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Ukrainian regime in bid to kick Orthodox clergy out of their churches

Religious freedom in Ukraine has gone from tenuous to dangerously imperilled.

Eric Zuesse

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The Ukrainian Government is trying to pass a law which will allow Russian Orthodox churches to be taken over by other faiths, but legislative approval has long remained in doubt; and, so, the government is instead just standing aside, while it lets non Russian-Orthodox believers, and especially Catholic believers, take possession of Russian-Orthodox churches. But this Ukrainian Government is simultaneously propagandizing for the legalization of those church-seizures, the passing of this bill into law; they are anything but neutral about it.

This is happening in a Ukrainian context which is extremely polarized politically, and almost as polarized religiously; so, the political division is even stronger than is the sheerly religious one, and this Ukrainian Government is thus increasing Ukraine’s polarization, as a simultaneously political-and-religious divide, in which the political and religious hatreds feed off of one-another. The public don’t want it; even the clergy don’t want it; but, the Government does, and it continues trying to pass this measure into law.

The development and present status of this matter will be summarized here, with links to the sources.

First, however, here is the political background:

The election map of the final democratic Ukrainian election — the one in 2010 — showed a political chasm in Ukraine, between the east and the west. This was the last election before the nation split-up in 2014 as a result of the U.S. coup (called by the U.S. a ‘revolution’) that took place in February 2014. This 2010 election-map (like all the ones before it) showed Ukraine to be an extremely polarized country, with the Catholic far-west having voted overwhelmingly for the U.S.-NATO-backed candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, and the Russian Orthodox far-east having voted overwhelmingly for the Russia-backed Viktor Yanukovych. Ukraine’s mid-section, except in the south, is Ukrainian Orthodox, which is “on the fence” regarding the Russia-versus-America divide — or, during WW II, it was the Stalin-versus-Hitler divide. America’s coup was perpetrated mainly by Catholics against Orthodox believers; and, so, it was a major victory for The West, in the ancient East-West Schism. The main domestic support for the “Maidan ‘revolution’,” and for the actual coup, were the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the formerly strongly pro-Hitler area surrounding the far-western city of Lviv. This victory in Ukraine, of the U.S.-led fascist west, against the pro-Russia east, is starting to be felt in the explicitly religious sphere, by the post-coup Ukrainian Government’s allowing Catholic clergy to begin taking over Orthodox (especially Russian Orthodox) congregations.

So:

On 1 March 2016 was headlined in Ukraine, “A BILL ON TRANSFER OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES TO ANOTHER JURISDICTION PRESENTED IN PARLIAMENT”.  It said:

According to the authors, the bill is designed “to enforce the rights of members of religious communities to informed choice and free and unimpeded change of affiliation with religious centers for satisfying their religious needs and dignified expression of religious feelings.” The proposed changes are intended to “regulate the procedure of changing affiliation of the religious communities and religious centers (leadership) operating in Ukraine and abroad.”

This initiative has provoked criticism of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), whose representative expressed concern about using these changes to simplify the transfer of churches in the course of transitions of Orthodox communities from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate to that of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate.

“In practice, it will look as follows – the general meeting of faithful (parish meeting) will be attended by other persons who do not belong to the religious community, but nevertheless will have the right to vote and will be entitled to adopt or amend the statute of the religious community,” said Rev Alexander Bakhov, head of the UOC Synodal Legal Department. …

Then, on March 31st, was bannered “Religious confrontation in Ukraine”, and that report opened, “A new bill [bill #4128], registered in the parliament, can not only legalize church raiding, but also provoke sectarian conflicts.” Furthermore:

As was emphasized by the head of the legal department of the UOC [Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Moscow Patriarchate (Ukraine’s branch of the Russian Orthodox Church)] Archpriest Alexander Bach, representatives of the “Kiev Patriarchate” and authorities have since 2014 taken permanent actions to seize churches belonging to the UOC.

“During this period, 31 seizures of the UOC churches are recorded, 12 are under threat of seizure, 8 changed their affiliation in accordance with the Law of Ukraine ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations’. Moreover, these seizures are passed off as a voluntary transition of believers,” says the priest.

