Aug 172023
 August 17, 2023  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »

Giambologna Colossus of the Apennines 1579-80 (35ft tall)


Georgia DA Seeks ‘Hour of Fame’ With 4th Trump Indictment (Tweedie)
Searching for Light in the Darkness of Insanity (Pepe Escobar)
RFK Jr. Poses ‘Very Credible Threat’ to Biden’s Presidency – CIA Vet (Sp.)
US Military Could Create ‘Global Biological Crisis’ – Russian MOD (RT)
West Makes Money On Ukrainian Conflict, Does Not Need Peace – Medvedev (TASS)
Ukraine Admits F-16 Upset (RT)
West Alarmed As Putin Has Begun To Mediate Niger Coup Crisis (ZH)
African Union Rejects Military Intervention In Niger (RT)
White House Refuses To Rule Out Support For Niger Invasion (RT)
Niger and the ‘New World Order’ (Patrick Lawrence)
The Unforgivable Ivermectin Swindle (QTR)
New BRICS Currency Bad for Dollar – John Rubino (USAW)
Killing Gaddafi Was A ‘Serious Mistake’ – Italian FM (RT)





“They are willing to destroy the law to destroy Trump.”



Remember Fulton County?



Trump & Hunter



lf you want peace, you
don’t talk to your friends.
You talk to your enemies.

-Desmond Tutu





‘I’m one of those famous district attorneys that went after Trump’..”

Georgia DA Seeks ‘Hour of Fame’ With 4th Trump Indictment (Tweedie)

The fourth indictment against former US president Donald Trump has no legal basis, says a US pundit. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis announced charges against Trump and 18 others on Monday, including his lawyer and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. They include catch-all “RICO” or racketeering charges which criminalise association with others allegedly engaged in a “criminal enterprise.” Political commentator Ted Harvey said Willis was just “another district attorney trying to get her hour of fame.” “She’s going to be able to go to all of the Democrat cocktail parties around the country and say: ‘I’m one of those famous district attorneys that went after Trump’,” Harvey said.

The former president is accused of trying to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election — before it was certified — by asking state election officials to scrutinise ballots in certain counties. The pundit said Trump was justified to make such requests under the circumstances. “You have to remember that Georgia… Trump only lost Georgia by 10,000 votes, and that is a razor thin margin in a state the size of Georgia, and there certainly was a great deal of problems with the Georgia election,” Harvey said. “There was a lot of skulduggery going on, and could it have been 10,000 votes? I think there definitely could have been 10,000 votes, and I think that anybody who says otherwise is not actually looking at the facts on the ground.” The commentator argued that Trump’s actions as described in the indictment did not constitute a crime.

“Trump can talk to anybody he wants and say, have you looked here? Have you looked there? And they had the right of any citizen in the United States to have those kind of questions,” Harvey stressed. “It’s not illegal.”
The former state legislator said Trump faced hostile kangaroo courts both in Atlanta and the national capital. “It’s very similar to the January 6 indictment,” which would be “heard in front of a jury in Washington, DC, where 95 percent of the jurors probably voted for Biden. And I think in Atlanta, they’re pretty close to that number as well,” Harvey said. “You’re going to have a situation where Trump will not be getting a fair trial and he’s going to be fighting for his legal life in both of those situations.”

He linked the trials to Trump’s bid for a second term of office in the White House, saying the Republican frontrunner’s enemies were seeking “a conviction before the November election in a biased jury with a biased judge and a biased district attorney.” However, “that doesn’t mean he won’t get elected,” Harvey said. “But they want to have that one more thing to throw against the wall in a desperate effort to try to take down Trump and save Biden. But I think in the end, Biden’s legal problems are going to be far worse than Trump’s.”

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Searching for Light in the Darkness of Insanity (Pepe Escobar)

We are still far away from the transition towards a new “world system” – to quote Wallerstein – but without BRICS even baby steps would be impossible. South Africa will seal the first coordinates for the BRICS+ expansion – which may go on indefinitely. After all, large swathes of the “Global Globe” already have stated, formally (23 nations) and informally (countless “expressions of interest”, according to the South African Foreign Ministry) they want in. The official list – subject to change – of those nations who want to be part of BRICS+ as soon as possible is a Global South’s who’s who: Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, the State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, UAE, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Then there’s Africa: the “five fingers”, via South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, invited no less than 67 leaders from Africa and the Global South to follow the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS+ Dialogues. This all spells out what would be the key BRICS rasha, to evoke Naqshbandi: total Africa and Global South inclusion – all nations engaged in profitable conversations and equally respected in affirming their sovereignty. A case can be made that Iran is in a privileged position to become one of the first BRICS+ members. It helps that Tehran already enjoys strategic partnership status with both Russia and China and also is a key partner of India in the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has already stated, on the record that, “the partnership between Iran and BRICS has in fact already started in some areas. In the field of transport, the North-South transport corridor connecting India to Russia via Iran is actually part of BRICS’ transport project.” In parallel to breakthroughs on BRICS+, the “five fingers” will be relatively cautious on the de-dollarization front. Sherpas have already confirmed, off the record, there will be no official announcement of a new currency, but of more bilateral trade and multilateral trade using the members’ own currencies: for the moment the notorious R5 (renminbi, ruble, real, rupee and rand).

Belarussian leader Lukashenko, who coined “Global Globe” as a motto as strong, if not even more seductive than Global South, was the first to evoke a crucial policy coup that may take place further on down the road, with BRICS+ in effect: the merger of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Now Lukashenko is being echoed in public by former South African ambassador Kingsley Makhubela – as well as scores of “Global Globe” diplomats and analysts off the record: “In the future, BRICS and the SCO would match to form one entity (…) Because having the BRICS and the SCO running in parallel with the same members would not make sense.”

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Larry Johnson.

RFK Jr. Poses ‘Very Credible Threat’ to Biden’s Presidency – CIA Vet (Sp.)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s message and policies make him “a very credible threat” to the American establishment, Larry Johnson, a retired CIA intelligence officer, told Sputnik. Furthermore, the 2024 Democratic presidential hopeful “is not posturing,” and appears to really believe what he’s saying, according to the ex-intel-agent-turned-blogger. The politician also known by his initials RFK Jr. spoke to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a video interview posted on the X social network (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday. He hauled the Biden administration over the coals for everything from the aid being continuously funneled to the Kiev regime to fight NATO’s proxy war against Russia, to the controversial issue of the Pentagon’s biological laboratories in Ukraine.

“We have bio-labs in Ukraine because we are developing bioweapons… Those bioweapons are using all kinds of new synthetic biology and CRISPR [an acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats in DNA] technology and genetic engineering techniques that were not available to a previous generation,” RFK Jr. said in the interview. About 30 biological laboratories funded by the US Defense Department have been discovered in Ukraine during Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in the country, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed last year. The Pentagon has been running these clandestine biolabs for years, researching highly dangerous pathogens and exporting biological samples in breach of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

According to information cited by Russia’s MoD, the United States funneled over $200 million into its biolabs on Ukrainian soil, allegedly using them as an inherent part of the American military biological program. In his interview with Tucker Carlson, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. noted that in 2001, the US began investing heavily in bioweapons again when “the Patriot Act reopened the biolabs arms race.” Kennedy added that the development of any biological weapon requires a vaccine, since there is a “100 percent chance” of blowback when bioweapons are used. RFK Jr. in his Tuesday interview had proceeded to castigate the Biden administration for continuously pumping financial aid to Ukraine instead of using the resources domestically to help struggling Americans.

“Ukraine aid will not exist under Bobby Kennedy,” opined Larry Johnson. “I think anybody who will take the time to listen to Tucker’s discussion with Bobby Kennedy Jr., I think what they’ll find it very appealing and hopeful. He presents a vision that is [a] complete contradiction of what is being presented by the Biden administration. And he correctly notes that the United States has severe economic problems at home: the flood of illegal immigrants, the drug use that is savaging Democrat cities in particular, like San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, – that there are real, genuine needs that should be addressed here in the United States instead of sending the money to Ukraine,” stated Larry Johnson.

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Russia warning US.

US Military Could Create ‘Global Biological Crisis’ – Russian MOD (RT)

The US military is studying pathogens that could be used as biological weapons as the nation prepares for a potential new pandemic, the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, said on Wednesday. The list of diseases that have attracted the attention of US specialists includes anthrax, tularemia, and various coronaviruses, Kirillov told a media briefing. Some of these pathogens are listed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “high-priority” threats that can be used as “bioterrorism agents.” “There is a clear trend: pathogens that fall within the Pentagon’s area of interest, such as Covid-19, avian influenza, African swine fever, subsequently become a pandemic, and American pharmaceutical companies become the beneficiaries,” the general claimed, without elaborating.

According to Kirillov, the US was extensively studying coronaviruses shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Last month, the White House announced the creation of the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy (OPPR), tasked with “leading, coordinating, and implementing actions related to preparedness for, and response to, known and unknown biological threats.” The Russian military believes that may be another step in Washington’s plans to gain control over the global biological and epidemical situation. “As in 2019, the US has begun preparing for a new pandemic by searching for virus mutations,” Kirillov said. Moscow does “not rule out that the United States will use so-called defensive technologies for offensive purposes, as well as for global governance by creating crisis situations of a biological nature,” the general added.

