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Another American known wolf? Fort Lauderdale shooter known to FBI, worked for security, amid backdrop of mass drills

Another shocking active-shooter incident rocks America. This time, according to Florida’s Broward County Sheriff’s Department, thirteen people were shot, including five dead, after an apparent shooting rampage took place at Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood International Airport.

Shawn Helton

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Published with the permission of the author. First appeared on 21st Century Wire

At the moment, there is still no clear motive for the shooting attack and no evidence linking the suspect to terror. However, officials have yet to rule out the possibility of terrorism.

The timing of this shooting attack cannot be overstated, as there was a major US intelligence review over an alleged Russian hack influence on America’s 2016 election that was scheduled on the very same day…

‘KNOWN WOLF?’ – (Photo illustration 21WIRE’s Shawn Helton)

NOTE: It only took a matter of hours for the Fort Lauderdale shooter’s back story to emerge.

According to authorities, the suspected airport shooter, 26-year-old Esteban Santiago-Ruiz, checked a declared handgun inside his luggage, later retrieving it at Fort Lauderdale Airport’s Terminal 2 baggage claim. Santiago then reportedly loaded the gun in a bathroom came out in the terminal opening fire on fellow travelers – including a series of head shots.

After the shooting spree, the suspect was reported to have calmly turned himself to the police.

According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel,  “The shooter is in custody and unharmed,” said. “No law enforcement officers fired any shots.”

The whole series of events is strange to say the least, but the oddities didn’t stop there. 

Santiago-Ruiz’s US military background includes service in the Puerto Rico Army National Guard in 2007, according to the Department of Defense. Santiago-Ruiz was listed as a combat engineer who had been deployed to Iraq in April 2010, returning to US soil in 2011. Later in November of 2014, following a move to Alaska, he became a member of the Alaska National Guard. In August of 2016, Santiago-Ruiz was transferred to Inactive Ready Reserve.

Additionally, Santiago-Ruiz was stated to be employed by an as of yet unnamed Anchorage security company while living in Alaska.

According to the Associated Press and Miami’s local CBS News affiliate, “The Pentagon said he [Santiago-Ruiz] went AWOL several times as a specialist during a stint with the Alaska National Guard and was demoted to private first class, the Associated Press reported. He was given a general discharge, which is lower than an honorable discharge.”

Earlier reports stated that Santiago-Ruiz flew on a flight from Canada. Air Canada promptly denied that the suspected airport shooter was on any of their flights. Other US mainstream outlets later stated that he arrived on an in-bound Delta Airlines flight instead.

AIRPORT SHOOTING’ –  Esteban Santiago is in custody following a shooting at a Fort Lauderdale airport. Authorities gathered travelers on the tarmac after the incident. (Image Source: Chicago Tribune)

Interestingly, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was on the scene of the shooting, and was ‘live-tweeting’:

Another Known Wolf?

As 21 WIRE has documented over the years, many so-called shooting/terror/attacks involve individuals being monitored by security services prior to an alleged act taking place. A place where a ‘lone wolf’ graduates into the ranks of a known wolf. In fact, very often those being watched by authorities exhibit all the tell-tale signs of a patsy or an informant, working either for a law enforcement or intelligence agency. Historically, government operators have often made use of low-life criminals, and mentally disturbed individuals to fulfill various role in entrapment stings or sometimes as bonafide actors in an actual attacks.

In any case, alleged attackers and security agencies have a dicey relationship, making any link between them highly suspect in nature.

In January of 2015, a strategic security service think-tank known as The Soufan Group, reported that a larger national security threat resides with radicals who’ve had a lengthy criminal background with known ties to security agencies:

“The Soufan Group, a New York think tank, said a better term for “lone wolves” would be “known wolves“, given how many are already known to Western intelligence agencies before they strike.

“These individuals, acting alone or in small groups … have been on the radar of various agencies and organisations, highlighting the difficulty of effectively monitoring and managing people at the nexus of criminality and terrorism,” it said in a report this week…”

The Fort Lauderdale shooting story rapidly emerged out of corporate media halls looking to sell the public on the latest tragic shooting in America. The Hollywood International Airport shooting has elements of other high-profile shooting events in recent history, such as the TSA/LAX shooting, the the Tucson shootingOrlando Pulse nightclub shooting, the San Bernardino shooting attack, the Chattanooga military base shooting siege, as well as the aspects of the Aurora theater shooting and the Grand theater shooting in Lafayette and many others.

Is the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter another case of a known wolf – triggered into action?

The apparent Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, Santiago-Ruiz, who is said to be Puerto Rican was born in New Jersey (living in Alaska), and was well-known to authorities, having recently undergone a mental health evaluation after allegedly visiting an FBI office in Alaska where he claimed he was under ‘CIA mind control,’ with voices in his head telling him to join ISIS’:

“They say last November, he walked into the FBI’s office in Anchorage, Alaska, claiming that  his mind was being controlled by the CIA and that it was forcing him to join ISIS. He appeared agitated and incoherent, and made disjointed statements — and although he said he didn’t wish to hurt anyone, agents were concerned by his erratic behavior and decided to call local authorities, a senior federal law enforcement official said.

