Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 23 Jan 2018
The World for People who Think

Gold Seal

US Deep State has committed 'soft power suicide' with its RussiaGate inquisition

statue liberty
© CC0 / Pixabay
The US' obsession with "proving" alleged "Russian meddling" in the 2016 election and America's subsequent institutional destruction as a result will go down in history as representing the suicide of this former superpower's soft power.

The US spent decades building up its soft power reputation as "the land of the free" and portraying itself as the most "democratic" society in the world, only to have generations' worth of soft power investments dramatically done away with over the past twelve months as the media-manufactured "RussiaGate" scandal transforms into an institutional inquisition. It's presumed that the reader is already generally aware of what's going on and why, namely that hostile elements of the US' permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (the "deep state"), in full collusion with academia, the Mainstream Media, and Hollywood, are vehemently working to subvert Trump's surprise election victory by alleging that he only won because of secretive Kremlin support.

This is a completely false narrative that's regularly debunked every time a newly invented accusation arises, but instead of crafting a different political approach to complicate Trump's Presidency, the Democrats and their "deep state" accomplices have continued to advance this made-up storyline, and in the process they've inflicted irreparable soft power damage to the US' international prestige. The country that was once the unquestioned superpower of the world has all but committed soft power suicide in the course of only a single year by confirming the same "conspiracy theories" that it's worked so hard to belittle in the past, thereby exposing many of its international information campaigns as lies and ultimately contradicting the very essence of "American Exceptionalism".

Gold Coins

'War on Terror' has cost US taxpayers $250 million every day for 16 years

Blackhawk helicopter
© U.S. Air Force 145
U.S. Army soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, dismount a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during an air assault in the Al Jazeera Desert, Iraq
The 'War on Terror' has cost US taxpayers at least $1.46 trillion since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense's cost of war report has revealed.

The 74-page DoD dossier was obtained by the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News. It breaks down the cost of the US's various conflicts and reveals the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq account for the greatest chunk of change.

Operation Enduring Freedom (the name given to the 'War on Terror' between 2001 and 2014), Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq War) and Operation New Dawn (past operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011) made up the biggest expense. They cost a combined $1.315 trillion.

Comment: $1.46 trillion is an impossible figure to imagine. Tell us, what has dumping this grossly obscene amount of money into the US war-machine brought the world?!


Alarm Clock

Hungary Warns Europe Is in Danger as Leak Reveals Soros Network's List of 'Reliable Allies' in EU Parliament

Creepy George Soros

Creepy George Soros
Leaked documents listing hundreds of EU parliament members that the George Soros network considers "reliable allies" should raise alarm bells across Europe, says Hungary.

The list, which includes 226 MEPs including former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, seven vice-presidents, and a number of committee heads, coordinators, and quaestors, was circulated within the billionaire open borders campaigner's Open Society Foundations group, and revealed by DCLeaks.

"If this report threatened only Hungary, it wouldn't be a problem. The Hungarian government has grown accustomed to countering the groundless accusations and false information used by the proponents of this radical open society agenda. But this time it's not just Hungary. It endangers the future of Europe as a whole," warned Dr. Zoltán Kovács, Hungary's secretary of state for Public Diplomacy.

The government spokesman questioned how Soros was able to meet with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker with "no transparent agenda for their closed-door meeting", and pointed out how EU proposals to redistribute quotas of migrants across the EU are eerily familiar to Soros's own self-published plan for dealing with the crisis.

Yoda

UN rapporteur for human rights urges sanctions on Israel for driving Palestinians 'back to the dark ages' (VIDEO)

lynk israel
Last week there was a significant development in the international response to the Israeli occupation when the UN rapporteur for human rights in the occupied territories came out with a harsh report saying the world was too passive about the occupation.

The "duration of this occupation is without precedent or parallel in today's world," the report said. Israel has "driven Gaza back to the dark ages" due to denial of water and electricity and freedom of movement. There is a "darkening stain" on the world's legal framework because other countries have treated the occupation as normal, and done nothing to resist Israel's "colonial ambition par excellence," which includes two sets of laws for Israelis and Palestinians.

