Archive | November 21st, 2016

Spy Chief Admits US Doesn’t Know How Wikileaks Got Hillary Emails

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Higgins News Network 

In resigning from the Obama administration Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that US Intelligence Agencies do not know how or when Wikileaks received emails that embarrassed Hillary Clinton during her campaign.

One more lie has been exposed as Fake news involving a Hillary Clinton lie that was supposedly fact checked and then echoed throughout the corporate media echo chamber.

It’s part of a year long pattern of media lies which has resulted in corporate media news outlets losing nearly all of the public’s trust.

Just a few weeks ago, Hillary and the democrats were running around blaming everything on the Russians and in the Presidential Debate she lied to the public stating the WikiLeaks emails shouldn’t be trusted because they were hacked by Russia.

Doubling down on the that lie, she cited 17 US Intelligence agencies as the basis for her claim.

Well, there were only two and the first walked away from the claim not longer after the debate leaving the other 16, which is actually only one, headed by James Clapper, still validating the claim.

Clapper submitted his resignation today as the President-elect is set to take office in January and in doing so he made the stunning revelation that has been buried as a one-liner in media reports.

Via Washington Post (subscription required):

He said intelligence agencies don’t have good insight on when or how Wikileaks obtained the hacked emails.

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How White Helmets Videos Are Made. Are They Fake?

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The video below was originally uploaded on November 18 in the channel of the RFSMediaOffice (Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office), a propaganda organization supporting various groups fighting the Syrian state.

It depicts the “Making of” a scene where people in White Helmets outfit “rescue” a man. For some 20 seconds the two “rescuers” and the “victim” are motionless waiting for the command to start a hectic “rescue operation” and, when that starts, adds on the usual background sound of screaming people.

The embed is a copy I made from the original and posted on my account to make sure that it is preserved.

I do not know why the RFS Media Office would upload this. To show that the White Helmets and their videos are fake? Did they not pay their dues? Or was the channel hacked and the upload done by someone else?The original title “Edge of death | #MannequinChallenge” points to some social media nonsense which The Telegraph describes as:

A viral video craze, it involves people imitating mannequins and freezing for the camera while music plays in the background.

So is this a fake? Or a fake of the fakes the original White Helmets videos are (this one for example)?

Not fake enough yet?

How about this Yahoo News headline: All hospitals in eastern Aleppo out of action after bombardments: officials. Now compare with this tweet by an NPR Middle East correspondent:

Alison Meuse Verified account @AliTahmizian – 2:20 AM – 21 Nov 2016 MSF says four out of eight hospitals in eastern Aleppo city are currently out of service, including the only dedicated pediatric hospital.

All or four out of eight – those numbers don’t matter as some journalists evidently do not care how fake their stories are. Remember how six pediatricians in east-Aleppo signed an open letter to Obama a few weeks after the “last pediatrician in Aleppo” was killed? No journo cared about that insult to their readers sanity. Who by the way runs that “only dedicated pediatric hospital” in east-Aleppo? Some horse doctor?

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Will Trump End 56 Years of US Embargo on Cuba?

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Will Trump seek more cooperative relations with other countries, prioritizing diplomacy over confrontation?

Promised outreach to Russia is encouraging. Days earlier, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone – Xi telling him cooperation is the only choice between both countries.

He responded saying he’s willing to work with Beijing cooperatively, believing bilateral relations can “definitely achieve greater development.” Both leaders agreed to meet soon.

Trump’s intended relations with Cuba remain to be seen. Campaigning in September, he said he’d reverse Obama’s (dubious) diplomatic outreach by executive order unless its government meets US demands – not an encouraging sign.

For 24 consecutive years, General Assembly members voted overwhelmingly for ending US-imposed embargo on Cuba, begun in October 1960 by the Eisenhower administration – violating UN Charter provisions and other international laws, affirming free trade and navigation.

Obama’s 2014 pledge about “charting a new course on Cuba” concealed continuing dirty business as usual, minor easing of restrictions too little to matter – clear from US policies so far.Strategy and tactics alone changed, not objectives to exploit the island state. Embargo, limited travel and other restrictions remain unchanged. So does longstanding hostility against Cuban sovereign independence.