Russia has repeatedly raised the issue of global biological activities that involve the US military. Soon after the conflict between Moscow and Kiev broke out, Russia shared allegations of a sprawling network of secretive US-funded biological laboratories in Ukraine. It has since published troves of documents it claims were linked to the work of the laboratories. In April, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that the US had been constructing new laboratories in Ukraine and training their personnel. Moscow also took the issue of biolabs to the UN last October, requesting an international probe. The motion, however, was turned down by the UN Security Council, with the US, UK, and France voting against it. Earlier this week, Democrat presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claimed that the US had outsourced some of its biological weapons research to the Ukrainian authorities after the 2014 Maidan coup. According to Kennedy, the bioweapons program operates under the guise of “life sciences” studies.

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Big money.

West Makes Money On Ukrainian Conflict, Does Not Need Peace – Medvedev (TASS)

The West is not interested in negotiations on a peace settlement in Ukraine, because it is keen to make as much money as possible for its military-industrial complex, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev told the media. “Their speculations to the effect time is ripe to come to the negotiating table and start peace talks merely show how sly they are. They don’t want this at all. They want to keep the military flywheel going in order to make money for their budgets,” Medvedev said during a visit to the Army-2023 forum.

He recalled that Russian soldiers were “very successful” in burning Western-supplied equipment and would continue to do so. Against the backdrop of losses, the West periodically resumes “speculations that it is necessary to return to the negotiating table to find some compromises,” Medvedev said. “But we need to bear in mind that this is only part of the story, while the other part is the US military-industrial complex, and the European one as well, are making money on this. And this is a way for them to make mammoth profits by supplying their equipment to Ukraine. They are making money on this war,” Medvedev explained.

During his visit to the exhibition of weapons seized by Russian forces during the special operation he took a look at many Western-made grenade launchers, anti-tank systems and small arms. He was also shown a US-made M777 artillery system, Hummer armored vehicles and Western communication equipment. At the open exposition where captured armored vehicles are on display Medvedev was shown Ukrainian T-64BV and T-72AG tanks, a Swedish CV90-40 combat vehicle, as well as a Triton armored vehicle and a US M113 APC upgraded in the Netherlands. At the same exposition, Medvedev saw a burned Australian Bushmaster armored vehicle, a French AMX-10RCR wheeled tank, as well as British combat vehicles Husky, Mastiff and AT105 Saxon.


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Mirage. Fata morgana.

Ukraine Admits F-16 Upset (RT)

Ukraine should not expect to receive American F-16 fighter jets until sometime in 2024, a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman has said, noting that Kiev’s “high hopes” for the system were unlikely to be met anytime soon. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Air Force Command representative Yury Ignat suggested the timeline for the arms transfer was still to be decided, but said Kiev would have to make do through the end of the year. “Unfortunately, it is already clear that we will not be able to protect Ukraine with F-16s throughout the fall and this winter,” he said. “There were high hopes for these aircraft, that these could really become part of the air defense.”

Officials in Kiev have repeatedly requested the F-16 by name, and while some NATO states have agreed to instruct Ukrainian airmen on the system, it remains unclear when the first transfer could occur. To date, no country has made any concrete proposal, and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said last month that it could take years to provide Ukraine with a meaningful capability.“Just do a quick math drill here. Ten F-16s are $2 billion,” Milley told reporters at the time, attempting to explain the delay. “The Russians have hundreds of fourth- and fifth-generation airframes, so if they’re going to try to match the Russians one for one – or even, you know, two-to-one – you’re talking about a large number of aircraft.”

According to a recent report in the Washington Post, the initial batch of Ukrainian pilots trained on the F-16 will not be ready until after the summer of 2024, with only six airmen set to complete the first round of instruction. Officials cited by the outlet said each pilot will have to take four months in English courses before they can even begin flight training. Moscow has repeatedly warned against foreign arms shipments to Kiev, arguing the military aid would only extend the conflict and do little to deter its objectives. Earlier this year, the Kremlin said Western powers would run “colossal risks” if they decided to supply the F-16, while Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia would consider the aircraft a nuclear threat due to its ability to carry atomic weapons. “We will regard the very fact that the Ukrainian armed forces have such systems as a threat from the West in the nuclear sphere,” the diplomat said.

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Putin closes the door (window?) for France and US.

“The countries of the Sahara-Sahel region [..] were under direct attack from numerous terrorist groups after the US and its allies unleashed aggression against Libya..”

West Alarmed As Putin Has Begun To Mediate Niger Coup Crisis (ZH)

Western nations are alarmed at the prospect of Russia deepening its presence and influence in West and Central Africa, particularly following the tumult in Niger late last month, which culminated in the July 26 coup against democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum. The West-friendly group of surrounding nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has since threatened military intervention towards restoring Bazoum, and there have been persistent rumors that France is encouraging concrete action. Mali has played a key role in all of this given it stands on the other side, and is dead set against any interference in Niger, with fresh reports that Mali’s military leader Assimi Goita has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone.

Goita announced that in the Tuesday call Putin “stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the situation for a more stable Sahel” – and the sides confirmed it was initiated by Mali. According to a Kremlin statement, “The parties specifically focused on the current situation in the Sahara-Sahel region and emphasised, in particular, the importance of settling the situation in the Republic of Niger solely through peaceful political and diplomatic means.” Putin separately told Tuesday’s Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) that “The countries of the Sahara-Sahel region, such as the Central African Republic and Mali, were under direct attack from numerous terrorist groups after the US and its allies unleashed aggression against Libya, which led to the collapse of the Libyan state.” The handful of regional supporters of the Niger junta have emphasized the same point of late…Niger is known for having uranium, but it is the significant gold and oil resources which likely of greater interest to the large powers of Russia, China, the US, and Europe.

The West’s concern is likely to grow given Putin’s mediation with Mali’s leadership. Russia’s Wagner Group also has an extensive presence across the African continent, having long had security and counterterrorism contracts with multiple governments. So far, there’s still not been openness to negotiations on the part of the Niger coup leaders and Bazoum remains under hose arrest. Per the latest update in Reuters, “West African army chiefs will meet on Thursday and Friday in Ghana to prepare for a possible military intervention, which the main regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to launch if diplomacy fails.” Any external military intervention could spark a broader war across the Sahel, and would also be seized upon by regional terrorist groups. In this scenario Wagner fighters would likely enter the fray.

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“..ECOWAS will find it difficult to launch a military offensive in Niamey without the approval of the African Union..”

African Union Rejects Military Intervention In Niger (RT)

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union has come out against the deployment of armed troops in Niger to free ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and restore constitutional order, the French outlet Le Monde reported on Wednesday. This comes after the PSC met in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday to discuss the situation in Niamey and efforts to address it. Bazoum was toppled on July 26 by members of his own presidential guard, provoking outrage from Western nations and regional democratic governments, which called for the coup to be overturned. The West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, said the Niger’s coup leaders had rebuffed attempts at negotiation. The regional authority threatened to use force to reinstate the ousted Bazoum, whom the new military rulers have detained since July 26.

Last week, ECOWAS authorized the activation of a stand-by force for potential use against the putsch leaders, with the bloc’s army chiefs meeting on Thursday and Friday to prepare for a military intervention if negotiations fail. On Friday, African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed “strong support” for the ECOWAS’ decision and called on the junta to “urgently halt the escalation with the regional organization.” However, the PSC, the body responsible for deciding on issues of conflict resolution in Africa, decided to disassociate itself from the use of force in Niamey, according to diplomatic sources cited by Le Monde. The decision, which will be formalized on Wednesday, was reached after a “tense” meeting on Monday that lasted “more than ten hours,” according to the outlet.

Paul-Simon Handy, senior policy advisor at the Institute for Security Studies, told Le Monde that ECOWAS will find it difficult to launch a military offensive in Niamey without the approval of the African Union. Without the union’s backing, such an operation “would be an unprecedented contradiction,” Handy is quoted as saying. Earlier this month, the Nigerian Senate also declined to give approval to ECOWAS Chairman Bola Tinubu to send soldiers against the coup leaders in neighboring Niger. The Senate urged Tinubu and other West African regional leaders to explore diplomatic means to resolve the crisis.

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Too late.

White House Refuses To Rule Out Support For Niger Invasion (RT)

The US will not commit to backing or opposing a potential invasion of Niger by its West African neighbors, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday. Speaking at a State Department briefing, Kirby declared that the US wants detained Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum released from captivity and brought back into power, after his pro-Western government was overthrown by senior military leaders last month. Asked whether Washington would support military intervention by the Nigeria-led Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to restore Bazoum’s government, Kirby was ambiguous.

“I’m not going to speculate about intervention one way or another from ECOWAS or anybody else,” he said. “We still believe that there’s time and space for diplomacy to get us to a resolution here which respects the will of the Nigerien people.” ECOWAS activated a standby force last week after Niger’s new military government ignored an ultimatum to free Bazoum and relinquish power. Negotiations between the coup leaders and the regional bloc are ongoing, while ECOWAS officials meet in Ghana this week to make a final decision on military action, with a decision expected on Friday. However, foreign support for an ECOWAS invasion is still lacking. France, Niger’s former colonial master, has pledged its backing to “the efforts of ECOWAS to defeat this coup attempt,” without specifying whether it supports a diplomatic or military solution, or both.

