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France threatens journalists with jail time for exposing use of French arms in Yemen

France threatens journalists with jail time for exposing use of French arms in Yemen

French journalists could face up to five years in prison and be fined up to $83,000

France is ranked 32nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index (AFP)By MEE and agencies

France has threatened three French journalists with potential jail time for using secret documents to reveal the country’s involvement in the Yemen civil war. 

In a series of reports published in April, investigative journalists from Disclose and Radio France revealed the number of French arms sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. REVEALED: The full extent of US arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAERead More »

The documents, authored by France’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DSGI), showed that senior French officials had lied about the role of French weapons in the Yemen War. 

Following the publication of the reports in April, Disclose’s co-founders Geoffrey Livolsi and Mathias Destal and Radio France journalist Benoît Collombat were asked to attend a hearing at the DSGI headquarters in Paris. 

The three journalists refused to reveal their sources after being questioned by the DSGI on the origin of the document, their work and posts on Facebook and Twitter.

The journalists used the hearing to defend press freedom and how it was in the public interest to publish details from the leaked DSGI document. 

Press Freedom has been protected for more than 130 years under the Press Law of 1881, which gives journalists the right to keep sources confidential. 

We are concerned that the sole aim of this hearing is to use the threat of prosecution to put pressure on these journalists to reveal their source

– Paul Coppin, Reporters Without Borders

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Monsanto Spied On Both Sides Of Pesticide Debate In At Least 7 European Nations

Monsanto Spied On Both Sides Of Pesticide Debate In At Least 7 European Nations

New details have emerged about the recently revealed dossier(s) Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, compiled to sway public opinion on herbicides. The dossier(s) included people from 7 European states and potentially beyond, according to a new report by RT

Monsanto files reportedly listed prominent public figures who were opinionated on either side of the herbicide debate. The list included “stakeholders in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as regarding stakeholders related to EU institutions.” 

Bayer says it has hired a law firm for the purpose of trying to determine whether similar lists exist in other states. 

Recall, about one week ago we reported that Bayer, which is being investigated by French prosecutors for compiling files of influential people such as journalists in France, likely did the same across Europe, suggesting a potentially wider problem.

French prosecutors said several weeks ago that they had opened an inquiry after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging that Monsanto – acquired by Bayer for $63 billion last year – had kept a file of 200 names, including journalists and lawmakers in hopes of influencing positions on pesticides. The list was said to be prepared by PR firm FleishmanHillard on behalf of Monsanto. 

“[We have] decided with the agency to end the collaboration in the areas of communication and public affairs for the time being,”  Bayer said, referring to PR firm FleishmanHillard.

Bayer acknowledged the existence of the files and said it does not believe any laws were broken.

It’s safe to say that other countries in Europe were affected by lists … I assume that all EU member states could potentially be affected,” Matthias Berninger, Bayer’s head of public affairs and sustainability, told journalists about a week ago.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Establishment Narrative Managers Struggle With New Syria Plot Holes

Establishment Narrative Managers Struggle With New Syria Plot Holes

It has been about a week since the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM) published a leaked internal document from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. The document, whose authenticity the OPCW has confirmed, contends that the official story which was used to justify an air strike by the US, UK and France about poison gas being dropped on civilians from Syrian government helicopters is scientifically implausible, saying “In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft.”

The document, titled “Engineering Assessment of Two Cylinders Observed at the Douma Incident”, was signed by a man named Ian Henderson, whose name is seen listed in expert leadership positions on OPCW documents from as far back as 1998 and as recently as 2018. The OPCW hid this information from the public, for reasons it has yet to attempt to justify.

The fact that a longtime OPCW-trained investigator wildly dissented with the OPCW’s official conclusions within the OPCW’s own investigation should obviously have been made public knowledge, and this revelation should obviously have made headline news throughout the western media. Instead, it’s been completely ignored. Only a few alternative media outlets and the usual Russian publications have covered it.

“According to ProQuest database, [Peter] Hitchens’ piece is the only mention in any UK corporate newspaper so far,” tweeted media analysis site Media Lens yesterday.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Media Setting Up Iran as New ‘Threat’ That Must Be Confronted

Media Setting Up Iran as New ‘Threat’ That Must Be Confronted

New York Times depiction of US aircraft carrier in Persian Gulf, using US Navy photo
WaPo: We're Drifting Toward War With Iran. Trumps Needs to Take a Diplomatic Way Out

Once again the Washington Post (5/14/19) presents the United States as “drifting toward war”—this time with Iran.

