May 232024
 


Vincent van Gogh The sower 1888

 

Trump In The Bronx: Thousands Expected To Show Up For Massive Rally (ZH)
Trump Claims Biden Authorized FBI To Use Deadly Force In Mar-a-Lago (RT)
Election 2024: A Political Renaissance for America or the Path to Totalitarianism (AmG)
Judge Aileen Cannon to Hear Motions to Dismiss in Trump Documents Case (ET)
Alan Dershowitz Might Get Away With His Motto for Trump Case (Taft)
Raisi Led The Charge For Russia–Iran–China’s ‘New World Order’ (Pepe Escobar)
CIA Prevented Hunter’s Tax Sugar Daddy From Becoming Federal Witness (ZH)
Tucker Carlson Sets Record Straight on Claims of Hosting Russian TV Show (Sp.)
Germany Would ‘Abide’ By ICC Netanyahu Arrest Warrant (RT)
‘We’re Next!’ Lindsey Graham Warns About ICC (RT)
Ukraine Is Losing, Direct Intervention By The West Risks Nuclear Conflict (RT)
Musk Questions Ukrainian Democracy (RT)
Scientists Reveal Hidden Branch of the Nile, May Solve Pyramid Mystery (Sp.)
The Slow-Motion Execution of Julian Assange Continues (Chris Hedges)

 

 

 

 

Alina/Mechan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793149492419588317

 

 

Tucker Prince
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793232602129727993

 

 

Not looking good, Bill..

 

 

“Biden presents as old and ancient. That [Trump] does not look old.”

 

 

Unified Reich

 

 

Volga

 

 

 

 

In Trump terms, “a crowd of up to 3,500 people” is not a massive rally. But it’s ‘lovely ironic’ that it is Alvin Bragg who brings Trump to Manhattan.

Trump In The Bronx: Thousands Expected To Show Up For Massive Rally (ZH)

With Donald Trump stuck in New York for his ‘hush money’ trial, which now rests in the hands of the jury (while having imploded in the court of public opinion), the former president is holding what’s expected to be a massive rally on Thursday in the Bronx amid huge gains in polling among black and latino voters. The Trump campaign expects a crowd of up to 3,500 people, according to the NY Post. It will mark the first time he’s campaigned in his home state since a 2016 event in Buffalo. Several polls suggest as many as 23% of black voters and 46% of latino voters could cast their ballot for Trump – a huge boost from the 6% of black and 28% of latino voters who supported him in 2016, which grew to 8% and 32% respectively in 2020. As the Epoch Times noted last month, support for the Democratic Party among black and Hispanic voters has been eroding for years.

The percentage of black voters who “lean Democrat” topped out at near 90 percent in 2008 but fell to 66 percent by 2023, the lowest level yet recorded according to data from Gallup’s annual polling on the subject. Meanwhile, the percentage of black voters who “lean Republican” rose from single digits to 19 percent over the same period. Of note, the Bronx hasn’t backed a Republican candidate for White House in 100 years when Calvin Coolidge won every single NY county in 1920 and 1924. Meanwhile, Trump’s Thursday rally comes weeks after a massive rally in the Jersey Shore town of Wildwood -drawing an estimated 100,000 supporters – and days after Trump supporters were seen marching in the South Bronx over the weekend. [..] Indeed, the Trump campaign has been making the best of the former president’s situation. “While he is in court, we are using New York City as a backdrop,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Danielle Alvarez in a statement to the Post. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” another source close to the campaign told the outlet.

“President Trump is taking advantage of being stuck in New York by holding a rally that will surely highlight how Joe Biden has failed Bronx residents with inflation and the open border. The nation’s biggest outlets are headquartered in NYC. [Manhattan DA Alvin] Bragg has inadvertently given Trump a massive stage.” Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, the only Republican member of Congress representing a New York City district, told The Post she thinks Trump’s Bronx rally is “a great start.” “It’s exciting for New York City to have President Trump rallying, and it’s important for him to reach out to, particularly minority communities. I think New York is in play,” she said.

“New York is desperate for a balance, and they’ve shown that … We flipped that City Council seat in the Bronx, right in the heart of AOC’s district. In my congressional district, we were able to flip multiple [state] Assembly seats Republican. “My district would love for President Donald Trump to make a stop, particularly Staten Island,” added Malliotakis, shouting out the only borough to back Trump in both 2016 and 2020. In future, the lawmaker added, she would “love to see him do something at Yankee Stadium, or take over the beach on Staten Island like he did in Wildwood.” -NY Post. This is a complete optics nightmare for Democrats.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1793255284711788854

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Garland/DOJ were desperate to see what was in the folder they thought Trump held… they overruled FBI agents who resisted the plan…

“..the FBI said in a statement that its agents had followed “standard procedure” during the raid. “The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force..”

Look, there is no “standard procedure” for raiding a former President’s home. It never happened before.

Trump Claims Biden Authorized FBI To Use Deadly Force In Mar-a-Lago (RT)

Donald Trump has accused US President Joe Biden of authorizing the use of deadly force during the FBI’s raid on his estate in 2022, citing a law enforcement document released on Tuesday in the classified documents case against the former president. The document in question describes the FBI’s plans for a court-authorized search on August 8, 2022 at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. “Wow! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, authorized the FBI to use deadly (lethal) force,” Trump wrote in a post on his Truth Social account on Tuesday.

Garland
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792981056158634423

The FBI’s operations order was revealed as part of the investigation into Trump’s alleged falsification of business records. During the search of Trump’s residence in connection with this probe it was supposedly discovered that the ex-president had retained classified documents. According to a court filing, the order contained a policy statement regarding the use of deadly force, which stated, for example, that “Law Enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary,” Fox News reported on Tuesday, citing the document. The US Department of Justice and FBI agents “planned to bring ‘Standard Issue Weapons’, ‘Ammo’, ‘Handcuffs’, and ‘medium and large sized bolt cutters’, but they were instructed to wear ‘unmarked polo or collared shirts’ and to keep ‘law enforcement equipment concealed,” the filing revealed.

“Now we know, for sure, that Joe Biden is a serious threat to democracy. He is mentally unfit to hold office – 25th amendment,” said Trump, who is the current Republican frontrunner to challenge Biden in November’s presidential election. In a rare and apparently direct response to the former president’s post, the FBI said in a statement that its agents had followed “standard procedure” during the raid. “The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force,” the statement read. “No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter.” The FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago found that dozens of classified documents remained in the residence. Trump, however, has claimed that he was within his rights as a former president to possess the documents.

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“..Assuming the election’s fidelity—that this assumption must be made is an indication of how close the country is flirting with totalitarianism..”

Election 2024: A Political Renaissance for America or the Path to Totalitarianism (AmG)

It has been decades in the making, but the country is now on the precipice between its traditional ideology of political liberalism and a path that will lead, far sooner than Americans might think, to totalitarianism. The historical bulwarks of Americanism and the American political system—government of the people, freedom, and liberty—have been deliberately eroded. A citizenry steeped in republican virtue, cognizant of the political ideas and principles that made America a lasting and strong constitutional republic, and knowledgeable about the duties and obligations of American citizenship have been under daily assault for years from the foreign ideology of communism. That odious ideology has operated under synonyms such as “progressivism,” “multiculturalism,” or DEI to make its poison more palatable to American audiences.

The media—the so-called “Fourth Estate”—has been another layer of protection that has been peeled away. Today, they are activists advancing the left’s agenda in all but name. Great newspapers that were lively to read and informative are no longer. One reads them now the same way Soviet citizens used to read Pravda—only by knowing the lies that are printed and surmising what is left out of the story can one come close to knowing the truth. Compare the front page of the New York Times from fifty, forty, or thirty years ago to one today, and the change is telling and sad to see. Rather than a robust culture of free speech, censorship is pervasive by the legacy and social media, Big Tech, and by a ubiquitous and devilish culture of self-censorship.

American universities were once the envy of the world, as lively academies of intellectual debate and devoted to the pursuit of knowledge are now factories of indoctrination. Their law, medical, engineering, and business schools have also been transformed into political instruments that advance the “Party Line.” Unbelievably, thought control in K-12 is even worse. Popular culture fell a long time ago, and most of it is simply a contemporary version of Soviet entertainment where the heroic worker and peasant defeat the evil capitalist and priest. Worse still is the promotion of degeneracy and decadence with gender reassignment led by a teacher’s union that more resembles a Clockwork Orange ensemble than as the protectors of the most vulnerable in our society—our children.

As alarming as these developments are, what is worse is the permanent weaponization of government against political opponents. The raids, indictments, trials, and gag orders for a former president and leading 2024 candidate demonstrate that the Constitutional rights of the most prominent political figure in American politics in this century can have his rights violated, so too can all Americans. The lawfare employed against President Trump has been specifically designed by the left to consume his time and other resources away from his campaign for President in this critically important election year.

Of course, it is not only Trump. The imprisonment of former Trump official Peter Navarro and perhaps of Trump advisor Steve Bannon is an attempt to decapitate the Make America Great Again Movement through their imprisonment and to send a message to others about what will happen to anyone who opposes the state. The persecution of Trump’s legal advisor, John Eastman, is a similar tactic. The result is that law firms will be reluctant to accept the movement’s legal challenges. These actions are the first strike in the left’s campaign of “lawfare” to disarm Trump and to deter any Republican challenge to the parameters of the election and its aftermath. It is also political muscle flexing in an attempt to intimidate anyone who would assist Trump’s campaign and an effort to demoralize his base. After the British executed Admiral John Byng in 1757, Voltaire wrote it was “to encourage the others,” and so it is today.

The irony of the many steps taken by the left to advance a totalitarian agenda is that it is they who falsely proclaim that it is Trump and the MAGA movement that are the fascists. It is the left that is actually implementing such vile and anti-American practices against their political enemies and the American people. Recently, former 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was once again on the Sunday news shows talking about how Donald Trump would arrest his political enemies, while in reality it is only the Democratic Party and the Biden administration that have put Peter Navarro in prison, may imprison Bannon, and indicted the former President 92 times.

This cannot stand if America is to survive as a constitutional republic. If it does, then the country is on the path to totalitarianism. Totalitarianism does not just show up one day, springing forth fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus. But it does come quickly, more so than most Americans realize, as the ideology, laws, norms, and culture are eroded by the new revolutionary regime. When they seized power in 1917, the Bolsheviks did not know how far they could push the Russian people, but that was not for lack of intent or for a lack trying. Their ambition was to remake everything—culture, politics, economics, the arts, science, diplomacy, education, values, and thought. Every year, they tightened their grip until they crushed the people in the horrors of Stalinism. It took only twenty years from the time the Bolsheviks came to power to the show trials of mature Stalinism.

Nothing is decided and there will be many ups and downs, twists and turns, and surprises between now and Election Day. The election of 2024 is critical and as important as any in its history. Assuming the election’s fidelity—that this assumption must be made is an indication of how close the country is flirting with totalitarianism—it will provide Americans with the clearest choice in our history since the Civil War. When that choice is understood to be one between the continuation of the American Republic or to enter the hell of totalitarianism, the election will spark a renaissance of America’s traditional political ideology, institutions, values and culture. This election provides the opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of totalitarianism “with an American face,” as Americans, having seen into the abyss, will reject the totalitarian path. A re-birth of the understanding of the value of American citizenship—that spirit of 1776—and of our inalienable and universal freedoms can come from the 2024 election.

To ensure that positive outcome will require not only support for President Trump but also extraordinary vigilance by the American people through the election and its aftermath.

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“Judge Cannon postponed the trial indefinitely to consider additional motions to dismiss, including “indictment based on unlawful appointment and funding of Special Counsel” on June 21..”

Judge Aileen Cannon to Hear Motions to Dismiss in Trump Documents Case (ET)

After the prosecution and defense rested their cases in former President Donald Trump’s trial in Manhattan, his attorneys and those of co-defendant Walt Nauta will appear in southeast Florida on May 22 to argue for the dismissal of his classified documents case. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon will preside over back-to-back hearings that consider multiple motions to dismiss the case. Mr. Nauta’s attorneys will argue that the case should be dismissed based on selective and vindictive prosecution. Judge Cannon will then hear arguments from all defendants to dismiss the case on insufficient pleading. President Trump will be absent for both hearings in Fort Pierce, Florida, after Judge Cannon granted his “motion for leave to be excused” on May 14. The defendants have filed multiple motions to dismiss the case, including one citing the Presidential Records Act and another invoking “unconstitutional vagueness” that Judge Cannon heard during a March 14 hearing.

President Trump also filed a May 21 motion to dismiss, alleging prosecutorial misconduct when the FBI seized 15 boxes of documents during the Mar-a-Lago raid. Judge Cannon postponed the trial indefinitely to consider additional motions to dismiss, including “indictment based on unlawful appointment and funding of Special Counsel” on June 21. There are also partial evidentiary hearings scheduled for June 24–26 and a “defense reciprocal discovery” hearing on July 10. As a result of these pre-trial issues, Judge Cannon has indefinitely postponed the trial for this case, which experts say may not occur before the November election. The Justice Department charged Mr. Nauta with multiple counts, including: “participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice,” after President Trump tasked him with moving some of the boxes containing classified documents at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Mr. Nauta’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, Jr., argues that the Justice Department’s Special Counsel’s Office decision to prosecute the valet was “both selective and vindictive.” Mr. Woodward wrote that the legal standard for “selective prosecution” is that a prosecution “has a discriminatory effect” and that it was motivated by a “discriminatory purpose.” He also describes vindictive prosecution as when a prosecutor’s charging decision was “motivated by a desire to punish [the defendant] for doing something that the law plainly allowed him to do” while treating the defendant with “genuine animus.” Since others at the resort had moved the boxes “in the same or similar time, manner, and place as Mr. Nauta,” it would be discriminatory to charge him and no one else with this crime, Mr. Woodward argued in the motion to dismiss.

The Special Counsel’s Office rejected this argument and said it rests Mr. Nauta’s comparison to two other employees of President Trump “but whose conduct was not remotely similar to his own.” Therefore, it fails to prove that Mr. Nauta was selected for prosecution over those individuals for “improper reasons,” prosecutors say. As for vindictive prosecution, Mr. Woodward argued that Mr. Nauta was only prosecuted after he declined the Special Counsel’s Office’s request that he give “full cooperation in the investigation.” Mr. Woodward believes the indictment was “vindictive” because it appears that prosecutors targeted Mr. Nauta after he chose to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and declined to testify in front of a grand jury. The Justice Department called this a “novel and unsupported claim” and wrote that if the court accepted it, that would imply that any defendant asked to provide “full cooperation” would be immune from charges by simply “declining the offer.”

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“..Alan Dershowitz Might Be the Only One..”

Alan Dershowitz Might Get Away With His Motto for Trump Case (Taft)

The Trump trial in New York has seen a meltdown by the judge, a “star” witness who predictably lied on the stand, a mattress actress who described in fanciful detail a likely apocryphal tryst with the TV star-turned-president, and now this goat rodeo has been branded. It’s not just any slogan, no sir. Legal scholar and Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz may be one of only four people in America with the standing to pull this motto out on national TV and not get laughed at. Dershowitz was in the Manhattan courtroom on Monday and was appalled at seeing in person the sloppy, one-sided, and outrageous conduct against former President Donald Trump. Furthermore, he wants the video of the trial, which he says the court has, to be preserved and seen “by every American… to see what this judge looked like when he shouted at [defense witness Bob] Costello… (see my story about this nearby) and strike this testimony… and not allow this defendant to put on a defense.”

Those are sharp words from Dershowitz who has been in some of America’s most august courtrooms, congressional halls, and venues and done some serious backroom brawling in defense of his clients. But this, he said, is “one of the most unfair trials I have ever seen in the 60 years of practicing, teaching, and writing about criminal law. It’s a scandal.” He told Sean Hannity of Fox News that in this trial Judge Juan Merchan expanded the use of irrelevant testimony by the prosecution and curtailed the use of exonerating evidence for Donald Trump. He claimed, as others do, that the judge has ignored Trump’s Sixth Amendment Rights. Dershowitz said that in the time he was in court on Monday, he personally witnessed multiple rulings and decisions by the judge that were reversible errors in Trump’s case. He was the only spectator allowed to remain in the courtroom when the judge cleared it when he yelled at Costello. Maybe Judge Merchan thought Dershowitz was on the case.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1793091599775445338

Back in the day, America got a look at another judge in a deadly serious case against a beloved and ubiquitous TV star and sports figure, OJ Simpson. Americans were riveted by the TV coverage of the double murder trial of the retired NFL great. Dershowitz was part of Simpson’s “dream team” of lawyers who won the sports star and actor an acquittal. He and Robert Shapiro and DNA specialists Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, who founded The Innocence Project, are the only members of the defense team still alive. Johnny Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, and the man who assembled them all, attorney Robert Kardashian have all died. But you know the motto that Cochran coined during the closing arguments of the trial. One of OJ’s bloody kid gloves was found at the scene of the murders. Police found the matching bloody glove behind OJ’s house. They were bagged by evidence teams and stayed locked up for months in a police evidence locker.

During the trial, a young prosecutor tried to pull off a dramatic courtroom moment when he asked OJ to put his gnarled and arthritic hands inside the dried-out leather gloves. Not surprisingly, they didn’t fit like a glove. Cochran seized on the moment and told the jury during closing arguments, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” They did. Now one of the original dream team members has reworked the phrase to include his assessment of this Trump trial. Dershowitz told Hannity Tuesday night, “I have a motto for the defense: ‘If it’s not legit, you must acquit.’ And this is not a legitimate trial and there must be an acquittal… in the interest of all Americans.” Like the OJ case, DA Alvin Bragg may finally get down to the business of finding the real criminal in that Manhattan courtroom. All he’ll need to do is look in the mirror.

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“..none of the three Asian powers will allow the other partners to be destabilized by the usual suspects..”

Raisi Led The Charge For Russia–Iran–China’s ‘New World Order’ (Pepe Escobar)

Amidst all the sadness and grief over the loss of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, let’s take a moment to showcase the critical path he helped forge toward a new global order. In the nearly three years since Raisi ascended to the Iranian presidency, Eurasian integration and the drive toward multipolarity have become fundamentally conducted by three major actors: Russia, China, and Iran. Which, by no accident, are the three top “existential threats” to the hegemonic power. At 10 pm this past Sunday in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Iran’s ambassador to Moscow, Kazem Jalali, to be at the table in an impromptu meeting with the cream of the crop of Russia’s Defense Team. That invitation reached far beyond the myopic media conjecture over whether the Iranian president’s untimely death was due to an “accidental crash” or an act of sabotage. It came from the fruits of Raisi’s tireless labor to position Iran as an east-facing nation, boldly forging strategic alliances with Asia’s major powers while sweetening Tehran’s relations with past regional foes.

Back to that Sunday night table in Moscow. Everyone was there – from Defense Minister Andrei Belousov and Secretary of the Security Council Sergei Shoigu to Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Emergencies Minister Aleksandr Kurenkov and Special Assistant to the President, Igor Levitin. The key message portrayed was that Moscow has Tehran’s back. And Russia completely supports the stability and continuity of government in Iran, which is already fully guaranteed by Iran’s constitution and its detailed contingencies for a peaceful transition of power under even unusual circumstances. As we are now deep into total Hybrid War mode – bordering on Hot – across most of the planet, the three civilization states shaping a new system of international relations could not be more obvious. Russia–Iran–China (RIC) are already interlinked via bilateral, comprehensive strategic partnerships; they are members of both BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and their modus operandi was fully unveiled for the whole Global Majority to examine at Putin’s crucial summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week.

In short, none of the three Asian powers will allow the other partners to be destabilized by the usual suspects. Late President Raisi and his top diplomat, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, leave a stellar legacy. Under their leadership, Iran became a member of BRICS, a full member of the SCO, and a major stakeholder in the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). These are the three key multilateral organizations shaping the road to multipolarity. Iran’s new diplomatic drive reached key Arab and African players, from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt to Libya, Sudan, and Djibouti. Tehran, for the first time, conducted a sophisticated, large-scale military operation against Israel, firing a barrage of drones and missiles from Iranian territory. Iran–Russia relations reached the next level in trade and military-political cooperation. Two years ago, Putin and Raisi agreed on a comprehensive bilateral treaty. The draft of the core document is now ready and will be signed by Iran’s next president, expanding the partnership even further.

As a member of an Iranian delegation told me last year in Moscow, when the Russians were asked what could be on the table, they replied, “You can ask us anything.” And vice versa. So all interlocked declinations of Raisi’s “Look East” strategic shift coupled with Russia’s earlier “pivot to Asia” are being addressed by Moscow and Tehran. The Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO is meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday in Astana, preparing for the summit in July, when Belarus will become a full member. Crucially, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet has also approved the decision for Riyadh to join, possibly next year. Iran’s continuity of government will be fully represented in Astana via interim Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, who was Amir-Abdollahian’s number two. He’s bound to immediately enter the fray alongside Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to discuss the multi-layered multipolar path.

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Good question: “Why would the CIA protect Morris?”

CIA Prevented Hunter’s Tax Sugar Daddy From Becoming Federal Witness (ZH)

A trove of new whistleblower documents provided to House GOP investigators reveal, among other things, that the CIA prevented federal investigators from pursuing Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris as a witness in their investigation of Hunter Biden. Morris, a Hollywood entertainment lawyer who has ‘long supported’ Hunter (and why?) has loaned the First Son more than $6.5 million, according to a January letter to the House oversight committee. We’ve known about the CIA connection since March, when the Chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, Jim Jordan (R-OH) and James Comer (R-KY) said that a whistleblower has brought them information that ‘seems to corroborate our concerns’ that the CIA directly interfered with DOJ and IRS investigations of Hunter Biden. According to a whistleblower, the CIA “intervened in the investigation of Hunter biden to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) from interviewing a witness,” the letter, addressed to CIA Director William Burns, reads.

Specifically, the Committees were concerned at how “the DOJ deviated from its standard processes to afford preferential treatment to Hunter Biden,” which they learned “after two brave whistleblowers testified to Congress” that the Justice Department had done just that. “DOJ officials restricted what investigative steps the investigators could pursue, tipped off Hunter Biden’s attorneys about investigative steps, and even prevented investigators from conducting witness interviews. The whistleblowers’ testimony about the preferential treatment provided to Hunter Biden has been corroborated by testimony from other witnesses and documents the Committees have received.” And now we know who that witness is… “In a Wednesday statement, the House Ways and Means Committee wrote that whistleblower documents indicate “In 2021, Assistant U.S. District Attorney Leslie Wolf told investigators they could not pursue Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris as a witness based on information she received from the CIA. Investigators were never provided the same information that AUSA Wolf received.”

“From whistleblower-provided evidence, we know Hunter Biden and his business associates made millions from selling access to Joe Biden and the quote ‘brand’ that is Joe Biden around the world. We know President Biden’s denials of any knowledge or involvement are not true,” reads the letter. “We know the Department of Justice tried to undermine, stonewall, and block the investigation into the Biden family, including President Biden.” The letter also details several lies Hunter told to Congress: “Hunter Biden’s deposition is key to understanding the attempts to conceal how the family made millions from selling access. Yet, new documents provided by the whistleblowers show that Hunter Biden repeatedly lied to Congress in his February deposition to distance his involvement in what should be considered a clear scheme to enrich the Biden family.”

First, Hunter Biden lied about the recipient of a WhatsApp message sent with the apparent intention to threaten a business associate and demand payment. Second, Hunter Biden lied when he claimed he was not the corporate secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai and that the shell company he established with Devon Archer and its associated bank accounts were not under his control nor affiliated with him. Third, Hunter Biden lied during his deposition when he said he never helped individuals obtain U.S. visas. Why would the CIA protect Morris?

Read more …

Newsweek knows the claim is nonsense, but the outlet works for Biden’s DOJ.

“By claiming I work for a foreign government, Newsweek is trying to justify a FISA warrant that would allow the Biden administration to continue to spy on me. It’s disgusting,”

Tucker Carlson Sets Record Straight on Claims of Hosting Russian TV Show (Sp.)

Previously, Newsweek and several other outlets reported that Tucker Carlson had launched his own show on Russian television. Tucker Carlson has refuted reports that he has become a host on Russian television. This claim was unequivocally false, the journalist told Sputnik. “By claiming I work for a foreign government, Newsweek is trying to justify a FISA warrant that would allow the Biden administration to continue to spy on me. It’s disgusting,” he said. Similarly, in a post on X, Neil Patel, the CEO of the Tucker Carlson Network, said the network “has not done any deals with state media in any country.” He added that “Whoever is currently pretending to be the old Newsweek brand would know that if they had checked with us before printing like news companies are supposed to do.” Tucker Carlson’s representative Arthur Schwartz also dismissed such reports as “pure nonsense” in an an email to Forbes.

Earlier, Newsweek reported that the US journalist – a former Fox News anchor – was launching his own show on Russian state TV. The unsubstantiated claim that was then widely picked up by users on social media. Carlson was fired by Fox News in April 2023 after the outspoken anchor spent over two years using his popular prime time “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show to pillory the Biden administration, the military-industrial complex, and US warmongering. He has since launched a new media company and interview show on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Earlier in the year, Carlson said that his lawyers warned him that the United States could arrest him on sanctions violations for conducting an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. However, the pundit said he was happy to face such a risk and rejected the premise of such charges.

On February 9, the American journalist released his interview with Putin, which garnered over 100 million views in 24 hours on X. The long-time TV news anchor said at the time that he organized the interview because he felt it was his journalistic duty to inform Americans about the realities of the conflict in Ukraine and its consequences. Needless to say, the hypocrisy of Western journalists and legacy media was laid bare in the attack they launched at Tucker Carlson, accusing him as a traitor after the sit-down with the Russian leader. Furthermore, in a series of clips posted to his internet channel about his experiences from his eight-day stay in Russia, Carlson attempted to debunk myths and stereotypes about Russia and life in the capital in the midst of the West’s sanctions ‘total war’.

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“..calling for “civilized nations” to boycott any arrest orders against its leaders..”

Germany Would ‘Abide’ By ICC Netanyahu Arrest Warrant (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has made clear that it would cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) if proposed arrest warrants are issued against Israeli leaders over alleged war crimes against the Palestinians. Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit was asked whether Berlin would execute an ICC arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Of course, yes, we abide by the law,” he responded, as cited by Die Welt. The statement came after Israel’s ambassador to Berlin, Ron Prosor, urged Scholz’s administration to defy the ICC. The court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, filed applications on Monday for arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza conflict.

Israel’s government responded by branding the proposed warrants as anti-Semitic and calling for “civilized nations” to boycott any arrest orders against its leaders. Prosor appealed to the Berlin government directly on Tuesday, saying the German “Staatsrason” – its vow to ensure Israel’s security as part of its own national interest – was being put to the test. “The public statement that Israel has the right to self-defense loses credibility if our hands are tied as soon as we defend ourselves,” the envoy said. “The chief prosecutor equates a democratic government with Hamas, thereby demonizing and delegitimizing Israel and the Jewish people. He has completely lost his moral compass.” Prosor added that Germany has a responsibility to “readjust this compass.” He called the warrant applications a “disgraceful political campaign,” saying they could become a “nail in the coffin for the West” and its institutions.

Hebestreit declined to comment directly on the Israeli government’s demands. Germany is a signatory to the ICC and has staunchly supported such multilateral organizations. France, which is also among the 124 countries that recognize the ICC’s authority, is in the same boat. The French Foreign Ministry affirmed its support for the tribunal on Tuesday, saying it would be up to the court’s pre-trial chamber to decide whether to order the arrests of Israeli and Hamas leaders – based on evidence submitted by the prosecutor. Neither Israel nor the US is a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC. US President Joe Biden denounced the proposed warrants as “outrageous,” and members of Congress have threatened to sanction the court.

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Would that be so crazy?

‘We’re Next!’ Lindsey Graham Warns About ICC (RT)

If the International Criminal Court is willing to go after the Israeli leadership, it won’t hesitate to go after US lawmakers, according to Senator Lindsey Graham. The South Carolina Republican has united with Democrats in calling for sanctions on the Hague court. ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, arguing there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that they were guilty of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in the Gaza conflict. Khan has also sought warrants for three senior members of Hamas. “We – hopefully, together – will find a way to register our displeasure with the ICC because if they’ll do this to Israel, we’re next,” Graham said on Tuesday, at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing where US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was testifying.

“Yeah, you can clap all you want,” Graham replied, as a group of protesters in the chamber began to applaud at his “we’re next” comment. He argued that the US needs to impose sanctions against the ICC “to not only help our friends in Israel but protect ourselves over time,” noting that the court “tried to come after our soldiers in Afghanistan, but reason prevailed.” Washington had sanctioned the ICC prosecutor who tried to investigate allegations of atrocities and war crimes committed by the US and its allies in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, a dozen senators wrote to Khan to remind him that a US law allows “all means necessary and appropriate” to defend any Americans – or allies – sought by the court. The 2002 law was nicknamed the “Hague Invasion Act.”

Graham was not signatory to that letter. On Tuesday, however, he issued a joint statement with seven other senators – three Republicans and four Democrats – pledging to “work in a bipartisan manner to strenuously object to the ICC’s actions against our ally, Israel, and take appropriate steps to help Israel and protect American personnel from future ICC action.” Washington has insisted that the ICC lacks jurisdiction over West Jerusalem, since Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute which established the court. Last year, however, the US praised Khan for seeking to charge Russian President Vladimir Putin – even though Moscow is not a party to the Rome Statute, either.

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Sergei Poletaev.

Ukraine Is Losing, Direct Intervention By The West Risks Nuclear Conflict (RT)

Western officials have been talking about sending troops to Ukraine since the beginning of the year. French President Emmanuel Macron said that he is ready to consider “any scenario,” including a ground operation. Government officials in Estonia and Lithuania (including Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte) were quick to support him. And the Leader of the House Democratic Caucus Hakeem Jeffries became the first US politician who didn’t exclude the possibility of sending troops. Formally, Ukraine hasn’t requested Western troops – Kiev has only demanded more weapons. But now, the New York Times reports that Kiev has officially asked the US and NATO to send military instructors to train 150,000 recruits on its territory, closer to the front line. Though the US has refused to comply with the request, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Charles Q. Brown Jr, has said that a NATO deployment of trainers appears inevitable, and that “we’ll get there eventually, over time.”

The subject of sending troops to Ukraine comes up quite often but, so far, Western countries have steered clear. Why? Is a full-fledged NATO intervention in Ukraine possible and what would happen if it took place? And how else might the West turn the course of the conflict in its favor? Western doctrine in regard to Russia was defined even before the start of the full-scale conflict: the idea was to fight Russia “with the hands of” Ukraine and on Ukrainian territory. The goal was to force Russia to play by Western rules (ideally, by defeating it on the battlefield) and reassert the US-led bloc’s shaky global hegemony. But, at the same time, officials wanted to minimize their own risks and avoid being drawn into a direct military confrontation that could result in a nuclear war. The second staple of this doctrine – a total trade war – has not yielded the desired results. In 2022, it became clear that the West overestimated the degree of its control not only over the international financial system, but even over its own financial flows.

Despite certain losses and additional costs, Russia has been able to replace old trade ties with new ones and to do so with a minimal loss of revenue. The severe sanctions imposed by the West on its own companies turned out to be quite useless, since for the most part Russia continues to receive the latest Western products and technologies. As for the idea of defeating Russia on the battlefield, the turning point occurred in the summer of 2023. After the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, it became clear that the AFU would not be able to impose peace on its own terms. The problem is that in the conflict with Russia, the West has gone ‘all in’ and any military outcome that could be regarded as beneficial for Moscow – even negotiations on an equal footing – would now be regarded as a defeat. The whole world would realize that they can stand up to the hegemon and not just avoid becoming an outcast, but even gain some benefits. The West cannot allow this, since it could cause a chain reaction on a global scale.

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“..the Ukrainian president’s status could call into question any future treaties he may sign with Russia..”

Musk Questions Ukrainian Democracy (RT)

Elon Musk has cast doubt on Western involvement in the Ukraine conflict being described as upholding democracy, if the country’s leader has a questionable legal claim to power. Tuesday marked the first day after the expiration of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s five-year presidential term. His government declined to hold a new election, citing martial law put in place due to hostilities with Russia. The American billionaire entrepreneur responded to an X (formerly Twitter) post highlighting the deadline published by conservative journalist Jack Posobiec. Musk said: “But I thought we were there to ‘uphold democracy’?” Zelensky’s democratic bona fides were called into question before the fighting with Russia started in February 2022. His government had cracked down on critical media and opposition politicians, claiming that it was fighting Russian influence and the power of oligarchs. His remaining in power is based on the absence of a duly elected successor, who Zelensky’s office has argued cannot be produced during war time.

Kiev cited a constitutional restriction on voting under martial law as the reason for not organizing a presidential vote. The Ukrainian Constitution does explicitly forbid parliamentary elections and some kinds of referendums during national emergencies, but says nothing about presidential elections. The Constitutional Court has not ruled on how the current impasse should be resolved. The US and its allies have portrayed the arming and training of Ukrainian troops to fight Russia as a contribution to a global fight of democracies against autocracies. Conversely, Moscow has argued that the conflict is a US-initiated proxy war on Russia, in which Ukrainian soldiers serve as cannon fodder. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that the issue of Zelensky’s legitimacy is something that the country itself has to sort out. However, the Ukrainian president’s status could call into question any future treaties he may sign with Russia, he added.

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“..was covered in sand when a major drought set in around 4,200 years ago..”

Scientists Reveal Hidden Branch of the Nile, May Solve Pyramid Mystery (Sp.)

Scientists have recently discovered a long-buried branch of the Nile river that once rushed with life alongside the country’s magnificent Giza pyramid complex. The river branch is about 40 miles long (64 km), but has been hiding under desert and farmland for millennia, according to a study that published the findings on Thursday in Communications Earth & Environment. Eman Ghoneim, a geomorphologist who was born and raised in Egypt, is a professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She and her team analyzed batches of satellite images as well as sediment samples that were collected from beneath the desert’s surface. “We were looking at these meandering natural features closer to the [pyramid] field, like long depressions and troughs, now covered up entirely by farmlands and sand,” Ghoneim says. “It can be very hard to see if you don’t know what to look for.”

Radar gave the research team the “unique ability to penetrate the sand surface and produce images of hidden features including buried rivers and ancient structures,” said Ghoneim. And through this process, they found the long-lost ancient branch of the Nile that once ran through the foothills beside the Giza pyramid field – just a kilometer from the banks of the river. The team believes this hidden branch could be the answer to how builders transported heavy materials to the construction site of the now iconic pyramids – as heavy materials would have been easier to float down river than to carry across land. The ancient Egyptians built 31 pyramids along the now inhospitable desert strip between 4,700 and 3,700 years ago. Ghoneim adds that the branch could help researchers find potential sites of ancient human settlements that might be buried beneath the land’s surface.

While archaeologists have long suspected a waterway was responsible for helping to build the pyramids, Ghoneim says “nobody was certain of the location, the shape, the size or proximity of this mega waterway to the actual pyramids site.” The scientists believe the river, which they named Ahramat, was covered in sand when a major drought set in around 4,200 years ago. And the discovery of the river branch could also explain why the pyramids were built in different areas. Ghoneim explains that the water’s course and volume changed over time, so kings of later eras had to make different choices compared to those of earlier eras. She adds that she is hopeful of continuing to piece together a map of the Nile’s previous life.

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“The ruling by the High Court in London permitting Julian Assange to appeal his extradition order leaves him languishing in precarious health in a high-security prison. That is the point.”

The Slow-Motion Execution of Julian Assange Continues (Chris Hedges)

The extradition request is based on the 2010 release by WikiLeaks of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs — hundreds of thousands of classified documents, leaked to the site by Chelsea Manning, then an Army intelligence analyst, which exposed numerous U.S. war crimes including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the Collateral Murder video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians that had approached too closely to U.S. checkpoints. In February, lawyers for Julian submitted nine separate grounds for a possible appeal. A two-day hearing in March, which I attended, was Julian’s last chance to request an appeal of the extradition decision made in 2022 by the then British home secretary, Priti Patel, and of many of the rulings of District Judge Baraitser in 2021.

The two High Court judges, Dame Victoria Sharp and Justice Jeremy Johnson, in March rejected most of Julian’s grounds of appeal. These included his lawyers’ contention that the UK-US extradition treaty bars extradition for political offenses; that the extradition request was made for the purpose of prosecuting him for his political opinions; that extradition would amount to retroactive application of the law — because it was not foreseeable that a century-old espionage law would be used against a foreign publisher; and that he would not receive a fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia. The judges also refused to hear new evidence that the CIA plotted to kidnap and assassinate Julian, concluding — both perversely and incorrectly — that the CIA only considered these options because they believed Julian was planning to flee to Russia.

But the two judges determined Monday that it is “arguable” that a U.S. court might not grant Julian protection under the First Amendment, violating his rights to free speech as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. The judges in March asked the U.S. to provide written assurances that Julian would be protected under the First Amendment and that he would be exempt from a death penalty verdict. The U.S. assured the court that Julian would not be subjected to the death penalty, which Julian’s lawyers ultimately accepted. But the Department of Justice was unable to provide an assurance that Julian could mount a First Amendment defense in a U.S. court. Such a decision is made in a U.S. federal court, their lawyers explained.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg, who is prosecuting Julian, has argued that only U.S. citizens are guaranteed First Amendment rights in U.S. courts. Kromberg has stated that what Julian published was “not in the public interest” and that the U.S. was not seeking his extradition on political grounds. Free speech is a key issue. If Julian is granted First Amendment rights in a U.S. court it will be very difficult for the U.S. to build a criminal case against him, since other news organizations, including The New York Times and The Guardian, published the material he released.

