May 172019
 
 May 17, 2019  Posted by at 9:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Carl Bloch The transfiguration c1865

 

Chelsea Manning Jailed Again For Refusing To Testify Against WikiLeaks (RT)
The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 3—The Most Extensive Classified Leak Ever
The Liberal Embrace of War (Matt Taibbi)
UK-US Row Over Iran Intel Unleashes Storm Of Behind The Scenes Infighting (ZH)
FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier (ZH)
A World Aching For Peace & Stability Can No Longer Afford NATO (Wight)
Brexit Talks About To Fail As May’s Premiership Fades (R.)
How Much Was Pilot Error A Factor In The Boeing 737 MAX Crashes? (ST)
Boeing Faces a Possible Legal Nightmare With Airlines for 737 MAX (TPG)
US Must Break Up Facebook ‘Monopoly’ (FT Op-Ed)
Huawei’s Chip Maker Says It Has Long Been Preparing For US Ban Scenario (R.)
Greek Austerity Policy ‘Proven To Be Right,’ Says Merkel (K.)
Tower Of London Saved From Prophesy As First Ravens In 30 Years Hatch (Tel.)

 

 

“I would rather starve to death than to change my opinion in this regard.”

They have 60 days from Assange’s arrest to make her talk.

Chelsea Manning Jailed Again For Refusing To Testify Against WikiLeaks (RT)

A federal judge has ordered Chelsea Manning to be jailed again for refusing to testify in a grand jury probe of Julian Assange, threatening the whistleblower with fines if the defiance continues. Manning says she would rather die. “I would rather starve to death than to change my opinion in this regard. And when I say that, I mean that quite literally,” Manning said during a hearing at a federal courthouse in Virginia on Thursday. The US Army intelligence specialist has already spent seven years behind bars for handing over classified military and diplomatic files to WikiLeaks in 2010, and another 62 days in jail until last week for refusing to testify before another grand jury.

This time, Manning faces a fine of $500 a day if she continues to refuse cooperation after 30 days in jail. The fine will go up to $1,000 a day after two months. “I have never heard of jailing a witness for this long,” former FBI agent and whistleblower Colleen Rowley told RT. If the grand jury term goes on for 18 months, the fines could exceed half a million dollars, she added, calling it “draconian.” Rowley added that the jailing of Manning is either illegal retaliation by the Trump administration, “or the case against Julian Assange is just that weak that they absolutely need Chelsea Manning’s testimony in order to firm up these specious charges.”

[..] The new grand jury subpoena appears to be related to the US prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was arrested last month and is currently awaiting his extradition hearing in the UK. Assange is officially accused of conspiring with Manning to hack into Pentagon computers, while acknowledging the hack never actually happened. “I’ve read the indictment and the affidavit that came with the indictment” against Assange, Manning said on Thursday, “and the case doesn’t make sense, it seems kind of bananas.” If there is already an indictment against Assange, what’s the purpose of another grand jury, Manning asked reporters.

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Where are they now? “WikiLeaks partnered with The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Al Jazeera and Le Monde ..”

The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 3—The Most Extensive Classified Leak Ever

For WikiLeaks, 2010 was an exceptionally eventful year. In April the transparency organization released “Collateral Murder,” the video of U.S. Army helicopters as they shot more than a dozen Iraqis in Baghdad. That proved a worldwide shock and put the 4-year-old publisher on the global media map. “Afghan War Diaries,” a cache of 75,000 documents, followed in July. Three months later, on Oct. 22, 2010, WikiLeaks released an even more explosive trove: 391,831 documents and videos it named “Iraq War Logs.” This superseded “Afghan War Diaries” as by far the most extensive leak of classified material in U.S. history. It shone a stark light on the U.S.–led coalition’s conduct in Iraq after its 2003 invasion, when the nation had erupted into a violent sectarian war.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, said the Logs “constituted the most comprehensive and detailed account of any war ever to have entered the public record.” The source for the “Iraq War Logs” was once again Chelsea Manning, who by then was in a military prison awaiting trial on charges connected to “Collateral Murder” that wound up including 22 counts of theft, assisting the publication of classified intelligence and aiding the enemy. With the publication of the “Iraq War Logs,” WikiLeaks disgorged an unprecedented profusion of documents, military reports and videos. The Logs cover the six-year period from Jan. 1, 2004, (a matter of months after the 2003 invasion) to Dec. 31, 2009.

