Feb 022024
 
 February 2, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Winslow Homer Mending the nets 1881

 

House Speaker Mike Johnson First Floor Speech On Border Catastrophe (Kanekoa)
It’s Biden vs. Texas, and Texas Is Right. (McMaken)
Israel Accepts Ceasefire Deal – Al Jazeera (RT)
US Created Ukraine Conflict to Keep Europe ‘Under Its Thumb’ (Sp.)
EU Leaders Agree to Give $54Bln in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine (Sp.)
Zelensky Wants Zaluzhny Out Over Effort At Ceasefire With Russia – Hersh (Sp.)
Zelensky To Fire Top General This Week – CNN (RT)
Zelensky’s Generals Refuse To Accept Firing Top Commander – Bild (RT)
Biden Makes Clear Case for NATO Complicity Over IL-76 Shoot-Down (SCF)
Ukraine’s ‘Failed State’ Status (DeMartino)
Mass European Farmer Protests Blowback for Ukraine Support (Sp.)
CIA Staffer Sentenced To 40 Years For Leaking US Hacking Secrets (RT)
Roger Waters Faces Axe by Record Label Over Defiant Israel Stance (Sp.)
UK High Court Throws Out Trump’s Christopher Steele Case (BBC)
Interesting – Elon Musk (Kanekoa)

 

 

 

 

Meme team
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753078612243423563

 

 

 

 

Jan 6

 

 

Tucker Bret

 

 

KJP Boeing

 

 

Scott Ritter: Turkey & Russia JOIN WAR

 

 

Macgregor: Iran must pay

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Just as we lock our doors at night to protect our homes, we secure our borders to protect our homeland. And my friends, that is our sacred obligation.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson First Floor Speech On Border Catastrophe (Kanekoa)

House Speaker Mike Johnson delivers first floor speech on border catastrophe, accusing President Biden of intentionally creating a “clear and present danger to our national security.” “Since I was elected Speaker less than 100 days ago, more than 700,000 illegals have been welcomed into our country illegally by the Biden administration. American schoolchildren have been forced into virtual schools so migrants can sleep in their school buildings. Korean War veterans have been booted from nursing homes that were sold to house migrants. Our streets are being flooded with fentanyl. Hundreds of thousands of children and adults are being poisoned and losing their lives. Vulnerable children and women are being exploited and trafficked by cartels. Since President Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas assumed office, there have been more than 7 million encounters with illegal aliens just at our southern border alone.

35 of our 50 states, including my home state of Louisiana, don’t have a population that large. More than 300 individuals who are on our terror watchlist have been apprehended on the southern border. The frightening question is, how many have entered undetected? We know there are at least 1.8 million gotaways that have escaped. Understand that the situation at our border presents a clear and present danger to our national security, and it demands that it be addressed. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Homeland Security Committee in November that these gotaways are a great concern for the agency, and all 56 of our Joint Terrorism Task Forces are trying to identify who these people are. We don’t know how many terrorists are inside our borders. We do know that fentanyl is pouring into our communities like an open sewer. Right now, the leading cause of death in America for Americans aged 18 to 46 is fentanyl poisoning.

To make matters worse, we’ve learned that the Biden administration is now simply just releasing 85% of the illegals who come across that border right into the country. For reference, by the way, in 2013, the Obama administration detained 82% of illegal aliens. How do we go from detaining 82% to releasing 85%? It only happens if this is by design. It only happens if it’s an orchestrated intentional effort by the administration to do exactly that, and that is what the evidence shows. Earlier this month, I released a memo documenting 64 specific actions that the Biden administration has taken to undermine our border security and to promote the mass release of illegals and dangerous persons into our country. The very first day President Biden walked into the Oval Office, he revoked Executive Order 9844. Do you know what that did? It ended the construction of the border wall that Congress had already paid for. Everybody has seen the images of the materials out there rotting in the sun. Why?

Because Joe Biden decided unilaterally that he didn’t want a wall. In February 2021, the administration stopped applying Title 42 expulsions to children and incentivize by doing that incentivize families to send unaccompanied children through Mexico under the watch of cartels and traffickers. Since then, the administration admits to losing track of more than 80,000 unaccompanied children somewhere in the US. We don’t know where they are. Have they been put into trafficking rings? We know that some of these kids are being trafficked for free labor and being forced to do things that are too appalling for us to articulate on this floor. Everybody here knows that’s happening, and we’re not demanding the President stop it? He can. He has the power to do it.

