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Wed, 29 Mar 2017
The World for People who Think

MIB

The CIA's big lies about 'Russian hacking' puts everyone in danger

I have watched incredulously as the CIA's blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story - blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton's corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also.

A little simple logic demolishes the CIA's claims. The CIA claim they "know the individuals" involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilize a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of "We know who it was, it was the Russians" are beneath contempt.

As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks - there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened.

Comment: The information war against Russia - and real news - has gotten white hot. But it affords us a great opportunity to see how a dying Empire responds to the threat of shared truth. It's also a chance for those of us who see this truth to carry it forward so that many may benefit from this incredible lesson in history, and take a stand where we can.

See also: The attempted Clinton-CIA coup against Donald Trump


Black Cat

The attempted Clinton-CIA coup against Donald Trump

The CIA's latest report implicating Russia in the DNC and Podesta leaks is not founded on any evidence. Coming a few weeks before Donald Trump's inauguration it is more dangerous meddling by the US intelligence community in the US political process.

Sherlock

WADA publishes second whitewashed McLaren report, still provides no evidence of "state-sponsored doping" in Russia

© Neil Hall / Reuters
Lawyer Richard McLaren (R) delivers his second report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
The doping test samples of 12 Russian medalists from the Sochi Olympics in 2014 were tampered with, according to claims made in the second part of a WADA-commissioned report, authored by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.


Comment: Claims are useless without evidence to back them up. The Western media may be more than happy to repeat the claims of McLaren, but anyone who maintains any semblance of objectivity in journalism will demand proof before peddling lies meant to demonize Russia.


The report, without providing any names, claims that over 1,000 athletes - in summer, winter and Paralympic competitions - benefited from the alleged plot to conceal positive doping tests.

"We are now able to confirm a cover-up that dates back until at least 2011 and continued after the Sochi Olympic Games. It was a cover-up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalized and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy," McLaren said at a news conference, as cited by Reuters.


Comment: Where is the evidence?


The sports events where the doping was allegedly used by Russian athletes included the 2012 London Olympics, the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the 2013 World Student Games, and the 2013 World Championship in Athletics, according to the report.

Comment: Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee announced that all 63 blood samples taken from Russian Olympians before the 2014 Sochi Olympics were re-analyzed and came back negative, meaning they were all clean. The Russian Sports Ministry responded to McLaren's second report by saying that there is no state doping program and Sports Minister Pavel Kobolokov pointed out WADA's myopic focus on Russia despite there being plenty of evidence of other countries being involved in doping:
"It would be great if they [the WADA] probed into doping violations in other countries as vigorously [as they do in Russia],"the minister said
It's worth noting that former WADA vice president Arne Ljungqvis admitted in a documentary aired in Russia that well-known athletes "legally" used banned substances after receiving permission for their use to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). One athlete involved in that treatment, Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen, admitted to doping from 1998-2001. He revealed that in many instances where diagnoses are made that give athletes permission to take banned substances, the doctors' decisions are bogus:
"I didn't have any injuries or illnesses that could warrant a TUE, but I don't think I am the only one who doped, otherwise I would have always been first. Everything is done quite easily: you write to them saying you have an injury, what medication you need, including a seal of approval by the doctor of the diagnosis, which is forged. In five minutes you can get permission to use banned substances," he said, TASS reported.

"They let me know about TUEs the moment I signed a contract with a top team. We all planned in advance, the doctor said, when we needed to take the substance glucocorticosteroid when you succumbed to fatigue, I could lose weight, but nevertheless not feel weakness in my muscles or any weariness," he added.
It should be obvious to anyone with two firing neurons that doping is a widespread behavior. The witch hunt against Russia by the IOC and WADA makes it clear that they are simply a tool of the West, bought and paid for by Western governments. As Alan Moore at RT so aptly puts it, the McLaren report proves that sports governing bodies like WADA and the IOC are as useless as a chocolate teapot.


Ambulance

Aleppo: World's biggest hostage crisis comes to an end - but the fake news continues

As Syrian government forces recapture more parts of eastern Aleppo, many civilians are risking their lives to flee the besieged opposition-controlled areas, telling the world that the so-called "rebels" stop at nothing to prevent people from leaving.

