Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Putin: More chemical attacks being prepared in Syria

When this headline appeared in Russian media just days after the sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun killed over a hundred civilians it got almost no notice in the United States. In April, Pravda.ru reported:
Putin: More chemical attacks being prepared in Syria

11 April 2017
Moscow has information about upcoming chemical attacks in Syria, similar to the one that has recently occurred in Idlib. The new attacks will take place in other regions of Syria, including in the capital city of Damascus, Russian President Putin said.

Putin made the statement about impending chemical attacks in Syria after negotiations with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella, Interfax reports.

"We have information from various sources saying that such provocations, I do not have a different word for it, are being prepared in other Syrian regions, including in southern suburbs of Damascus, where they are going to use some substance and accuse the Syrian official authorities of that," Putin told reporters.
I did notice at the time, and wrote:
This tells us that Putin is planning more sarin terror attacks in Syria. Putin, not Assad, not "the opposition," not "jihadists," Putin. It also means that soon we will be hearing how Putin's prediction was right and Assad didn't do it again, as more little children choke to death, and the "anti-imperialists" like Code Pink and Veterans for Peace once again play out their role as 21st century holocaust enablers. Putin is desperate to end this thing at any cost. He did his own "Mission Accomplished" dance 13 months ago, when he announced the Russian air force was going home. Then he brought them back right quick, and they are still there, slugging it out. It is Putin that has turned to sarin hoping its terror will end this thing quickly. That is why it is essential to his plans that the world do nothing in the face of these attacks and the Syrian people feel abandoned. That also why the Assad Loving Left in the United States has played a crucial role in sustaining the dictatorship through all its difficulties.
Today we have this ominous warning from the White House saying that they are seeing preparation for new chemical attacks, but not by some unnamed entity as Putin described, but by the same regime that most outside of the Putin/Assad camp blame for the 2013 sarin attack in East Ghouta, and this April's attack in Khan Sheikhoun:


There are also indications the French are seeing the same thing:
Since it does nothing to strengthen their case, Democracy Now does not mention the French warning and sees in the US warning to Assad not to use chemical weapons, a US effort to escalate the war. Apparently, DN is already taking the stand that it couldn't possibly be true. They would have us think Assad would never commit the mass murder of civilians, at least not with chemicals:
In Latest Effort to Escalate U.S. War in Syria, White House Claims Assad Planning Chemical Attack

The White House claimed Monday, without offering any evidence, that the Syrian government appears to be preparing for a chemical weapons attack. Unnamed U.S. military officials told The New York Times that they were surprised by the White House statement. Military experts say this type of public warning from the White House is highly unusual. The statement appears to be aimed at preparing American public opinion for an upcoming U.S. military strike against the Syrian government, warning that if Assad does conduct a chemical weapons attack, "he and his military will pay a heavy price." Critics are warning that the United States is quietly expanding its military role in Syria, threatening the possibility of a direct conflict between the U.S. and Russia.
Since almost all CW attacks in Syria have been against civilians opposed to the Assad regime, DN doesn't even care to name who the chemical attack may be against. The White House statement speaks of "the mass murder of civilians, including children," and while the official US concern may be bogus, the DN concern for those civilians is nonexistent. That is why they speak of  "a chemical weapons attack" without a target. Who cares? They exhibit zero concern either for those Syrian civilians that have been killed by chemical weapons and conventional weapons by the Syrian regime in the past, or will be killed by them in the future. Democracy Now hasn't protested the chemical murders of Syrian civilians either now, in 2013, or in between. They have never tried to determine who committed these murders. Their focus has been entirely about creating doubt that the Assad regime and it allies have been responsible. Most of the violence in Syria is never reported on Democracy Now because most of the violence is done by Putin and his proxy.


Today the Guardian ran an extensive background report about CW use in Syria:
What do we know about regime's use of chemical weapons in Syria?

Martin Chulov
27 June 2017

What has the White House alleged?
The Syrian military is making preparations for a chemical weapons attack that “would result in the mass murder of civilians, including children”.

How has the Assad regime used chemical weapons in the past?
It has deployed them in a variety of ways over the past five years: in grenades and makeshift bombs dropped from helicopters; rockets fired from jets; and artillery rounds and custom made rockets fired from the ground.

Chlorine has frequently been used, but as it has an industrial purpose in Syria it is not banned. Chlorine gas is a crude weapon that can be fatal in high concentrations. In lower doses, it can damage lungs or cause severe breathing difficulties and other symptoms, including vomiting and nausea.

The lethal nerve agent sarin has been deployed less often, but generates more outrage internationally because it can cause widespread loss of life.

Its most recent use was in an attack on the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April. Earlier attacks took place in villages near Aleppo, Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus. A large scale attack involving more than one tonne of sarin killed more than 1,300 people in the suburbs of of the Syrian capital in August 2013. The overwhelming majority of those killed were in opposition communities. More...
Linux Beach has also extensively covered chemical weapons use in Syria and the response to it. All of these posts are carefully documented, and what is more important is that they are rich in links to the most important source materials. So, if you really want to understand this question, this would be a good place to start:

