Showing posts with label LIES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LIES. Show all posts

Friday, April 10

GERMANIA DI MERKEL E SCHAUBLE ..VERGOGNA !!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, November 28

CONDEMN ZIONISM OR BE COMPLICIT IN 3th WORLD WAR

This is a chapter-by-chapter analysis and documentation of the power of Israel via the Israeli, Jewish or Pro-Zionist Lobby on US Middle East policy. 

It raises serious questions as to the primary beneficiary of US policy, and its destructive results for the United States. The extraordinary extent of US political, economic, military and diplomatic support for the state of Israel is explored, along with the means whereby such support is generated and consolidated. Contending that Zionist power in America ensured unconditional US backing for Israeli colonization of Palestine and its massive uprooting of Palestinians, it views the interests of Israel rather than those of Big Oil as the primary cause of the disastrous US wars against Iraq and threats of war against Iran and Syria. It demonstrates and condemns US imitation of Israeli practice as it relates to conduct of the war on terrorism and torture. It sheds light on the AIPAC spying scandal and other Israeli espionage against America; the fraudulent and complicit role of America’s academic “terrorist experts-in furthering criminal government policies, and the orchestration of the Danish cartoons to foment antipathy between Muslims and the West. It questions the inability in America to sustain or even formulate a discourse related to the subject of Israeli influence on the United States. It calls for a review of American Mid East policy with a view to reclaiming US independence of action based upon enlightened self-interest and progressive principles.
https://www.scribd.com/book/257718430/The-Power-of-Israel-in-the-United-States

Saturday, June 30

1st EP. - THE GREAT PUPPETEERS OF THE LIBYAN TRAGEDY

LAST GADAFI's TIME FEBRUAR 22, 2011
Glencore is keeping the marketing rights for the Sarir and Messla crude grades for a third year even though BP and Shell are returning to lift Libyan oil in a sign the country’s industry is perceived as becoming more reliable. One source familiar with the matter said Libya’s state oil firm National Oil Corporation (NOC) had allocated its 2018 crude and that the contracts would be signed next week. 

With production having steadied at around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) since the middle of last year, Libya, beset by factional fighting, has become a less unstable supplier. However, supply risks remain. One pipeline bringing Es Sider crude to export was recently bombed but swiftly repaired. BP and Shell declined to comment. Spokesmen for Glencore and the NOC did not immediately respond to requests for comment (Last August, Shell directly lifted its first cargo of Libyan crude in five years).

Since the end of 2015, Glencore has been the sole marketer of the Sarir and Messla grades, which are produced in the east of the country and exported via the Hariga port. Glencore was one of the few traders willing to deal with the risks associated with Libya’s unrest, Islamic State intrusions and a crippling port blockade that slashed the country’s output.

Earlier this month, the NOC said it was seeking a prompt restart of the country’s largest refinery at Ras Lanuf, following a resolution to arbitration cases with its operator, Lerco. The refinery, closed since 2013, runs on the grades allocated to Glencore. It was not immediately clear when the refinery would resume operations or what would happen to Glencore’s allocation once it does. 

NOC subsidiary Arabian Gulf Oil Co produces the Sarir and Messla grades. Output has been fluctuating between around 150,000 and 230,000 bpd, its chairman said in early January, below its potential 320,000 bpd owing to power problems.

Other contract winners include Vitol, Total, Unipec, OMV, BB Energy, ENI, API, Cepsa, Socar and Repsol, trading and shipping sources said, largely unchanged from 2017 to June, 2018.

-Shell and BP have agreed annual deals to buy Libyan crude oil. Sources told the news agency that Shell’s deal is the first of its kind since 2013, and that the first cargo of 600,000 barrels will start to be loaded from Zueitina port.

-The head the eastern-based National Oil Corporation EAST (NOC) has claimed that his office has signed 29 contracts independently of the Tripoli-based organisation.

Naji al-Maghrabi told Reuters that recent contracts included deals with major states such as Russia and China. Russia is reported to be planning to arm eastern-based strongman General Khalifa Haftar

-The Deputy Prime Minister of Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tobruk, Abdus Salam al Badri, told a conference last week in Malta that his government will punish international oil companies (IOCs) that continue to work with the rival administration in Tripoli.

-In parallel, the Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the East of Libya, BP, which didn’t have a term deal in 2017, has reportedly also reached an agreement for this year.

-The Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) held a series of meetings with a group of global refineries in the Mediterranean area and with a major oil companies last week in London. The first meeting was with BP, followed by meetings with more than 20 partners, customers, Libyan crude refiners and fuel suppliers. BP, which didn’t have a term deal in 2017, has reportedly also reached an agreement for this year.

-The newly-created National Oil Corporation (NOC) loyal to the internationally recognised government in the east of Libya has reportedly invited international oil companies (IOCs) to “discuss legally signed agreements and contracts” at a conference in Dubai next month.

-The Tobruk government set up the rival company – ‘NOC East’ – in Benghazi, but oil buyers are still dealing only with the established NOC in Tripoli. According to Reuters, oil customers have refused to sign any deal with the eastern entity due to legal concerns as geological data to prove ownership of oil reserves are stored at NOC Tripoli. The invitation to a conference on 2nd September was issued by Naji al-Maghrabi, who was recently appointed chairman of the eastern NOC.

-The head the eastern-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) has claimed that his office has signed 29 contracts independently of the Tripoli-based organisation.  Naji al-Maghrabi told Reuters that recent contracts included deals with major states such as Russia and China. Russia is reported to be planning to arm eastern-based strongman General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), who opposes the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

-The Deputy Prime Minister of Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tobruk, Abdussalam Elbadri, told a conference last week in Malta that his government will punish international oil companies (IOCs) that continue to work with the rival administration in Tripoli.