[..] We have to decide if we believe in the rule of law or not. We have to decide if we’re a sovereign nation or we’re not. I believe that border security is part of our solemn obligation to safeguard the well-being of our citizens and uphold the principles that define who we are as a nation. A weak border weakens America, and a strong border is good for America, and a stronger America is good for everybody around the world. And everybody in this chamber should acknowledge that. Just as we lock our doors at night to protect our homes, we secure our borders to protect our homeland. And my friends, that is our sacred obligation.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1753202850023498016

Read more …

“..what is self-evident here is that it is up to the state government to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded..”

It’s Biden vs. Texas, and Texas Is Right. (McMaken)

So, what exactly does the Texas governor’s declaration say? Overall, it makes the case that the Biden administration has been ignoring federal immigration laws and illegally withdrawing border-control operations from the Texas-Mexico border. Abbott concludes: “Under President Biden’s lawless border policies, more than 6 million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border in just 3 years. That is more than the population of 33 different States in this country. This illegal refusal to protect the States has inflicted unprecedented harm on the People all across the United States.” If that were all, we’d just chalk this up to a document that amounts to little more than a letter to the editor. But then Abbott says that the US Constitution provides a remedy for the situation:

“..the Framers included both Article IV, § 4, which promises that the federal government “shall protect each [State] against invasion,” and Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which acknowledges “the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders.” The final paragraph is where it gets interesting. Abbott writes: “The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense. For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. 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.”

Abbott is essentially saying that federal supremacy in this case has been rendered null and void by a federal refusal to enforce federal law. Can he get away with it? For clarity, let’s look at Article 1, section 10. It reads: “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.” The key phrase here is “unless actually invaded.” Whether or not the current flood of migrants across the border constitutes “invasion,” as stated here, is perhaps debatable.

However, what is self-evident here is that it is up to the state government to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded. After all, the whole point of the section is to grant certain powers to states outside the authority of the federal government. If the federal government also gets to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded, then the section is pointless. So, an honest reading of this text ought to preclude the Biden administration or US Supreme Court coming back and saying “you’re not being invaded, now do what we say.”

Abbott

Read more …

Wait and see.

Israel Accepts Ceasefire Deal – Al Jazeera (RT)

Israel has agreed to a ceasefire proposal that would halt its war with Hamas, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday, citing the Qatari Foreign Ministry. Hamas has reportedly given the plan a “positive” response. The ceasefire plan was hashed out in Paris over the weekend, with Qatari and Egyptian diplomats mediating between Israel and the Palestinian militant group. Delegations from West Jerusalem and Gaza left the French capital promising to study the proposal and negotiate further this week, and by Thursday evening, a deal was apparently within reach. “Israel agreed to the ceasefire proposal and we have initial positive confirmation from Hamas,” a spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry said on Thursday evening, according to Al Jazeera. “We are awaiting their response,” the spokesman added.

The proposed ceasefire will be implemented in three stages, according to a Hamas statement shared with Reuters earlier this week. The first phase would see fighting stop for 40 days as Hamas hands over the female civilians, children, and elderly people it is still holding captive. During this time, large-scale deliveries of food and medicine into Gaza would resume. The following stages would see Hamas turn over captive Israeli soldiers and the bodies of Israeli troops, in exchange for further aid deliveries and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. “Military operations on both sides will stop during the three stages,” the militants said, adding that the number of Palestinian prisoners freed would be open to negotiation.

The proposal falls short of the full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza that Hamas initially demanded. As a step toward ending the war, however, it also threatens Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to keep fighting until Israel achieves “total victory” over the militants, as he has promised on multiple occasions. While hardliners within Netanyahu’s cabinet have pressed him to reject any deal they view as too lenient towards Hamas, Israel has faced international condemnation over its conduct in Gaza, and two of the Jewish state’s most stalwart backers – the US and UK – suggested this week that they could soon recognize an independent Palestinian state. Such an outcome would be a political disaster for Netanyahu, who angered Washington and London last month when he outright rejected a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict with the Palestinians.

Hamas fighters attacked Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking roughly 240 as hostages. Israel responded by imposing a siege on Gaza and launching waves of airstrikes on the densely-populated enclave. A ground operation followed three weeks later, and after almost four months of fighting, more than 27,000 Palestinians have died, two thirds of them women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Read more …

“..European countries are “going down faster than we can even imagine..”

“..we were concerned about their economy moving up because they were getting cheap Russian energy..”

US Created Ukraine Conflict to Keep Europe ‘Under Its Thumb’ (Sp.)

