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TBR News January 22, 2019

Jan 22 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 22, 2019:”From a CIA position paper prepared by their Rand Corporation:

1 Internet access can be controlled or its use directed according to the server configuration, thus creating an excellent disinformation weapon.  In previous times, a national media report that was deemed to be offensive or problematical to the government could be  censored, or removed at governmental request. Now, however, the government cannot control the present Internet in the same manner in which it has previously controlled the public media. The Internet permits uncensored and unfiltered versions of events, personalities and actions to be disseminated worldwide in seconds and the so-called “blogs,” chat rooms and websites are almost completely uncontrolled and uncontrollable. This unfortunate situation permits versions of events to find a far wider and far more instantaneous audience than the standard print and, to a lesser degree, the television mediums ever could.

  1. The Internet can be used to send coded messages that cannot be interdicted by any government or law-enforcement agency.

3.The Internet can be utilized to steal and disseminate highly damaging, sensitive government or business data.

4.The Internet permits anti-government groups or individuals with few resources to offset the efforts of far larger, and far better funded, government and its national media sources.

5.The Internet can be used to create serious disruptions of governmental agencies and the business communities.

The Internet can serve as an excellent tool for organizing groups of anti-government individuals into action.

  1. The Internet can be used to expose government actions and military operations in advance of said actions.
  2. The Internet is capable of hiding the identities of those launching attacks on the actions and personnel of various government agencies.

9.The Internet can materially assist an underfunded, anti-government group to raise money for continued operations.

10.The Internet can be utilized to locate and publicize the personnel of government agencies.

  1. The Internet can be used as a tool to recruit new members for anti-government groups.
  2. The Internet is capable of limiting the risk of identification of the members of anti-government groups.
  3. The Internet, while impossible to control, is also an excellent recruiting ground for sympathetic or easily-convinced “bloggers” who will quickly disseminate official dissemination for pay or public acclaim.
  4. By using controlled sources, it is easily possible to defuse delicate situations and divert public attention away from unwelcome issues.

15.The Internet can be utilized to create an atmosphere of fear or of compliancy in furtherance of official policy.

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • Trump unleashed a blizzard of immigration lies in a 52-false-claim week
  • Trump seeks to move ahead with big speech despite Pelosi shutdown concerns
  • At least 10 dead as fire rages on Black Sea ships
  • Russian rescue amid deadly blaze on two cargo ships off Crimea
  • Accidents on Purpose
  • Greenland’s ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Trump unleashed a blizzard of immigration lies in a 52-false-claim week

January 16, 2019

by Daniel Dale Washington Bureau Chief

Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump is almost exclusively talking about immigration during the ongoing government shutdown. Very little of what he is saying is true.

Trump made 52 false claims last week as he pressed his case for a wall on the border with Mexico. Thirty-four of them were about immigration — including 14 on his extremely dishonest Thursday visit to a Texas border city, plus five more to reporters as he departed for that trip.

Either out of malice or ignorance, he told wildly inaccurate tales about human trafficking at the border. He lied about Democrats’ position and the history of the wall debate. He even lied, bizarrely and obviously, about his own travel — declaring, two days after the trip to Texas, that he had not left the White House “in months.”

And he introduced a notable new lie: a claim that he had never said, while promising that Mexico would pay for the wall, that Mexico would actually write out a cheque, just that Mexico would effectively pay in some indirect form. In fact, his campaign had explicitly promised that Mexico would “make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion.” And Trump had said a literal cheque was a possibility: “They may even write us a cheque by the time they see what happens. They may,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity in April 2016.

“They may even write us a cheque by the time they see what happens. They may,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity in April 2016.

Trump is now up to 4,167 false claims for the first 724 days of his presidency, an average of 5.8 per day.

The false things Trump said last week

  • JAN 13, 2019

“So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post.”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: We give Trump wide latitude to express opinions, but it is obviously false that the National Enquirer, the notorious supermarket tabloid to which he was referring here, is more accurate than the Washington Post. It is also false that the Washington Post serves as a “lobbyist” for owner Jeff Bezos.

  • JAN 12, 2019

“…Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike.”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: There is no indication that “everybody” wanted Trump to fire Comey. In the past, he has falsely claimed Democrats expressed a desire to see Comey fired by him. In fact, while Democrats had — before Trump’s victory — criticized Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, they had not come out in large numbers in favour of his termination. Before Trump’s victory, for example, Sen. Chuck Schumer said: “I do not have confidence in him any longer…To restore my faith, I am going to have to sit down and talk to him and get an explanation for why he did this.” He did not say Comey should be ousted even when Obama was still president.

“My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop…who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller…”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: There is no evidence that the two former FBI directors are “best friends.” Though they do know and like each other, and though it is fair for Trump to argue that it is inappropriate for Mueller to conduct an investigation involving Comey, nobody has produced any kind of proof that they were more than professional associates when both were at the FBI. Comey’s lawyer has said: “Jim and Bob are friends in the sense that co-workers are friends. They don’t really have a personal relationship. Jim has never been to Bob’s house and Bob has never been to Jim’s house.”

“…Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats – leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee.”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: The claim that Clinton or the Democrats more broadly colluded with Russia is simple nonsense; the word “collusion” — in common language, a “secret agreement or co-operation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose” — just does not apply to Democrats’ Russia-related activities. The accusation is based on the fact that the British ex-spy who produced a research dossier on the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russia, which was funded in part by Clinton’s campaign, used Russian sources in compiling his information. That does not come close to meeting the definition of “collusion.”

 

“…Look, we’re doing too well. If anybody beat me, we have the greatest unemployment and employment numbers that we’ve ever had as a country…African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, the overall number, historically the best numbers we’ve ever had.”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: Trump was correct about Hispanics and African-Americans, incorrect about the third. The Asian-American unemployment rate briefly dropped to a low, 2.0 per cent, in May — a low, at least, since the government began issuing Asian-American data in 2000 — but the most recent rate at the time Trump spoke, for December, was 3.1 per cent. This was higher than the rate in Obama’s last full month in office, 2.6 per cent.

“And all of the trade deals we’re making with Mexico — and, by the way, Mexico is paying for the wall because the trade deal…is billions and billions of dollars better than the old NAFTA deal. And I call that — Mexico is absolutely paying for the wall.”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: This is nonsensical. The new trade agreement, an update to NAFTA, has not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress, which means it is not in force at all. Even if it does eventually come into force, it is highly uncertain how the U.S. Treasury will be affected by the new provisions. Even if it is largely beneficial to the U.S., the agreement will not create a pool of money that can simply be allocated to a border wall.

“Again, I was a client. I was a client. He (Michael Cohen) has a law firm. They broke into his law firm sometime early in the morning, I guess…”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: The FBI executed a legal search warrant at Michael Cohen’s office, which was housed in the office of law firm Squire Patton Boggs; it did not conduct a criminal break-in.

