Jun 212023
 


Johannes Vermeer Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window 1657-59

 

Kiev Resorts to ‘Human Wave Attacks’ (Sp.)
How the “Surovkin Line” Works (Zlatko Djuric)
Western Spies Fear Kiev’s Counteroffensive Will Backfire – Moscow (RT)
Possible Ukrainian Attack on Crimea ‘Could Rapidly Spin Out of Control’ (Sp.)
Pentagon Admits That Counteroffensive Will Be Tough For Ukraine (TASS)
Ukraine Plans to Strike at Crimea With Storm Shadow Missiles – Shoigu (Sp.)
Ukrainian Counteroffensive To End In Weeks – Russian MP (RT)
Putin’s Warning On The F-16 – NATO’s Article 5 Is Now For Burning (Helmer)
Beijing Welcomes Expansion of BRICS (Sp.)
Christopher Nolan Dismisses AI ‘Crisis’ (RT)
‘Child of Privilege’: Hunter Biden Dodges Stiffer Charges (Sp.)
Tucker Carlson Savages Bidens Over Hunter’s ‘Slap On The Wrist’ (ZH)
GOP Outraged Over ‘Sweetheart Deal’ Handed to Hunter Biden (Manley)
Hunter Biden, Baby Mama Settle Child Support Dispute (Devine)

 

 

 

 

RFK JFK

 

 

 

 

29 March 2022

 

 

 

 

Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671111001541074944

 

 

 

 

‘Human Wave Attacks’ is exactly as scary and insane as it sounds.

“..most of the Kiev regime’s troops who perished in this counteroffensive “died without ever really seeing the enemy..”

Kiev Resorts to ‘Human Wave Attacks’ (Sp.)

While the long-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive has been going on for more than two weeks already, one thing has become increasingly apparent: Kiev’s troops’ have stalled while they continue to suffer heavy casualties, a security analyst told Sputnik. Ukraine essentially continues to be sending all its troops at the Russian defenses, sacrificing hundreds, if not thousands, of Ukrainian soldiers and still failing to produce any result that Zelensky and his NATO sponsors could sell as at least a tactical victory. Speaking to Sputnik, international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda noted that “there has been essentially no progress by the Kiev regime’s offensive.”

“It is effectively stalled and they continue to take heavy casualties, heavy attrition,” Sleboda said, adding that, in most cases, Ukrainian troops bleed and die “still ten, fifteen kilometers” away from “Russia’s first defensive line.” According to Sleboda, all this fighting is taking place in what he described as the “throwaway zone”: an area before the actual Russian defensive lines, which the Russian troops deemed unsuitable for “static, heavy defenses, defensive lines with trenches and fortifications.” Noting how Institute for the Study of War said in a statement that Ukrainian forces may be temporarily pausing counter offensive operations to reevaluate tactics, the analyst suggested it essentially means that the architects of the counteroffensive realized that their approach is not working.

While he did admit that this statement could be a deception, Sleboda argued that it “largely reflects what we’re seeing,” with Ukrainian forces managing to seize into a “string of farm hamlets” at a cost of “so much blood and steel,” only to find themselves the lowlands, with Russian forces raining rockets and shells upon them from fortified positions located on the high ground. He also stressed that, while resorting to “human wave attacks” allowed Ukrainian forces to drive back some of the Russian screening squads deployed ahead of the actual Russian defensive lines, most of the Kiev regime’s troops who perished in this counteroffensive “died without ever really seeing the enemy,” not to mention that they lost a lot more men than the Russian defenders. On Tuesday, June 20, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that Kiev regime forces lost over 400 militants dead during the past 24 hours alone while unsuccessfully attempting to simultaneously advance on several fronts.

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A Twitter thread.

How the “Surovkin Line” Works (Zlatko Djuric)

Since June 4th, the AFU have launched 263 attacks on Russian positions as part of the ongoing counteroffensive. All attacks were repelled, but few understand why the Ukrainian army’s offensive failed at its peak.

What is the “Surovkin Line”?

It is a defensive system, the first layer of which consists of dozens of fortified fire lanes, including extensive minefields and engineering barriers. This line took nearly eight months to construct, and extends several tens of kilometers in depth. It relies on a well-developed transport and logistics network with hubs and rear bases. Short logistics routes allow the Russian Armed Forces to swiftly transfer reserves from one sector to another without compromising combat readiness on the front line. In simpler terms, wherever the need arises to reinforce firepower, it can be done without withdrawing troops from other sectors.

What is unique about it?

The defensive line is supported by a powerful grouping of artillery and air forces, including Ka-52 attack helicopters and ground-attack aircraft equipped with FAB-250/500 guided glide bombs. In the event of a breakthrough by an AFU mechanized group at one of the fire lanes, aviation is capable of supporting ground forces operating in a “carousel” fashion: while helicopters engage ground targets, strike aircraft and bombers reach the launch point, and after hitting their targets, the helicopters reengage, and the cycle repeats. Meanwhile, strikes on the rear areas of the advancing AFU group in Orehovo and Velikaya Novoselka demonstrate that the AFU offensive has limited air defense. Medium- and short-range air defense systems are either deployed deep in the rear or used very sparingly on the frontline. As a result, a significant amount of senior command staff is being destroyed in the rear, which hampers command and control and, consequently, slows down the pace of the offensive.

What is “elastic defense” and how does it work?

Judging by the dynamics of the offensive, the AFU command undoubtedly relied on a swift breakthrough and the transition of the battle to maneuver warfare. For this purpose, a series of strikes across the Line of Contact was planned, including main attacks and several diversions. These strikes were countered by a combination of tactics known as elastic defense and an artillery grouping, enhanced by observation and fire correction means. It is evident that the Russian Armed Forces on the ground are still operating with comparatively small forces, and the maneuvering element, in terms of operational and tactical reserves, has not yet entered the battle.

In the cases of Pyatyhatky in Zaporozhia or Neskuchnoe in the South Donetsk direction, it is clear that Russian forces do not cling to every centimeter of the defensive line in the event of a breakthrough by individual AFU groups. If necessary, they withdraw to reserve positions. The enemy, located then at pre-known coordinates, is subjected to artillery strikes, followed by a counterattack, and the position is returned under the control of the defending forces. Judging by the fact that two weeks after the start of the AFU offensive, they continue to suffer losses from artillery fire, their reconnaissance and counter-battery capabilities are either ineffective or insufficient.

What is the result?

During more than two weeks of the Ukrainian offensive, AFU advances have been observed solely within the gray zone, meaning on territory forward of main Russian defense lines. The AFU has failed to fully seize control of these areas—every attempt to consolidate and expand the bridgehead leads to artillery strikes and air raids, forcing Ukrainian forces to retreat and regroup for a new strike.

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“..Ukrainian statehood itself may be under threat because of the counteroffensive..”

