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Anti-Empire

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offsite link Israeli Data Suggests Protection From Va... Tue Jul 27, 2021 16:58 | Nathan Jeffay

offsite link Fauci’s Claim That 99.2% of COVID Deat... Tue Jul 27, 2021 14:57 | Alex Berenson

offsite link Pfizer Contract Forces Governments to Ac... Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:06 | Marko Marjanović

offsite link It Took a Data Leak to Reveal Huge Porti... Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:21 | Laura Donnelly

offsite link The Cost of Lockdowns May Be as High as ... Mon Jul 26, 2021 20:58 | Dr. Jay Bhattacharya

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2021/07/26 ? Open Thread Mon Jul 26, 2021 19:30 | Herb Swanson
2021/07/26 18:30:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The ECHR rejects the Russian request for interim measures Mon Jul 26, 2021 18:04 | The Saker
I love the EU and its institutions! They are so, sooooooooooooo “democratic” that each time they take a decision I tell myself “thanks God I stopped believing all this nonsense

offsite link BRI vs New Quad for Afghanistan?s coming boom Mon Jul 26, 2021 17:52 | amarynth
The race is already on to build and extend Afghanistan’s shattered infrastructure as rival powers advance competing initiatives by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times Over

offsite link Spoilers may create hurdles in the Afghan Peace Process Mon Jul 26, 2021 15:37 | amarynth
By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog The recent air strikes on the Taliban positions in Afghanistan is an open breach of the Peace Treaty signed between the Taliban and

offsite link Excuse me, Sir, but are you civilized? Sun Jul 25, 2021 18:47 | amarynth
by Naresh Jotwani for the Saker Blog Washington Post recently ran an article with headline which contained the two phrases “civilized nations” and “deter Beijing and Moscow” (see a review

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Youth power – Don’t ask – Take

offsite link When the establishment betrays the people?s trust Anthony

offsite link The day Eoghan Harris went bad Anthony

offsite link Declining standards in Irish journalism Anthony

offsite link Mainstream media: Failing to speak truth to power Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

offsite link Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Nathan Jeffay - Tue Jul 27, 2021 16:58

People vaccinated before late February are twice as likely to catch the coronavirus than other inoculated Israelis, according to new research.

“We looked at tens of thousands of people tested in the month of June, alongside data on how long had passed since their second shot, and found that those vaccinated early were more likely to test positive,” Dr. Yotam Shenhar, who headed the research, told The Times of Israel.

“This definitely reinforces the argument for giving a third vaccine dose to the elderly.”

The report, published by the healthcare provider Leumit, comes on the heels of other Israeli studies that suggest a decreasing vaccine effectiveness, partly as a result of the Delta variant and partly because of the passage of time. However, British data indicates the Israeli studies may be overstating the case.

Data released by the Health Ministry on Thursday suggested that people vaccinated in January were said to have just 16% protection against infection now, while in those vaccinated in April the effectiveness was at 75%

The Leumit study looked only at the apparent waning of protection over time, and divided the vaccinated population into two based on inoculation dates, comparing early vaccinators to late vaccinators.

Shenhar, head of Leumit’s labs, acknowledged that the early vaccinators group includes many people who raced to get shots because they have underlying illnesses, which may make them more vulnerable to infection. But he said that could not fully account for the stark effect seen in the data.

Shenhar said the data should prompt the government to seriously consider booster shots for over-70s.

“Now we see vaccination effectiveness drops, so it seems we definitely need to think about a third vaccine,” he said. “We have started already by giving the immunocompromised, but in my assessment we need to consider giving third shots to everyone over 70 or 80. We shouldn’t wait long; we need to make a decision fast.”

If he were formulating policy, Shenhar said, he would “definitely” start giving boosters to elderly Israelis.

In his study, the apparent waning effect in immunity was felt across all ages. For all age groups, early vaccinators were 1.95 times more likely to be confirmed coronavirus positive. Among those aged 60-plus, early vaccinators are twice as likely to get infected. For those aged 40-59 early vaccinators are 2.1 times more vulnerable, and among under 39s they are 1.6 more likely to catch the coronavirus.

“In a previous analysis we showed that as time passes since the vaccine, the level of antibodies drops at a rate of about 40% per month. This new study builds a clearer picture of the effect seen in the months after vaccination,” said Shenhar.

Israel has seen a dramatic rise in recent COVID-19 infections, with the daily caseload rising from several dozen to over 1,400 in recent days.

Source: The Times of Israel

People vaccinated before late February are twice as likely to catch the coronavirus than other inoculated Israelis, according to new research.

“We looked at tens of thousands of people tested in the month of June, alongside data on how long had passed since their second shot, and found that those vaccinated early were more likely to test positive,” Dr. Yotam Shenhar, who headed the research, told The Times of Israel.

“This definitely reinforces the argument for giving a third vaccine dose to the elderly.”

The report, published by the healthcare provider Leumit, comes on the heels of other Israeli studies that suggest a decreasing vaccine effectiveness, partly as a result of the Delta variant and partly because of the passage of time. However, British data indicates the Israeli studies may be overstating the case.

Data released by the Health Ministry on Thursday suggested that people vaccinated in January were said to have just 16% protection against infection now, while in those vaccinated in April the effectiveness was at 75%

The Leumit study looked only at the apparent waning of protection over time, and divided the vaccinated population into two based on inoculation dates, comparing early vaccinators to late vaccinators.

Shenhar, head of Leumit’s labs, acknowledged that the early vaccinators group includes many people who raced to get shots because they have underlying illnesses, which may make them more vulnerable to infection. But he said that could not fully account for the stark effect seen in the data.

Shenhar said the data should prompt the government to seriously consider booster shots for over-70s.

“Now we see vaccination effectiveness drops, so it seems we definitely need to think about a third vaccine,” he said. “We have started already by giving the immunocompromised, but in my assessment we need to consider giving third shots to everyone over 70 or 80. We shouldn’t wait long; we need to make a decision fast.”

If he were formulating policy, Shenhar said, he would “definitely” start giving boosters to elderly Israelis.

In his study, the apparent waning effect in immunity was felt across all ages. For all age groups, early vaccinators were 1.95 times more likely to be confirmed coronavirus positive. Among those aged 60-plus, early vaccinators are twice as likely to get infected. For those aged 40-59 early vaccinators are 2.1 times more vulnerable, and among under 39s they are 1.6 more likely to catch the coronavirus.

“In a previous analysis we showed that as time passes since the vaccine, the level of antibodies drops at a rate of about 40% per month. This new study builds a clearer picture of the effect seen in the months after vaccination,” said Shenhar.

Israel has seen a dramatic rise in recent COVID-19 infections, with the daily caseload rising from several dozen to over 1,400 in recent days.

Source: The Times of Israel

Alex Berenson - Tue Jul 27, 2021 14:57

In the last few weeks, politicians and senior public health officials have insisted over and over that unvaccinated Americans account for essentially ALL of the deaths of people from Covid.

At a White House press briefing on July 22, for example, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said that “99.5 percent of Covid deaths and 97 percent of hospitalizations are [emphasis added] among the unvaccinated.”

Note that “are,” please. Are is PRESENT tense, something happening NOW.

Murthy isn’t alone.

On Independence Day, Dr. Anthony Fauci answered a question on Meet The Press about deaths IN JUNE by saying that “if you look at the number of deaths, 99.2 percent of them are unvaccinated. About 0.8 percent are vaccinated.”

To be clear on the math here, Fauci’s answer would imply that only about 80 vaccinated people - 0.8 percent of 10,000 - died in June.

These are - how do I put this delicately? - big fat stinking lies. They are off by a factor of at least five, and probably 10 or more.

Let’s put aside that the way public health authorities define vaccinated is NOT the way most people think of being vaccinated. Had one shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines? You’re not vaccinated. Had two? Still not vaccinated, not for two weeks.

In countries where health authorities are more honest, statistics on hospitalizations and deaths have three categories - “fully” vaccinated, “partially” vaccinated, and “unvaccinated.” Many cases fall in the middle category. In fact, data show that the vaccines can cause an increase in infections and deaths for up to two weeks after the first dose, possibly because they temporarily suppress immunity by recruiting so many white blood cells to the area of the injection.

The truth is that if we were treating vaccines like other drugs, we would include the “partially” vaccinated cases in the “vaccinated” category because they have occurred AFTER treatment has begun.

The United States does the opposite. When it reports statistics on vaccine hospitalizations or deaths, it ignores partly vaccinated people. They are lumped with those who have never received a dose as “unvaccinated.”

This trick is particularly galling now that the vaccine companies and the government have acknowledged the fact that the mRNA shots begin to lose their protective effect in a matter of months and that many people will need boosters soon.

It is no longer even clear whether “vaccine” is right term to describe these therapies. Most other vaccines protect for decades, if not a lifetime. (The main exceptions, the influenza vaccines, are known to be only marginally effective and have done almost nothing to reduce the virulence of the flu over a multi-decade span.)

But as I said, even putting aside the issue of how we classify the partially vaccinated, Fauci and Murthy lied about what percentage of coronavirus deaths are now occurring in FULLY vaccinated people. It is much higher than the sub-1 percent figures they offered.

This fact should have been obvious to anyone who has seen the data from England, Scotland, and Israel. Those countries vaccinated a greater percentage of their populations more quickly than the United States. They have also been much more transparent about reporting hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated people. And in all three countries, hospitalizations and deaths have spiked since May - and vaccinated people have accounted for more than HALF of all deaths recently.

The difference does not come from the type of vaccines, either. Israel used only the Pfizer vaccine, which until recently was considered the better of the two mRNA vaccines. The United Kingdom gave many Pfizer doses too.

So the comments from Fauci and Murthy defied credibility - how could other countries have so many more deaths in their vaccinated populations?

The answer is that Fauci and Murthy are - intentionally - using the wrong denominator. They say “now” or “are.”

But they are comparing deaths among the fully vaccinated - which have essentially been an issue only since May - with ALL deaths beginning from the day the United States offered its FIRST vaccine dose (or even possibly from the beginning of the epidemic).

The United States has had roughly a quarter-million deaths from Covid this year (the CDC reports 216,000, a number that will rise somewhat). It has had closer to 300,000 since the first dose was offered on Dec. 14. But more than half those deaths occurred in December and January, when essentially no one was fully vaccinated. Not even 2 percent of Americans were fully vaccinated as of February 1.

Deaths began to fall in February. After March 1 - when only 1 in 13 Americans were fully vaccinated - they plunged further. In the five months since, perhaps 80,000 people have died from (or with) Covid - fewer than died in January alone.

Vaccine advocates rarely acknowledge the fact that deaths started dropping long before most people had received shots. In reality, even acknowledging that many people who received vaccines in January and February were older and vulnerable, seasonality and herd immunity seem to have had a greater impact on broad Covid trends than vaccinations.

But for the advocates, the big winter death numbers are handy in one way - they make the breakthrough numbers seem tiny.

While Israel and the United Kingdom are rigorous about reporting Covid and vaccine data, the United States is not. Only a few states report breakthrough numbers with any regularity. The Centers for Disease Control does not, either.

Instead, the numbers dribble out essentially at random. But enough states have reported over time that we can say with certainty that the United States had almost no breakthrough deaths before April, and very few in April. For example, Minnesota reported none as of March 24. Washington state said it was investigating two as of March 31. Nationally, the CDC reported 160 deaths as of April 30.

Essentially ALL the “fully vaccinated” breakthrough cases and deaths have come since May. As of June 21, the CDC reported 750 deaths nationally. As of July 19, the number had risen to 1141.

All by itself, those figures prove Fauci lied when he told Chuck Todd on July 4 that 0.8 percent of deaths “are” in vaccinated people. The CDC currently reports about 24,000 deaths since May 1 (CDC reporting lags state reporting) - which would mean that fully vaccinated deaths have been about 4 percent of the total since then, FIVE TIMES what Fauci claimed. It is simply impossible that only 80 fully vaccinated people died in June, based on the CDC’s own data.

The real percentage is likely significantly higher. Breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have all swung up recently, and the CDC’s lags mean that it has not caught up.

For example, Illinois is now reporting 159 deaths, New York City reported 94 through mid-June, and Massachusetts 80, North Carolina 61, Washington state 45, and Oklahoma 19 as of mid-July. That’s 458 deaths in geographically diverse states (and a city) with a combined population of roughly 50 million, just over 1/7 of the United States population. That implies as many as 3,000 vaccine breakthrough deaths nationally, almost all since May 1. (California and Texas have reported relatively low numbers of deaths, but it is not clear if they actually have fewer or are just counting very slowly.)

The CDC’s reporting lag means that the actual total number of COVID deaths since May 1 is closer to 35,000 than its reported figure. If 3,000 vaccine breakthrough deaths have occurred since then, they’re running closer to 10 percent than 1 percent of total Covid deaths.

Further, in those few states that report regularly enough for trends to be clear, including Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Oklahoma, the total percentage has crept over 10 percent in the last couple of weeks.

The tragedy here is that Fauci and Murthy DON’T have to lie.

If 5 percent, or 10 percent, or even 15 percent of American Covid deaths are currently occurring in fully vaccinated people, that’s impressive protection considering that more than half of adults have been vaccinated - and more than 80 percent of the elderly, who are most vulnerable. The vaccines look to be holding up better in the United States than Israel, the most comparable country (though whether that gap will continue is not clear, since the United States was a few weeks behind Israel in its vaccination campaign and Israeli cases and hospitalizations have surged this month).

But they won’t offer the real numbers. And as they hype the Delta variant, they refuse to admit the United States has had far fewer Covid deaths overall in July 2021 as in 2020 (while the United Kingdom is now reporting more deaths now than it did in late July 2020, despite having better overall vaccine coverage).