05/16/2017 Since Khan Sheikhoun: Murders holocaust enablers don't argue about
05/12/2017 Dr. Ted Postol misreads the HRW Report on Khan Sheikhoun
05/10/2017 Are Scott Horton & Ted Postol holocaust enablers?
05/05/2017 Who runs Syria? Why are more sarin attacks coming?
05/03/2017 Reading Comprehension 101 for MIT Professor Dr. Ted Postol
05/01/2017 Postol's Apostles & the normalization of chemical weapons use
04/30/2017 Dr. Postol's "correction" shows he still needs Reading Comprehension 101
04/28/2017 Please Re-Tweet as Ted Postol beats a hasty retreat
04/27/2017 Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now says Assad now best for Syria
04/26/2017 Sincerely yours, Theodore A. Postol
04/24/2017 A valuable admission: Russia controls Syria & Putin runs the war
04/16/2017 Why would Assad use sarin in Syria now?
04/13/2017 Democracy Now debuts new lie about Khan Sheikhoun sarin attack
04/09/2017 Trump's strike against Assad: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
04/05/2017 Noam Chomsky regurgitates 2012 Putin propaganda to excuse latest sarin murders
04/04/2017 After Trump drops "Assad removal" from US goals, Assad drops sarin again

08/20/2016 Amy Goodman should address this extremely important statement by her guest
01/05/2016 Luna Watfa: Enemy of Syrian State admitted sarin photos were fakes!
12/15/2015 Truth Revealed: 2013 East Ghouta sarin attack was done by aliens!
11/16/2015 The Imperial Left's sarin song: still "Regime Change" after all these years!
02/02/2015 How the Left's shill for Obama's red-line con fueled the rise of ISIS
01/27/2015 With Left support, Assad continues to kill in East Ghouta
04/13/2014 After Hersh lays smoke screen, Assad lobes gas bombs
04/10/2014 Seymour Hersh's chemical weapons fetish
04/08/2014 Seymour Hersh's Believe It or Don't
03/09/2014 UN: Assad sarin used in attacks | The Left's response?
02/04/2014 While Assad's CW is 95.9% intact, Qaddafi's is 100% destroyed
01/28/2014 Ex-journalist Robert Fisk: One is reminded of Goebbels
12/09/2013 Whose Seymour Hersh?
11/24/2013 How Obama has supported Assad's gas murder always
10/14/2013 Why the return of chemical weapons is a big deal
10/07/2013 The Courage of Ghouta in a Craven World
10/02/2013 The Courtship Continues: Obama stopped French strike on Assad
09/26/2013 More on ex-journalist Robert Fisk's defense of Assad
09/25/2013 Where Robert Fisk's defense of Assad falls down
09/23/2013 Desmond Tutu: UN owes it to Syria's children to act
09/20/2013 Mint Press exposed as Assad apologist, AntiWar.com apologizes
09/16/2013 UN hints Assad used Russian rockets in sarin gas attack
09/12/2013 BREAKING: New Chemical Attack reported in Syria
09/09/2013 Secret Intel Source of Ray McGovern & VIPS Revealed!
09/09/2013 Why did Assad Regime first Deny CW Attack if Blameless?
09/09/2013 Witness to CW Attack: When Paradise turned to Hell.
09/08/2013 Dr. Zaher Sahloul on the CW Attacks in Syria
09/08/2013 Why would Assad use CW with UN Inspectors in Syria?
09/07/2013 My dare to Ray McGovern & VIPS on Syria CW attack
09/03/2013 Who Used Sarin in Syria?
09/02/2013 Recycled Lies: Critique of the Kucinich letter on Syria
09/02/2013 How Obama Helped Assad Kill with Poison Gas in Syria
08/31/2013 Win-Win for Assad as Obama Response to CW Put on Hold
08/30/2013 Obama Denied Gas Masks to Assad's Victims
08/22/2013 AntiWar.com Disparages Chemical Attack in Syria
08/21/2013 Assad Knows: Chemical Attacks Kill Children First!
08/21/2013 1300+ Dead after Obama "Green-lights" new CW attack in Syria
08/05/2013 Syria: New Poison Gas Attacks Reported in #Douma & #Adra
06/03/2013 More False Reports of Sarin Usage by Assad's Opposition in Syria
05/13/2013 Jon Steward weighs in on Obama's "red-line" in Syria
05/10/2013 Obama's "Red-Line" was nothing but a Green Light for Assad's Slaughter of 70,000
05/06/2013 Syria Sarin Blame Game: Is Carla Del Ponte at it again?
04/29/2013 Other Echoes of Iraq in NATO response to WMD in Syria
03/14/2013 Reports say Iran sending more arms to Assad as he prepares chemical weapons
01/15/2013 US: Assad didn't use chemical weapons in Syria
01/15/2013 BREAKING: FP says Obama ignored chemical weapons attack by Assad in Syria
01/06/2013 NY Times: Assad has sarin in bombs at airfields
12/26/2012 BREAKING: Defecting General confirms use of chemical weapons in Syria
12/22/2012 BREAKING: Chemical weapons first use reported in Syria
09/14/2012 Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
08/23/2012 Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
08/20/2012 Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria



Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

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More...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Was Rep. Steve Scalise targeted for his white supremacist views?

After Rep. Steve Scalise was the featured speaker at a Nazi event:
David Duke said Scalise was merely taking an opportunity to meet with “constituents.”
From the Washington Post we have this 2014 report on Congressman Steve Scalise:
House Majority Whip Scalise confirms he spoke to white supremacists in 2002

By Robert Costa and Ed O'Keefe
29 December 2014

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House majority whip, acknowledged Monday that he spoke at a gathering hosted by white-supremacist leaders while serving as a state representative in 2002, thrusting a racial controversy into House Republican ranks days before the party assumes control of both congressional chambers.

Scalise, 49, who ascended to the House GOP’s third-ranking post this year, confirmed through an adviser that he once appeared at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO. But the adviser said the congressman didn’t know at the time about the group’s affiliation with racists and neo-Nazi activists.