Local police took him to a local medical facility for evaluation, and the FBI closed its assessment of Santiago after conducting database reviews, interagency checks and interviews with family members, the official said.”

Shades of the Manchurian Candidate?

We’re also told that the suspect’s aunt had flagged his mentally unstable condition previously. According to USA Today:

Yet the troubling episode is now part of an emerging profile of a deeply disturbed man described by his aunt Friday as someone who had “lost his mind.”

Maria Luisa Ruiz of Union City, N.J., said her nephew, who had moved to Alaska for work as a security guard, only recently began to show signs of instability.

“Like a month ago, it was like he lost his mind,” she said “He said he saw things.”

The inclusion of Santiago-Ruiz’s alleged ‘voices’ in his head, supposedly triggered by the CIA, immediately recalls another bizarre case that was also difficult to comprehend – the Navy Yard Shooter from 2013.

Here’s a passage from a 21WIRE report discussing the apparent Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis:

“Rather than get caught up in the ‘fear campaigns’ sold to us by our favorite news anchor-zombies, its important to consider another aspect of these mass shootings by making a tally of  the trigger points that media uses to manipulate public perception, as they carefully propagandize certain elements within a crisis making sure to illicit ‘the right’ reaction from every major demographic.”

Is this what we are seeing in the aftermath of the Fort Lauderdale shooting?

Heavy.com added the following details about the supposedly troubled Santiago-Ruiz:

The shooter – whose troubled behavior had already drawn the attention of the FBI, Army, and Anchorage police – arrived Friday afternoon at the busy airport on a flight from Alaska, with the gun used in the shooting properly stored in his checked baggage, NBC News reports.

One report said the shooter, who lived in Alaska, had no other luggage but the gun, which federal rules allow a person to declare at a ticket counter and check under the plane but not carry on.”

In addition to Santiago-Ruiz’s lengthy time with the US military and the National Guard, in recent years, the suspected shooter was involved in various crimes. Here’s a passage from The Daily Beast describing some of Santiago’s background:

“According to charging documents provided by the Anchorage prosecutor’s office to The Daily Beast, on January 10, 2016, Santiago verbally assaulted his then girlfriend, a 40-year old mother of one child from a previous marriage whom The Daily Beast is not naming, through a locked bathroom door, telling her to “Get the fuck out, bitch.” After he forced his way in by breaking down the door, he smacked her in the head and strangled her. By the time police arrived, Santiago had fled the scene.

Santiago was arrested days later and released on the condition that he have no contact with the victim, but in February, Anchorage police found him at his girlfriend’s residence and he was charged for violating the conditions of his release. That case is still pending.

Alaska court records show a criminal record under Santiago’s name for minor traffic infractions including operating a vehicle without insurance and a broken taillight. Records also show his landlord evicted him for non-payment of rent in February 2015.

The assault case was resolved in March when Santiago entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, an alternative to adjudication where prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges in exchange for Esteban’s completion of requirements, the details of which are unknown.”

While Anchorage municipal prosecutor Seneca Theno told The Daily Beast that previous charges against Santiago-Ruiz are unlikely to be dropped following the airport shooting – you still have to wonder what ‘requirements’ were asked of Santiago-Ruiz to get the alleged assault charges dropped from his record in the first place, given the brutal nature of them.

FOX NEWS echoes a Sun Sentinel report, “Why the gunman may have chosen South Florida was unclear. He had no clear connection to the state aside from relatives in the Naples area, a two-hour drive away, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The same FOX report adds the following about Santiago-Ruiz’s alleged lengthy mental health battle:

“Bryan Santiago said his brother never spoke to him directly about his medical issues.

“We have not talked for the past three weeks,” Bryan Santiago said. “That’s a bit unusual … I’m in shock. He was a serious person … He was a normal person.”

Mass Shooting Distraction?

Another aspect to these highly emotive and polarizing known wolf shooting events, is that usually they dominate US media coverage for several days. As other charged elements of an alleged shooter/attacker are propagandized, such as Santiago-Ruiz’s Palestinian scarf image (seen on the left) seized upon by FOX News anchors who fused Santiago-Ruiz’s allegedly ‘ISIS-like’ hand gesture with the Gaza-Israeli conflict.

The shocking scene at Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood International Airport occurred the same exact day US intelligence leaders briefed President-elect Donald Trump on so-called Russian hack allegations in the lead up to the 2016 election.

Back in September of 2016, while examining the aftermath of the New York and New Jersey bomb plot/attack, we analyzed whether a deeper social engineering agenda might have been at play – as part of a larger geopolitical drama unfolded in Syria appeared to be masked by media.

When looking deeper, we discovered other overlapping stories that coincided alongside the ‘known wolf’ NYC bomber. Here’s a passage that discussed the NYC attack that seemed to bury Western coverage regarding a vicious airstrike campaign that killed dozens of members of Syria’s army:

“You have to wonder, were the events in New York and New Jersey also a weapon of mass distraction, following a major international embarrassment for the United States both at home and abroad – the brutal airstrike campaign in Syria that killed over 70 Syrian troops?