Meanwhile the 55-member African Union refused to condone military action following a meeting on Wednesday, according to French media reports. Without the African Union’s support, an ECOWAS intervention is unlikely to go ahead, policy experts told Le Monde on Wednesday. France and the US maintain military bases in Niger, with around 1,000 American and 1,500 French troops currently in the country. The coup leaders are adamant that this Western presence must end, and have suspended military and trade agreements with France. Paris has imposed sanctions on Niamey in response, while Washington has cut off foreign aid.

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“The past is another country, Nigeriens, Malians, and others seem to say: This is the 21st century, not the 19th.”

Niger and the ‘New World Order’ (Patrick Lawrence)

How shall we understand the July 26th coup in Niger, in which military officers ousted Mohamed Bazoum, the nation’s Western-tilted president? It is the sixth putsch of this kind in or next to the Sahel in the past four years. Shall we write off this band across sub–Saharan Africa as coup country and trouble no more about it? The thought is implicit in a lot of the media coverage, but how often do our media dedicate themselves to enhancing our understanding of global events and how often to cultivating our ignorance of them? Do not take this latest development in Africa as an isolated event, if I may offer a suggestion. Its significance lies in the larger context in which it has occurred—its global surround, so to say. The West is besieged by the accumulating coherence and influence of the non–West and its version of the 21st century. Our media cannot bear writing or broadcasting about this.

Niger, in my read, has just declared itself part of this historic phenomenon. And mainstream media can’t bear mentioning this, either. Those who deposed Bazoum are led by Abdourahamane Tchiani, former head of the Presidential Guard, and plainly nurse a deep resentment of the postcolonial presence of the French. There are also reports—in the media, those coming out of the think tanks—that Bazoum was about to give Tchiani the sack, and the events of late July were driven, mostly or primarily, by personal rivalries, resentments, or both. Everyone has reported, one way or another and more or less well, on the animosities toward the French abroad among Nigeriens. Such sentiments are evident in many parts of Francophone Africa. The past is another country, Nigeriens, Malians, and others seem to say: This is the 21st century, not the 19th.

But history is only part of the story, and I would say not the largest part. We ought not make too much of either history or memory in this case: Those who led the coup are facing forward, not back. And to suggest the coup deposing Bazoum was a question of palace politics, whatever these may be, amounts to serving the salad as the main course. No, we have to think larger if we are to grasp the new reality taking shape in Niger and elsewhere in its neighborhood. Tchiani and his supporters, who appear to be many in the military and on the streets of Niamey, the capital, have the West as it is now uppermost in their minds, in my read. If they are fed up with the French, they are at this point impudently clear that they equally want no more of what the U.S. has had on offer for the past two decades and some: a klutzy, ineffective military presence and neoliberal economic orthodoxies. As in Mali and elsewhere in the region, Niger now looks set to lean in a distinctly non–Western direction.

Last month’s coup, in other words, reads to me like an announcement that Niger is ready to enlist in the cause of the “new world order” the Chinese have been talking about ever more publicly over the past couple of years—since, indeed, the Biden regime alienated Beijing within months of taking office in 2021. This puts the putsch taking down Bazoum in a larger context, where I think it should be. This means the U.S. will now find itself in increasing competition with China and Russia for influence across the African continent. Unless it alters course very majorly—and the policy cliques in Washington have no gift for altering course, if you have not noticed—America is almost certain to prove the loser in this rivalry, if that is what we have to call it. The U.S., and in this case the French, are simply ill-equipped. It is a question of appropriate technologies: Americans arrive in Africa with weapons, military assistance, and geopolitical interests; the Chinese and Russians arrive with interests of their own, yes, but also with economic aid, trade flows, and industrial development projects.

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How many lives? Murder is murder.

The Unforgivable Ivermectin Swindle (QTR)

For those who haven’t followed the story, during the course of the Covid pandemic, it was revealed that ivermectin – a drug that has been administered billions of times to humans and is on the World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medicines – was found in numerous clinical trials to have efficacy in early treatment of Covid-19. If you’re looking for a primer on this, here is a website that aggregates all of the clinical trials and here is a discussion with Bret Weinstein and Dr. Pierre Kory that serves as a great introduction to the topic.

If you’ve been at least semiconscious over the last two years, you’ve noticed that early means of treating Covid outside of the vaccines (like Vitamin D, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin) were routinely shunned by “the science” and then, by proxy, the useful idiots in the mainstream media. Out of all of the early treatments, ivermectin got the shortest end of the stick. Not only was it likely the most efficacious of all the early treatments, it was also routinely subject to bastardization and a berating by the media. The disinformation campaign about ivermectin, spearheaded by mainstream media (“brought to you by Pfizer!”) reached its fever pitch when the media and government agencies alike appeared to knowingly and maliciously juxtapose the human dosage of the drug with the coincidental and mostly unrelated fact that it was also used in a veterinary dosage to deworm horses.

Rather than distinguish one ivermectin use from the other clearly, these bad actors instead willingly chose to perpetuate the brazen lie that ivermectin was only horse medicine. The media fostered this lie because their sponsorship and advertising revenue depended on it. The lie was then used as a weapon against anyone who discussed the legitimate usage of the human drug and its storied history of success. But the most noxious example of media dishonesty came from coverage of Joe Rogan, who took ivermectin after getting Covid. CNN took footage that Rogan posted on his personal Instagram, edited the color scheme to make Rogan look worse than he originally appeared, and then proclaimed that Rogan was taking “horse dewormer”.

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“ always come down on the side of a gold-backed currency once you understand it..”

New BRICS Currency Bad for Dollar – John Rubino (USAW)

Analyst and financial writer John Rubino has a new warning about the fate of the U.S. dollar with the announcement next week (Aug 22–24) of the new BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) currency. There has been lots of speculation about it. Will it work? Is it gold backed? Will it immediately replace the U.S. dollar? 30 countries in all have signed onto the BRICS currency experiment. Rubino contends, “No matter what shape it takes, the new BRICS currency is bad for the dollar. . . . You don’t want to be an enemy of the U.S., but neither do you want to be a target just because you are doing what you think is right in the world. . . then the U.S. comes in and destroys your banking system. That is now a real possibility for a lot of countries. If you take the BRICS countries . . . and you add in all the other countries who want to join the BRICS coalition, and that includes Saudi Arabia and Mexico, you take all those countries together and, basically, you have half the world’s population and half the world’s GDP. So, this is not trivial.

This is a major potential currency block, or trading block that is a real threat to U.S. dominance in the world. The sad fact is it’s our fault. The U.S. made this bed, and now we have to lie in it. We blundered around the world starting wars, overthrowing governments and bombing anybody that gets in our way. The world is just about at the point where it’s done. Regardless of what is going to happen at the BRICS meeting next week, it’s part of a trend of countries looking for ways to avoid dependence on the dollar and the dollar centric financial system. We could be seeing the end of U.S. dominance . . . dollars will still be used for trade, but the peak of the dollar could be happening before our eyes right this minute.”

The other thing you cannot shrug off is the inflation the Fed has been trying to snuff out with interest rate increases without pushing it back down. According to Rubino, this is also bad news for the dollar, and he goes on to say, “Even if they don’t do anything (next week) and they just planted this seed, it still started a conversation where people have to learn the difference between a fiat currency and a gold-backed currency. The more people that know that, the better it is for gold because you always come down on the side of a gold-backed currency once you understand it. So, none of this is good for the dollar. Also, when people realize the reason why the BRICS are considering a gold-backed currency, and it is because we weaponized the dollar.

So, we are inflating the dollar away, and we are using it as a weapon at the same time against the rest of the world. . . . We pushed Russia into this war, and then we froze foreign exchange assets in western banks. The rest of the world is looking at this and thinking, wow, am I next? Is the U.S. going to do this to me? Maybe we should have this other currency?” Rubino was one of the first to sound the alarm on the extreme problems in the commercial real estate market. Fitch is threatening to downgrade the credit ratings of some very big U.S. banks. Rubino says, “This, too, is negative for the dollar.” Rubino also talks about the possibility of a world war, a civil war and a financial crash that is coming sooner than later.

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Obama, Hillary, Nuland.

Direct link to Niger today.

Killing Gaddafi Was A ‘Serious Mistake’ – Italian FM (RT)

Western powers committed a major blunder by helping to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 regime change operation, Italy’s top diplomat said, admitting his death unleashed years of chaos and conflict in the African country. Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Tuscany on Wednesday, Italian Foreign Minister and deputy premier Antonio Tajani described Libya’s troubles since Gaddafi was overthrown and murdered, saying he was “certainly better than those who arrived later.” “It was a very serious mistake to let Gaddafi be killed. He may not have been the champion of democracy, but once he was finished, political instability arrived in Libya and Africa,” he said. The official noted that Rome had kept an agreement with the leader which “blocked the migratory flows and the situation was much more stable.”