WikiLeaks partnered with The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Al Jazeera and Le Monde to disseminate the Iraq Logs. Taken together, the Logs portray Iraq under allied occupation as the scene of lawless mayhem and violence. Codes of conduct were routinely ignored, shootings were often indiscriminate and torture of detainees was regularly treated as acceptable practice. Innocent civilians were under constant threat of U.S.-led coalition gunfire and arrest, interrogation, and mistreatment by allied military units and the Iraqi army and police.

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Americans who want peace have nobody left to talk to.

The Liberal Embrace of War (Matt Taibbi)

The United States has just suspended flights to Venezuela. Per the New York Times: “CARACAS — The United States banned all air transport with Venezuela on Wednesday over security concerns, further isolating the troubled South American nation…” A disinterested historian — Herodotus raised from the dead — would see this as just the latest volley in a siege tale. America has been trying for ages to topple the regime of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying for years to do the same to his predecessor, Hugo Chavez. The new play in the Trump era involves recognizing Juan Guaidó as president and starving and sanctioning the country. Maduro, encircled, has been resisting.

The American commercial news landscape, in schism on domestic issues, is in lockstep here. Every article is seen from one angle: Venezuelans under the heel of a dictator who caused the crisis, with the only hope a “humanitarian” intervention by the United States. There is no other perspective. Media watchdog FAIR just released results of a study of three months of American opinion pieces. Out of 76 editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, the “big three Sunday morning talk shows” or PBS News Hour, zero came out against the removal of Maduro. They wrote: “Corporate news coverage of Venezuela can only be described as a full-scale marketing campaign for regime change.”

Allowable opinion on Venezuela ranges from support for military invasion to the extreme pacifist end of the spectrum, as expressed in a February op-ed by Dr. Francisco Rodriguez and Jeffrey Sachs called “An Urgent Call for Compromise in Venezuela”: “We strongly urge… a peaceful and negotiated transition of power rather than a winner-take-all game of chicken…” So we should either remove Maduro by force, or he should leave peaceably, via negotiation. These are the options. After the disaster of Vietnam eons ago, American thought leaders became convinced we “lost” in Indochina because of — get this — bad PR. The real lesson in Vietnam should have been that people would pay any price to overthrow a hated occupying force. American think-tankers and analysts however somehow became convinced (and amazingly still are) that the problem was Walter Cronkite and the networks giving up on the war effort.

[..] Earlier this month, onetime fierce Iraq war opponent Rachel Maddow went on TV to embrace John Bolton in a diatribe about how the poor National Security Adviser has been thwarted by Trump in efforts to topple Maduro. “Regardless of what you thought about John Bolton before this, his career, his track record,” Maddow said. “Just think about John Bolton as a human being.” The telecast was surreal. It was like watching Dick Cheney sing “Give Peace a Chance.”

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We already knew that. It’s called pattern recognition: “No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria..”

UK-US Row Over Iran Intel Unleashes Storm Of Behind The Scenes Infighting (ZH)

A new report in Britain’s The Times says the UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is standing by its senior officer in the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria, who earlier this week publicly contracted the Pentagon and US administration by appearing to dismiss US intelligence claims over the heightened Iran threat. The awkward public exchange unfolded between the US military and its closest allied military coalition force during a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday wherein a top British commander in charge of anti-ISIS coalition forces rebuked White House claims on the heightened Iran threat.

