Jenny Holzer famously told us that “Abuse of power comes as no surprise.”
I don’t want to blog about abuses of power. I would rather blog about all the good reasons to believe that tomorrow will be better than today. However, I don’t have many grounds for hope at present.
So at minimum I can talk about the situation as it stands, and perhaps after a few reflections on the current abuses of power, we can look for some hopeful speculations.
The following details are pretty much what you expected. Perhaps I ought to mix them up with pretty pictures to keep readers from falling asleep.
K. Denninger has written:
The political goal is more power for them and their friends, mostly economic power. More ability to extract from you by force and threaten you with jail or worse if you try to resist. More power over your daily life. More power to tell you that you must bake a cake for gays (because your religious convictions don’t matter) but if your religious convictions are Muslim then they do matter…
They fear that you might come to realize that you can’t demonize the “other side” for being evil; rather, they are both equally guilty almost to a single man and woman at being simply indifferent as to how much you get screwed and by whom, up to and including your death and the death of your children, so long as their desire for more power and control, either for them or their friends, is realized.
If that happens — if you quit the left/right, republican/democrat, liberal/conservative game and instead demand the indictment of all of them for their treasonous and outrageously unlawful behavior along with their removal from office and are willing to back that up with action up to and including a general strike until they are all gone and in chains then they are all screwed.
Polish military police have raided a Nato-affiliated counterintelligence centre in Warsaw in the latest of a series of moves by the country’s new rightwing government to consolidate its hold on power.
The raid took place at 1.30am on Friday at the temporary offices of the Nato Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence. According to the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, senior aides of Antoni Macierewicz, the defence minister, accompanied by military police, entered the building using a duplicate key.
The centre’s night staff called the director, Col Krzysztof Dusza, but he was prevented from entering. A defence ministry spokesman said Dusza had not responded to an order to step down from the post.
Any such change of management was supposed to have been a matter of consultation with Nato and the Slovak government, which is a partner in the centre. Neither Nato nor Slovak officials could confirm whether any such consultation had taken place.
The former Polish defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak told reporters: “Nothing like this has happened in the history of Nato, that a member state attacks a Nato facility.”
Comment: Certainly the prior Polish government was abusing its power (and supporting NATO in the abuse of power), but we have no reason to believe that the recently elected right-wing government is or soon will be composed of angels.
Practical Reflection: The CIA spook Greenhill was involved in funneling money to ISIS.
… three public source documents that conclusively show a Senior CIA Spy- a major figure in operations from South America to the Middle East-is lobbying the US Government to destroy Iraq and formally create an independent Sunnistan on behalf of a Sunni terrorist.
That terrorist joined the Iraq insurgency in 2004 under the Al-Qaeda Iraq banner, and was given hundreds of millions of dollars by the CIA and CENTCOM to defect …
His Eminence … created an insurgency called The Anbar Tribes Revolutionary Council in 2013, and solicited funds from Sunni Monarchs and individuals throughout the GCC. The goal: destroy Baghdad and restore the Sunni to power in Iraq. His allies: the Ba’ath and ISIS.
In late 2014 Sulayman connected with Jonathan Greenhill, “former” Senior Operations Officer at the CIA who set up shop in DC as a lobbyist. Makes sense. CIA Spy since the early 1980s, probably living oversees under non-official-cover, comes home to lobby Congress. Anyway, Mr. Greenhill incorporated the Greenhill Group, and Sulayman retained him.
A Turkish MP who claimed sarin gas was delivered to Isis in Syria through Turkey is facing treason charges.
Ankara’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office opened the case against Istanbul MP Eren Erdem of Republican People’s Party (CHP) after he gave an interview to RT on Monday.
“Chemical weapon materials were brought to Turkey and put together in ISIS camps in Syria, which was known as the Iraqi Al-Qaeda at that time.”
On Tuesday, Erdem said he had become the target of a smear campaign and the victim of death threats because of his statements made in parliament.
