Dec 082023

Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait with Straw Hat 1887


Netanyahu’s Game Of Russian Roulette (Cradle)
Behind Enemy Bars: Palestinian and Israeli Prisoners (Inlakesh)
Gaza Divides the World, Again (Patrick Lawrence)
‘The Death Rattle of The Western Empire’: US Hegemony Crumbling (Sp.)
The Military/Security Complex Proved to be Too Strong for Peace (PCR)
The Military-Industrial Complex (RFK Jr)
Russian Intel Chief Warns US Of ‘Second Vietnam’ (RT)
Pentagon Threatens Americans Over Ukraine – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Moscow Rejects US Narrative On Aid For Kiev (RT)
The Diamond Crack-Up (John Helmer)
Hunter Biden Indicted by Feds on 9 Counts Related to Tax Evasion (Sp.)
“If People Think Things Are Bad Now…” Tucker And Alex Jones (ZH)
Trump Witness Says He Valued Mar-a-Lago at More Than $1 Billion (ET)




Today, the world mourns the loss of Professor Refaat Al-Areer, one of Palestine’s most prolific poets and activists. There is reason to believe that the Zionist regime deliberately targeted his sister’s home, killing his brother, sister, and her 4 kids



Elon Musk: “Drops more bombs than a B-52“








Noted among Putin’s entourage in Saudi Arabia: Chechen leader Kadyrov and central bank head Elvira Nabiullina



Weaponizing AI








Elon Musk in response via email to an Axios reporter asking about X: “I have never lost money for those who invest in me and I am not starting now.”

Since Elon Musk Bought X:

-SEC sues Musk over the purchase
-FTC demands internal X documents
-Biden DOJ sues SpaceX for not hiring refugees for secret rocket technology
-Biden DOJ and SEC open investigations against Tesla over a literal glass house
-Biden DOJ opens criminal investigation against Tesla over self-driving cars
-Federal investigation into Neuralink
-EOCC sues Tesla over harassment
-Massive media campaign against X
-Massive corporate boycott campaign






“Netanyahu, however, harbors a different agenda, seeking to prolong the conflict for personal gains rather than political success..”

Netanyahu’s Game Of Russian Roulette (Cradle)

Forced into a Gaza truce by an angry public demanding prisoner exchanges, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now faces his toughest challenge since launching air and land assaults on the Gaza Strip in October. The frequency of his threats to both Hamas in Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Israel’s northern front has spiked since Netanyahu’s reluctant acceptance of the Qatar-brokered truce. While the prime minister and Washington’s goals align on waging a war on the Palestinian resistance, and, by extension, on Gaza, their policies diverge on the strategy and duration of the conflict. Faced with threats of its own and attacks by resistance factions in West Asia, the US prefers employing a leveraged military approach without any extensive involvement on the ground.

Lately, the Biden administration has been taking a sterner approach towards Tel Aviv’s actions in the northern Gaza Strip, and has called for Israeli coordination with the US on the ground war. Hours ahead of the truce being implemented, Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored that “the massive loss of civilian life and displacement of the scale that we saw in Northern Gaza [should] not be repeated in the South.” The spokesman for the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, has also recently told reporters that the Biden administration “does not support southern operations unless or until the Israelis can show that they have accounted for all the internally displaced people of Gaza.” Netanyahu, however, harbors a different agenda, seeking to prolong the conflict for personal gains rather than political success.

The continuation of the war means he will stay in office longer, and have the time to strike internal and external deals that ensure his post-conflict survival. For now, “King Bibi” faces mounting pressure from both allies and adversaries. International calls for tangible outcomes from the conflict are intensifying, with the mainstream media increasingly compelled – by social media – to highlight Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Domestically, Netanyahu is grappling with almost daily demands for his resignation or for the removal of extremist cabinet ministers from the Otzma Yehudit and religious Zionist parties. In the aftermath of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, the Israeli opposition tempted Netanyahu’s Likud party with offers to dismiss Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir – as well as the removal of the prime minister himself – as a condition for participating in an emergency government.