“And the fact is, I was obviously a good candidate. I won every debate. I won everything I did, and I won, and I won easily — 306-223, I believe. And that’s a big difference in the college, in the Electoral College.”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: Hillary Clinton earned 232 electoral votes, not 223. Trump hedged slightly this time, saying “I believe,” but this was the 18th time he said 223, so we’re not going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“I’m not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn’t care less. I mean, it’s so ridiculous. These people make it up. ‘Washington Post,’ that’s basically the lobbyist for Amazon. You know, he uses that — Bezos has got bigger problems than anybody right now. But Bezos uses that as his lobbyist, OK, as far as I’m concerned.”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: There is no evidence that Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, has directed the Post to lobby for his corporate interests.

“Well, I haven’t actually left the White House in months. And in all fairness, I’m doing a lot of other work. It’s not just that, but that’s a very important element of what I’m doing, because we have to get the southern border done. And I’ve been here virtually every night, I guess every night other than one day I flew to Iraq and then to Germany to see our troops. And it was great. To see them, was great. The level of love they have for this country is incredible. So I flew and then came back. I’m not even sure I actually missed a night, per se. But basically, I’ve been here for many months in the White House. And I — you know, I’m a worker.”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: It is not true that Trump had not left the White House in months. He had spent a day in Texas, near the Mexican border, just two days prior. As he noted later in the paragraph, he also made a trip to Iraq and Germany less than a month prior to visit members of the military. And he had attended the G20 summit in Argentina less than two months prior. Later in the paragraph, he seemed to suggest he might have been meaning to say he hadn’t “missed a night” in the White House in months. But that is not true either – he missed nights for the Iraq-Germany trip and the Argentina trip – and, regardless, not missing a night is not the same as not leaving at all.

“We’re doing — you know, I was left a very tough hand. But this was one of the problems, it’s our southern border. And it’s, you know, thousands and thousands of people are coming in, and we have human smugglers, we have traffickers, we have people — the biggest drug dealers in the world. And they’re pouring through the parts of the border — they don’t go through your areas that are port of entry, Jeanine.”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: The Associated Press reported: “He’s wrong in saying drug smugglers don’t or only rarely use official border crossings for their trafficking. Land ports of entry are their primary means for getting drugs into the country, not stretches of the border without barriers, says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The agency said in a November report that the most common trafficking technique by transnational criminal organizations is to hide drugs in passenger vehicles or tractor-trailers as they drive into the U.S. though entry ports, where they are stopped and subject to inspection. They also employ buses, cargo trains and tunnels, the report says, citing smuggling methods that would not be choked off by a border wall.”

“Well, they might not. I mean, you know, frankly, I was willing to do something and we’re asking for $5.6 billion, which is way less than what other presidents have been talking about. You know, if you look back, this should have been done 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago.”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro

IN FACT: It was entirely unclear what Trump was talking about. Other presidents did not ask for “way” more than $5.6 billion for a down payment on a border wall.

  • JAN 11, 2019

“The Fake News Media keeps saying we haven’t built any NEW WALL. Below is a section just completed on the Border. Anti-climbing feature included. Very high, strong and beautiful! Also, many miles already renovated and in service!”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: Trump tweeted an image of his so-called “NEW WALL,” but we and others still don’t think it’s “new wall”: it’s an image of fencing that has been erected in Calexico, California to replace older fencing. While the replacement fencing is “new,” we and others have always used “new wall” to describe Trump’s proposals for border barriers in places where there have not previously been barriers. Trump has begun claiming that even replacement fences are “new wall” and part of his broader wall project, but even the Border Patrol originally said this project was not part of Trump’s wall. David Kim, assistant chief Border Patrol agent for the El Centro sector, pointedly told the Desert Sun newspaper in February 2018 that the Border Patrol proposed the replacement project in 2009. He explained: “We just wanted to get out in front of it and let everybody know that this is a local tactical infrastructure project that was planned for quite some time” — so that, he said, ““there is no confusion about whether… this is tied to some of the bigger immigration debates that are currently going on.”

“I often said during rallies, with little variation, that ‘Mexico will pay for the Wall.’ We have just signed a great new Trade Deal with Mexico. It is Billions of Dollars a year better than the very bad NAFTA deal which it replaces. The difference pays for Wall many times over!”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: This is nonsensical. The new trade agreement, an update to NAFTA, has not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress, which means it is not in force at all. Even if it does eventually come into force, it is highly uncertain how the U.S. Treasury will be affected by the new provisions. Even if it is largely beneficial to the U.S., the agreement will not create a pool of money that can simply be allocated to a border wall.

“Thank you, Sheriff. I appreciate it. And on Wednesday, you probably heard, a very young person with a great life ahead was stabbed viciously — violently killed by an MS-13 gang member who entered our country recently through the southern border. He had a friend with him; they both came in together. Here, just for a short while. Kills somebody. That wouldn’t be the first. We have them locked up in pretty tough conditions. It’s a disgrace. Came through the southern border.” And: ““I haven’t heard about this young person that was killed yesterday — 16 years old. Brutally murdered. I haven’t heard anything about it.”

Source: Roundtable on immigration

IN FACT: The 16-year-old who was stabbed by alleged MS-13 members on Wednesday, in Suffolk County, New York, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was quickly released from the hospital, local media outlets reported.

“You know, we’re building the wall right now as we speak.”

Source: Roundtable on immigration

IN FACT: Construction on Trump’s border wall has not started. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced; it is true that some barriers have been renovated, but not that new wall has been built. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction.

“I haven’t left the White House except to go to Iraq for a very short period of time, where I had a great experience, frankly.”

Source: Roundtable on immigration

IN FACT: Trump had left the White House on other recent occasions. He did a trip to Texas, near the Mexican border, just the day prior.

“The Rio Grande area where I was yesterday, you just have to look at it to see how dangerous it is. El Paso, Texas went from one of the most unsafe parts or cities in the United States to one of the safest cities in the United States as soon as they put up the wall. They built a wall and fencing apparatus that blocked people. So they went from one of the most dangerous cities to one of the safest cities, all within a very short period of time.”

Source: Roundtable on immigration

IN FACT: El Paso was not one of the most unsafe cities in the U.S. prior to the completion of improved border fencing there in 2009. (Some media outlets said it was completed in 2010, local outlets said late 2009.) As PolitiFact reported: “The FBI’s posted figures enabled us to confirm that El Paso’s violent crime rate trailed the national average for cities of 500,000 to 1 million residents from 1985 through 2016.” The El Paso Times reported: “In his remarks, (Texas Attorney General Ken) Paxton said El Paso had a high crime rate before the fence was constructed and that the rate of crime dropped substantially after it was completed. That was not the case. Using Uniform Crime Reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the rate of violent crime in El Paso can be calculated by combining data reported by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the El Paso Police Department. Looking broadly at the last 30 years, the rate of violent crime reached its peak in 1993, when more than 6,500 violent crimes were recorded. Between 1993 and 2006, the number of violent crimes fell by more than 34 percent and less than 2,700 violent crimes were reported. The border fence was authorized by Bush in 2006, but construction did not start until 2008. From 2006 to 2011 — two years before the fence was built to two years after — the violent crime rate in El Paso increased by 17 percent”.

