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False flag poisonings

News History of American False Flag Operations Recommended Links False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning
Douma gas attack Khan Sheikhoun gas attack White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings Vault 7 scandal Operation Gladio - Wikipedia Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative
Deception as an art form Noble Lie Nation under attack meme Machiavellism Guardians of Power Label "conspiracy theorist" as a form of censorship
The Deep State Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Grand Chessboard Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Big Uncle is Watching You Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention
Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?   Allan Dulles Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Ray McGovern William Binney
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism Neo-fashism Humor Etc
 

In the UK case the decline of neoliberalism since 2008 was closely interconnected with gradual the loss of income from former colonies and the decline of North Sea oil and gas reserves. Staying in the EU against the will of the people will continue to further drain resources to Germany, which has structurally colonialized Western Europe.  So in 2018 the UK is in deep economic trouble Brexit or no Brexit.

That's why May government resorted to creation of an external enemy such as Russia: using an incident such as the Skripal affair to deflect the people from focusing on removing their government leaders. So this is British version of Russiagate: generating mass hate of Russia to deflect people's anger  from the neoliberal politicians and use Putin as the scapegoat.

The UK Royals weddings and babies also help, but they proved to be insufficient.  Meanwhile it is clear the UK government is up to the neck in Steele dossier with the solid trail of evidence such as Christophe Steele, Joseph Mifsid, and Gianni Pittella. See for example

It is important to make those leads disappear from public attantion and Skripal affair fits the biil. 

So something like Skripal incident  was badly needed and would happened even if Skriplas did nto suffer from ffod or some other  poisoning on march 4, 2018.

 

France, like the UK, has extracted the wealth from their former colonies and facing a reduction in tribute from these sources. Macron has attempted to maintain control of some colonies such as Mali and really wants to conquer Syria. I suspect the meetings between Macron and MbS will result in an agreement for Saudi Arabia to buy French weapons while France getting financial aid to expand French troop bases in Syria.

Somehow, the current revolution in France is blacked out in the Western Media. Videos of the current revolution are common on Youtube such as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g21_myERteQ

Almost all sectors of the French society are protesting against the neo-feudal policies of Macron, FIRE economy participants and his dwarves in the National Assembly. There are strikes among:

For a schedule of the rolling strikes in France see: http://www.cestlagreve.fr/

Macron has already deployed the CRS assassins and the street war will begin when EU police and military invade to crush to protestors. This will be far more violent than May 1968 and may usher in the 6th Republic. Unfortunately, Macron would prefer the cities to burn rather than resign and turnover the government to the President of the Senate.

The EU is also experiencing internal dissent with the Visegrad four (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) plus Italy and Austria and thus needs an external enemy to distract its members. I suspect that a Ukrainian invasion of DPR/LPR will once again be used as a flash point create "two minutes of hate" against Russia :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4zYlOU7Fpk

These EU conflicts will not end peacefully as the system will fight back rather than step aside.

 

There was three high profile poisoning cases which have several characteristics of a "false flag operation":

Skripal case is the most recent.  One of the best outline of such Gladio style-operation was given in UNZ review (The Unz Review):

Lies and the unapologetic denial of reality:

In a 2015 article entitled “A society of sexually frustrated Pinocchios” I wrote the following:

I see a direct cause and effect relationship between the denial of moral reality and the denial of physical reality. I can’t prove that, of course, but here is my thesis: Almost from day one, the early western civilization began by, shall we say, taking liberties with the truth, which it could bend, adapt, massage and repackage to serve the ideological agenda of the day. It was not quite the full-blown and unapologetic relativism of the 19th century yet, but it was an important first step. With “principles” such as the end justifies the means and the wholesale violation of the Ten Commandants all “for the greater glory of God” the western civilization got cozy with the idea that there was no real, objective truth, only the subjective perception or even representation each person might have thereof. Fast forward another 10 centuries or so and we end up with the modern “Gayropa” (as Europe is now often referred to in Russia): not only has God been declared ‘dead’ and all notions of right and wrong dismissed as “cultural”, but even objective reality has now been rendered contingent upon political expediency and ideological imperatives.

I went on to quote George Orwell by reminding how he defined “doublethink” in his book 1984:

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it (…) To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality

and I concluded by saying that “The necessary corollary from this state of mind is that only appearances matter, not reality”.

This is exactly what we are observing; not only in the silly Skripal nerve-gas assassination story but also in all the rest of the Russophobic nonsense produced by the AngloZionist propaganda machine including the “Litvinenko polonium murder” and the “Yushchenko dioxin poisoning“. The fact that neither nerve-gas, nor polonium nor dioxin are in any way effective murder weapons does not matter in the least: a simple drive-by shooting, street-stabbing or, better, any “accident” is both easier to arrange and impossible to trace. Fancy assassination methods are used when access to the target is very hard or impossible (as was the case with Ibn al-Khattab, whose assassination the Russians were more than happy to take credit for; this might also have been the case with the death of Yasser Arafat). But the best way of murdering somebody is to simply make the body disappear, making any subsequent investigation almost impossible. Finally, you can always subcontract the assassination to somebody else like, for example, when the CIA tried and failed, to murder Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussain Fadlallah by subcontracting his bombing to its local “Christian” allies, killing over 80 innocent people in the process. There is plenty of common crime in the UK and to get somebody to rob and stab Skripal would have probably been the easiest version. That’s assuming that the Russians had any reason to want him dead, which they self-evidently didn’t.

But here is the important thing: every single criminal or intelligence specialist in the West understands all of the above. But that does not stop the Ziomedia from publishing articles like this one “A Brief History of Attempted Russian Assassinations by Poison” which also lists people poisoned by Russians:

The only possible conclusion from this list is this: there is some kind of secret lab in Russia where completely incompetent chemists try every poison known to man, not on rats or on mice, but on high profile AngloZionist-supported political activists, preferably before an important political event.

Right.

By the way, the gas allegedly used in the attack, “Novichok”, was manufactured in Uzbekistan and the cleanup of the factory producing it was made by, you guessed it, a US company. Just saying…

In any halfway honest and halfway educated society, those kind of articles should result in the idiot writing it being summarily fired for gross incompetence and the paper/journal posting it being discredited forever. But in our world, the clown who wrote that nonsense (Elias Groll, a Harvard graduate and – listen to this – a specialist of “cyberspace and its conflicts and controversies” (sic)) is a staff writer of the award-winning Foreign Policy magazine.

So what does it tell us, and future historians, when this kind of crap is written by a staff writer of an “award winning” media outlet? Does it not show that our society has now reached a stage in its decay (I can’t call that “development”) where lies become the norm? Not only are even grotesque and prima facie absurd lies accepted, they are expected (if only because they reinforce the current ideological Zeitgeist. The result? Our society is now packed with first, zombified ideological drones who actually believe any type of officially proclaimed of nonsense and, second, by cowards who lack the basic courage to denounce even that which they themselves know to be false.

Lies, however ridiculous and self-evidently stupid, have become the main ingredient of the modern political discourse. Everybody knows this and nobody cares. When challenged on this, the typical defense used is always the same: “you are the only person saying this – I sure ever heard this before!”.

Willful ignorance as a universal cop-out

We all know the type. You tell somebody that his/her theory makes absolutely no sense or is not supported by facts and the reply you get is some vaguely worded refusal to engage in an disputation. Initially, you might be tempted to believe that, indeed, your interlocutor is not too bright and not too well read, but eventually you realize that there is something very different happening: the modern man actually makes a very determined effort not to be capable of logical thought and not to be informed of the basic facts of the case. And what is true for specific individuals is even more true of our society as a whole. Let’s take one simple example: Operation Gladio:

Gladio” is really an open secret by now. Excellent books and videos have been written about this and even the BBC has made a two and a half hour long video about it. There is even an entire website dedicated to the story of this huge, continent-wide, terrorist organization specializing in false flag operations. That’s right: a NATO-run terrorist network in western Europe involved in false flag massacres like the infamous Bologna train station bombing. No, not the Soviet KGB backing the Baader-Meinhof Red Army Faction or the Red Brigades in Italy. No, the US and West European governments organizing, funding and operating a terrorist network directed at the people of Western, not Eastern, Europe. Yes, at their own people! In theory, everybody should know about this, the information is available everywhere, even on the hyper-politically correct Wikipedia. But, again, nobody cares.

The end of the Cold War was marked by a seemingly endless series of events which all provided a pretext for AngloZionist interventions (from the Markale massacres in Bosnia, to the Srebrenica “genocide”, to the Racak massacre in Kosovo, to the “best” and biggest one of them all, 9/11 of course). Yet almost nobody wondered if the same people or, at least, the same kind of people who committed all the Gladio crimes might be involved. Quite the opposite: each one of these events was accompanied by a huge propaganda campaign mindlessly endorsing and even promoting the official narrative, even when it self-evidently made no sense whatsoever (like 2 aircraft burning down 3 steel towers). As for Gladio, it was conveniently “forgotten”.

There is a simple principle in psychology, including, and especially in criminal psychology which I would like to prominently restate here:

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior

Every criminologist knows that and this is why criminal investigators place so much importance on the “modus operandi”, i.e. the particular way or method a suspect or a criminal chooses in the course of the execution of his/her crimes. That is also something which everybody knows. So let’s summarize this in a simple thesis:

Western regimes have a long and well-established track record of regularly executing bloody false-flag operations in pursuit of political objectives, especially those providing them with a pretext to justify an illegal military aggression.

Frankly, I submit that the thesis above is really established not only by a preponderance of evidence but beyond a reasonable doubt. Right?

Maybe. But that is also completely irrelevant because nobody gives a damn! Not the reporters who lie for a living nor, even less so, the brainwashed zombies who read their nonsense and take it seriously. The CIA tried to kill Fidel Castro over 600 times – who cares?! All we know is that the good folks at Langley would never, ever, kill a Russian in the UK, out of respect for international law, probably…

That willful ignorance easily defeats history, facts or logic.

Here is a simple question a journalist could ask: “would the type of people who had no problems blowing up an large train station, or bringing down three buildings in downtown New York, have any hesitation in using a goofy method to try kill a useless Russian ex-spy if that could justify further hostile actions against a country which they desperately need to demonize to justify and preserve the current AngloZionist world order?”. The answer I think is self-evident. The question shall therefore not be asked. Instead, soy-boys from Foreign Policy mag will tell us about how the Russians use exotic flowers to kill high visibility opponents whose death would serve no conceivable political goal.

Hypocrisy as a core attribute of the modern man

Willful ignorance is important, of course, but it is not enough. For one thing, being ignorant, while useful to dismiss a fact-based and/or logical argument, is not something useful to establish your moral superiority or the legality of your actions. Empire requires much more than just obedience from its subject: what is also absolutely indispensable is a very strong sense of superiority which can be relied upon when committing a hostile action against the other guy. And nothing is as solid a foundation for a sense of superiority than the unapologetic reliance on brazen hypocrisy. Let’s take a fresh example: the latest US threats to attack Syria (again).

Irrespective of the fact that the US themselves have certified Syria free of chemical weapons and irrespective of the fact that US officials are still saying that they have no evidence that the Syrian government was involved in any chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, the US is now preparing to strike Syria again in “response” to future chemical attacks! Yes, you read that right. The AngloZionists are now announcing their false flags in advance! In fact, by the time this analysis is published the attack will probably already have occurred. The “best” part of this all is that Nikki Haley has now announced to the UN Security Council that the US will act without any UN Security Council approval. What the US is declaring is this: “we reserve the right to violate international law at any time and for any reason we deem sufficient”. In the very same statement, Nikki Haley also called the Syrian government an “outlaw regime”. This is not a joke, check it out for yourself. The reaction in “democratic” Europe: declaring that *Russia* (not the US) is a rogue state. QED.

This entire circus is only made possible by the fact that the western elites have all turned into “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” (to use the wonderful words of Boris Johnson) and that absolutely nobody has the courage, or decency, to call all this what it really is: an obscene display of total hypocrisy and wholesale violation of all norms of international law. The French philosopher Alain Soral is quite right when he says that modern “journalists are either unemployed or prostitutes” (he spoke about the French media - un journaliste français c’est soit une pute soit un chômeur – but this fully applies to all the western media). Except that I would extend it to the entire Western Establishment.

I would further argue that foreign aggression and hypocrisy have become the two essential pillars for the survival of the AngloZionist empire: the first one being an economic and political imperative, the 2nd one being the prerequisite for the public justification of the first one. But sometimes even that is not enough, especially when the lies are self-evidently absurd. Then the final, quasi-miraculous element is always brought in: hysterics.

Hysteria as the highest form of (pseudo-)liberalism

I don’t particularly care for the distinction usually made between liberals and conservatives, at least not unless the context and these terms is carefully and accurately defined. I certainly don’t place myself on that continuum nor do find it analytically helpful.

The theoretical meaning of these concepts is, however, quite different from what is mostly understood under these labels, especially when people use them to identify themselves. That is to say that while I am not at all sure that those who think of themselves as, say, liberals are in any way truly liberal, I do think that people who would identify themselves as “liberals” often (mostly?) share a number of characteristics, the foremost of which is a very strong propensity to function at, and engage in, an hysterical mode of discourse and action.

The Google definition of hysteria is “exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people (…) whose symptoms include conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization), selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior”. Is that not a perfect description of US politicians, especially the (putatively) “liberal” ones? Just think of the way US Democrats have capitalized on such (non-)issues as “Russian interference” (externally) or “gun control” (internally) and you will see that the so-called “liberals” never get off a high-emotional pitch. The best example of all, really, is their reaction to the election of Donald Trump instead of their cult-leader Hillary: it has been over a year since Trump has been elected and yet the liberal ziomedia and its consumers are still in full-blown hysteria mode (with “pussyhats”, “sky-screams” and all). In a conversation you can literally drown such a liberal with facts, statistics, expert testimonies, etc. and achieve absolutely no result whatsoever because the liberal lives in an ideological comfort zone which he/she is categorically unwilling and, in fact, unable, to abandon, even temporarily. This is what makes liberals such a *perfect* audience for false-flag operations: they simply won’t process the narrative presented to them in a logical manner but will immediately react to it in a strongly emotional manner, usually with the urge to immediately “do something”.

That “do something” is usually expressed in the application of violence (externally) and the imposition of bans/restrictions/regulations (internally). You can try to explain to that liberal that the very last thing the Russians would ever want to do is to use a stupid method to try to kill a person who is of absolutely no interest to them, or to explain to that liberal that the very last thing the Syrian government would ever do in the course of its successful liberation of its national territory from “good terrorists” would be to use chemical weapons of any kind – but you would never achieve anything: Trump must be impeached, the Russians sanctioned and the Syrians bombed, end of argument.

I am quite aware that there are a lot of self-described “conservatives” who have fully joined this chorus of hysterical liberals in all their demands, but these “conservatives” are not only acting out of character, they are simply caving in to the social pressure of the day, being the “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” mentioned above. Again, I am not discussing real liberals or real conservatives here (regardless of what these terms really mean), I am talking about those who, for whatever reason, chose to place that label upon themselves even if they personally have only a very vague idea of what this label is supposed to mean.

Scripal case: assassination attempt without an assassin

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
 (Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio )

  Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 11) stipulates that "everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty" - one of the core principles of modern society

SKRIPALMANIA by Patrick Armstrong

1. It’s obvious nonsense brought to you by proven liars.
2. The point of propaganda is to leave an impression after the details have been forgotten.
3. To get involved in discussing the minutiae of the story is to help the propagandists’ aims.
4. Therefore treat it as a badly constructed story that is failing to convince.
5. Do this by analyzing the comments on the news stories which (at least the ones I’ve looked at) show that people are skeptical.
6. Also mock the meanderings of the story: At the restaurant! In the car! On the doorstep! Incredibly lethal but strangely ineffective. Miraculous recovery of daughter. Baby wipes as effective protection. Reminiscent of White Helmets and their flip flops, rubber gloves and paper masks; but, come to think of it, it’s the same authors in both stories. Who, after so many lies, are becoming overconfident and sloppy.

It’s a startlingly incompetent theatrical production and should be responded to with contemptuous mockery.

Sic Semper Tyrannis, Mar 29, 2018

There are multiple signs that "something is rotten in  the Kingdom of Demark" in case of Skripal poisoning. Among the most obvious signs that this was yet another false flag operation are:

Notes:

As the UK goverment  have a history of desperate measures to cling to power, as well as history of experimenting on humans (they killed one parson by injecting him with sarin) this whole incident & investigation has a clear sign of false flag operating which would primary not secondary hypothesis

No more or less realistic timeline exists

As both Skripal and his daughter carry a cell phone (probably expensive, as Skripal drove BMW and Yulia came from Moscow and worked for foreign companies were an upscale smartphone is a viewed as a norm ;-) all movements of this couple probably could be traced with absolute accuracy via GPS data from the phones (and you bet that such data were collected for both by appropriate British agencies). So all their movements  should be completely known  and timeline should be available. This is not the case. Looks like nothing substantial was published or I was unable to find it.

Available timelines suggest that initial poisoning took around half an hour to incapacitate them if we assume that they were poisoned at the Zizzi restaurant, which is not typical for a nerve gas. Also nobody else in the restaurant was affected so the only way such a fit can be dome is via food or drink which is strange method of application of poisoness gas which is designed to be dispersed and act via air or skin contact.

But MSM do not ask such questions. They just propagate official talking points. Which also change with time.

Typical time from poisoning to death for VX type gas is a minute or two. Here we are talking about hours (in case the poisoness liquid or grease was applied to the door knob --  the most recent version of the story -- full three hours 12:55 -- 16:00 or later). That does not look plausible, even if we accept that some idiot decided to bring such a dangerous substance into what is a national security state with immense number of cameras and use it against the person who lost any significance other that a scapegoat for some provocation.

Mark Hirst‏ @Documark · Mar 29

"#Skripal was poisoned in his car... No it was from a handbag.... No it was his front door...."
Who's running this "investigation"? The Keystone Cops?
Where is the nationwide manhunt for the real perpetrators?
Where is the obligatory CCTV in the most surveilled state on earth?

Here is timeline extended from the initial short  BBC timeline ( http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43315636   )

If we assume that they were poisoned at Zizzi with fentanyl or something similar they survived for more then an hour, which is not atypical in cases of narcotics overdose. Moreover Skripal lost emotional control at the restaurant which can be  because he has "fixed time" appointment  and it was in jeopardy (that suggests staged poisoning) or because he was a narcoaddict (he suffered from chronic pain) who wants to take his fix and can't. That does not explain why the daughter was also affected, though.

Here is also another timeline from

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/no-patients-have-experienced-symptoms-of-nerve-agent-poisoning-in-salisbury.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b8d2e3cc6c970c

@25 peter.. I found this sequence of events timing from somewhere else - can't remember.. it seems they visiting the pub before the restaurant...

Skripal nerve-gas assassination definitely has multiple common elements with the “Litvinenko polonium murder” and the “Yushchenko dioxin poisoning“. The fact that neither nerve-gas, nor polonium nor dioxin are in any way effective murder weapons does not matter in the least: a simple drive-by shooting, street-stabbing or, better, any “accident” is both easier to arrange and impossible to trace.

Fancy assassination methods are used when access to the target is very hard or impossible (as was the case with Ibn al-Khattab, whose assassination the Russians were more than happy to take credit for; this might also have been the case with the death of Yasser Arafat). But the best way of murdering somebody is to simply make the body disappear, making any subsequent investigation almost impossible.

Finally, you can always subcontract the assassination to somebody else like, for example, when the CIA tried and failed, to murder Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussain Fadlallah by subcontracting his bombing to its local “Christian” allies, killing over 80 innocent people in the process.

Skripal case: assassination attempt without an assassin

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
 (Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio )

In this case like in case on MH17 and Litvinenko poisoning Western MSM try to deceive public. No question about it. We do not know much about this assassination (if there was an assassination, which also is not given; can be completely staged event), but those tiny bits of information that we have suggest the MSM are deceiving us and treat us as idiots, who are incapable of independent thinking. 

UK financed/affiliated "White Helmets" have been routinely and regularly producing  'chemical weapons false flags' for years in Syria.

Theresa May accusations implies that the British authorities have both a control sample (to determine if the quantities found would be lethal) and samples from a few different labs to confirm that the fingerprint was from lab A not lab B for example. How did they got those ? But the whole hypotheses that a nerve gas was used is very weak even within the framework that is known from published information.  There are several questions that need to answered:

Of course we will never know preside answers on most of those question, but the list itself suggests that "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." (Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio )

From a very scant information available the most plausible hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation which probably proceeded in two steps (with the first step not necessary accomplished by those who run the second step; it can be two different groups).

  1. Skripal visited police some time before the incident and stated that he fears for his life.  that can be an initial step for the propagation  for a stage incident or a real concerns.
     
  2. While being in the restaurant Skripal he lost emotional control.  may be he has to be at the bench at specific time and this schedule was in jeopardy.  Or he  sense some danger and wanted to leave the place (in this case why wait for the food). Or he  needed a fetanyl or some other narcotic fix (in this  case why daughter was affected too)
     
  3. A pretty plausible explanation of the  know facts for the case is that there were two different  poisons. First some poison like Fentanyl was mixed into food or drinks or taken by Skripals themselves either as masked as some other medication, or as a part of narcoaddict fix. This explains why nobody in the restaurant was affected (any military nerve gas would kill everybody in the room, so this hypothesis that the gar was "administered" in the restaurant is not very plausible; if it would be administered before that, for example in the car as the US MSM push, Skripal would never get to the restaurant and probably level get out of the car iether). That's  why the doctor who treated Skripal daughter for 30 min was not poisoned. So Skripal daughter hands and body was clean of both Fentanyl (which is highly toxic) and any nerve gas absorbed in the closing (which is deadly).  Fentanyl  is known for previous use in assassinations (for example by Israel). It killed more than 21K people in the USA in 2016

    Yulia recently lost a lot of weight which can suggest that she is on drags too. The initial reports put this hypothesis

    The two were urgently taken to hospital and in critical condition. They are supposed to have had contact with an unknown poisonous substance. According to unconfirmed information it is fentanyl. Two police officers were also hospitalized after they went to the scene of the incident.

    First responders can be affected by fentanyl too: Norwalk Reflector Norwalk officer rushed to ER after fentanyl poisoning

    A Norwalk police officers recently was rushed to the emergency room after experiencing what is believed to have been narcotic poisoning following an arrest at Wal-Mart.

    One of the scariest situation for first-responders is the possibility of drug poisoning from lethal substances such as fentanyl or carfentanil.

    Both drugs can be absorbed through the skin on contact, making them dangerous for medical and law enforcement responders to care for the increasing number of overdose patients. For non-drug users, coming into contact with even the smallest amount of either could be deadly since fentanyl is about 50 times stronger than heroin and carfentanil is considered to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine

    The incident resulted in a man’s arrest, but not before he gave officers a difficult time.

    “We arrested a guy out at Wal-Mart and (the officer) had to wrestle him around for a few minutes to get the cuffs on him,” Light said.

    Shortly after the incident, Light said, the officer said he “felt strange.” His heart rate elevated and his lips went numb. The officer was rushed to the Fisher-Titus Medical Center emergency room.

    “We’re pretty sure it was fentanyl poisoning that caused it,” Light said. “We think the possible fentanyl was on either his hands or his wrists.”
     

  4. On the second stage, which occurred when Skripals were already hospitalized a nerve agent was planted in several places, including home, somebody decided that this can be  tuned into a major attack of Russia and the false flag operation started. That's probably why the police investigator who visited Skripal home became the first victim of poisons gas.  This false flag poison plats could be performed by personnel in full protection gear, who arrived to those places.
     
  5. NHS Doctor: "No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury"
     
  6. Reaction of British authorities was pretty interesting. Especially speed. Scripals were  found unconscious March 4 around 4PM on the bench near the restaurant.  But already on March 5 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says Britain will "respond appropriately and robustly" if evidence emerges of Russia's involvement in Skripal's suspected poisoning. Of course Boris Johnson is a comic figure as the top diplomat and does not belong even to the second league in this area, but he is a long time politician and as such is not completely stupid. So there was probably a call from Washington, DC that forced this premature reaction.  Mar 21 - Russian Scientists Explain 'Novichok' - High Time For Britain To Come Clean (Updated)

    The British government is milking the incident to push Russophobia and to divert from its failure in the Brexit negotiations and all its other problems. But the diversion will only succeed so long. The NHS doctor as well as court testimony by scientists from Proton Down contradict the claims made by the British government. Let's hope that the British opposition picks up on that.

Poisoning of "opponent of the regime" provides ideal conditions for a false flag operation as the cloud of secrecy can be used to subvert the investigation and pursue the agenda with the complete impunity. The government can essentially decree the "truth" in such cases. It also provides tremendous propaganda effect.

And British are not shy from experimenting on humans with poison gases either. It took 50 years for Porton Down chemical research centre to come clean on poisoning a British soldier with Sarin telling him it was a flu test. Poor fella. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1476722/Porton-Down-unlawful-killing-verdict-opens-gates-to-claims.html

Only this sequence of events can explain what the doctor who treated the daughter for 30 min and first responders suffered no consequences.

Poisoning of the "opponent of the regime" is a known British tactics first demonstrated in full glory in Litvinenko case ("Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story", http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/arafat-and-litvinenko-an-interesting-turn-to-a-mysterious-story /.)

The first step can also be plot by some group connected with William Browder of Magnitsky death fame (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25190975), Berezovsky associates or some other "Russian mafia in London" groups. The fact that Skripal has such an expensive car suggests that he was participating in some business dealings, probably as a part of some London-based exiles group. UK government is not know for extreme generosity toward such people as Skripal.

The question arise why the UK government went this path. It well might be the USA pressure (like in case of Iraq invasion) or internal considerations that such step will be beneficial to the May government survival. Or both.

My impression is that his is just a first (and somewhat clumsy executed) step in multi step gambit in which Scripals were just sacrificial lamps. Pawns is a bigger game.

The next steps might be related to Would Cup and/or confiscation of assets of Russian oligarchs in London to put pressure on Putin and possibly initiate with their hands a "regime change" in Russia.

Was everything staged with Skripals as hired actors?

Both Skripals badly needed money.  Older Skripal might be involved in some criminal or semi-criminal activity with other Russian emigrants as it often happens in London with those who expected to live a plush  life in GB and then found that founds they can get can't provide this standard of living.

without evidence to the contrary we must assume mi5 were responsible, or skripal somehow got hold of a poison and mishandled it.

there are also comments that the whole thing look like state provocation from the beginning to the end and there were not any gas or poisoning at all.

mike k , Mar 21, 2018 9:45:34 PM | 88

I cannot understand why so many commenters assume that a toxic agent had anything to do with this obvious false flag charade. I wonder if Skripal or his daughter were actually sick at all, or merely doing a crisis acting job.

Curious that they have been spirited away from anyone who might assess their condition. And the notoriously deadly nerve agent apparently did not do it's job on them. Because there was no nerve agent involved. Now after a long lapse of time some concocted nerve agent may be produced to back up the whole scam.

Meanwhile Skripal and daughter will be held away from prying eyes in "protective custody".

CUE BONO question is the key question in Skripal matter

Why such a strange and dangerous method of killing was chosen and why anybody wants to eliminate old, used man who does not have any valuable information or contacts

There is plenty of common crime in the UK and to get somebody to rob and stab Skripal would have probably been the easiest version. That’s assuming that the Russians had any reason to want him dead, which they self-evidently didn’t.

Mar 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

likbez, March 16, 2018 at 3:48 am GMT

@Kiza

Kiza,

Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked (by a Russian sounding chemical weapon Novichok), and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism (https://www.craigmurray.org.uk - Craig Murray has been most viciously attacked for not accepting the official story without any evidence) and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Göring

That's a perfectly applicable variation of the famous quote.

The most plausible goal of the whole "Operation Skripal" was poisoning UK-Russia relations and hopefully bringing the US and EU to impose new round of sanctions on Russia. In this sense it reminds Litvinenko case (which brought huge propaganda benefits to the UK and the hysteria lasted several months, if memory does not fail me).

BTW exiled Russian oligarchs like Khodorkovski ( https://www.voltairenet.org/article168007.html ) also could easily stage such a false flag operation using their interconnections with both Russia and Israel.

One thing I can't understand in "Operation Skripal" is how such an assassination (if we assume that this is an assassination) was accomplished.

The gas (if it really exists, which is yet another question) supposedly is really deadly. If this was not gas but some substance infused with this agent (which would be extremely strange and risky method), you need to get it into the drinks, which means 100% chances of your detection.

Moreover in case of the gas the difficulties look insurmountable -- to get it to the victim you need to mix components and shortly after spray it from a short distance, hoping the you mixed them correctly. The place where Skripals were found unconscious is a really bad place for such an exercise as there probably several cameras which record the events on the bench.

Unless it was the daughter who did this (in this case authorities have definitely all the necessary evidence of the crime committed) chances of an attacker to survive such an attack are slim, and changes not being recorded on one or more camera are virtually non existent.

If there was a human assassin, he/she risks to be immediately dead or severely injured as even in minimal concentrations such a gas reliably kills a person within two minutes or so. Antidote might help to survive, but how effective it is depends on the dose you can get.

If some robotic disperser was used, then it will be found as unlike in case of an explosive device the activation does no destroy it.

Also unclear why target the daughter, unless we are dealing with some botched amateur false flag operation in best traditions of ISIS Syria false flag operations.

Moreover, Skripals spent around an hour on a bench in a comatose state and were helped by a doctor who was not affected in any way. See timeline at

http://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-sergei-skripal-timeline-2018-3#march-3-240-pm-skripals-33-year-old-daughter-yulia-arrives-in-the-uk-via-london-heathrow-airport-relatives-said-she-was-visiting-from-moscow-17

But later a policeman was affected. Very strange.

So IMHO it looks like assassination without an assassin. There are some absurd statements that the poison was spiked in their drinks either in the pub or at the restaurant:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5742909/sergei-skripal-spy-russian-assassin-poison-hit-pub/

One possible scenario is that Skripal and his daughter were narcoaddicts and did it to themselves The initial reports (see, for example, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5733372/ex-russian-spy-sergei-skripal-poisoned-salisbury-feared-life-cops/ ) suggested traces of the opiate fentanyl -- a synthetic toxin many times stronger than heroin -- had been detected at the scene.

Later their collapse was used to stage a false flag operation, when in fact there was no any gas involved, and at this point, a grandiose propaganda show with the decontamination of the area started.

30 questions which will never the answered by neoliberal MSM

30 Questions That Journalists Should be Asking About the Skripal Case

Mar 27, 2018 | www.theblogmire.com

There are a lot of issues around the case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal which, at the time of writing, are very unclear and rather odd. There may well be good and innocent explanations for some or even all of them. Then again there may not. This is why it is crucial for questions to be asked where, as yet, there are either no answers or deeply unsatisfactory ones.

Some people will assume that this is conspiracy theory territory. It is not that, for the simple reason that I have no credible theory -- conspiracy or otherwise -- to explain all the details of the incident in Salisbury from start to finish, and I am not attempting to forward one. I have no idea who was behind this incident, and I continue to keep an open mind to a good many possible explanations.

However, there are a number of oddities in the official narrative, which do demand answers and clarifications. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist or a defender of the Russian state to see this. You just need a healthy skepticism, "of a type developed by all inquiring minds!"

Below are 30 of the most important questions regarding the case and the British Government's response, which are currently either wholly unanswered, or which require clarification.


1. Why have there been no updates on the condition of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the public domain since the first week of the investigation?

2. Are they still alive?

3. If so, what is their current condition and what symptoms are they displaying?

4. In a recent letter to The Times , Stephen Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, wrote the following:

"Sir, Further to your report ("Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment", Mar 14) may I clarify that no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning."