These proposals aimed to resolve Israel’s ongoing political and social unrest since 2019, which has led to five consecutive electoral cycles in four years and frequent mass anti-government protests. A national unity government would also be able to resume and possibly develop the Abraham Accords, strained by the presence of extremist parties in the government. Netanyahu’s radical ministers have often negatively affected both these nascent Israeli-Arab relations and Tel Aviv’s relationship with US Democrats.

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“We were sitting in the tunnels and we were terribly afraid not that Hamas but Israel would kill us, and then they would say – Hamas killed you.”

Behind Enemy Bars: Palestinian and Israeli Prisoners (Inlakesh)

The issue of Prisoners of War (POWs) taken captive by Hamas-led Palestinian resistance forces has become one of the key justifications for Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip. While western audiences are often presented with the image of these groups as bloodthirsty terrorists, a closer look reveals that Hamas and other factions may have treated Israeli captives more humanely than how Israel treats Palestinian political prisoners. While the Israeli POW issue spans eight weeks, the plight of Palestinian captives has persisted since at least 1967. There are said to be some 137 Israelis that are currently being held captive in Gaza, whom Hamas claims all are males and/or soldiers.

In the seven-day truce struck in November between Hamas and Israel, the Palestinian resistance released 108 women and children held captive in Gaza. In return, Israel was to release 300 Palestinian women and children held in detention and permit much-needed aid into Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Stanley Cohen, a US attorney who has represented both Hamas and Hezbollah members, tells The Cradle that “the laws of war do not limit Prisoners of War to State actors.” He says that “all the laws of war apply, whether it’s state actors or non-state actors.” This would mean that the same legal obligations on the treatment of POWs should apply to both Hamas and Israel, despite there being a greater moral expectation often placed on UN member states.

Access to interviews with detainees is limited due to Israeli government restrictions on media interaction with the recently freed captives, especially since the embarrassing PR blunder in late October when one of the four Israelis unconditionally released before the truce – 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz – said at a presser that “they treated us very well” in Gaza, but had endured “hell” while being taken captive. But despite the challenges in obtaining their full stories, certain facts stand out. Recent audio recordings quoted by Israeli media have revealed statements from freed prisoners who claim they were more fearful of Israeli actions than those by Hamas. One former detainee, criticizing the Israeli government, highlighted the lack of support and the challenges faced during their captivity:

“We were sitting in the tunnels and we were terribly afraid not that Hamas but Israel would kill us, and then they would say – Hamas killed you.” Another former Israeli captive went further in expressing disdain for the Israeli government’s responses on and after the events of 7 October: “The feeling we had there was that no one was doing anything for us. The fact is that I was in a hiding place that was shelled and we had to be smuggled out and were wounded. Not including the helicopter that shot at us on the way to Gaza. You claim that there is intelligence, but the fact is that we are being shelled. My husband was separated from us three days before we returned to Israel and taken to the tunnels. And you are talking about washing the tunnels with sea water? You are shelling the route of tunnels in the exact area where they are.”

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“It is repugnant to see how, despite the cruelty of the facts on view to the world, the government of the United States of America and its satellites aim to justify the unjustifiable..”

Gaza Divides the World, Again (Patrick Lawrence)

My award for courageous elocution of the week goes hands-down to Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations, who addressed the General Assembly last Tuesday on the topic of Israel and its barbaric attacks on the Palestinians of Gaza. His remarks, which Consortium News reproduced, were appropriately lengthy. Here I draw from his introductory paragraphs: “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela robustly condemns the Israeli aggression against the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is an operation of mass expulsion of an entire people in order to annex their territory by the occupying power. It’s a new cycle of expansionist terror, of so much that has been suffered by the Palestinian people over 75 years of occupation…. It is repugnant to see how, despite the cruelty of the facts on view to the world, the government of the United States of America and its satellites aim to justify the unjustifiable:

That the occupying power is carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court. We ask ourselves where are those who in other cases rush to apply the responsibility to protect but now are ignoring the human rights of Palestinians submitted to the Israeli occupation?” It is one thing, I have to say, for publications such as ScheerPost and Consortium News to publish commentary of this kind, or for many thousands of honorable people to march in the name of decency and justice. It is quite, quite another for a sovereign state to denounce Israel and the U.S. in a chamber such as the General Assembly. It all counts, everything we do. But Moncada and the government he represents just elevated the condemnation of apartheid Israel to the level of global diplomacy and state-to-state relations.

