Edgar Degas In front of the mirror 1889
.@SenTedCruz: "David Weiss was the US Attorney hand-picked to lead this investigation who spent the last five years covering it up… For five years, the investigation has gone nowhere other than to protect Hunter Biden and Joe Biden…
David Weiss is subject to two… pic.twitter.com/zuG5yPbuSE
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) August 13, 2023
All suspicions have been confirmed about Maui. They did this on purpose.
This was not an accident or a freak force of nature. It's geoengineering and using weather as a weapon to level and evict people from their land for their sociopathic sustainable development goals and… pic.twitter.com/icpKwxjsV3
— Inversionism (@Inversionism) August 13, 2023
Fox News anchor: "I remember, 20 years-old, going to Trier, Germany and trying to find the home of Karl Marx 'cause, you know, 1848, he wrote Mein Kampf. I wanted to know what was all about. So, that's part of the education in America." pic.twitter.com/Kjj7nW3nUt
— Doug Aoki (@Nantanreikan) August 11, 2023
“He’s doing very poorly in the polls. Very, very poorly. “And I think he’s going to be leaving the race pretty soon..”
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has boasted that he believes he can dominate longtime political rival Joe Biden in next year’s election should the legally embattled former president secure the GOP nomination. Speaking at a campaign event in Iowa, a state in which he comfortably defeated Biden during his unsuccessful attempt to regain the White House in 2020, Trump said he sees himself as holding a near-unassailable advantage over the 80-year-old US commander-in-chief. “Close to 100%,” Trump told the Sunday Times when asked about his chances against Biden in a rematch of their fractious showdown at the polls three years ago. Current polling data suggests that Trump is the clear favorite to become the Republican nominee in next year’s presidential election.
But before a Biden rematch becomes a reality, Trump must first secure his party’s nomination – a path that must take him past, or through, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. “He didn’t have many people show up,” Trump told the Daily Mail of the 44-year-old DeSantis’ apparent lack of support at the same Iowa State Fair earlier on Saturday. “That’s not good. He’s doing very poorly in the polls. Very, very poorly. “And I think he’s going to be leaving the race pretty soon, I think,” Trump said, adding that he doesn’t see the Florida legislator as a threat to his White House chances. DeSantis, a populist lawmaker who has surged to popularity in the Sunshine State on a so-called ‘anti-woke’ platform, has so far failed to translate his home support base to a national scale – despite one poll showing him holding a 23-point advantage over Trump just nine months ago.
That advantage, though, has long since expired despite Trump walking a legally perilous tightrope involving three ongoing federal indictments. Another is expected to be served in the coming days relating to his alleged efforts to compel lawmakers in the state of Georgia to call the 2020 election in his favor. The former real estate mogul is also facing campaign finance violation charges in New York, another related to withholding sensitive government documents at his Florida estate, and a third concerning an alleged conspiracy to overturn the results of the last presidential election. Trump denies any wrongdoing.
Trump’s comments on Biden and DeSantis came soon after he was warned by a US judge not to make statements that could “taint the jury pool” for his upcoming trials. “He is a criminal defendant,”Judge Tanya Chutkan said. “The fact that the defendant is engaged in a political campaign is not going to allow him greater or lesser latitude.”
“Let’s just make a scenario. Trump wins in 2024. He has four years. If Tucker went to run in 2028, he could win.”
Podcast host Joe Rogan predicted that commentator Tucker Carlson could win the presidency in 2028 if former President Donald Trump wins in 2024 and the former Fox News host enters the next presidential race. “Let’s just make a scenario. Trump wins in 2024. He has four years. If Tucker went to run in 2028, he could win. He really could win, because it would be kind of carrying those policies,” Rogan said on an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” with Valuetainment founder Patrick Bet-David as his guest earlier this month.
“Also, he’s sort of a no-nonsense guy who exposes bull****, you know, in a kind of humorous way and a very insightful and biting way,” Rogan added. Shortly after Carlson left Fox News in April, Bet-David offered him $100 million over five years to join Valuetainment. Carlson is now airing a show on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. A super PAC had tried to push Carlson to run for president in 2024, but the commentator’s attorney shut down the group’s activities with a cease-and-desist letter in May.
