Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sharyl Attkisson TED Talk



How Real Is Fake News?


Was the effort to focus America’s attention on the idea of “fake news”—itself a propaganda effort? Connect the dots and learn who’s behind it and why. It’s not what you think.


In a Tedx Talk at the University of Nevada, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson revealed the origins of the “fake news” narrative that was aggressively pushed by the liberal media and Democrat politicians during the 2016 election, and how it was later flipped by President Donald Trump.


Attkisson pointed out that “fake news” in the form of tabloid journalism and false media narratives has always been around under different names.


But she noticed that in 2016, there seemed to be a concerted effort by the MSM to focus America’s attention on the idea of “fake news” in conservative media. That looked like a propaganda effort to Attkisson, so she did a little digging and traced the new spin to a little non-profit called “First Draft,” which, she said, “appears to be the about the first to use ‘fake news’ in its modern context.”


“On September 13, 2016, First Draft announced a partnership to tackle malicious hoaxes and fake news reports,” Attkisson explained. “The goal was supposedly to separate wheat from chaff, to prevent unproven conspiracy talk from figuring prominently in internet searches. To relegate today’s version of the alien baby story to a special internet oblivion.”


“He insisted in a speech that he too thought somebody needed to step in and curate information of this wild, wild West media environment,” she said, pointing out that “nobody in the public had been clamoring for any such thing.”


Yet suddenly the subject of fake news was dominating headlines all over America as if the media had received “its marching orders,” she recounted. “Fake news, they insisted, was an imminent threat to American democracy.”


Attkisson, who has studied the manipulative moneyed interests behind the media industry, said that “few themes arise in our environment organically.” She noted that she always found it helpful to “follow the money.”


“What if the whole anti-fake news campaign was an effort on somebody’s part to keep us from seeing or believing certain websites and stories by controversializing them or labeling them as fake news?” Attkisson posited.


Digging deeper, she discovered that Google was one of the big donors behind First Draft’s “fake news” messaging. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was run by Eric Schmidt, who happened to be a huge Hillary Clinton supporter.


Schmidt “offered himself up as a campaign adviser and became a top multi-million donor to it. His company funded First Draft around the start of the election cycle,” Attkisson said. “Not surprisingly, Hillary was soon to jump aboard the anti-fake news train and her surrogate David Brock of Media Matters privately told donors he was the one who convinced Facebook to join the effort.”


Attkisson declared that “the whole thing smacked of the roll-out of a propaganda campaign.” Attkisson added, “But something happened that nobody expected. The anti-fake news campaign backfired. Each time advocates cried fake news, Donald Trump called them ‘fake news’ until he’d co-opted the term so completely that even those who [were] originally promoting it started running from it — including the Washington Post,” which she noted later backed away from using the term.


She described two warning signs to look out for.


  1. When the media tries to shape or censor facts and opinions rather than report them.
  2.  When so many in the media are reporting the same stories, promulgating the same narratives, relying on the same sources — even using the same phrases.


Attkisson pointed out that there’s an infinite number of ways to report stories, so “when everybody’s on the same page, it might the result of an organized campaign.”


She warned the audience about the latest effort to quell speech through something called “media literacy,” where liberal elites tell everyone else whom they should trust. She said, “Media literacy advocates are busy trying to get state laws passed to require that their version of media literacy be taught in public schools.”


What’s more, they’re developing websites and partnering with universities. She warned that these people have their own agendas and want to tell you what to believe.


“When interests are working this hard to shape your opinion, their true goal might just be to add another layer between you and the truth,” Attkisson concluded.





If you’re pressed for time, here’s a 90-second highlight clip from the above video.

What's worse than #FakeNews at manipulating your opinion and keeping you from the truth?'s @TEDx Talk describes a new method powerful interests are developing to shape the media.

— nwsltr (@nwsltrMe) February 15, 2018






Friday, February 16, 2018

Abby Martin retweeted: The CIA is now essentially declaring that it has the legal right to leak classified info to friendly reporters, while also blocking the release of that information to others under the Freedom of Information Act. Pretty amazing.

e5af0cf7ed0ad775c799a6a635cf90e3_normal. David Sirota
Abby Martin retweeted:
The CIA is now essentially declaring that it has the legal right to leak classified info to friendly reporters, while also blocking the release of that information to others under the Freedom of Information Act. Pretty amazing.



Abby Martin retweeted: Some interesting aspects of the allegations in the Mueller indictments as described by Bloomberg…

YlTg_szk_normal.jpg Glenn Greenwald
Abby Martin retweeted:
Some interesting aspects of the allegations in the Mueller indictments as described by Bloomberg…



Mass hallucinations. Now the Russian government is "sowing division" with "covert propaganda" because Russian accounts are making anti-NRA, pro-Democrat posts?… Quoted tweet from @MSNBC: Covert Russian propaganda flooded Twitter after the Parkland shooting to stoke America's raw divides:

ap9GFk90_normal.jpg Abby Martin
Mass hallucinations. Now the Russian government is "sowing division" with "covert propaganda" because Russian accounts are making anti-NRA, pro-Democrat posts?…
Covert Russian propaganda flooded Twitter after the Parkland shooting to stoke America's raw divides:


NYT’s ‘Really Weird’ Russiagate Story – Consortiumnews

NYT’s ‘Really Weird’ Russiagate Story – Consortiumnews: "NYT’s ‘Really Weird’ Russiagate Story"

'via Blog this'

The dark history behind fluoride (that the media refuses to report)


The post The dark history behind fluoride (that the media refuses to report) appeared first on GOV'T SLAVES.


