TBR News January 31, 2018

Jan 31 2018

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. January 31, 2018:”There recently appeared on what is often called the Dark Internet, a thick file of official reports on various activities of the CIA. This includes mind control experiments, assassination of unwanted political figures, domestic and foreign (the domestic ones include John F. Kennedy) lunatic projects like the Ingo Swann/SRI ‘out of body” programs, drugs designed to cause the user to become disoriented during a speech or at a public event to destroy their reputations, the use of undetectable torture techniques such a waterboarding, spying on top domestic and foreign leaders, infiltrating foreign intelligence and business entities (such as German television companies or banks)urging governmental use of the products of companies in which the CIA leadership held a financial interest, setting up so-called “think tanks” such as the Rand organization in Santa Monica, California, to support their domestic and foreign plans and many more very specific bits of information. The publication of this file, which is, one understands, in progress, will cause spastic colon in Langley (and elsewhere in clever CIA front organizations) and selected persons who know too much will join hands and jump of the Key Bridge over the Potomac and downstream they will be fishing the bloated corpses out of the water like the Chinese were hauling similar corpses of dead pigs out of their river recently.”

Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump Made a Few Promises During the State of the Union. Let’s Add Them to the Pile.
  • Trump State of the Union address promised unity but emphasized discord
  • Joe Kennedy’s State of the Union response:
  • ‘Chemtrail’ conspiracy theorists: The people who think governments control the weather
  • Science Officially Debunks Chemtrails, But the Conspiracy Will Likely Live On
  • Miscalculations in Israel Could Pave Way to Wider War
  • Israel risks ‘perpetual occupation and conflict,’ German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says
  • An absence of truth
  • Federal judge blocks Kansas law punishing BDS supporters
  • Mass Surveillance and the Memory Hole
  • Germany green lights construction of Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream

Donald Trump Made a Few Promises During the State of the Union. Let’s Add Them to the Pile.

January 30 2018

by Ryan Grim

The Intercept

President Donald Trump promised during his State of the Union address Tuesday night that he was “extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens, of every background, color, religion, and creed.”

Will he do it?

Trump’s 90-minute speech was light on policy, but let’s take a run through his past promises and declarations.

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised that, if elected, “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s held this office.”

This week, he launched a Twitter war with Jay-Z.

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” promised Trump. He has been accused by at least 17 women of sexual assault and harassment, and has denied some of the allegations by claiming the women were too unattractive to him.

After being caught on audio claiming that he was able to assault women at will due to his fame, he waved it away as “locker room talk.” He has now taken to denying that it was him at all.

Trump pledged during the campaign to surround himself with “the best people,” and instead hired his son-in-law, his daughter, and a collection of conspiracy theorists and hangers-on. His national security adviser, along with three other campaign aides, have been indicted.

Just ahead of the election, Trump declared that James Comey, then the FBI director, had redeemed himself by reopening his investigation into Hillary Clinton. It was a move widely credited with pushing Clinton’s numbers down far enough to put Trump over the top. Trump is now pushing the narrative that the FBI was, in fact, attempting to elect Clinton.

Trump promised to roll back America’s involvement in overseas conflicts. As president, he has sent more troops to Afghanistan and took off whatever leash was on the air war elsewhere. Civilian casualties have soared.

Trump warned during the campaign that Goldman Sachs has “total control over Hillary Clinton.” He has stocked his administration and financial regulatory agencies with Goldman veterans, including the firm’s president, Gary Cohn.

He slammed Clinton for using a personal email account and for mishandling classified intelligence. Members of his own administration occasionally used personal accounts, and Trump himself divulged classified intelligence to Russian representatives in the Oval Office, compromising a confidential source embedded with the Islamic State.

Trump warned that Clinton’s ties to the Clinton Foundation, which took money from corporations, despots, and others seeking influence, amounted to a conflict of interest. He has gone on to lead the most ethically conflicted administration imaginable.

During the campaign, Trump promised to tackle the opioid epidemic, and after much delay, declared it a national emergency in October. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction,” he said, promising “really tough, really big, really great advertising.” The 90-day emergency declaration expired last week with virtually nothing having been done. Well more than 100 people, many of them young, are dying of overdoses every day.

Trump, in his address, did not do a much better job of making promises that aligned with his administration’s actions. Speaking about the opioid crisis, he put the number at 174 deaths a day and demanded a tougher approach to “drug dealers.” He made a non-specific promise for treatment for those who need it and paraded an Albuquerque police officer who adopted a baby from a woman living with addiction.

He promised that drug prices would be coming down. “Prices will come down substantially, watch,” he said. On Monday, Trump swore in as Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a pharma executive who played a key role in driving them up.

The president promised to “embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance at life.” His prison reform agenda includes an expansion of private prisons, which have been found to be less safe than public facilities.

He also quickly pledged to push for “paid family leave,” a priority of Ivanka Trump, but moved on without elaborating further.

“To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together,” Trump said, while a disaster aid bill languishes in Congress, and his administration recently told Puerto Rico that it is in fact too rich for assistance. This week, FEMA announced that it was ending aid to the island.

“For the last year,” Trump said on Tuesday night, “we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their government.”

 

Trump State of the Union address promised unity but emphasized discord

The president’s ‘new American moment’ speech stirred Republican applause while Democrats showed thinly disguised contempt

January 31, 2018

by David Smith in Washington

Reuters

Donald Trump has promised a “new American moment” in a State of the Union address that sought harmony but succeeded only in underlining the deep discord at the heart of the country’s politics.

The US president preened over a growing economy and pledged a return to national greatness with a nostalgic appeal to family, faith, law and order, the military and the national anthem. “Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve,” Trump said.

Yet from his vantage point at the dais in the House of Representatives, the split-screen nation that is America in 2018 was writ large.

To his left, Republicans stood, applauded and sometimes cheered each new pronouncement. To his right, Democrats mostly sat stony-faced, channeling the fury of millions who believe Trump has defiled the American presidency, and on occasion were unable to resist groans, or heckles of protest.