More than a dozen members of Trump’s legal team all conspired to break into the 2021 voting system in Coffee County? All jeopardizing thein careers?
Prosecutors in the US state of Georgia claim they have evidence to prove that ex-President Donald Trump’s legal team had a role in the 2021 voting system breach in Coffee County, media reported Sunday. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will seek charges against more than a dozen people when she presents the case before a grand jury next week, media cited sources as saying. She reportedly has texts and emails implicating several of those people in the computer breach in the rural Georgian county.
The messages reportedly show how Trump’s lawyers and hired operatives sought to access Coffee County voting systems in the days before the January 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol to prove their allegations of widespread electoral fraud. Prosecutors are investigating Trump and his supporters for possibly unlawful 2020 election interference. Trump has repeatedly condemned the criminal proceedings against him as attempts to weaponize the American justice system to prevent him from running in the 2024 US presidential election.
I like the logos: since Weiss had 5 years, only the things he did come up with could possibly be true.
Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell on Sunday blamed “right-wing media” for what he says were false allegations against his client, noting that all accusations have been investigated over a five-year period and only two charges were brought forth by federal prosecutors. CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked Lowell on “Face the Nation” whether Biden was investigated within the scope of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) — a World War II era law intended to keep attempts at foreign influence transparent. Lowell acknowledged that an investigation of Biden failing to register as a foreign agent while conducting foreign business could have been within the scope of the five-year investigation. “But you asked me whether or not that has been part of the investigation,” he said.
“And after five years and what we know happened in the grand jury, of course, that had to be part of what the prosecutor has already looked at, as well as every other false allegation made by the right-wing media and others, whether it’s corruption, or FARA or money laundering. “That was part of what this prosecutor’s office had to have been looking over for five years,” he added. He reiterated that the five-year investigation only resulted in two misdemeanor charges, noting that the prosecutors likely looked into more allegations.“I can assure you that five years concluded that the only two charges that made sense were two misdemeanors for failing to file [taxes] like millions of Americans do, and a diverted gun charge for the 11 days that Hunter possessed a gun,” he said.
Biden’s plea deal involving tax and gun charges was put on hold last month after the judge presiding over the case questioned the parameters around the deal announced in June. He was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay income taxes as part of the deal, but instead pleaded not guilty after the deal was put on hold in order for both sides to hash out another deal. Republicans have repeatedly called for investigations into Biden’s business dealings and previously labeled the plea agreement as a “sweetheart deal.” Attorney General Merrick Garland elevated U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss to special counsel last week, a move that many Republicans have also criticized.
NBC's Chuck Todd woke up sleepy Sunday viewers with this damning report on Joe Biden's mishandling of his son Hunter's corruption case.
"Biden's handling of the case has raised questions at a time when voters already have doubts about his age and political standing…" pic.twitter.com/aV7FL4Bqzj
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) August 13, 2023
Turley makes some strange moves: “… Despite my enthusiastic support at [the appointment of David Weiss as special counsel], I have come to view Attorney General Merrick Garland as a failure as Attorney General..”
And then he fully eviscerates Weiss. And waltzes over the legality of appointing Weiss as special counsel like it doesn’t matter.
Roughly 100 years ago, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson admitted that, as a player for the Chicago White Sox, he and seven other teammates had intentionally lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in 1919. When a kid stopped him outside of the grand jury room and asked “It ain’t true, is it, Joe?” Jackson responded “Yes, kid, I’m afraid it is.” This is not a case of history repeating itself. After being confronted by allegations of a fixed investigation, Attorney General Merrick Garland just sent Shoeless Joe back into the game. The appointment of Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss as the new special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden left many with the same disbelief as that kid in Chicago. This is, after all, the same Weiss who headed an investigation that was trashed by whistleblowers, who alleged that his investigation had been fixed from the outset.
It is the same Weiss who ran an investigation in which agents were allegedly prevented from asking about Joe Biden, obstructed in their efforts to pursue questions and compromised by tip offs to the Biden team on planned searches. It is also the same Weiss who reportedly allowed the statute of limitations to run out on Hunter’s major tax offenses, even though he had the option to extend it. It is the same Weiss who did not indict on major tax felonies and cut a plea deal that brushed aside a felony gun charge. It is the same Weiss who inked a widely panned “sweetheart” deal that caused a federal judge to balk and trash a sweeping immunity grant — language that even the prosecutor admitted he had never previously seen in a plea deal. That is why many asked Garland to “say it ain’t so.”
