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Sun, 25 Feb 2018
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On the passing of Robert Parry, giant of independent journalism, and the future of Consortium News

Robert Parry, editor and publisher of Consortiumnews.com, died peacefully Saturday evening. In this tribute, his son Nat Parry describes Robert's unwavering commitment to independent journalism.

Robert Parry
It is with a heavy heart that we inform Consortiumnews readers that Editor Robert Parry has passed away. As regular readers know, Robert (or Bob, as he was known to friends and family) suffered a stroke in December, which - despite his own speculation that it may have been brought on by the stress of covering Washington politics - was the result of undiagnosed pancreatic cancer that he had been unknowingly living with for the past 4-5 years.

He unfortunately suffered two more debilitating strokes in recent weeks and after the last one, was moved to hospice care on Tuesday. He passed away peacefully Saturday evening. He was 68.

Those of us close to him wish to sincerely thank readers for the kind comments and words of support posted on recent articles regarding Bob's health issues. We read aloud many of these comments to him during his final days to let him know how much his work has meant to so many people and how much concern there was for his well-being.

I am sure that these kindnesses meant a lot to him. They also mean a lot to us as family members, as we all know how devoted he was to the mission of independent journalism and this website which has been publishing articles since the earliest days of the internet, launching all the way back in 1995.

Evil Rays

Eva Bartlett: How the MSM whitewashed al-Qaeda and White Helmets in Syria

White Helmets Netflix still
© Netflix
On December 18, 2017, the Guardian issued a shoddily-penned hatchet piece against British journalist Vanessa Beeley, Patrick Henningsen and his independent website 21st Century Wire, Australian professor and writer Tim Anderson, and myself.

Many insightful writers have since deconstructed the lies and omissions of the article, which I will link to at the bottom of my own.

Judging by the scathing comments on the Guardian's Facebook post, the general public didn't buy it either. The Guardian, like Channel 4 News and Snopes, whitewashes terrorism in Syria, employs non-sequitur arguments, promotes war propaganda, and simply gets the facts wrong.

As the purported theme of the The Guardian's story was the issue of rescuers in Syria, I'll begin by talking about actual rescuers I know and worked with, in hellish circumstances in Gaza.

Popcorn

Finally, Russiagate is about to implode

Christopher Steele and Comey
© Unknown
Christopher Steele and James Comey


The real "collusion" is the alliance of foreign actors and the Democrats


The finale is upon us: the Russia-gate fraud is about to be exploded, at long last. Although the vaunted memo - and the underlying intelligence - compiled by the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee under chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) has yet to be released, there has been enough chatter by those House members who have read it to give us the basic elements of what it contains. Although prepare to be shocked by what I consider to be the most outrageous aspect of this affair.

To begin with, it's clear that the "dossier" paid for by the neocons over at the Free Beacon and then taken up later by Hillary Clinton was submitted to the FISA court by the FBI as the factual basis for allowing secret surveillance of the Trump campaign, possibly including Donald Trump himself. The FISA judge was reportedly not told who paid for the dossier.

In an interview with the Daily Caller, veteran law enforcement professional Joseph DiGenova cites as evidence of a pattern of deception the details of a FISA court opinion (April 27, 2017) that charged the Obama administration with lying to the court and illegal use of material obtained through their spying campaign. The court said the government's actions were "abusive" because the purloined material was handed out to "contractors." We aren't told who these contractors are. My guess - and DiGenova's: Fusion GPS, the firm hired to smear Trump, and CrowdStrike, the cyber-security firm in charge of the DNC's email system - which the FBI never was allowed to look at.

Comment: These are interesting remarks about the possible involvement of foreign intelligence agencies in Russiagate. However, Raimondo may be attributing them more than they actually did. After all, how much collaboration from foreign spooks do you need to make up a story out of thin air?


