Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 15, 2017

State Department: Renamed Al-Qaeda Not A Terrorist Organization - Can Receive CIA Supplies

Max Abrams, a professor who works about terrorism, came up with this new definition of "terrorism":

Nonstate actors who use violence against civilians for a political goal and haven't been supported by the US.

The highlighted part is "new" to those who have not learned from history and the many occasions of U.S. support for (typically extremely right-wing) terrorist organizations like the "contras" in Nicaragua, OUN fascists in Ukraine or Jihadi Mujahedin in Afghanistan. It can indeed be argued that the U.S. created al-Qaeda as well as the Islamic State (ISIS).

But lets just be happy that people get again reminded of the issue.

Prof. Adams remark came after a report by the Canadian CBC which found that the U.S. has not designated al-Qaeda's recently renamed organization in Syria as a "foreign terrorist entity". HTS rules (vid) the Syrian city and governate of Idleb.

The U.S. offered a $10,000,000 reward (official pdf) for Abu Muhammad al-Joulani the founder al Al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al-Nusra aka Jabhat Fatah al-Sham). But newly again renamed organization which he leads as the official military commander, the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), is not on any U.S. (and Canadian) terrorist entity list:

The Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, currently calling itself Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), has succeeded in getting itself off Canada's list of designated terrorist entities following its latest identity shift.
[I]n January of this year, the group shifted again, nominally dissolving itself and joining with four other jihadi groups. It altered its name, changing the word "Jabhat" (Front) to "Hay'at" (Organization), and "Fateh" (Conquest) to "Tahrir" (Liberation).
The State Department did issue a statement in March, in Arabic only, branding HTS a terrorist group. But the State Department's Nicole Thompson told CBC that was a mistake.

"Though closely affiliated with al-Nusra, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham is not a designated terrorist organization," she said in an email. "The statement you found should have said al-Nusrah Front and has been corrected."

Al-Nusra, however, no longer exists.

The non-designation will make it more difficult to prosecute members and supporters of the organization. Donations and other support to HTS are now legal. While Nusra and HTS had claimed to no longer be part of al-Qaeda (but never retracted their oath to it), scholars within those organization frequently argue for publicly admit the connection. No professional working on the issue denies that HTS is part of al-Qaeda and a terrorist group. But, apparently, the U.S. State Department does.

The CBC speculates why HTS is not (or no longer) designated:

The reasons for the reluctance to list the new al-Qaeda formation may have to do with one of its new members, the Nour ed-Dine Zenki Brigade, a jihadi group from the Aleppo governorate.

The Zenki Brigade was an early and prominent recipient of U.S. aid, weapons and training.

Zenki was cut off by the State Department only after Amnesty International implicated them in killings of Orthodox Christian priests and members posted a video of themselves beheading a young boy.

A different reason seems more likely to me.

Providing material support or resources to designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations is prohibited under 18 U.S. Code § 2339B. Non-designated groups can be supplied and otherwise supported.

As long as HTS is not designated as terrorist group the CIA, and anyone else, can supply it with weapons and money without using any "Free Syrian Army" cut-outs in-between. The cut-out scheme was used and had well worked when many groups like the Zenki Brigade, then hailed as liberating heroes, delivered the CIA supplies as tribute to Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS or fought battles on their side. But the number of FSA groups has dwindled. Many closed shop, fled to Europe, or have joined either al-Nusra (in form of HTS) or the competing Ahrar al-Sham terrorist organization. A direct supply line to al-Qaeda is more convenient and will incur less losses along the way.

As long as HTS is not officially designated it will likely continue to have access to CIA delivered TOW anti-tank missiles (vid) and other heavy supplies like artillery munition. It will continue to prepare for new attacks on Syrian government forces and Syrian civilians. The Syrian government and its allies must stay alert on the issue and work on additional ways to interrupt any deliveries.

Posted by b on May 15, 2017 at 14:12 UTC | Permalink


Same story with Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid, IS's affiliate group in south west Syria.
The group was formed by two main groups : Harakat al-Muthanna and Liwaa Shuhada al-Yarmouk. LSY was part of the Southern Front (FSA) and a recipent of weapons supplied by the MOC in 2012. FSA groups cut w/ LSY in 2014. He was designated a terrorist organisation by the USA in june 2016 :
But in the current list, neither LSY nor Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid do appear on the list, despite the fact that this list mentions also organisations that once was designated but was later retrieved and delisted :

Posted by: Kinan | May 15 2017 14:50 utc | 1

What hypocrites these Governments are.. "The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain’s security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead, the Guardian can reveal.

His lawyers argued that British intelligence agencies were supporting the same Syrian opposition groups as he was, and were party to a secret operation providing weapons and non-lethal help to the groups, including the Free Syrian Army".

Posted by: harrylaw | May 15 2017 14:56 utc | 2

The Canadian government is in the process of discussing changes to its surveillance protocols legislated in its C-51 bill which legalizes spying on the Canadian population as a whole under the excuse of protecting Canada from terrorists and other criminal activities with the emphasis on terrorism. The duplicity is plain to see and the real goal in service to financial and corporate globalism is also plain to see. Canadian government agencies and actors have been caught smuggling terrorists into Syria, professes it has no legal remedy to prevent recruitment in Canada and now does not categorize the latest re branding of Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization. In aiding and abetting terrorism we must assume the Canadian Parliament is a state sponsor of terrorism. The Canadian people as a whole are even more blinded to this reality than their American counterparts sad to say.

Posted by: BRF | May 15 2017 15:02 utc | 3

The "U.S. Embassy to Syria" just issued this:

U.S. Embassy Syria @USEmbassySyria
Info in CBC & Eldorar articles on our position toward HTS is mistaken. It's a mischaracterization of our position.…

It points to some Arabic(!) statement on the issue some StateDep flunky made in March.