And when the speech ended, Republicans clapped and chanted “USA! USA!” – one even waved a red “Make America great again” cap – while Democrats raced to the exits with thinly disguised contempt. Their reaction told a fundamentally different story from what they were hearing: that of a tumultuous year of White House chaos, stunning examples of sexism and racism, myriad falsehoods and attacks on freedom of the press and an ongoing investigation into Trump’s links with Russia that hangs over his presidency.

It was the 45th president’s first State of the Union address. Instead of the darkness of his inaugural speech, which warned of “American carnage”, Trump boasted of the “extraordinary success” of his first year in office and offered a more optimistic vision. “This is our new American moment,” Trump said. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.”

Critics were quick to spot that Trump’s election rival Hillary Clinton had used the phrase “new American moment” in a speech as secretary of state in 2010.

The White House had promised a bipartisan tone, even as Congress is deadlocked over immigration reform and the fate of hundreds of thousands of people whose status is in doubt after they were brought by their parents to the US as children.

Some were in attendance on Tuesday night as Trump used his address to repeat a proposal calculated to appease both Democrats and Republican hardliners, although it may satisfy neither. Trump’s promise of a “down the middle compromise” would grant about 1.8 million Dreamers legal status, including a path to citizenship, in return for intensified law enforcement, the building of a wall on the Mexican border and tighter restrictions on legal immigration.

“It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century,” the self-proclaimed master deal-maker said, claiming it would create a safe, modern and lawful immigration system. “For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.”

Trump spoke of the need to keep the nation safe from terrorism. He announced that he had formally cancelled Barack Obama’s plan to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. “We must be clear,” he said. “Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.”

He added that he expected “in many cases” captured terrorists would be sent to the camp. It was the latest in a long list of attacks on his predecessor’s legacy: Obama signed an order to close the facility in 2009 but was repeatedly frustrated by Congress. It currently holds 41 remaining terrorism suspects and its detention facilities cost more than $450m a year.

Trump also warned of the threat from the “depraved” North Korean regime and, in one of his more disciplined performances, steered clear of throwing barbs at its leader, Kim Jong-un. But he offered little clue to his overall strategy.

“North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland,” Trump said. “Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position.”

He called for Congress to increase defence spending and added: “We must modernise and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.”

The buildup to the address, normally the major set piece in the American political calendar, was overshadowed by partisan bickering over the investigation into the Trump election campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia and whether the president intends to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

There was also bitter controversy after the House intelligence committee released a classified memo that Republicans allege contains proof of surveillance abuses by the FBI and justice department; Democrats said the move could endanger intelligence sources and be weaponised against Mueller. On Monday night senior justice department officials made a last-ditch plea to the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, about the dangers of releasing the memo, the Washington Post reported.

The president’s family were in attendance, although Melania Trump travelled to the Capitol separately from Trump. The first lady has kept a low profile since reports emerged claiming that her husband had an affair with the pornographic actor Stormy Daniels a decade ago. She entered the chamber without public announcement, wearing an all-white Dior suit – evocative, perhaps, of Hillary Clinton during the election campaign.

Facing a historically low approval rating of around 40% at the end of the first year of his presidency, Trump spoke of “one team, one people, and one American family” and sought to cast himself as the president of all. “Tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties – Democrats and Republicans – to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed,” he said.

There was applause from some Democrats but scepticism from others, as there had been from the moment Trump entered the chamber. As he shook hands and soaked up adulation from Republicans, Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand studied her phone and independent senator Bernie Sanders stood with hands folded in front of him. One Democratic congresswoman even remained in her seat reading a newspaper. Most of the Congressional Black Caucus also remained seated while wearing kente cloth sashes, scarves or ties associated with Ghana and the pan-African independence movement – a swipe at Trump’s recently reported “shitholes” insult.

Female Democrats wore black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement as they listened to a commander-in-chief who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women. But Democrats were divided on how to respond to some of Trump’s applause lines, with some standing at times to clap and others remaining defiantly seated. Sometimes members glanced furtively around to see what their colleagues were doing.

When Trump said, “If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything,” Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, stood and clapped. Senator Elizabeth Warren offered light applause and Senator Bernie Sanders remained still. When the president declared “African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded”, a trend that long predates him, only one member of the black caucus stood to applaud.

Sometimes it became too much. Trump’s statement that, “For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities”, prompted the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Joe Crowley, to shout: “Oh, come on!”

And when the president pledged to end so-called “chain migration”, adding: “Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives”, there were such loud mutters of dissent that the Democratic House leader, Nancy Pelosi, waved her arms to mute them.

In the official Democratic response to the address, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, speaking from Fall River, Massachusetts, said: “Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defence of their future.”

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, added: “After a long and divisive year, many Americans were yearning for the president to present a unifying vision for the country. Unfortunately, his address tonight stoked the fires of division instead of bringing us closer together.”

 

Joe Kennedy’s State of the Union response:

Trump ushered era of divisiveness and hatred

‘Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid,’ said Kennedy, a third-term congressman from Massachusetts

January 31, 2018

by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington

Reuters

Joe Kennedy, a member of the Kennedy political dynasty, delivered the official Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, warning that the US president had ushered in an era of divisiveness and hatred

“Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid,” said Kennedy, 37, a third-term congressman from Massachusetts, who is the grandson of Robert “Bobby” Kennedy and great-nephew of former President John F Kennedy.

Kennedy spoke just after Trump pushed for unity and declared a “new American moment” in his first State of the Union speech. Making the response to Trump was a tall order for the fresh-faced congressman who despite his family pedigree is relatively unknown on the national stage.

Kennedy was nonetheless chosen by Democrats due to his progressive record and forward-looking demeanor at a time when many Americans feel the nation is at a crossroads. He said in his response to Trump, “We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country … We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.”

Immediate reaction to his address on social media was partly, unkindly, preoccupied over how glistening his lips appeared, which on Wednesday he explained on ABC’s Good Morning America was ChapStick. “A little too much, apparently,” he joked.

