"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world." -- Thomas Jefferson

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In late February, the Ukrainian military command transferred special forces of the neo-nazi Kraken unit to the Kherson region; but amid the Ukrainian defeats, they did not take active part in hostilities and reportedly already left their positions.

The Kraken Special Forces is a Ukrainian separate reconnaissance and sabotage unit of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
The special unit was created in March 2022 in Kharkiv and included highly-motivated veterans of the AZOV neo-Nazi regiment, officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate, ultras and other neo-Nazi militants.

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Poland’s political class has been divided between the liberal conservative Civic Platform and the soft Eurosceptic national conservative Law and Justice Party for about the past 20 years, with each side regularly accusing the other of undermining the constitutional order, playing dirty tricks and betraying the country’s national interests.

The Polish National Public Prosecutor’s Office has reportedly been caught wiretapping officials using a spyware system more advanced than the infamous Israeli spyware package Pegasus.

According to information obtained by the liberal Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, the prosecutor’s office purchased the spyware system for 15 million Polish zloty (about $3.5 million), not counting renewable subscription fees, in the spring of 2021, and subsequently used it to wiretap officials, opposition politicians, judges and prosecutors “suspected of disloyalty” to the Law and Justice government in power at the time.

The spyware, known as Hermes, is reportedly more advanced than Pegasus, which Polish authorities were previously also caught using, to the point where it cannot be detected using normal scanning tools because it burrows deep into low-level systems, and can compromise the encrypted systems of popular messengers such as WhatsApp and Signal.

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Open Access Government interviews Justin Albrecht, the Threat Intelligence officer who was behind the discovery of Hermit Spyware in Italy and Kazakhstan

Justin Albrecht, a Threat Intelligence officer from Lookout, was behind the recent discovery of the Hermit Spyware which was detected in Italy and Kazakhstan. Here, Albrecht explains the dangers of Hermit Spyware.

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On Monday, German media reported that German military officials were speaking about plans to attack Russia on unencrypted video conversations and it is possible that unidentified numbers simply joined the conference call when it was intercepted.

There is “sincere panic” among Western leaders who are forced to “face the inevitable fact” that they are losing to Russia, Mark Sleboda, a foreign relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Monday. “It is shattering both their preconceptions of this conflict and also shattering their belief in their own exceptionalism and seniority,” he told co-hosts Melik Abdul and Jamarl Thomas.

The comments came after discussing the leaked German plans to coordinate a strike on the Crimean bridge or an ammo depot in Krasnodar, which Sleboda said was “planning an act of war on the Russian Federation” noting that Russia would have “every right” to respond.

“They were plotting an act of war and [the] Ukrainians in all of this, they weren’t doing the planning, they wouldn’t be doing the implementation, the programing of the missiles on the ground. They were talking about having it be done by German officials and the number [of] people with American accents and civilian clothes,” he said, adding “Their biggest concern, other than which was the more feasible target… was their plausible deniability.”

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An air-ground or air-sea operation could be launched against Russia that would begin with a rapid global strike and several massive missile and air strikes at the same time, reads an article in Military Thought magazine, published by the Russian Defense Ministry.

According to the article, foreign experts are considering the emergence of new military structures called "joint operational formations." These should be compact, highly mobile, multi-sphere groups of troops capable of inflicting a comprehensive defeat on an enemy's administrative, political, and military-industrial infrastructure in all fields: land, sea, air, space, and information.

"The most expected forms of application of joint operational formations are air-ground campaigns. They begin with air (from 2030 air-space) offensive operations consisting of a quick strike and several (from 2-3 to 5-7) massive missile and air strikes. In this case, aviation will be one of the first to enter combat operations as the most maneuverable and adaptable type of troops, possibly even before the deployment of the main grouping," the article says.

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The United States may evacuate Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky from Kiev due to the successful advance of the Russian army, former Pentagon employee Stephen Bryen said in an article for the Asia Times.

"It is now clear that Ukraine has significant manpower problems and its attempt to use forceful means to corral potential recruits is causing unrest in the country, including in major cities such as Odessa, Kharkov and Kiev," he said. "No one can say how long the Zelensky government can hold on in Kiev. With a steady Russian military advance, growing turmoil at home, the refusal to hold elections, the jailing of people opposed to Zelensky and a host of unpopular measures, Zelensky’s hold on power is entering the zone of desperation. <...> Zelensky’s security situation in Kiev could rapidly come under a terminal shadow. In these circumstances, the Pentagon could rescue Zelensky and move him elsewhere, with Lvov being the most likely place, as it is far in the west and challenging for the Russians to reach if they wished to deal with Zelensky using military means," Bryen wrote.

