Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Topics - administrator

Pages: 1 ... 475 476 [477] 478 479 ... 558
7141

   

      

warBy Jay Syrmopoulos


A new Department of Defense Inspector General’s report, released last week, has left Americans stunned at the jaw-dropping lack of accountability and oversight. The glaring report revealed the Pentagon couldn’t account for $6.5 trillion dollars worth of Army general fund transactions and data, according to a report by the Fiscal Times.


The Pentagon, which has been notoriously lax in its accounting practices, has never completed an audit, would reveal how the agency has specifically spent the trillions of dollars allocated for wars, equipment, personnel, housing, healthcare and procurements allotted to them by Congress.


Beginning in 1996 all federal agencies were mandated by law to conduct regular financial audits. However, the Pentagon has NEVER complied with that federal law. In 20 years, it has never accounted for the trillions of dollars in taxpayer funds it has spent, in part because “fudging” the numbers has become standard operating procedure at the Department of Defense, as revealed in a 2013 Reuters investigation by Scot Paltrow.



According to the report by the Fiscal Times:



An increasingly impatient Congress has demanded that the Army achieve “audit readiness” for the first time by Sept. 30, 2017, so that lawmakers can get a better handle on military spending. But Pentagon watchdogs think that may be mission impossible, and for good reason…


The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the behemoth Indianapolis-based agency that provides finance and accounting services for the Pentagon’s civilian and military members, could not provide adequate documentation for $6.5 trillion worth of year-end adjustments to Army general fund transactions and data.


The DFAS has the sole responsibility for paying all DOD military and personnel, retirees and annuitants, along with Pentagon contractors and vendors. The agency is also in charge of electronic government initiatives, including within the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Energy and the Departing of Veterans Affairs.









While there is nothing in the IG’s report specifying that the money has been stolen, the mere fact that the Pentagon can’t account for how it spent the money reveals a potentially far greater problem than simple theft alone.


For every transaction, a so-called “journal voucher” that provides serial numbers, transaction dates and the amount of the expenditure is supposed to be produced. The report specifies that the agency has done such a poor job in providing documentation of their transactions, that there is no way to actually know how $6.5 trillion dollars has been spent. Essentially, the government has no way of knowing how the Pentagon has spent the trillions of taxpayer dollars allocated by Congress for national defense.


In turn, employees of the DFAS were routinely told by superiors to take “unsubstantiated change actions” commonly referred to as “plugging” the numbers. These “plugs” – which amounted to falsifying financial records – were then used to create the appearance that the military’s financial data matched that of the U.S. Treasury Department’s numbers when discrepancies in the financial data couldn’t be accounted for, according to the Reuters investigation.


According to that Reuters investigation:



For two decades, the U.S. military has been unable to submit to an audit, flouting federal law and concealing waste and fraud totaling billions of dollars.


Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.


Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio DFAS…. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s…. And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from.



While many of the problems occurred due to bookkeeping errors rather than actual financial losses, the DFAS has failed to provide the necessary tracking information essential to performing an accurate audit of Pentagon spending and obligations, according to the IG’s report.


“Army and Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis personnel did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter adjustments and $6.5 trillion in year-end adjustments made to Army General Fund data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation,” wrote Lorin T. Venable, the assistant inspector general for financial management and reporting. “We conducted this audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.”


The Pentagon has a chronic failure to keep track of its money – how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen. Adding to the appearance of impropriety is the fact that thousands of documents that should be on file have been removed and disappeared without any reasonable explanation.


DFAS “did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System . . . removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during Q3 FY 2015. As a result, the data used to prepare the FY 2015 AGF third quarter and year-end financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail,” according to the IG’s report stated.


The accounting errors and manipulated numbers, though obviously problems in their own right, highlight a far greater problem for the Defense Department than only bad recording keeping and wasteful spending habits. In reality, they are a representation of the poor decision making, and lack of oversight and accountability that plague our nation’s government as a whole.


While the Department of Defense can’t account for $6.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer funds, in 2014 there were 47 million people, including over 15 million children, living in poverty in the U.S. – %15 of the U.S. population, which is the largest total number in poverty since records began being kept 52 years ago.


Please share this story if you are appalled by the fact that there are Americans that are homeless and hungry, including U.S. combat veterans — while the government is unable to account for $6.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer money.


We got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor – Tupac Shakur


Jay Syrmopoulos writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


   

7142

   

      

cfrBy Kurt Nimmo


The Council on Foreign Relations tweeted out a promo video on Friday:






“The keystone of the entire Establishment arch is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The leadership of the CFR is the equivalent to the brain of the octopus,” writes Gary Allen. “The Council on Foreign Relations, headquartered in New York City, is composed of an elite of approximately 1600 of the nation’s Establishment Insiders in the fields of high finance, academics, politics, commerce, the foundations, and the mass media…”



In 1976, when Allen wrote his critique in The Rockefeller File, the CFR strived to remain hidden and anonymous.


During its first fifty years of existence, the CFR was almost never mentioned by any of the moguls of the mass media. And when you realize that the membership of the CFR includes top executives from the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Knight newspaper chain, NBC, CBS, Time, Life, Fortune, Business Week, U.S. News & Wand Report, and many others, you can be sure that such anonymity is not accidental; it is deliberate.


However, with the rise of Donald Trump and, more significantly, the spread of anti-establishment and anti-globalist sentiment in the United States and Europe, the CFR has crawled out of the shadows to make its case.








In June, CFR member James Traub wrote “It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses.” He portrayed Donald Trump and Brexit as symptoms of mindlessly dangerous insanity.


“It is necessary to say that people are deluded and that the task of leadership is to un-delude them,” Traub wrote for Foreign Policy. “Is that ‘elitist’? Maybe it is; maybe we have become so inclined to celebrate the authenticity of all personal conviction that it is now elitist to believe in reason, expertise, and the lessons of history. If so, the party of accepting reality must be prepared to take on the party of denying reality, and its enablers among those who know better. If that is the coming realignment, we should embrace it.”


What exactly does Traub and the CFR demand the ignorant masses embrace?


Corporatist globalism and the destruction of national sovereignty.


“The objective of the influential majority of members of CFR has not changed since its founding in 1922,” noted retired Admiral Chester Ward in the 1970s. He cited CFR member Kingman Brewster, Jr. “He did not back away from defining it: our national purpose should be to abolish our nationality. Indeed, he pulled out all the emotional stops in a hard-shell for global government.”


