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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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Pat Buchanan: Caravan Puts Trump Legacy on the Line

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Our mainstream media remain consumed with the grisly killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and how President Donald Trump will deal with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Understandably so, for this is the most riveting murder story since O.J. Simpson and has strategic implications across the Middle East.

Yet far more critical to the future of our civilization is the ongoing invasion of the West from the Third World.

Consider the impact of the decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 to throw open Germany’s doors to 1 million refugees from Syria’s civil war.

Last weekend, in a crushing blow to Merkel, the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of her CDU, won its smallest share of the vote in half a century, 37 percent. Her coalition party, the SPD, saw its share of the Bavarian vote fall to a historic low of less than 10 percent.

The right-wing Alternative for Deutchland saw its support rise to 10 percent and has become a force in German politics. Some conservatives are urging the CDU to adopt the AfD hardline on illegal immigration.

The message sent by the Bavarian electorate is the message voters across Europe have been sending to their own capitals for years: You are failing in your first duty — defense of the homeland from foreign invasion. Mass migration of unassimilable peoples and cultures from a global South represents an existential threat to our Europe.

As Merkel’s chancellorship approaches its end, French President Emmanuel Macron, her progressive EU partner, has seen his approval fall to below 30 percent.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance may guard the Baltic and Black Sea regions against a Russian invasion from the east. But in Central, Southern and Western Europe, the more feared invaders are the peoples of Africa and the Muslim world, whose numbers are expected to triple or quadruple by this century’s end.

And as their numbers grow, so, too, does their desperation to escape, even at risk of their lives, the poverty, wars and repression of their homelands to cross the Med and fill the empty spaces left by a depopulating Europe.

It also now appears that the U.S. elections, not three weeks away, may be affected by another immigration crisis on the U.S. border.

As of Thursday, a caravan of 4,000 refugees without visas had crossed from Honduras into Guatemala and was heading toward Mexico. By Election Day, it will either have been stopped, or it will be here. And this caravan is a portent of things to come.

According to The Washington Post, during FY 2018, which ended last month, 107,212 members of “family units” crossed over into the U.S., “obliterating the previous record of 77,857 set in 2016.”

Citing DHS figures, the Post adds, “Border patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September alone, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July.”

When Trump, under intense political fire, ended his “zero tolerance” policy of separating refugees from their children, this message went out to Mexico and Central America:

Bring your kids with you when you cross the border. They will have to stay with you, and they cannot be held for more than 20 days. Thus, when they are released, you will be released to await a hearing on your claim of asylum. The odds are excellent that you can vanish into the U.S. population and never be sent back.

Enraged, Trump has threatened to cut off aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala if they do not stop the caravans and has warned Mexico he will use the U.S. military to secure our border.

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

As these migrants are almost all poor, not highly skilled, and do not speak English, most will join that segment of our population that pays no income taxes but qualifies for social welfare benefits like food stamps, medical care and free education in our public schools.

They are thus a net drain upon the resources of a nation that is already, at full employment, running a deficit of $779 billion a year.

These migrants, however, are a present and future benefit to the Democratic Party that built and maintains our mammoth welfare state, and which, in presidential elections, routinely wins 70 to 90 percent of the votes of people whose trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Not without reason, Democrats believe that if they can change the composition of the American electorate, they can control America forever.

If Donald Trump was elected on any one issue, it was immigration and his promises to secure the border, build the wall and halt the invasion.

How he deals with the impending crisis of the migrant caravan may affect both the fate of his party in November and his presidency in 2020.

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‘Mohammad bin Salman Must Go’, but US-Saudi Ties Are Here to Stay

Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime?

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi’s popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouthpraise your friends too much, and tweet all the time.