Before his election to Congress in 2012, Kennedy worked as a district attorney in his home state of Massachusetts and also served a two-year stint in the Dominican Republic as part of the Peace Corps

The latter earned him a fluency in Spanish, a skill Kennedy did not hesitate to tap into on Tuesday when addressing the fate of nearly 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the US illegally as children.

Congress remains at a deadlock over how to resolve their status, after Trump moved in September to rescind legal protections granted to Dreamers under Barack Obama. Kennedy spoke directly to the young immigrants from his podium, first in Spanish before translating his message in English.

“You are a part of our story,” he said. “We will fight for you. We will not walk away.”

Kennedy delivered his remarks from a vocational school in Falls River, Massachusetts, a city he declared was “built by immigrants”.

Just before he took the stage, Trump had recorded the third-longest State of the Union in modern US history. But even as the president sought to strike a conciliatory tone, his speech was pilloried by immigration advocates and Democrats for nationalist undertones that associated immigrants with violence and crime.

Kennedy’s speech was designed to project a more inclusive vision of America, while decrying Trump’s administration for rolling back civil rights and paving the way for “Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets”.

The staging inevitably led to chatter over Kennedy’s prospects as a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. But operatives within the Democratic party believe the young politician might first seek to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate, following in the footsteps of his legendary great-uncle, the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

Asked about his political ambitions last year, Kennedy alluded to a potential run for the Senate “somewhere down the road”.

Until his national debut on Tuesday, Kennedy had gravitated toward keeping a lower profile in Washington. He has rarely made headlines, barring a viral speech denouncing Republican efforts to repeal Obama’s healthcare law on the House floor last year, which racked up more than 3 million views.

 

 

‘Chemtrail’ conspiracy theorists: The people who think governments control the weather

January 31, 2018

by Chris Bell

BBC News

Those white lines in the sky trailing behind jet planes are puffy plumes of water vapour. But online, some have twisted them into evidence of a secret plot to control weather or poison the environment. Why are wild theories about contrails and other phenomena so persistent on social media?

Suzanne Maher doesn’t like the term “conspiracy theory”.

When I use it – on a phone call to arrange an interview – she tells me that it was invented by the CIA to discredit those who question the government.

But as the founder of Bye Bye Blue Sky – a group established to raise awareness of so-called “chemtrails” and what she claims is a massive, secret government conspiracy to control the weather – it’s one the Canadian is used to hearing.

“I ask that we move beyond the notion that this is a conspiracy theory,” she says. “Twenty to thirty years ago we never saw these trails. We had a beautiful blue sky.”

Suzanne is among a significant number of people using social media to spread this message.

“Chemtrail” conspiracy theorists vary in their claims. But some of the most popular include the belief that governments control the weather on a massive scale, that scientists carrying out legitimate research about how to counteract climate change through a process called geo-engineering are secretly poisoning us, or even that secret powerful groups are spraying us with chemicals to make us pliant and easy to control.

The trails she’s talking about are those you’ll have seen yourself – plumes of white that form behind aircraft. They are simply water vapour released from aircraft engines that condenses into ice crystals if the atmospheric conditions are right. Suzanne Maher isn’t correct when she says they’re a new phenomenon: you can see condensation trails left behind aircraft in images from the Battle of Britain during the Second World War.

But what most people call “contrails” Suzanne and other conspiracy theorists call “chemtrails” – and in them they see evidence of a clandestine globalist conspiracy involving a pick-and-mix selection of the UN, the military, national governments, the Rothschilds, climate scientists, pilots and big business.

Her beliefs don’t exactly come from nowhere.

Weather modification – or at least attempting it – has a long history. The Leningrad Institute of Rainmaking was established in the Soviet Union in 1932. Chinese authorities used cloud seeding to ensure the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics wasn’t washed out.

Geo-engineering – deliberate intervention in the Earth’s natural systems to counteract climate change – is a newer field of research. While scientists have talked about it, there’s been very little being physically done – most of the research in the field relies on computer modelling.

Professor David Keith of Harvard University, is among the most prominent scientists calling for further research. He told the New York Times he knows of only two instances where one of the most controversial proposals has been tested in the field. It’s called solar geo-engineering and involves atmospheric aerosol injection of tiny reflective particles to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the earth and thus cool the planet.

Similarly, successful weather modification efforts have been localised – and certainly not on the grand scale some conspiracy theorists claim.

Nonetheless, “chemtrail” and geo-engineering conspiracy theorists flood social media with speculation, questions and images of contrail cross-hatched skies. One international survey suggested almost 17% of respondents thought chemtrail conspiracy theories true or partly true.

Suzanne says she first became aware of the subject six years ago.

“I was actually on a website. It was a very young girl, she wasn’t even ten years old. She talked about the spraying going on in our skies and the fact she was so sad because she didn’t want to go outside and the skies were no longer blue and we were being sprayed. Why would such a young child be sharing this information if it wasn’t truthful?

“Her words disturbed me and intrigued me so I began looking into this topic and doing extensive research. This awakening truly changed my life,” she says.

That research led Suzanne to create Bye Bye Blue Sky. She runs a closed group on Facebook, where around 5,000 fellow believers can discuss the theory, as well as raising money to buy billboard advertising. She closely vets the group’s members.

“We don’t debate that it’s happening in this group,” she says. “We all realise that it is happening.”

‘Information bubbles’

Closed groups of like-minded people – the type common on social media and the internet – are one of the big reasons why conspiracy theories solidify online. Professor Karen Douglas, from the University of Kent, researches the psychology of conspiracy theories.

“People tend to share information but also consume information that’s consistent with what they already believe,” she says.

“People end up living in these information bubbles, or echo chambers, where they share ideas

“Information doesn’t necessarily spread indiscriminately the way people think it does on the internet and social media. People tend to share it with people who kind of think the same way as they do about these issues in the first place,” she says.

‘I taste and smell it’

Russ Tanner runs what he claims is the largest “chemtrails” group on Facebook – Chemtrails Global Skywatch – which has more than 114,000 members. He calls so-called chemtrails “the largest crime against humanity in history”.

In a post typical of the paranoia among conspiracy theorists, one of the memes he’s posted in his group asks if chemtrails are “the modern implementation of eugenics and forced depopulation”.

