Headlines of interest for February 2019 [updated]…
Times of India – IAF strikes in Pakistan updates…
Pepe Escobar shares this from social media…
INDIA AND PAKISTAN: FROM HYBRID WAR TO HOT WAR?
This is by my very good friend Prof. Junaid Ahmad.
Junaid’s credentials are unimpeachable. He is the Iqbal Chair of Pakistan Studies at the University of Leeds, UK, the Director for the Centre for Global Studies and Assistant Professor at the University of Management and Technology (UMT) in Lahore, a UC Berkeley Research Fellow in Islamophobia Studies, a Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) – Istanbul, and Secretary-General of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) – Kuala Lumpur.
Here we go:
“Indian belligerence and repression has reached unprecedented heights. In the ongoing brutal and murderous occupation of Kashmir, India has killed tens of thousands and made life a living hell for Kashmiris who are sold the cruel joke that they are part of ‘an integral India.’ Kashmiris resist noviolently, have done so for decades, only to meet more lethal repression.
The recent bomb attack on illegally occupying Indian soldiers in Kashmir, not on civilians, in the Pulwana district of Kashmir served as the pretext for the fascistic BJP regime of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to whip up mass hysteria, panic, fear – and a massive social engineering propaganda scheme to manufacture consent for bloodthirsty revenge.
The Indian rulers, politicians and generals, as well as their servile court jesters amongst the intelligentsia, know that this type of bellicosity is the only means by which the BJP can possible prevent its predicted horrible loss in elections this year. This has of course meant an even worse form of totalitarian rule for Kashmiris, found anywhere in all of India.
And most dangerously of all, it has mean that that racist genocidal madman running India right now is not averse one bit in raising the stakes in waging war with Pakistan. The air raids deep into Pakistani territory undertaken by New Delhi is sending the message that all bets are off, and sadly Indian generals are as hawkish as Modi himself.
What is most scandalous about this entire trajectory of events over the past few months is that Pakistan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan has been virtually begging PM Modi to resume negotiations and talks, and has been rebuffed and humiliated by New Dehli every single time. Modi and the Indian generals have effectively made a decision that there will be no more diplomacy to ‘resolve’ things.
This signifies the most dangerous single moment in recent times: nuclear armed adjoining neighbours India and Pakistan moving from hybrid war to ‘real’ war.”
A nuclear conflict on the Indian sub-continent (with ensuing global nuclear winter) will then render the Trump-Kim negotiations pointless…
Asahi Shimbun – Kim’s Hanoi hotel coup undone as White House press evicted
Much to Trump’s levity, while this perhaps gave some negotiating leverage…
If an offer was made, it apparently wasn’t leverage enough…
Yonhap News Agency – Kim leaves summit venue, lunch with Trump seemingly cancelled
KBS World Radio – Rival Parties Express Hope for Swift Resumption of US-North Talks
Whatever progress was or wasn’t made to curb nukes the Korean peninsula, the Trump administration seems determined to encourage proliferation elsewhere…
The Saker (Pepe Escobar) – Russian President warns West that deploying missile launchers in Europe could ignite ‘tit for tat’ response
Strategic Culture (Anatoly Karlin) – American Suspension of INF Treaty is Aimed at China
National Interest – The Little-Known Security Gaps In China’s Belt and Road Initiative
ThereAreNoSunglasses (NYT) – Mullah Brother (Baradar) Represents the Real Taliban In Doha Meeting
Intelligence Online – North Korean experts come to Assad’s aid
Syrian Arab News Service – Gold deal between United States and Daesh: Mission accomplished
Strategic Culture (Finian Cunningham) – Saudi Heir and Aramco Despair – a Motive for Khashoggi Killing
Middle East Eye – Saudis don’t know where Khashoggi’s body is, Jubeir says
Intelligence Online – Huta Group out to please MbS in Yemen
Maghreb Confidential – Washington decides to play the Misrati card
Fars News Agency – Iran Penetrates into US Command Center, Picks Up Drones Control
Tehran Times – Rouhani rejects Zarif’s resignation
Just prior to his resignation -or attempt at such – Zarif had made quite a splash in Munich…
Tom Luongo – Warsaw and Munich: Whistling Past NATO’s Graveyard
Stars and Stripes – Russia shadows USS Donald Cook as it heads to Black Sea
Frankfurter Allgemeine – Eine Nazi-EU?
