Saturday 20th of April 2019

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-04-12 11:28
Mainstream media journalists and critics of whistleblower Julian Assange have been gloating and joking on Twitter since his arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Thursday, proving love of free speech can be very selective.

Political correspondent for the UK Independent newspaper Ashley Cowburn was one of the first in with a jab, tweeting an image of Assange when he first entered the Ecuadorian Embassy alongside one taken during his arrest, with the comment “political journalists pre and post-Brexit.”

Perhaps wisely, Cowburn later deleted the tweet which UK media watchdog Media Lens called “brutal.”

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/456252-twitter-journalists-react-assange-arrest/

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-04-12 10:37

Pompeo: Sanctions Increase “Pain and Suffering” in Venezuela (Pt 2/2)

April 10, 2019

 

GREG WILPERT: It’s The Real News Network, and I’m Greg Wilpert in Baltimore.

Joining me to continue our discussion of U.S. policy towards Venezuela, and what is happening in Congress in this regard, is Mark Weisbrot, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Thanks for joining us again, Mark.

MARK WEISBROT: Thanks, Greg.

GREG WILPERT: So in our first segment, we talked about Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio’s latest efforts to bring about regime or government change in Venezuela. Other hawks who are pursuing the same are National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Here’s what Mike Pompeo had to say about Venezuela, quite revealingly, last month.

MATTHEW LEE: Are you satisfied with the pace of the momentum behind Guaido and his leadership?

MIKE POMPEO: Well, we wish things could go faster, but I’m very confident that the tide is moving in the direction of the Venezuelan people and will continue to do so. It doesn’t take much for you to see what’s really going on there. The circle is tightening, the humanitarian crisis is increasing by the hour. I talked with our senior person on the ground there in Venezuela last night, at 7:00 or 8:00 last night. You can see the increasing pain and suffering that the Venezuelan people are suffering from.

GREG WILPERT: “The humanitarian crisis is increasing by the hour.” He doesn’t link this glee about the situation to the sanctions directly, but it seems to be implied. Now, shouldn’t the Trump administration, or Trump administration officials such as Pompeo, be held accountable for intentionally pursuing a policy that causes increasing pain and suffering among the general population of a country such as Venezuela?

MARK WEISBROT: Yeah, it’s pretty outrageous. It’s amazing that nobody noticed that, because it’s very clear that’s what he’s saying. That was Matt Lee from the Associated Press that asked that question. He’s one of the reporters that has most gone after the administration in these kinds of press briefings and asked those kinds of questions. And you can see, he’s basically admitting that this is what we’re doing, we’re going to make people suffer until we get rid of this government. We’re going to make it intolerable, we’re going to kill a lot of people. And so, this is really, really what they’re doing. And I think it’s something that everybody should know by now.

And of course, the idea of just providing some little bit of humanitarian aid, which is completely politicized–which they admitted before it was completely politicized and they politicized it even more in this latest bill in the Senate–that doesn’t do anything for the billions of dollars that they’re cutting off. Let’s just look at oil revenue. Oil revenue for 2019 is projected to fall about 67 percent from its current level. That means just cutting off the vast majority of the remaining imports that they have. That means food, that means medicine, that means medical equipment, that means everything you need to keep hospitals running. So that’s really what they’re doing. And that’s what he’s saying. When the humanitarian crisis is getting worse, they’re saying we’re going to make it worse.

GREG WILPERT: Now, we discussed in the first segment, actually, other bills that are currently in the works that are focused mainly on preventing military intervention. Now, just summarize again for us what these are and what are their chances of passing, which are being sponsored basically by Democrats? But given the constellation of forces, what do you think the chances are that these might actually pass?

MARK WEISBROT: Well, I think the House bill, the Cicilline bill that’s from Representative Cicilline of Rhode Island, which basically just states what the Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Resolution says, which there can be no military action without the consent of Congress, I think that has a chance. It’s got 62 cosponsors right now, and I think that definitely has a chance. When it will pass, we don’t really know. But you have to remember, when the war powers resolution in the Congress was first proposed, I think it was like a year and a half ago, couldn’t get it through the house and you didn’t have the votes in the Senate. There were various procedural moves that were used to prevent it, an then they didn’t pass.

And I think the problem here is a lot of it is just the lack of awareness of what the United States is doing to people in Venezuela. There’s another 1.9 million refugees are predicted to leave Venezuela this year because of the worsening crisis and because of what they’re doing. So I think that a lot of it just depends on what people do. I mean, the War Powers Resolution passed both Houses because you had thousands of people all over the country who pressured their members of Congress and their senators to vote for it. You get enough people to do that, I think these could pass as well. But it’s still only the first step, because the military option, as you noted, is not all that likely. It’s really the sanctions that are strangling the country and killing people on a daily basis. And so, that has to be the next step.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. I wanted to get into that possibility of a military intervention a little bit more. I mean, Vice President Mike Pence just visited Brazil on Monday and met with President Bolsonaro’s Foreign Minister, General Hamilton Mourao. And after the meeting, Mourao stated that there will be no military intervention in Venezuela on the part of Brazil. I thought that was quite remarkable that he said this right after the meeting. Now, given that there seems to be a growing regional consensus, at least, on this issue of no military intervention, I’m wondering if people shouldn’t be more concerned, especially among Democrats in Congress, about the effects of sanctions on the people of Venezuela. And I’m wondering to what extent is it really ignorance or indifference?

