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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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"Russian bots" - How the anti-Russian lobby creates fake news

Russian bot
© Russian bot with ancient regalia
The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of an algorithm they do not want to understand and which is known to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:

Comment: At what point do we call this 'Russian bot' nonsense what it is, an attempt at sowing divisiveness in order to subvert democracy in America.


Attention

How the CIA and its Qatari partners helped create Syria's Jabhat al Nusra

Jabhat al-Nusra

Jabhat al-Nusra

A recent interview given by: an 'anonymous' Qatari security official, has shed further light on CIA-led covert arms shipments to militants fighting in Syria. In this Reuters article, the security official and several 'anonymous' rebel Commanders confirm that Qatar has "tightened coordination of arms flows [plural] to Syria," under alleged concern of weapons ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda linked Islamic extremist militants; the very militants as noted previously, that have continually formed the spearhead of the insurgency against the Syrian Government:
"Rebel fighters in Syria say that in recent months the system for distributing arms has become more centralized, with arms being delivered through opposition National Coalition's General Command, led by Selim Idriss, a general who defected to the opposition and is a favorite of Washington."(my emphasis)
What has been long confirmed by 'official sources' in the mainstream press, is that these arms shipments commenced in at least "early 2012″. We can be sure, as with the majority of the official timeline, that leeway has been given in these statements: its highly likely smaller arms shipments/smuggling into Syria started much earlier. Statements from eyewitnesses in Libya confirm that arms shipments from the port of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group stronghold Misrata, commenced rapidly after the fall of Gaddafi. Sibel Edmonds also reported in November 2011, long before any corporate media revealed, that the CIA, along with its Turkish and NATO counterparts had been working from the "nerve centre" at the joint US-Turkish air-base in Incerlik, Turkey, since April/May of 2011, coordinating 'rebel' elements and 'activist's'. Edmonds posits the likely theory that this was one of the initial staging grounds used by the CIA and its regional partners, to smuggle weapons, fighters and materiel into Syria as the insurgency took hold.

Comment: See also:


Attention

Iranian official warns Israel: Tehran's retaliation will 'level Tel Aviv to the ground'

beach in Israel
© Jack Guez / AFP
Israel's capital will be leveled "to the ground" by an immediate retaliatory strike if Benjamin Netanyahu follows through on his threat to attack the Islamic Republic, an Iranian politician has threatened.

Waving a piece of an Iranian drone, allegedly downed over northern Israel last week, the Israeli Prime Minister last Sunday warned Tehran against testing Israel's resolve. "We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act if necessary not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself," Benjamin Netanyahu said at the Munich Security Conference, after Israeli forces conducted a massive cross-border intrusion into Syria to strike Iranian targets.

Comment: What's so afraid of? They have plenty of illegal nukes.


Magnify

Russiagate suddenly becomes bigger with Mueller indictments

Robert Mueller


Will every critic of our government policies soon be indictable?


It's hard to know where to begin. Last Friday's indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was detailed in a 37 page document that provided a great deal of specific evidence claiming that a company based in St. Petersburg, starting in 2014, was using social media to assess American attitudes. Using that assessment, the company inter alia allegedly later ran a clandestine operation seeking to influence opinion in the United States regarding the candidates in the 2016 election in which it favored Donald Trump and denigrated Hillary Clinton. The Russians identified by name are all back in Russia and cannot be extradited to the U.S., so the indictment is, to a certain extent, political theater as the accused's defense will never be heard.

In presenting the document, Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, stressed that there was no evidence to suggest that the alleged Russian activity actually changed the result of the 2016 presidential election or that any actual votes were altered or tampered with. Nor was there any direct link to either the Russian government or its officials or to the Donald Trump campaign developed as a result of the nine-month long investigation. There was also lacking any mention in the indictment of the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton and Podesta e-mails, so it is to be presumed that the activity described in the document was unrelated to the WikiLeaks disclosures.

Those of the "okay, there's smoke but where's the fire" school of thought immediately noted the significant elephant in the room, namely that the document did not include any suggestion that there had been collusion between Team Trump and Moscow. As that narrative has become the very raison d'etre driving the Mueller investigation, its omission is noteworthy. Meanwhile, those who see more substance in what was revealed by the evidence provided in the indictment and who, for political reasons, would like to see Trump damaged, will surely be encouraged by their belief that the noose is tightening around the president.

Comment: Too little evidence for too small of a crime that has no connection to either the Russian government nor the Trump administration. Yet America is in the grip of hysteria:


Snakes in Suits

Fmr US ambassador to Russia says American meddling is bad, but Russia's is worse

Michael McFaul
© Maxim Shemetov / Reuters
US ambassador Michael McFaul leaving the Russian Foreign Ministry
In a fierce Twitter skirmish, former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has tried to explain the evil of Russia's "election meddling." Turns out, it's all about definitions.

McFaul has been an active tweeter since his return from Moscow - an active Putin critic, mostly. He frequently engages with his 280,000-strong audience, defending his posts in both Russian and English.

This time, the point of contention was, of course, the meddling of certain world powers in the domestic affairs of others. McFaul's followers gave him a hard time, demanding an explanation as to why the alleged "Russian interference" in the 2016 US presidential election is so different - and so much more damnable - compared to what America has been doing for at least the past half-century.

Bad Guys

Veteran CIA officer Kevin Shipp exposes the 'Shadow Government' (VIDEO)

Kevin Shipp
Kevin Shipp, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, intelligence and counter terrorism expert, held several high-level positions in the CIA. His assignments included protective agent for the Director of the CIA, counterintelligence investigator searching for moles inside the CIA, overseas counter terrorism operations officer, internal security investigator, assistant team leader for the antiterrorism tactical assault team, chief of training for the CIA federal police force and polygraph examiner.

