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July 24, 2019

Jul 24 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 24, 2019:

“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for July 24:”Mr.Mueller is very specific in his comments and very concise. He is quiet and direct and Trump is having screaming fits. Trump lies daily and Mueller is very accurate. A more important issue is not Trump and Russian interference in the presidential election but Trump deliberately money laundering for the Russian drug mob, via the discredited Deutsche Bank.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • In dramatic testimony, Mueller says he did not exonerate Trump
  • Trump’s latest morning of tweets was off the rails, even by his standards
  • The Donald and Boris love-in won’t last unless the UK delivers for Trump
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • U.S. immigration action that targeted 2,100 people snared just 35
  • Hezbollah warns Iran able to bombard Israel if war starts
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Phishing Emails Have Become Very Stealthy. Here Are 5 Ways to Spot Them Every Time
  • Be Cautious of Phishing Emails From “Your Boss”
  • Feces & flesh-eating bacteria: Study reveals shocking levels of contamination at America’s beaches
  • Government Disinformation Methods

 

 

In dramatic testimony, Mueller says he did not exonerate Trump

July 24, 2019

by David Morgan and Jan Wolfe

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday defended the integrity of his Russia investigation during a dramatic congressional hearing and reiterated that he had not cleared President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice or, as the president has said, totally exonerated Trump.

Mueller appeared for eagerly anticipated testimony at the first of two back-to-back congressional hearings that carry high stakes for Trump and Democrats who are split between impeaching him or moving on to the 2020 election.

The former FBI director, who spent 22 months investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and Trump’s conduct, appeared first before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The committee’s Democratic chairman, Jerrold Nadler, praised Mueller and said no one, including Trump, is “above the law.”

Mueller, 74, was surrounded by news photographers as he took his place in the packed hearing room, showing little apparent emotion as he scanned the scene.

“Obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and to hold wrongdoers accountable,” Mueller testified.

Trump has claimed that the Mueller inquiry resulted in the president’s “complete and total exoneration.” Asked by Nadler if he had exonerated Trump, Mueller said, “No.”

Mueller, accused by Trump of heading a “witch hunt” and trying to orchestrate a “coup” against the Republican president, said his inquiry was conducted in “a fair and independent manner” and that members of the special counsel’s team “were of the highest integrity.”

“Let me say one more thing,” Mueller said. “Over the course of my career, I have seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere with our election is among the most serious.”

In a comment sure to disappoint Republicans, Mueller said he would not answer questions about the origins of the Russia probe in the FBI before he was named to take over the inquiry in 2017 or about a controversial dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent

Mueller was set to testify later in the day before the House Intelligence Committee. Democrats control the House, while Trump’s fellow Republicans control the Senate.

The hearing provided Democrats a chance to air publicly and in plain language the key findings of the sometimes dense Mueller report. Democrats entered the hearings hoping Mueller’s testimony would rally public support behind their own ongoing investigations of the president and his administration. Democrats are deeply divided over whether to launch the impeachment process set out in the U.S. Constitution for removing a president from office for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Mueller’s inquiry detailed numerous contacts between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia at a time when the Kremlin was interfering in the 2016 U.S. election with a scheme of hacking and propaganda to sow discord among Americans and boost Trump’s candidacy.

Mueller’s investigative report said the inquiry found insufficient evidence to establish that Trump and his campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia. The report did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction of justice in a series of actions aimed at impeding the inquiry, but pointedly did not exonerate him. Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee, subsequently cleared the president of obstruction of justice.

The Justice Department has a longstanding policy against bringing criminal charges against a sitting president.

 ‘PRINCIPLES OF FAIRNESS’

In his opening statement, Mueller reiterated that his team had decided not to make a determination on the question of obstruction. “Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime. That was our decision then and remains our decision today,” Mueller said.

Nadler said in his opening statement that Mueller conducted the inquiry with “remarkable integrity” and was “subjected to repeated and grossly unfair personal attacks.”

“Although department policy barred you from indicting the president for this conduct, you made clear that he is not exonerated. Any other person who acted in this way would have been charged with crimes. And in this nation, not even the president is above the law,” Nadler said.

But Republican congressman John Ratcliffe accused Mueller of exceeding his authority in the report’s extensive discussion of potential obstruction of justice by Trump after the special counsel made the decision not to draw a conclusion on whether Trump committed a crime. Ratcliffe agreed that Trump was not above the law, but said the president should not be “below the law” either.

The committee’s top Republican, Doug Collins, said the facts of the Mueller report are that “Russia meddled in the 2016 election. The president did not conspire with Russians. Nothing we hear today will change those facts.”

“The president watched the public narrative surrounding the investigation assume his guilt while he knew the extent of his innocence,” Collins said. “The president’s attitude toward the investigation was understandably negative, yet the president did not use his authority to close the investigation.”

Collins asked Mueller a series of rapid-fire questions.

“That went a little fast for me,” Mueller told Collins at one point.

Ahead of the hearing, Republicans objected to Democrats on the two committees allowing Aaron Zebley, the former deputy special counsel who had day-to-day oversight of investigations in the inquiry, to accompany Mueller.

“This was specifically NOT agreed to, and I would NEVER have agreed to it,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning before the hearing began. Trump also complained that Mueller had not investigated various of the president’s foes including 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and, referring to the former special counsel, “HIMSELF.”

Trump has repeatedly assailed the inquiry as a “witch hunt” and an attempted “coup,” accused Mueller of having conflicts of interest and called the special counsel’s team of lawyers “thugs” with a Democratic political agenda. Trump is hoping to move beyond the Russia investigation as he runs for re-election in 2020, with a large field of Democratic candidates competing for their party’s nomination to challenge him.