At his request, I contact Russ at 8am in the UK – 3am in Maine, where he lives.

“The main reason I wanted to do the interview at night is in our area we have an enormous amount of aerosol injection that takes place through the evening,” he tells me.

“I can’t sleep when the air is that concentrated with this fallout. It causes me physical symptoms. I taste and smell it. It burns my sinuses, causes inflammation, rises in blood pressure, stomach issues and headaches.”

Both Russ and Suzanne claim to have conducted their own scientific tests. Suzanne says she even tested her dog.

“I had my soil tested. I had my hair tested,” she says. “I was toxic in aluminium, barium, strontium, arsenic, manganese. And I live very healthily.” She says her dog has been poisoned by a radioactive metal.

Russ claims he found six times the safe levels of aluminium in his rainwater, and both say the tests are solid proof of atmospheric spraying.

It’s not known what’s behind those test results – and they couldn’t be independently verified. Scientists, of course, disagree that there is any large-scale plot by governments to spread chemicals around the globe.

A 2016 study by the Carnegie Institute for Science and the University of California Irvine surveyed 77 leading atmospheric scientists and geochemists. All but one, 98.7%, reported no evidence of a secret large-scale atmospheric spraying programme. The one scientist who dissented recorded unusually high levels of atmospheric barium in a remote area with low levels of barium in the soil. But to get from that one result to the idea that we’re being secretly sprayed with chemicals requires a monumental leap of faith.

“Our goal is not to sway those already convinced that there is a secret, large-scale spraying programme – who often reject counter evidence as further proof of their theories – but rather to establish a source of objective science that can inform public discourse,” the study’s authors wrote.

The conspiracy theorists won’t be swayed.

“We have a long history in all countries of scientists believing things that we later realise are false,” Russ contends. “It takes a very rare and brave person who steps out and goes against the flow.

“Whether or not people listen, that’s up to them. But as for me – this is happening.”

Science Officially Debunks Chemtrails, But the Conspiracy Will Likely Live On

A panel of 77 atmospheric scientists and geochemists weigh in on the controversial streaks in the sky

August 22, 2016

by  Jason Daley

The Smithsonian

These days it’s a common sight: hazy streaks crisscrossing the sky left from passing aircrafts. But many people believe there’s something more going on. Dubbing the contrails “chemtrails,” conspiracy theorists have claimed that these trails of condensed water are part of a secret program to control the weather, change the climate or control our minds.

Conspiracy theorists have amassed huge dossiers of “evidence” claiming that chemtrails are longer, brighter and do not dissipate as quickly as normal aircraft contrails. They have photos, anecdotes and samples collected from the air and water. Though scientists have long battled against these unfounded claims, they haven’t made much headway. But with a recent study, researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science hope to put these rumors to rest.

The researchers provided the available chemtrail evidence to 77 atmospheric scientists and geochemists for evaluation. “I felt it was important to definitively show what real experts in contrails and aerosols think,” Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientists and author on the study, says in a press release. “We might not convince die-hard believers that their beloved secret spraying program is just a paranoid fantasy, but hopefully their friends will accept the facts.”

In the study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the scientists were asked if they had ever uncovered possible evidence of a government chemtrail program in their research. Of the 77 scientists, 76 said no.

They were also shown photos supposedly containing chemtrails, writes Sara Emerson at Motherboard. Upon inspection, none of the researchers saw any evidence that the contrails in the photos were any different than normal contrails.

Finally, they were presented with the analysis of samples from pond sediment, snow and air that the collectors claim were contaminated with traces of barium, aluminum, copper and strontium from chemtrails. The researchers said that 80 to 89 percent of the samples could be explained by phenomena much more simple than chemtrails.

The chemtrails craze likely originated with a 1996 report from the Air Force called “Weather as a Force Multiplier,” which speculates how the military could develop weather modification technology by 2025, report Annalee Newitz and Adam Steiner at i09. A patent filed in 1991 for a technique of seeding the upper atmosphere with particles that could reflect sunlight and slow global warming also intrigued theorists. Combined with anecdotal tales of plants dying and people getting sick after planes left contrails above their homes, the conspiracy theory coalesced and took off on the internet in the late 1990s.

Since then, the issue periodically pops up in the media. According to Public Policy Polling, about five percent of Americans believe in chemtrails. That’s more than the four percent who believe lizard people are taking over our politics but much less than the number who believe in bigfoot or that global warming is a hoax.

So, if it’s not a government program, why do many people claim to see more and more contrails? Emerson says airplane contrails are likely lasting longer than they used to due to changes in jet engine technology. In addition, an increase in air travel over the last couple decades could also be fueling the belief in chemtrails, says Caldeira, and atmospheric changes from global warming may cause the artificial clouds to linger longer than they used to.

 

Miscalculations in Israel Could Pave Way to Wider War

Following a number of foreign-policy miscalculations, Israel and its allies in the Trump administration could be setting us up for more trouble in the Middle East

January 29, 2018

by Alastair Crooke

consortum news

Last week, Israeli political leaders were rolling with guffaws and ribbing each other in delight as Vice-President Mike Pence proved that, as a Christian Zionist, he was more Zionist than the Zionists in the Knesset (minus, of course, its evicted Arab members – see here). But one might wonder what the more sober Israeli security echelon figures were thinking as they listened to Pence’s Knesset speech, which was rife with Biblical references and declarations of his “admiration for the People of the Book.”

Perhaps they were speculating how far they might be able to go in influencing Pence and his boss, Donald Trump, to wield U.S. military power to advance Israeli interests.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, via the Trump family go-betweens – Jared Kushner, and the Trump family lawyers – has certainly had an impact in Washington. The Middle East landscape has changed considerably over the last year as a consequence, but the nature of that change is what is at issue. How many of these changes have actually benefited Israel’s – or the U.S.’s – security interests?

When Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) began his coup last June, ultimately resulting in this 31-year-old assuming absolute power, President Trump characteristically took full credit. “We’ve put our man on top!” he bragged to his friends, according to Michael Wolff in his book, Fire and Fury.  Yes, Trump was right – partly.

