Saturday, March 9, 2019

The US Government Has Degenerated Into Tyranny


US Re-Imprisons Manning To Coerce Her To Bear False Witness Against Julian Assange

The US Government Has Degenerated Into Tyranny

“Really this isn’t about Chelsea Manning at all,” journalist Ben Swann told RT today. “It’s really about for the government to try and to create a concept, a narrative, in which they demonstrate that Assange and WikiLeaks assisted Manning in retrieving and obtaining classified documents, which WikiLeaks then published. And the reason that’s significant is because, under the Espionage Act, they want to charge Assange with having committed espionage against the United States.”

The US government has spent 9 years fabricating a false case against Julian Assange for the sole reason of revenge.  Such a government is to be despised and deplored.  The total absence of any moral character in the US government shames every American. 

The post The US Government Has Degenerated Into Tyranny appeared first on


Mueller's Manafort Scam: 4 Years In The Slammer For Helping Ukraine Against Russia!

$250M Lawsuit Against CNN Imminent; Covington High MAGA Student Suffered "Vicious" And "Direct Attacks" 


CNN is about to be sued for more than $250 million for spreading fake news about 16-year-old Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann. 

Sandmann was viciously attacked by left-leaning news outlets over a deceptively edited video clip from the January March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial, in which the MAGA-hat-wearing teenager appeared to be mocking a Native American man beating a drum. Around a day later, a longer version of the video revealed that Sandmann did absolutely nothing wrong - after the media had played judge, jury and executioner of Sandmann's reputation

CNN will be the second MSM outlet sued over their reporting of the incident, after Sandmann launched a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post in late February. 

Speaking with Fox News host Mark Levin in an interview set to air Sunday, Sandmann's attorney, L. Lin Wood, said "CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals' homes. It's broadcast into their homes." 

"They really went after Nicholas with the idea that he was part of a mob that was attacking the Black Hebrew Israelites, yelling racist slurs at the Black Hebrew Israelites," continued Wood. "Totally false. Saying things like that Nicholas was part of a group that was threatening the Black Hebrew Israelites, that they thought it was going to be a lynching."

"Why didn't they stop and just take an hour and look through the internet and find the truth and then report it?" Wood asked. "Maybe do that before you report the lies. They didn't do it. They were vicious. It was false. CNN will be sued next week, and the dollar figure in the CNN case may be higher than it was [against] The Washington Post."



A Tale of Two Incarcerated Women


On International Women’s Day yesterday Chelsea Manning was imprisoned yet again, this time for refusing to testify against Julian Assange before a Grand Jury. Chelsea has already suffered over seven years of total imprisonment – no American had ever previously spent more than three years in jail for releasing government secrets to the public, in a land which had historically valued free speech.

I am in awe of Chelsea’s courage in refusing to testify, and shocked at a system that imprisons somebody for contempt of court for maintaining dignified silence.

Chelsea has also done a great service in finally stripping away the last vestige of excuse from the figures who refuse to support Julian Assange, pretending that they do not believe he faces extradition to the United States, and that the legal issue is not about Wkileaks’ right to publish.

The potential charges in Sweden – always based on quite ludicrous accusations – were dropped years ago after he was finally interviewed in the Ecuadorean Embassy by Swedish police and prosecutors, and it became very plain indeed there was no viable case against him.

Chelsea has gone to prison for refusing to participate in the prosecution of Wikileaks for publishing materials that revealed war crimes in the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Chelsea is a whistlebower, not a publisher. Assange is a pubisher, not a whistleblower. If Assange can be prosecuted for publishing official secrets, then so can every newspaper editor or television editor involved in the receipt of whistleblower material. There is a massive, a fundamental, media freedom issue at stake here. Even so, the MSM in the UK do not even have the guts to state the truth about what causes Julian to be confined to the Ecuadorean Embassy, let alone to support his right to publish.

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe is in jail in Iran for spying for the British. She is certainly not an MI6 officer, and I can’t see that she would have sufficient access to information to make her of much use as an agent (as MI6 calls its informants). That she was involved in training Iranian journalists or citizen journalists in ways the Iranian government did not like is much more probable, but does not amount to espionage. Even if she were some kind of low level informant to MI6 (which I doubt), the Iranian authorities have sufficiently made their point and it is time to let her go.

