Pablo Picasso Woman Sitting Near a Window (Marie-Therese) 1932 (sold 2 years ago for $103.4 million)
Sen. Josh Hawley DEMANDS Hillary Clinton be prosecuted after Durham Report exposes plot to wiretap, frame Trump over Russian Collusion hoax:
"There needs to be a lot more than reports. People need to be prosecuted for this— the Clinton Campaign and Hillary Clinton herself." pic.twitter.com/irefzoED4y
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 16, 2023
Useless mockingbirds @60Minutes @LesleyRStahl pic.twitter.com/ZCR6JjdEJA
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) May 17, 2023
Here is Jake Tapper in 2017 falsely reporting the peepee dossier was corroborated
Be a shame if this went viral now that CNN is trying to pivot back to neutral reporting pic.twitter.com/wsVfVPiYCm
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 16, 2023
.@RepAndyBiggsAZ Confronts January 6th Lead Prosecutor DA Matthew Graves About The Harsh Treatment Of January 6th Defendant Thomas Caldwell
-70 years old.
-Decorated and disabled Navy veteran with no criminal history.
-Never entered the Capitol on January 6th and has not been… pic.twitter.com/YKls7ZcK0F
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) May 16, 2023
Durham Report: Obama FBI offered Clinton campaign operative Christopher Steele as much as $1 million for dirt on Trump just one month before the 2016 election. Durham Report, p. 118
The West is not able to make up for the loss of armored vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Douglas McGregor, a former adviser to the head of the Pentagon, admitted in an interview.
“The Ukrainian army has lost almost 10,000 armored vehicles since the beginning of the conflict. This is unbelievable, 10 thousand! ”, The former adviser said.
He also emphasized that the colossal losses of equipment by the Ukrainian army speak of the “extreme effectiveness” of the Russian army in destroying armored vehicles. McGregor noted that sending weapons to Kiev could “bring money into the pockets of the American defense leadership,” but would not change the course of the conflict.
“Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”
• Russia Case Against Trump: A Shocking Conspiracy That Continues Today (Turley)
A political campaign hatches a plot to create a false claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Making this even more implausible is that the CIA and FBI know about the plot. As detailed in the report, President Barack Obama and his national security team were briefed on how “a trusted foreign source” revealed “a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server. It then happened a few days later. It was a plot that required everyone to take a hand in derailing a duly elected president and effectively shutting down his administration for three years of investigation and prosecutions. In this conspiracy, there were dozens of key participants in the campaign, the government, and the media. Here are a few of the characters implicated in this report.
The report details how the Russian collusion conspiracy was invented by Clinton operatives and put into the now-infamous Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign. The funding was hidden as legal expenses by then-Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias. (The Clinton campaign was later sanctioned by the FEC over its hiding of the funding.) New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier.
John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress. Durham details how Elias played an active role in tracking the media campaign to push the false allegations. (Elias was recently severed by the Democratic National Committee from further representation and has been previously sanctioned in the federal courts in other litigation.) The report details how false claims like the existence of a “pee tape” showing Trump engaging in disgusting acts with prostitutes in Moscow came from a Clinton operative, Chuck Dolan, with no known basis in fact.
Likewise, now-national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Clinton personally pushed an absurd campaign-created conspiracy theory about a secret communication line between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin through a Russian bank. The Clinton campaign later admitted that it had indeed funded the dossier, but Clinton continued to claim that the election was stolen from her by the Russians. Of course, this conspiracy could not occur without the assistance of the FBI, which Durham found played an eager role due to a “predisposition” of key players against Trump. The dossier was discredited early by American intelligence, which learned that it might itself be Russian disinformation. There never was support for the allegations, but the FBI launched and maintained a massive investigation anyway.
Durham noted that the FBI showed a completely different approach to allegations involving the Clinton campaign. The Trump investigation was a “noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.” Nevertheless, former FBI Director James Comey would continue to reference the entirely unsupported “pee tape” in interviews. Even though investigators found no support for the campaign-created story, in a 2018 interview, Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”
The people who lied about Trump-Russia collusion, the Steele Dossier, and the peepee tape want to censor the American people to stop the spread of disinformation. pic.twitter.com/EiITKXzrYh
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) May 16, 2023
“Did Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Doctor His Notes to Hide His Role in Russiagate?”
“..virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence..”