On Thursday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban relented to pressure from the EU and finally allowed €50 billion in military and financial aid to be transferred to Ukraine after blocking the funding for more than a month. The funds are ostensibly planned to fund Ukraine until 2027 and came as US aid remains stalled in Congress. Before the latest aid package was approved by the EU, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg remarked at a Monday news conference in Washington, DC, that “weapons are – in fact – the way to peace [in Ukraine],” but that’s not quite the case, an analyst told Sputnik. Dr. David Oualaalou told Sputnik’s Critical Hour on Wednesday that Stoltenberg’s assertion “defies logic” and asserted that Ukraine is already “gone.” Oualaalou argued that Europe was pushed into supporting Ukraine by the US, which is not “paying the price” of that support in the same way Europe is.

He added that the economic situation in Europe, largely brought on by the consequences of their support of Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, makes the continent reliant on the US. “[The US] created the conflict to ensure that Europe will stay under [its] thumb by dictating the terms and complicating matters for them,” Oualaalou explained. “One way you do that, [is] you complicate the economic outcome for an entity, doesn’t matter who, that’s how you do it.” He added that his family members in Europe acknowledge that European countries are “going down faster than we can even imagine,” and pointed to the farmer and worker protests breaking out across the continent. Complicating matters further, Oualaalou argued, is that even with monetary aid being sent to Ukraine, Europe is too short on ammunition to give Ukraine much that will help them on the battlefield.

“I hope your listeners know that the UK cannot fight the Houthis, for example,” Oualaalou said, referring to the growing conflict in the Red Sea. “The reason? They don’t have firepower, they don’t have enough. That is why they are just riding with the US.” Oualaalou also argued that even the US and UK combined will not be able to defeat the Houthis. “We couldn’t defeat the Taliban, we couldn’t defeat the militias in Iraq. What makes us think we’re going to defeat the Houthis? And the Houthis, to my knowledge, and I’ve been on the ground, I was there. They are fierce fighters.” Co-host Garland Nixon suggested that the real goal in funding Ukraine was to line politicians’ “filthy pockets” with money, an assertion Oualaalou agreed with. But he also reiterated that it is also part of the US geopolitical strategy.

“[The] Ukraine conflict was created by design for us to keep the Europeans down because we were concerned about their economy moving up because they were getting cheap Russian energy – that’s what’s at the heart of it,” he said. Asked about the narrative and media attention shifting from Ukraine to the Middle East, even as the conflict continues, Oualaalou admitted that it’s simply part of the larger plan, and that there could be more on the horizon. “That’s usually how the narrative goes because that is the aim – you move from one conflict to the next one because you’re already preparing [for] the next conflict. … what I see on the horizon, is what’s going on too, in Asia,” he explained. “It [has] become clear in the West that Ukraine is a failed state. The objective has been accomplished. Let’s move to the next conflict. And once that’s settled, we’re going to move to a third one and so forth.”

Read more …

To achieve what?

EU Leaders Agree to Give $54Bln in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine (Sp.)

The EU leaders have reached an agreement on allocating 50 billion euros ($54 billion) as part of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday. “All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for #Ukraine. EU is taking leadership & responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake,” Michel wrote on X. The EU leaders have agreed to hold a debate about its assistance to Ukraine every year, and to review it after two years if necessary, The Guardian reported on Thursday, citing the EU summit’s conclusions. According to the conclusions, the European Council will hold a debate every year on the implementation of the Ukraine facility, and will invite the European Commission to make a proposal to review it in two years if needed.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported, citing a European diplomat, that the EU funds for Hungary will remain frozen after Budapest also agreed on the allocation of assistance for Ukraine. European officials have continuously said that they are ready to study alternatives in the event of a final blocking of aid to Kiev from the EU budget. The total amount of EU macro-financial assistance to Ukraine in 2023 amounted to 18 billion euros, transferred in monthly payments in the amount of 1.5 billion euros. This assistance was provided to Kiev regardless of the implementation of reforms and the fight against corruption.

In December, Hungary vetoed an enlargement of the EU’s 2024-2027 budget to incorporate 50 billion euros in macro-financial aid for Ukraine. Media reported that Hungary had proposed splitting the package into four tranches, subject to approval each year. However, several EU diplomats are reportedly opposed to giving Hungary the option of an “annual veto”. Western countries, led by the United States, have been providing military aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022. The aid evolved from providing artillery munitions and training in 2022 to heavy weapons, including tanks, advanced air-defense systems, prohibited cluster munitions and long-range missiles, later that year and in 2023.

Read more …

Your top man must be a warmonger.

Zelensky Wants Zaluzhny Out Over Effort At Ceasefire With Russia – Hersh (Sp.)

