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State Department Stonewalling Release of Hillary's Emails - Sat, 24/09/2016 - 22:26
State Department Stonewalling Release of Hillary’s Emails
by Stephen Lendman
In response to US District Court Judge James Boasberg ordering the State Department to reveal the contents of around 1,050 pages of recovered Hillary emails, setting a time-schedule of 350 pages by October 7, another 350 by October 21 and the remainder by November 4, most potentially incriminating documents remain withheld with no indication of if or when they’ll be released.
The State Department said 5,600 of 15,100 FBI-recovered Hillary emails were government documents, including classified material, not personal communications as Hillary falsely claimed.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton issued a statement, saying “(t)he public deserves to know what is in those emails, well before November 8, and the State Department should not continue dragging its feet on producing them.”  
“The State Department admitted in court today it pulled staff off of Clinton email Freedom of Information Act requests. The American people need to pressure State to stop sitting on these new Clinton emails for political reasons and release them as the law requires.”  
“It is outrageous the State Department has had these new Clinton emails since late July, but has only released 5 records” - an “absolutely corrupt process,” Fitton stressed, a clear example of unaccountable obstruction of justice.
Commenting on Hillary’s email scandal, the Wall Street Journal said delay in releasing “newly discovered (ones) past election day” could continue controversy over this issue “into her first term in office if she wins the White House in November.”
A previous article discussed Hillary’s BleachBit controversy, software she used to make emails she wanted kept from public view disappear, rendering them unrecoverable.
What’s in them may be far more revealing than what’s known. She’s morally, ethically, legally and emotionally unfit to serve, compounded by possible serious health issues not disclosed.
Elevating her to president and commander-in-chief of America’s military should terrify everyone - humanity’s fate up for grabs with her in power.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

The NYT Lying Machine in Action - Sat, 24/09/2016 - 22:15
The NYT Lying Machine in Action
by Stephen Lendman
If ignorance is bliss, it’s achievable by following deplorable Times reports - journalism (sic) at its worst, including some of the most despicable misreporting on Obama’s war against Syria, naked aggression it won’t explain.
The Syrian Arab Republic was invaded, America and its rogue allies using terrorists as imperial foot soldiers. Throughout years of conflict, Assad responsibly defended his people and nation - no easy task against hegemonic ruthlessness.
After observing Geneva ceasefire terms throughout a seven-day regime of silence, despite continued attacks on its forces and civilian population, Assad responded responsibly, Syria’s military attacking US-supported terrorists masquerading as moderates.
Times misreporting followed, blaming Syria for combating terrorists massacring its people, saying resumption of bombing “opposition-held areas” in eastern Aleppo “knocked out running water to an estimated two million people.”
How possible in one portion of Aleppo, the entire city with a small fraction of its pre-war 2.3 million population?
The Times quoted James Le Mesurier, disgracefully calling Aleppo bombing “Dresden-esque” - an entire city US and UK forces mercilessly fire-bombed during WW II, turning 100,000 or more German civilians and wounded soldiers into molten flesh, despite the city having no military importance. 
Mesurier co-heads the Soros supported White Helmet terrorist group, deceptively calling themselves volunteer rescue workers, “Mayday Rescue,” according to Times misreporting.
Ahead of resuming its battle for Aleppo, Syria’s military announced “the start of operations in eastern districts of the city and call(ed) on residents to stay away from the positions of terrorist groups.”
Once Syria’s largest city and commercial hub, much of it lies in ruins, a testimony to US imperial viciousness. 
Times reports never explain, perpetuating the fiction of civil war, along with claiming nonexistent “moderate rebels” - disgracefully blaming Syrian and Russian forces for US-supported terrorists’ high crimes.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Meaningless Middle East Quartet Criticism of Israeli Settlement Expansions - Sat, 24/09/2016 - 21:58
Meaningless Middle East Quartet Criticism of Israeli Settlement Expansions
by Stephen Lendman
The Quartet includes the UN, EU, US and Russia. Instead of acting responsibly long ago to halt continued theft of Palestinian land for Jews-only West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, toothless criticism substituted earlier, repeated on Friday.
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, the Quartet issued a meaningless statement expressing “strong opposition to ongoing settlement activity, which is an obstacle to peace, and expressed its grave concern that the acceleration of settlement construction and expansion (is) steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution.”
Since 1967, a half century ago, Israel began establishing settlements on stolen Palestinian territory, seizing its most valued areas. It controls 60% of West Bank land, along with illegally annexed East Jerusalem.
Settlements flagrantly contravene international law. Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states “(t)he occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development. (They were) established in breach of international law” on sovereign Palestinian land. 
Israel wants maximum Jews and minimum Arabs, ideally eliminating them altogether. Its high crimes go unpunished, including premeditated wars at its discretion, state terror as official policy and slow-motion genocide. It rejects peaceful conflict resolution, despite lofty rhetoric claiming otherwise.
The world community yawns, expresses occasional criticism and does nothing. Israel categorically opposes Palestinian self-determination.
The Quartet saying continued settlement expansions erode the chance for a two-state solution ignores reality. Israel won’t ever allow it - except perhaps on isolated bantustans on worthless scrubland. 
Nations with the power to change things responsibly have sat on their hands doing nothing for the past half century - letting Israel get away with mass murder and numerous other high crimes.
Nothing in prospect holds hope for Palestinians achieving long denied justice and liberation.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NSA’s Failure to Report Shadow Broker Vulnerabilities Underscores Need for Oversight - Sat, 24/09/2016 - 11:02

In August, an entity calling itself the “Shadow Brokers” took the security world by surprise by publishing what appears to be a portion of the NSA’s hacking toolset. Government investigators now believe that the Shadow Brokers stole the cache of powerful NSA network exploitation tools from a computer located outside of the NSA’s network where they had been left accidentally, according to Reuters. A new detail, published for the first time in yesterday’s Reuters report, is that the NSA learned about the accidental exposure at or near the time it happened. The exploits, which showed up on the Shadow Brokers’ site last month, target widely used networking products produced by Cisco and Fortinet and rely on significant, previously unknown vulnerabilities or “zero days” in these products. The government has not officially confirmed that the files originated with the NSA, but the Intercept used documents provided by Edward Snowden to demonstrate links between the NSA and the Equation Group, which produced the exploits.