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, a deputy head of the US-led coalition, asserted confidently in a video link briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon in response to a CNN question. Essentially this meant the powerful number two commander of “Operation Inherent Resolve” Combined Joint Task Force was questioning the entire basis on which the “imminent threats” and “high level of alert” shift in mission readiness decision was made. But now Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is said to be fuming over the handling of the situation. The public disagreement, quickly picked up in world headlines, and further weakening the White House’s stance on the “Iran threat”, has unleashed a storm of controversy among allies behind the scenes.

The Times report includes the following bombshell details: “Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are understood to be angry at the MoD’s handling of the situation. The row raises questions about the extent of intelligence that the US has shared with Britain about the alleged threat from Iran. Israeli media reported that the warnings were passed on by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. The US State Department has ordered non-emergency employees to leave Iraq.”

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US intelligence agencies fighting over a fake document.

FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier (ZH)

A dispute has erupted over whether former FBI Director James Comey or his CIA counterpart, John Brennan, promoted the unverified Steele dossier as the Obama-era intelligence community targeted the Trump campaign. According to Fox News, an email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier’s inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference. Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as “crown material” in the emails – a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy. In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official “put the blame squarely on Comey.”


“Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” said the official. “They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA,” the official continued. “The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.”

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Start with ending Russophobia, and take it from there.

A World Aching For Peace & Stability Can No Longer Afford NATO (Wight)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calling for an end to the fighting in Libya is like an arsonist calling for the house he’s just burned to the ground to stop emitting smoke. For this reason it can only be an excess of black humor or wilful amnesia on the part of Mr Stoltenberg that explains his perverse call for this particular conflict to end in this particular country, eight years after it received a prolonged visit from a Western military alliance over which he currently presides. Along with recent NATO exercises in Estonia, involving 9,000 troops operating just 15km from Russia’s border, Jens Stoltenberg’s call for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis in Libya suggests that the pride of place above the entrance to NATO headquarters in Brussels should be inscribed in bold letters with the Orwellian mantra of ‘War is peace. Freedom is slavery’.

Because ever since the demise of the Soviet Union, NATO has been engaged in a perennial quest for meaning and relevance, which means to say for opportunities to unleash its democracy missiles and drop its democracy bombs. It is a quest that has and continues to involve ideologues in the media, neocon think tanks, and governments going out of their way to convince people across Europe and the US that without NATO manning the ramparts of Western civilization, the barbarians located to the North, South, East and West of them will come and destroy everything they hold dear.

Stripped of obfuscation, what we have here is a tawdry and base exercise in scaremongering; its aim to inculcate the belief that Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, Venezuela (you can take your pick) is their enemy and a threat to their security. Thus it is that the extent to which people living in the West refuse to internalise the propaganda of their own ruling class and its functionaries is determined by their ability to see the world as it truly is, rather than continue to exist in the darkened room of Western exceptionalism.

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Tories see big losses in the polls. Boris to the rescue. But pushing through Brexit at this point is going to get real ugly.

Brexit Talks About To Fail As May’s Premiership Fades (R.)

Nearly three years after the United Kingdom unexpectedly voted in a referendum to leave the EU, it is still unclear how, when or if it will ever indeed quit the European club it joined in 1973. Brexit talks between May’s Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party are about to close without an agreement, the BBC said, hours after May agreed on Thursday to set out a timetable for her departure in early June. “If the talks are not going anywhere, from my point of view that leads to only one conclusion,” Hilary Benn, the chairman of parliament’s Brexit committee, told BBC radio. “There are only two ways out of the Brexit crisis that we’ve got: either parliament agrees a deal or we go back to the British people and ask them to make the choice.”


After the Brexit deal that May struck with Brussels was defeated a third time by parliament, she announced on April 2 that she would open talks with Labour. But the two parties have failed to agree on major issues such as the opposition party’s demand for a post-Brexit customs union. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist who voted against membership of the EU in 1975, has said that May refused to budge on key demands. May’s hands have been tied, knowing that to make concessions to Labour would lead to fury in her divided party. Labour has feared that any compromises on issues such as workers’ rights would be torn up by May’s successor. The two party leaders will now move to a second phase, aimed at agreeing on a process for parliamentary votes designed to find a consensus, the BBC said.

