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The Biggest Threat to US National Security Is the US Government

Kavanaugh said that since the 4th Amendment excludes only “unreasonable” searches and seizures, it doesn’t exclude the “bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata”.

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


A dictatorship does not represent the public but only the aristocracy that, behind the scenes, controls the government.

Jonathan H. Adler, Professor at Case Western University School of Law, noted, regarding George W. Bush’s secret policy for the NSA to access everyone’s phone-records, that “The metadata collection program is constitutional (at least according to Judge Kavanaugh),” and he presented Judge Kavanaugh’s entire published opinion on that. Kavanaugh’s opinion stated that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution could be shoved aside because he thinks that the ‘national security’ of the United States is more important than the Constitution. Kavanaugh wrote:

The Government’s program for bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata serves a critically important special need – preventing terrorist attacks on the United States… In my view, that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program…

The Fourth Amendment allows governmental searches and seizures without individualized suspicion when the Government demonstrates a sufficient “special need” – that is, a need beyond the normal need for law enforcement – that outweighs the intrusion on individual liberty…

In sum, the Fourth Amendment does not bar the Government’s bulk collection of telephony metadata under this program.

Kavanaugh said that since the 4th Amendment excludes only “unreasonable” searches and seizures (such as seizures of all of this private information from everyone), it doesn’t exclude the “bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata” (collection of both phone numbers in each phone conversation from and/or to anyone in the United States), because a “critical national security need [“preventing terrorist attacks on the United States”] outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.”

As a consequence, for each American, the US federal Government knows everyone whom you call, and who calls you — it knows all of your phone-contacts — and it does so because everything in the US Constitution can be overridden by any “critical national security need” such as “preventing terrorist attacks” such as occurred on 9/11, which attacks hadn’t at all been enabled by the then-existing lack of such police-state measures here. Kavanaugh’s opinion simply ignored that fact — didn’t even discuss it. Instead of that’s having produced the ‘intelligence failure’, the US Government — especially the US President — prior to 9/11, had refused to allow its agents to inform the US President of the actionable information that they had found and that they were struggling to get to him prior to the attacks. Bush didn’t want to know, until the attacks had already occurred. He demanded deniability.

As regards the reason why this police-state procedure which Kavanaugh backs is needed now, after 9/11 — though it had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks (except for the latter’s having served in far-right-wingers’ propaganda such as Kavanaugh’s opinion, as being the alleged excuse for the ‘intelligence failure’), and though martial law hasn’t yet even been declared in the US — no one has publicly said anything. But is it really “reasonable” that the Government permanently stores all of this telephone-data from everyone, even if a given citizen does not, and in many instances doesn’t get to see it even on the phone-bill? Who actually benefits from this? It’s a severe situation that isn’t seriously being publicly discussed; such discussion is effectively banned in at least all of the major ’news’ media (which pretend to be concerned about protecting citizens’ most-basic rights — and not only about their own).

Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the US Supreme Court by a President who has threatened to go to war against Russia if Russia follows through with its announced plan to exterminate the Al-Qaeda-led forces in the only province of Syria that is at least 90% in favor of Al Qaeda and/or of ISIS — the province that is well over 90% jihadists and their pre-war supporters; it’s by far the most-jihadist province in all of Syria. Consequently, this alleged opposition to “Radical Islamic Terrorism” on the part of candidate and now US President Donald Trump, the President who appointed Judge Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land, is entirely and blatantly fakeTrump and his allies support Al Qaeda in Syria, just as Obama did.

Three nations have been prominently alleged to have been the secret cause of the 9/11 attacks. One of them is Shiite Iran, which is the only Government that is accused by the US Government, and which the US Government has fined billions of dollars as having been the cause of the 9/11 attacks, even though there’s no credible evidence that Iran had planned those attacks, nor that Iran had financed either the planning or the execution of those attacks. Iran is instead a Government which the US Government had controlled during 1953-1979 and whose US-installed regime of torture became overthrown in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution against the US-installed Iranian regime, at which time both the fundamentalist-Sunni Sauds — the royal family who own Saudi Arabia — and the fundamentalist-Jewish aristocracy who control Israel, declared Iran to be an “existential threat” against themselves; and the US Government has both of those Governments as allies to overthrow this post-US-stooge Government of Iran.