The Washington Post editorial’s headline (5/14/19)  had the US “drifting” toward war with Iran—another example, as analyst Nima Shirazi quipped, of the “world’s superpower somehow having no agency over its own imperialism.”

If we can still call things “surreal,” that would describe watching corporate media do the same things they did in the run-up to the Iraq War, things they later disavowed: the credulous repetition of administration claims about the supposed threat; the reliance, for interpretation  of “intelligence,”  on officials with well known records for manipulating intelligence; the stenographic reporting of ‘troubling’ actions by the enemy state, that later have to be walked back.

A May 13 New York Times piece led with the statement that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had “presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.” As researcher Derek Davison reminds, in a piece for LobeLog (5/14/19), there is, as the Times has acknowledged on other occasions, no evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons, at whatever pace.

Later, the piece says:

Some senior American officials said the plans, even at a very preliminary stage, show how dangerous the threat from Iran has become. Others, who are urging a diplomatic resolution to the current tensions, said it amounts to a scare tactic to warn Iran against new aggressions.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Julian Assange Is Today’s Martin Luther King

Julian Assange Is Today’s Martin Luther King

Caravaggio The seven works of mercy (Sette opere di Misericordia) 1607

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop… And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, one day before he was murdered

What Martin Luther King King won through many hard-fought battles, and in the end through sacrificing his own life, has to be won all over again: freedom, truth, justice. And this time it’s Julian Assange who stands in the frontline. With Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden by his side. But I know you’re not very likely to agree with that assessment.

For one thing, I picked the kind of headline that will probably make many people not read an essay. But I’m not kidding, and I’m not saying this for effect. Julian Assange is like Martin Luther King in many ways, and he deserves for people to recognize that.

Assange and Dr. King were born in different times, the former 3 years after the latter was murdered. But when anyone wants to talk King’s legacy, then Assange very much IS that legacy. It would be nice if people like Dr. King’s youngest daughter Bernice, who is very vocal on her father’s legacy, would acknowledge this. Her father certainly would have.

What Julian Assange and Martin Luther King have in common is a superior intelligence, combined with unwavering courage and an unrelenting drive for justice and truth. Both men were born so brave they realized that they might have to give their lives for their causes. And then brought that realization into practice. Both in their own way gave their lives for our sins.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

That Time John Bolton Said It’s Good To Lie About War

That Time John Bolton Said It’s Good To Lie About War

Journalist Whitney Webb recently tweeted a 2010 video clip I’d never seen before featuring US National Security Advisor John Bolton defending the use of deception in advancing military agendas, which highlights something we should all be paying attention to as Trump administration foreign policy becomes increasingly Boltonized.

On a December 2010 episode of Fox News’ Freedom Watch, Bolton and the show’s host Andrew Napolitano were debating about recent WikiLeaks publications, and naturally the subject of government secrecy came up.

“Now I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs, and possibly for deception where that’s appropriate,” Bolton said. “You know Winston Churchill said during World War Two that in wartime truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.”

“Do you really believe that?” asked an incredulous Napolitano.

“Absolutely,” Bolton replied.

“You would lie in order to preserve the truth?”

“If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it,” Bolton answered.

“I don’t think we’re often faced with that difficulty, but would I lie about where the D-Day invasion was going to take place to deceive the Germans, you’d better believe it,” Bolton continued.

“Why do people in the government think that the laws of society or the rules don’t apply to them?” Napolitano asked.

“Because they are not dealing in the civil society we live in under the Constitution,” Bolton replied. “They are dealing in the anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply.”

“But you took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and the Constitution mandates certain openness and certain fairness,” Napolitano protested. “You’re willing to do away with that in order to attain a temporary military goal?”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Cultural Schizophrenia”: US Media No Longer Reports Facts, But Appeals to Emotions

“CULTURAL SCHIZOPHRENIA”: US MEDIA NO LONGER REPORTS FACTS, BUT APPEALS TO EMOTIONS

The mainstream media in the United States has made a shift in the past few decades.  Now, they appeal to emotions as opposed to reporting the facts. This “cultural schizophrenia” is tearing the U.S. apart at the seams.

Based on the conclusions to a RAND Corporation study, the mainstream media is actively sowing discord in American society, award-winning journalist Chris Hedges tells RT. The media is focusing on making two sides hate each other instead of reporting on the facts, and the majority of the public is unaware and doesn’t care that their minds are being manipulated by their own emotional responses.

