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Finland ready to welcome ISIS jihadists with social benefits and apartments

Providing apartments and cash to ISIS fighters.

Alex Christoforou

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Finland believes that it can integrate ISIS jihadists into its neo-liberal, progressive society with social benefits and safe spaces.

Finnish officials are considering providing former ISIS members with extra social services to reintegrate back into society.

The Finnish daily Ilta-Sanomat reports that Finland’s Interior Ministry called for cooperation between the relevant bodies to increase the level of integration by providing apartments and livelihoods to repentant jihadists.

We are confident that the ISIS fighters (soon to be living in Finland) will appreciate the hand out and privileged social status with some ISIS jihadist cultural exchange suicide cars and trucks.

Via Sputnik News

From a moral standpoint, however, it would be problematic to provide Daesh defectors with extras ahead of others, while making ordinary citizens wait for long periods of time to receive state-funded housing, the Finnish newspaper noted. This could be perceived as encouraging terrorist behavior. According to the Interior Ministry, social workers will have to solve this problem in practice.

In its reply to the Interior Ministry, Vantaa City noted that the current welfare system is lacking provisions for special services to people who have returned from military conflicts, which implies a risk that this particular group of people can remain without the necessary social help, unless special assistance is rendered.

“I believe that if reintegration into society is considered one of the best mechanisms against radicalization, then an apartment, work training are of paramount importance,” Anna Cantell-Forsbom, the head of Vantaa family service department, told Ilta-Sanomat, venturing that the sheer danger the returnees pose justifies priority service. “Of course, other support should be provided as well. An apartment alone does not solve anything. Other vital aspects should also be considered,” she added.

Previously, Vantaa provided counseling on social issues and mental health services to several people who returned from combat zones.

Meanwhile, Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health welcomed the Interior Ministry’s proposal, suggesting that the families of the returnees, especially those who have seen or experienced violence, are in dire need of prompt assistance.

According to Tarja Mankkinen, development director of the Interior Ministry, the foremost thing would be to establish whether the defectors have been involved in crimes. However, she ventured that they could also be eligible for various form of assistance at one stage or another.

All in all, at least 80 people have left Finland to join various terrorist organizations. The number could be much higher, however, as not all identities have been successfully established. Pekka Hiltunen, Finnish Security Police (SUPO) special representative on combating terrorism, previously stated that several “Finnish” jihadists had risen to positions of prominence in Daesh, without disclosing their names.

Earlier this week, Interior Ministry permanent secretary Päivi Nerg said that outcasts from Finnish society constituted the biggest security threat and expressed concern about the spread of radical Islamist propaganda among Finns.

“The propaganda currently aimed at Finnish outcasts and even asylum seekers is terrifyingly effective,” Päivi Nerg said, as quoted by the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat.

At present, people formerly involved in extremist activities may receive help in renouncing violence from the so-called “exit” organization Radinet project, funded by the RAY slot machine association with the help from Interior Ministry.

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Voltaire
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Voltaire

So the social suicide of Europe continues…

Brian De Paolo
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Brian De Paolo

ISIS was created over a religious identity not a political one….if they won in Syria do you think they could govern..no way..now some dipstick thinks that by giving them whatever they want is the way to offer repentance…give an inch and they take a mile…so in order to supply a lifestyle to head hunters they will have to borrow more money from you know who….then buy more fire trucks to put the fires out…

ruca
Guest
ruca

Yes the imbeciles that went to destroy Syria, should be destroyed in Syria. They chose their destiny for a few dirty dollars. To hell with them.

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Could I just take issue with the idea of offering repentance? It’s a Christian concept, isn’t it? I imagine no muslim would be seen dead repenting.

Nomideva
Guest
Nomideva

While I don’t agree with it, didn’t either The Duran or RT already report on how wise Bashar al-Assad supposedly was for taking this approach (reintegrating, not the social security necessarily) to reintegrate Syrians who joined one of (or was it any of?) ISIS/al-Nusra/FSA/other “rebels” back into the country (and possibly into the pro-government forces).
One aim of this was to encourage rebellion/loss of morale in jihadist ranks.
I swear there was an article like this which painted that decision in a good light.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

It is one thing for Bashar to “reintegrate” “rebels” within Syria…and he probably knows who they are…

Quite another for a European country to welcome thousands of “migrants” without even knowing who they are….