The British government’s attitude to this case has been particularly interesting and extremely unusual. I cannot criticise them for the things they have done, because they are the things I used to get frustrated with them for never doing. But their handling of this case is truly out of the ordinary.

The UK allows dual citizenship. It has been longstanding Foreign Office policy that the UK does not give consular protection to UK dual nationals in the country where they are also a national. If the other state does not allow dual citizenship, it might not recognise any British standing in the matter. But there is another compelling reason for the standard policy of not assisting in these circumstances.

When working in Embassies, I used to get infuriated by cases where I wished to help people but was not allowed to, because they were dual citizens. It was explained to me, that if in Nigeria alone we accepted as consular cases all the British/Nigerian dual nationals in Nigerian jails, that would already double the FCO’s entire consular caseload worldwide. To accept dual nationals as consular cases everywhere in their other homeland would increase consular work by a large multiple and require a very large increase in FCO resources.

I nevertheless always felt we could do more. That the British government had, prior to yesterday, already done so much to try to help Nazanin Zagahari Ratcliffe, even though she was an Iranian dual national in Iran, was already extremely unusual. That the UK has now “adopted” the case, raising it to the level of a state dispute, is something not just unusual, but which I don’t think has happened since the First World War. Please note this is not the same process as granting Zaghari Ratcliffe herself diplomatic status, which has not been done.

Again, I can’t criticise the FCO for this, because adoption is something I had urged them to do in a past case while I was on the inside, (shout out to my friend John Carmichael), again being told by the FCO it was not possible as we never do it.

Whether the move is effective or wise in this case, is quite another question. It seems to me likely the Iranians will take it as confirmation that she is a spy. I would urge the Iranian government to take this course; they should now declare the the adoption of the case as a state dispute proves that Zaghari Ratcliffe is a spy, and having been proven right before the world, they will let her go as an example of mercy and compassion.

There are two fundamental points here. The first is that Iran has been subjected for years to crippling sanctions and an international campaign of hate spread by western government propaganda and their MSM. Western governments have aligned themselves with Saudi and Israeli sponsored brutal proxy wars against Shia communities across the Middle East, which look to Iran for protection. If the Iranian government is defensive and suspicious, is that really surprising? The week after the British government declare Hezbollah, the political and security organisation of Lebanese Shias, to be nothing but a terrorist organisation, do the Tories really think the Iranians will be looking kindly on them and their demands over Zaghari Ratcliffe?

The second point is that the entire purpose of the state “adopting” a case, is to make available the dispute resolution mechanisms which operate between states. But the UK only a few days ago repudiated the International Court of Justice, the final arbiter of such disputes, over the Chagos Islands. As the UK shows total contempt for international law, this attempt to access its remedies will be met with derision by the wider international community.


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The post A Tale of Two Incarcerated Women appeared first on Craig Murray.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

We Shouldn’t Trade ‘Liberty’ for ‘False Sense of Security’: Rand Paul Warns Against Forced Vaccination


In case you haven’t been paying attention, there has been an unprecedented push by the mainstream media and government in 2019 to force all citizens to be vaccinated. This mandatory vaccine hysteria has so far been highly effective as governments across the country have proposed legislation to remove your right to informed consent.



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

How a Democrat pedophile became a 'Trump scandal'


Strangely, the media have suddenly taken an intense interest in the case of pedophile and major Democratic donor Jeffrey Epstein.

In 2005, the Palm Beach police were told by the mother of a young girl in West Palm Beach that her daughter had been brought to the Democratic donor’s mansion and asked to have sex with him for money. This kicked off an intensive, one-year undercover investigation.

The police sifted through Epstein’s garbage and interviewed 17 witnesses, including the housemen, who told of sex toys and dildos left behind after the underage girls left. One of Epstein’s procurers, a 20-year-old local woman named Haley Robson, who was paid $200 for every teenaged girl she brought to Jeffrey, was cooperating with police, telling them she was like “Heidi Fleiss.” They obtained statements from five of Epstein’s young victims, who said they’d been paid $200 to $300 to engage in various sex acts with him. Police raided Epstein’s home, finding explicit photographs of teenaged girls, incriminating phone records – and one girl’s high school transcript.

