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TBR News March 6, 2017

Mar 06 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. March 6, 2017: “Liars  are always caught because lies have short legs.

The American, and foreign, media is an example of this truism.

For generations, the media has been the social control arm of the power elite, an arm that justifies all manner of murders, invasions, domestic control matters.

Currently, with the advent of the Internet, the power of the media has developed fatal cracks in its foundations.

The chronic lies, the excuses, the justifications fall short when alternative news sources arise.

Rich people, wanting to become powerful, buy up media outlets so they can shove their personal beliefs on the public and governments have controlled its reportage since the Roosevelt era.

The Internet has brought unhappiness to both the print and television media and because both of them are tools of the economic oligarchy, the power elite would like nothing better to both destroy it and then recreate it in their image.”

Table of Contents

  • Google accused of spreading fake news
  • Into the Syrian Quagmire
  • Meet 70 Americans Working for Saudi Arabia Against 9/11 JusticeMarch 2, 2017
  • 911 and the Saudi Connections
  • Official Government Disinformation Methodology
  • SECRECY NEWS

Google accused of spreading fake news

Featured snippets in search function repeatedly shares false information, which can result in Google Home speakers reading out conspiracy theories as fact

March 6, 2017

by Alex Hern

The Guardian

Google is facing accusations of spreading fake news, after being repeatedly discovered sharing falsehoods and conspiracy theories through its “featured snippets in search” functionality.

The feature automatically pulls in short answers to common queries from popular websites. It can show them in the search results directly, and is also the basis for the quick answers provided through Google’s smart speaker device, the Google Home.

When it works, it leads to the search engine helpfully answering questions like “who is the richest man in the world” without requiring the user to click a further link – in this case, pulling eight names from a listicle on the Indian Express.

But when it doesn’t, it pulls from sites sharing fake news, propaganda and simple lies. Worse, it can result in the Google Home reading the same statements as fact, without even the presence of the other search results to provide much needed contextual clues that the answers might be misleading. The device does, however, read out the name of the site which provides the original information.

Over the weekend, asking Google, or the Google Home, “is Obama planning a coup” would pull in a quick answer from a site called Secrets of the Fed which stated: “According to details exposed in Western Centre for Journalism’s exclusive video, not only could Obama be in bed with the communist Chinese, but Obama may in fact be planning a communist coup d’état at the end of his term in 2016!”

Following the initial news reports, the search snippet was removed. But The Outline’s Adrianne Jeffries documented a huge number of other problematic results: search snippets claiming that monosodium glutamate causes brain damage, Barack Obama is the King of the US, and US president Warren Harding was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, in addition to less serious, but equally embarrassing, errors such as an answer about the smell of Iodine linking to a guide to cooking Meth, and one about why fire engines are red citing a Monty Python joke.

The focus on search snippets comes at an awkward time for Google. The search engine has largely managed to avoid the media firestorm around “fake news”, which has instead landed at the feet of Facebook, due to the latter’s love of its algorithmic newsfeed.

But the snippets can be seen as Google lending its own institutional authority to statements which, in fact, have no authority at all; that could greatly increase the potential damage caused by the spread of such falsehoods online.

After a request for comment, a Google spokesperson said: “Featured Snippets in Search provide an automatic and algorithmic match to a given search query, and the content comes from third-party sites. Unfortunately, there are instances when we feature a site with inappropriate or misleading content. When we are alerted to a Featured Snippet that violates our policies, we work quickly to remove them, which we have done in this instance. We apologise for any offense this may have caused.”

Into the Syrian Quagmire

Trump meets complexity

March 6, 2017

by Justin Raimondo,

AntiWar

Donald Trump thinks he’s going to get rid of ISIS in Syria “quickly,” and then we’ll be on our way to making America great again – but already he’s finding that the terrain there is a bit crowded, and that he has a bit more than the fast-dissipating “Caliphate” to contend with.

According to reports, the Pentagon has come up with a plan to carry out Trump’s pledge, as ordered, but reality is racing ahead of the generals – and auguring a clash of civilizations in the midst of Syria’s blasted out cities.

The plan involves an unspecified increase in the number of US Special Forces and a qualitative uptick in heavy armaments: this is to be accompanied by a loosening of the rules of engagement previously imposed by the Obama administration. The cap on US ground forces will be lifted, and arms previously withheld will be put in the hands of Kurdish forces, the “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), in the midst of which US advisors are now embedded. The plan is to use the Arab-Kurdish coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as ground troops, backed up by “U.S. fixed-wing aircraft and attack helicopters.” In tandem with this effort, US forces will move into Syria deploying heavy artillery, “while more Special Operations troops would move closer to the front lines – requiring more US military assets to protect them.”

The goal is Raqqa, the Syrian equivalent of Mordor, where ISIS is ensconced. But the focus of the military situation is currently on the other side of the country, close to the Turkish border, where Turkish troops are moving toward the town of Manjib, with their Islamist allies in tow, and a looming confrontation with Kurdish fighters is eclipsing the now delayed siege of Raqqa.

SDF forces, mainly Kurds, took Manjib from ISIS in August, but the Turks and their radical Islamic “rebel” allies are moving toward the town with great dispatch, determined to block the consolidation of a Kurdish enclave on Ankara’s border with Syria. Turkish despot Recip Erdogan says the Kurds are “terrorists” associated with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which has previously conducted military operations inside Turkey with the goal of establishing an independent Kurdish state. Last summer, the Turks launched air strikes against Kurdish positions close to Manjib, and the US is fearful of a repeat – and escalation of the developing conflict.

Further complicating the already crowded scene, the Syrian government and the Russians have moved into the breach. The “Majib Military Council,” i.e. the Kurds/SDF, have invited Assad’s forces in. As the Washington Post reports:

“On Thursday, as Turkish shells reached the outskirts of the town, the Manbij Military Council announced it had invited the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to take over several nearby villages as part of a deal brokered by Russia to avoid conflict with the Turks.”

