Headlines of interest for December 2019 [Editor’s note: it is the consequence of this format that many of these stories are dated by the time we post our monthly edition, and then it takes a while for us to get caught up with backlogged headlines, which is why we say, ‘check for updates’. For more immediate posts of items we deem more pressing -before they hit the monthly edition- see our Minds page, Arrectis Auribus]…

DEBKAfileTrump and Netanyahu confirm US-Israel military coordination against threatened Iranian attack

Strategic Culture (Finian Cunningham) – Netanyahu-Pompeo Meeting Solidifies War Plan on Iran

A reinforcement of a previous pact?…

Times of Israel (28 Dec. 2017) – Report: US, Israel sign secret pact to tackle Iran nuclear and missile threat

Events leading up to confrontation…

(6 Dec. 2019) – Tehran accuses Israel of testing ‘a nuke-missile, aimed at Iran’

Reuters (Nov. 26) – Turkey holds up NATO military plans over Syria dispute – sources

21st Century WireErdogan Threatens to Close US Incirlik Air Base if US Continue to Sanction Turkey

Press TVIran, China keep banking initiatives secret to evade US sanctions: Envoy

South FrontSyrian War Report – December 6, 2019: Israeli Air Force Bombed ‘Iranian Targets’ Near Al-Bukamal

Hundreds Of Jaysh Al-Izza Defectors Join Turkish-Backed Group – Reports

(Xeber) – Turkish Intelligence Met With HTS, NFL Commanders, Warned Them Of Nearing Syrian Army Attack – Report

Israel Strikes Damascus As Syrian Army Crushes Terrorists In Idlib, War Report

Al MonitorIntel: Here’s how many US troops Trump wants to keep in Syria

Russia, US headed for new lows over terrorism, Syria

Israeli citizen stands trial in Jordan as tensions simmer

Al Masdar NewsIsrael will not allow Iranian forces to station in Iraq: IDF chief

Syrian Arab News AgencyU.S. occupation transfers hundreds of Daesh families from al-Houl Camp to Iraq

Military TimesSeveral American troops wounded and a US contractor killed in rocket attack on Kirkuk base

Task and PurposeUS launched retaliatory strikes on Iranian-backed militia believed to be behind recent attack on Kirkuk base

SputnikUS Drone Attacks in Iraq Leave 25 Fighters Killed, 51 Injured – Iraqi Paramilitary Forces

ReutersIraq condemns U.S. air strikes as unacceptable and dangerous

South FrontKata’ib Hezbollah Supporters Stormed and Set Fire to US Embassy in Baghdad

Al JazeeraTrump: Iran ‘fully responsible’ for tensions around US embassy

China, Russia and Iran begin joint naval drills

For a moment, it looked as if there may be a thawing of the frosty relations between the two countries…

Al MonitorInside the US-Iran prisoner swap, and what comes next

Days before an Iranian stem cell scientist was due to plead guilty and be sentenced to time served by an Atlanta judge as part of a carefully negotiated prisoner swap that would lead to the release by Iran of Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang, a potential spoiler emerged.

State Department Iran envoy Brian Hook sent a message to the Swiss and Iranians that former New Mexico governor and US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson was not authorized to negotiate the swap by the US government, according to a person involved in the negotiations. Instead, the Justice Department directed the US attorney in Atlanta to drop all charges against the stem cell scientist, Masoud Soleimani…

Mickey Bergman, the vice president of the Richardson Center for Global Engagement … said the important thing is that Wang was home…

“We work on behalf of the families,” Bergman said. While governments have a “complex set of interests with any foreign government, we have a singular one: Bring the person home. While we understand the ‘bigger picture,’ that means that we often need to ‘cook’ an arrangement on our own, and introduce it to the government only when we feel it is set, otherwise we allow spoilers … who don’t want a deal, to spoil.”

Are there special resources with which Bill Richardson might sweeten a dish for a deal? It must be noted, the day before Jeffery Epstein’s sudden death in jail, this was breaking: FOX News (Aug. 9) – Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking victim named Bill Richardson, George Mitchell in newly released documents

Back to the Al Monitor story…

“Following the Wang-Soleimani exchange, … Gov. Richardson sat with Foreign Minster Zarif in Doha, closing the loop on the latest exchange and discussing further humanitarian exchanges,” Bergman said. “We are working on behalf of and at the request of Michael White’s family as well as Bob Levinson’s family. Naturally, those two cases were discussed in our meeting with FM Zarif. The discussion was productive. There is a lot of heavy lifting to do, but we are hopeful.”