“In the entire CFR lexicon, there is no term of revulsion carrying a meaning so deep as ‘America First.’”


Kurt Nimmo is the editor of Another Day in the Empire, where this article first appeared. He is the former lead editor and writer of Infowars.com.


   

7143

   

      

fbi terrorBy Tony Cartalucci


To some the 2015 shooting in Garland Texas at a “Draw Mohammed” contest organized by state-sponsored agitators seemed all too convenient.


The protest was meant to prove Muslims were irrational and violent, and amid the protest two armed men did indeed attack, both killed by police who were already on the scene.


The event was meant to reinforce the narrative that Islam is an irrational and dangerous ideology, that Muslims pose a danger to America and the West in general, and that both Islam and Muslims should be actively resisted culturally, politically, and militarily.



It was the culmination of years of agitation through networks maintained by Washington politicians and policymakers, particularly those who have – ironically – not only engineered America’s various and unending wars begun during the so-called “War on Terror,” but who have also armed and funded some of the most dangerous terrorist organizations on Earth via America’s Persian Gulf allies.


Now it is revealed that not only was the protest organized by politicians and organizations associated with Washington, but the shooting was as well.


The two suspects were being directed by undercover FBI agents, one of which reportedly told one of the shooters shortly before the attack to “tear up Texas.”


The Daily Beast in its article, “FBI Agent Apparently Egged on ‘Draw Muhammad’ Shooter,” would report that:



Days before an ISIS sympathizer attacked a cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, he received a text from an undercover FBI agent.


“Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit (pdf) filed in federal court Thursday.



The Daily Beast would also report:


That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. Undercover sources are used in more than half of ISIS-related terror cases, according to statistics kept by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and civil liberties advocates say some of those charged might not have escalated their behavior without those interventions.








This latest development regarding the 2015 incident reveals how the entire event and attack were organized by the state for the expressed purpose of creating fear, hysteria, and division within American society. It is very likely that similar attacks both in the United States and across Europe are also the work of concerted efforts by Western governments to manipulate public perception.


The toxic climate created by a phenomenon known as “Islamophobia” is helping the West justify an increased police state at home and wider wars abroad. It is also playing a role in helping to radicalize Muslims sorely needed to fill the ranks of the West’s militant fronts in nations like Syria where they are being used to target and overthrow governments obstructing American special interests.


Despite the rhetoric, there are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims on Earth today, meaning that if even 1% were truly as they are characterized by state-sponsored propaganda – as violent fanatics bent on global conquest – that would constitute an army of some 16 million strong – or in other words – an army larger than all of the military forces of the industrialized world combined.


bolton-geller2Image: Islamophobe Pam Geller with pro-war Neo-Con John Bolton


In reality, the number of extremists is extremely low – a fraction of 1% of the total global Muslim population – and the vast majority of these extremists are indoctrinated by US-Saudi funded and facilitated “madrases,” trained, funded, and armed by US and its Persian Gulf allies, and “coincidentally” waging war on all of the West’s enemies – ranging from the now toppled government of Libya to the current governments of Syria and Iraq, as well as even Russia and China.


Those feeding into Islamophobia – then – are in fact aiding and abetting the cycle of violence, ignorance, and fear that keeps viable the West’s use of terrorism as a geopolitical tool both at home and abroad. It is particularly ironic that the “radical Islam” many Westerners are now paralyzed in fear over, is in fact a creation of the modern Western state, springing out of Washington-based policy papers, not the pages of the Qu’ran.


Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg.


   

7144

   

      

early-42001_960_720By Joshua Krause


In recent years the Gadsden flag has become increasingly popular among conservatives and libertarians. And since so many leftists view those ideologies as racist and hateful, they’ve come to view that flag in the same light, regardless of its historical context.


Which may explain a recent decision made by a federal agency known as the Equal Employment Commission. They’re responsible for handling harassment claims made by federal employees, and earlier this year they received a complaint from a black Postal Service employee. He claimed that the federal government had subjected him to racial discrimination because a coworker was allowed to a wear a hat with a Gadsden flag emblem.



As for why he thought the flag was racist, he cited the fact that the creator of the flag, Christopher Gadsden, was a slave owner, and because the flag was used by Tea Party activists. In reality, the flag has no racial connotations, and not just because being a Tea Party activist doesn’t automatically make someone a racist. The flag was created as a military banner during the Revolutionary War. It has no racial context.


The Equal Employment Commission decided that the flag wasn’t racist, but their decision came with a caveat. They said that the Gadsden flag could be “interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts,” and that “Certainly, Complainant ascribes racial connotations to the symbol based on observations that it is sometimes displayed in racially-tinged situations.”


They’ve decided that this complaint needs to be investigated further to determine if the Gadsden hat was worn in a racial context. If that’s found to be the case, you can probably expect every federal worker who wears the symbol to be eyed with suspicion by their bosses in the future (if they aren’t already).


Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.


   

7145

   

      

drone-assassinationBy Lauren McCauley





The long-awaited guidelines provide “a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president,” said ACLU deputy legal director.





Three years and thousands of deaths later, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama late Friday finally made public its guidelines for conducting lethal drone strikes.


The release of the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG), also known as “the Playbook,” came in response to a lawsuit filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seeking the framework—which Obama said at the time was created in the interest of greater transparency and oversight over the expansive targeted killing program.


“For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power—or risk abusing it,” the president declared in May 2013 during a landmark foreign policy speech at National Defense University.



Now, three years after that address, the redacted PPG finally provides the rights group with “crucial information about policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of non-combatants, and about the bureaucracy that the Obama administration has constructed to oversee and implement those policies,” said ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer in a statement on Saturday.


The long-awaited release will serve to “inform an ongoing debate about the lawfulness and wisdom of the government’s counterterrorism policies.” Further, coming amid the 2016 presidential election, the documents are “a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president,” Jaffer added.








In addition to the redacted PPG, the administration also provided the ACLU with four additional Defense Department documents related to the drone program and the process for determining targets of lethal or capture operations.


The ACLU said that while the documents provide a “window” into the government’s process of targeting individuals, questions still remain about “where the PPG applies, whether the president has waived its requirements in particular instances, and how the PPG’s relatively stringent standards can be reconciled with the accounts of eye witnesses, journalists, and human rights researches who have documented large numbers of bystander casualties.”


Lethal drones strikes, often with civilian casualties, have been reported in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Libya.


The playbook comes less than a week after the U.S.-led coalition officially expanded its military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), including lethal drone strikes, to Libya. It also comes after what transparency group Airwars estimates was the deadliest month for civilians in Syria as a result of coalition bombings.