The Reuters story provides a partial answer to the most important question about the Shadow Brokers leak: why did the NSA seemingly withhold its knowledge of the Cisco and Fortinet zero days, among others, from the vendors? According to unnamed government sources investigating the matter, an NSA employee or contractor mistakenly left the exploits on a remote computer about three years ago, and the NSA learned about that mistake soon after. Because the agency was aware that the exploits had been exposed and were therefore vulnerable to theft by outsiders, it “tuned its sensors to detect use of any of the tools by other parties, especially foreign adversaries with strong cyber espionage operations, such as China and Russia.” Apparently finding no such evidence, the NSA sat on the underlying vulnerabilities until the Shadow Brokers posted them publicly.

But the NSA’s overconfidence should disturb us, as security researcher Nicholas Weaver points out. The “sensors” mentioned by Reuters are likely a non-technical reference to monitoring of the Internet backbone by the NSA under such authorities as Section 702 and Executive Order 12333, which could act as a form of Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS). (The Department of Homeland Security also operates an NIDS called Einstein specifically to monitor government networks.) But Weaver explains that at least some of the exploits, including those that affected Cisco and Fortinet products, appear not to lend themselves to detection by outside monitoring since they operate within a target’s internal network. In other words, the NSA’s confidence that its surveillance tools weren’t being used by other actors might have been seriously misplaced.

The NSA’s decision not to disclose the Cisco and Fortinet vulnerabilities becomes even more questionable in light of the fact that some of the specific products affected had been approved by the Department of Defense’s Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL), which identifies equipment that can be used in DoD networks:1

Under National Security Directive 42 [.pdf], NSA is tasked with securing “National Security Systems” against compromise or exploitation, a mission which was traditionally housed within the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD). The NSA is currently in the process of combining the “defensive” IAD with its “offensive” intelligence-gathering divisions, but high-level officials charged with information assurance have acknowledged the NSA’s defensive mission is more important than ever. Regardless of whether the mission of protecting National Security Systems is interpreted broadly or narrowly, the NSA’s failure to remedy defects in products used widely across the IT sector and apparently by the government, and even the DoD itself, is difficult to defend.

Above all, the Shadow Brokers story highlights the need for oversight of the government’s use of zero days. Right now, the decision whether to retain or disclose a vulnerability is theoretically governed by the Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP), a once-secret policy that EFF obtained in redacted form via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. But because the VEP isn’t binding on the government, as far as we can tell, it’s toothless. While we don’t know the exact considerations employed by the government in reaching a decision to withhold a zero day, several of the high-level considerations described by White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel in a blog post about the VEP seem highly relevant:

  • How much is the vulnerable system used in the core Internet infrastructure, in other critical infrastructure systems, in the U.S. economy, and/or in national security systems?
  • Does the vulnerability, if left unpatched, impose significant risk?
  • How much harm could an adversary nation or criminal group do with knowledge of this vulnerability?
  • How likely is it that we would know if someone else was exploiting it?

Even if NSA initially believed the specific vulnerabilities at issue in this case wouldn’t be discovered by others, its knowledge that the exploits had been left exposed should have changed that calculus. And if NSA knew specifically that the exploits had been stolen, it’s hard to think of a rationale where disclosure would still be outweighed by other considerations. Coincidentally, the NSA seems to have lost control of the Shadow Brokers exploits in 2013, during a fallow period for the VEP. Although the VEP was written in 2010, Michael Daniel told Wired that it was not “implemented to the full degree that it should have been” and was only “reinvigorated” in 2014.

We think lawmakers should be concerned with this story, and we encourage them to ask the NSA to explain exactly what happened. We think the government should be far more transparent about its vulnerabilities policy. A start would be releasing a current version of the VEP without redacting the decisionmaking process, the criteria considered, and the list of agencies that participate, as well as an accounting of how many vulnerabilities the government retains and for how long. After that, we urgently need to have a debate about the proper weighting of disclosure versus retention of vulnerabilities, and we should ensure that any policy that implements this decision is more than just a vague blog post or a document that lacks all “vigor.”

  • 1. We have chosen not to directly link to the APL here for technical reasons. The Department of Defense uses its own Certificate Authority (CA) for authenticating websites, which is not trusted in browsers. We provide the url here as a convenience, but recommend strongly against adding additional CAs to your browser:
Related Cases: EFF v. NSA, ODNI - Vulnerabilities FOIA
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Categories: Aggregated News