Jump-cut to the Land of Eire. Members of the Dáil, the lower house of Ireland’s national assembly, were the first in Europe—and remain alone in this—to speak for Palestinian rights and against the Israel Defense Forces’ savagery after Hamas’s October 7 incursion into southern Israel (which the Dáil also denounced). As noted previously in this space, the Dáil voted last month on expelling the Israeli ambassador and referring Israel to the ICC. These motions were defeated, narrowly. But the government’s countermotions nonetheless “deplore the escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory since [October 7].” As to the ICC referral, the government pointed out that an investigation into Israeli war crimes has been in train since 2021—so, no point.

These are specific cases suggesting a larger whole. After the U.S., in February 2022, finally succeeded in provoking Russia to intervene in Ukraine, we recall, 90 percent of humanity declined to line up behind Washington and its European client states. “The international community” whose support the Biden regime incessantly cited, turned out to be the 20–odd nations we refer to as the West. Hamas’s attacks on noncombatants on October 7 have been more or less universally condemned, as they should be. But Israel’s unrestrained response and the Biden regime’s unrestrained support of it have again divided the world. The trans–Atlantic alliance, with the U.S. per usual in the lead, is full-tilt behind Israel’s outright genocide. Support for it is scarce in the non–West, while expressions of support for the Palestinians of Gaza are many if in some cases muted.

Ireland is, of course, an exceptional and interesting case, I should pause to note. The government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar won the day in the Dáil last month, yes, but Ireland’s identity is nonetheless as non–Western as it is Western. The Irish know Western colonialism firsthand and have not forgotten their time under it. During the Troubles, the Irish Republican Army insisted Ireland must be understood as a Third World country. If you want to go further back, Ireland lay beyond the Roman walls; Rome never attempted to conquer it. These historical realities are often detectable in Dublin’s foreign policies and certainly, I would argue, in its position on the Israel–Gaza crisis. How fine it is to know the Dublin City Council began Wednesday to fly the Palestinian flag atop it for a week.

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But as a country, we don’t really have the intellectual resources to dig our way out of the hole that we’re in…”

‘The Death Rattle of The Western Empire’: US Hegemony Crumbling (Sp.)

Speaking to Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday, Jon Jeter, an award-winning foreign correspondent, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a former Washington Post bureau chief, said the wider perception of the United States as a the world’s most prominent political and military locomotive has shifted dramatically. He put that sea-change down to the developments within the Ukrainian and Gaza crises. “The events since October 7th, I think that’s the death rattle of the Western empire of the United States as the single greatest political and economic and military power in the world,” said Jeter. That to me is the final nail in the coffin, because we can’t go back to the world the way it was before October 6th.” The fading of US international hegemony has its roots at home too.

Dimming global engagement among the general public and the ineptitude of current US political establishment have added to the overall weakening US foothold on the international arena. “But as a country, we don’t really have the intellectual resources to dig our way out of the hole that we’re in. <…> I’ve seen this transition from a country that was very much engaged with the world. As a teenager, you could see it in the 1970s, and the 1980s up until Reagan, and then it started to change. We started to dumb down the conversation”, Jeter believes. The speakers also discussed the effect developments on the African continent earlier this year on the status-quo the US desperately seeks to uphold.

“One of the things that happened was the African summit [in Russia]. A bunch of African leaders came and the next week they went back and started overthrowing countries and kicking the French out. <…> the world that was scared of the big bully. And after they saw somebody punch back, people aren’t as afraid anymore,” noted Garland Nixon, The Critical Hour’s co-host. Jeter stressed the irreversible changes over the past couple of years to the balance of power and their lasting effect on the global political makeup. “I don’t think the United States or the West can put that genie back in the bottle. You know, Germany is de-industrializing. There’s turn to the right by many countries in Europe, Italy and now the Netherlands. And I don’t think they’re going to find answers that can really help to restore the West to its past glory,” Jeter concluded.

