Thursday, August 6, 2015

ABC’s of Armageddon Part IV: Back to the Future, Journalism is Treason Whistleblowing is Espionage

As I was reading the breathtaking recounting of the 1977 espionage trial of Duncan Campbell in The Intercept called “GCHG and Me, My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers” it struck me, this is back to the future.  


I STEPPED FROM the warmth of our source’s London flat. That February night in 1977, the air was damp and cool, the buzz of traffic muted in this leafy North London suburb, in the shadow of the iconic Alexandra Palace. A fellow journalist and I had just spent three hours inside, drinking Chianti and talking about secret surveillance with our source, and now we stood on the doorstep discussing how to get back to the south coast town where I lived.

Events were about to take me on a different journey. Behind me, sharp footfalls broke the stillness. A squad was running, hard, toward the porch of the house we had left. Suited men surrounded us. A burly middle-aged cop held up his police ID. We had broken “Section 2″ of Britain’s secrecy law, he claimed. These were “Special Branch,” then the elite security division of the British police….

Our discussion was considered so dangerous that we — two reporters and a social worker — were placed on the top floor of the prison maximum security wing, which guards told us had formerly held terrorists, serial murderers, gang leaders and child rapists….

In March 1977, one month after our nighttime arrest, we were all charged with breaking Britain’s Official Secrets Act, for the “unlawful receipt of information.” Then we were charged with espionage. Each espionage charge carried a maximum of 14 years. I was also charged with espionage for collecting open source information on U.K. government plans. In total, I faced 30 years.

The interview, and then our arrests, were a first encounter with the power of Government Communications Headquarters, better known by its acronym, GCHQ, Britain’s electronic surveillance agency.

In America, Britain and Canada the governments regularly use treason and espionage charges against journalists and whistleblowers to ensure there are no consequences for the deadly results of governmental lies leading to war and financial devastation. 

Case in point, the overthrow of the American government December 12, 2000 followed by the destruction of the World Trade Center by use of explosives and the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were dependent upon an ignorant, frightened, dumbed down populous. 

George W. Bush once claimed “I am a media creation” one of the truest statements ever uttered by the dim witted, privileged son of an ex-CIA Director and President.  

"You know I could run for governor but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office." George W. Bush,1989

During the Bush Administration the press were regularly used as tools, first a lie would be leaked to a supine right-wing press, then the press would publish those lies spread by a “high ranking anonymous official” then the Bush Administration would send a high ranking official to make the Sunday morning TV press circuit citing the article published by a “respected” news company legitimizing the lie.

Like W. Bush before him, Barack Obama was installed in the Presidency through a coup perpetrated by the same corporately owned “news media” that impeached President William Jefferson Clinton. 

At the meeting of the rules committee of the “Democratic Party” in June of 2008, the votes cast by Democrats in the primaries were discarded and Obama was gifted the Presidency ensuring the trajectory George W. Bush, the United States Senate and the Supreme Court put the country on would continue unabated.

Excerpt ABC News:

Sen. Nelson sues his party over Fla. primary
By Eun Kyung Kim, Gannett News Service

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida has followed through on his threat to sue his own party.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Tallahassee, Nelson accuses the Democratic National Committee and its chief, Howard Dean, of voter "disenfranchisement on a massive scale" for stripping Florida of its 210 delegates to the national convention next summer.

The DNC penalized Florida Democrats for moving its presidential primary to Jan. 29, a violation of national rules requiring states to hold their elections or caucuses no earlier than Feb. 5. Only four states are exempt from that rule: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

The lawsuit contends that after the 2000 presidential election, where authorities questioned thousands of Florida ballots, Democrats made every effort to assure residents such a fiasco would never happen again.

"It is thus truly a monumental irony for the Democratic National Committee to replace its own commitment to assuring that every vote must be counted with a decree that no Florida Democrat's vote will count," according to the claims in the lawsuit.

The DNC also violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protects voters from racial discrimination, because the party's penalty will have a disproportionate affect on black voters, most of whom are Democrats, according to the lawsuit.

Nelson filed the lawsuit with another Florida Democrat, Rep. Alcee Hastings.

"It's a case of fundamental rights versus party rules," Nelson said. "As to our right to vote, and have that vote count, there can be no debate."

The result has been disastrous, the Obama Administration has embarked on unprecedented attacks on investigative journalists and whistle blowers through use of the 1917 Espionage Act.

