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Thu, 29 Sep 2016
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Snakes in Suits

Wolf in sheep's clothing: Who and 'what' is Fethullah Gülen?

© AFP Photo / Zaman Daily
Fethullah Gulen.
Since the failed coup attempt in Turkey of July 15 there has been much speculation in western media that it in fact was all engineered by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to provide him with the pretext to impose emergency rule and to jail any and all opposition to his rule. At this point evidence still suggests that that was not at all the case. Rather, as I wrote at the time when it was clear the coup attempt was collapsing, it was a coup initiated by the CIA acting through their primary asset inside Turkey, the networks of their fugitive Turkish asset Fethullah Gülen.

When we examine more closely "what" is Fethullah Gülen he is anything but the grandfatherly image of a 75-year-old soft-spoken Islamic moderate, scholar and Imam. His networks have been called the most dangerous in Germany by Islamic experts and have been banned in several Central Asian countries. Now, too, in Turkey. What's becoming clear is that the failed coup was in fact a dry-run, a dress rehearsal by Gülen's controllers in Langley to see how Erdogan would react, in order to recalibrate and prepare for a more serious attempt in the future. Washington was not at all happy with the foreign policy turn of Erdoğan turning to reconcile with Russia and possibly also with Syria's Assad.

Fethullah Gülen is not a "who" but, rather, it is a "what." The what is one of the most extensive and elaborate surrogate warfare networks ever created by the United States intelligence community, spanning countless nations including the United States and Germany, as well as the historic Turkic regions of Central Asia from Turkey up to the Uyghur peoples of China's oil-rich Xinjiang Autonomous Province.


Concern trolling the siege of Aleppo: Offering civilians safe passage is only good when the U.S. does it

Do you remember the outcry over the siege of Ramadi by Iraqi and U.S. forces? When those forces expressed little concern for the civilians who were not let go by the ISIS fighters occupying the city?

No? You do not remember those concerns? The outcry from Amnesty, HRW, the UN and other organization?

That is probably because there were none.

Comment: This tweet says it all:

See also: Hilarious propaganda: U.S. concerned that Russian humanitarian op in Syria is actually humanitarian


Margot Kidder: My fellow Americans: We are fools

© Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
There is something I am going to try and explain here after watching the Democratic National Convention this evening that will invite the scorn of many of my friends. But the words are gagging my throat and my stomach is twisted and sick and I have to vomit this out. The anti-Americanism in me is about to explode and land god knows where as my rage is well beyond reason. And I, by heritage, half American in a way that makes me "more" American than almost anyone else in this country except for the true Americans, the American Indians, am in utter denial tonight that I am, as you are, American as well.

I am half Canadian, I was brought up there, with very different values than you Americans hold, and tonight — after the endless spit ups and boasts and rants about the greatness of American militarism, and praise for American military strength, and boasts about wiping out ISIS, and America being the strongest country on earth, and an utterly inane story from a woman whose son died in Obama's war, about how she got to cry in gratitude on Obama's shoulder — tonight I feel deeply Canadian. Every subtle lesson I was ever subliminally given about the bullies across the border and their rudeness and their lack of education and their self-given right to bomb whoever they wanted in the world for no reason other than that they wanted something the people in the other country had, and their greed, came oozing to the surface of my psyche.

I just got back from a rather fierce walk beside the Yellowstone River here in Montana, trying to let the mountains in the distance reconnect me to some place of goodness in my soul, but I couldn't find it. The scenery was as exquisite as ever, but it just couldn't touch the rage in my heart. The visions of all the dead children in Syria that Hillary Clinton helped to kill; the children bombed to bits in Afghanistan and Pakistan from Obama's drones, the grisly chaos of of Libya, the utter wasteland of Iraq, the death and destruction everywhere caused by American military intervention. The Ukraine, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, you name it — your country has bombed it or destroyed its civilian life in some basic way.


John Pilger: Why Clinton is certainly more dangerous than Trump

© US Embassy/Flickr
Presidential demon-o-cratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The following is an edited version of an address given by John Pilger at the University of Sydney, entitled 'A World War Has Begun'.

I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is that?" If I offer a clue by referring to "Bikini", they say, "You mean the swimsuit."

Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed Bikini island. Sixty-six nuclear devices were exploded by the United States in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 - the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for twelve years.

Bikini is silent today, mutated and contaminated. Palm trees grow in a strange grid formation. Nothing moves. There are no birds. The headstones in the old cemetery are alive with radiation. My shoes registered "unsafe" on a Geiger counter.

Standing on the beach, I watched the emerald green of the Pacific fall away into a vast black hole. This was the crater left by the hydrogen bomb they called "Bravo". The explosion poisoned people and their environment for hundreds of miles, perhaps forever.