Also on March 31st, the U.S.-imposed regime’s Religious Information Service of Ukraine bannered, “HOW DO WE ‘GET OUT’ FROM MOSCOW” and presented the argument from the Government’s side:

The right to change religious beliefs and religious affiliation is a fundamental human right. As follows from Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, they can be changed either alone or collectively with others. Meanwhile, the problems that Ukrainians had faced for a long time in the implementation of this law, became more severe and obvious with the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Orthodox believers, being indignant of the Moscow Patriarchate’s support of aggression, blatant anti-Ukrainian actions of its hierarchy, showed their desire to leave the Russian Church and join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate.

This is not just a problem of jurisdiction, this is an issue that pertains to the depth of the human conscience.

This article ignored the fact that these “raidings” or “seizures” of church buildings were being carried out by members of other denominations (nominally to favor the “Ukraine Patriarchate” of Orthodox Christianity, over the “Moscow Patriarchate” of Orthodox Christianity; but, actually, to weaken the Russian Orthodox Church against all denominations and especially against the two Catholic denominations. It was not being carried out by co-believers of any denomination, but only against them.

On 7 June 2016 was reported that, “The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine bill #4128 is not acceptable to the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which represents the religious community of Ukraine.” So: this maneuver was being pushed upon Ukraine’s clergies by the U.S.-installed regime; not being pushed upon that regime by the clergies.

The U.S.-installed regime thus continued its religious assault unimpeded, even despite the resistance to it from both the Ukrainian public, and the Ukrainian clergies; and, so, on the day before the bill was to be voted upon in the Rada for the first time, was headlined on 5 October 2016, “Ukrainian believers protest against the laws of religious discrimination”, and the article reported that, “thousands of people have gathered near the building of Ukrainian Parliament. The clergy have ministered the solemn prayer for peace in Ukraine.” On that same day appeared also a headline, “Despite a barrage of criticism from experts and the religious community, highly controversial Draft Law No. 4128 will still be considered in Verkhovna Rada”. The latter noted:

It has been reported earlier that this bill received a negative reaction from the representatives of World Church Councilmembers of Secretariat of All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious organizationsScientific and Expert department of Verkhovna RadaReligious Freedom Institutethe lawyers of International human rights protection Institute of Eastern Europe, and religion scientists.

Both of those news-reports came from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — its clergy, too, weren’t supporting the U.S.-imposed regime’s objective of one denomination “raiding” the churches of another.

So: the regime tried also another legal assault against the Orthodox churches. On 26 October 2016 was introduced in the Rada bill # 5309. Here is what Andrei Vlasov of the Union of Orthodox Journalists said on 14 July 2017 under the headline “Bill No. 5309: the Church is swung but not yet struck”:

The essence of the bill is reduced to two points:

  • legally bind one single religious organization in Ukraine to change its name: from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church into the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine;
  • prohibit the clergy of the UOC to provide spiritual guidance for servicemen. …

This seems most likely – endeavors to pass bills No.№ 4128 and 4511 have failed. Both ordinary believers and international organizations rebelled against them, as well as all the Local Orthodox Churches and even the Vatican. In these circumstances, the adoption of bill No. 5309 is still unlikely. But the threat of its adoption can become a bargaining chip in the political game. After all, the authorities must adopt very ambiguous laws on Donbass, on medical and pension reforms, etc.

And now the pace of illegal church-seizures has sped up. Here are a few of the recent reports (some of them autotranslated into English):

——

http://ivano-frankivsk.church.ua/2017/10/18/rozyasnennya-shhodo-sprobi-nezakonnogo-perevedennya-pravoslavnoji-gromadi-s-starij-gvizdec-u-kijivskij-patriarxat/

Clarification on the attempt to illegally transfer the Orthodox community from. Old Gvizdets in the Kyiv Patriarchate

in the ministry of the bishop. Main Events / Legal Department. Protection of Faith – by osadmin -10/18/2017

The press service of the Ivano-Frankivsk diocese reports that on October 15, 2017, in the village council building with. The old Guys of the Kolomyia district hosted a meeting of the village residents headed by the village head Dyakiv MP and with the participation of the priests of the Kyivan Patriarchate.