-In parallel, the Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the East of Libya, Nagi al-Magrabi, told Bloomberg: “We will send letters to all the international companies that operate in Libya asking them to deal with the internationally recognized and legal government. “We will take measures based on their respective replies to the letter. If they continue to decline to cooperate with the legal government, we will stop their loadings once their contracts expire.” Mahdi Khalifa, an NOC board member, said that any oil companies that refuse to cooperate with the government face the risk of legal action.

-Libya’s internationally recognised government has warned companies against dealing with the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC). Speaking to a press conference of Beida, the head of the House of Representatives (HoR), Abdullah al-Thinni (pictured), said his government is taking further steps to export crude oil from the regions under its control through its locally recognized “NOC”, and away from the Tripoli-based organisation.

-The chairman of the pro-HoR “NOC”, Mabruk Abu Yousef Maraja, warned of the illegality or illegitimacy of dealing with the NOC in Tripoli. He also warned Tripoli not to enter into any contracts or legal actions that would impose any obligations on the Libyan oil sector.

-National Oil Corporation (NOC) Chairman Nuri Berruien [Nuri Balrwin] (pictured), has confirmed that there are to be no new exploration-production sharing agreements (EPSAs) before mid-2014. Answering questions at the end of a conference in London, he added that this would probably be “during a constitutional government”, implying that the current “interim” government is not deemed constitutional enough or does not have the authority or legitimacy to launch an EPSA bidding round, according to Libya Herald. He added that he hoped for a “win-win” situation for both the NOC and the international oil companies, admitting that the current EPSAs had problems for both parties and hoped that the new EPSAs would “encourage long-term development”.

Glencore oil deal in Libya branded worthless by rival government. Internationally recognised regime in Benghazi says commodity firm’s potentially lucrative oil-export deal in Tripoli is with the wrong people. 

Glencore’s deal to export Libyan oil is not worth the paper it is printed on, the commodities company has been told. The Switzerland-based firm agreed last week to buy up to half of Libya’s oil exports from the western division of the National Oil Company in Tripoli, where an Islamist-backed government is based. But the internationally recognised government in Benghazi, in eastern Libya, said Glencore had signed a deal with the wrong people

Nagi Elmagrabi, chairman of the eastern division of the National Oil Company, told Bloomberg that he had written to Glencore asking for an explanation but not yet received a reply. He said that if Glencore had signed a deal with the parallel regime in Tripoli, the Benghazi government could physically prevent Glencore tankers from using Libyan ports. 

The deal in question envisages Glencore loading and finding buyers for crude oil from the Sarir and Messla fields, exported via Tobruk’s Marsa el-Hariga port in the east. The eastern government says it does not recognise any agreement signed with Tripoli.

Finding a way to resolve the impasse could prove particularly lucrative for Glencore, given that Libya’s oil exports have huge potential to increase. Libya was pumping about 1.6m barrels of oil a day before the civil war that ended Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule in 2011. 

Production has since slumped to as low as 400,000 barrels a day, although it could be increased if the security situation in Libya improves. Glencore regularly invests in countries where security risks and political turmoil have deterred other investors, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia

However, the company is in need of new sources of income, after the economic slowdown in China prompted a slump in global commodity prices, ravaging its share price. The company floated its shares at £5.30 in 2011 but they have since plunged, closing on Monday at 90.42p. 

The firm announced proposals earlier this year to raise £6.6bn in an effort to allay investors’ fears about its £20bn debt pile. The plan includes mine closures, asset sales and a £1.6bn share-placing but has yet to arrest the decline in Glencore’s stock. Glencore declined to comment on its dealings in Libya


Friday, June 29

LIBYA 2011-TOP SECRET ROYAL AIR FORCE BOMBING LYBIA

RAF aircraft bombed a key intelligence building in TRIPOLI and breached the walls of COLONEL GEDDAFI's command complex this weekend, and inflicted further losses on pro-Gaddafi forces massed at Zlitan and Gharyan.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, 24 July, RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft conducted a precision strike on the Central Organisation for Electronic Research (COER). Major General Nick Pope, the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Communications Officer, said:

Ostensibly an engineering academy, the COER has, in reality, long been a cover for the regime’s nefarious activities. Up until Colonel Gaddafi’s renunciation of weapons of mass destruction in 2003, the COER was responsible for his long-range missile development programme.

Intensive surveillance by NATO over the past weeks revealed that the building was still being actively used by his security apparatus to repress the civilian population, and was thus a wholly legitimate target.

Also on Sunday morning, other RAF jets successfully attacked two staging posts near Zlitan being used to muster tanks, rocket artillery and ammunition. Later that afternoon, an armed reconnaissance patrol located and destroyed a regime main battle tank near Gharyan, on the edge of the Djebel Nafousa, south of Tripoli.

On Saturday, 23 July, RAF aircraft used precision guided weapons to breach the walls of Colonel Gaddafi’s command complex in central Tripoli.

General Pope said:

Gaddafi has for decades hidden from the Libyan people behind these walls. The vast Bab al-Aziziya compound is not just his personal residence, but, more importantly, is also the main headquarters for his regime, with command and control facilities and an army barracks all part of the same fortified site.

Successive NATO strikes in past weeks have inflicted extensive damage on the military facilities within.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, supported by allied aircraft, struck the high perimeter walls of the compound, which have for so long been such an unwelcome symbol to the people of Tripoli of Gaddafi’s despotic rule.

Paveway guided bombs scored direct hits in thirteen different places on both the outer and inner perimeter walls along the western side of Bab al-Aziziya. As ever, particular care was taken to ensure no civilian traffic on nearby roads was endangered.

Also on Saturday, RAF jets on patrol near Zlitan successfully struck four buildings which NATO surveillance missions had confirmed were being used as a command and control centre and a staging post for regime troops being mustered for attacks on the people of Libya.

