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Thu, 02 Feb 2023
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Our American Pravda

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© Michael Hogue
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff's fraud. What are they missing today?

In mid-March, the Wall Street Journal carried a long discussion of the origins of the Bretton Woods system, the international financial framework that governed the Western world for decades after World War II. A photo showed the two individuals who negotiated that agreement. Britain was represented by John Maynard Keynes, a towering economic figure of that era. America's representative was Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the Treasury and long a central architect of American economic policy, given that his nominal superior, Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., was a gentleman farmer with no background in finance. White was also a Communist agent.

Such a situation was hardly unique in American government during the 1930s and 1940s. For example, when a dying Franklin Roosevelt negotiated the outlines of postwar Europe with Joseph Stalin at the 1945 Yalta summit, one of his important advisors was Alger Hiss, a State Department official whose primary loyalty was to the Soviet side. Over the last 20 years, John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and other scholars have conclusively established that many dozens or even hundreds of Soviet agents once honeycombed the key policy staffs and nuclear research facilities of our federal government, constituting a total presence perhaps approaching the scale suggested by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose often unsubstantiated charges tended to damage the credibility of his position.

Eye 1

Justice Department's pursuit of AP's phone records is both extreme and dangerous

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© Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Attorney General Eric Holder was required by DOJ regulations to personally approve efforts to obtain phone records for AP journalists.
The claimed legal basis for these actions is unknown, but the threats they pose to a free press and the newsgathering process are clear

Associated Press on Monday revealed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) "secretly obtained two months of telephone records of [its] reporters and editors", denouncing it as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into the news gathering process. In a letter sent yesterday to Attorney General Eric Holder, AP's President, Gary Pruitt, detailed that the phone records cover more than 20 telephone lines used by AP journalists, including their homes, offices and cell phones. He said the phones for which the DOJ obtained records also include ones at the AP bureaus in New York City, Washington DC, Hartford, and at the House of Representatives.

Pruitt wrote that "we regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP's constitutional rights to gather and report the news." He added that while AP is "evaluating its options", he "urgently request[ed]" that the DOJ "immediately return to the AP the telephone toll records" obtained by the DOJ "and destroy all copies." AP learned of the DOJ's acquisition of these records only after the fact, and thus had no opportunity to raise legal and constitutional objections nor attempt to negotiate to narrow the scope of the records to be sought. Pruitt's letter uses some inflammatory language as it is designed to advance the AP's case and to generate public anger, but that's entirely appropriate. The phone records reveal, at a minimum, all of the telephone numbers called by those AP journalists over the course of two months.

The ACLU last night condemned the DOJ's acts as "press intimidation" and said it constitutes "an unacceptable abuse of power". The Electronic Frontier Foundation denounced it as "a terrible blow against the freedom of the press and the ability of reporters to investigate and report the news". The New York Times' Editorial Page Editor Andy Rosenthal called the DOJ's actions "outrageous" while Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron said they were "shocking" and "disturbing". Even Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: "I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government's explanation."

Arrow Up

Using language as a weapon of mass deception

Etymology
© SOP
Etymology is the study of word origins. Over time, words often change their meaning. Sometimes this is a result of natural usage in a changing world, as in the case of the word "goodbye", which started out as "God Be With You" (or "with Ye"). As the farewell utterance retained its usefulness even among people who grew less religious, the four original words lost their utility. In other cases, as highlighted by George Orwell in his book 1984, authorities manipulate words in order to place new meanings on ancient and valuable texts, common sayings, or other influential bits of language.

Deception is an instinctive tool creatures from bugs to humans use to improve the prospects of continuing their species. Most deception in nature happens between species, for example when a predator or prey accomplishes its goal by providing bad signals to its enemy. Camouflage is one good example. Human beings, however, often use deception on other members of our own species. Though this strategy tends to wane with age, wisdom, and maturity in most, there are certain kinds of people who employ the strategy of deception at an increasing rate as they get older and take on more responsibilities. This is because there is a sharp contrast between the group they favor privately and the group they favor publicly. Etymology is a useful tool for detecting and remedying the damage caused by such deception.

For those who occupy positions of influence, there is always the temptation to get people to believe things that aren't true, or to look at things in a warped way. For example, when George W. Bush and his administration were pondering how best to protect the usefulness of the national currency against growing interest in using some other medium of exchange to trade oil, they concocted the story of "Weapons of Mass Destruction" to justify an attack on Iraq. It also seems likely that the destruction of the Word Trade Center Towers in 2001 was part of a "false flag" operation designed to justify the attack. There are many examples of such "false flag operations" throughout history. While the majority of the world's population suffers from the outcomes of these deceptions, any exploration of crony capitalism, fascism, communism, or other government structures will show that they provide great benefits to those who are in power and to their friends and business associates.

Passport

Iran still pursuing US allegations about terror plot on Saudi Envoy

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© Unknown
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi
Senior Islamic Republic officials are still pursuing the case with the last year US accusations that Tehran aimed to assassinate the Saudi envoy to Washington in 2011.

"To us, he (Arbabsiar) is a US citizen with Iranian origin who has been victim of a plot in which suspicious foreign and Zionist elements are involved," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi said in Tehran on Tuesday.