But when the police chief brought this mountain of evidence to Palm Beach County’s Democratic prosecutor Barry Krischer, he punted, charging the Democrat child molester with only one count of soliciting prostitution – yes, the child victims were labeled “prostitutes” – and offered Epstein probation.

Perhaps Krischer was exhausted, having just spent three years hounding Rush Limbaugh for abusing back pain medication.

Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter exploded in rage. (Meanwhile, Epstein claimed to be the victim of an anti-Semitic conspiracy on Palm Beach.) Chief Reiter wrote an open letter to Krischer asking the Democrat to remove himself from the case. Then he turned to the Bush administration to seek justice against a Democratic donor/accused child rapist.

As stories go, a child sex case involving a Palm Beach billionaire was pretty big. It was covered in the British press, in Florida media, at the New York Post and at Fox News. Bill O’Reilly led with the story on his Fox News show.

But CNN and MSNBC did not breathe a word about a Democratic prosecutor refusing to hold a Democratic child rapist accountable.

Epstein had given more than $145,000 to Democratic candidates and causes, including Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. He was a big Israel backer. Bill Clinton and Democratic activist Ron Burkle were frequent guests on Epstein’s private plane, dubbed the “Lolita Express.” And Krischer was a hero for his dogged pursuit of Rush Limbaugh! Why bring up all this unpleasantness?

Thanks to Chief Reiter, President Bush’s U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alex Acosta, did take the case, despite the fact that only Epstein’s child rapes on his plane, on his private island or with girls brought across state lines would make it a federal case.

As a result of the (Republican-led) federal investigation, Epstein was finally required to plead guilty to two state felony charges, accept a sentence of two years in prison, register as a sex offender and pay restitution to his victims.

Still no coverage by MSNBC or CNN.

Inasmuch as Epstein was pleading guilty to a state charge, the matter of his confinement was out of the U.S. attorney’s hands. It was Democratic county prison officials – not the feds – who placed Epstein in a private wing of the county jail and allowed him to spend 12 hours a day, six days a week at his Palm Beach mansion throughout his 13-month “imprisonment.”

In 2014, the brilliant conservative lawyer Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards brought suit against the federal prosecutors for violating the Crime Victims’ Rights Act in the Epstein case.

As bad as the U.S. attorney’s office was, at least it did something. Democrat Krischer gave Epstein a walk. But no matter how appalling Krischer’s behavior was, the Crime Victims’ Rights Act only applies to federal prosecutions.

When Cassell and Edwards filed their case, they included the claims of various Epstein victims, who reported that the men at “Orgy Island,” where underage girls were being used as “sex slaves,” included Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew.

CNN gave extensive coverage to the celebrity-filled allegations, inviting Dershowitz on to defend himself and lavishing attention on the irrelevant prince. Amazingly, but characteristically, not once did CNN mention that Bill Clinton was named in the pleadings.

Only one show on MSNBC, “All In With Chris Hayes,” so much as acknowledged the bombshell case, also without letting on that Clinton had been named as a frequent Epstein guest by the child victims.

But recently, the very news outlets that spiked any news about this case for the past 13 years are suddenly hot on the trail of Jeffrey Epstein. Why the newfound sense of decency?

The answer is: Because they found a Trump connection. There’s a 2002 quote from Donald Trump saying nice things about Epstein and photographic proof that Epstein was one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have been to Mar-a-Lago. (There are rumors he has also been to the Grand Canyon and the Empire State Building.)

This is how the modern American media work: I’ll tell the same story that we’ve been frantically suppressing for a decade, connect it to Trump – and win a Pulitzer Prize!

Here is MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell describing Epstein a few weeks ago in a single segment:

“… a friend of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein …
“… child sex trafficker and child rapist and friend of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein …
“… a billionaire friend of Donald Trump’s …”

Epstein was a “friend” of Donald Trump’s the same way he is a “friend” of Pinch Sulzberger by virtue of reading the New York Times. He’s been to Trump’s club. (That is, until Trump barred him for propositioning the underage daughter of a member.)

But pay no attention to Jeffrey Epstein and his roster of Democratic enablers – this is a Trump scandal!

It seems that the U.S. attorney who oversaw the federal prosecution, Alex Acosta, is currently Trump’s Labor secretary. Trump didn’t know Acosta’s name during the Epstein prosecution, but liberals think they’ve unraveled Trump’s decade-long scheme to reward Acosta for being lenient on Epstein – aka “friend of Donald Trump’s.”