Mueller’s investigation led to criminal charges against 34 people and three Russian entities. People who were convicted at trial or pleaded guilty included Trump’s former campaign chairman and other aides.

The Justice Department on Monday sent a letter telling Mueller to limit his testimony to merely discussing what is written in the report, a directive that the two committee chairmen rejected as exceeding the department’s authority.

Mueller appeared for his testimony reluctantly and only after being subpoenaed.

Until Wednesday, Mueller had not faced questioning in public about his findings. He remained silent when the Justice Department on April 18 released a redacted version of his 448-page investigation report, which the special counsel had submitted to Attorney General Barr the prior month. Mueller made a nine-minute statement to reporters on May 29 at the Justice Department but took no questions.

Mueller, who served as Federal Bureau of Investigation director from 2001 to 2013 under presidents in both parties, was named as special counsel by the Justice Department in May 2017 to take over the FBI’s Russia probe after Trump fired James Comey as the agency’s chief. Mueller’s inquiry lasted 22 months.

With a no-nonsense reputation, Mueller is a Marine Corps combat veteran from the Vietnam War who later served as a federal prosecutor and became the architect of the modern FBI after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Reporting by David Morgan; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Will Dunham, Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis

 

Trump’s latest morning of tweets was off the rails, even by his standards

Insults, lies, gaslighting, authoritarian threats — all before the coffee even hit.

July 11, 2019

by Aaron Rupar

Vox

Two and a half years into the Donald Trump presidency, Americans are used to Trump posting off-the-rails tweets. But Thursday morning still stood out.

Trump body-shamed Sen. Elizabeth Warren while using a slur to demean her, mistakenly tagged a random retired teacher who is not of fan of his while insulting her fellow 2020 contender Pete Buttigieg, expressed confusion about when his presidential campaign began, joked about illegally staying in power beyond a second term, brazenly gaslighted about his indebtedness to banks, and said he thinks he’ll win in Minnesota in 2020 simply because a city council there decided to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings.

All of this happened before 8 am.

Each of these tweets, by themselves, would’ve been highly abnormal public statements coming from any other president. For Trump, they are not. Still, the volume with which he posted them on Thursday morning was remarkable.

Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s odd tweets on Thursday, in the order in which he posted them.

Trump is confused about when his campaign began

While hyping the sham social media summit that’s set to take place at the White House on Thursday, Trump tried to take shots at “The Fake News,” which he claimed has “lost tremendous credibility since that day in November, 2016, that I came down the escalator with the person who was to become your future First Lady.”

(Trump deleted and reposted a number of tweets, including this one, in a thread that contained errors, but not before I captured screengrabs of the originals.)

There’s just one problem: The escalator incident Trump referred to actually happened happened in Trump Tower 17 months before November 2016, in June 2015, just before the speech in which he launched his presidential campaign. While Trump’s election night victory speech also took place in Trump Tower, there was no footage of him coming down an escalator on that night. He appears to have mixed it up.

Remembering when your presidential campaign began seems like a pretty odd thing to get confused about. But Trump was just getting started.

Trump “jokes” about staying in office for for 14 more years

Trump segued from a tweet expressing confusion about when his campaign began to one in which he joked about staying in office for as many as 14 more years.

This is far from the first time Trump has indicated that he’s interested in staying in office for more than two terms. He’s said he does so to troll the media, but given his open admiration for dictators abroad and repeated efforts to undermine the rule of law at home, his jokes about becoming president for life really aren’t funny.

Trump mistakenly tags a retired teacher who isn’t a fan of his

In the same tweet in which he joked about illegally extending his term in office, Trump, while trying to demean South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for purportedly resembling cartoon character Alfred E. Neuman, mistakenly tagged an account belonging to a retired teacher who, based on his recent retweets, is clearly is not a fan of the president.

This isn’t the first time Trump has mistakenly tagged the wrong account on Twitter — he did so as recently as two weeks ago. But that he continues to make easily avoidable mistakes like this is a sign of how little vetting his tweets get before they’re posted for the world to see, as well as a broader recklessness.

Trump body-shames Elizabeth Warren while using a racial slur

After insulting Buttigieg, Trump demeaned Elizabeth Warren by describing her as “a very nervous and skinny version of Pocahontas.”

“Pocahontas” has become Trump’s go-to slur while mocking Warren and her ill-fated attempt to claim Native American ancestry. But attacking Warren’s demeanor and looks is a new twist, and comes while first lady Melania Trump is purportedly busying herself with anti-cyberbullying work as part of her broader “Be Best” campaign.

Trump went on to compare Warren unfavorably with himself, describing himself as “so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius!” But note that in that very same tweet, Trump revealed a confusion about fractions. According to an analysis of the results of the DNA test Warren released, her fractional Native American ancestry is somewhere between 1/64 and 1/1024. But in writing “1000/24th,” Trump got it backward.

“Stable Genius,” indeed.

Trump thinks he’ll win Minnesota over a silly Pledge of Allegiance controversy

Trump then turned his attention to Minnesota, where the city council in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park recently voted to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings. The story has been a major topic this week on Trump’s favorite television show, Fox & Friends.

The latest polling indicates that Trump’s approval rating is 16 points underwater in Minnesota, but Trump seems to think that the St. Louis Park City Council’s move will be enough for him to overcome that deficit and win a state that hasn’t gone for a Republican since Richard Nixon in 1972.

Trump’s tweet suggests that instead of using his power to do things that make people’s lives better, he thinks a winning strategy heading into 2020 is identity grievance issues. The polling in Minnesota begs to differ, but then again, Trump doesn’t buy polls that aren’t favorable to him.