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Boeing blames the pilots. Easy because they’re dead.

How Much Was Pilot Error A Factor In The Boeing 737 MAX Crashes? (ST)

In his opening statement Wednesday at the House Aviation subcommittee hearing on the 737 MAX in Washington, D.C., the lead Republican congressman blamed errors by the Indonesian and Ethiopian pilots for the two deadly MAX crashes in those countries. “Pilots trained in the United States would have successfully been able to handle” the emergencies on both jets, said Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri, ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He added that preliminary reports about the accident “compound my concerns about quality training standards in other countries.” Graves was repeating the main points in a report written by two pilots at a major U.S. airline that pointed to pilot error as “the most consequential factor” in both crashes.

Their report was commissioned and paid for by institutional investors with large holdings in Boeing stock. That case for pilot error as the major cause of the crashes seems close to a surrogate for what Boeing has only hinted at, and may be a key part of the manufacturer’s legal defense in liability lawsuits. Yet two flight-simulator sessions replicating the conditions on the doomed flights contradict Graves’ contention that better trained pilots would have escaped disaster. And some Western-trained pilots criticize the report as based on unverified assumptions and minimizing the intense stress Boeing’s runaway flight-control system imposed on the two flight crews.

“I’m disappointed with those who sit in their lofty chairs of judgment and say this wouldn’t have happened to U.S. pilots,” said a veteran captain with a major U.S. airline, who asked not to be named to avoid involving his employer. The flight crew on the March 10 Ethiopian flight faced a barrage of alerts in the flight that lasted just 6 minutes. Those alerts included a “stick shaker” that noisily vibrated the pilot’s yoke throughout the flight, warning the plane was in danger of a stall, which it wasn’t; repeated loud “DON’T SINK” warnings that the jet was too close to the ground; a “clacker” making a very loud clicking sound to signal the jet was going too fast; and multiple warning lights telling the crew the speed, altitude and other readings on their instruments were unreliable.

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Don’t forget: Boeing faces Ralph Nader. And his entire network.

Boeing Faces a Possible Legal Nightmare With Airlines for 737 MAX (TPG)

Boeing could be on the hook for enough to bankrupt a small country — but it the Chicago-based company were found not to bear any responsibility for the issues with the 737 MAX, then it could have to pay nothing, though whoever is found to be at fault would still be liable, of course. If Boeing were found liable, then the court would have to decide the appropriate award Boeing would have to pay out to the airlines — enough to compensate the plaintiff for the damage to its business from lost fares, sunk costs in the defective aircraft, etc.


If, in the least likely but most sensational possibility, Boeing officials are found to have actively covered up a problem with the aircraft in what amounts to a crime, then the plaintiffs would probably be awarded not just compensatory damages but punitive damages — typically three times the amount of the compensatory damages. None of this, however, addresses the likely wrongful-death lawsuits from the families of the passengers who perished in the 737 MAX crashes. In those cases, the airlines and Boeing will probably be sitting on the same side of the courtroom — as co-defendants. But Dedmon stressed that, as the 737 MAX crisis is still unfolding, it’s still hard to speculate where things will go, in the courtroom or outside it. “It’s the tip of the spear,” he said.

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But CIA wants it just the way it is.

US Must Break Up Facebook ‘Monopoly’ (FT Op-Ed)

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg recently called for the US government to be more proactive in regulating social media. His former dorm mate Chris Hughes went a step further last week. Mr Hughes wants to break up the social network he co-founded. The controversies surrounding Facebook point to a broader need for a new competition law. At a time when governments in Europe are already moving against Big Tech’s excesses, the US should take the chance to reform its own outdated rules. In his article, Mr Hughes excoriates Mr Zuckerberg for chasing profits over user security.