The silver lining is that we finally have a way to make Hillary Clinton pay for her crimes. Trump has to appoint her to his Cabinet. Then we’ll see the entire American press corps chanting, “Lock her up!”

The post How a Democrat pedophile became a 'Trump scandal' appeared first on WND.


American Civil War 2: US Media Will Have Only Itself To Blame If All Hell Breaks Loose

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The House Democrats’ “Rebuke” of Rep. Ilhan Omar is a Fraud For Many Reasons, Including its Wild Distortion of Her Comments

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., listen to the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer listen to the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 30, 2018.

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

GOP Congressman Steve King has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for sixteen years, yet Democrats – who controlled the House for four of those years and now control it again – never formally rebuked or condemned him until last month (they did so at the same time that Republicans removed him from his Committee assignments due to a long history of white supremacist remarks).

By extremely stark contrast, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar – the first black Muslim woman ever elected to the Congress – has served in the House for a little more than two months, and House Democratic leaders have already formally condemned her once and are preparing to so again, this time even more harshly and officially, on Wednesday.

On February 11, the House Democratic leadership, responding to statements made by Omar about large donors and AIPAC driving pro-Israel policies, issued a joint statement condemning Omar for what they called her “use of anti-Semitic tropes,” adding that her “prejudicial accusations about Israel’s defenders” are “deeply offensive.” They then demanded: “We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

Omar then issued a statement of her own in which she “unequivocally apologized” for unintentionally invoking “anti-Semitic tropes,” but made crystal clear that “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics” – whether it be AIPAC, as well as the NRA or the fossil fuel industry – was one she would continue to aggressively address and combat.

The Congresswoman quickly made good on her promise to continue speaking out about AIPAC’s toxic influence, the destructive and immoral support given to Israel by the U.S., and the subordination of Americans’ Constitutional rights and the country’s national interests to that foreign nation.

Speaking last Wednesday in Washington at a town hall meeting with several other progressive House members, Congresswoman Omar was asked about the use of the “anti-semitism” label to shut down debate over Israel. In reply, she said: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

That remark created a new outburst of anti-Semitism accusations against Omar, initially provoked by New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, whose column carried the most sensationalistic and misleading headline possible: “Ilhan Omar Accuses Israel Hawks of ‘Allegiance to a Foreign Country.'”

That, in turn, led numerous AIPAC-supporting Democratic House members to again denounce her for anti-Semitism, leading to this exchange with a Democratic House colleague who had accused her of “prejudice” and “bigotry”:

Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that!

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 3, 2019

From there, members of Congress in both parties who have devoted their career to dutifully supporting the AIPAC agenda began once again ganging up to denounce Omar, accuse her of anti-Semitism, and demand apologies and denunciations. Right-wing charlatans such as Ben Shapiro – who have built lucrative careers pretending to be advocates of free discourse and who reflexively mock complaints of racism and bigotry as overly-sensitive snowflake fragility – fueled the fire because, this time, it was their own group that they perceived was being criticized.

The culmination of all of this was the meek, subservient and highly predictable announcement by Democratic House leaders that they once again intend to formally “rebuke” Omar, this time in the form of a House resolution. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats will take floor action Wednesday in response to controversial remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar about Israel, the second such rebuke of the freshman Democrat from party leaders in recent weeks,” Politico reported.

There are so many points to be made about this episode, each of which could justify its own entire article. It is, for instance, beyond dispute that what Omar is saying is true given that the very first bill passed by the U.S. Senate this year was one that allowed punishment for American citizens who boycott Israel, while U.S. citizens in 26 states are formally punished for boycotting this foreign nation, as we reported last month in the case of a Texas elementary speech pathologist who lost her job for refusing to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel (to keep her job with Texas, she’s allowed to boycott any other nation or even an American state: just not this one favored foreign nation).

Thus far, the two federal courts to rule on such laws have struck them down as unconstitutional violations of the free speech rights of American citizens on behalf of Israel.

How can anyone possibly pretend that it’s invalid or offensive to observe, as Congresswoman Omar did, that some in America demand allegiance to a foreign nation when American citizens are allowed to boycott American states but are punished for boycotting this one specific foreign nation?

