Jul 202023

Andy Warhol Grace Kelly 1984


RFK Jr’s Racist, Antisemitic And Xenophobic Views Go Back Decades (G.)
Anything Anything Anything To Avoid Debating RFK Jr. (Patrick Lawrence)
RFK Jr. Floats Plan to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Gold (Tweedie)
Why the Ukraine Conflict Will Unravel NATO and Biden (Desai)
West Ready To Turn Blind Eye To Any Crimes Of Kiev – Kremlin (TASS)
How Much Of The $185 Billion Given By The West To Ukraine Was Stolen? (Trenin)
Mosquitoes And Pinpricks: Warmaking As Public Relations (Helmer)
World Is Getting Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Lula (RT)
West Not Prepared For Conflict With China – FT (RT)
The Latest Racist Attacks on Clarence Thomas (Turley)
Trump Could Face ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ Charge in Jan. 6 Probe (ET)
Europe to See ‘Devastating Migration Crisis’ After Grain Deal Suspension (Sp.)
Julian Assange Is ‘Dangerously Close’ to Extradition (Cohn)



One of these songs got removed because the lyrics were “too offensive” the other song was number 1 on billboard….












Big guy




Joseph Ziegler #IRSwhistleblower:
Money IRS found that was paid to Hunter Biden and associates from 2014-2019:
From Romania $3.1 million
CEFC subsidiary: $3m
Hudson West III [CEFC]: $3.7m
Burisma $6.5m
Total foreign income streams: $17m









Russia showed miracles of patience, constantly extending the grain deal;
Failure to fulfill obligations to the Russian Federation under the grain deal is impudence and impudence;
The West has done everything to derail the grain deal;
The West once pushed Africa into the abyss of wars, famine and poverty, and now continues its neo-colonial policy;
The West obstructs even the free transfer of fertilizers by Russia to the poorest countries;
The grain deal resulted in direct losses for Russian farmers in the amount of $1.2 billion;
Russia is ready to replace Ukrainian grain on the world market both on a gratuitous and commercial basis;
Putin confirmed the readiness of the Russian Federation to return to the grain deal if the obstacles to its agricultural exports are removed;
Putin called the resumption of work of the Togliati-Odessa ammonia pipeline one of the conditions for the resumption of the grain deal;
The West completely “emasculated and perverted” the originally humanitarian essence of the grain deal, made it an instrument of enrichment for speculators;
To resume the grain deal, it is necessary to return its humanitarian essence;
Russia will immediately return to the grain deal if all its conditions are met.





Wanna know how the US elections will be narrated? Look no further. And this is the Guardian, not even American. No shame, no balance. And it isn’t even Luke Harding. Please read the whole article.

RFK Jr’s Racist, Antisemitic And Xenophobic Views Go Back Decades (G.)

Robert Kennedy Jr, a long-shot Democratic candidate for US president, has a long history of racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, and should be denied a national platform, according to a damning report seen by the Guardian. Kennedy, who provoked anger last week when he was filmed falsely suggesting that the coronavirus could have been “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, is due to testify at the US Capitol in Washington on Thursday. The Congressional Integrity Project, a political watchdog, called for Republicans to disinvite Kennedy after releasing a report that details his meetings with and promotion of racists, antisemites and extremist conspiracy theorists. “Kennedy embraces virtually every conspiracy theory in existence,” the report states.

“His horrific antisemitic and xenophobic views are simply beyond the pale, and he has frequently met with and promoted antisemitic conspiracy theorists. Kennedy’s anti-vaccine conspiracies go back decades and have had deadly real world consequences.” Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, is running against Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary and has drawn big and enthusiastic crowds and polled as high as 20%. But the Project’s document argues that Kennedy’s recent comments about Jewish and Chinese people, which were quickly hailed by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers as “100% correct”, were not an aberration but fitted a long pattern. Earlier this summer Kennedy touted a meeting with Ice Cube, a rapper who issued bizarre antisemitic tweets, and publicly defended musician Roger Waters, who was embroiled in controversy after donning a costume intended to evoke Nazi attire at a concert in Germany.

