Warmongers Think You’re Stupid

AlternativeFreePress.com : April 8, 2018

The mainstream media wants you to believe that the Syrian Government used illegal chemical weapons because Trump announced that US troops would be leaving Syria shortly. Of course, that would make no sense. The argument that Syria felt “emboldened” by imminent US withdrawal ignores all reason and logic, for the purpose of manipulating public opinion.

One question that should be asked regarding an alleged use of chemical weapons is: who benefits and how?

Ultimately, Assad does not benefit from this alleged chemical weapons attack. The blow-back from such an incident would have been incredibly predictable. Why would Assad want to give the US justification for regime change?

The use of chemical weapons is a horrible criminal act which should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted… but it seems the mainstream media hawks had their script ready before any proper investigation at all. Nobody in the mainstream media seems to be questioning whether a rebel group could have staged such an attack. These rebel forces which are trying to overthrow Assad certainly benefit from the perception of a chemical weapons attack.

While Assad gains almost nothing from this alleged attack, he has a lot to lose. On the other hand, the military-industrial complex has plenty to gain from an alleged chemical weapons attack, and lose nothing.

Current news outlets are mirroring the mainstream media’s role in misleading the public about WMDs in Iraq. Warmongers think you’re stupid.

Written by Alternative Free Press
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Police Inaction At Charlottesville Mirrors Past Protests With Agent Provocateurs

AlternativeFreePress.com

It appears extremely likely that government-sponsored agent provocateurs were active during the Charlottesville protests this weekend.

Numerous sources have reported that the police stood down and allowed the violence to occur & spread.


Fox News reporter Doug McKelway, who was in Charlottesville at the time, reported that the police were called off as soon as things started turning violent: “But when the tear gas started to fly, thrown by protesters, the police themselves began to evacuate then. I asked the guy who was in charge, “Where you going?” He said, “We’re leaving. It’s too dangerous.” They had a chance to nip this thing in the bud and they chose not to.”

Such lack of action by the police is not without precedent. In fact, there is a long history of the police supporting violent agitators at political protests.

In 2007 at a protest against the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in Montebello, Quebec, the Quebec Provincial Police were forced to admit that 3 masked men wielding rocks were in fact undercover officers. The admission only occurred because peaceful protesters demanded they drop they rock and followed the provocateurs until they jumped behind a police line. (CBC)

In 2009, masked men at G20 protests in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were seen damaging property and lunging projectiles. (youtube)

In 2010, Toronto, Ontario hosted the G20 Summit. Hundreds of extra police officers were brought into the city, and the downtown area was patrolled very heavily. As documented in the film ‘Into The Fire’, as a small group of so-called “black-bloc anarchists” approached, the police abandoned their posts and allowed the masked “anarchists” to smash retail windows and set fire to a police car. The video footage makes it extremely obvious that the police purposefully allowed the destruction of property to occur. The next day the police used the media coverage of the destruction to justify excessive force, civil rights violations, and the illegal detention of peaceful protesters. (Into the Fire) During the 2010 G-20 Toronto summit, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested five people, two of whom were members of the Toronto Police Services. (CBC)

Of course, this type of activity has been going on for decades… Throughout the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, COINTELPRO was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of these movements and especially their leaders. (wikipedia)

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Only 2% of US Politicians Actually Want to Stop Arming Terrorists — Here’s Why

Alice Salles
The Anti-Meida : June 22, 2017

One of the few elected Democratic lawmakers with an extensive anti-war record, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has combined forces with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) to push legislation through both the House and the Senate that would bar federal agencies from using taxpayer-backed funds to provide weapons, training, intelligence, or any other type of support to terrorist cells such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other group that is associated with them in any way. The Stop Arming Terrorists Act is so unique that it’s also the only bill of its kind that would also bar the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries that support (directly or indirectly) terrorists such as Saudi Arabia.

To our surprise — or should we say shame? — only 13 other lawmakers out of hundreds have co-sponsored Gabbard’s House bill. Paul’s Senate version of the bill, on the other hand, has zero cosponsors.

While both pieces of legislation were introduced in early 2017, no real action has been taken as of yet. This proves that Washington refuses to support bills that would actually provoke positive chain reactions not only abroad but also at home. Why? Well, let’s look at the groups that would lose a great deal in case this bill is signed into law.