The Weiss appointment definitively established Garland as a failure as attorney general. As someone who initially praised Garland’s appointment, I now see that he has repeatedly shown he lacks the strength and leadership to rise to these moments. This is why the Justice Department is now less trusted by the public than it was under his predecessor, Bill Barr. During Barr’s tenure, Pew found that 54% of the public viewed the department favorably, and 70% had a favorable view of the FBI. Under Garland, the department’s favorability had declined to 49% as of March, before many of the recent failures. The FBI’s favorability has fallen by 18 points to just 52%.Garland’s failure of leadership has undermined key cases. A Harvard-Harris poll this summer showed that 55% of the public view the Trump indictment as “politically motivated,” and 56% believe that it constitutes election interference.
Garland continues to do little to reverse that public perception, other than repeatedly refer to the motto of the Department. He offered the same mantra for years as some of us called for a special counsel appointment to investigate Biden corruption. The case for such an appointment has long been unassailable, but Garland refused to make the appointment, allowing years to pass with underlying crimes. The immediate effect of this belated appointment will be to insulate Weiss and the Department from Congress as it prepares to interview Weiss and members of his team. Yet if that was truly his purpose in doing this, Garland might have been too clever by half. First, since Garland did not appoint someone from outside of the Department (as envisioned under Section 600.3).
Of course, Garland could insist that, although this appointment from inside the Justice Department violates the statute, Special Counsel John Durham was also selected from the department’s ranks. Yet that does not excuse the appointment of a prosecutor who has been accused of conflicts of interest and false statements — the very antithesis of a special counsel who is supposed to have “a reputation for integrity and impartial decision-making.” Second, there is the failure to expand Weiss’s mandate. Garland described that mandate as focusing again on Hunter Biden, and the Justice Department refused to respond to questions on the possible inclusion of his father in the investigation.
“A special council is usually used for protection from ‘undue political influence’ by, for example, the attorney general. But it can also be used to hide things that otherwise would have to be done in the open.”
The court sent the prosecutor and Hunter’s lawyer back home to renegotiate the plea deal. However, this week the prosecutor, one David C. Weiss, wrote back to the court that the negotiations have failed and that he intends to indict Hunter Biden. At the same time Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has elevated Weiss to the status of special counsel. That is claimed to make him more independent. It also allows him to move the case from the local court and to indict Biden in different states: “The prosecutor, David C. Weiss, has since 2018 investigated a wide array of accusations involving Mr. Biden’s business and personal life, including his foreign dealings, drug use and finances. But as special counsel, Mr. Weiss, who is also the U.S. attorney in Delaware, can pursue charges in any jurisdiction he chooses without seeking the cooperation of local federal prosecutors.”
The big question is why Garland allows the same prosecutor who tried to push an obviously crooked plea deal through a court to continue with the case. Sure, Weiss already knows the case. But the crimes Hunter committed are not that complicate. It would not take many weeks for a different prosecutor to learn of all the issues. Another question is why Weiss, 5 years after taking up the case, now made the request to become a special council: “The investigation appeared to be near an end in recent months when Mr. Biden agreed to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors in a deal that would also have allowed him to avoid prosecution on a gun charge. Mr. Weiss, who has been roundly criticized by Republicans over the terms of the deal, asked Mr. Garland on Tuesday to be named special counsel.”
I have found no source which gave an explanation for Weiss taking this step. A special council is usually used for protection from ‘undue political influence’ by, for example, the attorney general. But it can also be used to hide things that otherwise would have to be done in the open. That the same prosecutor who tried to hide that he would give immunity to Hunter Biden has taken this step smells of another attempt to come to some other murky deal that will keep Hunter out of jail and his father in office. But there have also been whistle-blowers who had said that Weiss had previously asked for special council power but that the request had been rejected by the Justice Department. Weiss had denied that:
“Attorneys for Gary Shapley, a criminal investigator-turned-whistleblower, questioned the credibility of U.S. Attorney David Weiss after his appointment as special counsel Friday in the yearslong investigation into Hunter Biden. Jason Foster pointed to his client Shapley, a veteran IRS agent, testifying to Congress in May that Weiss had once asked for special counsel status in the case and was rejected. Weiss in subsequent letters to Congress denied that, saying he had been “granted ultimate authority” on “where, when, and whether to file charges” in the case. Foster said the appointment of Weiss was “odd because both Mr. Weiss and [Attorney General Merrick] Garland had been saying for a long time that he didn’t need special counsel authority.”