Then there’s the fact that so many prominent American Jews have themselves explicitly and proudly acknowledged both their political activism in the U.S. is shaped by a devotion to Israel. Indeed, the leading billionaire funder of both the Democratic Party and the Clintons, Haim Saban, has previously described himself this way to the New York Times: “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.”

Hillary Clinton’s key political consultant for her 2008 presidential run, Hank Sheinkopf, who is Jewish, said this to the New York Sun in 2007 when asked why Democratic presidential candidates who were otherwise anti-war were so hawkish when it came to Iran: “New York is the ATM for American politicians. Large amounts of money come from the Jewish community. If you’re running for president and you want dollars from that group, you need to show that you’re interested in the issue that matters most to them.”

That AIPAC – along with the NRA, Wall Street and Silicon Valley – is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, and works to ensure that members of Congress act favorably toward Israel, is so obviously true that no person in good faith could dispute it. A film about the Israel lobby produced by Al Jazeera but subsequently self-censored was leaked to Electronic Intifada and it contains multiple scenes of AIPAC and other pro-Israel activists boasting of how they use money and lobbying power to force Congress to serve Israeli interests.

None of this is remotely controversial to anyone who knows how Washington works – which includes, first and foremost, all the cowards in the House about to formally denounce Omar, yet again, for the crime of telling this truth.

Indeed, countless prominent Jewish writers, including supporters of Israel, have long said exactly what Omar is accused of having said: that the key goal of the Israel Lobby is to indue, cajole and force U.S. politicians to maintain loyalty to this foreign country. Long-time Israel supporter and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote in 2011 something far more extreme than anything Congresswoman Omar has ever said: a standing ovation for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the U.S. Congress, Friedman wrote, was “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.” Friedman mocked Mitt Romney’s views on Israel by writing: “America’s role is to just applaud whatever Israel does, serve as its A.T.M. and shut up. We have no interests of our own. ”

Indeed, the New York Times itself, in news reports, has often described members of U.S. Congress as acting with what the Paper of Record calls “allegiance to Israel”:

Let’s repeat what the New York Times said in its news article from 2015: “allegiance to Israel has long had nearly unanimous support in Congress.” And let’s repeat what the top funder of the Democratic Party and the Clintons, the billionaire Haim Saban, said: “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.”

Now: why have House Democrats never denounced any of those prominent people – including key funders of their own party and the New York Times – for saying things on this topic far more extreme than Omar has? One can’t help suspect that it is somehow easier and more tempting to denounce a black Somali immigrant in a hijab who is the first black Muslim woman elected to Congress for her comments on Israel than it is any of those other people, even though their comments went way beyond anything she said on the topic.

But the most important point regarding the House Democrats’ resolution to “rebuke” Omar is this: the resolution includes a long list of comments which it denounces as anti-Semitic – many, if not most, of which are indeed anti-Semitic – which Ilhan Omar never said or even implied. That’s the fraud at the heart of what Democrats are doing: they’re purporting to denounce Omar by enacting a resolution that condemns a series of comments about Jews that she never uttered. Here are the key examples of anti-Semitism which the Democrats’ resolution denounces:

Congresswoman Omar never said anything like this. Unlike Haim Saban, Tom Friedman, and various AIPAC lobbyists, she never accused Jews of having allegiance to Israel. She never remotely insinuated that Jews are not or cannot be patriotic Americans. She never blamed Jews for anything, let alone “justif[ied] the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology.”

Indeed, it’s grotesque to associate Omar with comments of this sort. In fact, the irony here is glaring: what is actually bigoted, the real bigots, are those who are exploiting Omar’s status as a black Muslim and Somali immigrant to link her to a series of anti-Semitic sentiments that she has never expressed, and that have nothing whatsoever to do with the critiques she’s voiced about US/Israel policy since entering Congress.

All of this is being accomplished by a deceitful sleight of hand that conflates The Israeli Government and its American supporters (the group that Omar has actually criticized) with Jews (a group that Omar has never criticized). Again, the irony here is glaring: what’s actually anti-Semitic is to conflate the Israel Government and those who support it with Jews: that’s something being done by Democratic House leaders, not by Congresswoman Omar.

“Supporters of Israel” is not synonymous with “Jews.” It’s actually offensive to suggest that’s the case, but that’s the premise of the Democrats’ House resolution, those denouncing Congresswoman Omar and those distorting her comments.