Yes, the Russo-American alliance that Trump’s enemies in Washington despise, and are doing everything in their power to prevent, is now taking shape on the ground in Syria:

“On Friday, Moscow announced that Russian and Syrian ‘humanitarian’ convoys were heading toward Manbij. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters in Washington that the convoys also included ‘some armored equipment.’

“[Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff] Davis said that the US government had been “informed” of the movements by Russia but that ‘it’s nothing that we’re party to.’”

How John McCain and Lindsey Graham must be grinding their teeth – I can hear the sound of it all the way in California! – as their radical Islamist “rebels” are pushed out of the way and the Kurdish-Syrian-Russian tripartite alliance liberates the country from ISIS. The Dynamic Duo have been the greatest champions of the Islamist rebels. McCain personally visited Syria where he canoodled with his favorite Islamist head-choppers, and then returned to Washington where he supported the Obama administration’s agenda of regime change – an agenda, coincidentally enough, perfectly in sync with ISIS.

Trump, on the other hand, says “we don’t know who these people are,” and it’s clear the new administration wants nothing to do with them. Yet McCain isn’t the only one at odds with Trump over Syria policy.

What’s very interesting in the Washington Post story is the way it juxtaposes the aims of the Pentagon in opposition to the Trump administration:

“The United States and Russia have managed to avoid confrontation in Syria’s separate civil war, where they are on opposing sides. Trump has said repeatedly that the two powers should cooperate against the Islamic State, and he has indicated that the future of Russia-backed Assad is of less concern to him.

“The Pentagon disapproves of possible U.S.-Russia cooperation, although U.S. officials are not unhappy at the buffer Russia and Syria now appear to be creating between Turkey and the Kurds, or the prospect of the Syrian government moving into Manbij.”

Of course they’re “not unhappy”: that’s because they share a common military goal with the Russians – the defeat of ISIS. Which leads us to a larger point: the whole basis of Trump’s proposed rapprochement with Russia is based on this commonality. The Pentagon, which wants a larger budget, and is using the mythical “Russian threat” as a tool to get what it wants, has political reasons for opposing détente with Moscow. And yet in Syria they are confronted with the military necessity of a de facto alliance – because in war, reality rules.

Now the race is on to see who will get the credit for taking Raqqa and finally eliminating ISIS as a major factor on the ground. While Erdogan and his Syrian Islamist allies are determined to get there first, odds are that the SDF, backed by the US, will beat them to the punch – and this is bound to stick in Erdogan’s craw, as he sees his plans to annex northern Syria go up in smoke. For that has been his goal all along, as he, initially, clandestinely tolerated ISIS, and then used the jihadists who opportunistically fell away from ISIS and came under his wing to extend his influence while the Syrian government stood helplessly by.

The US military is holding its breath, hopeful that Erdogan will back off his threats to eliminate the Kurdish “terrorists,” but if I were them I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who commands US troops in Syria, says there’s “zero evidence” that the SDF/YPG constitutes a real threat to Turkey, an argument that Erdogan is likely to ignore. After all, the Kurds have been launching attacks in Turkey for decades, and the country’s restive Kurdish minority has seen its language, its political parties, and its very existence outlawed. If Turkey’s Kurds throw their lot in with the ascendant Kurdish state, what do they have to lose as Erdogan tightens his grip on the government and institutes a de facto dictatorship?

The real flashpoint is centered in Manjib, where Turkey, a NATO ally, is converging on an armed Russian convoy in an area formally controlled by the Syrian government – although, contrary to US assertions, the Kurds are still firmly in control. What happens when Turkish troops and their Islamist Janissaries exchange fire with the Russians?

Under the terms of the NATO treaty, the US is obligated to come to Ankara’s aid – and yet that would be contrary to our military and political goals in the region. In this case, NATO isn’t just “obsolete,” as Trump put it, it’s downright contrary to our interests. For the reality is that it’s the Turks and their jihadist allies who are emerging as our real enemies in the next phase of the Syrian drama. Erdogan’s policy is dependent on destabilizing Syria by supporting the “moderate” rebels we’ve left behind in favor of the Kurds.

Once ISIS is out of the picture, the next phase of the battle for Syria will shape up, with Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies on one side, and the Turks and their Islamist collaborators on the other. The Kurds – who have already chosen to go with Assad and the Russians – will be the decisive factor. Backed by the US, emboldened by their victories, they will push for a Kurdish state – and that’s when the real trouble will begin.

As I’ve warned previously on several occasions, the unleashing of Kurdish nationalism by one or another foreign sponsor – in this case, the US – is bad news for the entire region. For Kurdish nationalism is a virulent phenomenon: ambitious, aggressive, and not likely to be appeased by grants of autonomy. And that ambition knows few geographical limits: Kurdish claims extend as far north as Armenia, as far east as Iran, and well into Turkey. And the Kurdish “autonomous region” in Iraq is straining at the bit to break loose from the Iraqi central government, seize control of the plentiful oil around Kirkuk, and declare independence. Who will prevent them from hooking up with the Syrian YPG and forming a unitary state that extends from the Turkish border to the suburbs of Baghdad?

If the Trump administration persists in its course, it is headed for a disaster of such proportions that will make the “ISIS crisis” look like a Sunday school picnic. Despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric, they will have failed to learn the chief lesson of the past: that US intervention leads to unintended consequences. The great tragedy of all this that there is an alternative, albeit one that is being blocked by the anti-Russian hysteria the President has to contend with on the home front.