Excerpt from Huffington Post:


Obama Whistleblower Prosecutions Lead To Chilling Effect On Press

NEW YORK -– On April 9, McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay reported that the Obama administration has “targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified ‘other’ militants” in drone strikes, a revelation that contradicts previous administration claims of pursuing only senior-level operatives who pose an imminent threat to the United States.

It was an investigative story clearly in the public interest, shedding new light on the government’s long-running targeted-killing program in Pakistan. But now Landay, a veteran national security reporter for the McClatchy newspaper chain, is concerned that the Obama administration could next investigate him in hopes of finding the sources for “top-secret U.S. intelligence reports” cited in the story. “Do I think that they could come after me?” Landay asked, in an interview with The Huffington Post. “Yes.”

“I can tell you that people who normally would meet with me, sort of in a more relaxed atmosphere, are on pins and needles,” Landay said of the reporting climate during the Obama years, a period of unprecedented whistleblower prosecutions. The crackdown on leaks, he added, seems “deliberately intended to have a chilling effect…..”

Landay isn’t alone in that assessment, as several investigative journalists attest in “War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State,” a timely documentary directed by Robert Greenwald of Brave New Foundation that premieres this week in New York and Washington. The film details the ordeals of four whistleblowers who turned to the press in order to expose waste or illegality.

“The Obama administration's been extremely aggressive in trying to root out whistleblowers within the government,” NBC News investigative reporter Michael Isikoff says in the film. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, describing the secrecy required in her reporting for a profile of whistleblower Thomas Drake amid government prosecution, said the experience didn’t “feel [like] America, land of the free press.”

Drake, a former senior executive of the National Security Agency, says in the film, "it's extremely dangerous in America right now to be right as a whistleblower when the government is so wrong." He adds: "speaking truth to power is now a criminal act."

MSNBC is one of the most egregious examples of the dangers of a government sanctioned, defense contractor owned news media.  During the 2000 Presidential Campaign, George W. Bush was faltering until NBC’s Tim Russert moderated the Bush/Gore debate.  Russert aggressively attacked Vice President Al Gore relentlessly, prompting Bush’s mother, ex-First Lady Barbara Bush to rush the stage hugging Russert for a job well done.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews gushed over W. Bush’s codpiece in his flight suit landing on an aircraft carrier off the coast of California in a corporate press production at the start of the Iraq War.   The same Chris Matthews declared Barack Obama sent tingles up his leg after his debate. 

David Gregory who was a loyal tool for the Bush Administration in disseminating lies to the American public was awarded the coveted NBC’s Meet the Press, Sunday morning moderator position after Russert died. 

It was Gregory who attacked investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald on the internationally syndicated show, accusing Greenwald of treason.  Greenwald was the journalist who whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the illegal widespread wiretapping of the Obama Administration.

The Iraq war would not have been possible without Tony Blair’s baseless allegations against Saddam Hussein, where the Rupert Murdoch media giant flooded the all aspects of the media with “sexed up” intelligence.  But Britain’s David Cameron has taken Murdoch’s media juggernaut to new levels of malfeasance. 

The corrupt Cameron Administration is owned by Rupert Murdoch part and parcel. 

Excerpt from The Daily Mail 2012 (for whatever that’s worth): 

Coulson 'would have profited' from News Corporation shares if BSkyB takeover was approved

Former Downing Street spin doctor Andy Coulson stood to profit from Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB takeover through shares he held in News Corporation, it had been claimed.

Mr. Coulson is understood to have been awarded the stock in the U.S. company when he resigned as News of the World editor in 2007 over phone hacking claims.

He went on to become Downing Street Communications Director with close links to Mr. Cameron, who would later become the Prime Minister overseeing the deal. Mr. Cameron has previously admitted that he and Mr. Coulson were 'close friends'.

The Prime Minister, with his lawyers and special advisers, have set up a unit to study the texts to the former News of the World editor to search for ‘landmines’….

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is facing questions about the nature of his relationship with the Murdoch empire…

Mr. Cameron and seven other Cabinet Ministers will be given advance sight of witness statements from Mrs. Brooks and Mr. Coulson after successfully winning ‘core participant’ status at an emergency hearing on Friday…

According to The Independent on Sunday, David Cameron agreed to a meeting with one of Rupert Murdoch' senior executives, that was arranged by the lobbyist now at the centre of the scandal…

Jeremy Hunt's culture secretary has already had to step down over emails sent from the same senior executive Frederic Michel about a BSkyB contract he was overseeing at the time.

