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False Flag? Fmr CIA Officer Suggests US Hacked Ukrainian Plane Transponder To Provoke Iran Shootdown

False Flag? Fmr CIA Officer Suggests US Hacked Ukrainian Plane Transponder To Provoke Iran Shootdown

Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA, penned a piece in the American Herald Tribune speculating that the U.S. launched several cyber-attacks, one on an Iranian missile defense system, and another on the transponder of the doomed Ukrainian plane.

Giraldi explains the Iranian missile operator experienced extreme “jamming” and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752’s transponder was switched off several minutes before the two Russian made Tor missiles were launched. 

“The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired,” he said.

Giraldi said the Tor missile system used by Iran is vulnerable to being hacked or “spoofed,” and at the same moment, Flight 752’s transponder was taken offline “to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government.”

The Pentagon has reportedly developed technologies that can trick enemy radars with false and deceptively moving targets, he said. 

“The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability,” Giraldi said.

Iran made the claim Wednesday that “enemy sabotage” cannot be ruled out in the downing of the plane. 

Iranian Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi suggested the U.S. hacked missile defense systems to make it appear Flight 752 was an incoming missile. 

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

“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation

“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation

The government which runs a globe-spanning empire led by a reality TV host keeps talking about the lack of normality in the nation of Iran.

“What we want all countries to join in,” said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a recent Fox News interview, “is to help us not only to de-escalate any tensions with Iran, but to help us bring Iran to a place where they are ready to stop their terrorist and malign behavior, and where they are ready to discuss with the United States, with Europe, with everyone, about how they can change their behavior to act like a normal nation.”

“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press statement the other day. “We believe that the sanctions we imposed today further that strategic objective.”

These would be the additional sanctions which have been expanded to include virtually the entire Iranian economy, deliberately targeting Iran’s already sanction-starved populace, with the explicit goal of fomenting a civil war in that nation.

Which is of course a perfectly normal thing to do, from a perfectly normal nation.


.@StateDeptSPOX: We want all countries to join us in encouraging #Iran to behave like a normal nation.


This would be the same Iran whose cultural heritage sites were threatened with destruction if it retaliated for the totally normal assassination of its top military official via flying robot. The same Iran whose financial system was just threatened with destruction using the totally normal hegemony of American central banking. Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy.

So what can Iran do to become a “normal nation”? Well, since it’s the United States making this demand, we can safely assume that it’s the model Iran should look to.

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

Americans Have Been Brainwashed to Accept War Without Question

AMERICANS HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED TO ACCEPT WAR WITHOUT QUESTION

As the United States seemed to teeter on the edge of yet another war, this time with Iran, the biggest concern was just how much support the government had for its mass-murdering schemes. But psychologists say that that is no mistake.  As Americans, we have been conditioned for war all of our lives.

Americans have been programmed to accept the violence and domination with a belief that the mass murders are done for some kind of “good.” Propaganda has been widely used along with patriotic images to make even those who consider themselves peaceful cheer for death, violence, and destruction.

Americans are taught from a young age to accept their country’s militarism without question. This conditioning has numerous ingredients. Themes of nationalism and militarism are frequently injected into public life through the media and other institutions, for example, as is a sense of righteousness, a rarely challenged belief that the country is almost always a force for good. –Psychology Today

Fear is also a major element in conditioning minds for war. Americans of all ages are often reminded, by their government and the media, that perceived enemies pose a constant danger. The Soviet threat was used to justify military spending and adventurism around the globe for much of the later twentieth century, validating the warning given by President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell speech of the growing influence of the “military-industrial complex.”

More recently, through constant reminders of the “war on terror,” Americans are effectively conditioned to see evildoers as always looming. There is little to no debate about whether slaughtering people and killing others thousands of miles away is right or wrong.  Militarism and force through mass murder is always the conclusion drawn by most Americans.

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

Israel Bombs Weapons Depot Run By Iranian Militia

Israel Bombs Weapons Depot Run By Iranian Militia

Tensions continued to climb in the Middle East Thursday evening as reports of another air strike have been confirmed, but this time, it was the Israelis doing the shelling.

According to reports by domestic and western media, the Israeli air force carried out an attack against an Iran-backed militia reportedly headquartered on the border between Syria and Iraq.

Tribal sources in Iraq apparently told reporters that the Israeli shelling targeted trucks and individuals associated with Iranian-backed militias near the Iraqi-Syria border. Artillery and shelling was also reported, though it’s unclear who fired those shots. The weapons are believed to have been destined for Hezbollah.

Sources claimed that the airstrikes were targeting weapons shipments, according to the Washington Post. The Kataib Imam Ali, an Iran-backed militia, was apparently moving weapons, possibly in preparation for a strike against US interests.

