Rembrandt van Rijn The standard bearer 1636
Everyone in the west appears to fall over each other declaring the Wagner story a “coup”. If it was, Prigozhin is an exceptionally inept man. What was he going to do when he got to the outskirts of Moscow?
They also claim Putin comes out brutally damaged. You sure he’s not the big winner? It’s okay to admit you don’t know things. I’m doing it right here and now.
I’m still looking at this map. It makes so much sense.
And a take like this one:
“Putin scammed the world by faking the coup to fool NATO and eliminate disloyal high ranking military inside Russia without protests from other officials. The ploy also duped Ukraine into advancing, thinking Russia was weak, thus revealing their entire offensive. If that’s what he did it was a genius military tactic that will go down as one of the greatest moves in military history.”
Ignore the propaganda.
Instead — listen to a battle-worn Ukrainian Soldier explain what REALLY happening:
“I do not know the plans of our government, but it looks like the extermination of its own population.
All combat-able, hard working men. That’s it”pic.twitter.com/xMso9WKANY
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 25, 2023
“Blinken has piled up a consistent record for being horribly wrong on his assessments on Russia — starting from the deathly blow the ‘sanctions from hell’ were expected to give to the Russian economy; Putin’s hold on power; Russia’s catastrophic defeat in Ukraine; Russian military’s deficiencies; Kiev’s inexorable military victory, and so on..”
Just as the CIA or most intelligence organisations do, the FSB also psychoanalyses the remarks of their targets for profound meanings. They do that routinely and have trained analysts who do only that. It wouldn’t have escaped the attention of Russian intelligence analysts that Prigozhin’s ranting and ravings from Donetsk from last autumn and winter began originally on the operational aspects of the Bakhmut war front in Donetsk oblast, but incrementally began acquiring political overtones, culminating finally in his incredible statement that the raison d’être of the special military operation in Ukraine since February 2022, was all baloney. Even more strangely, this man who physically witnessed the Battle of Bakhmut, came to the bizarre conclusion that Kiev or Nato had no mala fide intentions toward Donbass or Russia.
Therefore, the ‘known known’ here is that the Russian intelligence was under instructions to be in ‘listening mode,’ give the eddies a free flow in the Battle of Bakhmut where Wagner was in the driving seat. (Interestingly, though, at some point, much to Prigozhin’s annoyance, Moscow also began deploying regular troops selectively on the Bakhmut front alongside the Wagner fighters. ) On Saturday, top US intelligence officials sprang into action to brief the media as it emerged that Russian authorities were literally waiting with a road map to squash Prigozhin’s coup attempt. Even the Chechen militia was put on standby. The crucial element in the deal struck with Prigozhin has been that he will not be prosecuted but must simply get lost. And where else could his exile be arranged better on Planet Earth than in Belarus under the benevolent eyes of President Alexander Lukashenko?
Now, we may get to know at some point from Lukashenko, who struggles to keep secrets for long, as to when exactly would Putin have taken him into confidence on a ‘need-to-know basis.’ It strains credulity that such a complex dealmaking was possible within a clutch of hours via tortuous 3-way negotiations between Moscow, Minsk and Rostov-on-Don even as the renegade Wagner column was approaching Moscow. An intriguing sub-plot here is that amidst all this heavy traffic, Lukashenko also negotiated with Nurusultan Nazarbayev, the former Kazakh dictator who headed a pro-western regime in Astana and was ousted from power after reigning for nearly three decades, following the failure of a similar US-backed coup attempt like Prigozhin’s in the winter of 2021-2022, which too was crushed with the help of the CSTO forces (Russian troops) led by a Russian general.
On the previous day, in fact, Putin had spoken with two Central Asian leaders — Kazakh President Jomart Tokayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev. Did he share any crucial intelligence? In fact, both these countries have been facing western plots for regime change lately. By the way, Given Moscow’s preoccupations in Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stepped in to take a hands-on role to consolidate the stability and security of the Central Asian region. (Please see my recent articles — China takes leadership role in Central Asia ; An “Axis of Seven” to supplement SCO ; and, Russia, China take holistic view of the Pamirs and Hindu Kush. Clearly, something was seriously afoot in Kazakhstan, which is sandwiched between Russia and China and is the most crucial piece of real estate in geopolitical terms in Central Asia.