Volodymyr Zelensky wants to remove Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny from his post because of his alleged involvement in secret talks with Western officials about pursuing a ceasefire with Russia, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported. On Monday, Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Goncharenko said, citing sources, that Zaluzhny was allegedly ordered to resign. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry and Zelensky’s spokesman denied the claims. “Zelensky’s desire to fire his commanding general is the result, some Americans believe, of his knowledge that Zaluzhny had continued to participate – whether directly or through aides is not known – in secret talks since last fall with American and other Western officials on how best to achieve a ceasefire and negotiate an end to the war with Russia,” Hersh said on Thursday. The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources, that the Ukrainian government had postponed the dismissal of Zaluzhny due to a leak of information about his possible resignation.

The government planned to fire Zaluzhny, but on Monday evening, when information leaked, it decided to back off, the report said, adding that now, the government is slowing down the process. According to reports, Zelensky was forced to reverse his decision as international partners, including the United States and the United Kingdom, expressed concern about Zelensky’s actions.Zelensky reportedly met with Zaluzhny to inform the general of the decision to fire him. Instead, Zelensky offered Zaluzhny the post of secretary of the country’s security council, but Zaluzhny turned it down. The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, Kyrylo Budanov, and the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, were named candidates for the post of commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, the report added.

Read more …

If only he could find a replacement.

Zelensky To Fire Top General This Week – CNN (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky intends to fire his top general, Valery Zaluzhny, before the end of the week, CNN claimed on Wednesday citing sources familiar with the situation. The report follows similar rumors appearing in outlets such as the Financial Times and the Washington Post, which have so far been dismissed by Kiev. The relationship between the two men reportedly began to deteriorate when the general wrote an article for The Economist in November, describing the battlefield situation as a “stalemate” following Kiev’s failed counteroffensive. The president has vehemently rejected that assessment. According to CNN, Zaluzhny was called into Zelensky’s office on Monday, where he was told he would be fired in the next few days. While no formal announcement has yet been made, a source allegedly told the outlet that a presidential decree is expected by the end of the week.

Rumors that the country’s popular military leader would be replaced originally started circulating in the media earlier this week based on anonymous sources in Kiev. The Washington Post claimed that the president explained his decision to Zaluzhny by saying that a new commander was needed to rejuvenate the situation, as the Ukrainian people had grown tired of war while Kiev’s foreign backers had reduced military assistance. The general was then reportedly offered an advisory position, which he declined, opting instead to leave the military entirely, a source told the outlet. After reports of Zaluzhny’s imminent sacking leaked on Monday, Zelensky spokesman Sergey Nikiforov issued an official statement insisting it was “untrue.” The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also posted a message on social media declaring the rumors false.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Ukrainian president had chosen to reconsider the decision after the initial plan ended up in the press. However, another source told the paper that the firing had only been temporarily delayed while Kiev looks for a fitting replacement for Zaluzhny. Moscow, meanwhile, has described the rumors of the Ukrainian commander’s dismissal as a sign that Kiev’s leadership is in disarray and has “a lot of problems,” according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. He predicted that divisions in Ukraine’s military and civilian leadership stemming from the failed counteroffensive would continue to grow as Russia proceeds with its objectives.

Read more …

“Syrsky himself – alongside the Ukrainian military intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov – reportedly “politely declined” an offer to take up Zaluzhny’s position..”

Zelensky’s Generals Refuse To Accept Firing Top Commander – Bild (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been unable to fire the nation’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, because both replacements under consideration refused the job, the tabloid Bild reported on Thursday. A host of Western and Ukrainian media previously claimed, citing anonymous sources in Kiev, that Zelensky had sacked Zaluzhny, prompting the Ukrainian government to refute those rumors. According to Bild, the president did attempt to fire the general on Monday and had to reverse his decision “within an hour” because he could not find a replacement for the nation’s top commander. The move drew strong opposition from the Ukrainian generals, the tabloid claimed. Zelensky allegedly wanted to see Ground Forces Commander Aleksandr Syrsky in Zaluzhny’s place because “he is more loyal to the president,” Bild said, citing Gustav Gressel, a Ukraine expert with the Berlin-based European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

The generals disapproved of the choice because they see Zaluzhny as a “more humane” leader who is “closer to the troops,” the analyst explained. Syrsky himself – alongside the Ukrainian military intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov – reportedly “politely declined” an offer to take up Zaluzhny’s position, the paper claimed. Yesterday, Britain’s The Times named Syrsky and Budanov as possible candidates to be Ukraine’s top general, also reporting that they had refused. Despite Zaluzhny retaining his post, the conflict between him and Zelensky continues to “smolder,” Bild alleged. The relationship between the two men reportedly began to deteriorate when the general wrote an article for The Economist in November, describing the battlefield situation as a “stalemate” following Kiev’s failed counteroffensive. The president has vehemently rejected that assessment.