Western Spies Fear Kiev’s Counteroffensive Will Backfire – Moscow (RT)

Western intelligence agencies fear that Ukraine’s counteroffensive could lead to completely opposite results from those expected by Kiev, the head of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper on Monday. The Russian spy chief claimed that “authoritative members of the US and European intelligence services and military departments don’t rule out that the counteroffensive could lead to directly opposite results” of those expected by Ukraine. Despite supporting the counteroffensive in their public statements, “behind the scenes, many Western military analysts express serious doubts about the success of the Ukrainian adventure,” Naryshkin said during an interview with the outlet. “Without going into details, I’ll say that the tasks announced by the Kiev regime are assessed as unachievable” by foreign experts, he added.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and other officials had earlier stated that the operation should end with Kiev recapturing all territories it lost to Moscow, including Crimea. The concern in Washington and Brussels is that the “death of a significant number of NATO-trained military personnel and destruction of equipment will undermine the combat capability of the Ukrainian army. This, in turn, will negatively affect the stability of the Zelensky regime,” Naryshkin explained. He added that according to a number of Western assessments, Ukrainian statehood itself may be under threat because of the counteroffensive. The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, claimed during a television appearance on Monday that the counteroffensive has been progressing in line with Kiev’s schedule.

“Everything is going according to a plan, which had been approved and developed. There are no deviations from it,” Danilov said, adding that only “a limited circle of people know” what this plan actually is. Ukraine launched its long-anticipated offensive in early June, but has so far failed to achieve any significant advances, according to Moscow. Last week, Russia’s Defense Ministry estimated Kiev’s losses since the start of the operation at 7,500. Russian President Vladimir Putin also said that 30% of Ukraine’s Western-supplied military hardware, including a number of German Leopard 2 tanks and US-made Bradley fighting vehicles, had already been destroyed. Kiev has claimed the capture of several small villages as a result of its attacks. However, they appear to be located kilometers away from Russia’s main defensive lines.

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“..what they want to do is try to provoke Russia into taking actions that will then bring NATO into the conflict directly..”

Possible Ukrainian Attack on Crimea ‘Could Rapidly Spin Out of Control’ (Sp.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned that Ukraine may attempt to use Western-supplied Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles and longer-range HIMARS ground-based rockets to strike Russian facilities in Crimea. His warning came at a meeting of the collegium of the Russian Ministry of Defense on Tuesday. Shoigu said that the use of such weapons outside the zone of the special military operation would induce immediate Russian strikes on “decision-making centers in Ukraine” and would “mean the full involvement of the United States and the United Kingdom in the conflict. Sputnik spoke with two veterans of the US foreign policy apparatus about Shoigu’s report, why Kiev might resort to such actions, and what the Western response is likely to be.

They said Western approval was implied by having helped Kiev plan its counteroffensive and that NATO powers are likely to dismiss Moscow’s warnings as bluster, despite evidence to the contrary. In the end, such a strike will only make a full-blown Russia-NATO war more likely. Earl Rasmussen, an international consultant and retired US Army lieutenant colonel, compared such a potential attack to other “actions of desperation” by Ukraine outside the scope of the conventional military conflict in Donbass. “We had the Kerch Bridge blown up; we had the attempted drone attack on the Kremlin; we’ve got the assassinations; we have the destruction of the dam. These are terrorist actions. These are actions of desperation, I think.”

Rasmussen suggested a threat against Crimea would be aimed at “trying to instill fear of some type in the Russian population” and pressure Moscow to withdraw its forces. “But also obviously, it’s for a public relations perspective as well. I think they’re trying to demonstrate some type of success or positive – from their perspective positive – prior to the NATO meetings coming up in a couple of weeks,” he noted. Meanwhile, Larry Johnson, a retired CIA intelligence officer and former US State Department official, similarly described Ukraine’s position as “a situation of great desperation” and characterized such a potentially audacious strike as an attempt to bring NATO into the conflict directly. “Nothing that they have planned from a military standpoint has worked in terms of their counteroffensive. I think what they want to do is try to provoke Russia into taking actions that will then bring NATO into the conflict directly. So they’re looking for a pretext to create an avenue,” he said.

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The Pentagon should admit they’re losing.

Pentagon Admits That Counteroffensive Will Be Tough For Ukraine (TASS)

The Ukrainian counter-offensive will be tough for the Kiev government’s forces and will entail casualties among their ranks, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh has said. “Our assessments have been pretty clear from the beginning. I think you know, we know as you continue to see the fights that have continued to move to the east, it’s become more of a <…> battle,” she told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday. “We know this is going to be a hard fight. We know this is going to take time. And we are confident that the Ukrainians have what they need.”


“We have accounted for losses. We know there are going to be losses on the battlefield. That’s the unfortunate part of this war,” the spokesperson continued. In her words, the United States has provided Ukraine with the systems and the capabilities that its troops need. “We know this is going to be a tough fight. Of course the Russians are going to adapt as they would have from the beginning of the war,” Singh said. Earlier, Russia said that the armed forces of Ukraine were sustaining heavy losses during their counter-offensive.

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“..the Kiev regime is using a large number of Western weapons and elite military formations, whose members have been trained by NATO specialists..”

And achieving nothing at all…

Ukraine Plans to Strike at Crimea With Storm Shadow Missiles – Shoigu (Sp.)

The Ukrainian armed forces are planning to strike at the territory of Russia, including Crimea, with HIMARS and Storm Shadow cruise missiles, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday.”According to our information, the leadership of the armed forces of Ukraine plans to strike at the territory of Russia, including Crimea, with HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles,” Shoigu said at a meeting of the collegium of the Ministry of Defense.
The use of Storm Shadow and HIMARS missiles outside the special operation zone will entail immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine, the minister said. “The use of these missiles outside the zone of the special military operation will mean the full involvement of the United States and the United Kingdom in the conflict,” he added. In early 2023, a British daily reported, citing Ukrainian defense sources, that the Ukrainian military is prepared to use the UK-supplied long-range missiles, such as Storm Shadow, to hit Crimea if these are provided in military aid.


Ukrainian troops have launched a total of 263 attacks on the positions of the Russian armed forces in the Donetsk, South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions since June 4, but all of them have been successfully repelled, Russian Defense Minister said. “Ukrainian troops keep attempting offensive actions in the South Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Donetsk directions. When doing so, the Kiev regime is using a large number of Western weapons and elite military formations, whose members have been trained by NATO specialists. Since June 4, the Ukrainian armed forces have launched 263 attacks on the positions of Russian troops,” he stressed. The Russian defense chief added that Kiev had failed to achieve its goals “thanks to the competent and selfless actions” of Russian troops.

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“The lawmaker claimed that Ukraine had already lost around 20,000 soldiers out of the 40,000 to 50,000 it had reportedly trained for the offensive..”

Ukrainian Counteroffensive To End In Weeks – Russian MP (RT)

Kiev’s forces will exhaust their offensive capabilities in July if the current Ukrainian casualty rate persists, the head of Russia’s State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, said on Tuesday. Ukrainian troops have lost some 900 soldiers to deaths and injuries over the past 24 hours alone, the colonel general explained. According to Kartapolov, they have also lost nine tanks and dozens of armored vehicles over the same period. “If it continues at this pace, I believe we will finish repelling [this offensive] in three weeks and move on to dynamic actions ourselves,” the MP predicted in an appearance on the ‘Solovyov Live’ show. The lawmaker claimed that Ukraine had already lost around 20,000 soldiers out of the 40,000 to 50,000 it had reportedly trained for the offensive. While he did not name his sources, he claimed the much-awaited Ukrainian operation had largely failed.


