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Sat, 23 Feb 2019
The World for People who Think


Megaphone

Everyone has fallen for the lies about Venezuela

venezuela
© Global Look Press / Roman Camacho
Socialism, ditching the dollar, and having natural resources are the three crimes that usually provoke the US into overthrowing a foreign government. And these are the reasons it's backing the coup in Venezuela.

There are three things I know for sure in this fanciful, sometimes inglorious experience we call life:
  • You will never have a safety pin when you need one, and you will have thousands when you don't need one.
  • Wild animals are breathtakingly majestic until they're crawling up your pant leg.
  • A US presidential administration will never admit that it invaded another country or backed a coup attempt in order to essentially steal the natural resources (oil) of said country.
This is why it was so very shocking last week when members of the Trump administration admitted they were backing a coup attempt in order to essentially steal the natural resources (oil) of another country.

That country is Venezuela. I'll get back to this in a moment.

Attention

German cover-up: Govt deported Moroccan secret agent to hide his ties to Christmas attacker Anis Amri

anis amri attack memorial
© picture alliance/dpa/B. Pedersen
The German Interior Ministry deported a Moroccan secret agent to hide his involvement in the December 2016 Christmas market attack in Berlin, according to an internal document leaked to the German magazine Focus.

However, sources within German security forces have since told public broadcaster ARD that they had no evidence that Ammar worked for any foreign intelligence agency, and were angered at the suggestion that German authorities may have protected him.

Bilel Ben Ammar, himself considered a radical Islamist who was once believed to be planning a separate attack in Berlin, was an associate of Anis Amri, the Tunisian man who drove a stolen truck into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin. The attack killed 12 people and injuring 60 more, while Amri himself was killed by police a few days later in Italy.

According to the document seen by Focus, Ammar met Amri a day before the attack, and took photos of the market in its aftermath, which he sent to an unknown phone number two hours later.

Ammar may even have helped the attacker to escape; CCTV footage mentioned in the document showed a man "with the appearance of Ben Ammar" hit a man on the head with a piece of wood in order to clear a path for the escaping attacker. The man is still in a coma now, Focus reported.

All this would be new evidence for the parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the attack, whose members have no knowledge of the video, though they did not rule out that it exists.

Comment: If it isn't clear by now that there is more than a passing relationship between Islamist terrorists and Western intelligence sources, you haven't been paying attention. The counterterrorist forces are plagued by both extreme incompetence (which leads to cover-ups to avoid embarrassment) and criminal collusion with the very groups the West is supposed to be at war with. Pardon the phrase, but heads have to roll. The security services are not working in the best interests of their citizens.


Better Earth

Warsaw and Munich: Whistling past NATO's graveyard

Angela Merke Mike Pence
© AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, welcomes United States Vice President Mike Pence, left, for a bilateral meeting during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019.
If the Anti-Iran conference in Warsaw was the opening act, the annual Munich Security Conference was the main event. Both produced a lot of speeches, grandstanding and virtue-signaling, as well as a lot of shuffling of feet and looking at the ground.

The message from the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia was clear, "We are still committed to the destruction of Syria as a functional state to end the growing influence of Iran."

Europe, for the most part, doesn't buy that argument anymore. Germany certainly doesn't. France is only interested in how they can curry favor with the U.S. to wrest control of the EU from Germany. The U.K. is a hopeless has-been, living on Deep State inertia and money laundered through City of London.

The Poles just want to stick it to the Russians.

Everyone else has a bad case of, "been there, done that, ain't doin' it again."

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Red Flag

'Collusion,' 'contacts,' selective prosecutions, coup plotting, and media taboos: Russiagate is 'Sovietizing' American politics

mueller
© AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
Special counsel Robert Mueller departs the Capitol after a meeting with the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on June 21, 2017.
Having studied Soviet political history for decades and having lived off and on in that repressive political system before Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms - in Russia under Leonid Brezhnev in the late 1970s and early 1980s - I may be unduly concerned about similar repressive trends I see unfolding in democratic America during three years of mounting Russiagate allegations. Or I may exaggerate them. Even if I am right about Soviet-like practices in the United States, they are as yet only adumbrations, and certainly nothing as repressive as they once were in Russia.