Comment: See also: Hillary proffered as alternative to Trump, no one cares she's a warmongering psychopath

Cell Phone

Turkish coup WhatsApp revelations: Orders to kill civilians, 3/5 coup regiments part of Turkey's NATO Rapid Deployable Corps

A group of plotters of the failed Turkish coup attempt used a WhatsApp group to communicate with each other. Bellingcat has transcribed, translated, and analysed the conversation, thereby cross-referencing the messages with photos, videos, and news reports of the evening, night, and morning of July 15-16.

The transcript is composed of two different sources. The first source is a video which was uploaded to Twitter in the morning of July 16, and appears to show the conversation on the phone of a surrendered, captured, or killed coup plotter. This video revealed the WhatsApp conversation from its start at 21:15 to 22:45. The second source is 21 photos that show the rest of the conversation, has already been transcribed. The photos are courtesy of Al Jazeera Türk's Selahattin Günday, and we are thankful that he was willing to share them with Bellingcat. We owe many thanks to "Has Avrat"[1] for fully translating the transcript, as well as contributing to the analysis. All times mentioned are in the local time zone, which is EEST (UTC+3).

This article will chronologically highlight and analyse most the most striking parts of the transcript, including the following:
  • The WhatsApp group consists of high-ranking military officials, mostly of the Turkish Land Forces, including two Brigadiers and eleven Colonels;
  • The group is just one coordination group of the coup attempt, as it focuses on (predominantly) land forces in Istanbul and Sakarya only. There were likely other coordination groups for actions elsewhere in Turkey. It is thus important to bear in mind that this is a snapshot of the conversation of some of the coup plotters, and not a full picture;
  • At least one member of the group communicates with "Ankara", where the coupist headquarters was located (probably in Akıncı Air Base);
  • At least three out of the five coupist regiments are part of Turkey's NATO Rapid Deployable Corps;
  • The conversation and communication between the coup plotters appears to be chaotic, as several numbers still had to be exchanged amidst the attempt;
  • Traffic congestion is a problem throughout the night, and so are private broadcasters;
  • There is a constant repetition regarding taking their superior hostage, the Commander of the First Army;
  • Air support is requested many times, including the suggestion to strike the Bosporus Bridge;
  • As the morning breaks, the coup plotters realise it is over. "Shall we escape", a Colonel asks. "The choice is yours", he gets as response. "We have not decided yet. But we have left our position. I'm closing the group. Delete the messages if you want".
A full transcript in both the original Turkish and translated English of the WhatsApp conversation can be viewed and downloaded here as a PDF-file.

Comment: Not only were the regiments NATO for 13 years; they even used their NATO-assigned slogan "Peace at home, peace in the world" as the name of their WhatsApp group. Sibel Edmonds comments:

According to the German magazine FOCUS, British GCHQ "intercepted phone calls, e-mails and SMS from within the Turkish government apparatus saying that the purges would start next day and that Gulen should be presented as the mastermind of the coup" a half-hour after the shooting started. So as Christoph Germann tweets, a NATO source leaks info to a German magazine suggesting a NATO ally staged a coup. Right. And if they really had the capability to receive these messages, surely they intercepted the messages from the actual coup plotters. But did they warn their 'ally'? Nope.


Ominous threats of civil war now being issued from cops across the U.S.

With increasing frequency, law enforcement personnel - including prominent sheriffs, police chiefs, and other command-level officers - are overtly stating that they are at war with the public they supposedly serve. Few have been as candid as a self-identified police officer and combat veteran named Brandon Obie.
"A lot [sic] of these thugs don't realize that a lot [sic] of us officers have spent a lot [sic] of our time downrange stepping in the sandbox and are ready for a righteous fight if they want to bring one," snarled Obie, his spelling reflecting the undemanding intellectual standards of his profession, in a comment posted on a law enforcement-oriented Facebook page. Identical sentiments were expressed by Major Travis Yates of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Department, who lectures nation-wide on officer safety issues and editor-in-chief of the publication Law Officer.


Alexander Dugin speaks on the coup d'etat in Turkey: Officials say considering leaving NATO, want stronger ties with Russia

Alexander Dugin
Transcript of video:

Greetings, you are watching Dugin's Guideline. At the end of last week, an attempted coup d'etat took place in Turkey. It was thwarted.

It just so happened that on Friday, July 15th, I was live on Tsargrad TV from Ankara speaking about the terrorist attack in Nice. Who could know that literally just a few hours later, a coup would begin.