Their reluctance is part of a much larger problem, the unwillingness to offer a serious cost-benefit analysis of the vaccines. Because the truth is messy. The vaccines are clearly far from the miracle that the initial reports promised last November.

Yes, they appear to offer decent protection in the short run. But they don’t end transmission, and their effectiveness is fading fast in the most vulnerable people. Their side effects are real and worsen with the second dose. Their greatest benefit by far is for the elderly.

Instead, of admitting these truths, the vaccine fanatics insist on offering numbers they must know are false - as, increasingly, they attack those Americans who choose not to be vaccinated.

And demonize those of us who point out the truth.

Source: Substack

In the last few weeks, politicians and senior public health officials have insisted over and over that unvaccinated Americans account for essentially ALL of the deaths of people from Covid.

At a White House press briefing on July 22, for example, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said that “99.5 percent of Covid deaths and 97 percent of hospitalizations are [emphasis added] among the unvaccinated.”

Note that “are,” please. Are is PRESENT tense, something happening NOW.

Murthy isn’t alone.

On Independence Day, Dr. Anthony Fauci answered a question on Meet The Press about deaths IN JUNE by saying that “if you look at the number of deaths, 99.2 percent of them are unvaccinated. About 0.8 percent are vaccinated.”

To be clear on the math here, Fauci’s answer would imply that only about 80 vaccinated people - 0.8 percent of 10,000 - died in June.

These are - how do I put this delicately? - big fat stinking lies. They are off by a factor of at least five, and probably 10 or more.

Let’s put aside that the way public health authorities define vaccinated is NOT the way most people think of being vaccinated. Had one shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines? You’re not vaccinated. Had two? Still not vaccinated, not for two weeks.

In countries where health authorities are more honest, statistics on hospitalizations and deaths have three categories - “fully” vaccinated, “partially” vaccinated, and “unvaccinated.” Many cases fall in the middle category. In fact, data show that the vaccines can cause an increase in infections and deaths for up to two weeks after the first dose, possibly because they temporarily suppress immunity by recruiting so many white blood cells to the area of the injection.

The truth is that if we were treating vaccines like other drugs, we would include the “partially” vaccinated cases in the “vaccinated” category because they have occurred AFTER treatment has begun.

The United States does the opposite. When it reports statistics on vaccine hospitalizations or deaths, it ignores partly vaccinated people. They are lumped with those who have never received a dose as “unvaccinated.”

This trick is particularly galling now that the vaccine companies and the government have acknowledged the fact that the mRNA shots begin to lose their protective effect in a matter of months and that many people will need boosters soon.

It is no longer even clear whether “vaccine” is right term to describe these therapies. Most other vaccines protect for decades, if not a lifetime. (The main exceptions, the influenza vaccines, are known to be only marginally effective and have done almost nothing to reduce the virulence of the flu over a multi-decade span.)

But as I said, even putting aside the issue of how we classify the partially vaccinated, Fauci and Murthy lied about what percentage of coronavirus deaths are now occurring in FULLY vaccinated people. It is much higher than the sub-1 percent figures they offered.

This fact should have been obvious to anyone who has seen the data from England, Scotland, and Israel. Those countries vaccinated a greater percentage of their populations more quickly than the United States. They have also been much more transparent about reporting hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated people. And in all three countries, hospitalizations and deaths have spiked since May - and vaccinated people have accounted for more than HALF of all deaths recently.

The difference does not come from the type of vaccines, either. Israel used only the Pfizer vaccine, which until recently was considered the better of the two mRNA vaccines. The United Kingdom gave many Pfizer doses too.

So the comments from Fauci and Murthy defied credibility - how could other countries have so many more deaths in their vaccinated populations?

The answer is that Fauci and Murthy are - intentionally - using the wrong denominator. They say “now” or “are.”

But they are comparing deaths among the fully vaccinated - which have essentially been an issue only since May - with ALL deaths beginning from the day the United States offered its FIRST vaccine dose (or even possibly from the beginning of the epidemic).

The United States has had roughly a quarter-million deaths from Covid this year (the CDC reports 216,000, a number that will rise somewhat). It has had closer to 300,000 since the first dose was offered on Dec. 14. But more than half those deaths occurred in December and January, when essentially no one was fully vaccinated. Not even 2 percent of Americans were fully vaccinated as of February 1.

Deaths began to fall in February. After March 1 - when only 1 in 13 Americans were fully vaccinated - they plunged further. In the five months since, perhaps 80,000 people have died from (or with) Covid - fewer than died in January alone.

Vaccine advocates rarely acknowledge the fact that deaths started dropping long before most people had received shots. In reality, even acknowledging that many people who received vaccines in January and February were older and vulnerable, seasonality and herd immunity seem to have had a greater impact on broad Covid trends than vaccinations.

But for the advocates, the big winter death numbers are handy in one way - they make the breakthrough numbers seem tiny.

While Israel and the United Kingdom are rigorous about reporting Covid and vaccine data, the United States is not. Only a few states report breakthrough numbers with any regularity. The Centers for Disease Control does not, either.

Instead, the numbers dribble out essentially at random. But enough states have reported over time that we can say with certainty that the United States had almost no breakthrough deaths before April, and very few in April. For example, Minnesota reported none as of March 24. Washington state said it was investigating two as of March 31. Nationally, the CDC reported 160 deaths as of April 30.

Essentially ALL the “fully vaccinated” breakthrough cases and deaths have come since May. As of June 21, the CDC reported 750 deaths nationally. As of July 19, the number had risen to 1141.

All by itself, those figures prove Fauci lied when he told Chuck Todd on July 4 that 0.8 percent of deaths “are” in vaccinated people. The CDC currently reports about 24,000 deaths since May 1 (CDC reporting lags state reporting) - which would mean that fully vaccinated deaths have been about 4 percent of the total since then, FIVE TIMES what Fauci claimed. It is simply impossible that only 80 fully vaccinated people died in June, based on the CDC’s own data.

The real percentage is likely significantly higher. Breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have all swung up recently, and the CDC’s lags mean that it has not caught up.

For example, Illinois is now reporting 159 deaths, New York City reported 94 through mid-June, and Massachusetts 80, North Carolina 61, Washington state 45, and Oklahoma 19 as of mid-July. That’s 458 deaths in geographically diverse states (and a city) with a combined population of roughly 50 million, just over 1/7 of the United States population. That implies as many as 3,000 vaccine breakthrough deaths nationally, almost all since May 1. (California and Texas have reported relatively low numbers of deaths, but it is not clear if they actually have fewer or are just counting very slowly.)

The CDC’s reporting lag means that the actual total number of COVID deaths since May 1 is closer to 35,000 than its reported figure. If 3,000 vaccine breakthrough deaths have occurred since then, they’re running closer to 10 percent than 1 percent of total Covid deaths.

Further, in those few states that report regularly enough for trends to be clear, including Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Oklahoma, the total percentage has crept over 10 percent in the last couple of weeks.

The tragedy here is that Fauci and Murthy DON’T have to lie.

If 5 percent, or 10 percent, or even 15 percent of American Covid deaths are currently occurring in fully vaccinated people, that’s impressive protection considering that more than half of adults have been vaccinated - and more than 80 percent of the elderly, who are most vulnerable. The vaccines look to be holding up better in the United States than Israel, the most comparable country (though whether that gap will continue is not clear, since the United States was a few weeks behind Israel in its vaccination campaign and Israeli cases and hospitalizations have surged this month).

But they won’t offer the real numbers. And as they hype the Delta variant, they refuse to admit the United States has had far fewer Covid deaths overall in July 2021 as in 2020 (while the United Kingdom is now reporting more deaths now than it did in late July 2020, despite having better overall vaccine coverage).

Their reluctance is part of a much larger problem, the unwillingness to offer a serious cost-benefit analysis of the vaccines. Because the truth is messy. The vaccines are clearly far from the miracle that the initial reports promised last November.

Yes, they appear to offer decent protection in the short run. But they don’t end transmission, and their effectiveness is fading fast in the most vulnerable people. Their side effects are real and worsen with the second dose. Their greatest benefit by far is for the elderly.

Instead, of admitting these truths, the vaccine fanatics insist on offering numbers they must know are false - as, increasingly, they attack those Americans who choose not to be vaccinated.

And demonize those of us who point out the truth.

Source: Substack

Marko Marjanović - Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:06

The standard Pfizer-to-government vaccine contract has been out since January 2021:

There are many iffy parts but here's the one that's the most interesting:

"Purchaser further acknowledges that the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are currently not known."

Pfizer makes the governments explicitly acknowledge that long-term effects can not possibly be known at this time AS A CONDITION OF SELLING TO THEM. Yet governments take to the podium to say that vaccines are "safe and effective". How can they possibly know? Are they clairvoyant? What do they know that even vaccine makers do not??

In the very contract they sign they agree that neither efficacy nor side-effects are presently known. But if you as a private individual point out this obvious truth you are crazy/stupid/evil.

Sorry, but I'd feel a lot stupider believing the crap the governments are selling but do not even themselves believe.

That would make those who are buying actually as stupid as the government believes them to be.

The standard Pfizer-to-government vaccine contract has been out since January 2021:

There are many iffy parts but here's the one that's the most interesting:

"Purchaser further acknowledges that the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are currently not known."

Pfizer makes the governments explicitly acknowledge that long-term effects can not possibly be known at this time AS A CONDITION OF SELLING TO THEM. Yet governments take to the podium to say that vaccines are "safe and effective". How can they possibly know? Are they clairvoyant? What do they know that even vaccine makers do not??

In the very contract they sign they agree that neither efficacy nor side-effects are presently known. But if you as a private individual point out this obvious truth you are crazy/stupid/evil.

Sorry, but I'd feel a lot stupider believing the crap the governments are selling but do not even themselves believe.

That would make those who are buying actually as stupid as the government believes them to be.

Laura Donnelly - Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:21

More than half of Covid hospitalisations are patients who only tested positive after admission, leaked data reveal.

The figures suggest vast numbers are being classed as hospitalised by Covid when they were admitted with other ailments, with the virus picked up by routine testing.

Experts said it meant the national statistics, published daily on the government website and frequently referred to by ministers, may far overstate the levels of pressures on the NHS.

The leaked data – covering all NHS trusts in England – show that, as of last Thursday, just 44 per cent of patients classed as being hospitalised with Covid had tested positive by the time they were admitted.

The majority of cases were not detected until patients underwent standard Covid tests, carried out on everyone admitted to hospital for any reason.

Overall, 56 per cent of Covid hospitalisations fell into this category, the data, seen by The Telegraph, show.

Crucially, this group does not distinguish between those admitted because of severe illness, later found to be caused by the virus, and those in hospital for different reasons who might otherwise never have known that they had picked it up.

Last month, health officials instructed NHS trusts to provide "a breakdown of the current stock of Covid patients", splitting it into those who were in hospital primarily because of the virus and those there for other reasons. So far, NHS England has failed to publish this data.

However, the patterns shown in the leaked figures – with the vast majority of hospital Covid cases being diagnosed after admission, in some cases weeks later – suggest it includes large numbers likely to have been admitted for other reasons.

The breakdown of daily Covid hospital diagnoses shows that of more than 780 hospitalisations dated last Thursday, 44 per cent involved people who tested positive in the 14 days before hospital entry. [Meaning even in the 44 percent there are still plenty of non-COVID hospitalizations.]

A further 43 per cent were made within two days of admission, with 13 per cent made in the days and weeks that followed, including those likely to have caught the virus in hospital.

Experts said the high number of cases being detected belatedly – at a time when PCR tests were widely available – suggested many such patients had been admitted for other reasons.

Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: "This data is incredibly important, and it should be published on an ongoing basis.

"When people hear about hospitalisations with Covid, they will assume that Covid is the likely cause, but this data shows something quite different – this is about Covid being detected after tests were looking for it."

Prof Heneghan urged the Government to publish clearer data, including whether or not the virus was the primary cause of hospital admission.

"This needs to be fixed as a matter of urgency," he said, adding that the published data could lead the public "towards false conclusions", exaggerating the true levels of pressures on hospitals.

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs, said: "Nearly 18 months into the Covid crisis, it is absurd that data breaking down hospital admissions still isn't publicly available on a regular basis.

"Counting all patients who test positive as Covid hospitalisations is inevitably misleading and gives a false picture of the continuing health impact of the virus."

Greg Clark, the chairman of Commons science and technology select committee, on Monday night said he would write to Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, asking him to publish the breakdown on a regular basis following The Telegraph's disclosure.

"If hospitalisations from Covid are a key determinant of how concerned we should be, and how quickly restrictions should be lifted, it's important that the data is not presented in a way that could lead to the wrong conclusions being drawn," he said.

"While some of these people may be being admitted due to Covid, we currently do not know how many. And for those who are not, there is a big distinction between people who are admitted because of Covid and those are in for something else but have Covid in such a mild form that it was not the cause of their hospitalisation."

The leaked statistics come from NHS daily situation reports, collected by all hospital trusts in England.

One NHS data expert said the published statistics distorted the true picture, saying: "It creates an impression that all these people are going into hospital with Covid, and that simply is not the case. People are worried and scared and not really understanding the true picture – that is what I find despicable."

An NHS spokesman said: "Many patients are admitted to hospital because of their Covid symptoms and complications, which are then confirmed with a post-admission Covid test, and for others they may initially be presymptomatic or asymptomatic."

On Tuesday, NHS leaders said the health service is as stretched now as at the height of the pandemic in January and made a plea for extra funding.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Health Secretary, NHS Providers, which represents hospital trusts, raised fears the situation could get worse before it gets better.

They said "very different pressures" - including a "massive backlog" of patients in need of care, high numbers of staff self-isolating or on annual leave, meant the strain on the service now is just as bad as at the start of the year.