Trying to separate father and son. Nice try. “Hunter Biden was trying to promote an illusion of access to his father for his own reasons… That’s Hunter Biden..”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a key member of the Oversight panel, emphasized the need to let the justice system follow its course, conceding that Hunter Biden was involved in wrongful activities. Raskin acknowledged Hunter’s struggles with drug addiction and his engagement in unlawful activities. “It does seem clear that this guy was addicted to drugs and did a lot of really unlawful and wrong things,” Raskin said while on air in US TV weekly political affairs program. The recent announcement by US Attorney General Merrick Garland granting special counsel authority to investigate Hunter Biden, led by Delaware US Attorney David Weiss, came after revelations from IRS whistleblowers about political bias in the federal investigation and the collapse of Hunter’s plea deal.
Raskin maintained his faith in the justice system and suggested that the dissolution of Hunter Biden’s plea agreement on tax and firearm charges paved the way for the special counsel appointment. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), another Oversight Committee member, avoided directly condemning Hunter Biden but acknowledged allegations that he leveraged his family’s name for financial gain. “I think that same witness also made very clear that they never discussed business [and] that Hunter Biden was trying to promote an illusion of access to his father for his own reasons… That’s Hunter Biden. And you can make it whatever judgment you want to make about whether that was appropriate or not,” Goldman said in a discussion on a US TV talk show. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are increasing their scrutiny of the Biden family, revealing financial records that indicate the family and its associates received around $20 million from foreign sources.
“Those who have exposed those falsehoods say Americans should expect the story to get even darker in the coming months.”
In a colorful exchange last week with a journalist, Joe Biden snapped when asked about recent testimony from family friend Devon Archer that the president had met and talked on the phone with his son Hunter’s business partners. “I never talked business with anybody. I knew you’d have a lousy question,” the president fired back at Fox News’ Peter Doocy. “Why is that a lousy question?” Doocy asked. “Because it’s not true!” Biden exclaimed. The exchange was extraordinary, not just for its tense atmosphere, but also because the president and his surrogates have moved the goal posts after years of claiming he had never engaged with Hunter Biden’s business clients.
The change in message reflects a harsh reality: there is now significant evidence and testimony that undercuts the seminal claims Joe Biden made about his family’s overseas business to get elected in 2020 and to deflect from a burgeoning scandal since. In the 2020 presidential debate, for instance, Biden said: “My son has not made money from China. The only guy who has made money from China was this guy,” he said, directing his comments at Trump. Those who have exposed those falsehoods say Americans should expect the story to get even darker in the coming months.
Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.), who led the first comprehensive probe of Hunter Biden’s business pursuits back in 2020, told Just the News that “The mainstream media, they’re not aware of the fact or they’re not reporting the fact that Joe Biden lied through his teeth, repeatedly to the American public saying, ‘I never talked to Hunter about his overseas business deals.’ I mean, we’ve known that was a lie for years.” “It won’t surprise any of us that Joe Biden was far more involved in Hunter’s schemes, in his grifts than certainly we know at this point in time,” the senator added. There are five claims the president and his defenders have made that now conflict with current evidence:
1/ Joe Biden never discussed business with his son or family.
2/ Joe Biden never met with his son’s business partners.
3/ The Biden family did not get money from China.
4/ Hunter Biden “has done nothing wrong.”
5/ The Hunter Biden laptop that emerged late in the 2020 election was Russian disinformation.
“Russia’s elites are fractured and fragmented, lacking a cohesive and coherent vision of their country’s future; no one knows what to do about the disastrous war with Ukraine.”
I know a country that is far more likely to break up. And I don’t mean Ukraine.
