In my last article, I reviewed the case of Gough Whitlam’s firing at the hands of the Queen’s Governor General Sir John Kerr during a dark day in November 1975 which mis-shaped the next 45 years of Australian history. Today I would like to tackle another chapter of the story.
I used to believe as many do, in a story called “the American Empire”. Over the last decade of research, that belief has changed a bit. The more I looked at the top down levers of world influence shaping past and present events that altered history, the hand of British Intelligence just kept slapping me squarely in the face at nearly every turn.
Who controlled the dodgy Steele dossier that put Russiagate into motion and nearly overthrew President Trump? British Intelligence.
Who created Saudi Arabia and the state of Israel in the 20th century (as well as both nations’ intelligence agencies?) The British.
What was the nature of the Deep State that Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, FDR, and JFK combatted within their own nations?
What the heck was the American Revolution all about in the first place?
I could go on, but I think you get my point.
The Disrupted Post-WWII Potential
Franklin Roosevelt described his deep understanding of British operations in America, telling his son in 1943:
“You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren’t in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of ’em: any number of ’em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!” I was told… six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It’s like the British Foreign Office….”
Where the British Empire certainly adapted to the unstoppable post-WWII demands for political independence among its colonies, it is vital to keep in mind that no empire willfully dissolves or “gives its slaves freedom” without a higher evil agenda in mind. Freedom is fought for and not given by empires which never had a reason to seek humility or enlightenment required for freedom to be granted.
In the case of the post-war world, the deliverance of political freedom among the “former British Empire” was never accompanied by an ounce of economic freedom to give that liberation any meaning. Although it took a few years to iron out America’s anti-colonial impulses over the deaths of such figures as JFK, Malcolm X, MLK and RFK, eventually the rebellious republic was slowly converted into a dumb giant on behalf of the “British brains” controlling America’s Deep State from across the ocean.
The Case of Africa and the Crown Agents
Take the case of Africa as a quick example: Over 70% of the mineral control of African raw materials, mining, and refining are run by companies based in Britain or Commonwealth nations like Canada, South Africa or Australia managed by an international infrastructure of managers called “Crown Agents Ltd” (founded in 1833 as the administrative arm of the Empire and which still runs much of Africa’s health, and economic development policies to this day).
Crown Agents was originally set up as a non-profit with the mandate to manage British Empire holdings in Asia and Africa and its charter recognizes it as “an emanation of the Crown”. While it is “close to the monarchy” it is still outside governmental structures affording it to get its hands dirtier than other “official” branches of government (resulting in the occasional case of World Bank debarment as happened in 2011).
In 1996 Crown Agents was privatized as ‘Crown Agents for Overseas Government and Administration’ where it became active in Central and Eastern Europe with its greatest focus on Ukraine’s economic, energy and health management. The agency is partnered with the World Bank, UN and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and acts as a giant holding company with one shareholder called the Crown Agents Foundation based in Southwark London.
“101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) — most of them British — have mining operations in 37 sub-Saharan African countries. They collectively control over $1 trillion worth of Africa’s most valuable resources. The UK government has used its power and influence to ensure that British mining companies have access to Africa’s raw materials. This was the case during the colonial period and is still the case today.”
As we can see by this most summary overview of the modern imperial looting operations of Africa, the spirit of Cecil Rhodes is alive and well. This will take on an additional meaning as we look at another aspect of Rhodes’ powerful legacy in the 20th century.
The British Takeover of American Intelligence
Although many falsely believe that Britain was replaced with an American Empire after WWII, the sad truth on closer inspection is that British assets embedded in America’s early deep state (often Rhodes Scholars and Fabian Society assets tied to the Council on Foreign Relations/Chatham House of America) were behind a purge of leaders loyal to FDR’s vision for the post-colonial world. These purges resulted in the dismantling of the OSS months after FDR died, and the formation of the CIA in 1947 as a new weapon to carry out coups, assassinations and subversions of leaders within America and abroad seeking economic independence from the British Empire. This history was outlined brilliantly by Cynthia Chung in her paper Secret Wars, Forgotten Betrayals, Global Tyranny: Who is Really in Charge of the U.S. Military.
“Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, and for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire…”
Later on in his will Rhodes stated: “Let us form the same kind of society, a Church for the extension of the British Empire. A society which should have its members in every part of the British Empire working with one object and one idea we should have its members placed at our universities and our schools and should watch the English youth passing through their hands just one perhaps in every thousand would have the mind and feelings for such an object, he should be tried in every way, he should be tested whether he is endurant, possessed of eloquence, disregardful of the petty details of life, and if found to be such, then elected and bound by oath to serve for the rest of his life in his Country. He should then be supported if without means by the Society and sent to that part of the Empire where it was felt he was needed.”
Among the four Anglo-Saxon members of the Five Eyes that have the Queen as the official head of state (Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), all feature irrational forms of government structured entirely around Deep State principles organized within two opposing forms of social organizing: democratic and oligarchical… with the true seat of power being oligarchical.
Because this peculiar self-contradictory form of government is so little understood today, and because its structure has made Britain’s globally extended empire so successful, a few words should be devoted to it now.
A House Divided Against Itself…
In the case of Westminster-modelled Parliamentary systems, Senates represent the House of Lords, while Houses of Commons (for the Commoners) represent the elected parts of government. A prime minister selected by the governing party is assumed to be that nation’s leader, but unlike republican forms of government, instead of the “buck stopping there” (at least legally speaking), it is precisely there that the true sphere of power only begins to be felt.
Here parliamentary/quasi-democratic systems projected for public consumption find themselves enshrined within a much more shadowy and Byzantine world of Governor Generals (acting as the heads of state) who give Royal Assents to all acts and wielding the infinite prerogative powers of the Queen (aka: the “Fount of All Honors”). In the British Imperial system, hereditary power is seen as the source of all authority for all aspects of government, military, and economic- whereas in republican forms of government that authority is seen as deriving from the consent of the governed.
Where rights are “granted by the sovereign” within hereditary governments, republican forms of government recognize correctly that rights are fundamentally “inalienable” to humanity (in principle though not always in practice as the troubled history of America can attest).
By being essentially the legal “cause” of all authority among every branch of the British official and unofficial corridors of power, an obvious absurdity strikes which the empire would prefer plebs not think too seriously about: The queen and her heirs cannot themselves be UNDER any law, since they “cause” the law. This means that the queen, her heirs and anyone whom she delegates authority to literally have “licenses to kill”. The queen cannot be taken to court and she has no need of a passport or even a drivers’ license… since these items are issued by her crown’s authority alone. Within the logic of British legal systems, she cannot be held legally accountable for anything which the Crown has done to anyone or any nation of the world.
Although much effort goes into portraying the Crown’s prerogative powers as merely symbolic, they cover nearly every branch of governance and have occasionally been used… although those British spheres of influence where they most apply are usually so self-regulating that they require very little input from such external influence to keep them in line.
“Domestic Affair, the appointment and dismissal of ministers, the summoning, prorogation and dissolution of Parliament, Royal assent to bills, the appointment and regulation of the civil service, the commissioning of officers in the armed forces, directing the disposition of the armed forces in the UK (and other Commonwealth nations), appointment of Queen’s Counsel, Issue and withdrawal of passports, Prerogative of mercy. (Used to apply in capital punishment cases. Still used, eg to remedy errors in sentence calculation), granting honours, creation of corporations by Charter, foreign Affairs, the making of treaties, declaration of war, deployment of armed forces overseas, recognition of foreign states, and accreditation and reception of diplomats.”
When a 2009 bill was introduced into parliament proposing that these powers be limited, a Privy Council-led Justice Ministry review concluded that such limitations would ‘”dangerously weaken” the state’s ability to respond to a crisis’ and the bill was promptly killed.
Acting on Provincial levels, we find Lieutenant Governors who (in Canada) happen to be members of the Freemasonic Knights of St John of Jerusalem (patronized by the Queen herself).
All figures operating with these authorities within this strange Byzantine world are themselves a part of, or beholden to figures sworn into the Queen’s Privy Council- putting their allegiance under the total authority of the Queen and her heirs, rather than the people or nation in which that subject serves and lives. If this is hard to believe, then take the time to listen to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oath upon entering the Privy Council to get a visceral taste of this medieval policy in action (every cabinet member, Prime Minister and opposition leader must take this oath if they are to be granted intelligence briefings from her majesty’s intelligence services.)
Take note that not even once does the welfare of the people or the nation arise in this oath.
Standing Defiant Against Natural Law
Despite these un-natural power structures, history has shown that from time to time, good leaders have found themselves in executive positions of high office. As rare as they are, such anomalies occurred in the cases of Canada’s Prime Ministers Wilfrid Laurier (1896-1911) and John Diefenbaker (1957-1963), Quebec Premiers Paul Sauvé (1959), Daniel Johnson Senior (1967-68), and Australia’s Gough Whitlam (1972-1975). Yet when these anomalies arise and such figures trespass beyond their acceptable sphere of action into policy territories reserved only for the governing elite, then more often then not a Rhodes Scholar-run coup occurs [Laurier 1911 (2), Diefenbaker 1963], an untimely death strikes [Sauvé 1959 and Johnson 1968] or a sacking by the Queen’s Governor General happens [Whitlam 1975].
In all aforementioned cases, Democratic institutions that are premised around the concept that all citizens are made equal and free in the image of a creator are never long tolerated within the cage of a system of oligarchism premised upon the belief that only one person is sovereign and her/his word is absolute law for all slaves, and minions of the ruling bloodline.
As Gough Whitlam discovered in 1975, the real British Empire is a nasty beast, and probably one which should have gone extinct a couple of centuries ago. Unfortunately, until this moment, history has been tainted by more than a few disruptions of progressive leaders who sacrificed their comfort, careers, and often their lives to resist this stubborn parasite which would rather suck its host dry than admit that the system of organization upon which it is based is an abomination to natural law and morality.