In all probability, this was what the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken alluded to when he told ABC on Sunday that the situation with the attempted coup in Russia “is still developing… I don’t want to speculate, and I don’t think we saw the final episode.” That said, however, Blinken has piled up a consistent record for being horribly wrong on his assessments on Russia — starting from the deathly blow the ‘sanctions from hell’ were expected to give to the Russian economy; Putin’s hold on power; Russia’s catastrophic defeat in Ukraine; Russian military’s deficiencies; Kiev’s inexorable military victory, and so on.
“..we had some engagement with the Russians over the weekend to make sure they understood their responsibilities when it comes to looking out for the safety and security of our personnel in Russia..”
US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy got in touch with Russian foreign ministry officials amid the situation around PMC Wagner but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has no contacts with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the CBS television channel said on Sunday, citing its sources. According to CBS, contacts with Russia were carried out both between Ambassador Tracy and the Russian foreign ministry and at several other levels. However, there were no contacts between the two countries’ top diplomats. When asked about contacts with the Russian side, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with CBS, “I instructed my own team at the President’s behest to engage with the Russians, first and foremost, to make sure that they understood their responsibilities in terms of protecting our own personnel, ensuring their safety and well-being, as well as any American citizens in Russia.”
“So a number of people have engaged to make sure that the Russians got that message,” he noted. When asked whether US President Joe Biden would reach out to Russian President Vladimir Putin or whether the CIA director had any contacts with Russian intelligence, he said, “I’m not gonna get into any diplomatic contacts that we may have or have had, I can tell you that, on my instruction, on the President’s instruction, we had some engagement with the Russians over the weekend to make sure they understood their responsibilities when it comes to looking out for the safety and security of our personnel in Russia. Very important that we do that, and we did that.” No response has come from the US Department of State to TASS’ inquiry about Ambassador Tracy’s contacts with Russian diplomats.
In the evening of June 23, several audio recordings were posted on PMC Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Telegram channel. In particular, he claimed that his units had been allegedly attacked and blamed the military leadership of the country. In connection with these statements, the Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case over calls for an armed rebellion. The Defense Ministry dismissed the claims about alleged strikes on the “rear camps of the PMC Wagner” as false. In his address to the nation on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the PMC Wagner’s actions as an armed mutiny and treason and vowed that measures against the trouble-makers would be tough.
Later on Saturday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in coordination with Putin, held talks with Prigozhin, which yielded a de-escalation plan. Later, Prigozhin said that PMC Wagner was halting its advance to Moscow to return back to its field camps. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a criminal case against the Wagner chief would be dropped, while Prigozhin himself would go to Belarus. Besides, the Russian authorities pledged not to prosecute PMC Wagner troops who took part in the mutiny because of their “combat merits.”.
More Blinken assessments.
While over the past months Prigozhin has made his personal hatred for Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and top general Valery Gerasimov well known, the intelligence that Washington supposedly had seems very specific and appears to have accurately predicted events, a mere few days before they unfolded. While the Kremlin has thus far refrained from blaming the tumultuous events on US or NATO countries, it has indirectly hinted and warned that the West could exploit the situation. “The attempted armed mutiny in our country has aroused strong disapproval in Russian society, which firmly supports President Vladimir Putin,” a Foreign Ministry statement said Saturday. “We warn the Western countries against the slightest attempts to use the internal situation in Russia for achieving their Russophobic aims. Such attempts are futile and evoke no support either in Russia or among soberly-minded political forces abroad.”