Gaddafi was brutally executed by rebel fighters amid a NATO bombing campaign, conducted under the pretext of imposing a “no-fly zone” during Libya’s 2011 civil war. Though Washington and its allies described the mission as a “humanitarian” effort to end government attacks on civilians, a probe by the UK House of Commons later found that the “threat to civilians was overstated,” and that Western powers had ignored a “significant Islamist element” among the anti-Gaddafi militants. In the aftermath of the regime change operation, Libya was divided between several competing governments, each claiming legitimacy to rule. The factions have continued to fight in the years since, eventually consolidating under two camps led by the UN-backed Government of National Accord, and forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar and the Libyan House of Representatives.

Terrorism also saw a resurgence across North Africa following Gaddafi’s death, with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and groups linked to al-Qaeda establishing strongholds in Libya and beyond. By July 2014, an estimated 1,600 militant factions were active in the country, a major increase from the 300 tallied in 2011, according to the US Institute of Peace. Though the two warring governments have been locked in a stalemate in recent years, Libya continues to face periodic bouts of violence, with clashes between rival armed groups leaving 27 dead and over 100 injured earlier this week. Echoing previous statements, the United Nations voiced concern over the “security incidents and developments” in Libya, while Washington called for “de-escalation” to “sustain recent Libyan gains toward stability.”

Read more …
















Snow leopard



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Jan 092021
 January 9, 2021  Posted by at 4:32 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  30 Responses »

Paul Gauguin Blue Trees (Your Turn Will Come, My Beauty!) 1888



You would think that if there’s one group of people who’d recognize a coup if they saw one, it would be the American people. Because their intelligence services have been involved in almost all coups in the world for many decades; let’s say since WWII, to keep it simple.

Just in the most recent past, they staged and conducted coups in Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela and many other places (think Bolivia). Libya was the only real “successful” one, thanks to Gaddafi being sodomized with a bayonet, leading to Hillary’s giddy We Came, We Saw, He Died, the by far ugliest face of the US by a mile. That and the open-air slave markets that resulted from sodomizing to death the man who led Africa’s wealthiest country and gave his people benefits that Americans can only dream of.

And now Hillary’s crew are about to be handed the reins again. Or as Michael Tracey put it”: The new corporate authoritarian liberal-left monoculture is going to be absolutely ruthless – and in 12 days it is merging with the state. This [is] only the beginning. Duck for cover.

The screwed-up coups in Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela etc. would appear to signal that the CIA is not very adept (anymore?!) at organizing coups, or maybe they just chronically overestimate their skills at it. Whichever way it may be, they have done more damage to America and its standing in the world than Donald Trump could ever have dreamt of doing.

So you would think Americans would recognize a coup, but instead they’re the last group of people on the planet who would. Because their media doesn’t present them as coups. They’re labeled as spreading democracy, freedom etc., as standing up against the bad guys, and liberating innocent people -even if many of them die in the process. People dying is a feature of these coups, not a bug. People get shot, bombed, disappeared, in a word: killed.


Anyway, it’s way more and better than ironic that all these very deadly CIA-led operations are not labeled coups, but then the clowns and actors spectacle that took place in Washington DC this week, is. Which is possible only because they never told people what a coup actually is. Only then can you make them believe that some wanker in a furry viking helmet outfit is trying to overthrow the government. At the initiative of the democratically elected president, no less.

Are these people extremists and terrorists or are they clowns and actors? I would lean towards the latter option. A coup requires a plan, a playbook, most often elites who think they have a shot at taking over a country, which in turn requires support from at least part of an army. The best these folks could think of was sitting in Pelosi’s office and take selfies.



That doesn’t make the march on the Capitol a good thing, far from it, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t like the way the president they elected in 2016 has been treated by the MSM, his political opponents, and US intelligence. And after the theater that has been Russiagate, the Mueller debacle and the Zelensky call-based impeachment, maybe that shouldn’t be too surprising.

The main problem for Trump lately would appear to have been his legal representation. I’ve said all along: let the dice roll where they may, there are many questions surrounding the election and they have the right to go looking for answers to these questions.

But if you look at what the status is today of what the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood have come up with, you think they might as well have been working for the other side. Still, we’ve at least seen the dice roll, and they came up they way they did. The process was allowed to proceed, and this is the outcome. This has misled Trump as well as his followers. They thought there was something substantial -and tanglible- there, because that’s what they were told all along.

This doesn’t mean the US should continue using voting machines, however. There are many countries that hold elections, and there are very few that either use those machines and/or see their elections contested. There’s a reason for that combination. These things can be manipulated, and they will be if they’re used. Get rid of them or this chapter will be repeated endlessly.


Then again, it all plays out well for anyone but Trump. And perhaps a few GOP’ers who stood by him. You could say, Trump entered the swamp and drowned in it, it swallowed him whole. Which is not to say that he’s such a perfect character, hell no, but he was the one and only chance to get rid of the power cabal that is DC. Which is a much bigger danger than he could ever be.

Where career politicians like Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and Joe Biden can reside for decades, and be handed ever more handsome amounts of money by the lobbyists who write their laws, which benefit the corporations they work for. Trump was the chance to do at least something about this. They ate him alive.

Now the story is that Trump is/was the main danger, and that he was attempting a coup against his own government. To finish off the job, after being hunted down by the MSM for 4+ years, social media, for whom unceremoniously dumping Trump, after he was their main attraction for years -at least for clickbait-, was just a business decision dressed in some vague set of moral principles, are now simply deleting him.

And people cheer that. They don’t understand that from now on, as US president you serve at the behest, grace and kindness of the CIA, New York Times and WaPo, but even more that of @jack and Zuckerberg, and not that of the American people. As the noise about an attempted coup allows Team Biden to slip in Sally Yates, Susan Rice and Victoria Nuland and their whole gang of neocon warmongers.

The entire media focus on Trump served to hide what those people were doing behind the scenes all along. And now it’s time to duck for cover. They’re going to try and impeach him again, and then prosecute him, and erase everything he’s done, cheered on by the same media who never told you what a coup actually is. Because they are a big club, and he’s not in it, and neither are you.

And if you think you can vent an opinion on social media in the future that doesn’t coincide with that of the big club, perhaps you haven’t been paying attention.




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Sep 162018
 September 16, 2018  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  9 Responses »

Pablo Picasso Tête de femme 1926


Typhoon Mangkhut Heads Towards China As Dozens Killed In Philippines (G.)
Florence Dumps ‘Epic’ Amounts Of Rain On Carolinas (BBC)
‘We’re Using the Future for a Fiscal Dumping Ground’ (Barron’s)
The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy (ET)
Give Britain A New Referendum On Brexit – London Mayor (G.)
Italy Faults France for Gaddafi’s Downfall and Migrant Crisis (Sp.)
Trump ‘Likely’ To Announce New China Tariffs As Early As Monday (R.)
Europe’s Meat And Dairy Production Must Halve By 2050 (G.)



Mangkhut is twize the size of Florence and a lot stronger. Tons of scary videos from Hong Kong.

Typhoon Mangkhut Heads Towards China As Dozens Killed In Philippines (G.)

Typhoon Mangkhut killed at least 30 people in the Philippines as it obliterated homes and crops and caused massive flooding, and is now on course to plough into China’s southern coast. Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino said the heaviest casualty was recorded in the mountainous Cordillera region in northern Luzon, where heavy rains caused landslides that left 24 people dead and 13 more missing. Four others – including two children – were buried in a landslide in Nueva Ecija, another in Kalinga, and one person was killed by a falling tree in Ilocos Sur, Tolentino said.

The storm, which was the strongest the region has seen this year, was not as ferocious as feared, though due to the remote areas where the typhoon hit, the full death toll and extent of the destruction is still unknown. By Sunday morning, it was hurtling towards China’s heavily populated southern coast with winds of 177km/h (110mph). In Hong Kong, where the huge storm is expected to skirt just 100km (62 miles) south of the city, officials raised the storm alert to a T10, its highest level. Businesses have been boarded up and most flights cancelled.

Read more …

The water has nowhere to go.

Florence Dumps ‘Epic’ Amounts Of Rain On Carolinas (BBC)

US east coast communities face “epic amounts of rainfall” from tropical storm Florence, which has been linked to at least 12 deaths. It has caused catastrophic flooding since arriving as a category one hurricane on Friday. Some towns have already seen 2ft (60cm) of rain in two days, with totals forecast to top 3.5ft (1m) in places. It is feared that more communities could become deluged as the storm crawls west at only 2mph (3km/h). “This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Saturday. He urged against residents attempting to return home, warning that “all roads in the state are at risk of floods”.

Read more …

“There’s no snooze button on the national debt clock..”

‘We’re Using the Future for a Fiscal Dumping Ground’ (Barron’s)

There’s no snooze button on the national debt clock, though you wouldn’t know it by the way public alarm has quieted as the situation grows worse. October begins a new fiscal year for the U.S. government—and a faster ballooning of how much it owes. Barring a behavioral miracle in Congress, trillion dollar yearly budget shortfalls will return, perhaps as soon as the coming year. And unlike the ones brought by the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2007-09, these will start during a period of relative plenty, and won’t end. Debt held by the public, a conservative tally of what America owes, will swell from $15.7 trillion at the end of September, or 78% of GDP to $28.7 trillion in a decade, or 96% of GDP.