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The US is reportedly in discussions with the UK and Australia about inviting Japan to take part in weapons development under the AUKUS security partnership, outlet Nikkei Asia claimed on Saturday, citing US officials.

An official announcement of the partnership is expected to be made during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Washington next month, the outlet claimed, noting that Japan would be the first country invited to work with the trilateral AUKUS military technology sharing framework established in 2021 by Australia, the UK, and the US.

The report stressed that there are currently no talks about Japan becoming a formal member of the group and its participation is set to be limited to a very specific project tied to the development of cutting-edge defense technologies under the bloc’s so-called Pillar 2.

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Nikopol has renamed one of its streets after Pyotr Dyachenko, an officer of the Ukrainian Waffen SS Division ‘Galizien’, the head of Ukraine’s Jewish community said on Monday.

Eduard Dolinsky, director of the United Jewish Committee of Ukraine, lamented the move by the city authorities both on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), pointing out that Dyachenko was the recipient of one of Nazi Germany’s highest decorations, the Iron Cross. 

“The Nikopol City Council has renamed Pavlograd Street in honor of the Nazi war criminal, accomplice in the Holocaust, performer of punitive actions against civilians, commander of the 31st Schutzmannschaft battalion, head of collaborationist units within the Wehrmacht and the SS Galizien division, Pyotr Dyachenko,” Dolinsky wrote.

The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, known as ‘Galizien’ (Galicia), attracted tens of thousands of volunteers from what is now western Ukraine. Its members took a personal oath to Adolf Hitler. The division went on to commit atrocities against Jews, Polish civilians, and Soviet civilians and partisans. 

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Germany could face “dire consequences” if something is not done about the mindset that produced the conversation between Luftwaffe generals on a possible operation to destroy Russia's Crimea Beidge, Moscow's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.

RT has published a recording and transcript of the February 19 call between senior leaders of the German Air Force, in which they discussed how Taurus long-range missiles could be deployed against the 18 km long connector, at the request of Ukraine. 

“As we now understand, they have not been fully denazified,” Zakharova told reporters on the sidelines of the World Youth Festival (WYF 2024) in Sochi.

“If nothing is done, if this process is not stopped by the German people themselves, this will lead first of all to dire consequences for Germany itself,” she added.

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Ambassadors from European Union member states should be expelled from Russia, former President Dmitry Medvedev has said, citing their refusal to discuss election meddling with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“Ambassadors of the EU states to Russia declined a meeting with the Russian minister of foreign affairs. Allegedly, following some advice from Brussels,” Medvedev wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday. “This goes totally against the very idea of [the] existence of diplomatic missions and assignments of ambassadors.”

“All these ambassadors should be kicked out of Russia, and the level of diplomatic relations should be demoted,” Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, wrote. He slammed the EU diplomats as “political imbeciles who do not comprehend their real tasks.”

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My lead for this story will make some of you spit your morning coffee all over your smartphone, desktop, or tablet, so put down your cup or suffer the consequences. Uh-hum. Now, get this. The New York Times’s Adam Entous and Michael Schwirtz are convinced the CIA is a “nurturing” spy agency. Stop laughing. This is for real. It’s serious. It’s also ludicrous, of course.

According to the reporters, Ukraine soldiers are being coddled, hugged, urged forward, and protected not by the billions of dollars and euros America and the EU are providing in weapons and bribes but by the Central Intelligence Agency. Yes, the mother of all lying, cheating, and killing organisations has set up camp in bunkers across the Russian front in Ukraine. As the NYT’s story reveals, Mommy Dearest in Langley has built a “network of secret spy bases along the Russian border” since 2014 (Operation Goldfish). Or, in other words, everything we alternative media analysts have been saying all along is out in the open.