This unlikely bombing incident just happened to also coincide with the UN General Assembly in NYC, where President Obama was delivering among other speeches, his “War on Terror” addresses to the international community. No surprise then, with the city suddenly on ‘high terror alert’ – that Obama quickly, confidently and comfortably used his center stage spotlight at the UN, shifting into ‘national security’ mode – boasting how quickly his police forces solved the case. It was almost if he was ready for events that weekend.”

Similarly, you have to consider if this new high-profile shooting event at Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood International Airport will dominate the news cycle, as the US intelligence community scrambles to prove Russian hack allegations over the next week.

On January 4th ABC News reported the following:

“The classified report requested by President Barack Obama detailing Russia’s alleged role in cyberattacks during U.S. presidential elections dating back to 2008 is now complete, and he is expected to receive the first briefing on its findings on Thursday afternoon, U.S. officials tell ABC News.

President-elect Donald Trump, who said last week he would receive his briefing on the matter on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, is scheduled to receive his briefing on Friday. Both briefings will be conducted by the heads of relevant agencies, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Agency, the FBI and the CIA.

U.S. officials denied claims from Trump that his special briefing was delayed so the U.S. intelligence community could strengthen its case against Russia. Officials instead said there may have been a scheduling disconnect or some confusion on the part of the Trump transition team.”

Interestingly, other explosive high-profile stories went to the back burner, such as the Chicago kidnapping and teen torture story – and the fallout from CNN’s Don Lemon following his egregious comments after the tragic racially motivated attack.

Media Memory: Reports of a ‘Second Shooter’ at Terminal 1

During the later hours of the US mainstream media coverage, networks like CNN were still floating the possibility of a second shooter, as reports emerged of shots fired in the adjacent terminal housing United Airlines, Terminal 1.

Interestingly, local reports also reported eye-witness accounts of a ‘second gunman’ involved in the Fort Lauderdale shooting. Here’s a passage from an ABC News affiliate discussing the reports of a second gunman at the Fort Lauderdale shooting:

“All day I’ve heard people talking about second incidences,” Catie Rutledge wrote on Instagram. “After waiting on the tarmac for hours and hunting someone down to get our bags, we are now waiting for a bus, so that we can leave the airport.”

There was panic when authorities feared there was a second gunman. Law enforcement asked travelers to seek shelter. Fear prompted many to say their final good byes to loved ones. Some frightened parents were in tears as they tried to protect their children.”

This aspect of the case seemingly disappeared from media outlets following Santiago-Ruiz’s arrest.

The phenomena of multiple shooters being immediately reported after an apparent mass shooting event was also echoed during both the Orlando nightclub shooting and the San Bernardino attack in 2015.

Later in the evening, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed that there was no second shooter – despite previous reports. The suspect was being interrogated by the FBI. This statement was in stark contrast to multiple witness statements made on national TV, placing the series of shots, or perhaps an additional series of shots and subsequent crowds fleeing in panic at Terminal 1 – that would either be instead of Terminal 2, or in addition to it.

This wasn’t just an anomaly – this was backed up by at least 2 different witnesses on CNN, perhaps more in other reports which 21WIRE has yet to collate here.

Was this a case of something that happened in Terminal 1 – either part of a drill, or another gunman – which was memory-holed by the media and DHS, or could this be we are looking at planted witnesses who got their lines wrong? This is a fair question to ask, considering we are talking about multiple witnesses stating the shots and crowds panicking in Terminals other than the official story in Terminal 2.

Here are four ‘alternative’ witnesses:

Witness 1: CNN’s coverage of the ‘Active Shooter’ festival at Fort Lauderdale Airport reveals yet another anomaly in their story. CNN reported the alleged shooter, Esteban Santiago, shot 5 people dead in the Delta Terminal 2, and yet, all the witnesses reported 4 shots fired in the United Terminal 1. When this witness, a father who flew in from Chicago, tells of the United T1 shots fired, CNN’s reporter Boris Sanchez appears to panic, possibly then receiving a feed in his ear and then essentially tells the witness ‘you are wrong, there were no shots fired in United Terminal 1.’ Was this bad reporting, or bad stage management by CNN? Watch:

Witness 2: Immediately after CNN’s Boris Sanchez mix-up with man flying in from Chicago at United Terminal 1, another CNN witness was suddenly produced, going by the name of ’Ryan Ward’, interviewed by Jim Sciutto, then comes on, using very scripted language apparently in an attempt to clean-up the inconsistent statements of the last witness. Ryan Ward describes the mayhem, people running, “luggage flying” and “people screaming, gunman coming” – even though he admits he was NOT in Delta Terminal 2 where police report the actual shooting took place. Ward claims he was in a wheel chair because of back surgery, but then claims he “got up and ran over“ to save a little girl and “I ran back over and pushed the mom into a corner and laid on top of her”. He then says that, “It does sound like it was an unsubstantiated second threat, but people certainly weren’t acting like it” – here he was mirroring the identical language used by the previous CNN reporters. Coincidence? Even more oddly, Ward claims he was flying Jet Blue, and that the, “Jet Blue staff were really great” – only problem is that Jet Blue is in Terminal 3, and not in T1 or T2. Watch:

