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Sat, 10 Dec 2022
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Propaganda Alert!: 'Harmful for children': Turkish TV channels fined for live coverage of protests

Taksim Square
© Reuters / Osman Orsal
Media takes images of a protester holding a flag in front of a riot police vehicle during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul
Turkey's TV watchdog fined four TV channels over their live coverage of the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, citing that the broadcasts were "harming the physical, moral and mental development of children and young people."

The Radio and Television Supreme Council fined private channels including Halk TV, Ulusal TV, Cem TV and EM TV.

Halk TV has gained local popularity because of their 24-hour live coverage of protests in Turkey, as most of the mainstream media have been slammed for their lack of reporting on the protests in the country.


My creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be...

I hate to do this but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be, and that the motivations involved in the story may be more complex than they appear to be. This is in no way to detract from the great courage of Glenn Greenwald in reporting the story, and the gutsiness of the Guardian in showcasing this kind of reporting, which is a service to America that US media is not performing at all. It is just to raise some cautions as the story unfolds, and to raise some questions about how it is unfolding, based on my experience with high-level political messaging.

Some of Snowden's emphases seem to serve an intelligence/police state objective, rather than to challenge them.

a) He is super-organized, for a whistleblower, in terms of what candidates, the White House, the State Dept. et al call 'message discipline.' He insisted on publishing a power point in the newspapers that ran his initial revelations. I gather that he arranged for a talented filmmaker to shoot the Greenwald interview. These two steps - which are evidence of great media training, really 'PR 101' - are virtually never done (to my great distress) by other whistleblowers, or by progressive activists involved in breaking news, or by real courageous people who are under stress and getting the word out. They are always done, though, by high-level political surrogates.


Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed

Uri Geller
© The Independent, UK
We may know him for spoon bending antics and for his lengthy friendship with pop star Michael Jackson but showbiz psychic Uri Geller has seemingly had a lengthy second career as a secret agent for Mossad and the CIA, albeit one that was more Austin Powers than James Bond.

Geller was at the Sheffield Doc Fest this week for the premiere of Vikram Jayanti's The Secret Life Of Uri Geller - Psychic Spy?, a new film that offers compelling evidence of his involvement in the shadowy world of espionage.

"Uri has a controversial reputation. A lot of people think he is a fraud, a lot of people think he is a trickster and makes things up but at the same time he has a huge following and a history of doing things that nobody can explain," Jayanti says of his Zelig-like subject.

Speaking to The Independent, Geller acknowledged alarm when he first saw Jayanti's documentary.

"I was worried and I am still concerned," Geller said of the way the documentary outs him as a spy. "I didn't realise that Vikram was going to do such a thorough job of tying all the loose ends...making that the little hints I dropped throughout my career were real."

When he signed up for the doc, the psychic didn't realise quite how diligently Jayanti would track down his old spy masters. Nonetheless, he is happy that the doc is showing "a serious side" to him. "Some countries think I am a freak, bizarre, an eccentric," he sighs.


'America is the vigilante in cyberspace': Cyber war is U.S. 'red herring' to put pressure on China

obama and china
© AFP Photo / Saul Loeb
US President Barack Obama and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping
The US-China cyber battle is just a distraction designed by the Obama Administration to pressure China at a time when the Washington is implementing its "Pivot to Asia" foreign policy initiative, geopolitical analyst William Engdahl told RT.

The California summit meeting between American President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping comes as the world's two largest economies clash over a range of divisive issues - including accusations that China has launched a cyber war against the United States.

The meeting follows reports of Chinese hackers resuming their attacks against targets in the US and the most recent the revelations that the American NSA's PRISM program allegedly spied on millions of emails.

RT: The US has been very active in the field of cyber espionage lately, so why get so touchy when somebody uses its own methods against it?

William Engdahl: The US is probably the number one cyber warfare force on the planet right now. China is probably playing a defensive game.

I think that's a red herring issue right now designed by Washington, by the Obama administration to put pressure on China at a time when the US is doing just that with the so-called Asia pivot. Which really is a China pivot that Obama announced in Australia back in 2011 to re-direct the American military force posture towards Japan with the missile defense which is [aimed] directly against China, towards the supporting of Japan in the Diaoyu Islands dispute which are in the South China sea, which is very critical for China's access to potentially vast mineral resources as well as its military sovereignty. So, I think this cyber-warfare is really a red herring in this whole dialogue.

