Trump’s Amoral Saudi Statement is a Pure and Honest Expression of Decades-Old “U.S. Values” and Foreign Policy Orthodoxies


21-11-18 03:13:00,

Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a statement proclaiming that, notwithstanding the anger toward the Saudi Crown Prince over the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, “the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.” To justify his decision, Trump cited the fact that “Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world” and claimed that “of the $450 billion [the Saudis plan to spend with U.S. companies], $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors.”

This statement instantly and predictably produced pompous denunciations pretending that Trump’s posture was a deviation from, a grievous violation of, long-standing U.S. values and foreign policy rather than what it actually and obviously is: a perfect example – perhaps stated a little more bluntly and candidly than usual – of how the U.S. has conducted itself in the world since at least the end of World War II.

The reaction was so intense because the fairy tale about the U.S. standing up for freedom and human rights in the world is one of the most pervasive and powerful prongs of western propaganda, the one relied upon by U.S. political and media elites to convince not just the U.S. population but also themselves of their own righteousness, even as they spend decades lavishing the world’s worst tyrants and despots with weapons, money, intelligence and diplomatic protection to carry out atrocities of historic proportions.

After all, if you have worked in high-level foreign policy positions in Washington, or at the think thanks and academic institutions that support those policies, or in the corporate media outlets that venerate those who rise to the top of those precincts (and which increasingly hire those security state officials as news analysts), how do you justify to yourself that you’re still a good person even though you arm, prop up, empower and enable the world’s worst monsters, genocides, and tyrannies?

Simple: by pretending that you don’t do any of that, that such acts are contrary to your system of values, that you actually work to oppose rather than protect such atrocities,

 » Lees verder



21-11-18 02:36:00,


Published on Nov 20, 2018

A roundtable discussion organized by Alexandra JB and Kerry Cassidy with Ole Dammegard, Deborah Tavares and Dr. Katherine Horton. We discuss Calif fires, global weather, population reduction plans and the dark Magicians behind it all. Edited for delays, video problems and interference. KERRY CASSIDY PROJECT CAMELOT

Please take a moment to support Ole on Patreon!

Ole Dammegard was born in Denmark and raised in Sweden, grew up believing he lived in a free and democratic society. As he started to investigate the political assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, he noticed there were some very strange and glaring similarities in these two cases. Since that time, Ole has investigated many other political assassinations, deaths of musicians and false flag events, and has shown the common thread behind them all: the New World Order Agenda. Ole’s aim is to spread this information and to promote a stance of “no-fear”, of peace and recovery from the atrocities and trauma that we have been subjected to for so many years. We are many, they are SO few. Shine the light on these conspiracies, get involved and transcend this evil agenda so we can get on with this amazing and beautiful life.

 » Lees verder

Ole Dammegard – JFK & 9/11 Conspiracy & Cancer Killing Machine [Age Of Truth TV] | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda


21-11-18 11:16:00,

One of the most legendary and on-going “Conspiracy Theories” in world is the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy! On November 22, 2018 it marks the 55th anniversary of JFK´s killing (on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas), and the mystery surrounding his untimely death, continues to fascinate and intrigue people all over the world.

One of the leading experts and researchers into the JFK assassination is author, lecturer and truth speaker, OLE DAMMEGARD, who is one of the top conspiracy researchers into not only JFK, but 9/11, False Flag Terror attacks, New World Order politics and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy Jr., Martin Luther King, Swedish Prime Minister Oluf Palme, John Lennon along with, what he calls, the “Hollywood Hippie Movement Psy-Op” in the 1960´s.

But HOW IS THE JFK ASSASINATION connected to DEADLY CANCER VACCINE? Who was really behind the murder of President Kennedy, and how is that connected to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001? What is theory and what is fact?

In this new, deeply compelling, extremely controversial, eye-opening and mind-blowing 2 hour 20 mins. AGE OF TRUTH TV interview special, Ole Dammegard is explaining how he understands these world changing events after almost 40 years of research and how they are connected.

Ole Dammegard is interviewed by Age Of Truth TV presenter, Lucas Alexander on October 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to mark the 55th anniversary of the JFK mystery, which gave “birth” to the term “conspiracy theory”. But what are the facts and who were involved?


– JFK ASSASINATION Who were involved? An entangled web! – Who was Lee Harvey Oswalt? Was he really JFK´s killer?

– Who is Judyth Vary Baker, the former girlfriend of Lee Harvey Oswalt? How is she involved in Cancer research, who played an important part in JFK assassination?

– Dr. Alton Ochsner´s supposed connection to a planned deadly cancer vaccine.

– Vaccines and Big Pharma medicine. Is it good for people in general?

– “The Manchurian Candidate” and the Hollywood connection: Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Roseanne Barr, The Beatles, Jim Morrison and The Doors, John Lennon, Frank Zappa, Charles Manson, Sharon Tate,

 » Lees verder

Britain’s Enemy Is Not Russia But It’s Own Ruling Class, UN Report Confirms


21-11-18 10:38:00,

Authored by Vladislav Sotirovic via Oriental Review:

If we have to use force, it is because we are America.

We are the indispensable nation.

(Madeleine K. Albright, February 1998)[1]

Madam Secretary

As a matter of very fact, regardless to the reality in global politics that the Cold War was over in 1989, Washington continued to drive toward the getting the status of a global hyperpower at any expense for the rest of the world. The Balkans undoubtedly became the first victim in Europe of the old but esthetically repacked American global imperialism. The US’ administration is a key player during the last 25 years of the Balkan crisis caused by the bloody destruction of ex-Yugoslavia[2] in which Washington played a crucial role in three particular historical cases:

  1. Only due to the US’ administration (more precisely due to the last US’ ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann), a Bosnian-Herzegovinian President Alija Izetbegović (the author of the 1970 Islamic Declaration) rejected already agreed Lisbon Agreement about peaceful resolution of the Bosnian crises which was signed by the official representatives of the Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in February 1992. Alija Izetbegović was one of those three signatories. The agreement was reached under the auspices of the European Community (the EC, later the European Union) that was represented by the British diplomat Lord Carrington and the Portuguese ambassador José Cutileiro. However, under the US’ protection, a Bosnian-Herzegovinian Bosniak-Croat Government declared independence on March 3rd, 1992 which local Serbs decisively opposed. Therefore, two warmongers, Warren Zimmermann and Alija Izetbegović pushed Bosnia-Herzegovina into the civil war which stopped only in November 21st, 1995 by signing the Dayton Accords in Ohio (Slobodan Milošević, Bill Clinton, Alija Izetbegović and Franjo Tuđman).[3]
  2. It was exactly the US’ administration which crucially blessed the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs from the Republic of Serbian Krayina committed by Croatia’s police and army forces (including and neo-Nazi Ustashi formations) on August 4−5th, 1995. For the realization of this criminal operation (under the secret code Storm/Oluja) Washington gave to Zagreb all logistic, political, diplomatic and military support. As a consequence, around 250,000 Croatia’s Serbs left their homes in two days which were quickly occupied by the Croats.