Source: The Telegraph

More than half of Covid hospitalisations are patients who only tested positive after admission, leaked data reveal.

The figures suggest vast numbers are being classed as hospitalised by Covid when they were admitted with other ailments, with the virus picked up by routine testing.

Experts said it meant the national statistics, published daily on the government website and frequently referred to by ministers, may far overstate the levels of pressures on the NHS.

The leaked data – covering all NHS trusts in England – show that, as of last Thursday, just 44 per cent of patients classed as being hospitalised with Covid had tested positive by the time they were admitted.

The majority of cases were not detected until patients underwent standard Covid tests, carried out on everyone admitted to hospital for any reason.

Overall, 56 per cent of Covid hospitalisations fell into this category, the data, seen by The Telegraph, show.

Crucially, this group does not distinguish between those admitted because of severe illness, later found to be caused by the virus, and those in hospital for different reasons who might otherwise never have known that they had picked it up.

Last month, health officials instructed NHS trusts to provide "a breakdown of the current stock of Covid patients", splitting it into those who were in hospital primarily because of the virus and those there for other reasons. So far, NHS England has failed to publish this data.

However, the patterns shown in the leaked figures – with the vast majority of hospital Covid cases being diagnosed after admission, in some cases weeks later – suggest it includes large numbers likely to have been admitted for other reasons.

The breakdown of daily Covid hospital diagnoses shows that of more than 780 hospitalisations dated last Thursday, 44 per cent involved people who tested positive in the 14 days before hospital entry. [Meaning even in the 44 percent there are still plenty of non-COVID hospitalizations.]

A further 43 per cent were made within two days of admission, with 13 per cent made in the days and weeks that followed, including those likely to have caught the virus in hospital.

Experts said the high number of cases being detected belatedly – at a time when PCR tests were widely available – suggested many such patients had been admitted for other reasons.

Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: "This data is incredibly important, and it should be published on an ongoing basis.

"When people hear about hospitalisations with Covid, they will assume that Covid is the likely cause, but this data shows something quite different – this is about Covid being detected after tests were looking for it."

Prof Heneghan urged the Government to publish clearer data, including whether or not the virus was the primary cause of hospital admission.

"This needs to be fixed as a matter of urgency," he said, adding that the published data could lead the public "towards false conclusions", exaggerating the true levels of pressures on hospitals.

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs, said: "Nearly 18 months into the Covid crisis, it is absurd that data breaking down hospital admissions still isn't publicly available on a regular basis.

"Counting all patients who test positive as Covid hospitalisations is inevitably misleading and gives a false picture of the continuing health impact of the virus."

Greg Clark, the chairman of Commons science and technology select committee, on Monday night said he would write to Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, asking him to publish the breakdown on a regular basis following The Telegraph's disclosure.

"If hospitalisations from Covid are a key determinant of how concerned we should be, and how quickly restrictions should be lifted, it's important that the data is not presented in a way that could lead to the wrong conclusions being drawn," he said.

"While some of these people may be being admitted due to Covid, we currently do not know how many. And for those who are not, there is a big distinction between people who are admitted because of Covid and those are in for something else but have Covid in such a mild form that it was not the cause of their hospitalisation."

The leaked statistics come from NHS daily situation reports, collected by all hospital trusts in England.

One NHS data expert said the published statistics distorted the true picture, saying: "It creates an impression that all these people are going into hospital with Covid, and that simply is not the case. People are worried and scared and not really understanding the true picture – that is what I find despicable."

An NHS spokesman said: "Many patients are admitted to hospital because of their Covid symptoms and complications, which are then confirmed with a post-admission Covid test, and for others they may initially be presymptomatic or asymptomatic."

On Tuesday, NHS leaders said the health service is as stretched now as at the height of the pandemic in January and made a plea for extra funding.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Health Secretary, NHS Providers, which represents hospital trusts, raised fears the situation could get worse before it gets better.

They said "very different pressures" - including a "massive backlog" of patients in need of care, high numbers of staff self-isolating or on annual leave, meant the strain on the service now is just as bad as at the start of the year.

Source: The Telegraph

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya - Mon Jul 26, 2021 20:58

report on India’s excess mortality published on Tuesday by the Center for Global Development. The report’s authors estimated total excess deaths in India over the past 15 months at a staggering 4.9 million. In other words, if mortality rates over these months had resembled those in recent years, 4.9 million Indians would still be alive today.

The report is impressive in its data and methods, but the interpretation the authors provided is not. They argued that the increased excess death rate proves that Covid mortality was higher by “several orders of magnitude” than the 420,000 Covid deaths currently registered in India.

We agree that this indicates that Covid mortality in India may be much higher than official figures suggest. But does this report, as The Guardian suggested, give the “most comprehensive picture yet of the true toll of the pandemic in India” — or does it rather reveal the stark impact of lockdowns on the Global Poor? All indications point the finger unerringly at lockdowns.

When the government imposed lockdowns last spring, ten million migrant workers in India’s cities, many of whom live hand to mouth from their daily labour, were thrown out of work. In India’s version of America’s Trail of Tears, workers were forced to return to their home villages, sometimes thousands of miles away. We have personally received staggering reports of millions of migrant workers from West Bengal still stranded and starving, as their work has evaporated and with it any livelihood to sustain them and their families.

India’s GDP fell by a record 7.3% in the year to March 31stResearch conducted with 75 households in Uttar Pradesh state showed that household incomes had slumped by an average of 75% over that time. As a BBC Newsnight report on Monday showed, the impact of this on public health in India is catastrophic.

In a bid to reserve health care for Covid patients in the early months of the epidemic, India restricted access to clinics even for direly ill patients. This policy left hundreds of thousands of tuberculosis, HIV, cancer, malaria, diabetes, and obstetrics patients (and countless others) without needed medical attention. By one accounting, missed treatments for tuberculosis alone in the early lockdown caused an additional 400,000 tuberculosis deaths.

Research has long shown that life expectancy and GDP are closely connected in poor countries: a slight increase in GDP can greatly increase life expectancy, whereas a decrease in GDP will also decrease it. The cause of the near-5 million increase in India’s excess deaths last year is thus not mainly Covid-19, but the economic, medical, and social consequences of the lockdowns implemented in spring 2020 and the panic that followed.

These findings tally with events elsewhere. In Peru, 2020 all-cause mortality increased by 96% over the running 3-year average — dwarfing increases elsewhere in Latin America. In early June, the Peruvian authorities attributed much of this mortality to Covid, reversing earlier attribution to non-Covid causes. This move more than doubled the death toll from the virus, making Peru’s per capita mortality rate almost twice that of the next worst-affected country.

Yet Peru has also had one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Authorities have pointed to cramped and poor living conditions as a reason for the failure of Peru’s lockdown to contain Covid. They have a point. It is mainly the rich with stable jobs who can afford lockdown.

Either way, the case of Peru is a hard one for lockdown advocates to defend. Either lockdown did not control the spread of Covid, or their impacts induced death at catastrophic levels from other causes, as appears to be the case in India.

So why argue over the cause of death?  Should we not simply chalk the problem up to the disruption caused by the pandemic for poor countries — a horrific and unavoidable tragedy — and leave it at that?  After all, we all know that the global poor are the most vulnerable people on Earth.

We should resist this fatalistic reasoning. If lockdowns are the cause of this terrible carnage, as we maintain, and they are ineffective in preventing the direct harm from the virus, then we should eschew them as a pandemic tactic.

Source: UnHerd

report on India’s excess mortality published on Tuesday by the Center for Global Development. The report’s authors estimated total excess deaths in India over the past 15 months at a staggering 4.9 million. In other words, if mortality rates over these months had resembled those in recent years, 4.9 million Indians would still be alive today.

The report is impressive in its data and methods, but the interpretation the authors provided is not. They argued that the increased excess death rate proves that Covid mortality was higher by “several orders of magnitude” than the 420,000 Covid deaths currently registered in India.

We agree that this indicates that Covid mortality in India may be much higher than official figures suggest. But does this report, as The Guardian suggested, give the “most comprehensive picture yet of the true toll of the pandemic in India” — or does it rather reveal the stark impact of lockdowns on the Global Poor? All indications point the finger unerringly at lockdowns.

When the government imposed lockdowns last spring, ten million migrant workers in India’s cities, many of whom live hand to mouth from their daily labour, were thrown out of work. In India’s version of America’s Trail of Tears, workers were forced to return to their home villages, sometimes thousands of miles away. We have personally received staggering reports of millions of migrant workers from West Bengal still stranded and starving, as their work has evaporated and with it any livelihood to sustain them and their families.

India’s GDP fell by a record 7.3% in the year to March 31stResearch conducted with 75 households in Uttar Pradesh state showed that household incomes had slumped by an average of 75% over that time. As a BBC Newsnight report on Monday showed, the impact of this on public health in India is catastrophic.

In a bid to reserve health care for Covid patients in the early months of the epidemic, India restricted access to clinics even for direly ill patients. This policy left hundreds of thousands of tuberculosis, HIV, cancer, malaria, diabetes, and obstetrics patients (and countless others) without needed medical attention. By one accounting, missed treatments for tuberculosis alone in the early lockdown caused an additional 400,000 tuberculosis deaths.

Research has long shown that life expectancy and GDP are closely connected in poor countries: a slight increase in GDP can greatly increase life expectancy, whereas a decrease in GDP will also decrease it. The cause of the near-5 million increase in India’s excess deaths last year is thus not mainly Covid-19, but the economic, medical, and social consequences of the lockdowns implemented in spring 2020 and the panic that followed.

These findings tally with events elsewhere. In Peru, 2020 all-cause mortality increased by 96% over the running 3-year average — dwarfing increases elsewhere in Latin America. In early June, the Peruvian authorities attributed much of this mortality to Covid, reversing earlier attribution to non-Covid causes. This move more than doubled the death toll from the virus, making Peru’s per capita mortality rate almost twice that of the next worst-affected country.

Yet Peru has also had one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Authorities have pointed to cramped and poor living conditions as a reason for the failure of Peru’s lockdown to contain Covid. They have a point. It is mainly the rich with stable jobs who can afford lockdown.

Either way, the case of Peru is a hard one for lockdown advocates to defend. Either lockdown did not control the spread of Covid, or their impacts induced death at catastrophic levels from other causes, as appears to be the case in India.

So why argue over the cause of death?  Should we not simply chalk the problem up to the disruption caused by the pandemic for poor countries — a horrific and unavoidable tragedy — and leave it at that?  After all, we all know that the global poor are the most vulnerable people on Earth.

We should resist this fatalistic reasoning. If lockdowns are the cause of this terrible carnage, as we maintain, and they are ineffective in preventing the direct harm from the virus, then we should eschew them as a pandemic tactic.

Source: UnHerd

Anti-Empire - Mon Jul 26, 2021 19:36

The COVID cult demands its pound of flesh. To appease the mind virus freaks children in the Philippines have been technically banned from exiting their doorway for 1 year and 4 months now. As soon as the ban was lifted earlier this month it was reintroduced again, courtesy of the "Delta" mind virus rebrand:

The Philippines sent millions of children back into lockdown on Friday (Jul 23) as hospitals prepared for a surge in coronavirus cases fuelled by the highly contagious Delta variant ravaging neighbouring countries.

...

It comes two weeks after the government lifted a ban on minors going outside that had been in place since March 2020 but often flouted.

Imagine how much damage this would have caused children if anyone actually paid any attention to it. (The ban was observed for the first 2 months then everyone got over it.)

An insane assault on children parading as concern for their wellbeing. Truly sickening stuff.

Imagine being 9-years old and not being able to go outside for 16 months and counting. Now imagine that while you're living in Filipino slum conditions; in a tin-roofed shack with 10 other family members.

The COVID cult demands its pound of flesh. To appease the mind virus freaks children in the Philippines have been technically banned from exiting their doorway for 1 year and 4 months now. As soon as the ban was lifted earlier this month it was reintroduced again, courtesy of the "Delta" mind virus rebrand:

The Philippines sent millions of children back into lockdown on Friday (Jul 23) as hospitals prepared for a surge in coronavirus cases fuelled by the highly contagious Delta variant ravaging neighbouring countries.

...

It comes two weeks after the government lifted a ban on minors going outside that had been in place since March 2020 but often flouted.

Imagine how much damage this would have caused children if anyone actually paid any attention to it. (The ban was observed for the first 2 months then everyone got over it.)

An insane assault on children parading as concern for their wellbeing. Truly sickening stuff.

Imagine being 9-years old and not being able to go outside for 16 months and counting. Now imagine that while you're living in Filipino slum conditions; in a tin-roofed shack with 10 other family members.

Andrew Chuter - Mon Jul 26, 2021 17:47

Five of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are unavailable for deployment, leaving just one warship in the class capable of operations, defense procurement minister Jeremy Quin acknowledged this week.

Four of the Type 45s currently unavailable are in various stages of maintenance or upgrade. The remaining warship out of action, HMS Diamond, ran into technical problems earlier this month while escorting a Royal Navy–led carrier strike group on a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.

The one operational destroyer in the fleet, HMS Defender, is helping provide air defense cover to the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and other warships in a group which includes U.S. and Dutch vessels.

At present HMS Daring, HMS Duncan and HMS Dragon are docked, undergoing maintenance.

HMS Dauntless is undergoing an essential power improvement program. The first of the class to be fitted with the power propulsion update, the ship is expected to start sea trials later this year.

Although the MoD has not specified the exact cause of the problems which forced HMS Diamond to head for port it’s likely to be related to longstanding power and propulsion reliability issues with the otherwise highly capable anti-air destroyer.

Several reports in recent years have detailed propulsion breakdowns leaving Type 45s without power when the ship is deployed to areas with high temperatures.