“For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous,” Scalise told the Times-Picayune on Monday night. The organization, founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has been called a hate group by several civil rights organizations.

The news could complicate Republican efforts to project the sense of a fresh start for a resurgent, diversifying party as the new session of Congress opens next week. In the time since voters handed control of Congress to Republicans, top GOP leaders have been eagerly trumpeting their revamped image and management team on Capitol Hill.

Monday night, some Democrats were already raising questions about whether Scalise should remain in a leadership post.

“It’s hard to believe, given David Duke’s reputation in Louisiana, that somebody in politics in Louisiana wasn’t aware of Duke’s associations with the group and what they stand for,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (Tex.), a rising star in the Democratic Party who is considered among the most prominent Hispanics in Congress. “If that’s the case and he agreed to join them for their event, then I think it’s a real test for Speaker Boehner as to whether congressman Scalise should remain in Republican leadership,” Castro said in a phone interview.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) called the news “a big deal.”

“Race still is, sadly, an ugly aspect of our politics,” he said by e-mail. “No politician should ever find himself/herself addressing a white supremacist organization except to tell them to go to hell.” Associates of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) are monitoring the situation, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s staff had no comment.
More...
In 1999 when Steve Scalise was running against David Duke, he said in an interview that he embraced many of the same conservative views as David Duke, but that he was a far more viable as a candidate. MSNBC reported in 2014:

Rep. Steve Scalise: I might have attended white supremacist event

By Benjy Sarlin
29 December 2014

Majority Whip Steve Scalise says he abhors hate groups, but acknowledged on Monday that he may have spoken at a white supremacist conference led by the notorious former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in 2002.

“I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group,” Scalise, the third highest-ranking Republican leader in the House, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous.”

WATCH: Top Republican addressed racist group in 2002

The interview came hours after Scalise’s office acknowledged that a report claiming that the Louisiana congressman spoke at a gathering of the Duke-run European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) as a state legislator in 2002 could be accurate. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist organizations, has listed EURO as a “white nationalist” hate group.

According to NBC News, an aide to Scalise said it was “highly likely” the Congressman spoke before the group, but Scalise told the Times-Picayune he had no memory of the event in question. He blamed a combination overzealous campaigning and an overworked staff for his alleged appearance. More...



This talk by Arden Wells, then a candidate for Sheriff, points to collusion between David Duke and Steve Scalise to put Scalise in Congress:


In this interview with Smerconish, David Duke claims he doesn't know if Steve Scalise spoke at the 2002 meeting of the white supremacist organization he founded because he was in Moscow, Russia at the time:


Rachel Maddow
reported on the connection between the white supremacist Stormfront website and Steve Scalise on 6 January 2015:


Here are some choice comments from what people at Stormfront [the voice of the new, embattled White minority] are saying about the shooting today:

A normal White Nationalist just wants to be left alone.

We want to live our life, raise a family, and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Leftists want to commit mass murder against anyone that disagrees with them.

When communists gain power they always commit mass murder.
__________________
______________
__________
______
__

If we will not defend our own White Children, then who will?
By certain accounts the gunman had asked earlier whether these were democrat or republican congressmen. There is zero doubt which of those two parties is the worst when it comes to issues we, and many in America care about. The poster applauded shooting at the better party, and was even happier it was possibly a white man who did it. How moronic is that?? He didn't even give a thought to the very high likelihood that the man was a far left nutjob that probably hates his own race like most white libtards. If he targeted republicans, the LAST possible explanation would be that he was some sort of white 'patriot'. Think about it.

And I would LOVE to see people like Pelosi fall over dead from a stroke or something. But to shoot them only strengthens the resolve of our enemies. Shooting the people slightly closer to our values? Utter stupidity.
The media constantly OPENLY supports the death of White people and endorses attacks on White conservatives. They called the Charleston church shooting terrorism but on CNN now they say they don't know the "motive" (even though the shooter said he wanted to kill as many republicans as possible). He will be coddled and they will push gun control.

Make an example out of this deranged leftist scum and we will have less issues like this. If Kathy ISIS Griffin was thrown in prison for pretending to behead the president this would not have happened.

Instead we have the MSM championing attacks on Whites and making them appear normal so the population is desensitised to this. They are making it easier for Whites to be killed with zero backlash.
This white supremacist is already the third most powerful Republican in Congress and now his position will be elevated as a result of the tragedy.

See also: Who is James T. Hodgkinson, the Alexandria shooting suspect?

UPDATE 1: Not that it is necessarily related but after this blog post was published, they are now mentioning Scalise white supremacist connections, if only to excuse them. This rabid white racist is being referred to as a "staunch conservative." It David Duke also now a "staunch conservative?" How about Adolph Hitler?

More, later...

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

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Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria
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BREAKING NEWS: Who is James T. Hodgkinson, the #Alexandria #shooting suspect?

As soon as I heard Rep. Ron Paul say the shooter may have been suffering from mental illness I knew the shooter was white, if he was a person of color, Paul would have blamed evil, not madness.

Now they are super quick about erasing a suspect's social media footprint as soon as he is identified. This puts them in charge of the suspects image after death.

Apparently, he was another one of these "Never Hillary" people, writing on his facebook page 25, July 2016 "You've been warned DNC. I will NEVER vote Hillary. A nomination for Hillary, equals a win for Trump. #NOTWithHer."

So we can assume he refused to vote for Clinton to stop Trump, and to stop his prediction from coming true. Now he is allege to have taken a terrorist act [ Why is the media not calling this a terrorist act? ] which will only strengthen Trump's hand.

The two screenshots below are from sites that have already been removed shortly after I started collecting them.