It’s time to start taking the potential disintegration of Russia seriously. A number of analysts see the shattering of the Russian Federation as a possible aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s catastrophic war in Ukraine. Although the world would be better off with a much weakened Russia, its fall may not go smoothly. The Jamestown Foundation’s Janusz Bugajski would probably agree with this assessment: “as a rump state, under intense international sanctions and shorn of its resource base in Siberia, [Russia] will have severely reduced capabilities to attack neighbors.” As a result, “NATO’s eastern front will become more secure; while Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova will regain their occupied territories and petition for European Union and NATO integration without fear of Russia’s reaction.”
Moreover, “countries in Central Asia will also feel increasingly liberated.” Washington Post columnist David Ignatius holds a gloomier view: “A fragmenting, demoralized Russia is a devil’s playground. … Russia’s internal disarray poses a severe dilemma for Putin, but it’s very dangerous for the West, too.” The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Tatiana Stanovaya occupies a middle ground, while leaning toward Ignatius. She writes that, on the one hand, “the Kremlin will be wrestling simultaneously with…a deepening crisis of Putin’s leadership, a growing lack of political accountability, increasingly ineffective responses by the authorities to new challenges, an intensifying fragmentation among elites, and a society that is growing more antiestablishment.”
On the other hand, although “the world will have to contend with a more dangerous and unpredictable Russia,” it’s likely that “this inward turn could lead to a more pragmatic approach to the war against Ukraine.” Bugajski’s optimism derives from his focus on a post-disintegration Russia, one that is a rump state under international scrutiny, lacking the economic and military resources it would need to pursue an imperialist agenda. Ignatius’s pessimism, like that of Stanovaya, derives from their focus on the process of Russia’s disintegration, which, even in the best imaginable circumstances, would be very messy. Both Ignatius implicitly and Stanovaya explicitly worry about a less predictable Russia, which would presumably be more dangerous.
Bugajski’s optimism derives from his focus on a post-disintegration Russia, one that is a rump state under international scrutiny, lacking the economic and military resources it would need to pursue an imperialist agenda. Ignatius’s pessimism, like that of Stanovaya, derives from their focus on the process of Russia’s disintegration, which, even in the best imaginable circumstances, would be very messy. Both Ignatius implicitly and Stanovaya explicitly worry about a less predictable Russia, which would presumably be more dangerous. So, who is right? Bugajski is correct to argue that a rump Russia reduced to the area bounded by St. Petersburg, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod would immediately cease being a major geopolitical player and thus a threat to any of its neighbors — especially if the latter band together with the West.
Life within that state might be poorer, but it would also likely be safer and more secure. And even if rump Russia retained all of its nuclear weapons, it would be in no position to use them, except in the highly unlikely event of a coordinated attack by its neighbors. But Ignatius and Stanovaya are also right to worry about the path to Russia’s final disintegration. Putin is trapped and possibly inclined to take desperate measures. Russia’s former president and prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, is, as his unhinged missives suggest, arguably insane — and he is not, alas, alone in his insanity. Russia’s elites are fractured and fragmented, lacking a cohesive and coherent vision of their country’s future; no one knows what to do about the disastrous war with Ukraine.
Huge numbers speak Russian and have family there. And who are painted off as “..savages who’d never seen basic home appliances, toilets or even paved roads..”
A general Ukrainian effort to “dehumanize” Russians has become the main “mistake” made by the country in the ongoing conflict, Aleksey Arestovich, a former adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky said on Sunday. Speaking to journalist Yulia Latynina, Arestovich condemned the systemic efforts to “dehumanize” Russians, stating that the strategy has clearly backfired and purportedly only gave Russian troops more reasons to fight. “The main thing we did was to allow ourselves to dehumanize the Russians. This is our main mistake. At first we held on and then we delved into all that with pleasure. The collective Ukrainians, I mean. We allowed that to pour into the internet,” Arestovich stated. He added that such behavior gave average mobilized Russians –not professional soldiers– “an excellent motivation to fight.”
The former aide to the Ukrainian president didn’t elaborate on when “collective Ukrainians” had switched from what he called “behaving like a European nation” to “demonizing” Russians, with ordinary citizens in a neighboring state “creating an image of an orc.” From the early days of the conflict, Ukrainian propaganda has been actively portraying Russian troops as primitive savages who’d never seen basic home appliances, toilets or even paved roads. This disinformation also alleged widesp after most of the rape claims turned out to be fake. Senior Ukrainian officials have repeatedly made hateful remarks about Russians during and even well before the years of hostilities between the two countries turned to the recent fighting.
