Apr 112024
 
 April 11, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Triumph of Death c1562

 

Biden Considering Australian Request To Drop Assange Charges (BBC)
Iran Strike On Israel ‘Imminent’ (RT)
Jews Who Vote Democrat ‘Should Have Their Head Examined’ – Trump (RT)
Star Wars Coming – Top US General (RT)
Zelensky Reveals New Counteroffensive Plans (RT)
Trump Plan For Ukraine ‘Primitive’ – Zelensky (RT)
US Drones Faring Poorly In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)
Bodies of American Mercs Slain in Ukraine Piling Up at US Cemeteries (Sp.)
Senator Pressures Austin on How Much More Money US Will Spend in Ukraine (Sp.)
Attack on ZNPP Training Center Signals New Attacks On Plant — IAEA chief (TASS)
EU’s Borrell Warns Of ‘Potential Nuclear Disaster’ In Russia (RT)
Pentagon’s Ukraine Contract for Musk’s Starlink Expires – Bloomberg (RT)
DOJ Uncovers ‘Inconsistencies’ in Fani Willis’s Use of Federal Grant Funds (FB)
I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. (Berliner)
How Trump Could Beat Deep State (Jim Rickards)

 

 

 

 

MTG Bannon Mike Johnson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777841725169336685

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Donalds

 

 

Adrenochrome Caviezel

 

 

Alex Jones
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777830274480357507

 

 

PedoJoe

 

 

 

 

Biden doesn’t want the hot potato anymore..

Biden Considering Australian Request To Drop Assange Charges (BBC)

US President Joe Biden has said that he is considering a request from Australia to drop the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The country’s parliament recently passed a measure – backed by PM Anthony Albanese – calling for the return of Mr Assange to his native Australia. The US wants to extradite the 52-year-old from the UK on criminal charges over the leaking of military records. Mr Assange denies the charges, saying the leaks were an act of journalism. The president was asked about Australia’s request on Wednesday and said: “We’re considering it.” The measure passed the Australian parliament in February. Mr Albanese told MPs: “People will have a range of views about Mr Assange’s conduct… But regardless of where people stand, this thing cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely.”

Mr Assange, 52, is fighting extradition in the UK courts. The extradition was put on hold in March after London’s High Court said the United States must provide assurances he would not face the death penalty. The High Court is due to evaluate any responses from the US authorities at the end of May. In a post on Twitter/X, directed at Mr Biden, Mr Assange’s wife Stella said: “Do the right thing. Drop the charges.” Kristinn Hrafnsson, the current editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, said that it was “not too late” for the president to stop the extradition attempt, which he said was a “politically motivated act” by Mr Biden’s predecessor. US prosecutors want to try the Wikileaks founder on 18 counts, almost all under the Espionage Act, over the release of confidential US military records and diplomatic messages relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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How Bibi draws the west into the war…

Iran Strike On Israel ‘Imminent’ (RT)

The promised Iranian retaliation for the Israeli attack on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus is likely in the next 24-48 hours, anonymous US officials told Bloomberg on Wednesday. Two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force were killed in the Israeli airstrike on April 1, which for the first time targeted an internationally protected diplomatic mission. There has been a widespread expectation that Iran would refrain from reprisal until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Speaking on Wednesday, as Muslims celebrated the feast of Eid-al-Fitr, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Israel “must and shall be punished” for what it did. “Major missile or drone strikes” are now imminent, Bloomberg reported citing “people familiar with” the Israeli, US and allied intelligence reports.

They will likely be carried out by either Iran directly, or its allies such as the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, the anonymous sources said. The US is helping Israel with planning and sharing intelligence assessments, the sources said. West Jerusalem is reportedly waiting for the Iranian attack before it launches a ground offensive against the city of Rafah, in Gaza. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday that West Jerusalem would respond in kind if the attack on Israel comes from Iranian territory. Several media outlets reported on Tuesday that Israel has been preparing to target Iran’s nuclear facilities. The US has publicly promised Israel support against an Iranian attack, including helping shoot down the incoming missiles. Washington has reportedly also floated the idea of taking part in any Israeli counter-strikes.

“We do not rule out launching joint retaliatory strikes with Israel if it is attacked by Iran or its agents,” an unnamed US official told Al Jazeera Arabic. Meanwhile, Lufthansa has announced that it was suspending service to and from Tehran “due to the current situation in the Middle East.” Flights might resume after April 11, the German national carrier said on Wednesday. Rumors that the airspace over Iran’s Khuzestan province – on the southwestern border with Iraq – has been closed could not be independently confirmed. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have canceled all leave and began spoofing GPS signals, in preparation for a possible Iranian reprisal. Rumors of the impending Iranian strike also drove up the price of oil on futures markets, with Brent crude trading above $90 a barrel.

Gideon Levy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777819512680968496

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“Biden has totally lost control of the Israel situation,” Trump told reporters. “He has abandoned Israel.”

Jews Who Vote Democrat ‘Should Have Their Head Examined’ – Trump (RT)

Former US president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that Jewish-Americans would be insane to vote for his rival in November. Trump held an impromptu press conference on the tarmac of the international airport in Atlanta, Georgia, after flying into town for a campaign fundraiser. He used the occasion to criticize President Joe Biden’s handling of the Gaza conflict, among other things. “Biden has totally lost control of the Israel situation,” Trump told reporters. “He has abandoned Israel.” “Any Jewish person that votes for a Democrat or votes for Biden should have their head examined,” Trump added.

During his term in the White House, Trump openly supported Israel, recognizing West Jerusalem’s annexation of the Golan Heights and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. In the 2020 election, an estimated 70% of American Jews voted for Biden. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the Gaza-based militant group’s October 7 attack that claimed an estimated 1,200 lives. Since then, over 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military operations. Many Palestinian and Muslim Americans have voiced frustration with Biden over his support of West Jerusalem, accusing him of not doing enough to stop the Israeli onslaught.

Finding itself criticized from both sides, the White House has tried to please both. The US has continued supplying ammunition and weapons to Israel and offered Netanyahu “ironclad” support against Iran, but also called for a ceasefire in Gaza and opening of humanitarian aid corridors. Netanyahu has mostly shrugged off US criticism, saying that “no force in the world” will stop Israel from destroying Hamas. Last month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who is himself Jewish, called for the ouster of Netanyahu as a way to resolve the current conflict.

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“..Operation Olympic Defender, a program intended to “optimize space operation..,”

Star Wars Coming – Top US General (RT)

The possibility of a conflict in space is no longer just theoretical, General Stephen Whiting, head of the US Space Command, said on Tuesday. Speaking at the 39th Space Symposium at the command’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Whiting painted an alarming picture of Russian and Chinese orbital capabilities. China has built a “kill web over the Pacific Ocean to find, fix, track and, yes, target US and allied military capabilities,” Whiting said, describing Beijing’s efforts as moving at “breathtaking speed.” Since 2018, Russia has doubled and China has tripled the number of their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites in orbit, while also testing and fielding anti-satellite weapons. Meanwhile, the US has “the world’s best space architectures,” but its military constellations are “optimized for a benign environment,” he said.

Russian and Chinese space weapons “hold at risk our modern way of life and how we defend this nation, and we must be able to deter and counter these threats when called upon to achieve space superiority,” the general said. Whiting described a possible armed conflict in space as “economically and environmentally devastating, perhaps for decades,” and said the US wishes to keep things in the state of “enduring competition” instead. The US is already working with Canada, Australia and the UK on Operation Olympic Defender, a program intended to “optimize space operations,” according to the Space Command. Whiting announced that Germany, France and New Zealand have been invited to join as well.

He also revealed that the command’s new Capability Assessment and Validation Environment (CAVE) has achieved “minimum viable capability.” The modeling and simulation laboratory will enable the US military to “derive better ways of deterring and planning to conduct operations for a war that’s never happened, and a war we don’t want to happen,” he said. Washington recently accused Moscow of having undisclosed anti-satellite capabilities, possibly nuclear in nature. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US claims were “unfounded” and a ploy to manipulate arms control talks. The Russian embassy in Washington has also accused the US of using “Russophobic slogans” to mask its own plans to militarize space.

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Not exactly. But he does reveal his new mantra:

“..it’s not about the number of people. It’s about the quality of the weapons.”

Zelensky Reveals New Counteroffensive Plans (RT)

Western military technology can enable Kiev to launch a new counteroffensive against Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky believes. While Ukrainian forces are presently being pushed back on the battlefield, Kiev hopes to turn the tide thanks to Western aid, the Ukrainian leader told the German tabloid Bild this week. “Russia has more men, more weapons. But the West has modern weapons systems,” Zelensky mused. “If we get [production] licenses from our partners, then it’s not about the number of people. It’s about the quality of the weapons.” Kiev already has a plan for a new counteroffensive against Russia, Zelensky said, indicating that it depends on the US resuming military assistance to his country and the West in general helping Ukraine ramp up domestic military production.

Last year, Ukraine attempted a counteroffensive; Western-trained and armed troops were expected to break through Russian defensive lines and score a major victory. However, they only managed negligible territorial gains at the cost of tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and depleted their arms stockpiles. Russia estimated Ukrainian military losses between early June and late October, 2023 at roughly 90,000 troops, 600 tanks and 1,900 other armored vehicles. The Zelensky government maintains that it cannot negotiate with Russia as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in power and would not accept any outcome of the conflict that doesn’t entail the full restoration of Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders. A profile of the Ukrainian leader published by Time magazine last November said that his faith in Ukraine prevailing was “immovable, verging on the messianic.” Some of his aides perceived it as delusional, they told the news outlet.

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“He expects Western weapons to be so superior to Russian ones that Ukraine’s inferior troop numbers will be irrelevant..”

Trump Plan For Ukraine ‘Primitive’ – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has rejected a plan for making peace with Russia involving territorial concessions, which has reportedly been devised by Donald Trump. The proposed deal was outlined by the Washington Post this week, and would involve Kiev acknowledging Russian sovereignty over some of the territories currently claimed by Ukraine. The newspaper cited anonymous sources but one of Trump’s advisers has dismissed its report as “fake news.” The former president has repeatedly boasted that he would end the hostilities within 24 hours if he’s returned to the White House in November’s election, but has declined to explain his plan in detail. The hypothetical plan described by the newspaper “is very primitive,” Zelensky told German tabloid Bild.

The Ukrainian leader has previously stated that Trump should make his plan public. He told CNN last September: “If he has this plan, why be afraid and wait?” In his interview with Bild, the Ukrainian leader said Trump should visit Kiev to “see the situation with his eyes and draw certain conclusions.” Ukraine would require “strong arguments” to show that his idea is a “real one” and not “fantastic,” he added. Negotiations with Russia remain impossible as long as Vladimir Putin remains as its president, Zelensky told the German newspaper. He said Kiev had a plan to beat Moscow on the battlefield, after it gets more aid from the US and its allies, including direct weapons supplies and military technology for domestic arms production. He expects Western weapons to be so superior to Russian ones that Ukraine’s inferior troop numbers will be irrelevant.

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About those superior weapons…

US Drones Faring Poorly In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)

Small drones sent to Ukraine by US manufacturers have largely proved ineffective on the battlefield due to Russian electronic countermeasures, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Ukraine conflict has seen the widespread use of small expandable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance, as well as for dropping small explosives and serving as loitering munitions. US products have proved unsatisfactory, however, forcing Kiev to rely on Chinese models instead, the WSJ reported on Tuesday. “The general reputation for every class of US drone in Ukraine is that they don’t work as well as other systems,” Adam Bry, CEO of drone maker Skydio, told the newspaper. He admitted his own company’s products are “not a very successful platform on the front lines.”

Even some of the drones that the Pentagon has deemed fit for American soldiers have not fared well in the conflict, according to the report. The list of problematic weapons mentioned by the WSJ included AeroVironment Switchblade 300 loitering munitions, Velos Rotors V3 helicopter drones, and UAVs made by Cyberlux. Ukrainian troops are burning through some 10,000 small drones a month, the report added. Many of them are off-the-shelf models produced by Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology, or are assembled from Chinese components on Ukrainian soil. The Chinese firm, which has been banned from US military use for supposedly posing a national security risk, told the newspaper that it “absolutely deplores and condemns the use of its products to cause harm anywhere in the world.”

Many American commercial drones cost tens of thousands of dollars more per piece than their Chinese competitors, the WSJ noted. US producers aiming to sell their UAVs to the Pentagon must meet its regulations, including restrictions on using Chinese parts and software updates. Russia has significantly increased domestic production of military drones amid the hostilities with Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported last November that the country was supplying 16 times more drones compared to January 2023. Forbes suggested in December that Ukrainian assessments that Russia makes as many as 40,000 smaller first-person-view kamikaze quadcopters per month may be too conservative.

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“Therefore, they have only one choice – to flee Ukraine or to die..”

This should be on US prime time TV. It’d be over soon…

Bodies of American Mercs Slain in Ukraine Piling Up at US Cemeteries (Sp.)

US cemeteries are full of graves of American mercenaries who died in Ukraine – hirelings described by Western press as the so-called “volunteer soldiers.” One of them is retired Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi, who died two months after the start of the Russian special military operation. According to a Sputnik correspondent, the 50-year-old is buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, the most famous in the United States, where politicians, astronauts and even presidents, including John F. Kennedy, are buried. A cemetery in California has become the final resting place for another US mercenary, Bryan Young, 51, who was killed by “Russian artillery fire” in the Donetsk region in July 2023, according to American media. In a bizarre sight, the epitaph on Young’s gravestone reads “On to the next adventure”.

Another American mercenary who was buried in California is “Marine Corps veteran” Ian Tortorici. The 32-year-old fought for the Foreign Legion of Ukraine and was eliminated in an attack by Russian forces on a Ukrainian unit stationed in the city of Kramatorsk. US citizen Dane Partridge, 34, who had served in Iraq, fought on the side of the Kiev regime immediately after the start of Russia’s special operation, but was then seriously wounded and died a few months later. Partridge, who is survived by his wife and five children, is buried in Idaho. American mercenary Paul Lee Kim was also 34, when he was killed in Ukraine last year and was buried in a Texas cemetery.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that almost 6,000 foreign mercenaries, who came to Ukraine to fight on the side of the Kiev regime, have been killed since the beginning of the special operation. According to the MoD, at least 1,113 mercenaries came from the United States, 491 of whom have already been killed. The Defense Ministry earlier stressed in a statement that the Kiev regime uses foreign mercenaries as “cannon fodder” and that “their lives are not spared by anyone in the Ukrainian command.” “Therefore, they have only one choice – to flee Ukraine or to die. The Russian armed forces will continue to destroy foreign mercenaries in the course of the special military operation, regardless of their location on the territory of Ukraine,” the statement read.

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“I’m just trying to understand the totality of the request to the American people for this war..”

Senator Pressures Austin on How Much More Money US Will Spend in Ukraine (Sp.)

US Senator Eric Schmitt on Tuesday pressured Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the totality of funds the Biden administration is planning to spend supporting Ukraine in a conflict for which it has not articulated any clear goals. “There’s no money [left for Ukraine], so I can only be left to assume one of three things. One is the war is over. Two or B is the United States won’t be allocating any more dollars or C that this is a dishonest [supplemental] request. I guess the question is, are we going … to get another supplemental because members of this committee had been told there could be another request for $100 billion? I’m just trying to understand the totality of the request to the American people for this war,” Schmitt said in his remarks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

In February, the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill that includes some $60 billion for Ukraine, but it was held up in the House of Representatives by Speaker Mike Johnson, who prioritized working on budget legislation and exploring other routes for Ukraine funding. Austin confirmed to Schmitt, though, that the supplemental request, which has not yet been voted on in the House, will provide additional funding for Ukraine-related needs only through the end of this fiscal year or September 30, meaning that there will be a need for another supplemental package past this date.

In addition, Austin said that it was a goal of the Alliance to admit Ukraine to NATO some time in the future. The Pentagon chief also agreed with Schmitt that the conflict is unlikely to end by September 30, which essentially means that the pending aid package for Ukraine obviously will not be the last. Schmitt emphasized that US legislators are skeptical about the $60 billion supplemental package for Ukraine because there are no adequate controls on how the money is being spent by Ukraine. “We are continuing to head down this road and now we are getting a budget request that isn’t reflective of the administration’s ‘how long it takes’ statement,” Schmitt said.

Every second, American taxpayers send $80,000 to Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777793753157083541

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“Attacking a nuclear power plant is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, and it must stop..”

Attack on ZNPP Training Center Signals New Attacks On Plant — IAEA chief (TASS)

Tuesday’s drone attack on the training center of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) points to readiness for new attacks on the plant, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi said. “Today’s reported incident – although outside the site perimeter – is an ominous development as it indicates an apparent readiness to continue these attacks, despite the grave dangers they pose to nuclear safety and security and our repeated calls for military restraint. Whoever is behind them, they are playing with fire. Attacking a nuclear power plant is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, and it must stop,” Grossi said in a statement posted on the agency’s website.

The IAEA chief promised to bring up the seriousness of the situation surrounding the attacks on the ZNPP in his address to the UN Security Council “next week.” “I remain determined to do everything in my power to prevent a major nuclear accident <…>. At this moment of great danger, I will underline the seriousness of the situation in my address to the Security Council, whose support is of paramount importance for the IAEA’s persistent efforts to help prevent a major nuclear accident, with potential consequences for people and the environment in Ukraine and beyond,” Grossi said.

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“Russia should withdraw from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.”

It’s Russian territory now.

EU’s Borrell Warns Of ‘Potential Nuclear Disaster’ In Russia (RT)

Attacks on Russia’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) could result in a nuclear disaster, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy has warned. Josep Borrell was commenting on a series of strikes carried out by kamikaze drones on the nuclear power station in the city of Energodar, in Zaporozhye Region. On Sunday, several bomb-laden Ukrainian UAVs struck parts of the complex, including the canteen and the cargo area. One drone was shot down above the dome of Reactor Six, according to the plant’s press service. On Tuesday, another UAV attacked the plant’s training center, where the world’s only full-scale reactor hall simulator is located.

“Reckless drone attack against [Zaporozhye] nuclear power plant increases risk of dangerous nuclear accident. Such attacks must stop,” the EU’s top diplomat wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, adding that “Russia should withdraw from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.” Europe’s largest nuclear power plant fell under Moscow’s control in 2022, early in the conflict with Ukraine. Russia’s nuclear energy agency Rosatom took over the running of the nuclear power station after Zaporozhye Region was incorporated into Russia following a referendum in the autumn of 2022. Kiev has repeatedly claimed that Moscow keeps heavy weaponry on the premises of the power plant. Russia has accused Ukraine of shelling the facility and risking a major nuclear incident.

Borrell’s remarks echoed comments by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi. Commenting on the strikes earlier this week, he described them as a “major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the [Zaporozhye] Nuclear Power Plant,” adding that “such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident.” The international nuclear watchdog, which has personnel at the site, said it was the first time the facility had been directly targeted since November 2022, and warned that such attacks endangered nuclear safety. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday that the Ukrainian drone strike on the Zaporozhye facility was a “dangerous provocation” which could lead to severe negative consequences.

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“miniscule” compared to the “hundreds of millions of dollars” Musk’s SpaceX received from the US..”

Pentagon’s Ukraine Contract for Musk’s Starlink Expires – Bloomberg (RT)

The Pentagon contract to deploy Elon Musk’s Starlink terminals in Ukraine will expire next month, Bloomberg has reported, citing an unnamed US official. The service plays a vital role in Washington’s security assistance to Kiev, the report adds. The source also revealed that the contract, which went into force in June of last year and lasts through May, is worth $23 million, Bloomberg wrote. The US Department of Defense has so far refused to officially disclose the size of the contract. The amount has been described by the publication as “miniscule” compared to the “hundreds of millions of dollars” Musk’s SpaceX received from the US for launching some of its national security satellites. Musk has repeatedly voiced unease about the use of Starlink in Ukraine. The satellite network has been providing communications to the country’s military and the government.

”Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant to combat,” Musk said on X (formerly Twitter) in September, referring to the use of the satellites in Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia. “This is the right order of things,” he added. Musk’s comment came shortly after the billionaire revealed that he had foiled a Ukrainian drone raid on Crimea by refusing to let Kiev forces use Starlink to guide naval drone strikes on Russian ships. Musk’s admission sparked outrage in Kiev, with Mikhail Podoliak, a top adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky, accusing him of “enabling evil.” Musk responded to the accusation by explaining that he had no obligation to fight for Ukraine, adding that he did not want Space X to be “explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

His remark echoed a previous statement made in the winter of 2023, where he admitted that although Starlink was “the communication backbone of Ukraine, especially at the front lines”, SpaceX “will not enable escalation of conflict that may lead to WW3.” Last year, SpaceX signed a contract with the US Defense Department to provide satellite services as part of the Pentagon’s new ‘Starshield’ program. CEO Elon Musk described the effort as a military alternative to the “civilian” Starlink. However, according to Bloomberg, the new Space Force contract will see Starshield’ rely on the existing constellation of Starlink satellites.

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“..the group’s administrative director, Toni Barnett, told the Free Beacon that she had no idea why the county was reporting making those payments..” “..You need to go to that government resource and you need to let that validate whatever you want to say or print. Because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

DOJ Uncovers ‘Inconsistencies’ in Fani Willis’s Use of Federal Grant Funds (FB)

President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has uncovered “inconsistencies” in Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’s use of federal grant funds, the Washington Free Beacon has learned. The bombshell discovery comes two years after Willis fired a whistleblower who had warned the district attorney that her office was attempting to misuse a $488,000 federal grant to pay for “swag,” computers, and travel. It’s that same grant that the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs now says is plagued with reporting discrepancies from Willis’s office, errors that federal authorities only disclosed to the Free Beacon after providing contradictory statements regarding awards Willis’s office may have made under the grant. “During our review of the award to respond to this inquiry, we have noticed some inconsistencies in what Fulton County has reported to [the Federal Subaward Reporting System] and we are working with them to update their reporting accordingly,” a Justice Department spokeswoman told the Free Beacon on Friday.

The Justice Department did not provide any further details on the nature of Willis’s reporting “inconsistencies” on the $488,000 federal grant, which was earmarked for the creation of a Center for Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention in Atlanta. The grant ended in September 2023, but the center never opened. The Justice Department is coordinating with Willis’s office to fix the grant reporting “inconsistencies” amid an ongoing House Judiciary Committee investigation into Willis’s use of federal grant funds. Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) subpoenaed Willis in early February for records related to the $488,000 federal grant and the whistleblower allegations made by former Willis staffer Amanda Timpson, who was listed as the grant director until the district attorney abruptly fired her in January 2022.

Jordan threatened to hold Willis in contempt of Congress on March 14 after the district attorney responded to his subpoena with a “narrow set of documents” that had nothing to do with Timpson’s whistleblower allegations. Willis wrote in response that Jordan’s demands were “unreasonable and uncustomary” and suggested his investigation was an effort to derail her election interference case against former president Donald Trump. The Free Beacon questions that prompted the Justice Department’s discovery of Willis’s reporting “inconsistencies” centered on subaward payments the district attorney may have made to the Offender Alumni Association, an Alabama-based charity staffed by former prison inmates. Whether or not the Offender Alumni Association received payments from the federal grant depends on who is asked. Fulton County records show that Willis’s office transferred $88,900 from the federal gang prevention grant to the Offender Alumni Association.

But the group’s administrative director, Toni Barnett, told the Free Beacon that she had no idea why the county was reporting making those payments to her group in 2022 and 2023. “I have no idea where that information is coming from,” Barnett told the Free Beacon on March 15. “I have no idea why you’re calling or where you’re getting that information from. You need to go to that government resource and you need to let that validate whatever you want to say or print. Because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

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“..one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.“

I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. (Berliner)

“During most of my tenure [at NPR], an open-minded, curious culture prevailed. We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding. In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population… Like many unfortunate things, the rise of advocacy took off with Donald Trump. As in many newsrooms, his election in 2016 was greeted at NPR with a mixture of disbelief, anger, and despair… But what began as tough, straightforward coverage of a belligerent, truth-impaired president veered toward efforts to damage or topple Trump’s presidency [italics mine]. Persistent rumors that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia over the election became the catnip that drove reporting. At NPR, we hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist, Representative Adam Schiff…

The Schiff talking points became the drumbeat of NPR news reports. But when the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion, NPR’s coverage was notably sparse. Russiagate quietly faded from our programming… It’s bad to blow a big story. What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection… [Hunter Biden’s] laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump [italics mine]… Over the course of the pandemic, a number of investigative journalists made compelling, if not conclusive, cases for the lab leak. But at NPR, we weren’t about to swivel or even tiptoe away from the insistence with which we backed the natural origin story…

[Our new director] declared that diversity—on our staff and in our audience—was the overriding mission… Race and identity became paramount in nearly every aspect of the workplace. Journalists were required to ask everyone we interviewed their race, gender, and ethnicity (among other questions), and had to enter it in a centralized tracking system. We were given unconscious bias training sessions. A growing DEI staff offered regular meetings imploring us to ‘start talking about race.’ There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.

The mindset prevails in choices about language. In a document called NPR Transgender Coverage Guidance—disseminated by news management—we’re asked to avoid the term biological sex… The mindset animates bizarre stories—on how The Beatles and bird names are racially problematic, and others that are alarmingly divisive; justifying looting, with claims that fears about crime are racist; and suggesting that Asian Americans who oppose affirmative action have been manipulated by white conservatives. More recently, we have approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the intersectional lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms. Oppressor versus oppressed… I looked at voter registration for our newsroom. In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans. None.”

Vivek NPR

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His first team WAS the deep state.

How Trump Could Beat Deep State (Jim Rickards)

The difference for investors between another Biden administration and the return of Trump to the White House could not be more stark. The Biden administration has been characterized by excessive regulation, pointless mandates as part of the Green New Scam, open borders bringing crime, drugs and cartel influence into the United States, disastrous wars in Ukraine, Gaza and now the closing of the Red Sea-Suez Canal passage, increased segregation of Blacks in colleges, the destruction of 50 years of progress in women’s sports by allowing competition by men and a long list of other ruinous policies.

The first Trump administration was characterized by business and personal tax cuts, reduced regulation, no new wars, outreach to nuclear rivals such as Russia and North Korea, tariffs on unfair trade by China, a concerted effort to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, demands that NATO members pay their fair share for mutual defense and a secure southern border with Mexico. Trump also made an historic three appointments to the Supreme Court, which has emerged as practically the last bastion of constitutional order and the rule of law. There’s no reason to expect any improvement in another Biden administration. In fact, policies will almost certainly grow worse as Biden fails physically and mentally and opens the door to a possible acting president in the form of Kamala Harris, a known dunce.

There’s good reason to believe that a second Trump administration will offer the growth-oriented policies of the first administration with a much more effective decision-making apparatus resulting from attention to the Plum Book, the playbook and the transition process. A better transition process in a second term means the biggest threat to the deep state in decades. And a new team will put us on the road back to sanity. But powerful people won’t go quietly. A more experienced Trump will conduct a second war to destroy them. Unless they destroy him first.

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Elon 2008: money

 

 

Wild cat

 

 

Cats

 

 

Frens

 

 

 

 

Horse+baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777687533968650419

 

 

Cinereous vulture

 

 


The only journey is the one within. – Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

Baby giraffe

 

 

Cartoons
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777787726307217891

 

 

Transport

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 072024
 
 April 7, 2024  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  28 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Miss Ethel Philip Reading 1894

 

Extremism On The Ballot (Keenan)
America Is Hurtling Toward a Full Blown Hot Civil War (BP)
Liberals Trying to Force Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Retire (ET)
Trump Accuses Biden of Unfairly Targeting 71-Year-Old Jan. 6 ‘Hostage’ (ET)
Fani Willis Accused Of Illegally Recording Lawyer, Till Monday To Recuse (ZH)
US, Allies Understand Ukraine Will Never Join NATO – Journalist (TASS)
Russia and Ukraine Must Talk – Austrian Chancellor (RT)
NATO 75 Years On… A War Machine Long Past Its Sell-By Date (SCF)
NATO’s ‘Losing War’ and an Empty Promise to Ukraine (Sp.)
New Rustled-Up Joint NATO Mission Shows West ‘Has No Real Plan in Ukraine’ (Sp.)
1992 Explicit NATO Pledge Not to Meddle in Russia’s Neighborhood (Sp.)
Pelosi Joins Call For Biden To Stop Arming Israel (ZH)
Scott Ritter: Israeli Attack on Consulate Could ‘Throw World Into Chaos’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Superman

 

 

What time it is
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776328737874743402

 

 

 

 

O’Reilly

 

 

GenZ

 

 

MEP, Christine Anderson

 

 

Post human
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776488310304604352

 

 

 

 

Trump 1987
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776642658657505457

 

 

 

 

“The 2024 election is between a dangerous madman and Donald Trump…”

Extremism On The Ballot (Keenan)

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful day with family and friends on the holiest day of America’s liturgical year, the Transgender Day of Visibility. I had never heard of this blessed Federal holiday until a few days ago, but my kids loved it. We had a visit from the Easter Drag Bunny and it/they filled the kids’ baskets with all kinds of treats. Puberty blockers, dilators, lipstick for the boys, packers for the girls. She/They is risen—and you will bow down and worship Her/Them! Of course, Joe Biden’s Easter sacrilege was only the latest travesty that proves what you and I already know, which is that the 2024 presidential election is a contest between common-sense centrism and dangerously radical extremism. One candidate is a classical liberal whose positions are squarely in the middle of the political spectrum. On nearly every issue, his views are anodyne, conventional, mainstream—positions that were the norm, nationwide, in every state, on both sides of the aisle, within recent memory (not including a few fringe strongholds in Berkeley and the West Village).

His opponent, however, is a dangerous radical extremist; a divisive, fanatical agent of chaos who holds frightening positions that threaten to destroy America. To preserve what’s left of Our Sacred Democracy, the extremist must be stopped. The radicals we are up against are so deranged that they are embracing and even leaning into the Replacement Theory they once vilified and dismissed as fake. You will recall that “replacement theory” was a taboo conspiracy only racists and bigots believed in until about 15 minutes ago. But the extremists running the country recently decided that akshally, “replacement” is the perfect strategy to finish off what’s left of what you and the country formerly known as “America.” Replacement means you don’t need to worry about convincing Congress to pass new laws or give speeches or waste time governing. To get your way, just replace everyone. But the extremists in charge are not going to stop after replacing you with “newcomers.” They’re replacing everything not nailed down.

Easter just got replaced with a demonic child abuse cult festival. Jews are getting erased, literally chased out of cities, harassed out of college, and replaced with ululating Hamas enthusiasts. Your grandchildren got replaced with fur babies. Formerly great universities have been replaced with plagiarizing paperclip factories. Your borders have been replaced with Welcome Centers. Your retirement has been replaced with twenty more years of work to pay for safe injection sites for your kids and free gender affirmation surgeries for the world. As Elon Musk likes to point out on X, Americans are just four percent of the Earth’s population. Soon, they’ll be just four percent of their own country. This is, in President Biden’s own words, going according to plan. “Just like we drew it up,” he tweeted ominously. An explosion in robberies and violent crime. Two dangerous new foreign wars. Forced conversion therapy on normal people to make them believe children can change their sex. Rampant hate crimes and open, gleeful discrimination against people who are not “of color.”

Who is the extremist again? The dangerous tyrant seeking re-election has the full support of our bloodthirsty elites, a warmongering foreign policy establishment, virulently antisemitic academia, and the entire mainstream media apparatus. Sometimes it’s hard to even fathom what we are facing, but then you remember that they had the nerve to arrest and sentence a young man to prison for… wait for it… sharing a funny Hillary Clinton meme. That actually happened in real life. The humble moderate whom these frightening cretins hope to defeat this fall faces expropriation of his property to satisfy hundreds of millions of dollars in absurd fines, plus hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees to fight regime lawfare on a Hiroshima scale. The threat of prison looms. His support comes not from wealthy celebrities, titans of industry, or the tech billionaires. It comes from the peasants. The rabble. A ragtag coalition of nobodies, the working class, the powerless middle class, and a few anonymous dissidents forced to post samizdat from undisclosed locations to avoid the eye of Sauron.

The radical extremist we face wants to empty our treasury so he can continue to launder hundreds of billions of our dollars through the most corrupt nation in Europe, which for decades was the world’s number one producer of child pornography, among other evils.

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“.. an evil, unrestrained, immoral freedom that is no freedom at all, a bringer of Death..”

America Is Hurtling Toward a Full Blown Hot Civil War (BP)

In an ideal and perfect world, all Americans would be following a righteously guided conscience and their better angels, and they could trust that their elected leaders were doing likewise; but, we live in a far from perfect world or society, and the fools of the country have abandoned Christian kindness, the Golden Rule and humanity for the evil of trans-humanism. Heartwarming words advocating for true freedom and liberty are far and few between in today’s society and political arenas, in a manner not too unlike the years between 1850 and 1860 that led to the Civil War; and tho’ some on both side of the political aisle still exude goodness in a way that makes each day seem a bit brighter, by and large, the Democratic Party has been completely infiltrated by Marxist-Maoist Communists, who are driving the nation towards the darkest tyranny and bloodiest days ever witnessed in America, as they attempt to stamp out the tenderness and beauty in each person’s soul and reduce us all to mere mindless cogs in their authoritarian machine.

Look around. Half or more of America’s citizenry have lost their minds and are six steps or more removed from reality, either due to the mind-numbing communist indoctrination they have absorbed from their “education” in the public school system, something genetic or a trauma from their life, some new maniacal drug that has them hooked and out of their minds, or a combination of all three. Some would suggest that we set about immediately reforming public education to promote and defend the ideas that originally built America, but we don’t have time to change hearts and minds to counter a movement that started over a hundred years ago and now sits on the cusp of being able to solidify its current stranglehold on America, if the tide swings its way in the 2024 Election or they are able to steal the election through current fraud facilitating mechanisms.

Although we can still move to properly educate the next generation in a newly reformed education system or through homeschool, now is the time to organize and assemble those within the country who already know and hold to the truth of American principles and all the freedom and liberty that follow — time to gather our like-minded American patriots and those Lions of Liberty who have had enough of witnessing this America we love so well so sorely abused, put upon and assaulted. It doesn’t help when we have self-serving, corrupt people in high office promising to save the gullible and ill-informed from their hell and the misery it brings, if only they will support more madness to be placed in U.S. code. Vote for more economy killing “climate change” change regulations and initiatives and “we’ll put more money on your EBT cards, courtesy of Uncle Sam and the American taxpayer”.

“Help us make sure the government has the final say over everybody’s children and can kill babies as they exit the birthing canal, and we’ll make certain you get privilege over all other Americans”, one can almost hear Traitor Joe whispering in some dimly lit concert hall. “You can be a champion among champions”, they say — “Let us help you change your gender”. And if anyone stands in your way in the pursuit of any evil, it is they who will be called evil and fallen upon by the full weight of the U.S. Federal Government. Oh yea. And as if that isn’t bad enough, Biden is now moving as fast as he can to forgive $144 billion more in student loans. He plans to announce this on Monday, April 8th 2024, and for anyone with eyes to see, this is simply corruption at its worst and Biden buying votes in the upcoming presidential election. What a slap in the face of Americans who couldn’t afford to go to college but now will be forced to bear the tax burden this move will bring.

I see the immorality growing every day, the people who revel in its evil, freaks from some futuristic sideshow that bodes ill and speaks to the destruction of humanity. and with each passing day, I find myself moving farther and farther away from those with whom I have little or nothing in common with, adrift from most of humanity too. Not in any manner that lends itself to any sadness over my situation, but rather as if to say “whew” in a realization of the relief that has come by way of my separation from those I despise most. It’s sort of like I’m standing on the river bank watching the “ship of fools” sailing over the river falls in denial of their own mortality, thinking their crazy ideas will save them and hold them invincible, or worse, knowing they are going to die and not caring who they drag to Hell along with them. They think we’re crazy for defending America’s righteous and true founding principles and virtues and the liberty associated with them, and we think them mad for denying God, reality and the best mankind has to offer in exchange for an evil, unrestrained, immoral freedom that is no freedom at all, a bringer of Death.

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They’re scared stiff Trump will win.

Liberals Trying to Force Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Retire (ET)

Liberals are mounting a pressure campaign to force liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to retire from the bench so President Joe Biden, who faces a tough reelection fight in November, can appoint a younger liberal successor before the election. Democrats fear that the 6–3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court could become a 7–2 conservative majority if President Donald Trump wins the election in November and she dies during his second term of office. They point out that President Trump was able to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died of pancreatic cancer complications on Sept. 18, 2020, at 87, with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett days before the 2020 election. Justice Ginsburg refused to step down despite her fragile health. Justice Barrett’s appointment, they say, helped supply the votes on the Court needed to overturn abortion rights precedent Roe v. Wade by a 5–4 vote in June 2022.

The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization found there was no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution and returned the regulation of abortion to the states, which Roe had taken away. Justice Sotomayor, 69, is reportedly in good health, but activists have seized on the fact that she has had Type I diabetes since she was 7 years old and that she has had some health scares. They note that she is the only Supreme Court justice to have traveled with a medic and remarked she was “tired” during a talk in January at UC Berkeley Law School. In January 2018, she was reportedly treated at her home for low blood sugar by paramedics but was able to report for work afterward. Left-wing activists seem emboldened because they successfully pressured liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, now 85, to retire in June 2022, which allowed President Biden to replace him with liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, now 53.

In an April 3 broadcast on NBC News, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said Justice Sotomayor should consider stepping down soon. “Justices have to make their personal decisions about their health, and their level of energy, but also to keep in mind the larger national and public interest in making sure that the Court looks and thinks like America,” the senator said. “We should learn a lesson, you know? And it’s not like there’s any mystery here about what the lesson should be—that the old saying, ‘graveyards are full of indispensable people,’ ourselves in this body included.” Before that, left-wing commentator Mehdi Hasan published a column in The Guardian (UK) saying it pained him to argue that Justice Sotomayor should make way for a younger successor who can serve for decades on the Court because she is a good standard bearer for the progressive cause. He described Justice Sotomayor as “the greatest liberal to sit on the Supreme Court in my adult lifetime.” Mr. Hasan added that she is “the first Latina to hold the position of justice, [and] she has blazed a relentlessly progressive trail on the highest bench in the land.”

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Liz Cheney’s the one who belongs in jail.

Trump Accuses Biden of Unfairly Targeting 71-Year-Old Jan. 6 ‘Hostage’ (ET)

Former President Donald Trump has criticized President Joe Biden and the Justice Department for “unfairly” targeting a 71-year-old woman dubbed the “J6 Praying Grandma” who entered the U.S. Capitol for around 10 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021. Rebecca Lavrenz was convicted on April 4 on four federal misdemeanor charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct. She faces up to a year in prison and $200,000 in fines, with her sentencing scheduled for Aug. 12. President Trump took to social media on Friday to denounce the conviction. “Rebecca Lavrez, also known as the ‘J6 Praying Grandma,’ has been unfairly targeted by Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, and now faces up to 1 YEAR in prison for peacefully walking around the Capitol, and praying for our Failing Nation on January 6th!” he wrote in a post on Truth Social.

President Trump said that Ms. Lavrez, a 71-year-old grandmother and small business owner from Colorado, has now become “one of Joe Biden’s J6 HOSTAGES!!!” President Trump has made the alleged mistreatment of Jan. 6 defendants a cornerstone of his reelection campaign, vowing to use executive power to issue pardons and free Jan. 6 “hostages” soon after taking office, if elected. “Crooked Joe Biden spends more time prosecuting Patriots like Rebecca, AND ME, than Violent Criminals, Thugs, Murderers, and ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS who are destroying our Country. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST,” President Trump added in his post. President Biden has been sharply critical of President Trump’s statements about the Jan. 6 defendants, while Attorney General Merrick Garland has promised to press ahead with more Jan. 6 prosecutions—and to cast the Justice Department’s dragnet even more widely to include people who weren’t even present at the Capitol that day.

“As I said before, the Justice Department will hold all January 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under the law—whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy,” Mr. Garland said in a speech on Jan. 5. More than 1,350 people have been charged with various crimes in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, ranging from misdemeanor offenses such as trespassing to felonies such as seditious conspiracy and assaulting police officers. Of these, roughly 800 have been sentenced, with nearly two-thirds receiving some time in prison.

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Fani’s biggest talent is compromising herself.

Fani Willis Accused Of Illegally Recording Lawyer, Till Monday To Recuse (ZH)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been accused of illegally recording a lawyer in the Trump-Georgia case. During an interview with Townhall columnist and legal analyst Phil Holloway, an attorney for Trump co-defendant Harrison Floyd, Christopher Kachouroff, claimed that Willis recorded a phone call between herself and one of his colleagues in Maryland. “Fani did reach out to one of my colleagues in Maryland” said Kachouroff. “And was rude and abrupt with him on the phone … and she ended up recording him.” He further noted that Maryland is a “two party state,” meaning that both parties on a phone call have to consent to being recorded. “So, are you saying she illegally recorded a phone call?” asked Holloway. “Oh yeah, it’s a felony in Maryland,” Kachouroff replied. Maryland is one of 11 states which require two-party consent. Under the state’s Wiretap Act, recording a private conversation without consent from both parties is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Harrison Floyd, the defendant, has given Fani until noon on Monday to recuse herself from the case or he “may have no other choice than to pursue all lawful remedies.” As Redstate notes: In Floyd’s tweet, it refers to Willis providing a copy or a recording of a call to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution between herself and Carlos J.R. Salvado, an attorney in Maryland, who also represents Floyd on an unrelated matter. Atlanta News First and Newsweek have reached out to Willis’ office for comment on this new allegation but she doesn’t appear to have weighed in yet. It will be interesting to see what her response to this allegation is. Floyd, who served as a senior campaign staffer for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, was indicted by Willis on three felony counts stemming from his alleged efforts to help Trump overturn his loss in the state. The charges include conspiracy to solicit false statements, influencing witnesses, and racketeering. He has also been accused of assaulting an FBI agent in Maryland. He has pleaded not guilty.

Fani’s wiretapping accusation is the latest debacle involving Willis’ RICO case against Trump and his allies. On Wednesday, special prosecutor Nathan Wade’s estranged wife filed contempt of court proceedings against him. Wade and Willis’ romantic relationship was the focal point of the disqualification efforts against the district attorney’s office. However, Judge Scott McAfee ultimately allowed Willis to remain on the prosecution so long as Wade stepped down. Wade handed in his resignation hours after McAfee’s ruling. -Newsweek. Floyd, a former Black Voices for Trump leader, turned himself in without a lawyer or bond agreement on August 24 of last year, and was released August 30 on $100,000 bond. He is one of 19 defendants in the case.

https://twitter.com/hw_floyd/status/1776060884546113790

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“.. join a defensive alliance when the need for defense is over..”

US, Allies Understand Ukraine Will Never Join NATO – Journalist (TASS)

The US administration and authorities of NATO member-countries understand full well that Ukraine will never join the alliance, senior editor of The American Conservative Sumantra Maitra said in his article. “Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that Ukraine will one day join NATO. It is a meaningless, almost theological gesture—practically pagan hymn-chanting at this point. Blinken knows his promise to be untrue. European allies know it to be untrue. The majority of Americans either don’t care about Ukraine or are actively opposed to further engagement in Europe,” Maitra said. “It is, of course, deeply cynical to dangle the NATO carrot in front of Ukraine especially, when NATO did not let them join after the Bucharest summit [in 2008] and will not in future,” he noted.

“The argument goes that NATO members will welcome Ukraine only once they have solved their existing security issue, i.e. join a defensive alliance when the need for defense is over. To any sane person, that sounds absurd—that would mean the security issue will not be solved in this lifetime, and it will continue to be a frozen conflict,” Maitra said. “There will not be any NATO cavalry over the hills,” the journalist wrote. “The best we can do is seek a compromise making Ukraine and Georgia neutral buffers, similar to Austria during the Cold War. But for that, Washington needs bolder leadership to admit some hard truths and render some strategic coherence,” Maitra concluded.

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Slovakia, Hungary, Austria speak with reason. The countries closest to Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine Must Talk – Austrian Chancellor (RT)

The Ukraine conflict can only be resolved if Russia is present at the negotiating table, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has said. In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro on Friday, the chancellor reiterated that the West should continue to be in “full solidarity” with Kiev and support it in its fight against Russia. However, Nehammer said “it is also important to think about how the conflict could end.” The Austrian leader noted that when he went to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in April 2022, several weeks into the conflict, Moscow and Kiev were still engaged in direct talks. ”This is no longer the case today, because Russia shows no desire to negotiate. But without the Russian Federation there will be no peace,” he said, adding that the situation remains difficult. “But the resumption of a dialogue, when the day comes, is a necessity,” he stressed.

Moscow and Kiev held several rounds of talks early on in the conflict, which revolved around Ukrainian neutrality. While the negotiations initially made some headway, Kiev later walked away. Moscow has claimed that the peace process was derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who advised Ukraine to keep fighting, which Johnson has denied. Russia also maintains that it is open to new talks with Kiev. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning all negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian territories voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in autumn 2022. Meanwhile, Nehammer has said he has some disagreements regarding support for Ukraine with French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently stated that he cannot rule out the possibility of putting NATO troops on the ground in the embattled country.