The interesting thing for me (and I hope some of you) is that Russia’s Vladimir Putin alluded to the CIA and a “deep state” running U.S. presidents in his interview with Tucker Carlson some days ago. I won’t elaborate here, but Putin gave examples of American chief executives changing course after consultation with “whoever” it is standing behind the curtain. The Wizard of Oz comes to mind for a plethora of reasons. Returning to the referenced story, it also gave us this:

“Since 2016, the CIA began training an elite Ukrainian commando force — known as Unit 2245 — which captured Russian drones and communications gear so that CIA technicians could reverse-engineer them and crack Moscow’s encryption systems.”

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Multiple reports are coming in about heavy explosion sounds coming from the area of the Kerch Strait Bridge between mainland Russia and Crimea. The Bridge is now closed to traffic for "missile alert."

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The European Union has run out of gunpowder to create ammunition for Ukraine because the resources for its Gunpowder production were imported from China.

Here in the U.S., we have very much reduced ability to manufacture Gunpowder because the ENVIRONMENTALISTS whined that gunpowder production harmed the environment.   We are even far worse-off because many of those same ENVIRONMENTALISTS, demanded -  and got 00 the shut-down of lead Foundries, so we can no longer smelt lead to form . . . . bullets.

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Across Western and Central Europe, farmers are demonstrating. First in the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and Romania, now in Spain, France, Germany and Poland. This continent-wide uprising is against the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

When the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community was signed in 1957, the six founding member states (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany) accepted the principle of the free movement of goods. They thus prohibited any national agricultural policy.

To guarantee farmers’ incomes, they set up a common agricultural policy. Depending on the Member State, EU aid is paid to the regions, which then distribute it to farmers or directly to farmers (as in France). This is known as the "First Pillar". In addition, the European Commission sets production standards to improve the quality of life of rural populations and their products. This is the "Second Pillar".

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Climate czar John Kerry will be leaving his Biden administration role this week.

According to The Hill, Kerry's last day as special presidential envoy for climate will be Wednesday. However, a White House spokesperson declined to share additional information on Kerry's next steps.

Kerry said in January that he would be “shifting” to work on the 2024 election. The Hill also reports Kerry is expected to do work with Yale University.

During a recent event at the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerry said that though he was leaving the post of climate envoy, “I am not leaving the climate fight.”

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A three-judge panel in Austin ruled in favor of Texas over an immigration enforcement dispute at the southern border with the Biden administration.

The 5th Circuit judges from Texas' Western District granted a seven-day administrative stay on a lower court's ruling intended to block Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB 4). SB 4 empowers Texas authorities to arrest and jail illegal immigrants and give state judges the power to authorize deportations. (RELATED: Texas Forces Cross Rio Grande, Cartel Members Flee)

It remains to be seen if the Biden administration will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Webmaster addition:  Yes, Biden has appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which has issued a temporary stay.

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NBA legend Charles Barkley threatened to punch any black person in the face if he saw them “walking around with Trump’s mugshot.”

Barkley made the remarks during an interview with CNN anchor Gayle King on Monday.

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The freedom to say whatever we want is one of the most fundamental rights in a free society.  If we are not free to speak up, it is is just a matter of time before all of our other rights are taken away as well.  So it should deeply alarm all of us that free speech is under attack like never before.  Much of the population has become convinced that “hate speech” is a special class of speech that does not deserve protection.  Of course in practice “hate speech” ends up being whatever forms of expression that the leftist elite hate.  That is why “hate speech” laws are always written so vaguely.  That way they can be used to go after whoever the leftist elite feel like going after at the time.

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Is Tehran Winning the Middle East?

How the Gaza Conflict Made Democracy’s Name Mud for Millions

by Juan Cole

In the midst of Israel’s ongoing devastation of Gaza, one major piece of Middle Eastern news has yet to hit the headlines. In a face-off that, in a sense, has lasted since the pro-American Shah of Iran was overthrown by theocratic clerics in 1979, Iran finally seems to be besting the United States in a significant fashion across the region. It’s a story that needs to be told.

“Hit Iran now. Hit them hard” was typical advice offered by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham after a drone flown by an Iran-aligned Iraqi Shiite militia killed three American servicemen in northern Jordan on January 28th. The well-heeled Iran War Lobby in Washington has, in fact, been stridently calling for nothing short of a U.S. invasion of that country, accusing Tehran of complicity in Hamas’s October 7th terrorist attack on Israel.