The Facebook co-founder is alarmed by Mr Zuckerberg’s ability to decide what millions of people read via the network. Mr Hughes goes on to criticise the US government for its relative inaction, emphasising that fining Facebook or instituting new privacy rules is insufficient. In calling for the company to be broken up, Mr Hughes rejects the school of competition law dominant in the US since the 1980s. This views pricing as the only metric for assessing competition. Such a narrow focus collapses when applied to Facebook and other Big Tech firms, which provide services for “free” in return for taking users’ data, rather than their cash.

Facebook epitomises the dangers of data oligopolies, with its plan to tie WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram into a single encrypted messaging system. With control of three major platforms, it can use metadata such as contacts or external pages to provide useful data to advertisers and to train algorithms. New competitors without access to these data reservoirs will inevitably struggle to compete. In the past, Big Tech firms have simply acquired them and folded them into their business or copied their ideas at scale. The data rich get data richer, even though there is no apparent cost to consumers under current competition law.

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“HiSilicon has been secretly developing back-up products for years..”

Huawei’s Chip Maker Says It Has Long Been Preparing For US Ban Scenario (R.)

Huawei Technologies’ chip arm HiSilicon said on Friday it has long been prepared for the “extreme scenario” that it could be banned from purchasing U.S. chips and technology, and is able to ensure steady supply of most products. HiSilicon, which mainly designs chips for Huawei equipment, made the comments in a letter to staff attributed to President He Tingbo dated “the small hours of May 17”, shortly after the United States officially banned Huawei from buying U.S. technology without special approval. The ban has thrown into disarray prospects for sales at some of the largest tech companies and drew a sharp rebuke from Beijing, further ratcheting up tensions over trade.


Huawei confirmed authenticity of the letter seen by Reuters and published by Chinese media on Friday. HiSilicon has been secretly developing back-up products for years in anticipation of the unlikely scenario that Huawei may one day be unable to obtain advanced chips and technology from the United States, He said in the letter. HiSilicon’s efforts have ensured a steady supply and “strategic safety” of most products, He said, adding that Huawei will aim to be technologically self-sufficient. He described HiSilicon’s efforts as a “long march in the history of technology” that would now pay off with the United State’s “crazy decision” that brought this “extreme and dark moment”.

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The currency union is more important than the people. Some mutti. Some union.

Greek Austerity Policy ‘Proven To Be Right,’ Says Merkel (K.)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended austerity policy in Greece and other debt-hit countries in the eurozone, however acknowledging that the people had to shoulder a “considerable” burden. “What counts is that the currency union and the euro were maintained,” Merkel said in an interview with Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung. Merkel, who is in her fourth and final term in office, said that reforms in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain “have proven to be right, even if I don’t dispute that the burden for the population was considerable.” Speaking about Europe’s refugee crisis, Merkel said that the problem requires greater burden-sharing among EU members as well as efforts to tackle the roots of the problem.

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Pheww…. Saved by the bell.

Tower Of London Saved From Prophesy As First Ravens In 30 Years Hatch (Tel.)

The Tower of London will be protected from a prophesied demise for years to come, after the first ravens in 30 years were born inside its walls. At least six ravens have been kept at the fortress since the days of King Charles II, who feared the Tower and the kingdom would fall if they were ever allowed to leave. Ruination loomed large last year as the number of legal raven breeders continued to shrink across the UK, making it harder for the ancient quota to be honoured. A new aviary was eventually installed inside the London landmark, into which two breeding ravens – Huginn and Muninn – were brought at the end of last year.


Few expected the couple to be settled in time for the 2019 mating season, but, not without some sense of occasion, new life began emerging on April 23 – St George’s Day. All four chicks have now hatched, the first to do so at the Tower since 1989. They join seven other ravens in addition to the breeding couple and shore up the Tower’s safety for the foreseeable future. Chris Skaife, ravenmaster at the Tower of London, said: “My suspicions were first piqued that we might have a chance of baby chicks when the parents built a huge nest suddenly overnight and then almost immediately the female bird started to sit on it, then on the April 23 I noticed the birds going to the nest with food.”

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 17 2019

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  scraplet 3 months ago.