The chancellor noted that while he and Macron believe in the need to support Ukraine and that Moscow and Kiev should eventually engage in diplomacy, they are at odds over the way to achieve this. ”I am in favor of the precautionary principle. The French president is a supporter of the principle of deterrence,” Nehammer said, acknowledging that some elements of this approach are “convincing” given what he called Russia’s “aggressiveness.” “However, I also think that we must apply the precautionary principle to avoid an uncontrollable escalation,” he added. In a rare phone call earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned his French counterpart, Sebastien Lecornu, that Paris would only “create problems for itself” if it decides to send troops to Ukraine.

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“..the United States and its NATO partners embarked on an orgy of aggression and militarism over the next three decades..”

NATO 75 Years On… A War Machine Long Past Its Sell-By Date (SCF)

This week marks the 75th anniversary of NATO’s founding in April 1949. The organization has become a global danger to peace and security and should have been disbanded more than 30 years ago when the Cold War supposedly ended. That the alliance was not disbanded attests that its real purpose was always to serve as a weapon for U.S.-led Western imperialism. Barely four years after the end of World War Two – the greatest calamity in world history – and amid the ruins of a devastated Europe and Asia, Western imperialism was once again reinventing its nefarious internal forces. Nearly 30 million citizens of the Soviet Union had died at the hands of Nazi Germany. And yet despite the horror and evil of war, the Western powers were busy reconfiguring their military forces to confront again the Soviet Union. With the defeat of the Nazi war machine largely by the Soviet Red Army, the Western imperialists innovated a new instrument in the form of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The betrayal and treachery were not just to the Soviet people. All of humanity was once again subjected to the warmongering designs and necessities of a global elite under Western imperialism. NATO’s declared purpose was to defend Europe from Soviet aggression. The same pretense exists today in the claim that the alliance is defending Ukraine from Russian belligerence. The proof of NATO’s real function is demonstrated by the fact that the organization did not disband in 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. Over the ensuing 33 years, the military bloc has doubled its membership to 31 nations. Russia has replaced the Soviet Union as the Western-designated security threat to Europe. But such rationale turns reality on its head. NATO has always existed as a tool of aggression for Western imperialism. Where Nazi Germany failed to do the job of conquering the Soviet Union, NATO tacitly took over the task, and when the Soviet Union disappeared, the new enemy of convenience became the Russian Federation.

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S.-led NATO axis engaged in a pivotal step change when it unilaterally bombed former Yugoslavia in an audacious aggression based on duplicity and lies (as usual). That illegal military intervention was the opening of a new phase of Western imperialism that blatantly snubbed international law and the United Nations Charter. In the same year, 1999, the NATO alliance began its rapid expansion by acquiring new members across Eastern Europe up to Russia’s borders. Having smashed legal restraints against war, the United States and its NATO partners embarked on an orgy of aggression and militarism over the next three decades, invading and sabotaging countless countries and unleashing global problems of terrorism, displacement, poverty, and mass migration.

In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a seminal speech at the Munich Security Conference in which he warned of the looming chaos and conflict from unbridled Western militarism. The next year, in 2008, the NATO alliance declared that it would admit Ukraine and Georgia to its ranks. Neither of the former Soviet Republics has yet joined the bloc, but for Moscow, such a move has long been demarcated as an intolerable red line. The expansion of NATO all the way to Russia’s doorstep is not some ad hoc innocent development. It is a deliberate plan of aggression to strategically defeat Russia for the conquest of its natural wealth by Western imperialism.

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“Clearly the US does not like to lose wars or to be associated with losing wars. And clearly they don’t want to be associated with a losing war that Biden is responsible for..”

NATO’s ‘Losing War’ and an Empty Promise to Ukraine (Sp.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated Thursday that Ukraine will eventually join NATO. It was the same message the US has been repeating since 2008, although the alliance has not revealed a concrete timeline for Ukraine’s accession. US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (often referred to as MTG) and US Senator JD Vance took to social media to decry Blinken’s comments as irresponsible and dangerous, saying inviting Ukraine to join NATO during a war is to “invite our nation to war.” KJ Noh, a scholar, educator and journalist and member of Veterans for Peace, joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Friday to discuss these developments. Sputnik’s Michelle Witte asked Noh what would happen if Republicans decided that opposing NATO expansion is a winning political message. “I think it would signal the end of NATO,” answered Noh. “I mean, it’s an interesting situation because this entire war was provoked on the idea that Ukraine would eventually join NATO. So they can’t, from this administration, can’t abandon the concept completely.”

“But let’s come back to MTG and JD Vance. You know, they are not the most informed people in the political classes, they’re clearly pandering to the base,” he claimed. “And as I said if you recall on this show, the US public tends to reflexively support most US wars initiated by their elites until they start losing and then they stop supporting them.” “I think it has to do with the fact that they don’t believe it’s a winning proposition to be associated with NATO, which is currently losing a war, and this is a NATO war. And, of course, it also has to do with the fact that [former President Donald] Trump himself has a very mercantile, business view of NATO. He sees them as free riders on the American military, and he wants the quid pro quo.” “Clearly there is popular opposition to the Ukraine war. Clearly the US does not like to lose wars or to be associated with losing wars. And clearly they don’t want to be associated with a losing war that Biden is responsible for,” Noh concluded.

Former President Donald Trump said recently he would “100%” keep the US in NATO should he return to the Oval Office, as long as European countries pay their “fair share” and “play fair.” The former president told British media the US pays for “90% of NATO,” adding that it is the “most unfair thing.” NATO estimates that for 2023 Poland was actually the top spender and allocated 3.9% of its GDP to the alliance, which was more than twice the amount it had spent in 2022. In contrast, the US spent 3.5% of its GDP – about the same amount it has been spending for the last decade. However, only 35% of NATO member states meet the alliance’s spending targets on defense, prompting criticism from Trump and aligned “America First” conservatives. Proposals to resurrect European countries’ weakened defense industries have been greeted with skepticism as the continent is rocked by protests over economic concerns.

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“..support for Ukraine is “limited to certain logistic, advisory and training functions,” and under the current North Atlantic Treaty, “it would not be possible to do more.”

New Rustled-Up Joint NATO Mission Shows West ‘Has No Real Plan in Ukraine’ (Sp.)

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s thoughts regarding a new joint NATO mission in Ukraine are “more a wish than reality,” strategic analyst Paolo Raffone told Sputnik. “To date, nobody in NATO is willing to engage with a stable allied military presence in Ukraine,” said the director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels. “Sikorski’s thoughts do not match with David Cameron’s statements at the NATO summit in Brussels. The UK foreign secretary acknowledged that the ‘war will be lost if the allies don’t step up,’ but when asked whether Western nations should send troops into Ukraine, Lord Cameron replied ‘no,’” Paolo Raffone said. The Polish foreign minister earlier told journalists after a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO council that members of the alliance had decided to establish a joint mission in Ukraine.

“This does not mean that we are entering a war, but it means that we will now be able to use NATO’s coordinating, training, and planning capabilities to support Ukraine in a more coordinated manner,” the minister clarified. Sikorski added that more Ukrainian troops will be undergoing training in Poland. As for the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, he said that there were no plans for deploying NATO troops on the territory of Ukraine. “We don’t have any plans of having any NATO combat troops inside Ukraine, there have been no requests for that, but the Ukrainians are asking for equipment, for ammunition, for weapons and we are providing that to Ukraine — that doesn’t make NATO allies party to the conflict,” Stoltenberg told a press conference. He did, however, add that NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is working on a proposal to enhance the alliance’s coordinating security role in Ukraine.

According to officials, this would presuppose bringing the Ukraine Defense Contact Group – currently led by the US –under NATO’s control. It is this group that coordinates the delivery of weapons to Kiev. [..] Paolo Raffone underscored that the alliance’s support for Ukraine is “limited to certain logistic, advisory and training functions,” and under the current North Atlantic Treaty, “it would not be possible to do more.” “Diplomats in Brussels do not see any concrete space for a direct engagement of NATO troops in Ukraine. NATO posturing is to avoid the collapse of Ukraine under the constant Russian pressure with the strategic aim to create the conditions for a negotiated settlement, whatever it may be,” the analyst said.

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“We would like to establish [the] most friendly relations with all the former Soviet republics. This will suit our common interests and as such we will be able to provide more lasting stability..”

1992 Explicit NATO Pledge Not to Meddle in Russia’s Neighborhood (Sp.)

The US National Security Archive dropped a fresh trove of documents this week on previously classified conversations between senior Russian officials and their US and NATO counterparts in the period between 1992 and 1995, detailing what at the time seemed like rosy prospects for cooperation, and featuring a key pledge related to the internal affairs of the new post-Soviet republics. A transcript of a meeting between then-chairman of the Russian parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov and NATO secretary general Manfred Woerner dated February 25, 1992, exactly two months after Mikhail Gorbachev declared the USSR defunct and resigned from office, features an unmistakably blunt commitment by Woerner that the alliance will not meddle in the internal political affairs of Russia and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“We would like Russia and all other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States to join the Council for Cooperation [under NATO, ed.],” Woerner said during his conversation with Khasbulatov in Moscow. “From what I hear, -and you yourself talked about this – that some people still doubt our intentions. I would like to state here very clearly that we need stability, or some kind of stabilizing element for peace. We are not going to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs, as well as the internal affairs of other sovereign member states of the CIS. We would like to establish [the] most friendly relations with all the former Soviet republics. This will suit our common interests and as such we will be able to provide more lasting stability. We will all be better off as a result,” the NATO chief assured.

“We want to see close cooperation between states in a Europe composed of sovereign democratic states. How can this be achieved? We want to build a Europe that will inhabit a new security environment from [the Urals] to the Atlantic. It will be a unified Euro-Atlantic community built on three pillars. The first is the Helsinki process, the second – the European Community [predecessor to the European Union, ed.], which will create a basis for a solid political future for our community, and the third pillar is NATO,” Woerner added. A second document, dated March 8, 1994, and recording a conversation between senior Russian Duma leaders and Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry, offered clues of the extent of security concerns felt even by members of the liberal, highly pro-American Yeltsin government regarding US and NATO policy toward Russia.

By that time, the Clinton administration had firmly committed to the expansion of the Western alliance in Eastern Europe in spite of fervent (but impotent) opposition by Yeltsin. “As Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, I am interested in a whole range of issues,” lawmaker Sergei Yushenkov was recorded as saying. “These include US military doctrine…NATO’s prospects in connection with the end of the Cold War, issues of our collaboration in peacekeeping actions, concrete approaches to the implementation of the Partnership for Peace program (which I consider a thin veil for NATO expansion), prospects for the ratification of START-2 and the implementation of START-1,” Yushenkov said.

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“..vehemently opposed to any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, or any person who has an ounce of humanity” attending the event..”

Pelosi Joins Call For Biden To Stop Arming Israel (ZH)

A divide among Democrats over whether to halt defense aid to Israel is growing more fierce, causing a crisis and headache for Biden strategists ahead of the presidential election, which has only intensified in the wake of last week’s Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy in Gaza, which left seven international workers dead, including an American. This intensifying fragmentation of Biden’s base has been on display this weekend also given former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – still very influential among Dems – has publicly come out against Biden’s policy to continue arming Israel. The issue is entering the heart of the Democratic establishment, threatening unity. Axios reports that she “signed onto a call by progressive members of Congress for the U.S. to stop transferring weapons to Israel over a strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza.”

The letter she signed, and which was led by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), included the signatures of some 40 Democrats. “In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers,” the lawmakers stated in the letter addressed to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “If this strike is found to have violated U.S. or international law, we urge you to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable,” the lawmakers wrote. However, a follow-up statement from a Pelosi representative to Axios has this to say: “Speaker Pelosi knows President Biden’s support for Israel and empathy with the innocent civilians in Gaza, and she respects his judgment in how to proceed.” This trend of the Gaza war becoming a bright red dividing line among Democrats is also on display with recent stories like the following from Epoch Times– Pro-Israel Democrat Group Endorses ‘Squad’ Primary Opponents:

“A Democrat pro-Israel group has endorsed candidates challenging incumbents who are members of the far-left congressional group “The Squad.” Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) announced on April 3 its backing of Westchester County Executive George Latimer and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. DMFI did not state its reasons for backing the two other than through announcing a slate of endorsements.” So now the ‘fight’ is on and it’s becoming a real issue with campaign money lining up on either side. Still, those voters who put the Squad members in office in the first place are more than likely to come down on the anti-Israel side. Another indicator that the internal Democrat divide is accelerating is that the controversy has completely altered a long-standing White House tradition. Muslim leaders are boycotting an annual White House Ramadan gathering which marks the end of the Muslim season of fasting:

“The Biden administration is hosting a scaled-down Ramadan gathering for Muslim and Arab Americans after several community leaders declined the invite over the unrelenting and steadfast nature of US support for Israel’s war on Gaza. The event scheduled for Tuesday will be in stark contrast to previous Muslim celebrations and gatherings under the Biden administration, which have seen packed ballrooms of Muslims from all over the country joining the White House festivities. This year, the iftar will be confined to staffers only, and a separate gathering will take place for Muslim community members.” One such Muslim community leader and activist told Middle East Eye that Palestinian-Americans are “vehemently opposed to any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, or any person who has an ounce of humanity” attending the event. All of this is of course a plus for Trump’s chances of retaking the White House going into November, also given the Israel-Gaza issue is much less of a divisive flashpoint issue for Republican voters.

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776496160821449125

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“..wasn’t just a onetime ‘oops’. It was three deliberate attacks designed to kill everybody involved in the WCK convoy, to leave no survivors. And they left no survivors..”

Scott Ritter: Israeli Attack on Consulate Could ‘Throw World Into Chaos’ (Sp.)

Israel targeted the Iranian Embassy compound in Damascus, Syria on Monday, killing 16 people, including a top IRGC Quds Force commander. The same day, IDF drones struck three World Central Kitchen vehicles in Gaza, killing seven aid workers. Scott Ritter tells Sputnik how these events are connected. “In the span of a week, the world has witnessed two wanton violations of international law and the norms and standards of civilized nations by the state of Israel,” Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector and retired US Marine Corps intelligence officer, said, commenting on the twin April 1 attacks in Syria and Gaza. The Damascus attack ostensibly targeted high-ranking IRGC officers operating in Syria. “But the fact that Israel views these officers as legitimate targets doesn’t give them the permission to violate the protections that are afforded to these structures. Diplomatic immunity is a reality, and these buildings (consulates, embassies), are afforded inviolability, protection of international law, and Israel opted to violate this,” Ritter emphasized.

The consequences of the Embassy attack “have yet to be fully borne out…but based on Israel’s own reaction and anticipation could be quite severe. And this could throw not just the region but the world into chaos, turmoil and conflict, all because Israel decided that it could operate above the law,” the observer warned. As for the strikes against vehicles carrying World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity workers in Gaza, Ritter doesn’t buy Israeli assurances that they were accidental. “This wasn’t an accident. The Israelis claim it was a mistake, an accident. It wasn’t. These aid workers were driving on a route that had been identified to the Israeli military in advance and approved. They were riding in three clearly-marked vehicles. And the attack that took place wasn’t just a onetime ‘oops’. It was three deliberate attacks designed to kill everybody involved in the WCK convoy, to leave no survivors. And they left no survivors,” Ritter stressed. The consequences of the WCK were predictable, the observer said.

“Almost immediately, ships filled with humanitarian aid turned around and refused to offload their life-sustaining cargoes in Gaza out of fear of being attacked by Israel. Israel achieved its objective. It is terrorizing, intimidating international aid groups so that they don’t provide the assistance necessary for the sustainment of life in Gaza, because that’s what the Israeli policy in Gaza is all about,” Ritter said. Ritter expects Israeli “crimes” and “wanton” lawlessness to continue unless and until Tel Aviv is made to face consequences for its actions, and for so long as the government of Benjamin Netanyahu remains in power.

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Assange Al Jazeera 25 m.

 

 

Eclipse


https://twitter.com/i/status/1776687977772515458

 

 

Kitten

 

 

Horse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776583393590821029

 

 

Cartoons

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 252024
 


Pablo Picasso Don Quixote 1955

 

Trump Falsified Business Records Case May Be Delayed On Monday (Sp.)
Trump In Final Countdown To Post $464 Million Bond By Monday (ZH)
Fani Willis Goes Head to Head with Her Prior Self in Trump Case (Turley)
TIME To Panic: Joe Biden’s Campaign “In Trouble” Despite Obama Warning (ZH)
Ukraine Likely Had Prior Knowledge of Moscow Terrorist Threat (Sp.)
US Bails Ukraine Out, Covering Zelensky With ISIS – Zakharova (TASS)
Militaristic Revolution in the EU Paves Legal Way for Warmongering (Babich)
Western Banks Warn Against EU Plans to Give Russian Funds to Ukraine (Antiwar)
Mob Rule Versus Survival of the West (Susan D. Harris)
Macron Obsessing Over Personal Security Amid Ukrainian Conflict (RT)
Guterres, the UN, Might, Wise Guys’ ‘Wisdom’, and Right (Graça)
‘U-Turn Over Atlantic’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Far right
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771934645380100570

 

 

Mike Rowe

 

 

RFK

 

 

Tucker Roseanne
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771622982630211703

 

 

 

 

Stormy Daniels. Star witness: Michael Cohen.

Trump Falsified Business Records Case May Be Delayed On Monday (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump is facing four separate criminal cases, two at the federal level and two brought by the States of New York and Georgia. Trump also leads US President Joe Biden in national polls and most swing states. Judge Juan Merchan will hold a pre-trial hearing in New York on Monday to determine if there should be further delays in former US President Donald Trump’s falsified business documents case, one of four criminal cases he is facing. The case was initially scheduled to begin on Monday but was delayed to at least April 25 after prosecutors released more than 100,000 pages of documents to Trump’s defense team. Prosecutor Alvin Bragg did not oppose the 30-day delay but argued that no further delays should be placed on the trial.

Of the criminal cases Trump is facing, this case was the most likely to conclude before the Presidential election in November, but a significant delay could push it past election day. Trump’s legal team is arguing that the prosecution intentionally held the documents back and included exculpatory evidence favorable to the defense. If Merchan agrees, he could throw the case out and possibly sanction Bragg for potential Brady violations, but he could also issue a delay in the case or keep the trial date, scheduled for March 25, as-is.

“The People have engaged in widespread misconduct as part of a desperate effort to improve their position at the potential trial on the false and unsupported charges in the Indictment,” Trump’s legal team argued in court filings. “[R]eports relating to statements by Cohen that are exculpatory and favorable to the defense.” Most legal experts quoted in US media predicted that a delay could happen but they doubt that the judge will throw out the case. The documents relate to federal investigations into Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer who is expected to be the prosecution’s star witness. The documents were not in Bragg’s office and were instead in different offices around the country. Bragg argues that the Trump team intentionally waited until January to ask for the documents to cause a delay in the trial.

“[T]he belated nature of the recent USAO productions is entirely the result of the defendant’s own inexplicable and strategic delay in identifying perceived deficiencies,” the prosecution argued. Prosecutors also claim that less than 300 of the documents are both new to the defense and related to Trump’s trial. Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business documents related to repayments he made to Cohen for hush money payments Cohen paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels who claimed she had an affair with then-candidate Trump in 2016. Trump pleaded not guilty but admits to making the payments. He also denies that the affair took place. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after being convicted of campaign finance violations related to those payments and for lying to Congress about how long discussions about a potential Trump Tower in Moscow continued.

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Trump OAN

“What he’s talking about is the money reported on his campaign disclosure forms that he’s built up through years of owning and managing successful businesses,..

Trump In Final Countdown To Post $464 Million Bond By Monday (ZH)

Donald Trump has until Monday to come up with more than $450 million to stop his properties from being seized by authorities following the results of his New York civil fraud trial. According to the ruling by Judge Arthur Engoron, Trump and executives at the Trump Organization inflated his assets. Initially, NY Attorney General Letitia James sought $250 million in damages – but later increased it to $370 million plus interest. Trump has been seeking a bond of $464 million ($454 million plus $10 million to cover his sons’ fines) in order to post bond and appeal the case. Last week, Trump said he had “almost $500 million” in cash, however his attorney Chris Kise told CNN that Trump wasn’t referring to cash he has on hand. “What he’s talking about is the money reported on his campaign disclosure forms that he’s built up through years of owning and managing successful businesses,” he said, which the outlet noted is “the very cash that Letitia James and the Democrats are targeting.”

Assets including buildings, houses, cars, helicopters and even Trump’s plane are on the chopping block if Trump can’t come up with the money. The former president has asked a state appeals court to allow him to post a smaller bond, or none at all, claiming that irreparable harm would be done if he was forced to sell properties in a ‘fire sale’ that can’t be undone if he wins his appeal against the amount due. The court has not come back yet with a ruling. If Trump can’t secure the bond, New York state officials can begin the arduous process of taking his assets. According to experts cited by a very giddy CNN, the first action should be seizing Trump’s bank accounts. “The banks are the easiest part, they’ll receive the judgment from the Attorney General – the court order – then the banks will enforce,” said former federal prosecutor Peter Katz, who has handled fraud cases. “They take the funds from the account and put it in the attorney general’s accounts. The other stuff is a little more challenging.”

According to debt collection expert Alden B. Smith, New York officials are “trying to get their ducks in a row,” adding “They want to find the most liquid of the assets they can restrain immediately. A bank account is the most effective way to do it.” Seizing Trump’s buildings and businesses is far more complicated. Once state prosecutors figure out which properties they want to take from Joe Biden’s chief political rival, they will give the sheriff an execution order, a $350 fee, and then the sheriff will post notice for the property in three places. The AG’s office must then advertise it four times, after which the property will be sold at public auction 63 days after the sheriff is given the execution order. According to Newsweek, the following Trump-owned properties had “fraudulent” and “misleading” values, and could be on the list (with New York properties taking priority, and those in other states being more complicated to seize).
Trump Park Avenue, New York, N.Y.
Trump Tower, New York City.
40 Wall Street, New York City.
Trump Seven Springs, Westchester County, N.Y.
Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas.
Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
Trump National Golf Club Charlotte, Mooresville, North Carolina.
Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck, Colts Neck, New Jersey.
Trump National Golf Club, Washington D.C., Sterling, Virginia.
Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley, Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, Jupiter, Florida.
Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia, Pine Hill, New Jersey.
Trump International Golf Links Scotland, Aberdeen.
Trump International Golf Links Scotland, Turnberry.
Trump has roughly $200 million in cumulative loans on his properties.

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“I will certainly not be choosing to date people that work under me.”

Fani Willis Goes Head to Head with Her Prior Self in Trump Case (Turley)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has finally broken her silence with CNN. Willis insisted that she has done nothing wrong while declaring that “the train is coming” for Donald Trump. On this occasion, CNN can be excused for not having an opposing view. Willis circa 2020 denounced Willis circa 2024. Willis told a CNN reporter “I don’t feel like my reputation needs to be reclaimed. I guess my greatest crime is I had a relationship with a man, that’s not something I find embarrassing in any way. And I know that I have not done anything that’s illegal.” The most obvious person to interview in rebuttal of that statement is Willis’s 2020 self. After all, she repeatedly declared that she would not have any romantic relationship with those in her office. Willis ran against her former boss Paul Howard, who was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal involving his relationship with women in his office.

Willis offered both experience and ethical leadership, including pledging repeatedly that “I will certainly not be choosing to date people that work under me.” When confronted with this repeated campaign promise on the stand, Willis came up with a perfectly bizarre spin about Nathan Wade being literally “special” as a special prosecutor. While she hired him, supervised him, and controlled his continued employment with the office, she tried to suggest that he was not really part of the office in the same sense. Willis notably stressed that she did nothing “illegal.” She did not address whether she acted unethically. The court itself denounced her for unprofessional conduct in this controversy, including her speech at a church suggesting that racism was behind these allegations.

Moreover, it may be too early to tell if she is entirely free of criminal allegations. Many believe that both she and Wade gave knowingly false or misleading testimony. That is a problem not just for them as individuals but for the office in this case. Willis and Wade were both prosecuting people for the very same conduct of filing false statements with courts and making false statements. The two lawyers testified in tandem but only one was disqualified. While the Court casts doubt on Wade’s testimony on the relationship, it ignored that Willis effectively ratified those claims in her own testimony. Putting aside the pledge of a train coming for Trump, there is the problem that there are usually two tracks and another train may be coming for Willis as the state (and potentially the bar) looks into these allegations.

Bosi

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“In 2020, Biden carried 87% of the black vote. Now, he’s polling at just 63%, a sharp decline. Meanwhile four years ago he won hispanic votes by a ratio of 2 to 1. He now trails Trump in that bloc..”

TIME To Panic: Joe Biden’s Campaign “In Trouble” Despite Obama Warning (ZH)

“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.” -Barack Obama.

With less than eight months before the 2024 election, the Biden re-election campaign is in big trouble. Not only is Biden lagging in the polls vs. Donald Trump, the border crisis he created by shredding all of Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration has resulted in 10 million illegals flooding into the United States – which has left even Democrats livid. What’s more, Biden is quickly losing the support of young Americans, and the latino vote. Things are so bad that TIME magazine has just devoted 3,700 words to let us know that Barack Obama ‘warned’ the Biden campaign last June that defeating Trump would be harder in 2024 (because no pandemic or hoax dossier to set him up?). Six months later, Obama ‘saw few signs of improvement.’

Obama returned to the White House in December, with a ‘more urgent’ message: the re-election campaign was behind schedule in building out field operations, and that an ‘insular group of advisers’ in the West Wing was hamstringing the effort. Now, it’s really bad… “Three months later, the 2024 general election is under way, and Biden is indeed in trouble. His stubbornly low approval ratings have sunk into the high 30s, worse than those of any other recent President seeking re-election. He’s trailed or tied Trump in most head-to-head matchups for months. Voters express concerns about his policies, his leadership, his age, and his competency. The coalition that carried Biden to victory in 2020 has splintered; the Democrats’ historic advantage with Black, Latino, and Asian American voters has dwindled to lows not seen since the civil rights movement. -TIME

Meanwhile, Biden’s inner circle is “defiantly sanguine” as a “fog of dread” descends on Democrats. The rest of the TIME article is full of anecdotes of dissatisfied Democrats, particularly young voters such as 20-year-old Aidan Kohn-Murphy. It has nothing to do, as many assume, with the President’s age. With palpable frustration, Kohn-Murphy enumerates the list of perceived policy “betrayals” as though they were “tattooed on the back of my hand.” According to the report, GenZ voters “don’t understand why they should be compelled to cast their ballot for a candidate who has done so many things that are against their values,” said Kohn-Murphy.

In 2020, Biden carried 87% of the black vote. Now, he’s polling at just 63%, a sharp decline. Meanwhile four years ago he won hispanic votes by a ratio of 2 to 1. He now trails Trump in that bloc. Biden’s support of Israel amid the Gaza war has “tanked his standing with Muslim and Arab voters,” particularly in “must-win Michigan.” Overall, Biden’s advantage over Trump among nonwhite Americans has shrunk from almost 50 points in 2020 to 12, according to the latest Times/Siena poll. “It boils down to voters of color, and those voters are pissed,” said one former Biden campaign and White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I think it’s very likely he’ll lose.”

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“..they have all these specific details, but they were unable to give anything specific to the Russians. This all makes one think that something is very wrong.”

Ukraine Likely Had Prior Knowledge of Moscow Terrorist Threat (Sp.)

A group of gunmen opened fire at a concert venue in Moscow on the evening of March 22, killing over 100 people and setting fire to the building. Eleven suspects have been detained by Russian security services in relation to the terrorist attack, including the four suspected perpetrators who were apprehended as they were trying to flee the country across the border with Ukraine. During an interview with Sputnik, political and military analyst Sergey Poletaev pointed out that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officially announced that the suspected terrorists had contacts in Ukraine. According to Poletaev, even if the reports about the perpetrators being Tajikistani citizens are true, the attack in Moscow could have been masterminded either by some kind of Islamist terrorist organization that has ties with Ukraine, or even by Ukraine directly. In any case, he noted, it appears that the Ukrainian leadership had prior knowledge of this act of terror, “which makes them accomplices, at the very least.”

Poletaev also argued that while the attack was likely planned by professionals, it does not necessarily mean that the perpetrators were equally skilled, with the analyst observing how high school students sometimes kill dozens of people during shooting sprees. Commenting on the attempts by both Washington and Kiev to hastily deny Ukraine’s trace in this terrorist attack, Poletaev suggested that the West is going to insist that ISIS* alone was responsible. Thus, he postulated, there will be two narratives – the Russian and the Western – and it all comes down to whose side the “global majority” is going to take. “It is in our best interests to collate a convincing body of evidence for our case. It would greatly help us with diplomacy,” Poletaev remarked. “We’re talking about the ‘third countries,’ of course, as the West will most likely dismiss any talk of Ukraine’s involvement.”

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a political analyst and professor at Tehran University, also found it curious that, even when “no real details” about the attack were known, the United States started insisting that Ukraine was not involved. “It is also very strange that the United States was able to give such a detailed travel advisory or warning about a terror attack naming concerts and giving specifics about an attack in Moscow and large gatherings and all that [previous to the attack],” he added. “So, they have all these specific details, but they were unable to give anything specific to the Russians. This all makes one think that something is very wrong.” Referring to claims about ISIS being responsible for the attack, Marandi argued that this theory does not necessarily rule out “cooperation between Ukraine and ISIS or the potential role of the United States.”

“The very fact that the United States, from the start, said that Ukraine wasn’t involved and the very fact that they gave such a detailed warning to their citizens is raising serious questions. But ISIS and the Ukrainian regime both have very strong connections with the West,” he elaborated. “ISIS has cooperated with NATO countries, it has cooperated with Israel, and it has cooperated with other American allies in Syria for years. And Ukraine is also deeply dependent on NATO countries. Marandi also pointed out that ISIS “has always been focused on the enemies of the United States” whereas the terrorist organization’s attacks on NATO countries or the Middle Eastern powers aligned with the West have been “very rare.”

Cactus City hall
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771960366140178439
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771954788789305698

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“Attention, a question for the White House: are you sure it was ISIS, won’t you change your mind later?”

US Bails Ukraine Out, Covering Zelensky With ISIS – Zakharova (TASS)

After the Crocus City Hall attack, the US tries to bail Ukraine out by mentioning the Islamic State (IS, ISIS) terror group, outlawed in Russia, and to cover itself and the Zelensky regime it created, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an article for kp.ru. “The American political engineers cornered themselves with their tales that the Crocus City Hall attack was carried out by the ISIS terror group,” the diplomat noted. “Hence Washington’s daily bailing out of its wards in Kiev, and the attempt to cover itself and the Zelensky regime they created with the scarecrow of the outlawed ISIS.” Zakharova noted that a number of factors directly and indirectly indicate the US authorities’ involvement in sponsoring the Ukrainian terrorism.

“Billions of dollar and an unprecedented amount of weapons, invested without accountability and with use of corruption schemes into the Kiev regime, the aggressive rhetoric regarding Russia, the rabid nationalism, the ban for peace talks on Ukraine, the endless calls for a force resolution of the conflict, the refusal to condemn the years-long terror attacks, carried out by the Kiev regime, and the massive informational and political support of any, even the most atrocious actions of Zelensky,” she listed. The spokeswoman also noted that previously, the US intervention in Middle Eastern affairs has led to the emergence, strengthening and institutionalization of a number of radical and terrorist groups that remain active in the region even today. “What is the logic, you may ask? Money and power. And, considering the international legal ban on direct interventions, it is also about sowing a ‘controlled chaos’ and reshaping the world order by the hands of terrorists,” she continued. “Attention, a question for the White House: are you sure it was ISIS, won’t you change your mind later?”

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“..the European Union, which was conceived as an entirely peaceful organization, becomes one of the world’s most implacable warring empires..”

“Later, these weapons will be used against “undemocratic” countries, whose leaders happen to be at odds with the EU and the US.”

An EU army is idiotic. Who will be in command? France or Germany? How about Hungary?

Militaristic Revolution in the EU Paves Legal Way for Warmongering (Babich)

During the last few days, the European Union went through a real militaristic revolution. A special “legal task force” is working on allowing the use of EU funds for war. The so-called European Peace Facility (EPF), officially stewarded by Josep Borrell, will get its money from the EU funds (and not individual states) after reporting the transfer of thousands of weapons systems to Kiev. EPF also reported having trained more than 40,000 Ukrainian military to use them. The Financial Times chose a somewhat routinely sounding lead for its story on the EU’s decision to legally stop being an “oasis of peace”: “Brussels proposes ‘legal task force’ to explore ways to use the common budget for defense. The headline, however, was more disturbing: “EU looks to bypass treaty ban on buying arms to support Ukraine.”

The reality described in the FT’s story, however, is more dramatic than the headline and the lead taken together: the European Union, which was conceived as an entirely peaceful organization, becomes one of the world’s most implacable warring empires – by law. Very soon the EU’s Union Treaty will no longer have a provision prohibiting “any expenditure arising from operations having military or defense implications.” (Article 41, point 2 of the Treaty on European Union.) Or, at best, this provision will be made devoid of legal force by some new additions to the EU’s legislation. FT reports, confirming its story by eyewitness accounts, that the European Commission is creating a “legal task force,” that would allow the EU to finance wars and military production by European money. In all likelihood, the first “beneficiary” of this financing will be NATO’s proxies in Ukraine, waging a war against Russia and Russians since 2014. At a recent conference of the EU’s 27 members in mid-March, 2024, it was decided to create within the framework of the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF) a special fund for financing Ukrainian armed forces (Ukraine Assistance Fund).

What the relation is between the word “peace” and the system of buying and transporting weapons to the zone of conflict, remains unclear. Ukraine Assistance Fund (UAF) will be financed by donations from EU member states to the tune of €5 billion a year. At least €500 million from that sum will be spent on training Ukrainian servicemen to use the EPF-provided weapons. The weapons will mostly be European-made (such was the requirement of France), but not only. Weapons from “third countries” can be bought and sold, creating opportunities for the spread of dangerous weapons around the world. Judging by the recent EU summit on Thursday, which discussed the ways of stealing “immobilized” Russia’s foreign assets and pouring its money into the UAF “for military support to Ukraine,” no law is an obstacle for the EU’s “legal task forces.” Was such an evolution of the EU unexpected? Not entirely.

The EU’s quasi-pacifist image started to crumble not now, but back in the 1990s. It transpired back then that the real European Union went a long way from the lofty ideas of the EU’s founders. Only naïve people can trust the EU’s claims, that it is a purely “soft power-based institution.” In 1995-1999 the EU’s member countries participated in military interventions against the former Yugoslav republics, later almost all EU members made their “military contributions” to the occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. However, as more and more “crusades” by individual Western countries or American-British alliances ended in defeats (one can cite Afghanistan in 2001-2021 or the French intervention in West Africa after the coup in Libya in 2011), the dreams about a “collective war chest” of the EU started to take shape In 2020 the so-called European Defense Fund (EDF) and later, in March 2021, the European Peace Facility (EPF) started operating at the EU level. Their aim was clear from the start: to collect money from member countries and to buy arms for this money.

Later, these weapons will be used against “undemocratic” countries, whose leaders happen to be at odds with the EU and the US. Real European pacifists immediately smelt the rat and protested both against EDF and especially against EPF, which after the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict became one of the main sponsors of Zelensky’s military machine. Back in 2021, 40 pro-peace NGOs, headed by the German group Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) came out with a statement denouncing the EPF as an instrument “which brings arms into wrong hands” and “allows to use the EU money to train the military cadres for dictatorial regimes.” Now, however, Brussels uses widespread anti-Russian prejudice in the EU, as well as constant reminders about the “threat from Putin” to justify the final destruction of the dream of “peaceful Europe,” which once inspired the pioneers of European integration. In comparison to 2021 critics are fewer and quieter. In this way, Russophobia was spiritually destructive for Europe, stealing its dream of “world peace.”

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“..once sanctions on Russia are eased or lifted, they could face decades of legal action.”

Western Banks Warn Against EU Plans to Give Russian Funds to Ukraine (Antiwar)

Some Western banks are lobbying against an EU plan to use profits made by Russian central bank funds that are frozen in Europe to arm Ukraine, Reuters reported on Thursday. The European Commission has proposed sending up to 3 billion euros to Ukraine per year using the revenue. About 90% would go to a fund called the “European Peace Facility” that can be used to buy weapons for Ukraine, and the remaining funds would go to the EU’s central budget for other types of aid. Russia has slammed the plan and has vowed to respond. “This is outright banditry and theft. These actions are a gross and unprecedented violation of basic international norms. We said that we would respond, and so we shall,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. Sources told Reuters that banks fear they could be held liable by Russia in the future for being involved in the transaction. The report said once sanctions on Russia are eased or lifted, they could face decades of legal action.

The banks also worry the move would erode trust in the Western banking system. One source said it would set a bad precedent and that stealing the funds would amount to the “weaponization of foreign-held reserves and assets.” The US is looking to take an even more extreme measure by giving all of the Russian funds to Ukraine, not just the profit and interest. Last month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen came out strongly in favor of the idea. “It is necessary and urgent for our coalition to find a way to unlock the value of these immobilized assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction,” Yellen said. Legislation to give the Russian money to Ukraine has been introduced in Congress and has received bipartisan support, but the bills have yet to be voted on. About $67 billion in Russian central bank funds are held in the US, while over $200 billion is held in Europe.

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“..it is taking you to the point where I truly believe they will only stop when they find that you will swing from a tree.”

Mob Rule Versus Survival of the West (Susan D. Harris)

It’s been hard to watch the effects of forced diversity, multiculturalism, and mass immigration on the tiny island of Great Britain—the most densely populated nation in Europe. At least in America we still have so much land area that most people are not yet feeling the effects of large-scale population displacement stemming from all forms of immigration. In the UK, however, every day feels like an episode of “Survivor” as people who are being crammed in like sardines are increasingly made to fear that they’ll be voted off the island. Recently, protests surrounding the Israel–Hamas war have exposed the fragility of a British culture—and nation—on the verge of capsizing from the weight of immigration and cultural divides. Well-known British YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson has been covering events there, addressing the British prime minister’s remarks that his country is descending into “mob rule” and that the situation is urgent. The prime minister was referring to pro-Palestinian protesters currently flooding the streets of Britain.

Mr. Watson shared a genius chart from a user on social media platform X supposedly detailing the rise of mob rule in London. The user commented, “HOW DID WE GET HERE? After importing millions of people from countries with a culture of mob rule into London, mob rule has taken over London. Experts are crunching the numbers to figure out if systematically undermining basic law and order could have affected basic law and order.” Meanwhile, Pro-Palestinian protesters across Britain vowed more marches, ostensibly to protest Israeli attacks in Gaza. Mr. Watson has also been covering reactions to another member of parliament recently claiming there were “no-go zones” in Birmingham. To support the existence of “no-go zones,” Mr. Watson cited the Birmingham Mail newspaper, which reported that “due to soaring crime being committed by ‘urban youths,’ parts of the city center are no-go zones and the areas immediately surrounding Birmingham are no-go areas for the same reason,” according to Mr. Watson.

All of this comes after a huge blow-up about a comment made by a Conservative member of parliament on conservative-leaning GB News. Lee Anderson told the news outlet (where he also hosts his own show) that “I don’t actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of [Mayor of London Sadiq] Khan and they’ve got control of London. … He’s actually given our capital city away to his mates.”
Mayor Khan then responded with three strikes against Mr. Anderson, saying his remarks were “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist” and poured “fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred.” It was all downhill from there. Mr. Anderson was suspended from the Conservative Party after refusing to apologize and later defected to the Reform UK party. After that, a GB News guest said Mayor Khan was “not British. He doesn’t support Britain.” Which led to calls for GB News to be investigated by Ofcom, Britain’s communications regulator, similar to our FCC. And it won’t be the first time; Ofcom seems to be targeting GB News for investigations quite a lot lately.

Another British YouTuber who’s been weighing in on the ongoing cancel culture wars in her country is Katie Hopkins. In a video titled, “How cancel culture (evisceration) REALLY works,” Ms. Hopkins outlines what she believes is “currently being done to GB News by those that want to see it done away with.” She also claims that “Ofcom is the weapon wielded in a war of attrition against GB News.” And she should know. The controversial celebrity, journalist, and comedian has done her share of shocking the public and angering many over these last many years, but she’s also become quite the conservative hero. She’s been re-tweeted by President Donald Trump multiple times, banned from Twitter, reinstated on Twitter (now X), and thrown out of Australia for mocking quarantine lockdowns. She’s called Islam the “single biggest threat” to Europe and was named as a target in a planned terror attack by ISIS supporters. Most recently, she’s done a hilarious must-see YouTube short dedicated to all the people who “pushed the jab.” It currently has over 1 million views.

In 2020, Ms. Hopkins told conservative host Candace Owens that her situation in Britain was so much more than the cancel culture that was overtaking America. She explained that in the UK it had become “acceptable” to think that a targeted physical attack against her would be “welcomed and applauded.” She continued to explain to Ms. Owens that she lost her jobs, her home (which she said had to be sold due to litigation), and even experienced having her children reported to social services with the intent to have them taken away. She concluded by saying that, in the UK, “[T]he darkness is that when they come, it’s not something flippant that is cancel culture, it is taking you to the point where I truly believe they will only stop when they find that you will swing from a tree.” Her fundamental commitment, she added, was to not allow that to happen.

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“As soon as we arrived at the Elysee, the staff responsible for the president’s security were immediately doubled..”

Macron Obsessing Over Personal Security Amid Ukrainian Conflict (RT)

French president Emmanuel Macron’s concerns for his own personal safety are being amplified by his public statements and tough stance on the Ukraine conflict, Marianne magazine reported on Sunday. The magazine spoke to multiple sources within Macron’s security detail, the country’s Interior Ministry, and to his notorious ex-bodyguard Alexandre Benalla. During his time with Macron’s security team, Benalla became embroiled in multiple scandals, including beating up demonstrators alongside riot police during the Yellow Vest protests. Macron has always been concerned with his personal security, Benalla claimed, revealing the president had bolstered the ranks of his guard right after assuming office. “As soon as we arrived at the Elysee, the staff responsible for the president’s security were immediately doubled compared to those responsible for that of [predecessor] Francois Hollande,” the disgraced bodyguard explained.

The Yellow Vests protests, which have plagued Macron’s presidency throughout his first term and beyond, have left a dent. Macron’s spouse Brigitte has been particularly concerned that her husband would ultimately end up assassinated, Benalla claims. “She was always very worried about him. At home, there is the fear of ‘Kennedy syndrome,’ that he will end up assassinated,” the insider reportedly claimed. The situation has deteriorated further as a result of Macron’s determination to present himself as a hawk on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. The president’s security team has been working in “red” mode since at least last summer, an unnamed source “at the heart” of Macron’s guard system told the magazine.

“Recently, he is provoking so much that he is afraid,” a source at the heart of the Macron security system confided. “Since last summer, he has taken on some big guys to accompany him. They are more visible and also more effective in intervening in the event of a crowd movement.” The French president is apparently not afraid of facing off angry citizens as is, but rather fears the alleged Russian “hybrid threat,” the report suggested. He has repeatedly voiced concerns over “state-level” threats emanating from abroad, while in private blaming the alleged threat exclusively on Moscow, and creating a special taskforce to tackle it. “Macron is totally freaked out by the Russians. One morning, he arrived at the intelligence services and requested the creation of a special task force on Russian interference overnight. Colleagues have to hold a meeting daily, it doesn’t excite them much,” a senior official with the Interior Ministry told Marianne.

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25 years ago NATO bombed Yugoslavia. Guterres was Portugal PM.

Guterres, the UN, Might, Wise Guys’ ‘Wisdom’, and Right (Graça)

António Guterres, according to what I have read somewhere, has formally and publicly protested the fact that the people of the newly incorporated regions of Russia participate in the latter’s presidential elections. The reason, he claimed, was that it had been an illegal incorporation, based on an also illegal invasion. Russia would thus have in this case the might, Guterres argued, but she would not have on her side the right. Does this sit well with a UN Secretary-General? It certainly does, the unaware reader will likely say. That’s precisely what the UN exists for: to show everyone that, beyond might, irreducible to it, there is always (and there will be) the right. The problem with this – formally impeccable – argument resides, however, elsewhere. Do you remember Kosovo? It was occupied by NATO in 1999, after this alliance bombed the then Yugoslavia, on various pretexts that later were revealed to be false, forcing it (without a UN mandate, by sheer military might) to withdraw from that territory.

Yugoslavia held out for almost three months of relentless bombardment, but eventually withdrew, albeit grudgingly and only against written assurances that Kosovo would remain Yugoslav territory, only provisionally occupied: “we didn’t give away Kosovo, we don’t give away Kosovo”, Slobodan Milosevic then declared publicly. Kosovo was part of a Yugoslav republic, Serbia, and remained so even when this and the other remaining Yugoslav republic, Montenegro, later legally ‘divorced’, thus ending the very existence of the ‘once upon a time’ Country of the South Slavs. Serbia does not recognize the right to secession of her provinces, and so she did not recognize the secession of Kosovo when this territory subsequently (in 2008, still under NATO occupation and without holding a referendum with that purpose) proclaimed its independence.

She complained about this to the International Court of Justice, but the ICJ did not grant the Serbian complaint, arguing that, while it was true that on the latter’s side was the UN’s principle of protection of the integrity of states’ borders, on the side of Kosovar independence was the also UN’s principle of the defense of peoples right to self-determination. That being the case, and although admittedly in a situation of mon coeur balance, the august Court decided by a majority to give the right to Kosovo’s independence, and the wrong to Serbia. The rejection of a region’s independence could be valid internally, but not internationally. Was the secession of Kosovo illegal from the point of view of Serbian law? Perhaps. But not, the ICJ declared, from the point of view of international law.