Can't see how that is a "designation" under U.S. law.

Posted by: b | May 15 2017 15:13 utc | 4

Unless this "determination" is retroactive, the (prosecutable) fact still remains in effect for past support of the original groups, doesn't it?

Not to be confused with the "fact" that it never will be prosecuted.

Posted by: rirzl | May 15 2017 15:21 utc | 5

60 Minutes informed its viewers on Sunday night about the clear and present danger of the ascendant Al Qaeda scion Bin Laden. Their sketch seemed to be public relations for the neo-con establishment rather than hard news, and included the obligatory over-reliance on a source. Somehow, this viewer was reminded of Curveball, The Tailor of Panama and other examples of manufactured viewpoints.

Posted by: Enquiring Mind | May 15 2017 15:52 utc | 6

Is it just the last breath of Obama holdouts/Clinton fanboys in the DoS?

Posted by: Ghostship | May 15 2017 16:00 utc | 7

thanks b... [email protected] - send her a note, not that she will listen..

basically - they are terrorists, but they are ''our''' terrorists, so we don't label them as such... nice little dance they have going on their..

Posted by: james | May 15 2017 16:12 utc | 8

correction to email address above @8 - use this e mail - [email protected].

Posted by: james | May 15 2017 16:18 utc | 9

And now the 'crematorium'... French MSM reporting on Syrian army sending troops to the southern border to face the Jordanian and FSA troops and claim that the US administration has produced pictures of a crematorium in a prison which destroys the remains of thousands of prisoners. They always get Qatar news before the rest of the MSM?

Posted by: Mina | May 15 2017 16:20 utc | 10

remove the dot on the end of it..

Posted by: james | May 15 2017 16:20 utc | 11

Sigh. I had been reading Fars news because I was curious how the Iranians represent themselves (as opposed to the snippets we see on Freebeacon). I stopped because it shamed me. They sound so much more sane than the well educated imbeciles we have.

Of course I don't support all of Iran's goals but their basic tone was pretty adult, 99% of the time. Maybe state run media is like that but still.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | May 15 2017 16:53 utc | 12

It's official: the US is funding Middle-East jihadists!

Posted by: nmb | May 15 2017 17:24 utc | 13

So basically if any foreign group is "non designated", they can be furnished with weapons, money, etc to overthrow that government. And yet the media just ignore this, as if the US & their allies overthrowing these foreign governments is the most natural & justifiable thing in the world. They simply refuse to call it what it is, state sponsored terrorism. Instead they shout "Russia hacks our elections" at the public practically every day now.

Posted by: Nick | May 15 2017 17:30 utc | 14

Its official: US never stopped supporting terrorists!

Actually, the worst terrorists groups the World has ever seen were all born from US policies. Al Qaeda, ISIS, Contras, etc.

Posted by: Harry | May 15 2017 17:41 utc | 15

>>>> Mina | May 15, 2017 12:20:36 PM | 10

And now the 'crematorium'...

It's hopefully the last breath of Obama holdouts/Clinton fanboys in the DoS? The sooner that swamp is drained the better, as the scum at the Department of State want to protect Al Qaeda and other terrorists.
Jones also was not optimistic about a deal to set up "de-escalation zones" inside Syria in an attempt to reduce violence and save lives. The deal was brokered by Russia with support from Iran and Turkey during ceasefire talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana last week.

"In light of the failures of the past ceasefire agreements, we have reason to be skeptical," Jones said. "The (Assad) regime must stop all attacks on civilian and opposition forces. And Russia must bear responsibility to ensure regime compliance.

And b's analysis is spot on!

Posted by: Ghostship | May 15 2017 17:54 utc | 16

>>>> Mina | May 15, 2017 12:20:36 PM | 10

And now the 'crematorium'...

It's hopefully the last breath of Obama holdouts/Clinton fanboys in the DoS? The sooner that swamp is drained the better, as the scum at the Department of State want to protect Al Qaeda and other terrorists.
Jones also was not optimistic about a deal to set up "de-escalation zones" inside Syria in an attempt to reduce violence and save lives. The deal was brokered by Russia with support from Iran and Turkey during ceasefire talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana last week.

"In light of the failures of the past ceasefire agreements, we have reason to be skeptical," Jones said. "The (Assad) regime must stop all attacks on civilian and opposition forces. And Russia must bear responsibility to ensure regime compliance.

And b's analysis is spot on!

Posted by: Ghostship | May 15 2017 17:54 utc | 17

Harry @15--

Yes, and all based on the Nazi Death Squads imported wholesale by Outlaw US Empire after WW2. But then there were the Pilgrim Terrorists of Plymouth Colony who really got the whole terrorist gig flowing and all for their god, which is also the headchoppers's god.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 15 2017 18:01 utc | 18

Mina @10: The crematorium at Saydnaya is a way to recycle the Feb. 7 Amnesty International report Syria: Human Slaughterhouse that b debunked back then.

It's interesting that the WaPo story by Karen DeYoung that is topping Google News at the moment quotes a State Dept. official saying there are at least 50 executions a day at Saydnaya when the original AI report speculated that between 20 and 50 executions took place per week.

This is how fake news is written in the mainstream. AKA, information war.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | May 15 2017 18:02 utc | 19

Don't forget Saddam's 'people shredder' "what happened to Saddam’s ‘people shredder’, into which his son Qusay reportedly fed opponents of the Baathist regime". Turns out there was not a shred of evidence These people are the scum of the earth, any propaganda will suffice to further their regime change goals.

Posted by: harrylaw | May 15 2017 18:44 utc | 20

not that hrc would have been better but here's my obligatory Trump - " Pew Pew "

on a serious note, who is our propaganda chief currently? Like is there a single person that dictates propaganda in America that is then disseminated out to the AP for more spin?