• The Durham Coverup (Lee Smith)
The only genuine piece of Russian intelligence that US spy services ever received about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia was intelligence that Russia knew Hillary Clinton backed a 2016 campaign plan to smear Trump as a Russian agent. According to John Durham’s 300-page report, the information reached the CIA in late July 2016. Brennan told Durham that on August 3 he briefed President Barack Obama at the White House on what the special counsel refers to as the Clinton Plan intelligence. Others in attendance at the meeting were Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey. Imagine Comey’s reaction when he first heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence, only days after the July 31 start date for the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, code-named Crossfire Hurricane:
So, if it’s just a dirty trick staged by the Clinton campaign, I should shut down the Trump-Russia probe, right? Right. There is little chance Brennan said anything about the Clinton Plan intelligence in that August 3 meeting. Reading the Durham report, it’s not even clear when Brennan first found out about it or the September 2016 CIA memo referring the Clinton Plan intelligence to the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Brennan’s handwritten notes memorializing his allegedly briefing Obama on the Clinton Plan and the CIA’s referral letter were both declassified by Trump’s Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in October 2020. Durham’s report sheds light on how the information and subsequent CIA memo were received, who knew about them, and perhaps more significantly who didn’t.
According to the report, virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence or the referral memo. Former FBI general counsel James Baker “stated that he had neither seen nor heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence or the resulting Referral Memo prior to his interview” with Durham. Same with Supervisory Special Agent-1, reportedly FBI agent Joe Pientka. According to the report, when Durham showed Pientka the information, he became “visibly upset and emotional, left the interview room with his counsel, and subsequently returned to state emphatically that he had never been apprised of the Clinton Plan intelligence and had never seen the aforementioned Referral Memo. Supervisory Special Agent-1 expressed a sense of betrayal that no one had informed him of the intelligence.”
The reason so few FBI officials knew of the Clinton Plan information is because it was buried. Otherwise, it would have implicated senior Obama officials — from the president and vice president and his security chiefs — and the Crossfire Hurricane team in an illegal surveillance and propaganda operation targeting a presidential campaign. But how did the Russians know it started with Hillary Clinton? Did they have spies buried deep inside the Democratic National Committee? Maybe Christopher Steele, British ex-spy and author of the Clinton-funded memos tying Trump to Russia, had been compromised by one of the Russian oligarchs he worked for? No, you wouldn’t have needed an intelligence service to find out the Clinton campaign was using Moscow as an instrument to smear the GOP candidate. By the end of July, much of the anti-Trump campaign was public.
Devin Nunes gives next steps for Congress after the Durham report:
“There’s very few players involved in this. A lot of them have not faced the fire of the Congress – or a public trial – and that I think is what the Congress needs to do. They need to put these people on trial.” pic.twitter.com/8NDnexOCRv
— TheStormHasArrived (@TheStormRedux) May 17, 2023
"This is the biggest scandal in American history that we're still living with today."
Devin Nunes slams the FBI for investigating former President Donald Trump for Russian collusion without probable cause. @ShaunKraisman @EmmaRechenberg
MORE: https://t.co/CZzl7yJgVz pic.twitter.com/KZ3RSzsBYt
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) May 16, 2023
“The FBI” is made up of real people. Go after them.
• Special Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure (Max Jones)
• The Australian diplomats told Crossfire Hurricane investigators that Papadopoulos never stated that he had any direct contact with the Russians nor did he provide any explicit information about an offer of assistance.
• There was a complete lack of information from the Intelligence Community that corroborated the hypothesis upon which the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was predicated.
• The FBI generally ignored the significant exculpatory information provided by Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Trump Senior Foreign Policy Advisor-! during recorded conversations with FBI CHSs.
• The FBI failed to pursue investigative leads that were inconsistent with their theory of the case (e.g., Page’s recorded denials of having any relationship with Paul Manafort, a fact about which there was available evidence).
• The FBI failed to take Page up on the written offer he made to Director Corney to be interviewed about the allegations contained in Michael Isikoff s Yahoo 1 News article and instead opted to seek FISA surveillance of Page.
• The FBI was willing to make use of the completely unvetted and uncorroborated Steele reporting in multiple FISA applications targeting a U.S. citizen, even after the Crossfire Hurricane investigators had determined that there were major conflicts between the reporting of Steele and his primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko – conflicts the FBI incredibly failed to resolve.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not even ask Steele about his role in providing information to Michael Isikoff as contained in the September 23, 2016 Yahoo! News article – information that essentially accused Carter Page of colluding with the Russians. And thereafter the same investigators demonstrated a willingness to contort the plain language of the article to suggest it was not Steele but Steele’s employers who had given the information to Isikoff.
• The FBI ignored the fact that at no time before, during or after Crossfire Hurricane were investigators able to corroborate a single substantive allegation in the Steele dossier reporting.
• There was a complete failure on the part of the FBI to even examine – never mind resolve – the serious counterespionage issues surrounding Steele’s primary subsource, Igor Danchenko.
