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Showing posts from January, 2021

Washington’s favorite Venezuelan opposition leader exposes links with Colombian paramilitary and narco networks

While the US and its allies glorify Leopoldo López as a new MLK, the US-backed Venezuelan opposition  collaborates with Colombia’s narco-affiliated, death squad-sponsoring former President Álvaro Uribe.   by Ben Norton   Part 7 - Saving face in photo op with liberal Bogotá mayor   Leopoldo López’s meeting with Álvaro Uribe triggered condemnations from even staunch supporters of the Venezuelan opposition.   The avowedly anti-Chavista Americas director of the billionaire-funded US-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), José Miguel Vivanco, lambasted López for the meeting, calling it a “ grave mistake ” that “ does a lot of damage to his credibility. ”   HRW has spent years heroizing the coup-plotting Venezuelan opposition leader, portraying López as a “ prisoner of conscience ” and “ Venezuela’s most prominent political prisoner ” before he was released in a failed coup attempt on April 30, 2019.  Vivanco is closely allied with far-right forces across Latin America, and has aggressively lob

Assange wins - The cost: the crushing of Press Freedom

by Jonathan Cook   Part 5 - Vilification continues   There is a final lesson from the Assange ruling. The last decade has been about discrediting, disgracing and demonising Assange. This ruling should very much be seen as a continuation of that process. Baraitser has denied extradition only on the grounds of Assange’s mental health and his autism, and the fact that he is a suicide risk. In other words, the principled arguments for freeing Assange have been decisively rejected. If he regains his freedom, it will be solely because he has been characterised as mentally unsound. That will be used to discredit not just Assange, but the cause for which he fought, the Wikileaks organisation he helped to found, and all wider dissidence from establishment narratives. This idea will settle into popular public discourse unless we challenge such a presentation at every turn. Assange’s battle to defend our freedoms, to defend those in far-off lands whom we bomb at will in the promotion of the selfi

The liberal machine tests Americans, confirms major divisions in favor of the capitalist elites

globinfo freexchange   A recent CBS News poll confirms major divisions among the US working class, something that serves perfectly the capitalist elites. One of the most interesting and disturbing findings shows that Americans overwhelmingly believe that the "biggest threat to America's way of life" is "other people in America", by 54%. That is, more than half of the other reasons combined. On the contrary, only 20% believes that "economic forces" are threatening the American way of life and this is a huge disappointment because after all these blatant systemic failures (especially in the last two decades), most Americans are still unable to identify the root of the problem, which is neoliberalism and financial capitalism. We can assume that this picture satisfies the capitalist elites. And that's because it shows that the corporate media are still able to distract Americans from the real problem by dividing them, through the old (and tested numer

Chris Hedges: How Republicans, Democrats, and the media have weakened US Democracy

New Economic Thinking   Renowned journalist and author Chris Hedges talks about the many ways traditional media, digital media, and the two political parties have worked to prevent progressive movements and give rise to the growth of the extreme right. 

New York City workers demand action to defend Hunts Point strikers

Teachers, transit and other workers in New York City denounced Tuesday’s police attack on striking warehouse workers at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx and called for unified action to defend the striking workers and to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in schools and workplaces.   Over 1,400 warehouse and truck drivers walked out on Sunday, January 17, to demand a dollar an hour increase over three years for workers who have suffered more than 400 infections and at least six deaths from the virus. The workers perform backbreaking labor at the world’s largest wholesale food market, where workers handle more than 200 million pounds of food for distribution to grocery stores and restaurants across the region. The market generates $2.3 billion in revenue each year, accounting for approximately 60 percent of produce sales in New York City.  The operators of the produce market, many which received government bailout money, have steadfastly refused to accede to Teamsters

Jan. 6 was an inside job

Empire Files   Abby Martin and Mike Prysner bring you up to date about the DC Capital attack with shocking new and hidden details about the seriousness of the operation, the depths of the inside job, and who from the government may land in prison for it (including Trump).  Brian Becker, host of The Socialist Program podcast, joins the conversation with deep analysis about the intervention of the imperialist power structure and the reality of the fascist threat. 