His claim that " no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury" is remarkably odd, as it appears to flatly contradict the official narrative. Was this a slip of the pen, or was it his intention to communicate precisely this -- that no patients have been poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury?

5. It has been said that the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey were poisoned by "a military grade nerve agent". According to some claims, the type referred to could be anywhere between five and eight times more toxic than VX nerve agent. Given that just 10mg of VX is reckoned to be the median lethal dose , it seems likely that the particular type mentioned in the Skripal case should have killed them instantly. Is there an explanation as to how or why this did not happen?

6. Although reports suggested the involvement of some sort of nerve agent fairly soon after the incident, it was almost a week before Public Health England issued advice to those who had visited The Mill pub or the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on the day that the Skripals fell ill. Why the delay and did this pose a danger to the public?

7. In their advice, Public Health England stated that people who had visited those places, where traces of a military grade nerve agent had apparently been found, should wash their clothes and:

"Wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes and dispose of the wipes in the bin (ordinary domestic waste disposal)."

Are baby wipes acknowledged to be an effective and safe method of dealing with objects that may potentially have been contaminated with "military grade nerve agent", especially of a type 5-8 times more deadly than VX?

8. Initial reports suggested that Detective Sergeant Bailey became ill after coming into contact with the substance after attending the Skripals on the bench they were seated on in The Maltings in Salisbury. Subsequent claims, however, first aired by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Ian Blair on 9 th March , said that he came into contact with the substance at Sergei Skripal's house in Christie Miller Road. Reports since then have been highly ambiguous about what should be an easily verifiable fact. Which is the correct account?

9. The government have claimed that the poison used was "a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia ". The phrase "of a type developed by Russia" says nothing whatsoever about whether the substance used in the Salisbury case was produced or manufactured in Russia. Can the government confirm that its scientists at Porton Down have established that the substance that poisoned the Skripals and DS Bailey was actually produced or manufactured in Russia?

10. The former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has claimed that sources within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have told him that scientists at Porton Down would not agree to a statement about the place of origin of the substance , because they were not able to establish this. According to Mr. Murray, only under much pressure from the Government did they end up agreeing to the compromise wording, "of a type developed by Russia", which has subsequently been used in all official statements on the matter. Can the FCO, in plain and unambiguous English, categorically refute Mr. Murray's claims that pressure was put on Porton Down scientists to agree to a form of words and that in the end a much-diluted version was agreed?

11. On the occasion that the FCO did attempt to refute Mr. Murray's claims , the wording they used included a straightforward repetition of the same phrase – "of a type developed by Russia". Is the FCO willing and able to go beyond this and confirm that the substance was not only "of a type developed by Russia", but that it was "produced" or "manufactured" in Russia?

12. Why did the British Government issue a 36-hour ultimatum to the Russian Government to come up with an explanation, but then refuse their request to share the evidence that allegedly pointed to their culpability (there could have been no danger of their tampering with it, since Porton Down would have retained their own sample)?

13. How is it possible for a state (or indeed any person or entity) that has been accused of something, to defend themselves against an accusation if they are refused access to evidence that apparently points to their guilt?

14. Is this not a clear case of the reversal of the presumption of innocence and of due process?

15. Furthermore, why did the British Government issue an ultimatum to the Russian Government, in contravention of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) rules governing such matters, to which both Britain and Russia are signatories, and which are clearly set out in Article 9, Paragraph ii of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?

16. Given that the investigation, which has been described by the man leading it as being "an extremely challenging investigation" and as having "a number of unique and complex issues", and given that many of the facts of the case are not yet known, such as when, where and how the substance was administered, how is it possible for the British Government to point the finger of blame with such certainty?

17. Furthermore, by doing so, haven't they both politicized and prejudiced the investigation?

18. Why did the British Government feel the need to come forward with an accusation little more than a week into the investigation, rather than waiting for its completion?

19. On the Andrew Marr Show on 18 th March, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, stated the following:

"And I might just say in response to Mr. Chizhov's point about Russian stockpiles of chemical weapons. We actually had evidence within the last ten years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but it has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok."

Where has this intelligence come from and has it been properly verified?

20. If this intelligence was known before 27 th September 2017 – the date that the OPCW issued a statement declaring the completion of the destruction of all 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by the Russian Federation – why did Britain not inform the OPCW of its own intelligence which apparently contradicts this claim, which they would have had a legal obligation to do?

21. If this intelligence was known after 27 th September 2017, why did Britain not inform the OPCW of this "new" information, which it was legally obliged to do, since it allegedly shows that Russia had been lying to the OPCW and had been carrying out a clandestine chemical weapons programme?

22. Also on the Andrew Marr show, Mr. Johnson made the following claim after a question of whether he was "absolutely sure" that the substance used to poison the Skripals was a "Novichok":

"Obviously to the best of our knowledge this is a Russian-made nerve agent that falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia, and just to get back to the point about the international reaction which is so fascinating."

Is the phrase "to the best of our knowledge" an adequate response to Mr. Marr's request of him being "absolutely sure"?

23. Is this a good enough legal basis from which to accuse another state and to impose punitive measures on it, or is more certainty needed before such an accusation can be made?

24. After hedging his words with the phrase, "to the best of our knowledge", Mr. Johnson then went beyond previous Government claims that the substance was "of a type developed in Russia", saying that it was "Russian-made". Have the scientists at Porton Down been able to establish that it was indeed "Russian-made", or was this a case of Mr. Johnson straying off-message?

25. He also went beyond the previous claim that the substance was "of a type developed in Russia" by saying that the substance involved in the Skripal case "falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia "? Firstly, is Mr. Johnson able to provide evidence that this category of chemical weapons was ever successfully synthesized in Russia, especially in the light of the OPCW's Scientific Advisory Board stating as recently as 2013, that it has "insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of 'Novichoks ' "?

26. As Craig Murray has again pointed out , since its 2013 statement, the OPCW has worked (legally) with Iranian scientists who have successfully synthesized these chemical weapons. Was Mr. Johnson aware that the category of "Novichok" chemical weapons had been synthesized elsewhere when he stated that this category of chemical weapons is "made only by Russia"?

27. Does the fact that Iranian scientists were able to synthesize this class of chemical weapons suggest that other states have the capabilities to do likewise?

28. Is the British Government aware that the main plant involved in attempts to synthesize Novichoks in the 1970s and 1980s was based not in Russia, but in Nukus in Uzbekistan?

29. Does the fact that the US Department of Defense decontaminated and dismantled the Nukus site, under an agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan , make it at least theoretically possible that substances or secrets held within that plant could have been carried out of the country and even back to the United States?

30. The connection between Sergei Skripal's MI6 recruiter, Pablo Miller , who also happens to live in Salisbury, and Christopher Steele, the author of the so-called "Trump Dossier", has been well established , as has the fact that Mr. Skripal and Mr. Miller regularly met together in the City . Is this connection of any interest to the investigation into the incident in Salisbury?


If there are any journalists with integrity and inquisitive minds still living in this country, I would be grateful if they could begin doing their job and research the answers to these sorts of questions by asking the appropriate people and authorities.

Litvinenko case

Brits have decided to raise Litvinenko’s ghost just to keep the pot boiling about the Evil One so that the whole world will rally behind the exceptional nation’s sterling effort to have him vanquished.

See also Litvinenko poisoning

PaulR says: January 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Latest Litvinenko revelation: Putin’s contacts with Al Qaeda: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11364724/Is-this-Alexander-Litvinenkos-beyond-the-grave-attack-on-Putin.html

 Moscow Exile says: January 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Yeah, Ol’ Sasha could tell a tale or two…if you paid him.

Or three or four, for that matter.

I reckon he’d have given a 5% discount on a job lot., especially when he became strapped for cash after his benefactor gave him the heave-ho in London.

Here’s Alexander MacLitvinenko in one of his fantasy modes:

Britain Cans Case Against Russia

Well not quite. They seem to have decided to raise Litvinenko’s ghost just to keep the pot boiling about the Evil One so that the whole world will rally behind the exceptional nation’s sterling effort to have him vanquished.

 Moscow Exile says: January 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Alexander Litvinenko: Blackmailer, Smuggler, Gangster Extraordinaire


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[Jun 20, 2019] Bias, Lies Videotape Doubts Dog Confirmed Syria Chemical Attacks

Jun 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bias, Lies & Videotape: Doubts Dog 'Confirmed' Syria Chemical Attacks Disturbing new evidence suggests 2018 incident might've been staged, putting everything else, including U.S. retaliation, into question. By Scott Ritter June 20, 2019

(By Mikhail Semenov /Shutterstock) Thanks to an explosive internal memo, there is no reason to believe the claims put forward by the Syrian opposition that President Bashar al-Assad's government used chemical weapons against innocent civilians in Douma back in April. This is a scenario I have questioned from the beginning.

It also calls into question all the other conclusions and reports by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) , which was assigned in 2014 "to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic."

As you recall, the Trump administration initiated a coordinated bombing of Syrian government facilities with the UK and France within days of the Douma incident and before a full investigation of the scene could be completed, charging Assad with the "barbaric act" of using "banned chemical weapons" to kill dozens of people on the scene. Bomb first, ask questions later.

The OPCW began their investigation days after the strikes . The group drew on witness testimonies, environmental and biomedical sample analysis results, and additional digital information from witnesses (i.e. video and still photography), as well as toxicological and ballistic analyses. In July 2018, the OPCW released an interim report on Douma that said "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties," but that chlorine, which is not a banned chemical weapon, was detected there.

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The report cited ballistic tests that indicated that the canisters found at two locations on the scene were dropped from the air (witnesses blamed Assad's forces), but investigations were ongoing. The final report in March reiterated the ballistics data, and the conclusions were just as underwhelming, saying that all of the evidence gathered there provides "reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place," due in part to traces of chlorine and explosives at the impact sites.

Now, the leaked internal report apparently suppressed by the OPCW says there is a "high probability" that a pair of chlorine gas cylinders that had been claimed as the source of the toxic chemical had been planted there by hand and not dropped by aircraft. This was based on extensive engineering assessments and computer modeling as well as all of the evidence previously afforded to the OPCW.

What does this mean? To my mind, the canisters were planted by the opposition in an effort to frame the Syrian government.

The OPCW has confirmed with the validity of this shocking document and has offered statements to reporters, including Peter Hitchens, who published the organization's response to him on May 16.

The ramifications of this turn of events extend far beyond simply disproving the allegations concerning the events in April 2018. The credibility of the OPCW itself and every report and conclusion it has released concerning allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government are now suspect. The extent to which the OPCW has, almost exclusively, relied upon the same Syrian opposition sources who are now suspected of fabricating the Douma events raises serious questions about both the methodology and motivation of an organization that had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for "its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons."

In a response to Agence France-Presse (AFP) , OPCW director general Fernando Arias acknowledged there is an internal probe into the memo leak but that he continues to "stand by the impartial and professional conclusions" of the group's original report. He played down the role of the memo's author, Ian Henderson, and said his alternative hypotheses were not included in the final OPCW report because they "pointed at possible attribution" and were therefore outside the scope of the OPCW's fact finding mission in Syria.

Self-produced videos and witness statements provided by the pro-opposition Violations Documentation Center, Syrian Civil Defense (also known as the White Helmets), and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) , a non-profit organization that operates hospitals in opposition-controlled Syria, represented the heart and soul of the case against the Syrian government regarding the events in Douma. To my mind, the internal memo now suggests that these actors were engaging in a systemic effort to disseminate disinformation that would facilitate Western military intervention with the goal of removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

This theory has been advanced by pro-Assad forces and their Russian partners for some time. But independent reporting on the ground since the Douma incident has sussed out many of the same concerns. From James Harkin, director of the Center for Investigative Journalism and a fellow at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center, who traveled to the site of the attacks and reported for The Intercept in February of this year:

The imperative to grab the fleeting attention of an international audience certainly seems to have influenced the presentation of the evidence. In the videos and photos that appeared that evening, most analysts and observers agree that there were some signs that the bodies and gas canisters had been moved or tampered with after the event for maximum impact. The Syrian media activists who'd arrived at the apartment block with the dead people weren't the first to arrive on the scene; they'd heard about the deaths from White Helmet workers and doctors at the hospital.

The relationship between the OPCW and the Syrian opposition can be traced back to 2013. That was when the OPCW was given the responsibility of eliminating Syria's declared arsenal of chemical weapons; this task was largely completed by 2014. However, the Syrian opposition began making persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks by the Syrian government in which chlorine, a substance not covered by Syria's obligation to be disarmed of chemical weapons, was used. In response, the OPCW established the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) in 2014 "to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic."

The priority of effort for the FFM early on was to investigate allegations of the use of chlorine as a weapon. Since, according to its May 2014 summary, "all reported incidents took place at locations that the Syrian Government considers to be outside its effective control," the FFM determined that the success of its mission was contingent upon "identification of key actors, such as local authorities and/or representatives of armed opposition groups in charge of the territories in which these locations are situated; the establishment of contacts with these groups in an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence that allows the mandate and objectives of the FFM to be communicated."

So from its very inception, the FFM had to rely on the anti-Assad opposition and its supporters for nearly everything. The document that governed the conduct of the FFM's work in Syria was premised on the fact that the mission would be dependent in part upon "opposition representatives" to coordinate, along with the United Nations, the "security, logistical and operational aspects of the OPCW FFM," including liaising "for the purposes of making available persons for interviews."

One could sense the bias resulting from such an arrangement when, acting on information provided to it by the opposition regarding an "alleged attack with chlorine" on the towns of Kafr Zeyta and Al-Lataminah, the FFM changed its original plans to investigate an alleged chlorine attack on the town of Harasta. This decision, the FFM reported, "was welcomed by the opposition." When the FFM attempted to inspect Kafr Zeyta, however, it was attacked by opposition forces, with one of its vehicles destroyed by a roadside bomb, one inspector wounded, and several inspectors detained by opposition fighters.

The inability to go to Kafr Zeyta precluded the group from "presenting definitive conclusions," according to the report. But that did not stop the FFM from saying that the information given to them from these opposition sources, "including treating physicians with whom the FFM was able to establish contact," and public domain material, "lends credence to the view that toxic chemicals, most likely pulmonary irritating agents such as chlorine, have been used in a systematic manner in a number of attacks" against Kafr Zeyta.

So the conclusion/non-conclusion was based not on any onsite investigation, but rather videos produced by the opposition and subsequently released via social media and interviews also likely set up by opposition groups (White Helmets, SAMS, etc.), which we know, according to their own documents, served as the key liaisons for the FFM on the ground.

All of this is worrisome. It is unclear at this point how many Syrian chemical attacks have been truly confirmed since the start of the war. In February of this year, the Global Policy Institute released a report saying there were 336 such reports, but they were broken down into "confirmed," "credibly substantiated," and "comprehensively confirmed." Out of the total, 111 were given the rigorous "comprehensively confirmed" tag, which, according to the group, meant the incidents were "were investigated and confirmed by competent international bodies or backed up by at least three highly reliable independent sources of evidence."

They do not go into further detail about those bodies and sources, but are sure to thank the White Helmets and their "implementing partner" Mayday Rescue and Violations Documentation Center, among other groups, as "friends and partners" in the study. So it becomes clear, looking at the Kafr Zeytan inspection and beyond, that the same opposition sources that are informing the now-dubious OPCW reports are also delivering data and "assistance" to outside groups reaching international audiences, too.

The role of the OPCW in sustaining the claims made by the obviously biased Syrian opposition sources cannot be understated -- by confirming the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma, the OPCW lent credibility to claims that otherwise should not -- and indeed would not -- have been granted, and in doing so violated the very operating procedures that had been put in place by the OPCW to protect the credibility of the organization and its findings.

There is an old prosecutorial rule -- one lie, all lies -- that comes into play in this case. With the leaked internal report out there, suggesting that the sources in the Douma investigation were agenda-driven and dishonest, all information ever provided to the OPCW by the White Helmets, SAMS, and other Syrian opposition groups must now, in my mind, be viewed as tainted and therefore unusable.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

JPH 8 hours ago

The OPCW reaction clearly considering the investigation into the leak instead of apologizing for not publishing this report is revealing its bias.

There has been a push from 'the West' to have the OPCW also attributing responsibility. Given the bias already on display this will further politicize the OPCW.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk...

As soon as such organizations become propaganda tools their credibility goes into the wind.

Given what we know of the Skripal hoax and the Tories attitude to the truth with their government funded 'Integrity Initiative' through the Institute of Statecraft' that exactly what the British Intelligence intended.

https://medium.com/@tomseck...

One may note the specific personal links through Orbis/Steele/Miller between the 'Integrity Initiative' and the fake 'Trump Dossier' and one ought to be alarmed by 'services' of a British intelligence out of control, but given the FBI/CIA involvement and exploitation of that fake 'Trump Dossier' it looks that the US has a quite similar problem.

john 11 hours ago
Our government lied to start a war! When has that always happened.

[Jun 19, 2019] The Warm War Russiamania at the Boiling Point by Jim Kavanagh

Notable quotes:
"... Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible. ..."
"... Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. ..."
"... "War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war." ..."
"... Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy." ..."
"... The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted. ..."
Apr 02, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Is it war yet?

Yes, in too many respects.

It's a relentless economic, diplomatic, and ideological war, spiced with (so far) just a dash of military war, and the strong scent of more to come.

I mean war with Russia, of course, although Russia is the point target for a constellation of emerging adversaries the US is desperate to entame before any one or combination of them becomes too strong to defeat. These include countries like Iran and China, which are developing forces capable of resisting American military aggression against their own territory and on a regional level, and have shown quite too much uppitiness about staying in their previously-assigned geopolitical cages.

But Russia is the only country that has put its military forces in the way of a U.S. program of regime change -- indirectly in Ukraine, where Russia would not get out of the way, and directly in Syria, where Russia actively got in the way. So Russia is the focus of attack, the prime target for an exemplary comeuppance.

Is it, then, a new Cold War, even more dangerous than the old one, as Stephen F. Cohen says ?

That terminology was apt even a few months ago, but the speed, ferocity, and coordination of the West/NATO's reaction to the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals, as well as the formation of a War Cabinet in Washington, indicates to me that we've moved to another level of aggression.

It's beyond Cold. Call it the Warm War. And the temperature's rising.

The Nerve of Them

There are two underlying presumptions that, combined, make present situation more dangerous than a Cold War.

One is the presumption of guilt -- or, more precisely, the presumption that the presumption of Russian guilt can always be made, and made to stick in the Western mind.

The confected furor over the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals demonstrates this dramatically.

Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible.

False certainty is the ultimate fake news. It is just not true that, as she says: "There is no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state is culpable." This falsity of this statement has been demonstrated by a slew of sources -- including the developers of the alleged "Novichok" agent themselves, a thorough analysis by a former UN inspector in Iraq who worked on the destruction of chemical weapons, establishment Western scientific outlets like New Scientist (" Other countries could have made 'Russian' nerve agent "), and the British government's own mealy-mouthed, effective-but-unacknowledged disavowal of that conclusion. In its own words, The British government found: "a nerve agent or related compound," " of a type developed by Russia." So, it's absolutely, positively, certainly, without a doubt, Russian-government-produced "Novichok" .or something else.

Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. It's a

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lErlHLCNM_s?autoplay=0list=WL

It boggles the -- or at least, my -- mind how, in the face of all this, anyone could take seriously her ultimatum, ignoring the procedures of the Chemical Weapons Convention , gave Russia 24 hours to "explain" -- i.e., confess and beg forgiveness for -- this alleged crime.

Indeed, it's noteworthy that France initially, and rather sharply, refused to assume Russian guilt, with a government spokesman saying, "We don't do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven, then the time will come for decisions to be made." But the whip was cracked -- and surely not by the weak hand of Whitehall -- demanding EU/NATO unity in the condemnation of Russia. So, in an extraordinary show of discipline that could only be ordered and orchestrated by the imperial center, France joined the United States and 20 other countries in the largest mass expulsion of Russian diplomats ever.

Western governments and their compliant media have mandated that Russian government guilt for the " first offensive use of a nerve agent " in Europe since World War II is to be taken as flat fact. Anyone -- like Jeremy Corbyn or Craig Murray -- who dares to interrupt the "Sentence first! Verdict afterwards!" chorus to ask for, uh, evidence, is treated to a storm of obloquy .

At this point, Western accusers don't seem to care how blatantly unfounded, if not ludicrous, an accusation is. The presumption of Russian guilt, along with the shaming of anyone who questions it, has become an unquestionable standard of Western/American political and media discourse.

Old Cold War McCarthyism has become new Warm War fantasy politics.

Helled in Contempt

This declaration of diplomatic war over the Skripal incident is the culmination of an ongoing drumbeat of ideological warfare, demonizing Russia and Putin personally in the most predictable and inflammatory terms.

For the past couple of years, we've been told by Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Boris Johnson that Putin is the new Hitler. That's a particularly galling analogy for the Russians. Soviet Russia, after all, was Hitler's main enemy, that defeated the Nazi army at the cost of 20+ million of its people -- while the British Royal Family was not un-smitten with the charms of Hitlerian fascism , and British footballers had a poignant moment in 1938 Berlin saluting the Fuhre.:

"War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war."

Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy."

Which is strange, because, since the Taliban emerged from the American-jihadi war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and the Taliban and Russia have "enduring enmity" towards each other, as Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network puts it . Furthermore, the sixteen-year-long American war against the Taliban has depended on Russia allowing the U.S. to move supplies through its territory, and being "the principal source of fuel for the alliance's needs in Afghanistan."

So the general has to admit that this alleged Russian "destabilising activity" is a new thing: "This activity really picked up in the last 18 to 24 months When you look at the timing it roughly correlates to when things started to heat up in Syria. So it's interesting to note the timing of the whole thing."

Yes, it is.

The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted.

This is not a serious framework for respectful international relations between two sovereign nations. It's downright childish. It paints everyone, including the party trying to impose it, into an impossible corner. Is Russia ever going to abandon Crimea, confess that it shot down the Malaysian jet, tricked us into electing Donald Trump, murdered the Skripals, is secretly arming the Taliban, et. al .? Is the U.S. ever going to say: "Never mind"? What's the next step? It's the predicament of the bully.

This is not, either, an approach that really seeks to address any of the "crimes" charged. As Victoria Nuland (a Clintonite John Bolton) put it on NPR, it's about, "sending a message" to Russia. Well, as Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov said , with this latest mass expulsion of diplomats, the United States is, "Destroying what little remained of US-Russian ties." He got the message.

All of this looks like a coordinated campaign that began in response to Russia's interruption of American regime-change projects in Ukraine and especially Syria, that was harmonized -- over the last 18 to 24 months -- with various elite and popular motifs of discontent over the 2016 election, and that has reached a crescendo in the last few weeks with ubiquitous and unconstrained " enemization " [1] of Russia. It's hard to describe it as anything other than war propaganda -- manufacturing the citizenry's consent for a military confrontation.

Destroying the possibility of normal, non-conflictual, state-to-state relations and constituting Russia as "the enemy" is exactly what this campaign is about. That is its "message" and its effect -- for the American people as much as for the Russia government. The heightened danger, I think, is that Russia, which has for a long time been reluctant to accept that America wasn't interested in "partnership", has now heard and understood this message, while the American people have only heard but do not understand it.

It's hard to see where this can go that doesn't involve military conflict. This is especially the case with the appointments of Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and John Bolton -- a veritable murderers' row that many see as the core of a Trump War Cabinet. Bolton, who does not need Senate confirmation, is a particularly dangerous fanatic, who tried to get the Israelis to attack Iran before even they wanted to, and has promised regime change in Iran by 2019. As mentioned, he considers that Russia has already given him a " casus belli. " Even the staid New York Times warns that, with these appointments, "the odds of taking military action will rise dramatically."

The second presumption in the American mindset today makes military confrontation more likely than it was during the Cold War: Not only is there a presumption of guilt, there is a presumption of weakness . The presumption of guilt is something the American imperial managers are confident they can induce and maintain in the Western world; the presumption of weakness is one they -- or, I fear, too many of them -- have all-too blithely internalized.

This is an aspect of the American self-image among policymakers whose careers matured in a post-Soviet world. During the Cold War, Americans held themselves in check by the assumption, that, militarily, the Soviet Union was a peer adversary, a country that could and would defend certain territories and interests against direct American military aggression -- "spheres of interest" that should not be attacked. The fundamental antagonism was managed with grudging mutual respect.

There was, after all, a shared recent history of alliance against fascism. And there was an awareness that the Soviet Union, in however distorted a way, both represented the possibility of a post-capitalist future and supported post-colonial national liberation movements, which gave it considerable stature in the world.

American leadership might have hated the Soviet Union, but it was not contemptuous of it. No American leader would have called the Soviet Union, as John McCain called Russia, just "a gas station masquerading as a country." And no senior American or British leader would have told the Soviet Union what British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told Russia last week: to "go away and shut up."

This is a discourse that assumes its own righteousness, authority, and superior power, even as it betrays its own weakness. It's the discourse of a frustrated child. Or bully. Russia isn't shutting up and going away, and the British are not -- and know they're not -- going to make it. But they may think the Big Daddy backing them up can and will. And daddy may think so himself.

Like all bullies, the people enmeshed in this arrogant discourse don't seem to understand that it is not frightening Russia. It's only insulting the country, and leading it to conclude that there is indeed nothing remaining of productive, non-conflictual, US-Russian "partnership" ties. The post-Skripal worldwide diplomatic expulsions, which seem deliberately and desperately excessive, may have finally convinced Russia that there is no longer any use trying. Those who should be frightened of this are the American people.

The enemy of my enemy is me.

The United States is only succeeding in turning itself into an enemy for Russians. Americans would do well to understand how thoroughly their hypocritical and contemptuous stance has alienated the Russian people and strengthened Vladimir Putin's leadership -- as many of Putin's critics warned them it would. The fantasy of stoking a "liberal" movement in Russia that will install some nouveau-Yeltsin-ish figure is dissipated in the cold light of a 77% election day. Putin is widely and firmly supported in Russia because he represents the resistance to any such scheme.

Americans who want to understand that dynamic, and what America itself has wrought in Russia, should heed the passion, anger, and disappointment in this statement about Putin's election from a self-described "liberal" (using the word, I think, in the intellectual tradition, not the American political, sense), Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT TV (errors in translation by another person):

Essentially, the West should be horrified not because 76% of Russians voted for Putin, but because this elections have demonstrated that 95% of Russia's population supports conservative-patriotic, communist and nationalist ideas. That means that liberal ideas are barely surviving among measly 5% of population.

And that's your fault, my Western friends. It was you who pushed us into "Russians never surrender" mode

[W]ith all your injustice and cruelty, inquisitorial hypocrisy and lies you forced us to stop respecting you. You and your so called "values."

We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer.

We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you.

For that you only have yourself to blame.

In meantime, you've pushed us to rally around your enemy. Immediately, after you declared him an enemy, we united around him .

It was you who imposed an opposition between patriotism and liberalism. Although, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive notions. This false dilemma, created by you, made us to chose patriotism.

Even though, many of us are really liberals, myself included.

Get cleaned up, now. You don't have much time left.

In fact, the whole "uprising"/color revolution strategy throughout the world is over. It's been fatally discredited by its own purported successes. Everybody in the Middle East has seen how that worked out for Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and the Russians have seen how it worked out for Ukraine and for Russia itself . In neither Russia nor Iran (nor anywhere else of importance) are the Americans, with their sanctions and their NGOs and their cookies ,going to stoke a popular uprising that turns a country into a fractured client of the Washington Consensus. More fantasy politics.

The old new world Washington wants won't be born without a military midwife. The U.S. wants a compliant Russia ( and "international community") back, and it thinks it can force it into being.

Fear Knot

Consider this quote from The Saker , a defense analyst who was born in Switzerland to a Russian military family, "studied Russian and Soviet military affairs all [his] life," and lived for 20 years in the United States. He's been one of the sharpest analysts of Russia and Syria over the last few years. This was his take a year ago, after Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria's Al Shayrat airfield -- another instant punishment for an absolutely, positively, proven-in-a day, chemical crime:

For one thing, there is no US policy on anything.

The Russians expressed their total disgust and outrage at this attack and openly began saying that the Americans were "недоговороспособны". What that word means is literally "not-agreement-capable" or unable to make and then abide by an agreement. While polite, this expression is also extremely strong as it implies not so much a deliberate deception as the lack of the very ability to make a deal and abide by it. But to say that a nuclear world superpower is "not-agreement-capable" is a terrible and extreme diagnostic.

This means that the Russians have basically given up on the notion of having an adult, sober and mentally sane partner to have a dialog with.

In all my years of training and work as a military analyst I have always had to assume that everybody involved was what we called a "rational actor". The Soviets sure where. As were the Americans.

Not only do I find the Trump administration "not agreement-capable", I find it completely detached from reality. Delusional in other words.

Alas, just like Obama before him, Trump seems to think that he can win a game of nuclear chicken against Russia. But he can't. Let me be clear here: if pushed into a corner the Russian will fight, even if that means nuclear war.

There is a reason for this American delusion. The present generation of American leadership was spoiled and addled by the blissful post-Soviet decades of American impunity.

The problem is not exactly that the U.S. wants full-on war with Russia, it's that America does not fear it. [2]

Why should it? It hasn't had to for twenty years during which the US assumed it could bully Russia to stay out of its imperial way anywhere it wanted to intervene.

After the Soviet Union broke up (and only because the Soviet Union disappeared) the United States was free to use its military power with impunity. For some time, the U.S. had its drunken stooge, Yeltsin, running Russia and keeping it out of America's military way. There was nary a peep when Bill Clinton effectively conferred on NATO (meaning the U.S. itself) the authority to decide what military interventions were necessary and legitimate. For about twenty years -- from the Yugoslavia through the Libya intervention -- no nation had the military power or politico-diplomatic will to resist this.

But that situation has changed. Even the Pentagon recognizes that the American Empire is in a "post-primacy" phase -- certainly "fraying," and maybe even "collapsing." The world has seen America's social and economic strength dissipate, and its pretense of legitimacy disappear entirely. The world has seen American military overreach everywhere while winning nothing of stable value anywhere. Sixteen years, and the mighty U.S. Army cannot defeat the Taliban. Now, that's Russia's fault!

Meanwhile, a number of countries in key areas have gained the military confidence and political will to refuse the presumptions of American arrogance -- China in the Pacific, Iran in the Middle East, and Russia in Europe and, surprisingly, the Middle East as well. In a familiar pattern, America's resultant anxiety about waning power increases its compensatory aggression. And, as mentioned, since it was Russia that most effectively demonstrated that new military confidence, it's Russia that has to be dealt with first.

The incessant wave of sanctions and expulsions is the bully in the schoolyard clenching his fist to scare the new kid away. OK, everyone's got the message now. Unclench or punch?

Let's be clear about who is the world's bully. As is evident to any half-conscious person, Russia is not going to attack the United States or Europe. Russia doesn't have scores of military bases, combat ships and aircraft up on America's borders. It doesn't have almost a thousand military bases around the world. Russia does not have the military forces to rampage around the world as America does, and it doesn't want or need to. That's not because of Russia's or Vladimir Putin's pacifism, but because Russia, as presently situated in the political economy of the world, has nothing to gain from it.

Nor does Russia need some huge troll-farm offensive to "destabilize" and sow division in Western Europe and the United States. Inequality, austerity, waves of immigrants from regime-change wars, and trigger-happy cops are doing a fine job of that. Russia isn't responsible for American problems with Black Lives Matter or with the Taliban.

All of this is fantasy politics.

It's the United States, with its fraying empire, that has a problem requiring military aggression. What other tools does the U.S. have left to put the upstarts, Russia first, back in their places?