  • JAN 10, 2019

“That’s right. They have easy access into the United States. We’ve built a lot of wall, we’ve renovated tremendous amount of wall with money that we’ve already gotten, and we’re continuing that. But now we really just want to get it going and finish it up and we’re going to build the new wall. And it’s common sense, it really is, when you think of it whether you’re into the world of law enforcement like these incredible folks behind us that understand the wall so easily…”

Source: Interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity

IN FACT: No new wall has been built. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced; it is true that some barriers have been renovated, but not that new wall has been built. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction.

“Of course, I don’t expect. When I say Mexico — excuse me. When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall, do you think they’re going to write a cheque for $20 billion or $20 billion or $5 billion or 2 cents? No. They’re paying for the wall in a great trade deal. You had the worst trade deal anywhere in the world, in NAFTA.”

Source: Border briefing near the Rio Grande in Texas

IN FACT: This is nonsensical. The new trade agreement, an update to NAFTA, has not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress, which means it is not in force at all. Even if it does eventually come into force, it is highly uncertain how the U.S. Treasury will be affected by the new provisions. Even if it is largely beneficial to the U.S., the agreement will not create a pool of money that can simply be allocated to a border wall.

“We could help the DREAMers. We want to help the DREAMers. I was ready to help the DREAMers, and then we got a decision that the folks representing the DREAMers very strongly — which is us also, if you want to know the truth — but they said, ‘Well, we don’t have to do it anymore.’”

Source: Border briefing near the Rio Grande in Texas

IN FACT: Dara Lind, a leading immigration reporter at Vox, explained that a judge’s decision to issue an injunction against Trump’s effort to end the DACA program, which protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, was not the reason that Trump’s possible deal with Democrats — in which Democrats would approve billions in funding for Trump’s border wall in exchange for a path to citizenship for “DREAMer” unauthorized immigrants — fell apart. As Lind demonstrates, Democrats continued to press for a deal well after the court decision — and believed they had a deal 10 days after the decision. Trump, however, walked away from the proposal, declaring that he also wanted significant cuts to legal immigration. Lind wrote: “It’s absolutely true that after the January 2018 injunction, members of Congress began to voice the position to Hill reporters that the court case made it less urgent for them to address DACA. But it was primarily Republicans — starting with (Republican House Majority Leader Kevin) McCarthy in January — making this argument, because they were wary of taking a tough vote on immigration. And they were wary of taking a tough vote because they didn’t have political cover from the president.”

“And they have done a fantastic job. Never so many apprehensions ever in our history.”

Source: Border briefing near the Rio Grande in Texas

IN FACT: The U.S. was not even close to a record number of apprehensions on the border with Mexico. The number of apprehensions in the 2018 fiscal year, 396,579, was less than a quarter of the number in 2000 and less than half of the number in every year from 1983 through 2007. This decade has seen the fewest apprehensions of any decade since the 1970s.

“So they apprehended people from the Middle East, and they do it all the time.”

Source: Border briefing near the Rio Grande in Texas

IN FACT: Trump had just been told that two people from Pakistan had been apprehended, nobody from the Middle East.

“They were going to build this wall in 2003, in 2006. They were going to build it 20 years ago. They were going to build it forever.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: Congress approved the Secure Fence Act, which authorized the construction of 700 miles of fencing, in 2006. Trump himself has said that this fence is different than the wall he is proposing, calling it “such a little wall” and “such a nothing wall.” There were no plans to build a giant wall “20 years ago,” when Democrat Bill Clinton was president.

“And I called on you, and I called on the Department of Defense to come down and help because we have caravans forming. We have another one forming, believe it or not, in Honduras. And we pay them million — tens of millions of dollars. They do nothing for us. They do nothing. And if you think that country is trying to stop, don’t believe it. Okay? And that goes for Guatemala. That goes for El Salvador. If they want to stop it, they can stop it. But they form and then they come in through Mexico. They break in. And you saw what happened. They broke in because they didn’t have the wall. And I think they’re thinking about building a wall on their southern border now.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: There is no evidence that Mexico’s government is thinking about building a wall on its own southern border.

“You don’t have to be at all. They all get it. And that’s why you see Congress now — Democrats in Congress are coming out and saying, ‘Hey, we don’t like this subject.’ There was just a big article — I won’t give your competition the publicity — but there was a big article in a very important media outlet that just came out where a lot of the young Democrats just elected to office are breaking up and they’re saying: ‘Hey, wait a minute, this — our position,’ meaning, the Democrats’ position of no barrier and no wall, ‘is indefensible.’”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: The first part of Trump’s quote was correct, but not the second. The article he was referring to, published by Politico, quoted rookie two Democratic members of congress, Abigail Spanberger and Colin Allred, expressing concern about how the shutdown would play with voters. But neither of them said anything close to calling the Democrats’ anti-wall position “indefensible.” Both of them have publicly opposed the wall proposal.

“The government is shut down because Democrats will not fund border security. Plain and simple.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: Regardless of who is to blame for the shutdown — the public largely blames Trump; he himself acknowledged he planned to shut down the government to fight for funding for his border wall; Democrats have repeatedly offered to reopen the government — it is not true that Democrats will not fund “border security.” Democrats have repeatedly offered to spend hundreds of millions or even billions on border security. Their latest offer to Trump was $1.3 billion for non-wall border security; one of their proposals in 2018 would have given him $25 billion for border security, including funding for the wall.

“But they’re not winning, because it’s common sense. It’s common sense. They say a wall is medieval. Well, so is a wheel. A wheel is older than a wall…The wheel is older than the wall. You know that?”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: Defensive walls predate wheels by thousands of years. Jericho’s famous wall existed around 8,000 BC; the wheel is thought to have been invented around 3,500 BC.

“So we’re going to build a powerful steel barrier. They didn’t want to use concrete. I said, ‘OK, I’ll use steel. It’s stronger.’ It’s also more expensive, by the way. But it’s stronger. I’ll use steel. So we’ll call it a steel barrier. Now people should be happy. They said, ‘Concrete — we don’t want a concrete wall.’ I said, ‘That’s okay, we’ll build a steel wall.’ I like it better, if you want to know the truth, Ted.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: Democrats have opposed Trump’s proposed wall in all of its forms. They have not said they particularly oppose concrete.

“Because nobody is going to win the battle of strong borders and no crime, as opposed to open borders and crime doesn’t matter.” And: “The government is shut down because Democrats will not fund border security. Plain and simple. And again, more than just the walls. Their open borders agenda threaten all American families, including millions of legal immigrants throughout our nation.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: Democrats do not support open borders. While they oppose Trump’s proposed border wall, they endorse various other security measures.

