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Here’s what happened in Baku between Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan

The summit meeting in Baku suggests a mending of relations between Azerbaijan and Iran and Russia and a further consolidation of integration processes in Central Asia and in southern Eurasia.

Alexander Mercouris

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As Vladimir Putin meets Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg and prepares for a meeting with Sargsyan of Armenia tomorrow, he has just completed another key meeting, this time in Baku in Azerbaijan with the Presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan, Rouhani and Aliyev.

Before discussing this meeting it is important to remember that Rouhani though Iran’s President is not Iran’s leader.  Iran’s Supreme Leader is Ayatollah Khamenei who scarcely ever leaves Iran but who Putin met during his own most recent visit to Iran in November last year.  Rouhani’s status is not therefore exactly analogous to Putin’s or Aliyev’s.  Rouhani does however have Khamenei’s confidence and there is no reason to think that at the meeting in Baku he was not speaking with the full authority and backing of the whole Iranian leadership.

Turning to the meeting itself, the most important single fact about it was the venue: Baku in Azerbaijan.  Azerbaijan is a former Soviet republic with which Moscow has not always had an easy relationship. 

Since before the dissolution of the USSR Azerbaijan has been locked in conflict with Armenia over the territory of Nagorno Karabakh, which is populated overwhelmingly by Armenians but which the Soviets had placed within Azerbaijan’s administrative jurisdiction.  In the late 1980s, before the USSR fell, Nagorno Karabakh seceded from Azerbaijan and became self-governing, though with very strong economic and political links to Armenia.  Azerbaijan however continues to claim Nagorno Karabakh as part of its national territory, leading to a bitter dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, with Azerbaijan always reserving the right to settle the dispute by conquering Nagorno Karabakh by force.

Officially Moscow is neutral in the dispute and has indeed sought to act as a mediator.  In practice before the USSR broke up the Soviet authorities in Moscow backed Azerbaijan but since the USSR broke up the Russians have forged close and very friendly ties with Armenia, which they support economically and where they have established an important airforce base.  Armenia for its part looks to Russia for protection and is actively involved in the Russian-led process of Eurasian integration having joined the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation making it the only Caucasian state to do so. 

This repeats the historic pattern of friendship between Armenians and Russia, with Christian Armenians traditionally looking to Christian Russia as their protector from the Muslim people of the Caucasus and above all from Turkey. 

In the Nagorno Karabakh there is an extra dimension to the relationship between Russia and Armenia in that Turkey, which is closely allied to Azerbaijan, has together with Azerbaijan placed Armenia under economic blockade, making Armenia economically more dependent on Moscow. Azerbaijan has also used the profits of its very considerable Caspian Sea oil and gas wealth to finance a very substantial military build-up, which the Armenians have sought to counter by strengthening their military ties to Moscow.

The tense nature of the relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and Moscow’s role in the conflict, was underlined by bitter clashes between Azerbaijan’s military and Nagorno Karabakh’s defence forces which took place as recently as April this year.  Though Armenia was not directly involved in the fighting an Azerbaijanian offensive resulted in heavy loss of life, though with insignificant territorial changes to show, provoking fears of an all-out war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  Though in the event that did not happen, the Russians are known to have taken urgent diplomatic action to try to prevent it. 

No-one should be under any doubt that in the event of an all-out war between Azerbaijan and Armenia the Russians will act decisively to protect Armenia.  Though the Russians absolutely do not want to be put into this position, Armenia’s importance to Russia for geopolitical reasons – to secure Russia’s position in the Transcaucasus and for the success of the whole Eurasian integration project – means that Russia simply cannot afford to sacrifice Armenia, which is a full member of both the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union and of the Russian-led military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.  The Russians almost certainly made this fact clear to Azerbaijan’s leadership during the April fighting, just as they will have quietly reminded Azerbaijan’s leadership of  Russia’s overwhelming military dominance in the Caucasus and Caspian Sea region, which means that in any conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in which Russia sided with Armenia Azerbaijan would lose.