The rapidity with which the US media, and especially dozens of Republican and Democratic senators, attacked Saudi Arabia, blaming it for the atrocious crime, is rather unusual. After all, the Saudi elites have been inclined to behave in such a manner over the last 40 years. But it also highlights the ongoing inconsistency and double standards: nothing is said about Yemen, but the Kingdom is currently under the strongest censure for allegedly offing a journalist.

As I had already pointed out in my previous article, Khashoggi was clearly part of a faction opposed to the current ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, headed by MBS. To understand this Saudi golden boy of the US mainstream media as well as military-industrial-spying complex, we have to go back to Mohammed bin Nayef. Bin Nayef has been under house arrest for almost two years, immediately purged by MBS as soon as he assumed power as crown prince. Bin Nayef has for decades been the CIA’s go-to man in Riyadh, helping the CIA & Co. pretend to “fight” al Qaeda in the Kingdom while using al Qaeda as a tool to inflict damage on US geopolitical adversaries.

The removal of bin Nayef by MBS was greeted with anger by a part of the US establishment close to Washington think tanks and the CIA and was never fully digested. MBS and his father, King Salman, needed to consolidate power around the throne at the time, and bin Nayef was certainly part of the faction opposing MBS, as was Khashoggi.

Naturally, these antipathies were set aside by the CIA, think tanks and neoliberals in the media due to to the importance of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US, especially vis-a-vis the US Petrodollar. MBS even undertook a tour in the US to help smooth the relationship with the West, being hailed as a new reformer, if you can believe that.

Nowadays,the relationship between Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington is based on the strong friendship between Trump and MBS and Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, the strengthened link between Trump and MBS, facilitated by son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is close to Israel, served to create a new alliance, perhaps even hinting at the possibility of an Arab NATO. Israel is eager to see more Saudi and US engagement against Iran in the region, and the Saudis similarly praise Israel and the US for being engaged in a fight against Iranian influence in the region. In this way, Trump can please his Israeli friends and see Saudi money pour in as investments.

These agreements have led to a series of disasters in the Middle East that go against the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Israel’s recklessness has led to the deployment of a wide range of Russian state-of-the-art weapons to Syria, preventing Israel and the US from acting as freely as before. The disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, the almost diplomatic break with Canada, the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon, and now the Khashoggi affair, have further weakened and isolated Saudi Arabia, MBS, and therefore Trump. The US is no longer able to influence events on the ground in Syria, and so the initial plans of Israel and Saudi Arabia have foundered, after having devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to arm and train terrorists to overthrow Assad.

The Khashoggi affair plays into this situation, exacerbating the war between elites in the US as their strategies in the Middle East continue to fail. The neoliberal mainstream media immediately used the Khashoggi story to pressure Trump into taking a firm stance against one of his last friends and financiers, trying to further isolate him as the midterms approach. Many in the US deep state are convinced – as they were convinced that Clinton would win the presidency – that the House and Senate will end up in Democratic hands in the November elections, paving the way for Trump’s impeachment and for Mike Pence to become president. Pence, a prominent figure of the evangelical right, would be the perfect president for Israel, placing Tel Aviv in the driving seat of US foreign policy as never before. In this scenario, it would certainly be preferable for certain parts of the elite to have a different figure at the helm in Saudi Arabia, seeing as MBS appears to be an unstable leader. Possibly they would prefer someone tied to the US secret services – someone like Mohammed bin Nayef. For these reasons, Democrats, some Republicans and the mainstream media have gone all out against MBS and Trump.

Turkey seems to be using the situation to further widen the fracture between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Since Doha is paying the bills for Erdogan these days, with the Turkish lira at a low, it is essentially the Al Thani family running the PR show in the Turkish media. It looks like the Qatari media are paying back with interests all the negative media they received from the Saudis over the past year. Despite this, neither Ankara nor Riyadh is intent on any kind escalation, both knowing that any suffering on their part is a boon for their enemies.