And that is, the U.S. has a history of imposing sanctions on countries that have been very devastating. I’m thinking particularly the sanctions against Iraq before the Iraq war that are said to have killed 500,000 children. And then, of course, the sanctions against Iran are also causing great harm and suffering in that country, and they were just intensified with the declaration of the Revolutionary Guard being considered a terrorist organization, which means that it’s almost forcing Europeans to participate in those sanctions. Now, I’m wondering, again, to what extent do you think is it really ignorance or is it indifference, and shouldn’t this be really the next step in terms of making sure that the people of Venezuela don’t suffer from the foreign policy of the Trump administration?

MARK WEISBROT: Yes. I think it’s a combination of ignorance and indifference, and of course, the Florida politics as well. So you have different motivations in different cases. But I’m quite sure that people don’t realize how this works, again, when they recognize Guaido, or what they’re actually doing. So for example, if you look at what they’re doing with the international financial system–and this is how sanctions are such a powerful weapon and become, I think, a more powerful and in a lot of ways more deadly weapon than the military for the United States right now in international relations. What they actually do–first of all, in the case of Venezuela, you’re starting with an economy that was already quite vulnerable. It had a deep recession for three years before the August 2017 sanctions, which created a financial embargo, and they were on the brink of hyperinflation and then it pushed them into hyperinflation.

So that is really damaging, and it also prevents them from taking any measures that they would need to get out of the recession and hyperinflation. So that’s part of what they’re doing. But then, what they can do, because they have so much power in the international financial system–which most of it is dollar based and depends on a system of what is called correspondent banks. So in other words, for any country or any financial institution of any country in world, they don’t have branches everywhere, so they have to use other banks in order to make payments. So what the U.S. has done is cut off Venezuela from various correspondent banks around the world, and then pressure even those outside the financial system of the United States or its allies here–that is European allies–it’s used pressure to force other countries.

So for example, Gazprom in Russia, even though it’s majority owned by the Russian government, actually cut off the accounts of the state oil company in Venezuela under pressure from the United States. Because they can sanction that institution, and then that institution is basically incapable of doing most of what it would normally do in terms of business. And that’s what they’re doing around the world. And this bill from Menendez basically is trying to get the State Department to get more of this cooperation from Latin America and Europe to–again, you have to remember, this actually prevents Venezuela from even using the revenue that they have to buy medicine and food. There was a shipment from the United Nations that was going to go to Venezuela, and they couldn’t pay for it, because of this being prevented from using the international payment system.

So yeah, these sanctions are really deadly, and they can destroy any economy. And of course, they were much more effective here in Venezuela because of the already weakened state of the economy and because they can perpetuate this and worsen it by the day.

GREG WILPERT: Well, we’re going to have to leave it there for now. I just want to note though, and you’ve said this yourself many times Mark, that the sanctions, of course, are totally illegal under international law and the OAS charter, and one could even say that they’re illegal under U.S. law. But we don’t have time to get into that, maybe next time. I was speaking to Mark Weisbrot, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Thanks again, Mark, for having joined us today.

MARK WEISBROT: Thank you, Greg.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

 

Read more:

https://therealnews.com/stories/pompeo-sanctions-increase-pain-and-suffering-in-venezuela-pt-2-2

 

See part one:

https://therealnews.com/stories/more-sanctions-on-venezuela-operation-florida-2020-pt-1-2

 

 

see toon at top..

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-04-12 08:47

“Look at the sun! It’s dry, it’s dead, it needs a drink, it wants blood! And I’ll give it blood!” 


― Alfred De Musset, Lorenzaccio

 

 

The French poet Arthur Rimbaud was highly critical of Musset's work. Rimbaud wrote in his Letters of a Seer (Lettres du Voyant) that Musset did not accomplish anything because he "closed his eyes" before [to arrest] the visions (Letter to Paul Demeny, May 1871).

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-04-12 06:39

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Since 2010, we’ve warned that Julian Assange would face prosecution and extradition to the United States for his publishing activities with WikiLeaks. Unfortunately, today, we’ve been proven right. Mr. Assange was arrested this morning at about 10:00 at the Ecuadorean Embassy, after the ambassador formally notified him that his asylum had been revoked, and he was arrested by British police. We’ve today received a warrant and a provisional extradition request from the United States alleging that he has conspired with Chelsea Manning in relation to the materials published by WikiLeaks in 2010.

This sets a dangerous precedent for all media organizations and journalists in Europe and elsewhere around the world. This precedent means that any journalist can be extradited for prosecution in the United States for having published truthful information about the United States.