But soon after, Secretary of State Blinken did just that, in Sunday news shows pushing the talking point that the Wagner mutiny exposed “real cracks” in Putin’s government: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the short-lived rebellion from Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin “shows real cracks” within Russia as it wages its war on Ukraine. “Prigozhin himself, in this entire incident, has raised profound questions about the very premises for Russian aggression against Ukraine in the first place, saying that Ukraine or NATO did not pose a threat to Russia, which is part of Putin’s narrative. And it was a direct challenge to Putin’s authority. So this raises profound questions. It shows real cracks,” Blinken said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“.. the president shared that he “has been staying up quite late lately.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he keeps the situation of the special operation under control around the clock. “Of course, I pay priority attention [to the special military operation],” he told journalist Pavel Zarubin. “This is how the day begins and this is how it ends,” Putin pointed out during an interview with the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” TV program, recorded on June 21. When asked if he can get a report on important issues at 3 a.m., for example, the president shared that he “has been staying up quite late lately.” “Of course, I always have to be in touch. That’s the way it goes. Always, I’m always in touch. Close by,” he concluded.
“I cannot be responsible for the psychological state of people who repeatedly, daily prove their inadequacy..”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called statements by US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky on the nuclear threat allegedly emanating from Russia a “turbulent stream of consciousness” not worth commenting on. “It’s hard for me to comment on what the US president has been saying lately, as it is for other observers in general who are wondering how to interpret it all. I wouldn’t put too much weight on verbal escapades that have no basis in fact right now,” the top Russian diplomat said in an interview with the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” TV program, according to an excerpt posted on Sunday on journalist Pavel Zarubin’s Telegram channel.
Lavrov called Zelensky’s statements “even more turbulent stream of consciousness.” “I have no medical background. [Head of the European Commission] Ursula von der Leyen has a medical degree. I cannot be responsible for the psychological state of people who repeatedly, daily prove their inadequacy,” Lavrov added. Earlier, Biden said during a speech in California that he believed the threat of Russian leader Vladimir Putin using tactical nuclear weapons was real.
“These people are under the foolish belief that a man with 6,000 nuclear weapons at this control will back off and let them put ours 5 minutes away..”
You can look at Putin as whatever you’d like but the fact of the matter is that this is a nation with thousands of nuclear weapons and, whatever your view of Putin is, he is one of the more-moderate members of the government in Russia. If he is deposed by force or worse, there’s a no-BS civil war that occurs over there who knows what comes out of that. The odds that it will be “more-friendly” to the United States than what we have now, never mind NATO, are very poor, and what’s worse is that both we and all the other NATO nations are likely interfering in a covert manner and everyone involved over there in this thing knows it. It is entirely reasonable that if Putin is deposed the US and NATO will be given a 24 hour ultimatum to remove everything they have to the Polish border or beyond and if they don’t it and the land under it will be destroyed with tactical nuclear weapons.
If you think that’s crazy you’re wrong. It is in fact very possible. Further, there is no “polite” or “conventional” response to such a threat available to us or anyone else. We either comply or its on, for real. Do realize there are people over there who consider NATO’s continued additions toward Russia, and the fact that each puts the flight time for a surprise attack closer and closer to Moscow and other major cities, an existential threat to the nation and its survival as a political entity. We would no more put up with China entering into a treaty with Mexico to put nuclear weapons on the Rio Grande or in Tijuana — within howitzer range of San Diego — than we should expect Russia to put up with us doing essentially the same thing.
Mike Pompeo is an idiot. So is Lindsey Graham. They have a right to their opinions but attempting to execute them as policy should earn them a permanent stay in prison — and in solitary confinement at that. This is wildly preferrable to a bunch of smoking holes in the ground and plumes of radiation drifting over what was a “fruited plain.” These people are under the foolish belief that a man with 6,000 nuclear weapons at this control will back off and let them put ours 5 minutes away. The problem is that in the event this goes sideways in Russia one or more people may wind up with the ability to actually use one or two. That is a much higher risk, and further, I’d like Pompeo to tell me what he thinks we would do if China and Mexico stuck some boom-booms within a few miles and a couple of minute flight times from a US city.
