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Caitlin Johnstone

CONFIRMED: Chemical Weapons Assessment Contradicting Official Syria Narrative Is Authentic

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The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has begun responding to queries by the press about a leaked document which contradicts official OPCW findings on an alleged chemical weapons attack last year in Douma, Syria. The prepared statement they’ve been using in response to these queries confirms the authenticity of the document.

To recap, a few days ago the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM) published a document signed by a man named Ian Henderson, whose name is seen listed in expert leadership positions on OPCW documents from as far back as 1998 and as recently as 2018. It’s unknown who leaked the document and what other media organizations they may have tried to send it to.

The report picks apart the extremely shaky physics and narratives of the official OPCW analysis on the gas cylinders allegedly dropped from Syrian government aircraft in the Douma attack, and concludes that “The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft,” saying instead that manual placement of the cylinders in the locations investigators found them in is “the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”
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Trump Has Murdered Over 40,000 Venezuelans With Sanctions

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A new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has found that tens of thousands of Venezuelans have died as a direct result of Trump administration sanctions put into effect in August 2017, and that tens of thousands more are expected to die as a result of additional sanctions put into place in January of this year.

Some noteworthy points:

- The sanctions are “depriving Venezuelans of lifesaving medicines, medical equipment, food, and other essential imports.”

- The sanctions “reduced the public’s caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation.”

- The sanctions “have inflicted, and continue to inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017–2018.”

- That means 2019 deaths haven’t been added to this estimate. The year’s nearly half over, and more aggressive sanctions went into effect this past January.

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The Prosecution Of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange

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Julian Assange’s mother reported yesterday that the WikiLeaks founder has not been permitted any visitors during his detention in Belmarsh Prison, including from doctors and his lawyers. Doctors who visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy have attested that he urgently needs medical care. Belmarsh is a maximum security prison sometimes referred to as “the UK’s Guantanamo Bay“.

And yet we’re asked to believe that this has something to do with an alleged bail violation and a US extradition request for alleged computer crimes carrying a maximum sentence of five years. If you zoom out and listen to the less-informed chatter of the overt propagandists and the brainwashed rank-and-file western mass media consumers, you will also see that people believe this has something to do with Russia and rape allegations as well.

Actually, none of these things are true. Assange is being imprisoned under draconian conditions for journalism, and for journalism only. The Obama administration declined to prosecute him after WikiLeaks’ publication of the Manning leaks out of concern that doing so would endanger press freedoms, and the Obama administration didn’t have any more evidence at its disposal than the Trump administration has now. The “crime” Assange is accused of consists of nothing other than standard journalistic practices that investigative journalists engage in all the time, including source protection and encouraging the source to obtain more material. The only thing that has changed is an increased willingness in the White House to prosecute journalists for practicing journalism, and there are an abundance of reasons to believe that he will be hit with far more serious charges once extradited to US soil. They’re not going to all this trouble for a bail violation and a five-year maximum sentence.
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How You Can Be Certain That The US Charge Against Assange Is Fraudulent

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Julian Assange sits in a jail cell today after being betrayed by the Ecuadorian government and his home country of Australia. A British judge named Michael Snow has found the WikiLeaks founder guilty of violating bail conditions, inserting himself into the annals of history by labeling Assange “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest.” So that tells you how much of a fair and impartial legal proceeding we can expect to see from the British judicial process on this matter.

But the real reason that Assange has been surrendered by the Ecuadorian government, imprisoned by the British government, and ignored by the Australian government is not directly related to any of those governments, but to that of the United States of America. An unsealed indictment from the Trump administration’s District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, accompanied by an extradition request, charges Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified US government computer” during Chelsea Manning’s 2010 leak of government documents exposing US war crimes.

This charge is premised on a fraudulent and manipulative distortion of reality, and you may be one hundred percent certain of it. Let me explain.
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The Mueller Report Is In. They Were Wrong. We Were Right.

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The Robert Mueller investigation which monopolized political discourse for two years has finally concluded, and his anxiously awaited report has been submitted to Attorney General William Barr. The results are in and the debate is over: those advancing the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government were wrong, and those of us voicing skepticism of this were right.
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On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

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On the sixteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, as the US government threatens punitive action against International Criminal Court investigators for attempting to look into US war crimes, former George W Bush administration Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has decided to publish a Twitter thread claiming that Bush did not lie to the world about Iraq.

Here is a transcript of the full thread by Fleischer:
The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed “Bush lied. People died.” This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.

The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded. The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.

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Meghan McCain Is A Fake, Blubbering Ass

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The View is an American morning talk show in which current events are discussed by a panel of women with radically diverse political beliefs ranging from Democratic Party neoconservatism all the way to Republican Party neoconservatism. Within this microscopic Overton window of public discourse, the subject of the House debate over a resolution to denounce Ilhan Omar’s criticisms of America’s involvement with the Israeli government came up at the beginning of the show today.
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Russiagate Grand Wizard Deceives Audience About Assange

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When it was first revealed in November that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is under secret charges by the Trump administration, I spent the next few days being told by Russiagaters that this was proof that I have been wrong about their demented cold war cult all along, because #MuellerTime is fast approaching. At long last, they vehemently assured me, Assange was going to prison for working with Russia to deprive Queen Hillary of her rightful throne.

None of those people have come back to apologize or admit that they were wrong when subsequent evidence disproved their claims. None of them ever do.

As it turns out, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in a secret case investigating Assange for his 2010 role in the WikiLeaks publication of military war logs and diplomatic cables. Manning served seven years in prison for leaking those documents to the transparency advocacy outlet before her sentence was commuted by President Obama, meaning, obviously, that this sealed case has nothing to do with the 2016 leaks Russiagaters have been fiendishly obsessing over. Indeed, the Washington Post reported yesterday that “U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, say the case is based on [Assange’s] pre-2016 conduct, not the election hacks that drew the attention of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.”
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Israel Lobby Rebuts Omar’s Claims About Its Immense Influence By Exerting Its Immense Influence

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In response to criticisms made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that US political leaders have too much allegiance to Israel and its lobbying groups, House Democrats have put forward an entire House resolution in accordance with demands made by AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League.

“The backlash [over Omar’s comments] continued on Monday, as the Anti-Defamation League wrote a letter to Pelosi calling for a House resolution to specifically reject what the organization calls Omar’s ‘latest slur,’” Politico reports. “‘We urge you and your colleagues to send the unambiguous message that the United States Congress is no place for hate,’ the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, wrote in a letter.”

“The charge of dual loyalty not only raises the ominous specter of classic anti-Semitism, but it is also deeply insulting to the millions upon millions of patriotic Americans, Jewish and non-Jewish, who stand by our democratic ally, Israel,” tweeted the Israel lobbying group AIPAC on Friday in response to Omar’s comments.

“I hope @AIPAC isn’t too angry that it took Democratic House leaders almost 48 whole hours to do what they’re told to condemn their own member and will instead be understanding that it was a weekend and that’s what caused the delay,” snarked journalist Glenn Greenwald in response to the news of the House resolution.

US politicians of all faiths and in both parties have indeed been falling all over themselves in a mad scramble to tell the freshman congresswoman that she is wrong and evil for suggesting that there is undue loyalty to Israel among US politicians.
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