Now, with things admittedly at this point, the obvious question is: have Crimea, the Donbass, plus the other two provinces of Novorossiya, legally seceded from Ukraine? From Kiev’s point of view, of course not. But from the point of view of international law? When faced with the problem of the secession of countries de facto in a colonial situation, but formally only provinces of another (as was the case with the then Portuguese overseas provinces in Africa), the UN had already decided, in 1970, that the decisive criterion was the existence or not of negative discrimination against certain groups. If the Portuguese state practiced negative discrimination against African ‘indigenous’ people, this would be an irrefutable indication of colonialism, even if the Portuguese Constitution of the time did not openly proclaim it. Therefore, Angola and Mozambique would have the right to secede.

If, on the other hand, it was a question of territories where the populations enjoyed the same rights as the ‘normal’ nationals of their respective countries, such as the Corsicans vis-à-vis the other French, or the Sardinians in relation to the other Italians, there would be no right of secession. Corsica and Sardinia would therefore not have the right to secede from France and Italy, respectively. The point is that, precisely, Kosovo was not the target of any derogatory treatment by Serbia. On the contrary, there was positive discrimination, with the right to use Albanian as a regional co-official language, just as it is today in Spain with Basque, Galician and Catalan in the Basque Country, Galicia and Catalonia, respectively. And yet, the ICJ ruled against Serbia’s claim! That is, giving an additional right to the centrifugal political tendencies, when compared to the position of the UN General Assembly back in 1970…

Given this, the question inevitably arises: have the inhabitants of the Donbass, who revolted and organized secessionist referendums as early as 2014, and since then saw the Russian language banned, and were the target of indiscriminate bombardment by Kiev’s troops and paramilitary, and suffered all kinds of other atrocities, not much more right to secession than the Kosovars – to whom, for example, the use of Albanian had never been forbidden by Belgrade? On the contrary, the entire Albanian cultural legacy was always carefully protected by Yugoslavia’s emphatically multi-ethnic Constitution, and the ethnic Albanian population benefited from various forms of positive discrimination. And yet, the ICJ rejected Serbia’s complaint!

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What led to Putin. “If I had accepted Gore’s terms, I would have been a real traitor..”

‘U-Turn Over Atlantic’ (Sp.)

Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of then-Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov’s famous “U-turn” over the Atlantic, an event that grabbed global headlines at the time. On March 24, 1999, Primakov was on a flight to the United States to negotiate a $5 billion IMF loan for Russia. But after then-US Vice President Al Gore informed Primakov that NATO had launched a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, Primakov decided to turn his plane around and return to Moscow. Witnessing the Primakov-Gore conversation was the now-deputy head of Russia’s upper chamber of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, who served as an assistant for international affairs to the prime minister in the late 1990s. Kosachev was among the members of a Russian government delegation on board Primakov’s plane when the incident took place. The Federal Council deputy head later recalled that Gore told Primakov about the beginning of NATO’s military operation and the alliance’s decision to start bombing Yugoslavia “in these very minutes.”

According to Kosachev, Primakov reacted by telling Gore that such a development means that the Russian delegation’s visit to the US “becomes impossible.” The lawmaker added that the plane turned around after Primakov received the go-ahead from then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin. When asked by reporters why Primakov’s move was so significant for history, Kosachev stressed that “it was the first sign of Russia’s disagreement as a state with the policies that the US and its NATO allies were pursuing in a world which seemed to have changed since the end of the Cold War, but in fact which had not changed at all.” “As I see it, the decision proved to be a turning point both literally and figuratively in relations between Russia and the West, something that reflected our country’s utter disagreement with the West’s line on building a unipolar world,” Kosachev underscored.

It predetermined the entire course of subsequent events, the lawmaker went on, noting that Russia and the West “could have come out of all this by preserving partnership in those issues that unite both sides.” “The two, however, continued to move in opposite directions because the West refused to reconsider its policy line with regard to the outside world and Russia. What’s more, the West in many situations further aggravated the situation,” Kosachev pointed out. As for Primakov, needless to say he was shocked after hearing the news about a European country being bombed for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Despite Gore’s desperate attempts to persuade Primakov to backtrack on his decision and come to Washington, the Russian prime minister was undeterred. “If I had accepted Gore’s terms, I would have been a real traitor,” Primakov later said.

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Bhakdi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771608859221619053

 

 

Parakeet

 

 

Tiger

 

 

China 2019-24
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771858094030565756

 

 

Bird dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771934010643451957

 

 

Giraffe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771923520995340738

 

 

 

 

Whales
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772141576900214974

 

 

Love

 

 

Gravity

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 222024
 


Rembrandt van Rijn A Lady And Gentleman In Black 1633
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, the single largest art theft in the world. Never recovered.

 

NY Prepares To Seize Trump Assets In Westchester County (ZH)
Judge Grants Trump’s Request to Appeal Fani Willis Disqualification Decision (ET)
The Path to Victory for Trump (Hammer)
The “Perversity” of Michael Cohen (Turley)
Trump Fears Alzheimer’s – WaPo (RT)
What Is Necessary For The Ukrainian “Sanitary Zone” To Be Sanitary? (Helmer)
Ukraine Forced To Close Controversial ‘War Sponsors’ Blacklist (RT)
Russian Troops To Kill All French Soldiers In Ukraine – Senior Lawmaker (TASS)
Biden’s Point Man Visits Ukraine With Bundle of Promises (Sp.)
Ukrainian Officers Negligent in Duties and Attitude to Personnel – POW (Sp.)
US Submits Draft Resolution To UN Calling For Gaza Ceasefire – Blinken (TASS)
Authorized Atrocities (Patrick Lawrence)
Russia and China Reach Shipping Deal With Houthis (RT)
Yemen’s Indian Ocean Checkmate (Harb)
Justice Department Considering Plea Deal for Assange (Antiwar)

 

 

 

 

Tucker no reason
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770864586788348034

 

 

Nap

 

 

AOC

 

 

Comer

 

 

J6

 

 

Benz Hunter

 

 

Belfort

 

 

 

 

Irreversible. Theft. SCOTUS better hurry. Or the US will not have a justice system left.

NY Prepares To Seize Trump Assets In Westchester County (ZH)

The state of New York has positioned itself to seize Donald Trump’s assets in Westchester County following a $454 million civil fraud judgement against the former president. The state registered the massive judgement in the county, a sign that his properties in the area may be at risk of being seized if Trump can’t post an appeal bond. The judgement, registered March 6 according to the Westchester Country Clerk’s online database, didn’t give any reason for the registration, nor did it specifically identify any of Trump’s assets, but it will allow Attorney General Letitia James to more easily secure liens on two of the billionaire’s most valuable properties – Trump National Golf Club Westchester, and the 212-acre Seven Springs estate which remains mostly undeveloped, Bloomberg reports.

James has said she’s prepared to start seizing Trump assets if he misses a March 25 deadline to post a bond for 120% of the judgment to put it on hold while he appeals. She hasn’t started that process, and the registration in Westchester County doesn’t automatically mean she will attempt to seize the properties. It’s nevertheless a clear sign they’re at risk. Trump, who is campaigning to return to the White House in the November election, has asked a New York appeals court to waive the bond while he challenges the verdict, or allow him to post a smaller one for $100 million. A ruling on that request, which James opposes, could come at any time.

Trump and his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, were found by Judge Arthur Engoron to be liable for inflating the former president’s assets in order to obtain better terms on loans – despite the banks involved all saying they did their own internal due diligence and were happy with the relationship. In a March 18 filing, Trump said that an appeal bond is “unattainable,” as insurance companies that arrange them won’t take his real estate as collateral – only cash, which Trump has previously warned he doesn’t have. If the court doesn’t help him with a lower bond, Trump says he’ll have to sell properties in a “fire sale” to raise money. In Manhattan, the state doesn’t have to register the judgement since that’s where the verdict was handed down. Trump properties in the Big Apple include Trump Tower and his skyscraper located at 40 Wall Street.

Habba
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770799295379145212

CNN Mar A Lago

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Is he backpedalling?

Judge Grants Trump’s Request to Appeal Fani Willis Disqualification Decision (ET)

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has granted former President Donald Trump’s request for a certificate of immediate review, allowing the former president and seven co-defendants to appeal the judge’s order denying the disqualification of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The certificate of immediate review, filed on March 20 at the Superior Court of Fulton County in Georgia, allows President Trump and seven co-defendants to seek an appeal from the Georgia Court of Appeals, which has the discretion to accept or decline to hear the case. “Judge McAfee has issued a certificate of immediate review allowing us to take our motion to disqualify Fani Willis directly to the Georgia Court of Appeals,” David Shafer, former chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and one of the seven co-defendants, said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, commenting on the judge’s decision.

Besides Mr. Shafer, the co-defendants who can appeal the judge’s disqualification ruling are Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Robert Cheeley, Michael Roman, Harrison Floyd, and Cathleen Latham. All of them had joined the initial motion to disqualify Ms. Willis and later joined the motion for a certificate of immediate review. The request for immediate review, filed on March 18 by Steve Sadow, attorney to President Trump, stems from Judge McAfee’s decision to allow Ms. Willis to remain on the high-profile case, in which the former president is accused of election interference. President Trump has denied wrongdoing and has called the case a politically motivated “witch hunt” meant to undermine his 2024 comeback bid for the White House. Ms. Willis was accused of engaging in an “improper” romantic relationship with prosecutor Nathan Wade and benefitting from it financially. The two acknowledged the relationship but denied any financial benefit or conflict of interest.

Judge McAfee said in a March 15 order that there was an appearance of impropriety but that no conflict of interest had been proven. He found that disqualifying Ms. Willis wouldn’t be the appropriate remedy to the appearance of impropriety and instead ordered Mr. Wade off the case. Mr. Wade resigned hours after the morning order was issued. In earlier testimony, Mr. Wade had acknowledged a romantic relationship with Ms. Willis but testified that it had ended before the election case indictment was handed up. Judge McAfee noted that Mr. Wade’s inconsistent answers under oath in his recent divorce case showed a willingness to “conceal” his relationship with Ms. Willis, and he opined that an “odor of mendacity” lingered on the prosecution team with Ms. Willis’s and Mr. Wade’s testimonies in his court.

Given the seriousness of the appearance issue as described by the judge, the defendants argued that the removal of Mr. Wade wasn’t sufficient. Judge McAfee had a 10-day window to decide whether he would allow a review of his disqualification decision. Allowing review could technically halt pretrial proceedings for up to 45 days while an appeals court decides whether to take the case. However, in his March 20 certificate of immediate review, Judge McAfee said that the court intends “to continue addressing the many other unrelated pending pretrial motions, regardless of whether the petition is granted within 45 days of filing, and even if any subsequent appeal is expedited by the appellate court.” The case still has 15 defendants (four have accepted plea bargains) and is expected to run for about six months.

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“..the Democratic Party in its fetid current form is wholly unfit to govern the local assisted living facility—to say nothing of the greatest country in the world.”

The Path to Victory for Trump (Hammer)

For the many Americans who are neither Trump enthusiasts nor card-carrying Democratic partisans, this choice at the ballot box may be less than fully enticing. But for those patriots who still love this country, warts and all, and in spite of our ruinous current trajectory and decadence, it is imperative that Trump secures a second presidential term. It really is that simple. You may admire Trump’s willingness to challenge conventional orthodoxies and his instinctual nationalism, or maybe you think he is an unprincipled politician and an obnoxious boor, to boot. Perhaps you believe Trump is now being persecuted by a weaponized prosecutorial apparatus, or you might have deep qualms about voting for someone found guilty of a crime by a jury of his peers. But whatever it is you think about the polarizing 45th president of the United States, it doesn’t really matter. The reality is that the Democratic Party in its fetid current form is wholly unfit to govern the local assisted living facility—to say nothing of the greatest country in the world.

And whoever once said American elections don’t present a binary choice is a moron; that is precisely what they do. Patriots of all stripes must therefore band together to get Trump across the finish line this November. Trump can certainly make that task easier (or harder) based on how he runs his campaign this year. Here is what he should do. Since Trump is the first former president to run for a non-consecutive additional term since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, his campaign is somewhat anomalous. Most challengers to an incumbent president seeking reelection can only talk about what they will do once they are in office and how that agenda differs from the incumbent’s record. But Trump already served a full term; he has a record. What’s more, that term was just a few years ago; most voters remember it well.The key to Trump’s reelection this fall, then, is to make the straightforward case that his term was demonstrably better for the median American citizen than Biden’s term has been.

On the economy, Biden has presided over the worst inflation in four decades, declining real wages, a formal recession, and a historic supply chain crisis. Trump, by contrast, oversaw a generally flourishing pre-COVID economy: the stock market soared, inflation was generally subdued, America became a net exporter of oil and natural gas for the first time ever, and the Black unemployment rate even reached the lowest it has been since that statistic was first measured. On the border, Biden has presided over the worst crisis in American history: Endless streams of unknown illegal aliens have flooded over, leading to a massive strain on municipalities’ resources, skyrocketing violent crime, depressed wages for working-class Americans, and the mass importation of terrorism-implicating “special interest aliens.” Trump, by contrast, may not have finished construction of the border wall, but illegal immigration was orders of magnitude lower than it is today due in no small part to the prudent measures he implemented, such as Remain in Mexico.

On the world stage, Vladimir Putin did not march into Ukraine under Trump (indeed, it is curious that Putin invaded Crimea during the Obama presidency in 2014 and then waited patiently until the next Democratic president to invade again), and under Trump, Hamas did not infiltrate Israel and kill the most Jews in a single day since the defeat of Nazi Germany. Iran was on the brink of economic catastrophe by the end of Trump’s term due to his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign; under Biden, the Islamic Republic has been “maximally emboldened” to sow the seeds of jihad all over the Middle East. For all the talk of Trump’s “chaos,” there was not a single major war abroad during his presidency. The 2024 presidential campaign is going to get ugly. Democrats have barely commenced the advertising onslaught that is to come, wherein they will depict Trump as a Mafia-like thug and shamelessly compare Jan. 6, 2021, to 9/11. Trump’s best chance this fall is to ignore the noise and prove, contrary to the smear campaigns, that he is the superior candidate in terms of competence, stability, and sanity. He has the record to prove it.

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“If lying were an art form, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen would be its Rembrandt..”

The “Perversity” of Michael Cohen (Turley)

Michael Cohen was back in court this week and it did not go well. The former fixer for Donald Trump was in court seeking a reduction in his federal sentence and to answer for his use of Google’s AI chatbot to submit arguments with fake case authority. However, things went off the rails when his counsel cited his prior testimony as evidence of his rehabilitation. U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman called the argument “perverse” and noted that Cohen is clearly a serial perjurer and cited the need for continued “deterrence.” That is hardly a promising review before Cohen appears as the star witness for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in the prosecution of former president Donald Trump. If lying were an art form, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen would be its Rembrandt. Throughout his career, the disbarred lawyer has found powerful clients who valued his reputation for supporting any side that offered the biggest payback.

For full disclosure, I have been a critic of Cohen for years, including columns when he was still representing Trump. Cohen has been repeatedly accused of perjury. For example, after Cohen turned on Trump, he went from being a pariah to a hero for many Democrats. Yet, he continued the same pattern. When he was called before the House to testify against Trump soon after his plea agreement with the Justice Department, Cohen was again accused of perjury: The House Oversight Committee chairman, Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, began his questioning by noting that he told him that he had better testify truthfully this time or be nailed to the cross. “Didn’t I tell you that?” Cummings asked. “Yes, you did, more than once,” Cohen replied. Then Cohen went forward and claimed he had cared nothing about jobs or pardons from Donald Trump. However, a number of news organizations reported that Cohen was upset after lobbying for the White House counsel, chief of staff, or other jobs in the administration.

Despite a multitude of such sources, Cohen has insisted, “I was extremely proud to be the personal attorney for the president of the United States of America. I did not want to go to the White House. I was offered jobs.” There is little ambiguity here. Either multiple witnesses lied or Cohen once again lied to Congress. Then Cohen stated, “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.” That also directly contradicts multiple sources who say his lawyer pressed the White House for a pardon, and that Cohen unsuccessfully sought a presidential pardon after FBI raids on his office and residences last year. (Roughly a month later, he decided to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.). Even after being stripped of his bar license and sentenced to three years in prison, Cohen continued the pattern. In 2019, Cohen failed to appear to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing the inability to travel due to a medical surgery.

However, he was seen partying before the hearing date with five friends with no apparent problems. Even in jail, Cohen was accused of lying to a court in violation of an order for early release due to medical problems. He was ordered back into custody after being spotted at a high-end restaurant. After Cohen admitted to various criminal acts in federal court to secure his plea agreement, he then declared that he lied. In his 2018 guilty plea before U.S. District Judge William Henry Pauley III, Cohen admitted to this conduct under oath. Cohen was later asked by Trump counsel “Did you lie to Judge Pauley when you said that you were guilty of the counts that you said under oath that you were guilty of? Did you lie to Judge Pauley?” Cohen matter-of-factly responded “yes.” He was then again asked “So you lied when you said that you evaded taxes to a judge under oath; is that correct?” He again responded “yes.”

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We’ll see lots of this in the MSM. Variations on: Biden old and senile? Well, so is Trump.

Trump Fears Alzheimer’s – WaPo (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has a fear of developing dementia due to his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Washington Post, which cited several of the billionaire’s former associates. The outlet claimed to have spoken to a former senior executive at the Trump Organization, who said they had worked with Trump and saw him interact with his father Fred Trump Sr. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source claimed that “Donald is no doubt fearful of Alzheimer’s.” “He’s not going to talk about it and not going to admit it,” they told WaPo, claiming that this information was nevertheless relevant in light of Trump’s allegations that current US President Joe Biden is not mentally fit for office.

WaPo also cited Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, who reportedly recalled that Donald was seriously upset by his father’s descent into dementia after the patriarch failed to recognize his children at a family gathering in the mid-1990s. The outlet also cited an interview that Donald Trump gave to Playboy in 1997, in which he stated that seeing his father suffering from Alzheimer’s had left him wondering “out loud about the senselessness of life.” In recent years, Trump has repeatedly claimed that US President Joe Biden was suffering from severe mental health issues as he could often be seen tripping, getting lost, mixing up world leaders and countries, losing his train of thought mid-sentence, and recently even forgetting NATO’s new ally, confusing Norway with Finland. At the same time, the billionaire has boasted that he himself had passed the Montreal cognitive test with flying colors.

However, some have suggested that Trump’s own mental health may also be slipping, after several gaffes on the campaign trail in recent months, such as confusing South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley with former speaker Nancy Pelosi, and warning that the US could face “World War II” under Biden. Meanwhile, a recent survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 63% of American voters are not very or not at all confident in Biden’s mental capability to serve effectively as president. Trump also did not fare well, with 57% voicing concerns about his mental capacity. The pair are now set to face off in the upcoming US presidential election, which will be held on November 5.

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“.. there cannot be a military outcome for the General Staff and the Kremlin which will allow terrorism against Russia forever from inside those cities, or from whatever remains of the Ukraine. So there must be regime change in Kiev– and a form of Russian occupation that will be surprising.”

What Is Necessary For The Ukrainian “Sanitary Zone” To Be Sanitary? (Helmer)

In his election victory speech on Sunday night, President Vladimir Putin has accepted the 87% Russian voter mandate to finish the war by securing the Novorussian territories east of the Dnieper River, and converting western Ukraine into “a certain sanitary zone in today’s territories subordinated to the Kiev regime.” In military terms, this zone extends westward from the Dnieper to the full 500-kilometre range of NATO missiles supplied to the Ukrainian forces; and to the 900-km range of the drones in the current Ukrainian inventory. With direct flight distance from Odessa to Lvov at 630 kms, and between Kharkov and Lvov of 975 kms, this means that all of the “territories subordinated to the Kiev regime” will become a sanitary zone, demilitarized to the Polish border.

Referring to the HIMARS rocket attacks in the Belgorod region and the proposed evacuation of nine thousand schoolchildren out of range, Putin announced at his campaign headquarters, “I do not exclude that, bearing in mind the tragic events taking place today, we will be forced at some point – when we deem it appropriate — to create a certain sanitary zone in today’s territories subordinated to the Kiev regime.” The president did not specify how soon is “appropriate”, or how deep the demilitarized or sanitary zone will be, except that in calculating the depth and taking Russian control of it, the range of weapons includes “first of all, of course, [weapons] of foreign production.” Demilitarization of the Ukraine has been the strategic objective of the Special Military Operation from the start in February 2022.

In several Kremlin meetings last June, Putin foreshadowed a zone variously called a DMZ, buffer zone, or cordon sanitaire. In a meeting with military correspondents on June 13, 2023, Putin explained operationally. “Here are several solutions: first, bolstering the effectiveness of the counter-battery struggle. But this does not mean that there won’t be missile strikes against our territory. And so if this continues then we will apparently have to consider the issue – and I’m saying this very carefully – of creating a buffer zone on Ukraine’s territory at such a distance from where it could be impossible to reach our territory.” Mapping the DMZ has been discussed in detail as senior civilian and military officials in Moscow and in the Donbass have publicly discussed the range-of-defence requirement.

Now, with the conclusion of the election, Russian military bloggers have begun to voice open criticism of the performance of the military in preventing drone and missile attacks from striking civilians in Belgorod, as well as oil refinery targets up to 900 kms from the border. According to Boris Rozhin (Colonel Cassad), Russian early warning and detection of Ukrainian HIMARS units are effective, but counter-battery and interception firing is delayed. “The reason is organizational issues that prevent timely fire damage to the exposed priority targets. The issue of their elimination is extremely relevant now: This will not only significantly increase the effectiveness of counter-battery warfare, but also reduce the intensity of enemy strikes on Belgorod and other settlements.” “Organizational issues” is a code term for the chain of command Rozhin avoids explaining.

Military sources in Moscow have been discreetly acknowledging that the decisions on how far the Russian military operation should extend westwards were postponed during the election campaign. During this time, the sources have also been warning, the Ukrainians were able to construct extensive surface fortifications and command-and-control bunkers north of Chernigov facing an expected offensive drive of Russian forces toward Kiev; and around Odessa to block a Russian offensive in the south. These lines are reportedly manned by fresh and well-supplied Ukrainian reserves, who are being held out of the meat-grinder battles along the line of contact, like Bakhmut and Avdeyevka.

Threats to reinforce these new fortified lines with a French-led “coalition” have come from President Emmanuel Macron. In parallel, detailed planning by the German Luftwaffe, backed by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, of long-range Taurus missile attacks, launched from aircraft based outside the Ukraine, has become public knowledge. In response, a well-informed Moscow source believes the parameters of Russian strategy are becoming clearer “now that Putin is waving the green flag. It’s clear, for example, that although there will not be battles inside cities like Odessa, Kharkov, and Kiev, there cannot be a military outcome for the General Staff and the Kremlin which will allow terrorism against Russia forever from inside those cities, or from whatever remains of the Ukraine. So there must be regime change in Kiev– and a form of Russian occupation that will be surprising.”

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“..unacceptable to disseminate such information in the state’s name without resolving the legal issues.”

Ukraine Forced To Close Controversial ‘War Sponsors’ Blacklist (RT)

Ukraine has decided to abandon its list of ‘international sponsors of war’ following complaints from other countries. Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention has hosted a website listing companies that continue to do business in Russia or “indirectly assist in or contribute to Russia’s war efforts.” The list includes major corporations such as PepsiCo, P&G, Yves Rocher, Unilever, Metro, Nestle, Auchan, and Xiaomi. The project was part of Kiev’s strategy to pressure companies into cutting ties with Moscow in response to the conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian government announced on Tuesday, however, that those wishing to view the list will be redirected to the more neutrally named State Register of Sanctions curated by Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council.

The decision was made after a meeting attended by diplomats from more than ten countries, including the US, China, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, as well as representatives from the EU. According to a statement on the government’s website, many of Ukraine’s partners raised concerns about “the lack of legal basis for the existence of the ‘international sponsors of war’ list.” Kiev had to consider “the negative impact of this list on the adoption of important decisions to stop the Russian aggression,” the statement read.

Ukraine’s Justice Ministry ultimately agreed that it was “unacceptable to disseminate such information in the state’s name without resolving the legal issues.” Austria had refused to back the 12th round of EU sanctions against Russia, demanding that Kiev remove the Vienna-based Raiffeisen Bank from the blacklist. Ukraine eventually conceded, paving the way for Austria to give the green light to the sanctions in December 2023. Last month, Beijing requested that Kiev remove its companies from the list as well. “China firmly opposes the inclusion of Chinese enterprises in the relevant list and demands that Ukraine immediately correct its mistakes and eliminate negative impacts,” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Reuters.

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“.. the number of dead Frenchmen has exceeded a psychologically significant threshold, and now there is a question about how to bury the dead and treat the wounded in secret…”

Russian Troops To Kill All French Soldiers In Ukraine – Senior Lawmaker (TASS)

Russian servicemen will eliminate all French soldiers coming to Ukraine, State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said. “We will kill all French soldiers who will come to the territory of Ukraine. All of them,” he told the BFMTV channel. The politician also pointed out that 147 out of 367 French mercenaries who arrived in Ukraine earlier have been eliminated. In addition, Tolstoy emphasized that Russia “does not care” about the statements of French President Emmanuel Macron and his words about the rejection of red lines in the provision of aid to Kiev. On March 19, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin said that France was already preparing a military contingent to be sent to Ukraine, which would initially amount to about 2,000 soldiers. After that, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces made a statement on the social network X that what Naryshkin said did not correspond to reality.

The Russian intelligence chief pointed out that France unofficially recognized the deaths of its own servicemen. The French army has not experienced such a level of losses since the Algerian War of 1954-1962. The Elysee Palace, as Naryshkin noted, also believes that the number of dead Frenchmen has exceeded a psychologically significant threshold, and now there is a question about how to bury the dead and treat the wounded in secret so as not to spark a public outcry. In late February, after a conference in Paris devoted to Ukraine, Macron did not explicitly rule out the possibility of sending ground troops from Western countries to the special military operation zone. Macron also said that Western states “intend to do whatever is necessary” to prevent Russia from gaining the upper hand in this conflict.

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“Even if Ukraine holds on, what we really are saying is that we are going to leverage countless lives in order to do that.”

Biden’s Point Man Visits Ukraine With Bundle of Promises (Sp.)

A big bag of nothing but promises is what Joe Biden’s national security advisor brought with him on his covert trip to Kiev on Wednesday. As Jake Sullivan offered a rehash of the same old promises of Washington’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, he could not put any specific timeframe as to when more aid might be forthcoming. It would appear that the whole point of Biden’s point man visiting Ukraine was to placate Kiev while exuding confidence that the gridlock in Congress over supplementary aid to Ukraine would end – at some point. This was Sullivan’s first trip to Ukraine since he accompanied Biden to the Ukrainian capital on February 20, 2023. This hurried visit could be taken as a sign that things look pretty bleak when it comes to hopes of getting the aid package “out the door.” And yet, Sullivan ruled out any “Plan B,” saying: “I’m confident that we will achieve Plan A… We are confident we will get a strong bipartisan vote in the House for an assistance package for Ukraine… It’s already taken too long,” he said, noting, however, that “I’m not going to make predictions about exactly when this will get done.”

President Joe Biden’s military aid for Ukraine remains mired in political deadlock. The $95 billion US foreign aid bill passed by the Senate that includes more than $60 billion for Ukraine is stuck in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, with GOP lawmakers insisting new funds be linked to more action against illegal immigration. Media reported that House Republicans are in the early stages of work on an alternate foreign aid bill that they hope will be ready by April. Current discussions are believed to be centered on trying to get the aid approved in the form of a loan. Last week, Pentagon cost savings allowed Washington to scrounge up $300 million in Ukraine military assistance that included air defense interceptors, artillery rounds, and armor systems. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin touted it before European allies at a meeting of Ukraine’s Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base on March 19.

“Those supplies rush to you as we speak,” said Sullivan. As for Kiev’s coveted larger package, he reiterated that “we are confident that we will get this aid to Ukraine.” Sullivan also put a damper on the Kiev regime’s hopes of getting their hands on American longer range ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems) with a range of up to 300 kilometers. There were reports that these systems might be included in the $300 million Ukraine aid package. “ATACMS, I am going to disappoint you, I have nothing to announce here publicly today on that issue. When we do have something to share we will be sure to share it, but we will say that we had very constructive discussions about our military support and our capabilities,” Sullivan said.

Earlier, US officials predicted Ukraine’s failure in the NATO proxy conflict with Russia in a worst-case scenario unless Congress approves additional military aid to Kiev. “This doesn’t go well for Ukraine over time without a supplemental, and it could lead to potential collapse,” an unnamed official was quoted by The Washington Post as saying, adding: “But here’s the bottom line: Even if Ukraine holds on, what we really are saying is that we are going to leverage countless lives in order to do that.”

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“The average age of servicemen is over 45 years old..”

Ukrainian Officers Negligent in Duties and Attitude to Personnel – POW (Sp.)

Officers in the Ukrainian Armed Forces are negligent in their duties and towards personnel, with discipline among servicemen low, Ukrainian Sergeant Dmytro Balanda, who was on the line of contact near Kupyansk at the end of 2023, told reporters. “No one wanted to fight, everyone resented it, there were no officers at the position. They gave orders: just go out, dig in, without saying where to dig in, in which direction, or where to wait for encounters, it was such a negligent attitude. Many of my comrades were outraged and said: ‘Why don’t we have officers… We didn’t have proper training.’ The average age of servicemen is over 45 years old,” said Balanda, who later surrendered in the Zaporozhye region.

According to him, servicemen in his unit refused to participate in combat operations. “The attitude of the commanders is bad … For several days we were without water, without food. There is no discipline, discipline was violated. The servicemen managed to get drunk, they didn’t get rowdy, but they refused to go to their positions. They said they refuse to carry out combat operations. They were written down as insubordinate and thrown in the brig without water or food,” the prisoner added. As the commander of the detachment BARS-10, call sign “Saturn,” told reporters, the Ukrainian serviceman was detained when he crossed the line of contact near the village of Kamenskoye in the Zaporozhye region.

“In the morning, under fog, under enemy fire, it was right during an intense attack by enemy FPV drones. The observer at a distant post saw that there was a man with a backpack and two bags in his hands. We reported it on the radio, moved forward, and decided to arrest him without firing, because we saw with binoculars and a drone that he was unarmed. We ordered him to lie down on the pavement, put his things down, and take off his outer clothes in order to protect us. There are many examples, everything happens, maybe a person is booby-trapped, like a shahid [suicide attacker],” Saturn said, describing the circumstances of the detention and the security measures taken by the Russian troops.

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Hot and empty air.

US Submits Draft Resolution To UN Calling For Gaza Ceasefire – Blinken (TASS)

The United States has submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling for an immediate ceasefire and release of Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We actually have a resolution that we put forward right now that’s before the United Nations Security Council that does call for an immediate ceasefire tied to the release of hostages, and we hope very much that countries will support that,” he said in an interview with the Al Hadath television. According to Blinken, the latest draft resolution would send a “strong signal.” While the United States stands with Israel’s right to defend itself, Washington focuses on efforts to protect civilians “who are suffering so terribly,” he emphasized.

“We’ve been leading the effort to do that, to get more in, to get more to the people who need it. We are pressing on that as hard as we can,” Blinken said. The United States used its right to veto at the UNSC to block several resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian radical movement Hamas before. Algeria was the last country to have submitted its draft resolution in late February. On Wednesday, the US secretary of state arrived in Saudi Arabia, the first stop of his sixth tour of the Middle East since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict escalated again on October 7. Blinken is planning to travel to Egypt and Israel later on. He is expected to hold talks in Cairo with top diplomats from Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as with the UAE minister for international cooperation and a senior Palestinian official later today.

Varadkar

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“Israel has proven a failed experiment, incapable of conducting itself as a legitimate nation-state.”

Authorized Atrocities (Patrick Lawrence)

In the decade before the American defeat in Indochina, the U.S. and its allies dropped more than 7.5 million tons of bombs on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. If we want to go further back in postwar history we can think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then we can think about Israel in Gaza: As of the start of this year — leaving us more than three months to count — it had dropped more than 70,000 tons of ordnance on a territory the size of Manhattan. Torture of Palestinian prisoners — the beatings, the maiming, the waterboarding, the forced confessions: Is this so different from how the U.S. conducted the “war on terror?” Long-term detentions in dungeons with no charges and no recourse to attorneys: There is no echo in this of what goes on at Guantánamo as we speak? Those IDF soldiers in the photographs are nothing more than punks with guns, vulgarians with no shred of humanity in them. Can we rightfully describe the U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib any differently?

Israel ignores the International Court of Justice? Where might this impudence come from? There is more, much more, that we can add to this list. Afghanistan merits a place on it. There is the West’s “back-to-the-Stone–Age” destruction of Libya in 2011. I confine myself to the postwar decades to allow us to take a good, clear look at that “edifice of global norms” of which Mishra writes. When we do, we find the West has licensed the Israelis. They bear a pre-authorization by way of many precedents. There is one for more or less every shameful act the Israelis perpetrate against the Palestinian population — this in the West Bank as well as Gaza. And so we discover — or remind ourselves, depending on how attentive we have been to events — that the post–1945 edifice has looked from the start roughly as it looks now. Israel is at bottom an outcome, not the prime cause of anything.

Certainly the grotesque spectacle of mass murder and wholesale destruction we witness daily has marked a rupture, to stay with Mishra’s term. But to assert that this rupture lies in Israel’s conduct is to sustain an insidious mythology of innocence for the West. No, the true rupture lies with those in the West who are sucked into Israel’s utter immorality and now come face-to-face with their amoral indifference or, for the best of them, discover the extent of their powerlessness despite their authentic efforts. As to Israel, I am with Primo Levi as Mishra quotes him. “The Jewish state” had already proven a mistake when he made his much-disputed remark in 1985. The truth of it has since been demonstrated a hundred times over. Israel has proven a failed experiment, incapable of conducting itself as a legitimate nation-state.

But whose mistake is Israel? It was the West, Britain in the lead, that created Israel by caving to the Zionists at the expense of indigenous Palestinians. This is the reality of power that should weigh most heavily on our shoulders. Israel ‘R’ us. Britain’s abandonment of the 1920 Mandate brings us to one of the deeper characteristics of our time, our postwar edifice. This is the ever more complete disregard of those in power for the principles, standards and broadly accepted ethics that give form and coherence to a stable civilization and keep its public space clean and well lit. In our crumbling edifice, everything is done according to its value as an expedient to a desired outcome. This, too, is a kind of depravity. And it is this depravity that produces the depravity we watch as we watch Israel’s effort to destroy an entire people.

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“Last week, the Houthis’ leader, Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, vowed to expand the campaign to the Indian Ocean and hit vessels traveling around South Africa..”

Russia and China Reach Shipping Deal With Houthis (RT)

The Yemen-based Houthi militants have told Russia and China that their ships can sail freely through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden without fear of being attacked, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources. People with knowledge of the matter told the outlet that the understanding was reached during talks in Oman involving Russian and Chinese diplomats and a top Houthi political figure. According to Bloomberg’s sources, in exchange for promising safe passage for ships the Houthis want the two countries to provide political support for the rebel group in international bodies such as the UN Security Council.

The Houthi rebels have carried out dozens of drone and missile attacks on commercial vessels traversing the Red Sea, disrupting shipping traffic through one of the world’s most important maritime corridors. As a result, many major shipping companies have stopped using the Suez Canal and are instead redirecting ships around the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa. The Houthis have been attacking ships they believe to be linked to Israel in what they claim is a show of “solidarity” with the Palestinian people in light of the war in Gaza. After the US and the UK conducted a number of strikes on Houthi facilities in Yemen, the group said it would now also attack ships affiliated with both nations.

In a recent such incident, Yemeni missiles struck the merchant vessel True Confidence in the Gulf of Aden earlier this month, causing the first deaths since the militant group started its attacks. The Houthis claimed the vessel was American. However, according to a Bloomberg source, the ship used to be owned by Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital, but a new non-US company had taken it over. A senior Houthi political leader, Ali Alqhoom, declared recently on X (formerly Twitter) that the group’s goal is “sinking America, Britain and the West in the swamp of the Red Sea.” Last week, the Houthis’ leader, Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, vowed to expand the campaign to the Indian Ocean and hit vessels traveling around South Africa. Attacks on vessels in the Red Sea region decreased traffic via the Suez Canal, a vital route between Asia and Europe that ordinarily handles about 15% of global maritime trade.

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“We have surprises that the enemies do not expect at all,” before announcing the successful testing of a new hypersonic missile..”

Yemen’s Indian Ocean Checkmate (Harb)

Ansarallah’s maritime reach has surpassed all initial expectations, now extending to the distant shores of the Indian Ocean in its ambitious plan to besiege Israel by targeting the occupation state’s shipping interests. Yemen’s strategic position not only serves as a beacon of hope for Palestinians enduring Israel’s brutal military assault on their lives, homes, and livelihoods but has also become a crucial pillar in the Axis of Resistance’s fight against US hegemonic machinations in West Asia. In late February, al-Houthi vowed to expand the scope of attacks against Israel-linked vessels, stating, “We have surprises that the enemies do not expect at all,” before announcing the successful testing of a new hypersonic missile. This stands in stark contradiction to western narratives trumpeting their own containment efforts to encircle Yemen and thwart its ability to intercept Israel-bound vessels.

If anything, the naval operations undertaken by the Ansarallah-aligned armed forces are instead rippling outward, spanning a remarkable distance of over 6,000 kilometers from the Yemeni coast to the Indian Ocean. Crucially, Yemen’s defiance has drawn widespread, popular support from its once-warring nationals, not just in support of Gaza and the Israeli blockade but also against the relentless US and British airstrikes launched under the fig leaf of Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian’ – an extrajudicial imperial project which aims to cripple Ansarallah’s military capabilities under the guise of securing international shipping and trade routes. Yet al-Houthi’s unequivocal declaration on barring the passage of ships associated with Israel, or those engaged in commercial ties with it, from traversing the Indian Ocean and the Cape of Good Hope shows that Washington and London have been dealt a resounding strategic defeat.

By targeting these two new critical waterway passages, Yemen imposes a new reality on global shipping routes. This phase of the naval battle presents a significant threat to the world’s established maritime corridors, compelling commercial vessels traveling to and from Southeast Asia to navigate lengthier and more costly routes around the southern tip of Africa to reach the Mediterranean Sea. Al-Houthi’s message is clear: “Do the Americans, British, and the Zionists expect that any aggressive act against Yemen will distract us from defending Gaza?” Ansarallah recently announced the targeting of over 70 commercial ships with ties to Israel, alongside military battleships across the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.

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“..the US could have leaked the talk of a plea deal to the press to portray Assange as unreasonable if he didn’t take it..”

Justice Department Considering Plea Deal for Assange (Antiwar)

The Justice Department is considering whether to offer WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange the opportunity to plead guilty to a reduced charge of mishandling classified information, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The report said DOJ officials and Assange’s legal team have already had preliminary talks on what a plea deal might look like. However, Barry Pollack, a lawyer for Assange, said he has been given no indication that the department will take a deal. “It is inappropriate for Mr. Assange’s lawyers to comment while his case is before the UK High Court other than to say we have been given no indication that the Department of Justice intends to resolve the case and the United States is continuing with as much determination as ever to seek his extradition on all 18 charges, exposing him to 175 years in prison,” Pollack said in a statement.

Consortium News reported later in the day that it had previously learned of the talks between the US and Assange’s legal team on a potential deal, but the information was given off the record, so the outlet did not publicize it. Under the DOJ’s indictment against Assange, he could face up to 175 years in prison under the Espionage Act for exposing US war crimes by publishing classified documents leaked to WikiLeaks by former Army Private Chelsea Manning in 2010. If Assange is convicted, it would set a dangerous precedent for press freedom since publishing information obtained by a source is a standard journalistic practice, whether classified or not. The Journal report said that if the DOJ offers a deal for Assange to plead guilty to a lesser charge of mishandling classified information, it would be a misdemeanor, and he could potentially enter the plea remotely without going to the US. His time in London’s Belmarsh Prison, where he’s been held since April 2019, would count toward his sentence, and Assange could be free shortly after reaching the deal.

While such a deal could potentially secure Assange’s freedom, it could still set a dangerous precedent since it would criminalize the relationship between a journalist and his source. Kevin Gostzola, author of the book “Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange,” suggested the US could have leaked the talk of a plea deal to the press to portray Assange as unreasonable if he didn’t take it. “Basically, US officials chat to the press about some possible plea deal for Assange when he isn’t guilty of any crime. If Assange’s team signals it would never be acceptable, then it is Assange’s fault that he remains in prison. Officials can say he wants to martyr himself,” Gostzola wrote on X. Last month, Assange’s legal team presented its case for an appeal to the UK home secretary’s decision to extradite Assange to the US, and a decision on whether or not he can appeal is expected to happen soon.

The Australian government has been calling on President Biden to drop the charges against Assange, who is an Australian citizen. Some members of Congress have also been calling for an end to the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who brought Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, to President Biden’s State of the Union. WikiLeaks and Assange supporters are asking Americans to add to the pressure by contacting Congress. Americans can call their House representatives to support H.Res.934, a bill introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) that calls for the US to drop the charges against Assange.

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RFK Sr

 

 

Nail polish

 

 

 

 

Fish Stocking

 

 

Snake

 

 

Smart cow

 

 

Shampoo

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 162024
 


Edward Hopper The Circle Theater, New York 1936

 

Fani Willis Told To Break Up With Nathan Wade Or Trump Case Stalls Out (ZH)
Willis and the Ethical Option (Turley)
Boeing Whistleblower: ‘If Anything Happens to Me, It’s Not Suicide’ (MN)
EU Warns US About What Russian Victory In Ukraine Would Signify (RT)
German Ruling Party’s Top Legislator Calls For End To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Macron Wants Crimea Seized From Russia (RT)
Western Troops In Ukraine: How A Big Lie Could Lead To The Biggest War (Amar)
The German-American Strategic Depth Clown Show (Pepe Escobar)
German Taurus Attack Plan Was Leaked By The US Air Force (Helmer)
Israeli Portrayal of Arabs Akin To Nazi Portrayal of Russians (Sp.)
Netanyahu Is Criminally Insane! A Serial Killer of Captive Children! (GR)
Israeli Causes ‘Complete Psychological Destruction’ of Gaza Children (CD)
Netanyahu Approves Rafah Operation Plan (RT)
Consequences Minus Truth (Kunstler)
Biden Team Mocked After They Stop Reporters From Communicating With POTUS (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lara
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768684033049862282

 

 

Nap Sachs


https://twitter.com/i/status/1768646268467708219

 

 

Clinton Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768479658415362142

 

 

RFK Jr

 

 

 

 

Disturbing

 

 

Epidemic of Fraud

 

 

 

 

Wade is gone. But the lies are not. Or the White House.

Fani Willis Told To Break Up With Nathan Wade Or Trump Case Stalls Out (ZH)

Update (1615ET): Hours after the judge in Trump’s Georgia election interference case issued an ultimatum to DA Fani Willis, her (ex) lover Nathan Wade has quit the case. As they say, the show must go on…

* * *
An Atlanta judge, who donated to Fani Willis when she was running for office, ruled on Friday that the highly conflicted Fulton County DA simply has to break up with her lover, Nathan Wade, who she hired to the tune of $600,000 to work on the Trump election interference case. If Willis dumps Wade the case can continue, according to Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton Superior Court, who also had the option of removing Willis over the giant conflict of interest which included lavish vacations with Wade that were effectively at the taxpayer’s expense. According to McAfee, while he found the “appearance of impropriety,” no “disqualification of a constitutional officer necessary when a less drastic and sufficiently remedial option is available,” adding “that the prosecution of this case cannot proceed until the State selects one of two options.” Either “the District Attorney may choose to step aside, along with the whole of her office,” or “Wade can withdraw.”

McAfee also found that there was no “actual conflict” brought about due to the relationship, a finding that would have required him to disqualify Willis. “This finding is by no means an indication that the Court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the District Attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing. Rather, it is the undersigned’s opinion that Georgia law does not permit the finding of an actual conflict for simply making bad choices — even repeatedly — and it is the trial court’s duty to confine itself to the relevant issues and applicable law properly brought before it.” “Without sufficient evidence that the District Attorney acquired a personal stake in the prosecution, or that her financial arrangements had any impact on the case, the Defendants’ claims of an actual conflict must be denied,” he wrote. “As the case moves forward, reasonable members of the public could easily be left to wonder whether the financial exchanges have continued resulting in some form of benefit to the District Attorney, or even whether the romantic relationship has resumed.”

Willis and Wade – whose divorce from his wife has yet to be finalized, admitted to the affair, but were caught lying about when it started. While the decision is a blow to Trump and his co-defendants, this leaves Willis tainted by weeks of embarrassing hearings and national headlines that could influence the views of a jury. Trump and his co-defendants could also appeal McAfee’s ruling, as could Willis, which would further delay the case into the election – leaving the matter unresolved (and of course, leaving the question of Trump’s guilt an open question that the media would push daily during his 2nd term, should he win in November). McAfee’s decision comes two days after he quashed six charges in the case, three of which directly applied to Trump.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1768662185939448162

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“The defense removed the lead special prosecutor while leaving Willis carrying more baggage than Amtrak..”

