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Mon, 06 Feb 2023
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Theater of the absurd in J6 courtrooms

puppets
© unknown
Courtroom Puppets
The Department of Justice carefully crafted The Dramatic Moment in court.

A federal prosecutor handed an enclosed paper bag to an FBI agent responsible for investigating members of the Proud Boys, now on trial for seditious conspiracy related to their participation in the events of January 6. The bag contained "evidence of the unlawful entry of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 and evidence of the disruption to the certification of the 2020 presidential election," FBI Special Agent Elizabeth D'Angelo told assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Moore on Wednesday.

D'Angelo cautiously pulled the evidence out of the bag to present to the jury.

Spectators in D.C. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly's courtroom were on the edge of their seats. What would the mystery bag reveal?

Would it disclose the group's intricate but failed plot to overthrow the government? A detailed list of weapons the "seditionists" planned to use in service of their dastardly deed? Names of targeted officials?

A nervous hush fell over the room; sweat beads formed on furrowed brows.

Finally, the big moment arrived.


It was — a set of challenge coins.

Comment: The DC circus continues unabated. Who should be on trial? Those who make a travesty of justice.


Arrow Down

Liz Truss exclusive: 'I assumed upon entering Downing Street my mandate would be respected. How wrong I was'

Truss
© Geoff Pugh/The Telegraph
Liz Truss
One year ago this week, I went to Moscow as foreign secretary to warn my Russian counterpart of the grave consequences that would result from any invasion of Ukraine. Had anyone told me then that, 12 months later, I would be a backbench MP following a 49-day term as prime minister, I would not have believed it.

Since my departure from Downing Street just over 100 days ago, I've spent many hours reflecting on what happened during my time there, what went wrong and what I might have done differently. This soul-searching has not been easy.

Now I want to set out, from my perspective, what happened and what I have learned.

Comment: Whether it is hindsight, perception management or vindication, it doesn't matter. She quit.


Treasure Chest

US announces first transfer of seized Russian assets to Kiev

Garland
© Drew Angerer/AFP/Getty Images North America
US Attorney General Merrick Garland (2nd from left)
Money confiscated from a Russian businessman will be made available to 'support the people of Ukraine'

US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday the first transfer of assets, confiscated as part of anti-Russia sanctions, [will go] to Ukraine to pay for the country's reconstruction.

The measure affects $5.4 million expropriated from Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeyev on charges of sanctions evasion, according to the top official.
"With my authorization today, forfeited funds will next be transferred to the State Department to support the people of Ukraine."
Garland added that the funds were confiscated following an indictment against Malofeyev, issued last April.

Comment: Instances of ongoing forfeitures of private Russian assets:
The United States has already been working with allies and partners to track down assets all over the world:
  • In March, the U.S., led by the Department of the Treasury and Department of Justice, launched the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Task Force with international partners to coordinate the freezing and seizing of Russian assets around the world.
  • So far, member states in the European Union have reported freezing over $30 billion in assets, including almost $7 billion in boats, helicopters, real estate, and artwork.
  • Dozens of yachts have been seized by REPO Task Force member countries. The U.S. Treasury has sanctioned and blocked vessels and aircraft worth over $1 billion, as well as frozen hundreds of millions of dollars of assets belonging to Russian elites in U.S. bank accounts.
  • Last week, in the wake of criminal charges, Treasury designated a global sanctions evasion network associated with Konstantin Malofeyev, crack downing on the movement of illicit assets.
  • Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that Spain seized a 255-foot, $90 million yacht of sanctioned Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg at the request of United States.



Black Magic

Ukraine army discipline crackdown sparks fear and fury at the front

zelensky ukraine forces
© Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images
Among Kyiv’s forces, made up largely of fresh recruits lacking previous military experience or training, some are struggling to cope with the ongoing war effort
Critics say new legislation that punishes deserters and rule-breakers more harshly contravenes human rights and demotivates military personnel.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refused to veto a new law that strengthens punishment for wayward military personnel on Thursday, rejecting a petition signed by over 25,000 Ukrainians who argue it's too harsh.

"The key to the combat capability of military units and ultimately of Ukraine's victory, is compliance with military discipline," Zelenskyy said in his written response to the petition.

Ukrainian soldiers have stunned the world with their resilience and battlefield successes, withstanding a year-long onslaught from Russian troops. But among Kyiv's forces, made up largely of fresh recruits lacking previous military experience or training, some are struggling to cope. There are those who have rebelled against commanders' orders, gotten drunk or misbehaved; others, running low on ammunition and morale, have fled for their lives, abandoning their positions.