• The FBI leadership essentially disregarded the Clinton Plan intelligence, which it received at almost the exact same time as the Australian Paragraph Five information. This was despite the fact that at precisely the same time as the Clinton Plan intelligence was received (i) the Clinton campaign made public statements tying the DNC computer hack to Russian attempts to help Trump get elected, (ii) the FBI was receiving the Clinton campaign-funded Steele Reports, and (iii) the Clinton campaign-funded Alfa Bank allegations were being prepared for delivery to the media and the FBI.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators essentially ignored information they had received as early as October 2016 regarding Charles Dolan, a longtime Democratic operative with ties to the Clintons who also possessed significant ties to Russian government figures who would appear in the Steele reporting, and never interviewed him.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators provided only partial, and in some instances misleading, information to Department attorneys working on the Page FISA applications while withholding other highly relevant information from those attorneys and the FISC that might cast real doubt on their probable cause assertions.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 16, 2023
Now that President Trump has been 100% exonerated by the Durham report, when will Adam Schiff be held accountable for the damage he has caused to our country? pic.twitter.com/T33yOkNXXz
— TheStormHasArrived (@TheStormRedux) May 16, 2023
Durham makes this inevitable.
• Why Shouldn’t the Election Be Called Into Question? (BN)
The Five’s co-host Greg Gutfeld unleashed a powerful diatribe in the aftermath of Monday’s Durham Report revelations detailing a full-fledged election interference operation carried out by the FBI and CIA in concert with the knowledge and approval of the Obama White House and driven in part by a Clinton Plan to ‘stir up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.” Gutfeld defended Americans who continue to be skeptical about election integrity in the wake of the contested 2020 election that saw Joe Biden officially elected president over Donald Trump. “If you have people saying that the country will not survive Trump, then your moral duty is to cheat. Right?” he asked rhetorically. “And you should cheat. Like if somebody believe is telling everybody that this person is a modern day Hitler, it is your duty to do whatever is possible to stop him. In fact, if you actually play by the rules, you’re a traitor. Right?”
Greg Gutfeld finally SNAPS, sends Fox Execs into PANIC MODE after destroying every approved narrative about Regime's election interference against Trump
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 16, 2023
“So, they created a devil that was so big and so vast that made all actions permissible,” he continued. “And it made every institution as, as the judge was saying, subject to suspicion, right? So you can bury stories, you can create hoaxes, you can fund smears, it could go anywhere, because this person must be stopped. It’s Hitler! An existential threat. And so what happens is now we’re left and none of it’s true? And so we had a half a decade hoax that infected and undermined every institution because we are made to believe this person is evil.” “And then people make fun of people who are skeptical about an election,” he went on. “Why shouldn’t they be skeptical about an election when the DOJ and the FBI and the mainstream media and the tech companies and the Chamber of Commerce are all in on the same thing.”
“Why shouldn’t the election be called into question? Right?” he asked. “Shouldn’t a hero try to fix the election? Right? Shouldn’t a hero do that? If you’re up against Hitler, that’s where we ended up. And you can’t go and condemn people for so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ when you were going around telling everybody this guy was worse than Hitler. No.” The Fox News co-host’s rant flies in the face of the pivot of the network away from pro-Trump coverage and away from questioning the 2020 election following a $750 million dollar lawsuit settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Tucker Carlson, who was depositioned for the lawsuit, lost his popular primetime cable news show in the fallout, leading some media observers to believe that it may in part be connected to his 2020 election coverage. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of Fox Corporation, in his own deposition was highly critical of the Fox News’ coverage, even going so far as to state news “news networks should not knowingly broadcast lies.”
“infiltration of the peace movement..”
“In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise..”
• Influence of ‘Russian Propaganda’ Growing – EU Official (RT)
EU member states should spend more money on “strategic communications” because “Russian propaganda” is affecting their people, a senior official from the bloc has said. RT must remain banned in the region, while “independent” Russian media based in European nations need support, EU Commissioner Vera Jourova added. The Czech politician and European Commission veteran, who currently serves as its vice president for values and transparency, expressed her concern about the growing popularity of Russian positions on issues like the conflict in Ukraine during an interview with German newspaper Bild on Sunday. “In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise,” Jourova told the outlet.
