Reader’s links for October 2 – 2016

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

63 Replies to “Reader’s links for October 2 – 2016”

  1. Britain’s May says to trigger EU divorce by end of March

    BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday she would trigger the process to leave the EU by the end of March, offering the first glimpse of a timetable for a divorce that will redefine Britain’s ties with it biggest trading partner.

    Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union in June propelled May to power and the former interior minister has since been under pressure to offer more details on her plan for Britain’s departure, beyond her often-repeated catchphrase that “Brexit means Brexit”.

    In a move to ease fears among her ruling Conservatives that she may delay the divorce, May will tell the party’s annual conference in Birmingham, central England, that she is determined to move on with the process and win the “right deal”.

  2. Florida doctor says men who vote for Hillary may have ‘low-T’

    Forget sex, race, and religion. The biggest divider in America today is probably whether you have a sense of humor or not.

    Dr. Dareld Morris runs the Morris Medical and Weight Loss Center in Fort Myers, Florida. He’s been running a radio ad in which he discusses the impact of low testosterone on men’s health. And as NBC reported — with the requisite pained look on its (metaphorical) face — Dr. Morris made a politically incorrect association in the ad, which is now going viral:

    Most are not aware of the effect low T can have on your mental state. For instance your ability to focus and think clearly. As a community service, for any guys out there that are thinking of voting for Hillary, I want to offer you a free testosterone test. Let’s see if we can help.

    It’s no real surprise to learn that some people think it’s funny, and some people don’t. Some people are getting their noses out of joint over it. BizPac Review picked up on one:

  3. Castro’s Cuba is getting nuclear reactors from Putin’s Russia

    A Russian government-controlled company signed an agreement to sell nuclear technology to Cuba this week.

    Cuba plans to purchase nuclear medical technology, radiation research, training for nuclear specialists, and staff to help manage radioactive waste. Ultimately, the country may purchase nuclear reactors and storage space for nuclear waste from Russia.

    This is not the first time Cuba has attempted to build a nuclear reactor. With the help and financial assistance of the former Soviet Union, Cuba tried to build two 440-megawatt nuclear power reactors near the city of Cienfuegos. Construction of the reactors began in 1983, but the collapse of the Soviet Union disrupted construction.

    Former Cuban President Fidel Castro says that the country invested $1.1 billion into the project, and cost estimates to complete the partially constructed reactors range from $300 million to $750 million. The U.S. government has consistently opposed Cuba’s plans to build a nuclear reactor, although President Barack Obama recently normalized relations with the country.

    Russia has a long history of selling nuclear technology to unstable regimes that aren’t fond of the U.S.

    “There are prospects for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy,” Yury Ushakov, aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told journalists, adding:

    • What does Putin want? He knows that if Trump wins the US will want more then no reactors in Cuba for what ever he wants. He also knows that if Hillary wins she or Kaine will give away the farm to shut up the people screaming about nuclear reactors in Cuba.

      I say again what does he want? The US out of the Middle East (ain’t gonna happen) but what else does he want?

  4. Great news: Obama White House wants to further divide America with new racial category
    By J.E. Dyer October 1, 2016

    WASHINGTON — The White House is putting forward a proposal to add a new racial category for people from the Middle East and North Africa under what would be the biggest realignment of federal racial definitions in decades.

    If approved, the new designation could appear on census forms in 2020 and could have far-reaching implications for racial identity, anti-discrimination laws and health research.

    Under current law, people from the Middle East are considered white, the legacy of century-old court rulings in which Syrian Americans argued that they should not be considered Asian — because that designation would deny them citizenship under the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. But scholars and community leaders say more and more people with their roots in the Middle East find themselves caught between white, black and Asian classifications that don’t fully reflect their identities.

    “What it does is it helps these communities feel less invisible,” said Helen Samhan of the Arab American Institute, which has been advocating the change for more than 30 years. “It’s a good step, a positive step.”

  5. Black Lives Matter detractor arrested, violating First Amendment
    By Jerome Woehrle October 1, 2016

    The media depict the Black Lives Matter movement as “largely peaceful,” and unquestionably protected by the First Amendment. They do so despite the intimidating nature of many BLM rallies, which have included death chants, vandalism, arson, burned out cars, rocks and bottles thrown at cops, and the blocking of highways. For example, a day after the killing of a police officer, Black Lives Matter protesters in Minnesota chanted “Pigs in a blanket, Fry ’em like bacon.” Pigs in a blanket is a reference to police in body bags. That very phrase was used by Ismaaiyl Brinsley before he shot and killed two NYPD officers.

    But when someone who dislikes BLM does something far less menacing, and gets arrested for expressive activities, the media don’t even mention the First Amendment. A classic example is Susan Svrluga’s Washington Post story reporting on the arrest of an East Tennessee State University student for wearing a gorilla costume and handing out bananas to BLM activists. It reports on the arrest without even flagging the First Amendment issue:

    An East Tennessee State University student was arrested Wednesday after going to a Black Lives Matter protest on campus wearing a gorilla mask and handing out bananas.