Willis and the Ethical Option (Turley)

Many commentators reviewing the decision of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to disqualify lead Special Counsel Nathan Wade but not Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis as “Solomonic” or “splitting the baby” in the Trump prosecution. Indeed, it was similar in all but one respect. The baby at issue before King Solomon survived. That whole point of the story was not to kill the baby but to see which of the two women loved the baby more. In the story from 1 Kings 3:16–28, two mothers claim the male child who Solomon declares that each can get one half. One mother immediately accepts while the second woman begs him to just give the first woman the child and not to kill him. Solomon immediately gives the second woman the child as clearly the mother who loves the baby. But if either Wade or Willis truly loved “their baby” — the case against Trump — they would have removed themselves weeks ago. Their personal controversies have derailed the case and mired the prosecution in scandal.

Ethically, this should not have been a difficult question. They should have stepped aside. That conclusion is more than evident in Judge McAfee’s decision, which shreds their claims on the stand and outside of the courthouse. The court describes Willis’s controversial speech at a church as “’playing the race card . . . to cast racial aspersions at an indicted Defendant’s decision to file this pretrial motion.” He hammers Willis for her lack of professional judgment and stresses, with perhaps an unintentional pun, that “providing this type of public comment creates dangerous waters for the District Attorney to wade further into.” Judge McAfee also indicates that the testimony of Wade failed to resolve questions of filing false statements to a prior court and that his testimony on when the relationship began stood contradicted. McAfee has done a fair job throughout the case. Moreover, he makes a valid point when he notes that this evidence does not establish a strong basis for claiming that the case was brought or pursued due to this relationship or possible financial gain.

Indeed, the purpose of this case was not personal but political. While the indictments contain some valid criminal charges, they are largely minor offenses like unlawful access to voting areas. The overall racketeering claim used to ensnarl Trump is forced and weak. The problem is that the Court casts doubt on Wade’s testimony on the relationship, but ignores that Willis effectively ratified those claims in her own testimony. Willis and Wade are both prosecuting people for the very same conduct of filing false statements with courts and making false statements. The two lawyers testified in tandem but only one was disqualified. McAfee is no Solomon in this decision. He splits the accused to avoid making the harder decision. If he disqualified Willis, he would have likely have had to disqualify her entire office. That would throw the entire case (and certainly the pre-election schedule) into doubt. So he left her with the choice:

“The prosecution of this case cannot proceed until the State selects one of two options. The District Attorney may choose to step aside, along with the whole of her office, and refer the prosecution to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council for reassignment. Alternatively, SADA Wade can withdraw, allowing the District Attorney, the Defendants, and the public to move forward without his presence or remuneration distracting from and potentially compromising the merits of this case.” He is leaving Wade with no choice at all beyond an appeal. However, Willis will be allowed to place her own interests as the overriding purpose of the prosecution. In some ways, it is a result that should please no one other than Donald Trump. The defense removed the lead special prosecutor while leaving Willis carrying more baggage than Amtrak. It does not, however, serve the interests of justice. Willis will now prosecute defendants for false statements as her own questionable testimony is likely to be investigated by the state and the bar.

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Just yesterday, another panel blew off a plane mid air.

Boeing Whistleblower: ‘If Anything Happens to Me, It’s Not Suicide’ (MN)

The Boeing whistleblower who supposedly killed himself reportedly told a close family friend not to believe it if it was announced he had committed suicide. 62-year-old John Barnett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Charleston County coroner’s office in South Carolina said earlier this week. Barnett had previously raised concerns about the company’s production issues having worked for the company for 32 years before leaving in 2017. According to his attorneys, Barnett had “exposed very serious safety problems with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and was retaliated against and subjected to a hostile work environment” and was in the middle of a legal deposition against Boeing. “He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him and moving on. We didn’t see any indication he would take his own life. No one can believe it,” said the attorneys.

It now turns out Barnett was telling close friends not to believe it if he supposedly committed suicide. After family friend Jennifer asked Barnett if he was concerned for his safety, the former quality manager was emphatic. “Aren’t you scared?” asked Jennifer. “And he said, ‘No, I ain’t scared, but if anything happens to me, it’s not suicide.’” “I know that he did not commit suicide. There’s no way. He loved life too much. He loved his family too much. He loved his brothers too much to put them through what they’re going through right now,” she added. According to the family friend, somebody, presumably representing Boeing, “didn’t like what he had to say” and wanted to “shut him up” without it coming back to anyone. “That’s why they made it look like a suicide,” Jennifer said, who last saw the whistleblower in late February. Barnett’s attorneys said they’re still prepared to go forward with the case in June.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1768517997285482626

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“For us it is a matter of life and death; for [the US] it’s a matter of improving their tactical position [globally and in Europe]..”

EU Warns US About What Russian Victory In Ukraine Would Signify (RT)

A Ukrainian loss to Russia would hurt Washington’s credibility as a security provider, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell warned during a trip to America. Kiev can’t wait for the presidential election in the US to get more aid, he added. Borrell spoke to the press in Washington on Thursday, after meeting senior US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He said his message was that Ukraine badly needed the additional assistance which was currently blocked in the US House. “The next months will be decisive. Many analysts expect a major Russian offensive this summer and Ukraine cannot wait until the result of the next US elections,” Brussels’ top diplomat said.

A Russian victory in the conflict “will have enormous repercussions for America and for the system of alliances built around the US and Europe,” he added. Should that happen, “no country could be sure anymore” that Washington would “come to help any ally” under attack. Since Ukraine is not a NATO member, the US is not bound by any obligation to defend it. US President Joe Biden has pledged to help it fight Russia for “as long as it takes” to prevail. Last year, Ukrainian forces attempted to launch a major counteroffensive using Western-donated heavy weaponry, but failed to score any significant territorial gains.

Amid Kiev’s battlefield failures, the issue of continued aid has become embroiled in US partisan politics. The Republican-controlled House has blocked Biden’s request for an additional $60 billion in assistance, with speaker Mike Johnson arguing that the White House was unable to present a convincing strategy for achieving victory in Ukraine. Borrell pledged the EU’s continued military support for Kiev, but said the US needed to pull its weight too. Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia and has stated that it is risking far more than the West. “For us it is a matter of life and death; for [the US] it’s a matter of improving their tactical position [globally and in Europe],” President Vladimir Putin reiterated in an interview this week.

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“Isn’t it about time we talked not only about how one wages a war, but also thought about how one can freeze and later also end a war.”

German Ruling Party’s Top Legislator Calls For End To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

It is about time Germany shifted its deliberations toward winding down, freezing and ending the Ukraine conflict, the head of the ruling Social Democratic Party in the German parliament has argued. Rolf Mutzenich also defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s staunch refusal to provide log-range Taurus missiles to Kiev. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is open to peace negotiations in principle. Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was “ready for serious negotiations” that would be based on today’s “realities” and include “security guarantees for the Russian Federation.” Speaking in the Bundestag on Thursday after lawmakers voted against arming Ukraine with Taurus rockets, Mutzenich said: “Isn’t it about time we talked not only about how one wages a war, but also thought about how one can freeze and later also end a war.”

He also criticized those in the ruling ‘traffic light’ coalition, which also encompasses the Green and Free Democratic parties, who oppose Chancellor Scholz’s stance on potential Taurus missile deliveries. Mutzenich charged that “all sense of measure is gone within the coalition.” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who called on her government on Monday to “intensively consider” the potential delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, shook her head and was visibly displeased when she heard these statements, local media have reported. The opposition Christian Democratic Party rebuked the head of the SPD bloc in parliament, with one lawmaker dismissing the suggestion of freezing the conflict as “unbelievable.” Andrey Melnik, who served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin between 2015 and late 2022, also chimed in.

The diplomat, known for his controversial remarks and the use of obscene language when addressing German officials, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he has “always said: this guy was and remains the most obnoxious German politician. Forever and ever,” referring to Mutzenich. Addressing lawmakers on Wednesday, Chancellor Scholz insisted that the delivery of Taurus missiles was “a line that I don’t want to cross as chancellor.” He explained that such a shipment would inevitably require the presence of German military personnel on Ukrainian soil – a development that is “out of the question.” While Kiev has been asking Berlin to supply the rockets for months, German authorities have stressed that the weapon’s long range would enable it to strike targets deep inside Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, potentially exacerbating the conflict.

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WWIII.

Macron Wants Crimea Seized From Russia (RT)

Ukraine must regain control over all the territories it once held, including Russia’s Crimean Peninsula, French President Emmanuel Macron has said. Otherwise, no “lasting peace” will be possible, he claimed. The president made the remarks on Thursday in an interview with broadcasters TF2 and France 2, bluntly describing Russia as France’s “adversary.” At the same time, he insisted that Paris has not been “waging war on Russia” but merely “supporting” Kiev in the conflict. “Certainly, today, Russia is an adversary. The Kremlin regime is an adversary,” Macron stated. “We are doing everything so that it can put Russia in check because, I will tell you very simply, there is no lasting peace if there is no sovereignty, a return to the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, including Crimea.”

The latest remarks by the French president got a cold reception in Russia, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating that Macron apparently “won’t mind increasing the degree of his involvement” in Russia-Ukraine hostilities. “Yes, it’s obvious that Russia is an adversary of France because France is already involved in the war in Ukraine; it is indirectly taking part in this war,” Peskov told reporters. The French president has produced increasingly belligerent statements lately, standing by the remarks he made late in February, that a potential deployment of NATO troops into Ukraine cannot be “excluded.” The remarks prompted a wave of denial from fellow members of the US-led bloc. In this latest interview, Macron refused to elaborate on the matter, claiming he wanted to maintain “strategic ambiguity” and that he has “reasons not to be precise.”

Macron’s remarks echo the position repeatedly voiced by the top Ukrainian leadership, which proclaimed the goal of seizing from Russia all the territories that ended up being held by Kiev following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Crimea broke away from Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, promptly rejoining Russia after a peninsula-wide referendum. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics emerged this year as well, with the botched attempt of Kiev’s new authorities to suppress them by force resulting in years-long conflict in then-Ukrainian Donbass. The two republics, as well as the formerly Ukrainian Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, were incorporated into Russia in late 2022 after the idea was overwhelmingly backed by locals in referendums separately held in each territory. Moscow has repeatedly signaled that its sovereignty over Crimea and any other Russian territories is not a subject to negotiation with anyone.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1768560179971285313

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“..the fall now is only a matter of time – and not much time at that..”

Western Troops In Ukraine: How A Big Lie Could Lead To The Biggest War (Amar)

The current situation in the conflict between Ukraine – serving (while being demolished) as a proxy for the West – and Russia, can be sketched in three broad strokes. First, Russia now clearly has the upper hand on the battlefield and could potentially accelerate its recent advances to achieve an overall military victory soon. The West is being compelled to recognize this fact: as Foreign Affairs put it, in an article titled “Time is Running Out in Ukraine,” Kiev and its Western supporters “are at a critical decision point and face a fundamental question: How can further Russian advances… be stopped, and then reversed?” Just disregard the bit of wishful thinking thrown in at the end to sweeten the bitter pill of reality. The key point is the acknowledgment that it is crunch time for the West and Ukraine – in a bad way.

Second, notwithstanding the above, Ukraine is not yet ready to ask for negotiations to end the war on terms acceptable to Russia, which would be less than easy for Kiev. (Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, reiterated in an important recent interview that Moscow remains principally open to talks, not on the basis of “wishful thinking” but, instead, proceeding from the realities “on the ground.”) The Kiev regime’s inflexibility is little wonder. Since he jettisoned a virtually complete – and favorable – peace deal in the spring of 2022, President Vladimir Zelensky has gambled everything on an always improbable victory. For him personally, as well as his core team (at least), there is no way to survive – politically or physically – the catastrophic defeat they have brought on their country by leasing it out as a pawn to the Washington neocon strategy.

The Pope, despite the phony brouhaha he triggered in Kiev and the West, was right: a responsible Ukrainian leadership ought to negotiate. But that’s not the leadership Ukraine has. Not yet at least. Third, the West’s strategy is getting harder to decipher because, in essence, the West cannot figure out how to adjust to the failure of its initial plans for this war. Russia has not been isolated; its military has become stronger, not weaker – and the same is true of its economy, including its arms industry. And last but not least, the Russian political system’s popular legitimacy and effective control has neither collapsed nor even frayed. As, again, even Foreign Affairs admits, “Putin would likely win a fair election in 2024.” That’s more than could be said for, say, Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Olaf Scholz, or Emmanuel Macron (as for Zelensky, he has simply canceled the election).

In other words, the West is facing not only Ukraine’s probable defeat, but also its own strategic failure. The situation, while not a direct military rout (as in Afghanistan in 2021) amounts to a severe political setback. In fact, this looming Western failure is a historic debacle in the making. Unlike with Afghanistan, the West will not be able to simply walk away from the mess it has made in Ukraine. This time, the geopolitical blowback will be fierce and the costs very high. Instead of isolating Russia, the West has isolated itself, and by losing, it will show itself weakened. It is one thing to have to finally, belatedly accepted that the deceptive “unipolar” moment of the 1990s has been over for a long time. It is much worse to gratuitously enter the new multipolar order with a stunning, avoidable self-demotion. Yet that is what the EU/NATO-West has managed to fabricate from its needless over-extension in Ukraine. Hubris there has been galore, the fall now is only a matter of time – and not much time at that.

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“..Liver Sausage Chancellor Scholz and his Totalenkrieg Minister Pistorius learned about the Taurus plan no less than four months later..”

The German-American Strategic Depth Clown Show (Pepe Escobar)

The Four Stooges saga of Bundeswehr officers plotting to blow up the Kerch bridge in Crimea with Taurus missiles and getting away with it is a gift that keeps on giving. President Putin, in his comprehensive interview to Dmitry Kiselev for Russia 1/RIA Novosti, did not fail to address it: “They are fantasizing, encouraging themselves, first of all. Secondly, they are trying to intimidate us. As for the Federal Republic of Germany, there are constitutional problems there. They correctly say: if these Taurus hit that part of the Crimean Bridge, which, of course, even according to their concepts, is Russian territory, this is a violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany.” Yet it gets curioser and curioser. When the transcript of the Taurus leak was published by RT, everyone was able to hear Brigadier General Frank Gräfe – head of operations of the German Air Force – speaking with Lieutenant Colonel Fenske from the German Space Command Air Operations on the plan to deploy Taurus systems in Ukraine.

A key point is that during the plotting, these two mention that plans were already discussed “four months ago” with “Schneider”, the successor of “Wilsbach”. Well, these are German names, of course. Thus it did not dawn on anyone that (Kevin) Schneider and (Kenneth) Wilsbach could instead be… Americans. Yet that did raise the eyebrows of German investigative journalist Dirk Pohlmann – who I had the pleasure to meet in Berlin years ago – and his fellow researcher Tobias Augenbraun. They found out that the German-sounding names did identify Americans. Not only that: none less than the former and the current Commanders of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces. The Four (actually Six) Stooges element gets an extra boost when it is established that Liver Sausage Chancellor Scholz and his Totalenkrieg Minister Pistorius learned about the Taurus plan no less than four months later.

So here apparently we have a clear cut case of top German military officers taking direct orders regarding an attack on Crimea – part of the Russian Federation – directly from American officers in the Pacific Air Forces. That in itself opens the dossier to a large spectrum ranging from national treason (against Germany) to casus belli (from the point of view of Russia). Of course none of that is being discussed on German mainstream media. After all, the only thing that seems to disturb Brigadier General Gräfe is that German media may start seriously prying on the Bundeswehr’s Multiple Stooges methods. The only ones who actually did proper investigation were Pohlmann and Augenbaun. It would be too much to expect from German media of the “Bild” type to analyze what would be the Russian response to the Multiple Stooge shenanigans against Crimea: a devastating retaliation against Berlin assets.

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And the story keeps on giving…

German Taurus Attack Plan Was Leaked By The US Air Force (Helmer)

A little bird has materialized to sing that the record of the German generals discussing their plan to attack Russian targets with the Taurus missile was intercepted and leaked to the Russians by the Americans.A big bird, actually. The telephone conference of German Luftwaffe chief General Ingo Gerhartz (lead image, left), one of his staff generals, and two Luftwaffe lieutenant-colonels on February 19 was listened to by US signals intelligence after the first meeting the Germans had with a new regional US Air Force (USAF) commander, General Kevin Schneider; Schneider took command of the USAF Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) on February 9 after two and a half years in a senior staff post at the Pentagon under General Charles Brown Jr. Brown was promoted from USAF chief to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on October 1, 2023. When Schneider left Brown’s staff, he took a promotion from lieutenant general to four-star general.

Schneider has never flown or staffed USAF operations against Russia. He was in Singapore for the bi-annual Singapore Air Show to demonstrate what the USAF press office called “the opportunity to sharpen ties with Singapore, demonstrate flexible aircraft capability, enable engagement with foreign partners, and expand power projection.” His agenda of meetings with other country airforce officers is classified. Intelligence coverage of the airshow proceedings by the US, Russia, and China was especially intense because of the participation in the show of aircraft from the warfighting states. Russia, which has participated actively in past Singapore airshows, did not participate officially this time. The allegation that the Gerhartz teleconference was intercepted by the Russians originated from the Germans and British, and has been amplified in US and NATO media. The first Russian report that it was US intelligence which picked up the call and then leaked it, appeared in Moscow on March 4.

What has now surfaced is the audio record and transcript of the first minutes of the teleconference, before Gerhartz came on the line. In these five minutes, much more has been revealed by the three German officers than has been published by RT in Moscow on March 1, when the audio record and transcript began with Gerhartz’s appearance. [..] The publication date is March 1. The voices recorded at the beginning are those of Captain Hergang, who introduced and managed the teleconference from Germany; Luftwaffe Brigadier General Frank Graefe, speaking in his Singapore hotel room and describing what he could see out his hotel window; Luftwaffe Lieutenant Colonel Udo Fenske and Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Florstedt, who are speaking from Germany. A report and transcript in German, auto-translated into English, was published by Tobias Augenbraun in Dirk Pohlmann’s internet platform Free21 on March 8.

The interpretation of the additional evidence by Augenbraun and Pohlmann is that “apparently, the plans were already presented to [USAF] General [Kevin] Wilsbach in October 2023, which are also the subject of further discussion… This is astonishing for the following reason: All the rest of the conversation is about how to bring Taurus closer to the Minister of Defense, Boris Pistorius… How can it be that top German generals have already presented these plans to a US general, a full 4 months… before talking about how to discuss these plans with Boris Pistorius (Minister of Defense). Something seems to have gone badly wrong with the order here. Is it normal to first talk to generals from other countries before initiating your own defense minister? Who is in charge in Germany? Is the military out of control?”

Augenbraun and Pohlmann believe the German operational plan discussed with Wilsbach last October was the Gerhartz missile attack on Russia, and that the German Defense Ministry and the Chancellery were unaware of it at the time. This interpretation has been amplified in a report by a Brazilian who claims “here apparently we have a clear cut case of top German military officers taking direct orders regarding an attack on Crimea – part of the Russian Federation – directly from American officers in the Pacific Air Forces.”

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“The Jews experienced pogroms and real persecution and atrocities by the Nazis, but [Israel is] doing the same thing now, and they can’t see that.”

Israeli Portrayal of Arabs Akin To Nazi Portrayal of Russians (Sp.)

Days after the Hamas surprise attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, Israeli Defense Minister said they were fighting “human animals” and called for a “complete siege” on the Gaza strip. “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and will act accordingly,” he said. The language Israeli officials are using to describe Palestinians and other Arab peoples seems ripped out of the Nazi propaganda playbook, journalist and managing editor of Covert Action Magazine Jeremy Kuzmarov told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Thursday. “The Jews experienced pogroms and real persecution and atrocities by the Nazis, but [Israel is] doing the same thing now, and they can’t see that. They’re using dehumanizing language. That’s the language of genocides… that’s what I heard out of Israeli leaders,” Kuzmarov asserted.

“How [Nazis] portrayed the Russians when they invaded Russia… as these Salvs, subhuman animals. That’s how they could carry out these horrific atrocities on the eastern front… The exact quote [from Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant] ‘human animals’ could have come from a Nazi official talking about the Russians.” The reason this can go on while Israel still receives significant, though decreasing, support from the US population comes from a lack of historical knowledge, Kuzmarov argued. “We see this phenomenon in the US. The media is so biased and the education system conditions people to think in certain ways. In the Israeli context, they are cut off from the true nature of history. They view Israel as this proud nation that had to fight off all these hostile forces. They don’t consider the history of the Nakba, or the Six-Day War,” Kuzmarov explained, comparing it to the conflict in Ukraine.

“Americans were never told the backstory of how the US interfered in Ukraine… they just thought “oh, Putin is a madman. He woke up one day to take over Ukraine’ and they didn’t have any knowledge that the CIA set up bases in Ukraine for years and they were provoking the Russians and attacking the people of eastern Ukraine.” During the conversation, show host Ted Rall noted the breaking news that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a statement saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “lost his way” and called for a new leadership in Israel. “He’s been a staunch supporter of military aid to Israel as well as Ukraine, so it’s coming a bit late in the game for him,” Kuzmarov recalled. “On the other hand, it is pretty significant that somebody in his position would make those kinds of statements. It goes to show [that] Netanyahu has totally lost. Even his own allies are turning against him because he’s just gone way too far.”

But Schumer’s words, as with US President Joe Biden’s recent comments distancing himself from Netanyahu, must be backed up with action to be taken seriously, Kuzmarov said. “We have Democratic Party politicians who may be conscious of public opinion [with] an election coming up in November,” he began. “So, they’re making certain public statements but we’ve never seen any overtures towards actually cutting off that money.” Kuzmarov thinks that is unlikely because US “foreign policy elites” depend on Israel to act as an American proxy in the region. “Schumer and Biden and the corporate Democrats are pro-imperialists and committed to Americans expanding or entrenching American power in the Middle East and accessing Middle Eastern oil. Whatever public statements they make, I don’t know that they’ll actually carry out any concrete action against Israel. If they did, that would be amazing to see, but my prediction is that they won’t.”

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“..there are more than a few Israelis, even rabbis, who are led to believe genocide can be God’s will..”

Netanyahu Is Criminally Insane! A Serial Killer of Captive Children! (GR)

Benjamin Netanyahu, as the Prime Minister of State of Israel, has commanded the murder, maiming and starving to death 31,000 captive Palestinians under Israel’s Illegal Military Occupation by his four months long orders for Israel’s air forces to continuously bomb and air strike Israel’s illegally military occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza, and by his orders blocking food, water, electricity, fuel and medicine from entering Gaza. Jan 30th Satellite data analysis showed the extent of the destruction. The analysis suggests between 144,000 and 175,000 buildings across the whole Gaza Strip had been destroyed or damaged already six weeks before this writing. That was already between 50% and 61% of Gaza’s buildings. As of March 5th, 70% of homes in Gaza are thought to be destroyed. Soon after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, Israel (read Netanyahu) blocked entry of all food, water, fuel, medicine and other supplies into Gaza.

Under U.S. pressure, Netanyahu began to allow a trickle of aid trucks to enter from Egypt at the Rafah crossing, and in December opened one crossing from Israel into southern Gaza. Only someone criminally insane would starve children to death — if we hear of someone starving a child, don’t we call the police? Where is everyone? Especially in the global south where murderous colonialism is remembered? At this writing a total of 13,430 children have been killed in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli airstrikes and ground operations ordered by criminally insane Prime Minister Netanyahu since Oct. 7. What is more precious than the life of a child and why hasn’t Netanyahu been stopped taking already 13,500 children’s lives?

It noted that 8,900 women were killed over the course of 150 days, adding that 7,000 people, 70% of whom are women and children, are still under the rubble or missing. Only a racist madman would continue ordering thousands the deaths of thousands of women along with their children. The Gaza media office said that 364 health personnel and 132 journalists also lost their lives during the period. So it’s kill, kill everyone! And nobody says much about it. Warning against a growing famine in Gaza, the Gaza Media Office said Israeli military has prevented the entry of food and aid supplies and has even targeted aid vehicles trying to reach the region, causing the deaths of dozens of people looking for food for their families.[4]

Under International Humanitarian Law, “the occupying power must ensure the humane treatment of the population and provide for their basic needs, including food and medical care.” Netanyahu has had the Israeli military push 85% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN. Israel not Netanyahu stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Nations cannot be prosecuted. Individual perpetrators of crimes must be prosecuted. “Whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.” [Article IV Convention on Genocide.] That is an obligation of international customary law and therefore, binding on all States, whether or not they have ratified the Genocide Convention. Article II reads, “Genocide means acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

Unfortunately, there are more than a few Israelis, even rabbis, who are led to believe genocide can be God’s will. Deuteronomy 2:16: “You must not let any living thing survive among the cities of these people the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” Genesis 15:18: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.” 1 Samuel 15:3: “… and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling” [Standard Bible]

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“..she “wouldn’t even say that their mental health has deteriorated—it’s been obliterated..”

Israeli Causes ‘Complete Psychological Destruction’ of Gaza Children (CD)

In addition to killing, maiming, and forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children, Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza has wrought tremendous psychological damage upon kids in the embattled strip, as detailed by a Save the Children report published Tuesday. The charity’s report—entitled Trapped and Scarred: The Compounding Mental Harm Inflicted on Palestinian Children in Gaza—examines how “five months of violence, displacement, starvation, and disease on top of nearly 17 years of a blockade have caused relentless mental harm to children in Gaza.” Jason Lee, Save the Children’s country director for the occupied Palestinian territory, said in a statement that “it is unacceptable that any child should contend with the horrors that those in Gaza have lived through. While dodging bombs and bullets, fleeing through streets littered with debris and corpses, being forced to sleep in the open air, and going without the basic food and clean water they need to survive, children in Gaza are going through a period of mass-scale shock and grief.”

“Children in Gaza were already living with unimaginable distress following 16 years of blockade and successive escalations in violence,” Lee added. “This war and the physical and mental scars it is leaving on children is further eroding their resilience.” One mother of four children aged 7-14 told Save the Children that she “wouldn’t even say that their mental health has deteriorated—it’s been obliterated. Complete psychological destruction.” Another Gaza mother said: “Our children have already lived through different wars. They already lacked resilience and now it’s very difficult to cope. The children are scared, angry, and can’t stop crying. Even many adults do the same. This is too much for adults to cope with, let alone children.” Waseem, a father, said that “children here have seen everything. They’ve seen the bombs, the deaths, the bodies—we can’t pretend to them anymore. Now they understand and have seen everything. Now, my son can even tell what types of explosives are falling—he can hear the difference.”

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, Gaza is “the world’s most dangerous place to be a child,” as more than 13,000 Palestinian minors have been killed, and many thousands more wounded, by Israeli attacks and hundreds of thousands of children are among the approximately 2 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million people who have been forcibly displaced by Israel’s bombardment and invasion. Palestinian youth who survive Israel’s bombs and bullets face rampant disease and hunger that’s now killing not only infants and children but also teens and elderly adults as Israeli soldiers and civilians alike continue to block lifesaving aid from entering Gaza. U.N. experts say Israel’s forced starvation of Gazans is a genocidal act of the kind Israel was ordered to prevent in the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) January 26 preliminary ruling in response to South African-led allegations of Israeli genocide.

Many surviving Palestinian children have lost one or both parents. Some have lost entire families. A new acronym has even been coined to describe some of these orphans: WCNSF, or “wounded child, no surviving family.” Around 1,000 of those wounds required the amputation of one or more of a child’s limbs. Due to a lack of medication caused by Israel’s siege, many little arms and legs have been sawed off without anesthesia. Screams and prayers fill the air of makeshift operating rooms, as Israel’s relentless onslaught has obliterated Gaza’s hospitals, clinics, and healthcare infrastructure. Sometimes, even survivor stories have tragic endings, as in the case of Dunia Abu Mohsen, a 12-year-old who first lost one of her legs, her parents, and two siblings in an Israeli airstrike, and then her life when an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tank fired a shell at the hospital in which she was recovering. Or 2-year-old Kareem Abu Zaid, who survived three different Israeli airstrikes that killed close relatives including his mother and sister before he was killed in a fourth IDF strike.

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More children.

Netanyahu Approves Rafah Operation Plan (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the latest truce and prisoner-exchange proposal by Hamas and has approved an IDF plan to launch an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israeli media reported on Friday. ”The IDF is prepared for the operation and to evacuate the [civilian] population,” the PM’s office said in a statement, as cited by the Times of Israel. Earlier in the day, Hamas announced on social media that it had presented its “vision” of a prisoner swap with Israel to Qatari and Egyptian mediators and was looking towards a ceasefire agreement which would involve the withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces from Gaza. As reported by Reuters, which has seen the proposal, the Palestinian militants proposed the release of Israeli women, including female soldiers, children, the elderly and ill hostages, in exchange for Israel freeing between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Once the prisoner exchange is complete, Hamas said it would be ready to negotiate a date for a permanent ceasefire.

The Jewish state, however, dismissed the proposal and accused Hamas of making “unrealistic demands. On Thursday, Netanyahu also reiterated Israel’s determination to complete its mission of “eliminating” Hamas. Israel’s decision to proceed with a ground incursion into Rafah comes after repeated warnings from the international community, including the US and Egypt, not to enter the city where some 1.5 million Palestinians are currently sheltering. After Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israeli settlements last October 7, which saw 1,100 people killed and 250 taken hostage, Israel has been conducting a relentless siege on Gaza. According to the latest information from Palestinian health authorities, at least 31,341 people have been killed and 73,134 others injured in Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in the enclave over the past half a year.

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“People crave trust in others, because God is found there.” — Dom de Bailleul

Consequences Minus Truth (Kunstler)

The rewards of civilization have come to seem rather trashy in these bleak days of late empire; so, why even bother pretending to be civilized? This appears to be the ethos driving our politics and culture now. But driving us where? Why, to a spectacular sort of crack-up, and at warp speed, compared to the more leisurely breakdown of past societies that arrived at a similar inflection point where Murphy’s Law replaced the rule of law. The US Military Academy at West point decided to “upgrade” its mission statement this week by deleting the phrase Duty, Honor, Country that summarized its essential moral orientation. They replaced it with an oblique reference to “Army Values,” without spelling out what these values are, exactly, which could range from “embrace the suck” to “charlie foxtrot” to “FUBAR” — all neatly applicable to our country’s current state of perplexity and dread.

Are you feeling more confident that the US military can competently defend our country? Probably more like the opposite, because the manipulation of language is being used deliberately to turn our country inside-out and upside-down. At this point we probably could not successfully pacify a Caribbean island if we had to, and you’ve got to wonder what might happen if we have to contend with countless hostile subversive cadres who have slipped across the border with the estimated nine-million others ushered in by the government’s welcome wagon.

Momentous events await. This Monday, the Supreme Court will entertain oral arguments on the case Missouri, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al. The integrity of the First Amendment hinges on the decision. Do we have freedom of speech as set forth in the Constitution? Or is it conditional on how government officials feel about some set of circumstances? At issue specifically is the government’s conduct in coercing social media companies to censor opinion in order to suppress so-called “vaccine hesitancy” and to manipulate public debate in the 2020 election. Government lawyers have argued that they were merely “communicating” with Twitter, Facebook, Google, and others about “public health disinformation and election conspiracies.”

You can reasonably suppose that this was our government’s effort to disable the truth, especially as it conflicted with its own policy and activities — from supporting BLM riots to enabling election fraud to mandating dubious vaccines. Former employees of the FBI and the CIA were directly implanted in social media companies to oversee the carrying-out of censorship orders from their old headquarters. The former general counsel (top lawyer) for the FBI, James Baker, slid unnoticed into the general counsel seat at Twitter until Elon Musk bought the company late in 2022 and flushed him out. The so-called Twitter Files uncovered by indy reporters Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and others, produced reams of emails from FBI officials nagging Twitter execs to de-platform people and bury their dissent. You can be sure these were threats, not mere suggestions.

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“..He’s praying to god, jeebus and all the saints that Joe doesn’t malfunction..”

Biden Team Mocked After They Stop Reporters From Communicating With POTUS (Sp.)

US voters have repeatedly expressed doubt about Joe Biden’s physical and mental competence to perform his duties, especially in light of the upcoming presidential election in the country. Twitter users have lashed out a “horrible incident”, in which US President Joe Biden’s press office staff quickly removed the press when POTUS said he would take questions at a campaign event in Saginaw, Michigan. “They not even trying to hide it anymore that he can only speak when he has a script in front of him,” one user wrote in a post. Another user pointed out that the 46th US president “looked totally lost and beyond feeble in Michigan” and that “his handlers knew they had to get people away ASAP.” “All you need to do is look at Blinken’s face when Joe speaks anywhere near a camera. That face says it all. He’s praying to god, jeebus and all the saints that Joe doesn’t malfunction. Less stressful to just shut him off from the press,” one more web surfer noted, referring to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Other users wrote that Biden’s team is “afraid to let the man talk as they should be” and that they “already know anytime Biden speaks it’s going to be bad.” At Biden’s campaign stop in Michigan, the US president visited a Victorian mansion owned by members of the Saginaw City Council and Saginaw Public Schools Board of Education. POTUS stood on the porch at the mansion with his back to reporters and could be heard saying, “Can I take a couple questions?” However, members of Biden’s team immediately started raising their arms and walking to journalists, loudly repeating, “Thank you, press, back to the cars.” The incident comes as the 81-year-old Biden faces serious questions about his age and mental acuity as he continues his campaign. The latest NBC News national poll showed that at least three-quarters of voters, including half of Democrats, admit that they have concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health, which could prevent him from running.

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Cats

 

 

Reindeer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768648115421409515

 

 

Liquor

 

 

Hugs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768683237864292821

 

 

Arctic fox

 

 

Steller’s sea eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768577126528094523

 

 

Baby rhino

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Sardines

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 072024
 


Pablo Picasso Rooster 1938

 

A Moment of Supreme Clarity (Turley)
Russia Has Never Had Plans To Attack Anyone, Including NATO – Zakharova (TASS)
Ukraine Defeat to Unmask Dirty Secrets of Conflict-Loving Western Elites (Sp.)
Russia Honors Anti-Colonial Past as the West Backs Neo-Nazis (Miles)
Western ‘Expertise’ On Ukraine War Could Lead To Nuclear Disaster (Poletaev)
Is Ground Beneath Biden’s Russia Policy Shifting? (Bhadrakumar)
Nuland’s Input in Eroding Trust Between Russia, US ‘Immense’ – Zakharova (Sp.)
Germany and NATO Caught Red-Handed in War Planning (SCF)
The Russians in Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)
Biden Considers Sending US Army’s Money To Ukraine – Bloomberg (RT)
Russia & China Plan Building Lunar Nuclear Power Plant on Moon (Sp.)
The United Kingdom: Zionism’s Covert Nerve Center (Cradle)
92% of Nikki Haley Voters Approve of Biden’s Performance (ZH)
The Spectacular Imposition of the Willis-Wade Testimony (Turley)
Trumpenstein and the Death of Politics (Jeffries)

 

 

 

 

Country left

 

 

Dana Carvey

 

 

 

 

CNN Trump Biden

 

 

Hillary

Vermont

 

 

 

 

EU QR

 

 

Zelensky’s wife and Navalny’s widow both REFUSED invitations to Biden’s State of the Union. Biden has not even reached out to the family of Laken Riley to attend.

 

 

Serious question? Why does an 11 term Congressman in a D+23 district need to raise $23.6 million from mostly unemployed Americans… and then spend over $17 million to win reelection in a race where all the other candidates combined raised less than $200,000?

 

 

Trump 34

 

 

 

 

“..this opinion could be one of the most significant in the court’s history, not because of what it did but what it would not allow to be done..”

A Moment of Supreme Clarity (Turley)

“Nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure such chaos.” Those words from the Supreme Court in its Trump v. Anderson ruling on Monday put an end to the effort of Democratic secretaries of state to engage in ballot cleansing by removing former President Donald Trump from the 2024 election.The court’s decision was one of the most important and impactful moments in its history.During the first Trump impeachment in 2019, I cautioned Democrats not to toss aside constitutional standards out of their hatred for the president. I quoted from the play “A Man For All Seasons,” when Sir Thomas More is told by his son-in-law that he would “cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?” More responded, “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?” As More described England, the United States also is “planted thick with laws, from coast to coast.” The nation’s highest court on Monday decided to leave them standing.

After months of activists and experts calling for the court to allow ballot cleansing by individual states, the justices refused. Figures like Harvard professor Laurence Tribe had insisted that the legal theory allowing Trump’s removal from ballots was “unassailable” and rejected opposing positions as “absurd.” Many news outlets posted the analysis of former federal court Judge J. Michael Luttig, who also called the theory “unassailable” and denounced the arguments against disqualification as “revealing, fatuous, and politically and constitutionally cynical.” He predicted that the court would simply affirm the Colorado Supreme Court. Democratic members of Congress further pushed the narrative that only judicial activists and MAGA justices would oppose disqualification. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., declared: “This is their opportunity to behave like real Supreme Court justices.” Well, the court rejected that “unassailable” theory in a unanimous decision. While Tribe’s view was repeated with little contradiction on many networks and newspapers for months, it failed to garner a single vote from either the left or the right of the court.

Things are not going well for those seeking to remake the nation. In 2020, Harvard professor Michael Klarman warned that all of the plans to change the country were ultimately dependent on packing the court. With the 2020 election, he stated that Democrats could change the election system to guarantee Republicans “will never win another election.” However, Klarman conceded that “the Supreme Court could strike down everything I just described,” so the court itself had to be changed. Now that the three progressive justices have joined their conservative colleagues in ruling for Trump, they apparently also will have to go. Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann declared that “the Supreme Court has betrayed democracy. Its members including Jackson, Kagan and Sotomayor have proved themselves inept at reading comprehension. And collectively the ‘court’ has shown itself to be corrupt and illegitimate. It must be dissolved.”

The problem for many on the left is that the unanimous decision shattered the narrative repeated for months that Colorado would be reversed because the conservative justices would robotically protect Trump (despite the fact that they have repeatedly ruled against Trump and his policies). Now, by Rep. Raskin’s measure, Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor are no longer acting as “real Supreme Court justices.” The fact is that the Supreme Court justices have proved, again, that they are precisely the “real Supreme Court justices” that the Founding Fathers envisioned. The court was created to be able to transcend our divisions and politics. On Monday, a court sharply divided along ideological grounds showed the nation that it could speak with one voice. In doing so, it spoke to the things that bind us to each other, including an article of faith in our Constitution that defines us all.

In the news media and in universities, there is a persistent message that the court and the Constitution are the problem. In a New York Times column, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed,” law professors Ryan Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale called for the Constitution to be “radically” altered to “reclaim America from constitutionalism.” Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks previously went on MSNBC to warn citizens not to become “slaves” to the Constitution and that the Constitution itself is now the problem for the country. Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet and San Francisco State University political scientist Aaron Belkin even called upon President Joe Biden to defy rulings of the Supreme Court that he considers “mistaken” in the name of “popular constitutionalism.”

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“All these actions against our country are of an aggressive, provocative nature. Certainly, we see how the escalation spiral is going up..”

Russia Has Never Had Plans To Attack Anyone, Including NATO – Zakharova (TASS)

Russia is not planning an attack on anyone, including NATO, nor has it ever harbored such designs, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on the sidelines of the World Youth Festival. “Russia does not have plans for an attack, for direct or indirect aggression, or for unleashing conflicts with anyone: NATO, Washington, Ukraine or whoever. Nor has it ever harbored such designs. In contrast to this, if you read the doctrinal documents of NATO, which includes Washington and London – [the whole Brussels-headquartered alliance] – in these documents the collective West points to Russia as a direct threat.”

Zakharova stressed that this was clear evidence of an aggressive attitude – the basis of their perception of Russia. “The NATO people should realize that any threat to our country’s security from them will not be left unretaliated,” she warned and drew attention to the fact that the next large-scale exercise Nordic Response, which began the other day in Norway, Sweden and Finland, would involve 20,000. “All these actions against our country are of an aggressive, provocative nature. Certainly, we see how the escalation spiral is going up,” Zakharova noted.

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“..numerous Western players, including multinational companies, stand to lose a great deal in the event that Ukraine is defeated..”

Ukraine Defeat to Unmask Dirty Secrets of Conflict-Loving Western Elites (Sp.)

[..] sensitive information about a network of US-funded biowarfare laboratories in Ukraine, uncovered by the Russian Ministry of Defense over the past two years, suggests that American politicians as well as military and intelligence operatives had been involved in potentially illegal activities and experiments in the Eastern European country which are strictly prohibited in the US. “On Ukraine, one wonders what dirty work Ukrainian officials and contractors may have performed inside and outside Ukraine that could not readily be performed inside the United States,” the Wall Street analyst remarked. “Because the Deep State over-classifies information and does not appear to be subject to meaningful oversight, we likely will not learn what specific factors brought the US and allied governments to prod so aggressively, painting the Russian Federation as an enemy, instead of welcoming Russia into a re-configured NATO as, apparently, Putin himself suggested [in an interview with Tucker Carlson].

It seems to me that too many at the very top of Western governments see much more personal advantage in milking public sector expenditures for themselves fighting endless real and imagined conflicts than they see in crafting lasting peace and other solutions,” Ortel pointed out. Furthermore, the Wall Street analyst pointed out that established US political dynasty families such as the Bidens and the Clintons pounced at the chance to profit off the situation in Ukraine. A specific example that Ortel discussed with Sputnik was the collaboration between Victor Pinchuk and his wife Olena with the Clinton Foundation to combat HIV/AIDS in Ukraine during the early 2000s. Ortel believes that the fight against AIDS served as a facade for money laundering activities.

“A laudable project conceptually, perhaps, this effort was never legitimately approved in the United States looking through the public record, but allowed the Clintons and their allies to unlock hundreds of millions in government grants and donations for which there has never been a legitimate accounting, just as Hillary Clinton needed a war chest to fund her Senate re-election campaign and her presidential ambitions,” the Wall Street analyst said. Most recently, the Clinton Foundation announced a similarly questionable charity initiative together with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife Olena, Ortel noted, referring to corruption allegations haunting the Zelenskys. In essence, Ortel believes that numerous Western players, including multinational companies, stand to lose a great deal in the event that Ukraine is defeated. Consequently, some Western leaders have even suggested the idea of deploying NATO military units to Ukraine.

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“As Russia honors its Soviet past, the West is now honoring its Nazi past.”

Russia Honors Anti-Colonial Past as the West Backs Neo-Nazis (Miles)

The modern political divide between Russia and the West often evokes memories of the Cold War and even World War II, according to author and human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik. The writer and activist appeared on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program on Wednesday to discuss Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent remarks at the Forum of Supporters of the Struggle Against Modern Practices of Neocolonialism. “Over the last three decades, there’s been a model of globalization engineered by the US and its closest allies which has proved to be untenable,” said Lavrov in a speech delivered in Moscow. “Western countries have led humanity not to prosperity, but to one of the most acute international crises since the Second World War. The conflict space in the world is expanding and a deep split between the West and the countries of the global majority is emerging.”

“Russia has for a long time tried to play ball with the West,” claimed Kovalik, agreeing that the rhetoric emerging from Moscow and Beijing has become more strident in recent years. “But it finally dawned on them that the West didn’t want to be friends with them. So now you do hear people like Lavrov and [Security Council of Russia Deputy Chairman Dmitry] Medvedev, as you say, kind of taking the gloves off and saying it like it is.” The lawyer pointed to Israel’s military operation in Gaza as well as the conflict in the Donbass, which The New York Times recently admitted was fomented in part by the CIA’s decade-long presence in Ukraine. Both crises risk the eruption of a major world war, he claimed. Host Garland Nixon claimed Russia is embracing the anti-colonial or even “anti-imperialist” legacy of the Soviet Union in recent years, noting the USSR fostered strong ties with Africa and Latin America. The Soviet Union was an ally of South Africa’s anti-apartheid cause as well as popular movements in Latin American countries like Chile and Cuba.

Kovalik noted Russia released a white paper recently specifically mentioning the foreign policy legacy of the Soviet Union. “Russia’s proud of that past, it’s part of their legacy, and they continue to carry that forward,” he said. “And so you even see Putin, for example, hosting various Palestinian factions in Moscow, trying to get them together to agree to work as one. That is some old-timey, Soviet-like diplomacy there.” Meanwhile, US foreign alliances increasingly recall unflattering aspects of the West’s history, including the 20th-century emergence of fascism in Europe. Earlier this week, it was announced the Ukrainian city of Nikopol had renamed a street in honor of Pyotr Dyachenko, a Ukrainian SS officer who was decorated with the Iron Cross by Nazi leader Adolph Hitler. The incident follows the well-publicized recognition of Yaroslav Hunka by the Canadian Parliament last year, a Ukrainian World War II veteran who was revealed to have fought in a Nazi-aligned military unit.

Western countries have continuously backed Ukraine’s post-Maidan government, which even the NATO-aligned Atlantic Council has admitted is significantly influenced by neo-Nazi militants. The United States has also backed reactionary elements in Syria as it was recently announced the country has appointed a former Daesh* chief as a commander in the US-backed Syria Free Army. The US has spent billions of dollars supporting fundamentalist elements in Syria in an attempt to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. “We live in a time in which, again, Western governments are unabashedly honoring Nazis,” claimed Kovalik. “As Russia honors its Soviet past, the West is now honoring its Nazi past.”

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“..Some publications went as far as to declare that “every day that Ukraine holds out erodes Putin’s regime.”

Western ‘Expertise’ On Ukraine War Could Lead To Nuclear Disaster (Poletaev)

In order to assess the professionalism of any expert, their initial statements and forecasts must be compared with the actual course of events. In this sense, it’s interesting that none of the predictions made by mainstream Western experts regarding the Ukraine conflict have come true – either in military, political, economic, or social terms. However, over the past two years, a trend has developed in the Western media: experts invent “previously unconsidered” circumstances to justify their initial blunders, issue new forecasts, and then explain why their latest predictions haven’t come true either. In short, it looks like the Western press is busy creating a fantasy alternative universe. All of this would seem amusing, were it not for the fact that the world’s biggest military and economic alliance is basing its policy on this nonsense, that hundreds of thousands of people have paid for it with their lives, and that nuclear war appears to be looming on the horizon.

