing government secrets – not only systemically, but through fear of life in prison.

Interestingly, the Obama administration charged more leakers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined, but it never sought to go after a journalist or publisher. This is something new, and dangerous, all together. It reveals the true nature of how far government agencies will go to protect their secrets.

According to award-winning journalist John Pilger, the Pentagon’s campaign enacted the media to destroy Assange’s reputation as “threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution” were used to rid the public “feeling of trust” towards the core of WikiLeaks’ operations. In many cases, this worked. Look how many mainstream media outlets who long profited off of Assange’s work early on but have now turned on him. Was this at the call of ‘higher powers?’ or are they simply following up with natural responses to a heavy smear and disinformation campaign?…

Regardless, this presents an opportunity for questioning. Why does our government’s work so hard to protect secrets related to wrongdoing that no one supports? Why do we spend more time arguing over if Assange is right or wrong when we already know the actions of our governments are dreadful? Are we not simply being distracted by them? Good ol’ bait and switch?

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London over 7 ...

 

 

 

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