“In Slovakia, more than 50% of the population believe in conspiracy theories, including those about the Russian war of aggression. To this day, we underestimate the influence of Russian propaganda.” Moscow maintains that the conflict in Ukraine stems from NATO’s unchecked expansion in Europe and the failure of Western nations to heed Russian warnings about how it was perceived by the country. A last-ditch attempt to de-escalate the situation was taken by the Russian government in 2021, but it was told that its concerns were unfounded and that Ukraine had a right to seek membership of the US-led military organization. From Russia’s perspective, the conflict is part of a proxy war against it by the West. The problem with EU citizens agreeing with the Russian position is that Moscow “invests billions in its propaganda and we hardly do anything to counter it,” Jourova claimed. She urged member states to invest more in “strategic communications and the fight against disinformation.”
Germany, Jourova suggested, is a particularly important target for Russia. She said she was worried about “infiltration of the peace movement” in the country. “Claiming that anyone supplying arms is a warmonger is extremely dangerous,” she explained. “This only serves to weaken the support for Ukraine.” The commissioner praised the EU’s censorship of RT, describing the channel as “not a media outlet” but rather a “wartime propaganda weapon” that has no place in Europe. “We should instead support the independent Russian media,” she suggested. “Many of them are here in Berlin and in other European cities.” The vice president’s office is reportedly behind a push to introduce a law in the EU to crackdown on “foreign agents.” Politico reported on a survey of nonprofits in March, who were asked whether they had foreign sources of funding. This was conducted ahead of a legislative package intended to “defend democracy.”
They’ll be flying ducks, so to speak..
• Aide Reveals Zelensky’s F-16 Wish List – Politico (RT)
Vladimir Zelensky wants the US and its allies to provide Kiev with between 40 and 50 F-16 fighter jets for use in its conflict with Russia, according to Yury Sak, an aide to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov. This would be enough to form three or four squadrons of American-made fourth generation aircraft to protect the Ukrainian skies amid a large-scale Russian missile campaign, Sak told Politico on Monday. Kiev has been asking its Western backers for F-16s for months, but the need for the jets has become much more pressing since March, when Russia began using guided glide bombs that strike targets at greater distances, the adviser claimed. Ukraine currently has “nothing to stop” the Russian aircraft that launch those munitions, he admitted.
Zelensky has been touring Europe in the past week, visiting Italy, Germany, France and the UK in an attempt to ramp up military support for Ukraine. After talks with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, the Ukrainian leader said he wanted to create a “jets coalition” of countries to facilitate the supply of F-16s to Kiev. “I’m very positive [about the plan]. We spoke about it and I see that in the closest time, you will hear some, I think, very important decisions – but we have to work a little bit more on it,” the Ukrainian president told reporters. London, Rome, Berlin and Paris don’t have F-16s to offer Ukraine but, according to Sak, those European powers “have an important voice in the international coalition.” Kiev wants them to “encourage” their allies, such as the US and Turkey, to make the deliveries, he explained.
Zelensky’s latest diplomatic efforts have resulted in him receiving “assurances” from Western leaders that they would address the issue of F-16s at the annual G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan this weekend. “Everybody understands that the topic is ripe for discussion. Nobody said that it’s impossible. If you compared it with three months ago, when we were still struggling to get tanks, today everybody is talking about the jet coalition – that’s a very promising sign,” Sak said. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross its ‘red lines’, which would lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the supply of arms, intelligence sharing and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.
Let’s kill more young Ukrainians…
• UK Will Help Supply Ukraine With F-16s (RT)
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would work to create an “international coalition” to provide Western fighter jets to Ukraine, pledging to bolster the country’s “combat air capabilities” alongside allies. In a statement issued following a meeting with Dutch PM Mark Rutte at a Council of Europe summit on Tuesday, Sunak’s office said the two leaders would take steps to help coordinate aircraft shipments to Kiev. “[Sunak] and Prime Minister Rutte agreed they would work to build [an] international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting [it] with everything from training to procuring F16 jets,” 10 Downing Street said, stressing the “importance of allies providing long-term security assistance to Ukraine.” The prime minister did not specify what country might offer the American-made fighter jet, which is operated by more than two dozen nations, but suggested he would press allies to help facilitate the weapons transfers.
Ukrainian officials have requested the aircraft for months, with a senior Defense Ministry aide telling Politico on Monday that Kiev hopes to receive up to 50 F-16s from Washington and other partners. Since Moscow stepped up its use of guided glide bombs in March, the aide said Ukraine has “nothing to stop” Russian planes equipped with them. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with Sunak in an unannounced visit to the UK on Monday, where he called for a new “coalition of jets,” an idea well received by the British PM. The concept has been proposed by Kiev and other allies before, with Poland also voicing interest in such a project after providing some of its own Soviet-era MiG-29 fighters. Despite the renewed discussion of a jet coalition, some Western powers appear reluctant to supply advanced warplanes.