 » Lees verder

Ukrainians, Syrians get more EU residency permits than any others in 2017 | KyivPost


20-11-18 07:39:00,

on social media
Far-right radicals attack transgender rights protesters, injuring three 289 Kyiv’s St. Andrew’s Church attacked with Molotov cocktails 270 Brain Source International now one of country’s top taxpayers 171

BRUSSELS— During 2017, 661,874 Ukrainians received temporary residency permits in the European Union, putting Ukraine in first place among foreign migrants to the 28-nation bloc. Almost 9 in 10 of Ukrainians going to the EU for work ended up in Poland.

A residency permit allows a foreign national to reside in a country for a fixed length of time and differs with each country. For example, Poland grants temporary residence permits for a maximum of three years, while Slovakia allows two years. Different category of migrants might have different durations for legal residency.

Of the residency permits issued for Ukrainians, 87.7 percent were for employment; 4 percent for family reasons; 3.5 percent for education; and 4.8 percent for other, unspecified reasons, according to Eurostat data, published on Oct. 25.

Syria finished a distant second place, with 223,000 citizens getting residency permits, most in Germany, and 71 percent for humanitarian reasons. China took the third position with 193,002 residency permits, India fourth with 163,074, and the United States fifth with 147,317 permits.

Syria has been consumed by a seven-year civil war that has killed more than 500,000 residents and displaced several million others. Dictator Bashar al-Assad, with support from Russia and Iran, has waged a brutal campaign to suppress a revolution, including the use several times of chemical weapons against his own people.

By contrast, Ukrainians left their homeland, with official average monthly incomes of only $300, to look for better-paid work.

According to the October update of the World Economic Outlook published by the International Monetary Fund, Ukraine’s per capita gross domestic product stood at $2,964, making it the poorest country in Europe, eve behind at Moldova with $3,227, Belarus with $6,020 and Russia with $10,950.

Poland is the leading EU destination for Ukrainians, granting 88 percent of the residency permits. Poland’s own labor force has left to richer nations within the EU for the same reason as Ukrainians – to find better jobs.

To attract more labor, Poland eased its requirements.

 » Lees verder

Registering Israel’s “Useful Idiots” – Global Research


20-11-18 07:30:00,

Depending on what criteria one uses, there are between 200 and 600 groups in the United States that wholly or in part are dedicated to furthering the interests of Israel. The organizations are both Jewish, like the Zionist Organization of America, and Christian Zionist to include John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, but the funding of the Israel Lobby and both its political and media access comes overwhelmingly from Jewish supporters and advocates.

Many of the groups are registered with the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes as 501(c)3 “educational” or “charitable” foundations, which enables them to solicit tax exempt donations. One might dispute whether promoting Israeli interests in the United States is actually educational, but as of right now the Department of the Treasury believes it can be so construed, protected by the First Amendment.

But there is a more serious consideration in terms of the actual relationships that many of the groups enjoy with the Israeli government. To be sure, many of them boast on their promotional literature and websites about their relationships with the Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet, so the issue of dual loyalty or, worse, acting as actual Israeli government agents must be considered.

There is a legal remedy to hostile foreigners acting against American interests and that is the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). Originally intended to identify and monitor agents of Nazi Germany propagandizing in the United States, it has since been applied to individuals and groups linked to other nations. Most recently, it was used against Russian news agencies RT America and Sputnik, which were forced to register. It is also being considered for Qatar based al-Jazeera.

FARA requires identified agents to be transparent in terms of their funding and contacts while also being publicly identified as representing the interests of a foreign nation. They must report to the Department of Justice every contact they have with congressmen or other government officials. The text of the Act defines a foreign agent as

“any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised,

 » Lees verder

Nato’s Military Buildup Along Russia’s Borders Is No Joke, or Is It?


20-11-18 11:18:00,

As comical as it is dangerous

The massive military games code named Trident Juncture have just come to a close in Norway, marking a new milestone in the rapid military escalation between the West and Russia. A total of 29 NATO member states took part in these games, fielding some 65,000 men, 10,000 armored vehicles and 65 military ships led by USS Harry S. Truman.

In a bid to explain this build up in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders the Natoaktual media site would try to claim that NATO is becoming increasingly frustrated with Moscow’s persistent presence in the Arctic, as this region is extremely rich in hydrocarbons and Washington is reluctant to surrender it to Moscow. Therefore, this recent demonstration of Western military might was nothing more but a blatant attempt to scare Russia into submission.

It is stated that Operation Trident Juncture was aimed at developing common tactics of repulsing military aggression of a potential enemy. However, no NATO member state, aside from the US, Poland and a number of Baltic states believes that Russia, the largest country on the planet, would ever attempt a land grab in Europe, as this would be illogical. As it’s been pointed out by Der Welt, a hybrid war between Russian and the US has been raging for quite a while, with cyberweapons, propaganda and proxy forces all playing a major part in it, but it’s highly unlikely that it can reach a point where in it will transform into a direct military confrontation between the two major nuclear powers. Against this backdrop, German journalists find themselves unable to pinpoint the reasoning behind Washington’s military buildup on Russia’s borders.

Most journalists seem to agree that this senseless and comical saber-rattling was reminiscent of a blockbuster movie shooting rather than a military operation.

For instance, Der Spiegel found it rather comical that on top of erecting a platform for 300 guests, Norwegian journalists were broadcasting every stage of Trident Juncture live. In turn, the New York Times would report that the ‘Cold War’ took a new meaning for US marines at these military games that Washington deemed to be extremely successful.

Although it is true that success may be measured in different ways and forms,

 » Lees verder

The Dying Children of Yemen


20-11-18 09:04:00,


Hugh Macleod / IRIN/Creative Commons

Reuters reported last week on one of the many tens of thousands of preventable deaths in Yemen:

Saleh al-Faqeh held the wasted arm of his baby girl as she took her last breath on Thursday at the malnutrition ward of the main hospital in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

Four-month-old Hajar al-Faqeh reached the al-Sabeen hospital last week from Saada province, one of thousands of Yemeni children suffering from malnutrition in a country that has been pushed to the brink of famine by more than three years of war.

Her body lies in the same ward where another baby boy, Mohammed Hashem, died from severe hunger on the same day.

