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Saturday, June 06, 2015

Hillary, ISIS, Benghazi, Litvinenko, nukes...!

Let's take a fresh look at a few familiar stories...

That mystery blast in Yemen: Writing in Global Research, Michel Chossudovsky argues that the explosion may have been nuclear. I'm quite sure now that it was not. Nevertheless, this piece is worth reading for its discussion of the "bunker busters" in the US arsenal.

The smear. Here's the latest iteration of the Great Clinton Foundation Smear from The Weekly Standard:
Nor has the issue of the Clintons and their foundation dried up. On the contrary, fresh instances of dubious conduct—arguably unethical or greedy or both—by the Clintons continue to come to light. The latest involves $750,000 paid for a Bill Clinton speech by a Swedish company followed by Sweden’s absolution of the company for violating trade sanctions against Iran.
Only in the Bizarro world of the right can a man be called "greedy" because he raised a whole bunch of money for charity.

The Swedish government wants to relax sanctions against Iran because Swedish companies do a lot of business with that country -- for example, Ericsson sells quite a few cell phones to the Iranians. Is that sufficient reason not to ask anyone in Sweden to donate to a philanthropy?

Once again, the right is pretending that a charity is a slush fund. It isn't.

(By the way, how many companies doing business with apartheid South Africa donated to the Republican party during the Reagan era? I'm just curious.)

Eavesdropping. I haven't double-checked these figures, but according to Moon of Alabama...
Number of genuine terrorist plots in the US since 9/11: 6
Number of terrorist plots manipulated by the FBI since 9/11: 175

But they need to spy on you because ... terrorism!!!
The US secretly backed ISIS. Hammering home this point has become a recurrent (and not-terribly-popular) task of this blog. One of the best articles on this topic may be found on the World Socialist Web Site.
Ministers from 20 countries assembled in Paris June 2 in what was billed as a meeting of the coalition to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This alliance, cobbled together by Washington, consists largely of NATO allies together with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf oil monarchies.

Notably absent from the proceedings were three countries that have been heavily involved in the fight against ISIS: Syria, Iran and Russia.
A "How to solve a crisis like ISIS" conference in which the only participants are the people who funded ISIS? Hilarious. I'm reminded of that old Saturday Night Live skit in which a forum on "Women's Problems" features an all-male panel. (Sample observations: "Well, that brings up another terrible women's problem -- whining." "One of the biggest problems that we haven't touched on, is the fact that, when they get old, man, they get ugly!")

By now, we all know the routine: ISIS takes over an Iraqi weapons cache, thereby gaining equipment worth millions of dollars -- or even billions, as when the jihadis recently acquired a fleet of armored Humvees. In response, Obama sends more weapons to the Iraqis, which ISIS will no doubt capture as well. My suggestion: Why not send the stuff directly to ISIS and charge them for it? Simplicity! Profit! Best of all, getting them hooked on high-tech arms would drain their resources and impede their ability to govern the territory they control.

Icky Vicky. In the past, we've noted that Republicans like to talk endlessly about Benghazi -- until you mention the fact that the person who crafted those much-discussed "talking points" for Susan Rice was none other than neocon fave Victoria Nuland. The moment you mention Toria, the right-wingers go dumb and numb.

David Brock has written an excellent book about all of this, titled The Benghazi Hoax. Although it came out in late 2013, I caught up with it only recently. The book has been made available on Kindle Unlimited, which lets you read things for free -- and I am, as you know, transcendentally cheap. (Technically, you are only borrowing the book, but if you're clever...)

I highly recommend Brock's work, which takes a surgeon's scalpel to every one of the bizarre claims that the Fox Newsers have made about the Benghazi tragedy.

But when Toria walks on stage...well, get this:
Karl’s report did contain new information. At the center were the emails written by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland and Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser, during the interagency process that produced the talking points. Nuland, a career foreign service officer, had been working at the State Department since the Reagan administration. She had served as principal deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and as the U.S. ambassador to NATO. She had a reputation as a consummate professional and an institutional loyalist, not a political or ideological partisan.
Say what?

Seriously, David? Are you really trying to convince us that Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland is not ideological? Are you trying to convince us that the wife of Robert Kagan, one of the architects of the Project for a New American Century, is not ideological?

David Brock and I would appear to have very different definitions of the word "ideological." Nevertheless, I strongly urge you to read his book, because he has a lot of good stuff in there. Just be careful about the bits involving Icky Vicky.

Alexander Litvinenko. Remember the Litvinenko case? This mystery marks the moment when the mainstream media attacks on Putin began in earnest. I wrote about the matter at some length in 2006: See here and here and here and here and here and here.

If you sign up for Kindle Unlimited, you can pick up -- for free -- an excellent book about the case titled The Phony Litvinenko Murder. It's by William Dunkerly, a writer previously unfamiliar to me. His primary focus is on the slanted media coverage, as opposed to the "whodunnit" aspect. This work proves that Litvinenko's deathbed accusation against Putin was a complete fraud. Dunkerly also notes that Litvinenko did some work for British intelligence, a salient point which the American media never saw fit to mention.

One thing you won't learn from this book is the fact that Boris Berezovsky, the vehement Putin foe who employed Litvinenko, had partnered up with Neil Bush, brother to Dubya and Jeb.

The following section of Dunkerly's book was of particular interest to me:
All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) broadcast in May 2007 a program that accused Berezovsky of being responsible for the poisoning of Litvinenko. Berezovsky brought a libel action against the Russian TV broadcaster, and won. In rendering a verdict, the judge said, "I can say unequivocally that there is no evidence before me that Mr. Berezovsky had any part in the murder of Mr. Litvinenko. Nor, for that matter, do I see any basis for reasonable grounds to suspect him of it".
Yikes.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: This post from 2006 contains absolutely no reference to Boris Berezovsky. None whatsoever. Honest. I really have no idea how those bees got in there.

(Is there such a thing as an international statute of limitations?)

Just a few days ago, Dunkerly released a new book which, he claims, has solved the case. I haven't read it. All I can honestly say is that the earlier book was written to a high standard.

Hastert: ABC News gets it wrong...
Hastert, already indicted for alleged paying off another purported victim of his "misconduct," has not responded to the allegations against him.
No, he was indicted for lying to investigators. It's not against the law to pay a blackmailer. (Also, ABC should have written "allegedLY.")


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