Yoda

As Internet cheers Jordan Peterson's slaying of British feminist TV presenter, her employer hires private security, threatens to go to police 'because of abuse'

jordan peterson channel 4 interview
Channel 4 News has called in security specialists to analyse threats made to presenter Cathy Newman following her interview with a controversial Canadian psychologist who has attracted a following among the "alt-right".


Comment: ...and the 'alt-center', and the 'alt-left'... pretty much most people online actually.


Ben de Pear, the editor of Channel 4 News, said Newman had been subjected to "vicious misogynistic abuse". Having to calling in security specialists was a "terrible indictment of the times we live in", he said.


Comment: Indeed, the degree of snowflakery it reveals in some is astronomical.


Newman interviewed the psychologist, Jordan Peterson, about gender on Tuesday. A video of the full 30-minute interview has been watched more than 1.6m times on the Channel 4 News YouTube page and has attracted more than 36,000 comments.

Comment: Such a pathetic 'final word' from Cathy Newman and Channel 4, to claim 'offense' and feign 'hurt'. Well, there aint no rest for the triggered...




Snowflake Cold

Mother Russia saves freezing US consumers as record-cold weather forces Washington to buy Russian gas

putin boss

Who's your daddy now?
Russia will deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the US, Kommersant daily reports. The reason for the deal is the sharp rise in gas prices on the east coast of the US.

An LNG tanker belonging to French energy company Engie is now shipping from the British port of Isle of Grain to an American terminal, Everett, located near Boston.

The gas being shipped is from Russia's Yamal LNG plant, according to the newspaper. The tanker is due to arrive in the US on January 22.

Comment: Dumb and dumber. Note that - from the glorious(ly stupid) West - only Christophe de Margerie's Total energy company got in on the Yamal project.

And Vlad the Merciful of course agrees to ship the Americans gas when he has every reason not to.

See also:


Book 2

'Fire and Fury': A soon to be forgotten sensationalist nothing-burger

fire and fury
The furore over the last week about Michael Wolff's book about the first months of the Trump administration might mislead some people into thinking that something important actually happened.

This could not be more wrong. Wolff's book - which has now appeared on the internet in electronic format- is not even a punctuation mark in the history of the Trump Presidency. It is a blank space which will be forgotten in a few weeks.

The book tells us precisely nothing of any value about the Trump Presidency save for one thing, which has not been reported anywhere that I know of because it is so completely contrary to what so many people have been saying about Donald Trump and his rise to the Presidency for so long.

This is that the book shows that the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians which are the subject of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry must be untrue and that no one in the White House takes them seriously.

War Whore

Mapping a World From Hell: 76 Countries Are Now Involved in America's Never-Ending 'War on Terror'

Western Creation - Osama bin Laden
© Unknown
He left Air Force Two behind and, unannounced, "shrouded in secrecy," flew on an unmarked C-17 transport plane into Bagram Air Base, the largest American garrison in Afghanistan. All news of his visit was embargoed until an hour before he was to depart the country.

More than 16 years after an American invasion "liberated" Afghanistan, he was there to offer some good news to a U.S. troop contingent once again on the rise. Before a 40-foot American flag, addressing 500 American troops, Vice President Mike Pence praised them as "the world's greatest force for good," boasted that American air strikes had recently been "dramatically increased," swore that their country was "here to stay," and insisted that "victory is closer than ever before." As an observer noted, however, the response of his audience was "subdued." ("Several troops stood with their arms crossed or their hands folded behind their backs and listened, but did not applaud.")

Comment: For more on this check out the SOTT Radio show Behind the Headlines: Afghanistan: Where Empires Go To Die

And this SOTT Focus article: The Big Lie - NATO's Killing Fields In Afghanistan and Afghanistan and the CIA heroin ratline

It is 'grim' picture indeed.


Russian Flag

Stephen Cohen: Why Russians think America is waging war against them

stephen cohen
Russiagaters allege, with no evidence, that "Russia attacked America" in 2016, but many Russians believe-with reasonable cause-that the US has been attacking their country for 25 years.

Professor Emeritus of Politics and Russian Studies (at Princeton and NYU) Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.)