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“Truth is not very powerful as it does not serve very many powerful interests..”

The Military/Security Complex Proved to be Too Strong for Peace (PCR)

Henry Kissinger’s death resulted in an outpouring of hatred toward the former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, especially from CounterPunch. Even a few of my readers mistook my explanation of Kissinger as a justification of the war crimes so many accuse him of. I have noticed over recent decades the increasing tendency of Americans to respond emotionally, instead of rationally, to information. Since I explained Kissinger, instead of denouncing him, I was seen as apologizing for him or justifying him. I have no doubt that large numbers of civilians were killed and maimed in the bombings associated with the Vietnam war, some of which–Cambodia for example–Kissinger approved. But, of course, the Secretary of State is not the official who orders bombings.

Moreover, there is no indication that Kissinger engaged in bombing civilians simply because he enjoyed killing people and committing war crimes or because he believed in ethnic cleansing like the Zionist government in Israel. The Democrats and the left-wing have been very adroit at shifting the blame for the Vietnam War to Republican Nixon from Democrat Lyndon Johnson. Nixon and Kissinger wanted to end the war, but they had to do so in a way that did not discredit Nixon with his conservative base, a base that believed in the Domino Theory and that the Soviet Union’s mission was world conquest. The same base made it difficult for Nixon to defuse Cold War tensions with arms control agreements, such as SALT I. The North Vietnamese were not in much of a hurry to enable Nixon to exit the war on comfortable terms.

The only option remaining was to increase the violence in order to force an acceptable exit. That is what produced Cambodia, not blood-lust on the part of Kissinger and Nixon. Because Kissinger was a Jew, in denouncing him today some compare him to Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza. This is to misread both Kissinger and the events of his time. Nixon was distrusted by the ruling establishment because he worked to defuse both the tensions of the Cold War and the hostile relationship with China. This went against many vested interests and belief about communist motives. As I have explained, the CIA used Watergate and the Washington Post to assassinate Nixon. The liberal-left hated Nixon for his work as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee that led to the conviction of Alger Hiss and for his rhetoric, which was nothing but a sop to his base. The liberal-left was too busy enjoying Nixon’s discrediting to notice that he was another victim of the CIA like they believed Salvador Allende to be.

In my life I have seen close up so much that is then falsely explained and goes down in history books as wrongful accounts. Truth is not very powerful as it does not serve very many powerful interests. The fact remains that the Cambodia bombing was the desperate act of a government that wanted to end the Vietnam War. A legitimate question is: why didn’t Nixon simply walk away from the war? The answer is that he would have lost his conservative base, and, of course, the liberal-left would have piled on as well. Nixon and Kissinger hoped to create a more stable world by defusing the tensions between the West and the communist powers. This is also the reason left-leaning governments were overthrown elsewhere. The reasoning was that stability was impossible if Soviet leaning governments kept popping up in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The Nixon/Kissinger decision is not everyone’s. But, the Cuban Missile Crisis had made clear that one alternative to stability was conflict that could result in nuclear war. Reagan faced the same conundrum, but was able to reconcile with Gorbachev. It is a crime that subsequent administrations threw Reagan’s accomplishment away. The military/security complex proved to be too strong for peace.

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X thread.

The Military-Industrial Complex (RFK Jr)

On my seventh birthday, January 17, 1961—three days before my uncle, John F. Kennedy, took his oath of office as United States President—his predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, appeared on national television to deliver his farewell address, which history increasingly regards as one of the most important and prophetic speeches in American history. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.””

President Eisenhower took special care to include an expanded definition of his term “military-industrial complex” that would include the top bureaucrats at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Eisenhower warned that the federal government’s rising medical and scientific technocracy posed its own unique threats toward our democracy and freedom. “In this revolution, [scientific/medical] research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government . . . Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity . . . The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded . . .

[W]e must also be alert to the . . . danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” Eisenhower ended his speech with an admonition that echoes now in rebuke as we emerge from the COVID era that trampled the core principles that had, for 240 years, maintained America as the global exemplar for democracy, constitutional government, and personal freedom. “It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system—ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

The Wuhan Cover Up
Robert F Kennedy, Jr

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Wasn’t that Afghanistan?