Turkish media reported that the prosecutor’s office is planning to send a summary of proceedings to the Ministry of Justice and that the Turkish parliament could vote to strip Erdem of parliamentary immunity.
Erdem said that the Turkish paramilitary organisation Ottoman Hearths had also published his home address on Twitter.
“I am being targeted with death threats because I am patriotically opposed to something that tramples on my country’s prestige,” Erdem said.
Sarin gas is a military-grade chemical that was used in a notorious attack on Ghouta and other neighbourhoods near Damascus in 2013.
Erdem, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), made the claims in parliament, citing evidence from an abruptly-closed criminal case.
A think tank has written:
Turkey’s foreign policy choices and current crises have combined to make Erdogan reach out to Israel for help.
Israel has weighed the price and found it acceptable: Israel will pay Turkey $20 million; Turkey will expel the Hamas leadership from Istanbul and will buy Israeli gas.
The restoration of relations with Israel is less a political reconciliation than an admission of the utter bankruptcy of Turkey’s last five years of diplomatic endeavor.
The announcement of the restoration of Israel-Turkish relations should be seen in the context of Turkey having nowhere else to go.
Turkey’s relations with Israel have been strained, to put it mildly, since 2010 when, through a non-profit organization, Turkey funded the 2010 Gaza Flotilla aimed at breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
After a bloody confrontation, which ended in the deaths of nine Turks, Turkey demanded that Israel be tried in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and subjected to UN sanction. The ICC ruled that Israel’s actions did not constitute war crimes. In addition, the UN’s Palmer Commission concluded that the blockade of Gaza was legal, and that the IDF commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara ship had faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers,” and were therefore required to use force for their own protection. The commission, however, did label the commandos’ force “excessive and unreasonable.”
Amid frosty relations, Ottawa is tackling a request from the Kremlin to go after a Ukrainian website, hosted in Canada, that is publishing identifying details of Russian soldiers fighting the Islamic State.
The website, which bills itself as a community of volunteers, has posted pictures, Facebook profiles, and even passport information of dozens of Russian soldiers stationed — semi-officially, unofficially, and secretly — in Syria. Many of the posts place the Russian soldiers at specific points in the country, citing geotags and geographic features in the photos.
The website says it is publishing the information in retaliation for Russia breaking a ceasefire in the Donbas region of Ukraine. A lookup of the site’s .org domain name shows that it was registered to an address just South of Kyiv, while the servers themselves are located just south of Montreal, Quebec.
The website claims to show the substantial special forces and military hardware now on the ground, defending Assad’s government and fighting the Islamic State.
Those tanks arrived in Syria in September, and have since become a large part of the ongoing fighting in the war-torn country, although the government of President Vladimir Putin has avoided officially recognizing the ground mission.
Russia’s embassy in Canada confirmed on Thursday that a request was sent from Putin’s government to the still fresh-faced Trudeau administration, asking them to remove the sensitive information that had been published on Canadian servers.
“At this point we can confirm that the Canadian side was duly informed on this matter. The Russian side expects appropriate reaction on this security-related issue,” said a spokesperson from the Russian embassy.
Much of the website’s sleuthing comes via VK, a Russian social media platform similar to Facebook.
Kenya’s Catholic bishops are charging two United Nations organizations with sterilizing millions of girls and women under cover of an anti-tetanus inoculation program sponsored by the Kenyan government.
According to a statement released Tuesday by the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, the organization has found an antigen that causes miscarriages in a vaccine being administered to 2.3 million girls and women by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Priests throughout Kenya reportedly are advising their congregations to refuse the vaccine.
“We sent six samples from around Kenya to laboratories in South Africa. They tested positive for the HCG antigen,” Dr. Muhame Ngare of the Mercy Medical Centre in Nairobi told LifeSiteNews. “They were all laced with HCG.”