Witness 3: Another witness, testifying multiple gunman on the scene, although the Terminal location being referenced by this 3rd witness is somewhat unclear:

Also, there is an additional media report by Intellihub of a pilot, in uniform and on-site, who also testifies about a loud commotion, with police in pursuit of a perpetrator seen in Terminal 1 – a stark contrast to the official story:

“The pilot believes that “there was another shooting” in Terminal 1 that law enforcement and the F.B.I. are likely covering up. ‘I could hear females screaming and people running away from terminal 1.’

The pilot said he feels that it was definitely “some kind of combined effort to attack” the airport.

EDITORS NOTE: If readers have any other witness reports of a ‘Second Shooter’ or shots fired in Terminal 2, please leave them below in the comment section.

Here’s an ABC News feature with Mark Lea, an apparent eye-witness (later photographed the crime scene) who came ‘face-to-face’ with Santiago-Ruiz – who also rather incredibly, managed to not get shot during the encounter…

Fort Lauderdale’s ‘Active Shooter’ Drills

Very often preceding an apparent shooting/attack there is the presence of mass casualty drills. Fort Lauderdale was no exception.

In 2015, the Sun Sentinel reported the following:

At a Fort Lauderdale cinema Wednesday, two men in camouflage gear calmly walked down the aisle and fired rifles and handguns at moviegoers.

Twenty-seven volunteers were “injured” in three theaters during the drill.

Fort Lauderdale police guarded and escorted paramedics wearing protective gear to tend to the wounded actors, even though the “shooters” weren’t captured and blank gunfire echoed elsewhere in the Riverwalk movie complex.

The agencies’ goal is to speed up paramedics’ responses during mass killings, domestic calls and other violent incidents.”

Similarly, in June of 2016, an inter-agency meeting described future protocols regarding mass drills:

“The meeting, held every quarter, is an opportunity for agencies to coordinate with one another and discuss the latest techniques in fighting domestic terror attacks.

Last month, agencies participated in an active-shooter exercise at the Fort Lauderdale Postal Facility.

In February, the group participated in Operation Heat Shield, consisting of weapons of mass destruction and an active shooting drill.

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Rick Bradshaw of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said these training exercises are important.”

With such a large law enforcement effort to tackle the active-shooter, you have to wonder why and how these events seem to coincide with major attacks on US soil.

Here’s a YouTube video from commentator Peekay Truth discussing aspects of this latest mass shooting tragedy in America…

Dupes, Informants and Pawns

Additionally, as we’ve mentioned before, during the aftermath of 2014’s Canadian Parliament Shooting in Ottawa, we outlined many of the primary markers used in certain terror related events globally and other mass casualty incidents often seen in America.

The shocking event, like other bizarre attacks in recent years, have often distorted public opinion, pushing the populace towards new security measures in the wake of heavily coordinated and stylized crimes.

The suspected Parliament Hill and National War Memorial shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, (Left Image: therightscoop) had the perfect ‘modus operandi’ and résumé to be an informant for either a law enforcement or intelligence agency.

According to the Globe and Mail, Zehaf-Bibeau was already designated as a “high risk traveller” by the Canadian government’s security services – who had also seized his passport. Was this the reason why the Zehaf-Bibeau snapped? Was he being targeted or being pressured into becoming an informant?

Other terror stooges and suspicious intelligence ‘informant’ cases include the following:

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (see his story here)
Buford Rogers
 (see his story here)
Jerad Miller (see his story here)
Naji Mansour (see his story here)
Quazi Mohammad Nafis (see his story here)
Mohamed Osman Mohamud (see his story here)
Timothy McVeigh (see his story here)
Salim Benghalem (see his story here)
Michael Adebolajo (see his story here)
Daba Deng (see his story here)
Elton Simpson (see his story here)
Man Haron Monis (see his story here)
Abu Hamza (see his story here)
Haroon Rashid Aswat (see his story here)
Glen Rodgers (see his story here)
Omar Mateen (see his story here)
Tashfeen Malik (see her story here)
Djamel Beghal  (see his story here)
Anjem Choudary (see his story here)
Cherif Kouachi (see his story here)
Said Kouachi (see his story here)
Amedy Coulibaly (see his story here)
Hayat Boumeddiene (see her story here)
Salah Abdeslam (see his story here)
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (see his story here)
Nidal Malik Hassan (see his story here)
Abdelhakim Dekhar  (see his story here)
Abdelhamid Abaaoud (see his story here)
Samy Amimour (see his story here)
Ismaël Omar Mostefaï (see his story here)
Mohamed Lahouij Bouhlel (see his story here)
Anis Amri (see his story here)

As we’ve mentioned here at 21WIRE before, many political leaders and media operatives bang the drums of security over so-called terror ‘sleeper cells’ hiding in a nation near you – none of them acknowledge the historical fact that they themselves have also helped to harbor, grow, foment and radicalize individuals through counter-terrorism operations for decades.