The report says Kennedy has also repeatedly promoted and praised fringe online broadcaster James Corbett, a Sandy Hook and 9/11 conspiracy theorist who has claimed that “Hitler and the Nazis were 100% completely and utterly set up”. Kennedy has often allied himself with the National of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, who regularly unleashed tirades about alleged Jewish control of media and government. Kennedy met Farrakhan at his Chicago home in 2015, with Farrakhan later tweeting that they discussed “a vaccine that is designed to affect Black males”.

The Project details how Kennedy himself has frequently invoked Nazi Germany when pushing debunked theories about vaccines. He put out a video that showed the infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci with a moustache reminiscent of Adolf Hitler and used the word “holocaust” to describe children he believes were hurt by vaccines in 2015.

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“..a man who knows who is doing what to develop bioweapons and says so with no apparent fear or favor… and we must conclude he hates Jews.”

Anything Anything Anything To Avoid Debating RFK Jr. (Patrick Lawrence)

The Post had the integrity to publish a 1–minute 47–second video—a snippet or the whole is not clear—that either Levine or a colleague recorded during the lunch. I cannot comment on the decisive question concerning the breaking of wind at Tony’s, but nothing raucous goes on in the video, and what Levine chose to quote in his copy was (1) a provocative misrepresentation of Kennedy’s point and (2) left out the most startling part of his comments. [..] To the first point, anyone who finds it odd for someone to state that diseases strike some groups of people more severely than others is simply too prone to malign suggestion to make his or her way in our propagandized world. It has been understood for who knows how long that sickle-cell anemia strikes hardest in Black and Latin American communities, to take one common example.

Covid–19 is no different. The Mayo Clinic has a report on its website analyzing the relative vulnerabilities of various racial and ethnic groups to Covid–19 infections. As to Kennedy’s reference to European Jews and the Chinese, he clarified subsequent to the lunch that this relied on a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic indicating that some ethnic and racial groups, among them Ashkenazi Jews, were less susceptible to the Covid–19 virus than other groups, among which are Blacks. This—the blood simmers as I write this sentence—is the basis of the charge that R.F.K. Jr. displayed anti–Semitic tendencies while consuming his pasta with white clam sauce at Tony’s earlier this month. Here is the portion of Kennedy’s recorded remarks I found revelatory. In it, he reiterates that scientific studies show Caucasians and Blacks to be most vulnerable to Covid–19 infection and European Jews and Chinese are least vulnerable, “because of the genetic structures, the genetic differentials among different races:”

“And we need to talk about bioweapons. I know a lot about bioweapons because I’ve been doing a book on them for the past two and a half years. And… the technology we now have… we’ve put hundreds of millions of dollars into ethnically targeted microbes. The Chinese have done the same thing…. We know the Chinese are spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing ethnically targeted bioweapons, and we are developing ethnic bioweapons. That’s what all those labs in the Ukraine are about. They’re collecting Russian DNA. They’re collecting Chinese DNA so they can target people by race.”

Why aren’t our mainstream media picking up on this interesting, highly consequential story? Believe me, they will go nowhere near the question of American-made bioweapons and those three dozen laboratories in Ukraine. Nah, the fantasies of a conspiracy theorist. We have a man who has spent his professional life in the precincts of science, a man who researched the topic of ethnically targeted bioweapons for two-plus years and is writing a book about them, a man who is plainly conversant with the pertinent scientific vocabulary and the theories expressed therein, a man who knows who is doing what to develop bioweapons and says so with no apparent fear or favor… and we must conclude he hates Jews.

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“Fiat currency was invented to fund wars..”

RFK Jr. Floats Plan to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Gold (Tweedie)

US presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said he will underpin the dollar with more solid assets — including Bitcoin. Kennedy, the nephew of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, is mounting an outsider challenge to incumbent Joe Biden for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the 2024 election. Speaking at an event organised by the Heal-the-Divide political action committee (PAC) on Tuesday, Kennedy outlined some unorthodox ideas for shoring up the value of Treasury bills, government-issued short-term investment securities. “My plan would be to start very, very small, perhaps one percent of issued T-bills would be backed by hard currency, by gold, silver platinum or Bitcoin,” Kennedy said.