Although Trump is opposed to farming out business to foreign interests here at home, he’s not opposed to it abroad. I believe he originally thought he could do this in Syria by letting Assad and the Russians take care of ISIS, for the most part, while the US cheered them on from the sidelines. However, a formal rapprochement with Moscow now seems out of the question, at least for the moment, although on the ground in Syria it’s becoming a partial de facto reality. In order to fulfill his pledge to “quickly” dispatch ISIS, Trump is ramping up the US presence – and we’re well on the way to getting sucked into the Syrian quagmire.

Sad!

One interesting aspect of all this is how the political brouhaha in Washington over the administration’s alleged “Russian links” is tied in to the Syrian war – and how the former is preventing a relatively bloodless solution to the latter. And you’ll note that the same people who supported Syria’s Islamist rebels and the regime-change agenda of President Obama and Hillary Clinton are screaming the loudest about appointing a “special prosecutor” to link Trump to the Kremlin.

Meet 70 Americans Working for Saudi Arabia Against 9/11 Justice

March 2, 2017

by Brian McGlinchey

28pages

How much would Saudi lobbyists have to pay you to help undermine a new law that enables 9/11 families and survivors to present evidence against the kingdom for its alleged assistance to the 9/11 hijackers?

According to filings with the Department of Justice mandated by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), some of your fellow citizens have done so for as little as $5,000; others are cashing in on a much bigger scale. They’ll say they’re doing it for different, baseless reasons, but there’s no doubting the aim of their faraway masters.

The September enactment of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was a resounding defeat for Saudi Arabia and its lobbyists in Washington. Undaunted, the kingdom and its fellow travelers in and out of the United States government immediately launched a coordinated assault on the new law.

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham—who have urged colleagues to amend JASTA—represent only the legislative tip of the Saudi spear. Far less conspicuous is a formidable array of U.S. lobbying firms assembled by the kingdom.

McClatchy DC’s James Rosen reported last week that the armada now spans at least 17 firms—including heavy-hitters Qorvis MSLGROUP, Brownstein Hyatt and Squire Patton Boggs—collectively billing the kingdom more than $1 million every month. Many of these firms, in turn, hire additional companies and influential individuals to help carry out the kingdom’s wishes.

October Buying Spree

Two weeks after JASTA’s passage—in a stark illustration of Saudi Arabia’s determination to kill the nascent JASTA in its infancy—Qorvis went on an influence acquisition spree. In little over a month, the firm engaged approximately 70 third-party individuals to work on behalf of Saudi Arabia. By contrast, there were only five comparable registrations in all of 2015.

28Pages.org has scoured these registrations; in the spirit of transparency that inspired the law that mandates them, we present something of a who’s who among Americans aiding the kingdom in its effort to keep 9/11 families and survivors at bay.

Cataloguing scores of lobbyists, public relations professionals and other individuals engaged throughout the United States, this directory gives just a hint of the full breadth of Saudi Arabia’s anti-JASTA effort. Qorvis is, after all, just one of 17 firms employed by the kingdom.

Top Observations

  • Some of the agents with the lowest profiles on the internet have received some of the biggest payouts: For example, who are you, Mr/Ms Jody Tedford of Seattle, and what are you doing to earn $36,000?
  • Three firms appear to be playing a particularly large role subsidiary role in working against JASTA: LS2group of Des Moines, Duane Morris Government Strategies in Pittsburgh, and Vectre Corporation in Richmond.
  • It’s no surprise to see former government officials in the mix—but there’s even a current one—in the Nevada state assembly. The state chair of the South Dakota GOP also signed on.

User Guide

  • Names link to agents’ FARA registration forms, which must be filed within 10 days of agreeing to work on behalf of a foreign government.
  • Agents connected to the breaking scandal involving the use of military veterans to lobby against JASTA—without telling them who’s behind the effort—appear in red.
  • If disclosed on the FARA form, we share their compensation for Saudi work.
  • We list business associations where we could identify them; keep in mind those businesses may not be involved in the Saudi undertaking.
  • Send corrections or additional information to info@28pages.org.

District of Columbia

Michael Gibson, Advocacy Group Inc. President. This firm is a key player in the veterans lobbying scandal, arranging travel and coordinating support for the veterans while in Washington.

Sara Raak, Advocacy Group, Inc.

Christiana Gibson, The Herald Group.

Nicole Y. Williams, IR+Media; former congressional staffer. Compensation: $12,000.

Kathleen Summers-Grice, Washington, DC; Manchester, Maine; Boston. Acadia LLC. Public affairs and political consultant; former George W. Bush appointee to the U.S. Department of Labor.

On October 9, Summers-Grice signed her FARA form, notifying the DoJ that she would be working on behalf of a kingdom known for arbitrary arrests of dissidents, flogging of journalists, systematic discrimination against religious minorities, maltreatment of women, public beheadings, and a merciless war on Yemen that features the use of banned munitions, a wanton disregard for civilian life and a blockade inflicting a humanitarian disaster.

Nineteen days later, via Twitter, Summers-Grice made a noble proclamation of her values.

Alaska

Frank Bickford, Anchorage. Lobbyist. Compensation: $12,000.

Arizona

Cylee L. Gutting, Scottsdale. Kyle Moyer & Company. Compensation: $12,000.

California

Eric Eisenhammer, Roseville. Dauntless Communications. Daily Caller reported that Eisenhammer’s firm set up a booth at a Reno gun show in January that was used to recruit veterans and others to oppose JASTA, to include asking about their willingness to travel to Washington.

Cory Black, Templeton. Public Policy Solutions. Compensation: $12,000.

Colorado

Shelbi Lewark, Denver. Per her Twitter account, vice-chair of the Denver GOP. Emails obtained by 28Pages.org, indicate that Lewark has helped Jason Johns (see Wisconsin) organize veterans lobbying trips.

Terry Snyder, Denver. Integrated Legislative Solutions.

Florida

Timothy P. Buckley, Orlando. Sloane Mackenzie Public Affairs.