Military & Homeland Security Companies, Lobbyists, And Lawmakers All Profit From War

With trillions of tax dollars flowing to companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and even IBM, among others, companies that invest heavily in weapons, cyber security systems, and other technologies that are widely used in times of war would stand to lose a lot — if not everything — if all of a sudden, the United States chose to become a nation that stands for peace and free market principles.

For one, these companies have a heavy lobbying presence, ensuring that lawmakers sympathetic to their plight are elected every two years. When the possibility of a new conflict appears on the horizon, these companies are the first to lobby heavily for action.

But this dynamic isn’t a secret. We all know that the crony capitalist system that thrives in Washington, D.C., is the very bread and butter of politics in America. After all, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the nation in his farewell address in 1961 that “an immense military establishment and a large arms industry” were becoming the great powers behind U.S. politics, and that if we weren’t weary of this influence, we would risk living in a perpetual state of war.

Still, we allowed it to take over. And there isn’t one industry powerful enough to counter this destructive authority.

With the support of an army of well-established and connected millionaire lobbyists, the war machine operating in Washington is so powerful that anything can be turned into an existential threat.

Any conflict abroad that has absolutely no importance or that poses literally no threat to the common American is inflated to become a threat to the American way of life. They hate us “for our freedom.” Therefore, we must show them what democracy looks like.

Without the same kind of powerful and wealthy team behind the cause for sanity and peace, this army of big money and big lobbyists has single-handedly put us and many generations to come in debt over Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and now Syria. And as the marketing machine behind this kind of lobbying effort taps into the social justice trend that has infiltrated every aspect of our culture in recent years, these organizations have learned that they will get even broader support from the public if they add feminist, anti-poverty, and pro-equality messages to their pro-war efforts.

Take the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, for instance, which, as NBC has reported, originated with “Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former vice president of the World Bank for the Africa region and a senior advisor on Africa Economic Development Policy for the Open Society Foundations”  —  a George Soros-backed foundation. In no time, the social media “effort” had become the most effective lobbying force behind the expansion of the never-ending war on terror. And whether it was meant to promote this outcome or not, it helped the United States easily invest more tax dollars into an unwinnable war.

As you can see, even if Gabbard and Paul managed to use all of their time to force the Stop Arming Terrorists Act through Congress so it could get to President Donald Trump’s desk, the powers at play in Washington would do their best to sweep this effort under the rug. Not because individuals involved in pro-war lobbying are, perhaps, thirsty for war per se, but because the system under which they operate allows for bad incentives to produce a great deal of wealth and influence, tilting the balance toward evil.

Without a state that can be bribed, companies would be left to fend for themselves and stay afloat by making customers… happy. And you can’t make customers happy if all you have to offer is war.

Source: The Anti-Media(cc)

TTC Claims To Be Testing For Drug Impairment, Even When It’s Impossible

AlternativeFreePress.com

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently implemented a new random drug testing policy, and a TTC driver has apparently tested positive for being impaired while on duty.

According to the Toronto Star, The TTC claims the tests detect whether someone is impaired at the time, not whether they use drug or alcohol while off-duty. Of course, that’s impossible when it comes to Cannabis. The TTC will not disclose what substance the driver tested positive for, but does say that the test detects several common intoxicants including marijuana.

There are several problems with testing for Cannabis impairment…

1. Medical use. A medical user may actually need Cannabis to function properly and could be impaired by not using their medication.

2. Tolerance. Habitual users typically do not become impaired from regular use due to their high tolerance. While a new user may become impaired from a small dose, a habitual user could feel practically no effect from the same amount. Cannabis smoking history plays a major role in cannabinoid detection.

3. Measuring impairment is impossible. Studies have shown that measuring THC can’t determine impairment. Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of a non-psychoactive compound does not constitute impairment under the law. A daily user could have consumed the night before and test positive the following morning while completely sober after a full night sleep.

4. Dozens of studies have shown that Cannabis users are safe drivers & states that have legalized Cannabis have seen a drop in traffic fatalities.

So, when the TTC claims they are testing only for impairment on the job, that’s not actually true.