The Bob Levinson case is of particular interest, in as much as Levinson, when Special Agent of the FBI, had made Semion Mogilevich a prime target of investigation. From a 1999 BBC Panorama report (Vimeo) – Bob Levinson on Semion Mogilevich

Mogilevich in turn is said by Trump/Russia collusion devotees to be the hidden hand: Trump/Russia

Elsewhere around the world…

Al MonitorTurkey accepts invitation to deploy troops to Libya, Erdogan says

ThereAreNoSunglassesThe United States, Turkey and Russia To Move Syrian War To Libya—(seriously)

Al JazeeraLibya’s Haftar announces ‘decisive battle’ to capture Tripoli

Stars and StripesAFRICOM ends 2019 with record number of strikes in Somalia

Task & PurposeSuicide bombers strike main US military base in Afghanistan, injuring 87

Intelligence OnlineTension rises between CIA and ISI, which is under pressure internally and externally

Mint Press News (Alan McLeod) – Millions Protest India’s Anti-Muslim Citizenship Laws As Gov’t Crackdown Intensifies

RTProtesters TORCH buses and clash with police in Delhi as Indian citizenship bill sparks street violence

BloombergChina Spares Trade in First Retaliation to U.S.’s Hong Kong Law

NK NewsNorth Korean official warns “dotard” Trump against further military threats

Korea TimesSeoul proposes to buy $1 billion of US weapons

UPISouth Korea releases pre-emptive strike video amid rising tensions

KCNA WatchSpokesman for Academy of Defence Science of DPRK Issues Statement

Pyongyang, December 8 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Academy of the National Defence Science of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea made public the following statement:

A very important test took place at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on the afternoon of December 7, 2019…

The results of the recent important test will have an important effect on changing the strategic position of the DPRK once again in the near future. -0-

The second launch in two weeks, Friday the 13th fireworks from Kim…

Pyongyang, December 14 (KCNA) — Another crucial test was successfully conducted at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground from 22:41 to 22:48 on December 13, 2019…

The research successes being registered by us in defence science one after another recently will be applied to further bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. -0-

ArirangSatellite images show N. Korea recently expanded factory related to production of ICBMs

Stars and Stripes (AP) – Pentagon tests long-banned ballistic missile over Pacific

The fake story was “designed for training purposes”…

Japan TimesFalse alarm: NHK reports nonexistent North Korean missile off Hokkaido

News from a continent we don’t cover much, formerly known as Terra Incognita…

BBCChilean plane en route to Antarctica disappears with 38 on board

ReutersPompeo says U.S. will help prevent Latin American protests becoming riots

BloombergErik Prince Held Secret Talks in Caracas With Maduro’s No. 2

APTrump ally may have broken Venezuela sanctions

Strategic Culture (Wayne Madsen) – Israel’s Genocide Advisers and Technicians Return to Latin America in Force

(Eric Zuesse) – Why a Second American Revolution Is Necessary for the Entire World

National InterestThe Air Force’s Global Strike Command Is Preparing For A Delivery Of New Nuclear Weapons

TASSFirst regiment of Avangard hypersonic missile systems goes on combat duty in Russia

APNew Russian weapon can travel 27 times the speed of sound

RTNothing can hold back arms race if Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with US is not renewed – Putin

South FrontUnited States And Russia Appear To Be Involved In Their First Space Chase

Fars News AgencyRussian General Staff: NATO Drills Indicate Preparations for Large-Scale Conflict

N.Y. TimesU.S. Secretly Expelled Chinese Officials Suspected of Spying After Breach of Military Base

Elijah J. MagnierChina-Iran -Russia alliance ending US unilateral global hegemony

Consortium NewsPEPE ESCOBAR: You Say You Want a (Russian) Revolution?