Mr. Michel set up the meet in 2009 between the Prime Minister and Jose Maria Aznar, the former Prime Minister of Spain, and a member of New Corporation's board.

His involvement in the meeting - that came just weeks after The Sun switched its support from Labour to Conservatives - brings into doubts claims by Mr. Hunt and that Prime Minister that he is just a lobbyist.

And what was the punishment for BSkyB after colluding with the Cameron Administration for the mega monopoly?

Excerpt from 2014 Variety:

Fox’s BSkyB Gets Greenlight from European Union to Create Pay TV Giant

LONDON — U.K. satcaster BSkyB has cleared the first of the hurdles as it seeks to create a pan-European pay TV giant.

On Thursday, the company said it had received unconditional clearance from the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority for its acquisition of Sky Italia and at least 57% of Sky Deutschland….

BSkyB announced the deal in July to take control of its German and Italian sister companies. 21st Century Fox owns a 39% stake in BSkyB, 100% of Sky Italia and 57% of Sky Deutschland. The proposed deal will see BSkyB acquire Fox’s stakes in Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland. It also will bid for the remaining Sky Deutschland shares.

The merged entity, which some observers are calling Sky Europe, will have 20 million pay TV subscribers in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria. Potentially, Sky Europe will be able to reach up to 97 million households.

Hmmm, what could go wrong with the British and American governments owned by Rupert Murdoch?

Excerpt from TheIntercept:

Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight It

We learned recently from Paris that the Western world is deeply and passionately committed to free expression and ready to march and fight against attempts to suppress it. That’s a really good thing, since there are all sorts of severe suppression efforts underway in the Westperpetrated not by The Terrorists but by the Western politicians claiming to fight them.

One of the most alarming examples comes, not at all surprisingly, from the U.K. government, which is currently agitating for new counterterrorism powers, “including plans for extremism disruption orders designed to restrict those trying to radicalize young people.” Here are the powers which the British Freedom Fighters and Democracy Protectors are seeking:

They would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print. The bill will also contain plans for banning orders for extremist organisations which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but it will fall short of banning on the grounds of provoking hatred.

It will also contain new powers to close premises including mosques where extremists seek to influence others. The powers of the Charity Commission to root out charities that misappropriate funds towards extremism and terrorism will also be strengthened.

In essence, advocating any ideas or working for any political outcomes regarded by British politicians as “extremist” will not only be a crime, but can be physically banned in advance.

Basking in his election victory, Prime Minister David Cameron unleashed this Orwellian decree to explain why new Thought Police powers are needed: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.'” It’s not enough for British subjects merely to “obey the law”; they must refrain from believing in or expressing ideas which Her Majesty’s Government dislikes.

Pretty chilling isn’t it?  So that’s where freedom of the press stands in the A and B of the ABC’s of Armageddon, what about Canada?  How is free speech faring up north of America?

Excerpt from 2014 - I Politics:

Harper, Iraq and the slow collapse of Canadian journalism

So, are you standing with Steve or with the beheaders? Tough call, eh? …

Stephen Harper and the War Party are back in the only place where they are truly happy: dividing the country in a way they hope will destroy their political rivals and guarantee another Conservative majority….

The war in Iraq is Harper’s latest exercise in the reductio ad absurdum which he has made of our foreign policy and our politics. There is even a poll (there is always a poll) showing that two-thirds of Canadians support the war….

The last time Harper did his war strut was during the bombing campaign in Libya, which was run by a Canadian. Before that, he desperately wanted into the second Iraq War, thanks to his dazzling ignorance of the facts.

As everyone now knows, that disaster — which killed a million Iraqis — was based on cartoonish lies advanced by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell at the UN. Remember George W. Bush looking for those damned weapons of mass destruction under his desk in the Oval Office? What a card!

Harper helped bomb Moammar Gadhafi out of power, even though regime change was expressly excluded from the UN mandate. The prime minister had his million dollar fly-over of the Parliament buildings to celebrate his ‘mission accomplished’ moment. It was all downhill from there. The dictator was not replaced by nation-building democrats, but by the armed thugs of the Misrata militias. Since 2013, their accomplishments have included ethnic cleansing and torture….