The extradition request is based on the contention that Julian is not a journalist and not protected under the First Amendment. Julian’s attorneys and those representing the U.S. government have until May 24 to submit a draft order, which will determine when the appeal will be heard. Julian committed the empire’s greatest sin — he exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, routine violation of human rights, wanton killing of innocent civilians, rampant corruption and war crimes. Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Labour, Trump or Biden — it does not matter. Those who manage the empire use the same dirty playbook. The publication of classified documents is not a crime in the United States, but if Julian is extradited and convicted, it will become one.

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What do we think of Terrance Howard? Fine actor, sure, but…

https://twitter.com/i/status/1793018427453432189
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792991155434533029

 

 

Happer

 

 

3 vs 1
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792709386017841329

 

 

Tesla water

 

 

Humpback

 

 

Baby condor

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 222024
 


Roy Lichtenstein Crying girl 1964

 

Judge Merchan Becomes an Oddity in his Own Courtroom (Turley)
Lawrence O’Donnell Mocked Over Pathetic Defense of Michael Cohen (Turley)
Biden Drains Entire Northeast Gasoline Reserve In Bid To Lower Gas Prices (ZH)
Estonia PM Calls For Breakup Of Russia (RT)
Zelensky ‘Yelling At Generals’ – The Economist (RT)
West Sweating Over Zelensky’s Crashing Popularity – Russian Intel (RT)
Zelensky Wants NATO To Shoot Down Russian Missiles (RT)
Nuland Comments On Potential Official NATO Deployment To Ukraine (RT)
Let Ukraine Use US Weapons To Strike Inside Russia – Nuland (RT)
Lavrov Reveals Zelensky’s ‘Hysterical’ Demand for Support in Switzerland Talks (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘a Classic Failed State’ – Medvedev (RT)
FBI Agents Were Prepared for Secret Service Resistance at Mar-a-Lago (ET)
The Failure of Western Financial Sanctions (Metri)
Klaus Schwab Steps Down As World Economic Forum Executive Chairman (ZH)
Assange Granted ‘Last Chance Appeal’ For Freedom (Cradle)

 

 

Elon Musk: “In sharp contrast, X supports child safety bills”

 

 

Leavitt
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792631963355881787

 

 

Pam Bondi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792942935861850122

 

 

 

 

Bobb

 

 

 

 

“The judge chastised Costello and even challenged him: “Are you staring me down?” In fact, it was hard not to stare. What is happening in the courtroom of Judge Juan Merchan is anything but ordinary.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.”

Judge Merchan Becomes an Oddity in his Own Courtroom (Turley)

The completion of the testimony of Michael Cohen left the prosecution of Donald Trump, like its star witness, in tatters. In the final day of cross-examination, Cohen admitted to committing larceny in stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his client. Even more notably, he admitted to the larceny on the stand — after the statute of limitations had passed. There will be no dead felony zapped back into life against Cohen, as it was for Trump. Cohen clearly has found a home for his unique skill as a convicted, disbarred serial perjurer. It was not the first time that prosecutors looked the other way as Cohen admitted to major criminal conduct: In a prior hearing, Cohen admitted under oath that he lied in a previous case where he pleaded guilty to lying. If that is a bit confusing, it was just another day in the life of Michael Cohen, who appears only willing to tell the truth if he has no other alternative.

The result is truly otherworldly. You have a disbarred lawyer not only casually discussing lies and uncharged crimes, but prosecutors who proceeded to get him to remind the jury that he is not facing any further criminal charges. If any one of those jurors had stolen tens of thousands of dollars, they would be given a fast trip to the hoosegow. Yet Cohen then matter-of-factly said he plans to run for Congress due to his “name recognition” — the ultimate proof that it does not matter whether you are famous or infamous, so long as they spell your name right. As a legislator, Cohen would have the unique ability to say he will not be corrupted by Congress — because he came to Congress corrupted. While most members wait to take office to commit felonies, Rep. Cohen would show up with a self-affirming criminal record. He could then take one of the few oaths that he has not previously violated as the Honorable Rep. Michael Cohen.

At the end of the day, Cohen is the ultimate shining object for prosecutors to use as a distraction from the glaring omissions in their case. Prior witnesses testified that Trump’s payments to Cohen were designated as “legal expenses” not by Trump but by his accounting staff. Moreover, Cohen admitted that he worked for Trump for years in his murky capacity as a fixer. References to payments as a retainer were approved by Allen Weisselberg, a retired executive with the Trump Organization. The “legal expense” label was a natural characterization for a lawyer who was paid monthly and was on-call as Trump’s personal counsel. In any other district, this case would never have been allowed in trial. It certainly now should be facing a directed verdict by the court. Indeed, with any other defendant, a New York jury would be giving a Bronx cheer in derision. Even CNN hosts and experts have admitted that this case would never have been brought against another defendant or in another district. That is what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is counting on.

Costello

The biggest problem facing the defense is not the evidence, but the judge: Judge Juan Merchan seems to be channeling George Patton’s warning, “May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.” Merchan has not given any indication that he is seriously considering a directed verdict, which he should clearly grant before this goes to the jury. Merchan’s rulings have largely favored the prosecution, including some rulings that left some of us mystified. Judge Merchan continues to allow the jury to hear references to campaign-finance violations that do not exist. After gutting any use of a legal expert to testify on the absence of any such violations, the judge allowed the jury to hear Michael Cohen state that the payments to Stormy Daniels were clearly campaign violations. All that Merchan would offer is a weak instruction telling jurors not to take such statements as proof of a violation. The alleged campaign-finance violations allowed Cohen to try to implicate Trump. However, it is doubtful that Trump could have been convicted on such a charge in any other venue.

It is precisely what the Justice Department tried and failed to do with John Edwards, a Democratic candidate. After that unmitigated failure, the Justice Department dropped this theory of hush money as a campaign contribution. Indeed, after reviewing the Trump payments, not only did the Justice Department decline any charges but the Federal Election Commission did not even seek a civil fine. On Monday, Judge Merchan’s orders became even more inexplicable when Cohen’s former attorney Robert Costello took the stand. Merchan immediately started to sustain a flurry of prosecutors’ objections as Costello basically accused Cohen of multiple acts of perjury. At one point, Costello — one of the most experienced lawyers in New York and a former prosecutor — exclaimed that one of the judge’s rulings was “ridiculous.” The judge chastised Costello and even challenged him: “Are you staring me down?” In fact, it was hard not to stare. What is happening in the courtroom of Judge Juan Merchan is anything but ordinary.

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How much did Cohen take in total over the years? No way it’s just $30,000.

Lawrence O’Donnell Mocked Over Pathetic Defense of Michael Cohen (Turley)

After his disastrous testimony in Manhattan, Michael Cohen lost even hosts and legal analysts at MSNBC and CNN. MSNBC legal correspondent Lisa Rubin described Cohen as a “fabricator, liar or forgetful person.” CNN’s Anderson Cooper discussed how the testimony was “devastating for Michael Cohen’s credibility.” CNN’s legal analyst Elie Honig said that Cohen had his “knees chopped out” by the defense. All of that was before Cohen admitted that he committed grand larceny in stealing tens of thousands from the Trump company. Most analysts honestly expressed disgust at the admission and expressed shock that he was not prosecuted. The question is whether anyone could find a way to excuse grand larceny to spare viewers in the echo chamber. That is when host Lawrence O’Donnell stepped forward. So to recap. Here is what Cohen said under oath under questioning by Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche:

Blanche: “So you stole from the Trump Organization, right?” Cohen: “Yes, sir.” Not much ambiguity but Cohen went on to explain that he intentionally inflated costs to just pocket tens of thousands of dollars. He admitted it was theft, plain and simple. For O’Donnell, it is not that simple. He rushed outside to assure MSNBC viewers that everything is fine and that this is just a form of what Cohen laughingly called “self-help.” “Cohen [was trying] to rebalance the bonus he thought he deserved, & it still came out as less than the bonus he thought he deserved & the bonus he had gotten the year before.” It would have been more convincing if O’Donnell, a self-proclaimed socialist, had just called it a redistribution effort from the super-rich to the rich. However, there was a sense of desperation in O’Donnell’s interview in offering viewers an assuring alternative explanation. Larceny did not fit with the past coverage lionizing Cohen. For many viewers, O’Donnell’s account relieved them of the need to question the basis for the prosecution of Trump.

We will have to wait to see if O’Donnell’s defense is picked up in the nearby trial of Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.). It appears that taking those gold bars and other gifts may have been just an effort of Menendez to secure a bonus that he believed was warranted from his public service. It would also mean that anyone who was denied a bonus or received less from their employer can simply steal the difference. There is a serious aspect to the O’Donnell statement. It is not clear if O’Donnell actually believes that Cohen was justified in stealing this money. However, he does show the level of self-delusion or denial that is common with many citizens who cannot see beyond the identity of the defendant. These are the same citizens who elected candidates like Letitia James as state attorney on a pledge to bag Trump for something, for anything. These are the same citizens who voted roughly 90 percent against Trump in Manhattan. These are the same citizens that are likely represented by some on this jury.

That may explain why the Trump team decided to take the risk of a “killer shot” witness like Robert Costello. Some of us believe that this case is already fatally flawed and that no reasonable jury could convict Trump. Indeed, I cannot see how any reasonable judge could deny a directed verdict. However, the Trump team does not want to wait for a long appeal. Costello comes with a risk of opening up issues on cross examination, particularly the involvement of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The fact is that the jury has MSNBC viewers and some who likely hold the same bias as O’Donnell. For them, what most of us see unfolding in Manhattan may not be what they see. They may only see one person in the courtroom and it is not any witness.

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“Biden just drained the Northeast strategic gasoline reserve to push gas lower by a few cents on July 4..”

Biden Drains Entire Northeast Gasoline Reserve In Bid To Lower Gas Prices (ZH)

Back in March, when reading the mammoth, 1050-page bill that was meant to avert government shutdown, but was yet another pork filled free-for-all bonanza authorizing $1.7 trillion in in discretionary spending, we stumbled upon something that was truly shocking: after Biden singlehandedly drained half of the US strategic petroleum reserve to avoid obliteration for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections, Congress has snuck in a provision that would sell off and shutter the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve, a move that while perhaps keeps gas prices lower for a day or two, would also leave the entire continental northeast defenseless to any true environmental catastrophe or shock. We were so dismayed by the inclusion of this particular text, we wondered if it hadn’t been put there solely for the benefit of America’s enemies…

… because surely nobody in their right mind, not even the illegitimate senile occupant of the White House, would ever pursue such short-term gains at the expense of potentially disastrous long-term consequences to the entire nation. We were wrong: earlier today, just two months after the bill was signed by Biden into law, the panicking administration announced that it would sell the nearly 1 million barrels of gasoline in the US managed stockpile in northeastern states, the Department of Energy said, effectively closing the reserve.The department created the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR) in 2014 after Superstorm Sandy left motorists scrambling for fuel. But, according to some megabrains hoping to justify the dumping of gas so its price drops for a few weeks ahead of the summer and avoid even more anger aimed at the president, storing refined fuel is costlier than storing crude oil, so closing the reserve was included in U.S funding legislation signed by President Joe Biden in March.

Bids to buy the gasoline located at the two NGSR storage sites in Port Reading, NJ (900,000 bbl) and South Portland, ME (98,824 bbl), are due on May 28 and the Treasury Department’s general funds gets proceeds from the sale. Incidentally, the proceeds from the reserve liquidation – which will amount to roughly $125 million gross (and far less net) – is roughly how much the government spends every 15 minutes! So is it better to have a gasoline reserve for unexpected events, or to fund a quarter hour of US government’s spending? Don’t answer that. Of course, the answer is neither – the whole point of selling the gasoline is to depress prices at the pump if only for a few days to help Americans forget about the great inflationary nightmare they have been in for the past 3 years.

The volumes will be allocated in quantities of 100,000 barrels with each barrel containing 42 gallons, the department said and said it would require that fuel is transferred or delivered no later than June 30. That will ensure the gasoline can flow into local retailers ahead of the Fourth of July holiday and that it will be sold at competitive prices. Translation: Biden just drained the Northeast strategic gasoline reserve to push gas lower by a few cents on July 4. For context, gas prices at the pump this Memorial Day will be the second most expensive in a decade – dramatically above the ten-year average of $2.91…

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Start with the US.

Estonia PM Calls For Breakup Of Russia (RT)

The conflict between Moscow and Kiev should end with the defeat and breakup of the Russian Federation, Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has proposed. Kallas made the suggestion on Saturday during a debate in the country’s capital, Tallinn, at an annual event dedicated to her country’s first post-soviet president. “Russia’s defeat is not a bad thing because then you know there could really be a change in society,” the prime minister told the 17th Lennart Meri Conference. The Russian Federation is comprised of “many different nations” and suggested that they should become separate states after the end of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, she argued. “I think if you would have more like small nations… it is not a bad thing if the big power is actually [made] much smaller,” Kallas said.

The Constitution of the Russian Federation describes the polity as a multinational state. According to the 2020-2021 census, the country’s population speaks 155 different languages, with Russian being the most common. Estonia’s Prime Minister also urged Ukraine’s Western backers not to be afraid to do more to assist the government in Kiev in its fight with Moscow.”Fear keeps us from supporting Ukraine. Countries have different fears, be it nuclear fear, fear of escalation, fear of migration. We must not fall into the trap of fear because that is what [Russia’s President Vladimir] Putin wants,” she said. According to Kallas, the West must help Kiev “push Russia back to its borders” and continue to pressure Moscow via sanctions until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored. She also called for reparations to be paid and for the country’s leadership to be held accountable for the conflict. The prime minister insisted that in order for stable peace to be achieved in Europe, Ukraine has to be made a member of both the EU and NATO.

In February, Russia issued an arrest warrant for Kallas over her campaign to destroy Soviet WWII memorials across Estonia. The authorities in Moscow have said repeatedly that due to the unwillingness of both Kiev and the West to look for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, Russia will continue its military operation until all of its goals are achieved, including assuring the security of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine, the demilitarization and “denazification” of the country, and making sure that it never becomes a NATO member. Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Ukrainian conflict will be decided militarily in Moscow’s favor if that is the wish of the US and its allies. “If they want it to be on the battlefield, they will have it on the battlefield,” Lavrov stressed.

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“..A military official described how at one point the president’s office issued a direct order to a unit on the ground to “retake” a certain city, and received the reply: “With what?”

Zelensky ‘Yelling At Generals’ – The Economist (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky believes his generals are hiding the truth from him and has taken to shouting at them, The Economist has claimed, citing a government source. Purported fits of presidential rage were mentioned in a Monday report on the situation in Kharkov Region, where Russian forces have gained significant ground over the last month. According to the British newsweekly, Ukrainian troops deployed there are angry at the development and have competing theories about the causes. Some blame the US and its allies for insufficient and untimely aid, not unlike Zelensky himself, while others “suspect that incompetence, or even treachery, played a more significant role.” There are also “conspiracy theories” about politicians in Kiev and Washington conspiring to sell the territory “down the river ahead of an ugly peace deal.”

Denis Yaroslavsky, a local commander who made national headlines for complaining that fortifications that were supposed to prevent Russian advances did not really exist, told The Economist that Zelensky “is being kept in a warm bath” – that is, being told comforting lies by his aides. The Economist’s anonymous government source said the president has been clashing with Ukrainian generals after allegedly sensing that he was not getting the whole truth about the frontline situation. Zelensky’s strained relations with the military leadership, which reportedly stems from him putting his political goals ahead of military objectives, has previously been covered by Ukrainian and international media. In December, the newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda claimed that the president was actively undermining Valery Zaluzhny, who at the time was Ukraine’s most senior general, in favor of Aleksandr Syrsky.

“It seems Zelensky has two kinds of troops: ‘good’ ones commanded by Syrsky and other favorites and ‘bad’ ones under Zaluzhny,” a source told the outlet. “This demoralizes [Zaluzhny] and prevents him from commanding the army as a whole.” In February, the Ukrainian leader fired Zaluzhny and appointed Syrsky as his replacement. A profile of Zelensky published by Time magazine last November said the president’s uncompromising drive for a battlefield victory over Russia was “verging on the messianic” and had put him at odds with some officers. A military official described how at one point the president’s office issued a direct order to a unit on the ground to “retake” a certain city, and received the reply: “With what?” The unit had neither weapons nor soldiers, the source explained.

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“The Ukrainian Constitution forbids certain democratic processes under martial law, such as parliamentary elections or referendums on constitutional amendments, but does not spell out the same restriction for presidential elections.”

West Sweating Over Zelensky’s Crashing Popularity – Russian Intel (RT)

Kiev’s Western backers are seriously concerned by the rapidly decreasing public support for President Vladimir Zelensky, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has claimed. Zelensky’s five-year term in office technically expires on Monday, though he is expected to keep his position. Kiev has refused to hold a new presidential election due to martial law. The SVR claimed on Monday that opinion polls conducted in Ukraine by the US and its allies for their own internal use show a lack of trust in the incumbent leader and in some of the country’s key institutions. “The level of support for Vladimir Zelensky has dropped to 17% and keeps decreasing. Over 70% of the public distrusts all Ukrainian media, while some 90% would like to leave the country,” the statement said. “Even among the troops, who are being subjected to constant ideological conditioning, Zelensky’s popularity stands below 20%.”

Western nations have urged the Zelensky government to ramp up propaganda efforts to create fear among Ukrainians that a Russian victory would result in a disaster for them, SVR said. The president, who is allegedly concerned for his life, also launched a purge in the military and security service to eliminate possible threats, the statement continued. Kiev’s recent claim, that a ‘plot’ by senior officials to assassinate Zelensky had been outed, was “obviously fictitious” and stemmed from the crackdown on dissent, it assessed. Zelensky’s legal claim to his office is in dispute as of Tuesday. The Ukrainian Constitution forbids certain democratic processes under martial law, such as parliamentary elections or referendums on constitutional amendments, but does not spell out the same restriction for presidential elections.

Senior government officials have reasoned that organizing a national ballot under the circumstances would be unsafe for voters and prohibitively costly. Some international media have reported that in a hypothetical election, Zelensky’s popularity would make him the default choice of Ukrainians. “Many people in Ukraine see no sense in holding elections, if the obvious victor already holds the presidency. Not a single Ukrainian politician today can compare with Zelensky in terms of the level of trust and support,” the Russian-language branch of British state broadcaster BBC declared on Sunday, in a thread on X (formerly Twitter). Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Zelensky’s shaky status would put into question any treaties with Moscow that he may sign in the future.

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“Do you think it is too much?” he asked. “For a country that is fighting for freedom and democracy around the world today?”

Zelensky Wants NATO To Shoot Down Russian Missiles (RT)

The US and its allies should shoot down Russian missiles, give Ukraine more weapons, and allow Kiev to strike Russia directly, Vladimir Zelensky has told the New York Times. Zelensky spoke to the US outlet in Kiev, on the last day of his presidential term, which he has sought to extend for the duration of martial law he declared due to the conflict with Russia. He demanded that NATO countries shoot down Russian missiles over Ukraine, wondering if they are too afraid to provoke Moscow. “So my question is, what’s the problem? Why can’t we shoot them down? Is it defense? Yes. Is it an attack on Russia? No. Are you shooting down Russian planes and killing Russian pilots? No. So what’s the issue with involving NATO countries in the war? There is no such issue,” Zelensky told the Times.

“Shoot down what’s in the sky over Ukraine,” he added. “And give us the weapons to use against Russian forces on the borders.” Zelensky pointed to what the US and the UK did in mid-April, when Iran targeted Israel with a drone and missile barrage. Both the US and the EU have pushed back, saying the two situations were not comparable. The Ukrainian leader also begged for Patriot air defense systems, asking if he could get seven of them by the NATO summit in Washington. “Do you think it is too much?” he asked. “For a country that is fighting for freedom and democracy around the world today?” Zelensky also dismissed any criticism of Ukrainian democracy, given the indefinite postponement of both parliamentary and presidential elections, by announcing that Kiev “doesn’t need to prove anything about democracy to anyone, because Ukraine and its people are proving it through their war, without words, without unnecessary rhetoric.”

With Russian troops advancing all along the frontline, Zelensky and his aides have ramped up calls for more of everything – Patriot air defense systems and F-16 fighters in particular – but also demanded the lifting of restrictions on use of Western-provided weapons to strike deep inside Russia. The US and its allies have struggled to maintain the legal fiction that their missiles can only target Russian territory that Ukraine claims as its own – i.e. Crimea, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Donetsk and Lugansk – though Western-supplied weapons have been used against Belgorod Region on multiple occasions, including the Christmas market massacre.

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Wasn’t she demoted recently? Oh, wait: “..The retired US diplomat..”

Nuland Comments On Potential Official NATO Deployment To Ukraine (RT)

Former US diplomat Victoria Nuland has argued that officially sending Western instructors into Ukraine would create unnecessary risks – as NATO already provides a “huge amount” of training for Kiev’s forces on member states’ territory. Facing a severe troop shortage, Kiev has allegedly asked the US and NATO to help train some 150,000 new recruits inside Ukraine, so they can be sent to the front faster, the New York Times reported last week. In an interview with ABC on Sunday, Nuland – who was responsible for Ukraine in her State Department role and served as US ambassador to NATO – acknowledged Russia’s renewed offensive is making it hard for Ukrainian troops to “come off the front” and train abroad. However, she warned against sending Western instructors in. “I worry that NATO training bases inside Ukraine will become a target for Vladimir Putin. And it does directly implicate NATO on the ground, which could… escalate the war in a different direction and cause Putin to think that NATO territory might be fair game for him,” Nuland said.

The White House has repeatedly insisted that it will not deploy American troops – even instructors – in Ukraine. The retired US diplomat argued that “it still makes most sense to do most of the training outside of Ukraine but to give advice inside Ukraine.” The US-led military bloc has been training Ukrainian soldiers on the territory of member states including the UK, Germany and Poland, teaching them how to use Western-provided weapons. European officials have previously acknowledged the presence of some military personnel in Ukraine since the outbreak of the conflict in 2022, without clarifying whether they were training local forces. However, on Monday Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas claimed that military personnel from some NATO member states are already training Ukrainian soldiers inside the country. She insisted this will not lead to a direct confrontation with Russia because the personnel are doing it “at their own risk.”

French President Emmanuel Macron first raised the issue of sending NATO troops to Ukraine back in February, calling it an idea that should not be ruled out. Estonia and Lithuania have since expressed support for either sending instructors or support troops, to free up Ukrainian soldiers for combat duty. In early May, the Russian Defense Ministry estimated that Ukrainian military losses had surpassed 111,000 this year alone. Kiev now intends to mobilize hundreds of thousands of additional troops under a new law cracking down on draft avoidance. Over the past six weeks, Russian forces have taken more territory than Ukraine managed to capture in the six months of its failed counter-offensive last year, the Washington Post admitted last week, citing numbers from the Institute for the Study of War, a DC-based think tank run by Kimberly Kagan – Victoria Nuland’s sister-in-law.

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WWIII.

Let Ukraine Use US Weapons To Strike Inside Russia – Nuland (RT)

The US must allow Kiev to use its weapons to strike “Russian bases” deep inside the country, former senior Department of State official Victoria Nuland believes. American military aid has been provided to Ukraine on the condition that it would not use the weapons to attack targets on what the US considers Russian soil, as opposed to territories contested by Kiev. Nuland, who for decades directed Washington’s foreign policy in Europe, has called for the limitation to be lifted. ”They need to be able to stop these Russian attacks that are coming from bases inside Russia,” she told ABC News on Sunday. “The United States and our allies ought to give them more help in hitting Russian bases, which heretofore we have not been willing to do.” “Those bases ought to be fair game, whether they are where missiles are being launched from or where they are where troops are being supplied from,” Nuland added.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron similarly suggested this month that Ukraine “has the right” to strike targets inside Russia with UK-provided weapons. Moscow in response warned that if such an attack was to happen, it would consider any British military assets, be they on Ukrainian soil or elsewhere, fair game for retaliation. Ukrainian officials have reportedly launched a massive lobbying effort on Capitol Hill this month in an attempt to pressure the White House on its arm policy. Its legislators have claimed that Russia’s recent advances in Kharkov Region were a result of Kiev’s inability to deliver preemptive cross-border strikes.

Nuland accused Moscow of escalating the conflict with the operation and claimed that its goal was to “decimate [the city] without ever having to put a boot on the ground.” She claimed without evidence that Russian forces “have flattened a third of Kharkov” already. The avowed neocon reasoned that US permission to attack “Russian bases” under these circumstances would not be escalatory. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the operation in Kharkov Region was meant to dismantle Kiev’s ability to attack Russia’s Belgorod Region. Ukrainian forces have been hitting villages close to the border and the city of Belgorod itself with rocket artillery and drones for months. According to Putin, Moscow has no intention to fight for Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city, at this point or time.

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“..almost hysterically demanded support for his peace formula as a means to force Russia to its knees..”

Lavrov Reveals Zelensky’s ‘Hysterical’ Demand for Support in Switzerland Talks (Sp.)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the Ukrainian president strongly demanded support for his “peace formula” while discussing the upcoming Switzerland “peace conference” with foreign diplomats in Kiev. Russia’s top diplomat has exposed that the Ukrainian president “hysterically” demanded that other nations back his proposed “peace formula” ahead of a ‘Peace Conference’ that is to be held in Switzerland next month. “We have information – we have the ability to receive information that is not usually intended for publication. At the end of April, while discussing this idea [Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’] with foreign diplomats in Kiev, Zelensky, according to some participants, mostly improvised in a chaotic manner, almost hysterically demanded support for his peace formula as a means to force Russia to its knees,” Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Kazakhstan.

Switzerland will host a peace conference on Ukraine on June 15-16 near Lucerne with up to 120 heads of state expected to participate. Vladimir Khokhlov, the press secretary of the Russian Embassy in Bern, previously told Sputnik that Switzerland did not invite Russia to participate in the summit and that Moscow would not participate in any case. He added that the heavily promoted idea of a peace conference is unacceptable for Russia as it “involves another attempt to push through the unworkable ‘peace formula’ that ignores Russian interests.”

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in turn, stated that the negotiating process on Ukraine without Russia’s involvement is meaningless, but it is necessary to understand what peace formula will be discussed at the summit in Switzerland. Moscow has repeatedly stated its readiness for negotiations, but Kiev has legislatively prohibited them. The West calls on Russia to negotiate but at the same time ignores Kiev’s constant refusal to engage in dialogue. Earlier, the Kremlin stated that there are currently no preconditions for the situation in Ukraine to move towards a peaceful resolution and Russia’s absolute priority is to achieve the goals of the special operation, which is currently possible only by military means. Kremlin officials have said that the situation in Ukraine could move towards peace only if the de facto situation and new realities are taken into account, and that all of Moscow’s demands are well known.

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“Kiev is run by a lawless and criminal regime, the former Russian president has said..”

Ukraine ‘a Classic Failed State’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decision not to hold elections means his government has no legitimacy, according to Dmitry Medvedev, the head of Russia’s Security Council. Zelensky’s five-year mandate expired on Tuesday but he has argued that the Ukrainian constitution does not allow him to call new presidential or parliamentary elections during martial law, which he declared in February 2022. “All these manipulations with laws mean only one thing – the death of the failed state of Ukraine, its transformation into a classic failed state, to use American vocabulary,” Medvedev told TASS news agency on Monday. The US and its allies have supported Zelensky’s efforts to stay in power because they feared “the shameful fall of his criminal regime,” Medvedev added.

“That’s why there is such a high probability that Zelensky would have lost this election miserably, and the citizens of his non-existent country would have wanted a new president in the hope that he would start peace negotiations with Russia,” said the former Russian president and prime minister. Medvedev reminded reporters that Zelensky, “a political upstart,” won in 2019 precisely because he campaigned “on the rhetoric of peace.” However, Western sponsors of the regime in Kiev could not allow peace because “they make good money from the bloody bacchanalia,” he added.

The US and its allies have sought to portray the sending of weapons and ammunition to Kiev as an “investment” in their military-industrial complex worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and openly said most of that money would never reach Ukraine. Medvedev dismissed the notion that anything substantial will change in Ukraine after May 21, however. Ukrainians “didn’t live in a rule-of-law state anyway,” he said, arguing that “law and justice were forgotten ten years ago,” with the US-backed coup in Kiev and the start of the Donbass conflict. As for Zelensky, Medvedev said, he can either be captured and put on trial, or meet the same fate as his “spiritual teacher” Stepan Bandera. The leader of Ukrainian nationalists, who sought to collaborate with Nazi Germany during WWII, was assassinated by Soviet operatives in Munich in 1959.

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FBI killing Secret Service details? Really?

FBI Agents Were Prepared for Secret Service Resistance at Mar-a-Lago (ET)

FBI agents executing a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s home in 2022 prepared for the possibility U.S. Secret Service agents resisted the agents, according to newly unsealed court documents. An operations plan for the raid of Mar-a-Lago in southern Florida stated that should President Trump arrive at Mar-a-Lago during the period when agents were there, FBI agents would be prepared to “engage with” him and U.S. Secret Service (USSS) agents who protect him.If the Secret Service agents “provide resistance or interfere with FBI timeline or accesses,” then FBI officials would contact certain individuals—their names and positions were redacted—the documents stated. The documents also stated that if Mar-a-Lago employees refused to provide a list of occupied guest rooms, FBI agents would “knock on each guest room door to determine occupation status.” Agents would request a map, list of rooms, and a skeleton key for all rooms, and were preparing to bring lock-picking equipment with them.

The documents, produced to President Trump through discovery in the criminal case against him, were placed on the docket on May 21. President Trump’s lawyers attached the documents as exhibits to a motion asking to suppress evidence seized by agents, arguing the raid was unconstitutional. The warrant was cleared by a U.S. magistrate judge after agents said there was probable cause to believe sensitive materials were being kept at unauthorized places at the resort. Officials said the raid would likely uncover evidence of obstruction of justice. Agents arrived at Mar-a-Lago at 8:59 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2022, and initiated the search at 10:33 a.m.. A summary of what transpired stated that FBI leaders coordinated with local Secret Service leaders and that Secret Service agents “facilitated entry onto the premises, provided escort and access to various locations within, and posted USSS personnel in locations where the FBI team conducted searches.”

In addition to 25 FBI employees from the bureau’s Miami office, the group of DOJ personnel included five officials from Washington and two DOJ lawyers. The group took numerous photographs, including pictures in the bedroom of former First Lady Melania Trump and a “child’s bedroom suite,” according to picture logs that were released on Tuesday. President Trump’s lawyers said in the motion that the search was “roving and highly inappropriate,” citing how it covered a gym, a kitchen, and the bedrooms where the pictures were taken. They said the warrant was too broad and authorized agents to seize virtually any document from Mar-a-Lago. Government officials have acknowledged they improperly seized passports and some other materials. Agents remained on the scene until 6:39 p.m. They flew the seized evidence to Washington the following day.

President Trump, after the execution of the warrant, was charged with mishandling national defense information, concealing documents, and making false statements. The documents included a statement on the use of deadly force, which quoted government policy in stating that “law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice (DOJ) may use deadly force only when necessary, that is, when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.” The FBI also brought a medic and paramedic along on the raid, according to the documents, and listed the nearest trauma center in case anyone was injured during the execution of the warrant. Agents were equipped with standard-issue weapons, ammunition, handcuffs, and badges and brought medium and large bolt cutters.

There was no basis for the FBI to bring guns into Mar-a-Lago, according to President Trump’s lawyers.“There were no threats and no risk to agents’ safety arising from their allegations relating to possession of documents at a premises already guarded by the Secret Service,” the lawyers said. The lawyers also argued that an FBI agent omitted relevant information from the affidavit submitted to the judge as part of the request to authorize the warrant. The agent, for instance, “failed to disclose that presidents are not required to obtain clearances and that sensitive briefings including classified information had been provided to President Trump at Mar-a-Lago and other residences before and during his presidency,” the lawyers said.

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“..China’s share of world GDP based on purchasing power parity reached 18.73%, while that of the USA was 15.56%..”

The Failure of Western Financial Sanctions (Metri)

On March 24, 2024, some newspapers reported the 25th anniversary of the plane’s U-Turn over the Atlantic, with the then-Russian foreign minister, Yevgeny Primakov, due to the kick-off NATO bombings over Serbia, without approval from the UN Security Council. Amid the onslaught against Belgrade, NATO forces deliberately struck the Chinese embassy. Beijing hasn’t forgotten the date, and on May 7, 2024, President Xi Jinping was in the capital of Serbia to pay his respects to the dead and pass a message to the West. These events determined the beginning of Russia’s reconstruction, the acceleration of the Chinese rise process, and the deepening of Sino-Russian partnerships. During this period, starting from economic fragility and a military delay position concerning the USA, Russia established a strategic advantage in weapons in 2018 by developing hypersonic weapons. It also rebuilt its national economy, circumventing unprecedented economic sanctions against it.

Despite the sanctions, Russia’s economy expanded significantly in 2023 compared to other North Atlantic countries. This year, the IMF corrected its forecasts for Russia, doubling its estimates upward. The financial sanctions policy is one of the expressions of the monetary power of the dollar in the international system, especially after the Bush Doctrine of 2002 (2). However, the effectiveness of Washington’s economic sanctions regarding its foreign policy objectives has been very low, not to say null. For example, despite the severe sanctions introduced in 2007, Iran has acquired the ability to resist and develop an adequate offensive military capacity, allowing it to change the balance of forces in Southwest Asia. A month ago, on April 12, 2024, Tehran abandoned its “policy of strategic patience” and revealed to the world, through the missile attack, its ability to pierce the Israeli anti-aircraft defense system.

The main targets of U.S. sanctions (Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba) have generally succeeded in withstanding this kind of violence, and one of the most relevant reasons for this is China’s rise to the status of the largest economy, surpassing the U.S. one. In 2023, China’s share of world GDP based on purchasing power parity reached 18.73%, while that of the USA was 15.56%. Due to its dynamism, size, and sophistication, the Chinese economy made bypassing the payment systems controlled by Washington possible. For instance, after the start of Russian military intervention in Ukraine, when one imposed unprecedented sanctions, Sino-Russian trade grew 64%, reaching a record U.S. $240 billion in 2023. Not for any other reason, on April 8, 2024, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, visiting Beijing, threatened Chinese companies, stating, “There will be significant consequences for companies that provide material support to Russia. Those who do not comply will face the consequences”.

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“..Will Schwab and Soros retire on a deserted island together to watch the end of the chaotic world they enabled from a distance?”

Klaus Schwab Steps Down As World Economic Forum Executive Chairman (ZH)

Wit the organization he founded 50 years ago bringing in nearly $500 million in revenue in the year ending March 2023 (and sitting on a neat pile of 200 million Swiss francs cash), Klaus Schwab will own some things as he reportedly steps back from his role running the World Economic Forum has has headed since 1971. Semafor reports that Schwab announced his intentions to step down as executive chairman in an email to staff on Tuesday that was shared with Semafor by a person connected to the organization. The change in his role is pending approval by the Swiss government but should be finalized ahead of the WEF’s annual meeting in 2025.

Schwab, now 86, will be transitioning to a role as non-executive chairman. But Globalists should not worry about their agenda as Semafor reports that Schwab has seeded his organization with various family members to take up the tyrannical new world order torch – Schwab’s children appointed to high-ranking positions and his wife Hilde heading the organization’s foundation and awards ceremonies in Davos. Will Schwab and Soros retire on a deserted island together to watch the end of the chaotic world they enabled from a distance?

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Q again: is this a full appeal?

Assange Granted ‘Last Chance Appeal’ For Freedom (Cradle)

The UK High Court ruled on 20 May that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will have the right to appeal against extradition to the US, marking his final push for freedom. Assange’s legal team argued that judges should not accept Washington’s previous assurances that the embattled WikiLeaks founder would be able to rely on protection under the US First Amendment. He has been given a chance to make a full appeal for his legal team’s argument that he could be discriminated against, given that he is a foreign national. Assange’s legal team had previously been demanding assurances from the US that he would not face the death penalty if extradited. At Monday’s hearing, Assange’s lawyers argued that Washington had provided “blatantly inadequate” assurances that he would be protected. Problems with the US assurances were “multifold,” they said. It was only guaranteed “merely that he can seek to raise” assurances of First Amendment protection and not “rely” on them.

One of the lawyers pointed to a “deafening silence” from US prosecutors, including Gordon Kromberg – assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, where the WikiLeaks founder would face trial. “Specific promises from prosecutors are pretty common. We will not object to bail. We will not seek the death penalty as in this case. No such specific assurance has been given here,” Edward Fitzgerald, one of Assange’s representatives, said. Fitzgerald accepted US assurances that Assange would not face the death penalty, calling it an “unambiguous promise not to charge any capital offense.” Previously, Assange’s legal team contested claims by US prosecutors that WikiLeaks’ publication of diplomatic cables created a risk that sources named in the documents would be put in harm’s way, arguing that no evidence for this exists.

“The position of the US prosecutor is that no one, neither US citizens nor foreign citizens, are entitled to rely on the first amendment in relation to publication of illegally obtained national defense information giving the names of innocent sources to their grave and imminent risk of harm,” US prosecutor James Lewis KC said during the court session. Assange could not make it to court – as in previous sessions – due to deteriorating health conditions. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the UK High Court in support of Assange’s cause. His legal team was reportedly jubilant following the court session. Last month, US President Joe Biden said he was “considering” an Australian request to drop the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told the local broadcasting corporation that Biden’s words were encouraging and that the case against Assange, an Australian citizen, “needs to be brought to a conclusion.”

A report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in March said that the US is considering a plea deal offer for the WikiLeaks founder, which would allow the imprisoned journalist to plead guilty to a misdemeanor offense and avoid extradition to the US. However, his legal team said at the time that it is unlikely that Washington will change its approach.