Posted by: Au | May 15 2017 18:50 utc | 21


If the current Canadian government is discussing Bill C-51 with an eye to modifying it then, for once, they are fulfilling a campaign promise. We have former PM Harper to thank for that bill. The only time Canadians gave that bone-headed prick a majority he came up with this bill and a few other gems. He lost in a landslide the next election. Trudeau supported it with the qualification that if he were elected he would modify the bill.

I guess if you're Canadian you don't remember all the demonstrations by the public and the open letter signed by a bunch of business leaders to the effect that the bill was an infringement on individual rights. So I think it's fair to say that Canadians were paying attention. However, a micro-manager like Harper with a majority has more power than required to ramrod shit like this through parliament regardless of public feedback.

The rest of your diatribe about Canadian government agencies and actors smuggling terrorists into Syria is ridiculous. Maybe some links are in order and not from obscure blog no one ever heard of.

As far as the bit about 'globalism' pretty well says everything we need to know about where you're coming from. Canada, a resource-rich country, needs foreign markets and closing the door would be utter stupidity. How about China and Russia? They seem to be globalists after all the meetings concerning One belt One road. Or is that somehow different?

State sponsor of terrorism?? I know Trudeau's no box of chocolates but he ain't Bin Laden for fuck's sake. If you do live here maybe it's time to consider moving to some place with a government that suits you. If you don't live here, somebody's been blowing smoke up your arse.

Posted by: peter | May 15 2017 19:09 utc | 22

Some ppl in France want to put pressure on Macron for intervention in Syria. He paid his duties by visiting wounded soldiers and parading in an army vehicle on the Champs-Elysées, but no doubt a certain 'Socialist' MSM are going to build some pressure on him on the Syrian issue, in case he would be reluctant.

Posted by: Mina | May 15 2017 19:12 utc | 23

Dec 8, 2016 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Stop Arming Terrorists

Posted by: Agent76 | May 15 2017 19:31 utc | 24

@19 mike.. good post.. thanks for articulating all that..

@22 peter... com'n now... with a freak like chrystia freeland as the foreign affairs minister for canada, we are in trouble.. she will support fascist neo nazis in ukraine, rather then work with russia.. the lady has no shame.. it is true harper was an embarrassment for us canucks with bill 51 and etc., but goody two shoes trudeau light is nothing like his dad was.. he is a pretty face, but mostly vacuous, like corporations like their subservient politicians to be... canada rubber stamps this stupid shit the usa is constantly peddling, and with trudeau and freeland - there will be no change whatsoever.. at least his old man stood up to the usa... those days are long gone.. canucks are a bunch of woosies for the most part... they could take more of an active role, but generally they don't.. i tend to agree with BRF @3.. peter - did you vote for this loser trudeau? looks like it..

Posted by: james | May 15 2017 19:39 utc | 25

Two videos of State department press briefings.

From what Lavrov has said and the Mercouris article on the subject, it seems the US (Trump/Tillerson) wanted a safe zone in the south east so their proxies were free to take over the Syrian Iraq border right through to the Euphrates.
A lot of signs elsewhere in Syria that US/Russia are working together away from the public eye, but At Tanf will be a test.
Russian planes conducted a strike on the US training base at At Tanf towards the end of Obama era. A few days ago pics of Syrian forces headed to the area with air defence systems.
As far as I can make out, Iraqi PMU's are already at the Iraq side of the border. I doubt they will let US or US proxies pass through there to attack Syria if Syrian forces can take At Tanf.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 15 2017 19:40 utc | 26

@26 - thanks for these ongoing updates peter au..


Posted by: james | May 15 2017 19:44 utc | 27

This is probably a dumb question, but isn't it treasonous to fund/support any group that kills U.S.military/citizens be it in a war zone or at home? The enemy might be "our enemy", but it's still the enemy, regardless if the state department lists it or not, isn't it?

Posted by: Eugene | May 15 2017 19:48 utc | 28

The rest of your diatribe about Canadian government agencies and actors smuggling terrorists into Syria is ridiculous. Maybe some links are in order and not from obscure blog no one ever heard of.
State sponsor of terrorism?? I know Trudeau's no box of chocolates but he ain't Bin Laden for fuck's sake. If you do live here maybe it's time to consider moving to some place with a government that suits you. If you don't live here, somebody's been blowing smoke up your arse.
Posted by: peter | May 15, 2017 3:09:21 PM | 22

Well, at least it was someone else...
What's your excuse for blowing smoke up your own arse?
Before you get too far down the Whitewashing Canada road, read this article about the Al-CIA-duh Airforce's R2P mission in Libya.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 15 2017 19:48 utc | 29

Eugene about the comment No 26
Can you accept the attribution of facts to loose phrases such as: it seems, A lot of signs, or the phrase Russia are working together away from the public eye,
This is marketing for rotten goods!
No, definitely not, Russia does not play behind the scenes or under the table or anywhere in the dark
Russia always play under the sun.

Posted by: ALAN | May 15 2017 20:17 utc | 30

Alan 30

Deception is the most important part of war. All players use it. The only difference is if it is used for good aims or bad.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 15 2017 20:31 utc | 31

Mina @ 10 -- The Syrian crematoria story has made it on to NPR, with a side of US State Dept. saying Syrian gov't is hanging 50 people a day at the prison mentioned.

So...what does the War Party have as its goal with this propaganda?

Posted by: jawbone | May 15 2017 20:35 utc | 32

Just to add to post 31, nothing can be taken for granted, or stated as fact until it has actually happened and there is solid evidence (been there, done that).

Posted by: Peter AU | May 15 2017 20:36 utc | 33

The race is on for At Tanf. Hope both sides of the resistance can connect and secure the border..