Indeed, huge numbers of Israel’s most vehement and devoted critics – including advocates of the movement to boycott Israel – are themselves Jews. That’s why so many prominent Jews have spoken out in support of Congresswoman Omar.

Meanwhile, Israel supporters, in the U.S. and around the world, are far more often non-Jews than Jews. Many are evangelicals, who support Israel due to religious dogma: because they believe God wants Israel united in the hands of Jews before Jesus returns to earth and sends all non-Christians (including Jews) to hell and allows Christians to reign supreme on earth. Some are just militarists who value Israel’s cooperation with U.S. imperialism. Who do you think was responsible for the law in Texas barring anyone from working for the state if they support a boycott of Israel?

And then there’s the international Far Right movements – from Eastern Europe to Brazil – who are almost entirely non-Jewish yet are fanatical Israel supporters due to shared animus for Muslims and admiration for Israel’s authoritarian and militaristic mindset. Extremist support for Israel is a major prong of the Far Right Bolsonaro movement in Brazil, because of the evangelical fanatics, authoritarians, and anti-Muslim militarists which compose that coalition. A huge part of support for the Israeli Government has nothing to do with Jews but rather ideology, militarism, and evangelical dogma.

So it is completely dishonest – in fact, defamatory and offensive – to suggest that Congresswoman Omar was speaking of Jews when she denounced those who are supporters of Israel and who demand that she and other U.S. lawmakers prioritize this foreign nation above the interests of their own constituents. Many, if not most, of those who are doing that are not Jewish at all. That’s what makes the Democrats’ proposed resolution “rebuking” her so deceitful: without naming her, therefore depriving her of the opportunity to defend herself, it implicitly attributes to her a series of highly incendiary comments about Jews that she never remotely made.

In fact, if one were to apply the warped reasoning of the House Democrats’ resolution to its logical conclusions, then one would have to also condemn Congresswoman Omar for also being anti-Muslim. That’s because she has repeatedly voiced very similar criticisms of U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, specifically complaining that Saudi money has corrupted Washington and caused policy makers to be beholden to the Saudi monarchy – comments which, strikingly, nobody purported to find offensive:

Once again, our President proves that you can’t buy a moral compass.

And Saudi Arabia proves that you can, on the other hand, buy a President.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 20, 2018

We need to investigate how foreign governments and their lobbyists have violated our laws. And we need to reign in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia.

We have our work cutout for us ??

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 17, 2019

The Saudi government might have been strategic at covering up the daily atrocities carried out against minorities, women, activists and even the #YemenGenocide, but the murder of #JamaKhashoggi should be the last evil act they are allowed to commit. #BDSSaudi #murderedjournalist

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 16, 2018

Why weren’t these anti-Saudi comments offensive, including the ones pointing out that Saudi money influences Washington? Because eEveryone understands that Omar’s criticisms of the government of Saudi Arabia and her observation that Saudi money influences pro-Saudi policies does not in any way reflect animus toward Muslims. Everyone is capable of understanding the distinction between “the Saudi governments and its supporters” and “Muslims.” It should not be any more difficult to understand the distinction between “the Israeli governments and its supporters” (which Omar criticized) and “Jews” (who she did not criticize, even implicitly).

But that recognition, as unassailably logical as it is, assumes that the denunciation of Congresswoman Omar is grounded in good faith. It’s grounded in everything but that. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Democratic Congressman Juan Vargas of California who, when denouncing Congresswoman Omar, made abundantly clear what her real offense was: namely, the crime of questioning the policy of U.S. support for Israel. As he so revealingly put it:

That is exactly the Washington rule that Congresswoman Omar violated: “questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” And that’s exactly the rule that the House Democratic leadership is enforcing, just as AIPAC demanded, by acting so quickly to denounce one of their own members yet again.

The time to put a stop to this repressive punishment for even questioning U.S. policy toward Israel has long passed. AIPAC representatives are already threatening to remove Omar – along with Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Alexander Ocasio-Cortez – from Congress for the crime of criticizing Israel, something they’ve succeeded doing in the past. One response many have embraced in the face of AIPAC’s threats and the Democrats’ cowardice is to donate money to Omar’s campaign fund, as a way of denying AIPAC and its supporters the power to punish those who dare to criticize Israel and U.S. support for that foreign country.

