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Showing posts from May, 2019

Julian Assange is reportedly gravely ill, and hardly anyone’s talking about it

Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer Per Samuelson has told the press that “Assange’s health situation on Friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.

This jarring revelation has been reported by a small handful of outlets, but only as an aside in relation to Sweden refusing Samuelson’s request for a postponement of a scheduled hearing regarding Assange’s detention en absentia for a preliminary investigation of rape allegations.

The fact that the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder is so ill that he can’t converse lucidly is itself far more significant than the postponement refusal, yet headlines mentioning Samuelson’s statement focus on the Swedish case, de-emphasizing the startling news from his lawyer.
[...]
A report that Julian Assange was so sick he could barely speak all the way back on Friday and we still have no news about how he’s doing now should be hugely significant for everyone who cares about Assange, press freedom, government transparency or…

Juan Guaidó hired the economic hit man who worked against Greece

globinfo freexchange

The decision of the Venezuelan coup plotter, Juan Guaidó, to hire debt guru Lee Buchheit, shouldn't surprise us. But it would be interesting to check out the role of Buchheit on the devastating haircut program of the Greek bonds (PSI) in 2012.
The PSI case has closed permanently after the program essentially destroyed the Greek insurance funds and transferred the Greek debt from the Greek law to the English law. This was something that put further barriers against debt restructure. Furthermore, PSI severely damaged the ability of a healthy internal lending, as the Greek bond holders have lost permanently their trust on the Greek state. They lost heavily from the PSI haircut.
Buchheit is generally considered the architect of the Greek haircut, which is not a very honorable feature. Especially for the man who prefers to present himself as the Robin Hood of the poor and heavily indebted countries.
The American lawyer is frequently characterized by the internation…

Microsoft’s ElectionGuard a Trojan Horse for a military-industrial takeover of US elections

“The fact that we are handing over the keys of American democracy to the military-industrial complex — it’s like giving the keys to the henhouse to a fox and saying, ‘here come in and take whatever you want.’ It’s obviously dangerous.” — Investigative journalist Yasha Levine
by Whitney Webb 
Part 1
Earlier this month, tech giant Microsoft announced its solution to “protect” American elections from interference, which it has named “ElectionGuard.” The election technology is already set to be adopted by half of voting machine manufacturers and some state governments for the 2020 general election. Though it has been heavily promoted by the mainstream media in recent weeks, none of those reports have disclosed that ElectionGuard has several glaring conflicts of interest that greatly undermine its claim aimed at protecting U.S. democracy.

In this investigation, MintPress will reveal how ElectionGuard was developed by companies with deep ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities a…

Tide of public opinion is turning in Assange’s favor

Corporate media & some politicos who opposed Assange after the 2016 election have radically changed their tune, favorably influencing public opinion after the Espionage Act indictment of the WikiLeak‘s founder, reports Joe Lauria.

by Joe Lauria
The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act has profoundly affected press coverage of the WikiLeaks founder, with much of the media turning suddenly and decisively in his favor after  years of vilifying him.

The sharp change has also come from some politicians, and significantly, from two Justice Department prosecutors who went public to express their dissent about using the Espionage Act to indict Assange.

To the extent that public opinion matters, the sea-change in coverage could have an effect on the British or Swedish governments’ decision to extradite Assange to the United States to face the charges. 
Part 2 - ‘Profoundly Disturbing’
Former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger wrote: 
I find the Trump administration’s use of th…

How the West’s war in Libya spurred terrorism in 14 countries

The first to suffer was Syria and since then the gruesome effects have been spreading in the region and beyond, to Africans and Europeans, writes Mark Curtis.  

by Mark Curtis 
Part 3 - Libya’s Neighbors
Tunisia suffered its deadliest terrorist attack in 2015 when a 23-year-old Tunisian armed with a machine gun mowed down 38 tourists, mainly Britons, at a beach hotel in the resort of Port El Kantaoui. The perpetrator was reportedly an adherent of IS and, like Salman Abedi, had been trained in the camp complex at Sabratha from where the attack was staged.
Libya’s eastern neighbor, Egypt, has also been struck by terrorism emanating from the country.