Quin’s acknowledgement that working Type 45s had become a scarce resource came to light in a Parliamentary answer July 19, but the issue was raised again when the procurement minister was giving evidence to the defence committee July 20 about another troubled program – the General Dynamics Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle for the British Army.

Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood said the availability of the Type 45 illustrated that Britain needed a bigger navy.

“It’s an operational concern. HMS Defender is now our only currently operating Type 45. If that ship experiences propulsion problems, which we have seen across the Type 45 family, then the carrier strike group will be forced to lean on a NATO ally to ensure we have destroyer protection,” Ellwood said. “That really indicates the bottom line is we need a bigger navy.”

The defence committee chairman said that given Britain’s national and international obligations it was “not acceptable that the RN availability [of the Type 45] is now reduced to a single ship.”

The ship, HMS Defender, was at the center of a row last month between Britain and Russia over whether the warship legally entered Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea. The Russian’s claimed they had dropped bombs and fired warning shots to persuade the British to alter course.

The procurement minister Quin said the power improvement program is essential to upgrading the capabilities of the Type 45.

“Dauntless will be out of the [performance improvement program] by the end of the year and depending on operational commitments another Type 45 going in. I hope to see Dragon back on operations in the early Autumn ... Diamond has got current issues which I hope we will be able to rectify shortly,” he told the committee.

In May, Quin reported to Parliament that the six-strong Type 45 fleet had been at sea for a total of 339 days during 2020. Two warships didn’t clock up any time at sea during the year, while the busiest vessel was HMS Defender, with 129 days.

In 2018 the MoD awarded an £160 million ($219 million USD) deal to BAE Systems, BMT Defence and Cammell Laird to improve the resilience of the destroyers by replacing the two diesel generators, fitting an additional diesel generator and modifying the high voltage system on each ship.

The warships also use a WR-21 gas turbine as part of the power and propulsion set-up.

Work is already underway to replace the destroyers by the late 2030s with a new warship known as the Type 83.

Source: Defense News

Five of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are unavailable for deployment, leaving just one warship in the class capable of operations, defense procurement minister Jeremy Quin acknowledged this week.

Four of the Type 45s currently unavailable are in various stages of maintenance or upgrade. The remaining warship out of action, HMS Diamond, ran into technical problems earlier this month while escorting a Royal Navy–led carrier strike group on a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.

The one operational destroyer in the fleet, HMS Defender, is helping provide air defense cover to the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and other warships in a group which includes U.S. and Dutch vessels.

At present HMS Daring, HMS Duncan and HMS Dragon are docked, undergoing maintenance.

HMS Dauntless is undergoing an essential power improvement program. The first of the class to be fitted with the power propulsion update, the ship is expected to start sea trials later this year.

Although the MoD has not specified the exact cause of the problems which forced HMS Diamond to head for port it’s likely to be related to longstanding power and propulsion reliability issues with the otherwise highly capable anti-air destroyer.

Several reports in recent years have detailed propulsion breakdowns leaving Type 45s without power when the ship is deployed to areas with high temperatures.

Quin’s acknowledgement that working Type 45s had become a scarce resource came to light in a Parliamentary answer July 19, but the issue was raised again when the procurement minister was giving evidence to the defence committee July 20 about another troubled program – the General Dynamics Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle for the British Army.

Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood said the availability of the Type 45 illustrated that Britain needed a bigger navy.

“It’s an operational concern. HMS Defender is now our only currently operating Type 45. If that ship experiences propulsion problems, which we have seen across the Type 45 family, then the carrier strike group will be forced to lean on a NATO ally to ensure we have destroyer protection,” Ellwood said. “That really indicates the bottom line is we need a bigger navy.”

The defence committee chairman said that given Britain’s national and international obligations it was “not acceptable that the RN availability [of the Type 45] is now reduced to a single ship.”

The ship, HMS Defender, was at the center of a row last month between Britain and Russia over whether the warship legally entered Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea. The Russian’s claimed they had dropped bombs and fired warning shots to persuade the British to alter course.

The procurement minister Quin said the power improvement program is essential to upgrading the capabilities of the Type 45.

“Dauntless will be out of the [performance improvement program] by the end of the year and depending on operational commitments another Type 45 going in. I hope to see Dragon back on operations in the early Autumn ... Diamond has got current issues which I hope we will be able to rectify shortly,” he told the committee.

In May, Quin reported to Parliament that the six-strong Type 45 fleet had been at sea for a total of 339 days during 2020. Two warships didn’t clock up any time at sea during the year, while the busiest vessel was HMS Defender, with 129 days.

In 2018 the MoD awarded an £160 million ($219 million USD) deal to BAE Systems, BMT Defence and Cammell Laird to improve the resilience of the destroyers by replacing the two diesel generators, fitting an additional diesel generator and modifying the high voltage system on each ship.

The warships also use a WR-21 gas turbine as part of the power and propulsion set-up.

Work is already underway to replace the destroyers by the late 2030s with a new warship known as the Type 83.

Source: Defense News

Glenn Greenwald - Mon Jul 26, 2021 15:41
NBC's Today Show, Oct. 9. 2020

The narrative that domestic anti-government extremism is the greatest threat to U.S. national security — the official position of the U.S. security state and the Biden administration — received its most potent boost in October 2020, less than one month before the 2020 presidential election. That was when the F.B.I. and Michigan state officials announced the arrest of thirteen people on terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges, with six of them accused of participating in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who had been a particular target of criticism from President Trump for her advocacy for harsh COVID lockdown measures.

The headlines that followed were dramatic and fear-inducing: “F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” announced The New York Times. That same night, ABC News began its broadcast this way: "Tonight, we take you into a hidden world, a place authorities say gave birth to a violent domestic terror plot in Michigan — foiled by the FBI.”

Democrats and liberal journalists instantly seized on this storyline to spin a pre-election theme that was as extreme as it was predictable. Gov. Whitmer herself blamed Trump, claiming that the plotters “heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry — as a call to action.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) claimed that “the president is a deranged lunatic and he’s inspired white supremacists to violence, the latest of which was a plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer,” adding: “these groups have attempted to KILL many of us in recent years. They are following Trump’s lead.” Vox’s paid television-watcher and video-manipulator, Aaron Rupar, drew this inference: “Trump hasn't commended the FBI for breaking up Whitmer kidnapping/murder plot because as always he doesn't want to denounce his base.” Michael Moore called for Trump's arrest for having incited the kidnapping plot against Gov. Whitmer. One viral tweet from a popular Democratic Party activist similarly declared: “Trump should be arrested for this plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer. There’s no doubt he inspired this terrorism.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo instantly declared it to be a terrorist attack on America: “We must condemn and call out the cowardly plot against Governor Whitmer for what it is: Domestic terrorism.” MSNBC's social media star Kyle Griffin cast it as a coup attempt: “The FBI thwarted what they described as a plot to violently overthrow the government and kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.” CNN's Jim Sciutto pronounced it “deeply alarming.”

lengthy CNN article — dressed up as an investigative exposé that was little more than stenography of FBI messaging disseminated from behind a shield of anonymity — purported in the headline to take the reader “Inside the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.” It claimed that it all began when angry discussions about COVID restrictions “spiraled into a terrorism plot, officials say, with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the target of a kidnapping scheme.” CNN heralded the FBI's use of informants and agents to break up the plot but depicted them as nothing more than passive bystanders reporting what the domestic terrorists were plotting:

The Watchmen had been flagged to the FBI in March, and one of its members was now an informant. That informant, others on the inside, as well as undercover operatives and recordings, allowed the bureau to monitor what was happening from then on.

The article never once hinted at let alone described the highly active role of these informants and agents themselves in encouraging and designing the plot. Instead, it depicted these anti-government activists as leading one another — on their own — to commit what CNN called “treason in a quaint town.” The more honest headline for this CNN article would have been: “Inside the FBI's tale of the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.” But since CNN never questions the FBI — they employ their top agents and operatives once they leave the bureau in order to disseminate their propaganda — this is what the country got from The Most Trusted Name in News:

Gov. Whitmer herself attempted to prolong the news cycle as much as possible, all but declaring herself off-limits from criticism by equating any critiques of her governance with incitement to terrorism. Appearing on Meet the Press two Sundays after the plot was revealed, Whitmer said it was “incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States—10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial, and execute me, 10 days after that was uncovered—the president is at it again, and inspiring, and incentivizing, and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.”

On October 22 — just two weeks before Election Day — MSNBC's Rachel Maddow hosted Whitmer and told the Michigan Governor that the evidence was clear that Trump had been "turning on a faucet of violent threats” against her. Whitmer agreed that Trump was to blame for the kidnapping plot by having repeatedly attacked her in his rallies:

Joe Biden also made repeated use of this storyline. Appearing at a campaign rally in Michigan on October 16, the Democratic candidate blasted Trump for the crime of continuing to criticize Whitmer even after she was the target of a terror plot. He explicitly blamed Trump for having incited it: “When the president tweeted 'Liberate Michigan, Liberate Michigan,' that's the call that was heard. That was the dog whistle." And he accused Trump of purposely stoking a wave of the worst kind of terrorism on U.S. soil: “it's the sort of behavior you might expect from ISIS,” he said of the accused.


Yet from the start, there were ample and potent reasons to distrust the FBI's version of events. To begin with, FBI press releases are typically filled with lies, yet media outlets — due to some combination of excessive gullibility, an inability to learn lessons, or a desire to be deceived — continue to treat them as Gospel. For another, the majority of "terror plots” the FBI claimed to detect and break up during the first War on Terror were, in fact, plots manufactured, funded and driven by the FBI itself.

Indeed, the FBI has previously acknowledged that its own powers and budget depend on keeping Americans in fear of such attacks. Former FBI Assistant Director Thomas Fuentes, in a documentary called “The Newberg Sting” about a 2009 FBI arrest of four men on terrorism charges, uttered this extremely candid admission:

If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that “We won the war on terror and everything’s great,” cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.

In the Whitmer kidnapping case, the FBI's own affidavit in support of the charges acknowledged the involvement in the plot of both informants and undercover FBI agents “over several months.”

Excerpt of FBI affidavit criminal complaint accompanying the criminal complaint in U.S. District Court against six defendants in the Whitmer plot

In sum, there was no way to avoid suspicions about the FBI's crucial role in a plot like this absent extreme ignorance about the bureau's behavior over the last two decades or an intentional desire to sow fear about right-wing extremists attacking Democratic Party officials one month before the 2020 presidential election. In fact, the signs of FBI involvement were there from the start for those who — unlike CNN — wanted to know the truth.

report from the Detroit Free Press published just two days after CNN's FBI stenography noted that the FBI agents were incapable of identifying any specifics of this supposed plot, adding that defense attorneys were adamant that those accused were merely engaged in idle chatter, boasting that they were never really serious about following through. Then the paper added that, for defense lawyers, “it remains to be seen what roles the undercover informants and FBI agents played in the case, and whether they pushed the others into carrying out the plan.” Meanwhile, an actually independent journalist, Michael Tracey, had no trouble identifying the telltale signs of FBI orchestration that were so apparent countless times during the first War on Terror. Three days before the CNN story, he wrote:

But the value of depicting Trump as having incited a frightening terrorist attack just weeks before the election, and the zeal to feed the broader narrative pushed by the U.S. security state that anti-government extremism is America's greatest national security threat, drowned out any skepticism. The storyline was clear and unquestioned: Trump was inciting ISIS-like terrorism on U.S. soil and right-wing extremists, who would fester even after Trump was done, were the primary menace that requires new domestic powers and larger budgets in order to defeat.

Yet just as happened with so many other narratives — from the origins of COVID to Hunter Biden's corrupt use of his ties to his father — Trump's defeat means the media is now willing to reconsider some of the propaganda that was pushed in the lead-up to the election. An excellent piece of investigative journalism published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday documents that, far from being passive observers of the plot, FBI informants and agents were the key drivers of it:

An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported. Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.

So central to this plot were those acting at the behest of the FBI that many of the accused plotters only met each other because of meetings arranged at the direction of the FBI, who targeted them based on social media postings and other political activities that suggested anti-government and anti-Whitmer sentiments which could be exploited:

A longtime government informant from Wisconsin, for example, helped organize a series of meetings around the country where many of the alleged plotters first met one another and the earliest notions of a plan took root, some of those people say. The Wisconsin informant even paid for some hotel rooms and food as an incentive to get people to come.

One of the FBI's informants, a former Iraq War soldier, “became so deeply enmeshed in a Michigan militant group that he rose to become its second-in-command.” With his leadership role in one of the key groups, and all while acting under the direction of the FBI, he was “encouraging members to collaborate with other potential suspects and paying for their transportation to meetings.” Indeed, he even “prodded the alleged mastermind of the kidnapping plot to advance his plan, then baited the trap that led to the arrest.”

A review of not only the BuzzFeed reporting but also the underlying court documents leaves little doubt that the primary impetus for this plot came over and over from the FBI. On July 12, a lawyer for one of the defendants filed a motion asking the court to compel the FBI to turn over all chats which their agents and informants involving the plot. He did so on the ground that the few chats they had obtained themselves — from their own clients — repeatedly show the FBI pushing and prodding its agents over and over to lure defendants into more meetings, to join in "recon” exercises, and to take as many steps as possible toward the plot.

While it was clear from the start that there were FBI informants and agents in the middle of all of this, it turns out that at least half of those involved were acting on FBI orders: twelve informants and agents. As BuzzFeed says, those acting at the behest of the FBI “had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception.” All of that, concluded the reporters, “raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.”

But this evidence does not so much raise that question as much as it answers it. The idea of kidnapping Gov. Whitmer came from the FBI. It was a plot designed by the agency, and they then went on the hunt to target people they believed they could manipulate into joining their plot — either people were easily manipulated due to psychological weakness, financial vulnerability, and/or their strongly held political views. In sum, the FBI devised this plot, was the primary organizer of it, funded it, purposely directed their targets to pose for incriminating pictures that they then released to the press, and then heaped praise on themselves for stopping what they themselves had created.