Armed reconnaissance patrols continued in the area throughout the day, and, during Saturday night, RAF aircraft were able to conduct a precision strike on a large ammunition stockpile. In addition, HMS Ocean launched her Army Apache helicopters against a number of military positions between Zlitan and Al Khums, which were successfully engaged using Hellfire missiles.

On Thursday afternoon, 21 July, RAF aircraft patrolling near Zlitan identified and destroyed a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. During the night, British Army Apache helicopters once again launched a strike mission from HMS Ocean, while other NATO aircraft provided overwatch.

Two buildings being used by regime troops at Al Khums were damaged by Hellfire missiles. This strike was followed up by NATO fixed-wing aircraft in the early hours of Friday morning; RAF jets hit six ammunition storage facilities near Zlitan, and a large building that was being used as a base for multiple rocket launchers threatening Misurata.

In addition, one deployed rocket launcher and two armed trucks were destroyed.

On Friday afternoon, 22 July, further RAF armed reconnaissance patrols successfully engaged one of Gaddafi’s tanks and another armed truck, again near Zlitan.

Throughout these operations, NATO tanker and surveillance assets provided essential support, including RAF VC10, Tristar, Sentry and Sentinel aircraft.

At sea, the frigate HMS Iron Duke has been relieved on station by her sister ship HMS Sutherland. HMS Bangor continues to provide NATO’s maritime task group with a vital mine countermeasures capability, ready to respond to any attempts by the regime to again lay mines off Misurata port.

Since the start of military operations to enforce UNSCR 1973, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps precision strikes have destroyed over 710 regime targets engaged in the repression of the Libyan people.

UK missions over Libya are undertaken as part of NATO’s Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, to enforce UNSCR 1973 and protect Libyan civilians at risk of attack.

UK forces currently deployed on this operation include:

RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft based at Gioia del Colle in Italy
RAF VC10 and Tristar air-to-air refuelling tankers, based in Sicily, Cyprus and the UK
RAF Sentry and Sentinel surveillance aircraft, based in Sicily and Cyprus
HMS Ocean (helicopter carrier)
HMS Sutherland (Type 23 frigate)
HMS Bangor (Sandown class minehunter)
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Rosalie
British Army Apache attack helicopters
Fleet Air Arm Sea King helicopters (Airborne Surveillance and Area Control role).
RAF air transport aircraft provide extensive logistic support to the deployed bases in Italy, Sicily and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.

Royal Air Force aircraft yesterday participated in a long-range mission, targeting a military vehicle depot at a former regime compound located near SEBHA.

As Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR continued to provide protection for the Libyan people, the RAF flew a formation of Tornados from RAF Marham in Norfolk, south across Europe, to rendezvous with the other allied aircraft in the strike package, before firing a large salvo of Storm Shadow precision guided stand-off missiles.

Our aircraft recovered to Gioia del Colle air base in southern Italy and will return to Marham in due course.

Major General Nick Pope, the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Communications Officer, said:

This mission has once again demonstrated NATO’s ability and resolve to reach deep into Libya to target those elements of the former regime who persist in their attempts to oppress the Libyan people.

NATO also maintained its armed reconnaissance patrols over all areas of potential continuing conflict, and, in the course of these, RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft observed multiple rocket launchers in action near Sirte. Paveway and Brimstone attacks accounted for one of the rocket launchers and an armed pick-up truck.

UK missions over Libya are undertaken as part of NATO’s Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 and protect Libyan civilians at risk of attack.

UK forces currently deployed on this operation include:

RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft based at Gioia del Colle in Italy
RAF VC10 and TriStar air-to-air refuelling tankers based in Sicily and the UK
RAF Sentry and Sentinel surveillance aircraft based in Sicily and Cyprus
HMS Ocean (helicopter carrier)
HMS Liverpool (Type 42 destroyer)
HMS Bangor (Sandown Class minehunter)
Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Fort Rosalie
British Army Apache attack helicopters
Fleet Air Arm Sea King helicopters (Airborne Surveillance and Area Control role).
RAF air transport aircraft provide extensive logistic support to the deployed bases in Italy, Sicily and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.

RAF aircraft have struck further targets in SIRTE and Bani Walid over recent days as NATO continues operations over Libya to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973.

NATO’s Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR has maintained an air presence over those areas of Libya where conflict continues, particularly Bani Walid and Sirte, with RAF aircraft still making a significant contribution.

On Thursday evening, an armed reconnaissance patrol of Tornado GR4s identified one of Colonel Gaddafi’s main battle tanks near Bani Walid and destroyed the vehicle with a Brimstone precision guided missile.

During the course of Friday afternoon, two formations of RAF Tornados conducted strikes against a firing position and supply point which had been located by NATO surveillance analysis within the area of Sirte. Eight Paveway guided bombs were successfully dropped by our aircraft onto the target.

RAF jets were again tasked by NATO to conduct a precision strike on a vehicle supply point in Sirte on Saturday and struck their target accurately with four Paveway guided bombs.

Our aircraft also continued to play an active part in the patrols over Bani Walid, and on Sunday morning they spotted two armed pick-up trucks being used by former regime forces to fire on a civilian compound.

Brimstone missiles were able to destroy both vehicles without any collateral damage to surrounding property. A follow-up patrol later in the day located a third armed truck in the vicinity of Bani Walid and destroyed it with a Paveway bomb.

Royal Navy ships meanwhile maintain their patrols off the Libyan coast, with HMS Liverpool providing security and reassurance to merchant shipping as the ports and harbours liberated by the new Libyan authorities seek to return to normal operation.

UK missions over Libya are undertaken as part of NATO’s Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR to enforce UNSCRs 1970 and 1973 and protect Libyan civilians at risk of attack.

UK forces currently deployed on this operation include:

RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft based at Gioia del Colle in Italy
RAF VC10 and TriStar air-to-air refuelling tankers based in Sicily and the UK
RAF Sentry and Sentinel surveillance aircraft based in Sicily and Cyprus
HMS Liverpool (Type 42 destroyer)
HMS Bangor (Sandown Class minehunter)
RAF air transport aircraft provide extensive logistic support to the deployed bases in Italy, Sicily and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.