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  • #47418

    Carl Bloch The transfiguration c1865   • Chelsea Manning Jailed Again For Refusing To Testify Against WikiLeaks (RT) • The Revelations of WikiLea
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 17 2019]

    #47419

    John Day
    Participant

    http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/05/different-angles.html
    ​ ​There is a lot happening in the world all at once right now. The entire planet is rapidly reconfiguring itself. The world is begging for a new, post-capitalist, post-industrial order to be born, but the overabundance of natural resources that have made previous such revolutions possible (coal for the age of steam, oil for the current oil age) simply no longer exist. All that remains is optimizations, enhancements and reconfigurations of the existing order of things, cutting out that which is most harmful and most dysfunctional. To this end, Western European nations are attempting to reclaim the sovereignty they ceded to the United States and the European Union while Eurasia is coming together to form a massive economic and security conglomerate centered on China and Russia. Both are playing for time, because redirecting trade and financial flows away from the US is quite a process.
    ​ ​The world’s central banks are doing their best to get rid of their US dollar reserves and to buy gold, which, as of this April, they are allowed to consider a risk-free financial asset. Many people now expect gold to go up as a result, but that expectation is based on an illusion. Think of gold as a lighthouse and of fiat currencies as sinking ships: those aboard them may look around and decide that the lighthouse is going up, but that’s just an optical illusion. The purchasing power of fiat currencies is sure to fall (some more than others). The purchasing power of gold will seem to increase, but that will also be an illusion: it will appear to rise against the backdrop of crashing markets, in real estate and physical plant especially. But overall the purchasing power of gold will drop too, because the future purchasing power of any financial asset is determined by just one thing: energy, fossil fuel energy in particular, and energy from crude oil above all. Without energy, nothing within an economy moves, unless it is an agrarian economy based on fodder and animal muscle power.
    https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2019/05/america-you-are-fired.html

    ​ ​With Trump shutting down Huawei and China’s entire telecom industry, it was only logical that China would at least try to retaliate, which it has done by formally breaching the US embargo on Iran oil exports. According to ship tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon (i.e. the old Reuters terminal), a tanker carrying Iranian fuel oil in violation of U.S. sanctions has unloaded the cargo into storage tanks near the Chinese city of Zhoushan.
    ​ ​A representative of the oil storage terminal confirmed that the tanker, Marshal Z, discharged nearly 130,000 tonnes of Iranian fuel oil; that marked the end of an odyssey for the cargo that began four months ago.
    ​ ​As Reuters reported on March 20, some Iranian fuel oil had managed to evade the United States’ sanctions on petroleum exports “by using ship-to-ship transfers involving four different ships, including the Marshal Z, and by using forged documents that masked the cargoes as originating from Iraq.”
    ​Amusingly, a second representative from the terminal operator, Zhoushan Jinrun Petroleum Transfer Co, said the cargo could not be Iranian oil, “as the terminal had not received official shipments from Iran in at least the past four years. Both Jinrun representatives declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-16/mystery-tanker-violates-us-sanctions-unload-iranian-fuel-china-zarif-heads-beijing

    ​ ​In the latest provocation against Tehran by the US, two Navy destroyers have entered the Persian Gulf as the American military continues to add to its assets in the region to head off any planned ‘aggression’, USNI reports.
    ​ ​The USS McFaul and USS Gonzalez traveled through the Strait of Hormuz Thursday afternoon without being challenged by IRGC forces in the are. They join the USS Abraham Lincoln, which is stationed in the Gulf of Oman, as well as a strike force that includes several B-52 bombers, as the US continues to build up its military presence in the region. Another Aircraft Carrier, the USS Kearsarge, is anchored off the coast of the UAE.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-17/two-more-us-warships-travel-persian-gulf-tensions-iran-escalate

    ​The Saker gives this tidbit:
    ​ Diplomatic sources – from Russia and Iran – confirm, off the record, there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees in the event the Trump administration’s drive to strangle Tehran to death takes an ominous turn.
    This is being discussed at the highest levels in Moscow and Beijing. The bottom line: Russia-China won’t allow Iran to be destroyed.