It must be hard for folks who have had their way with country after country for twenty years not to think they can push Russia out of the way with some really, really scary threats, or maybe one or two "bloody nose" punches. Some finite number of discrete little escalations. There's already been some shoving -- that cruise missile attack, Turkey's downing of a Russian jet, American attacks on Russian personnel (ostensibly private mercenaries) in Syria -- and, look, Ma, no big war. But sometimes you learn the hard way the truth of the reverse Mike Tyson rule: "Everyone has a game plan until they smack the other guy in the face."

Consider one concrete risk of escalation that every informed observer is, and every American should be, aware of.

The place where the United States and Russia are literally, geographically, closest to confrontation is Syria. As mentioned, the U.S. and its NATO ally, Turkey, have already attacked and killed Russians in Syria, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have a far larger military force than Russia in Syria and the surrounding area. On the other hand, Russia has made very effective use of its forces, including what Reuters calls "advanced cruise missiles" launched from planes, ships , and submarines that hit ISIS targets with high precision from 1000 kilometers.

Russia is also operating in accordance with international law, while the U.S. is not. Russia is fighting with Syria for the defeat of jihadi forces and the unification of the Syrian state. The United States is fighting with its jihadi clients for the overthrow of the Syrian government and the division of the country. Russia intervened in Syria after Obama announced that the U.S. would attack Syrian army troops, effectively declaring war. If neither side accepts defeat and goes home, it is quite possible there will be some direct confrontation over this. In fact, it's hard to imagine that there won't.

A couple of weeks ago Syria and Russia said the U.S. was planning a major offensive against the Syrian government, including bombing the government quarter in Damascus. Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia's General Staff, warned: "In the event of a threat to the lives of our servicemen, Russia's armed forces will take retaliatory measures against the missiles and launchers used." In this context, "launchers" means American ships in the Mediterranean.

Also a couple of weeks ago, Russia announced a number of new, highly-advanced weapons systems. There's discussion about whether some of the yet-to-be-deployed weapons announced may or may not be a bluff, but one that has already been deployed, called Dagger ( Kinzhal, not the missiles mentioned above), is an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile that files at 5-7,000 miles per hour, with a range of 1200 miles. Analyst Andrei Martyanov claims that: "no modern or perspective air-defense system deployed today by any NATO fleet can intercept even a single missile with such characteristics. A salvo of 5-6 such missiles guarantees the destruction of any Carrier Battle Group or any other surface group, for that matter." Air-launched. From anywhere.

The U.S. attack has not (yet) happened, for whatever reason (Sputnik reporter Suliman Mulhem, citing "a military monitor," claims that's because of the Russian warnings). Great. But given the current state of America's anxiously aggressive "post-primacy" policy -- including the Russiamania, the Zionist-driven need to destroy Syria and Iran, and the War Cabinet -- how unlikely is that the U.S. will, in the near future, make some such attack on some such target that Russia considers crucial to defend?

And Syria is just one theater where, unless one side accepts defeat and goes home, military conflict with Russia is highly likely. Is Russia going to abandon the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass if they're attacked by fascist Kiev forces backed by the U.S.? Is it going to sit back and watch passively if American and Israeli forces attack Iran? Which one is going to give up and accept a loss: John Bolton or Vladimir Putin?

Which brings us to the pointed question: What will the U.S. do if Russia sinks an American ship? How many steps before that goes full-scale, even nuclear? Or maybe American planners (and you, dear reader) are absolutely, positively sure that will never happen, because the U.S. has cool weapons, too, and a lot more of them, and the Russians will probably lose all their ships in the Mediterranean immediately, if not something worse, and they'll put up with anything rather than go one more step. The Russians, like everybody, must know the Americans always win.

Happy with that, are we? Snug in our homeland rug? 'Cause Russians won't fight, but the Taliban will.

This is exactly what is meant by Americans not fearing war with Russia (or war in general for that matter). Nothing but contempt.

The Skripal opera, directed by the United States, with the whole of Europe and the entire Western media apparatus singing in harmony, makes it clear that the American producers have no speaking role for Russia in their staging of the world. And that contempt makes war much more likely. Here's The Saker again, on how dangerous the isolation the U.S. and its European clients are so carelessly imposing on Russia and themselves is for everybody:

Right now they are expelling Russian diplomats en mass e and they are feeling very strong and manly.

The truth is that this is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg. In reality, crucial expert-level consultations, which are so vitally important between nuclear superpowers, have all but stopped a long time ago. We are down to top level telephone calls. That kind of stuff happens when two sides are about to go to war. For many months now Russia and NATO have made preparations for war in Europe. Very rapidly the real action will be left to the USA and Russia. Thus any conflict will go nuclear very fast. And, for the first time in history, the USA will be hit very, very hard, not only in Europe, the Middle-East or Asia, but also on the continental US.

Mass diplomatic expulsions, economic warfare, lockstep propaganda, no interest whatsoever in respectfully addressing or hearing from the other side. What we've been seeing over the past few months is the "kind of stuff that happens when two sides are about to go to war."

The less Americans fear war, the less they respect the possibility of it, the more likely they are to get it.

Ready or Not

The Saker makes a diptych of a point that gets to the heart of the matter. We'd do well to read and think on it carefully:

1/ The Russians are afraid of war. The Americans are not.

2/ The Russians are ready for war. The Americans are not.

Russia is afraid of war. More than twenty million Soviet citizens were killed in WWII, about half of them civilians. That was more than twenty times the number of Americans and British casualties combined. The entire country was devastated. Millions died in the 872-day siege of Leningrad alone, including Vladimir Putin's brother. The city's population was decimated by disease and starvation, with some reduced to cannibalism. Wikileaks calls it "one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history [and] possibly the costliest in casualties." Another million-plus died in the nine-month siege of Stalingrad.

Every Russian knows this history. Millions of Russian families have suffered from it. Of course, there was mythification of the struggle and its heroes, but the Russians, viscerally, know war and know it can happen to them . They do not want to go through it again. They will do almost anything to avoid it. Russians are not flippant about war. They fear it. They respect it.

The Americans are not (afraid of war). Americans have never experienced anything remotely as devastating as this. About 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War, 150 years ago. (And we're still entangled in that!) The American mainland has not been attacked by a significant military force since the War of 1812. Since then, the worst attacks on American territory are two one-off incidents (Pearl Harbor and 9/11), separated by seventy years, totaling about six-thousand casualties. These are the iconic moments of America Under Siege.

For the American populace, wars are "over there," fought by a small group of Americans who go away and either come back or don't. The death, destruction, and aroma of warfare -- which the United States visits on people around the world incessantly -- is unseen and unexperienced at home. Americans do not, cannot, believe, in any but the most abstract intellectual sense, that war can happen here , to them. For the general populace, talk of war is just more political background noise, Morgan Freeman competing for attention with Stormy Daniels and the Kardashians.

Americans are supremely insouciant about war: They threaten countries with it incessantly, the government routinely sells it with lies, and the political parties promote it opportunistically to defeat their opponents -- and nobody cares. For Americans, war is part of a game. They do not fear it. They do not respect it.

The Russians are ready for war. The Nazi onslaught was defeated -- in Soviet Russia, by Soviet Citizens and the Red Army -- because the mass of people stood and fought together for a victory they understood was important. They could not have withstood horrific sieges and defeated the Nazis any other way. Russians understand, in other words, that war is a crisis of death and destruction visited on the whole of society, which can only be won by a massive and difficult effort grounded in social solidarity. If the Russians feel they have to fight, if they feel besieged, they know they will have to stand together, take the hits that come, and fight to the finish. They will not again permit war to be brought to their cities while their attacker stays snug. There will be a world of hurt. They will develop and use any weapon they can. And their toughest weapon is not a hypersonic missile; it's that solidarity, implied by that 77%. (Did you read that Simonyan statement?) They may not be seeking it, but, insofar as anybody can be, they are ready to fight.

Americans are not (ready for war): Americans experience the horror of wars as a series of discrete tragedies visited upon families of fallen soldiers, reported in human-interest vignettes at the end of the nightly news. Individual tragedies, not a social disaster.

It's hard to imagine the social devastation of war in any case, but American culture wants no part of thinking about that concretely. The social imagination of war is deflected into fantastic scenarios of a super-hero universe or a zombie apocalypse. The alien death-ray may blow up the Empire State Building, but the hero and his family (now including his or her gender-ambivalent teenager, and, of course, the dog) will survive and triumph. Cartoon villains, cartoon heroes, and a cartoon society.

One reason for this, we have to recognize, is the victory of the Thatcherite/libertarian-capitalist "no such thing as society" ideology. Congratulations, Ayn Rand, there is no such thing as American society now. It's every incipient entrepreneur for him or herself. This does not a comradely, fighting band of brothers and sisters make.

Furthermore, though America is constantly at war, nobody understands the purpose of it. That's because the real purpose can never be explained, and must be hidden behind some facile abstraction -- "democracy," "our freedoms," etc. This kind of discourse can get some of the people motivated for some of the time, but it loses its charm the minute someone gets smacked in the face.

Once they take a moment, everybody can see that there is nobody with an army threatening to attack and destroy the United States, and if they take a few moments, everybody can see how phony the "democracy and freedom" stuff is and remember how often they've been lied to before. There's just too much information out there. (Which is why the Imperial High Command wants to control the internet.) Why the hell am I fighting? What in hell are we fighting for? These are questions everybody will ask after, and too many people are now asking before, they get smacked in the face.

This lack of social understanding and lack of political support translates into the impossibility of fighting a major, sustained war that requires taking heavy casualties -- even "over there," but certainly in the snug. American culture might be all gung-ho about Seal Team Six kicking ass, but the minute American homes start blowing up and American bodies start falling, Hoo-hah becomes Uh-oh , and it's going to be Outta here .

Americans are ready for Hoo-hah and the Shark Tank and the Zombie Apocalypse. They are not ready for war.

You Get What You Play For

"Russiagate," which started quite banally in the presidential campaign as a Democratic arrow to take down Trump, is now Russiamania -- a battery of weapons wielded by various sectors of the state, aimed at an array of targets deemed even potentially resistant to imperial militarism. Trump himself -- still, and for as long as he's deemed unreliable -- is targeted by a legal prosecution of infinite reach (whose likeliest threat is to take him down for something that has nothing to do with Russia). Russia itself is now targeted in full force by economic, diplomatic, ideological -- and, tentatively, military -- weapons of the state. Perhaps most importantly, American and European people, especially dissidents, are targeted by a unified media barrage that attacks any expression of radical critique, anything that "sows division" -- from Black Lives Matter, to the Sanders campaign, to "But other countries could have made it" -- as Russian treachery.

The stunning success of that last offensive is crucial to making a war more likely, and must be fought. To increase the risk of war with a nuclear power in order to score points against Donald Trump or Jill Stein -- well, only those who neither respect, fear, nor are ready for war would do such a stupid and dangerous thing.

It's impossible to predict with certainty whether, when, or with whom a major hot war will be started. The same chaotic disarray and impulsiveness of the Trump administration that increases the danger of war might also work to prevent it. John Bolton may be fired before he trims his moustache. But it's a pressure-cooker, and the temperature has spiked drastically.

In a previous essay , I said that Venezuela was a likely first target for military attack, precisely because it would make for an easy victory that didn't risk military confrontation with Russia. That's still a good possibility. As we saw with Iraq Wars 1 (which helped to end the "Vietnam Syndrome") and 2 (which somewhat resurrected it), the imperial high command needs to inure the American public with a virtually American-casualty-free victory and in order to lure them into taking on a war that's going to hurt.

But the new War Cabinet may be pumped for the main event -- an attack on Iran. Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton are all rabid proponents of regime-change in Iran. We can be certain that the Iran nuclear deal will be scrapped, and everyone will work hard to implement the secret agreement the Trump administration already has with Israel to "to deal with Iran's nuclear drive, its missile programs and its other threatening activities" -- or, as Trump himself expresses it: "cripple the [Iranian] regime and bring it to collapse." (That agreement, by the way, was negotiated and signed by the previous, supposedly not-so-belligerent National Security Advisor, H. R. McMaster.)

Still, as I also said in the previous essay, an attack on Iran means the Americans must either make sure Russia doesn't get in the way or make clear that they don't care if it does. So, threatening moves -- not excluding probing military moves -- against Russia will increase, whether Russia is the preferred direct target or not.

The siege is on.

Americans who want to continue playing with this fire would do well to pay some respectful attention to the target whose face they want to smack. Russia did not boast or brag or threaten or Hoo-Hah about sending military forces to Syria. When it was deemed necessary -- when the United States declared its intention to attack the Syrian Army -- it just did it. And American10-dimensional-chess players have been squirming around trying to deal with the implications of that ever since. They're working hard on finding the right mix of threats, bluffs, sanctions, expulsions, "Shut up and go away!" insults, military forces on the border, and "bloody nose" attacks to force a capitulation. They should be listening to their target, who has not tired of asking for a "partnership," who has clearly stated what his country would do in reaction to previous moves (e.g., the abrogation of the ABM Treaty and stationing of ABM bases in Eastern Europe), whose country and family have suffered from wartime devastation Americans cannot imagine, who therefore respects, fears, and is ready for war in ways Americans are not, and who is not playing their game:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9QxWYIAtCMU

Notes.

[1] Ironically, given current drivers of Russiamania, this is a reference to remarks by Janet Napolitano. " The Enemization of Everything or an American Story of Empathy & Healing? "

[2] Though it's ridiculous that it needs to be said: I'm not talking here about the phony fear engendered by the media presentation of the "strongman," "brutal dictator" Vladimir Putin. This is part and parcel of comic-book politics -- conjuring a super-villain, who, we all know, is destined to be defeated. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jim Kavanagh

Jim Kavanagh edits The Polemicist .

[Jun 19, 2019] Bias bias the inclination to accuse people of bias by James Thompson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Early in any psychology course, students are taught to be very cautious about accepting people's reports. A simple trick is to stage some sort of interruption to the lecture by confederates, and later ask the students to write down what they witnessed. Typically, they will misremember the events, sequences and even the number of people who staged the tableaux. Don't trust witnesses, is the message. ..."
"... The three assumptions -- lack of rationality, stubbornness, and costs -- imply that there is slim chance that people can ever learn or be educated out of their biases; ..."
"... So, are we as hopeless as some psychologists claim we are? In fact, probably not. Not all the initial claims have been substantiated. For example, it seems we are not as loss averse as previously claimed. Does our susceptibility to printed visual illusions show that we lack judgement in real life? ..."
"... Well the sad fact is that there's nobody in the position to protect "governments" from their own biases, and "scientists" from theirs ..."
"... Long ago a lawyer acquaintance, referring to a specific judge, told me that the judge seemed to "make shit up as he was going along". I have long held psychiatry fits that statement very well. ..."
"... Here we have a real scientist fighting the nonsense spreading from (neoclassical) economics into other realms of science/academia. ..."
"... Behavioral economics is a sideline by-product of neoclassical micro-economic theory. It tries to cope with experimental data that is inconsistent with that theory. ..."
"... Everything in neoclassical economics is a travesty. "Rational choice theory" and its application in "micro economics" is false from the ground up. It basically assumes that people are gobbling up resources without plan, meaning or relevant circumstances. Neoclassical micro economic theory is so false and illogical that I would not know where to start in a comment, so I should like to refer to a whole book about it: Keen, Steve: "Debunking economics". ..."
"... As the theory is totally wrong it is really not surprising that countless experiments show that people do not behave the way neoclassical theory predicts. How do economists react to this? Of course they assume that people are "irrational" because they do not behave according to their studied theory. (Why would you ever change your basic theory because of some tedious facts?) ..."
"... The title of the 1st ed. of Keen's book was "Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences" which was simply a perfect title. ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Early in any psychology course, students are taught to be very cautious about accepting people's reports. A simple trick is to stage some sort of interruption to the lecture by confederates, and later ask the students to write down what they witnessed. Typically, they will misremember the events, sequences and even the number of people who staged the tableaux. Don't trust witnesses, is the message.

Another approach is to show visual illusions, such as getting estimates of line lengths in the Muller-Lyer illusion, or studying simple line lengths under social pressure, as in the Asch experiment, or trying to solve the Peter Wason logic problems, or the puzzles set by Kahneman and Tversky. All these appear to show severe limitations of human judgment. Psychology is full of cautionary tales about the foibles of common folk.

As a consequence of this softening up, psychology students come to regard themselves and most people as fallible, malleable, unreliable, biased and generally irrational. No wonder psychologists feel superior to the average citizen, since they understand human limitations and, with their superior training, hope to rise above such lowly superstitions.

However, society still functions, people overcome errors and many things work well most of the time. Have psychologists, for one reason or another, misunderstood people, and been too quick to assume that they are incapable of rational thought?

Gerd Gigerenzer thinks so.

https://www.nowpublishers.com/article/OpenAccessDownload/RBE-0092

He is particularly interested in the economic consequences of apparent irrationality, and whether our presumed biases really result in us making bad economic decisions. If so, some argue we need a benign force, say a government, to protect us from our lack of capacity. Perhaps we need a tattoo on our forehead: Diminished Responsibility.

The argument leading from cognitive biases to governmental paternalism -- in short, the irrationality argument -- consists of three assumptions and one conclusion:

1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.

2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.

3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.

4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.

The three assumptions -- lack of rationality, stubbornness, and costs -- imply that there is slim chance that people can ever learn or be educated out of their biases; instead governments need to step in with a policy called libertarian paternalism (Thaler and Sunstein, 2003).

So, are we as hopeless as some psychologists claim we are? In fact, probably not. Not all the initial claims have been substantiated. For example, it seems we are not as loss averse as previously claimed. Does our susceptibility to printed visual illusions show that we lack judgement in real life?

In Shepard's (1990) words, "to fool a visual system that has a full binocular and freely mobile view of a well-illuminated scene is next to impossible" (p. 122). Thus, in psychology, the visual system is seen more as a genius than a fool in making intelligent inferences, and inferences, after all, are necessary for making sense of the images on the retina.

Most crucially, can people make probability judgements? Let us see. Try solving this one:

A disease has a base rate of .1, and a test is performed that has a hit rate of .9 (the conditional probability of a positive test given disease) and a false positive rate of .1 (the conditional probability of a positive test given no disease). What is the probability that a random person with a positive test result actually has the disease?

Most people fail this test, including 79% of gynaecologists giving breast screening tests. Some researchers have drawn the conclusion that people are fundamentally unable to deal with conditional probabilities. On the contrary, there is a way of laying out the problem such that most people have no difficulty with it. Watch what it looks like when presented as natural frequencies:

Among every 100 people, 10 are expected to have a disease. Among those 10, nine are expected to correctly test positive. Among the 90 people without the disease, nine are expected to falsely test positive. What proportion of those who test positive actually have the disease?

In this format the positive test result gives us 9 people with the disease and 9 people without the disease, so the chance that a positive test result shows a real disease is 50/50. Only 13% of gynaecologists fail this presentation.

Summing up the virtues of natural frequencies, Gigerenzer says:

When college students were given a 2-hour course in natural frequencies, the number of correct Bayesian inferences increased from 10% to 90%; most important, this 90% rate was maintained 3 months after training (Sedlmeier and Gigerenzer, 2001). Meta-analyses have also documented the "de-biasing" effect, and natural frequencies are now a technical term in evidence-based medicine (Akiet al., 2011; McDowell and Jacobs, 2017). These results are consistent with a long literature on techniques for successfully teaching statistical reasoning (e.g., Fonget al., 1986). In sum, humans can learn Bayesian inference quickly if the information is presented in natural frequencies.

If the problem is set out in a simple format, almost all of us can all do conditional probabilities.

I taught my medical students about the base rate screening problem in the late 1970s, based on: Robyn Dawes (1962) "A note on base rates and psychometric efficiency". Decades later, alarmed by the positive scan detection of an unexplained mass, I confided my fears to a psychiatrist friend. He did a quick differential diagnosis on bowel cancer, showing I had no relevant symptoms, and reminded me I had lectured him as a student on base rates decades before, so I ought to relax. Indeed, it was false positive.

Here are the relevant figures, set out in terms of natural frequencies

Every test has a false positive rate (every step is being taken to reduce these), and when screening is used for entire populations many patients have to undergo further investigations, sometimes including surgery.

Setting out frequencies in a logical sequence can often prevent misunderstandings. Say a man on trial for having murdered his spouse has previously physically abused her. Should his previous history of abuse not be raised in Court because only 1 woman in 2500 cases of abuse is murdered by her abuser? Of course, whatever a defence lawyer may argue and a Court may accept, this is back to front. OJ Simpson was not on trial for spousal abuse, but for the murder of his former partner. The relevant question is: what is the probability that a man murdered his partner, given that she has been murdered and that he previously battered her.

Accepting the figures used by the defence lawyer, if 1 in 2500 women are murdered every year by their abusive male partners, how many women are murdered by men who did not previously abuse them? Using government figures that 5 women in 100,000 are murdered every year then putting everything onto the same 100,000 population, the frequencies look like this:

So, 40 to 5, it is 8 times more probable that abused women are murdered by their abuser. A relevant issue to raise in Court about the past history of an accused man.

Are people's presumed biases costly, in the sense of making them vulnerable to exploitation, such that they can be turned into a money pump, or is it a case of "once bitten, twice shy"? In fact, there is no evidence that these apparently persistent logical errors actually result in people continually making costly errors. That presumption turns out to be a bias bias.

Gigerenzer goes on to show that people are in fact correct in their understanding of the randomness of short sequences of coin tosses, and Kahneman and Tversky wrong. Elegantly, he also shows that the "hot hand" of successful players in basketball is a real phenomenon, and not a stubborn illusion as claimed.

With equal elegance he disposes of a result I had depended upon since Slovic (1982), which is that people over-estimate the frequency of rare risks and under-estimate the frequency of common risks. This finding has led to the belief that people are no good at estimating risk. Who could doubt that a TV series about Chernobyl will lead citizens to have an exaggerated fear of nuclear power stations?

The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students, not exactly a fair sample of humanity. The conceit of psychologists knows no bounds. Gigerenzer looks at the data and shows that it is yet another example of regression to the mean. This is an apparent effect which arises whenever the predictor is less than perfect (the most common case), an unsystematic error effect, which is already evident when you calculate the correlation coefficient. Parental height and their children's heights are positively but not perfectly correlated at about r = 0.5. Predictions made in either direction will under-predict in either direction, simply because they are not perfect, and do not capture all the variation. Try drawing out the correlation as an ellipse to see the effect of regression, compared to the perfect case of the straight line of r= 1.0

What diminishes in the presence of noise is the variability of the estimates, both the estimates of the height of the sons based on that of their fathers, and vice versa. Regression toward the mean is a result of unsystematic, not systematic error (Stigler,1999).

Gigerenzer also looks at the supposed finding that people are over-confidence in predictions, and finds that it is another regression to the mean problem.

Gigerenzer then goes on to consider that old favourite, that most people think they are better than average, which supposedly cannot be the case, because average people are average.

Consider the finding that most drivers think they drive better than average. If better driving is interpreted as meaning fewer accidents, then most drivers' beliefs are actually true. The number of accidents per person has a skewed distribution, and an analysis of U.S. accident statistics showed that some 80% of drivers have fewer accidents than the average number of accidents (Mousavi and Gigerenzer, 2011)

Then he looks at the classical demonstration of framing, that is to say, the way people appear to be easily swayed by how the same facts are "framed" or presented to the person who has to make a decision.

A patient suffering from a serious heart disease considers high-risk surgery and asks a doctor about its prospects.

The doctor can frame the answer in two ways:

Positive Frame: Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive.
Negative Frame: Five years after surgery, 10% of patients are dead.

Should the patient listen to how the doctor frames the answer? Behavioral economists say no because both frames are logically equivalent (Kahneman, 2011). Nevertheless, people do listen. More are willing to agree to a medical procedure if the doctor uses positive framing (90% alive) than if negative framing is used (10% dead) (Moxeyet al., 2003). Framing effects challenge the assumption of stable preferences, leading to preference reversals. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) who presented the above surgery problem, concluded that "framing works because people tend to be somewhat mindless, passive decisionmakers" (p. 40)

Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. If you know that you have a datum which is more influential. These are the sorts of questions patients will often ask about, and discuss with other patients, or with several doctors. Furthermore, you don't have to spin a statistic. You could simply say: "Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive and 10% are dead".

Gigerenzer gives an explanation which is very relevant to current discussions about the meaning of intelligence, and about the power of intelligence tests:

In sum, the principle of logical equivalence or "description invariance" is a poor guide to understanding how human intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)

The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias.

One important conclusion I draw from this entire paper is that the logical puzzles enjoyed by Kahneman, Tversky, Stanovich and others are rightly rejected by psychometricians as usually being poor indicators of real ability. They fail because they are designed to lead people up the garden path, and depend on idiosyncratic interpretations.

For more detail: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-tricky-question-of-rationality/

Critics of examinations of either intellectual ability or scholastic attainment are fond of claiming that the items are "arbitrary". Not really. Scholastic tests have to be close to the curriculum in question, but still need to a have question forms which are simple to understand so that the stress lies in how students formulate the answer, not in how they decipher the structure of the question.

Intellectual tests have to avoid particular curricula and restrict themselves to the common ground of what most people in a community understand. Questions have to be super-simple, so that the correct answer follows easily from the question, with minimal ambiguity. Furthermore, in the case of national scholastic tests, and particularly in the case of intelligence tests, legal authorities will pore over the test, looking at each item for suspected biases of a sexual, racial or socio-economic nature. Designing an intelligence test is a difficult and expensive matter. Many putative new tests of intelligence never even get to the legal hurdle, because they flounder on matters of reliability and validity, and reveal themselves to be little better than the current range of assessments.

In conclusion, both in psychology and behavioural economics, some researchers have probably been too keen to allege bias in cases where there are unsystematic errors, or no errors at all. The corrective is to learn about base rates, and to use natural frequencies as a guide to good decision-making.

Don't bother boosting your IQ. Boost your understanding of natural frequencies.


res , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT

Good concrete advice. Perhaps even more useful for those who need to explain things like this to others than for those seeking to understand for themselves.
ThreeCranes , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm GMT
"intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)"

"The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias."

Why I come to Unz.

Tom Welsh , says: June 18, 2019 at 8:36 am GMT
@Cortes Sounds fishy to me.

Actually I think this is an example of an increasingly common genre of malapropism, where the writer gropes for the right word, finds one that is similar, and settles for that. The worst of it is that readers intuitively understand what was intended, and then adopt the marginally incorrect usage themselves. That's perhaps how the world and his dog came to say "literally" when they mean "figuratively". Maybe a topic for a future article?

Biff , says: June 18, 2019 at 10:16 am GMT
In 2009 Google finished engineering a reverse search engine to find out what kind of searches people did most often. Seth Davidowitz and Steven Pinker wrote a very fascinating/entertaining book using the tool called Everybody Lies

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28512671-everybody-lies

Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender, and more, all drawn from the world of big data. What percentage of white voters didn't vote for Barack Obama because he's black? Does where you go to school effect how successful you are in life? Do parents secretly favor boy children over girls? Do violent films affect the crime rate? Can you beat the stock market? How regularly do we lie about our sex lives, and who's more self-conscious about sex, men or women?

Investigating these questions and a host of others, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz offers revelations that can help us understand ourselves and our lives better. Drawing on studies and experiments on how we really live and think, he demonstrates in fascinating and often funny ways the extent to which all the world is indeed a lab. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential – revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we're afraid to ask that might be essential to our health – both emotional and physical. All of us are touched by big data every day, and its influence is multiplying. Everybody Lies challenges us to think differently about how we see it and the world.

dearieme , says: June 18, 2019 at 11:25 am GMT
I shall treat this posting (for which many thanks, doc) as an invitation to sing a much-loved song: everybody should read Gigerenzer's Reckoning with Risk. With great clarity it teaches what everyone ought to know about probability.

(It could also serve as a model for writing in English about technical subjects. Americans and Britons should study the English of this German – he knows how, you know.)

Inspired by "The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students" I shall also sing another favorite song. Much of Psychology is based on what small numbers of American undergraduates report they think they think.

Anon [410] • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 3:47 pm GMT
" Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. "

This one reminds of the false dichotomy. The patient has additional options! Like changing diet, and behaviours such as exercise, elimination of occupational stress , etc.

The statistical outcomes for a person change when the person changes their circumstances/conditions.

Cortes , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh A disposition (conveyance) of an awkwardly shaped chunk out of a vast estate contained reference to "the slither of ground bounded on or towards the north east and extending two hundred and twenty four meters or thereby along a chain link fence " Not poor clients (either side) nor cheap lawyers. And who never erred?

Better than deliberately inserting "errors" to guarantee a stream of tidy up work (not unknown in the "professional" world) in future.

Tom Fix , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
Good article. 79% of gynaecologists fail a simple conditional probability test?! Many if not most medical research papers use advanced statistics. Medical doctors must read these papers to fully understand their field. So, if medical doctors don't fully understand them, they are not properly doing their job. Those papers use mathematical expressions, not English. Converting them to another form of English, instead of using the mathematical expressions isn't a solution.
SafeNow , says: June 18, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
Regarding witnesses: When that jet crashed into Rockaway several years ago, a high percentage of witnesses said that they saw smoke before the crash. But there was actually no smoke. The witnesses were adjusting what they saw to conform to their past experience of seeing movie and newsreel footage of planes smoking in the air before a crash. Children actually make very good witnesses.

Regarding the chart. Missing, up there in the vicinity of cancer and heart disease. The third-leading cause of death. 250,000 per year, according to a 2016 Hopkins study. Medical negligence.

Anon [724] • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT

1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.

2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.

3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.

4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.

Well the sad fact is that there's nobody in the position to protect "governments" from their own biases, and "scientists" from theirs.

So, behind the smoke of all words and rationalisations, the law is unchanged: everyone strives to gain and exert as much power as possible over as many others as possible. Most do that without writing papers to say it is right, others write papers, others books. Anyway, the fundamental law would stay as it is even if all this writing labour was spared, wouldn't it? But then another fundamental law, the law of framing all one's drives as moral and beneffective comes into play the papers and the books are useful, after all.

Curmudgeon , says: June 19, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
An interesting article. However, I think that the only thing we have to know about how illogical psychiatry is this:

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) asked all members attending its convention to vote on whether they believed homosexuality to be a mental disorder. 5,854 psychiatrists voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM, and 3,810 to retain it.

The APA then compromised, removing homosexuality from the DSM but replacing it, in effect, with "sexual orientation disturbance" for people "in conflict with" their sexual orientation. Not until 1987 did homosexuality completely fall out of the DSM.

(source https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/hide-and-seek/201509/when-homosexuality-stopped-being-mental-disorder )

The article makes no mention of the fact that no "new science" was brought to support the resolution.

It appears that the psychiatrists were voting based on feelings rather than science. Since that time, the now 50+ genders have been accepted as "normal" by the APA. My family has had members in multiple generations suffering from mental illness. None were "cured". I know others with the same circumstances.

How does one conclude that being repulsed by the prime directive of every living organism – reproduce yourself – is "normal"? That is not to say these people are horrible or evil, just not normal. How can someone, who thinks (s)he is a cat be mentally ill, but a grown man thinking he is a female child is not?

Long ago a lawyer acquaintance, referring to a specific judge, told me that the judge seemed to "make shit up as he was going along". I have long held psychiatry fits that statement very well.

Paul2 , says: June 19, 2019 at 8:08 am GMT
Thank you for this article. I find the information about the interpretation of statistical data very interesting. My take on the background of the article is this:

Here we have a real scientist fighting the nonsense spreading from (neoclassical) economics into other realms of science/academia.

Behavioral economics is a sideline by-product of neoclassical micro-economic theory. It tries to cope with experimental data that is inconsistent with that theory.