Assange is charged with violating the 1917 Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for releasing classified US military documents that implicate Washington in war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other charges. He founded WikiLeaks in 2006. The non-profit publisher came to prominence in 2010 when it released a leaked video from inside a US helicopter as it attacked civilians and journalists in Iraq. That same year, WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of US documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as thousands of US diplomatic cables. Assange is currently being held at London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison. According to Fitzgerald, it could be months before the appeal is heard. If it is unsuccessful, he will have exhausted his appeals in the UK, which would lead to the start of his extradition to the US. In that event, he could potentially appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to block the extradition.

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Aether

 

 

Rhino

 

 

Huge fish
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792851723645567316

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 272023
 
 October 27, 2023  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Peter Paul Rubens Saturn devouring one of his sons 1636

 

Netanyahu Dragging US Into War With Iran to Save His Political Career (Tweedie)
US Will ‘Not Be Spared’ If Israel-Hamas War Escalates – Iran (RT)
US Launches Strikes in Syria After Targeted Attacks On US Troops (DeMartino)
Israel and US Fear New Humiliation in Ground Invasion of Gaza (Tweedie)
Lavrov Blasts US Bid to Monopolize Mideast Settlement (Sp.)
Escalations Might All Fuse Into ‘One’ (Alastair Crooke)
Hamas Delegation Arrives In Moscow As Russia Blames US For Escalation (ZH)
Full-Dress Irrationality (Patrick Lawrence)
US Reportedly Changes “Sales Pitch” on Ukraine Aid (Sp.)
Orban ‘Proud’ Of Dialogue With Russia (RT)
Hungary Says Energy Security ‘Impossible’ Without Russia (RT)
Prosecutor Says FBI Resisted Investigation Of Biden Bribery Claim (JTN)
ACLU Declares Trump Gag Order to be Unconstitutional (AG)
Trump Planning To Withdraw US From NATO – Media (RT)

 

 

 

 

Gideon Levy

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

Lula

 

 

Sen. Kennedy

 

 

 

 

Gaetz

 

 

Johnson/Mayorkas

 

 

 

 

“Netanyahu had good reason to allow the situation to erupt on October 7 and to escalate it further, as he was “not in control” of the more extreme members of his coalition government while also facing criminal charges when he leaves office..” “Netanyahu could make this an endless war just to stay in office and to protect himself personally.”

Netanyahu Dragging US Into War With Iran to Save His Political Career (Tweedie)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is facing calls to resign over the apparent failure of his government and security services to predict and head off the guerrilla incursion and rocket barrage by Hamas and other Palestinian groups from the besieged Gaza Strip into southern Israel. US President Joe Biden flew to Israel to back Netanyahu following his vow to invade Gaza and “destroy” Hamas, and has sent two US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups and a US Marine amphibious assault group to the region to “deter” other nations from intervening on the Palestinian side. US bases in Iraq and Syria have been attacked 14 times since Israel began its latest bombing campaign against Gaza in preparation for an eventual ground assault. The Biden administration has accused Iran of being behind those attacks by Iraqi militias — originally armed by the US and trained by Iran to fight Daesh* — and has threatened Tehran with dire consequences if they continue.

Security expert Michael Maloof told Sputnik that could dangerously up the ante in a conflict that was already out of control. “So far, they’ll respond to individual attacks. That’ll be it. But what I’m concerned about is that the US is just going to take off and start bombing all over the place and escalate this thing even more,” Maloof warned. “It does represent an escalation to attack US troops, by the way, who are in Syria illegally. They had an invitation into Iraq, but I think they’ve clearly overstayed their welcome.” He said that the White House seemed to be concerned about how the conflict was broadening, but “doesn’t know how to stop it.” “Netanyahu is calling the shots and and the president just a few hours ago basically said that he’s asked for a delay in any invasion,” Maloof noted, “but he can’t control basically tell Netanyahu what to do. And that gives that gives Netanyahu a lot of power to drag us into a conflict that we’re clearly reluctant to get involved in.”

He pointed out that the network of US military bases across the Middle East were just as much of a potential target for Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah or the Yemeni Ansarallah government as they were a threat to them — leaving the American personnel there hostages to fortune whose deaths could trigger a wider war. “The game is on, and this this really fulfils Netanyahu’s long passion to get the US engaged. Ultimately, the ultimate goal of Netanyahu is Iran,” Maloof said. Lebanon’s Hezbollah is already in a low-intensity conflict on Israel’s northern border and threatening to open a full-blown second front if Netanyahu launches his Gaza offensive. The Israeli air force has made several missile attacks on airports in the Syrian capital Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, ostensibly to prevent Iran flying in troops and weapons, while also accusing Syria of shelling IDF positions in the occupied Golan Heights area.
The security advisor said Biden was leading the US into another military fiasco on Israel’s heels.

“This is all a self-made disaster at the hands of the Biden administration. It just didn’t have to be,” Maloof stressed. “And now we’re reaching a point where Israel, as we now know, could be extinguished if the Sunnis and the Shia unite and take on Israel all at once in a swarm approach from all directions.” He said Netanyahu had good reason to allow the situation to erupt on October 7 and to escalate it further, as he was “not in control” of the more extreme members of his coalition government while also facing criminal charges when he leaves office. “Netanyahu could make this an endless war just to stay in office and to protect himself personally.” Maloof argued. “There’s clear evidence now that he knew, he had information and intelligence that Hamas […] was planning an action. He was warned, but he let it happen.”

Old Testament
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717460569601475007

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“This is our home and West Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side..”

US Will ‘Not Be Spared’ If Israel-Hamas War Escalates – Iran (RT)

The US will “not be spared from this fire” if Israel’s “genocide” against the Palestinian people continues, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday. “I say frankly to the American statesmen and military forces who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome the expansion of the war in this region,” Amir-Abdollahian said in his address. “But I warn [that] if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire,” he continued. “This is our home and West Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side and have no reservations when it comes to our home’s security.”

US President Joe Biden has pledged that Washington will “stand forever” with Israel, and is currently pushing Congress to authorize a $14 billion package of military aid for the Jewish state. Meanwhile, the US has positioned two aircraft carrier groups and other naval assets, a squadron of F-16 fighter jets, air defense systems, and 900 troops to the Middle East since Hamas militants launched their surprise attack on Israel on October 7. Biden and his officials have declared that these deployments are intended to dissuade Iran from getting involved in the conflict, either directly or by instructing Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. Tehran, however, has argued that Washington’s full-throated backing of West Jerusalem makes escalation more likely.

“It’s a great shame that the American president announced that the US would dispatch hundreds of planes, ships and trucks filled with military equipment to the occupied territories to support the mass murder that Israel is committing in Gaza but has managed to coordinate plans for only 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the besieged enclave,” Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday. “If the US and the Israeli regime do not stop their crimes against humanity immediately, there will be a possibility of anything at any moment and the region may spin out of control,” he added. Speaking to Al Jazeera last week, Amir-Abdollahian cautioned that an Israeli ground operation in Gaza – which the Israeli military has been preparing to launch for weeks – would result in “many other fronts being opened.”

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“..19 of them, were classified as “traumatic brain injuries” and all have since returned to service..”

US Launches Strikes in Syria After Targeted Attacks On US Troops (DeMartino)

Earlier in the day, the Pentagon confirmed that 21 US personnel suffered minor injuries from 16 attacks that began on October 17. Most of those injuries, 19 of them, were classified as “traumatic brain injuries” and all have since returned to service. The US has placed blame for the attacks on “Iranian-backed militia groups.” The US Department of Defense revealed late Thursday that forces had fired strikes against two facilities in Syria following earlier attacks against American and allied troops in Iraq and Syria. “Today, at President [Joe] Biden’s direction, US military forces conducted self-defense strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups,” the release said on Thursday.

“These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17.” The release underscored that the US strikes were not related to the Palestine-Israel conflict. The statement added that the US does not seek an escalation of the conflict in Palestine. “These narrowly-tailored strikes in self-defense were intended solely to protect and defend US personnel in Iraq and Syria. They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict,” the release said. Information on the specific targets hit by US forces has not been provided. A US journalist reported that a pair of F-16 fighter jets were used in the attack. The reporter claims, citing US officials, that the attacks hit ammunition depots near Abu Kamal on the eastern Syria border with Iraq.

There have been no reports of fatalities or injuries, and it is unknown if anyone was inside the facilities when the strikes were launched. Earlier Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said the US has, or was in the process of, deploying around 900 troops to the Middle East to bolster security in the area. He did not provide details on where the troops were going specifically, only confirming they would not be deployed to Israel. Ryder further stated that a US response to the attacks would come “at the time and place of our choosing.” Also Thursday, Biden reiterated that he sent a message to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warning against strikes on US troops. The remark came after the US president earlier noted he had filed to the Ayatollah that retaliation might be forthcoming. “My warning to the Ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond, and he should be prepared. It has nothing to do with Israel,” Biden said at a conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday.

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“..it’s quite possible that Israel wants to delay because they want to bomb Gaza as much as possible and starve Gaza as much as possible to make any ground invasion easier.”

Israel and US Fear New Humiliation in Ground Invasion of Gaza (Tweedie)

Israel’s threatened ground offensive in Gaza is still on hold, almost three weeks after the devastating Hamas raid into southern Israel. Independent journalist Sam Husseini and veteran war correspondent Elijah Magnier argued that fear of another defeat was holding Israel back. Israel fears a second military defeat by Hamas if it goes ahead with an offensive to destroy the Palestinian group and free hundreds of hostages, two journalists say.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called up some 350,000 military reservists after a surprise Hamas attack from the Gaza Strip left almost 300 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) troops and over 1,000 civilians dead, with more than 200 taken captive. Earlier this week, US media reported that US President Joe Biden’s government was pressuring Israel to delay its ground invasion in the hope of negotiating the release of dual US-Israeli nationals taken hostage there by the Hamas movement.

But journalist Sam Husseini told Sputnik that it was not Washington holding the IDF back, but Israel’s fear of taking heavy casualties in the assault. “I’m not positive that Israel wants to go in sooner rather than later,” Husseini said. “That seems to be the case, but it’s quite possible that Israel wants to delay because they want to bomb Gaza as much as possible and starve Gaza as much as possible to make any ground invasion easier.” He said Netanyahu’s vow to destroy Hamas in return for the October 7 attacks was merely a “pretext” for ethnic cleansing and a land-grab. “Israel is doing what it’s long wanted to do, which is to go after the civilian Palestinian population, to decimate Palestinian society as much as possible in order to drive out more and more Palestinians from their lands so they can take it, so they can take the resources, the gas reserves off the coast of Gaza, for example, as well as just another ethnic cleansing as they did in 1948, 1967,” Husseini said.

He also focussed on the release of two elderly Israeli women held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. One of the women, Yukhfed Livshitz, told reporters how the militants had treated her and others humanely and with dignity, promising not to harm them and even bringing a doctor to check on them every few days. The journalist said that surprising turn of events was the motive for the IDF’s “Hannibal Directive” that an Israeli is “better dead than abducted” by Israel’s enemies. “Israel basically says we’re going to kill anyone Hamas or any other Palestinian group takes hostage,” Husseini stressed. “The standard interpretation of that has been that they don’t want Hamas to take to be taking people in that to be leverage over Israel. But there’s another interpretation, which is that they don’t want these people to come out alive to say Hamas treated us perfectly fine.”

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“..such a state was “promised to the Palestinian people 75 years ago.”

Lavrov Blasts US Bid to Monopolize Mideast Settlement (Sp.)

Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov participated in a Minsk-hosted conference on Eurasian security and delivered a speech on today’s most pressing foreign policy issues. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed in his speech that Washington’s attempt to “monopolize the Middle East settlement process has led to a catastrophic situation.” He vehemently denounced terrorist attacks and any other actions that cause harm to civilian populations or that otherwise violate international humanitarian law. In addition, he urgently called for an immediate ceasefire. However, he added that the negotiations on “establishing a sovereign Palestinian state” must start and highlighted that such a state was “promised to the Palestinian people 75 years ago.” Foreign Minister Lavrov dismissed Ukraine’s attempts to secure unilateral security guarantees, stating that they are all in vain.

“The Kiev regime’s attempts to secure unilateral security guarantees from its Western masters are also futile. This also suggests that the goal is to tear Russia and Belarus away from the arrangements that the West subsequently wants to build on the continent,” Lavrov said at a high-level international conference dubbed “Eurasian Security: Reality and Prospects in a Transforming World.” The West has demolished the system of confidence-building measures and arms control in Europe, the diplomacy chief said, referring to the US withdrawal from the treaties on missile defense, and on the prohibition of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, among other things. “Mounting strategic risks are created due to the forward deployment of American nuclear weapons in a number of European countries and the implementation of so-called joint nuclear missions. This has an extremely destabilizing effect. Against the backdrop of a general increase in threats from NATO, it forces us to resort to compensatory measures,” Lavrov stressed.

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“..Israeli military leaders are actually more hawkish than the prime minister now. They are red with rage and determined to deliver a blow to Hamas that the whole neighbourhood will never forget”.

Escalations Might All Fuse Into ‘One’ (Alastair Crooke)

Tom Friedman uttered his dire warning in the New York Times on Thursday last: “I believe that if Israel rushes headlong into Gaza now [unilaterally] to destroy Hamas — it will be making a grave mistake that will be devastating for Israeli interests and American interests”. “It could trigger a global conflagration and explode the entire pro-American alliance structure that the U.S. has built…I am talking about the Camp David peace treaty, the Oslo peace accords, the Abraham Accords and the possible normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The whole thing could go up in flames. “Unfortunately, the senior U.S. official told [Friedman], Israeli military leaders are actually more hawkish than the prime minister now. They are red with rage and determined to deliver a blow to Hamas that the whole neighbourhood will never forget”.

Friedman here is talking, of course, about an American alliance system, pivoted around the idea of Israel’s military prowess being invincible – the ‘Little NATO’ paradigm that acts as the essential substrata for the spread of the American-led Rules Order through West Asia. It is analogous to the substrata of the NATO alliance, whose claimed ‘unchallengeability’ has underpinned U.S. interests in Europe (at least until the Ukraine war). One Israeli Cabinet member put it to the veteran Israeli defence correspondent Ben Caspit that Israel just cannot permit its long-term deterrence being undermined: “This is the most important point — ‘our deterrence’”, the senior war Cabinet source said. “The region must quickly understand that whoever harms Israel the way Hamas did, pays a disproportionate price. There is no other way to survive in our neighbourhood than to exact this price now, because many eyes are fixed on us and most of them do not have our best interests at heart”.

In other words, the Israeli ‘paradigm’ hinges on manifesting overwhelming, crushing force directed to any emerging challenge. This has had its origin in the U.S. insistence that Israel have both the political leading-edge (all strategic decisions lay with Israel uniquely under Oslo), and equally, that it has the military cutting leading-edge over all its neighbours too. Despite being presented as such, this is not a formula by which to reach any sustainable, peaceful accord by which the 1947 UNGA Resolution 181 (the division of Mandate-era Palestine) into two states can be reached. Rather, Israel under the Netanyahu government has been moving closer and closer to an eschatological founding of Israel on the (Biblical) ‘Land of Israel’ – a move that expunges Palestine totally.

It is no coincidence that Netanyahu flourished a map of Israel during his General Assembly address last month in which Israel dominated from the River to the Sea – and Palestine (indeed any Palestinian territory) was non-existent. Tom Friedman in his NYT reflections may fear that just as NATO’s impaired performance in Ukraine has ruptured ‘the NATO myth’, so too the 7 October Israeli military and intelligence collapse and what happens in its wake in Gaza ‘might explode the entire pro-American alliance structure’ in the Middle East. The confluence of two such humiliations might break the spine of western primacy. This seems to be the gist to Friedman’s analysis. (He likely is correct).

Nap Crooke

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“Will Russia press the delegation to release more captives? Likely this is high on the agenda for Moscow.”

Hamas Delegation Arrives In Moscow As Russia Blames US For Escalation (ZH)

In a somewhat unexpected development, a delegation of Hamas leaders have arrived in Moscow for talks, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Thursday evening (local time). “I can confirm that representatives of the [Hamas] Palestinian movement are visiting Moscow,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a press briefing, vowing to provide relevant details as the talks unfold. The visit had not been previously announced by either side, and the Hamas delegation is being led by a senior member of the group, Moussa Abu Marzouk. Hamas is a designated terror organization in the US, European Union, and some other countries; but it has official relations with countries like Iran, Turkey, Syria, and now apparently Russia.

Russia, however, has said it remains willing to talk to all sides of the conflict in hopes of achieving ceasefire and peace. After the US exit from Afghanistan, Moscow had similarly hosted a Taliban delegation. It’s as yet unclear whether Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, will meet with the Hamas representatives, given he’s said to currently be in Minsk. RIA Novosti has reported that Hamas has during opening meetings with Russian officials “commended Putin’s position and the efforts of Russia’s diplomacy.” The Kremlin has said it is engaged in crisis diplomacy talks with both the Hamas and Israeli sides, at a moment that over 220 hostages are still being held in Gaza. Four have been released thus far, including two Americans, due in large part to the mediation of Qatar. Will Russia press the delegation to release more captives? Likely this is high on the agenda for Moscow.

Just days ago Russia blamed the United States for stoking escalation by positioning Navy warships in the Mediterranean near Israel. FM Lavrov said Monday during a meeting in Tehran that “the more a state takes this kind of proactive measures, the greater the risk and the danger of an escalation of the conflict”. He called out Washington as “already among the countries intervening the most” since the October 7 Hamas terror attack. The Biden administration as of course rejected the charge, and blamed Iran for ultimately being behind Hamas and regional terror.

At the UN in New York, Russia and China have also just vetoed US drafted UN Security Council resolution on Gaza. The dueling sides have rejected the proposals of the other given Washington’s pro-Israel stance, and the willingness of Moscow and Beijing to heap criticism on Tel Aviv for the humanitarian crisis and soaring death toll among Palestinians. Turkey has also been a foremost critic of Israel’s assault on Gaza, as the death toll surpasses 7,000 – with President Erdogan blasting the West’s double standard on the crisis.

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“..all of late-imperium America’s wars: They are money-laundering operations by way of which the taxes Americans pay in the name of national security, global leadership and all the rest is recycled to the military-industrial complex behind the Chinese screen of patriotism..“

Full-Dress Irrationality (Patrick Lawrence)

I am not an economist and I don’t think overmuch about the federal budget, but to me what the national government spends on education is the single most important decision the federal bean counters make if we want to think about the prosperity, safety, and altogether the future of this country, our children and their children, etc. The Education Department’s budget for FY 2024 comes to $90 billion—$15 billion short even of this interim spend on wars and confrontations abroad. To be noted in this connection: of the $105 billion, $61.4 billion goes to Ukraine. Except for one thing: Half of this $61.4 billion does not go to Ukraine. It goes to the Pentagon, which is to say the defense contractors.

An acquaintance told me the other day about a clever adage he saw mounted on someone’s office wall: “The main thing to remember is that the main thing is the main thing.” It is perfectly apropos. And the main thing to remember as we contemplate Biden’s $105 billion is that it will go to one war the U.S. cannot win (Ukraine), to the provocation of another war the U.S. cannot possibly win (with China over Taiwan) and to Israel’s purposely disproportionate violence against Palestinians, the end-point of which we call ethnic cleansing, although you have to wonder how long until we ought to push the vocabulary to the freighted “extermination”? There is no calling this state of affairs rational. I go to Julian Assange’s observation some years ago.

His reference was to Afghanistan, but the thought applies to all of late-imperium America’s wars: They are money-laundering operations by way of which the taxes Americans pay in the name of national security, global leadership and all the rest is recycled to the military-industrial complex behind the Chinese screen of patriotism, high ideals, duty and whatever else people such as Joe Biden come up with. Why else would Washington spend so extravagantly on wars it cannot win and unnecessary confrontations from which it will emerge the loser? Given that the system Julian Assange identified actually works even as it claims unspeakable numbers of lives and impoverishes American life, there seems only one way to think of it: This is a textbook case of what I call the irrationality of hyperrationality.

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Good for American jobs…

US Reportedly Changes “Sales Pitch” on Ukraine Aid (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden’s earlier request for $24 billion in aid for Ukraine led to the threat of a government shutdown in September when Republican congressmen refused to approve a budget that included funds for the Kiev regime. The Joe Biden administration is privately speaking to each representative of both political parties in Congress to justify the need for further aid to Ukraine by the fact that it will allegedly become the key to economic growth in the US itself, media reported. The White House aides are “quietly” distributing talking points among the lawmakers to make the case that shoring up the Kiev regime “is good for American jobs,” the outlet reported. “As we replenish our stocks of weapons, we are partnering with the US defense industry to increase our capacity and meet the needs of the US and our allies both now and in the future,” a copy of the talking points obtained by the outlet reads.

The outlet described the talking points as “an implicit recognition” that the Biden administration “has work to do in selling its $106 billion foreign aid supplemental request [announced in POTUS’ speech last week] – and that talking about it squarely under the umbrella of national security interests hasn’t done the trick.” The White House’s apparent change “in sales pitch” comes as the latest opinion polls indicate that Americans are becoming skeptical about Washington’s aid to Kiev and continuing to question Biden’s handling of the US economy. The outlet noted in this regard that some Republicans berate the Biden administration for its “subpar” rhetoric about Ukraine, purportedly adding that the White House should “change its message” in order to gain House GOP support and preserve the stronger backing in the Senate.

An unnamed senior Republican congressional aide was quoted by the outlet as saying that the Biden administration has privately “realized that their messaging on Ukraine specifically has been a disaster […] and that they need to change.” “There has been a bit of effort to help the administration understand that their messaging is wholly inadequate, and they’re using phrases that Republicans don’t respond to, and they’re not making convincing arguments,” the aide added. The remarks came after former State Department diplomat James Carden argued that Biden’s nationally broadcast speech last week, in which he sought broad support for stepping up already huge levels of US aid to Ukraine, was another unthinking, reflexive expression of the globalist mindset that has been destroying the US economy over the past several decades.

Zelya

Tucker

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“We are the only one who is speaking on behalf and in favor of the peace which would be the interest of everybody in Europe..”

Orban ‘Proud’ Of Dialogue With Russia (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he is “proud” to maintain good relations with Russia, accusing other European nations of pursuing a “war strategy” that will only stoke more conflict. Speaking to reporters after arriving for an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels on Thursday, Orban explained that his country’s approach differs from the “majority” of the bloc, which has adopted a range of hostile policies targeting Russia since Moscow sent forces into Ukraine in February 2022. “We keep open all the communication lines to the Russians. Otherwise, there will be no chance for peace. This is a strategy. So we are proud of it,” he said, adding that while most EU members follow “a war strategy,” Hungary has “a peace strategy.” The PM’s remarks followed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing last week, which Orban defended while in Brussels.

“We are the only one who is speaking on behalf and in favor of the peace which would be the interest of everybody in Europe,” he continued. The Hungarian leader has faced criticism over the sit-down with Putin, with Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel saying it amounted to a “middle finger” to Ukrainians. Estonian premier Kaja Kallas also said she would discuss the issue with Orban. While Budapest condemned the Russian military operation in Ukraine soon after it was launched last year, Orban has refused to take part in the US-led sanctions campaign against Moscow, and refused to provide arms to Kiev. The PM previously argued that Western sanctions had “backfired,” saying that Brussels had “shot itself in the foot” following a spike in energy prices across Europe.

Orban has been highly critical of the EU in the past. Speaking to mark the anniversary of Hungary’s failed 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union earlier this week, Orban slammed the bloc as a “bad contemporary parody” of the USSR, saying it has worked to impose a model of liberal democracy that the Hungarian people have rejected. “We had to dance to the tune that Moscow whistled,” Orban said of Hungary’s decades under Soviet control. “Brussels whistles too, but we dance as we want to, and if we don’t want to, then we don’t dance.”

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“It is the duty and responsibility of the Hungarian government to guarantee safe energy supplies in the country.”

Hungary Says Energy Security ‘Impossible’ Without Russia (RT)

Eastern and Western economies were “exceptionally” mutually dependent for decades, but after severing ties with Russia it is unclear how the EU can remain competitive, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has warned. As an example, he cited electricity prices in the bloc, which are reportedly now three times higher than in China. Speaking at an international conference on Eurasian security in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Thursday, Szijjarto stated that “the success of Western countries is almost impossible to imagine without cooperation with Eastern countries. And the opposite is also true.” The diplomat emphasized that the car industry, which he described as the “backbone of the European economy,” will not be able to enter a “new age” of electric vehicle production without affordable resource supplies.

Szijjarto argued that for decades, a combination of Western technology and affordable Eastern energy had been the “foundation” of the world economy. “And this combination has now fallen apart, unfortunately. As a result, people in Europe now pay four times more for gas. We pay three times more for electricity than people in China. It is difficult to understand how the European economy can be competitive in such conditions,” the minister said. He claimed that over the past year and a half, issues of energy supplies have become “hostage to political debate,” even though energy has nothing to do with politics as it is a matter of “physical reality.”

“It is the duty and responsibility of the Hungarian government to guarantee safe energy supplies in the country. And since it is physically impossible without Russian resources, we will continue to cooperate in reasonable relations with Russia,” Szijjarto said. The diplomat prioritized the resumption of “civilized dialogue” between the East and the West, adding that Hungary is ready to become a point of contact between the two sides.

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“even ‘simple’ requests to the FBI and DOJ, like ‘extending the assessment,’ required a renewal every 30 days […] it required 17 different people..”

Prosecutor Says FBI Resisted Investigation Of Biden Bribery Claim (JTN)

Former Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Scott Brady revealed to the House Judiciary Committee that his team found enough credible evidence in its initial review of Hunter Biden’s dealings with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and possible corruption by Joe Biden to refer criminal matters to three separate U.S. Attorney’s offices in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Delaware for further investigation. But almost immediately after he was assigned by the Justice Department in 2020 to review Biden family matters in Ukraine, Brady said he encountered resistance at both the FBI and the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office that at times required him to escalate to his bosses in the deputy attorney general’s office. “It was a challenging working relationship,” Brady said of the FBI in testimony earlier this week that was reviewed by Just the News.

“I think there was reluctance on the part of the FBI to really do any tasking related to our assignment from DAG Rosen and looking into allegations of Ukrainian corruption broadly and then specifically anything that intersected with Hunter Biden and his role in Burisma. It was very challenging.” Brady’s testimony emerged the same day that Sen. Chuck Grassley revealed that the FBI had more than 40 informants providing evidence of possible criminality by the Biden family dating back years but that most leaders were shut down, particularly by the FBI’s Washington field office or its New York counter-intelligence office. Brady was critical of the FBI, noting the bureau never told his office it had Hunter Biden’s laptop and had corroborated its contents even as DOJ prosecutors investigated the Ukraine allegations.

“I would have thought that would be something, especially as has been publicly reported, there’s information relating to Hunter Biden’s activities on the board of Burisma in Ukraine, that might have been helpful in our assessment of the information that we were receiving about him. I would have expected that be shared,” he said. Brady said he encountered similar resistance and skepticism as he tried to hand off evidence and investigative leads to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss and his deputy Lesley Wolf in fall 2020, corroborating similar testimony provided to the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this summer by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler. “Speaking generally, from a process perspective, I think there was both a skepticism of the information that we were developing, that we had received, and skepticism and then weariness of that information,” Brady said of Weiss’ office. “I think they were very concerned about any information sharing with our office.

[..] Brady said he was struck throughout his work by the FBI’s reluctance to engage in the Hunter Biden probe and the unprecedented layers of approval that FBI headquarters imposed on the agents working for him in Pittsburgh. Brady said that “even ‘simple’ requests to the FBI and DOJ, like ‘extending the assessment,’ required a renewal every 30 days […] it required 17 different people, including mostly at the headquarters level to sign off on it before the assessment could be extended.” He opined that Biden’s role as the Democratic nominee for president in the 2020 election likely played a role in the FBI’s behavior. “Certainly anything related to Ukraine and Ukrainian nationals that intersected with Hunter Biden and his role serving on the Burisma board was sensitive and certainly in 2020, months before an election cycle when different policies kick in for the Department and for the FBI,” he testified.

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Ask SCOTUS.

ACLU Declares Trump Gag Order to be Unconstitutional (AG)

On Wednesday, the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) made a surprising statement condemning a federal judge’s attempted gag order on former President Donald Trump. As Politico reports, the ACLU’s statement came as a shock to many who support the group, as it had been one of Trump’s primary enemies during his presidency, frequently suing his administration to block many of his policies. But in a new friend-of-the-court brief, the ACLU agreed with Trump’s assertion that a gag order by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan is a violation of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, as well as a violation of the public’s right to hear him speak. “The obvious and unprecedented public interest in this prosecution, as well as the widespread political speech that it has generated and will continue to generate, only underscores the need to apply the most stringent First Amendment standard to a restraint on Defendant’s speech rights,” the ACLU’s statement read.

The ACLU told Chutkan that she should re-evaluate her order, parts of which the group described as so vague that it was “unknown and perhaps unknowable.” The group focused on one particular portion which forbade President Trump from making any statements that could be perceived as making a “target” out of Special Counsel Jack Smith, the prosecutors, court personnel, or attorneys or witnesses in the case. “Reading the order, Defendant cannot possibly know what he is permitted to say, and what he is not,” the ACLU noted. Chutkan had tried to justify her decision by claiming that Trump’s status as a leading presidential candidate does not make him any different from any other defendant in a criminal case, but the ACLU disagreed, citing the heightened public interest in his case and other legal cases.

“Defendant’s ability to speak publicly about the substance of the prosecution, even including potential witnesses and testimony, is in many ways inextricable from the 2024 presidential campaign in which he is a declared candidate,” the ACLU observed. Judge Chutkan recently agreed to temporarily halt her own gag order as President Trump’s legal team appeals the order itself. President Trump also faces three other cases, with another being in Washington D.C., one being in New York City, and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The cases generally revolve around his efforts to combat voter fraud in the 2020 election, as well as accusations of “inciting insurrection” for his speech to a crowd of peaceful protesters on January 6th, 2021. Despite the dozens of charges he faces, President Trump’s approval ratings have consistently gone up every time a new indictment was announced, both in polling for the GOP presidential primary and for the general election in a head-to-head matchup with Joe Biden.

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“Starting World War III” over some of the bloc’s smaller members makes no sense, Trump vented to his advisers in mid-2018, arguing that most Americans had never even heard of some of these countries.”

Trump Planning To Withdraw US From NATO – Media (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has discussed pulling the country out of NATO or dramatically scaling back America’s commitment to the bloc if he wins the 2024 election, Rolling Stone magazine reported on Monday. Citing two sources who allegedly heard him make the comments, Rolling Stone claimed that Trump has expressed openness to leaving NATO altogether, or remaining in the military alliance if its European members increase their defense spending and scrap Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty – which treats an attack on one member state as an attack on all 31. “Starting World War III” over some of the bloc’s smaller members makes no sense, Trump vented to his advisers in mid-2018, arguing that most Americans had never even heard of some of these countries.

Attributed to a ‘former senior administration official’, this anecdote backs up what former National Security Advisor John Bolton told the Washington Post last year: that Trump was ready to announce the US departure from NATO at the bloc’s 2018 summit, but ultimately backed down on Bolton’s advice. “In a second Trump term, I think he may well have withdrawn from NATO,” Bolton said at the time. With conflict raging in Ukraine and NATO’s Eastern European and Baltic members urging the alliance to step up its military aid to Kiev, Trump has repeatedly warned of the likelihood of “World War III” breaking out in Europe. If elected, Trump has promised to cut off military aid to Ukraine and force its president, Vladimir Zelenzky, to negotiate a peace deal with Russia.

In a campaign video released earlier this year, Trump blamed the conflict on “all the warmongers and ‘America Last’ globalists in the Deep State, the Pentagon, the State Department and the national security industrial complex,” who he said were “obsessed with pushing Ukraine towards NATO.” According to Rolling Stone’s sources, Trump has made it clear that his second administration would not be staffed by “NATO lovers.”

The sources said that Trump studied a policy proposal by conservative writer Dr. Sumantra Maitra earlier this year entitled ‘Pivoting the US Away from Europe to a Dormant NATO’ and liked some of its ideas. In the paper, Maitra wrote that “the NATO bureaucracy” is “prone to push missions that are beyond NATO’s core role and, at times, opposed to the domestic interests of the United States. Radically reducing the NATO bureaucracy should be a chief aim.” “He still wants out,” one Trump adviser told Rolling Stone. The aide acknowledged that Trump might not actually follow through on this desire, but “wants a policy team around him nowadays that is much, much tougher on NATO than anything he’s done in the past.”

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The last photo of Muhammad Ali, 2016

 

 

Artificial stone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717198132574851218

 

 

 

 

Street artist

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 262023
 


Banksy Girl with a balloon 2002/2017

 

‘More Dangerous Than Cuban Missile Crisis’ – Larry Johnson (Sp.)
West Using Religious Hatred To Destabilize World – Putin (RT)
Is a Palestinian Genocide In The Making? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Gaza Hospital System Has ‘Completely Collapsed’ – Official (RT)
Israel Aims “To Teach UN A Lesson” (G.)
The US Has Betrayed Egypt Again (Sahiounie)
Europe Suffering From ‘War Psychosis’ In Support For Ukraine – Hungary (RMX)
Kiev Slams Musk Over Calls To End Ukrainian Conflict (RT)
US Senate Ready To Block $100 Billion Israel-Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)
Ukraine’s Manpower Problem (Russell Bentley)
George Floyd Killed Himself (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Fined $10,000 for Breaking Gag Order in New York Civil Fraud Trial (Sp.)
Trump Cleared of Any Wrongdoing in FBI Headquarters Spat (ET)
FBI Received ‘Criminal Info’ From Over 40 Confidential Sources on Bidens (JTN)

 

 

 

 

Queen Rania 1 min

Queen Rania 20 min

 

 

 

 

4 more years

 

 

 

 

Mike Johnson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717067217676734568

 

 

 

 

“..the Jewish state is “choosing a course of action that’s going to make it more difficult for it to survive intact as a nation”..

‘More Dangerous Than Cuban Missile Crisis’ – Larry Johnson (Sp.)

The latest escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may further deteriorate if Iran decides to get involved and if the US continues to view Russia and China as enemies, Larry Johnson, an author and ex-Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, told Sputnik. The situation surrounding a new escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict shows no sign of getting resolved, with Tel Aviv already into the third week of its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, currently under a full blockade. These developments are unfolding as the US signals its full-fledged support for Israel, while Arab nations and Iran have indicated their intent to lend a helping hand to the Palestinians. “It’s more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. And with each passing day, we’re getting closer to setting the world on fire,” Johnson maintained.

According to him, the fact that “nobody’s taking their foot off the accelerator” is “just sort of stunning.” Dwelling on the Biden administration’s policy in this regard and recalling (as an example) that the US “is illegally in Syria,” the ex-CIA analyst said that “on the one hand, we [the US] want to tell very much the need to follow an international rules-based order, and yet we flout those very rules.” He warned that “the danger here now” is that major countries, including Russia, China, Brazil, India, Pakistan, and South Africa “are getting fed up” and that “the traditional sort of allies that the United States thought it could rely on in the Middle East are not there anymore”. They include Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, who are “even refusing to take calls from [US President Joe] Biden,” according to the former CIA analyst. “So when you add all of this together, it is, you know, if we’re heading for a collision and then on top of it,” Johnson noted.

The ex-CIA analyst also warned of far-reaching implications from Iran possibly getting involved in the current Palestinian-Israeli armed conflict. “Israel insists it’s going to go on with a ground attack into Gaza. And I think if they do that, the minute they do that, you’re going to see a Hezbollah [Lebanon-based militant group] operation from the north. And Israel is vowing retaliation, which even could include nuclear weapons. I think it’s getting that dangerous because, you know, Israel really is in potential peril. I think its very existence will be on the line if Iran gets engaged, because Israel is not in a position to fight a two front war at all,” Johnson pointed out. When asked about the possibility of a war between the US and Iran in the offing, the ex-CIA analyst said he thinks “that’s exactly where it’s headed.”

As for Israel, Johnson went on to say, the Jewish state is “choosing a course of action that’s going to make it more difficult for it to survive intact as a nation”, something that he said remains “part of his concern.” “We’re seeing right now a level of unity between the Arab and Muslim world […], which is becoming very strident in their support of all of, you know, Hamas and the Palestinian people. So, I think we don’t appreciate what we’re up against,” Johnson noted.

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“..The goal of all those actions is to “increase instability in the world, to divide cultures, peoples, world religions, and to provoke a conflict of civilizations..”

West Using Religious Hatred To Destabilize World – Putin (RT)

The West is fomenting religious hatred and intolerance to “divide and conquer” the world, to maintain a “new world order” that amounts to dominance and colonialism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. Meeting with leaders of Russia’s religious communities at the Kremlin, Putin addressed the current conflict in the Middle East and warned that “Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and Russophobia” were being used as weapons against a multipolar world. “The West sees how the process of forming a multipolar world order is gaining momentum. And in order to restrain the development of independent, sovereign countries, to split the world majority, they use the same means,” Putin said.

These forces want “the epidemic of violence and hatred” to engulf not just the Middle East but to Eurasia, he warned. “Muslims are being set against Jews, calling for ‘war with the infidels’. Shiites are pitted against Sunnis, Orthodox Christians against Catholics. In Europe, they turn a blind eye to blasphemy and vandalism against Muslim shrines. In a number of countries, Nazi criminals and anti-Semites, with the blood of Holocaust victims on their hands, are openly glorified at the official level. In Ukraine, they are moving towards banning the canonical Orthodox Church and deepening the church schism,” Putin said.