Posted by: Lozion | May 15 2017 20:42 utc | 34

This latest run of propaganda from the state department makes think is preparation for US air strikes on Syrian forces heading for the border at Tanf?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 15 2017 20:50 utc | 35

@25 James.

James, I don't vote, I just bitch as per George Carlin. And I know all about Freeland and her dodgy pedigree , it's been in all the papers. If all of a sudden Trump decreed that Ukraine was now in the shithouse and Russia was a friend then she'd be a Stalinist. That's one ambitious gal and Trudeau had best watch his back.

Trudeau's not like his old man for sure. But he's got Trump figured out. With the BC provincial win he might curb US coal exports from Saint Rupert or wherever as a little payback for the dairy and soft wood. He was able to calm Trump down when he was having his hissy fit about Nafta. There's been a big push to up business with China as insurance. If you're saying a principled guy would adopt a stand-offish attitude towards the US I gotta remind you that you can't eat fucking principles.

As far as Ukraine goes, Canada is just member of the Nato posse. We do what we're told just like everybody else. If they tell us we're going back to Afghanistan then we are going back to Afghanistan. If they want a battalion for Latvia we give them one. Sucks when a lot of people feel differently but that's life baby. We're geographically blessed and we've had a pretty comfy go of it sitting under the American umbrella.

I don't know exactly what you guys want. Should we tell the US to fuck off and send a trade envoy to Russia? Resign from Nato? Give up globalism and go back to the land? Fuck all that. We're doing pretty good if Trump don't get us killed.

Posted by: peter | May 15 2017 21:04 utc | 36


The State Department has not officially designated HTS.
"U.S. Embassy Syria" claimed today the designation was inherited because Nusra is part of HTS.

But the State Department has retroactively modified a May 4 press release that spoke of
"designated terrorist groups, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham,"
"designated terrorist groups, including al-Nusrah Front,"


It does not see HTS as "designated" with the consequences that would apply by law.

Posted by: b | May 15 2017 21:14 utc | 37

b 37

On the UNSC list there are also named individuals. I would think that designation would follow the individuals no matter how they renamed their groups. Also something in the UNSC resolution about those that aid/assist the designated groups and individuals.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 15 2017 21:32 utc | 38

b 37
Relevant UN page here. Been awhile since I went through it, but from here can be found the details of the resolution and lists of designated groups and individuals.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 15 2017 21:36 utc | 39

Did I read correctly where it says Us Embassy in Syria?

How is that possible? How can the USA have an open embassy in Syria if they are
trying to oust the legally installed Government?

I am very willing to understand this tour de force.

Posted by: CarlD | May 15 2017 21:37 utc | 40

@36 peter.. thanks.. as for freeland, she is a right wing ukraine supporter who thinks she represents the rest of us canucks with her ukraine bullshit.. she would never ever show support for russia even if trump or the west did.. she is hopeless on this level.. mind you, you are right about her ambitions..

i live in bc.. we are crazy out here for voting a right wing conservative wing nut yet again.. the bc liberal party was hijacked by gordon campbell a number of years ago.. it has never been liberal in anything, but the logo/title.. they are old socred gov't loons.. read up on wacky bennett and the socreds.. campbell hijacked the party. it has nothing to do with the liberals, in spite of its name.. you must live back east! coal from prince rupert to the usa? i am unaware of that.. christie crackers gets all of the bc budget from vancouver real estate.. it is a huge asset bubble that is the number 1 financial revenue source for b.c. at present.. the resources pale in comparison..

i agree with you about the nato posse and how we are embedded with that bs..

regarding what i personally want - i would like to continue to trade with the usa, but i can do without the constant lies and deceit on the foreign policy front, and.... we don't need to regurgitate it all as well...

Posted by: james | May 15 2017 21:43 utc | 41

A further thought from 38/39
The US drone strikes in the last couple of months of Obama and I think continued by Trump for a short time taking out AQ leaders in Idlib. Was this to take out designated individuals and assist in the rebranding?

Posted by: Peter AU | May 15 2017 21:45 utc | 42

President Putin has conducted an important press conference at the close of his working visit to China touching on the topics of Korea, Syria, and the NSA security breech-based cyber attack, amongst others,

Korea: "On the other hand, we understand that the recent global developments, in particular blatant violations of international law, invasion of foreign states, regime change and the like, are spurring this arms race. In this context, we should act comprehensively to strengthen the system of international guarantees with reliance on international law and the UN Charter. [Emphasis mine]

"In any case, we believe that nuclear and missile tests are unacceptable. Dialogue with North Korea must be resumed, attempts to intimidate the country must stop and a way to settle these matters peacefully must be found."

Syria--Kurdish Situation: "I discussed this matter with the Turkish President. He expressed his concerns in this respect during our meeting in Sochi. I said to him then and I can say publicly now that there is no secret here. Unlike other countries, we have not declared any intention of supplying arms to Kurdish fighters. They do not have any great need for our supplies in any case, as they have other supply channels. We do not see any need to get involved in arms supplies.

"But the Kurds are a real factor in the situation in Syria and their fighters are taking part in operations against the so-called Islamic State and are among the most combat-ready groups; therefore, we think it perfectly justified to maintain working contacts with them, if only to avoid possible confrontation and situations that could pose a threat to our service personnel.

"I do not see anything here that could give our Turkish partners cause for concern. We are in contact, our position is open, and I hope that our Turkish partners understand it too. I am aware of the Turkish President’s concerns – and we discussed this yesterday – over the United States’ announcement that it will supply arms to the Kurds. We do not do this."