It is important to mention again, that the FBI created the counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) to influence and disrupt political factions from the inside out. Between 1956 and 1971 (including the Socialist Workers party in 1973), the FBI’s controversial program infiltrated and radicalized hundreds of left-wing and right-wing groups to control and neutralize political dissidents across America.

As we stated after the suspicious Oregon campus shooting in 2015, mass media has worked out their own formula for laying out a familiar series of polarizing political points in the aftermath of any ‘tragic’ event, as they have with many others incidents.

The Fort Lauderdale shooting appears once again, to purposefully redirect the public to look at a ready-made laundry list of items (in this case mental-health, supported by online rants on social media) about the persona of a shooter as an ironclad motive for a crime. The aftermath in the case of Fort Lauderdale is no different, as it rapidly descended into an overindulgent barrage of media speculation and theorizing.

All too often we’ve seen the ‘stage persona’ of any alleged attacker or killer being touted as hard evidence, despite the fact that even strong circumstantial evidence of any apparent crime would likely result in many hours of analysis and debate, potentially without a definitive conclusion, even if the evidence reaches a court room.

For the average person, it’s hard to differentiate from a drill or a real event, causing one to scrutinize the legitimacy of such an operation.

In recent years, the investigative tactics of various intelligence agencies have come into question, none perhaps more dubious than the Newburgh FBI sting that involved entrapping four men to participate in a fabricated event created by the bureau. Here’s a 2011 passage from The Guardian describing how an FBI informant named Shahed Hussain coerced four others into a fake terror plot:

“The “Newburgh Four” now languish in jail. Hussain does not. For Hussain was a fake. In fact, Hussain worked for the FBI as an informant trawling mosques in hope of picking up radicals.

Yet far from being active militants, the four men he attracted were impoverished individuals struggling with Newburgh’s grim epidemic of crack, drug crime and poverty. One had mental issues so severe his apartment contained bottles of his own urine. He also believed Florida was a foreign country.

Hussain offered the men huge financial inducements to carry out the plot – including $250,000 to one man – and free holidays and expensive cars.

As defence lawyers poured through the evidence, the Newburgh Four came to represent the most extreme form of a controversial FBI policy to use invented terrorist plots to lure targets. “There has been no case as egregious as this. It is unique in the incentive the government provided. A quarter million dollars?” said Professor Karen Greenberg, a terrorism expert at Fordham University.”

The whole episode seemed akin to the WTC 1993 bombing case, which involved yet another informant working alongside officials.

The Gun Control & Security Agenda

As pointed out in 21WIRE during 2015’s Oregon campus shooting, the primary focus for mass media concerning the Fort Lauderdale incident, will now be all of the hot button socio-political issues including ‘gun control-reform’ and those concerned over ‘mental illness’ background checks, along with those who constitutionally oppose such restrictive legislation.

It should be obvious by now that events like Fort Lauderdale, along with other ‘mass-shootings’, have become a sharp catalyst to usher in calls for endless new ‘mass shooting’ protocols, inter-agency ‘fusion’, ‘first-responder’ emergency medical protocols, and also for injecting more and more military terminology into civilian life – with the media playing a critical role in steering the public away from questioning any of the dubious elements surrounding any shooting event.

In a sense, the media is helping to nudge these shooting events out of the forensic sphere and into the political arena as quickly as possible, effectively closing the feedback loop of concerned citizens and those who may have been affected by an event.

The Fort Lauderdale shooting has prompted the mainstream media to feed into concerns over airport security, gun ownership and a persons mental health background. All of media’s fear-inducing drama regarding the Fort Lauderdale shooting boils down to a contentious battle over gun reform and mental health as the Obama administration comes to a close. No doubt this latest shooting will give cause to new security measures in airports across America.

Here’s another look at outgoing President Obama discussing his frustration on gun control in a ‘legacy’ interview with the BBC from 2015 – – amazingly, only a few hours before a mass shooting in Lafayette…

*UPDATE* – Broward Sheriff Scott Israel stated that deputies arrived on the scene between “60 to 70 seconds after the Fort Lauderdale shooting took place – quite an incredible response time by most law enforcement standards.

TMZ acquired footage of the Fort Lauderdale shooter in action – the video appears to display elements of staging – decide for yourself…

According to reports, “Airport officials, along with federal and local authorities, are investigating who had access to the footage and who allowed it to be taped without authorization, Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief told the Sun Sentinel.”

Stayed tuned as more details come out regarding the Fort Lauderdale shooting…

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Here’s Where America’s Imported Oil Comes from: Venezuela Is Currently the 4th-Largest

Saudi Arabia used to be the top foreign source of oil imported into the US, but now it’s only a very weak second-place to Canada.