Though Ukrainian pilots are already being trained to operate the F-16 by the US military – and will soon receive similar instruction from British pilots – American, German and French officials have indicated they would not be willing to supply jets from their own arsenals. However, Washington has previously reversed course after declining to provide certain weapons systems, including the Patriot missile defense platform and the M1 Abrams main battle tank, both of which have since been pledged to Ukraine. Berlin, too, backtracked after refusing to transfer its Leopard 2 tank, agreeing to send the weapon earlier this year following pressure from allies. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine could cross its ‘red lines’ and lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the arms, intelligence and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.
“These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.”
• NATO’s Military Policies In Ukraine Posed Real Threat To Russia – Envoy (TASS)
The threat to Russia resulting from NATO, US and Britain’s military policies in Ukraine was real, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN headquarters in Geneva, said at the plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. “The threat to Russia’s security from the military development of Ukraine’s territory was real and acute and similar to what the US itself experienced during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,” he said. Gatilov dismissed as falsehoods the accusations made by the US and other NATO countries against Moscow to the effect that the conflict in Ukraine was allegedly “unprovoked aggression.” “In deciding on a special military operation Russia took into account many security factors,” the Russian envoy said. In this regard, Gatilov recalled “the Kiev regime’s agreement in principle to the accelerated strategic development of Ukrainian territory by the NATO ‘nuclear alliance’ hostile to Russia” as well as “our country’s two nuclear adversaries – the US and Britain.
These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.” “In this context, it is worth recalling London’s construction of a naval base in the Ukrainian port city of Ochakov, NATO’s anti-Russian exercise Sea Breeze in the summer of 2021, which ended with the reckless behavior of a British ship that came under fire from the Russian armed forces and was forced to retreat,” Gatilov said. Furthermore, he continued, in September 2020, the US Air Force “used the airspace over Ukrainian territory for familiarization flights by heavy US B-52 nuclear-capable strategic bombers.” The Russian envoy noted that Moscow had warned of “the unacceptability of these irresponsible and destabilizing actions” and proposed “various initiatives for preventing the emerging conflict”.
It’s the women…
“..telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe..”
And the Estonian PM in the video.
• How NATO Seduced The European Left (Lily Lynch)
In January 2018, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg held an unprecedented press conference with Angelina Jolie. While InStyle reported that Jolie “was dressed in a black off-the-shoulder sheath dress, a matching capelet and classic pumps (also black)”, there was a deeper purpose to this meeting: sexual violence in war. The pair had just co-authored a piece for the Guardian entitled “Why NATO must defend women’s rights”. The timing was significant. At the height of the #MeToo movement, the most powerful military alliance in the world had become a feminist ally. “Ending gender-based violence is a vital issue of peace and security as well as of social justice,” they wrote. “NATO can be a leader in this effort.”
This was a new and progressive face for Nato, the same one it has since used to seduce much of the European Left. Previously, in the Nordic countries, Atlanticists have had to sell war and militarism to largely pacifist publics. This was achieved in part by presenting Nato not as a rapacious, pro-war military alliance, but as an enlightened, “progressive” peace alliance. As Timothy Garton Ash effused in the Guardian in 2002, “NATO has become a European peace movement” where one could watch “John Lennon meet George Bush”. Today, by contrast, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland abandoned their long-standing traditions of neutrality and opted for membership. Nato is portrayed as a military alliance -and Ukraine a war- that even former pacifists can get behind. All its proponents seem to be singing is “Give War a Chance”.
The Jolie campaign marked a dramatic turn in what Katharine A.M. Wright and Annika Bergman Rosamond call “Nato’s strategic narrative” in several ways. First, the alliance embraced celebrity star power for the first time, imbuing its unremarkable brand with elite glamour and beauty. Jolie’s star power meant that the alluring images of the event reached apolitical audiences with little knowledge of Nato. Second, the partnership seemed to usher in an era in which women’s rights, gendered violence and feminism would assume a more prominent role in Nato rhetoric. Since then, and especially in the past 12 months, telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe. The alliance has also intensified its engagement with popular culture, new technologies, and youth influencers.
[..] No political party in Europe better exemplifies the shift from militant pacifism to ardent pro-war Atlanticism than the German Greens. Most of the original Greens had been radicals during the student protests of 1968; many had demonstrated against American wars. The early Greens advocated for West Germany’s withdrawal from Nato. But as the founding members entered middle age, fissures began to appear in the party that would one day tear it apart. Two camps began to coalesce: the “Realos” were the moderate Greens, politically pragmatists. The “Fundis” were the radical, uncompromising camp; they wanted the party to remain faithful to its fundamental values no matter what.