For anyone covering the FBI during the first War on Terror, none of this is new. So many of the supposed “terror plots” the FBI purported to disrupt over the last twenty years were — just like the Michigan plot — ones that were created and driven by, and would not have happened without, the FBI's own planning, funding and direction.

Just as they are doing now, the FBI used those plots to elevate fear levels and justify more domestic surveillance power and funding for the U.S. security state. While the targets then were typically young American Muslims with anti-government views rather than young right-wing white men with anti-government views, the tactics were identical.

The examples are far too numerous to count. As one illustrative example, in 2015, the FBI flamboyantly praised itself for arresting three Brooklyn men on charges of “attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq.” Then, as now, outlets such as The New York Times promoted the FBI's maximalist-fear-mongering version of events: “3 Brooklyn Men Accused of Plot to Aid ISIS’ Fight,” blared the headline.

But even that largely pro-FBI Times article raised the question of whether this plot was real or manufactured by the bureau:

The case against the three men relies in part on a confidential informant paid by the government, court documents show. Defense lawyers have criticized the government’s use of informers in similar cases, saying they may lure targets into making extreme plans or statements. In some cases, the threat has turned out to be overstated.

And the FBI itself admitted that the “threats of violence” from the three arrested — such as killing President Obama — “had an ‘aspirational’ quality to them, with no indication that the suspects were close to staging an attack, large or small.” The Times article also noted that the FBI observed that “in online postings, the two younger men seem to be searching for meaning in their lives,” adding that “as they were led into court, the youthfulness of Mr. Juraboev and Mr. Saidakhmetov was striking.”

Analyzing all the evidence in this case, my then-colleague at The Intercept Murtaza Hussain documented “the integral role a paid informant appears to have played in generating the charges against the men, and helping turn a fantastical ‘plot’ into something even remotely tangible.” Indeed, he wrote, “none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant.” It was only when the FBI sent an older Muslim man to gain their trust — acting as an FBI informant and being paid for his services — did anything resembling a crime start to form. The paid FBI informant encouraged the young men to pursue the plan more concretely, and only then did they begin agreeing with the informant's proposed plot. The informant befriended them, moved in with them, and spent months “convincing both of them that he intended to travel to Syria and join Islamic State.”

Just as was true in the Michigan case, Hussain wrote about this arrest: “Crucially, it appears that only after the introduction of the informant did any actual arrangements to commit a criminal act come into existence.” In sum, "the covert informant under the direction of the FBI” — which employs teams of psychologists and other mental health professions who are experts in how to manipulate people's thinking — “evidently helped encourage the two toward terrorism over the course of these months.”

Article by Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept, Feb. 20, 2015

I have also covered countless other FBI plots over the years where all the same attributes were present. After the 2015 “ISIS arrest,” I wrote an article compiling how often the FBI was doing this and asked this question in the headline: “Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?,” noting that the bureau's behavior “is akin to having the DEA constantly warn of the severe threat posed by drug addiction while it simultaneously uses pushers on its payroll to deliberately get people hooked on drugs so that they can arrest the addicts they’ve created and thus justify their own warnings and budgets."

Months before the 2015 ISIS arrests, the FBI issued a press release praising itself for arresting “a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” But as I reported, the scary terrorist was “20-year-old Christopher Cornell, [who] is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as ‘Mommy’ and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as ‘a typical student’ and ‘quiet but not overly reserved’ by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.”

Then House Speaker John Boehner immediately seized on that arrest to warn Americans to be afraid: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” Boehner also told Americans they should be grateful for domestic surveillance and not try to curb it: the Speaker claimed that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” Yet the only way Cornell got close to any crimes was because the FBI informant began suggesting to him that he act on his rage against U.S. officials by attacking the Capitol.

Salon articles of my reporting on FBI's creation of terror plots it "stops": Nov. 28, 2010 and Sep. 29, 2011

One of the most egregious cases I covered was the 2011 arrest of James Cromitie, an African-American convert to Islam who the FBI attempted to convince — over the course of eight months — to join a terror plot, only for him to adamantly refuse over and over. Only once they dangled a payment of $250,000 in front of his nose right after the impoverished American had lost his job did he agree to join, and then the FBI swooped in, arrested him, and touted their heroic efforts in stopping a terrorist plot.

The U.S. federal judge who sentenced Cromitie to decades in prison, Colleen McMahon, said she did so only because the law of “entrapment” is so narrow that it is virtually impossible for a defendant to win, but in doing so, she repeatedly condemned the FBI in the harshest terms for single-handedly converting Cromitie from a helpless but resentful anti-government fanatic into a criminal. The defendant “was incapable of committing an act of terrorism on his own,” she said, adding: “only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.” She added: “There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that James Cromitie could never have dreamed up the scenario in which he actually became involved.”

Her written ruling is worth quoting at length because of how relevant it is to current FBI activities. The judge began by noting that Cromitie “had successfully resisted going too far for eight months,” and agreed only after “the Government dangled what had to be almost irresistible temptation in front of an impoverished man from what I have come (after literally dozens of cases) to view as the saddest and most dysfunctional community in the Southern District of New York.” It was the FBI’s own informant, she wrote, who “was the prime mover and instigator of all the criminal activity that occurred.” She then wrote (emphasis added):

The Government indisputably “manufactured” the crimes of which defendants stand convicted. The Government invented all of the details of the scheme – many of them, such as the trip to Connecticut and the inclusion of Stewart AFB as a target, for specific legal purposes of which the defendants could not possibly have been aware (the former gave rise to federal jurisdiction and the latter mandated a twenty-five year minimum sentence). The Government selected the targets. The Government designed and built the phony ordnance that the defendants planted (or planned to plant) at Government-selected targets. The Government provided every item used in the plot: cameras, cell phones, cars, maps and even a gun. The Government did all the driving (as none of the defendants had a car or a driver’s license). The Government funded the entire project. And the Government, through its agent, offered the defendants large sums of money, contingent on their participation in the heinous scheme.

Additionally, before deciding that the defendants (particularly Cromitie, who was in their sights for nine months) presented any real danger, the Government appears to have done minimal due diligence, relying instead on reports from its Confidential Informant, who passed on information about Cromitie information that could easily have been verified (or not verified, since much of it was untrue), but that no one thought it necessary to check before offering a jihadist opportunity to a man who had no contact with any extremist groups and no history of anything other than drug crimes.

One of the reporters who has most extensively covered the FBI's role in manufacturing terrorism cases it then proceeds to "break up” is Trevor Aaronson. In 2011, he documented, working with the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley, that of 508 post-9/11 terrorism defendants, “nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants, many of them incentivized by money.” After 9/11, the FBI's budget-increasing, power-enhancing strategy was to target “tens of thousands of law-abiding people, seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity” by monitoring their social media postings, and “then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.” Of the terrorism arrests from sting operations, almost 1/3 were ones in which “defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur—an FBI operative instigating terrorist action.”


It is this long history and mountain of evidence that compels an investigation into the role played by the FBI in the planning of the 1/6 riot at the Capitol. And it is that same evidence that made the corporate media's derisive reaction to such demands — as voiced by Darren Beattie's Revolver NewsFox News’ Tucker Carlson and myself — so ignorant and subservient. They acted as if only some unhinged conspiracy theorist could possibly believe that the FBI would have informants and agents embedded in the groups that planned that Capitol riot rather than what it is: the only logical conclusion for anyone who knows how the FBI actually behaves.

Indeed, the BuzzFeed reporters who investigated the FBI's key role in the Michigan case must have been very disturbed by what they found since they used their reporting to raise that taboo topic: what role did the FBI have in 1/6? Moreover, they asked, is this yet another era where the FBI is targeting Americans not for criminality but for their political views, and then orchestrating their own plots that justify the U.S. security state's massive budget and unlimited powers?

Instead, [the accused] say, they were targeted because of their political views. Some describe the case as a premeditated campaign by the government to undermine the Patriot movement, an ideology based on fealty to the Second Amendment and the conviction that the government has violated the Constitution and is therefore illegitimate. They argue that the recordings and text messages that the government calls proof of a criminal conspiracy are in fact constitutionally protected speech — expressions of frustration at what they see as the government’s betrayal of its citizens.

The Michigan case is unfolding at another fraught moment in American history. In court, the government has drawn a direct line between the alleged kidnapping plot and the Jan. 6 insurrection, holding up the storming of the US Capitol as evidence that the Michigan defendants posed a profound threat. . . . [I]f the defense is able to undermine the methods used to build the Michigan case, it could add weight to the theory that the administration is conducting a witch hunt against militant groups — and, by extension, that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a black op engineered by the FBI.

When Carlson raised these same questions on his Fox program, he did what I did when doing so: cited my reporting as well as Trevor Aaronson's about the FBI's long history of orchestrating such plots and luring people into them using informants and undercover agents. Much of that reporting about the FBI's tactics was published by The Intercept, which — when aimed at American Muslims during the First War on Terror — had an editorial view that it was extremely improper and dangerous for the FBI to do this. But now that it is being done to American anti-government activists on the right, the site's liberal editors seem happy about it. They got Aaronson to write an article under the headline “Tucker Carlson Distorted My Reporting in His Latest Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory.”

But that headline was an absolute lie. There was nothing in Aaronson's article that pointed to any "distortions” in how Carlson (or I) cited Aaronson's work. To the contrary, Aaronson himself acknowledged that the FBI's past history — including in the Whitmer case — made such questions highly rational and necessary:

In many of these stings, informants or undercover agents provided all the money and weapons for terrorist plots, and sometimes even the ideas — raising significant questions about whether any of these people would have committed the crimes were it not for the FBI’s encouragement. Many targets of these FBI stings were mentally ill or otherwise easily manipulated. . . .

Carlson’s claim fits an existing and well-established argument: that the FBI creates crimes through aggressive stings where no crimes would otherwise exist. . . . I think it’s worth noting that there’s a reason for the cultural stickiness of the claim by Revolver and Carlson. It might be a conspiracy theory, but it’s not exactly “baseless,” as the Post described it. That’s because there are genuine concerns that the sting tactics used over the past two decades against impressionable Muslims will be used against equally impressionable Americans with right-wing ideologies. In the supposed plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, FBI agents and an informant played significant roles, raising the same question that surrounds so many supposed Islamic State and Al Qaeda cases in the United States: Would this plot have happened were it not for the FBI?

In addition, there is evidence the FBI is assigning informants to infiltrate groups based solely on right-wing ideology. And the increase in right-wing violence in recent years has prompted calls for new anti-terorrism laws that would give the FBI even more power.

I think the FBI’s investigation of potential right-wing threats, and the degree to which the bureau replicates its abusive post-9/11 tactics, will be a critically important story in the coming years. How news organizations report on it will be a significant test.

While Aaronson insists that no proof has yet been presented that the FBI had foreknowledge of the 1/6 plot or encouraged it to happen, and also seized on a minor error in the Revolver News article originally raising these questions about "confidential informants” — an error I noted in my own article about this topic while explaining that it was ancillary and insignificant to the overall question — Aaronson's article has far more in common with the primary theme raised by Carlson than it does arguments that Carlson "distorted” anything. In particular, Aaronson writes, the FBI's ample history requires a serious investigation into the role it may have played in knowing about and/or encouraging the 1/6 plotters.

As I documented in my own reporting on this question, there is ample evidence to believe that the FBI had informants embedded in at least two of three key groups it says were behind the 1/6 Capitol riot. As I noted at the time, most of the corporate press spewed contempt and scorn on these questions because 1/6 has become an event that carries virtually religious importance to them, and their reverence for the U.S. security state makes them resistant to any suggestions that the FBI may have acted deceitfully — an utterly bizarre mindset for U.S. journalists to possess. But such is the state of the liberal sector of the corporate press today.

Now that one of their own liberal members in good standing — BuzzFeed — has not only proven the FBI's key role in the Whitmer plot but also themselves suggested that it makes more plausible the bureau's involvement in 1/6, these questions are becoming increasingly unavoidable. Both the Whitmer plot and especially 1/6 are absolutely crucial to everything that has happened since: the launch of the new War on Terror, billions more in funds for the security state, proposals for greater surveillance, Biden's use of the intelligence community to insist that anti-government activists constitute the greatest threat to U.S. national security. Asking what role the FBI played in the episode at the Capitol is not only rational but imperative.

Source: Substack

NBC's Today Show, Oct. 9. 2020

The narrative that domestic anti-government extremism is the greatest threat to U.S. national security — the official position of the U.S. security state and the Biden administration — received its most potent boost in October 2020, less than one month before the 2020 presidential election. That was when the F.B.I. and Michigan state officials announced the arrest of thirteen people on terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges, with six of them accused of participating in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who had been a particular target of criticism from President Trump for her advocacy for harsh COVID lockdown measures.

The headlines that followed were dramatic and fear-inducing: “F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” announced The New York Times. That same night, ABC News began its broadcast this way: "Tonight, we take you into a hidden world, a place authorities say gave birth to a violent domestic terror plot in Michigan — foiled by the FBI.”