Is it the Russians’ fault that common sense is on their side?…

Voice of AmericaPentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops

SputnikMoscow Blasts US Senate Push to Dub Russia ‘State Terror Sponsor’, Says It Reeks of Russophobia

RTPlenty of REAL issues on US-Russia agenda, seek truth about 2016 ‘election meddling’ in secret Obama cables – Lavrov

Adam Carter (g-2.space) – Guccifer 2.0: Evidence Versus GRU Attribution

Permanent Select Committee on IntelligenceThe Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report

Wall Street Journal‘Just Having Fun’: Giuliani Doubles Down on Ukraine Probes

One America News (Chanel Rion) – OAN InvestigatesUkrainian Witnesses Destroy Schiff’s Case (Part 1)  (Part 2)  (Part 3)

21st Century WireGiuliani Reveals Evidence of Yovanovitch, Biden Corruption in Ukraine

John Solomon ReportsLatvian government says it flagged ‘suspicious’ Hunter Biden payments in 2016

Washington ExaminerScalise: Schiff ‘spying’ on Nunes with call records

National ReviewSchiff Suggests Pence ‘Purposefully’ Misled Intelligence Committee about His Call with Zelensky

CryptomeFBI Records of Exchanges Between DoJ’s Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele Ex-MI6, December 3, 2019

FederalistBrennan Lied About Not Including Steele Dossier In Intelligence Community Assessment On 2016 Russian Election Interference

ABC News‘Dossier’ author Chris Steele met Ivanka Trump years before Russia scandal, source says

Wayne Madsen ReportDecember 11-12, 2019 — Ivanka Trump and “The Spy Who Loved Me?” (full text is at our Minds post)

New York TimesDurham Is Scrutinizing Ex-C.I.A. Director’s Role in Russian Interference Findings

A reminder that 2016 wasn’t the first election Brennan meddled in…

WMRApril 16-17, 2009 — UPDATE 1X. Obama mulling disclosure of CIA torture documents while his terrorism adviser was involved with the torture policy

…Brennan happens to head up one of two companies identified in the perusal of Obama’s passport file. Brennan is then considered by Obama for National Intelligence or CIA director but Brennan withdraws over his involvement in the Bush administration’s torture policy. Then, Obama appoints Brennan deputy national security adviser holding the counter-terrorism portfolio. Brennan then leans on Obama to withhold significant portions of the Justice Department memos on the very policy Brennan helped to create and carry out.

Might have Brennan’s employee at State discovered something of interest in Obama’s passport file that would give Brennan effective veto authority over Obama on decisions affecting the CIA? Of course, blackmail has never been a tactic found in the CIA’s ample bag of dirty tricks…

Durham was in the thick of that scandal as well (the torture part of it)…

Empty Wheel (Nov. 9, 2010) – Durham Torture Tape Case Dies, US Duplicity in Geneva & The Press Snoozes

PoliticoIntel probe puts CIA’s Haspel in a bind

Raw StoryTrump and the ‘deep state’ are in lockstep when it comes to torture

Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of JusticeReview of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation

Zero HedgeBarr Disputes Major Horowitz Finding Based On Durham, CIA Evidence

‘You Need Rehabilitation’: Nunes Letter Dismantles Schiff Over FISA Lies, Stroking Steele, And Participating In Coverup

“You Should Go To Fuc*in’ Jail”: Chaos Ensues As Schiff Accused Of ‘Treason’ At California Event

Strategic Culture (Robert Bridge) – ‘Because You’d Be in Jail!’ The Real Reason Democrats Are Pushing Trump Impeachment?

(Eric Zuesse) – Russiagate Investigation Now Endangers Obama

Daily CallerIG Report Reveals Previously Unknown FBI Investigation Of Alleged Dossier Source

The HillSenators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report

Zero Hedge (Techno Fog) – FISA Court Refuses Review Of FBI Deception

Lew Rockwell (Andrew P. Napolitano) – What’s Wrong with FISA?

NBC NewsSecret FISA court issues highly unusual public rebuke of FBI for mistakes

IJragon (Reddit) – “Comey” vs “Corney”: this is NOT a simple OCR error (as some suggest). Upon careful examination of the documents, this is clearly a case of intentional conspiracy to shield James Comey from key-word searches…

Real Clear Investigations (Paul Sperry) – The Carter Page/Ukraine Lie That Kept On Lying for Mueller and the FBI

Sarah CarterItalian prosecutors believe that Joseph Mifsud the man who started RussiaGate, ‘is Dead’

Epoch TimesJudge Denies Flynn’s Requests for Exculpatory Information, Case Dismissal

Intercept (Matthew Cole) – Former NSA Director Is Cooperating With Probe of Trump-Russia Investigation

(Glenn Greenwald) – The Inspector General’s Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media

Gateway PunditPelosi’s Son Paul Jr. Was Paid Thousands By Same Firm That Paid the Clintons Millions!