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency on the market since its launch in 2009 by an enigmatic developer or developers known as Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by gold reserves or a national economy and continues to fluctuate wildly in value. However, its creators have set a final limit on how many of the virtual ‘crypto coins’ will be in circulation, preventing their debasement. “Backing dollars and US debt obligations with hard assets could help restore strength back to the dollar, rein in inflation and usher in a new era of American financial stability, peace and prosperity,” the Democrat argued. He also made a rare argument against the use of Fiat money — currencies not backed by gold or other commodities — as the the greenback has been since 1971 when president Richard Nixon took it off the Gold Standard.

Kennedy’s late uncle JFK “understood the importance of hard currency and the dangers of having pure fiat currency with no other option,” he said. “He understood the relationship between fiat currency and war … and also these giant aggregations of wealth and the unbalance, the disparities in wealth that are the ultimate yield of every fiat currency.” He also linked the shift to Fiat currency, with the option of inflationary ‘quantitative easing’ to America’s endless series of imperialist conflicts overseas. “Fiat currency was invented to fund wars,” Kennedy stressed. “I like base currencies because they make it more difficult, you have to go to the public. You can’t just print money to fund the war and tax the public through the hidden tax of inflation.”

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“Europe can thank its stars that the critical aid and immense sacrifices of Soviet and Chinese forces ensured victory in the Second World War..”:

Why the Ukraine Conflict Will Unravel NATO and Biden (Desai)

Always a work-in-progress, NATO unity has got more difficult as US power has declined. In recent decades, its chief glue has been US military power. If it too ceases to bind – as is clear from the string of military failures culminating in the humiliating exit from Afghanistan – then the self-sacrifice Biden has demanded, and some extent received, from the Europeans on Ukraine – is the dime on which the future of US leadership over what remains of its allies and of its chief instrument, NATO, will turn.Understanding such imminent fundamental change requires a return to fundamentals beneath the appearance of NATO unity. The much-vaunted Article 5 may state, famously, that ‘an armed attack against one … shall be considered an attack against … all’.

However, if you think this obliges all members to rush to the defence of attacked members with all they’ve got, think again. The article specifies further that each ally will ‘will assist … by taking forthwith … such action as it deems necessary [emphasis added]’. So, allied solidarity turns out to be a moveable feast, meaning only what each member country ‘deems necessary’. On the matter of the US commitment to Europe, which NATO is held to powerfully instantiate, even the early Cold War commitment to defend Western Europe against the big bad Soviet Union, amounted, practically, to schemes that were ‘always far-fetched and recognised as such’.

If you are shocked, consider this: the US ‘aided’ Europe during the two World Wars on a more or less commercial basis, vastly increasing its economic and financial clout at the expense of ‘allies’. Ruinously for them, it demanded repayment of its war loans after the First World War and, equally ruinously, demanded policy alignment after the Second. Europe can thank its stars that the critical aid and immense sacrifices of Soviet and Chinese forces ensured victory in the Second World War, and that the alleged threat of an imminent Soviet attack on Western Europe was little more than a figment of the very hysterical US imagination that has kept its military industrial complex is such fine fettle down the decades.

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“This is nothing new, it has happened before. It will happen again, we understand it very well.”

West Ready To Turn Blind Eye To Any Crimes Of Kiev – Kremlin (TASS)

Moscow fully understands that the West has been and will continue to turn a blind eye to any crimes committed by the Kiev regime, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Commenting on the reaction of Western countries to the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, the spokesman said: “The West is ready to turn a blind eye to any terrorist attack organized by the Kiev regime in our country. In this case they are silent. This is nothing new, it has happened before. It will happen again, we understand it very well.”