No matter that the official Iranian press has vehemently denied the allegation, while American intelligence officials swiftly concluded that the attack on Israel had taken top Iranian leaders by surprise. In mid-November, Reuters reported that Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei informed a key Hamas figure, Ismail Haniya, that his country wouldn’t intervene directly in the Gaza war, since Tehran hadn’t been warned about the October 7th attack before it was launched. He actually seemed annoyed that the leadership of the Hamas paramilitary group, the Qassam Brigades, thought they could draw Tehran and its allies willy-nilly into a major conflict without the slightest consultation. Although initially caught off-guard, as the Israeli counterattack grew increasingly brutal and disproportionate, Iran’s leaders clearly began to see ways they could turn the war to their regional benefit — and they’ve done so skillfully, even as the Biden administration in its full-scale embrace of the most extreme government in Israeli history tossed democracy and international law under the bus.

The gut-wrenching Hamas attacks on civilians at a music festival and those living in left-wing, peacenik Kibbutzim near the Israeli border with Gaza on October 7th initially left Iran in an uncomfortable position. It had allegedly been slipping some $70 million a year to Hamas — though Egypt and Qatar had provided major funding to Gaza at Israel’s request through sanctioned Israeli government bank accounts. And after decades of championing the Palestinian cause, Tehran could hardly stand by and do nothing as Israel razed Gaza to the ground. On the other hand, the ayatollahs couldn’t afford to gain a reputation for being played like a fiddle by the region’s young radicals and so drawn into conventional wars their country can ill afford.

The Adults in the Room?

Despite their fiery rhetoric, their undeniable backing of fundamentalist militias in the region, and their depiction by inside-the-Beltway war hawks as the root of all evil in the Middle East, Iran’s leaders have long acted more like a status quo power than a force for genuine change. They have shored up the rule of the autocratic al-Assad family in Syria, while helping the Iraqi government that emerged after President George W. Bush’s invasion of that country fight off the terrorist threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). 

In truth, not Iran but the U.S. and Israel are the countries that have most strikingly tried to use their power to reshape the region in a Napoleonic manner. The disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and Israel’s wars on Egypt (1956, 1967), Lebanon (1982-2000, 2006), and Gaza (2008, 2012, 2014, 2024), along with its steady encouragement of large-scale squatting on the Palestinian West Bank, were clearly intended to alter the geopolitics of the region permanently through the use of military force on a massive scale.

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A classified diplomatic cable obtained by The Grayzone reveals the role of a veteran CIA officer in violently overthrowing Haiti’s popular President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. 

A spectacular jailbreak in Gonaïves, Haiti in August 2002 saw a bulldozer smash through the local prison walls, allowing armed supporters of Amiot “Cubain” Métayer, a gang leader jailed weeks earlier for harassing Haitian political figures, to overrun the facility. Métayer escaped, as did 158 other prisoners. Among them were perpetrators of the April 1994 Raboteau massacre, which left dozens of Haitians dead and displaced. The victims were supporters of popular anti-imperial President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Documents released to The Grayzone under FOIA – no doubt unintentionally – reveal that the jailbreak was part of a complex US intelligence operation, aimed at undermining Aristide’s presidency. At the heart of this operation was Janice L. Elmore, a CIA operative working under cover as a Department of State “Political Officer” in the Port-au-Prince US Embassy at the time.

The breakout set in motion a violent regime change campaign, which ultimately ousted Aristide from office on February 29 2004. After being deposed and flown to South Africa, Aristide claimed to have been “kidnapped” by US forces and directly accused Washington of orchestrating the plot. His nation quickly transformed into a despotic failed state, as ruthless paramilitaries ran roughshod over the population. US Marines and later UN troops were deployed to “keep the peace,” which, in practice, meant violently cracking down on not only armed anti-coup militants but also outraged demonstrators and civilians.

In 2022, the former French ambassador to Haiti admitted that France and the US did, in fact, orchestrate the “coup,” which he acknowledged was “probably” due to Aristide’s repeated demands that Haitians be returned the $21 billion in reparations they’d forcibly paid their former slave masters in Paris since 1825. The former ambassador told the New York Times that with Aristide in exile, “it made our job easier” to undermine Haitians’ demands for a refund.

US officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Aristide’s overthrow, claiming they only intervened afterwards to restore order. But the secret diplomatic cable obtained by The Grayzone tells a very different story

Claire's Observations:  Imagine my (absence of) shock, upon learning this!

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