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Sat, 24 Jun 2017
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Documentaries of deception: Fake documentary of NATO's White Helmets in Syria

Celebrity supporters of the NATO state funded White Helmets in Syria. Names taken from the White Helmet website just before announcement that they had failed in their bid to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
When we watch a documentary film I imagine most of us suppose it to be portraying factual information, not fiction. That, after all, is what would differentiate a documentary from other genres like drama or entertainment.

With this assumption in mind I have often wondered how broadcasters, filmmakers, festivals and prizegivers could be screening and celebrating 'documentaries' that purvey demonstrable untruths.

As luck would have it, with the International Film Festival being in town here in Edinburgh just now, I was able to get my answer from an industry expert.

Comment: The following is just a small sample of articles on the White Helmets from;

Vanessa Beeley Eva Bartlett


The Deep State war against Trump: A great big coup is on the way

So let's start with two obvious points about the whole Russia fiasco...

Namely, there is no "there, there." First off, the president has the power to declassify secret documents at will. But in this instance he could also do that without compromising intelligence community (IC) "sources and methods" in the slightest.

That's because after Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013, the whole world was put on notice — and most especially Washington's adversaries — that it collects every single electronic digit that passes through the worldwide web and related communications grids.

Washington essentially has universal and omniscient SIGINT (signals intelligence). Acknowledging that fact by publishing the Russia-Trump intercepts would provide new knowledge to exactly no one.

Nor would it jeopardize the lives of any American spy or agent (HUMINT). It would just document the unconstitutional interference in the election process that had been committed by the U.S. intelligence agencies and political operatives in the Obama White House.


Hezbollah warns 'hundreds of thousands' would retaliate if conflict with Israel erupts

© Ali Hashisho / Reuters
The next war with Israel would draw hundreds of thousands of fighters from across the entire Middle East, Hezbollah's leader has warned after the Israeli Air Force chief promised to drop a month's worth of bombs in a matter of days if a new conflict breaks out.
Hassan Nasrallah delivered a televised address on Friday saying "the Israeli enemy must know that if an Israeli war is launched on Syria or Lebanon, it is not known that the fighting will remain Lebanese-Israeli, or Syrian-Israeli."

"Doors will open" for hundreds of thousands of fighters to "join the resistance" against Israel, he warned as cited by Israeli broadcaster i24NEWS.

"Everyone should know that the resistance axis is very strong and will not fail. Today there are more forces working in the area in Yemen and Iraq," Nasrallah said, adding that Pakistani, Afghan and Syrian fighters might also get involved.


US releases photos showing 'unsafe' intercept by Russian jet over Baltic Sea

© U.S. European Command
New photos released by United States European Command (EUCOM) show an Su-27 less than ten meters from a US surveillance aircraft, in one of just several close brushes between Russian and NATO forces to occur in the tense theater in the past several days.

"A US RC-135U flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 Flanker June 19, 2017. Due to the high rate of closure speed and poor control of the aircraft during the intercept, this interaction was determined to be unsafe," said a statement from EUCOM.


Former AG Loretta Lynch now under Senate scrutiny over Clinton email probe

© Reuters
The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to hear from former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, after ousted FBI Director James Comey implied she interfered in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server during the 2016 presidential campaign.

On Friday, Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) confirmed that he and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) sent a letter to Lynch with six questions, seeking her take on Comey's testimony to the Senate as well as media reports alleging she assured someone in the Clinton campaign the probe will not "go too far."

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), the chair and ranking member of the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee, also signed on to the letter.


Abusive relationship: Ukrainian ex-Pres Kuchma says EU 'brought Ukraine to its knees'

© AP Photo/ Efrem Lukatsky
Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has lashed out against the EU, saying that the bloc's policies had brought Ukraine "to its knees," and turned it into a raw material colony. Speaking to Sputnik, Ukrainian political analyst Alexander Okhrimenko said that it was surprising that Kiev expected anything different from the Europeans.

Speaking at a forum in Kiev on Thursday, Kuchma, who served as independent Ukraine's second president between 1994 and early 2005, accented his speech with some unusually frank remarks about the nature of the relationship between Ukraine and the European Union.

The ex-president complained that the EU was "bringing [Ukraine] to its knees" with its trade policy, adding that Europe sees the country as a mere raw materials colony. Ukraine couldn't even sell Europe its foodstuffs, Kuchma said, given its extremely stringent system of quotas.

Comment: More trouble for Ukraine: Tymoshenko's party prepare impeachment proceedings against President Poroshenko

Cell Phone

New German law enables police to hack into encrypted messengers with 'state trojans'

© Justin Sullivan / AFP
German police may now hack into messengers like WhatsApp using "state trojans" to intercept user communications before they are encrypted on their devices, according to a new law swiftly passed by the parliament.

The new legislation allows police investigators to use a "state trojan" to hack into a suspect's mobile device, tablet, or computer, and get full access to their chat messages, video recordings, or other private data, German media reported.

The "state trojans" could make it easier to bypass the encryption employed by popular messaging services, including WhatsApp, as they can gain access to data straight from the source, well before it is secured by the messengers.

Comment: The slippery slope writ large. They grant themselves hacking rights due to terrorism concerns and then get to use them on for general surveillance - tax evasion, sports betting fraud etc.


Investigation alleges Tories broke election law by canvassing voters from secret call center

© Reza Estakhrian/Getty Images
The Conservative Party operated a secret call center to canvas for candidates during the 2017 general election, breaking both data protection and election rules, according to an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News.

During the course of their investigation, an undercover reporter secured work at Blue Telecoms, a firm in Neath, South Wales.

In an area plagued by unemployment and low wages, the call center hired up to one hundred people on zero-hour contracts.

The investigation found the party used a market research firm to make thousands of cold calls to voters in marginal seats in the weeks before the election.

Callers were told to say they worked for a market research company called "Axe Research." No such company is registered in England or Wales.


Tymoshenko's party prepare impeachment proceedings against President Poroshenko

Several factions of Ukraine's parliament, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland Party, are planning to launch impeachment proceedings against Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Izvestia reports, citing Fatherland Party sources.

A source from the Fatherland Party confirmed to the newspaper that Tymoshenko herself had initiated the legal proceedings to impeach Poroshenko. Her fellow MPs support the initiative, the source said, because "tolerating the corruption and abuses of power is no longer possible."

The source also indicated that impeachment proceedings are supported by the Opposition Bloc and Self Reliance Parties, which have the third and fourth largest number of seats in the Ukrainian parliament, respectively. A number of individual deputies from other factions also support impeachment. The Radical Party may also support initiating impeachment proceedings, the source said, but only pending a final understanding of the balance of forces.

Eye 1

FEC proposal by anti-Trumper eyes widening Russia probe to websites, foreign companies

© AP
FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub
A new proposal by an anti-Trump Democrat on the Federal Election Commission would expand the federal government's probe into alleged Russian influence to foreign companies and internet sites that take political ads, like Facebook or the Drudge Report, while giving the FEC an unprecedented role that some say oversteps its authority.

Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, citing petitions from leftist groups demanding a wider investigation, on Thursday plans to push for commission support for her idea.
"This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for our democracy," she wrote in a hasty bid to get the commission to consider it at their Thursday meeting.

"The mere allegation that foreign interference may have occurred shakes the faith of Americans in our democracy. The FEC must find out the facts of what happened during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and move swiftly and firmly to fix any problems we find. Only then can we begin to restore the American people's resilient but battered faith that our federal elections belong to us -- and now some foreign power," she added.