IS officials in Libya have been linked to, and may have directed, the activities of Wilayat Sinai, the terrorist group formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has carried out several deadly attacks in Egypt. After the fall of Gaddafi, the Western Desert became a corridor for the smuggling of weapons and operatives on their way to the …

Newly released FBI docs shed light on apparent Mossad foreknowledge of 9/11 attacks

New information released by the FBI has brought fresh scrutiny to the possibility that the “Dancing Israelis,” at least two of whom were known Mossad operatives, had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
by Whitney Webb
Part 4 - A crowded dance floor
While the case of the “Dancing Israelis” has long been treated as an outlier in the aftermath of September 11, what is often overlooked is the fact that hundreds of Israeli nationals were arrested in the aftermath of the attacks.

According to a FOX News report from December 2001, 60 Israelis were apprehended or detained after September 11, with most deported, and a total of 140 Israelis were arrested and detained in all of 2001 by federal authorities. That report claimed that the arrests, ostensibly including the “Dancing Israelis,” were in relation to an investigation of “an organized [Israeli] intelligence gathering operation designed to ‘penetrate government facilities.’

The report also added that most of those arres…

Who’s behind the pro-Guaidó crowd besieging Venezuela’s D.C. embassy?

The intimidation tactics by the pro-coup embassy besiegers not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob.

by Jeb Sprague and Alexander Rubinstein 

Part 4 - The D.C. regime-change crew
Besides the marketing strategists, a number of well-connected Venezuelan exiles and diaspora members from the D.C. area have mobilized alongside some demonstrably violent figures each day outside the embassy.

One pro-coup activist seen on embassy grounds is Emerson Hevia, a Senior Principal Architect at the arms manufacturer Raytheon. The company is considered one of the biggest war profiteers in human history. 
Also present at the protests has been Moises Rendon, a fellow at the hawkish Center for Strategic and International Studies. Backed by NATO, defense contractors, and Gulf monarchies, this D.C.…

The propaganda multiplier - how global news agencies and Western media report on geopolitics

This study by Swiss Propaganda Research was first published in 2016, it is presented by off-guardian.org in English for the first time. Translated by Terje Maloy.
It is one of the most important aspects of our media system – and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.
The key role played by these agencies means that Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.
A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favor of the US and NATO intervention, while propaganda wa…

Οι λούμπεν μικροαστοί είναι έτοιμοι να επιλέξουν τον δήμιο τους που αποτελεί και την καλύτερη εφεδρεία για τους γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών

του system failure
Το πρόσφατο αποτέλεσμα των ευρωεκλογών δείχνει ότι το νεοφιλελεύθερο ιερατείο Βρυξελλών/Βερολίνου θεωρεί ότι έφτασε η ώρα να αντικατασταθεί ο Αλέξης Τσίπρας με την καλύτερη εφεδρεία του: τον Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη. 
Πράγματι, οι προβλέψεις φαίνεται να επαληθεύονται εντυπωσιακά. Όπως είχαμε αναφέρει σε προηγούμενο άρθρο ήδη από το 2016 και αμέσως μετά την εκλογή Μητσοτάκη στην ηγεσία της ΝΔ, τα αποτελέσματα των εκλογών στη ΝΔ λύνουν τα χέρια του άξονα Βρυξελλών-Βερολίνου. Οι γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών και το διευθυντήριο του Βερολίνου έχουν τώρα μια πρώτης τάξεως εφεδρεία σε περίπτωση που τα πράγματα "στραβώσουν" με την σημερινή κυβέρνηση.  
Ήδη, η κυβέρνηση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ έδωσε κάποια μικρά σημάδια ανυπακοής ενάντια στη λιτότητα που επιβάλλει το ιερατείο, ρέποντας 'επικίνδυνα' προς μια πιο φιλολαϊκή πολιτική. Δεν είναι τυχαίο φυσικά ότι τα πρώτα αυτά σημάδια άρχισαν να γίνονται ορατά μόλις η χώρα βγήκε από το πρόγραμμα επιτήρησης που επέβαλε η Τρό…

Fake progressives Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker want more war

While the Donald Trump administration is threatening two new wars on Iran and Venezuela, a substantial majority of the US Congress is clamoring for more immediate action.