And so here is what happened. Given that during my visit I had met with a number of senior officials in Turkish politics and in particular with the mayor of Ankara, Ibrahim Melih Gokcek, the overall picture of the political alignment of forces in Turkey on the eve of the putsch seemed to me to be completely clear. That very same Ibrahim Melih Gokcek, a figure very close to President Erdogan, told me during our conversations of a parallel state, paralel devlet in Turkish, which the sect of Fethullah Gulen succeeded in establishing in Turkey. This sect has its headquarters in the US, in Pennsylvania, from which a developed network of agents of influence which have penetrated Turkish society are managed. Melih Gokcek confessed that he had not immediately figured this out, but that it had later become clear that CIA-managed structures were operating under the guise of humanitarian programs and charity.

Comment: There is also speculation going around Russian media that Russian special forces had a hand in helping Erdogan:
According to this theory, it was Russian Spetsnaz who successfully evacuated Erdogan to the Case De Maris Hotel shortly before the assault on the Grand Yazici Club Turban where he was previously located and where 8-10 militant groups managed by the CIA violently broke in only to find an empty room.

It is difficult to say how much truth there is in this version, but there is the fact that President Erdogan's first appeal to the people to take to the streets against the rebellion was relayed through social networks while he was still in some kind of "unofficial" shelter with lace curtains on the windows. And then suddenly the center of the country's governance was taken back into is hands while covered on a flight by Russian air forces to Ankara, allege such sources. Why the rebel pilots of the Turkish Air Force failed to shoot down the president's Gulfstream IV with TC-ATA registration, if they indeed already had it in their sights, is also up for speculation.

"Of course, it cannot be said that Erdogan was saved by our guys, Russians," Yuri Pershikov, an information analyst specializing in Turkish affairs commented on these reports. "Reports have appeared that some of our electronic warfare systems deployed in Russia and Syria blocked the navigation equipment on [Turkish] air force bases. Information has also appeared that Erdogan's plane was caught by two Turkish aircraft but they were, for some reason, unable to shoot. Afterwards, reports appeared that our air forces and satellites were involved. For sure, we will hardly find out whether this is true or not, but we can assume that they could have suppressed the guidance systems of these planes. Russia has the technological capabilities to have helped and supported Erdogan."


Breaking: Shooting at shopping mall in Munich, multiple deaths reported, shooter still at large

© RT
Multiple casualties are reported in a shooting at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany. Police confirmed that shots have been fired in the mall but gave no information on casualties.

Reports on casualties differ. According to the local Muencher Abendzeitung, 15 might have been killed in the center, while German NTV channel puts the death toll at 10.

One person has been killed and 10 injured, according to police cited by AFP.

An assailant has shot people in a cafe located in the shopping center and at a railway station, German BR24 news reports, citing eye witnesses.

Comment: Update 1

Initially it was reported that one of the three shooters committed suicide. That has been countered by later statements from police that all three shooters fled on foot and are still on the run. Six people were killed, with injured in the double digits. The manhunt is reportedly their largest police operation in a decade.

Update 2

It appears as if the Germans are allowing the Americans to write their ongoing narrative. Police have announced a "cautious all-clear", claiming that they discovered a body near the scene of the attack, identified as the shooter. Their tweet says, "We found a man, who killed him himself [sic]. We assume, that he was the only shooter." Munich PD said there is a "high probability" he acted alone, and that he was identified "within the framework of Interpol". "Acting alone", especially when there were multiple reports of multiple shooters, tends to mean that the other suspects got away and the police have no intention of pursuing them (often because they are working for the police in the first place! or intel agencies). The death toll is now nine, plus the shooter. Sputnik adds:
On Friday, a shooter took aim at shoppers at a mall near the 1972 Olympic stadium, an attack that left at least ten dead and another 20 hospitalized leaving German officials to scramble to piece together the motive and the nature of the incident.

​Earlier in the day, the police believed that there were three shooters responsible citing eyewitness accounts from individuals on the scene. Conflicting reports came in as to the identity of the shooter and the motive for his attack. Some witnesses said that the shooter was cursing immigrants and Turks while yelling at victims that he was German. Another witness, however, claims that the shooter yelled "Allahu Akbar" before training his weapon on children.
It would be interesting to know the identities of these witnesses. Any guess why their accounts don't match up with each other?

Update 3

The gunman has been identified as Ali Sonboly, an 18-year-old German-Iranian born and raised in Germany who lived with his parents. (Picture of the boy here.) Just hours before the shooting, he allegedly hacked into the Facebook profile of "Selina Akim" to lure victims to the McDonald's near the shopping mall by offering them free food. Police say there is no evidence "whatsoever" linking him to ISIS. He had been receiving psychiatric and medical care for depression. Neighbors describe him as quiet, normal and shy.

