"It is the beans, and not the counting of the beans, that prospers a nation." -- Michael Rivero

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Plaintiffs Suhail Al Shimari, Asa'ad Zuba'e, and Salah Al-Ejaili accuse CACI of conspiring to commit war crimes including torture. CACI is a Virginia-based professional services and information technology firm hired in 2003 by the Bush administration as translators and interrogators in Iraq during the US-led invasion and occupation there.

Three Iraqi victims were finally given their day in court on Monday after waiting for nearly two decades regarding human rights abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. The case being heard in the US District Court in Alexandria, Al Shimari v. CACI was first filed in 2008 under the Alien Tort Statute which allows non-US citizens to sue for human rights abuses committed abroad, a recent report said.

On Tuesday, Sputnik’s Fault Lines was joined by Dan Kovalik, an American human rights and labor rights lawyer, to discuss the case. When asked about the case that came two decades after the three men were tortured, Kovalik quoted the adage; ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.

Tags: TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WHITE HOUSE
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Webmaster addition: The video fails to name the app. It's "boycat." Just added it to my iPhone.

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET, IRAN, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The new law further simplifies draft procedures, with all Ukrainians obliged to “update data” on themselves with the military authorities within 60 days after the legislation comes into force. The provision applies to Ukrainians living abroad as well. 

Apart from that, all eligible individuals aged 18 to 60 now must always carry their military ID on them. Moreover, a conscription notice is forthwith considered to be delivered to a draftee even should conscription officers fail to meet them in person at their residence and actually hand them their notice.

The legislation also introduces new penalties for breaches, including fines and suspension of a driver’s permit. The police can also forcibly deliver a suspected draft dodger to an enlistment office should a draftee fail to show up on being deemed to have received their conscription notice.

Critics of the legislation have argued that it will further distance the Ukrainian authorities from the general public. It has also reportedly received a poor reception within the military itself, given the lack of any demobilization mechanisms. The reception was apparently also influenced by the fact that the bill’s introduction was justified largely by the purported need to relieve war-weary soldiers from their military service.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Iran’s retaliatory strikes against Israel were not conducted alone. Strategic partners Russia and China have Tehran’s back, and their role in West Asia’s conflict will only grow if the US doesn’t keep Israel in check.

A little over 48 hours before Iran’s aerial message to Israel across the skies of West Asia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirmed, on the record, what so far had been, at best, hush-hush diplomatic talk:

The Russian side keeps in contact with Iranian partners on the situation in the Middle East after the Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria.

Ryabkov added, “We stay in constant touch [with Iran]. New in-depth discussions on the whole range of issues related to the Middle East are also expected in the near future in BRICS.”

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, IRAN, ISRAEL, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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Russia is withdrawing its peacekeepers from Karabakh, a region that had previously seceded from Azerbaijan, the Kremlin confirmed on Wednesday.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said reports of the move that had appeared in Azerbaijani media were correct.

What was formerly the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh defied Baku’s authority amid the collapse of the USSR, when its predominantly ethnic Armenian population sought independence. The region remained a constant source of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which tacitly supported the ambitions of its de facto government.

There was a series of bloody armed conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh in the following decade. The last of these occurred last year and resulted in Baku reasserting its sovereignty over the area. A mass exodus of people followed what Azerbaijan described as a counter-terrorism operation.

Tags: ASIA, EUROPE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Belgian police barricaded the entrance to a conference of national conservatives in the capital of the EU for several hours, in what participants denounced as censorship and political repression.

The event, dubbed NatCon, drew populists from both Europe and the US to Claridge, a venue in central Brussels. As Brexit architect Nigel Farage spoke on Tuesday, police blocked the entrance and prevented keynote speaker Eric Zemmour – a former French presidential candidate – from entering. 

“I knew I wouldn’t be welcome back in Brussels,” Farage, a former MEP, joked on stage, calling the attempt to cancel the event “simply monstrous.”

Tags: EUROPE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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House Speaker Mike Johnson betrayed liberty and the Constitution by making a full-court press to get a “clean” reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Act through the House.