Everything in neoclassical economics is a travesty. "Rational choice theory" and its application in "micro economics" is false from the ground up. It basically assumes that people are gobbling up resources without plan, meaning or relevant circumstances. Neoclassical micro economic theory is so false and illogical that I would not know where to start in a comment, so I should like to refer to a whole book about it:
Keen, Steve: "Debunking economics".

As the theory is totally wrong it is really not surprising that countless experiments show that people do not behave the way neoclassical theory predicts. How do economists react to this? Of course they assume that people are "irrational" because they do not behave according to their studied theory. (Why would you ever change your basic theory because of some tedious facts?)

We live in a strange world in which such people have control over university faculties, journals, famous prizes. But at least we have some scientists who defend their area of knowledge against the spreading nonsense produced by economists.

The title of the 1st ed. of Keen's book was "Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences" which was simply a perfect title.

Dieter Kief , says: June 19, 2019 at 8:22 am GMT
@Curmudgeon Could it be that you expect psychiatrists in the past to be as rational as you are now?

Would the result have been any different, if members of a 1973 convention of physicists or surgeons would have been asked?

[Jun 14, 2019] By this stage I wonder if all Skripals neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes June 9, 2019 at 11:24 pm

A real shame that Dr David Kelly took his own life. I'm sure he'd have been able to shed light on the latest news from Wiltshire:

https://www.rt.com/uk/461463-novichok-bb-skripal-house/

By this stage I wonder if all the neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks from hither and yon. Who else would tolerate the nonsense they've been subjected to without reaching out to their learned friends? Good luck with putting a house on the market with that circus going on.

Moscow Exile June 10, 2019 at 3:29 am
Such stringent measures would surely not be taken by HM govt and British security if they had no evidence that those evil Russians had attempted to kill the Skripals with Novichok.

Stands ter reason, don't it?

Mark Chapman June 10, 2019 at 8:15 am
The whole premise just becomes more and more ridiculous – the house is now completely shrouded in tarpaulins, the roof has been removed, it has undergone extensive 'decontamination' – all, all of it obviously for show, for the yokels, because for weeks afterward police personnel guarded the residence while standing just feet away from the door handle which was supposedly the locus of infection. No chemical-warfare protection whatsoever was apparent; they didn't even wear gloves unless it was cold.

They might at least have made up some story that the Deadly Door Handle had been replaced, or even the entire door. Because everyone who went in or out of that house, and there must have been many, touched that door handle, at least some of them with their bare hand. And what ever became of the intrepid detective, Nick what's-his-name? Wasn't the state going to buy his home as well, even though he had scarcely been in it and had gone more or less straight to the hospital after being 'infected'? Only to make a miraculous and complete recovery in days, and then drop off the public radar?

Stupidity abounds. Yet the press just can't let it go, and let it mercifully drop out of sight. It would just be too embarrassing to tacitly admit the British government made it up from start to finish, the entire operation. If the Skripals actually were poisoned with something, and not just acting a role for the British government, then that part must have been HM-government-supplied as well, because nobody who has any experience with police procedure is going to believe they had a culprit and a complete history of the crime in only a couple of hours after its discovery, and a foreign state was responsible.

Murdock June 11, 2019 at 8:14 am
I don't want to be an alarmist but if I had to guess I would say our good friend Officer Nick is probably partying it up with Sergei, Yulia, and their pets in Hades.
Mark Chapman June 11, 2019 at 8:43 am
You never know. He sort of dropped out of the public eye, and of all of them he seemed to be the one whose story would be picked apart first, although all of them were improbable. And I'm sure many, many were interested in interviewing him and questioning him further.

He was released from hospital with no apparent ill effects more than a year ago, on March 23rd, 2018. According to the Telegraph , here,

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/15/police-officer-nick-bailey-returns-active-duty-10-months-salisbury/

he returned to active duty the beginning of 2019, but the story has his Chief confirming this, it is not Bailey himself. That same story remembers that Dawn Sturgess "fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack on the Skripals and then discarded." But the perfume bottle described as having been 'used in the attack on the Skripals' was brand-new and still in its store packaging, not to any appearance unusual except for that weird plastic aerator fastened to the bottle. Which, now that I think of it, was supposed to have been not attached to the bottle at all; Charlie Rowley's tale was that he broke the bottle trying to get the applicator on it, which is how he was exposed. But he still gave it to his paramour as a gift, and she was still apparently able to use it to spray herself.

Anyway, so far as I can make out, DS Nick Bailey returned to duty with his former police department last winter, and since then not a peep has been heard from him. The Skripals are still incognito, and Sergei has never been seen again since going into hospital.

Bailey's parents apparently threw a wobbler when the Beeb decided to run a two-part television drama on the attacks, which would doubtless reinforce and reconfirm the government line although it is meant to showcase the quiet courage and resourcefulness of 'ordinary heroes'.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17673661.parents-of-ds-nick-bailey-hit-out-at-bbc-over-novichok-drama/

No statement from Bailey himself. Meanwhile, he is scheduled to lead off a charity walk for the local hospital on July 7th. So we will see.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17697751.detective-sergeant-nick-bailey-to-start-stars-appeal-walk-for-wards/

[Jun 06, 2019] Odd NYT 'Correction' Exculpates British Government And CIA From Manipulating Trump Over Skripal Novichok Incident

Notable quotes:
"... Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF. ..."
"... And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners? ..."
"... A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons". ..."
"... Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon. ..."
"... Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have? ..."
"... The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets. ..."
"... More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication. ..."
"... In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation. ..."
"... both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker ..."
"... At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. ..."
"... Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak. ..."
"... CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control. ..."
"... If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway. ..."
"... What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit! ..."
"... I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times. ..."
"... Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia. ..."
Jun 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

A piece in the New York Times showed how in March 2018 Trump was manipulated by the CIA and MI6 into expelling 60 Russian diplomats. Eight weeks after it was published the New York Times 'corrects' that narrative and exculpates the CIA and MI6 of that manipulation. Its explanation for the correction makes little sense.

On April 16 the New York Times published a report by Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman about the relation between CIA Director Gina Haspal and President Donald Trump.

Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen.

The piece described a scene in the White House shortly after the contentious Skripal/Novichok incident in Britain. It originally said (emphasis added):

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The 60 Russian diplomats were expelled on March 26 2018. Other countries only expelled a handful of diplomats over the Skripal incident. On April 15 2018 the Washington Post reported that Trump was furious about this:

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on. The President, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
...
Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions. 'There were curse words,' the official said, 'a lot of curse words.

In that context the 2019 NYT report about Haspel showing Trump dead duck pictures provided by the Brits made sense. Trump was, as he himself claimed, manipulated into the large expulsion.

The NYT report created some waves. On April 18 2019 the Guardian headlined:

No children or ducks harmed by novichok, say health officials
Wiltshire council clarification follows claims Donald Trump was shown images to contrary

The report of the dead duck pictures in the New York Times was a problem for the CIA and the British government. Not only did it say that they manipulated Trump by providing him with false pictures, but the non-dead ducks also demonstrated that the official narrative of the allegedly poisoning of the Skripals has some huge holes. As Rob Slane of the BlogMire noted :

In addition to the extraordinary nature of this revelation, there is also a huge irony here. Along with many others, I have long felt that the duck feed is one of the many achilles heels of the whole story we've been presented with about what happened in Salisbury on 4th March 2018. And the reason for this is precisely because if it were true, there would indeed have been dead ducks and sick children .

According to the official story, Mr Skripal and his daughter became contaminated with "Novichok" by touching the handle of his front door at some point between 13:00 and 13:30 that afternoon. A few minutes later (13:45), they were filmed on CCTV camera feeding ducks, and handing bread to three local boys, one of whom ate a piece . After this they went to Zizzis, where they apparently so contaminated the table they sat at, that it had to be incinerated.

You see the problem? According to the official story, ducks should have died. According to the official story children should have become contaminated and ended up in hospital. Yet as it happens, no ducks died, and no boys got sick (all that happened was that the boys' parents were contacted two weeks later by police, the boys were sent for tests, and they were given the all clear).

After the NYT story was published the CIA and the British government had to remove the problematic narrative from the record. Yesterday they finally succeeded. Nearly eight weeks after the original publishing of the White House scene the NYT recanted and issued a correction (emphasis. added):

Correction: June 5, 2019

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the photos that Gina Haspel showed to President Trump during a discussion about responding to the nerve agent attack in Britain on a former Russian intelligence officer. Ms. Haspel displayed pictures illustrating the consequences of nerve agent attacks, not images specific to the chemical attack in Britain. This correction was delayed because of the time needed for research.

The original paragraphs quoted above were changed into this:

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel tried to demonstrate the dangers of using a nerve agent like Novichok in a populated area. Ms. Haspel showed pictures from other nerve agent attacks that showed their effects on people.

The British government had told Trump administration officials about early intelligence reports that said children were sickened and ducks were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The information was based on early reporting, and Trump administration officials had requested more details about the children and ducks, a person familiar with the intelligence said, though Ms. Haspel did not present that information to the president. After this article was published, local health officials in Britain said that no children were harmed.

So instead of pictures of dead ducks in Salisbury the CIA director showed pictures of some random dead ducks or hospitalized children or whatever to illustrate the effects consequences of nerve agent incidents?

That the children were taken to hospital but unharmed was already reported in British media on March 24 2018, before the Russian diplomats were expelled, not only after the NYT piece was published in April 2019.

Yesterday the author of the NYT piece, Julian E. Barnes, turned to Twitter to issue a lengthy 'apology':

Julian E. Barnes @julianbarnes - 14:52 utc - 5 Jun 2019

I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong. Here is the correction: 1/9

[...]

The intelligence about the ducks and children were based on an early intelligence report, according to people familiar with the matter. The intelligence was presented to the US in an effort to share all that was known, not to deceive the Trump administration. 7/9

This correction was delayed because conducting the research to figure out what I got wrong, how I got it wrong and what was the correct information took time. 8/9

I regret the error and offer my apology. I strive to get information right the first time. That is what subscribers pay for. But when I get something wrong, I fix it. 9/9

Barnes covers national security and intelligence issues for the Times Washington bureau. His job depends on good access to 'sources' in those circles.

It is remarkable that the CIA spokesperson never came out to deny the original NYT report. There was zero visible push back against its narrative. It is also remarkable that the correction comes just as Trump is on a state visit in Britain.

The original report was sourced on 'people briefed on the conversation'. The corrected version is also based on 'people briefed on the conversation' but adds 'a person familiar with the intelligence'. Do the originally cited 'people' now tell a different story? Are we to trust a single 'person familiar with the intelligence' more than those multiple 'people'? What kind of 'research' did the reporter do to correct what he then and now claims was told to him by 'people'? Why did this 'research' take eight weeks?

That the 'paper of the record' now corrects said 'record' solves a big problem for Gina Haspel, the CIA/MI6 and the British government. They can no longer be accused of manipulating Trump (even as we can be quite sure that such manipulations happen all the time).

In the end it is for the reader to decide if the original report makes more sense than the corrected one.

---
This is a Moon of Alabama fundraising week. Please consider to support our work .

Posted by b on June 6, 2019 at 06:12 AM | Permalink


ADKC , Jun 6, 2019 7:14:50 AM | 2
Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF.
John Doe , Jun 6, 2019 7:26:00 AM | 3
Rob Slane, June 5, 2019: The New York Times Tries to Get Itself Out of the Duckgate Hole Using a Spade
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 7:32:17 AM | 4
Surely the time and effort Julian Barnes needed to check what information he had got wrong and how he got it wrong should not have been as major as he makes out. Animals dying and children falling sick to a toxin that could have killed them are incidents that should have stuck out like sore thumbs and warranted careful checks with different and independent sources before reporting that Gina Haspel apparently showed the US President pictures of dead ducks and sick boys in Salisbury.

No wonder Barnes got such a roasting on Twitter after making his abject apology.

And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners?

John Smith , Jun 6, 2019 7:48:46 AM | 6
J'Accuse News @NewsAccuse:

During years I researched articles published in @nytimes we fact-checked BEFORE publication. Here it comes AFTER bloggers, officials et al point out fatal flaws. That no children were poisoned, and no ducks killed, by #novichok in #Salisbury + was known in Spring 2018. #propaganda

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8WfKNPUwAAGGWT.jpg

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM | 8
A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons".

Except in the Barnes construction it wasn't a quotation, or anything like a phrasing that made clear that the Pentagon source was guessing, not stating, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This was NOT corrected.

Eric Schmitt was the other NY Times "reporter" who signed the article.

Here's the article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/world/middleeast/us-military-plans-iran.html

And here's what the two liars reported, pretending that an Iranian nuclear weapons program is a real thing, first paragraph:

"Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated
military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the
Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on
nuclear weapons, administration officials said."

So Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon.

ger , Jun 6, 2019 8:44:10 AM | 9
Barnes provides the truth then provides a lie about the truth....par for the course at NYT. (Remember Judith Miller?) A fake news organization spreading fake news with revised fake news.
joanna , Jun 6, 2019 9:01:26 AM | 10
can't really get excited by the fact that not everything in this type of creative writing is taken serious. Did anyone expect otherwise?

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

It's pretty obvious that his/their narrative necessarily must be cobbled together by a lot of sources. Some by phone. Those may not even share the same idea what image of the president or Haspel they should convey. I always wonder with this type of newspaper reporting. Maybe both writers should write novels.

Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have?

SharonM , Jun 6, 2019 9:08:20 AM | 11
Superb analysis! Been coming here for 11 years now, and I just have to say that "b" is the best propaganda analyst in the English language. He is the sturdiest anchor in these stormy seas:)
AriusArmenian , Jun 6, 2019 9:42:07 AM | 12
The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets.

Sarcasm is just about the last pleasure one can get from watching the horrific antics of these morons.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 10:07:19 AM | 13
More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication.

Perhaps, the liason can see what this fool types in real time. Who knows?

As the story of the dead ducks and sick children unraveled and fell apart, a sloppy patch up had to be made. Now its fixed. Like a Boeing 737 MAX.

librul , Jun 6, 2019 10:09:17 AM | 14
BoTh vErSioNs of the story (I checked with the "Wayback Machine") still include this paragraph (6th paragraph of story):

Unusually for a president, Mr. Trump has publicly rejected not
only intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they have gathered.
And that has created a perilous situation for the C.I.A.

As usual for the NYT, they did not publicly reject the intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they had gathered. That, of course, would have created a perilous situation for the NYT.

Gary Weglarz , Jun 6, 2019 10:30:32 AM | 16
As the saying goes: "if it looks like a false-flag, walks like a false-flag, and talks like a false-flag, it just might be a "duck."

In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation.

Harry Law , Jun 6, 2019 10:36:53 AM | 17
"I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong". It was only when I found the horses head next to me in bed when I woke up, that I realized what a stupid mistake I had made.
aspnaz , Jun 6, 2019 11:04:23 AM | 20
Gina Haspel has to be as dumb and incompetent as I suspected: someone is paying good money to make her look like an ordinary sociopath, not a depraved tart who sucked cock to climb to the head of the organisation.
Noirette , Jun 6, 2019 11:31:31 AM | 22
Slane is ++ on the Skirpals. One 'fact' that emerged early on, made public by Slane, is that the proposed 'official' time-line ( > press, Gvmt between the lines) of the Skripal movements - trivial as in a town, drinkies, lunch, feeding ducks, etc. -- was never reported correctly, obfuscated.

Idk the reasons, but it is a vital point.
___________________________________

Trump, we see, is treated like the zombie public, flashed random photos, sold tearful narratives about babies, children, recall incubator babies, horrific bio-weapons threats...

The PTB loathes him, Pres. are supposed to be complicit like Obama - or at least keep their resistance toned down, be ready to compromise. .. Obama objected to, and refused to act on, at least two engineered / fake Syria chem. 'attacks.' (Just looked on Goog and can't find links to support.)

The only EU figure who stated there is no evidence that the Russkies novichoked Sergei and Yulia was Macron, afaik. He didn't get the memo in time (the Elysée is inefficient, lots of screw-ups there) but soon caught up! and expelled the minimum. -- I have heard, hush hush, one in F was a receptionist - gofer (an excellent + extremely highly paid position) who is now at the Emb. in Washington! Most likely merely emblematic story (see telephone game) .. but telling.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 6, 2019 11:52:33 AM | 24
I like this story. It makes Trump look like a naif which wouldn't bother President Teflon in the least. On the other hand, both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker. I'm hoping she said "cross my heart and hope to die" when he queried her advice...
Zachary Smith , Jun 6, 2019 12:01:15 PM | 25
@ Jay | Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM @8
So Julian Barnes is a well established liar.

I'm glad I checked to see if anyone had mentioned this hack's article about Russia restarting nuclear testing. Using his name as one search item I tried a number of current issues. Like the fellows at local intersections holding up signs "will work for money", Barnes might as well have a tattoo saying "I'll write anything if the price is right. That it took so long to come up with a half-assed "explanation" shows he's not the brightest bulb in the lamp. I suppose people whose jobs consist of slightly re-writing Deep State dictation don't have to be especially clever.

PrairieBear , Jun 6, 2019 12:25:01 PM | 26
That "apology" by Barnes is completely nonsensical. How would you know that there was something wrong with your story, that there was an error in it, without knowing what it was? If the CIA, various bloggers, commenters, etc., alerted him to the errors, it's unlikely they would say, "There's something wrong in this story but I'm not going to say what it is. You'll have to re-research they whole thing to figure it out." I don't think that's how people usually point out errors.
bevin , Jun 6, 2019 12:34:34 PM | 27
"Which narrative is unraveling and which is gathering momentum?"psychohistorian@19

One thing that seems to be unravelling is the tight political cartel that controls Foreign Policy in the UK.

If it does unravel and Labour turns to an independent foreign policy while it reverses the disaster of 'austerity' and neo-liberalism, cases such as that of Assange and the Skripal affair, both products of extremists within the Establishment who regard themselves as privileged members of the DC Beltway, are going to be re-opened.

At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. And this at a time when the UK is falling apart and its population teeters on the brink of economic disaster. It has fallen into this delusion over the years as it has been able to offer the CIA services which it is afraid to initiate itself. Hence, most recently, the entire Russiagate nonsense which has British fingerprints all over it. Hence too the new aggressiveness in DC towards Assange. Hence the disappearance, without explanation, of the Skripals.
goldhoarder , Jun 6, 2019 12:44:22 PM | 28
Julian Barnes is like Winston Smith without the intellectual curiosity. He quote happily goes about his work. lol. What is the matter with you people? You are supposed to embrace the new narrative!

From wikidpeida... A memory hole is any mechanism for the alteration or disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts or other records, such as from a website or other archive, particularly as part of an attempt to give the impression that something never happened.[1][2] The concept was first popularized by George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Party's Ministry of Truth systematically re-created all potentially embarrassing historical documents, in effect, re-writing all of history to match the often-changing state propaganda. These changes were complete and undetectable.

frances , Jun 6, 2019 12:48:13 PM | 30
I think the"Why now?" answer was Trump is in the UK and asking questions, lots of questions, can't have that.
james , Jun 6, 2019 12:49:34 PM | 31
@37 bevin... maybe they will do with assange what they have done with the skripals... the uk is more then pathetic at this point in time.. craig murray had more to say on the assange case yesterday - A Swedish Court Injects Some Sense
bjd , Jun 6, 2019 1:32:38 PM | 32
Julian E. Barnes' humble confession (a self-incrimination) sounds like one made in a Gulag.
failure of imaginati , Jun 6, 2019 2:23:10 PM | 35
Further down the memory hole is the side tale of the daughter of Brutish Army Chief Nurse helping Skirpals and getting an award without contaminating the news. Was the girl's father Pablo Miller,(of Orbis Dossier MFG) and a pal of Skirpal? There's debunk in their poor narrative. The public has a photogenic memory.
lysias , Jun 6, 2019 2:28:23 PM | 36
Speaking of MI6, Julian Barnes is a very English-looking name. Do we know anything about his biography?
tuyzentfloot , Jun 6, 2019 2:56:36 PM | 37
There are 2 Julian Barneses (at the very least!), one is an English writer, the other has mostly been writing for the WSJ ( https://www.wsj.com/news/author/julian-e.-barnes) but since recently again for the NYTimes .
fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 3:10:32 PM | 38
30

Trump is a drug-addled, brain-damaged, hollowed-out shell of the dull con man he once was.

But, he perceives himself to be a brilliant mastermind - a stable genius. So, he might indeed, be prone to making inquiries (generally these would induce the toadies around him to stifle their laughter).

It makes sense that he might ask, while in GB, about the Skirpal incident, since he pulled 60 people from their posts and he remembered the fantasy he was lead to believe about sick children and dead ducks.

The fact that he overreacted without sufficient evidence, may have inspired a tiny amount of self-reflection simply because it may have embarrassed him to have been caught on his back foot. He was lead to believe that his contemporaries intended to react in equal measure. They did not. Therefore - he was "fooled" or tricked.

This is the only way to embarrass the buffoon. That is to have someone fool him personally. And to make him look stupid.

He doesn't mind that he is a fat oaf, a greed head and a pig, but that is the stuff of his own doing. He is comfortable in this. Money is the end-all, etc.

He bought Mar A Lago, making it his own club, because the Palm Beach Club and its elite snobs would not let him join.

Trump was betrayed by Gina Haskell, the CIA and the NYT.

What is he gonna do about it?

joebattista , Jun 6, 2019 3:22:02 PM | 40
All of Western media has been compromised by the CIA and friends since at least the 50s. Remember what late CIA director William Casey said in 1981; "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false".
They 'CIA' controls every talking head you can name. Believe no one. Sad isn't it.
William Gruff , Jun 6, 2019 3:56:52 PM | 41
Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak.

Of course, there is also the incentive provided by just having to take the story their CIA "friend" gives them, edit it a little to fit their employer's style guidelines, and then submit it as their own. A whole day's worth of work and they can have it finished in half an hour. What's not to like about that?

Peter AU 1 , Jun 6, 2019 4:11:22 PM | 42
40

CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 4:45:29 PM | 43
41

If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway.

The self-important "journalists" are controlled and in fact, they are flattered by their special relationships with informants and the owner/managers. After one has sucked his or her way to the upper level, kissing up and kicking down... Laziness is a bonus.

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 4:47:28 PM | 44
@Zachary Smith:

Barnes' CV has US News and World Report on it. That's big spewer of lies, especially over the last 25 years.

Ghost Ship , Jun 6, 2019 5:35:07 PM | 46
I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong.

What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit!

wagelaborer , Jun 6, 2019 5:40:19 PM | 47
Every day when I turn on my computer, I am enticed with offers to "see how the Brady Bunch kids look today" or "what do the stars of the 80s look like today?". Apparently, there is quite a demand for updates on celebrities and their current well being. So why would Julian Barnes do an article about the Skirpals without showing us how they look today? And just where are they living? Enquiring minds want to know!

I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times.

Featherless , Jun 6, 2019 5:49:29 PM | 48
Whatever happened with the Skripals since ? It's like they fell off the face of the planet.
John Sanguinetti , Jun 6, 2019 6:37:46 PM | 50
Could this be referred to as a good old fashioned SNAFU ?
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:44:26 PM | 51
SteveK9 @ 49:

Using ducks is easier. Gina Haspel could always ask one of the bottom-feeding subordinates to nip down the road to one of those Chinese BBQ shops and photograph the display of roast ducks hanging in the shop window . The photos can be uploaded and altered to remove the background of the chef and the cashier and then the actual ducks can be altered or colored appropriately before the pictures are sent to Haspel. Anyone looking at the altered pictures would never guess their actual provenance.

:-)

I'm not sure where Haspel can find hippos or any other large animals that might topple on top of someone (with dire consequences) were s/he to apply a whiff of nerve agent.

Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:49:22 PM | 52
SteveK9 @ 49:

Oops the link @ 51 isn't working so I'd better link to this instead.

El Cid , Jun 6, 2019 8:10:06 PM | 53
Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia.
uncle tungsten , Jun 6, 2019 8:12:21 PM | 54
Thanks b for a good laugh at Barnes and Goldman's expense. I note Goldman is silent and I guess that is because he would likely get his apology wrong and contradict Barnes BS.
  • Here's my profile of Gina Haspal: war criminal
  • Here's my profile of Julian Barnes: Fwit and BShitter
  • Here's my profile of Adam Goldman: Fwit and BShitter.

[Jun 01, 2019] Grenfell, Windrush Skripal -- Theresa May's Tainted Legacy by Johanna Ross

Notable quotes:
"... However, Williamson was not alone in his anti-Russian stance. It was under May's leadership that the controversial government-funded Integrity Initiative program really began to flourish. Designed to "counteract Russian propaganda" it instead deceptively engaged in spreading disinformation about Russia and even the UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by hiring journalists, academics and commentators who would all sing from the same hymn sheet when it came to discourse about Russia in the press. ..."
"... What was most chilling about the revelations in the Integrity Initiative hacked documents was the extent to which policy makers within the inner workings of the establishment are apparently obsessed about an imminent "Russian threat" and are prepared to go to considerable lengths to persuade the British population of this. ..."
"... Even more unnerving was the discussion that there was need for some event to be staged in order to heighten the U.K. population's awareness of a Russian threat. The timing was uncanny: this was not long before the poisoning took place of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, which has, along with multiple discrepancies in the British narrative, led some analysts to ask whether the whole incident was indeed orchestrated by British secret services. ..."
"... Staged or not, May's handling of the Skripal incident left much to be desired. Even her experience of handling the Litvinenko affair as home secretary hadn't taught her a great deal. Before any concrete evidence was produced to implicate the Russian government in the poisoning, May was already issuing ultimatums to the Russian president. Her infamous phrase that the government concluded it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the poisoning even entered itself into the Russian vocabulary and became something of a household joke in Russia. ..."
"... So what can we expect from the next prime minister of the not-so-Great Britain? Whoever it is has their work cut out not only to unite the Conservative party, but the country. In terms of improving relations with Russia -- as long as the Tories remain in power, and the "deep state" or civil service continues to push its aggressive anti-Russian agenda -- , we are unlikely to see any significant change in policy. ..."
"... The UK under May has continued to serve as a “coalition partner” in the US-Saudi-Israeli Axis engineered and perpetuated dirty war against the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies. Let’s not forget Theresa May’s well practiced phrase, “like the United States, we believe”: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39591476 . May has consistently believed US claims about the April 2017 Khan Shaykhoun incident, the April 2018 Douma incident, and other alleged chemical “attacks” in Syria. ..."
"... The UK under May also has remained the base for two leading disinformation operations supporting the the assault against Syrian government: Rami Abdulrahman’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Eliot Higgins’ Bellingcat. ..."
"... As of 31 March 2018, the British government had provided £38.4m in funding to the Al Qaeda allied White Helmets propaganda organization. In April 2018 the Trump administration suspended funding of the White Helmets. The US had provided more than $33 million to support the group since 2013. ..."
"... The British government remains a primary funder of the White Helmets propaganda organization. Posing as an impartial rescue force, the White Helmets work exclusively side-by-side armed militants including US State Department, UN, and EU designated foreign terrorist organizations. Their primary function is not “rescuing” anyone, but to manage a public relations campaign aimed at swaying public and political opinion, leveraging “humanitarian” sympathy worldwide ..."
"... In November 2016, video showed two White Helmets members staging a rescue operation for the Mannequin Challenge meme. In May 2017, video showed White Helmets members removing a man’s body following his execution by armed militants in Daraa. In June 2017, a member of the White Helmets was suspended indefinitely for assisting armed militants in the burial of mutilated corpses of Syrian government soldiers. ..."
"... Apropos, the last two paras about the Civil Service in Britain; Up until the last 2 decades or so, some of the brightest and best talents entered the Civil Service, good pay, good career prospects and good pension. Then this was hollowed out, everything ‘public sector’ was vilified and privatized and starved of funding. ..."
"... The race to the bottom is keenly contested. ..."
"... Without Russian money they are certainly not the world’s 6th largest economy and it appears that unless they want to side with China against the USA which is improbable, no impossible, they will lose Chinese Capital as well after Brexit. ..."
"... And again, a Mr. Jim Mellon a for real billionaire, several times over I should think, the same guy who carpetbagged Russia after the collapse of the CCCP. His gleanings were called “privatization”… of poor mother Russia. ..."
"... The US has it’s own deep state problem of civil servants, especially alphabet soup agencies who are accustomed to operating in the dark and think that they, not the political appointees make policy ..."
Jun 01, 2019 | consortiumnews.com


InfoRos

UK Prime Minister Theresa May's political career officially ended in tears last Friday, as the woman who declared that she would provide "strong and stable" leadership when she came to power three years ago, but who proved in the end to be not quite so strong or stable as she broke down in front of the press outside 10 Downing Street.

She had in fact, arguably one of the most disastrous records of a UK prime minister to date. A total of 50 cabinet resignations since she took office , far more than any of her recent predecessors; together with scandals such as the Grenfell Tower disaster , Windrush scandal , hostile environment policy and record levels of homelessness and poverty. And that's not to mention her inability to deliver Brexit, which effectively led to her demise.

Indeed however tempting it may be to feel sorry for May -- she has been surrounded by political vultures all vying for her position for months now -- one is minded of the words of British political commentator Owen Jones who, when asked recently if he felt sorry for the prime minister, noted that May's tears were simply those of self-pity and were absent at times when they would have been appropriate, such as in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed 72 lives.

'Permanent Crisis'

One may be inclined to think that if she was so unsuccessful on the domestic front, then perhaps in the area of foreign policy May could have had a better record. No such luck. We only have to look at the considerable deterioration in relations with Russia to understand that under her leadership, Britain's standing in the world has diminished. Prominent British journalist Patrick Cockburn has even gone as far to say that Britain is now "entering a period of permanent crisis not seen since the 17th century."

But arguably back in the 17th century the U.K. was more competent in the art of diplomacy than it is now. May's defense minister, Gavin Williamson, with his comment that Russia should "go away and shut up" epitomized the extraordinary lack of finesse and savoir-faire the May government had when dealing with Russia.

His bellicose tone unfortunately went hand-in-hand with a completely misplaced notion of Russia presenting to the UK some kind of genuine threat, as he argued earlier this year that the UK had to "enhance its lethality" against such well-resourced states, as opposed to concentrating its energies on Islamic terror groups. He was then accused by fellow politicians of "sabre-rattling" in what were widely seen as misguided and provocative statements.

However, Williamson was not alone in his anti-Russian stance. It was under May's leadership that the controversial government-funded Integrity Initiative program really began to flourish. Designed to "counteract Russian propaganda" it instead deceptively engaged in spreading disinformation about Russia and even the UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by hiring journalists, academics and commentators who would all sing from the same hymn sheet when it came to discourse about Russia in the press.

What was most chilling about the revelations in the Integrity Initiative hacked documents was the extent to which policy makers within the inner workings of the establishment are apparently obsessed about an imminent "Russian threat" and are prepared to go to considerable lengths to persuade the British population of this.

May with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hangzhou, China, 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

Uncanny Timing

Even more unnerving was the discussion that there was need for some event to be staged in order to heighten the U.K. population's awareness of a Russian threat. The timing was uncanny: this was not long before the poisoning took place of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, which has, along with multiple discrepancies in the British narrative, led some analysts to ask whether the whole incident was indeed orchestrated by British secret services.

Staged or not, May's handling of the Skripal incident left much to be desired. Even her experience of handling the Litvinenko affair as home secretary hadn't taught her a great deal. Before any concrete evidence was produced to implicate the Russian government in the poisoning, May was already issuing ultimatums to the Russian president. Her infamous phrase that the government concluded it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the poisoning even entered itself into the Russian vocabulary and became something of a household joke in Russia.

The decision to publicly accuse another state of attempting murder on British soil with evidence that only amounted to "a nerve agent of a type produced by Russia," was utterly reckless, not only deeply harming relations with Russia, but undermining the credibility of the U.K. as a whole. And despite it being an attempt to bolster the PM's position at a time when desperately needed to generate support for her upcoming Brexit white paper – this itself, given a delayed Brexit and divided country, proved fruitless.