That is called Social Suicide…

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

So what do you suggest we do?

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die

PS The floodgates are wide open…

No one cares in Europe except for a small minority….

The United States has gone rogue…

Western Civlisation will collape within a generation now…

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

Too much “The Strange Death Of Europe” for you, mister.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Bashar’s compassion was clearly explained – he said many local Syrians had joined ISIS/Nusra etc through abject poverty, poor education, fear, protecting their families, no choice etc
He offers them a second chance. And they are Syrian citizens.

No one traveling there from Finland could be that poor, afraid or illiterate. They are thus either thrill-seekers or true believers who made a conscious choice. Perhaps deserving of less compassion on their return?

Jane Karlsson
Guest
Jane Karlsson

Exactly

tiger
Guest
tiger

Simple and effective. Accept misguided foxes back into the den, same instincts, beliefs & customs. Accept foxes into the chicken yard. All chickens dead.

mikhas
Guest
mikhas

This has (under some hush hush) been going on here in the land of Political Correctness, Sweden for a while. Terrorists are welcomed back to rehabilitation with life-time social welfare & benefits as well as (changed) protected identities.

Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well. many go back to wherever Uncle Schlomo are calling them but not before a killing and raping spree before they go.

The Germans have a saying: “Die dummen Schweden”, it means exactly what it sounds like but i wonder who’s the worst here really….

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Who says crime does not pay?
Insane … but it is the Finnish or EU/Finissh decision. They have probably say yes to this “EU-command” otherwise they will be sued by Mrs.Merkel and her EU-Lackeys. Like the Visegrad-countries!

Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

Yes. And many, many politicians in Finland have shareholdings and other direct and indirect personal financial relations to private firms providing social services, attorneys, and other taxpayer-paid services for immigrants. For example, minister Petteri Orpo’s wife is a shareholder in a law firm Lakiverstas Oy, specialized in making appeals on dismissed asylum decisions. And several politicians are holding their shares in reception center firm Luona Oy. Despite the fake ratings of Transparency International (an organisation funded by Soros and FINNISH instances) Finnish government is one of the most corrupt ones of Europe, and extremely arrogant on own nationalist-minded people who… Read more »

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Thank you, Likka, very interesting to know how the politicians “react” to the immigrant or fugitive invasion of Europe.
Take care and good luck to you and all the other Finns who love their country.

Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

Thanks for your emphaty, really warming my heart in this stone cold political climate of Finland.

XRGRSF
Guest
XRGRSF

The cultural suicide of the West continues. It will all be over soon; ending with a whimper.

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

Complete and utter madness .

Cale
Guest
Cale

ISIS; fighting an illegal war, occupying land and terrorizing civillians. Kidnapping, torture and rape. Terrorist acts, killing innocent people in Europe. And rewarded with free money and free housing? The west has become insane.

Tommy Jensen
Guest
Tommy Jensen

This is not even the worst.
In the evening you can see Scandinavian elite on TV smearing intelligent hardworking proud moslem women for being a threat to “Scandinavian values” because of their scarfs.

TransMichelle
Guest
TransMichelle

This says it all….!
comment image

Pasi Turunen
Guest
Pasi Turunen

This news is totally false, but who cares and we just need to kill all of those ISIS-members who appear here.

Pasi Turunen
Guest
Pasi Turunen

This news is totally false, but who cares and we just need to kill all of those ISIS-members who appear here.comment image

santiago
Guest
santiago

Hope you are right, for me is a total shock.

Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

As a clarification, note that Pasi Turunen meant that the picture he uploaded is false news, the Duran article, on the other hand, is completely true. Unfortunately.

Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

Note that he meant his own uploaded picture meme was of false news, not the Duran article, which – sad it is – is completely true.

Mike
Guest
Mike

You will REALLY come to regret this stupid decision.

