Thursday, October 1, 2020

Can the Government Force Us To Eat Broccoli?

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“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.”
— Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

With President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — is back in the news. Barrett expressed constitutional misgivings about Obamacare 10 years ago when she was a professor at Notre Dame Law School, and some folks who oppose her nomination have argued that should she be confirmed in the next month, she should not hear the Nov. 10 arguments on Obamacare.

Wait a minute. Didn’t the Supreme Court already uphold Obamacare in 2012? Yes, it did. So why is the constitutionality of this legislation back before the Supreme Court?

Here is the backstory.

The ACA of 2010 marked the complete federal takeover of regulating health care delivery in America. It eliminated personal choices and mandated rules and regulations on almost all aspects of health care and health care insurance. It created a complex structure that, at the back end, directed the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars on health care and, at the front end, received health insurance premiums from or on behalf of every adult in America.

To assure that every adult obtained and paid for health care coverage, the ACA authorized the IRS to assess those who failed to have health insurance about $8,800 a year and use that money to purchase a bare-bones insurance policy for them.

The requirement of all adults to maintain health care coverage, and the power of the IRS to assess them if they don’t, is known as the individual mandate.

When the ACA was challenged in 2012, the challengers argued that Congress lacked the constitutional power to micromanage health care and to enforce the individual mandate. The feds argued that this was all “interstate commerce” and Congress’ reach in this area is broad and deep.

Yet, both the challengers and the government agreed that the IRS assessment was not a tax. The challengers argued that it was a penalty for failure to comply with a government regulation, and thus those not complying with the individual mandate were entitled to a hearing before they could be punished.

The government argued that the assessment was triggered by people choosing freely to have the feds purchase their insurance for them. The feds could not argue that this assessment was a tax because President Barack Obama had promised that his health care programs would not increase anyone’s taxes.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the individual mandate was a tax and since, under big government constitutional jurisprudence, Congress can tax anything it wants, the ACA was constitutional.

This logic was deeply disconcerting to those of us who believe that the Constitution doesn’t unleash the federal government but restrains it. The Constitution was written to keep the government off our backs. Yet, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, along with his four liberal colleagues, that while Congress cannot order us to eat broccoli, it could tax us if we don’t. The same, he reasoned, is the case for maintaining health care insurance.

In 2017, Donald Trump became president and the Republicans retained control of Congress. During a massive reform of American tax law, Congress did away with the tax on those who fail to maintain health insurance by reducing it to zero. Then, 18 states challenged the ACA again, this time arguing that since there was no longer a tax associated with the ACA, and since the tax formerly associated with it was the only hook on which the Supreme Court hung its constitutional hat, the ACA was now unconstitutional.

A federal district court and the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed, and the lawyers representing the federal government filed an appeal to the Supreme Court. I wrote “the lawyers representing the federal government” because the Department of Justice, which defended the statute in the district court, withdrew from the case under Trump’s orders.

Then, the House of Representatives hired a team of private lawyers to defend the statute. This is very irregular. The presidential oath requires that the president “faithfully execute” his office. James Madison — who wrote the oath and many other parts of the Constitution — insisted on using the word “faithfully” because he anticipated the presidential temptation to enforce only statutes with which a president agrees. The word faithfully was intended to remind presidents of their oath of fidelity to the Constitution and all laws written pursuant to it, whether they agree with those laws or not.

Now, back to Judge Barrett.

When she questioned the chief justice’s logic about congressional taxation used to bootstrap a 2,700-page regulatory takeover of the delivery of health care, she did so in an academic setting designed to stimulate student understanding; she did not do so as a judge. Having taught law school for 16 years, I can tell you that professors of law often make provocative remarks just to see how students will analyze them. Their remarks are hardly a textual commitment to a legal position.

Yet, Barrett’s remarks were well-grounded, and Roberts’ broccoli example is telling. What is the effective difference between ordering me to eat broccoli and taxing me if I don’t? Nothing except a rejection of the Constitution as an instrument designed to preserve freedom — a design that rarely works that way today.]

Its original end was that the government leaves us alone. But that end is no longer in sight.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

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The Supreme Court and the Rules of the Game

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The United States Constitution’s Article 2, Sec. 2, cl. 2, provides that the president of the United States “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States.” President Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett as U.S. Supreme Court justice who will replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Barrett currently serves as United States Circuit judge of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 7th Circuit serves the Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

It is now the Senate’s job to decide whether to confirm Barrett’s appointment as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. In thinking about the Senate’s criteria for making their decision, we might ask what is the role of a U.S. Supreme Court justice? A reasonable answer is to recognize that our Constitution represents our rules of the game. It dictates what is and is not permissible behavior by government and its citizens. Therefore, a Supreme Court justice has one job and one job only; namely, that of a referee.

A referee’s job, whether he is a football referee, baseball umpire or a Supreme Court justice, is to know the rules of the game and to ensure that those rules are evenly applied without bias. Do we want a referee or justice to allow empathy to influence their decisions? Let us answer this question using this year’s Super Bowl as an example.

The San Francisco 49ers have played in seven Super Bowls in their franchise history, winning five times. On the other hand, coming into the 2020 game, the Kansas City Chiefs had not won a Super Bowl title in 50 years. In anyone’s book, this is a gross disparity. Should the referees have the empathy to understand what it is like to be a perennial loser, not winning a Super Bowl in five decades? What would you think of a referee whose play calls were guided by empathy or pity? Suppose a referee, in the name of compensatory justice, stringently applied pass interference or roughing the passer violations against the San Francisco 49ers and less stringently against the Chiefs. Would you support a referee who refused to make offensive pass interference calls because he thought it was a silly rule? You would probably remind him that it is the league that makes the rules (football law), not referees.

Supreme Court justices should be umpires or referees, enforcing neutral rules. Here is a somewhat trivial example of a neutral rule from my youth; let us call it Mom’s Rule. On occasion, my sister and I would have lunch in my mother’s absence. Either my younger sister or I would have the job of dividing the last piece of cake or pie. Almost always an argument would ensue about the fairness of the cut. Those arguments ended when Mom came up with a rule: Whoever cuts the cake gives the other person the first choice of the piece to take. As if by magic or divine intervention, fairness emerged and arguments ended. No matter who did the cutting, there was an even division.