The study, which was released by RAND earlier this week, states that between 1987 and 2017, news content has shifted from event- and context-based reporting to coverage that is more subjective, relies more heavily on argumentation and advocacy, and includes more emotional appeals.” According to RT,  prime-time cable news shows and online journalism lead the way in this shift to emotional and hate-based rhetoric. It has been noticed in print journalism as well, the government-funded think tank concluded. This is contributing to what RAND termed “Truth Decay.” This is described as a shift away from facts and analysis in public discourse.

Hedges claims that the deterioration of the mainstream media is “far worse” than the RAND report suggests. And he isn’t alone in that assessment.

[American journalist Matt]Taibbi says that the result of this journalistic decay and emotional fear mongering is a public addicted to hating each other.Americans have become addicted to the news that agrees with their bias, and it was set up that way on purpose. The only thing anyone will hear when they turn on the news are stories specifically crafted to manufacture outrage, make you hate the other side, and fuel the addiction to anger. –SHTFPlan

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fake Has Become Realer Than Real And The Dogs Of War Are There To Keep It That Way

Fake Has Become Realer Than Real And The Dogs Of War Are There To Keep It That Way

America’s self-imagined custodianship of human rights and freedom epitomize problems associated with fake prophesies. That Americans now rally behind the latest battle-cry of the Republic, ‘Make America Great Again’, indicate that they are indifferent to the fact that their country has been barnstorming across the globe these past six decades killing vast numbers of innocent people with the objective of creating a pre-eminently militaristic empire to strategically control the skies, oceans, their market-share plus control of space. In implementing these belligerent objectives, the US has repeatedly unleashed auto-da fes to destroy many countries across the globe who failed to fall in line.

Foremostly, America’s firebrand passage through Muslim countries clearly illustrate how a neophyte culture with racist baggage can implode the nation’s reputation, leaving it bereft of respect and credibility. This now appears to be what is happening in America. The two-tiered (or three) aspect of this enterprise requires closer examination.

It would appear that ‘greatness’ in the American context amounts to nothing more than upholding vulgar white-middle-class racist values as the measure of excellence, with fake ‘principled’ notions of cultural superiority leading the chase. When the dogs-of-war were unleashed to wreak havoc, pillage and plunder on the habitats of millions of hapless people across the globe, the silence of so-called conscionable America was deafening.

Violence had become an American staple and the voice of the Peace Movement is all but mute. It’s now impossible to ignore the fact that the three tiers of state, the top tier, the middle tier and the lower tier…the three classes…collude in a program whose singular use of power expresses an unwavering desire to ride the gravy train to the hilt and devil take the hindmost.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Liberal Embrace of War

The Liberal Embrace of War

American interventionists learned a lesson from Iraq: pre-empt the debate. Now everyone is for regime change

An anti-government protester dressed as Lady Liberty, wearing the colors of Venezuela's flag, hugs a fellow protester during a demonstration near La Carlota airbase in Caracas, Venezuela, . Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is calling for Venezuelans to fill streets around the country Wednesday to demand President Nicolás Maduro's ouster. Maduro is also calling for his supporters to rallyPolitical Crisis, Caracas, Venezuela - 01 May 2019

The United States has just suspended flights to Venezuela. Per the New York Times:

CARACAS — The United States banned all air transport with Venezuela on Wednesday over security concerns, further isolating the troubled South American nation…

A disinterested historian — Herodotus raised from the dead — would see this as just the latest volley in a siege tale. America has been trying for ages to topple the regime of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying for years to do the same to his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

The new play in the Trump era involves recognizing Juan Guaidó as president and starving and sanctioning the country. Maduro, encircled, has been resisting.

The American commercial news landscape, in schism on domestic issues, is in lockstep here. Every article is seen from one angle: Venezuelans under the heel of a dictator who caused the crisis, with the only hope a “humanitarian” intervention by the United States.

There is no other perspective. Media watchdog FAIR just released results of a study of three months of American opinion pieces. Out of 76 editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, the “big three Sunday morning talk shows” or PBS News Hour, zero came out against the removal of Maduro. They wrote:

“Corporate news coverage of Venezuela can only be described as a full-scale marketing campaign for regime change.”