Trump gaslights about his indebtedness to banks

Hours after the New York Times published a report about the business relationship between Deutsche Bank and Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender with ties to Bill Clinton and Trump, the president proclaimed that he doesn’t need to do business with banks because “I didn’t (don’t) need their money (old fashioned, isn’t it?).” He went on to acknowledge but downplay his dealings with Deutsche Bank.

This is brazen gaslighting. In March, the New York Times reported that Trump took out an astounding $2 billion in loans from Deutsche Bank and was cut off on two separate occasions by the bank because executives realized he was a risky client. That reporting came a little less than a year after news that Trump still owed as much as $480 million to a number of banks and financial services firms, including but not limited to Deutsche Bank.

And, of course, while Trump tries to brag about his business acumen, it’s worth remembering the Times’s bombshell reporting from last October about how he was gifted at least $413 million by his father, then participated in “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud” to increase that fortune.

Some of Trump’s most bizarre mornings of tweeting have come amid bad news cycles for him or when bad news is on the horizon; for instance, as I detailed at the time, Trump posted a string of increasingly bizarre tweets shortly after the Mueller report was released publicly in April. But these Thursday tweets come as his approval rating hits historic highs — he’s still 9 points underwater but, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll, at the highest point of his presidency — and with no obvious reason for him to be melting down. Perhaps there is less method to the mayhem than there sometimes seems.

 

The Donald and Boris love-in won’t last unless the UK delivers for Trump

Johnson is now Trump’s man in Downing Street. But it seems Nigel Farage is the true object of the US president’s affection

July 24, 2019

by Richard Wolffe

The Guardian

We all know about Franklin and Winston, Ronnie and Maggie, and George and Tony. For better or worse, these transatlantic allies enjoyed grand visions, global power and left indelible marks on history. But now we have Donald and Boris, whose grand visions stare back at them each morning in the mirror.And their concept of global power is – how to put this diplomatically? – incompatible with the concept of intelligent life.

To understand how this DoBo partnership is likely to function, you need to recall Trump’s excruciating explanation of his kind words about Johnson while standing next to the walking dead that was his predecessor this time last year.

“I said, he’ll be a great prime minister,” Trump told reporters at Chequers. “He’s been very nice to me. He’s been saying very good things about me as president. I think he thinks I’m doing a great job. I am doing a great job, that I can tell you. Just in case you haven’t noticed. But Boris Johnson, I think would be a great prime minister.” Trump went on to say how much he truly, madly loved Theresa May. “This incredible woman, right here, is doing a fantastic job, a great job,” he said. “And I mean that.”

Trump also explored last year what he wanted from a British prime minister pursuing Brexit. “The only thing I ask is that she work it out so that we can have very even trade, because we do not have a fair deal with the European Union, right now, on trade,” he said. “They treat the United States horribly. And that’s going to change. And if it doesn’t change, they’re going to have to pay a very big price, and they know what that price is.”

To be clear: Trump wants his British prime minister to help him get a better trade deal from the European Union that he just Brexited. No problem, Mr President! Have we told you lately what a great job you’re doing?

Back in the real world, Trump wants something else from a trade deal with a newly global Britain. “Very even trade” with Johnson means better access for US farmers to British supermarkets, and better prices for American drugs bought by the socialist NHS.

Trump views London as a haven for international terrorists of the jihadi kind, having read lots of tweets from racist British nationalists and watched lots of Fox News. In fact, he told May about all these “no-go zones” when she came to Washington to visit him in early 2017. But one politician – by the name of Johnson, in fact – responded in kind back in 2015. “The only reason I wouldn’t visit some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump,” said the snooty Brit who is now Trump’s man in Downing Street.

Trump’s national security officials hope that Johnson will say nicer things about the game of chlorinated chicken they want to play with Iran. This might be tricky for Johnson, who displayed a Trump-like aversion to work during his tenure as foreign secretary.

Those same Brits are feeling rather upset at the way Trump forced out their own ambassador in Washington for stating the obvious truth about what Trump calls the fine-tuned machine of his presidency. Which gets us to the core challenge facing Johnson and all the other nationalist leaders trying to cosy up to their role model in the White House. Trump sees the world as a zero-sum game. For a man who clings to America First, there is no room for Britain First; there are only Mini-Me-style tributes to his greatness.

Even in his laziest moments, Johnson surely knows that this poodle-like approach between prime ministers and presidents did not end well for Tony Blair. But that won’t stop Donald from petting him. “We have a really good man who’s going to be the prime minister of the UK now, Boris Johnson,” Trump told a hotel ballroom full of rightwing teenage activists on Tuesday. “Good man. He’s tough and he’s smart. They’re saying ‘Britain Trump.’ They call him ‘Britain Trump.’ And people are saying, “That’s a good thing.” They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need.”

It’s often said that the US and Britain are two countries separated by a common language. But in the era of Donald and Boris, that language is separated from all other Anglophones by things such as grammar, education and brain cells. Who are all these people who don’t know the adjective to describe objects from Britain? Are they the same Britain people who like Trump? Because let’s be honest: there aren’t that many of them. Just 26% of Britain people approve of Trump, according to Gallup, which is around 30 points less than Barack Obama’s lowest point.

In truth, Boris is not Donald’s best friend in London. Nigel is. And for some strange reason Donald can’t help pointing it out every time he talks about the new prime minister.

“I think Nigel is someplace in this audience,” Trump told the young activists on Tuesday. “Where is Nigel? Where is he? Nigel Farage. He’s here someplace. I saw him. I said, ‘What is he doing here?’ He’s a little older than most of you. Where is he? Nigel. Nigel. I’ll tell you what: He got 32% of the vote from nowhere, over in UK. Nigel. Thank you, Nigel.”

So get ready to move over, Boris. You’re an incredible man, and Trump means that. But Nigel, Nigel. Wherefore art thou, Nigel?