May 2020 picks

It has started: Greece becomes the blueprint for the 21st century corporate feudalism UBI ... just only to save their capitalism until the next Dark Ages The neoliberal machine mocks Millennials and Gen Xers through a documentary about Bernie's awful mistreatment by the corporate media! The Slow News movement: an answer to Fake News?   When the US imperialist machine is using controversial books to build its propaganda    It has started: Spain decides permanent UBI for its citizens

Even if Assange’s death isn’t the goal of the US and UK, everything they’re doing makes it more likely

by Jonathan Cook   Part 3 - Then, a perverse ruling   Her ruling, while deeply disturbing in its political and legal implications, did at least suggest that Baraitser was ready to take a compassionate approach in regard to Assange’s health, even if not his journalistic exposure of western war crimes. He should have walked free there and then, had the US not immediately said it would appeal her decision. Given Assange’s discharge by Baraitser, his team hoped that bail – his release from a high-security prison while the lengthy appeals process unfolds – would prove a formality. They hurried to make such an application after the extradition ruling on Monday, assuming that the legal logic of her decision dictated his release. Baraitser demurred, suggesting that they prepare their case and make it to her more fully on Wednesday. It now seems clear the judge manipulated Assange’s defence team. Apparently like Assange’s lawyers, former British ambassador Craig Murray, who has attended and rep

UK judge justifies CIA spying on Assange citing debunked CNN report based on… CIA spying

UK judge Vanessa Baraitser justified CIA spying on Julian Assange by citing a falsehood-filled CNN report. Her judgment highlighted corporate media’s enthusiastic role in a state-sponsored assault on press freedom.   by Ben Norton   Part 3 - CNN’s source: Untrustworthy, paranoid CIA-backed security firm   A closer look at the CNN article cited by Baraitser reveals it rests on a shoddy foundation. Published in July 2019, the CNN story was part of a larger, politically motivated campaign conceived by the US intelligence apparatus and embittered former Hillary Clinton aides that sought to portray Assange, WikiLeaks, and other political rivals as nefarious tools of the Kremlin. Co-authored by Arturo Torres Ramirez, the right-wing anti-Assange and anti-Correa Ecuadorian activist whose work has been supported by organizations funded by the US State Department and British government, the CNN article is based on exclusive access to hundreds of surveillance reports compiled by the Spanish secur

Antisemitism claims mask a reign of political and cultural terror across Europe

by Jonathan Cook   Part 8 - The Antisemitism Industry   It is worth noting the shared features of the new Antisemitism Industry and Finkelstein’s earlier discussions of the Holocaust Industry. In his book, Finkelstein identifies the “wrong Jews” as people like his mother, who survived a Nazi death camp as the rest of her family perished. These surviving Jews, Finkelstein argues, were valued by the Holocaust Industry only in so far as they served as a promotional tool for the Jewish establishment to accumulate more wealth and cultural and political status. Otherwise, the victims were ignored because the actual Holocaust’s message – in contrast to the Jewish leadership’s representation of it – was universal: that we must oppose and fight all forms of racism because they lead to persecution and genocide. Instead the Holocaust Industry promoted a particularist, self-interested lesson that the Holocaust proves Jews are uniquely oppressed and that they therefore deserve a unique solution: a

Washington’s favorite Venezuelan opposition leader exposes links with Colombian paramilitary and narco networks

While the US and its allies glorify Leopoldo López as a new MLK, the US-backed Venezuelan opposition  collaborates with Colombia’s narco-affiliated, death squad-sponsoring former President Álvaro Uribe.   by Ben Norton   Part 6 - Leopoldo López meets with narco-linked President Iván Duque   Colombia’s current president, Iván Duque Márquez, is Álvaro Uribe’s handpicked successor, and follows in his far-right footsteps. Like Uribe, Duque is linked to drug traffickers and organized crime networks in the country. Since he came to office in a deeply contested election in 2018, in which he was credibly accused of fraud, Colombian journalists have exposed Duque’s ties to a notorious drug lord named José Guillermo “Ñeñe” Hernández. Ñeñe Hernández was an extremely wealthy rancher involved in the drug trade, who used his illicit money to fund right-wing politicians. A leaked recording exposed that Duque used under-the-table funding from Ñeñe in order to bribe Colombians and buy votes in the 2018