A Yemeni child dies from preventable causes every ten minutes. Opponents of the war cite this statistic frequently to convey how desperate the situation is, but it fails to capture just how horrific the conditions are for more than eleven million children and millions of adults in Yemen who are hanging on by a thread. These eleven million children in Yemen represent 80% of the country’s under-18 population, and according to UNICEF they are “facing the threat of food shortages, disease, displacement and acute lack of access to basic social services.” This is a generation that has been ravaged by war, pestilence, and famine, and the health and development of the vast majority of Yemen’s children will be seriously compromised long after the fighting stops. As large and staggering as the numbers of malnourished and starving people in Yemen are, they are inadequate measures of the harm that has been done to an entire people during three and a half years of senseless, unnecessary war.

Half of Yemen’s health care facilities are no longer functioning because they have been damaged or destroyed or because there are no longer resources to run them. The enormous needs of the civilian population are overwhelming the facilities that remain:

United Nations food chief David Beasley spotted a tiny foot sticking out from under a blanket in a hospital in Yemen that has been overwhelmed with malnourished children, so he tried to bring a smile to the face of the small patient.

 » Lees verder

America’s Permanent-War Complex


19-11-18 06:44:00,

America’s Permanent-War Complex
Eisenhower’s worst nightmare has come true, as defense mega-contractors climb into the cockpit to ensure we stay overextended.

What President Dwight D. Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex” has been constantly evolving over the decades, adjusting to shifts in the economic and political system as well as international events. The result today is a “permanent-war complex,” which is now engaged in conflicts in at least eight countries across the globe, none of which are intended to be temporary.
This new complex has justified its enhanced power and control over the country’s resources primarily by citing threats to U.S. security posed by Islamic terrorists. But like the old military-industrial complex, it is really rooted in the evolving relationship between the national security institutions themselves and the private arms contractors allied with them.
The first phase of this transformation was a far-reaching privatization of U.S. military and intelligence institutions in the two decades after the Cold War, which hollowed out the military’s expertise and made it dependent on big contractors (think Halliburton, Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI). The second phase began with the global “war on terrorism,” which quickly turned into a permanent war, much of which revolves around the use of drone strikes.
The drone wars are uniquely a public-private military endeavor, in which major arms contractors are directly involved in the most strategic aspect of the war. And so the drone contractors—especially the dominant General Atomics—have both a powerful motive and the political power, exercised through its clients in Congress, to ensure that the wars continue for the indefinite future.
The privatization of military and intelligence institutions began even before the end of the Cold War. But during the 1990s, both Congress and the Bush and Clinton administrations opened the floodgates to arms and intelligence contractors and their political allies. The contracts soon became bigger and more concentrated in a handful of dominant companies. Between 1998 and 2003, private contractors were getting roughly half of the entire defense budget each year. The 50 biggest companies were getting more than half of the approximately $900 billion paid out in contracts during that time, and most were no-bid contracts, sole sourced, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
The contracts that had the biggest impact on the complex were for specialists working right in the Pentagon.  » Lees verder

“Mysterious Helicopters” Continue to Evacuate ISIS Militants from Battlefields Across Middle East – Global Research


19-11-18 04:25:00,

There have been sporadic, but regular reports of “mysterious helicopters” extracting ISIS militants from battlefields in the Middle East.

Most recently, on November 13th, Syria’s official news agency SANA cited an anonymous source claiming that US-led military helicopters conducted an operation in the village of al-Suwayda in Hasakah province near the border with Iraq. They reportedly rescued several members of ISIS and transported them to an unknown location.

Between November 10th and 11th, an alleged US-led aircraft landed in the outskirts of al-Susah in Deir Ezzor province and took away three ISIS members.

Earlier, on October 7th, SANA also cited residents of the town of al-Shaafah who claimed that American helicopters evacuated ISIS commanders from the Abu Kamal area of Deir Ezzor province to an undisclosed location.

SANA also reported that on September 22nd the US-led coalition carried out an air landing operation in the outskirts of al-Mrashde village located in the pocket where ISIS militants spread in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, transferring a number of ISIS commanders.

On August 23rd, TASS reported that Russia recorded flights of mysterious helicopters supplying weapons to ISIS units active in Afghanistan.

“We would like to once again point to the flights of unidentified helicopters in northern Afghanistan, which deliver weapons and ammunition to local ISIL units and Taliban members cooperating with the group. In particular, the Afghan media and local residents say that such helicopters were seen in the Sar-e Pol Province,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

On March 19th, SANA cited an anonymous source who claimed that three US military helicopters had evacuated suspected ISIS commanders from northeastern Syria. Reportedly the helicopters landed between the villages of al-Jissi and Kalu, 2 km south of the Tal Hamis township in the Qamishli District of al-Hasakah province.

In late February, Syrian media reported that US helicopters had transported ISIS commanders and their family members to Sabah al-Khair, about 20 km south of al-Hasakah, where US forces have been accused of establishing a terrorist training base.

According to SANA on December 29th, 2017 US helicopters evacuated the ISIS commanders from the Deir Ezzor province to al-Hasakah province in northeastern Syria. Sources say this is the second time the US evacuates ISIS terrorists.

 » Lees verder

Source: US State Dept Paid $25 Mil Bribe to Patriarch of Constantinople to Foment Religious Chaos in Ukraine


19-11-18 04:16:00,

Bartholomew has a shady past – he is also implicated in embezzling $10 million from a project to rebuild an Orthodox church near ground zero in Manhattan, destroyed on 9/11.

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel.

These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact.

Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy.

 » Lees verder

Pentagon Fails First Audit, Neocons Demand More Spending! – Global Research


19-11-18 01:55:00,

The Pentagon has finally completed its first ever audit and the results are as many of us expected. After spending nearly a billion dollars to find out what has happened to trillions in unaccounted-for spending, the long look through the books has concluded that only ten percent of all Pentagon agencies pass muster. I am surprised any of them did.

Even the Pentagon is not surprised by the failure of the audit.

“We failed the audit. But we never expected to pass it,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.

Can we imagine any large US company subject to the prying eyes of the IRS being so unfazed by the discovery that its books have been so mis-handled?

As with all government programs, but especially when it comes to military spending, the failure of a program never leads to calls for funding reductions. The Pentagon’s failure to properly account for the trillions of taxpayer dollars shoveled in year after year only means, they say, that we need to send more money! Already they are claiming that with more resources – meaning money – they can fix some of the problems identified by the audit.

If you subsidize something you get much more of it, and in this case we are subsidizing Pentagon incompetence. Expect much more of it.

Outgoing chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, warned against concluding that this mis-handling trillions of dollars should make us hesitant to continue sending trillions more to the Pentagon.