I’ve just been with Mr. Assange in the police cells. He wants to thank all of his supporters for their ongoing support. And he said, “I told you so.”

KRISTINN HRAFNSSON: Well, the only thing to add to this is the fact that this is a dark day for journalism. As Jennifer said, this sets a precedent. We don’t want this to go forward. This has to be averted. The U.K. government needs to make a full assurance that a journalist will never be extradited to the United States for publishing activity. This pertains to publishing work nine years ago, publishing of documents, of videos of the killing of innocent civilians, exposure of war crimes. This is journalism. It’s called “conspiracy.” It’s conspiracy to commit journalism. So this has to end. And we urge everybody to support Julian Assange in fighting this extradition. Thank you.

 

Read more:

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/11/a_dark_day_for_journalism_wikileaks

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-04-12 00:35

America’s Democratic Party ‘news’-media are now defending themselves against charges that they had trumpeted false allegations against Donald Trump regarding “Russiagate.” Republican Party ‘news’-media are strutting because they didn’t. But in the lead-up to America’s invasion and destruction of Iraq (and here’s “How the U.S. Destroyed Iraq”), the mainstream ‘news’-reporting was just as bad then as now, only with the partisan sides switched. ‘Russiagate’ thus mirrors ‘WMD in Iraq’. The chief difference between then and now is only that the media now have been fictitiously demonizing Putin and Trump by means of lies, whereas back in 2002 and 2003, they were fictitiously demonizing Saddam Hussein by means of lies.

In that prior instance (lies about Iraq), the Republican media were the worse of the two Party-propaganda-lines. Republican Party followers were the more-deceived back then, just as Democratic Party followers are the more-deceived today. Whereas, in 2003, increased exposure to news, about what had led up to the invasion of Iraq, produced, for Democrats, higher scores on a test of knowledge about that matter; for Republicans, it actually produced lower scores about that matter.

For Republicans, at that time, the ‘news’-reporting decreased, rather than increased, a historically accurate understanding of the lead-up to (and into) Iraq-invasion events. By contrast, now in 2019, when the evidence has finally become clear that the Russiagate accusations against Trump were intensely politically motivated, it is Democratic Party followers who are the more-deceived today. In fact, whereas, back in January of this year, 83% of Republicans said that the reason for the Russiagate investigation was “politically motivated,” 84% of Democrats said that it was not.

The more that Democrats had become influenced by Democratic-Party ‘news’-media, the more inaccurate their understandings of the events were. On this matter, Democrats were oblivious about the reality, just swamped by their own Party’s propaganda — just like had happened to Republicans regarding the invasion of Iraq.

In both of these two instances (both Democratic ‘news’-media now, and Republican ‘news’-media then), all of America’s major media actually hid — and continue to hide — the key facts, from the public (even 16 years, now, after the invasion of Iraq). On the deeper-level issues concerning Governmental policies, there is bipartisan deceit against the American public. These are issues on which all of the billionaires were and are united, against the American public (and especially against the “40.6% million people in poverty” — the neediest instead of the richest who are themselves, those billionaires), and they therefore benefit from the public’s ignorance and misconceptions about such matters (so that the Government will continue serving chiefly themselves).

These super-rich are determined to continue controlling Government-policies, for their own benefits, like increased ‘defense’ spending to buy increased products from their corporations such as Lockheed Martin, and for increased access to raw materials by their firms such as ExxonMobil. It’s all — according to their propaganda-media, ‘in defense of freedom and democracy and human rights’. That’s always the billionaires’ line. It’s always “Trust us!” “Our Government is democratic — a democracy, not a dictatorship [by us]!” So, the message from them is: invade Iraq! And: oppose any U.S. President who would meet privately to negotiate with Russia’s President!

America’s billionaires fear peace abroad. They thrive on conquest (their coups and invasions) abroad. For example, this is the reason why, consistently in Gallup’s findings, “The military” (which is actually the most corrupt of all American institutions) scores, by far, at the very top of the 17 listed “Institutions” in American society — way above (for examples) “the Supreme Court,“ or “The church or organized religion,” or “The public schools.” The billionaires shape the culture, and this is how they’ve managed to get the U.S. to spend about half of the entire world’s total military expenses — all to be paid for by the taxes and governmental debts that the public (and their descendants), and not merely those billionaires (the actual beneficiaries) pay, and will be paying in the future. This is the way that a global empire is built, and maintained — ‘for peace and freedom and democracy and human rights around the world’.

The two Parties disagree with each other, but each Party represents only a different faction among the billionaires (not among the public) regarding what they want the public to believe. The billionaires and their corporations contribute the vast majority of the money to the major candidates, and control the think tanks and ‘news’-media that enables each winning national U.S. politician to become and remain a winning national U.S. politician and thus to become and be the President, or member of Congress. So, these few extremely wealthy individuals are America’s real, behind-the-scenes, government — the “Deep State” that’s represented by the top levels at CIA, Britain’s MI6, Wall Street, etc. (all servants — a few of whom are billionaires themselves — of America’s billionaires, and of their allied foreign billionaires).