It is not however Russia’s wish or in Russia’s interests for it to burn its bridges with Azerbaijan.  Azerbaijan because of its oil and gas wealth is the richest of the three Caucasian states (the two others are Armenia and Georgia) and is a key state both in the Caucasus and on the Caspian Sea.  Russia needs no enemies in in this region, which is crucial to Russia.  Moreover Azerbaijan’s oil and gas wealth makes Azerbaijan a constant object of Western plans to break the supposed stranglehold the Russians are supposed to have over the EU’s gas supplies.  Though there is no evidence the Russians have ever sought to prevent the realisation of any of these projects (which like the Nabucco gas pipeline have always proved ephemeral) they obviously have no wish to give Azerbaijan an added incentive to involve itself in them.

Beyond these factors there is the further factor that the Russians undoubtedly see Azerbaijan as a major prize to be won for the process of Eurasian integration.  If Azerbaijan can eventually be drawn into this process it will not only secure a valuable country with its great oil and gas wealth to the Eurasian project, but it will also finally and conclusively secure Russia’s position in the Caucasus, isolating Georgia as the only pro-Western holdout in the area.   For some Russians there would also be something fitting in another country that was formerly a part of the USSR reintegrating itself via Eurasia with Russia.

For all these reasons the Russians have striven to maintain a relationship with Azerbaijan, difficult though that has sometimes been.  To the great anger of many people in Armenia they continue to sell weapons to Azerbaijan, and have maintained economic and political links with the country.  They have also, as discussed previously, declined to side openly with Armenia over the Nagorno Karabakh issue but have sought instead to act as mediators in it.

As for Azerbaijan, it too has its reasons to maintain its links with Moscow even if it has from time to time flirted with some of the transparently anti-Russian US and EU oil and gas pipeline projects such as Nabucco, and even if it has also participated in some of the US sponsored anti-Russian groupings within former Soviet territory such as the now essentially defunct GUAM project, in which however Azerbaijan was always the weakest link. 

The leadership of Azerbaijan is acutely aware of Russia’s overwhelming strategic dominance in its region, and has no wish to make Russia into an open enemy, which might cause Russia to side openly with Armenia, losing Nagorno Karabakh for Azerbaijan conclusively and forever. Azerbaijan’s failure to achieve a decisive breakthrough in the April fighting and Russia’s warnings to Azerbaijan during the fighting will have simply underlined the point.

Beyond that the leadership of Azerbaijan has good reason to doubt the West’s reliability as an ally.  Not only does Azerbaijan routinely get criticised in the West for being a dictatorship, something President Aliyev and his government must find infuriating, but Western NGOs in Azerbaijan have at times openly backed anti-government opposition leaders in ways that must make Azerbaijan’s government wonder whether it is a target for a Western backed colour revolution.  Following the collapse of oil prices, which has caused major economic problems in Azerbaijan, it is understandable why that might have made its leadership nervous and might make it want to insure its position by drawing closer to Russia.

As for the possibility of a conflict with Russia over Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan was given a lesson of how ineffective Western support in this region would be during Russia’s comprehensive defeat of Georgia during the 2008 South Ossetia war.  As it happens President Aliyev is known to have had an angry row with US Vice-President Dick Cheney during that war, when he spurned Cheney’s request for Azerbaijan to side openly with the US and Georgia against Russia.

If Russia and Azerbaijan have had a complicated relationship but also have good reasons to draw closer to each other, the same is also true of Azerbaijan and Iran. 

Azerbaijan was formerly a province of Iran before it was conquered by Russia and incorporated by Russia into the Russian empire.  Southern Azerbaijan continues to be part of Iran to this day.  Though the people of Azerbaijan are Turkic and speak a language close to Turkish, unlike the Turks of Turkey because of their historic connection to Iran they are mainly Shia rather than Sunni.

Despite these strong connections to Iran, Azerbaijan has since the Soviet breakup been much closer to Turkey than to Iran, with Turkey giving Azerbaijan strong support in the Nagorno Karabakh dispute.  Moreover just as Azerbaijan became a centre of US and EU oil and gas projects targeted at Russia, so also it came under US pressure to become involved in the various US led projects targeted at Iran.  There have been rumours of US troops and even of US secret bases in Azerbaijan targeted at Iran, and there has even been some talk of secret US incursions into Iran from Azerbaijan’s territory.  It is widely believed that some of the plans for US attacks on Iran which are known to have been considered in Washington during the Bush II administration also involved Azerbaijan.