Ukrainian forces used two surface drones to carry out a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge in the early morning hours of Monday, the National Antiterrorism Committee told TASS. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under the article “Act of Terrorism.” The terrorist attack resulted in the deaths of two adults, a married couple from the Belgorod Region, and injuries to their minor child. As well, the bridge’s road surface was damaged. Traffic on the bridge has been suspended since the morning. Train traffic has already resumed and a ferry crossing is now operating. Passenger cars will soon be able to transit to the mainland from Crimea via ferry, but trucks must take a northern overland detour through the new regions.

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“Corruption there is beyond belief. It always has been. And that doesn’t change. That’s all I was writing about,” Hersh said.”

How Much Of The $185 Billion Given By The West To Ukraine Was Stolen? (Trenin)

The problem persists despite the fact that for many years, the US has invested funds to battle corruption in Ukraine. The funds were allocated to the Prosecutor General’s office, the local media, and other organizations. This was stated by the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, at a congressional hearing. Despite this, the crimes in Ukraine continue. Some time ago, Ukrainian anti-corruption police arrested the deputy minister of infrastructure on suspicion of receiving a bribe of €367,000 for the purchase of generators at an inflated price. And recently, the head of Ukraine’s Supreme Court was accused of corruption. Then, there was the investigation by a Ukrainian newspaper which reported that Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense had concluded contracts for food supplies for front line troops at a price two to three times higher than normal – an investigation that caused a big scandal.

The Pentagon’s concerns that weapons supplied to Ukraine may end up on the black market have also been confirmed. “Very early [in the conflict], Poland, Romania, other countries on the border were being flooded with weapons we [the US and allies] were shipping for the war to Ukraine. In other words, commanders of I don’t know what level – often it wasn’t generals, it was colonels and others, who were given shipments of some weapons, [who] would personally resell them to the dark market,” Hersh told ‘Going Underground’ host Afshin Rattansi. He added that everybody in Ukraine’s government is now getting third parties involved, as this increases their chances of earning money on the side. “Corruption there is beyond belief. It always has been. And that doesn’t change. That’s all I was writing about,” Hersh said.

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“..of course Ukraine has to decide how it conducts this war in defence of its umm territory, its people, ahhh its freedom.”

Mosquitoes And Pinpricks: Warmaking As Public Relations (Helmer)

On the battlefield the Ukraine has pioneered the Mosquito Tactic – that’s sending units of dozens of soldiers running towards Russian defence fortifications in several swarms at the same time, across a half-dozen salients up and down the line of contact. In parallel, in the air and on the sea President Vladimir Zelensky and his general staff have devised the Bloody Pinprick Tactic – that’s drones exploding on Russian targets like the Crimean Bridge or the Kremlin Senate Dome. The purpose of both, mosquitoes and pinpricks, is warmaking as public relations, Zelensky is advertising the illusion that the Ukrainian army can win its offensive against Russia, no matter how great the loss in Ukrainian men and materiel; notwithstanding how little the impact on Russian forces.

The real target of this bloody PR isn’t the Russians. It is Zelensky’s NATO allies and paymasters who secretly warned him during the July 11-12 NATO summit meeting that the cashflow and the enthusiasm are already running down, and may be cut by Christmas. The tactic of bloody PR means making daily defeat look like imminent victory, with conditions: NATO fighter-bombers pretending to be Ukrainian; Polish troops around Lvov pretending to be the revival of the Polish-Lithuanian union of 1386; and grain carriers as warships on the Black Sea, pretending to feed the hungriest populations of the world. In its statement on the Crimean Bridge attack twelve hours later, the Russian Foreign Ministry said “if the investigation finds that the surface drones that attacked the bridge are of Western origin, and that Western countries played a role in planning, sponsoring and conducting this operation, it will confirm their complicity in the Kiev regime’s terrorist activity.”

Asked to comment, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “this is a situation we are monitoring. Ah, and I don’t really have anything in particular to offer on that, err, just, ahh, I can say that as a general proposition, of course Ukraine has to decide how it conducts this war in defence of its umm territory, its people, ahhh its freedom.”