Many will remember US officials’ statements regarding Kiev from back in 2022: if Russia invades, the Ukrainian capital will fall within 72 hours. But few will remember the conditions that would supposedly make this possible: “Such an attack would leave 25,000 to 50,000 civilians dead.” No Western expert doubted that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be willing to make such sacrifices, and no one believed that Russia’s plan might be actually different – that instead of attacking public squares and cities, Moscow’s goal was to conduct a precise military operation and avoid bloodshed as much as possible. When Russian troops landed near Kiev and later withdrew, the West proclaimed it a major victory for the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). Indeed, this “victory” played an important role in the decision to supply more military aid to Ukraine. “Sanctions from hell” and a “nuclear trade war” were just two of the phrases used to describe the economic measures taken by the US and its allies against Russia.

Western experts had no doubt that Moscow was on the brink of an economic meltdown and the biggest financial collapse in its history. They argued that Putin had destroyed everything he had achieved during his 15 years in charge, and that the long-term consequences would be even more dire. “The Russian economy has been thrown into near-Soviet conditions of almost total isolation from the world economy,” The Hill proclaimed. In fact, what happened was the exact opposite – the West has de facto lost the economic war against Russia, and hasn’t even been able to break its own trade ties with the country. As for the Global South, it has retained a friendly, neutral attitude towards Moscow and has benefitted substantially. This demonstrates the limits of the so-called “Pax Americana” and the greatly exaggerated power of the West’s economic weapons. Certainly, all this could have served as a signal for the US and its allies to sober up and change course – but that never happened.

To this day, Western experts talk about the need to expand sanctions on Moscow and plug any loopholes. These measures, however, will only lead to the further erosion of the dollar-based global financial system and the development of alternative international economic mechanisms. Many Western experts also predicted social unrest in Russia: “Inflation and unemployment will rise… living standards will decline precipitously. The combination of popular protest, elite machinations, state failure, declining legitimacy, a grinding war, and international isolation inevitably will have only one outcome: Putin’s ouster. Sooner rather than later, the thin thread binding him to the outside world will be cut and Putin will be truly isolated in his bunker,” one contributor to The Hill claimed. The press also predicted coups – in fact, in this respect, Russia was even compared to Mali and Burkina Faso. Some publications went as far as to declare that “every day that Ukraine holds out erodes Putin’s regime.”

These hopes reached their apogee in June 2023 against the background of Evgeny Prigozhin’s unsuccessful mutiny. “This is indeed the beginning of the collapse of the state,” the Western press predicted. The fact that the mutiny had failed didn’t curb the enthusiasm of foreign experts – they recalled that the GKChP coup in 1991 had also failed, but that the Soviet Union collapsed just four months later. In their opinion, it was too early for Putin to rejoice: “It was the beginning, to show that Putin does not control the country and that he’s not invincible, and that if you have enough strength you can try and fight him.”

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“..the inclusion of Hillary Clinton’s nominees in Biden’s foreign policy team in key positions also meant the injection of a heavy dose of Russophobia..”

Is Ground Beneath Biden’s Russia Policy Shifting? (Bhadrakumar)

The general impression of Nuland is of an inveterate ‘hawk’ and Russophobe fired up by neoconservative ideology and American exceptionalism who precipitated the Russian intervention in Ukraine and is largely responsible for fuelling the ongoing war. Of course, there is no denying that Nuland played a key role in the regime change in Kiev 10 years ago. But what lies buried in the debris and all but forgotten today is that Nuland also promoted the Minsk Agreements as the way out of the impasse in Donbass where explosive violence erupted in 2014 as ethnic Russian separatists with support from Russian hinterland rejected the contrived usurpation of power in Kiev by Ukrainian ultra-nationalist forces. No doubt, after the new government was established in Ukraine, Nuland became one of the main curators of the country’s politics, in particular, the processes that took place between Kiev and Moscow.

Nuland was very active regarding Minsk agreements and in early 2016 met several times with then Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and discussed plans for the implementation of the political part of the agreements regarding the special status of Donbass within Ukraine. However, once Donald Trump came to power in January 2017, the momentum was lost, as the well-known cold warrior Kurt Volker was brought in as special envoy for Ukraine to replace Nuland who quit the government post. Two years later, Volker too resigned the envoy role after becoming ensnared in the Ukraine-related scandal that consumed Trump’s presidency eventually. At any rate, as the November 2019 presidential election (which Biden won) was approaching, Nuland went on record that it would be necessary to resume the work on the Minsk agreements. To quote her, “I think we should start serious negotiations on the implementation of the Minsk agreements… I hope that we will be invited to become a party to this process if and when the United States returns to considering Ukraine as an important pledge for the future of democracy. I hope that this will happen after our elections in (2019) November.”

Nuland also noted that she did not know any other way to get Russia to withdraw from Ukraine other than the Minsk document, which after all, President Putin himself signed. However, as it happened, Biden’s Russia policies took an entirely different trajectory. The only plausible explanation would be that as a strong believer in Trans-atlanticism throughout his career, Biden prioritised the reversal of Trump’s benign neglect of the NATO alliance system (which was also crucial for his containment strategy toward China) and it was tactically advantageous to cast Russia in an enemy image to give new ballast to the US’ transatlantic leadership, which had got weakened under Trump. Meanwhile, the inclusion of Hillary Clinton’s nominees in Biden’s foreign policy team in key positions also meant the injection of a heavy dose of Russophobia into the US policies. The rest is history.

Suffice to say, Nuland has had a big role in the life of Ukraine and we can only guess the massive dimensions of it. Indeed, she publicly celebrated the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which broke the umbilical cord tying Germany to a geopolitical alliance with Russia. Last month, after a sudden visit to Kiev, Nuland promised some nasty surprises waiting in store for the Kremlin in the Ukraine war. Was it the idea of combat deployment in Ukraine by NATO countries she was referring to? There are no easy answers. Well, belatedly at least, White House has intervened twice to assert that putting American troops on the ground in Ukraine is a no-go area. The point is, it is entirely conceivable that Nuland’s exit could be a reflection of the collapse of the whole architecture of the US’ Ukraine strategy, which she designed.

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“..she is “the face of everything that is happening now around Ukraine, in one way or another..”

Nuland’s Input in Eroding Trust Between Russia, US ‘Immense’ – Zakharova (Sp.)

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is a typical case of a talented and well-educated person, who knows Russia well, using their skills and abilities for wrong purposes and destroying their countries’ relations with Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Nuland was to step down from her post in the coming weeks. “[Nuland] should have better used her knowledge of Russia for creation, but she used it to destroy our bilateral relations. In general, I believe that her contribution to undermining the trust between our countries was immense,” Zakharova told a briefing. At the same time, Nuland is not the only and the main reason for the deterioration of Russian-US relations, but she is “the face of everything that is happening now around Ukraine, in one way or another,” the spokeswoman added.

In February, at a public meeting at the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nuland expressed her continued support for more massive US military aid to Ukraine and predicted that Ukrainian troops would make major battlefield gains against Russian forces in new offensives later this year. Being of Eastern European descent, Nuland worked at the US embassy in Moscow in the 1990s. In November 2013, as a series of protests, dubbed Euromaidan, broke out in Ukraine, she arrived in Kiev to publicly support what eventually escalated into a coup, leading to the ouster of then-President Viktor Yanukovich in February 2014. Career Diplomat and Under Secretary for Management John Bass will serve as Acting Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs until Nuland’s replacement is confirmed.

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“..This is self-incriminating evidence that the German high command is participating in a conspiracy to expand the war against Russia..”

Germany and NATO Caught Red-Handed in War Planning (SCF)

German military leaders may have bungled foolishly over their private discussions regarding operational plans against Russia. However, the security of their incompetent communication – while laughable – does not lessen the seriousness of what was being discussed. Lt. General Ingo Gerhartz and his aides were earnestly weighing up the technical and propaganda means by which to strike Russia with long-range ballistic missiles. In short, a NATO member was caught red-handed hatching an act of war against Russia. After Russian media published the audio of the conversation, the German reaction has been to dismiss it as a cerebral war-gaming exercise and as an attempt by Russian disinformation to undermine the government of Olaf Scholz. This obfuscation by Berlin will not wash. The incontrovertible fact is that the German commanders were deliberating on how to “optimize” the Ukrainian offensive capability to hit Russian targets with the long-range German Taurus cruise missile.

The weapon has supposedly not yet been supplied to the Ukrainian regime due to concerns among some German politicians that doing so would escalate the war with Russia. It is clear from the audio tape that the German military chiefs are frustrated by the politicians not ordering the supply of the Taurus. Gerhartz, the head of the German air force, tells his subordinates in no uncertain terms: “We are now fighting a war that uses much more modern technology than our good old Luftwaffe.” There you have it: the top German commander says unequivocally, “We are now fighting a war”. He also goes on to disclose that the American, British, and French militaries are deeply involved in the logistics and planning of attacks by the Ukrainian forces. We know from numerous other sources that the NATO militaries are involved on the ground in Ukraine fighting against Russian forces. American HIMARS and Patriot missile systems, and the British Storm Shadow and the French Scalp cruise missiles are operated with military expertise from these NATO members.

Still, what is highly damaging from the German military leak is the extent to which the commanders endeavor to conceal the involvement of Germany in a war with Russia. The tortuous conversation about how to avoid the imputation of the German military makes it clear that the German high command knows full well the gravity of what they are organizing. They are discussing the conduct of a covert war against Russia. This is tantamount to the crime of aggression and it runs the risk of starting a full-on war which would no doubt escalate into a nuclear conflagration. At one point in the discussion with his interlocutors, Lt Gen. Gerhartz talks about the need to conceal direct military involvement by Germany in supplying the Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

He says: “I understand what you are talking about. Politicians may be concerned about the direct, closed connection between Büchel [German air base] and Ukraine, which could become direct participation in the Ukrainian conflict. But in this case, we can say that the exchange of information will take place through MBDA [the German manufacturer of Taurus], and we will send one or two of our specialists to Schrobenhausen. Of course, this is a trick, but from a political point of view, it may look different. If information is exchanged through the manufacturer, then this is not associated with us.” This is self-incriminating evidence that the German high command is participating in a conspiracy to expand the war against Russia. The only reservation is not to be identified publicly in waging war acts. With utmost cynicism, the German military leaders are looking for a way to claim plausible denial after the crime.

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“The British cried foul and accused Scholz of ‘flagrant abuse of intelligence.’”

The Russians in Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)

You may have read or heard about the freakout that ensued after Emmanuel Macron convened a summit of European leaders in Paris last week. At a press briefing afterward, the French president allowed that NATO may at some point send troops to Ukraine to join the fight against Russian military forces. Before I go further, let me suggest a couple of thoughts readers can tuck somewhere in the corners of their minds for later consideration. One, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine two years ago last month was unprovoked. Two, all the Kremlin’s talk about the threat of NATO hard by its southwestern border is nothing more than the distortion and paranoia of “Putin’s Russia,” as we must now refer to the Russian Federation. It went this way in Paris last week. At the presser following the summit Macron was asked whether Ukraine’s Western backers were considering deploying troops in Ukraine. The French president replied that while European leaders had not reached any kind of agreement, the idea was certainly on the table when they gathered at Elysée Palace.

And then this: “Nothing should be ruled out. We will do anything we can to prevent Russia from winning this war.” Instantly came the vigorous objections. The Brits, the Spanish, the Italians, the Poles, the Slovakians, the Hungarians: They all said in so many words, “No way.” Even Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s war-mongering sec-gen, objected to Macron’s assertion. No one was more vehement on this point than Olaf Scholz. “What was agreed among ourselves and with each other from the very beginning also applies to the future,” saith the German chancellor, “namely that there will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO states.” O.K., but at the same summit those present joined to support sending long-range missiles to the Ukrainians, weapons fully capable of reaching cities, power grids, industrial plants and other targets deep inside Russia. So: No troops, plenty of offensive hardware. The Paris gathering precipitated a significant moment of truth, if we can call it such.

Scholz, who is on a knife’s edge politically in part for his government’s support for Ukraine, immediately asserted that Germany would not send its Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine because German troops would have to go with them, as the Ukrainians could not operate them on their own. Look at the British, Scholz added indelicately. When they send their Storm Shadow missiles (and I must say I love the names the West’s arsenal minders come up with for these things) British personnel have to go with them. Yikes! Such indiscretion. As Stephen Bryen reported in his Weapons and Strategy newsletter, “The British cried foul and accused Scholz of ‘flagrant abuse of intelligence.’” Abuse of intelligence is a new one on me, but never mind. Bryen, who follows these matters closely as a former Defense Department official, continued: “Scholz confirmed what everyone already knows, that NATO officers and trained personnel are in Ukraine operating weapons such as the Patriot and NASAM air defense system, the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, the British–French Storm Shadow cruise missile (SCALP–EG in France), and many other complex weapons provided to Ukraine.” There we have it — or there we have had it, if covertly, for a long time.

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Who is footing Ukraine’s bills in the meantime? The salaries, pensions etc?

Biden Considers Sending US Army’s Money To Ukraine – Bloomberg (RT)

The US government is considering tapping the US Army budget to provide Ukraine with much-needed military aid, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. One of the sources told the news agency that a final decision has yet to be made. The sum reportedly sought by the White House in the Pentagon reserves – around $200 million – is a small fraction of the $61 billion worth of Ukraine aid President Biden has been requesting from Congress. The president will once again urge legislators to approve new assistance for Kiev during his State of the Union address on Thursday, Bloomberg said.

The Senate backed the aid package last month, but it is now stalled in the House due to political in-fighting. House Republicans have so far refused to back Biden’s bill, hoping to pressure the president into enacting tougher measures to deal with the influx of illegal migrants crossing the border with Mexico. The hold-up in Congress is occurring at a crucial time for Ukraine, whose troops have been forced to retreat from several key positions in the Donbass in recent weeks. President Vladimir Zelensky and other officials in Kiev have cited the shortages in ammunition and other equipment as reasons behind the losses on the battlefield.

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“This is a very serious challenge… it should be done in an automated mode, without the presence of humans,” Borisov added, hoping that robots could be up to the task..”

Russia & China Plan Building Lunar Nuclear Power Plant on Moon (Sp.)

A number of countries have been jostling to return humans to the Moon, with Moscow and Beijing teaming up in 2022 to sign a memorandum of understanding on joint exploration of the celestial body. The sides also pledged to work together to build a base there by the 2030s. Russia and China are mulling jointly building a lunar nuclear power plant, Yuri Borisov, the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, said on Tuesday. “Today we are seriously considering a project … somewhere at the turn of 2033-2035 … to deliver and install a power unit on the lunar surface together with our Chinese colleagues,” Borisov said during a lecture at the World Youth Festival. Harnessing the power of “nuclear space energy” could allow lunar settlements to be built, as solar panels would not be able to provide enough electricity to power such bases, he pointed out.

“This is a very serious challenge… it should be done in an automated mode, without the presence of humans,” Borisov added, hoping that robots could be up to the task. According to the Russian Federal Space Agency head, the technology required for the construction of such a lunar nuclear power plant is almost ready. Furthermore, Borisov weighed in on Russia’s plans to build a nuclear-powered cargo spaceship called Zevs (Zeus). “We are working on a space tugboat… that would be able, thanks to a nuclear reactor and high-power turbines … to transport large cargoes from one orbit to another, collect space debris and engage in many other tasks,” Borisov said. He added that one tricky aspect of this is to find a solution for how to cool the nuclear reactor. Last year, Borisov had described how the nuclear space tug could be used to push inactive geostationary satellites into deep space, adding, “We must think about our future use of outer space, and ensure that it is environmentally clean for future generations.”

On Tuesday, the director general of Roscosmos reiterated that Russia is against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space. “Of course, space should be free of nuclear weapons,” Borisov said. Borisov’s remarks echo what President Vladimir Putin said a few days ago. Russia does not plan to deploy nuclear weapons in space, Putin said at a meeting with the country’s Security Council members on March 1. “We have already discussed false allegations that are currently being made by some Western officials about our supposed plans to deploy nuclear weapons in space,” the Russian president said. However, he added that it was essential for the Russian government to monitor the issue to be ready to address any such threats that may emerge from other sides in this domain.

Earlier, in his annual State of the Nation address on February 29, Putin weighed in on the media craze stemming from unfounded claims of a Russian nuclear space weapon. The Russian head of state called the claims “unfounded” and “fake narratives” designed by the West. Having dismissed these baseless allegations, Putin mentioned that Russia is yet to receive any serious proposals from the US to initiate bilateral contacts on strategic stability. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also weighed in, saying that, “Firstly, there are no such projects – nuclear weapons in space. Secondly, the United States knows that this does not exist.”

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“..indications that London has long provided a highly influential guiding hand to Tel Aviv in its oppression and mass murder of Palestinians are unambiguous..”

The United Kingdom: Zionism’s Covert Nerve Center (Cradle)

On 9 February, British Defense Minister James Heappey informed parliament that Israeli military operatives are “currently … posted in the UK,” both within Tel Aviv’s diplomatic mission “and as participants in UK defense-led training courses.” This hitherto unacknowledged arrangement amply demonstrates how, despite recent calls from officials in London for Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to exercise restraint in its genocide of Gaza – if not institute a ceasefire – the UK remains international Zionism’s covert nerve center. Mere days earlier, Heappey likewise admitted that nine Israeli military aircraft landed in Britain since Operation Al Aqsa Flood on 7 October last year. Investigations by independent investigative website Declassified UK show that Royal Air Force aircraft have flown to and from Israel in the same period, along with 65 spy plane missions launched from the UK’s vast, little-known military and intelligence base in Cyprus.

The purpose of those flights and who and/or what they carried are a state secret. Freedom of Information requests have been denied, Britain’s Ministry of Defense has refused to comment, and local media is by and large silent. Nonetheless, in July 2023, British ministers admitted that the UK’s training of Israeli military personnel includes battlefield medical assistance, “organizational design and concepts,” and “defense education.” It is unknown if that “education” has in any way informed the slaughter of more than 30,000 Palestinians since 7 October. Yet, indications that London has long provided a highly influential guiding hand to Tel Aviv in its oppression and mass murder of Palestinians are unambiguous, even if hidden in plain sight. For example, in September 2019, the Israeli air force participated in a joint combat exercise with its British, German, and Italian counterparts.

The Israelis deployed F-15 warplanes for the purpose, which have been blitzing Gaza on a virtually daily basis since 7 October, indiscriminately flattening schools, hospitals, businesses, and homes and killing untold innocents. A year earlier, in October 2022, it was quietly admitted in parliament that London maintains several “permanent military personnel in Israel,” all posted in the British Embassy in Tel Aviv: “They carry out key activities in defense engagement and diplomacy. The Ministry of Defense supports the HMG Middle East Peace Process Programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel. The program aims to help protect the political and physical viability of a two-state solution. We would not disclose the location and numbers of military personnel for security reasons.”

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have openly and repeatedly boasted of their personal role in blocking Palestinian statehood. We are thus left to ponder what these British operatives are truly concerned about – it certainly isn’t protecting “the political and physical viability of a two-state solution,” as that entire project was evidently never “viable,” by design. It could be those “permanent military personnel” who are present under the auspices of a highly confidential December 2020 military cooperation agreement inked by London and Tel Aviv.

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“Haley’s voters aren’t just Democrats. They’re the most rabid, left-wing, delusional, anti-Trump members of the Democrat party’s already left-wing and delusional base..”

92% of Nikki Haley Voters Approve of Biden’s Performance (ZH)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley plans to end her campaign as early as Wednesday morning following her dismal results on Super Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with her plans. During last night’s not-so-super-Tuesday, she only secured only a victory in one state – Vermont – out of the 15 states that held GOP contests; to go along with her ‘victory’ in the swamp (DC). According to the NBC News delegate tracker, former President Trump led with 1057 delegates, significantly outpacing Haley’s total of 92. WSJ sources expanded more on what Haley is likely to discuss in Charleston this morning around 1000 ET: “Haley won’t announce an endorsement Wednesday, the people said. She will encourage Donald Trump, who is close to having the delegates needed to win the GOP nomination, to earn the support of Republican and independent voters who backed her.

She is expected to emphasize that she will continue to advocate for the conservative domestic and foreign policies she supports and caution against some of the dangers, such as isolationism and a lack of fiscal discipline, that she sees coming from Washington. Haley was the first major candidate to challenge Trump for the nomination and the last to stand down, showing determination even as she came under significant attack by the former president and his supporters.” MSNBC will be disappointed… Reacting to the results of Super Tuesday late last night, Haley said a large number of Republican voters continue to have “deep concerns” about the former president. “We’re honored to have received the support of millions of Americans across the country today, including in Vermont where Nikki became the first Republican woman to win two presidential primary contests,” Haley’s campaign said in a statement.

“Unity is not achieved by simply claiming ‘we’re united’. Today, in state after state, there remains a large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns about Donald Trump,” she added. A wild note on exit polls from The Federalist’s Sean Davis: “The exit polls about Nikki Haley’s voters’ views on Biden and the economy are WILD. These results, which are from Virginia, show that 92 PERCENT of Haley’s voters approve of Joe Biden’s performance as president, and 87 PERCENT of Haley’s voters say they’re satisfied with how things are going in America right now.

Haley’s voters aren’t just Democrats. They’re the most rabid, left-wing, delusional, anti-Trump members of the Democrat party’s already left-wing and delusional base. With Haley’s departure from the race, Trump has all but guaranteed the Republican party’s nomination to a November showdown with President Joe Biden.

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“..His testimony was widely panned and he showed all of the spontaneity and comfort of a hostage video..”

The Spectacular Imposition of the Willis-Wade Testimony (Turley)

[..] Wade and Willis have also been contradicted in their testimony by various witnesses who said they lied about their intimate relationship starting after he was hired in 2022. That includes prior text messages in which Wade’s former partner and lawyer Terrence Bradley repeatedly told opposing counsel that he was “absolutely” sure that the relationship began much earlier. A former close friend of Willis also said they were lying. This is notable because Wade and Willis brought 19 individual counts of false statements, false filings, or perjury against the defendants in their case. There are now substantial allegations that they may have committed the very same criminal conduct. Now another prosecutor has come forward to say that Bradley also told her repeatedly and with complete clarity and certainty that Wade and Willis were involved long before his hiring. Those conversations allegedly occurred as late as January 2024 with Cindi Lee Yeager, a co-chief deputy district attorney for Cobb County.

What is even more alarming is Yeager’s account that she overheard Willis tell Bradley on the telephone that “they are coming after us. You don’t need to talk to them about anything about us.” If true, that call could raise questions of influencing potential witnesses. Willis can legitimately point out that the calls were allegedly in September 2023, before Bradley was called as a witness and the current proceedings had started. However, it would indicate that Willis was aware that Bradley would be asked questions about past payments and relationships with him and his partner Wade. If that seems loose, you should take a look at the case Willis brought against these defendants. Many of us have been critical of the overarching racketeering conspiracy alleged by Willis among the 18 defendants. The false statement charges often dismiss plausible alternative interpretations or the paucity of evidence of intent.

They are also prosecuting the attempt to influence witnesses. The question is whether Willis or Wade had other communications indirectly or directly with Bradley. His testimony was widely panned and he showed all of the spontaneity and comfort of a hostage video. Willis is a powerful political figure in Atlanta and Bradley did everything short of faking his death to avoid assisting in her disqualification. The odds are that Judge Scott McAfee is not inclined to hold additional hearings. He is ready to rule. It is hard to imagine these two prosecutors continuing with so many allegations hanging over the case. They have placed their personal interests before their office and their case. However, the standard for disqualification is murky. For Willis, the case has become a modern political tragedy a la movie classic “All the King’s Men,” about a reformer who became everything that he once denounced in the corruption of powerful figures.

Willis ran against a district attorney accused of using his office to pursue sexual affairs and continues to claim that she “restored integrity” to her office through ethical leadership. In her combative testimony, Willis attacked the media, opposing counsel and the public for questioning her actions. She declared, “You’re confused. You think I’m on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I’m not on trial, no matter how hard you put me on trial.” The question is whether the courts, prosecutors or bar officials will show the same vigor in pursuing these allegations against Wade and Willis that they have shown against their own defendants. If so, she could well find herself “on trial” as the allegations mount against her and her lead prosecutor.

Merchant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765409451064819722

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“Demonic Dick Cheney’s vile offspring Liz is now the sexiest thing since Michelle Obama..”

Trumpenstein and the Death of Politics (Jeffries)

Trump was the subject of more obscene and distasteful public comments and media ridicule than any other American in history. More than Huey Long. More than Richard Nixon. More than Jim Garrison. There was a play running for months in New York, that celebrated the mock assassination of Donald Trump. Upstanding America 2.0 celebrity Snoop Dogg also depicted the assassination of Trump in a video. Trump would repay the venerable Snoop by pardoning his friend, the president of Death Row Records, and not Julian Assange, as he left office. Trump was certainly a strange sort of “racist.” Kind of like all those “White Supremacists,” who remain in the shadows, overseeing the Great Replacement.

Celebrities showed absolute disdain for Trump in their intellectual offerings on Twitter. So did virtually every “journalist” in our state controlled media. Indeed, Trump’s one enduring legacy may be to have popularized the phrase “fake news,” and inadvertently exposed just how bad our “free press” really is. No matter how many Black rappers he rescued, or how few illegal immigrants he actually deported, the constant refrain was that Trump was a hopeless “racist.” In fact, he came to define the term. And, of course, everyone who supported him were “racists” too. Trump actually instituting the unconstitutional lockdown (proving that he could do something after all), and claiming credit for, and praising the dangerous “warp speed” vaccine didn’t matter. He was still a “racist.” And responsible for all the incorrigible anti-vaxxers.

Trump’s three nominees to the Supreme Court were attacked viciously by the usual suspects. And his loyalists, when confronted with the stark evidence of his inactivity as president, invariably point to them as his greatest accomplishment. Except that one of them, Amy Coney Barrett, votes against him every time. Brett Kavanaugh is hit or miss. Only Neil Gorsuch has been pretty decent. And yet, those with Trump Derangement syndrome (and it is a very real mental disorder) continue to portray them as right-wing extremists. White Supremacists. Perhaps “insurrectionists.” Like Trump, they are guilty of Thought Crimes they never committed. We’ll see how they rule on his politicized prosecutions and remaining electoral disputes. So far, their track record doesn’t give much hope to MAGA loyalists.

So let’s look at these Trump show trials. I don’t know what the Soviet legal process really was like, before they sent dissidents off to Siberia, but how much more corrupt could it have been? Trump was convicted, and forced to pay millions, to a certifiable lunatic, who paints her trees blue and named her cat vagina. For sexually assaulting her in a crowded department store dressing room, at some point in the 1990s. She couldn’t recall the exact year. Seriously. And she is on the record having joked about having sex with Donald Trump on social media. She is the poster child for uncredible witnesses. But a jury, and one of the endless biased judges assigned to Trump’s cases, ruled in her favor. As the “Woke” White women say, “I believe her!”

Trump just lost again (he always loses, this is part of the Trumpenstein Project), in a ridiculous case where he “defrauded” well…not sure who, exactly, but his “crime” was exaggerating the value of his assets. You know, something pretty much everyone has done. Those who loaned him the money said he paid them back properly. In other words, they were witnesses for him. But Judge Nosferatu (and there is really no more appropriate name for him) ruled against him anyway and ordered him to pay an Alex Jones-like $400 million. Since there was no party claiming to have been injured or defrauded, it’s unclear where that money is going. But the millions who hate him are overjoyed. Well, not exactly. They won’t be satisfied until he’s hung in Times Square. Do it on New Year’s Eve and have him swing along with the giant ball.

In Georgia, Trump is being prosecuted for trying to “overturn” an election. By “overturn,” the “Woke” authoritarians mean legally attempting to get the courts to act on what Trump and his team believe is clear electoral fraud. In the same state, the lovely Stacy Abrams continues to insist she was robbed in her race for governor. Somehow, this is not an attempt to “overturn” an election. I’m sure Rachel Maddow could explain the distinction. And the even more lovely Fani Willis is large and in charge here. If Trump really is a racist, he must be feeling like unreconstructed southerners felt in the late 1860s, on being “represented” in Congress by illiterate former slaves. If he ever were to utter a racial epithet, now would be the time.

TDS has claimed millions of victims. It’s nonfatal in physical terms, but it is absolutely lethal to the intellect. I’ve seen many a friend fall victim to it. It causes one to lose all sense of perspective. The victim begins to believe that the intelligence agencies, the military industrial complex, and the mainstream media are all fine and worthwhile institutions. They actually believe that Trumpenstein opposes these forces, which represent the Deep State he talked about. The Swamp he vowed to drain. And so George W. Bush is now a hero. He opposed Trump! Demonic Dick Cheney’s vile offspring Liz is now the sexiest thing since Michelle Obama. Forget about the dead intern in Joe Scarborough’s old congressional office. He hates Trump!

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Bertrand Russell

 

 

Arthur C. Clarke

 

 

Brinicle

 

 

Frozen

 

 

Adopted
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765420598379892826

 

 

Chase
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765129790149824834

 

 

Thirsty wolf

 

 

UP!

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 242024
 


Grete Stern Sueño No. 1: Artículos eléctricos para el hogar 1949

 

The Dark and the Light (Kunstler)
New Cell Phone Records Prove DA Willis Affair (Techno Fog)
CBS Causes Uproar After Seizing the Notes of Investigative Reporter (Turley)
NATO Will Allow Ukraine To Attack Inside Russia With F-16s – Stoltenberg (RT)
Zelensky Promises ‘New Counteroffensive’ (RT)
Europe Has ‘Dim, Lackluster Technocrats’, Not Strong Leaders – Medvedev (TASS)
Why Won’t The West Admit That The Maidan Coup Was Based On A Lie? (RT)
Kiev’s Sponsors Should Hold ‘Discreet’ Talks With Moscow – Ukraine Envoy (RT)
How Russia Could Respond to West’s Potential Frozen Asset Seizure (Sp.)
Dutch PM Has No Right to Sign 10-Year Ukraine Security Agreement – Musk (Sp.)
The Elites Versus The Rest Of Us (Utter)
The Axis of Asymmetry Takes On The ‘Rules-Based Order’ (Pepe Escobar)
Ukraine, Gaza Conflicts Isolate US, Europe (Sp.)
Censors Who Rigged The 2020 Election Are Now Stealing 2024 (Fed.)
Julian Assange Faces ‘A Living Death Sentence’ In A Concrete Coffin Cell (DM)

 

 


Scott McNealy’s famous ‘What were you thinking?’ rant to investors for bidding Sun Microsystems’ stock price up to 10x sales during the DotCom bubble Keep in mind that $nvda is now trading at over 40x sales…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Informant

 

 

Watters AI

 

 

Walsh

 

 

 

 

“Mr. Trump volunteered to play role of exorcist in this grand psychodrama. Whatever else you make of him, he has shown a lot of fortitude..”

The Dark and the Light (Kunstler)

The poison killing our country is pervasive untruth. Every institution we have relied on to run the public interest has become a factory churning out lies, evasions, and misdirection — not unlike the way mRNA “vaccines” turned the cells in your bodies into tiny generators of spike proteins destroying your organs. Likewise, half the population, apparently, thinks this is a good thing, that we need more lawfare — the perversion of law by attorney perverts — and that we need ever more lies, evasions, and misdirection (just as the degenerates who run Harvard declare their student body needs more mRNA boosters to remain in school). Since the doctors have all failed — miserably and dishonorably — America needs an exorcism. The poisons in our system are actual persons carrying out their programmed assignments, just as the spike proteins in the bodies of millions act as individual agents of destruction in your body.

What possible invocation can drive out the likes of Mayorkas, Christopher Wray, Avril Haynes, William Burns, Merrick Garland, Lisa Monaco, Marc Elias, Norm Eisen, Jack Smith, Jake Sullivan, Marc Zuckerberg, Mandy Cohen, Rachel Maddow, Daniel Sachs Goldman, Jamie Raskin, Mitch McConnell, Charles “Chuck” Schumer, “Joe Biden” (the remnant of a person, after all), and a thousand others in high places behaving in a way indistinguishable from demons? What explains their devotion to untruth? What motivates them? Can it possibly be the mere perqs and comforts of their positions? Are they answering a call? And who is issuing that call? Or are they just trapped by their many years of lying continually, fearful of getting cast into prison? Are you asking yourselves: what will satisfy these maniacs? Anything short of the ruin of our country? What will their coveted power be worth in a ruined country? Mr. Trump volunteered to play role of exorcist in this grand psychodrama. Whatever else you make of him, he has shown a lot of fortitude.

Eight years ago, when he came on the scene, he appeared to not know that his opponents were actually demons seeking to wreck the country; rather just low persons sunk in the most common venial corruption, and others mere zealots steeped in futile utopian fantasies of perfecting the flawed human condition. He learned eventually the that the situation was more dire than he ever imagined. His opponents came after him hard from the get-go and keep coming at him. Russia is the knout they use in the attempt to flay him alive. “Russia Russia Russia” has been one long, elaborate lie. They’re going at it again, pretending that Mr. Trump seeks Russian help interfering in the fall election, despite the plain fact that all previous invocations of “Russia Russia Russia” were revealed to be untrue, and maliciously so — and that all the actual election interference originated with the gang shouting “Russia Russia Russia.” It looks like more than half the country is refusing to fall for it this time. Thus, the resort to lawfare, the five cases (so far) designed to bankrupt Mr. Trump and gain a felony conviction for objecting to the election shenanigans of 2020.

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Something tells me we’re not talking about the smartest folk here..

New Cell Phone Records Prove DA Willis Affair (Techno Fog)

The lawyers for President Trump have Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade’s cell phone records. And it’s bad for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The official story from the Fulton County DA and her former lover Nathan Wade, made through sworn filings and sworn testimony, was that their “personal relationship” started in 2022. In a February 2, 2022 filing, DA Willis submitted Wade’s affidavit to the Court which stated: “In 2022, District Attorney Willis and I developed a personal relationship.” DA Willis and Wade both testified that the relationship started sometime in early 2022. But Wade’s cell phone records disprove their official story. In a filing this morning from President Trump’s attorneys, records indicate that the “relationship” between DA Willis and Wade was romantic well-before Wade’s November 1, 2021 appointment by Willis as Special Prosecutor.

Trump’s attorneys were able to obtain, by subpoena to AT&T, Wade’s cell phone records from 1/1/2021 through 11/30/2021. Wade’s location data was analyzed by an investigator hired by the attorneys – an analytical tool which generated geolocation data that pinpointed Wade’s presence at DA Willis’s South Fulton Condo during that time period. Here are the highlights:

• Wade and Willis exchanged “over 2000 voice calls and just under 12,000 texts messages” from January 1, 2021 through November 30, 2021.

• Geolocation data indicates Wade was at DA Willis’s condo “at least 35 occasions”. The data revealed he was “stationary” at the condo “and not in transit.”

• Wade’s visits to DA Willis’s condo were corroborated by texts and phone calls. According to the report: On November 29, 2021, “following a call from Ms. Willis at 11:32 PM, while the call continued, [Wade’s] phone left the East Cobb area just after midnight and arrived within the geofence located on the Dogwood address [the condo] at 12:43 AM on November 30, 2021. The phone remained there until 4:55 AM.”

• On September 11, 2021, Wade arrived at the condo address at approximately 10:45 PM. He left the address at 3:28 AM and arrived at his Marietta residence at 4:05 AM. He then texted DA Willis at 4:20 AM.

It’s important to note that Trump’s investigator is under a serious time constraint, due to the nature of the proceedings before Judge Scott McAfee, and wasn’t able to analyze all of the Wade/Willis data, which he described as voluminous. The two visits listed above – those are just a small fraction of the 35+ trips that Wade made to DA Willis’s condo. If his review continues, then more revelations will follow. The extensive communications between DA Willis and Wade – the thousands of calls and tens of thousands of texts – indicate something more than what they described as a friendship. And combined with the late-night visits, with Wade appearing at her apartment for a few hours before heading home, this is definitive proof that their romantic relationship started long before what they told the Judge.

Beck Fani

Watters Fani

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I bet this is about finding out what she has on Biden and Hunter. Then they’ll return (most of) her notes.

CBS Causes Uproar After Seizing the Notes of Investigative Reporter (Turley)

There is trouble brewing at Black Rock, the headquarters of CBS, after the firing of Catherine Herridge, an acclaimed investigative reporter. Many of us were shocked after Herridge was included in layoffs this month, but those concerns have increased after CBS officials took the unusual step of seizing her files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources. The position of CBS has alarmed many, including the union, as an attack on free press principles by one of the nation’s most esteemed press organizations. I have spoken confidentially with current and former CBS employees who have stated that they could not recall the company ever taking such a step before. One former CBS journalist said that many employees “are confused why [Herridge] was laid off, as one of the correspondents who broke news regularly and did a lot of original reporting.”

That has led to concerns about the source of the pressure. He added that he had never seen a seizure of records from a departing journalist, and that the move had sent a “chilling signal” in the ranks of CBS. A former CBS manager, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he had “never heard of anything like this.” He attested to the fact that, in past departures, journalists took all of their files and office contents. Indeed, the company would box up everything from cups to post-its for departing reporters. He said the holding of the material was “outrageous” and clearly endangered confidential sources. [..] A source within the the union, SAG-AFTRA, confirmed that it has raised this controversy with CBS and remains extremely concerned about the effect of this action on journalistic practices and source confidentiality. The union believes this is “very unusual” and goes far beyond this individual case. “It is a matter of principle,” a union spokesperson added. “It is a matter of serious concern. We are considering all of our options.”

For full disclosure, I was under contract twice with CBS as a legal analyst. I cherished my time at the network. I have also known Herridge for years in both legal and journalistic capacities. CBS is one of the world’s premier news organizations, with a legendary history that includes figures from Murrow to Walter Cronkite to Roger Mudd. That is why the hiring of Herridge was so welcomed by many of us. The network was at risk of becoming part of the journalistic herd, an echo-chamber for Democratic and liberal narratives. It had been mired in third place for ages, and it was moving in the wrong direction by alienating half of the country. Herridge had been a celebrated investigative reporter at Fox News. An old-school investigative journalist, she is viewed as a hard-driving, middle-of-the-road reporter cut from the same cloth as the network’s legendary figures.

The timing of Herridge’s termination immediately raised suspicions in Washington. She was pursuing stories that were unwelcomed by the Biden White House and many Democratic powerhouses, including the Hur report on Joe Biden’s diminished mental capacity, the Biden corruption scandal and the Hunter Biden laptop. She continued to pursue these stories despite reports of pushback from CBS executives, including CBS News President Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews. Given the other layoffs and declining revenues, the inclusion of Herridge was defended by the network as a painful but necessary measure. But then something strange happened. The network grabbed Herridge’s notes and files and informed her that it would decide what, if anything, would be turned over to her. The files likely contain confidential material from both her stints at Fox and CBS. Those records, it suggests, are presumptively the property of CBS News.

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Deliberate escalation.

“..the F-16 is capable of delivering B61 gravity bombs. “So, if one of those planes takes off from a NATO nation – what would that be? An attack on Russia. I shall not describe what could happen next..”

NATO Will Allow Ukraine To Attack Inside Russia With F-16s – Stoltenberg (RT)

Once Ukraine receives F-16 fighter jets it will be free to use them against military targets inside Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told American state-run media. Stoltenberg was speaking to RFE/RL for an interview which is scheduled to air on Friday. According to snippets released in advance, the NATO head has argued that Ukraine has the right to self-defense against Russian “aggression,” which would include “striking legitimate Russian military targets outside Ukraine.” As to when the government in Kiev might actually receive the promised jets, Stoltenberg would not say. Each NATO member that has pledged to deliver them has different policies and will decide themselves, he explained.

While some of Ukraine’s backers want the jets in action as soon as possible, they will have a stronger impact if the pilots are well-trained and there are enough maintenance and support crews on hand, according to Stoltenberg. “So, I think we have to listen to the military experts exactly when we will be ready to or when allies will be ready to start sending and delivering the F-16s,” he said. “The sooner the better.” Ukraine has long demanded the F-16 as a way to combat Russian air superiority. Denmark and the Netherlands have both pledged to contribute some of their jets, with President Vladimir Zelensky putting the total number at 42. The first Ukrainian pilots training in the West finished their classes in the UK in December.

The way the US-made jet is designed means it might have difficulties operating from Ukrainian runways, sparking speculation that they could be flown from Poland, Romania or the Baltic states instead. Russia has repeatedly warned such a deployment would be an escalation of the conflict and may even risk nuclear war, as the F-16 is capable of delivering B61 gravity bombs. “So, if one of those planes takes off from a NATO nation – what would that be? An attack on Russia. I shall not describe what could happen next,” Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council, said in an interview on Thursday.

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“..if Kiev loses its soldiers, it “will lose everything..”

Bit late perhaps?

Zelensky Promises ‘New Counteroffensive’ (RT)

Ukraine is planning a new counteroffensive against Russia despite a string of recent setbacks including the failure to break through Moscow’s defenses last year and the loss of the strategic city of Avdeevka in Donbass, President Vladimir Zelensky has said. In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Zelensky acknowledged that some Western backers have expressed impatience with Kiev and the perceived lack of progress, asking him “when we will finish the war, when will we win.” The Ukrainian leader stressed that his utmost priority is to avoid heavy casualties, and that if Kiev loses its soldiers, it “will lose everything,” even if the West provides it with the most advanced weapons. “To defend [is] the task number one and then to continue our successful story on the Black Sea” he said, adding that Russia is preparing certain “surprises” in the region, without elaborating further.

The “south is very important,” he continued, noting that Kiev’s other priority is to hold the line in Donbass, and that “of course, we will prepare a new counteroffensive, a new operation.” Zelensky cautioned that the ultimate plan depends on many factors, and declined to give a possible timeframe for a new push. Ukraine attempted a large-scale offensive early last summer but failed to make any substantial progress despite being reinforced with a massive amount of Western military hardware. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said Kiev suffered colossal losses in the campaign, with more than 215,000 troops lost in 2023 alone.

Last week, Russian troops took full control of the heavily fortified city of Avdeevka, which was frequently used as a launch ground for attacks on Donetsk, many of which have targeted civilians. The Russian Defense Ministry said the Ukrainian troops left their positions in a “disorderly retreat,” losing some 1,500 soldiers in the process. The New York Times, citing sources, has suggested that Moscow may have captured up to 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers during the rout. Commenting on the retreat, Zelensky called the decision to leave Avdeevka “absolutely logical,” saying its goal was to spare the lives of Ukrainian troops.

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“..They would tear him to pieces and say: ‘We will be attacked instantly, Cossacks will be galloping around Paris again, and the world will simply collapse!'”

Europe Has ‘Dim, Lackluster Technocrats’, Not Strong Leaders – Medvedev (TASS)

The current leaders of European countries are mostly “dim, lackluster technocrats” who are engaged in pursuing “Euro-Atlantic ideals” instead of resolving national problems, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media, including TASS. “In Europe, as I have said many times, all the true leaders are gone. A generation of dim, lackluster technocrats has arrived, who endorse only Euro-Atlantic ideals. Instead of dealing with their national problems, they follow instructions from Washington,” he said. Medvedev explained that there are exceptions among European leaders, such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, or Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, “but this only confirms the rule.”

“And all the rest are people who do not have their own position,” the politician stated. In his opinion, the previous generation of European figures had the inner strength to raise objections when issues were important to their countries. But this does not mean that they took Russia’s side or abandoned any European ideals, the politician noted. “No, but they could object. To the extent that during the period when de Gaulle was the French president, France suspended its participation in the military component of NATO, and considered it the right thing to do. Can you imagine anyone even mentioning that now? They would tear him to pieces and say: ‘We will be attacked instantly, Cossacks will be galloping around Paris again, and the world will simply collapse!'” Medvedev surmised.

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Because the story is too sordid.

Why Won’t The West Admit That The Maidan Coup Was Based On A Lie? (RT)

Political scientist Ivan Katchanovski – of the University of Ottawa – revealed last year, in a paper, that the February 2014 massacre of Ukrainian protesters by sniper fire, a defining moment of the Western-backed Maidan coup, was not published by an academic journal for “political reasons.” In a lengthy Twitter thread, Katchanovski first laid out the circumstances behind the rejection of his article, and the bombshell evidence included in it. The paper was initially accepted with minor revisions after peer review, and the journal’s editor offered a glowing appraisal of his work, writing: “There is no doubt that this paper is exceptional in many ways. It offers evidence against the mainstream narrative of the regime change in Ukraine in 2014… It seems to me that the evidence the study produces in favour of its interpretation on who was behind the massacre of the protesters and the police during the ‘Euromaidan’ mass protests on February 18-20, 2014, in Ukraine, is solid. On this there is also consensus among the two reviewers.”

As the editor noted, the massacre was a “politically crucial development,” which led to the “transition of powers in the country” from the freely elected Viktor Yanukovich to the illegitimate and rabidly nationalistic administration of Aleksandr Turchinov, a former security services chief. It was endlessly cited in Western media as a symbol of the brutality of Ukraine’s government and an unprovoked attack on innocent pro-WesternMaidan protesters, who allegedly sought nothing more than democracy and freedom. Rumors that the killings were a false flag intended to inflame tensions among the vast crowds filling Maidan, and provoke violence against the authorities, began circulating immediately. No serious investigation into what happened was ever conducted by the Western media, with all claims that the sniper attacks were an inside job dismissed as Kremlin “disinformation.” However, even NATO’s Atlantic Council adjunct admitted in 2020 that the massacre was unsolved and that this “cast a shadow over Ukraine.”