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Robert Kennedy Jr.

Since D. James Kennedy has been an ex-fanatic since his death in 2007, we’ll move on to one of the more famous (though probably not for his woo) people in the Encyclopedia. Robert Kennedy Jr. is the son of Robert Kennedy. He’s a lawyer and a staunch environmentalist who has actually done a lot of good in that respect (kudos for that, but doing something right does not mean that you’re not a loon). Lately he has made himself notorious for his anti-vaccinationism and for propagating the thoroughly debunked vaccine-autism connection myth – together with the shitload of paranoid conspiracy theories that follow in its wake.

He has been working closely with the repugnant David Kirby, and has published opinion pieces devoid of fact or critical thinking in several places, including (unsurprisingly) the Huffington Post. He is peddling half-truths and paranoia as well as displaying a complete misunderstanding of scientific evidence when lamenting the fact that court cases on the purported vaccine/autism link is based on evidence rather than opinion: “vaccine court gives overwhelming weight to written medical records which are often inaccurate — over all other forms of testimony and evidence. Observations by parents and other caretakers are given little weight.”

A typical, willful failure to see why anecdotal evidence is disregarded in science and why science-based categorizations of ailments are preferred to untrained observer’s diagnostizations.

He also emphasizes that the fact that science disagree with caring mothers’ conviction that their children’s autism was caused by vaccines, means just that scientists and professionals hate mothers. He also recommends chelation therapy for children with autism.

Diagnosis: Kennedy is a traditional crank and deluded conspiracy theorist who is thoroughly anti-science (even on the topics on which he is right, he relies almost exclusively on non-scientific arguments); a typical crank and crackpot with little aptitude for actual evidence (as opposed to twisting any fact to look like evidence to lay people). He is enormously influential, and must be considered one of the more dangerous people in the US today.

 

U.S. immigration action that targeted 2,100 people snared just 35

July 23, 2019

(Reuters) – A scant 35 people were taken into custody during a long-threatened U.S. enforcement action that targeted more than 2,100 immigrants who had been ordered deported, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump described the action over the July 13 weekend, dubbed “Operation Border Resolve,” as “very successful” even though much of the activity was not visible to the public.

The operation was originally scheduled for June for a dozen major U.S. cities and was highly publicized, which likely contributed to the low rate of arrests, acting director of ICE Matthew Albence said on a call with reporters.

He described the operation as targeted against specific individuals who were in violation of the law, not raids.

“I guarantee you if we were doing raids, and we had officers running all over the place picking up targets indiscriminately, you would have videos all over YouTube,” he said.

As word spread about the possible ICE operation, immigration rights groups circulated “know your rights” materials in immigrant communities and local activists advised people not to answer the door to agents without a warrant.

Albence said some operations were called off because their officers were “under surveillance.”

Trump signaled the impending enforcement in a June tweet, saying officials would soon “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

Albence skirted a question about the president’s tweets, blaming media coverage in general and said past operations had been more successful in part because they were carried out with less attention.

He also said more than 3,000 businesses were notified by ICE that they will be audited and could face criminal charges stemming from employment of illegal immigrants.

Facing a re-election battle next year, Trump has wanted to show his supporters that he is delivering on campaign promises to crack down on illegal immigration, a signature policy objective of his administration.

He has pushed Guatemala, Mexico and other countries in the region to act as buffer zones and take in asylum seekers who would otherwise go to the United States.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he is now considering a “ban,” tariffs and remittance fees after Guatemala decided to not move forward with a safe-third-country agreement that would have required the Central American nation to take in more asylum seekers.

It was not immediately clear what policies he was referring to. The White House and the Guatemalan government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Scott Malone, Steve Orlofsky and Jonathan Oatis

 

Hezbollah warns Iran able to bombard Israel if war starts

Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah says Israel would not be ‘neutral’ if a war starts between the US and Iran.

July 13, 2019

AlJazeera

The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has warned that Iran “is able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force” if a war breaks out with the United States.

Sayed Hassan Nasrallah’s remarks were broadcast on the movement’s Al-Manar television on Friday, following weeks of increasing tensions between the United States and Iran.

Lebanese president regrets US sanctions on Hezbollah lawmakers

“When the Americans understand that this war could wipe out Israel, they will reconsider,” Nasrallah said.

“Our collective responsibility in the region is to work towards preventing an American war on Iran.”

He said neither Saudi Arabia nor the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had any interest in conflict.

On Friday, the US House of Representatives voted to restrict Trump’s ability to attack Iran, voicing fear that his hawkish policies are pushing towards a needless war.

The US considers Hezbollah – the only faction not to have disarmed after the Lebanese 1975-1990 civil war – a “terrorist” organisation.

But it is also a major political player in the small Mediterranean country, taking 13 seats in parliament last year and securing three posts in the current cabinet.

Syria presence downgraded

Nasrallah also said he had decreased the number of his movement’s fighters supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s government in neighbouring war-torn Syria.

“The Syrian army has greatly recovered and has found that today it does not need us,” he said.

“We are present in every area that we used to be. We are still there, but we don’t need to be there in large numbers as long as there is no practical need,” he said.

The head of the Shia movement, which has been fighting in Syria since 2013, did not give details on the extent of the reduction.

Backed by Russia and Iran, the Damascus government has taken back large swaths of territory from rebels groups since 2015, and now controls around 60 percent of the country.

Nasrallah spoke after Washington announced fresh sanctions against Hezbollah, targeting elected officials from the movement for the first time.

Nasrallah said none of his fighters were currently involved in fighting in Syria’s northwestern region of Idlib, where Syrian and Russian forces have increased deadly bombardments since late April.