Democrats and liberal journalists instantly seized on this storyline to spin a pre-election theme that was as extreme as it was predictable. Gov. Whitmer herself blamed Trump, claiming that the plotters “heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry — as a call to action.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) claimed that “the president is a deranged lunatic and he’s inspired white supremacists to violence, the latest of which was a plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer,” adding: “these groups have attempted to KILL many of us in recent years. They are following Trump’s lead.” Vox’s paid television-watcher and video-manipulator, Aaron Rupar, drew this inference: “Trump hasn't commended the FBI for breaking up Whitmer kidnapping/murder plot because as always he doesn't want to denounce his base.” Michael Moore called for Trump's arrest for having incited the kidnapping plot against Gov. Whitmer. One viral tweet from a popular Democratic Party activist similarly declared: “Trump should be arrested for this plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer. There’s no doubt he inspired this terrorism.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo instantly declared it to be a terrorist attack on America: “We must condemn and call out the cowardly plot against Governor Whitmer for what it is: Domestic terrorism.” MSNBC's social media star Kyle Griffin cast it as a coup attempt: “The FBI thwarted what they described as a plot to violently overthrow the government and kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.” CNN's Jim Sciutto pronounced it “deeply alarming.”

lengthy CNN article — dressed up as an investigative exposé that was little more than stenography of FBI messaging disseminated from behind a shield of anonymity — purported in the headline to take the reader “Inside the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.” It claimed that it all began when angry discussions about COVID restrictions “spiraled into a terrorism plot, officials say, with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the target of a kidnapping scheme.” CNN heralded the FBI's use of informants and agents to break up the plot but depicted them as nothing more than passive bystanders reporting what the domestic terrorists were plotting:

The Watchmen had been flagged to the FBI in March, and one of its members was now an informant. That informant, others on the inside, as well as undercover operatives and recordings, allowed the bureau to monitor what was happening from then on.

The article never once hinted at let alone described the highly active role of these informants and agents themselves in encouraging and designing the plot. Instead, it depicted these anti-government activists as leading one another — on their own — to commit what CNN called “treason in a quaint town.” The more honest headline for this CNN article would have been: “Inside the FBI's tale of the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.” But since CNN never questions the FBI — they employ their top agents and operatives once they leave the bureau in order to disseminate their propaganda — this is what the country got from The Most Trusted Name in News:

Gov. Whitmer herself attempted to prolong the news cycle as much as possible, all but declaring herself off-limits from criticism by equating any critiques of her governance with incitement to terrorism. Appearing on Meet the Press two Sundays after the plot was revealed, Whitmer said it was “incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States—10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial, and execute me, 10 days after that was uncovered—the president is at it again, and inspiring, and incentivizing, and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.”

On October 22 — just two weeks before Election Day — MSNBC's Rachel Maddow hosted Whitmer and told the Michigan Governor that the evidence was clear that Trump had been "turning on a faucet of violent threats” against her. Whitmer agreed that Trump was to blame for the kidnapping plot by having repeatedly attacked her in his rallies:

Joe Biden also made repeated use of this storyline. Appearing at a campaign rally in Michigan on October 16, the Democratic candidate blasted Trump for the crime of continuing to criticize Whitmer even after she was the target of a terror plot. He explicitly blamed Trump for having incited it: “When the president tweeted 'Liberate Michigan, Liberate Michigan,' that's the call that was heard. That was the dog whistle." And he accused Trump of purposely stoking a wave of the worst kind of terrorism on U.S. soil: “it's the sort of behavior you might expect from ISIS,” he said of the accused.


Yet from the start, there were ample and potent reasons to distrust the FBI's version of events. To begin with, FBI press releases are typically filled with lies, yet media outlets — due to some combination of excessive gullibility, an inability to learn lessons, or a desire to be deceived — continue to treat them as Gospel. For another, the majority of "terror plots” the FBI claimed to detect and break up during the first War on Terror were, in fact, plots manufactured, funded and driven by the FBI itself.

Indeed, the FBI has previously acknowledged that its own powers and budget depend on keeping Americans in fear of such attacks. Former FBI Assistant Director Thomas Fuentes, in a documentary called “The Newberg Sting” about a 2009 FBI arrest of four men on terrorism charges, uttered this extremely candid admission:

If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that “We won the war on terror and everything’s great,” cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.

In the Whitmer kidnapping case, the FBI's own affidavit in support of the charges acknowledged the involvement in the plot of both informants and undercover FBI agents “over several months.”

Excerpt of FBI affidavit criminal complaint accompanying the criminal complaint in U.S. District Court against six defendants in the Whitmer plot

In sum, there was no way to avoid suspicions about the FBI's crucial role in a plot like this absent extreme ignorance about the bureau's behavior over the last two decades or an intentional desire to sow fear about right-wing extremists attacking Democratic Party officials one month before the 2020 presidential election. In fact, the signs of FBI involvement were there from the start for those who — unlike CNN — wanted to know the truth.

report from the Detroit Free Press published just two days after CNN's FBI stenography noted that the FBI agents were incapable of identifying any specifics of this supposed plot, adding that defense attorneys were adamant that those accused were merely engaged in idle chatter, boasting that they were never really serious about following through. Then the paper added that, for defense lawyers, “it remains to be seen what roles the undercover informants and FBI agents played in the case, and whether they pushed the others into carrying out the plan.” Meanwhile, an actually independent journalist, Michael Tracey, had no trouble identifying the telltale signs of FBI orchestration that were so apparent countless times during the first War on Terror. Three days before the CNN story, he wrote:

But the value of depicting Trump as having incited a frightening terrorist attack just weeks before the election, and the zeal to feed the broader narrative pushed by the U.S. security state that anti-government extremism is America's greatest national security threat, drowned out any skepticism. The storyline was clear and unquestioned: Trump was inciting ISIS-like terrorism on U.S. soil and right-wing extremists, who would fester even after Trump was done, were the primary menace that requires new domestic powers and larger budgets in order to defeat.

Yet just as happened with so many other narratives — from the origins of COVID to Hunter Biden's corrupt use of his ties to his father — Trump's defeat means the media is now willing to reconsider some of the propaganda that was pushed in the lead-up to the election. An excellent piece of investigative journalism published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday documents that, far from being passive observers of the plot, FBI informants and agents were the key drivers of it:

An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported. Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.

So central to this plot were those acting at the behest of the FBI that many of the accused plotters only met each other because of meetings arranged at the direction of the FBI, who targeted them based on social media postings and other political activities that suggested anti-government and anti-Whitmer sentiments which could be exploited:

A longtime government informant from Wisconsin, for example, helped organize a series of meetings around the country where many of the alleged plotters first met one another and the earliest notions of a plan took root, some of those people say. The Wisconsin informant even paid for some hotel rooms and food as an incentive to get people to come.

One of the FBI's informants, a former Iraq War soldier, “became so deeply enmeshed in a Michigan militant group that he rose to become its second-in-command.” With his leadership role in one of the key groups, and all while acting under the direction of the FBI, he was “encouraging members to collaborate with other potential suspects and paying for their transportation to meetings.” Indeed, he even “prodded the alleged mastermind of the kidnapping plot to advance his plan, then baited the trap that led to the arrest.”

A review of not only the BuzzFeed reporting but also the underlying court documents leaves little doubt that the primary impetus for this plot came over and over from the FBI. On July 12, a lawyer for one of the defendants filed a motion asking the court to compel the FBI to turn over all chats which their agents and informants involving the plot. He did so on the ground that the few chats they had obtained themselves — from their own clients — repeatedly show the FBI pushing and prodding its agents over and over to lure defendants into more meetings, to join in "recon” exercises, and to take as many steps as possible toward the plot.

While it was clear from the start that there were FBI informants and agents in the middle of all of this, it turns out that at least half of those involved were acting on FBI orders: twelve informants and agents. As BuzzFeed says, those acting at the behest of the FBI “had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception.” All of that, concluded the reporters, “raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.”

But this evidence does not so much raise that question as much as it answers it. The idea of kidnapping Gov. Whitmer came from the FBI. It was a plot designed by the agency, and they then went on the hunt to target people they believed they could manipulate into joining their plot — either people were easily manipulated due to psychological weakness, financial vulnerability, and/or their strongly held political views. In sum, the FBI devised this plot, was the primary organizer of it, funded it, purposely directed their targets to pose for incriminating pictures that they then released to the press, and then heaped praise on themselves for stopping what they themselves had created.


For anyone covering the FBI during the first War on Terror, none of this is new. So many of the supposed “terror plots” the FBI purported to disrupt over the last twenty years were — just like the Michigan plot — ones that were created and driven by, and would not have happened without, the FBI's own planning, funding and direction.

Just as they are doing now, the FBI used those plots to elevate fear levels and justify more domestic surveillance power and funding for the U.S. security state. While the targets then were typically young American Muslims with anti-government views rather than young right-wing white men with anti-government views, the tactics were identical.

The examples are far too numerous to count. As one illustrative example, in 2015, the FBI flamboyantly praised itself for arresting three Brooklyn men on charges of “attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq.” Then, as now, outlets such as The New York Times promoted the FBI's maximalist-fear-mongering version of events: “3 Brooklyn Men Accused of Plot to Aid ISIS’ Fight,” blared the headline.

But even that largely pro-FBI Times article raised the question of whether this plot was real or manufactured by the bureau:

The case against the three men relies in part on a confidential informant paid by the government, court documents show. Defense lawyers have criticized the government’s use of informers in similar cases, saying they may lure targets into making extreme plans or statements. In some cases, the threat has turned out to be overstated.

And the FBI itself admitted that the “threats of violence” from the three arrested — such as killing President Obama — “had an ‘aspirational’ quality to them, with no indication that the suspects were close to staging an attack, large or small.” The Times article also noted that the FBI observed that “in online postings, the two younger men seem to be searching for meaning in their lives,” adding that “as they were led into court, the youthfulness of Mr. Juraboev and Mr. Saidakhmetov was striking.”

Analyzing all the evidence in this case, my then-colleague at The Intercept Murtaza Hussain documented “the integral role a paid informant appears to have played in generating the charges against the men, and helping turn a fantastical ‘plot’ into something even remotely tangible.” Indeed, he wrote, “none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant.” It was only when the FBI sent an older Muslim man to gain their trust — acting as an FBI informant and being paid for his services — did anything resembling a crime start to form. The paid FBI informant encouraged the young men to pursue the plan more concretely, and only then did they begin agreeing with the informant's proposed plot. The informant befriended them, moved in with them, and spent months “convincing both of them that he intended to travel to Syria and join Islamic State.”

Just as was true in the Michigan case, Hussain wrote about this arrest: “Crucially, it appears that only after the introduction of the informant did any actual arrangements to commit a criminal act come into existence.” In sum, "the covert informant under the direction of the FBI” — which employs teams of psychologists and other mental health professions who are experts in how to manipulate people's thinking — “evidently helped encourage the two toward terrorism over the course of these months.”

Article by Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept, Feb. 20, 2015

I have also covered countless other FBI plots over the years where all the same attributes were present. After the 2015 “ISIS arrest,” I wrote an article compiling how often the FBI was doing this and asked this question in the headline: “Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?,” noting that the bureau's behavior “is akin to having the DEA constantly warn of the severe threat posed by drug addiction while it simultaneously uses pushers on its payroll to deliberately get people hooked on drugs so that they can arrest the addicts they’ve created and thus justify their own warnings and budgets."

Months before the 2015 ISIS arrests, the FBI issued a press release praising itself for arresting “a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” But as I reported, the scary terrorist was “20-year-old Christopher Cornell, [who] is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as ‘Mommy’ and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as ‘a typical student’ and ‘quiet but not overly reserved’ by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.”

Then House Speaker John Boehner immediately seized on that arrest to warn Americans to be afraid: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” Boehner also told Americans they should be grateful for domestic surveillance and not try to curb it: the Speaker claimed that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” Yet the only way Cornell got close to any crimes was because the FBI informant began suggesting to him that he act on his rage against U.S. officials by attacking the Capitol.

Salon articles of my reporting on FBI's creation of terror plots it "stops": Nov. 28, 2010 and Sep. 29, 2011

One of the most egregious cases I covered was the 2011 arrest of James Cromitie, an African-American convert to Islam who the FBI attempted to convince — over the course of eight months — to join a terror plot, only for him to adamantly refuse over and over. Only once they dangled a payment of $250,000 in front of his nose right after the impoverished American had lost his job did he agree to join, and then the FBI swooped in, arrested him, and touted their heroic efforts in stopping a terrorist plot.

The U.S. federal judge who sentenced Cromitie to decades in prison, Colleen McMahon, said she did so only because the law of “entrapment” is so narrow that it is virtually impossible for a defendant to win, but in doing so, she repeatedly condemned the FBI in the harshest terms for single-handedly converting Cromitie from a helpless but resentful anti-government fanatic into a criminal. The defendant “was incapable of committing an act of terrorism on his own,” she said, adding: “only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.” She added: “There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that James Cromitie could never have dreamed up the scenario in which he actually became involved.”

Her written ruling is worth quoting at length because of how relevant it is to current FBI activities. The judge began by noting that Cromitie “had successfully resisted going too far for eight months,” and agreed only after “the Government dangled what had to be almost irresistible temptation in front of an impoverished man from what I have come (after literally dozens of cases) to view as the saddest and most dysfunctional community in the Southern District of New York.” It was the FBI’s own informant, she wrote, who “was the prime mover and instigator of all the criminal activity that occurred.” She then wrote (emphasis added):

The Government indisputably “manufactured” the crimes of which defendants stand convicted. The Government invented all of the details of the scheme – many of them, such as the trip to Connecticut and the inclusion of Stewart AFB as a target, for specific legal purposes of which the defendants could not possibly have been aware (the former gave rise to federal jurisdiction and the latter mandated a twenty-five year minimum sentence). The Government selected the targets. The Government designed and built the phony ordnance that the defendants planted (or planned to plant) at Government-selected targets. The Government provided every item used in the plot: cameras, cell phones, cars, maps and even a gun. The Government did all the driving (as none of the defendants had a car or a driver’s license). The Government funded the entire project. And the Government, through its agent, offered the defendants large sums of money, contingent on their participation in the heinous scheme.