Cohen's subject is both contemporary and historical. The most central, ramifying, and dangerous allegation of Russiagate is that "Russian attacked American democracy" during the 2016 presidential election. After 18 months, there is still no credible evidence for this allegation. On the other hand, many Russians - in the policy elite, the educated middle class, and ordinary citizens - believe that "the United States has been at war with Russia" for 25 years, a perception regularly expressed in the Russian media. They believe this for understandable reasons.

American commentators attribute such views to "Kremlin propaganda." It is true, Cohen points out, that Russians, like Americans, are strongly influenced by what appears in the media, especially on television, and that Russian television news reporting and commentary are no less politicized than their US counterparts. But elite and middle-class Russians are no less informed and critical-minded than American ones. Indeed, they have more access to daily American news and opinions - from cable and satellite TV, US-funded Russian-language broadcasts and Internet sites, and from Russian sites, such as inosmi.ru, that translate scores of American media articles into Russian daily - than most Americans have to Russian media. (The recent censoring steps taken by the Department of Justice against RT and Sputnik might be viewed in this context.) Generally, Cohen argues, many more Russians are much better informed about Washington politics than Americans are about Moscow politics.

Comment: Cohen is one of the sole voices of reason in American political commentary.


Chess

Iran protests die down while riots gain steam, US preps for stage 2 in their information war

Protest IRan
© Reuters
Iranian protest Tehran, Iran, December 30, 2017
The riots and protests in Iran continue for a 6th day. While "western" media claim that the protests are growing I see no evidence for that in the various videos that appear online. The legitimate protests over price rises, failing private banks and against the new neoliberal austerity budget of President Rouhani were hijacked early on by rioting gangs. These are obviously coordinated from the outside of the country through various internet applications, especially Telegram and Instagram:
Amad News, a channel on Telegram, appears to have played a pivotal role in the wave of protests. Reportedly administered by exiled journalist Rohollah Zam - a son of a senior Reformist cleric said to have escaped the country after being accused of having links with foreign intelligence agencies ...
Blocking the specific control channels proved to be insufficient:
Special software used to circumvent the government filters could still be downloaded easily. And on Monday, as on other days, there were calls for protests online and on foreign-based Persian-language satellite channels.
The blockage of the internet applications was lifted today.

Comment: See also:


Propaganda

Adjusting the narrative: New York Times, struggling to save its collusion tale, pivots from Page to Papadopoulos

Trump speaking 2016
© Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
A Secret Service agent stands nearby as Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., April 2016.
The totality of the evidence undermines the Times' collusion narrative.

"Trump Adviser's Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.'s Attention." That was the page-one headline the New York Times ran on April 20, 2017, above its breathless report that "a catalyst for the F.B.I. investigation into connections between Russia and President Trump's campaign" was a June 2016 visit to Moscow by Carter Page.

It was due to the Moscow trip by Page, dubbed a "foreign policy adviser" to the campaign, that "the F.B.I. obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court" in September - i.e., during the stretch run of the presidential campaign.

Comment: @TheLastRefuge2 put together an epic tweet storm tearing apart the NYT story. He asks,
If George Papadopoulos was so important to the FBI "investigation" why did all "intelligence" agencies released their final JAR report without ever speaking to him? Not even once?

No @maggieNYT what you have in your article is a well constructed and brutally familiar pattern of what journalism looks like when the IC use reporters to cover their tracks and create a justification based on a false premise.
...
USE COMMON SENSE: If a Papadopolous conversation in May 2016 was the origin, the source material, of the FBI counterintelligence operation, then why were they denied a FISA application in June/July 2016 ?
As one narrative completely falls to pieces, the New York Times tries to switch to a new one, and act like the previous one never existed, despite the fact that it's the narrative they were pushing in the first place. This goes so beyond Fake News it's jaw-dropping. How this news outlet has any credibility left at this point is the ultimate mystery. See also: Just look at the timeline of events. This new angle is so desperate it's pathetic.