So what can we expect from the next prime minister of the not-so-Great Britain? Whoever it is has their work cut out not only to unite the Conservative party, but the country. In terms of improving relations with Russia -- as long as the Tories remain in power, and the "deep state" or civil service continues to push its aggressive anti-Russian agenda -- , we are unlikely to see any significant change in policy.

One could hope that a certain Boris Johnson, himself named after a Russian émigré, and the leading candidate to replace May, could seek to build bridges in this regard, but his record on the Skripal case leaves room for doubt. The PM is after all a figurehead, and the UK civil service remains a driving force of policy-making.

As former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair once said: "You cannot underestimate how much they [the civil service] believe it's their job to actually run the country and to resist the changes put forward by people they dismiss as 'here today, gone tomorrow' politicians. They genuinely see themselves as the true guardians of the national interest, and think that their job is simply to wear you down and wait you out." Says it all really .

This article originally appeared on InfoRos .

Johanna Ross is a freelance journalist based in the United Kingdom.

Tags: Brexit Johanna Ross Russia Russia-gate Sergei Skripal Theresa May Tony Blair


one , May 31, 2019 at 15:41

As one reads this article it is primarily remarkably how closely it resembles America’s past, present and future. Of course, England has long been known as Washington’s lap dog. Unsurprisingly, what we seem to be best at is sales and PR. The UK is far from the only “ally” we have that has followed us off the cliff.

And as the various publics look down and see the snake pit into which our style of “democracy” and Winners Take All capitalism actually means they want out. Unfortunately, the winners and our leaders have taken all already, including not only the money, but the power. The shameful scams of NATO and politicizing the EU turned out to be new ways to suck the lifeblood out of the earths “Others,” both in our countries and in the “Others” in Africa, Asia, and everything above and below our borders.

So how do we get out of this? We don’t. Every empire from Cyrus To Babylon, Alexander’s to The Pharaohs’ and Heraclius, the Spanish, Portuguese, and British have collapsed in the dust and led to long periods of darkness, inhabited by The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse.

If you look around us, still mostly living in luxury unknown to the ancient non-winners, all of the signs are there. In the multiple-party system in most of “free” Europe or our Two-party system there’s but decline. Boris won’t save England and none of the truly potentially electable quacks in our Democrats list are going to get us out of this. Clinton didn’t, Obama didn’t and what’s up won’t. No one but Tulsi Gabbard even talks about or has a foreign policy beyond being for peace and plenty for all. Sure. Dumb.

I hate to sound gloomy-doomy, because I’m not. I’m a writer and a writer is an observer. Watching all of this, including my own 2008 economic demise, is fascinating. Gabbard isn’t going to be elected. We’ll get our own Mrs. May maybe, or more Trump, Bolt-on or the fat guy who will initiate some wars that we’ll win like we did with Vietnam and Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. ad nauseum. I’m not saying be dumb; I’m saying be realistic, analytical, interested, and vocal, but come the collapse, be physically and psychologically prepared (everything that Hillary wasn’t, for example.)

Abe , May 31, 2019 at 12:51

The UK under May has continued to serve as a “coalition partner” in the US-Saudi-Israeli Axis engineered and perpetuated dirty war against the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies. Let’s not forget Theresa May’s well practiced phrase, “like the United States, we believe”: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39591476 . May has consistently believed US claims about the April 2017 Khan Shaykhoun incident, the April 2018 Douma incident, and other alleged chemical “attacks” in Syria.

The UK under May also has remained the base for two leading disinformation operations supporting the the assault against Syrian government: Rami Abdulrahman’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Eliot Higgins’ Bellingcat.

As of 31 March 2018, the British government had provided £38.4m in funding to the Al Qaeda allied White Helmets propaganda organization. In April 2018 the Trump administration suspended funding of the White Helmets. The US had provided more than $33 million to support the group since 2013.

The British government remains a primary funder of the White Helmets propaganda organization. Posing as an impartial rescue force, the White Helmets work exclusively side-by-side armed militants including US State Department, UN, and EU designated foreign terrorist organizations. Their primary function is not “rescuing” anyone, but to manage a public relations campaign aimed at swaying public and political opinion, leveraging “humanitarian” sympathy worldwide.

As of 31 March 2018, the British government had provided £38.4m in funding to the White Helmets. In April 2018 the Trump administration suspended funding of the White Helmets. The US had provided more than $33 million to support the group since 2013.

In November 2016, video showed two White Helmets members staging a rescue operation for the Mannequin Challenge meme. In May 2017, video showed White Helmets members removing a man’s body following his execution by armed militants in Daraa. In June 2017, a member of the White Helmets was suspended indefinitely for assisting armed militants in the burial of mutilated corpses of Syrian government soldiers.

On the night of 21 July 2018, Israel allowed 422 people – 98 White Helmet volunteers and their family members – to cross the Israeli annexed Syrian Golan Heights and into Jordan. A Syrian government official condemned the evacuation of White Helmets as a “criminal operation” that had revealed “the terrorist nature” of the group. In September 2018, the UK granted asylum to about 100 White Helmet staff and relatives that had been evacuated to Jordan.

AnneR , May 31, 2019 at 09:22

Good Riddance to very Bad Rubbish (mind you that also applies to the whole of the Tory lot plus the Blairites).

Yes May’s government has much to make amends for – and not just for and to the survivors of Grenfell Towers, the Windrush Generation families, but also to: the Yemenis, the Chagossians, the Syrians. It would have behooved her to have a smaller wardrobe and a larger, effective compassion for those the (imperialist) British have done over numerous times up to and including today. Even small gestures of real compassion, of real recognition of the ugliness of Britian’s imperial past wrongdoings by way of simple apology are apparently beyond her and her government (including the Civil Service).

As for Britain’s “standing” – it is about bloody time that this small island off the western Eurasian coast put up and shut up and retired. Why on earth should it have any *standing*? What *good* has it ever done? (And I ask this as someone born there, whose father was in the army helping to maintain the Raj – much to my much later disgust, though, disgracefully, not his.)

Bob of Bonsall , May 31, 2019 at 05:11

To be fair, and as much as it pains me to do so, I must point out that the Grenfell tragedy and Windrush fiasco were as much due to Labour decisions as they were to Tory incompetence.

John A , May 31, 2019 at 03:01

Apropos, the last two paras about the Civil Service in Britain; Up until the last 2 decades or so, some of the brightest and best talents entered the Civil Service, good pay, good career prospects and good pension. Then this was hollowed out, everything ‘public sector’ was vilified and privatized and starved of funding.

For these reasons, most of the ‘brightest and best’ now shun the Civil Service for a career in casino banking and similar avenues instead. The calibre of Civil Service advice has nose-dived accordingly.

As with everything else in Britain post Thatcher, everything is for sale, get rich quick, plod along with little or no pay increases and less and less job security, or starve homeless on the streets are the options available these days.

Zhu , May 31, 2019 at 04:51

Sounds like the USA!

Douglas Turnbull , May 30, 2019 at 22:20

The continuing barbaric capitalist nightmare and its sad psychopathic 1% and the destructive antics of its sycophants...

Tom Kath , May 30, 2019 at 20:13

“Something rotten” is not restricted to the state of Denmark, Britain, or USA. It is not even restricted to the “West”, so we must seek more fundamentally for the source of this world’s abject immoral disgustingness. The race to the bottom is keenly contested.

KiwiAntz , May 30, 2019 at 20:09

At last, for the long suffering Brits? The Maybot has finally danced her “Robotic Dance” off the World scene to the cheers & high fives of most of the British people, who have thoroughly had a gutsful of her duplicitous behaviour & disastrous mishandling of Brexit!

And the article lists her shameful record during the period she was Prime Minister, especially the Glenfell Tower tragedy & her pathetic response along with the criminal culpability of the disgusting Conservative Tory Party & its role in this travesty?

Their murderous Policies & austerity directly led to this disgrace? So its good riddance to a contemptible woman, a abject failure & a loser who was good for absolutely nothing except walking on stages & doing really bad dance moves!

LJ , May 30, 2019 at 18:39

She was all the Tories could come up with to keep Corbyn out of the office of Prime Minister. There should certainly have been a General Election after David Cameron crashed the ship of state with Brexit.

Boris Johnson would certainly complete that job so someone else will have to play dartboard until the next election. Despite what the Guardian and BBC and the rest say. And in spite of the Zionist attack on Corbyn he will be Prime Minister. Long Overdue. Britain is Great no more.

Without Russian money they are certainly not the world’s 6th largest economy and it appears that unless they want to side with China against the USA which is improbable, no impossible, they will lose Chinese Capital as well after Brexit.

Good. I hope Scotland votes for Independence. Wales should as well. Britain deserves to go to hell after their history as an Empire. London is 41% foreign born. Just who are they anyway? The British? We here in the USA, or rather younger people here in the USA should take a good look at what happens over the next 5 years there and put it your memory banks.

elmerfudzie , May 30, 2019 at 17:37

Tainted tenure indeed! No one asks the right questions anymore. For example, where did all that Brexit cash come from? As I commented previously at CONSORTIUMNEWS and it is redacted here; “The Panama Papers signaled a need for radical change(s) in the EU banking laws. Hiding money, legit or not from, fair and open taxation, has become increasingly difficult for the upper crust….”

The BREXIT cash originated, no surprise folks, from a Gibraltar based firm, where a Mr Arron Banks (big bucks Banks) a guy with money to burn, with corporate holdings in the Isle of Man and too, one of his buddies, an Alan Kentish of the STM group specializing in, oh you’ll love this, offshore wealth preservation! LOL

And again, a Mr. Jim Mellon a for real billionaire, several times over I should think, the same guy who carpetbagged Russia after the collapse of the CCCP. His gleanings were called “privatization”… of poor mother Russia. Well, to make a long story short, Mr Kentish, the original pro-BREXITeer was arrested in Gibraltar under the UK’s Crime Act for such suspicious money funneling(s). My oh my Ms May, what strange political bedfellows you seem to have!

Jeff Harrison , May 30, 2019 at 17:37

Here today, gone to lunch as the late Douglas Adams put it. The US has it’s own deep state problem of civil servants, especially alphabet soup agencies who are accustomed to operating in the dark and think that they, not the political appointees make policy. Their thinking is bolstered by Congresses who stonewall and delay approving personnel for leadership positions in the civil service.

[May 31, 2019] Comments on Official Response by OPCW to the Engineering Assessment on Douma

OPSW proved to be a gang of a despicable, completely bought by the USA bottomfeeders. Looks like they are now a part of "Intergity Initiative"
At this point credibility of the USA and UK experts on the topic is not zero, it is negative: they systematically generate false flags.
Truth be told after Skripals affair the level of credibility of the UK government and expects is far below zero in any case. This is just a gang of despicable warmongers.
Notable quotes:
"... If SST readers are confused by OPCW's constantly shifting explanations for why the Final Report on the Douma incident excluded the Engineering Assessment, they're not the only ones. ..."
"... Unfortunately for whoever thought up this defence, it is explicitly contradicted by both the Interim Report (published last July) and the Final Report, which state that the objective of the engineering studies was to evaluate how the cylinders arrived in position. ..."
May 29, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Comments on official response to the release of the Engineering Assessment of the Douma cylinders Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason, Piers Robinson

Members of Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media 1 Introduction

This post comments on the response to our release of the Executive Summary of the Engineering Assessment of the Douma cylinders on 13 May 2018. All emphases in quoted passages are added by us. After OPCW had confirmed the document to be genuine, the story was covered extensively by Russian media.

An informed commentary by Professor Hiroyuki Aoyama in Tokyo has been published on Yahoo News's Japanese site. The only coverage in western corporate media has been by Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday , Robert Fisk in the Independent and Tucker Carlson on Fox .

Other journalists who have been in touch with us have told us that their stories were spiked by editors. As expected, the story has reached much larger numbers through websites and videos that have disseminated it.

2 OPCW's response to the release of the document

2.1 Official response

In an email dated 11 May and shown to us, Deepti Choubey, the head of OPCW Public Affairs, wrote:

Thank you for reaching out to us. It is exclusively through the Fact-Finding Mission, set up in 2014, that the OPCW establishes facts surrounding allegations of use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic. On 1 March 2019, the OPCW has issued its final and only valid official report, signed by the Director-General, regarding the incident that took place in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic, on 7 April 2018. The document you shared with us is not part of any of the material produced by the FFM. The individual mentioned in the document has never been a member of the FFM .

A subsequent email on 16 May stated:

The OPCW establishes facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic through the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), which was set up in 2014. The OPCW Technical Secretariat reaffirms that the FFM complies with established methodologies and practices to ensure the integrity of its findings. The FFM takes into account all available, relevant, and reliable information and analysis within the scope of its mandate to determine its findings. Per standard practice, the FFM draws expertise from different divisions across the Technical Secretariat as needed. All information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic, on 7 April 2018. On 1 March 2019, the OPCW issued its final report on this incident, signed by the Director-General.

Per OPCW rules and regulations, and in order to ensure the privacy, safety, and security of personnel, the OPCW does not provide information about individual staff members of the Technical Secretariat. Pursuant to its established policies and practices, the OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. At this time, there is no further public information on this matter and the OPCW is unable to accommodate requests for interviews.

This was taken as confirmation that the document was genuine.

2.2 Unofficial briefings

Following OPCW's confirmation on 16 May that the document we had released was genuine, two individuals in the UK whose communications have supported UK government policy on Syria favoring regime change – Professor Scott Lucas of Birmingham University, and the former Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker – began reporting that they had inside information on how the Engineering Assessment had been excluded from the Final Report.

2.2.1 Lucas

On 16 May Lucas reported that:

Henderson was writing what was, in effect, a dissenting assessment from that of most of the OPCW's team and consultant experts. His findings were considered but were a minority opinion as final report was written.

He followed this with a remarkably indiscreet tweet asserting that "I know how OPCW review process was conducted and what place Henderson's assessment had in it." When challenged to explain his connection to OPCW, Lucas did not answer. Hitchens reported on 24 May that OPCW Public Affairs had refused to comment on whether Lucas was receiving authorised briefings from OPCW.

2.2.2 Whitaker

Whitaker was at first more circumspect about his sources, reporting on 16 May that:

One story circulating in the chemical weapons community (though not confirmed) is that Henderson had wanted to join the FFM and got rebuffed but was then given permission to do some investigating on the sidelines of the FFM.

Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat extended Whitaker's version with:

This reporting by @Brian_Whit on the leaked Douma report that the conspiracy theorists and chemical weapon denialists are so excited about is consistent with what I'm hearing . Looks like they all got played by a disgruntled OPCW employee.

In an article posted on 24 May, Whitaker was more explicit in reporting the spin of "an informed source" on the Engineering Assessment.

an informed source has now shed some light on it. The key point here is the FFM's terms of reference. Its basic role was to establish facts about the alleged attack, and it was not allowed to apportion blame -- that is the job of the OPCW's newly-created Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). Although the FFM determined that the cylinders were probably dropped from the air, the published report (in line with its mandate) omitted any mention of the obvious implication that they had been dropped by regime aircraft. According to the informed source, when Henderson's assessment was reviewed there were concerns that it came too close to attributing responsibility, and thus fell outside the scope of the FFM's mandate. Whether or not that was the right decision, there was no doubt that Henderson's assessment did fall within the mandate of the new Investigation and Identification Team. For that reason, according to the source, he was advised to pass it to the IIT instead -- and he did so.

Unless this account was entirely fabricated, it could only have come from someone with close knowledge of how the Final Report had been prepared. A subsequent tweet from Whitaker on 25 May, presumably channelling the same source, confirmed that "Henderson and others" had been in Douma:

Henderson and others did go to Douma to provide temporary support to the FFM, but they were not official members of the FFM.

2.3 What the channelling of off-the-record briefings tells us

It is likely that (at least on this occasion) Lucas and Whitaker are telling the truth, and that they have been briefed by someone with close knowledge of how the FFM Final Report was prepared. If these briefings had not been authorised, OPCW Public Affairs could easily have responded to Hitchens's question with a standard statement reiterating that "there is no further public information on this matter" and that this extended to off-the-record briefings. We would expect OPCW press officers to be reluctant to issue further statements that could subsequently be shown to be false.

Like cellular biologists who perturb a complex system and measure its outputs, we can infer from these observations the existence of a pathway. This pathway connects the production of OPCW reports on alleged chemical attacks in Syria with a network of communicators in the UK who in different ways have promoted the cause of regime change in Syria since 2012. It is evident that Lucas and Whitaker are output nodes of this pathway. From August 2012, Whitaker as the Guardian's Middle East editor promoted Higgins from obscure beginnings as a blogger to become a widely-cited source on the Syrian conflict. Whitaker was the first journalist to devote an article to attacking the Working Group, in February 2018 when its only collective output had been a brief blog post.

It is of course possible that OPCW management for some procedural reason was unable to provide further information on the record, and sought to disseminate an accurate version of events via off-the-record briefings. But the choice of such highly partisan commentators as Lucas and Whitaker as channels inevitably calls into question the good faith of whoever provided these briefings, and undermines any remaining pretence to impartiality on the part of OPCW management.

2.4 Discrepancies between versions of OPCW's response

An established method in investigative journalism is to compare official versions and to infer from discrepancies what they are trying to hide. On 11 May OPCW Public Affairs stated that "The document you shared with us is not part of any of the material produced by the FFM. The individual mentioned in the document has never been a member of the FFM". After we pointed out that these two statements were provably false – the external collaboration on the engineering assessment of the Douma cylinders must have been authorised by OPCW, and Henderson could hardly have been in Damascus on a tourist visa – they were not repeated on the record. By 16 May OPCW Public Affairs had formulated a new policy: "Per OPCW rules and regulations the OPCW does not provide information about individual staff members of the Technical Secretariat." A more subtle version of Henderson's role was then channelled through Lucas and Whitaker: "minority opinion", "on the sidelines" and elaborated by Higgins as "disgruntled OPCW employee"'. Between 16 May and 25 May the story channelled through Whitaker changed from "Henderson had wanted to join the FFM and got rebuffed but was then given permission to do some investigating on the sidelines of the FFM." to admitting that "Henderson and others" were in Douma "to provide temporary support to the FFM".

On 24 May Whitaker's informed source admits that "Henderson's assessment was reviewed" for the Final Report, no longer attempting to maintain that the Engineering Assessment was not part of the FFM's process. If we strip away the flannel from this latest story, it appears to be accurate. The "informed source" tells us that the Engineering Assessment was excluded from the Final Report not because its technical analysis had been rebutted, but because the conclusion that the cylinders had been placed in position rather than dropped from the air would necessarily have attributed responsibility for the incident to the opposition .

The argument that the mandate of the FFM prevented it from endorsing the Engineering Assessment's conclusion is easily refuted as a matter of logic. Announcing the release of the Final Report, OPCW stated that "The FFM's mandate is to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria." In Douma this could be reduced to deciding between two alternatives: (1) the gas cylinders were dropped from the air, implying that they were used as chemical weapons; (2) the cylinders were placed in position, implying that the incident was staged and that no chemical attack had occurred. Although to conclude that alternative (2) was correct would implicate the opposition, this would not be attribution of blame for a chemical attack but rather a determination that chemical weapons had not been used.

Clearly a verdict that the alleged chemical attack had been staged would have been unacceptable to the French government, which had joined in the US-led missile attack on 14 April 2018. We can surmise that the Chief of Cabinet of OPCW, Sébastien Braha, who (according to his Linkedin profile ) is still in post as a French diplomat, would have been in a difficult position if he had allowed the FFM to release a report that reached this conclusion. He would be in an even more difficult position if he were to allow the newly-established Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which also reports to him, to overturn the conclusions of the Final Report and report that the alleged chemical attack was staged. Even if Braha's failure to update his online profile with the date of leaving his diplomatic post is an oversight, this would still be a conflict of interest based on the OECD definition of what "a reasonable person, knowing the relevant facts, would conclude". As we have noted, OPCW appears to have no arrangements for managing conflicts of interest. Until the governance and working practices of OPCW are radically reformed, it is hard to see how neutral observers can have confidence in the impartiality of the FFM or the IIT.

3 Government responses to an alleged chlorine attack on 19 May 3.1 Reports of the alleged attack

Possible allusions to the release of the Engineering Assessment on 13 May can be discerned in government responses to a report of an alleged chlorine attack in Idlib on 19 May. The earliest report , mentioning three missiles or shells loaded with chlorine was from an Arabic-language website named ebaa.news at 11.01 am Syrian time. The location was given as Kubina Hill in Kabbana village, on the border with Lattakia. At 12.46 am Syrian time Hamish de Bretton-Gordon (HdBG) tweeted

Appears to be a chlorine attack from Regime artillery shells in Jose Al Shugour village - 4 casualties being evacuated for treatment

"Jose Al Shugour village" is presumably the town of Jisr Al-Shughour. Rami Abdulrahman's Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on 22 May that four fighters were treated in hospital after they "suffocated in the intense and violent shelling by the regime forces, within caves and trenches" but did not endorse the claims of a chlorine attack, noting that the source of this story was "the Media platform of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham". The story was elaborated in a Fox News report on 23 May that quoted a "Dr Ahmad" from Idlib, who reported that he had treated the casualties. Fox News also quoted Nidal Shikhani of the Chemical Violations Documentation Centre Syria (CVDCS).

A possible match for the identity of "Dr Ahmad" is Dr Ahmad al-Dbis, quoted by Reuters on 4 May 2019 as Safety and Security Manager for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM), describing airstrikes on Idlib and northern Hama. Since 2016 both HdBG and the CBRN Task Force that he set up in 2013 have been affiliated to UOSSM. A report from 2014 quotes a "Dr Ahmad" described as a medic trained by HdBG for the CBRN Task Force. CVDCS is an NGO that has worked closely with the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission since 2015 to provide purported eyewitnesses for interview in Syria, originally established in 2012 as the Office of Documentation of the Chemical File in Syria , and later registered in Brussels as a non-profit company named Same Justice. This company never complied with the legal requirement to file accounts, and went into liquidation on 27 February 2019.

The ebaa.news site appears to be closely linked to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), frequently quoting HTS spokesmen and sometimes reporting exclusive stories obtained from HTS. On 31 May 2018 HTS was designated by the US Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The Coordinator for Counterterrorism noted that this designation "serves notice that the United States is not fooled by this al-Qa'ida affiliate's attempt to rebrand itself." In conclusion, the provenance of this story of a chemical attack on 19 May is dubious, and the extent to which the sources are independent of one another is not clear.

3.2 UK response

On 22 May John Woodcock MP asked at Prime Minister's Questions :

British experts are this morning investigating a suspected chlorine attack by al-Assad in Idlib. If it is proved, will she lead the international response against the return of this indiscriminate evil?

As expected, the Prime Minister gave a bellicose answer, but made no reference to OPCW.

We of course acted in Syria, with France and the United States, when we saw chemical weapons being used there. We are in close contact with the United States and are monitoring the situation closely, and if any use of chemical weapons is confirmed, we will respond appropriately.

Woodcock's "British experts" appear to have included HdBG, who had suggested in a tweet the day before that Woodcock should ask the Prime Minister about Idlib, though not about a chemical attack. In a subsequent tweet Woodcock stated that his experts were "on the ground in Syria".

3.3 French response

The daily press from the French foreign ministry on 22 May responded to a question on the alleged chemical attack on 19 May with:

We have noted with concern these allegations which must be investigated. We have full confidence in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons .

3.4 US response

A press statement from State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus on 21 May dealt with the alleged chemical attack two days earlier:

Unfortunately, we continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria on the morning of May 19, 2019. We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately.

She mentioned a " continuing disinformation campaign " to "create the false narrative that others are to blame for chemical weapons attacks that the Assad regime itself is conducting". The following day Mr James Jeffrey, the State Department's special representative to Syria, testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that "So far we cannot confirm [the reports of chemical weapons use] but we're watching it". The New York Times reported this to be a "carefully worded recalibration" of the announcement by Morgan Ortagus the day before, and that American military officials had "expressed surprise over the State Department's strong statement". 4 Comparison of the Engineering Assessment with the published Final Report

A comparison of the Engineering Assessment and the Final Report have been reported in outline form by McIntyre . As Larson has noted , there are indications in the Final Report that whoever drafted it had access to an earlier version of the Engineering Assessment (the released version dated 27 February 2019 is marked Rev 1) and was attempting to rebut it without overtly mentioning it. For instance the Engineering Assessment lists five points supporting the opinion of experts that the crater at location 2 had been created by a the explosion of a mortar round or artillery rocket rather than an impact from a falling object. These points included:

"an (unusually elevated, but possible) fragmentation pattern on upper walls"

"(whilst it was observed that a fire had been created in the corner of the room) black scorching on the crater underside and ceiling."

The Final Report states falsely that a fragmentation pattern, visible in open-source images, was absent:

The FFM analysed the damage on the rooftop terrace and below the crater in order to determine if it had been created by an explosive device. However, this hypothesis is unlikely given the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristic of an explosion that may have created the crater and the damage surrounding it.

This is followed by a paragraph that notes the blackening of the ceiling and attributes it to the fire set in the room. The Final Report's allusion to the possibility of an explosive device, with mention of fragmentation pattern and the setting of a fire in the room appears to be an attempt to explain away the argument made in the Engineering Assessment.

We note that several of the key findings of the Engineering Assessment are based only on examination of the cylinders. For instance the Engineering Assessment reports that the cylinder at Location 2 bears no markings that would be consistent with the frame with fins (lying on the balcony) ever having been attached to it, let alone the markings that would be expected if the frame had been stripped off by impact. The Final Report records that the Syrian government insisted on retaining custody of the cylinders for criminal investigation purposes. Accordingly:

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

A useful way to take forward the investigation of the Douma incident would now be for the Syrian government to invite an international team of neutral experts to examine the cylinders, to assess whether the observations support the findings of the Engineering Assessment or the conclusions of the published FFM Final Report, and to publish their findings in a form that allows peer review and reproducibility of results from data. The next step would be a criminal investigation of this incident, focusing on where, how and by whom were the 35 victims seen in images at Location 2 killed.

Posted at 02:37 AM in government , History , Syria , The Military Art , weapons | Permalink

Castellio , 29 May 2019 at 12:05 PM

Thank you for pursuing this issue in depth and with rigour.

Paul McKeigue , 29 May 2019 at 12:05 PM

If SST readers are confused by OPCW's constantly shifting explanations for why the Final Report on the Douma incident excluded the Engineering Assessment, they're not the only ones.

Yesterday OPCW released its official response (dated 21 May) to Russian criticisms (dated 26 April) of the Final Report of the Fact-Finding Mission on the Douma incident. In this response OPCW made, officially and on the record, the same argument as that made by Whitaker's "informed source: that to assess how the cylinders arrived in their positions was outside the mandate of the FFM.

Unfortunately for whoever thought up this defence, it is explicitly contradicted by both the Interim Report (published last July) and the Final Report, which state that the objective of the engineering studies was to evaluate how the cylinders arrived in position.

Peter Hitchens is on the case, and has listed these contradictions and requested an explanation from OPCW.

https://t.co/siF2D4yita

[May 31, 2019] One Man's Quest To Expose A Fake BBC Video About Syria

Notable quotes:
"... If you support Robert Stuart's efforts, go to this crowdfunding website. There you can learn more and contribute to this important effort to reveal whether the BBC video 'Saving Syria's Children' showed true or staged events. Was the alleged "napalm" attack real or was it staged propaganda? The project needs a large number of small donors and a few substantial ones to meet the June 7 deadline ..."
"... By the way, I recommend watching the 3 minute video at the crowd funding site: ..."
May 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , May 30, 2019 1:31:34 PM | 3

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-29/one-mans-quest-expose-fake-bbc-video-about-syria


It's a David vs Goliath story. A former local newspaper reporter, Robert Stuart, is taking on the British Broadcasting Corporation. Stuart believes that a sensational video story about an alleged atrocity in Syria "was largely, if not entirely, staged." The BBC would like it all to just go away. But like David, Stuart will not back down or let it go. It has been proposed that the BBC could settle the issue by releasing the raw footage from the event, but they refuse to do this. Why?

...


Robert Stuart is not quitting. He hopes the next step will be a documentary film dramatically showing what he has discovered and further investigating important yet unexplored angles.

The highly experienced film producer Victor Lewis-Smith, who tore up his BBC contract, has stepped forward to help make this happen.

But to produce a high quality documentary including some travel takes funding. After devoting almost six years to this effort, Robert Stuart's resources are exhausted. The project needs support from concerned members of the public.

If you support Robert Stuart's efforts, go to this crowdfunding website. There you can learn more and contribute to this important effort to reveal whether the BBC video 'Saving Syria's Children' showed true or staged events. Was the alleged "napalm" attack real or was it staged propaganda? The project needs a large number of small donors and a few substantial ones to meet the June 7 deadline.

My main point of posting

They are looking for crowd funding to produce a documentary. I have not contributed thru crowd funding before.
1) is it safe and secure? input please
2) will my contribution be a matter of public record?
3) anything else you want to say, thx

By the way, I recommend watching the 3 minute video at the crowd funding site:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/saving-syria-s-children-did-the-bbc-lie#/

[May 26, 2019] Theresa May must answer for Novichok false flag operation

May 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Call me Al , 2 hours ago link

Good, Good and Good.

Whilst you are at it, prove that the Skripal poison / Novichok case was a fascicle fake and blame Theresa May categorically, show proof, throw her in prison and throw away the key.

[May 26, 2019] May Ends In June by W Stephen Gilbert

It is unclear whether May really wanted to implement Brexit deal but at least she negotiated several EU offers. It was UK Parliament that rejects the offers.
I think May claim to fame might be not her failure in Brexit negotiation, but orchestration of infamous Skripals poisoning false flag and the bout of Russophobia, as well as her attempt to interfere with the 2016 elections in the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... History will not be kind to Theresa May. By the standards she forthrightly set herself at the outset of her premiership, she has been a dismal failure. ..."
"... she became, in George Osborne's devastating phrase, "a dead woman walking". ..."
"... a political nonentity of such crushing mediocrity and insignificance that even when standing in direct sunlight she casts no shadow. A third-rate office manager elevated light years beyond her intellectual capacity, professional capabilities and pay grade. A national embarrassment and global laughing stock ..."
"... When May was elected Tory leader and hence prime minister, the field of choice was notable for its lightweight uniformity. ..."
"... the quality of leadership of the party has been modest at best for years. Among Tory leaders since the war, only Margaret Thatcher has managed to catch the climate of her time and impose her personality on a discernible period, however much one may deplore that climate and that period. ..."
"... What is striking about Conservative politics is that those who wish to hold onto power and wealth for their own class and who have the ambition and talent and imagination to make a difference do not go into politics. They become entrepreneurs, traders, speculators. There is too much regulation and self-abnegation in politics for such people. Look back over the leadership of the Tory party and you get to Harold Macmillan before you encounter anyone who came from a (brief) career in business. ..."
"... We are now told that she is "a patriot" – the last refuge of a political scoundrel – and that she has "tried her best", which was clearly grossly inadequate to the task ..."
"... The wars are over for Britain. Become a global reliable trading nation that honors contracts and business ties, the very elements that made Britain Great. It sure has not been the Wars especially the poodle wars. You laugh at May's tears and under performance but you may as well be looking at yourselves. ..."
"... Why should Britain be holding Venezuela Gold on behalf of Donald Trump? There is no yield in this, there is no value but a soiled reputation as an unreliable trader. Banks in Britain should be honest dealers not playing politics with contracts. ..."
"... It's not clear that all MI5/MI6 operatives are remainers. I suspect they are as divided as everyone else. The gang who attacked Trump simply did it because it was business and not personal. They even outsourced to Steele because they thought it might be cheaper. Outsourcing is perceived as cool in government circles and makes people feel good about themselves. It's the deep state offering value for money. ..."
"... May has done precisely what she was tasked to do by the Establishment: First to "negotiate" a Withdrawal deal that "Only the loser of a major war would agree to" after wasting two years, then do everything else possible to delay Brexit as long as possible and water it down to the point that the UK would even with a "delivered Brexit" still essentially be bound to the EU indefinitely. ..."
"... The final irony here is that it is ultimately only Parliament's duplicity and treachery, in spite of the fact that Parliament desperately wanted to ensure the UK "Remain", which has prevented her and the Globalists from achieving their goals through what they believed to be a process of "subtle subterfuge". ..."
"... She will indeed go down in history as a footnote of no significance or perhaps as the PM who showed the greatest betrayal of the British people on behalf of the Establishment ..."
May 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by W Stephen Gilbert via Off-Guardian.org,

History will not be kind to Theresa May. By the standards she forthrightly set herself at the outset of her premiership, she has been a dismal failure. She proposed that, contrary to most impartial expectation, she would be a socially liberal prime minister who would strive to relieve the economic pressure on the poorest members of British society (the briefly famous "just about managing"), but the only small concessions towards the relief of poverty that have been wrung from her government have done nothing to reduce the incidence of homelessness, food banks and wage rates that undershoot the demands made by private landlords, services starved of funds and price rises.