Eye 1

Russia dismisses U.S. claims of Syrian chemical weapons use

Moscow says evidence it has been shown 'does not look convincing', and cautions US against arming Syrian rebels
© Butsenko Anton/Corbis
Vladimir Putin with his foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov.
Russia has dismissed US assertions that Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people, and said any US move to arm Syrian rebels would jeopardise efforts to convene a peace conference.

Responding to White House moves to broaden its military support for the forces lined up against Assad's regime, the Kremlin said it was not convinced by the pretext for doing so.

Yuri Ushakov, foreign policy adviser to Vladimir Putin, said US officials had briefed Russia on the allegations against Assad. "But I will say frankly that what was presented to us by the Americans does not look convincing," he said. "It would be hard even to call them facts."

The White House said late on Thursday that it would supply direct military aid to Syria's rebels after concluding that government forces had used chemical weapons, something Barack Obama has called a "red line".

David Cameron told the Guardian on Friday that Britain shared the Americans' "candid assessment".

In Damascus, Syrian officials denounced the US verdict as a "caravan of lies" and said Washington's decision to arm the rebels was a "flagrant double standard" in its dealings with terrorism.

Eye 1

On PRISM, partisanship and propaganda

© Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
James Clapper, on Saturday decried the release of the information and said media reports about it have been inaccurate
Addressing many of the issues arising from last week's NSA stories

I haven't been able to write this week here because I've been participating in the debate over the fallout from last week's NSA stories, and because we are very busy working on and writing the next series of stories that will begin appearing very shortly. I did, though, want to note a few points, and particularly highlight what Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez said after Congress on Wednesday was given a classified briefing by NSA officials on the agency's previously secret surveillance activities:
"What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today. . . . I can't speak to what we learned in there, and I don't know if there are other leaks, if there's more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it's the tip of the iceberg . . . . I think it's just broader than most people even realize, and I think that's, in one way, what astounded most of us, too."
The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely "the tip of the iceberg" of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She's also right that when it comes to NSA spying, "there is significantly more than what is out in the media today", and that's exactly what we're working to rectify.

But just consider what she's saying: as a member of Congress, she had no idea how invasive and vast the NSA's surveillance activities are. Sen. Jon Tester, who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the same thing, telling MSNBC about the disclosures that "I don't see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever" and adding: "quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn't aware of before because I don't sit on that Intelligence Committee."


Apocalypse Syria: Massacre death toll from U.S.-created civil war nears 100,000

UN says 93,000 people killed during Syria's civil war - but the real number could be far higher
© Reuters
Syria: Death and destruction
The UN has warned that the death toll in Syria's two-year civil war is close to 100,000.

The UN's top human rights official, Navi Pillay, said that the total stands at 92,901 deaths and that more than 5,000 killings have been documented every month since last July.

The figures include just under 27,000 new killings since the start of December, she added.

Eye 1

Internal Revenue Service buying spy equipment amid ongoing scandals

© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), already embroiled in a high-profile scandal over its operations, is looking to acquire surveillance equipment that includes cameras concealed in plants, coffee trays and clock radios.

The Washington-based agency seems prepared to take the tawdry task of tax collecting to a higher level with state-of-the art spy equipment.

A government procurement list published on a US government website states that the IRS "intends to award a Purchase Order to an undisclosed Corporation."

The list of specified equipment the tax-collecting agency is looking to procure includes four "Covert Coffee tray(s) with Camera concealment" as well as two "Concealed clock radio(s)."

Another procurement item, which would make even James Bond green with envy, includes surveillance equipment to hide in plants: "Plant Concealment Color 700 Lines Color IP Camera Concealment with Single Channel Network Server, supports dual video stream, Poe, software included, case included, router included."

Other coveted items include "Remote surveillance system, Built-in DVD Burner and 2 Internal HDDs, cameras."

"The Procurement Office acquires the products and services required to support the IRS mission," according to its website.


