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February 26, 2020

The British Kangaroo Court Proceedings Against Julian Assange

Britain is currently holding an obscene show trial against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The hearing is designed to end with the extradition of Assange to the United States or with his death. In the U.S. he would be accused of a conspiracy to reveal secrets and put into jail for the rest of his life.

Over the years Wikileaks has revealed material on many important issues. As Patrick Cockburn remarked: With WikiLeaks, Julian Assange did what all journalists should aspire to do. Wikileaks provided the material its sources revealed to partner media who profited from it, but then went on to betray Assange. As Kit Klarenberg wrote a few days ago: ‘They Should Be In Jail’: How The Guardian and New York Times ‘Set Up’ Julian Assange.

Those who are not familiar with the false case against Julian Assange should read this interview with Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who provides detailed insight. In Melzer's learned view Assange, as the main editor of Wikileaks, has not committed any crime.

Melzer has also written at his medium page about the case:

The false 'rape' case in Sweden which was used to incarcerate Assange is also detailed in Marcello Ferrada de Noli's book: Sweden’s Geopolitical Case Against Assange 2010-2019. It can be downloaded for free.

That the current extradition case against Assange is crooked and that a bad outcome is likely assured can be deducted from the persons behind the current proceedings. Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis at Declassified UK have done some digging:

Craig Murray and Kevin Gosztola are in the court room to document the proceedings. Gosztola tweets live (day 1, day 2, day 3) from the Woolwich courthouse in London and provides daily write ups at Shadowproof.com:

Ambassador Craig Murray publishes daily summaries at his site:

George Galloway held a speech yesterday about the abstruse processes around the hearing. The video of it is here.

One hopes that the British court will not extradite but free Assange. Unfortunately that seems currently unlikely. But the case will be fought hard and over many month and sometimes good things do happen. 

Posted by b at 18:37 UTC | Comments (48)

Open Thread 2020-15

For commenting on the 2020 presidential election use the 2020 Presidential Election Thread 01.

Other news & views can be posted here.

Posted by b at 14:55 UTC | Comments (62)

2020 Presidential Election Thread 01

This thread is exclusively for comments on the 2020 presidential election.

Posted by b at 14:53 UTC | Comments (71)

February 25, 2020

Syria - Army Moves To Liberate M4 Highway - Turkish Russian Standoff Continues

The Syrian Arab Army continues its campaign to liberate Idleb governorate. The current main area of operation is in the southeast of the terrorist held area where the SAA attacks in a northern and western direction. The aim of the operation is to bring the M4 highway from Latakia to Aleppo under government control.

Idleb governorate Feb 17 2020

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During the last two days more than 20 towns and villages in the southeast have been liberated. The enemy lines in the area have broken down and the remaining resistance is not strong.

Idleb governorate Feb 25 2020

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A fighter and 'war correspondent' on the 'rebel' side explains why the Syrian army can make such fast progress:

Cont. reading: Syria - Army Moves To Liberate M4 Highway - Turkish Russian Standoff Continues

Posted by b at 17:19 UTC | Comments (129)

February 23, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-14

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Related:
Putin keen to cool Turkish hawk down - Pepe Escobar

An hour ago the Russian air force bombed a convoy of Jihadis and Turkish soldiers near Jabal al Zawiyah. Syrian artillery fired on another Turkish convoy. There were Turkish casualties in both incidents. Erdogan can do nothing about it except to order his troops to retreat.

Related:
Intelligence Sources: All Candidates Are Russian Agents But Pete Buttigieg - Caitlin Johnstone
National Security Experts Dismiss ‘Hysteria Over Russia’ Allegedly Supporting Bernie Sanders Law and Crime

“One of the best ways to undermine American democracy is for the media to constantly tell Americans that our democratic system is run by a foreign power, that polls [and] debate outcomes are based not on the appeal of our politicians but from the invisible hand of an enemy government,” explained Northeastern University Associate Professor and Quincy Institute Fellow Max Abrahms.

Other issues:

Long reads on the changing global role of the U.S. of A.:

America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change - Chas Freeman
Trump’s Vanished ‘Liberal Middles’ - Alastair Crooke

Netanyahoo asks Al Thani to finance Hamas:

Mossad Chief Visited Doha, Urged Qataris to Continue Gaza Financial Aid - Haaretz

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b at 14:19 UTC | Comments (448)

February 22, 2020

Mike Bloomberg Is A Russian Asset

A careful reading of the news provides that Mike Bloomberg, who had two Russian grandfathers, is Putin's asset.

Consider:

Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump - New York Times, February 20 2020

Rather than impersonating Americans as they did in 2016, Russian operatives are working to get Americans to repeat disinformation, the officials said. That strategy gets around social media companies’ rules that prohibit “inauthentic speech.”

It is Bloomberg, working as a Russian operative, who pays the trolls that repeat disinformation.

Twitter suspends 70 pro-Bloomberg 'spam' accounts - The Hill, February 21, 2020

The temporary employees recruited by Bloomberg’s camp are given the title “deputy field organizer” and make $2,500 a month to promote his White House bid among their followers. The employees can choose to use campaign-approved language in their posts.

Twitter said the practice violated its “Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy,” which was established in 2019 to respond to Russia’s expansive troll network that was tapped in 2016 to meddle in the U.S. elections.

"Got it."

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And this:

Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign - Washington Post, February 21 2020

In that closed hearing for the House Intelligence Committee, lawmakers were also told that Sanders had been informed about Russia’s interference. The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia’s broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections.

Here are Bloomberg's behind the scene machinations which are sowing division and uncertainty about the validity of American elections. This is exactly what Russia wants.