    Tristan Rettke, an 18-year-old freshman, wore overalls and a gorilla mask and, holding a burlap sack with a Confederate flag and a marijuana leaf on it, offered bananas to students who were protesting, according to the ETSU police department report. He was arrested and charged with civil rights intimidation.

    Unless Rettke did something much more physically intimidating than this news report suggests, his offensive antics were protected by the First Amendment. While his antics were no doubt provocative, courts have ruled that the First Amendment protects racially provocative behavior, such as a racist, sexist “ugly woman” skit by a college fraternity, which a federal appeals court ruled could not be punished in Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University, 993 F.2d 386 (4th Cir. 1993). Similarly, in Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949), the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a racist, anti-semitic priest, who was convicted after causing unrest by giving a speech in which he criticized various racial groups and made a number of inflammatory comments. The Supreme Court held that a “breach of the peace” ordinance ” that banned speech which “stirs the public to anger, invites dispute, brings about a condition of unrest, or creates a disturbance” was unconstitutional because it prohibited much protected speech.

  6. AP Interview: Moroccan Opposition Leader Targets Extremism (abcnews, Oct 2, 2016)

    “The head of Morocco’s parliamentary opposition says he wants to use cultural programs, education and jobs as weapons to fight growing Islamic extremism, if his party wins a national election Friday.

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Ilyas El-Omari, secretary general of the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), called for investigations into the funding behind state-accredited associations he believes are involved in radicalizing youth.

    “Are you telling me a young man who couldn’t even afford a coffee now has enough money to fly to Syria?” El-Omari said Saturday in the city of Oujda…”

  7. Roadside Bomb Kills 4 Workers in Egypt’s Sinai (abcnews, Oct 2, 2016)

    “Security and medical officials in Egypt’s turbulent Sinai Peninsula say four workers from the state electricity company have been killed when their car hit a roadside bomb at the coastal city of el-Arish.

    They say Sunday’s bombing instantly killed three of the workers, while the fourth later died in the hospital from his wounds. The bomb was planted by suspected Islamic State militants, they say.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media…”

  8. Syria conflict: Besieged areas of Aleppo a ‘living hell’ (BBC, Oct 2, 2016)

    “Civilians in the rebel-held part of the Syrian city of Aleppo are enduring a “living hell”, the UN humanitarian chief has said, as fighting rages on.

    Stephen O’Brien urged the warring parties to allow the evacuation of hundreds of people who need urgent medical care.

    Rebel-held front-line areas were subject to dozens of Russian air strikes overnight, observers said.
    It allowed government troops to gain ground in the north of the city…”

  9. Merkel’s constituency ERUPTS in violence as right-wingers launch attack on asylum centre (express, Oct 2, 2016)

    “A MOB of right-wingers attacked a group of asylum seekers in Angela Merkel’s constituency on Friday night causing police to rush in.

    Thirty neo-Nazis attacked a group of 10 refugees in the centre of Schwerin which Mrs Merkel represents in parliament.

    One migrant received light injuries in the confrontation which comes three weeks after a similar attack in Bautzen saw immigrants being hunted through the streets of the city.

    There was a similar brawl in the town of Sangerhausen in the state of Saxony Anhalt also on Friday night when right-wingers clashed with newcomers resulting in light injuries for three Syrian men.

    That confrontation was allegedly sparked because a 15-year-old Syrian injured a 16-year-old local boy in a street fight two days previously.

    The brawl in Schwerin in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, north of Berlin, followed on from a fracas caused by asylum seekers in the town on Tuesday when two young Syrian men armed with a knife attacked another group of asylum seekers and a local man.

    The suspects fled but were later arrested at their asylum home in town…”

    • Until a more reliable report comes out I am going to think that the pictures of the Neo Nazis were not of those involved in the be fight and that it was ordinary Germans defending themselves and their country.

  10. Hungary set for landslide win over EU as voters see referendum as huge ‘NO to Brussels’ (express, Oct 2, 2016)

    “VOTERS in Hungary are getting set to deliver a resounding message to the European Union this weekend – they may be EU citizens, but they will NOT be told what to do, according to politicians in the country’s capital…”

    • Czech newspapers are reporting that the turnout for the referendum was likely around 40%, while Hungarian laws require a minimum of 50% voter turnout for the referendum to be valid. Let’s hope these reports of low voter turnout are wrong…

  11. Saudi princess who fled Paris after ‘instructing a bodyguard to kill a decorator’ is named – as her would-be ‘hitman’ is arrested (dailymail, Oct 2, 2016)

    “The daughter of King Salman of Saudi Arabia has fled Paris after allegedly instructing one of her bodyguards to murder a painter and decorator, it was claimed today.

    Princess Hassa, 42, has pleaded diplomatic immunity against prosecution after telling the armed aide: ‘You have to kill this dog, he doesn’t deserve to live.’