“When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall, that’s what I said: Mexico is going to pay. I didn’t say they’re going to write me a check for $20 billion or $10 billion. No one is going to write a check. I said they’re going to pay for the wall. And if Congress approves this incredible trade bill that we made with Mexico — and Canada, by the way — but with Mexico, in this case — they’re paying for the wall many, many times over. And Dan said, ‘Would you do me a favour? Say that.’ And I do say it, but the press sort of refuses to acknowledge it. When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall, that’s what I mean. Mexico is paying for the wall. And I didn’t mean, ‘Please write me a check.’ I mean very simply: they’re paying for it in the trade deal. And sometimes I’d say that. So, hopefully, people will start to understand.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: This is nonsensical. The new trade agreement, an update to NAFTA, has not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress, which means it is not in force at all. Even if it does eventually come into force, it is highly uncertain how the U.S. Treasury will be affected by the new provisions. Even if it is largely beneficial to the U.S., the agreement will not create a pool of money that can simply be allocated to a border wall.

“When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall, that’s what I said: Mexico is going to pay. I didn’t say they’re going to write me a cheque for $20 billion or $10 billion. No one is going to write a check. I said they’re going to pay for the wall. And if Congress approves this incredible trade bill that we made with Mexico — and Canada, by the way — but with Mexico, in this case — they’re paying for the wall many, many times over.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: Trump did not explicitly promise Mexico would write “a cheque,” but he said effectively the same thing: that Mexico would make a direct payment for the wall. A plan on his campaign website promised Mexico would “make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion.” In other words, Trump was not merely saying Mexico would indirectly contribute to the wall by signing a punitive new trade deal. And in April 2016, when Fox News host Sean Hannity told him on air that Mexico would not write the U.S. a cheque, Trump responded, “They may even write us a cheque by the time they see what happens. They may.”

“Human trafficking –it’s a horrible thing. And much of it comes — it’s a world problem, not a U.S. problem only. And they come across the border, and it’s a bad thing. And they drive. They just go where there’s no security, where you don’t even know the difference between Mexico and the United States. There’s no line of demarcation. They just go out. And where there’s no fencing or walls of any kind, they just make a left into the United States, and they come in and they have women tied up. They have tape over their mouths –electrical tape. Usually blue tape, as they call it. It’s powerful stuff. Not good. And they have three, four, five of them in vans, or three of them in backseats of cars. And they just drive right in. They don’t go through your points of entry. They go right through. And if we had a barrier of any kind — a powerful barrier, whether it’s steel or concrete — if we had a barrier, they wouldn’t be able to make that turn. They wouldn’t even bother trying because they can’t go through the points with people. So we would stop that cold. We would stop it cold. And they can’t fly in, obviously — for obvious reasons. So we’d stop human trafficking in this section of the world. I think it would stop it 90, 95 per cent. A tremendous percentage would stop.”

Source: Border roundtable in McAllen, Texas

IN FACT: Numerous experts in human trafficking said a wall would not come close to eliminating “90, 95 per cent” of human traffcking even specifically with regard to the Mexican border. Five of them told the Star that they have not encountered any cases in which women were transported to the U.S. as Trump describes, bound and gagged and taken by car through unwalled and protected parts of the border. “Either he’s watching action films or he’s watching some other type of movie that involves handcuffs and tape over people’s mouths. But in neither case is it based in any reality of what individuals helping trafficking victims see,” said Lori Cohen, director of the Anti-Trafficking initiative at Sanctuary for Famiies, a New York advocate and service provider for sex trafficking victims. “His depiction of human trafficking is practically unrecognizable to those of us who have spent decades in the trenches combating these abuses,” said Martina Vandenberg, president of the Human Trafficking Legal Center. While the experts said it is possible there are such cases, they were unanimous that a wall would not “eliminate” the border trafficking problem. Many of the people who are trafficked are U.S. citizens who do not cross any border; even the people who do cross from Mexico, they said, often come to the U.S. through legal ports of entry, on visas. “The type of human trafficking that President Trump is talking about is a subset of a subset of a subset,” said Bridgette Carr, director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. “This narrative that human trafficking is only the physical snatching of foreign-national woeman and chilrdren who are brought in somewhere across an unmarked border is very dangerous to the reality of human trafficking. Bcause that is not the majority of cases we see in the United States.”

“We have the best job numbers we’ve ever had, in many ways. Certainly with African-Americans, with Hispanic, with Asian-Americans.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

IN FACT: Trump was correct about Hispanics and African-Americans, incorrect about the third. The Asian-American unemployment rate briefly dropped to a low, 2.0 per cent, in May — a low, at least, since the government began issuing Asian-American data in 2000 — but the most recent rate at the time Trump spoke, for December, was 3.1 per cent. This was higher than the rate in Obama’s last full month in office, 2.6 per cent.

“Just a couple of things, because I knew the fake news likes to say it. When — during the campaign, I would say, ‘Mexico is going to pay for it.’ Obviously, I never said this, and I never meant, they’re going to write out a check. I said, ‘They’re going to pay for it.’ They are. They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made, called the United States, Mexico, and Canada: USMCA deal. It’s a trade deal. It has to be approved by Congress. It probably will be, other than maybe they even hold that up because they want to have — you know, they want to do as much harm as they can, only because of the 2020 presidential election. So, Mexico is paying for the wall indirectly. And when I said Mexico will pay for the wall, in front of thousands and thousands of people, obviously they’re not going to write a check. But they are paying for the wall indirectly, many, many times over, by the really great trade deal we just made. Congress has to approve the deal.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

IN FACT: This is nonsensical. As Trump acknowledged, the new trade agreement, an update to NAFTA, has not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress, which means it is not in force at all. Even if it does eventually come into force, it is highly uncertain how the U.S. Treasury will be affected by the new provisions. Even if it is largely beneficial to the U.S., the agreement will not create a pool of money that can simply be allocated to a border wall.

“Just a couple of things, because I knew the fake news likes to say it. When — during the campaign, I would say, ‘Mexico is going to pay for it.’ Obviously, I never said this, and I never meant, they’re going to write out a cheque. I said, ‘They’re going to pay for it.’ They are. They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made, called the United States, Mexico, and Canada: USMCA deal.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

IN FACT: Trump did not explicitly promise Mexico would write “a cheque,” but he said effectively the same thing: that Mexico would make a direct payment for the wall. A plan on his campaign website promised Mexico would “make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion.” In other words, Trump was not merely saying Mexico would indirectly contribute to the wall by signing a punitive new trade deal. And in April 2016, when Fox News host Sean Hannity told him on air that Mexico would not write the U.S. a cheque, Trump responded, “They may even write us a cheque by the time they see what happens. They may.”

“The media — which I call the ‘opposition party,’ a lot of the media — in coordination with the Democrats, they’re not talking about the Democrats folding. For instance, this morning, a number of people came out and said, ‘You do need very strong border security, and that includes a wall or whatever it is.’ A number of Democrats said that, but people don’t like to report on it. We have tremendous unity in the Republican Party.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

IN FACT: We could not find any evidence of prominent Democrats saying any such thing.

“The media — which I call the ‘opposition party,’ a lot of the media — in coordination with the Democrats, they’re not talking about the Democrats folding.” And: “Look, look. You can all play cute. And I say 80 per cent of you are possibly in coordination with the opposition party. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. All you have to do is look at the border.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

IN FACT: It is not true that news reporters are “in coordination” with the Democrats. (Even if there was some rogue reporter somewhere, Trump’s “80 per cent” figure is obviously fictional.)