We all know that the United States would never tolerate that, yet this is exactly what we think NATO should be able to do over there. That is not a multi-polar or even bi-polar world when it comes to national power; it is a unipolar world where we set an agenda and everyone else must follow “or else.” sThat’s dumb.
“Of course, Trump had the opportunity to pardon Assange and others but failed to do so. Now it’s his turn.”
Tucker Carlson dates the beginning of the plot to the Republican candidates’ debate in Greenville, SC, on February 16, 2016, when Trump said we never should have been in Iraq when we went to war in 2003. Trump said the U.S. “destabilized the Middle East.” He said, “They lied. There were no weapons of mass destruction. They knew there were none.” To be fair, in his June 13, 2023, broadcast, Tucker Carlson did not use the word “assassination.” But he did say that the intent was for Trump to die in prison. So I think “assassination” is a fair word. Regarding the 2024 presidential election, the only individual the Controllers and Deep State have to cling to is the corrupt, doddering Joe Biden, with enough baggage to sink an ocean liner. Even more laughable is his parody of a vice president, Kamala Harris.
But also appearing out of nowhere is a legitimate rival to the Biden/Harris comedy team in Robert F. Kennedy Jr., scion of the family that earlier stood in the way of Controller/Deep State rule but whose stalwarts were blotted out by assassinations–JFK, RFK, and, yes, I believe, JFK, Jr. All the foregoing should be seen against the observation that the Controllers/Deep State will stop at nothing in trying to destroy anyone who stands in their way in furthering their project of ruling the world now and forever. But cracks have been appearing in their façade for over a decade, the most glaring being the 2007-2008 financial collapse, the failure of the “War on Terror,” punctuated by Biden’s 2021 flight from Afghanistan, and now the Ukraine fiasco.
With the images of Joe and Hunter Biden, overlaid by those of Kamala Harris, Victoria Nuland, and Volodymyr Zelensky, as the public faces of the clique of plutocrats and gangsters who rule over us, we gain a new appreciation of the gravity and danger of the present moment. To return to Trump, he brought the “War on Terror” at least to the stage of winding down. Cutting funding for ISIS in Syria, ordering plans to evacuate Afghanistan, and his refusal to implement his advisers’ intent to bomb Iran may testify to his reluctance to march in lockstep with the Controllers’ program. Trump’s advisers openly bragged about refusing to obey his orders to pull troops from Syria. Whether he was fully cognizant of the subversion of the Minsk agreements by the coup-installed government of Ukraine and its NATO/Neocon consiglieri appears questionable.
Back to the latest indictments, the entire concept of “classified” documents is a trap resembling flypaper, ideal for ensnaring those ignorant of the danger in handling them. By some estimates, fifty million documents are given the “classified” stamp each year, with the stamp being used selectively to send its victims to prison. But until we see the contents of the documents in Trump’s possession and gain a fair assessment of exactly how their misuse by him aided and abetted our “enemies,” the indictment is objectively meaningless. Of course, by definition the documents are verboten to the hoi polloi such as ourselves, so we will never see them. Yet the indictments may serve their purpose, which is to lock up Trump for the rest of his life. [..] Of course, Trump had the opportunity to pardon Assange and others but failed to do so. Now it’s his turn.
Fighting cancel culture.
J. K. Rowling is not a witch. She acquitted herself well in her recent “trial,” a podcast series hosted by The Free Press, detailing the explosive controversy between history’s most famous children’s author and liberal progressive activists. The Witch Trials tells the story of Rowling’s rise to fame and her fall into (progressive) infamy. It’s the sort of podcast I had to turn off whenever my kids climbed into the car. There’s a good bit of profanity, as well as “adult themes.” Nevertheless, I found the story of Rowling’s battle with gender ideologues oddly inspiring. In an age when so many have cowered before the cancel mobs, Rowling stood by the truth.