The goal of all those actions is to “increase instability in the world, to divide cultures, peoples, world religions, and to provoke a conflict of civilizations,” the Russian president added. “Meanwhile, they talk about some kind of ‘new world order’, whose essence hasn’t changed: hypocrisy, double standards, claims to exclusivity, to global dominance, to the preservation of an essentially neocolonial system.” Putin expressed condolences to all Israelis who lost family members in the October 7 attacks, but warned that “innocent people should not be held accountable for crimes committed by others,” and that the fight against terrorism “cannot be carried out according to the notorious principle of collective responsibility.”

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“A possible result could be the destruction of Israel, the result being peace in the Middle East..”

Is a Palestinian Genocide In The Making? (Paul Craig Roberts)

Israel is talking tough –“Israel vows to cut off ‘the head of the snake’ and launch a military attack against Iran if Hezbollah joins the war with Hamas”. But it is only the economics minister talking, not a military one or Netanyahu. The Israeli military is good at murdering children, women and old men and at mass slaughter of civilians and destruction of social infrastructure such as hospitals from a safe distance with bombs and missiles. But the fighting ability of Israel’s army and its ability to take casualties is in question. In its encounter with Hezbollah some years ago, the Israeli army was driven from the field. The Israeli ground invasion of Gaza continues to be delayed. Israelis are claiming there are not enough flak jackets for their soldiers and America must give Israel more money so they can invade Gaza.

The solidly pro-Israel Biden regime expresses concern that Israel has no workable plan for sending ground forces into Gaza, and are questioning whether the IDF can achieve its goal of annihilating the Hamas militant group. There is concern that once the Israeli army is in Gaza Hamas will keep it there while Hezbollah overruns the rest of Israel. Netanyahu is now threatening Hezbollah with nuclear weapons. Israel’s use of nuclear weapons would leave Israel isolated in the world, which Israel already would be except for Israel’s American puppet state. Doubts about Israel’s success is why there has been no Israeli land invasion into Gaza. A possible result could be the destruction of Israel, the result being peace in the Middle East, which would reduce the profits of the US military/security complex and make the US neoconservatives irrelevant, hardly a desirable outcome for the US Establishment, and certainly not a desirable outcome for Israel.

As it currently stands, Hezbollah’s intervention and Iran’s intervention to protect Hezbollah depends on an Israeli invasion of Gaza, not on Israel’s merciless bombing of the civilian population and total destruction of infrastructure. Based on available current information, it seems that Israel has formed a new plan, which is to bomb Gaza City in northern Gaza to rubble, killing as many Palestinians as possible and driving the rest into Egypt where the “moral West and the only Middle East democracy” will leave them to die in the Sinai desert. As Norman Finkelstein told Chris Hedges, no one in the West will do anything about the Palestinian Genocide. And apparently neither will Hezbollah and Iran unless Israel invades Gaza.

Lowkey

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“..describing the amount of supplies that have already arrived as only “a drop in the ocean.”

Gaza Hospital System Has ‘Completely Collapsed’ – Official (RT)

The hospital system in Gaza has completely collapsed, Palestinian health ministry spokesman Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra said on Tuesday. He warned that hospitals need an immediate flow of medical supplies and fuel to restore lifesaving services amid the violent escalation between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel. “The fact that the doors of hospitals remain open does not mean that they provide service to the flood of the wounded,” he told journalists. On Wednesday, the ministry stated that 12 hospitals and 32 primary care centers in the blockaded Palestinian enclave were unable to operate due to bombing by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as well as fuel shortages and a lack of staff. Currently, there is only 30% of the original number of medical workers, the authority said in a statement on Facebook.

Gaza “has run out of medicines for treating cancer, diabetes and kidney failure,” Palestinian health minister Mai Al-Keila told RIA Novosti. She called for the opening of safe corridors for humanitarian aid, describing the amount of supplies that have already arrived as only “a drop in the ocean.” According to the Palestinian health ministry, 73 medical personnel have been killed, 57 facilities damaged, and 25 ambulances destroyed as a result of Israeli strikes. The Gaza conflict escalated on October 7 when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing hundreds and taking more than 220 hostages, according to Israeli officials. In retaliation, the IDF began airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave and announced a complete blockade of Gaza, cutting off supplies of water, food, electricity, medicine and fuel.

Since the start of the hostilities, Israel has reported 1,405 deaths, while Gaza officials say the death toll on their side of the border has risen to 6,546, noting that at least 2,704 of the victims were children. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council on Tuesday that the situation in Gaza was raging and threatening to spread throughout the region. He called for unimpeded humanitarian aid and an immediate ceasefire. He added that “Hamas’ attacks did not happen in a vacuum,” and noted that “the Palestinian people [had been] subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.” In response, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called for Guterres’ resignation, accusing him of showing “compassion” for terrorists and murderers.

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Don’t talk peace or else!

Israel Aims “To Teach UN A Lesson” (G.)

Israel says it is banning United Nations representatives from visiting the country “to teach them a lesson” after the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said the 7 October attacks by Hamas had to be seen in the context of decades of occupation of the Palestinian people. Speaking at a UN general debate on the Middle East in New York, Guterres created fury when he said: “It is important to … recognise the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.” He also said no injustice to the Palestinians could justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said on army radio: “Due to his remarks we will refuse to issue visas to UN representatives. We have already refused a visa for undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths. The time has come to teach them a lesson.”

Erdan has already demanded Guterres’ resignation and described his remarks as blood libel. The response reflects a long-running Israeli belief that UN agencies, especially the UN human rights council, has an anti-Israeli agenda. It is not clear how far the visa ban extends within the UN hierarchy. A large number of UN workers, for instance, are employed by UNRWA, the UN relief and works agency for Palestinian people. The UN secretary general created fury in Israel and among some Republicans in the US by describing Israel’s bombardment and blockade of the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attacks as the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people” and “clear violations of international humanitarian law”. Guterres also said of Hamas: “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians – or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.

All hostages must be treated humanely and released immediately and without conditions.” Griffiths, a former British diplomat and special envoy on Yemen, has been forthright in warning that levels of UN aid into Gaza are woefully inadequate. He has repeatedly called for a ceasefire to allow aid into the territory. Last week the US vetoed a UN resolution tabled by Brazil calling for a humanitarian pause to allow aid into Gaza since it did not explicitly allow for Israel’s self-defence. The US has requested a vote at the UN security council on Thursday afternoon on a draft resolution of its own that reaffirms Israel’s right to collective and individual self defence, but adds that the movement of people within Gaza must be voluntary.

The draft resolution calls for “all measures necessary such as humanitarian pauses to allow for the full rapid safe and unhindered humanitarian access, consistent with international humanitarian law for UN agencies and other impartial humanitarian agencies … to ensure the unhindered provision of water, electricity, food fuel and medical supplies”. Russia has put forward its own counter-resolution calling for a swift and unconditional ceasefire. A vote could take place later this week.

Guterres

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“Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on October 18, that any attempts to displace Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan would be considered a declaration of “war.”

The US Has Betrayed Egypt Again (Sahiounie)

The Egyptian parliament met on October 19 and gave President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi the power to declare war against Israel, if necessary. Egypt and Israel have a peace treaty dating from 1979, which has been a success, proving that a neighboring Arab and Muslim country can share long-lasting peaceful relations with the Jewish State of Israel. Egyptians have watched in horror at the scenes of death and destruction in Gaza as the Israeli government exacts its revenge on Hamas after the October 7 attack on Israel. With the promised Israeli ground invasion of Gaza beginning at any moment, it is expected to be a bloodbath among unarmed civilians. Already the death toll is at least 5,087, including 2,055 children. The Cairo Peace Summit, co-chaired by the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine, met on October 21.

Sisi said that the solution to the Palestinian issue is not the displacement of an entire people to other areas, but justice and obtaining their legitimate rights and the right to self-determination. The U.S. sent a low-level representative to the Cairo Peace Summit, and this was a message from U.S. President Joe Biden, that the U.S. is working against Egypt, and not with them. The U.S. media is portraying Sisi as the villain, who refuses to open the gate at Rafah and allow displaced Palestinians under bombardment to flee. The reason behind Egypt’s refusal to accept Palestinian refugees is never hinted at in the U.S. media which parrots the U.S. State Department talking points. Israel has a long-standing law that prevents any Palestinian who leaves Gaza, or the Occupied West Bank, from ever returning home. The right of return is enshrined in international law; however, Israel does not comply with international law.

Sisi knows there is an Israeli plan, condoned and supported by Biden, to remove all Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt, where they will be supported by humanitarian aid, but can never repopulate Gaza again. They will be permanently homeless and stateless refugees. The Israeli plan also includes the Occupied West Bank and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned of attempts to displace the Palestinian people and said: “We will not leave, we will not leave, we will stay in our land.” Jordanian King Abdullah II said, “The violent bombing campaign in Gaza is a collective punishment of a besieged and helpless population,” he said, calling it a “flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime.”

The U.S.-Israeli plan is to move all the Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank into Jordan, which has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1994. Both leaders have warned of a plan to de-populate the West Bank, which will then be the ultimate solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as there will be no more occupation and no need for the UN resolution calling for the two-state solution. Israel will get everything, and the Palestinians will get nothing. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on October 18, that any attempts to displace Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan would be considered a declaration of “war.”

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“No one in Western Europe is talking about peace, Europe is suffering from a war psychosis.”

Europe Suffering From ‘War Psychosis’ In Support For Ukraine – Hungary (RMX)

Instead of looking for ways to foster peace, the European Union’s current and planned actions only serve to extend the war, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said after a meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council. “It is all about war, there is no peace. Brussels is still pro-war, as shown by the fact that they would give €5 billion a year for arms over the next four years, which also shows that they expect the war to continue,” Szijjártó said. “No one in Western Europe is talking about peace, Europe is suffering from a war psychosis.” He added that it is clear there will be no solution to the war on the battlefield. Europeans expect nothing but destruction and death, and the conditions for peace are getting worse.

“Taking arms production and training to Ukraine would drag the EU into an immediate war. We find this totally unacceptable. Nor should arms transfers be just about supplying the Ukrainians with as many weapons as possible, because the EU is not a security organization, and justifying a country’s future accession on security grounds is completely unacceptable,” Szijjártó added. Speaking of the EU’s bans on Russian fossil fuels, Szijjártó said that Hungarians do not want to give up energy security in the name of some ill-defined ideals. “On energy supplies: We didn’t talk nonsense by saying that it’s not a political issue, it’s a physical issue. We are not willing to risk the security of Hungary’s energy supply or the results of cuts in tariffs. Hungarians are not responsible for the war, we are not willing to make them pay for it,” he said.

The Hungarian foreign minister accused other member states of being covert about its dealings with Russia, unlike Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who has been honest and transparent through his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing. “My colleague, the Lithuanian foreign minister was blunt. He said that he expected me to clarify whether what is being said here is our own position or the Kremlin’s position. This is unacceptable to me. I reassured him that Hungary is a sovereign country with a sovereign opinion,” Szijjártó explained. “As long as this government is in power, we are not prepared to accept any opinion from anywhere, from any geographical direction, whether there is a lot of water between us or not. I said to my Lithuanian colleague that I hope he can say the same thing with his hand on his heart,” he added.

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“..Zelensky has recently urged his forces to take at least 500 meters of territory from Russian positions daily..”

Imagine taking military orders from a clown whose main achievement is he plays piano with his dick..

Kiev Slams Musk Over Calls To End Ukrainian Conflict (RT)

Mikhail Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, described Elon Musk’s calls for an urgent ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict to avoid a larger conflict as a “catastrophic mistake” with far-reaching consequences in a Telegram post on Tuesday. On his channel, Podolyak called Musk’s recent proposal equivalent to surrendering Ukraine to “mandatory large-scale genocide”from Russia and suggested that refusing to support Ukraine would “inevitably lead to a sharp increase in conflicts around the world, the end of the era of international law, the collapse of the international economy, and the triumph of the forces of evil.” The advisor’s comments came after Musk stated in a conversation on X (formerly Twitter) Spaces on Tuesday that the US was “sleepwalking” into World War III by antagonizing countries like Russia, Iran, and China.

Musk said he believed that “civilization itself may be at stake”and stressed that the US must work to prevent a global conflict. To that end, he called on the US to “resume normal relations with Russia” and “figure out” a way to establish peace in Ukraine, labeling the war a hopeless situation. The billionaire noted that it made no sense that soldiers from Russia and Ukraine should die every day and stressed that a ceasefire was the only way out of the conflict for the Ukrainian people since Russia would never give up its lands – apparently referring to Crimea, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and the Donbass republics – and Ukraine would never be able to take over these territories with its smaller army.

Musk suggested that the current line of control could be a suitable permanent border between Russia and Ukraine since, according to him, there is no significant anti-Russian insurgency in the “Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine” and, therefore, there is little point in forcing areas that want to be part of Russia to be part of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has recently urged his forces to take at least 500 meters of territory from Russian positions daily. That’s despite the Ukrainian military having suffered tens of thousands of casualties during this summer’s counteroffensive, which ultimately failed to achieve any significant territorial gains.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Kiev’s counteroffensive as having “failed completely.” He stated that Ukraine had lost over 90,000 soldiers, 557 tanks, and 1,900 since the start of the operation in June. At the same time, Russian forces have been ensuring that the Ukrainian military has “increasingly fewer capabilities,” according to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who stated on Wednesday that new weapon systems deployed by Russian forces have taken down 24 Ukrainian planes in just the past five days.

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“US President Joe Biden’s $106 billion national security funding request, which includes aid for Ukraine and Israel, is in “big trouble”..

US Senate Ready To Block $100 Billion Israel-Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s $106 billion national security funding request, which includes aid for Ukraine and Israel, is in “big trouble” as senators prepare to block or significantly alter the bill, Politico reported on Tuesday. The outlet noted that many in the Senate, including Republican supporters of Biden’s initiative, are “uncharacteristically pessimistic” about the bill’s chances. “The package that the White House sent over really is dead,” South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds was quoted as saying. “The appropriators in the Senate can begin by basically starting over.” The bill was introduced by the Biden administration last week, seeking legislative approval to provide an additional $61.4 billion to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and $14.3 billion in aid to Israel in its war with Hamas.

Biden also wants $9.2 billion for humanitarian aid in Israel, Gaza, and Ukraine, as well as $7.4 billion to counter China’s influence. The administration included a further $13.6 billion in funding for border security. Politico noted that while Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, they still need nine or more Republican votes to get a bill passed through the chamber. However, it seems that Republican lawmakers are unsatisfied with the current version of Biden’s proposal, with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stating that a number of GOP senators want stronger border security as well as “other changes.” Politico added that some Republicans are unsure about linking aid to Israel with ongoing funding for Ukraine. A growing number of conservative lawmakers have vehemently opposed sending any further support to Kiev. “They should be separated out,” insisted Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio, noting that the Israeli component of Biden’s bill has “almost overwhelming support” and could quickly be passed.

South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, however, has insisted that Biden’s package should move forward as a whole. “Those are four national security issues, and we should deal with them as a unit,” he insisted. To date, Washington has approved at least $113 billion in aid to Ukraine, according to recent calculations from the US State Department Office of Inspector General. However, House Republicans have increasingly pushed back against additional aid, going as far as threatening a government shutdown last month over the inclusion of Ukraine in a government spending bill. Funding for Kiev was ultimately dropped from the stopgap spending package, but US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy lost his position after ‘Ukraine skeptics’ accused him of striking a secret deal with the Biden administration to keep the money flowing.

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“..the number of foreign mercenaries and NATO soldiers now fighting in Donbass is much higher than most people are aware, and if it is not currently 50%, it soon will be.”

Ukraine’s Manpower Problem (Russell Bentley)

During its much hyped offensive, the Ukrainian army lost more than 90,000 people, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed in a speech last month. “Sometimes it seems that it is not their people who they throw into battle,” he noted. And indeed they are not, anymore. Two of my friends in the DPR/RF Army, each in different units, on different Fronts, one still fighting near Artemovsk, the other down around the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, both told me that the number of foreign mercenaries and NATO soldiers now fighting in Donbass is much higher than most people are aware, and if it is not currently 50%, it soon will be. The Ukrainian military is also increasingly relying on political extremists to help fill its depleted ranks.

Roman Edwards, a British mercenary in Ukraine publicly acknowledged on X (formerly Twitter) that almost all Ukrainian fighters, that he is serving with, openly profess Nazi views: “I’m aware since I serve here. Literally everyone I serve with uses some sort of “N4zi” symbol: Swastika, SS lightning bolts, Totenkopf, etc. they even have a giant Swastika flag with blue and yellow… it’s not a big deal.” So, the first category of enemies Russian soldiers face are hardcore Nazis and professional foreign mercenaries. These are the terrorists and war criminals who torture and slaughter P.O.W.’s and serve as “blocking troops” who even execute Ukrainian conscript soldiers who refuse or even hesitate to commit suicide by obeying impossible orders.

As noted by Vostok Batallion commander Alexander Khodakovsky, the second category of troops – forcibly mobilized Ukrainian conscripts – is much “larger than the Bandera lovers who hate Russia, whose ancestors licked the boots of the Nazis, leaving a will for their descendants to lick the boots of anyone who opposes Russia.” “Look at these prisoners (Ukrainian conscripts). Who do you see? There are no swastikas, like on the bastards from Azov – there are not even tattoos. On his neck one has a large cross with the Savior, who brought him alive from the hell created by his fellow tribesmen,” he explained. Three different perspectives on the summer offensive, from different people –the Russian President, a British mercenary fighting alongside Ukrainian Nazis, and a frontline commander.

To sum it up, many thousands have died, the Ukrainian conscripts are not Nazis, but the foreign mercenaries admit that “literally everyone” they serve with are. What conclusions can be drawn? Simply this – that what is left of the Ukrainian Army is a two tiered system of cannon fodder and blocking troops, that sees untrained conscripts thrown onto the front lines, with battle hardened Russian troops in front of them, and blocking troops made up of foreign mercenaries and hardcore Nazis behind them, who will kill them if they retreat or refuse to advance when ordered to. So, the common Ukrainian citizens, primarily from the ethnically Russian and Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine, are kidnapped from the streets by press gangs and thrown directly into battle without adequate training or weapons, where they are forced to face impossible odds in combat.

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“The jurors knew they would be denounced in the media and by politicians and would have Black Lives Matter and Antifa on their lawns.”

“This is America today. Be a Proud American.”

George Floyd Killed Himself (Paul Craig Roberts)

If you remember, 3 years and 5 months ago we were told repeatedly that Minneapolis white police officer Derick Chavin murdered black drug addict George Floyd by holding him on the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck while Floyd cried “I can’t breathe.” The “evidence” was a video taken at a distance by a young black girl that was misleading because it suffered from camera perspective distortion as experts at the time explained but were ignored in the media hysteria focused on the police officer. Moreover, Floyd’s complaints that he couldn’t breathe began when he was sitting in the patrol car. As the up close police videos showed, Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s shoulder, the approved technique.

Chavin was restraining Floyd because he realized he had a fentanyl case on his hands, had called medics, and was restraining Floyd so he wouldn’t thrash around and use up what little oxygen he was receiving. Fentanyl kills, if my memory of my investigation is reliable, by depriving blood cells from carrying oxygen. I reported these facts at the time and cited the evidence including the coroner’s report that Floyd’s blood contained a multiple of the fatal dose of fentanyl. But the false media narrative had no ears for the truth. Chauvin was convicted by the media long prior to his trial, and no jury was going to go against solid national opinion. The jurors knew they would be denounced in the media and by politicians and would have Black Lives Matter and Antifa on their lawns.

Consequently, innocent police officers were convicted for a crime that did not happen. The ignorant mob and corrupt media triumphed over justice. When I was young, conviction by the media prior to trial and a guilty verdict meant the case was dismissed because the jury pool was biased. Tucker Carlson recently reported the facts in the first 3 minutes and 30 seconds of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgXuprXyPg0 . What brought the facts to light again is a law suit filed by a prosecutor against her boss in which deposition under oath revealed the conversation between the prosecutor and the county medical advisor, who told her “that there were no medical findings that showed any injury to the vital structures of Mr Floyd’s neck. There were no medical indications of asphyxia or strangulation.”

We know the facts, Tucker says, but what can we do about it? Apparently nothing. Floyd, a drug addict who killed himself, has been made a martyr. There are monuments to him. Taxpayers turned over $27 million of their money to Floyd’s family. This is another lie set in stone. And innocent police rot in prison. This is America today. Be a Proud American.

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“Their only witness, their chief witness, their only witness, just admitted, number one, he lied,” Trump told reporters..”

Trump Fined $10,000 for Breaking Gag Order in New York Civil Fraud Trial (Sp.)

US President Donald Trump was recently fined $10,000 for violating a gag order implemented as part of his ongoing civil fraud trial in New York, marking the second such fine he’s been slapped with in less than a week. The fine came after Judge Arthur Engoron questioned Trump on the witness stand, asking him about comments he made to the media during a midmorning break about a partisan “person” that sits near the judge during court proceedings. “If we had a jury it would have been fair, at least — even if it was a somewhat negative jury — because no negative jury would vote against me,” Trump had said during the earlier break. “But this judge will. Because this judge is a very partisan judge, with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.”

On the witness stand, Trump insisted his comments were about his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is acting as a witness in the case – not the judge’s law clerk Allison Greenfield, who he had previously criticized on social media. Despite Trump’s explanations, Engoron found his testimony “not credible” and levied the fine against him. Engoron has warned the Trump camp that “severe sanctions” may be levied against the former commander-in-chief for any future slip-ups. “I am very protective of my staff,” the judge said. The civil fraud trial, initiated by the New York Attorney General Letitia James, has been ongoing for approximately three weeks. The incident leading to Trump’s fine began when he referred to Engoron as partisan and suggested there was a more partisan individuals alongside him during a break in the proceedings.

This led to the judge’s concern about potential dangers and the violation of the gag order. Trump’s legal team argued that his comments were directed at Cohen, but the judge disagreed. The violation follows a $5,000 fine imposed on Trump last Friday for comments he made about Greenfield, which were posted on social media. The incident highlights the challenge of gag orders for a former president known for making public comments. In Washington, a federal judge had also imposed a gag order in an election interference case against Trump, which was on hold as an appeals court reviewed its merits. Despite the fine, the incident overshadowed a potentially successful day for Trump’s defense, as his lawyers managed to provoke inconsistencies in Cohen’s testimony. “Their only witness, their chief witness, their only witness, just admitted, number one, he lied,” Trump told reporters, after the day’s hearings, as quoted by US media.

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They thought they had found another case, but not even Chris Wray plays ball..

“I did not feel pressured. I did not feel bullied,” Mr. Wray said in reference to one of the discussions that he had with President Trump in 2018..”

Trump Cleared of Any Wrongdoing in FBI Headquarters Spat (ET)

After a lengthy review, a Department of Justice watchdog has found that President Donald Trump didn’t improperly influence the FBI’s decision to keep its headquarters in downtown Washington rather than move it to suburban locations in Maryland or Virginia. “With regard to possible influence by then-President Trump or the White House, we found no evidence that the FBI’s decisions were based on improper considerations or motives,” the Justice Department inspector general wrote in a report released on Oct. 24, after a four-year investigation. Roughly 20 years ago, the FBI concluded that its Washington-based headquarters—the J. Edgar Hoover Building—was no longer meeting the needs of the agency in terms of security and supporting the needs of its workforce.

Starting in 2014, the government began to explore the possibility of transferring ownership of the current FBI headquarters land to a developer, who in exchange would build a new facility in the city’s suburbs in a deal dubbed an “exchange procurement.” However, the General Services Administration (GSA) found that the value of the existing site wouldn’t cover the cost of a new facility, and so the Office of Management and Budget asked Congress for money to cover the difference. In July 2017, the GSA announced that it had canceled plans to go ahead with the exchange procurement deal because Congress didn’t appropriate all of the requested funds. This prompted the FBI to scrap plans for a suburban campus and instead recommend that the J. Edgar Hoover Building be demolished and a new headquarters constructed in its place.

However, some Democrats saw a conspiracy afoot. They accused President Trump of meddling in that decision, claiming in an October 2018 letter to the GSA that he did it to keep competitors away from his Washington-based commercial property, the Trump International Hotel. They alleged that President Trump directly influenced the decision to scrap the suburban campus construction deal during a January 2018 meeting that included officials from the GSA, the FBI, and the White House. “He was directly involved with the decision to abandon the long-term relocation plan and instead move ahead [with the alternate plan],” the Democrats wrote. “He should not have played any role in a determination that bears directly on his own financial interests with the Trump hotel.” The letter prompted an investigation, which concluded by finding President Trump innocent of the allegations.

“Specifically, we found no evidence that, in making the decision to seek to have the new FBI headquarters remain at its current JEH site, Director [Christopher] Wray or others at the FBI considered the location of the then-named Trump International Hotel or how then-President Trump’s financial interests could be impacted by the decision,” the watchdog wrote in the report. Mr. Wray told the watchdog that the matter of relocating the headquarters came up in discussions with President Trump on several occasions but that he never felt pressured by the 45th president into making any kind of decision. “I did not feel pressured. I did not feel bullied,” Mr. Wray said in reference to one of the discussions that he had with President Trump in 2018, according to a memo cited in the watchdog’s report.

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Grassley demands answers from both the FBI and the DOJ by November 17.

“Any national security prosecutor like myself will tell you that usually you have a couple or maybe a handful… but 40? That’s the most I’ve ever heard of. That’s more than in mob cases and RICO cases.”

FBI Received ‘Criminal Info’ From Over 40 Confidential Sources on Bidens (JTN)

The FBI received information about possible criminal activity involving the Biden family from more than 40 informants over an extended period of time, but most avenues of investigation were thwarted, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, revealed in a bombshell letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, released Wednesday. “This letter is based on years of investigation, including the provision of information, records, and allegations from multiple Justice Department whistleblowers that indicate there is – and has been – an effort among certain Justice Department and FBI officials to improperly delay and stop full and complete investigative activity into the Biden family, including but not limited to FD-1023s referencing the Biden family,” Grassley wrote.

“This alleged political infection breaks faith with the American people, and it will ruin our governmental institutions should it continue. As just one initial example,” he added, “I’ve been made aware that at one point in time the FBI maintained over 40 Confidential Human Sources that provided criminal information relating to Joe Biden, James Biden, and Hunter Biden.” Grassley said Americans need answers to an essential question: “Did the FBI investigate the information or shut it down?” “That’s a lot of taxpayer dollars implemented towards one target or one target set,” former Trump advisor Kash Patel said on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “Any national security prosecutor like myself will tell you that usually you have a couple or maybe a handful… but 40? That’s the most I’ve ever heard of. That’s more than in mob cases and RICO cases.”

The Iowa lawmaker further indicated that he had identified 25 Department of Justice and FBI personnel for interviews “who either had a direct or indirect role in the allegations” he mentioned. He further asked that Garland provide him with a litany of records on the Biden family. The Department of Justice already faces allegations of slow-walking the tax investigation into first son Hunter Biden. A pair of IRS agents who worked on the case came forward earlier this year with allegations that Biden-appointed officials had worked to stifle the investigation and prevent the bringing of more sever charges against Hunter Biden. Grassley’s requests come as the House of Representatives continues its own investigations into the first family. Those efforts have thus far uncovered extensive foreign payments linked to Biden family businesses.

Among the most high-profile of discoveries was a document detailing confidential human source information claiming that Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky had hired Hunter Biden to secure access to his then-vice president father and paid them to shut down a probe from the top Ukrainian prosecutor. After the House secured the opportunity to view the form behind closed doors, Grassley himself published the document in July. Earlier this month, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer revealed the discovery of a $200,000 check that Joe Biden received in 2018 from his brother James that was linked to the failing healthcare company Americore.

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Ethan Hawke

 

 

QueenBee
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717134496401695121

 

 

Arctic fox

 

 

 

 

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Sep 212023
 
 September 21, 2023  Posted by at 1:54 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  10 Responses »


Théodore Géricault The Raft of the Medusa 1819

 

 

A short comment on an all too familiar sort of MSM article about US politics these days. This article, a few days old, comes from Gary O’Donoghue, Washington correspondent, BBC News.

The MSM must concede that Hunter Biden is under investigation. Now that it’s official, they can no longer hide it. Time for plan B. This is the BBC, more MSM than anyone. The new narrative is that both political sides are being probed now, supposed to make us think there’s a sort of balance, a neutrality.

And the DOJ is some kind of impartial office (just like the FBI and CIA). Even though the entire alphabet soup has been directed squarely against Trump for 8 years now. The result is that they list the charges against the two sides as follows: 91 against Trump, one -small one- against Hunter, and zero against Joe Biden (he’s not even mentioned here).

Not one word about Joe Biden’s own involvement in what Hunter is accused of. Not one word about the laptop. Or about the tens of millions of dollars the House Commitee says the Biden family received from foreign sources. Ergo: Trump is much worse than Hunter. And Joe never put a single finger wrong.

What Hunter Biden Charges Mean For The President

Politically speaking, there are currently two Americas. One is outraged and horrified that the former president, Donald Trump, is facing 91 federal and state criminal charges in what they see as a deep state conspiracy orchestrated in part by Joe Biden’s Department of Justice. The other believes that very same justice department has spent five years unfairly pursuing Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, over his tax affairs and behaviour while a self-declared and repentant drug addict. In other words, both Americas believe the department responsible for enforcing the laws of the land has been taken captive by the other side and is hopelessly politicised.

“..improper and partisan interference..” but not from the Democrats…

Hunter Biden’s lawyer responded to the news that his client had been indicted on three federal gun charges by accusing the prosecutor of bending to “improper and partisan interference” from Trump-supporting Republicans. Meanwhile, Andy Biggs, one of those conservatives in Congress, suggested the charges were simply a manoeuvre to make it look like the justice department was fair. “Don’t fall for it. They’re trying to protect him from way more serious charges coming his way!”, he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Republicans only focus on Hunter because of Trump’s “legal jeopardies”. Not because of the laptop contents. Which the FBI sat on for 5 years, and we would never have known about if the repair shop owner had not given a copy to Rudy Giuliani. The FBI were busy targeting Trump, after all. Hunter’s “legal woes” are only “a blow in a personal sense to his father”. Surely not because his father pops up a thousand times in the laptop in comprimising ways,

Hunter Biden’s legal woes will of course be a blow in a personal sense to his father and his family. But the ramifications go much further than that. Republicans have for some time known that the president’s son is a vulnerability. Exploiting that has the power not just to significantly rile up Joe Biden, but also to help distract from their own problems with Mr Trump’s legal jeopardies. Add to that the fact that most Democrats, when asked, are far from happy that Mr Biden is running for the White House again in 2024. Hunter seems like just another reason for some continuing to press for the 80-year-old president to step aside for the next generation.

But wait, this is not about Hunter, it’s about Trump. And it’s certainly not about Joe. Nothing Hunter did could possible be as grave as Trump’s actions. Why else would there be 91 charges against him?

All this means that the outcome of Hunter Biden’s case will play a significant part in what promises to be a turbulent election year. But Republicans face something of a dilemma. It’s true that the three gun-related charges are felonies rather than misdemeanours; and it’s true that further charges could come relating to Hunter Biden’s tax affairs and foreign dealings. But none of it currently quite rises to the scale and quantity of Donald Trump’s alleged crimes. So any attempt to weaponise Hunter Biden’s problems could simply invite the American people to compare and contrast. Also, as Democrats will no doubt continue to point out, Hunter Biden is not running for dog catcher, let alone to be President of the United States.

“After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms.” Gotta love that line.

One intriguing aspect of Hunter Biden’s case is that his lawyers clearly believe the plea deal that broke down in July could still be resurrected – and that the recent expansion of Second Amendment rights by various courts could be an element in his defence. After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms. That would be an extraordinary irony given where most Democrats stand on gun control.

“..seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden..” Again, the FBI has had the laptop for 5 years. What more can you say? Jim Jordan just yesterday in the House: “We have an investigation run by Mr. Weiss that not only had a sweetheart deal rejected, but according to The New York Times, there was an even sweeter earlier deal with Mr. Biden where he would not have to plead guilty to anything. Four and a half years and all that..”

Thursday’s indictment came just days after Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced an impeachment inquiry into President Biden – a move dismissed as a political stunt by the White House. Mr McCarthy said there were “serious and credible allegations” into the family’s business dealings and President Biden’s conduct. And Republicans will hope this new inquiry implicates the president in the peddling of power and corruption. So far, however, seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden have produced snippets from former business partners, an FBI informant and a couple of IRS agents, but nothing that comes close to a real smoking gun.

The reason for the impeachment inquiry vs Joe Biden is not to get rid of him, or even “win a vote”, it’s to establish a record. The Senate would never agree to impeach him, just like it didn’t Donald Trump when the GOP had a majority. But the record is crucial. Pelosi and Schiff knew it, and now so does the GOP.

That may change when the subpoenas begin to fly, but the Republican majority in the House is so slim, that it is far from certain that Republicans would win an impeachment vote on the House floor, if it got that far. What is certain, is that the once-clear distinction between the political and legal systems has become increasingly blurred. And that’s a major problem, according to Randy Zelin, adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School. “Somebody woke up one day and said, boy I have a new toy and that is called the federal criminal justice system, where I’m going to use the criminal system to punish people who don’t agree with my politics,” Prof Zelin told the BBC. “I think the sole influence here is that this country is being torn apart by this never-ending battle.”

This is how the media today wants you to see it. But where were they during the Steele dossier days? Or any of the other anti-Trump shenanigans? Remember, they never proved a single thing against him. They just “won” some votes in theaters where they had a majority. And now they’ve come up with 91 new charges in the theaters that the DOJ and FBI have been turned into. Vs zero for Joe Biden. And one puny one for Hunter. Hey, we have an election coming up.

I suggested recently that there wouldn’t be a US election in 2024. But trying to imagine what would happen if they attempted to have one, replete with Dominion machines and mail-in ballots, I’m starting to wonder if there will be a country left next year to hold an election in.

The two sides are so far apart (not really of course, they’re still neighbors, it’s all in the head), that they may as well live in different countries. And then one day they actually might. 1861 is not that long ago.

 

 

 

 

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Jun 262023
 
 June 26, 2023  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The standard bearer 1636

 

FSB Spooked The CIA On Prigozhin Coup (Bhadrakumar)
US Ambassador To Moscow Contacts Russian Diplomats Over Wagner Crisis (TASS)
US Intelligence Knew Of Wagner Plot Days In Advance, Briefed Congress (ZH)
Putin Says He Deals With Special Military Op Issues 24/7 (TASS)
Lavrov Slams Biden’s, Zelensky’s Nuclear Remarks On US Nuclear Threat (TASS)
Russia, Internal This Time (Denninger)
A Wild, Conspiratorial, Fantastical View of World Politics (Cook)
J.K. Rowling’s Moment of Truth (Rachel Lu)
IRS Whistleblower Reveals Names of Witnesses to Show AG Garland Lying (CTH)
Joe Biden Used Secret Global Cell Phone While He Was VP (GP)
FBI Knew Hunter Biden’s Laptop Was ‘Reliable’ Before Smearing It (Sp.)
The Designated Defendant: Was Hunter Biden Always the Fall Guy? (Turley)
Why Julian Assange Must Be Freed (Matt Taibbi)
Biden Would Need His Pound of Flesh From Assange (Lauria)

 

 

Everyone in the west appears to fall over each other declaring the Wagner story a “coup”. If it was, Prigozhin is an exceptionally inept man. What was he going to do when he got to the outskirts of Moscow?

They also claim Putin comes out brutally damaged. You sure he’s not the big winner? It’s okay to admit you don’t know things. I’m doing it right here and now.

 

 

I’m still looking at this map. It makes so much sense.

And a take like this one:

“Putin scammed the world by faking the coup to fool NATO and eliminate disloyal high ranking military inside Russia without protests from other officials. The ploy also duped Ukraine into advancing, thinking Russia was weak, thus revealing their entire offensive. If that’s what he did it was a genius military tactic that will go down as one of the greatest moves in military history.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucky
https://twitter.com/i/status/1672961473553874947

 

 

 

 

Extermination

 

 

 

 

“Blinken has piled up a consistent record for being horribly wrong on his assessments on Russia — starting from the deathly blow the ‘sanctions from hell’ were expected to give to the Russian economy; Putin’s hold on power; Russia’s catastrophic defeat in Ukraine; Russian military’s deficiencies; Kiev’s inexorable military victory, and so on..”

FSB Spooked The CIA On Prigozhin Coup (Bhadrakumar)

Just as the CIA or most intelligence organisations do, the FSB also psychoanalyses the remarks of their targets for profound meanings. They do that routinely and have trained analysts who do only that. It wouldn’t have escaped the attention of Russian intelligence analysts that Prigozhin’s ranting and ravings from Donetsk from last autumn and winter began originally on the operational aspects of the Bakhmut war front in Donetsk oblast, but incrementally began acquiring political overtones, culminating finally in his incredible statement that the raison d’être of the special military operation in Ukraine since February 2022, was all baloney. Even more strangely, this man who physically witnessed the Battle of Bakhmut, came to the bizarre conclusion that Kiev or Nato had no mala fide intentions toward Donbass or Russia.

Therefore, the ‘known known’ here is that the Russian intelligence was under instructions to be in ‘listening mode,’ give the eddies a free flow in the Battle of Bakhmut where Wagner was in the driving seat. (Interestingly, though, at some point, much to Prigozhin’s annoyance, Moscow also began deploying regular troops selectively on the Bakhmut front alongside the Wagner fighters. ) On Saturday, top US intelligence officials sprang into action to brief the media as it emerged that Russian authorities were literally waiting with a road map to squash Prigozhin’s coup attempt. Even the Chechen militia was put on standby. The crucial element in the deal struck with Prigozhin has been that he will not be prosecuted but must simply get lost. And where else could his exile be arranged better on Planet Earth than in Belarus under the benevolent eyes of President Alexander Lukashenko?