From his facebook page:
Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co.
We Don't Need or Deserve a Billionaire for President. There will Always be a Conflict of Interest. Millionaires are Bad Enough.
I want Bernie to Win the White House.

Here is his facebook page:


James T. Hodgkinson was a building contractor in Belleville, IL according to Buildzoom:
Overview

James T Hodgkinson in Belleville, IL holds a Home Inspector license (450000651) according to the Illinois license board.

Their BuildZoom score of 90 indicates that they are licensed or registered but we do not have additional information about them.

BuildZoom has not verified this license since its expiration date. If you are thinking of hiring James T Hodgkinson, we recommend double-checking their license status with the license board and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes.


Look here for updates throughout the day

Update 1:

Someone with a quick lineup pattern has already set up fake twitters account, notice both were started in June 2017 That is a date hard to fake without twitter involvement. Also they have no original tweets before today. They both have been created with the goal of promoting the image of Hodgkinson as violently anti-Trump. This leaves us with the questions of who was creating these fake accounts while I was writing this blog, and why were they created.



Now that his anti-Trump motivations are becoming clear, they are starting to call him a terrorist.

Update 2: It's Trump's Birthday today - is that just another coincidence?

One thing is clear, if the Cui Bono [who benefits] test is applied to this attack, James "Tommy" Hodgkinson didn't benefit, Trump announced that he died in the hospital. Neither did Bernie Sanders, his supporters or any in the anti-Trump, anti-white nationalist, camp. We will all be made to suffer for the crimes of Hodgkinson, assuming he really was the shooter.

So far the scariest thing about this whole affair is the suggestion that facebook statements such as "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co." or calling the Trump Republicans the "American Taliban" should have been as enough to open an FBI investigation on him.

Certainly, hindsight is 20/20, but these statements can't normally be taken as the mark of an assassin. American Taliban  is a label that has widely and correctly applied to the right-wing of the Republican, as for example, this 2014 Truthdig piece The Rise of the American Taliban, or this YouTube video The Newsroom - Tea Party is the American Taliban by RagingScottish.

Whether there is more to this shooting than that which is being made obvious, or just an fortuitous opportunity for the rigthwing, this incident will be used to push congress further into Trump's fascist camp, and tt is already being used by the media to suggest a connection to the protests at townhalls and congress people's homes. Rep. Bost is already on MSNBC saying that he will have a sheriff's detail at his upcoming townhall meeting.

With regards to the Cui Bono question: It is those that want to chill free speech and put the kibosh on anti-Trump protests that stand to benefit from this attack. In anycase, this incident is a birthday present to Trump.

Update 3: It's a Small World After all.

As it turns out, I have one mutual facebook friend with Hodgkinson, of course I have about 2,500 facebooks friends. I have redacted the name of this friend who obviously is a Bernie Sanders/ Jill Stein Supporter, between us we have 399 mutual friends, shall we all now be targeted for our anti-Trump views.


Yesterday we witnessed a presidential cabinet meeting that featured the type of uncritical adulation and praise typical of that demanded by a fascist leader, and now this. Things are moving very fast at this point.

Update 4:
CNN just showed a screenshot they claimed was of Hodgkinson's facebook page, but it didn't look like what I captured above before it was taken down. The one CNN showed used a image of Bernie Sangers dressed up as Uncle Sam. Where did they get that screenshot?

Wolf Blitzer also claimed the statement "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co." was a threat to kill Trump and should have been investigated, so we can see where this is going.

See also: Was Rep. Steve Scalise targeted for his white supremacist views?

More, latter ...


Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Did @DrJillStein collude with Putin to elect Trump?

Jill Stein in Moscow, December 2015
Sunday, on ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos‎, Senator Michael Lee twice emphatically stated:
There is no evidence of collusion between Russia and any presidential campaign.
Since, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Lee has expanded the question of Russian collusion beyond the Trump campaign to all the US president campaigns, maybe they should be investigating Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein to see if she coordinated with agencies controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin to elect Donald Trump President of the United States.

This is not an insignificant question. We know that Jill Stein supporters in just three states, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, put Donald Trump in the White House when they casted a symbolic vote for Jill Stein, rather that voting to stop a white nationalist Putin fanboy from coming to power.

This data is from Politico [updated 22 Nov. 2016 - PA updated 2 Dec from http://www.electionreturns.pa.gov/ ] :

Candidate Count % Michigan [16] Wisconsin [10] Pennsylvania [20]
Donald Trump 61,201,031 47% 2,279,805 1,409,467 2,955,671
Hillary Clinton 62,523,126 48% 2,268,193 1,382,210 2,906,128
Difference 11,612 27,257 49,543
Jill Stein 802,119 0.7% 50,700 30,980 49,678

Some observers will complain that it's unfair to say Jill Stein gave the election to Donald Trump because there were so many factors that contributed to his victory: Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate, in both senses; there were the Wikileaks dumps, and James Comey's contributions. This is also true, but the bottomline is that Donald Trump only won the presidency by a hair. In point-of-fact, he lost the popular vote, and only 88,412 votes in three strategic states gave him the electoral victory, so every straw bears the weight of the camel's broken back. If Jill Stein had withdrawn her candidacy, and recommended a vote against Trump, he wouldn't be president now. If the US Greens had adopted the recommendation of European and Russian Greens, he wouldn't be president now. Remember that in the wars to come.