This is what our society needs — the kind of rules whereby you would be OK even if your worst enemy were in charge. Despite the high stakes of bitterly fought football contests, most games end peaceably, and the winners and losers are civil. It is indeed a miracle of sorts that players with conflicting interests can play a game, agree with the outcome and walk away as good sports. That “miracle” is that it is far easier to reach an understanding about the game’s rules than the game’s outcome. The same conflict-reducing principles should be a part of a civilized society.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Civil War 2.0: “The Country Is Now Out Of Its Mind”

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Authored by James Howard Kunstler via The Daily Reckoning,

America has a new manufactured crisis, ElectionGate, as if all the other troubles piling up like tropical depressions marching across the September seas were not enough.

America needs a constitutional crisis like a hole in the head, and that’s exactly what’s being engineered for the holiday season by the clever folks in the Democratic Party’s Lawfare auxiliary.

Here’s how it works:

  • The complicit newspapers and cable news channels publish polls showing Joe Biden leading in several swing states, even if it’s not true.
  • Facebook and Twitter amplify expectations of a Biden victory.
  • This sets the stage for a furor when it turns out that he loses on election night.
  • On cue, Antifa commences to riot all around the country. Meanwhile, a mighty harvest of mail-in votes pours into election districts utterly unequipped to validate them.
  • Lawfare cadres agitate in the contested states’ legislatures to send rogue elector slates to the electoral college. The dispute ends up in congress, which awaits a seating of newly-elected representatives on January 4, hopefully for Lawfare, mostly Democrats. Whoops…!
  • Turns out, the Dems lost their majority there too. Fighting in the streets ramps up and overwhelms hamstrung police forces in Democratic-run cities.
  • January 20 — Inauguration Day — rolls around, and the Dems ask the military to drag Trump out of the White House “with great dispatch!” as Mr. Biden himself put it so nicely back in the summer.

The U.S. military breaks into two factions. Voilà: Civil War Two.

You didn’t read that here first, of course. It’s been all over the web for weeks, since the Democratic Party-sponsored Transition Integrity Project (cough cough) ran their summer “war game,” intending to demonstrate that any Trump election victory would be evidence of treason and require correction by any means necessary, including sedition, which they’d already tried a few times in an organized way since 2016 (and botched).

The Democrats are crazy enough now to want this. They have driven themselves crazy for years with the death-wish of eradicating western civ (and themselves with it). There are many reasons for this phenomenon, mostly derived from Marxist theories of revolution, but my own explanation departs from that.

The matter was neatly laid out a year ago during the impeachment ploy: After the color revolution in Ukraine, 2014, Mr. Biden was designated not just as “point man” overseeing American interests in that sad-sack country, but specifically as a watchdog against the notorious deep corruption of Ukraine’s entire political ecosystem — as if, you understand, the internal workings of Ukraine’s politics was any of our business in the first place.

The evidence aired publicly last year suggests that Mr. Biden jumped head-first and whole-heartedly into the hog-trough of loose money there, netting his son Hunter and cohorts millions of dollars for no-show jobs on the board of natural gas company, Burisma.

And then, of course, Mr. Biden stupidly bragged on a recorded panel session at the Council on Foreign Relations about threatening to withhold U.S. aid money as a lever to induce Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to fire a prosecutor looking into Burisma’s sketchy affairs.

Naturally, the Democratic Party impeachment crew accused Mr. Trump of doing exactly what Mr. Biden accomplished a few years earlier.

The impeachment fizzled, but the charges and the odor of the Biden-Burisma scandal lingered without resolution — all the while that Mr. Biden posed as a presidential candidate in the primaries.

This week, the Senate released a report detailing findings of their investigation into the Biden family’s exploits abroad. It didn’t look good.

Also implicated are the State Department officers in the Kiev embassy who pretended not to notice any of this, pointing also to their engagement in further shenanigans around the Trump-Clinton election of 2016 — a lot of that entwined in the Clinton-sponsored RussiaGate scheme.

Of course, the Senate was not so bold as to issue criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

If Mr. Biden actually shows up at this week’s debate, do you suppose that Mr. Trump will fail to bring up the subject?

Does this finally force Mr. Biden’s withdrawal from what has been the most hollow, illusory, and dispirited campaign ever seen at this level in U.S. political history?

All of which is to say that the Democratic Party has other things to worry about, besides who will replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

That may be hard to believe, but it’s how things are now after four years of implacable, seditious perfidy from the party.

A week ago, all the talk centered around the Democrats’ election coup plan, as publicized stupidly by the so-called Transition Integrity Project. Nice try. What if all those mail-in ballots sent out recently have Joe Biden’s name on them and it turns out that he is no longer a candidate?

Hmmmm…. No doubt the recipients were so eager to fill them in and send them out that there’s no going back on that scam. Apparently, a Biden withdrawal was not one of the scenarios scrimmaged out in the Transition Integrity Project’s “war game.”

What then? A do-over?

Hence, panic in the swamp. Joe Biden’s misadventures, and his pitiful fate, are but the outer rainbands of the brewing storm.

There’s the threat of further and widespread riots, of course, but since when has insurrection proved to be a winning campaign strategy in a country not entirely gone to the dogs?

People who are not insane usually object to their businesses being torched and their homes invaded. At this point, after months of violent antics by criminal nihilists, one can even imagine Multnomah County, Oregon, turning Trumpwise.

The orgy of political hysteria, insane thinking and violence is a psychotic reaction to the collapsing techno-industrial economy — a feature of it, actually.

When all familiar social and economic arrangements are threatened, people go nuts. Interestingly, the craziness actually started in the colleges and universities where ideas (the products of thinking) are supposed to be the stock-in-trade.

The more pressing the practical matters of daily life became, the less intellectuals wanted to face them. So, they desperately generated a force-field of crazy counter-ideas to repel the threat, a curriculum of wishful thinking, childish utopian nostrums and exercises in boundary-smashing.