It may not remain unsolved for much longer though, due to an ongoing trial of policemen at the scene on the fateful day. The legal action has been unfolding for well over a year and has received no mainstream news attention at all outside Ukraine. Katchanovski drew heavily on witness testimony and video evidence that has emerged over the course of the trial in his suppressed paper. For example, 51 protesters wounded during the incident testified at the trial that they were shot by snipers from Maidan-controlled buildings, and/or witnessed snipers there. Many spoke of snipers in buildings controlled by Maidan protesters shooting at police. This is consistent with other evidence collected by Katchanovski, such as 14 separate videos of snipers in protester-controlled buildings, 10 of which clearly feature far-right gunmen in the Hotel Ukraina aiming at crowds below.

In all, 300 witnesses have told much the same story. Synchronized videos show that the specific time and direction of shots fired by the police not only didn’t coincide with the killings of specific Maidan protesters, but that authorities aimed at walls, trees, lampposts, and even the ground, simply to disperse crowds. Among those targeted by apparently Maidan-aligned snipers were journalists at Germany’s ARD. They weren’t the only Western news station in town at the time – so too were Belgian reporters, who not only filmed Maidan protesters screaming towards Hotel Ukraina for snipers not to shoot them, but also participants being actively lured to the killing zone. This incendiary footage was never broadcast.

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Very few people in Ukraine could call for this. But Melnik is the person who “..called German Chancellor Olaf Scholz an “offended liver sausage” and told Elon Musk to “f**k off”..”

Kiev’s Sponsors Should Hold ‘Discreet’ Talks With Moscow – Ukraine Envoy (RT)

Kiev’s foreign backers should contact Russia behind the scenes to find out its conditions for peace with Ukraine, former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnik, who now represents the country in Brazil, has said. In an interview with the German newspaper Tagesspiegel, Melnik was asked to comment on a poll which revealed that, given the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive last year and gains by Russian forces in recent months, 64% of Germans now believe that Kiev has lost the conflict with Moscow. The diplomat called the results of the survey “bitter” and acknowledged that “our partners have the right to say: ‘okay, we tried, we helped, but now it doesn’t work anymore.’” However, he insisted that Ukraine’s defeat would “be a threat to Germany’s security.”

According to Melnik, Berlin must now focus on what else it can do to help Kiev, including supplying “Taurus [missiles], fighter jets, more anti-aircraft defenses and ammunition.” The ambassador suggested that considering how things stand at the moment, “it would at least be wise if our allies could discreetly contact Moscow to find out whether there’s real willingness to compromise. Under what conditions and guarantees, for example, would the Russians be ready to withdraw from the occupied territories.” “It’s not about lazy compromises or restoring a false calm on the global stage, but about leaving no stone unturned,” he said, adding that “conducting exploratory talks doesn’t mean giving up one’s interests.” At the same time, Melnik claimed “the Russians have done everything they can to destroy trust.

From Ukraine’s point of view, it is impossible to forge a deal.” “Nevertheless, our partners, including in the Global South, should use their diplomacy to end the war this year,” he stressed. Melnik was removed from the post of Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany in summer 2022 after a series of scandals. Notably, he called German Chancellor Olaf Scholz an “offended liver sausage” and told Elon Musk to “f**k off” on social media. “I might’ve been able to do my job less passionately from time to time so as not to offend some people,” he acknowledged. The diplomat explained that his harsh tone was justified by the need to put pressure on the government in Berlin to provide more aid to Ukraine in the first month of the conflict with Russia.

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“..with a negative effect on the US balance of trade, hence on US inflation and economic growth, all of which could increase unemployment, poverty and fiscal deficits in the United States.”

How Russia Could Respond to West’s Potential Frozen Asset Seizure (Sp.)

A group of international law experts and practitioners from Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US are seeking to bolster the legal case for seizing frozen Russian Central Bank assets, Bloomberg news agency has reported. In a letter obtained by Bloomberg, the experts argue that such actions are allegedly allowed under international law, citing the ongoing Ukraine conflict as a pretext. The letter, however, did not elaborate on what legal mechanism (if any) these experts could use for possible a seizure. Shortly after the start of Russia’s special military operation, Western countries slapped comprehensive sanctions on Russia, including the freezing of about €260 billion ($280 billion) in securities and cash, with more than two-thirds of the sum immobilized in the EU.

“I do not think that it is possible on legal grounds to confiscate frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank, even though these assets are held in some Western countries such as the US, the UK, Germany or France,” Sergio Rossi, professor of macroeconomics and monetary economics at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, told Sputnik. Touching upon potential ramifications, he suggested that speculation about the possibility of confiscating the assets on a legal basis “could induce a number of European or US stakeholders to seize these assets held in their own countries in order to give them to Ukraine, so as to reduce the expenditures of their own governments in support of Ukraine.” This may, in turn, “give rise to some reputational risks at international level, since these countries might be considered less trustworthy in managing foreign financial capital, which is thereby subject to confiscation in a not-too-distant future, particularly in view of the existing huge geopolitical tensions, notably between China and the United States, in the Middle East or in the Red Sea,” according to Rossi.

When asked what countermeasures one should expect from Moscow if the US and the EU take action in this regard, the pundit suggested that the Russian government could sell “a relevant share of its Western assets, particularly US and European bonds and equities.” Russia then “could invest this capital in a number of economic activities across the so-called ‘Global South’ countries, particularly in the BRICS+, namely, Brazil, India, China, South Africa, and some other countries whose economy is emerging in the currently multi-polar globalization,” per the expert. Similarly, he did not rule out that Russia could sell “huge amounts of US dollars across the foreign exchange market, thereby inducing a relevant depreciation of the greenback, with a negative effect on the US balance of trade, hence on US inflation and economic growth, all of which could increase unemployment, poverty and fiscal deficits in the United States.” He also indicated that others may follow the Russian move, “thereby impacting on Western economies negatively, in a period when both the US and the EU already have their own economic and social problems to address properly and for the common good,” Rossi concluded.

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All that to get the NATO job.

Dutch PM Has No Right to Sign 10-Year Ukraine Security Agreement – Musk (Sp.)

US entrepreneur Elon Musk said outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte does not have the legal authority to sign a security treaty with Ukraine for ten years. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the statement in response to a post by political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek on social network X regarding the Netherlands’ ten-year military assistance agreement with Ukraine. Vlaardingerbroek said “the opinion of the Dutch People” had not been asked. “Doesn’t seem like he [Rutte] has the legal authority to do this,” Musk wrote in response. The Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that the Netherlands would sign a security agreement with Ukraine for the next 10 years. It said the deal means the Netherlands will help Ukraine defend itself and achieve further integration into the EU and NATO.

Ukraine earlier signed similar agreements with the UK, France, Germany and Denmark. Reports also said a similar document could be signed with Italy in the near future. Russia has been conducting a special military operation in Ukraine since February 24, 2022. President Vladimir Putin has said the operation aims to “protect people subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” According to the president, the ultimate goal of the operation is to liberate Donbass and create conditions that guarantee Russia’s security. Russia earlier sent a note to NATO because of arms supplies to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said any cargo that contains weapons for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia.

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“..In a sort of reverse Genesis, these would-be deities seek to save the earth from humanity..”

The Elites Versus The Rest Of Us (Utter)

Far too many unelected, bureaucratic pencil-pushers in Washington and Brussels have been granted nearly complete control over those they are supposedly to serve, due to the cravenness of their elected “bosses.” These duplicitous diplomats and sanctimonious “servants” sneer self-righteously at those who they derisively say cling to their God and their guns, as they arouse themselves by marinating in their own supposed superiority. The West and its signature values of limited representative government, respect for the individual, free will, free markets, discipline, work ethic, and reasoned faith led the world out of the Dark Ages. Bizarrely and remarkably, the truth of the matter is that elites in the Western media, government, entertainment, and academia are now revolting against the same values that changed the world so much for the better. Progressive?

In America, the Biden administration is putting the kibosh on gas stoves and, now, all new liquid natural gas export approvals, ostensibly to fight climate change — but, some believe, more likely just to piss off political opponents. Mindbogglingly, various Western governments are essentially declaring war on farmers, or at least farming, again purportedly to combat global warming. So what will 8 billion people eat? The elites say, “Let them eat bugs!” Indeed, you will eat ze bugs…and be happy! The globalists at the WEF have taken it upon themselves to plan our subjugation. In a sort of reverse Genesis, these would-be deities seek to save the earth from humanity. At the 2024 Forum, the global aristocracy vowed to ramp up censorship of dissenting opinion.

If they can successfully implement broad-based censorship of those with whom they disagree, there is no hope for the rest of us to throw off our shackles. Period. That is why the American Founders wrote — and enshrined — the First Amendment to the Constitution. The elites believe they know what’s best for everyone else, and the planet at large. But in reality, they are far more concerned with what’s best for them — and their image as virtue-signaling champions of a supposedly utopian future. It is up to us to ensure that their assault on logic, morality, and sanity does not succeed — no matter the consequences.

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“Yemen’s fight for “our people” in Gaza is a matter of humanistic, moral, and religious solidarity – these are foundational tenets of the rising eastern “civilizational” powers..”

The Axis of Asymmetry Takes On The ‘Rules-Based Order’ (Pepe Escobar)

The Axis of Asymmetry is in full swing. These are the state and non-state actors employing asymmetrical moves on the global chessboard to sideline the US-led western rules-based order. And its vanguard is the Yemeni resistance movement Ansarallah. Ansarallah is absolutely relentless. They have downed a $30 million MQ-9 Reaper drone with just a $10k indigenous missile. They are the first in the Global South ever to use anti-ship ballistic missiles against Israel-bound and/or -protecting commercial and US Navy ships. For all practical purposes, Ansarallah is at war with no less than the US Navy. Ansarallah has captured one of the US Navy’s ultra-sophisticated autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), the $1.3 million Remus 600, a torpedo-shaped underwater drone able to carry a massive payload of sensors. Next stop: reverse engineering in Iran? The Global South eagerly awaits, ready to pay in currencies bypassing the US dollar.

All of the above – a maritime 21st-century remix of the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War – spells out that the Hegemon may not even qualify as a paper tiger, but rather as a paper leech. Into the Big Picture – linked to the relentless ongoing genocide perpetrated by Israel in Gaza – steps a true leader of the Global South, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula spoke in the name of Brazil, Latin America, Africa, BRICS 10, and the overwhelming majority of the Global South when he cut to the chase and defined the Gaza tragedy for what it is: a genocide. No wonder the Zionist tentacles across the Global North – plus its Global South vassals – went bonkers. The genocidals in Tel Aviv declared Lula as persona non grata in Israel. Yet Lula did not assassinate 29,000+ Palestinians – the overwhelming majority of whom were women and children. History will be unforgiving: it’s the genocidals that will eventually be judged as personae non grata to all of humanity.

What Lula said represented BRICS 10 in action: this was obviously cleared before with Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and, of course, the African Union. Lula spoke in Addis Ababa, and Ethiopia is now a BRICS 10 member. The Brazilian president was extremely smart in timing his Gaza fact-check to be on the table during the G20 meeting of Foreign Ministers in Rio. Way beyond BRICS 10, what’s happening in Gaza is a consensus among the non-Western G20 partners – who are actually a majority. No one, though, should expect any serious follow-up inside a divided G20. The heart of the matter remains in the facts on the ground. Yemen’s fight for “our people” in Gaza is a matter of humanistic, moral, and religious solidarity – these are foundational tenets of the rising eastern “civilizational” powers, both domestically and in international affairs. This convergence of principles has now created a direct link – extrapolating to the moral and spiritual spheres – between the Axis of Resistance in West Asia and the Slavic Axis of Resistance in Donbass.

Extreme attention should be paid to the timescale. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) forces and Russia have spent two hard-fought years in Novorossiya just to arrive at the stage where it becomes clear – based on the battlefield and cumulative facts on the ground – that “negotiations” mean only the terms of Kiev’s surrender. In contrast, the job of the Axis of Resistance in West Asia has not even started. It’s fair to argue that its strength and full sovereign involvement have not been deployed yet (think Hezbollah and Iran). Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, with his proverbial subtlety, has hinted there’s, in fact, nothing to negotiate on Palestine. And if there would be a return to any borders, these would be the 1948 borders. The Axis of Resistance understands that the whole Zionist Project is unlawful and immoral. But the question remains how to throw it, in practice, into the dustbin of History?

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“The US failed in its goal to isolate and divide Russia but did succeed in its unstated goal of deindustrializing Europe..”

Ukraine, Gaza Conflicts Isolate US, Europe (Sp.)

The US failed in its goal to isolate and divide Russia but did succeed in its unstated goal of deindustrializing Europe, war correspondent and analyst Elijah Magnier told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Thursday. “The world is changing indeed, not only because of the war on Russia in Ukraine but also the war in Gaza […] the Development of the BRICS countries [and] the increase of the Shanghai Cooperation. All these indications lead to one reality, the beginning of the end of US hegemony.” “Fifty nations gathered to defeat Russia and they failed… Ukraine has been defeated and Europe is defeated,” Magnier added, noting later that Russia’s economy is doing much better than Europe’s. In addition, the conflict in Gaza has wiped out any remaining pretense of Western moral superiority.

“We are confronted [with] the war on Gaza, where none of [that] moral ground is translated into punishment of those who are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is where, today, the Americans are completely isolated, along with their European partners.” America can only survive through wars, Magnier argued, resulting in NATO threatening war with China when it cannot handle much weaker adversaries. “The US and UK are failing in front of non-state actors in the Red Sea [like] the Ansar Allah Houthis… So how can we understand that the Americans are ready to start a war against Russia and then against China?” Co-host Wilmer Leon brought up what he believes to be the “unstated” goal of the war in Ukraine, “the de-industrialization of Europe” which, unlike the stated goal of defeating Russia, “seems to be doing quite well.”

Magnier agreed and expressed shock that Germany has seemingly declined to react. “The Nord Stream II pipeline was blown up and the Germans refused to investigate the terrorist act,” noting that energy prices are rising throughout Europe, even though there are still some European countries buying Russian gas. “When energy is unaffordable… there is a migration of European industry to the United States where energy is cheaper.” “This is [how] the Americans succeeded in putting the Europeans, literally, on the floor, and this is something that Europeans understand, realize, [and] are fully aware of, but, surprisingly, they’re not really reacting and stopping all this useless war that is [leading] them nowhere but to the destruction of the European industry and economy.”

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I’ve posted the Mike Benz interview(s) before.

Censors Who Rigged The 2020 Election Are Now Stealing 2024 (Fed.)

If you didn’t see Tucker Carlson’s interview last week with Mike Benz, you need to take an hour and watch the whole thing. In a mind-bending narrative about the emergence of what Benz calls “military rule” through an online censorship industry in the U.S., he lays out in startling detail just how corrupt and tyrannical the U.S. defense and foreign policy establishment has become. Most importantly, Benz, the executive director of the Foundation For Freedom Online, explains how a constellation of federal agencies and publicly funded institutions, under the pretext of countering “misinformation,” rigged the 2020 election and are right now smothering the First Amendment and rigging the 2024 election through massive state-sponsored censorship online. The 2020 election and the Covid-19 pandemic, says Benz, were the “two most censored events in human history.” And 2024 is shaping up to be the same, thanks to the emergence of a federal censorship-industrial complex.

The problem here is profound, with deep historical roots that go back to the aftermath of World War II and the creation of the CIA along with a host of U.S.-funded international institutions. But for our purposes, it suffices to understand the problem in its two most recent stages: the period from 1991 to 2014, and from 2014 to the present. At the outset of internet privatization in 1991, free speech online was seen as an instrument of statecraft. At that time, says Benz, internet free speech was championed by the U.S. foreign policy and defense establishments as a way to support dissident groups around the world in their efforts to overthrow authoritarian or disfavored regimes. It allowed the U.S. to conduct what Benz calls “insta-regime change operations,” in service of the State Department’s foreign policy agenda. The plan worked really well. Among other things, free speech on the internet allowed U.S.-backed groups to assert control over state-run media in foreign countries, making it much easier to overthrow governments.

The high-water mark of this way of deploying free speech online, Benz explains, was the Arab Spring in 2011 and 2012, when governments the Obama administration considered problematic — Egypt, Tunisia, Libya — all began falling in so-called Facebook and Twitter revolutions. During that time, the State Department worked closely with these social media companies to keep them up and running in those countries, to be used as tools for protesters and dissident groups that were trying to circumvent state censorship. But all of that changed in 2014 after the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine toppled the government of Viktor Yanukovych and there was an unexpected pro-Russia counter-coup in Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine. Later that same year, says Benz, when the people of Crimea voted to be annexed into the Russian Federation, “that was the last straw for the concept of free speech on the internet in the eyes of NATO.”

Thereafter, NATO, the CIA, and the State Department, together with the intelligence agencies of our European allies, did an about-face on internet free speech. They began instead to engage in what amounted to hybrid or information warfare to censor what they saw as Russian propaganda online. These efforts quickly spread beyond Ukraine and Eastern Europe to include the censorship of populist groups on the right that were emerging across the EU as a response to the Syrian migrant crisis. By the time Brexit emerged in the summer of 2016, explains Benz, NATO and the foreign policy establishment felt there was a real crisis afoot; the problem was spreading west from Central and Eastern Europe, and it had to be stopped. If it wasn’t, then Brexit might trigger the collapse of the entire EU, along with NATO and the entire constellation of supranational institutions that relied on NATO. The entire postwar architecture of institutions might come crashing down, all because the hearts and minds of the people were being swayed. So went the thinking, anyway.

As far as the national security establishment was concerned, citizens were being swayed by Russian and far-right propaganda, and we can’t have that. Under these circumstances, free speech was the last thing that could be allowed to flourish online. Censorship became the order of the day. As Carlson put it, these NATO and EU leaders identified their new enemy as democracy within their own countries — their own voters, in other words: “They feared that their people, the citizens of their own countries, would get their way. And they went to war against that.” And then Trump was elected. From that moment — and indeed, as we know from the Russia-collusion hoax, even before Trump was elected in November 2016 — the U.S. foreign policy and defense establishments, which had done so much to censor and weaponize the internet overseas, turned their attention to American citizens.

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Chilling. Bone.

Julian Assange Faces ‘A Living Death Sentence’ In A Concrete Coffin Cell (DM)

Just days from now, Wikileaks boss Julian Assange could be standing shackled on a British airfield preparing to board a plane to the US. Once he disembarks and the sound-proofed door of a supermax prison cell closes behind him, the man who’s made himself America’s most wanted will – finally – be silenced. Lawyers fear the 52-year-old could be confined alone in a ‘concrete coffin’, a 12ft by 7ft chamber – with a window 3ft high but just four inches wide, designed to ensure that the inmate has no view other than sky or wall. Inside it, his bed, desk and stool will be made of poured concrete too. Under this regime, meals are passed through a slot in the door and inmates use a stainless steel sink, toilet and shower inside their cell, meaning they don’t even leave to eat or wash. Once every 24 hours, they are allowed out for an hour to exercise in a small, individually caged space, often sunken, like an empty swimming pool, to prevent them getting any sense of their bearings within the prison complex.

The CIA plan to kill Julian Assange in London

A 2012 class-action lawsuit brought against America’s Federal Bureau of Prisons revealed how a sentence in this sort of facility tests the sanity of the toughest inmates. They ‘interminably wail, scream and bang on the walls of their cells. Some mutilate their bodies with razors, shards of glass, sharpened chicken bones, writing utensils, and whatever other objects they can obtain. A number swallow razor blades, nail clippers, parts of radios and televisions, broken glass, and other dangerous objects’. Security is, of course paramount. Both prisoners and their cells, which are constantly monitored by CCTV, are searched frequently. Outside, 12ft high walls topped with razor wire, turreted guard towers, floodlights, motion censors and dog patrols mean the likelihood of escape is minute.

Most notorious of all is ADX Florence, an institution in Colorado nicknamed the Alcatraz of the Rockies, which was memorably described by one former warden as ‘a clean version of hell’. It was the possibility of Assange being entombed there, under what are known as special administrative measures (solitary confinement and the severest restrictions), that temporarily halted his extradition back in 2020. Now it’s back on and in its endgame following two climactic days of hearings in London’s High Court this week. Two judges, Dame Victoria Sharpe and Mr Justice Johnson, yesterday reserved their judgment pending further submissions from both sides. They are expected to rule on whether the extradition, originally agreed by former home secretary Priti Patel in 2022, can go ahead, or whether Assange has the right to another appeal, some time next month.

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Elephant Hat

 

 

Henry

 

 

Victims

 

 

 

 

Garra rufa

 

 

Gray whale

 

 

Bathtubs

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 162024
 


J.J. Grandville ‘A Comet’s Journey’, Illustration from ‘Un Autre Monde’ 1844

 

Prosecutors Reportedly Met with Biden Admin Before 3 Trump Indictments (BB)
Judge Denies Trump Motion To Dismiss Stormy Daniels ‘Hush Money’ Case (ZH)
Obama CIA Colluded with Foreign Powers in Massive Spy Op Against Trump (Miles)
US Intel Asked Foreign Countries to Surveil Trump Associates (Turley)
US Intel Fabricated Claim Putin Preferred Trump Over Clinton in 2016 (Sp.)
Will Bobulinski’s Testimony End Joe Biden’s 2024 Presidential Bid? (Sp.)
A Kamala Harris Presidency Would Be The Death Of The Democrats (Bridge)
Trump Could Force Ukraine To Make Peace – Bloomberg (RT)
Texas Should Be Renamed ‘Ukraine’ – Rep. Chip Roy (RT)
Kremlin Responds To Rumors Of Russian Space Nukes (RT)
Epstein Victims Sue FBI (RT)
Over a Million Palestinians to be Forced Into Egypt at Gunpoint (Mike Whitney)
Soros Could Take Control Of Hundreds Of US Radio Stations (RT)
Europe ‘In For Very Rocky Times’ After Failed Sanctions on Russia (Miles)
Defusing the Derivatives Time Bomb (Ellen Brown)

 

 

 

 

Fani
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758242279196672503

Yeartie
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758162535197376793

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker radicalized


https://twitter.com/i/status/1758104468971769856

 

 

Mastery

 

 

 

 

The levels of collusion are out of this world. And still, “Stormy Daniels” is the only case left that still seems alive.

Prosecutors Reportedly Met with Biden Admin Before 3 Trump Indictments (BB)

Three separate prosecutors reportedly met with White House aides before indicting former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden’s political opponent. The reported meetings suggest a coordinated attack against Biden’s 2024 rival. If coordination occurred, it lends credence to Trump’s belief that the indictments are election interference. The timing of the indictments are peculiar. After Trump announced a reelection bid against Biden, four indictments hit Trump in four separate jurisdictions, each following revelations about the Biden family business. In three cases, prosecutors reportedly met with the Biden administration before indicting Trump:
Alvin Bragg: New York – “Stormy Daniels” Case (state)
Jack Smith: Miami – “Documents” Case (federal)
Fani Willis: Fulton County, Georgia (state)

First Case: “Stormy Daniels”
The first indictment occurred on April 4, 2023, the same day that former Biden aide Kathy Chung testified about Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, contradicting Biden’s version of events. On March 17, 2023, Bragg asked for a meeting with federal law enforcement ahead of the Trump indictment Trump, a court source told Fox News. A year earlier, Bragg’s office hired a former senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official Matthew Colangelo, who spent years targeting Trump at the Justice Department. He also attacked Trump in his role in the New York Attorney General’s office. “Bragg has been very discredited by the indictment because the people that read it, even Democrats—they’re saying this is not an indictment,” Trump exclusively told Breitbart News after the indictment: Some are saying this is unconstitutional because there’s no crime. He’s been absolutely discredited. It’s a shame. They’re willing to destroy our country. This is all run by the White House, by the way, just in case you have any questions. In fact, they put a man from the White House into one of the top White House/DOJ officials is right there—Matthew Colangelo. He’s the one that’s leading it. He was sitting in the front row in the court during the whole thing. He was in the front row. This is all done by the White House because they don’t want to run against us.

Second Case: “Documents”
Smith filed the second indictment on June 8, 2023, the same day an FBI 10-23 form surfaced alleging Joe Biden was bribed $5 million. Later in June, Smith filed a superseding indictment in the case the day after Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal in Delaware fell apart. Months prior, in March, a member of Biden’s counsel’s office met with a top member of Smith’s team, just nine weeks before he indicted Trump in the classified document case, Breitbart News reported. The meeting “raises obvious concerns about visits to the White House after [Bratt] began his work with the special counsel,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told the Post. “There is no reason why the Justice Department should not be able to confirm whether this meeting was related to the ongoing investigation or concerns some other matter.” Trump slammed the indictment as election interference. Biden does not want to “run” against him, Trump exclusively told Breitbart News in July. “They didn’t want to run against me. That’s why they did it,” he said. “They did this so I wouldn’t get the nomination… They don’t want to run against me, that’s why they did it.”

Third Case: Georgia Case
Willis filed the third indictment against Trump on August 14, 2023. The official court website of Fulton County, Georgia, published what appeared to be an indictment against Trump before deleting it. Months before the indictment, Willis’ top county prosecutor met twice with Biden’s White House counsel on May 23 and November 18, 2022, a year before Trump’s August indictment, Breitbart News reported. Willis’ prosecutor reportedly charged Fulton County taxpayers $2,000 for each meeting, billing $250 an hour for eight hours. Neither Willis nor the prosecutor dispute the allegations, but a spokesperson for Willis’s office told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution she would later respond in court filings. “[T]he district attorney was totally compromised. The case has to be dropped,” Trump told reporters in Washington, DC. “They say she’s in far more criminal liability than any of the people she’s looking at.” Once again, the timing of the indictment was suspect. Willis indicted Trump on the same day former FBI supervisory special agent confirmed Biden’s 2020 transition team was tipped off about its plan to interview Hunter Biden.

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“He has since been indicted in Florida, Georgia, and Washington D.C. – which has only propelled him to new heights in the polls.”

Judge Denies Trump Motion To Dismiss Stormy Daniels ‘Hush Money’ Case (ZH)

The judge in former President Donald Trump’s New York hush-money trial says the case will go forward as scheduled, with jury selection beginning on March 25. The decision by Judge Juan Manuel Merchan was made after consulting with the judge in Trump’s now-delayed federal election interference case in Washington DC. Trump was in attendance on Thursday for the hearing to determine whether Trump is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in an alleged scheme to conceal stories about alleged extramarital affairs which former porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal sprung on the billionaire during the 2016 election. Thursday marked Trump’s first return to the court in the New York criminal case since he became the first ex-president indicted in US history. He has since been indicted in Florida, Georgia, and Washington D.C. – which has only propelled him to new heights in the polls.

Sparks flew in the coutroom, as Trump’s attorneys blasted the decision to keep the March date – arguing that Trump will have to stand trial in New York while simultaneously attempting to seal the Republican nomination. “It is completely election interference to say ‘you are going to sit in this courtroom in Manhattan,” said defense attorney Todd Blanche. Merchan at one point told Blanche “Stop interrupting me.” In recent weeks, Merchan has taken steps to prepare for the trial – which would be the first for Trump of his several cases, AP reports. Over the past year, Trump has lashed out at Merchan as a “Trump-hating judge,” asked him to step down from the case and sought to move the case from state court to federal court, all to no avail. Merchan has acknowledged making several small donations to Democrats, including $15 to Trump’s rival Joe Biden, but said he’s certain of his “ability to be fair and impartial.”

Thursday’s proceeding is part of a busy, overlapping stretch of legal activity for the Republican presidential front-runner, who has increasingly made his court involvement part of his political campaign. The recent postponement of a March 4 trial date in Trump’s Washington, D.C. election interference case removed a major hurdle to starting the New York case on time. -AP. Trump has denied any of the alleged sexual encounters. At the time, Trump’s lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000, and arranged for the publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid to pay McDougal $150,000 in a practiced coined “catch-and-kill.” Trump’s company then paid Cohen $420,000 and marked the payments as legal expenses vs. reimbursements, according to prosecutors.

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Why the Five Eyes? “..the US was not able to spy on Trump legally [through] the intelligence community,” McAdams said. “So they asked their allies, ‘Hey, spy on someone and tell us what’s going on.’”

Obama CIA Colluded with Foreign Powers in Massive Spy Op Against Trump (Miles)

New reporting suggests the lengths the US deep state went to to undermine former US President Donald Trump. Since 2016, Democratic Party officials have accused former US President Donald Trump of illegally colluding with the Russian government as part of the discredited “Russiagate” narrative. Now, it appears such claims may represent a case of projection on the part of Trump’s critics. That’s the takeaway from a bombshell report by “Twitter Files” journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger this week that suggests that CIA officials under former US President Barack Obama worked through English-speaking intelligence partners to spy on Trump’s presidential campaign. The report alleges that the CIA under intelligence chief John Brennan worked with Five Eyes intelligence partners to circumvent legal restrictions against domestic spying by the agency. Five Eyes is an alliance of intelligence agencies in the United States, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Brennan’s CIA allegedly colluded with these foreign intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign. The spy agency also reportedly targeted prominent people associated with the campaign, operating from a list of 26 figures that intelligence assets could attempt to extract information from. Attorney Steve Gill and analyst Daniel McAdams joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program on Thursday to discuss the shocking revelations. “It’s now becoming clear that despite all the claims that Trump didn’t know what he was talking about when he said that his campaign operatives were being spied on by the federal government – they were,” noted Gill. “It is deplorable that we have a federal government that is spying on our citizens, not because of a legitimate national security interest, but because the deep state is trying to protect their interests rather than the interests of fair and free elections,” he added.

“You know, they’re targeting their political opponent. This is the stuff that you see in third-world countries and allegedly in Russia, and it is despicable that it’s not getting the backlash from the public and the media that it deserves.” Host Jamarl Thomas then cut to a clip of a 2020 appearance by Trump on the 60 Minutes television program. “The biggest scandal was when they spied on my campaign,” said Trump to reporter Leslie Stahl. “They spied on my campaign.” An argument then ensued between Trump and Stahl over whether the alleged spying actually took place. “He was right,” Thomas observed after playing the clip. “Leslie Stahl should be fired by 60 Minutes today,” said Gill.

“All these people that have collected their Emmys and their awards for their journalistic integrity and their successes, including those that denied that the Russia hoax was being pushed by Hillary Clinton… at the very least they should be turning in their awards as they exit their positions of power in the media.” Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, also commented on the bombshell report during the final hour of the program Thursday. “The revelations about the spying on the Trump campaign now that have come out thanks to Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger… [are] astonishing because it tells you that the US was not able to spy on Trump legally [through] the intelligence community,” McAdams said. “So they asked their allies, ‘Hey, spy on someone and tell us what’s going on.’”

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“Congress should be interested in whether the origins for the Russian investigation began with nudges from American intelligence in 2016 to the “Five Eyes.”

US Intel Asked Foreign Countries to Surveil Trump Associates (Turley)

There is a disturbing report published on Michael Shellenberger’s Public Substack detailing how the U.S. intelligence community called upon foreign governments to target associates of Donald Trump before the 2016 election. The request to the “Five Eyes” agencies (the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) appears to have come from Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan. According to Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag, foreign intelligence agencies were asked to conduct the surveillance, including “bumping” the associates — a term for making contact with or casually engaging a target to generate intelligence. These encounters may also have been used to generate intelligence reports used to support further intelligence efforts by the United States in the Russian investigation. The journalists reported that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters intelligence apparatus, or GCHQ, went ahead in contacting the Trump’s associates as early as March 2016.

Keep in mind that this was the same month that George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as an adviser. It was also when Papadopoulos met a London-based professor, Josef Mifsud, who Papadopoulos was led to believe had “substantial connections to Russian government officials.” On March 21, 2016, Trump identified Papadopoulos and Carter Page as members of his foreign policy team. If true, the question is the basis for such surveillance of U.S. citizens associated with the opposing political party and a presidential campaign. The role of Brennan is intriguing. Brennan was the one who briefed President Barack Obama on Hillary Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”

It was also Brennan who later declared during the Trump Administration that a press conference with Vladimir Putin was “nothing short of treason.” He later said that he did not mean real treason when he said it was nothing short of treason. Brennan also signed the infamous letter warning that the Hunter Biden laptop had all of the markings of Russian intelligence, a letter that he later admitted was “political.” Now these sources are claiming that agents from the Five Eyes “were making contacts and bumping Trump people going back to March 2016.” Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to probation in 2021 after admitting that he falsified evidence to renew a wiretap against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Shellenberger and Taibbi have a record of investigating in areas long avoided by other journalists, particularly in exposing the massive censorship system funded and coordinated by the government. There is much to learn about these allegations and their underlying support. If proven, it would appear that neither the Inspector General nor John Durham were given the full picture of the origins of the Russian investigation. Moreover, there are intriguing questions over a referenced binder that sources said contained much of this intelligence and analysis. That binder or binders allegedly disappeared from the CIA. Once again, this is still the early reporting and we need to have more confirmation on these facts. However, Congress should be interested in whether the origins for the Russian investigation began with nudges from American intelligence in 2016 to the “Five Eyes.”

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“..intelligence indicates that Russians viewed Clinton as manageable and likely to continue existing US policies, the report said..”

US Intel Fabricated Claim Putin Preferred Trump Over Clinton in 2016 (Sp.)

The US intelligence community fabricated claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election, journalists Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag reported on Thursday. An Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) published by the US Director of National Intelligence in January 2017 purported that Putin wanted Trump to win the election. However, the assessment’s authors fabricated the intelligence on the claim, the report said, citing sources close to a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia scandal. The findings of the HPSCI investigation are being blocked from release, according to the report. Evidence indicates that Putin actually preferred Clinton, the report said.

The House investigators found that US intelligence analysts had information about Russians calling Trump unreliable and unsteady, the report said. In contrast, intelligence indicates that Russians viewed Clinton as manageable and likely to continue existing US policies, the report said. Former CIA Director John Brennan led the attempt to frame Trump as Putin’s preferred candidate in the ICA, the report said. The HPSCI investigation determined that the intelligence community conducted the assessment for political purposes, the report said. On Wednesday, Putin said in an interview with Russian media that it would be better for Russia for current US President Joe Biden to remain in office because he is more predictable. Trump called Putin’s remarks a “great compliment” and said that Biden would give up everything to Russia.

Russia will work with any president elected by US citizens, Putin added. In the wake of the 2016 election campaign, former President Trump was investigated by federal agencies for possible ties between his aides and Russia. Both Trump and Russia denied allegations of collusion. A four-year investigation by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the allegations found no evidence of a criminal conspiracy. A subsequent investigation by US Special Counsel John Durham concluded that the FBI should have never launched the probe into the collusion allegations.

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“..why are authorities finally giving Bobulinski an audience only now?”

Will Bobulinski’s Testimony End Joe Biden’s 2024 Presidential Bid? (Sp.)

Former head of the Sinohawk company Tony Bobulinski testified behind closed doors before US lawmakers in the House impeachment inquiry on February 13. Commenting on the testimony, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told Just the News on Wednesday that Bobulinski had revealed that “Joe Biden knew [Tony] was going in business with Hunter and with [Joe’s brother] Jim Biden, and he knew that the business was selling the Biden brand.” In an explosive opening statement, Bobulinski alleged that Joe Biden could be probed in relation to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity statutes, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). “From publicly available information alone, it seems clear that the Biden family monetized Joe’s public offices for decades, just as the Clinton family seems to have done, albeit on a much smaller scale than the Clintons,” Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel told Sputnik.

“We also know from [Joe Biden’s] tax returns that he declared very low incomes for decades. Miraculously after he left the vice presidential mansion on January 20, 2017, his declared income soared. But the murky ventures that may have paid him millions of dollars have never accurately been explained. Like other corrupt, dynastic families in both political parties, the Bidens, until now, have never been forced to explain how they obtained their mansions and other assets, and whether they have paid all required income and other taxes on these cash flows.” Ortel drew attention to the fact that Bobulinski has been trying to make his case against the Biden family “business” for years; and yet over the same period, the FBI, Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service have refused to prosecute many Biden family members and associates for corruption, influence peddling, money-laundering and income tax evasion.

“The really damning questions here include why did government officials protect so many potential, high-level defendants and who has been involved in this decision-making process?” the Wall Street analyst asked. “As in my case in December 2018, when I tried to persuade the FBI to investigate Clinton Foundation crimes unsuccessfully, I think the real timing question is why are authorities finally giving Bobulinski an audience only now?” There are crucial questions concerning Bobulinski’s interaction with the Biden family and Chinese business tycoons which require answers, according to Jason Goodman, a US investigative journalist and founder of CrowdSource the Truth. “Bobulinski was in business with an individual who was addicted [Hunter Biden] to crack which is obviously illegal and dangerous,” Goodman told Sputnik. “Either he didn’t notice this, or he knew and didn’t think it was a concern. Either reflects poorly on his judgment.

Even without the crack, a reasonable person might have questions about getting into business with a bunch of Chinese nationals and the vice president’s moron son who clearly was doing exactly nothing for the business. It really is a very strange circumstance and hard to understand how a legitimate businessperson could find themselves in such a situation.” Charles Ortel also wonders “why [Bobulinski] agreed, initially, to get anywhere near the Biden family in these ‘ventures’. “Having stepped forward with his explosive allegations, Bobulinski runs the risk of being hunted by the Biden administration’s “justice machine”, according to Sputnik interlocutors. “One hopes Bobulinski is safe, but I believe another Biden accuser who deserves a fair hearing – Tara Reade – fled to Russia in fear of being attacked,” Ortel remarked. “Bobulinski will be repeatedly audited and harassed by the IRS. Also, given personal experience, his computer will be hacked by government operatives,” suggested retired certified public accountant Robert Bishop in an interview with Sputnik.

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“..Harris was polling at 1% when she dropped out of the presidential nominee race in 2019..”

A Kamala Harris Presidency Would Be The Death Of The Democrats (Bridge)

With President Joe Biden’s advanced age and cognitive decline taking central stage just months before the presidential election, Democrats need to discuss ‘the Kamala problem.’ As the US speeds towards the 2024 presidential election, the Democrats find themselves in a rather untenable position. Not only is the incumbent US President Joe Biden suffering visibly on the mental front – reminiscing aloud over meetings he’s never had with long-dead world leaders – but his second in command lacks the essential support of the Democratic base. While Biden’s approval rating sits in the basement at 39%, Vice President Kamala Harris has managed to outdo him with 37.5%. This should come as no surprise considering that Harris was polling at 1% when she dropped out of the presidential nominee race in 2019. How did she manage to alienate so many people within her own party?

Earlier in her career as California’s district attorney, Harris, the child of immigrants from Jamaica and India, had a reputation as a ‘top cop’ who worked against the interests of victims. She frequently failed, for example, to exercise her authority to investigate charges of misconduct and abuse by police and prosecutors. At the same time, she often kept people – many of them poor black people – behind bars even when there was ample evidence of wrongful convictions, while opposing legislation that would have demanded her office to investigate fatal police shootings. During the 2019 Democratic presidential debate, Representative Tulsi Gabbard called out Harris over her record. “She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations, and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard said. “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. And she fought to keep cash bail systems in place that impacts poor people in the worst possible way.”

Harris never denied the charges, only saying that she was responsible for “reforming California’s justice system.” More recently, Harris’ popularity has taken a hit because she has failed to show any real accomplishments in the past four years on the VP job. On the most important issue that Biden tasked Harris with, which was to investigate what was driving waves of illegal immigrants to America, she dropped the ball, neglecting to even visit the US-Mexico border. A former Biden administration senior official told Axios: “She’s been at best ineffective, and at worst sporadically engaged and not seeing [the border] was her responsibility. It’s an opportunity for her, and she didn’t fill the breach.” This is what happens when you elect a candidate based on their identity, not their competence – it’s nearly impossible to relieve them of their duties.

Should the Democratic Party take the decision to replace Harris, 59, at this particular juncture, the fallout would be fierce and swift. Anyone who dares criticize Harris, the first woman and first Black American to hold the office of vice president, will be accused of holding her to a higher standard than past (male, white) politicians. As far as Harris is concerned, she firmly believes that she can lead the nation should something untoward happen to Joe Biden. “I am ready to serve. There’s no question about that,” Harris told the Wall Street Journal in an interview last week, just days before the release of a damning report emphasizing her boss’ failing memory. The report, penned by Special Counsel Robert Hur after an investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, said Biden displayed “diminished faculties” in interviews and derided him as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”

The public relations fallout has become so critical for the White House that there are rumors of invoking the 25th Amendment, which outlines presidential succession. This empowers the vice president and cabinet to remove the president from office through a majority vote in the event it’s determined he or she is no longer fit to hold office. The amendment has never been invoked in US history, and it probably won’t be invoked now since the specter of a Harris presidency is even less attractive than sitting through a Biden speech. Whatever the case may be, Donald Trump will not miss an opportunity to throw a spotlight on Harris and her inglorious stint as vice president, nor should he, considering that chances are high that Biden won’t serve out his term through age 86. In other words, Trump would be reminding Americans that a vote for Joe Biden is essentially a vote for Kamala Harris. Such a strategy will likely attract many swing voters into the Trump camp.

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And peace is of course bad.

Trump Could Force Ukraine To Make Peace – Bloomberg (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner and ex-US leader Donald Trump is planning to pressure Ukraine to negotiate peace with Russia if he wins an expected rematch against incumbent Joe Biden for the White House, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources. Should Trump become president, he may also retract a number of defense commitments to some NATO allies, according to reports. People familiar with the matter said Trump advisers had talked about ways of bringing Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his Russian counterpart to the negotiating table shortly after the potential inauguration. One adviser, according to Bloomberg, suggested that Washington could push Kiev to engage with Moscow by threatening to cut massive military assistance, adding that Russia could be swayed by the threat of increasing that aid instead.

Bloomberg sources also stressed that Trump aides had not discussed the matter with Russian officials, as it would be illegal for private US entities to negotiate with foreign governments on behalf of the administration. Russian officials have repeatedly said they are open to talks with Ukraine, but noted that any dialogue would take place only after Zelensky cancels his decree banning negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow. The Ukrainian leader introduced the ban last autumn after four of Kiev’s former regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. Another facet of Trump’s presumed foreign policy appears to be a concept of “a two-tiered NATO alliance” in which a common defense clause would be applied only to those nations that had reached a certain defense-spending threshold, Bloomberg reported, adding that no final decision had been made on the matter.

Still, the agency noted that such an approach could “upend decades of US policy” while risking “fracturing” the defense alliance. During his term as president, Trump repeatedly pushed NATO countries to increase military spending to 2% of GDP, a threshold many have struggled to reach. As of July, only 11 NATO members had met or exceeded that level. Bloomberg’s report came after Trump claimed last week that, while in office, he had threatened not to defend those ‘delinquent’ NATO members that did not pay their fair share of defense spending if they were attacked by Russia. His remarks triggered condemnation both from the White House and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Moscow has repeatedly said it has no plans or interest in attacking the US-led military bloc.

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“I’ve never seen the nursing home known as the United States Senate work harder than when it comes to spending the American people’s money for foreign wars..”

Texas Should Be Renamed ‘Ukraine’ – Rep. Chip Roy (RT)

Republican congressman Chip Roy from Texas has slammed the US Senate for passing a $95 billion bill for Ukraine and Israel without including provisions for securing the southern border, calling the bill an “abomination.” The Democratic-led upper house passed the international security assistance package on Tuesday with a 70-29 vote after a group of Republican lawmakers broke ranks to back the measure – but it has yet to be approved by the House of Representatives. Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday, Roy proposed submitting a bill to rename the state of Texas as Ukraine, quipping that “then, maybe this administration and senators will work on securing the border of the United States.” “I’ve never seen the nursing home known as the United States Senate work harder than when it comes to spending the American people’s money for foreign wars,” the Republican lawmaker said.

Roy went on to call out GOP senators who supported the Senate bill, and who argued that much of the $60 billion for Ukraine would in fact support the US defense-industrial base and help American business. “Since when do we have economic development that is being driven by funding war overseas?” the congressman asked, insisting that “anybody that’s sane and sees what’s happening at our southern border would know that you cannot fund foreign wars, while our border is wide open and exposed to criminals and lawlessness and terrorists.” Roy stated that border security remains a priority for the American people as well as for Republicans in Congress, and vowed to block the Senate-approved bill when it gets to the House.

House speaker Mike Johnson has strongly opposed further funding for Ukraine unless it is tied to border security and tougher immigration laws. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has been urging Congress to speed up approval of the aid for Ukraine, arguing that stalling the funds plays into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin and increases the likelihood of a direct confrontation with Moscow in the future. Biden has claimed the Russia could attack a NATO state if it manages to defeat Ukraine, which would require Washington to intervene, in line with the bloc’s mutual defense guarantee. Moscow, in turn, has repeatedly denied having any intention to attack NATO – with Putin stressing that Russia has “no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily” in doing so, and would only engage in hostilities if attacked first.

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“It’s clear that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to push Congress to vote on a bill to approve funding [for Ukraine]. We’ll see what tricks the White House will use..”

Kremlin Responds To Rumors Of Russian Space Nukes (RT)

Western media reports claiming that Russia could place nuclear weapons in space are nothing more than a ploy by the White House to convince US lawmakers to approve further military aid to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. Citing sources, several US media outlets reported this week that American intelligence had obtained information on purported Russian plans to deploy a nuclear anti-satellite system in orbit, although the idea supposedly remains at the developmental stage. ABC News claimed that while the system would not be used to attack targets on Earth, US officials still consider it “very concerning and very sensitive.” Responding on Thursday, Peskov suggested that the administration of US President Joe Biden is using the issue to force a vote to approve Ukraine aid. Moscow, however, will wait and see what comes from an upcoming White House briefing on the topic, Peskov added.