We know that the Jill Stein campaign received support from the Trump campaign:


Although the extent of that support is still unknown; the reason for it is clear. The Trump campaign was trying to elect Donald Trump president and they knew every vote for Jill Stein put them closer to that goal. Putin must have been thinking the same thing. He knew as well as Sean Spicer that a snowball had a better chance of surviving Hell, than Jill Stein had of becoming president, but he also knew, as did the Republican strategists, that Jill Stein was winning votes from Hillary Clinton to a far, far greater extent than she was taking them from Donald Trump.

She didn't even try to win votes from Trump, or focus much fire on him. This should surprize those with a simplistic "Left-Right" view of our politics. In fact, she generally made the argument that Trump was actually the lesser of two evils with regards to military aggression and the war danger.  This is an area in which US Green Party propaganda has been tragically misleading, with new deaths caused by US soldiers under Trump's command in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Philippines. More than a thousand civilians were killed by US actions in March alone in Iraq and Syria.

Of her 10 December 2015 meeting with Putin, the US Green Party said:
Stein attended a dinner Thursday night, sitting at the table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "While the objective of that dinner was not to engage in serious discussions, Putin did appear to respond in his formal remarks to the call for greater dialogue and collaboration made by myself and three other political figures on the foreign policy panel earlier that day."

Putin noted, "What I would like to say, something really unexpected, when I was watching this material. When I was listening to your comments, politicians from other countries, you know what I caught myself thinking about? I agree with them, on many issues."
Of course Putin agreed with many of the speakers at the gala, but the "unexpected" part was a lie; he had paid them to be there, according to multiple sources.
Stein continued, "Tomorrow I will meet with the foreign affairs chair of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, to explore whether Russia would be receptive to a more collaborative approach to foreign policy that I have been talking about in my presidential campaign."
Some reports say the US is now killing more civilians than Russia, which is saying a lot, is that the "more collaborative approach to foreign policy" that Jill Stein was seeking?

Jill Stein at dinner with Putin and Trump campaign representative Michael Flynn
After her Moscow trip, two Russian environmental activists, Yevgenia Chirikova and Nadezhda Kutepova, criticised her visit and her support for Putin, as reported by RadioFreeEurope:
Russian Environmentalists Slam U.S. Green Party Candidate For Putin Comments

By Mike Eckel
6 September 2016
Two prominent Russian Greens have criticized the presidential candidate for the U.S. Green Party, saying her positions on President Vladimir Putin and his policies are “deeply shocking.”
...
In the letter posted to Chirikova’s Facebook page on September 6, the two activists disparaged Stein for a visit to Moscow last year in which she appeared at a forum sponsored by the state-run satellite television channel Russia Today, now known as RT.
...
A news release posted on Stein’s campaign website highlighted her attendance and her calls for more cooperation between Washington and Moscow, particularly regarding the five-year civil war in Syria. The statement closely echoes comments voiced by the Kremlin and Russian officials about U.S. policies in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere. More...
On her facebook page Chirikova posted:
As environmentalists and human rights defenders, we often support Green candidates all over the world when they run for local, national or continental election. However, we are asking ourselves if we can support your candidature for the Presidency of the United States of America. We have carefully read your program and your website and we have to admit that we are deeply shocked by the position you expressed during your visit to Moscow and your meeting with Mr. Vladimir Putin.
...
After your visit to Moscow and your meeting with Vladimir Putin you said that “the world deserve[s] a new commitment to collaborative dialogue between our governments to avert disastrous wars for geopolitical domination, destruction of the climate, and cascading injustices that promote violence and terrorism.” We agree with you. But how can this new “collaborative dialogue” be possible when Mr. Putin has deliberately built a system based on corruption, injustice, falsification of elections, and violation of human rights and international law? How is it possible to have a discussion with Mr. Putin and not mention, not even once, the fate of Russian political prisoners, or the attacks against Russian journalists, artists, and environmentalists? Is it fair to speak with him about “geopolitics” and not mention new Russian laws against freedom of speech, restrictions on NGOs and activists, or the shameful law that forbids “homosexual propaganda”?

By silencing Putin’s crimes you are silencing our struggle. By shaking his hand and failing to criticize his regime you are becoming his accomplice. By forgetting what international solidarity means you are insulting the Russian environmental movement.

Dr. Stein, you still have several weeks before the elections in order to clarify your position on the anti-democratic and anti-environmental elements of Putin’s regime. We sincerely hope that our voices will be heard and that our questions will not go unanswered.

Best regards,
Evgeniya Chirikova
Nadezda Kutepova
Other European Greens also saw problems with the Stein's coziness with Putin. In an article titled Foreign Greens Think the US Green Party Needs to Ditch Jill Stein, published by Vice the day before the vote, Mike Pearl reported:
"Some of the points that Jill Stein makes are delusional, I have to say," Balthasar Gl├Ąttli, a Green Party member of the Swiss National Council, told me. If he were in the US, he said, "personally, I wouldn't vote Stein. I would vote Hillary."

European Green Party member Reinhard B├╝tikofer, who serves on the European Parliament from Germany, told me some of Stein's remarks that Clinton would be more likely to start a nuclear war than Trump left him feeling "really astonished." B├╝tikofer is a member of one of the parties that coordinate internationally with the US Greens via a loose affiliation known as the Global Greens, but he described an overall need for the American Green Party to get more sensible.
In an attempt to excuse this US Green Party support for Putin and Jill Stein's attendance at the RT 10th anniversary gala, Louis Proyect, the unrepentant Marxist and Jill Stein supporter, wrote that as of 10 August 2016:
With respect to RT.com, it has published 105 articles in praise of Jill Stein so naturally she might have accepted an invitation to their conference.
So this Green Party supporter justifies Jill Stein's support for RT as a kind of quid pro quo. Why does he think Moscow was supporting Jill Stein in the first place? They certainly didn't think she could win.