The failed audit “should not be used as an excuse for arbitrary cuts that reverse the progress we have begun on rebuilding our strength and readiness,” he said.

The neocons concur. Writing in the Free Beacon, editor Matthew Continetti (who happens to be Bill Kristol’s son-in-law) warns that now is “the wrong time to cut defense.”

But I agree with the young neoconservative Continetti. I would never support cutting a penny of defense. However the Pentagon’s lost trillions have nothing to do with defense. That is money propping up the high lifestyles of those connected to the military-industrial complex.

Continetti and the neocons love to throw out bogeymen like China and Russia as excuses for more military spending,

 » Lees verder

Dollar Hegemony, Financial Warfare: Russia, China and Turkey Build up their Gold Reserves – Global Research


19-11-18 01:47:00,

This article was first published on August 19, 2018


Central banks in several regions of the World are building up their gold reserves.

A large part of these Central Bank purchases of gold bullion are not disclosed. They are undertaken through third party contracting companies, with utmost discretion. 

The evidence amply suggests that US dollar holdings and US dollar denominated debt instruments are being traded in for gold, which in turn puts pressure on the US dollar.  

In the course of the last ten years, both China and Russia have boosted domestic production of gold, a large share of  which is being purchased by their central banks.

In the current context, these initiatives on the part of China and Russia are intended to challenge US dollar hegemony. There is an obvious strategic objective associated with the accumulation of gold reserves.

The objective of China and Russia is to build their national currencies under the gold standard, whereby the value of the yuan and the ruble would be linked to the price of gold. Both countries are dumping dollar denominated Treasuries. China is using its extensive treasury dollar reserves to finance large scale investments.

Dominance in physical gold reserves, however, does not necessarily ensure national sovereignty with regard to monetary policy (devoid of dollar hegemony) nor does it ensure control of the international gold market.

The price of gold is notoriously unstable. US financial institutions can act against Russia and China without actually possessing physical gold. They are able to influence the gold and foreign exchange markets through various speculative instruments including naked short-selling.

The gold market is not limited to the trade in physical gold. It is characterised by numerous paper instruments, gold index funds, gold certificates, OTC gold derivatives (including options, swaps and forwards), which play a strong role, particularly in short-term movement of gold prices. These instruments are routinely used to manipulate the market in physical gold.

It’s financial warfare: Those same speculative instruments are also available to Chinese and Russian financial operators including their central banks. Needless to say, they are acutely aware of the instability and manipulative environment which characterizes the gold market.

 » Lees verder

NATO mapping software now available to Chinese military, report finds


19-11-18 12:23:00,

China has obtained cutting-edge mapping software used by NATO and US militaries to collect intelligence on the battlefield, putting its armed forces on equal footing with the most advanced Western armies, a report says.

A Belgium-based defense contractor Luciad has sold the software to China, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP) citing Chinese government sources. The software, which includes a Luciad Lightspeed application, is used to map the terrain and ensure situational awareness of military commanders.

The software, which is in used by NATO and US militaries, visualizes changes in enemy positions and identifies targets in real time. It’s 75 times faster than its closest competitor and is remarkably accurate. The same software is reportedly employed by US Special Operations Forces, whose raid on Osama bin Laden in Pakistan made headlines in 2011.

Read more

FILE PHOTO © Natalie Thomas

Notably, a foreign company supplying software to the Chinese government must fully reveal its codes for a security check. But it’s unclear if Luciad complied with the requirement. Much to the concern of the US military, China has made an array of remarkable breakthroughs in military hi-tech over the past years. Beijing heavily invested in advanced military technologies, nearly outpacing the Americans.

US experts predict China “wants to be a first mover” in artificial intelligence, efficiently incorporating the Internet of Things, big data, robotics and machine learning. China’s progress in electronic warfare, cyber, counter-space systems and hypersonic weapons also didn’t go unnoticed in the West. 

The Chinese military is also catching up in an area where Western powers have had unrivaled dominance – airpower. A 2018 edition of Military Balance, a reputed British publication, described China’s progress in aerospace defense as “remarkable.”

“These advances are all part of the Chinese air force’s goal to become capable of challenging any opponent in the air domain. For the past three decades, air dominance has been a key advantage for the US and its allies. This can no longer be assumed,” it stated.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

 » Lees verder

Operation ‘No deal’? UK army braces for Brexit chaos as May faces fierce rejection of divorce plan


19-11-18 12:10:00,

The military is reportedly drafting contingency plans that could see British troops deployed in the streets, as the prospects of a chaotic Brexit seem increasingly realistic, with Theresa May facing a potential no-confidence vote.

“About 20 officers who normally oversee Operation Temperer… were ordered last week to step up no-deal Brexit planning,” the Sunday Times reported, citing a well-placed military source.

While Operation Temperer officers are reserved as a response to terror attacks, this time they were tasked with devising a strategy to maintain public order and secure the flow of medical supplies to hospitals. As many as 10,000 members of the military could be deployed on British streets should UK exit the EU on March 29 with no deal with Brussels.

Read more

© Reuters / Peter Nicholls

“The armed forces stand ready to support Britain on a practical basis,” British defense minister Tobias Ellwood said on the ‘Ridge on Sunday’ television program last week. “There are contingency plans being made, there are discussions being held behind the scenes as to what support our armed forces will do.”

The army always makes “sensible contingency plans” to deal with all types of events, Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter told the BBC last week. “At this stage I think people are confident there will be a deal, if there’s not one then we stand ready to help in any way we can.”

British society remains highly divided over Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement with the EU which was made public on Wednesday night and prompted the resignation of seven ministers. A YouGov poll conducted on Thursday found twice as many Britons oppose the deal as those who support it (42 to 19 percent).

This week, which she has described as “critical” for the very future of the country, May will further confront her critics, emphasizing that she will not renegotiate the EU Withdrawal Agreement. Ahead of an intense week of negotiations with UK MPs before an EU summit on the deal convenes on November 25, the Prime Minister is set to tell the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Monday that she remains “confident” that she “can strike a deal at the Council that I can take back to the House of Commons.”

Amid wide discontent with the deal,

 » Lees verder

Global Oil Price Deflation 2018. The Drift Toward Global Recession is Underway – Global Research


19-11-18 12:08:00,

One of the key characteristics of the 2008-09 crash and its aftermath (i.e. chronic slow recovery in US and double and triple dip recessions in Europe and Japan) was a significant deflation in prices of global oil. After attaining well over $100 a barrel in 2007-08, crude oil prices plummeted, hitting a low of only $27 a barrel in January 2016. They slowly but steadily rose again in 2016-17 and peaked at about $80 a barrel this past summer 2018. Now the retreat has started once again, falling to a low of $55 in October and remain around $56 today, likely to fall further in 2019 now that Japan and Europe appear entering yet another recession and US growth almost certainly slowing significantly in 2019. With the potential for a US recession rising in late 2019 oil price deflation may continue into the near future. What will this mean for the global and US economies?