    But the bodyguard, who has not been named, was arrested in the French capital last week and, following two nights in custody, appeared before an instructing judge on Saturday…”

  12. Investigators interview engineer of crashed New Jersey train
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investigators on Saturday interviewed the engineer of a New Jersey commuter train that smashed into a Hoboken station this week, killing one person and injuring 108, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement.

    The NTSB said it would not immediately release anything investigators heard from the 29-year veteran of the railway, who was also injured in the Thursday morning crash that left a 34-year-old woman on the platform dead and toppled support columns in the 1907 building, a major transit point for New York City-bound commuters.

    Investigators had not previously been able to interview the driver, Thomas Gallagher, because of his injuries. Gallagher could not be reached for comment.

    The NTSB in a statement also noted that it had completed an inspection of the tracks and found nothing that would have affected the train’s performance.–sector.html

  13. BREITBART -More Victims in Portland after Ethiopian Charged with Rape of 87 and 94-year-old

    An Ethiopian immigrant who was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Portland, Oregon is behind bars, charged with rape, unlawful sexual penetration and other sexual contact with patients who were 87 and 94 years old.

    Around a half dozen other alleged victims came forward after the September 14 arrest of Adeladilew A. Mekonen and he is likely to face “many more charges,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to Breitbart News. As the online record of who is in custody in Washington County shows, the 34-year-old suspect is currently facing 18 charges.

    Even more shocking: a lawsuit filed on behalf of the 87-year-old victim claims that many of the assaults could’ve been prevented had the hospital where the accused rapist worked acted after the 94-year-old victim told the hospital she had been raped back in June.

    The lawsuit alleges that Providence St. Vincent Medical Center:

    knew and had reason to know that Adeladilew Mekonen had abused and was likely to again sexually abuse ill and elderly female patients, including plaintiff, if he were allowed to be alone with them in their rooms, and yet defendant Providence directed and allowed Mekonen to continue to attend such female patients, including plaintiff, under such circumstances.

    As the 87-year-old woman’s attorney Greg Kafoury told Portland TV station KOIN: “When you get an accusation as serious as this, you’re really supposed to do something about it,” Kafoury said about the hospital’s actions. “You’re not supposed to look for the first door out and try to look for a way to say it never happened.”

    It is unclear what happened in June after the lawsuit claims the 94-year-old woman told the hospital she had been raped but Providence St. Vincent gave KOIN 6 News this statement:

    Providence has been working closely with law enforcement and prosecutors in this ongoing investigation. As additional patients contacted us, we worked with Washington County detectives to connect patients with investigators and conduct interviews. We played a direct part in helping detectives take action in these new cases. Providence is committed to the safety of our patients and their families. In all of our hospitals, we have a team of people working to review and investigate any patient concerns we receive. We work every day to earn the trust of our patients, just as we have been doing for 160 years.

    The suspect’s neighbor, Jeff Reed, expressed dismay to news station KATU, telling the station he was shocked to hear the allegations after Mekonoen’s arrest. “I thought he was a very nice guy, family oriented,” said Reed, who lives across from Mekonen at an apartment complex in Southeast Portland.

    Mekonen had been working at the hospital since May, just a month before the first rape was allegedly reported.

    Breitbart News has confirmed with the Washington County authorities that the suspect, Adeladilew Mekonen, told a detective that he came to the United States from Ethiopia in 2011.

  14. Pentagon in Internal Struggle Over Calling out Salafi Jihadism
    Staffers from Special Operations Command want to include a section on Salafi jihadism in the next edition of the National Military Strategy.

    From time to time, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country’s most senior military officer below the commander-in-chief himself, puts out a National Military Strategy. This document is intended for senior American military commanders around the world and sets out big picture strategy guidance for how the U.S. military ought to cope with the myriad threats it may face in the line of duty.

    New Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine General Joseph Dunford is compiling a new National Military Strategy. Special Operations Command (SoCom), the branch of the military charged with hunting down and killing terrorists, is providing input and expertise to the report.

    SoCom is pushing for Salafi jihadism to be discussed in the report as the branch of Sunni Islam responsible for most global terrorism in the world today. It is the ideology shared by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

  15. Huma Abedin: Will She Repudiate Family’s Islamist Views?
    Abedin, herself, worked on an Islamist journal for 12 years, beginning the year she became a White House intern. She hasn’t commented on that job.

    Concerns about Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, both when she was secretary of state and now, as the Democratic presidential nominee, began surfacing in 2012. According to leaked emails, Abedin is slated to become secretary of state if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

    In 2012, Rep. Michele Bachmann and four other members of Congress requested information about the influence of Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups and individuals in the U.S. government, including Abedin, who worked for 12 years as an assistant editor of an Islamist journal that spewed extremism.

    Abedin’s tenure at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs began in 1996, the year she began working as an intern at the White house.

    Clarion Project covered that request extensively, as the Congressional members who made it were pilloried by their colleagues. We also covered the extremism of Abedin’s mother, father and other family members.