Roy Lenardson, Ave Maria, Florida and Portland, Maine. Strategic Advocacy.

James Miller, Sarasota. Identity unknown. Compensation: $12,000.

Illinois

Jeffrey Dixon, Chicago. Identity unknown.

Indiana

Pat Terrell, Indianapolis. The Winston/Terrell Group.

Iowa

Daniel Lederman, South Dakota and Des Moines. Newly-elected chair of South Dakota GOP and former South Dakota state senator. LS2group. Compensation: $8,500.

Bruceanne Phillips, Des Moines. LS2group. Compensation: $8,500

Charles W. Larson, Jr, Des Moines. LS2group. Appointed by George W. Bush as US Attorney for Northern District of Iowa. Former director of law enforcement for Saudi Arabia’s “highway patrol project.”

Tyler Gregory Campbell, Des Moines. LS2group.

Ashley Mae Hunt, Des Moines. LS2group. Employer orders Huffington Post blogger on women’s issues to advance agenda of misogynistic monarchs.

Jay Harter, Wichita and Des Moines. LS2group.

Kim D. Schmett, Clive, Iowa. Schmett & Associates. Compensation: $25,000.

Connie L. Schmett, Clive, Iowa. Schmett & Associates. Compensation: $25,000.

Kansas

Jay Harter, Wichita and Des Moines. LS2group.

Kevin G. Yowell, Overland Park. Identity unknown. Compensation: $12,000.

Kentucky

Kevin E. Borland, Louisville. Government affairs pro, Peritus Public Relations.

Louisiana

Thomas Bradley Keith, Prairieville. Gulf South Strategies and Solutions. Compensation: $18,000.

Randal L. Hayden, Baton Rouge. Creative Communications.

Maine

Roy Lenardson, Ave Maria, Florida and Portland, Maine. President, Strategic Advocacy.

Kathleen Summers-Grice,  see District of Columbia.

Maryland

Richard Abbruzzese, Baltimore. KOFA Public Affairs.

Yocheved Weiss, Baltimore. Identity unknown. Compensation: “$5,000 maximum.”

David H. Carroll, Jr, Annapolis. Identity unknown.

Massachusetts

Holly Robichaud, Scituate. Boston Herald blogger and owner of political consulting firm Tuesday Associates. Compensation: $12,000.

Kathleen Summers-Grice,  see District of Columbia.

Michigan

Matthew Resch, Lansing. RWC Advocacy, Resch Strategies.

Minnesota

Andrew Michael Zabel, Saint Paul. Identity unknown.

Kirsten Kukowski, Stillwater. KK & Co. Former national press secretary for the Republican National Committee, communications director for John McCain and Scott Walker presidential campaigns.

Kristen Sheehan, Stillwater. KK & Co.

Patrick Connolly, St Paul. Connolly Kuhl Group.

Mississippi

Stacie O. Sharp, Jackson. Identity unknown.

Missouri

Lynne Schlosser, Saint Louis. Government relations consultant. Compensation: $12,000.

Nevada

Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod, Las Vegas. Bilbray-Axelrod signed her FARA form on October 14, just 25 days before being elected to the Nevada state assembly.

Charity Stevens, Las Vegas. Alchemy Associates, Organized Karma. Former assistant to the chief of staff for Rep. Allen Boyd.

Ronni Council, Las Vegas. Organized Karma.

Aida Blankenship, Las Vegas. Organized Karma.

New Hampshire

Paul Young, Portsmouth. Novus Public Affairs. GOP strategist, former advisor to Lindsey Graham campaign.

Brennon M. Ward, Manchester. Novus Public Affairs.

New Jersey

Jon R. Bombardieri, Titusville. CLB Partners.

North Carolina

David Miner, Cary. Former representative in the North Carolina legislature. Compensation: $30,000.

  1. Ballard Everett, Raleigh. Ballard Everett & Associates. Compensation: $12,000.

North Dakota

Tamara Ibach, Bismarck. Identity unknown.

Darrin Lee, Bismarck, North Dakota. President, Great Plains Group. Compensation: $50,000.

Ohio

John Farno, Minster, Ohio. Identity unknown.

Oregon

Timothy F. Lussier, Portland. Public relations.

Chris Edmonds, Portland. Hubbell Communications.

Pennsylvania

Michael Pehur, Pittsburgh. Duane Morris Government Strategies.

Kathleen Deland, Pittsburgh. Duane Morris Government Strategies.

Ashley Henry Shook, Pittsburgh. Duane Morris Government Strategies.

Amy Kaminski, Pittsburgh. Duane Morris Government Strategies.

Joseph Kuklis, Pittsburgh. Wellington Strategies. Compensation:$6,000/month max fee.”

South Carolina

  1. Hollis Felkel II, Greenville. Felkel Group.

Andrew S. Holt, Greenville. Sherlock Strategy Group.

South Dakota

Daniel Lederman, Dakota Dunes and Des Moines, IA.  Newly-elected chair of South Dakota GOP and former South Dakota state senator. LS2group. Compensation: $8,500.

Tennessee

Paul Stanley, Collierville, Tennessee. Former Tennessee state senator; career ended by controversy. Compensation:$12,000.

Texas

William D. Horton, Austin. Identity unknown.

Utah

Andrew Stephenson, Draper. Stephenson Consulting. Compensation: $12,000.

Virginia

  1. Benson Dendy III, Richmond. Vectre Corporation.

Christopher J. Whyte, Richmond. Vectre Corporation.

Philip F. Abraham, Richmond. Vectre Corporation.

Lauren R. Abraham, Richmond. Vectre Corporation.

  1. David Skiles, Richmond. Vectre Corporation.

Christopher West, Alexandria. Identity unknown. Compensation: $30,000

Washington

Jody Tedford, Seattle. Identity unknown. Compensation: $36,000.

Charla Neuman, Sumner. Neuman Navigations. Compensation: $12,000.