According to the German outlet, the president and his commander also clashed over strategy in the cities of Bakhmut and Avdeevka. In late spring 2023, when the Russian forces were pressing their advantage against the Ukrainians in Bakhmut, Zelensky insisted the city should be held to the last man, while Zaluzhny wanted to withdraw to preserve his forces, the paper said, adding that the situation was being repeated in Avdeevka. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Zelensky had abandoned his plans to fire the top general after his plan was leaked to the media. CNN reported on Thursday, however, that the Ukrainian leader still wanted to go ahead with the decision and would fire Zaluzhny by the end of the week.

Read more …

“..even the Pentagon has admitted there is no evidence showing Iran had a hand in the drone attack. Nevertheless, Biden has asserted Iran is to blame and that this gives the U.S. a right to respond militarily..”

Biden Makes Clear Case for NATO Complicity Over IL-76 Shoot-Down (SCF)

Joe Biden is contending that the United States has the right to attack Iran as a result of the deadly strike on a U.S. base in Jordan which killed three American troops. Biden is throwing rocks in a glass house if we then look at the case of the IL-76 shoot-down over Russia when 74 people were killed. It is by no means clear if Iran was involved in the Jordan base raid. Tehran strongly denies it and even the Pentagon has admitted there is no evidence showing Iran had a hand in the drone attack. Nevertheless, Biden has asserted Iran is to blame and that this gives the U.S. a right to respond militarily. If Biden can make that case, then the United States and its NATO allies should be held accountable for the shooting down of the IL-76 transport plane over Russia killing all onboard, according to the reasoning of none other than the US President.

By “accountable” that means Russia has the right to take retaliatory military action against the culprit of the crime in which 74 people were killed. Again, this is according to Biden’s own reasoning.Biden was not speaking about the fatal IL-76 incident that occurred on January 24 when nine Russian servicemen and 65 Ukrainian prisoners were killed after their cargo plane was hit in mid-air with a warhead. The president was responding to U.S. journalists questioning him about the deaths of three American military personnel at a base in Jordan that Iraqi militants attacked on January 28. Biden said he held Iran responsible for the American fatalities and vowed to retaliate. Somewhat contradictorily, the president and his spokesmen have said the United States does not seek to have a wider war with Iran even though Biden said he intends to attack Iranian assets in a “tiered way at a time of his choosing”. If that’s not a wider war, what is?

Iran has vehemently denied any involvement in the drone attack on the U.S. base in Jordan near the border with Syria and Iraq. The strike was claimed by Iraqi militia known as Islamic Resistance which is allied with Iran.Asked if he blamed Iran, Biden said he did “in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.” Iran and the Iraqi militants are affiliated in a similar way to Tehran’s support for Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen. All are motivated by staunch opposition to U.S. military occupation in the Middle East and Washington’s support for Israel’s genocidal aggression in Gaza. Collectively, Iran and its allies are known as the Axis of Resistance.There is no evidence that Iran supplied the weapons to the militants who killed the three American troops. Iran contends that each resistance member possesses its own agency and decision-making.

By contrast, however, the supply of American and other NATO weaponry to the Kiev regime is publicly recorded. It is estimated that the West has funded Ukraine with a total of $200 billion since the proxy war against Russia erupted in February 2022. About half of that has been spent on weapons that include long-range missiles such as Patriot, Shadow Storm, Scalp and Iris-T systems. British and French cruise missiles have been repeatedly used to hit pre-war Russian territory such as Belgorod resulting in dozens of civilian deaths. The strike on the IL-76 transport plane is believed to have been carried out with Western-supplied weapons. Russian crash investigators have this week confirmed earlier claims that the cargo plane was shot down with a NATO weapon, either a U.S.-made Patriot missile system or a German Iris-T surface-to-air missile.

When the IL-76 was blown out of the sky on January 24 over Russia’s Belgorod region, Russian radars detected the launch of two anti-aircraft warheads nearly 100 kilometers away from the target. The missiles were allegedly fired from the location of Liptsy in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkov province. It is believed that only NATO-supplied weapons to the Ukrainian forces could have achieved that extensive range.At the time of the IL-76 shoot-down, the Kremlin said that if it confirmed that Western weapons were responsible then Russia would deem the West to be complicit in the crime. On January 26, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said: “According to preliminary investigation, Ukrainian armed forces carried out this terrorist attack using an anti-aircraft missile system. The missiles were launched from the village of Liptsy in Kharkov region.”

Read more …

“..despite all the aid that has been sent to Ukraine, which he estimated to be over $200 billion, the army itself is woefully ill-equipped for battle..”