What they are doing, is applying obstinate opinions, prejudices, and intolerance to those whose chemical profile appears one way versus those whose chemical profile appears another way.

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Trump bombs Syria… Despite the facts.

AlternativeFreePress.com

Despite the fact that there is no logical reason that Bashar al Assad would use chemical weapons a week after the US Secretary of State said that Assad’s future would be decided by the people of Syria.

Despite the fact that the Syrian rebels benefit from a chemical weapons attack in Syria more than anyone.

Despite the fact that Syrian rebels are often Islamic State.

Despite the fact that Trump repeatedly claimed non-interventionist positions during his campaign.

Despite the fact that Russia & Syria deny using chemical weapons.

Despite the fact that attacking Syria without asking congress violates the constitution….

Trump “ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched”, claiming “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States” and that “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons”.

Despite the fact that there is plenty of dispute.

Graphene-based sieve turns seawater into drinking water

Paul Rincon
BBC: April 3, 2017

A UK-based team of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater.

The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water.

The promising graphene oxide sieve could be highly efficient at filtering salts, and will now be tested against existing desalination membranes.

It has previously been difficult to manufacture graphene-based barriers on an industrial scale.

Reporting their results in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from the University of Manchester, led by Dr Rahul Nair, shows how they solved some of the challenges by using a chemical derivative called graphene oxide.

Isolated and characterised by a University of Manchester-led team in 2004, graphene comprises a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Its unusual properties, such as extraordinary tensile strength and electrical conductivity, have earmarked it as one of the most promising materials for future applications.

But it has been difficult to produce large quantities of single-layer graphene using existing methods, such as chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Current production routes are also quite costly.

On the other hand, said Dr Nair, “graphene oxide can be produced by simple oxidation in the lab”.

He told BBC News: “As an ink or solution, we can compose it on a substrate or porous material. Then we can use it as a membrane.

“In terms of scalability and the cost of the material, graphene oxide has a potential advantage over single-layered graphene.”

Of the single-layer graphene he added: “To make it permeable, you need to drill small holes in the membrane. But if the hole size is larger than one nanometre, the salts go through that hole. You have to make a membrane with a very uniform less-than-one-nanometre hole size to make it useful for desalination. It is a really challenging job.”

Graphene oxide membranes have already proven their worth in sieving out small nanoparticles, organic molecules and even large salts. But until now, they couldn’t be used to filter out common salts, which require even smaller sieves.

Previous work had shown that graphene oxide membranes became slightly swollen when immersed in water, allowing smaller salts to flow through the pores along with water molecules.

Now, Dr Nair and colleagues demonstrated that placing walls made of epoxy resin (a substance used in coatings and glues) on either side of the graphene oxide membrane was sufficient to stop the expansion.

Restricting the swelling in this way also allowed the scientists to tune the properties of the membrane, letting through less or more common salt for example.

(read the full article at BBC)

Mainstream Media Kept Susan Rice Story Secret To Protect Obama

Mike Cernovich broke the story that Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, was the person behind the unmasking of the identity of various members of Trump’s team who were under surveillance during the 2016 campaign. Cernovich did not need leaks from within the US Government, his sources were actually people inside Bloomberg & The New York Times. Cernovich explains that both Eli Lake of Bloomberg and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times were sitting on the Susan Rice story in order to protect the Obama administration.

“Maggie Haberman had it. She will not run any articles that are critical of the Obama administration.”

“Eli Lake had it. He didn’t want to run it and Bloomberg didn’t want to run it because it vindicates Trump’s claim that he had been spied upon. And Eli Lake is a ‘never Trumper.’ Bloomberg was a ‘never Trump’ publication.”

“I’m showing you the politics of ‘real journalism’. ‘Real journalism’ is that Bloomberg had it and the New York Times had it but they wouldn’t run it because they don’t want to run any stories that would make Obama look bad or that will vindicate Trump. They only want to run stories that make Trump look bad so that’s why they sat on it.”

“So where did I get the story? I didn’t get it from the intelligence community. Everybody’s trying to figure out where I got it from. I got it from somebody who works in one of those media companies. I have spies in every media organization. I got people in news rooms. I got it from a source within the news room who said ‘Cernovich, they’re sitting on this story, they’re not going to run it, so you can run it’.”