As all this moved out of the campuses (the graduation function), it infected every other corner of American endeavor, institutions, business, news media, sports, Hollywood, etc.

The country is now out of its mind… echoes of France, 1793… a rhyme, not a reprise.



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Andrew Cuomo’s Report on Controversial Nursing Home Policy for COVID Patients Prompts More Controversy



ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. In defense of a controversial policy to send COVID-19 positive patients from hospitals into nursing homes, New York Gov.

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Chief Science Officer for Pfizer Says Second Wave Was Faked on False-Positive COVID Tests, and that the “Pandemic Is Over”



In a stunning development, a former Chief Science Officer for the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says “there is no science to suggest a second wave should happen.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

So Much for Income Tax Privacy

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How many times have we been told that the information we send to the Internal Revenue Service in our federal income tax returns is guaranteed to be kept confidential?

So much for that myth, as President Trump can now attest. The New York Times somehow secured a copy of Trump’s income tax returns and is excitedly telling the world what they contain.

One thing is for sure: If the president of the United States can’t keep his income tax returns private, no one else can either.

From the very start of Trump’s quest for the presidency, the mainstream press has been obsessed with getting its hands on his tax returns. And from the very start, Trump refused to disclose them, which he has every right to do.

Trump took the position that his tax returns were none of anyone’s business. And he was right. HIs tax returns fell within his right of personal privacy. If people chose not to vote for him because of his refusal to disclose his tax returns, so be it. That would be their right. But that possibility didn’t abrogate Trump’s right of privacy.

Obviously, Trump’s position did not prevent him from winning the presidency. HIs tax returns were just not that important to millions of people who voted for him.

The New York Times’ decision to disclose Trump’s income tax returns reminds us of what a horrific disaster the adoption of the federal income tax was. Just think: For more than 125 years, Americans lived without a federal income tax. Everyone was free to keep everything he earned and decide for himself what to do with it.

During that time, the editorial board and reporters for the New York Times and other mainstream papers were not having conniption fits over the refusal of presidential candidates to reveal their income tax returns because, well, there were no income tax returns, given that there was no federal income tax.

One of the big reasons the Framers favored indirect taxes over direct taxes was that indirect taxes didn’t have the enormous intrusiveness into privacy that comes with direct taxes. If the Framers had proposed a federal income tax in the Constitution, there is no possibility that our American ancestors would have approved the Constitution and the federal government. Don’t forget, after all, that under the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the Constitution, the federal government had not been given the power to tax at all.

The Times and other mainstream papers are making a big deal out of Trump’s use of tax deductions and other tax-avoidance provisions of the massively thick IRS Code to avoid paying taxes. They are implying that he’s unpatriotic for not helping fund the welfare-warfare state that the income tax funds.

That’s ridiculous. It might be hypocritical given Trump’s ardent support for the welfare-welfare state but it’s certainly not unpatriotic to employ every tax avoidance provision in the book. After all, I’ll bet that the members of the Times’ editorial board and its big team of reporters and columnists do the same thing. They are just upset that they don’t do it as well as Trump.

I must say that I do find it ironic that while the mainstream press is celebrating the disclosure of Trump’s private tax returns, it is also failing to come to the defense of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, the men who disclosed the truth about the U.S. national security state to the world. In today’s topsy turvy world, it’s considered okay to violate the privacy of American citizens by publicly disclosing their income tax returns to the world. At the same time, it’s considered a grave crime to disclose the truth about the dark and sordid activities of the national security state that the income tax funds.

The best thing the American people could ever do is restore America’s founding principle of an income-tax free society and to repeal the dark and sordid welfare-welfare things that it funds.

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.

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U.S. intel referred Clinton campaign to FBI, alleging it concocted Russia collusion story

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U.S. intelligence believed Clinton plot to "stir up a scandal" was a "means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server."

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Yale Economist Warns Of Looming Dollar Collapse

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Yale Economist Warns Of Looming Dollar Collapse Tyler Durden Tue, 09/29/2020 - 18:05

Via SchiffGold.com,

Peter Schiff has been warning about a looming dollar collapse. During an appearance on Fox Business in July, Peter said the dollar isn’t just going down, it’s going to crash.

“I think the dollar is going to keep drifting down until it collapses,” Peter said. 

“And this is going to usher in a real economic crisis in America, unlike something we’ve ever seen.

Peter is not alone. In a recent article published on SCMP.com, Yale economist Stephen Roach said he expects the dollar to plunge by as much as 35% next year.

Roach lists three factors he thinks will ultimately doom the dollar.

This reflects three considerations:

  1. the rapid deterioration in macroeconomic imbalances in the United States,

  2. the ascendancy of the euro and renminbi as alternatives, and

  3. the end of the aura of American exceptionalism that has given the dollar Teflon-like resilience for most of the post-World War II era.”

Roach called the confluence of an erosion in domestic savings and the current account deficit “nothing short of staggering.”

The national savings rate has entered negative territory for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, coming in at -1% in the second quarter. According to Roach, a temporary surge in personal savings due to the pandemic and government stimulus checks has been more than outweighed by a record expansion in the federal budget deficit.

With the federal budget deficit exploding towards 16% of gross domestic product this financial year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the savings plunge is only a hint of what lies ahead. This will trigger a collapse in the US current-account deficit. Lacking savings and wanting to invest and grow, the US must import surplus savings and run massive external deficits to attract foreign capital.”

A current account deficit occurs when the value of the goods and services a country imports exceeds the value of its exports. We’re already seeing signs of that the current-account deficit is widening. It came in at 3.5% of GDP in Q2 – the worst since the 4.3% deficit in the fourth quarter of 2008. Not only that, the quarter to quarter decline charted the largest deterioration since recordkeeping began in 1960.

Roach noted that the Federal Reserve will exacerbate the rapidly destabilizing savings and current-account imbalances with its zero percent interest rate policies and its “average 2% inflation” targeting.  In simple terms, the Fed is committed to holding interest rates low, even if inflation gets hot.