Wisconsin

Jason Johns, Madison. National Senior Vice Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart and proprietor of NMLB Veterans Advocacy Group in Madison, Wisconsin.  Fee: $100,000.

Johns is at the heart of a scheme by which large groups of veterans—motivated by a false description of JASTA—are flown to Washington to lobby against the law; veterans who have participated told 28Pages.org that Saudi Arabia’s role is not being disclosed.

911 and the Saudi Connections

March 6, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

The 9/11 terrorist attack, was planned before George W. Bush was put into office through voter fraud in Florida and was a plot involving major oil people, the top-level American business community, the Christian Right and Israel. These Saudi attacks on the United States were known about months in advance and nothing was done about it….it was allowed to happen and over 3,000 Americans died to give Bush his Pearl Harbor and a manufactured casus belli, to establish firm domestic control and ensure continued Republican governance.

The Israelis were fully aware of the pending attacks from the beginning and in Florida, they had infiltrated  the Saudi terrorists and knew to the day when the attack was coming.

George H.W. Bush was on the best of personal terms with the Saudi-based bin Laden family, all of whom were allowed to go back to Saudi Arabia under official escort.

Also not common knowledge is that George H.W. Bush, at the suggestion of Karl Rove,made four trips to Saudi Arabia between 1998 and 2000 and while there was closeted with the Saudi intelligence chiefs

George H.W. Bush, his oil industry friends and right wing Republican associates Cheney, Rove and others, were  planning to establish a military law state in this country by encouraging attacks on American targets in general and a sitting Congress in specific.

As part of the plot,the DoD had set up the Lincoln Group (and the CIA had the New York Times, AP and the Washington Post under tight control) to plant fake stories in the media.

The CIA have virtual control of Wikipedia and the DHS and the FBI have a strong connection with Google. If you look up the wrong subject on Google, like certain Arab groups or how to make bombs, your name, IP address and other information is automatically forwarded to the DHS and FBI and not only would you have showed up on the NOFLY list but on the long, long lists of suspected anti government people who would be instantly rounded up and internet if the top people order it.

May 1996

French intelligence secretly monitored a meeting of Saudi billionaires at the Hotel Royale Monceau in Paris with the financial representative of al-Qaeda. “The Saudis, including a key Saudi prince joined by Muslim and non-Muslim gun traffickers, [meet] to determine who would pay how much to Osama. This [is] not so much an act of support but of protection-a payoff to keep the mad bomber away from Saudi Arabia.”

Participants also agree that bin Laden should be rewarded for promoting Wahhabism, the Saudi variant of Islam, in Chechnya, Kashmir, Bosnia, and other places.

This extends a secret deal first made between the Saudi government and bin Laden in 1991

The 9/11 victims’ relatives also site the “nonpublished French intelligence report” of this meeting in their lawsuit against important Saudis.

There were about 20 people at the meeting, including:

  • Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi Intelligence Minister
  • Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz.
  • Saudi Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh. Bakhsh also saved Bush Jr.’s Harken Oil from bankruptcy around 1990.
  • The notorious Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi.
  • An unnamed brother of Osama bin Laden.
  • An unnamed representative from the Saudi Defense Ministry.

April 1999

A Saudi government audit showed that five of Saudi Arabia’s billionaires had been giving tens of millions of dollars to al-Qaeda. The audit showed that these businessmen transferred money from the National Commercial Bank to accounts of Islamic charities in London and banks in New York that serve as fronts for bin Laden. $3 million was diverted from a Saudi pension fund.

2 billion dollars of the bank’s 21 billion dollar assets were also found to be missing.

The only action taken is that Khalid bin Mahfouz, founder of National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s biggest bank, is placed under house arrest and majority control in the bank is bought out by the Saudi government.

The Saudi government refused to allow US officials to talk to bin Mahfouz, despite U.S. requests from a very senior level

By 9/11, bin Mahfouz was in a hospital and technically no longer under house arrest. The US had not frozen the accounts of bin Mahfouz, and he continued to engage in major oil deals with US corporations

Forbes Magazine claims his family fortune is worth more than $4 billion

Bin Mahfouz had invested in George W. Bush Jr. businesses starting in 1988.

May 2001

The US introduced the “Visa Express” program in Saudi Arabia, which allowed any Saudi Arabian to obtain visas through his or her travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. An official later states, “The issuing officer has no idea whether the person applying for the visa is actually the person in the documents and application.”

At the time, warnings of an attack against the US led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden were higher than they had ever been before—“off the charts” as one senator later puts it.

A terrorism conference had recently concluded that Saudi Arabia was one of four top nationalities in al-Qaeda

Five hijackers—Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad—use Visa Express over the next month to enter the US.

The widely criticized program is finally canceled in July 2002

November 22, 2002

Hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi received money from Saudi Arabia’s royal family through two Saudis, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Basnan,

Al-Bayoumi was back in Saudi Arabia by this time and Basnan was deported to Saudi Arabia just five days earlier,

Saudi officials and Princess Haifa immediately denied any terrorist connections.            Saudi newspapers which reflect government thinking, claimed the leak is blackmail to pressure Saudi Arabia into supporting war with Iraq.

Senior U.S.government intelligence officials claimed that the FBI and CIA failed to aggressively pursue leads that might have linked the two hijackers to Saudi Arabia.

This caused a bitter dispute between FBI and CIA officials and the intelligence panel investigating the 9/11 attacks.

A number of senators, including Richard Shelby (R), John McCain (R), Mitch O’Connell (R), Joe Lieberman (D), Bob Graham (D), Joe Biden (D), and Charles Schumer (D), expressed concern about the Bush administration’s action (or non-action) regarding the Saudi royal family and its possible role in funding terrorists.

FBI officials strongly denied any deliberate connection between these two and the Saudi government or the hijackers.