The Syrian government and its Russian allies have long accused armed opposition groups in Aleppo of holding civilians hostage, whereas western governments and media have been promoting a different narrative in tune with "rebel" and "activist" sources. This narrative is now falling apart.

When government forces first managed to encircle the opposition-held districts of Aleppo in July of this year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the opening of humanitarian corridors "to aid civilians held hostage by terrorists and for fighters wishing to lay down their arms."[1]

Bashar Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, said in a July 26 letter to the Security Council that "the Syrian Army informed the civilian residents of those neighborhoods that it has secured safe passages, for those who want to safely exit those areas, and that it has allocated temporary accommodation for them."

Eye 2

US Empire goes from protecting war criminal Cheney from prosecution to honoring him with a bust at Emancipation Hall

© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
As vice president, Dick Cheney was a prime architect of the worldwide torture regime implemented by the U.S. government (which extended far beyond waterboarding), as well as the invasion and destruction of Iraq, which caused the deaths of at least 500,000 people and more likely over a million. As such, he is one of the planet's most notorious war criminals.

President Obama made the decision in early 2009 to block the Justice Department from criminally investigating and prosecuting Cheney and his fellow torturers, as well as to protect them from foreign investigations and even civil liability sought by torture victims. Obama did that notwithstanding a campaign decree that even top Bush officials are subject to the rule of law and, more importantly, notwithstanding a treaty signed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan requiring that all signatory states criminally prosecute their own torturers. Obama's immunizing Bush-era torturers converted torture from a global taboo and decades-old crime into a reasonable, debatable policy question, which is why so many GOP candidates are now openly suggesting its use.

But now, the Obama administration has moved from legally protecting Bush-era war criminals to honoring and gushing over them in public. Yesterday, the House of Representatives unveiled a marble bust of former Vice President Cheney, which — until a person of conscience vandalizes or destroys it — will reside in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

Pistol

Did FDR Provoke Pearl Harbor?

Image
© U.S. Navy
View of the airfield at Naval Air Station (NAS) Ford Island and flames from burning ships in the background taken during the Japanese attack, 7 December 1941.
On Dec. 8, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt took the rostrum before a joint session of Congress to ask for a declaration of war on Japan.

A day earlier, at dawn, carrier-based Japanese aircraft had launched a sneak attack devastating the U.S. battle fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Said ex-President Herbert Hoover, Republican statesman of the day, "We have only one job to do now, and that is to defeat Japan."

But to friends, "the Chief" sent another message: "You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bit."

Today, 70 years after Pearl Harbor, a remarkable secret history, written from 1943 to 1963, has come to light. It is Hoover's explanation of what happened before, during and after the world war that may prove yet the death knell of the West.

Edited by historian George Nash, Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath is a searing indictment of FDR and the men around him as politicians who lied prodigiously about their desire to keep America out of war, even as they took one deliberate step after another to take us into war.

Caesar

Duterte, fighting for his country and his life, enjoys outpouring of support from Filipinos

© AFLO / Global Look Press
There is a sense of change in those narrow and desperate alleys of the Baseco slum in the Philippines' capital Manila. For the first time in many years a beautiful, noble lady visited; against all odds she decided to stay. Her name is Hope.

Baseco is a tough, crime-ridden region built from cartons and metal sheets, even rusty containers; everything is thrown together in startling fashion, right near the shipyard.

Here, the lips of the people used to be sealed, expressions on their faces incessantly desperate. Now everyone speaks, some even smile shyly, adults and children, women who look sixty at the age of thirty, as well as tough looking men.

"I support Duterte!" declares Ms. Imelda Rodriguez, who works as a physiotherapist here, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. "Now children get free education and 'medical missions' provide basic medical care. We also receive allowances, and the government provides jobs. We are still lacking electricity, but at least the municipality is providing free drinking water."

Camcorder

Aleppo almost completely liberated - RT journalist first to enter eastern half since 2012 (VIDEO)

© Lizzie Phelan / Twitter
Civilians trapped in Old City finally reunite with families they've been separated from by frontline last 4 yrs.
Battles continue between pro-government forces and insurgents in Aleppo's Old City, with Damascus slowly winning back territory. RT's Lizzie Phelan and her crew were the first journalists to visit the regions just captured by the government.