But whatever else is true, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership are defaming Omar by implicitly attributing to her comments that she never made, all with the goal of deterring and punishing anyone who dares to debate these policies. No matter one’s views on Israel, such behavior should be treated with the opposition and scorn it deserves.

The post The House Democrats’ “Rebuke” of Rep. Ilhan Omar is a Fraud For Many Reasons, Including its Wild Distortion of Her Comments appeared first on The Intercept.


The American Catastrophe: Drug, Alcohol, & Suicide Deaths Hit Record Levels

Portions of Measles Outbreaks Are Due to Vaccine Reactions

Sunday, March 3, 2019

MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders’ Opening Speech, and Refuses to Correct Them

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, speaks at a political rally to kick off his 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign at Brooklyn College in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, NY, March 2, 2019. This is the second time Bernie Sanders runs for President of the United States.Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a political rally to kick off his 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn on March 2, 2019.

Photo: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP

MSNBC is a dishonest political operation, not a news outlet. It systematically and deliberately refuses to adopt a defining attribute of a news outlet: a willingness to acknowledge factual errors, correct them, and apologize. That they not only allow their lies to stand uncorrected but reward their employees who do it most frequently – especially when those lies are directed at adversaries of the Democratic Party – proves that they are, first and foremost, a political arm of the Democratic establishment.

The most recent example is as glaring as it is malicious. On Saturday in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders delivered his first speech for his 2020 presidential campaign in front of thousands of people. MSNBC broadcast the speech live, and anyone can watch the full 2-hour event, or just Sanders’ full 35-minute speech, on YouTube.

As a result, there’s no confusion possible about what was said. Everyone can see it with their own eyes.

Before Sanders spoke, he was introduced by a series of speakers including three African-Americans: South Carolina State Rep. Terry Alexander (who spoke of Sanders’ life-long commitment to equal justice and opportunity), former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner (who heralded Sanders’ long-time commitment to racial justice and his status as “only one of two white elected officials” who supported Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign run in 1984), and racial justice activist (and Intercept columnist) Shaun King (who described in detail Sanders’ history as an anti-racist and civil rights activist in the 1960s and his decades-long devotion to issues of racial equality).

After Sanders’ speech, MSNBC immediately asked its panel for its reaction. The first person they turned to was Zerlina Maxwell, who the host identified only as an “MSNBC analyst.” What the host omitted, but which Maxwell herself acknowledged, was that she was a paid official for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign against Sanders: that, revealingly, is the first person MSNBC had opine on Sanders’ speech.

After the host noted that Maxwell was making gestures of disapproval throughout Sanders’ speech and asked her what the cause was, Maxwell proceeded to state demonstrable lies about that speech. She said:

To be very serious about it, I clocked it. He did not mention race or gender until 23 minutes into the speech. And just for point of comparison, I went back and looked at Elizabeth Warren’s opening speech, for example. She mentions race and discrimination in the first paragraph. So that’s a big difference.

That is a big difference. It’s also a total lie. Sanders mentioned race, gender and discrimination multiple times at the beginning of his speech and long before the 23-minute mark, as anyone who actually watched it – which presumably includes all the MSNBC personalities on that panel who sat silently as this lie was broadcast – obviously knew was a lie. For good measure, Maxwell repeated the same lie she told on MSNBC in a tweet that she posted:

Ok 23 minutes in Bernie finally mentions race and gender

— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) March 2, 2019

All one needs to do to prove this is an obvious lie is look at the video of Sanders’ speech – which the MSNBC panel had just done as it allowed Maxwell to deceive its audience this way.

Before Sanders even began the substance of his speech, he thanked those who introduced him, saying of Shaun King’s anti-racist activism: “All over this country – and I’m going to say a few words about it today and more tomorrow – people understand that we have a broken criminal justice system, and there are few people in America fighting more than Shaun to change that system.”