    Now more information has been uncovered regarding the Islamist beliefs of Abedin’s parents. While it is certainly possible to disavow the ideology of one’s parents, Abedin has remained silent on their extremism as well as her work with on journal. It remains to be seen whether or not she will repudiate these new findings.

  16. Just ‘Smoke and Mirrors?’ France Tries De-Radicalization
    We asked for the views of our European readers on whether France’s programs can be effective. Here are your responses.

    Under pressure to tackle home-grown jihadism, the French government is opening a string of rehabilitation centers to combat Islamist extremism. Many say this is just “smoke and mirrors” and cannot be effective.

    We asked our European readers if they thinnk that these programs can actually help de-radicalize young jihadi’s or are they just a front to keep public pressure at bay?

    Here are the repsonses from our readers:

    I don’t really know the answer to this question. If attempted, the main question that would have to be answered is: Can the Muslim person renounce the jihad and infidel parts that incite them to violence on other faiths? Is it an accept all-or-nothing decision to renounce Islam?

    — VB

    Governments facing upcoming elections promote deradicalization so they do not have to consult the people, ignoring the tough questions, exclude opposition politicians, remain silent on the difficult questions.There are no half measures in terms of Islamism.

  17. An all-European referendum on migration may be initiated, say Bulgarian politicians from a nationalistic party.
    Today, at the protest against one of the biggest migrant centers in Bulgaria- the one in Harmanli, Angel Dzhambazki from VMRO said that they want to initiate an all-European referendum to force the EU Commission to change its policy regarding migration. He says it takes 1 million signatures from 7 states for the referendum to take place. He wants a decision to be made that migrants should be pushed back.
    At the protest Dzhambazki got a declaration from the people of Harmanli about the migrant center, and is going to read it at the EU parliament tomorrow.

    Nationalistic parties want an all-European referendum on migration policy : (English subtitles)

    “Bulgaria needs an entirely new policy regarding migration.” He added that the Bulgarian government must insist on a new, common EU policy for refugees.
    “We will offer an all-European referendum on this issue”. The patriot insisted that Bulgaria and Europe must keep their shape.

  18. “Christians Are Untouchables! They Are Meant for Cleaning Our Houses.”
    Muslim Persecution of Christians, June 2016

    by Raymond Ibrahim
    October 2, 2016 at 5:30 am

    At the height of one of the worst months for Christians under Islam, June, 2016, both the U.S. government and “mainstream” media continued to ignore the plight of Christians.

    Despite the U.S. government acknowledging that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria, statistics showed the number of refugees the Obama administration has welcomed since the start of 2015:

    From Syria: 5,435 Muslims; 28 Christians
    From Iraq: 11,086 Muslims; 433 Christians

    As for the mainstream media, the death of a gorilla was covered six times more than the Muslim slaughter of Christians for their faith, according to a report.

    June’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    Muslim Slaughter of Christians

    Egypt: A Coptic Christian priest, Fr. Raphael Moussa, 46, was shot dead in “a hail of bullets” by an unidentified gunman outside the Church of the Martyr of St George, in Arish (Sinai). No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Islamic terrorists affiliated with ISIS have targeted Christians in Arish before. In 2013, another Coptic Christian priest, Mina Cheroubim, was also shot dead as he left his church in Arish.

    Syria: Non-ISIS rebel fighters considered “moderate” by establishment counterterror analysts slit the throat of a Christian man in front of his wife. The murderer told her: “Your Jesus did not come to save him from us.” The murder took place in the ancient Christian town of Maalula, where Jesus’ language Aramaic was still spoken. The town had been invaded by militants few days earlier.

  19. Turkey: “A Great Muslim Democracy”?

    by Burak Bekdil
    October 2, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Can there be democracies and democracies with religious prefixes? Is the United States a democracy or a Christian democracy? Is Israel a democracy or a Jewish democracy? Is Japan a democracy or a Shinto democracy?

    In a 2010 interview with the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, U.S. President Barack Obama referred to Turkey as a “great Muslim democracy.” In the same interview, he said that: “The U.S. always expressed the opinion that it would be wise to accept Turkey into the European Union.” All that was music to Turkish ears. But in reality, the president of the United States was suggesting to Europe’s rich club of nations that it must admit as full member not a democracy but a “Muslim democracy.” Obama did not understand that Turkey could never join the EU before it has fully transformed from being a Muslim democracy into a democracy.

    In later years, though, Obama would painfully understand the difference between a democracy and a Muslim democracy. Now, in the words of James Jeffrey, a former Obama administration ambassador to Ankara, “You have to deal with the Turkey you have, rather than the one you’d like to have.”

    Obama’s reference to Turkey aimed to please the political elite in Ankara. Soon after his 2008 election, Obama began to cultivate a private relationship with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who was then Prime Minister). In a 2012 Time interview, Obama named Erdogan as one of the five world leaders with whom he had the strongest bonds. In 2011, Tom Donilon, the president’s former national security advisor, said that Obama regarded Erdogan as “a man of principle, and also a man of action.”