Assange wins - The cost: the crushing of Press Freedom

by Jonathan Cook   Part 4 - Journalism as espionage   Significantly, Judge Baraitser backed all the Trump administration’s main legal arguments for extradition, even though they were comprehensively demolished by Assange’s lawyers. Baraitser accepted the US government’s dangerous new definition of investigative journalism as “espionage”, and implied that Assange had also broken Britain’s draconian Official Secrets Act in exposing government war crimes. She agreed that the 2007 Extradition Treaty applies in Assange’s case, ignoring the treaty’s actual words that exempt political cases like his. She thereby opened the door for other journalists to be seized in their home countries and renditioned to the US. Baraitser accepted that protecting sources in the digital age – as Assange did for whistleblower Chelsea Manning, an essential obligation on journalists in a free society – now amounts to criminal “ hacking ”. She trashed free speech and press freedom rights, saying they did not provi

The real reason corporate America fights Chinese high-tech giant Huawei so hard

globinfo freexchange   The short answer that comes immediately in mind is: competition.    Indeed, Huawei had been found frequently at the epicenter of Trump's "holly" trade war against China. Someone should expect this since Silicon Valley oligarchs see the Chinese high-tech giant rapidly penetrate into the global market, claiming bigger and bigger portion of the market pie.   As we reported previously, the US imperialist machine openly called Western allies (and particularly the UK), to sabotage China's economic and technological penetration in its Western sphere of influence, through a Foreign Policy article. According to the article, the UK appears to be the most suitable, among the US allies, to lead the race against China's 5G infrastructure deals with Western countries. In essence, it called the UK to play a leading role in sabotaging China's and Huawei's deals with the UK itself and other Western countries.   Also, according to MintPress , &

US blocks humanitarian aid to Yemen as millions starve

The Grayzone   Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks to Rune Agerhus, General Director of the Yemen Solidarity Council, about the Trump Administration's recent decision to classify the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization.    In response to the decision, the Yemen Solidarity Council announced it would cease operations in the United States, while other international aid groups have denounced the move as the deliberate criminalization of humanitarian work.    Agerhus explains why the designation makes it difficult for aid organizations to provide humanitarian relief to Yemen while providing historic context on the rise of the Houthi movement as well as Saudi Arabia's geopolitical interests in the country. 

UN expert: crippling US sanctions on Syria are illegal and hurting civilians

The Grayzone   An independent United Nations expert is calling on the US to lift its crippling sanctions on Syria. Under the Caesar Act, US sanctions explicitly target Syria's reconstruction in the aftermath of a catastrophic 10-year war. Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on the impact of sanctions, says that the US sanctions are illegal and depriving Syrian civilians of their basic needs.  " People shouldn't die, people shouldn't suffer, and people shouldn't fear whether they can survive after tomorrow, because they have neither medicine or food, because of the sanctions applied, " Douhan says.

Apr 2020 picks

April 1st 1957: the day Western mainstream media officially became masters of propaganda through a seemingly innocent April Fools' Day joke    Varoufakis claims that the innermost circle of the Greek PM owns shares of vulture funds connected with the non-performing loans of Greek banks   COVID-19 demonstrates that capitalism has outrun its historical tolerability      As Bernie drops nomination, progressives are left with only one political option: the Green Party    Biden's lame attempt to lure Bernie supporters fails miserably    How Bernie Sanders could still become president    We have come now to the point where an entire class of society has been designated "expendable"   Best evidence so far for the fact that Biden would start a war with Iran, just like Trump   

This could be the end for the GOP forever

The Hill   Saagar Enjeti analyzes columnist, Ross Douthat's, article in The New York Times titled, "How the Republican Party Could Break".  