An axis reforming?…
An attempt to reestablish colonial empire?…
West Africa Newsletter – Paris to play secret military card to regain control
Indian Ocean Newsletter – Emmanuel Macron takes Africa by the Horn
But Macron cannot even maintain obeisance domestically…
Among former colonies…
People’s Dispatch – Anti-government protests continue in Haiti
Le Nouvelliste – 8 individus lourdement armés arrêtés par la police
Global Research (Yves Engler) – Canadian Military in Haiti. Why?
Popular Resistance – Venezuela: US Pursuing Humanitarian Aid Path To War
Global Research – Valuing Venezuela’s Orinoco Oil Belt
The Real News Network – Elliott Abrams: The War Criminal Running US Policy in Venezuela
‘Tropical Trump’ not playing ball?…
Asia Times (Pepe Escobar) – Bolsonaro scandal puts Brazil on edge as farmers eye Amazon forest
Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey devotees of…
Carta Capital – Sabrina Bittencourt, que denunciou João de Deus, comete suicídio – translation at News Punch
He’s just an upstart in a very old racket…
New Yorker (Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow) – Private Mossad for Hire
Wayne Madsen Report – February 12-13, 2019 — Saudi-Israeli intelligence links capture headlines
When WMR was the first to report on the longstanding intelligence links between Israel and Saudi Arabia in 2011, the corporate media scoffed at the notion. Today, eight years later, not only are the Israeli-Saudi links taken as a matter of fact, but details of the cooperation are hitting the front pages and headlines.
The links between the Israeli Mossad and the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate (GID) are particularly pronounced in the area of cyber-espionage and cyber-warfare. The GID has reportedly relied on an Israeli Trojan horse spyware program called Pegasus to carry out its cyber-spying. In 2017, NSO Group, a Herzliya, Israel-based company owned by Francisco Partners Management, LLC, a San Francisco venture capital firm, sold the Pegasus surveillance suite to the GID for $55 million. Pegasus was used to infect the mobile phone and computer of Saudi dissidents and enemies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Chief on MBS’s enemies list was Saudi journalist and permanent U.S. resident, Jamal Khashoggi.
The Washington Post columnist was brutally killed and dismembered by a Saudi assassination team dispatched from Riyadh to interdict Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate-General in Istanbul. The operation would not have been a success without the Saudis’ use of Pegasus to electronically track Khashoggi’s movements and eavesdrop on his communications. It has recently been discovered that the Saudis have also used Pegasus to track the movements of a Saudi dissident colleague of Khashoggi, Omar Abdulaziz, a permanent resident of Canada living in Quebec, UK-based Saudi dissident Yahya Assiri, and Ensaf Haidar, the Canadian citizen wife of imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi.
To hide its Israeli origins, Pegasus is also being sold by a front company called Q Cyber Technologies or simply, “Q.”
[On that note, we interrupt to remind that Michael Flynn – a suspected author of the Q-Anon missives (MilitaryTribunals.org) – was a consultant for NSO Group; the Intel Today blog marks the anniversary: Two Years Ago — General Mike Flynn Has Resigned. Could An Indictment Lead To An Impeachment?]
It is now apparent that the Saudi-Israeli intelligence relationship goes far beyond conducting surveillance on Saudi dissidents. Jeff Bezos, the chief executive officer of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, Khashoggi’s employer, posted on his blog that the chief suspect in the illegal electronic surveillance of his communications, which included text and “sexting” messages with his mistress, is the Saudi government working in tandem with American Media, Inc. (AMI), the publisher of the National Enquirer, and AMI’s owner, David Pecker, a close friend of Donald Trump. Bezos said AMI and Pecker attempted to blackmail him over the intercepted text and sexting messages.
Bezos wrote, “Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government,” adding, “Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is ‘apoplectic’ about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.” Gavin de Becker, the celebrity security specialist hired by Bezos to investigate the Saudi-AMI-NSO linkage, told The Washington Post that “it’s possible that a government entity might have gotten hold of his [Bezos’s] text messages.” AMI is reportedly seeking a financial bailout from the Saudis.
The accumulation of salacious material by AMI is part of its “catch and kill” operations used in support of the Trump campaign. Evidence of Trump’s many extramarital dalliances were quickly obtained by AMI to keep them from publication and the embarrassing consequences for Trump. One such document is the 2015 divorce suit that was to be filed in court in New York by Melania Trump. According to AMI insiders who spoke to WMR on background, Trump re-negotiated his prenuptial agreement with Mrs. Trump, with the addition of tens of millions of more dollars, to keep the marriage intact for his presidential run. The copy of the divorce suit was grabbed by AMI and filed away in its widely-rumored “safe.”