Millennials worshiped Rowling in childhood. This comes through quite clearly in Witch Trials, as childhood fans gush about the way her books represented a “security blanket” through their childhood and adolescent growing pains. In a way, this is odd, because as children’s books go, Rowling’s are quite dark. Death is a major theme. Political oppression is rampant. Even “good” adults seem to be offering a tutorial in “failure to protect,” as Harry arrives each fall at Hogwarts brimming with eagerness to learn, only to be socially ostracized, plagued with death threats, or both. This is what gives today’s kids warm fuzzies?
Perhaps it is not really so strange. For all the grimness, Rowling gave her readers a universe that they found morally comfortable. Inclusion was always a major theme. The bad guys, a group of “pureblood” wizards, want to rule the world and ensure that their magical club is restricted to people of noble (magical) birth. They’re one part evil aristocrats protecting their privilege, and one part wand-wielding Nazis crusading under a “dark mark.” Meanwhile, the good guys are crusading for meritocracy, equality, and love, with side plots exploring the ethics of discrimination, especially against house elves (which some wizards regard as natural slaves).
At the same time, the Hogwarts universe explores at length the importance of personal identity. Children are initiated into the wondrous world of Hogwarts after discovering that they have an innate capacity for doing magic, and readers then get to follow these elite characters to their posh boarding school, where their unique abilities are further explored and refined. In the very hour of their arrival, their minds are probed by the magical “sorting hat” that assesses their character and places them within the proper House. As they continue at Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s Mirror of Erised shows each person his hopes and dreams, while spooky Bogarts display their greatest fears. Students eventually learn to cast a magical “patronus charm,” which brings forth a kind of animal-protector in a form that uniquely reflects the caster’s soul.
“If Hunter Biden was caught not putting the foreign payments on his U.S. tax returns as income, and we know Joe Biden received the same payments, well, did Joe Biden list his portion on his income tax returns?”:”
Things are getting spicy in/around Main Justice in DC. On Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy AG Lisa Monaco denied any involvement interfering with the decisions made by USAO David Weiss regarding the investigation of the Hunter and Joe Biden bribery and tax fraud scheme. However, in response, the IRS whistleblower is now naming additional witnesses to Weiss’s statements. Through his attorneys, whistleblower Gary Shapley is now naming additional witnesses to the statements of USAO Weiss:
“In an October 7, 2022, meeting at the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney David Weiss told six witnesses he did not have authority to charge in other districts and had thus requested special counsel status. Those six witnesses include Baltimore FBI Special Agent in Charge Tom Sobocinski and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ryeshia Holley, IRS Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Shapley and Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon, who also independently and contemporaneously corroborated Mr. Shapley’s account in an email, now public as Exhibit 10, following p. 148 of his testimony transcript. Mr. Shapley would have no insight into why Mr. Weiss’s would make these statements at the October 7, 2022 meeting if they were false. That Mr. Weiss made these statements is easily corroborated, and it is up to him and the Justice Department to reconcile the evidence of his October 7, 2022 statements with contrary statements by Mr. Weiss and the Attorney General to Congress.”
Someone is lying, and the whistleblower appears to have all his information well documented and cited. Mr. Weiss, Mr. Garland and Mrs. Monaco have some explaining to do. An interesting thought ran through my head last night as I was thinking about the Hunter Biden IRS agreement. If Hunter Biden was caught not putting the foreign payments on his U.S. tax returns as income, and we know Joe Biden received the same payments, well, did Joe Biden list his portion on his income tax returns? Just wondering….
A “present” from Hunter. Joe couldn’t very well put it in his own name.
Peter Schweizer on Sunday dropped a bombshell during an appearance on Fox News with host Maria Bartiromo. Schweizer, author of “Secret Empires,” said Joe Biden was using a secret cell phone and it was paid for by Hunter Biden’s firm. “What is the line of communications between Hunter Biden and his business partners and Joe Biden when he’s Vice President of the United States?” Schweizer said. “It’s not the government phone. It’s not Joe Biden’s personal phone. We know from the laptop that Hunter Biden’s business paid for a private phone line that Joe Biden used while he was Vice President. Schweizer continued, “It was from AT&T. It was $300 a month. It was a global phone where you could access somebody anywhere around the world.”