Official Government Disinformation Methodology

March 6, 2017

by Anonymous

Prior to the event of printed, and later television, media, it was not difficult for the world’s power elites and the governments they controlled, to see that unwelcome and potentially dangerous information never reached the masses of people under their control. Most of the general public in more distant times were completely illiterate and received their news from their local priest or from occasional gossip from travelers. The admixture of kings, princes and clergy had an iron control over what their subject could, or could not hear. During the Middle Ages and even into the more liberal Renaissance, universities were viewed with suspicion and those who taught, or otherwise expressed, concepts that were anathema to the concept of feudalism were either killed outright in public or permanently banished. Too-liberal priests were silenced by similar methods. If Papal orders for silence were not followed, priests could, and were, put to the torch as an example for others to note.

However, with the advent of the printing press and a growing literacy in the population, the question of informational control was less certain and with the growing movements in Europe and the American colonies for less restriction and more public expression, the power elites found it necessary to find the means to prevent unpleasant information from being proclaimed throughout their lands and unto all the inhabitants thereof.

The power elites realized that if they could not entirely prevent inconvenient and often dangerous facts to emerge and threaten their authority, their best course was not censorship but to find and develop the means to control the presentation and publication of that they wished to keep entirely secret.

The first method was to block or prevent the release of dangerous material by claiming that such material was a matter of important state security and as such, strictly controlled. This, they said, was not only for their own protection but also the somewhat vague but frightening concept of the security of their people.

The second method was, and has been, to put forth disinformation that so distorts and confuses actual facts as to befuddle a public they see as easily controlled, naïve and gullible.

The mainstream American media which theoretically was a balance against governmental corruption and abuses of power, quickly became little more than a mouthpiece for the same government they were supposed to report on. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, most American newspapers were little better than Rupert Mudoch’s modern tabloids, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing but during the First World War, President Wilson used the American entry into the First World War as an excuse for setting up controls over the American public. Aside from setting up government control over food distribution, the railroads, much industry involved in war production, he also established a powerful propaganda machine coupled with a national informant system that guaranteed his personal control. In 1918, citing national security, Wilson arrested and imprisoned critical news reporters and threatened to shut down their papers.

Wilson was a wartime president and set clear precedents that resonated very loudly with those who read history and understood its realities.

During the Second World War, Franklin Roosevelt, another wartime leader, was not as arrogant or highhanded as Wilson (whose empire fell apart after the end of the war that supported it) but he set up informational controls that exist to the present time.

And after Roosevelt, and the war, passed into history, the government in the United States created a so-called cold war with Soviet Russia, instead of Hitler’s Germany, as the chief enemy. Control of the American media then fell into the hands of the newly-formed Central Intelligence Agency who eventually possessed an enormous, all-encompassing machine that clamped down firmly on the national print, and later television media, with an iron hand in a velvet glove. Media outlets that proved to be cooperative with CIA propaganda officials were rewarded for their loyalty and cooperation with valuable, and safe, news and the implication was that enemies of the state would either be subject to scorn and derision and that supporters of the state and its policies would receive praise and adulation.

The methodology of a controlled media has a number of aspects which, once clearly understood, renders its techniques and goals far less effective.

Some of the main tactics used by the mainstream media to mislead the American public are illustrated here:

The American media, both press and television, has long been known for promoting sensationalism over accuracy on the one hand and practicing subservience to official government and business interests on the other.

Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught.

In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out. A good example of this would be the collusion of the mainstream media with the Bush administration to convince the American public after 9/11 that

Iraq had WMDs, even though no concrete evidence existed to prove it. George W. Bush’s eventual admission that there had never been any WMDs in Iraq (except chemical weapons which the U.S. actually sold to Saddam under the Reagan / Bush administration) was lightly reported or glazed over by most mainstream news sources. The core reason behind a war that killed over a million people was proven to be completely fraudulent, but there are still many who believe that Iraq had nukes…

Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact

Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith.

Calculated Omission

Otherwise known as “cherry picking” data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire dis-informational  news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn’t exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.

Distraction, and the Manufacture of Relevance

There had been a push for an audit of the Federal Reserve which was gaining major public support, as well as political support. Instead of reporting on this incredible and unprecedented movement for transparency in the Fed, the MSM spent two months or more reporting non-stop on the death of Michael Jackson, a pop idol who had not released a decent record since “Thriller,” practically deifying the man who only months earlier was being lambasted by the same MSM for having “wandering hands” when children were about.

Dishonest Debate Tactics

Sometimes, men who actually are concerned with the average American’s pursuit of honesty and legitimate fact-driven information break through and appear on T.V. However, rarely are they allowed to share their views or insights without having to fight through a wall of carefully crafted deceit and propaganda.

Because the media knows they will lose credibility if they do not allow guests with opposing viewpoints every once in a while, they set up and choreograph specialized T.V. debates in highly restrictive environments which put the guest on the defensive, and make it difficult for them to clearly convey their ideas or facts.

TV pundits are often trained in what are commonly called “Alinsky Tactics.” Saul Alinsky was a moral relativist, and champion of the lie as a tool for the “greater good;” essentially, a modern day Machiavelli. His “Rules for Radicals” were supposedly meant for grassroots activists who opposed the establishment, and emphasized the use of any means necessary to defeat one’s political opposition. But is it truly possible to defeat an establishment built on lies, by use of even more elaborate lies, and by sacrificing one’s ethics?

Today, Alinsky’s rules are used more often by the establishment than by its opposition. These tactics have been adopted by governments and disinformation specialists across the world, but they are most visible in TV debate. While Alinsky sermonized about the need for confrontation in society, his debate tactics are actually designed to circumvent real and honest confrontation of opposing ideas with slippery tricks and diversions. Alinsky’s tactics, and their modern usage, can be summarized as follows:

1) Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.