Even if Assange’s death isn’t the goal of the US and UK, everything they’re doing makes it more likely

by Jonathan Cook   Part 2 - First, a dangerous ruling   So it was barely surprising, as I explained in my previous story, that, while denying the extradition claim, she supported all the arguments advanced by the US accruing to itself the right to prosecute Assange – and any other journalist – for the crime of doing journalism. She ignored the facts, the expert testimony presented in court and the legal arguments – all of which favoured Assange – and backed instead what amounted to a purely political case made by the US. She disregarded warnings from Assange’s legal team that acceptance of the political rationale for extradition amounted to an all-out attack on fundamental journalistic freedoms.    She established a terrifying legal precedent for the US to seize foreign journalists and prosecute them for “espionage” if they expose Washington’s crimes. Her ruling will inevitably have a profoundly chilling effect on any publication trying to dig out the truth about the US national-securi

UK judge justifies CIA spying on Assange citing debunked CNN report based on… CIA spying

UK judge Vanessa Baraitser justified CIA spying on Julian Assange by citing a falsehood-filled CNN report. Her judgment highlighted corporate media’s enthusiastic role in a state-sponsored assault on press freedom.   by Ben Norton   Part 2 - UK judge casts doubt on US spying on Assange while simultaneously justifying it   The Grayzone has published several investigations into the US government spying operation that targeted Julian Assange when he was trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy. The Spanish company hired by Ecuador to provide security, UC Global, was secretly working with the CIA, providing the US spy agency with 24/7 video and audio surveillance that covered almost every inch of the diplomatic building, including even the women’s bathroom. Max Blumenthal demonstrated that the CIA presided over this illegal spying ring with the help of a company owned by billionaire Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of President Donald Trump and former CIA Director and Secretar

Antisemitism claims mask a reign of political and cultural terror across Europe

by Jonathan Cook   Part 7 - Boy who cried wolf   The Haaretz article helps to contextualise Europe’s current antisemitism “witch-hunt”, which targets anyone who criticises Israel or stands in solidarity with oppressed Palestinians, or associates with such people. It is an expansion of the earlier campaign by the Jewish establishment against “the wrong kind of Jew”, as identified by Finkelstein in The Holocaust Industry . But this time Jewish organisations are playing a much higher-stakes, and more dangerous, political game. Haaretz rightly fears that the Jewish leadership in Europe is not only silencing ordinary Jews but degrading the meaning – the shock value – of antisemitism through the very act of politicising it.     Jewish organisations risk alienating the European left, which has historically stood with them against Jew hatred from the right. European anti-racists suddenly find themselves equated with, and smeared as, fledgling neo-Nazis. If those who support human rights and

Washington’s favorite Venezuelan opposition leader exposes links with Colombian paramilitary and narco networks

While the US and its allies glorify Leopoldo López as a new MLK, the US-backed Venezuelan opposition  collaborates with Colombia’s narco-affiliated, death squad-sponsoring former President Álvaro Uribe.   by Ben Norton   Part 5 - Leopoldo López meets with Colombia’s Álvaro Uribe, friend of drug cartels and death squads   But the photo op in Cúcuta was just the beginning of Leopoldo López’s PR campaign in Colombia. On December 15, López tweeted a photo of himself with far-right former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Uribe is the most powerful politician in Colombia, the beneficiary of extensive and well-documented links to the drug cartels and death squads that hold sway in the country. In 2018, the National Security Archive released declassified US State Department cables that showed Washington was aware its favorite ally in Bogotá had collaborated for decades with drug traffickers and paramilitaries, using cocaine money to fund his political campaigns. A 2018 New York Times investigati