Now, we may get to know at some point from Lukashenko, who struggles to keep secrets for long, as to when exactly would Putin have taken him into confidence on a ‘need-to-know basis.’ It strains credulity that such a complex dealmaking was possible within a clutch of hours via tortuous 3-way negotiations between Moscow, Minsk and Rostov-on-Don even as the renegade Wagner column was approaching Moscow. An intriguing sub-plot here is that amidst all this heavy traffic, Lukashenko also negotiated with Nurusultan Nazarbayev, the former Kazakh dictator who headed a pro-western regime in Astana and was ousted from power after reigning for nearly three decades, following the failure of a similar US-backed coup attempt like Prigozhin’s in the winter of 2021-2022, which too was crushed with the help of the CSTO forces (Russian troops) led by a Russian general.

On the previous day, in fact, Putin had spoken with two Central Asian leaders — Kazakh President Jomart Tokayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev. Did he share any crucial intelligence? In fact, both these countries have been facing western plots for regime change lately. By the way, Given Moscow’s preoccupations in Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stepped in to take a hands-on role to consolidate the stability and security of the Central Asian region. (Please see my recent articles — China takes leadership role in Central Asia ; An “Axis of Seven” to supplement SCO ; and, Russia, China take holistic view of the Pamirs and Hindu Kush. Clearly, something was seriously afoot in Kazakhstan, which is sandwiched between Russia and China and is the most crucial piece of real estate in geopolitical terms in Central Asia.

In all probability, this was what the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken alluded to when he told ABC on Sunday that the situation with the attempted coup in Russia “is still developing… I don’t want to speculate, and I don’t think we saw the final episode.” That said, however, Blinken has piled up a consistent record for being horribly wrong on his assessments on Russia — starting from the deathly blow the ‘sanctions from hell’ were expected to give to the Russian economy; Putin’s hold on power; Russia’s catastrophic defeat in Ukraine; Russian military’s deficiencies; Kiev’s inexorable military victory, and so on.

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“..we had some engagement with the Russians over the weekend to make sure they understood their responsibilities when it comes to looking out for the safety and security of our personnel in Russia..”

US Ambassador To Moscow Contacts Russian Diplomats Over Wagner Crisis (TASS)

US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy got in touch with Russian foreign ministry officials amid the situation around PMC Wagner but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has no contacts with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the CBS television channel said on Sunday, citing its sources. According to CBS, contacts with Russia were carried out both between Ambassador Tracy and the Russian foreign ministry and at several other levels. However, there were no contacts between the two countries’ top diplomats. When asked about contacts with the Russian side, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with CBS, “I instructed my own team at the President’s behest to engage with the Russians, first and foremost, to make sure that they understood their responsibilities in terms of protecting our own personnel, ensuring their safety and well-being, as well as any American citizens in Russia.”

“So a number of people have engaged to make sure that the Russians got that message,” he noted. When asked whether US President Joe Biden would reach out to Russian President Vladimir Putin or whether the CIA director had any contacts with Russian intelligence, he said, “I’m not gonna get into any diplomatic contacts that we may have or have had, I can tell you that, on my instruction, on the President’s instruction, we had some engagement with the Russians over the weekend to make sure they understood their responsibilities when it comes to looking out for the safety and security of our personnel in Russia. Very important that we do that, and we did that.” No response has come from the US Department of State to TASS’ inquiry about Ambassador Tracy’s contacts with Russian diplomats.

In the evening of June 23, several audio recordings were posted on PMC Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Telegram channel. In particular, he claimed that his units had been allegedly attacked and blamed the military leadership of the country. In connection with these statements, the Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case over calls for an armed rebellion. The Defense Ministry dismissed the claims about alleged strikes on the “rear camps of the PMC Wagner” as false. In his address to the nation on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the PMC Wagner’s actions as an armed mutiny and treason and vowed that measures against the trouble-makers would be tough.

Later on Saturday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in coordination with Putin, held talks with Prigozhin, which yielded a de-escalation plan. Later, Prigozhin said that PMC Wagner was halting its advance to Moscow to return back to its field camps. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a criminal case against the Wagner chief would be dropped, while Prigozhin himself would go to Belarus. Besides, the Russian authorities pledged not to prosecute PMC Wagner troops who took part in the mutiny because of their “combat merits.”.

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More Blinken assessments.

US Intelligence Knew Of Wagner Plot Days In Advance, Briefed Congress (ZH)

While over the past months Prigozhin has made his personal hatred for Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and top general Valery Gerasimov well known, the intelligence that Washington supposedly had seems very specific and appears to have accurately predicted events, a mere few days before they unfolded. While the Kremlin has thus far refrained from blaming the tumultuous events on US or NATO countries, it has indirectly hinted and warned that the West could exploit the situation. “The attempted armed mutiny in our country has aroused strong disapproval in Russian society, which firmly supports President Vladimir Putin,” a Foreign Ministry statement said Saturday. “We warn the Western countries against the slightest attempts to use the internal situation in Russia for achieving their Russophobic aims. Such attempts are futile and evoke no support either in Russia or among soberly-minded political forces abroad.”


But soon after, Secretary of State Blinken did just that, in Sunday news shows pushing the talking point that the Wagner mutiny exposed “real cracks” in Putin’s government: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the short-lived rebellion from Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin “shows real cracks” within Russia as it wages its war on Ukraine. “Prigozhin himself, in this entire incident, has raised profound questions about the very premises for Russian aggression against Ukraine in the first place, saying that Ukraine or NATO did not pose a threat to Russia, which is part of Putin’s narrative. And it was a direct challenge to Putin’s authority. So this raises profound questions. It shows real cracks,” Blinken said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“.. the president shared that he “has been staying up quite late lately.”

Putin Says He Deals With Special Military Op Issues 24/7 (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he keeps the situation of the special operation under control around the clock. “Of course, I pay priority attention [to the special military operation],” he told journalist Pavel Zarubin. “This is how the day begins and this is how it ends,” Putin pointed out during an interview with the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” TV program, recorded on June 21. When asked if he can get a report on important issues at 3 a.m., for example, the president shared that he “has been staying up quite late lately.” “Of course, I always have to be in touch. That’s the way it goes. Always, I’m always in touch. Close by,” he concluded.

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“I cannot be responsible for the psychological state of people who repeatedly, daily prove their inadequacy..”

Lavrov Slams Biden’s, Zelensky’s Nuclear Remarks On US Nuclear Threat (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called statements by US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky on the nuclear threat allegedly emanating from Russia a “turbulent stream of consciousness” not worth commenting on. “It’s hard for me to comment on what the US president has been saying lately, as it is for other observers in general who are wondering how to interpret it all. I wouldn’t put too much weight on verbal escapades that have no basis in fact right now,” the top Russian diplomat said in an interview with the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” TV program, according to an excerpt posted on Sunday on journalist Pavel Zarubin’s Telegram channel.


Lavrov called Zelensky’s statements “even more turbulent stream of consciousness.” “I have no medical background. [Head of the European Commission] Ursula von der Leyen has a medical degree. I cannot be responsible for the psychological state of people who repeatedly, daily prove their inadequacy,” Lavrov added. Earlier, Biden said during a speech in California that he believed the threat of Russian leader Vladimir Putin using tactical nuclear weapons was real.

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“These people are under the foolish belief that a man with 6,000 nuclear weapons at this control will back off and let them put ours 5 minutes away..”

Russia, Internal This Time (Denninger)

You can look at Putin as whatever you’d like but the fact of the matter is that this is a nation with thousands of nuclear weapons and, whatever your view of Putin is, he is one of the more-moderate members of the government in Russia. If he is deposed by force or worse, there’s a no-BS civil war that occurs over there who knows what comes out of that. The odds that it will be “more-friendly” to the United States than what we have now, never mind NATO, are very poor, and what’s worse is that both we and all the other NATO nations are likely interfering in a covert manner and everyone involved over there in this thing knows it. It is entirely reasonable that if Putin is deposed the US and NATO will be given a 24 hour ultimatum to remove everything they have to the Polish border or beyond and if they don’t it and the land under it will be destroyed with tactical nuclear weapons.

If you think that’s crazy you’re wrong. It is in fact very possible. Further, there is no “polite” or “conventional” response to such a threat available to us or anyone else. We either comply or its on, for real. Do realize there are people over there who consider NATO’s continued additions toward Russia, and the fact that each puts the flight time for a surprise attack closer and closer to Moscow and other major cities, an existential threat to the nation and its survival as a political entity. We would no more put up with China entering into a treaty with Mexico to put nuclear weapons on the Rio Grande or in Tijuana — within howitzer range of San Diego — than we should expect Russia to put up with us doing essentially the same thing.

Mike Pompeo is an idiot. So is Lindsey Graham. They have a right to their opinions but attempting to execute them as policy should earn them a permanent stay in prison — and in solitary confinement at that. This is wildly preferrable to a bunch of smoking holes in the ground and plumes of radiation drifting over what was a “fruited plain.” These people are under the foolish belief that a man with 6,000 nuclear weapons at this control will back off and let them put ours 5 minutes away. The problem is that in the event this goes sideways in Russia one or more people may wind up with the ability to actually use one or two. That is a much higher risk, and further, I’d like Pompeo to tell me what he thinks we would do if China and Mexico stuck some boom-booms within a few miles and a couple of minute flight times from a US city.

We all know that the United States would never tolerate that, yet this is exactly what we think NATO should be able to do over there. That is not a multi-polar or even bi-polar world when it comes to national power; it is a unipolar world where we set an agenda and everyone else must follow “or else.” sThat’s dumb.

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“Of course, Trump had the opportunity to pardon Assange and others but failed to do so. Now it’s his turn.”

A Wild, Conspiratorial, Fantastical View of World Politics (Cook)

Tucker Carlson dates the beginning of the plot to the Republican candidates’ debate in Greenville, SC, on February 16, 2016, when Trump said we never should have been in Iraq when we went to war in 2003. Trump said the U.S. “destabilized the Middle East.” He said, “They lied. There were no weapons of mass destruction. They knew there were none.” To be fair, in his June 13, 2023, broadcast, Tucker Carlson did not use the word “assassination.” But he did say that the intent was for Trump to die in prison. So I think “assassination” is a fair word. Regarding the 2024 presidential election, the only individual the Controllers and Deep State have to cling to is the corrupt, doddering Joe Biden, with enough baggage to sink an ocean liner. Even more laughable is his parody of a vice president, Kamala Harris.

But also appearing out of nowhere is a legitimate rival to the Biden/Harris comedy team in Robert F. Kennedy Jr., scion of the family that earlier stood in the way of Controller/Deep State rule but whose stalwarts were blotted out by assassinations–JFK, RFK, and, yes, I believe, JFK, Jr. All the foregoing should be seen against the observation that the Controllers/Deep State will stop at nothing in trying to destroy anyone who stands in their way in furthering their project of ruling the world now and forever. But cracks have been appearing in their façade for over a decade, the most glaring being the 2007-2008 financial collapse, the failure of the “War on Terror,” punctuated by Biden’s 2021 flight from Afghanistan, and now the Ukraine fiasco.

With the images of Joe and Hunter Biden, overlaid by those of Kamala Harris, Victoria Nuland, and Volodymyr Zelensky, as the public faces of the clique of plutocrats and gangsters who rule over us, we gain a new appreciation of the gravity and danger of the present moment. To return to Trump, he brought the “War on Terror” at least to the stage of winding down. Cutting funding for ISIS in Syria, ordering plans to evacuate Afghanistan, and his refusal to implement his advisers’ intent to bomb Iran may testify to his reluctance to march in lockstep with the Controllers’ program. Trump’s advisers openly bragged about refusing to obey his orders to pull troops from Syria. Whether he was fully cognizant of the subversion of the Minsk agreements by the coup-installed government of Ukraine and its NATO/Neocon consiglieri appears questionable.

Back to the latest indictments, the entire concept of “classified” documents is a trap resembling flypaper, ideal for ensnaring those ignorant of the danger in handling them. By some estimates, fifty million documents are given the “classified” stamp each year, with the stamp being used selectively to send its victims to prison. But until we see the contents of the documents in Trump’s possession and gain a fair assessment of exactly how their misuse by him aided and abetted our “enemies,” the indictment is objectively meaningless. Of course, by definition the documents are verboten to the hoi polloi such as ourselves, so we will never see them. Yet the indictments may serve their purpose, which is to lock up Trump for the rest of his life. [..] Of course, Trump had the opportunity to pardon Assange and others but failed to do so. Now it’s his turn.

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Fighting cancel culture.

J.K. Rowling’s Moment of Truth (Rachel Lu)

J. K. Rowling is not a witch. She acquitted herself well in her recent “trial,” a podcast series hosted by The Free Press, detailing the explosive controversy between history’s most famous children’s author and liberal progressive activists. The Witch Trials tells the story of Rowling’s rise to fame and her fall into (progressive) infamy. It’s the sort of podcast I had to turn off whenever my kids climbed into the car. There’s a good bit of profanity, as well as “adult themes.” Nevertheless, I found the story of Rowling’s battle with gender ideologues oddly inspiring. In an age when so many have cowered before the cancel mobs, Rowling stood by the truth.

Millennials worshiped Rowling in childhood. This comes through quite clearly in Witch Trials, as childhood fans gush about the way her books represented a “security blanket” through their childhood and adolescent growing pains. In a way, this is odd, because as children’s books go, Rowling’s are quite dark. Death is a major theme. Political oppression is rampant. Even “good” adults seem to be offering a tutorial in “failure to protect,” as Harry arrives each fall at Hogwarts brimming with eagerness to learn, only to be socially ostracized, plagued with death threats, or both. This is what gives today’s kids warm fuzzies?

Perhaps it is not really so strange. For all the grimness, Rowling gave her readers a universe that they found morally comfortable. Inclusion was always a major theme. The bad guys, a group of “pureblood” wizards, want to rule the world and ensure that their magical club is restricted to people of noble (magical) birth. They’re one part evil aristocrats protecting their privilege, and one part wand-wielding Nazis crusading under a “dark mark.” Meanwhile, the good guys are crusading for meritocracy, equality, and love, with side plots exploring the ethics of discrimination, especially against house elves (which some wizards regard as natural slaves).

At the same time, the Hogwarts universe explores at length the importance of personal identity. Children are initiated into the wondrous world of Hogwarts after discovering that they have an innate capacity for doing magic, and readers then get to follow these elite characters to their posh boarding school, where their unique abilities are further explored and refined. In the very hour of their arrival, their minds are probed by the magical “sorting hat” that assesses their character and places them within the proper House. As they continue at Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s Mirror of Erised shows each person his hopes and dreams, while spooky Bogarts display their greatest fears. Students eventually learn to cast a magical “patronus charm,” which brings forth a kind of animal-protector in a form that uniquely reflects the caster’s soul.

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“If Hunter Biden was caught not putting the foreign payments on his U.S. tax returns as income, and we know Joe Biden received the same payments, well, did Joe Biden list his portion on his income tax returns?”:”

IRS Whistleblower Reveals Names of Witnesses to Show AG Garland Lying (CTH)

Things are getting spicy in/around Main Justice in DC. On Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy AG Lisa Monaco denied any involvement interfering with the decisions made by USAO David Weiss regarding the investigation of the Hunter and Joe Biden bribery and tax fraud scheme. However, in response, the IRS whistleblower is now naming additional witnesses to Weiss’s statements. Through his attorneys, whistleblower Gary Shapley is now naming additional witnesses to the statements of USAO Weiss:

“In an October 7, 2022, meeting at the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney David Weiss told six witnesses he did not have authority to charge in other districts and had thus requested special counsel status. Those six witnesses include Baltimore FBI Special Agent in Charge Tom Sobocinski and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ryeshia Holley, IRS Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Shapley and Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon, who also independently and contemporaneously corroborated Mr. Shapley’s account in an email, now public as Exhibit 10, following p. 148 of his testimony transcript. Mr. Shapley would have no insight into why Mr. Weiss’s would make these statements at the October 7, 2022 meeting if they were false. That Mr. Weiss made these statements is easily corroborated, and it is up to him and the Justice Department to reconcile the evidence of his October 7, 2022 statements with contrary statements by Mr. Weiss and the Attorney General to Congress.”

Someone is lying, and the whistleblower appears to have all his information well documented and cited. Mr. Weiss, Mr. Garland and Mrs. Monaco have some explaining to do. An interesting thought ran through my head last night as I was thinking about the Hunter Biden IRS agreement. If Hunter Biden was caught not putting the foreign payments on his U.S. tax returns as income, and we know Joe Biden received the same payments, well, did Joe Biden list his portion on his income tax returns? Just wondering….

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A “present” from Hunter. Joe couldn’t very well put it in his own name.

Joe Biden Used Secret Global Cell Phone While He Was VP (GP)

Peter Schweizer on Sunday dropped a bombshell during an appearance on Fox News with host Maria Bartiromo. Schweizer, author of “Secret Empires,” said Joe Biden was using a secret cell phone and it was paid for by Hunter Biden’s firm. “What is the line of communications between Hunter Biden and his business partners and Joe Biden when he’s Vice President of the United States?” Schweizer said. “It’s not the government phone. It’s not Joe Biden’s personal phone. We know from the laptop that Hunter Biden’s business paid for a private phone line that Joe Biden used while he was Vice President. Schweizer continued, “It was from AT&T. It was $300 a month. It was a global phone where you could access somebody anywhere around the world.”

Peter Schweizer said he shared the “phone number and account information with the people over at the House Oversight Committee.” “My hope is that the House Oversight Committee will subpoena those records,” Peter Schweizer said. Biden’s secret global cell phone was used to run a very lucrative international influence-peddling operation that included his entire family. House Oversight Chairman James Comer last month identified the NINE Bidens implicated in corruption. “Joe Biden’s son. Joe Biden’s brother. Joe Biden’s brother’s wife. Hunter Biden’s girlfriend/Beau Biden’s widow, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife. Hunter Biden’s current wife. And 3 children of the president’s son and the president’s brother. So we’re talking about grandchildren – a grandchild. That’s odd. Most people that work hard every day a grandchild doesn’t get a wire from a foreign national,” Comer said at a press conference last month.

James Comer said the Biden family received over $10 million from foreign nationals while Joe Biden was Vice President. The countries involved directly correlated with Joe Biden’s work as Vice President. This is textbook money laundering and influence peddling. “The Committee is concerned by the complicated, suspicious network of over 20 companies we have identified the Bidens and their associates used to enrich themselves,” Comer said. “Most of these companies were Limited Liability Companies formed DURING Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency.”

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“..the bureau received information about the device containing “evidence of white collar crimes” in October 2019 and quickly attributed the laptop to Hunter Biden..”

FBI Knew Hunter Biden’s Laptop Was ‘Reliable’ Before Smearing It (Sp.)

The FBI verified the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” months before the release of the Post’s October 2020 bombshell about the Bidens, according to IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. The FBI determined that the infamous “laptop from hell” belonged to Hunter Biden as early as November 6, 2019, and by spring 2020 the bureau had concluded that there was “no reason to believe there is anything fabricated nefariously on the computer and/or hard drive,” according to a contemporaneous investigative memo by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. In late May, Shapley delivered testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee which was made public earlier this week. The IRS agent also presented a memo, penned by him in October 2020, and shared by independent media outlet Just the News on June 25.

The memo provides a detailed chronology of the FBI’s activities concerning the laptop in question, which was abandoned by the first son in a Delaware repair shop. As per the document, the bureau received information about the device containing “evidence of white collar crimes” in October 2019 and quickly attributed the laptop to Hunter Biden – codenamed “Sportsman” in the document – via Apple ID account/iCloud account and supporting evidence. “Financial records show Sportsman was around Wilmington DE shop at a cigar shop on the same day,” the memo said. “Other intelligence shows Sportsman was in the area. Computershop calls Sportsman to tell him to bring in an external hard drive to put recovered data on to. Sportsman returned to the shop with the external hard drive. Phone records show the shop called Sportsman and Sportsman called the shop around this time.”

Having taken possession of the device in December 2019, the agency started to scrupulously analyze its content which included messages, emails, pictures, and other types of files. By May 2020, FBI agents had little if any doubts that the collection of files was authentic and belonged to the younger Biden. However, when the New York Post released its October 2020 story stemming from the laptop’s content, the bureau and 51 ex-intelligence chiefs rubbished the bombshell as “Russia’s disinformation operation”. Before that, during all of 2020, the FBI warned Twitter officials about an allegedly forthcoming “Russian hack-and-leak” operation “involving Hunter Biden”, as per Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth’s testimony. The bureau particularly referred to APT28, claiming that it’s a group of Russian hackers linked to Moscow’s intelligence services.

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Take one for the team.

The Designated Defendant: Was Hunter Biden Always the Fall Guy? (Turley)

Many have noted that Hunter Biden was an implausible business associate or board member to be working with various foreign companies. He had lived a life that was a toxic mix of nepotism and narcotics, by his own admission. According to his 2021 memoir, during the period when foreign companies were clamoring to give him millions of dollars, he was “drinking a quart of vodka a day” and “smoking crack around the clock.” He kept up that self-destructive lifestyle, he said, until his father’s 2020 presidential campaign began. When Hunter’s world began to collapse financially, his uncle, James (who has been implicated in influence-peddling in news reports and by House investigators) rushed to assure him that he and his father were arranging a “safe harbor” for him, according to one media report.

The alarm over Hunter cutting off contact was understandable as a family matter in dealing with a relative with a history of drug addiction. Yet Hunter also potentially represented something of a threat to a family that has long been accused of influence-peddling. Hunter has relied on his family and his father’s political associates to protect him. He reportedly paid his delinquent taxes with the help of a wealthy friend; other unnamed individuals paid huge sums for his art work. When Hunter’s gun disappeared near a school and local authorities were investigating, the Secret Service mysteriously showed up at a gun shop and asked for the paperwork tying him to the gun. When Hunter lost a laptop reportedly filled with incriminating emails detailing criminal conduct with drugs, as well as alleged evidence of influence-peddling, national security experts rushed forward to declare it was likely to be Russian disinformation.

Much of the media joined with an effective news blackout of the story. The FBI then allegedly sat on the laptop and did not appear to do a thing to investigate further. At every juncture, the wayward son of Joe Biden seems to be snatched from the jaws of disaster. Now, at the center of a swirling scandal of alleged influence-peddling, Hunter has emerged with a plea that brings a new meaning to the word “bargain.” He will plead guilty to two minor misdemeanor tax counts and a phantom felony count that will go away in time. Yet this may be the most vital role that Hunter has played for his family. He will declare himself guilty so the media and the political establishment can declare the scandal to be a closed matter: Nothing more to see here, other than a plea to a couple misdemeanors.

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“..If Assange is successfully extradited and convicted, it will take about ten minutes for it to happen again…”

Why Julian Assange Must Be Freed (Matt Taibbi)

At Parliament Hill in London Saturday, there was a demonstration on behalf of jailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Present was the famed rendering of Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden made by sculptor Davide Domino. The statue includes an empty chair for the next whistleblower. I had the honor of standing on that chair to give a short address: I have a confession to make. Once. like a lot of journalists, I didn’t like Julian Assange. It wasn’t just that Wikileaks was breaking one huge story after another. He had fab hair. He wore skinny jeans. He even modeled at fashion week! What can I say? I was jealous. We’re in London, so I can quote Shakespeare, can’t I? “Beware the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

Jealousy, that monster, impairs one’s thinking. It impaired mine. I didn’t have a reason to dislike Assange. So I invented one. I decided I didn’t like the concept of “radical transparency.” I thought: “You can’t just dump all of those secrets on the public. That’s irresponsible!” I was so brainwashed that I forgot, as many people do, that secrets do not belong to governments. That information belongs to us. Governments rule by our consent. If they want to keep secrets, they must have our permission to do so. And they never have the right to keep crimes secret. I’m an American. Many of you are from the U.K. In our countries, we’re building skyscrapers and huge new complexes to store our secrets, because we don’t have room to keep them all as is! Why do we have so many secrets? Julian Assange told us why. From an essay he wrote:

“Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers.” When governments become authoritarian, they inspire resistance. Techniques must then be developed to repel that resistance. Those techniques must then be concealed. In short: the worse a country is, the more secrets it has. We have a lot of secrets now. Julian Assange became famous as we were creating a vast new government-within-a-government, a system of secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, mass surveillance, and drone assassination. Many of these things we know about only because of Wikileaks. Ostensibly, all this secrecy was needed to fight foreign terrorism.

The brutal irony now is the architects of that system no longer feel the need to hide their dirty tactics. My government, openly, wants to put this man in jail for 175 years, mostly for violations of the Espionage Act. These include crimes like “conspiracy to receive national defense information,” or “obtaining national defense information.” What is “national defense information?” The answer is what makes this law so dangerous. It’s whatever they say it is. It’s any information they don’t want to get out. It doesn’t even have to be classified. What is conspiracy to obtain such information? We have a word for that. It’s called journalism. My government wants to put Julian Assange in jail for 175 years for practicing journalism. The government of this country, the U.K., is going to allow it to happen.

If they did this to Andrei Sakharov, or Nelson Mandela, every human rights organization in the world would be denouncing this as an intolerable outrage. Every NGO would be lining up to lend support. Every journalist would be penning editorials demanding his release. But because our own governments are doing it, we get silence. If you’re okay with this happening to one Julian Assange, you’d better be okay with it happening to many others. That’s why this moment is so important. If Assange is successfully extradited and convicted, it will take about ten minutes for it to happen again. From there this will become a common occurrence. There will be no demonstrations in parks, no more news stories. This will become a normal part of our lives. Don’t let that happen. Free Julian Assange.s

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“It might indeed be in Biden’s and the C.I.A.’s interests to wash their hands of this filthy endeavor once and for all.”

Biden Would Need His Pound of Flesh From Assange (Lauria)

Biden would need his pound of flesh from Assange if he would allow his administration to offer a plea. Assange would most likely have to plead guilty to something and serve more time, likely in Australia, before Biden would entertain ending the case. Though he was never charged for the Democratic National Committee or the C.I.A. leaks, Assange is the continuing target of their ire, and would be unlikely to look kindly on Biden letting him go, especially a year before a U.S. presidential election. Biden knows he’s wrong on Assange, if he can remember it. He clearly stated his position on Assange on Meet the Press in December 2010. Vice President Biden told the program that Assange could only be indicted if it could be proved he conspired to steal the published documents. That could not be proved and the Obama-Biden administration did not indict Assange.

The Trump administration did. But only on the original 2010 espionage charges. The U.S. indictment does not accuse Assange of stealing U.S. government documents, but only receiving them. If Biden stuck to his original principles he would have these charges dropped and let Assange go. But it’s political dynamite for him. The C.I.A. and DNC would likely be furious with Biden so he will need something in return to show them for letting Assange go. Whether that satisfies them is another matter. The last, long-shot possibility, is that the U.S. drops the case altogether. This is what Assange’s supporters, parliamentarians around the world, human rights and press freedom groups, journalists’ unions and even WikiLeaks‘ five corporate media partners have been calling for.

But until now it’s been like talking to a marble wall in Washington. Yet, developments in the UC Global case in Spain and the upcoming U.S. presidential election might provide conditions for the U.S. to want to get out of its pursuit of Assange. A recent development in the Madrid criminal trial against UC Global chief David Morales for violating Assange’s privacy by spying on him in Ecuador’s London embassy with 24/7 live surveillance for the Central Intelligence Agency as well on his privileged conversations with his lawyers has solidly confirmed the C.I.A’s role. Would Langley want that exposed at Assange’s trial federal court in Alexandria, VA, where U.S. media interest would be intense?

Also, would Biden welcome during a presidential campaign the protests in the plaza before the Alexandria courthouse, highlighting his administrations efforts to convict a journalist for publishing accurate information exposing U.S. state crimes, handing his political opponents a cudgel to expose his hypocrisy about defending press freedoms? It might indeed be in Biden’s and the C.I.A.’s interests to wash their hands of this filthy endeavor once and for all. (There is precedence for this in the Katharine Gun case.) In one way or the other, the coming weeks appear to be leading to a climax in the extradition phase of arguably the most important press freedom case in U.S. history.

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Patrick Moore

 

 

 

 

Duck

 

 

Sweet art
https://twitter.com/i/status/1672980825577537536

 

 

Komodo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673056191621021696

 

 

All you need

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 132023
 


Edward Hopper The Circle Theater, New York 1936

 

Joe And Hunter Biden Caught On 17 Recordings With Burisma Owner (WE)
Comer Says Will View Additional FBI Documents on Possible Biden Crimes (Sp.)
The Democrats Versus Trump: A Bad Horror Movie? (Ron Paul)
Donald Trump’s Indictment Case has a Looming 2024 End Date (Turley)
Trump Promises “Final Battle” To “Demolish The Deep State” (SN)
We’re Not Finished (Jim Kunstler)
‘Cynical’ Ukrainian Counteroffensive Takes ‘Horrific’ Casualties (Tweedie)
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive To Last For Weeks Or Months – Macron (TASS)
Americans in Pain (Mazzarino)
Fox Sends Tucker Carlson Cease-and-Desist Letter (Axios)
Debt Crisis Was Bipartisan Excuse to ‘Cut Social Spending,’ Not Defense Budget (Sp.)
How The BRI Train Took The Road To Shangri-La (Pepe Escobar)
US Attempts ’Divide and Conquer’ Strategy Against BRICS (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

 

 

Oliver Stone

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

 

 

Sy Hersh Zelensky Embezzling $400 Million from US

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Blood clots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668242537662803969

 

 

 

 

Insurance policy.

Joe And Hunter Biden Caught On 17 Recordings With Burisma Owner (WE)

A top Senate Republican revealed Monday that an FBI informant said the Ukrainian oligarch involved in an alleged “criminal bribery scheme” with Joe and Hunter Biden also claimed to have 17 recordings of his conversations with the president and his son. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) revealed on the Senate floor that a largely unredacted version of the bureau’s FD-1023 confidential human source form said that “the foreign national who allegedly bribed Joe and Hunter Biden allegedly has audio recordings of his conversations with them — 17 such recordings.” The Republican senator said, “These recordings were allegedly kept as a sort of insurance policy for the foreign national in case he got into a tight spot.”

Mykola Zlochevsky, the Ukrainian owner of Burisma, was the “foreign national” involved in the alleged “criminal bribery scheme” detailed in the FBI form, and Zlochevsky referred to Joe Biden as the “big guy” during a conversation several years before the June 2020 date of the bureau document, according to sources familiar with the FBI record who described its contents to the Washington Examiner. Grassley added Monday that, according to the FD-1023, “the foreign national possesses 15 audio recordings of phone calls between him and Hunter Biden” and “two audio recordings of phone calls between him and the-Vice President Joe Biden.” The senator also said the FBI record “also indicates that then-Vice President Joe Biden may have been involved in Burisma employing Hunter Biden.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware is handling the ongoing federal criminal investigation into Hunter Biden. It is allegedly up to U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a Trump-appointed holdover, to decide whether to indict the president’s son. In February 2021, Joe Biden asked all Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys appointed by Trump for their resignations, with Weiss a rare exception. “What is U.S. Attorney Weiss doing with respect to these alleged Joe and Hunter Biden recordings that are apparently relevant to the high-stakes bribery scheme?” Grassley asked Monday. Sources previously told the Washington Examiner that the Burisma owner discussed an alleged bribe of $5 million to Joe Biden and of $5 million to Hunter Biden, according to the paid FBI informant who said he heard this from Zlochevsky. The sources said Zlochevsky said he believed it would be difficult to unravel the alleged bribery scheme for at least 10 years because of the number of bank accounts involved.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1668308263350284293

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“Now, the FBI has told me there are more 1023 forms. I will be granted access to these additional docs..”

Comer Says Will View Additional FBI Documents on Possible Biden Crimes (Sp.)

US House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer said on Monday that he will be granted access to additional FBI documents that contain allegations of potential criminal activity by President Joe Biden in his previous capacity as vice president. Earlier this month, lawmakers on the Oversight Committee were granted access to an FD-1023 form, which is used by the FBI to record information from confidential human sources, that alleged then-US Vice President Joe Biden engaged in a bribery scheme involving a foreign national. “Now, the FBI has told me there are more 1023 forms. I will be granted access to these additional docs,” Comer said in a statement via Twitter. The document alleges that the president and his son Hunter received a total of $10 million to help end a probe into Ukrainian energy industry holding company Burisma, US Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene said last week.


The head of Burisma purportedly told the FBI’s confidential source that the executive retained evidence of the payments to Joe and Hunter Biden, Greene said, characterizing the alleged actions as a “political bribery pay-to-play scheme.” There were two footnotes in the FD-1023 form made accessible to lawmakers that referenced other 1023s, Comer said on Sunday in an interview with Fox News. “There are a lot more of these than what the federal government wants to admit, and the question is, why hasn’t the federal government done anything about it?” Comer said. Biden called the allegations of a bribery scheme involving Burisma “a bunch of malarkey,” when asked about the situation on Thursday.

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“Democrats were furious that Trump was less than enthusiastic about their plans to use Ukraine as a proxy to go to war with Russia.”

The Democrats Versus Trump: A Bad Horror Movie? (Ron Paul)

The Democrats and Donald Trump reminds me of a bad horror movie, where the hapless protagonists only make the monster stronger with each attempt to eliminate it. So goes the Democrats’ endless attempts to finally rid America of the “scourge” of Donald Trump. Thanks to the Durham Report we now know they started even before Trump was elected president. Hillary Clinton’s campaign – with the full knowledge of the candidate and the sitting president, Barack Obama – cooked up a “dirty trick” to portray Trump as an agent of Russia in their effort to deny Trump the White House. When that didn’t work they weaponized the FBI, CIA and the rest of the “deep state” to undermine and hobble his presidency. They spied on Trump and his campaign staff using false information manufactured by the FBI.

When that didn’t work they impeached him under the false charge that he sought foreign assistance for his 2020 re-election bid. This time a spy, in the person of NSC staffer Alexander Vindman, was sent to listen in on Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Zelensky and then make all manner of false charges against Trump based on it. Democrats were furious that Trump was less than enthusiastic about their plans to use Ukraine as a proxy to go to war with Russia. Vindman, though an active-duty US military officer, was of Ukrainian background and was loyal to the country of his origin rather than the country of his citizenship. He also openly defied the military chain-of-command and his commander-in-chief. Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for their “Project Ukraine” infuriated Vindman and he sought his revenge against the US President.

When that didn’t work they impeached Trump again over the false charge that he led an “insurrection” against the US government on January 6, 2021. The more surveillance video we see of this “insurrection,” the more it looks like a false-flag operation cooked up perhaps by Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Washington swamp to finally be rid of Trump. Hundreds of political prisoners have been held in solitary confinement on false accusations that they tried to overthrow the US government. When that didn’t work and Trump’s re-election numbers looked more and more favorable while Biden’s approval rating continued to linger in the political basement, the Democrats have now indicted him over some classified documents apparently discovered in his residence in Florida.

[..] Suddenly Donald Trump, who polling suggests would obliterate Joe Biden in a fair US election, faces 100 years in prison! Where else would you see the head of one political party arrest his main political opponent on cooked up charges? A banana republic! For those of us who love this country, it is truly shocking to see this abuse of power. But there’s one thing these dirty tricksters never seem to understand: the more false evidence and false charges they cook up against Trump, the stronger Trump becomes. With these outrageous and continuous attacks on Trump, the Democratic Party (and plenty of Republicans) has lost all credibility. When this plan fails, and it will, I am afraid to think what they might try next.

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“..this is a prosecution entirely removed from recent history..”

Donald Trump’s Indictment Case has a Looming 2024 End Date (Turley)

When Special Counsel Jack Smith walked before cameras on Friday after the release of the Trump 44-page indictment against former President Donald Trump, he started with arguably his most difficult case to make. He declared “we have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone.” After years of scandal and documented political bias by key Justice officials, the line likely left many skeptical, assuming many were even watching. The indictment was clearly a pitch to the public that this is a prosecution entirely removed from recent history. We’re also meant to not think about the fact that the Biden Administration is charging the leading candidate opposing him in the upcoming election.

This indictment has merit, but the Justice Department lost the right to expect trust from the citizens years ago — long before the damning Inspector General’s Report and the recent report of Special Counsel John Durham. To make matters worse, the same suspects have surfaced to celebrate Trump’s expected demise — and remind the public of the perceived double standard in Washington. Peter Strzok, the FBI special agent who was fired over his anti-Trump bias in the Russian collusion investigation, cheered the indictment by tweeting a photo of handcuffs with Trump’s image. Strzok seems to think that it is a good thing for Smith to remind everyone of how he promised his colleague and lover Lisa Page that she did not have to worry about Trump being elected because they had an “insurance policy” to “stop it.”

Hillary Clinton went on social media to hawk her line of merchandize mocking the case against her for storing classified material on her personal server and then destroying tens of thousands of emails sought by the Congress. She sent out a picture mocking Trump while wearing her “But Her Emails” hat. With millions of Americans wondering why Trump is being charged but Clinton was given a pass, Clinton decided to do a victory lap. And hey, why not: James Comey is back. [..] In April, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg related to hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election. Nevertheless, Comey chose this month to declare that, in the 2024 election, “it has to be Joe Biden.” For critics, that is consistent with his views and actions before he was fired as FBI director.

After Trump was indicted in a raw political prosecution in New York, Comey also went public to declare it a “good day.” So in the court of public opinion, past history and hypocrisy may mean that few are swayed about whether they back Trump or not. Which leaves the criminal court. This indictment has some devastating elements, including an audiotape in which Trump tells two visitors about a highly classified attack plan on Iran while admitting that it remained classified. That tape directly contradicts his past claims of declassification and suggests that Trump was using the document as a type of trophy. There are also damaging statements from former staff and counsel alleging that Trump actively sought to conceal documents. Smith is now left in a battle not with Trump but time.