Normalized relations aren’t possible without ending 56 years of lawless embargo – congressional authorization not needed, as falsely claimed.

As head of state, Trump can act on his own. Jack Kennedy formalized embargo in 1962 by executive order, using the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) as authorization, prohibiting trade with US enemies – defined as “any individual (or) government of any nation” at war with America.

Cuba isn’t a US enemy as defined under TWEA. Neither country declared war on the other. No legal authority exists for applying TWEA to US/Cuban relations.

Trump can reverse 56 years of hostile US/Cuban relations with a stroke of his pen – responsibly beginning a new era of political, economic, commercial and financial normalization. It’s long overdue, both nations standing to benefit.

Obama went the other way, showing little changed after his heralded March 2016 visit. Days earlier, the US Treasury Department fined National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and its Dreco Energy Services (NOV Elmar) subsidiary nearly $6 million for doing business with Cuba.

From 2007 – 2009, NOV had 45 transactions totaling about $1.7 million, NOV Elmar two sales for around $103,000 in revenue – the combined total minor compared to potential billions of dollars in bilateral trade between both nations if embargo conditions were lifted.

Since 1960, sanctions cost Cuba $753.7 billion, according to a report its government prepared – punishment for instituting social justice rule under Fidel Castro, ousting brutal despot Fulgencio Bastista, a man Franklin Roosevelt called “our son-of-a bitch.”

 

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Congressional Hawks Rush to Intensify War in Syria

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Hawks pass HR5732

Late in the day Tuesday November 15, Congress convened in special session.  With normal rules suspended, they passed House Resolution 5732 the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act”.  The resolution calls for intensifying already harsh sanctions on Syria, assessing implementation of No Fly Zone in Syria and escalating efforts to press criminal charges against Syrian officials.  HR5732 claims to promote a negotiated settlement in Syria but, as analyzed by Friends Committee for National Legislation, imposes preconditions which would actually make that more difficult.

There was 40 minutes of “debate” with six representatives (Royce, Engel, Ros-Lehtinen, Kildee, Smith, and Curbelo) speaking in favor of the resolution.  There were few other Congressional representatives present in Congress. The House Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the resolution was passed “unanimously” without mentioning the special conditions.

The “Non Controversial” Resolution that could lead to World War III

According to wikipediaSuspension of the rules is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills in the United States House of Representatives ….such as naming Post Offices…”  In this case, the resolution calls for evaluating and developing plans for a“No Fly Zone” which is an act of war.  This is obviously controversial and it seems clear the resolution should have been debated and discussed under normal rules with a normal amount of Congressional presence and debate.

The motivation for bypassing normal rules and rushing the bill through without debate was articulated by the bill’s author and ranking Democrat Eliot Engel: “We cannot delay action on Syria any further…. if we don’t get this legislation across the finish line in the next few weeks, we are back to square one.”  The current urgency may be related to the election results since Trump has spoken out against “regime change” foreign policy.  As much as they are critical of Obama for not doing more, Congressional neoconservatives are concerned about the prospect of a President who might move toward peace and away from war.

The Caesar Fraud 

HR5732 is titled the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act”. Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce (R-Ca) explained that the resolution is named after “the brave Syrian defector known to the world as Caesar, who testified to us the shocking scale of torture being carried out within the prisons of Syria.” In reality, the Caesar story was a grand deception involving the CIA with funding from Qatar to sabotage the 2014 Geneva negotiations. The 55,000 photos which were said to show 11,000 torture victims have never been publicly revealed. Only a tiny number of photos have been publicized.

However, in 2015 Human Rights Watch was granted access to view the entire set. They revealed that almost one half the photos show the opposite of what was claimed: instead of victims tortured by the Syrian government, they actually show dead Syrian soldiers and civilian victims of car bombs and other terror attacks! The “Caesar” story, replete with masked ‘defector’, was one of the early propaganda hoaxes regarding Syria.