    What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about

    So if you poll ALL likely voters, Bernie Sanders is still in the ​Democratic ​lead. Does this remind you of last time, with Joe playing Hillary?
    CNN rigged a poll to censor out nearly everyone under 45 years of age. Based on this nonsensical false sampling they claim Biden is now in the lead.

    CNN & MSNBC Caught Meddling in US Democracy

    ​The actual, deep crimes, including the murder of leaker Seth Rich, and certainly deep state criminality, are already being investigated. The heat is on this crowd.​ The rats are scattering.
    A dispute has erupted over whether former FBI Director James Comey or his CIA counterpart, John Brennan, promoted the unverified Steele dossier as the Obama-era intelligence community targeted the Trump campaign.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-15/fbi-cia-dispute-erupts-over-whether-comey-or-brennan-pushed-steele-dossier

    ​What 50 countries are backing Guaido? (13 is close to 50, though..)
    ​https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/16/what-50-countries-are-backing-guaido-who-knows-who-cares-if-the-media-say-it-enough-it-must-be-true/

    #47420

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “I would rather starve to death than to change my opinion in this regard.”

    Congratulations, you have now created cold dragon fire, the grim determination of someone with nothing left to lose. Prison is scary if you’ve never been there; losing your friends, your reputation is bad until they’re already gone. When someone move beyond this however, you have no more leverage. Like Martin Armstrong, they will simply resist you for a thousand years, until dead. What was it that silly man said, “They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me. Then they will have my dead body, but not my obedience.” This is the do or die, this is where no matter who you are, what force is brought, they can no longer win. This is what they saw in the Revolution, where each, mostly very rich men, knew they would for certain hang and did not care. This is what they awoke in the Easter Rebellion, where the Irish lost, and lost, and lost again, and were exhausted, occupied, now impossible to win, to ever be a real nation, and they again rose up and fought again, just ‘cause. “Because I choose to.” Because “I can keep this up all day.”

    Tyranny depends on cowardice. That “good men do nothing.” And that alone. Depends on sloth and lies and the other cardinal sins. If men will not adopt those sins voluntarily, then tyranny cannot prevail, because they cannot occupy the same space: it’s one or the other.

    Now Manning and so many others say, I don’t care if you ban me, discredit me, slander me, beat me, jail me, because what you’re doing is wrong and I won’t participate. But Shhhh – they still haven’t cottoned on, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. But what do you think I’m doing? Do you think that I’m anonymous, or that I won’t also be fired, imprisoned, killed for knowing history, for having opinions? The measure is not how you die, but how you live, for only death is certain.

    “The United States banned all air transport with Venezuela on Wednesday over security concerns,”

    Maybe. There weren’t all that many flights and now they have no air cover for trying to fly in weapons and other meddling. Also they are sitting down to peace talks in Norway, with leverage from both Putin and Trump getting things done. Or not. But this is what happened in NoKo and Syria.

    P.S., if we alert and remove our people from Iraq, doesn’t that mean the Americans are leaving Iraq? And that is a) a good thing or b) a bad thing? Where do those Blackwater/Halliburton meddlers go next?

    “U.S. troops in the region: 54,000”

    Or as the Persians would call them: “a speed bump.” In the Iraq-Iran war, Rumsfeld gave Saddam all military, satellite, intelligence support, and chemical weapons. Yes, that’s why they had them, Mr. Bush. They lost 1,000,000 men in the 10-year war and didn’t give up an inch, with full sanctions on, just as today. “Now why don’t they likes us?” This is what is meant by the Trump quote, “If we were going in, we’d get a h—l of a lot more.” Because to beat Persia we’d have to mobilize, half(?) the nation? Or else level it in pure genocide with nukes? Because otherwise, it’s total nonsense. We can’t beat F-stan or Vietnam, who are cake in comparison. Every ship in the gulf would be at the bottom of the ocean in 30 minutes, guaranteed. Hey, didn’t we do these war games back in the 2nd Gulf war, and lost, lost, lost, then reset the game, and lost again? Yeah, that was before the Sunburn missiles and the S-300. We can’t beat Persia, but on the other hand, they can’t beat us. What would they do, invade Maryland?