  20. Pentagon Paid for Fake ‘Al Qaeda’ Videos

    A controversial foreign PR firm known for representing unsavory characters was paid millions by the Pentagon to create fake terrorist videos.

    The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda program in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal.

    Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.

    The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking U.S. military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters as the insurgency raged outside.

    Bell Pottinger’s former chairman Lord Tim Bell confirmed to the Sunday Times, which has worked with the Bureau on this story, that his firm had worked on a “covert” military operation “covered by various secrecy documents.”

    Bell Pottinger reported to the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Security Council on its work in Iraq, he said.

    Bell, one of Britain’s most successful public relations executives, is credited with honing Margaret Thatcher’s steely image and helping the Conservative party win three elections. The agency he co-founded has had a roster of clients including repressive regimes and Asma al-Assad, the wife of the Syrian president.

    In the first media interview any Bell Pottinger employee has given about the work for the U.S. military in Iraq, video editor Martin Wells told the Bureau his time in Camp Victory was “shocking, eye-opening, life-changing.”

    The firm’s output was signed off by former General David Petraeus – then commander of the coalition forces in Iraq – and on occasion by the White House, he said.

    Bell Pottinger produced reams of material for the Pentagon, some of it going far beyond standard communications work.

    The Bureau traced the firm’s Iraq work through US army contracting censuses, reports by the Defense Department’s Inspector General and federal procurement transaction records, as well as Bell Pottinger’s corporate filings and specialist publications on military propaganda. We interviewed half a dozen former officials and contractors involved in information operations in Iraq.

    There were three types of media operations commonly used in Iraq at the time, said a military contractor familiar with Bell Pottinger’s work there.

    “White is attributed, it says who produced it on the label,” the contractor said. “Grey is unattributed and black is falsely attributed. These types of black ops, used for tracking who is watching a certain thing, were a pretty standard part of the industry toolkit.”

    Bell Pottinger’s work in Iraq was a huge media operation which cost over a hundred million dollars a year on average. A document unearthed by the Bureau shows the company was employing almost 300 British and Iraqi staff at one point.

    The London-based PR agency was brought into Iraq soon after the U.S. invasion. In March 2004 it was tasked by the country’s temporary administration with the “promotion of democratic elections” —a “high-profile activity” which it trumpeted in its annual report.

    The firm soon switched to less high-profile activities, however. The Bureau has identified transactions worth $540 million between the Pentagon and Bell Pottinger for information operations and psychological operations on a series of contracts issued from May 2007 to December 2011. A similar contract at around the same annual rate—$120 million—was in force in 2006, we have been told.

    The bulk of the money was for costs such as production and distribution, Lord Bell told the Sunday Times, but the firm would have made around £15m a year in fees.

    Martin Wells, the ex-employee, told the Bureau he had no idea what he was getting into when he was interviewed for the Bell Pottinger job in May 2006.

    He had been working as a freelance video editor and got a call from his agency suggesting he go to London for an interview for a potential new gig. “You’ll be doing new stuff that’ll be coming out of the Middle East,” he was told.

    “I thought ‘That sounds interesting’,” Wells recalled. “So I go along and go into this building, get escorted up to the sixth floor in a lift, come out and there’s guards up there. I thought what on earth is going on here? And it turns out it was a Navy post, basically. So from what I could work out it was a media intelligence gathering unit.”

    After a brief chat Wells asked when he would find out about the job, and was surprised by the response.

    “You’ve already got it,” he was told. “We’ve already done our background checks into you.”

    He would be flying out on Monday, Wells was told. It was Friday afternoon. He asked where he would be going and got a surprising answer: Baghdad.

    • “So I literally had 48 hours to gather everything I needed to live in a desert,” Wells said.

      Days later, Wells’s plane executed a corkscrew landing to avoid insurgent fire at Baghdad airport. He assumed he would be taken to somewhere in the Green Zone, from which coalition officials were administering Iraq. Instead he found himself in Camp Victory, a military base.

      It turned out that the British PR firm which had hired him was working at the heart of a U.S. military intelligence operation.

      A tide of violence was engulfing the Iraqi capital as Wells began his contract. The same month he arrived there were five suicide bomb attacks in the city, including one a suicide car bomb attack near Camp Victory which killed 14 people and wounded six others.

      Describing his first impressions, Wells said he was struck by a working environment very unlike what he was used to. “It was a very secure building,” he recalled, with “signs outside saying ‘Do not come in, it’s a classified area, if you’re not cleared, you can’t come in.’”

      Inside were two or three rooms with lots of desks in, said Wells, with one section for Bell Pottinger staff and the other for the US military.

      “I made the mistake of walking into one of the [U.S. military] areas, and having a very stern American military guy basically drag me out saying you are not allowed in here under any circumstances, this is highly classified, get out—whilst his hand was on his gun, which was a nice introduction,” said Wells.

      It soon became apparent he would be doing much more than just editing news footage.