But “if there was a need to return, all those who were there would go back” to Syria, he added.

Tel Aviv ‘within range’

Responding to a question about repeated Israeli air raids on Syria, he said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “deceiving his people”.

“He is playing a game of brinkmanship, because Iran will not leave Syria,” he warned.

Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks in neighbouring Syria against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah military targets. It has vowed to keep Iran from entrenching itself militarily in the country.

Nasrallah’s interview came to mark the anniversary of the start of his movement’s 2006 war with Israel, which killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Both countries are still technically at war, and a United Nations peacekeeping force has said three tunnels have been found, dug under the border from Lebanon into Israel, since late last year.

The group’s leader warned that key Israeli installations along the Mediterranean coast, including Tel Aviv, were “within range of our rockets”.

SOURCE: AFP news agency

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 24, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

 

Conversaton No. 28

Date: Friday, July 26, 1996

Commenced:  11:50 AM CST

Concluded: 12:01 PM CST

GD: Hello, Robert. I hope I’m not interrupting your lunch or anything.

RTC: No, we already ate. I’ve been reading the Post for entertainment. And you?

GD: Same old routines. I’ll be looking for the material on non humans whenever you send it.

RTC: It’s all in a manila envelope, addressed and stamped. Greg will come by either this evening or tomorrow and I will have him drop it into the box near his home. It’s a bit too bulky for the local man on the route. You should have it in a week or so.

GD: Oh, no problem. I was thinking about the concept of alien life here and what a good write it would be but then, early this morning when dreams vanish and are replaced by reality,. I realized that I could never do anything with this. I mean it would be fascinating to read but even if you had documents signed by Clinton himself, no one would believe it.

RTC: OF course they would, Gregory. The public loves stories like that. The massive corruption here no one ever talks about and no one cares about but flying saucers, death rays and so on are always of interest. But given that, you would have to fight the establishment on this and I don’t mean the one here or in New York. All of these things,; like the Kennedy business, Pearl Harbor and so on have their cliques and you are an outsider. They won’t let you in, Gregory, and if you print something they don’t like, they will give you both the cold shoulder and the finger respectively. I don’t advise you to publish in this area for two reasons. The first would be that our people would come down on you if there was any chance the public would get wind of it and the second is that the conspiracy idiots would band together to chase you off.

GD: Well, the CIA, the FBI, the creeps in the National Archives, dozens of Jewish organizations, the German government and God knows who else are furious about the Mueller book project but they aren’t like the conspiracy fools. These people whisper to each other that I am evil and should be put in a nut house somewhere and kept silent but they would never, ever dare to do a hit piece on me in the media. That nut Gitta Sereny 1 did that for a while and then she was shut down very firmly.

RETC: How so?

GD: She published libels against me in various British papers and I got in touch with their editors with the result that the old goat got the sack. My God, she kept right on going, like that mechanical rabbit beating the drum. I finally had to deal very severely with her so eventually, she shut up.

RTC: Where is she from?

GD: She has a fake British accent but she’s a Hungarian Jew and part of the holocaust nonsense people. She claims to be an expert on the matter but she knows less than your wife. It’s so much fun to listen to these experts who know nothing. Of course, they’ve convinced some publisher they are experts and after a few sensational sort of books, they actually become experts. I’ve talked to so many of these recently that I’m getting tired of them. They have no idea what they’re talking about and they spend most of their time attacking other stupid writers that they ought to hold games in a stadium somewhere and let them hack away at each other with axes. So much for the fools. This alien business is interesting. The disappearance of so many people, on the other hand, can be found in the public FBI reports. And no one has bothered to put the figures together. Tens of thousands of Americans simply vanish every year. Given a few murders and so on, there are far too many to shove off on murderous child molesters or angry spouses or even the Mafia. They vanish and now we learn that there are non-humans wandering around. I wonder if there is any connection between the two subjects?

RTC:  Well, we have a section, as I have said, that is interested in such phenomenon but it isn’t that important. What with Doctors Gottleib and Cameron’s activities leaking out, we keep investigations into aliens and such like very quiet,

GD: People who turn into jelly when they die surely must be reported.

RTC: I really am not up on that, Gregory. I just picked up the report because it was interesting. I recalled the out of the body experiences we called remote viewing and all the money it cost the taxpayers. There are parts of the Company that are filled with lunatics. I recall once someone brought in a medium to try to second guess the Russians. Do you know how much we paid that silly cow? A hundred thousand dollars. She hit a few points right on but then we later decided she was a good guesser.

GD: Well, anyone can make stupid guesses and be right some of the time. The point is to be right all of the time.

RTC: Well, we have a staff of creative writers who prepare dire predictions for the President based solely what we want him to hear. That’s when we want to invade some country for the oil or to frost the Russians. Who is going to question us? Especially if they have no idea what we tell the Oval Office? It does work most of the time. And we have the Times and the Post to support our views. Getting something done for us or our friends is fairly easy. Anyone who challenges us gets the full court treatment.

GD: You run over him with a truck?

RTC: No, we make a fool out of them and laugh them off the stage. And be careful they don’t try to do that to you, Gregory.

GD: No, I am the one who makes fools out of them. You have to make a real savage attack on one of the front men for the others to back off. When I fry someone, they usually stay fried. I don’t want to tell my techniques but believe me, I have honed them to a razor edge and when I go after someone, they rarely are heard from again. But back to the aliens running around. You mentioned one case about the woman who wasn’t. Do you know of more?

RTC: Yes, there is much more in the report. I just mentioned the one that I recalled. Oh, they’re there but what they are or why they’re here we don’t know. I think if they were going to turn some death ray onto us, it would have happened by now.

GD: Well, one hopes.