NSO also sold Pegasus to the United Arab Emirates intelligence service to spy on the communications of UAE dissident Ahmed Mansoor; Professor Abdullah Al-Shamsi, Vice Chancellor of the British University in Dubai; blogger Obaid Yousef Al-Zaabi and his brother, Dr. Ahmed Al-Zaabi. Also targeted was Middle East Eye journalist and UK-based founder of the Emirates Center for Human Rights, Rori Donaghy. Khashoggi spoke at a London conference sponsored by Middle East Eye shortly before his death in Istanbul. The UAE cyber-warfare center employing Pegasus is known as Stealth Falcon. Two firms, Maryland-based CyberPoint, and an Abu Dhabi-based firm, DarkMatter, have hired former National Security Agency cyber-warfare operators to work for Stealth Falcon in the UAE. The chief U.S. recruiter for DarkMatter is a U.S. citizen named Victor Kouznetsov.
There is data forensic evidence that points to Pegasus being used by intelligence and police services of the following countries, in addition to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to conduct questionable surveillance of mobile communications: United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Panama, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mozambique, Morocco, Turkey, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Palestine, Yemen, India, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Honduras, Brazil, Bangladesh, South Africa, Thailand, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Kenya, Croatia, Tunisia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Togo, Singapore, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, France, Greece, Tajikistan, Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Libya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Lebanon, Oman, and Bahrain. Pegasus use has been especially active in southeast Florida and southern California.
Journalists appear to be the favorite target for Pegasus. In addition to Khashoggi, Mexican journalist Rafael Cabrera was targeted for his reports on a messy divorce situation involving the then-president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, and First Lady Angelica Rivera, a former TV soap opera star, who was also involved in a financial scandal. Their divorce was officially announced on February 9. Other Mexican journalists subjected to Pegasus surveillance include Carmen Aristegui and her son, Emilio Aristegui, a minor and resident in the United States at the time of the surveillance and cyber-hacking; Sebastián Barragán; Televisa news anchor Carlos Loret de Mola; Andrés Villarreal, Ismael Bojórquez, Salvador Camarena; and Daniel Lizárraga. In addition to Khashoggi, Pegasus was likely used to target and assassinate another journalist, Mexican investigative reporter Javier Valdez Cárdenas, the founder of the Rio Doce newspaper, gunned down in May 2017.
Politicians have also been targeted by Pegasus. They include the Minority Leader of the Kenyan Senate, Moses Wetangula; Ricardo Anaya Cortes, President of the National Action Party (PAN) of Mexico; Senator Roberto Gil Zuarth, President of the Senate of Mexico; and Fernando Rodriques Doval, Communications secretary for PAN.
Activists with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also been the subject of Pegasus surveillance. These include Dr. Simon Barquera of the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico; Director Alejandro Calvillo of Mexico’s Director of El Poder del Consumidor; Director Luis Encarnación of Mexico’s Coalición ContraPESO; Director Mario Patrón, as well as Stephanie Brewer (a U.S. citizen) and Santiago Aguirre of Centro PRODH; Juan Pardinas and Alexandra Zapata of Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (IMCO); the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) investigating the 2014 forced disappearance and massacre of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College; human rights lawyers Karla Micheel Salas and David Peña; Director Claudio X. González of Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad (MCCI); and staff members of Amnesty International.
Former President of Panama Roberto Martinelli, a partner of Trump in the building of the former Trump Ocean Club Panama office and condo tower in Panama City, is currently standing trial for using Pegasus to spy on his political enemies. Martinelli is accused of using $13.4 million allocated for social welfare programs to buy the Pegasus surveillance suite. Martinelli’s targets included dozens of Panamanian businessmen, journalists, politicians, NGO leaders and activists, their family members and relatives (named in the indictment of Martinelli), diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Panama City and American political consultants Christian Ferry and U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Richard Downie. Ferry was the campaign chair of Senator Lindsey Graham’s 2016 presidential campaign and is the Alexandria, Virginia-based founding partner of The Trailblazer Group, a political consulting firm. If Pegasus also targeted Graham, it may have resulted in the collection of the same sort of information that was unsuccessfully used to extort Bezos, the only difference being that Graham’s embarrassing information may be of a homosexual nature with him being coerced by the blackmail into supporting Trump on every issue.