Understandably enough all this put a significant strain on relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, despite the two countries having no obvious points of conflict with each other and despite the common interest of both countries in having friendly relations with each other.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement has however, if only for the time being, caused tensions between the US and Iran to diminish, with US plans for attacks on Iran at least for the moment off the agenda.  That has given Azerbaijan the political space to mend its fences with Iran. 

This has come at a time when relations between Russia and Iran, and between Russia and Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey, have both been getting significantly stronger. 

The way has therefore been opened for Azerbaijan to strengthen its relations with both Iran and Russia, and to do so moreover as part of a tripartite arrangement that enables Azerbaijan to achieve a balance in its relations with each of these powers. 

That provides the background to the summit meeting between Putin, Rouhani and Aliyev which has just taken place in Baku.

All three of these states – Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan –  stand to achieve something from their common rapprochement.  The Russians are drawing Azerbaijan further away from the West whilst securing their positions in the Caspian Sea area and in the Caucasus.  They must also be hoping  to draw Azerbaijan further into the Eurasian integration processes.  The Iranians have ended the potential threat to themselves from Azerbaijan’s territory and have strengthened their relations with a rich and important country that was formerly an Iranian province.  As for Azerbaijan, it has managed to improve its relations with both its two great neighbours in a way that enables it to preserve a balance between the two of them.

Beyond this there is now optimistic talk of creating a free trade area involving the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, Iran and Azerbaijan.  Negotiating such arrangements is a hugely complex affair and one should not make the mistake of thinking that because the three countries have now publicly committed themselves to it that it will necessarily happen.  At the very least the process will take years. 

The logic and the economic benefits for all three countries of a free trade area are however obvious.  Not only would such an arrangement bring together three highly compatible economies and consolidate economic and trade links in Central Asia and in southern Eurasia, but it would also quietly allow Azerbaijan to resume trade links with Armenia (which is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union) thereby hopefully facilitating a settlement of the currently frozen Nagorno Karabakh conflict. 

However whether any of this actually happens, and how sustained the present rapprochement between Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan will be, will depend on many factors, not least the maintenance of political stability in all three of these countries, especially in Azerbaijan.

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Can America Ever Come Together Again?

The people who cheer Trump believe the country they inherited from their fathers was a great, good and glorious country, and that the media who detest Trump also despise them.

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


If ex-CIA Director John Brennan did to Andrew Jackson what he did to Donald Trump, he would have lost a lot more than his security clearance.

He would have been challenged to a duel and shot.

“Trump’s … performance in Helsinki,” Brennan had said, “exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was … treasonous.”

Why should the president not strip from a CIA director who calls him a traitor the honor and privilege of a security clearance? Or is a top-secret clearance an entitlement like Social Security?

CIA directors retain clearances because they are seen as national assets, individuals whose unique experience, knowledge and judgment may be called upon to assist a president in a national crisis.

Not so long ago, this was a bipartisan tradition.

Who trashed this tradition?

Was it not the former heads of the security agencies — CIA, FBI, director of national intelligence — who have been leveling the kind of savage attacks on the chief of state one might expect from antifa?

Are ex-security officials entitled to retain the high privileges of the offices they held, if they descend into cable-TV hatred and hostility?

Former CIA chief Mike Hayden, in attacking Trump for separating families of detained illegal immigrants at the border, tweeted a photo of the train tracks leading into Auschwitz.

“Other governments have separated mothers and children” was Hayden’s caption.

Is that fair criticism from an ex-CIA director?

Thursday, The New York Times decried Trump’s accusation that the media are “the enemy of the people.”

“Insisting that truths you don’t like are ‘fake news’ is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists ‘the enemy of the people’ is dangerous, period,” said the Times.

Fair enough, but is it not dangerous for a free press to be using First Amendment rights to endlessly bash a president as a racist, fascist, sexist, neo-Nazi, liar, tyrant and traitor?

The message of journalists who use such terms may be to convey their detestation of Trump. But what is the message received in the sick minds of people like that leftist who tried to massacre Republican congressmen practicing for their annual softball game with Democrats?