And that's without even mentioning Brexit.

Following the self-inflicted disaster of the 2017 general election, in which May utterly failed to project herself with any conviction as "strong and stable", she became, in George Osborne's devastating phrase, "a dead woman walking".

That campaign was the most complacent, least effective ever fought by a major political party in Britain, and the only explanation for the media's astonishment at the result can be that editors and columnists had so convinced themselves that they had rendered Jeremy Corbyn, in their description of choice, "unelectable" that they could see no outcome other than a thumping Tory victory. What they could not see was that Corbyn is an inspired and inspiring campaigner, while May is as dull as ditchwater.

The social media commentator Aidan Daley summed her up admirably: "Mayvis: a political nonentity of such crushing mediocrity and insignificance that even when standing in direct sunlight she casts no shadow. A third-rate office manager elevated light years beyond her intellectual capacity, professional capabilities and pay grade. A national embarrassment and global laughing stock ".

This unsparing but unarguable buttonholing raises a historical problem for the Conservative Party that shows no sign of quick resolution. When May was elected Tory leader and hence prime minister, the field of choice was notable for its lightweight uniformity. Given the length of her cabinet experience, May clearly outshone her rivals, if not in charisma (a quality conspicuously lacking from the field). But the quality of leadership of the party has been modest at best for years. Among Tory leaders since the war, only Margaret Thatcher has managed to catch the climate of her time and impose her personality on a discernible period, however much one may deplore that climate and that period.

What is striking about Conservative politics is that those who wish to hold onto power and wealth for their own class and who have the ambition and talent and imagination to make a difference do not go into politics. They become entrepreneurs, traders, speculators. There is too much regulation and self-abnegation in politics for such people. Look back over the leadership of the Tory party and you get to Harold Macmillan before you encounter anyone who came from a (brief) career in business.

Comparing May with Thatcher and Macmillan is instructive.

May has failed to create any sort of arresting public persona for herself. Aside from the tiresome bromide "Brexit means Brexit", she has turned no phrase that immediately summons her to mind. Who could essay her political philosophy, other than hanging on grimly against insuperable odds and paying heed to no advice?

She has no imagination, no resourcefulness, no wit and no management skills. When pressed, she retreats to prepared responses, regardless of their irrelevance to the question in hand. We are now told that she is "a patriot" – the last refuge of a political scoundrel – and that she has "tried her best", which was clearly grossly inadequate to the task .

The mainstream media will be eternally grateful to her for betraying emotion at the end of her resignation statement, thereby providing the "human interest" angle that cements the moment in history and will be trotted out in every story about the May premiership for ever after, much like Thatcher's tear-stained face in the back of the limo as it pulled away from Downing Street for the last time. Whether this emotion sits appropriately with the "dignity" that her admirers are rushing to credit to her is a question for others to ponder.

Attention now turns to her successor. Vast though the field is, it is again notable for its lightweight nature. Smart money will be on Rory Stewart, already a media darling and a politician unusually capable of sounding thoughtful and candid. He also has the advantage of having led a colourful pre-politics life, thereby bringing instincts to his politics from beyond the confines of career consultants and spads. But most speculation centres on Boris Johnson, despite the high level of suspicion that he generates among Tory MPs. He is said to be enthusiastically supported at the grassroots.

In this as in other aspects, he brings to mind Donald Trump. If Rory Stewart would offer a safe pair of hands, Johnson would suggest a Trump-like level of gaffes and embarrassments, thrills and spills.


CashMcCall , 5 hours ago link

Britain's Chief problem is that it has become a US poodle for nothing. Essentially insolvent and small Britain indulges in middle East Wars and US Sanctions and Boycotts. What do they get in return? Nothing at all.

This is a giant hangover from WWII. It wasn't enough that WWII destroyed Britain, the US had to take advantage of it in the Anglo American loan and Bretton Woods.

Anyone that has studied WWII knows it was the Russians that killed Germany, not the US and most certainly not Britain, though cracking the Enigma was certainly useful. But it was Brute force of the Russians a KURSK that laid waste to Germany.

The US came out of the War essentially unscathed. Britain was bombed out rubble. The US took full advantage with hard terms in their Anglo American Loan.

The relationship of the US to Britain is more like Abusive parent to abused child. It is anything but equals. The US only calls on Britain for British Intelligence, or military support to do something stupid like engage in the Iraq war. The poodle does as told.

ARM was founded in Britain. Now sold to Softbank in Japan. It was the INTEL giant killer. Had Britain not been a poodle to the US, this one company would have been a driving force in 5G. But the Abusive parent, essentially told the Brits who could and could not associate with ARM. Now in an even more abused poodle Japan, the world's most emasculated nation. Brits take their marching order from Donald Trump a bloody moron.

The Tide is out on the British Empire. It is irrelevant at this point what happens with Brexit. Stall long enough and nobody will care. Instead of branching out and leading in 5G, they are following their abused parent into the dark ages.

Britain should be making its own deals with China while the US is foundering under Turmp. Some businesses are such as Rolls Royce that is offering a Rolls Royce jet engine plant to forward China's local and narrowbody jets. Britain can come in and be a reliable partner with Huawei and get access to the largest markets in global history China and Asia. Instead the Gov. wants the UK to be just a US poodle lucky to get a few scraps.

Protectionism can NEVER work in Britain. The Isles NEED TRADE. They cannot survive without out it. Yet here they are with their brilliant engineering taking orders from Donald Trump the idiots idiot.

May was just a symptom of the Poodle problem. Do as told, show no spine and live in the shadow of the USA abuser parent. That is why NO PM in the UK casts a shadow. They are under the oppressive shadow of the US. Taking orders, Killing off British soldiers for nothing.

The wars are over for Britain. Become a global reliable trading nation that honors contracts and business ties, the very elements that made Britain Great. It sure has not been the Wars especially the poodle wars. You laugh at May's tears and under performance but you may as well be looking at yourselves.

Brexit under the shadow of the USA just strengthens the choke chain in Trump's insane hand. You become dependent on an unreliable country with the most unreliable administration in US History. As they do now, they dictate where you may trade and to whom you may sell your products... and you go along with it like an obedient abused child seeking approval of the Parent Abuser.

Get some spine and break ties with the USA that are carrying you into the abyss. Why should Britain be holding Venezuela Gold on behalf of Donald Trump? There is no yield in this, there is no value but a soiled reputation as an unreliable trader. Banks in Britain should be honest dealers not playing politics with contracts. Every country in the world is looking at this British poodle conduct. No country wants to deal with a poodle that refuses to return assets or that weaponizes Trade. You are cutting your throats for any future global investment FOR NOTHING!

caesium , 5 hours ago link

It's not clear that all MI5/MI6 operatives are remainers. I suspect they are as divided as everyone else. The gang who attacked Trump simply did it because it was business and not personal. They even outsourced to Steele because they thought it might be cheaper. Outsourcing is perceived as cool in government circles and makes people feel good about themselves. It's the deep state offering value for money.

GreatUncle , 6 hours ago link

May achieved what she set out to do being a BREMAINER from the outset.

To block, stall and prevent at all costs BREXIT.

As a BREXIT supporter thank you May because you created a new party in the process as an alternative to the fake" Conservative BREXIT party" and the EU Labour Custom Union slaves". I swear Labour = Democrats in the US and their belief in social slavery to them.

When can we get them EU election figures ... as this is going to be such fun if the BREXIT party manages to achieve an overwhelming vote it is like a 2nd referendum on the previous referendum. ... Fingers crossed here though because you just know MI5 / MI6 and all the other mercenaries are going to be ballot stuffing like **** and with no exit polls to prevent the electoral fraud they will be carrying out on the orders of their paymasters.

philipat , 7 hours ago link

Spare the tears, **** you got exactly what you deserved for your betrayal of British democracy whilst constantly lying and pretending to support both UK AND US values.

May has done precisely what she was tasked to do by the Establishment: First to "negotiate" a Withdrawal deal that "Only the loser of a major war would agree to" after wasting two years, then do everything else possible to delay Brexit as long as possible and water it down to the point that the UK would even with a "delivered Brexit" still essentially be bound to the EU indefinitely.

The final irony here is that it is ultimately only Parliament's duplicity and treachery, in spite of the fact that Parliament desperately wanted to ensure the UK "Remain", which has prevented her and the Globalists from achieving their goals through what they believed to be a process of "subtle subterfuge".

The ONLY way forward now is a "Hard" Brexit because Parliament has rejected everything else, it is still the legal default position which does NOT legally require approval by Parliament and it restores the negotiating position with the EU that May deliberately pissed away over two years. And the lesson here to other countries wanting to get out of the clutches of Brussels is this; If you want to leave the EU, JUST LEAVE. Let the Bureaucrats work out the details later; they aren't that important.

She will indeed go down in history as a footnote of no significance or perhaps as the PM who showed the greatest betrayal of the British people on behalf of the Establishment

**** off and go away to enjoy the corrupt benefits of your service to the Globalists until you RIP.

Dr. Acula , 8 hours ago link

May fits in with the other Prime Ministers of the Paedoph Isles:

"Rules which bar sex offenders from working with children are 'unfair' and even convicted paedophiles should have the right to adopt, a leading legal academic has said."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/8201521/Sex-offenders-including-paedophiles-should-be-allowed-to-adopt-Theresa-May-told.html

"UK Government Under Gordon Brown Urged Police not to Investigate Muslim Child Rape Gangs"

https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/3239461

[May 24, 2019] Theresa May Cries As She Announces June 7 Resignation

Scripals's poisoning connected Prime Minister soon will be gone for good.
Novichok has lasting effects on British PM ;-) Now it will be much easier to investigate her role in spying on Trump, British government role in creation of Steele dossier, and in launching neo-McCarthyism campaign against Russia (aka Russiagate).
Notable quotes:
"... During her tumultuous tenure as PM, May survived two no-confidence votes. ..."
"... Crying May. What a Loser. Plus, she may have well co-conspired against Trump. ..."
May 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

May, the second - but certainly not the last - female prime minister in the UK, will abandon her supremely unpopular withdrawal agreement instead of trying to force it through the Commons for the fourth time. May's decision to call for a fourth vote on the withdrawal agreement, this time packaging it in a bill that could have opened to door to a second confirmatory referendum, was more than her fellow conservatives could tolerate. One of her top cabinet ministers resigned and Graham Brady, the leader of the Tory backbenchers, effectively forced May out by rounding up the votes for a rule change that would have allowed MPs to oust her.

During her tumultuous tenure as PM, May survived two no-confidence votes.

Though May will stay on as caretaker until a new leader can be chosen, the race to succeed May begins now...odds are that a 'Brexiteer' will fill the role. Whatever happens, the contest should take a few weeks, and afterwards May will be on her way back to Maidenhead.

"It is and will always remain a deep regret for me that I was not able to deliver Brexit...I was not able to reach a consensus...that job will now fall to my successor," May said.

Between now and May's resignation, May still has work to do: President Trump will travel to the UK for a state visit, while Europe will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

It's fitting that May touted the virtues of her moderate approach to governance during her resignation speech, considering that her attempts to chart a middle path through Brexit ended up alienating hard-core Brexiteers and remainers alike. Her fate was effectively sealed nearly two years ago, after she called for a general election that cost the Tories their majority in Parliament and emboldened Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The pound's reaction was relatively muted, as May's decision to step down had been telegraphed well in advance.


CheapBastard , 18 minutes ago link

Crying May. What a Loser. Plus, she may have well co-conspired against Trump.

They should lock her up in the Tower.

keep the bastards honest , 39 minutes ago link

She didn't cry for syrians when she declared bombing Syria and using the firm her husband is involved in,. They made billion, and she didn't cry over her makeover afterwards new hair clothes and big jewels and cuddles with her husband in the media.

bluecollartrader , 45 minutes ago link

She and John Boehner should start a therapy group.

There's no crying in politics.

HRClinton , 27 minutes ago link

The plan was Merkel, May and Hillary.

That's a hell of a bullet we just dodged.

Riiiight. Instead, 10,000 Pentagram "Monitors" will be dodging bullets and bombs in the ME.

"(Bibi,) you'll be so tired of winning" - Candidate Trump

Why, you didn't think that he was talking about America's Main Street, did you? Sucker !

HRClinton , 16 minutes ago link

Many women in esteemed positions are just affirmative action or window dressing to placate the masses with supposed maternal love but they end up being wicked as heck.

Perhaps, but it's worse than that:

They are part of the Divide & Conquer strategy, while (((Global-lusts))) are plundering the Wealth Of Nations and taking over the real reigns of power.

Americants are easily distracted or fooled.

ps. "...wicked as heck." Wicked? Heck? What's up with the careful avoidance of "cuss words"? It's ok, you're safe... No "ladies or preachers" (bitches or scammers) nearby. And the Tylers or NSA won't rat you out.

[May 19, 2019] Intel agencies of the UK and US are guilty of fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing fake analysis and operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Couple of factors not mentioned. one is Israel and the other is more sinister still and tied to the conclusions to be drawn from the Mueller report.

it may be true that Skripal helped Steele with some elements of the dossier compiled by Steele, via SKripals handler Pablo Miller. It may be true that Skripal went "stir crazy" and an attempt was made to silence him and his daughter - permanently, because they simply cold not be trusted. a similar motivation could be drawn up against Russia - with the two Russians visiting Salisbury used as diversionary "stool pigeons". It may be true that the "poisoning" was self inflicted and was in fact a murder/suicide attempt as a result of depression along the ines "what's the point of it all".

what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers.

what ought to be apparent is

- the same tactics used by the special prosecutor to investigate the "Russia collusion" smoke screen erected by the howler monkeys in the US intel agencies (aided and abetter by howler monkeys in UK intel agencies) to stymie the US executive branch (Trump) are likely to be used by the the UK government and some more as well - in true Le Carre fashion, but with much dumber and less principled actors than Smiley's people.

these tactics prevented (and continue to prevent) investigation and prosecution of heinous corruption within the obama administration of the previous 8 years - these howler monkey intelligence agency tactics include(d) entrapment, honeypots, racketeering, blackmail, de facto kidnapping (in the case of Skripals), bribery, wire fraud, unauthorized wire-tapping, breach of authorized intel agency activities (like the FBI operating overseas and the CIA operating domestically in the US, false and unverified claims in FISA warrants, NSA providing unauthorized information to the CIA and FBI etc)

- given the howler monkey activities of the alphabet soup, it is not beyond the imagination to draw parallels with the CIA's reporting and analysis of situations on the ground wherever they operate to provide intel ahead of military activity. the DOD has already proved complicit by hiring Halper (for hundreds of thousands of dollars) to assist with the entrapment of Trump operative Papadopoulos. Mifsud is likely a CIA, not a Russian, asset.

- given that we have ample evidence of the howler monkeys in the alphabet soup seeking to facilitate a coup against a sitting US president, it is certainly plausible that - as with the US goverment sponsoring the mujaheedin, isis and al qaeda in afghanistan to fight the russians in late 80's early 90's, Iraq yellow cake and WMD - that the howler monkeys paid the white helmets to ovethrow assad and foment civil war in Syria - thus causing the migration of some 5 million syrians into europe, iraq, turkey, jordan, turkey and lebanon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Helmets_(Syrian_Civil_War)

so , the case is that howler monkey activity in intel agencies of the UK and US (add (F)rance to get FUKUS) are guilty of the manufacture of human conflict by fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing shitty analysis (howler monkeys are only good at swinging in trees and flinging ****) and generally operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity.

this can only be brought into sharp relief if howler monkey activities were instead shown to be powers for good rather than the geo-political risks that persist in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and so on and so forth.

Never mind how much past conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and so on relied on evidence and analysis thrown at us by the howler monkeys in the tree tops, how much of what we we are doing now is a fabrication causing needless suffering by civilian (not politicians or military engaged in conflict) populations?

the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people.

there are equivalents of strzok, page, ohr right throughout the US and UK government "machines" operating overseas. think about that. crimes exposed by Barr et al in the US - against a sitting president - are replicated wherever howler monkeys operate overseas as well.

[May 19, 2019] Teresa May has been the common denominator in many of the sick things happening in the UK

Notable quotes:
"... Things have indeed moved on since the Skripal affair, not at least in terms of the prime minister Teresa May. It must now be clear to even the most dimwitted that she is a lunatic of note. This is obviously not something that has only come as a response to Brexit. However Brexit has shown her up as an utter idiot. ..."
"... Only a person of this caliper might be able to make any sense of the Skripal affair, and even if it makes perfect sense in her diseased mind, ..."
"... Teresa May has been the common denominator in many of the sick things happening in the UK, ..."
"... "And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn't mince words. "Cheney wants you out," Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. "We can't accept your management style." ..."
"... Bolton continued, according to Bustani's recollections: "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." ..."
"... There was a pause. "We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York."" ..."
"... The Brits have gone nuts. Maybe it is Karma for all the centuries of bad actions towards the rest of the world. Now that their DS manipulation is being exposed, what else are they going to do? Try to influence Putin? ..."
"... I don't think they've gone nuts. I think the UK is the center of the globalist cabal, and the cabal is on the back foot and getting desperate. 6 hours ago And the more desperate they are the more dangerous they become. And the Satanic head of this globalist cabal are the Rothschilds, who belong to the powerful Chabad Lubavitch cult, and who "made the modern banking system and the Fed that made Zionism, the world wars, the European Union, and so on." ..."
"... Between 2003 and 2013 "the Jared Khushner family foundation donated a total of $342,500 to various institutions and projects associated with the movement... in addition the Donald J Trump Foundation has donated $11,550 to three Chabad institutions." -- Kushners Belong to Jewish Supremacist Doomsday Group (that prophesies WWIII after which the Jews will rule). ..."
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

[May 19, 2019] The OPCW, Douma, The Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East. ..."
"... Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense. ..."
"... A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time. ..."
"... The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation. ..."
"... The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know. ..."
"... The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect. ..."
"... Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later). ..."
"... The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all. ..."
"... She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day. ..."
"... If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East. ..."
"... So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility? ..."
"... This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first. ..."
"... If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this. ..."
"... But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval. ..."
"... The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end. ..."
"... Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever. ..."
"... In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran. ..."
"... The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Off-Guardian.org,

In view of the latest revelations from the leaked report, which seem to prove that at least some elements of the Douma "chemical attack" were entirely staged, we want to take look back at the chaotic events of Spring 2018.

The following is an extract from an article by Catte originally published April 14th last year, which takes on a greater weight in light of certain evidence – not only that the Douma attack was faked, but that the OPCW is compromised.

You can read the whole article here .

* * *

PRIMARILY UK INITIATIVE?

The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.

Since at least 2001 and the launch of the "War on Terror" the US has led the way in finding or creating facile excuses to fight oil wars and hegemonic wars and proxy wars in the region. But this time the dynamics look a little different.

This time it really looks as if the UK has been setting the pace of the "response".

The fact (as stated above) that Mattis was apparently telegraphing his own private doubts a)about the verifiability of the attacks, and b)about the dangers of a military response suggests he was a far from enthusiastic partaker in this adventure.

Trump's attitude is harder to gauge. His tweets veered wildly between unhinged threats and apparent efforts at conciliation. But he must have known he would lose (and seemingly has lost) a great part of his natural voter base (who elected him on a no-more-war mandate) by an act of open aggression that threatened confrontation with Russia on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense.

A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time.

You can see why Mattis and others in the administration might be reluctant to take part in the false flag/punitive air strike narrative if they saw nothing currently to be gained to repay the risk. They may have preferred to wait for developments and plan for a more productive way of playing the R2P card in the future.

The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation.

The UK govt and media on the other hand has been much more homogeneous in advocating for action. No doubts of the type expressed by Mattis have been heard from the lips of an UK government minister. Even May, a cowardly PM, has been (under how much pressure?) voicing sterling certitude in public that action HAD to be taken.

Couple this with the – as yet unverified – claims by Russia of direct UK involvement in arranging the Douma "attack", and the claims by Syria that the perps are in their custody, and a tentative storyline emerges. It's possible this time there were other considerations in the mix beside the usual need to "be seen to do something" and Trump's perpetual requirement to appease the liberal Russiagaters and lunatic warmongers at home. Maybe this time it was also about helping the UK out of a sticky problem.

THE SKRIPAL CONSIDERATION

Probably the only thing we can all broadly agree on about the Skripal narrative is that it manifestly did not go according to plan. However it was intended to play out, it wasn't this way. Since some time in mid to late March it's been clear the entire thing has become little more than an exercise in damage-limitation, leak-plugging and general containment.

The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know.

The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect.

  1. It lied again and again about the information Porton Down had given it
  2. Its lawyers all but lied to Mr Justice Robinson about whether or not the Skripals had relatives in Russia in an unscrupulous attempt to maintain total control of them, or at least of the narrative.
  3. It is not publishing the OPCW report on the chemical analyses, and the summary of that report reads like an exercise in allusion and weasel-wording. Even the name of the "toxic substance" found in the Skripals' blood is omitted, and the only thing tying it to the UK government's public claims of "novichok" is association by inference and proximity.

Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later).

None of the alleged victims of this alleged attack has been seen in public even in passing since the event. There is no film or photographs of DS Bailey leaving the hospital, no film or photographs of his wife or family members doing the same. No interviews with Bailey, no interviews with his wife, family, distant relatives, work colleagues.

The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all.

She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day.

Very little of this bizarre, self-defeating, embarrassing, hysterical story makes any sense other than as a random narrative, snaking wildly in response to events the narrative-makers can't completely control.

Why? What went wrong? Why has the UK government got itself into this mess? And how much did the Douma "gas attack" and subsequent drive for a concerted western "response" have to do with trying to fix that?

IS THIS WHAT HAPPENED?

If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East.

So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?

Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?

Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?

So, did they push on with the now virtually useless "chemical attack", botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied "response" to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?

This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.

It would explain why the US has been less than enthused by the idea of reprisals. Because while killing Syrians to further geo-strategic interests is not a problem, killing Syrians (and risking escalation with Russia) in order to rescue an embarrassed UK government is less appealing.

And it would explain why the "reprisals" when they came were so half-hearted.

If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this.

This is very bad.

But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval.

This is a major issue. She and her government should resign. But it's unlikely that will happen.

So what next? There is a sense this is a watershed for many of the parties involved and for the citizens of the countries drawn into this.

Will the usual suspects try to avoid paying for their crimes and misadventures by more rhetoric, more false flags, more "reprisals"? Or will this signal some other change in direction?

We'll all know soon enough.

* * *

Back to today...

...and while things have moved on, we're still puzzling over all the same issues.

All these questions stand, and are important, but more important than all of that is the lesson: They tried it before, and just because it didn't work doesn't mean they won't try it again.

Last spring, the Western powers showed they will deploy a false flag if they need too, for domestic or international motives. And they have the motives right now.

The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end.

Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever.

Britain had the most to gain, of all NATO countries, and that is still true. We don't know what they might do.

This time they might even receive greater support from France this time around – since Macron is facing a revolution at home and would kill (possibly literally) for a nice international distraction.

In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran.

That's not to say Syria is safe, far from it. They are always just one carefully place false-flag away from all-out war. Last year, Mattis (or whoever) decided war with Syria was not an option – that it was too risky or complicated. That might not happen next time.

Clearly, the US hasn't totally seen sense in terms of stoking conflict with Russia – as seen by the decision to pull out of the INF Treaty late last year. And further demonstrated by their attempts to overthrow Russia's ally Nicolas Maduro. Another ripe candidate for a false flag.

The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media.

But because recognising what they were trying to do last time , is the best defense when they try it again next time .

[May 14, 2019] Leaked Document Pokes More Holes In Establishment Syria Narrative

Notable quotes:
"... The assessment says more thoroughly and technically what I argued in an article last year , that the physics of the air-dropped cylinder narrative make no sense whatsoever. This is a problem, because the reason we were given for the US, UK and France launching airstrikes on Syrian government targets in April of 2018 was that two cylinders full of poison gas had been dropped from aircraft by the Syrian air force and killed dozens of civilians. ..."
"... Just as interesting as this new report has been the response of the usual establishment Syria narrative managers to it, or rather the lack thereof. NATO narrative management firm Bellingcat , which normally jumps all over these kinds of revelations in an attempt to discredit them, has been maintaining radio silence as of this writing. Its founder, Eliot Higgins, has had nothing to say on the matter other than to retweet a pathetic rebuttal by his mini-me Scott Lucas and take a few childish jabs at me for highlighting this fact. ..."
"... We are being lied to about Syria . Anyone who believes unproven assertions about governments targeted for toppling by the US-centralized empire has failed to learn the lessons of history. The Syrian government had literally nothing to gain strategically from using chemical weapons in Douma, a battle it had already won, and knew full well that doing so would provoke an attack from the empire. Douma was occupied by the Al Qaeda-linked Jaysh Al-Islam, who had at that point nothing to lose and everything to gain by staging a false flag attack in a last-ditch attempt to get NATO powers to function as its air force. ..."
"... If you still believe at this point that the Syrian government dropped poison gas on Douma last year, then I've got some Iraqi WMDs to sell you. ..."
"... Did the OPCW withhold the results of the simulations? Yes. Could the cylinders have broken through the reinforced concrete slabs without being destroyed? No. ..."
"... And not one outlet in the Western MSM raised the slightest question of this. They were all cheering the public towards war. Alex Jones and InfoWars raised questions about the possibility of a false flag, but he was of course painted as a dangerous "conspiracy theorist" for saying so. ..."
"... General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw (2:12) ..."
"... Remember that Russia called it a false flag soon after and even took residents of Douma to testify to the OPCW that it was indeed a false flag. Everyone at the time said Russia and Assad were lying. ..."
"... Remember that the US & UK at the UN have called for giving EXTENDED power to the OPCW to "assign blame" in such incidents. The OPCW ALREADY DID THAT and it was ALL LIES. As USUAL it is the US & CO who LIE AND MURDER INNOCENTS for their political/geopolitical aims. ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

"It is hard to overstate the significance of this revelation," tweets former British MP George Galloway of a new report by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM).

" The war-machine has now been caught red-handed in a staged chemical weapons attack for the purposes of deceiving our democracies into what could have turned into a full-scale war amongst the great-powers."

"An important #Douma #Syria 'Assad chemical weapon attack' development and yet more evidence to suggest the 'attack' was staged, as it's now revealed that @OPCW suppressed expert engineers report that found the cylinders were likely not dropped from the air ," tweets former Scotland Yard detective and counterterrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge.

"The engineering assessment confirms our earlier conclusion," the excellent Moon of Alabama blog writes .

" The whole scene as depicted by 'rebels' and propaganda organs was staged. The more than 34 dead on the scene were murdered elsewhere under unknown circumstances."

An important #Douma #Syria 'Assad chemical weapon attack' development and yet more evidence to suggest the 'attack' was staged, as it's now revealed that @OPCW suppressed expert engineers report that found the cylinders were likely not dropped from the air https://t.co/hZCP2Ujlbk

-- Charles Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeC) May 13, 2019

The report has grabbed the attention of those who've expressed skepticism of establishment Syria narratives because it casts serious doubts on the official story we've been told to believe about an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April of last year. A document titled "Engineering Assessment of two cylinders observed at the Douma incident" has been leaked to the WGSPM which reveals that an engineering sub-team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding mission in Douma came to conclusions which differ wildly from the OPCW's official findings on the Douma incident, yet we the public were never permitted to see this assessment.

The assessment's findings, which you can locate on pages five through eight of the document , put forward multiple hypothetical scenarios in which two gas cylinders could have wound up in the locations(Location 2 and Location 4) that they were photographed and video recorded as having been found after the alleged attack. The assessment concludes that "The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene."

The assessment says more thoroughly and technically what I argued in an article last year , that the physics of the air-dropped cylinder narrative make no sense whatsoever. This is a problem, because the reason we were given for the US, UK and France launching airstrikes on Syrian government targets in April of 2018 was that two cylinders full of poison gas had been dropped from aircraft by the Syrian air force and killed dozens of civilians.

The assessment is signed by Ian Henderson, who the WGSPM were able to verify as a longtime OPCW-trained inspection team leader. The OPCW reportedly denied that Henderson was involved in its Douma fact-finding mission, but the WGSPM counters that "This statement is false. The engineering sub-team could not have been carrying out studies in Douma at Locations 2 and 4 unless they had been notified by OPCW to the Syrian National Authority (the body that oversees compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention) as FFM inspectors: it is unlikely that Henderson arrived on a tourist visa."

So far this is the establishment narrative management machine's only attempt at refuting the latest revelations indicating that the #Douma attack last year was staged. It basically boils down to "They're conspiracy theorists and the official narrative disagrees with them." https://t.co/04iFa24do8

-- Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) May 13, 2019

Just as interesting as this new report has been the response of the usual establishment Syria narrative managers to it, or rather the lack thereof. NATO narrative management firm Bellingcat , which normally jumps all over these kinds of revelations in an attempt to discredit them, has been maintaining radio silence as of this writing. Its founder, Eliot Higgins, has had nothing to say on the matter other than to retweet a pathetic rebuttal by his mini-me Scott Lucas and take a few childish jabs at me for highlighting this fact.

Scott Lucas' Facebook post on the WGSPM report remains as of this writing the only attempt from the Syria narrative management machine to address it, and it boils down to nothing more than assertions that the report contradicts the official OPCW narrative (duh) and that the WGSPM are conspiracy theorists. Lucas may have thought it a good idea to author this post believing that he had a more substantial argument than he actually had, but it was pointed out shortly after publication that his claim about Henderson refusing to consider other possible scenarios in his assessment is directly contradicted by the words that are in the assessment, and Lucas was forced to make a hasty revision .

There will be other counter-narratives released by the Syria narrative management machine, to be sure, but the fact that this report has been out for the better part of the day with nary a peep from that lot reveals a great deal about the difficulties they're having with this one.

We are being lied to about Syria . Anyone who believes unproven assertions about governments targeted for toppling by the US-centralized empire has failed to learn the lessons of history. The Syrian government had literally nothing to gain strategically from using chemical weapons in Douma, a battle it had already won, and knew full well that doing so would provoke an attack from the empire. Douma was occupied by the Al Qaeda-linked Jaysh Al-Islam, who had at that point nothing to lose and everything to gain by staging a false flag attack in a last-ditch attempt to get NATO powers to function as its air force.

If you still believe at this point that the Syrian government dropped poison gas on Douma last year, then I've got some Iraqi WMDs to sell you.