No faction within America’s 585 billionaires actually represents the American public — neither group of billionaires (Democrats or Republicans) represents the public of either Party. Each of them represents only him-or-her-self and the property (and employees and other agents) which that individual controls. (Of course, that’s millions of people, who are hired and promoted and demoted by the billionaires.) But because billionaires’ wealth is so extremely concentrated within this tiny number of people (585), and is so huge, and because their corruption reigns, these few individuals effectively control the Government.

Especially America’s foreign policies (including, in 2002, toward Iraq; and, in 2016-18, ‘Russiagate’, toward Russia and Trump) represent only the interests of billionaires, not of the American people, who are mainly interested in domestic affairs, such as health care, education, crimes, etc.

Right now, the billionaires are (via their media-proxies) battling each other over whom to blame for ‘Russiagate’: if not Trump, then whom? But that’s only a Democrat-versus-Republican issue. It appeals to the partisans on each side. It’s more of the same, so that the billionaires’ control over America’s Government continues to face no challenge.

Whenever American billionaires’ desires contradict the public’s needs, the latter have “a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy”, and this has been scientifically proven to have been true since at least 1981.

Though it’s true regarding any field of public policy, it is the most true regarding international policies, because those are the ones on which deceiving the publicis the easiest to do. Furthermore, the controlling owners of international corporations (and these are billionaires) are vastly more concerned about foreign affairs than the general public is. Whereas domestic affairs interest everyone, foreign affairs receive far less attention from most people — but not from billionaires, who are, if anything, often even more interested in those matters.

Donald Trump represents one faction of America’s billionaires; Barack Obama represented another faction of them; but each President (at least since 1981) has been representing only them (America’s billionaires). Furthermore, the 2016 Presidential contest was no exception to this rule; and, so, American democracy has been destroyed by America’s own billionaires, and not by any foreign country.

Russia didn’t do this to us. Not even Israel (which interferes in American national elections vastly more than does Russia, and which also has officially the fourth-largest of all foreign nations’ lobbies in the U.S. Congress) did. America’s billionaires did (and do) it.

Overwhelmingly, it is they who actually control America’s foreign policies. (Moreover, on international matters, there appears to be virtual unanimity amongst the aristocracies of Britain, Israel, and U.S.; and, on 15 February 2009, Britain’s Guardian reported that “The pro-Israel lobby’s contributions reach a majority of US politicians. In 2018, it spent money on 269 representatives’ and 57 senators’ campaigns, and gave to Democrats at a two to one ratio.”

So: it’s not only the Republican Party that’s fronting for Israel. To front for Israel is also to front for America’s billionaires — even for the roughly 70% of America’s non-Jewish billionaires. But to front for Russia is ‘traitorous’ while to front for Israel is ‘not’ — and yet Russia never attacked and slaughtered Americans, whereas Israel did, and so did another ‘U.S. ally’, Saudi Arabia. (Yet, America’s aristocracy is closely allied with both Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s — not just with Britain’s.)

All of these assertions will be further documented and exemplified in what follows.

The two examples to be focused upon here will be America’s successful rape of Iraq in 2003, and the Democratic Party’s unsuccessful effort, which started in 2016, to delegitimize the Republican President Donald Trump as being some type of Russian agent.

THE INVASION OF IRAQ IN 2003

Here’s Robert Mueller testifying to Congress about WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq, before we invaded and destroyed Iraq:

On 11 February 2003, the then-FBI Director Mueller testified, to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that: 

Secretary Powell presented evidence last week that Baghdad has failed to disarm its weapons of mass destruction, willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international community. Our particular concern is that Saddam may supply al-Qaeda with biological, chemical, or radiological material.”

He just reiterated the President’s lies (and he credited Colin Powell’s supposed naiveté in having spouted them — for which deception Powell subsequently apologized, but Mueller never did). Mueller’s concern wasn’t to raise any question about the lies that led to the Iraq-invasion, but was simply to reinforce these lies. He didn’t work for the public. He worked for the President.

As I said 16 September 2016:

On 7 September 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush blatantly lied to concoct a “new report” by the IAEA about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program, and the U.S. news-media reported the statement but hid that it was a lie. He said (and CNN and others quoted it): “a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need,” when he was asked at a press conference, “Mr. President, can you tell us what conclusive evidence of any nuclear — new evidence you have of nuclear weapons capabilities of Saddam Hussein?”

Immediately, the IAEA said then that there was no such “new report,” and that the last they were able to find, there was nothing left of WMD in Iraq. The American news-media simply ignored the IAEA’s denial, and we invaded Iraq, almost six months after that boldfaced lie, a lie the press refused to expose, at all — ever. They still haven’t exposed it, even to the present day; and instead there remains a ‘debate’ as to whether George W. Bush lied or was instead merely misled by “defective U.S. intelligence.” 