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World Is Getting Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Lula (RT)

Countries around the world are beginning to grow weary of the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told reporters on Wednesday. “The world is starting to get tired. Countries are starting to get tired,” he said following a two-day meeting of EU and Latin American leaders in Brussels, as quoted by Bloomberg. The Brazilian president predicted that there will eventually come a moment when there will be peace in Ukraine, and insisted that a group of countries will have to be able to talk to both Moscow and Kiev Lula, who has been pushing for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, also objected to efforts to single out Moscow as the sole culprit behind the conflict.

He insisted that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as well as US leader Joe Biden, were equally to blame for failing to negotiate with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to prevent the conflict. During this week’s summit between the EU and the Community of South American and Caribbean States (CELAC), European officials had hoped to sign a final statement which would feature an explicit condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. However, EU leaders failed to persuade all of their Latin American counterparts, as a number of states, including Brazil and Nicaragua, objected to the inclusion of any strong language on Russia in the document. The final declaration, which included promises of investment and several deals, ended up being signed by all members of the summit except Nicaragua, which objected to the inclusion of even a single paragraph referring to the Ukraine conflict.

Despite NATO’s commitment to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” a number of Western officials have recently started to predict that support for Kiev could soon begin to wane as “war fatigue” sets in over the prolonged conflict. Last week, Czech President Petr Pavel stated that Ukraine should aim to regain as much territory as possible before the 2024 US presidential elections, which could see Kiev’s backers in Washington reconsider the volume of military aid sent to Ukraine. In March, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova also warned that military aid for Kiev was not unlimited and claimed that public support for Ukraine was “running out.”

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What conflict?

West Not Prepared For Conflict With China – FT (RT)

Ammunition shortages laid bare by the Ukraine conflict have prompted some US think-tanks to check on stockpiles in the West and find them wanting, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. The military industry of NATO allies is not able to help, either. A Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) wargame of a conflict with China over Taiwan showed that the US had only about 450 long-range anti-ship missiles, enough for about a week. Another think tank, the Center for New American Security (CNAS), said the existing missile inventory is “too small to blunt an initial invasion, let alone prevail in a protracted conflict against China.” To deter and defeat Beijing, the Pentagon “needs large stockpiles of stand-off missiles, maritime strike weapons, and layered air and missile defenses,” CNAS concluded.

According to FT, the US Department of Defense has asked for $1.1 billion in the 2024 fiscal year to buy 118 long-range anti-ship missiles (LRASM), compared to half that amount for 83 missiles the year before. The Pentagon also wants $30 billion for ammunition, a 23% increase over 2023 levels, and $315 billion for new weapons. CNAS has noted that the Pentagon tends to prioritize big-ticket items such as ships, planes and tanks, “leaving missiles and munitions with inadequate funding.” FT revealed that the collective West has spent a combined $170 billion on military and financial aid to Ukraine since February 2022. Kiev is still complaining about ammunition shortages, however.

The US military-industrial complex has spent decades prioritizing efficiency and adopting the just-in-time supply chain used by other industries, according to FT, leaving it unable to scale up production in wartime. Parts and labor shortages are currently a problem as well. “The defense industry is so consolidated that it can’t very quickly expand to support a greater demand,” said Stacie Pettyjohn of CNAS. “So we’re slow and behind and don’t have enough of anything.” Only five companies are responsible for major Pentagon contracts, and some parts are made by only one or two suppliers, with no way to make up the shortage elsewhere. Nor can NATO allies step in to pick up the slack, because the US push to promote American-made weapons has left the European defense industry stunted and fractured, multiple think-tank experts told FT.

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“The racist attack from the top lawyer in the state of Minnesota was not condemned by a single democrat.”