* * *

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Tunga , 45 minutes ago link

The assessment was generated using photos taken by the OPCW Fact Finding Mission ( FFM) and the use of finite element computer modeling.

There is no reason to accuse the OPCW of lying about the Inspector not being in Douma. He could have produced the report from anywhere that had the computer power and software as well as access to the FFM photos several of which appear in the March 1st 2019 OPCW final report.

Did the OPCW withhold the results of the simulations? Yes. Could the cylinders have broken through the reinforced concrete slabs without being destroyed? No.

The software;

"Abaqus/Explicit is a finite element analysis product that is particularly well-suited to simulate brief transient dynamic events such as consumer electronics drop testing, automotive crashworthiness, and ballistic impact. The ability of Abaqus/Explicit to effectively handle severely nonlinear behavior such as contact makes it very attractive for the simulation of many quasi-static events, such as rolling of hot metal and slow crushing of energy absorbing devices. Abaqus/Explicit is designed for production environments, so ease of use, reliability, and efficiency are key ingredients in its architecture. Abaqus/Explicit is supported within the Abaqus/CAE modeling environment for all common pre- and postprocessing needs."

https://www.3ds.com/products-services/simulia/products/abaqus/abaqusexplicit/

Dassault Systems.

vienna_proxy , 1 hour ago link

obama and hillary still need to be executed for creating isis and the moderate rebel terrorists

Reaper , 1 hour ago link

There are no punishments for false flagers.

Dr. Acula , 1 hour ago link

Reminder that Mossad did 9/11 and tried to blow up the Mexican Congress and blamed Muslims.

Since they control the pedophiles in US's government, it makes sense that US would lie about the Syria gassings. Trump is part of this with his crazy "gas attack animal Assad" tweets.

Velocitor , 1 hour ago link

And not one outlet in the Western MSM raised the slightest question of this. They were all cheering the public towards war. Alex Jones and InfoWars raised questions about the possibility of a false flag, but he was of course painted as a dangerous "conspiracy theorist" for saying so.

And now he's being deplatformed, so we won't have any pesky voices of reason raising questions, the next time.

prymythirdeye , 1 hour ago link

EVERYTHING IS FAKE, STAGED FRAUD. We are being told more lies than truths these days.

Oliver Klozoff , 1 hour ago link

Everything about obama was faked, staged, phony. That's why all the dimms love him. Strange there's no comic book figure of him for hollyjewood to make movies of.

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

Everything about US government is faked. staged, phony. FIFY.

Goldilocks , 1 hour ago link

General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw (2:12)

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

It's becoming too easy. Precedents after precedents have made events like this unusual if not staged, a false flag or hoax.

BGO , 2 hours ago link

A couple of women have for years been exposing the *** stooge fraud in Syria. I won't sully their good names by posting them here, but I will say that if the fraud committed in Syria is a revelation to anyone in the US, the same should wrap their lips around the business end of a 12 gauge and blow.

Gonzogal , 2 hours ago link

Remember that Russia called it a false flag soon after and even took residents of Douma to testify to the OPCW that it was indeed a false flag. Everyone at the time said Russia and Assad were lying.

Remember that the US & UK at the UN have called for giving EXTENDED power to the OPCW to "assign blame" in such incidents. The OPCW ALREADY DID THAT and it was ALL LIES. As USUAL it is the US & CO who LIE AND MURDER INNOCENTS for their political/geopolitical aims.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/431595-opcw-chemical-syria-blame/

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201806281065865144-ex-uk-envoy-syria-opcw-nato/

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201804111063421210-usa-syria-un-response-analysis/

kimsarah , 2 hours ago link

All the more reason to be skeptical about Iranian "attacks" on Saudi oil ships.

Kafir Goyim , 2 hours ago link

I assume that's why this leak is happening now. I think it's too little, too late, but I applaud the effort.

The widespread knowledge by the populace of our owners contempt for the truth and usage of false flags as standard procedure to provide cover for their wars, is about the only thing, at this point, that will derail a war with Iran caused by an "Iranian attack on a tanker".

Gonzogal , 2 hours ago link

The widespread knowledge by the populace of our owners contempt for the truth and usage of false flags as standard procedure to provide cover for their wars, is about the only thing, at this point, that will derail a war with Iran caused by an "Iranian attack on a tanker".

Unfortunately I would not bet on that. Since when did the US regime or any other "Western Partners" listen to reason or their citizens....PLUS I have NOT seen any Americans protesting against their regimes actions in the world and the silence from them will once again be deafening in the attempts to start a war with Iran!

Kafir Goyim , 2 hours ago link

That was the beauty of a draft. It made wars so much more personal for the average person. All volunteer military allows the populace to tune out completely from any foreign adventures their owners may be engaged in.

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

That is a VERY sad commentary on the state of America, if the ONLY thing that will make Americans protest against their regimes wars world-wide is if it re-institutes the draft!

BarnacleBill , 2 hours ago link

Caitlin Johnstone is worth her weight in gold.

chunga , 2 hours ago link

Being skeptical going forward is not the result of any "derangement syndrome". Its the result of things like this.

Kafir Goyim , 2 hours ago link

Since these things occurred for that last 20 years, (55 years-Tonkin) and from more than one country, "derangement syndrome" would indeed be an incorrect reason to be skeptical. What is disappointing to non TDS sufferers is that the last two years matched the previous 18.

chunga , 2 hours ago link

The pattern is well established so there is no excuse for repeating the same mistakes and right now the pipeline is full of the same mistakes.

MRob , 49 minutes ago link

20 years? 55 years??!

Pfft....

Lets start with the Spanish American war of 1898...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQvodmOVrHU

(Corbett Report)

HedgeJunkie , 38 minutes ago link

First thing I thought of...

https://www.thoughtco.com/spanish-american-war-uss-maine-explodes-2361193

teharr , 2 hours ago link

No way! A false flag? CONSPIRACY!!!!!!!

Disclosure is slow for those that suspected a false flag the minute it happened. Waking up the sheep is so tedious.

It is all ******** folks, all of it.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 2 hours ago link

So who can sue OPCW in the ICCJ for war crimes in terms of knowingly promoting false narratives that lead to massive losses of life? Will at least twitter ban related accounts for false fear-mongering endangering public safety? These people are deeply corrupt. But then information has started to leak out.

Badsamm , 2 hours ago link

Time to check those Saudi tankers that were "attacked".

3nd7ime8oogie , 2 hours ago link

Commercial chlorine cylinders, cheap. But most people couldn't tell the difference between a nerve agent (Sarin/VX), a simple WWI burn agent (Chlorine) & a spicey curry. The feels of supposed invisible clouds choking out children overwhems any rational analysis thus carring the narrative.

Wahooo , 2 hours ago link

Trump's a war criminal and needs to be tried.

insanelysane , 1 hour ago link

By staying out of wars??? Ahhh, Peace is War!

MR166 , 2 hours ago link

Trump threw a giant monkey wrench into the Deep State operations by getting elected. Imagine where we would be today if Killary got elected.

44magnum , 2 hours ago link

Same ******* place or worse. Remember that for the next vote and the next and the next,etc. Because it will always be same ******* place or worse.

Algo Rhythm , 2 hours ago link

Color me shocked.... just kiddin'

We knew this was BS all along and government does nothing but kill humanity.

Kreator , 2 hours ago link

Does this mean White Helmets will have to return Oscar for their heartbreaking story where they pull "dead" kids from ruble, and then couple of months later they pull same kids that "died" again from ruble?

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

Only if the White House apologizes to Syrians for "mistaking" fiction for fact. If not, the Oscar stays.

haruspicio , 2 hours ago link

People of America, your government is LYING TO YOU. Pretty much on every issue. Do not believe anything you read, see or hear, but ask searching questions about how this stuff is down, who benefits etc etc

Why on earth would Assad, every time he is gaining ground and winning, gas people. It doesn't;t make any sense at all. Who benefits? Why Isis, al Qaeda and the terrorists who are supported by your government. Your taxes go to support the folks that bombed the WTC on 9/11.

Chupacabra-322 , 2 hours ago link

Who benefits?

IsRaHell.

SybilDefense , 2 hours ago link

Not sure why it's "acceptable" that many of our "US" leaders are dual passport/citizen "them".

Wonder what one day would look like if politicians were forced to speak the truth?

Jesus must be packing his bags, as we are surely in need of another visit.

Goldilocks , 2 hours ago link

Government and MSM complicity regarding 9/11, set a dangerous precedent...

"What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes" - Harry Houdini

07 - The Key
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rml2TL5N8ds (45:05)
CollinAlexander - May 29, 2012

The key to solving 9/11 is something called a "key". Understanding video compositing technology, both its capabilities AND limitations, proves no planes, and therefore proves demolition.

WhiteOakQueen , 1 hour ago link

Before 9/11 Oklahoma City Bombing watch A Noble Lie on Amazon Prime

[May 14, 2019] The Propaganda Multiplier How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics

Highly recommended!
Images omitted.
Important article that shed some light on the methods of disinformation in foreign events used by neoliberal MSM
Notable quotes:
"... However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves. ..."
"... Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters. ..."
"... Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media. ..."
"... How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" : ..."
"... The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists. ..."
"... Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media: ..."
"... What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts: ..."
"... "In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298) ..."
Jun 01, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Swiss Propaganda Research Global Research, May 14, 2019 Swiss Propaganda Research Region: Europe , USA Theme: Media Disinformation

This study was originally published in 2016.

Introduction: "Something strange"

"How does the newspaper know what it knows?" The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers: "The main source of information is stories from news agencies. The almost anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to world events. So what are the names of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To judge how well one is informed about events in East and West, one should know the answers to these questions." (Höhne 1977, p. 11)

A Swiss media researcher points out:

"The news agencies are the most important suppliers of material to mass media. No daily media outlet can manage without them. () So the news agencies influence our image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have selected." (Blum 1995, p. 9)

In view of their essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these agencies are hardly known to the public:

"A large part of society is unaware that news agencies exist at all In fact, they play an enormously important role in the media market. But despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to them in the past." (Schulten-Jaspers 2013, p. 13)

Even the head of a news agency noted:

"There is something strange about news agencies. They are little known to the public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the story." (Segbers 2007, p. 9)

"The Invisible Nerve Center of the Media System"

So what are the names of these agencies that are "always at the source of the story"? There are now only three global agencies left:

  1. The American Associated Press ( AP ) with over 4000 employees worldwide. The AP belongs to US media companies and has its main editorial office in New York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media outlets, reaching more than half of the world's population every day.
  2. The quasi-governmental French Agence France-Presse ( AFP ) based in Paris and with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends over 3000 stories and photos every day to media all over the world.
  3. The British agency Reuters in London, which is privately owned and employs just over 3000 people. Reuters was acquired in 2008 by Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson – one of the 25 richest people in the world – and merged into Thomson Reuters , headquartered in New York.

In addition, many countries run their own news agencies. However, when it comes to international news, these usually rely on the three global agencies and simply copy and translate their reports.

The three global news agencies Reuters, AFP and AP, and the three national agencies of the German-speaking countries of Austria (APA), Germany (DPA) and Switzerland (SDA).

Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of the Austrian APA, described the key role of news agencies with these words:

"News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system." (Segbers 2007, p.10)

Small abbreviation, great effect

However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves.

The following figure shows some examples of source tagging in popular German-language newspapers. Next to the agency abbreviations we find the initials of editors who have edited the respective agency report.

News agencies as sources in newspaper articles

Occasionally, newspapers use agency material but do not label it at all. A study in 2011 from the Swiss Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the University of Zurich came to the following conclusions (FOEG 2011):

"Agency contributions are exploited integrally without labeling them, or they are partially rewritten to make them appear as an editorial contribution. In addition, there is a practice of 'spicing up' agency reports with little effort; for example, visualization techniques are used: unpublished agency reports are enriched with images and graphics and presented as comprehensive reports."

The agencies play a prominent role not only in the press, but also in private and public broadcasting. This is confirmed by Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies critically:

"One fundamental problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information mainly from three sources: the news agencies DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British and one French. () The editor working on a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them together with a few flourishes."

Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), too, largely bases itself on reports from these agencies. Asked by viewers why a peace march in Ukraine was not reported, the editors said : "To date, we have not received a single report of this march from the independent agencies Reuters, AP and AFP."

In fact, not only the text, but also the images, sound and video recordings that we encounter in our media every day, are mostly from the very same agencies. What the uninitiated audience might think of as contributions from their local newspaper or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York, London and Paris.

Some media have even gone a step further and have, for lack of resources, outsourced their entire foreign editorial office to an agency. Moreover, it is well known that many news portals on the internet mostly publish agency reports (see e.g., Paterson 2007, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013).

In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a striking similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases – a phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with "controlled media" in authoritarian states.

The following graphic shows some examples from German and international publications. As you can see, despite the claimed objectivity, a slight (geo-)political bias sometimes creeps in.

"Putin threatens", "Iran provokes", "NATO concerned", "Assad stronghold": Similarities in content and wording due to reports by global news agencies.

The role of correspondents

Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters.

First of all, the size ratios should be kept in mind: while the global agencies have several thousand employees worldwide, even the Swiss newspaper NZZ, known for its international reporting, maintains only 35 foreign correspondents (including their business correspondents). In huge countries such as China or India, only one correspondent is stationed; all of South America is covered by only two journalists, while in even larger Africa no-one is on the ground permanently.

Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media.

How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" :

"I'd imagined correspondents to be historians-of-the-moment. When something important happened, they'd go after it, find out what was going on, and report on it. But I didn't go off to find out what was going on; that had been done long before. I went along to present an on-the-spot report. ()

The editors in the Netherlands called when something happened, they faxed or emailed the press releases, and I'd retell them in my own words on the radio, or rework them into an article for the newspaper. This was the reason my editors found it more important that I could be reached in the place itself than that I knew what was going on. The news agencies provided enough information for you to be able to write or talk you way through any crisis or summit meeting.

That's why you often come across the same images and stories if you leaf through a few different newspapers or click the news channels.

Our men and women in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington bureaus – all thought that wrong topics were dominating the news and that we were following the standards of the news agencies too slavishly. ()

The common idea about correspondents is that they 'have the story', () but the reality is that the news is a conveyor belt in a bread factory. The correspondents stand at the end of the conveyor belt, pretending we've baked that white loaf ourselves, while in fact all we've done is put it in its wrapping. ()

Afterwards, a friend asked me how I'd managed to answer all the questions during those cross-talks, every hour and without hesitation. When I told him that, like on the TV-news, you knew all the questions in advance, his e-mailed response came packed with expletives. My friend had relalized that, for decades, what he'd been watching and listening to on the news was pure theatre." (Luyendjik 2009, p. 20-22, 76, 189)

In other words, the typical correspondent is in general not able to do independent research, but rather deals with and reinforces those topics that are already prescribed by the news agencies – the notorious "mainstream effect".

In addition, for cost-saving reasons many media outlets nowadays have to share their few foreign correspondents, and within individual media groups, foreign reports are often used by several publications – none of which contributes to diversity in reporting.

"What the agency does not report, does not take place"

The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists.

Rather, the "Observatory" delivered its stories to global agencies, which then forwarded them to thousands of media outlets, which in turn "informed" hundreds of millions of readers and viewers worldwide. The reason why the agencies, of all places, referred to this strange "Observatory" in their reporting – and who really financed it – is a question that was rarely asked.

The former chief editor of the German news agency DPA, Manfred Steffens, therefore states in his book "The Business of News":

"A news story does not become more correct simply because one is able to provide a source for it. It is indeed rather questionable to trust a news story more just because a source is cited. () Behind the protective shield such a 'source' means for a news story, some people are quite inclined to spread rather adventurous things, even if they themselves have legitimate doubts about their correctness; the responsibility, at least morally, can always be attributed to the cited source." (Steffens 1969, p. 106)

Dependence on global agencies is also a major reason why media coverage of geopolitical conflicts is often superficial and erratic, while historic relationships and background are fragmented or altogether absent. As put by Steffens:

"News agencies receive their impulses almost exclusively from current events and are therefore by their very nature ahistoric. They are reluctant to add any more context than is strictly required." (Steffens 1969, p. 32)

Finally, the dominance of global agencies explains why certain geopolitical issues and events – which often do not fit very well into the US/NATO narrative or are too "unimportant" – are not mentioned in our media at all: if the agencies do not report on something, then most Western media will not be aware of it. As pointed out on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German DPA: "What the agency does not report, does not take place." (Wilke 2000, p. 1)

America's "Righteous" Russia-gate Censorship. "Russia Bashing All the Time"

"Adding questionable stories"

While some topics do not appear at all in our media, other topics are very prominent – even though they shouldn't actually be: "Often the mass media do not report on reality, but on a constructed or staged reality. () Several studies have shown that the mass media are predominantly determined by PR activities and that passive, receptive attitudes outweigh active-researching ones." (Blum 1995, p. 16)

In fact, due to the rather low journalistic performance of our media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience. DPA editor Steffens warned of this danger:

"The critical sense gets more lulled the more respected the news agency or newspaper is. Someone who wants to introduce a questionable story into the world press only needs to try to put his story in a reasonably reputable agency, to be sure that it then appears a little later in the others. Sometimes it happens that a hoax passes from agency to agency and becomes ever more credible." (Steffens 1969, p. 234)

Among the most active actors in "injecting" questionable geopolitical news are the military and defense ministries. For example, in 2009, the head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with a budget of nearly $ 5 billion a year, are working the media and circulating targeted manipulations. In addition, high-ranking US generals had threatened that they would "ruin" the AP and him if the journalists reported too critically on the US military.

Despite – or because of? – such threats our media regularly publish dubious stories sourced to some unnamed "informants" from "US defense circles".

Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media:

"With the help of the media, the military determine the public perception and use it for their plans. They manage to stir expectations and spread scenarios and deceptions. In this new kind of war, the PR strategists of the US administration fulfill a similar function as the bomber pilots. The special departments for public relations in the Pentagon and in the secret services have become combatants in the information war. () The US military specifically uses the lack of transparency in media coverage for their deception maneuvers. The way they spread information, which is then picked up and distributed by newspapers and broadcasters, makes it impossible for readers, listeners or viewers to trace the original source. Thus, the audience will fail to recognize the actual intention of the military." (Tilgner 2003, p. 132)

What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Stockwell said of his work in the Angolan war,

"The basic theme was to make it look like an [enemy] aggression in Angola. So any kind of story that you could write and get into the media anywhere in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my staff in this task force were covert action, were propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up stories and finding ways of getting them into the press. () The editors in most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages that conform to general views and prejudices. () So we came up with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. () [But] it was all fiction."

Fred Bridgland looked back on his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency: "We based our reports on official communications. It was not until years later that I learned a little CIA disinformation expert had sat in the US embassy, in Lusaka and composed that communiqué, and it bore no relation at all to truth. () Basically, and to put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it will get newspaper room."

And former CIA analyst David MacMichael described his work in the Contra War in Nicaragua with these words:

"They said our intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came straight out of the toilet." (Hird 1985)

Of course, the intelligence services also have a large number of direct contacts in our media, which can be "leaked" information to if necessary. But without the central role of the global news agencies, the worldwide synchronization of propaganda and disinformation would never be so efficient.

Through this "propaganda multiplier", dubious stories from PR experts working for governments, military and intelligence services reach the general public more or less unchecked and unfiltered. The journalists refer to the news agencies and the news agencies refer to their sources. Although they often attempt to point out uncertainties with terms such as "apparent", "alleged" and the like – by then the rumor has long been spread to the world and its effect taken place.

The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.

As the New York Times reported

In addition to global news agencies, there is another source that is often used by media outlets around the world to report on geopolitical conflicts, namely the major publications in Great Britain and the US.

For example, news outlets like the New York Times or BBC have up to 100 foreign correspondents and other external employees. However, Middle East correspondent Luyendijk points out:

"Dutch news teams, me included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times . We did that on the assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world and commanded a view of it – but many of them turned out not to speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a conversation in it or to follow the local media. Many of the top dogs at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and translators." (Luyendijk p. 47)

In addition, the sources of these media outlets are often not easy to verify ("military circles", "anonymous government officials", "intelligence officials" and the like) and can therefore also be used for the dissemination of propaganda. In any case, the widespread orientation towards the Anglo-Saxon publications leads to a further convergence in the geopolitical coverage in our media.

The following figure shows some examples of such citation based on the Syria coverage of the largest daily newspaper in Switzerland, Tages-Anzeiger. The articles are all from the first days of October 2015, when Russia for the first time intervened directly in the Syrian war (US/UK sources are highlighted):

Frequent citation of British and US media, exemplified by the Syria war coverage of Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in October 2015.

The desired narrative

But why do journalists in our media not simply try to research and report independently of the global agencies and the Anglo-Saxon media? Middle East correspondent Luyendijk describes his experiences:

"You might suggest that I should have looked for sources I could trust. I did try, but whenever I wanted to write a story without using news agencies, the main Anglo-Saxon media, or talking heads, it fell apart. () Obviously I, as a correspondent, could tell very different stories about one and the same situation. But the media could only present one of them, and often enough, that was exactly the story that confirmed the prevailing image." (Luyendijk p.54ff)

Media researcher Noam Chomsky has described this effect in his essay "What makes the mainstream media mainstream" as follows: "If you leave the official line, if you produce dissenting reports, then you will soon feel this. () There are many ways to get you back in line quickly. If you don't follow the guidelines, you will not keep your job long. This system works pretty well, and it reflects established power structures." (Chomsky 1997)

Nevertheless, some of the leading journalists continue to believe that nobody can tell them what to write. How does this add up? Media researcher Chomsky clarifies the apparent contradiction:

"[T]he point is that they wouldn't be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. () They have been through the socialization system." (Chomsky 1997)

Ultimately, this "socialization process" leads to a journalism that generally no longer independently researches and critically reports on geopolitical conflicts (and some other topics), but seeks to consolidate the desired narrative through appropriate editorials, commentary, and interviewees.

Conclusion: The "First Law of Journalism"

Former AP journalist Herbert Altschull called it the First Law of Journalism:

"In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298)

In that sense, it is logical that our traditional media – which are predominantly financed by advertising or the state – represent the geopolitical interests of the transatlantic alliance, given that both the advertising corporations as well as the states themselves are dependent on the US dominated transatlantic economic and security architecture.

In addition, our leading media and their key people are – in the spirit of Chomsky's "socialization" – often themselves part of the networks of the transatlantic elite. Some of the most important institutions in this regard include the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission (see in-depth study of these networks ).

Indeed, most well-known publications basically may be seen as "establishment media". This is because, in the past, the freedom of the press was rather theoretical, given significant entry barriers such as broadcasting licenses, frequency slots, requirements for financing and technical infrastructure, limited sales channels, dependence on advertising, and other restrictions.

It was only due to the Internet that Altschull's First Law has been broken to some extent. Thus, in recent years a high-quality, reader-funded journalism has emerged, often outperforming traditional media in terms of critical reporting. Some of these "alternative" publications already reach a very large audience, showing that the „mass" does not have to be a problem for the quality of a media outlet.

Nevertheless, up to now the traditional media has been able to attract a solid majority of online visitors, too. This, in turn, is closely linked to the hidden role of news agencies, whose up-to-the-minute reports form the backbone of most news portals.

Will "political and economic power", according to Altschull's Law, retain control over the news, or will "uncontrolled" news change the political and economic power structure? The coming years will show.

Case study: Syria war coverage

As part of a case study, the Syria war coverage of nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were examined for plurality of viewpoints and reliance on news agencies. The following newspapers were selected:

The investigation period was defined as October 1 to 15, 2015, i.e. the first two weeks after Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian conflict. The entire print and online coverage of these newspapers was taken into account. Any Sunday editions were not taken into account, as not all of the newspapers examined have such. In total, 381 newspaper articles met the stated criteria.

In a first step, the articles were classified according to their properties into the following groups:

  1. Agencies : Reports from news agencies (with agency code)
  2. Mixed : Simple reports (with author names) that are based in whole or in part on agency reports
  3. Reports : Editorial background reports and analyzes
  4. Opinions/Comments : Opinions and guest comments
  5. Interviews : interviews with experts, politicians etc.
  6. Investigative : Investigative research that reveals new information or context

The following Figure 1 shows the composition of the articles for the nine newspapers analyzed in total. As can be seen, 55% of articles were news agency reports; 23% editorial reports based on agency material; 9% background reports; 10% opinions and guest comments; 2% interviews; and 0% based on investigative research.

Figure 1: Types of articles (total; n=381)

The pure agency texts – from short notices to the detailed reports – were mostly on the Internet pages of the daily newspapers: on the one hand, the pressure for breaking news is higher than in the printed edition, on the other hand, there are no space restrictions. Most other types of articles were found in both the online and printed editions; some exclusive interviews and background reports were found only in the printed editions. All items were collected only once for the investigation.

The following Figure 2 shows the same classification on a per newspaper basis. During the observation period (two weeks), most newspapers published between 40 and 50 articles on the Syrian conflict (print and online). In the German newspaper Die Welt there were more (58), in the Basler Zeitung and the Austrian Kurier , however, significantly less (29 or 33).

Depending on which newspaper, the share of agency reports is almost 50% (Welt, Süddeutsche, NZZ, Basler Zeitung), just under 60% (FAZ, Tagesanzeiger), and 60 to 70% (Presse, Standard, Kurier). Together with the agency-based reports, the proportion in most newspapers is between approx. 70% and 80%. These proportions are consistent with previous media studies (e.g., Blum 1995, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013, Paterson 2007).

In the background reports, the Swiss newspapers were leading (five to six pieces), followed by Welt , Süddeutsche and Standard (four each) and the other newspapers (one to three). The background reports and analyzes were in particular devoted to the situation and development in the Middle East, as well as to the motives and interests of individual actors (for example Russia, Turkey, the Islamic State).

However, most of the commentaries were to be found in the German newspapers (seven comments each), followed by Standard (five), NZZ and Tagesanzeiger (four each). Basler Zeitung did not publish any commentaries during the observation period, but two interviews. Other interviews were conducted by Standard (three) and Kurier and Presse (one each). Investigative research, however, could not be found in any of the newspapers.

In particular, in the case of the three German newspapers, a journalistically problematic blending of opinion pieces and reports was noted. Reports contained strong expressions of opinion even though they were not marked as commentary. The present study was in any case based on the article labeling by the newspaper.

Figure 2: Types of articles per newspaper

The following Figure 3 shows the breakdown of agency stories (by agency abbreviation) for each news agency, in total and per country. The 211 agency reports carried a total of 277 agency codes (a story may consist of material from more than one agency). In total, 24% of agency reports came from the AFP; about 20% each by the DPA, APA and Reuters; 9% of the SDA; 6% of the AP; and 11% were unknown (no labeling or blanket term "agencies").

In Germany, the DPA, AFP and Reuters each have a share of about one third of the news stories. In Switzerland, the SDA and the AFP are in the lead, and in Austria, the APA and Reuters.

In fact, the shares of the global agencies AFP, AP and Reuters are likely to be even higher, as the Swiss SDA and the Austrian APA obtain their international reports mainly from the global agencies and the German DPA cooperates closely with the American AP.

It should also be noted that, for historical reasons, the global agencies are represented differently in different regions of the world. For events in Asia, Ukraine or Africa, the share of each agency will therefore be different than from events in the Middle East.

Figure 3: Share of news agencies, total (n=277) and per country

In the next step, central statements were used to rate the orientation of editorial opinions (28), guest comments (10) and interview partners (7) (a total of 45 articles). As Figure 4 shows, 82% of the contributions were generally US/NATO friendly, 16% neutral or balanced, and 2% predominantly US/NATO critical.

The only predominantly US/NATO-critical contribution was an op-ed in the Austrian Standard on October 2, 2015, titled: "The strategy of regime change has failed. A distinction between ‚good' and ‚bad' terrorist groups in Syria makes the Western policy untrustworthy."

Figure 4: Orientation of editorial opinions, guest comments, and interviewees (total; n=45).

The following Figure 5 shows the orientation of the contributions, guest comments and interviewees, in turn broken down by individual newspapers. As can be seen, Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, NZZ, Zürcher Tagesanzeiger and the Austrian newspaper Kurier presented exclusively US/NATO-friendly opinion and guest contributions; this goes for FAZ too, with the exception of one neutral/balanced contribution. The Standard brought four US/NATO friendly, three balanced/neutral, as well as the already mentioned US/NATO critical opinion contributions.

Presse was the only one of the examined newspapers to predominantly publish neutral/balanced opinions and guest contributions. The Basler Zeitung published one US/NATO-friendly and one balanced contribution. Shortly after the observation period (October 16, 2015), Basler Zeitung also published an interview with the President of the Russian Parliament. This would of course have been counted as a contribution critical of the US/NATO.

Figure 5: Basic orientation of opinion pieces and interviewees per newspaper

In a further analysis, a full-text keyword search for "propaganda" (and word combinations thereof) was used to investigate in which cases the newspapers themselves identified propaganda in one of the two geopolitical conflict sides, USA/NATO or Russia (the participant "IS/ISIS" was not considered). In total, twenty such cases were identified. Figure 6 shows the result: in 85% of the cases, propaganda was identified on the Russian side of the conflict, in 15% the identification was neutral or unstated, and in 0% of the cases propaganda was identified on the USA/NATO side of the conflict.

It should be noted that about half of the cases (nine) were in the Swiss NZZ , which spoke of Russian propaganda quite frequently ("Kremlin propaganda", "Moscow propaganda machine", "propaganda stories", "Russian propaganda apparatus" etc.), followed by German FAZ (three), Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung (two each) and the Austrian newspaper Kurier (one). The other newspapers did not mention propaganda, or only in a neutral context (or in the context of IS).

Figure 6: Attribution of propaganda to conflict parties (total; n=20).

Conclusion

In this case study, the geopolitical coverage in nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland was examined for diversity and journalistic performance using the example of the Syrian war.

The results confirm the high dependence on the global news agencies (63 to 90%, excluding commentaries and interviews) and the lack of own investigative research, as well as the rather biased commenting on events in favor of the US/NATO side (82% positive; 2% negative), whose stories were not checked by the newspapers for any propaganda.

*

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English translation provided by Terje Maloy.

[May 11, 2019] CIA Paid $100,000 To Shadowy Russian For Dirt on Trump, Including Sex Video by Chuck Ross

Highly recommended!
This "shadowy Russian" might well be Sergey Skripal. This suggests that Steele dossier was CIA operation with British MI6 as transfer mechanism and Steele as a cover. And implicates Brennan. So this is next level of leaks after "Stormy Daniel"...
Another NYT leak out of a set of well coordinated leans from anonymous intelligence officials ;-) Poor Melania...
Notable quotes:
"... But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times. ..."
"... If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries. ..."
"... More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what. ..."
"... Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down. ..."
"... the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy ..."
"... How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind ..."
"... You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS? ..."
"... "U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds. ..."
"... Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it... ..."
"... Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us. ..."
"... 'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot. ..."
"... i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump. ..."
"... Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth." ..."
"... And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works ..."
"... So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw? ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Chuck Ross of Daily Caller

When they said "Russian collusion", few expected it to be between the CIA and a "shadowy Russian operative." And yet, according to a blockbuster NYT report, that's precisely what happened.

* * *

The CIA paid $100,000 last year to a Russian operative who claimed to have derogatory information about President Trump, including a video tape of the Republican engaged with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. If the video showed Trump, it would support claims made in the infamous Steele dossier, the salacious opposition research report financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times.

American spies made contact with the Russia early in 2017 after he offered to sell the Trump material along with cyber hacking tools that were stolen from the NSA that year, according to The Times. U.S. intelligence officials told The Times they were so desperate to retrieve those tools that they negotiated with the operative for months despite several red flags, including indications that he was working in concert with Russian intelligence.