Ukraine’s ‘Failed State’ Status (DeMartino)

Earlier this week, Ukraine’s security service announced that five Ukrainians, including the current head of a department in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, had been served with notices of suspicion related to the embezzlement of nearly $40 million that was supposed to be spent on artillery shells.The news was the latest in a consistent pattern of fraud and corruption being reported in Ukraine since Russia’s special military operation began nearly two years ago. Former Ukrainian ambassador and whistleblower Andrii Telizhenko told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that corruption is rife in Kiev and is only getting worse. “So this whole scheme of $40 million is just a small little example,” Telizhenko explained. “Ukraine became a failed state,” Telizhenko said, “because of the corruption and because Ukraine was sold off to the people inside Ukraine, was sold off to its Western allies, and people in Ukraine are suffering from this.”

Telizhenko noted that despite all the aid that has been sent to Ukraine, which he estimated to be over $200 billion, the army itself is woefully ill-equipped for battle. “People are still collecting money to buy medical kits and drones for the soldiers,” Telizhenko said. “[This is] what is happening in Ukraine, total corruption.” Telizhenko noted that there was another case in which more than $1 billion worth of military equipment that the US Department of Defense authorized to be sent to Ukraine never arrived and the DoD was unable to locate them. “So this is a great example where equipment is being lost for billions of dollars, equipment is not being made for hundreds of millions of dollars, and it’s all being stolen by the Kiev regime, and I think, with the help of the deep state government in Washington.”The actions by Ukrainian authorities to arrest those involved in the motor scandal are token gestures, says Telizhenko,“It’s all a big show.”The corruption in Ukraine has always been there but grew exponentially after the West began meddling in Ukrainian affairs, he explained.

“Corruption, which was inside Ukraine, which [already] was pretty big, but then it came from the outside, from people like [US President Joe] Biden in Washington, the deep state, which said, ‘Oh, why [don’t] we also make money on this together with the Ukrainian politicians?’” Telizhenko blasted the Ukrainian officials calling them “hypocrites” and “so-called patriots.” The corruption is so entrenched, Telizhenko said, that it will take more than the removal of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to root it out.“It [is] coming to a situation where a change of government in Washington, DC, a change of national policy issues in Washington, people like [Former US President Donald] Trump [could] come in,” Telizhenko explained. “He spoke about making peace in 24 hours, that’s a possibility.” “The end game… for Ukraine is to have a new government inside Ukraine and to see what government comes from Washington, maybe that will give some stability in the world,” he concluded.

Read more …

“..we see how the [countries in the union are] going really down the slope and nobody’s stopping it..”

Mass European Farmer Protests Blowback for Ukraine Support (Sp.)

After farmers blocked highways leading into Paris last week, farmers from several other European countries have followed suit, protesting against their countries’ dropping of fuel subsidies, green regulations and dropping sale prices. Veteran war correspondent Elijah Magnier told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Wednesday that the root causes of the protests stem from Europe’s decision “to follow the United States policy and join the war against Russia.”
“We shot ourselves in the foot, basically that’s very soft – we shot ourselves in the head and now we are paying the price,” Magnier said. He noted how everything from energy to consumer food prices has skyrocketed in Europe, but that has not caused European leaders to change course. “Now, they are attacking the heart of Europe that are the farmers … they can no longer stand on their feet with the difference of prices, with the increase of price [for consumers and] the lower price that the markets are buying off of them.”

Co-host Jamarl Thomas asked Magnier what demands the farmers have. Magnier replied that they want protection from cheap products coming out of Ukraine, subsidies on diesel fuel to be reinstated, the rollback of European Green New Deal regulations that limit when and what crops are allowed to be planted and a fair price from the supermarket that matches the cost of living increases in Europe. Part of the issue, says Magnier is that the EU hamstrings what the individual countries’ leaders can do to respond to their population. “It’s a serious issue today in Europe, where the European leaders are no longer able to rule Europe as it used to be, and we see how the [countries in the union are] going really down the slope and nobody’s stopping it,” Magnier explained.

In particular, Magnier explained, farmers are angry that they have to follow the new regulations but Ukraine is allowed to skirt them under the guise that they are at war. “When you say ‘you cannot plant this kind of vegetable at this particular time of the year because of the CO2 and because of the climate change and because we need to transform Europe into a green environment,’” Magnier explained. “You cannot [also] say, ‘Okay, this is applicable only on the Europeans [with] the exception of Ukraine,’ that doesn’t go, it doesn’t work. “The farmers today are waking up [to] the consequences of the Ukrainian conflict and they are saying ‘we have to be completely detached from what is happening in Ukraine because this is not our war,’” he added. Instead of fighting with the farmers, Magnier said he believes the EU should at least pause the Green New Deal regulations until after the conflict in Ukraine is over and talk to the farmers about what they need and can accommodate, but he noted that trust between the two parties has already been severed.