In this particular instance, he wasn’t even citing U.S. intelligence, but instead citing the IAEA, and they immediately denied it, but the press failed to report that fact; so, really, the President was simply lying, and the press just continue to lie by saying he had only “been misled by the CIA” (which he actually controlled; but he didn’t control the IAEA). The American press hide the fact that the American President lied his nation into invading Iraq. The press lie that it was only “bad intelligence,” no lying President.

(Because of the news-media’s ignoring the IAEA’s denial of the President’s statement, the author of the IAEA’s denial, Mark Gwozdecky, spoke three weeks later, by phone, with the only journalist who was interested, Joseph Curl of the Washington Times, who headlined on 27 September 2002, “Agency Disavows Report on Iraq Arms” — perhaps that should instead have been “President Lied About ‘Saddam’s WMD’” — and Curl quoted Gwozdecky: “There’s never been a report like that [which Bush alleged] issued from this agency. … When we left in December ’98 we had concluded that we had neutralized their nuclear-weapons program. We had confiscated their fissile material. We had destroyed all their key buildings and equipment.” Other news-media failed to pick up Curl’s article. And, even in that article, there was no clear statement that the President had, in fact, lied — cooked up an IAEA ‘report’ that never actually existed — and that he never corrected his false allegation; that he compounded his lie by not correcting it.)

This is hardly the only instance where the U.S. news-media cover for the President’s lies about foreign affairs, by merely stenographically reporting what he says, while hiding the truth that his statement was a baldfaced lie. For example, how many times have you read in the newspapers, or in a magazine, or seen on TV, or heard on the radio (all of which are supposed to report these things), that in February 2014, the Obama Administration perpetrated a bloody coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine, and replaced his government with a racist-fascist, or anti-Russian nazi, government, so that Ukraine, which had been at peace for decades, was now suddenly torn by a racist bloody civil war— a war of ethnic cleansing? Oh? You were instead told that ‘democracy’ started (instead of ended) when Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown then, in a ‘revolution,’ not in any U.S. “coup”?

The very next day, on 8 September 2002, the New York Times bannered “THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE IRAQIS; U.S. SAYS HUSSEIN INTENSIFIES QUEST FOR A-BOMB PARTS”, and reported that, “In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.” That, too, turned out to be fiction, which the ‘news’-media stenographically reported to be reality, as any propaganda-agency is paid or otherwise rewarded to do.

Also on September 8th, Bush’s National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said on CNN, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

On 9 September 2002, the IAEA denied the existence of the ‘new report’ that Bush (seconded by British Prime Minister Tony Blair) had just said was proof that Saddam was within six months of having a nuclear bomb. Neither the NYT nor other ‘news’-media reported that the President had lied on September 7th. So, Gwozdecky of IAEA tried again, on September 27th, but the NYT and all the others continued to ignore them. That (the U.S. President’s deceiving this nation into an invasion) wasn’t included to report — wasn’t even buried (like on an inside page) — in “All the News That’s Fit to Print”.

Did the NYT (and WP and CNN, etc,) lose subscribers, and go out of business, for that serial-deceit of the public? The opposite: they thrived. And, now, they accuse smaller news-media (which had had nothing to do with deceiving Americans into invading Iraq) of providing ‘fake news’. And the standards of American ‘journalism’ are just as poor today as they were back in 2002 and 2003.

Then, on 8 October 2002, President Bush delivered, to the nation, his major address on why we needed to invade Iraq very soon. He said: “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun, that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” Condoleezza Rice’s fictitious “mushroom cloud” was now — exactly a month later — President Bush’s, too.

On 18 March 2003, President Bush ordered the U.N.’s weapons-inspectors out of Iraq by telling them that if they wouldn’t be gone within 48 hours they’d be under U.S. bombing there. Hans Blix and his team rushed out, to meet that deadline. The Iraqi people couldn’t do any such thing — Bush’s warning simply spelt doom for them.

Nobody in the mainstream press, at the time, or afterward, reported that the IAEA had actually issued no such ‘new report’. It didn’t exist, at all. The American public didn’t know that Bush was lying through his teeth and that this invasion was 100% a blatant international war-crime. They didn’t know, because the billionaires’ American ‘news’-media hid that fact.

All of these ‘news’ lies are stenographic ‘reporting’, and it’s endemic in all of America’s mainstream ‘news’-media, all of which are controlled by billionaires, via ownership and/or their corporations’ advertising. Stenographic ‘news’-reporting is still as acceptable to them as it was to them then, when we invaded and destroyed Iraq, on the basis of those stenographically reported lies from the Government and its agents.

That’s America’s mainstream. Many in alternative, smaller, news-media had reported over and over and over and over and over and over — and even Rupert Murdoch’s own London Times had reported as early as 26 November 2009 (after the Republican President Bush was no longer in office and had been replaced by a Democrat) — that all of the insiders had known that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). What all of the mainstream ‘news’-media were publishing, back in 2003, were merely lies from the Government.