Bloomberg quietly plotting brokered convention strategy - Politico, February 20, 2020

Mike Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him — and block Bernie Sanders — in the event of a brokered national convention.
...
It’s a presumptuous play for a candidate who hasn’t yet won a delegate or even appeared on a ballot. And it could also bring havoc to the convention, raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist.

Lock him up!

Cont. reading: Mike Bloomberg Is A Russian Asset

Posted by b at 9:26 UTC | Comments (183)

February 21, 2020

Coronavirus - The Decline Of New Cases Continues - Economic Ripples Begin To Emerge

China is making more progress in the fight against the novel coronavirus while other countries see increased problems. Meanwhile the global economic damage that the epidemic causes is slowly coming into view.

In our last discussion of the Coronavirus epidemic in China we criticized a statistical change made by the Chinese authorities:

The Chinese government has added a new category of infections to the total number of COVID-19 cases. So far there were two published categories. 'Suspected cases', which were people who may have come in contact with the virus and showed flu symptoms, and 'confirmed cases' of patients who fell ill and where the virus was found during tests. Now people who show signs of pneumonia will be added to the confirmed COVID-19 cases even when the tests do not find the nCov19 virus in their body.
...
The new count will thereby include a lot of people who simply have a common flu. That seems to make little sense.

Those who had fallen into the new category had a death rate that was much smaller than the original COVID-19 cases. That proved that a simple diagnose of pneumonia is not a reliable indicator for a nCoV19 virus infection.

Yesterday the Chinese authorities reversed their position. 'Clinically diagnosed' cases, people with only signs of pneumonia, are no longer included in the published numbers. This led to a drastic fall in new cases reported yesterday.


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The data reported today showed a drastic increase in cases as two prisons, which had for some reason never reported any cases, were suddenly included with a total of some 500 new confirmed and suspected cases. The communist party manager of at least one of the prisons was immediately removed from his job.

Cont. reading: Coronavirus - The Decline Of New Cases Continues - Economic Ripples Begin To Emerge

Posted by b at 17:36 UTC | Comments (160)

February 20, 2020

Sanders Wins Democrats Primary Debate

The various reflections of last night's debate between Democratic party primary candidates give a consistent picture.

  • Bloomberg lost. He had brought a wallet to a knife fight and made a generally bad impression. Even the news service that carries his name headlined: Bloomberg Hammered.
  • Buttigieg was again exposed as the soulless fluff he is.
  • Biden is frail, confused and talks too much.
  • Warren gets some points for hammering Bloomberg. But that is it.
  • Klobuchar gets points for hating Buttigieg but is otherwise too robotic to attract votes.
  • Sanders ably defended his positions against attacks from all sides.
  • Tulsi Gabbard was unfortunately not invited.

This impression seems to be correct:

Carl Beijer @CarlBeijer - 3:01 UTC · 20 Feb 2020

Bernie Sanders is debating like a frontrunner, confidently advancing his agenda and fending off attacks.

Everyone else is frantically trying to make some kind of game-changer happen, throwing up one-liners and cutthroat attacks like Hail Marys with the clock winding down.

The Democrats will likely have a brokered convention. If there is no candidate who gets a majority in the first round, hand selected 'superdelegates' will also vote. They will select the candidate the party's paymasters want. They may even try to rerun Hillary Clinton through this backdoor.

Op-eds that argue for such sham democratic processes are already getting published. Even under the slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness":


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(The Washington Post changed the above headline after it had caused an outrage on social media.)

Cont. reading: Sanders Wins Democrats Primary Debate

Posted by b at 16:50 UTC | Comments (184)

Open Thread 2020-13

News & views ...

Posted by b at 13:23 UTC | Comments (69)

February 19, 2020

Syria - Turkey's Bluff Is Called - Media Opposition Sources Run By British Intelligence

Russia has called Turkey's bluff of a wide ranging attack on Syrian government forces. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will now have to find a way out of the Idleb trap he set himself in. His excellent Syria adventure is coming to an end.

Meanwhile we learn that the British military intelligence ran another large dis-information campaign that brought 'Syrian voices' into the 'western' press.

Erdogan continues with his wild rhetoric over Syria.

#ERDOGAN: "#Turkey cannot be confined within the 780,000 km2 border. #Misrata, #Aleppo, #Homs & #Hasaka are outside our actual borders, but they are within our emotional & physical limits, we will confront those who limit our history to only 90yrs."

The Turkish talks with Russia have not gone well. Russia had proposed the following points:

1- 16-km border strip in Idlib under Turkey control
2- Russia controls crossing between Idlib strip and Afrin
3- M4 and M5 opened under joint Russian-Turkish supervision
4- Retreat of observation points to border strip

Some ten of Turkey's observation points are currently surrounded by the Syrian army. If Turkey starts to escalate they will be in a dire situation.


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Turkey rejected the Russian proposal:

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 19 that talks with Russia on the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib were far from meeting Turkey's demands and warned that a military operation there was a "matter of time".

"As with all [previous] operations, we say 'we could suddenly come one night.' In other words, an Idlib operation is a matter of time," Erdoğan said. He was referring to the previous three Turkish operations to northern Syria since 2016.

"We are entering the last days for the [Syrian] regime to stop its hostility in Idlib. We are making our final warnings," he added. “Turkey has made all preparations to carry out its own operation plans in Idlib."

Russia called a Turkish attack the worst case scenario:

Cont. reading: Syria - Turkey's Bluff Is Called - Media Opposition Sources Run By British Intelligence

Posted by b at 15:58 UTC | Comments (337)