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


At the present time, the latest month for which the US Department of Energy publishes the number of barrels per day (bpd) of oil that’s exported to the US is November 2018. Here are the rankings:

1. Canada        142,206 bpd

2. Saudi Arabia  30,028

3. Mexico        18,020

4. Venezuela     16,889

5. Iraq          11,767

6. Colombia      7,769

7. Russia        7,611

8. Ecuador       5,866

9. Nigeria       5,392

10. Algeria      4,848

11. UK           4,653

12. Norway       4,073

13. Kuwait       3,027

14. Brazil       2,777

15. Belgium      2,075

16. S. Korea     1,927

17. Netherlands  1,462

18. Egypt        1,405

19. UAE          1,771

20. China        1.268

21. France       1,239

22. Singapore    1,232

23. Indonesia    1,204

24. Argentina    1,101

25. Peru         1,061

26. Denmark      1,000

27. Brunei       961

28. Spain        846

29. Angola       833

Here were the top 10 for the entire year of 2015 as reported by Bloomberg Finance at Forbes. For comparison to today, the country’s sales and rank in November 2018 is also indicated [between brackets]”

1. Canada        3.2 million bpd  [1. Canada 142,206]

2. Saudi Arabia  1,1 [2. Saudi Arabia 30,028]

3. Venezuela     780,000 bpd [4. Venezuela 16,889]

4. Mexico        690,000 [3. Mexico 18,020]

5. Colombia      370,000 [6. Colombia 7,769]

6. Iraq          230,000 [5. Iraq 11,767]

7. Ecuador       225,000 [8. Ecuador 5,866]

8. Kuwait        210,000 [13. Kuwait 3,027]

9. Brazil        190,000 [14. Brazil 2,777]

10. Angola       190,000 [29. Angola, 833]

Clearly, the figures change over time. Whereas Angola was #10 in 2015, it’s #29 now; and whereas Russia, Nigeria, and Algeria, weren’t in the top 10 in 2015, they now are.

US President Donald Trump is bringing down the latest Venezuelan monthly number from 16,889 to close to zero. On 25 August 2017, Reuters headlined two stories, “Trump slaps sanctions on Venezuela; Maduro sees effort to force default” and “Venezuela says US sanctions designed to push Venezuela to default”. The first of those reported that, “US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits dealings in new debt from the Venezuelan government or its state oil company on Friday in an effort to halt financing that the White House said fuels President Nicolas Maduro’s ‘dictatorship’.” The second reported that Venezuela’s Government daid that Trump’s action “essentially forces the closure of its US refining unit Citgo,” which means bringing an end to Venezuela’s oil exports to the US

Venezuela’s socialized oil company, PDVSA, of which Citgo is the US distributor, had never prepared for the measures that Trump is now imposing, and Reuters’s report said, “As a result, it will be it tricky for PDVSA to refinance its heavy debt burden.” The Reuters report continued:

“Maduro may no longer take advantage of the American financial system to facilitate the wholesale looting of the Venezuelan economy at the expense of the Venezuelan people,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday.

PDVSA, the financial engine of Maduro’s government, is already struggling due to low global oil prices, mismanagement, allegations of corruption and a brain drain.

However, the likely failure of Venzuela’s oil company is due not only to the lowered price of oil, but to the fact that Venezuela’s oil is among the two costliest in the world to produce, because it’s from the dirtiest source, tar sands, much like Canada’s oil is. The difference between Canada and Venezuela is twofold: first, that whereas Canada is a vassal-state of the US empire and so its aristocracy is allied with America’s aristocracy (which controls America’s Government), Venezuela isn’t. And, second, that whereas Venezuela has a monoeconomy that’s based on oil (which accounts for around 95% of Venezuela’s exports), Canada does not.

Saudi Arabia used to be the top foreign source of oil imported into the US, but now it’s only a very weak second-place to Canada in this, exporting only 21% as much oil to the US as does Canada. This is a huge decline for the Sauds.

Whereas Saudi oil is the world’s most “light” or cleanest and least-costly to produce and therefore has the lowest “carbon footprint” of any oil, Canada and Venezuela have the most “heavy” or dirtiest and most-costly to produce and therefore have the highest “carbon footprint” of all the world’s oils.

(NOTE: There are many different ranking-systems for the ‘average’ cost per barrel of oil produced, such as this and this and these, but all tend to vastly underestimate in order to continue the case for fossil fuels. The BBC once noted that its calculation-system “only covers the cost of production, not the cost of exploration and development.” And it also ignored the cost of transit. It also ignored environmental costs. It also ignored the costs to taxpayers for the many subsidies they pay in order for the fossil-fuels investors to continue investing in those companies. The environmental site “The Energy Mix” headlined in April 2018, “Ditched Bitumen Desperately Seeks True Commitment” and reported that fewer and fewer investors were continuing to trust the industry’s reported numbers regarding the costs of tar-sands oils. Also, on 11 February 2019, they headlined “Trans Mountain’s Fee Plan for Fossil Customers Represents $2-Billion Taxpayer Subsidy”. But, mostly, the heavy taxpayer subsidizations to the fossil-fuels industries are ignored, both by consumers and by investors. Realistically, the tar-sands oils in both Canada and Venezuela are costing far more than any per-barrel oil price that’s below $100. They are money-losers, but bring lots of money to the ‘right’ people.)