Libya is now so dangerous that not even the United Nations nor the U.S. maintain a presence there. Harper never talks about Libya anymore — a place he proudly bombed — except to say we’re not responsible for the current chaos. But with the dust of the Libyan fiasco not yet settled, Harper buys into a mission that is eerily like it. Canada will help bomb another evildoer into the dust and save the day. Like we did in Libya — for a cool $100 million….

Yet Harper — notoriously cautious where his own interests are involved — joins this mission without a moment’s hesitation, despite the spectacular failure of the Libya bomb-fest on his resume. Why?

Part of the reason involves the decline of journalism in this country, which in turn affects how much the public knows. My colleague Andrew Mitrovica has already said it very well: Most television chat shows never offer a single fact of importance to the public, but are effectively merry-go-rounds of sophistry….

News hosts don’t all have to be Walter Cronkite. But neither should they be mere masters of ceremonies allowing a collection of vested interests to steal their profession from under their noses. Recycling professionally-spun narratives — or handing your microphone over to the surrogates of the people you’re supposed to be covering — is not journalism. It’s surrender….

Newspapers, if anything, are worse than the broadcast side. Columns in the Globe and Mail from Steve? Say what? As for international news, forget it. What Canadian newspaper invests seriously in foreign bureaus these days? The Globe deserves some credit for having a few bureaus. But one person for all of South America?....

Which may be why Stephen Harper — who has been a thundering bozo on foreign policy — believes he can go into another senseless war and not worry about paying a political price….

What’s interesting is that all three leaders of the ABC’s of Armageddon where “elected” was due to a fascist press monopoly.  William Jefferson Clinton, the last President of America to be elected by the people.  He was impeached because of the media war waged against the Clintons.  Clinton would have been removed from office, but due to the strong economy and peace through leadership, the people would not have stood for it.

Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary in 2008, but the United States Senate with the full cooperation of the corrupt corporate press, illegally awarded the Presidency to Barack Obama.  The press is out to destroy the ex-Secretary of State by any means, legal or illegal.  Recently, Joe Conason wrote about the latest illegal campaign against Hillary Clinton waged by the Obama Administration.

Excerpt from National Memo:

 ‘Criminal’ Mischief: Did A Government Official Smear Hillary Clinton?

In the aftermath of that famously discredited New York Times story about a “criminal referral” regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, a few important questions stand out, among many that remain unanswered.

Exactly who told Times reporters Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo that the referral to the Justice Department – concerning whether information in her emails that wasn’t classified should have been – was a matter for criminal investigation? And when will the Justice Department track down, reveal, and discipline those who made these false statements to the Times and later to other news outlets?

These unpleasant questions arise from the Times editors’ explanation of an error that is enormously troubling (and the most consequential of several substantive mistakes littered throughout Schmidt and Apuzzo’s article, as catalogued superbly by Kurt Eichenwald in Newsweek). Never was there any criminal referral, only a “security referral” prompted by the appearance of retroactively classified material in a sample of Clinton emails released by the State Department.

In short, Clinton did nothing wrong….

Yet determining who did this is important because – if we accept the editors’ version that the reporters’ sources misled them – one or more federal officials evidently tried to smear a presidential contender with a falsified leak, under cover of anonymity. That may or may not be a federal crime, but it should be a firing offense at the very least. And the public has a right to know if officials in the nation’s top law enforcement agency tried illicitly to influence a national election.

Indeed, the public has a right to know if a candidate for President was falsely accused by a major newspaper of a crime.  Publishing falsified leaks for the purpose of destroying Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for President while providing a cloak of anonymity for the perpetrator is standard fare in America.

Is it any wonder that Hillary Clinton needed to have her e-mails on her personal server?  Colin Powell, who also kept his e-mails on a personal server, went before the United Nations and knowingly, willfully lied to the world about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction has never had to account for anything.  His lies resulted in millions of deaths with no consequences.

Now, Hillary Clinton has agreed to testify before the Benghazi Witch Trials, only if her testimony is carried live on TV so that press will not be at liberty to twist and distort her testimony.  It wasn’t Hillary Clinton that went on the Sunday morning gabfest and lied about some band of protestors turned lethal at the CIA outpost in Benghazi, it was Obama’s liar and apologist Susan Rice who did. 

Excerpt from LaRouche

July 29—Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has it in her power to stop President Barack Obama from launching a strategic conflict with Russia, that will, in all likelihood, lead to a thermonuclear war of extinction.