The critical question is what is the relationship between global oil price deflation, financial instability and crises, and recession–something mainstream economists don’t understand very well? Is the current rapid retreat of oil prices since August 2018 an indicator of more fundamental forces underway in the global and US economy? Will oil price deflation exacerbate, or even accelerate, the drift toward recession globally now underway? What about financial asset markets stability in general? What can be learned from the 2008 through 2015 experience?

In my 2016 book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’ and its chapter on deflation’s role in crises, I explained that oil is not just a commodity but, since the 1990s, has functioned as an important financial asset whose price affects other forms of financial assets (stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies, etc.). Financial asset price volatility in general (bubbles and deflation) have a greater impact on the real economy than mainstream economists, who generally don’t understand financial markets and cycles, think. Hence they don’t understand how financial cycles interact with real business cycles. This applies as well to their understanding of oil prices as financial asset prices, not just commodity prices.

Oil Price Deflation Revisited 2018

Oil is a commodity whose price is determined by the interaction of supply and demand; but it is also a financial asset the price of which is determined by global finance capitalists’ speculation in oil futures markets and the competition between various forms of financial assets globally.

 » Lees verder

The Snowiest Decade | Armstrong Economics


19-11-18 12:05:00,

This winter is starting off colder than the last two years. My biggest concern is that all the nonsense about Global Warming is preventing us from preparing for the real trend – Global Cooling. Even in the Bible, there is the story about Joseph warning the Pharaoh that there would be 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine.

During these periods of Global Cooling, this is when disease increases because people are suffering during a famine. What we should be doing is being to create a strategic grain reserve as they use to do with oil. But these people who keep up the nonsense about global Warming are putting society at risk from famine. Perhaps that is what they really want to happen by reducing the population.

 » Lees verder

The Empire Keeps Proving Assange Right About Everything


18-11-18 04:44:00,

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal by the Trump administration. This has been revealed by a purportedly accidental copy-paste error in an unrelated court document which used Assange’s name, interestingly not long after it was reported to the Wall Street Journal that federal prosecutors “have considered publicly indicting Mr. Assange to try to trigger his removal from the embassy because a detailed explanation of the evidence could give Ecuadorean authorities reason to turn Assange over.”

Insider sources have reportedly confirmed to the Washington Post that Assange has been charged. Because those charges are sealed, it’s impossible to know what they are or how they’re being justified. If you ask #Resistance Twitter, it’s because it’s #MuellerTime and Assange is about to be arrested under some mysterious charges involving WikiLeaks’ publication of non-government, non-classified emails in 2016. If you ask QAnon cultists, it’s because Donald Trump is planning to extradite Assange so as to rescue him and deal a fatal blow to the Deep State. If you ask people who actually know what they’re talking about, however, it’s most likely for WikiLeaks’ Afghanistan and Iraq war logs and/or last year’s CIA leak publications, and most likely using the Espionage Act. This would constitute a deadly blow to press freedoms, and arguably a greater leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia than the Patriot Act.

It also proves once again that Julian Assange was completely right.

I’ve had so, so many arguments with people this year about Assange’s publicly stated rationale for remaining in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he was granted political asylum by Ecuador’s previous government on the basis that the US was seeking his extradition. The refrain that he can “leave whenever he wants” is extremely common, with Assange’s detractors insisting that he’d never be arrested and extradited to the United States, and that he is instead hiding from (non-existent) Swedish rape charges. The narrative that Assange couldn’t possibly be hiding from the same government which tortured Chelsea Manning has been aggressively promulgated by mainstream outlets like the The Guardian, as in this article by James Ball from earlier this year titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride”,

 » Lees verder

Trump Quietly Orders Elimination of Assange


18-11-18 04:43:00,

Authored by James George Jatras via Strategic Culture:

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel. These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice” the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014,

 » Lees verder

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, November 17, 2018, #171


17-11-18 08:06:00,

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, November 17, 2018, #171

Dane Wigington

The true character of governments is becoming ever more visible as the walls begin to crumble on all sides. The climate engineering continues unabated and unacknowledged. Record drought and record wildfires on the West coast, record flooding and engineered winter in the US East. Will California get rain soon? Only the geoengineers know what will be scheduled. The November 17th installment of Global Alert News is below.

Even with the proverbial tidal wave of converging catastrophes looming over our collective heads, so many continue to double down on denial and apathy. How long can such behavior be maintained? We will soon enough find out. In the meantime, each and every one of us are desperately needed to do our part in the critical battle to wake the masses. Sharing credible data from a credible source is essential, make your voice heard.

This 30 second time-lapse video captures massive climate engineering operations spraying over California’s smoke filled skies. It was filmed on November 14th from our mountaintop home in Shasta County. We are not only breathing highly toxic smoke, we are also inhaling untold amounts of highly toxic climate engineering fallout. wishes to express our deepest gratitude to Australian activists for all their work toward raising climate engineering awareness in Australia (11/11/18).

This week’s outreach booth is at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, and is shown below. My most sincere and continuing gratitude to the Gem Faire exhibition organizers for facilitating and setting up this very effective booth in every week’s Gem Faire location. The schedule for upcoming Gem Faire events is HERE. A booth will be at all events, thanks to the steadfast support of Gem Faire.

 » Lees verder

Why Washington Blows Up over European Army


17-11-18 06:48:00,

Why Washington Blows Up over European Army

“Insulting” – that’s how US President Donald Trump sharply reacted to the idea of a “real European army” proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

And it was how Macron rationalized the need for an independent military force for Europe that perhaps most irked the American leader.

Speaking on a tour of World War I battlefields in northern France last week, Macron said that Europe needed to defend itself from “China, Russia and even the United States of America”.

It was a pretty extraordinary choice of words by the French leader. To frame the US among an array of perceived foreign enemy powers was a devastating blow to the concept of a much-vaunted transatlantic alliance.

Since the Second World War, ending 1945, the concept of an American-European alliance has been the bedrock of a supposed inviolable, mutual defense pact. That nearly seven-decade alliance is now being questioned more than ever.

Macron’s call for a European army was further backed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who also pointedly said this week that Europe can no longer rely on the US for its defense.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the proposal for Europe to form its own military organization, independent from Washington. No doubt, Moscow views such a development as augmenting a move towards a multipolar international order, which Russia and China, among others, have been advocating in opposition to American ambitions of unipolar dominance.