Downie was the first commandant of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC)in Fort Benning, Georgia after the infamous “School of the Americas,” which trained brutal Latin American dictators and their aides, moved from Panama.
The Israeli cyber-surveillance program has been used to send fake messages to targets’ mobile phones, including crude sexual accusations, promises of nude photos of a spouse or partner, false news stories about affairs or pending release of sex videos, false reports of the deaths of family members, false filing of libel suits, false reports of the kidnapping of colleagues, and false accusations of plagiarism.
The use of Pegasus to target Bezos, who has been disparaged by Trump, is a clear sign that the United States has moved into the category of an authoritarian-run republic. If a gazillionaire like Bezos cannot be assured of privacy from the cyber-goons employed by Trump, every person in the United States is vulnerable to the cyber-antics enabled by Pegasus and similar programs used by non-state actors employed by Team Trump.
The fall guy?…
Intelligence Online – Pentagon prepares plan B amid hostility towards Amazon running its JEDI cloud programme
Nailing Oleg Deripaska…
New Republic (James Bamford) – The Spy Who Wasn’t
Sic Semper Tyrranis – WHY THE DNC WAS NOT HACKED BY THE RUSSIANS by Binney and Johnson
Update on the EU copyright law; they seem determined to completely ruin the Internet as we knew it (Internet 2.0 was ruination enough!)…
Electronic Frontier Foundation – The Final Version of the EU’s Copyright Directive Is the Worst One Yet
Free Thought Project – Government to Facebook Pipeline Reveals a Corrupt Mix of Social Media and the State
Rutherford Institute (John Whitehead) – The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data
Big League Politics – Chase Bank Shuts Down Proud Boys Leader’s Personal Bank Account
ThereAreNoSunglasses (Bogota Post) – America’s Colombian Death Squads Still Active After All These Years
Unz Review (Michael Hoffman) – My Service to the Nation of Islam
Revolution Dispatch – How The Government And The Media Control Reality
Law & Liberty – Did New York City Really Lose Out in Amazon Deal?
Greanville Post – The political role of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rest In Peace to one of the rare doves of the House…
Antiwar – Ron Paul on Walter Jones – Hero of Peace
Picking up the mantle, Tulsi Gabbard?…
She talks a good talk, on Twitter…
@TulsiGabard – Say no to nuclear war. Say no to regime change wars.
H RES 397: NATO
Vote Date: June 27, 2017 Vote: AYE Bad Vote.
“This legislation (H. Res. 397) “solemnly reaffirms the commitment of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s principle of collective defense as enumerated in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.” Under Article 5, the member nations of the NATO military alliance “agree that an armed attack against one or more of them … shall be considered an attack against them all.”
The House passed H. Res. 397 on June 27, 2017 by a lopsided vote of 423 to 4 (Roll Call 328). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because the United States should stay clear of entangling alliances such as NATO, but also because the NATO provision that obligates the United States to go to war if any member of NATO is attacked undermines the provision in the U.S. Constitution that assigns to Congress the power to declare war. Moreover, the number of nations that the United States has pledged to defend under NATO has grown from 11 to 28 over the years, as the alliance itself has grown from 12 member nations (including the United States) when NATO was created in 1949 to 29 today. Although NATO was ostensibly formed to counter the threat from the Soviet bloc of nations, some of the nations the United States is now pledged to defend under NATO were once part of that bloc, including Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic (as part of Czechoslovakia), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.”
H R 5293: Authorization for Use of Military Force
Vote Date: June 16, 2016 Vote: NAY Bad Vote.
“During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5293), Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill for the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Act. Enacted in the wake of 9/11, the AUMF authorized the president to “use all necessary and appropriate force” against the terrorists involved, as well as those who aided or harbored them. It was used as the authorization for U.S. military entry into Afghanistan in 2001, and over the years has also been invoked on other occasions by the executive branch to justify U.S. military intervention abroad.
The House rejected Lee’s amendment on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 146 to 274 (Roll Call 330). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because presidents have been able to claim broad authority to go to war whenever or wherever they choose under the AUMF, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers never intended for one man to make this decision, and under the Constitution only Congress may “declare war.””
H R 4909: Use of Military Force
Vote Date: May 18, 2016 Vote: NAY Bad Vote.