Growing up as I did in the Cold War, I still experience a special kind of shudder whenever I come across an anecdote like that of Katya Soldak, whose Soviet nursery school teacher once showed her class a photograph clipped from a Western newspaper, “depicting skinny [Russian] children in striped robes walking in a straight line.”
The capitalists who printed that picture wanted people to think Soviet children were “treated like prisoners,” the teacher declared angrily, “when in reality the kids were on their way to a swimming pool in their bathrobes.”
Which was a nice story (thought little Katya) — except that “I had never even seen a pool…. [T]hey existed in my mind as does an exotic animal or an unvisited city.”
A time capsule from a remote dystopia? Think again.
Staring at me right now from the latest quarterly newsletter of my alma mater, the University of Virginia, is an identical piece of bad-is-good fakery: a photograph of an involuntarily isolated graduate student named Kalea Obermeyer, accompanied by a caption blandly informing the reader that the woman seated alone on a trunk in the confines of a cramped dormitory room, clumsily swathed in a surgical mask, “shelters in place” in “her most secure housing during the pandemic.”
Welcome to Pravda, COVID19 style.
Being an honest sort, I have considered whether I ought to write to the editors of my old university’s magazine, accusing them of playing toady to democracy-destroying propagandists.
Should I remind these so-called educators of the young that the term “shelter in place” is properly applied to air raids, not to “pandemics,” and is a cruel hoax when pressed into service to describe what is actually an illegal quarantine?
That the young woman in the photograph is not “sheltered” but confined? That pandemics have occurred many times before, and that what’s new this time around is not the flu but the police state? That the governor’s order placing this student (and the rest of the citizenry) under virtual house arrest is probably unconstitutional?
And that while she’s stuck in her room — for no good reason I can discern — a whole host of local bus drivers, contract workers and university employees, including dining hall service workers who’ve labored there for decades, are all out of jobs?
I’d like to write all that, and more, to the purveyors of this bit of fake news. But I suspect I’d be wasting my time.
Mainstream media have recycled so many lies about COVID19 that by now every respectable editor with enough sense to come in out of the rain knows perfectly well what he or she is supposed to make the rest of us believe. And heaven help the dissenters!
Thus the once-respectable Atlantic, after months of promoting coronavirus hysteria, has published a kind of palinode that admits virtually every charge made by critics of lockdown policies — but still winds up gloomily insisting on the freedom-haters’ moral supremacy, facts or no facts.
The authors (Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer) grudgingly concede the growing evidence that going outdoors, instead of being cooped up for months at a time per lockdown fiats, actually reduces the risk of infection.
They also admit that those who enforce our confinement clearly don’t believe their own hype about “social distancing”: police are “crowding protesters together, blasting them with lung and eye irritants, and cramming them into paddy wagons and jails.”
They even point out that the police themselves rarely bother separating from one another. But ultimately none of that matters to the liberal Atlantic: it’s “obvious” — evidence be damned — that just “standing in a crowd for long periods raises the risk of increased transmission of SARS-CoV-2.” Who says so? Why, Anthony Fauci does.
Here, too, the Atlantic’s paladins admit the facts but refuse to draw the obvious conclusion. They note that “the outbreak has eased in the Northeast,” the hardest-hit section of the US; that new cases have leveled off or declined in the great majority of states; and that “hundreds of public-health professionals signed a letter this week declining to oppose the protests [against police brutality] ‘as risky for COVID19 transmission.'”
They even admit that in Georgia and Florida, two states that enforced lockdowns least and opened up earliest, the numbers of new infections have been “relatively flat.”
In the face of so much good news, what are right-thinking police-state enthusiasts to do?
“[T]he US is not going to beat the coronavirus,” Madrigal and Meyer groan in unison in the article’s key paragraph. “Collectively, we slowly seem to be giving up.” Now there’s a specimen of doublethink even Orwell missed: victory is surrender; lockdown is safety; hysteria is virtue.
So I’m not planning to write to the editors at my alma mater — at least, not about that propagandists’ playground known as COVID19. When rights-trampling, economy-busting general incarceration is the fashion in the Land of the Free, when lying is good sense and wrecking lives is “health care,” my old ideas of rational persuasion start to look like a parasol in a monsoon.
Instead, I am going to do a bit of ranting about words — the elements that lies are made of. I do this because I am sure the twisting of language to cloak political and economic skullduggery — which I take to be the worst evils of the coronavirus outbreak — will be glossed over in future mainstream accounts.
And I do it because the politicians who tore up the Bill of Rights and thrust the US and much of the world to the brink of another Great Depression are not likely to change their spots — and unless we insist on calling their actions by their right names, we will be defenseless against their future machinations. “Political language,” Orwell reminded us, “is designed to make lies sound truthful…and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Well, here are some choice examples of “pure wind” that made “lies sound truthful” over the past three months:
Shelter in place.
The fraudulent use of this term stands in synecdoche to all the rest. “Shelter in place” originated in US Civil Defense regulations in the context of a possible nuclear attack; over the following decades, the term evolved to mean any emergency order to “take cover until the coast is clear on order of officials.” But it has never had the slightest connection with disease control.
An order that restricts the movement of someone who is not ill, but who is suspected of contact with someone who is, is called a “quarantine.” But there are laws that regulate slapping quarantine orders on people — to say nothing of an entire population — and the governors and mayors who were bent on lockdowns clearly didn’t intend to be constrained by anything as pedestrian as the law.
So they dug up this irrelevant phrase and plastered it over their arbitrary confinements of huge numbers of citizens — in violation of quarantine statutes, without a court order, and without even a semblance of public debate — hoping nobody would notice the compounding of official malfeasance with verbal fakery.
It’s worth taking a moment to imagine how this trick must have been hatched in the bowels of some executive mansion.
I can picture someone like New Jersey governor Phil Murphy (last seen claiming that the constraints of the Bill of Rights weren’t part of his job description) barking at his aides, “Damn it, there’s got to be something to justify locking up the whole state without going through those pesky quarantine procedures!”
And I can see a harried assistant, having rummaged for hours in the archives, jogging into an office with the term “shelter in place” and a rather sheepish explanation that, well, it’s not about infection control, and doesn’t really have anything to do with the present situation, but it does say “in place” and, um, “shelter” and, you know…and anyway, for God’s sake, there isn’t anything else!
And then it’s not hard to imagine the boss (who knows the media better than his subordinates do) triumphantly working the words “shelter in place” into his next public address, confident that few mainstream reporters will ask him where the phrase came from.
The imagined details are less important than the obvious fact that “shelter in place” could not have been sprung on us by way of an innocent error. The term had to be found, and the officials who found it would necessarily have known what it meant, and therefore that its use in the context of a viral epidemic would constitute a fraud.
Thus, anyone — and I mean anyone — who has employed the phrase “shelter in place” over the last three months has been repeating a lie. It’s as simple as that. Every public health care official who has used the phrase is a scoundrel; every “journalist” who has used it is a shameless propagandist; every politician who has used it is an imposter who, in my view, deserves to be impeached or voted out of office forthwith.
This one runs “shelter in place” a close second. The phrase was nonexistent, or at best obscure, until rather recently; when officials of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention used it in a 2007 advisory memorandum, they felt obliged to explain the term in a footnote:
Social distancing refers to methods for reducing frequency and closeness of contact between people in order to decrease the risk of transmission of disease. Examples of social distancing include cancellation of public events such as concerts, sports events, or movies, closure of office buildings, schools, and other public places, and restriction of access to public places such as shopping malls or other places where people gather.
Note that this definition does not include keeping people six feet apart, stifling them with surgical masks, or barring them from inviting family members to their apartments. Evidently, not even the germophobes at the CDC were prepared to contemplate so brutal a disruption of human life just thirteen years ago.
In fact, the same memorandum stressed the importance of “[r]espect for individual autonomy” and “each individual’s general right to noninterference,” adding that even in the event the government did close office buildings or restrict access to shopping malls, “[a] process should be in place for objections to be heard, restrictions appealed, and for new procedures to be considered prior to implementation” — something never even remotely attempted during the last three months.
In other words, “social distancing” really means whatever the changing whims of our governors would like it to mean, as they continue to exercise “emergency” powers in what is clearly not an emergency. Meanwhile, the use of the term gives a false patina of scientific legitimacy to unprecedented government intrusions into the most basic interactions of human life.
The timing of the successive redefinitions of the phrase is itself instructive. In my own state of New Jersey, masks were not required as a component of “social distancing” until mid-April, by which time it was clear that the number of new cases in the region was already leveling off. (Masks remain mandatory in public as of this writing, even though the infection rate has fallen almost to pre-outbreak levels.)
Allow that point to sink in for a moment: “social distancing” took on a more extreme and divisive definition at just the moment that, by any rational calculation, restrictions should have been reduced, if not removed altogether! And the most recent fiats from the governor suggest that nothing like ordinary companionship is going to be permitted any time soon — regardless of the facts.
This implies that, at bottom, “social distancing” is not intended to serve any genuine medical purpose. It’s much better understood as an instrument of political repression — a way of keeping people apart and preventing any sort of public organizing.
I don’t consider it an accident that the “phased reopening plan” being peddled by nearly all media “experts,” and routinely attributed to Johns Hopkins University, was in fact produced under the leadership of Scott Gottlieb, a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute — the right-wing think tank that served as a major cheerleader for the Iraq invasion of 2003 and whose recent initiatives include efforts to sharply reduce federal spending on health care.
(Dr. Gottlieb, who until recently was Trump’s Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, now sits on the boards of pharma heavyweights Pfizer, Illumina and Tempus — so it’s not hard to see where his interests lie.)