“Our man” came out on top, but it was Netanyahu, working the levers behind the scenes, and Mohammad bin Zayed (MbZ)’s “man” in Washington, United Arab Emeriates Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba, who did the heavy lifting in order to change the U.S.’s settled preference for Prince bin Naif, as Successor to the Throne.  And it was MbZ, in the first place, who had advised MbS that it was Israeli support that was both the necessary, and the sufficient condition, for him to become Crown Prince.  Netanyahu (and Israel) cannot escape some responsibility for the condition in which the kingdom now finds itself.

Are the more sober-minded Israelis now still congratulating themselves with enthusiasm for their “new man at the top”?  One has some doubts, as Saudi Arabia transforms into a ticking bomb of internal, family, and tribal hatreds – and as the peripheral Emirates wonder what is to become of them in this new era of Saudi hyper foreign policy activity; or what might be their futures, were this Saudi “bomb” somehow to self-detonate. (“Not pretty” is likely to be their conclusion.)

And, for the second major aspect to Israel’s influence on the Trump administration, one has to look no further than the Kurds: Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said, just before Masoud Barzani’s independence referendum, that “Israel and countries of the West, have a major interest in the establishment of the State of Kurdistan.”  She added, “I think that the time has come for the U.S. to support the process.”

(Netanyahu supported the Kurdish bid too, and reportedly, urged Barzani to press on, despite the opposition amongst the Kurds themselves, and from all the surrounding neighbouring states).  That ploy did not work out too well.

First came the Barzani fiasco, with his initiative squashed within 24 hours, and now we have Plan B: a Kurdish “statelet” in northern Syria. And that too is now unravelling.

Israel, having failed to get the buffer zones it sought along the Golan armistice line, or on the Syrian-Iraqi frontier; and having failed to keep the Iraqi-Syrian border closed, prevailed upon a receptive U.S. administration to implant a Kurdish wedge in north-eastern Syria. This was an outcome intended to keep Syria weak (the oil and gas assets being denied to the Central Government, and the Syrian state divided, and at odds with itself), and to keep open the connectivity of the Syrian mini “state project” to the Kurdish population of northern Iraq.

The Israeli “project” with the Kurds is a longstanding one, and very much “hands on.” It was most clearly formalized in the so-called Oded Yinon plan which was published in 1982, and which advocated the fragmentation of the Middle East, in terms of a logic of sectarian division. So, when Minister Shaked advocated for a Kurdish state, saying that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to “reshape” the Middle East, it is highly likely that she had the Yinon plan in mind, which advocated an Iraq fragmented into separate states.

But again (in spite of the Barzani fiasco), there was overreach: Moscow and Damascus offered the Kurds a compromise that would allow for a measure of autonomy, but insisted on the preservation of state sovereignty over all of Syria. The Kurds forcefully declined (apparently believing that Washington had their backs). And U.S. Centcom overreached: they gave the Kurds advanced anti-tank weapons, and man-portable surface to air missiles, too.

Of course the Turks “got it.”  Such weapons in the hands of the Kurds change the whole strategic balance.  Such weapons have nothing to do with pushing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to agree a modified constitution for Syria. That narrative is quite implausible. This weaponizing was about empowering the Kurds à la Oded Yinon: not just in Syria and Iraq, but as a ploy to weaken and fracture Turkey as well: No wonder the Kurds of Afrin were so full of themselves.  Senior Turkish commentators, such as Ibrahim Karagul (a leading commentator who is close to Erdogan) were unsurprisingly plain in identifying Israel’s hand in wanting Turkey’s state fragmentation.

So, what has been achieved?  Ankara now is profoundly (and perhaps irrevocably) disenchanted with Washington. Damascus is quietly sorting out Idlib (now depleted by armed opposition groups, commandeered by Turkey to assist in Afrin). Pressure on Assad is relieved; and Turkey has shifted more deeply into the Russian-Iran-Iraq axis. Washington is now ruing the Turkish anger, but what did they expect?

The writing was on the wall at the May 19 press conference held by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford, and Special Envoy to Counter ISIS Brett McGurk, in which they attempted to smooth over frayed relations with Ankara regarding disputes regarding Washington’s support for the Kurds.

But then came Netanyahu’s third major input into U.S. policy: encouraging President Trump to ditch the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal.

Pence stated that Trump will refuse to sign the U.S. nuclear sanctions waiver this May. But as Washington now rues the Turkish reaction to its Kurdish initiative; so Israel may yet come to rue the loss of the JCPOA. Does the Israeli leadership seriously believe that Lilliputian MbS, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are going to Gulliverise Iran and its allies? And does the Israeli armed forces truly trust the U.S. to have its back completely, if it comes to regional war?

And finally, there is the “deal of the century”: sending VP Pence to threaten Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians with withdrawal of funding completes the picture of an Israel hoeing in an extremely narrow, and highly partisan, Zionist seam of American (and global) support — a seam consisting of Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law), David Friedman (Trump’s specialist in bankruptcy), and Jason Gleenblatt (a real estate lawyer, and the former chief legal officer working for Trump’s various companies).

Even Haim Saban, the strongly pro-Zionist founder of the U.S. Brookings’ Saban Center described the team to Kushner last month as “a bunch of Orthodox Jews who have no idea about anything.”

“The team has an entrepreneur — you — a real-estate lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer. I don’t know how you’ve lasted eight months in this line-up. There’s not a Middle East macher in this group,” Saban said, using the Yiddish word for bigwig.

Kushner responded that while the team was “not conventional” it was “perfectly qualified,” defending Friedman’s reputation as “one of the most brilliant bankruptcy lawyers and a close friend of mine, and the President.”

Haim Saban noted that indeed, the situation in the Middle East, never had been so “bankrupt.”

Perhaps Netanyahu may come to reflect that, in mining this very narrow seam, he has placed Israel in a precarious place.  He may rejoice at the Palestinians’ present humiliation by Trump and Pence, but as the Israeli PM catalyzes American foreign policy in ways that are deeply antagonistic to the region as a whole (not just Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, but to treaty partners, Jordan and Egypt, too), come the next crisis, Israel may find itself friendless and alone. Even Gulf States are re-positioning – hedging, if you prefer – in the face of the deep uncertainty in Saudi Arabia.