At a press conference about his report, S. Michael Lynk, a Canadian professor of law and human rights expert, said it is time the international community reach into its "toolbox" of enforcement mechanisms, so as to "raise the stakes" against the occupation and change international "opinion" of Israel. The country had been worried by the Goldstone Report in 2009 and is today worried by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), Lynk said; so if the international community took "unified actions on an escalating basis" to declare the occupation illegal and demand Israel's withdrawal, Israel would respond.

That means sanctions.

Comment: Watch the UN press conference at which Lynk called time on Israel's criminality:

Note that just 7 journalists showed up.

You have to hand it to Israel; their success in bamboozling the world with the notion that evil is good has been without precedent.

Their bamboozling is finished, however (just as soon as the US loses its hegemony).


Attention

Tucker Carlson: Podesta brothers and Manafort, not Trump, are 'central figures' in Mueller probe (UPDATE)

manafort mueller podesta

The plot thickens
Fox News' Tucker Carlson said he has a source who told him that the Podesta brothers and Paul Manafort are the "central figures" Robert Mueller's investigation, not President Trump. The source, Carlson said, told him about events that implicate Manafort, the Podesta brothers, Hillary Clinton and her State Department, and Russian oligarchs. The source has been interviewed by Mueller's independent investigators.

"If true," Carlson said, the story weaved by the source shows the media is focusing on the wrong Russia story.

The source tells Tucker Carlson that Paul Manafort worked extensively with the Podesta Group as far back as 2011 on behalf of Russia. Manafort's Russian associates wanted to influence Washington and sought the Podesta brothers because of their ties to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


Comment: See also: Tucker Carlson has source connecting Tony Podesta directly to Clinton Foundation

UPDATE: Carlson has given an update since the Manafort indictment:



From Fox:
A thus-far-reliable source who used to be involved with Clinton allies John and Tony Podesta told Tucker Carlson that press reports appearing to implicate President Trump in Russian collusion are exaggerated.

The source, who Carlson said he would not yet name, said he worked for the brothers' Podesta Group and was privy to some information from Robert Mueller's special investigation.

While media reports describe former "Black, Manafort & Stone" principal Paul Manafort as Trump's main tie to the investigation, the source said it is Manafort's role as a liaison between Russia and the Podesta Group that is drawing the scrutiny.

The "vehicle" Manafort worked for was what Carlson called a "sham" company with a headquarters listed in Belgium but whose contact information was linked to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.



Briefcase

Russia reset? The status of Mueller's Russia investigation after indictments and a guilty plea

Putin
Based on this morning's news of indictments and guilty pleas, did Robert Mueller's special counsel probe into Russia's 2016 election interference just accelerate or decelerate? Actors on both sides of the partisan divide are already offering diametrically opposed answers to that question, but the truth is that only Mueller and his team have any real insight into how the bigger picture is shaping up -- if there is a bigger picture at all. Some initial thoughts, as we attempt to reset our understanding of this story, using new information:

(1) On its face, the federal charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate once again reflect quite poorly on Team Trump's competence and judgment; Manafort was tainted from the get-go yet was brought aboard to chair the campaign, later getting forced out amid controversy. Malpractice. As far as the new indictments go, however, the alleged criminality revealed today was not related to the campaign. The government's allegations against Manafort and Rick Gates pertain to money laundering, violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and misleading investigators. The underlying crimes appear to have taken place between 2006 and 2014, long before Donald Trump was even a candidate for office. On CBSN this morning, journalist Ryan Grim made the point that the White House may see today's developments as something of a victory, noting that the contents of these indictments are "not even close" to proving collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign:

Comment: Seems like the indictments are a desperate attempt to get former Trump insiders against the wall, starting with Manafort. Then offer them a plea deal for dishing some dirt. These people are OBSESSED with Russia!

But will they end up finding something that doesn't exist? Unlikely: The Manafort indictment is a sign that the Russiagate investigation is over, found nothing


Red Pill

Former Qatari PM publicly admits to collusion and coordination between 4 countries, led by US, to destabilize Syria and support terrorists

kerry qatari pm

A 2013 London press conference: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. A 2014 Hillary Clinton email confirmed Qatar as a state-sponsor of ISIS during that same time period.
A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.