RTC: Oh, and Lee 2  is wondering about something you said about Pearl Harbor. You upset these people, Gregory, with your questions and poking. He’s a court historian and court historians take their orders from above. But I suppose you know this by now.

GD: Oh, my yes, I’ve run into them along the way. Some official pays them to write a book supporting some officially approved theme or to attack someone who disputes it. There is no honor among thieves, Robert, none at all,

(Concluded at 12:01 PM CST)

1   Gitta Sereny (Honeyman)  March 13, 1921- 14 June 2012 A German-Hungarian of Jewish origins, Sereny wrote creative books on anti-German and holocaust subjects . She took strong issue with Douglas’ probings into British and American intelligence connections with SS and SD personnel and engaged in a running feud with Douglas that spanned a decade. It eventually cost Sereny several jobs on British newspapers who fired her rather than become involved in defamation litigations. Sereny wrote a book, allegedly based on an interview with a man she claimed was a senior SS “death camp” commandant but the man was neither a member of the SS nor a camp commander and, convenienctly for Sereny, died before she wrote her book. In historical circles, this is called ‘Dialogs with the Dead.’

 

2 Bruce Lee, author of pro-Roosevelt work on Pearl Harbor and close friend of John Costello.

 

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

Phishing Emails Have Become Very Stealthy. Here Are 5 Ways to Spot Them Every Time

How to spot hackers lurking in your emails.

July 17, 2019

by Neill Feather

SiteLock

Phishing scams are nothing new. In fact, we’ve all heard about the “Nigerian prince” phishing emails that have been showing up in inboxes for years.

Unfortunately, phishing attacks continue to increase exponentially in volume, and are considered a serious threat to both companies and individual internet users since they can result in devastating financial losses. In addition, phishing emails can be much harder to recognize than many business owners think.

Cybercriminals have resorted to increasingly sophisticated phishing strategies as of late to get recipients to open, click, and share malicious code. And these tactics are paying off handsomely. Business email compromise (BEC) scams are more successful than ever, with losses reaching $2.7 billion in 2018.

Here are some common phishing trends that business owners should know about and tips for educating employees about them:

What are phishing scams?

Phishing scams typically consist of emails that seem harmless but are actually intended to trick users into sharing sensitive information. This is often accomplished by encouraging the user to click on a malicious link or attachment. Phishing emails get their name because the hackers are “fishing” for your personal information.

Most phishing emails appear completely legitimate, often by imitating a company’s logo using high-quality graphics and including opt-out instructions. For this reason, it’s quite common for recipients to be fooled, and even large companies have fallen prey to these scams. SiteLock has published a round-up of some recent phishing examples to demonstrate the prevalence of these scams and how to protect against them.

Common Phishing Trends and Techniques

There are many different techniques hackers use to launch a phishing attack. A few of the most common ones are provided below:

Invoice phishing: Invoice phishing scams emails claim the recipient has an outstanding invoice from a well-known company, bank, or vendor. The email instructs the recipient to click on a link to pay their invoice. But when they click on the link and access the site, the hackers steal their personal information and gain access to their bank accounts.

The virus or compromised account: Viruses and compromised accounts cause  users to receive an email from a third party company claiming one of their accounts has been compromised. The email instructs them to log in to reset their password or to download a form, fill in their personal information, and return it. However, a legitimate company would never request your personal information through email in this manner.

Payment and delivery scam: This tactic involves sending emails from what appears to be a legitimate vendor asking for a user’s credit card information. They typically claim that your payment information needs to be updated before they will deliver your order. Be very careful with these emails, especially if you haven’t purchased anything from the vendor.

Downloads: Download scams send an email instructing recipients to click on a link. These emails often contain hyperlinks that could download a malicious file onto the end user’s computer. Never click on an email link unless you are absolutely sure that the sender is who they claim to be.

Tips for Spotting Phishing Emails

Although phishing emails often mimic actual companies and vendors, there are ways to detect them. All small business owners and employees should be aware of the following red flags that indicate a possible phishing email:

The email contains links or URLs that direct you to the wrong website or try to get you to access a third-party site that is separate from the email sender.

  • You receive an email from a company requesting sensitive information which can include your social security number, bank account information, or credit card numbers. Consider these emails suspect and never share your personal information without checking with the company first.
  • You find an unexpected email in your inbox from a person, vendor, or company that you rarely or never deal with. If this happens, the safest thing to do is delete the email without opening it, as there’s a good chance it’s a phishing email.
  • The email has obvious errors like typos, poor grammar, or incorrect information. A legitimate email from a company is very unlikely to have these kinds of errors.
  • The email address of the sender is incorrect, although it is close to the actual email address. This is another common sign of a phishing email.

Phishing scams remain a very common type of cybercrime, and can cause major financial losses to individual users and companies. And phishing emails are much more sophisticated these days, making them harder to detect. If you’re a business owner, it’s essential to be aware of common phishing techniques and red flags and to educate your employees on them. By doing so, you can help protect your company from financial losses and other serious consequences of phishing.

 

 

Be Cautious of Phishing Emails From “Your Boss

May 9, 2016

by Lauren Papagalos

Cybersecurity News

Have you ever signed into your email only to find a flood of unread emails? Silly question, of course you have. Some of those emails probably get deleted immediately, while others might sit idle in your inbox for weeks. Then there are those emails from your mom, your bank or your boss that require a prompt response… especially the ones from your boss (sorry mom). Have you ever had the feeling that maybe the email labeled as from your boss actually isn’t from your boss at all? This may seem a little far-fetched, but it does happen, and it happens quite often.

Phishing emails are seemingly harmless emails that are meant to trick the reader into providing information or clicking on a malicious link or attachment to collect sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing,” because hackers are fishing for your personal information.