  • JAN 9, 2019

“The Mainstream Media has NEVER been more dishonest than it is now. NBC and MSNBC are going Crazy. They report stories, purposely, the exact opposite of the facts. They are truly the Opposition Party working with the Dems.”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: There is no evidence of NBC or MSNBC news outlets intentionally lying or fabricating sources to make Trump look bad, nor of either of them literally “working with” the Democrats.

“The Republicans are unified. We want border security. We want safety for our country. And, you know, for 25 years they’ve been trying to do this. This has been passed. Chuck Schumer has raised his hand so many different times.”

Source: Exchange with reporters after lunch with Republican senators

IN FACT: It is not exactly clear who Trump was referring to as “they” in this paragraph, but the government has not been trying to build a giant wall on the Mexican border for 25 years; Democrat Bill Clinton was president 25 years ago, with no interest in a border wall, and there was no significant Republican push for a wall at that time. It is also not true that “this” has been passed; Congress has never approved a giant wall of the kind Trump is proposing, though it did approve 700 miles of fencing in 2006. Schumer supported that Secure Fence Act, but he has not “raised his hand” for a Trump-style wall.

“The folks behind me know all about MS-13 and how violent and vicious they are, and where they come from. And they all come from the same place. And they all come in the same way; they come right across that border.”

Source: Remarks at signing of human trafficking legislation

IN FACT: Far from “all” MS-13 members come across the border. While many members are immigrants from El Salvador, a significant number of them are born in the U.S.. Univision reported: “Many of the MS-13 members are US citizens. Last May, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) conducted a major operation to detain gang members. Of the 1,095 detainees who were alleged members of the gang or had links to the gang, 933 were US citizens (85%). In a similar operation in 2016 in which it arrested 1,133 individuals, 894 turned out to be citizens (78%).”

“We have the best job numbers, virtually, that we’ve ever had. For African-American, the best ever. Hispanic, Asian, the best ever.”

Source: Remarks at signing of human trafficking legislation

IN FACT: Trump was correct about Hispanics and African-Americans, incorrect about the third. The Asian-American unemployment rate briefly dropped to a low, 2.0 per cent, in May — a low, at least, since the government began issuing Asian-American data in 2000 — but the most recent rate at the time Trump spoke, for December, was 3.1 per cent. This was higher than the rate in Obama’s last full month in office, 2.6 per cent.

“And, you know, interestingly, if you look, virtually every Democrat over the last 15 years, they’ve approved what we’re asking for.”

Source: Remarks at signing of human trafficking legislation

IN FACT: Some Democrats, not “all,” voted for the Secure Fence Act in 2006. (In the Senate, for example, 26 Democrats voted yes, 17 voted no.) As the name suggests, it was a law for border fencing, not the kind of giant wall Trump is asking for. Trump himself has said this fencing is not the same as the giant wall he is proposing: “It was such a little wall, it was such a nothing wall,” he said during his 2016 campaign.

“Thank you. Good job. Thank you. The fact is that if we don’t have barriers, walls — call them what you want — but if we don’t have very strong barriers, where people cannot any longer drive right across — they have unbelievable vehicles. They make a lot of money. They have the best vehicles you can buy. They have stronger, bigger, and faster vehicles than our police have, and than ICE has, and than Border Patrol has. So they’re pretty good at that.”

Source: Remarks at signing of human trafficking legislation

IN FACT: There is no evidence that any significant number of the human traffickers or drug smugglers who cross the border have any kind of super-car. (Philip Bump of the Washington Post noted that, of 570 vehicles seized by Customs and Border Protection and subject to notices of forfeiture, the most popular model year was 2004; 45 per cent of them were sedans, 27 per cent SUVs, 20 per cent pickup trucks.)

“All over the world — but in this part of the world, they’re bringing them through the border. They’re driving in, and they’re not going through checkpoints, because you can’t have four or five people sitting in the back of a car with tape over your mouth and your hands tied, and go through somebody that’s checking out your car or your van. Unsecure borders allow traffickers clear passage to transport their victims. And into the United States, it’s very easy to come. All you do is drive 20 miles one way or the other, and you’ll find an open spot where there’s no protection, and then you’ll go hundreds of miles where you’ll see pure, open spots.” And: “Human trafficking cannot be stopped if we don’t have a steel barrier or a concrete wall — something very powerful. It cannot be stopped. There is nothing. We have the most talented law enforcement people in the world, as far as I’m concerned, right alongside of me and behind me. It doesn’t mean a thing if they’re going to be driving women and children through sections of the border where nobody is, where you can’t be because you don’t have enough manpower or womanpower. You don’t have enough of anything. You have 2,000 miles of border. So if you’re not going to stop it, in all fairness, there’s not much they can do. They can get them every once in a while; but the other way, we can eliminate the problem as it pertains to the area that is the worst problem.”

Source: Remarks at signing of human trafficking legislation

IN FACT: Numerous experts in human trafficking said a wall would not “eliminate the problem” of human traffcking even specifically with regard to the Mexican border. Five of them told the Star that they have not encountered any cases in which women were transported to the U.S. as Trump describes, bound and gagged and taken by car through unwalled and protected parts of the border. “Either he’s watching action films or he’s watching some other type of movie that involves handcuffs and tape over people’s mouths. But in neither case is it based in any reality of what individuals helping trafficking victims see,” said Lori Cohen, director of the Anti-Trafficking initiative at Sanctuary for Famiies, a New York advocate and service provider for sex trafficking victims. “His depiction of human trafficking is practically unrecognizable to those of us who have spent decades in the trenches combating these abuses,” said Martina Vandenberg, president of the Human Trafficking Legal Center. While the experts said it is possible there are such cases, they were unanimous that a wall would not “eliminate” the border trafficking problem. Many of the people who are trafficked are U.S. citizens who do not cross any border; even the people who do cross from Mexico, they said, often come to the U.S. through legal ports of entry, on visas. “The type of human trafficking that President Trump is talking about is a subset of a subset of a subset,” said Bridgette Carr, director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. “This narrative that human trafficking is only the physical snatching of foreign-national woeman and chilrdren who are brought in somewhere across an unmarked border is very dangerous to the reality of human trafficking. Bcause that is not the majority of cases we see in the United States.”

  • JAN 8, 2019

“The federal government remains shut down for one reason, and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.”

Source: Oval Office speech on the wall

IN FACT: Regardless of who is to blame for the shutdown — the public largely blames Trump; he himself acknowledged he planned to shut down the government to fight for funding for his border wall; Democrats have repeatedly offered to reopen the government — it is not true that Democrats will not fund “border security.” Democrats have offered to spend hundreds of millions or even billions on border security. Their latest offer to Trump was $1.3 billion for non-wall border security; one of their proposals in 2018 would have given him $25 billion for border security, including funding for the wall.

“In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors, were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.”

Source: Oval Office speech on the wall

IN FACT: The Baltimore Sun said it could not find a case exactly like this. Trump might have been just slightly off: there was a case in which a 15-year-old Maryland girl was murdered by MS-13 in Virginia.