This new bias towards monetary accommodation effectively closes off an important option – upwards adjustments to interest rates – that has long tempered currency declines in most economies. By default, that puts even more pressure on the falling dollar as the escape valve from America’s rapidly deteriorating macroeconomic imbalances. In short, the vice is tightening on a still-overvalued dollar. Domestic savings are plunging as never before, and the current-account balance is following suit. Don’t expect the Fed, focused more on supporting equity and bond markets than on leaning against inflation, to save the day. The dollar’s decline has only just begun.”



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Covid and the collapse of reason



It’s six months since the UK lockdown began and how many people you have round your house is still a police matter. New restrictions continue to be introduced without proper parliamentary scrutiny. Meanwhile, protests are banned and Covid Marshals are being hired to patrol a high street near you.

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Monday, September 28, 2020

Minneapolis Police Investigating Alleged 'Cash-For-Ballots' Voter Fraud As O'Keefe Teases "Financial Transaction"

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Minneapolis Police Investigating Alleged 'Cash-For-Ballots' Voter Fraud As O'Keefe Teases "Financial Transaction" Tyler Durden Mon, 09/28/2020 - 21:47

The Minneapolis Police Department announced Monday evening that they would be investigating allegations of 'vote harvesting' by supporters of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) following an explosive Project Veritas exposé.

"The MPD is aware of the allegations of vote harvesting," tweeted the Minneapolis PD. "We are in the process of looking into the validity of those statements. No further information is available at this time on this."

ALLEGATIONS OF VOTER FRAUD BEING EVALUATED. ✅ The MPD is aware of the allegations of vote harvesting. We are in the process of looking into the validity of those statements. No further information is available at this time on this.

— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) September 28, 2020

O'Keefe's latest video features Minneapolis resident Liban Mohamed - who brags on tape about illegally collecting some 300 ballots from Somali immigrants in an effort to help his City Councilman brother, Jamal Osman.

What's more, the journalist teased a "cash-for-ballots financial transaction ON TAPE" in a Monday night Twitter poll.

We have the cash-for-ballots financial transaction ON TAPE.

Should we launch it tonight? #CashForBallots

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) September 29, 2020

Mohamed called O'Keefe "Fake News" in a Monday tweet, according to the Daily Mail.

The Veritas video also featured Somali political operative Omar Jamal - who said he believes ballot harvesters are hired to take advantage of elderly members of the Somali community.

Omar spokesman Jeremy Slevin said the claims were "amplifying a coordinated right-wing campaign to delegitimize a free and fair election this fall undermines our democracy."

President Trump took to Twitter late Monday evening, calling the allegations "totally illegal," and that he hopes that "the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota has this, and other of her many misdeeds, under serious review."

This is totally illegal. Hope that the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota has this, and other of her many misdeeds, under serious review??? If not, why not??? We will win Minnesota because of her, and law enforcement. Saved Minneapolis & Iron O Range! https://t.co/yete31P680

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2020


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The Covid Deception

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The Covid Deception

Paul Craig Roberts

We have been deceived by public health authorities about Covid, partly from public authorities’ ignorance of the virus, its spread and treatment, but mainly on purpose.  

One reason we were intentionally deceived by public health authorities, and continue to be deceived by them, is to create a market for a Covid vaccination.  There are billions of dollars of profits in this, and Big Pharma wants them.  The financial connections between public health authorities and Big Pharma means that WHO, NIH, and CDC also desire mass vaccinations.  If there are not enough people scared out of their wits to voluntarily seek vaccination, the chances are vaccinations will be made mandatory or your ability to travel, and so forth, will be made dependent on being vaccinated.

Another intentional reason for our deception is the Covid threat justifies voting by mail from the safety of one’s home.  Voting by mail means that no winner can be declared on election night.  The mail-in votes will have to be counted as they come in. The delay in declaring an election winner allows time for more propaganda that Trump has (1) fraudently rigged his reelection or (2) has lost and won’t step down.  As the presstitutes speak with one orchestrated voice, whether Trump wins or not will be buried in reports that he lost and refuses to step down or that he won by fraud.  

Even if Trump survives the color revolution planned for him, he will be under attack as an illegitimate president just as he was during his first term when he was allegedly elected by “Russian interference.”  This will suffice to prevent a renewal of his attack on the Globalist Establishment—listen to his first inaugural address—and again sideline his desire to serve peace by reducing the dangerous tensions with Russia, a policy that deprives the military/security complex of its valuable enemy.

As  presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan learned, reducing tensions with Russia threatens the budget and power of the military/security complex that President Eisenhower warned Americans against.  This complex has more power than the president of the United States. As no one would any longer believe another “lone assassin” explanation, Trump is being assassinated with false accusations and a color revolution.  For awhile Trump used Twitter to refute the false accusations, but now the President of the United States is censored by Twitter.

When the color revolution strikes, Trump will not be able to communicate with the American people through print, TV, NPR, or social media.  There will only be charges against Trump, and no answers from him.

The Democrats are claiming that as the Postmaster General is appointed by Trump, he will rig the mail-in votes by not delivering votes from blue states.  Yet polls show that the vast majority of Democrats are voting by mail and that hardly any Republicans are.  This is because the postal union is a public-sector union and belongs to the Democrats. The postal workers already have their instructions:  deliver no votes from red areas.  Obviously, no Democrats would vote by mail if they thought the Postmaster General had any control over mail delivery. The Republicans know that the postal union will not deliver their votes and are voting in person. ( Thousands of undelivered, unopened votes from 2018 have been found in a trash dump–https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/exclusive-california-man-finds-thousands-unopened-ballots-garbage-dumpster-workers-quickly-try-cover-photos/ ).

This should mean that on election night Trump will have a tremendous victory, but the delay to count the mail-in votes gives the Democrats the time needed to figure out how large the mail-in vote has to be to win or contest the election.