Cyberattack: "As for the source of this threat, I believe that Microsoft has named the culprits; it has pinned the blame on US security agencies. Russia has nothing to do with this. I am surprised to hear that there are any other versions. By the way, this is a brilliant illustration of what is happening in this sphere, which shows that they search for the culprits where there is none. [Emphasis Mine]

"What else can I say? As you may know, last year we invited our American partners to join hands on the issue of cybersecurity and even sign an intergovernmental agreement. Regrettably, our proposal was rejected. The previous US Administration later said it was ready to get back to our proposal, but nothing has been done in practice.

"We believe that the genies that are let out of such bottles, especially the genies that are created in secret laboratories, can ultimately turn back on their creators. Therefore, we should discuss this as soon as possible at a high political level to create a system of protection against such attacks."

Finally, on the fundamental goal of the various Eurasian development projects, particularly for destabilized nations: "The aim of large-scale and long-term programmes of this kind is to make the world more stable and fair. After all, the ultimate goal of the initiatives that were discussed today is to promote steady development, increase citizens’ incomes and improve education and healthcare. In other words, they seek to eradicate the root causes behind terrorism and other problems of this kind." [Emphasis Mine]

Yes, there's more, and I highly recommend reading the transcript!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 15 2017 21:46 utc | 43

On the most recent accusations made by the insane dept against Syria, it's yet another case of projection as only two entities have killed that many people daily over the past decades: The Outlaw US Empire and its Zionist partner in crime. Obviously, the propaganda's made for domestic consumption to provide cover for the next round of illegal killing.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 15 2017 22:01 utc | 44

@41 James

US exports of coal to China. They can't handle the volume at American ports so they're shipping from BC, Prince Rupert I think.

Posted by: peter | May 15 2017 22:04 utc | 45


All the spying the US does on it's citizens is done by all of the 5 eyes countries. The US pays for the infrastructural and every one passes that data onto the US that then passes it onto Israel. This has nothing to do with Bill C51 it is part of the 5 eyes agreement. Go read the documents in the Snowden dump and you will see.

I had sent a letter to foreign affairs back when Stephan Dion was the minister asking why our current policies no longer reflect what we used to believe were Canadian values. The answer I got back is that Canada no longer has any say in foreign policy that is now decided at the NATO/G8 level depending on what it is and we have to do what ever is decided there. I am furious that some one decided to surrender our sovereignty with out asking the Canadian people how hey felt about it.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | May 15 2017 22:25 utc | 46

Last night, the 60 Minutes story on the bin laden documents let the cat out of the bag:

Ali Soufan: The strategy has paid off in the chaos of Syria's civil war, where al Qaeda's affiliate has seized control of entire towns and villages -- though it now calls itself Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham.

Holly Williams: Osama bin Laden from his hideout was telling all of these local affiliates, don't call yourselves al Qaeda.

Ali Soufan: Uh-huh (affirm).

Holly Williams: Why not?

Ali Soufan: Because he believed that the moment that they say the name al Qaeda, the United States, the West the local regimes will use it against them, and people won't listen to the message. They just listen to the fact that they are al Qaeda. So each one of the affiliates we start seeing calling themselves a totally different name, that al Qaeda is not even part of the sentence.

Holly Williams: So they were rebranding themselves?

Ali Soufan: Yes.


(Yes I know 60 Minutes a corrupt part of the MSM, the law enforcement hack John Miller was featured, and the story sold the lie about bin laden. BUT 60 Minutes must not have received the memo that the name change means these terrorists are good guys now.)

Posted by: Curtis | May 15 2017 22:39 utc | 47

@45 peter.. apparently the coal is for making steel, but you are right and canada is considering banning it, according to this may 5 2017 article..

@43/44 karlof1.. thanks.. great comments from putin.

@46 bravenewworld.. what you say makes a lot more sense. thanks.

Posted by: james | May 15 2017 22:45 utc | 48

@ 29 Hoarsewhisperer

Thanks for the link and putting the sorry Pumpkin eater back in his old shoe. As a Canadian I have no tolerance for lame neo-liberal Justin Trudeau apologists trolls. Fact is that our new Russophobic Prime Minister and his Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland are treasonous US Quislings that support the Nazi Ukrainian regime and have sold some 15 billion in arms to the the Wahhabi Royal Saudi genocidal terrorist regime, to Canada's disgrace and eternal shame. They are both indictable war criminals, and no different than the former Harper regime whom they have replaced, end of story.

Posted by: RayB | May 15 2017 23:29 utc | 49

@ Karlof1 43

as good a thread as any so I'll highlight it here.
The effort to ring fence Trump That "the Russians did it" still going strong this time with a twist:

Link to the WAPO rag sheet

Wapo rag at 6th paragraph has McMaster's denial (my emphasis added)

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

May 15, 2017

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. [.]

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.[.]

The revelation comes as the president faces rising legal and political pressure on multiple Russia-related fronts. Last week, he fired FBI Director James B. Comey in the midst of a bureau investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Trump’s subsequent admission that his decision was driven by “this Russia thing” was seen by critics as attempted obstruction of justice.

One day after dismissing Comey, Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office. It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

The CIA declined to comment, and the NSA did not respond to requests for comment.

But officials expressed concern about Trump’s handling of sensitive information as well as his grasp of the potential consequences. Exposure of an intelligence stream that has provided critical insight into the Islamic State, they said, could hinder the United States’ and its allies’ ability to detect future threats.[..]

~ ~ ~ ~
Which official who were not included in the meeting?
Wapo should be treated as a rabid dog and put down without hesitation.
Stand-in Bezos is in bed with the See Aye monkey.

Posted by: likklemore | May 15 2017 23:34 utc | 50

A run of posts at the US Syrian embassy twitter account re b's comment @37

U.S. Embassy Syria‏Verified account @USEmbassySyria 10h10 hours ago
Info in CBC & Eldorar articles on our position toward HTS is mistaken. It's a mischaracterization of our position.