And yet, ominous trends are not to be discounted and still less ignored. I have commented on them previously, on the official use of "informants" to infiltrate Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, for example, and such practices have now multiplied. Consider the following:

Soviet authorities, through the KGB, regularly charged and punished dissidents and other unacceptably independent citizens with linguistic versions of "collusion" and "contacts" with foreigners, particularly Americans. (Having inadvertently been the American in several cases, I can testify that the "contacts" were entirely casual, professional, or otherwise innocent.) Is something similar under way here? As the former prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has pointed out, to make allegations of Trump associates' "collusion" is to question "everyone who had interacted with Russia in the last quarter-century." In my case and those of not a few scholarly colleagues, it would mean in the last half-century, or nearly. Nor is this practice merely hypothetical or abstract. The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence recently sent a letter to an American professor and public intellectual demanding that this person turn over "all communications [since January 2015] with Russian media organizations, their employees, representatives, or associates," with "Russian persons or business interests," "with or about US political campaigns or entities relating to Russia," and "related to travel to Russia, and/or meetings, or discussions, or interactions that occurred during such travel." We do not know how many such letters the Committee has sent, but this is not the only one. If this is not an un-American political inquisition, it is hard to say what would be. (It was also a common Soviet practice, though such "documents" were usually obtained by sudden police raids, of which there have recently been at least two in our own country, both related to Russiagate.)

Attention

Self-proclaimed white nationalist arrested for planning a 'mass terror attack', the government says

Christopher Paul Hasson white nationalist
A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist was arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home that authorities say he stockpiled to launch a widespread domestic terrorist attack targeting politicians and journalists.

Christopher Paul Hasson called for "focused violence" to "establish a white homeland" and said, "I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth," according to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as "best place in dc to see congress people" and "are supreme court justices protected."

"The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," the government said in court documents filed this week, arguing that Hasson should stay in jail awaiting trial.

Star of David

Bizarro world! France threatens to boycott Eurovision over Israeli TV show that predicted French contestant as Muslim, gay...and a terrorist

israel eurovision
© Meged Gozani
Mali Levi and Roy Miller in the 2019 Israeli miniseries "Douze Points."
France has reportedly threatened to boycott the Eurovision song contest in protest over an Israeli television series which portrays France's entry in the popular competition as a terrorist.

Set to air in May, the three-part series called Douze Points ('twelve points' in French, the highest score you can receive at Eurovision) is about a French-Algerian Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist posing as a gay man who manages to secure a place in the high-profile international song contest - ostensibly in hopes of carrying out a heinous terrorist attack live on television. The program will air the same week as Eurovision 2019, which is being hosted by Israel.

The fictional Israeli series has apparently rubbed French authorities the wrong way - perhaps because France will be represented this year by Bilal Hassani, a gay Muslim.

Comment: One dark possibility is that Hassani was selected afterwards to fit with a script.

But the show is presumably as its creators claim: a send-up of Israelis' obsession with terror.

Which leaves this a freakishly hilarious coincidence.

When Zionisms collide!

This show has it all: terror, entertainment, LGBT-ness, Muslim migrants... and the Israeli security services, of course, saving the day.


Cult

Euro-liberal democrazis threaten elected Hungarian MEPs with expulsion after Orban govt again links Soros network with EU mass migration agenda

George Soros and Jean-Claude Juncker
© Facebook / Magyarország Kormánya
Hungarian government poster depicting George Soros and Jean-Claude Juncker
A new media campaign by the Hungarian government accuses globalist billionaire George Soros and the EU of pushing open-borders policies. Brussels indignantly dismissed the campaign as a conspiracy theory and fake news.


Billboards with the images of Soros and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tell Hungarians that Brussels officials "are launching experimental immigration projects with African countries; want to introduce mandatory settlement quotas; want to reduce financial assistance for countries opposed to migration," that last part specifically referring to Hungary.


Comment: All true.


Further accusations appeared on the government of Hungary's Facebook page, which says the EU wants to impose settlement quotas, weaken EU members' border protections and make immigration easier.