That AEI is in no hurry to help small businesses reopen or to keep working people from losing their jobs will come as no surprise. What needs emphasis is that if such an outfit couldn’t hide its agenda behind the medical-sounding phrase “social distancing,” it would stand little chance of slipping its initiatives past the general public and into practice. But while we’re all creeping around with our faces wrapped like mummies, turned away from each other whenever possible, staying at least six feet apart, and speaking only when spoken to, how are we supposed to mount effective political opposition as the high rollers play their favorite games?
Though it’s not often reported this way, the United States largely suspended democratic government back in March, when some 40 state executives declared “health emergencies,” granting themselves quasi-dictatorial powers to act without legislative approval or legal process.
They did this by invoking each state’s version of the Emergency Health Powers Act, a controversial piece of legislation crafted in the nervous aftermath of the September 2001 attacks and supposedly designed for a coordinated response to a massive act of bioterrorism. The American Civil Liberties Union was not alone back then in condemning the bill as “replete with civil liberties problems” and “a throwback to a time before the legal system recognized basic protections for fairness.”
Nevertheless, liberal media didn’t utter a peep when governors across the nation effectively scuppered democracy in the face of what, however threatening, didn’t even arguably resemble a catastrophic bioterror attack.
If that strikes you as a flagrant abuse of the word “emergency” for questionable political purposes — and it should — you ain’t seen nothing yet.
On June 4, New Jersey’s Governor Murphy issued his third consecutive extension of what was supposed to be a thirty-day “state of emergency” he had originally declared — unilaterally — on March 9.
What was the “emergency” this time around? In the governor’s own words: “there has now been a decrease in the rate of reported new cases of COVID19 in New Jersey, in the total number of individuals being admitted to hospitals for COVID19, and in the rate of reproduction for COVID19 infections in New Jersey.”
Got that? New cases, hospitalizations, even the “rate of reproduction” for the virus are all on the wane throughout Murphy’s jurisdiction. (And have been for months.) Yet in today’s Newspeak, that’s an “emergency” — enough to justify another month of democracy-free rule by executive fiat.
And I’m the Maharaja of Mysore…
I won’t even bother writing about that most buffoonish of phrases, “flattening the curve.” If that ever meant anything (which I doubt), it means literally nothing, or more accurately less than nothing, when applied (as it is now) to an outbreak that is demonstrably almost over.
I’ll only note that if the lockdown enthusiasts had been able to specify an actual goal, in intelligible language, they would have done so from the start. They couldn’t — because their true objectives were political, not medical — so they offered us a magical-thinking cartoon image instead. They must be hoping we still haven’t noticed.
As always, fraudulent language goes hand in hand with fraudulent political posturing, of which the Atlantic article I’ve already mentioned — oozing crocodile tears over the excesses of the cops while oblivious to the Constitution-defying antics of Governors Cuomo, Murphy, Whitmer et al. — is a rather rank example.
In a similar vein, Ross Douthat’s recent op-ed in the New York Times is an interesting confession of liberal dishonesty in the service of a slightly different form of liberal dishonesty.
Douthat correctly complains about members of the “public health establishment” who condemned anti-lockdown protesters just weeks ago as a dangerous death cult, but are now bowing and scraping before the parallel behavior of Black Lives Matter, “tying themselves in ideological knots” in the process.
Douthat’s indictment of highbrow hypocrisy on this score is so accurate that it is worth quoting at length:
[T]he original theory behind a stern public health response — that the danger to life and health justified suspending even the most righteous pursuits, including not just normal economic life but the practices and institutions that protect children, comfort the dying, serve the poor — has been abandoned or subverted by every faction in our national debate…. There is no First Amendment warrant to break up Hasidic funerals while blessing Black Lives Matter protests, and there is no moral warrant to claim that only anti-racism, however pressing its goals, deserves a sweeping exception from rules that have forbidden so many morally important activities for the last few months.
All this is perfectly true. But with a pinch more honesty, Douthat might have concluded that “the original theory” was a sham to begin with. If the Right Thinkers had been telling the truth when they herded us all into captivity back in March, they’d still be yelling “obey or die!” at every crowd that defies lockdown orders.
Douthat interprets their inconsistency as a surrender to the virus; he can’t admit that the Right Thinkers’ real battle was never against COVID19. It was against us.
The same conclusion stares us in the face from the Right Thinkers’ eulogizing of protests against police brutality — or, rather, from what their encomiums to those protests consistently omit.
The demonstrations spearheaded by Black Lives Matter focus on police-state tactics employed by uniformed enforcers of the will of the State; the much-maligned anti-lockdown protesters have been objecting to police-state tactics employed by political officials of the State itself.
The connection between the two sets of protests should be obvious. But have you heard any of the high-profile liberals who are paying homage to Black Lives Matter breathe a single word to the effect that these different groups of protesters ought to combine their efforts, or at least to coordinate their campaigns in order to increase their political effectiveness?
Of course not — and in my view, that’s the real reason behind the hypocritical nonsense being spouted in support of BLM by establishmentarians who merely sneered when the protesters were white working people.
As long as Black Lives Matter continues to observe the double limitation that has so far marked its demonstrations — protesting only along racial lines, and only against the police — the ruling class’s left-wing will go on blessing it, because it won’t constitute too large a threat to established order.
If the demonstrations start to talk about the rights of all people to be free of arbitrary confinement as well as violence, of all ordinary Americans to be able to work for a living as well as staying out of prison, the evils of all officials who stand in their way…well, that will be a horse of a different color.
Remember the snapshot of congressional Democrats kneeling in pious rows with those silly kente stoles around their necks?
That was styled as a “protest,” but don’t kid yourselves: if Pelosi & Co. were genuinely horrified about police racism, they would have done something about it years ago. I think those Democratic heavyweights knelt to pray that BLM doesn’t realize it’s confronting a broader issue than racist police violence.
As I write this, the US is teetering simultaneously on the edge of its worst financial collapse since the 1930s and on the brink of a descent into quasi-dictatorial rule. Sectarian protests, however justified, won’t halt that descent. General political resistance just might. And liberal pundits are scared to death that protesters, black and white, progressive and conservative, might figure out that they’re really fighting the same enemy.
Of course, nothing I can write is going to penetrate the minds of people who have drunk the lockdown Kool-Aid and will hear, in my dissection of the fraudulent language used by “public servants” to foment poverty and to shred the Bill of Rights, only some sort of “coronavirus denial.”
So let me say it clearly: the coronavirus epidemic is real. Okay? It exists — but saying it exists is a mere truism. Iraq exists too, and it was once ruled by a particularly vicious dictator — though the fact that his worst atrocities were committed with extensive US support is mentioned far less often than it should be.
But it is still true that the American and British publics were tricked into endorsing a criminal invasion of that country on the strength of false claims. And no assortment of after-the-fact apologetics can turn those lies into truths.
The same holds for COVID19 and its flagrantly deceitful handling by nearly everyone involved: politicians, reporters, pundits, public health “experts.” (The US leadership of my own Orthodox Jewish community has been just as bad.) Yes, this is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can have serious effects on unusually vulnerable people. But beyond that, just about everything we were told about COVID19 has turned out to be false.
We were told the virus would kill millions in the US alone, and that was false.
We were told lockdowns would make it go away, and that was false.
We were told we would only be confined until the rate of new cases leveled off, and that was false.
We were told that while the outbreak lasted no state government would tolerate any sort of public gathering for any reason, and that was false.
We were told that anyone who questioned the wisdom of the draconian restrictions foisted on us by our governments was a crypto-Nazi whose real goal was to kill off the weak — and that was false, not to mention slanderous.
Most unforgivably of all, we were told — and told, and told — that morality was entirely on the side of the democracy-destroyers. That was a lie of breathtaking proportions.
Not only did the lockdowns violate state laws and make a mockery of the US Constitution; not only did they deprive at least tens of millions of Americans of their basic liberties; not only have they cost millions of people their jobs and thrust the country into its worst economic straits since the 1930s — on top of all that, they have sown untold misery around the world, as mushrooming numbers of poor people experience acute food shortages and millions of children face the interruption of vital medical supplies.
And even as mainstream media begin to admit these facts, they still subvert reality by pretending that all this suffering is a result “of the coronavirus.”
That’s simply another lie. It would be as true to say that millions died in Nazi gas chambers as a result of the rise of Soviet communism. (The putative threat of “the Bolsheviks” was a crucial theme in the anti-Semitism that underpinned the Nazi “Final Solution.”)
The truth, of course, is that the coronavirus didn’t cause these hardships, at least not by itself. Politicians chose to inflict them. And unless we keep that knowledge alive, we will never be able to hold those responsible to account — nor prevent a repetition of such behavior in the future.
“The beginning of wisdom,” said Confucius, “is to call things by their proper name.”
Katya Soldak and her nursery school classmates could not dismantle their country’s ruling Communist Party, but they could refuse to call a prison camp a health resort. Surely we can refuse to cooperate in the use of language whose sole purpose is to swindle us. At present our civil liberties are under serious assault, as is the very principle of democracy. Can’t we call those ugly things the names they deserve?
I know what I am proposing is more difficult than it sounds. The enemies of honesty in politics have vast resources at their disposal, and they are not shy about abusing them. Already the UN’s euphemistically-named Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, has openly applauded censorship of lockdown critics, even acknowledging that social media “platforms are serving as stand-ins for government authorities” in an effort to curb unwanted political protest.
The dishonesty infects even small details: the Washington Post, like most US media outlets with paywalls, makes an exception for COVID19, “providing this important information about the coronavirus for free”; but the Post’s only story on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s reversal of the governor’s mass-confinement order that contains the court’s explanation of its ruling is behind the same paywall as every ordinary article.
Evidently, stories that promote coronavirus hysteria constitute “important information,” while stories that lend support to dissenters do not — not even when they concern the reasoning of the highest court of a major state.
So yes, the COVID19 game is rigged — as games run by our rulers usually are. But false depictions of reality have power only to the extent honest people allow themselves to be deceived.