“It’s clear that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to push Congress to vote on a bill to approve funding [for Ukraine]. We’ll see what tricks the White House will use,” he said. Nuclear weapons in space are banned under the Outer Space Treaty, which was opened for signature by the US, Soviet Union, and the UK in 1967, as Moscow and Washington sought to ease tensions during the Cold War. More than 100 countries have since joined the treaty. On Wednesday, Republican congressman Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, claimed to have shared information “concerning a serious national security threat” with US lawmakers, while urging Biden to declassify the relevant materials. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is scheduled to brief congressional leaders on security issues on Thursday.

When pressed on whether he would address Turner’s concerns, he declined to respond, noting he was “surprised” by the statement, given the upcoming meeting on the matter. His comments came after the New York Times suggested, citing sources, that Turner – whom it described as the administration’s ally on Ukraine aid – had pushed the nuclear issue into the spotlight, to “perhaps to create pressure” on lawmakers to approve $60 billion in supplemental funding for Kiev. The Biden administration has been urging Congress to approve more aid for Ukraine since the autumn. Its efforts have been met with opposition from Republicans, who have demanded that the White House do more to improve security on the southern US border in return.

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“..Wray promised to conduct an internal investigation to “figure out if there is more information we can provide.”

Epstein Victims Sue FBI (RT)

A dozen victims of Jeffrey Epstein have sued the FBI, alleging that the agency failed to properly investigate the notorious sex offender. They claim that the FBI sat on reports about Epstein’s activities for two decades, allowing the victims to be “trafficked, abused, raped, tortured and threatened.” The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in New York on Wednesday by 12 women, all of whom are referred to in the document as anonymous Jane Does. “For over two decades, the Federal Bureau of Investigation permitted Jeffrey Epstein to sex traffic and sexually abuse scores of children and young women by failing to do the job the American people expected of it,” the complaint alleges. “As a result of the continued failures of the FBI, Jane Does 1-12 bring this lawsuit to get to the bottom – once and for all – of the FBI’s role in Epstein’s criminal sex trafficking ring.”

According to the lawsuit, the FBI began receiving tips, reports, and complaints about Epstein’s alleged trafficking and abuse of minors in 1996, but failed to open a case or share this information with other law enforcement agencies. The FBI eventually opened a case in 2006, two years before Epstein pleaded guilty to a child prostitution charge in Florida. A controversial plea deal saw Epstein register as a sex offender and serve 13 months on supervised release in lieu of a possible life sentence. Despite the fact that he had been convicted for one offense and dodged a litany of other sex-trafficking charges, the FBI continued to ignore tips that flowed in over the next decade, the lawsuit claims. “As a direct and proximate cause of the FBI’s negligence, plaintiffs would not have been continued to be sex trafficked, abused, raped, tortured and threatened,” the complaint said. Epstein was eventually arrested in 2019 and charged with the trafficking of dozens of minors. He died awaiting trial in a Manhattan jail cell a month later, with his death officially ruled a suicide.

Epstein’s girlfriend and “madam,” Ghislaine Maxwell, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for child sex trafficking in 2022. According to testimony from victims, Epstein and Maxwell recruited girls to perform sexual acts on themselves and their rich and powerful associates, and instructed these girls to recruit additional victims. Among the powerful men accused of abusing the girls was Britain’s Prince Andrew, who settled out of court with an accuser in 2022. The plaintiffs behind the latest lawsuit are seeking an unspecified amount in compensation and damages from the US government. The FBI has already been accused of negligence in its handling of the Epstein case. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in December, agency Director Christopher Wray was asked why the FBI didn’t do more to stop the notorious pedophile. Wray promised to conduct an internal investigation to “figure out if there is more information we can provide.”

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Egypt has started building refugee camps.

Over a Million Palestinians to be Forced Into Egypt at Gunpoint (Mike Whitney)

Here’s a blurb from Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion who said: “You are no doubt aware of the [Jewish National Fund’s] activity in this respect. Now a transfer of a completely different scope will have to be carried out. In many parts of the country new settlement will not be possible without transferring the Arab fellahin.” He concluded: “Jewish power [in Palestine], which grows steadily, will also increase our possibilities to carry out this transfer on a large scale.” (1948) This same line of reasoning has persisted through the decades although today’s Zionists tend to express themselves more brashly and with less restraint. Take, for example, popular conservative pundit Ben Shapiro who presented his views in an article titled “Transfer is Not a Dirty Word”. Here’s what he said:

“If you believe that the Jewish state has a right to exist, then you must allow Israel to transfer the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Israel proper. It’s an ugly solution, but it is the only solution. And it is far less ugly than the prospect of bloody conflict ad infinitum…. The Jews don’t realize that expelling a hostile population is a commonly used and generally effective way of preventing violent entanglements. There are no gas chambers here. It’s not genocide; it’s transfer…. It’s time to stop being squeamish. Jews are not Nazis. Transfer is not genocide. And anything else isn’t a solution”. Transfer is Not a Dirty Word, Narkive “Squeamish”? Shapiro thinks that anyone who recognizes the appalling moral horror of driving people off their land and forcing them into refugee camps is squeamish?

This is the essence of political Zionism and it dates back to the very beginning of the Jewish state. So, when critics claim that Netanyahu has assembled the “most right-wing government in Israel’s history”, don’t believe them. Netanyahu is no better or worse than his predecessors. The only Prime Minister who veered even slightly from this ‘iron law’ of Zionism, was Yitzhak Rabin who was (predictably) assassinated by an opponent of Oslo. What does that tell you?It tells you there was never going to be a “two-state” solution; it was a charade from the get-go. And (as Netanyahu intimated recently) Israeli leaders merely played along with the hoax in order to buy-time to prepare for the solution that is being imposed today. Have you ever wondered why so many Israelis support Netanyahu’s murderous rampage in Gaza?

(Hint) It’s not because Israeli Jews are homicidal maniacs. No. It’s because they know what he is doing. They’re not taken-in by the “Hamas” diversion, that is merely propaganda pablum for the West. They know that Netanyahu is implementing a plan to seize all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And, in doing so, he is achieving the territorial ambitions of his Zionist ancestors. So, even though the majority of Israelis despise Netanyahu and think he should be prosecuted for corruption, they are willing to look the other way while he does their bidding. What onlookers need to realize is that the current strategy is not new at all, in fact, it has a 75 year-long pedigree that aligns with the demographic objectives of the Zionist leadership. None of this of course has anything to do with Hamas which is merely the pretext for the eradication of the indigenous people. What we are seeing is the actualization of the Zionist dream, the modern version of Plan Dalet, the original roadmap for ethnic cleaning that was drawn up in 1948.

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“He was the largest donor of the 2022 US midterm election season, funneling $128 million to Democratic candidates and organizations..”

Soros Could Take Control Of Hundreds Of US Radio Stations (RT)

Liberal financier George Soros has bought a major stake in the US’ second-largest radio company and could gain “effective control” of more than 220 stations across the country, the New York Post reported on Wednesday. Soros Fund Management purchased around $400 million of debt owed by the Audacy media group during its bankruptcy process, the newspaper reported, citing court filings. The billionaire bought the debt at roughly 50 cents on the dollar from hedge fund HG Vora, the report continued, noting that once the deal is approved by a bankruptcy court, Soros will own about 40% of Audacy’s overall debt. While 40% is not a majority stake, a source told the New York Post that Soros could nevertheless gain “effective control of the media giant when it emerges from bankruptcy.”

Audacy owns 227 music, sports, and talk radio stations in 45 US states. The company also owns CBS Radio, which operates 11 news stations including San Francisco’s KCBS and New York’s WCBS. After years of declining revenue, Audacy filed for bankruptcy early last month with $1.9 billion in debt. Should the deal go ahead as reported, Audacy will be the latest addition to Soros’ growing media empire. Soros Fund Management joined a consortium of creditors to purchase Vice Media last summer, paying $350 million to acquire a former media juggernaut once valued at $5.7 billion. An “insider source” cited by the New York Post described the Audacy deal as “scary,” saying he believed that Soros intended to use his stake to influence public opinion ahead of this year’s presidential election.

A hedge fund manager who shot to infamy for crashing the British pound in 1992, Soros is among the wealthiest men on earth, with an estimated net worth of around $7 billion. That’s on top of the $32 billion he’s donated to a web of NGOs, charities and political campaigns through his Open Society Foundations. Soros is an advocate for mass immigration to Western countries, European federalism, and economic and political liberalism. He was the largest donor of the 2022 US midterm election season, funneling $128 million to Democratic candidates and organizations. As well as direct donations to candidates and activist groups, Soros reportedly gave $300,000 to a group of TikTok influencers who collaborated with the White House to promote President Joe Biden’s policies. The Open Society Foundations announced last year that Soros, who is 93 years old, would step down from the helm of the organization and hand control to his 38-year-old son, Alex.

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“..“no one is buying European or German products,” he claimed, contributing to “a really critically-wounded Europe.” “We are in for very rocky times..”

Europe ‘In For Very Rocky Times’ After Failed Sanctions on Russia (Miles)

Beijing reacted angrily Wednesday to reports that the European Union plans to target three Chinese companies as part of the bloc’s 13th round of sanctions against Russia. The move by the EU follows claims that Chinese and Indian businesses have helped Russia “circumvent” European sanctions by providing them with electronic components used in the manufacturing of drones and other military equipment. The EU has imposed sanctions on Russia since the intensification of the Donbass conflict in early 2022. Beijing blasted the EU restrictions as “illegal” and criticized the “long-arm jurisdiction” against Chinese companies. China has benefited in recent months as Western sanctions against Russian energy have hampered European competitiveness, forcing companies in Germany and other EU nations to raise prices as they rely on more expensive American liquified natural gas.

Seen in this light, the EU’s attempts to punish Chinese businesses may be viewed as a desperate attempt to hobble the competition as Europe increasingly faces economic crisis and deindustrialization. Economist Richard Wolff joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program on Wednesday to discuss the grim economic outlook for the continent. “Europe, which has been kind of a dominant player in the whole world for a couple of thousand of years, is in what I believe to be – and I’m far from the only one – a crisis so profound it may be what we look back on and call the terminal crisis, the last one, because it literally cannot survive,” Wolff speculated. “On the one hand, it is being outcompeted by the United States, which has dominated it for the last 75 years anyway,” he noted. “But now the new player in the world economy, the People’s Republic of China and its allies, known generally as the BRICS, competing and challenging Europe, from the other side of the planet, if you like, means that Europe is caught between them.”

Wolff claimed the cultural, historical, and linguistic differences between EU countries have undermined the continent’s attempts to unify in recent decades. Now, Europe is a “junior partner” Wolff claimed, caught between the US-led G7 economic bloc and the China-led BRICS countries. While Europe previously benefited from its relationship with Russia in the form of cheap natural gas, Russia has now turned towards China and the other nations of the BRICS bloc after being “betrayed by the rest of Europe.” If the solidifying of new alliances has economically harmed Europe, it has benefitted Russia, Wolff claimed, which has been able to sell its oil and gas to India and China. “The Russian ruble is in fine shape. The Russian economy is growing faster than last year, [faster] than the United States is and is in no way falling apart,” the economist insisted. Meanwhile “no one is buying European or German products,” he claimed, contributing to “a really critically-wounded Europe.” “We are in for very rocky times,” Wolff warned ominously.

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“.. in the event of the bankruptcy of a major financial institution, derivative claimants are put first in line to grab the assets — not just the deposits of customers but their stocks and bonds..”

Defusing the Derivatives Time Bomb (Ellen Brown)

This is a sequel to a Jan. 15 article titled “Casino Capitalism and the Derivatives Market: Time for Another ‘Lehman Moment’?”, discussing the threat of a 2024 “black swan” event that could pop the derivatives bubble. That bubble is now over ten times the GDP of the world and is so interconnected and fragile that an unanticipated crisis could trigger the collapse not just of the bubble but of the economy. To avoid that result, in the event of the bankruptcy of a major financial institution, derivative claimants are put first in line to grab the assets — not just the deposits of customers but their stocks and bonds. This is made possible by the Uniform Commercial Code, under which all assets held by brokers, banks and “central clearing parties” have been “dematerialized” into fungible pools and are held in “street name.”

This article will consider several proposed alternatives for diffusing what Warren Buffett called a time bomb waiting to go off. That sort of bomb just detonated in the Chinese stock market, contributing to its fall; and the result could be much worse in the U.S., where the stock market plays a much larger role in the economy. A Jan.30 article on Bloomberg News notes that “Chinese stocks’ brutal start to the year is being at least partly blamed on the impact of a relatively new financial derivative known as a snowball. The products are tied to indexes, and a key feature is that when the gauges fall below built-in levels, brokerages will sell their related futures positions.” Further details are in a Jan. 23rd article titled “’Snowball’ Derivatives Feed China’s Stock Market Avalanche.” It states, “China’s plunging stock market is leading to losses on billions of dollars worth of derivatives linked to the country’s equity indexes, fuelling further selling as retail investors offload their positions…. Snowball products are similar to the index-linked products sold in the 2008 financial crisis, with investors betting that U.S. equities would not fall more than 25% or 30%,” which they did.

The Chinese stock market is much younger and smaller than that in the U.S., with a much smaller role in the economy. Thus China’s economy remains relatively protected from disruptive ups and downs in the stock market. Not so in the U.S., where speculating in the derivatives casino brought down international insurer AIG and investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, triggering the global financial crisis of 2008-09. AIG had to be bailed out by the taxpayers to prevent collapse of the too-big-to-fail derivative banks, and Lehman Brothers went through a messy bankruptcy that took years to resolve. In a December 2010 article on Seeking Alpha titled “Derivatives: The Big Banks’ Quadrillion-Dollar Financial Casino,” attorney Michael Snyder wrote, “derivatives were at the heart of the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, and whenever the next financial crisis happens, derivatives will undoubtedly play a huge role once again…. Today, the world financial system has been turned into a giant casino where bets are made on just about anything you can possibly imagine, and the major Wall Street banks make a ton of money from it. The system … is totally dominated by the big international banks.”

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Ron Paul Assange

 

 

 

 

Baby rhino

 

 

Bear and Moose

 

 

 

 

Lion turtle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758108922764804147

 

 

Dinosaur
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758103418093064324

 

 

India and Pakistan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758122937905820057

 

 

Bach

 

 

Legend

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 132024
 
 February 13, 2024  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  79 Responses »


Giorgione The Tempest1508

 

I Am Ready To Lead America – Kamala Harris (RT)
What is the Democrats’ Playbook? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Too Old For The Court, But Not For The White House (Tony Cox)
Over 80% of US Citizens Deem Biden Too Old for Another Presidential Term (Sp.)
‘Ground is Shifting Under Biden’s Feet’ After Hur Report (Sp.)
Trump Asks Supreme Court To Intervene In Immunity Appeal (ZH)
Ukraine Aid Bill Is A Trump Impeachment ‘Time Bomb’ – US Senator (RT)
Western Diplomacy ‘Primitive’ – Moscow (RT)
Tucker Carlson Reviews Putin Interview And Reveals What ‘Radicalized’ Him (RT)
Putin Wants To End Ukraine Conflict – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Putin and Trump Seen as ‘Threat’ by Davos Globalists (Sp.)
“Vladimir Putin Will Not Lose This War” (ZH)
Fani Willis Could Be Disqualified, Judge Says (ET)
Israel’s Ever-widening War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Descent into Madness: Dostoevsky and the End of the West (Boyd)
The Crisis at The New York Times (Patrick Lawrence)

 

 

 

 

KJP

 

 

 

 

Campaign ad wars
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756754032108900694

 

 

Musk

 

 

 

 

Ritter Larry

 

 

 

 

Bring it on!

I Am Ready To Lead America – Kamala Harris (RT)

Vice President Kamala Harris is ready to replace President Joe Biden if necessary, she told the Wall Street Journal, amid growing concerns about his advanced age and apparent memory problems. The remarks by Harris were first reported by the WSJ on Monday, a week after the VP had made them to the daily during a flight on Air Force Two. Harris was asked whether concerns over Biden’s memory meant she must convince the public she was ready to serve. “I am ready to serve. There’s no question about that,” Harris stated boldly, brushing off the suggestion she actually needs to convince voters of anything. Anyone who sees her doing her job, “walks away fully aware of my capacity to lead,” she claimed.

Despite showing confidence about her leadership skills, Harris might still need to convince some voters, given her plummeting approval ratings. According to a fresh poll by NBC, the VP’s rating reached a new low, with a combined 53% of registered voters viewing her negatively. A vast majority of those holding such an opinion of her – some 42% of all the respondents interviewed during the poll – said they were actually “very negative” about the VP. At the same time, only a combined 28% of them held a positive view of Harris.

The remarks by Harris, despite being publicized only now, came ahead of a bombshell report compiled by US special counsel Robert Hur on Biden’s handling of classified documents, which only reinforced concerns over the president’s health. The Hur report described Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory” and noted that the president had exhibited “diminished faculties” in public. The assessment prompted strong denial from the US administration, with Biden staging an extraordinary press conference to assure the public his memory was just fine and to angrily deny any suggestions to the contrary. During the event, however, the president managed to erroneously call his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the leader of Mexico while discussing the situation in Gaza.

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“..As Kamala is not a viable candidate, she in turn would have to be moved aside. Her resignation would follow her choice of Hillary Clinton as her vice president..”

What is the Democrats’ Playbook? (Paul Craig Roberts)

I raised this question in a column or an interview as polls revealed declining public confidence even among Democrats that Biden was fit to serve a second term. I suggested that one possibility would be that a deal would be worked whereby Biden would be moved aside, Kamala would become President, choose Hillary as her Vice President and then resign, having been promised a cabinet or judicial appointment. This would place in the White House a candidate that Democrats and the presstitutes claim won the 2016 election before Putin allegedly stole the election for Trump by hacking Hillary’s email. Evidence that something of this sort might be in the works emerges from the way Biden’s Justice (sic) Department cleared Biden of charges of possession of classified documents more serious than those for which President Trump is being prosecuted.

Biden was vice president with no power to declassify documents. Moreover, unlike Trump’s documents, which were stored in a secured room in a house in which US Secret Agents were present, Biden’s were scattered about in various insecure locations, including in the trunk of his Corvette in a garage. Special Counsel Robert Hur cleared Biden from prosecution by finding that Biden was not mentally competent to stand trial. So how is Biden mentally competent to be President of the United States and to have the nuclear briefcase in his hands? This is the Democrats’ dilemma. If Biden is judged capable of continuing as President, Robert Hur’s report comes across as more double standards in which a Democrat president is cleared of charges while a Republican is prosecuted for the same offense. The Democrats might bank on the presstitutes obfuscating the matter, but even insouciant Americans are likely to notice.

The rest of the world will conclude that Putin was correct when he said he doubted the president was the one really in charge. As Kamala is not a viable candidate, she in turn would have to be moved aside. Her resignation would follow her choice of Hillary Clinton as her vice president. Under the 25th Amendment, when a vice president ascends to the presidency, the vacant office of vice president is filled by the president nominating a candidate, who is then confirmed by the House and Senate. As the Senate is under Democrat control, and as the House Republicans are filled with Rinos who would confirm Hillary, it is an easily done deal. Trump himself might prefer the rematch in order to demonstrate a second victory over Hillary, one that the Democrats and media whores can’t again assign to Putin. Anyhow, this is my take for now. I will stick with it unless counter-evidence emerges.

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“In a nutshell: It’s about who you are, not whether you broke the law..”

Too Old For The Court, But Not For The White House (Tony Cox)

A US prosecutor’s report rationalizing why President Joe Biden won’t face justice for his mishandling of classified documents contained an excuse that ought to trigger some major soul-searching about the state of America’s leadership and how it got there. It won’t. Instead, in a nation where gaslighting and thick-faced contempt take the place of serious political discussion, Americans are expected to accept that Biden shouldn’t be prosecuted partly because he’s a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” If that explanation – proffered in a report released on Thursday by US Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Hur – isn’t absurd enough, citizens are also told to accept that the same guy who’s too addled for a jury to convict him is perfectly competent to serve as president and commander-in-chief.

The whole episode says a lot about how unjust, corrupted and broken Washington has become. For starters it comes at the same time Biden’s DOJ is prosecuting his chief political rival, ex-President Donald Trump, for mishandling classified documents. For another, as in the case of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a prominent Democrat is being let off the hook for exposing state secrets despite investigators admitting that they found evidence of criminal conduct. This isn’t a minor violation of protocol, either. Hur found evidence that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed” classified materials from his two terms as vice president. As pictures included in Hur’s 345-page report showed, the documents were stashed in multiple locations, including cardboard boxes stacked in the garage of one of Biden’s homes. The special counsel also found that Biden’s conduct “presented serious risks to national security, given the vulnerability of sensitive information to loss or compromise to America’s adversaries.”

The mishandled documents contained information “implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods,” including White House deliberations on the US occupation of Afghanistan. Biden’s defenders argue that his case wasn’t as bad as Trump’s because unlike Bad Orange Man, the president cooperated with investigators and surrendered his documents when they were discovered. That’s both unmitigating and untrue. Being cooperative after committing a criminal offense doesn’t make one less guilty of the crime. Moreover, Hur found a recorded conversation with the ghostwriter of Biden’s memoirs in which the former VP said he had “just found all this classified stuff downstairs.” That was in 2017, five years before one of Biden’s lawyers reported the discovery of classified materials at his think-tank office in Washington.

Incidentally, Biden’s ghostwriter deleted some of his recordings after learning of the special counsel’s investigation, but unlike the resort employees who allegedly helped hide Trump’s documents, he won’t be prosecuted. Another key difference in the cases was that Trump retained documents from his time as president and therefore had the authority to declassify such materials. Biden had no such power as vice president at the time his state secrets were retained. On the other hand, some of Trump’s charges concern alleged obstruction of justice, which could apply even if he were exonerated for keeping sensitive documents. The more preposterous wrinkle in the case is Hur’s commentary about Biden’s mental state, as well as the White House’s reaction. During interviews with investigators, the president couldn’t even remember such details as when he served as VP and roughly when his son Beau died, the special counsel said. The recorded 2017 conversations with the ghostwriter were “painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.” Biden displayed “diminished faculties and faulty memory.”

At 81, Biden is already the oldest president in US history. “Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt,” Hur said. “It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him – by then a former president well into his 80s – of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.” In a nutshell: It’s about who you are, not whether you broke the law. Never mind that crimes were probably committed, and that national security was jeopardized, Biden’s DOJ concluded. The president is so scatterbrained and demonstrably old that jurors wouldn’t feel comfortable sending him to prison. But like the FBI’s then-director, James Comey, said in sparing Clinton prosecution in 2016, a criminal indictment wouldn’t be the “appropriate” remedy for this particular wrongdoing. Biden, who has been getting away with serious misconduct since he plagiarized his work as a college student nearly 60 years ago, will face no consequences.

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“..considered by 86% of Americans too old to serve another presidential term..”

Over 80% of US Citizens Deem Biden Too Old for Another Presidential Term (Sp.)

The incumbent 81-year-old US President, Joe Biden, is considered by 86% of Americans too old to serve another presidential term, a fresh ABC News/Ipsos poll showed. That includes 59% of the people polled who said that both Biden, 81, and the 77-year-old former US president, Donald Trump, are too old to be the head of state and 27% who said that it was exclusively Biden who is too old for the second term in the White House. As for Trump, 62% think that he is too old for the job. That includes 3% who think that only the Republican front-runner is too old. Only 11% of the respondents said neither of the presidents, Biden and Trump, was too old to go for another term. The poll was conducted from February 9-10 among 528 adult US citizens with a margin of sampling error of 4.5%. Biden is the oldest sitting US president. If he wins the election in 2024, he will be 82 when he takes office, and 86 when he completes his second term.

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“..the idea of calling on Kamala Harris to take over makes a great deal of sense because her poll ratings are abysmal..”

‘Ground is Shifting Under Biden’s Feet’ After Hur Report (Sp.)

Last week, special counsel Robert Hur released a bombshell report, declining to press charges against US President Joe Biden partially because his report said, the president would appear to the jury as an “elderly man with a poor memory” and therefore would have trouble convincing the jury of his intent. The report also noted that he forgot when his term as Vice President ended and started, and couldn’t remember what year his son died. Biden attempted to quell concerns about his age by calling a press conference addressing the report but proceeded to confuse Mexico and Egypt while speaking to reporters. While Democratic leaders and administration officials were quick to defend the President, the cracks have started to show. Independent journalist and author Dan Lazare told Sputnik’s The Final Countdown on Monday that the “Biden administration is in real trouble,” and that “the ground is shifting beneath Biden’s feet.”

On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris told a US media outlet she is “ready to serve” while slamming the report as “wrong” and “politically motivated.” Earlier in the week, former First Lady and 2016 democratic nominee Hillary Clinton admitted that Biden’s age is an issue. Finally, the New York Times editorial board released its opinion that Biden “needs to do more to show the public that he is capable of holding office until age 86” when his potential second term would end. It called on him to “hold regular news conferences” and said it looks like he is hiding “or worse, being hidden.” Lazare argued that is impossible for the Biden campaign. “Biden cannot go on that kind of tour,” he said. “He can’t sit down with Hannity or go on Fox News or do anything like that because he’ll only make things worse.[…] It’ll become completely clear that he doesn’t know what’s going on around him.”

Co-host Ted Rall asked how Republicans should tread the line between criticizing the president and being sensitive to people who have experienced dementia in their own families. “They can say, ‘look, that guy’s too old, he’s senile.’ and jump up and down […] [Or] is the best tactic to basically express sympathy and say, ‘look this can happen to any of us. We have sympathy for the president and his family […] but the needs of the country come first,’ and maybe they should call for Harris to take over knowing full well [that] politically she is unpopular.” That doesn’t sound like something former US President and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump would do, Lazare said, “But I think the idea of calling on Kamala Harris to take over makes a great deal of sense because her poll ratings are abysmal.” However, co-host Angie Wong, a Republican, argued that she “would love Biden to remain on the ticket in November. That’ll be fantastic for Donald Trump and [in down-ballot races].”

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No immunity, no US president as we’ve known them. It becomes a whole new job description.

Trump Asks Supreme Court To Intervene In Immunity Appeal (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Monday to step in and weigh in on his claim of presidential immunity after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals sided with special counsel Jack Smith – ruling that Trump is not immune from prosecution. The lower court held off on issuing the mandate until Monday in order to allow Trump’s legal team time to approach the Supreme Court. Trump is specifically asking the Supreme Court to pause the lower court’s ruling until he can formally appeal, which will further delay his trial in front of District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan. The trial was originally scheduled for March 4, however Chutkan vacated the date in early February amid Trump’s immunity defense, and noted that the court would “set a new schedule if and when the mandate is returned.” Chutkan’s decision also denied Trump’s bid to toss the case in December based on the immunity claim.

“Smith sought to keep the trial on schedule in December by asking the Supreme Court to take up the question before the appeals court had a chance to consider it, but the justices rejected his request. “President Trump’s claim that Presidents have absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for their official acts presents a novel, complex, and momentous question that warrants careful consideration on appeal,” the application states. “The panel opinion below, like the district court, concludes that Presidential immunity from prosecution for official acts does not exist at all. This is a stunning breach of precedent and historical norms.” -Daily Caller

In January, Trump’s legal team presented oral arguments to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which Trump attended. The Judge, Biden appointee Florence Pan, questioned whether presidential immunity extended to such examples as a president ordering SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival without facing criminal charges. “For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution,” the panel wrote in its Feb. 6 ruling. “Former President Trump lacked any lawful discretionary authority to defy federal criminal law and he is answerable in court for his conduct.” In short, to be continued…

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Booby-trapping the law.

Ukraine Aid Bill Is A Trump Impeachment ‘Time Bomb’ – US Senator (RT)

Republican Senator JD Vance has argued that a new bill proposing additional military aid for Kiev could spell another impeachment case against Donald Trump should he win reelection in November, calling the measure a “time bomb.” In a memo circulated on Monday, Vance noted that the latest Ukraine bill calls for funding which would expire “nearly a year into the possible second term of President Trump,” suggesting that Democrats could ultimately impeach him if he chose not to renew the aid. “If President Trump were to withdraw from or pause financial support for the war in Ukraine in order to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion… it would amount to the same fake violation of budget law from the first impeachment,” Vance wrote, adding that “Partisan Democrats would seize on the opportunity to impeach him once again.”

He went on to say that the aid bill “represents an attempt by the foreign policy blob/deep state to stop President Trump from pursuing his desired policy,” as the former president has repeatedly questioned American largesse to Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia. Democrats voted to impeach Trump in late 2019, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after he threatened to withhold US aid to Ukraine during a call with his counterpart Vladimir Zelensky. Part of a larger funding package worth more than $95 billion, the bill would devote $60 billion for Kiev, as well as additional aid for Israel and US allies in Asia. It has been subject to political deadlock for months. Trump himself has slammed the legislation, recently telling an audience in South Carolina that such foreign aid should be repaid to the US government.

“They want to give, like, almost $100 billion to a few countries, $100 billion. I said, ‘Why do we do this? If you do, you give them, not $100 billion, you give it to ‘em as a loan,’” he said. Following lengthy negotiations over the new military package in Washington, a final vote to pass the Senate’s version of the bill could come as soon as this week, according to multiple reports. Trump has said on multiple occasions that he would somehow resolve the two-year-old conflict “in one day” if he were to return to the White House. His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., suggested that “the only way” to persuade Zelensky to engage in talks with Russia was to “cut off the money” that’s being provided to Kiev by Washington.

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“Moscow’s representatives are not certain what caused this, but have simplified their messaging in response..”

Western Diplomacy ‘Primitive’ – Moscow (RT)

Russian diplomats perceive their Western counterparts’ approach to international affairs to be “quite primitive,” Moscow’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, has said. Moscow’s representatives are not certain what caused this, but have simplified their messaging in response, he added. Polyansky made remarks about the quality of the Western diplomatic corps in an interview with RIA Novosti published on Monday, based on his personal experience at the UN. He expressed concern about Anglophone speakers at the forum selectively ignoring the context of particular situations for their own benefit. ”They pick an arbitrary point in time and claim nothing happened before it. They try to blame a nation for its actions regardless of prior events or the general context,” he explained.

The diplomat cited the Ukraine conflict as an example. The US and its allies have been describing Moscow’s military action against Kiev as “unprovoked” and supposedly motivated by “imperial ambitions,” and have pressured other nations to frame it in the same way. As they learn more about the conflict, however, those parties realize how much the general context and Western actions since Ukraine gained its independence matter, he added. ”This trick does not always work, but it is a trend. I don’t know if it’s some deeper trend or just something typical for some people coming from [Western] schools of diplomacy,” Polyansky said. “Having a dialogue with them is challenging because they show certain superficiality, tunnel vision, and unwillingness to seek the core causes of conflicts. No solutions can be found without [such analysis].”

The office of the Russian envoy to the UN has been simplifying its addresses due to uncertainty over how their words are understood, he said. Russian diplomats used to quote foreign and Russian classics in speeches, but are no longer using this rhetorical device as much, Polyansky said. ”Times dictate things. Our partners may now be less well-read individuals, so occasionally we want to speak in plainer terms to make sure our signal comes through,” he explained.

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“..Hillary Clinton calling him a “useful idiot” for Russia, Carlson laughed it off. “She’s a child, I don’t listen to her,” he said. “How’s Libya doing?”

Tucker Carlson Reviews Putin Interview And Reveals What ‘Radicalized’ Him (RT)

Following his two-hour interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, US journalist Tucker Carlson opened up about his experience at the World Government Summit in Dubai. In an hour-long interview with TV presenter Emad Eldin Adeeb, Carlson addressed why the conversation with Putin did not touch on certain topics, how the US political establishment had reacted to it, and why Washington has failed to understand Moscow, among other things. According to Carlson, he had an off-the-record conversation with Putin after their recorded interview was over. He would not reveal what was discussed, however. Carlson did say that Putin seemed willing to negotiate with the West about both the end of the Ukraine conflict and a new balance of power in the world. Diplomacy is the art of compromise, and almost everyone “other than maybe the United States during the unipolar period” understands this, Carlson said.

But while Putin wants the conflict to end, his position will only harden the longer it goes on, he added. One of the major revelations in the interview for Carlson was that Russia had asked to join NATO – and while then-US President Bill Clinton seemed receptive, his aides pushed against the idea and it ultimately failed. Since the entire point of NATO was to keep the Soviet Union out of Western Europe, Carlson said in Dubai, “if the Russians ask to join the alliance, that would suggest you have solved the problem and you can move on to do something constructive with your life. But we refused.” “Go sit in the sauna for an hour and think about what that means,” he added. Politicians in the West aren’t setting themselves “achievable” goals, Carlson has argued. “I have heard personally US government officials say well we just have to return Crimea to Ukraine,” he said. “That’s not going to happen, short of a nuclear war. That’s insane, actually.”

Even bringing up this kind of idea “shows you are a child, you don’t understand the area at all, and you have no real sense of what’s possible,” the journalist concluded. According to Carlson, one of the biggest issues in the US and the West in general is the tendency to reduce everything to the 1938 Munich conference, at which Britain and France sought to “appease” Nazi Germany by giving it a portion of Czechoslovakia. “The American policymaker historical template is tiny – in fact there’s only one – and it’s a 2-year period in the late 1930s, and everything is based on that understanding of history and human nature. That’s insane,” Carlson said. Carlson pointed out that he’s 54 and grew up in an America that had nice, safe and beautiful cities, “and we no longer have them.”

It was “radicalizing” to see Moscow “cleaner, safer and prettier” than American cities, he said, or be reminded of that in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – while in the US, one can’t ride the subway in New York City because it’s dirty and unsafe. “That’s a voluntary choice,” he said. “You don’t have to have crime, actually.” Asked why he hadn’t raised certain topics with Putin, Carlson said he wanted to do the interview because he was interested in how the Russian leader saw the world – and not to inject himself into the discussion. Most journalists who interview leaders the US dislikes tend to make it about themselves, Carlson added, and since he only cared about the approval of his wife and their children, he didn’t need to virtue-signal. Asked to comment on former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton calling him a “useful idiot” for Russia, Carlson laughed it off. “She’s a child, I don’t listen to her,” he said. “How’s Libya doing?”

Tucker Moscow

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“Leaders of any country on the planet, other than maybe the United States during the unipolar period, are forced by the nature of their jobs to compromise. That’s what diplomacy is..”

Putin Wants To End Ukraine Conflict – Tucker Carlson (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to engage in diplomacy to end the fighting in Ukraine, but the longer it continues the less likely he will be to compromise, US journalist Tucker Carlson warned on Monday. Carlson spoke at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he flew after interviewing Putin in Moscow last week. The video of the discussion has been viewed hundreds of millions of times. “Putin wants to get out of this war. He’s not going to become more open to negotiation the longer this goes on,” Carlson said in response to a moderator’s question. The West needs to keep in mind that “Russia’s industrial capacity is a lot more profound than we thought it was,” and that Moscow is having a far easier time manufacturing weapons and ammunition than NATO countries that have been supplying Ukraine, the journalist continued.

There are competent people in US President Joe Biden’s administration, Carlson noted, but they lack perspective and see international relations through a very narrow lens in which every foreign leader is Adolf Hitler and every day is Munich 1938. As a result, Western governments have no real sense of what is possible or achievable, he claimed. “Leaders of any country on the planet, other than maybe the United States during the unipolar period, are forced by the nature of their jobs to compromise. That’s what diplomacy is,” Carlson told the crowd in Dubai. Putin practices diplomacy just like everyone else, but “his position is hardening,” he added.

Following Carlson’s two-hour interview with Putin, the Kremlin said that Russia has communicated its stance to the US quite clearly, but that Washington did not appear interested in talks. “The US authorities know our position very well, they are perfectly aware of all of Putin’s main points,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency on Saturday. However, the American leadership apparently lacks the “political will” for negotiations. “This is not an issue of knowledge, but an issue of desire. The desire to do something to get on to the track of negotiations. We have not yet seen such a desire or the political will for this [in the US],” Peskov noted.

Tucker Russia

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“..a world leader for a quarter century with the lack of gravitas — to put it politely of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and many others in both parties who are surface-level, donor-captured, soundbite specialists..”

Putin and Trump Seen as ‘Threat’ by Davos Globalists (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin has attracted over 190 million views on X (formerly Twitter) as of February 11. “I think it was fortunate that the interview occurred well before the heart of the primary season so that voters got a fair chance to see the interaction for themselves in a long format forum that was, fortunately, not interrupted by pesky commercials,” Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist, told Sputnik. “My guess is that getting on Putin’s calendar for such a long interview was a challenge, so I imagine it suited both parties to have this video out well in advance of the nominating convention for Democrats and of the general election. It would be great to have one or even more follow-ups in coming months,” he added.

“I also think the contrast between Putin’s measured and thoughtful perspectives, having been a world leader for a quarter century with the lack of gravitas — to put it politely of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and many others in both parties who are surface-level, donor-captured, soundbite specialists was stunning. This contrast was remarkable considering Biden’s post-interview meltdown before what remains of the ‘press’,” Ortel continued. The Wall Street analyst noted that judging from viewership statistics, the corporate — and political donor-controlled — media is destroying itself. He stressed that “no political interview has garnered nearly as much coverage as Putin’s recent sit down with Tucker,” adding that he expects “it will, in the end, change the thinking of most open minds.” Prior to the historic interview, US corporate media pundits and Democratic political figures urged Americans to ignore Carlson’s show.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton called Tucker a “useful idiot”, claiming that the US journalist “parrots Vladimir Putin’s pack of lies about Ukraine.. Clinton’s remarks before the interview echoed those of Soviet-era apparatchiks who said of Nobel Prize-winning novel Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak: “I haven’t read Pasternak, but I condemn him.” “Hillary Clinton’s star set long ago while Tucker Carlson is, today, one of the most followed and fair-minded voices on earth,” Ortel said, commenting on Clinton’s rant. “Certainly, the Clinton family has much to fear as 5 November 2024 looms.” The Wall Street analyst, who has carried out a private investigation into allegations of fraud by the Clinton Foundation over several years, noted that “there are serious unanswered questions over how much foreign government and oligarch money may have funded Hillary’s political campaigns in 2005-6, 2007-8, and 2015-16, including donations from Ukraine’s [oligarch] Victor Pinchuk and his wife.”

He added that there are also “reasonable concerns as in the case of the Bidens, that the Clinton family exploited their offices to enrich themselves for decades, illegally.” “Hillary Clinton will not be remembered well in history,” Ortel said. “She coasted into national politics, at first, in sympathy over the Lewinsky affair as she had no actual ties to my home state of New York. As Senator, she promoted foreign adventurism in Afghanistan and Iraq that clearly failed. Meanwhile her husband advanced a boldly crooked set of scam charities we have previously covered that bilked governments and other donors of billions of dollars, for which there has never been honest accounting.”

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“Musk echoed Johnson’s sentiment, saying “As you said, there’s no way Putin is going to lose. If he backs off, he will be assassinated..”

Really?

“Vladimir Putin Will Not Lose This War” (ZH)

During today’s Twitter Spaces, Elon Musk and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) discussed their opposition to the ongoing war in Ukraine. “We all have to understand that Vladimir Putin will not lose this war… Losing to Vladimir Putin is existential to Vladimir Putin. Russia has four times the population and a much larger industrial base,” said Johnson, adding “Russia can produce 4.5 million artillery shells per year. We’re not even up to 1 million per year. The average age of a Ukrainian soldier right now is 43 years old.” “If you’re worried about the people of Ukraine, you have to understand that probably 100,000 of their soldiers have been killed,” Johnson continued, adding “The only way this war ends is in a settlement, and every day that the war goes on, more Ukrainians and more Russian conscripts die, more civilians die, and more of Ukraine gets destroyed. Again, sending $60 billion as added fuel to the flames of a bloody stalemate makes no sense.”

Musk echoed Johnson’s sentiment, saying “As you said, there’s no way Putin is going to lose. If he backs off, he will be assassinated. And for those who want regime change in Russia, they should think about who is the person that could take out Putin?” He also defended his record – saying “My companies have probably done more to undermine Russia than anyone. Space X has taken away two-thirds of the Russian launch business. Starlink has overwhelmingly helped Ukraine.”

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“I think it’s clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced presenting a conflict or the appearance of one..”

Fani Willis Could Be Disqualified, Judge Says (ET)

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee confirmed on Feb. 12 that the hearing about misconduct claims against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade “must occur” on Feb. 15 and could lead to disqualification. Ms. Willis is presiding over the high-profile racketeering case that names former President Donald Trump and 14 others. “I think it’s clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced presenting a conflict or the appearance of one, and the filings submitted on this issue so far have presented a conflict of interest that can’t be resolved as a matter of law,” Judge McAfee said. Ms. Willis will be called as the first witness, the judge said after hearing some of the prosecutors’ arguments. “I don’t see how quash can be imposed here,” he said, referring to the district attorney’s effort to dismiss the subpoenas.

On Feb. 12, the judge held a hearing regarding the district attorney’s motions to quash the nine subpoenas issued on Ms. Willis herself and her staffers ahead of this week’s anticipated hearing in which the district attorney will have to respond to allegations of an “improper” relationship. On Jan. 8, defendant Michael Roman filed a lengthy motion that alleged that Ms. Willis was in a personal relationship with Mr. Wade, an attorney with a private law firm whom she had contracted to take a lead position in the racketeering case. He alleged that Mr. Wade took Ms. Willis on “lavish” vacations, including a cruise, and that she financially benefited from the situation. He also made several other allegations, including that Mr. Wade wasn’t qualified for the position and that Ms. Willis used funds improperly, which the judge indicated would not be the focus of the Feb. 15 evidentiary hearing. After the huge claims were made, several co-defendants filed their own motions to disqualify Ms. Willis based on “prejudicial” actions.

“Specifically looking at defendant Roman’s motion, it alleged a personal relationship that resulted in a financial benefit to the district attorney that is no longer a matter of speculation,” the judge said. “The state has admitted a relationship existed, and so what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, again if there even was one.” Judge McAfee said the claims of prejudice were based on public statements—a speech Ms. Willis gave at an Atlanta church where she invoked God and said her critics were playing the “race card”—and did not warrant a hearing meant to produce evidence for the record. Other issues such as Mr. Wade’s resume also did not warrant an evidentiary hearing, according to the judge. The district attorney had filed a motion arguing that no evidentiary hearing was necessary because no conflict of interest had occurred, but the judge rejected the argument.

“Because I think it’s possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification, I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish a record on those core allegations,” Judge McAfee said. He said that the hearing will focus on “whether a relationship existed, whether that relationship was romantic or not in nature, when it formed, and whether it continues.” “I think that’s only relevant because it’s in relation to the question of the extent of any personal benefit conveyed as a result of the relationship,” Judge McAfee said. Mr. Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, alleged that the relationship began as early as 2019 and that the couple cohabited at one point and claimed in a court filing that she could produce witnesses to testify to these allegations.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1757133934633386223

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“What is unclear is why Putin, Xi, and Iran think they can reach an agreement with immoral governments. How many times will Putin purchase a Minsk Agreement?”

Israel’s Ever-widening War (Paul Craig Roberts)

Rafah is the town that borders Egypt and the Sinai desert, where one million Palestinian refugees have fled to escape the merciless Israeli attacks against them. More than 100,000 Palestinian civilians, including 70,000 Palestinian women and children, have already been killed and wounded. Most of these poor refugees are literally starving to death because of the 3-month long Israeli blockade of water, food, electricity, and medicine to Gaza. If Israel launches this attack on Rafah, with the aim of driving one million Palestinians into the desert — and killing all those who refuse to leave Gaza– Egypt warns that a regional war will likely result, one which could conceivably become a World War. Biden could prevent this with a single phone call. If the US cut off all military and financial aid to Israel, the Israelis could not continue to prosecute its genocidal ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from Gaza. However, just the opposite seems to be happening, with the full support and complicity of the United States.

Putin, Xi, and the Iranians are extraordinarily mistaken thinking that they can sit aside from the conflict as the conflict is directed against them. The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN. And the Great Moral Western Democracies continue to support the Israeli Genocide of the Palestinians even as Egypt warns of a widening war. What is clear is that the West can no longer in any way be considered to be moral. What is unclear is why Putin, Xi, and Iran think they can reach an agreement with immoral governments. How many times will Putin purchase a Minsk Agreement?

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“..where we are cajoled to accept a “great reset” and a “new world order” controlled by unseen elites..

Descent into Madness: Dostoevsky and the End of the West (Boyd)

Our society is coming to resemble a dystopian “peoples’ paradise” in its darkly disturbing features. Think back to iconic works of literature like Arthur Koestler’s Darkness At Noon and George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four. Are we not living in a society which is little more than a cross between the nightmare visions of Koestler and Orwell? Do we not live in a society where dissidents are branded as “domestic terrorists,” “insurrectionists,” or “racists,” and face imprisonment for heretofore unimaginable thought crimes, all in the name of “defending our democracy”? –where our children have become wards of the state and are indoctrinated daily by mountains of fetid radical ideology? –where television and the Internet are employed to fashion a particular jaundiced view of life?—where science is now used to tell us the world will end in, what, ten years, if we don’t take immediate action to curb “the climate crisis”?—where we are cajoled to accept a “great reset” and a “new world order” controlled by unseen elites?