Those estimates, provided by the Congressional Budget Office, are based on reasonable assumptions about economic growth, inflation, employment, and interest rates, but they leave out some important things. They assume that the nation’s need for increased infrastructure investment, estimated by the American Society of Civil Engineers at $1.4 trillion through 2025, goes unmet. They don’t account for the possibility of another financial crisis, or war, or a rise in the frequency or severity of natural disasters, and they assume that some Trump tax cuts will expire in 2025.

There is no clear milestone that marks the moment a country loses control of its finances, but consider how the bar has already been lowered for what seems possible in Congress. Even debt scolds no longer talk seriously about America paying down what it owes, or holding the dollar amount steady. The new path of fiscal prudence involves containing debt at some manageable percentage of GDP, and the opportunity for that is slipping.

Read more …

“If I have to blame anybody, I will blame Bernanke..”

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy (ET)

Sept. 15 marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which had unprecedented ramifications worldwide. Painful lessons have been learned, but the debate continues among economists about whether the crisis could have been handled better. Lehman was the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank before it filed for bankruptcy. With $639 billion in assets, it was the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history. It was also the largest victim of the subprime mortgage crisis that swept through global financial markets. And its collapse intensified the market shock, which wiped out nearly $10 trillion from global equity markets in October 2008, the largest monthly decline on record. The policymakers who handled Lehman’s bankruptcy in 2008 argue they did all they could.

However, economist Steve Keen, author of “Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?”, believes policymakers had a great deal of responsibility for causing the crisis. Keen is a harsh critic of mainstream economists who ignored mounting private debt in their forecasts and policy recommendations. “They could have prevented the bubble burst in the first place,” he said. He thinks the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, was one of those who failed to recognize the risk created by the private debt explosion. “All these regulators were collecting data on global private debt and not worrying about it because economic theory said it did not matter,” he said. “If I have to blame anybody, I will blame Bernanke,” he said, adding that Bernanke “was the main academic economist saying ‘Don’t worry about the level of private debt.’”

Read more …

But when? It’ll take a long time still before it becomes an option, and by then Brexit will be much closer.

Give Britain A New Referendum On Brexit – London Mayor (G.)

The mayor of London has issued a dramatic call for another referendum on EU membership, insisting that the people must be given the chance to reject a Brexit deal that will be bad for the economy, jobs and the NHS. Writing in the Observer, Sadiq Khan says that, with so little time left to negotiate, there are now only two possible outcomes: a bad deal for the UK or “no deal” at all, which will be even worse. “They are both incredibly risky and I don’t believe Theresa May has the mandate to gamble so flagrantly with the British economy and people’s livelihoods,” he writes. Khan says that backing a second referendum was never something he expected to have to do.

But so abject has been the government’s performance, and so great is the threat to living standards and jobs, he says, that he sees no alternative than to give people a chance to stay in the EU. “This means a public vote on any Brexit deal obtained by the government, or a vote on a ‘no-deal’ Brexit if one is not secured, alongside the option of staying in the EU,” he writes. “People didn’t vote to leave the EU to make themselves poorer, to watch their businesses suffer, to have NHS wards understaffed, to see the police preparing for civil unrest or for our national security to be put at risk if our cooperation with the EU in the fight against terrorism is weakened.” The intervention from one of Labour’s most powerful politicians will put yet more pressure on the party leader Jeremy Corbyn to throw his support behind another referendum at Labour’s annual conference, which opens in Liverpool next weekend.

Read more …

Italy had signed -oil- deals with Gaddafi.

Italy Faults France for Gaddafi’s Downfall and Migrant Crisis (Sp.)

In Rome, the responsibility for the influx of migrants is laid on France, which persuaded NATO countries to get rid of Gaddafi. As a result, Libya is now torn apart by rival factions and an ongoing conflict between its two governments. “It is clearly now undeniable that this country (Libya) finds itself in this situation because someone, in 2011, put their own interests ahead of those of the Libyan people and of Europe itself,” Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta wrote on Facebook. “France, from this point of view, is partly to blame,” she added. Italian parliamentary speaker Roberto Fico was even more explicit, pointing to “a serious problem that has come from France.”

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini also chimed in, blaming former French President Nicolas Sarkozy for unleashing the war in Libya and the present government for adding fuel to the flames of the Libyan conflict. Italians are filled with nostalgia each time they recall the time when Rome and Tripoli signed an agreement to allow Italian companies to extract oil in Libya. The Gaddafi government was holding back the flow of migrants to Europe and the country’s GDP was the second biggest in Africa and the first among the Arabic-speaking states of the Maghreb. In Rome, the emphasis is that the decision to overthrow Gaddafi was made without taking into account the views of Italy.

Seven years on, the French look equally unenthusiastic about the so-called “Libyan Revolution,” with President Emmanuel Macron admitting that the intervention was a mistake. “I remember how some people decided to get rid of the Libyan leader without having any action plan for the future. We plunged Libya into a situation of lawlessness without having a chance to rectify the situation,” Macron said when speaking in the Tunisian parliament earlier this year.

Read more …

Don’t stop talking.

Trump ‘Likely’ To Announce New China Tariffs As Early As Monday (R.)

U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to announce new tariffs on about $200 billion on Chinese imports as early as Monday, a senior administration official told Reuters on Saturday. The tariff level will probably be about 10 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. This is below the 25 percent the administration said it was considering for this possible round of tariffs. The upcoming tariffs will be on a list of items that included $200 billion worth of internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards and consumer goods including Chinese seafood, furniture and lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles and car seats for babies.

It was unclear if the administration will exempt any of the products that were on the list, which was announced in July. On Friday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Trump “has been clear that he and his administration will continue to take action to address China’s unfair trade practices. We encourage China to address the long-standing concerns raised by the Unites States.” Trump had already directed aides to proceed with tariffs, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s attempts to restart trade talks with China.

Read more …

Do you see it happening?

Europe’s Meat And Dairy Production Must Halve By 2050 (G.)

Europe’s animal farming sector has exceeded safe bounds for greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient flows and biodiversity loss, and urgently needs to be scaled back, according to a major report. Pressure on livestock farmers is set to intensify this century as global population and income growth raises demand for meat-based products beyond the planet’s capacity to supply it. The paper’s co-author, Professor Allan Buckwell, endorses a Greenpeace call for halving meat and dairy production by 2050, and his report’s broadside is squarely aimed at the heart of the EU’s policy establishment.

Launching the report, the EU’s former environment commissioner Janez Potocnik said: “Unless policymakers face up to this now, livestock farmers will pay the price of their inactivity. ‘Protecting the status quo’ is providing a disservice to the sector.” The study calls for the European commission to urgently set up a formal inquiry mandated to propose measures – including taxes and subsidies – that “discourage livestock products harmful to health, climate or the environment”. Livestock has the world’s largest land footprint and is growing fast, with close to 80% of the planet’s agricultural land now used for grazing and animal feed production, even though meat delivers just 18% of our calories.

Read more …

Aug 092018

René Magritte The evening gown 1954


Julian Assange has received an letter from the US Senate asking him to testify in front of them. What to make of that is not entirely clear. Far as I know, Assange offered such testimony multiple times, under the ‘right standards’. The Senate ostensibly wants this to take place behind closed doors, and it’s hard to see how that would fit Assange’s standards. But who knows?

What struck me was that the letter was signed by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA). and especially the latter runs like a red thread through everything that has to do with Assange and the US. It reminded me of what John Solomon said in his June 25 piece ‘How Comey Intervened To Kill Wikileaks’ Immunity Deal’ about Assange lawyer Adam Waldman, who according to Solomon has a ‘Forrest Gump-like penchant for showing up in major cases of intrigue’.

Mark Warner has that, too. What made me return to this is that in his piece yesterday on the Senate request, Tyler Durden, referring to Solomon’s article, wrote: After Assange’s request was run up the flag pole, Senator Warner was issued a “stand-down” order by Comey.. And I thought: I’m not sure that’s entirely correct, and not only because Comey cannot ‘order’ a US Senator to do anything.

The stand down order was not for Warner, he just passed it on to Waldman and his counterpart acting for the DOJ, David Laufman, head of Justice’s counterintelligence and export controls section. NOTE: we don’t even know if the stand down didn’t really come from Warner, or Comey AND Warner, or someone else altogether.

What we do know is that it was a very peculiar order at a very peculiar moment in time, because the intelligence community could have gotten something tangible and valuable out of the negotiations. Solomon: “..officials “understood any visibility into his thinking, any opportunity to negotiate any redactions, was in the national security interest and worth taking,” says a senior official involved at the time.

They were well on their way to -at least potentially- save the lives of CIA operatives and assets. Negotiations had been going on for at least 2 months, and probably more like three. But then Assange offered to provide evidence that he didn’t get the DNC files from Russia. And that seems to have changed the atmosphere. Tyler has some more about this, outside of the Solomon piece:

‘Last August, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher travelled to London with journalist Charles Johnson for a meeting with Assange, after which Rohrabacher said the WikiLeaks founder offered “firsthand” information proving that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia, and which would refute the Russian hacking theory.’ After Trump denied knowledge of the potential deal, Rohrabacher raged at Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, for constructing a “wall” around President Trump by “people who do not want to expose this fraud.”