Peter Schweizer said he shared the “phone number and account information with the people over at the House Oversight Committee.” “My hope is that the House Oversight Committee will subpoena those records,” Peter Schweizer said. Biden’s secret global cell phone was used to run a very lucrative international influence-peddling operation that included his entire family. House Oversight Chairman James Comer last month identified the NINE Bidens implicated in corruption. “Joe Biden’s son. Joe Biden’s brother. Joe Biden’s brother’s wife. Hunter Biden’s girlfriend/Beau Biden’s widow, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife. Hunter Biden’s current wife. And 3 children of the president’s son and the president’s brother. So we’re talking about grandchildren – a grandchild. That’s odd. Most people that work hard every day a grandchild doesn’t get a wire from a foreign national,” Comer said at a press conference last month.
James Comer said the Biden family received over $10 million from foreign nationals while Joe Biden was Vice President. The countries involved directly correlated with Joe Biden’s work as Vice President. This is textbook money laundering and influence peddling. “The Committee is concerned by the complicated, suspicious network of over 20 companies we have identified the Bidens and their associates used to enrich themselves,” Comer said. “Most of these companies were Limited Liability Companies formed DURING Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency.”
“..the bureau received information about the device containing “evidence of white collar crimes” in October 2019 and quickly attributed the laptop to Hunter Biden..”
The FBI verified the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” months before the release of the Post’s October 2020 bombshell about the Bidens, according to IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. The FBI determined that the infamous “laptop from hell” belonged to Hunter Biden as early as November 6, 2019, and by spring 2020 the bureau had concluded that there was “no reason to believe there is anything fabricated nefariously on the computer and/or hard drive,” according to a contemporaneous investigative memo by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. In late May, Shapley delivered testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee which was made public earlier this week. The IRS agent also presented a memo, penned by him in October 2020, and shared by independent media outlet Just the News on June 25.
The memo provides a detailed chronology of the FBI’s activities concerning the laptop in question, which was abandoned by the first son in a Delaware repair shop. As per the document, the bureau received information about the device containing “evidence of white collar crimes” in October 2019 and quickly attributed the laptop to Hunter Biden – codenamed “Sportsman” in the document – via Apple ID account/iCloud account and supporting evidence. “Financial records show Sportsman was around Wilmington DE shop at a cigar shop on the same day,” the memo said. “Other intelligence shows Sportsman was in the area. Computershop calls Sportsman to tell him to bring in an external hard drive to put recovered data on to. Sportsman returned to the shop with the external hard drive. Phone records show the shop called Sportsman and Sportsman called the shop around this time.”
Having taken possession of the device in December 2019, the agency started to scrupulously analyze its content which included messages, emails, pictures, and other types of files. By May 2020, FBI agents had little if any doubts that the collection of files was authentic and belonged to the younger Biden. However, when the New York Post released its October 2020 story stemming from the laptop’s content, the bureau and 51 ex-intelligence chiefs rubbished the bombshell as “Russia’s disinformation operation”. Before that, during all of 2020, the FBI warned Twitter officials about an allegedly forthcoming “Russian hack-and-leak” operation “involving Hunter Biden”, as per Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth’s testimony. The bureau particularly referred to APT28, claiming that it’s a group of Russian hackers linked to Moscow’s intelligence services.
Take one for the team.
Many have noted that Hunter Biden was an implausible business associate or board member to be working with various foreign companies. He had lived a life that was a toxic mix of nepotism and narcotics, by his own admission. According to his 2021 memoir, during the period when foreign companies were clamoring to give him millions of dollars, he was “drinking a quart of vodka a day” and “smoking crack around the clock.” He kept up that self-destructive lifestyle, he said, until his father’s 2020 presidential campaign began. When Hunter’s world began to collapse financially, his uncle, James (who has been implicated in influence-peddling in news reports and by House investigators) rushed to assure him that he and his father were arranging a “safe harbor” for him, according to one media report.