Far too many citizens do not fathom what has occurred and is happening in our society. And those who do understand, whether here in the US or in Europe, are swatted down by the long arm of “Big Brother,” turned into “non-persons,” their reputations destroyed, awakened by armed-to-the-teeth FBI agents before dawn and imprisoned for months or years without trial or the benefit of counsel—“enemies of the regime.” Is this not reminiscent of what occurred in Eastern Europe immediately after the conclusion of World War II, when the Soviets progressively installed socialist dictatorships by successfully eliminating and suppressing any real opposition, all happening why the benevolent USA looked on?

But in some ways our situation is worse than that of those Soviet-occupied countries in the aftermath of the world war. For while the post-war Communists essentially maintained certain inherited standards of behavior, for instance, supporting large families and traditional marriage, our elites continue to push the boundaries of what was once thought normative and acceptable in every area of human endeavor, even under Communism. And the disruption or rejection of the laws of nature and those well-established and valid millennia-old norms of behavior and belief leads to gross and grotesque imbalances and vicious infections in society which distort and eventually destroy it—what I have called in an earlier essay, “the zombification of our culture.”

It’s as if significant portions of American (and European) culture have been possessed by frenetic Evil incarnate…in academia and education, in our media and communications, in politics, and in our entertainment and sports industries. We are now supposed to be like Pavlov’s dog, trained to bark when prompted, to sit when told, in short, to be obedient and receptive subjects of the latest ukase or dogmatic proclamation of government or revelation of its satraps and lapdogs at some formerly-prestigious university or from fashionable glitterati.

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” We now have a usefully intricate anatomy of an undeservedly influential newspaper as it abjectly surrenders to power the sovereignty it is its duty to claim and assert in every day’s editions..”

The Crisis at The New York Times (Patrick Lawrence)

It has been evident to many of us since the genocide in Gaza began Oct. 7 that Israel risked asking too much of those inclined to take its side. The Zionist state would ask what many people cannot give: It would ask them to surrender their consciences, their idea of moral order, altogether their native decency as it murders, starves and disperses a population of 2.3 million while making their land uninhabitable. The Israelis took this risk and they have lost. We are now able to watch videos of Israeli soldiers celebrating as they murder Palestinian mothers and children, as they dance and sing while detonating entire neighborhoods, as they mock Palestinians in a carnival of racist depravity one would have thought beyond what is worst in humanity—and certainly beyond what any Jew would do to another human being. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports, as American media do not, that the Israel Defense Forces covertly sponsor a social media channel disseminating this degenerate material in the cause of maintaining maximum hatred.

It is a psychologically diseased nation that boasts as it inflicts this suffering on The Other that obsesses it. The world is invited—the ultimate in perversity, this—to partake of Israel’s sickness and said, in a Hague courtroom two weeks ago, “No.” Post–Gaza, apartheid Israel is unlikely ever to recover what place it enjoyed, merited or otherwise, in the community of nations. It stands among the pariahs now. The Biden regime took this risk, too, and it has also lost. Its support for the Israelis’ daily brutalities comes at great political cost, at home and abroad, and is tearing America apart—its universities, its courts, its legislatures, its communities—and I would say what pride it still manages to take in itself. When the history of America’s decline as a hegemonic power is written, the Gaza crisis is certain to figure in it as a significant marker in the nation’s descent into a morass of immorality that has already contributed to a collapse of its credibility.

We come to U.S. media — mainstream media, corporate media, legacy media. However you wish to name them, they have gambled and lost, too. Their coverage of the Gaza crisis has been so egregiously and incautiously unbalanced in Israel’s behalf that we might count their derelictions as unprecedented. When the surveys are conducted and the returns are in, their unscrupulous distortions, their countless omissions, and—the worst offense, in my view—their dehumanization of the Palestinians of Gaza will have further damaged their already collapsing credibility. We come, finally, to The New York Times. No medium in America has had further to fall in consequence of its reporting on Israel and Gaza since last October. And the once-but-no-longer newspaper of record, fairly suffocating amid its well-known hubris, falls as we speak. It has erupted, by numerous accounts including implicitly its own, in an internal uproar over reportage from Israel and Gaza so shabby—so transparently negligent—that it, like Israel, may never fully restore its reputation.

Max Blumenthal, editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, described the crisis on Eighth Avenue better than anyone in the Jan. 30 segment of The Hill’s daily webcast, Rising. “We’re looking at one of the biggest media scandals of our time,” he told Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave. Indeed. This well captures the gravity of The Times’s willful corruptions in its profligate use of Israeli propaganda, and Blumenthal deserves the microphone to say so. Since late last year The Grayzone has exhaustively investigated The Times’s “investigations” of Hamas’s supposed savagery and Israel’s supposed innocence. This is more than “inside baseball,” as the saying goes. We now have a usefully intricate anatomy of an undeservedly influential newspaper as it abjectly surrenders to power the sovereignty it is its duty to claim and assert in every day’s editions. It would be hard to overstate the implications, for all of us, of what The Grayzone has just brought to light. This is independent journalism at its best reporting on corporate journalism at its worst.

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Assange

 

 

Elbalmer

 

 

Sunak vax
https://twitter.com/i/status/1757186168507052239

 

 

Silverback

 

 

Tree planting
https://twitter.com/i/status/1757059356535804164

 

 

Longest truck
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756952347735921042

 

 

Milky Way
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756949552953778634

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 302024
 
 January 30, 2024  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


MC Escher Belvedere 1958

 

‘Army Of God’ Convoy Heads To US Border While EU Farmers Block Cities (ZH)
War On The Middle East – The Time Of Monsters (MoA)
The Tower-22 Strike In Jordan Triggers US, Israel Into All-Front War (Helmer)
Congressional Hawks Urge ‘Hit Iran Hard’ After 3 US Troops Killed (ZH)
Biden May Order Direct Strike on Iran Officials After Jordan Drone Attack (Sp.)
‘Swarming’ The US In West Asia, Until It Folds (Bhadrakumar)
The Tragic Self-Destruction of an Enraged Israel (Alastair Crooke)
Davos a Living Fossil of an Empire at War With Itself and the World (Dionísio)
Official Lies Aren’t What They Used to Be (Rall)
Hungary Responds To Reported EU Threat To Destroy Its Economy (RT)
‘Desperation’ of Ukrainian Leadership Hard To Ignore – WaPo (RT)
Zelensky Claims Huge Increase In Size Of Kiev’s Forces (RT)
Trump Lawyer Says ‘Experts Were Denied’ by New York Judge (ET)
GA Lieutenant Governor Announces New Committee Investigating Fani Willis (DC)
The Foundational Principle: Stop Pretending, Speak Truth (CTH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fico
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751552779045552521

 

 

 

 

France

 

 

 

 

Vermin

 

 

 

 

If you wanted to starve and displace Palestinians you would go after the UNRWA.
Palestinian refugees registered with the UNRWA have a *right of return* to Gaza if they’re displaced.
Over 6 million Palestinians are registered with the UNRWA.
If this organisation collapses… NO Palestinian will have the right to return to their homeland.
Do you now understand why they are trying to destroy the UNRWA…?


The following countries have cut funding so far: Australia, Austria, Britain, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Romania, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States.

 

 

 

 

Good to see Zerohedge connecting the two movements. Though very different, they are also the same: basic, based people sick of having political games played over their heads and their backs. Both events will reach their crescendo by the weekend.

‘Army Of God’ Convoy Heads To US Border While EU Farmers Block Cities (ZH)

In the US, a convoy of truckers, calling themselves “God’s Army,” is preparing to embark on a journey from several locations across the Lower 48 to the southern border as tensions soar between Texas and the Biden administration. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, farmers are bearing down on Europe’s capitals – from Bucharest to Warsaw to Brussels – venting frustrations about climate policies. These social instabilities are breaking out ahead of key European and US elections this year. The organizers of the “Take Our Border Back” convoy are “calling all active & retired law enforcement and military, Veterans, Mama Bears, elected officials, business owners, ranchers, truckers, bikers, media and LAW ABIDING, freedom-loving Americans” to “assemble in honor of our US Constitution and Bill of Rights” at the southern border, in protest against the federal government’s inability to secure the border, according to the convoy’s website.

“Fellow citizens and compatriots … I call on you in the name of liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character to come to our aid with all dispatch,” Pete Chambers, one of the coalition’s leaders, wrote. “If this call is neglected, we are determined to sustain ourselves as long as possible and act like soldiers who never forget what is due to our own honor and that of our country.” The convoy plans to “send a message” to government officials at all levels about the need to secure the board amid the multi-year invasion of millions of illegals. Chambers believes Americans are “besieged on all sides” by evil “dark forces.”

As we’ve noted, journalists have uncovered a “shadowy network” of what appears to be taxpayer-funded non-government agencies, facilitating the most massive border invasion this nation has ever seen. Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the migrant crisis an “invasion” and invoked Texas’ constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. Abbott stated, “That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary. The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border.”

[..] Across the Atlantic, farmers have been venting their anger in several of Europe’s capitals that will likely “slow the implementation of environmental reforms in the European Union and make it harder for Brussels to negotiate free trade agreements,” according to research firm Stratfor. “Farmers across Europe have taken to the streets in recent weeks to voice their discontent over their governments’ economic, environmental and trade policies,” Stratfor continued. And this is all happening ahead of June’s European elections. Uprisings in the West, among the working class, objecting to unpopular “globalist” policies are happening ahead of major elections.

Convoy up to 700,000 people

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“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”
Antonio Gramsci

War On The Middle East – The Time Of Monsters (MoA)

Yesterday 3 U.S. troops were killed and 34 wounded due to an attack that allegedly hit on a place known as Tower 22. This is part of the Al Tanf area where U.S. troops illegally occupy parts of Syria to control the traffic on the main road between Iraq and Syria. The reporting so far does not answer many arising questions. Tower 22 is on the Jordanian side of the boarder but Jordan insists that no attack had happened on its grounds. Another anomaly are the high rate of wounded from the alleged drone strike. Drones are used in mass in the Ukraine war but the casualties they cause are usually less than a handful per drone. The highly automated short and medium range air-defenses (C-RAMs, the equivalent of naval Phalanx guns) at the base should be able to shoot down any drone. Why didn’t they work?

The U.S. has also used Al Tanf base and the Rukban camp to house and train ISIS splinter groups so they are able to attack perceived U.S. enemies. Were any of those folks around? The U.S. claims that an Iraqi resistance group, allegedly supported by Iran, is responsible for the strike. There are several such groups allied with Iran in Syria and Iraq. Which one of them did this? Does the U.S. know this at all? Iran denies any involvement in the attack. The attack is certainly an escalation over previous ones. President Biden has said that he will respond to it. The question in then to where to respond (Syria, Iraq, Iran) and to what grade. Most likely the U.S. will escalate from its previous bombing of this or that Iraq resistance group. Should the U.S. attack any state related institutions or position, the situation will escalate further.

The resistance camp would then try even harder to damage more U.S. assets. Since the U.S. assassination of General Quassam Suleimani its overall aim is to remove the U.S. from the Middle East. The U.S. immediate response to the hit was the activation of long range tanker planes: “At least 6 U.S. Air Force KC-135 Aerial-Refueling Tankers, most from March Air Reserve Base in Southern California, are heading Northeast across the United States and preparing to Transit the Atlantic towards the U.K. and Europe”. I wonder what kind of Aircraft they are Refueling? Aerial-refueling tankers are used to keep fighter jets in the air for several hours. The reasons to keep jets in the air may not necessarily be to attack someone, but to prevent them from being destroyed by an attack on ones own airports. The U.S. has plenty of bases in the Middle East which house a lot of expensive jets.

If the U.S. suspects that those bases will come under attack it will need lots of air-tanker capability to save the jets currently stationed on them. One could conclude from this that the U.S. will attack a target so important that it has to prepare for an all out response attack on its own Middle East bases. There are several other possibilities but this seems to be the most likely conclusion. Now let’s take a step back to take a look at the larger picture. The current escalation in the Middle East is happening because the Zionist attempt to ethnically cleanse Gaza, the West Bank and south Lebanon. The U.S active support for this aim has led to more U.S. wars in Yemen, Iraq and now in Syria. While the U.S. has claimed that it did not want an all out war in the Middle East it has done its best to further one.

The dystopian decision by the U.S. and its European vassals to deny all support for UNRWA as response for the International Court of Justice decision against Israel’s genocide of Palestinians was a further escalation. That a dozen or less of the 30,000 UNRWA worker were probably involved in the October 7 events was known for weeks. To roll this out just after the ICJ dictum happened is a clear act of revenge against the whole UN system. This is the rule based order, where the U.S. makes and discards all rules at will, fighting against long established international and humanitarian law.

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The two maps, in the article above and this one, leave doubt about where exactly Tower 22 is. It’s right on the border. Is it in Jordan? “..but Jordan insists that no attack had happened on its grounds..”

The Tower-22 Strike In Jordan Triggers US, Israel Into All-Front War (Helmer)

The drone attack on the US troop base known as Tower-22, in the northeastern corner of Jordan, caught the US forces, reportedly reservists, asleep. The base reportedly holds 350 Army and Air Force personnel. At least three have been confirmed killed; eight have been evacuated with life threatening injuries, according to US Central Command (CENTCOM); about three dozen have been counted as wounded. The operational success of the strike for the attackers is strategic. Tower-22 is a logistics, supply, and rear guard post for the Al-Tanf base which US troops are operating thirty kilometres north across the border in Syria. The attack demonstrates that both Tower-22 and Al-Tanf, Jordan and Syria, are newly vulnerable to weapons which the US forces have failed to detect and neutralize. Just as significantly, the massive US airbase called Muwaffaq Salti, 230 kilometres west across Jordan, is also vulnerable now.

For analysis of how these bases, and other anti-Palestinian targets in Jordan, are connected and targeted by the Axis of Resistance, read this from October. Biden’s statement said only “we are still gathering the facts of this attack”. Reporters of the New York Times were told by their official briefers that “the drone strike in Jordan on Sunday demonstrated that the Iran-backed militias — whether in Iran or Syria, or the Houthis in Yemen — remained capable of inflicting serious consequences on American troops despite the U.S. military’s efforts to weaken them and avoid tumbling into a wider conflict, possibly with Iran itself.” The newspaper added a warning against escalation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon: “ ‘We don’t want to go down a path of greater escalation that drives to a much broader conflict within the region,’ Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Sunday.

Asked in a pre-recorded session on ABC News’s This Week whether he thought Iran wanted war with the United States, General Brown, echoing assessments from the U.S. intelligence agencies, said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ ” Brown is also believed to have been one of the prompters for public release of the Pentagon warnings against the Ukrainian “counteroffensive” in the so-called social media releases published by Jack Texeira in April of 2023. The official line in Washington on Sunday evening, according to its New York platform, is that “the Americans killed on Sunday were the first known fatalities from hostile fire in the region since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas…It was unclear on Sunday why air defences at the outpost failed to intercept the drone, which former military commanders said appeared to be the first known assault on the location since attacks on U.S. forces began soon after the Oct. 7 incursion.”

Well-informed military sources are emphatic that the Tower-22 operation has strategic significance in quite another way. They believe Pentagon officials have already told the White House. “This is a significant accomplishment,” one of the sources said. “Was the bypassing of the US air defence system at Tower-22 pulled off with Russian assistance? US bases generally rely on the C-RAM [Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar] system. It was sent to Ukraine last year where the Russians have been learning to defeat it. What now of American EW [electronic warfare]? They’ve been doing a fair job of knocking drones down up to now. It seems a ‘coincidence’ that, not a week after the meetings in Moscow with Arabs and Iranians, we see this success. It’s a success the circumstances of which, we can be sure, Biden and Austin are not keen to advertise.”

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Iran has denied any involvement.

Congressional Hawks Urge ‘Hit Iran Hard’ After 3 US Troops Killed (ZH)

It took a mere minutes after the headlines spread across the globe for the hawks and neocons to call on the White House to “hit them hard”—in reference to Iran and Iranian-linked groups believed responsible for the attack on a US outpost along the Jordanian border which killed three American troops and injured 25 more. The government of Jordan has since said that none among their own troops were injured, which suggests all of the injured were Americans too. Below is a partial survey of the Congressional hawks who are now essentially calling for full-blown war against Iran and its proxies … “The only answer to these attacks must be a devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East. Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander-in-chief.'” —Republican Senator, Tom Cotton of Arkansas

“The Biden Administration can take out all the Iranian proxies they like, but it will not deter Iranian aggression. I am calling on the Biden Administration to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces, but as deterrence against future aggression… Hit Iran hard, hit them now.” —South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. “Target Tehran” —Republican Senator from Texas John Cornyn. And as also fully expected, the think tank “armchair warrior” crowd is all in favor of sending more young Americans to fight and to die in the Middle East, based purely on another ‘war of choice’ with unclear end goals…

Of course, the neocons have had their sites set on Tehran and hoped-for regime change there going all the way back to the 1990’s, as is evident from the writings of PNAC crowd (Project for the New American Century, which went on to largely staff GW Bush’s cabinet). Thankfully, Trump’s initial statement did not echo the hawkish neocon line of some among the more outspoken GOP Congressmen…

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What are the odds that Iran will retaliate by striking US officials in return?

Biden May Order Direct Strike on Iran Officials After Jordan Drone Attack (Sp.)

A deadly drone strike on a US base near the Jordanian-Syrian border could lead to a stronger response from Washington than it has so far since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, Bloomberg quoted unnamed sources as saying. There could be two options, the sources said: a possible covert US strike on Iran, or a situation in which the Biden administration would directly target Iranian officials, such as then-US President Donald Trump’s order to kill top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in 2020. “Regardless of the outcome, the [potential] attack presents [President Joe] Biden with a decision that will be one of the most consequential of his presidency”, something that “could put the US into direct confrontation with the leadership in Tehran,” Bloomberg reported. This comes after Biden pledged that “we [the US] shall respond” to Monday’s drone attack on Tower 22, an American military outpost in northeastern Jordan, which killed three US soldiers and wounded 30 others.

“Have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” the US president added as Iranian militia group known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, Tehran officially stated that it had “no connection and nothing to do” with the attack, according to Iranian media quoting Tehran’s representative to the UN. Jordanian government officials have since denied that the dead and injured US troops were stationed in their country, insisting that the drone strike occurred on Syrian territory at the Al-Tanf base. The attack comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East, as Tel Aviv continues its war on the Gaza Strip in response to the Oct. 7 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas in southern Israel that killed at least 1,139 people, according to Israeli officials.

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“The US is so deeply mired in an unwinnable battle from the Levant to the Persian Gulf that only its adversaries in China, Russia, and Iran can bail it out.”

‘Swarming’ The US In West Asia, Until It Folds (Bhadrakumar)

Deterrence in defense is a military strategy where one power uses the threat of reprisal to preclude attack from an adversary, while maintaining at the same time the freedom of action and flexibility to respond to the full spectrum of challenges. In this realm, the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, is an outstanding example. Hezbollah’s clarity of purpose in establishing and strictly maintaining ground rules that deter Israeli military aggression has set a high regional bar. Today, its West Asian allies have adopted similar strategies, which have multiplied in the context of the war in Gaza. While the Yemeni resistance movement Ansarallah is comparable to Hezbollah in certain respects, it is the audacious brand of defensive deterrence practiced by the Islamic Resistance of Iraq that is going to be highly consequential in the near term.

Last week, citing sources in the State Department and Pentagon, Foreign Policy magazine wrote that the White House is no longer interested in continuing the US military mission in Syria. The White House later denied this information, but the report is gaining ground. The Turkish daily Hurriyet wrote on Friday that while Ankara is taking a cautious approach to media reports, it does see “a general striving” by Washington to exit not only Syria but the entire region of West Asia, as it senses that it has been dragged into a quagmire by Israel and Iran from the Red Sea to Pakistan. Russia’s special presidential representative for the Syrian settlement, Alexander Lavrentiev, also told Tass on Friday that much depends on any “threat of physical impact” on American forces present in Syria. The swift US military exit from Afghanistan took place with virtually no advance notice, in coordination with the Taliban.

“In all likelihood, the same may happen in Iraq and Syria,” Lavrentiev said. Indeed, the Islamic Resistance of Iraq has stepped up its attacks on US military bases and targets. In a ballistic missile attack on Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq a week ago, an unknown number of American troops sustained injuries, and the White House announced its first troop deaths on Sunday when three US servicemen were killed on the Syrian-Jordanian border in strikes earlier that day. This situation is untenable for President Joe Biden politically — in his re-election bid next November — which explains the urgency of the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday and Saturday in Thailand to discuss the Ansarallah attacks in the Red Sea.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby explained Washington’s rush for Chinese mediation thus: “China has influence over Tehran; they have influence in Iran. And they have the ability to have conversations with Iranian leaders that — that we can’t. What we’ve said repeatedly is: We would welcome a constructive role by China, using the influence and the access that we know they have…” This is a dramatic turn of events. While the US has long been concerned about China’s growing sway in West Asia, it also needs that influence now as Washington’s efforts to reduce violence are getting nowhere. The US narrative on this will be that the “strategic, thoughtful conversation” between Sullivan and Wang will not only be “an important way to manage competition and tensions [between the US and China] responsibly” but also “set the direction of the relationship” on the whole.

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“Not only is Gaza NOT giving Israelis a sense of victory; on the contrary, it is widely proliferating a violent anger at a surprise, ‘shameful’ defeat..”

“The Zionist solution is not a solution. We are arriving at a situation in which the Jewish people who live in Zion live in a condition of total insecurity..”

The Tragic Self-Destruction of an Enraged Israel (Alastair Crooke)

Israel is boxed-in, as is becoming very evident to many Israelis. One Israeli correspondent (formerly a Cabinet Secretary) illustrates its nature: “The meaning of the 7th October default is not only the loss of lives … but mainly the potential transformation of how Israel is perceived … as no longer to be feared by Middle Eastern actors”. “The Israeli leadership must internalize that we can no longer be content with a ‘sense of victory’ among the Israeli public … It is doubtful whether victory in Gaza is enough to restore the fear of Israel to the levels we had vis-a-vis our enemies. A victory that boils down to just the release of the captives and confidence-building measures to establish a Palestinian state would not be enough in shoring up Israel’s image in that regard”.

“If the quagmire of Gaza … brings the [Israeli] leadership to the realization that there is no ability to present a clear victory on this front, one that will lead to a strategic change in the region, they must consider switching fronts and reasserting Israeli deterrence through the removal of the strategic threat in Lebanon … victory against one of the richest and most powerful terrorist organizations in the world – Hezbollah – can restore deterrence in the region in general … Israel must remove the threat from the north and dismantle the power structure Hezbollah has built in Lebanon, regardless of the situation in the south”. “But without victory in the south, a significant achievement in the north becomes that much more important”.


Gaza death tolls

The above quotation goes directly to the heart of the issue. That is: ‘How can Zionism be saved?’. All the rest of the ‘blah-blah’ coming from world leaders is largely bluff. Not only is Gaza NOT giving Israelis a sense of victory; on the contrary, it is widely proliferating a violent anger at a surprise, ‘shameful’ defeat. Some in the war cabinet (i.e., Eisenkot) suggest that Israel look truth in the eye: It should capitulate to Hamas; give a ceasefire a chance; release incarcerated Palestinians, and save the hostages held in Gaza: “I think it is necessary to say boldly that it is impossible to bring the hostages back alive in the near future without a [ceasefire] deal, and anyone who is feeding lies to the public is feeding lies”.

But this is not the predominant sentiment amongst Israelis: The latest Peace Index survey reflects the pervasive gloom: 94% percent of Jews think Israel has used the right amount of firepower in Gaza (or “not enough” (43%)). Three-quarters of all Israelis think the number of Palestinians harmed since October is justified to achieve its aims; a full two-thirds of Jewish respondents say numbers of casualties are definitely justified (only 21% say “somewhat” justified). The true price Israel will be paying, however, is not merely the release of Palestinian prisoners (though that, in itself, would create a popular uproar); but rather, it is fear that acquiescence to Hamas demands would spell the end to the Israel-security paradigm: This paradigm consists of a quasi-religious ‘contract’ that Jews shall enjoy security every, and anywhere, in the land of Israel – brought about by the elaborate matrix of radical insecurity of space and rights imposed on non-Jews (i.e. Palestinians), versus the full force of protection and sovereignty for Jews. This forms the universal paradigm underwriting Jewish security.

Until 7 October, that is. The events of that day demonstrated that Jewish Israelis are no longer secure inside Israel – and that the Zionist framework, in respect to security, must be re-thought – or perforce abandoned. This realisation has given rise to a psychological mass formation of insecurity. As Emeritus Professor of History at the Hebrew University, Moshe Zimmermann, notes: “The Zionist solution is not a solution. We are arriving at a situation in which the Jewish people who live in Zion live in a condition of total insecurity … we need to take into account that Israel is causing a reduction in the security of Diaspora Jewry, instead of the opposite. So this Zionist solution is very deficient, and we need to examine what caused this deficiency.”

CNN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751745668635594989

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“Talking about “security”, “cooperation”, “energy”, “nature” and “climate” without involving Russia can only be a bad joke.”

Davos a Living Fossil of an Empire at War With Itself and the World (Dionísio)

The World Economic Forum gives us the exceptional privilege of a study that only living fossils can give. Representative of an era that we can assume is in the process of being overcome, if not materially, at least in terms of the trend observed, in Davos we find everything that is paramount of neoliberal and Western supremacist ideology, its potential, its limitations and the very causes of its destruction. Like a living fossil, in every word, every expression, theme or conclusion, we find the fundamental reasons why the species did not and could not win. Davos tells us, above all, about a problem of adapting to the real world. At every moment, the World Economic Forum revealed the full extent of resentment, bitterness and disillusionment towards a world that has revealed, and insists on revealing, ever more stubbornly, that it does not accept the premises that would make neoliberalism a lasting and universal hegemonic system.

In this sense, the Davos Forum is a moral lesson. A moral lesson from the West to the global majority, in a kind of recriminatory cry, for the latter in not accepting the solutions that it had so “wisely and rationally” to convey; but also, a moral lesson from the global majority to the West, which took advantage of every opportunity, in every scarce moment of attention given, to convey the reasons why the proposed contract would never be acceptable. The themes chosen reveal, above all, the great concerns and disappointments of the West, as well as what it considers to be the building blocks of an attempt to return to a lost paradigm. A paradigm that, today, the West feels is slipping through its fingers. The first theme is emblematic and says a lot about the level of disillusionment: “Achieving Security and Cooperation in a Fractured World”. If, on the one hand, it reveals that the West feels insecure, by choosing “security” as one of the starting points of its analysis, on the other hand, it also reveals the difficulties the West is facing in imposing its model of “cooperation”, which is increasingly reluctantly accepted by the countries of the global majority.

The result and the cause were well reflected in the topic itself, when he classified the current geopolitical state as a “fragmented world”. In this “fragmented world” we find the alpha and omega of the hegemonic discourse. The increasingly explicit refusal of the global majority to accept the dictates of the “indispensable nation”, “the leading nation”, results, in their eyes, in fragmentation, a power vacuum. The sign is clear: the U.S. is still struggling to find its place in the world, and this difficulty constitutes an immense danger. A nervous U.S., with an identity crisis and in a state of denial, is a danger to itself, but it is also a danger to others, especially considering all the destructive potential at its disposal. By choosing “security”, we can almost say that, deep down, and without ever admitting it, the U.S. knows where the problem really comes from.

The conditions of “security” defined by the U.S. are also omnipresent at Davos, as an “absent spectator”. A safe world is a world without Russia, the country removed, authoritatively and discretionarily, from the event. It says a lot about a so-called “world” event that removes the largest nuclear power and one of the two largest military powers on the planet. It’s also the largest country in the world in terms of territory, with the greatest diversity/number of natural resources, a strategic partner for important countries that represent more than half of the world’s population, such as China, India and Iran; a technological leader in the space, aerospace, nuclear, naval and military fields; and one of the largest producers of food and cereals in the world. Talking about “security”, “cooperation”, “energy”, “nature” and “climate” without involving Russia can only be a bad joke.

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“For Democrats, protecting their party’s corporatist status quo matters more than Trump’s purported threat to democracy..”

Official Lies Aren’t What They Used to Be (Rall)

The government’s services keep getting worse. Even their lies. The Bushies told us we had to invade Afghanistan to catch Osama bin Laden and then to go into Iraq because Saddam had WMDs. As the Pentagon knew, bin Laden was already in Pakistan; as Hans Blix and Scott Ritter told us, there was no evidence Saddam had proscribed weapons. Sure, they were lies. But they were plausible lies. Theoretically, UBL might have snuck into Afghanistan. Saddam might have acquired WMDs. Those things could have been true. Now they’re giving us implausible lies. Not only are their lies, well, lies—they say things that are untrue and can’t possibly be true and that no one, no matter how stupid or uninformed, could believe. Democrats go on and on about how nothing is more important than defeating Trump. Democracy itself hangs in the balance! After Trump redux, the re-deluge.

But they don’t really believe that. If liberals really actually thought that Trump was going to suspend the constitution and send his enemies—them—to camps, their sense of survival would have prompted them to select the most charismatic, brilliant, popular, vigorous, 2024 Democratic presidential nominee possible. Instead, they gave us Biden. You can’t think Trump is dangerous and go with Biden-Harris. For Democrats, protecting their party’s corporatist status quo matters more than Trump’s purported threat to democracy. That’s the truth. We all know. Republicans won’t shut up about out-of-control deficit spending and the $34 trillion national debt which, according to them, will tank the economy because, like a family that has to live within its means except for credit cards and student loans and car loans and home mortgages, the government can’t keep spending cash it doesn’t have even though it owns the U.S. Mint and has gotten away with it for, like, a century.

We know that the fake deficit hawks don’t actually believe what they are saying in real time, as they’re saying it, because while they’re threatening to shut down the government every few months, they keep throwing even more billions of dollars at the Defense Department than the DOD even asks for, so much that the military sucks up more than everything else the government does combined, and that’s not including the wars they put “off the books” and the proxy wars and the wars they charge to the State Department, not to mention debt service on old wars. Everywhere we look, politicians are deploying lies whose obviousness is evident out of the gate. Elites will never be believed, they know it, and they don’t care.

Israel’s war cabinet tells its traumatized citizens that October 7th came as a surprise at the same time countless specific warnings and the IDF’s eight-hour response time (!) prove that cannot possibly have been the case. As people shout “bring them home,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he’s trying to do just that. But that’s a lie and it has to be a lie because you don’t bomb a place where hostages you care about are being held lest you kill them and anger their captors. Families of the doomed hostages cannot believe him and do not believe him yet they do not demand that the bombs stop falling or that those who drop them be removed from power.

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I think it was 2% of Hungary GDP that depends on the EU (or was it 7%?). Either way, Hungary comes prepared.

Hungary Responds To Reported EU Threat To Destroy Its Economy (RT)

Hungary’s minister for European affairs, Janos Boka, has said that Budapest will not give in to “blackmail” by Brussels, following a report that claimed the EU would seek to sabotage the country’s economy if it does not unblock an aid package for Ukraine. Ahead of a summit of EU leaders on Thursday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledged to oppose the use of the bloc’s collective budget to funnel €50 billion ($54 billion) in aid to Ukraine. Should Orban not lift the veto, Brussels could seek to sabotage Hungary’s economy by pulling funding to the EU member state, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing confidential plans drawn up by European leaders seen by the newspaper. The strategy, the FT noted, could impact Hungary’s currency and incite a downturn in investment, which would affect “jobs and growth.”

Boka has insisted however that Hungary will not be dictated to by European bureaucrats. “Hungary does not allow blackmail,” he wrote on social media late on Sunday. “The agreement confirms what the Hungarian government has been saying for a long time: Brussels is using access to EU resources as a means of political pressure.” He added: “Hungary makes no link between supporting Ukraine and access to EU resources and refuses to let others do so. Hungary so far will continue to participate constructively in the negotiations, but it does not allow blackmail.” The document, which the FT said was produced by an official in the Council of the EU, highlights what it says are Hungary’s economic vulnerabilities. These include “very high public deficit,” “very high inflation,” a weak currency, and problems with debt repayment.

It added that Hungarian economic growth heavily depends on overseas investment, which, in turn, is driven by “high levels of EU funding.” A spokesperson for the Council of the EU told the FT that it has a policy of not commenting on leaks. Orban insisted last month that the EU must meet certain conditions before Budapest would lift its veto, including making the package modest in size and scheduling it over one year rather than the proposed four. Hungary must also be exempted from any new joint EU borrowing over the matter, the PM added. Another tactic reportedly being considered within the EU bloc is to invoke Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union, which would allow Brussels to strip Budapest of its voting rights. However, this would require unanimity among the other 26 member states – a step many European countries appear unwilling to take.

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Awaiting confirmation: “Zelenskyy has removed Zaluzhny and installed Budanov. Ukrainian Warfare shifts from battlefield offensives to terrorist attacks. The CIA plan for Budanov: Attack the most profitable industries in Russia. Oil and Gas production, pipelines, refineries, etc. + false flags.”

‘Desperation’ of Ukrainian Leadership Hard To Ignore – WaPo (RT)

The leadership in Ukraine is losing hope of success in the conflict with Russia amid waning Western support and a lack of battlefield achievements, the Washington Post has said. Kiev continues to demand more weapons and aid from the US and its allies, although officials in Washington “anticipate a lean year ahead, where Ukraine’s increasingly exhausted forces focus more on consolidating their defense than chipping away at Russia’s land-grabs,” the newspaper reported on Monday. “It’s hard to ignore the sense of desperation in Ukraine’s corridors of power” after almost two years of military conflict with Moscow, foreign affairs columnist Ishaan Tharoor stressed. Ukraine’s attempted counteroffensive last year “failed to make strategic headway against Russia’s deep defensive lines,” Tharoor acknowledged. Fresh reports from the front line have warned that stocks of ammunition and artillery shells are running low for Kiev’s troops, he added.

At the same time, Moscow “stood its ground, withstood international sanctions and is preparing for fresh offensives,” while also regularly carrying out large-scale missile barrages against Ukrainian targets, he added. According to the article, the tour of Washington and other Western capitals by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in late 2023 was an attempt to counter “international fatigue with the conflict and paralysis in US Congress over new supplemental funding for Kiev.” The administration of US President Joe Biden is still unable to find common ground with Republican lawmakers, who are demanding tougher measures on the border with Mexico in exchange for agreeing another $60 billion in assistance for Kiev. As a result, Pentagon officials arrived “empty-handed” at the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting in Brussels last week, Tharoor said.

“The West may have already squandered its best chance to enable Ukraine to fully liberate its territory,” he added. The fate of the conflict between Russia in Ukraine could soon be sealed by “the shortfalls on Ukraine’s front lines and divisions in Washington,” the article claimed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that Zelensky is “desperately” seeking to return to a situation when Kiev enjoyed “unlimited” funding and weapons supplies from the West. However, this will “never happen again” because the US and its allies are running out of arms and ammunition to send, he stressed. Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that “the goals of [Moscow’s] military operation [in the Ukraine conflict] are going to be achieved consistently and persistently.”

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“..proposals to amend the country’s mobilization laws to lower the draft age, to recruit more women and to penalize draft-dodgers by cutting off their bank accounts.”

Zelensky Claims Huge Increase In Size Of Kiev’s Forces (RT)

There are currently 880,000 people serving in Ukraine’s armed forces, according to President Vladimir Zelensky, who insisted that Kiev wants to mobilize even more troops, primarily males who left the country after the start of the conflict with Russia. Just last month, Zelensky claimed that Kiev’s ground forces numbered over 600,000 service personnel, while in February 2022, when Russia launched its offensive, the Ukrainian army officially had only about 260,000 servicemen. In an interview with the German news channel ARD news broadcast on Monday, the Ukrainian leader stated that Kiev now has “a million-strong army,” adding that there are also over 30 million people who are working in the country right now, one million of whom are employed in the defense and security sectors. At the same time, Zelensky noted that between 6.5 million and 7.5 million people had left Ukraine since the start of the conflict and stated that Kiev would like to repatriate citizens who are eligible for military service.

His comments come as Kiev continues to experience dire personnel shortages on the battlefield, as has been reported by a number of top Ukrainian military officers and commanders, including the head of the country’s armed forces, General Valery Zaluzhny. While Kiev doesn’t publish its casualty figures, Russia’s Defense Ministry has estimated that Ukraine’s forces have lost as many as 160,000 service personnel since the launch of their failed summer counteroffensive, and that, over the course of the conflict, nearly 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded. Meanwhile, multiple media reports have also suggested that the quality of Kiev’s soldiers has also diminished. Earlier this month, the commander of Kiev’s 5th Assault Brigade, Aleksey Tarasenko, told Espresso TV that the average age of soldiers in the Ukrainian army is now over 40 years and that “young men” were desperately needed.

The US outlet Daily Beast also reported last week, citing interviews with Ukrainian men who have been avoiding mobilization, that Kiev was now sending untrained conscripts to the frontline shortly after drafting them from the streets, with many of them failing to last even a few days on the battlefield. In light of these personnel shortages, late last year Kiev intensified its mobilization efforts, with Zelensky stating at the time that the military was looking to call up an additional 500,000 new recruits. One Ukrainian official even proposed mobilizing the country’s entire population. Ukrainian lawmakers, in turn, have been debating proposals to amend the country’s mobilization laws to lower the draft age, to recruit more women and to penalize draft-dodgers by cutting off their bank accounts.

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“Before the case was heard by a jury, Judge Kaplan had already ruled that he believed President Trump defamed Ms. Carroll..”

Trump Lawyer Says ‘Experts Were Denied’ by New York Judge (ET)

An attorney for Donald Trump has claimed that her experts were denied the chance to testify before a New York jury that ultimately ruled in favor of a writer who accused the former president of defamation. Attorney Alina Habba told reporters on Jan. 26 that presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan allegedly made sure that “every single defense that President Trump had” was not raised in the case. She said her team’s “experts were denied” and couldn’t take the stand. Her comments came just hours after a jury ruled that President Trump should pay $83.8 million to writer E. Jean Carroll, finding that he defamed her in 2019 when he denied accusations that he assaulted her decades earlier. It was the second time Ms. Carroll was awarded damages from the former president after making those accusations, which he denies to this day. Ms. Habba accused Ms. Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, of bringing in a witness who was “paid for by” her firm.

“That is a violation of everything I stand for, and that is why I stand with Trump, and that is why so many Americans are so proud that he is running again and so excited to run to the ballot box but don’t get it twisted, we are seeing a violation of our justice system,” she said. During the trial, the judge threatened to jail Ms. Habba and kick President Trump out of the courtroom for what he described as “disruptive behavior.” The former president has asserted that Judge Kaplan, a Clinton appointee, is a partisan actor and biased against him. Before the case was heard by a jury, Judge Kaplan had already ruled that he believed President Trump defamed Ms. Carroll. The jury was considering the damages that should be paid. After the jury rendered the decision, Ms. Habba said she was “so proud to stand with President Trump.” “But I am not proud to stand with what I saw in that courtroom,” she told reporters.

“I have sat on trial after trial for months in this state, the state of New York, Attorney General Letitia James and now this. Weeks, weeks. Why? Because President Trump is leading in the polls, and now we see what you get in New York.” The jury of seven men and two women, whose members were kept anonymous, awarded Ms. Carroll $18.3 million in compensatory damages, including $11 million for harm to her reputation. She also was awarded $65 million in punitive damages, which she said was needed to stop President Trump from continuing to defame her. But President Trump has long said that he had never heard of Ms. Carroll and that she made up her story to boost sales of her memoir. His lawyers argued in the trial that she was hungry for fame and enjoyed the attention of supporters for speaking out against her nemesis, which she has denied. Ms. Carroll’s lawyer said during her closing argument that President Trump acted toward her client as though he were not bound by the law and that he should pay “dearly.”

On Jan. 25, the former president testified but spent only four minutes on the witness stand because the judge forbade him from revisiting issues that the first trial had settled. He stood behind his October 2022 deposition testimony, which jurors had seen, in which he called Ms. Carroll’s claims a “hoax” and said she was “mentally sick.” Ms. Habba predicted that the Trump appeal would succeed. “President Trump is leading in the polls, and now we see what you get in New York,” she told reporters. “It will not deter us; we will keep fighting, and I assure you we didn’t win today, but we will win.” On social media, the former president said that he “will be appealing this whole Biden-directed witch hunt focused on me and the Republican Party,” referring to the Jan. 26 decision. “Our legal system is out of control and being used as a political weapon,” he said. The New York Times reported that the former president does not have to pay Ms. Carroll the $83 million penalty until he is finished with all of his appeal options available. It also noted that he could attempt to obtain a bond, which would save him from having to pay the full amount to the writer.

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“The Georgia Senate has the right and responsibility to investigate misuse of taxpayer resources by public officials..”

GA Lieutenant Governor Announces New Committee Investigating Fani Willis (DC)

Republican Georgia Lt. Governor Burt Jones will announce members of a new investigatory committee Monday that will have subpoena power and are looking into Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the Daily Caller has first learned. The committee will be bipartisan, with six Republicans and three Democrats, and will look into Willis’ relationship with her alleged lover Nathan Wade, and the alleged misuse of taxpayer funds. Willis has faced continued scrutiny over whether her indictment against Trump was politically motivated. [..] “The Georgia Senate has the right and responsibility to investigate misuse of taxpayer resources by public officials. I have full faith in the members of this investigative committee, chosen this morning by the Committee on Assignments, and their efforts to pursue the truth wherever it may lead,” Jones told the Caller before announcing the committee.

“With this announcement, we are one step closer to uncovering the truth behind Fani Willis, her relationship with Mr. Wade, and the misuse of taxpayer funds,” Jones added. Jones announced the following state Senators will be serving on the new investigatory committee: Senator Bill Cowsert (District 46), who will serve as chair; Senator Greg Dolezal (District 28), who will serve as vice chair; Senator Jason Esteves (District 6); Senator John Kennedy (District 18); Senator Blake Tillery (District 19); Senator Harold Jones (District 22); Senator Bo Hatchett (District 50); Senator Steve Gooch (District 51); and Senator Gloria Butler (District 55).

“I am honored to be chosen to chair this important committee investigating potential misuse of taxpayer dollars for personal gain and unethical behavior by public officials and paid prosecutors. There has been a dramatic decrease in public confidence in the fairness and the impartiality of our criminal justice system. If true, recent allegations related to Fani Willis and Mr. Wade are deeply disturbing,” Cowsert who is the chairman of the committee, told the Caller. “We will independently investigate those claims in a bi-partisan fashion and in pursuit of the truth. Our charge is not to interfere with ongoing criminal proceeding, to prosecute misconduct or to disqualify any individual prosecutor. Rather, we seek to restore public confidence in our criminal justice system,” he added.

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Carlson and Peterson.

The Foundational Principle: Stop Pretending, Speak Truth (CTH)

They don’t say it the same way as me, because they are far more articulate and eloquent, but boy howdy have Carlson and Peterson come to the same conclusion. Four years ago, you heard me say it loud, “Stop Pretending and Live Your Best Life.” The first time I realized this was the best and truest hope for our restoration was after holding years of empirical, undeniable research in my hands and finding nothing but willfully blind, isolated and siloed deaf ears in DC. What Tucker Carlson describes below is the disconnect between the people and those who hold power. In this joint discussion about the future and possibility within this year 2024, both Jordan Peterson and Tucker Carlson take the first part of that framework, “stop pretending”, and turn the phrase into “speak truth.” Yes, yes, yes, THIS. When I have been asked for the past several years about what needs to be done, what can we do, my answer to every voice, influential and comfortably invisible alike, has been ‘STOP PRETENDING’ – just stop pretending. WATCH:

Stop pretending the gaslighting narrative is real. Just stop pretending. Stop ignoring the lies, and start confronting the liars directly. Look at the other voice, regardless of who they are, stare boldly directly into their eyes and speak the truth of the thing. Just stop pretending. If we all stop pretending, the narrative engineers will find no one to purchase their bulls**t anymore. At the same time, speak the truest thing as loudly as you can to confront those who use pretense as a shield to retain comfort and influence. EXAMPLE: Mary McCord sits at the epicenter of every single Lawfare machination deployed against President Trump. This is a demonstrably true and factual reality. Yet, how many allied voices do we see publicly making her known and as a consequence uncomfortable? No one. Why? Why isn’t every person of influence talking about the true thing? Why hide behind “they” and “them” or some bland, undefined, esoteric blame-casting toward an irrelevant institution. We may not know the name of every person, but we know the name of the one single thread that unites all of the effort, Mary McCord. Why is it so hard for allies to factually identify her and the corrupt behavior she is engaged in?

I no longer stare at the absence with a side eye of suspicion, I now glare knowingly and angrily at the face behind the willful omission. “You know, and I know you know,” is what that stare represents. None of those popular and influential allies on our side can ever answer the question about their silence. None of them can. Why? The second aspect, “living your best life”, is a natural outcome of living the truth of the thing without apology. Fearless adherence to the undeniable truth, and a ferocious rejection of the demanded obtuse labeling like, “disinformation, misinformation or malinformation.” Horsepucky on that nonsense, there’s true and not true; that’s it. Full effen’ stop. Living your best life is living in the truest place physically, emotionally and spiritually. A faithful adherence to the purest truth, the gospel of faith. Fellowship strengthens this critical bonding and reminds us we are not alone.

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David Martin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752151264463397113

 

 

Whale

 

 

Koala
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751994861853835644

 

 

Unit
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752189931575746749

 

 

Cat

 

 

 

 

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