Another red flag was the Russian's financial request. He initially sought $10 million for the information but dropped the asking price to $1 million.

After months of negotiations, American spies handed over $100,000 in cash in a brief case to the Russian during a meeting in Berlin in September.

The operative also offered documents and emails that purported to implicate other Trump associates, including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But The Times viewed the documents and reported that they were mostly information that is already in the public domain.

The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers, showed the video purported to be Trump to a Berlin-based American businessman who served as his intermediary to the CIA. But according to the Times, the footage and the location of the viewing raised questions about its authenticity.

The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. The Russian also showed the video to his American partner at the Russian embassy in Berlin, a sign that the operative had ties to Russian intelligence.

The Russian stonewalled the production of the cyber tools, and U.S. officials eventually cut ties, according to The Times. After the payout in Berlin, the man provided information about Trump and his associates of questionable veracity.

The Americans gave him an ultimatum earlier in 2018 to either play ball, leave Western Europe, or face criminal charges. He left, according to The Times, which interviewed U.S. officials, the American intermediary and the Russian for its article.

The Times' U.S. sources -- who appear to paint the American side in a positive light -- said that they were reluctant to purchase information because they did not want to be seen buying dirt on the president.

The officials also expressed concern that the Russian operative was planting disinformation on behalf of the Russian government. U.S. officials were worried that the Russian government has sought to sow discord between U.S. intelligence agencies and Trump. The revelation that the CIA purchased dirt on him would likely do the trick.

The Times report also has other new details.

Four other Russians with ties to the spy world have surfaced over the past year offering to sell dirt on Trump that closely mirrors allegations made in the dossier, according to the article. But officials have reason to believe that some of sellers have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

The Times also provides new details on Cody Shearer, a notorious operative close to the Clintons. Shearer was recently revealed to have shopped around a so-called "second dossier" prior to the campaign which mirrored the sex allegations of the Steele report.

According to The Times, he has criss-crossed Europe over the past six months in an attempt to find video footage of Trump from the Moscow hotel room. Shearer claimed to have information from the FSB, Russia's spy service, that a video existed of Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

He shared a memo making the allegations with his friend and fellow Clinton fixer, Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal in turn passed the memo to his friend, Jonathan Winer, a Department of State official. Winer then gave the information to Steele who provided it to the FBI in October 2016.

Steele also provided information to Winer, who wrote up a two-page memo that was circulated within the State Department.

Trump has denied allegations that he used prostitutes in Moscow. He has called the dossier a "hoax" and "crap."

* * *

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that "according to the @nytimes, a Russian sold phony secrets on "Trump" to the U.S. Asking price was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time. I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out - DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Of course, if Trump really wants to "drain the swamp", any such decision would have originate with him. Tags Politics Commercial Banks

InjectTheVenom -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

DRAIN. THE. SWAMP.

Billy the Poet -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:04 PM Permalink

Release the pee pee video now! No one pee peed in the $100,000 video in question. The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. And how can anyone be more fascinated by the prospect of pee pee than by the fact that US intelligence agencies were buying bad information from extremely shady foreigners in an attempt to overthrow the President of the United States?

caconhma -> Billy the Poet Feb 10, 2018 12:42 PM Permalink

Trump is the swamp. If zio-Banking Mafia did not have enough dirt of Trump, he would not be elected.

gatorengineer -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

Trump is starting to assume that the people are dumber than Obowel did. Earth to Don, you sir have the drain pump, you sir have surrounded yourself with Swamp creatures.... You sir are.............

Arrowflinger -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:18 PM Permalink

According to this, the Russians stole the hacking tools needed to cut through the Swamp levee, which were developed by the NSA, and now the CIA cannot buy them back. Now, since the USA wanted its Swamp, the Russians are more than happy to let the USA drown in its swamp.

What a country!

gatorengineer -> Arrowflinger Feb 10, 2018 1:06 PM Permalink

Anyone have a link for the Qanon posts. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks since he left 8chan where he was posting. I don't want the Youtube BS, I just want the link... anyone got one. Its strangely not googleable... LOLZ.

El Oregonian -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:53 AM Permalink

If you think that the CIA is a U.S. intelligence agency working on the best interests of the United States, you better wake up and smell the treason. They only work for the best interests of themselves.

Bula_Vinaka -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:10 PM Permalink

They are parasites and nothing more.

BurningFuld -> Bula_Vinaka Feb 10, 2018 12:40 PM Permalink

Here is a question. Why does the CIA not come out and clear the air re: Trump?

I mean they were even paying people to come up with dirt. He is now your president and the country is a fucking mess. Should the CIA not come out and say we tried but we got nothing? They do have the ability to fix all this Trump shit and yet crickets.

Ahmeexnal -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:03 PM Permalink

CIA is the covert dirty dealing arm of the VATICAN.

MarshalJimDuncan -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

ooohh... they release this questionable information for all to hear and paid a lot of money for it too. this fucking government is a joke

Posa -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:56 PM Permalink

And the best interests of clients. The CIA started out is the muscle for the Dulles Brothers clients who were being booted out of various countries they were super-exploiting. The Agency hasn't looked back since.

Alfred -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:59 PM Permalink

Seems wrong to call them 'intelligence' agencies. There must be a more descriptive name we can use... Anyone?

Guitarilla -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 12:35 PM Permalink

Nobody got whizzed on. That lurid fantasy came soley out of the head of Hillary Clinton, given to Blumenthal, passed around and made to look like it came from Russia.

DownWithYogaPants -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

CIA killed Kennedy. This pretty much removes all doubt. They are willing to do anything.

Killtruck -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:51 PM Permalink

"Oswald killed Kennedy. That's it."

It IS remarkable the stuff people believe when all logic goes against it. Like Oswald firing magic bullets from an old Italian Carcano...and jet fuel melting steel beams...and a building collapsing through the path of greatest resistance into its own footprint after NOT being hit by an airplane...and Kennedy being shot from behind, but his head snapping backwards from the impact...and Oswald picking the worst possible shooting location, but in front of Kennedy were two intersecting highways going in any direction...and terrorist passports floating gently down from the sky.

It sure is remarkable.
#letsroll

possible band name
OswaldandtheMagicBullets

Able Ape -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:57 PM Permalink

What was Oswald's reason to kill JFK? And yeah, he picked the very building he worked at to commit the crime. He wasn't THAT stupid!...

Posa -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

RFK and Nixon knew immediately the assassination of JFK was a CIA hit job because they had CHAIRED those hit squad operations themselves for Cuban Operations. They saw the CIA- Cuban hit squad fingerprints all over the kill. RFK had personally fired Wm Harvey, Dulles' chief of assassinations. However, RFK was silenced because he and Jack had been tag-teaming Marilyn Monroe.

The reason JFK was killed was a) his openly stated determination to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces so they could no longer operate as a dangerous, renegade private army; and b) in the Spring of '63 JFK delivered his famous American U address calling for the end of the Cold War...

Oswald was always a patsie... the WC documents how his rifle was inoperable... scope needed parts just to be be sited and take aim... even after parts installed the rifle attributed to Oswald remained highly inaccurate... Military sharpshooters couldn't even hit stationary targets reliably.

mobius8curve -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

If there is a video you can be sure it was manufactured using these tools:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_Nx404VLzw

Lawlessness is arising exponentially:

https://sumofthyword.com/2017/01/18/the-mystery-of-lawlessness/

oDumbo -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:19 PM Permalink

Drain the swamp! Townsquare justice for Odumbo and Hitlery! George Soros to bathe in the Amazon River with 1 million Piranha Fish until it completely disappears. Drain the evil Dumorat swamp. Drain the banana republic CIA and FBI. Our tax dollars and constitution did not pay for this shit.

Kelley -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:34 PM Permalink

With today's technology, the CIA is most likely working on a fake video for you right now. They might release it on Vimeo or Netflix to cover the costs and give themselves plausible deniability. To add a finishing touch they will make a fake video of Julian Assange claiming he is releasing it. You'll be in hog heaven. Which is where folks like you go just before being slaughtered by your owners and turned into spam.

shovelhead -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:55 PM Permalink

10 Million...

1 million...

Ok, How about $9.99

algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

Move along. Nothing to see here ...

DosZap -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:40 AM Permalink

What a load of camel dung, if there was a sex tape of Trump w/Russian hookers, it would have been out while he was RUNNING for the job, FAKE NEWS.

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

silvermail -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:55 AM Permalink

I propose impeachment to any US president for eating, drinking and visiting toilets!

TheWholeYearInn Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

What's the difference between prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room, or prostitutes in the FBI/DOJ?

Global Hunter -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

I can't confirm price, so I will go with hotter (can't really confirm that either but Slavic chicks usually seem hot to me).

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

turkey george palmer -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:09 PM Permalink

Fuckin eh right. That's probably the closest thing .

A Sentinel -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:21 PM Permalink

Damn good point. And the dates are off too. A 6+/- month zh article about the dark web had the nsa software downloadable long before 2017.

Gee. Why would someone date that hack into 2017? What was different between 2016 and 2017?

SMH Trying to figure that out.

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

Winston Churchill -> buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 12:02 PM Permalink

More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what.

Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down.

H-O-W Feb 10, 2018 11:46 AM Permalink

The more we learn,

The more it looks like the Russians set this up perfectly.

  • Set Hillary up.
  • Set Obama up.
  • Set the DNC up.
  • Set the media up.

They know these scumbags better than we do!

buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 11:48 AM Permalink

the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy.

Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

Good point in the last sentence. If someone is going to "drain the swamp" it is going to have to be the president of the United States. I think I'm correct that he can fire anyone that works in the executive department for cause. He can also order investigations or hire people who will launch real investigations.

Mr. President, if you want to "drain the swamp," drain it.

P.S. You can start with an audit of The Fed.

desertboy -> Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

That last sentence assumes a rather critical fantasy.

Anunnaki -> Thordoom Feb 10, 2018 12:24 PM Permalink

The Tripod of Evil

  1. Deep State
  2. Presstitutes
  3. Corporate Democrats
Dre4dwolf Feb 10, 2018 12:11 PM Permalink

If there was a video it would of been leaked during the election, they have nothing that sticks on the guy.

All the evidence thus far states

Obama Hillary the FBI, DNC, CIA all spied on Trump and colluded with foreign governments (U.K. , Ukraine , Russia) to try and dig up dirt to use against Trump (and they more or less failed).

They turned over every rock they could, look at that stupid hot-mic video in the bus, how many hours of video did they have to go through to dig up that crumb? they went back searching through 30+ years of content and thats all they could come up with.... some locker room talk lol

People have to just face it.

Your government was and still is corrupt and its a weaponized system of control, Your government colluded with the enemy in a desperate attempt to stop Trump from becoming president. Your government started a sham "Russia investigation" to cover up its own crimes. Your government applied a different standard of justice to the clintons than it would have to you or anyone else.

To date ZERO evidence has been brought forward that Trump or anyone in his campaign did anything wrong, and the only people that have done anything wrong so far were picked by "the swamp" to fill positions..... all the others fell into petty perjury Traps on meaningless topics and insignificant factoids.

Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind buying this and thus, Obama and Hillary?

navy62802 -> Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS?

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

Isn't it lovely to find out that your money and mine is being used by government agents to give us the government they want?

It's sort of like a thug robbing you and using part of your money to pay another thug to rough you up from time time to time if you ask any questions with the thugs believing it's for our own good.

Thanks, Hillary, for looking out for us. You and your best buds are the best. Such bighearted givers! Meanwhile, give our regards to your partner in slime Obama, although it must pain you to have been bested by 'Beavis' who thinks so much of himself to balance out how little he impresses anyone who knows him.

desertboy Feb 10, 2018 12:20 PM Permalink

"U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds.

Consuelo Feb 10, 2018 12:22 PM Permalink

Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it...

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

As taxpayers can we sue the CIA for misusing our funds? Pretty sure that buying sex videos for commercial release isn't part of the CIA's lawful mandate even at bargain prices.

indaknow Feb 10, 2018 1:13 PM Permalink

Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us.

It's not going to work.

hooligan2009 Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

my sauces tell me that pink pussyhat wearing hollywood types have been called in because they have a doppelganger for trump and access to 30,000 sexually abused victims that can act as Russian prostitutes for just ten bucks each. snapchat has a trump emoji that can be transplanted onto any porn video star - male or female - thus confirming that trump is a serial (serious?) user of ladies of the night

my sauces also tell me that the CIA offers a reward of 100,000 bucks (or 10 BTC) for every photo-shopped (snap-shopped or porn-shopped) material.

of course, the CIA already owns many many porn movie studios and films, but it would prefer third "party" movies - not from epstein's island where its operatives choose to rela with a pizza.

the CIA "pink" budget for such movies is limited to just 5,000 clips or 5 billion of taxpayers funds, whichever is the higher.

awesome sauce hey?

MusicIsYou Feb 10, 2018 1:14 PM Permalink

For only $100,000 that's all? Now I know it's probably not true.

Robert A. Heinlein Feb 10, 2018 1:17 PM Permalink

'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot.

hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:33 PM Permalink

i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump.

i call bullshit.

RKae -> hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:47 PM Permalink

Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth."

And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works.

Quantify Feb 10, 2018 1:38 PM Permalink

The CIA is at the head of the shadow government.

RKae Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw?

I mean if they're so concerned about Trump and a couple of hookers... Better put some ice on that, CIA.

vofreason Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

You all are so ridiculous and fooled with your "drain the swamp" bs. It's a great idea but Trump doing it is a joke, I mean just look at who he has hired, what's wrong with you all are you blind?!!

He can't even fill 1/3 of the government positions he's supposed to and the ones he has have no business holding the positions given to them and are so incompetent, downright criminal or just personally horrendous humans that they can't stay in office more than a few months. All their blatant and moronically concocted lies are backing them into corners every day that they just try and lie out of again. America is over if we really have gotten to the point that a group like Trump's has support, it's just astonishing.

[May 08, 2019] Obama Spied on Other Republicans and Democrats As Well by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program. ..."
"... One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely. ..."
"... I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. ..."
"... Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant. ..."
"... That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, ..."
"... Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ..."
"... Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking " ..."
"... I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported. ..."
"... Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive: ..."
"... I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government? ..."
"... Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution. ..."
"... Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front. ..."
"... So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal. ..."
May 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Do not focus on July 2016 as the so-called start of the counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump. That is a lie. We know, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, that the FBI had signed up Christopher Steele as a Confidential Human Source (aka CHS) by February of 2016. It is incumbent on Attorney General Barr to examine the contact reports filed by Steele's FBI handler (those reports are known as FD-1023s). He also, as I have noted in a previous post, needs to look at the FD-1023s for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. But these will only tell a small part of the story. There is a massive intelligence side to this story.

The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program.

One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely.

This initial phase of intelligence collection produced a great volume of intelligence that allowed analysts to identify key personnel and the people they were communicating with overseas. You don't have to have access to intelligence information to understand this. For example, you simply have to ask the question, "how did George Papadopoulos get on the radar." I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. We also know that Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Donald Trump and an FBI informant since December 1998 (he was signed up by Andrew Weismann), initiated the proposal to do a Trump Tower in Moscow. Don't take my word for it, that's what Robert Mueller reported:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant.

By December of 2015, the Hillary Campaign decided to use the Russian angle on Donald Trump. Thanks to Wikileaks we have Campaign Manager John Podesta's email exchange in December 2015 with Democratic operative Brent Budowsky:

" That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, " Budowski replies, later adding: " Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ."

The program to slaughter Donald Trump using Russia as the hatchet was already underway. This was more the opposition research. This was the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence assets to attack political opponents. Hillary had covered the opposition research angle in London by hiring a firm comprised of former MI6 assets-- Hakluyt: there was a second, even more powerful and mysterious opposition research and intelligence firm lurking about with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign for president against Donald Trump.

Meet London-based Hakluyt & Co. , founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums. . . .

Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking "

I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported.

Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive:

But it can be revealed Mr. Downer has still been attending client conferences and gatherings of the group, including a client cocktail soirée at the Orangery at Kensington Palace a few months ago.

His attendance at that event is understood to have come days after he also attended a two-day country retreat at the invitation of the group, which has been involved in a number of corporate spy scandals in recent times.

Much remains to be uncovered in this plot. But this much is certain--there is an extensive documentary record, including TOP SECRET intelligence reports (SIGINT and HUMINT) and emails and phone calls that will show there was a concerted covert action operation mounted against Donald Trump and his campaign. Those documents will tell the story. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

Posted at 05:33 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink | Comments (9)


turcopolier , 07 May 2019 at 09:53 AM

Having watched interviews of Papadopoulos on TeeVee I would say that this creature would be easy to manipulate. His ego is so enormous that a minimal effort would be required.
blue peacock said in reply to turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 11:19 AM
Col. Lang

I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government?

David Habakkuk -> blue peacock... , 07 May 2019 at 01:31 PM
bp,

The guts of the matter was well expressed by Judge T.S. Ellis when he made the distinction between different results which can be expected from exerting pressures on witnesses: they may 'sing' - which is, commonly, in the interests of justice - but, there again, they may 'compose', which is not.

Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution.

Alcatraz, perhaps?

blue peacock said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 08 May 2019 at 12:17 AM
David,

Yes, indeed, many a composition have been elicited by prosecutors in criminal cases. The issue is there is no penalty for prosecutorial misconduct while the advancement points ratchet up with each conviction. The incentives are aligned perfectly for the "institution" to run rough shod on ordinary Americans. Only those wealthy enough to fight the unlimited funds of the government have a chance. But of course in matters relating to national security there is the added twist of state secrets that protects government malfeasance.

I don't know how the national security state we continue to build ever gets rolled back. A small victory would be for Trump to declassify all documents and communications relating to the multifaceted spying on his campaign and as Larry so eloquently writes to frame him as a Manchurian Candidate. At least the public will learn about what their grandchildren are paying for. But it seems that Trump prefers tweeting to taking any kind of action. Not that it would matter much as half the country will still believe that Trump deserves it until the tables are turned on their team. While most Americans will say to use Ben Hunt's phrasing Yay! Constitution. Yay! Liberty. they sure don't care as the state oligarchy tighten their chokehold.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/things-fall-apart-pt-1/

akaPatience -> turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 05:27 PM
Yes, he seems young and ambitious enough to be easy (and willing) prey. Having been involved in some local political campaigns though, I've observed that more and more than before, young people like him are hyper-concerned with networking. Papadopoulos' ego aside, of course he and many people who sign on hope to make self-serving connections. Not only that, it's also been my observation that casual sexual hook-ups go with the territory, and not only among young, single guys like him. I have to say I've been shocked a few times by how risky and cavalier some liaisons have been that've come to my attention, considering "public figures" are involved. No doubt that's why a "honeypot" was dispatched to try to help entrap Papadopoulos.
Rick Merlotti , 07 May 2019 at 12:14 PM
Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front.
O'Shawnessey , 07 May 2019 at 02:44 PM
So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal.
sandra adie , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
Papadopolos was very young hence the nativity getting sucked in. The ego helped for sure. Probably exciting to be part of something important probably for the first time since he started working for Trump campaign
akaPatience , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
One thing that's always concerned me about Larry's informative and insightful essays on these matters is how can we be assured that the IC documentation mentioned has been filled out honestly and accurately -- or that the forms even still exist and haven't been conveniently "lost" or surreptitiously destroyed?

[May 07, 2019] Hospitals being bombed false flag now can be treated as measuree of success of air operation by Syrian and Russian airfoirces

May 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , May 7, 2019 1:42:17 PM | link

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | May 6, 2019 4:09:17 PM | 26
(Hospitals being bombed)

The Ru-SAA campaign must be proceeding more successfully than the Christians would prefer.
The BBC's Deutche Welle is reporting via its White Helmets correspondents in Syria that schools and hospitals are being bombed by jets and helicopters with "barrel bombs". DW seems to be short of correspondents. One of the White Helmets blokes, without his white helmet, did a piece-de-camera about homes being bombed while masquerading as a civilian.
Desperation?

[May 07, 2019] Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has provided US$ 2 million grant to the White Helmets

May 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , May 6, 2019 4:34:23 PM | link

https://qatarfund.org.qa/en/qatar-fund-for-development-supports-white-helmets/
"3 February، 2019
Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has provided US$ 2 million grant to the White Helmets In accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, in support to the Syrian people."

https://www.rt.com/news/453849-white-helmets-usa-funding/
14 Mar, 2019 21:41
The Trump administration is doubling down on backing the White Helmets, the self-proclaimed civil defense group with often controversial activity in militant-held areas of Syria, pledging a $5 million donation at a conference.

[Apr 22, 2019] Decades long image of MI6. Apparently MI6 it is not populated with the high IQ, highly educated professionals any more. They average intelligence careerists who cannot play on international stage. In case of Skripals poisoning the script is poor, directing mediocre, inconsistencies and deep holes in story negate logics

Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Darko Fius, 1 month ago

Decades long "image" of London's spy school fall spectacularly apart, apparently it is not populated with the high IQ, highly educated brass any more, average intelligence however cannot play on international stage, script is poor, directing mediocre, inconsistencies and deep holes in story negate logics...

it is time that London joins Washington, hand in hand, like lowers to seek fortunes elsewhere, the prey is still to be found in oligarchs of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and the like places with spineless political caricatures.

Go London go...there is no fortune for you in EU...and by now you stench of your morals and ethics reaches shores of smallest island on GMT+12 time scale.

[Apr 22, 2019] Zacharova On the "Dead Cat" Strategy West Now Relies on Absurdist Bait and Switch Tactics!

Mar 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Subscribe to Vesti News https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8M...

It's been a year since the Salisbury incident. We still don't have the investigative conclusion. We don't know who's responsible and how exactly the Skripals were poisoned or if they were even poisoned at all. But international relations sure were poisoned. It appears that our ambassador to Britain, the esteemed Alexander Yakovenko is a spy decorated with military medals.


Leon Allan Davis , 1 month ago

Why don't the Russians just lay out the facts of the story as told by the British? The Brits story is so stupid it makes zero sense... According to the British media Skripal and his daughter came into contact with "military grade" Novichok nerve agent and both survived... Even though they said a tiny drop can be fatal... The poor woman who did die was a homeless drug addict. Supposedly, her boyfriend found a bottle of "perfume" in a "perfume box" that was in a trash receptacle. The boyfriend retrieved it from the waste bin and gave it to to the unfortunate woman. She died. According to the British government, Russian spies put the Novichok in the perfume bottle and planted the bottle in the trash bin so the boyfriend would find it... Personally, I blame the death of the homeless woman on a "false flag" operation run by British intelligence. Someone had to die. Why not an "expendable"? Meanwhile, the Skripals remain under house arrest, cut off from the outside world... And no one in the British media has asked to talk to them. No one.

08x840234 , 1 month ago

The British story about the Skripals is falling apart. First we were told an off duty police officer found them. Then we are told that an off duty nurse helped the police officer. Then it was the off duty nurse that found them and was helped by the police officer. Then it was the daughter of the off duty nurse that found them. Then the off duty nurse turned out to be Britain's highest ranking female military medic. Then we are told the police officer never attended them and had been sent to their house the following day. This week the local TV news channel (BBC Points West) interviewed a woman that said SHE was the first one to find the Skripals who were alone on the bench frothing at the mouth. She claims she walked over and was going to phone an ambulance when a female police officer arrived. Then the female police officer was interviewed and stated she was driving her police van and was the first on scene after someone had phoned them for help. She also stated that although she didn't know what was wrong with the Skripals, she thought the vomit on the ground was suspicious and requested a Hazmat team in full protective gear to remove the vomit.

anirudh mathur , 1 month ago

Happy women day Mrs zakharhova

Kostas K , 1 month ago

Maria is an intelligent in a very high level, fiery and articulate. The British political system would trade at least half of their politicians for one of her.

KnightInShiningASMR , 1 month ago

Vladimir,can you find out if England has just set up Ireland by sending someone there and having them post flammable packages back to England? The addresses were so vague that they should have alerted someone in the postal service,especially since England is on high alert for terror attacks.That says to me that the government knew they were coming.ISIS would claim responsibility for a silent fart in a packed room.No-one in Ireland has claimed responsibility for the packages,probably because it's "highly likely" that England has set up Ireland.If the Brits are found to be behind it,like black people and Israeli's have been caught out spraying racist graffiti against themselves,Salisbury will be even more questionable.Elliot Abrams shipped arms in "aid" convoys,so now no-one believes the aid to Venezuela isn't hiding weapons.What have the filthy Brits been caught doing in recent years that would make them look guilty like Elliot Abrams?

Terry Bromley , 1 month ago

Terry F Bromley, Brilliant, Maria Zacharova just smashing we look after her

johnrb88 , 1 month ago

Maria Zacharova may be simply too decent a human being to realise that the west is run by a mafia-like cabal that cares not a jot for their own peoples, let alone those in foreign realms. She looks for logical explanations that might account for actions, but needs to face the reality that monumental greed and corruption have hollowed out all corridors of power in western governments. Any semblance of an unbiased independent media went extinct a long time ago, replaced by well placed operatives from the intelligence agencies, who manage a vast array of pseudo "journalists". The western puppet regimes are simply useful idiots who obey instructions, they sell themselves for money and privilege. In other words, traitors to the people who put them in office. Those public officials and politicians who perhaps had a shred of integrity get eliminated, or compromised by indiscretions that are held over them, or by simple intimidation tactics -- the classic "carrot and stick" method. Russians lifted themselves from the disastrous days of "perestroika" and have restored their nation to near normalcy. The west may at some point do the same, but it will take a complete collapse of their present totalitarian regimes to start the healing, if it is to happen. With each passing day, the zombification of the masses continues, let us hope it has not already got to the stage where a return to a better world becomes unattainable.

István Vicze , 1 month ago (edited)

Mrs Spokeswoman really nailed it: US & UK resort to this Dead Cat tactics everyday now. That was the Case with Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria & now Venezuela. However, they only manage to bait in their "Allies" (better said Vassals)- and then they fail to deliver since Syria. Russian Intervention & People waking up to their Lies makes their Case less and less credible. The paralel Universe they are creating inside their brainwashing Media is fading away. And that makes them the more dangerous...

twaters57 , 1 month ago

It's sad when the only real news people in the US can get is from the Russian media. The west is financially and morally bankrupt. Thank you Zacharova and Russia for telling the truth about the evil deeds of the west. Median approval of U.S. leadership across 134 countries and areas stands at a new low of 30%, according to a new Gallup report. Maybe the tide is finally turning and the evil deeds of the west will be exposed.

Bob Mitchell , 1 month ago

I think the underlying cause of all the UK anti-Russia carry ons goes right back to the damage you did to them during the Crimean War...you bloodied their nose and they have never forgiven you...silly buggers! 💥💥💥🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

Robin Wood , 1 month ago (edited)

The Roman-Israeli Brits are born liars, but liars will always fall apart because their stories never add up. I suspect that the Skripals were never even poisoned but paid by the British to confirm the lie. The Western politicians have become so corrupt that you cannot believe a word coming from their lying mouths. Over the decades they have become so confident that everybody would swallow their reckless lies that they don't even care what they say and what they do without thinking or caring about the consequences of their actions.

Nico Montinola , 1 month ago

Amazing how slick & classy the Russians are nowadays. I think US and US industrial standards are still higher but Russia has improved a lot!

kee yong loh , 1 month ago

To UK & US: Please show some respect for world ordinary people. We are not stupid. We are intelligent & also kind compassionate human beings. U're insulting our intelligence!

Robert Tony , 1 month ago

I think they have completely lost the plot, relying on stupidity and arrogance to achieve the least amount possible in the messiest most insane way possible. Seriously, the publicly state the reality, conduct regime change operations, to get US troops into and country and then charge 150% of cost of that occupation, protection, straight out of a Mafioso playback, only their blind arrogance and ignorance, make that kind of public stance possible. Any government that signs onto it, traitors to their own people, selling out to an foreign occupation, using Americans forces to sustain autocratic control of that country, those citizens paying for the bullets Americans will use to kill them, should they try to end the occupation. The more forces required to quell the public, the more they bill the occupied country and the MORE PROFITABLE IT BECOMES, utter insanity. Only utterly blind stupidity could make that public statement possible, beyond something you would expect from a backward third world country and some despot drunk on power, nope, this from the USA, the not home of freedom, the not home of justice and clearly the not home of democracy, the best people killers on the planet, ready to back militarily any despot it puts in charge, at the expense of their victims. Any sane country would hide this embarrassment, nope the US proud.

· doubleplusgood · ʞɐǝdsʞɔnp · , 1 month ago

Imagine a parallel universe where Maria is the British Prime Minister. The British politicians are not in her league. She is notionally just a spokeswoman, in Britain we don't have such free speaking spokesmen. It seems everything said in Britain has to be a lie. So refreshing and much more intellectually engaging to have the truth. There is the small matter of appearance, nobody in British politics now or ever is dressed as well as Maria. Or this show's host. I also like it how Maria has her notes on her phone.

[Apr 19, 2019] Some nuances of Chief nurse story

Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Apr 19, 2019 9:01:53 AM | link

@5

@5 I had listed some curious incidences of "training exercises" including a bioterrorism training exercise that happened in New York three
days before 9/11.

I am adding to my own personal notes another bioterrorism training exercise that happened just prior to the highly suspicious Skripal poisoning.

-------

Add to the list, "Toxic Dagger", a biological/chemical training exercise held
just prior to the Skripal poisoning. Toxic Dagger is the largest annual British army
biological/chemical training exercise.

"Completing the training and exercising against these scenarios provides
a challenging programme for the Royal Marines to demonstrate their proficiency in
the methods to detect, assess and mitigate a CBRN threat."

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/a-very-strange-coincidence-exercise-toxic-dagger-on-the-eve-of-skripal-poisoning/

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/01/20/coincidence-chief-nurse-of-british-army-was-first-to-arrive-at-novichoked-skripal-scene/

The first person to discover the Skripals was the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army (whose experience includes deployment to Sierre Leone to help fight Ebola).

"An experienced officer, highly connected, who is also known for handling highly infectious patients?"

The nurse claimed later that it was actually her daughter that was with her that detected and assessed the Skripal scenario.

The daughter was 16 at the time and we presume the Lifesaver Award she received would be a feather in her cap useful for her imminent application for admission to a university. Wonder if Lori Loughlin had thought of using such an angle?

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 19, 2019 10:57:38 AM | link

Btw on the Skripal thing does that nurse also run over to every "spice" zombie she sees in public? Anyone in a puddle of their own partly digested booze? Does she go hunting under bridges for heroin addicts and glue sniffers? Does she check on everyone sleeping on a bench or in some doorway? It is England after all.

Weird hobby she's got and with her kid in tow too :P

(Yes I'm being facetious about a bullshit narrative straight out of the 1950ies).

[Apr 18, 2019] It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga

British propaganda is clearly as close to neofascist propaganda as one can get... British neocons are even closer to neofascists then the US neocons. And British security services are closer to the Third Reich security services then any other.
Skripals is a such a grandiose false flag operation that Gellen (of operation Gladio fame) probably would be amazed and humbled.
Notable quotes:
"... The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story.... ..."
"... If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously. ..."
"... Oh dear oh dear.. It appears the UK may be denying there were any poor ducks involved... https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984 ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 17, 2019 2:19:31 PM | link

It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.

Undaunted, Kit Klarenberg provides further Skripal update in an extensively detailed article that moves him to conclude:

"The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story....

"If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously."

Klarenberg's tweet response to Haynes is devastating:

"Difficult to verify your version of events given it involves nameless officials. Knowing you're often used by security services to peddle propaganda seemed a reasonable assumption they'd urged you to backtrack your earlier advocacy as story detonates official #Skripal narrative."

It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.

S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 3:34:15 PM | link

Oh dear oh dear.. It appears the UK may be denying there were any poor ducks involved...https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984