Predictably, the Fundis believed that European peace would be best served by West Germany’s withdrawal from the alliance and tended to favour military neutrality. Meanwhile, the Realos believed that West Germany needed Nato. They even argued that withdrawal would return matters of security to the German nation-state and risk rekindling militaristic nationalism. Their Nato was a post-national, cosmopolitan alliance, speaking numerous languages and flying a multitude of flags, protecting Europe from Germany’s most destructive impulses. But Nato membership at the end of history was one thing. Germany going to war again — the most forbidden of taboos after World War II — was something else entirely.
🇪🇪🇷🇺🇪🇺 Estonian PM: To have a future, the Russian people must accept national guilt and take responsibility for past and present crimes.
Yes SHE IS THAT STUPID… pic.twitter.com/TQ7cH95zl1
— Sinnaig (@Sinnaig) May 16, 2023
“..The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them..”
• Ukraine Says It Shoots Down More Missiles Than Russia Fires – Shoigu (RT)
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has refuted claims made by Ukrainian military officials about shooting down six Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles during overnight strikes on targets near the country’s capital city of Kiev. Ukraine routinely exaggerates the effectiveness of its anti-aircraft defenses, primarily ‘intercepting’ incoming Russian munitions only with public statements, Shoigu told RIA Novosti. “I have already said that, and I will repeat it again. We have not launched as many ‘Kinzhals’ as they allegedly shoot down every time with their statements. Moreover, the number of these ‘Ukrainian interceptions’ – and who really mans the American [anti-aircraft] complexes there, is still a big question – is three times as high as what we actually launch,” Shoigu stated.
The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them,” he added, without providing any further information on the number of missiles used in the latest barrage. Ukraine was subjected to a new massive missile and suicide drone barrage overnight, with the country’s capital city of Kiev seeing particularly intense activity by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses, footage circulating online suggests. Moscow and Kiev have provided drastically different accounts of what happened overnight. Kiev claimed that it had shot down six state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles over the capital, as well as other incoming projectiles, using a battery of the US-made Patriot air defense system.
The Russian military, however, said the battery was successfully hit by a Kinzhal missile. Footage available online shows multiple anti-aircraft missiles going towards an unseen target, with at least two explosions seen at the site from which they appeared to be launched. Western media reports suggested the Patriot battery in question was likely damaged in the strike. According to CNN, citing an unidentified US official, Washington is currently assessing the extent of the damage in order to determine whether the Patriots need to be pulled back or whether on-site repairs by Ukrainian forces would be enough.
The unlikely story of Ukraine downing a Kizhal is very popular. This much more likely story, much less so.
• Russia Likely Damaged US-Made Patriot Missile Battery – CNN (RT)
A hypersonic missile strike by Russia has reportedly hit a US-supplied Patriot air-defense system in Kiev, potentially knocking the battery out of commission amid Moscow’s escalating attacks in western Ukraine. The Patriot system was likely damaged, but not destroyed, in a Russian missile barrage against Kiev on Tuesday morning, CNN reported, citing an unidentified US official. Washington is assessing the damage to determine whether the battery needs to be pulled back or repaired on site by Ukrainian forces, the outlet said. The report came hours after the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a hypersonic Kinzhal missile strike had destroyed a Patriot base in Kiev. Tuesday’s strikes also took out Ukrainian troop positions, munitions storage facilities, and Western-supplied weapons, the ministry said in a press briefing.
Ukrainian officials said earlier on Tuesday that they had intercepted six hypersonic missiles with their Patriot systems, a claim touted by Western media as proof that Kiev was thwarting a supposedly “unstoppable” Russian weapon. CNN said a US National Security Council spokesperson referred questions about the successful Russian strike to Ukrainian officials, who declined to comment on Moscow’s claim. Ukraine reportedly has two Patriot systems in operation – one supplied by the US and a battery provided jointly by Germany and the Netherlands. “Taking one out of commission, even for a short period, could affect Ukraine’s ability to defend Kiev amid intensifying Russian missile attacks,” CNN said. US officials told CNN last week that Moscow had targeted a Patriot system in a hypersonic strike earlier this month, but Ukrainian forces used the battery to intercept the Russian missile.
The outlet said Patriot batteries use a powerful radar to detect incoming threats at long range, enabling Russia’s military to pick up their signals and determine their location. Although the US military confirmed Ukraine’s claim of a successful missile intercept earlier this month, officials didn’t say whether the Kinzhal was flying at hypersonic speed at the time. Russia’s hypersonic missiles can travel at speeds up to Mach 12 (about 14,800 kilometers per hour) while performing evasive maneuvers, making them capable of penetrating any current air-defense systems. Missiles that fly at Mach 5 or above are classified as hypersonic. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was highly unlikely that Ukraine shot down a Kinzhal missile, which he described as having “absolutely unique characteristics.”