NOTE: that meeting took place 4-5 months AFTER the Comey (et al?) stand down order. So Assange was still reaching out and offering to spare individual CIA assets. He has released a lot of the CIA Vault 7 files, but not all. To my knowledge he has held back on that to this day.


I don’t know how much you still follow from the pro-Russiagate press, which is about the entire US MSM, but Rohrabacher is habitually called a traitor, a Putin puppet and worse for talking to Russians, just like he is for going to see Assange. Once you start trying to find a way out of the ever tighter woven Russia Russia web, you’re fair game. Even if that’s simply your job as a Congressman, or at least your interpretation of what the job entails.

Back to Solomon for a bit. What he describes is not some amnesty deal, but a “Queen for a Day” proffer. Which in this case was essentially a safe passage guarantee for Assange to leave the Ecuador embassy only to go talk to US government people. We don’t know all the prospective topics of the talks, and they don’t seem to have agreed on a location (London, Washington?!) before the Comey order. Solomon:

Not included in the written proffer was an additional offer from Assange: He was willing to discuss technical evidence ruling out certain parties in the controversial leak of Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election. The U.S. government believes those emails were hacked by Russia; Assange insists they did not come from Moscow.

“Mr. Assange offered to provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases,” Waldman told me. “Finally, he offered his technical expertise to the U.S. government to help address what he perceived as clear flaws in security systems that led to the loss of the U.S. cyber weapons program.”

That is just funny: Assange offered to help the CIA on its security systems. That must have pissed them off mightily, because it can only mean they really needed to strengthen security (or he wouldn’t have brought it up). But then Waldman reaches out to Warner, in what may well have been a fatal mistake. The talks with the DOJ were going well, and might have been enough. Getting politics involved in it was one took over the line:

[..] Just a few days after the negotiations opened in mid-February, Waldman reached out to Sen. Warner; the lawyer wanted to see if Senate Intelligence Committee staff wanted any contact with Assange, to ask about Russia or other issues. Warner engaged with Waldman over encrypted text messages, then reached out to Comey. A few days later, Warner contacted Waldman with an unexpected plea.

“He told me he had just talked with Comey and that, while the government was appreciative of my efforts, my instructions were to stand down, to end the discussions with Assange,” Waldman told me. Waldman offered contemporaneous documents to show he memorialized Warner’s exact words.

Waldman couldn’t believe a U.S. senator and the FBI chief were sending a different signal, so he went back to Laufman, who assured him the negotiations were still on. “What Laufman said to me after he heard I was told to ‘stand down’ by Warner and Comey was, ‘That’s bullshit. You are not standing down and neither am I,’” Waldman recalled.

A source familiar with Warner’s interactions says the senator’s contact on the Assange matter was limited and was shared with Senate Intelligence chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). But the source acknowledges that Warner consulted Comey and passed along the “stand down” instructions to Waldman: “That did happen.”

Okay, so we have Warner very much in the thick of the DOJ negotiations with Assange. Fast forward to late June 2018, when his name pops up again in a list of 10 Democratic Senators who asked Vice President Mike Pence to, on a visit to Ecuador, ask new president Lenin Moreno, to revoke Assange’s asylum on the London embassy.



Warner is there, along with such fine human beings as Dianne Feinstein, and the two Dicks Durbin and Blumenthal. Wikileaks, which posted the list, suggested: “Remember them”. Looks like an idea. Why would the Democratic party want Assange delivered to the lions? Oh, right, Russia Russia, the entirely unproven allegations which they are so desperate to tie Assange into.

They can’t prove any of the many allegations of Russian meddling, let alone their role in Hillary’s election loss, and they can’t prove any allegation against Julian Assange, at least none that he could be charged for/with, but tie Russia and WikiLeaks together and they feel they no longer have to prove anything at all, that mere allegations are strong enough.

If there is no crime Assange can be accused of, you just label him a terrorist, and all your legal problems disappear. Because terrorism can be anything, and because of national security reasons, any evidence, whether it exists or not, must be treated in secret. What reason, what grounds, do these Senators have to ask Ecuador to revoke Assange’s asylum? What legal grounds could possibly exist? We have no way of knowing, and because they label Julian a terrorist, we have no right to, either. Or so they claim.

This is called abomination of justice. In the same way that America and Britain’s treatment of him is called torture. And no, that is not too strong a term. A man who has never been charged with a crime by anyone, in any country, is being tortured. Julian has severe, painful, dental problems, he has developed a condition that makes his legs swell, and his bone density is dropping fast due to extended lack of sunlight.

These people have simply decided to wait it out, so they don’t have to go through elaborate legal procedures that they may well lose, to wait until Assange has no choice but to walk out of the embassy, or be carried out on a stretcher or in a coffin. It’s not even possible to list all the British, American, Ecuadorian and international laws his treatment violates.

Someone should give it a try, though. Just like someone should investigate Mark Warner’s role in all of this. Warner was pivotal in killing off the Assange legal teams’ talks with the DOJ, he asked Ecuador to stop Assange’s asylum (which is so illegal you don’t even want to go there), and now he requests for Assange to appear before the US Senate.

Someone investigate that guy. If I can say one last thing, it would be that Warner exemplifies all that is wrong with the US Democratic Party. He’s the Forrest Gump of all their future election losses. The Democrats should be standing up to protect people like Assange, but instead they follow the example of Hillary, who said about Assange “can’t we drone this guy?”.

Yeah, the very guy who’s never been charged with a single crime. She undoubtedly said it in the same tone of voice as her insane cackle of “We came, we saw, he died” about Gaddafi. Looked at Libya lately?

The essence of this is that we will be better people, and better societies, with Julian Assange around to help us be better. Without him, things look a whole lot darker. We need to be able to hold politicians, corporations and secret services to account. And the more they resist this, often in illegal ways, the more we must insist.

The idea was never that we must answer to them. They must answer to us, and we must be able to throw them out when they cross legal and moral lines. It’s beyond the pale that that has to be explained once again. And trying to explain that, with examples, is all that Julian Assange has ever done.



May 272017
 May 27, 2017  Posted by at 5:41 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  13 Responses »

Herbert Draper Lament for Icarus 1898


There are times when you have to talk about things when it appears most inopportune to do so, because they’re the only times people might listen. Times when people will argue that ‘this is not the right moment’, while in reality it’s the only moment.

A solid 99% of people will have been filled, and rightly so of course, with a mixture of disgust, disbelief and infinite sadness when hearing of yet another attack on civilians in Europe, this one in Manchester. An equally solid 99% will have failed to recognize that while the event was unique for the city of Manchester, it was by no means unique for the world, not even at the time it happened.

Though the footage of parents desperately trying to find their children, and the news that one of the dead was just 8 years old, touches everyone in more or less the same place in our hearts, by far most of us miss out on the next logical step. In a wider perspective, it is easy to see that parents crying for missing children, and children killed in infancy, is what connects Manchester, and the UK, and Europe, to parents in Syria, Libya, Iraq.

What’s different between these places is not the suffering or the outrage, the mourning or the despair, what’s different is only the location on the map. That and the frequency with which terror is unleashed upon a given population. But just because it happens all the time in other places doesn’t make it more normal or acceptable.

It’s the exact same thing, the exact same experience, and still a vast majority of people don’t, choose not to, feel it as such. Which is curious when you think about it. In the aftermath of a terror attack, the mother of a missing, maimed or murdered child undergoes the same heartbreak no matter where they are in the world (“I hope the Russians love their children too”). But the empathy, the compassion, is hardly acknowledged in Britain at all, let alone shared.

Not that it couldn’t be. Imagine that our papers and TV channels would tell us, preferably repeatedly, in their reports in the wake of an attack like the one in Manchester how eerily similar the emotions must be to those felt in Aleppo, Homs and many other cities. That would change our perception enormously. But the media choose not to make the connection, and the people apparently are not capable of doing it themselves.

None of that changes the fact, however, that British lives are not more valuable than Syrian and Libyan ones. Not even when we’ve gotten used to ‘news’ about bombings and drone attacks executed for years now by US-led coalitions, or the images of children drowning when they flee the area because of these attacks.

The overall theme here is that 99.9% of people everywhere in the world are innocent, especially when they are children, but their governments and their societies are not. That doesn’t justify the Manchester attack in any shape or form, it simply lays equal blame and condemnation for western terror attacks in the Middle East and North Africa, perpetrated by the people we elect into power.

This is something people in the west pay no attention to. It’s easier that way, and besides our media with great enthusiasm pave the way for our collective ignorance, by calling some other group of people ‘terrorists’, which while they’re at it is supposed to justify killing some other mother’s child.

There’s another thing that is also different: they didn’t start. We did. The British and French terrorized the region for many decades, since the 19th century, even way before the Americans joined in. The presence of oil, and its rising role in our economies, caused them to double down on that terror.

Yes, it’s awkward to talk about this on the eve of a deadly attack, and it’s easy to find arguments and rhetoric that appear to deflect responsibility. But at the same time this truly is the only moment we can hope that anyone will listen. And lest we forget, the UK carries an outsized share of the responsibility in this tragedy, both historically and in the present.