When Trump arrived in Paris last weekend along with dozens of other world leaders, including Putin, to commemorate the centennial anniversary marking the end of World War I, there was a notable frostiness between Macron and the American president. Only a few months ago, Macron and Trump had appeared the best of friends in what some observers referred to as a “bromance”.

During the Paris events, Macron sought to placate Trump by saying that the European army proposal would have a “complementary” role to the US-led NATO military alliance. However, their relationship further soured when Macron later delivered a speech in which he made a veiled rebuke of Trump’s “nationalist” politics.

Days later, on returning to Washington, Trump then fired off a fusillade of angry tweets attacking Macron in very personal terms over a range of issues,

 » Lees verder

Free speech for CNN, but not for Assange: The media’s double standard


17-11-18 09:05:00,

Two journalists on the bad side of Donald Trump were vindicated this week. One had his White House credentials restored. Another got proof that Uncle Sam wants him behind bars. Guess which one had all the support from the MSM.

CNN’s Jim Acosta was kicked out of the White House because the US president didn’t like the way the journalist bombarded him with confrontational questions. Less than a week later, a Trump-appointed judge ordered his access restored, at least for the time being. A big win for the freedom of speech in America.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is in a self-imposed confinement in Ecuador embassy in London because he believes that if he leaves the British will snatch him and ship to the land of the free to be prosecuted as a spy. His situation did not change much this week, except that his suspicions of a secret indictment were corroborated by an Assistant US Attorney, in an apparent slip of the pen.

Somehow many of the people and media outlets, who stood by Acosta in defense of his right to pester the US president – sorry, hold the US president accountable – were nowhere to be seen when it came to defending Assange’s right to publish America’s dirty little secrets.

The irony of the situation however is cherished by some commenters on Twitter.

—Jim Acosta: I have a first amendment right to do whatever the hell I want.

—Julian Assange: The DOJ is about to lock me up for my reporting.

— Michael Moates (@freedom_moates) November 16, 2018

Funny how the media has been outraged over Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi for the past several weeks, and CNN’s Jim Acosta as of late, but can’t seem to be bothered about Julian Assange – who only published truthful information.

So much for “freedom of the press”.

— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) November 16, 2018

The corporate media has rightly come to the rescue of Jim Acosta…but the same outlets will say NOTHING about the totally fabricated attack on Julian Assange—this is nothing but the government silencing a critically important journalist

— Jordan (@JordanChariton) November 16,

 » Lees verder

Tepper: Facebook, Google And “The Myth Of Capitalism”


17-11-18 08:57:00,

In this week’s MacroVoices podcast, host Erik Townsend interviews Jonathan Tepper, author and co-founder of research shop Variant Perception. During the course of a meandering hour-long conversation, the two men discuss everything from VPs outlook on China’s economy and oil’s role as a recession indicator, to the problems inherent in the US’s version of capitalism.

After some well-deserved humblebragging about VP’s call to avoid cyclicals and stick with defensive shares, a call that finally panned out during the “Shocktober” market selloff, the two men turned to the subject of China and the possible long-term repercussions of the US-China trade war.


Asked for his view on Chinese markets, Tepper admitted that he had no insight into how the trade war might be resolved – or if it will be resolved. Instead, he seized the opportunity to pitch Variant Perception’s Chinese leading indicator index, which he said has consistently put his clients “in front of some of the most cyclical profitable trades out there” in emerging-markets.

Though Tepper offered one meaningful comment about the recent economic weakness in China: That China’s economy and currency are weakening because of structural domestic factors, not trade-related anxieties.

So our index gives us an insight into Chinese growth. And I can tell you that I’m sure the trade war is bad and I’m sure it’s going to have some impact. But the slowdown that we’ve seen in China this year predates trade war problems and certainly is not driven by them. It’s driven by domestic monetary conditions.

Some analysts speculate that the record drop in oil over the past few weeks could signal that a global recession is ahead. But Tepper argued that his indicators offer a slightly different take. Looking at oil’s moves over the past two years, WTI is still trading at more than double its post-2014 lows. 

This pattern more closely resembles the run-up to the recession in 2001, when oil more than doubled following the Asian and Russian crises in the late 1990s. And while oil has reversed some of its advance in dollar terms, when the exchange rate is factored in, the price of oil is far higher in some fragile emerging market economies. With all of this in mind,

 » Lees verder

Clemson Invites Students To “Create Your Own Gender”


16-11-18 10:52:00,

Authored by Stone Washington via Campus Reform,

Have you ever considered creating your own gender? Clemson University students explored this phenomenon by embarking on a “Create Your Own Gender Adventure” workshop on Wednesday.

Clemson’s Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center hosted the event, which featured Lara Americo, a transgender activist and founder of Comic Girl Coffee, which is an “anti-capitalist space that uses the non-profit model to support community building,” according to its website.

Americo campaigns for greater rights for the LGBTQ community through TEDX, the ACLU, and 

“We create gender every day whether we realize it or not,” claims the event description. “When we wake up, with clothes and mannerisms, we perform and create gender.”

“Gender!” Americo exclaimed at the event. “It takes so much energy, so we need to eat, we need to sustain ourselves so we can keep up this performance that we put on every single day.”

Five students and four adults attended Americo’s presentation, sitting at tables surrounding the activist. Americo mixed and matched clothes from a pile to model “new genders.” The transgender activist selected two volunteers to pick out a shirt, pants, makeup, and accessories to assemble various outfits, while the audience attempted to guess what type of gender each piece of clothing represented.

“As soon as you wake up, think about all the things you do to prepare to walk outside of the house. You have all these clothes, all these products that you bought, all these different things that you use to create your identity and by default you use to create your gender expression: your blend of masculinity and femininity,” Americo explained.

“So, we’re gonna do it right now. We’re gonna create something. Are there only two genders? Is it just male and female? Or are genders infinite…and can we create infinite genders based on our emotions and our feelings for today?”

Americo dressed in a variety of clothes to mix and match styles, including fox-covered tights, cargo pants, pink cat ears, and a loose-fitting striped shirt.

 » Lees verder

US continues imports of Russian gas which it insists Europe should stop buying


16-11-18 08:38:00,

Several cargo ships carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia’s Yamal LNG plant have arrived in the US, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova announced, highlighting the obvious weirdness of the situation.

“Oddly enough, with all this visible public flow of negative rhetoric from Washington, Russian liquefied natural gas is successfully being supplied to the US,” Zakharova said during the weekly press briefing.