“So what [European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen is saying is, ‘Well, I’m ready to talk to you to see what we need and how we can work together.’ But it is too late. [The EU should] stop all [their] procedures and say, ‘let us talk.’ But you don’t negotiate with the knife at the throat of the farmers saying, ‘Well, now I have to think what I can lift, what I cannot lift.'” “If the leaders in Brussels don’t start talking and listening to the farmers, they cannot achieve their [Green New Deal] plan, so the plan is unachievable,” he added.

Dutch farmer

Read more …

Vault 7. “..Schulte had helped create the hacking tools that he later exposed to WikiLeaks..”

CIA Staffer Sentenced To 40 Years For Leaking US Hacking Secrets (RT)

A former CIA software engineer who embarrassed his employer by allegedy giving a massive trove of classified information to WikiLeaks has been sentenced to 40 years in prison by a New York judge. US District Court Judge Jesse Furman handed down the sentence against Joshua Schulte on Thursday, falling short of the life prison term that federal prosecutors had requested. Schulte, who was accused of carrying out the largest theft of US secrets in the CIA’s history, was convicted on charges of espionage, computer hacking, contempt of court, making false statements to the FBI, and possessing child pornography. Schulte, 35, was allegedly the source behind the so-called Vault 7 release by WikiLeaks in 2017, which exposed the methods used by the CIA to hack smartphones and other devices.

The bombshell report exposed how the US spied on foreign governments, terrorism suspects and other targets, creating a major embarrassment for Washington’s intelligence agencies. It also reportedly triggered a secret CIA plot to kidnap or assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Prior to his arrest in 2018, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools that he later exposed to WikiLeaks. The CIA tactics included efforts to turn so-called smart TVs – televisions with online connectivity – into listening devices. Prosecutors claimed he was behind “the most damaging disclosures of classified information in American history.”Schulte argued during his July 2022 trial that the CIA and FBI were making him a scapegoat for a humiliating leak of data that could have been stolen by hundreds of other people. He claimed, too, that he had no motive to carry out such a leak.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, he complained of horrible conditions in his New York jail cell, which he called a “torture cage,” and he said prosecutors were seeking “vengeance” after previously offering him a plea bargain calling for a 10-year prison sentence. Furman found that Schulte was motivated by “anger, spite and perceived grievance” against his CIA bosses after they ignored his complaints about working conditions. After being jailed in 2018, the ex-programmer continued trying to leak classified materials in what prosecutors called an “information war” with the US government, the judge said.

While executing a search warrant in the espionage case, FBI investigators allegedly found an encrypted cache of more than 3,000 images and videos depicting child sexual abuse on Schulte’s home computer, according to prosecutors. More than six years of his 40-year prison sentence stemmed from the pornography charges. Although Furman didn’t grant the request by the US Department of Justice to imprison Schulte for life, he did agree to apply a “terrorism enhancement,” a legal provision that allows harsher sentences for terrorism-related offenses. Assange, who has been jailed in London since 2019 while fighting extradition to the US, faces up to 175 years in prison on 17 espionage charges.

Read more …

Waters is 80 years old and doing massive sold out shows all the time. He’ll be fine.

Roger Waters Faces Axe by Record Label Over Defiant Israel Stance (Sp.)

Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) is reportedly planning to axe its 2016 publishing deal with 80-year-old rock legend Roger Waters over his “inflammatory comments” on the crises in Israel and Ukraine, and his outspoken criticism of the United States. Sources told entertainment magazine Variety that the Germany-based record giant is getting ready to take the radical step to “separate entirely” from Waters. Ordinarily, publishing deals are generally allowed to expire without renewal instead of being prematurely ended. Waters mentioned being “fired” by BMG in an interview with independent journalist Glenn Greenwald late last year, citing pressure from Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League pro-Israeli lobbying group, over his outspoken position on the conflict in Gaza.

“Bertelsmann’s, did they say ‘F*ck you Jonathan Greenblatt, we’re a proper company and this is a great artist and we have his publishing and we supported him and he makes great records’? No, they didn’t. They went ‘ok’ and they fired me, boom!” Waters recalled, accusing Greenblatt of falsely labeling him an “anti-Semite” and threatening to “remind the public” that BGM “collaborated with the Nazis in World War II” to push the label to axe him. After the October 7 escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Waters, a longtime self-professed pro-Palestinian peace activist, accused Israel of “committing genocide” and suggested that “its leaders and any Western leaders who support it should be prosecuted under the Genocide Convention.”