      The work consisted of three types of products. The first was television commercials portraying al Qaeda in a negative light. The second was news items which were made to look as if they had been “created by Arabic TV”, Wells said. Bell Pottinger would send teams out to film low-definition video of al Qaeda bombings and then edit it like a piece of news footage. It would be voiced in Arabic and distributed to TV stations across the region, according to Wells.

      The American origins of the news items were sometimes kept hidden. Revelations in 2005 that PR contractor the Lincoln Group had helped the Pentagon place articles in Iraqi newspapers, sometimes presented as unbiased news, led to a Department of Defense investigation.

      The third and most sensitive program described by Wells was the production of fake al Qaeda propaganda films. He told the Bureau how the videos were made. He was given precise instructions: “We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use al Qaeda’s footage,” he was told. “We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner.”

      US marines would take the CDs on patrol and drop them in the chaos when they raided targets. Wells said: “If they’re raiding a house and they’re going to make a mess of it looking for stuff anyway, they’d just drop an odd CD there.”

      The CDs were set up to use Real Player, a popular media streaming application which connects to the internet to run. Wells explained how the team embedded a code into the CDs which linked to a Google Analytics account, giving a list of IP addresses where the CDs had been played.

      The tracking account had a very restricted circulation list, according to Wells: the data went to him, a senior member of the Bell Pottinger management team, and one of the U.S. military commanders.

      Wells explained their intelligence value. “If one is looked at in the middle of Baghdad…you know there’s a hit there,” he said. “If one, 48 hours or a week later shows up in another part of the world, then that’s the more interesting one, and that’s what they’re looking for more, because that gives you a trail.”

      The CDs turned up in some interesting places, Wells recalled, including Iran, Syria, and even America.

      “I would do a print-out for the day and, if anything interesting popped up, hand it over to the bosses and then it would be dealt with from there,” he said.

      The Pentagon confirmed that Bell Pottinger did work for them as a contractor in Iraq under the Information Operations Task Force (IOTF), producing some material that was openly sourced to coalition forces, and some which was not. They insisted that all material put out by IOTF was “truthful”.

      IOTF was not the only mission Bell Pottinger worked on however. Wells said some Bell Pottinger work was carried out under the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (JPOTF), which a US defense official confirmed.

      The official said he could not comment in detail on JPOTF activities, adding “We do not discuss intelligence gathering methods for operations past and present.”

      Lord Bell, who stood down as chairman of Bell Pottinger earlier this year, told the Sunday Times that the deployment of tracking devices described by Wells was “perfectly possible”, but he was personally unaware of it.

      Bell Pottinger’s output was signed off by the commander of coalition forces in Iraq. Wells recalled: “We’d get the two colonels in to look at the things we’d done that day, they’d be fine with it, it would then go to General Petraeus”.

      Some of the projects went even higher up the chain of command. “If [Petraeus] couldn’t sign off on it, it would go on up the line to the White House, and it was signed off up there, and the answer would come back down the line’.

      Petraeus went on to become director of the CIA in 2011 before resigning in the wake of an affair with a journalist.

      The awarding of such a large contract to a British company created resentment among the American communications firms jostling for Iraq work, according to a former employee of one of Bell Pottinger’s rivals.

      “Nobody could work out how a British company could get hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. funding when there were equally capable U.S. companies who could have done it,” said Andrew Garfield, an ex-employee of the Lincoln Group who is now a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. “The American companies were pissed.”

      Ian Tunnicliffe, a former British soldier, was the head of a three person panel from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)—the transitional government in Iraq following the 2003 invasion—which awarded Bell Pottinger their 2004 contract to promote democratic elections.

      According to Tunnicliffe, the contract, which totaled $5.8m, was awarded after the CPA realized its own in-house efforts to make people aware of the transitional legal framework ahead of elections were not working.

      “We held a relatively hasty but still competitive bid for communications companies to come in,” recalls Tunnicliffe.

      Tunnicliffe said that Bell Pottinger’s consortium was one of three bidders for the contract, and simply put in a more convincing proposal than their rivals.

      Iraq was a lucrative opportunity for many communications firms. The Bureau has discovered that between 2006 and 2008 more than 40 companies were being paid for services such as TV and radio placement, video production, billboards, advertising and opinion polls. These included US companies like Lincoln Group, Leonie Industries and SOS International as well as Iraq-based firms such as Cradle of New Civilization Media, Babylon Media and Iraqi Dream.

      But the largest sums the Bureau was able to trace went to Bell Pottinger.

      According to Glen Segell, who worked in an information operations task force in Iraq in 2006, contractors were used partly because the military didn’t have the in-house expertise, and partly because they were operating in a legal “grey area”.

      In his 2011 article Covert Intelligence Provision in Iraq, Segell notes that U.S. law prevented the government from using propaganda on the domestic population of the U.S. In a globalized media environment, the Iraq operations could theoretically have been seen back home, therefore “it was prudent legally for the military not to undertake all the…activities,” Segell wrote.

      Segell maintains that information operations programs did make a difference on the ground in Iraq. Some experts question this however.