He said that there are many doubts and questions on the judicial process in which Arbabsiar was tried in the US, and said, "Anyway, we pursue the developments related to his case closely."

The Iranian government has denied any connection to Manssor Arbabsiar, the man arrested in the alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi envoy to Washington, and derided the claims, saying US officials have offered no proof. Arbabsiar is a 56-year-old naturalized US citizen who also had an Iranian passport.

Target

Israel mulling plot to assassinate Assad

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
The Israeli regime's security bodies are working on a plot to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by the help of terrorist groups and armed rebels in the country after Damascus showed strength and months of resistance against the terrorist attacks orchestrated by US, Israel and their Arab partners, the Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

The Israeli Vala news website reported that the Israeli security and spy agencies were shocked at Assad's resistance against two years of terrorist and sabotage operations against the country and are mulling other ways to topple him.

Meantime, the report underlined high security measures adopted by the Syrian forces in safeguarding the roads to Damascus where government buildings are located and Assad himself resides, and said the only way to assassinate the Syrian president is designing a complicated operation and coaxing the people close to Assad into betraying him.

Earlier, a documentary movie posted on a Lebanese website unveiled details of a plot by the French and Turkish intelligence services to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials of Syria.

Rainbow

Iran to lead UN disarmament conference regardless of US boycott

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© Unknown
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi
Iran said that the US decision to boycott the UN conference on disarmament due to Iran's presidency over the meeting will not affect Tehran's resolve and plans for the world gathering.

Iran will take over rotating presidency of the disarmament conference from May 27 until June 23.

The conference is struggling to craft a deal on nuclear disarmament, preventing arms from spreading to outer space and halting the development of other weapons of mass destruction.

Attention

U.S. tax dollars promote Monsanto's GMO crops overseas

U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for overseas lobbying that promotes controversial biotech crops developed by U.S.-based Monsanto Co and other seed makers, a report issued on Tuesday said.
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© EUTERS/Robert Pratta
French beekeepers demonstrate to protest the use of genetically-modified organisms in front of French Monsanto headquarters in Bron, near Lyon, January 20, 2012. Sign reads, "No GMO in our plates"
A review of 926 diplomatic cables of correspondence to and from the U.S. State Department and embassies in more than 100 countries found that State Department officials actively promoted the commercialization of specific biotech seeds, according to the report issued by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer protection group.

The officials tried to quash public criticism of particular companies and facilitated negotiations between foreign governments and seed companies such as Monsanto over issues like patents and intellectual property, the report said.

The cables show U.S. diplomats supporting Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, in foreign countries even after it paid $1.5 million in fines after being charged with bribing an Indonesian official and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2005.

Red Flag

Reyhanli car bombs: Another anti-Assad false flag

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Since early 2011, Obama's been waging proxy war on Syria. Imported death squads masquerade as freedom fighters. The scheme's familiar. It repeats. It reflects US imperialism's dark side.

In the 1980s, CIA-recruited Mujahideen fighters battled Afghanistan's Soviet occupiers. Ronald Reagan called them "the moral equivalent of our founding fathers." He characterized Contra killers the same way.

Naked aggression is called humanitarian intervention. New wars follow earlier ones. Ravaging humanity is called liberation. Propaganda convinces people that America is threatened. Truth is turned on its head.

Syria is Washington's latest target. Plans haven't gone as expected. Ousting another government was supposed to be easy. US-enlisted terrorists are no match against Syria's military superiority.

Implementing Plan B looms. It could come any time. Obama's heading toward full-scale intervention. Pretexts are easy to create. Assad's been falsely blamed for numerous insurgent massacres. Evidence showed he had nothing to do with them.

More recently, he was unjustifiably accused of using chemical weapons. Insurgents used them several times. A previous article said Pentagon contractors trained them in their use. This is how imperial America operates.

Gold Coins

Obama denounces reported IRS targeting of groups critical of government

Video: In a press conference Monday, President Obama addressed the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of groups critical of government, and said, "I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it."


President Obama on Monday described the reported targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service as "outrageous" and intolerable, and he called for those responsible to be held "fully accountable."

Speaking to reporters at a joint news conference with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama said he first learned about the issue Friday from news reports. He said the IRS must be perceived to operate with "absolute integrity" to give the public confidence that it is applying the law "in a nonpartisan way."

"If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous, and there's no place for it," Obama said. "And they have to be held fully accountable."

Obama addressed the issue amid a growing furor on Capitol Hill over revelations that the Internal Revenue Service used ostensibly political criteria in scrutinizing groups applying for tax-exempt status.

At various points over the past two years, IRS officials singled out for scrutiny not only groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names but also nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency's inspector general.

Megaphone

Bill Maher shredded by Glenn Greenwald on U.S. intervention in Muslim countries

Bill Maher is taken apart by Glenn Greenwald for trying to absolve the US from any responsibility for the mass slaughter and destruction in Muslim countries, blaming it on Islamic fundamentalism, as if the Afghanistan and Iraq wars never happened, as if the US wasn't pushing for more war in Iran, as if it isn't intervening in Somalia and Yemen.