Crusader

Ukraine: Constructing the Fourth Reich "White Europe is Our Goal"

Azov Battalion
A brief overview of the Nazism on display in Ukraine as presented by the Western press

One of the largest fictions of the Western press after the Russian Federation launched their Special Military Operation in February 2022 is that claims of Nazis in Ukraine are exaggerated by the Russian Federation.

Press Nazis Ukraine

Screenshots of Washington Post, Politico, NPR, and MSNBC headlines

Footprints

Irish civil service predicts 180,000 refugees in Ireland by year end

refugees ireland

Ukrainian refugees at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin
Up to 180,000 people could be seeking refuge here by the end of the year, according to a document compiled by senior civil servants.

The figure is contained in briefing material for Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton, which was released following a Freedom of Information request.

The Chief Whip, who is also a Minister of State at the Department of Health, was advised by officials in December that funding healthcare for Ukrainian and international protection refugees was a matter that required attention.

Comment: How long before native Irish start complaining that the newcomers are being treated better than them?


Attention

STUNNING ADMISSION: Democrat minority leader Hakeem Jeffries says resolution condemning socialist tyrants "undermines" House Democrats' agenda

hakeem jeffries
House Republicans brought forth legislation on Thursday condemning socialism and violent socialist dictators.

Democrats didn't know what to do.

Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries argued the vote against the horrors of socialism undermined the House Democrats' agenda.
Wow!

Putin

Setting the Record Straight; Stuff You Should Know About Ukraine

Putin
On February 16, 2022, a full week before Putin sent combat troops into Ukraine, the Ukrainian Army began the heavy bombardment of the area (in east Ukraine) occupied by mainly ethnic Russians. Officials from the Observer Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) were located in the vicinity at the time and kept a record of the shelling as it took place. What the OSCE discovered was that the bombardment dramatically intensified as the week went on until it reached a peak on February 19, when a total of 2,026 artillery strikes were recorded. Keep in mind, the Ukrainian Army was, in fact, shelling civilian areas along the Line of Contact that were occupied by other Ukrainians.

We want to emphasize that the officials from the OSCE were operating in their professional capacity gathering first-hand evidence of shelling in the area. What their data shows is that Ukrainian Forces were bombing and killing their own people. This has all been documented and has not been challenged.

So, the question we must all ask ourselves is this: Is the bombardment and slaughter of one's own people an 'act of war'?

Bullseye

'Putin didn't threaten me or Germany' - Chancellor Scholz rejects Bojo's claims of Russia threat

Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Johnson is notorious for exaggeration, spinning facts, or even outright lying, be it in his speeches to his constituency or in parliament.
Refuting Boris Johnson's claims, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Vladimir Putin has neither threatened him nor Germany.

"No, Putin didn't threaten me or Germany. During our telephone calls, our very different perspectives on the war in Ukraine have become very clear," Scholz said in an interview for German media commenting on Boris Johnson's hefty claims.

Scholz has been consistent with his stance on the crisis in Ukraine blaming it wholly on Russia, claiming that Putin's military operation was uncalled for.

"We cannot simply accept that, because it's a fundamental violation of the European peace order. That is why we support Ukraine financially, through humanitarian aid and also with arms," Scholz said.


Comment: NATO's war on Serbia was a violation of European peace, as was NATO's encroachment and encirclement of Russia.


Comment: And there we have it, for anyone that needed (anymore) proof that Bojo 'partygate' Johnson was lying. With that, one can reasonably deduce that he's also lying about the threat to his own life.

That said, it also supports the notion that, at least in some instances, Germany seems to be willing to defy the establishment narrative to the benefit of Russia; and, notably, there was another recent example: Germany finally admits it's 'open' to the idea the West could be responsible for Nord Stream sabotage, 'with aim to blame Russia'


Quenelle - Golden

EU threatens Georgia with sanctions if it resumes flights to Russia, GDP in the country is up 11%

georgia russia flag
The spokesman for the European Union's external relations service, Peter Stano, said that Georgia must comply with aviation sanctions against Russia imposed by the EU. He warned that the EU sanctions regime provides for secondary sanctions against those who support circumvention of anti-Russian restrictions. This was stated in a letter from Stano in response to a request from the Netgazeti portal.

He indicated that the European Union is aware of ongoing discussions related to the possible restoration of direct flights between the two countries. Stano urged Tbilisi to support the aviation sanctions imposed by the EU and other states against Moscow, as well as to be vigilant against any attempts to circumvent them.

Comment: Civil.ge reports:
Geostat said growth was observed in construction, manufacturing, transportation and storage, financial and insurance activities as well as trade, hotels and restaurants.

A decline was registered in real estate activities, professional, scientific and technical activities, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply.

Meanwhile, the estimated real GDP growth amounted to 10.1 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year.
Source: Geostat