An interesting aspect related to the Khashoggi affair concerns the sources of the news about the investigation, all anonymous and coming from Turkish police or from people linked to the top echelons of the Turkish state. Knowing the odd state of relations between Ankara and Riyadh, and especially between Turkish ally Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all this news coming from one source should at least be taken with a grain of salt. What is certain is that the Turks had immediate knowledge of the matter regarding who, what, where, when and why. This means that they must have bugged the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allowing the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, to know in real time what was happening to Khashoggi. The story concerning the Apple watch appears to be an attempt by the Turks to thrown off the scent Saudis who may be scratching their heads wondering how the Turks came to have such intimate knowledge of what transpired in their consulate.

For Turkey, the Khashoggi affair could be the occasion for a rapprochement with the US, following a deterioration in relations in the last two years. Turkey has few friends left, and after being cornered by Russia and Iran in Astana with regards to Syria,  it also has to deal with the tensions between Riyadh and Qatar as well as balance its relations with Iran and Israel. Erdogan would like to exploit this event as much as possible, and the release of Pastor Brunson seems to indicate Ankara’s willingness to extend an olive branch to Washington.

Russia, Syria and Iran have everything to benefit from this ongoing internal quarrel between elements within Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar and the US. Whatever the outcome of the Khashoggi affair, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus can only benefit from any deterioration of relations between these countries.

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Boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Here’s Why

The way to boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google, is to NOT respond to their ads, but instead to blacklist their advertisers and all media that rely upon those giant social-media sites.

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


NATO — the neoconservatives, the marketeers for firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE — has taken over the social-media giants and much of online international ‘news’-reporting, including that of virtually all independent news-sites and blogs.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google, in recent days, delivered what might be the death-blows.

NATO’s main PR agency, think-tank, and lobbying organization, is ‘non-profit’ — a legal tax-dodge that’s financed by donations from those weapons-making firms and their supporting firms and their ‘non-profits’, so that the taxes that it doesn’t pay will need to be paid instead by the general public. Billionaires know how to avoid taxes, and they hire politicians who write the laws with all the ‘right’ loopholes for them — and only for the very richest — to use. This PR agency is called “The Atlantic Council,” and it was set up in 1961, the exact same year that U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower left office warning that “the military-industrial complex” might take control of the U.S. Well, it did so, with The Atlantic Council’s help; and, now, it is finally lowering the boom against democracy itself — at least among the U.S. and its allied nations (the governments whose weapons-manufacturing firms are in, and sell to, NATO governments). The aim is to drive up the percentage of government-expenditures there that go to pay those firms, and so to reduce the percentages that go to pay everything else. The aim, in short, is the permanent-warfare-economy. After all, firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE sell only to allied governments. They have virtually no consumers except those governments. So: their (and their ‘charities’) basic message is ‘austerity’ — except on ‘defense’ or realistically called “aggression.” This is national ‘defense’ such as against Iraq in 2003, and against Libya in 2011 — it is instead sheer aggression. George Orwell predicted “Newspeak” — well, here it is. It’s today’s norm, so normal that the public think it’s just natural, and conservatives and even many liberals think it’s the way that ‘a free market’ ought to be.

Here was Facebook’s announcement, on October 11th:

——

newsroom.fb.com

11 October 2018

Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook

Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Given the activity we’ve seen — and its timing ahead of the US midterm elections — we wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action. Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.

——

Those 559 and 251 weren’t identified; none of them were. Facebook wants them to need to scream in order for them to be able to be noticed at all by the public. The announcement didn’t even say by what criteria they were measuring ‘Inauthentic Activity’ versus ‘legitimate political debate’. Their announcement did say “we look at these actors’ behavior – such as whether they’re using fake accounts or repeatedly posting spam – rather than their content when deciding which of these accounts, Pages or Groups to remove,” but unless they make public what the actual algorithms are by means of which they remove sites, no one should trust them, at all, because they can remove whatever NATO or The Atlantic Council (neither of which their announcement even mentioned) want them to remove.

