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Sat, 23 Sep 2017
The World for People who Think

Bullseye

The Russian 'Hacking Scandal': A CNN and U.S. Deep State 'Nothing Burger'

After six solid months of co-ordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged.

Info

Trump and Putin: Against the dark forces of the Deep State

© AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
It was pleasing to see Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin greet each other cordially at the G20 summit. After their breakthrough first meeting, one hopes the two leaders have a personal foundation for future cooperation.

At a later press conference in Hamburg, where the G20 summit was held, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed there was a chance for restoring the badly frayed US-Russia relations. He praised Trump for being thoughtful and rational. "The TV Trump is quite different from the real life one," quipped Putin.

Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement hailing the two-hour discussion (four times longer than originally scheduled) between the two leaders as a good start to working together on major world problems.

"No problems were solved. Nobody expected any problems to be solved in that meeting. But it was a beginning of a dialogue on some tough problem sets that we'll begin now to work on together," said HR McMaster, Trump's top national security adviser.

Gold Seal

U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson: "U.S. Republic Sinking Under Weight of Interminable Global War for Empire"


Former National Security Advisor, Assistant Secretary of State and retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson

"This ship is sinking,"
retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson tells Abby Martin, adding that "today the purpose of US foreign policy is to support the complex that we have created in the national security state that is fueled, funded, and powered by interminable war."

The former national security advisor to the Reagan administration, who spent years as an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell during both Bush administrations reflects on the sad but honest reflection on what America has become as he exposes the unfixable corruption inside the establishment and the corporate interests driving foreign policy.

"It's never been about altruism, it's about sheer power."

Comment: With almost no exceptions, Wilkerson, a former political and military insider, takes a clear, objective, sane, moral and conscientious stance on every topic covered in this 24 minute interview. Is it that individuals of such character are so abysmally rare in the culture of establishment institutions and the halls of power? Or, is it merely the nature of such institutions and the people employed by them that they are so corrupted, so mired in greed, and so hungry for the trappings of power that taking such a view as Wilkerson's must be considered an anomaly? Perhaps both. But whatever the case is, mark Wilkerson's final words closely - as they are most probably a taste of things to come in the US.


Propaganda

New York Times retracts Russia-gate canard...finally!

© Top Right News
Retraction: Fairly little, unfairly late.
Exclusive: A founding Russia-gate myth is that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia hacked into and distributed Democratic emails, a falsehood that The New York Times has belatedly retracted, reports Robert Parry.

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards - that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails - is false.

On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.

In the Times' White House Memo of June 25, correspondent Maggie Haberman mocked Trump for
"still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected."
However, on Thursday, the Times - while leaving most of Haberman's ridicule of Trump in place - noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence
"assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."

Comment: Here's the official retraction from the The New York Times:
Correction: June 29, 2017

A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump's deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year's presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.



Fire

Crazy Marxists want to give homes to Grenfell survivors. Thankfully, we live in a fair capitalist society

© Jonathan Brady/PA
Protest posters at a rally in Whitehall on Saturday.
Sometimes the terms used in politics, such as Marxism and capitalism, can be confusing. So it was helpful for Tory MPs such as Andrew Bridgen to offer a simple explanation this week. He suggested the proposal of Jeremy Corbyn, that survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire should be housed in properties left empty by speculators, "fits in with his hard Marxist views".

It's always welcome when someone explains complex ideas in a way we can all understand. Now, when someone asks
"what is a crazy Marxist?", all you have to say is, "it's someone silly enough to believe that if someone's house has burned down, they should be allowed to stay in an empty house."
Thankfully we live in a fair capitalist society, so if a Russian oligarch has gone to all the trouble of buying a flat in Kensington and leaving it empty, we won't let some sod enjoy that wealth when they've done nothing to earn it except run screaming in terror from a raging inferno.

Comment: Where is the humanity? This is the kind of mentality we are dealing with here:




Attention

White House says Syria planning "another" chemical attack: Is U.S. planning another false flag?

© Joshua Roberts / Reuters
The White House claims that the Syrian government is preparing "chemical weapon attacks". This is clearly not the case. Syria is winning the war against the country. Any such attack would clearly be to its disadvantage. The White House announcement must thereby be understood as preparation for another U.S. attack on Syria in "retaliation" for an upcoming staged "chemical weapon attack" which will be blamed on the Syrian government.

In August 2013 Syria invited inspectors of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian army. As soon as the inspectors arrived in Damascus a "chemical attack" was staged in Ghouta near Damascus. Lots of Jihadist video coverage of killed children was published and the "western" media blamed the incident on the Syrian government. It never explained why targeting a militarily irrelevant area with chemical weapons at the same time as inspectors arrived would have been a rational decision for a Syrian government that was just regaining control and international standing.