“Recently, at least three tankers with liquefied natural gas from the Russian Yamal LNG field on board have reached the US coast,” she added.

Read more

Ice-breaking tanker Christophe de Margerie is docked in Arctic port of Russia © Reuters / Olesya Astakhova

This is not the first batch of Yamal-originated LNG. In January, a month after the facility started operating, French tanker Gaselys delivered the first LNG cargo to the US city of Boston. The fuel was reportedly purchased by Malaysian oil and gas firm Petronas, transported to the UK, and then resold. In March, Boston reportedly welcomed another LNG carrier – Provalys owned by French multinational Engie. The tanker reportedly delivered the second LNG cargo from the Russian Yamal plant.

Zakharova’s comment came shortly after US Department of Energy Secretary Mark Menezes said that Washington is ready to back projects aimed at diversifying energy supplies to countries of the European Union even if Russian corporations take part in them.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged the EU to look for alternatives to cheaper Russian gas, mostly delivered to Europe by pipelines. Last month, PGNiG, Poland’s gas company, signed a 20-year deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US.

While promoting American LNG, Trump has repeatedly slammed Europe over its energy dependence on Russia, which he characterized as an unreliable partner. Earlier, Germany agreed to fund the building of a terminal for receiving American LNG. At the same time, Germany is participating in the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 » Lees verder

Pentagon Fails Its First-Ever Official Audit


16-11-18 08:09:00,

Authored by Jason Ditz via,

After generations of being a black hole down which money goes, never to return, a team of 1,200 auditors tried to give the Pentagon its first ever comprehensive audit, just to see where all that money went. Unsurprisingly, it went poorly, and was declared a failure.

How bad the failure was is something of a mystery at this point, with officials refusing to disclose the exact results, or even ballpark how much money is unaccounted for. The only clue to the sheer scope of the matter is that they believe it will take “years” to sort out.

And if there was one thing more dependable than the Pentagon failing an audit and missing an undisclosed, but vast, amount of money, it’s officials downplaying the matter. Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan told reporters that the Pentagon “never expected to pass it” in the first place.

Indeed, Shanahan insisted that even though the Pentagon failed the audit, the fact that they even bothered to do an audit at all “is substantial,” and shows effort toward compliance.

That said, he said the issue of audits is “irritating to me.”

 » Lees verder

Oops: House Democrats Mistakenly Cast Votes Blocking Resolution on Ending Yemen War


16-11-18 08:08:00,

In a political maneuver that was equal parts bizarre and grimly predictable, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill moved yet again on Wednesday to block a vote to wind down U.S. military support for the war in Yemen, this time by tucking a parliamentary procedure into a rule governing legislation that removes gray wolves from the endangered species list.

The measure narrowly passed with a 201-187 vote, preventing any action on the war in Yemen this legislative session.

What’s more, several of the co-sponsors of the Yemen resolution to end the war either voted to advance the wolf bill or abstained from the vote entirely, meaning that they played a part in preventing their own bill from reaching the House floor.

Adding to the confusion, two of the six House Democrats who joined Republicans in beating back the Yemen bill have told The Intercept that they cast their votes in error.

“Mr. Vela’s vote was actually mistake – we are in the process of changing it,” wrote Mickeala Carter, a spokesperson for Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, who voted for the rule that prevented the Yemen vote.

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., is a co-sponsor of the Yemen legislation, which invokes the 1973 War Powers Act to compel the Trump administration to remove U.S. forces from “hostilities” related to the Saudi Arabia-led intervention. Eshoo voted for the measure blocking her own resolution from reaching the floor, a move that puzzled human rights advocates.

“She is a cosponsor of the Resolution and made a mistake on the vote,” wrote Emma Crisci, a spokesperson for Eshoo’s office, in an email to The Intercept. “The Congresswoman is submitting a statement for the Congressional Record saying that she made a mistake in voting and meant to vote NO on the rule.”

Four other House Democrats — Reps. Gene Green and Vicente González of Texas, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and Jim Costa of California — also voted for the rule to prevent the Yemen bill from reaching the floor, and did not respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation to wind down the war in Yemen in October. Buck was selected by GOP leadership this cycle to serve on the House Rules Committee,

 » Lees verder

UK Prime Minister May Sells Out Her Country –

16-11-18 01:55:00,

How Much Was The Duplicitous Bitch Paid To Sign Away British Sovereignty?

Nigel Farage

Events are moving rapidly in Westminster today but as MPs reflect on the terms of Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal, one thing is constant: the prime minister’s self-delusion.

People from all sides of the political divide have been warning Mrs May for weeks that only strong and honest leadership would guarantee a meaningful and honest Brexit. Her refusal to heed this advice has resulted in a series of resignations at all levels of her government from both Brexiteers and Remainers. She is responsible for the chaos which could easily seal her fate. Bearing in mind the manifesto commitments she made in 2017, her disregard for democracy is disgraceful.

It has been clear to me since Mrs May made her Florence Speech in September 2017 that she was taking the UK down a route of betrayal. Those of us who believe in Britain’s independence have spent the last three decades trying to opt out of key elements of the European Union machine. But at Florence, it was obvious that she actually wanted to opt the country back in to most of it.

This fact was spelled out most clearly this week by Angela Merkel. During her visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg Merkel stated: “Mrs May wants to stay in Europe.” This just about sums up the whole fraudulent situation. As Mrs May voted to Remain in 2016, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised.  

With the draft deal that’s been unveiled to the public, it’s easy to see that this Brexit betrayal is complete. Under its terms, Britain has assumed a submissive position. Thanks to Mrs May, our country has agreed to behave like a nation that has been defeated militarily in war and is now pleading for the kindest possible terms from our victors. Of course, no such concessions have been made from the other side.

When I formally met the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier back in January, his one goal was made clear to me: to make sure the United Kingdom did not diverge from European Union rules. He was adamant that we would not be allowed any competitive advantage.

 » Lees verder

As the Obama DOJ Concluded, Prosecution of Julian Assange For Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom


16-11-18 01:52:00,

The Trump Justice Department inadvertently revealed in a court filing that it has charged Julian Assange in a sealed indictment. The disclosure occurred through a remarkably amateurish cutting-and-pasting error in which prosecutors unintentionally used secret language from Assange’s sealed charges in a document filed in an unrelated case. Although the document does not specify which charges have been filed against Assange, the Wall Street Journal reported that “they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information.”

Over the last two years, journalists and others have melodramatically claimed that press freedoms were being assaulted by the Trump administration due to trivial acts such as the President spouting adolescent insults on Twitter at Chuck Todd and Wolf Blitzer or banning Jim Acosta from White House press conferences due to his refusal to stop preening for a few minutes so as to allow other journalists to ask questions. Meanwhile, actual and real threats to press freedoms that began with the Obama DOJ and have escalated with the Trump DOJ – such as aggressive attempts to unearth and prosecute sources – have gone largely ignored if not applauded.