It is not only mail-in voting but also absentee ballots that don’t get delivered:  https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/wisconsin-authorities-investigate-absentee-ballots-found-ditch-fbi-probes-discarded-pro?utm_campaign=&utm_content=Zerohedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter 

A third reason for the intentional misrepresentation of the Covid threat is to build the growing police state on more intrusions into private life.  The public health threat is used to mandate unconstitutional intrusions that close private businesses or force them to operate at 50 percent capacity, thus driving them into bankruptcy and destroying the lifework of people in the name of public health. The threat is also used to accustom the public to obey mandates to wear masks that provide zero protection.  Although opposition to this harmful policy is rising in the US and is strong in Germany and the UK, the fear of Covid that has been indoctrinated has caused most populations to behave as lemmings.  People are being trained to obey edicts that harm them.

Now, let’s look at the misrepresentation of the Covid Threat itself.

Many medical professionals have shown, with evidence, that the Covid threat has been greatly overstated.  According to the CDC’s own data, of the alleged 200,000 Americans killed by Covid, only 9,000 actually were.  The remainder had 2.6 co-morbidities that in fact killed them.  The CDC reports that in only 6% of the reported Covid deaths was Covid the only cause.  For 94% of the Covid deaths, there were on average 2.6 comorbidities or additional causes of death–https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR0LhME5kaVDj5hGFZ-G5ypGdMDaGlkPi0DF8aDKL_bUDi0hJsN_Fq5zPUQ#Comorbidities 

( Examples of comorbidities: https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1308045036391727104 ).

The CDC concludes that the initial fatality rates were overestimated. If you have the virus, the CDC reports the survival rate by age group. As I read the report, the percentages are all Covid deaths including those with an average of 2.6 comorbidities.

Age Group                                           Probability of Survival

0-19:                                                    99.997%
20-49:                                                  99.98%
50-69:                                                  99.5%
70+:                                                     94.6%

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

In addition to existing morbidities, many who died from Covid died from the ventilators or from being denied HCQ treatment.  HCQ, a safe and certain cure, was demonized by public health officials in alliance with Big Pharma and the presstitutes, because it is inexpensive and in the way of vaccine profits.  If there is a cure, there is no need for a vaccine that some experts believe will  be more dangerous than Covid itself. (Doctors in Florida claim to have found a second cure–https://bgr.com/2020/09/26/coronavirus-cure-icam-protocol-florida/ )

The Covid threat is being kept alive by the presstitutes and public health officials until a vaccine can be developed.  The latest claim is that the return of the young to colleges has reignited the contagation and spreading it to the adult population in a second wave. This “threat” is an orchestrated hoax. According to the data, the 48,299 Covid-19 cases reported at 37 US universities are associated with only two hospitalizations and zero deaths–https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/scam-48299-covid-19-cases-37-us-universities-2-hospitalizations-zero-deaths-likely-killed-dog/

There is talk of returning to lockdowns and more stringent mask requirements. All of this is to keep people, especially the elderly, frightened and supportive of vaccination. Proper testing of the vaccine is suspended in an effort to rush it to market before Covid disappears ( https://www.rt.com/news/501523-western-pharma-vaccines-rush-hypocrisy/ ).

Dr. Mike Yeadon, former Chief Science Officer for Big Pharma giant Pfizer says that the pandemic is over and that the Covid test produces “false positives” and does not indicate infection with Covid.  Dr. Yeadon said that we are basing a government policy, an economic policy, and a civil liberties policy on “what may well be completely fake data on this coronavirus.” According to Dr.Yeadon, a “second wave” and “any government case for lockdowns, given the well-known principles of epidemiology, will be entirely manufactured” ( https://hubpages.com/politics/Pfizer-Chief-Science-Officer-Second-Wave-Based-on-Fake-Data-of-False-Positives-for-New-Cases-Pandemic-is-Over ).

It is clear that the Covid threat was overestimated at great cost–https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/09/23/covid-19-threat-was-greatly-overestimated-at-huge-cost/ .  The Belgian medical profession has demanded a halt to the Covid propaganda–https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/09/18/belgian-medical-profession-demands-a-halt-to-covid-pandemic-propaganda/

Of course Big Pharma and its shills such as Fauci, Redfield, and the presstitutes, will continue to keep the “Covid Crisis” alive as it is essential to Big Pharma’s vaccine profits, the Democrats’ color revolution against President Trump, and the training of populations to accept more government control over their lives.

The post The Covid Deception appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.



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Nazi Connections To Fluoride In America’s Drinking Water



(SNN) “Tell a lie loud enough and long enough and people will believe it.” – Adolf Hitler “Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century.” – Robert Carlton, Ph.D.

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Trump 'strongly demanding' Biden take drug test before or after debate

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President Donald J. Trump talks to members of the press along the South Lawn driveway Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, prior to boarding Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, to begin his trip to North Carolina and Florida. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

With the first presidential debate scheduled for Tuesday, President Trump on Sunday pressed again for Democratic nominee Joe Biden to take a drug test either before or after the event.

"I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night," Trump tweeted. "Naturally, I will agree to take one also."

The president said of Biden, "His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???"

I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night. Naturally, I will agree to take one also. His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2020

This is not the first time Trump has brought up the issue, having told "Fox & Friends" this month he believed Barack Obama's vice president was taking something to help his "mental clarity."

"I think he should take a drug test," Trump said at the time.

Biden fired back at the president's initial demand, saying: "I'm looking forward to the debate and he's a fool. The comments are just foolish."

"Get ready, Mr. President. Here I come," Biden added.

In response to the dispute, former Fox News contributor Dr. David Samadi said: "There's nothing wrong with both of you doing that. It should be done for all candidates running for office."

Learn astonishing Bible truth on a higher level than ever before with the Holy Spirit-filled books by Joe Kovacs

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews

wnd-donation-graphic-2-2019

The post Trump 'strongly demanding' Biden take drug test before or after debate appeared first on WND.



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Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged By Western Govt Contractors & Media

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Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged By Western Govt Contractors & Media Tyler Durden Sun, 09/27/2020 - 22:00

Authored by Ben Norton via TheGrayZone.com,

Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.

Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV.

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and “influencers,” and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to “re-brand” Syria’s Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by “softening its image.” ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that “aired almost every day on” major Arabic-language TV networks.

Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.

The files confirm reporting by journalists including The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal on the role of ARK, the US-UK government contractor, in popularizing the White Helmets in Western media. ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-funded group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition.