Ozzy Guy
Guest
Ozzy Guy

…and all the white women and children they want.

tiger
Guest
tiger

You don’t get into bed with a snake then complain when it bites you. The madness (and stupidity) that drove them to ISIS may not be curable. Only an idiot Muslim would join an Israel/US criminal gang that murders fellow Muslims. This type can’t be cured.

Shue
Guest
Shue

A pity they didn’t make the same offer to the Syrians running away from these terrorist filth. Fucking Westerners (the ones running the show), have got shit for brains.

santiago
Guest
santiago

Oh Finland!!!! What has happened to you?

There wont be a Mannerheim anytime soon. the Finnish don’t exist anymore they have been destroyed.

Le Ruse
Guest
Le Ruse

The Swedish virus has become epidemic in Finland ?? What do they put there in the drinking water ??

tjoes
Guest
tjoes

So Israel and the US need a place to park their terrorists until the next mercenary war. Yes…good idea but don’t forget to set up programs for the children they leave with your women.

tjoes
Guest
tjoes

Israel doesn’t like Palestinians being paid for being a martyr but they will support rewarding terrorists that fight the Israel/US never-ending wars. Isn’t it rather clear who is supporting “terrorists” now….not Iran.

TheQneb
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TheQneb

Rubbish. There is lot’s of people against mass imigration in Finland, far more than in rest of Europe except for Poland and perhaps some other east european states. This is Fake News. Liberalism is downtrending here.

Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

Wrong. This is absolutely not rubbish, nor Fake News. While most of the other things you mentioned are true, they have nothing to do with things reported on the Duran article, which is completely true, along with all the quoted public statements of Finnish authorities. What comes to the things happened in the Finnish politics during the last 2 months, the changes are virtually entirely to make it possible to arbitrarily oppress Finnish nationalists even more, and those ones of the changes that are described as means for tackling terrorism and criminality committed by asylum seekers will never be actually… Read more »

Ian
Guest
Ian

So Finland believes that it can integrate ISIS jihadists are they mad, these monsters are programed killers, and once that happens no social help will save them, for the crimes they have committed they will go to hell, and it is going to be a very long time, before they make it back to a 3rd dimensional planet their reptilian false god will not save them in fact they have been tricked.

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

What makes you think they can’t be reformed and integrated?

cortisol
Guest
cortisol

They supposedly were running from al-Qaeda/IS et. al. terrorists in the first place and were granted asylum based on that. Then after they received asylum ran off to join those exact jihad ideologies. Now they come back again? Makes no sense at all. It can’t be explained by “poverty” or “segregation”, only through a personal choice. Only an ultimate idiot expects this ideology to change if it didn’t in the first place, with all these prerequisites for quality of life improved. Just to clarify this article was real news. Sweden already implemented this policy and Finland is always running a… Read more »

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

Suppose that someone joins a jihadist movement after having swallowed their propaganda, goes down to Syria or Iraq, is disillusioned by what he sees, is not at any point directly involved in war crimes and wants to go back. How should such people be treated? Also suppose that he only has the Finnish citizenship, and cant realistically be turned away.

cortisol
Guest
cortisol

This is how it works. Disillusioned because ISIS, al-Qaeda etc. ran out of money due to yankee/CIA withdrawing funding, no more money, hookers and hoes, captagon drugs and chopping heads off for fun with no penalty. And it’s no fun in getting their ass kicked. So back off to suck at the friendly tax payer titty in these cuckolded nations, being kept well fed (in storage) until the next jihadist group is created or pops up somewhere else (like Egypt or Afghanistan, or perhaps France). There is always a “home country” regardless whether they threw their passport in the Mediterranean… Read more »

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

You’re not answering my question. Please read it again.

cortisol
Guest
cortisol

Your question to me seems to be quite trivial and only a tiny fraction of all cases in the grand context of things, but anyway, it’s simple. Such people should be refused access back. What is in that particular jihadist propaganda that could have affected them in the first place? In practice of course it is impossible to verify whether such persons have been involved in atrocities or not, but the basic assumption is they have, until proven otherwise, because that is what the moderate head chopper groups do for living. In practice many terrorists are coming home from Syria… Read more »