Last month, the White House reported that since 2009 U.S. drone strikes have killed between 64 and 116 civilians in areas outside of active hostilities, which was far lower than the 380 to 801 recorded by the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.








This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Lauren McCauley writes for CommonDreams.org, where this article first appeared.






   

7146

   

      

hiroshima-1By Matt Agorist


In May, Barack Obama became the first US president in history to visit the memorial of the American atomic bombings of Japan in Hiroshima. However, in true American fashion, he offered no apology.


“We have a shared responsibility to look directly in the eye of history. We must ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again,” Obama said in a speech at the memorial on Friday.


The location of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was once the city’s busiest downtown commercial and residential district. However, the devastating atomic blast from the U.S. bomb that killed over 100,000 innocent civilians left the clearing in which the monument now sits.


The United States, with the consent of the United Kingdom as laid down in the Quebec Agreement, dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, during the final stage of World War II. The two bombings, which killed more than a hundred thousand innocent civilians, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.



The United States holding the largest stock of nuclear weapons in the world is as ironic as it is terrifying.


On August 6, the U.S. dropped a uranium gun-type atomic bomb (Little Boy) on the city of Hiroshima. American President Harry S. Truman called for Japan’s surrender 16 hours later. Truman then told the Japanese, in psychopathic fashion, to “expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.”


Three days later, on August 9, the U.S. dropped a plutonium implosion-type bomb (Fat Man) on the city of Nagasaki. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects of the atomic bombings killed 90,000–146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000–80,000 in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day.








During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition. In both cities, most of the dead were innocent civilians, including tens of thousands of children.


While the Japanese monument in Hiroshima was specifically built to remember the horror of America’s nuclear bombs and the murderous devastation left in their wake, Japan is quite literally covered in lesser-known silent monuments from dozens of firebombings carried out on its cities by the United States military — before the atomic blasts.


One bombing campaign, in Tokyo alone, killed nearly as many innocent civilians as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.


On the night of March 9, 1945, four months before the nuclear attack, the U.S. launched one of the most murderous and horrifying bombing campaigns in the history of the world. That night marked the beginning of a several weeks-long wave of firebomb and napalm attacks across more than 60 Japanese cities. Many of these bombings were just as bad as the two atomic bomb attacks. However, when adding the sum total of innocence slain by U.S. bombs, the deaths in those five dozen cities eclipses the total deaths in both atomic bombings by several magnitudes.


While Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been deeply engraved on the consciousness of humanity and commemorated in monuments, museums, films, novels and textbooks, the firebombing and napalming of civilians of many other Japanese and Asian cities has largely disappeared from consciousness, except for the victims.


In Tokyo alone, U.S. bombers dropped 300,000 incendiary bombs, completely destroying 16 square miles of neighborhoods — killing more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians. Some survivor accounts detail flaming napalm seeping into bomb shelters and burning entire families alive.


One of the reports from the bombers stated that the firestorm was so vast and hot that it caused a B-29 bomber weighing 60 tons to be thrust upward by 600 meters as it flew over.


Tokyo was one of more than 60 cities in which hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were burned alive as they sought cover from the death raining down from above.


During what some historians refer to as The Forgotten Holocaust, the U.S. dropped millions of incendiary bombs, napalm, and even fastened bombs to live bats that were trained to fly up underneath roofs to explode and set houses on fire.


Some historians have calculated the total dead from the U.S. bombing campaigns in Japan to upwards of one million innocent civilians. It is no wonder you’ve never heard about these attacks in your high school history class as it shows the true face of American terror.


In 2003, Errol Morris won an Academy Award for his documentary film, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. The film consisted mostly of interviews with Robert McNamara, one of which described his role in the bombings.


McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, during which time he played a major role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War.


Following that, he served as President of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. McNamara also consolidated intelligence and logistics functions of the Pentagon into two centralized agencies: the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Defense Supply Agency.


So, when this well-connected military industrial complex insider talks about U.S. war crimes, you should listen.


Apparently knowing that he could not be prosecuted for his previous war crimes in World War II and Vietnam, McNamara spoke candidly in the film about strategizing with General Curtis LeMay to, quite literally, set Japan on fire.


In the brief excerpt from the documentary below, McNamara explains how LeMay said that “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.”


“And I think he’s right,” says McNamara. “He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals,” McNamara continued.


“LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side has lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?” pondered the now deceased McNamara.


McNamara was unapologetic in his testimony, and it seemed as if he really believed that since the U.S. ‘won’ the war, their horrifyingly murderous track record was somehow just. By this same logic, had Hitler ‘won,’ history should revere him as a hero instead of a murderous sociopath.


Sadly, McNamara is right — had Germany been successful, they could very well be written into history by themselves as the saviors of the free world.


“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” — the political ideology of the totalitarian government of Oceania in George Orwell’s dystopian 1984.


Below is that powerful video in which McNamara compares the Japanese cities’ sizes to that of American ones to illustrate the sheer size of destruction. To put the initial bombing of Tokyo into perspective, it would have been the equivalent of burning half of New York City, and all of its inhabitants, to the ground.


Please share this article with your friends and families to let them know the real history behind America’s ‘exceptionalism.’



Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Follow @MattAgorist.


   

7147

   

      

mosquito_gene-minBy Justin Gardner


After months of anticipation, the Zika virus has finally arrived to the continental U.S., with 15 non-travel cases being reported in Florida as of August 2. The virus is carried primarily by a species of mosquito called Aedes aegypti.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued its first-ever warning for within the U.S., urging pregnant women to avoid travel to a Miami neighborhood where the Zika investigation is centered.


CDC and the Florida Health Department recommended an aerial spraying program to cover a 10-square-mile area just north of downtown Miami. The state is spraying a chemical called Naled, which is an organophospate pesticide that causes severe skin and eye irritation; it also contains an inert ingredient called napthaline which is classified by the EPA as a “possible human carcinogen.”



When this chemical was recommended to be sprayed in Puerto Rico, protests erupted from residents concerned about their health and the environmental impacts. Organophosphate pesticides also devastate bee populations and other beneficial insects, which affects agriculture as well as ecosystem health.


Governments are often quick to pour chemicals into the environment as a first reaction, as it gives the appearance of “doing something” and enriches chemical companies who contribute to political campaigns. So, with 15 cases of Zika and sustained media fear-mongering, the first government-sponsored spraying program has begun in Florida.