The leaked documents consist mainly of material produced under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. All of the firms named in the files were contracted by the British government, but many also were running “multi-donor projects” that received funding from the governments of the United States and other Western European countries.

In addition to demonstrating the role these Western intelligence cutouts played in shaping media coverage, the documents shine light on the British government program to train and arm rebel groups in Syria.

Other materials show how London and Western governments worked together to build a new police force in opposition-controlled areas.

Many of these Western-backed opposition groups in Syria were extremist Salafi-jihadists. Some of the UK government contractors whose activities are exposed in these leaked documents were in effect supporting Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and its fanatical offshoots.

The documents were obtained by a group calling itself Anonymous, and were published under a series of files entitled, “Op. HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] Trojan Horse: From Integrity Initiative To Covert Ops Around The Globe. Part 1: Taming Syria.” The unidentified leakers said they aim to “expose criminal activity of the UK’s FCO and secret services,” stating, “We declare war on the British neocolonialism!”

The Grayzone was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents. However, the contents tracked closely with reporting on Western destabilization and propaganda operations in Syria by this outlet and many others.

UK Foreign Office and military wage media war on Syria

A leaked UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office report from 2014 reveals a joint operation with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development to support “strategic communications, research, monitoring and evaluation and operational support to Syrian opposition entities.”

The UK FOC stated clearly that this campaign consisted of “creating network linkages between political movements and media outlets,” by the “building of local independent media platforms.”

The British government planned “Mentoring, training and coaching for enhanced delivery of media services, including digital and social media.”

Its goal was “to provide PR and media handling trainers, as well as technical staff, such as cameramen, webmasters and interpreters,” along with the “production of speeches, press releases and other media communications.”

An additional 2017 government document explains clearly how Britain funded the “selection, training, support and communications mentoring of Syrian activists who share the UK’s vision for a future Syria… and who will abide by a set of values that are consistent with UK policy.”

This initiative entailed British government funding “to support Syrian grassroots media activism within both the civilian and armed opposition spheres,” and was targeted at Syrians living in both “extremist and moderate” opposition-held territory.

In other words, the UK Foreign Office and military crafted plans to wage a comprehensive media war on Syria. To establish an infrastructure capable of managing the propaganda blitz, Britain paid a series of government contractors, including ARK, The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), Innovative Communication & Strategies (InCoStrat), and Albany.

The work of these firms overlapped, and some collaborated in their projects to cultivate the Syrian opposition.

Western government contractor ARK plays the media like the fiddle

One of the main British government contractors behind the Syria regime-change scheme was called ARK (Analysis Research Knowledge).

ARK FZC is based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It brands itself as a humanitarian NGO, claiming it “was created in order to assist the most vulnerable,” by establishing a “social enterprise,  empowering local communities through the provision of agile and sustainable interventions to create greater stability, opportunity and hope for the future.”

In reality ARK is an intelligence cutout that functions as an arm of Western interventionism.

In a leaked document it filed with the British government, ARK said its “focus since 2012 has been delivering highly effective, politically-and conflict-sensitive Syria programming for the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the European Union.”

ARK boasted of overseeing $66 million worth of contracts to support pro-opposition efforts in Syria.

On its website, ARK lists all of these governments as clients, as well as the United Nations.

In its Syria operations, ARK worked together with another UK contractor called The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), which is directed by Richard Barrett, a former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6.

ARK apparently had operatives on the ground inside Syria at the beginning of the regime-change attempt in 2011, reporting to the UK FCO that “ARK staff are in regular contact with activists and civil society actors whom they initially met during the outbreak of protests in spring 2011.”

The UK contractor boasted an “extensive network of civil society and community actors that ARK has helped through a dedicated capacity building centre ARK established in Gaziantep,” a city in southern Turkey that has been a base of intelligence operations against the Syrian government.

ARK played a central role in developing the foundations of the Syrian political opposition’s narrative. In one leaked document, the firm took credit for the “development of a core Syrian opposition narrative,” which was apparently crafted during a series of workshops with opposition leaders sponsored by the US and UK governments.

ARK trained all levels of the Syrian opposition in communications, from “citizen journalism workshops with Syrian media activists, to working with senior members of the National Coalition to develop a core communications narrative.”

The firm even oversaw the PR strategy for the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the leadership of the official armed wing of Syria’s opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). ARK created a complex PR campaign to “provide a ‘re-branding’ of the SMC in order to distinguish itself from extremist armed opposition groups and to establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria’s armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by “Softening the FSA Image.”

ARK took the lead in developing a massive network of opposition media activists in Syria, and openly took credit for inspiring protests inside the country.

In its training centers in Syria and southern Turkey, the Western government contractor reported, “More than 150 activists have been trained and equipped by ARK on topics from the basics of camera handling, lighting, and sound to producing reports, journalistic safety, online security, and ethical reporting.”

The firm flooded Syria with opposition propaganda. In just six months, ARK reported that 668,600 of its print products were distributed inside Syria, including “posters, flyers, informative booklets, activity books and other campaign-related materials.”

In one document spelling out the UK contractors’ communications operations in Syria, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN boasted of overseeing the following media assets inside the country: 97 video stringers, 23 writers, 49 distributors, 23 photographers, 19 in-country trainers, eight training centers, three media offices, and 32 research officers.

ARK emphasized that it had “well-established contacts” with some of the top media outlets in the world, naming Reuters, the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Times, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabic, Orient TV, and Al Arabiya.

The UK contractor added, “ARK has provided regular branded and unbranded content to key pan-Arab and Syria-focused satellite TV channels such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, Orient TV, Aleppo Today, Souria al-Ghadd, and Souria al-Sha’ab since 2012.”

“ARK products promoting HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) priorities by fostering attitudinal and behavioural change are broadcast almost every day on pan-Arab channels,” the firm bragged. “In 2014, 20 branded and un-branded Syria reports were produced on average by ARK each month and broadcast on major pan-Arab television channels such as Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, and Orient TV.”

“ARK has almost daily conversations with channels and weekly meetings to engage and understand editorial preferences,” the Western intelligence cutout said.