You can say things about the city coming together, or the country coming together, or “not allowing terrorists to affect our way of life”, but perhaps it should instead really be all the mothers who have children missing or dying, wherever they live, coming together. They all see their ways of life affected, and many on a daily basis.

Those mothers in Syria and Libya, who have been through the same hellhole as those in Manchester, are a lot closer to you than the politicians who send out jet fighters to bomb cities in the desert, or sell arms to individuals and organizations to control these cities for their own narrow personal gain, such as the governments of Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The traumatized mothers in the desert are not your enemies; your enemies are much closer to home. Still, most of you will tend to react to fear and panic by looking for protection in exactly those circles that are least likely to provide it. The UK government under Theresa May, like those of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron before, is as cynically eager as their predecessors to send bombers into the desert, and sell arms to those living there.

We can illustrate all this with a few bits of news. First, the US-led coalotion, of which the UK is a substantial part, killed more civilians in Syria than at any time since they started bombing the country almost 3 years ago. They keep saying they don’t target civilians, but to put it mildly they don’t appear to go out of their way not to hit them. For instance, a single attack on Mosul, Iraq in March killed over 105 civilians. ‘Collateral damage’ in these cases, and there are hundreds by now, is a very disrespectful term. Moreover, the files released by Chelsea Manning show US soldiers killing people ‘with impunity’.

Deadliest Month For Syria Civilians In US-Led Strikes

US-led air strikes on Syria killed a total of 225 civilians over the past month, a monitor said on Tuesday, the highest 30-day toll since the campaign began in 2014. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the civilian dead between April 23 and May 23 included 44 children and 36 women. The US-led air campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria began on September 23, 2014. “The past month of operations is the highest civilian toll since the coalition began bombing Syria,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. “There has been a very big escalation.” The previous deadliest 30-day period was between February 23 and March 23 this year, when 220 civilians were killed, Abdel Rahman said.

And it’s not as if the British didn’t or couldn’t know what was going on. That was clear as early as 2003, when Tony Blair couldn’t wait to join the Bush coalition to invade Iraq on the false premise of weapons of mass destruction. Before Libya was invaded, which led to Hillary’s disgusting ‘we came we saw he died’, Gaddafi, the one who did die, warned Blair about what would happen. It indeed did, which makes Blair a guilty man.

Gaddafi Warned Blair His Ousting Would ‘Open Door’ To Jihadis

Muammar Gaddafi warned Tony Blair in two fraught phone conversations in 2011 that his removal from the Libyan leadership would open a space for al-Qaida to seize control of the country and even launch an invasion of Europe. The transcripts of the conversations have been published with Blair’s agreement by the UK foreign affairs select committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the western air campaign that led to the ousting and killing of Gaddafi in October 2011. In the two calls the former British prime minister pleaded with Gaddafi to stand aside or end the violence. The transcripts reveal the gulf in understanding between Gaddafi and the west over what was occurring in his country and the nature of the threat he was facing.

In the first call, at 11.15am on 25 February 2011, Gaddafi gave a warning in part borne out by future events: “They [jihadis] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.” In the second call, at 3.25pm the same day, the Libyan leader said: “We are not fighting them, they are attacking us. I want to tell you the truth. It is not a difficult situation at all. The story is simply this: an organisation has laid down sleeping cells in north Africa. Called the al-Qaida organisation in north Africa … The sleeping cells in Libya are similar to dormant cells in America before 9/11.”

Gaddafi added: “I will have to arm the people and get ready for a fight. Libyan people will die, damage will be on the Med, Europe and the whole world. These armed groups are using the situation [in Libya] as a justification – and we shall fight them.” Three weeks after the calls, a Nato-led coalition that included Britain began bombing raids that led to the overthrow of Gaddafi. He was finally deposed in August and murdered by opponents of his regime in October.

What they are guilty of is no more and no less than Manchester. No hyperbole, but a warning from Blair’s own intelligence services back in 2003. The real weapons of mass destruction were not in Iraq, but in the White House and Downing Street no. 10. The CIA issued warnings similar to this.

British Intelligence Warned Tony Blair Of Manchester-Like Terrorism If The West Invaded Iraq

Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the U.S. and U.K., he was forcefully and repeatedly warned by Britain’s intelligence services that it would lead to exactly this type of terrorist attack — and he concealed these warnings from the British people, instead claiming the war would reduce the risk of terrorism. We know this because of the Chilcot Report, the seven-year-long British investigation of the Iraq War released in 2016. The report declassifies numerous internal government documents that illustrate the yawning chasm between what Blair was being told in private and his claims in public as he pushed for war.

On February 10, 2003, one month before the war began, the U.K.’s Joint Intelligence Committee — the key advisory body for the British Prime Minister on intelligence matters — issued a white paper titled “International Terrorism: War With Iraq.” It began: “The threat from Al Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq. They will target Coalition forces and other Western interests in the Middle East. Attacks against Western interests elsewhere are also likely, especially in the US and UK, for maximum impact. The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly.”

And it concluded much the same way: “Al Qaida and associated groups will continue to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to Western interests, and that threat will be heightened by military action against Iraq. The broader threat from Islamist terrorists will also increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-US/anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.”

Not long behind Blair came David Cameron, a man after Tony’s heart:

Cameron Brags Of ‘Brilliant’ UK Arms Trade As EU Embargoes Saudi Arabia

European ministers have embarrassed David Cameron by voting to impose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia on the same day the British prime minister praised the UK for selling “brilliant” arms to the country. Speaking at a BAE Systems factory in Preston, the prime minister said the UK had pushed the sale of Eurofighter Typhoons to countries in the Middle East, including Oman and Saudi Arabia. [..] Cameron’s speech in Preston came at the same time the European Parliament voted to impose an EU-wide ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, citing criticism from the UN of its bombing in Yemen.

Asked at the talks how he was helping to export the planes, Cameron said: “With the Typhoon there is an alliance of countries: the Italians, Germans and ourselves. We spend a lot of time trying to work out who is best placed to win these export orders. We’ve got hopefully good news coming from Kuwait. The Italians have been doing a lot of work there. The British have been working very hard in Oman.” The vote will not force EU members to comply with the ban, but will force the government to examine its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

In the last year the British government has sold £3 billion (US$4.18 billion) worth of arms and military kit to the Gulf state, as well as providing training to Saudi forces. A report released by Amnesty International on Friday called the ongoing trade with Saudi Arabia “truly sickening,” and urged governments to attend meetings in Geneva on Monday to discuss the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The report names the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the US as having issued licenses for arms to Saudi Arabia worth more than £18 billion in 2015.

The arms sold include drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles, which have been used by Saudi Arabia and its allies for gross violations of human rights and possible war crimes during aerial and ground attacks in Yemen, the campaign group said. Control Arms Director Anna Macdonald said: “Governments such as the UK and France were leaders in seeking to secure an ATT – and now they are undermining the commitments they made to reduce human suffering by supplying Saudi Arabia with some of the deadliest weapons in the world. It’s truly sickening.”

British MPs from Cameron’s own party didn’t like it either, but what meaning does that have if it takes 5 years to issue a report, and moreover he can simply refuse to give evidence?

MPs Deliver Damning Verdict On David Cameron’s Libya Intervention

David Cameron’s intervention in Libya was carried out with no proper intelligence analysis, drifted into an unannounced goal of regime change and shirked its moral responsibility to help reconstruct the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, according to a scathing report by the foreign affairs select committee. The failures led to the country becoming a failed a state on the verge of all-out civil war, the report adds. The report, the product of a parliamentary equivalent of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, closely echoes the criticisms widely made of Tony Blair’s intervention in Iraq, and may yet come to be as damaging to Cameron’s foreign policy legacy.

It concurs with Barack Obama’s assessment that the intervention was “a shitshow”, and repeats the US president’s claim that France and Britain lost interest in Libya after Gaddafi was overthrown. Cameron has refused to give evidence to the select committee. In one of his few reflections on his major military intervention, he blamed the Libyan people for failing to take their chance of democracy.

The committee, which has a majority of Conservative members, did not have Chilcot-style access to internal papers, but took voluminous evidence from senior ministers at the time, and other key players such as Blair, the chief of the defence staff, Lord Richards, and leading diplomats. The result of the French, British and US intervention, the report finds, “was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Isil [Islamic State] in north Africa”.

It seems obvious that if there were an impartial international body with the power to prosecute, Bush, Cheney, Blair, Cameron, Hillary etc. etc. (don’t forget France) would be charged with war crimes. And Obama too: his ‘shitshow’ comment must be seen in light of the ‘we came we saw he died’ comment by Hillary Clinton, his Secretary of State. Think he didn’t know what was happening?

Another person who should be charged is Theresa May, Cameron’s Home Secretary from May 2010 till July 2016, and of course Britain’s present PM, who sells as much weaponry to Saudi Arabia as she possibly can while the Saudi’s are shoving the few Yemeni’s they leave alive back beyond the Stone Age. And then May has the gall to talk about humanitarian aid.