Mr. Shipp was the senior program manager for the Department of State, Diplomatic Security, Anti-Terrorism Assistance global police training program. He is the recipient of two CIA Meritorious Unit Citations, three Exceptional Performance Awards and a Medallion for high risk overseas operations.

Bad Guys

The new Idiocracy consensus is that Russia committed an "act of war" on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11 - should the US respond accordingly?

Vladimir Putin Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin enters a hall before a meeting of the Victory Organizing Committee at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 17, 2015.
In the wake of last week's indictments alleging that 13 Russian nationals and entities created fake social media accounts and sponsored political events to sow political discord in the U.S., something of a consensus has arisen in the political and media class (with some notable exceptions) that these actions not only constitute an "act of war" against the U.S., but one so grave that it is tantamount to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Indeed, that Russia's alleged "meddling" is comparable to the two most devastating attacks in U.S. history has, overnight, become a virtual cliché.

The claim that Russian meddling in the election is "an act of war" comparable to these events isn't brand new. Senators from both parties, such as Republican John McCain and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, have long described Russian meddling in 2016 as an "act of war." Hillary Clinton, while promoting her book last October, described Russia's alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta's email inbox as a "cyber 9/11." And last February, the always war-hungry Tom Friedman of the New York Times said on "Morning Joe" that Russian hacking "was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event."

But the last few days have ushered in an explosion of this rhetoric from politicians and journalists alike. On Friday night's Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, two separate guests - Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler and longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines - posited Pearl Harbor as the "equivalent" of Russian meddling, provoking a shocked reaction from Hayes:


Comment: See also Pat Buchanan's Hysteria: Is that Russia troll farm an act of war?


Magic Hat

Another misleading Mueller indictment: "Russian meddling" turns out to be a commercial marketing scheme - and nothing more

Mueller
Yesterday the U.S. Justice Department indicted the Russian Internet Research Agency on some dubious legal grounds. It covers thirteen Russian people and three Russian legal entities. The main count of the indictment is an alleged "Conspiracy to Defraud the United States".

The published indictment gives support to our long held believe that there was no "Russian influence" campaign during the U.S. election. What is described and denounced as such was instead a commercial marketing scheme which ran click-bait websites to generate advertisement revenue and created online crowds around virtual persona to promote whatever its commercial customers wanted to promote. The size of the operation was tiny when compared to the hundreds of millions in campaign expenditures. It had no influence on the election outcome.

The indictment is fodder for the public to prove that the Mueller investigation is "doing something". It distracts from further questioning the origin of the Steele dossier. It is full of unproven assertions and assumptions. It is a sham in that none of the Russian persons or companies indicted will ever come in front of a U.S. court. That is bad because the indictment is build on the theory of a new crime which, unless a court throws it out, can be used to incriminate other people in other cases and might even apply to this blog. The later part of this post will refer to that.

Comment: Mueller and Co. are desperate - desparate to find anything at all 'Russian' that they can accuse, prosecute and punish for "meddling" in the hopes that the American public will buy the narrative and not look too closely at what the all-important details are.
The only real act of criminality is on the part of bought-and-paid-for political assassin Mueller himself - who would see Russia be made out to be an enemy and the American people mobilized to want blood when they should be seeking friendship.


Alarm Clock

Hysteria: Is that Russia troll farm an act of war?

james woolsey
© Win McNamee/Getty Images
Former CIA director James Woolsey
According to the indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Russian trolls, operating out of St. Petersburg, took American identities on social media and became players in our 2016 election.

On divisive racial and religious issues, the trolls took both sides. In the presidential election, the trolls favored Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Donald Trump, and almost never Hillary Clinton.

One imaginative Russian troll urged Trumpsters to dress up a female volunteer in an orange prison jump suit, put her in a cage on a flatbed truck, then append the slogan, "Lock Her Up!"

How grave a matter is this?

This Russian troll farm is "the equivalent (of) Pearl Harbor," says Cong. Jerrold Nadler, who would head up the House Judiciary Committee, handling any impeachment, if Democrats retake the House.

Comment: Here is ex-CIA director James Woolsey laughing at the US messing around in elections around the world:




Snakes in Suits

Bought and paid for? Westminster councillor received lavish gifts and hospitality 514 times in 3 years

Robert Davis at the 2017 RHS Chelsea flower show.
© Alamy Stock Photo
Golden ticket? Robert Davis at the 2017 RHS Chelsea flower show.
Westminster city council's deputy leader has emerged as a contender for the title of the most schmoozed politician in Britain, receiving entertainment, meals and gifts more than 500 times in the last three years.

From tickets to the hottest West End shows to exclusive dinners in London's finest restaurants and trips to the south of France, the official declarations reveal an extraordinary lifestyle that included one day in Mallorca, when Robert Davis managed two lunches, the first at the home of Andrew Lloyd Webber and the second at the home of the Earl of Chichester.

Davis, the Conservative deputy leader of the central London borough and until last year the chairman of its powerful planning committee, was entertained by and received gifts from property industry figures at least 150 times since the start of 2015 - a rate of almost once a week.

Comment: Our elected officials have time and time again proven themselves untrustworthy, so while a meeting with property developers needn't necessarily be a suspicious activity, one can't help but wonder why the councillor wasn't able to meet them on neutral ground in a recorded meeting where his constituents would be privy to the minutes: