Vincent van Gogh Stairway at Auvers 1890
President John F. Kennedy: “No nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War.” pic.twitter.com/66m3WZNK1l
— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) May 9, 2023
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: "I don't like what Joe Biden is doing with this country… What we're doing in Ukraine is not good for the Ukrainian people. We have killed 300,000 Ukrainian troops and 14,000 civilians in a neocon geopolitical machination – in our own plot to try to get… pic.twitter.com/A0ZvfPyMBT
— COMBATE |🇵🇷 (@upholdreality) May 9, 2023
.@RobertKennedyJr explains that the U.S. military-industrial complex's goal is to prolong the War in Urakine, maximizing the loss of lives while continuing to expand NATO and advocating for regime change in Russia:
"This is no longer a humanitarian mission, and all the decisions… pic.twitter.com/QKZrnHG3Th
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) May 9, 2023
The power of propaganda.
“The United States and its allies defeated fascism,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in all seriousness during an official briefing, speaking of the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II. 🤡 pic.twitter.com/cDKv1Yb6pK
— MARIA (@its_maria012) May 9, 2023
🇫🇷 French cartoonists have published a new series of short animated films about 🇺🇦 Ukraine and Zelensky. pic.twitter.com/FeyyOzObhg
— Djole 🇷🇸 (@onlydjole) May 8, 2023
Forget all the bullshit rhetoric coming from Washington…… pic.twitter.com/5ng5o026ui
— Richard (@ricwe123) May 9, 2023
Note: he doesn’t confirm anything.
#BREAKING: Pentagon press secretary Gen. Patrick S. Ryder confirms Ukraine’s claim that it downed a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal-type ballistic missile using the Patriot air defense system. pic.twitter.com/pTKQNVikzZ
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) May 9, 2023
It’s all a literally bloody experiment.
• Ukraine’s Future Lies in the Great Reset (Pabst)
“Ukraine 2030 — the freest and most digital country in the world. Without bureaucracy, but with strong tech industry. Cashless & paperless. This is the future we are building.” These were the words of Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov, who posted a glossy video showcasing Ukraine’s sci-fi-esque future to Twitter. The video boasts of Ukraine’s plans (after its victory over Russia, of course!) to become the “freest and most convenient country in the next 10 years.” In this theoretical scenario, Ukraine is “the first country to abandon paper money,” tele-health and tele-education programs abound, courts’ decisions are guided by artificial intelligence, and cities can even defend themselves with an “ultra-modern iron dome.”
Ukraine 2030 — the freest and most digital country in the world. Without bureaucracy, but with strong tech industry. Cashless & paperless. This is the future we are building. pic.twitter.com/XWs4E1pPGJ
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) July 14, 2022
But the juxtaposition between the video’s boasts and Ukraine’s dire reality on the ground grows more uncanny by the day.November 2022 reports quietly admitted that roughly 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or wounded in action, and apparently leaked documents from April 2023 exposed Ukraine’s especially weak wartime positioning, where Ukrainian casualties outnumber those of the Russians four to one. Meanwhile, complaints of low ammunition — with Ukraine running through ammo faster than the US and NATO can replace it — run amok, and in Bakhmut’s “meat-grinder,” the estimated lifespan of Ukrainian soldiers in battle was reported as being a grim four hours in late February. Meanwhile, millions of Ukrainians have fled home as sky-high inflation rates and energy prices have slashed living standards in Europe and internationally.
But as the war drudges on, Ukrainian officials have zeroed in on the conflict’s alleged “silver linings,” bragging about the new technological developments and investment possibilities that have surfaced during the conflict, such as Ukraine’s “state in a smartphone” Diia app, the e-hryvnia, mounting technological capabilities spurred by corporate war-time involvement in Ukraine, a further crystallization of the public-private partnership as a civil society instrument, and Ukraine’s budding “green” revolution, which is slated to blossom during its prospective elite-backed reconstruction. While these and other initiatives taking place as part of Ukraine’s war-time and reconstruction efforts are being done in the name of modernization, convenience, and democracy, these efforts instead contribute to a technological and political terrain that is conducive to depriving the civilians of Ukraine, and all nations, of their sovereignty, privacy, and dignity.
As I illustrate in this investigative piece, such efforts are part of the larger drive towards the related phenomena of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, today’s technological revolution that blurs the physical, digital, and biological spheres, and the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset, an elite-driven initiative to establish Klaus Schwab’s vision of stakeholder capitalism, where corporations are positioned as “trustees of society” to address the world’s economic and social woes.
Diia is a groundbreaking app that allows Ukrainians to access over 100 government services. Ukraine is also using the tech to connect people to critical support during the war. Now, @USAID is excited to work with @FedorovMykhailo to help other countries build platforms like Diia. pic.twitter.com/Y40ujXfzcY
— Samantha Power (@PowerUSAID) January 19, 2023
“..in essence, a system of robbery, violence and oppression.”
• Any Ideology of Superiority Is Criminal – Putin (TASS)
Any superiority ideology is, by definition, repulsive, deadly, and criminal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the Victory Day parade on the Red Square on Tuesday. “We believe that any ideology of superiority is inherently disgusting, criminal, and deadly,” he said. At the same time, Putin added that Western elites “still talk about their exclusivity, put people against each other and divide society, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia, aggressive nationalism, destroy those family, traditional values that make humans human.” All this, he said, is done in order “to continue dictating, imposing their will, rights and rules on the peoples – in essence, a system of robbery, violence and oppression.” “They seem to have forgotten what the Nazis’ insane claims to world domination led to,” the president added. “They have forgotten who defeated this monstrous, total evil, who stood as a wall for their homeland and did not spare their lives for the liberation of the peoples of Europe,” he said.
🇷🇺 “I congratulate you on the holiday, on Victory Day. A war has been unleashed against Russia, but we have defeated terrorism, and we will cope with this. We will protect ourselves and Donbass. We want to see a future of peace, freedom, and stability.” — Putin pic.twitter.com/JPi3Q0rAfc
— 🅰pocalypsis 🅰pocalypseos 🇷🇺 🇨🇳 🅉 (@apocalypseos) May 9, 2023
“The Ukrainians became“hostages” of the coup that took place in the country in 2014 and were turned into “a bargaining chip” by the West..”
• Globalist Elites Provoke Bloody Conflicts And Coups – Putin (RT)
Western elites have forgotten the consequences of the Nazis’ “insane ambitions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his Victory Day Parade speech on Red Square in Moscow. Russia believes that “any ideology of superiority is by its nature disgusting, criminal and deadly,”the president pointed out. “The globalist elites keep insisting on their exceptionalism; they pit people against each other, split societies, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia and aggressive nationalism, destroy traditional family values that make human a human,” Putin said. According to the Russian leader, all this is being done by the US and allies in order to “further dictate their will, their rights and their rules” and implement what is basically “a system of robbery, violence and suppression” on the international stage.
“It seems that they have forgotten what the insane ambitions of the Nazis led to. They have forgotten who defeated this monstrous, total evil,” he stressed. Referring to the conflict in Ukraine, Putin said that “a real war has been unleashed against out Motherland. But we resisted international terrorism. We’ll also defend the residents of Donbass and assure our security.” The aim of the West is “to achieve the disintegration and destruction of our country, nullify the results of World War II, completely break down the system of global security and international law, and strangle any sovereign centers of development,” he insisted. The US and its allies are to blame for the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, the head of state said. “Overwhelming ambitions, arrogance and permissiveness inevitably lead to tragedies. This is the reason for the catastrophe that the Ukrainian people are now experiencing,” he pointed out. The Ukrainians became“hostages” of the coup that took place in the country in 2014 and were turned into “a bargaining chip” by the West, which uses the country to implement its “cruel selfish plans.”
Full Putin Speech at the Victory Day Parade 2023
"We see how in certain countries they ruthlessly and cold-bloodedly destroy memorials to Soviet soldiers, demolish monuments to great commanders, create a real cult of the Nazis and their proxies, erase and demonize the memory of… pic.twitter.com/AQlnvB7GpE
— COMBATE |🇵🇷 (@upholdreality) May 9, 2023
The UN does not want peace.
• UN Chief Says Peace Talks Between Ukraine And Russia Impossible Now (RT)
The peace talks between Ukraine and Russia are impossible now, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with Spain’s El Pais published on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I think that the talks on peace are impossible now,” he said. According to him, “both sides are convinced that they can win.” “We are in dialogue with both sides as far as possible to solve specific problems. The most important initiative was the export of grain from Ukraine… And now I do not see the possibility of an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations,” Guterres stated.
And if peace were to break out regardless, then China should not be its agent. That would threaten the UN.
• UN Skeptical About China Helping To End Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Offers to mediate in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine are unlikely to come to fruition at the moment since both parties seem to be “fully involved” in continuing the war, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said. “Peace negotiations are not possible at this time,” Guterres told Spain’s El País newspaper in an interview. Asked whether the peace initiatives floated by China and Brazil, were “doomed to fail,” the UN chief said both parties to the conflict seemed to be too resolved to continue the hostilities for the mediation offers to work. “I already said that peace negotiations at this time are not going to happen. I hope in the future, yes. There was talk of a Russian offensive in the winter and a Ukrainian one in the spring. It is evident that the parties are fully involved into the war,” Guterres stated.
The grim prediction comes amid an apparent uptick in fighting, with both Moscow and Kiev ramping up long-range attacks against each other in recent days. The increase in military activities comes amid the long-hyped looming counteroffensive by Kiev’s forces, repeatedly cheered by the country’s top officials. Early this year, China unveiled a 12-point peace roadmap designed to bring the conflict, which has been raging since February 2022, to an end. The initiative got a positive reception in Moscow, with Russia’s top leadership signaling its readiness to discuss it further. However, the roadmap was received poorly by Kiev and its Western backers, who accused Beijing of allegedly already siding with Russia and, therefore, having no say on potential peace talks.
Brazil has also been actively pushing for Moscow and Kiev to come to the table, with the country having taken a neutral stance on the conflict. Brazilian President Lula da Silva has condemned both Russia’s military operation and the collective West for “encouraging war,” urging them to stop arming Kiev and to push for a ceasefire instead. “There is no use now in saying who is right, who is wrong. What we have to do now is stop the war,” Lula said late in April, claiming that “no one in the world is talking about peace except for me.”
NATO wants no peace either. It wants to cross Russia’s no. 1 red line.
• ‘All’ NATO Members Support Ukraine Membership – Stoltenberg (RT)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told the Washington Post that all member states have agreed to welcome Ukraine after it defeats Russia. He also revealed that the US-led military bloc had started backing Kiev in 2014. In the interview, conducted last week at the bloc’s Brussels headquarters and published on Tuesday, Stoltenberg told the WP’s editorial staff that “all NATO allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance.” “Then the question is when, and I cannot give you a timetable on that,” Stoltenberg added. The NATO head has made this claim once before, last month when he visited Kiev. This prompted a one-word response from Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, who suggested that the bloc had not actually bothered to obtain consent from Budapest.
Stoltenberg told the Post that NATO was currently helping Kiev “transition from Soviet-era equipment, doctrines and standards” and become “interoperable with NATO forces,” while reforming and modernizing their military and defense institutions. “The urgent task now is to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent nation, because if Ukraine doesn’t prevail, then there is no issue to discuss at all.” According to Stoltenberg, NATO has two fundamental tasks “in the war,” one being to “support Ukraine,” the other to prevent escalation “by making absolutely clear that we are not party to the conflict.” The deployment of 40,000 troops to eastern Europe is also helping avoid escalation with Russia, he argued. The former Norwegian prime minister, who has been running NATO since October 2014, also revealed that the US, Canada, and the UK have provided 78% of the bloc’s support to Ukraine, and have been training Kiev’s troops since 2014.
“The war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed NATO, but then you have to remember the war didn’t start in 2022. The war started in 2014,” Stoltenberg told the Post, noting that all members of the bloc have “significantly increased” their military spending since then. Ukraine’s government was overthrown by US-backed nationalists in a February 2014 coup. The new authorities quickly moved to violently crush any opposition, leading Crimea to seek protection from Moscow. Protests against the coup government were met with a massacre in Odessa, terror in Kharkov, and a “punishment expedition” against Donetsk and Lugansk, which responded by declaring independence.
“.. the more Argentina wants to produce, the more US dollars it needs..”
• Can BRICS Save Argentina From Disaster? (Vargas)
Argentina recently announced that it will be adopting the Chinese yuan, rather than the US dollar, for trade with the Asian giant – the latest development in a wider global process of de-dollarization. This comes as Argentina is currently pushing to formally join BRICS, for which it says it has the support of Brazil, India, and for which Russia and China have hinted at possible support in the past. Argentina is South America’s second-largest economy with significant potential to contribute to BRICS, but the country is also in the grips of an increasingly extreme economic crisis with runaway inflation that’s hitting new highs every week. Can a multipolar financial system help struggling economies like Argentina? Can this move away from the dollar, and membership of BRICS, save the country from potential disaster? Yes, but only if Argentina stops flip-flopping on economic and foreign policy decision-making.
Argentina’s economic turmoil has reached desperate levels, a result of debt slavery to the International Monetary Fund, lack of access to dollars, and a historic drought that has battered crucial agricultural exports. While the official exchange rate with the US dollar is 222 pesos for 1 USD, the ‘Dollar Blue’, the unofficial rate offered on the black market, reached up to 500 Pesos in recent days. For context, in 2014 under leftist President Cristina Kirchner, the official rate was 8 pesos for 1 USD and the unofficial rate hovered around 12-14 pesos. Annual inflation stands at 104% and Argentinians have attempted to combat this by holding their savings in US dollars, and even in cryptocurrency. The crypto market is not as bullish as it was a couple of years ago, and the Fed’s interest rate increases along with speculation within Argentina has made dollars very hard and expensive to access.
More importantly, the colossal debt built up with the IMF is dollar-denominated. Argentinian economist Gisela Cernadas, now working in China with Dongsheng News, spoke exclusively to RT and explained the perilous situation caused by dependency on the dollar. “Argentina has been suffering, for an extended period of time, from a structurally unbalanced current account,” she said. “This means that the country needs more US dollars to function than what it has. “To carry out its productive activities, Argentina needs immediate inputs that have to be imported, such as machinery and equipment that has to be imported in dollars,” Cernadas explained.
“Therefore, the more Argentina wants to produce, the more US dollars it needs. So, this structurally unbalanced current account puts pressure on the currency exchange market.” In this context, the move to de-dollarize trade with China is clearly a positive move, in so far as it will ease the stranglehold that the US dollar has on the country. It will also help protect the central banks’ foreign reserves. “Paying part of the imports from China using Chinese currency instead of the US dollar will help relieve the pressure on the current account deficit,” said Cernadas. “It’s not going to solve the structural problem of needing more foreign currency to produce and carry out its productive activity, but at least it will relieve parts of the demand they have.”
“The rule of what you can’t say defines everything..”
Huge boost for Musk as well; he can showcase new Twitter features..
• “We’re Back”: Tucker Carlson Moves Show To Twitter (ZH)
According to Twitter owner Elon Musk, Twitter and Carlson have not signed “a deal of any kind whatsoever,” which we assume means that Tucker has found a clever way around his Fox contract which stipulated that he has to stay off the air until 2025 insofar as other networks are concerned. “Rewards means subscriptions and advertising revenue share (still working on software needed for latter), which is a function of how many people subscribe and the advertising views associated with his content,” Musk tweeted.
We’re back. pic.twitter.com/sG5t9gr60O
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) May 9, 2023
As hinted at in a Sunday Axios report, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced on Tuesday that he’s moving his show to Twitter. “There aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world is Twitter,” Carlson said in a monologue – in which he took a shot at Fox, saying “If you bump up against the limits [in the news business] you will be fired for it.” “The rule of what you can’t say defines everything,” he said, adding “You can’t have a free society if people aren’t allowed to say what they think is true… There aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one… is Twitter, where we are now.”
“Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops,” he continued, adding that other networks are “thinly disguised propaganda outlets.” “You see it on cable news, you talk about it on Twitter,” said Carlson. “The result may feel like a debate, but actually the gatekeepers are still in charge. We think that’s a bad system. We know exactly how it works and we’re sick of it.”
“..the hoards of flunkies working for corporate media have it in for Tucker Carlson because he takes positions that are forbidden to them..”
• Journalists-on-Journalists Crime (Patrick Lawrence)
I’ve read a lot of smear since Fox News dismissed Tucker Carlson as its premier evening news presenter late last month. How could I not? It was everywhere, and more fecal matter is being flung Carlson’s way as we speak. My favorite in this line so far comes from The American Prospect. “Farewell to a Neo–Nazi Blowhard” was the head on its piece last week. Carlson, you see, is a “neofascist,” TAP wants us to know. What hollow hyperbole. How few are the level heads in mainstream media these days. How cavalierly do our liberal media debase the English language. How difficult it is to take journalists seriously as they attack another journalist because his views do not match theirs. What can we learn from all the unhinged denunciations we read daily?
What do they tell us about the predicaments of independent minds in journalism—and no matter what you think of Carlson, he has one—and by extension independent journalism altogether? In my read, independent media are in a state of siege that has escalated markedly of late. Although he worked for a corporate-owned cable network, I take Carlson’s fate as symptomatic of an intensifying attack on any media that deviate from the national security state’s ever more rigorously enforced orthodoxies. The past week brings grim news of the determination of political elites and deeply insecure mainstream media to stifle dissent in wall-to-wall fashion. It is time to pay close attention. This is more now than the grousing of a few independent journalists such as your columnist. Everything up to how we live and think is at stake.
Setting aside all the dross casting Carlson as the Beelzebub of our profession, the remarks that stay in my mind are of another kind. Diana Johnstone, the distinguished Europeanist who has corresponded from Paris for decades, sent a brief note after Fox’s announcement, calling Carlson “the last free voice on mainstream television.” I paused and wondered if I agreed. And then decided I did. “The TV host paid the price because he tried the impossible: straddling the divide between corporate media and critical journalism,” Jonathan Cook, who I hold in the same high regard I have for Johnstone, wrote last week on his blog. “He exposed ordinary Americans to critical perspectives, especially on U.S. foreign policy, that they had no hope of hearing anywhere else—and most certainly not from so-called ‘liberal’ corporate media outlets like CNN and MSNBC.
[..] the hoards of flunkies working for corporate media have it in for Tucker Carlson because he takes positions that are forbidden to them. Among these many, Carlson opposes the war in Ukraine, the military-industrial complex, covert coup operations in Cuba and elsewhere, Washington’s subterfuge at the United Nations and America’s imperialist project altogether. Carlson took Seymour Hersh’s report on the Biden’s regime’s covert op to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines for what it is: a tour de force piece of work by the premier investigative reporter now writing. Corporate-paid journalists detest Carlson for these things. I imagine there is a lot of subliminal envy attaching to Tucker Carlson’s professional performance over the years.
“Senator Nye suggested that upon a declaration of war by Congress, taxes on annual income under $10,000 should automatically be doubled and higher incomes should be taxed at 98%.”
“If such policies were enacted, businessmen would become our leading pacifists.”
• War for Profit: A Very Short History (Brad Wolf)
TIn 1934 a book written by Helmuth Engelbrecht called The Merchants of Death became a best seller. The book exposed the unethical business practices of weapons manufacturers and analyzed their enormous profits during World War I. The author concluded that “the rise and development of the arms merchants reveals them as a growing menace to World Peace.” While not the only reason for the US entering the war, it became clear the Merchants of Death lobbied both Congress and the President for war. The American public was incensed. In 1934 almost 100,000 Americans signed a petition opposing increased armament production. Veterans paraded through Washington DC in 1935 in a march for peace. And Marine Major General Smedley Butler, two-time Medal of Honor winner, published his book War is a Racket, claiming he had been “a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers.
In short, I was a racketeer; a gangster for capitalism.” His book too became a bestseller. The growing wave of public outrage led Senator Gerald Nye to initiate congressional hearings investigating whether US corporations, including weapons manufacturers, had led the United States into World War I. In two years, the Nye committee held 93 hearings and called more than 200 witnesses to testify, including JP Morgan and Pierre S. DuPont. The committee conducted an extensive investigation searching the records of weapons manufacturers. They uncovered criminal and unethical actions including bribery of foreign officials, lobbying the United States government to obtain foreign sales, selling weapons to both sides of international disputes, and the covert undermining of disarmament conferences.
“The committee listened daily to men striving to defend acts which found them nothing more than international racketeers, bent upon gaining profit through a game of arming the world to fight itself,” Senator Nye declared in an October 1934 radio address. The Senate Nye Committee recommended price controls, the transfer of Navy shipyards out of private hands, and increased industrial taxes. Senator Nye suggested that upon a declaration of war by Congress, taxes on annual income under $10,000 should automatically be doubled and higher incomes should be taxed at 98%. A journalist wrote at the time, “If such policies were enacted, businessmen would become our leading pacifists.” The American public was outraged at the committee’s findings and so created some of the largest peace organizations the country had ever known.
Committed to staying out of all future European wars, American college campuses in the 1930s had thousands of students taking oaths swearing they would never fight in a foreign war. Farmers, laborers, intellectuals, ministers, people from all walks of life declared they would never again participate in a war fought to increase the profits of corporations. And then, business fought back. They lobbied those in Congress to cut off funding for the Nye committee, which they soon did. A smear campaign was orchestrated against Senator Nye. The committees’ days were numbered. In the end, the Nye Committee demonstrated that “these businesses were at the heart and center of a system that made going to war inevitable. They paved and greased the road to war.”
2012 episode of Law and Order SVU.
• Jury Rejects Rape Claim Against Trump But Finds Liable For ‘Sexual Abuse’ (ZH)
A New York City jury has found former President Trump liable for sexual assault, but not rape, in a New York defamation case brought by accuser E. Jean Carroll. The jury awarded Carroll $20,000 in punitive damages for a battery claim, and $2.7 million in compensatory damages for defamation by Trump. The verdict came after less than three hours of deliberation by jurors in US District Court in lower Manhattan. The jury did not find Trump liable for rape, as Carroll alleged. Trump, who has long-denied her allegation dating back to the mid-90s, accused Carroll of using false claims as a way to promote her book. “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened,” the-then president told The Hill in an interview at the White House in June 2019.
“U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan read instructions on the law to the nine-person jury before the panel began discussing Carroll’s allegations of battery and defamation shortly before noon. If they believe Carroll, jurors can award compensatory and punitive damages. Trump, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Carroll or even knew her. Kaplan told jurors that the first question on the verdict form will be to decide whether they think there is more than a 50% chance that Trump raped Carroll inside a store dressing room. If they answer yes, they will then decide whether compensatory and punitive damages should be awarded. If they answer no on the rape question, they can then decide if Trump subjected her to lesser forms of assault involving sexual contact without her consent or forcible touching to degrade her or gratify his sexual desire. If they answer yes on either of those questions, they will decide if damages are appropriate.” -AP
The nine-member panel began discussing verdicts at 11:50 a.m. ET after Judge Lewis Kaplan gave his final instructions and a 10-question verdict form. Carroll, 78, sued Trump in 2019, claiming the Republican sexually assaulted her in 1995 or 1996 in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan. Because the alleged attack happened decades ago, Carroll was originally barred from suing over sexual battery, pushing her to sue for defamation over allegedly disparaging comments Trump made about the rape allegation. Trump denied her allegation at the time and accused her of using false claims as a way to promote her book. “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened,” the-then president told The Hill in an interview at the White House in June 2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals was then asked to weigh in on whether Trump was acting within the scope of his presidential duties when he denied raping Carroll and dismissed her during the interview. Trump last October called her claims “a hoax” and “a lie.”
Today is Comer’s day.
• If Hunter Is Indicted (Lipson)
First, a pardon would set off the biggest political firestorm since Watergate. It would look worse than self-dealing, bad as that is. It would look like the president is covering up his family’s corruption, not only to get Hunter off the hook but to prevent the disclosure of damning evidence in court. That evidence is likely to touch many more Biden family members than Hunter, and perhaps the president himself. The more Biden family members who are implicated, the more the whole operation looks like a concerted operation to monetize Joe’s political position. It also might threaten to shred Joe’s repeated claim that he knew nothing about any family business interests or influence peddling. The wider the sleaze, the harder it is to sell that story.
The chairman of the House committee investigating these issues has said Hunter’s corruption was merely one part of the family business. And that business was selling influence. Rep. James Comer has publicly said that his House Oversight Committee has already collected evidence that nine Biden family members are involved in sketchy business deals, including substantial payments from foreign firms. Some of those firms are closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party. Comer added that his committee is investigating the possible involvement of at least three more family members, as well as Joe Biden’s own role. His conclusion: “The entire Biden family” is entrapped in the financial enrichment scheme. So far, however, Comer hasn’t named names or provided the evidence. He says he will provide much more at a major press conference Wednesday.
Comer’s principle suggestion is that the Biden family’s influence-peddling scheme is much broader, and their criminal actions more serious, than isolated schemes perpetrated by the president’s conniving second son. He adds that his evidence points to Joe Biden’s direct involvement, including possible payments for official actions. That is what he told Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, although he hasn’t yet provided the evidence for that incendiary allegation. Comer is also attacking the FBI for desultory investigation – which ignored much of the malfeasance – and calling out the mainstream media for its concerted silence.
The Internal Revenue Service might be implicated, too, since a lot of payments – and a lot of Hunter’s income – went through what Comer calls the family’s “web of LLCs.” A senior supervisory agent at the IRS is seeking whistleblower protection to tell Congress about “preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed” in investigating Hunter’s taxes. If political pressure really was applied to the IRS over Hunter’s taxes, or if senior agents acted improperly to curry favor, those would obviously be very serious matters, legally and politically. Comer and the House Republicans in the committee’s majority want that testimony under oath and are seeking responses from the IRS and DOJ.
Congressman James Comer gives us a preview of the information that will be released tomorrow on the Biden crime family pic.twitter.com/Eiltf2Qu7r
— • ᗰISᑕᕼIᗴᖴ ™ • (@4Mischief) May 10, 2023
“The question is whether Blinken and the Administration really want to test this in court.”
• House Committee Prepares to Hold Blinken in Contempt (Turley)
The House of Representatives and the Biden Administration appear in a staring contest waiting for any sign of Blinken. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) warned Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the House Foreign Affairs Committee is moving to hold him in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoena requests related to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. There is no question that the Committee has a legitimate oversight interest in the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan at a huge loss of life, abandonment of thousands of allies, and seven billion dollars in military equipment. The committee specifically wants to review a full copy of a dissent cable that had been signed by nearly two dozen State Department officials warning Blinken of a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan a month before the terrorist group’s takeover occurred.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the cable undermines the claims of the Biden Administration that it had no forewarning of the chaos that would unfold in the country. The State Department has stonewalled the Committee, offering oral testimony and a summary while refusing to turn over the document. In his letter, McCaul warned that “the Department is now in violation of its legal obligation to produce these documents and must do so immediately.” McCaul added that “It strains credulity to believe that the official responsible for preparing the cable summary and briefing Congress on it would be unable to provide this information.” This has not been a great month for Blinken. He was earlier identified as the Biden campaign associate who “triggered” the infamous letter of 51 former intelligence officials claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop was likely “Russian disinformation.”
He was then named as a contact of Hunter Biden in the Obama Administration as part of an alleged influence peddling operation. (Blinken previously denied such contacts and was accused of lying under oath). The withdrawal from Afghanistan has been condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. Given the loss of lives and equipment (as well as the impact on U.S. standing), there could not be more obvious subject matter for congressional inquiry. The question is whether Blinken and the Administration really want to test this in court. Attorney General Merrick Garland would likely decline to prosecute Blinken for contempt (despite his green lighting such prosecutions against former Trump officials), but the Congress could go to court to compel production.
“..during a meeting with US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in Canberra on Tuesday..”
• Australian Lawmakers Call On US To Drop Assange Extradition Bid (RT)
A delegation of Australian lawmakers called for the United States to end its attempts to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange during a meeting with US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in Canberra on Tuesday. The ‘Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group’ informed Washington’s chief diplomat in Australia that its citizens had expressed “widespread concern” at the continued detention in Britain of the WikiLeaks founder, who is an Australian national, as well as attempts to extradite him to the United States to face espionage charges. In 2010, Assange’s WikiLeaks platform published sensitive US government documents leaked by former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. “There are a range of views about Assange in the Australian community and the members of the parliamentary group reflect that diversity of views,” the cross-party group said in a statement following the meeting with Kennedy on Tuesday.
“But what is not in dispute in the group is that Mr. Assange is being treated unjustly.” The group’s co-chair, independent MP Andrew Wilkie, added on Tuesday that the Australian parliament had also expressed “broad concern” for Assange, as outlined in statements of support last week by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and opposition leader Peter Dutton. Albanese, in particular, was a noted critic of Assange’s detention throughout his successful election campaign in 2022. Assange is currently in London’s Belmarsh prison as he continues a legal battle to fight extradition to the United States, where he is facing espionage charges related to WikLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of government documents pertaining to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, in addition to diplomatic cables. If convicted, Assange faces a sentence of 175 years in a maximum security prison.
Washington maintains that Assange’s actions put the lives of US servicemen in danger. His supporters, however, argue that Assange is being unfairly targeted by Washington following the damaging leaks, which exposed malfeasance by US personnel during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In April, 48 Australian lawmakers co-signed a letter addressed to US Attorney General Merrick Garland in which they said the United States’ pursuit of “journalist and publisher” Assange “set a dangerous precedent” for press freedom. US President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Sydney on May 24 for the Quad Leaders’ Summit, where he will meet with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan. Albanese has not said whether he intends to raise the issue with Biden during his visit.
“Wars cannot be fought without lies because most populations reject these wars as soon as they know the truth about them..”
• Why the Release of Julian Assange Is Crucial for Our Future (Scheidler)
What is Julian Assange in prison for? He is in prison for showing the truth about our wars, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. War and lies are very closely related. Wars cannot be fought without lies because most populations reject these wars as soon as they know the truth about them. Governments never tell the truth about their wars, because otherwise they lose the support of the population. Embedded journalists do not tell us the truth about the wars. After the disaster of the Vietnam War, various concepts have been developed to allow journalists to go to war theaters only embedded, accompanied by the respective military. We saw this in Iraq, we saw it in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Only a few journalists had the opportunity to look behind the scenes. That is why leaks, confidential sources and journalists like Julian Assange are so important.
Reporting the dirty truth about wars, no matter from which side they are waged, is crucial so that these wars can no longer be waged in the future. Let me give a few examples of this from history. In the Vietnam War, reporting by courageous journalists, often citing anonymous sources or using leaks, played a decisive role in ending the bloodshed. One of the most important steps was the story revealed by Seymour Hersh in 1969 about war crimes in My Lai, Vietnam. At that time, U.S. troops murdered hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children, in the village. This story and the images of it were instrumental in turning popular sentiment against this war. Another important revelation was the so-called Pentagon Papers, published by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg with the help of journalists.
They showed that several U.S. governments had systematically lied to the population about the Vietnam War, about its motives, about its scale, and about its methods. It came out that not only Vietnam was bombed, but also Laos and Cambodia. An estimated three to four million people died in that war. These reports and the largely anonymous sources on which they were based were instrumental in bringing this war to an end. This was later followed by the revelations of the secret programs used by the CIA to illegally spy on U.S. citizens. These revelations, again by Seymour Hersh, led to the establishment of the so-called Church Commission in 1975 to provide parliamentary oversight of the intelligence agencies – an important step in defense of democracy. We then saw a new phase of wars with the start of the so-called war on terror after September 11. In 2004, Seymour Hersh exposed U.S. torture practices at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.
Wikileaks and Julian Assange are part of this long tradition. In 2010 and 2011, based largely on information from Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks exposed a whole series of crimes committed by our governments that shocked the world. Among them was a document that showed how the CIA tried to mobilize sentiment in Germany and France for the war in Afghanistan. A headline from this document is telling: “Why it is not enough to count on the apathy of the Germans.” The point was to mobilize people for an expansion of operations in Afghanistan through manipulated information.
Former Pfizer VP Dr. Mike Yeadon: “There never was a viral pandemic of a novel pathogen… They lied to us about absolutely everything…lockdowns, mass testing, social distancing, masks, and it goes on and on.”pic.twitter.com/TXnLf8ryiX
— Michael P Senger (@michaelpsenger) May 9, 2023
A smile for everyone on Twitter.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/VBghqkNSQJ
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