      A 2015 study by the Rand Corporation, a military think tank, concluded that “generating assessments of efforts to inform, influence, and persuade has proven to be challenging across the government and DoD.”

      Bell Pottinger’s operations on behalf of the U.S. government stopped in 2011 as American troops withdrew from Iraq.

      Bell Pottinger changed ownership after a management buyout in 2012 and its current structure has no connections with the unit Wells worked for, which closed in 2011. It is understood the key principals who were involved in this unit deny any involvement with tracking software as described by Wells.

      Wells left Iraq after less than two years, having had enough of the stress of working in a war zone and having to watch graphic videos of atrocities day after day.

      Looking back at his time creating propaganda for the US military, Wells is ambivalent. The aim of Bell Pottinger’s work in Iraq was to highlight al Qaeda’s senseless violence, he said—publicity which at the time he thought must be doing some good. “But then, somewhere in my conscience I wondered whether this was the right thing to do,” he added.

      Lord Bell told the Sunday Times he was “proud” of Bell Pottinger’s work in Iraq. “We did a lot to help resolve the situation,” he said. “Not enough. We did not stop the mess which emerged, but it was part of the American propaganda machinery.”

      Whether the material achieved its goals, no one would ever really know, said Wells. “I mean if you look at the situation now, it wouldn’t appear to have worked. But at the time, who knows, if it saved one life it [was] a good thing to do.”

  21. Woman’s pre-booked seat is changed by an airline because Muslims refused to sit near her – and the female flight attendants were not allowed to serve them or talk to them either:

  22. Sheriff David Clarke: Like Ali, Trump Playing Rope-A-Dope’ With ‘Scared’ Media

    Milwaukee County, WI Sheriff David Clarke spoke Friday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” about the media’s treatment of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

    “The liberal mainstream media is dwindling into irrelevancy,” Clarke told host Sean Hannity. “Donald Trump understands this is a dragon that has to be slayed. The liberal mainstream media, these rags, realize that this is their last stand to have any influence over the American public as it relates to presidential politics.”

    Clarke then likened Trump’s response to the media to Muhammad Ali’s “rope-a-dope” strategy.

    “The media is pounding away, throwing everything they got like George Foreman was, and every once in a while Donald Trump look up, he smiles and says ‘is that all you got?’” he said.

  23. Not news – but thought you guys might find it interesting.

    At some point, Thomas Jefferson took a razor and cut out all the parts of the bible that he found objectionable.

    Well, this blogger I came across is creating ‘the Jeffersonian Koran’ and is inviting everyone to follow along as he/she cuts out of the Koran all the objectionable bits:

  24. Death threats force Muslim woman into hiding (thelocal, Oct 2, 2016)

    “Liberal Party politician Mostafa Geha was one of several speakers at the demo, arranged by the local Liberal Party and GAPH, an organisation against “honour violence.” It came in response to a sustained campaign of intimidation and violence on 21-year-old Walaa, who lives in Hedemora.

    In an interview with local radio station P4 Dalarna, she claimed that she has been harassed by both men and women in the town for “not living in the right way”. Tension heightened during a confrontation when she was hit in the face by a young man who had been harassing her over a long period.

    Walaa reported the incident to the police but in the following days the row spread over social media and the story was picked up by local Liberal Party leaders…”

  25. Four million regular non-EU immigrants in Italy (ansamed, Oct 2, 2016)

    “ROME – Just under four million immigrants from countries outside the European Union were officially living in Italy at the start of January 2016, a stable figure compared to the same period the previous year, national statistics office ISTAT said on Thursday.

    Moroccans make up the largest share of non-EU immigrants officially registered as living in Italy, totalling 510,450, and Albanians are second at 482,959. There are about 333,986 Chinese regularly present in Italy, 240,141 Ukrainians and 169,394 Indians.

    Long-term stays make up about 59.5% of the total. But the number of new resident permits being issued to non-EU citizens is declining. In 2015, 238,936 were issued, 3.9% less than in 2014. Admissions for work reasons fell 62%, while admissions of people requesting asylum or humanitarian protection was up 40.5%. Most regular non-EU immigrants in Italy live in the centre or north of the country. A total of 36.6% are in the north-western regions, 26.8% are in the north east, 23.5% are in the centre and only 13.2% have a permit issued or renewed in the south.

    The regions with the highest number of official non-EU immigrants are Lombardy with 26.3%, Emilia-Romagna with 11.7% and Veneto with 11.0%.

    About 12% are based in Milan and 8.7% in Rome. (ANSAmed).”

  26. Attack on Indian army camp in Baramulla kills one (tribune, Oct 2, 2016)

    “At least six fighters attacked an Indian army camp in occupied Kashmir on Sunday night, killing one border guard and wounding another, two weeks after a similar attack killed 19 of its soldiers and ratcheted up tensions between India and Pakistan.

    The attack on the camp of India’s 46 Rastriya Rifles in Baramulla, which also houses a unit of the Border Security Force (BSF), started at around 10:30pm (1700 GMT) and repeated exchanges of fire ensued….”