“Senator Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past, along with many other Democrats. They change their mind only after I was elected president.”

Source: Oval Office speech on the wall

IN FACT: Schumer did not suddenly change his mind on border walls when Trump was elected president. In 2006, he voted for the Secure Fence Act, which authorized the construction of 700 miles of fencing. Trump himself has said that this fence is different than the wall he is proposing, calling the fencing “such a little wall” and “such a nothing wall,” and Schumer has never endorsed the kind of giant wall Trump is proposing.

“The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.”

Source: Oval Office speech on the wall

IN FACT: This is nonsensical. The new trade agreement, an update to NAFTA, has not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress, which means it is not in force at all. Even if it does eventually come into force, it is highly uncertain how the U.S. Treasury will be affected by the new provisions. Even if it is largely beneficial to the U.S., the agreement will not create a pool of money that can simply be allocated to a border wall.

“At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall.”

Source: Oval Office speech on the wall

IN FACT: Democrats did not make a request for a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. They opposed the project in principle, not over the choice of material.

  • JAN 7, 2019

“The Failing New York Times has knowingly written a very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria. No different from my original statements, we will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: Trump did not point out anything inaccurate in the Times story about his shifting plans for a Syria withdrawal, and this tweet was indeed different from his original statement. In his original withdrawal announcement, in an online video, he said U.S. troops would come home “now,” not “at a proper pace” — “They’re all coming back and they’re coming back now,” he said — and he did not mention continuing to fight ISIS. He said: “We have won against ISIS. We’ve beaten them, and we’ve beaten them badly. We’ve taken back the land, and now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”

“The Fake News will knowingly lie and demean in order make the tremendous success of the Trump Administration, and me, look as bad as possible. They use non-existent sources & write stories that are total fiction. Our Country is doing so well, yet this is a sad day in America!”

Source: Twitter

IN FACT: There is no evidence of major news outlets intentionally lying or fabricating sources to make Trump look bad.

 

Trump seeks to move ahead with big speech despite Pelosi shutdown concerns

January 22, 2019

by Richard Cowan and Jeff Mason

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday attempted to move ahead with planning for a State of the Union speech to the U.S. Congress on Jan. 29 despite pressure from Democrats to delay it due to the government shutdown, as his immigration proposal suffered a blow from the U.S. Supreme Court

No clear way to end the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, was evident, increasing the anxiety level of 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed with some struggling to make ends meet.

Trump’s proposal on Saturday to relax his immigration policies for young immigrants known as “Dreamers” in exchange for funding for a southern border wall did not appear to be making much headway among Democrats who control the House of Representatives.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote on Trump’s plan this week but there were doubts it would pass there. Leaders of the House of Representatives have already rejected it.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top U.S. Democrat, had recommended Trump delay his State of the Union speech, traditionally delivered in the House chamber. She had cited concerns about security for the event with some personnel furloughed during a monthlong shutdown.

But, an administration official said the White House sent a request to move forward with speech planning and requested approval of the House sergeant-at-arms for security officials to do a walkthrough of the venue.

The request seemed likely to set up another clash between Trump and Pelosi, days after Trump abruptly refused to let her use a U.S. military plane to go on an overseas trip hours before she was to depart.

A House Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House had not responded to Pelosi’s letter requesting a delay in the speech.

On Saturday, Trump proposed ending the government shutdown by fully funding the one-quarter of U.S. agencies that are affected. In return, he would get $5.7 billion toward building a southwestern border wall that Democrats oppose. Trump also is offering to restore temporary protections for the “Dreamer” immigrants who were brought illegally into the United States as minors.

In 2017, Trump moved to end the Dreamers’ protections, triggering a court battle.

Democrats promptly rejected Trump’s plan as insufficient, saying they would not trade a temporary restoration of the immigrants’ protections in return for a permanent border wall that they view as ineffective.

DREAMER BARGAINING CHIP

Trump may have lost the Dreamer issue as his main negotiating point on Tuesday when the Supreme Court refused, at least during this term, to consider an administration appeal of lower court rulings allowing continued temporary protections for the immigrant youths.

Instead, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 lives on with or without approval by Congress.

Before the Supreme Court’s announcement, U.S. lawmakers were poised this week to take up competing remedies for ending the partial government shutdown, which has interrupted scores of vital federal services.

House Democrats also had legislation that would end the partial shutdown of agencies including the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor and Interior.

While their legislation would contain new border security money, there would be nothing for a wall.

Once the government reopens, Democrats said, they would negotiate with Trump on further border security ideas.

“We were optimistic that he might be open up government so we could have this discussion,” Pelosi told reporters in comments carried by CNN. “But then we heard what the particulars were in it and it was a non-starter, unfortunately.”

Representative Jim Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, welcomed any effort by the Republican-led Senate to debate and vote on legislation to reopen the government following that chamber’s monthlong abstention.

“This gets us started,” Clyburn told MSNBC in an interview.

There were no guarantees that votes by Congress this week actually would break the impasse, as Trump held firm on his $5.7 billion demand and Democrats said they would not talk about that until the government reopens.

Many federal employees and contractors were turning to unemployment assistance, food banks and other support as the shutdown entered its second month. Others began seeking new jobs.

U.S. airport security officer absences rose to a record high over the weekend with some airports experiencing longer wait times and a least one major East Coast airport closing one security checkpoint.

Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; Writing by Richard Cowan and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott

 

At least 10 dead as fire rages on Black Sea ships

January 22, 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Ten crew died and another 10 were missing presumed dead in a fire that broke out on two ships while they were transferring fuel in the Black Sea, Russia’s Transport Ministry said on Tuesday.

The vessels which caught fire on Monday have the same names as two Tanzania-flagged ships, the Maestro and Venice, which last year were included on a U.S. sanctions advisory as delivering fuel to Syria.

Twelve people were rescued from the burning vessels but there was little hope of finding any more survivors, a spokesman for the Transport Ministry’s maritime unit said. The focus had switched from a rescue operation to a search for bodies, he added.

The spokesman said the vessels, which had a combined crew of 32, were still on fire and rough no attempts were being made to put out the blaze because of rough sea conditions.

Russian maritime officials said on Monday that the vessels were carrying out a ship-to-ship transfer of fuel in the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from Russia.

On Nov. 20 last year, the U.S. Treasury Department added nine Russian and Iranian individuals and companies on its sanctions list for participating in the shipment of petroleum to Syria.

It also issued an advisory note warning of the potential sanctions risk for any entities involved in such shipments which listed 35 ships, including the Maestro and Venice, as having delivered oil to Syria between 2016 and 2018.

Reuters reported in December that both the Maestro and Venice continued operations after the Treasury announcement, and regularly entered Crimea’s Temryuk port, according to Refinitiv data.

In the port, liquefied petroleum gas of Russian and Kazakh origin is transferred onto tankers for export, via the Kerch Strait.

The strait, between Russian-annexed Crimea and southern Russia, connects both Russian and Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea to the Black Sea.