False Claims that the US has been doing nothing

One of the big lies regarding Syria is that the US has been inactive. Royce says, “The administration has decided not to decide. And that itself, unfortunately, has set a course where here we sit and watch and the violence only worsens. Mr. Speaker, America has been sitting back and watching these atrocities for far too long. Vital U.S. national security interests are at stake.” The ranking Democrat Eliot Engel said,

“Four years ago I thought we should have aided the Free Syrian Army. They came to us in Washington and begged us for help… they were simply looking for weaponry. I really believe if we had given it to them, the situation in Syria would have been different today.”

This is nonsense. The US was actively coordinating, training and supplying armed opposition groups beginning in late 2011. When the Qadaffi government was toppled in Fall 2011, the CIA oversaw the theft of the Libyan armories and shipment of weapons to Syrian armed opposition as documented in the Defense Intelligence Agency report of October 2012.

These weapons transfers were secret. For the public record it was acknowledged that the US was supplying communications equipment to the armed opposition while Saudi Arabia and Qatar were supplying weaponry.  This is one reason that Saudi purchases of weapons skyrocketed during this time period; they were buying weapons to replace those being shipped to the armed opposition in Syria. It was very profitable for US arms manufacturers.

Huge weapons transfers to the armed opposition in Syria have continued to the present.  This past Spring, Janes Defense reported  the details of a U.S. delivery of 2.2 million pounds of ammunition, rocket launchers and other weaponry to the armed opposition.

Claims that the US has been inactive are baseless. In reality the US has done everything short of a direct attack on Syria. And the US military is starting to cross that barrier. On Sept 17 the US air coalition did a direct attack on the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor, killing 80 Syrian soldiers and enabling ISIS to launch an attack on the position. Claims that it was a “mistake” are highly dubious.

The claims by Congressional hawks that the US has been ‘inactive’ in the Syrian conflict are part of the false narrative suggesting the US must “do something” which leads to a No Fly Zone and full scale war. Ironically, these calls for war are masked as “humanitarian”.  And never do the proponents bring up the case of Libya where the US and NATO “did something”: destroyed the government and left chaos.

Congress as a Fact-Free House of Propaganda

With only a handful of representatives present and no debate, the six Congress members engaged in unrestrained propaganda and misinformation. The leading Democrat, Eliot Engel, said “We’re going into the New Year 2017, Assad still clings to power, at the expense of killing millions of his citizens.” That number is way off anyone’s charts.

Rep Kildee said “The world has witnessed this terrible tragedy unfold before our eyes. Nearly half a million Syrians killed. Not soldiers – men, women, children killed.”

The official text of the resolution says,
“ It is the sense of Congress that-- 
(1) Bashar al-Assad's murderous actions against the people of Syria have caused the deaths of more than 400,000 

civilians…”

The above accusations – from “millions of citizens” to “half a million” to “400,000 civilians” – are all preposterous lies.

Credible estimates of casualties in the Syrian conflict range from 300,000 to 420,000. The opposition supporting Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates the documented 2011-2016 death toll as follows:

killed pro Syrian forces – 108,000

killed anti government forces – 105,000

killed civilians – 89,000

In contrast with Congressional and media claims, civilians comprise a minority of the total death count and the largest casualty group is those fighting in defense of the the Syrian state.  These facts are ignored and never mentioned because they point to the reality versus the propaganda narrative which allows the USA and allies to continue funding terrorism and a war of aggression against Syria.

The Congressional speakers were in full self-righteous mode as they accused the Syrian government of  “committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians including murder, torture and rape. No one has been spared from this targeting, even children.” A naive listener would never know that the Syrian government is primarily fighting the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda including thousands of foreigners supplied and paid by foreign governments.

The Congressional speakers go on to accuse the Syrian military of “targeting” hospitals, schools and markets. A critical listener might ask why they would do that instead of targeting the Al Qaeda terrorists and their allies who launch dozens and sometimes hundreds of hell cannon missiles into government held Aleppo every day.