At the meeting of the territorial community, the villages, which were not actually parishioners, raised the question of the confessional subordination of the temple in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Just like in the village of Ostrivets, villagers who are not parishioners of the temple have taken responsibility for changing the confessional belongings of the religious community. The rector and church faithful at the meeting were not invited, and the opinion of those present was not taken into account. Moreover, they were forced to leave the assembly room. …

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/radicals-announce-the-date-of-orthodox-church-seizure-in-the-village-of-ostrovets

Radicals announce the date of Orthodox church seizure in the village of Ostrovets

19/10/2017 30

Author:  UOJ editorial

On October 18, the rector of the St. George the Victorious Church in the village of Ostrovets, Fr. Nikolai Bogachenko, was called to the village council to demand that the priest give the keys to the church. As reported by a UOJ source, Fr. Nikolai said that “otherwise bloodshed is possible”.

In the Gorodenka district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region, remained the only temple of the UOC not seized by schismatics – St. George’s Church in the village of Ostrovets.

Local authorities decided that there should not be a canonical church in the village. On October 14, a community meeting was held, and, allegedly, the majority demanded a transfer to the Kyiv Patriarchate.

According to the UOJ source, representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate took their people to the polls by buses. Such a “meeting” took into account even the voices of minors.

Rector of the church Fr. Nikolai Bogachenko said that he did not recognize the legality of such a meeting. Only the church community has the right to decide the fate of the church.

The priest refused to give the keys to the church. He was threatened that on Sunday, October 22, the temple would be taken by force.

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/a-uoc-temple-taken-over-in-ivano-frankivsk-region?sphrase_id=39111

A UOC temple taken over in Ivano-Frankivsk region

20/10/2017 98

Author:  UOJ editorial

In the village of Stary Gvozdets, Kolomyia district, there was a meeting of the territorial community at the village council. Reрresentatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate agitated the villagers to transfer the UOC rural temple to schismatics. Parishioners of the temple and members of the religious community of the UOC were not invited to the meeting. It is reported by the press-service of Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy.

The fate of the temple of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in the village of Stary Gvozdets was decided by people who attend the church only several times a year.

Supporters of the Kyiv Patriarchate took the keys from the church from the believers and already hung new locks.

Rector of the church, Protopriest Nikolai Kushnir and the Orthodox community of the village are forced to perform divine services on the street.

The Ivano-Frankovsk eparchy has already applied to law enforcement agencies, government officials and international organizations with a request to protect the rights of the UOC community in the village of Stary Gvozdets.

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/publikatsii/tochka-zrenija/five-months-of-confrontation-why-uniates-take-over-a-temple-in-kolomyia

Five months of confrontation: why Uniates take over a temple in Kolomyia

25/10/2017 41

Author:  Kirill Alexandrov

A stand-off around the temple of the Annunciation of the Holy Virgin in Kolomyia has continued for nearly five months now. With five months gone there are even more questions, the main of which being if the Uniate raiders actually need so badly a small church in the inner area, or their real goal is to sparkle an international conflict?

Question one: why do Greek-Catholics need the Annunciation Church?

Absolutely definitely, they need it not for praying and spiritual guidance of people. Not at all. The purpose was directly pointed to by Uniate priest Nikolay Medinsky on his Facebook page: “Say no to the ROTTEN STUFF of the Russian world in my DECORATED Kolomyia.”

The fight against the “Russian world” in Ukraine now justifies anything: pogroms of banks and TV channels, attacks on business structures, absurd bills. So why not use this fight as an excuse for church raiding as well? But what is quite clear: motives for the illegal seizure of temples are not religious, but exclusively political.

Question two: how come it is Uniates?

