Puppet Masters


Was the Boston Marathon witness purposely executed while trying to flee a brutal FBI interrogation?

Ibrahim Todashev, 27, a Russian immigrant friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot and killed last May 22 in the middle of the night by the FBI at the violent end of a five-hour interrogation in his home in Orlando. Now the FBI, ten months later, is claiming that its agent was attacked by Todashev, and was justified in killing him. But a CounterPunch investigation raises grave questions about what happened in that apartment.

While it's of course conceivable that this was just a hugely botched investigation by two inept FBI agents, our investigation suggests that Todashev may have been killed trying to flee a brutal interrogation, and that he may have even been deliberately executed by the FBI.

Questions raised in this case range from why FBI agents failed to follow Bureau's long-established interrogation protocol, leaving just one agent to question the witness, to why a suspect known to be a competitive mixed martial arts expert was left unrestrained during a hostile and high-pressure interrogation, how Todashev was shot, including a bullet to the top of the head, and finally to how he could have been shot seven times, clearly with intent to kill given where he was hit, if he was considered by the Bureau to be a key witness in the Boston Marathon case.

The FBI and other law enforcement sources, as I reported earlier in the online publication WhoWhatWhy.com, have leaked a series of widely at odds explanations to selected mainstream news media organizations as to how and why Todashev was shot and killed. Initially Bureau sources leaked to reporters that he had variously grabbed a sword off the wall, or left the room and returned from the kitchen with a pipe or a broomstick, or alternatively with a knife.
Todashev bloodstains
© unknown
Blood stains at the exit point from the room where Todashev was interrogated, leading towards foyer and the apartment’s front door. Was Todashev killed trying to escape a brutal grilling?

Comment: For further reading see:

Were The Boston Marathon Bombers 'Mind Controlled'?

Monkey Wrench

The pathetic Ukrainian operetta: Ukrainians on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Acting Ukrainian Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh
© Reuters
Acting defense minister Igor Tenyukh has resigned his post in Ukraine.
Ukraine's defense minister has resigned (via El País).
"Since some don't like the decisions I have made, I am not going to stay in this post," he said before the Supreme Rada (Parliament) in Kiev. The deputies, which initially rejected his resignation, ended up accepting it after an emergency meeting among the different political parties... In his speech before the Rada, he offered a new - and disheartening - tally of desertions: only 4,300 of the 18,800 [Ukrainian] soldiers in Crimea will continue in the Ukrainian army; the rest have accepted the offer by the Russians to join their armed forces.]
In this intercepted phone call Yulia Tymoshenko, a likely Ukrainian presidential candidate (but there will be no elections*) talks about using nuclear weapons on the eight million Russian citizens who live in Ukraine.

Good thing these "Ukrainians" don't have any nuclear weapons, but they do have plentiful baseball bats and AK47s looted from armories in the west of the country. Listening to the tone of her voice (these Ukrainian nationalists are speaking together in pretty good Russian, by the way; they are both urbane and Ukrainian is a village dialect) I almost feel sorry for her. Except that she is talking about murdering people like me (my father was born in Kiev, so I have the right to a Ukrainian citizenship). Ahem, President Putin, do you have a moment?

[* And the reason there will be no election is that if the election were held today, the people in power would get maybe 5% of the popular vote.]

In his novel The White Guard, Mikhail Bulgakov, writing of the events of 1918 in Ukraine, characterized Ukrainian politics as a "pathetic operetta." We appear to be at just that point yet again.


Chain reaction? Is Crimea's shift the first of a long series?

Berlin wall
© Unknown
Beyond the emphatic cries of the West against the accession of the Crimea to the Russian Federation, the real issue is whether this is an orphan event or whether it foreshadows a turning of Eastern Europe toward Moscow. With only enslavement to the Brussels bureaucracy to offer, Brussels fears that its current clients may be attracted by Moscow's freedom and money.