The Congressional propaganda fest would not be complete without mention of the “White Helmets”.  House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said “We (previously) heard the testimony of Raed Saleh of the Syrian White Helmets. These are the doctors, nurses and volunteers who actually, when the bombs come,  run towards the areas that have been hit in order to try to get the injured civilians medical treatment…They have lost over 600 doctors and nurses.” This is more Congressional nonsense.

There are no nurses or doctors associated with the White Helmets. The organization was created by the USA and UK and heavily promoted by a “shady PR firm”.  The White Helmets operate solely in areas controlled by Nusra and associated terrorist groups.  They do some rescue work in the conflict zone but their main role is in the information war manipulating public opinion. The White Helmets actively promote US/NATO intervention through a No Fly Zone.  Recently the White Helmets has become a major source of claims of innocent civilian victims in east Aleppo. Given the clear history of the White Helmets, these claims should be treated with skepticism. What exactly is the evidence?  The same skepticism needs to be applied to video and other reports from the Aleppo Media Center. AMC is a creation of the Syrian Expatriates Organization whose address on K Street, Washington DC indicates it is a US marketing operation.

What is really going on?

The campaign to overthrow the Syrian government is failing and there is possibility of a victory for the Syrian government and allies. The previous flood of international jihadi recruits has dried up.  The Syrian Army and allies are gaining ground militarily and negotiating settlements or re-locations with “rebels” who previously terrorized Homs, Darraya (outer Damascus) and elsewhere. In Aleppo the Syrian army and allies are tightening the noose around the armed opposition in east Aleppo.

This has caused alarm among neoconservative lawmakers devoted to Israel, Saudi Arabia and U.S. empire.  They are desperate to prevent the Syrian government from finally eliminating the terrorist groups which the West and allies have promoted for the past 5+ years.

“Pro Israel” groups have been major campaigners for passage of HR5732. The name of Simon Wiesenthal is even invoked in the resolution. With crocodile tears fully flowing, Rabbi Lee Bycel wrote  “Where is the Conscience of the World?” as he questioned why the “humanitarian” HR5732 was not passed earlier.

Israeli interests are one of the primary forces sustaining and promoting the conflict. Syria is officially at war with Israel which continues to occupy the Syrian Golan Heights;  Syria has been a key ally of the Lebanese resistance; and Syria has maintained its alliance with Iran. In 2010 Secretary of State Clinton urged Syria to break relations with Hezbollah, reduce relations with Iran and come to settlement with Israel. The Syrian refusal to comply with these Washington demands was instrumental in solidifying Washington’s hostility.

Congressional proponents of HR5732 make clear the international dimension of the conflict. Royce explains “It is Russia, it is Hezbollah, that are the primary movers of death and destruction…it is the IRGC fighters from Iran”.  Engel echoes the same message: “Yes, we want to go after Assad’s partners in violence…along with Iranian and Hezbollah forces”.

These statements are in contrast with the analysis of some writers who believe Israel is not deeply opposed to the Damascus government. For example Phyllis Bennis recently wrote that belief in an “arc of resistance” has been “long debunked” and that “the Syrian regime …. often plays a useful role for US and Israeli interests.”

It’s remarkable that this faulty analysis continues to be propounded. In words and deeds Israel has made its position on Syria crystal clear.  Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren explained in an interview:

“we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran … the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc.”

These statements have been fully backed up by Israeli actions bombing Syrian positions in southern Syria and providing medical treatment for Nusra/Al Qaeda and other armed opposition fighters.

What Will Happen Now?

If the Syrian government and allies continue to advance in Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, outer Damascus and the south, the situation will come to a head.  The enemies of Syria – predominately the USA, Gulf Countries, NATO and Israel – will come to a decision point.  Do they intervene directly or do they allow their regime project to collapse?

HR5732 is an effort to prepare for direct intervention and aggression.

One thing is clear from the experience of Libya: Neoconservatives do not care if they leave a country in chaos. The main objective is to destabilize and overthrow a government which is too independent. If the USA and allies cannot dominate the country, then at least they can destroy the contrary authority and leave chaos.