Farcical US Presidential Debates - Sat, 24/09/2016 - 02:57
Farcical US Presidential Debates
by Stephen Lendman
On September 26, the first of three farcical presidential “debates” will be held, Independent candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson excluded, American-style “democracy,” assuring duopoly power stays unopposed. 
So-called debates are political theater, nothing else, featuring pre-arranged questions, excluding ones most important to ask and demanding answers, not evasiveness.
Trump and Clinton alone will deliver pre-packaged, pre-scripted, well-rehearsed statements devoid of substance, excluding what voters most need to hear, leaving them uninformed, in the dark on where both candidates stand on vital domestic and geopolitical issues.
The charade is much like what goes on campaigning - hyperbole without substance, featuring lots of one-upsmanship tactics.
Don’t expect high-intensity screaming. Both candidates want to appear presidential. It’s part of the charade.
In August 2012, Jill Stein and her vice-presidential running-mate Cheri Honkala were lawlessly arrested, trying to enter the grounds of a Romney/Obama debate - both aspirants detained for eight hours, painfully shackled to chairs - police state viciousness. 
At the time, Stein condemned what she called “mock debate(s),” reflecting fantasy democracy, not the real thing, absent in America throughout its history - tragedy and farce instead.
Duopoly party bosses control the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates. Information of the Stein/Baraka web site said the following:
“We're writing to ask you to join us at the first presidential debate on Monday, September 26, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island (25 miles east of New York City).”  
“Please RSVP below to come to Hofstra and participate in the protest.” Details to follow at the event. Signing up risks arrest. “Let us know if you want to participate in civil disobedience.”
“We may decide to have supporters attempt to escort our candidates into the debates.” On Sunday, September 25 in Manhattan, “nonviolent civil resistance training” will be held.
Supporters of fundamental rights in America know what they’re up against, denying them what’s constitutionally mandated.
When is a debate not one - when duopoly power rules prohibit democracy in action, when police state brutishness targets activists demanding their rights, when election outcomes are pre-arranged.
Dirty business as usual wins every time, governance of, by and for everyone equitably unattainable - self-delusion to think otherwise.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Netanyahu's Litany of General Assembly Big Lies - Sat, 24/09/2016 - 02:41
Netanyahu’s Litany of General Assembly Big Lies
by Stephen Lendman
Just societies would arrest and detain him straightaway if arriving in their countries, followed by prosecution for crimes of war, against humanity and slow-motion genocide against defenseless Palestinians.
Under Universal Jurisdiction (UJ), nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won’t, can’t, or hasn’t for any reason.
Article 7 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg states:
“The official position of defendants, whether as Head of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.”
No one deserves immunity for high crimes demanding accountability. Netanyahu, like Obama, should be in prison, not high office.
On Thursday, Israel’s prime minister used the General Assembly platform to willfully deceive a world audience. He spoke about nonexistent “dangers.” Israel’s only threats are ones it invents.
“The people of Israel pray for peace,” he bellowed. Israel’s rogue leadership prioritizes conflict, repression and slow-motion genocide against an entire people.
“(M)ilitant Islam is on the march,” he ranted - failing to explain Israel supports ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups ravaging Syria, partnered with Obama’s war.
Netanyahu: “To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it’s too late.”
Fact: It exists because of US-led foreign support, Israel backing the “cancer” it claims it’s against.
Netanyahu: “…ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”
Fact: Hamas is Palestine’s legitimately elected government, the PA created by Israel to serve its interests at the expense of millions of Palestinians deserving better.
Netanyahu: “Hamas’ immediate goal is to destroy Israel. (It) shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists…(W)hen it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.”
Fact: Netanyahu’s rant was utter rubbish, willful deception, ignoring the right of all Palestinians to live free from repressive occupation - from Israeli state terrorism, a regional and global scourge.
Netanyahu deplorably equated Iran with ISIS, calling it “The Islamic State of Iran,” despicably saying it’s responsible for global terrorism, a disgusting perversion of truth, his regime the leading purveyor of violence and chaos regionally and beyond - partnered with rogue state America.
Iran hasn’t attacked another country for centuries, fosters mutual cooperation among all nations, supports world peace and stability, forthrightly opposes nuclear weapons - Israel’s arsenal threatening the region and beyond.
Netanyahu repeated the bogus accusation of Iran pursuing a “path to the bomb” despite evidence proving otherwise. He never lets facts interfere with proliferation of misinformation and Big Lies.
Israel is the region’s only nuclear armed and dangerous state, governed by a criminal cabal Netanyahu heads - a world class thug, a threat to world peace and security, a despicable human being to boot.
“Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and all the smiles will suddenly disappear,” he blustered.
“There is only one responsible course of action to address this (nonexistent) threat. Iran’s (nonexistent) nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled.” 
Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for war on Iran, a nonbelligerent state threatening no others. The nuclear red herring is a pretext for planned regime change - maybe coming if Hillary succeeds Obama.
Netanyahu: “Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.”
Fact: Israel allied with rogue state America represents the region’s gravest “fanaticism” - state-sponsored terrorism, the most dangerous kind of all, both nations with sordid histories of high crimes.
Netanyahu: “We deeply regret every single civilian casualty…Israel (does) everything to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties.”
“No other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties among the civilian population of their enemies.”
Fact: What utter rubbish!! Israel, like America, considers civilian men, women, children, newborn infants, the elderly and infirm legitimate targets in all its wars and daily repression.
Small Palestinian children are treated as viciously as adults. Torture and other forms of horrific mistreatment reflect official Israeli policy.
Netanyahu reinvented the history of his summer 2014 Protective Edge war on 1.8 million Gazans, imprisoned under lawless siege, no safe havens on the Strip to avoid Israeli terror-bombing, massacring defenseless civilians deliberately - in numerous cases entire families murdered in cold blood.
Israel’s only enemy is itself, the world’s leading rogue state after America, both nations partnered in each other’s high crimes - together representing humanity’s greatest threat.
“We live in a world steeped in tyranny and terror,” Netanyahu ranted. It’s headquartered in Washington and Tel Aviv.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