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He already had 4 years to do it.

Trump Promises “Final Battle” To “Demolish The Deep State” (SN)

During a speech in North Carolina this past weekend, President Trump promised to “demolish the deep state” in what will be “a final battle.” “We are a failing nation. We are a nation in decline. And now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement. It’s totally corrupt and we can’t let it happen,” Trump told the crowd. “This is the final battle,” he further urged, adding “With you at my side, we will demolish the Deep State, we will expel the warmongers from our government, we will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists, we will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.” Trump continued, “We will roll out the fake news media, we will expose the RINOs for what they are, we will defeat Joe Biden and we will liberate America from these villains once and for all.” “We’re going to liberate our country. The silent majority is rising, and under our leadership, the forgotten man or woman will never be forgotten again,” Trump vowed.

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“..what is so striking in Mr. Kennedy’s performance so far is an absence of fakery. It’s more than refreshing, it’s… startling..”

We’re Not Finished (Jim Kunstler)

[..] we need somebody to steer. Mr. Trump has volunteered to try doing it again. The first time, forces in every quarter of American power set out to bushwhack, sandbag, harass, hector, and hound him. In the process, they just about destroyed the rule of law. Then they simply dis-elected him surreptitiously, something you’re not supposed to say, but there it is, like so much meat on the table. Now they’re trying to hoo-rah him into jail. Whatever you think of his, er, complex personality, you must admire his perseverance through adversity. If he somehow manages to wriggle through the present obstacle course of Lawfare chicanery, his next term would be an extravaganza of retribution. The spectacle would provide much satisfaction but, in the end, it would just be a sideshow, and it is not the same thing as taking care of business.

“Joe Biden,” of course, the man who is not really even there, is only pretending to run for reelection, or at least a coterie around the Oval Office is pretending for him while they try to figure out what to do. They’re in an awful quandary. They hold all the levers of power and they have no other credible candidate, not a living soul, in their own official hatchery. Outside of that ghastly edifice, Robert F. Kennedy is making a determined flanking move, an end-run near the sidelines. The Democratic Party in all its florid and mendacious lunacy is pretending to not notice him, especially their praetorian news media that is the vector for America’s mass mental illness. Mr. Kennedy put it so simply in April when he announced a run to preside over the stupendous mess that is our government.

He said his mission is an experiment to see what happens when you tell Americans the truth. Hold that thought. How long has it been since you thought anything like that was possible? There’s a broad-based assumption across the land, derived from our fading prime artform, the movies, that Americans can’t handle the truth. Like so much else in our national life, that is probably erroneous… fake truth. And what is so striking in Mr. Kennedy’s performance so far is an absence of fakery. It’s more than refreshing, it’s… startling. Makes you blink, a little bit. Makes you remember what it’s like to not be lied-to incessantly. Makes you want to see more of it because it gives you strength when you thought you were finished. Get this now: our world is changing, and deeply, but we’re not finished.

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“..right now the strategy that the Kiev regime appears to be using to clear the minefields is over the vehicles and bodies of its territorial defense units..”

‘Cynical’ Ukrainian Counteroffensive Takes ‘Horrific’ Casualties (Tweedie)

The Kiev regime appears to be cynically throwing men and machines against solid Russian defenses — but all may not be as it seems, a military commentator says. One week into the Ukrainian counteroffensive and the Ukrainian army has already lost thousands of casualties, along with up to 15 of the vaunted German Leopard 2 tanks, 13 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied by the US and five of the French AMX-10 RC light tanks. Security Analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik that Ukraine’s military chiefs were to blame for sending their troops into the killing fields. “Currently there is fighting along pretty much every line of engagement between Russia and Ukraine right now, except for the Kherson area where the recent flooding has made combat impossible,” Sleboda noted.

He said the Kiev regime was sending troops forward in NATO-supplied IFVs and armoured personnel carriers (APCs), supported by tanks and artillery — including US-made HIMARS rocket launchers. “But they’re doing it into echelon to Russian defenses that have been formed over months,” Sleboda stressed. “Five layers of defense, trenches, concrete fortifications, pillboxes, bunkers, tank obstacles like dragon’s teeth.” But he said that most significant was that Russian forces had “created mazes of minefields” which have taken a significant toll on attacking Ukrainian vehicles. “[..] it sounds rather cynical, but right now the strategy that the Kiev regime appears to be using to clear the minefields is over the vehicles and bodies of its territorial defense units,” Sleboda said. “And the horrific casualties that are resulting from this are pretty high.”

He said the Ukrainian plan right now appeared to be based on “hoping to punch a hole in the line somewhere.” “And then presumably a very large reserve force, supported by a the majority of the western main battle tanks, will seek to exploit that,” Sleboda ventured. “But then even so, to make it even through one line of defense and to face several lines more, each actually progressively more significant than the others, It seems a very bad situation.” But the security expert warned against complacency on the Russian side, saying he expected “something more cunning” from the Ukrainian armed forces.

“Once the waters recede from the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, I expect some kind of multiple pronged attack, including amphibious assaults against a lower Kakhovka reservoir towards Energodar and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” he said. “But I would presume that Russia is also prepared to defend that there as well.” “NATO has been wargaming this out for half a year. This is the most hyped, announced offensive in world history,” Sleboda stressed. “I’m expecting that there has to be a curveball. It can’t be this straight up playing exactly into Russia’s defenses. There’s going to be something. We just haven’t seen it yet.”

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We want peace, but first we want to kill some more people…

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive To Last For Weeks Or Months – Macron (TASS)

Ukraine’s counteroffensive will last for several weeks or months and France hopes that it will help create conditions for future peace talks, French President Emmanuel Macron told a news conference on Monday. “Ukraine’s counteroffensive began several days ago. It has been thoroughly planned,” he said. “This counteroffensive will last for several weeks or months. We did our best to help it happen within the frames outlined by us since the conflict beginning: to punish Russia in order to stop its military effort, to help Ukraine resist and win back its territory, but to never attack Russia and avoid any forms of escalation of this conflict.”


He reiterated commitment to the long-term support for Kiev and expressed the hope that the Ukrainian army’s offensive operations will be successful as “the transition to the phase of talks in favorable conditions” will depend on that. “It is clear today that Ukraine will not be conquered, that the only peace that is acceptable today is the one which is based on international law and the sovereign choice of the Ukrainian people,” he stressed. “Our enduring support for Ukraine must continue for a long time, be it political, military, economic, humanitarian assistance or assistance linked with [Ukraine’] restoration.”.

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“it’s easy enough not to meet stressed-out military service members and their families..”

Americans in Pain (Mazzarino)

America’s War on Terror, launched in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has had a staggering impact on our world. The Costs of War Project at Brown University, which I helped found, paints as full a picture as possible of the toll of those “forever wars” both in human lives and in dollars. The wars, we estimate, have killed nearly one million people, including close to 400,000 civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan alone. Worse yet, they sickened or injured several times more than that — leading to illnesses and injuries that, we estimate, resulted in millions of non-battlefield deaths. And don’t forget that those figures include dead and wounded Americans, too. Most of us, however, have little awareness of any of this.

If you live outside the archipelago of American military bases that extends across this country and the planet — an estimated 750 of them outside the U.S. on every continent except Antarctica — it’s easy enough not to meet stressed-out military service members and their families. It’s easy enough, in fact, not to grasp just how America’s wars of this century rippled out to touch military communities. In recent times, those bases have become ever more difficult for the public to enter and often aren’t close to the cities where so many of us live. All of this means that, if you’re a civilian, the odds are you haven’t met the grieving spouses of the soldiers who never came home or the shaken children of the ones who did, forever changed, sometimes with amputated limbs or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I’m thinking of the ones with those far-off gazes and the pain they have to deal with in their heads, their limbs, their backs.

Personally, I find it overwhelmingly hard to write about such human-shaped holes in our disturbed world. That’s probably why the Costs of War Project has a 35-person (and counting) team of journalists, physicians, social scientists, and other experts to portion out the research and the pain that goes with it as they deal with the fact that the monumental death and injury counts they’ve produced are likely to be underestimates.

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“Tucker will not be silenced by anyone … He is a singularly important voice on matters of public interest in our country, and will remain so.”

Fox Sends Tucker Carlson Cease-and-Desist Letter (Axios)

Fox News has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Tucker Carlson as he ramps up a competing series on Twitter that drew a combined 169 million views for its first two episodes, Axios has learned. The contract battle between Fox and its former top host — who was taken off the air in April, after the network’s historic Dominion settlement — has mighty repercussions for the conservative media ecosystem. With “Tucker on Twitter,” Carlson and his growing production team are working to elevate Elon Musk’s social media site as a news platform. Fox is continuing to pay Carlson, and maintains that his contract keeps his content exclusive to Fox through Dec. 31, 2024. Carlson is making a First Amendment argument for posting on Twitter, and asserts that Fox has committed material breaches of his contract.


Carlson’s first two Twitter episodes were straight-to-camera monologues. He plans to keep iterating with longer, more varied episodes and the addition of guests, Axios is told. Justin Wells, Carlson’s executive producer, tweeted yesterday: “Next Episode of Tucker on Twitter coming Tuesday: Tucker’s response to the indictment of President Donald Trump. Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer who represents Carlson along with Bryan Freedman, said in a statement to Axios: “Fox News continues to ignore the interests of its viewers, not to mention its shareholder obligations.” “Doubling down on the most catastrophic programming decision in the history of the cable news industry, Fox is now demanding that Tucker Carlson be silent until after the 2024 election,” the statement continued. “Tucker will not be silenced by anyone … He is a singularly important voice on matters of public interest in our country, and will remain so.”

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“Biden wants a free hand to continue to give billions every week to finance the Ukraine proxy war, and he’s got that free hand now..”

Debt Crisis Was Bipartisan Excuse to ‘Cut Social Spending,’ Not Defense Budget (Sp.)

Democrats and Republicans have used the recent debt ceiling stand-off as a pretext for cutting social spending while inflating the military budget. The latest threat of a US Treasury default due to wrangling over the budget between the Democrat-held White House and Republican-controlled Congress has been averted after House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden struck a deal on limited spending cuts. But economist Dr. Jack Rasmus told Sputnik that poverty alleviation programs were the casualty of that battle, while the Pentagon’s budget emerged unscathed and even boosted. “You’ve got to understand that both Democrats and Republicans, a majority of them in Congress, liked the debt ceiling situation because it allows them to put pressure on social programs’ spending,” Rasmus said.

“You know, defense spending is never affected by these deals. That always goes through. You can see it in this deal here, 11 percent in the first year increase in the Pentagon budget alone, not the other defense spending.” But the saga and its outcome was nothing new in Washington DC, the academic pointed out. “You go back to Obama in 2011, last time we had this, and the defense spending increase just blew right through. It had no effect. They only cut a trillion dollars out of social programs spending.” However, the Democratic leadership will be happy as the final budget deal does nothing to rein in their pet project of arming the Kiev regime for a proxy conflict with Russia.

“Biden wants a free hand to continue to give billions every week to finance the Ukraine proxy war, and he’s got that free hand now,” Rasmus said. “And both sides never even made an effort to do any cuts here on the defense side. So Biden got his blank check for raising Pentagon and war spending and financing Ukraine. And the Republicans got all the rest. “So Democrats got what they wanted, at least the corporate Democrats running the party. And the Republicans got a you know, a big bite of the apple of cutting social spending,” he added. “And they’re going to get another bite here when it comes later in the year for passing the budget for the next year.”

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“..the US/NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is simultaneously a war designed to interrupt the progress of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)..”

How The BRI Train Took The Road To Shangri-La (Pepe Escobar)

It is important to recognize that the US/NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is simultaneously a war designed to interrupt the progress of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As we approach the 10th anniversary of the BRI, to be marked by the third Belt and Road Forum later this year in Beijing, it is clear the original Silk Road Economic Belt – announced by President Xi Jinping in Astana, Kazakhstan, in September 2013 – has traveled a long way. By January this year, 151 nations had already signed up to the BRI: No less than 75 percent of the world’s population that represents more than half of the global GDP. Even an Atlanticist outfit such as the London-based Center for Economic and Business Research admits that the BRI may increase global GDP by a whopping $7.1 trillion a year by 2040, dispensing “widespread” benefits.

Included in the Chinese Constitution since 2018, BRI constitutes the de facto overarching Chinese foreign policy framework all the way to 2049, marking the centenary of the People’s Republic of China. The BRI advances along several overland connectivity corridors – from the Trans-Siberian to the “middle corridor” along Iran and Turkiye and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) all the way to the Arabian Sea. Meanwhile, on the waterways front, the Maritime Silk Road offers a parallel network from southeast China to the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Swahili Coast, and the Mediterranean Sea. All that is mirrored by the Russian-driven Northern Sea Route, connecting the eastern and western sides of the Arctic, and reducing to and fro sailing time from Europe to Asia from one month to less than two weeks.

Such a massive Make Trade Not War project, centered on connectivity, infrastructure building, sustainable development, and diplomatic acumen – focusing on the Global South – could not but be interpreted by western elites as a supreme geopolitical and geoeconomic threat. And that’s why every geopolitical turbulence across the chessboard is directly or indirectly linked to BRI. Including Ukraine.

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Meeting without Russia.

US Attempts ’Divide and Conquer’ Strategy Against BRICS (Pepe Escobar)

Something extraordinary, at least on the surface, happened on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore earlier this month – a somewhat pompous affair self-described as “Asia’s premier defense summit”. Intel heads of 24 nations met in de facto semi-secrecy, because in the end the event was duly leaked (Western spin qualified it as an “informal” meeting). Among the 24, the real deal comprised the US and all the other Five Eyes, plus representatives of two BRICS members, China and India. All the others were not identified with certainty or preferred to remain anonymous – presumably due to their “hanger on” status. Crucially, key BRICS member Russia was not represented. Reuters swore the information about the not-so-secret gathering came from five different – unnamed – sources.

A Southeast Asian diplomat independently confirmed the presence of the Five Eyes, China, India and Singapore – and that was it. The de facto sponsor of the meeting was Singapore’s Ministry of Defense. Things gets curioser and curioser when we examine the leak a bit closer. So many sources basically corroborating each other point to a concerted spin – practically on an official level. If this was meant to be really secret, as in the past, that would have been the case, with every involved lip conveniently sealed. So why leak it? Such spy vs. spy meetings, historically, take ages to prepare, especially one involving 24 nations and featuring superpower rivals US and China. That implies countless qualified sherpas redacting documents; very complicated logistics; an ultra-secure environment; and an extremely detailed script covering every intervention.

All of that must have been discussed in excruciating detail for months, side by side with putting together the larger agenda for the Shangri-La Dialogue: and all the while there were no leaks. And then what was leaked, after the meeting, was just that it happened. With only selected participating players fully identified. There’s absolutely nothing on substance. It beggars belief that the Five Eyes would openly discuss Western security fears and/or procedures openly with the Chinese, not to mention the other minor hangers-on. After all the Beijing leadership is fully aware the US-UK is engaged in full hybrid war against China, with the Five Eyes and containment mechanisms such as Quad and AUKUS in tow. The main reason for the leak is a dead giveaway when we see what US Think Tankland is spinning: the US was talking security with China and India behind Russia’s back. Translation: the US is trying to undermine the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from the inside.

This is purely wishful thinking – because no one knows anything about the substance of the discussions. The meat of the matter was not leaked on purpose. The dead giveaway about the leak being engineered to undermine the BRICS – at least in the Western public sphere – would have to come from the usual suspects themselves: US think tanks, inserted in what the indispensable Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, christened as MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think Tank complex).

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Olympos

 

 

Flees

 

 

Mastiff

 

 

 

 

Octopus moonwalk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668129343451680769

 

 

Cookie monster

 

 


The South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher was first described 130 years ago and has eluded scientists for over 100 years because of its behavior. Thanks to Miguel David De Leon we get a glimpse of the beautiful bird that is sadly threatened with extinction

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 022023
 


Emil Nolde Half Moon Over The Sea 1945

 

Ukraine Calls for Massive Demilitarized Zone Inside of Russia (LI)
Zelensky Demands NATO and EU Membership For Kiev (RT)
Germany Tells Zelensky NATO Can’t Consider Ukrainian Membership Now (RT)
Zelensky Warns Doubts On Ukraine NATO Membership Endanger Europe (Az.)
Netherlands Looks To Buy Dozens More Tanks For Ukraine (RT)
The Guardian View On Vladimir Putin’s War: Terror Without Purpose (G.)
Sanctions Against Russia Failed. I Saw It Firsthand (Scott Ritter)
Black Sea Grain Deal Hits Obstacle – UN (RT)
Ursula von der Leyen’s Name Embroiled In Scandal In Bulgaria (LePoint)
Breadcrumbs From A Buried FBI Source May Lead To A Bigger Biden Scandal (Fed.)
Speaker McCarthy’s Rotten Deal (David Stockman)
A Debt Jubilee of Biblical Proportions Is Coming Soon (IM)
Twitter Head Of Trust & Safety Gone After “Mistake” Banning Documentary (ZH)
FBI Reopens Case Around Julian Assange (IC)
Due To High Crime, Mafia Closes Its Chicago Office (BBee)

 

 

Watch the female cadet

 

 

 

 

Putin rule the world

 

 

 

 

Trump Hannity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664470133748776963

 

 

 

 

BRICS vs G7

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the use of proposing things you know will not happen?

Ukraine Calls for Massive Demilitarized Zone Inside of Russia (LI)

As a condition for ending the war, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky has demanded Russia remove its military forces along its border with Ukraine. Kiev hopes the area within Moscow’s borders will be manned by international forces. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called for a 100-120 kilometer demilitarized zone within Russia. “It will be necessary to introduce a demilitarization zone of 100-120 km on the territory of Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, and Rostov republics. Probably with a mandatory international control contingent at the first stage,” he tweeted on Monday. Kiev is seeking to take control over Moscow’s nuclear and missile programs as well.

“Reduction of offensive weapons (missiles with extended range). International conference to organize control over the nuclear arsenal of the [Russian Federation],” Podolyak said in a separate tweet. Podolyak has made other demands of Moscow on the social network during recent days. On Saturday, he stated that the war can only end when the Russian government of Vladimir Putin was removed from power. The adviser added that “there is nothing to talk about with” the current administration in the Kremlin and Putin should be extradited for war crimes. While Kiev makes one-sided proposals for ending the conflict, the Ukrainian army is struggling to regain any of the territory controlled by Moscow.

Russian forces control about 20% of Ukraine, recently capturing Bakhmut after a months-long battle. The Kremlin says it has annexed about five Ukrainian oblasts and it will not return those to Kiev’s control. It seems unlikely Kiev will be able to force Moscow to make concessions demanded by Podolyak. However, the conditions laid out by Zelensky’s adviser could hinder international efforts aimed at ending the war in Ukraine. Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was attempting to build momentum towards a deal, but that was scuttled when Zelensky skipped a meeting with the Brazilian leader. Additionally, a coalition of African nations and China are attempting to work towards a negotiated settlement in the war.

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No.

Zelensky Demands NATO and EU Membership For Kiev (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky insisted on Thursday that his country needed to be admitted to both the EU and NATO this year, or the West would be failing not just Ukraine, but Moldova, Georgia, Belarus and others. “Russia is afraid of NATO,” Zelensky argued at the summit of the European Political Community, which is being held at Castle Mimi in Bulboaca, Moldova. Moscow, he claimed, “tries to swallow only those who are outside the common security space,” or leave behind “frozen conflicts” like Transnistria. Every European country that borders Russia “should be a full member of the EU and NATO,” Zelensky said. “There are only two alternatives to this: either an open war, or a creeping Russian occupation.”

Admitting Ukraine would send a sign to Moldova, Georgia, and Belarus, he claimed, but “if even Ukrainians, who are proving our commitment to freedom and the values of a united Europe with blood, have not yet heard a clear positive answer about joining the EU and NATO, the hopes of the others are becoming completely illusive.” Both NATO and the EU have long-standing policies of not admitting new members if they are currently engaged in conflicts or have unresolved territorial disputes. Though both blocs have made multiple exceptions for Ukraine since last year, the Germans at least appeared unwilling to cross that line.

“There are clear criteria for membership. You can’t have border conflicts for instance,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday. His foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock – herself an outspoken advocate of Kiev – also argued it was “clear that we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of a war.” On Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that Zelensky had threatened to skip the NATO summit in Lithuania in July unless the bloc gave Kiev the security guarantees he demanded. Russia considers NATO’s eastward expansion to be a threat to its national security, and has cited Ukraine’s aspirations to join the US-led bloc as one of the reasons for the current conflict. The bloc has provided Ukraine with over $100 billion in military aid over the past year, while insisting both that Russia “must lose” and that they are not directly involved.

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“At the same time, it is clear that we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of a war..”

Germany Tells Zelensky NATO Can’t Consider Ukrainian Membership Now (RT)

Ukraine cannot join NATO while it remains locked in a conflict with Russia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. Last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also expressed skepticism about Kiev’s admission into the US-led military bloc. Speaking ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Norwegian capital Oslo on Thursday, Baerbock claimed that the bloc’s doors remain open for potential new members. This applies to Sweden in particular, but also to Ukraine, she said. “At the same time, it is clear that we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of a war,” Baerbock stressed regarding Ukraine’s aspirations.

German Chancellor Scholz said last month that Kiev’s potential NATO membership “doesn’t stand on the agenda anytime soon.” He cited a “whole range of requirements belonging to NATO’s criteria that Ukraine can’t fulfill at present.” The chancellor argued that the bloc should for the time being focus on helping Ukraine to “defend its land” against Russian forces. While some NATO members such as Poland and the Baltic states have long advocated a fast track for Ukraine’s accession, others, including the US and Germany, are reluctant to commit to such a scenario, the Financial Times reported in April.

Citing anonymous sources, the FT claimed on Wednesday that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had “made clear to NATO leaders that he will not attend the Vilnius summit [in July] without concrete security guarantees and a road map for accession.” Kiev formally applied to join the US-led bloc in September 2022, arguing that the collective defense it provides to members would ensure Ukraine’s security against Russia. Moscow, in turn, considers NATO’s eastward expansion to be a threat to its national security, and has cited Ukraine’s aspirations to join the bloc as one of the reasons for the current conflict.

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The ultimate li(n)e: we protect you.

Zelensky Warns Doubts On Ukraine NATO Membership Endanger Europe (Az.)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned European leaders that any doubts they show before admitting Kyiv into the Nato alliance will embolden Russia to attack more countries, Report informs, citing foreign media. “We must remember that every doubt we show here in Europe is a trench that Russia will definitely try to occupy,” he told a European summit in Moldova. Ukraine is a candidate to join both Nato and the European Union, and Moldova the EU, but some European capitals are wary of setting a formal timeline for membership as Russia’s invasion continues.


But, addressing four dozen European leaders from inside and outside the union and the alliance, the Ukrainian leader warned that delaying a decision would undermine the West’s strength. He complained that if Ukraine and Moldova have no clear path to joining the groupings, vulnerable pro-Western political forces in Belarus and Georgia will be at risk. “Whether these doubts are about vital security steps or doubts about our unity, maybe about our ability to meet the challenges of our time, every doubt brings more insecurity,” he said.

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But why? Does Rutte think Ukraine can win? Hard to imagine. Does he know Ukrainians will get killed? Of course he does.

Netherlands Looks To Buy Dozens More Tanks For Ukraine (RT)

Dutch officials are reportedly making plans to buy dozens more Leopard 1 tanks, as well as Patriot missiles, to help boost Ukraine’s firepower in its ongoing conflict with Russia. The Netherlands’ Cabinet aims to purchase Leopards from Swiss state-owned manufacturer Ruag, Dutch online media outlet NL Times reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the plans. The deal will require approval from Switzerland’s government, which has tried to maintain neutrality amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Amsterdam joined with Germany and Denmark in February to buy at least 100 Leopard 1A5 battle tanks for Ukraine from German manufacturers. Swiss newspaper Targes-Anzeiger reported that the Netherlands seeks to buy 96 Leopard 1s, an older version of the tank, from Ruag. At the same time, the Netherlands is looking to provide more Patriot missiles or parts to operate them to help boost Ukraine’s air defenses, the NL Times said.


The NATO member previously gave Kiev two Patriot launchers and a number of missiles. “We are looking very closely at what we can still do,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday after arriving in Moldova for a summit of European leaders. However, he added that given the Netherlands’ own security needs, “you can’t deliver everything you’ve got.” He called for more countries to join the coalition of nations supplying Patriot missiles to Ukraine. German lawmakers last week approved the purchase of 18 Leopard 2A8 tanks and 12 Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzers to replace weapons stockpiles that were sent to Kiev. The deal reportedly includes an option to buy 105 additional Leopards. Berlin’s latest aid package for Ukraine includes 30 Leopard 1 tanks. Ukraine has repeatedly said that the supply of foreign heavy weapons is crucial for the success of its planned counteroffensive. Moscow, meanwhile, has warned that the Western-delivered tanks and other systems would be treated as legitimate targets on the battlefield.

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Wow. Talk about propaganda.

The Guardian View On Vladimir Putin’s War: Terror Without Purpose (G.)

Vladimir Putin has never been honest with the Russian people about the war in Ukraine. He lied about the scale of the invasion and the reasons for it. The deception is sustained with propaganda and repression. Outlawing the truth has kept the reality of war mostly out of sight, which is a condition of public acquiescence. That doesn’t mean that millions would rise up against their government if confronted with the true horror of what is being done to Ukraine in their name. The bellicose cult is well embedded in Russian society. But it is easier to support a war that unfolds on television than one that can be heard flying overhead, which is why drone strikes against targets in Moscow this week have rattled the Kremlin. Ukraine denies involvement in the attack, as it does automatically when military operations cross Russia’s borders, in deference to Kyiv’s western allies who are made uncomfortable by such bold incursions.

There were also reports on Wednesday of a fire at an oil refinery in the southern Russian Krasnodar region, started by a drone. The raid on Moscow caused little damage but plenty of alarm, which is the point. Getting the war within visible range of ordinary Russians is embarrassing for Mr Putin. It undermines his aura of control. It is harder to pretend things didn’t happen when people can see them from their windows. Most analysts interpret these attacks as part of a disorientation strategy, forcing the Kremlin to divert resources and attention away from the frontline in advance of a Ukrainian counteroffensive to recapture occupied territory. The same applies to the murkier business of raids across the Ukrainian border into Russia’s Belgorod region, carried out by far-right, anti-Putin Russian militias.

The fog of war is dense, with Ukrainian strategists cultivating uncertainty to unsettle Russian defences and Russian lines of command, tangled amid factional bickering in Moscow and between rival commanders on the ground. That makes it all the more important to keep a focus on core facts and moral imperatives: Ukraine is the victim of an unprovoked invasion by forces whose primary tactic is terrorising the civilian population into submission by means of indiscriminate murder and destruction. This campaign of atrocity has not succeeded, because Ukrainians have shown heroic fortitude and ingenuity on an epic scale. Also, they have been armed for that endeavour by western governments, which had to balance fear of escalation with a realistic appraisal of the character of Mr Putin’s regime, and the threat he posed to European peace if unchecked.

Russia did not start its territorial aggression against Ukraine in 2022, but eight years earlier, in Crimea. Mr Putin did not stop there because Russia wanted to have complete dominance over the domestic and foreign policy orientation of the government in Kyiv. He gambled that the west would look away again. Thankfully, the Russian president was mistaken. He thought then that Russia’s appetite for carnage, even from a losing position, would outlast western solidarity with Ukraine. That too turns out to be a miscalculation, so far. Without a follow-up strategy, Mr Putin’s war is sustained by his monstrous pride, readiness to sacrifice conscript soldiers for no measurable purpose and a political apparatus that allows him to cover up his failures. Those conditions make Russia’s position look solid. But they could turn out to be brittle, as long as Ukraine’s allies stand firm.

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“The Russian economy currently retains its rank as the 11th in the world, based upon standard gross domestic product (GDP) comparisons. However, when one converts Russia’s $1.78 trillion GDP using the “basket of goods” formulation of purchasing power parity (PPP) (i.e., what similar goods cost in the United States versus Russia), Russia’s actual economic strength converts to $4.80 trillion, making it the world’s sixth largest economy, surpassing all but China, the US, India, Japan, and Germany.”

Sanctions Against Russia Failed. I Saw It Firsthand (Scott Ritter)

I just returned from a month-long visit to Russia, during which time I had the opportunity to see a dozen different cities covering nearly the entire expanse of the Russian Federation. Prior to my departure, I was filling up the tank of my car, when I noticed a sticker on the gas pump. The sticker portrayed a smiling Joe Biden, the President of the United States, gesturing to his right. Underneath the image were printed the words, “I did this!” [..] In January and February 2023, Russia spent 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) on defense, a 282% jump on the same period a year ago. Far from being unable to replenish its military strength and sustain the conflict in Ukraine, Russia is far outpacing NATO in terms of rushing military material to the frontlines by 4 to 1 in terms of tanks and armored fighting vehicles and 5 to 1 in artillery ammunition.

When calculated with kill ratios that are overwhelmingly in favor of Russia, the fact is that Russia is sapping the strength of NATO and its Ukrainian proxy, while expanding its own. In addition to nearly tripling the size of its special military operation contingent, Russia is simultaneously building up the forces necessary to meet the expansion of its army from its pre-conflict size of 1 million, to a force of more than 1.5 million. Moreover, Russia’s increase in military production has not only softened the economic impact of the US-sponsored sanctions, but also helped reverse their impact across Russia’s industrial base. Everything I saw while touring Russia underscored the incontrovertible fact that, because of Western sanctions, the Russian economy has been compelled to undertake changes which have not only made it more resilient, but also more productive and efficient.

Foreign investments are surging in, proving that there is a world that exists beyond that controlled by the American economic hegemon. Moreover, because sanctions have curtailed the previous practice of Russian business tycoons sending their wealth abroad, there is a huge amount of domestic economic capital available for reinvestment into the Russian economy. This truth was evident in every city I visited, where there were unprecedented levels of infrastructure improvements and new construction taking place.

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“..almost half the grain that made its way to the EU ended up as fodder for pigs raised by Spanish ham producers.”

Black Sea Grain Deal Hits Obstacle – UN (RT)

Russia has notified the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul it will restrict the passage of grain ships to the port of Yuzhny until Ukraine reopens the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Thursday. Dujarric said that Director General Rebecca Greenspan of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is working to resolve the pipeline issue, but there was no progress to report yet, according to the TASS news agency. The UN also expressed concern that the implementation of the deal has slowed down, with only 33 ships leaving Ukrainian ports in May, “two times less than in April.” Meanwhile, the number of inspection teams has been reduced from three to two.

Yuzhny is one of the three ports covered by the July 2022 Black Sea Initiative, the others being Chernomorsk and Odessa. The agreement mediated by the UN and Türkiye provided for the shipments of Ukrainian grain by sea, as well as the unblocking of Russian agricultural exports – but only the first part has been implemented. On May 17, Moscow agreed to extend the deal for another 60 days. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision on the eve of the presidential election, which he went on to win in the runoff. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Ukraine’s ministry of renovation and infrastructure accused Russia of “another unjustified refusal … to register the incoming fleet.”

A senior official in Kiev told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that Ukraine would consider reopening the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline if the Black Sea deal was expanded to include more ports and more commodities. Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said that none of the five issues Moscow had identified with the deal – of which the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline was but one – have been addressed by the UN, “Our position remains unchanged – the export of ammonia is part of the existing agreements and was supposed to start simultaneously with the transportation of Ukrainian grain,” Vershinin said, adding that without addressing the five issues, there is no point in discussing the extension of the grain deal beyond July 17.

The deal was originally trumpeted in Ukraine and the West as a breakthrough in addressing food shortages in Africa and parts of Asia. According to data revealed by the Turkish Ministry of Commerce last week, however, 47% of the Ukrainian exports went to EU countries, and only 27% reached places like Egypt, Kenya, and Sudan. More than 30 million tons of grain have been transported by 953 ships since August 2022, with corn making up 50% of the cargo and wheat another 27%. Much of the grain was not for human consumption, but marked as animal feed. According to the research one Austrian outlet published in February, almost half the grain that made its way to the EU ended up as fodder for pigs raised by Spanish ham producers.

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Google translation.

Ursula von der Leyen’s Name Embroiled In Scandal In Bulgaria (LePoint)

One more scandal in Bulgaria? Ursula von der Leyen could have done without it. Her name appears in a sound recording secretly made during a meeting of the Let’s continue the change party (PP, according to the Bulgarian initials) which was to validate the government agreement reached with the rival party, the Gerb, of Boïko Borissov . This four and a half hour recording had the effect of a bomb! Its broadcast was programmed to derail the negotiations between the PP and the Gerb. We hear, in fact, the former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov. Not knowing that he was being tapped, he recklessly reveals the content of a telephone conversation with the President of the European Commission. There was, indeed, on May 21, a telephone contact between Petkov and von der Leyen about the possible accession of Bulgaria to the euro zone and the Schengen area. The Commission supports Bulgaria in these two undertakings. That’s not the problem.

“I asked her what our chances of being accepted are,” Petkov said. She answered me: “For Schengen, you have a great chance. For the euro zone, you have to find a way around the rules, that is to say ‘fit into the framework’. I answered her: “Can we -we have inflation minus the Ukraine effect .” And she was like, ‘Don’t quote me, we’ll try to help you.’ » On the side of the Commission, we naturally deny the content of the remarks. “There is a structured process for joining the euro zone, which applies to all countries, says the European executive. The Commission provides its support to fulfill the conditions. Of course, the rules must be followed. » We will never know what terms are really used by each other, but this recording is a furious reminder of Greece ‘s contentious entry conditions into the euro zone.

Athens, with the help of Goldman Sachs, had provided false data to circumvent the criteria for joining the euro zone. The pot of roses was revealed during the Eurozone crisis, when the real statistics were restored by Andreas Georgiou . A sinister episode that left its mark on German public opinion, which was very upbeat at the time. Bulgaria, already very fragile, should not repeat the same subterfuge.

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Reads like a full time job.

Breadcrumbs From A Buried FBI Source May Lead To A Bigger Biden Scandal (Fed.)

After a confidential human source claimed then-Vice President Joe Biden agreed to accept money from a foreign national to affect policy decisions, FBI agents used what’s called an FD-1023 form to record the allegation. Now FBI Director Christopher Wray is defying a May 3 congressional subpoena to provide this form. On Tuesday, in response to Wray’s refusal to hand over the documents, Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer announced the House will move to hold the FBI director in contempt of Congress. It isn’t that announcement — or even the other explosive ones released over the past year by Comer’s Senate colleague, Chuck Grassley — that prove the most telling, however. Rather, it is the combination of all the details, big and small, that suggests the scandal set to unfold over the coming weeks will be bigger than anyone imagined.

Take recent big news from whistleblower disclosures revealing that the Justice Department and the FBI have the unclassified FD-1023 form spelling out Biden’s alleged criminal behavior. Then combine that with other known information to discover the bigger picture. For instance, in response to Wray’s failure to comply with the subpoena, Grassley, who had previously noted the FD-1023 form was five or six pages long, indicated that the confidential human source (CHS) was “an apparent trusted FBI source.” This is huge because Grassley wouldn’t make that claim unless the whistleblower had. That means the source is not some random guy walking in off the street, but rather an existing “trusted” CHS, which is why the FBI used the FD-1023 form. In response to Wray’s stonewalling, Comer likewise revealed some significant details, clarifying late last week that the CHS reporting document was dated June 30, 2020, and referenced “the amount of money the foreign national allegedly paid to receive the desired policy outcome” as “five million.”

These details could only have come from a whistleblower with deep knowledge of the investigation, meaning the whistleblower’s characterization of the CHS as “trusted” carries more weight. Likewise, the whistleblower’s claim that the FD-1023 “includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose,” is more credible given the whistleblower’s knowledge of other details. Comer’s reference to “five million” is also intriguing. In a letter to Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, Grassley had previously revealed a promise by a Chinese communist government-connected enterprise to funnel $5 million to “Hunter and James Biden to compensate them for work done while Joe Biden was vice president.” Records released by Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., also confirmed a $5 million payment to James and Hunter Biden from another Chinese-connected business.

The date of the FD-1023 form, June 30, 2020, also proves significant when read in conjunction with Grassley’s letter to Wray in July 2022. In that letter, Grassley said the whistleblower had claimed that “the FBI developed information in 2020 about Hunter Biden’s criminal financial and related activity,” but “that in August 2020, FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment which was used by a FBI Headquarters (‘FBI HQ’) team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease.” The whistleblower further alleged that in September 2020, the FBI HQ team that handled the Auten assessment, after concluding the reporting was disinformation, placed the information in a restricted access sub-file that only the particular agents who uncovered the CHS’s information could access.

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David Stockman was Reagan’s budget director. Hard to claim he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy has straw for brains and a Twizzlers stick for a backbone..”