Nearly 400 Congress members from both chambers — roughly 75 percent of all federal US lawmakers — have signed an open letter calling on President Trump to escalate the war in Syria, in the name of countering Iran, Russia, and Lebanese Hezbollah.
Top Democratic Party leaders have joined hawkish Republicans in a bipartisan demand that the far-right president “address threats in Syria” and “demonstrate American leadership in resolving the prolonged conflict.

They hope to do this through more US intervention, implementing a three-pronged “Syria strategy”: one, “augment our support” for Israel and maintain its “qualitative military edge”; two, “increase pressure on Iran and Russia”; and, three, “increase pressure on Hezbollah.” 
While the letter stops short of openly requesting more American troops inside Syria, it clea…

Trump's charges against Assange are historic attack on press freedoms - media and Obama helped set the stage

WikiLeaks publisher and political prisoner Julian Assange is facing 17 charges under the United States Espionage Act — a draconian law that was written during World War I to imprison leftists who spoke out against the mass slaughter.

How fitting, then, that 100 years later, this same ruthless statute is being used to muzzle the man who has done more than any other person alive to expose the misdeeds of the US national security state. 
In its relentless assault on civil liberties, the Donald Trump administration has the dubious distinction of breaking two records at once: Indicting a journalist under the Espionage Act for the first time, and indicting a non-US citizen.

It is far from hyperbole to say that the US government’s campaign against Julian Assange is one of the gravest threats to press freedoms in modern history.

This is madness,” wrote Wikileaks in response to the news of the indictment. “It is the end of national security journalism and the first amendment.
The United Nat…

Ευρωεκλογές: Η άκρα δεξιά να ευχαριστήσει την «αριστερά της σαμπάνιας»

του Άρη Χατζητεφάνου
Το αποτέλεσμα των ευρωεκλογών στη Μεγάλη Βρετανία, όπου ο ακροδεξιός Νάιτζελ Φάρατζ σάρωσε τις παραδοσιακές πολιτικές δυνάμεις με το κόμμα του Brexit, συμβολίζει το έγκλημα που πραγματοποίησε η φιλο-ΕΕ σε αρκετές χώρες της Ευρώπης.

Τα πρώτα αποτελέσματα δείχνουν ότι το Brexit του Φάρατζ θα συγκεντρώσει τα υψηλότερα ποσοστά που έχει γνωρίζει βρετανικός πολιτικός σχηματισμός σε ευρωεκλογές από το 1994.
Με το δημοψήφισμα οι Βρετανοί ζήτησαν με σαφήνεια την αποχώρηση της χώρας από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Παρά τα εθνικιστικά στοιχεία που έπαιξαν σημαντικό ρόλο σε αυτό το αποτέλεσμα, η ψήφος ήταν στη βάση της ταξική. Η πλειονότητα του πληθυσμού, σε μια χώρα που γνωρίζει καθημερινά σημάδια ακραίας φτώχειας,  καταδίκασε τα νεοφιλελεύθερα χαρακτηριστικά που εκπροσωπεί η ΕΕ.

Η φιλελεύθερη αριστερά του Λονδίνου, όμως, αμφισβήτησε τη λαϊκή εντολή με ακραία αντιδημοκρατικές απόψεις. Στη ρητορική τους ήταν εμφανή στοιχεία που θα περίμενε να ακούσει κανείς από την αριστοκρατία προη…

Leaked OPCW report suggests Syria gas attack was ‘staged,’ MIT scientist says

Renowned MIT scientist Theodore Postol says a newly leaked OPCW report shows the supposed 2018 gas attack in Douma, Syria was “staged,” undermining the case for US strikes on the Syrian government.

by Aaron Maté 

A newly leaked OPCW assessment challenges the claim that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018. Award-winning scientist and MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol says the report shows the gas attack was “staged,” and undermines the case for the US strikes that followed.
The evidence is overwhelming that the gas attacks were staged,” Postol said in an interview with The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté.