So: the US is replacing the world’s cleanest oil with the world’s filthiest oil, and that’s not only from Canada but also from Venezuela. However, because the US aristocracy want to take over Venezuela, the US Government now is set to zero-out oil imports from Venezuela, so as to increase the pressure on Venezuela’s Government to place in charge there a leader who will do America’s bidding. Canada has been working right alongside the US to achieve that objective, and will probably be supplying to the US much (if not all) of the 16,889 bpd oil that currently has been supplied by the other producer of very dirty oil: Venezuela. The US produces fracked oil, which is dirty but not as dirty as that from Canada and Venezuela. The US, Canada, and Venezuela, have been committed to ignoring the global warming problem. To the extent that the problem becomes globally recognized, the oil-production in all three of those countries will decline in its marketable price even more than will the oil-production in other countries (especially than Saudi Arabia’s oil-production, since that’s the cleanest); and, so, the profits from those dirty oils will quickly (especially for Canada and Venezuela, where it has already happened) turn into losses. All three governments — Venezuela, Canada, and US — are trying to postpone that, till as late a time as possible.

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While Pompeo Pouts In Poland, Putin Pushes Peace In Syria

In the end, the Neocons in D.C. and Tel Aviv are showing real desperation in summoning everyone to Poland while having almost no support for the intended policy, war with Iran.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


If there was ever a Valentine’s Day which highlight the stark differences to diplomacy between the U.S. and Russia it is this one.

In Warsaw, the U.S. cajoled some sixty countries, many of them Arab, to send representatives only to be scolded like schoolchildren by Vice President Mike Pence for undermining the drive for war with Iran.

Mike Pompeo, for his part, showed no signs of shame or remorse after his public rebuke by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

Szijjarto retorted to Pompeo’s lecturing that “the world is not going to be a better place if some countries spend their time intervening in the internal political affairs of other countries.” He insisted that Budapest can have transparent relations with Moscow and Beijing and the West, and said it was an “enormous hypocrisy” that Hungary is singled out for its ties with Moscow.

He then went to Poland with the intention of whipping up support for a war with Iran. But not to actually call it that. Until Benjamin Netanyahu arrived with fever dreams on his lips.

As Moon of Alabama pointed out, this was a huge slap for Pompeo, whose staff kept trying to downplay the anti-Iran nature of the Poland fiasco to make it more palatable for media consumption.

By claiming that the conference is about waging war on Iran Netanyahoo is not only embarrassing the State Department and Secretary Mike Pompeo. He also makes it extremely difficult for other attendees to justify their presence. The Arabs will be especially furious that they are shown in such an open alliance with Israel and its hostility against Iran. Scheming with Israel in the dark is fine. But being publicly associated with a war mongering Israel is difficult to sell to their people. It would be unsurprising to see some of them leave.

The entire Warsaw meeting was designed to impress upon everyone how seriously they should take U.S. and Israeli desires for regime change in Iran. And how committed they are to keeping everyone in the fold on all matters pertaining to the Trump administration’s hostility towards Iran, Russia, and China.

This is part of a wider set of actions, taken broadly, designed to hit the headlines all at the same time:

  • U.S. is openly pushing for regime change in Venezuela and drumming up international support for it.
  • It is also urging EU Parliamentarians to push through new pipeline rules as part of changes to the EU’s Third Energy Package to try and stop the Nordstream 2 pipeline from being completed.
  • New sanctions were placed on Russia a few days after Moody’s had to accede to reality and upgrade Russian government debt to investment grade, which will only accelerate foreign capital inflows into Russia.

Pompeo and Netanyahu were putting the world on notice that they are not only 1) insane but 2) committed to their path to braying for war While, as Elijah Magnier points out, the entire dog and pony show in Warsawa was for Netanyahu’s re-election bid amidst cabinet resignations and corruption scandals.

At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts in Sochi to discuss the next phase of bringing peace to Syria.

These three countries continue moving the ball forward pragmatically and diplomatically to resolve the issues left by the U.S.’s insistence on staying in Syria.

Putin, with the iron fist firmly in his velvet glove, said two things that are important in his post-meeting remarks .

The first will give the frothing red-baiting, Trump-hating buffoons in the U.S. media and foreign policy establishments a fit of the vapors.

“President Trump is quite actively working on fulfilling his election campaign promises, which in practice rarely happens in the US political life. The withdrawal of the American troops from Syria was one of those promises,” Putin said.

Think of the thirteen different ways Rachel Maddow will spin this simple statement of truth by Putin. He’s got the goods on Trump. Putin wouldn’t say this if Trump were working for the U.S. Yadda Yadda Yadda.

This type of naked stupidity used to be frowned upon now it is openly encouraged at every level of the U.S. and European narrative machines.