Fool me twice: U.S. and allies now say Syria has used chemical weapons on rebels

© AFP Photo / SANA
In this image made available by the Syrian News Agency (SANA) on March 19, 2013, medics and other masked people attend to a man at a hospital in Khan al-Assal in the northern Aleppo province, as Syria's government accused rebel forces of using chemical weapons for the first time.
American and European intelligence analysts now believe that President Bashar al-Assad's troops have used chemical weapons against rebel forces in the civil war in Syria, an assessment that will put added pressure on a deeply divided Obama administration to develop a response to a provocation that the president himself has declared a "red line."

Comment: Now that's one opening paragraph loaded with assumptions and inaccuracies - the ones that the public is supposed to swallow. Think of what the following words imply: "analysts", "believe", "rebel forces", "civil war", "assessment", "pressure", "deeply divided", "response", "provocation" and "red line".

What they are trying to make us believe is that the good and noble people of the Obama administration have been trying to reach the Truth ("analysts") about this messy business that Assad got himself into ("civil war"). Against the best intentions of Obama and Friends to not get involved, Assad has finally proven himself to be a tyrant of the type that uses weapons of mass destruction against his own people ("rebels"). Therefore, and in spite of the internal divisions, the pressure this new evidence delivers is too much to bear and a red line has been crossed. Action must be taken ("provocation")!

According to an internal memorandum circulating inside the government on Thursday, the "intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year." President Obama said in April that the United States had physiological evidence that the nerve gas sarin had been used in Syria, but lacked proof of who used it and under what circumstances. He now believes that the proof is definitive, according to American officials.

Comment: Of course, you need to tell lies step by step to make sure that the public gets used to the idea they will want you to accept later. It is called priming.

But a flurry of high-level meetings in Washington this week only underscored the splits within the Obama administration about what actions to take to quell the fighting, which has claimed more than 90,000 people. The meetings were hastily arranged after Mr. Assad's troops - joined by fighters from the militant group Hezbollah - claimed the strategic city of Qusayr and raised fears in Washington that large parts of the rebellion could be on the verge of collapse.
© AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini
Former United Nations (UN) Swiss prosecutor and member of a UN-mandated commission of inquiry on the Syria conflict, Carla del Ponte.
Senior State Department officials have been pushing for an aggressive military response, including airstrikes to hit the primary landing strips in Syria that the government uses to launch the chemical weapons attacks, ferry troops around the country, and receive shipments of matériel from Iran. But White House officials remain wary, and one American official said that a meeting on Wednesday of the president's senior advisers yielded no firm decisions about how to proceed.

Comment: Oh, but they will. And it won't be friendly.

Comment: Remember Colin Powell making a fool of himself at the United Nations before the Iraq war, trying to convince the world that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?

No, most of you probably don't. And that's part of the problem.

In the meantime this 'reversive blockade', where the Western elite, led by the Psychopaths in Power in Washington DC, accuse the Syrian government of the very thing its Al Qaeda terrorist cells are doing to ordinary Syrians, takes the world one step closer to total chaos in the Middle East and beyond.

UN: Rebels - Not Syrian Government - Used Chemical Weapons
Syria chemical weapons allegations could be 'Israeli false flag operation' says former Bush official
U.S. 'planned to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad'
Chemical weapons charade in Syria
Hogwash, Syria won't use chemical WMDs against its people


A finer order of control: Monitoring system to globally track 'false social media claims on dangers of vaccines'

SPURIOUS and unscientific claims about the dangers of vaccines can now be tracked as soon as they appear on social media around the world.

British and American scientists have developed a computerised monitoring system which alerts experts to quickly spreading rumours, outright lies, misinformation, and legitimate public concerns, about vaccinations in 144 countries including Australia.

"Recent measles outbreaks in the UK, stemming from children not-vaccinated due to fears prompted by now-discredited research over a decade ago, is one example of the long-term consequences of broken public trust in vaccines" lead author Heidi Larson, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK, said.

"The Internet has speeded up the global spread of unchecked rumours and misinformation about vaccines and can seriously undermine public confidence, leading to low rates of vaccine uptake and even disease outbreaks.''

Comment: Those at the top are really scared of what people can figure out when they start talking to each other, aren't they?