The alarm over Hunter cutting off contact was understandable as a family matter in dealing with a relative with a history of drug addiction. Yet Hunter also potentially represented something of a threat to a family that has long been accused of influence-peddling. Hunter has relied on his family and his father’s political associates to protect him. He reportedly paid his delinquent taxes with the help of a wealthy friend; other unnamed individuals paid huge sums for his art work. When Hunter’s gun disappeared near a school and local authorities were investigating, the Secret Service mysteriously showed up at a gun shop and asked for the paperwork tying him to the gun. When Hunter lost a laptop reportedly filled with incriminating emails detailing criminal conduct with drugs, as well as alleged evidence of influence-peddling, national security experts rushed forward to declare it was likely to be Russian disinformation.
Much of the media joined with an effective news blackout of the story. The FBI then allegedly sat on the laptop and did not appear to do a thing to investigate further. At every juncture, the wayward son of Joe Biden seems to be snatched from the jaws of disaster. Now, at the center of a swirling scandal of alleged influence-peddling, Hunter has emerged with a plea that brings a new meaning to the word “bargain.” He will plead guilty to two minor misdemeanor tax counts and a phantom felony count that will go away in time. Yet this may be the most vital role that Hunter has played for his family. He will declare himself guilty so the media and the political establishment can declare the scandal to be a closed matter: Nothing more to see here, other than a plea to a couple misdemeanors.
“..If Assange is successfully extradited and convicted, it will take about ten minutes for it to happen again…”
At Parliament Hill in London Saturday, there was a demonstration on behalf of jailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Present was the famed rendering of Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden made by sculptor Davide Domino. The statue includes an empty chair for the next whistleblower. I had the honor of standing on that chair to give a short address: I have a confession to make. Once. like a lot of journalists, I didn’t like Julian Assange. It wasn’t just that Wikileaks was breaking one huge story after another. He had fab hair. He wore skinny jeans. He even modeled at fashion week! What can I say? I was jealous. We’re in London, so I can quote Shakespeare, can’t I? “Beware the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
Jealousy, that monster, impairs one’s thinking. It impaired mine. I didn’t have a reason to dislike Assange. So I invented one. I decided I didn’t like the concept of “radical transparency.” I thought: “You can’t just dump all of those secrets on the public. That’s irresponsible!” I was so brainwashed that I forgot, as many people do, that secrets do not belong to governments. That information belongs to us. Governments rule by our consent. If they want to keep secrets, they must have our permission to do so. And they never have the right to keep crimes secret. I’m an American. Many of you are from the U.K. In our countries, we’re building skyscrapers and huge new complexes to store our secrets, because we don’t have room to keep them all as is! Why do we have so many secrets? Julian Assange told us why. From an essay he wrote:
“Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers.” When governments become authoritarian, they inspire resistance. Techniques must then be developed to repel that resistance. Those techniques must then be concealed. In short: the worse a country is, the more secrets it has. We have a lot of secrets now. Julian Assange became famous as we were creating a vast new government-within-a-government, a system of secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, mass surveillance, and drone assassination. Many of these things we know about only because of Wikileaks. Ostensibly, all this secrecy was needed to fight foreign terrorism.
The brutal irony now is the architects of that system no longer feel the need to hide their dirty tactics. My government, openly, wants to put this man in jail for 175 years, mostly for violations of the Espionage Act. These include crimes like “conspiracy to receive national defense information,” or “obtaining national defense information.” What is “national defense information?” The answer is what makes this law so dangerous. It’s whatever they say it is. It’s any information they don’t want to get out. It doesn’t even have to be classified. What is conspiracy to obtain such information? We have a word for that. It’s called journalism. My government wants to put Julian Assange in jail for 175 years for practicing journalism. The government of this country, the U.K., is going to allow it to happen.