America today is deeply polarized, with each side reflexively rejecting the views (on both domestic and foreign policies) of the other. Even within the wider seam of cultural nationalism that is apparent in America and Europe today, Trump’s rather narrow Middle East team line-up, is not even representative of ‘Alt-Right’ culture in general, which ultimately forms Trump’s base. The evidence — for all the Alt-Right’s insistence on a common Judeo-Christian basis – is that those identifying with the Alt-Right view their culture more narrowly. Rather, the unqualified support that Israel believes it now enjoys, may prove to be highly ephemeral.

The errors of judgment are obvious to Washington establishment figures, who see the consequence in mixed messages emanating from the administration and in the erosion of the unitary state into rebellious departmental fiefdoms, which the White House seems unable to control (see here on Turkey).

The Middle East (and the wider world), just skirted serious conflict in 2017, but we may not be so lucky in 2018. Trump is regarded as Israel’s “best friend,” but is that really so?  Israel’s future seems much less secure one year after he assumed office. The landscape has darkened. Israel misjudged Syria; it misjudged its Syrian proxies; and (probably) will find that it has misjudged MbS – and now, a further miscalculation, this time with Turkey.

It may misjudge Iran next.

 

Israel risks ‘perpetual occupation and conflict,’ German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says

Germany’s foreign minister ended a 15-hour trip to Israel warning the country against abandoning a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He called on Israel to clarify its policy on Mideast peace talks.

January 31, 2018

DW

Israel must clarify its position on peace talks with Palestinians or risk “perpetual occupation and conflict,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday at a security conference in Tel Aviv.

“As a friend and close ally, we need to know if Israel is not supporting a negotiated solution to this conflict anymore,” he said. “What exactly is Israel’s strategy in this conflict?”

Germany and the European Union support the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution to the long-standing conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said Palestinians should govern themselves but has not clarified whether that would mean an independent state or greater autonomy within Israel. A majority of lawmakers in Netanyahu’s Likud party reject a Palestinian state.

‘Perpetual occupation and conflict’

“Are you prepared to pay the price of perpetual occupation and conflict — a price that will continue to grow if there is no hope for self-determination on the Palestinian side,” Gabriel said.

He also suggested European countries may reduce aid to Israel if the country abandons the two-state solution. The proposal, Gabriel said, was the “foundation of our engagement for Israeli-Palestinian peace and for the large amount of funding that Germany and Europe make available in support of the situation on the ground.”

EU members met in Brussels on Wednesday to pledge additional support to Palestinian state-building efforts.

Diplomatic interruption

Gabriel’s speech at the conference marked the end of a 15-hour trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories that included earlier meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

During a joint press conference with Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister interrupted Gabriel after he said he was thankful to hear “the government of Israel wants to have two states.”

“Whether or not it’s defined as a state when we have the military control is another matter, but I’d rather not discuss labels, but substance,” Netanyahu said, referring to the West Bank, a Palestinian territory.

Criticism of US

Gabriel also criticized US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision in early December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and begin preparations for moving the US Embassy there.

“We see no alternative to Israel and Palestinians negotiating the status of Jerusalem,” Gabriel said, reiterating the position of the European Union and other European countries.

 

An absence of truth

January 31, 2018

by Christian Jürs

It has constantly stated that the use of Zyklon B to gas Jews is well-documented.

This is incorrect because there is no documentation for this statement in any official archive anywhere

There are many fictive references to this, such as Hilberg, Reitlinger, Goldhagen or others of their stripe.

I deal only in facts, not fiction nor those who write to an idea.

Perhaps the proofs are concealed in the famous “Secret Lists.”

In fact, not in fiction, in all the enormous files of captured German records, in addition to postwar U.S. historical evaluations, there is no reference whatsoever to gas chambers. References to executions of Jews, Poles, Russians, Italians, Frenchmen, Hungarians and others do indeed exist but a through compilation of the figures do not show the existence of three million Jews in any camp system nor their summary executions by gas, hanging or shooting.

The real figure of murdered Jews, as opposed to the false one, is 300,000. Some enterprising and amoral twit has merely added a zero.

I openly invite anyone with actual proofs of these wild claims to step forward and produce them. Since the politically-correct historical community has been aware of a growing disbelief in the creative writing activities of the Holocausters, many have written to me in horror and rage, claiming that the official records were all false but their sources (usually 98 year old “survivors”) are the only accurate ones.

This Holocaust business is just that; a business. Squeeze money from the Swiss and the Germans, weep and wail and get political clout (and healthy discounts on furniture) in various countries, especially in rich America. Now, we have the edifying spectacle of brave attorneys and rabbis who have extracted billions from the Swiss to aid “Holocaust Survivors’ being charged with massive embezzlement of these funds. Could there be a lesson to be learned from this? No one who runs a business, based on fraud, likes to have their myths and legends questioned. It can cost them money in the end.

Old alchemists postulated the turning of lead into gold. The modern Holocausters have succeeded in turning blood into gold and, scrambling up on the rotten bodies of their co-religionists, are reaching for the heavens.

The Schindler list story is hysterically funny, when one considers the paperwork on him now extant. Schindler was a Gestapo officer who took part in the Gleiwitz action, set up a munitions factory utilizing captive Jews and was certainly not any kind of a humanitarian.

The number of people who believe in these stories is not an indication of their reliability. After all, Christians believe there was a Jesus and that Jesus is coming back again, and there still some in America who believe that George W. Bush was both sane and a good president.

And why not discover more “secret lists” that prove that it was 30 million Jews who were killed? Many enemies, much honor and in this case, larger figures, more loot to be extracted from the suckers.

When faced with the realities of the official records, the typical Holocauster screams with rage and cites his aunt Sophie who was gassed twice, along with the canary. The sainted New York Times has referred, on several occasions of record, that this or that person was a “Holocaust Survivor” (note the reverend capitalization) who died at age 50. Since the Second World War was over in 1945, what “Holocaust” did they survive? An exceptional spring sale at Bloomingdales?