Powerful politicians, and their tame pundits, are plainly betting that the public can be manipulated by the fear of a novel virus. But the thing we should fear the most is irrational submissiveness, what Max Weber called “the cowardly will to impotence.”
The moral of the Emperor’s new clothes is as relevant as ever: a single honest voice can unravel the most elaborately designed fakery. People who demand the truth may be outnumbered. They cannot easily be overcome.
Investigation Discovery premiered a three-hour special, “Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein?” on May 31, the first segment in a three-part series, that focused on Epstein’s August 2019 death in federal custody. The series addresses Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, his links with billionaire Leslie Wexner, founder of the Victoria Secrets clothing line, and others, as well as the non-prosecution deal he was given.
The special followed on the heels of Netflix’s release of “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich,” a mini-series that draws on a book of the same name by James Patterson.
Promotional material for “Who Killed Jeffery Epstein?” promises that: “… exclusive interviews and in-depth investigations reveal new clues about his seedy underworld, privileged life and controversial death. The three-hour special looks to answer the questions surrounding the death of this enigmatic figure.” Netflix billed its series this way: “Stories from survivors fuel this docuseries examining how convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein used his wealth and power to carry out his abuses.”
Neither documentary however deals at all with Epstein’s suspected ties to the world of intelligence.
Absent from both are Maxwell’s reported links to Israeli intelligence through her father, Robert Maxwell, former owner of The New York DailyNews and The Mirror newspaper in London. Maxwell essentially received a state funeral in Israel and was buried on the Mount of Olives after he mysteriously fell off his yacht in 1991 in the Atlantic Ocean.
Ari Ben-Menashe. (From his memoir, “Profits of War”)
In an interview with Consortium News, former Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe said Epstein did not work with Mossad. “Military intelligence was who he was working with,” said Ben-Menashe. “Big difference,” he said. “He never worked with Mossad, and Robert Maxwell never did, either. It was military intelligence.”
Ben-Menashe claimed Robert Maxwell was Epstein’s “tie over. Robert Maxwell was the conduit [in the Iran-Contra scandal]. The financial conduit.”
In “Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” a book published in December, Ben-Menashe is quoted as saying he worked with Robert Maxwell who introduced his daughter and Epstein to Israeli intelligence, after which they engaged in a blackmail operation for Israel. “[Epstein] was taking photos of politicians f**king fourteen-year-old girls — if you want to get it straight. They [Epstein and Maxwell] would just blackmail people, they would just blackmail people like that,” he says in the book.
Ben-Menashe also claims that Robert Maxwell had attempted to blackmail Mossad. “He really lost his compass once he started playing these games with people,” he told Consortium News.
Prince Andrew in a carriage procession, June 2012. (Carfax2, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)
About a week after both documentaries premiered, the U.S. Department of Justice approached the U.K.’s Home Office requesting that Prince Andrew answer questions in the U.K. over his links to Epstein, The Mirror reported. If he refuses, the paper said, U.S. prosecutors would ask that he be brought to a British court to respond to their questions. Andrew’s lawyers say he three times agreed to be questioned by U.S. authorities, but it is not known if Andrew attached conditions, such as immunity.
Both documentaries mention Prince Andrew in the context of allegations about him from one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. But neither film goes into much detail about Andrew’s role in the Epstein operation, which Ben-Menashe said, was to lure powerful men into Epstein’s orbit.
“One of the things that are really key to this is that he [Epstein] befriended a very useful idiot called Prince Andrew,” Ben-Menashe told CN. “Now what really happened was that this Prince Andrew, with nothing to do, was having fun with this, and Prince Andrew brings in the fancy people, invites them to play golf with him, and then takes them out for fun. Then Epstein shows up, and these people are basically blackmailed.”
“The only person that can talk, that probably knows quite a bit, is the great prince,” Ben-Menashe said. “He was with him [Epstein] all the time. I really don’t know what his future is going to be like, either.”
Since a number of influential figures were named in a lawsuit filed by Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell the day before Epstein was found dead in his federal prison cell in New York, Ben-Menashe said: “I’m starting to think that lawsuit was his death sentence, because people didn’t want to be named. That’s my guess, it’s just a guess. Obviously, somebody decided that he had to go.”
Epstein’s death was ruled a “suicide” by New York’s chief medical examiner. A pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother said it was homicide.
An Angry Call
Just before Ben-Menashe spoke to Consortium News on Monday, he said he had received an angry telephone call from Israel’s Channel 13 television station.
“They called me, and they went wild: ‘What, you believe Israel would use little girls? You are saying that? You are insulting the nation, you are making us anathema around the world.’ I said, ‘The truth is the truth.’ And Jeffrey Epstein’s story is something that nobody wanted to hear. He was working with the Israelis, he was working with Maxwell,” Ben-Menashe said.
He added: “It’s a very bad story, and I can see why the Israelis are so concerned about it. I believe [Channel 13] were expressing anger, and I believe this was a message. I don’t like messages like that… it has to do with the timing and these stories coming out about Epstein. They [Israel] are starting to become anathema to the world, this adds to it — the Epstein story.”
The Netflix and Investigation Discovery productions allow survivors to recount their experiences in interviews as well as taped police recordings and focus on the sweetheart plea deal provided to Epstein by former Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta during Acosta’s tenure as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Each series outlines Epstein’s relationships with Wexner, Maxwell, and a variety of elite figures. Investigation Discovery focuses on the controversy surrounding Epstein’s death while Netflix’s “Filthy Rich” examines the second attempt to prosecute Epstein in the context of the Me Too movement.
The Netflix series describes the initial investigation of Epstein as it shifted from the state to the federal level, and airs allegations that Florida journalists covering the story were threatened. Netflix also interviews psychologist Dr. Kathryn Stamoulis, a specialist in adolescent sexuality, who gives a description of Epstein’s targeting and grooming of young girls. Epstein survivor Giuffre later describes in the film being groomed to tolerate exploitation and sex trafficking as part of a “deranged family.”
The final section of the fourth episode in Netflix’s miniseries includes a survivor stating that this was not simply an Epstein operation, but an “international sex trafficking ring that reached all over the world.” Epstein is described as a “very small piece in a huge network.” But the documentary goes no further than that.
As in the Belgian Dutroux case, victims alleged that multiple abusers acted in concert with each other, using blackmail to keep each other in line. In both instances, authorities and the media portrayed the abuse as chiefly the product of an aberrant lone predator.
“This wouldn’t be the only time this happened, but this guy got way over his head,” Ben-Menashe told Consortium News. “He probably was blackmailing too many people, too many powerful people. And then, this is a story the Israelis wouldn’t want to come out, anyway.”
Thriving in Murky Waters
Another angle the documentaries did not approach was the environment in which Epstein thrived like an algae bloom in stagnant water, that is, within a long history of child trafficking rings linked with intelligence agencies, often with the aim of gathering blackmail material. It was within this reality that Epstein appeared to be rendered untouchable.
Omitting the intelligence aspect of Epstein’s history allows the Establishment media to portray his case as a mysterious and unsolvable aberration, rather than perhaps a continuation of business-as-usual amongst those in power.
The glaring refusal to address Epstein’s intelligence involvement becomes clear when Investigation Discovery and Netflix’s programs discuss the role of Acosta in securing Epstein’s “sweetheart” plea deal, but do not reference Acosta’s widely reported explanation as to why Acosta agreed to the deal. As reported by The Daily Beast, Acosta claimed that he cut the non-prosecution deal because he had been told that “Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.”
Webb spoke about Iran-Contra links to Epstein via his and billionaire Wexner’s efforts to relocate Southern Air Transport (formerly the CIA’s Air America) from Florida to Ohio: “What’s significant here is that out of all the airlines in the United States, Wexner and Epstein choose the airline, the only airline that is outed, publicly known at the time, to be a CIA cut-out. Out of all the airlines that exist, that’s the one they go for,” she said.
Webb also cited reporting by Nigel Rosser, a British journalist, who wrote in the Evening Standard in 2001 that Epstein claimed he worked for the CIA in the 1990s.
Investigation Discovery and Netflix give lip service to Wexner’s ties with Epstein, omitting that Wexner gave Epstein the largest private residence in New York City — essentially for free. Investigation Discovery does not mention that the residence was extensively wired with surveillance equipment, per Webb and The New York Times.
“James Patterson, before writing his book on Epstein, ‘Filthy Rich,’ on which this documentary [by Netflix] is based, wrote a novel [‘The President is Missing’] with Bill Clinton , who is of course quite close to the Epstein scandal, so that definitely, in my opinion, raises some eyebrows,” Webb toldConsortium News.
“I think that one of the goals of this [Netflix] documentary is to basically imply that Epstein was the head of the operation and that now that he is dead, all of that activity has ceased,” Webb said. “If they had actually bothered to explore the intelligence angle, in some of the more obvious facts about the case, like Leslie Wexner’s role, for example, it becomes clear that Epstein was really just more of a manager of this type of operation, [and] that these activities continue.”
Webb said a main reason for avoiding discussion of the intelligence angle is that mention of state sponsorship would lead to calls for accountability and open inquiry into a history of sexual blackmail by intelligence agencies. “So if they had given even superficial treatment of those ties, it would have exposed threads that if anyone had bothered to pull on a little bit, would start to unravel a lot of things that obviously these powerful people and institutions don’t want exposed,” Webb said.
More than nine months since Epstein’s death, no alleged Epstein co-conspirator has been arrested or charged with a crime despite reports of an active criminal investigation of Maxwell (who has disappeared), and multiple failed attempts of alleged Epstein victims to serve her with civil suits.
“The criminal case against him, and all the evidence that was gathered against him as part of that, will never be made public unless someone else is charged,” said Webb. “So, the fact that they’re not charging anyone else is quite telling, and the fact that the mainstream media isn’t pushing back against that, I think is telling as well.”