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley
Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

Wrong. If you read this The Duran article carefully, you can see that it describes in very detail which government instances and persons have suggested what, and what has been commented by other officials, including problematic viewpoints. And in the very beginning of this article, it says “Finnish officials are CONSIDERING…” So even though the headline was just as frank as every other headline in every commercial media in the world, this article didn’t at any point claim that Finnish government would have yet decided anything on the subject, just reported about some rather reasonably worrying occurences in Finnish political… Read more »

Katri Paakkari
Guest
Katri Paakkari

This article is a wrongly interpret from the original article and is not true.

Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

You seem to have an own interpretation problem. Although the headline is as overtly provocative as in articles of every non-governmental media of the world, there is nothing untrue in the contents of this article. It clearly says in the very beginning that Finnish officials are CONSIDERING this, not that the government has decided anything, and then it reports about knownly true statements from certain named official instances and personnel, what some of them have suggested and how others have taken them. Even though there are less or more officials opposing this, there are still way too high portion of… Read more »

Katri Paakkari
Guest
Katri Paakkari

Here is the original article this one “refers” to. There is nothing ready about it. http://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000005345630.html

Ilkka Hirvi
Guest
Ilkka Hirvi

Indeed. The intentionally provocative headline word “ready” was the only thing in this The Duran article which could be considered false, by strict interpretation. But if you read the article itself, you will clearly see it writes CONSIDERING in its very beginning, so it was absolutely not claiming anything being ready after all, even though all HEADLINES in every pay-per-click-advertising-funded media are intentionally provocative, and meant to be interpreted loosely. All the contents in this article itself were completely true, as you can verify from the original article.

Dizzz
Member
Dizzz

Why allow this murderous scum into Finland, is the government mad, don’t they care about the risks these people pose to the law abiding Finish people.
No good will come from giving terrorists preferential treatment.

Shahna
Guest

You don’t have poor people who didn’t cross borders to KILL people or launch terror attacks in their own country?

‘Cos if you do – then you OWE THEM – not ISILs.

P0shzZ0la
Guest
P0shzZ0la

This is it:
comment image

Lou Stools
Guest
Lou Stools

•C U C K• Level: > 9 0 0 0
sickening!

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Airline wars heat up, as industry undergoes massive disruption (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 145.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the global commercial airline industry, which is undergoing massive changes, as competition creeps in from Russia and China.

Reuters reports that Boeing Co’s legal troubles grew as a new lawsuit accused the company of defrauding shareholders by concealing safety deficiencies in its 737 MAX planes before two fatal crashes led to their worldwide grounding.

The proposed class action filed in Chicago federal court seeks damages for alleged securities fraud violations, after Boeing’s market value tumbled by $34 billion within two weeks of the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX.

*****

According to the complaint, Boeing “effectively put profitability and growth ahead of airplane safety and honesty” by rushing the 737 MAX to market to compete with Airbus SE, while leaving out “extra” or “optional” features designed to prevent the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.

It also said Boeing’s statements about its growth prospects and the 737 MAX were undermined by its alleged conflict of interest from retaining broad authority from federal regulators to assess the plane’s safety.

*****

Boeing said on Tuesday that aircraft orders in the first quarter fell to 95 from 180 a year earlier, with no orders for the 737 MAX following the worldwide grounding.

On April 5, it said it planned to cut monthly 737 production to 42 planes from 52, and was making progress on a 737 MAX software update to prevent further accidents.

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Via Zerohedge…

Step aside (fading) trade war with China: there is a new aggressor – at least according to the US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer – in town.

In a statement on the USTR’s website published late on Monday, the US fair trade agency announced that under Section 301 of the Trade Act, it was proposing a list of EU products to be covered by additional duties. And as justification for the incremental import taxes, the USTR said that it was in response to EU aircraft subsidies, specifically to Europea’s aerospace giant, Airbus, which “have caused adverse effects to the United States” and which the USTR estimates cause $11 billion in harm to the US each year

One can’t help but notice that the latest shot across the bow in the simmering trade war with Europe comes as i) Trump is reportedly preparing to fold in his trade war with China, punting enforcement to whoever is president in 2025, and ii) comes just as Boeing has found itself scrambling to preserve orders as the world has put its orderbook for Boeing 737 MAX airplanes on hold, which prompted Boeing to cut 737 production by 20% on Friday.