Russian Intel Chief Warns US Of ‘Second Vietnam’ (RT)

By backing Kiev in its fight with Moscow, the US risks sleepwalking into another Vietnam War-style debacle, Sergey Naryshkin, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), has said. In an opinion piece for Razvedchik magazine issued by the SVR and published on Thursday, Naryshkin predicted tectonic geopolitical shifts in the coming year, which he said would be marked by an intensified confrontation between the West and those countries that oppose its hegemony. The intelligence chief suggested that the Western bloc would try to defend the dominance that is slipping from its grasp, with the ripples of the struggle likely to spread across the world.

The West will be particularly focused on the Ukraine conflict, Naryshkin said, predicting that it “would try to prolong the fighting as much as possible” in a bid to turn hostilities into “a second Afghanistan” and defeat Russia in a battle of attrition, using unprecedented sanctions and pumping Kiev with weapons. However, he warned that there is a high chance that continued support for the “Kiev junta” – given that the Ukraine conflict is becoming an increasingly “toxic” issue in the eyes of the global community – would lead to a rapid erosion of Western authority. The further we go, the more Ukraine will turn into a ‘black hole’, absorbing material and human resources. In the end, the US risks bringing upon itself a ‘second Vietnam’.”

According to Naryshkin, should this come to pass, every US administration will have to deal with this conundrum until “a more or less reasonable person comes to power in Washington” with enough courage and determination to extinguish the crisis. The 1955-1975 Vietnam War, in which the US actively supported anti-Communist forces, is widely regarded as one of the worst conflicts in America’s recent history. Apart from claiming the lives of about 58,000 US soldiers, it shattered public confidence in the government, in no small measure due to several controversies surrounding alleged war crimes committed by Washington. Under relentless public pressure, US forces completely withdrew from Vietnam in 1973, with the Washington-backed government being defeated a few years later. Russian officials have repeatedly warned the West against arming Ukraine, arguing that it will only prolong the conflict but not change its ultimate outcome. Moscow has also said that by supporting Kiev, NATO is essentially waging a war against Russia.

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“Pay the oligarchs or we’ll kill your kids.”

Pentagon Threatens Americans Over Ukraine – Tucker Carlson (RT)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reportedly told members of Congress that unless they approve more funding to Ukraine, Americans will be sent to fight Russia directly, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on Thursday. According to Carlson, Austin spoke at a classified briefing for members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and at one point told members that “we’ll send your uncles, cousins and sons to fight Russia” unless Kiev gets the $60 billion in aid requested by the White House. “The Biden administration is openly threatening Americans over Ukraine,” said Carlson said on X (formerly Twitter), summarizing Austin’s message as “Pay the oligarchs or we’ll kill your kids.” “He really said this?” asked X owner Elon Musk. “He really did. Confirmed,” Carlson replied.

Carlson was by far the most popular host of an evening talk show on cable TV when Fox News mysteriously chose to part ways with him in April. He has since speculated that its corporate owners “really didn’t like” some of his coverage that challenged official narratives. In May, he launched his own show on Musk’s platform in a format similar to his long-form interviews for Fox. On Tuesday, his guest was Congressman Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican opposed to sending any more money to Ukraine – on account of the US being too heavily in debt. “How could Washington possibly send tens of billions more to sleazy oligarchs in Ukraine now that the whole enterprise has been revealed as a fruitless, corrupt and incredibly destructive disaster?” Carlson wondered in the introduction to that interview.

The US Congress has approved over $120 billion worth of aid to Kiev since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022, in the form of weapons and ammunition coming from the Pentagon’s stockpiles as well as cash payments to the Ukrainian government. That money has mostly run out at this point, and the White House has asked for $60 billion more – choosing to bundle it with aid for Israel, weapons for Taiwan and “border security.” Some Republicans in both the House and the Senate have refused to go along, however. GOP senators stormed out of their briefing on Wednesday and later voted against advancing the aid package. Meanwhile, Republican chairs of the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence committees in the House of Representatives have embraced the White House talking points in a memo aiming to persuade their party members to back the Ukraine funding bill, according to Axios.