Posted by: Peter AU | May 16 2017 0:23 utc | 51

@CarlD 40

The US is using the services of the Czech Republic in Damascus as the US closed the Syrian embassy in Washington and Syria returned the "favor"

Posted by: Krollchem | May 16 2017 0:41 utc | 52

"Can't see how that is a "designation" under U.S. law."

Bold, you must be be asleep to believe it, to paraphrase the late George Carlin.

There is no a Law in the US, period. Or, if you still insist, there is on street level when the police writing violation tickets, i.e. extorting money and as a method of oppression. But a law in political and economic sphere as legal remedy is fiction. It just formally exists.

Recent "suicide" of Aronn Hernandez can confirm this, and only this. What you call "U.S. Law" is law of the ruling party (oligarchy) by which they ogress the plebs.

Posted by: AKSA | May 16 2017 1:23 utc | 53

@ 46 BraveNewWorld

RE: Selling 15 Billion in arms to Wahhabi Royal Saudi regime to commit genocide.

"I had sent a letter to foreign affairs back when Stephan Dion was the minister asking why our current policies no longer reflect what we used to believe were Canadian values. The answer I got back is that Canada no longer has any say in foreign policy that is now decided at the NATO/G8 level depending on what it is and we have to do what ever is decided there. I am furious that some one decided to surrender our sovereignty with out asking the Canadian people how hey felt about it".

Thanks for writing former F A minister Dion and sharing his limp sell out response abdicating any personal responsibility. The candid clarification is just as you indicate, a total betrayal of our sovereignty. It was done under PM Trudeau's Neo-liberal government's watch and at our treasonous genocide enabler Trudeau's behest.

If same happened in America, the press would be hysterically screaming for impeachment, what will it take to expose and bring Trudeau down here in Canada?

Posted by: RayB | May 16 2017 1:50 utc | 54

>>>> likklemore | May 15, 2017 7:34:15 PM | 50

Is there any evidence that Lavrov or Kislyak got straight on the 'phone to ISIS to tell them that their security was compromised? Because unless there is, this is a complete non-story as ABC was publicly reporting the possibility of DHS restrictions on laptops and tablets from Europe only two days later on Friday, at which point ISIS counter-intelligence would know their security was compromised. The MSM is heavily populated with morons as they've bought in to this crap.

Posted by: Ghostship | May 16 2017 1:58 utc | 55

Hey, where's John Bolton when you need him???!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 16 2017 2:22 utc | 56

AKSA - i was tracking w/ you until the Aaron Hernandez part. what?

Posted by: Au | May 16 2017 2:34 utc | 57

none of these 'democratic' govts US UK france canada etc are for the people or by the people..they are for corporations or terrorists or interest groups

Posted by: brian | May 16 2017 3:37 utc | 58

Ghostship @ 54

Is there any evidence..?

None required.

ZH posted Robert Parry’s critique of the NeoCons' soft coup efforts to take down Trump via Russia-gate- helpfully assisted by WAPO and NYT:

The 'Soft Coup' Of Russia-Gate

[To] prove my point, The Washington Post on Thursday published a lengthy story entitled in the print editions “Alarm at Russian in White House” about a Russian photographer who was allowed into the Oval Office to photograph President Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Post cited complaints from former U.S. intelligence officials who criticized the presence of the Russian photographer as “a potential security breach” because of “the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics.”
To bolster this alarm, the Post cited a Twitter comment from President Obama’s last deputy CIA director, David S. Cohen, stating “No, it was not” a sound decision to admit the Russian photographer who also works for the Russian news agency, Tass, which published the photo.[.]

Taking Down Trump
I realize that many Democrats, liberals and progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down, even if that plays into the hands of the neoconservatives and other warmongers.

Many people who detest Trump view Russia-gate as the most likely path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable end justifies whatever means.

Some people have told me that they even believe that it is the responsibility of the major news media, the law enforcement and intelligence communities, and members of Congress to engage in a “soft coup” against Trump – also known as a “constitutional coup” or “deep state coup” – for the “good of the country.”

The argument is that it sometimes falls to these Establishment institutions to “correct” a mistake made by the American voters, in this case, the election of a largely unqualified individual as U.S. president. It is even viewed by some anti-Trump activists as a responsibility of “responsible” journalists, government officials and others to play this “guardian” role, to not simply “resist” Trump but to remove him.

There are obvious counter-arguments to this view, particularly that it makes something of a sham of American democracy. It also imposes on journalists a need to violate the ethical responsibility to provide objective reporting, not taking sides in political disputes.

But The New York Times and The Washington Post, in particular, have made it clear that they view Trump as a clear and present danger to the American system and thus have cast aside any pretense of neutrality.

The Times justifies its open hostility to the President as part of its duty to protect “the truth”; the Post has adopted a slogan aimed at Trump, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” In other words, America’s two most influential political newspapers are effectively pushing for a “soft coup” under the guise of defending “democracy” and “truth.”

But the obvious problem with a “soft coup” is that America’s democratic process, as imperfect as it has been and still is, has held this diverse country together since 1788 with the notable exception of the Civil War.
If Americans believe that the Washington elites are removing an elected president – even one as buffoonish as Donald Trump – it could tear apart the fabric of national unity, which is already under extraordinary stress from intense partisanship.


Posted by: likklemoree | May 16 2017 5:23 utc | 59

The US State Department is the front for the biggest terrorist organization in the world so this is all just 1984 like propaganda to further ongoing empire.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 16 2017 5:39 utc | 60

@ 46 BraveNewWorld:

"I had sent a letter to foreign affairs back when Stephan Dion was the minister asking why our current policies no longer reflect what we used to believe were Canadian values. The answer I got back is that Canada no longer has any say in foreign policy that is now decided at the NATO/G8 level depending on what it is and we have to do what ever is decided there. I am furious that some one decided to surrender our sovereignty with out asking the Canadian people how hey felt about it."