The omissions of major aspects of the Epstein case by the media, specifically its links with the intelligence community, seems to be yet another example of a buffer between justice and those responsible for rendering Epstein untouchable.
“Revolutions are often seen as spontaneous. It looks like people just went into the street. But it’s the result of months or years of preparation. It is very boring until you reach a certain point, where you can organize mass demonstrations or strikes. If it is carefully planned, by the time they start, everything is over in a matter of weeks.” Foreign Policy Journal
Does anyone believe the nationwide riots and looting are a spontaneous reaction to the killing of George Floyd?
It’s all too coordinated, too widespread, and too much in-sync with the media narrative that applauds the “mainly peaceful protests” while ignoring the vast destruction to cities across the country. What’s that all about? Do the instigators of these demonstrations want to see our cities reduced to urban wastelands where street gangs and Antifa thugs impose their own harsh justice? That’s where this is headed, isn’t it?
Of course there are millions of protesters who honestly believe they’re fighting racial injustice and police brutality. And more power to them. But that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden agendas driving these outbursts. Quite the contrary. It seems to me that the protest movement is actually the perfect vehicle for affecting dramatic social changes that only serve the interests of elites. For example, who benefits from defunding the police? Not African Americans, that’s for sure. Black neighborhoods need more security not less. And yet, the New York Times lead editorial on Saturday proudly announces, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police–Because reform won’t happen.” Check it out:
“We can’t reform the police. The only way to diminish police violence is to reduce contact between the public and the police….There is not a single era in United States history in which the police were not a force of violence against black people. Policing in the South emerged from the slave patrols in the 1700 and 1800s that caught and returned runaway slaves. In the North, the first municipal police departments in the mid-1800s helped quash labor strikes and riots against the rich. Everywhere, they have suppressed marginalized populations to protect the status quo.
So, according to the Times, the problem isn’t single parent families, or underfunded education or limited job opportunities or fractured neighborhoods, it’s the cops who have nothing to do with any of these problems. Are we supposed to take this seriously, because the editors of the Times certainly do. They’d like us to believe that there is groundswell support for this loony idea, but there isn’t. In a recent poll, more than 60% of those surveyed, oppose the idea of defunding the police. So why would such an unpopular, wacko idea wind up as the headline op-ed in the Saturday edition? Well, because the Times is doing what it always does, advancing the political agenda of the elites who hold the purse-strings and dictate which ideas are promoted and which end up on the cutting room floor. That’s how the system works. Check out this excerpt from an article by Paul Craig Roberts:
“The extraordinary destruction of white and Asian businesses in many instances wiping out a family’s lifetime work, the looting of national businesses whose dumbshit CEOs support the looters, the merciless gang beatings of whites and Asians who attempted to defend their persons and their property, the egging on of the violence by politicians in both parties and by the entirely of the media including many alternative media websites, shows a country undergoing collapse. This is why it is not shown in national media. Some local media show an indication of the violent destruction in their community, but it is not accumulated and presented to a national audience. Consequently, Americans think the looting and destruction is only a local occurance… I just checked CNN and the BBC and there is nothing about the extraordinary economic destruction and massive thefts.” (“The Real Racists”, Paul Craig Roberts, Unz Review)
Roberts makes a good point, and one that’s worth mulling over. Why has the media failed to show the vast destruction of businesses and private property? Why have they minimized the effects of vandalism, looting and arson? Why have they fanned the flames of social unrest from the very beginning, shrugging off the ruin and devastation while cheerleading the demonstrations as a heroic struggle for racial justice? Is this is the same media that supported every bloody war, every foreign intervention, and every color-revolution for the last 5 decades? Are we really expected to believe that they’ve changed their stripes and become an energized proponent of social justice?
Nonsense. The media’s role in concealing the damage should only convince skeptics that the protests are just one part of a much larger operation. What we’re seeing play out in over 400 cities across the US, has more to do with toppling Trump and sowing racial division than it does with the killing of George Floyd. The scale and coordination alone suggests that elements in the deep state are probably involved. We know from evidence uncovered during the Russiagate probe, that the media works hand-in-glove with the Intel agencies and FBI while–at the same time– serving as a mouthpiece for elites. That hasn’t changed, in fact, it’s gotten even worse. The uniformity of the coverage suggests that that same perception management strategy is being employed here as well. Even at this late date, the determination to remove Trump from office is as strong as ever even though, in the present case, it has been combined with the broader political strategy of inciting fratricidal violence, obliterating urban areas, and spreading anarchy across the country. This isn’t about racial justice or police brutality, it’s about regime change, internal destabilization, and martial law. Take a look at this article at The Herland Report:
“What the Black Lives Matter movement does not understand is that they are being used by the billionaire white capitalists who are fighting to push the working class even lower and end the national sovereignty principles that president Trump stands for in America….
The rightful grievance over racism against blacks is now used to get Trump since Russia Gate, Impeachment, the corona scandal and nothing else has worked. The aim is to end democracy in the United States, control Congress and politics and assemble the power into the hands of the very few…
That sounds about right to me. The protests are merely a fig leaf for a “color revolution” that bears a striking resemblance to the more than 50 CIA-backed coups launched on foreign governments in the last 70 years. Have the chickens have come home to roost? It certainly looks like it. Here’s more from the same article:
“Use a grievance that the local population has against the system, identify and support those who oppose the current government, infiltrate and strengthen opposition movements, fund them with millions of dollars, organize protests that seem legitimate and have paid political instigators dress up in regular clothes to blend in.”
So, yes, the grievances are real, but that doesn’t mean that someone else is not steering the action. And just as the media is shaping the narrative for its own purposes, so too, there are agents within the movement that are inciting the violence. All of this suggests the existence of some form of command-control that provides logistical support and assists in communications. Check out this excerpt from a post at Colonel Pat Lang’s website Sic Semper Tyrannis:
“The logistical capabilities of antifa+ are also impressive. They can move people around the country with ease, position pallet loads of new brick, 55 gallon new trash cans of frozen water bottles and other debris suitable for throwing on gridded patterns around cities in a well thought out distribution pattern. Who pays for this? Who plans this? Who coordinates these plans and gives “execute orders?”
Antifa+ can create massive propaganda campaigns that fit their agenda. These campaigns are fully supported by the MSM and by many in the Congressional Democratic Party. The present meme of “Defund the Police” is an example. This appeared miraculously, and simultaneously across the country. I am impressed. Yesterday the frat boy type who is mayor of Minneapolis was booed out of a mass meeting of radicals in that fair city because he refused to endorse abolishing the police force. Gutting the civil police forces has long been a major goal of the far left, but now, they have the ability to create mass hysteria over it when they have an excuse.” (“My take on the present situation”, Sic Semper Tyrannis)
Colonel Lang is not the only one to marvel at Antifa’s “logistical capabilities”. The United States has never experienced two weeks of sustained protests in hundreds of its cities at the same time. It’s beyond suspicious, it points to extensive coordination with groups across the country, a comprehensive media strategy (that probably preceded the killing of George Floyd), a sizable presence on social media (to put people on the street), and agents provocateur whose task is to incite violence, loot and create mayhem.
None of this has anything to do with racial justice or police brutality. America is being destabilized and sacked for other purposes altogether. This a destabilization campaign similar to the CIA’s color revolutions designed to topple the regime (Trump), install a puppet government (Biden), impose “shock therapy” on the economy pushing tens of millions of Americans into homelessness and destitution, and leave behind a broken, smoldering shell of a country easily controlled by Federal shock troops and wealthy globalist mandarins. Here’s a short excerpt from an article by Kurt Nimmo at his excellent blog “Another Day in the Empire”:
“The BLM represents the forefront of an effort to divide Americans along racial and political lines, thus keeping race and identity-based barbarians safely away from more critical issues of importance to the elite, most crucially a free hand to plunder and ransack natural resources, minerals, crude oil, and impoverish billions of people whom the ruling elite consider unproductive useless eaters and a hindrance to the drive to dominate, steal, and murder….
It is sad to say BLM serves the elite by ignoring or remaining ignorant of the main problem—boundless predation by a neoliberal criminal project that considers all—black, white, yellow, brown—as expliotable and dispensable serfs.” (“2 Million Arab Lives Don’t Matter“, Kurt Nimmo, Another Day in the Empire)
The protest movement is the mask that conceals the maneuvering of elites. The real target of this operation is the Constitutional Republic itself. Having succeeded in using the Lockdown to push the economy into severe recession, the globalists are now inciting a fratricidal war that will weaken the opposition and prepare the country for a new authoritarian order.
Four years ago on June 15, 2016, a shadowy Internet persona calling itself “Guccifer 2.0” appeared out of nowhere to claim credit for hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee on behalf of WikiLeaks and implicate Russia by dropping “telltale” but synthetically produced Russian “breadcrumbs” in his metadata.
Thanks largely to the corporate media, the highly damaging story actually found in those DNC emails – namely, that the DNC had stacked the cards against Bernie Sanders in the party’s 2016 primary – was successfully obscured.
The media was the message; and the message was that Russia had used G-2.0 to hack into the DNC, interfering in the November 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.
Almost everybody still “knows” that – from the man or woman in the street to the forlorn super sleuth, Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, who actually based indictments of Russian intelligence officers on Guccifer 2.0.
Blaming Russia was a magnificent distraction from the start and quickly became the vogue.
The soil had already been cultivated for “Russiagate” by Democratic PR gems like Donald Trump “kissing up” to former KGB officer Vladimir Putin and their “bromance” (bromides that former President Barack Obama is still using). Four years ago today, “Russian meddling” was off and running – on steroids – acquiring far more faux-reality than the evanescent Guccifer 2.0 persona is likely to get.
Here’s how it went down:
June 12: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced he had “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.”
June 14: DNC contractor CrowdStrike tells the media that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.