Comment: What interesting timing, coming as it does just after Sy Hersh's expose of the Khan Sheikhoun attack that was falsely used as a justification for the Tomahawk attack on the Syrian air base. The Duran's Alexander Mercouris is probably right: this is "a panicked reaction to Seymour Hersh's exposure of the truth behind the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun which appeared a few hours earlier in Welt."
In typical fashion Donald Trump is responding to a story which casts his actions following the Khan Sheikhoun attack in a bad light by doubling down and making wild threats that he is about to do the same thing all over again.

Meanwhile the Russians are furious, President Assad is visiting Russia's Khmeimim air base in a public Russian show of support for him, and the rest of the US government - apart from Nikki Haley, who longs for more pictures of her "standing up to the Russians" - are baffled.

What all this means is that almost certainly no US attack on Syrian forces is being planned. The media is mistaking a blundering attempt at news management for a real threat.

Unfortunately that does not mean that a US attack on Syria will not take place. The risk with making wild threats of the kind the White House has just made is that there are any number of dangerous people in Syria who will seize on them and try to make them a reality. The risk of another staged 'chemical attack' intended to put pressure Trump to act on his 'warning' is now very real.

It is to be hoped that cooler heads within the US government - Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster first and foremost - will be warning the President of this, and telling him to cool down.



Airplane

Air Strike in Syria: "We got a f***in' problem!"

After publishing Seymour Hersh's exposé on the reality behind the alleged 'chemical weapon' attack in Syria in April this year, the German newspaper 'Welt' has followed up with the publication of a chat protocol of a security advisor and an active American soldier on duty at a key base in the region at the time of the bombing. The information from this chat protocol was provided to Hersh and was used as source material in writing his article.

Alarm Clock

Seymour Hersh: There Was No Chemical Weapon Attack On Khan Sheikhoun


Tomahawk missiles from the "USS Porter" on the way to the Shayrat Air Base on April 6, 2017
On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.

Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence.
"None of this makes any sense," one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. "We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump."
Within hours of the April 4 bombing, the world's media was saturated with photographs and videos from Khan Sheikhoun. Pictures of dead and dying victims, allegedly suffering from the symptoms of nerve gas poisoning, were uploaded to social media by local activists, including the White Helmets, a first responder group known for its close association with the Syrian opposition.

Comment: While the information presented by Hersh is interesting in that it confirms our take on the alleged 'chemical weapon' attack at the time - that it was a lie - we are under no illusions that this is the full story.

As noted by Hersh in his article, one week before the bombing, Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson stated publicly that the Trump administration was no longer seeking the removal of Assad. What are the odds that within one week of that statement, the tired old 'chemical weapon' allegation would be pulled out to demonize Assad (and Russia) and, in theory, put his removal 'back on the table'?

The odds are therefore, in favor of the agents of Western powers, most notably the CIA, having placed chlorine and other compounds in the building that was to be bombed. After all, the Russians have given 48 hours advance warning and the location of the target building.

From this perspective, Trump's response makes more sense. His hand was, to some extent, forced by these 'deep state' actors in that he was required to accept the mainstream media/intel agency narrative that "Assad had gassed his own people", make a strong statement and take action.

Yet, assuming Trump knew the nature of this set up, it seems that he refused to swallow the bait entirely, and instead opted to make an apparent show of force that had some mainstream media pundits metaphorically wetting their pants, while inflicting no damage on the Syria military or Assad's position as president.


Eagle

Beneath the radar and above suspicion: The invisible US empire

When the United States went to war with Spain in 1898, it did so in a media environment of "yellow journalism," that played no small part in the advent of the Spanish-American War. Yellow journalism was basically the use of sensationalism and poorly researched reportage to stir up excitement and pad the bottom line. In February on that year, the mysterious sinking of the American cruiser Maine on a quiet night in Havana harbor was seized upon by western media outlets like William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer's New York World to create an atmosphere rife with tension, accusation, and defamation. War fever was loosed upon the population. The McKinley administration was soon ensnared in combat, which it won in ten weeks across the Caribbean and Pacific theaters, effectively erasing the Spanish imperial footprint from the Philippines and Caribbean, and delivering American control over Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. American author Mark Twain wasn't fooled by the jingoistic broadsheets, nor by the administration's claims of support for Cubans, nor by its claims to want to bring democracy to the Philippines, a former Spanish colony. Twain said, "...we have gone there to conquer, not to redeem."

Comment: "...we have gone there to conquer, not to redeem."


Bomb

Truth bomb: Washington Senator calls US base in Syria a violation of international law, Assad would easily win new election

© Press Service of the President of Syria
State Senator from Virginia Richard Black said that the establishment of a US military base in Syria, a "sovereign country that has never taken any offensive action towards" America, is an "obvious violation of international law."

The US base in Syria's At Tanf area is a clear violation of international law, State Senator from Virginia Richard Black told Sputnik.

"We've even set up a base at Al Tanf in the southern part, it's an American base within the country of Syria," Black said. "You can't get a more obvious violation of international law than to actually move in and set up a military base in a sovereign country that has never taken any offensive action towards our country."

Comment: Very refreshing to hear some truth from the US but will this be enough to change Washington's foreign policy?