The Latest Racist Attacks on Clarence Thomas (Turley)

In July 1991, Clarence Thomas, a relatively unknown D.C. Circuit judge, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall on the United States Supreme Court. Thomas soon found out that the only thing more perilous than replacing a historical icon on the Court is replacing a liberal with a conservative. Thomas would become an icon in his own right for conservatives: an unyielding defender of textualism and conservative jurisprudence. Yet, liberals seem more preoccupied by his race than his rigidity. This week, a leading Democrat, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison unleashed another openly racist attack on Thomas and neither the media nor the political establishment condemned the remarks.

Ellison condemned Thomas as a house slave working for white people, analogizing him to the vile character “Stephen,” played by Samuel L. Jackson in the film “Django Unchained.” (Jackson himself called Thomas “Uncle Clarence” after the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade). Ellison added that, because he disagreed with Thomas’ conservative opinions, the justice is “illegitimate” and “needs to be impeached.” That is, of course, nonsensical from a constitutional standpoint. However, what was most striking is the response to statements. The racist attack from the top lawyer in the state of Minnesota was not condemned by a single democrat. Not Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who previously falsely declared that hate speech is not constitutionally protected under the First Amendment and declared himself a champion against bigotry and racist rhetoric.

Not from senior Senator Amy Klubuchar, who has repeatedly denounced racist tropes and rhetoric of Republicans. Not from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who rightfully condemned the comments of Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville on white nationalism but made no comment on a racist attack of Thomas in the same week. Not from President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly denounced racial rhetoric and “codes” by Republicans. Indeed, the day that Ellison’s comments were being aired nationally, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre went to the press room to denounce Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at length for his statements suggesting that Covid-19 may have been engineered to spare Jewish and Chinese people. Jean-Pierre declared that “it is important that we essentially speak out” when such racist or anti-Semitic comments are made, but then made no mention of the racist attack on Thomas as nothing more than a house slave.

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“Ms. Kelly believes the DOJ approached the Proud Boys trial in a way that seemed to lay the groundwork for bringing the same charge against Mr. Trump..”

Trump Could Face ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ Charge in Jan. 6 Probe (ET)

Prosecutors should first ask for a voluntary appearance before subpoenaing the target of a criminal investigation, according to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Justice Manual. Also, lawyers usually discourage their clients from going before a grand jury if they are the target of the investigation—it can be avoided by invoking the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, says Marc Ruskin, a former FBI agent and assistant U.S. attorney. However, that may be Mr. Smith’s goal, according to Mr. Ruskin. He noted that Mr. Trump is already facing indictments in New York and Florida and pleading the Fifth in Washington gives another talking point to his opponents. “It could be a tactical and procedural move just to make him look bad,” he said.

“You have Trump, a former president who is running to be president again, pleading the Fifth. I guess from their point of view, it’s going to help make him less attractive as a candidate.” If the target is not asked to testify, “the prosecutor, in appropriate cases, is encouraged to notify such person a reasonable time before seeking an indictment in order to afford him or her an opportunity to testify before the grand jury,” the manual says. Mr. Trump indicated he believes charges against himself are imminent, saying that being told to report to the grand jury, “almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.” Some commentators have long predicted Mr. Trump will face charges in the probe, including Julie Kelly, an independent journalist who had closely followed the trials of Jan. 6 participants.

“I’ve warned of this for over a year. I take no pride in being right,” she commented in a July 18 tweet. “Only question now is what charges Smith will bring (strong possibility he’ll seek indictment on seditious conspiracy) and who is charged with him. (Any conspiracy charge requires at least one conspirator).” In April, she highlighted several members of the pro-Trump Proud Boys group who were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Ms. Kelly believes the DOJ approached the Proud Boys trial in a way that seemed to lay the groundwork for bringing the same charge against Mr. Trump. During the closing arguments, it seemed to her that prosecutors tried to tie Proud Boys to Mr. Trump, particularly regarding a comment by Mr. Trump during a 2020 presidential debate that the Proud Boys should “stand down and stand by.” She pointed to a comment by one of the prosecutors that “defendants saw themselves as Donald Trump’s army, fighting to keep their preferred leader in power no matter what.”