Theresa May Defends UK Ties With Saudi Arabia

Theresa May has defended her trip to Saudi Arabia, saying its ties with the UK are important for security and prosperity. The prime minister is facing questions about the UK’s support for the Saudi-led coalition which is fighting rebels in neighbouring Yemen. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said UK-made weapons were contributing to a “humanitarian catastrophe”. [..] Mrs May said humanitarian aid was one of the issues she would be discussing on her trip. “We are concerned about the humanitarian situation – that’s why the UK last year was the fourth largest donor to the Yemen in terms of humanitarian aid – £103m. We will be continuing with that,” she told the BBC.

[..] Mr Corbyn called for the immediate suspension of UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia. He criticised the “dictatorial Saudi monarchy’s shocking human rights record” and said the PM should focus on human rights and international law at the centre of her talks. “The Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen, backed by the British government, has left thousands dead, 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and three million refugees uprooted from their homes,” he said. “Yemen urgently needs a ceasefire, a political settlement, and food aid, not more bombing. “British-made weapons are being used in a war which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.”

The one person who would probably not be in front of such a court is Jeremy Corbyn, opponent of May’s in the June 8 elections. Though there is the issue that he never protested in much stronger terms as an MP. Still, if you have to pick one of the two, what is not obvious?

Theresa May Claims Selling Arms To Saudi Arabia Helps ‘Keep People On The Streets Of Britain Safe’

Theresa May has staunchly defended selling arms to Saudi Arabia despite the country facing accusations of war crimes, insisting close ties “keep people on the streets of Britain safe”. Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to halt those sales because of the “humanitarian devastation” caused by a Saudi-led coalition waging war against rebels in Yemen. The Labour leader spoke out after the Parliamentary committee charged with scrutinising arms exports said it was likely that British weapons had been used to violate international law.

The Saudis stand accused of bombing multiple international hospitals run by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières, as well as schools, wedding parties and food factories. In the Commons, Mr Corbyn linked weapons sales to the ongoing refugee crisis, which he said should be Britain’s “number one concern and our number one humanitarian response”. He added: “That is why I remain concerned that at the heart of this Government’s security strategy is apparently increased arms exports to the very part of the world that most immediately threatens our security.

The British Government continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia that are being used to commit crimes against humanity in Yemen , as has been clearly detailed by the UN and other independent agencies.”

But, in response, Ms May pointed out she had called on Saudi Arabia to investigate the allegations about Yemen when she met with the kingdom’s deputy crown prince at the recent G20 summit in China. The Prime Minister dismissed Mr Corbyn’s suggestion that “what happened in Saudi Arabia was a threat to the safety of people here in the UK”. Instead, she said: “Actually, what matters is the strength of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. When it comes to counter-terrorism and dealing with terrorism, it is that relationship that has helped to keep people on the streets of Britain safe.”

May’s, and Britain’s, utterly mad stance in this is perhaps best exemplified, in one sentence, by her comments during the speedy trip she made to Turkey, again to sell more arms to an at best highly questionable regime. Why do it, why drag your entire nation through the moral gutter for $100 million or a few billion? The military industrial complex.

Theresa May Signs £100m Fighter Jet Deal With Turkey’s Erdogan

Theresa May issued a stern warning to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan about respecting human rights yesterday as she prepared to sign a £100m fighter jet deal that Downing Street hopes will lead to Britain becoming Turkey’s main defence partner.

And once again, no, none of this justifies the Manchester bombing. Neither a government nor an extremist movement has any right to kill innocent people. But let’s make sure we know that neither does.

There’s another aspect to the story. MI6 had close links to the Libyan community in Manchester.

‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK Government Sent British-Libyans To Fight Gaddafi

The British government operated an “open door” policy that allowed Libyan exiles and British-Libyan citizens to join the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi even though some had been subject to counter-terrorism control orders, Middle East Eye can reveal. Several former rebel fighters now back in the UK told MEE that they had been able to travel to Libya with “no questions asked” as authorities continued to investigate the background of a British-Libyan suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Monday’s attack in Manchester.

Salman Abedi, 22, the British-born son of exiled dissidents who returned to Libya as the revolution against Gaddafi gathered momentum, is also understood to have spent time in the North African country in 2011 and to have returned there on several subsequent occasions. Sources spoken to by MEE suggest that the government facilitated the travel of Libyan exiles and British-Libyan residents and citizens keen to fight against Gaddafi including some who it deemed to pose a potential security threat.

One British citizen with a Libyan background who was placed on a control order – effectively house arrest – because of fears that he would join militant groups in Iraq said he was “shocked” that he was able to travel to Libya in 2011 shortly after his control order was lifted. “I was allowed to go, no questions asked,” said the source. He said he had met several other British-Libyans in London who also had control orders lifted in 2011 as the war against Gaddafi intensified, with the UK, France and the US carrying out air strikes and deploying special forces soldiers in support of the rebels.

“They didn’t have passports, they were looking for fakes or a way to smuggle themselves across,” said the source. But within days of their control orders being lifted, British authorities returned their passports, he said. Many Libyan exiles in the UK with links to the LIFG [Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ] were placed on control orders and subjected to surveillance and monitoring following the rapprochement between the British and Libyan governments sealed by the so-called “Deal in the Desert” between then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gaddafi in 2004.

According to documents retrieved from the ransacked offices of the Libyan intelligence agency following Gaddafi’s fall from power in 2011, British security services cracked down on Libyan dissidents in the UK as part of the deal, as well as assisting in the rendition of two senior LIFG leaders, Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi, to Tripoli where they allege they were tortured.

Torture one day, passports the other. Lovely. And it still gets better: MI6 didn’t just have close contacts with Libyans in Manchester, it knew the alleged perpetrator’s family, and used his father multiple times as on operative:

Manchester Attack as MI6 Blowback

According to Scotland Yard, the attack on the crowd leaving the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, 22 May, has been perpetrated by Salman Abedi. A bankcard has been conveniently found in the pocket of the mutilated corpse of the ‘terrorist’. This attack is generally interpreted as proof that the United Kingdom is not implicated in international terrorism and that, on the contrary, it is a victim of it.

[..] In 1992, Ramadan Abedi [Salman’s father] was sent back to Libya by Britain’s MI6 and was involved in a British-devised plot to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi. The operation having been readily exposed, he was exfiltrated by MI6 and transferred back to the UK where he obtained political asylum. He moved in 1999 to Whalley Range (south of Manchester) where there was already resident a small Libyan Islamist community. In 1994, Ramadan Abedi returned again to Libya under MI6’s direction. In late 1995 he is involved in the creation of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a local branch of Al-Qaeda, in conjunction with Abdelhakim Belhadj.

The LIFG was then employed by MI6 again to assassinate Gaddafi, for a payoff of £100,000. This operation, which also failed, provoked heated exchanges within British Intelligence, leading to the resignation of one David Shayler. Other former members of the LIFG have also lived at Whalley Range, including Abedi’s friend Abd al-Baset-Azzouz. In 2009, this last joined Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and became a close associate of its chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In 2011, al-Baset-Azzouz is active on the ground with the NATO operation against Libya.

On 11 September 2012, he directs the operation against the US Ambassador in Libya, Christopher Stevens, assassinated at Benghazi. He is arrested in Turkey and extradited to the US in December 2014, his trial still pending. Nobody pays attention to the fact that Ramadan Abedi has linked LIFG members to the formation of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and, in 2011, he takes part in MI6’s ‘Arab Spring’ operations, and in LIFG’s role on the ground in support of NATO. In any event, Abedi returned to Libya after the fall of Gaddafi and moves his family there, leaving his older children in the family home at Whalley Range.

According to the former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, Abdelhakim Belhadj was involved in the assassinations in Madrid of 11 March 2004. Later, he is secretly arrested in Malaysia by the CIA and transferred to Libya where he is tortured not by Libyan or American functionaries but by MI6 agents. He is finally freed after the accord between Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [Gaddafi’s son] and the jihadists.

Luckily, perhaps the Brits are not that stupid:

Half of Britons Blame UK’s Foreign Wars for Terror Attacks at Home

Slightly over a half of people in the UK agree that the nation’s involvement in wars abroad has increased the terror threat to the country, a poll out Friday has showed. The survey found that 53% of 7,134 UK adults sampled by YouGov said they believed wars the UK supported or fought were in part responsible for terror attacks at home. [..] Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who made a speech earlier in the day to mark his return to general election campaigning, said UK’s war on terror had not worked. He cited intelligence experts who said foreign wars, including in Libya, threatened the country’s security.

If that is true, Theresa May obviously should have no chance of winning. May can and will try to use the horror of Manchester, and the subsequent pause in the campaign, to strengthen her position in the upcoming election, by playing on people’s fear and making them believe she’s in control. Even if the very attack itself makes clear that she’s not. The Tories have already attacked Corbyn for saying their policies have failed; it was the wrong time to say that, according to them.

But it’s not. It’s the very best time. This is when people pay attention. And having this discussion doesn’t disrespect the victims of Manchester. If anything, it shows more respect than not having the discussion. Because you want to make sure this doesn’t happen again, neither here nor there. And to achieve that, you have to look at why these things happen.

An 8-year old child in Manchester, just like one in Mosul or Aleppo, is innocent. Yourself, perhaps not so much. The politicians you vote into power, and the media you read and watch to inform you, not a chance. Guilty as hell.