Monday, February 25, 2019

For some reason

"Sackler behind OxyContin fraud offered twisted, mind-boggling defense" (Mole).  "Sackler Embraced Plan To Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows" (ProPublica).  We wouldn't even know about much of this vicious anti-gentilism had somebody not leaked the sealed document.

"The U.S.-Venezuela Aid Convoy Story Is Clearly Bogus, but No One Wants to Say It" (Johnson):
". . . how our government has weaponized the public’s sense of morality. Since the Spanish-American War, the U.S. has used humanitarian concerns as a shield against criticism or skepticism, and it has more or less worked every time. It’s why “aid” organizations like Air America used food transports to ship guns to anti-Communists in Indochina in the 1960s and ’70s. (Weapons were code-named “hard rice.”) And it’s why Elliott Abrams—the current quarterback of this latest affair in Venezuela—used humanitarian aid shipments to smuggle weapons to the Nicaragua’s Contras in the ’80s. Ultimately, these shipments allow for massive military buildups, without anyone in the media or Congress asking too many questions. After all, what kind of monster is opposed to helping starving people?
It’s impossible to know if the current shipments to Venezuela are being used to transport weapons, although Venezuelan authorities say they have intercepted American arms shipments. But given the history of the U.S. (to say nothing of Abrams’), and the fact that the Trump administration is openly calling for Maduro’s ouster while amassing forces along the Colombian border, it’s not exactly a long shot. Still, our political press dismisses the possibility as tin-foil hat stuff, at least in part because mocking wacky Latin American “conspiracy theories” is a mark of one’s seriousness in foreign policy circles.
Unlike a lot of U.S. regime change activities, reports indicate that this latest stunt was exceptionally rushed and slapdash. The Wall Street Journal paints a picture of a U.S. operation its architects believed would work in a day or two:
“The people who devised it in Caracas and sold it here [in Washington], sold it with the promise that if Guaidó made a move and [South American countries] and the U.S. came in behind, the military would flip and Maduro would go,” said a former senior U.S. official. “They thought it was a 24-hour operation.”
Because the large-scale military defections expected never took place (as they almost never do), the U.S. has had to resort to its Plan B for promoting conflict and galvanizing the Venezuelan opposition: On Sat., Feb. 23, President of the National Assembly Juan Guaidó will carry out a “humanitarian avalanche” at the Venezuelan border with Colombia and Brazil that, when one reads the fine print, sounds a lot like a U.S.-led invasion. Billionaire Richard Branson is reportedly organizing a “humanitarian aid” concert the night before. But we know this is a fig leaf, and we know this because those running this operation say so again and again. Bolton himself has speculated that Maduro could end up in a “beach area like Guantanamo.”
Despite all the evidence before them, MSNBC, CNN and countless other networks and publications across the ideological spectrum refuse to frame this humanitarian gambit as an act of hostility. Instead, knowing what they know and who they are covering, they have largely portrayed Trump, Bolton and Abrams as champions of the Venezuelan people."
"Venezuela Coverage Takes Us Back to Golden Age of Lying About Latin America" (Cook):
"Guaidó, who proclaimed himself to be president of the country and was recognized minutes later by Trump, even though a public opinion poll showed that 81 percent of Venezuelans had never heard of him, comes from the ultra-right faction in Venezuelan politics.
The pro-Maduro demonstration suggested, not surprisingly, that Guaidó had failed to win much popular support outside the wealthy and upper-middle class. But Guaidó couldn’t even win support from many of them. The day before rival rallies February 2, Henrique Capriles, the leader of a less extreme right-wing faction, gave an interview to the AFP that appeared in Últimas Noticias (2/1/19), the most widely read newspaper in Venezuela. In it, Capriles said that most of the opposition had not supported Guaidó’s self-proclamation as president. That may explain the surprisingly weak turnout at Guaidó’s demonstration, held in the wealthiest district of Caracas, and obviously outshone by the pro-government demonstration on the city’s main boulevard.
The New York Times did not show pictures of that pro-government demonstration, limiting itself to a claim by unnamed “experts” (2/2/19) that the pro-government demonstration was smaller than the anti-government one.
Readers can look at the photos of the rival demonstrations and judge for themselves. Both groups did their best to pull out their faithful, knowing how much is riding on a show of popular support."
Tweet (Marco Rubio). This kind of punk-ass threat comes across as desperation as your little scheme disintegrates.  Tweet (Glenn Greenwald) (also):
"For awhile I resisted the theory that 's play-acting as a revolutionary leader - from a safe, coddled distance, of course - was his attempt to compensate for Trump's humiliation of his "smallness." His increasingly deranged, psychotic postings have made this viable."
"Jewish Bernie Sanders Demands War on Venezuela for Some Reason" (Anglin).  The Khazar always comes out, no matter what steps are taken to hide it (note in particular the tweet by Michael Tracey).  Tulsi remains the only possible choice.