Next, we will be reading similar stories about 35 year old Survivors. What did they survive?  Another spring sale at Bloomingdale’s shop?

For humor, I might recommend to you the ‘Painted Bird’ by Kosinski, ‘Fragments’ by Dossecker/Wilkomerski or even the ‘Anne Frank Diary’ by Meyer Levin. And of course, Goldhagen’s howler. The first three references are aimed at the gullible and the latter at congenital idiots.

In Genesis we read…”And slime had they for mortar.” We can certainly learn much from the Bible, can’t we?

I believe it was Pascal who said that if you wish to ruin a man, (or his myths) make him a subject of ridicule.

 

Federal judge blocks Kansas law punishing BDS supporters

January 30, 2018

by Jessee Rubin

mondoweiss

In an unprecedented victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a federal judge has blocked Kansas from enforcing a state law which punishes those who express support or engage in the boycott of Israel.

Federal Judge Daniel Crabtree issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, prohibiting the state from acting for the duration of a lawsuit filed in October by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Esther Koontz, a longtime Wichita public school teacher.

The suit derives from Koontz’s adherence to the Palestinian call for BDS. Alongside fellow members of the Mennonite Church USA and in solidarity with Palestinians, she decided to boycott all consumer products from both Israeli companies and those that operate in Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

After the passage of the anti-BDS law, all Kansas state employees were required to sign a certification guaranteeing they do not participate in the boycott of Israel.

When Koontz refused, the state retributively ended its working relationship with her, despite the fact that Koontz is qualified statewide to train teachers as a contractor with the Kansas Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnerships program.

In a statement, Micah Kubic, director of the ACLU of Kansas, called the judge’s ruling a “notable victory for the First Amendment.”

“The government has no right telling people what they can and can’t support, and this preliminary injunction will protect other Kansans from enduring the First Amendment violation that Ms. Koontz has endured,” Kubic said.

The ruling (PDF) is the first of its kind on the judicial level to counter an escalation of anti-BDS measures passed by state lawmakers in twenty-four states with bipartisan support.

Activists in several states have stopped similarly proposed legislation from becoming law, however, federal anti-BDS bills currently sit in Congress.

In June 2017, Kanas Governor Sam Brownback signed the bill into law after passing the Kansas state legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. 

When the measure took effect on July 1, Kansas became the twenty-first state to outlaw the nonviolent BDS movement for Palestinian rights.

Since such measures began to appear, legal and civil rights experts have consistently maintained that the right to boycott is distinctly protected under the First Amendment.

“There’s no question that the First Amendment protects the right to participate in a political boycott,” Vera Eidelman, Brennan fellow with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project told Mondoweiss. Eidelman noted that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1982 landmark civil rights suit NAACP v Claiborne established this precedent unambiguously.

“This Kansas decision is very correctly in keeping with that case,” Eidelman said, adding that Judge Crabtree’s brief, “does a great job of explaining why our client, Esther Koontz’s boycott is protected in the same way that the boycott in Claiborne was protected.”

As the lawsuit was the first to challenge anti-BDS legislation — though the ACLU has since begun representing a plaintiff in Arizona as well — the ruling from a federal judge suggests the many other such current or proposed measures will not withstand legal scrutiny.

“This is a question of federal constitutional law so we hope that the order serves as a warning to the other states with similar provisions,” Eidelman told Mondoweiss.

In a statement to the Wichita Eagle, Kansas governor Brownback said he thinks the ACLU will ultimately lose the case on appeal. Referring to apartheid South Africa, Brownback said “these types of laws have been passed for years at the federal level.”

However, few if any specific laws prohibiting the boycott of apartheid South Africa have ever existed. If anything, the anti-Apartheid movement in the US grew from the grassroots to eventually include many cities and states.

In October when the lawsuit was first filed, Palestine Legal Director Dima Khalidi said it, “will send a clear message to those Israel advocacy groups and legislators who have shown a willingness to trample on constitutional rights in order to shield Israel from criticism and accountability.”

“In the Trump era especially, we must vigilantly safeguard our right to dissent, including the First Amendment right to support boycotts for Palestinian rights. Elected officials should be in the business of safeguarding our constitutional rights, not legislating them away,” added Khalidi at the time.

And this became true today, as the state cannot enforce the law until a final ruling in the lawsuit.

“[Judge Crabtree] picked up on fact that the Kansas legislature passed the law to silence one voice, specifically those challenging Israel,” Eidelman told Mondoweiss, noting the clarity with which the judge issued the injunction.

“He really honed in correctly on the legislative history that shows the goal of the law was to undermine the message of those participating in a boycott of Israel,” Eidelman added. “And that that is not allowed under the First Amendment.”

 

Mass Surveillance and the Memory Hole

January 31, 2018

by Ted Snider

AntiWar

Though it received disturbingly little attention – perhaps a symptom of desensitization to news that we are constantly being surveilled – it was recently revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) destroyed data about some of its surveillance activity that it was under court order to preserve. The NSA was ordered to save the data in 2007 because of pending lawsuits over the questionable legality of Bush ordered warrantless wire taps of American digital and telecommunications. The data was evidence, and the NSA destroyed evidence.

It seems that the NSA not only destroyed evidence but serially mislead the courts by claiming that it was complying with court orders while it simultaneously was not in compliance: the NSA was not preserving internet communications that were intercepted for several years between 2001 and 2007. Though as late as 2014, the NSA was assuring the court that it was “preserving magnetic/digital tapes of the Internet content intercepted under the [Presidential Surveillance Program] since the inception of the program,” the NSA has now confessed that assurance “may have been only partially accurate. . . .”

The NSA claims that the destruction of data happened unintentionally during a general cleaning undertaken to “free-up space.” It is remarkable that the NSA has managed to save virtually every communication that every one has made in case it could be used against him but was not competent enough to avoid accidentally deleting data that could be used against them.