    “FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts over Whether Comey or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier (ZH)”

    Don’t fight, boys! There are more than enough life-sentence felonies to go around.

    “A World Aching for Peace & Stability Can No Longer Afford NATO (Wight)”

    Now that Germany has to pay for it, will they give it up? What a meanie. Once they pay anything on their military budget, will they be able to afford socialized medicine?

    “US Must Break Up Facebook ‘Monopoly’ (FT Op-Ed)”

    Wait: we have anti-monopoly laws? Why aren’t they being used? Say against health insurers or Amazon?
    China and Huawei telling the U.S. they have to surrender. ‘Trump is working against the interests of the American people, who will never stand for a chip costing $5 more, or their jobs back.’ Gosh, when did they learn to know and care for us so well, so benevolently? I’m sold. “We shall surrender on the beaches. We shall surrender in the air. We shall always, always surrender.” Ya know, ‘cause Americans don’t like to fight. Like I said, finally getting somewhere, finally under their skin.

    “Greek Austerity Policy ‘Proven To Be Right,’ Says Merkel (K.)”

    Good thing they bought all those NATO weapons from Germany, England, and the U.S.! Wouldn’t want to feed anyone or give them heat, the lazy, dirty southerners might survive or something. They’ve only killed what? 20,000 so far?

    #47424

    anticlimactic
    Participant

    NATO is now just a bunch of thugs willing to murder and destroy countries on the whim of their leader, the US.

    It is to be hoped that those responsible will burn in hell with a constant stream of images of all those people they destroyed.

    The main aim now of NATO seems to be starting a [nuclear] war with Russia BUT be in a position to blame Russia for starting it.

    I agree with [candidate] Trump that NATO is a dinosaur that should be scrapped. It is in the interest of all of us.

    #47425

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    At least six ravens have been kept at the fortress since the days of King Charles II, who feared the Tower and the kingdom would fall if they were ever allowed to leave.

    Well, the Torygraph gets it wrong again. I was at the Tower of London in April 2006 and there were no ravens there. I asked an attendant where we could find them and she pointed to a sign which explained that they had been taken away to a safe place for fear they would catch bird flu.
    The state Britain is in today makes me think the prophecy came true.

    Just think about John Bolton as a human being

    I saw that quote a while back and I’ve been trying, but it’s really hard. I could imagine him as a walrus, that I could handle, and then Pompeo could be the Eggman, coo-coo ca-choo.

    #47426

    PlanetaryCitizen
    Participant

    “Just think about John Bolton as a human being

    I saw that quote a while back and I’ve been trying, but it’s really hard. I could imagine him as a walrus, that I could handle, and then Pompeo could be the Eggman, coo-coo ca-choo.”

    I love it, best laugh I’ve had so far today.

    I don’t refer to it as the United States of Monopoly for nothing. The world continues on its relentless trek down the road of corporatocracy. The new feudalism. Corporations are persons and money is speech. How profane the great experiment in democracy has become. If something is free you’re a product not a customer.

    #47427

    scraplet
    Participant

    “But pushing through Brexit at this point is going to get real ugly.”

    It’s already ugly! And if they don’t “push it through”, then the biggest political drubbing in modern times is heading for the two ‘main’ parties. Just look at this prediction…

    https://twitter.com/ElectionMapsUK/status/1129276883269509121

    UK EU Election Map

    England and Wales completely dominated by the Brexit party, and even totally pro-EU (if you believe the media bullshit) Scotland returning a third of its Brexit Party candidates as MEPs. God, I need a huge bucket for popcorn for next Thursday. And a bigger one for the first session of the EU parliament. And a pitchfork if they ignore the message, “WTO Brexit is fine – get on with it!”

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