We see this tactic in many forms. For example, projecting your own movement as mainstream, and your opponent’s as fringe. Convincing your opponent that his fight is a futile one. Your opposition may act differently, or even hesitate to act at all, based on their perception of your power.

2) Never go outside the experience of your people, and whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.

Don’t get drawn into a debate about a subject you do not know as well as or better than your opposition. If possible, draw them into such a situation instead. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty in your opposition. This is commonly used against unwitting interviewees on cable news shows whose positions are set up to be skewered. The target is blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address. In television and radio, this also serves to waste broadcast time to prevent the target from expressing his own positions.

3) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

The objective is to target the opponent’s credibility and reputation by accusations of hypocrisy. If the tactician can catch his opponent in even the smallest misstep, it creates an opening for further attacks.

4) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

“Ron Paul is a crackpot.” “Dennis Kucinich is short and weird.” “9-11 twoofers wear tinfoil hats.” Ridicule is almost impossible to counter. It’s irrational. It infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage. It also works as a pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

5) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

The popularization of the term “Teabaggers” is a classic example, it caught on by itself because people seem to think it’s clever, and enjoy saying it. Keeping your talking points simple and fun keeps your side motivated, and helps your tactics spread autonomously, without instruction or encouragement.

6) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

See rule number 6. Don’t become old news. If you keep your tactics fresh, its easier to keep your people active. Not all disinformation agents are paid. The “useful idiots” have to be motivated by other means. Mainstream disinformation often changes gear from one method to the next and then back again.

7) Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. Never give the target a chance to rest, regroup, recover or re-strategize. Take advantage of current events and twist their implications to support your position. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

8) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

This goes hand in hand with Rule #1. Perception is reality. Allow your opposition to expend all of its energy in expectation of an insurmountable scenario. The dire possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.

9) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

The objective of this pressure is to force the opposition to react and make the mistakes that are necessary for the ultimate success of the campaign.

10) If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.

As grassroots activism tools, Alinsky tactics have historically been used (for example, by labor movements) to force the opposition to react with violence against activists, which leads to popular sympathy for the activists’ cause. Today, false (or co-opted) grassroots movements use this technique in debate as well as in planned street actions. The idea is to provoke (or stage) ruthless attacks against ones’ self, so as to be perceived as the underdog, or the victim. Today, this technique is commonly used to create the illusion that a certain movement is “counterculture” or “anti-establishment.”

11) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. Today, this is often used offensively against legitimate activists, such as the opponents of the Federal Reserve. Complain that your opponent is merely “pointing out the problems.” Demand that they offer a solution.

12) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. The targets supporters will expose themselves. Go after individual people, not organizations or institutions. People hurt faster than institutions.

The next time you view an MSM debate, watch the pundits carefully, you will likely see many if not all of the strategies above used on some unsuspecting individual attempting to tell the truth.

Internet Disinformation Methods

Because the MSM’s bag of tricks has been so exhausted over such a long period of time, many bitter and enraged consumers of information are now turning to alternative news sources, most of which exist on the collective commons we call the internet. At first, it appears, the government and elitists ignored the web as a kind of novelty, or just another mechanism they could exploit in spreading disinformation. As we all now well know, they dropped the ball, and the internet has become the most powerful tool for truth history has ever seen.

That being said, they are now expending incredible resources in order to catch up to their mistake, utilizing every trick in their arsenal to beat web users back into submission. While the anonymity of the internet allows for a certain immunity against many of Saul Alinsky’s manipulative tactics, it also allows governments to attack those trying to spread the truth covertly. In the world of web news, we call these people “disinformation trolls.” Trolls are now being openly employed by governments in countries like the U.S. and Israel specifically to scour the internet for alternative news sites and disrupt their ability to share information.

Internet Trolls

Internet trolls, also known as “paid posters” or “paid bloggers,” are increasingly being employed by private corporations as well as government agencies, often for marketing purposes. In fact, it is a rapidly growing industry.

Trolls use a wide variety of strategies, some of which are unique to the internet, here are just a few:

1) Make outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate: An Alinsky tactic used to make people emotional, although less effective because of the impersonal nature of the web.

2) Pose as a supporter of the truth, then make comments that discredit the movement: We have seen this even on our own forums — trolls pose as supporters of the Liberty Movement, then post long, incoherent diatribes so as to appear either racist or insane.

The key to this tactic is to make references to common Liberty Movement arguments while at the same time babbling nonsense, so as to make those otherwise valid arguments seem ludicrous by association.

In extreme cases, these “Trojan Horse Trolls” have been known to make posts which incite violence — a technique obviously intended to solidify the false assertions of rigged publications which purport that constitutionalists should be feared as potential domestic terrorists.

3) Dominate Discussions: Trolls often interject themselves into productive web discussions in order to throw them off course and frustrate the people involved.

4) Pre-written Responses: Many trolls are supplied with a list or database with pre-planned talking points designed as generalized and deceptive responses to honest arguments. 9/11 “debunker” trolls are notorious for this.

5) False Association: This works hand in hand with item #2, by invoking the stereotypes established by the “Trojan Horse Troll.”

For example: calling those against the Federal Reserve “conspiracy theorists” or “lunatics”. Deliberately associating anti-globalist movements with big foot or alien enthusiasts, because of the inherent negative connotations. Using false associations to provoke biases and dissuade people from examining the evidence objectively.

6) False Moderation: Pretending to be the “voice of reason” in an argument with obvious and defined sides in an attempt to move people away from what is clearly true into a “grey area” where the truth becomes “relative.”

7) Straw Man Arguments: A very common technique. The troll will accuse his opposition of subscribing to a certain point of view, even if he does not, and then attacks that point of view. Or, the troll will put words in the mouth of his opposition, and then rebut those specific words. For example: “9/11 truthers say that no planes hit the WTC towers, and that it was all just computer animation. What are they, crazy?”