“Every tactic they have used has not worked as of now,” he said. Kiev’s troops did not advance further than the Russian forward defense area security zone and did not even reach the first defense line, the MP added. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, over 600 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed over the past 24 hours, as Kiev’s troops continued their attacks on Russian positions. The Ukrainian forces also lost dozens of armored vehicles, as well as a dozen artillery pieces, including at least three US-made M777 howitzers, the ministry revealed in its daily briefing on Tuesday.Kiev’s large-scale offensive began on June 4. Ukrainian troops have suffered heavy losses in the attacks, which have been repelled by Russian forces, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Last week, it said that 7,500 of Kiev’s frontline troops had either been killed or wounded. Russian President Vladimir Putin also said last week that Kiev had lost up to 30% of the heavy equipment supplied to it by the West.

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“.. no matter what NATO member-state flag they are flying, and on what territory they are based..”

Putin’s Warning On The F-16 – NATO’s Article 5 Is Now For Burning (Helmer)

Until June 24 the combined air forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) are conducting their largest operation against Russia in the 74-year history of the alliance. The plan has been to disguise F-16 fighter jets as if they are piloted by Ukrainians, and pretend they are launched from Ukrainian territory. In response, Russian artillery, missile and fighter-bomber forces have been disabling and destroying Ukrainian airfields, and every Ukrainian aircraft being flown from them. Then on Friday, President Vladimir Putin dismissed the NATO pretence, warning that if an F-16 threatens to attack a Russian target, it would be “burned”, and so would the launch airbase and supporting aircraft – fuel tankers, electronic countermeasures, command-and-control, and decoys – no matter what NATO member-state flag they are flying, and on what territory they are based.

“The F-16 will also burn, there is no doubt,” Putin said in St. Petersburg on June 16. “But if they are located at air bases outside Ukraine, and used in combat operations, we will have to look at how to hit and where to hit those means that are used in combat operations against us. This is a serious danger of NATO’s further involvement in this armed conflict.” When the president and commander-in-chief announces “we will have to look at how to hit”, he means the General Staff have already assembled the operational intelligence and readied plans of attack with three minutes to launch; that is, against targets in Poland, Romania, Moldova, and possibly further west across the Czech and German borders. In the president’s phrase “those means that are used in combat operations against us”, Putin also intends to identify airborne targets, manned and unmanned, over the Black, Baltic, and Barents Seas.

Never before has NATO’s collective defence proviso Article Five been explicitly challenged by the Kremlin. In practice, by describing the agreement of the NATO members that “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all”, the NATO wording does no more than require each of the NATO members to take “forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary.” . What is happening is that by aiming their display of NATO airpower at the Kremlin, US and German commanders in their Ramstein bunkers have provoked Putin to call their bluff: he is now aiming directly at the Poles, Romanians and Germans, telling them to “deem” whether war with Russia is “necessary”. “Well, the Poles,” added Putin, “okay, they have their own goals, they sleep and see the return of Western Ukraine. And, apparently, they are gradually coming to this.”

In parallel, the US has escalated to nuclear weapons by flying two US Air Force (USAF) B-1B bombers from the UK Fairford airbase, refuelling in Germany, transiting Poland and Romania, to a point in the Black Sea off the Crimean coast and the Sevastopol naval base, where the aircraft transponders were turned off from public view. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Polish President Andrzej Duda have been also been trying to disguise Article Five by negotiating between themselves — they told the press last week — “what sort of security guarantees they would provide [the Ukraine] once the war ends… ‘Our support will last as long as it is needed’, Macron said. ‘We must ensure that Russia will not only not win this unfortunate campaign but also can never repeat it.’”

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The conference is next month.

Beijing Welcomes Expansion of BRICS (Sp.)

China welcomes more countries joining BRICS, because the bloc is committed to strengthening the representation and voice of emerging and developing countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Tuesday, a day after Bangladesh confirmed that it had applied for membership. “China is committed to advancing the expansion process. We welcome as many like-minded partners as possible to join the BRICS family as soon as possible,” Ning said at a briefing, commenting on Bangladesh’s application.


She said that the expansion of the bloc is a political consensus of the five BRICS countries.”The BRICS countries are an important platform for cooperation between emerging and developing countries. They have always been committed to defending multipolarity, actively promoting global governance reform, and strengthening the representation and voice of emerging and developing countries,” Ning added. On Monday, Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen confirmed that his country had officially applied to join the BRICS bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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“The biggest danger of AI is that we attribute these godlike characteristics to it and therefore let ourselves off the hook..”

Christopher Nolan Dismisses AI ‘Crisis’ (RT)

Oscar-nominated director Christopher Nolan has said in an interview that the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has only received such frenzied media attention because it represents a threat to journalists’ careers. In an interview with Wired magazine published on Tuesday, the British-American filmmaker said that the potential dangers of AI have been apparent for quite some time, particularly in militaristic contexts. But with the development of easy-to-use chatbots like ChatGPT or Google Bard, Nolan says that the media has leaned into alarmism because the technology poses an existential threat to their livelihoods. “The growth of AI in terms of weapons systems and the problems that it is going to create have been very apparent for a lot of years,” Nolan told the magazine.

“Few journalists bothered to write about it. Now that there’s a chatbot that can write an article for a local newspaper, suddenly it’s a crisis.” The public release of ChatGPT last year incited a widespread public debate about the uses – and potential dangers – of ‘generative’ AI technology, which combs through vast quantities of online data and presents content to users in a ‘human-like’ fashion. Its supporters have pointed to AI’s efficacy in performing various tasks, such as academic research, while critics point to the type of Doomsday scenarios put forth by Skynet in the movie ‘Terminator 2’; something that Nolan will no doubt be familiar with. But while Nolan is keen to dismiss the media glare as being somewhat self-serving, he admits that the biggest threat isn’t posed by AI itself, but rather by how humanity adapts to it.

“The biggest danger of AI is that we attribute these godlike characteristics to it and therefore let ourselves off the hook,” he said. “We have to view it as a tool. The person who wields it still has to maintain responsibility for wielding that tool.” He continued: “If we accord AI the status of a human being, the way at some point legally we did with corporations, then yes, we’re going to have huge problems.” It is these potentially ‘huge problems’ which have been traversing the media for the past several months. In May, Geoffrey Hinton, widely-considered to be one of the ‘godfathers’ of AI technology, resigned from his post at Google and undertook a media campaign to warn of its dangers. Big Tech thought-leaders like Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak were among several industry figures who co-signed a letter which, in part, called for aggressive regulation of the AI sector.

But while Artificial Intelligence could present opportunities to filmmakers to achieve effects previously limited only by the boundaries of their own imaginations, Nolan says he is happy to watch from the sidelines. “I’m, you know, very much the old analog fusty filmmaker,” he said. “I shoot on film.”

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“..the DoJ under Attorney General Merrick Garland “has become a Praetorian guard, a protectorate for the Biden family..”

‘Child of Privilege’: Hunter Biden Dodges Stiffer Charges (Sp.)