Tuesday, April 24

THE SPECIAL FEELINGS BETWEEN C.I.A. AND MONTENEGRO

Dedicate to H.E. JOHN McCAINE (from Adriaticus)

U.S. Congressional investigators want to know what an former CIA operative was doing in Montenegro last fall at the time of an alleged Russian backed coup plot against NATO’s newest member.
Michele Rigby and Joseph Assad
(U.S. authorities say they are curious why former CIA operative Joseph Assad, seen above in 2016 with his wife, Michele, was in Montenegro last fall around when an alleged coup plot was foiled). 
Photo by Lady Hereford/ Palm Beach Atlantic University
Former Central Intelligence Agency‎ Officer Joseph Assad is celebrated in Washington for helping extract dozens of Iraqi Christians from Islamic State territory in 2015‎. Last October, days before a hotly contested national election in Montenegro, Mr. Assad flew to the tiny Balkan country that has been the subject of tensions between the U.S. and Russia.


The imbroglio is a sign that old East-versus-West spy games are alive again in Europe. Current and former U.S. and Russian officials acknowledge privately that their operatives are at work in the Balkans and in Montenegro in particular.


U.S. and Montenegrin officials say the campaign culminated in a Russian-backed plot that was thwarted at the last moment. The government’s opponents say the events amounted to a fake coup intended to rally the people to the ruling party’s side.


Montenegrin officials said they are investigating whether Mr. Assad was hired to help the alleged perpetrators. Prosecutors have charged 14 people in the alleged plot, including what the indictment describes as a group of Serb nationalists, several of whom called themselves The Wolves. 

The indictment, recently upheld by Montenegrin courts, says the men planned to overthrow Montenegro’s government, possibly kill its prime minister and install a pro-Russian regime. It doesn’t charge Mr. Assad, but names him as a potential contractor hired to help to lead a subsequent escape from the country.

U.S. and allied officials have said it makes no sense that the coup plotters would use an outsider to help extract their team from the country. But Montenegrin and U.S. officials said it is possible Russian operatives wanted to associate a former CIA officer unwittingly with the plot so as to obscure Moscow’s responsibility.

U.S. and allied officials said one reason they believe there was a coup planned was that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said his country’s security services had found “undeniable and material” evidence to back the Montenegrin account and cooperated with the investigation.

Prosecutors allege in their indictment that Mr. Assad approached a Florida security firm, Patriot Defense Group, looking for someone to help with “counter surveillance and evacuation” for the opposition party.

Brian Scott, a former CIA official and chief executive of Patriot Defense Group (John McCain), said a staff member spoke with Mr. Assad about general security work in Montenegro for a company affiliated with Patriot. Mr. Scott said he didn’t know if the work was to conduct an evacuation, adding his company quickly turned down the job because it wasn’t aligned with his firm’s mission to assist U.S. companies overseas.

Mr. Assad, who hasn’t been indicted, declined to speak to The Wall Street Journal. His lawyer, Vincent Citro, said Mr. Assad had been in Montenegro to assist a friend and colleague who was managing the opposition’s campaign. Mr. Citro says Mr. Assad had nothing to do with any plot and denies Mr. Assad was working as a spy for Russia or anyone else.

Mr. Citro confirmed there was a call between Mr. Assad and Patriot Defense Group. He said Mr. Assad has cooperated with the U.S. government “to clarify misinformation coming from Montenegro” but said he was told his client isn’t under investigation.

A story about Mr. Assad and his wife on the website of his college alma mater and a 2016 profile in a Florida newspaper provides this sketch of Mr. Assad: He is an Egyptian Christian raised in Lebanon and Egypt and is now a naturalized U.S. citizen. He moved to the U.S. to attend Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida, where he focused on political science and biblical studies and graduated in 1994. In 1999, Mr. Assad and his wife, born in the U.S., both joined the CIA.

In 2015, after Mr. Assad moved to a private security consultancy, ABC’s 20/20 featured a segment on how the Assads helped rescue 149 Iraqi Christians from ISIS.

Among those charged in the alleged plot in Montenegro are two accused Russian operatives, three members of the Montenegrin opposition and nine Serbs. The trial will hinge on the credibility of the government’s main witness, a (unindicted) Serb who in a statement cited in the indictment says he was recruited by a Russian intelligence agent to overthrow a government.

Staff members and investigators of the House Intelligence Committee this week reached out to Mr. Assad and Mr. Scott to ask them questions. “If Americans were involved we need to investigate,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), the committee’s chairman. He recently visited Montenegro to meet with prosecutors about the allegations of Russian involvement. “This was an attempt to take down the pro-NATO government by Russian interests,” he said.

Last year, Montenegro’s Democratic Party of Socialists, which has ruled the country since independence in 2006 and has pushed for NATO membership, faced a stiff challenge from the Democratic Front, a coalition of opposition groups that campaigned on an anticorruption platform and called for a referendum on NATO.

The opposition hired Aron Shaviv, a British-Israeli campaign manager who had made his mark producing amusing political advertisements for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. With Mr. Shaviv’s satirical ads poking fun of the government on the air, Mr. Shaviv said, he was followed and pulled over by Montenegrin police and security.

Mr. Shaviv said he called Mr. Assad, with whom he had worked previously, to come to Montenegro to conduct a security assessment. Mr. Assad’s lawyer says his client provided the assessments for Mr. Shaviv, then left on the day of the election.


Montenegrin and U.S. congressional investigators have questioned the timing of Mr. Assad’s exit. In conversations with the Journal, they asked why a security adviser would leave his client on the day of the election, hours after high-profile arrests of alleged plotters.