Al Mayadeen reported that the strikes targeted ballistic missile warehouses run by the group. The warehouse was situated outside of the city of Al Bukamal

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

Past Point of No Return –John Rubino

Past Point of No Return –John Rubino

Financial writer and book author John Rubino sees the world careening toward a debt reset at an increasing pace. Rubino explains, “The coming monetary reset and what that means for gold and what that means for the rest of the global financial system, you don’t need a war to bring that about because we are making enough financial mistakes that will get us there in no time flat now without geopolitical turmoil. If you add a big war in the Middle East into the equation, then anything can happen. A scenario right now that is very, very feasible is we start shooting in the Middle East and Russia and China is on the other side of this in one way or another. They help Iran, and we have our allies helping us, and we start using these next generation weapons that are breathtakingly powerful. Nobody has any idea what’s going to happen when we start throwing these things at each other. . . . Oil spikes to $100 – $150 per barrel, and that tips the already extremely fragile global financial system over the edge. So, we get the ‘Greater Depression’ or the monetary reset or a hyperinflation or whatever we get sooner rather than later. It’s a disaster for everybody when it happens that way.”

Rubino says the monetary masters “tried to fix the financial system but could not do it.” Rubino says, “If you think you are beyond the point of no return financially as an individual, you borrow as much money as you can, and then go bankrupt. . . . Governments in the world are starting to do that now or behaving that way. . . . There is nothing they can do to fix the system. In the U.S., they tried to fix the system and scale back and they found out that is impossible…

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

On The Idiotic Partisan Debate Over Regime Change In Iran Or Syria

On The Idiotic Partisan Debate Over Regime Change In Iran Or Syria

I love my job. Really, I do. But writing about US military agendas for a living often brings one into contact with such staggering stupidity that all you can do is pause and wonder how our species survived past the invention of the pointy stick.

By far the dumbest thing in all of US politics is the fact that Democrats tend to support regime change in Syria, while Republicans tend to support it more in Iran. I am not talking about the elected officials in those parties; I’m talking about the ordinary rank-and-file Joes and Janets who stand absolutely nothing to gain from toppling either Damascus or Tehran, but who have been brainwashed by lifelong media consumption into supporting one or the other anyway.

Whenever I write against the US government’s longstanding agenda to replace the leadership of Tehran with a compliant puppet regime, I know with absolute certainty that I’m going to spend the rest of my time online arguing with Trump supporters and lifelong Republicans. Whenever I write against the US government’s longstanding agenda to do the same in Syria, I know with absolute certainty that I’m going to be arguing predominantly with so-called centrist liberals.

At no time has this ever failed to occur.

I’ve spent the last few days arguing with Trump supporters who are telling me I’m crazy for not celebrating the death of an Iranian general they had no idea existed one week ago, and many of these pro bono State Department propagandists began following my work because they liked what I’ve been saying about Syria.

Conversely, all the fauxgressives and liberal interventionists who spent all last month telling me I’m a monster for writing about leaked OPCW documents showing we were lied to about an alleged 2018 chemical weapons incident have been staying out of my social media notifications completely these past four days.

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

Iran Refuses To Hand Over Crash Data, Stoking Speculation Plane Was Accidentally Shot Down

Iran Refuses To Hand Over Crash Data, Stoking Speculation Plane Was Accidentally Shot Down

Iran will reportedly refuse to hand over black box data from the Boeing 737 that crashed over Tehran last night to Boeing, stoking speculation that the aircraft was shot down by an Iranian missile.

Video of wreckage from the crash, which shows shattered bodies and debris spread over a wide area, has surfaced on social media.



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

No Survivors After Ukraine-Bound 737 Crashes Two Minutes Into Flight From Tehran

No Survivors After Ukraine-Bound 737 Crashes Two Minutes Into Flight From Tehran

Update: There were no survivors in the Ukraine International 737-800 which crashed shortly after takeoff from Iran, according to the head of the Iranian Red Crescent’s Relief and Rescue Organization in an appearance on state television. The New York Timesmeanwhile, reports that the plane was carrying “at least 170 people,” while Bloomberg puts the number between 167 and 180. The cause of the crash has thus far been reported as a ‘technical problem.’

A Boeing 737-800 of the Ukraine International airline in Duesseldorf, Germany, in September.Credit…Ina Fassbender/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Four helicopters and 22 ambulances were sent to the crash site, according to Bloomberg.


Updated photos of air crash flight #PS752 @isna_farsi

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

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

Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Following Iran’s decision to lob missiles at US-Iraqi bases last night, several major tanker operators have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, the site of several tanker attacks last year.