"WaPo Quietly Deletes Branson's Venezuela Concert From Article After 'Fake' Attendance Figures Exposed" (Durden).  One thing about this attack on Venezuela, we're sure seeing a lot of 'journalism'.  They must be so proud of themselves!

"February the 22nd Gilets jaunes SITREP" (French Saker). "In Face of Yellow-Vest Critics, France Moves to Criminalize Anti-Zionism" (Durocher).  I'm pretty sure the Rothschilds will look back on this little stunt as a mistake.

"Pulwama diplomacy loses way in labyrinthine plots" (Bhadrakumar):
". . . India is being “engaged” constructively by two inveterate enemies of Iran — Saudi Arabia and the UAE — who have an enduring reputation as sponsors of terrorism and are Pakistan’s mentors. The Saudi reputation is well-known, but the UAE stands below the radar. "
"Getting Rid of Omar: Neoconservatives Dig Deep to Remove a Critic of Israel" (Giraldi).  Priority #1 for Bill Kristol and his sugar-daddy Pierre (my emphasis in red):
"The Bulwark article, which pointedly seeks to get rid of the freshman congresswoman for her anti-Israeli views, goes on to lament that “Omar’s district is solidly Democratic. No Republican will ever win it. So is America just stuck with a prominent, very vocal, publicity-seeking anti-Semite in Congress for an indefinite period? Is there anything Omar’s critics can do? They need to beat her in a primary. But that must be done carefully… with the right primary opponent, she could be vulnerable in 2020.”
The Bulwark advises that beating Omar requires a perfect candidate and they have just such a person in mind: Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins. Jenkins is a progressive dream candidate. She is the first transgender African-American woman elected to office in America. Enabling a generously funded and media-friendly campaign are child’s play for the Israel Lobby and the article notes that it would be impossible for Omar to depict herself as the victim of anti-Muslim bigotry in a race against Jenkins.
The Bulwark’s website features the subheading “Conservatism conserved.” Its article concludes that “Omar and her boosters had better hope that she stops alienating so many people so fast that her opponents could recruit, run, and vote for literally a tree trunk to replace her…” but the interesting point of the story is that while Bill Kristol and company paint themselves as principled America-first conservatives, they are anything but. They are prepared to do what it takes to get rid of a virtually powerless freshman congresswoman who suggested in a tweet that money fuels the congressional bias in favor of Israel, the protection of which is, of course, ever the neocons’ first priority. It is particularly ironic that Omar’s comment is something that everyone in politics and the media knows to be true about Jewish power in America but is afraid to talk about because of the intimidation coming from people like Kristol. And Kristol and his friends are proposing to get rid of the relatively minor nuisance represented by Omar by running a black transgender “woman” against her to undercut her support on the political left. Politics make for strange bedfellows, but perhaps it is time for the neoconservatives to cut the conservative part out of their own defining label while also removing it from top of the website of The Bulwark."
"The Mueller joke" (Walther). Btw it is starting to appear very, very likely that emptywheel is an actual MI6 intelligence operation.  The huge number of British fingerprints over various aspects of Russiagate, the hints at privileged access to information, the failure to concede to the reality that there was no collusion - a British intelligence operation is the only explanation.

Carney might have irreparably damaged the gold theft scam:  "Italy to Strengthen Control Over Gold Reserves Amid Venezuela’s Problems With UK".  You'd have to be out of your mind to leave any valuables with the light-fingered Brits.

"SLATE: Evil Trolls [Possibly Russian] Are Making Fun of Kamala Harris by Using the Truth" (Sailer).

"Samara’s Aid Appeal False Claims Exposed" (Sahiounie).  Better than a Nigerian Prince!
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