US Ceasefire Scheme for Syria: Rendering It Defenseless - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 21:29
US Ceasefire Scheme for Syria: Rendering It Defenseless
by Stephen Lendman
John Kerry arrogantly demands no-fly zone imposition in Syria so government ground forces have no aerial support and protection - essential to effectively combat US-supported terrorism.
Washington pulled off this stunt before, when Hillary was secretary of state. Disaster followed - Libya raped and destroyed, its sovereignty replaced by endless violence, a US-supported ISIS infestation, utter chaos, and virtually an entire population suffering hugely because of US-dominated NATO aggression.
Washington wants unimpeded ability to ravage and destroy Syria more than already. The transparent scheme only damn fools would accept: ground Russian and Syrian military aircraft, US warplanes free to operate on the phony pretext of combating ISIS.
Up to now, Russia played the greater fool in negotiations with Washington, each time betrayed. How much US treachery is too much? What’ll it take for Putin and Lavrov to realize the futility of negotiating with its sworn enemy - bent on regime change, wanting pro-Western puppet governance replacing Russian sovereign independence?
Washington wants hegemonic control over all nations, unchallenged global dominance, dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations, naked aggression is main strategy of choice.
No amount of diplomacy will change things. Syria is in the eye of the storm. Stopping US imperial madness there is crucial. Otherwise Iran goes down next, followed by likely nuclear war on Russia and China - especially with Hillary in charge.
Moscow has a choice. Smash ALL anti-government forces in Syria (all US-backed terrorists), or face America’s imperial assault on its homeland.
Anyone understanding geopolitical reality knows this. Yet Russia continues wasting time on futile negotiations - failing every time with Washington. Deals it agrees to aren’t worth the paper they’re written on - systematically breached every time, phony reasons justifying the unjustifiable.
On Thursday, Lavrov met privately with Kerry - followed by both ministers participating in the 21-nation International Syria Support Group, a front for US imperialism, stacked with pro-Western countries, despite Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Lebanese participation.
Following Thursday’s futile discussions, Lavrov said “(n)othing has happened and we will continue our consultations. We will continue our work to guarantee the ceasefire in Syria…certain details need to be finalized.”
“Some of our partners (sic) tried to make the Syrian authorities take unilateral steps. We insist…the opposition must take steps as well” - especially to prevent ISIS and al-Nusra “from taking advantage of the situation.”
Chances for negotiating ceasefire in Syria, with all US-supported terrorist groups agreeing and sticking by their word, is ZERO.
Washington is the key problem, neocons making policy yielding nothing, bent on transforming Syria into another US vassal state ahead of regime change forced on all other sovereign independent nations - mainly Iran, Russia and China.
Hegemons operate this way. America doesn’t negotiate. It demands, forcing its will on others, pursuing a hugely destructive megalomaniacal agenda threatening world peace and humanity’s survival.
Russia should have drawn a red line long ago, halted futile talks with its main adversary, realizing the only language America understands is force. Its record speaks for itself.
Syrian liberation depends on Russia going all-out to help its Syrian ally defeat the scourge of US-created and supported terrorism. Nothing else can work!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Media Scoundrels on Futile Syria Ceasefire Talks - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 21:12
Media Scoundrels on Futile Syria Ceasefire Talks
by Stephen Lendman
Chance for them succeeding is ZERO because Washington wants war, not peace, Syrian sovereignty destroyed, pro-Western puppet governance replacing it - explained numerous times before.
On Thursday, Lavrov said his government rejects one-sided ceasefire deals, Washington, its rogue allies and terrorist groups they support taking full advantage - regrouping, rearming and mobilizing for new offensives.
Yet he continues the futility of worthless talks with John Kerry, a waste of time, an insult to his intelligence, betraying millions of long-suffering people - knowing dozens of previous bilateral meetings and discussions accomplished nothing, nor will any future ones.
Perhaps one day Lavrov will explain why he keeps pursuing the unattainable. Is there a hidden explanation not readily apparent - surely not to expose US duplicity, a cold hard fact universally known.
All deals stuck with Washington fail, systematically breached every time. Hegemons don’t compromise. The time for dealmaking is over, a reality Russia needs to assert.
Yet following Thursday’s International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in New York, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said member states “supported a proposal on introducing a time-limited regime of banning all military flights as a condition for resuming truce.”
If Russia agrees, it’s curtains for Syria, betraying millions of its long-suffering people. We’ll learn more after Friday talks conclude, maybe continuing into the weekend.
Media scoundrels support all US imperial wars, considering naked aggression humanitarian intervention, ignoring millions of lives lost post-9/11 alone.
The New York Times accused Obama of not being tough enough, letting “carnage drag on” in Syria - never once through years of conflict explaining it’s his war, using ISIS and other terrorist groups as imperial foot soldiers.
The neocon Washington Post headlined “Syria ignores Kerry and launches an offensive to recapture (areas of) Aleppo” held by anti-government terrorists, saying:
On Thursday, “warplanes pounded eastern Aleppo” - wrongfully saying Syrian and Russian aircraft bombed residential areas - a longstanding US strategy.
The Wall Street Journal said Geneva terms provide “few mechanisms for addressing cease-fire violations simply saying: ‘Any reported violations of the demilitarized zone by any party will be addressed by the United States and Russia.’ “
Violations let either side abandon the ceasefire charade at their discretion. Washington breached it straightaway. 
Continuing support for cutthroat terrorists, ludicrously called “moderate rebels,” shows clear US commitment for war - not ceasefire, not conflict resolution, not respecting Syrian sovereignty and rights of its long-suffering people.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NYT Reinvents Middle East Reality - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 20:55
NYT Reinvents Middle East Reality
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article asked why anyone wastes time reading deplorable Times reports and opinions - all propaganda all the time on issues mattering most, notably when America goes to war, cheerleading what demands denunciation.
Asking how the nation’s next leader should deal with major geopolitical issues, its editors lied, claiming Hillary “advanced prescriptions for the Middle East, which mostly make sense” - while Trump “offered virtually nothing except fearmongering and notions that could make matters worse…”
The Times serves as Hillary’s press agent, ignoring her high crimes and extraordinary menace she poses if anointed to succeed Obama, bashing Trump relentlessly at every opportunity.
Reinventing Middle East reality, it ludicrously said “Obama seems to be making progress in Iraq,” failing to explain America has been at war with the cradle of civilization since Jimmy Carter instigated the 1980s Iran/Iraq war, lasting most of the decade.
It was followed by mid-1990 events leading to US naked aggression - longterm unrelenting savagery inflicted on Iraqis, taking millions of lives from genocidal sanctions, war, related violence, untreated diseases, a contaminated landscape, starvation and overall deprivation for 36 years.
There’s no end of things in sight, no prospect for restoration of Iraq’s sovereign independence or a climate of peace and stability replacing endless war and human suffering.
Times editors ignored what’s most important to explain. Addressing Syria, it called its “battlefield…even more confounding,” claiming “overlapping wars.” 
None exist except for US-supported Turkish aggression on YPG Kurdish fighters, along with Erdogan seizing northern Syrian territory, intending annexation unless challenged and stopped.
The Times persists in calling US-supported cutthroat killers, committing gruesome atrocities against defenseless civilians, “moderate rebels.” It calls naked US aggression “civil war.” There’s nothing civil about it.
It lied claiming “(t)he United States is bombing ISIS targets” - instead of explaining it supports the group and all others like it.
America’s so-called war on terrorism is a monumental hoax, leaving nations in ruins, claiming millions of lives so America can advance its imperium.
Times editors disgracefully blamed Assad for hundreds of thousands of Syrian lives lost, a despicable perversion of truth. They ignore US responsibility for one genocidal war of aggression after another.
They blame victims for imperial crimes. They betray readers by willful, malicious lying, supporting might makes right, endorsing wrong over right.
The self-styled newspaper of record operates as an administration/Pentagon press agent - propaganda substituting for truth and full disclosure.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Copyright Loophole Could Undermine Important Consumer Protection Bill - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 07:49
The Consumer Review Fairness Act Is a Noble Bill but Could Leave the Door Open for Copyright Abuse

There’s a bill making its way through Congress that would protect consumers’ freedom of speech by limiting unfair form contracts. The Consumer Review Fairness Act (H.R. 5111), introduced by Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and cosponsored by several representatives, would address two shameful practices: contracts that bar customers from sharing negative reviews of products and services online, and contracts that attempt to assign the copyright in customers’ reviews to the businesses themselves (who then file copyright takedown notices to have negative reviews removed). The CRFA is an important bill, and it addresses a major problem, but it contains one loophole that could undermine its ability to protect people who write online reviews.