The dossier compiled by ex-spy Christopher Steele about Trump's connection to Russia mentions Jill Stein and gives us Moscow's rationale behind the dinner with Putin:
Educated US youth to be targeted as protest (against CLINTON) and swing vote in attempt to turn them over to TRUMP
....
Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn), and funding their recent visits to Moscow
Since then, Michael Flynn has been forced to admit that he was paid $45,000, plus perks, by Russia for his attendance at the RT event. The Steele dossier says that Jill Stein was also paid by Russia for her attendance, but she has so far remained silent on this subject.

In its "Details" section, the Steele dossier associates Jill Stein with two other Americans that are currently being investigated for their suspicious ties to Putin, Michael Flynn and Carter Page, and puts her in the overall context of "the Russian operation":
4. Speaking separately, also in early August 2016, a Kremlin official involved in US relations commented on aspects of the Russian operation to date. Its goals had been threefold - asking sympathetic US actors how Moscow could help them, - gathering relevant intelligence; and creating and disseminating compromising information ("kompromat"). This had involved the Kremlin supporting various US political figures, including funding indirectly their recent visits to Moscow. S/he named a delegation from Lyndon LAROUCHE; presidential candidate Jill STEIN of the Green Party; TRUMP foreign policy adviser Carter PAGE and former DIA Director Michael Flynn, in this regard and as successful in terms of perceived outcomes.
I'll bet. They got their guy in the White House.

With regards to that "asking sympathetic US actors how Moscow could help them," I wonder if they approached Democracy Now, and what Amy Goodman's response was? Or did they feel they were already getting pretty much what they wanted without the additional expenditure?

Oliver Stone says to Putin in his new fanboy "Why would he lie?" interview that if Putin expressed a preference in the US presidential campaign, that candidate would go down in the polls, as he gives the thumbs down sign and Putin nods in agreement. Just as Sean Spicer knew that he could only go so far in his open support for Jill Stein without raising eyebrows, Putin knew that his open support for Donald Trump was not likely to help their common cause. He could, however, openly support Jill Stein as the radical alternative to Hillary Clinton to the tune of tens of millions of dollars through his Russian propaganda outlets Russia Today and Sputnik, and although a search for "Jill Stein" on the Sputnik website turns up 174 hits, Putin expressed his support for the Jill Stein assault on Hillary Clinton most directly and effectively through his main English language propaganda instruments RT and RT/America, formerly named and more generally known as Russia Today.

Mediaite says about RT:
RT, however, is not cool. Far from some quirky left-wing media company, it is fully the mouthpiece of the Russian government. Formerly just Russia Today, its outlets and subsidiaries around the world regularly spew 21st century agitprop with the express aim of advancing Russia’s strategic interests.
Sara Firth was a London based RT correspondent that decided to stop selling herself for Putin, and told the world on Twitter:

The 6 January report from Director of National Intelligence “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” when into some detail about RT:
RT America TV, a Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States, has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties. The rapid expansion of RT's operations and budget and recent candid statements by RT's leadership point to the channel's importance to the Kremlin as a messaging tool and indicate a Kremlin directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest. The Kremlin has committed significant resources to expanding the channel's reach, particularly its social media footprint. A reliable UK report states that RT recently was the most-watched foreign news channel in the UK. RT America has positioned itself as a domestic US channel and has deliberately sought to obscure any legal ties to the Russian Government.
It tries to position itself as an alternative to mainstream media, as if the prefered alternative to neoliberalism is fascism.
The Kremlin staffs RT and closely supervises RT's coverage, recruiting people who can
convey Russian strategic messaging because of their ideological beliefs.
It certainly was single-minded in its support for Jill Stein in the US presidential race.
According to [RT editor-in-chief] Simonyan, the Russian Government sets rating and viewership requirements for RT and, "since RT receives budget from the state, it must complete tasks given by the state." According to [ parent company TV-Novosti director] Nikolov, RT news stories are written and edited "to become news" exclusively in RT's Moscow office (Dozhd TV, 11 July; AKT, 4 October).
It is Putin's propaganda arm; there shouldn't be any confusion about that.
According to RT management, RT's website receives at least 500,000 unique viewers every day. Since its inception in 2005, RT videos received more than 800 million views on YouTube (1 million views per day), which is the highest among news outlets (see graphics for comparison with other news channels) (AKT, 4 October)
The Russian propagandists really excel in their use of cyberspace. Their use of python AI bots has changed the political landscape of social media.
According to Simonyan, RT uses social media to expand the reach of its political reporting and uses well-trained people to monitor public opinion in social media commentaries (Kommersant, 29 September)

According to Nikolov, RT requires its hosts to have social media accounts, in part because social media allows the distribution of content that would not be allowed on television (Newreporter.org, 11 October)
One can only wonder how much of the RT budget of 2016 went towards promoting Jill Stein? Even 1.25% of the estimated $300 million the Kremlin spent in production and distribution for RT that year would have eclipsed Jill Stein's own campaign expenditures.
The Kremlin spends $190 million a year on the distribution and dissemination of RT programming, focusing on hotels and satellite, terrestrial, and cable broadcasting.
In addition to the Internet, RT has a large TV following.
RT states on its website that it can reach more than 550 million people worldwide and 85 million people in the United States; however, it does not publicize its actual US audience numbers (RT,10 December).
While most domestic US news networks like CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews must sell advertising to pay expenses and make money, the Russian government pays for all of RT's expenses. It is the Infomercial model turned into a "news network." BBC, Al Jazeera and France24 are all similarly situated, and while they all reported on the US election, none of them so actively promoted a single US presidential candidate.