The US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday it had filed charges against Hunter Biden, an international businessman and the son of US President Joe Biden, related to refusing to pay income tax and illegal possession of a firearm. Biden has entered a plea deal on the charges, which could put him in jail for up to 15 years. However, experts told Sputnik that the prodigal son admitted to far worse crimes that those he is being tried for, but that the DoJ is refusing to file them against him. Marc Little, a conservative political commentator and executive director of CURE America Action, suggested that “perhaps the DoJ is attempting to rehabilitate its ‘zero” credibility before their unprecedented political trial against former President Donald Trump begins.”

“Hunter’s now-alleged involvement in international bribery and corruption will be ignored while the DoJ wages war on the current president’s political opponent,” he said. “With what appears to be a plea deal and a slap on the wrist to the president’s son, and no indictment for the many crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and numerous FBI brass in the infamous Russia Hoax, it is clear [that] the DoJ has its sights set on anyone who they cannot control. After all, it is clear the Intelligence State in the US exerts more biased power than anyone ever truly realized – until now.” Tyler Nixon, a political analyst and attorney for Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser Roger Stone compared the situation to that of Al Capone, who was ultimately jailed on tax evasion charges despite his widely known history of ordering hits on rival gangsters.

“Frankly, this is [a] disgrace for the justice system,” Nixon told Sputnik. “It doesn’t surprise me at all.” “The tax charges are used to get someone who was involved in a massive corruption off lightly. I’ve known Hunter Biden for pretty much since I was a young man, when we were children. It is sad to see that he was then involved in such corruption and frankly, just selling [his] country out to some of the worst actors around the world. This is just kind of a negotiated slap on the wrist. And it leaves off the table all of the most serious crimes involving money laundering, involving influence peddling, involving the sale of his father’s office and capitalizing on what I consider borderline treason,” he said.

Nixon said Hunter Biden escaped much stiffer gun charges that have landed others in prison for many years because “he’s a child of privilege.” “I would be shocked if he saw the inside of a prison cell at any point. They’ve softballed this, they’ve got him in a diversion program, early diversion, which [is why] he doesn’t have a criminal record as far as we know.” “I don’t think he should be treated differently by the system, either more harshly or less harshly based on what he’s done. However, the whole thing is the epitome of hypocrisy. His father is the biggest, probably the most virulent drug warrior still alive, who escalated the penalties for drug possession and all sorts of drug offenses in the 1980s and 90s and even into the early 2000s, to a point that thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not even approaching millions of Americans had their lives destroyed for mere possession of different sorts of controlled substances, thanks to Joe Biden.”

[..] Nixon noted that, when it comes to his business activities, federal prosecutors have had more than half a decade to investigate a “mountain of evidence” brought forth, including by his former business partner, Tony Bobulinski. Instead, the DoJ under Attorney General Merrick Garland “has become a Praetorian guard, a protectorate for the Biden family,” he said. “And there’s no chance that any of these serious crimes” Hunter Biden has made a plea deal on “have [anything] to do with his father,” Nixon noted.

Blinken Xi

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“If you didn’t know what a virtuous person Hunter Biden was you might think it looked a lot like money laundering..”

Tucker Carlson Savages Bidens Over Hunter’s ‘Slap On The Wrist’ (ZH)

“Donald Trump had an idea, ‘they’ll hit Hunter with something small to make their strike on me look fair.’ Trump wrote that about two weeks ago,” said Carlson. “And it turned out, those were prescient words. This morning, Hunter Biden pleaded guilty to pretty much nothing. Biden pleaded to two misdemeanor tax evasion charges and then entered a diversion on a federal gun charge. That’s it. As far as Merrick Garland’s justice department is concerned, Hunter Biden is done. There was no pre-dawn raid carried live simultaneously on CNN, there was no perp walk, no handcuffs, no press conference.” “Above all, there was no felony. Hunter Biden who broke federal gun laws can still carry a gun. It’s like it all never happened,” Carlson continued.

According to the Washington Post, Hunter, 53, is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges of failure to pay in 2017 and 2018, for a combined tax liability of roughly $1.2 million. He’ll also admit to illegally possessing a weapon after his 2018 purchase of a handgun – which will likely result in a ‘diversion program’ which would result in the removal of the gun charge if all of the program’s conditions are met. The former Fox News host also noted how the White House has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated and irrelevant to Joe Biden’s presidency. He also questioned Hunter’s source of income – highlighting his art sales and book deal, which Carlson implied could be tied to money laundering and influence peddling.

“If you didn’t know what a virtuous person Hunter Biden was you might think it looked a lot like money laundering,” said Carlson, referring to an interview he gave to ABC in 2019. “Two years after that interview, Hunter Biden was selling prints of his art — and to be clear, just the prints, not the art itself – but effectively photocopies of it for seventy five thousand dollars a pop!” “Apparently Hunter Biden moved five of these Repros in just days. That’s $375,000 in less than a week for signed copies of your fake art. “As for the paintings themselves, childish self-indulgent blots, those sold for half a million dollars a piece. So the question is; who bought them and why? It’d be interesting to know, there’s a story there for sure, but of course we have no right to know.”

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Outrage my a**. Comer and the House Oversight Committee have lots to work with.

GOP Outraged Over ‘Sweetheart Deal’ Handed to Hunter Biden (Manley)

Amongst Republican outrage, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) addressed the plea deal on tax charges Hunter Biden has agreed to. The US president’s son has also reached a diversion agreement with the Department of Justice related to unlawful possession of a weapon. House and Senate Republicans responded on Tuesday to Hunter Biden’s decision to plead guilty to three federal charges, with remarks on the settled plea deal ranging between outrage and vows for investigation to not go impeded. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the announced plea deal wouldn’t have any effect on the lower chamber’s investigation into an alleged bribery scheme between President Joe Biden, his son, and a Ukrainian energy executive.

“Now this does nothing to our investigation,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday morning. “It actually should enhance our investigation because the DOJ should not be able to withhold any information now saying that there’s a pending investigation. They should be able to provide [House Oversight Committee] Chairman [James] Comer [R-KY.] with any information that he requires.” On Tuesday, Hunter pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor offenses related to federal income tax filings. He was also charged with a felony firearm offense which he will avoid prosecution for thanks to him agreeing to enter a pretrial diversion agreement. His plea deal agreement follows a nearly six-year investigation.

David Weiss, a US attorney in Delaware, said Hunter did not pay federal income taxes for either 2017 or 2018, even as he owed more than $100,000 in taxes for each year. His office reportedly adds that Hunter possessed a firearm in 2018 despite being an unlawful user of, and an addict of controlled substances, and knowing the fact. Republicans and other critics of the White House have hit out at what they see as a double standard for the president’s family, as compared to former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles. “It continues to show the two-tier system in America,” McCarthy said of Hunter’s plea deal with the DOJ. “If you are the president’s leading political opponent, the DOJ tries to literally put you in jail and give you prison time. But if you are the president’s son, you get a sweetheart deal.”

Watters

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Child support from $20,000 to $5,000 per month. Jonathan Turley says they also agreed the girl will not use the Biden name.