What should have been the first question, then, on 9 September 2002 when the IAEA said that there wasn’t any “new report” from them, about the matter such as the U.S. President had alleged?

The questions were never asked, much less followed up immediately to expose the response to be yet another lie. This is how Bush and his team got away with mass-murder abroad. There was no resistance, in any of the mainstream (the billionaire-controlled) media. Not even in the Democratic-Party ‘news’-media. This was bipartisan evil (by the billionaires) and ignorance (by the public).

On 22 January 2018, CNN reported that“George W. Bush’s favorable rating has grown from 33% to 61% since he left office. … Most of Bush’s climb back to popularity came from Democrats and independents. His favorability mark among Democrats has soared from only 11% in February 2009 to a majority 54% now.” 

Maybe that’s because of ‘news’-media such as CNN, continuing to trumpet ongoing official deceits as if those were instead established truths. The U.S. Government can lie as much as it wants, because there’s nothing to stop it from lying. There is no accountability in an aristocracy, but only in a democracy (and the U.S. is an aristocracy).

The media-mainstream, and its supporters, refuse to become honest. Mainstreamers think that they’re terrific as they are, and certainly shouldn’t be put out of business for the mass-murdering lies they’ve pumped. The ‘Russiagate’ fraud is the latest example of this. If it had succeeded, then not only would U.S. ‘defense’-spending soar even more and the Government’s domestic spending plunge, but World War III against Russia would suddenly become enormously more likely.

RUSSIAGATE-TRUMP

On 23 March 2019, main conclusions from the Mueller Report — the report fromU.S. Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III — became published. Democratic Party politicians and ‘news’-media were shocked and stunned that Mueller’s report asserted:

“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

One needs to see the complete sentence, there, not just part of it (which is all that was released); but, if this quotation from the Report isn’t out-of-context, then the entire investigation was pursuing a Democratic Party lie and found it to be a lie.

On 24 March 2019, Michael Calderone at Politico said that “while fair-minded criticism can be beneficial to the news media, there are likely to also be bad faith attempts to delegitimize journalism.”

He said there “journalism,” instead of “propaganda.” He was writing propaganda for America’s Democratic-Party ‘news’-media. Calderone was happy to report that “Some journalists have already pushed back on the weekend criticism. ‘Given the issues, stakes, and seriousness with which special counsel treated all of this, the media’s coverage of Russia-Trump connection and possible obstruction over the last two years was somewhere between about right and not quite aggressive enough,’ tweeted Esquire’s Ryan Lizza.”

On the same day, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post headlined “Conclusion of Mueller probe raises anew criticisms of coverage” and reported that “Among the theories commentators advanced was one by New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait, who speculated in a cover story in July about whether ‘the dark crevices of the Russia scandal run not just a little deeper but a lot deeper.’ … In a statement Sunday night, Chait stood by his article. ‘That story relied on reports in credible public sources. None of those reports have been refuted.’”

That’s rabidly false, though the top editors at both the Washington Post and the New York Times were quoted there as making similar false assertions.

Farhi continued: “In fact, revelations by the Times and The Washington Post about contacts between Russian agents and Trump’s campaign advisers in 2016 helped prompt the inquiry that the special counsel took over in May 2017. The two newspapers shared a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the issue that year.” He seemed to be actually bragging about his very successful and severely failed ‘news’-paper and its main competitor.

On March 25th, Amy Chozick in the New York Times bannered “After Mueller Report, News Media Leaders Defend Their Work”, and she reported that, “Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, said he was ‘entirely comfortable’ with the network’s coverage. ‘We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did,’ Mr. Zucker said in an email.”

Furthermore: “Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed News, defended coverage of the Russian investigation, including the decision to publish a dossier put together by British intelligence officer Christopher Steele full of tantalizing (and unsubstantiated) reports about Russian efforts to blackmail Mr. Trump. ‘It’s pretty hard to imagine a scenario in which people were aware of its existence but not allowed to see it,’ Mr. Smith said of the dossier.” 

Smith took seriously the “unsubstantiated” ‘dossier’ that the DNC had hired for creating the myth that the cause of Clinton’s loss was Putin and Russia, instead of herself, and her profoundly corrupt Party (no different, basically, from the Republican Party).

On March 26th, The Hill headlined “Media have account to settle with American people over Mueller investigation coverage”, and a journalism professor said that the news industry” had been “stumbling around unsuccessfully in the dark trying to find fact nuggets on which to build the Mueller story.”

Two days later, he told Wisconsin Public Radio that “The media did underperform over the last couple of years.” The problem was just blunders, and ‘underperformance’ (instead of its long-proven-normal performance) — not the entire corrupt system of ‘journalism’ in America, where the people who do the hiring are answerable ultimately to the same billionaires who effectively control the Government. No — not that — not at all (according to him).