While the first may be purely a coincidence, the second – which is expected to not only slam Boeing’s financials for Q1 and Q2, but may also adversely impact US GDP – had at least some impact on the decision to proceed with these tariffs at this moment.

We now await Europe’s angry response to what is Trump’s latest salvo in what is once again a global trade war. And, paradoxically, we also expect this news to send stocks blasting higher as, taking a page from the US-China trade book, every day algos will price in imminent “US-European trade deal optimism.”

Below the full statement from the USTR (link):

USTR Proposes Products for Tariff Countermeasures in Response to Harm Caused by EU Aircraft Subsidies

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has found repeatedly that European Union (EU) subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States.  Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) begins its process under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to identify products of the EU to which additional duties may be applied until the EU removes those subsidies.

USTR is releasing for public comment a preliminary list of EU products to be covered by additional duties.  USTR estimates the harm from the EU subsidies as $11 billion in trade each year.  The amount is subject to an arbitration at the WTO, the result of which is expected to be issued this summer.

“This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action. The Administration is preparing to respond immediately when the WTO issues its finding on the value of U.S. countermeasures,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  “Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft.  When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted.”

In line with U.S. law, the preliminary list contains a number of products in the civil aviation sector, including Airbus aircraft.  Once the WTO arbitrator issues its report on the value of countermeasures, USTR will announce a final product list covering a level of trade commensurate with the adverse effects determined to exist.

Background

After many years of seeking unsuccessfully to convince the EU and four of its member States (France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom) to cease their subsidization of Airbus, the United States brought a WTO challenge to EU subsidies in 2004. In 2011, the WTO found that the EU provided Airbus $18 billion in subsidized financing from 1968 to 2006.  In particular, the WTO found that European “launch aid” subsidies were instrumental in permitting Airbus to launch every model of its large civil aircraft, causing Boeing to lose sales of more than 300 aircraft and market share throughout the world.

In response, the EU removed two minor subsidies, but left most of them unchanged.  The EU also granted Airbus more than $5 billion in new subsidized “launch aid” financing for the A350 XWB.  The United States requested establishment of a compliance panel in March 2012 to address the EU’s failure to remove its old subsidies, as well as the new subsidies and their adverse effects.  That process came to a close with the issuance of an appellate report in May 2018 finding that EU subsidies to high-value, twin-aisle aircraft have caused serious prejudice to U.S. interests.  The report found that billions of dollars in launch aid to the A350 XWB and A380 cause significant lost sales to Boeing 787 and 747 aircraft, as well as lost market share for Boeing very large aircraft in the EU, Australia, China, Korea, Singapore, and UAE markets.

Based on the appellate report, the United States requested authority to impose countermeasures worth $11.2 billion per year, commensurate with the adverse effects caused by EU subsidies.  The EU challenged that estimate, and a WTO arbitrator is currently evaluating those claims

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Mueller report takes ‘Russian meddling’ for granted, offers no actual evidence

RT

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By

Via RT…


Special counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ report has cleared Donald Trump of ‘collusion’ charges but maintains that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. Yet concrete evidence of that is nowhere to be seen.

The report by Mueller and his team, made public on Thursday by the US Department of Justice, exonerates not just Trump but all Americans of any “collusion” with Russia, “obliterating” the Russiagate conspiracy theory, as journalist Glenn Greenwald put it.

However, it asserts that Russian “interference” in the election did happen, and says it consisted of a campaign on social media as well as Russian military intelligence (repeatedly referred to by its old, Soviet-era name, GRU) “hacking” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the DNC, and the private email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta.

As evidence of this, the report basically offers nothing but Mueller’s indictment of “GRU agents,” delivered on the eve of the Helsinki Summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in what was surely a cosmic coincidence.