Sometimes, these strategies are used by average people with serious personality issues. However, if you see someone using these tactics often, or using many of them at the same time, you may be dealing with a paid internet troll.

Government Disinformation Methods

Governments, and the wealthy globalists 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

SECRECY NEWS

From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2017, Issue No. 17

March 6, 2017

DECLASSIFICATION OF INDONESIA FILES IN PROGRESS

The National Declassification Center has completed declassification review of more than half of the classified files from the U.S. Embassy in Djakarta, Indonesia from the turbulent years of 1963-1966. The remainder of the task is expected to be completed by this summer.

So far, 21 of 37 boxes of classified Djakarta Embassy files have undergone declassification review, said Sheryl Shenberger, director of the National Declassification Center. Remarkably, the declassification of the Indonesia records was prioritized in response to public comments.

What new light will they shed on the past?

“As to the discovery of anything new, I leave that to you and the researcher community,” said Alex Daverede of the National Declassification Center, who is performing the declassification review.

“I think you will gain some insight about US perspectives on the 30 September Movement [military personnel who assassinated six Indonesian generals, triggering a campaign of mass killings]. You will also get some close observations about Sukarno and the cast of characters around him. You will also see the Embassy’s perspective on the awkward transition from Sukarno to Suharto. There is a lot of information on Indonesia’s economic woes in 1965-1966 and of the efforts to get food to what was a bankrupt country,” Mr. Daverede said.

In a 2014 draft resolution, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) pressed for declassification of U.S. records from this period.

“It is a painful history to recall. On October 1, 1965, six Indonesian Army generals were killed. According to scholars, these generals were killed by military personnel, but their deaths were blamed on Indonesia’s Communist Party, which was used to justify mass murders.”

“The next few months were horrific for the Indonesian people. The CIA has called it one of the worst periods of mass murder in the 20th century. Hundreds of thousands were killed. Many others were imprisoned, tortured, raped, starved, and disappeared across the country. These individuals were targeted for their alleged association with communism, but they came from all walks of life, including women’s groups, teachers, intellectuals, and others. Most were unarmed, and none had due process of law.”

“The United States provided financial and military assistance during this time and later, according to documents released by the State Department, and General Suharto consolidated his power, ruling from 1967 to 1998,” Senator Udall noted. CIA also conducted covert operations in Indonesia during this time, though records of that activity may not be included in the Embassy files.

“Unfortunately, while Indonesia has made important economic and political strides since the systemic repression of the Suharto years, impunity for the horrific crimes of the 1960s and during the final years of the independence struggle in East Timor remain glaring examples of unfinished business that are inconsistent with a democratic society based on the principle that no one is above the law,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in 2015.

“We need to recognize the role of our own government in this history, declassify relevant documents, and urge the Indonesian Government to acknowledge the massacres and establish a credible truth and justice mechanism,” he said.

Now some of those relevant records are being declassified and they should soon be released. Last month, Mr. Daverede wrote about an episode involving the detention of an American missionary in Indonesia in 1965 that was discussed in the files being declassified. See The Curious Case of Harold Lovestrand, NDC Blog, February 10.

The National Declassification Center was established by President Obama’s 2009 executive order 13526 to help coordinate and expedite declassification of historically valuable U.S. government records.

JASON ON SUBCRITICAL NUCLEAR TESTS

Subcritical nuclear tests remain useful for maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of nuclear explosive testing, the JASON defense advisory panel affirmed in a letter report last year. But “a gap exists in the current US capability to carry out and diagnose such experiments,” the panel said.

Subcritical experiments simulate aspects of nuclear explosions using chemical explosives. But since a subcritical mass of plutonium (or a surrogate material) is used, no actual nuclear explosion occurs.

The main purpose of subcritical experiments is to identify and decrease uncertainties in weapon performance. “For all weapons in the current stockpile, at the present time margins are adequate and uncertainties are within margins, both for normal operation and for nuclear safety should accidents occur,” the JASON panel said. “However, future aging of these weapons and their remanufacture may increase uncertainties, and JASON finds that scaled [subcritical] experiments in Pu [plutonium] may significantly reduce uncertainties that may arise in the future.”

But “JASON finds that x-ray radiography is needed to diagnose subcritical experiments in Pu… and that the US currently lacks adequate radiography at U1a [the nuclear complex in Nevada] for this purpose.”

The JASON letter report was prepared for the National Nuclear Safety Administration at the direction of Congress. A copy was released by NNSA last week under the Freedom of Information Act.

See Enhanced Capabilities for Subcritical Experiments, JSR-16-Task-011, October 7, 2016.

WEBSITE SURVEY

We are (constantly) in the process of trying to improve the Federation of American Scientists website. If you are a regular user of the website, or even if you are not, you are invited to take this brief survey that will help inform our next steps.

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING, AND MORE FROM CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service provides a comprehensive overview of government efforts to combat money-laundering, discussing the scope of the money-laundering problem, the strategies employed to combat it, and the resources that have been made available for that purpose.

The US government has provided anti-money laundering support to more than 100 countries. But “Halting the introduction and circulation of criminally generated proceeds in the financial system, and, ultimately, depriving criminals from using illicit wealth remains a challenge,” the CRS report said. See Anti-Money Laundering: An Overview for Congress, March 1, 2017.

Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

The Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context: Frequently Asked Questions, March 1, 2017

Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions by Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, March 1, 2017

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements, updated March 1, 2017

Federally Funded Academic Research Requirements: Background and Issues in Brief, February 28, 2017

An Overview of Recent Tax Reform Proposals, February 28, 2017

Independence of Federal Financial Regulators: Structure, Funding, and Other Issues, February 28, 2017

U.S.-Mexico Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments, updated March 2, 2017

Russia: Background and U.S. Interests, March 1, 2017

 

 

 

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