What is at stake in Syria is whether the USA and allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc. are able to destroy the last secular and independent Arab country in the region and whether the US goal of being the sole superpower in the world prevails.

The rushed passing of HR5732 without debate is indicative that:

* “regime change” proponents have not given up their war on Syria

* they seek to escalate US aggression.

* the US Congress is a venue where blatant lies are said with impunity and where violent actions are advanced behind a cynical and amoral veneer of “humanitarianism” and crocodile tears.

 

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Bodies as Propaganda: The US-Australia Refugee Agreement

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It all has a hurried sense to it. With the offshore detention system running into troubles, the Australian government has had to find ways to get rid of the human residents it has promised never to settle in the country. This highly dubious policy, far more than anything Donald Trump could ever wish for, entrenches a further wall of imperviousness to refugee claims from those travelling by boat to Australia.

Max Chalmers provides a neat survey of the quagmire of cruelty that has unfolded over the years. “Three years after the initiation of Operation Sovereign Borders, four years after Australia recommended the transfer of refugees to Nauru, and 15 years after John Howard ground people rescued by the Tampa into political capital, Australia’s refugee policy remains a mess of contradictions.”[1]

This pickle has found form in what has been deemed a “one off” deal with the United States. Desperate to move refugees off the Manus Island facility after the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea gave it a legal drubbing, officials in Canberra were keen to find a country – almost any other country – to take them.

The Obama administration has provided a helping hand, when it might have done better telling its small, insular ally that they would be far better actually taking the refugees themselves. But the modern economy of refugee swamps, resettlement and movement is specifically designed to evade the now less than holy United Nations Refugee Convention.

Last Friday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed the nature of the agreement: “I can now confirm that the government has reached a further third-country settlement arrangement for refugees presently in the regional processing centres. The agreement is with the United States.”[2]

According to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, referrals from the UN refugee agency would be considered. “We are going to work to protect vulnerable refugees around the world, and we’ll share that responsibility with our friends in the regions that are most affected by this challenge.” Australia hardly counts as being affected, but we live in post-truth times.

Speed was of the essence, though even here, contradictions proved gaping. For Turnbull, the deal is being made with the Obama administration, and worries about the incoming president are irrelevant. But the polemics of the President-elect have worried the deal makers, giving the impression that much of this is a theatrical gesture for domestic consumption.

A Donald Trump administration might have frowned upon the arrangement and repudiated it. This is irrespective of the current screening procedures for entry into the United States, which could take anywhere between 18 to 24 months. Fortress Australia may well be a fine concept for those who man its fences and borders, but Fortress America is a far more disconcerting, and arbitrary prospect for the arrangement.

As the New York Times ventured, any such resettlement is unlikely to happen prior to Trump taking office.[3] Michael Pezzulo, secretary of the Australian Immigration Department, had already outlined his views to an Australian Senate panel that resettlement in the US prior to January 20 next year would be unlikely.

The options for the 1,300 held on Nauru and Manus are few and far between. Some have made the decision, and subsequently regretted it, to settle in PNG proper and Cambodia. Canberra has also been mining other options as distant as Kyrgyzstan. All have problems with infrastructure, finance, and suitably for resettlement, suggesting that third country options must, by definition, be terrifying.

For those refusing to jump on the US option, a 20-year Nauru visa would be available. This particular policy has a sinister aspect of interminable detention to it: remain on an under-resourced, impoverished island to live free from the persecution from the country you came from. The fact that such options seem to fly in the face of safety and appropriate protection unmasks the punitive nature of the system.

The picture of Australia’s refugee strategy has had a grotesque element to it for years. As refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani of Manus Island noted with resigned grief, “I feel that I am not a human because they have used my body for propaganda to send a message to the world and say go away now.”[4]

United Nations envy François Crépeau has also added to this picture of propagandised cruelty, focusing on the conditions of mental degradation. “Mental health issues are rife, with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression being among the most common ailments.”[5] Bodies for propaganda; minds turned to mush.