Allowable opinion on Venezuela ranges from support for military invasion to the extreme pacifist end of the spectrum, as expressed in a February op-ed by Dr. Francisco Rodriguez and Jeffrey Sachs called “An Urgent Call for Compromise in Venezuela”:

“We strongly urge… a peaceful and negotiated transition of power rather than a winner-take-all game of chicken…”

So we should either remove Maduro by force, or he should leave peaceably, via negotiation. These are the options.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Pivot Point

The Pivot Point 


The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.

It was a rotten system, bound to collapse. But unfortunately, it was a system in which the political elite were so financially bound that the consequences of collapse threatened their place in the social order. So collapse was prevented, by the use of the systems of government to effect the largest ever single event transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the course of human history. Politicians bailed out the bankers by using the bankers’ own systems, and even permitted the bankers to charge the public for administering their own bailout, and charge massive interest on the money they were giving to themselves. This method meant that the ordinary people did not immediately feel all the pain, but they certainly felt it over the following decade of austerity as the massive burden of public debt that had been loaded on the populace and simply handed to the bankers, crippled the public finances.

The mechanisms of state and corporate propaganda kicked in to ensure that the ordinary people were told that rather than having been robbed, they had been saved. In the ensuing decade the wealth disparity between rich and poor has ever widened, to the extent that this week the BBC announced the UK now has 151 billionaires, in a land where working people resort to foodbanks and millions of children are growing up in poverty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Income Tax is Destroying the World Economy

The Income Tax is Destroying the World Economy 

It is imperative that we MUST eliminate the income tax. It is a purely a Marxist development that is destroying the world economy. The income tax has become such a tyranny that our liberty, freedom of movement, and world economic growth are all at great risk. Never before in the history of human civilization do we find an income tax. It is true that Ben Franklin once said that the two certainties in life were death and taxes. It is equally true that taxes, in general, have been around since the beginning of civilization. We do know that the earliest recorded tax was implemented in Mesopotamia over 4500 years ago, where people paid taxes throughout the year in the form of livestock, which was the preferred currency at the time. The ancient world also had inheritance taxes, also known as estate taxes or death taxes. The earliest recorded evidence of a death tax came from ancient Egypt (700 BC), where they charged a 10% tax on property transferred at the time of death.

The most serious crisis we face is that with the dawn of Marxism (Communism/Socialism) the way we pay taxes has changed significantly. Yet, one for the record took place in 2006 when China eliminated what was the oldest existing tax in history. The agricultural tax was created 2,600 years ago and was eliminated in 2006 to help improve the well-being of rural farmers in China.

Taxation in the United States can be traced to the colonists when they were heavily taxed by Great Britain on many things from tea to newspapers. Legal and business documents were required to display a Stamp Tax. Most colonists objected to this form of taxation, since they had no political input about the creation of new taxes, giving rise to the term “taxation without representation.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UK Cops Fine Pedestrian $115 For Avoiding Facial Recognition Camera

UK Cops Fine Pedestrian $115 For Avoiding Facial Recognition Camera

A UK pedestrian was arrested and fined £90 ($115 US) after attempting to cover his face while passing a controversial facial recognition camera van on a East London street. The notorious London police vans scan the faces of passers-by and compare them to a database of wanted criminals. 

One man wasn’t having any of it, and was seen covering his face with his hat and jacket before London police stopped him and took his picture anyway according to the Daily Mail

If I want to cover me face, I’ll cover me face. Don’t push me over when I’m walking down the street,” said the man after his stop. 

“How would you like it if you walked down the street and someone grabbed your shoulder? You wouldn’t like it, would you?” the man asked an officer, who replied “Calm yourself down or you’re going in handcuffs. It’s up to you. Wind your neck in.” 

“You wind your neck in,” the man replied. 

After being fined, the man told a reporter: ‘The chap told me down the road – he said they’ve got facial recognition. So I walked past like that (covering my face).

‘It’s a cold day as well. As soon as I’ve done that, the police officer’s asked me to come to him. So I’ve got me back up. I said to him ‘f*** off’, basically.  

‘I said ‘I don’t want me face shown on anything. If I want to cover me face, I’ll cover me face, it’s not for them to tell me not to cover me face. 

‘I’ve got a now £90 fine, here you go, look at that. Thanks lads, £90. Well done.’ –Daily Mail

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Praise of Hayek’s Masterwork

IN PRAISE OF HAYEK’S MASTERWORK

Friedrich von Hayek first published The Road to Serfdom in 1944. His book was subsequently popularised by a condensed version in The Reader’s Digest. This article re-examines Hayek’s theme in the context of today’s economics and politics to see what lessons we can learn from it, and whether personal freedom can survive.