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“In an attempt to ‘add fuel’ to the fire of the Ukrainian proxy war, [US] authorities have finally lost touch with reality..”

Moscow Rejects US Narrative On Aid For Kiev (RT)

Claims in Washington that Russian President Vladimir Putin may attack NATO, unless Congress allocates tens of billions of dollars in additional Ukraine funding are “bogeyman stories,” Moscow’s top diplomat in the US capital said on Wednesday. White House officials, including President Joe Biden, have claimed that by withholding aid from Kiev, American lawmakers were increasing the risk of a direct US-Russia war. “If Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there,” Biden said in an address on Wednesday, in which he made a last-ditch appeal to lawmakers to appropriate over $110 billion in assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Touting the scenario of a Russian attack on NATO, Biden stressed that then American troops will have to get involved directly. The Russian leadership has not expressed an intention to “take Ukraine,” let alone invade any NATO member.

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov called the narrative “myth-making and [the] propagation of dangerous lies” about his nation. “In an attempt to ‘add fuel’ to the fire of the Ukrainian proxy war, [US] authorities have finally lost touch with reality,” he claimed in remarks posted by the embassy. “Washington and [the] insatiable US military-industrial complex are direct beneficiaries of the bloodshed in Ukraine,” Antonov added. In his pitch to Congress, Biden claimed that the Russian leader’s ambition was to “dominate Ukraine” and warned that “the entire world is watching” Washington’s actions. America is “the reason Putin has not totally overrun Ukraine and moved beyond that,” he claimed. Moscow has cited NATO’s expansion in Europe and the pledge that Ukraine will eventually join the US-led military bloc among the causes of the crisis. It was willing to seal a truce with Kiev in the early phase of the conflict in exchange for Ukrainian neutrality.

However, Russia’s opponent ditched a proposed peace agreement and opted for continued hostilities, after then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the country to “just make war,” according to David Arakhamia, who headed the Ukrainian delegation at the Türkiye-mediated negotiations. Biden accused Republican opponents of his request of being willing to “literally kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield” and “give Putin the greatest gift he could hope for and abandon our global leadership not just to Ukraine.” Nevertheless, Republican senators voted unanimously against the aid, which was bundled in a spending package, later in the day. The GOP legislators insisted that the White House and Democratic lawmakers make concessions on immigration reform and border security before they were willing to approve additional tens of billions of aid to Kiev.

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“I hope and believe business rises above the political nonsense.”

The Diamond Crack-Up (John Helmer)

It has never happened before among the world’s diamond-producing and diamond-processing countries. Meeting together last month in Zimbabwe in what is called the Kimberley Process (KP), the 57-member states refused to agree to the US and European Union (EU) attempt to exclude Russia, producer of half the diamonds in global trade. To camouflage the outcome of the fight, the KP delegates decided not to issue a communiqué. Without that, the rules of the meeting nullified all points of agreement which the Kimberley Process states had accepted during their two-day sessions. This dramatic collapse of the Kimberley Process happened in Harare on November 10. The disagreement and deadlock came over a letter from the Kiev regime, backed by the US, the EU, Japan, and Canada (the G7 member states) to impose a full ban on the trade in Russian diamonds.

The Ukrainian attempt was backed by intense pressure from the US State Department and by Jewish diamantaires in New York for the international diamond trade to accept the US Diamond Protocol, a scheme of registration, inspection, auditing, and certification enforced by US intelligence and Treasury agents, to prevent any Russian-mined diamond from entering the international diamond jewellery market. Instead, what has happened is that the global diamond industry has been cracked in half by the sanctions war. The defeat of the so-called “western bloc” in Zimbabwe is big news in Africa and India. It has not been reported in the New York and London financial press. Diamonds are now likely to follow oil, gas, coal, gold, and other commodities into parallel and competing global market operations.