"It is still not entirely safe here. The opposition forces are only a couple of hundreds of meters away. The area needs to be cleaned from unused weapons and mines left," she reported by phone.

She said her crew saw many weapons abandoned by the militants stashed in buildings, including the home-made gas cylinder rockets they have been using to shell government forces.

"The battle to take the old city over the last few days has been extremely fierce. Opposition forces have been desperate to fight back and prevent government advances. They have been relentlessly shelling the government-held areas of Aleppo. There have been many civilian casualties [there]," Phelan added.

Magnify

Here's why everything you've read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong

© Anadolu
Aleppo under siege.
The Iraqi army, backed by US-led airstrikes, is trying to capture east Mosul at the same time as the Syrian army and its Shia paramilitary allies are fighting their way into east Aleppo. An estimated 300 civilians have been killed in Aleppo by government artillery and bombing in the last fortnight, and in Mosul there are reportedly some 600 civilian dead over a month.

Despite these similarities, the reporting by the international media of these two sieges is radically different.

In Mosul, civilian loss of life is blamed on Isis, with its indiscriminate use of mortars and suicide bombers, while the Iraqi army and their air support are largely given a free pass. Isis is accused of preventing civilians from leaving the city so they can be used as human shields.

Contrast this with Western media descriptions of the inhuman savagery of President Assad's forces indiscriminately slaughtering civilians regardless of whether they stay or try to flee. The UN chief of humanitarian affairs, Stephen O'Brien, suggested this week that the rebels in east Aleppo were stopping civilians departing - but unlike Mosul, the issue gets little coverage.

Comment: It is hard enough to witness an event and be able to process correctly what one sees. It is even harder to separate out pre-conceived notions about what took place. It is even more difficult to understand and eliminate personal prejudice at an emotional level in order to suss out a particular kernel of truth. Compound these few aspects with information from a secondary source with bias, agenda and intent. The end result may truly be several generations away from reality.

What are the choices left to reporters and journalists trying to do their job? It is up to the journalists and then the news recipients to become so knowledgeable about the situation that they can filter out persuasions and suss out reality, add up the score and see what is and what doesn't fit. Trustworthy news sources are all we have to tell it like it is, no matter what it is.


Gold Seal

Eva Bartlett: How the US/Saudi-backed proxy army targets 'every Syrian' in Aleppo

© Eva Bartlett
Overlooking the terrorist-occupied Bustan al-Qasr district of eastern Aleppo. Nov. 4, 2016
'We were living in security and peace. These areas are being targeted, they want to force us to leave. Every Syrian is being targeted,' one Syrian religious leader told a delegation of reporters who visited Aleppo earlier this month.
In early November, Fares Shehabi, a member of the Syrian parliament from Aleppo, organized a trip to Aleppo for 13 Western journalists, including myself, with security provided by forces in the Syrian Arab Army.

While I had traveled to Aleppo independently as recently as July and August, for many others in the delegation, it was their first visit to the city or their first visit since the war on Syria began in 2011.

On previous visits to Aleppo, I met with the Aleppo Medical Association and saw a maternity hospital hit twice by rocket and mortar attacks by militants under Jaysh al-Fatah (the Army of Conquest), a loose alliance of anti-government terrorist groups. I met with members of a branch of the Syria Civil Defense and Christian and Muslim religious leaders. Just north of the city, I visited Nubl and Zahraa, towns besieged for more than three years by the Free Syrian Army, the Nusra Front, and other affiliated terrorist factions before the Syrian Arab Army drove them out in February of this year. I saw the liberated region of Bani Zaid and the al-Layramoun industrial district. I interacted with civilians in public parks, streets, and markets.

Ahead of my trip earlier this month, I was interested to see what might have changed following the liberation of still more areas by the SAA. I also hoped to speak with civilians who had fled the terrorist-held areas of Aleppo's eastern districts since I had last visited, during which time eight humanitarian corridors had been established for civilians and members of terrorist factions willing to relinquish their arms or to accept safe passage to areas in Idlib and government-secured parts of western Aleppo.

However, on Nov. 4, no one fled terrorist-held areas of Aleppo. Family members of civilians still there say their loved ones are being used as human shields by groups like the Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, or Nour al-Din al-Zenki — the so-called "moderate rebels" and "opposition forces" backed by the United States, NATO, Israel and Gulf allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.