Mr. Shaviv, who hasn’t been accused in the plot, said the Montenegrin prosecutors’ allegations amount to believing Moscow tried to topple a government using a team made up of a political consultant, a former CIA agent and “some farm boys from rural Montenegro with their hunting rifles.”

Mr. Shaviv said Montenegro’s government faced defeat in the October election and whipped up the “sloppiest conspiracy theory ever concocted.” Both the Montenegrin government and ruling-party officials deny the allegation.


While Russian officials deny they are trying to destabilize NATO aspirants or countries on their borders, U.S. officials said they expect more Russian interference across Europe. 

Gen. Ben Hodges, a senior U.S. Army commander in Europe, said Russia is “going to continue doing this, putting pressure on countries on their periphery.”

Write to Julian E. Barnes at julian.barnes@wsj.com and Drew Hinshaw at drew.hinshaw@wsj.com

Sunday, April 15

CHEMICAL ARMS (WEAPONS) THE TRUTH FROM 1918 TO 2018

Edward M. Spiers, professor of strategic studies at Leeds University, in England, explores both the myths and realities of chemical and biological warfare. Organized more or less
chronologically, Spiers recounts the evolution of chemical and biological weapons from the first mass uses of chemical weapons in World War I to the potential of modern biology to transform bioterrorism.

Spiers writes that chemical and biological weapons have probably been around as long as warfare itself. Ancient European, Indian, and Chinese history is replete with the use of poisonous snakes, insects, diseased animals, incendiaries, poison-tipped weapons, and poisoned water supplies in warfare. The first large-scale use of chemical weapons occurred in World War I, when the Germans discharged chlorine gas from cylinders at Ypres, Belgium, in 1915. 

Reported casualties from the gas ranged from 7,000 to 15,000 people, but after the initial surprise, the Allies were able to improvise protective measures. Within five months, the British were able to retaliate at the Battle of Loos, but they suffered 2,000 casualties to their own gas.

The failures of gas to break the enemy’s lines at Ypres, Loos, and other battles contributed to the legacy of gas warfare in World War I as a failure. However, Spiers argues, this legacy was largely shaped by postwar historians, because few participants shared that view. The use of gas actually increased over the course of the war. In addition to consequent casualties, gas negatively affected morale and considerably contributed to psychological and physical stress. Antigas defenses also made warfare more cumbersome, exacerbating logistical and communication challenges.

As evidence of the effectiveness of chemical weapons, real or imagined, Spiers writes that the Allies prohibited Germany from manufacturing and importing asphyxiating or poisonous
gases as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war. Furthermore, in 1925, 44 nations signed the Geneva Protocol, which prohibited the use of chemical and biological weapons by international law and the “conscience and practice of nations.” Nonetheless, during the period between World Wars I and II, Britain considered but, for largely moral and political reasons, did not use chemical weapons in Egypt, Afghanistan, India, and Iraq.

Winston Churchill himself was “strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes,” Spiers writes. The eventual use of gas bombs by the Italians in Ethiopia in 1935–36, however, in direct contravention of the Ge ne va Protocol, reawakened Europe to the possibility of gas warfare. In Britain, more than 50 million “antigas” helmets had been distributed by the beginning of World War II. 

INHUMANE

A Kurdish woman carries photos of relatives killed in chemical weapons attacks ordered
Questions of efficacy aside, Spiers writes that a combination of other factors averted the use
of chemical weapons during the Second World War. Because of the industrial and economic
hardships engendered as a result of the First World War, German, French, and British
chemical production capacity was limited. Hitler personally disdained chemical weapons,
which had injured him during World War I

Moreover, early in World War II, Germany did not need to resort to chemical weapons, and the Allies could not risk using them near friendlycivilian populations. Eventually, Germany did test its V1 and V2 rockets with chemical warheads, although the nation was deterred from using them by fear of reprisal against its civilian population. 

By the end of the war, U.S. military-industrial might had produced the world’s largest stock of chemical weapons and the air power to deliver them. However, the development of the atomic bomb, and success on other fronts, made their use unnecessary.

Biological weapons were not used to a significant extent in either the First or Second World
Wars. Nonetheless, as Spiers describes, there were still chilling reminders of the potential
power of even crude biological weapons. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, six Japanese soldiers released hordes of plague-infested rats and 60 horses infected with glanders into the Chinese countryside, leaving Changchun and surrounding environs uninhabitable until the mid-1950s.

Nuclear weapons, of course, came to dominate deterrence strategies during the Cold War.
Nonetheless, the proliferation of a new class of chemical weapons, nerve agents such as
sarin [2-(fluoro-methylphosphoryl)oxypropane], touched off a new chemical arms race, Spiers writes. From 1954 to 1969, the U.S. also manufactured and stockpiled numerous antiplant and antipersonnel biological weapons.

In Vietnam, the U.S. faced criticism, both at home and abroad, for its use of riot-control agents (to clear tunnels, for example), defoliants, and chemical weapons to kill crops and render soils infertile. In 1967 alone, the U.S. defoliated 1.5 million acres of vegetation and destroyed 220,000 acres of crops in Vietnam. In 1969, the Nixon Administration announced the end of the U.S. biological weapons program, in part, Spiers argues, to blunt criticism for its use of herbicides and riot control agents in Vietnam.

In the meantime, Spiers writes, the Soviets were developing the world’s most advanced chemical and biological weapons program.

During the Cold War, Iran and Iraq also waged a devastating war (1980–88) that again witnessed the mass by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Credit: Newscom use of chemical weapons. The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) later confirmed that the Iraqis had used some 1,800 tons of mustard agent, 140 tons of tabun (ethyl Ndimethyl phosphoramido cyanidate), and 600 tons of sarin. 