“Zakharova wrote on Telegram: “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements..”
• Ukraine’s Top Spy Admits Killing Russian Public Figures (RT)
Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) chief General Kirill Budanov has claimed responsibility for assassinating “many” Russian public figures. The spy boss made the bombshell admission in an interview with Ukrainian blogger Sergey Ivanov on Tuesday. Asked whether top Russian “propagandists,” such as prominent journalist Vladimir Solovyov or RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, are prime targets for his organization, Budanov responded that the GUR had already “gotten” multiple high profile targets. “We have already gotten many, including public and media personalities,” Budanov said, without providing any names.
Pressed further by the blogger on the potential involvement of the GUR in the assassination of Darya Dugina, a journalist and the daughter of prominent Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, or the recent car bombing of Russian author and political activist Zakhar Prilepin, the spy boss said he could “neither confirm nor deny” the involvement of his service. Budanov’s remarks were condemned by Moscow, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that they were a clear admission of wrongdoing. “Terrorists. Those who provide excuses for the Kiev regime and sponsor it are accomplices of terrorists,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram. “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements made by the GUR boss amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
Earlier this month, Budanov declared, “We’ve been killing Russians, and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.” The pledge received an equally poor reception in Russia, with multiple top officials branding it an admission of engaging in state-level terrorism by Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, for instance, said Budanov’s statement was “unprecedented in its essence,” and it was “strange” to not hear any condemnation “from European capitals and from Washington.” “It’s evident that the Kiev regime is behind the killings, not only sponsoring them but organizing, inciting, and carrying them out. De facto, we’re talking about a state sponsor of terrorism,” Peskov concluded, warning that Russia’s “special services know what to do after such statements.”
“..the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan..”
• Erdogan Accuses Biden Of Attempt To Topple Him (Cradle)
On the eve of critical Turkiye’s elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his supporters that US President Joe Biden had given instructions to topple him, Rudaw reported on 14 May. “Biden gave the instructions saying ‘we have to topple Erdogan.’ I know this. All my people know this. Tomorrow the ballots will give Biden an answer as well,” Erdogan said during an election rally in Istanbul on Saturday, 13 May, the day before voting began. At the rally, Erdogan also criticized his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who had accused Russia of spreading fabricated videos and fake content online to damage his campaign to unseat Erdogan. Erdogan said Russia is a crucial ally in the agriculture, defense, and tourism sectors, but NATO member Turkiye has also sold weapons and arms, including drones, to Ukraine in its war with Russia. In Sunday’s widely anticipated voting, Erdogan received 49.40 percent of the votes, while Kilicdaroglu received 44.96 percent.
However, neither candidate received the required 50% of votes to avoid a second round runoff vote, which will now take place in two weeks to determine Turkiye’s next president. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Biden described Erdogan as an autocrat and claimed his relationship with the Turkish president had deteriorated significantly. Biden explained, as a result, that his “comfort level [about having nuclear weapons in Turkiye] is diminished a great deal.” Biden stated that Erdogan needs to better integrate the country’s Kurdish population via participation in parliamentary elections and that the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process.”
More empty gestures.
• US May Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Az.)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Department of State would not rule out designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its accused atrocities in Ukraine. Report informs that, according to CNN, in an angry line of questioning at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on China on May 16, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Blinken: “You’re never going to designate Russian state sponsored terrorism, are you?” Blinken quickly responded, “never say never.” Lawmakers and Ukrainian officials have repeatedly put pressure on the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror, but the Biden administration has not taken that action out of concern for unintended consequences.
“..he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”
• German ex-Chancellor’s Wife Fired For Attending May 9 Celebration (RT)
The wife of former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, So-yeon Schroeder-Kim, has been fired from her position at a business development agency after visiting the Russian Embassy in Berlin to celebrate Victory Day. “Ms. Schroeder-Kim has been released with immediate effect, and the employment relationship will now be terminated by NRW.GlobalBusiness without notice,” a spokeswoman for NRW told German media on Tuesday. The company explained that it had on several occasions explicitly told Schroeder-Kim, who worked there as a representative for South Korea, that she should “not speak out in public on politically sensitive topics,” particularly with regard to Russia and the situation in Ukraine.
