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Who’s next on Mueller’s list: General Michael Flynn?

The case against Michael Flynn has been neither brought nor dropped though all the facts about it have long been known and the case in fact is threadbare

Alexander Mercouris

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When rumours began to circulate over the weekend that Special Counsel Mueller would be serving indictments on Monday one name apart from Paul Manafort’s was often quoted, which was that of President Trump’s first National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn.

In the event Flynn was not indicted on Monday.  However there are three possible cases which could be brought against Flynn and there are rumours that Mueller is considering indicting him on any one of them:

(1) a case under the Logan Act on the grounds that his conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak were a breach of the Logan Act, which prohibits private US citizens from conducting diplomacy purportedly on behalf of the US;

(2) a case for obstruction of justice on the grounds that Flynn supposedly lied about his conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, supposedly in order to avoid a prosecution under the Logan Act; and

(3) a case under the Foreign Agents’ Registration Act (“FARA”) because he failed to register properly his lobbying work for the Turkish government.

There have also been allegations that General Flynn did not report properly the payments he received from RT for appearing on its channel.

In my opinion if General Flynn is prosecuted under any one of these charges he ought to refuse a plea-bargain and should defend himself.  Briefly:

(1) No prosecutions have been brought under the Logan Act since it became law in 1799, possibly because there is a widespread view that the Logan Act is actually unconstitutional.

Not only would a prosecution of Flynn under the Logan Act look frankly oppressive, but in my opinion such a prosecution would be actually absurd given that at the time Flynn spoke to ambassador Kislyak he had already been publicly named by President elect Trump as his National Security Adviser and as a top official of the incoming administration he could not be considered simply a private US citizen.

As it happens what is known about General Flynn’s conversations with ambassador Kislyak suggest that he was not seeking to undermine the foreign policy of the United States.  Instead he is believed to have told Kislyak that Russia should react with restraint to the sanctions imposed on it by the Obama administration in December in view of a possible improvement in relations with the US after the Trump administration came into office.  Importantly however it seems that Flynn made no commitment on behalf of the United States that the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would be lifted.

In other words Flynn was simply doing his job as President elect Trump’s pick as National Security Adviser, in light of which I can see no grounds to bring charges against him under the Logan Act.

(2) Since in my opinion no crime was committed under the Logan Act whatever “lies” Flynn is supposed to have told about his conversations with ambassador Kislyak cannot in my opinion amount to an obstruction of justice.

I would add that I have always doubted that what Flynn subsequently said about his conversations with Kislyak were necessarily lies at all.  It seems that since at the time of the most crucial conversation with Kislyak Flynn was actually on holiday in the Caribbean he did not make contemporaneous of the conversation or have support staff with him to make notes for him.  His subsequent comments about the conversation were therefore based entirely on memory.

To the extent that Flynn is supposed to have been wrong about some of the things he said to Kislyak during the conversation it is quite likely that he simply made a mistake.

I would add that since the transcripts of the conversations between Flynn and Kislyak which the FBI is known to possess have never been made public or shown to Flynn it is impossible to say with any certainty how wrong or mistaken about this conversation Flynn actually was.

On the strength of what our old friends the “anonymous sources” who have seen the transcripts say is there, it seems that Flynn’s errors were inconsequential.  Even the “anonymous sources” admit that Flynn did nothing wrong during the call.

(3) As to the violations of FARA, it seems that Flynn did report both his lobbying work for the Turkish government and his payments by RT, only not in the right way.  There was therefore no attempt at concealment and these are at best ‘process crimes’ with no malice involved or intended.

Given the very thin case against General Flynn I doubt that a US jury would convict him, all the more so as he is a highly decorated soldier who has served the United States in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq – something which I would expect to weigh heavily on a jury.

The fact nonetheless remains that though all the facts about what Flynn has done are known, he has so far neither been charged nor told that he won’t be.  Instead he has been left in suspense for more than half a year.

This is disgraceful treatment of a highly decorated soldier who has served his country, and it should be brought to an end without any further delay.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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