At this point, his motives are unclear. Police reportedly found articles on killing sprees and the English book Why Kids Kill at his home. Police are saying there is an "obvious link" to the 2011 Norway massacre and Anders Breivik, and that he was "obsessed" with mass shootings. Classmates say he once used an image of Breivik on WhatsApp. He apparently had used the gaming network Stream to threaten to kill other gamers.

As for those earlier reports of multiple shooters, according to the Guardian, "the police chief said two people who fled the area quickly were investigated but had 'nothing to do with the incident'." Here are accounts of the witnesses mentioned in the last update:
A woman named Loretta has told CNN that she was in the McDonald's when a man with a gun came out of a bathroom and began shooting. "I come out of the toilet and I hear like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. He's killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can't run," she recalled. Loretta claimed that she heard the shooters yelling "Allahu Akbar!", a Muslim call to praise god, that is also shouted by Islamists during deadly attacks.

At the same time, a video that appeared online show a man shouting "I'm German, f*** foreigners" as he walks across the roof of the shopping mall's car parking.

According to locals, the shopping mall is located near the Hasenbergl district, an area densely populated with immigrants.


Why the claim that the Russians warned Erdogan about the coup may be true

Whilst the Russians will never confirm the Iranian news agency reports they tipped Erdogan off about the coup even if they are true, the facts do point to a leak and it is plausible it originated in Russia.

Sergey Gladysh has written for The Duran a piece about the reports from the Iranian news agency Fars that the Russians tipped Erdogan off about the coup in the hours before it happened.

The Russians will never publicly confirm the truth of these reports, which concern the highly classified work of their intelligence agencies. However, consider the comments made about the reports by Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin's spokesman:
"I don't have such information and I don't know the sources, to which the news agency Fars is referring."
Note that this is not a denial. As such it is the strongest indication to date that the Fars reports may be true. Peskov is almost certainly telling the truth when he says he doesn't know. However he would have presumably by now been told - and would have made a public denial - if the Fars reports were untrue.

If the Russians did tip off Erdogan about the coup that would explain many of its mysteries and would explain why it failed.

Comment: Al-Monitor provides some more details:
The basic reason the coup failed was its premature birth. How? First, the coup was planned for a later date but was moved up. Then the rescheduled coup, which was to have started at 3 a.m. July 16, was moved up yet again by five hours, to around 10 p.m. July 15, after the coup attempt was discovered.
With the indictments in last week's Izmir espionage case, the Turkish judiciary was gearing up to target about 1,000 Gulenists in the TSK prior to the supreme council meeting. With so many detentions just before the meeting, the government was intending to compel the TSK command to carry out mass purges.

When the coup planners learned of that intention, they moved up the date to precede the council meeting. This turned out to be a suicidal move.
Al-Monitor's sources said coup leaders had planned to move at 3 a.m. to take over by 5 a.m., when people would be asleep and streets would be empty. But this didn't work. Around 4 p.m. July 15, 11 hours before the coup was to start, the national intelligence service MIT learned from radio and telephone intercepts of TSK personnel known to be Gulenists that some units were gearing up. MIT informed the chief of general staff at 5 p.m. At a meeting at the chief of general staff headquarters, officials decided to close Turkish air space to all flights as of 6 p.m. and bar military units from leaving their barracks. While that order was being written, Land Forces Commander Gen. Salih Zeki Colak was called to the general staff headquarters.

By 7 p.m., coup plotters realized that their plan was exposed and were able to take Akar hostage. ... At the end, the plotters couldn't get Akar's signature, so they sent out an order signed by a brigadier general and launched their coup around 9:30 p.m. — that is, 5½ hours before the planned time. The first indication of the rash, reckless actions by the Istanbul wing of the coup was sending out small units commanded by junior ranks to streets on the pretense of exercising or fighting terror.
Put the two together, and this is essentially the scenario SOTT proposed on Behind the Headlines on Sunday, and in our Tuesday Focus: Erdogan benefits from Turkish coup attempt because it failed, not because he engineered it. These latest data points put the picture into more focus: 1) Erdogan is aware of the possibility of a coup, but perhaps lacks specific intelligence of when it will occur, 2) the plotters move the date ahead due to the threat of planned purges, 3) Russian intelligence provides Turkey with intel suggesting the coup will happen very soon, at 3 am, 4) MIT perhaps confirms this, air space is closed, military units are confined to barracks, 5) the plotters decide to go ahead with it while they still can.

Alarm Clock

Terror Attack in Nice: One Frenchman Speaks Out

The goal of the terrible terror attack in Nice on July 14th was to divide French society between Muslims and non-Muslims. But who is really responsible for the new mass killing of ordinary French citizens? One Frenchman, at least, seems to understand the truth.