Only one other major news outlet, Fox News, was so singlemindedly dedicated to the promotion of one candidate in the last US presidential election. At least Fox News is a US media company and spoke honestly about who they wanted to win. Putin backed the same candidate as Fox News; he did it by backing a loser as a spoiler.

If, after taking into account depreciation and inflation, a picture is still worth a thousand words, this graphic from the DNI report speaks volumes about the Russian social media footprint that was put at the service of the Jill Stein campaign:

According to the report, the Russian state is trying to hide behind a mask.
RT America formally disassociates itself from the Russian Government by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations. According to RT's leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.
So RT America can disguise its foreign meddling in US elections as just another US corporate play.
RT hires or makes contractual agreements with Westerners with views that fit its agenda and airs them on RT.

Full Disclosure: I entered into a lucrative license deal with RT that allowed it to broadcast my film, Vietnam: American Holocaust on virtually all media for one year. When you do a contract with RT it gets very complicated, but it also becomes clear pretty quickly that it is really the Russian government that is calling the shots; the contract is made with TV-Novosti.


A case study: RT support for the Jill Stein campaign on YouTube

A search on YouTube for "rt america jill stein" turns up "About 5,570 results," 2,750 in the past year, and RT/America averages more than 5,700,000 views a month on YouTube alone! RT/America is just 1 of the 88 members of RussiaToday [note the parent YouTube organization has not changed its name], which in total get an average of more than 133 million monthly views on YouTube. RT is another member of this family with mostly English content, and favorable to Jill Stein, that has an average monthly viewership of more than 28 million, Ruptly TV is a third Jill Stein fan brand with more than 14 million monthly viewers.

These are all professionally produced videos, and they aren't cheap to produce, so even though YouTube pays Russia Today as much as $274,000 a year for those views on RT/America alone, sustaining the channel has to be costing the Kremlin millions, but since RT has an annual budget of over $300 million, it is still small potatoes to them.

There have been over 190,000 views in the top 10 of those 2,750 RT/America videos supporting Jill Stein's candidacy. The view totals for all those videos is likely to range into the tens of millions. Taking just this one example of RT videos for Jill Stein and extrapolating that across all RT platforms, which in the US include cable, satellite, and broadcast TV, radio and all social media, not just YouTube, but facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well, it's easy to conclude that since the Jill Stein campaign only raised $3,713,170, Putin probably spent more on the Jill Stein campaign than the campaign spent on itself. If this is true, it means that votes for a US presidential candidate supported largely by Russian resources put Donald Trump in the White House.

Jill Stein admitted:
"We look to RT for access to the American public."
The website RT.com also played a big role in promoting the Jill Stein campaign. The eight images below represent just a tiny sample of the "About 416 results" Google finds for a search for "Jill Stein" on RT.com:


Post-election

Jill Stein has been as resolute as Donald Trump in not criticizing Putin, and everything she did during the election and since served Putin's strategic interests. Even her much hyped recount efforts in the three states she gave to Trump served to create doubt about the very voting systems the Russians failed to hack, while distracting our attention away from the "in your face" way that she has been an instrument of Russian influence in the US election. Her Putin promoted propaganda went a long ways towards convincing the American voters to elect the greater of the two evils.

One last question:


If Sean Spicer tweets Jill Stein, and she likes it, is that collusion?

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Did The Intercept burn the messenger?

The Intercept has spent the better part of the past year saying that there was no concrete evidence that Russia has been interfering with the US elections, so they must have had mixed emotions about receiving a leaked NSA document that strongly indicates that they have been wrong, and that the Russian government has been very active in attempting to subvert democracy in the United States. John Schindler, a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst, summed it up this way:
The substance of what The Intercept reported leaves no doubt that GRU made serious efforts last summer and fall to influence our election.
This leak was published only days after Russian President Vladimir Putin speculated that "patriotic" Russian hackers operating outside of government control may have interfered with the US election. The idea that Putin allows Russian hackers to make international mischief on their own, or that pro-Russian hackers would risk operating outside of government control, is simply unbelievable. Did these same "patriotic hackers" also cause the current Gulf States crisis without Putin's input?

Reality Leigh Winner
Within hours of The Intercept publishing the documents it would later claim "contain unproven assertions and speculation designed to serve the government’s agenda," the FBI announced the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner as the leaker. She said she was tired of hearing media outlets say there was no concrete proof of Russian hacking, so she send them some. Apparently it was that simple, and not very well thought out. She exhibited no tradecraft whatsoever. She made the copies on the company printer, she used her office computer to email The Intercept. Now they've got the scoop, and she is looking at ten years hard time.

Why she chose to send it to The Intercept is as yet unclear. It wasn't the wisest choice, apparently The Intercept didn't do a good job of protecting their source in this case. Today The Intercept is saying:
On June 5 The Intercept published a story about a top-secret NSA document that was provided to us completely anonymously. Shortly after the article was posted, the Justice Department announced the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old government contractor in Augusta, Georgia, for transmitting defense information under the Espionage Act. Although we have no knowledge of the identity of the person who provided us with the document, the U.S. government has told news organizations that Winner was that individual.
While The Intercept is claiming to have no knowledge of the source of the leaked documents, other sources say Winner was easily identified as the leaker because she didn't bother to hide her identity in email contacts with The Intercept. The US Department of Justice, in its AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF ARREST OF REALITY LEIGH WINNER [I have made bold important selections to help you cut through the boilerplate.] states:

PROBABLE CAUSE

11. WINNER is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation assigned to a U.S. Government Agency facility in Georgia. She has been employed at the facility since on or about February 13, 2017, and has held a Top Secret clearance during that time. As set forth in further detail below, on or about May 9, 2017, WINNER printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information and was dated on or about May 5, 2017 (the "intelligence reporting") from an Intelligence Community Agency (the "U.S. Government Agency") and unlawfully retained it. Approximately a few days later, WINNER then unlawfully transmitted the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet (the "News Outlet").