Additionally, before deciding that the defendants (particularly Cromitie, who was in their sights for nine months) presented any real danger, the Government appears to have done minimal due diligence, relying instead on reports from its Confidential Informant, who passed on information about Cromitie information that could easily have been verified (or not verified, since much of it was untrue), but that no one thought it necessary to check before offering a jihadist opportunity to a man who had no contact with any extremist groups and no history of anything other than drug crimes.

One of the reporters who has most extensively covered the FBI's role in manufacturing terrorism cases it then proceeds to "break up” is Trevor Aaronson. In 2011, he documented, working with the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley, that of 508 post-9/11 terrorism defendants, “nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants, many of them incentivized by money.” After 9/11, the FBI's budget-increasing, power-enhancing strategy was to target “tens of thousands of law-abiding people, seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity” by monitoring their social media postings, and “then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.” Of the terrorism arrests from sting operations, almost 1/3 were ones in which “defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur—an FBI operative instigating terrorist action.”


It is this long history and mountain of evidence that compels an investigation into the role played by the FBI in the planning of the 1/6 riot at the Capitol. And it is that same evidence that made the corporate media's derisive reaction to such demands — as voiced by Darren Beattie's Revolver NewsFox News’ Tucker Carlson and myself — so ignorant and subservient. They acted as if only some unhinged conspiracy theorist could possibly believe that the FBI would have informants and agents embedded in the groups that planned that Capitol riot rather than what it is: the only logical conclusion for anyone who knows how the FBI actually behaves.

Indeed, the BuzzFeed reporters who investigated the FBI's key role in the Michigan case must have been very disturbed by what they found since they used their reporting to raise that taboo topic: what role did the FBI have in 1/6? Moreover, they asked, is this yet another era where the FBI is targeting Americans not for criminality but for their political views, and then orchestrating their own plots that justify the U.S. security state's massive budget and unlimited powers?

Instead, [the accused] say, they were targeted because of their political views. Some describe the case as a premeditated campaign by the government to undermine the Patriot movement, an ideology based on fealty to the Second Amendment and the conviction that the government has violated the Constitution and is therefore illegitimate. They argue that the recordings and text messages that the government calls proof of a criminal conspiracy are in fact constitutionally protected speech — expressions of frustration at what they see as the government’s betrayal of its citizens.

The Michigan case is unfolding at another fraught moment in American history. In court, the government has drawn a direct line between the alleged kidnapping plot and the Jan. 6 insurrection, holding up the storming of the US Capitol as evidence that the Michigan defendants posed a profound threat. . . . [I]f the defense is able to undermine the methods used to build the Michigan case, it could add weight to the theory that the administration is conducting a witch hunt against militant groups — and, by extension, that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a black op engineered by the FBI.

When Carlson raised these same questions on his Fox program, he did what I did when doing so: cited my reporting as well as Trevor Aaronson's about the FBI's long history of orchestrating such plots and luring people into them using informants and undercover agents. Much of that reporting about the FBI's tactics was published by The Intercept, which — when aimed at American Muslims during the First War on Terror — had an editorial view that it was extremely improper and dangerous for the FBI to do this. But now that it is being done to American anti-government activists on the right, the site's liberal editors seem happy about it. They got Aaronson to write an article under the headline “Tucker Carlson Distorted My Reporting in His Latest Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory.”

But that headline was an absolute lie. There was nothing in Aaronson's article that pointed to any "distortions” in how Carlson (or I) cited Aaronson's work. To the contrary, Aaronson himself acknowledged that the FBI's past history — including in the Whitmer case — made such questions highly rational and necessary:

In many of these stings, informants or undercover agents provided all the money and weapons for terrorist plots, and sometimes even the ideas — raising significant questions about whether any of these people would have committed the crimes were it not for the FBI’s encouragement. Many targets of these FBI stings were mentally ill or otherwise easily manipulated. . . .

Carlson’s claim fits an existing and well-established argument: that the FBI creates crimes through aggressive stings where no crimes would otherwise exist. . . . I think it’s worth noting that there’s a reason for the cultural stickiness of the claim by Revolver and Carlson. It might be a conspiracy theory, but it’s not exactly “baseless,” as the Post described it. That’s because there are genuine concerns that the sting tactics used over the past two decades against impressionable Muslims will be used against equally impressionable Americans with right-wing ideologies. In the supposed plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, FBI agents and an informant played significant roles, raising the same question that surrounds so many supposed Islamic State and Al Qaeda cases in the United States: Would this plot have happened were it not for the FBI?

In addition, there is evidence the FBI is assigning informants to infiltrate groups based solely on right-wing ideology. And the increase in right-wing violence in recent years has prompted calls for new anti-terorrism laws that would give the FBI even more power.

I think the FBI’s investigation of potential right-wing threats, and the degree to which the bureau replicates its abusive post-9/11 tactics, will be a critically important story in the coming years. How news organizations report on it will be a significant test.

While Aaronson insists that no proof has yet been presented that the FBI had foreknowledge of the 1/6 plot or encouraged it to happen, and also seized on a minor error in the Revolver News article originally raising these questions about "confidential informants” — an error I noted in my own article about this topic while explaining that it was ancillary and insignificant to the overall question — Aaronson's article has far more in common with the primary theme raised by Carlson than it does arguments that Carlson "distorted” anything. In particular, Aaronson writes, the FBI's ample history requires a serious investigation into the role it may have played in knowing about and/or encouraging the 1/6 plotters.

As I documented in my own reporting on this question, there is ample evidence to believe that the FBI had informants embedded in at least two of three key groups it says were behind the 1/6 Capitol riot. As I noted at the time, most of the corporate press spewed contempt and scorn on these questions because 1/6 has become an event that carries virtually religious importance to them, and their reverence for the U.S. security state makes them resistant to any suggestions that the FBI may have acted deceitfully — an utterly bizarre mindset for U.S. journalists to possess. But such is the state of the liberal sector of the corporate press today.

Now that one of their own liberal members in good standing — BuzzFeed — has not only proven the FBI's key role in the Whitmer plot but also themselves suggested that it makes more plausible the bureau's involvement in 1/6, these questions are becoming increasingly unavoidable. Both the Whitmer plot and especially 1/6 are absolutely crucial to everything that has happened since: the launch of the new War on Terror, billions more in funds for the security state, proposals for greater surveillance, Biden's use of the intelligence community to insist that anti-government activists constitute the greatest threat to U.S. national security. Asking what role the FBI played in the episode at the Capitol is not only rational but imperative.

Source: Substack

Tom O’Connor - Mon Jul 26, 2021 14:38

China has supported Cuba's argument that the United States should consider applying sanctions to itself for alleged human rights abuses before taking on other countries.

Speaking Friday at a press conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian asserted that his country "firmly supports the efforts of the Cuban government and people to maintain social stability" as President Joe Biden doubles down to pressure Cuba in the wake of historic protests in the island nation.

The latest measures, unveiled Thursday, included sanctions against the head of the Cuban armed forces and a division of the Interior Ministry in response to their suspected roles in cracking down on the demonstrations. The U.S. leader warned that "this is just the beginning" and that "the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people."

Zhao lashed out against the approach the following day.

"We resolutely reject any external interference in other countries' internal affairs, imposition of unilateral sanctions, and attempt to gang up on other countries under the pretext of 'freedom,' 'democracy' and 'human rights,'" Zhao said.

And he referenced earlier remarks on Twitter by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, who dismissed the "unfounded & slanderous US gov. sanctions" and suggested that the country "should rather apply unto itself the Magnitsky Global Act for systematic repression & police brutality that took the lives of 1021 persons in 2020."

The legislation has been used by the White House to roll out restrictions on finances and travel for individuals accused of corruption and human rights abuses. But Zhao said it was Washington that fit this bill.

"The U.S. should first and foremost examine its own human rights issues," Zhao said, "instead of wielding the big stick of sanctions, grossly interfering in other's internal affairs and creating division or confrontation."

He then issued a plea for Washington to remove its decades-long trade embargo on Havana.

"China maintains that mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation are the right way to conduct state-to-state relations," Zhao said. "At present, Cuba is at a critical moment in its fight against COVID-19 and in its efforts to alleviate people's suffering. The U.S. must immediately and completely lift unilateral sanctions against Cuba in compliance with the purposes of the U.N. Charter and basic norms governing international relations, and do more to improve U.S.-Cuba relations and contribute to international and regional stability."

Source: Newsweek

 

China has supported Cuba's argument that the United States should consider applying sanctions to itself for alleged human rights abuses before taking on other countries.

Speaking Friday at a press conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian asserted that his country "firmly supports the efforts of the Cuban government and people to maintain social stability" as President Joe Biden doubles down to pressure Cuba in the wake of historic protests in the island nation.

The latest measures, unveiled Thursday, included sanctions against the head of the Cuban armed forces and a division of the Interior Ministry in response to their suspected roles in cracking down on the demonstrations. The U.S. leader warned that "this is just the beginning" and that "the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people."

Zhao lashed out against the approach the following day.

"We resolutely reject any external interference in other countries' internal affairs, imposition of unilateral sanctions, and attempt to gang up on other countries under the pretext of 'freedom,' 'democracy' and 'human rights,'" Zhao said.

And he referenced earlier remarks on Twitter by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, who dismissed the "unfounded & slanderous US gov. sanctions" and suggested that the country "should rather apply unto itself the Magnitsky Global Act for systematic repression & police brutality that took the lives of 1021 persons in 2020."

The legislation has been used by the White House to roll out restrictions on finances and travel for individuals accused of corruption and human rights abuses. But Zhao said it was Washington that fit this bill.

"The U.S. should first and foremost examine its own human rights issues," Zhao said, "instead of wielding the big stick of sanctions, grossly interfering in other's internal affairs and creating division or confrontation."

He then issued a plea for Washington to remove its decades-long trade embargo on Havana.

"China maintains that mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation are the right way to conduct state-to-state relations," Zhao said. "At present, Cuba is at a critical moment in its fight against COVID-19 and in its efforts to alleviate people's suffering. The U.S. must immediately and completely lift unilateral sanctions against Cuba in compliance with the purposes of the U.N. Charter and basic norms governing international relations, and do more to improve U.S.-Cuba relations and contribute to international and regional stability."

Source: Newsweek

 

CJ Hopkins - Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:22

Editor's note: I think Hopkins has a very interesting and valuable idea here. We would definitely benefit from a visual identifier (aside from not wearing a face diaper) to stand out from the virus cultists in human skin.

But there is also something pathetic about making that identifier a concentration camp chest badge, and something lame — as well as futile — about the strategy being to parade our victimhood so as to appeal to the "better nature" of the insectoid New Normals.

The identifier has to be something that is dignified and cool. Rattling the bugs is all good, but it can't be done from a prostrate position.

Hopkins makes a great contribution here, he's on to something. And if he makes the identifier something cool, like the Hawaiian of the Boogaloos, then we're talking.

(T-shirts displaying a can of bug kill?? Too extreme???)


Every totalitarian system in history has used the power of visual propaganda to generate a new “reality,” one that reifies its official ideology, remaking the world in its own paranoid image. New Normal totalitarianism is no exception. For example, take a look at this panel copied from the landing page of The Guardian — one of the global-capitalist ruling classes’ primary propaganda organs — on July 17, 2021 …

This isn’t just “biased” or “sensationalist” journalism. It is systematic official propaganda, no different than that disseminated by every other totalitarian system throughout history. Here’s the one from the following day …

Forget about the content of the articles for a moment and just take in the cumulative visual effect. Official propaganda isn’t just information, misinformation, and disinformation. It is actually less about getting us to believe things than it is about creating an official reality, and imposing it on society by force. When you’re setting out to conjure up a new “reality,” images are extremely powerful tools, just as powerful, if not more powerful, than words.

Here are a few more that you might recall …

Again, the goal of this type of propaganda is not simply to deceive or terrorize the public. That is part of it, of course, but the more important part is forcing people to look at these images, over and over, hour after hour, day after day, at home, at work, on the streets, on television, on the Internet, everywhere. This is how we create “reality.” We represent our beliefs and values to ourselves, and to each other, with images, words, rituals, and other symbols and social behaviors. Essentially, we conjure our “reality” into being like actors rehearsing and performing a play … the more we all believe it, the more convincing it is.

This is also why mandatory masks have been essential to the roll-out of the New Normal ideology. Forcing the masses to wear medical-looking masks in public was a propaganda masterstoke. Simply put, if you can force people to dress up like they’re going to work in the infectious disease ward of a hospital every day for 17 months … presto! You’ve got yourself a new “reality” … a new, pathologized-totalitarian “reality,” a paranoid-psychotic, cult-like “reality” in which formerly semi-rational people have been reduced to nonsense-babbling lackeys who are afraid to go outside without permission from “the authorities,” and are injecting their children with experimental “vaccines.”

The sheer power of the visual image of those masks, and being forced to repeat the ritual behavior of putting them on, has been nearly irresistible. Yes, I know that you have been resisting. So have I. But we are the minority. Denying the power of what we are up against might make you feel better, but it will get us nowhere, or, in any event, nowhere good. The fact is, the vast majority of the public — except for people in Sweden, Florida, and assorted other officially non-existent places — have been robotically performing this theatrical ritual, and harassing those who refuse to do so, and thus collectively simulating an “apocalyptic plague.”

The New Normals — i.e., those still wearing masks outdoors, shrieking over meaningless “cases,” bullying everyone to get “vaccinated,” and collaborating with the segregation of the “Unvaccinated” — are not behaving the way they’re behaving because they are stupid. They are behaving that way because they’re living in a new “reality” that has been created for them over the course of the last 17 months by a massive official propaganda campaign, the most extensive and effective in the history of propaganda.