In the diamond war, however, the outcome is also going to backfire on the Israeli diamond industry and the traditional Jewish centres in Antwerp, Belgium, and New York City, which have combined to take sides against Russia. In time, they will be replaced by the Arabs, Indians, and perhaps the Chinese. The Israelis don’t think so. They are calculating that in the short run they will gain from the recovery of diamond prices when the shortage of Russian supplies hits much harder than it has to date. A source in Antwerp reports “absolutely no backlash [against the Gaza war] here from any of the five main diamond communities including the Lebanese. The Israeli industry has been declining for many years anyway, especially manufacturing – it’s uncompetitive with the Indians — but also trading. There is no diamantaire sympathy with any Arab country (or Iran). I hope and believe business rises above the political nonsense.”

The Kimberley Process, first created in 2003 to stop “blood diamonds” from entering the market from the genocidal wars of western Africa, is about to be confronted by blood diamonds from Israel. The story of the US attempt to start sanctions against Russian diamonds from the US and its allies began here when the Belgian government was resisting to save the multi-billion dollar Antwerp diamond business.

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This does not yet include anything FARA related.

Hunter Biden Indicted by Feds on 9 Counts Related to Tax Evasion (Sp.)

US federal prosecutors filed nine new counts against Hunter Biden and alleged he engaged in a scheme to evade over a million in taxes, a court filing revealed. “The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020,” the document, filed in a federal court in California on Thursday, said. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills.” He evaded taxes while getting paid millions, the document revealed.

Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, according to the document, Hunter Biden received more than $7 million in total gross income. The document also said Burisma agreed to pay the defendant $1 million annually, which they reduced to $500,000 a year in March 2017. The indictment also details Hunter Biden’s business dealings with other foreign contacts. Between 2015 and 2017, Hunter Biden and two business associates split a payment of $3.1 million tied to attempts to help a Romanian businessperson contest bribery charges he was facing in his home country. Hunter Biden and business associates in 2015 met with individuals tied to CEFC China Energy company for talks on infrastructure projects.

“On or about March 1, 2017, State Energy HK, a Hong Kong entity associated with CEFC, paid approximately $3 million to Business Associate 1’s entity for sourcing deals and for identifying other potential ventures. The Defendant [Hunter Biden] had an oral agreement with Business Associate 1 to receive one-third of those funds, or a million dollars. The Defendant, in turn, directed a portion of those million dollars to Business Associate 3,” the document said. Republican-led House panels are probing Hunter Biden for alleged criminal activity, including foreign bribery and influence peddling. Last month, the Oversight Committee subpoenaed Hunter Biden to appear for a deposition.

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Perhaps Elon Musk WILL reinstate him..

“If People Think Things Are Bad Now…” Tucker And Alex Jones (ZH)

Dubbed “the most censored man in the world”, Jones began by discussing his (correct) prediction about 9/11. As Tucker points out, “the 9/11 thing, you called it in public.” But Jones says his most accurate prediction was around a decade ago when he read the “Rockefeller Foundation Operation Lockstep report,” which he says: “described using a virus to bring in world government, a world medical ID, which they would then build a social credit score off of……that they would make people wear masks for fear, shut down sporting events and things like that… and basically phase in this new tyranny.” These warnings, among other things, were the reason, Carlson argues, why Jones was so widely deplatformed. “Fundamentally, Alex Jones is right about a lot of things. And in fact, that’s why they don’t like him.”

“To this day, nobody has been more aggressively censored, I don’t think, than you… I read about it, and I felt that it was a major moment in the history of American media. I don’t think anybody defended you when that happened. Anybody, with any kind of audience,” To which Jones replied: “When Tim Cook admitted that he met on the weekend in August of 2017 with the other big tech heads, and they made the decision to “curate” like it’s a museum – and take me off, it was hundreds of platforms. It wasn’t just the big ones. Everything from LinkedIn, to our bank accounts being taken away, to everything ensuing over the next week and that month. And I knew I was a test case.” “It was the questioning the school shooting thing that came later. They kind of dredged that up from my past, blew that up after I’d been deplatformed, and said I’d been deplatformed for that.

“Once they deplatformed me, it made the show in ways only get bigger… So then they panicked and said ‘okay, let’s look at his record and create more of a reason,’ so they took things out of context from 5-6 years before, blew em up as a current thing out of context, and deceptively reported on what I said to create a strawman argument to then facilitate the reason.”