Persistently, the planners wish to internationalise a program born in the nursery of cruelty, engineered to dehumanise and repel. Those like Boochani become instruments of advertising, bruised and wounded for the broader cause of containing rather than assisting humans flee. Conditions of incarceration are re-enforced; forms of torture and brutality flourish.

Not one government, or members of the international community, seem willing to initiate sanctions against a country which has, innovatively, shirked its responsibilities in protecting vulnerable populations while loading, redistributing and allocating these helpless bodies to even poorer countries. The underlying issue is that the Australian option is even admired in some circles in the United States and the European Union.

Canberra stands responsible for paying the very smugglers it supposedly abhors, breaching the core refugee law provisions of non-penalisation, non-discrimination and non-refoulement. But the US-Australia arrangement is another facet of a ghastly, even archaic policy that seeks to prevent and deny the nature of the world’s global movements.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

Notes

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1984 Unfolding as Public Surveillance Technologies Deployed Without Consent

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By Isaac Davis 

We are fast approaching an era when humanity will be subjugated by a technological tyranny managed by an untouchable organization of elites, bureaucrats and paid public minders hired to monitor our behaviors, emotions and thoughts. In an environment like this, law and justice will be meaningless, as the tools of a technocracy can be used to enforce the policies and whims of whoever monitors us, whether it be corporate employees, criminals, or abusive state actors.

Recent developments and roll-outs of advanced facial recognition technology are a hint of the coming ubiquity in using biometric, face-scanning, emotion-reading, all-seeing technology to govern every detail of daily life. Consider the following developments:

  • It was recently reported that around half of Americans are already in police facial recognition databases, the vast majority having never been even accused of committing a crime or consenting to being included in the database. [Source]
  • Increasingly, facial recognition is being used to scan concert and festival goers creating permanent databases of partiers. [Source]
  • An experimental town in China is now using facial recognition to grant citizens entry. [Source]
  • Facial recognition is now capable of reading human emotions, opening the door to a new world of possibility in pre-crime detection. [Source]
  • The TSA is using emotion reading facial recognition technology to determine if a traveler is to be treated as a threat. [Source]

  • Police nationwide are using the controversial Stingray system which allows them to listen to anyone’s cell phone conversations. [Source]
  • California police are already using a computer system called ‘Beware’ to predict crime and preemptively stop it. [Source]
  • Microsoft recently conducted a major test during the 2016 Republican and Democratic conventions, using emotion reading facial recognition technology to survey the crowd for threats. [Source]
  • A Russian software developer has released an App that allows you to turn your smart phone into a facial recognition device. [Source]
  • Some U.S. churches are using a consumer version of facial recognition to keep tabs on who is in attendance for Sunday service. [Source]
  • Facial recognition, finger-print reading, and iris scanning is now being included in consumer technologies. [Source]

The justification for using this technology against a public who is never given the opportunity to consent or to op-out is, as always, public safety, as police and government agencies claim the technology is needed to spot criminal elements, gang members and other threats to the public. Here, a quote from George Orwell offers a glimpse of what the inevitable outcome of this is:

It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called. – 1984, George Orwell

Here, RT discusses how Microsoft used emotion reading facial recognition technology at political conventions and how some are resisting the way this technology is being introduced into our society.

Final Thoughts

Privacy and anonymity are the enemies of the state, and it is being destroyed without our consent by both government and corporations who are deploying technology with no consideration of the human consequences. The possibilities for a techno-totalitarian future are grim, but without awareness and without motivation to resist, it is all but a forgone conclusion.

Orwell himself warned us of how this dark vision would force itself into fruition unless we stood against it. At the end of his life he even gave us this final warning. Are you listening?