June 15: Guccifer 2.0 arises from nowhere; affirms the DNC/CrowdStrike allegations of the day before; claims responsibility for hacking the DNC; claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that forensic examination shows was deliberately tainted with “Russian fingerprints.” This to “corroborate” claims made by CrowdStrike executives the day before.
Adding to other signs of fakery, there is hard evidence that G-2.0 was operating mostly in U.S. time zones and with local settings peculiar to a device configured for use within the US, as Tim Leonard reports here and here.)
Leonard is a software developer who started to catalog and archive evidence related to Guccifer 2.0 in 2017 and has issued detailed reports on digital forensic discoveries made by various independent researchers – as well as his own – over the past three years. Leonard points out that WikiLeaks said it did not use any of the emails G2.0 sent it, though it later published similar emails, opening the possibility that whoever created G2.0 knew what WikiLeaks had and sent it duplicates with the Russian fingerprints.
As Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) told President Trump in a memorandum of July 24, 2017, titled “Was the ‘Russian Hack’ an Inside Job?”:
“We do not think that the June 12, 14, & 15 timing was pure coincidence. Rather, it suggests the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been ready to publish and to ‘show’ that it came from a Russian hack.”
We added this about Guccifer 2.0 at the time:
“The recent forensic studies fill in a critical gap. Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original ‘Guccifer 2.0’ material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the ‘hand-picked analysts’ from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the misnomered ‘Intelligence Community’ Assessment dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.”
Guccifer 2.0 Seen As a Fraud
In our July 24, 2017 memorandum we also told President Trump that independent cyber investigators and VIPs had determined “that the purported ‘hack’ of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else. Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider. Information was leaked to implicate Russia.We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.”[Emphasis added.].
Right. Ask the FBI. At this stage, President Trump might have better luck asking Attorney General William Barr, to whom the FBI is accountable – at least in theory. As for Barr, VIPs informed him in a June 5, 2020 memorandum that the head of CrowdStrike had admitted under oath on Dec. 5, 2017 that CrowdStrike has no concrete evidence that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016 were hacked – by Russia or by anyone else. [Emphasis added.] This important revelation has so far escaped attention in the Russia-Russia-Russia “mainstream” media (surprise, surprise, surprise!).
Back to the Birth of G-2
It boggles the mind that so few Americans could see Russiagate for the farce it was. Most of the blame, I suppose, rests on a thoroughly complicit Establishment media. Recall: Assange’s announcement on June 12, 2016 that he had Hillary Clinton-related emails came just six weeks before the Democratic convention. I could almost hear the cry go up from the DNC: Houston, We Have a Problem!
Here’s how bad the problem for the Democrats was. The DNC emails eventually published by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016, just three days before the Democratic convention, had been stolen on May 23 and 25. This would have given the DNC time to learn that the stolen material included documents showing how the DNC and Clinton campaign had manipulated the primaries and created a host of other indignities, such that Sanders’ chances of winning the nomination amounted to those of a snowball’s chance in the netherworld.
To say this was an embarrassment would be the understatement of 2016. Worse still, given the documentary nature of the emails and WikiLeaks’ enviable track record for accuracy, there would be no way to challenge their authenticity. Nevertheless, with the media in full support of the DNC and Clinton, however, it turned out to be a piece of cake to divert attention from the content of the emails to the “act of war” (per John McCain) that the Russian “cyber attack” was said to represent.
The outcome speaks as much to the lack of sophistication on the part of American TV watchers, as it does to the sophistication of the Democrats-media complicity and cover-up. How come so few could figure out what was going down?
It was not hard for some experienced observers to sniff a rat. Among the first to speak out was fellow Consortium News columnist Patrick Lawrence, who immediately saw through the Magnificent Diversion. I do not know if he fancies duck hunting, but he shot the Russiagate canard quite dead – well before the Democratic convention was over.
In late July 2016, Lawrence was sickened, as he watched what he immediately recognized as a well planned, highly significant deflection. The Clinton-friendly media was excoriating Russia for “hacking” DNC emails and was glossing over what the emails showed; namely, that the Clinton Dems had pretty much stolen the nomination from Sanders.
It was already clear even then that the Democrats, with invaluable help from intelligence leaks and other prepping to the media, had made good use of those six weeks between Assange’s announcement that he had emails “related to Hillary Clinton” and the opening of the convention.
The media was primed to castigate the Russians for “hacking,” while taking a prime role in the deflection. It was a liminal event of historic significance, as we now know. The “Magnificent Diversion” worked like a charm – and then it grew like Topsy.
Lawrence said he had “fire in the belly” on the morning of July 25 as the Democratic convention began and wrote what follows pretty much “in one long, furious exhale” within 12 hours of when the media started really pushing the “the Russians-did-it” narrative.
Below is a slightly shortened text of his article:
“Now wait a minute, all you upper-case “D” Democrats. A flood light suddenly shines on your party apparatus, revealing its grossly corrupt machinations to fix the primary process and sink the Sanders campaign, and within a day you are on about the evil Russians having hacked into your computers to sabotage our elections …
Is this a joke? Are you kidding? Is nothing beneath your dignity? Is this how lowly you rate the intelligence of American voters? …
Clowns. Subversives. Do you know who you remind me of? I will tell you: Nixon, in his famously red-baiting campaign – a disgusting episode – … during his first run for the Senate, in 1950. Your political tricks are as transparent and anti-democratic as his, it is perfectly fair to say.
I confess to a heated reaction to events since last Friday [July 22] among the Democrats, specifically in the Democratic National Committee. I should briefly explain …
The Sanders people have long charged that the DNC has had its fingers on the scale, as one of them put it the other day, in favor of Hillary Clinton’s nomination. The prints were everywhere – many those of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has repeatedly been accused of anti-Sanders bias. Schultz, do not forget, co-chaired Clinton’s 2008 campaign against Barack Obama. That would be enough to disqualify her as the DNC’s chair in any society that takes ethics seriously, but it is not enough in our great country. Chairwoman she has been for the past five years.
Last Friday WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 DNC email messages providing abundant proof that Sanders and his staff were right all along. The worst of these, involving senior DNC officers, proposed Nixon-esque smears having to do with everything from ineptitude within the Sanders campaign to Sanders as a Jew in name only and an atheist by conviction.
Wasserman fell from grace on Monday. Other than this, Democrats from President Obama to Clinton and numerous others atop the party’s power structure have had nothing to say, as in nothing, about this unforgivable breach. They have, rather, been full of praise for Wasserman Schultz. Brad Marshall, the D.N.C.’s chief financial officer, now tries to deny that his Jew-baiting remark referred to Sanders. Good luck, Brad: Bernie is the only Jew in the room.
The caker came on Sunday, when Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and … CNN’s “State of the Union” to assert that the D.N.C.’s mail was hacked “by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” He knows this – knows it in a matter of 24 hours – because “experts” – experts he will never name – have told him so. …
What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying that Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.
Is that what disturbs you, Robby? Interesting. Unsubstantiated hocus-pocus, not the implications of these events for the integrity of Democratic nominations and the American political process? The latter is the more pressing topic, Robby. You are far too long on anonymous experts for my taste, Robby. And what kind of expert, now that I think of it, is able to report to you as to the intentions of Russian hackers – assuming for a sec that this concocted narrative has substance?
Making lemonade out of a lemon, the Clinton campaign now goes for a twofer. Watch as it advances the Russians-did-it thesis on the basis of nothing, then shoots the messenger, then associates Trump with its own mess – and, finally, gets to ignore the nature of its transgression (which any paying-attention person must consider grave).
Preposterous, readers. Join me, please, in having absolutely none of it. There is no “Russian actor” at the bottom of this swamp, to put my position bluntly. You will never, ever be offered persuasive evidence otherwise.
Reluctantly, I credit the Clinton campaign and the DNC with reading American paranoia well enough such that they may make this junk stick. In a clear sign the entire crowd-control machine is up and running, The New York Times had a long, unprofessional piece about Russian culprits in its Monday editions. It followed Mook’s lead faithfully: not one properly supported fact, not one identified “expert,” and more conditional verbs than you’ve had hot dinners – everything cast as “could,” “might,” “appears,” “would,” “seems,” “may.” Nothing, once again, as to the very serious implications of this affair for the American political process.
Now comes the law. The FBI just announced that it will investigate – no, not the DNC’s fraudulent practices (which surely breach statutes), but “those who pose a threat in cyberspace.” … it is the invocation of the Russians that sends me over the edge. My bones grow weary …
We must take the last few days’ events as a signal of what Clinton’s policy toward Russia will look like should she prevail in November. … Turning her party’s latest disgrace into an occasion for another round of Russophobia is mere preface, but in it you can read her commitment to the new crusade.
Trump, to make this work, must be blamed for his willingness to negotiate with Moscow. This is now among his sins. Got that? Anyone who says he will talk to the Russians has transgressed the American code. … Does this not make Hillary Clinton more than a touch Nixonian?
I am developing nitrogen bends from watching the American political spectacle. One can hardly tell up from down. Which way for a breath of air?”
A year later Lawrence interviewed several of us VIPs, including our two former NSA technical directors and on Aug. 9, 2017 published an article for The Nation titled, “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.”
Lawrence wrote, “Former NSA experts, now members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs), say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak – an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”
And so it was. But, sadly, that cut across the grain of the acceptable Russia-gate narrative at The Nationat the time. Its staff, seriously struck by the HWHW (Hillary Would Have Won) virus, rose up in rebellion. A short time later, there was no more room at The Nation for his independent-minded writing.
The May 25th killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota shocked the world and set off mass protests against racism and police brutality in dozens of cities from the mid-western United States to the European Union, all in the midst of a global pandemic. In the Twin Cities, what began as spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations against the local police quickly transformed into vandalism, arson and looting after the use of rubber bullets and chemical irritants by law enforcement against the protesters, while the initial incitement for the riots was likely the work of apparent agent provocateursamong the marchers. Within days, the unrest had spread to cities across the country including the nation’s capital, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to invoke the slavery-era Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy the military and National Guard on American soil, federal powers not used since the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King case.