For instance, Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, claimed earlier this month that a presence of “humanity” was the key difference between Ukrainians and Russians. “I’m fine with Asians, but Russians are Asians. They have a completely different culture, vision. Our key difference from them is humanity,” Danilov stated live on Ukrainian TV, which itself became a heavily censored, state-approved “broadcasting marathon” amid the hostilities. The top presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak has also repeatedly made hostile remarks, claiming that Russians are universally “hated” by Ukrainians, as well as voicing calls on a daily basis to “kill Russians” by the thousands.
Moscow has for years voiced outrage over rampant Russophobia in Ukraine, arguing it has been fostered by Kiev into a state-level policy. Ukraine has passed laws severely restricting the use of the Russian language in education, media, and everyday life, with the situation deteriorating even further after the conflict between the two nations escalated to military action in February 2022.
Just without Russia.. Scholz is useless.
The recent summit on Ukraine in Jeddah was a “very special” event, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said, calling for a greater diplomatic effort to end the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Scholz made the remarks in his major annual summer interview with German broadcaster ZDF, which aired on Sunday. The chancellor urged further diplomatic effort, stating it was actually useful to “press” Russia. “It makes sense for us to continue these talks because they increase the pressure on Russia to realize that it has taken the wrong path and that it must withdraw its troops and make peace possible,” Scholz stated.The chancellor also noted a similar diplomatic event hosted by Denmark in June, stating that these talks and the summit hosted by Saudi Arabia were both “very special” events.
“They are very important and they are really only the beginning,” Scholz stated. The Jeddah meeting, which brought together security advisers and senior diplomats from the participating nations, failed to yield any meaningful results. Effectively, the participants have only agreed that the UN Charter as well as Ukraine’s territorial integrity should be respected. Moscow has dismissed the Saudi-hosted negotiations, with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that “without Russia’s participation and without taking into account its interests, no meeting on the Ukraine crisis has any added value.”
Asked about the prospects of further military support to Ukraine and in particular the reportedly imminent delivery of Taurus long-range cruise missiles, the German chancellor failed to provide a direct answer. “As in the past, we will always review every single decision very carefully, what is possible, what makes sense, what can be our contribution,” Scholz said. Unlike many Western countries, Germany has long resisted Ukrainian demands to supply increasingly sophisticated military hardware. The situation changed early this year, when Berlin gave in to mounting pressure and agreed to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks, as well as enabling third parties to re-export German-made military vehicles to Ukraine.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Sunday that he intends to hold an October referendum in which voters will be asked if they support an influx of illegal immigrants as part of a European Union (EU) migrant relocation proposal. “Do you support the admission of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa under the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy?” Morawiecki asked in a Sunday social media video. The brief clip also featured scenes of burning cars and other forms of violence in Western Europe. The ruling Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski adds in the video: “Do you want this to happen in Poland as well? Do you want to cease being the masters of your own country?”
The anticipated referendum, which is expected to take place in October alongside parliamentary elections, comes after EU interior ministers proposed that member states share the responsibility for housing migrants who enter without adequate authorization. Poland and Hungary were among the nations to object to the plan. The current asylum system in Europe has been the subject of scrutiny after more than one million gained entry to the bloc – most from Syria – overwhelming processing and housing arrangements in place in countries like Italy and Greece, and sparking a political crisis.
Polish authorities have also accepted around one million Ukrainian refugees who fled their homeland following the onset of Moscow’s military offensive in the country. However, unlike the Ukrainian refugees – who are mostly white and Christian – Polish opponents to excess immigration contend that migrants could threaten the country’s cultural identity. Poland was generally not considered to be an entry country or a destination for undocumented migrants up until two years ago, when asylum seekers began crossing the border of the EU state from Belarus. Warsaw retaliated by constructing a 186km-long wall on the border, as well as heavily increasing its military presence in the area to about 2,000 soldiers and 5,000 border guards.