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At least 17 killed, dozens injured in E. Aleppo as Zio-Wahhabi rat’s disperse protesters with machine gun fire

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At least 17 people were killed by heavy gunfire and about a dozen more were rounded up and executed after hundreds of civilians trying to leave eastern Aleppo protested against the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi rat’s blockade of exit routes, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Some 500 civilians took part in several protests in the Zio-Wahhabi-occupied eastern part of Aleppo on Thursday, and at least 200 of them were trying to reach the Syrian government-controlled area at the time they were violently dispersed with live fire, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

“The militants dispersed the demonstration, shooting at the protesters from a heavy machine gun and then mined all the approaches to the checkpoint and placed snipers on the roofs of nearby houses,”  Konashenkov said, as quoted by Sputnik news agency.

“Seventeen people died at the site, including two teenagers of 13 and 15 years of age, over 40 people were wounded,” he added.

Upon quelling one of the rallies, militants launched a hunt for the presumed organizers of the protests, the ministry spokesman said.

“Terrorists detained about 10 men, who they held to be ‘organizers’ of the riots, and drove them away in an unknown direction. They were shot dead the same evening,” Konashenkov said.

On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry’s spokesman said that about 1,500 civilians had taken to the streets of eastern Aleppo to protest against the militants’ occupation. Unconfirmed footage has emerged online in which people can be seen chanting slogans and calling on the local council to take action against the rebel groups.

Tuesday’s demonstrations were also violently suppressed by the militants, who killed and injured dozens of people, Konashenkov said, citing intelligence.

Civilians in the rebel-held part of the city are believed to be held as human shields as the humanitarian situation and drastic food shortages worsen. The terrorists have mined the streets approaching the humanitarian corridors to prevent civilians from using them to leave and threaten to kill any who defy their orders.

If Washington had ceased pursuing its agenda in Syria a year ago, the situation that exists in Aleppo today would never have arisen, investigative journalist Patrick Henningsen told RT.

“These are Syrian people on both sides, east Aleppo and west Aleppo. They are not pro-rebel, they are not pro-Assad. They are Syrian citizens and they clearly want to get some … life: they need food, they need shelter, and they try to protest and look what happened,”  he added.

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Dangerous Crossroads, Military Escalation

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Dangerous Crossroads, Military Escalation: Russia Deploys New Missile System in Baltic Region in Response to US-NATO Military Buildup: Michel Chossudovsky
Iskander Mach 6-7

The Russian military has deployed a new missile system to the Baltic region, in a tit-for-tat move to the US-led NATO missile deployment in Eastern Europe. 

According to the Interfax news agency, the military has stationed Bastion missile-launchers in the Kaliningrad exclave bordering Poland and Lithuania. Moscow is also planning to deploy S-400 missiles and the nuclear-capable Iskander projectiles in the country’s western-most region.

The Kremlin says the deployment is in response to threats posed by a planned US missile system near the Russian border. Meanwhile, the US has slammed the Russian deployment and said it would destabilize the European security. 

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US spent $585mn on ‘promoting democracy’ worldwide in past year

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RT 

Washington invested $585 million in promoting democracy across the globe in the past year, the US Department of State’s financial report for fiscal year 2016 revealed.

According to the paper, the State Department’s total assets equaled $93.8 billion in the last fiscal year, which concluded on September 30, increasing by $3.2 billion compared to 2015.

Of this amount, $585 million was spent by the State Department under the article ‘Democracy, human rights and governance’ – $70 million down on the 2015 figure.

The report didn’t specify the projects funded by the agency abroad, but Secretary of State John Kerry wrote in the preface that “we have supported important democratic gains in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Burma.”

Kerry also stressed that “in an era of diffuse and networked power, we (the US) are focusing on strengthening partnerships with civil society, citizen movements, faith leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and others to promote democracy and good governance and address gender-based violence.”

In later pages, the authors of the report explained that the State Department promotes democratic values because “stable democracies are less likely to pose a threat to their neighbors or to the US.”

Washington achieves its goals through leveraging trade agreements, pursuing meaningful sanctions, fostering people-to-people ties and encouraging responsible business conduct, which respects human and labor rights, the paper said.

According to the report, the State Department always back those who strive for justice and accountability in “post-conflict states.”