The background for this act by the war-economy’s billionaires had already been reported at Mint Press on May 18th“Facebook Partners With Hawkish Atlantic Council, a NATO Lobby Group, to ‘Protect Democracy’”, where Elliott Gabriel opened:

Facebook is hoping that a new alliance with the Atlantic Council — a leading geopolitical strategy think-tank seen as a de facto PR agency for the U.S. government and NATO military alliance – will not only solve its “fake news” and “disinformation” controversy, but will also help the social media monolith play “a positive role” in ensuring democracy on a global level.

The new partnership will effectively ensure that Atlantic Council will serve as Facebook’s “eyes and ears,” according to a company press statement. With its leadership comprised of retired military officers, former policymakers, and top figures from the U.S. National Security State and Western business elites, the Atlantic Council’s role policing the social network should be viewed as a virtual takeover of Facebook by the imperialist state and the council’s extensive list of ultra-wealthy and corporate donors.

Then, on October 12th, Mint Press’s Whitney Webb bannered “Facebook Purges US-Based Independent Media For Political Disinformation”, and reported that,

Notably, Facebook’s statement on the mass purge of pages was co-authored by Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Nathaniel Gleicher, who is a former White House National Security Council director of cybersecurity policy.

Twitter also banned many of the pages targeted for deletion by Facebook on Thursday, suggesting a coordinated censorship effort between the two most popular social media platforms.

Many of the pages banned had millions of likes, such as the Free Thought Project (3.1 million likes), Antimedia (2.1 million), Cop Block (1.7 million), and Police the Police (1.9 million). Several of the pages that were deleted on Thursday had been targeted by Facebook in recent months, both through new censorship algorithms and Facebook’s controversial team of “fact checkers.”

For instance, the Free Thought Project had been flagged earlier this year as “fake news” by Facebook “fact checking” partner organizations, including  the Associated Press (AP) and Snopes. In one case, a story published by the Free Thought Project was flagged as “false” by the AP. That story, which detailed the documented case of Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) being forcibly removed from a DHS migrant detention center that had once been a Walmart, was marked false because the AP asserted that the article made the claim that Walmart was housing immigrants for DHS. However, the article does not make the claim, instead accurately noting that the facility used to be a Walmart.

Censorship algorithms had also greatly affected traffic to the recently deleted pages for much of the past year. In the case of Antimedia, its traffic dropped from around 150,000 page views per day in early June to around 12,000 by the end of that month. As a reference, in June of last year, Antimedia’s traffic stood at nearly 300,000 views per day.

Also on October 12th, heavy dot com bannered “‘Facebook Purge’: List of Some Deleted Accounts on Left & Right” and listed a few dozen sites that the article’s writer had seen online screaming about having been removed.

Meanwhile, in UK’s very mainstream Daily Mail (the second-largest-circulation of all UK’s newspapers), columnist Michael Burleigh headlined on October 13th “Putin’s taking over Libya by stealth in order to point a new weapon at the West — millions of desperate migrants” and he opened:

So bloody and extensive is President Putin’s record of aggression, not least in Syria and Ukraine, that an incursion into the empty deserts of North Africa might hardly seem worth noting.

Yet the discovery that Russia is moving troops and missiles into war-torn Libya has rightly caused alarms to sound throughout the capitals of Europe.

It is a step of huge significance, and one with potentially disastrous results for Western nations.

The discovery that Vladimir Putin, above, and his government is moving troops and missiles into war-torn Libya has rightly caused alarm. Russia – this time in the form of Rosneft, the huge oil company controlled by Putin’s sinister crony Igor Sechin – is interested in a slice of Libya’s vast oil reserves, the largest in Africa

Libya has both oil and Mediterranean ports, and Russia is hungry for both.

But was it Russia that in 2011 had invaded and destroyed Libya, or was it U.S., UK, and France, who invaded and destroyed Libya — a country that like Iraq, Syria, Yemen and others which The West has destroyed, had never threatened nor invaded any of them?