According to the CDC, for most people the Zika virus causes mild symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, muscle pain and headache that last up to a week. Many patients don’t even know they have it, as it is like symptoms of other common sicknesses. Hospital visits are rare, and death very rare.


The bigger fear is the purported link between Zika virus in pregnant women and microcephaly in the baby. However, as we reported on July 2, the only country experiencing an abnormally high rate of microcephaly is Brazil, where doctors insist that a larvacide called pyriproxyfen could be a factor in microcephaly.


Colombia is also experiencing a Zika virus outbreak, but there is no connection between Zika virus and microcephaly in that country.


Of the nearly 12,000 pregnant women with clinical symptoms of Zika infections until March 28, no cases of microcephaly were reported as of May 2.


Five new cases of microcephaly with Zika infections were found prior to June 18 in Colombia; however, this is still consistent with the random co-occurrence of each of the separate conditions.


Back in Brazil, the expected “explosion” of cases where brain defects are linked to Zika virus has not occurred. Defying predictions, most of the cases have remained clustered in the northeast region, which has caused Brazil to open a probe into the possibility of co-factors such as other viruses or environmental factors.


The story of Zika-carrying mosquitoes gets even more interesting when we delve into history. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S. military is involved.


An investigation by Sarah Laskow at Atlas Obscura found that in the 1950s, the U.S. was seeking to weaponize the Aedes aegypti mosquito while Brazil and other Latin American countries were trying to eradicate it.



At Fort Detrick, the military’s biological weapons base in Maryland, in great secret, Army scientists were considering how fleas, grasshoppers, and mosquitoes might be deployed against the Communist threat. These insects were harder to protect against than gas— masks wouldn’t help. The threat they posed would last, as long as a population of insects remained alive. Plus, it would be very difficult to pin an insect-borne attack on the U.S.


Among these possible insect soldiers, A. aegypti was “the golden child,” writes Jeffrey A. Lockwood, in Six-Legged Soldiers, because the disease it carried, yellow fever was so terrible. The Army Chemical Corps, in a 1959 report, notes that yellow fever is “highly dangerous” and that “since 1900, one-third of patients have died.” There were parts of the Soviet Union that had never been exposed to the disease, which made them vulnerable, but which had the right climate to support mosquitoes. The Chemical Corps started to experiment with how a brigade of A. aegypti might be deployed and what sort of damage they might do.



Concerted efforts began around 1900 to tackle the deadly problem of yellow fever, which was afflicting American troops carrying out imperialistic adventures in the Caribbean. After discovering that the mosquito caused yellow fever, Americans led a successful eradication program in Cuba.


You can’t handle the truth about vaccines (Ad)


American scientists took their methods to Brazil, where Fred Soper – with the help of the authoritarian Brazilian regime – implemented a strict A. aegypti eradication program that succeeded in eight cities in northern Brazil.



In 1947, the year Zika was discovered, he had convinced enough people that eradication was possible that a consortium of American countries endorsed a plan to rid the entire hemisphere of the mosquito.


Most of the countries succeeded. By 1962, there were no A. aegypti to be found in 18 continental countries and a number of Caribbean islands. Only a few hold outs had failed to start programs to destroy these mosquitos. The one that made Soper the most frustrated was his own.



When the U.S. Public Health Service finally began A. aegypti eradication efforts in the Southeast to combat yellow fever, the military was simultaneously studying their use as biological weapons against Communist countries.


As part of this research, Army scientists had to see how quickly A. aegypti populations spread through populations, so they released hordes of mosquitoes (uninfected by yellow fever) in American cities like Savannah, Georgia and Avon Park, Florida.



They would load hundreds of thousands of mosquitos into planes and, later, helicopters, then drop them over the field and see how far they could spread.


The mosquitoes apparently performed well enough: By 1960, the Chemical Corps was producing 500,000 A. aegypti every month, rearing them on sugar water and blood and letting them lay their eggs on paper towels. Scientists had found they could infect a new generation of mosquitoes with yellow fever by mixing the virus in the solution in which the mosquito eggs grew. Hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes were not enough to start a real epidemic, though. The corps proposed constructing a facility in Arkansas that could produce 100 million A. aegypti mosquitoes each week.



In the same years, federal government was attempting to eradicate A. aegypti, the military was releasing countless numbers of the mosquitoes into the environment.


Yellow fever was not so much of a problem in the U.S. as it was in tropical regions, and the same authoritarian methods employed in places like Brazil could not be applied in the United States. Funding and enthusiasm was also a problem, and it was becoming realized that true eradication was a pipe dream.


After being beaten back for a few decades, A. aegypti has now invaded more territory than it ever inhabited before. And scientists now say the species may be “more sophisticated, individually complex, and formidable than anyone imagined.”


Of course, we can’t blame the American military for the spread of the mosquito species largely responsible for the Zika virus and yellow fever, but the secret history tells us much about how these sorts of things are viewed by government.


Even as the world was battling against infectious disease, the military saw an opportunity to find more effective ways at killing people. And it used its own citizens as unknowing subjects for research.


Justin Gardner writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


   

7148

   

      

05francespan-jumbo-1024x681By Alek Hidell


French police have been criticized ever since the Charlie Hebdo attack, by right wing media, portraying the French police as weak and ineffective. This criticism stems from the fact that less than half of the French police are armed. Reports circulated that French police had to flee the scene, unable to bring a halt to the killing by masked gunmen. Dozens of French mayors have responded to the recent terror attacks in both Paris and Nice, now arming some of their police forces.


France has always had a restrictive policy on firearms. Unlike the U.S., the citizens of France have no inherent right to bear arms. This, for the most part, has carried over into the police force. The majority of French police have not carried firearms and have been restricted to non-lethal weapons, like the baton and Taser. Due to the rash of terrorist attacks, gun restrictions for police have lightened and more and more officers are receiving new firearms and training. A new law handed the regulation of arming police officers to the local mayors. Many mayors are on board with the law and have already started to train officers in specific firearm training.



Francois Vayrou, the mayor of the city of Pau stated, “Our weapons against incivility, such as the Taser or the flash-ball, are obviously worthless in stopping a vehicle,” referring to the terror attack in Nice. While arming the police seems to be the logical step, it brings into questions a number of civil rights issues. No one can deny the connection between the militarization of police in the U.S. and the number of citizens killed at their hands. While arming the police may appear to be the next step in the war against terror, the reality is that the bulk of new weapons of war handed to local French police will lead to the same results America has already uncovered.