And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level "public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda."Importantly, "this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims."

As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.

Blackbox

JFK files revelations: CIA mind control, assassinations, mafia, terrorism, and more

jfk files
On Thursday, much to the chagrin of anyone seeking transparency, the US government released 2,800 previously classified files relating to the assassination of John F Kennedy while holding back several hundred more. President Donald Trump delayed the release of the others, saying he had "no choice" but to consider "national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns" raised mostly by the FBI and CIA. As TFTP predicted, the JFK files were no smoking gun. However, many of the documents contained in them reveal and confirm the absolutely horrifying practices of the world's most insidious spying agency.

In an amazing act of citizen journalism, Thursday night, the internet pored over the documents, including all of our staff here at TFTP. The information gleaned from these previously Top Secret documents reveals the dark truth about the CIA's covert, murderous, criminal, and outright terroristic workings.

From mind control to media control to working with the mafia and using covert chemical weapons to starve innocent civilians, the CIA has operated in the shadows breaking international law and laying waste to anyone who gets in their way.

The Free Thought Project has put together a list of documents retrieved from the JFK files detailing these outright ominous practices by the CIA.

Comment: The number of documents withheld is more likely in the thousands, not hundreds. See: JFK files set for release today - no sign National Archives will actually do so without delays - UPDATE: CIA/FBI pressure Trump to withhold 3000 docs for "national security"

With that in mind, here are some more details gleaned from today's tiny release of documents. This document, dated Oct. 25, 1963, and written by FBI Agent Warren de Brueys, confirms that the FBI were keeping tabs on Oswald before the assassination (h/t TFTP):
"Will maintain contact with Cuban sources for any indication of additional activity on the part of subject organization which appears to have become inactive since the departure from New Orleans of LEE HARVEY OSWALD."
jfk files
De Brueys was later promoted. In another document, CIA commission member David Belin asks former CIA Director Richard Helms:
Mr. Belin: Well, now, the final area of my internal investigation relates to charges that the CIA was in some way conspiratorially involved with the assassination of President Kennedy. During the time of the Warren Commission, you were Deputy Director of Plans, is that correct?

Mr. Helms: I believe so.

Mr. Belin: Is there any information involved with the assassination of President Kennedy, which in any way shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was in some way a CIA agent...
... but doesn't include Helms's answer. The document also contains this:
Helms was being questioned on the assassination of Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, and whether the CIA was involved. He revealed that he was "not persuaded that President Nixon doesn't still believe that the Agency didn't have something to do with the demise" of Diem in 1963.

"The whole thing has been rather... heated by the fact that President Johnson used to go around saying that the reason President Kennedy was assassinated was that he had assassinated President Diem, and this was just justice," Helms said.
After the assassination, the Soviet Union feared an all-out war, seeing the assassination as an "ultra-right" conspiracy and coup and predicting that "without leadership, some irresponsible general in the US might launch a missile at the Soviet Union." They described Oswald as "a neurotic maniac who was disloyal to his own country", but downplayed his ties to the Soviet Union. An unnamed informant apparently told U.S. spies that the KGB had proof that U.S. "President [Lyndon] Johnson was responsible for the assassination."

A document also records FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's reactions to some aspects of the investigation. On Nov. 24, the day Ruby killed Oswald, he dictated this line: "There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead":
Hoover was critical of the Dallas Police Department's handling of the case, saying it could not have brought charges without the FBI's involvement. "We traced the weapon, we identified the handwriting, we identified the fingerprints on the brown bag," he said, adding that senior police had been seen too much on television.

The FBI director, working with then Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, was also eager to release information on the event "so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin."
NBC adds:
It's not clear from the memo whether Hoover thought there might have been a conspiracy but didn't want it to be known or whether he sincerely believed Oswald acted alone and hoped to head off public fear and confusion.

Hoover also indicated that his concern may have been influenced, in part, by diplomacy, dictating that there could be serious international complications if the public thought Oswald might have been part of a larger plot.

Katzenbach is known from previously released documents to have shared Hoover's concern, writing in a memo the next day, on Nov. 25, 1963, that "the public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial."