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And again blame Russia…

Europe to See ‘Devastating Migration Crisis’ After Grain Deal Suspension (Sp.)

Europe, which will be flooded with migrants from low-income countries that rely on grain exports from Ukraine and Russia, will suffer the most from the suspension of the grain deal, international experts told Sputnik on Wednesday. On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s participation in the grain deal had been terminated with immediate effect, although it would return to it if commitments toward Moscow were fulfilled. “Europe may soon experience a devastating migration crisis following Russia’s decision to leave the deal. The biggest victim of higher grain prices and shortages in the developing countries will be the European Union,” Yusuf Alabarda, a Turkish political expert and a representative of the M5 Strategy Journal, told Sputnik.

“We know very well that Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and a couple of other African countries are mainly dependent on Ukrainian and Russian grain imports. Europe will be overwhelmed by migrants fleeing hunger.” Eugen Schmidt of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, in commentary for Sputnik, also predicted a dire impact of the deal’s suspension for the European Union. “Unfortunately, Western countries are deliberately provoking hunger in regions dependent on Ukrainian and Russian grain supplies, which will inevitably incite huge hungry masses to storm European borders,” Schmidt said. “It is unlikely that the ruling political elites of the EU do not understand what the failure of the grain deal threatens them with, but apparently they do not care at all about the impending hunger and the further flooding of Europe with migrants.”

The German lawmaker added that today Europe, and especially Germany, is not independent in its foreign policy and acts only in the interests of “external forces, which has an extremely negative effect on the state of affairs in Germany itself. As several key European nations, including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria, have already called on Russia to restore its participation in the grain initiative, the expert called on them to take responsibility on their behalf for the suspension of the agreement as Russia’s concerns have not been met.

Putin grain

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I’m running out of words…

Julian Assange Is ‘Dangerously Close’ to Extradition (Cohn)

Article 4(3) of the Extradition Treaty forbids extradition if the request was “politically motivated.” The legally unprecedented and selective nature of the prosecution in focusing on leaked national security information speaks to the political character of the prosecution and request for extradition, the appeal says. Assange’s lawyers wrote that “this prosecution is motivated by matters other than the proper and usual pursuit of criminal justice. It is motivated instead by a concerted intent to destroy or inhibit the publishers of evidence of state criminal ability, and thereby put a stop to the process of investigating, prosecuting and preventing such international crimes in the future.”

The appeal papers point out that Assange is being prosecuted for exposing “wholescale abuse and war crimes” committed by the United States. If instead he had “exposed war crimes or crimes against humanity committed by a state such as the Russian Federation,” the defense lawyers write, “there can be no doubt that his prosecution for such revelations would be regarded as both a political offence (within the Treaty) and an impermissible prosecution motivated by a desire to punish him for his political opinions/acts.”

“While the leakers of such materials have been prosecuted albeit selectively, no prosecution for the act of obtaining or publishing state secrets has ever occurred,” the appeal says. That is “[b]ecause the First Amendment protects the free press and it is vital that the press expose rather than ignore … not because journalists are somehow privileged but because the citizenry has a right to know what is going on,” Mark Feldstein, journalism professor at University of Maryland, testified at Assange’s extradition hearing.

Article 10 of the ECHR protects freedom of expression. Columbia law professor Jameel Jaffer testified that the indictment is focused “almost entirely” on things that national security journalists do “routinely and as a necessary part of their work,” including “cultivating sources, communicating with them confidentially, soliciting information from them, protecting their identities from disclosure, and publishing classified information.” The conviction of Assange would chill journalists from fulfilling their function as watchdog for the public. The appeal quotes the 1996 case of Goodwin v. the United Kingdom:

Press freedom assumes even greater importance in circumstances in which State activities and decisions escape democratic or judicial scrutiny on account of their confidential or secret nature. The conviction of a journalist for disclosing information considered to be confidential or secret may discourage those working in the media from informing the public on matters of public interest. As a result, the press may no longer be able to play its vital role as “public watchdog” and the ability of the press to provide accurate and reliable information may be adversely affected.

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