Hunter Biden, Baby Mama Settle Child Support Dispute (Devine)

Hunter Biden and his baby mama have privately settled their child support dispute in Arkansas, according to a source close to the first son. Lunden Roberts, 32, the mother of Hunter’s long-unacknowledged 4-year-old daughter, agreed to her $20,000 monthly child support payments being slashed after she showed up in person to his deposition in Little Rock last week. Roberts’ lawyer, Clint Lancaster, told The Post late Thursday that final terms were still to be determined and declined to confirm that his client had agreed to a reduced monthly payment of $5,000. “The case is sealed, and these are financial terms that should never be disclosed,” he said, warning that leaks about details of the settlement would derail talks and end up with Hunter back in an Arkansas court on July 11.

“It was significant that Lunden was there” at Hunter’s deposition last week, Lancaster added. “I believe that settlement is important to Hunter Biden [but] we have concerns that Hunter would use [the settlement] as a means to promote some agenda of his … There’s always more that goes on in settlement negotiations than people realize.” Hunter, 53, initially denied paternity of Navy Joan Roberts, but a DNA test in 2019 proved he was the child’s father. He applied last year to a Batesville, Ark., court to reduce his child support payments, citing reduced circumstances, but turned heads by flying into town in a friend’s private jet. “Lunden is a great mom and little Navy is going be fine,” said Lancaster. “The kid has lots of love on the maternal side of the family in Batesville. They are a very, very close family. They adore her and are always going to support her … But I think everybody is disappointed that there’s not more contact [with the Biden family].

“It’s not lost on anybody that Jill Biden wrote a children’s book and [dedicated it] to her grandchildren,” the lawyer went on. “She could have kept it at that, but she named every child except Navy. “They hung stockings for the dog at Christmas but not for Navy. That is one of the saddest things.” During contentious legal arguments, Lancaster asked the case judge to jail the president’s son for contempt after he failed to produce all the financial documents they demanded to prove his newfound poverty. Roberts met Hunter in 2017 at strip club Mpire in Washington, DC, where she danced under the stage name “Dallas” while studying at college. She was placed on the Biden scion’s company payroll for nine months during an affair conducted while Hunter was also in a relationship with his widowed sister-in-law, Hallie.

In his memoir, “Beautiful Things,” Hunter claimed he had “no recollection of our encounter.” President Biden and first lady Jill Biden never have acknowledged their seventh grandchild. News of the settlement came on the same day federal prosecutors in Delaware said Hunter had agreed to plead guilty to federal tax charges as part of a deal with the Justice Department that will likely keep him out of jail. As part of the deal, Biden’s son will plead guilty to misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax for 2017 and 2018, as well as enter a pre-trial diversion on a felony gun possession charge. The charges brought against Hunter – which were condemned by Republicans as a slap on the wrist — were the outcome of a five-year investigation that largely focused on money he received from overseas business interests.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Pebbles

 

 

 

 


The Oriental dwarf kingfisher is a small, red and yellow kingfisher, averaging 13 cm (5.1 in) in length, yellow underparts with glowing bluish-black upperparts

 

 

 

 

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May 122023
 


Sophia Loren seated by the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis during filming for ‘Boy on a Dolphin’, 1957

 

Ukraine Needs ‘Bit More Time’ To Prepare For Counteroffensive – Zelensky (TASS)
Ukrainian Forces Begin “Shaping” Operations For Counteroffensive (RT)
UK Sending Long-range Storm Shadow Missiles To Ukraine (G.)
Russian MoD Denies Kinzhal Intercepted By Patriot Air Defense System (RIA)
West ‘Miscalculated’ With Economic War Against Russia – Spectator (TASS)
Donetsk Civilians Live In Constant Fear Of Ukrainian Shelling (Eva Bartlett)
European Security Order ‘Is No More’ – German President (RT)
Grain Deal Extended By 60 Days, Decision May Be Announced By Erdogan (TASS)
The UK’s Secret Control Of Palestinian Security Forces (Klarenberg)
US Sells Weapons To Majority Of Authoritarian Regimes – The Intercept (RT)
World’s Most Violent Country Claims Murder-Free Year (RT)
The Censorship-Industrial Complex: The Top 50 Organizations to Know (Taibbi+)
Elon Musk Hires Ultra Woke Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter (CTH)
CNN Host Sues Trump For Assault And Defamation After Town Hall (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Anderson

 

 

 

 

2016
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656631409958584323

 

 

 

 

The Right Stuff

 

 

Dimon

 

 

Maria Zakharova : By digging a long investigation, we find that Von der Leyen’s family tree traces a legacy of power and brutality, incorporating not only some of Germany’s most prominent Nazis, but also some of Britain’s greatest slave traders.

 

 

 

 

“..those who are calling for peace talks to start as soon as possible could not force Ukraine to surrender its territories..”

Ukraine Needs ‘Bit More Time’ To Prepare For Counteroffensive – Zelensky (TASS)

The Ukrainian army needs a little bit more time to prepare for Kiev’s much-vaunted counteroffensive, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with European media outlets, including the BBC, published on Thursday. “With [what we already have] we can go forward, and, I think, be successful. But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable. So, we need to wait. We still need a bit more time,” Zelensky said. As follows from Zelensky’s statement, those Ukrainian brigades formed especially for the counteroffensive are already fully ready to take part in combat operations, but the army still needs “certain things,” including armored vehicles, which are “arriving in batches.” The Ukrainian president also stated that those who are calling for peace talks to start as soon as possible could not force Ukraine to surrender its territories.


He noted that Kiev was not afraid of losing support from Washington after the next US presidential election in November 2024, because, according to Zelensky, both the Democrats and the Republicans are allies of Ukraine. The issue of a potential counterattack by the Ukrainian army has been discussed in the Ukrainian media for several months. A buildup of Ukrainian reserves was noted in the Zaporozhye area recently. Media reports have mooted various dates for the start of an attack, but the commencement of Kiev’s much-ballyhooed counteroffensive has been postponed several times already. Among the reasons the reports mentioned were the slow delivery of Western equipment, bad weather and huge losses suffered by Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine).

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“Shaping involves striking targets such as weapons depots, command centers and armor and artillery systems..”

Ukrainian Forces Begin “Shaping” Operations For Counteroffensive (RT)

Ukrainian forces have begun “shaping” operations in advance of a highly-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, a senior US military official and senior Western official told CNN, Report informs. Shaping involves striking targets such as weapons depots, command centers and armor and artillery systems to prepare the battlefield for advancing forces. It’s a standard tactic made prior to major combined operations. When Ukraine launched a counteroffensive late last summer in the southern and northeastern parts of the country, it was similarly preceded by air attacks to shape the battlefield. These shaping operations could continue for many days before the bulk of any planned Ukrainian offensive, according to the senior US military official.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country still needs “a bit more time” before it launches the counteroffensive, in order to allow some more of the promised Western military aid to arrive in the country. “With [what we have] we can go forward and be successful,” Zelensky told European public service broadcasters in an interview published on Thursday. “But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable.” “So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time,” he said. Among the supplies Ukraine is still waiting for are armored vehicles — including tanks —which Zelensky said were “arriving in batches.” Shaping operations can also be designed to confuse the enemy.

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There are still Ukrainians alive. Can’t have that.

UK Sending Long-range Storm Shadow Missiles To Ukraine (G.)