Iraq estimated these attacks resulted in more than 30,000 Iranian casualties (compared with the 500,000 to 1 million estimated total Iranian casualties). As Spiers notes, although the number of casualties from chemical weapons may have been small on a relative basis, the psychological impact was significant. Iraq’s ballistic missiles, and the fear of their potential to deliver chemical warheads to Iranian cities, played a role in Iran’s accepting the United Nations-brokered truce in 1988. Iraqi chemical weapons also helped to suppress the internal Kurdish rebellion, killing and injuring thousands of Kurds and leading to the flight of 65,000 others to Turkey in 1988, Spiers writes.

By the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq had significantly restocked and improved its chemical weapons capabilities. U.S. Central Commander Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf originally planned for 10,000 to 20,000 chemical weapons casualties, but Iraq never resorted to chemical weapons. The George H. W. Bush Administration had already decided not to respond with nuclear or chemical weapons if coalition forces were attacked with chemical weapons, but they deliberately conveyed the opposite impression.

Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S. Tariq Aziz later commented that the Iraqis understood that the use of chemical weapons might very well provoke the use of nuclear weapons against Baghdad by the U.S. Although Iraq’s SCUD missile attacks against Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain inflicted minimal physical damage, the specter of chemical warheads inflicted great psychological damage. Spiers quotes Schwarzkopf: “The biggest concern was a chemical warhead threat. … Each time they launched … the question was, is this going to be a chemical missile. That was what you were concerned about.” 

Their unique ability to engender such fears, of course, is precisely what makes chemical and biological weapons appealing to terrorists. As Spiers astutely notes, “terrorists can choose when, where, and how to attack their targets, they can avoid many of the uncertainties that have bedeviled the military use of chemical and biological weapons. By maximizing the element of surprise, they can attack targets with low or non-existent levels of protection; by careful choice of target environment, especially an enclosed facility, they need not wait upon optimum meteorological conditions; by attacking highly vulnerable areas, they may use a less than optimal mode of delivery; and by making a chemical or biological assault, they may expect to capture media attention and cause widespread panic.”

Although chemical weapons have been used much more frequently, Spiers notes that on a per-mass basis, biological weapons are more lethal than chemical weapons. As advances in production technologies can simultaneously result in increased yields in smaller, harder-todetect facilities, the potential utility of biological weapons to terrorists will become even more significant. 


In the most well-known example of biological terrorism to date, in October 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, anthrax-tainted letters began appearing in the U.S. Despite fears of another international attack, the strain was identified as having come from a domestic source, the Army research facility at Fort Detrick, Md. Letters were received in Florida, New York, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., including a Senate office building. As Spiers described it, “massive panic and chaos” erupted, and Congress and the Supreme Court were closed for several days, although only 22 cases of anthrax actually resulted, including just five fatalities.


One of the most sobering developments outlined in the book is the application and
proliferation of emergent molecular biology techniques to the production of biological
weapons. Through the use of genetic engineering, new or modified organisms of greater
virulence, antibiotic resistance, and environmental stability may be produced. 

In one notable example foreshadowing the utility of biotechnology to weapons production, the Soviets developed the host bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which through genetic engineering could also produce the myelin toxin. Infected animals developed both the tuberculosis-like symptoms caused by the bacteria and the paralysis induced by the myelin toxin. One former Soviet scientist recalled that after a briefing on the results, “the room was absolutely silent. We all recognized the implications of what the scientists had achieved. A new class of weapon had been found.”

Additional topics in this comprehensive book include the various international attempts at chemical and biological weapons disarmament, deterrence, and nonproliferation, including the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention; the sarin attacks on the Japanese subways in the mid-1990s; the use of chemical warfare in developing-world conflicts; and the embarrassing failures of American and British intelligence regarding Iraqi chemical weapons that led to the second Gulf War. 

For those of us interested in the potential impacts of chemistry and biology on humankind, Spiers’s book is a thoroughly documented, no-nonsense (often to the point of being dry) review of the malevolent potential of our science.

Read also here
and here
here

Saturday, February 11

A FRONTE PRECIPITIUM , A TERGO LUPI


Magia tipica italica: "puff... spariscono i fratelli Giulio e Francesca Maria Occhionero, superlaureati e oggi, paff.... arrivano gli hackers russi.". 

Gli italiani, lettori, ascoltatori, smartphonisti, videodipendenti, da ieri devono dimenticare le palle gonfie che ci hanno fatto i "giornalai italiani" sui due fratelli Occhionero, sostituendoli "voilà" con Putin e i suoi putinini hackeronisti. Minchia, che pazienza bovina ci avete popolo bùenista.

Solo i "giornalai italiani" riescono a montare tempeste tropicali, diluvi universali, glaciazioni e desertificazioni tra Bolzano e Ragusa. Solo loro riescono a far dimenticare alla Penisola italica, il giorno dopo, quanto sia stato il loro grado di vaneggiamento, ignoranza e/o,  "istruzioni" ricevute. Veniamo ai fatti.

È il 2 ottobre quando Giulio Occhionero, intercettato telematicamente dal 23 agosto 2016, comincia a sospettare di essere finito nel mirino. Da un solo giorno gli investigatori della Polizia postale hanno iniziato una intercettazione telematica attiva sul computer connesso alla linea fissa in casa, ma l’uomo è già in allerta: a un’intercettazione sembra che qualcuno lo abbia avvertito. 

Dopo aver effettuato una verifica sui certificati Microsoft invia una mail alla sorella Francesca Maria: “Ad ogni modo è valido pure sui server (Moscow) americani quindi dubito che abbiano dato ad un’autorità italiana il privilegio di infettare macchine americane“. Lei risponde subito dopo: “Bravo! Possiamo tranquillizzarci (un po’)

Il 10 gennaio scorso, la Polizia postale, ha arrestato i due fratelli per avere hackerato le e-mail di notabili politici come il presidente della Banca centrale europea, Mario Draghi, e l'ex presidente del Consiglio, Matteo Renzi, del ministro degli Esteri Gentiloni e ancora decine, centinaia di altre importanti utenze istituzionali.