Speaker McCarthy’s Rotten Deal (David Stockman)

If there was ever any doubt, now we know: Speaker Kevin McCarthy has straw for brains and a Twizzlers stick for a backbone. He was within perhaps five days of breaking the iron grip of America’s fiscal doomsday machine, yet inexplicably he turned tail and threw in the towel for a mess of fiscal pottage. We are referring, of course, to the impending moment when the US Treasury would have been forced to forgo scheduled vendor or beneficiary distributions in order to preserve incoming cash for interest payments and other priorities. That act of spending deferrals and prioritization would have obliterated the debt “default” canard once and for all, paving the way for a nascent fiscal opposition to regain control of the nation’s wretched public finances. And there should be no doubt that we were damn close to that crystalizing moment. After all, Grandma Yellen herself forewarned just last week on Meet The Press that absent a debt ceiling increase, the Treasury Department would have to prioritize payments and leave some bills unpaid:

“And my assumption is that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, there will be hard choices to make about what bills go unpaid,” Yellen said on NBC’s “Meet the Press…….“We have to pay interest and principle on outstanding debt. We also have obligations to seniors who count on Social Security, our military that expects pay, contractors who’ve provided services to the federal government, and some bills have to go unpaid….” And, of course, that prioritization and deferral could have been easily done. Federal receipts are now running about $450 billion per month, meaning that after paying $61 billion of interest, $128 billion for Social Security, $26 billion for Veterans and $47 billion for military pay and O&M there would still be $188 billion left to cover at least 50% of everything else. That is to say, no sweat with respect to servicing the public debt, and a lot of sweat among the constituencies that would have had payments delayed or reduced.

So, yes, the GOP has truly earned the Stupid Party sobriquet. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Instead of spending days negotiating over the minutia of budgetary scams, tricks and slights-of-hand, which is the entirety of the McCarthy deal, they should have been demanding from the Treasury a detailed list of scheduled payments by day for the first few weeks in June. And then, in return for continued negotiations on meaningful spending cuts and reforms, demanded assurance from the White House that enough of these due bills would be temporarily stuck in the drawer (deferred), if necessary, to ensure payment of scheduled interest, Social Security, military pay and Veterans pensions. That is to say, McCarthy had Sleepy Joe over the proverbial barrel. But instead of applying the wood to his political backside good and hard, the Speaker chose to hold Biden’s coat and help him get back up, praising the latter’s supercilious retainers as he did so.

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A jubilee through inflation?

A Debt Jubilee of Biblical Proportions Is Coming Soon (IM)

The US federal government has the biggest debt in the history of the world. And it’s continuing to grow at a rapid, unstoppable pace. In short, the US government is fast approaching the financial endgame. Here’s why… Today, the US federal debt has gone parabolic and is scores of trillions. To put it in perspective, if you earned $1 a second 24/7/365—about $31 million per year—it would take you over 1,008,378 YEARS to pay off the US federal debt. And that’s with the unrealistic assumption that it would stop growing.

The truth is, the debt will keep piling up unless Congress makes some politically impossible decisions to cut spending. But don’t count on that happening. In fact, they’re racing in the opposite direction now that they’ve normalized multitrillion-dollar deficits. The amount of debt is so extreme that even a return of interest rates to their historical average would mean paying the interest expense on the debt would consume more than half of current tax revenues. Interest expense would eclipse Social Security and defense spending and become the largest item in the federal budget. Second, a return to the historical average interest rate will not be enough to reign in inflation—not even close. A drastic rise in interest rates is needed. If that happened, it could mean that the US government is paying more for the interest expense than it takes in from taxes.

In short, the Federal Reserve is trapped. Raising interest rates high enough to dent inflation would bankrupt the US government. In other words, it’s game over. They have no choice but to “reset” the system—that’s what governments do when they are trapped. How are they going to reset the system? Nobody knows for sure. But I’d bet a debt jubilee of biblical proportions will be a big part of it. So then, how will the US government repudiate its impossible federal debt burden? My guess is that they won’t be explicit. That would look too much like a default. It would destroy the role of the US as the center of the world’s financial system. Given a choice, I don’t think the US government would choose immediate self-destruction. Since power does not relinquish itself voluntarily, we should presume they’ll decide to stealthily implement their federal debt jubilee through inflation.

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Should be a lot simpler.

Twitter Head Of Trust & Safety Gone After “Mistake” Banning Documentary (ZH)

As Matt Taibbi detailed earlier via Racket News, at roughly 8:30 a.m. ET this morning, Jeremy Boreing, co-founder and co-CEO of the Daily Wire, posted a lengthy thread on Twitter outlining what appeared to be a major reversal on speech issues on the Elon Musk-owned platform. “Twitter canceled a deal with @realdailywire to premiere What is a Woman? for free on the platform because of two instances of ‘misgendering,’” Boreing wrote, adding, “I’m not kidding.” Noting the film would be labeled “hateful conduct,” the thread detailed a months-longer roller-coaster dispute between the producers of What is a Woman?, a controversial documentary by Matt Walsh released a year ago today, and the current incarnation of the bird site.

In celebration of the release anniversary Walsh, Boreing, and the Daily Wire began making plans to partner with Twitter for a 24-hour livestream today, June 1, 2023. Twitter at first responded with enthusiasm, offering the chance to buy “a package to host the movie on a dedicated event page” and “a chance for us to promote the event to every Twitter user over the first 10 hours.” The initial exchange came roughly a month ago, and the Wire team planned a significant ad buy and other promotions.

Weeks later, Twitter ominously asked the Daily Wire for a review copy of Walsh’s movie. Boreing said the firm then found out Twitter would not only “no longer provide us with support,” but bluntly told them they would “limit the reach” of the film if the Daily Wire went ahead with the event on its own. In one of many odd twists to this story, the problem involved two alleged instances of “misgendering,” a category of offense Twitter controversially removed from hate speech guidelines in April. “They gave us the opportunity to edit the film to comply. We declined,” wrote Boreing. Boreing’s tweet-storm today provoked a quick backlash on the platform, with personalities like Tim Pool promising to terminate his “enterprise Blue subscription” if the decision wasn’t reversed. As if by magic, Musk at 1:33 p.m. tweeted that it was a “mistake by many people at Twitter”:

[..] Update (2000ET): Following Elon Musk’s comments earlier that the cancellation of a deal to show Daily Wire’s ‘What Is A Woman?’ documentary “was a mistake by many people at Twitter,” Fortune reports that Twitter’s head of trust and safety is no longer in Twitter’s internal slack, citing an unidentified person and a screenshot of her deactivated account. Reuters later reported that Ella Irwin told them that she has resigned from the social media company. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Irwin’s departure is the second time someone in that role has left since Elon Musk bought the company in October. Yoel Roth, who had previously served as Twitter’s head of trust and safety, left the company in November, and Irwin subsequently took the top job overseeing user content and safety policies.

Irwin, who joined Twitter about a year ago, declined to comment Thursday on the reasons for her decision to leave Twitter. She said in an interview she felt she had always been honest in her work. Presumably by her definition of “honest”. Musk noted briefly in a response to questions about the ban/throttling of the documentary: “being fixed.” The Twitter CEO added in a thread with the creator of the documentary that “It will be advertising-restricted, as advertisers have the right to decide what content their ads appear with, which will impact reach to some degree.” It appears there are still plenty of anti-free-speech workers at Twitter…

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Excuse to keep him locked up: pending investigation.

FBI Reopens Case Around Julian Assange (IC)

The FBI has reopened an investigation into Australian journalist Julian Assange, according to front-page reporting from the Sydney Morning Herald. The news that the FBI is taking fresh investigative steps came as a surprise to Assange’s legal team, given that the U.S. filed charges against the WikiLeaks founder more than three years ago and is involved in an ongoing extradition process from a maximum security prison in the United Kingdom so that he can stand trial in the United States. Assange is charged under the Espionage Act with obtaining, possessing, and publishing classified information that exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, crimes that themselves have gone unpunished. The Morning Herald reporting also comes amid heightened hopes in Australia that a resolution to the case, which has raised serious press freedom issues in the U.S. and abroad, was near at hand.

The country’s ruling party has spoken in defense of Assange, as has the nation’s opposition party leader. In early May, a cross-party delegation of influential Australian lawmakers met with the U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, urging that a deal be struck to return Assange to Australia before U.S.-Australian relations were harmed further by the prosecution. The U.S. has otherwise complicated its relationship with Australia in recent weeks even as it seeks closer ties in order to compete with China in the region. Australia spent weeks preparing for Joe Biden to make a major visit to the nation in May, only to see him cancel the trip at the last minute to fly back from Japan to continue with debt ceiling negotiations. And this week, the U.S. also warned Australia that some of its military units may be ineligible to cooperate with U.S. forces due to their own alleged war crimes in Australia.

It is not lost on the Australian public that Assange is being prosecuted for uncovering and publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes. In May, the Morning Herald reported, the FBI requested an interview with Andrew O’Hagan, who was brought on more than 10 years ago to work as a ghostwriter on Assange’s autobiography. The FBI may have thought he would be cooperative because O’Hagan’s relationship with Assange soured; O’Hagan publicly criticized Assange as narcissistic and difficult to work with and published an unauthorized version in the London Review of Books instead. But O’Hagan told the Morning Herald he was not willing to participate in his prosecution. “I might have differences with Julian, but I utterly oppose all efforts to silence him,” he said.

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“..members of the Chicago “Outfit” had successfully packed up and were on their way out of town before being mugged on their way to the airport.”

Due To High Crime, Mafia Closes Its Chicago Office (BBee)

Today marked the end of an era, as the Mafia announced it was officially closing its Chicago branch due to the rising wave of violent crime in the city. “We just can’t operate under these conditions,” said street boss Albert “Albie the Falcon” Vena, speaking on behalf of Salvatore “Solly D” DeLaurentis, who has run the Chicago organization since 2021. “How are we supposed to conduct respectable business — loan sharking, bribery, racketeering, illegal gambling — with so much crime going on? It’s insane!” The Windy City has long been known for its organized crime operations, dating back even before the days of Al “Scarface” Capone in the 1920s Prohibition Era. Today’s mobsters now lament the difficulty they face in doing horrible things behind the scenes in the city while so many even more horrible things are being done in broad daylight.


“One of our best leg-breakers got his legs broken by a gang of 40 high schoolers last week,” said organization member Frank “Toots” Caruso. “They recorded it and put it on TikTok. We just don’t feel safe around here. I’m afraid to just walk down the street!” Rising crime rates in Chicago have become a staple under Democrat leaders, resulting in skyrocketing numbers of violent crimes and shooting deaths, despite the city having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. “You think we’re gonna be out there working?” asked Nicholas “Jumbo” Guzzino. “Are you kidding me? I don’t wanna get shot!” At publishing time, members of the Chicago “Outfit” had successfully packed up and were on their way out of town before being mugged on their way to the airport.

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Oscar
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664223997137940481

 

 

One
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664325552545624064

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 252023
 
 May 25, 2023  Posted by at 8:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  29 Responses »


Damien Hirst Spiritual Day Blossom 2018

 

Zelensky A ‘Servant Of The People’ – But Not The Ukrainian People (Kornilov)
Putin Has Led Russia To Failure With His Invasion – Prigozhin (DM)
Wagner Chief Reveals Losses In Fight For Artyomovsk (RT)
Russia Opposes ‘Freezing’ Ukraine Conflict – Kremlin (RT)
Mearsheimers Latest Talk On The War In Ukraine (MoA)
British Warmongering Is Driving Europe Towards Catastrophe In Ukraine (Cook)
NATO’s Eastward Expansion Shares Intent With Hitlerian Policies – Lavrov (TASS)
Neocolonial Model Of World To Become Thing Of The Past – Putin (TASS)
Ukraine’s Top General Gravely Wounded In Russian Strike (RT)
The War in Ukraine Was Provoked (Jeffrey Sachs)
The G7 Is An Outdated Tool Of The US Neo-Empire (Fomenko)
Catastrophic Borrowing Kills Global Financial System – John Rubino
The Inside Story Of Russia-Iran-India Connectivity (Pepe Escobar)
The FBI Has Crossed The Rubicon (Faddis)
US, EU Politicians Demand Withdrawal Of COP28 Chief (Cradle)

 

 

 

 

DeSantis Twitter Space
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661542033884958723

 

 

P.e.n.i.s.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660828620506509312

 

 


Pulp Fiction meets Nighthawks

 

 

Whistleblower
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661552527265918980

 

 

In 1996 RFK jr suffered a neurological injury which baffled doctors. Years later when he was in litigation over a particular flu vaccine he discovered that his condition, spasmodic dysphonia, was listed as one of the top side effects.

 

 

 

 

“But his promises to his new master are very different: not peace, but war.”

Zelensky A ‘Servant Of The People’ – But Not The Ukrainian People (Kornilov)

Every May, Vladimir Zelensky makes a show of proving that he remains what Ukrainians elected him to be: a servant of the people. This is part of the comedian-turned-politician’s myth, borrowed from the eponymous TV show he fronted prior to seeking high office. On the anniversary of his inauguration, every May 20, he gives a showpiece performance in the form of a report on the past year of his rule. He plays the role of the “servant,” informing his “masters” – the voters of Ukraine. Just two years ago, and it seems like ages now, Zelensky chose the Antonov aircraft hangar and a huge, unfinished Mriya cargo plane without wings (a Soviet project that independent Ukraine had spent 30 years talking about getting moving again) – as his backdrop. He went on to paint Ukrainians a beautiful picture of their country’s future, in which the Mriya (which means ‘dream’ in the local language) would finally take to the skies.

Less than a year later, soldiers under Zelensky’s command bombed both the hangar where he held the press conference and the plane, which never managed to take off. Everything seemed possible in Zelensky’s world, but he did forget one thing. Two years ago, when he was talking about turning Ukraine into a new Eden, he forgot the main promise that prompted Ukrainians to vote for him: his pledge to bring peace. Now, it’s even funny to remember the words the “servant of the people” uttered in his inaugural speech on May 20, 2019: “Our first priority is a ceasefire [in Kiev’s war with the Donbass]… I would not hesitate to lose my position for the sake of peace.” Over the intervening years, Zelensky has remained true to his tradition and, on the anniversary of his inauguration, he has continued to report as a true servant. But as time has passed he has acquired new masters – the US leadership.

This is a very significant change and confirms that, for Zelensky, Ukraine and its people have long been nothing more than a prop for his bloody adventures and their future well-being certainly is not part of the plan. His visit to Japan for the G7 summit was yet another venue in which to beg for weapons. Ukrainian diplomats take great offense when elements of the Western press liken Zelensky’s foreign trips to a traveling circus, but that is the reality. The whole point of his many trips is to raise yet more funds, and promises, to keep the war going – and thus to keep Ukrainians dying. As retired Italian general Marco Bertolini rightly pointed out the other day, if Western arms supplies to Ukraine had stopped, “the war would have ended a year ago and would not have cost hundreds of thousands of lives.”

The worst part is that everyone understands this very well. The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, says practically the same thing. However, even with the full knowledge that supplying Kiev with new lethal weapons means using Ukrainians as cannon fodder, the West keeps pumping in supplies. Of course, those same Ukrainians were promised Zelensky as a “servant” two years ago before he found himself some new masters. In Hiroshima, Zelensky fawned over his current bosses as best he could. He pathetically likened his request for F-16 jets to seeking “wings for freedom.”

[..] To sweeten the bitter pill of the humiliating defeat in Donbass, the Ukrainian president is trying to label the West’s promises to provide Kiev with F-16 fighter jets as a victory. What this will look like in practice is anyone’s guess, and no one knows how close it will bring the world to a potential catastrophe. Of course, Hiroshima is probably the best place to assess the consequences and understand how they could affect the entire planet. Especially the Ukrainian people, whom Zelensky promised to serve faithfully four years ago. But his promises to his new master are very different: not peace, but war.

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“..the guilty people will receive their punishment – as a minimum, they’ll be hanged on the Red Square.”

“So if they had at the start of it 500 tanks – now they have 5,000. If there were 20,000 men who were able to fight – now there are 400,000. So how exactly did we demilitarise it?”

Putin Has Led Russia To Failure With His Invasion – Prigozhin (DM)

Vladimir Putin has led Russia to abject failure with his invasion of Ukraine, the head of the Russian Wagner mercenary group has said in an astonishing outburst. Far from demilitarising Ukraine – Russia’s key war aim – Putin’s botched strategy has seen Kyiv amass ‘one of the world’s strongest armies’ through massive Western supplies, Yevgeny Prigozhin said. The Wagner chief was once considered a close ally and confidant of Russia’s tyrant and had been nicknamed Putin’s ‘chef’. But in the latest of his increasingly frequent outbursts, Prigozhin has given a devastating critique of his war strategy. He then warned of impending ‘revolution’ in Russia unless changes were made by the Kremlin leadership.

In an astonishing attack on military leaders, he said Russia would restore the death penalty and the guilty – he named defence ministry Sergei Shoigu and chief of the defence staff Valery Gerasimov as responsible for the war crisis – would be ‘hanged on Red Square’. Prigozhin blamed both Shoigu and Gerasimov for losing more men in Bakhmut than in the entire ten-year Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1979-89, which eventually led to the collapse of the USSR. ‘So the de-nazification of Ukraine, which we announced – we made Ukraine a nation, known to everyone around the globe,’ he said, mocking Putin’s warped purpose for going to war. ‘They are like Greeks at their peak, or Romans.’ He told interviewer Konstantin Dolgov – a prominent pro-war blogger: ‘We legitimised Ukraine, it became a country which is known to everyone.

‘As for de-militarisation… [this is] a painful issue indeed. ‘So if they had at the start of it 500 tanks – now they have 5,000. If there were 20,000 men who were able to fight – now there are 400,000. So how exactly did we demilitarise it? ‘Quite the opposite! We militarised it up to the brim. ‘I think Ukrainians today are one of the world’s strongest armies. They have high levels of organisation, training, military intelligence. ‘They have various ammunition and moreover, they are able to switch between any system – Soviet, Nato, anything at all – with the same success. They take their losses philosophically. ‘All they do is to achieve the supreme goal, just like us during the Great Patriotic War [Second World War].’ Prigozhin’s armed force of convicts and volunteers – named Wagner private military company – has claimed to have taken Bakhmut but at a devastating toll.

He admitted that in Bakhmut his force had lost 10,000 prisoners freed to fight for Putin, and the same number of volunteers. Many experts estimate the Wagner losses to be higher. Prigozhin then claimed Ukraine had lost 50,000 with 70,000 wounded. ‘During the [special military operation] I pulled out 50,000 inmates from jails,’ he said. Twenty per cent of them died.’ Adding to the latest of his outbursts, Prigozhin said he saw Shoigu and Gerasimov as guilty, not least for failing to supply Wagner with ammunition and weapons. ‘Without a doubt the death penalty will be brought back, because we are in a state of war,’ he said. And the guilty people will receive their punishment – as a minimum, they’ll be hanged on the Red Square.’

He lambasted the comfortable elites in Russia who continued to live normally while cannon fodder troops at the front lost their lives in huge numbers. Their sons must be forced to the war, he said. He singled out the defence minister Sergei Shoigu, whose daughter and son -in-law flaunt their wealth on social media. While last year it emerged the foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s stepdaughter owns a £4 million luxury apartment in Kensington, London. Mr Prigozhin said: ‘Everything might end as in 1917, with a revolution, when first the soldiers rise up and then their loved ones.

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From a different source:

1. 6.5 thousand foreign mercenaries of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were destroyed.
2. 10 thousand units of military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed.
3. 35 thousand units of weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were taken as trophies.
4. More than 50 aircraft and helicopters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed.
5. 55,000 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were killed.
6. 85 thousand soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were wounded.
7. Such a large percentage of the dead was due to the fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were almost surrounded and did not have time to take out the wounded.
8. PMC Wagner has also losses, but several times less.
9. 10 brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were completely destroyed and deprived of combat capability.
10. 21 brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were defeated and withdrawn to the rear for reorganization.
11. All these brigades were preparing for the offensive but instead of an offensive, they were defeated in Bakhmut.

Wagner Chief Reveals Losses In Fight For Artyomovsk (RT)

The head of Russia’s Wagner Group, Evgeny Prigozhin, has revealed that the private military company lost around 20,000 servicemen during the liberation of the strategic Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, from Ukrainian forces. In an interview published by Wagner’s press service on Tuesday, Prigozhin said that during the long-running battle he had boosted the company’s ranks with 50,000 inmates from Russian prisons, who were offered the chance to fight instead of completing their sentences. “Around 20% of them have died,”Prigozhin said. “The casualties among them were the same as among those who enlisted by contract with us.” This suggests that Wagner’s losses in Artyomovsk, which is a key settlement in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), amounted to some 10,000 former prisoners and 10,000 military professionals.

Around 20% of Wagner’s forces had also received injuries that would require at least three months to recover from, Prigozhin stated. However, he insisted that the Ukrainian military had suffered far greater losses in what he previously called “the Bakhmut meat-grinder.” “We’ve destroyed 50,000 troops of the Ukrainian armed forces [in Artyomovsk],” the Wagner chief claimed, adding that another 50,000 to 70,000 had been seriously wounded. Prigozhin announced on Saturday that the operation to take control of Artyomovsk, which had been spearheaded by Wagner, had ended and that the city had been “fully captured.” The battle for the major logistics hub had been fought for 224 days, he added.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed later the same day that the city had been taken, with President Vladimir Putin congratulating Wagner servicemen and regular Russian military troops on their success. Ukraine, which previously claimed that Artyomovsk would be defended at any cost and would become a turning point in the conflict with Moscow, has thus far refused to admit the loss of the city. On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that the settlement “is only in our hearts”when asked by US counterpart Joe Biden at the G7 summit in Japan if Kiev still controlled Artyomovsk. A few hours later, Zelensky changed his stance and denied that the settlement was“occupied by Russia.”

Bakhmut

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“..Moscow is only considering the option of “completing the special military operation..”

Russia Opposes ‘Freezing’ Ukraine Conflict – Kremlin (RT)

Russia is “in solidarity” with the West on the view that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be frozen, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency on Wednesday. Asked whether Russia was considering putting the fighting on hold, Peskov stated that Moscow is only considering the option of “completing the special military operation,” which means securing Russia’s interests and achieving its goals either through military, or other available means. The spokesperson said it’s premature to talk about a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict, as there are no prerequisites for such an outcome yet. “It is unlikely that we can talk about real negotiations with any of the representatives of the current Kiev authorities, because there [in Ukraine] any negotiations with the Russian Federation are simply prohibited now,” Peskov explained.

Earlier, the German chancellor stated that any peace talks on the situation in Ukraine cannot aim to freeze the conflict. “Russia must withdraw its troops,” Olaf Scholz insisted on the sidelines of the G7 summit on Sunday. Meanwhile, the US is reportedly seeking to stretch out the conflict for years or even decades. According to the Politico news website, Joe Biden’s administration has been considering freezing the fighting instead of pushing for Ukraine’s victory, with the goal of achieving a situation similar to that between North and South Korea. “A Korea-style stoppage is certainly something that’s been discussed by experts and analysts in and out of government,” a source told the outlet. “It’s plausible, because neither side would need to recognize any new borders, and the only thing that would have to be agreed is to stop shooting along a set line.”

The benefit of such a scenario for the US would be that it would cost less for Western nations to support Ukraine, draw less public attention, and reduce the pressure to assist Kiev. Additionally, it would allow Ukraine to continue switching its military to NATO standards, in the hope of joining the military alliance. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly criticized NATO’s expansion into Europe and its attempts to build a presence in Ukraine without the country’s formal accession. Moscow has cited such moves as one of the key reasons for launching its military offensive in February 2022.

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“Mearsheimer expects that Russia, which already has incorporated four Ukrainian oblast plus Crimea, will take another four oblast from Ukraine.”

Mearsheimers Latest Talk On The War In Ukraine (MoA)

Yesterday the well known international relations scholar John Mearsheimer gave a talk (video, 1:33h) about the war in Ukraine to the Committee for the Republic. Mearsheimer made two major points: Ukraine can not win this war because the kill ratio in this war is in its disfavor. Mearheimer estimates that two Ukrainians die for one Russian soldier but says that many of his friends think that the ratio is more like 3:1 or 4:1. The reason for this is the WWI-style static war in which artillery is the most deadly weapon. Russia has an immense artillery advantage. During an offensive the attacker will often have more casualties than the defender. But in this war the Ukraine side has been (counter-)attacked most of the time while the Russians defended.

The Ukraine also has a much smaller population than Russia. The current ratio is about 5 Russians for 1 Ukrainian. With a much smaller population and much higher casualties the Ukraine will run out of able bodies way before Russia does. Mearsheimer expects that Russia, which already has incorporated four Ukrainian oblast plus Crimea, will take another four oblast from Ukraine. (I predicted this on February 24 2022, the day the war began. Those eight oblast plus Crimea are historically Russian land inhabited by Russian people. During the last thirty years they have consistently voted for pro-Russian candidates while the people in west Ukraine consistently opted for anti-Russian candidates.) Ukraine will end up as a dysfunctional (and poor) rump state.

Mearsheimer says that there will be no peace agreement in Ukraine. The war is seen by both sides as existential. Ukraine insists of regaining territory it sees as part of the country. Ukraine wants security guarantees from the ‘west’ which Russia opposes. The problem of hyper-nationalism (fascism) on the Ukrainian side also makes peace impossible. Then there is the problem that Russia, after having been lied to over the Minsk agreements, has zero trust in any ‘western’ word.

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“Storm Shadow allows the Ukrainian military to strike deep into Russian-annexed parts of Ukraine – and potentially at Russian cities too..”

British Warmongering Is Driving Europe Towards Catastrophe In Ukraine (Cook)

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected trip to Britain last week on a whistle-stop tour of European capitals, pleading for more powerful and longer-range weapons to use in his war against Russia. What was hard to ignore once again was the extent to which the UK is playing an outsize role in Ukraine. Last year, shortly after the start of the war, the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, hurried to Kyiv – presumably on Washington’s instructions – apparently to warn Zelensky off fledgling peace talks with Moscow. At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favoured an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to “weaken” Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China. Since then, the UK has been at the forefront of European efforts to entrench the conflict, helping to lobby for the supply of weapons, training and military intelligence to Ukrainian forces.

British tanks and thousands of tank shells – including, controversially, some made from depleted uranium – are being shipped out. Last week, the UK added hundreds of long-range attack drones to the inventory. And an unspecified number of £2m-a-blast Storm Shadow cruise missiles, with a range of nearly 300km, have started arriving. Last week Ben Wallace, Britain’s defence secretary, said the missiles were already in use, adding that Kyiv alone was deciding on the targets. Storm Shadow allows the Ukrainian military to strike deep into Russian-annexed parts of Ukraine – and potentially at Russian cities too. A recent leak revealed that the Pentagon had learnt through electronic eavesdropping of Zelensky’s eagerness for longer-range missiles so that his forces were “capable of reaching Russian troop deployments in Russia”.

Britain now pays little more than lip service to the West’s claim that its role is only to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression. The supply of increasingly offensive weapons has turned Ukraine into what amounts to a proxy battleground on which the Cold War can be revived. During Zelensky’s visit to the UK last week, Johnson’s successor, Rishi Sunak, effectively acted as an arms broker for Ukraine, joining with the Netherlands in what was grandly dubbed an “international coalition” to pressure the Biden administration and other European states to supply Kiev with F-16 fighter jets. Washington appeared not to need much cajoling. Three days later, Biden dramatically changed tack at a G7 summit in Japan. He effectively gave a green light for US allies to supply Ukraine not only with US-made F-16s but similar fourth-generation fighter jets, including Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon and France’s Mirage 2000.

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“NATO’s reckless expansion reflects the same intentions that undergirded the Hitlerian doctrine of ‘Drang nach Osten’..”

NATO’s Eastward Expansion Shares Intent With Hitlerian Policies – Lavrov (TASS)

Behind NATO’s latest expansion push lie the same underlying intentions as the policies of Hitler, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at an international meeting of high-level officials responsible for security issues in Moscow on Wednesday. “In essence, NATO’s reckless expansion reflects the same intentions that undergirded the Hitlerian doctrine of ‘Drang nach Osten’ (German for ‘Drive to the East,’ which was the Nazi slogan justifying the conquest of Central and Eastern European lands – TASS),” Lavrov said. According to Russia’s top diplomat, the United States has purposefully set about destroying the architecture of European security, “while focusing in particular on engendering threats that are unacceptable to Russia.”


“It is enough just to mention the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty more than 20 years ago, as well as from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and from the Open Skies Treaty,” he maintained. Lavrov accused Washington and its allies of marginalizing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a body that he said no longer played any role in European security. The Russian foreign minister criticized the NATO countries’ “provocative” course toward relentlessly expanding the alliance eastward, which he said has been done in spite of the top-level Western pledges made to the then-leadership of the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand “one inch.” Also, this policy “contravenes [Western countries’] commitments made at the highest level to refrain from bolstering their own security at the expense of the security of other [nations],” he lamented.

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“I am confident that, together, we will achieve the formation of a more equitable, multipolar world..”

Neocolonial Model Of World To Become Thing Of The Past – Putin (TASS)

Russia, together with other countries, will assuredly achieve a fair world order, whereas the model under which certain countries develop at the expense of others will become a thing of the past, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, greeting the participants in the 11th International Meeting of High-Level Officials Responsible for Security Issues. “I am confident that, together, we will achieve the formation of a more equitable, multipolar world, while the ideology of exceptionalism as well as the neocolonial system, which has undergirded the exploitation of the resources of the entire world, will inevitably recede into the past,” he noted. Putin assured the foreign security officials that Russia was ready to engage in the closest level of interaction with all interested countries in efforts to counteract common threats and tackle the challenges that humankind is facing today.

“We highly appreciate the fact that Russia has numerous allies and partners across diverse regions and continents. We sincerely cherish our historically strong, friendly, and genuinely trust-based ties with Asian, African and Latin American countries, and we will continue to do all we can to strengthen them,” he assured his audience. Separately, Putin talked about the significance of the conference for the global situation, noting that, over the years, regular interactions between security officials aimed at sharing their expertise and assessments have proven their utility and relevance, and have been instrumental in resolving key issues of regional and global security as well as strategic stability. The Russian president also noted that the conference’s agenda is very intensive and substantive. Above all, the meeting’s participants will discuss the current global situation and the prospects for its further development, as well as analyze the most pressing contemporary threats.

“Among them are international terrorism, extremism, illegal arms and drug trafficking, transnational crime and illegal migration. And, of course, issues pertaining to food and information security,” the Russian leader elaborated. Putin hoped that the meeting would be constructive and produce useful results, while helping to determine new methods and areas for practical cooperation “for the benefit of countries and peoples, and in the interest of peace and stability on the planet.” The meeting is being held in the Moscow Region on May 23-25. Russia’s delegation is headed by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev.

EFF

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Ukraine denies.

Ukraine’s Top General Gravely Wounded In Russian Strike (RT)

General Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, who had disappeared from the public eye in recent weeks, was seriously wounded some weeks ago in a Russian strike near the city of Kherson, a security source told RIA Novosti. Zaluzhny suffered a head trauma and numerous shrapnel wounds in early May, in a missile attack on a Ukrainian command post not far from the village of Posad-Pokrovskoe, the agency reported on Wednesday. The general had undergone a craniotomy at a military hospital in Kiev after the strike, the source claimed. The prognosis by the doctors is that the 49-year-old is going to live but won’t be able to execute his duties as commander anymore, he added. Zaluzhny’s condition is further complicated by the fact that he has an underlying condition namely diabetes, the agency also reported.

Speculations about Zaluzhny’s whereabouts emerged after he refrained from participating in a high-profile NATO meeting on May 10. The chairman of the bloc’s military committee, Rob Bauer, said that Kiev told Brussels that the Ukrainian commander couldn’t attend in person nor via a video-link due to a “complex operational situation” on the ground in the conflict with Moscow. The general hasn’t been seen in public since then, even though footage that has emerged online in recent days that suggested he was fine, turned out to have been made before his disappearance. On Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar claimed Zaluzhny was in good health and remained in charge of the armed forces. “The commander-in-chief is in his place. He’s doing his job. We just talked,” she wrote on Telegram.

Malyar suggested that rumors of Zaluzhny’s possible injury or death were being spread by Russia in an attempt to demoralize the Ukrainian forces during the battle for the strategic city of Artyomovsk, which the Ukrainians call Bakhmut. Moscow announced the “full capture” of Artyomovsk on Saturday, but Kiev has thus far been reluctant to acknowledge the loss of its key stronghold in Donbass. Zaluzhny has been popular with the Western media and portrayed as a key figure in Ukraine’s resistance to Russia. Throughout the conflict, the so-called ‘Iron General’ has given lengthy interviews to outlets like The Economist and Time, which listed him among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2022.

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We still have to state the obvious?

The War in Ukraine Was Provoked (Jeffrey Sachs)

George Orwell wrote in 1984 that “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Governments work relentlessly to distort public perceptions of the past. Regarding the Ukraine War, the Biden administration has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the Ukraine War started with an unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. In fact, the war was provoked by the U.S. in ways that leading U.S. diplomats anticipated for decades in the lead-up to the war, meaning that the war could have been avoided and should now be stopped through negotiations. Recognizing that the war was provoked helps us to understand how to stop it. It doesn’t justify Russia’s invasion. A far better approach for Russia might have been to step up diplomacy with Europe and with the non-Western world to explain and oppose U.S. militarism and unilateralism.

In fact, the relentless U.S. push to expand NATO is widely opposed throughout the world, so Russian diplomacy rather than war would likely have been effective. The Biden team uses the word “unprovoked” incessantly, most recently in Biden’s major speech on the first-year anniversary of the war, in a recent NATO statement, and in the most recent G7 statement. Mainstream media friendly to Biden simply parrot the White House. The New York Times is the lead culprit, describing the invasion as “unprovoked” no fewer than 26 times, in five editorials, 14 opinion columns by NYT writers, and seven guest op-eds. The first was the U.S. intention to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea region by NATO countries (Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria Turkey, and Georgia, in counterclockwise order).

The second was the U.S. role in installing a Russophobic regime in Ukraine by the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014. The shooting war in Ukraine began with Yanukovych’s overthrow nine years ago, not in February 2022 as the U.S. government, NATO, and the G7 leaders would have us believe. Biden and his foreign policy team refuse to discuss these roots of the war. To recognize them would undermine the administration in three ways. First, it would expose how the war could have been avoided, or stopped early, sparing Ukraine its current devastation and the U.S. more than $100 billion in outlays to date. Second, it would expose Biden’s personal role in the war as a participant in the overthrow of Yanukovych, and before that as a staunch backer of the military-industrial complex and very early advocate of NATO enlargement. Third, it would push Biden to the negotiating table, undermining the administration’s continued push for NATO expansion.

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“..the G7 is an effective aggregation of former empires that once dominated the world unchallenged, now held under the wings and servitude of the US.”

The G7 Is An Outdated Tool Of The US Neo-Empire (Fomenko)

The summit of G7 nations took place in Hiroshima, Japan over the last weekend. Hiroshima is significant for a few reasons. First of all, it is known to the world as the location that the United States nuked, along with Nagasaki, at the end of World War II, which led to the surrender of the Empire of Japan and that country’s transformation into a US client state. Secondly, Japan is working to remilitarize itself in line with America’s dual containment effort against China and Russia. Thus, while Japan is chair of the G7 this year, the event was a rubber-stamping of US-centric geopolitical goals which took aim at both countries. However, what might be said about the G7 itself? Founded as a Cold War-era organization in 1975, and briefly incorporating the West’s aspirations for post-Soviet Russia, the group professes to represent the world’s “most advanced industrial countries,” but anyone could tell you this is an outdated category.

Countries such as China and India, with economies larger than most G7 members, are not part of the group. Rather, the character and agenda of the G7 is distinctly ideological, and its goal is to preserve a Western-dominated concept of the world at all costs. It should not go unnoticed that the G7 is an effective aggregation of former empires that once dominated the world unchallenged, now held under the wings and servitude of the US. Remarkably, all three Axis powers of World War II, defeated by the allies, are a part of this grouping. Although the respective fascist-oriented regimes of Germany, Italy and Japan were rightfully destroyed, these countries were all rebuilt as American client states following the war and their respective interests placed in the hands of Washington.

Similarly, the allied empires, which emerged victorious, including France, Britain and its imperial dominion, Canada, found that the war had severely depleted their national resources and strength to the point they could no longer continue as the global superpowers they had been. Consequently, they surrendered their leadership baton to the US and have ever since relied on following its lead to secure their interests around the world. In each instance, all of these countries held positions of privilege from their imperial eras. Having colonized most of the globe, and Japan having militarily occupied much of Asia, these countries had made themselves tremendously wealthy. Britain’s fabulous wealth, for one, is tailored directly to the exploitation of Africa and India. Colonial empires were strictly commercial in character, using ideology as a justifying force for aggression, upholding their economic interests by immense military power. This gave these countries privilege, which thus formed the distinction between the Global North and the Global South.

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Borrowed from Sun Tzu: “They are willing to burn down the world around them to get what they want.”

Catastrophic Borrowing Kills Global Financial System – John Rubino

Analyst and financial writer John Rubino says this time, the so-called debt ceiling fight could end in a systemic failure. Rubino points out, “In a well-run society, the debt limit would be zero. Governments should not borrow money in the first place…” “The amount of money we are borrowing is catastrophic. Historians are going to look back at this era, and they are just going to wonder why we allowed it to happen and what were we thinking. We are destroying the global financial system by allowing governments to borrow this much money. The debt limit thing is being called a crisis, and if they let it go too far, it will be a crisis… …I think this game of chicken will end in the not-too-distant future, and if it doesn’t, they have an ulterior motive. They want to crash the economy because that achieves something for them…

…We can speculate about this. The party in power wants to crash the economy, and that is a very dark scenario… They are willing to burn down the world around them to get what they want. Look at Russia-gate and the contents of the Durham Report. The Democrats are willing to do stuff like that… I would not put it past the Democrats to plan and implement it if they think it benefits them.” The economy is already doing bad and getting ready to tumble. So, why not tank it with a debt ceiling impasse and blame it on the Republicans? Some speculate that is the Dem plan because the Obama/Biden economy is going down anyway. If the economy sinks low enough, how much money will the Fed print to bail it out. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is already warning there is going to be more bank consolidation.