“If you’re at Bloomberg, I have people in there. If you’re at the New York Times, I have people in there. LA Times, Washington Post, you name it, I have my people in there. I got IT people in every major news room in this country. The IT people see every email so that’s how I knew it.”

Top Obama Adviser Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel

Eli Lake
Bloomberg : April 3, 2017

White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel’s office, who reviewed more of Rice’s requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.

he intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations — primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.

Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on Monday morning. Her role in requesting the identities of Trump transition officials adds an important element to the dueling investigations surrounding the Trump White House since the president’s inauguration.

Both the House and Senate intelligence committees are probing any ties between Trump associates and a Russian influence operation against Hillary Clinton during the election. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Representative Devin Nunes, is also investigating how the Obama White House kept tabs on the Trump transition after the election through unmasking the names of Trump associates incidentally collected in government eavesdropping of foreign officials.

Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the “PBS NewsHour” about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: “I know nothing about this,” adding, “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today.”

Rice’s requests to unmask the names of Trump transition officials does not vindicate Trump’s own tweets from March 4 in which he accused Obama of illegally tapping Trump Tower. There remains no evidence to support that claim. (Editor’s note: None of Trump’s tweets on March 4th actually claim the actions were illegal, he only question’s whether it was legal.)

But Rice’s multiple requests to learn the identities of Trump officials discussed in intelligence reports during the transition period does highlight a longstanding concern for civil liberties advocates about U.S. surveillance programs. The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.

(read the full article at bloomberg)

China Seeks “Total Access” To Canadian Market to Import Its Workers To Canada

China May Import Its Workers To Canada As It Seeks “Total Access” To Canadian Market

Zero Hedge: April 2, 2017

China’s ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye, told the Globe and Mail that Beijing is seeking full access to Canada’s economy ahead of free trade talks, a move that could result in Chinese state-owned companies bringing their own employees to work on projects in Canada. Charles Burton, an associate political science professor at Brock University, said bringing their own workers abroad is “normal practice” for Chinese companies. “It’s not as if [the Chinese] would be asking something of Canada that they don’t expect from other countries,” he said.

Earlier this year, Canadian and Chinese officials held exploratory talks on a free trade deal and another meeting is set to take place this month,  Lu told the Globe, just as the US prepares to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico.

Lu said that his government wants to avoid discussions of human rights issues, fearing it could become a “bargaining chip” in negotiations. Additionally, anticipating what has become an increasingly regular response by sovereign governments to China’s money-laundering disguised as M&A ambitions, the ambassador said China’s government would interpreted any attempt by Ottawa to block takeovers of Canadian companies on national security grounds as protectionism.

“Investment is investment. We should not take too much political considerations into the investment,” he said. “Just like the negotiations of the (Canada-U.S.) FTA, we should not let political factors into this process. Otherwise, it would be very difficult.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, told the CBC that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “is very clear that we want to pursue stronger ties with China. We think that in the medium term this will lead to more Canadian jobs.”
While China has recently pushed to adopt the mantle of the “world’s biggest defender of free trade” following Trump’s threats to impose protectionist measures, and has been among the most vocal countries in response to Trump’s proposed trade practices, critics say the country is itself a bastion of protectionism. They note China allows almost no foreign investment in banking and telecommunications. Many argue the country has not lived up to the commitments it made to open up its economy when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

China’s interest in Canada lies primarily in energy, and in the possibility of exploiting Canada’s oilsands. The country will push for a reversal of Harper government-era policies that restricted the ability of Chinese state-owned businesses to invest in Canadian energy.

As Daniel Tencer writes, the vast majority of China’s largest corporations are state-run enterprises whose executives are often hand-picked by government. They also note that China’s notion of “full access” to an economy could be very broad. As the foreign policy blog OpenCanada notes, China’s 2015 free trade deal with Australia includes a provision that allows Chinese companies to bring their own employees into the country to work on projects, so long as those projects are worth more than AUD$150 million.

(full article at zero hedge)

NGA: The Massive Spy Agency You Haven’t Heard Of

Alice Salles
The Anti-Media : March 29, 2017

If you’re one of the countless Americans who was distraught to learn of the revelations made by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, the mere idea that there might be yet another agency out there — perhaps just as powerful and much more intrusive —  should give you goosebumps.