Comment: Also all true.



The EU Commission rushed to outright dismiss the ad campaign, calling it a conspiracy and "fake news," without going into detail in addressing Budapest's concerns.

Comment: Go Orban go! The most legitimate democratically-elected leader in the EU!

In fact, with his clear majority support, he's arguably the only one.

Which just goes to show that, in hating him, Euro-liberals really hate ordinary Europeans.


Pistol

US air freight company caught smuggling weapons into Venezuela is linked to CIA 'black site' renditions

21Air
© 21Air
A 21Air jet loading relief supplies
This article in McClatchy News about the CIA-connected airline that has been making lots of round trip flights from Miami adds to the article below. They write,
"The Boeing 767 has made dozens of flights between Miami International Airport and destinations in Colombia and Venezuela since Jan. 11, a flight tracking service shows, often returning to Miami for only a few hours before flying again to South America." The Boeing 767 has a payload capacity of 42 tons. The discovery of weapons occurred Tuesday, two days after the flight landed briefly in Valencia, Venezuela's third-largest city. Venezuelan authorities found 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges, and 90 military-grade radio antennas, among other items.

An Ottawa-based analyst reported on the unusual ship and plane movements, Steffan Watkins, drew attention to the frequent flights of the 21 Air cargo plane in a series of tweets Thursday. The airline had been flying all around the United States but in January it began flying to destinations in Colombia and Venezuela on a daily basis, and sometimes multiple times a day making close to 40 round-trip flights from Miami International Airport to Caracas and Valencia in Venezuela, and Bogota and Medellin in Colombia since Jan. 11.
McClatchy concludes with how this is a common tactic of the United States and one that was used when Elliott Abrams was previously in government, writing:
The CIA operated a dummy airline, known as Air America, from the early 1950s until the mid 1970s for air operations in Southeast Asia, including air-dropping weapons to friendly forces.

More than a decade later, Sandinista soldiers shot down a cargo plane taking weapons to the U.S.-backed contra rebels fighting the Nicaraguan government. A U.S. Marine veteran, Eugene Hasenfus, survived the 1986 crash, and later told reporters that he was working for the CIA, paving the way for his release and return to the United States.

Curiously, one of the figures in the Reagan administration instrumental in delivering support to the contras, former assistant secretary of state Elliott Abrams, was named by President Donald Trump late last month as his special envoy overseeing policy toward Venezuela.

KZ

Comment: The pieces appear to be falling into place for Plan Venezuela. While the payload in this instance may not be particularly troubling for the Venezuelan military, the number of recent flights over a short period of time, and the appointment of Abrams to oversee Plan Venezuela, support a worse trajectory than a coup: a failed coup costing hundreds of thousands of lives, and millions of war refugees fleeing to the US border.

As the McClatchy article suggests, the CIA is revisiting a page out of its regime-change playbook - including particular principals in their cast of characters.

See also:


Gold Seal

A Farewell to Arts: Marxism, Semiotics and Feminism

university of sydney
The Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney is a disaster-area, and not of the merely passive kind, like a bombed building, or an area that has been flooded. It is the active kind, like a badly-leaking nuclear reactor, or an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.

Just as a few spots are often improbably spared even in the worst disaster-areas, there are still a few departments in our Faculty of Arts which are passable-to-good. And the disaster I am speaking of has not overtaken the Faculty of Science, or any of the science-based faculties, such as Engineering or Agriculture.

This disaster in Arts has all happened in the last twenty years. In 1965 the Faculty as a whole was undistinguished, as it has always been. But it was not, then or earlier, what it is now, an important source of intellectual and moral devastation. Of course the disaster is not confined to Sydney University. Far from that, it is common to the Arts faculties of most Western universities. So far as there still survives anything of value from the Western tradition of humanistic studies, it is in spite of most of the people in the universities who are the heirs of that tradition.

It is extremely difficult to convey to outsiders the scale of the Arts disaster, and I certainly have not the skill to do it. The quality of it, on the other hand, I can easily convey, by giving a few concrete and representative specimens of what it is that typical members of the Faculty of Arts at Sydney University now do and say.