In 1996, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud and his friend FBI Director Louis Freeh managed to blame the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia not on the fundamentalist-Sunni US-and-Saudi-created Al Qaeda, which were widely thought to have done it, but instead on Iran, which both the US and Saudi Governments hated; and the retiring Freeh then recommended Robert Mueller to replace himself, and the retiring Robert Mueller recommended James Comey to replace himself, and thus all three FBI Directors endorsed the Saudi accusation against Iran, that Iran was behind the Khobar Towers bombing, even though no reliable evidence has yet been supplied that Iran had had anything at all to do with it. Mueller himself had a long history as the aristocracy’s master of cover-ups designed to misdirect blame either sideways or else downward but always away from the actual culprits and especially away from the culprits at the very top of the given criminal or traitorous operation. He’s the master of ‘investigative’ deception, serving the aristocracy, not the public. Wherever there are aristocratic conflicts to be resolved by lawyers, it’s almost never good guys versus bad guys but almost always monsters versus monsters. The US and its allies are simply bullies who lie, psychopathically.

All recent US Presidents say that “Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism”, even though (other than against Israel) all or nearly all Islamic terrorism has been perpetrated by fundamentalist Sunnis (such as Saudis), and virtually none by any Shiites at all.

Many Americans who oppose the US Government, but who aren’t intelligent, say that instead Israel caused the 9/11 attacks, even though no reliable evidence has been cited for that allegation, either, and much of the ‘evidence’ that is cited for it is fraudulent or otherwise disprovable. Israel (like the Sauds) is an enemy of the American people, but (unlike the Sauds) it didn’t cause 9/11. Osama bin Laden’s financial bagman, when asked where the money came from to pay the “salaries” of all Al Qaeda members, said “Without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing” of Al Qaeda.

The evidence is overwhelming that the Sauds financed the 9/11 attacks and that George W. Bush and some of his friends were also involved in it but were careful to make sure they had deniability — ignorance of the advance details — so as not to be able to be nailed for their advance involvement in the arrangements that had been made for the attacks. Bush, of course, relied on a close staff that included not only FBI director Mueller but Brett Kavanaugh, the current Supreme Court nominee by Donald Trump — and Trump had been elected after a Presidential campaign in which he had pretended to loathe the Bushes and their — and Obama’s — policies. Trump overturns the least-bad of Obama’s policies, but is otherwise simply an even bolder fascist than those two Presidents had been.

This is entirely a bipartisan matter — the same US aristocracy controls all American political Parties that have any chance of ruling the nation. For example, the opinion by Judge Kavanaugh was the only opinion that was published from any of the 11 judges though the ruling by the Court was unanimous. Among the ten other judges was the Chief Judge, Merrick Garland, whom President Obama subsequently appointed to the US Supreme Court and the Republicans blocked from being considered by the full Senate. President Obama was a defendant in this particular case, and all 11 judges on it ruled in his favor. If the Chief Judge had been the lone one to rule against him, then perhaps the Chief Judge (Garland) would not have been appointed (exactly four months later, on 16 March 2016) by the President to the Supreme Court. Garland was rejected by the Republicans because the President who appointed him labeled himself with the competing brand. The minor differences between US Supreme Court judges nowadays are the differences that separate the two political brands, not actually differences in basic beliefs or values, though the propaganda by the competing brands pretends to basic differences between them. Anyone who opposes the existing secret rule by the aristocracy won’t even be appointed, much less confirmed. This is today’s American ‘democracy’.

So, clearly, just as the US regime and its ‘news’ media had lied to say that Saddam Hussein needed to be eliminated because he possessed and was building up “WMD” and even nuclear weapons; and just as Muammar Qaddafi was similarly slaughtered on the basis of US-and-allied lies; and just as those and other US invasions — such as in Syria and in Yemen — have made America and the world vastly worse-off except for the US weapons-makers such as Lockheed Martin and the other US ‘Defense’ Department’s contractors and the US extraction firms such as ExxonMobil and Halliburton which gained new sources of lands to strip of their natural resources by means of such military invasions, the biggest threat to US national security is the US Government itself — and especially its military, which spends around half of the entire world’s military budget each year.