Britain has become the first western country to provide Ukraine with the long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles that Kyiv wants to boost its chances in a much-anticipated counteroffensive, prompting a threat from the Kremlin of a military response. Hours after Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said he needed more western weapons to be confident of a victory this summer, Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary, told MPs that the missiles – which cost more than £2m each – were “now going in, or are in the country itself”. The gift of the missiles was supported by the US, Wallace added, although previously Washington had declined to give Ukraine long-range missiles of its own, fearing that the outcome could escalate hostilities in the 15-month war.

Reflecting such concerns, the minister said the decision was “a calibrated and proportionate response” to the Russian invasion, and in particular Moscow’s repeated targeting of Ukrainian civilians. At least 23,000 civilians had been killed or injured, Wallace said. Russia had made “788 attacks on healthcare facilities, hospitals, clinics, medical centres”, and on many occasions killed civilians in missile strikes, he added. “The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Wallace told MPs, adding: “Russia must recognise that their actions alone have led to such systems being provided.” Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was taking a “rather negative” view of the UK’s move. “This will require an adequate response from our military, who … will make appropriate decisions,” he said.

Wallace did not say how many Storm Shadow missiles had been given to Ukraine, although it has been estimated the UK holds a stock of between 700 and 1,000. Working with four other countries, the UK issued a tender to buy more long-range “missiles or rockets with a range of 100-300km” (62 to 186 miles). Storm Shadow has a range of “in excess of 250km”, according to its manufacturer, the European arms group MBDA. That is significantly further than the high-precision US Himars rocket launchers currently used heavily by Ukraine, which rely on missiles with a range of 47 miles. Himars have become less effective as the Russian invaders have moved reserves of troops and equipment out of their range.

There have been concerns that the Storm Shadow missiles could be used to strike targets deep inside Russia’s internationally recognised borders. The White House has balked at supplying Ukraine with similar long-range ATACMS missiles, which can be fitted to the Himars systems. Wallace said the US was “incredibly supportive” of the UK’s decision, and said ATACMS missiles were not as suitable as Storm Shadow, which is designed to be able to strike defensive positions below ground.

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@BrianJBerletic
“This is clearly not a Russian Kinzhal missile which is a massive missile at 1.2 meters in diameter. Whatever this is, it is much smaller. Those claiming it is a BetAB-500 make a much more convincing argument…”

Russian MoD Denies Kinzhal Intercepted By Patriot Air Defense System (RIA)

The American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system could not shoot down the Russian Kinzhal missile due to its technical characteristics, a senior source in the Ministry of Defense said. “The fact is that the flight speed of the Kinzhal missile exceeds the maximum combat modes of anti-aircraft missile systems supplied by the West to the Kyiv regime, including the Patriot,” the agency’s interlocutor explained. In addition, as the source recalled, in the final phase of the flight, the Kinzhal performs an anti-missile maneuver and an almost vertical approach to the target, which excludes the possibility of it being intercepted by anti-aircraft missile systems. He called the statements about the downed hypersonic missile a hoax and stressed that it was “an attempt to wishful thinking. Earlier, the head of the press service of the Pentagon, Patrick Ryder, said at a briefing that Ukraine allegedly shot down a Russian Kinzhal missile with the help of the Patriot missile defense system transferred to it.

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“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world..”

West ‘Miscalculated’ With Economic War Against Russia – Spectator (TASS)

Western countries have failed to achieve their goals with the economic war they unleashed on Russia following the onset of its special military operation in Ukraine, according to an editorial by the British Spectator weekly published on its website on Thursday. According to the magazine, the West quickly became aware that other countries were not ready to stop doing business with Russia, which rapidly redirected its oil and gas supplies to China and India. The bans introduced by the West have been surmounted with parallel imports. That said, the European economy is smarting from the consequences of its sudden rejection of Russian energy. The Spectator points out that the Russian economy was also hurt but not as seriously as Ukraine’s allies hoped.


“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world. As we have discovered, non-western countries lack the will to impose sanctions on either Russia or on Russian oligarchs. The results of the miscalculation are there for all to see. <…> The Russian economy has not been destroyed; it has merely been reconfigured, reorientated to look eastwards and southwards rather than westwards,” the article says. The authors admit that in itself, the plan to declare the sanctions war on Russia “was not necessarily wrong” but point out that the West “is badly mistaken” if it continues to think that in the future, “it can fight wars purely by economic means, without bombs or bullets.”

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“..HIMARS systems were used, targeting “exclusively in the residential, central quarter of the city.”

Donetsk Civilians Live In Constant Fear Of Ukrainian Shelling (Eva Bartlett)

Heavy Ukrainian shelling of central Donetsk on April 28 killed nine civilians – including an eight-year-old girl and her grandmother – and injured at least 16 more. The victims were burned alive when the minibus they were in was hit by a shell. The attack also targeted a major hospital, apartment buildings, houses, parks, streets, and sidewalks. All civilian areas – not military targets. According to the Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) Representative Office in the JCCC (Joint Monitoring and Co-ordination Center on Ukraine’s War Crimes), Kiev’s forces fired high-explosive fragmentation missiles “produced in Slovakia and transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries.” Regarding an earlier shelling on the same day, the JCCC noted that US-made HIMARS systems were used, targeting “exclusively in the residential, central quarter of the city.”

I was outside of Donetsk interviewing refugees from Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut) when both rounds of intense shelling occurred, the first starting just after 11am. I returned to see a catastrophic scene, with a burnt-out bus – still smoking – and some of its passengers’ charred bodies melted onto the frame. This tragic picture was sadly not a one-off event. Elsewhere, city workers were already removing debris and had begun repaving damaged sections of the roads. I’ve seen this following Ukrainian shelling many times, including on January 1 this year, when Ukraine fired 25 Grads into the city centre. Similarly, in July 2022, Ukrainian shelling downtown killed four civilians, including two in a vehicle likewise gutted by flames. When I arrived at the scene about an hour later, workers were repaving the affected section of the street.

The damage to the Republican Trauma Center hospital was quickly cleaned up, but videos shared on Telegram immediately after the shelling show a gaping hole in one of the walls. The room concerned contained what was, apparently, Donetsk’s sole MRI machine. Along Artyoma street, the central Donetsk boulevard targeted countless times by Ukrainian attacks, the destruction was evident: Two cars caught up in the bombing, residents of an apartment building boarding up shattered windows and doors, the all-too-familiar sound of glass and debris being swept away. In the residential area, the first to be targeted that day, in a massive crater behind one house, the walls and roof of another home were intermixed with rocket fragments.

Donbass

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And guess who we blame?

European Security Order ‘Is No More’ – German President (RT)

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has “destroyed” the security order in Europe, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has claimed. He argued that there would no return to former security principles even after the hostilities end. “The European security order is no more,” Steinmeier told Germany’s RBB radio broadcaster on Wednesday, adding that “common security” will cease to be a “common concept for a long time to come.” “We will find [ourselves] in a new situation [after the fighting ends], in which Europe on the one hand and Russia on the other hand will defend themselves against each other over the medium term,” the German president said. Steinmeier pinned the blame on Moscow for the erosion of European security, maintaining that neither the German government nor the EU was responsible.