The move comes after Schroeder-Kim and her husband visited the Russian Embassy on May 9 to attend a reception dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. The event was also attended by other German politicians, including co-chairman of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Tino Chrupalla, and chairman of the Bundestag committee on climate protection and energy and member of the Left Party Klaus Ernst. Schroeder himself has also faced backlash for maintaining close ties with Moscow. The former chancellor forged friendly relations with Russia during his time in office between 1998 and 2005, and has kept in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout the years. Although Schroeder has repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”
Shortly after Moscow launched its military campaign, Schroeder personally traveled to Moscow to meet with Putin. He has insisted since that Russia sought a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict and had vowed to keep seeking “opportunities to talk to President Putin.” The former chancellor’s stance has put him at odds with other members of the ruling Social Democrats Party (SPD), some members of which have recently unsuccessfully demanded his expulsion. The SPD did, however, manage to strip the former leader of his parliamentary privileges last year. Under current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the SPD has sought to reduce the country’s ties with Russia and its reliance on Russian energy. Berlin, under Scholz’s leadership, has also sent billions of dollars worth of military aid to Kiev’s forces throughout the past year.
“I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.”
• Musk: I’ll Say What I Want And If The Consequence Is Losing Money, So Be It (ZH)
Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk sat down for an hour-long candid, sprawling interview with CNBC’s David Faber on Tuesday following Tesla’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. Among many other things, Musk reflected on: Accusations from the left over his tweets which have been criticized as lending credence to conspiracies about George Soros and a recent mass shooting event in Allen, Texas, insisting “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”
Clearly this displeased Musk’s critics, who can’t comprehend how someone who hopes to receive major ad dollars (and thus be beholden to the largest US corporations via advertising channel) can speak his mind. In fact, according to Bethany McLean, “Elon Musk sounds like a spoiled child when he talks about free speech,” adding that “If you run a business that depends on advertisers you might have to think about it a little bit differently and Musk seems utterly unwilling to make that distinction.” Translation: if you run a business that depends on advertisers, you can’t say anything your advertisers disagree with. Which of course is another way of being subject to the censorship of the establishment, and why traditional media is always silent when certain interests – be it of generous advertisers like Pfizer, or the Deep State, or the Bidens, or the Clintons, etc – are in question.
Elon Musk on Tuesday said that if his inflammatory tweets scare away advertisers from Twitter, he will accept that. “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it." https://t.co/0Pi3Yl8Jo2 pic.twitter.com/tQUOc4GChO
— CNBC (@CNBC) May 17, 2023
Musk defended what Faber said was the spreading of “conspiracy theories” by countering that pointing out that so many of these “conspiracy theories have turned out to be true”, and pointed to the Hunter Biden laptop suppression story, which was an example of “election interference.” Naturally, the question of Musk calling George Soros Magnito came up. An incongruous Faber asks where that tweet came from, to which Musk replies “that is my opinion.” Faber then pressed: “why share it” if it could lead to less revenue/sales, and do your tweets “hurt the company”; Musk responds with a quote from the Princess Bride: “offer me money; offer me power. I don’t care.” The sad fact is that all of Musk’s peers in the media world, who aren’t independently wealthy and who do care about money (and power) will gladly be PR agents for their advertising sponsors, pretending to be independent media outlets.
How he has managed a takeover of Twitter so far and what lies ahead. Among other things, he said Twitter’s Community Notes feature has cost Twitter $40 million in business when two big clients reduced spending after their ads received community notes accusing them of false advertising. He also claimed that when the acquisition closed, Twitter had negative $3 billion in annual cash flow and $1 billion in the bank. “The analogy I was using was like being teleported into a plane that’s in a nosedive headed to the ground with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work….” Musk said he voted for Biden but hinted he wasn’t happy with his choice, saying “I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.” Asked if he believes the 2020 election was stolen, Musk said no, but countered that there certainly has been election fraud. Musk even slammed the obvious CIA front Bellingcat. Discussing the recent Texas shooting, Musk said the shooter was “incorrectly described to be a white supremacist. The company that found this is Belingcat. Do you know what Belingcat is? A company that does Psyops.”
ELON MUSK: "The people that come fix your house, they can't work from home, but you can? Does that seem morally right? That's messed up! […] People should get off their G-ddamn moral high-horse with their 'work-from-home' bullshit." pic.twitter.com/QSQI6spbqt
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 17, 2023
🧵 ELON MUSK'S FATHER, ERROL MUSK, IS WIDE AWAKE 🧵
"WE ARE SEEING ATHLETES DROPPING DEAD" AFTER TAKING "THE INJECTION."
"FOUNDATIONS… WHICH INCLUDE PEOPLE LIKE… BILL GATES, [SAY] THAT THE WORLD'S POPULATION SHOULD BE 500 MILLION TO BE IN… SYNC WITH NATURE…"
— Sense Receptor (@SenseReceptor) May 16, 2023
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) May 16, 2023
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