Dr. Ngare, spokesman for the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, stated in a bulletin released November 4, “This proved right our worst fears; that this WHO campaign is not about eradicating neonatal tetanus but a well-coordinated forceful population control mass sterilization exercise using a proven fertility regulating vaccine. This evidence was presented to the Ministry of Health before the third round of immunization but was ignored.”
Juniper Networks announced that it had discovered some “unauthorized code” in its ScreenOS that would allow “knowledgeable” attackers to decrypt VPN traffic on Juniper’s NetScreen devices:
During a recent internal code review, Juniper discovered unauthorized code in ScreenOS that could allow a knowledgeable attacker to gain administrative access to NetScreen devices and to decrypt VPN connections. Once we identified these vulnerabilities, we launched an investigation into the matter, and worked to develop and issue patched releases for the latest versions of ScreenOS.
At this time, we have not received any reports of these vulnerabilities being exploited; however, we strongly recommend that customers update their systems and apply the patched releases with the highest priority.
Not surprisingly, speculation is running rampant concerning how this happened. Since this isn’t just using some sort of zero day exploit, but rather “unauthorized code” — it’s pretty clear this isn’t just some random security folks having fun. The most obvious possibilities here are nation-state level actors — with a lot of finger pointing in the NSA’s general direction.
Comment: I don’t understand the latest invasions of Internet privacy, but the geeks are all up in arms about them. E.g.:
The House and Senate have now passed the omnibus bill, including the new version of CISA.
Privacy advocates were aghast in October when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21, leaving intact portions of the law they say make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security. Now, as CISA gets closer to the President’s desk, those privacy critics argue that Congress has quietly stripped out even more of its remaining privacy protections.
The USA is censoring scientists who warn consumers about ecological contamination due to pesticides.
Good news: It seems the John Kerry is not eager to get the USA into a war with Russia. We are thankful.
Here’s what Kerry said:
“The United States and our partners are not seeking regime change in Syria…(the focus is no longer) “on our differences about what can or cannot be done immediately about Assad…”
There’s no question that when the United States and Russia work together our two countries benefit. Despite our differences we demonstrated that when our countries pull together, progress can be made.”
The US is “not seeking regime change in Syria”?
No one saw that one coming. Maybe someone should remind Kerry that the Decider in Chief Obama reiterated the “Assad must go” trope less than two weeks ago. Now all that’s changed?
Apparently so. This has got to be the biggest foreign policy somersault in the last two decades and Kerry carried it off without a trace of shame, in fact, he never veered from his cheery script the entire trip.
So why is Kerry wasting everyone’s time with all this glad-handing and kowtowing when the Russians are obviously not taking the bait?
Well, because US proxies in the field (aka–Sunni militants and extremists) are getting blown to smithereens, that’s why. You see, the US is losing its proxy-war with Syria rather badly which has everyone on Capital Hill and the Pentagon extremely worried. That’s why they sent Senator Botox to Moscow to see if he could conjure up a ceasefire before things get really out of hand.
Furthermore, PCR is keeping his site open to public access, and has shared some heart-warming letters, such as the following:
Dr. Roberts, I am writing you with regard to the question you posed about whether your readers believe you should maintain an open or a subscription only website. As a regular donor to your website, I\’m acutely aware of the free rider problem. However, in my very humble opinion, it\’s a small price to pay for reaching a potentially much larger audience (granted I fully understand that you alone pay that price). So long as you are not overly financially inconvenienced by the free publication of your articles I believe the service you provide is simply too valuable to be limited to those that have already found their way out of the matrix. As a prime example, I am a career military officer and in large part due to your writing I have made the decision to retire rather than remain complicit in the obvious criminality of our neocon controlled rogue government. If you can reach and convince me, you can do the same for just about anyone. I want to sincerely thank you for your honesty, integrity and willingness to speak truth in a world of deception. Very Respectfully, [This is a US military officer whose name and rank I omit. PCR]
Comment: Some of the writers who speculate about a “Fourth Turning” have voiced hopes that some elder statesman might arise to lead a resistance force. PCR might be just such a statesman.