The firm also took credit for placing 10 articles per month in pan-Arab newspapers such as Al Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat.

US-UK program Basma cultivates Syrian media activists

The Syrian opposition media war was organized within the framework of a project called Basma. ARK worked with other Western government contractors through Basma in order to train Syrian opposition activists.

With funding from both the US and UK governments, Basma developed into an enormously influential platform. Its Arabic Facebook page had over 500,000 followers, and on YouTube it built up a large following as well.

Mainstream corporate media outlets misleadingly portrayed Basma as a “Syrian citizen journalism platform,” or a “civil society group working for a ‘liberatory, progressive transition to a new Syria.’” In reality it was a Western government astroturfing operation to cultivate opposition propagandists.

Nine of the 16 stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained through the US/UK government’s Basma initiative, ARK boasted in a leaked document.

In an earlier report for the UK FCO, filed just three years into its work, ARK claimed to have “trained over 1,400 beneficiaries representing over 210 beneficiary organisations in more than 130 workshops, and disbursed more than 53,000 individual pieces of equipment,” in a vast network that reached “into all of Syria’s 14 governorates,” which included both opposition- and government-held areas.

The Western contractor published a map highlighting its network of stringers and media activists and their relationships with the White Helmets as well as newly created police forces across opposition-controlled Syria.

In its trainings, ARK developed opposition spokespeople, taught them how to speak with the press, and then helped arrange interviews with mainstream Arabic- and English-language media outlets.

ARK described its strategy “to identify credible, moderate civilian governance spokespeople who will be promoted as go-to interlocutors for regional and international media. They will echo key messages linked to the coordinated local campaigns across all media, with consortium platforms able to cover this messaging as well and encourage other outlets to pick it up.”

In addition to working with the international press and cultivating opposition leaders, ARK helped develop a massive opposition media super-structure.

ARK said it was a “key implementer of a multi-donor effort to develop a network of FM radio stations and community magazines inside Syria since 2012.” The contractor worked with 14 FM stations and 11 magazines inside Syria, including both Arabic- and Kurdish-language radio.

To propagate opposition broadcasts across Syria, ARK designed what it called “Radio in a Box” (RIAB) kits in 2012. The firm took credit for providing equipment to 48 transmission sites.

ARK also circulated up to 30,000 magazines per month. It reported that “ARK-supported magazines were the three most popular in Aleppo City; the most popular magazine in Homs City; and the most popular magazine in Qamishli.”

A Syrian opposition propaganda outlet directly run by ARK, called Moubader, developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. ARK printed 15,000 copies per month of a “high-quality hard copy” Moubader magazine and distributed it “across opposition-held areas of Syria.”

The British contractor TGSN, which worked alongside ARK, developed its own outlet called the “Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS),” a leaked document shows. This confirms a 2016 report in The Grayzone by contributor Rania Khalek, who obtained emails showing how the UK government-backed RFS media office offered to pay one journalist a staggering $17,000 per month to produce propaganda for Syrian rebels.

Another leaked record shows that in just one year, in 2018 – which was apparently the final year of ARK’s Syria program – the firm billed the UK government for a staggering 2.3 million British pounds.

This enormous ARK propaganda operation was directed by Firas Budeiri, who had previously served as the Syria director for the UK-based international NGO Save the Children.

40 percent of ARK’s Syria project team were Syrian citizens, and another 25 percent were Turkish. The firm said its Syria team staff had “extensive experience managing programmes and conducting research funded by many different governmental clients in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and other conflict-affected states.”

Western contractor ARK cultivates White Helmets “to keep Syria in the news”

The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing “an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work.”

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign, a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently “following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams” that The Syria Campaign “selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news,” the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office.

“With ARK’s guidance, TSC (The Syria Campaign) also attended ARK’s civil defence training sessions to create media content for its #WhiteHelmets campaign which launched in August 2014 and has since gone viral,” the Western contractor added.

In 2014, ARK produced a long-form documentary on the White Helmets, titled “Digging for Life,” which was repeatedly broadcast on Orient TV.

While it was running the White Helmets’ social media accounts, ARK bragged that it was boosting followers and views on the Facebook page for Idlib City Council.

The Syrian city of Idlib was taken over by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which then went on to publicly execute women who were accused of adultery.

While effectively aiding these al-Qaeda-aligned extremist groups, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN also signed a document with the FCO hilariously pledging to follow “UK guidance on gender sensitivity” and “ensure gender is considered in all capacity building and campaign development.”

Setting the stage for lawfare on Syria

Another leaked document shows the Western government-backed firm ARK revealing that, back in 2011, it worked with another government contractor called Tsamota to help develop the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA). In 2014, SCJA changed its name to the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).

The Grayzone exposed CIJA as a Western government-funded regime-change organization whose investigators collaborated with al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in order to wage lawfare on the Syrian government.

ARK noted that the project initially worked “with seed funding from the UK Conflict Pool to support investigative and forensic training for Syrian war crimes investigators” and has since “grown to become a major component of Syria’s transitional justice architecture.”

Since the US, European Union, and their Middle East allies lost the military phase of their war on Syria, CIJA has taken the lead in trying to prolong the regime-change campaign through lawfare.

InCoStrat creates media network, helps them interview al-Qaeda

In the leaked documents, another UK government contractor called Innovative Communications Strategies (InCoStrat) boasted of building a massive “network of over 1600 journalists and key influencers with an interest in Syria.”

InCoStrat stressed that it was “managing and delivering a multi donor project in support of UK Foreign Policy objectives” in Syria, “specifically providing strategic communication support to the moderate armed opposition.”

Other funders of InCoStrat’s work with the opposition in Syria, the firm disclosed, included the US government, the United Arab Emirates, and anti-Assad Syrian businessmen.

InCoStrat served as a liaison between its government clients and the Syrian National Coalition, the Western-backed parallel government that the opposition tried to create. InCoStrat advised senior leaders of this Syrian shadow regime, and even ran the National Coalition’s own media office from Istanbul, Turkey.

The Western contractor took credit for organizing a 2014 BBC interview with Ahmad Jarba, the then-president of the opposition National Coalition.