As I have pointed out and documented (via links to solid ultimate sources, sometimes in the linked-to sources in linked-to articles, but all ultimate sources having been very carefully verified by this reporter as being true, and those sources remaining solid), “All U.S. Gov’t. Accusations Against Russia’s Gov’t. Are Lies.” 

That’s right: all of “Russiagate” is based on very dubious ‘evidence’. This means that the time-line, in the Mueller Report, lists some ‘events’ that did not happen, and some events that were not partisanly involved in the 2016 Presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

And Robert Mueller himself has a very bad record, but how widely has that been reported?

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Eric Zuesse
by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-04-12 00:32

Metropolitan police arrested Assange inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London Thursday, where he had been residing since 2012 under political asylum fearing extradition over the now dropped charges in Sweden and WikiLeaks' revelations in the US. A US host and human rights activists have given their take on Assange’s arrest and its implications.

Alfred de Zayas, an American lawyer, writer, historian, expert in the field of human rights and international law, as well as a former UN official, has portrayed Assange’s arrest as “a juridical aberration and a grave violation of the refugee convention".

He stressed in written commentary to Sputnik that the high commissioner for human rights should make a statement denouncing Ecuador's actions and demanding comprehensive protection of Assange’’s rights under the Geneva Convention.

‘Moreno’s Washington’s Stooge’

Commenting on the development, Don Debar, host of the US syndicated daily radio newscast CPR News, stressed that “the arrest of Julian Assange will, in the long term, do more to expose the real nature of the so-called democratic West than 100 document dumps could ever do".

He dwelled on the “non-existent press freedom in the US and Europe", which the detention virtually exposed, arguing that should one come up with materials “exposing criminal activity by the powerful, the publisher but not the exposed powerful criminal will face prosecution".

He further addressed the “farcical” idea of unbiased prosecution:

“The idea of an independent judiciary is farcical — the on-again/off-again nature of the charges in the Swedish courts, as well as the Torqmada-esq secret proceedings in the US which are certainly driving them, show that prosecutions can target and be controlled across borders to exact political vengeance", the journalist noted, adding that elections in the West are also a farce, “and the US meddles in these in the same way Kasparov 'meddles' with a chess board".

“Lenin Moreno was elected to continue the program of his predecessor — and primary supporter before the election — former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, which included a rejection again by the electorate of neo-liberal economics and an independent course for Ecuador's foreign policy which included sanctuary for Julian Assange", the commenter shared, adding that almost instantly after having been elected Moreno exposed his “true colours".

Specifically, he started to implement neo-liberal austerity principles at home and “behave as a US vassal abroad", which included threatening Julian’s asylum status.

“Today we saw the extent to which the latter has been pursued, and, not coincidentally, at a time when Moreno's illegal and corrupt activities are being exposed", Debar stated, adding that Moreno is doing his best to distract the Ecuadorian people from these facts, that “he's a crook, he's a stooge of Washington".

“There will be more austerity and pain for the Ecuadorian people if he is allowed to continue", the commenter concluded.

‘Deserves a Statue Instead of Arrest’

Andy Vermaut, a Belgian human rights activist, is sure that Julain Assange knew perfectly what would happen, “as this was published on Wikileaks itself", however “he must certainly not have been naïve". Vermaut brought up the fact that Assange had addressed the issue of money laundering practices by the Ecuadorian president, stating that he if had chosen not to, he “would not be honest to his principles", despite the obvious fact that the Ecuadorian leadership would respond.

“Julian Assange found the search for truth more important than this appointment. He eventually sacrificed himself for the truth. A whole witch hunt has been orchestrated against him. Everyone knows that", Vermaut stated adding that Assange has been criminalised, whereas he is in actual fact “the hero of the free speech in the world".

“Shooting at the pianist, who did not write the symphony himself, is a common fact in a lot of countries who say that democracy is the highest good", Vermaut addressed WikiLeaks’ publication of Chelsea Manning’s cables.

I admire Julian Assange for his idealism. To me he is a big man. History will tell… he has let the world know the real truth about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The so-called precision bombing that did not seem to be so precise… It is a great credit that he started working with the real sources", the commenter praised WikiLeaks’ founder, sharing his personal belief that his arrest “is not justified".

Vermaut stressed the Assange deserves “a statue instead of his arrest", and “the Nobel prize rather than imprisonment".

READ MORE: Snowden Reminds UN Called Assange's Detention Arbitrary, Violation of Rights

Addressing the issue of pro-Assange campaigning around the world, the human rights activist emphasised his certainty that the public “will be entitled to challenge this arrest, because it is very clearly politically motivated".

Picking up on his extradition concerns, Vermaut remarked that his perseverance to expose the truth “was a thorn in the eyes of the United States, who punctured their propaganda machine, because of a total transparency that he brought".

“Julian Assange's dedication is stronger than the power of a system that has lost moral leadership in the world. This is purely after trapping and the failure of this leadership", the speaker stressed, adding that European countries, equally, “should condemn this if all the statements about human rights were real".