This action by French mayors comes at a time when France is under a national state-of-emergency. At the time of the Nice attack, France had already been under declared emergency. The French President Francois Hollande went back on his promise to lift the heightened security state, instead backing congress on their move to extend it for a further six months. Along with the title, increased security measures were granted to police.


These new powers granted increased search and seizure abilities including no-warrant searches. Police are also allowed to seize computer and mobile data without court approval. Adding guns to the streets on the hips of patrolman, whether you approve of it or not, is a sure sign of the emerging global police state that has been pioneered in the United States. Guns would not have stopped the Nice attack, as terrorists tend to stay one step of ahead of law enforcement by their very nature.


The French government released a report showing that the increased security measures imposed under the security state yielded only six terrorism-related cases. Over 3,600 warrantless searches and 400 arrests for unrelated charges, show that increasing security measures only affects everyday citizens who are forced to give up their civil liberties. The conspiracy theorists would say that all of the terrorist attacks were false flag events, used to justify the current police state the global culture is shifting to. Whether or not you believe them, their predictions as to the erosion of our civil liberties and the fact that our governments are chasing ghosts, seem more than accurate.



Police raids in France have mainly targeted the Muslim community. This might appear to be a logical direction for authorities; however, with the low number of criminal terrorism-related investigations generated by the increased police powers, it is clear that authorities are acting on fear and very little evidence. The attacks in France have never been clearly linked to ISIS and have been sold to the public as ISIS inspired, attempting to connect dots that are very loosely affiliated. This follows the pattern set forth in the U.S. with the attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando, where the government and media attempted to paint the shooters as radical Muslims. A closer look at these cases reveals little to no connection between the incidents and ISIS; however, this perception is now etched into the public consciousness.


French opinions on arming police have softened in light of these attacks. Last year, before the recent carnage France experienced, mayor Robert Menard of the town of Beziers took the initiative to arm his police force. Criticized as a right wing xenophobe, his actions were perceived as anti-Muslim sentiment. He was widely criticized by newspapers across France.


Fast forward several terrorist attacks and the criticism of arming police has seemingly faded. It is hard to say what long-term effects this will have in the safety and security of France. What is certain is that increased security measures do little to stop the threat of terrorism, and it is usually the citizens who ultimately pay the price.


Sources: Gun Policy, The Independent, RT, Breibart, New York Times.


This article (French Mayors Arm Police as Emergency State Continues) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com.


   

7149

   

      

yemen ksaBy Brandon Turbeville


Even as the Houthis are effectively defeating the forces of the Saudi-led coalition who invaded them in 2015 and even as Houthi forces have actually launched a counter-invasion of Saudi Arabia, the Houthis are now making plans for a political reformation as well.


It has been announced by the Houthi leadership that a coalition forming a new “political council” that will govern Yemen and establish a new Constitution is now in the works. The council will be made up of Houthi figures as well as individuals who are part of the forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Another stated goal of the coalition is to ensure the unity of Yemen.


The council has called upon all “non-terrorist” forces in Yemen to join and assist in the unification of the country.



The Saudis are predictably outraged at the prospect that the Houthis and allied forces are not only rejecting their attempt to control them but are doing so successfully. As al-Arabiya reported,


Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers on Monday reiterated that the agreement reached between Houthis and followers of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh to form a political council in Yemen is an obstacle to reach a political agreement to end the suffering of the Yemeni people.








The Cabinet considered it as a flagrant violation of the resolutions of the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations Security Council (Resolution 2216), as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council’s initiative and its executive mechanism and the outcome of the comprehensive national dialogue.


Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, chaired the session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.


KSA’s claim that the council is an obstacle to a political solution in Yemen is laughable and ridiculous. After all, the council is, by definition, a political solution. Not only that but there never would have been a crisis of this magnitude had Saudi Arabia and its coalition of monarchs not invaded the country to begin with.


Whenever one’s enemy feels comfortable enough to announce the creation of a political process and a governing structure, it is often a sign that one’s military campaign has failed. It is the time KSA and its allies cut their losses and withdraw from Yemen, leaving Yemeni affairs to Yemenis.


Image Credit


Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

7150

   

      

credit-card-chipsBy Carey Wedler


Americans have spent much of 2016 lamenting the addition of chips into their credit and debit cards. In exchange for the extra few moments consumers spend checking out, however, they are promised enhanced security to protect their accounts.


But a new discovery unveiled Wednesday by professional hackers at the Black Hat USA summit in Las Vegas called into question the supposed ironclad security of the new chips, which are referred to as EMV technology.


Retailers and banks began replacing regular magnetic stripe card readers with EMV last October after credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard threatened to hold them responsible for false charges made on cards during magnetic strip transactions. The mandate came amid high-profile breaches of retailers like Home Depot and Target.



In spite of industry assurances that EMV guarantees more security, computer security experts at the payment technology company, NCR, unveiled a basic, albeit glaring, security flaw.


According to CNNMoney, which first reported the discovery, when a consumer swipes the magnetic stripe of a card with a chip in it, the magnetic reader is programmed to alert the payment machine. The machine then prompts the consumer to insert their card into the chip reader, instead. But according to NCR, hackers can rewrite the code of the magnetic stripe so the card appears to be chipless.








As CNNMoney noted, “This allows them to keep counterfeiting — just like they did before the nationwide switch to chip cards.”

The reason for this security hole, according to the experts, is that retailers are not encrypting their transactions. “There’s a common misperception EMV solves everything. It doesn’t,” said Patrick Watson, one of NCR’s researchers.


Indeed, retailers grumbled at the roughly $25 billion they were forced to spend upgrading their machines to comply with Visa and Mastercard’s demands for chip readers. In fact, according to MarketWatch, in March retailers in California filed a federal lawsuit claiming the banking industry was attempting to shift the costs of identity theft onto retailers. Identity theft is a pervasive problem in America, where in 2016, as much as $15 billion has already been stolen from consumers, according to the Insurance Information Institute.


Part of the problem with the new EMV readers is that retailers aren’t encrypting transactions conducted on their new machines. But much of the blame belongs to the companies that make the EMV readers.


The two main manufacturers, Ingenico and Verifone, said their products come with point-to-point encryption options but noted retailers must turn them on.


But as CNNMoney pointed out:


[P]ayment terminal makers keep producing machines that don’t have the encryption by default. And vendors who sell and install these machines at shops don’t simply flip the switch and turn on encryption. Retailers have to pay extra for basic security.