The debate over the catalyst for the uprising into its period of lawlessness has drawn a range of theories. The suspicious placement of pallets of bricks in the proximity of numerous protest sites have spurred rumors of sabotage by everything from white supremacist groups to “Antifa” to law enforcement itself. Predictably, liberal hawks such as Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor in the Obama administration, made ludicrous assertions suggesting “Russian agents” were behind the unrest, a continuation of the narrative that the Kremlin has been behind inflaming racial tensions in the U.S. that began during the 2016 election. While Democrats like Rice and Senator Kamala Harris of California have revived an old trope dating back to the Civil Rights movement of Moscow exploiting racial divisions in the U.S., Trump and the GOP have similarly resurrected the ‘outside agitators’ myth attributed to segregationists of the same era. Hypocritically, many of those claiming to be in support of the protests have denounced the latter theory while endorsing the former, when both equally show contempt for the legitimate grievances of the demonstrators and deny their agency. However, both false notions overlook the more likely hidden factors at play attempting to hijack the movement for its own purposes.
Believe it or not, there could be a kernel of truth in accusations coming mostly from the political right as to the possible role of the notorious liberal billionaire investor and “philanthropist” George Soros and his Open Society Foundation (OSF). Ironically, if any of the right-wing figures of whom Soros is a favorite target were aware of his instrumental role in the fall of communism staging the various CIA-backed protest movements in Eastern Europe that toppled socialist governments, he would likely not be such a subject of their derision. The Hungarian business magnate’s institute, like other NGOs involved in U.S. regime change operations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is largely a front for the CIA to shield itself while destabilizing U.S. adversaries, the spy agency’s preferred modus operandi since the exposure of its illicit activities in previous decades by the Rockefeller Commission and Church Committee in the 1970s. In the post-Soviet world, nations across Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and beyond have become well acquainted with the political disruptions of the international financier and his network. In particular, governments that have leaned toward warm relations with Moscow during the incumbency of President Vladimir Putin have found themselves the victims of his machinations.
Under Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin, Soros made a killing off the mass privatization of the former state-run assets in the Eastern Bloc, as journalist Naomi Klein explained in The Shock Doctrine:
“George Soros’s philanthropic work in Eastern Europe — including his funding of (Harvard economist and economic advisor Jeffrey) Sachs’s travels through the region — has not been immune to controversy. There is no doubt that Soros was committed to the cause of democratization in the Eastern Bloc, but he also had clear economic interests in the kind of economic reform accompanying that democratization. As the world’s most powerful currency trader, he stood to benefit greatly when countries implemented convertible currencies and lift capital controls, and when state companies were put on the auction block, he was one of the potential buyers.”
In contrast, the Putin administration over a period of two decades has since restored the Russian economy through the re-nationalization of its oil and gas industry. Its two energy giants, Gazprom and Rosneft, are state-controlled companies serving as the basis of the state machinery‘s reassertion of control over the Russian financial system, a move that has gotten Mr. Putin branded a “dictator” by the West. As a result, most of the notorious Russian oligarchs enriched overnight during the extreme free market policies of the 1990s have since left the country, now that such rapid accumulation of wealth to the rest of the nation’s detriment is no longer permitted. While economic inequality in Russia may persist, it is nowhere near that of the Yeltsin era where the average life expectancy was reduced by a full decade.
In the last decade, the United States has gotten its own taste of the incitement and agitations that have previously fallen upon governments across the global south. Instead, domestically the CIA cutouts in the non-profit industrial complex have played a pivotal counterrevolutionary role in co-opting and ultimately derailing such uprisings meant to bring systemic change to the U.S. political system. In late 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged at Zuccotti Park in New York City’s financial district against the deepening global economic inequality following the Great Recession and the protests quickly spread to other cities and continents. In just a few months, the sit-in was expelled from Lower Manhattan and the anti-capitalist movement itself largely was diverted towards reformism and away from its original radical intentions. It was also revealed the origins of OWS and its marketing campaign were traced to Adbusters, a media foundation that was the recipient of grants from the Democratic Party-connected Tides Foundation, a progressive policy center which receives significant endowments from none other than George Soros and the OSF.
Emerging just two years later, the roots of Black Lives Matter were not just in community organizing but partially took inspiration from the Occupy movement. Unfortunately, the similarities between them were not limited to a shared lack of clarity in their demands but facing the same dilemma of being absorbed into the system. While OWS was quickly suppressed after hopeful beginnings, the BLM leadership became career-oriented apparatchiks of the Democratic Party and left grass-roots organizing behind. Through the non-profit industrial complex, the Democratic Party has mastered bringing various social movements under its management on behalf of Wall Street in order to funnel public funds into private control through various foundations. Along with the Ford Foundation which has given BLM enormous $100 million grants, Soros and the OSF have been one of the principal offenders. Still, many who correctly identify right-wing protests such as the Tea Party movement and the recent ‘anti-lockdown’ demonstrations as the work of astro-turfing by the Koch Brothers and Heritage Foundation seldom apply the same scrutiny to seemingly authentic progressive movements assimilated by corporate America.
One figure who mysteriously appeared on the scene in the early days of OWS connected to Soros was the Serbian political activist Srđa Popović, the founder of Otpor! (“resistance” in Serbian) and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) political organizations which led the protests in 2000 which ousted the democratically-elected President of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, known as the “Bulldozer Revolution.” Not long after Popović’s consulting of activists in Zuccotti Park, Wikileaks documents revealed the Belgrade-born organizer’s significant ties to U.S. intelligence through the global intelligence platform Stratfor (known as the “shadow CIA”), exposing the real motives behind his involvement in U.S. politics of outwardly supporting OWS while trying to sabotage the popular movement. Since their role as instruments of U.S. regime change in Serbia, Otpor! and CANVAS have received financial support from CIA intermediaries such as the NED, OSF, Freedom House and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as the Boston-based Albert Einstein Institute founded by the American political scientist, Gene Sharp.
Despite ostensibly professing to use the same civil disobedience methods of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., Gene Sharp‘s manual for “non-violent resistance” entitled From Dictatorship to Democracy has been the blueprint used by political organizations around the world that have only served the interests of Western imperialism. Beginning with the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia, the successful formula which ousted Milošević spread to other Central Asian and Eastern European nations overthrowing governments which resisted NATO expansion and the European Union’s draconian austerity in favor of economic ties with Moscow. These were widely referred to in the media as ‘Color Revolutions’ and included the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and its 2014 Maidan coup d’état follow-up, as well as the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, among others.
Subsequently, Srđa Popović and CANVAS also lent their expertise in Egypt during the predecessor to its Arab Spring in the April 6 Youth Movement which appropriated Otpor!’s raised fist logo as its emblem. In preparation for the organization of anti-government demonstrations, the activists poured over Gene Sharp’s work in coordination with Otpor! whose fingerprints can be found all over the Arab Spring uprisings which began as protests to remove unpopular leaders in Egypt and Tunisia but were carefully reeled in to preserve the despotic Western-friendly systems that had put them to power initially. Where Sharp’s “non-violent” template failed, countries with U.S. adversaries in power such as Libya and Syria saw their protests rapidly morph into a resurgence of Al-Qaeda and a terrorist proxy war with catastrophic consequences. This recipe has also been exported to Latin America in attempts to remove the Bolivarian government in Venezuela, with self-declared ‘interim president’ and opposition leader Juan Guaido having received training from CANVAS.
While the right seems to have a bizarre misconception that the parasitic hedge fund tycoon is somehow a communist, there is an equal misunderstanding on the pseudo-left where it has become a recurring joke and subject of mockery to naively deny Soros’s undeniable influence on world affairs and domestic protest movements. Less certain, however, are the claims from conservatives that Soros is a supporter of “Antifa” which Trump wants to designate as a domestic terrorist organization, a dangerous premise given the movement consists of a very loose-knit and decentralized network of activists and hardly comprises a real organization. Various autonomous chapters and groups across the U.S. may self-identify as such, but there is no single official party or formal organization with any leadership hierarchy. While the original Antifa movement in the 1930s Weimar Republic was part of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), the current manifestation in the U.S. has a synonymous association with black bloc anarchism (even inverting the colors of the original red and black flag), though it is really made up of a variety of amateurish political tendencies.
Amidst the ongoing nationwide George Floyd protests, the demonstrations in Seattle, Washington culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in the Northwestern city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood — known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). In response, Trump doubled down on his threats to quash protests with the use of the military while blaming “anarchists” in “Antifa” for the unrecognized commune occupying six city blocks around an abandoned police precinct. Anyone who has paid close attention to the war in Syria for the last nine years will find this highly ironic, given the U.S. military support for another infamous “autonomous zone” of Kurdish nationalists in Northern Syria’s Rojava federation. The Kurdish sub-region and de facto self-governing territory purports to be a “libertarian socialist direct democracy” style of government and has been the subject of romanticized praise by the Western pseudo-left despite the fact that the autonomous administration’s paramilitary wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), were until recently a cat’s paw for American imperialism as part of the U.S.-founded coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Not coincidentally, many of those who use the Antifa vexillum are enthusiastic supporters of and even volunteer mercenaries fighting with the YPG/SDF in an ‘International Freedom Battalion’ which claims to be the inheritors of the legacy of the International Brigades which volunteered to defend the Spanish Republic from fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, these cosplayers forgot that the original International Brigades were set up by the Communist International, not the Pentagon. Meanwhile, despite their purported “anti-fascism”, there are no such conscripts to be found defending the Donetsk or Luhansk People’s Republics of eastern Ukraine against literal Nazis in the War in Donbass where the real front line against fascism has been. Instead, they fight alongside a Zionist and imperial proxy to help establish an ethno-nation state while the U.S. loots Syria’s oil.