An earlier version of the bill was introduced in both houses of Congress last year under the name Consumer Review Freedom Act (S. 2044, H.R. 2110). EFF applauded the bill when it was introduced. As we argued then, when a customer has no reasonable opportunity to negotiate a contract and its terms are overwhelmingly stacked against the customer, the contract shouldn’t be enforceable. We noted that these contracts usually fail in court, but that that hasn’t stopped businesses from using them. We also pointed out a few problems with the CRFA. Most of them have been addressed in the new bill, but the most disconcerting one remains.

If a company claims that a review is not “otherwise lawful” (for example, because it allegedly defames the company), then the law may permit the company to claim that it owns the copyright in the review and have it removed as copyright infringement, thus creating a shortcut for having speech removed. We don’t think this is what Congress intended, and we hope it’s not too late to remove the two offending words.

Imagine that I’m a vendor offering you a contract for a service. My contract includes a clause saying that you assign me the copyright in any review you write of my service. Under the CRFA, that clause would be invalid and my including it in the contract would be against the law. But if my contract says you assign me the copyright in any unlawful review you write, I could argue that that contract is valid under the CRFA.

We’re concerned that businesses could effectively use this language to bypass the traditional protections for allegedly illegal speech and instead rely on the censorship tools available to copyright owners. Filing a DMCA takedown notice is both easier and faster than convincing a judge that a piece of online speech is defamatory, especially because sending a DMCA takedown doesn’t require you to prove anything. A business could claim to be the copyright owner and get a review taken down without ever testing its claims in court.

Furthermore, transforming a different possible speech violation into a copyright infringement case brings the possibility of astronomical statutory damages, penalties with no relation to any actual harm done by the alleged infringer. Lawmakers should think twice before opening a loophole that businesses could use to masquerade other speech complaints as copyright infringement complaints.

We wholeheartedly support the CRFA’s intentions. Anti-review contracts are an attack on customers’ freedom of speech and it’s gratifying to see lawmakers stand up to defend consumers. We hope that before the CRFA becomes law, Congress closes the dangerous loophole.

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Categories: Aggregated News

Putting a Brave Face on Failure to Achieve Ceasefire in Syria - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 03:10
Putting a Brave Face on Failure to Achieve Ceasefire in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
When efforts to resolve differences between opposing sides of a conflict fail, diplomats deceptively say talks made progress. Discussions were constructive - code language for accomplishing nothing.
You’d think by now Russia would acknowledge the futility of negotiating with a duplicitous US adversary, making conflict resolution unattainable, no matter the amount of diplomatic effort exerted. 
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin was less than candid, claiming Lavrov/Kerry talks on the sidelines of the UN’s 71st General Assembly made progress - ahead of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting Thursday afternoon at a New York hotel.
It’s largely stacked with representatives of pro-Western/anti-Syria nations, wanting Assad toppled, his government replaced, his nation raped and destroyed. It’s no impartial body despite Russia, China, Iran and Lebanon among its 21 members.
Lavrov had numerous fruitless meetings with Kerry since succeeding Clinton as secretary of state in February 2013 - no progress toward ceasefire and conflict resolution accomplished at any of them.
Whatever US diplomats and politicians promise, betrayal virtually always follows, the other side always blamed for America’s duplicity.
Chances for Lavrov achieving anything meaningful with Kerry for the remainder of his time as secretary of state is nil. He’ll leave when a new administration takes over in January, Hillary Clinton likely heading it, a notorious war goddess sure to escalate conflict, not resolve it.
Russia should stop wasting time on diplomatic futility and start preparing for the deluge next year - its own security hugely imperiled.
Chances for Hillary waging nuclear war is terrifyingly possible, maybe likely, humanity’s survival threatened if launched.
With neocon lunatics running the Washington asylum, headed by Hillary, all bets are off. Cataclysmic war could start any time for any contrived reason - a major false flag likely triggering it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

A Digital Rumor Should Never Lead to a Police Raid - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 03:00


Law Enforcement, Courts Need to Better Understand IP Addresses, Stop Misuse

If police raided a home based only on an anonymous phone call claiming residents broke the law, it would be clearly unconstitutional.

Yet EFF has found that police and courts are regularly conducting and approving raids based on the similar type of unreliable digital evidence: Internet Protocol (IP) address information.

In a whitepaper released today, EFF challenges law enforcement and courts’ reliance on IP addresses, without more, to identify the location of crimes and the individuals responsible. While IP addresses can be a useful piece of an investigation, authorities need to properly evaluate the information, and more importantly, corroborate it, before IP address information can be used to support police raids, arrests, and other dangerous police operations.

IP address information was designed to route traffic on the Internet, not serve as an identifier for other purposes. As the paper explains, IP addresses information isn't the same as physical addresses or license plates that can pinpoint an exact location or identify a particular person. Put simply: there is no uniform way to systematically map physical locations based on IP addresses or create a phone book to lookup users of particular IP addresses.

Law enforcement’s over-reliance on the technology is a product of police and courts not understanding the limitations of both IP addresses and the tools used to link the IP address with a person or a physical location. And the police too often compound that problem by relying on metaphors in warrant applications that liken IP addresses to physical addresses or license plates, signaling far more confidence in the information than it merits.

Recent events demonstrate the problem: A story in Fusion documents how residents of a farm in the geographic center of America are subjected to countless police raids and criminal suspicion, even though they’ve done nothing wrong. A story in Seattle’s newspaper The Stranger described how police raided the home and computers of a Seattle privacy activist operating a Tor exit relay because they mistakenly believed the home contained child pornography. And these are just two stories that found their way into the media. 

These ill-informed raids jeopardize public safety and violate individuals’ privacy rights. They also waste police time and resources chasing people who are innocent of the crimes being investigated. 

The whitepaper calls on police and courts to recalibrate their assumptions about IP address information, especially when it is used to identify a particular location to be searched or individual to be arrested. EFF suggests that IP address information be treated, in the words of the Supreme Court, as more like “casual rumor circulating in the underworld,” or an unreliable informant. The Constitution requires further investigation and corroboration of rumors and anonymous tips before police can rely upon them to establish probable cause authorizing warrants to search homes or arrest individuals. The same should be true of IP address information.

The paper also explains why the technology’s limitations can make it unreliable and how the Supreme Court’s rules around unreliable information provided by anonymous informants should apply to IP address information in warrant applications. The paper concludes with two lists of questions to ask and concrete steps to take: one for police and one for judges.  The goal is to better protect the public so that the misuse of IP address information doesn’t lead to a miscarriage of justice. 