Assange wins - The cost: the crushing of Press Freedom

by Jonathan Cook   Part 3 - Rejected on a technicality   But aside from what is a potential personal victory for Assange, assuming he doesn’t lose on appeal, we should be deeply worried by the legal arguments Baraitser advanced in denying extradition. The US demand for extradition was rejected on what was effectively a technicality. The US mass incarceration system is so obviously barbaric and depraved that, it was shown conclusively by experts at the hearings back in September, Assange would be at grave risk of committing suicide should he become another victim of its super-max jails. One should not also discard another of the British establishment’s likely considerations: that in a few days Donald Trump will be gone from the White House and a new US administration will take his place. There is no reason to be sentimental about president-elect Joe Biden. He is a big fan of mass incarceration too, and he will be no more of a friend to dissident media, whistleblowers and journalism that

Non-MAGA activists caught in social media war as Twitter begins purge

Almost immediately after the Twitter purge began, a number of non-Trump accounts began to face lock outs, suspensions, and even deletions.   by Alan Macleod  Few could have predicted the huge fallout from the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C. that saw the president of the United States banned from virtually every social media platform, including his favorite, Twitter.  In solidarity with Trump, tens of thousands of conservative users appear to be deleting their accounts and moving over to pro-Trump Twitter clone Parler. Celebrities, politicians, and social media figures — particularly conservative ones — have registered losing tens of thousands of followers in a matter of hours. Twitter’s share price plunged by 7% this morning, knocking around $2.5 billion off its market value in one fell swoop.  While the massive publicity generated would normally be positive news for Parler, which brands itself as a “free speech app,” it seems to have suffered a far worse fate than Twitter. Th

Glenn Greenwald: Why Julian Assange should be released from prison IMMEDIATELY

The Hill   Journalist, Glenn Greenwald, discusses Julian Assange's situation in the U.K. and argues that he should be released from prison. 

UN torture expert on Julian Assange's persecution and the lies behind it

The Grayzone   A UK judge has rejected a US attempt to extradite Julian Assange, citing the Wikileaks founder's risk of suicide and the poor conditions of US prisons. But Judge Vanessa Baraitser accepted the basis for the US government's espionage case against Assange and ruled against releasing him on bail.  Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, discusses the longstanding persecution of Assange and the lies that have been used to justify it to the public. Melzer, who has visited Assange in prison, has played a critical role in exposing the deception surrounding Assange's initial Sweden extradition case. " Based on 20 years of experiences of visiting prisoners, many of whom are being exposed to to extremely severe conditions including ill treatment, it is a miracle that this man is still alive, " Melzer says.

Mar 2020 picks

 Bernie's most powerful secret weapon is not Latinos   Super Tuesday top conspiracy scenario involves Trump fanatics voting for Biden!    WikiLeaks 2016 Democratic primaries flashback: Top LGBT donors were expressing concerns to the DNC about the fact that the Dems could lose the millennial vote in the absence of Bernie Sanders    It's actually the liberal elites that are now on the ropes, not Bernie Sanders   EuroLeaks: Yanis Varoufakis and DiEM25 to release all the recordings from eurogroup containing the blackmails against Greece in 2015   As coronavirus destroys free market fundamentalists' doctrine, the choice between Sanders and Biden becomes even more clear   COVID-19 came to confirm that UBI alone won't solve the problem - capitalism must end now!    Capitalism evolves into a giant clusterfuck    Gabbard didn't say the only thing that could probably justify her endorsement for Biden, and Bernie shouldn't make the same mistake again   WikiLeaks - Secret C

Pro-Trump capitalists fire the first serious warning shot in Capitol

globinfo freexchange In June, 2020, we wrote that, the whole picture indicates that all these far-right militia groups together with a significant part the US police force are forming a loony army of Trump defenders, driven by racism, ultra-conservative ideas and far-right extreme conspiracy theories. These fanatics have become so loyal to their leader - who happens to be the President of the United States - that they will do whatever it takes to see him in charge for another four years. As Trump's popularity has taken a downturn, his "brigades" are ready to take action in case he loses November's election. Especially if he loses marginally. Previously, we explained that, what we see now in the United States with Trump, is a counter-attack by the part of the American capital against the globalist faction. The faction that is primarily consisted by the liberal plutocracy . Therefore, as the capitalist class splits, the capitalists around Trump are now taking with the