In the memo, Hoover excoriated the Dallas Police Department for not having prevented Oswald's killing by Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner. The FBI had warned the police that Oswald's life was in danger, but nothing was done, he complained.

"Oswald having been killed today after our warnings to the Dallas Police Department was inexcusable," Hoover dictated. "It will allow, I am afraid, a lot of civil rights people to raise a lot of hell because he was handcuffed and had no weapon. There are bound to be some elements of our society who will holler their heads off that his civil rights were violated - which they were."

Hoover argued against appointing an independent commission to review the evidence, contending that the matter should be left to the Justice Department, the FBI's parent agency. Lyndon Johnson, the new president, announced the creation of the Warren Commission a few days later.
More tidbits (h/t RT):
Oswald's meeting with 'KGB officer'

While Oswald's visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City in September 1963 had not been a secret, the files revealed that he had spoken with Consul Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov, described in the documents as "an identified KGB officer."

"He is a case officer in an operation which is evidently sponsored by the KGB's 13th Department (responsible for sabotage and assassination)," the document read.

On October 1, Oswald was said to have rang the embassy and asked: "Anything new concerning the telegram to Washington?"
Notice the weasel word "evidently". As MuckRock pointed out this week, Hoover said FBI files "do not contain any information to fully support" the CIA's assessment that Kostikov worked for the KGB's 13th Department. But U.S. businessman Brian Litman says he was - and he knows because he represented several ex-KGB officers, including Kostikov. According to a colleague of Kostikov, Pavel Nechiporenko, the meeting was entirely coincidental: Kostikov "said he arrived at the compound to find Oswald sitting there with his colleague, Pavel Yatskov, to whom Kostikov explained that the American had been there the previous day. Kostikov said Oswald 'was very riled up and broke into hysterics at the mention of the FBI, crying and saying as he wept: 'I'm afraid they'll kill me. Let me in.'' They gave him a glass of water and then went to a volleyball game they were late for.
FBI warned Dallas police of threats against Oswald

The FBI received a call to its Dallas office from a man claiming to be a member of a committee organized to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, according to a memo sent on the day of the assassin's death by FBI Director J Edgar Hoover.

"We at once notified the Chief of Police and he assured us Oswald would be given sufficient protection," the document read. Hoover added: "This morning we called the Chief of Police again warning of the possibility of some effort against Oswald and he again assured us adequate protections would be given. However, this was not done."

The document also states that the FBI had an agent at Parkland hospital, where Oswald was taken after he was shot, in the hope that he might make a confession before he died. He did not do so. Meanwhile, his attacker, Jack Ruby, was said to have told authorities that his grief over the killing of President John F Kennedy two days earlier had made him insane. Hoover labelled the claim "a pretty smart move" as it could have laid the foundation for a plea of insanity at his trial.

Ruby's connections with Dallas police

An informant told the FBI that Oswald's assassin, Jack Ruby, had close links to local police in Dallas. Ruby, whose real name was Jacob Leon Rubenstein, was said to have had a "good in" with the authorities, who were served free drinks at his nightclub.

A friend of Ruby's, Lou Lebby, described him in an FBI document as "emotional, unstable and a person who made his living primarily from 'scalping' tickets to sports events."
One more for now:
jfk files
On the whole, this release is pathetic. The CIA is toying with the American and world public by releasing documents that provide nothing new on the assassination. In 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that there was a conspiracy involved in his murder and that there was very likely more than one shooter.

Yet even that investigation was denounced by insiders as a whitewash and that the CIA misled the committee (see link above). The whole world and his dog knows that Oswald either wasn't the shooter or was not alone. Likewise, it's clear that Kennedy was shot from the front, reference the Zapruder film.

The only tidbits in these documents (so far) are references by eyewitnesses to or commentators on the original investigation that claimed that there was a bullet hole in JFK's car windscreen (i.e. he was shot from the front) and that a bullet entered his neck near the adam's apple (again shot from the front). For those who don't know, Oswald was in the book depository building BEHIND JFK's car.