Foreign Policy reports that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA, is an obscure spy agency former President Barack Obama had a hard time wrapping his mind around back in 2009. But as the president grew fond of drone warfare, finding a way to launch wars without having to go through Congress for the proper authorization, the NGA also became more relevant. Now, President Donald Trump is expected to further explore the multibillion-dollar surveillance network.

Like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), the NGA is an intelligence agency, but it also serves as a combat support institution that functions under the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

With headquarters bigger than the CIA’s, the building cost $1.4 billion to be completed in 2011. In 2016, the NGA bought an extra 99 acres in St. Louis, building additional structures that cost taxpayers an extra $1.75 billion.

Enjoying the extra budget Obama threw at them, the NGA became one of the most obscure intelligence agencies precisely because it relies on the work of drones.

As a body of government that has only one task — to analyze images and videos captured by drones in the Middle East — the NGA is mighty powerful. So why haven’t we heard of it before?

The Shadow Agency That Sees It All

Prior to Trump’s inauguration, the NGA only targeted the Middle East or whatever spy satellites orbiting the globe captured. As far as most of us knew, the agency refrained from pointing its ultra-high-resolution cameras toward the United States. That alone may be why the NGA has been able to stay out of scandals for the most part.

But under Trump, things may look much worse — as if spying on countless people abroad weren’t enough.

Recently, for instance, he gave the CIA the power to wage covert drone warfare, shielding important information on such operations simply by allowing the agency to carry out missions without first seeking authorization from the Pentagon.

Now, Trump might as well move on to NGA, hoping to boost “national security” by turning the agency’s all seeing eyes toward American soil.

As the president hopes to get more money for defense, many have speculated whether he will start to use drones at home, especially since he has already suggested he supports agencies like the NSA based on his desire to target “terrorists.” There’s nothing that implies he wants to slow down the surveillance state.  The White House has expressed its desire to renew Obama-era spying powers — even as the president battles critics who deny his claims that his conversations were intercepted at the same time foreign nationals were under surveillance in 2016.

A partially redacted March 2016 report released by the Pentagon revealed that drones had already been used domestically on about 20 or fewer occasions between 2006 and 2015. Though some of these operations mostly involved natural disasters, National Guard training, and search and rescue missions, quotes from an Air Force law review article found their way into the report. In it, Dawn M. K. Zoldi wrote that technology designed to spy on targets abroad could soon be used against American citizens.

As the nation winds down these wars,” the report explains, and ”assets become available to support other combatant command (COCOM) or U.S. agencies, the appetite to use them in the domestic environment to collect airborne imagery continues to grow.

Up until 2015, oversight was so loose that the capabilities provided by the DOD’s unmanned aircraft system weren’t under scrutiny by any other agency. Without statutes that specify the rules such federal government agencies should follow, watchdogs find it hard to keep track. But would it be any better if there were an agency or a branch of the same government overseeing what the government itself is doing?

The short answer is no.

NGA Has A Precedent, And Trump May Want To Explore It

As fears grow that Trump will revamp the NGA, domestic stories of police departments using drones to spy on locals are also resurfacing.

Some of the most highly publicized instances involved Baltimore and Compton, where police departments deployed aerial surveillance technology without issuing a warrant or seeking authorization from local or state lawmakers.

With a precedent already set, the president might as well ignite a new fight in his continued efforts to fight a war against an imaginary, impossible-to-target enemy. After all, he’s not a stranger to scandals and likely wouldn’t feel overwhelmed one bit if he decided to turn the country’s ultra-high definition cameras toward its citizens.

What could help to put an end to his plans might be exactly what helped halt President George W. Bush’s attempts at setting up spy satellites domestically. In 2007, Bush’s Department of Homeland Security set up an agency known as the National Applications Office with the goal of establishing direct spy satellite stakeouts in America. Thankfully, Congress stepped in and cut off the agency’s funding.

But with Americans seldom showing any interest for important violations of privacy or even basic human rights here and abroad, it’s easy to see how this massive spying agency could end up getting a carte blanche to do whatever it wants once Trump realizes he has the power to order it done. After all, who will pressure Congress to stop him?

Source: The Anti-Media (cc)

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