In the very first sentence Sanders spoke to define his 2020 campaign – which came, at the latest, at the 5-minute mark even if one counts all the cheering, chanting and obligatory acknowledgments that preceded the substance of the speech – Sanders proclaimed that the core message of his campaign is that “the underlying principles of our government” will “not be racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious bigotry.” He then vowed: “this campaign is going to end all of that.” Watch it for yourself:

The very next passage of Sanders’ speech – at most six minutes into it – the Senator vowed that “the principles of our government will be based on justice: on economic justice, on social justice, on racial justice, on environmental justice”:

Sanders then devoted several minutes to denouncing the inequities, unfairness and destructive effects of America’s criminal justice system and the Drug War, contrasting the severe punishment meted out to low-level marijuana and other small-time offenders to the full-scale protection and even bailout for the Wall Street tycoons who crashed the economy in 2008. His other principal policy focus during that part of the speech was what he regards as the evils of Trump’s immigration policies and the xenophobia that drives it.

The disparate treatment of the criminal justice system, as I documented in my 2011 book on that topic, is racially motivated at its core, and while Sanders did not explicitly use the word “race” in discussing it, he did so – again – immediately after when, at the 20-minute mark, he said Trump “wants to divide us up based on the color of our skin, based on where we were born, based on our gender, based on our religion or sexual orientation.” The Sanders campaign at its core, he said, is about doing “exactly the opposite. We’re going to bring our people together: black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American, gay and straight, men and women.”

At the 22-minute mark, Sanders, as he’s been reluctant to do for most of his political career, shared his personal experiences that shaped his political ideology, including not only his working-class background but also his father’s experience as an immigrant from Poland fleeing not just “crushing poverty” but also “widespread anti-Semitism,” a decision that saved his father, since “virtually his entire family was wiped out by Hitler and Nazi barbarism.”

In sum, Sanders did not just mention race and gender once in his speech before the 23-minute mark Maxwell claimed, but did so repeatedly. It was not only the major theme of the speakers who introduced him but a primary theme of his own speech from the start: both explicitly railing against the evils of “racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious bigotry” and vowing to usher in “social justice and racial justice,” but also launching full-scale, vehement attacks on the policies – inequities in the criminal justice system and immigration abuses – that have as their primary targets racial and religious minorities.

It is, needless to say, perfectly legitimate for MSNBC to devote its airtime to critiquing what Sanders said about race and gender: to claim it’s insufficient or insincerely held or superficial. But what is indisputably unacceptable is for MSNBC to outright lie about Sanders’ speech by stating categorically that “he did not mention race or gender until 23 minutes into the speech.” That is simply a lie, and it’s a lie that would have been instantly recognizable as such to anyone who watched the speech.

Indeed, it is utterly inconceivable that both MSNBC and Maxwell are unaware that what they said about Sanders’ speech both on air and later on Twitter is false. Tweet after tweet directed at them documented this in clear and indisputable terms:

False. Both @ninaturner and @shaunking spoke about race before Bernie even took the stage and Bernie began discussing race at the 5 minute mark after spending the first 4 minutes thanking everyone. Why the false criticism? #BernieInBrooklyn

— Joan Turri (@JoanTurri) March 2, 2019

At minute mark 5:43 – “The principles of our government will be based on justice. Based on economic justice, based on social justice, based on racial justice, and based on environmental justice.” Bernie Sanders#BernieInBrooklyn

— Joan Turri (@JoanTurri) March 2, 2019

also at 3 minutes
also at 13 minutes

— Thomas Caniglia (@ThomasCaniglia) March 3, 2019

This is an easily disprovable lie, one that apparently was delivered on MSNBC as well as Twitter.

— David Klion (@DavidKlion) March 3, 2019

Despite all this, there is no correction from MSNBC or Maxwell: par for the course for this DNC operation masquerading as a news outlet.

Indeed, as is almost always true for MSNBC, all of these pleas that they correct their false claim have been steadfastly ignored – no correction issued – because, as I’ve repeatedly documented, lying about adversaries of the Democratic establishment is not merely tolerated or permitted at MSNBC, but is encouraged and rewarded. That’s why they purposely had the very first person to comment on Sanders’ kick-off campaign speech be a paid Clinton 2016 campaign official highly embittered toward Sanders, and it’s why MSNBC does not correct lies no matter how loudly, clearly, or indisputably you document those lies to them.

News outlets correct lies. Slimy political operations deliberately use lies to advance their agenda and smear their adversaries. MSNBC has proven over and over again that they are decisively in the latter category. This is just the latest but by no means the only or even worst example.

The post MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders’ Opening Speech, and Refuses to Correct Them appeared first on The Intercept.