His vision of Assange’s future doesn't seem at all positive:

“I fear that Julian Assange will spend a long time in prison and that everything will be tried to get him convicted. Yes, there are political prisoners in Europe again… who serve the Americans as lap dogs". He views the fate of freedom of expression to be at stake, as well – “everywhere in the US and Europe".

“That is the fate of human rights activists in this world. Authenticity to be truthful, to remain true to principles, is very often not rewarded in this world. It is therefore a black day for freedom of expression", Vermaut went on, arguing that the man who is a real doer, rather than speaker will “now pay the ultimate price for his courage and determination", despite the ubiquitous resistance to the arrest, which is a positive indicator, however, according to the activist.

READ MORE: Sweden Considers Resuming Sexual Assault Probe Against Assange — Reports

“This resistance is the ultimate sign that a transformation of society is imminent. We will not remain silent, we will not give censorship a chance and we will all challenge the arrest. The whole world of truth seekers will work with us", he concluded in an uplifting way.

Following Assange's detainment by UK authorities, the police confirmed that it had been made "on behalf of the United States authorities," while Wikileaks condemned Ecuador's move, stating that it illegally terminated Assange's political asylum.

Wikileaks' founder lived in the Ecuadorian embassy after being released on bail by a UK court due to facing rape accusations in Sweden. Stockholm lifted the charges in 2017, but he was still wanted by British authorities for violating the bail conditions by taking refuge in the embassy.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201904111074038785-assange-nobel-prize-imprisonment/

These views are shared by Gus Leonisky who thanks Julian Assange and all his supporters for having brought some truth in this world of thieves. Time for awakening the best in all of us and condemn the Ecuadorian, the UK, the US and the Australian thugs who have let Assange be entrapped because he told us the truth... A nobel Prize indeed. 

"the arrest of Julian Assange will, in the long term, do more to expose the real nature of the so-called democratic West than 100 document dumps could ever do". We hope so, but we also wish freedom for Assange now! NOW! 

 


 

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-04-11 23:43

Then the fascist US government came for your journalists....

 

Meanwhile the gutless New York Post "takes an angle":

 

Pamela Anderson lashed out against President Trump, Britain and “Equador” on Thursday following the arrest of her close pal Julian Assange.

The “Baywatch” star said she was “in shock” after watching video of the Wikileaks founder being dragged out of the Ecuador embassy in London.

“He looks very bad. How could you Equador ? (Because he exposed you),” Anderson tweeted. “How could you UK. ? Of course – you are America’s bitch and you need a diversion from your idiotic Brexit bulls–t.”

She railed in another tweet, “And the USA ? This toxic coward of a President He needs to rally his base? – You are selfish and cruel. You have taken the entire world backwards. You are devils and liars and thieves. And you will ROTT And WE WILL RISE.”

The 51-year-old blond bombshell has long defended Assange and frequently visited him during his seven-year stint at the embassy — sparking rumors that they’re romantically involved.

 

Read more:

https://pagesix.com/2019/04/11/pamela-anderson-flips-out-over-julian-assange-arrest/?_ga=2.33939303.719267758.1554989352-756102219.1458610582

 

Meanwhile the Sydcrapherald:

 

Elisabeth Fritz, the lawyer for a woman who accused Assange in 2010, said it was "a shock to my client that what we have been waiting and hoping for since 2012 has now finally happened".

Julian Assange is no hero, he has hidden from the truth for years and years ... This will now be decided properly, independently, by the British legal system.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

"We are now going to do everything we possibly can to get the Swedish police investigation re-opened so that Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape," she said. "No rape victim should have to wait nine years to see justice be served."

Swedish prosecutors issued a statement saying they had not yet been able to "take a position" on the news of Assange's arrest.

However they said their preliminary investigation against him "can be resumed as long as the suspected crime is not subject to statute of limitation".

"In this case, the suspected crime of rape would be subject to statute of limitation in mid-August 2020."

Assange’s lawyers have said if Assange is extradited to the US he would not receive a fair trial. Their opposition to his extradition to Sweden has been based on anticipating his removal to the US, rather than avoiding the investigation into the rape accusation - which Assange denies.

He reportedly faces criminal charges relating to the publication of classified documents by WikiLeaks. He has also been accused of aiding Russia’s interference in the US’ 2016 presidential election, by distributing a trove of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign and Democratic party.

 

Read more:

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-arrested-at-ecuadorian-embassy-london-police-say-20190411-p51ddg.html

 

Assange did the world, us, a many favours by exposing the duplicity of our FASCIST GOVERNMENTS that hide behind secrecy, fake news and wars that were, are and will be despicable. We owe many salutes to Assange and we need to tell the grubs in Sweden, in the UK, and in the USA, whoever they are that they cannot hide behind crook interpretations of laws that now have lost all meanings.

Our media are also the pits of darkness as they, like pontius pilatus, wash their hands "clean" as if they never had blood on their hands. 

The Western media are the whores and pimps of FASCIST governments. UNACCEPTABLE.