In other words, to put it bluntly, we are in a propaganda war, and we’re losing. We can’t match the propaganda power of the corporate media and New Normal governments, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight back. We can, and must, at every opportunity. Recently, readers have been asking me how to do that. So, OK, here are a few simple suggestions.

The vast majority of obedient New Normals are not fanatical totalitarians. They’re scared, and weak, so they are following orders, adjusting their minds to the new official “reality.” Most of them do not perceive themselves as adherents of a totalitarian system or as segregationists, although that is what they are.

They perceive themselves as “responsible” people following sensible “health directives” to “protect” themselves and others from the virus, and its ever-multiplying mutant “variants.” They perceive the “Unvaccinated” as a minority of dangerous, irrational “conspiracy theorist” extremists, who want to kill them and their families. When we tell them that we simply want our constitutional rights back, and to not be forced into being “vaccinated,” and censored and persecuted for expressing our views, they do not believe us. They think we’re lying. They perceive us as threats, as aggressors, as monsters, as strangers among them, who need to be dealt with … which is exactly how the authorities want them to perceive us.

We need to try to change this perception, not by complying or being “polite” to them. On the contrary, we need to become more confrontational. No, not violent. Confrontational. There is actually a difference, though the “woke” will deny it.

To begin with, we need to call things what they are. The “vaccination pass” system is a segregation system. It is segregationism. Call it what it is. Those cooperating with it are segregationists. They’re not “helping” or “protecting” anybody from anything. They are segregationists, pure and simple. Refer to them as “segregationists.” Don’t let them hide behind their terminology. Confront them with the fact of what they are.

Same goes for the rest of CovidSpeak. Covid “cases,” “deaths,” and “vaccines” get scare quotes. Healthy people are not medical cases. If Covid didn’t kill someone, they are not a Covid death, period. “Vaccines” that do not behave like vaccines, and that are killing and crippling tens of thousands of people, and that have not been adequately tested for safety, and that are being indiscriminately forced on everyone, do not get to be called vaccines.

OK, here comes the big idea, which will only work if enough people do it. You probably won’t like it, but what the hell, here goes …

This is the red inverted triangle the Nazis used in the concentration camps to designate their political opponents and members of the anti-Nazi resistance. Make one. Make it out of fabric, paper, or whatever material you have at hand. Put a big, black “U” in the center of it to signify “Unvaccinated.” Wear it in public, conspicuously. When people ask you what it means and why you are wearing it in public, tell them. Encourage them to do the same, assuming they’re not New Normal segregationists, in which case … well, that will be a different conversation, but go ahead and tell them too.

That’s it. That’s the whole big idea. That, and whatever else you are already doing. The triangle is not meant to replace that. It’s just one simple way for people to express their opposition to the totalitarian, pseudo-medical segregation system that is currently being implemented … despite all that other stuff you’ve been doing, and that I have been doing, for 17 months.

All right, I can already feel your disappointment. You thought I was going to propose a frontal assault on Klaus Schwab’s secret castle, or a guerilla naval attack on Bill Gates’ yacht. Cathartic as either of those endeavors might be, they would be (a) futile, and (b) suicidal. Frustrating as it has been for all of us, this is still a battle for hearts and minds. Essentially, it is a War on Reality (or between two “realities” if you prefer). It is being fought in people’s heads, not in the streets.

So, let me try to sell you on this red triangle thing.

The point of a visual protest like this is to force the New Normals to confront a different representation of what they, and we, are. A representation that accurately reflects reality. No, of course we are not in concentration camps — so, please, spare me the irate literalist emails — but we are being segregated, scapegoated, censored, humiliated, and otherwise abused, not for any legitimate public health reasons, but because of our political dissent, because we refuse to mindlessly follow orders and conform to their new official ideology. The New Normals need to be forced to perceive their beliefs and actions in that context, even if only for a few fleeting moments at the mall, or in the grocery store, or wherever.

Think of it this way … as I explained above, they are basically performing a theatrical event, conjuring up a “pandemic reality” with words, actions, and pseudo-medical stage props. What we need to become is that asshole in the audience who destroys the suspension of disbelief and reminds everyone that they’re sitting in a theater, and not in 15th Century Denmark, by loudly taking a call on his phone right in the middle of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

Seriously, we need to become that asshole as conspicuously as possible, as often as possible, to disrupt the show the New Normals are performing … and to remind them what they are actually doing, and who they are actually doing it to.

Look at the white people in the tweet above tormenting that girl who is just trying to go to school like any other student. The New Normals do not want to perceive themselves that way, as a pack of fanatical, hate-drunk segregationists, but that is what they are, because it is what they are doing … but it is not what most of them are by nature. Yes, some people are congenitally sociopathic, but no one is inherently totalitarian. We are not born fascists or segregationists. We have to be programmed to be that way. That’s what the propaganda is for, not to mention all the other authoritarian conditioning we are subjected to from the time we are children.

Or that’s the gamble, or the leap of faith, behind the inverted red triangle thing. It is a basic non-violent civil-disobedience tactic, which works on people who still have a conscience and haven’t gone full totalitarian yet.

Granted, it might not work this timewe are already at the stage where they are going to imprison restaurant owners for serving the “Unvaccinated” — but it might, and what have we got to lose?

Source: Consent Factory

Editor's note: I think Hopkins has a very interesting and valuable idea here. We would definitely benefit from a visual identifier (aside from not wearing a face diaper) to stand out from the virus cultists in human skin.

But there is also something pathetic about making that identifier a concentration camp chest badge, and something lame — as well as futile — about the strategy being to parade our victimhood so as to appeal to the "better nature" of the insectoid New Normals.

The identifier has to be something that is dignified and cool. Rattling the bugs is all good, but it can't be done from a prostrate position.

Hopkins makes a great contribution here, he's on to something. And if he makes the identifier something cool, like the Hawaiian of the Boogaloos, then we're talking.

(T-shirts displaying a can of bug kill?? Too extreme???)


Every totalitarian system in history has used the power of visual propaganda to generate a new “reality,” one that reifies its official ideology, remaking the world in its own paranoid image. New Normal totalitarianism is no exception. For example, take a look at this panel copied from the landing page of The Guardian — one of the global-capitalist ruling classes’ primary propaganda organs — on July 17, 2021 …

This isn’t just “biased” or “sensationalist” journalism. It is systematic official propaganda, no different than that disseminated by every other totalitarian system throughout history. Here’s the one from the following day …

Forget about the content of the articles for a moment and just take in the cumulative visual effect. Official propaganda isn’t just information, misinformation, and disinformation. It is actually less about getting us to believe things than it is about creating an official reality, and imposing it on society by force. When you’re setting out to conjure up a new “reality,” images are extremely powerful tools, just as powerful, if not more powerful, than words.

Here are a few more that you might recall …

Again, the goal of this type of propaganda is not simply to deceive or terrorize the public. That is part of it, of course, but the more important part is forcing people to look at these images, over and over, hour after hour, day after day, at home, at work, on the streets, on television, on the Internet, everywhere. This is how we create “reality.” We represent our beliefs and values to ourselves, and to each other, with images, words, rituals, and other symbols and social behaviors. Essentially, we conjure our “reality” into being like actors rehearsing and performing a play … the more we all believe it, the more convincing it is.

This is also why mandatory masks have been essential to the roll-out of the New Normal ideology. Forcing the masses to wear medical-looking masks in public was a propaganda masterstoke. Simply put, if you can force people to dress up like they’re going to work in the infectious disease ward of a hospital every day for 17 months … presto! You’ve got yourself a new “reality” … a new, pathologized-totalitarian “reality,” a paranoid-psychotic, cult-like “reality” in which formerly semi-rational people have been reduced to nonsense-babbling lackeys who are afraid to go outside without permission from “the authorities,” and are injecting their children with experimental “vaccines.”

The sheer power of the visual image of those masks, and being forced to repeat the ritual behavior of putting them on, has been nearly irresistible. Yes, I know that you have been resisting. So have I. But we are the minority. Denying the power of what we are up against might make you feel better, but it will get us nowhere, or, in any event, nowhere good. The fact is, the vast majority of the public — except for people in Sweden, Florida, and assorted other officially non-existent places — have been robotically performing this theatrical ritual, and harassing those who refuse to do so, and thus collectively simulating an “apocalyptic plague.”

The New Normals — i.e., those still wearing masks outdoors, shrieking over meaningless “cases,” bullying everyone to get “vaccinated,” and collaborating with the segregation of the “Unvaccinated” — are not behaving the way they’re behaving because they are stupid. They are behaving that way because they’re living in a new “reality” that has been created for them over the course of the last 17 months by a massive official propaganda campaign, the most extensive and effective in the history of propaganda.

In other words, to put it bluntly, we are in a propaganda war, and we’re losing. We can’t match the propaganda power of the corporate media and New Normal governments, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight back. We can, and must, at every opportunity. Recently, readers have been asking me how to do that. So, OK, here are a few simple suggestions.

The vast majority of obedient New Normals are not fanatical totalitarians. They’re scared, and weak, so they are following orders, adjusting their minds to the new official “reality.” Most of them do not perceive themselves as adherents of a totalitarian system or as segregationists, although that is what they are.

They perceive themselves as “responsible” people following sensible “health directives” to “protect” themselves and others from the virus, and its ever-multiplying mutant “variants.” They perceive the “Unvaccinated” as a minority of dangerous, irrational “conspiracy theorist” extremists, who want to kill them and their families. When we tell them that we simply want our constitutional rights back, and to not be forced into being “vaccinated,” and censored and persecuted for expressing our views, they do not believe us. They think we’re lying. They perceive us as threats, as aggressors, as monsters, as strangers among them, who need to be dealt with … which is exactly how the authorities want them to perceive us.

We need to try to change this perception, not by complying or being “polite” to them. On the contrary, we need to become more confrontational. No, not violent. Confrontational. There is actually a difference, though the “woke” will deny it.

To begin with, we need to call things what they are. The “vaccination pass” system is a segregation system. It is segregationism. Call it what it is. Those cooperating with it are segregationists. They’re not “helping” or “protecting” anybody from anything. They are segregationists, pure and simple. Refer to them as “segregationists.” Don’t let them hide behind their terminology. Confront them with the fact of what they are.

Same goes for the rest of CovidSpeak. Covid “cases,” “deaths,” and “vaccines” get scare quotes. Healthy people are not medical cases. If Covid didn’t kill someone, they are not a Covid death, period. “Vaccines” that do not behave like vaccines, and that are killing and crippling tens of thousands of people, and that have not been adequately tested for safety, and that are being indiscriminately forced on everyone, do not get to be called vaccines.

OK, here comes the big idea, which will only work if enough people do it. You probably won’t like it, but what the hell, here goes …

This is the red inverted triangle the Nazis used in the concentration camps to designate their political opponents and members of the anti-Nazi resistance. Make one. Make it out of fabric, paper, or whatever material you have at hand. Put a big, black “U” in the center of it to signify “Unvaccinated.” Wear it in public, conspicuously. When people ask you what it means and why you are wearing it in public, tell them. Encourage them to do the same, assuming they’re not New Normal segregationists, in which case … well, that will be a different conversation, but go ahead and tell them too.

That’s it. That’s the whole big idea. That, and whatever else you are already doing. The triangle is not meant to replace that. It’s just one simple way for people to express their opposition to the totalitarian, pseudo-medical segregation system that is currently being implemented … despite all that other stuff you’ve been doing, and that I have been doing, for 17 months.

All right, I can already feel your disappointment. You thought I was going to propose a frontal assault on Klaus Schwab’s secret castle, or a guerilla naval attack on Bill Gates’ yacht. Cathartic as either of those endeavors might be, they would be (a) futile, and (b) suicidal. Frustrating as it has been for all of us, this is still a battle for hearts and minds. Essentially, it is a War on Reality (or between two “realities” if you prefer). It is being fought in people’s heads, not in the streets.

So, let me try to sell you on this red triangle thing.

The point of a visual protest like this is to force the New Normals to confront a different representation of what they, and we, are. A representation that accurately reflects reality. No, of course we are not in concentration camps — so, please, spare me the irate literalist emails — but we are being segregated, scapegoated, censored, humiliated, and otherwise abused, not for any legitimate public health reasons, but because of our political dissent, because we refuse to mindlessly follow orders and conform to their new official ideology. The New Normals need to be forced to perceive their beliefs and actions in that context, even if only for a few fleeting moments at the mall, or in the grocery store, or wherever.

Think of it this way … as I explained above, they are basically performing a theatrical event, conjuring up a “pandemic reality” with words, actions, and pseudo-medical stage props. What we need to become is that asshole in the audience who destroys the suspension of disbelief and reminds everyone that they’re sitting in a theater, and not in 15th Century Denmark, by loudly taking a call on his phone right in the middle of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

Seriously, we need to become that asshole as conspicuously as possible, as often as possible, to disrupt the show the New Normals are performing … and to remind them what they are actually doing, and who they are actually doing it to.

Look at the white people in the tweet above tormenting that girl who is just trying to go to school like any other student. The New Normals do not want to perceive themselves that way, as a pack of fanatical, hate-drunk segregationists, but that is what they are, because it is what they are doing … but it is not what most of them are by nature. Yes, some people are congenitally sociopathic, but no one is inherently totalitarian. We are not born fascists or segregationists. We have to be programmed to be that way. That’s what the propaganda is for, not to mention all the other authoritarian conditioning we are subjected to from the time we are children.

Or that’s the gamble, or the leap of faith, behind the inverted red triangle thing. It is a basic non-violent civil-disobedience tactic, which works on people who still have a conscience and haven’t gone full totalitarian yet.

Granted, it might not work this timewe are already at the stage where they are going to imprison restaurant owners for serving the “Unvaccinated” — but it might, and what have we got to lose?

Source: Consent Factory

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