In November, Russia detained three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews in the vicinity of the strait, fuelling tensions between the two countries. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Polina Ivanova  Editing by Christian Lowe and Andrew Heavens

 

Russian rescue amid deadly blaze on two cargo ships off Crimea

January 21, 2019

RT

Rescue workers reportedly witnessed a further three people struggling in the water, who most likely had drowned.

AFP news agency said that “no signal from either one of the two captains” had been received.

Authorities in the Crimean city of Kerch are now preparing to receive the victims.

The crew members were sailing in “neutral waters” in the Black Sea when the incident occurred, authorities said.

The names of the two vessels, the Venice and the Maestro, both appear on a US treasury list as possible targets for sanctions over petroleum shipments to Syria.

The US tightened sanctions against Syria back in 2011 in response to what it said was President Bashar al-Assad’s “continued atrocities” committed against the Syrian people.

The Kerch Strait is a focus of tension between Russia and Ukraine.

In November, Russian border guards seized three Ukrainian naval vessels near the narrow channel, which links the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov.

Russia-Ukraine tensions rise after Kerch Strait ship capture

A court in Russia has extended by three months the detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured in the incident. They are accused of illegally crossing into Russian territory.

Ukraine condemned the Russian move, denying that its ships had violated the navigation laws in the area. The strait lies off Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.

 

Accidents on Purpose

January 22, 2019

by Christian Jürs

Pity the poor Ukrainians, so far from God and so close to the United States.

When the Ukraine separated from Russia, it was with the assistance of the American CIA and when a pro-Russian president came into office there, the same CIA moved to remove him.

The Ukraine is important to the United States because she then controlled the strategically important Crimea with its extensive offshore oil deposits and, more important, the large former Soviet naval base at Sevastopol. One of the demands of the CIA when it worked to remove the pro-Russian president was that the lease the Russians had on this base would be cancelled and the U.S. Navy given the same lease.

This would give the US a naval presence in the Black Sea, part of the encirclement of Russia. To facilitate this, a CIA-trained unit started protest meetings in Kiev and to sharpen their demands, on February 20, 2014, a large public meeting in Kiev’s Maidan square had hidden snipers shoot into the crowd, killing over 50 people. This created the necessary push for a successful anti-Russian putsch.

Acts of violence resulting in the deaths of many people seemed to be the norm in the encirclement campaign against Russia

On 10 April 2010, a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. Among the victims were the President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria, the former President of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Polish Government officials, 18 members of the Polish Parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre. The group was arriving from Warsaw to attend an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the massacre, which took place not far from Smolensk.

The pilots were attempting to land at Smolensk North Airport – a former military airbase – in thick fog, with visibility reduced to about 500 meters (1,600 ft). The aircraft descended far below the normal approach path until it struck trees, rolled inverted and crashed into the ground, coming to rest in a wooded area a short distance from the runway.

In this case, a man code-named ‘Corey’ was able to alter the signals on the airport landing area to show the ground twenty-seven feet lower than it actually was.

‘Corey’ was a member of a CIA group called ‘Summerfield II’ that was run by a CIA officer named Russel.

His real name is George Macalister, his date of birth is 5.29.42 and his American

Social Security number SS # 465-80-9315, his email address is :

george_macalister@hotmail.com  (G137596.)

The reason why the aircraft was destroyed is because the US wanted Poland to be a supportive member of countries facing Russia who were to form a bloc of American-supportive entites designed to threaten Russia both militarily and economically. The Poles were flying to Smolensk to take part, with Russian officials in a memorial to the Stalin-killed Polish officers at Katyn during the Second World War. This rapproachment was anathema to the CIA and had to be somehow disrupted. Hence we had the entire Polish government wiped out in a single action as an object lesion to others.

After the installation of a CIA-friendly government in the Ukraine and a pending revoking of the Russian lease on the Sebastopol naval base, on April 15, 2014, CIA Director John Brennan and is staff flew into Kiev and met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema to discuss the formation of new, more secure channels for sharing U.S. intelligence with the country now fighting pro-Russian secessionists in its eastern cities.

Shortly after this, on July 17,  2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The rocket projectors used in this attack were of Russian origin but had been sold to the Ukrainian military ten years earlier.

This operation was also run by the ‘Summerfield II’ people.

And note that the two ships that caught on fire were dealing in oil from a country that the US had sanctioned. It has been reliably reported that external sabotage was the reason for the explosions and fire and that the group responsible for the sabotage are headquarted in the same building in Kiev that also houses the large CIA unit.

Mr. Macalister, now retired, lives in Vienna, Virginia and no doubt enjoys leafing through his scrapbook filled with photographs and old newspaper clippings depicting international incidents involving large death tolls.

 

Greenland’s ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study

The pace of ice loss has increased four-fold since 2003 as enormous glaciers are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts, causing sea levels to rise

January 21, 2019

by Oliver Milman

The Guardian

Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought, with the pace of ice loss increasing four-fold since 2003, new research has found.

Enormous glaciers in Greenland are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts. But scientists have found that the largest ice loss in the decade from 2003 actually occurred in the southwest region of the island, which is largely glacier-free.

This suggests surface ice is simply melting as global temperatures rise, causing gushing rivers of meltwater to flow into the ocean and push up sea levels. South-west Greenland, not previously thought of as a source of woe for coastal cities, is set to “become a major future contributor to sea level rise,” the research states.

“We knew we had one big problem with increasing rates of ice discharge by some large outlet glaciers,” said Michael Bevis, lead author of the paper and a professor of geodynamics at Ohio State University. “But now we recognize a second serious problem: increasingly, large amounts of ice mass are going to leave as meltwater, as rivers that flow into the sea.”

The research provides fresh evidence of the dangers posed to vulnerable coastal places as diverse as Miami, Shanghai, Bangladesh and various Pacific islands as climate change shrinks the world’s land-based ice.

“The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming – it’s too late for there to be no effect,” Bevis said. “This is going to cause additional sea level rise. We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point.

“We’re going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future. Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?”

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used data from Nasa’s gravity recovery and climate experiment (known as Grace) and GPS stations scattered across Greenland to analyze changes in ice mass.

This showed that Greenland lost around 280bn tons of ice per year between 2002 and 2016, enough to raise the worldwide sea level by 0.03 inches annually. If all of Greenland’s vast ice sheet, 3km thick in places, was to melt, global sea levels would rise by seven meters, or more than 20ft, drowning most coastal settlements.

The rate of loss hasn’t been even, however, with the ice melting four times faster in 2013 compared to 2003. Researchers said this was driven by rising global temperatures from human-induced climate change as well as the North Atlantic Oscillation, a periodic weather phenomenon that brings warmer air to western Greenland.

The fate of Greenland’s huge glaciers in the south-east and north-west has long been viewed as a key factor in global sea level rise but the Ohio State-led research suggests the ice fields of the island’s southwest may prove an unexpectedly large source of meltwater.

Scientists have been gaining a greater understanding of how the two massive ice masses on the planet, in Greenland and Antarctica, are reacting to a warming ocean and atmosphere.