Thanks for writing Dion and sharing his candid response. Makes it clear PM Trudeau has betrayed us and surrendered Canada to the globalist US hegemony. Only question now is how do we impeach him?

Posted by: RayB | May 16 2017 6:24 utc | 61

@57 brian.. ditto your comment...

@59 psychohistorian.. ditto your comment as well.

@60 rayb.. i like your posts and commentary.. this surrendering of our sovereignty is all a part of this corporate rule, globalism bullshit that we are being fed regularly.. it isn't just canada.. everyone is supposed to bow down and be subservient to the corporations needs.. in this example nato/g8 make decisions that we have no say on.. it is pathetic.. nato needs to be torn apart.. it no longer represents us or anyone, except the military industrial complex and financial complex...

Posted by: james | May 16 2017 6:49 utc | 62

Thanks Mike. Now Fr msm claim the source are declassified us admin documents.
It made front page of le mobde and bbc yesterday. I remember angrh arab had a debunkinc by a guy who was in prison there.

Posted by: Mina | May 16 2017 6:56 utc | 63

It would be another response if Syria were to to send all members of HTS to US and Canada as refugees.

Posted by: Lennart | May 16 2017 10:34 utc | 64

CarlD@40 - "...Did I read correctly where it says Us Embassy in Syria?...How is that possible? How can the USA have an open embassy in Syria if they are trying to oust the legally installed Government?"

Technically, there isn't really a U.S. embassy in Syria. It suspended operations in 2012 after the U.S. ambassador Robert Ford had all the pieces in place to overthrow the Syrian government and fled for his life. A wise choice I might add.

This CIA dirtbag is the current 'representative' and tells you everything you need to know about the U.S. strategy there (from the U.S. Embassy Syria page):

"...In July 2015, Michael Ratney was appointed as the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria.

From 2012 to 2015, Mr. Ratney served as the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem. Until 2012, Mr. Ratney was Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Media and, prior to that, Spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Since joining the Foreign Service in 1990, Mr. Ratney served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, as well as tours in Mexico City, Baghdad, Beirut, Casablanca, Bridgetown, and Washington, DC..."

U.S. citizens have to use the Czech Republic Embassy in Damascus for consular services today.

As for the embassy, itself? Well, you be the judge: before, after. The after picture is actually from 2011, but I doubt anything's changed there since then.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 16 2017 12:07 utc | 65

Syrian war update from Canthama:

"The black out news continue from SE Syria (eastern Qalamoun- Syrian desert axis), but what is known are:
1) NDF and Iraq militias are leading the way.
2) Besides the Zaza crossroad-al Tanf axis, al Seen airbase-Tal Mak’hul axis, a new one has started from Suweida toward the Jordanian border.
3) The Zaza crossroad toward Busayri-phosphate mines axis is on going and soon there will be news from it.

"Another active frontline continues to be central Homs and eastern Hama, early today the 5th Corp and NDF have advanced NW of T4 and now has full control of Tafha hills (1 & 2), old air defense and Tafna village, this is very important move since it places the allied forces a step away from Manukh, one of the most important crossroad in the central Homs area, controlling Manukh would allow the allied forces to push ISIS away from central Homs up north to eastern Hama and would also give the allied force a flanking position to advance directly to Bel’as mountain chain, the most important one to be controlled in central Homs/eastern Hama."

Posted by: karlof1 | May 16 2017 15:27 utc | 66

I hope Moon Of Alabama publishes an article addressing the believability (or not) of the State Department's assertion of a crematorium.

Posted by: Sentient | May 16 2017 16:41 utc | 67

Sentient@67 - It's such a bad lie that it only rates #2 in b's latest article on three fake news stories. What's to say anyways?

It's the exact same fake UK Caesar story recycled by Amnesty International last year (that time with credible ISIS and al Qaeda eye witnesses) recycled once again today with 'genocide'/scary crematoriums to sound more Holocaust-ey to MSM consumers.

As I mentioned on SouthFront, this is clearly a sign that Syria has won the war. The fact that a third-rate Israeli bureaucrat has to invoke the Holocaust AND that mental diarrhea is repeated by western MSM and the U.S. Department of State says everything. Truly a pathetic act of desperation. Even the knuckle-draggers that usually believe the MSM are having a hard time swallowing this one.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 16 2017 19:03 utc | 68

@ PavewayIV | 68

this is clearly a sign that Syria has won the war.

I wouldnt expect the Axis of Terror to just role over and accept it, such intense propaganda campaign usually precedes military intensification. I dont think NATO invasion is on cards, but they have plenty of ways to make Syrians suffer even more. Also Syria might have won the main war, but terrorists arent defeated yet and Plan 2 (Balkanization) is in full swing now too, outcome is still to be determent.

Iraqi Kurds are in USrael pocket and likely heading for independence (with all the stolen land and oil), Syria's Kurds said they could remain in Syria (maybe) but only with de-jure fig leaf, while having de-facto independence and with US bases (just like Iraqi Kurds they are continuing stealing the land and oil as we speak).

Posted by: Harry | May 16 2017 19:24 utc | 69

@68 paveway.. thanks! that is one of your better and more entertaining posts! you might have scared sentient away, lol..

Posted by: james | May 16 2017 20:05 utc | 70

Harry@69 - Could be, Harry. But things are - in a general sense - falling apart for the Axis of Terror in Syria. Their shrieking is becoming quite deafening. You people just wont listen to the government and MSM like you're suppose to. That's all they got, so they're pretty upset right now. I have little doubt that the next 'big move' will fall flat on its face just like the previous ones.