In two years, drug giant McKesson shipped 5 million pain pills to town of 400,


The post In two years, drug giant McKesson shipped 5 million pain pills to town of 400, appeared first on GOV'T SLAVES.


The Media Stopped Reporting The Russia Collusion Story Because They Helped Create It

He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He's Worried About An Information Apocalypse.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Iraq’s “Liberation Day”

Today is the 15-year anniversary of what was described as “the largest protest event in human history” – the Feb. 15, 2003 coordinated day of demonstrations against the imminent U.S. invasion of Iraq. On this occasion we republish an article…Read more →


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

In Leaked Chats, WikiLeaks Discusses Preference for GOP Over Clinton, Russia, Trolling, and Feminists They Don’t Like


On a Thursday afternoon in November 2015, a light snow was falling outside the windows of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, despite the relatively warm weather, and Julian Assange was inside, sitting at his computer and pondering the upcoming 2016 presidential election in the United States.

In little more than a year, WikiLeaks would be engulfed in a scandal over how it came to publish internal emails that damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and the extent to which it worked with Russian hackers or Donald Trump’s campaign to do so. But in the fall of 2015, Trump was polling at less than 30 percent among Republican voters, neck-and-neck with neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Assange spoke freely about why WikiLeaks wanted Clinton and the Democrats to lose the election.

“We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” he typed into a private Twitter direct message group to an assortment of WikiLeaks’ most loyal supporters on Twitter. “Dems+Media+liberals woudl then form a block to reign in their worst qualities,” he wrote. “With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute.” He paused for two minutes before adding, “She’s a bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath.”

Assange’s thinking appeared to be rooted not in ideological agreement with the right wing in the U.S., but in the tactical idea that a Republican president would face more resistance to an aggressive military posture than an interventionist President Hillary Clinton would.

A few more months into the primary season, after Super Tuesday, Assange decried the idea of Clinton in the “whitehouse with her bloodlutt and amitions of empire with hawkish liberal-interventionist appointees like [Anne-Marie] Slaughter and digital expansionists such as Google integrated into the power structure. Then the republicans and trump in opposition constantly saying she’s weak and not invading enough.”

WikiLeaks has not made a secret of its opposition to Clinton. Assange had raised the possibility of her resigning as secretary of state in 2010, after WikiLeaks released its cache of U.S. diplomatic cables, and had also harshly criticized Clinton’s support for military action in Libya and the Middle East.

Still, Twitter messages obtained by The Intercept provide an unfiltered window into WikiLeaks’ political goals before it dove into the white-hot center of the presidential election. The messages also reveal a running theme of sexism and misogyny, contain hints of anti-Semitism, and underline Assange’s well-documented obsession with his public image.

The chats are from a direct message group between WikiLeaks and about 10 of its online boosters, described as a “low security channel for some very long term and reliable supporters who are on twitter.”  Perhaps because of the “low security” designation, the chats do not shed much light on the most sensitive questions surrounding WikiLeaks and the 2016 election. They don’t reveal anything new about WikiLeaks’ relationship with the Trump campaign, although they are consistent with the group’s public statements casting doubt on claims by former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone that he had advanced knowledge of the group’s anti-Clinton leaks. The chats don’t illuminate any connections with the Russian government or tell us anything about the identity of the source who provided WikiLeaks with emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.

The archive spans from May 2015 through November 2017 and includes over 11,000 messages, more than 10 percent of them written from the WikiLeaks account. With this article, The Intercept is publishing newsworthy excerpts from the leaked messages.

A former supporter of and volunteer for WikiLeaks, who goes by the name “Hazelpress” (The Intercept does not know the person’s real name), set up the direct message group in mid-2015 and later decided to leak its contents to the media after news broke that WikiLeaks had secretly corresponded with Donald Trump Jr. during the election, urging candidate Trump to reject the results as rigged if he lost and requesting that the president-elect use his connections to get Assange an Australian ambassadorship. “At this point, considering the power exercised by WikiLeaks, [disclosing] literally anything Assange says is in the public interest,” Hazelpress told The Intercept, including Assange’s political position during the 2016 selection, since “WikiLeaks purports to be a neutral transparency organization.”

One of the authors of this article verified the authenticity of the Twitter group messages by logging in using Hazelpress’s credentials. Throughout this article, The Intercept assumes that the WikiLeaks account is controlled by Julian Assange himself, as is widely understood, and that he is the author of the messages, referring to himself in the third person majestic plural, as he often does. The Intercept has also preserved typographical errors in quoted material.

WikiLeaks did not respond to a request for comment, sent several days before publication.

Disclosure: One of the authors of this article, Micah Lee, along with The Intercept’s co-founding editors Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, is a member of Freedom of the Press Foundation’s board of directors. For years, Freedom of the Press Foundation processed payments on behalf of WikiLeaks to bypass the financial censorship that the organization was facing. The foundation ceased doing so in December, stating that a blockade by credit card companies and PayPal had ended, but that the group still “strongly opposes any prosecution of WikiLeaks or Assange for their publishing activities.”Assange called the move “politically induced financial censorship” and alleged it was propelled by personal animosity from Lee, with whom he has clashed on Twitter.

The 2016 Election

Beyond the statement that Clinton was a “sadistic sociopath” and the explanation for why “it would be much better for GOP to win,” Assange surfaced other opinions on Clinton in the Twitter group:

  • After Super Tuesday, when Trump was leading in the Republican primary and Bernie Sanders suffered big losses to Clinton in the Democratic primary, Assange posted, “Perhaps Hillary will have a stroke.”
  • Assange believed that Clinton’s “role in the war in Libya is what should bring her down, however, the GOP is too close to others who have benefited to exploit this, itseems. That Hillary helped to sew the foundation for ISIS against pentagon generals advice seems huge. But the GOP resolutely ignores it. Hillary has so muc hslime on her shirt it is now hard to make dirt stick.” (Any ability by the Republican Party to leverage Libya against Clinton would have weakened further after Trump, who supported the Libya intervention, became the nominee.)

Some of the messages on Clinton are threaded with crass sexual allusions. In a publicly released State Department email that WikiLeaks re-published, Hillary Clinton asked her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, “What does ‘fubar’ mean?” Mills replied, “Fubar is unprintable on civil email.” (It stands for “fucked up beyond all recognition.”) Assange found this amusing. “WikiLeaks took Hillary’s FUBAR virginity,” the WikiLeaks account posted. “LOL. A well-deserved taking,” a Twitter interlocutor replied.

In the final months of the 2016 election, Stone repeatedly claimed that he had insider knowledge about WikiLeaks’ upcoming release of hacked emails. In early August 2016, Stone told a Florida Republican Party group, “I actually have communicated with Assange, including tweeting that ‘it will soon the [sic] Podesta’s time in the barrel’ before WikiLeaks published its cache of Podesta emails.” In the private Twitter group, WikiLeaks dismissed Stone’s claims, just as it had publicly. “Stone is a bullshitter,” Assange posted. “Trying to a) imply that he knows anything b) that he contributed to our hard work.”

In the following months, Stone continued to publicly claim he had “backchannel communications” with Assange.

Perspective on Russia

In June 2015, Assange emphasized the weakness of Russia’s geopolitical position relative to the United States. He told the Twitter group that the Kremlin is paranoid about foreign-funded NGOs because they push “invading ‘western’ cultural practices like gays and the internet,” which in turn pushes Russia to become more authoritarian. Russia was “on the defensive and terrified as the the US produces its next generation weapons and enroaches inexorably.” He further stated that all of Russia’s foreign military bases were under threat, and that “the U.S. hacks the hell out of it, and attempts to foment an orange revolution in an explicitly stated policy of regime change.”

Meanwhile, Assange maintained, Russia had only “minor imperialistic goals in its near abroad.”

“Be the Troll You Want to See in the World”

A major focus of the private Twitter group was strategizing online attack campaigns, including creating false identities, something that Assange explicitly encouraged.

Assange philosophized on how to approach such activities in conversation with a WikiLeaks supporter who told the group that Scottish Member of Parliament Paul Monaghan had retweeted her. The supporter added that others in the group should tweet at Monaghan as well to try for more retweets. Assange responded, “Exactly what we were hoping for. Be the troll you want to see in the world.”

Discussing another British politician, Assange suggested that the supporter change her account avatar to a “pretty blonde,” or a “dead actress if you want plausible deniability,” or to just create a new sock puppet account for trolling.

In another instance, Assange asked the group to “please troll this BBC idiot,” referring to journalist Chris Cook, who had been tweeting caustic messages about Assange that day. “Our interest is in having inflamitory tweets from him about JA/WL that we can use in legal cases to show that a toxic climate exists the UK (in the UK),” the next messages read.

“I don’t really remember his people causing me any issues,” Cook told The Intercept when asked about the messages.

“But He’s Jewish”

The direct messages from Assange also include an attack with anti-Semitic undertones against an Associated Press journalist.

In August 2016, AP reporter Raphael Satter tweeted a story he helped write about the harm caused when WikiLeaks publishes private information about individuals. “He’s always ben a rat,” Assange posted in the Twitter group in response. “But he’s jewish and engaged with the ((()))) issue.”

The parentheses refer to a neo-Nazi meme called “echoes,” which identifies Jews online by surrounding their names with three parentheses. In response to the meme, many Jewish people and some allies began to bracket their names on Twitter in a show of solidarity.

Satter continued to post negative tweets about WikiLeaks after promoting his story. “Bog him down. Get him to show statements of his bias,” Assange wrote, encouraging his supporters to start trolling. (Satter declined to comment for this article.)

WikiLeaks has faced charges of anti-Semitism before. In 2013, former WikiLeaks volunteer James Ball explained that he left the group over what he said was Assange’s close relationship with the Holocaust denier Israel Shamir; among other things, Ball alleged that Assange gave Shamir early access to the cache of U.S. State Department cables. Former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg raised similar concerns about Shamir. Assange has downplayed WikiLeaks’ relationship with Shamir and denied giving him cable access.

In July 2016, a month before calling Satter a rat in the private Twitter group, WikiLeaks was criticized for posting a tweet suggesting that its critics were Jewish, again making use of the “echoes.”

An account in the London Review of Books by the would-be ghostwriter of Assange’s autobiography, Andrew O’Hagan, said that, amid preparations for the book in 2011, Assange had “uttered, late at night … many sexist or anti-Semitic remarks,” of which O’Hagan retained transcripts.

“The Accusation Industry Is Highly Profitable”

For years, Sweden had tried to extradite Assange from the United Kingdom in order to question him about allegations of rape and molestation. As of May 2017, Sweden is no longer seeking his extradition, and, according to emails obtained by The Guardian, tried to drop extradition proceedings against him beginning in 2013, but were discouraged from doing so by prosecutors in the United Kingdom — where, nine months after Sweden’s extradition request was formally dropped, Assange still has an active arrest warrant.

Assange and his lawyers framed the sexual assault allegations as politically motivated, believing that if he were extradited, Sweden would send him to the United States, where he would face espionage charges related to his WikiLeaks work. This U.S. threat is the reason Ecuador has granted him asylum.

The Twitter group was intently focused on Assange’s sexual assault case, discussing how to discredit lawyers representing Assange’s accusers and journalists who covered the case in a manner unfavorable to Assange.

For instance, the group went after Elisabeth Fritz, a lawyer representing one of the women who has accused Assange of sexual assault. “Check out the sort of creature Fritz is,” Assange posted, linking to her firm’s website, which featured this photo.

Photo from Fritz’s website at the time WikiLeaks was discussing it.

Assange theorized that Swedish policies encouraged lawyers to take on rape cases for easy money and “public relations.”

“So the accusation industry is highly profitable,” he concluded. “Almost nothing to do other than bill the state for advertising your own law firm.”

Assange went on to accuse Fritz of working closely with Marianne Ny, Sweden’s chief prosecutor, to “tag-team the accused.”

Several hours later, the group was still angry about the courtroom photograph on Fritz’s website. “Money, influence, glamour for women helping women imprison men,” Assange wrote. “It may not be your type of feminism, but they don’t cae.”

Fritz told The Intercept that “WikiLeaks and Assange have, and continue to, deliberately spread false information in an attempt to turn public opinion against the women accusing Assange of sexual offenses, cast doubt on the accusations, and to discredit myself and the Swedish legal system.” She went on to say, “The leaked messages clearly show the level of contempt for women and disregard for the rule of law that WikiLeaks have.” (Ny declined to comment.)

Other women who crossed WikiLeaks came in for similarly gendered treatment: British blogger Laurie Penny was dismissed by Assange as a “fake leftist, and a manipulative, predatory exhibitionist” and called a member of the “cliterati.” The group also spent weeks in 2015 trying to preempt a Guardian article from Jessica Valenti about one of Assange’s accusers.

Asked to comment, Penny said in an email, “We don’t require Wikileaks to be the arbiter of what our feminist politics should be. I really cannot overemphasize how little I care what Julian Assange thinks about anything I do.”

Valenti wrote, “These messages speak for themselves: This is a powerful organization strategizing to discredit me and a brave woman who simply wanted to share her story.”

“Revenge Porn Against Jake”

The Twitter group also engaged in heated discussions of Laura Poitras’s documentary about WikiLeaks called “Risk.” Poitras had screened an early version of her film in the spring of 2016. In the Twitter group, Assange instructed supporters to add “nasty/damaging review quotes” to a collaborative document to argue for “edits of misleading material” before the film was released to the general public. “Risk” turned a critical eye on Assange’s attitudes toward his alleged sexual assault victims in Sweden. Assange, meanwhile, asserted that Poitras had broken various agreements she had made in order to gain access to WikiLeaks, a claim that Poitras has denied.

“Risk” also featured Jacob Appelbaum, a WikiLeaks volunteer and former employee of the nonprofit that publishes the Tor anonymity software. Beginning in June 2016, members of the Tor community came forward with accusations of rape and sexual assault against Appelbaum. The Tor Project confirmed that the sexual misconduct allegations were credible, and Appelbaum resigned, though he has denied all of the allegations and no criminal charges have been filed.

Poitras re-edited her film to address the charges and include references to WikiLeaks’ role in the 2016 election. The final version of “Risk” was released in May 2017. In it, Poitras discloses that she and Appelbaum had “been involved briefly in 2014” and that after they ended their relationship, “he was abusive to someone close to me.”

Amid the controversy, Assange accused Poitras of seeking profit and going after an ex. As the early media coverage of the final release of “Risk” started to appear, Assange wrote that it “seems to have transformed into some kind of revenge porn against jake.”

In the Twitter group, Assange never seems to entertain the idea that Poitras actually believed the women who accused Appelbaum; instead he stated that she was motivated by money and Oscar ambitions. “Profit matrix changed due to DNC and jakegate,” Assange wrote. “She’d have been exposed as sleeping with her subjects and making them appear positive after jakegate, so she had to attack them instead of defend against accusations of crossing the line.”

“Misogyny, self-pity, and calculated lies from Assange? That’s no surprise after our dealings with him and his lawyers on ‘Risk,'” Brenda Coughlin, producer of “Risk,” told The Intercept. “They repeatedly sought to censor the film to get us to remove Assange’s own sexist comments.”

In another exchange, Assange casts doubt on the charges against Appelbaum in the course of slamming the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Executive Director Cindy Cohn as a “stupid bay area neo-liberal” and “part of the anti-Jacob persecutrixity.” (Cohn declined to comment.)

Chelsea Manning and Gender

Some discussions in the Twitter group revolve around Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, once WikiLeaks’ most significant source. Manning served seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, along with the widely seen “Collateral Murder” video, as a U.S. Army private in Iraq.

Assange has supported Manning’s case for years and, in at least one discussion in the Twitter group, defends the idea that she should be called by her chosen name. Assange railed against “gender essentialism,” which he called “regressive,” and argued that Manning’s plight as an imprisoned whistleblower matters more than her gender.

At times, he seemed to put political goals above questions of gender identity. An artist building a statue of Manning for an art project that would tour across Europe, Assange wrote, should not be expected to make the statue appear female because “Manning does have a Y chromosome and male genitalia.” Assange added that if the statue were brought to conservative areas, “it makes sense to not draw attention to the sex issue.” Depicting Manning as a female “would have turned off audiences in most countries,” the account said.

Assange also made comments about Manning’s friend Isis Lovecruft, a cryptographer and Tor developer, as well as a WikiLeaks critic. After another user pointed out that Manning and Lovecruft appear to be friends, the Assange posted, “That’s not good. Apparently ISIS ihas XY chromosomes.” Other members of the group wondered what Lovecruft’s real name is. “Bruce Anders,” Assange joked, presumably because it’s a masculine-sounding name.

“Blatant transmisogyny aside, it’s bizarre that Julian is starting rumors that I have XY chromosomes,” Lovecruft told The Intercept. “I’ve never had any genetic tests, so even I have no idea what my chromosomes are. It’s pretty hilarious that, all in one thread, these idiots can’t seem to figure out what my name or pronouns are, and yet they simultaneously purport to have a copy of my nonexistent 23andMe report.”

Manning declined to comment on the leaked messages. When asked in a recent interview with The Guardian for her opinion of WikiLeaks, she noted that she had first tried to contact the Washington Post and New York Times before going to the group. “I ran out of time, and that was the decision I made. I can’t change that,” she said, adding that she has had no contact with Assange since 2010.

Top photo: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves after speaking to the media from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, on May 19, 2017.

The post In Leaked Chats, WikiLeaks Discusses Preference for GOP Over Clinton, Russia, Trolling, and Feminists They Don’t Like appeared first on The Intercept.


Success Academy a Big Success: New at Reason


The education establishment hates the Success Academy's successes.

John Stossel writes:

Kids who attend New York City's Success Academy charter schools do remarkably well.

"We are No. 1 in student achievement in the state," says founder Eva Moskowitz, "outperforming all the wealthy suburbs."

They do. Although they teach mostly poor kids, 95 percent pass the state math test, and 84 percent pass the English test. Pass rates at government run schools are 38 and 41 percent. How does Success Academy do it?

For one thing, she keeps kids in class longer. Middle schoolers stay until 4:30 p.m.

Is that too much stress for kids, I ask?

"China and India are not worrying about the length of the school day," she replied. "We have to toughen up."

From what I saw, "toughening up" doesn't make kids hate school. Many told me they "look forward" to going to Success Academy in the morning. One called school "rockin' awesome!"

"Kids like succeeding," explains Moskowitz.

View this article.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya’s Sarin to Syrian Rebels


The post Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya’s Sarin to Syrian Rebels appeared first on GOV'T SLAVES.


Ron Paul Warns 'E-Verify' Threatens Us All


Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

In addition to funding for a border wall and other border security measures, immigration hardliners are sure to push to include mandatory E-Verify in any immigration legislation considered by Congress.

E-Verify is a (currently) voluntary program where businesses check job applicants’ Social Security numbers and other Information — potentially including “biometric” identifiers like fingerprints — against information stored in a federal database to determine if the job applicants are legally in the United States.

Imagine how much time would be diverted from serving consumers and growing the economy if every US business had to comply with E-Verify. Also, collecting the relevant information and operating the mandatory E-Verify system will prove costly to taxpayers.

Millions of Americans could be denied jobs because E-Verify mistakenly identifies them as illegal immigrants. These Americans would be forced to go through a costly and time-consuming process to force the government to correct its mistake. It is doubtful employers could afford to keep jobs open while potential hires went through this process.

A federal database with Social Security numbers and other identifying information is an identify thief’s dream. Given the federal government’s poor track record for protecting personal information, is there any doubt mandatory E-Verify would put millions of Americans at risk for identity theft?

Some supporters of E-Verify deny the program poses any threat to civil liberties, as it will only be used to verify citizenship or legal residency. They even claim a system forcing individuals to have their identities certified by the government is not a national ID system. These individuals are ignoring the history of government programs sold as only affecting a particular group or being used for a limited purpose being expanded beyond initial targets. For example, Americans were promised that only the wealthiest Americans would ever pay income taxes. And some of the PATRIOT Act’s worst provisions that we were told would only be used against terrorists are routinely used to investigate drug crimes.

E-Verify almost certainly will be used for purposes unrelated to immigration. One potential use of E-Verify is to limit the job prospects of anyone whose lifestyle displeases the government. This could include those accused of failing to pay their fair share in taxes, those who homeschool or do not vaccinate their children, or those who own firearms.

Unscrupulous government officials could use E-Verify against those who practice antiwar, anti-tax, anti-surveillance, and anti-Federal Reserve activism. Those who consider this unlikely should remember the long history of the IRS targeting the political enemies of those in power and the use of anti-terrorism laws to harass antiwar activists. They should also consider the current moves to outlaw certain types of “politically incorrect” speech, such as disputing the alleged “consensus” regarding climate change.

Claiming that mandatory E-Verify is necessary to stop illegal immigration does not make it constitutional. Furthermore, having to ask the federal government for permission before obtaining a job is a characteristic of authoritarian societies, not free ones. History shows that mandatory E-Verify’s use will expand beyond immigration enforcement and could be used as a tool of political repression. All those who value liberty should oppose mandatory E-Verify.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Obama's CIA chief accused of lying about anti-Trump 'dossier'

Former CIA director John Brennan

Former CIA director John Brennan

Under oath before the House Intelligence Committee last May, former CIA director John Brennan testified that the infamous anti-Trump “dossier” funded by the Democratic Party played no role in the intelligence community’s publicly released conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Brennan further declared he did not know who commissioned the opposition-research document, even though senior national security and counter-intelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year it was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Now, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is investigating whether or not Brennan committed perjury, reports Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations.

Nunes released a memo Feb. 2 summarizing former deputy director Andrew McCabe’s testimony that the unverified dossier was essential to obtaining warrants in October 2016 to spy on a Trump campaign official. Nunes further found that in four separate applications for a warrant, FBI and Justice officials hid the fact that it was funded by the Democratic Party.

Nunes has said his committee is working on a second phase of the investigation, focusing on the Obama State Department’s role in creating and disseminating the dossier.

The report will identify Obama-appointed diplomats who worked with partisan operatives close to Hillary Clinton to help ex-British spy Christopher Steele compile the dossier, according to Sperry’s sources.

An aide who spoke to Sperry on condition of anonymity said Nunes will focus on Brennan as well as Obama’s first CIA director, Leon Panetta. Other Obama intelligence officials the committee will scrutinize are former director of national intelligence James Clapper, national security adviser Susan Rice and security adviser-turned U.N. ambassador Samantha Power.

“John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier,” the investigator said. “He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump.”

Former secret service agent Dan Bongino confirmed in an interview Monday with “Fox & Friends” that, according to his sources, Brennan “is in a world of trouble right now.”

Bongino said Brennan’s testimony that he didn’t know who commissioned the dossier isn’t plausible because “the CIA has a central role in the verification of foreign assets and information we get from foreign assets.”

“He’s in a world of trouble because he raised his right hand and he said the exact opposite.”

Sperry reported that several Capitol Hill sources said Brennan “talked up” the dossier to Democratic leaders and the media during the 2016 campaign.

The sources said he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures.


In May 2017, Brennan testified to the House Intelligence Committee Congress that he had provided “the basis”  for the FBI launching the counter-intelligence investigation into Russian election interference. He also testified, however, he had seen no evidence of collusion, offering only that “the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians.”

John Brennan

John Brennan

A close confidante of President Obama, Brennan was found in 2014 to have given false testimony to the Senate. At a hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accused the CIA of spying on members of the Senate by hacking into computers used by her intelligence committee’s staffers.

Brennan replied: “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate.”

However, a CIA inspector general’s report found the CIA was spying on the Senate, and Brennan was forced to privately apologize to intelligence committee chairmen.

Brennan also claimed in a 2011 speech that there had not been “a single collateral death” from U.S. drone strikes because of their “exceptional proficiency [and] precision.'” However, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that one U.S. drone strike alone had killed 42 Pakistanis, “most of them civilians.”

In April 2017, citing an article in the Guardian of London, the American Spectator’s George Neumayr found confirmation that Brennan was “the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump”

“One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election – Hillary’s,” he wrote. “Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy.

“He used their phone intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.”

Neumayer said Brennan’s CIA “operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump.”

An official in the intelligence community told the Spectator that Brennan’s “retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with ‘Hillary for president cups’ and other campaign paraphernalia.”

The London report said the leaks against Trump originated in the British press, including claims from Estonia that the Kremlin was funneling cash to the Trump campaign.

“Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary’s propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO),” Neumayer wrote.

In an interview with MSNBC on March 2, 2017, former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas inadvertently confirmed the Obama administration spied on Trump’s transition team for political purposes and that she helped leak the information.

“I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more,” she said. “We have very good intelligence on Russia. So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues, and I knew they were trying to also get information to the Hill.

“That’s why you have the leaking,” she said.

However, intelligence officials who saw the classified information in question, including Obama’s own former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, said days later they had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government.

White House: Democrats sabotaged their memo

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

One week ago, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to declassify a Democratic memo to rebut the Republican memo spearheaded by Nunes. On Friday, however, the White House, which allowed the Republican memo to be released without redactions, said it could not declassify the Democrats’ memo because it revealed “methods and sources.”

White House legislative director Marc Short told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday be believed the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., intentionally included the sources and methods to sabotage the release of the memo and set off a political fight.

President Trump tweeted Saturday: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods and more, would have to be heavily redacted, where upon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to redo and send back in proper form.”

Schiff told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday he and his Democrat colleagues will “sit down with the FBI and go through any concerns that they have, and any legitimate concerns over sources and methods, we will redact.”

He contended “the president doesn’t want the public to see the underlying facts.”

“What is revealed in our memo are quotations from the very FISA application that really demonstrate just how misleading the Republicans have been,” Schiff said. “Their goal here to put the FBI on trial, to put Bob Mueller’s investigation on trial. And the president is only too happy to accommodate.”



Disobeying Authority: The Key To Human Progress

Disobeying Authority: The Key To Human Progress submitted by /u/Ron420Paul
[link] [comments]


WHITE HELMETS: James Corbett – An Open Letter to Olivia Solon of The Guardian


Corbett Report

As attentive Corbett Report viewers will already know, The Guardian was the recipient of the highest dishonor of the year this year: The award for “Fakest Fake News Story of the Year 2017” at my First Annual REAL Fake News Awards ( aka “the Dinos”). Specifically, the dishonor was bestowed on The Guardian’s San Francisco-based technology reporter, Olivia Solon, for her breathtaking contribution to the annals of establishment fake news hackery, “How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine.”

The report, for those who have not read it yet, is as exactly what you would expect from an establishment stenography institution like The Guardian: The so-called “Syrian Civil Defence,” aka the White Helmets, are pure and virtuous; anyone who questions them is an anti-imperialist activist/conspiracy theorist/troll with support from the Russian government; no criticisms of the group are valid and they’ve all been refuted by reputable fact-checkers like Snopes; blah blah blah, etc., etc. As I say, you know exactly how the story goes…but you should read it anyway. It really is a perfect snapshot of the template that the MSM uses to discredit any and all opposition, and it would have been incredible effective…in the 1950s, when people still trusted the mainstream media. (Protip: no one trusts the MSM anymore!)


As attentive Corbett Report viewers will also know by now, I released my own response to Solon’s hit piece this past Friday: The White Helmets Are A Propaganda Construct.

As I note at the end of my podcast: “Olivia Solon was contacted for comment on this report, but she did not respond to the request.” That’s right, of course I offered Solon a right of reply to the piece that I was writing about her story. In fact, I did even more than that: I very closely copied her own email’s style, format, and even some of her questions when I reached out to her. Sadly, though, Solon did not see fit to reply to my query.

So, in an effort to reach her via a different outlet, I am releasing my email to Solon as an open letter. If anyone out there happens to be in contact with her, perhaps you could pass these questions along? Thanks!

FROM: James Corbett
TO: Olivia Solon
SUBJECT: Media request re: The White Helmets

Hi Olivia,

I am a reporter in Japan and I’m planning to publish a report on February 9 about the “journalists” who believe that the White Helmets are crusading heroes and the independent reporters who are seeking to expose that lie.

Your reporting is featured in this report and I’d like to include your voice within it. I am including the key parts of the report which will call your own reporting into question below. It would be great if you could respond to them by 12 noon Japanese time on Friday, February 9th (2 days from now). I will be sure to carefully consider any comments you make. If you do not choose to respond to the numbered points by Friday I shall proceed on the basis that you have no comment you wish to make.

1. That the White Helmets are an organization of crusading heroes who are above reproach – they are, in your view, a politically neutral organization of everyday Syrians who have valiantly saved tens of thousands of lives.

2. That you rely nearly exclusively on The Syria Campaign for your “expert analysis” of the White Helmets and their trustworthiness despite The Syria Campaign’s admitted role as a PR firm lobbying for the White Helmets. You also completely ignore or exclude reporting on the Syria Campaign, its murky origins, its anonymous donors, and its ties to groups promoting regime change in Syria 3. You believe that all opposition to the White Helmets is part of a smear campaign that is being coordinated by the Kremlin. Do you still believe this?

4. You attack the work of independent reporters who have done on-the-ground investigative journalism in Syria and come to differing conclusions about the White Helmets, calling them “anti-imperialist activists,” “conspiracy theorists” and “trolls with the support of the Russian government.” At the same time, you fastidiously ignoring the similar conclusions reached by:

  • John Pilger, one of the most celebrated journalists and documentarians of the past half century
  • Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer
  • Gareth Porter, the award-winning journalist who has contributed to Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, Al Jazeera, Salon, The Huffington Post, Alternet and countless other outlets
  • Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times correspondent and, ironically, recent contributor to The Guardian.

Can you please identify which category of “anti-imperialist activists,” “conspiracy theorists” or “trolls with the support of the Russian government” that Pilger, Giraldi, Porter and Kinzer fall into? (Please categorize each one individually.)

5. That you think that Assad is manically killing his own population and deploying chemical weapons on his own country, knowing that this is the one “red line” that would ensure an invasion of Syria by outside forces, because he is a deranged bloodthirsty maniac and likely suicidal.

I also have a few questions for you:

1. You are described as a “technology reporter based in San Francisco” who would appear to have absolutely no background, expertise or training in international geopolitics. Why do you believe you were assigned these stories about the White Helmets and what makes you think you are qualified to report on them, despite seemingly never having set foot in Syria?

2. Do you believe that members of the White Helmets have openly advocated for, appeared with, or even fought for listed terrorist organizations, as their own social media profiles make abundantly clear?

3. Even if you believe the White Helmets are faultless heroes, do you believe it is possible that there are jihadis and terrorists in their ranks, and that their work is promoted as part of a cynical operation to rally Western support for increased military intervention in Syria? Or is it all above board, in your opinion?

4. Could you briefly outline your training as an investigative reporter?

Kind regards,
James Corbett


Well, there it is. And if Olivia Solon does read this post, perhaps I can use this opportunity to ask a few follow-up questions:

1. What do you think of The Guardian’s uncritical reporting of the (admittedly completely fictitious) “Syrian sniper boy” video and why did you not include critical reflection of that incident in your article’s lengthy treatment of the White Helmets’ Mannequin Challenge video?

2. Assuming you are paid by The Guardian for your…*cough*…”reporting,” what can you tell us about the paper’s financing and how that might help to influence a pro-interventionist editorial position at the paper? And can you elaborate on any potential conflicts of interest that might arise from The Guardian’s relationship to The Doc Society, which promotes various White Helmet documentaries?

3. Do you think the public should take The Guardian seriously as an objective arbiter of the truth about the White Helmets given that their editorial board is on record lobbying for the White Helmets to win the Nobel Peace Prize?

4. Why do you think that Beeley and Bartlett were reluctant to answer the questions in your email?

Thanks again for your time, Olivia Solon! I will now start holding my breath while waiting for your reply…

Watch the full Podcast “The White Helmets are a Propaganda Construct”: 




BBC and Guardian Whitewash of UK FCO Funding Scandal in Syria
What to Expect From BBC Panorama and Guardian’s Whitewash of UK Gov’t Funding Terrorists in Syria

White Helmets Evidence Presented at Geneva Press Club:
Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva

‘Global Britain’ – UK Funding a Shadow State in Syria
‘Global Britain’ is Financing Terrorism and Bloodshed in Syria and Calling it ‘Aid’

White Helmets – Hollywood Poster Boys:

WHITE HELMETS: State Sanctioned Terrorism and Hollywood Poster Boys for War

21st Century Wire:
New Report Destroys Fabricated Myth of Syria’s ‘White Helmets’

Initial Investigation into White Helmets:
Who are Syria’s White Helmets?

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:  
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

Who Funds the White Helmets?
Secret £1bn UK War Chest Used to Fund the White Helmets and Other ‘Initiatives’

Original investigative report:
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters 

Irish Peace Prize Farce
Tipperary’s White Helmets Peace Prize: A Judas Kiss to the Antiwar Movement and Syria

White Helmets Executions
WHITE HELMETS: Severed Heads of Syrian Arab Army Soldiers Paraded as Trophies

CNN Fabricate News About the White Helmets
A NOBEL LIE: CNN’s Claim That ‘White Helmets Center in Damascus’ Was Hit by a Barrel Bomb

White Helmets Links to Al Nusra
WHITE HELMETS: Hand in Hand with Al Qaeda and Extremist Child Beheaders in Aleppo

Report by Patrick Henningsen
AN INTRODUCTION: Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

Open Letter by Vanessa Beeley
White Helmets Campaign for War NOT Peace – Retract RLA & Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

Staged Rescue Videos
(VIDEO) White Helmets: Miraculous ‘Rag Doll Rescue’

White Helmets Oscar Award Farce:
Forget Oscar: Give The White Helmets the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best War Propaganda Film

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, including Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Open letter to Canadian MPs from Stop the War Hamilton (Canada):
Letter from the Hamilton Coalition to Stop War to the New Democratic Party in Canada ref the White Helmet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize.

READ MORE WHITE HELMETS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmets Files

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files