12. On June I, 2017, the FBI was notified by the U.S. Government Agency that the U.S. Government Agency had been contacted by the News Outlet on May 30, 2017, regarding an upcoming story. The News Outlet informed the U.S. Government Agency that it was in possession of what it believed to be a classified document authored by the U.S. Government Agency. The News Outlet provided the U.S. Government Agency with a copy of this document. Subsequent analysis by the U.S. Government Agency confirmed that the document in the News Outlet's possession is the intelligence reporting. The intelligence reporting is classified at the Top Secret level, indicating that its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security, and is marked as such. The U.S. Government Agency has since confirmed that the reporting contains information that was classified at that level at the time that the reporting was published on or about May 5, 2017, and that such information currently remains classified at that level.

13. The U.S. Government Agency examined the document shared by the News Outlet and determined the pages of the intelligence reporting appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space.

14. The U.S. Government Agency conducted an internal audit to determine who accessed the intelligence reporting since its publication. The U.S. Government Agency determined that six individuals printed this reporting. WINNER was one of these six individuals. A further audit of the six individuals' desk computers revealed that WINNER had e-mail contact with the News Outlet. The audit did not reveal that any of the other individuals had e-mail contact with the News Outlet.
So, based on this affidavit, and other sources, after The Intercept received the classified document, they made a color copy of it and took to it back to the NSA for authentication and redaction advice. Apparently this copy was of sufficient fidelity that it allowed the NSA to determine what printer the original had been printed on. From there, it was simply a matter of checking the logs to find out who had printed it out lately. That was only a handful of employees. They knew The Intercept had received it. Then, probably, they made two lists: 1) who recently printed the doc?, and who recently emailed The Intercept? And the winner is...you can't make this stuff up;   this is real life.

According to the DOJ, they could trace the document because it "appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space." How they could possibly determine that from a copy is beyond me. This is most certainly a cover story for the fact that most, if not all, color printers put something like a digital microdot or "watermark" on every page they print.

I first learn about this little secret back in the 1980s by just applying for a top secret printer development job with Xerox. They liked to brag that their color copies were so good, the government demanded they take these steps to stop counterfeiters from using them. That secret encoding has other uses as well, as the world is now learning. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has taken a leading role in exposing the use of these secret codes in printers. In 2008 they produced this video:


and this story:
Is Your Printer Spying On You?

Imagine that every time you printed a document it automatically included a secret code that could be used to identify the printer - and potentially the person who used it. Sounds like something from an episode of "Alias " right?

Unfortunately the scenario isn't fictional. In a purported effort to identify counterfeiters the US government has succeeded in persuading some color laser printer manufacturers to encode each page with identifying information. That means that without your knowledge or consent an act you assume is private could become public. A communication tool you're using in everyday life could become a tool for government surveillance. And what's worse there are no laws to prevent abuse.

The ACLU recently issued a report revealing that the FBI has amassed more than 1 100 pages of documents on the organization since 2001 as well as documents concerning other non-violent groups including Greenpeace and United for Peace and Justice. In the current political climate it's not hard to imagine the government using the ability to determine who may have printed what document for purposes other than identifying counterfeiters. More...
While The Intercept was careful to redact the information the NSA wanted removed before publication, they still reprinted this microdot information clear enough that knowledgeable people could spot and read them:
While it's good to know that your printer may be spying on you as a general principle, it is critical to know if you are printing anything you don't want traced back to you like, say, a ransom note, political flyer, or stolen NSA file. Winner can be forgiven for not knowing that; it would appear she did what she did for selfless reasons; and she will pay the price.

It's hard to feel so charitable about The Intercept. Given their staff and reputation, one would not expect them to be as naive as the 25 year old about the techniques used by our surveillance society, but whether in ignorance or bliss, it would seem that they took no effective measures to hide the source of the document before they showed it to the NSA. As John Schindler put it:

by showing NSA the purloined assessment, the inept muckrakers sealed Winner’s fate.
Those protective measures are not unknown to others who have travel these roads:
Schindler ends his Observer opinion piece NSA’s Latest Leak Debacle Explained by looking on the bright side, and then giving The Intercept the prize:
Regardless, Congress and the public have been energized by Reality Winner’s crime, and GRU cyber-meddling in our 2016 election is an issue which now must be addressed as a core part of KremlinGate. Perhaps that fact will comfort Winner in prison. But the real prize goes to The Intercept, which outed its golden source inside NSA in record time. Nobody in our Intelligence Community has ever been arrested for leaking spy secrets even before the leak goes public. That’s a record which seems likely to stand the test of time.
Schindler chalks up The Intercept's outing of their source to ineptitude. Maybe I am getting cynical in my old age, but I know how hard The Intercept worked to defeat Clinton last year and thereby elect Trump, and how protective they have been towards Poppa Putin. Catching this leaker quickly serves both Putin and Trump. Neither of them welcome this kind of leak; nor would the Intercept, for that matter, given their editorial line on the Russian hacking. All of this leads me to wonder: Did they just fumble the ball? Or did they intentionally burn the messenger?

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

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