And does Trump not have a point when he says the Boston Globe-organized national attack on him, joined in by the Times and 300 other newspapers, was journalistic “collusion” against him?

If Trump believes that CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post are mortal enemies who want to see him ousted or impeached, is he wrong?

We are an irreconcilable us-against-them nation today, and given the rancor across the ideological, social and cultural chasm that divides us, it is hard to see how, even post-Trump, we can ever come together again.

Speaking at a New York LGBT gala in 2016, Hillary Clinton said: “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic … Some of those folks … are irredeemable, but … they are not America.”

When Clinton’s reflections on Middle America made it into print, she amended her remarks. Just as Gov. Andrew Cuomo rushed to amend his comments yesterday when he blurted at a bill-signing ceremony:

“We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.” America was “never that great”?

Cuomo’s press secretary hastened to explain, “When the president speaks about making America great again … he ignores the pain so many endured and that we suffered from slavery, discrimination, segregation, sexism and marginalized women’s contributions.”

Clinton and Cuomo committed gaffes of the kind Michael Kinsley described as the blurting out of truths the speaker believes but desperately does not want a wider audience to know.

In San Francisco in 2008, Barack Obama committed such a gaffe.

Asked why blue-collar workers in industrial towns decimated by job losses were not responding to his message, Obama trashed these folks as the unhappy losers of our emerging brave new world:

“They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

These clingers to their Bibles, bigotries and guns are the people the mainstream media, 10 years later, deride and dismiss as “Trump’s base.”

What Clinton, Cuomo and Obama spilled out reveals what is really behind the cultural and ideological wars of America today.

Most media elites accept the historic indictment — that before the Progressives came, this country was mired in racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia, and that its history had been a long catalog of crimes against indigenous peoples, Africans brought here in bondage, Mexicans whose lands we stole, migrants, and women and gays who were denied equality.

The people who cheer Trump believe the country they inherited from their fathers was a great, good and glorious country, and that the media who detest Trump also despise them.

For such as these, Trump cannot scourge the media often enough.

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Are the mainstream U.S. ‘news’ media evil?

Mainstream media refuses to give airtime to intelligence professionals who can prove the current Russia-DNC narrative is a complete fabrication.

Eric Zuesse

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Eric Zuesse, published originally by The Saker:


William Binney, the U.S. National Security Agency’s former technical director for global analysis, has, for the past year, been globe-trotting to investigate the actual evidence regarding the official Russiagate investigations, and he finds that the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, who is prosecuting Russia’s Government, can only accuse Russian officials, not convict any of them on at least the important charges, because conclusive evidence exists and has already been made public online, making clear that the important accusations against those officials are false. However, Binney can’t get any of the U.S. major ‘news’ media’s interest in this fact, nor even into openly discussing it with them. Apparently, they don’t want to know. Binney is knocking on their doors, and they refuse to answer.

Patrick Lawrence, at the non-mainstream U.S. newsmedium Consortium News, headlined on Monday August 13th, “‘Too Big to Fail’: Russia-gate One Year After VIPS Showed a Leak, Not a Hack” and he reported what Binney has found and has been trying to get the major U.S. ‘news’media to present to the American public.

The “VIPS” there is Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, and they are 17 whistleblowing former high officials of the CIA, NSA, State Department, and other U.S. officials with top secret national-security clearances, who jointly signed and published on 24 July 2017, their report, which likewise was at Consortium News, “Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence”, in which they confirmed the validity of a 9 July 2017 report that had been published by Elizabeth Vos of Disobedient Media . com, which was titled “New Research Shows Guccifer 2.0 Files Were Copied Locally, Not Hacked” and which I then reported in more ordinary language seven days later under the headline “Russiagate Exposed: It’s a Fraud”. I quoted there the analysis’s basic finding “that the DNC computer network which the media tells us and the DNC tells us was hacked by the Russians, … was physically accessed by someone within close proximity of the DNC” and not outside the United States (Russia or anywhere else). The original research-report had been done by an anonymous person who called himself “the forensicator,” and he had sent it to Adam Carter, another highly technically knowledgeable person, who happened to be at Disobedient Media, and who then worked with Vos to prepae her article on it.