Indictments are not evidence, however, but allegations. Any time it looks like the report might be bringing up proof, it ends up being redacted, ostensibly to protect sources and methods, and out of concern it might cause “harm to an ongoing matter.”

‘Active measures’ on social media

Mueller’s report leads with the claim that the Internet Research Agency (IRA) ran an “active measures” campaign of social media influence. Citing Facebook and Twitter estimates, the report says this consisted of 470 Facebook accounts that made 80,000 posts that may have been seen by up to 126 million people, between January 2015 and August 2017 (almost a year after the election), and 3,814 Twitter accounts that “may have been” in contact with about 1.4 million people.

Those numbers may seem substantial but, as investigative journalist Gareth Porter pointed out in November 2018, they should be regarded against the background of 33 trillion Facebook posts made during the same period.

According to Mueller, the IRA mind-controlled the American electorate by spending “approximately $100,000” on Facebook ads, hiring someone to walk around New York City “dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask,” and getting Trump campaign affiliates to promote “dozens of tweets, posts, and other political content created by the IRA.” Dozens!

Meanwhile, the key evidence against IRA’s alleged boss Evgeny Prigozhin is that he “appeared together in public photographs” with Putin.

Alleged hacking & release

The report claims that the GRU hacked their way into 29 DCCC computers and another 30 DNC computers, and downloaded data using software called “X-Tunnel.” It is unclear how Mueller’s investigators claim to know this, as the report makes no mention of them or FBI actually examining DNC or DCCC computers. Presumably they took the word of CrowdStrike, the Democrats’ private contractor, for it.

However obtained, the documents were published first through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 – which the report claims are “fictitious online personas” created by the GRU – and later through WikiLeaks. What is Mueller’s proof that these two entities were “GRU” cutouts? In a word, this:

That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.(p. 43)

However, the report acknowledges that the “first known contact” between Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks was on September 15, 2016 – months after the DNC and DCCC documents were published! Here we do get actual evidence: direct messages on Twitter obtained by investigators. Behold, these “spies” are so good, they don’t even talk – and when they do, they use unsecured channels.

Mueller notably claims “it is clear that the stolen DNC and Podesta documents were transferred from the GRU to WikiLeaks” (the rest of that sentence is redacted), but the report clearly implies the investigators do not actually know how. On page 47, the report says Mueller “cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016.”

Strangely, the report accuses WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange of making “public statements apparently designed to obscure the source” of the materials (p.48), notably the offer of a reward for finding the murderer of DNC staffer Seth Rich – even though this can be read as corroborating the intermediaries theory, and Assange never actually said Rich was his source.

The rest of Mueller’s report goes on to discuss the Trump campaign’s contacts with anyone even remotely Russian and to create torturous constructions that the president had “obstructed” justice by basically defending himself from charges of being a Russian agent – neither of which resulted in any indictments, however. But the central premise that the 22-month investigation, breathless media coverage, and the 448-page report are based on – that Russia somehow meddled in the 2016 election – remains unproven.

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Rumors of War: Washington Is Looking for a Fight

The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the US out of the Alliance without a Senate vote.

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Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was being transformed bit by bit into a bipartisan doctrine that featured as a sine qua non global dominance for Washington. Unfortunately, when the Soviet Union collapsed the opportunity to end once and for all the bipolar nuclear confrontation that threatened global annihilation was squandered as President Bill Clinton chose instead to humiliate and use NATO to contain an already demoralized and effectively leaderless Russia.

American Exceptionalism became the battle cry for an increasingly clueless federal government as well as for a media-deluded public. When 9/11 arrived, the country was ready to lash out at the rest of the world. President George W. Bush growled that “There’s a new sheriff in town and you are either with us or against us.” Afghanistan followed, then Iraq, and, in a spirit of bipartisanship, the Democrats came up with Libya and the first serious engagement in Syria. In its current manifestation, one finds a United States that threatens Iran on a nearly weekly basis and tears up arms control agreements with Russia while also maintaining deployments of US forces in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and places like Mali. Scattered across the globe are 800 American military bases while Washington’s principal enemies du jour Russia and China have, respectively, only one and none.