Why personal freedom is important and the treat to it

Destroy personal freedom, and ultimately the state destroys itself. No state succeeds in the long run by taking away freedom from individuals, other than those strictly necessary for guaranteeing individualism. And unless the state recognises this established fact its destruction will be both certain and brutal. Alternatively, a state that steps back from the edge of collectivism and reinstates individual freedoms will survive. This is the theoretical advantage offered by democracy, when the people can peacefully rebel against the state, compared with dictatorships when they cannot.

Nevertheless, democracies are rarely free from the drift into collectivism. They socialise our efforts by taxing profits excessively and limiting free market competition, which is the driving force behind the creation and accumulation of personal wealth and the advancement of the human condition. At least democracies periodically offer the electorate an opportunity to throw out a government sliding into socialism. A Reagan or Thatcher can then materialise to save the nation by reversing or at least stemming the tide of collectivism.

Dictatorships are different, often ending in revolution, the condition in which chaos thrives. If the governed are lucky, out of chaos emerges freedom; much more likely they face more intense suppression and even civil war. We remember dictatorships through a figurehead, a Hitler or Mussolini. But these are just the leaders in a party of like-minded statists.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 3—The Most Extensive Classified Leak in History

The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 3—The Most Extensive Classified Leak in History

The “Iraq War Logs” disgorged an unprecedented profusion of documents, military reports and videos. 

*****

For WikiLeaks, 2010 was an exceptionally eventful year. In April the transparency organization released “Collateral Murder,” the video of U.S. Army helicopters as they shot more than a dozen Iraqis in Baghdad. That proved a worldwide shock and put the 4-year-old publisher on the global media map.

“Afghan War Diaries,” a cache of 75,000 documents, followed in July.

Three months later, on Oct. 22, 2010, WikiLeaks released an even more explosive trove: 391,831 documents and videos it named “Iraq War Logs.” This superseded “Afghan War Diaries” as by far the most extensive leak of classified material in U.S. history. It shone a stark light on the U.S.–led coalition’s conduct in Iraq after its 2003 invasion, when the nation had erupted into a violent sectarian war. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, said the Logs “constituted the most comprehensive and detailed account of any war ever to have entered the public record.”

CNN live coverage of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. (YouTube)

The source for the “Iraq War Logs” was once again Chelsea Manning, who by then was in a military prison awaiting trial on charges connected to “Collateral Murder” that wound up including 22 counts of theft, assisting the publication of classified intelligence and aiding the enemy.

The Documents 

With the publication of  the “Iraq War Logs,” WikiLeaks disgorged an unprecedented profusion of documents, military reports and videos.

The Logs cover the six-year period from Jan. 1, 2004, (a matter of months after the 2003 invasion) to Dec. 31, 2009.  WikiLeaks  partnered with The New York Times, The GuardianDer SpiegelAl Jazeera and Le Monde to disseminate the Iraq Logs. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Using Events to Further Power

Using Events to Further Power 

QUESTION: Hi Martin,
I appreciate everything you do to clear away the mist and show what is truly happening in the world. You are one of the few voices of reason out there.

In New Zealand, since the mosque shootings in Christchurch, things have become very tense and this is due, in large part, to the way the government and police have responded and behaved since then.
Ordinary New Zealanders, kiwis, who are among the most accepting and laid back people on earth, are becoming anxious and angry at the way they are being treated. This is highlighted in particular be the heavy-handed way the police are undertaking gun confiscation in the wake of recent law changes to control firearms.

How quickly a country can change. Is this the kind of pivot you foresee as we approach 2032? With governments and their law enforcement becoming more and more oppressive to the point where ordinary people will say enough!
P

ANSWER: Governments know there is a massive problem on the horizon. They let Bitcoin trade to familiarize people with cryptocurrency. There is an agenda to eliminate cash, and we may see that hit in Europe and Australia before anywhere else. The raids on gun collectors in New Zealand are the excuse for violent acts.

The US used 9/11 to further the power of government. All the constitutional rights we had and the generations who fought and died to preserve our freedom were usurped, not by an invading army, but by our own government. This is a standard operational tactic that is by no means new. Ben Franklin addressed this issue. The people are given the picture of an omnipotent, unslayable hydra of destruction unless they surrender their individual liberties in pursuit of safety.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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