Binney, as the nation’s now-retired top NSA expert in the analysis of such matters, then followed up, during the past year, in order to probe more deeply, by contacting various individuals who had been involved behind the scenes; and Patrick Lawrence’s article was a report of what Binney had found. It’s this:

The forensic scientists working with VIPS continued their research and experiments after VIPS50 was published. So have key members of the VIPS group, notably William Binney, the National Security Agency’s former technical director for global analysis and designer of programs the agency still uses to monitor internet traffic. Such work continues as we speak, indeed. This was always the intent: “Evidence to date” was the premise of VIPS50. Over the past year there have been confirmations of the original thesis and some surprises that alter secondary aspects of it. Let us look at the most significant of these findings.

At the time I reported on the findings of VIPS and associated forensic scientists, that the most fundamental evidence that the events of summer 2016 constituted a leak, not a hack, was the transfer rate—the speed at which data was copied. The speed proven then was an average of 22.7 megabytes per second. …

The fastest internet transfer speed achieved, during the New Jersey–to–Britain test, was 12.0 megabytes of data per second. Since this time it has emerged from G-2.0’s metadata that the detected average speed—the 22.7 megabytes per second—included peak speeds that ran as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, impossible over the internet. “You’d need a dedicated, leased, 400–megabit line all the way to Russia to achieve that result,” Binney said in a recent interview. … That remains the bedrock evidence of the case VIPS and others advance without qualification. “No one—including the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA—has come out against this finding,” Binney said Monday. …

The identity of Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be a Romanian hacker but which the latest Mueller indictment claims is a construct of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, has never been proven. The question is what G–2.0 did with or to the data in question. It turns out that both more, and less, is known about G–2.0 than was thought to have been previously demonstrated. This work has been completed only recently. It was done by Binney in collaboration with Duncan Campbell, a British journalist who has followed the Russia-gate question closely.

Peak Speed Established

Binney visited Campbell in Brighton, England, early this past spring. They examined all the metadata associated with the files G–2.0 has made public. They looked at the number of files, the size of each, and the time stamps at the end of each. It was at this time that Binney and Campbell established the peak transfer rate at 49.1 megabytes per second. … “Now you need to prove everything you might think about him,” Binney told me. “We have no way of knowing anything about him or what he has done, apart from manipulating the files. …

The conclusions initially drawn on time and location in VIPS50 are now subject to these recent discoveries. “In retrospect, giving ‘equal importance’ status to data pertaining to the locale was mistaken,” Ray McGovern, a prominent VIPS member, wrote in a recent note. “The key finding on transfer speed always dwarfed it in importance.” … 

How credible are those indictments in view of what is now known about G–2.0?

Binney told me: “Once we proved G–2.0 is a fabrication and a manipulator, the timing and location questions couldn’t be answered but really didn’t matter. I don’t right now see a way of absolutely proving either time or location. But this doesn’t change anything. We know what we know: The intrusion into the Democratic National Committee mail was a local download—wherever ‘local’ is.” That doesn’t change. As to Rosenstein, he’ll have a lot to prove.”

However, yet another technically knowledgeable analyst of the available evidence, George Eliason, claims that to assert that there were only “leaks” and not also “hacks” would clearly be wrong, because there were both. On August 14th, he bannered at Washington’s Blog, “Beyond The DNC Leak: Hacks and Treason” and he wrote:

There were multiple DNC hacks. There is also clear proof supporting the download to a USB stick and subsequent information exchange (leak) to Wikileaks. All are separate events.

Here’s what’s different in the information I’ve compiled.

The group I previously identified as Fancy Bear was given access to request password privileges at the DNC. And it looks like the DNC provided them with it.

I’ll show why the Podesta email hack looks like a revenge hack.

The reason Republican opposition research files were stolen can be put into context now because we know who the hackers are and what motivates them.

At the same time this story developed, it overshadowed the Hillary Clinton email scandal. It is a matter of public record that Team Clinton provided the DNC hackers with passwords to State Department servers on at least 2 occasions, one wittingly and one not. I have already clearly shown the Fancy Bear hackers are Ukrainian Intelligence Operators.