The comments came one day after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell asserted that the Ukraine conflict could be ended within days, should the flow of Western arms to Kiev cease. Borrell acknowledged, however, that such a scenario would not lead to the outcome Brussels was hoping for. Russia has repeatedly stated it is ready to resolve the conflict through peaceful means, as long as its goals are achieved and its interests are taken into account. Before the Russian military launched its campaign in Ukraine, Moscow tabled a comprehensive draft deal on security in Europe in 2021. The proposal involved a pledge by NATO not to expand further to the east, the removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe, and the withdrawal of NATO troops and missiles away from the Russian border. The deal was rejected by both Washington and Brussels.

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Erdogan has elections this Sunday..

Grain Deal Extended By 60 Days, Decision May Be Announced By Erdogan (TASS)

The grain deal, which expires on May 18, will be extended by 60 days, the corresponding decision may be first to be announced by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a source familiar with the negotiation process told TASS. “The deal, I think, will be extended for 60 days, but Russia may agree to this for the last time. The decision to prolong “traditionally” may be announced by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan after a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart [Vladimir Putin],” the source said. The source did not rule out that the decision can be announced “today or tomorrow”. However, the source called the possibility of extending the deal a “gesture from Russia” in the hope that its demands, enshrined in the Istanbul memorandum of July 22 last year, would be taken into account.

Following the talks in Istanbul between the delegations of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told reporters that the Russian part of the agreements would cease to operate if Moscow did not receive guarantees that their demands would be met by May 18. They concern the export of agricultural products and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system, and a number of other issues. Agreements to enable the export of food and fertilizers to world markets were signed on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul. They were originally meant to last 120 days and were extended for another 120 days in November. Russia announced on March 18 that the deal was extended for another 60 days, saying this would be enough time to assess the effectiveness of the memorandum signed with the UN.

Moscow has said repeatedly that any further extension of the deal hinges on whether the Russian part of the deal is implemented. The lack of progress in this issue jeopardizes the future of the entire initiative. On May 10-11 representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN met in Istanbul to discuss a potential extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement for supplies of grain and fertilizers. The security of the Black Sea grain corridor was also on the agenda.

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” It was in Northern Ireland that Britain perfected “five techniques” of psychological and physical torment, which formed the basis of modern torture worldwide..”

The UK’s Secret Control Of Palestinian Security Forces (Klarenberg)

From the UK Foreign Office’s perspective, steering the PA’s activities and composition ensures it not only remains “supportive of UK values and interests,” but also allows London’s domestic and foreign security and intelligence services to train an unblinking eye on residents of Gaza and the West Bank. As a result, potential threats of retaliatory violence arising from Tel Aviv’s brutal assaults in the Occupied Territories – both to Israel and Britain – can be neutralized via local actors. British infiltration of the Palestinian Authority is a long-running story, and its security infrastructure has always been a primary target. In 2004, the government of Tony Blair dispatched veteran senior British police officer Jonathan McIvor to assist the body.

The next year, he was employed by the European Union to establish the Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (COPPS), Brussels’ first “security” mission in Palestine – which increases cooperation between the PA’s military, security, policing, and intelligence wings, and Israeli occupation forces – in advance of its formal launch in early 2006, and served for some time as its first chief. Questions can only abound as to whether McIvor’s high-level stint within the Royal Ulster Constabulary, a police force in Northern Ireland notorious for vicious discrimination against the province’s Catholic minority, and intensive collusion with loyalist terrorist groups, informed tactics employed today by the Palestinian Authority. It was in Northern Ireland that Britain perfected “five techniques” of psychological and physical torment, which formed the basis of modern torture worldwide, along with a strategy of “internment without trial” for terror suspects.

In 1976, a secret directive gave the Royal Ulster Constabulary free rein to employ these techniques whenever its officers wished, which endured well into the 1990s, concurrent with McIvor’s tenure with the force. The Palestinian Authority has been confirmed to widely engage in arbitrary arrests and torture of detainees, typically at Israel’s behest. Now that the PA is proving increasingly ineffective at quelling peaceful and armed resistance to both its brutal rule and Israeli ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Territories, the ‘expert’ guidance of Adam Smith International and other British government contractors has perhaps never been so urgently in need.

Read more …

No background checks…

US Sells Weapons To Majority Of Authoritarian Regimes – The Intercept (RT)

The administration of US President Joe Biden sold weapons to at least 57% of the world’s authoritarian regimes in 2022, according to analysis published on Thursday by The Intercept. In a lengthy review of US arms-dealing practices and recently released government data, the American publication noted that Washington has accounted for around 40% of global arms sales each year since the end of the Cold War. It added that, according to a classification system devised at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, the United States distributed weapons in 2022 to at least 48 of 84 (57%) countries described by the ‘Varieties of Democracy’ project as being under autocratic or authoritarian rule.

The Swedish study categorized global governments on a scale ranging from ‘closed autocracy’ to ‘liberal democracy’, principally using methodology to discern how free and fair a country’s elections might be. US weapons exports are typically divided into two categories: foreign military sales (FMS) and direct commercial sales (DCS). FMS requires the US government to act as a direct intermediary, with Washington buying the assets from a weapons manufacturer before it provides them to a foreign government. DCS deals, meanwhile, largely removes from the government’s intermediary role and permits manufacturers to sell directly abroad. Both types of sale require full approval from Washington. According to government data, the United States sold arms in FMS deals to 142 countries and territories last year, producing $85 billion in bilateral sales.

In Biden’s first full year as president, US weapons sales to foreign countries amounted to $206 billion – surpassing a Trump-era record of $192 billion. The US has been a key weapons supplier to Ukraine throughout its conflict with Russia. The Intercept noted, however, that this does not fully explain the boom in Washington’s arms export industry last year, as much of the weaponry was provided to Kiev in the form of grants. Russia’s offensive also began five months into the 2022 fiscal year. The findings of the analysis stand in contrast to Biden’s often-repeated stance of opposition to authoritarian governments. In a speech in Warsaw last year, the US president described conflict between democracy and autocracy as a battle “between liberty and repression” and “between a rules-based international order and one governed by brute force.”

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6,600 homicides in 2015. Zero the past year.

World’s Most Violent Country Claims Murder-Free Year (RT)

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador on Thursday announced an unprecedented homicide-free streak, adding up to 365 days since he took power nearly four years ago. The Latin American country was considered the world’s most violent as late as 2016. “We concluded May 10, 2023 with 0 homicides nationwide,” Bukele said on Twitter. “With this, it’s 365 days without homicides, a whole year.” The accompanying 90-second video called the development without precedent in El Salvador’s history. As of 2009, the country was considered the most violent in Latin America, with a killing every two hours. By 2015, it had over 6,600 homicides, the deadliest country in the world that wasn’t at war.

The homicide-free year was not consecutive, but rather cumulative over the four years of Bukele’s presidency. Before he took office in June 2019, the country had recorded only two days without a homicide in 15 years. Now El Salvador is “the most secure country in Latin America,” argued the president. “The country has never recorded such a cycle of peace, since its birth as a republic,” one Salvadoran social media influencer pointed out. Bukele has attributed the drastic change to his ‘War on Gangs’. His government declared a state of emergency in March 2022, amid a major spike in gang violence in the nation of 6.5 million on the Pacific Ocean. Designating the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Barrio 18 and other gangs as terrorists, his government has so far jailed over 65,000 suspected criminals.