Westerners bellow to denounce the "military annexation" of the Crimea by Russia. According to them, Moscow, returning to the "Brezhnev doctrine" threatens the sovereignty of all States which were members not only of the former Soviet Union, but also of the Warsaw Pact, and is about to invade as it did in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Is this true ? Obviously, the same Westerners are not convinced of the imminent danger. Though they equate the "annexation" of the Crimea by Vladimir Putin to that of the Sudetenland by Adolf Hitler, they do not think that we are heading towards a Third World War.

At most, they have enacted ​​theoretical sanctions against some Russian leaders - including Crimean leaders - blocking their accounts in case they should wish to open such in Western banks, or prohibiting them from traveling there, in case they yearned to do so. True, the Pentagon has sent 22 fighter jets to Poland and the Baltic States, but it does not intend to do more than this posturing for the moment.

NYPD refuses to divulge transparency guidelines handbook

© Reuters / Lucas Jackson

The handbook that guides the New York City Police Department's transparency policies for records requests, ultimately informing the public as to how the department operates, is being kept private based on certain statutes that "prohibit disclosure."

MuckRock editor Shawn Musgrave, writing for Gothamist, reported that he was denied access to the NYPD's freedom of information handbook - which steers the department's protocol for adhering to the New York state Freedom of Information Law - despite a public records request seemingly in compliance with state law.

"Invoking attorney-client privilege, the records access officer ruled that a handful of statutes 'prohibit disclosure' of freedom of information reference materials," Musgrave wrote, describing a February 28 letter he received from NYPD Records Access Appeal Officer Jonathan David that cemented the rejection of a records request submitted two months earlier.

The secretive, opaque stance from the NYPD is nothing new, Musgrave noted. Last year, it was revealed that the largest police department in the United States - and the "seventh biggest army in the world" according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2011 - had for the last decade applied a "secret" designation to internal documents that it wanted to keep from the public. Yet that label is not legally binding in New York state.

Wikipedia exposed: Bullying and harassment tactics of activist editors in a wiki war- a case study

© RomeViharo.com
Rome Viharo

According to a tiny handful of Wikipedia editors and admins, I'm the engineer of a vast and co-ordinated global social media experiment for creating conflict. I'm a 'fringe' promoter, a conspiracy theorist, a charlatan for 'pseudoscience' and hold 'views' outside the mainstream. I'm also a well known internet troll with an anti-social personality disorder and am borderline autistic, a ringleader for countless sockpuppets and in bed with PR agencies as well as just being plain old incompetent. According to them, as colorful as such a description it is, I'm just that sort of 'peculiar person'. This description of me was then used to get admins on Wikipedia to ban me indefinitely from the platform in addition to further off Wikipedia site harassment.

I'm not that interesting of a person to get this much scrutiny. I am a casualty of a 'wiki' war. The article I was editing is not even something controversial, it was not an article about Israel/Palestine, Islam, Jesus or JFK conspiracy theories. I was simply editing a biography of a living person - a notable individual who has as many detractors as he does supporters.

If this reads to you like another case of online harassment, it is. If you think that Wikipedia must have clear policies and guidelines against this sort of thing - they do. If you think admins should guard and protect against this from happening - they didn't.
Wine n Glass

Control of the White House Press: Arizona journalist reports she was asked for her questions in advance - then sez she lied

© Unknown
A CBS reporter from Arizona reveals that President Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, receives questions from the press in advance of his daily press briefing. In fact, she says, the reporters often receive the answers in advance of the briefing, too.

According to the reporter, Jay Carney told her this yesterday at the White House:

"It was a very busy day. We started here shortly after 8 o'clock with a coffee with press secretary Jay Carney inside his office in the West Wing," says the reporter.

"And this was the off-the-record so we were able to ask him all about some of the preparation that he does on a regular basis for talking to the press in his daily press briefings. He showed us a very long list of items that he has to be well versed on every single day.