Big League PoliticsWhistleblowers Present Hundreds of Pages of Evidence Alleging Illicit Behavior of Clinton Foundation

Greyzone (Max Blumenthal) – The insider: How national security mandarins groomed Pete Buttigieg and managed his future

Zero HedgeTerrorism Probe Opened After Pensacola Shooter IDed As Saudi National Mohammed Alshamrani; Was There For Pilot Training

Six Saudis Arrested And Questioned After Pensacola Shooting – Three Were Filming Attack

Al MonitorIntel: Saudi king calls Trump after Florida shooting

Trump abjectly genuflects, again…

White House persuades Congress to ease up on Saudi Arabia

Pentagon: Saudi military students can still enter US despite shooting

Wall Street JournalPensacola Hit by Cyberattack Days After Shooting at Military Base

NorthJersey.comSix dead, including detective, after gunbattle raged on Jersey City streets for hours

New York TimesSuspect in Jersey City Linked to Black Hebrew Israelite Group

…which is an anti-Semitic group, opposed to “imposter” Hebrews (the Khazars and all of that business).

The shooting was well timed for this initiative…

Jared Kushner: President Trump Is Defending Jewish Students

With Wednesday’s executive order, the president takes crucial action to support and defend Jewish students in the United States. For the first time, a president is making clear that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on race, color or national origin covers discrimination against Jews…

Who would object to that? (other than a bonafide anti-Semite). But wait for ‘the rest of the story’…

This new order adopts as its definition of anti-Semitism the language put forth in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, while also accounting for other forms of anti-Semitism.

For example, the alliance defines “the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” and those who deny “the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor” or those who compare “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as examples of anti-Semitism.

The Remembrance Alliance definition makes clear what our administration has stated publicly and on the record: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The inclusion of this language with contemporary examples gives critical guidance to agencies enforcing Title VI provisions.

Some universities were already adopting the policy…

(Sept. 9, 2019) – U.S. Orders Duke and U.N.C. to Recast Tone in Mideast Studies

Just days before Trump’s executive order, French parliament passed a similar resolution, also using the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism…

Press TV (Robert Inlakesh) – France to officially punish pro-Palestine voices for criticizing Israel

Global Research (Paul Craig Roberts) – Trump Has Given Israel Immunity to International Law

Stories like this are now “anti-Semitic”?…

Fairness & Accuracy In ReportingGetting Away With Murder: ‘Clash’ as Media Euphemism for ‘Massacre’

Even when reporting on Israel’s assassination of a journalist (one who was clearly identified as such, as the article notes), CNN (4/7/18) still described the event as a “clash.” The journalist’s abdomen apparently clashed with an Israeli Defense Forces sniper’s bullet…

A silver bullet epithet to use on political contenders…

TelegraphJeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite

It worked…

GuardianJeremy Corbyn: We won the argument, but I regret we didn’t convert that into a majority for change

Off GuardianBoris Johnson’s Incredible Landslide

Now the UK is on board…

Middle East EyeBDS: UK to pass law banning anti-Israel boycott, official says

Israeli News Live (Youtube) – Examining Trump’s Executive Order With Chuck Baldwin

HaaretzAnalysis // Trump Enthralls Adelson Assembly, Repels American Jews and Sticks a Dagger in AIPAC

Tareq HaddadLies, Newsweek and Control of the Media Narrative: First-Hand Account

Whitney Webb interviews Ari Ben-Menashe…

Mint Press NewsFormer Spy Details Israel’s Main Motive Behind Epstein’s Sexual Blackmail Operation

Dylan Howard (Medium) – EPSTEIN ‘ADMITTED TO ME’ HE WAS A SPY: Ex-Business Partner Of Sex Criminal Claims Prince Andrew Is Protecting Ghislaine Maxwell, Stonewalling Prosecutors’ Investigation Over Blackmail Fears

Daily MailBill Clinton was Jeffrey Epstein’s closest ‘celebrity mate’ and a frequent guest at his New Mexico ranch with wife Hillary, staying at the pedophile’s cowboy-themed village, say estate workers

21st Century WireBill Gates, MIT Develop New ‘Tattoo ID’ to Check For Vaccinations

No DeceptionNY Supreme Court Rules That The Amish Cannot Exercise Religious Vaccine Exemption To Attend Their Own Private Amish School Of 24 Amish Children

Law Enforcement TodayIt begins: Virginia forms active militia to protect sheriffs, citizens from unconstitutional laws

DC Dirty Laundry (David L. Brockett) – Danger Ahead!!! Advice From a Former Militia Leader

ViceExposed Data Shows Where Police Departments Fly Their Drones

Denver PostMysterious drones flying nighttime patterns over northeast Colorado leave local law enforcement stumped