We hope the whitepaper can serve as a resource for law enforcement and courts while also triggering a broader conversation about IP address information’s use in criminal investigations. In the coming months, EFF hopes to discuss these concerns with law enforcement and courts with the goal of preventing unwarranted privacy invasions and violations of the Fourth Amendment. We also hope that our discussions will result in better law enforcement investigations that do not waste scarce police resources. If you are a law enforcement agency or court interested in this issue, please contact

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Categories: Aggregated News

NATO: A US-Controlled Killing Machine - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 02:02
NATO: A US-Controlled Killing Machine
by Stephen Lendman
NATO’s other 27 members and partner countries operate by Washington rules - an imperial agenda, featuring endless wars of aggression against sovereign independent nations threatening no one.
World peace and stability are unattainable as long as this monster exists - entirely for offense, not defense. Its claims otherwise ring hollow.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, like his predecessors, serves US imperial interests, dedicated to endless wars, reviling peace.
He’s in New York for the 71st General Assembly session, NATO’s web site, saying “(t)he Alliance is playing its part in tackling global security challenges together with the United Nations” - at a time existing ones stem from US imperial lawlessness, complicit with rogue allies, notably Israel.
The Wall Street Journal disgracefully gave Stoltenberg’s predecessor Anders Fogh Rasmussen feature op-ed space - stumping for America to rule the world, calling for it to be a global policeman.
The notion should terrify everyone, US dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations its longterm goal - iron-fisted tyranny and neoserfdom by any standard.
Rasmussen is a deplorable character, NATO secretary-general from August 2009 to October 2014, serving US interests, supporting its wars of aggression, his op-ed a deplorable example of misinformation and Big Lies.
Putin “invaded Ukraine,” he ranted. False! Putin “launched a military action in Syria,” failing to explain it came legally at the behest of its government, a joint effort to combat US-supported terrorism, a noble initiative.
Clearly endorsing Hillary without naming her, instead of abstaining from meddling in US politics, Rasmussen said “(w)e desperately need a US president who is able and willing to lead the free (sic) world and counter autocrats (sic) like President Putin.”
He favors America as global policeman to enforce iron-fisted tyrannical rule - not serve the interests of “freedom and prosperity (over) the forces of oppression,” as he put it.
“The Middle East is torn by war” - because of US-dominated NATO policy complicit with other rogue partners, he failed to explain.
“…Libya has collapsed and became a breeding ground for terrorist” - precisely how Washington planned it, knowing war meant chaos in its aftermath.
“(A) resurgent Russia has brutally attacked and grabbed land by force from Ukraine” - a despicable Big Lie. Nothing of the sort occurred, Russia the only world power responsibly going all-out for restoring peace to the country, prevented by US obstructionism.
“China is flexing its muscles against its neighbors.” Rubbish. America is provocatively intruding in a part of the world not its own, Beijing responsibly defending its interests.
“North Korea is threatening a nuclear attack.” Its government is preparing best it can for possible US aggression coming since Harry Truman’s in the early 1950s.
“(W)e need a policeman to restore order. (W)e need a firefighter to put out the flames of conflict.” Rasmussen favors putting an arsonist in charge - wanting America, the world’s dominant rogue state running things globally.
“Only America can” do it, he ranted, claiming it “alone has the credibility to shape sustainable solutions to (global) challenges…not for the sake of power, but for the sake of peace.”
Rasmussen failed to explain how a nation committed to endless imperial wars of aggression would suddenly prioritize peacemaking when it’s the leading cause of global violence, instability and chaos.
Obama wasn’t aggressive enough, he said. Bombing seven countries and waging wars in multiple theaters during his tenure are too few, he apparently believes.
His “reluctance to lead the world has had serious consequences, and none is graver than the behavior of Mr. Putin.” Rasmussen’s part of the anti-Russia, anti-Putin chorus risking nuclear war.
He’s an imperial stooge, saying what his US-led Western handlers dictate, favoring global war based on his ranting. The kind of world he wants is unfit and unsafe to live in.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Assad: US Warplanes Willfully Terror-Bombed Syrian Forces - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 01:46
Assad: US Warplanes Willfully Terror-Bombed Syrian Forces
by Stephen Lendman
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad features straight talk in all his remarks - polar opposite Obama’s deplorable demagoguery.
Interviewed by AP News in Damascus, he was candid and straightforward like always, explaining US warplanes terror-bombed Syrian forces near Deir Ezzur last Saturday “intentionally.”
It was no accident, US aggression, flagrantly violating Geneva ceasefire terms - another failed Russian effort for conflict resolution, unattainable when dealing with a rogue adversary.
“(F)our US airplanes” were involved, Assad said, “which kept attacking the position of the Syrian troops for nearly one hour or maybe a little bit” longer.
ISIS terrorists “attacked at the very same time as the American strike. How could they know that America was going to attack that position in order to gather their militants right away and attack it one hour after the strike? It was definitely intentional and not unintentional.”
America created and supports anti-government terrorist groups. It’s not combating ISIS and likeminded ones as falsely claimed.
Assad expressed his “commit(ment) to any halt of operations, or if you want to call it a ceasefire.” An earlier February attempt failed. Washington undermined it.
“…I believe that the United States is not genuine regarding having a ceasefire of violence in Syria,” Assad stressed. Supporting terrorist groups instead of combating them proves it.
Washington rejects military cooperation with Russia, said Assad. It “doesn’t have the will to work against” ISIS, al-Nusra or other terrorist groups. Attacking them means “los(ing) a very important card…”
Numerous humanitarian convoys delivered aid in Syria for many months, no incident approaching Monday’s brutal attack happening, Assad explained. So why now and why blame Syria and Russia when their mutual aim is helping long-suffering Syrians, not harming them?
“(W)hatever the American officials say about conflict in Syria…has no credibility. Whatever they say, it’s just lies,” Assad stressed - disgracefully repeated by media scoundrels.
The convoy was attacked by terrorists in an area they control, said Assad. Even the UN reversed its original misinformation, saying no airstrikes hit the convoy, ground fire alone.
Throughout the conflict, Syria has been repeatedly accused of crimes of war and against humanity committed by US-supported terrorists and Pentagon terror-bombing.
What motive could Damascus or Moscow have in targeting civilians they’re sworn to protect? Only elements seeking Syria’s destruction would commit repeated atrocities against defenseless people.
Prospects for conflict resolution are virtually nil, Assad lamented, because America and its rogue allies keep supporting terrorists. Nothing will change until this ends.
At the same time, he remains hopeful. “Some day the war will stop,” he said. Rebuilding the country will follow. For now, it’s “painful” to witness imperial viciousness destroying Syria’s “civilization.” 
Asked if his country would benefit more from a Clinton or Trump presidency next year, he said “(t)he problem with” all US candidates is “they say something during the campaign, (then) do the opposite” when it’s over.
Believing America will ever treat other nations fairly, especially sovereign independent ones, “is only wishful thinking and fantasy,” Assad stressed.
Hegemons operate by their own rules alone, forcing other nations to comply or else.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