On Ukraine, Waters was invited by Russia to speak at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council last February, where he condemned all sides in the conflict but emphasized that Russia’s special military operation was “not unprovoked” and the “provocateurs” must be condemned “in the strongest possible terms.” Waters’ nuanced stance on the Ukrainian crisis led his name to be placed on a notorious ‘kill list’ website linked to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Consistently speaking out against the suspected crimes of the UK government as a “willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire,” Rogers has decried the “US Empire” as “the most evil of all by a factor of at least ten times.”

Waters’ future with BGM was called into question last year. After being appointed CEO of BMG last July, record industry big whig Thomas Coesfeld unilaterally canceled the release of a new 50th anniversary recording of Dark Side of the Moon, the legendary album which propelled Pink Floyd and Waters to international stardom in 1973. The album wound up being released by independent UK-based publisher Cooking Vinyl Publishing instead. Waters was Pink Floyd’s lead lyricist, co-lead vocalist and band leader between 1968 and 1985. He was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and has often been characterized as one of the top rock singer-songwriters of all time.

Read more …

Steele belongs in jail. But he has protection.

UK High Court Throws Out Trump’s Christopher Steele Case (BBC)

Donald Trump’s attempt to bring a case in the UK courts against a former MI6 officer who wrote a salacious dossier linking him to Russia has failed. The former president had been seeking to use data protection laws to sue Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, the company run by Christopher Steele. Mr Steele compiled the dossier which had unproven allegations about bribing officials and sex parties. It was leaked to the media just before Mr Trump was sworn in as president. In bringing the lawsuit, he said the dossier contained allegations that were inaccurate and breached his data protection rights. A ruling on Thursday by the High Court in London threw out the case. Mrs Justice Steyn DBE said she did not make any judgement on the allegations themselves but found Mr Trump’s claim had not been brought within the six-year limitation period.

“There are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial,” she wrote. A statement is expected from Mr Steele later today. The case stems from 2016, when a US political consultancy asked Mr Steele’s company to produce a report into potential Russian interference in that year’s US general election. The project was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s Democrats and other political opponents of Mr Trump. Mr Steele, the former head of MI6’s Russia desk, sent his findings to the FBI, a British national security officer and an aide to a senior US senator. The dossier, later obtained and published by BuzzFeed News, detailed uncorroborated intelligence claims that Mr Trump had a “compromising relationship with the Kremlin”.

The former president said in his witness statement when he brought the case last year that “none of these things [in the Steele dossier] ever happened.” “I can confirm that I did not, at any time engage in perverted sexual behaviour including the hiring of prostitutes to engage in ‘golden showers’ in the presidential suite of a hotel in Moscow.” Mr Trump said official investigations had debunked the dossier but it continued “to cause me significant damage and distress” because people still believed it. He added that he had not had time to sue in the UK before 2023 because he had been busy being president. Antony White KC, for Orbis, told the court in October that Mr Trump had accepted that the company was not responsible for BuzzFeed’s publication of the document.

Read more …

X thread that Musk labeled “interesting”.

“Elon Musk paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth back in 2021. He paid over $11 billion in taxes.”

Interesting – Elon Musk (Kanekoa)

Judge Kathaleen McCormick rescinded Elon Musk’s $55 billion Tesla compensation package, overturning the company’s board and 80% of its shareholders. McCormick also ruled against @elonmusk during his Twitter acquisition. Before becoming the head of the Delaware Chancery Court, McCormick worked at a Delaware law firm called Young Conaway. This firm and its employees have been major donors to President Joe Biden for decades. In 2016, Hunter Biden hosted a gubernatorial campaign event for Congressman John Carney, with then-Vice President Joe Biden as the guest speaker. This event took place at the Law Offices of Young Conaway in Wilmington, Delaware. Carney, a close friend of Joe Biden for the last four decades, later became governor and nominated Kathaleen McCormick, a partner at Young Conaway, to her position on the Delaware Chancery Court.

In a March 2018 email, Hunter Biden claimed to personally know every judge on the Delaware Chancery Court while threatening legal action against his Chinese business partners. “I will bring the suit in the Chancery court in Delaware – which as you know is my home state and I am privileged to have worked with and know every judge on the chancery court.” After Elon Musk purchased Twitter with the stated goal of restoring free-speech, President Biden called for a federal investigation into Musk on the podium at the White House. Following this, the Biden Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Federal Trade Commission initiated legal actions and investigations against Tesla, SpaceX, and X. This recent decision by Judge McCormick, who worked with Biden’s top donors and was nominated by Biden’s close friend, to override Tesla’s board and the majority of its shareholders is another clear example of the Biden administration and its allies weaponizing the American legal system against their political opponents.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Assange

 

 

 

 

Brahman

 

 

Treat

 

 

Disabled
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753069487925190827

 

 

Tiny
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752811211866116527

 

 

Mandarin

 

 

Ears
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752788518420840805

 

 

 

 

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