Iraqi Kurd situation is getting interesting. All the news we hear from there comes from Barzani mouthpieces, so it seems like he is still mob boss. The Iraqi Kurds are starting to resent him, so keep an eye out for some internal mob boss regime change. He will be swinging from a lamp post sooner or later.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 16 2017 20:14 utc | 71

@paveway... what do you think the chances are the axis of terror will try to install a barzani equivalent in the syrian kurd area? it worked for iraq up to a point...

Posted by: james | May 16 2017 21:10 utc | 72

Ummm....Check your name spelling.

You spell Professor Max Abrahms name wrong in two different ways, Abrams and Adams.

Posted by: Matthew G. Saroff | May 16 2017 21:28 utc | 73

james@72 - "what do you think the chances are the axis of terror will try to install a barzani equivalent in the syrian kurd area?"

I think the chances are 100%. In fact, they have already tried... twice... and continue today.

Once was with the CIA-infestation/bribery of the PYD. That failed - the YPG/YPJ see the PYD as a political party, not as their state masters. The more the spooks tried to pull the strings, the more the average Syrian Kurd saw the PYD as agents of foreign powers (US, Israel and either UK or France or both). US-controlled Syrian Kurd media will argue the opposite, but my personal opinion based on the odd honest comments coming out of the Kurds is that the PYD is simply tolerated for now. When the YPG/YPJ come home, they're not going to tolerate the notion of PYD 'masters' for long. I guess we'll have to wait and see on that one, though. There are plenty of lamp-posts, so I trust the YPG/YPJ to do the right thing. US statists: Fail.

The second time (simultaneous with usurping the PYD) was not a Barzani-like mob boss, but Barzani, himself. It was always the US/Israeli plan to have their puppet and cuck, Barzani, to rule all the Kurds. That started with the let-it-happen-on-purpose slaughter of defiant Yezidi, who would not knuckle under to Barzani's rule (they wanted self-rule). They were genocided so Barzani could control Mt. Sinjar and the surrounding area to the Syrian border, which he does to this day. The next leg of that plan involved the 3,000 so-called Syrian Peshmerga trained in Iraq, who were just mercs recruited and armed by the US that swore loyalty to Barzani. That failed because the YPG/YPJ saw what they were and didn't care to have Barzani's head-choppers running around Syria. Barzani and his fake 'Syrian Peshmerga' will never be welcome in Syria. US statists: Fail.

The current attempt is the ridiculous notion of the U.S. that they can establish some kind of lasting political coalition (they can then usurp) between the Kurds and all the Arab tribes. The military coalition of necessity - the SDF - is tenuous at best. Some sort of democratically-elected body composed of Kurds and Arabs may be formed, but it will never be seen by either party as a kind of federal authority to be obeyed. It will be a bureaucracy to divy up Syria's stolen oil and U.S. aid, but nothing more. U.S. statists: TBD, but they are 0 for 2 now.

The U.S. will keep attempting to establish a state (to usurp), and the Kurds will keep resisting any such statist notions. They want local self-rule and everyone else to leave them the hell alone. YPG and YPJ vets - after all the sacrifices they have made - will not be cucked by the U.S., Israel or anyone else. Despite propaganda to the contrary, I firmly believe the Kurds don't need or want state overlords EVEN if they get to 'fairly elect' those overlords. I think they see through the charade of U.S.-Soros-styled 'democracy' as a thinly-disguised control tool, but many others think Syrian Kurds have already drank the U.S.-Soros Kool-Aid. We'll have to see about that. The stolen oil money and pallets of U.S. clownbux may win out in the end to install some flavor of a Barzani mob-boss.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 17 2017 0:17 utc | 74

@74 pw

thanks. so you see any detente/rapprochement between the syrian kurds and the syrian government as hopeless?

Posted by: jfl | May 17 2017 1:00 utc | 75

jfl@75 - No, just the opposite. The Syrian Kurds are no fans of Assad or the Baathists, but they live in Syria today. Independent local councils and regional assemblies are nice and all, but they don't run dams, don't build power grids, don't fund hospitals and - most of all - can't keep the Turkish army from unexpectedly 'visiting'. Not unless they are completely willing to sell out to the U.S., and there are no guarantees if they do anyway. I don't trust the U.S. motives - why should they?

It is the U.S. that tries to make it a black and white decision for them: "You're either Assad lovers, or you declare Kurdish independence!" Laguarre described a much more practical Kurdish mentality. It makes a lot more sense for them to remain a part of Syria and work out alliances with their neighbors, then it is for them to antagonize everyone around them by turning into a tool for western powers. It makes sense for them to work with the U.S. for now, but it also makes sense for them to remain part of Syria and work (to some degree) with the Syrian government.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 17 2017 2:20 utc | 76

@76 pw, thanks for the clarification.

Posted by: jfl | May 17 2017 5:54 utc | 77

@ likklemore 50

John Helmer writes;
The text of the newspaper publication did not refer to the “partner” as a country, government, or foreign intelligence agency. Instead, referring to the source of intelligence as a “key partner”, the newspaper claimed “Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.” That meant the geographic location where the “partner” was at work inside IS “territory”.

The “common threat” is an Islamic State plot against both American and Russian air travellers, a plot which the senior NSC and CIA operatives do not want to reveal to their real adversary. This is not Islamic State but Russia.

The reason, according to intelligence sources familiar with the terrorism operations against Russia, is that Trump identified a US tie to Islamic State which is operational against Russian targets. That the Obama Administration and the CIA have been doing this is no secret. Nor is the prospect of Islamic State and CIA plots against Russian and international aviation a secret.

Posted by: Bolt | May 17 2017 8:48 utc | 78

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