HTML standardization group calls on W3C to protect security researchers from DRM - Fri, 23/09/2016 - 01:44

The World Wide Web Consortium has embarked upon an ill-advised project to standardize Digital Rights Management (DRM) for video at the behest of companies like Netflix; in so doing, they are, for the first time, making a standard whose implementations will be covered under anti-circumvention laws like Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a potential felony to reveal defects in products without the manufacturer's permission.

This is especially worrisome because the W3C's aspiration for the new version of HTML is that it will replace apps as the user-interface for the Internet of Things, making all sorts of potentially compromising (and even lethal) bugs difficult to report without serious legal liability.

The EFF has proposed that W3C members should be required to promise not to use the DMCA and laws like it this way; this has had support from other multistakeholder groups, like the Open Source Initiative, which has said that the W3C work will not qualify as an "open standard" if it doesn't do something to prevent DMCA abuse.

Now, another important body, WHATWG, has joined the chorus calling on the W3C to prevent their technical work from become a legal weapon. WHATWG is a breakaway web standards body, backed by all the major browser vendors, and much of the W3C's standardization process consists of snapshotting WHATWG's documents and putting W3C's stamp of approval on them.

In an op-ed on the WHATWG blog, Ian "Hixie" Hickson (who formerly oversaw HTML5 for the W3C, and now edits the HTML spec for WHATWG, while working for Google) calls on the W3C to adopt the rules protecting security research, saying "We can ill afford a chilling effect on Web browser security research. Browsers are continually attacked. Everyone who uses the Web uses a browser, and everyone would therefore be vulnerable if security research on browsers were to stop."

Hixie's letter is co-signed by fellow WHATWGers Simon Pieters from Opera, and Anne van Kesteren from Mozilla.

The charter for the W3C's DRM working group runs out in eight days and will have to be renewed. Some 20 W3C members have pledged to block any further renewal unless the W3C executive requires the group to solve this problem before finishing its work. The last time this happened, the executive dismissed these objections, but the numbers have swelled and now include prominent disabled rights groups like the UK Royal National Institute for Blind People and Media Access Australia, as well as a browser vendor, Brave.

A who's who of security researchers, including the W3C's own invited experts, have signed an open letter asking the W3C to ensure that control over disclosure of vulnerabilities in web browsers isn't given to the companies whom these disclosures might potentially embarrass.

From Hixie's post:

Much has been written on how DRM is bad for users because it prevents fair use, on how it is technically impossible to ever actually implement, on how it's actually a tool for controlling distributors, a purpose for which it is working well (as opposed to being to prevent copyright violations, a purpose for which it isn't working at all), and on how it is literally an anti-accessibility technology (it is designed to make content less accessible, to prevent users from using the content as they see fit, even preventing them from using the content in ways that are otherwise legally permissible, e.g. in the US, for parody or criticism). Much has also been written about the W3C's hypocrisy in supporting DRM, and on how it is a betrayal to all Web users. It is clear that the W3C allowing DRM technologies to be developed at the W3C is just a naked ploy for the W3C to get more (paying) member companies to join. These issues all remain. Let's ignore them for the rest of post, though.

One of the other problems with DRM is that, since it can't work technically, DRM supporters have managed to get the laws in many jurisdictions changed to make it illegal to even attempt to break DRM. For example, in the US, there's the DMCA clauses 17 U.S.C. § 1201 and 1203: "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title", and "Any person injured by a violation of section 1201 or 1202 may bring a civil action in an appropriate United States district court for such violation".

This has led to a chilling effect in the security research community, with scientists avoiding studying anything that might relate to a DRM scheme, lest they be sued. The more technology embeds DRM, therefore, the less secure our technology stack will be, with each DRM-impacted layer getting fewer and fewer eyeballs looking for problems.

We can ill afford a chilling effect on Web browser security research. Browsers are continually attacked. Everyone who uses the Web uses a browser, and everyone would therefore be vulnerable if security research on browsers were to stop.

Since EME introduces DRM to browsers, it introduces this risk.

proposal was made to avoid this problem. It would simply require each company working on the EME specification to sign an agreement that they would not sue security researchers studying EME. The W3C already requires that members sign a similar agreement relating to patents, so this is a simple extension. Such an agreement wouldn't prevent members from suing for copyright infringement, it wouldn't reduce the influence of content producers over content distributors; all it does is attempt to address this even more critical issue that would lead to a reduction in security research on browsers.

The W3C is refusing to require this. We call on the W3C to change their mind on this. The security of the Web technology stack is critical to the health of the Web as a whole.

- Ian Hickson, Simon Pieters, Anne van Kesteren

Excerpt copyright (c) 2016 The WHATWG Contributors. Reproduced under the MIT License.