“These political and historical facts, which I reported on as an Arabic speaker for seven years, four of them as The Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times, are hard to ignore. Even from a distance. ”
There is a heavy political price to pay for defying Israel, whose overt interference in our political process makes the most tepid protests about Israeli policy a political death wish. The Palestinians are poor, forgotten and alone. And this is why the defiance of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is the central issue facing any politician who claims to speak on behalf of the vulnerable and the marginalized. To stand up to Israel has a political cost few, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., are willing to pay. But if you do stand up, it singles you out as someone who puts principles before expediency, who is willing to fight for the wretched of the earth and, if necessary, sacrifice your political future to retain your integrity. Kennedy fails this crucial test of political and moral courage.
Kennedy, instead, regurgitates every lie, every racist trope, every distortion of history and every demeaning comment about the backwardness of the Palestinian people peddled by the most retrograde and far-right elements of Israeli society. He peddles the myth of what Pappe calls “Fantasy Israel.” This alone discredits him as a progressive candidate. It calls into question his judgment and sincerity. It makes him another Democratic Party hack who dances to the macabre tune the Israeli government plays. Kennedy has vowed to make “the moral case for Israel,” which is the equivalent of making the moral case for apartheid South Africa. He repeats, almost verbatim, talking points from the Israeli propaganda playbook put together by the Republican pollster and political strategist, Frank Luntz.
The 112-page study, marked “not for distribution or publication,” which was leaked to Newsweek, was commissioned by The Israel Project. It was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009 — when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed. The strategy document is the blueprint for how Israeli politicians and lobbyists sell Israel. It exposes the wide gap between what Israeli politicians say and what they know to be the truth. It is tailored to tell the outside world, especially Americans, what they want to hear. The report is required reading for anyone attempting to deal with the Israeli propaganda machine.
The document, for example, suggests telling the outside world that Israel “has a right to defensible borders,” but advises Israelis to refuse to define what the borders should be. It advises Israeli politicians to justify the refusal by Israel to allow 750,000 Palestinians and their descendants, who were expelled from their country during the 1948 war, to return home, although the right of return is guaranteed under international law, by referring to this right as a “demand.” It also recommends arguing that Palestinians are seeking mass migrations to seize land inside Israel. It suggests mentioning the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Iraq, Syria and Egypt, who fled anti-Semitism and violence in the Arab world after the creation of the Jewish state.
The document recommends saying these refugees also “left property behind,” in essence justifying the Israeli pogrom by the pogrom Arab states carried out after 1948. It recommends blaming the poverty among Palestinians on “Arab nations” that have not provided “a better life for Palestinians.” What is most cynical about the report is the tactic of expressing a faux sympathy for the Palestinians, who are blamed for their own oppression. “Show Empathy for BOTH sides!” the document reads. “The goal of pro-Israel communications is not simply to make people who already love Israel feel good about that decision. The goal is to win new hearts and minds for Israel without losing the support Israel already has.” It says that this tactic will “disarm” audiences.
I doubt Kennedy has read or heard of Luntz’s report. But he has been spoon-fed its talking points and naively spits them back. Israel only wants peace. Israel does not engage in torture. Israel is not an apartheid state. Israel gives Israeli Arabs political and civic rights they do not have in other parts of the Middle East. Palestinians are not deliberately targeted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Israel respects civil liberties and gender and marriage rights. Israel has “the best judiciary in the world.” Kennedy makes other claims, such as his bizarre statement that the Palestinian Authority pays Palestinians to kill Jews anywhere in the world along with falsifications of elemental Middle Eastern history, which are so absurd I will ignore them. But I list below examples from the volumes of evidence that implode the Luntz-inspired talking points Kennedy repeats on behalf of the Israel lobby, not that any evidence can probably puncture his self-serving attachment to “Fantasy Israel.”
Everyone involved will need a lot of extra security. Let’s hope it won’t come that far.
It could happen any day now. After yet another brief, unsuccessful court hearing, a column of vans and police cars roars out of Belmarsh prison in London and hurries to Heathrow, where a manacled, stooped and blinking prisoner is handed over to American officials and bundled aboard a plane bound for Washington DC. There he will face the strong possibility of decades buried alive in some federal dungeon, the sort of place intended for mass murderers or terrorists. But the man involved is neither of these things. This will be an irrevocable and shameful event, against which all patriotic, freedom-loving people in this country should be ranged. But by the time most of us have realised what has happened, it will be over. So now is the moment to act.