In other words, more banks will be going under. Rubino says that is a huge worry and explains, “The dark part of this scenario is the government has to step in and bail out those little banks. Let’s say it’s a couple of trillion dollars . . . to them, it’s play money . . .but what if the markets look at that and say what happens if all the other sectors blow up and the government has to come up with $10 trillion or $15 trillion? What does that do to the dollar? Then you go from a banking crisis to a currency crisis, which is almost impossible to contain. I think it is completely possible that we go to that next stage.”

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“India, in thesis, from the beginning regarded Chabahar as a key plank of its “Diamond Necklace” strategy, counterpunching the Chinese “String of Pearls..”

The Inside Story Of Russia-Iran-India Connectivity (Pepe Escobar)

The key New Silk Roads of emerging multipolarity are China’s ambitious, multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Russia-Iran-India International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). They have evolved in parallel and may sometimes overlap. What is clear is the G7/G9 will go to the ends of the earth to undermine them. The recent $1.6 billion deal between Iran and Russia to build the 162-km long Rasht-Astara railway is an INSTC game-changer. Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazpash and Russia’s Minister of Transport Vialy Saveliev signed the deal in Tehran, in front of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending on video conference. Call it the marriage of Iran’s “Look East” with Russia’s “pivot to the East.” Both are now official policies.

Rasht is close to the Caspian Sea. Astara is on the border with Azerbaijan. Connecting them will be part of a Russia-Iran-Azerbaijan deal on railway and cargo transportation – solidifying the INSTC as a key connectivity corridor between South Asia and Northern Europe. The multimodal INSTC advances via three main routes: the Western route links Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran-India; the Middle or Trans-Caspian route links Russia-Iran-India; and the Eastern one links Russia-Central Asia-Iran-India. The Eastern route features the immensely strategic port of Chabahar in southeast Iran, in the volatile Sistan-Balochistan province. That’s the only Iranian port with direct access to the Indian Ocean. In 2016, Iran, India, and an Afghanistan still under US occupation signed a tripartite deal in which Chabahar miraculously escaped unilateral US “maximum pressure” sanctions.

That was a stepping stone configuring Chabahar as the privileged gateway for Indian products to enter Afghanistan, and then further on down the road, toward Central Asia. Russia, Iran, and India signed a formal INSTC deal in May 2022, detailing a multimodal network – ship, rail, road – which proceeds via the previously mentioned three axes: Western, Middle or Trans-Caspian, and Eastern. The Russian port of Astrakhan, by the Caspian Sea, is crucial on all three. The Eastern route connects eastern and central Russia, through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, to the southern part of Iran as well as India and the Arab lands on the southern edge of the Persian Gulf. Dozens of trains are already plying the overland route from Russia to India via Turkmenistan and Iran.

The problem is that in the past few years, New Delhi, for several complex reasons, seemed to be asleep at the wheel. And that led Tehran to become much more interested in Russian and Chinese involvement to develop two strategic ports in the Chabahar Free Trade Industrial Zone: Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Zalantari. Chabahar is a tough nut to crack. Iran has invested heavily to turn it into an inescapable regional transit hub. India, in thesis, from the beginning regarded Chabahar as a key plank of its “Diamond Necklace” strategy, counterpunching the Chinese “String of Pearls,” which are ports linked by the BRI across the Indian Ocean.

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“While the FBI was manufacturing evidence of a non-existent Trump-Putin connection it was actively covering for Hillary – and it is continuing to do so.”

The FBI Has Crossed The Rubicon (Faddis)

The recently released Durham report paints a graphic picture of an agency out of control. The FBI did not blunder into an investigation of Donald Trump, his campaign, and his associates. The FBI undertook to deliberately destroy Trump and those around him including General Flynn. The FBI took unto itself the power to decide who could be President. That fact has now been publicly exposed. The whole nation can see that the FBI acted in violation of law and every tradition we have had since the inception of the republic. The FBI has responded with remarkable clarity. It did nothing wrong. It does not care what Durham (or countless whistleblowers) say(s). It does not care what Congress thinks. It will do as it pleases.

The Assistant Director of the FBI for Counterintelligence, Suzanne Turner, just testified before Congress. Asked about the Durham report, the one that said her agency had run amok and tried to stage what amounted to a coup, she responded by saying she had not bothered to read the report nor had she been briefed on it. When pressed further she offered to take questions back to the FBI and see if she could get someone else to answer them. Contempt dripped from her every word and every mannerism. The concerns of the people’s elected representatives were clearly of no interest whatsoever to her.

The House Oversight Committee is investigating the possibility that the current President of the United States took money from foreign interests, including Communist China, in exchange for policy decisions. In other words, the House is pursuing evidence that suggests pretty strongly that Joe Biden works for Beijing. As part of that investigation, the House has demanded from the FBI copies of reports that apparently show the FBI knew about this some time ago. The FBI has refused to provide the documents. Meanwhile, there are continuing reports that whistleblowers from within the federal workforce who provide information about the Bidens are being retaliated against and sidelined. In some cases, they have had their security clearances taken away and been suspended without pay. That’s what happens to FBI agents who think Congress is still in charge.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) has blasted the FBI for impeding the investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings, calling the federal agency “very patronizing.” He has also said that the FBI does not “respect anyone.” All of that is crystal clear. The days when the FBI would scurry to take action and avoid Congressional disfavor are long gone. The Bureau is above all that now. Meanwhile, the FBI has announced that it destroyed all of the evidence it gathered into the actions of Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the mountains of foreign money that flowed to the Clintons when Hillary was Secretary of State. This comes after revelations that the FBI shut down four separate investigations into the Clinton campaign in the runup to the 2016 election. While the FBI was manufacturing evidence of a non-existent Trump-Putin connection it was actively covering for Hillary – and it is continuing to do so.

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They want a monopoly on opinion. Because The Science. Same as with Covid.

US, EU Politicians Demand Withdrawal Of COP28 Chief (Cradle)

Over 100 members of the US Congress and European Parliament signed a letter calling for Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber to be removed as the head of the upcoming COP28 climate conference, Reuters reported on 24 May. COP28 will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December and will center around efforts to mobilize $100 billion of public and private climate finance for developing economies. Jaber, who heads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and serves as the UAE’s climate envoy, was designated in January to lead the talks. In the public letter, lawmakers, including US Democratic senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, voiced “profound concern” that oil companies would be able to “exert undue influence” on the climate negotiations.

Addressing US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and the UN, the letter stated, “We urge you to … engage in diplomatic efforts to secure the withdrawal of the president-designate of COP28.” On the European side, the signatories hailed mostly from green political parties, which have exercised increasing influence over the continent’s energy policies, perhaps most prominently in Germany. Germany’s Green Party has been losing support as its energy policies move forward, increasing energy costs and threatening Germany’s energy intensive industrial economy. Energy costs have risen in part due to efforts to shut down both the coal and nuclear energy industries, while supporting sanctions against Russia due to the Ukraine war which have blocked imports of cheap Russian natural gas.

An effort to mandate the installation of expensive heat pumps in homes in the place of gas and oil heating systems as well as a proposal to ban combustion-engine cars as of 2035, have also been unpopular. Meanwhile, Sultan al-Jaber called for a major boost to public and private finance for the climate change project in Africa. At the African Development Bank 2023 Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Jaber said that Africa has “huge potential for low-carbon growth and sustainable development.” “But one critical challenge stands in its way – and that is the lack of available, accessible, affordable finance. And this lack of finance is putting the world’s climate goals and Africa’s sustainable development at risk,” he said, according to UAE news agency Wam. “Cop28 is exploring additional mechanisms to supercharge the flow of private finance to Africa.”

@JunkScience

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Luxembourg based P. Adams Schwertransporte, who specialize in the transport of heavy items, revealed striking photos of how it transported a 67-meter-long blade for a wind turbine

 

 

Filefish
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661281159244926977

 

 


The Inca tern is a uniquely plumaged bird that breeds on the coasts of Peru and Chile. It can be identified by its dark grey body, white moustache on both sides of its head, and red-orange beak and feet

 

 

Macropinna

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 242023
 


Leonardo da Vinci Ginevra de’ Benci c. 1474-78

 

‘Counteroffensive’ Will Begin ‘Very Soon’ – Ukrainian Intelligence (RT)
Ukraine Can’t Win Against Russia – Orban (RT)
“Obvious” There Will Be “No Victory For The Poor Ukrainians”: Orban (ZH)
US Must Make Security Deal With Russia – Hungary (RT)
Orban Thinks NATO Reluctant To Deploy Own Troops To Ukraine (TASS)
Kremlin Spokesman Sees No Prerequisites For Ukrainian Peace Process (TASS)
Serb Leader Explains Why West Doesn’t Like Russia (RT)
Russia Continues To Supply Gas To EU Via Ukraine – Gazprom (RT)
Beijing Decries ‘Biggest Threat’ Label (RT)
China Hopes World Adequately Immune From Debt-Driven US Finance Risks (TASS)
Pentagon Loses A Million F-35 parts (RT)
Pentagon Can’t Account For 1000s Of Ultra-Expensive F-35 Parts Globally (ZH)
Why the Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Russia Won’t Go Away (Chris Hedges)
Whistleblower Says DOJ Interference In Hunter Biden Probe Dates Back Years (JTN)
First COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuit in US Targets Gov’t, Social Media Giants (CHD)

 

 

 

 

FISA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661035995553210370

 

 

 

 

No Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Minsk 2019

 

 


M2 data was released today — it is down -4.63% since last year, the fastest pace of money supply destruction since January 1933. The Fed eased at 100 mph, now it is slamming on the brakes and credit markets are about to fly through the windshield.

 

 

Vladimir Putin : For 9 years, the enemy has been waging war against our people. We are told that Russia started the war. No, Russia, with the help of the SMO, is trying to stop this war against our people, who, due to historical injustice, found themselves outside the borders of our Motherland

 

 

 

 

Zero chance of winning, 100% chance of killing more young Ukrainians. No able bodies will be left to rebuild what’s left of the nation after Russia and Poland take their parts. Halliburton will have to come in to do the rebuilding. If Russia lets them.

They’re going to fire missiles into Crimea. The US just gave them the go-ahead..

‘Counteroffensive’ Will Begin ‘Very Soon’ – Ukrainian Intelligence (RT)

Ukraine has the weapons it needs to start its much-anticipated “counteroffensive,” but actually defeating Russia will require more, the head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), Kirill Budanov, said in an interview on Tuesday. “We already have the necessary minimum of weapons” for the attack, Budanov told the Japanese state broadcaster NHK. “I can only say that it will begin soon.” To successfully pursue a long campaign against Russia, however, Ukraine needs even more, according to Budanov. “We need a large stockpile of weapons and ammunition to successfully continue the operation,” he said. “We need more weapons. We need fighter jets. I hope the international community is ready to really help Ukraine.”

Kiev’s top spy added that he would pay close attention to the progress of military aid from the West after the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, where President Vladimir Zelensky made an appearance as a surprise guest. Over the weekend, Zelensky acknowledged the loss of the Donbass fortress of Bakhmut, known by Russians as Artyomovsk. Kiev responded by launching a raid into Russia’s Belgorod Region, which garnered a lot of social media attention but achieved nothing of military importance. Zelensky has assured his Western backers that the long-anticipated “counteroffensive” would be launched as soon as Kiev had accumulated the minimum of weapons and ammunition necessary for the effort, and that Ukraine needed just a bit more time.

Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has sought to manage expectations as well. Last week, Financial Times reported that Kiev has about “five months” to impress Washington, at which point President Joe Biden’s government will be under too much pressure to negotiate. Multiple Western outlets and experts have warned that Russia’s air campaign targeting Ukrainian supply depots and troop concentrations has already affected the planned offensive, going so far as to describe it as a “game changer.” Budanov waved off the campaign by telling NHK that Kiev had shot down 90% of the incoming missiles. He did not comment on last week’s destruction of the US-supplied Patriot air defense system in Kiev.

Sullivan

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Some partially overlapping articles today. First, on Orban’s speech in Qatar. Later, on Lockheed and the Pentagon working together to fleece the taxpayer.

“Emotionally, it’s tragic, all of our hearts are with the Ukrainians. But I’m speaking as a politician who should save lives..”

Ukraine Can’t Win Against Russia – Orban (RT)

It’s “obvious” that Kiev can’t win the war against Moscow, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said, urging for a diplomatic solution to the crisis instead of the West continuing to pour military aid into Ukraine. The PM made the remarks in a Bloomberg interview during the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday. “Emotionally, it’s tragic, all of our hearts are with the Ukrainians. But I’m speaking as a politician who should save lives,” Orban stated, noting that Hungary views the ongoing hostilities from a “special angle” that differs from the “mainstream” European position. Hungary itself is “losing lives” daily as well due to the conflict, Orban explained, referring to members of Ukraine’s Hungarian ethnic minority that have been “conscripted” to fight Russia.

He abstained from condemning Moscow for the “invasion” of Ukraine, stating only that the hostilities were due to a major failure in diplomacy. “[The] position of Hungary was, from the very first moment, that this war is the failure of diplomacy, it should have never happened,” Orban stated. “For us it’s obvious that the battlefield solution does not work.” Pressed further on whether, in his opinion, Kiev was able to win the conflict, Orban replied that the course of the hostilities had clearly shown it “obviously” was not possible. The PM also implied neither side could actually win the conflict, adding that it can only end in a “ceasefire” followed by peace talks. “My position is that, looking at the reality, looking at the figures, looking at the surroundings, looking at the fact that NATO is not ready to send troops, it’s obvious that there’s no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield.”

Orban’s remarks come as Hungary has opted to block a new €500 million ($544 million) military aid package from the EU’s so-called European Peace Facility (EPF). The fund – which is designed to reimburse the bloc’s own members to send arms and equipment overseas, as well as to finance foreign militaries directly – has been used almost exclusively to pour weaponry into Ukraine. Hungary has taken a neutral stance on the ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, consistently refusing to provide military aid to Kiev or even allow the transport of military shipments through its territory. Budapest has also opposed the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions, particularly those that would have damaged the country’s own economy, including its nuclear and conventional energy sectors.

Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661168351635226624

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“The war can be stopped only if the Russians can make an agreement with the US. In Europe, we are not happy with that, but it’s the only way out.”

“Obvious” There Will Be “No Victory For The Poor Ukrainians”: Orban (ZH)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has once again spoken the quiet part out loud, as he continues to be a thorn in the side of NATO and the EU regarding continually escalating arms deliveries to Ukraine, with F-16 fighter jets poised to be delivered to Kiev in the near future. The first day of the annual Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) included a speech and on-stage interview by Orban wherein he bluntly stated that Ukraine can’t win the war against Russia, short of NATO directly sending troops – which it isn’t willing to do, and which Hungary stands against. He also reminded the West that the Hungarian government isn’t part of the “mainstream” European Union approach to the war, but has pursued attempts at peaceful negotiations.

“The only solution is ceasefire, and then after the ceasefire, peace talks should start,” he said. He explained this is the only path forward given Kiev can’t win. As Bloomberg reports, “Hungary was in talks with Qatar to buy gas in an effort to reduce its reliance on Russia for energy and for help to buy Budapest airport,” according to Orban’s words. He had been pressed over the question of Hungary blocking more defense aid to Ukraine, and in that context asserted that ultimately Russia and the US must make a deal to end the war, which is “the only way out”: “Looking at the reality, the figures, the surroundings, the fact that NATO is not ready to send troops, it is obvious that there is no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield. That’s my position,” he said, offering an outlook few European leaders would publicly agree with, given their solidarity with Kyiv.

“The war can be stopped only if the Russians can make an agreement with the US. In Europe, we are not happy with that, but it’s the only way out.” His assessment, which is likely going to be deeply unpopular and somewhat divisive in terms of public reception, comes just on the heels of the weekend Russian capture of Bakhmut, which was announced by Wagner Group raising the Russian flag over the strategic city. Despite initial Ukrainian officials rejecting that Bakhmut had fallen, at this point there’s widespread acknowledgement both in international press reports and among Western officials that Russia exercises effective control of the city. Wagner is due to hand captured territory over to regular Russian military forces by June 1.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1660962012141174784

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“Orban has repeatedly accused EU leaders of serving American, rather than European, interests by continuing to bankroll Kiev..”

US Must Make Security Deal With Russia – Hungary (RT)

An agreement between the US and Russia is the only thing that can end the conflict in Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated on Monday. Orban has repeatedly accused EU leaders of serving American, rather than European, interests by continuing to bankroll Kiev. Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, Orban reiterated his position that Ukraine cannot win on the battlefield, and that Kiev and its Western backers must pursue peace talks with Russia. “First we should have a ceasefire,” he said. “Then let’s talk about the new security architecture of the European continent.” “The only peace agreement that could close this whole conflict is if it is between Russia and the United States,” he elaborated.

“What is at stake is the future security of Europe. It’s obvious that without the US there is no security architecture for Europe, and now the war can only be stopped if the Russians can make an agreement with the United States.” “As a European I am not happy with that,” he added. “But this is the only way out.” Throughout the conflict, Orban has repeatedly spoken out against the West’s twin policies of military aid to Kiev and sanctions on Moscow, arguing that the former risks escalating the conflict to a global war and the latter harms Europe’s economy more than Russia’s. The Hungarian prime minister has also argued that only Washington has the power to pressure Kiev into peace talks, and that decisions made in Brussels “reflect American interests more often than European ones.”

With the US dragging Europe into a conflict it cannot win, Orban has suggested that “the solution would be a European NATO” without the US as a member. Hungary is currently blocking a €500 million ($540 million) EU military aid package for Ukraine. Apart from his long-standing opposition to escalating the conflict, Orban cited Ukraine’s sanctioning of a Hungarian bank as a reason for the hold up. “If a country like Ukraine would like to get our financial support, they can’t put our companies on a blacklist,” he said on Tuesday. “If you need our money, please respect us.”

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“We must think of how to save people’s lives. This is my position,” Orban asserted.”

Orban Thinks NATO Reluctant To Deploy Own Troops To Ukraine (TASS)

Ukraine will not be able to prevail in the conflict with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday, noting an unwillingness by NATO to deploy alliance troops to Ukraine and urging that a peaceful settlement be reached as soon as possible. Addressing a public debate at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, the head of Hungary’s government said, “If you look at how things stand in reality, at the figures, the situation in general, and the fact that NATO is reluctant to send its troops [to Ukraine], you will clearly see that the Ukrainians will be unable to win a victory on the battlefield.” His comment came in response to a question about whether he actually thinks that Ukraine stands no chance of success.


Orban’s speech in Doha, in essence, morphed into an interview with the forum’s moderator and was streamed live on the Hungarian government’s page on Facebook (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as an extremist organization). When asked about the conflict in Ukraine, the Hungarian prime minister reiterated that Budapest has favored a peaceful solution from the very start of the conflict while consistently calling for an immediate ceasefire. “We must think of how to save people’s lives. This is my position,” Orban asserted.

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Talking to Zelensky is no use to begin with.

Kremlin Spokesman Sees No Prerequisites For Ukrainian Peace Process (TASS)

It would be too early to speak about a peaceful solution of the Ukrainian conflict because no prerequisites for this scenario are currently in place, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told TASS in an interview. When asked which one of various reconciliation plans, put forward by other countries, would be preferable for Russia and whether Moscow has its own variant, the Kremlin press secretary replied: “It is too early to speak about it. No prerequisites for a peace process are yet in place, evidently.” “The special military operation continues,” he added. Answering to a question of whether the Kremlin was ready to negotiate with anyone from the incumbent Kiev government, Peskov replied: “This is hardly possible, because any negotiations with Russia are prohibited [in Ukraine].” Last October, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky issued a decree banning any talks with Moscow stating that he was not interested in interacting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

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Not “the”, but “a” Serb leader, the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik. He met with Putin yesterday.

Serb Leader Explains Why West Doesn’t Like Russia (RT)

Russia has fallen out of grace with the West because it wouldn’t play ball with Europe any longer when it comes to supplying the continent with cheap gas, the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, said in an interview released on Monday ahead of a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Speaking to Russia’s NTV channel, Dodik, who heads one of the regions within Bosnia and Herzegovina that is predominantly populated by Serbs, offered his take on the ongoing Ukraine conflict. He said that “the Russians have been giving cheap gas to Europe and Germany for an unreasonably long time, for years, strengthening their economy.”

“Of course, the West doesn’t like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. How could they like him when he doesn’t give them resources?” he said, adding that the international community should “respect” Russia and understand the role it plays globally. Against this backdrop, Dodik noted that when the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev started over a year ago, Berlin was willing to deliver “only helmets” to Ukraine, but ended up sending Kiev Leopard main battle tanks. “Why should we believe in their good intentions now?” he asked. Dodik went on to point out that while the West is trying to portray itself as a “defender of ordinary people in Ukraine,” it never really cared to protect the population in countries such as Syria, Libya or Yugoslavia. The latter came under “baseless” air strikes conducted by Western countries themselves, he claimed.


Dodik’s remarks come after he held a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev in Moscow, during which the two discussed regional security. According to the Serb leader, he also informed Patrushev of the challenging conditions Republika Srpska has found itself in due to Western pressure over its refusal to join the sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile, the Republika Srpska leader, who has long promoted his region’s independence, was himself hit by US sanctions in 2017 after Washington accused him of obstructing the 1995 Dayton Accords, which put an end to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On Tuesday, Dodik is set to sit down with Putin in Moscow, with the agenda expected to revolve around economic cooperation, according to Republika Srpska officials. Dodik said he planned to discuss with the Russian leader “how the world would look in the future.”

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And Ukraine continues to be paid.

Russia Continues To Supply Gas To EU Via Ukraine – Gazprom (RT)

Russian energy giant Gazprom continues to supply gas for transit to Western and Central Europe through Ukrainian territory via the Sudzha gas pumping station in amounts approved by Ukraine, the company said on Tuesday. Supplies rose to 41.2 million cubic meters (mcm) on May 23, compared to 40.9 mcm pumped the previous day through the Sudzha entry point, which remains the only operating interconnector in Ukraine. “Gazprom supplies Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the amount confirmed by the Ukrainian side through the Sudzha… Application for ‘Sokhranovka’ was rejected,” Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters.


Ukraine shut down transit through the Sokhranovka station, a key gas transit route which handled around a third of the Russian gas flowing through the country to the EU, in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.” Russian gas deliveries to the EU via Ukraine were slashed last May in the aftermath of the bloc’s sweeping sanctions, with shipments plunging to 24 mcm in January this year. Since February, however, daily transit volumes have been gradually increasing. Gas transit through Ukraine remains the only route for Russian supplies to the countries of Western and Central Europe after sabotage attacks in September rendered the Nord Stream pipeline inoperable. Gazprom also exports gas via the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines to Southern and Southeastern Europe.

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“If China is a threat, then what are some G7 members that go for wars on sovereign states, overthrow legitimate foreign governments, exit multilateral treaties and coerce other countries to sever supply chains?”

Beijing Decries ‘Biggest Threat’ Label (RT)

The G7 countries will not be able to trick the world into believing that Beijing is undermining global stability, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday. In a series of posts on Twitter, Hua blasted such a stance, writing: “Some G7 members called China ‘the biggest threat to global security and prosperity’. Seriously?” She was apparently referring to remarks by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said during the group’s summit in Hiroshima, Japan, that “China poses the greatest challenge to global security and prosperity in our time,” as he called for decreasing dependence on Chinese supply chains. He added that the UK and G7 were taking steps to prevent Beijing from using “economic coercion to interfere in the sovereign affairs of others.”

“If China is a threat, then what are some G7 members that go for wars on sovereign states, overthrow legitimate foreign governments, exit multilateral treaties and coerce other countries to sever supply chains?” Hua asked. The spokeswoman went on to emphasize China’s place as “the No.1 engine of global economy,” and that Beijing was contributing to global growth more than all G7 members combined while being the second largest donor to UN peacekeeping funding. “The real world will not be brainwashed and fooled,” she said. Sunak’s rebuke of China appeared to be much tougher than G7 joint communique outlining challenges posed by Beijing.

The group’s members, in particular, insisted that they are “prepared to build constructive and stable relations with China,” adding that “we are not decoupling or turning inwards” when it comes to economic ties with the Asian giant. However, the G7 stressed the need for what it called “de-risking and diversifying” and reducing “excessive dependencies in our critical supply chains.” The group also scolded Beijing for “non-market policies and practices, which distort the global economy,” vowing to build resistance to what it termed economic coercion. China’s foreign ministry was not convinced, however, stating that “massive unilateral sanctions and acts of ‘decoupling’… make the US the real coercer” while urging the G7 not to become Washington’s “accomplice” in this regard.

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“Beijing also hopes that “the United States will refrain from harvesting yields around the globe in order to protect its own interests..”

China Hopes World Adequately Immune From Debt-Driven US Finance Risks (TASS)

China has expressed the hope that the United States, as the world’s largest economy, will not attempt to shift its financial risks onto the international community, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said at a news briefing on Tuesday. “The debt issue is an internal affair of the United States, but given that [the US is] the world’s largest economy, their own situation and political decisions may have critical knock-on effects for the global economy,” Mao said, when asked by a TASS reporter to comment on the ongoing political debate in Washington over raising the US debt ceiling. “Hopefully, the United States will maintain a responsible fiscal and monetary policy and will not shift US risks onto the entire world,” she added. Beijing also hopes that “the United States will refrain from harvesting yields around the globe in order to protect its own interests,” the Chinese diplomat said.


The Global Times reported in March that, as of late January, China was the second largest foreign holder of US debt ($843.7 billion), trailing only Japan, which holds $1.104 trillion in US government securities. The publication mentioned that China has been reducing its holdings of US government debt in recent years. The US government may find itself unable to meet all of its obligations unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling later this month, with technical default otherwise occurring “potentially as early as June 1,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Monday. Unless a bipartisan compromise on the debt ceiling is hammered out on Capitol Hill in time, she has repeatedly warned, the country may default, which would lead to an “economic and financial catastrophe” for the US that would reverberate across the global economy.

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Two articles on the same topic that -only- partically overlap.

“Only about 30% of America’s F-35 fleet is “fully mission capable” on any given day.”

Pentagon Loses A Million F-35 parts (RT)

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has been unable to account for about 1 million missing spare parts for its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, the costliest weapon system in the nation’s history, a government review has found. The lost parts, which include such items as bolts, tires, and landing gear, are valued at about $85 million, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on Tuesday. Since 2018, the Pentagon has reviewed the circumstances surrounding only 2% of identified parts losses. “Without DOD taking steps to ensure that these spare parts are accountable under a contract, the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) will be unable to either gain or maintain accountability over these spare parts and will not have data, such as locations, costs, and quantities, needed for financial reporting or to ensure that government interests are protected,” the GAO said.

The spare parts are stored around the world for use on the F-35 by the US military and allied nations that have purchased the aircraft, which is made by defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Because the Pentagon’s F-35 JPO lacks a process for tracking losses, Lockheed Martin hasn’t reported on over 900,000 additional spare parts valued at more than $66 million for review, the GAO said. The GAO’s report marks just the latest black eye for the $1.7 trillion F-35 program, which has been plagued by reliability struggles, including an issue with engine vibration that led to a global recall order in March. Only about 30% of America’s F-35 fleet is “fully mission capable” on any given day. US Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Schmidt warned last month that a thin supply of spare parts could jeopardize the ability of American forces to keep the aircraft in service during the country’s next major war.

The GAO report blamed the parts losses partly on the Pentagon’s failure to oversee components that are owned by the DOD and managed by contractors. DOD officials and the contractors haven’t reached an agreement on whether the parts should be categorized as government-furnished property, which hinders the processing of lost inventories. As of last October, the Pentagon had over 19,000 spare parts globally that had been awaiting disposition instructions from the F-35 JPO – for as long as five years in some cases. The GAO said the DOD agreed with its four recommendations on beefing up accounting for the parts pool.

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This is Lockheed’s business model. Nothing is audited, nobody knows where all the parts are, so they have to order again.

Pentagon Can’t Account For 1000s Of Ultra-Expensive F-35 Parts Globally (ZH)

Just three weeks ago Defense News published an extensive investigative report which posed the question in its headline, Lockheed eyes new F-35 parts deal, but can it handle wartime demands? The report introduced: By the end of the year, a new and unusual deal for the F-35 fighter’s spare parts could be in place — one that would flip the current supply model on its head. If the proposed performance-based logistics contract works the way F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin has promised, it will save the government money, improve the availability of spare parts and give the company greater flexibility on how it assists repairs, such as making it easier to fix a broken part without fabricating a new one. Fast-forward to Tuesday, and the congressional watchdog Government Accountability Office (GOA) released a devastating report which reveals the entire question of “saving the government money” to be laughable and way off.

Bloomberg writes based on the new GOA findings that “The Pentagon can’t account for hundreds of thousands of spare parts worth millions of dollars that are stored worldwide for the US and allies for its costliest weapon, the F-35 jet, according to congressional auditors.” So perhaps the Pentagon should think about simply locating the missing ones first before a giant Lockheed parts overhaul is put into place. Even long before this, going years back, the controversial program to develop the ultra-costly stealth multirole combat aircraft produced periodic headlines like the following in 2020: The Pentagon’s $35 Trillion Accounting Black Hole. The fact that the Department of Defense has failed to pass a DOD-wide audit for the fifth consecutive year has compounded the problem which has been months or years in the making, to the tune of billions lost – which could eventually add up to a one-and-a-half trillion dollars black hole.

This as the GOA report has confirmed the Pentagon’s F-35 program office doesn’t provide oversight for the parts: “Unlike scores of GAO reports and other assessments that analyze the fighter jet’s cost, schedule and flying performance, the new audit delved into the more mundane and largely invisible work of supporting the aircraft once it’s delivered to international customers. The operation and support bill for the F-35 may reach an estimated $1.4 trillion through 2088. Allies don’t own parts and tap into the Defense Department’s worldwide shared pool of spares, including engines, tires, landing gear and items such as bolts, screws and fasteners. The Pentagon’s F-35 program office doesn’t maintain accountability over the parts, “the total value of which is unknown,” the GAO said.” It is manufacturer Lockheed Martin which solely “tracks” the records (supposedly), given the Pentagon has been “unable to provide the cost, total quantity, and locations of spare parts in the global spares pool.”

According to the GOA report: The lack of visibility into the inventory “increases the risk of misstatement on DOD’s financial statements and the risk of mismanagement of the F-35 global spares pool,” it said. All of this comes the same week that multiple media reports and former top US officials have highlighted that contractor price-gouging is common and routine when it comes to the gargantuan defense budget, at taxpayer’s expense of course. For example, former Pentagon insiders told Newsweek that the Biden administration’s ‘blank check’ approach to Ukraine has resulted in a massive arms flow to Kiev “no matter the expense.” Naturally this has resulted in diminished incentive to engage in serious and timely audits for things like expensive jet parts, and to determine where they are globally. Lockheed continues to be front and center in these whistleblower and former DoD official tell-alls…

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“Salacious allegations such as this one would be passed by the Clinton campaign to the FBI and then leaked to the press which would report on the FBI investigations, giving the fabrications credibility.”

Why the Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Russia Won’t Go Away (Chris Hedges)

All the investigations into Trump’s ties with Russia are unequivocal. There was no collusion. The Steele dossier, financed at first by Republican opponents of Trump and later by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and compiled by former MI6 British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, was a fake. The charges in the dossier — which included reports of Trump receiving a “golden shower” from prostituted women in a Moscow hotel room and claims that Trump and the Kremlin had ties going back five years — were discredited by the FBI. Sources, including the one that claimed Trump had long-held ties to the Kremlin, turned out to be fabricated. Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller concluded that his investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller did not indict or accuse anyone of criminally conspiring with Russia.

Durham’s 306-page report, sent to Congress by Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this week, is even more excoriating. It concludes that the FBI engaged in a witch hunt — code named Crossfire Hurricane — orchestrated by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that was aided and abetted by senior FBI officials who loathed Trump. The Clinton campaign provided bogus information to the FBI about ties between Trump and Russia, including a charge made by Michael Sussmann and Marc Elias, the General Counsel to the Clinton campaign, that there was a secret channel between the Trump Organization and the Russian Alfa Bank. Salacious allegations such as this one would be passed by the Clinton campaign to the FBI and then leaked to the press which would report on the FBI investigations, giving the fabrications credibility.

For example, the Clinton campaign posted a tweet through Clinton’s Twitter account on Oct. 31, 2016 that read: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based Bank.” The tweet, Durham’s report notes, “included a statement from Clinton campaign advisor Jake Sullivan that made reference to the media coverage of the article and stated, in relevant part, that the allegations in the articles ‘could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow[,]’ that ‘[t]his secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia[,]’ and that ‘[w]e can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia’s meddling in our elections.’” The FBI later determined there were no ties between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank.

Tammy Bruce
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661036063496740865

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The FBI whistleblowers are angry.

“They r being treated like skunks at a picnic under ur watch UNACCEPTABLE u must protect them from retaliation it’s the law.”

Whistleblower Says DOJ Interference In Hunter Biden Probe Dates Back Years (JTN)

An IRS agent working with federal prosecutors and investigators on the Hunter Biden tax probe is alleging the agency ignored his team’s warnings about years of improprieties by Justice Department officials supervising the case. The allegation appeared in a May 18 letter the agent sent to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and it was made public Monday evening as part of a whistleblower package his supervisor sent Congress and the Office of Special Counsel, the government’s official whistleblower protection agency. Last week, attorneys for an IRS supervisory special agent (SSA) informed Congress that the DOJ had removed their client and his entire team from the investigation in what they deemed an act of retaliation.

The SSA came forward in late April, alleging that federal prosecutors had engaged in “preferential treatment and politics” to prevent charges from being filed against Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden. The whistleblower further alleged that his entire team had been sidelined after he made protected disclosures. He also asserted that Biden appointees had limited the ability of Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to pursue charges against his son by refusing to grant Weiss permission do so within their jurisdictions. That claim appeared to undercut testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who had contended that Weiss enjoyed full freedom to pursue the investigation and to bring charges in another jurisdiction should the need arise.

The whistleblower approached IRS internal watchdog late last year with the help of attorney Mark Zaid, who previously represented whistleblowers whose disclosures led to the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. A May 20 letter from the whistleblower’s current counsel to Werfel, however, references the May 18 letter sent by one of the supervisory agent’s subordinates. That communication suggests IRS agents have been concerned for years about the DOJ’s conduct in the Hunter Biden probe and felt left “out on an island” because the agency brass would not intervene. Former DOJ lawyer Mark Lytle and former congressional investigator Tristan Leavitt, who now serves as president of Empower Oversight, currently represent the unidentified whistleblower. In the letter, the pair pointed to a protected disclosure from one of the IRS supervisory special agent’s subordinates made directly to Werfel following the team’s removal from the case.

In the disclosure, the case agent, a subordinate of Lytle and Leavitt’s client, recounts his extensive, but unsuccessful efforts to highlight the issues, before contending the agency’s decision to remove him and the team meant the IRS had sided with the officials facing allegations of impropriety. “For the last couple years, my SSA and I have tried to gain the attention of our senior leadership about certain issues prevalent regarding the investigation,” he told Werfel. “I have asked for countless meetings with our chief and deputy chief, often to be left out on an island and not heard from. The lack of IRS-CI senior leadership involvement is deeply troubling and unacceptable.” [..] The latest revelations generated an immediate rebuke of the IRS from Republican Sen, Charles Grassley of Iowa, a longtime champion of whistleblowers. “IRS commissioner Werfel: what r u doing to protect IRS whistleblowers??” Grassley tweeted Monday evening. “They r being treated like skunks at a picnic under ur watch UNACCEPTABLE u must protect them from retaliation it’s the law.”

Hunter

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Many more will follow. And Big Pharma has immunity.

First COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuit in US Targets Gov’t, Social Media Giants (CHD)

Five people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, along with a father whose 16-year-old son died from vaccine-induced cardiac arrest, are suing the Biden administration and top U.S. public health officials. In a lawsuit filed Monday, the plaintiffs — including Brianne Dressen who suffered severe nerve damage after taking the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine — allege the U.S. government colluded with social media companies to censor them when they posted stories about their personal vaccine injury experiences. Defendants include President Biden and top-ranking White House officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This is the first lawsuit brought by U.S. citizens injured by the COVID-19 vaccines [..]

Dressen — a preschool teacher from Saratoga Springs, Utah — volunteered to participate in AstraZeneca’s clinical trial for its COVID-19 shot. Now, she says, she is “collateral damage of the pandemic.” Dressen co-chairs React19, a “science-based non-profit offering financial, physical, and emotional support for those suffering from longterm COVID-19 vaccine adverse events globally.” After receiving the AstraZeneca shot, Dressen experienced extensive adverse effects — including doubled and blurry vision, severe sensitivity to sound and light, heart and blood pressure fluctuations and intense brain fog — that worsened over time. She said Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, GoFundMe, Reddit and Instagram removed content she posted about her injuries.

According to Dressen, the plaintiffs’ experiences of censorship “pale in comparison to the thousands of Americans we know who all have experienced the same thing.” “There is nothing scarier than reaching out for help only to be silenced,” Dressen told The Defender. “It was as scary as the vaccine reaction itself. “Our constitutional freedoms must be protected, regardless of whether or not we are in a national emergency,” Dressen added. Dressen — who now experiences “permanent disability” with “ups and downs” — said she and the other plaintiffs are “not fighting this fight for a select few” but are fighting on behalf of the “tens of thousands who are experiencing the same kind of censorship.”

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I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with.
— Isaac Asimov (I Asimov, 1995)

 

 

Antonova

 

 

UN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairywren

 

 

 

 

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