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Categories: Aggregated News

Kerry Arrogantly Calls for Unacceptable No-Fly Zone in Syria - Thu, 22/09/2016 - 22:20
Kerry Arrogantly Calls for Unacceptable No-Fly Zone in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Kerry’s notion of ceasefire is preventing Syrian and Russian warplanes from combating US-supported terrorists massacring defenseless civilians, Pentagon operations continuing on the phony pretense of combating ISIS.
Despite foolishly cooperating with Washington achieving nothing, an inexcusable blunder with its main adversary wanting its sovereign independence destroyed, Russia won’t buy this duplicitous stunt. Nor will Syria, supported by Moscow’s Security Council veto power.
Addressing SC members, Kerry blamed Assad’s government and Russia for US high crimes. America wants regime change in Syria no matter the enormous cost in human lives and vast destruction.
Kerry arrogantly and absurdly claimed the way “(to) restore credibility (is to) immediately ground all aircraft flying in (so-called) key areas (strategically important Aleppo mainly) to deescalate the situation and give a chance for humanitarian assistance to flow unimpeded.”
Fact: Kerry wants Syrians left defenseless in key parts of the country so US proxy death squads can operate unimpeded.
Fact: Winning the battle of Aleppo is key to defeating terrorism in Syria, essential to have any hope for liberation, why Kerry wants Syrian and Russian aerial operations halted there.
Fact: America and its terrorist foot soldiers bear full responsibility for blocking humanitarian aid. Syria wants it delivered to all its people in need. US policy calls for inflicting maximum pain and suffering on civilians in all its war theaters.
Kerry: Assad created “the greatest humanitarian catastrophe since WW II.”
Fact: Washington bears full responsibility for raping and destroying large parts of Syria, displacing half the population internally and externally, its imported terrorist death squads doing its dirty work along with Pentagon terror-bombing. 
The death toll from last Saturday’s US attack on Syrian soldiers is now 83, 100 or more others injured. The world community remains disgracefully silent, failing to condemn willful, malicious mass murder.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Kerry of putting on “a (duplicitous) show,” accomplishing “nothing.”
The stakes in Syria are huge, affecting the entire region and beyond. I’ve explained before if it goes, Iran is next, longstanding US regime change implemented to replace the Islamic Republic with pro-Western puppet governance - Russia and China in America’s queue for regime change to follow.
It’s crucial for Moscow to go all-out to help its Syrian ally militarily. Endless diplomacy accomplishing nothing mocks the suffering of millions of its people deserving better.
A Final Comment
Syria is the world’s major flashpoint, an incendiary situation pitting America against Russia - both sides with irreconcilable differences, impossible to resolve because bipartisan neocons infesting Washington want confrontation, not mutually cooperative relations.
The end game is increasingly clear, the spark alone unknown. America is headed for war on Russia, the most disturbing prospect if Hillary succeeds Obama - militantly anti-Putin, anti-Russian sovereign independence. 
No matter how forthrightly Moscow tries engaging  Washington cooperatively on Syria and other key geopolitical issues, it consistently fails to achieve anything positive because US policy is adversarial, heading, it appears, inexorably for war - unthinkable humanity threatening conflict between the world’s dominant nuclear powers.
When elephants fight, grass beneath them gets trampled.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NYT Bashes Real Democracy in Russia, Ignores Its Fantasy Version in America - Thu, 22/09/2016 - 22:03
NYT Bashes Real Democracy in Russia, Ignores Its Fantasy Version in America
by Stephen Lendman
Times editorial policy appears driven to reach new abysmal reporting and opinion lows, a deplorable laughing stock, especially on geopolitical issues, notably when America goes to war.
Earlier I called the self-styled newspaper of record a lying machine, again proved in disgracefully bashing Russian parliamentary elections last Sunday - a process scrupulously open, free and fair, independent monitors reporting few irregularities, none affecting final result.
Even Times editors admitted voting went smoothly “without many…irregularities.” Instead of praising Russia democratic process, Time editors lashed out despicably.
They accused “Putin and his Kremlin cronies (of) consoldat(ing) full control over Russian politics” - ignoring his overwhelming popularity despite economic hard times usually affecting leaders and sitting governments adversely.
Turning truth on its head, it added (t)wenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia appears to have returned full circle to a pseudo-parliament whose only function is to give a semblance of legitimacy to an authoritarian ruler.”
Russian democratic governance shames America’s fantasy version, serving Wall Street, warlords, corporate crooks, and plutocrats exclusively - one party duopoly rule, election-rigging commonplace to prevent responsible change.
Times editors accused Putin of “demagogic(ally) standing up to” America, wanting “Russia’s imperial greatness” restored.
Fact: Putin forthrightly opposes destructive US policies. So should everyone. He’s the preeminent world peace and stability leader. He says what he means and means what he says - bashed because of his anti-imperial policies.
He’s a mensch in the best sense of the term’s meaning - polar opposite criminal cabal gangsters running Washington, raping and destroying one country after another to achieve unchallenged dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations.
Times editors: “…Putin’s political opponents have been systematically imprisoned, driven into exile, harassed, intimidated and sometimes…killed.”
Rubbish! America is the world champion human and civil rights abuser at home and abroad. Thousands of political prisoners languish under horrific conditions in its global gulag - including by far the largest homeland prison system, the shame of the nation, incarcerating large numbers unjustly.
Times editors: “All the parliamentary election really showed was that those Russians who had once tried to shape a real democracy had been crushed or swept aside or had given up for now” - referring to the deplorable 1990s Boris Yeltsin years, permitting hugely destructive US shock therapy, causing mass impoverishment and unemployment.
Responsible editors wouldn’t let this type trash be published. Times editors disgracefully feature it daily - substituting propaganda for vital hard truths.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Chelsea Manning Ends Hunger Strike, Faces Indefinite Solitary Confinement - Thu, 22/09/2016 - 21:47
Chelsea Manning Ends Hunger Strike, Faces Indefinite Solitary Confinement
by Stephen Lendman
Solitary confinement isolation is torture by any standard - a flagrant international law, constitutional violation, its 8th Amendment prohibiting “cruel and unusual punishment” - standard practice in America, rendering rule of law governance null and void.
Longterm isolation crushes the human spirit, causing panic attacks, nightmares, dizziness, irrational anger, confusion, social withdrawal, memory and appetite loss, delusions and hallucinations, profound despair and hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, and paranoia, among other symptoms.
It’s like being buried alive, at times causing irreversible trauma, turning otherwise normal human beings into mush - zombies.
The whole world knows Chelsea was wrongfully imprisoned for doing the right thing - exposing US war crimes, accountability entirely absent.
On September 9, she began hunger striking, protesting outrageous mistreatment, including “constant, deliberate and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials,” she said - along with refusing vital gender dysphoria care she needs, involving gender-reassignment surgery.
On September 13, she again began ingesting food, five days after she stopped, after military authorities agreed to treat her dysphoric condition - while keeping her isolated in punishing solitary confinement.
Issuing a statement through her attorneys, she said she’s “unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing…This is all that I wanted - for them to let me be me.”
“But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long…(W)hy were such drastic measures needed” - exacerbating her suffering.
She still faces indefinite isolation on charges of attempted suicide, a desperate unsuccessful attempt to end her pain and suffering.
She faces disciplinary action later this month, prison authorities unlikely to mitigate her ordeal. 
Her deplorable mistreatment since arrested in May 2010 reveals the true character of state-sponsored gangsterism - viciousness, lawlessness, along with indifference to human needs and suffering its defining characteristics.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.



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