Phishing emails appear to be so authentic that people fall for them all the time. Large companies have also fallen prey to these scams. We’ve rounded up some of the most recent phishing examples to give you an idea of how easy it is to fall for these tricks.

Snapchat: The Fake CEO

Snapchat is a popular app used to send pictures and videos that disappear within seconds of viewing them. In February 2016, Snapchat learned that not all things are so short-lived. Targeted by an email phishing scam, the company inadvertently disclosed its payroll information, and a number of its employees, both current and former, had their identities compromised. A cybercriminal impersonated Snapchat Chief Executive Officer, Evan Spiegel, and sent an email asking for the information. One Snapchat employee did not recognize the email for what it was (a scam) and sent the desired information to the email impersonator.

While Snapchat has not revealed specifics, payroll information could include salary information, Social Security Numbers, direct deposit bank data, addresses and so on. Snapchat apologized for the breach and stated, “we will redouble our already rigorous training programs around privacy and security in the coming weeks,” with the hope they will never have to apologize for the same mistake again.

The Tredyffrin Police Department: “Officer, It Wasn’t Me”

Three Philadelphia residents received emails from what appeared to be the Tredyffrin Police Department notifying them of speeding violations. However, the Tredyffrin police said they had nothing to do with sending those citation emails. As it turns out, they were sent by a cybercriminal.

It is suspected the hacker behind the phishing emails was not interested in collecting fines from the victims; but rather hoping the recipients would click on the email attachment, which would automatically download and spread malware to the individual’s computer. As soon as the police department caught wind of what was happening, they notified the public that citations are never emailed or sent in the form of an email attachment.

Magnolia Health Corporation: CEO Gone Phishing

Here’s another example of a hacker fraudulently posing as a company’s CEO. Magnolia Health Corporation (MHC) is a rehabilitation and nursing home healthcare provider, and now, a phishing scam victim.

In February 2016, an unknown cybercriminal gained access to CEO Kensett Moyle’s email account. With access to Moyle’s account, the hacker sent an email to an MHC employee asking for a spreadsheet with a list of sensitive employee information. The employee replied with the names, Social Security Numbers, salary details, job titles and departments, employee numbers, home addresses, birth dates, and hire dates of all MHC employees. The phishing email was sent on February 3rd and the scam went unnoticed until February 10th, when MHC sent an apology letter to its employees.

How to Identify a Phishing Email or Phishing Website

Phishing emails are very misleading. What may seem like a harmless email from your boss could potentially be an invitation to your company’s next data breach. So how can you avoid being deceived?

  1. Learn to identify a phishing email. Most companies and professionals take spelling and grammar pretty seriously. If you receive an email from “your boss” asking for sensitive information and it’s filled with typos, you may want to consider checking the source. If the email looks even remotely suspicious, it’s safe to assume you’re being set up.
  2. Now that you know how to identify a phishing email, learn to identify a phishing website. It is fairly easy for hackers to create spoof websites that look genuine. Phishing emails will often direct recipients to phishing websites. These phishing sites attempt to steal your account password and any other information the hacker can get their hands on. If you think a site is sketchy, do not sign in. Instead, close your browser and manually type the URL in a new browsing window.
  3. Make sure your website isn’t the culprit. It’s quite possible phishing emails are being sent on your behalf, directing individuals to your website. If your site has been hacked, it’s bad news for you and your visitors. So how do you know if you’re hosting a phishing site? One option is to use a website scanner that continuously scans your site for vulnerabilities and malicious activity. As soon as it finds something, it will alert you.

At the end of the day, always use your best judgment. If you find an email in your inbox from your boss asking for sensitive information to be sent electronically, think before you act. If you are at all skeptical, it is best to clarify (either in person or on the phone) before sending the information.

 

Feces & flesh-eating bacteria: Study reveals shocking levels of contamination at America’s beaches

July 23, 2019

RT

Americans may want to think twice before that next summer swim. Many of the country’s idyllic beaches conceal a filthy secret below the sand and waves: dangerous levels of bacteria that put thousands of bathers at risk every year.

In a recently published study conducted by the Environment America Research and Policy Center, researchers found that the water at beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states contained concentrations of bacteria well in excess of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards – including the harmful organisms that inhabit human feces – which they said could sicken millions of beachgoers annually.

“It’s hard to believe that 47 years after we passed the Clean Water Act that we are still concerned with poop in the water when people want to go swimming,” John Rumpler, clean water program director for the center, told USA Today.

Bacteria levels can spike to dangerous levels on certain days, such as when rain washes waste from the streets into creeks or streams, which flow into larger bodies of water. Some areas fare much worse than others, however.

In Chicago, all of the 19 beaches sampled were considered unsafe for at least one day in 2018, while the city’s South Shore Beach registered contamination in 93 of the 98 samples collected. California’s Cabrillo Beach also came in high on the list, considered unsafe in 85 out of 175 samples in one section.

On the cleaner end of the spectrum, Georgia’s Jekyll Driftwood Beach provided only 2 contaminated samples out of 46, and Florida’s Bird Key Park resulted in 17 dirty samples out of 67, suggesting that even the tidier beaches can be risky on some days.

The harmful microbes found in the water can cause a litany of unpleasant symptoms in their human hosts, ranging from gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, as well as ear, eye and skin infections. However, the most nightmarish surprise lurking below the depths, and one not covered by the center’s study, goes by the name of necrotizing fasciitis – or flesh-eating bacteria. While the horrifying condition is rare, some of the 30 or so organisms that cause the illness are native to America’s lakes and coasts. Two recent cases in Florida left one man dead, while another man nearly lost a leg.