But prosecuting Assange and/or WikiLeaks for publishing classified documents would be in an entirely different universe of press freedom threats. Reporting on the secret acts of government officials or powerful financial actors – including by publishing documents taken without authorization – is at the core of investigative journalism. From the Pentagon Papers to the Panama Papers to the Snowden disclosures to publication of Trump’s tax returns to the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, some of the most important journalism over the last several decades has occurred because it is legal and constitutional to publish secret documents even if the sources of those documents obtained them through illicit or even illegal means.

The Obama DOJ – despite launching notoriously aggressive attacks on press freedoms – recognized this critical principle when it came to WikiLeaks. It spent years exploring whether it could criminally charge Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing classified information. It ultimately decided it would not do so, and could not do so, consistent with the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment. After all, the Obama DOJ concluded,

 » Lees verder

Successful failure: Pentagon admits it never even expected to ‘pass’ multi-million audit


16-11-18 09:07:00,

The US Department of Defense spent over $360 million to confirm there are problems in the $2.7 trillion organization, but the Pentagon leadership considers the mere fact that this “first-ever” audit happened was a great success.

“We never thought we were going to pass an audit, right? Everyone was betting against us that we wouldn’t even do the audit,” Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters on Thursday, announcing the end of the eleven-month process.

The actual results of the audit, along with the report by the Pentagon’s inspector general, will reportedly be made public on Friday. The process began in December 2017 and involved around 1,200 auditors at the cost of some $367 million, according to what the DOD’s Chief Financial Officer David Norquist told Congress in January.

Shanahan tried to put a brave face on the news, saying that the very fact an audit was done at all was “substantial,” since the Pentagon is a “$2.7 trillion organization.” A 1990 law required an audit of all government departments, but the DOD managed to avoid one until 2017, when the Trump administration appointed Norquist to oversee the process.

“If I’m a taxpayer, what I want to see is: ‘You did the audit, you have all these findings. How long is it going to take for you to fix those?’,” Shanahan said, adding that the idea was for the next audit to show fewer problems. There was no word on whether there would be another audit, however.

Read more

FILE PHOTO: US M1 Abrams tanks © Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via Reuters

The audit is not a pass-fail process, Shanahan’s spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, told Stars and Stripes in an email following the briefing.  “We did not receive an ‘adverse’ finding – the lowest possible category – in any area,” he wrote.

Some of the issues found in the audit were “irritating,” Shanahan said, because they showed the Pentagon failed to follow its own rules and procedures. One of the major issues was described as “inventory accuracy,” where the DOD records showed items and equipment that did not exist in actuality.

The announcement comes just days after a report by a bipartisan commission,

 » Lees verder

CIA Considered Truth Serum For Terror Suspects, Says New Unclassified Report


16-11-18 09:01:00,

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has just released a new 90-page CIA report, which was provided in advance to the Associated Press (AP), shows how the government’s top spy agency considered using a drug it believed might work as a truth serum and force terror suspects to spill the beans about future attacks.

The spy agency determined that a drug called Versed, a sedative frequently prescribed to reduce anxiety, was “possibly worth a try.” But according to AP, the CIA did not ask government courts to approve its use.

The secret program was called “Project Medication” — is now disclosed in a once-classified report that was provided to the ACLU under a court’s order and was released Tuesday.

The CIA report revealed the internal struggle that medical personnel working in the agency’s interrogation program – routinely breached their professional ethics with the chance to save lives by preventing future attacks.

“This document tells an essential part of the story of how it was that the CIA came to torture prisoners against the law and helps prevent it from happening again,” said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin.

CIA doctors, psychologists, physician assistants, and nurses were, directly and indirectly, involved in the interrogation program from 2002 to 2007, the report said. They evaluated and monitored 97 detainees in ten secret CIA bases overseas.

The report said the CIA completely hid the drug-assisted interrogations from the Justice Department because there were “some significant ethical concerns.”

The Justice Department spent months approving various forms of interrogation tactics, including sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces and the waterboarding. It was noted the CIA’s counterterrorism team “did not want to raise another issue with the Department of Justice,” the report said. 

Before the agency selected Versed, the report said government scientist studied many reports of old Soviet drug experiments as well as the CIA’s discredited MK-Ultra program from the 1950s and 1960s that involved human experimentation with LSD and other mind-altering drugs, in the attempt to obtain the holy grail of truth serums.

“But decades later, the agency was considering experimenting on humans again to test pseudo-scientific theories of learned helplessness on its prisoners,” Ladin said.

 » Lees verder

Surveillance with a smile: Biometrics firms seek to incentivize facial recognition


16-11-18 08:58:00,

Operating on the gradual model of Google and Facebook, biometrics companies are plotting a slow rollout of facial recognition technology, barbed with incentives to hook customers and distract them from the demise of privacy.

Arenas, airports and stores are already adopting facial recognition software to identify criminals, from shoplifters to potential terrorists – so marketing is the natural next step, according to Arturo Falck, CEO of and one of several biometrics execs interviewed by trade publication Biometric Update.

Once companies are using this type of technology for crime prevention purposes, there’s no reason why they should not be using it for upselling their customers.

Read more

© Reuters / Thomas Peter

And what if those customers don’t want to be upsold? A Brookings Institute survey last month indicated half of Americans still oppose facial recognition for theft prevention purposes, let alone marketing, indicating has an uphill battle ahead. Along those lines, 50 percent think there should be limits on the technology’s use by law enforcement. Emails recently obtained by the Project on Government Oversight reveal Amazon has pitched its own facial recognition systems to ICE and other government agencies.

But given that only three percent of the population are “vocally opposed” to engaging with facial recognition systems, Falck is optimistic that most of the rest can be seduced via loyalty rewards and discounts. Still, he moans, “We believe that when the general population becomes more educated about exactly what’s going on with facial recognition, that there’s going to be a much larger percentage of the population which wants to control where their faces can and cannot be recognized.”

FaceFirst CEO Peter Trepp envisions a way around that with a “friendly opt-in environment” in which customers would trade their privacy for retail advantages with the biometric equivalent of a customer loyalty card. A company called BiteKiosk has proposed using food discounts to increase the adoption of self-service facial recognition kiosks in restaurants, and there is definite precedent for this repackaging of dystopian new technologies as “perks” – last year, Lincoln Motor Company included TSA PreCheck biometric scanners in its new vehicles,

 » Lees verder