A mega-prison called the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT), with the capacity to hold 40,000 convicts in maximum security, has been built outside the capital. Parallel to the crackdown on gangs, Bukele has embraced economic reforms, introducing Bitcoin as legal tender on par with the US dollar – over objections from the IMF – and abolishing all taxes and tariffs on the information technology sector. Visiting El Salvador in March, AP reported that ordinary Salvadorans were relieved and enjoying their daily lives without being terrorized by organized crime. But the agency also quoted US-based human rights experts who worried about El Salvador becoming a “police state.” Bukele’s government did not respond to the outlet’s requests for comment.

Read more …

“..only America’s enemies are low enough, and deprived enough of real firepower, to require the use of such tactics..”

The Censorship-Industrial Complex: The Top 50 Organizations to Know (Taibbi+)

In 1996, just as the Internet was becoming part of daily life in America, the U.S. Army published “Field Manual 100-6,” which spoke of “an expanding information domain termed the Global Information Environment” that contains “information processes and systems that are beyond the direct influence of the military.” Military commanders needed to understand that “information dominance” in the “GIE” would henceforth be a crucial element for “operating effectively.” You’ll often see it implied that “information operations” are only practiced by America’s enemies, because only America’s enemies are low enough, and deprived enough of real firepower, to require the use of such tactics, needing as they do to “overcome military limitations.” We rarely hear about America’s own lengthy history with “active measures” and “information operations,” but popular media gives us space to read about the desperate tactics of the Asiatic enemy, perennially described as something like an incurable trans-continental golf cheat.

Indeed, part of the new mania surrounding “hybrid warfare” is the idea that while the American human being is accustomed to living in clear states of “war” or “peace,” the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian citizen is born into a state of constant conflict, where war is always ongoing, whether declared or not. In the face of such adversaries, America’s “open” information landscape is little more than military weakness. In March of 2017, in a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on hybrid war, chairman Mac Thornberry opened the session with ominous remarks, suggesting that in the wider context of history, an America built on constitutional principles of decentralized power might have been badly designed: Americans are used to thinking of a binary state of either war or peace. That is the way our organizations, doctrine, and approaches are geared. Other countries, including Russia, China, and Iran, use a wider array of centrally controlled, or at least centrally directed, instruments of national power and influence to achieve their objectives…

Whether it is contributing to foreign political parties, targeted assassinations of opponents, infiltrating non-uniformed personnel such as the little green men, traditional media and social media, influence operations, or cyber-connected activity, all of these tactics and more are used to advance their national interests and most often to damage American national interests… The historical records suggest that hybrid warfare in one form or another may well be the norm for human conflict, rather than the exception. Around that same time, i.e. shortly after the election of Donald Trump, it was becoming gospel among the future leaders of the “Censorship-Industrial Complex” that interference by “malign foreign threat actors” and the vicissitudes of Western domestic politics must be linked. Everything, from John Podesta’s emails to Trump’s Rust Belt primary victories to Brexit, were to be understood first and foremost as hybrid war events.

This is why the Trump-Russia scandal in the United States will likely be remembered as a crucial moment in 21st-century history, even though the investigation superficially ended a non-story, fake news in itself. What the Mueller investigation didn’t accomplish in ousting Trump from office, it did accomplish in birthing a vast new public-private bureaucracy devoted to stopping “mis-, dis-, and malinformation,” while smoothing public acquiescence to the emergence of a spate of new government agencies with “information warfare” missions.

Read more …

Guess who was the Chair of the Ad Council that drove the partnership between global corporations and the US Government to push vaccines during COVID…

“And then I hired a WEF Executive Chair who worked with the White House and ‘government agencies’ on the COVID-19 ‘vaccination’ campaign to be the new CEO of ‘free-speech’ Twitter …”

Elon Musk Hires Ultra Woke Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter (CTH)

Elon Musk has reportedly hired Linda Yaccarino as the CEO of Twitter. Unfortunately, this decision is the exact opposite of what everyone hoped about Musk’s intentions with the platform. Ms. Yaccarino is the head of NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships, and she is the tip of the spear in the creation of DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) indexing and corporate scoring. You might be familiar with ‘DEI’ as a result of the Bud Light woke advertising campaign to promote beer for transgenders. Well, that’s DEI in action, and Ms. Yaccarino is one of the pioneers in the advertising industry. Additionally, Linda Yaccarino is the Chairwoman of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Taskforce on Future of Work. As she noted in her position, “every CEO and executive needs to look inward, and build workplaces that ensure our employees, current and future, can always succeed amid rapid transformation.”

Overlaying the Diversity Equity and Inclusion mindset, you will note Yaccarino says, “long-term benefits for the unemployed, women, and communities of color.” Why would Elon Musk bring the most woke NBC advertising executive to become the CEO of Twitter? Obviously, he is focused on generating revenue, and Yaccarino can bring woke credentials to the platform luring corporate advertisers. Unfortunately, in order to achieve that objective, the platform content will have to be modified. That means the public square of Twitter needs to become a platform of non-controversial NPCs (Non Player Characters) which generally are identified in memes [SEE HERE]. The content on Twitter must fit an approved standard for advertising. Leading this effort to control platform content through the control of the monetization, is literally what Yaccarino has done in her work at NBCUniversal. Thus, her efforts to promote DEI take on a new level of importance.

Ms. Yaccarino also supports Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and follows him and his fellow influencers through her Twitter account. Politically this puts her in alignment with Elon Musk and the acceptable Republican group that promotes the Florida Governor. Keep in mind, for DeSantis, the “woke issues” are political tools to achieve an objective; nothing more. Ms. Yaccarino supporting Ron DeSantis is not a misnomer, it’s just politics. Similarly, for Elon Musk, it appears Ms. Yaccarino brings a greater financial value to the table offsetting any contradictions in his belief system about wokeism as a danger to speech and culture. Obviously, this hire says Musk is more concerned about revenue generation than actual free speech.

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“It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. It was assault, plain and simple. And defamation.”

CNN Host Sues Trump For Assault And Defamation After Town Hall (BBee)

A visibly shaken Kaitlan Collins announced she will be suing Trump for assault and defamation after being destroyed by the former President on national television last night. “He said things I didn’t agree with. Even worse, he said things I didn’t like,” said Collins in a statement. “It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. It was assault, plain and simple. And defamation. I’m suing Trump for $5 million like that other lady.” Sources also reported Trump called the CNN host a “nasty person,” which trusted fact-checkers have determined was false.


Media experts applauded the announcement and were all in agreement that Trump’s performance in the town hall was the most horrifying spectacle ever televised. “I am literally shaking right now,” said CNN Host Jake Tapper. “The lies, the misinformation, the pure evil of that monstrous orange man is too much for my soul to bear. Our democracy is in danger once again. God help us all.” Biden also responded to the town hall, saying: “Reflustrazuuure! Shut up, fat!” Within minutes of the announcement of the lawsuit, a New York judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered Trump to pay $5 million.

E Jean

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9 days before the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

 

 

Dog fight

 

 


Eudocima phalonia is also known as the common fruit-piercing moth, in its caterpillar stage it looks like a galaxy

 

 

 

 

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