The NSA is not the only American intelligence agency to have spied on Americans and lied about it. That began at least sixty-five years ago. At that time, the CIA’s Soviet Russia Division began recording the names and addresses on letters being mailed by Americans to the Soviet Union. The purpose was to identify possible Soviet spies in America, but the letters were never opened.

That all changed, though, in December of 1955, when CIA Counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton requested and received authorization to open and copy the content of the letters. The surveillance operation was codenamed HT/LINGUAL, and, by 1958, when the FBI joined in the illegal fun, it was opening over 8,000 letters a year. The FBI name for the joint program was Project HUNTER. By 1967, the number of letters read by LINGUAL/HUNTER reached 23,617.

Whereas the modern-day NSA had to destroy evidence of surveillance the president had authorized, the CIA had no such need to destroy evidence to protect the president because the president never knew. According to CIA historian John Prados, no American president ever knew about Project LINGUAL. It had been kept secret, not just from Americans, but from their presidents: all of them.

Later, though, like the NSA, the CIA would need to employ the Orwellian memory hole to keep their secrets. In 2016, the CIA “mistakenly” destroyed its copy of the Senate report on detention and torture, and then, in an “inadvertent” error, deleted the hard disk backup. The report is full of files on the CIA’s use of torture techniques, including waterboarding. Like the NSA, the CIA was simultaneously assuring the court that it was compliantly preserving the document, and, like the NSA, the CIA claimed the deletion was “inadvertent.”

But that was not the first time that the CIA deliberately destroyed evidence of torture. In May of 2002, CIA director George Tenet promoted Jose A. Rodriguez to head of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorist Center. At the time, there were ninety-two videotapes that documented harsh interrogation: a euphemism for torture.

In a meeting held on January 10, 2003, CIA director Tenet made the decision to have those videotapes destroyed. The next month, in a meeting with congressional leaders, Rodriguez and others told congress for the first time that aggressive interrogation – that is, torture – had been approved by lawyers and that there were videotapes. At that time, the CIA’s general consul, Scott Muller, informed the congressmen at the meeting that it was the intention of the CIA to destroy those videotapes. However, in the face of some opposition, the destruction plan was put on hold.

The CIA pretended at times that it wanted to destroy the tapes for reasons of national security and to protect the officers depicted in the tapes. But the real reason was the fear caused by the realization that the videotapes documented war crimes. The problem was that on May 11, 2004, White House lawyers Alberto Gonzales and David Addington explicitly ordered the CIA not to destroy the tapes. By November 2005, the CIA had been clearly instructed to confer with the White House before doing anything with the tapes.

But as the existence of black prison torture cites became known in 2005, Rodriguez explicitly set out to ensure the destruction of the taped evidence even though, by now – as in the NSA case today – that action would constitute destruction of evidence, since they had been subpoenaed as evidence by courts and commissions looking into torture following 9/11. In November of 2005, Rodriguez personally ordered the destruction of the torture videotapes even though, by now, no less than seven court orders existed ordering their preservation. According to Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, he sent this order despite having just received a cable from CIA headquarters saying not to destroy them yet, but to hold on to them a little longer. On March 2, 2009, the New York Times reported that federal prosecutors disclosed for the first time that the CIA had “destroyed 92 videotapes documenting the harsh interrogations of two Qaeda suspects in CIA detention.” The order to destroy the tapes, the Times says, was given by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who at the time was the head of the spy agency’s clandestine service.”

Although an accountability board found that Rodriguez had acted in violation of his knowledge that the CIA and the White House had ordered the tapes preserved, Rodriguez received only a letter of reprimand. He never went to prison for his crime. Neither did Jim Angleton. Neither, so far, has anyone from the NSA: evidence that, perhaps not only the public has become desensitized to mass surveillance and torture, but that Washington has too. Evidence of illegal mass surveillance and of torture seem to go down the Washington memory hole like planes over the Bermuda Triangle.

 

 

Germany green lights construction of Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2

January 31, 2018

RT

Russia has been granted a permit for construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in German territorial waters. The project would double the existing gas supply from Russia to Germany.

“This permit is the result of extensive planning and consultation process. Nord Stream 2 is aware of its responsibility towards this sensitive natural habitat and has taken this into account in the planning phase,” Jens Lange, permitting manager for Germany at Nord Stream 2 AG, said.

In addition to the environment, these considerations also include the interests of other parties concerned, such as the shipping and tourism industries.”

Nord Stream 2 still needs to receive permission from other countries whose territorial waters will accommodate the pipeline. They include Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

Running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, the Nord Stream 2 would double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year. In Germany, it will connect with gas pipelines within the European Union for onwards transportation.

Initially, Russia’s Gazprom intended to have a 50 percent plus one share in the company, with the rest of the shares divided between Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, France’s Engie, and Anglo-Dutch Shell. US sanctions against Russia and European red tape prevented the companies from participating in the project directly, but they have pledged to remain in the project and finance it anyway.

Gazprom recently said that construction of the pipeline was on course to be completed in 2019.

 

 

2 responses so far

  1. Who is this clown, Chris Bell of the BBC? Brits are almost as stupid as Americans when it comes to “conspiracy theory”. Brits fully trust their propaganda laden BBC as if it was immune to deceit, agendas, and towing the government line. The evidence of geo-engineering, weather wars and manipulation, sick populations and samples of soil and water contamination solidly establishes the reality of chemtrails. I have been observing them since the last century and find no problem identifying the difference between chemtrails and real contrails. This pathetic article of disinformation damages your credibility as a reliable source of information. I continue to read and sort the garbage from valuable nuggets of truth that add to my knowledge. Fortunately, I don’t find much garbage here. Occasional articles like this sharpen my discernment.

  2. Chemtrails, Planet X, Atlantis, and a myriad of odd stories about 911 are highly entertaining to read. The planet is warming and no one knows why. Because this is happening, many say it is not. They are wrong. If the planet is not warming, why are all, I said all, the world’s glaciers and pack ice melting? Or, according to some, they actually are not melting and that this is all part of some strange plot concocted by 1. The Bildereburgers, 2. The Illuminati, 3. the One World Society, 4. the Skull and Bones society and, 5. the Russians.

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