Burleigh continued:

– cause enough for concern, perhaps. Yet the real fear for European governments is this: Libya, with its porous southern borders, has become the main jumping-off point for the hundreds of thousands of African migrants now seeking to cross the Mediterranean to the shores of the EU and, in particular, Italy.

So, his own country, UK, had helped with the bombing of Libya that had caused all those ‘migrants’ (actually refugees) into Europe, but now he’s trying to blame Putin for it, as if Russia and not UK, U.S., and France were the cause of it. Doesn’t that “mislead people”?

But is the Daily Mail being strangled by Facebook, Twitter, and Google; or is it instead being done to the small-fry political sites, which aren’t owned and controlled by the aristocracies of the U.S., UK, France, and their allied aristocracies — all the aristocracies that are in NATO and promoted by The Atlantic Council?

Here is yet more from Elliott Gabriel’s excellent news-report at Mint Press on May 18th, providing background to the present purges and censorships:

The announcement, made last Thursday in a Facebook Newsroom post, explained that the social network’s security, policy and product teams will coordinate their work with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) to analyze “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world.”

DFRLab employees include pro-war media activist Eliot Higgins (of Bellingcat fame) and Ben Nimmo — a senior fellow for information defense at the Atlantic Council, who earned infamy for his groundless accusations that actual Twitter users are Russian trolls.

Read more on Facebook

Continuing, Facebook global politics and government outreach director Katie Harbath explained:

“This will help increase the number of ‘eyes and ears’ we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.”

“We know that tackling these problems effectively also requires the right policies and regulatory structures, so that governments and companies can help prevent abuse while also ensuring that people have a voice during elections. The Atlantic Council’s network of leaders is uniquely situated to help all of us think through the challenges we will face in the near- and long-term.”

“The think-tank’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions will also be tapped by the social network during elections and “other highly sensitive moments” to allow Facebook the ability to zero in on key locales and monitor alleged misinformation and foreign interference.”

Who is the Atlantic Council?

Hillary Clinton at the 2013 Atlantic Council Distinguished Leadership Awards (Photo: Atlantic Council)

The Atlantic Council was recently in the news for receiving a donation of $900,000 from the U.S. State Department for a “Peace Process Support Network” program to “promote non-violent conflict resolution” in support of Venezuela’s scattered opposition, with which the council enjoys very close ties. The council also advocates the arming of extremist militants in Syria (a “National Stabilization Force”) and a hard-line policy toward Russia.

Established in 1961 by former U.S. Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Christian Herter, the Atlantic Council of the United States was originally conceived as a means to drum up support for the Cold War-era NATO alliance, which had formed in 1949 as the basis of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture during the post-WWII competition with the Soviet Union. Dozens of similar Atlantic Councils were eventually established throughout the NATO and Partnership for Peace states.

The council is a part of the Atlantic Treaty Association, a NATO offshoot that claims to unite “political leaders, academics, military officials, journalists and diplomats in an effort to further the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty, namely: democracy, freedom, liberty, peace, security, and the rule of law.”

In general, groups such as the Atlantic Council are meant to secure the legitimacy of U.S. policies and neoliberal economics in the eyes of world audiences and academia, whether they live in the “advanced democracies” (the imperialist center) or “developing democracies” (the post-colonial and economically exploited nations).

Mint Press — a real news-operation, instead of the fake-news operations that are being boosted by Facebook, Twitter, and Google — apparently hasn’t yet been removed by Facebook, but the permanent-war-economy is only just starting to lower the boom. And, who knows what’s next, in American ‘democracy’, now?

The way to boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google, is to NOT respond to their ads, but instead to blacklist their advertisers and all media that rely upon those giant social-media sites. There are competitors, and those need to be aggressively favored by anyone who doesn’t want to be mentally strangulated by these three giant corporations.

These media-giants want to strangle the public; so, the public needs to strangle them first.

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