The discussion turns to the current state of America with Jones laying the blame for the growing division of the nation by race squarely at the feet of China. “The CCP, along with the SPLC and ADL, see America’s weakness and they are literally coming in and saying ‘white people are inherently bad because of the color of their skin……and then they organize all them into race-based groups under the Democratic party flag to attack who is left… which tends to be more conservative.” Jones warns however that “they are panicking” because “more and more blacks and hispanics are voting Republican,” which, he explains is why the open border policy is being allowed. “They are bringing in all these totally disenfranchised people from around the world… putting them in camps where they indoctrinated into a subdued political under-class… that’s then going to be turned loose on America.”

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“If they want the best house in the country, that would be one of the top two or three that would be available if they were for sale..”

Trump Witness Says He Valued Mar-a-Lago at More Than $1 Billion (ET)

A Florida real estate agent this week testified in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York that his Mar-a-Lago property is worth at least $1 billion. Lawrence Moens, who was called as a witness by the defense, testified that the Florida property could be sold as a home, saying he would value it at over $1 billion as of 2021. “It’s something breathtaking. It’s something amazing to see,” he said of Mar-a-Lago, adding that he had valued it at over $1.2 billion in 2021. He also told the court that President Trump’s company had actually undervalued Mar-a-Lago by about half. Mr. Moens’s valuation assumes that Mar-a-Lago is a personal residence, a premise that a judge already has rejected in the ongoing civil fraud trial.

“I work very hard to sell rich people property in Palm Beach,” testified Mr. Moens. “I’m on the front lines every day of selling properties, and I have a pretty good handle on what’s happening in the market.” Spanning 17 acres with waterfront on two sides, the Trump estate and social club is his home, a place where the former president and current Republican 2024 front-runner has conducted high-profile meetings while in and out of office, and the spot where federal special counsel Jack Smith alleges he improperly stashed classified documents, which President Trump denies. Mar-a-Lago also is a key element of the current New York civil case. State Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit claims that the ex-president and his company deceived lenders and others by giving them financial statements that greatly overstated the values of some of his prime assets, including Mar-a-Lago.

Testifying for Trump’s defense, a Florida real estate attorney said the property could be sold as a home, notwithstanding decades-old legal documents in which Trump said he intended to forswear its use as anything but a club. Then a Palm Beach luxury real estate broker testified that he’d value the historic estate at over $1 billion as of 2021. Judge Arthur Engoron, in a pretrial ruling declaring that Trump and his company engaged in fraud, found that he exaggerated Mar-a-Lago’s worth by as much as 2,300 percent, compared to the Palm Beach County tax appraiser’s valuations. They ranged from $18 million to $28 million. However, some real estate professionals who aren’t involved in the case expressed concern about the judge’s ruling several months ago, suggesting that he made an error by relying solely on the tax appraiser’s valuations.

Some Palm Beach luxury real estate agents have told The Associated Press that the property would sell for $300 million to $600 million, and possibly $1 billion or more if it sparked a bidding war among uber-wealthy contenders.
During a short cross-examination Tuesday, state attorney Kevin Wallace asked whether he was a member of the Mar-a-Lago club. “I am,” Mr. Moens said, saying that he joined in 1995 or 1996. “I don’t go too often. I don’t like clubs,” he added. “You’re not running a process that is re-creatable … is that fair?” Mr. Wallace asked about his valuations of Mar-a-Lago. “That’s fair,” Mr. Moens said. In a pre-trial deposition over the summer, Mr. Moens had said that he “could dream up anyone from Elon Musk to Bill Gates and everyone in between” to purchase Mar-a-Lago. “Kings, emperors, heads of state.”

“If they want the best house in the country, that would be one of the top two or three that would be available if they were for sale,” he added. “I wish he’d let me sell it, but it’s not for sale,” he said. Another defense witness, Miami-based real estate attorney John Shubin, also testified that “there is absolutely no prohibition on the use of Mar-a-Lago as a single-family residence.” He noted that the property is simultaneously a club and President Trump’s residence. Mr. Shubin also pointed to a 1993 agreement between the former president and the city that said Mar-a-Lago would revert to private residential use if the club were “abandoned.”

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