Section 702 authorizes warrantless surveillance of foreign citizens. When the FISA Act was passed, surveillance state boosters promised that 702 warrantless surveillances would never be used against American citizens. However, intelligence agencies have used a loophole in 702, allowing them to subject to warrantless surveillance any American who communicated with a non-US citizen who was a 702 target. Intelligence agencies could then also conduct warrantless surveillance on any Americans who communicated with the new American target. This Section 702 loophole has been used so often to subject Americans to warrantless wiretapping that it has been referred to as the surveillance state’s crown jewel.

A bipartisan coalition of Republican and Democratic House members worked to add a warrant requirement to the FISA bill. Speaker Johnson agreed to allow a vote on the House floor on an amendment requiring federal officials to get a warrant before subjecting any American to surveillance. However, he publicly opposed the amendment, as did President Biden. Prominent deep state operatives, such as former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, also lobbied against the amendment.

Webmaster addition: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." -- 4th Amendment

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP
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From the beginning it has been completely clear that the criminal and civil indictments of Trump have the purposes of using up his energy, money, and time so that he cannot campaign and of discrediting him with the insouciant part of the population that is stupid enough to have faith in the “justice system.”

The trials themselves and the words of the prosecutors and judges prove it.

The black Democrat New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, put into office by anti-Trump billionaire George Soros, who Elon Musk says hates humanity (which means gentiles), has concocted a criminal case against President Trump for “falsifying business documents” that legal scholars dispute. Apparently, Bragg cares not a whit about his reputation, only about preventing Trump from campaigning. Bragg contends that Trump should have reported his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as a campaign contribution to himself and not as legal fees. But, of course, it would have been one of Trump’s lawyers or CPA who filled in the form. A person of Trump’s wealth leaves such decisions to professionals and does not himself navigate complicated and risky forms. Regardless, there is nothing illegal whatsoever in making extortion or bribery payments to a porn star so that she doesn’t make harmful accusations. It is a much cheaper solution than suing for slander.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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It might be wrong to assume China has “peaked”. Nicholas R. Lardy, a  Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, writing for Foreign Affairs, argues it is still rising and should not be underestimated  as a superpower. Parts of the American establishment, however, still cannot conceive of pacific coexistence/competition with Beijing. Matt Pottinger (former Deputy National Security Adviser) and Mike Gallagher (former chair of the “House Select Committee on the CCP”) amazingly call for regime change in China, and argue that Washington should ensure the whole of Asia is under US military primacy.

Pottinger and Gallagher in fact wrote that “the United States shouldn’t manage the competition with China; it should win it”. They call for “greater friction” in Chinese-US relations, by adopting “rhetoric and policies that feel uncomfortably confrontational.” The authors add that “Washington should not fear the end state desired by a growing number of Chinese”, namely a China “free from communist dictatorship.”

Other goals Washington should pursue, according to the same piece, are “severing China’s access to Western technology” (by placing export bans on areas such as “quantum computing and biotechnology”), and also multiplying “U.S. military installations across the region and pre-position critical supplies such as fuel, ammunition, and equipment throughout the Pacific.”

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, PACIFICA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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Russian media shared a video reportedly found in the mobile phone of one of the captured Ukrainian servicemen. The footage was provided by Russian law enforcement agencies.

The footage shows an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine arguing with a soldier. The officer likely wanted to punish the soldier. He beat the victim. Then, the officer is seen shooting in the direction of the soldier. The result of the quarrel is unknown. Unfortunately, there is a high risk that the victim was killed.

The Ukrainian POW was captured in the Kherson region, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine are holding control of a small stronghold in the village of Krynki and continue some operations near the Antonovsky bridge. The filmed incident took place in the Kherson region too.