Currently, retailers focus their attention on protecting their computer systems. “But that leaves the actual conversation between your credit card and the machine in plain text, readable to any hacker who breaks into the system,” CNNMoney explained.


Randy Vanderhoof, director of the U.S. Payments Forum, admitted, “If the data on the magnetic stripe is altered it might fool the terminal.” But he added that the system would “reject the transaction” on the backend.


Vanderhoof’s reassurances are questionable considering the new finding is only the latest to question the efficacy of chip technology. Security experts have continually poked holes in it, and even the European version of the technology, referred to as Chip-n-Pin and regarded as superior to its American counterpart, has deeply-rooted flaws.


In March, prior to the NCR researchers’ discovery of the latest security shortcoming, “two small Florida stores filed a lawsuit seeking class action status, saying their bill for fraudulent transactions has increased perhaps 20-fold since the October deadline and the EMV delay — playing out in smaller stores across the country — is costing them big money,” MarketWatch reported.


In fact, as of March, the majority of retailers who had purchased the new card readers were yet to actually employ the technology, opting to stay with the magnetic stripe reader, instead. Though five million EMV readers had been purchased, only one million were in use.


As credit card security efforts continue to fall short, CNNMoney reported the experts from NRC “advised shops to ‘encrypt everything’ in a transaction. They also said consumers should pay with special apps on their phones and watches whenever the high tech option is available.”


This article (You Know Those New Chips in Your Credit Card? They’re Failing You Miserably) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Carey Wedler and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.


   

7151

   

      

7_1_2015_b3-napo-hillary-war8201By Brandon Turbeville


While so many rumors, accusations, and scandals surround the 2013 incident in Benghazi where a number of U.S. ambassadorial staff as well as Ambassador Chris Stevens were murdered by Islamic extremists, the question almost always arises “How much was known about Stevens’ mission of supporting terrorists in Syria and who knew it?”


While discussion of how Stevens was killed, how he was killed, or if anyone knew what was going to happen to Stevens is outside of the scope of this article, the question of whether or not it was known that Stevens was essentially working as a conduit between terrorists in Libya and those in Syria, as well as a facilitator of arms to those terrorists, is well worth mentioning. Indeed, it is important to note that documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Defense and Department of State reveal that the Obama administration as well as the State Department, i.e. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were all well aware of the fact that weapons were being shipped to terrorists in Syria via Benghazi, Libya.



One such document which was obtained from the Department of Defense, more specifically the Defense Intelligence Agency was dated October, 2012 and stated clearly that not only were weapons being shipped to Syria but that the shipments themselves were being monitored.


The documents stated,



Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.








During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

. . . . .


The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]



While, in 2016, the documents may not be considered bombshell information, many alternative researchers and writers were condemned as tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists in 2012 for suggesting that the State Department and the Obama administration were complicit in and facilitating the arming of terrorists in Syria.


In addition, the documents are a direct contradiction to the testimony of a number of American officials, including Hillary Clinton herself, who claimed in sworn public testimony that the U.S. had no role in the arming and support of the Syrian “rebels” early on in the Syrian crisis.


For instance, Clinton herself claimed she had no knowledge of any such program when she was questioned by Senator Rand Paul at a Congressional hearing in 2013. The exchange went as follows:



RAND PAUL: It has been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and they might have weapons. What I would like to know, is the annex that was close by [in Benghazi]. Were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries — to any countries, Turkey included.


HILLARY CLINTON: Senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.


RAND PAUL: You’re saying you don’t know.


HILLARY CLINTON: I do not now. I don’t have any information on that.



Although the document did not specify that the United States was the responsible party regarding organizing the weapons shipments or that it had a direct role in facilitating them (the responsible party is redacted), it does make clear that the United States was aware of and monitoring these shipments. At the very least, this proves that Clinton’s testimony is false. At worst, it adds to the pile of evidence that the United States was not only a supporter but the architect of the Syrian crisis from day one.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pgt0gJNsgk


Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

7152

   

      

illinois marijuanaBy Brandon Turbeville


Illinois is now the most recent state to show signs that it is beginning to move in the direction of more sensible and responsible drug laws, particularly when it comes to marijuana.


This is because Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation last week which makes Illinois the third largest state in the country to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses. The new law makes having 10 grams or less of marijuana a civil offense as opposed to a criminal one. Thus, the penalty for possession of over 10 grams will be a fine of up to 200 dollars.


The law also sets an official standard for what will be considered too impaired to drive. Previously, any trace amount of marijuana at all was considered impaired, an obviously oppressive and illogical standard since marijuana can remain in a person’s system for several weeks. The new law creates a standard of 5 nanograms of THC in the driver’s blood within two hours of consumption.



The governor had been expected to sign the bill despite the fact that he vetoed a similar piece of legislation last year. At the time of his veto, Rauner said that existing penalties for small marijuana offenses were too harsh and that “criminal prosecution of cannabis possession is also a drain on public resources.” We proudly welcome Governor Rauner to the 21st century.


But, not so fast…








Laimutis Nargelenas, Springfield Park Police Chief, and former lobbyist for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, is very concerned. “You’re giving individuals more opportunities for drug usage,” said Nargelenas.


At this point, we would like to make a joke about welcoming Nargelenas to the 18th century, but, interestingly enough, the people of that century had more much more rational views on marijuana than he does. Instead, we will allow Nargelenas to remain in the Twilight Zone where marijuana is dangerous, Prozac is safe and police who are scarcely indistinguishable from the military is a sign that everything is okay.


Many others in the state have praised Rauner’s action, most likely tired of seeing non-violent people having their lives ruined, thrown into cages and otherwise being brutalized – not by the plant they were arrested for – but by the people who are allegedly protecting them from it.


The new Illinois bill will also require municipalities to purge citation records of marijuana possession every six months although it does allow local governments to opt out of this clause. The bill goes into effect immediately.Photo credit: Metropolico.org via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA


This article (Effective Immediately: Illinois Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession) can be republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Brandon Turbeville and Natural Blaze.com.


Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


   

7153

   

      

mccain misslesBy Brandon Turbeville


In three and a half decades, the United States has come full circle in terms of its publicly stated strategy overseas. From the late 1970s when the U.S. armed the Mujihadeen “rebels” to draw in and fight the Soviets in Afghanistan to 2016 when the U.S. has given Syrian “rebels” (aka moderate terrorists) TOW missiles to shoot down Russian aircraft over Syria, the U.S. and Russia are engaged in a proxy war – at least this time entirely at the impetus of the U.S. and its allies – where the people of a target nation pay the ultimate price.