Fosse per il cognome dei due fratelli (Occhionero) arrestati per cyberspionaggio, per il programma informatico, che hanno usato e che dà il nome all’inchiesta della Procura di Roma:" Eye Piramide".

Naturalmente è doveroso attendere gli sviluppi giudiziari dell’indagine del Centro Nazionale Anticrimine Informatico per la Protezione delle Infrastrutture Critiche. Il C.N.A.I.P.I.C. 

L'’impressione è di essere di fronte ad una spy story di primo livello. Dove due professionisti (lui ingegnere nucleare, lei cittadina USA che ha lavorato in Italia come consulente del governo americano) residenti a Londra e domiciliati a Roma, tra il 2011 ed il 2016 sono entrati nel cuore dello Stato e, più in generale, nel sistema di potere e nella politica italiana, istituzioni comprese. 

Incamerando – attraverso un elenco di quasi ventimila username – una massa enorme di dati e informazioni sensibili, civili e militari, archiviati e custoditi in alcuni server negli Stati Uniti con un metodo di catalogazione preciso e articolato.

Matteo Renzi e Mario Monti, dell’ex Governatore della Banca d’Italia e oggi Presidente della BCE, Mario Draghi, e dell’ex Comandante generale della Guardia di Finanza, Saverio Capolupo, per disegnare il profilo dell’attacco volto, scrivono i magistrati, al «procacciamento di notizie concernenti la sicurezza dello Stato con accesso abusivo al sistema informatico e intercettazione illecita di comunicazioni informatiche». 

E basta ricordare che anche l’ENAV, la società che controlla e garantisce il traffico aereo civile in Italia, dunque un’infrastruttura di assoluto interesse nazionale strategico, è stata oggetto dell’hackeraggio che nel marzo scorso ha fatto scattare l’allarme.


Possibile siano stati solo una coppia di professionisti (lui, massone molto interessato ai giochi di potere al vertice della Massoneria) svelti di mente e di mano e con buone relazioni sociali che con il loro “Eye Pyramid” hanno messo in piedi per fini di lucro personale uno spionaggio di questa portata? È possibile che un sistema diffuso di potere con al centro lo Stato e le sue funzioni più delicate, per cinque anni, non sia riuscito a sventare l’aggressione, alzando di fatto bandiera bianca di fronte agli Occhionero?

Ruslan Stoyanov, top manager della Kaspersky Lab, la più grande azienda russa che opera nel settore della cybersicurezza e degli antivirus, è stato arrestato a Mosca lo scorso dicembre anche se la notizia è trapelata solo ora

A renderlo noto è stata la stessa società, specificando però che le indagini sull'uomo sono relative a un periodo che precede la sua assunzione e che il «lavoro svolto dalla nostra squadra di ricercatori, il Computer Incidents Investigation Team, non è coinvolto da questi sviluppi».

Friday, February 3

SEVEN MEN WITH DARK MONEY CONTROL THE WORLD

How corporate dark money is taking power on both sides of the Atlantic by George Monbiot.

In April 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt sent the US Congress the following warning: “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is comunism and fascism.” It is a warning we would do well to remember.

It took corporate America a while to warm to Donald Trump. Some of his positions, especially on trade, horrified business leaders. Many of them favoured Ted Cruz or Scott Walker. But once Trump had secured the nomination, the big money began to recognise an unprecedented opportunity.

Trump was prepared not only to promote the cause of corporations in government, but to turn government into a kind of corporation, staffed and run by executives and lobbyists. His incoherence was not a liability, but an opening: his agenda could be shaped. And the dark money network already developed by some American corporations was perfectly positioned to shape it. 

Dark money is the term used in the US for the funding of organisations involved in political advocacy that are not obliged to disclose where the money comes from. Few people would see a tobacco company as a credible source on public health, or a coal company as a neutral commentator on climate change. In order to advance their political interests, such companies must pay others to speak on their behalf.

Soon after the second world war, some of America’s richest people began setting up a network of thinktanks to promote their interests. These purport to offer dispassionate opinions on public affairs. But they are more like corporate lobbyists, working on behalf of those who fund them.

We have no hope of understanding what is coming until we understand how the dark money network operates. The remarkable story of a British member of parliament provides a unique insight into this network, on both sides of the Atlantic. His name is Liam Fox. Six years ago, his political career seemed to be over when he resigned as defence secretary after being caught mixing his private and official interests. But today he is back on the front bench, and with a crucial portfolio: secretary of state for international trade.

In 1997, the year the Conservatives lost office to Tony Blair, Fox, who is on the hard right of the Conservative party, founded an organisation called The Atlantic Bridge. Its patron was Margaret Thatcher. On its advisory council sat future cabinet ministers Michael Gove, George Osborne, William Hague and Chris Grayling. Fox, a leading campaigner for Brexit, described the mission of Atlantic Bridge as “to bring people together who have common interests”. It would defend these interests from “European integrationists who would like to pull Britain away from its relationship with the United States”.

Atlantic Bridge was later registered as a charity. In fact it was part of the UK’s own dark money network: only after it collapsed did we discover the full story of who had funded it. Its main sponsor was the immensely rich Michael Hintze, who worked at Goldman Sachs before setting up the hedge fund CQS. Hintze is one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors. In 2012 he was revealed as a funder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which casts doubt on the science of climate change. As well as making cash grants and loans to Atlantic Bridge, he lent Fox his private jet to fly to and from Washington.

Another funder was the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It paid for a researcher at Atlantic Bridge called Gabby Bertin. She went on to become David Cameron’s press secretary, and now sits in the House of Lords: Cameron gave her a life peerage in his resignation honours list.