If they did this to Andrei Sakharov, or Nelson Mandela, every human rights organization in the world would be denouncing this as an intolerable outrage. Every NGO would be lining up to lend support. Every journalist would be penning editorials demanding his release. But because our own governments are doing it, we get silence. If you’re okay with this happening to one Julian Assange, you’d better be okay with it happening to many others. That’s why this moment is so important. If Assange is successfully extradited and convicted, it will take about ten minutes for it to happen again. From there this will become a common occurrence. There will be no demonstrations in parks, no more news stories. This will become a normal part of our lives. Don’t let that happen. Free Julian Assange.s
“It might indeed be in Biden’s and the C.I.A.’s interests to wash their hands of this filthy endeavor once and for all.”
Biden would need his pound of flesh from Assange if he would allow his administration to offer a plea. Assange would most likely have to plead guilty to something and serve more time, likely in Australia, before Biden would entertain ending the case. Though he was never charged for the Democratic National Committee or the C.I.A. leaks, Assange is the continuing target of their ire, and would be unlikely to look kindly on Biden letting him go, especially a year before a U.S. presidential election. Biden knows he’s wrong on Assange, if he can remember it. He clearly stated his position on Assange on Meet the Press in December 2010. Vice President Biden told the program that Assange could only be indicted if it could be proved he conspired to steal the published documents. That could not be proved and the Obama-Biden administration did not indict Assange.
The Trump administration did. But only on the original 2010 espionage charges. The U.S. indictment does not accuse Assange of stealing U.S. government documents, but only receiving them. If Biden stuck to his original principles he would have these charges dropped and let Assange go. But it’s political dynamite for him. The C.I.A. and DNC would likely be furious with Biden so he will need something in return to show them for letting Assange go. Whether that satisfies them is another matter. The last, long-shot possibility, is that the U.S. drops the case altogether. This is what Assange’s supporters, parliamentarians around the world, human rights and press freedom groups, journalists’ unions and even WikiLeaks‘ five corporate media partners have been calling for.
But until now it’s been like talking to a marble wall in Washington. Yet, developments in the UC Global case in Spain and the upcoming U.S. presidential election might provide conditions for the U.S. to want to get out of its pursuit of Assange. A recent development in the Madrid criminal trial against UC Global chief David Morales for violating Assange’s privacy by spying on him in Ecuador’s London embassy with 24/7 live surveillance for the Central Intelligence Agency as well on his privileged conversations with his lawyers has solidly confirmed the C.I.A’s role. Would Langley want that exposed at Assange’s trial federal court in Alexandria, VA, where U.S. media interest would be intense?
Also, would Biden welcome during a presidential campaign the protests in the plaza before the Alexandria courthouse, highlighting his administrations efforts to convict a journalist for publishing accurate information exposing U.S. state crimes, handing his political opponents a cudgel to expose his hypocrisy about defending press freedoms? It might indeed be in Biden’s and the C.I.A.’s interests to wash their hands of this filthy endeavor once and for all. (There is precedence for this in the Katharine Gun case.) In one way or the other, the coming weeks appear to be leading to a climax in the extradition phase of arguably the most important press freedom case in U.S. history.
Greenpeace co-founder, Dr. Patrick Moore, on the genocidal nature of Net Zero policies:
"We're now facing a situation where a huge number of very powerful organisations and elites are calling for policies that are basically a suicide pact. Basically a death wish… They might… pic.twitter.com/lQElSnaaQE
— Wide Awake Media (@wideawake_media) June 25, 2023
Ducks do not just love water, ducks need water. They need it to keep their eyes, bills, feet and feathers in good condition.
Yet, this specific one seems too attached to this pond
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) June 24, 2023
All you need
#OTD in 1967 THE BEATLES performed “All You Need Is Love” on the first live global satellite programme.
Seen by an audience of over 400 million in 25 countries John wrote it in order to deliver a specific message as simply as possible for a global audience.pic.twitter.com/pUNm9Em9SJ
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) June 25, 2023
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