    • It looks like that flash point is heating up. Pakistan isn’t going to be satasified until their is a full fledged war with India.

  27. Indian authorities seize ‘Pakistani boat’, detain 9 crew members off Gujarat (tribune, Oct 2, 2016)

    “Hours after India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar claimed efforts were on to secure the release of a soldier allegedly detained by Pakistan, the Indian Coast Guards claimed to have apprehended nine crew members on board a Pakistani boat from Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast.

    According to The Hindu, preliminary investigation suggested all crew members were fishermen who inadvertently crossed into Indian waters.

    “The boat and the crew members are being escorted to Porbandar for further investigation,” a statement by the defence PRO wing commander said…”

  28. ‘SEND THEM BACK!’ Fuming Czech leader orders Brussels to DEPORT economic migrants (express, Oct 2, 2016)

    “ECONOMIC migrants arriving in Europe should be immediately deported from the continent in a tough new crackdown on the refugee crisis, a fuming EU leader demanded today.

    Furious Czech leader Milos Zeman ordered Brussels to send all failed asylum seekers to “empty places” in North Africa or “uninhabited Greek islands” to deter further mass migration to Europe.

    The outspoken president said EU nations should provide refuge to people fleeing war and persecution in Syria, but insisted anyone found to be an economic migrant should be sent home.

    His strident intervention comes as European states continue to bicker over the best way to bring the spiralling migrant crisis under control, with big cracks opening up in the 28-member bloc…”

  29. Germany wants Greece to deal with all refugees landing on its shores (RT, Oct 2, 2016)

    “Greece has been provided with enough “financial and other support” to be able to properly take care of both new incoming crowds of migrants and those who already crossed into other EU states, believes German Interior Minister.

    “I would like the Dublin convention to be applied again,” Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s interior minister, told Greece’s Kathimerini newspaper, referring to an agreement which would allow Berlin to send asylum seekers back to Greece if it was the first European country that they reached.

    According to de Maiziere, the issue is to be discussed during a meeting of European Union interior ministers later this month.

    The Dublin regulation, which came into force in 1997, states that the responsibility for processing asylum seekers lies with the country they first reached in Europe. According to the agreement, they should be returned to the country of arrival even if they reached a different state on the continent.

    However, this clause was suspended for Greece back in 2011 due to a crippled asylum seeking process and the mistreatment of migrants and refugees.

    “The EU has since provided financial and other support for Greek efforts, and given a lot of money to improve these conditions,” de Maiziere said.

    “That is why I would like to see the Dublin Convention implemented again,” he reiterated…”

  30. Cavuto Just Exposed Lester Holt’s Lies During Debate

    The first presidential debate between Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump was fully of fiery exchanges between the two candidates, as well as several questionable moments.

    NBC’s Lester Holt, the moderator for the debate, started getting flak before the debate was over after he repeatedly interrupted Trump to “fact-check” him, except that his fact-checks were more or less wrong.

    In one of the more contentious exchanges, Holt insisted that Trump had supported the Iraq War from the beginning, but Trump continuously denied it, USA Politics Today reported.

  31. Breaking: SECURITY CONCERNS Force Julian Assange to Cancel Wikileaks Tuesday Announcement

    Jim Hoft Oct 2nd, 2016 2:05 pm 253 Comments

    Julian Assange Cancels Announcement from Embassy Balcony–
    Due to Security Concerns!

    Breaking: SECURITY CONCERNS Force Julian Assange to Cancel Wikileaks Tuesday Announcement

    Jim Hoft Oct 2nd, 2016 2:05 pm 253 Comments

    Julian Assange Cancels Announcement from Embassy Balcony–
    Due to Security Concerns!
    assange hannity

    Assange was going to make the announcement on Tuesday.
    Obviously, Julian Assange fears for his life.

    Julian Assange announced in August: The “Most Interesting and Serious” Wikileaks Info On Hillary Clinton Yet to Be Released

  32. Black Lives Matter Vandalizes Trump International in DC – Liberal Media COMPLETELY IGNORES Attack –UPDATE: WITH VIDEO

    DeRay McKesson and Elzie (ShordeeDooWhop) were the lead agitators at the Ferguson and Baltimore riots.

    Black Lives Matter activists are responsible for millions of dollars of public destruction and dozens of attacks on police and innocent pedestrians.

    On Saturday Black Lives Matter goons defaced the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC.

    Via Conservative Treehouse:

  33. MEMRI TV -Former Tunisian President: Tunisia Is Not a Democracy, the Revolution Was Thwarted

    In two recent TV interviews, former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki talked about his disappointment in the outcome of the Arab Spring revolution in his country. Speaking on Al-Jazeera on September 16, he said that the “rosy” image of Tunisia as a successful democracy was “propaganda that has nothing to do with reality.” Speaking on BBC on September 22, Marzouki said that “what we are witnessing now is the return of the old regime,” accusing President Beji Caid Essebsi of “conspiring against the revolution from day one.”

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