Postol continued: “If I were advising somebody, as I did when I was in the Pentagon, I advised the chief of naval operations, and part of my job was to take technically detailed analysis and translate it into information that could be readily understood by an intelligent non-expert, so if I were briefing the chief on this particular document, I…

Professional Assange smearers finally realize his fate is tied to theirs

Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

Yes, that Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents. 
And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said. “It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.
By charging Assange for publishin…

Tide of public opinion is turning in Assange’s favor

Corporate media & some politicos who opposed Assange after the 2016 election have radically changed their tune, favorably influencing public opinion after the Espionage Act indictment of the WikiLeak‘s founder, reports Joe Lauria.

by Joe Lauria
The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act has profoundly affected press coverage of the WikiLeaks founder, with much of the media turning suddenly and decisively in his favor after  years of vilifying him.

The sharp change has also come from some politicians, and significantly, from two Justice Department prosecutors who went public to express their dissent about using the Espionage Act to indict Assange.

To the extent that public opinion matters, the sea-change in coverage could have an effect on the British or Swedish governments’ decision to extradite Assange to the United States to face the charges. 
Part 1 - Used to Be a Russian Agent
Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election establishment media, fueled by the Mueller prob…

How the West’s war in Libya spurred terrorism in 14 countries

The first to suffer was Syria and since then the gruesome effects have been spreading in the region and beyond, to Africans and Europeans, writes Mark Curtis.  

by Mark Curtis 
Part 2 - Terror in Europe
After the fall of Gaddafi, IS Libya established training camps near Sabratha, which are linked to a series of terrorist attacks and plots. “Most of the blood spilled in Europe in the more spectacular attacks, using guns and bombs, really all began at the time when Katibat al-Battar went back to Libya,” Cameron Colquhoun, a former counterterrorism analyst for Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, told The New York Times. “That is where the threat trajectory to Europe began – when these men returned to Libya and had breathing space.

Salman Abedi, who blew up 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester in 2017, met with members of the Katibat al-Battar al-Libi, a faction of IS, several times in Sabratha, where he was probably trained.

Other members of the KBL were Abdelhamid A…

Newly released FBI docs shed light on apparent Mossad foreknowledge of 9/11 attacks

New information released by the FBI has brought fresh scrutiny to the possibility that the “Dancing Israelis,” at least two of whom were known Mossad operatives, had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
by Whitney Webb
Part 3 - “Tourists” with cash-stuffed socks, box cutters, and explosives?
Beyond the photos and observed activities of the so-called “Dancing Israelis,” it is worth revisiting several other suspicious circumstances linked to their arrest that clearly show that the men in question were hardly the “tourists” they had claimed to be.

One often cited example is the fact that one of the men, Oded Ellner, had a “white sock-like sack filled with $4,700 in cash,” as well as maps of the city with certain places highlighted, and box cutters. In addition, the van in which the Israelis were arrested was “oddly” lacking “equipment typically used in a moving company’s daily duties,” according to the FBI, and residue of explosives was found in the van.

Of the explosi…

Who’s behind the pro-Guaidó crowd besieging Venezuela’s D.C. embassy?

The intimidation tactics by the pro-coup embassy besiegers not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob.

by Jeb Sprague and Alexander Rubinstein 

Part 3 - #AskAnUpperClassVenezuelan
So who owns the website www.AskAVenezuelan.com? According to a search through godaddy.com, the website is owned by Nelli Romero, a computer repair consultant who also owns a company called MyTeks.com. On Twitter, Romero goes by Nellie Belén Izarza. The company’s site on Zoominfo claims it has an annual revenue of $4.2 million.

On her Linkedin page, under the name Nelli R., she describes herself as an expert in “political and social media engineering” in Washington, D.C.
Romero has also worked as a consultant and lobbyist with the liberal Sunlight Foundation non-profit. Yet, in old social media posts, R…

The propaganda multiplier - how global news agencies and Western media report on geopolitics

This study by Swiss Propaganda Research was first published in 2016, it is presented by off-guardian.org in English for the first time. Translated by Terje Maloy.
It is one of the most important aspects of our media system – and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.
The key role played by these agencies means that Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.
A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favor of the US and NATO intervention, while propaganda wa…