But regardless of that, Putin is right to encourage Trump to fulfill that campaign promise because that is the quickest path to peace in Syria, a U.S. troop withdrawal.

Putin continued, “If that happens the only right decision in terms of security would be handing over those territories under the control of the Syrian armed forces.”

And that is his way of saying that he has control of Turkish President Erdogan and will not let the Syrian Kurds be attacked. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not make reconciliation between his government and the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Council easy. But it will be better than anything Erdogan would offer them.

But, then again, they lost their gambit for independence the day Barzani’s Peshmerga forces were destroyed in Erbil, Iraq last year by the Iraqi militia known as the Popular Mobilization Unit.

Erdogan’s biggest worry is the U.S. leaving the Kurds weapons after leaving to be a constant annoyance on Turkey’s border. That’s the Bolton way of doing things.

Putin also stressed that Erdogan’s pet terrorists in Idlib province are to be wiped out as part of the plan to stabilize Syria. These are all wins for Syria diplomatically, establishing Turkey as Russia’s subordinate in the power structure to reshape the Middle East.

The fact that Erdogan was not in Warsaw with his NATO allies but rather at a high level summit with the Russian and Iranian presidents tells you all you need to know about where he feels his future lies.

Then again, I’ve taken for granted that Erdogan is still a NATO member in name only for a couple of years now, so I wasn’t surprised by this.

Lastly, don’t overlook the Saudi’s offer to Putin recently about creating a new OPEC+ cartel with Russia and Saudi Arabia leading it. Trump’s own plans for Middle East peace rest on the Saudis keeping the rest of the Gulf States in line, which is why there was nothing on the agenda about ending the conflict in Yemen.

In the end, the Neocons in D.C. and Tel Aviv are showing real desperation in summoning everyone to Poland while having almost no support for the intended policy, war with Iran.

You can only hold onto people for so long through fear of retribution. Eventually, they realize you can’t attack everyone at once all the time, though Trump and company are certainly willing to give it the old college try.

As each instance of disobedience occurs and punishment is ineffective – Erdogan is still in power despite a coup attempt and a currency attack, for example – the bolder allies will become in their own defiance.


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Deep State coup d’état against Trump confirmed by Andrew McCabe

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 84.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at Andrew McCabe’s 60 minute interview, where the disgraced FBI Deputy Director admitted that DOJ officials were considering the removal of President-elect Donald Trump from office in a brazen coup attempt, by invoking the 25th amendment.

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Via RT


President Trump has lashed out at former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, after McCabe said he investigated Trump out of concern the case might “vanish.” McCabe also revealed Justice Department plans to remove Trump from office.

“Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel’ when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump savaged McCabe for his handling of the ‘Russiagate’ investigation, branded a “witch hunt” by the president. A report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General last year found that the FBI acted improperly during the investigation. McCabe, according to text messages examined by the IG, discussed developing an “insurance policy” against Trump with two other FBI employees in 2016.

Trump described the message at the time as “treason,” and said it laid bare an FBI plot to work against him once elected.

The president also accused McCabe of giving “Hillary a pass,” after the agency cleared Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in its investigation into her email misuse, overseen by McCabe.

In her 2015 campaign for Virginia’s state Senate, McCabe’s wife Jill had taken donations from Terry McAuliffe, a prominent Virginia Democrat “with long-standing ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.” McCabe allegedly leaked information to the press about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation, to deflect attention from his own ties with the Clinton family and push back against the narrative that he was therefore impartial.

Although referencing old events, Trump’s latest attack on McCabe comes as the former FBI #2 embarks on a tour to promote his new book. Titled ‘The Threat,’ the book is a passionate paean to the three-letter agency and a diatribe against Trump.

In an interview with CBS, McCabe said Trump’s firing of then-FBI Director James Comey in 2017 prompted McCabe to open an investigation into Trump as quickly as possible.

“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe told CBS’ Scott Pelley, in an interview due to air on Sunday. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.”

McCabe did not explain the agency’s rationale for opening the investigation, beyond unsubstantiated rumors of “collusion.” He did not present any new evidence to back up the oft-repeated but still-unproven accusation.

Wearing a wire
Instead, Trump himself seemed to be the problem. Pelley said that McCabe described panic at FBI headquarters after Comey’s firing, as “the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the president.”

Among the ideas circulated was that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would wear a wire to surreptitiously record the president, gathering evidence that he was unfit for office, and triggering his eventual removal under the 25th Amendment. The New York Times reported this plan last year, citing an anonymous cabinet member, but Rosenstein dismissed the story as false.

Now, McCabe told Pelley that the plan was real. Rosenstein came up with the idea himself, and “it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it,” Pelley said.

McCabe’s investigation was handed over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller eight days after Comey’s firing and has been ongoing since. Over a year later, the investigation has not found any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and is reportedly close to wrapping up.

McCabe himself was fired by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions last March, after the Inspector General’s report concluded he lied to FBI agents about his disclosures to the press regarding the Clinton Foundation investigation.

 

 

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