All she has to do is come forward with the full truth about Benghazi, starting with the events of September 11, 2012.  Lyndon LaRouche has warned, repeatedly, in recent weeks, that President Obama is prepared to launch a provocation against Russia that would rapidly lead to a general war. The most likely time-frame for such a provocation is the month of August, when the U.S. Congress is in recess, and when the Joint Chiefs of Staff is going through a top-down personnel change.

The only thing that can stop this plunge into a thermonuclear war is the removal of President Obama from office, or, in the alternative, a thorough discrediting of the President, to the degree that he is unable to launch the intended provocation, and his resignation or impeachment is imminent.

That is the stark reality of the coming days and weeks. And former Secretary of State Clinton, now a candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, is in a unique position to stop the drive for war by, at long last, telling the truth about Benghazi.

The Benghazi Lies and What Hillary Clinton Knows

On the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2012, well-armed terrorists, affiliated with al-Qaeda, launched a pre-planned assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. After an extended fire-fight with the handful of American security personnel guarding U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the compound was set on fire, and Ambassador Stevens and one other American diplomat were killed.

A second U.S. facility in Benghazi, a CIA compound a mile away from the U.S. mission, was subsequently attacked, resulting in the deaths of two more American officials.  From the instant the attack was launched, Americans on the ground in Benghazi and at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya, knew that the attack was an armed terrorist assault.

Cables between Tripoli and Washington, directed to the National Security Council, the State Department Operations Center, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, identified the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia cell in the Derna-Benghazi area as the attackers.

In testimony before the U.S. Congress, Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, said that he provided a stream of live reports on the ongoing attack every fifteen minutes to the State Department Operations Center, throughout the evening of 9/11/12.

At no time was there any report of a “spontaneous demonstration” outside the Benghazi diplomatic compound.  From the very outset, it was clear that the compound was under attack from al-Qaeda.  It was the eleventh anniversary of the original 9/11 attacks. U.S. Presidential elections were weeks away. 

American drone strikes in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region had, in June 2012, killed a top al-Qaeda terrorist from Libya; and al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri had issued an order for revenge attacks against the United States for the al-Libi killing on the anniversary of 9/11.

There had been clear advance warnings of trouble in Benghazi and threats to American diplomats for months, even preceding the al-Qaeda threats. The International Committee of the Red Cross had pulled out of Benghazi months before the attack, due to security….

All of this information had been circulated throughout the U.S. Government, through a series of State Department security assessments, which had been regularly updated prior to the 9/11/12 attacks in Benghazi.  Over 100 pages of those State Department cables and memos were released to the public within weeks of the Benghazi attack, providing clear evidence of the security crisis in eastern Libya prior to 9/11/12.

Author Edward Klein assembled detailed, eyewitness accounts of the events in Benghazi, Tripoli, and Washington on Sept. 11, 2012. Those details were presented in a chapter in his June 2014 book Blood Feud.

Executive Intelligence Review independently corroborated many of the key details in the Klein account, both before and after its publication, drawing upon U.S. government sources and documents. In fact, on the morning after the 9/11/12 attacks in Benghazi, EIR had received a detailed account of the pre-meditated attack the day before, from a senior U.S. intelligence source, who had been up all night receiving reports from diplomatic sources from the region.

The Essential Facts

The essential facts are as follows:

At 6 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012, Secretary of State Clinton and a team of top State Department aides received a detailed briefing from DCM Hicks, providing an up-to-the-minute account of the heavily-armed, well-planned assault on the mission.

There was no mention of any prior protests, just a detailed report on the terrorist attack, and initial reports that Ansar al-Sharia had made claims over the Internet, that they were responsible for the assault. A short cable from Tripoli to Washington, circulated to all relevant U.S. national security, diplomatic and military agencies, cited the Ansar al-Sharia role.

According to top aides to Secretary Clinton, at 10 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012, President Obama placed a personal call to Secretary Clinton, ordering her to issue a press release, claiming that the attack on the U.S. compound had been a “spontaneous protest” directed against the recent release of a video slandering the Prophet Mohammed.

Tonight is the first Republican debate sponsored by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.  Rupert Murdoch has determined which candidates will be allowed to debate during prime time.  That should say it all.

For the ABC’s of Armageddon it’s back to the future, journalism is treason and whistleblowing is espionage.  One thing is certain, there is no way that Hillary Clinton will ever be allowed to become President of the United States, the ABC’s of Armageddon will make sure of it.

By Patricia Baeten

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