Recently, a Russian MI-8 helicopter was shot down over Syria in the Idlib region. The helicopter and its crew were on a humanitarian mission even according to the pro-terrorist Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Although Western outlets and “think tanks” are attempting to claim that the helicopter was on a combat mission, no one outside of NATO countries believes this and the evidence produced by these pro-war analysts is scant to say the least.



Regardless, it was a U.S. missile that brought down the helicopter, a TOW missile that was provided to the terrorists by the U.S. itself. As the Japan Times wrote,



Two Russian airmen killed in Syria on Friday were shot down with American weaponry, the Interfax news agency said Sunday, quoting a Russian military source.


It said insurgents from the Islamic State group hit the airmen’s Mi-25 assault helicopter with a U.S.-made TOW heavy anti-tank missile, a weapon that uses guidance from a ground station.



These TOW missiles were supposed to be provided only to “moderate terrorists” who had been vetted by the U.S. State Department and kept out of the hands of extremists. However, as I and the New York Times have reported since the very beginning of the crisis that there never was anything resembling a moderate fighting in Syria. Indeed, the vetting process has revealed that the United States has not only armed but given TOW missiles to groups that are as bad if not worse than ISIS itself. For instance, the terrorist group Nour al-Din al-Zanghi (Zenki) that recently beheaded a child on camera was actually considered a “moderate vetted” group.








John McCain, however, is presumably pleased at the fact that his dream of the ’80s is being repeated. Remember, it was McCain who told FOX News that “I might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago, to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes. That equipment is available” When asked who he meant to give the missiles to, he said, “The Free Syrian Army, just like the Afghans shot down the Russian…”


McCain, of course, has long been a vocal supporter of terrorism in Syria, Libya, and beyond. He has supported virtually every war to cross his path during his tenure as Senator and has actively covered up and stonewalled evidence that pointed to the possibility that American prisoners of war were still in Vietnam long after the war was over.


Nevertheless, the United States finds itself now publicly admitting to funding terrorists and terrorism as well as attempting to represent these terrorists as freedom fighters. The major difference this time around is twofold: First, the alternative media has provided a significant roadblock to the impunity with which the U.S. government has acted in Syria by deconstructing and competing with the State Department’s narratives. Second, Russia is no longer an empire in decline. It is a superpower whose presence is rising. This time, it is the United States that is in decline.


For this and a number of other reasons, the United States must abandon foolish policies of empire and the advice of fools like John McCain.


Image Credit


Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

7154

   

      

isis_constitutionBy Brandon Turbeville


Putting on display a perfect example of just how little the United States cares about human rights and crimes against humanity, the U.S. State Department is refusing to say whether or not will continue to fund, arm, and support a terrorist group in Syria that beheaded a little boy on camera for the world to see.


Always known for their brutality and inhumanity to innocent men, women, and children, America’s “rebels” sunk to a new low with the beheading of a child (under the age of 12) they had accused of fighting alongside the Liwaa al-Quds (Quds Brigade), a Palestinian militia fighting alongside the Syrian government.


The video, which was recorded by the terrorists of Nour al-Din al-Zinki, an American-backed “rebel” group, shows the child in ragged clothes sitting in the back of a pickup truck surrounded by five bearded terrorists. The child is then laid on his stomach and his hands tied behind his back. After a short intro speech by the executioner, the child’s head is then lifted up and the executioner begins sawing with a small and, apparently, dull knife through the child’s neck. After a few muffled attempts at screaming, the knife having severed the vocal chords early enough to prevent most of that, the executioner holds the child’s head above his own and utters the familiar cry of “Allahu Akbar!” At this point, his chanting friends, more akin to a pack of crazed apes more than anything resembling human, begin repeating the chant and holding their hands in the air, celebrating their kill.



In the video, it should be noted that the terrorist says “We will leave no one in Handarat,” an open admission of the intent and purpose of committing an act of genocide.


The Jerusalem Brigade (al-Quds Brigade) released a statement saying that the boy was not a fighter with the brigade and identified him as Abdullah Issa.


“He lived in al-Mashhad [Aleppo] with his family, among multiple poor families that live in the area under the control of terrorists,” said al-Quds, adding that the boy was ill. “By taking one glance at the child – the argument that he was a fighter is immediately disapproved.”








Meanwhile, the United States continues its funding of the so-called “rebels” amid yet another horrific atrocity while claiming moral high ground over Assad despite the fact that the U.S. has yet to produce a shred of evidence to show that he or his forces have ever committed attacks, much less atrocities, on civilians.


Previously, State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated that “If we can prove that this was indeed what happened and this group was involved in it, I think it would certainly give us pause.”


Yet, despite the fact that the act was videotaped and clearly shows the execution of the child, Toner and the State Department are still “investigating” the “alleged” incident. What’s more, there is no guarantee they will stop funding the group.


When questioned by journalist Caleb Maupin, Toner was unable to adequately answer whether or not the U.S. would stop funding to the terrorist group or even whether or not the beheading would be considered terrorism.



Maupin: What does a rebel group in Syria have to do to not receive U.S. funds any longer? What is the line that they must cross? What kind of controversial incident must take place for a group to stop receiving U.S. funds?


Toner: Well, first of all, um, there’s, uh, a lot of vetting of the Syrian moderate opposition that has already taken place and it’s not just by the U.S., it’s by all the members of the ISSG and, frankly, the U.N. And it was established that al-Nusra as well as Daesh or ISIL were considered to be by all members and by the U.N. to be terrorist organizations. Again, these are not easy processes and one incident here and there would not necessarily make you a terrorist group. Now, uh, let me be very clear that we don’t condone any of the activities that you just cited. Uh, possible use of chemical weapons, possible beheading of a young child. Any human rights abuses. Any of those things would give us serious cause for concern. That said, where are on the broader political or geopolitical, uh, in, uh, in Syria is, uh, and one of the ongoing discussions that we’ve been having with Russia is how do we clearly delineate between these known terrorist groups – Nusra and Daesh – and the moderate opposition and how do we have a clear understanding of who is where so that we can, longer game here, get back in place a cessation of hostilities that is credible that can also jumpstart the political process.


Maupin: It sounds to me like you’re saying that, even if these allegations are true, there’s still a chance that the United States would continue supporting these groups. Is that what you’re saying?