“During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909), Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was enacted in 2001 for the purpose of authorizing U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. Since then, however, the AUMF has been invoked numerous times by the executive branch for U.S. military intervention not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere.
The House rejected Lee’s amendment on May 18, 2016 by a vote of 138 to 285 (Roll Call 210). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because presidents have been able to claim broad authority to go to war whenever or wherever they choose under the AUMF, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers never intended for one man to make this decision, and under the Constitution only Congress may “declare war.””
H RES 162: Calling on the President to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Vote Date: March 23, 2015 Vote: AYE Bad Vote.
“Ukraine Military Aid.
House Resolution 162, which calls on the president “to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” allows President Obama to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons to defend against aggression from Russia.
The House adopted H. Res. 162 on March 23, 2015 by a vote of 348 to 48 (Roll Call 131). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because foreign aid is unconstitutional but also because this bill would further interject the United States into a foreign conflict. Allowing the U.S. president to provide lethal arms to Ukraine in order to fight Russia is tantamount to waging a proxy war on Russia without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war. The House, by giving such power to the president, is relinquishing one of its constitutional responsibilities.”
H R 4870: On Agreeing to the Amendment 51 to H R 4870
Vote Date: June 19, 2014 Vote: NAY Bad Vote.
“Weapons to Syrian Rebels.
During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced an amendment that would have prohibited any funding in the bill from being used to provide weapons to Syrian rebels. Fortenberry noted on the House floor that “the rebel movement is a battleground of shifting alliances and bloody conflicts between groups that now include multinational terrorist organizations,” that “sending our weapons into this chaotic war zone could inadvertently help these extremists,” and that “it has already happened.” He added: “The naive notion that we can deliver weapons to vetted, moderate opposition groups at war with other rebel militias gives no guarantee that our weaponry won’t be seized or diverted.”
The House rejected Fortenberry’s amendment on June 19, 2014 by a vote of 167 to 244 (Roll Call 328). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because arming “moderate” rebels in a foreign country is tantamount to going to war, which would require a declaration of war by Congress. Also, the United States should follow the Founders’ advice not to become involved in foreign quarrels”
H R 4152: To provide for the costs of loan guarantees for Ukraine
Vote Date: April 1, 2014 Vote: AYE Bad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 4152), as amended by the Senate (see Senate vote below), would provide $150 million for direct aid to Ukraine. It would also provide for loan guarantees (meaning that U.S. taxpayers would be stuck holding the bag if the loans are not paid). And it would impose sanctions on Russian and ex-Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for the crisis in the Ukraine.
[ The Senate version of this legislation – offered in the form of a substitute amendment to the House version, H.R. 4152 – would provide $150 million for direct aid to Ukraine. It would also provide for loan guarantees (meaning that the U.S. taxpayers would be stuck holding the bag if the loans are not paid). And it would impose sanctions on Russian and ex-Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for the crisis in the Ukraine. ]
The House voted for this legislation on April 1, 2014 by a vote of 378 to 34 (Roll Call 149). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional. The rationale for providing U.S. aid to Ukraine is that the country needs our assistance to resist Russian hegemony and build “democracy.” Yet the oligarchs wielding power in Ukraine are hardly “democrats,” and (because money is fungible) U.S. assistance could effectively be funneled to Russia in the form of Ukrainian energy and debt payments.”
Wall Street Journal – Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors
The Hill (John Solomon) – The case for Russia collusion … against the Democrats
Truthout (Dahr Jamail) – The World Is on the Brink of Widespread Water Wars
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists – World Bank’s Legal Immunity Stripped, Opening Door for Lawsuits
News in science…
OilPrice.com – China Plans To Build Space Solar Station
Jason A (Youtube) – Unexplained Events Happening Worldwide! (2019)
Mysterious Universe – Officials Are Silent as Unexplained Mystery Booms On the Rise Around the US
Arkansas Democrat Gazette – Explosive sound that rattled windows in Beebe remains a mystery; probably not aliens, professor says
Updates on old news…
Mint Press News (Whitney Webb and Vanessa Beeley) – As Mainstream Journalists Acknowledge Douma Attacks Were “Staged,” the “Humanitarian” Syria Regime-Change Network Tries to Save A Sinking Ship
Hot Springs Village Voice – Dallas P.D. officer shown Dealey Plaza pistol bullet by FBI agents
Rest in Peace…
LaRouchePAC – Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 1922-2019, A Talent Well Spent