I must beg you to join me, as soon as you can, in protesting against the fast-approaching extradition of Julian Assange to the USA. I am sorry to say that I do not believe he will receive justice when he gets there. I simply cannot see why our supposedly independent courts have so far permitted this, when the extradition is so blatantly political – something clearly banned under the UK-US Extradition Treaty. I am astonished at how few people in Parliament or the media have spoken out against this grave injustice. I am amazed that it should have fallen to me – a person who has no great love for Mr Assange or his politics – to speak for him. The only time we ever met, in debate, we clashed angrily. But his extradition would be an outrage.
He faces absurd charges of spying, when he never spied. His crime was to embarrass the US government by selectively releasing information that Washington had tried and failed to keep secret. I do not think this is a crime, here or there. Claims are made against him, by supporters of the extradition, which I do not think are true. He took considerable care not to release material which would endanger or compromise individuals, and if he were an American citizen he would certainly be protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which safeguards journalists – as Mr Assange is – from the anger of the state.
It is almost three years since I asked here : ‘Do we really want the hand of a foreign power to be able to reach into our national territory at will and pluck out anyone it wants to punish? Are we still even an independent country if we allow this? The Americans would certainly not let us treat them in this way.’ The question is perhaps more urgent now we have seen the dismissive way in which President Biden has twice treated our Prime Minister. Do we think that the Biden White House will be nicer to us if we do their bidding over Julian Assange? Or just even more contemptuous than they are already? As France’s mighty Charles de Gaulle proved long ago, the Americans treat independent nations much better if they stand up to them than if they suck up to them.
I also explained exactly why this is a political extradition, a case I have never seen answered: For a start, different US administrations have taken opposite views, clear proof that it is about politics above all. Prosecutors working for the Obama White House (2009-2017) decided, for legal reasons, not to prosecute Mr Assange almost a decade ago. They concluded that charging him would have meant they would then have to prosecute any journalist who published information alleged to endanger national security. That would have violated the US constitution. Under Donald Trump’s rule, US policy veered wildly. In April 2017, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that the arrest of Mr Assange was now a ‘priority’. Yet at one point Donald Trump himself had said ‘I love WikiLeaks’ and rejoiced that the source was ‘like a treasure trove’.
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s director of the Central Intelligence Agency, later promoted to the even higher office of Secretary of State, said on April 13, 2017, of Mr Assange and his WikiLeaks colleagues: ‘They have pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice. They may have believed that, but they are wrong.’ He also said: ‘Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms…He’s not a US citizen.’ He also made a long and excoriating personal denunciation of Mr Assange and WikiLeaks. If any British official or Minister of similar standing had made these statements about a person accused of a crime in a UK court, the trial would have to be stopped on the grounds that it had been hopelessly prejudiced. Yet our courts are apparently ready to pass Mr Assange over to a Justice System, in my view gravely inferior to ours, where this is acceptable. Only one person stands between Mr Assange and this hole-in-corner handover.
The UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, can – if she chooses – refuse to hand him over. There is a precedent for this. One of her forerunners, Theresa May, did so in the case of Gary McKinnon, who had hacked into US defence computers, saying ‘Mr McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon’s human rights.’ Britain faced no adverse consequences as a result. I think Lady May deserves great credit for this action. I think Ms Braverman, likewise, would deserve much credit for courage and compassion – and justice – if she halted the extradition and finally allowed Mr Assange to go home to his wife and two small children. If you agree with me, please write, politely and briefly, and soon, to:
The Rt Hon Suella Braverman MP,
Home Secretary, the Home Office,
2 Marsham St,
London SW1P 4DF.
Croatian MEP, Mislav Kolakušić, doesn't mince his words to the EU Parliament:
"It would be healthier and safer for humanity to sign an agreement with the Colombian drug cartel [than to sign an agreement with the World Health Organisation]."
"[The WHO] should be declared a… pic.twitter.com/OSOJDuleYR
— Wide Awake Media (@wideawake_media) August 13, 2023
Whoa what is that??pic.twitter.com/m9Mln5C2OB
— Figen (@TheFigen_) August 13, 2023
Bob Marley Rich
Bob Marley on money and richness pic.twitter.com/lnrzckK3fq
— Fascinating (@fasc1nate) August 12, 2023
Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.