Prior to Trump’s decision last October to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria which preceded a Turkish invasion, Ankara and the U.S. repeatedly butted heads over Washington’s decision to incorporate the Kurds into the SDF, since the YPG is widely acknowledged an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the militant and cult-like political group regarded as a terrorist organization that has been at war with Turkey for over forty years. It is also no secret that jailed PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan’s theories of “democratic confederalism” are heavily influenced by the pro-Zionist Jewish-American anarchist theorist, Murray Bookchin. So when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Trump that there were links between the U.S. protests and the PKK, there was a tiny but core accuracy in his exaggerated claim. As Malcolm X said, “chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad.”
The George Floyd protests, like previous uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore, certainly began spontaneously, nor does any of this discount the legitimate issue of ending the militarization of U.S. law enforcement which disproportionately victimizes black Americans. Nevertheless, time and again we have seen how bona fide social movements become political footballs or quickly go to their graves. Like BLM, it is practically inevitable the protests will become a partisan tool for the Democratic Party in the coming 2020 election when it has no concrete political articulations of its own, even if it does bring substantive change to domestic policing. In January, Trump was impeached for temporarily withholding security aid to the Ukraine and Democrats advocated his removal because he is regarded as insufficiently hawkish toward Moscow. Since 2016, they have actively diverted all opposition to Trump into their own reactionary anti-Russia campaign and soft-coup attempt in the interests of the military- intelligence community, a shared agenda with Soros. When all of corporate America, the media, and even the NED have publicly declared their support for a movement, it is no longer just about its original cause of getting justice for Mr. Floyd, whose funeral became a virtual campaign rally for Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden. It is too early to say determinedly whether what is taking place in the U.S. is indeed a ‘Color Revolution’, but by the time we realize it may too late.
Max Parry is an independent journalist and geopolitical analyst. His writing has appeared widely in alternative media. Max may be reached at[email protected]
Just imagine for a second that you're the treasurer or CFO of a mid-sized corporation, and your looking for somewhere to park money where you can earn a decent return without taking too much risk. One of the Credit Suisse corporate bankers comes to you one day with an idea. They call it "supply-chain financing".
The new strategy is essentially just another tool to help companies more "flexibility" in managing their short-term financing needs. It's a fool-proof idea, the banker explains, because even if the companies default, there are all kinds of insurance policies and other safeguards in place to help make the lenders whole. You're a
So you invest. A few years later, your banker calls with some bad news. Four of the 10 companies to which the fund was most heavily exposed imploded, and are likely headed for liquidation. It could be years before the lenders are made whole - if ever - and you and your fellow unlucky investors are simply along for the ride, but you can probably kiss that money goodbye.
Several months later, you open the FT, only to discover that many of the other investors in the fund, as well as the advisor managing the fund, were all financially linked to the companies in which the fund was investing. The circular flow of money from the funds to the companies' suppliers means that, for these other investors, any losses stemming from loan defaults have already been offset, since they're basically paying themselves...with your money.
Well, that appears to be what happened to some investors who weren't too happy when they found out that several Credit Suisse 'supply chain finance' funds were essentially part of an elaborate shell game orchestrated by SoftBank to help inflate the value of Vision Fund portfolio companies by making them look more financially healthy than they actually were.
SoftBank has quietly poured more than $500m into Credit Suisse investment funds that in turn made big bets on the debt of struggling start-ups backed by the Japanese technology conglomerate’s Vision Fund. SoftBank made the investment into the Swiss bank’s $7.5bn range of supply-chain finance funds, said three people familiar with the matter. Credit Suisse touts these funds to professional investors, such as corporate treasurers, as a safe place to park their cash in the short-term debts of seemingly diversified companies. Marketing documents sent to investors show that these funds have ramped up their exposure to several start-ups in the Japanese group’s $100bn Vision Fund over the past year. This has coincided with a disastrous stretch in which $18bn was wiped off the equity value of these technology bets. At the centre of the circular flow of funding is Greensill Capital, a Vision Fund-backed company that says it is “making finance fairer”. The London-based firm, which employs former British prime minister David Cameron as an adviser, selects all of the assets that go into the Credit Suisse funds under an agreement dating back to 2017.
SoftBank effectively used these Credit Suisse funds - which were administered by Greensill Capital, an investment firm that, bizarrely, received a $1.5 billion slug of cash from VF. Aside from being run by an Aussie "paper billionaire" and advised by former Tory PM David Cameron, it's not clear exactly what Greensill is supposed to be doing with all that money. But the company has managed to find itself enmeshed in all sorts of skullduggery uncovered by the intrepid reporters at the FT.
Four of the CS's supply chain finance funds' top investments were tied to Vision Fund portfolio companies.
Marketing documents for Credit Suisse’s main supply-chain finance fund show that, at the end of March, four of its top 10 largest exposures were to Vision Fund companies, accounting for 15 per cent of its $5.2bn assets. This included companies hit hard in the coronavirus crisis, such as Indian hotel business Oyo and struggling car subscription start-up Fair. A separate document shows that Santa Monica-based Fair was also the second-largest exposure in Credit Suisse’s “high income” supply-chain finance fund at the end of last year. In October, the car subscription company’s founder and chief executive resigned shortly after announcing plans to cut 40 per cent of its workforce. Audited accounts for both funds show they had no exposure to Fair at the end of that month, suggesting that they only began financing the company after its difficulties came to the fore.
As the FT explains, investors (well, the investors who aren't SoftBank) have pulled $1.5 billion from the Greensill-managed Credit Suisse funds as several of Greensill's investments went sideways. Another interesting thing about Greensill: former British PM David Cameron is a paid advisor.
But now, the firm has hit upon a new strategy that just might revive the sagging fortunes of the SoftBank-backed lender.
Clients have withdrawn more than $1.5bn from these supply-chain finance funds this year, after a string of Greensill Capital’s clients defaulted on their debts in high-profile corporate collapses and accounting scandals, such as former FTSE 100 company NMC Health. Credit Suisse has told investors that a group of insurers and Greensill itself are covering losses in the funds. Australian financier Lex Greensill founded the company in 2011 and cemented his status as a paper billionaire last year when SoftBank’s Vision Fund invested $1.5bn into his eponymous firm. Greensill Capital specialises in supply-chain finance, where businesses borrow money to pay their suppliers. This week the British Business Bank approved Greensill to provide so-called “invoice finance” through the UK’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan scheme. “Making sure capital reaches the real economy, where it is needed most, is integral to Britain’s broader economic recovery,” Mr Greensill said of the decision.
There's nothing like extracting rents from government capital intended for the "real economy" to help keep a small, politically connected lender afloat.
"We have a researcher who was removed by the RCMP from the highest security laboratory that Canada has for reasons that government is unwilling to disclose. The intelligence remains secret. But what we know is that before she was removed, she sent one of the deadliest viruses on Earth, and multiple varieties of it to maximize the genetic diversity and maximize what experimenters in China could do with it, to a laboratory in China that does dangerous gain of function experiments. And that has links to the Chinese military." -Amir Attaran
A Chinese scientist who was escorted out of Canada's only level-4 biolab over a possible "policy breach" shipped dealdy Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to the CBC, citing newly-released documents. The shipment is not related to COVID-19 or the pandemic.
Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and her Chinese students were removed from the Canadian lab after the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) asked the RCMP to investigate several months earlier. According to PHAC, Qiu's eviction from the lab is not connected to the shipment.
"The administrative investigation is not related to the shipment of virus samples to China, said PHAC chief of media relations, Eric Morrissette."
"In response to a request from the Wuhan Institute of Virology for viral samples of Ebola and Henipah viruses, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) sent samples for the purpose of scientific research in 2019."
To recap, a Chinese scientist, her husband and her Chinese students were escorted out of Canada's only Level-4 lab for reasons unknown, and which are not related to her shipment of deadly viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"It is suspicious. It is alarming. It is potentially life-threatening," said University of Ottawa law professor and epidemiologist, Amir Attaran.
While Canada doesn't do 'gain-of-function' experiments - which are where natural pathogens are mutated in a lab and assessed to see if it has become more deadly or infectious, "The Wuhan lab does them and we have now supplied them with Ebola and Nipah viruses. It does not take a genius to understand that this is an unwise decision," said Attaran.
"I am extremely unhappy to see that the Canadian government shared that genetic material."
Attaran pointed to an Ebola study first published in December 2018, three months after Qiu began the process of exporting the viruses to China. The study involved researchers from the NML and University of Manitoba.
All of this has led to conspiracy theories linking the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, Canada's microbiology lab, and the lab in Wuhan. -CBC
According to the report, the RCMP and PHAC have repeatedly denied any connections between the virus shipments and COVID-19.
According to the newly-released documents, the following virus strains were shipped to the WIV (approximately 15 ml):
Ebola Makona (three different varieties)
The documents also shed light on communications from the months leading up to the shipment - including confusion on how to package the viruses, along with a lack of decontamination of the package prior to its shipment, as well as concerns expressed by NML Director-General Matthew Gilmour to his superiors in Ottawa - particularly over where the package was going, what was in it, and whether its paperwork was in order.
In one email, Gilmour said Material Transfer Agreements would be required, "not generic 'guarantees' on the storage and usage."
He also asked David Safronetz, chief of special pathogens: "Good to know that you trust this group. How did we get connected with them?"
Safronetz replied: "They are requesting material from us due to collaboration with Dr. Qiu." -CBC
According to the report, the shipper of the viruses had originally planned to use inappropriate packaging, and only corrected the mistake when the WIV flagged the issue.
"The only reason the correct packaging was used is because the Chinese wrote to them and said, 'Aren't you making a mistake here?' If that had not happened, the scientists would have placed on an Air Canada flight, several of them actually, a deadly virus incorrectly packaged. That nearly happened," said Attaran.