Arctic ice loss has tripled since the 1980s, with melting in places such as Greenland and Alaska providing the greatest instigator of sea level rise while destabilizing the very ground underneath four million people’s feet.

Antarctica is becoming an increasing concern, however, with ice vanishing at its fastest rate in recorded history. The world’s largest expanse of ice is now losing around 219bn tonnes of ice a year, a trajectory that would contribute more than 25cm to total global sea level rise by 2070. Should the entire west Antarctic ice sheet collapse, sea levels would balloon by around 3.5m, albeit over a lengthy timeframe.

“We are warming the planet, this is melting ice, and that is raising sea level,” said Richard Alley, a geologist and glacier expert at Pennsylvania State University. Alley added that while there are uncertainties over future sea level rise “if the big ice sheets change more rapidly than expected, they could drive faster or much faster rise than expected”

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

January 22, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

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

 

Conversation No. 119

Date: Friday, December 19, 1997

Commenced: 11:09 AM CST

Concluded: 11:24 AM CST

GD: Well, another damned Christmas season is upon all of us. The gap-jawed ninnies waddling around the malls, the latest electronic noise-makers clutched in sweaty hands while the owners jabber endlessly to their equally moronic friends on the other end. Jesus H. Christ, you ought to listen to them, Robert, Babble, chatter, simper and squeal. Well, this electronic new age is upon us and I have it from a friend at NASDAC that a new and major con is about to be born. Are you interested?

RTC: Of course I am. Don’t forget that I was the man with the business connections for the Company.

GD: You ought to write a book on it.

RTC: Don’t tempt me.

GD: Well, they could augment your pension, believe me. Anyway, a circle of crooked stock brokers, who ought to be in Congress, have concocted a scheme based on the public’s fascination with the flashing lights and novelty of the electronic age. What they are going to do is this. They get some computer specialist, fresh out of MIT, to set up a company called, let’s say, ‘Batdung,.com’ which postulates that they raise bats and collect their crap for sale to people raising Venus Fly Catchers. Or another system called ‘Pelco.com’ that delivers goose livers to blind orphans. Anyway, they get this front to set up a legit corporation, say in Delaware, and then they get it up onto the board. The NYSE I mean.

RTC: Understood. And then?

GD: And then, they ring up a dozen or so of their rich clients and tell them that they want them to buy ‘Batdung.com’ at ten and they will sell out at twenty. And when huge purchases are recorded on the Board, why the gap-jawed twits rush out to buy ‘Batdung.com’ or ‘Pelco.com’ and the stock shoots up into the heavens. Meanwhile, the new teen-aged wonder who owns the name and an empty office, buys five new cars, a huge slate-topped desk and some huge and ugly new house with round windows somewhere. The stock goes up and up, slows down and then when it is obvious that there is nothing behind it, takes a dive. What do the crooks care? They took their fees from the rich enablers who got in and got out. Say they sold out at twenty and the stock went up to two hundred. One day at two hundred, the next at one ninety and the following day at fifty cents. Ah well, the wise ones have gotten in and gotten out, more or less like the early arrivals at a Reno brothel. Someone else has to take sloppy seconds and at the end, they all have the clap and the gleet. But the whorehouse owner makes all the money and the stockbrokers and their rich friends do very well. The patsy ends up losing his cars, his desk and his home and has to go back living with mother in a basement apartment he shares with the rats and cockroaches.

RTC: Serious?

GD: Oh, yes, very. This will take some time to ripen but it will take place and no one will be able to do anything about it. You know, the Republicans are waiting for Clinton to finish his term and they will do everything in their power to take the White House. Who will run? Probably Gore but who knows who else? The Republican right is yammering and yearning to get into power after the liberal Clinton and if they get in, look for some attempt to establish a permanent majority. I know a number of these people and they love to rub their hands and talk about the coming Days of Wrath and Mourning for the left wing Jews and fellow travelers on both coasts. The religious freaks will crawl out from under the dead cows or up out of the cesspits all across this land and add their squawkings to the cacophony. I think this country is heading into an abyss, Robert. We will eventually see a reprise of 1929 if the Republicans get into power or get both Houses. They will screw up the stock markets, the banks and the money markets and then down all will crash and these scumbags will crawl out of the rubble, clutching bags of money and headed for Aruba or Tel Aviv. Yes, and there are now tens of thousands of young kids that get out of high school with no prospect of a job because the blue collar jobs are all going to slave labor camps in Southeast Asia. Of course this kind of poverty and denial of what we all see as the American Dream can lead to all kinds of domestic problems.

RTC: Oh, you’re right on there, my boy. Reagan set up a virtual concentration camp system and special Army units so that if he had any problems domestically like Johnson had during the Vietnam war, they could sweep up all the protestors, their mothers and wives and jam them all into the new Dachaus.

GD: Do you have chapter and verse on this, Robert?

RTC: Could get it but why bother with it? If you put that in every newspaper in America, no one would believe you. Sure, I’ll look it up. Oh yes, they have plans waiting for another Vietnam rebellion, believe me. Reagan said, like the Jews, never again and if the public get their tit in the wringer, off they go with no problem and they can see their family through the barbed wire.

GD: Oh my, and then we can take a leaf from the holocaust nutties and start talking about mythic gas chambers and lampshades.

RTC: Oh God, let’s do not go there. I am so tired of hearing about that shit.

GD: Americans are far crueler than the Germans or Russians so I imagine that future historians, not like the decayed creeps you people use, historians will write about the neo fascism riding the GOP elephant. And over the cliff. Couple this with economic meddling and I will really think about permanently moving away.

RTC: There are many who would love to see you go, Gregory.

GD: And I would love to see them take long walks on short piers, Robert, and carrying heavy weights. Feed the sharks, why not?

RTC: Do sharks eat crap?

GD: No, but the bottom feeders like the crabs would stuff themselves. No, you can see this coming.  Maybe not right away but all the bits and pieces are there, Robert. Maybe not in your time but in mine…that is unless Wolfe comes up behind me and slugs me with his purse.

RTC: (Laughter) Do you also foresee pogroms?

GD: Of course. If the economy is artificially inflated and collapses, why scapegoats have to be found. The Mexicans, the Jews and…no, the fewer the better. I would say the blacks but there are too many of them. Probably the illegals. Yes. Mass imprisonment and deportations. Who will cut our lawns then?

RTC: Reagan foresaw closing the universities as hotbeds of anti government actions there.

GD: Why not? The students can’t learn anything because the intellectual levels of our professors would shame a baboon. My God, I have encountered a few in my life and I swear my dogs are smarter. They say a little learning is a dangerous thing, don’t they?

RTC: So I’ve heard.

GD: Well then, let’s  let our young and unemployed live dangerously. They can go to school and then to the camps.

RTC: Does this blessed season of giving always motivate you to be so bloody negative?

GD: Oh yes, the mythic Jesus is about to be born in the cow barn and save us all. I love these preachers who get up in front of the TV cameras and squeal about the fictional Jesus. Why not the Celestial Easter Bunny?

 

(Concluded at 11:24 AM CST)

 

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

 

 

 

 

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