In 2007, a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) set up a sister organisation, the Atlantic Bridge Project. Alec is perhaps the most controversial corporate-funded thinktank in the US. It specialises in bringing together corporate lobbyists with state and federal legislators to develop “model bills”. The legislators and their families enjoy lavish hospitality from the group, then take the model bills home with them, to promote as if they were their own initiatives.

Alec has claimed that more than 1,000 of its bills are introduced by legislators every year, and one in five of them becomes law. It has been heavily funded by tobacco companies, the oil company Exxon, drug companies and Charles and David Koch – the billionaires who founded the first Tea Party organisations. Pfizer, which funded Bertin’s post at Atlantic Bridge, sits on Alec’s corporate board. Some of the most contentious legislation in recent years, such as state bills lowering the minimum wage, bills granting corporations immunity from prosecution and the “ag-gag” laws – forbidding people to investigate factory farming practices – were developed by Alec.

To run the US arm of Atlantic Bridge, Alec brought in its director of international relations, Catherine Bray. She is a British woman who had previously worked for the Conservative MEP Richard Ashworth and the Ukip MEP Roger Helmer. Bray has subsequently worked for Conservative MEP and Brexit campaigner Daniel Hannan. Her husband is Wells Griffith, the battleground states director for Trump’s presidential campaign.

Among the members of Atlantic Bridge’s US advisory council were the ultra-conservative senators James Inhofe, Jon Kyl and Jim DeMint. Inhofe is reported to have received over $2m in campaign finance from coal and oil companies. Both Koch Industries and ExxonMobil have been major donors.

Kyl, now retired, is currently acting as the “sherpa” guiding Jeff Sessions’s nomination as Trump’s attorney general through the Senate. Jim DeMint resigned his seat in the Senate to become president of the Heritage Foundation – the thinktank founded with a grant from Joseph Coors of the Coors brewing empire, and built up with money from the banking and oil billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. Like Alec, it has been richly funded by the Koch brothers. Heritage, under DeMint’s presidency, drove the attempt to ensure that Congress blocked the federal budget, temporarily shutting down the government in 2013. Fox’s former special adviser at the Ministry of Defence, an American called Luke Coffey, now works for the foundation.

The Heritage Foundation is now at the heart of Trump’s administration. Its board members, fellows and staff comprise a large part of his transition team. Among them are Rebekah Mercer, who sits on Trump’s executive committee; Steven Groves and Jim Carafano (State Department); Curtis Dubay (Treasury); and Ed Meese, Paul Winfree, Russ Vought and John Gray (management and budget). CNN reports that “no other Washington institution has that kind of footprint in the transition”.

Trump’s extraordinary plan to cut federal spending by $10.5tn was drafted by the Heritage Foundation, which called it a “blueprint for a new administration”. Vought and Gray, who moved on to Trump’s team from Heritage, are now turning this blueprint into his first budget.

This will, if passed, inflict devastating cuts on healthcare, social security, legal aid, financial regulation and environmental protections; eliminate programmes to prevent violence against women, defend civil rights and fund the arts; and will privatise the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Trump, as you follow this story, begins to look less like a president and more like an intermediary, implementing an agenda that has been handed down to him.

In July last year, soon after he became trade secretary, Liam Fox flew to Washington. One of his first stops was a place he has visited often over the past 15 years: the office of the Heritage Foundation, where he spoke to, among others, Jim DeMint. A freedom of information request reveals that one of the topics raised at the meeting was the European ban on American chicken washed in chlorine: a ban that producers hope the UK will lift under a new trade agreement. 

Afterwards, Fox wrote to DeMint, looking forward to “working with you as the new UK government develops its trade policy priorities, including in high value areas that we discussed such as defence”.

How did Fox get to be in this position, after the scandal that brought him down in 2011? The scandal itself provides a clue: it involved a crossing of the boundaries between public and private interests. The man who ran the UK branch of Atlantic Bridge was his friend Adam Werritty, who operated out of Michael Hintze’s office building. Werritty’s work became entangled with Fox’s official business as defence secretary. Werritty, who carried a business card naming him as Fox’s adviser but was never employed by the Ministry of Defence, joined the secretary of state on numerous ministerial visits overseas, and made frequent visits to Fox’s office.

By the time details of this relationship began to leak, the charity commission had investigated Atlantic Bridge and determined that its work didn’t look very charitable. It had to pay back the tax from which it had been exempted (Hintze picked up the bill). In response, the trustees shut the organisation down. As the story about Werritty’s unauthorised involvement in government business began to grow, Fox made a number of misleading statements. He was left with no choice but to resign.

When Theresa May brought Fox back into government, it was as strong a signal as we might receive about the intentions of her government. The trade treaties that Fox is charged with developing set the limits of sovereignty. US food and environmental standards tend to be lower than Britain’s, and will become lower still if Trump gets his way. 

Any trade treaty we strike will create a common set of standards for products and services. Trump’s administration will demand that ours are adjusted downwards, so that US corporations can penetrate our markets without having to modify their practices. All the cards, post-Brexit vote, are in US hands: if the UK doesn’t cooperate, there will be no trade deal.

May needed someone who is unlikely to resist. She chose Fox, who has become an indispensable member of her team. The shadow diplomatic mission he developed through Atlantic Bridge plugs him straight into the Trump administration.

Long before Trump won, campaign funding in the US had systematically corrupted the political system. A new analysis by US political scientists finds an almost perfect linear relationship, across 32 years, between the money gathered by the two parties for congressional elections and their share of the vote. But there has also been a shift over these years: corporate donors have come to dominate this funding.

By tying our fortunes to those of the United States, the UK government binds us into this system. This is part of what Brexit was about: European laws protecting the public interest were portrayed by Conservative Eurosceptics as intolerable intrusions on corporate freedom. Taking back control from Europe means closer integration with the US. The transatlantic special relationship is a special relationship between political and corporate power. That power is cemented by the networks Liam Fox helped to develop.