Fortunately, things might not be all bad when it comes to America’s squalid beaches. Luke Ginger, water quality scientist for environmental organization Heal The Bay, told USA Today that the national trends were moving in the right direction, particularly through local government initiatives to treat stormwater runoff, among other anti-pollution measures.

“There are improvements that can be made but for the most part, there’s really good water quality,” Ginger said. “There are just a few beaches that have issues.”

 

Government Disinformation Methods

Governments, and the financial institutions who back them, have immense assets — an almost endless fiat money printing press — and control over most legal and academic institutions. With these advantages, disinformation can be executed on a massive scale. Here are just a handful of the most prominent tactics used by government agencies and private think tanks to guide public opinion, and establish the appearance of consensus:

1) Control The Experts: Most Americans are taught from kindergarten to ignore their instincts for the truth and defer to the “professional class” for all their answers. The problem is that much of the professional class is indoctrinated throughout their college years, many of them molded to support the status quo. Any experts that go against the grain are ostracized by their peers.

2) Control The Data: By controlling the source data of any investigation, be it legal or scientific, the government has the ability to engineer any truth they wish, that is, as long as the people do not care enough to ask for the source data. Two major examples of controlled and hidden source data include; the NIST investigation of the suspicious 9/11 WTC collapses, in which NIST engineers, hired by the government, have kept all source data from their computer models secret, while claiming that the computer models prove the collapses were “natural”. Also, the recent exposure of the CRU Climate Labs and their manipulation of source data in order to fool the public into believing that Global Warming is real, and accepting a world-wide carbon tax. The CRU has refused to release the source data from its experiments for years, and now we know why.

3) Skew The Statistics: This tactic is extremely evident in the Labor Department’s evaluations on unemployment, using such tricks as incorporating ambiguous birth / death ratios into their calculation in order to make it appear as though there are less unemployed people than there really are, or leaving out certain subsections of the population, like those who are unemployed and no longer seeking benefits. The US Departmentment of Labor officially states that 20,821 Americans are unemployed while the actial number is approximately 95 million!

3) Guilt By False Association: Governments faced with an effective opponent will always attempt to demonize that person or group in the eyes of the public. This is often done by associating them with a group or idea that the public already hates. Example: During the last election, they tried to associate Ron Paul supporters with racist groups (and more recently, certain Fox News anchors) in order to deter moderate Democrats from taking an honest look at Congressman Paul’s policies.

4) Manufacture Good News: This falls in with the skewing of statistics, and it also relies heavily on Media cooperation. The economic “Green Shoots” concept is a good example of the combination of government and corporate media interests in order to create an atmosphere of false optimism based on dubious foundations.

5) Controlled Opposition: Men in positions of power have known for centuries the importance of controlled opposition. If a movement rises in opposition to one’s authority, one must usurp that movement’s leadership. If no such movement exists to infiltrate, the establishment will often create a toothless one, in order to fill that social need, and neutralize individuals who might have otherwise taken action themselves.

During the 1960’s and 70’s, the FBI began a secretive program called COINTELPRO. Along with illegal spying on American citizens who were against the Vietnam conflict or in support of the civil rights movement, they also used agents and media sources to pose as supporters of the movement, then purposely created conflict and division, or took control of the direction of the movement altogether. This same tactic has been attempted with the modern Liberty Movement on several levels, but has so far been ineffective in stopping our growth.

The NRA is another good example of controlled opposition, as many gun owners are satisfied that paying their annual NRA dues is tantamount to actively resisting anti-gun legislation; when in fact, the NRA is directly responsible for many of the compromises which result in lost ground on 2nd amendment issues. In this way, gun owners are not only rendered inactive, but actually manipulated into funding the demise of their own cause.

6) False Paradigms: Human beings have a tendency to categorize and label other people and ideas. It is, for better or worse, a fundamental part of how we understand the complexities of the world. This component of human nature, like most any other, can be abused as a powerful tool for social manipulation. By framing a polarized debate according to artificial boundaries, and establishing the two poles of that debate, social engineers can eliminate the perceived possibility of a third alternative. The mainstream media apparatus is the key weapon to this end. The endless creation of dichotomies, and the neat arrangement of ideologies along left/right lines, offers average people a very simple (though hopelessly inaccurate) way of thinking about politics. It forces them to choose a side, usually based solely on emotional or cultural reasons, and often lures them into supporting positions they would otherwise disagree with. It fosters an environment in which beating the other team is more important than ensuring the integrity of your own. Perhaps most importantly, it allows the social engineer to determine what is “fair game” for debate, and what is not.

Alinsky himself wrote: “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.”

One merely needs to observe a heated debate between a Democrat and a Republican to see how deeply this belief has been ingrained on both sides, and how destructive it is to true intellectual discourse.

Stopping Disinformation

The best way to disarm disinformation agents is to know their methods inside and out. This gives us the ability to point out exactly what they are doing in detail the moment they try to do it. Immediately exposing a disinformation tactic as it is being used is highly destructive to the person utilizing it. It makes them look foolish, dishonest, and weak for even making the attempt. Internet trolls most especially do not know how to handle their methods being deconstructed right in front of their eyes, and usually fold and run from debate when it occurs.

The truth, is precious. It is sad that there are so many in our society that have lost respect for it; people who have traded in their conscience and their soul for temporary financial comfort while sacrificing the stability and balance of the rest of the country in the process. The human psyche breathes on the air of truth, without it, humanity cannot survive. Without it, the species will collapse in on itself, starving from lack of intellectual and emotional sustenance.

Disinformation does not only threaten our insight into the workings of our world; it makes us vulnerable to fear, misunderstanding, and doubt, all things that lead to destruction. It can lead good people to commit terrible atrocities against others, or even against themselves. Without a concerted and organized effort to diffuse mass-produced lies, the future will look bleak indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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