Comment: Before there was Peterson, there was Stove. The crisis in the universities is not new. As Stove points out, it is by now 2 generations old, at least. And he was right: there was nothing we could have done about it. In fact, it has only gotten worse.


Eye 1

Cyber-Gestapo: CNN asked Facebook to censor Russia-backed video company at behest of Atlanticist 'think-tank' German Marshall Fund

Maffick media Facebook ban
© CNN
Journalist Rania Khalek Screen and Maffick Media chief operating officer J. Ray Sparks in CNN's report on Russia-backed video company Maffick Media.
Disclosure: Kevin Gosztola co-hosts the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast with Rania Khalek, who is a contributor for Maffick Media's Soapbox. Unauthorized Disclosure is entirely listener-funded. Shadowproof is member-supported and funded by reader donations.
CNN went in search for a story about a Russian-funded digital media project that produces viral videos aimed at undermining American democracy. When CNN journalists could not find what they were looking for, they effectively manufactured the news by giving Facebook a pretext for removing the project's pages used to share videos. Now, the cable news network had their story.

Four CNN journalists worked on the report, "Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials." It appeared online late in the day on February 15 and broke the news that Maffick Media had their Facebook pages for three video channels suspended.

Maffick also produces In The Now, which Facebook took down as well.

Facebook never required pages to include information about their parent companies nor has the social media company ever labeled state-sponsored media, which CNN acknowledged. Yet, since the project involves funding from Russian state media, CNN believed Facebook may want to require the pages to disclose such details.

Comment: RT adds further comment:
"Closing a Facebook account or any internet link of a media, without prior warning, can be considered as an act of censorship opposed by the IFJ," the group's chief Philippe Leruth told RIA Novosti.

His remarks came after Facebook suddenly removed several news and viral video-themed pages with millions of subscribers, managed by Maffick Media, on Friday. It happened immediately after CNN ran a report accusing the agency of being part of a Russian "influence campaign." The reason given was that Maffick is partially owned by Ruptly video agency, a subsidiary of RT which is funded by Russia. Facebook gave no notice or warning before taking down the pages. The company later said that it is launching an update for popular pages and will request them to disclose their ownership.

"Closing brutally any link doesn't respect this normal way of doing [things]," Leruth said explaining that even if a media organization is accused of "spreading fake news," it should be asked for the "rectification" of the information presented, and if it refuses - other steps can be taken, including legal action.

Maffick's team heavily pushed back against Facebook, pointing out that its pages didn't violate any of the social network's rules. News agencies weren't required to display information on their funding and ownership on Facebook, and the social network never came after other state-funded media, like the BBC, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty or Qatari-owned Al Jazeera, they argued.


Four days after taking down the pages Facebook got back to Maffick saying that more information is needed in About section.


RFE/RL updated its page later on Tuesday.


Good for Naouai! If Maffick Media is to be held to such a high standard, then apply it across the board.


Co-founder of the Intercept, journalist Glenn Greenwald also criticized Facebook's actions as "highly disturbing." The company, along with CNN and the US-funded German Marshall Fund, whose opinion was prominently featured in CNN's story, are "working together to selectively censor," he wrote on Twitter.


Speaking to RT, journalist and political commentator Martin Summers said that Facebook's action against Maffick Media brings up a broader question on whether the social media giant "should have the power to decide what people see here."

"When you do internet searches... you're supposed to find the thing that the most people are looking at. But, of course, now they've started talking about changing the algorithms."

"It's quite clear that the 'Russiagate' is out of control," RT's deputy director for creativity and innovation, Ivor Crotty noted. "The narrative, paranoia and conspiracy theories around it are starting to disintegrate."

Maffick Media said that it appealed the removal of its pages immediately after it happened, but has still received no reply from Facebook.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, suggested that Russia shouldn't retaliate in 'an-eye-for-an-eye' fashion but rather focus on maintaining a "comfortable" environment for foreign reporters.
Maffick Media CEO, host slam Facebook's unprovoked 'censorship' after CNN runs hit piece: 'end of free speech'