Toner: I’m not making any, uh, I’m not frankly answering any, uh, hypotheticals. We just don’t know at this point. As I said, we would regard any of the acts that you mentioned, or cited, and, again, they are just allegations at this point, we take them very seriously and look into them.


Maupin: They’re not a red line.


Toner: Again . .


Maupin: for U.S. support



Toner goes on to regurgitate the official definition of a terrorist organization but he was again asked a question by a different journalist related to the beheading of the boy in relation to the funding for Nour al-Din al-Zenki. The reporter asks:



Reporter: The other thing that you said was the “possible” beheading. Are you not convinced that that video is accurate?


Toner: Um, um, um, I, was just about to say, I’m just not aware that we’ve determined who was actually behind it.



So there you have it, as Maupin repeatedly addresses for clarification during the questioning, the United States is not committed to eliminating funding for even one small group of its terrorists in Syria, despite the fact that they beheaded a young child in front of the cameras. While this is not surprising in the least, it is somewhat surprising that the U.S. State Department would be so brazen about it. Perhaps the American people are so abysmally tuned out to world affairs that it doesn’t matter or perhaps the U.S. government simply doesn’t care whether they know or not.


Regardless, the tragic and horrific beheading of the boy was not the first atrocity of the Syrian war and, unfortunately, it will not be the last so long as the United States continues its policy of arming, supporting, and funding terrorists to destroy the Syrian government.



Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

7155

   

      

layoffsBy Michael Snyder


Not all jobs are created equal.  There is a world of difference between a $100,000 a year energy industry job and a $10 an hour job running a cash register at Wal-Mart.  You can comfortably support a middle-class family on $100,000 a year, but there is no way in the world that you can run a middle-class household on a part-time job that pays just $10 an hour.  The quality of our jobs matters, and if current long-term trends continue unabated, eventually we are not going to have much of a middle class left.  At this point the middle class has already become a minority in America, and according to the Social Security Administration 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year right now.  We have a desperate need for more higher-paying jobs, and that is why what is happening in the energy industry is so deeply alarming.


Just today we got some more disturbing news.  According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the U.S. has lost 195,000 good paying energy jobs since the middle of 2014…




Cheap oil has fueled a massive wave of job cuts that may not be over yet.


Since oil prices began to fall in mid-2014, cheap crude has been blamed for 195,000 job cuts in the U.S., according to a report published on Thursday by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.


It’s an enormous toll that is especially painful because these tend to be well-paying jobs. The average pay in the oil and gas industry is 84% higher than the national average, according to Goldman Sachs.



Those are good-paying jobs that are not easy to replace, and unfortunately the jobs losses appear to be accelerating.  In their new report, Challenger, Gray & Christmas went on to say that 95,000 of those job cuts have come in 2016, and 17,725 of them were in July alone.


We also got some other bad news for the U.S. economy on Thursday.








Factory orders are down again, and at this point U.S. factory orders have now been down on a year over year basis for 20 months in a row.  That is the longest streak in all of U.S. history.

Needless to say, we have never seen such a thing happen outside of a recession.


In addition, it is being reported that U.S. banks have been tightening lending standards for four quarters in a row.


Once again, this is something that has never happened outside of a recession.


On top of all that, tax receipts continue to plummet.  This is a very bad sign for the economy, because falling tax receipts are usually a sign that we are headed into a recession.  The following comes from Zero Hedge…



July “Withheld” receipts – those tax and withholding payments that come straight from wage earner pay stubs – are down 1.0% year over year. 


This data series can be choppy, and looking at the three month trailing average yields a 3.1%.  That’s a touch slower than the 2016 YTD comp of 3.3%, and tells us to not expect too much from Friday’s number.


Also worth noting: YTD non-withheld tax receipts (such as those that come from “Gig economy” workers) are down 6.5%, and July’s comp is 15% lower than a year ago.


Last, corporate tax receipts are down 11% YTD, and if the current pace of these payments holds it will be the first negative comp since 2011. Bottom line: if the tax man isn’t as busy, can the U.S. economy really be expanding?



Are you starting to see a pattern here?


         

10 Strategies to Survive and Thrive During Economic Collapse - Subscribe To Get Your Free Copy



   Email address:
   


   





Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL


      

And let’s review what else we have learned over the past couple of weeks…



U.S. GDP growth came in at an extremely disappointing 1.2 percent for the second quarter of 2016, and the first quarter was revised down to 0.8 percent.
The rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen to the lowest level ever.
The Wall Street Journal says that this is the weakest “economic recovery” since 1949.
Barack Obama is on track to be the only president in U.S. history to never have a single year of 3 percent GDP growth.

Meanwhile, things continue to get worse around the rest of the planet as well.  For example, the economic depression in Brazil continues to deepen and it is being reported that the Brazilian economy has now been shrinking for five quarters in a row…



Brazil’s economy, the world’s ninth largest, contracted by 0.3 percent in the first quarter, marking the fifth straight quarter it shrank. Last year, Brazil’s gross domestic product fell to its lowest level since 2009.


Inflation has also shot higher recently, rising 9 percent in 2015, from 6.3 percent in 2014, according to data from the World Bank. Energy as a percentage of exports, meanwhile, fell to 7 percent in 2015, from 9 percent in the previous year.



And of course Brazil is hosting the Olympics this summer, and that is turning out to be a major debacle.  Many of the international athletes will actually be rowing, sailing and swimming in open waters that are highly contaminated by raw sewage, and Brazilian police have been welcoming tourists to Rio with a big sign that says “Welcome To Hell.” And let us not forget that right next door in Venezuela the economic collapse has gotten so bad that people are killing and eating zoo animals.


As the global economy continues to deteriorate, what should we do?


Legendary investor Bill Gross shared some of his thoughts on the matter in his latest Investment Outlook…



“Negative returns and principal losses in many asset categories are increasingly possible unless nominal growth rates reach acceptable levels,” Gross said in his latest Investment Outlook note published Wednesday.


“I don’t like bonds; I don’t like most stocks; I don’t like private equity. Real assets such as land, gold, and tangible plant and equipment at a discount are favored asset categories.”



I tend to agree with Gross.  Bonds are in a tremendous bubble right now, and the stock market bubble has grown to ridiculous proportions.  In the end, the only wealth that you are going to be able to fully rely on is wealth that you can physically have in your possession.


As you have seen in this article, signs of economic decline are all around us.


And yet, many people out there are still convinced that good times are right around the corner.


What is it going to take to convince them that they are wrong?


Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.


   

Pages: 1 ... 475 476 [477] 478 479 ... 558