This is far from the first video revealing the assassination of Ukrainian servicemen by their comrades. In recent days, most of these cases have been recorded in the Kherson region, where Ukrainian servicemen do not want to participate in senseless operations and risk their lives trying to cross the Dnieper River. LINK

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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by 

The middle class in the United States has been steadily shrinking, and the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us has grown to absurd proportions.  But it wasn’t always this way.  When I was growing up in the 1980s, it seemed like almost everyone was middle class.  Of course there were wealthy people and poor people in the 1980s too, but the vast majority of the population was comfortably somewhere in the middle.  Sadly, things have changed so much since that time.  Today, most of the people that I know are struggling.  According to a report that was just released, in all 50 states it now takes an income of more than $100,000 in order for a family of four to live “the American Dream”…

A new report from GOBankingRates used that framework to analyze how much money a family of two adults and two children would need in each state to own a home, a car and a pet. The report tallied estimated annual essential expenses for such a family and then doubled that figure.

Using that framework, GoBankingRates found that all 50 states require more than a $100,000 annual income, according to the report, with 38 states needing more than $140,000.

Is your family bringing in more than $100,000 a year?

If not, “the American Dream” is not for you.

Sorry.

Our leaders purposely pursued policies that they knew would cause inflation, and when new money enters the system most of it tends to flow into the hands of those at the top of the economic food chain.

So the ultra-wealthy have been doing very well in this economic environment, but high inflation is absolutely eviscerating all the rest of us.

At this point, it takes the average U.S. household an extra $1,069 per month just to purchase the same goods and services that it did three years ago…

Inflation is once again gaining steam, forcing the average American to shell out a lot more money for everyday necessities.

The typical U.S. household needed to pay $227 more a month in March to purchase the same goods and services it did one year ago because of still-high inflation, according to calculations from Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi shared with FOX Business.

Americans are paying on average $784 more each month compared with the same time two years ago and $1,069 more compared with three years ago, before the inflation crisis began.

What we are witnessing is the collapse of the middle class.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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South Dakota state Sen. John Wiik likes to think of himself as a lookout of sorts — keeping an eye on new laws, programs and ideas brewing across the states.

“I don’t bring a ton of legislation,” said Wiik, a Republican. “The main thing I like to do is try and stay ahead of trends and try and prevent bad things from coming into our state.”

This session, that meant sponsoring successful legislation banning cities or counties from creating basic income programs, which provide direct, regular cash payments to low-income residents to help alleviate poverty.

While Wiik isn’t aware of any local governments publicly floating the idea in South Dakota, he describes such programs as “bureaucrats trying to hand out checks to make sure that your party registration matches whoever signed the checks for the rest of your life.”

Tags: ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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The Heritage Foundation's Oversight Project posted an image on X of what they say is a flyer from a non-governmental organization operating in Mexico encouraging migrants to vote for President Biden once they arrive in the United States.

"Reminder to vote for President Biden when you are in the United States. We need another four years of his term to stay open," part of the flyer read. 

The Oversight Project said the flyer was initially discovered by a Muckraker journalist while touring the site of Resource Center Matamoras in Mexico. 

"They [flyers] also appear to be handed out when illegal aliens use the RCM for assistance in coming to the USA," the group said. 

Webmaster addition: 

 

United States Code, Title 18, Section 611, which states that it is unlawful for any noncitizen to vote in a Federal election. The specific penalty can include fines, imprisonment, and potential deportation for non-citizens who are found to have unlawfully voted in federal elections.

Tags: IMMIGRATION/GLOBALISM, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, VOTE FRAUD, WHITE HOUSE
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Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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The F-35 fighter jet program will cost taxpayers more than $2 trillion over its lifetime, cementing its place as one of the most expensive weapons programs in U.S. history, according to new estimates from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent government watchdog.

The new price tag represents a dramatic jump from a 2018 estimate that set the program’s total cost at $1.7 trillion. Most of the bump comes from projected sustainment costs, which increased by 44 percent to a cool $1.58 trillion over the lifetime of the program. The Pentagon also extended the projected life of the plane to 2088 rather than the previous goal of 2077.

The news comes as Congress considers President Joe Biden’s budget proposal for next year, which asks for a record $895 billion in military funding. The spending package is separate from the White House’s request for $106 billion to fund weapons transfers to and security cooperation with Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine, which is still languishing in the House after passing the Senate earlier this year.

Tags: WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron arrived in Israel on Wednesday for talks where he is expected to repeat his warning against any  response to the recent missile attack by Iran.