"And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it's something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask -- the correspondents -- they are provided to him in advance. So then he knows what he's going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they're producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting."

Guardian's 'brainwashing' tactics on Putin - the methodology illustrated

I spend a lot of time on this blog criticising the propaganda role of liberal media, including my former newspaper the Guardian. Media critics like Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman have called it "brainwashing under freedom". Because of a long filtering process before they reach positions of influence, journalists working for the corporate media in free societies replicate many of the failings of journalists working for media in repressive and closed societies. There are differences. The propaganda in free societies is more subtle and insidious; the journalists are more likely to believe what they write; and a degree of pluralism is allowed, even while plausible and important voices are ignored or ridiculed. But propaganda it still is.

I highlight this long and prominent article in the Guardian on Putin's handling of Crimea and Ukraine because it is a master-class in brainwashing under freedom. The paper's Moscow correspondent, Shaun Walker, is presumably well-acquainted with Russian society. He has full access to Russian media propaganda, so he knows full well Russia's side of the argument. And he has acres of space in which to set out all the various viewpoints. And yet, he never manages to give a proper hearing to Russia's side of the argument.

Even from a casual reading of a few dissident writers on Crimea, I know that Russian leaders have made two important points: one about western hypocrisy over Crimea, and the other about the threat posed to Russian interests by Nato (read: US) expansionism. So how does Walker deal with these two arguments in his long article?

One cannot quite say he entirely ignores them, but he certainly does not present the case either. If you search the article, you will not find a mention of the terms "Nato", "expansion" or "Iraq". But Walker does not regard himself as a paid propagandist, so he subtly alludes to these positions without ever directly dealing with them. For if he did, we, the reader, might realise how significant or persuasive some of Putin's arguments are. At the same time, he exploits these allusions, not to highlight issues that would reflect badly on the US and its lapdog supporters but to further undermine Putin's credibility.

Provoking confrontation with Russia: German media propaganda

© Der Spiegel
'The arsonist' - Der Spiegel, Hamburg.
It was Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels who coined the phrase: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. Goebbels' words came to mind when reading the German newspapers on Monday.

Following the prolonged intervention by the American and German governments in the internal affairs of Ukraine, utilising fascist mobs to overthrow an elected president and provoking civil war and the danger of war with Russia, almost all German newspapers on Monday published editorials and headlines branding Russian President Vladimir Putin as the aggressor and demanding Germany undertake a much more aggressive policy toward Russia.

The weekly Der Spiegel blazed across its cover: "The arsonist - Who will stop Putin." The cover photo montage featured an oversized Putin with a sly expression. He is surrounded by the tiny figures of Obama wagging his finger and a frightened Cameron and Merkel waving white peace flags.

Inside the magazine a ten-page article declares: "The world is now undergoing a kind of stress test: can the democratic West stand up to the lust for power on the part of an Eastern autocrat? Can diplomacy bring to its knees a despot who dispatches his troops?"
Alarm Clock

'Kiev leaders took power with Right Sector's help, but now afraid of them'

Notorious Ukrainian right-wing militant leader Aleksandr Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bilyi, has been shot dead during a police raid against his gang, confirmed Ukraine's Ministry of Interior. Neil Clark, a UK-based journalist and broadcaster who's been covering the events in Ukraine extensivley, explained why allegations that the Right Sector activist was assassinated make perfect sense

Alarm Clock

BBC's 'total fabrication from beginning to end' of Syria 'atrocity'

The British Broadcasting Corporation is accused of staging a "chemical weapons attack" in Syria. The CIA admits planting CNN reporters, and international lawyers call for journalists inciting violence to be expelled. RT.com's the Truthseeker investigates.

Comment: Sott.net called this one at the time. BBC and Doctors in Syria - Shilling for Western Psychopaths in Power.

You may also be interested in: Why is the BBC banging the war drum in Syria? Just look who runs it!