“Activists and organizations in authoritarian countries rely on our support as they work toward peaceful democratic reforms, democratic institutions, respect for minority rights, and dignity for all,” it stressed.

Prior to the Russian parliamentary election in September, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which works closely with the State Department, allocated $3 million to non-governmental organizations in Russia.

The investment was listed under the heading “For activity in Russia”, according to government website US Spending.

Since June, Russia has banned over a dozen NGOs from operating in the country as “undesirable” foreign groups.

The Soros Foundation, the US National Endowment for Democracy and Senator John McCain’s International Republican Institute were among the outlawed organizations.

“Today Russia faces its strongest attack in the past 25 years, targeting its national interests, values and institutes,” the Russian Senate said in its ruling.

“[The attack’s] main goal is to influence the internal political situation in the country, undermine the patriotic unity of our people, undermine the integration processes within the CIS space and force our country into geopolitical isolation,” the ruling added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also criticized Washington for its attempts to democratize foreign states via military or other means.

“I’ve always been of the opinion that you can’t change things from the outside, regarding political regimes, power change,” Putin said in September.

“I’m sure – and the events of the past decade add to this certainty – in particular the attempts of democratization in Iraq, Libya, we see what they led to: the destruction of the state system and the rise of terrorism,” the president said.

Posted in USAComments Off on US spent $585mn on ‘promoting democracy’ worldwide in past year

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi terrorists target children in Benghazi

NOVANEWS

Islamist terrorists target children in Benghazi while the West and UN look on

Benghazi car bombing scene, 21 Nov 2016

By Nureddin Sabir
Editor, Redress Information & Analysis

Islamist terrorists have committed yet another heinous crime in Benghazi, Libya’s second city.

On 21 November they detonated a car bomb in one of the city’s busiest streets near the main, Al-Jalaa hospital.

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The explosion took place at 1:30pm, exactly the time when children were returning home from school. At least three children were killed and 20 other people injured.

A series of recent car bombings in the city had been claimed by the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group and the so-called Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC).

The BRSC consists of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia group, the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Libya Shield 1 militia, and several other terrorist outfits, including the 17 February Martyrs Brigade, the Rafallah al-Sahati Brigade, Jaysh al-Mujahidin and the Brega Martyrs Brigade.

In May 2014 the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, launched Operation Dignity against the IS and the BRSC in Benghazi and elsewhere in the eastern province of Cyrenaica. In February 2016 the army succeeded in pushing the terrorists out of much of Benghazi.

At present, the remaining IS and BRSC terrorists are holed up in the small port of Ganfouda, south-west of central Benghazi, where they are using their families as human shields to deter a final onslaught by the LNA.

Map showing Ganfouda, south-west of Benghazi

Map showing Ganfouda, south-west of Benghazi

It is thought that the 21 November attack on the schoolchildren had been carried out by agents working for the terrorists besieged in Ganfouda.

Much fuss has been made in the Western media and among official circles about a Western-supported joint operation by Islamist and organised-crime groups called “Solid Structure” (Al-Bunyan al-Marsoos in Arabic), which aims to oust the IS from its stronghold in the central town of Sirte.

Operation “Solid Structure” is superficially sponsored by the United Nations-brokered and the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated “Government of National Accord”, which is based in a disused naval station in Tripoli and whose writ does not go beyond the offices it occupies, and has been supported by occasional US air strikes on Sirte. The operation is in essence a turf war between Islamist terrorists: on one side there is Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and organised-crime groups from the town of Misrata, and on the other there is the IS.

In fact, the LNA is the only force in Libya fighting the Islamist terrorists – all Islamist terrorists, not just the IS – who have sprung up throughout Libya since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in October 2011.

Despite this, the UN, the US and its European satellite states continue to insist on keeping an arms embargo on the LNA while publicly claiming to be committed to fighting terrorism.

As in Syria, in Libya the UN and the Western powers have allied themselves with one type of Islamist terrorists – the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda and its clones – against another type of Islamist terrorists, the IS.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Saudi Zio-Wahhabi terrorists target children in Benghazi

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