Never before in my lifetime has the United States been so belligerent, and that in spite of the fact that there is no single enemy or combination of enemies that actually threaten either the geographical United States or a vital interest. Venezuela is being threatened with invasion primarily because it is in the western hemisphere and therefore subject to Washington’s claimed proconsular authority. Last Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence told the United Nations Security Council that the White House will remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power, preferably using diplomacy and sanctions, but “all options are on the table.” Pence warned that Russia and other friends of Maduro need to leave now or face the consequences.

The development of the United States as a hostile and somewhat unpredictable force has not gone unnoticed. Russia has accepted that war is coming no matter what it does in dealing with Trump and is upgrading its forces. By some estimates, its army is better equipped and more combat ready than is that of the United States, which spends nearly ten times as much on “defense.”

Iran is also upgrading its defensive capabilities, which are formidable. Now that Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement with Iran, has placed a series of increasingly punitive sanctions on the country, and, most recently, has declared a part of the Iranian military to be a “foreign terrorist organization” and therefore subject to attack by US forces at any time, it is clear that war will be the next step. In three weeks, the United States will seek to enforce a global ban on any purchases of Iranian oil. A number of countries, including US nominal ally Turkey, have said they will ignore the ban and it will be interesting to see what the US Navy intends to do to enforce it. Or what Iran will do to break the blockade.

But even given all of the horrific decisions being made in the White House, there is one organization that is far crazier and possibly even more dangerous. That is the United States Congress, which is, not surprisingly, a legislative body that is viewed positively by only 18 per cent of the American people.

A current bill originally entitled the “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019,” is numbered S-1189. It has been introduced in the Senate which will “…require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.” The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and is co-sponsored by Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

The current version of the bill was introduced on April 11th and it is by no means clear what kind of support it might actually have, but the fact that it actually has surfaced at all should be disturbing to anyone who believes it is in the world’s best interest to avoid direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia.

In a a press release by Gardner, who has long been pushing to have Russia listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, a February version of the bill is described as “…comprehensive legislation [that] seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait. The legislation establishes a comprehensive policy response to better position the US government to address Kremlin aggression by creating new policy offices on cyber defenses and sanctions coordination. The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the US out of the Alliance without a Senate vote. It also increases sanctions pressure on Moscow for its interference in democratic processes abroad and continued aggression against Ukraine.”

The February version of the bill included Menendez, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as co-sponsors, suggesting that provoking war is truly bipartisan in today’s Washington.

Each Senator co-sponsor contributed a personal comment to the press release. Gardner observed that “Putin’s Russia is an outlaw regime that is hell-bent on undermining international law and destroying the US-led liberal global order.” Menendez noted that “President Trump’s willful paralysis in the face of Kremlin aggression has reached a boiling point in Congress” while Graham added that “Our goal is to change the status quo and impose meaningful sanctions and measures against Putin’s Russia. He should cease and desist meddling in the US electoral process, halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure, remove Russia from Ukraine, and stop efforts to create chaos in Syria.” Cardin contributed “Congress continues to take the lead in defending US national security against continuing Russian aggression against democratic institutions at home and abroad” and Shaheen observed that “This legislation builds on previous efforts in Congress to hold Russia accountable for its bellicose behavior against the United States and its determination to destabilize our global world order.”

The Senatorial commentary is, of course, greatly exaggerated and sometimes completely false regarding what is going on in the world, but it is revealing of how ignorant American legislators can be and often are. The Senators also ignore the fact that the designation of presumed Kremlin surrogate forces as “foreign terrorist organizations” is equivalent to a declaration of war against them by the US military, while hypocritically calling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism is bad enough, as it is demonstrably untrue. But the real damage comes from the existence of the bill itself. It will solidify support for hardliners on both sides, guaranteeing that there will be no rapprochement between Washington and Moscow for the foreseeable future, a development that is bad for everyone involved. Whether it can be characterized as an unintended consequence of unwise decision making or perhaps something more sinister involving a deeply corrupted congress and administration remains to be determined.

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