Petrobras, Bahri – Saudi Arabia’s state-run tanker operator – and other tanker companies have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, WSJ reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Gulf officials are already trying to convince the world that there’s nothing to worry about in what’s essentially a tinderbox inside another tinderbox. United Arab Emirates’ Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Wednesday he saw no immediate risk to oil passing through the critical gateway through which 20% of the global supply of crude travels. al-Mazrouei made the comments on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

The source of their concerns is clear: Iran carried out its “retaliation” for the killing of General Suleimani last night – though the Pentagon has confirmed that there have been no American casualties from Iran’s strikes. However, many fear that Iran isn’t finished with its retaliation. 

Mazrouei added that OPEC was not discussing any precautionary steps at the moment, but would re-evaluate the situation if a supply shortage emerged, according to Reuters. He said earlier that the global oil market was well supplied.

Oil prices initially moved higher after last night’s attacks, but prices have since settled, and the market largely ignored the news about the tanker suspensions, as it was already largely priced in.

On Tuesday, Washington warned about “the possibility of Iranian action against US maritime interests” in the Middle East.

“U.S. commercial vessels are advised to exercise caution and coordinate vessel voyage planning for transits of the Persian Gulf and nearby waterways,” the U.S. Maritime Administration said in a statement on its website.

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

Iranian MPs Pass Bill Labeling All US Military Personnel “Terrorist Entities”

Iranian MPs Pass Bill Labeling All US Military Personnel “Terrorist Entities”

Lawmakers of the Islamic Consultative Assembly on Tuesday have labeled the Pentagon and its affiliates as terrorist entities under a new law, according to Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). 

Iran’s new legislation was overwhelmingly approved by 223 lawmakers, according to IRNA. The law comes in response to the US’ assassination of top Iranian general Qasim Suleimani last Friday. 

The law states, “all members of the Pentagon, all affiliated companies, institutions, agents and commanders,” are now considered terrorist organizations in the eyes of Iran. 

This means, all those Silicon Valley technology companies that have contracts with the Pentagon, are now all classified as terrorist organizations and could be targeted if war broke out.

The nation’s Supreme National Security Council has already designated the U.S. Central Command as a terrorist organization. 

The Trump administration recently identified the IRGC as a terrorist group after Trump pulled out of the 2016 nuclear deal with Iran. 

As both countries are designating each other as a terrorist organization, Iran is now on the verge of conducting a retaliation attack against the U.S.

President Trump has warned that if retaliation is seen, the U.S. military will strike 52 “very high level” Iranian cultural and state targets.

Iran responded Tuesday and said it has considered 13 “revenge scenarios” in retaliation for Soleimani’s killing.

Fars News Agency quoted Iranian Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani on Tuesday as saying that “even if there is consensus on the weakest scenario, carrying it out can be a historic nightmare for the Americans.”

Futures Tumble After Iran Fires “More Than A Dozen” Ballistic Missiles At Two US Targets In Iraq

Futures Tumble After Iran Fires “More Than A Dozen” Ballistic Missiles At Two US Targets In Iraq

Update 8: The Pentagon has released a full statement on the attacks, claiming that more than a dozen missiles were fired from within Iran, and that at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US troops were targeted.

Statement from Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman

At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil.

We are working on initial battle damage assessments.

In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.

As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region.

Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

US F-35s have been scrambled from bases in Turkey and the UAE.

Meanwhile, Iran claims that a “second wave” of attacks targeting an unidentified US base in Iraq is beginning, according to semi-official news agency Tasnim. The IRGC is also threatening to attack any other countries that host US troops.

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

“We’re Going To War, Bro”: Elite 82nd Airborne In Largest ‘Fast Deployment’ In A Decade

“We’re Going To War, Bro”: Elite 82nd Airborne In Largest ‘Fast Deployment’ In A Decade

“We’re going to war, bro” — declared a young US soldier from the US Army’s celebrated 82nd Airborne Division. He gave reporters a confident two thumbs up as his unit moved out on its largest “fast deployment” in a decade at a moment Iran has promised to inflict a “historic nightmare” on the US in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani. 

Reuters provided a detailed account of the uneasy yet somewhat jovial calm before the storm atmosphere that prevailed on the airport tarmac at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as 600 soldiers and many hundreds more support crew flew out.

While Kuwait is expected to be the first stop for most of the some 3,500 total paratroopers ordered to the region, the final destination is classified, and the Army is concerned over information leaks. For this reason the US Army confiscated the cell phones and any personal communication devices of those deploying on the transport planes. 

82nd Airborne rolled out Sunday, Jan.5. Image source: Spc. Hubert Delany III/U.S. Army via AP

The departing soldiers, with the older generation described by Reuters as more somber and aware of the reality of entering conflict, were keenly aware that war is potentially on the horizon:

The older soldiers, in their 30s and 40s, were visibly more somber, having the experience of seeing comrades come home from past deployments learning to walk on one leg or in flag-draped coffins.