The firm added that “journalists have often reached out to us in search of the appropriate people for their programmes.” As an example, InCoStrat said it helped plant its own Syrian opposition activists in BBC Arabic reports. The firm then added, “Once making the initial connections we encouraged the Syrians to maintain the relationships with the journalists in the BBC instead of using ourselves as the conduit.”

Like ARK, InCoStrat worked closely with the press. The firm said it had “extensive experience in engaging Arab and international news media,” adding that it worked directly with “heads of regional news in major satellite TV networks, press bureaus and print media.”

“Key members of InCoStrat have previously worked as Middle East correspondents for some of the world’s largest news agencies including Reuters,” the Western contractor added.

Also like ARK, InCoStrat established a vast media infrastructure. The firm set up Syrian opposition media offices in Dera’a, Syria; Istanbul and Reyhanli, Turkey; and Amman, Jordan.

InCoStrat worked with 130 stringers across Syria, and said it had more than 120 reporters working inside the country, along with “an additional five official spokesmen who appear several times a week on international and regional TV.”

InCoStrat also established eight FM radio stations and six community magazines across Syria.

The firm reported that it penetrated the armed opposition by developing “strong relationships with 54 brigade commanders in Syria’s southern front,” that involved “daily, direct engagement with the commanders and their officers inside Syria,” as well as defected officers Free Syrian Army (FSA) units in government-held Damascus.

In the leaked documents, InCoStrat boasted that its reporters organized interviews with many armed opposition militias, including the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Don’t just plants media stories; “initiate an event” to create your own scandals

In its media war on Damascus, InCoStrat pursued a two-pronged campaign that consisted of the following: “a) Guerrilla Campaign. Use the media to create the event. b) Guerrilla Tactics. Initiate an event to create the media effect.”

The intelligence cutout therefore sought to use the media as a weapon to advance tangible political demands of the Syrian opposition.

In one case, InCoStrat took credit for a successful international campaign to force the Syrian government to lift its siege of the extremist-held opposition stronghold of Homs. The Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek reported on the crisis in Homs, which was besieged by Damascus after the far-right Sunni fundamentalists that controlled it began carrying out sectarian massacres against religious minorities and kidnapping Alawite civilians.

“We connected international journalists with Syrians living in besieged Homs,” InCoStrat explained. It organized an interview between Britain’s Channel 4 and a doctor in the city, which helped raise international attention, ultimately leading to an end to the siege.

In another instance, the UK contractor said it “produced postcards, posters and reports” comparing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad to the fundamentalist Salafi-jihadists in ISIS. Then it “provided a credible, Arabic-English speaking Syrian spokesperson to engage the media.”

The campaign was very successful, according to InCoStrat: Al-Jazeera America and The National published the firm’s propaganda posters. The British contractor also organized interviews on the topic with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, The Times, Buzzfeed, Al-Jazeera, Suriya Al-Sham, and Orient.

After regime change comes Nation Building Inc.

InCoStrat has apparently been involved in numerous Western-backed regime-change operations.

In one leaked document, the firm said it helped to train civil society organizations in marketing, media, and communications in Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. It even trained a team of anti-Saddam Hussein journalists inside Basra, Iraq after the joint US-UK invasion.

In addition to contracting for the United Kingdom, InCoStrat disclosed that it has worked for the governments of the United States, Singapore, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, and Libya.

After NATO destroyed the Libyan state in a regime-change war in 2011, InCoStrat was brought in in 2012 to conduct similar communications work for the Libyan National Transitional Council, the Western-backed opposition that sought to take power.

Coordinating with extremist militias, cooking news to “reinforce the core narrative”

The leaked documents shed further light on a UK government contractor called Albany.

Albany boasted that it “secured the participation of an extensive local network of over 55 stringers, reporters and videographers” to influence media narratives and advance UK foreign policy interests.

The firm helped create an influential Syrian opposition media outfit called Enab Baladi. Founded in 2011 in the anti-Assad hub of Daraya, at the beginning of the war, Enab Baladi was aggressively marketed in the Western press as a grassroots Syrian media operation.

In reality, Enab Baladi was the product of a British contractor that took responsibility for its evolution “from an amateur-run entity into one of the most prominent Syrian media organizations.”

Albany also coordinated communications between opposition media outlets and extremist Islamist opposition groups by hiring an “engagement leader (who) has deep credibility with key groups including (north) Failaq ash-Sham, Jabha Shammiyeh, Jaysh Idleb al Hur, Ahrar ash-Sham, (center) Jaysh al Islam, Failaq al Rahman, and (south) Jaysh Tahrir.” Many of these militias were linked to al-Qaeda and are now recognized by the US Department of State and European governments as official terrorist groups.

Unlike other Western government contractors active in Syria, which often tried to feign a semblance of balance, Albany made it clear that its media reporting was nothing more than propaganda.

The firm admitted that it trained Syrian media activists in a unique “newsroom process” that called to “curate” news by “collecting and organising stories and content that support and reinforce the core narrative.”

In 2014, Albany boasted of running the Syrian National Coalition’s communications team at the Geneva Peace talks.

Albany also warned that revelations of Western government funding for these opposition media organizations that were being portrayed as grassroots initiatives would discredit them.

When internal emails were leaked showing that the massive opposition media platform Basma Syria was funded by the United States and Britain, Albany wrote, “the Basma brand has been compromised following leaks about funding project aims.”

The leaks on social media “have damaged the credibility and trustworthiness of the existing branded platform,” Albany wrote. “Credibility and trust are the key currencies of the activities envisaged and for this reason we consider it essential to refresh the approach if the content to be disseminated is to have effect.” The Basma website was taken down soon after.

These files provide clear insight into how the Syrian opposition was cultivated by Western governments with imperial designs on Damascus, and was kept afloat with staggering sums of cash that flowed from the pockets of British taxpayers – often to the benefit of fanatical militiamen allied with Al Qaeda.

While Dutch prosecutors prepare war crimes charges against the Syrian government for fighting off the onslaught, the leaked files are a reminder of the leading role that Western states and their war-profiteering companies played in the carefully organized destruction of the country.



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