Why did Greek Catholics suddenly take over the Orthodox temple? For all post-Maidan years, church raiding has been associated namely with the UOC-KP. On its account there are more than 40 captured temples. UGCC had never seized temples before that and constantly stressed it at an official level. What an exceptionally peace-loving confession! And then, out of the blue – Kolomiya! In fact, the Uniates have clung to this temple like grim death. Why did it happen? …

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/ugcc-chaplain-targets-another-uoc-temple-in-kolomyia

UGCC chaplain targets another UOC temple in Kolomyia

31/10/2017 23

Author:  UOJ editorial

Uniate chaplain Nikolai Medinsky, organizer of the raider attack of the Annunciation temple, feels outraged by another UOC temple in Kolomyia. This time Greek-Catholics are not happy about the fact the church is located too close to the aerodrome. This is written by Medinsky on his Facebook page.

“Within 500 meters from the strategic site, another wasp nest of the Moscow Church is located (actually a division of the FSB),” writes Medinsky.

The chaplain appeals to the patriots to somehow react to this “outrageous fact.”

Raiding proponents, who committed an illegal seizure of the Annunciation temple of the UOC, threatened the believers ”to cut their throats”.

——

http://uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/police-help-schismatics-take-over-the-uoc-temple-in-vlg-stary-gvozdets-video

Police help schismatics take over the UOC temple in vlg. Stary Gvozdets (VIDEO)

07/11/2017 12

Author:  UOJ editorial

On November 4 there was a forced seizure of the Holy Annunciation temple in Stary Gvozdets village and, despite the court decision, the police took the side of raiders from the Kyiv Patriarchate, reports the press-service of Ivano-Frankovsk eparchy of the UOC.

At 9 o’clock in the morning supporters of the Kyiv Patriarchate opened the church and held their divine service there. About 30 policemen pushed aside the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and did not allow them to enter the worship building. It is noted that on the eve of November 3, the Kolomyia District Court issued a decision that satisfied the complaint of the religious community of Stary Gvozdets village about the inaction of the Kolomyia police department and ordered the law enforcers to bring information to the Single Register of Pre-trial Investigations concerning the events that occurred in Stary Gvozdets in October 2017.

Ostap Bileychuk, head of the Kolomyia department of the police of the State Unitary Enterprise in Ivano-Frankivsk region, personally banned Orthodox believers from entering the church, which was transferred to them for use in 1991, and noted that if believers are dissatisfied with something, they can go to court. The UOC eparchy specifies that namely this official in June facilitated raiding of the Holy Annunciation church of the UOC of Kolomyia by the so called “chaplains” from the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. Bileychuk was also present during the bashing of the Orthodox priest in the court session hall n 29 June 2017, after the court hearing on the inaction of law enforcement and illegal seizure of the temple in Kolomyia. …

——

http://forpost.lviv.ua/replika/7864-suchasna-stratehiia-polshchi-mozhe-pryvesty-do-viiny-proshu-hospoda-pro-prosvichennia-ta-%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B7%D1%83%D0%BC

Modern Polish strategy can lead to war. I ask the Lord for enlightenment and intelligence

  1. Justin Boyko, Replica, Monday, November 06, 2017, 23:03

The modern strategy of Poland – the return of the eastern christs [churches]? If so, then this is the road to the war between Ukraine and Poland!

If I had someone else 10 or 15 years ago saying that Poland would again begin to disrespect and [be] hostile to Ukrainians, I would never believe it. Now the current Polish political elite, which is in power, frankly propagandizes hatred for Ukraine and Ukrainians by the example of Sinkevich “Fire and sword”. The method that justifies everything is “ku pokrzepieniu serc”.

Obviously, the goal of the ruling political elite is to stay in power. But they woke a long [time] ago buried hatred between Ukrainians and Poles, which at one time grew into the notorious events before the Second World War, which I do not want to mention. In the light of everything, it seems that Churchill was right when he said that “the main lesson of history is that mankind does not learn anything.” It is a pity to admit, but it is a reality in which we live.

Why am I writing this? Because I am terribly sorry about this, because I spent 6 beautiful years in Poland, learned wonderful people, got a lot of friends. And now, the impression is that everything is falling, because the mood in Poland between Ukrainians and Poles really changes to the worst when to take propaganda. Local leaders and some intellectuals are trying to resist this, but unsuccessfully.

It’s scary that these moods are supported by a large part of the Catholic clergy in Poland. I ask the Lord for enlightenment and intelligence, and I myself hope that common sense and sense of duty will rise to the future generations.

 

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

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Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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