The main point of the release of these documents appears to be to provide the scurrilous mainstream media the opportunity to promote the official Warren Report findings and poopoo conspiracy theories. In other words, it's another exercise in deep state and mainstream media gaslighting of the American public by feigning 'transparency' around the JFK assassination while simultaneously telling everyone that the official story still holds water. Nothing could be further form the truth, and just about everyone with a few neurons still firing knows it.

Update (Oct. 28)

In addition to Hoover's curious insistence on convincing the public that Oswald was the "real assassin" (as opposed to what, a "fake" assassin?), there are at least two instances in the documents of suggestive redactions. The first is also mentioned above: the lack of an answer to the question asked of Richard Helms as to the evidence that Oswald "was in some way a CIA agent". His answer is redacted.

The second has to do with 1975 hearing testimony from former CIA Deputy Director of Plans Richard Bissell. Only three out of 33 pages of this Top Secret document were released. From TFTP:
The opening page of the document claims the transcript covers topics such as the attempt to overthrow Castro with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion; former CIA Director Allen Dulles and former President Eisenhower; the overthrow of Dominican Republic President Rafael Trujillo; the ZR/Rifle Project and CIA agent Arnold Silver; former CIA Director John A. McCone; Mafia boss Sam Giancana; CIA and FBI recruit Robert Maheu; and the Department of Justice.

The transcript of Bissell's responses to questions on any of the topics listed above would be incredibly telling regarding the inner workings of the CIA and the events that led up to, and occurred after the assassination of President Kennedy. However, the document that was released consists of 3 pages, and only 1 page contains text from the transcript.

The only page of text contains questions for Bissell such as "Now, Mr. Bissell, we went over the notes in the other room, didn't we?" to which Bissell responded, "Correct." The topic of the page appears to be on the actions of Bill Harvey, a CIA agent who played a crucial role in Operation Mongoose, the agency's attempt to overthrow Castro after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.
Mr. Schwarz: "All right. Now, in light of that document ... does that have any effect upon your prior testimony that you had no reason to question Mr. Harvey's statement at the occasion you asked him to set up the capability you said that the White House had twice urged you to do so?"

Mr. Bissell: "Yes. I think these dates do call that into question, because accepting these dates, which are Mr. Harvey's own notations, it is clear that I had given him at least some exposure to that assignment at the end of January, just at the..."
The document ends there, leaving the public to wonder where the other 30 pages of the transcript are, why they were not released, and if they will ever be released in the future.



Bullseye

Why the Nanny State and paranoid parenting are creating a Fragile Generation

child bubble wrap
© Joanna Andreasson
One day last year, a citizen on a prairie path in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst came upon a teen boy chopping wood. Not a body. Just some already-fallen branches. Nonetheless, the onlooker called the cops.

Officers interrogated the boy, who said he was trying to build a fort for himself and his friends. A local news site reports the police then "took the tools for safekeeping to be returned to the boy's parents."

Elsewhere in America, preschoolers at the Learning Collaborative in Charlotte, North Carolina, were thrilled to receive a set of gently used playground equipment. But the kids soon found out they would not be allowed to use it, because it was resting on grass, not wood chips. "It's a safety issue," explained a day care spokeswoman. Playing on grass is against local regulations.

And then there was the query that ran in Parents magazine a few years back: "Your child's old enough to stay home briefly, and often does. But is it okay to leave her and her playmate home while you dash to the dry cleaner?" Absolutely not, the magazine averred: "Take the kids with you, or save your errand for another time." After all, "you want to make sure that no one's feelings get too hurt if there's a squabble."

The principle here is simple: This generation of kids must be protected like none other. They can't use tools, they can't play on grass, and they certainly can't be expected to work through a spat with a friend.

And this, it could be argued, is why we have "safe spaces" on college campuses and millennials missing adult milestones today. We told a generation of kids that they can never be too safe-and they believed us.

USA

Why the 'Steele Dossier' on Trump-Russia collusion is a total 'nothingburger'

Trump smiling
The infamous "Steele Dossier," which alleges collusion between Donald Trump and Russian operatives during the 2016 election campaign is back in the headlines, with revelations that Hillary Clinton's campaign team paid the British spy for his research.