This gives some credence to the Seth Rich leak (DNC leak story) as an act of patriotism. If the leak came through Seth Rich, it may have been because he saw foreign Intel operatives given this access from the presumed winners of the 2016 US presidential election. No political operative is going to argue with the presumed president-elect over foreign policy. The leaker may have been trying to do something about it. I’m curious what information Wikileaks might have.

Eliason’s analysis doesn’t support Robert Mueller’s indictments any more than the others do. All are essentially incompatible with the accusations (including ones which now have become also indictments) from Mueller. Moreover, as Patrick Lawrence noted, “Indictments are not evidence and do not need to contain evidence. That is supposed to come out at trial, which is very unlikely to ever happen. Nevertheless, the corporate media has treated the indictments as convictions.” Maybe that’s the biggest crime of all.
—————
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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The social media ‘DEPLATFORM’ end game: Self-censorship (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 82.

Alex Christoforou

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Alex Jones’ account was put in “read only” mode and will be blocked from posting on Twitter for seven days because of an offending tweet. Twitter declined to comment on the content that violated its policies.

A Twitter spokesperson told CNN the content which prompted the suspension was a video published Tuesday in which Jones linked to within his tweet saying, “now is time to act on the enemy before they do a false flag”.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last week defended Twitter’s decision to not suspend Infowars and Alex Jones from the platform, claiming they had not violated Twitter policies.

Dorsey refused to take down Alex Jones and his popular Infowars account, even as his Silicon Valley buddies over at Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify were colluding to remove any sign of Jones or Infowars from their platforms…

“We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories,” Dorsey said in a tweet last week. He later added that it was critical that journalists “document, validate and refute” accounts like those of Mr. Jones, which “can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors.”

According to Zerohedge, still after a CNN report identifying numerous past tweets from Infowars and Jones that did violate Twitter’s rules, those posts were deleted. Tweets by Infowars and Jones deleted last week included posts attacking transgender and Muslim people; a claim that the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax perpetrated by “crisis actors”; and a video calling David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., high-school shooting, a Nazi.

Dorsey finally caved overnight, with a “temporary suspension”, which will likely become permanent upon Jones’ next violation.

Twitter’s crackdown came more than a week after technology companies, including Apple, YouTube and Facebook removed content from Jones and his site, Infowars. As the WSJ notes, the actions against Infowars intensified a growing debate over what role tech companies play in policing controversial content on their platforms while they simultaneously support the principle of free speech.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou examine the aggressive purge of conservative right, libertarian, and progressive accounts from Silicon Valley social media platforms, and how Alex Jones’ was the first step towards driving so much fear into the population, that self censorship takes over and authoritarian rule over the Internet takes hold.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

In the latest media pit stop, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sat down with NBC News Lester Holt, where he defended the company’s decision to put Infowars’ Alex Jones under a seven-day timeout over an offensive tweet linking to a video in which Jones encourages his audience to “act on the enemy before they do a false flag,” and to get “battle rifles” ready.

Dorsey said that despite calls to ban Jones last week amid a seemingly coordinated multi-platform blacklisting, he resisted until now.

“We can’t build a service that is subjective just to the whims of what we personally believe,” Dorsey told Holt, while saying he believes a suspension can be an effect deterrent which can change user behaviors.

“I feel any suspension, whether it be a permanent or a temporary one, makes someone think about their actions and their behaviors,” Dorsey added – though he admitted he has no idea if Jones’ timeout will result in any changes in behavior.

Dorsey stated: “Whether it works within this case to change some of those behaviors and change some of those actions, I don’t know. But this is consistent with how we enforce.”

Jones was banned or restricted from using the services of at least 10 tech companies this month, including Facebook and YouTube. Twitter had been the most high-profile holdout, until it announced on Tuesday that Jones was suspended from posting for seven days.

Dorsey later clarified on Twitter that he was “speaking broadly about our range of enforcement actions” with regards to the company’s use of timeouts.

in a follow-up question on weighing the importance of Twitter’s rules versus its moral obligation, Dorsey said the company has “to put the safety of individuals first in every single thing that we do, and we need to enforce our rules and also evolve our rules around that.” –NBC News

Jack Dorsey said on Twitter.

“I don’t assume everyone will change their actions. Enforcement gets tougher with further reported violations.”

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