As part of this growing US police-state, every phone call that anyone in the US participates in is information that this regime has (since 9/11) been collecting on that individual. We are all ‘national security’ suspects, now. The US Government isn’t only the chief enemy of Iraqis, and of Libyans, and of Syrians, and of Iranians, and of Yemenis, and of Afghans, and of Russians, and of Chinese, etc.; it is also the chief enemy of the American people (though it doesn’t cause us hell like it causes the residents in those target-countries). And it is the chief enemy of Europeans, too. More recently, the US Government has, in effect, even declared economic war against Europe.

President Barack Obama said, and repeated many times, that the United States is “the one indispensable nation” — meaning that all others are “dispensable.” Adolf Hitler had said essentially the same thing about Germany; and, like recent US Presidents, he acted accordingly. Today’s US Government is the enemy of FDR’s US Government, and is not only the enemy of America’s Founders, in these and so many other basic matters. Today’s America is the fascist United States Government. All “dispensable” countries deal with that top fascist one, in whatever way the given nation’s aristocracy chooses to deal with it. Most aristocracies choose to share, however they can, in the Empire’s (the US aristocracy’s) loot from this military, propaganda, and extraction, system. But some other “dispensable” nations resist the US aristocracy. And some others are quiet, on the sidelines, for as long as they can be there, to avoid their becoming targets themselves. Dealing with such a bully is difficult for everyone.

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Clem KadidlehopperBilly ShearsThe MaestroeddingGuy Recent comment authors
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Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

That’s easily fixed, throw away your stupid “smart” phones and go back to paper mail. Let’s see them try and read EVERY letter of the BILLIONS that would go through the mailing system every day.

Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

That and the fact I am about to stop using a cellular phone, or even a land line, for that matter.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Bush knew 9.11 was coming down and he let them do it. Planning went in place while we watched the President Bill impeachment. This appointment is Kav’s reward for helping to pull it off. Hilda was promised the Presidency but that didn’t work out too well 2X.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Author and I soooo disagree on Israel participation. Planning all went into place while we watched the President infidelity show with the Jewess Monica. Patraeus was assigned to Jewess Paula to make sure he didn’t have a late night talk with wifey….and show a conscience.

Guy
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Guy

“Many Americans who oppose the US Government, but who aren’t intelligent, say that instead Israel caused the 9/11 attacks, even though no reliable evidence has been cited for that allegation, either, and much of the ‘evidence’ that is cited for it is fraudulent or otherwise disprovable.” I beg to differ.There is evidence that the mossad was involved and at the very least knew about the event about to happen .The dancing Israelis , the fake moving van ,of which the owners disappeared so mysteriously and conveniently .The so called art students , etc. No hard proof yes , but plenty… Read more »

Billy Shears
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Billy Shears

Guy, I am w you. There is PLENTY of evidence to that effect; before and after the event. And, guilty parties are put away every day on circumstantial evidence alone. If the gubmint was actually interested in the truth, the WTC complex would have been treated as a crime scene and there would have been an actual criminal investigation instead of the sham that was perpetrated on the world.

edding
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edding

Kavanaugh’s opinion disregards the fact that Bill Binney the former top technical director at the NSA and his team had designed a program that was in fact much better at meeting the national security needs of the country cited by Kavanaugh, while also protecting the 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure- and if Kavanaugh had considered it, it would have become clear that the dragnet program that Kavanaugh upheld was in fact UNREASONABLE. The NSA under General Hayden not only refused to use Binney’s program, in order to outsource the procurement at a multiple of the cost of… Read more »

The Maestro
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The Maestro

His interpretation is the absolute antithesis of the 4th amendment, IMHO, folks. I don’t see words except in “special needs of the government” anywhere in the 4th amendment. I love how these types cherry pick which words to use when quoting the BOR. Just another statist in a black robe helping to pave the road to tyranny. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place… Read more »

Clem Kadidlehopper
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Clem Kadidlehopper

Well why would the State Fascists that run the US Government get Trump elected if he wasn’t one of them. NO one is getting in, unless he’s a qualified Fascist! The Jesuits will set to that with their Georgetown graduates running the CIA and State Department as well as the other 16 US Intel agenices. That’s like doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. Cheney, Clinton, Bush, Obummer, and now Mr. Trumpet are all on the same band wagon, but the essence of the story is that those who know them and those who control them, know it.… Read more »

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Pat Buchanan: Caravan Puts Trump Legacy on the Line

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

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


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

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

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

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

——

newsroom.fb.com

11 October 2018

Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook

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

——

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burleigh continued:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more on Facebook

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

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

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

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

Who is the Atlantic Council?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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