New YorkCongress Learns Pentagon Wasted $1 Trillion, Promptly Gives It Bigger Budget

ReutersU.S. seals demise of WTO appeals bench: trade officials

Zero Hedge“The Fed Was Suddenly Facing Multiple LTCMs”: BIS Offers A Stunning Explanation Of What Really Happened On Repocalypse Day

750 Billion Reasons Why Goldman Is Rooting For Greta Thunberg’s Success

Swissinfo.chGlencore named in Congo child labour case targeting Big Tech

AI OrganizationGoogle, Facebook, Neuralink Sued for Weaponized AI Tech Transfer, Complicity to Genocide in China and Endangering Humanity with Misuse of AI

Disruptive FareWikipedia Fraud EXPOSED: Troll farms and the CIA have hijacked the once open platform

WiredArtificial Intelligence Is Watching Us and Judging Us

Global Research (Manlio Dinucci) – The Hidden Military Use of 5G Technology

The DriveRecently Retired USAF General Makes Eyebrow Raising Claims About Advanced Space Technology

Wall Street JournalChinese Scientist Who Gene-Edited Babies Is Sent to Prison

OilPrice.com (Irina Slav) – The Human Cost Of The EV Revolution

Military TimesHere are more than 300 bases with possible toxic ‘forever chemical’ contamination

The Most Important NewsStrange Things Are Happening In The Waters Along The West Coast, And The Fish Are Starting To Disappear

Daily MailEarth’s magnetic north is shifting at an ‘unprecedented’ rate of 30 miles a year – throwing satellite positioning data and navigation systems off course

Updates on old news…

Moon of AlabamaViolent Death Of Journalist – Blamed On Russia – Was Assault By Ukrainian Fascists

Journal of Labor and Society (Ivan Katchanovski) – The far right, the Euromaidan, and the Maidan massacre in Ukraine

ThereAreNoSunglasses Two Documents Which Prove That Barack Obama Went To War Against Syrian To Steal Syrian Gas and Oil

Confirming what has been long suspected of alleged Syrian chemical attacks…

WikiLeaksOPCW Douma Docs

Washington PostThe Afghanistan Papers – A secret history of the war

Overwhelmed by opium – The U.S. war on drugs in Afghanistan has imploded at nearly every turn

In July 2000, when the Taliban controlled most of the country, its reclusive one-eyed leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, declared that opium was un-Islamic and imposed a ban on growing poppies.

Much to the surprise of the rest of the world, the ban worked. Afraid to cross the Taliban, Afghan farmers immediately ceased planting poppies. The United Nations estimated that poppy cultivation plunged by 90 percent from 2000 to 2001…

The Taliban had hoped the 2000 opium ban would win favor in Washington and entice the United States to provide humanitarian aid. But those hopes collapsed when al-Qaeda — which had been given sanctuary by the Taliban — launched the 9/11 attacks.

As soon as the U.S. military invaded and toppled the Taliban in 2001, Afghan farmers resumed sowing their poppy seeds…

President Bush asked the United Nations and NATO allies to tackle the problems of opium production and trafficking. Britain agreed to take charge but got off to a disastrous start, according to the interviews.

In the spring of 2002, British officials floated an irresistible offer. They agreed to pay Afghan poppy farmers $700 an acre — a fortune in the impoverished, war-ravaged country — to destroy their crops.

Word of the $30 million program ignited a poppy-growing frenzy. Farmers planted as many poppies as they could, offering part of their yield to the British while selling the rest on the open market. Others harvested the opium sap right before destroying their plants and got paid anyway.

In a Lessons Learned interview, Anthony Fitzherbert, a British agricultural expert, called the cash-for-poppies program “an appalling piece of complete raw naivete,” saying that the people in charge had “no knowledge of nuances and [I] don’t know they really cared.”

End quote. Lessons Learned: we are to believe that the British of Opium Wars infamy (a brief history by Lam Woon-Kwong in SCMP) were completely naive in such matters, that they allowed all of that cash to slip through their fingers while the humble Afghan poppy farmers made off with it plus the incalculable proceeds from their harvest, leaving the Brits and Americans without any cut whatsoever. Don’t count on the WaPo to get to the bottom of the mechanics of this trade, but we’ll guess that the cash on offer was used for money laundering.

Counterpunch (Gaither Stewart) – Gladio: the Story of a Conspiracy

RTLicense to kill: MI5 agents can commit serious crimes like murder and torture, tribunal rules

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