Lord Cameron will meet Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has vowed to retaliate to Iran’s weekend attack.

As Breitbart News reported, the state-on-state strike by more than 300 missiles and drones from Iran caused only modest damage in Israel as most were shot down by its Iron Dome defence system and with help from the U.S., Britain, France and Jordan.

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Following the launching of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps drone and missile strike under Operation True Promise on April 13, targeting Israeli military bases in retaliation for an Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic building in Syria twelve days prior, the United States Military was responsible for most of the claimed shootdowns of Iranian targets to protect its ally. While the operations of a pair of U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke Class destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean have gained particular attention, and are credited with having made their first operational use of the SM-3 anti ballistic missile during the operation, F-15E Strike Eagle fighters are also credited with having played a very central role. U.S. Air Force F-15Es are deployed in the Middle East under the 494th Fighter Squadron and the 335th Fighter Squadron, which are permanently based at RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom and at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina respectively. Both units were deployed to the Middle East in the second week of October 2023 as part of a broader surge in the U.S. military presence in the region. This was initiated following the outbreak of open hostilities between Israeli forces and Palestinian militia groups in the Gaza Strip.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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On April 13 the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps initiated missile and drone strikes on Israeli military facilities, with these launched under Operation True Promise in retaliation for an Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic building in Syria killing two senior generals and nine others. Iran first gained the capability to launch missile strikes on Israeli territory in the late 1990s with the acquisition of North Korean Hwasong-7 ballistic missiles, with the expansion of these strike capabilities and of those of neighbouring Syria having led Israel to build a dense multi layered air defence network with the support of the United States. According to Israeli Defence Forces Brigadier General Reem Aminoach, the country’s air defence efforts cost approximately $1.33 billion. Alongside Israeli efforts, however, four of the country’s closest security partners also provided significant support to help blunt the Iranian strike - namely the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Jordan. 

Webmaster addition: According to reports, about half of the incoming Iranian drones and missiles were actually downed by US forces. This means that had Israel been forced to defend itself all alone, it would have suffered a staggering defeat. It is still being debated whether Iran did or did not use their hypersonic weapons.

Tags: FRANCE, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, IRAN, ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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US Will Try to Rally Other Nations to Sanction Iran Over Israel Attack

by | Apr 16, 2024

yellen

 

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will attempt to convince the international community to increase economic penalties on Iran as punishment for the drone and missile barrage Tehran launched at Israel. Iran’s attack followed Israel’s assassination of several high-ranking officials when Tel Aviv bombed Tehran’s consulate in Damascus. 

On Tuesday, Axios reported that the Treasury is preparing new sanctions to levy on Iran and will use an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting later this week to try to convince other countries to join. “All options to disrupt terrorist financing of Iran continue to be on the table,” she said.

The sanctions would be a response to Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel. The Iranian attack was a response to Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria, which killed 16 people, including seven IRGC officials. 

“Treasury will not hesitate to work with our allies to use our sanctions authority to continue disrupting the Iranian regime’s malign and destabilizing activity,” Yellen is set to say during her opening remarks at the IMF conference. “The attack by Iran and its proxies underscores the importance of Treasury’s work to use our economic tools to counter Iran’s malign activity.” 

According to Axios, Washington hopes the sanctions will show Tel Aviv that there is a way to punish Tehran without a direct attack on Iran. The war government in Tel Aviv says it will respond to the Iranian attack “clearly and forcefully.” 

However, the Washington Post notes that the White House has few options for sanctioning Tehran as the Iranian economy is already one of the most heavily sanctioned. The Post explains that one of Washington’s few options for expanding sanctions on Iran is to blacklist Chinese firms purchasing Iranian crude oil.

Claire's Observations:  Looking at this image of Yellen, her body language indicates that she is attempting to conjure some great invisible spirit, to assist her in this "Mission Insanely Not Possible" of piling more sanctions against Iran.  

Had a little more than the usual dose of "hopium changium" last night, Janet?!?  Because.... DAMN!  You have become so adept at proposing approaches which just will not, work, and somewhere in your soul, you have to know this, don't you?!?

 

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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