“This is the mission, man,” said Brian Knight, retired Army veteran who has been on five combat deployments to the Middle East…

“They’re answering America’s 911 call,” Knight said. “They’re stoked to go. The president called for the 82nd.”

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

Amphibious Assault Ship Bataan With 2,000 Marines On Board Is Headed Toward Iraq

Amphibious Assault Ship Bataan With 2,000 Marines On Board Is Headed Toward Iraq

The Iraqi parliament voted on Sunday to expel US troops out of the country but so far, it appears that nobody in the US got the memo. In fact quite the contrary.

According to the US Naval Institute, amid rising tensions with Iran, the US Navy is scrapping an exercise with Morocco as it redirects the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit with roughly 2,000 marines on board to the Middle East, a defense official confirmed to USNI News.


#UPDATE: 2,000 US Marines en route to the Middle East onboard USS Bataan Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS New York San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock & USS Oak Hill Harper’s Ferry-class dock landing ship

4,000 US troops from 82nd Airborne also being/been deployed https://twitter.com/lucasfoxnews/status/1214217158726705157 …


Members of the 26th MEU and Bataan crew were slated to train with members of the Moroccan military as part of the joint Exercise African Sea Lion. Indeed, the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group had just arrived off the coast of Morocco this week before its new tasking, according to the USNI Fleet tracker. The ARG deployed quietly from the East Coast in December. Now, Bataan and the 26th MEU are moving closer to the Middle East, as shown in the most recent map of naval deployments.

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

Some Other People Do Some Other Things

Some Other People Do Some Other Things


An almighty bafflement befogs the nation as the first full business week of 2020 commences and events pile up like smashed vehicles on a weather-blinded highway. Before we even smoked that Iranian bird on the Baghdad airport tarmac, something ominous was tingling away in the financial markets, in fact, has been since way back in September. Perhaps one-in-100,000 Americans has the dimmest clue as to what the repo mechanism stands for in banking circles, but it has been flashing red for months, with klaxons blaring for those who maybe missed the red flashes.

The repo market represents trillions of dollars in overnight lending in which bonds (or other “assets”) are used as collateral for ultra-short-term loans between large banks. Theoretically, this flow of supposedly secured lending acts as mere background lubricant for the engine of finance, like the motor oil circulating in your Ford F-150. You don’t notice it until it’s not there, and then all of a sudden you’re throwing rods and sucking valves, and the darn vehicle is a smoldering goner in the breakdown lane.

The strange action on the repo scene suggests that some big banks are in big trouble, and probably because the “innovative investments” they’ve engineered — as a substitute for the true purposes of capital, such as enabling production of real goods at a profit — are proving once again to be little more than swindles and frauds, like last time. Things like interest rate swaps and credit default “insurance.” Have your eyes glazed over yet? The bottom line is an impressive potential for losses to go critical, multiply daisy-chain style, cascade wildly, and then start wrecking real things — like the supply lines to your supermarket.

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

2020 Begins With A Bang (Literally)

2020 Begins With A Bang (Literally)

A heck of a lot happened this week

It sure didn’t take long for 2020 to get interesting.

Iran

The biggest development of the new year happened Thursday when the US military assassinated Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful figure after its Supreme Leader, in a surgical drone strike.

This is an extremely serious action; one that Iran is highly likely to respond forcefully against. As the world anxiously awaits what will happen next, #wwwiii suddenly is a top twitter trend.[Update: since this original publication of this article, the US has conducted further airstrikes on Iranian targets located in Iraq, Bagdad’s ‘Green Zone’ which contains the US Embassy has come under attack, and there are unconfirmed reports that US aircraft have hit Iranian targest in Syria.]

Chris has been furiously processing the news flow on this on an hour-by-hour basis in his latest post on the topic here.

If you want to better understand the context behind the current US-Iran tension as well as breaking developments from last night’s bombing and the likely repercussions, read the post and follow Chris’ updatesin its Comments section.

Gold

On Sunday, Chris released this prediction that gold was poised for a big price move. Sure enough, gold closed the week up $40/ounce, certainly helped today by the geopolitical worries escalating between the US and Iran.

The yellow metal is now up nearly $100/oz from a month ago, and over $200/oz from a year ago.

It seems to be finally emerging from its 7-year slumber. Even the long-beaten mining shares are up nicely over the past year.

The start of a new bull market in the precious metals may indeed be upon us.

WTF?! (What The Fed?!)

The first trading day of the year saw the S&P 500 close at an all-time high, suggesting that Fed liquidity was still driving the show as it did for the entirety of 2019.

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

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